Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm glad Google knows me so well...*typos*

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I loveeeeeee HALO's SleepSack!! And it's on BabySteals TODAY!!

How much do I love it?  Well, I hate it when other people use "loveeeeeeeeee" instead of "loooooooove" since the repetition of the "e" doesn't emphasize anything, so if I'm using it (in part mockery, of course), I really love something!

BabySteals has a deal for it today: $12.99+shipping (~$5).  It notes 48% off but considering it usually osts $30+tax for us in Canada, it's even more of steal.  Check it out through this link.  I believe it's only available until 11pm tonight (Dec 27, or 9pm MST) or until things sell out.

Why do I love the SleepSack?  I fell in love with their newborn version which has a swaddle option.  It's different from the Summer Hippopotamus Swaddle Me because it prevents the swaddle "wings" from coming up and over the baby's airways.  This is why the HALO SleepSack is backed by SIDS Canada, Safe Kids USA and Cribs for Kids.  It is the safest swaddle and blanket currently available and gave me incredible peace of mind when I needed to sleep and Derek was napping at 5 weeks old.  He was breaking out of his swaddle easily but his startle reflex kept waking him up.  The SleepSack was the perfect solution.  It's what I'd give now to new parents even if it's not on their registry.

For more info on this wonderful product, check out the HALO website.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My top 10 Christmas songs

I was supposed to put up one a day on Facebook as a countdown to  the last 10 days till Christmas but I didn't have my laptop when we went away and fell seriously behind.  Here, then, are my top 10 as a blog post in no particular order.

"White Christmas" by The Drifters, made famous again by Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) in "Home Alone"

"Let It Snow" by A Fine Frenzy.  Love how this version captures the whimsical spirit of the song.

"Oh Holy Night" by N'Sync.  Whatever you have to say about boy bands, you can't deny this is an awesome rendition.

"Silent Night" by Boyz II Men.  N'Sync wouldn't have had much success if it weren't for this band of incredible vocals.

"Carol of the Bells" by The Bird and The Bee.  Mysterious and bell-like. Wintery.

"River" by Joni Mitchell, performed by Robert Downey Jr.  This version captures the incredible sadness of this song.  Not everyone is happy at Christmas and we need to remember to bring joy to them especially.  May need to turn the volume up for this one.

"Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Jack Johnson.  Love the vibe and the extra verse.

"It Don't Have to Change" by John Legend.  Reminding us to get back to what is important.  No point in chasing after presents for people if you don't have much left of yourself to spend time with those same beloved people.

"Peace" performed by Nora Jones.  Because it's what Jesus came to bring and it is indeed for everyone.

"The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole.  A classic by a classic.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Calling all moms-to-be! 100% cash back sale!!

Here is a fantastic sale happening December 25 & 26 at Evymama Nursing & Maternity.  I personally find their clothing too expensive but with this deal it would totally be worth it.

Basically, whatever you spend at the sale before taxes and shipping will come back to you as an online gift certificate.  So if you spend $45 pre-tax, pre-ship, you will receive a gift certificate via email with a specific code worth $45.  If you spend $250 pre-tax, pre-ship, you will receive a $250 gift certificate.  And so on.

So why not get something for yourself and use the gift certificate to buy another mom-to-be something nice?  These are non-transferable so you can't send the gift certificate as an actual gift but you can ask your friend to pick out a few items within a range and surprise her with one of them.  There are also plenty of items for nursing moms too!

Mommy Info page updated

I'm slowly getting around to updating the different parts of my blog site.  Here are the links I found helpful during those paranoia-filled early months with a newborn.  I've also put them up on the Mommy Info page - which I'm going to change to be the Baby Info page with a separate page for Moms 'n' Dads (like info on how to keep our sanity, etc.).  Anyhoo, here are the Baby Info Links for now.  I'm sure there are more but these are the ones I noted during those first 3 months and found the most useful.



Of course, it goes on sale *after* we buy one

All mommies and daddies, if you're wondering how to keep your little one warm while going out this winter, check out JJ Cole's Bundle Me.  It's pretty awesome at keeping the chill away and is compatible with pretty much any stroller or baby seat.

Even better, there's a group buy happening at where the Original Bundle Me and the warm fuzzy hat are $30 with shipping included.  That's over 50% off!  The price I bought our Original Bundle Me at was $59 on sale...with Canadian taxes.  So it was ~$65 and that was without the little fuzzy hat!!

We decided on the Original because after all the reviews, it keeps out the elements decently, I'd use the weather cover if it's snowing/raining a lot anyway, and the Arctic would be great if we lived in Thunder Bay.

Yes, this deal is in the States only (at least, they only seem to deliver to the States) but here are a few ways you can work around that:

a) Send it to a friend who lives in the States and may be visiting in the next while;
b) If a family member/friend is visiting the States soon have it sent to where they're staying.  Hotels should be fine with receiving packages so long as you let them know ahead of time.
c) See if any of your friends has a storage/postal office box in the States.

Yes, that sounds like work but I'd say it's worth it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I really need to get off my theoretical butt..

... and get my actual butt moving.  I am such an academic I can turn anything into a research project.

My newest field of study: productivity tools (ha, what irony!).  The Emergent Task Tracker was suggested to me by (don't laugh too hard now!) so I clicked out of curiosity.  Turns out it's a purchase-able version of what David Seah already has for free (but he makes the pad worth your money) so I went to go check out his site.  There are lots of really good forms, ones I wish I had when I was in ministry.  I've downloaded The Day Grid Balancer, The "Destruct-o-Matic" Task Progress Tracker, The Emergent Task Planner and Concrete Goals Tracker.  The last one is pretty neat, assigning points to types of tasks so you can look back on your week to see how well you spent your time.

I think any and all of these would be so helpful to those in ministry as it's so easy to lose track of how we spend our time yet we must keep schedules fluid due to the nature of ministry itself.  Hopefully this may help some of you out there who may find their days slipping by with The Next Project looming ahead.

Enjoy the site, and thanks to David Seah for helping productivity be a bit more fun!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A few things to add to the wish list

Must purge from mind before I forget about these.

LUSH Legends gift box (crazy expensive but the value is awesome and has most of what I'd usually buy)
OPI Muppets polishes (except Warm & Fozzie - just got it)
Essie LuxeEffects polishes (except the gold one)
Crocs sandals... will get the name.. I think it's Prepair II?
Scrapbook/card-making tools (stamps, embossers, ink pads, etc.)
Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes (except Natural Beauty)
MAC Snowglobe warm palette
MAC What Joy! l/s (did I note this already?)
SONY Dream Machine iPhone dual-alarm docking station (will get model #)
Shu Uemura lash curler (always needed!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

This isn't limited edition, it's just unfair.

Seriously, available for just 3 days?  Sheesh!

LUSH is releasing 7 limited edition perfumes juuuuust before Christmas (Dec 16-19).  I do need to put in an order (Reincarnate shampoo is only available online??) but I can't justifying a tiny bottle of perfume I'm not sure I'll like for a minimum of $30 - before taxes at that.

Well, in case you're interested, find out more about them here.  If you buy any let me know how it/they smell.  I'm most interested in Silky Underwear and Rose Jam.

Like I don't have enough travel mugs...

...but the lids that come with the new line of Starbucks mugs are much easier to clean. I've had gunk left from my previous cuppa Joe left in my lid and mouth opening - not exactly welcome in the morning (or anytime for that matter!). So I'll put this up on my wish list. It's not essential as I can definitely work with the ones I've got but they'd have a happy place in our home!

(This one's purple but I'd prefer grey or black. Most important that it's double walled and stainless steel!  Oh, and no handles - won't fit in cup holders well - but a grippy thing in the middle is great).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I love my Moby wrap but...

.. the Organic Petunia Pickle Bottom Ergo Carrier looks much comfier - and easier to put on!  Mommies, if you're interested in this carrier - or any, for that matter - check out Natural Mommie's review here.  Mommy blogger Amanda has adorable pictures of her and her son as they show off the chic convenience of this carrier.  Yes, I'm posting because I hope to win one but also to spread the word of the benefits in using a proper carrier.  It's great bonding time between mom and baby, helps ease stress on your back and, if you're intentional, helps strengthen your core.  With the Petunia Pickle Bottom prints, you'll look fashionable too!

I really shouldn't...

... but that bit of roast chicken is calling to me.  Looking for good restaurants at Niagara-on-the-Lake can do that to you.  =P

Just a few quick things:

I cleaned up my pages and urls.  I originally started this blog as a test site for Children's Ministry and the original page titles formed the urls.  I've since re-created the pages and they all have proper/relevant urls.

I guess I didn't win the Ecco boots.  *very sad face*  But the ones I want, the Leige boots, are on sale in the caramel colour so I hope to get those late December/early January - unless someone surprises me on Christmas.  Eh... eeeeehhhh???  =D

On that note, I've started a page for my wishlist, in case you haven't noticed.  It's not to ply people to buy me things so much as to ensure gifts I receive are items I want.  Being in a condo that I'm (still) trying to tidy doesn't afford me the luxury of receiving miscellaneous items that someone thought would be nice for me simply because they felt obligated to get me a gift.  If you're going to get me a gift, 1) make sure you really want to, and 2) make it count!  It's a bit sparse right now (there are more items to list) but that will change!  Check it out here.

Lastly, I've also updated my makeup page.  On there is a list of pretty much every makeup item I own.  I still have to update it with recent gifts/purchases in the last 3 months (not much, but there are some).  After freaking out at how many eye shadows I own, please remember that I got half of my stash either by swapping (I loooove!!), by buying used BUT SANITIZED items from trustworthy forum members, by buying off eBay when there's a ridiculously good deal, by checking out the Cosmetic Company Outlet while in the States and lastly, by attending the exclusive Estee Lauder warehouse sales for 3 years.  My pace has slowed down greatly in the last 2 years though, but I still love my makeup!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Being a geek wasted 20 minutes of my life

But oh, what a fun 20 minutes it was!  The Geek Cantina has me wanting to create a geek wish list but really, it wouldn't help my goal of minimizing clutter.  =P

If you're interested, has a deal for it with 2 days and 12 hours remaining (as of 11:45 am Dec 14).  You'll get $10 for $20 on the site, taxes and shipping NOT included.  Link through here to help me get credit!

Items I'd put on my wishlist:

PacMan necklace
Bacon air freshener
Hello Kitty cookie cutter
HK frying pan
Folding Spork
Mini vacuum
Flying alarm clock
Squishy stress pig
Bamboo keyboard (altho with a Mac I'd have next to no use for it)

Items I thought were cool:
Canon lens mug
Mini Finger Mouse

There are more but I've wasted another 10 minutes typing this up and looking up the items I liked.  =X

Off to do chores and either finish making our Christmas tree or start making some Christmas cards!  Hopefully tonight I'll remember to post up what our tree is looking like.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  =)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oswald Chambers on intercession

People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

So I fell a bit behind in my posting..

...and I didn't think it mattered that much until I saw that I had 35 visits to my last post!  Of course, that could be a bunch of accidental visits plus a bunch of repeat accidental visits but considering that the previous high for post visits is 5, I'll take the 35 as is.  =D  I do wonder, though, who you 35 visitors are.... *squinting to peer through the virtual crowd*

Update on the mommy sharing: 3 mommies came out, 1 had to leave early (her 15-mth-old needed to nap) and my intended topics were slightly thwarted by an inquisitive mom.  That's fine, a sharing is more of a dialogue anyway, and I'd prefer to share what they would be interested in.  I just hope it helped some!

Went for my last RMT session of the year on Sunday afternoon.  The therapist said I had adhesions in my left shoulder blade!  Incredible.  I knew I was favouring my left when carrying Derek but I didnt' think it had gotten that bad.  We won't have as much coverage next year since I've resigned (CBOQ has a wonderful benefits package) so visits will be more out of pocket.  Hopefully my next pregnancy (God-willing) won't be as hard as the first one.

Doh, down time is up.  Derek's awake after only 1/2 hr for his 2nd nap.  That was really short!  At least dinner's simmering in the crock pot.  =D

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm content with my body but...

... I know it can be better.  Benny and I had this discussion and he thinks I'm doing well, diet-wise, and knows that I'm trying to work out more consistently.  But I know I can be better.

This doesn't mean I'm chasing an illusive body image.  If I don't change due to circumstances then so be it.  But why not make a healthier change to my diet and incorporate more exercise, especially as I know I don't need to carry this excess flab?  The "9-up-9-down" time period has passed (i.e. 9 mths of pregnancy weight gain, 9 mths of post-partum weight loss) and I'm 2 lbs shy of my pre-pregnancy weight, which wasn't in the average range for my height to begin with.  For transparency, I'm hovering around 130 lbs and am 5'1".

I'd like to be back around 120 at least.  This way I'm not wavering between sizes in clothing - I have 2 sets of clothes, either just a bit too big or just a bit too small.  I really don't want to shell out more money for a third set that fits me better now only to have it not fit 4 months from now.

SO.  On that note, I'm going to try joining Team Drew.  If you haven't heard of Drew Manning, he's a personal trainer who decided to let loose (pun intended) for 6 months then attempt to return to his original physique in another 6 months.  Read about it at  I'll try his workout today and hope to continue this on Monday with an occasional prenatal workout (the one I have is killer!  Too lazy to get the title now.  I'll post it next time).  This also means I'll be bumping Christianity Today's Leadership section as my home page.  I need every reminder I can get!

Before I finish, mini-update on last night:  Benny tried to put Derek to sleep for 45 minutes, successful once but Derek woke up upon descent to the crib.  I went in, held him for an hour and finally got to sleep at 2-ish am.  Then the bugger had to wake up at 6 am!  Ya think he'd want more sleep.  At least he's napping right now.  Which means I should get moving and take advantage of this Me Time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

And of course, as I'm preparing for a Mommy Sharing...

...Derek decides to wake up after being put soundly to sleep at 8:30pm.  Okay, he doesn't decide to but he did look like he considered going back to sleep only to crawl to the crib rails and pull himself up.  I went in, nursed him, held him, then 20 minutes later put him back into his crib, a soundless cry wreaking havoc across his cute face, and told him "I love you, good night" as I left his room.  He is now standing and crying out intermittently (as I view from the net cam).

Today was another day of guessing games with him.  He looked drowsy as I tried to nap him at 10:15am, only to have him fully awake still 1/2 hour later.  So we ate another snack, played a bit, had half a lunch then tried napping again at 1pm.  He slept till 3:30pm! *angels singing*  Dinner was trial and error with finger foods winning over spoons and bowls.  Le sigh.  At least he's eating.

As a follow up to my last post, I did unpack one box.  Don't judge, progress is progress!  I would have done another box but it's files, and the file drawer is blocked... tee hee.  Today, I can proudly say I got 2 loads of laundry mostly done (yet to be folded).  Don't judge!

Tomorrow we hope to visit Canabee Baby to see if the JJ Cole Bundle Me fits the Britax B-Ready we have.  If it does, we're ordering from to be picked up when we stay over in Buffalo.  I hope we get to visit the Indigo Baby play table, pick up some artsy-craftsy stuff at Michael's (looking to make my own Christmas Cards this year) and swing through the Jacob Outlet.  And if he naps on the way back home, we'll finally use the bakery Teambuy I have. They only allow Teambuy users to come on Fridays.  =T

Boo.  Poor baby is still crying.  It's 12:05am, 15 minutes since I left him.  I'm fine with leaving him till 12:30am (he needs to learn to try to sleep on his own) but Benny feels bad so he'll go in after he brushes up.  Daddy's a CIO softie.  =P  Or I'm just a CIO meanie!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have a blog, should post

So this is the third blog I've set up and I've only half-abandoned it.  I will try to post something every day, even if it's just to say I'll try to post something every day.

But to hold me a bit more accountable, here are some topics I'd like to write on before the end of the year:

The Pastoral Life: Inherently made to deprive families of loved ones or can church culture change this?
My Next Chapter: Pastoring as a Doula?
Why I Love Make Up and Fashion
Theorists Anonymous: Going beyond buying/reading books on how to do things and actually doing them!
Homemade Christmas cards
7x bitten, 100x shy: Healing from ex-friends, old friends, and wondering how to make new ones.

I think that's enough for now.  There are only.. 31 minus! - 24 days left in the year.  I've got my December blogs cut out for me.  Hopefully tomorrow I can blog about clearing 1 of the 5 boxes brought back to me from my work office!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What better way to get off my non-blogging butt...

... than a giveaway for a fantastic item I'm already looking to get!

I was looking up reviews for the Ecco Sight boot and I'm so glad I stumbled on this review by Tammi, blogger of My Organized Chaos!  I've fallen in love with Ecco shoes but having just resigned from my job to become a stay-at-home mom, it's been tough getting another pair.  The Sight boot would be awesome as it has a slight heel but has a stable step with the wedge.  I love the buckles on the side; they give a bit of an edge without going too trendy.  It would be easy to slip on and off while handling my toddler and looking to the future, would be a great shoe to have if/when I'm pregnant again.  And as you mentioned, it transitions well between seasons.  Lol, can you tell I'm in love with it already?  =P  Thanks Tammi for such a great giveaway!  Click the links on my Mommy Info page to read Tammi's other posts.

If you haven't heard of Ecco Shoes or have thought about getting a pair but never did, go to a store and check them out.  You won't regret the money invested in a great pair of shoes that you can walk forever and a day in.  I got a pair of Rise boots last year when I was pregnant and except for them being tall (kinda hard to take off when you have a big belly!) I absolutely loved them.  I had a winter baby so having sufficient grip while traipsing around in a Toronto winter was very important to me.  I also wanted to stay warm, be comfortable (8 months of back pain is nothing to laugh at) and well, look good!  The Rise gave me all of that.  If it came as an ankle or mid-calf boot, I'd buy a 2nd pair in a heartbeat.  Well, a long enough heartbeat to allow me to save up for one.  =P  But you know what I mean.

After having bought this boot, I am rarely tempted to buy clearance fashion boots ever again.  Knowing the pain I've had in my feet (ask Benny about them foot massages) and my lower back issues, I can never subject myself to that again.  Thankfully, Ecco's shoes are fashionable and there is something for everyone, except perhaps those looking for the next 5-minutes of fashion fame styles.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Never underestimate negative thoughts

**I wish I had time to edit this but it's better to get this out than to spend time I don't really have refining what I've written with a worse version of mommy brain today.  I'll try to clean this up later!**

As someone who has gone through a form of depression and had access to free counseling as a student, my heart goes out to Wade Belak and his family. For those who say we just need to speak up when negative thoughts enter our heads, it's not as easy as that. We need to know we're talking to someone who will listen without judgement and will not take lightly what we say. We need to know that we are accepted for how we are at whatever point we are at in our healing. We need to know that it's okay for us to say "No". We need to know that there is a better version for us waiting to be revealed and that others are there to help us uncover it - not pull it out or mash us into another form or tear down our protective barriers prematurely.

I realize this sounds really "needy" but people who are injured are so. Healthy people don't have gaps to fill like those who are hurting.

Because we aren't offered half of what we need, we cover. We build thicker calluses which greater endanger our ability to heal and be healthy. This is why it is difficult to tell the difference between someone who is healthy and someone who is mentally/emotionally suffering unless you've been through it yourself, and even then it's hard to spot. I tried covering up my pain - which I only half-realized was there - and ended up burning out at a crucial time in my life. Not like any time was a good time, but during my first year of marriage, in my second year of my masters, as I'm becoming more involved in youth ministry and continuing my role as a worship leader, wanting life to stop wasn't the best desire to have.

I should clarify: I didn't want to end my life, just my life activities to stop. I needed a vacation badly but couldnt' afford one time-wise, let alone financially, but it was very much needed and actually would have been a greater investment than plowing through, no matter how much character it gave me.  i am so grateful to Jim B. who detected how much I needed a break and paid for a spa visit.  That was incredibly generous of him and that offer alone helped me heal some.  I'm still healing from the scars accrued over 14 years though.  And since life doesn't stop, it's going to take a few years yet.

If you have persistent negative thoughts going through your head that drains you in a way that keeps you from wanting to get out of bed, please try talking to someone. Don't brush them aside and hope they'll go away. They might, but you want to deal with them while they're budding in case they don't. Besides, we're not meant to fight these battles alone! =)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Squeezed out from Tumblr.

Okay, so I can't access my Tumblr so I guess I'll start posting things here.  I've started a few blogs and never got back to them but maybe this one is it?  Ah, we'll see.

I've gotten in to reading Oswald Chambers again as part of my devos.  Today's was convicting, being about ripened grapes ready to be squeezed.  I keep thinking back to my energy to ministry when I was younger and wonder why I don't have the same gusto as before.  It's not age (even though I do feel slower!) because I feel it in my heart.  There's this heaviness that makes moving harder.  I think it's because I haven't fully healed from being burned.  I've been burned in ministry, burned by friendships, burned by being there for everyone and not asking anyone to be there for me.  And now I'm in a career that pretty much calls for me to be there for others with the tradition of even putting church ahead of family, something which I cannot agree with.

Where do I go from here?  I know God has called me to be an equipper - it's something I naturally do.  Either the context needs to change or I do.  Right now, I'm hoping it's a little bit of both.