Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year....and Happy Birthday to me!

Well, here it is December 31, 2013, the end to another year. It's always a new beginning for me, New Year's Eve, because it is also my birthday. This year I turn....49.....GASP!   I've been contemplating my resolutions this year......every single year, LOSE WEIGHT always tops my list --- my up and down relationship with weight loss is an exhausting roller coaster.  But this year I feel more committed to it.  Next year at this time, I will be facing 50 years old.  That's a BIG number.  I've not always been too worried about hitting the milestones -- they've always been fairly easy, because most of my friends had already hit them (when you are born at the end of the year, you are always the youngest child in your class). But that's not really the case anymore.  Many of my friends are now younger than me.  50 just seems so daunting - but I don't really have any alternative, and I want to age gracefully, not fighting it.  So I have one year, 365 days to become the person that I want to be.  I can look at this situation as the glass is half full --- I'm entering the 2nd half of my life (well, let's hope at least another 30 years!)  so why not be the best "me" I can be.  I'm going to start personal training in January, get back to yoga, continue with Weight Watchers (which I've been following fairly well for a few months, but not really blogging about) and basically spend the next year crafting the me I want to be.  I'll start by reconnecting with the Weigh In Wednesday bloggers, I used to find that a great way to motivate myself and make new bloggy friends in the process.

And, on a business note, another resolution is to put more effort into listing items at Limefreckle.  I have so many new items ready to be listed and photographed I just need to schedule some time to work on that.  I'll continue with my Etsy shop, and I've been contemplating the idea of starting up a complete stand alone website, so will investigate that option as well.  I want to participate in more craft shows this year, hopefully I can find some venues that will work for me. 

So, to celebrate my birthday, I'm putting everything in my shop on sale --  50% off for the next 2 weeks, in honour of my big day!  So if there is something you've been eyeing in my shop, head over there now and order it before it's gone.  Simply enter the coupon code HAPPYBIRTHDAY2013 at checkout.  The code expires on Sunday January 12, 2014.

So share with me, what are your New Year's resolutions this year?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The aftermath....

Well, it's over. All the weeks of shopping, packing, wrapping, stressing.....all leading up to one day! Well, 2 if you include Christmas Eve...3 for us Canadians, we get boxing day as well. It all went by in a whirl... We came North to visit my parents, and luckily didn't stick around Southern Ontario to experience the ice storm, and up to 30 hours without power that some families in the GTA experienced. In fact, I think from what I've heard, some people are still without power...we picked a great year to celebrate Christmas at my parent's house, instead of ours.   We loaded up the car, I don't know what we would do if we have more than one child, we couldn't even see out the back window the car was so filled with gifts!  So much for 3rd row seating in the back!

As we were driving along the highway, I spotted 2 large huskies walking around their car with their owner, who looked suspiciously like my longtime friend and former roommate's husband.  I thought to myself, "wait a minute, she has 2 large huskies!". I texted her and asked if they were travelling today (we are from the same Northern Ontario town) and sure enough, they were.  We ran into each other (sort of, because I did text her and say where we were going to stop for lunch)  in Sudbury.  We used to travel up North together frequently, and always find it amusing when we ran into someone that we knew.....and here we are, 25 years later, running into each other!!

She has 3 kids, and 2 large dogs, and they managed to get everyone up there in the same vehicle....I think I need to work on my packing skills!

The trip up North was great, no bad weather, we totally outran the storm.  My brother arrived at my parent's house about 30 mins. after we did, and our Christmas vacation began.  We caught up with everyone around the fire, and the next day my Dad's oldest friend (they've known each other since grade school) and his entire family came out to visit.  Limefreckle Jr. is the only boy in the group, they have 5 granddaughters, and he loves to spend time with them.  They are like family to us, it's always fun to catch up with everyone, and to watch the kids play.

The next morning my brother spotted these visitors in the yard....

Cue the deer!

Christmas Eve we spent with my Aunt and Uncle, and I visited with cousins I haven't seen in years.  It was just like old times, except now we all have our own little kids running around.

My mom is an amazing decorator, this was her tree.  Most of these gifts were for Limefreckle Jr.  He had the most fun, as usual, every Christmas is more and more fun.  He announced Christmas morning "Christmas is a time for giving - the more you give, the more I get!".  Yes he is spoiled.....
Here he is, already to start his latest film project....

I got some great Sorel boots that unfortunately are a bit too tight, need to exchange them when we get home.  Also got a new Garmin, and apple TV! Mama was spoiled too, guess it runs in the family....
Today is a beautiful sunny winter day.  We are heading into town to meet my cousins for some tobaganning, and some more visiting, then tomorrow we head back home.  It's been a very quick visit, but lots of fun!
Hope your Christmas vacation has been filled with lots of laughs and visits with family and friends.
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Monday, December 16, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We finally got some snow this weekend, and Limefreckle Jr. couldn't be more thrilled... I have some pictures, but I can't get that stupid cloud to work on my pc, and I'm too lazy to email them from my phone to myself.....I need to get an apple laptop to make blogging easier....

Anyhoo, so I woke up Saturday morning bright and early, I had the last craft show of the season to attend.  It was STORMING!  I loaded the car with my jewelry, table etc. and headed out to drive down the only clear lane on the highway, barely able to see, thinking "if I get into an accident, this wil so not be worth it!  The highway was pretty empty,  and I made it to the venue.  About 1/2 way there it occurred to me that perhaps the show may be cancelled, and I was doing all this for naught.

Well I arrived safely and the show was indeed, going on as they say.  I pulled into a spot, opened up the back of my car, and turned to say hello to the person next to me, instead of paying attention to the rubbermaid containers that shifted in the back during the container that holds my jewelery, on stands, fell out, and all my earrings fell into the snow.  Yes, I could have cried.

Instead I grabbed the blanket that I keep in the back, and wrapped everything up, and headed into the show.  I had PLENTY of time to clean everything up, and go through all the jewelry.  Plenty of time, because if the show drew 10 visitors I would be surprised.  It was a total bust, but I did still sell a necklace and a wrap bracelet......other vendors ended up roaming around looking at everyone else's things.  I have a rule when I do a show that I don't buy anything, because I'm not there to shop, I'm there to sell....but I couldn't help myself, a girl had the cutest homemade ornaments, I couldn't resist -- perfect for stockings.

We all packed up a little bit early, and when I got home, I saw Limefreckle Jr. in the schoolyard behind our house, trudging through the snow.  Mr. Limefreckle was out shovelling for the 2nd time that day (he did it one more time that night before it finally ended).  Now we have a nice amount of snow, enough to make it really feel like Christmas.

Sunday we went to a neighbour's Christmas open house.  This is a new neighbour that moved in a couple of months ago, so it was nice to get to know them a bit.  I also met the neighbour that lives across the street from me, who I had never met before....we've been here 3 years.  I really need to get out more.  We also have new neighbours next door, who I've gotten to know a bit, and I really like, they are such a nice couple.  I had hoped that maybe someone would move in with a son Jr's age, and unfortunately that didn't happen, but we got some really nice neighbours instead, so that's all good.  After talking with some of the ladies they inspired me to have a jewelry party in the new gives me a chance to showcase my jewelry, and it would be a great way to get to know each other a little bit more.

After the party we picked up Jr. who was hanging out at a friend's house, and went for a drive to look at the Christmas lights.  We were going to head to downtown Toronto to the distillery district, where they have a Christmas Market, with carolers, big trees, shops, cider, I thought it would be a wonderful Christmas experience.  Jr. said he would love to drive downtown, but didn't plan on getting out of the car.  He wasn't interested in going out for dinner, McDonald's drive thru was what he wanted.  Here I was expecting to have a Hallmark moment with the family, but sometimes that's how those things go, and driving down the Lakeshore to look at Christmas lights instead turned out to be the next best thing.  Best laid plans and all...

So this week I'm cramming everything in because the last day of school is Thursday, and I want to be all ready by then.  Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our annual Christmas card

Is it just me, or are you feeling stressed that you aren't ready for Christmas? Every year, Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier. There was a time that people that decorated for Christmas on December 1st were the early I'm feeling like if I don't start directly after Halloween I'm late. I have a million Rubbermaid containers sitting out since Sunday, and I've barely cracked them open - I got the nativity scene set up, and one tree (I put up 3...I know, I have a problem). Just the tree is up mind you, no lights or decorations. Instead of decorating, I find a hundred other things that seem to require my attention. I'm happy to report that I did finish all of my shopping for Limefreckle Jr. That is at least one thing I can cross off my list.

Tonight I sat down at the computer and created our annual Christmas card.  Every year I use a program called Scrapbook Max that I bought a few years ago, to create our card.  I bought it in order to create the yearbook for Limefreckle Jr.'s school, which I do every year, and it has been a fantastic program.  My only complaint about it is I wish they had more embellishments that could be added.  Every year I like to mix things up with the yearbook, and I wouldn't mind having more options.  You can use your own digital embellishments as well, I just like things to be laid out nice and easy for me.

I used to order our Christmas cards from one of the many online providers, until it dawned on me that Mr. Limefreckle is in the printing business, so why not just create our own card.  I saw this saying somewhere, and thought it would be perfect for this years card.

the finished card has our names printed along the bottom. It was pretty easy to do, the hardest part is picking out pictures that represent the past year.  I'm not sure if I'm going to bother doing a Christmas letter, because, let's face it, my life is pretty much an open book, with Facebook etc. there isn't really much everyone doesn't already know about our year.....our entire lives for that matter!  Plus, that's just one more thing to add to the to do list, which is already way too long. 

This is what I did for last years card:

Limefreckle Jr. is so much bigger this year, he's taller than I am right now!  I can't believe how much he has changed in just one year!

Tomorrow a girlfriend and I are heading downtown to go to the One of a Kind Craft show after we drop the kids at school.  It's the biggest craft show I've ever been to, I would LOVE to display my jewelry there, but it's a huge time commitment, and a huge investment to participate in a show like that.  Someday maybe.  For now I'll just go and admire everyone that is in this year's show.  And hopefully pick up some stocking stuffers while I'm there.

If you haven't already entered, head over to my friend Jodi's blog today for a chance to win a Limefreckle wrap bracelet.  Check out Jodi's blog, she's a fellow Canadian blogger, we've become good blogger friends. I always look forward to reading her posts, she has two GORGEOUS little boys that make me long for the toddler days.  Although there is something to be said to having a pre-teen too.  Life is certainly a lot easier than it was back then. 
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Monday, December 2, 2013

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend....

I'm so exhausted, as I write this on Sunday night, I'm longing for it to be Friday again!  Not that it really means THAT much to me, it's not like I have to get up too early tomorrow and go to work.....but I wouldn't mind having at least one extra day without having to drive anywhere or do anything!

Friday night my mother in law came over for a sleepover, so she would be close for our 2nd annual Christmas Craft Show at Limefreckle Jr's school on Saturday.  My MIL bakes all week, along with many of her friends, and she brings everything over to the school on Friday, while we are setting up for the craft show.  This is the 3rd show we have had, one last Christmas, and one in the spring, and it's a wonderful way for us to raise some money for the program, and to raise awareness about the school, a wonderful program for kids on the spectrum.  A couple of years ago I was looking for Christmas craft shows to participate in, and it occurred to me that maybe WE should try running a craft show.  We always earn about $2,000 from the table fees, bake sale, raffles and door prizes, etc. I handle all the advertising and coordinating the vendors, my hubby prints flyers and signs for us (he's in the printing business) and the staff at the school organize everything else.  My mother in law runs the bake sale, she's quite an expert at it, has been running them for years at her church and a local senior's centre.  It's a lot of work, and I always stress way too much about things that always tend to work out fine in the end, and I always leave the school that day with a million ideas running through my head about how we can do it better next time.  It's so satisfying to be able to do something that helps the school, the program coordinator and the teachers at the school have done so much to help my son and our family, I would do anything to help them and the school.  But by the time it's all over, after spending all of Friday at the school setting up tables etc., and then getting up at 5AM to get to the school by 7, so that vendors can set up, I'm usually pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  Saturday night I got home, crashed on the couch and slept for 2 hours!

Sunday we spent the whole day pulling out all of our Christmas decor, which is stored in the garage, and putting up the decorations outside. Usually Mr. Limefreckle and I have our annual fight about the Christmas lights, but this year we did it quite well, working together with relatively little arguing!   I hung a garland only to discover that although I bought garland just last year, it's light's were burnt out already.  I made 2 trips to Canadian Tire, couldn't find what I wanted, then finally just ripped off the old string of lights that it came with, and wrapped it with my own.  It really burns me to have stuff die out so fast, we only got one season out of those lights!!!  I think I need to buy one of those light tester things so that we can find out easier which light is the problem. Why, in the year 2013, this problem hasn't been addressed?  Next year I think we just need to hire someone to come and do the whole house!! That would be soooooo much easier.

Limefreckle Jr. volunteered me to bake cookies for a contest that is happening at the school on Monday --- and he mentioned it to me Friday.  I whipped up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and made him help me, although he was resistant.  He has huge eating issues, and doesn't really like touching or smelling different foods.  But he did so well, he put all the ingredients together for me, and I had him smell everything before hand.  He was nervous to get egg on his hand, but he did crack the eggs for me.  And he even tasted the cookie, which is always a victory, to get him to try something different.  So it was a great teaching opportunity for us -- and the cookies turned out darn good, if I do say so myself.

Now I'm surrounded  by boxes and containers filled with all our Christmas decor, and just not ready to tackle all of that just yet.  I got the nativity scene up, and some mini trees, but that is it.  This week I'll slowly tackle all the rest, and hopefully by this time next week, it will all be done!  I'm in no mood to cook tonight, so it's a good time to go to a movie, and have dinner there -- Limefreckle Jr. is anxious to see Disney's "Frozen" so we are heading there in a couple of hours.

And, to top everything off, my good blogging friend Jodi (a fellow Canadian) at Love and Crayons is having a giveaway tomorrow featuring one of my wrap bracelets.  Head on over to her blog and check it out, you can enter there to win.  Or you can order one yourself here in my shop

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