Thursday, January 21, 2010

Date Night - The River Trail

This past week has been gorgeous, Manitoba weather-wise! The temperatures have been a balmy -8C and above - absolutely fantastic! One of my dreams has been to skate the Assiniboine River trail here in Winnipeg. Yesterday was just that day so hubby and I dropped the kids off and went on a date!! 2 years ago my in-laws bought me these amazing skates for Christmas - Nike figure skates with a quick-lace system and a comfy faux-shearling fold-over cuff! I have NEVER worn such comfortable skates in my life. And the quick-lace system is a bonus - when I was wearing my husband's hand-me-downs, he always had to lace my skates for me - I felt like such a little kid! Now I feel like a grown-up!! ☺ I don't have a picture of the skates because I keep them at the in-laws since that is where we do the majority of the skating. Dad-in-law makes a rink on the farm, which is just wonderful. However, the river trail allows you to skate in a straight line for a long time - an oval skating rink does not afford that luxury.

The Assiniboine River trail is the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail, measuring 9.3km. We did not skate the entire way! We did spend about 30-40 minutes skating and it was beautiful (no need to run today!!). Once again, I did not take any photos as we went since it was getting dark. However, these photos by Ken Gillespie capture the trail beautifully!

I finally discovered just how wonderful my new jacket really was! I was without adequate snow gear (how is that possible in Manitoba??) so the in-laws bought me this amazing Scott jacket for Christmas. I was told it was very warm and were they ever right! I was wearing only a camisole and light top over it when we went skating and I got so warm I was even sweating. Thanks to the armpit vents (which I thought were pretty dumb when I got it!) that problem went away rather quickly. I am now convinced of this jacket's amazing properties!!

So, after we were done skating, we headed out to Boston Pizza for some of their yummy, yummy food! I was particularily interested in their bundles - caesar salad, yam fries and a Greek stromboli hit the spot for me!

All in all, a fantastic evening made better by Mom and Dad Falk telling us not to rush home! I hope we can do this again soon!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Organizing Paper Mail

The office was a mess. Correction. The office was a disaster. Seriously, a massively messy place. Papers everywhere. Stuff everywhere. It was embarrassing. So, I have been cleaning. 'Decrapification' is the technical term, thanks to Thrifty Decor Chick and I think it fits the bill. The amount of . . . well, crap that was in here is totally ridiculous. And I will show you in a "Keeping it Real" post very soon. There has to be an "After" in order to show you the "Before" and the "After" is currently in process. However, in spite of all the mess, we were very good at sorting the mail that came in the door. You know, all the bills and flyers, bank information, receipts, etc. Everyone needs a proper sorting system to deal with the massive amount of paper that enters the house. About a year ago, I discovered ours and it has been working wonderfully. I thought I would share it with you.

This wonderful set of rolling stacking drawers has been a life-saver for us. I found this one at Office Depot, called a Realspace 10 Drawer Mobile Organizer, when I was redoing our office a while back. I also saw some in primary colors almost identical to ours at Costco the other day. It was much cheaper, about 30ish dollars, than what I paid, which was $59.99. They also had a black one with two rows of seven drawers - a bit shorter and wider. Both of them would be fantastic for this purpose.

As you can see, each drawer is labelled with a label that identifies its contents (I just bought the label maker yesterday and I love it!!). For us, the labels are:

  • RECEIPTS - self-explainatory

  • UNPAID BILLS - any bills needing to be paid; once they are paid they go in the receipts drawer

  • FLYERS - you could eliminate this drawer if you do not receive flyers but we shop sales a lot so this is important to us. It also gives our kids pictures to cut out for school.

  • BANK INFO/MONEY - all bank statements, investment information and excess cash go in this drawer.

  • COUPONS/GIFT CARDS - need I say more?

  • RECIPES - when I see a recipe I like on-line I print it out and stick it in the drawer. Very handy for a recipe-lover like me!

  • MOPS - I am the coordinator for the local Mothers of Preschoolers chapter so I need a place to put that stuff.

  • BEAUTICONTROL - in my wealth of free time, I sell BC. That stuff goes here!

  • CRAFT IDEAS - just like the recipes, when I find an idea on-line that I like, I print it out and stick it in here.

  • empty drawer for ???

This system works really well for us and we don't have to empty the drawers too often because they hold quite a bit of stuff. We always know where to find things and it looks so neat and tidy. I tried using one drawer for magazines but the weight was too much causing the drawer to fall off its track. Keep lighter things in them and they work great. It has a metal shelf across the top that is the perfect fit for our scanner. It would also be a great place to hold a basket so you can throw all the mail in there and sort it when you have time. For us, it goes straight to the drawers. I also love that you can take out a drawer and walk away with it to wherever you want. From the reviews I read, some use it for makeup storage, some for craft supplies. The possibilities are endless. Do you have a system to deal with the paper mail that enters your house?

I will be linking this post to Thrifty Decor Chick's So Fresh, So Clean Party. Check it out for all kinds of cleaning and organizing tips!

copyright 2009


Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baby Name Plaque

I am amazed to see how many followers I now have on this little adventure I call blogging and I sincerely apologize for my lack of posts lately. However, I have been trying to keep up with the chaos around here and set a more "family friendly" schedule - whatever that means. I go to bed earlier and get up earlier so I can clean earlier which means less time for this. If that made any sense. Annnnnyhow!

Since I last blogged, we have taken the kids on a field trip to the local Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature - they LOVED it! Gigantic dinosaur skeletons, a real Nonsuch ship to explore, a vintage town! Everyone, from the 11 month old to the 6 year old, had a fantastic time! Our farm bought a business membership so we can take the entire family to the museum as many times as we want for the next year for FREE!! Cannot get any better than that! Plus, with the membership, we can also go to the Science Gallery and the Planetarium, all housed in that same building! I sense a few more field trips in the future. And just today, with the balmy -6C temperatures we have been experiencing, we went out to Jay's parent's place and spent the late afternoon/early evening skating and snowmobiling! So much fun!

I know, you are thinking, get on with it! I want to see the baby name plaque. I found a couple of these "country" signs at our local thrift store for $2 and knew immediately what they would become.

One of my dearest friends had her baby girl just days before Christmas so this is the name plaque I created for her! Super simple! If you want the directions, check out my post from earlier.

As of yet, I have not met this beautiful little girl so I cannot wait to see her and give this to her. Now to get working on another project for this little sweetie!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Inner Hooker - A Giveaway!

Isn't that just an amazing name?! I love the play on words! Makes you think a bit - what comes to your mind? Maybe I shouldn't ask! It's crochet, people, crochet!

Scotti from the Oxford Family is having a giveaway for some way-too-cute crochet patterns for kids hats! You have got to check them out - just head over here!

Personally, here is my favorite!

Which one would you pick??

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My First Feature!

Oh. My. Goodness. I am positively giddy with excitement. I WAS FEATURED!! Can you believe that? My DIY Armchair and my DIY headboard were featured over at The DIY Showoff today!! Really, this may make me look juvenile but here goes - WOO HOO!! Thanks so much, Roeshel!
Check it out. I love to see all the projects that she features - sooo many great ideas! Now I have all the energy I need to tackle tidying this very untidy house! YIPPEE!!

The DIY Show Off

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Me!

As usual, we rang in the New Year with style - our own style! A long time ago, before we started "smothering my parents with grandchildren" (quote from Christmas - couldn't resist, Dad!!) we would get together with our dearest friends and spend the evening dipping various delectable treats in chocolate and chatting away while waiting for the New Year to finally arrive. This tradition started before Jay and I were even married and continued until after our son arrived, maybe even until after our second son arrived. However, with the continuation of our kids and the arrival of theirs, the tradition for us has changed to just include our family. We were hoping to make it happen again this year with the whole big clan but they were sick and have a brand-new-less-than-2-week-old baby girl in the house. Oh well! So, shirts off (uh, just the kids - though Jay would like to see that change to include me, too! Go figure!!) and chocolate on, our New Year now includes chocolate, fruit and marshmallows with our kids and a bedtime that precedes midnight! What a lot of fun!

I made sure to enjoy every ounce of chocolate I could possibly shove in my face seeing as I won't be indulging in some for another year! Yup, you read that right! So, in no particular order, here are my goals for 2010. Now, if you know me at all, I don't usually do this. I am not a New Year's Resolution kind of girl. I laugh at the people that make the goal on January 1 and break it on January 2 and again on January 3, etc. etc. I have been percolating these ideas for a while and I have a vast amount of determination soooooooooo:
  1. No sweets. That's right - no chocolate, no Kit Kat bars, no cheesecake, no Pepsi, no Saucy Hot Fudge Pudding, no homemade Hot Fudge Sauce to smother my icecream, no slurpies, no homemade iced tea - get the point??!!

  2. Run 500 miles. That sounds a little extreme, however, if you break it down, it is only 1.36986301369 miles per day or 9.61538461538 miles per week. Totally doable! Check out the running woman on the side to watch my progress.

  3. Lose weight! #1 and #2 should help with this. So will Jillian Michaels and Billy Blanks. One of the reasons I love being pregnant is because I don't worry about my weight. If I have a big tummy, it is for a reason. Now I have no excuse (and I don't consider 5 kids an excuse!!). So, by the time 2011 rolls around, I'd like you to see about 15 pounds less of me!

  4. Read through the entire Bible. I see this one as being the most difficult. I tend to get bogged down in Leviticus and Numbers. Something about all those lists. Okay, so if I get through most of the Bible, I will consider this done! After all, just watching the state of your physical being and ignoring the state of your spiritual being is pretty useless. Hell couldn't care less if you are thin.

There you have it. My goals for 2010. And I am so excited to see what this year brings. After all, in a house with 5 children aged 6 and under, excitement is always around the corner!

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