Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthdays are all about:

Free drinks from Starbucks.
Dressing up with your bestie.
Flowers from your boyfriend.
Treating yourself to something you usually wouldn't buy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feel the burn...and do it anyway.

*Disclaimer: I'm sure as some of you read this, you will scoff, and do a funny little pained laugh. You might even mutter under your breath, "This little teeny, stick-like girl has no idea what weight gain and fatty issues are!". So I want to be sure that you realize I'm past wanting to lose weight for the sake of looking thinner and I'm in the game to make myself healthier. Basically, I want to be able to run a kilometer without stopping to gasp for breath, and also crave good food instead of junk.*

Before I left for the island, I was a nice comfortable weight. I was happy with myself, and I even decided that I would use this time away from home to make myself even healthier and happier.


Reality hit.
A reality that is eating three meals a day, plus snacks! Oh, and the cook's specialty was bread so there was plenty of grains (CARBS!) every day.

My metabolism had never been put to the test that hard before. And the thing about my homeschooled self is, we aren't really familiar with tests...point of the matter failed, hard.

I gained 17 pounds.
Every time I think about that, I shock myself again. 17 pounds. How is that possible?
It didn't show that much. But I was just a little thicker all around.

In May I tried to fix it.
I set up a schedule, ran every day. Put myself on a food plan that included: No caffeine, no white flour, limited sugars, no food after eight.
But living at camp and trying to have a restricted diet doesn't work that well, and it was hard to find time to squeeze in my runs.

So here I am.
I have the time, the lack of funds for eating out, and (what I hope will be) dedication.
Oh and the motivation now that I'm posting this online where all my readers can see.

I will be biking/running on even days and working on my core on odd days.
Hopefully, we'll see results in time.
But don't worry, I will not be doing one of those horrid before and after pictures where I display myself in a minuscule bikini.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A night of orange.

To tell you the truth, I am not a big fan of Halloween.
So what if I was born on the day, maybe that in part is one of the reasons I don't particularly like this holiday(if you can call it that.)

North America spends millions of dollars on candy, decorations, and costumes just for ONE DAY!
And unlike Christmas you can't even dig into down to the actual 'reason for the season' cause there is none. Well, not a very important one at least.

Okay maybe I'm just bitter because I was never allowed to go trick-or-treating and there never seems to be time for a birthday dinner ON my birthday. But I like to think its a less selfish reason than that.

Or maybe I'm just stressed over my birthday. I do believe I am the only eighteen year old out there that can't sleep because she is hyperventilating about her birthday. Don't ask.

Now, although I might not like America's reason to spend more money, I do apparently love fall.
I've never really been enthused about fall before, because I guess it's back to school, and it's only reminding me that winter, and SNOW :( is coming.

But the photographer in me has been rejoicing this autumn. It seems almost every day I just glance outside and am compelled to run out with my Canon and snap a few photos of the colour change.
It is SO beautiful!

Another thing I enjoy about this season is pumpkin. As soon as the Pumpkin Spice Muffins are in stock at Tim Hortons, you know I will be slipping in there more than my usual. But the lack of funds have made me reconsider my bakery visit. So instead, I've made it my mission to find the perfect muffin recipe, so I can eat my fill and not worry about paying 1.29 a piece.

Last night I found one at The Pioneer Woman.
She calls it a moist pumpkin spice muffin, but to me it seemed a little too moist.
So after your toothpick comes out clean you might want to wait a couple extra minutes.

I also candied the seeds that came out of my pumpkin, so I could put some on top of my muffins.
I'll tell you one thing, it might work for Starbucks and Tim Hortons, but it does not work for me. So next time I will stop trying to be fancy and omit that part.

It started as a pumpkin. (his name is Progie)

Which then turned into tasty candied treats.

And finally ending on my yummy muffins.

But no pumpkin muffin would be complete without it's cream cheese icing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm a sucker for romance.

Sean said."I wouldn't have sent you red roses."
  She opened her eyes and looked at him. He reached out and put his hand on her cheek, then ran his fingers through her hair.
  "I would have sent multicolored daisies, dozens of them in yellow and white and blue and purple and pink and every color I could find."
  "Why daisies?" she whispered.
  "Because they would make you smile, then laugh, and you would smile again every time you looked at them.
Everytime you saw a daisy, you would think of me. Because no one else would give you such a whimsical bouqet of flowers."

I'd tell what book it was that I read this in...but I cannot remember the title. Maybe it will come to me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nostalgia is...


I grew up with a Chestnut tree outside my front door.
We climbed in it a lot.
We played in the dead leaves in the fall.
We had the most fun with the chestnuts when it got to the season when the hard greeny spiky shell could be cracked open and inside was a little brown chestnut. So exciting.
Or just throwing the whole green spiky chestnut at someone. Also very exciting.

So, fast forward six years (at least).
Me and Superman are walking through the park when I kick something in front of me on the pathway.

I looked down.
A small spiky green ball.
It took me a moment to clue in, but when I did I got intensely happy and I promptly stomped on it.

And out shot one of my most favoritest things.

Take a moment to reminisce your childhood.
Or don't.

Just please don't dwell on the fact that I just had a twenty minute photoshoot with a nut. A real nut.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Having a coke with you

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I'm with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o'clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it's in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven't gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn't pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O'Hara

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm thankful for...

                                             Reno projects that actually start to look good!

For the two days I didn't report, there was nothing to say. The stuff he worked on was not very exciting and blog worthy. But now things are shaping up and beginning to make it look like a normal bathroom. I won't be going over there every day anymore, but I will hopefully be able to snap a few more pictures for you. An 'After' picture at least.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Renovations day 5: Just a short update tonight.

We had been laughing and joking about spicy ketchup, eye doctors and Tim Hortons regulars, when Behn saw a drop of water hit the linoleum.
His eyes slowing traveled upward to the ceiling, where there was water coming through from upstairs.
If I had not been raised right, this would have been the part where I started muttering expletives
I did not.

I just followed Behn upstairs, where we somberly started singing together...

"Every town,
has its ups and downs.
Sometimes ups,
outnumber the downs.
But not in Nottingham."

Goodnight everyone.
Better luck tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Renos day #4: God provides.

I love it when prayers get answered.
There is warm tingly feeling in my soul, which has been there for most of today now.

A couple weeks ago I lost my ipod touch. This was upsetting since 1. I had just purchased it in the last year and it was quite expensive and 2. I remember exactly where I had it last and since it was not there half of my mind believed that it must have been stolen, although I ALWAYS lock my doors(of my car). It made me sick to think about it, so I tried not to as much as possible, but every time it did run through my head I would go through that day again trying to remember each little detail wondering where I went wrong.

Fast forward to today.

I'm in a pretty good mood, I mean come on, I have an interview! That's enough to brighten my day all by itself. And I woke up and hour earlier than usual so I had plenty of time to do some cleaning, feed the animals, and even bake a couple batches of cookies.

I really had no reason to bake the cookies but I tried to make myself feel better by creating reasons.
1.I have so many eggs, I need to get rid of them somehow (eggs, anybody? Still have a dozen or so.)
2.My new spatula! iloveitiloveitiloveit. I needed to test it out.
3.The working man. What better way to put Behn in the mood for renos than home baked goodies??
Thee Spatula. Works like a charm. Tupperware, everyone.

Even I couldn't resist these treats.

I can never stop multi-tasking so while I was making the cookies I was getting ready for the interview. Must have gone through five different outfits, but other than that my nerves were fine. Very surprising seeing as I was just a quivering mass of jello for the last interview and I had known that guy for at least two years!

*pause* Getting pretty annoyed with the amount of 'I's' in this story, but there is not much to do about it *

I(!) went to my closet to get out a purse that I was switching my stuff over too and as I pull it out, something heavy drops out onto the ground. MY IPOD!
The sense of relief I had. I cannot even explain it.
As soon as I saw it I let out a "Thank the Lord."

With a light and even happier heart I left for the interview.

The manager was busy, so I sat down at a table to wait. Thinking about how awkward it would be if I got a call during the talk I turned my phone to silent. And waited..
All of the sudden I glance down, I'm receiving a call! I shouldn't answer, but I don't have caller id so I won't know who to call back. I answer it. Just as I say hello I see the manager walking towards me.


I tell him I'll be a second.

It's the manager from another store that I have been waiting to hear from, asking me if I'd like an interview.

The whole situation was a little hilarious and doubly awkward all at the same time.
What are the chances.

The interview went well, I should be getting an answer back either today or tomorrow.
And who knows, maybe I'll end up having two jobs. I think I can manage.

I drove to Behns feeling just so incredibly happy.
I wanted to tell my mother right away! But...figures, she is always out of town when I have something important to tell her.

Oh right. Renos. :).
Nothing really major happened today.
We got the tub put in! Not totally but hopefully the drywall, tub siding and all that jazz will be in tomorrow.
I put a little time in Matthews room again. It frustrates me so much though. So much stuff crammed into a tiny little room so I have nowhere to put everything. And he paints miniatures. I will a get a picture of those next time and explain a little about how much they are a pain in the ass for me when I am trying to clean.
A nice little before/after of his carpet. Probably hadn't been vacuumed since I did at least a year ago.
P.s. Vacuuming has got to be one of my most favorite activities.

Meal of the day. See? I put some health in there.

Behn decided to play some ball hockey tonight so I have the night off!

Psalm 118:24

King James Version (KJV)

 24This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Renovations #3: Little by little...

I woke up with a splitting headache and I just don't know why.
But I forgot about the headache after the rain starting pouring down, I got a job interview and I received two letters in the mail (one being from my favorite superhero)!

I spent awhile zipping around town doing errands. That's one of my favorite things to do. Nothing like having a full list and being able to check off every single item.

I got a lot done today.
Tidied up the front porch so we would no longer be an embarrassment to the neighbours (I'm just guessing that fact, I haven't actually heard anything).
Filed all of Behns papers. The worst.

Started Matthews bedroom..even worse than filing papers.But sorry, no pictures. It will have to be an ongoing project since it is so messy and it makes me sad to even be in there.

Our dinner was less than elegant. But hey, it was in the freezer and since everything has to go at some time or the other, why not? Although I might think about adding vegetables to the menu tomorrow. I am supposed to be the good example.

The male half of our team did... a lot. It just might not seem like a lot.
He is an electrician, not a plumber so this is all a first time thing for him.
Spent a while soldering everything together only to have it leak when he turned the water back on.
So back to undo everything so he could tighten some stuff.

I keep telling him that this is all the hard stuff and it only gets easier from here.

For myself I have the motto "Everything must get worse before it gets better". I must have said that to myself at least 5 times while working on Matthew's room tonight.

Now onto another sleepless night! At least I have the sound of rain pattering on the roof.
Such a lovely noise.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Renos day two:total fail.

Remember that optimism I was talking about yesterday? It never arrived.
And just walking into Behn's house and seeing boxes of stuff everywhere barely even giving me space to walk across the room...well, my mood wasn't pleasant and I just wanted to turn around and go back home.
But of course I'm a work-a-holic so the show went on.

Another hour and bit spent at Home Depot. I recognized some of the staff from yesterday, it was almost like we are regulars.

Then we took a little break from the hard stuff and played soccer for a while.

We might as well not even gone back the house. Behn figured out he is missing a crucial part so he ran back up to  HOME DEPOT. I could not stand going into that store one more time so I stayed home to make supper.
Oh! But the best part happened next. Right before Behn left I went to turn on the kitchen tap and water started spraying EVERYWHERE.
I told Behn it was a test to see how strong under pressure we are. Let's just say we(and only certain parts of we) are pretty weak. But I made him keep going. And it got fixed.

Dinner! This is one of the new projects I'm starting. It's called the 'get rid of all the stuff in the freezer' project. So rather than use my two can dine for 8.99 coupon for Burger King, I burrowed my way through the freezer trying to find some edibles. It was a combination of perogies, italian sausage, tacitos and chicken wings. Not the greatest of meals, but we aren't looking for style and health points at the moment.

So, that's that.
Tomorrow will be better.
We will get lots of work done.
And I will have more pictures for you.

But I have to tell you. This whole running two houses at one time is catching up to me already.
I am going constantly all day. And having really bad sleeps.
And not really taking much time to just relax and enjoy life.
Hopefully I'll find a way to fix this dilemma.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Renovations post #1:What the heck did we get into?!?!

Something you might need to know before we start this adventure. Us, Lefebvres, are not the DIY type of people. We need to buy it ready to go, or hire somebody to do it for us. So I did not grow up learning out to reno because it just didn't happen at our house. If you can recall the bathroom project of '09.
So, this project is a big deal. It's going to take a lot of work. A lot of money. A lot of "don't you dare take another coffee break, you have only been working for  ten minutes!". And since we don't know how to do any of this stuff it might be a little trial and error as well :).

Behn and I had been planning these renovations for a very long time. Well, I've had it in my mind for probably about a year, but I made him aware of it last time I was home for a visit :).
We put it off until now, since our family(part of it at least) is out of town so we didn't have to worry about Matthew being in the way and Behn can come over to the main house for showers.

A couple reasons why this needed to happen.

1. The bathtub. I usually have a pretty good stomach when it comes to cleaning the boys house. But the tub is one thing I couldn't handle. I only remember cleaning it once in the fourish years Behn has lived there.
2. It has carpeted floors. Need I say more?

My morning started a little bit rocky. I woke up at five thirty and could not get back to sleep for a couple hours. When I finally dragged myself out of bed at 9:30am I told myself Behn deserved to sleep in so I wouldn't go over until later.
I texted him at 10:50 giving the half an hour warning.
When I showed up at 11:30 the lights were on and tv was going but he was no where in sight.
I went upstairs to find this:

I gave him a three minute warning and went back down the stairs.

I'm actually not really a part of the reno crew. I'm just more like a cheerleader. I also clean and am very supportive when picking out bathroom appliances, we'll get to that.

So, for the first 4 1/2 hours, he demolished, and I cleaned.

I would now like to introduce you to my best cleaning friend.
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of great friends that have helped me clean before (the fact that they would clean this house proves how great they are.), but this one tops all.

Today I discovered a relative of his, let me tell ya, we hit it off quite nicely.
*pause* the fact that I am talking about a bleach's family might show you how much of this stuff I inhaled today, wasn't pretty.*
I used that stuff EVERYWHERE. Not too sure if it was meant for linoleum though, so we might have to redo the main floors too :D.

A cautionary note though.
Your best friend does have the capability of back stabbing you, it's the hard, sad truth. So before you get down to work please change out of that new shirt you just bought yesterday :( :(.

About ten to four we had to get the show moving since we had a truckload full of garbage and the city landfill closes at four thirty. It is kind of satisfying getting rid of all that stuff.
Out with the old, in with the new.

The next part, I don't even want to think about.
Not my favorite activity.
Especially when in a place like Home Depot. Boring.

We spent two hours in there.
I had a headache within the first ten minutes.
That's all I really want to say about that.

When we came home, I then had to make dinner. Now I know what it feels like to be mother. I am definitely willing to hold that off for a couple more years.

I don't really have any energy to type out all the funny little anecdotes that I was planning while I scrubbed the counters so I will just leave you with the before pictures and go curl up with a chick flick and ice cream. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with maybe a little bit more optimism.

A before of the vanity.

Before: The tub.

The carpet. Ew.

:) a nice little 'during demolition'.

"Oh my gosh, I don't know if we can do this!"

All ready for the new.

Not looking so bad after all?

To be continued...

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