Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Houseguest

The other day I was reading this post from one of my favourite bloggers, Big Mama, and when I saw this picture on her bookshelf, I knew I had to have it.  I laugh every time I look at it.....


Can't you just see the exasperation in the way her head is tilted!?!  And the lion is sitting there, like "What???"

Turns out it is from a fellow Etsy artist, and also a fellow CANADIAN Etsy artist, so I knew I had to have it right away.  Her name is Janet Hill and her shop is filled with lovely, bright coloured prints.  I bought this print size 11"x14" but she has it in a smaller size as well.

I had a custom mat made for it, because none of the premade 11x14 mats looked right.  This sea foam green colour matches perfectly.  I hung it over the fireplace in our family room.   I think I still need something else on the mantle, not exactly sure what yet, but I suppose I'll know it when I see it.  Perhaps a quote of some sort?



I really love to hang artwork that "speaks to me".  I don't spend a lot of money on art, I basically hang what I like, what means something to me, what makes me laugh.  Those are the 3 criteria for items that come into my home.

I have a "Wall of Shame" in our upstairs hall.  These pictures used to be in our old home, up the wall of the winding staircase, and they made a real impact.


here are these pictures in our last house


here they are in our upstairs hall,can't get a full picture without a wide angle lens.  They aren't the same "conversation piece" that they were in our old home, but they do represent our history, and I like looking at them every day.  I tried to pick pictures that weren't all just conventional poses -- something a little different...





like this one of my great uncle and his gun collection.  Just sittin' around in his pyjamas, lookin' at his guns.  Who doesn't do that?  And who took the picture?  I like things that make you ask some questions.


I also like artwork that means something to me. I like to buy artwork of places that we have visited, it brings me back to that place every time I look at it.  This is a picture of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Mr. Limefreckle proposed to me on that little balcony that is jutting out from the porch.



This framed picture sits on our bedside table, a father's day gift one year:



This, in our downstairs powder room, just makes me smile:


My aunt, a very talented artist, made this for Limefreckle Jr. when he was born.  It hung in the nursery, now it's in our upstairs hall.



This is another one of her pieces, it reminds me of the rock that sat in the lake outside my grandparents camp, a place of fond memories:


This is one of my most cherished pieces, my parents gave it to me when I got married.  I wore my Grandma's necklace on my wedding day, this artist always has some "ghosts" in the background of his pictures.  In this one you can see the grandma putting the necklace on her granddaughter.  I like to think she was there that day, putting my necklace on me with my mom.



When I look around my house I see only artwork that makes me smile.  Perhaps it doesn't for some people (I have a whole bunch of pictures running up my staircase in our current home.  A lady visiting once said to me "wow, you sure like pictures!"  Not sure she was a fan, but she doesn't live here now does she?!?).  When you are decorating your house, I think there are 3 rules to follow:

1.  Do you love it?
2.  Does it make you smile?
3.  Does it mean something to you?

If you answered yes to those 3 questions, than it will fit in your home just fine.











Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday -- oh ya!!

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OK, here we go again, hooking up with Erin and Alex for another edition of Weigh In Wednesday.  For so many weeks I had piddly little losses, 0.4 here, 0.1, there, it was ANNOYING!  I feel like I've broken through those days, I've stepped it up on the treadmill a little bit, am running a little more than walking, perhaps that's what has helped me step it up a bit.  This week I LOST 1.6 pounds. This brings me to 201.8, I've lost a total of 13.4 lbs. since rejoining Weight Watchers November 30, 2012.

Now my next hurdle....getting PAST 200 into WONDERLAND!  This is traditionally VERY hard for me, I tend to bounce above and below milestone weights.  I'm not going to let that happen this week. My goal, and I'm writing it down RIGHT HERE FOR THE WORLD (or all 35 followers) to see.  I want to be 199 or less at my next weigh in.  That would be a loss of 2.8 pounds.  I think I can do it.  I'm GOING TO TRY MY HARDEST TO DO IT. 

Each week at the Weight Watchers meetings, we are asked to commit to something this week and write it down.  I'm going to commit to re-reading all the Weight Watchers material I've been given.  It's been 10 weeks since I started, I read it all once, but I'm sure there's lots more I can learn by re-reading it.  My first week on the plan I lost 6.6 pounds.  Maybe I should go back to my food journal from that week and eat exactly the same things. That would be interesting to see if I lost the same amount.  Hmmmm, something to think about!

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I heart Polyvore

This weekend I discovered Polyvore.  Well, didn't just come across it for the first time, I've been busy pinning looks that other people have put together for ages on Pinterest, but this time I learned how to create my own looks.  And I spent TOO MUCH TIME playing around, and having fun.  I wanted to come up with some outfits that I would wear, featuring some of my Limefreckle jewelry creations.  I was killing time in the mall on Friday, and relishing in the lovely spring colours that are out there right now.  Not exactly sure if I can pull off coloured jeans, gotta think about that a bit, but there are lots of ways I can add these gorgeous new sherberty colours that are currently in the stores.  I had to restrain myself, but will be in Myrtle Beach soon, and can't wait to let loose in the outlet malls down there.

In the meantime, it's still winter here in Canada.    This is a look I came up with featuring this new necklace and this wrap bracelet in my shop.

edited - Linking up with one of my favourite bloggers Jo-Lynne foer her Fashion friday edition

lunch with the girls







Wallis animal print top
59 CAD - wallisfashion.com



Topshop relaxed fit jeans
82 CAD - topshop.com



Frye boots
385 CAD - zappos.com



Aerosoles cap toe ballet flat
70 CAD - macys.com



Michael michael kors handbag
250 CAD - zalando.co.uk



Necklace
56 CAD - etsy.com



Bracelet
46 CAD - etsy.com



Marc by marc jacobs eyewear
61 CAD - theoutnet.com






 




 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Arm Candy

I finally got busy and photographed some of my newest bracelets this weekend.  This arm candy is SO MUCH FUN!  The bracelets are made with craft lace and metal chain, they slip onto your arm like a bangle, and can be mixed and matched and layered with each other, or with my popular leather wrap bracelets.  These are so much fun to wear, and so much fun for me to make!  They come in a variety of colours, this week I'll continue to list individual bracelets, but every listing in my shop has a colour chart and chain choice, so you can order whatever you like. 










You can find these bracelets in my shop here. I'll continue to add more pictures and colours, but if you don't see what you like in the shop as an individual listing, message me and let me know what you would like. 


Please let me know what you think.  Are these the types of bracelets you would like to see more of?





Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Wife...Happy Life!

It's been a wonderful week, although a little too cold for my taste. That damn groundhog said an early spring, but so far all I can think about is FEBRUARY IS WAY TOO LONG!  It's been bone chillingly cold around here, and I've about HAD IT UP TO HERE with winter.  Such is life in Canada!  But here in Southern Ontario, we really have nothing to complain about.   I think of my poor friends up in Northern Ontario, where I spent the first 21 years of my life, they get WAY more snow than we do, and I can tell by facebook posts that they are all reaching the end of their ropes.  This sort of sums it up:

 
and this isn't really all that far off.  I remember bringing my husband home for Christmas for the first time, and he couldn't believe the snow banks over his head.  It's so exciting, those early snowfalls
before Christmas.......by now it's just getting old...
 
We had a short week here, because Monday was "Family Day" and I've been off all week.  I trained at the gym twice, and only made it to hot yoga once this week. Hopefully I can get a class in this weekend. Did a little bit of cardio before training on Tuesday, and will again tomorrow, but feel like I've been a bit light in that department.  It's been so cold at night I haven't been taking the dog for his walks like I usually do.  Must rectify that tonight, no matter what it is like out!
 
Thursday the students at Limefreckle Jr's school threw a surprise "Bachelor Party" for his teacher (he goes to a small private school for kids on the autism spectrum.)  His teacher gets married this weekend, so the students "kidnapped him" handcuffed him, and blindfolded him, and took him to a local restaurant for lunch, and some dancing and games.  This school is the BEST school in the world, and we are so lucky to have found it.  The teachers are really more like family, and it was so fun to watch the kids enjoy this escapade.  Everyone wrote in a book of "Marriage advice" to the bride and groom".  Some of the kids entry's were:
 
"love your wife Mr. F. You should give her lots of squeezes..."
 
"when you are married, smile and say 'you are gorgeous'"
 
from the only girl in the class:
 
"Mr. F, when you are married, you should kiss your wife and sing "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber"
 
and my son's stellar advice:
 
"when you are married you should take your wife to a nice and cool hotel"
 
I gave him the best piece of advice I could....just 4 little words to remember:
 
HAPPY WIFE...HAPPY LIFE!
 
And you have a happy weekend!
 
 

 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Surviving the early years - with "AUPTIMISM"



As most of you may know, Limefreckle Jr. has Autism. His official diagnosis is PDD-NOS, (pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not otherwise specified) but when the DSM-V replaces the DSM-IV, PDD-NOS will no longer be a diagnosis.  I guess that means that Limefreckle Jr. is cured?!?  No, instead it means his diagnosis would be ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) 

A lot of Limefreckle Jr.'s childhood is a bit of a blur to me.  I so wish I had been a blogger back then, I see so many moms of kids with autism blogging now, and think that is such a fantastic way to work through all the craziness of your life.  Sadly, i didn't blog, I didn't write it all down, I just put my head down and plowed through it.

And it was hard.  Meltdowns happened pretty much every single day of his life, during the ages of 2 and 3.  I wondered if perhaps we should pad a room in the house so he could meltdown in safety.  Everything pissed him off.  It was hard to know from one day to the next how to handle life, I just learned to try to roll with the punches, and anticipate what I could. It was a tough time......it's a bit of a blur now, I just remember often, at night, when he would wake up in the middle of it, I would go to him, cuddle him, rock him, and I would think.  Only the types of thoughts that would enter your mind in the middle of the night...worry, anger, despair, unknowing....it was a hard time.  I didn't really know what I was doing.  He was my only child, this was all I knew, and I hunkered down and tried to get through it the best I could.  The biggest regret I have about that time, is I was so scared, so immersed in the unknown, that I feel it all sort of slipped by me, special moments not captured, pictures not taken, life not immortalized. But it is what it is...

I do have pictures of him from those days, but not a lot.  I don't have much video, what was I supposed to take, video of him melting down?  I remember as a new mom, I was into the baby book big time ready to record every sacred moment in his young life....first foods, first friends, first words.....but then they didn't come.  He said a few things, now and then, but it stalled.  And we all wondered.....what is happening?  Why isn't he talking?   At 18 months, we approached our family doctor with questions.  She referred us on to a Developmental pediatrician, and the diagnosis came.....

It was a very scary time.  I immersed myself in the "world of Autism".  I spent endless hours on the computer, joined different online groups, tried to educate myself the best I could about Autism.  I had no idea what my son would be come...I worried that he would never talk.  We consulted Speech therapists, occupational therapists, phsycologists, behaviour specialists....it was a dark, and exhausting time.

Fast forward 10 years.  Limefreckle Jr. is almost 12.  He's an AMAZING  boy.  He talks, perhaps too much (be careful what you wish for!).  He's thriving,  and just keeps continuing to do so.  The future is not quite as bleak as it once was.  I still worry OF COURSE, I'm not sure that will ever stop, and probably doesn't for any mom. But I've learned to relax a little.  He still has those meltdowns, but now instead of everyday, they are every couple of months.  It's a LOT better.

When we first told Limefreckle Jr. that he had autism, he seemed to take it in stride, after all, I don't think he really understood what we were talking about.  Then one day he said "I have "AUPTIMISM" and it hit me like a ton of bricks.....yes you do.  We all have Auptimism.  We are Auptimistic about your future.  The world is a big place, there is so much for you to learn, to explore, to do.  We refused to let a diagonsis define him, to define us. 

So if you are a new mom, and you have just been introduced to the world of Autism.....try to take a beat, take a breath, and not let this new diagnosis define you.  There is plenty out there that can scare you to death if you let it.  There are plenty of people that you will come across that have different views than you.  There are plenty of "experts" that will tell you things that you might not agree with.  They may scare you.  They may make you feel hopeless. Celebrities speak out, and while it's nice to see that they are people just like us, it doesn't mean that their experience is just like ours.  I prefer to get my advice from an expert that I connect with, an expert whose opinion matters to me.  I try to make it a practice to only take advice from people that I can trust.  When I first started to find help for Limefreckle Jr. I met a LOT of, shall we say, "interesting" people.  To be quite frank, they SCARED ME!  One psychologist I met had me in tears by the end of our appointment.  This was back when my son was about 3.  He didn't seem to hold out much hope, he felt the situation was very serious, he was more interested in knowing if I had a problem raising a child that, for lack of a more politically correct word, was mentally retarded.  He made me doubt myself, feel I had to explain myself...."but I just want to find help for him" I cried, exhausted and exasperated.   There were more meetings like that.  More psychologists and so called professionals that I just couldn't connect with.  I finally started to ask myself this question before I trusted the advice I was getting from anyone, be it a professional, a teacher, or a fellow mom.  "is this a person that I would want to spend time with?  Is this person someone whose opinion I would value in any other setting?  Do I find this person to be genuine, and someone I would choose to allign myself with, if I met them in a different life?"  And something interesting happened... I stopped listening to those people who didn't make sense to me, and I started listening to my gut.  I would look at Limefreckle Jr. after every encounter with someone whose words didn't ring true to me, and I would realize that he was the very same boy he was before they put doubt into my mind.  Their words didn't change anything, they were just words, just opinions, just THEIR opinions.

It didn't happen overnight, but it got easier and easier to listen to my gut, and to weed out those people who couldn't help me.  I stopped trying things because I thought I should, because I had heard it worked for children with autism, and I started finding the right people, the right settings, and the right interventions for him.  It wasn't easy, it took time, but finding people of like minded attitude I believe is a very large part of the reason he is the boy he is today.  I let him lead the way, he helped me in determining what would work for him, and what wouldn't.  I learned that there are LOTS of different interventions for Autism, and what works for one child, might not work for another.  I let Jr. help me to figure out what worked for him. 

His teacher took this picture of him a few years ago, and it remains one of my favourites.  I see a special glint in his eye, and I'm reminded when I look at it, that he is his own person, with his own unique abilities. Some that I already know of, some that I have a glimpse into, and some that I'm sure will be revealed to me all in good time.  He is a work in progress, and he is becoming a masterpiece!









Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday - now we're starting to roll!

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Time to Weigh in with Erin and Alex.  I FINALLY showed a decent loss this week - down 2.4 lbs. to 203.4.  That put me past my first Weight Watchers goal of 5% and my first 10 pounds (actually, 11.8) and I feel like I finally got past the last few weeks of 0.1, 0.1, 0.4 losses....anything less than one full pound just doesn't truly feel like an accomplishment to me.
 
One thing I really HATE about the Weight Watchers meetings is the beginning, when the leader reaches into her tickle trunk to pull out her stickers, and asks "who has a celebration to share?"  People start putting up their hands for everything!  "0.4 lbs down!"  Yay, everyone starts clapping, and that person gets themselves a sticker to put in their book.  Now, PLEASE believe me, I'm not at all trying to criticize that person that is proud of their loss....I'm totally on board with it.  It just feels so juvenile to get a sticker, and to have all these grown ass women (and men occasionally) clapping for each other.  I ALWAYS dread that part of the meeting (although don't think I didn't shoot my hand up into the air , feeling all superior week 1 when I lost 6.6 lbs....oh yes I did!)
 
This week, we had a different leader for our meeting.  And guess what?  She FORGOT to do the celebrations.  And I was sitting  there all "but wait a minute, I lost my first 10 lbs....aren't I suppose to get something for that?  A sticker?  A ribbon? A key chain or something!?!"  I swear to you that it bothered me through the whole meeting.  "Maybe she'll do it at the end" I thought - nope, meeting wrapped up, nothing, nada, NO KEY CHAIN FOR YOU!  (did you read that in the voice of the soup Nazi?  Cause that's what I heard when I was writing it.)  I left feeling slightly deflated, but reminded myself that the regular leader will be there next week, and I will still be 10+ pounds down, and I can announce it for everyone to hear at that point.  I realized that perhaps there really is something to those celebrations after all.  Maybe that little sticker, ribbon, key chain, WHATEVER really does, in some small way, contribute to my good mood, and give me a little boost to help me past the next hurdle.  They do say that members who attend meetings have a better success rate than those who don't.  So maybe there is something to it after all....
 
How did you do this week?  Do you like it when you get a little something to congratulate you on your accomplishments?
 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chunky Vintage Choker

I guess watching Downton Abbey got me in the mood to make something more vintage looking.  I realized that I've been on such a leather wrap bracelet kick lately, that I've neglected necklaces in my shop, so I'm going to remedy that as soon as I can.  I finally found a good spot to photograph my jewelry in the house (in the summer I try to do it outside).  My house is SO dark, as you can probably tell from pictures that I post, it's hard to find a good spot to take product shots.  I have a fantastic Canon DSLR camera, that I barely know how to use, but I try. 

This is my latest creation:


It's a fun, multi chain, multi texture, multi metal choker.  You can find it here if you are interested in having it for yourself.  I love it so much, I'm going to get busy and make another for myself to keep.

 
 



I've entered a few new things in my shop lately, mostly bracelets and earrings.  Here's are some of my favourites:

found here
found here





found here


I  hope to get some more necklaces photographed and up on my Etsy shop this week. In the meantime, would love to hear your comments, is this the type of jewely you like? What would you like to see in my shop?  And while your at it, go check out Talk to Us Tuesdays with Shawn and Impulse Addict.  Always a fun link up!



 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Downton, why do you keep doing this to me?

This morning I sat down with Kleenex in hand, turned on the PVR and prepared for the worst on Downton Abbey.  I started crying when Tom was talking with Mrs. Hughes about Sybil, and pretty much kept on till the end of the episode.  I've heard rumours since the season began, so I knew it probably wasn't going to end well, and of course Downton didn't disappoint...Thanks Julian Fellowes for ruining what was supposed to be a happy Family Day! I'll try to soldier on, and remind myself that the Crawley's  arent' real people, and even if they were they truly have little impact on my life. IT'S JUST A SHOW I'll keep telling myself till the sting wears off. Now I have to wait till they play the Christmas special here in Canada, to find out the rest of the story and google won't tell me when that might be!  Must find someone who has a DVD copy!

edited -- I just realized that this episode I just watched WAS the Christmas episode from 2012 -- I guess I was expecting a Christmas theme..... so this is what they did to Brits on Christmas day?  SHAME ON YOU DOWNTON!!!

By the way, can you believe that this is O'Brien in the real world?

image found here

Lookin' good, O'Brien, lookin' good! 

It was s a long weekend here in Canada, courtesy of our liberal premier, who instituted a "family day" holiday back when he was elected.  Note to all politicians - nothing gets Canadians to jump on board your platform more than the promise of a holiday in the middle of a cold Canadian winter!  It's not rocket science folks....

It was a well earned holiday,  one where we did pretty much nothing. Saturday Limefreckle Jr. had his best friend over, and they ran around the house pretending they were filming a movie.  There was a lot of dialogue such as "action", "quiet on set" and other director speak that I have no idea where they learned, but it kept them happy and quiet, so that's all right by me.  We were going to go out for a family movie night and dinner, but the snow kept falling, all afternoon and into the evening, and it just made more sense to lay on the couch.  It was pretty to watch, big fat, flakes, my favourite on a cold February night.

I watched a movie I'd been saving on the PVR, "The Five Year Engagement".  The movie was entertaining, it didn't blow me away, but I have to say.....the music spoke to me.  Do you ever have a movie where the music just blows you away, so much so that you want to meet whoever was in charge of the music for said movie, because you know that you would be the best of friends, you clearly have so much in common....that was the kind of music they had in the movie.  I'm a big Van Morrison fan, and the Swell Season did a wonderful cover of "Into the Mystic" (mine and Mr. Limefreckle's song).  That and Audra Mae's cover of "Crazy Love" were fantastic!

Sunday was another glorious day, I headed up to visit a friend in "the country" and as I drove through the rural roads, I marveled at how pretty a blanket of snow sparkles on all the trees.  This is when I truly love a Canadian winter!

Today  Mr. Limefreckle went to work, because workaholics can't take more than 2 days off without going a little crazy.  He's coming home to meet Limefreckle Jr. and I for a hot dog and french fry evening at the movies watching "Escape from Planet Earth".  Let me be clear, the hot dogs and french fries will be for the boys, I think I'll eat something before we leave so that I'm not standing at the concession stand, frantically searching my Weight Watchers app on my iphone trying to find something appropriate to eat.  I'll pop a couple of Weight Watchers bars in my purse so I don't feel deprived. 

In the meantime I'm heading into my workshop today to spend sometime playing around and perhaps create a couple of pieces I've had rolling around in my mind lately.  I haven't spent enough time making new jewelry lately, and I feel inspired this morning, so must jump on that feeling while I'm home and have the time to indulge...

What did you do this glorious February weekend?

Friday, February 15, 2013

What's in yo' fridge?!

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Today I'm linking up with Holly for a What's in yo' fridge?!  post.  Thanks for the idea Holly, the suggestion came at a great time, I was just about to sit down and figure out a post for today....

So here's my fridge...


One of the things I ALWAYS have on hand is Almond Milk.  We never buy regular milk anymore, it's a perfect substitute, although I'm not sure it would really be that great if you were looking for milk by the glass.  We don't really do that around here, and I find anything I need to put milk into, I can substitute almond milk, and really not know the difference.  That is ORIGINAL almond milk, not vanilla.  It's also low in Weight Watcher points, so that's a bonus.



We also always have Greek yogurt on hand, the lower fat the better.  Ever since tasting Greek yogurt, I've never gone back to any other type, I find it so thick and creamy, even if it's low fat.  I also never buy sour cream anymore, I substitute plain Greek yogurt, it tastes almost exactly the same.


I try to keep a good supply of blueberries, raspberries, and cut up strawberries, to add to yogurt or cereal. I was SO happy when Weight watchers made fruit zero points.  I don't think anyone ever got fat eating too much fruit!  Just sayin'....

Another staple I like to keep on hand all the time is hard boiled eggs.  I like the brown ones 'cause they're prettier.....and at 2 points a piece, they make a great, on the go lunch.



I always have some lunch meats, I like to buy these Naturals because apparently they don't have any of the extra stuff that makes deli meat so bad for you.  These are low in points, and fill you up.  Babybel light cheese are another great, low point snack.  Shredded Mozzarella, probably filled with chemicals and stuff, but quick and easy, and that usually wins around here.

 
 



I have 3 of these cups that you freeze, the gel inside them helps to keep them cold longer.  I put one frozen lemon/lime wedge into it and the water stays cold quite a long time.  I did a blog post about it here you basically cut up lemon and lime slices, place them in a muffin tin, add water, then pop them out like ice cubes.  I leave them in a Ziploc bag, and they are ready to go.

 

 
Other staples in my fridge would be chicken, fish, lean ground beef.  Most of our meals use one of these 3 things as a base, chicken more often than not.  I was being fabulous and making all my meals for the week on Sunday, but kind of fell off of that lately and have been winging it, just cooking as I get home.  My plan is to sit down one of these days and plan out 4 weeks of meals, then start rotating them, but haven't gotten to it just yet.  I"m famous for my procrastination!
 
Thanks for joining me on my fridge tour.  What is it about peeking into peoples houses/fridges/purses that we find so entertaining?  I don't know, but I like it!