November 29, 2013

trips and books and new follower

First I need to thank Tabitha from Wandering Java Lover for becoming my 7th follower. She is a Canadian blogger that loves Starbucks and Books. My kind of girl!!! :)  Please check out her blog!

By this time tomorrow, I will be up in the air flying somewhere over the Florida Keys on my way to Cancun Mexico for the week. 

My schedule today is crazy. I am working until 4:30 pm then I have an spa appointment for a pedicure (love pedicures!) and for some waxing (must look good in that bathing suit!). Then I need to pack for Bidou and I.    

Last night my hairdresser (yes... I couldn't go to Cancun with my roots showing!) asked me what kind of packer I was. Then it got me thinking about the stuff I do bring on trips. I think I bring just enough in clothes and shoes. I usually pack one suitcase for Bidou and I plus we have our carry-ons.  That's not so bad... right?? However, the item that I do bring to many of is books. For some reason, I am always afraid that I will run out of stuff to read.  Last summer when travelling to Key West for the month of August, I packed 12 books but only read 5 of them. Go figure!!

I usually read books on my mini i-pad but when travelling to Mexico, I love to bring real books. I find it is easier for reading at the beach or near the pool.

The following is a picture of the books that I am bringing on this trip.  My priority is to finish The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I hopefully to read another!! :)

grrrr... I can't get this picture to rotate... sorry people!!

What do you over pack when travelling on a vacation???

I will be taking a break from this blog next week but will be back in full force on December 9th.  Hope you all have a great week! :)

November 27, 2013

Wednesday's NOT loves

I usually dedicate Wednesday's to my favourite loves of the week but decided this week to turn stuff around... therefore, welcome to my first edition of my not loves post.

Not loving the following #whitestuff scene when I woke up this morning.

Not loving all of the traffic that the #whitestuff caused this morning.

Not loving that when I left work at 4:30 yesterday that it was pitch black outside.

Not loving that Bidou is away for the most part of this week.

Not loving that I was not able to finish reading The Book Thief on time for this month's book club.

Not loving that this week I am so NOT organized and that my packing is not even started yet! (leaving for Mexico this Saturday)

What are you NOT loving this week??

November 25, 2013

sunday dinner

I am a big fan of Sunday dinners. They are important to me and it is a tradition that I cherish. It is a great time to sit around a table with family and friends to share a meal.

I love to cook a home cooked meal on Sunday's.  I do not consider myself a great cook but I don't mind preparing simple meals. I hate trying new recipes. Some new recipes that I have tried in the past were often fails! Therefore, I am always reluctant to try something new!

With that being said... I tried a new slow cooker recipe yesterday that I found in a magazine and it was a success. Bidou even cleaned his plate off!  Yay for me!

Burgundy Beef and Mushroom

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

Brown meat and drain fat.
Combine mushrooms, soups and dry onion soup mix.
Stir in browned meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
I served it over fresh pasta!!!

Do you usually cook home cooked meals on Sundays?

November 22, 2013

delivery man

Delivery Man staring Vince Vaughn opens in theatres today!

As you might not know, Delivery Man is a remake of a very popular 2011 French-Canadian movie called "Starbucks" written by Ken Scott.  It is about a irrepressible man-child who learns that his 20-year-old sperm donations have resulted in 533 children.

I obviously saw the French-Canadian version and really liked it. Hopefully, the American version is as good as the original.

November 21, 2013

bidou the man behind the blog - part 2

Once again, I am linking up with Mal Smiles and Never The Same Spice Twice for Boys Behind the Blog.  I participated last month (here) and realized that it was a great way to showcase my most favourite person in this world ~ Bidou, my darling husband.

I write many of my posts during the day at work... working and posting... why not! So today (yesterday when you are reading this), I e-mailed my husband asking him to answer these questions. Since he is so task oriented... he promptly answered the questions.

I laughed out loud at some of his answers... especially, number 1.  I didn't realize that Sophia Grace and Rosie were considered a band\musician!!!

Q. Who is your favorite band/musican?
A. Sophia Grace and her 5 year old cousin Rosie. They always bring a smile on my face whenever I listen to their songs.

Q. What was your first CD/tape?
A. Cheek & Chong tape. They had made a "special" tape of one of their movies…later got all my tapes stolen from a friends car…I couldn't understand any of the lyrics back then because I was not speaking english at all. To be honest, I am totally unsure why I ever bought that tape and I remember paying $13.97 for it in a "liquidation" bin at the local drug store.

Q. Who was your first concert?
A. Not sure I even attended a concert in my life so I will have to ask my wife just to make sure before I can answer that question!! …I have absolutely no artistic vibes in me. I was even kicked out of the Christmas Choir when I was a kid due to "gross under qualification". My parents were devastated with that news but I was a happy kid because that meant that I could go play ice hockey at the outside rink behind the village Church instead of going at Choir practices even though temperature was often reaching -40 Celsius!!!

Q. What is your favourite Thanksgiving food?
A. MASHED POTATOES...OF COURSE! That was a dum and obvious question.
(side note - my husband LOVES mashed potatoes.... and always complains that I don't serve it enough!)

Q. Finish the sentence: I am thankful for... 
A. The persons that bumped into my life along the way. From as long as I can remember, they all seem to have appeared for some reasons. 

After being married for 8 years, my husband still surprised me with some funny answers to these questions!!

Were you surprised by some answers that your "man" answered???

Never The Same Spice Twice

November 20, 2013

Wednesday's Loves

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to blog about the great deals I found from my shopping last weekend.  Last night was all planned out... take pictures then write an amazing post about the stuff but instead I opted for some sleep and was snoring at 8:00 pm. Must I say that I am a well rested person this morning!

Therefore, I am bringing you another version of my favourite (and easy) post... Wednesday's Loves

Loving that there is only 10 sleeps until Cancun Mexico!

Loving all the stuff that I bought last weekend... especially the Michael Kors top.... and I only paid $11 for it!

Loving that I ate at all of my favourite American restaurants last weekend ~ Cracker Barrell, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, Five Guys and enjoyed many Skinny Lattes at Starbucks.

Loving that I have hired a cleaning lady and she is coming tomorrow!  

Loved the book The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman.

Any loving happening in your lives???

November 19, 2013

shopping in the usa

It's no secret that I LOVE to shop in the States... stuff in general is different and also much cheaper compared to the Canadian prices. 

It is approx. a 4-hour drive to the Waterloo Premium Outlets near Syracuse NY. Bidou and I usually try to go twice a year (Spring and Fall)... like for a weekend getaway "shop till you drop" style. My favourite outlets are Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Loft. Honestly, besides a pair of jeans or a blouses here and there, I do not think I have clothes shop in Canada in the last 5 years.

Besides purchasing clothes, I also LOVE to purchase groceries and household stuff every time I visit the States.  Below you will find a list of stuff that I love to purchase and the reasons why ~

My U.S. Walmart/Target Haul

From left to right, top to bottom.

Kellogg's Special Red Berries ~ One of Bidou's favourite cereals. A box this size in Canada is priced at $5.99 each.  Bought 3 boxes at Walmart and paid $3.37.

EOS Shaving Cream ~ Since discovering their lip balm and loving it, I needed to try their shaving cream and picked up a bottle on my last trip to the States last summer. Since running out, I've been looking high and low for some in Canada but can't find any. Bought 3 bottles and paid $3.48 at Target. Hopefully, it will last until my next visit.

Pretzel Chips - These chips with hummus is my favourite all time go to healthy mid-afternoon work snack. I can only find these chips at the Bulk Barn in Canada and they usually retail for $3.99 for a very small bag. Paid $2.48 at Walmart for these big bag. Bought 2 of them.

Dole Pineapple Juice ~ These do exist in Canada but only in very large cans.  I love the individual serving ones to pack in my lunches.

Red Velvet Cake Mix ~ My new favourite dessert! Love making them into cupcakes and sharing with my co-workers on a Friday. We can purchase these in Canada for $3.99 a box. The US price is $1.29 ~ a real bargain!! I bought 17 boxes at Target and Walmart (and empties their shelves). I see many red velvet cupcakes in my future!!! :)

Ziploc Versa Glass Containers ~ I've been trying to replace all of my cheap plastic containers for glass ones. I love these.... and you can purchase only in the U.S.

Quaker Oats Old Fashion Oatmeal ~ Call me crazy but I swear Canadian oatmeal does not taste the same as the U.S. one.

Pace Chunky Salsa - Bidou's favourite salsa in the entire world (I can't stand this kind!) and can't purchase in Canada.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix ~ I have never seen this in Canada... anxious to make them! 

Please come back tomorrow, I'll post pictures of the stuff that I bought at the Outlets and at Destiny USA mall.

Any items that you like to purchase while visiting the States?

November 15, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

Even though I am not a Christmas fan, I still try to do something special for kids during the holiday season. Earlier this month, a co-worker send out an e-mail promoting Operations Christmas Child. I had never heard of it and was eager to find out more.

Operations Christmas Child provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on project.  It was started in 1990 by Dave Cooke, a Welshman who felt moved to deliver gifts to Romanian orphans after seeing their living circumstances on television.  In 1993, Operations Christmas Child grew and was adopted by Samaritan's Purse, a Christian organization run by Franklin Graham.

How it works
You basically need to fill a shoebox for a girl or a boy full of small gift such as school supplies, hygiene items, socks, t-shirts, hair clips, musical instruments etc. They also encourage you to include a personal note and/or a photo.  You also need to include $7 per box to cover shipping and other project-related cost.

The filled shoe boxes needed to be returned this week for logistic purposes. It was so much fun to do!  I heard that older boys do not receive as many boxes as girls, therefore, I choose to fill 2 boxes for boys for the ages 10-14.

Here is what I included in both shoe boxes ~

  • a button down shirt
  • a pair of underwear
  • a simple blue, red and white very bouncy ball
  • a couple of bags of hard candy 
  • a toothbrush
  • some dices since a deck of standard playing cards were not allowed due to regulations.
  • 2 Matchbox small cars
  • Pirate tattoos
  • and my favourite item... a Scooby Doo Christmas Song Card. Every time I received a signing card... it brings a smile to my face so hopefully, I will be able to achieve the same for a couple of  boys somewhere in this world during the festive season.

Do you do something special for kids during the holidays??

P.S.  Leaving tomorrow for a 48 hour shopping with the hubby and in-laws to the Premium Outlets near Syracuse NY.  Happy me!!

November 14, 2013

Pet Link ups are the bests

Karly Kim

A little past 3 pm and nothing posted yet since I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. I've been rushing to finish an assignment that is due today for an on-line course that I am taking (yes, doing homework during work hours!) until I visited Amanda from Voyage of the MeeMee and noticed that she had linked up with Karly Kim and Jade and Oak.  Don't you just love the domino effect of blogs??

And the subject of the link-up is "Pets are People too"... jackpot... my favourite subject of all time - KLOÉ

I work in an office and my husband works from home. The following is an excerpt of our daily text conservations:

Me: "What are you doing?
Bidou: "working"
Me: "Did you have lunch?" (note that my hubby does not eat if he is not reminded...!)
Bidou: "yes"
Me: "Did you take Kloé for a walk?"
Bidou: "yes"
Me: "What is Kloé doing?"
Bidou: "sleeping"
Me: "Where is she sleeping?"
and here is where my husband usually texts a picture of her sleeping....

Do you usually ask about your pet whereabouts to your husbands??  

November 13, 2013

wednesday's love

Loving my North Face toasty warm winter jacket for morning and evening walks with Kloé. I usually wear this coat for extreme Canadian subzero weather in January and March and it's only November... yikes!

Loving or in this case I am obsessing with Mr. Selfridge.  I can't get enough of him and the characters in the show. It's available on Canada Netflix.... by the way, sucks that the American and Canadian Netflix are not the same.... if you are wondering, the American one is MUCH MORE better.

Loving the following banana muffin recipe that my work friend passed on. I am now that person that loves to buy over ripped bananas so I can rush home to make this recipe.

3 large over ripped bananas
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of melted

Mash the bananas, add sugar and slighly beaten egg.
Add the melted butter.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.
Bake at 375F for 18-20 minutes

November 11, 2013

the wednesday that could have changed my life forever!

We have no kids.  I want kids and my hubby wants them too!!

Unfortunately, we cannot have kids naturally.  We decided a couple of years ago to inquire about adoption. We did our research.  Fostering in view to adopt was the route we decided to pursue.

My husband and I went through the tedious interviews, took the "how to become foster parents in view to adopt" mandatory courses and did all of the homework required… it was a very long process. All worth it since we were added to their waiting list.

Last Wednesday at preciously 2pm, I received a telephone call from our social worker.  She stated that she needed to discuss something with us a.s.a.p. Bidou was on the road for work but thanks to technology, I set-up a 3-way call and in a matter of minutes we were listening to her proposal.

A teenage girl gave birth to twins a couple of weeks ago and they needed a stable home for the time being and if we were ready to take them in!  It was an urgent case and we needed to act now! The social worker was foreseeing a permanent placement.  Exactly what we been wanting and dreaming for.

Let me tell you that my head\brain went on overdrive.... the plan was the following....

  • Thursday -  clean out the second bedroom that is being used as an office, pack boxes and bring them to my Dad where we would store them in his basement for the time being.
  • Friday - literally go crazy at Babies R Us since we possess zero baby items and needed to purchase EVERYTHING.
  • Saturday and Sunday - set up the babies room. Visit and get to know the twins routines and needs.
  • Monday - pick up the twins and bring them home.

Everything was planned out.  For Pete's sake, I even told my employer that I was going on maternity leave... they understood since I had previously told them about my adoption plans.

It was a done deal until we got a call mid-morning on Friday... our social worker was in tears... a judge had decided to give the young mom a second chance and that the twins were going home with her on Monday.

Everyone was in SHOCK.  The biological mother has a heavy background with the Children's Aid (it seems that she also has another 5 year son placed in the foster system) plus many more problems.  

Needless to say, that since last Wednesday it has been a roller coaster ride for Bidou and I.  On Wednesday we were becoming parents and not even 48 hours later... we were not.  On a positive note, I am thanking God that we had not meet the babies nor had welcomed them in our home when the judge ruled for the young mom.

Now I am praying that these precious little girls will have a good life.  I know that we would have loved them to death...

November 6, 2013

Wednesday's Loves

Loving that we are leaving for Cancun in 23 days.

Loving that the red Starbucks cups have arrived.

Loving the book that I am currently reading - The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

Loving that I connected with old high school friends last Saturday (reason why I was on the mends all day Sunday!)

and finally loving this picture of Kloé.  Lately, her new favorite position is standing up on the back of the couch!!  So cute!!

November 5, 2013

10 favorite things link up

I LOVE link-ups. I am a new blogger and I am still learning the ropes. I have found that linking-up is a great way to find inspiration and I am making a ton of friends doing it... bonus!

Today I am linking-up with Brianna that blogs over at Endlessly Beloved.  She hosts a monthly Ten Favorite Thing link-up. This month's theme is 10 things you are thankful for and here is my list:

First and the most important is that I am thankful for being healthy.  Without your health there is literally not much living.

The second thing on my list is that I am totally thankful for Bidou.  He is the best husband a girl can have. He spoils me rotten!

Third... I am thankful for having such a nice Dad.  My Daddy is my best friend and my hero. I love him to pieces and pray to God every day that he will be among us for a very long time. 

Fourth... thankful for having a full time job. We use the extra $$$ for all the extra stuff we enjoy!

Fifth... thankful for all the books I can read.  Reading is the best pastime ever!

Sixth... thankful for Kloé.  She has only been with us for a short period but she brings so much joy and laughs to my life.

Seven... thankful for Starbucks coffee.  Especially, for Grande Skinny Lattes :)

Eight... thankful for all of the vacations we take.  I try to enjoy every moment of every trip.

Nine... thankful for all of my extended family and friends.

And for number ten... I am very thankful for this list to be over since I can not think of anything else.... :)

November 4, 2013

short weekend recap

I go to bed early and get up early... that is my routine and I like it that way.  Therefore, when there happens to be a Saturday that I do go to bed at 1:30 a.m.  Must I say that my routine is ALL screwed up... and that I hate!

With that being said, my Sunday was spend literally on the couch watching television (catching up on a French Canadian show called Unité 9) and taking power naps instead of doing laundry, preparing food for the week and house cleaning!!

November 1, 2013

conclusion - october goals

I am on a quest to be more organized. October was the first month that I jotted down some goals for myself. It was very helpful even though, I did not complete them all.

The following were my October goals

Switch my vehicle registration from the blue to the new green one that Quebec is offering to people that drive electric vehicles.
Update - Now that I am thinking about it, this is actually not a goal. It is more a "to do" item.  It is easy... all I must do is drive down to the SAAQ, wait in line and exchange my existing blue vehicle registration for a green one!  I did not do it.... therefore - failed!

Purchase and install new hardware on my kitchen cabinets.
Update - I am happy to say to I ordered 34 new door handles for my kitchen cabinets but I have not yet received them. I should be receiving them sometime next week - semi-failed!

Drink 2 tall glasses of water (morning and afternoon) when at work.
Update - I am VERY happy to report that I faithfully drank 1 tall glass of water in the morning and afternoon as stated.  Keeping track of stuff does help to get stuff accomplished!

Participate in this months Blogger Book Club - this month's book is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  
Update - You can find my review of the half read book here!

Pretty proud of myself!  Good job Kouisse!!!

Were you able to accomplish any goals lately??