Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lack of time...not creativity

Ok, I have not put glue to paper since the 11th. The Hubs left town that day and won't be back until Sunday so I truly apologize for the serious lack of creative inspiration here. I have no photos of projects because there are no projects to speak of. Stay tuned...I am going to rock it out next week.

A new cyber friend of mine has passed along this little blog award {sweet Johanna from Birds On A Wire} and I have never participated in one before so here goes. I am to tell you 7 little known facts about me. {And then of course pass it along to 7 of my peeps.} Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

1. I moved out when I was 17. And that summer I had 4 jobs and no car. Not even enough money for bus fare. But I had my own place, my own bills and my own mind. It was the most freeing summer of my life.

2. I have a really, REALLY long bucket list. It ranges from things in the scrapbooking world like working for an amazing company some day or getting on the design team of my dreams, to personal things like learning self defense, skydiving and extensive travel. There are categories to my bucket list. Books to read, places to see, things to do. I add to it every day.

3. I own a motorcycle. It's old but I love it. My Daddy gave it to me for my 30th birthday and I have {so far} been forbidden to ride it by the Hubs and the Daddy. Due solely to the fact that since said birthday I have either been nursing or pregnant. Well not this summer!!! I'll be taking to the streets and getting my motorcycle license. {That's on my bucket list too}

4. In the realm of "Boy meets girl" in our relationship...I asked my Hubs out first. We had mutal friends for several years before we ever met. Either he was away at college or I was away on overseas missions...we just never crossed paths. Until November of 1997 {Thanks for turning 19 Char}. And I asked him out to my staff Christmas party the next week. {Where my boss found out it was our first date and grabbed his a$$ on the dance floor.} The rest is history. And it's a really good thing the Hubs can take a joke.

5. I have had some really cool jobs in my life. Maybe not conventional cool but super cool in my books. I was the drive-thru Queen of Burger King on 8th Street as a teenager. I worked at Marquis Downs {I would always take a break to watch the 6th race with my Grandpa Otto and he would buy me a cheeseburger} I am trained in Radio and Television Broadcasting and worked at several radio stations in SK and MB. I was a DJ for a local company and the very sweet owner wanted to be extra safe with her only female employee so my nametag said "DJ Diva". I kept the name tag and it will be scrapbooked someday. But I think the job that floors people the most was Mitchell's Gourmet Foods. Yup, I worked in a meat packing plant. I did the hiring, orientation and tours. I knew my way around Pork cut, could prevent people from passing out on the kill floor and knew who would make it on the bacon line and who was just not cut out for stuffing weiners. I loved that job. My last few years there I was an Administrative Assistant for the best bosses a girl could have. When my feet got too fat during my first pregnancy to wear my office shoes they halted my tours and let me wear sandals around my office. The fact that they would line up and waddle behind me as I delivered the mail did not affect their likeability. I still loved them.

6. I have moved approximately 25 times in my life. So far. But have lived in only 2 provinces. SK and MB. My future holds many more and I will embrace each new adventure as it comes!

7. I am on a serious weight loss journey that is very difficult at times. But I do not find it difficult liking healthy foods. Tofu is one of my favourite meals. Now, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good sloppy poutine every now and again. But I really like ancient grain bread {especially toasted}, tea, homemade soups and all the other wholesome earthy foods we are meant to eat. My Hubs calls me a crunchy granola tree hugger. Maybe it's because we use cloth diapers. Or the first home improvement we made was a clothesline. Or maybe it's the chemical free crusade? saves him money so he can tease me all he likes. I know he likes it.

8. I rarely follow the rules.

So now I am supposed to pass this along to 7 people. Well...I dance to the beat of my own drum {see #8} so I won't put anyone on the spot. You already know who my best peeps are {see right hand sidebar under Inspirational Chicks} and they deserve a little blog award every day so I will leave it at that. But if you feel like participating please leave a comment here with a link so others can check you out!

Monday, February 22, 2010

We interrupt the scrapbooking to bring you some really good financial advice

Little known thing about me: I am a frugal gal. Or at least I try to be. Sure, I love the environment {I have to live in it, right?} but everything I do is all about the numbers baby. I use cloth diapers, I make laundry soap, I bake bread, I make granola bars for lunches...oh yeah, and I make lunches. Period. Every day. But I do get busy the odd time and forget to pack the Hubs lunch...oops. Between that and the occassional {and I mean really occassional} meal out with the fam we probably eat out about once a week and that includes the Hubs office lunches and me going out with the girls. But our idea of a meal out is the soup deal at Tim Horton's so it's not a huge hit to the budget with only 2 kids.
I have not always been concientious of my spending but so far have avoided copious amounts of consumer debt. I think that is largely due to a pivotal time in our marriage when we actually started discussing money seriously. Not the monthly {loud} exchange "Where did all the money go?!" But actually sitting down, discussing {like adults} what debt we have, how much we make and how to go about paying it off. After that talk, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I haven't looked back since.
Of course, I am human. I have made some bad, impulse purchases in my time. But they come fewer and further between now. LOL

So get to your point Kate...ok, ok. I don't get to watch a whole lot of TV but I do looove the show Til Debt Do Us Part with the lovely Gail Vaz-Oxlade. The woman is a genius. She is to the point, down to earth and very tell it like it is. I was on her blog today and came across a FABULOUS article she wrote entitled "Who Are You Trying To Impress?". I won't post the whole article here but just click on the title if you want to read it in it's full format. Several of the quotes in the article really struck me.

"People spend money they don't have, to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like." ~Will Rogers

Well isn't THAT the truth? Over the last 18 months I have been improving our budget by leaps and bounds but that statement makes me want to take another look at things to see if we could tighten up even more. Gail explores the three things stated in that quote seperately in her article. And each point has you nodding your head and thinking "Yup, we do that!" The part about always wanting more really hit me too. Especially with my scrapbooking supplies. My scrap budget has been non-existant since we moved but I do spend about $10 a month on adhesive and I can still scrape together cash every now and again to splurge on great new paper. It's a must. Right? it's not. {Don't feel bad for scraproom looks like a store, I have plenty to craft with LOL}

North America has 8% of the world's population and yet we consume 33% of the world's resources. And create 50% of it's non-organic waste. That's just embarrassing.

Another part of the article made me really happy though. That part about Martha Stewart cracked me up. My close friends and I will refer to each other as "Martha" if we do something particularly crafty either in the scraproom or kitchen. "Way to go Martha" is the comment for someone who has been exceptionally productive that day. And this is one teeny tiny area where I disagree with Ms. Vaz-Oxlade's statements at the end of the article. Yes we certainly do try to impress each other every day. With love, compassion and thoughfulness. Therein lies the difference between us and those who try to "Keep up with the Jones'"It doesn't have to cost a ton of money. It can be as simple as dropping off one single special cupcake or kidnapping their children for a few hours. Shooting off a funny e-card when you know someone is down or making them a card from scraps of supplies you already have. This is how we try to impress each other. And our happiness and beauty truly does shine from the inside out.

So after surfing around on Gail's blog, I am re-committing to using what we have. Saving what we earn. And making what we need. And I am desperately and anxiously awaiting Spring so I can plant my garden again. I have made some adjustments and hope to use even more of the bounty this year!

I challenge you to take a look at your budget this week {if you have one} or make a budget {if you don't}. You will be amazed at what you discover about yourself. Cheers people. Live small, love large and be happy. xo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just plain old down home SPIRIT!

You've heard of my crazy friend Char. Who is only as crazy as me...we just have different passions. To view our most recent antics {and see some hideously old photos where our hair and colouring had people asking if we were sisters} click here, here, here and well, you get the idea. The archives under "antics" gives you a good idea of our craziness.

So anyway...Char's craziness lies in the realm of decorating. First off, the woman is a wonder at putting together a room. She is always up for pulling a "While you were out" on my hubs. Tee Hee. We have one planned for the upstairs bathrooms before he gets back at the end of the month. But she also decorates for seasons and holidays. Not just the usual Christmas stuff either. Valentines Day, Easter, Canada Day, Halloween....and now she DEFINES Olympic spirit. Check it out!

Back patio door...I love the chains in the Olympic colours!

She does amazing things with a crayola window marker!

Keeping track of our medals {That was my idea and only contribution to this.LOL}

Who thinks of this stuff? Char does.

And of course the "All olympics all the time" TV. Please note adorable Olympics mascots on top. Great touch Char.

Told you this was blog worthy. Now if she could just get her doorbell to play the "I am Canadian" anthem. Perfect touch, don't you think? Thanks for the spirit Char! Go Canada GO!!!

{Basement window of course!}

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Give us GOLD Baby!!!

Men's Moguls brought home the gold! Woo Hoo!!! Medal count so far is 3 and if I can just figure out how to get the "I am Canadian" anthem on my blog I could call myself a true fan of the Olympics. Char, you think we could rig something up so that your doorbell played that song? I think it would complete your theme nicely. Stay tuned for the BEST olympic blogpost EVER. My good friend Char {formerly known as the charm thief-click here for the story} has decorated her house for the Olympics. I am just waiting for all the photos so I can blog it. It is ssssooooooo blog-worthy. I feel the need to scrapbook it. Stay tuned.

Here is a FAB link for all things Olympic. <---- Click there. xox P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! It's sort of overshadowed by the olympic excitement, don't you think? We had a "redneck" valentiney type day, I'll tell you all about it later. ETA: I can't believe how easy it was to add that song. Shocking that they had it in the playlist!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shut the DOOR! {Or should I say Hold the PHONE!!!}

Ok, that title was for the sole benefit of Sue Sykes because I know it will make her burst out laughing. Onward bloggers!

I got the BEST e-mail today from Megan Comin, organizer of Camp Croppin'. Remember Camp Croppin'? That huge, wonderful, amazing event {I believe the biggest of it's kind in Canada, correct me if I'm wrong} that is held in Calgary, AB every year? It's a fabulous fundraiser for the Alberta Children's Hospital, Therapeutic Scrapbooking Program and was founded in Alberta by the Picture Me Foundation. Along with Scrapbooker's Paradise {I may have done a spot of shopping last year but I dare you to find the receipts to prove it} they put on a rockin' good time, made even better by the fact that I won last year! Check out that story HERE. So this year on Facebook Megan had a contest going for the Top 5 Reasons Why You Love Camp Croppin'. I almost didn't enter and I never expected to win but I put it in anyway and...shut the door I won!

Here are my top 5 reasons I {heart} Camp Croppin'...
#5 - In my little scrap world there are no husbands allowed at Camp Croppin'. It is a rip snortin', money spendin', support lendin', girl talkin', designer stalkin', sale findin', supply buyin', calorie eatin', Starbucks consumin', product rakin', make n' takin', zero sleepin', whale of a good time!
#4 - At Camp Croppin' my name is Kate. No really, it is! And that excites me. I am not Mrs. Kading. I am not "the wife". Not even ma'am. Nobody calls me "Honey can you", "Baby can I have", "Sweetie did you get to" or "Mummy I'm hungry". That's how I am addressed at home BUT at Camp Croppin' my name tag just says Kate. And can you believe it...people actually call me that. Yee Haw!
#3 - I am a real, live, intelligent person at Camp Croppin'! I am an artist, a colleague, a student, an admirer. I have thoughts and ideas that are listened to uninterrupted! I don't have the theme song to Treehouse shows in my head, my shirt is almost always clean {unless we've been eating cheesecake at midnight!} and I can put away the "used up Mummy" persona that sometimes takes over at home. I am not woken up in the middle of the night, called to the principal's office, late for a dentist appointment, stuck in a line at the bank or fighting my way through WalMart with a one year old on my hip and a 5 year old attached to my leg.
#2 - Nobody at Camp Croppin' has ever peed, pooped or puked on me. Ever. It is a blissful escape from sticky fingers, spilled messes, dirty jeans {mine!}, runny noses and the general chaos and broken pieces that ensue when boys yell "Let's WRESTLE!" And I am pretty sure that it states somewhere in the fine print that my registration fee exempts me from having to clean up any of the above stated messes. Bless that fine print.
#1 - Um hel-LO...more than 24 hours of uninterrupted scrap time with some of the BEST in the industry! Camp Croppin' FOSTERS my BASIC obsession to stalk my HEROS of the scrapbooking world. To admire some "BUNNY" else's FANCY work. And that's HOT.
So those are my TOP 5 reasons why I love Camp Croppin'. There are about 103 more...but I have diapers to wash. See you on April 16th!

Just so you don't think I'm totally out there...I should explain the #1 reason was a play on words for the FAB sponsors this year. Karen Foster, Basic Grey, Hero Arts, Bo Bunny, Fancy Pants and Hot Off The Press. And as always I would never leave you link-less so just click on any of the names in this post to shoot over to check them out!

ETA: I guess I was too excited while typing this up because the very first comment was "What did you win?" LOL Sorry! I win a gift card to spend at Scrapbooker's Paradise, a newsflash on the Camp Croppin' website, I get to read my reasons for everyone on the opening night of Camp Croppin', they will be posted on the Scrapbooker's Paradise blog and of course awesome bragging rights! It's a really fun event...sign up!!! April 16th and 17th.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The I {heart} Google post

I looove to learn. And I always say that I am losing my brains little by little for every year I stay at home with my kids. My smart is oozing out my left ear. No really, it is. LOL So if there is something that I don't know about, I hit Google ASAP. If you ask me a question and I don't answer right away, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will hear my computer keys clicking away not a second later. I am a Google girl and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So I was going over my blog today {I have some major changes I want to make--when? I have no idea} and saw the comment on the last post. So cool! I think languages are beautiful. So what did I do? You bet. Google Translator. I of course immediately thought it would be some kind of spam commercial thing like "Buy our hair transplant cream that will make you younger!" but it wasn't and it kind of brightened my evening a bit even though the quote is meant to be derogatory. This is what the comment said:

Kaohsiung said:
Love is blind, but marriage to restore its sight

Now this can definitely be taken two ways. LOL But I prefer to interpret this statement as a positive. That when we are young in our relationship we are inexperienced and blind to what love has to offer. After we get married, our eyes are open to the endless possibilities and grand adventures that await us in this relationship.

Like I said...I prefer to see the positive in things but there were some things on the "before and after marriage" website that were pretty hilarious. Ever heard of a divorce cake?