Saturday, December 29, 2007


Christmas Eve was spent with my mom, dad, John, Sarah & Neve. We had our traditional Christmas Eve Chinese food fest. Yum!

Only regret of the evening is that once again we didn't get a family photo, we need to start doing this on the occasions when we are all in one place!
Here are a few shots from the evening.

Mom admiring her new Pylones paperclip holding bird

Dad checking out his new blade

Sarah & Neve opening gifts.
Reading 'The Grinch'
Neve driving Uncle Mike to Toronto.

Looking stylish with his lovely flower (a gift from Neve).
Our first Christmas Eve as an old married duo.
It was a really great evening; we wrapped things up by heading home, curling up together on the couch and watching 'It's a Wonderful Life.'
A perfect ending to a perfect Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning I woke up bright and early. Some things never change...
My early wake-up used to drive my brother nuts, he couldn't handle waiting until the morning to see what Santa brought him so he would slip into the living room to sneak a peek in the middle of the night, that meant there was no reason for him to drag his lazy butt out of bed early Christmas morning. I on the other hand LOVE surprises so I would be up early lying in bed waiting until I figured it was a reasonable enough hour to wake up the entire household. I'd bounce around the house until mom gave me the thumbs up to bang on John's door and then eventually dad would be ready with the camera and we would fly under the tree to see what Santa had left. Such good memories.

This Christmas was a little bit different. Instead of waking up my mom, dad & John it was Mike who had the pleasure of waking up to my face inches from his. The stare alarm works well.

Santa Mike spoiled me rotten. I'm so excited about my main gift - a brand spanking new Singer sewing machine. Here I am looking like a dork with my new favorite thing.

The book I'm holding is called bend-the-rules Sewing
and it's written by one of my favorite bloggers Amy Karol at Angry Chicken. I'm hoping to post my first attempt at sewing by the end of the week - a super cute little zip up pouch from this fabulous book. 2008 is going to be my year of crafting. Mom & Dad gave me a huge bin full of supplies for card making, I can't wait to get started.

Lots of other wonderful gifts from Mike. One that makes me laugh is my new snake bike lock.
The cat wasn't so sure about it.
A wonderful Christmas morning followed by a great afternoon with Mike's parents, Joanne & Paul and the boys.

Gabriel & Michael posing for pics before gift opening.
The last two gifts on the tree were air hockey paddles and pucks for the boys, but they didn't have a table to play on. Granny pulled out the magic pen and suggested they try wishing for a table. Here they are writing out AIR HOCKEY TABLE very carefully, wouldn't want an ice rink suddenly appearing in the living room.
And now the wishing begins...
Wishing with all their might...
And what to their wondering eyes did appear...
They were so excited!
Dad on the phone with Uncle Pat in Ireland.
The Mrs. Mitchells listening in Joanne posing with her bon bon.
Paul caught smiling at one of his boys - Gabriel I think.
My favorite picture of Mike taken over the holidays this year.
Dinner was brilliant! A delicious feast made by Mom M.
We had a wonderful day, lots of singing and laughs.
Merry Ho Ho!!

We were spoiled rotten as usual this Christmas. Mom and Dad (both sets) went overboard as usual and we love all of our gifts! Thanks everyone for everything!

Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

I tried hard but couldn't get into this read. I heard lots of great things about this book so when a friend managed to get her paws on a copy for me to borrow I was super excited to finally dive into it. Into the bath I went with candles, bubble path and hot chocolate...within minutes I found myself wishing I had brought another book into the tub or maybe a bottle of wine.

I tried on three different occasions times to get into the story and spent 15 minutes each time dragging my eyes over the words and wishing I would like it. The narrator tells her story through letters to her ex-husband; this style is definitely not my thang. YAWN.

Finally the simple words of wisdom which a friend heard from another friend and passed my way popped into my head: if you don't like a book, don't finish it. Why force myself to read something that I don't like? There are a zillion books out there waiting for me to devour them so why waste time on something I genuinely dislike?

No thumbs up for this read.

Mega Update

Yowsa. So much has happened in the last week and I have yet to write about any of it so I've got some catching up to do. Where to start? MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, I certainly did. I think I'll make this a photo diary post with the hope of not boring you to death with all the details of every event. Pictures tend to speak for themselves...

Here goes nothin...

The 2nd Annual Friends Christmas Dinner Pah-tay which I have renamed "Christmas with the Crazies" was hosted by Miguel and myself last Saturday.

The hostess & host

It was a super fantabulously fun evening. The girls dove face first into the gin bottle and it turned out to be an interesting evening. Hilariously interesting. There were a few different points throughout the evening where I caught the men standing back watching us girls with fear in their eyes. Good times.

A taste of the sillies
There are sooooo many pictures I would love to share but my friends would hunt me down and hurt me if I did so I'll refrain and just show you a few of the less ridiculous shots.

My best girl Rebecca arrived from Vancouver just in time for dinner! This is the only shot of us from the evening where one of us isn't doing something ridiculous.
It was a good visit Reebs, I miss you already and you've only been gone for a few hours. I wish Vancouver was a drive away rather than a flight... oh the joys of growing up. We'll see you out west in the new year!!

I forgot to snap a picture of our bird this round; his name was Randy... Randy Travis actually. I liked Travis, Miguel wanted Randy so we compromised. Randy was a lovely bird with a dark complexion. I definitely prefer the organic fed fresh turkey (Trevor was organic and was more moist than Randy Travis was). Everyone gobbled up the eats - the meal was a success. Later I'll post a few of the recipes that were favorites, including the no fail turkey guide, the best mashed potatoes on earth & cheesy cauliflower that's to die for post.

Here's a shot of the ladies loving the smashed potatoes - this is before gin fever broke out by the way. Thanks Colin for this fabulous shot.

Looking forward to next years festivities but let's get through new years eve first. Speaking of which I'll end talk off Christmas with the Crazies talk with a shot of the fake New Years Eve countdown.

That light in the kitchen has to go. It's one of my new years resolutions: ditch ugly light fixtures.

The day following Christmas with the Crazies was our Big Ass Family Christmas Party.
My moms side of our family is huge... she has six brothers and one sister. Each of them married and had children. There were 16 grandkids, including me, in total. Of this brood 7 of us are married and a few others have serious significant others. Now there are 8 additional tiny people (great-grandchildren for my Grandma) to add to the mix. Point being there are a helluva lot of us. To add to the fun/insanity three of my moms brothers married three sisters. NO not like that, not three of their own sisters - ew. Three of my mom's brothers married three girls from a DIFFERENT family who were sisters. Needless to say we have had many occasions over the years where the two families have gathered together. There are a zillion of them just as there are a zillion of us so this year we combined the two ginormous families and had a Big Ass Christmas Party. It was FUN.

I was too busy playing with the kids to remember to snap pictures at the big event but here are a couple shots.

Here the littlest nuts are waiting for Santa to arrive
No that's not Santa, it's Grandma! Try posing 7 kids and a Grandma, I doubt there was one shot where all the kids were looking up, let alone at the same camera.

And finally, Grandma sitting on Santa's knee.

Looking forward to next years shin dig! I wonder how many new little peeps will be there... one for sure! My cousin Beth gave birth to her little man Jordan James on December 24th (the day after our Big Ass Family Christmas Party). I'll be meeting the little guy next week so pics will be coming soon! Congratulations Beth!!

I'll be back with more! Christmas Eve & Christmas Day & Girls Night still need to be covered! Aie yai yai!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Ho Ho Ho!

Wishing everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I love scrabble and so does my Grandma! Here's a sneak peek at her Christmas gift which arrived by post yesterday in this sweet little package.

The tiny tin case is the perfect hideaway for my fabulous
Littleput Books find.
Shield your eyes from the glare. grr to the flash.

My Grandma loves butterflies & scrabble so Littleput had the absolute perfect gift for the craziest (in a sane way) woman in my life.

A scrabble tile necklace decorated with butterflies. Fabulous!
She's going to love it!

Another 5 star store is added to my list of places to purchase gifts.
Be sure to take a look here because my pictures do not do the piece justice.
Have I mentioned that I adore Etsy?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just around the corner

Christmas is no longer creeping up on us, it's ready to run at us full tilt - one week from this moment it will all be over and I'll be curled up on the couch stuffed full of 5 days worth of food and ready for a week of hibernation. BLISS.

Rebecca comes home from Vancouver on Saturday and will be staying with us off and on until the new year. I'm so happy!! I miss her like crazy.

Note to self: must remember to wear skirt on christmas eve. Last friday while spinning around the living room (in between hopping like a frog and laying on the floor being a baby) I promised my nearly 3 year old niece that I would wear a skirt on christmas eve so that I could 'twirl' just like her. Thankfully she thinks I dance perfectly at this point in time and a skirt will be the icing on the cake. Give it a few years darlin and you'll realize Auntie Jaime's got no rhythm. There's a reason my parents didn't enroll me in dance classes.

It's going to be weird to have Cara & Herwig missing from the mix this year; with Cara only a month away from delivering her little nut she won't be making the long journey from West to East. This is the first christmas in about 10 years that I won't be spending at least part of the holidays with Cara. I'll miss you Cara Nina.... and your giant German too!!!

Weird. This growing up thing... sometimes I question the sensibility of it. Messes with my routine.

Friday, December 14, 2007

La va va va voom vazza

What a decadent feast for the eyes these calendar shots for Lavazza are!
If their coffee is anything like these pictures it must be phenomenal - I want some!

I've posted a couple of my favorites, the shot above and the first one below are from the 2008 calendar by Finlay Mackay.

The next two are from the 2006 calendar by Ellen Von Unwerth.
I especially love the Shiva shot. Wow!

I discovered these beautiful shots thanks to icing, a blog I love to poke around in every now and then. Check out this link to see all of the Lavazza shots - which are your favs?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Whatever, it IS cute.

I hate squirrels, mice, chipmunks, frogs, grasshoppers and birds (in no particular order). Think that's funny? Laugh away but the reason I can't stand them is because they're 'unpredictable', you never know which direction the little suckers are going to move in. They freak me out.

I have found something that should fall into my category of 'nasty unpredictable icky things' but due to the fact that it is absolutely positively one of the cutest freaking things I have ever seen, it does not earn a place in my 'ewww' group, but rather in my 'oh my freaking awesome' category.

Last night Mike told me about this totally adorable little creature he spotted on a news site and when I saw it I turned into a puddle of ooooooo's on the couch. This sweet little thang is a jerboa, it lives in China, is the size of a mouse with some big ass ears and hops around like a kangaroo! Check out his tail!! There's video too if you want to see more - so cute!

My post title came about because of another great blog I stumbled upon last night named cute overload which posted today that my new fav creature (whatever they decide, it is NOT a rodent in my mind) is not really cute because it doesn't meet the cuteness rules of having tiny ears. My reply: rules are made to be broken. His big ears give him character and they are what makes him extra super cute. Don't diss him because he doesn't fit into the pre-determined cuteness box.

Just because I disagree with their judgement of the jerboa does not mean I will not continue to frequent the blog. This will be added to my daily viewing list. Miguel and I repeated the words "oh my god", "awwwwwwwww" and "that's soooo cute" appx 2546 times in the 10 minutes we spent zipping around this blog. Seriously, if you're having a crap day slip on over to this mega cute blog because something posted there is bound to make you smile.

This one is for little Becky and/or Miranda if they happen to be reading this post.

And seriously, who doesn't go 'awwwww' when they see this shot?


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hold On She's Gonna Blow

She is my sunshine

The glowing stick woman drawn in the above pic by Sam is a perfect representation of me right now. I've finished exams, I had a fabulous weekend, mike & I bought a beautiful pre-lit Christmas tree which is sparkling in our living room and life is goooot.
The stick dude would be mike who is holding on tight, tight like a super loving straitjacket.

I've been zipping around like a crazy-rubber-bouncy-ball say that 5 times fast ever since I finished exams Saturday evening. Mike's reaction to the 'no more school jaime' always makes me laugh.
For the first two hours after my return from writing french he looked a little shell shocked but like the fab man he is who by the way is equally as nuts as me he joined in my silliness, only shaking his head and asking 'who are you?' about 20 times in total.

He told me that it's always a shock to him when I end a term because he's so used to 'school jaime' I assume he means the psycho nasty woman that has taken over my body for weeks at a time over the past 3 years (since I've been doing the full-time school & full-time work combo).
When asked which Jaime he prefers he was hesitant to say, and now that I think of it he never really did give me a straight answer... hmm. The psycho stressed jaime is unpredictable (watch for flying objects) but a little quieter than the 'free from school jaime' so I'm guessing that's what makes him hesitate.

I told him he better not mind the more-ridiculous-less angry girl because that's who he'll be stuck with FOREVER, the angry one is only sticking around for another year and a half and then her ties are being sliced - she'll be free. Oh what a nice thought that is...
Mike mumbled something about the fact that by then I'll be pregnant and I swear I saw a look of terror cross his face - the thought of raging hormones rushing through my body apparently isn't something he is looking forward to. Wonder why? Muah ha ha ha!

And on that note... off to hunt for a sewing machine on Craig's List. There's bound to be something out there for less than the retail price.
Santa's going hunting for a bargain this year and Mrs. Claus is helping him out.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Thanks to Dooce for this one. Hilarious and so true!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feed Your Brain and People Too

It doesn't have to take much effort for you to make a difference in the world. A friend sent me a link ages ago to a great site called FreeRice. The site donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program each time you manage to successfully complete the task of matching two words. Easy peasy!

Well, it starts off relatively easy anyways but it gets harder as you go - you build your vocabulary and exercise your bean while doing something positive for others.

Tis the Season - give a few minutes of your time and make a difference.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Brain spa?

Have you ever considered removing your brain from your skull and giving it a sponge bath? I have. The matter in my bean hurts and could use a good soak. Yes it's that time again people, brain drain is taking place once again. One 12 page take-home exam down and two 2.5 hour puppies left to write. Je n'aime pas le francais et le philosophie. Blech.

Teardrops Falling from My Ears

I'm not earning any rewards for my self-portraits but here I am showing off my latest Etsy purchase. EXCESS Accessories has loads of fab earrings for fantastic prices. This seller was excellent to deal with - there was a slight delay in my order being sent out (let me stress slight) but she contacted me to apologize and let me know as soon as my purchase was on its way.

Here's a better shot of my awesome new danglers - borrowed from EXCESS' Etsy page...
I LOVE them and they go perfectly with my black bean.

The above photo was borrowed from Excess Accessories .
Click on photo to link to page.

More Etsy purchases to come - I've been Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tis the Season... to Shovel

It's only the third of December and I have already had two days off of work thanks to crummy road conditions. Our school is bus dependent so if the buses are cancelled we don't have to risk our lives to get to the school. There certainly are benefits to working at a country school: beautiful drive on good days, and no need to drive at all on the bad ones.

Poor mike spent half the day yesterday shoveling. We were dumped on very early Sunday morning. Our house is a corner lot which is great in some ways but not so good in others - we have a whole lot more sidewalk to deal with compared to our neighbours and the snowplow buries our driveway not once but twice, and sometimes three times, each time they clear our street on snowy days! They drag all of the snow from down the street by once, then they come around the side street and turn the corner burying us a second time. Yesterday the guy even backed up a third time to pick up some extra bits to add to our mountain of snow.

Lucky for me I was tucked away in my office working on my take-home exam while my fabulous husband cursed the snowplow driver; we have awesome neighbours and one from across the street felt sorry for him and came over to help dig out the base of the driveway for the third and final time.

It's going to be a loooong winter. Off to make some hot chocolate!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dans ma bicyclette

Studying for my french exam while riding my bike - multi-tasking is my middle name.
For those keeping count, as I'm sure each and everyone of you are diligently doing because it's such an exciting thing to keep track of, yes it is only the second time I've climbed on Hilda (mom get your mind out of the gutter) but it will not be the last!

Time: 34 minutes
Distance: 11.3 km
Calories: 917

Followed up by some Pilates (just a few exercises)

So I burned off part of the Mexican feast prepared by Jessy for our girlie night last night, the rest I'm sure disappeared during the mad game of Celebrity that took place after dinner. Such a fun game and super easy to play, all you need are pens and some paper. I am notorious for not knowing the names of famous people but it was super fun and I actually guessed and acted out a pile of celebs successfully. This is a game to keep tucked in the memory for the next dinner party we attend.

Back to the books I go, then off to Mike's parent's for his birthday dinner. Wee roasties = YUM!