Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Mashup: Mommy Brain

Today's Parent
Is it lame to admit that I have a subscription to Today's Parent that I wait for every month? I hope not, because I love it. The recipes are easy and kid-friendly, the articles having varying point of views--and they don't engage in the bottle vs. boob battle, which I appreciate. Also, there are random gems that make my heart happy.

Birthday Parties are Exhausting
We had a birthday party yesterday, and everyone involved was played out! We swam for an hour and a half, including lots of stairs to the Big Giant Waterslide, and then the kids (and some of the adults) ran around in a backyard for hours having fun. It was tons of fun, and thank you to everyone that came!

I Have Amazing Friends
Seriously, I am the luckiest person to have the people in my life that I do. I love you all with my entire heart.

Children Raise Parents
I am forever learning something new from my little girl. Yesterday, after opening all of her presents, Audrey looked at me and asked "When can I open my real present?" and instantly I wanted to crawl under a rock and die. I tried to explain that we say thank-you for our gifts and don't ask for more, and I sent her off to play while I tried to apologize to the parents and stewed in her rudeness. Normally she is so well-behaved and polite! In the car, I asked her what she had meant, thinking that maybe she was disappointed for not getting a specific gift. "But Maman, I just wanted to open up my real present so that Chasey and I could play with it." Audrey replied, "We wanted to go shopping." As soon as I understood that she wanted to open up her "real" food and shopping cart, I felt terrible for getting grumpy with her.

Normally Audrey is very well-spoken and communicative, and I've always spoken to her the same way that I would speak to another adult (without expletives of course!). Sometimes I forget that she's actually only a preschooler and struggles with communicating what she is thinking, and this was a very good reminder for me.

I'm linking up with the lovely Mrs.Monologues for her Monday Mashup--come check it out, link up your own Mashup post, and find some great bloggers! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mommy Moment: It's A Birthday, Charlie Brown!


Your laughter is contagious, your paintings decorate my house, and each time you look at me and say "I love you Maman" my heart melts into a puddle of happiness. Being with you is the highlight of my every day, and I am so thankful that you're my little girl. 

Happy fourth birthday Bubby! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four Steps to a Perfect Manicure

I am a little bit obsessed with painting my nails as of late.  Every few days I change the color, and through trial and error I have found a routine that works for me (pictured above in order).

More advice stemming from my many nail polish failures:
  • Once a week, after removing the old polish, I use a cuticle remover (Quo by Orly Cuti-Prep) and push back any remaining cuticle. This will give your manicure a more professional finish.
  • I am in love with base & top coats from Essie, although I find that their colored polish formula is very thin and takes many (usually four) coats in order to bring out the color that you see in the bottle.
  • For other brands of polish, I only apply the Good To Go on the top layer of color; for Essie I apply this between coats of color--this is necessary as the Essie polish also takes forever to dry. Love the color, hate how much effort using it can be sometimes.
  • I reapply the No Chips Ahead top coat nightly until I remove it; this keeps my nails glossy after a day of hand washing and lotioning.
  • Other (colored) polish brands that I swear by are OPI and Sally Hansen InstaDry--the brush that comes with the InstaDry is amazing and should really be the standard for all brands! 

{The Essie polish pictured above is my current favourite, Lapiz of Luxury.} 

What are your favourite nail products?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Really Easy DIY: Painting Signs

I absolutely love crafts and DIY projects, yet I am notorious for starting something and not finishing it. I have a red Rubbermaid container that I call my craft graveyard; in it are partially-knitted baby blankets (originally intended for children who are now almost school-aged), an almost-complete cross-stitched giraffe (originally meant for my four year old daughters nursery), and a myriad of unfinished Christmas decorations and wreaths. It has always bothered me that I haven't completed these projects, although admittedly not enough to actually complete them.

I am putting my foot down, however. No longer will the Arts & Crafts feed on Pinterest make me feel bad about my lack of craftiness. No longer will I hurry past the craft aisle for fear of adding to my Bin of Craft Despair. I am going to jump on the DIY train and not bail out as soon as I realise that I don't actually know what I'm doing. The only way to get better at something is to do it, isn't that the cliche that applies here?

My first (small) step into the DIY world was to paint a sign that I've had sitting in a box for years. Not exactly a homemade kitchen table (that's what DIY-ers make, right?), but I figured easing into the genre would be the best way to not scare me off.

I've had this sign for years, bought most likely at a Dollar Store on one of those boredom trips where I buy all the things. I like the message of it, but I've always hated the color. It was intended for my living room, where all of my shelving is dark wood, so it just didn't look right. Then on a separate trip to the Dollar Store where I bought all the things, I fell in love with a turquoise acrylic paint; I knew that I had found the right color for the sign. "BUT HOW WOULD IT GET ON THERE??" was my first thought, closely followed by "duh, you have to paint it". Sometimes I surprise myself with the way my brain works. Anyway, while sitting at my kitchen table and after much deliberation, I decided to use sand paper to rough up the surface so that the paint would adhere. 

Sandpaper not pictured because I didn't take a photo of it. I think it was medium sandpaper.  Also not photographed is the sign after sanding but before painting, because I'm clearly really awesome at tutorials. Also also not photographed was the sign as it was being painted. I'm pretty sure you guys know how to paint. If you don't, then I cannot help you. I'm sorry. 
Some of the curves in the wood were really difficult to paint, for them I actually used a smaller paintbrush that is also not pictured. I'll try to make my next tutorial a little more tutorial-esque, sorry dudes. I applied four coats to ensure an even and opaque covering. The acrylic paint seemed to dry really fast (about five minutes after applying it), so all in all it took me about an hour from start to finish--that includes thinking, sanding, painting, and drying time.

For right now, the spiffed-up sign has found a home on my TV stand; the paint that I used has a matte finish, and I might use a gloss top coat once I know how I feel about it.

Thanks for sticking around for my first DIY tutorial! What have you crafted lately? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long weekends are for...

-snuggles in bed & sleeping in
-honey jack barbecue chicken & cold beer
-discovery HD & brunch
-frank sinatra & sunshine
-freezies & loungers
-zombies & the best homemade pasta sauce in the world

Sunshine in the backyard on a deck on a long weekend

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Favourite Products: Face

I am a beauty product hoarder. I have baskets, drawers, boxes, and cabinets full of lotions, potions and powders; I am ashamed to say that out of my entire stash, I use only four on a regular basis. I'm going to pretend that it is because I am entirely low maintenance and not because most days I'm lucky if I brush my hair. These items are part of my standard routine, and although they aren't perfect they are my favourite items that I have found so far. None are more than $20 (in Canada), and all can be found at most drug stores. 

  1. Cover Girl Lash Blast waterproof mascara in Black (about $10). It lengthens and lifts lashes without curling, it's as close to sweat proof as I have found, and as long as you don't go crazy it doesn't clump up. One thing I have noticed is that the tube will get old and dried out quickly with regular use--I'm lucky if I get a month out of it before it starts to turn.
  2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion with SPF 15 (about $15). I will admit that I cheat on this lotion whenever I run out, but it never fails--I always go back. It has a lightweight formula, isn't shiny or greasy, and keeps my skin from flaking in the dry Albertan winters. A bonus for me is that it doesn't make my temperamental skin break out.
  3. Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser (about $15). This is the only cleanser I have ever used that softens my skin just from washing it. It is gentle, with none of the exfoliating agents that my skin can't handle. It isn't awesome at removing eye makeup, so make sure that you have your trusty oil-free eye makeup remover on hand to get rid of the raccoon eyes.
  4. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (about $4). I swear by Burt's Bees products for my lips, and the balm is my favourite because I don't have the urge to slather too much on like I might with a chapstick. It leaves them soft, and I actually enjoy the slightly minty flavor. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Before the calm relaxing pace of the summer, and after the cabin fever from being cooped up all winter, spring encourages change. It is a season of restlessness, of pacing, of cleaning. It brings about reflection, realizations, and growth.

Change should be embraced, not feared.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



Thanks for stopping by!

Everything is a work in progress at the moment, but feel free to look around. In a few days rakas kesä should seem a bit more lived in. Don't forget to add me to your readers (or join with Google Friend Connect) so that you can stay up to date with all of the shiny new that will be coming your way shortly!
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