May 31, 2007

Slow But Sure

Things are getting done around here and no-one is more happy about that than ME! This is a pic of the side of the house last year ... Honestly when I look at that photo I shake my head - sometimes I have no idea what hubby is up to.

And below is a picture from today. We planted cedars beside the sunroom for wind protection and hubby built me another window box for underneath my kitchen window. (please Lord, don't let it fall) We transplanted all of our hostas over here and they are just the greatest. They are thriving and man, I love them. They are so low maintenance. Like a best friend that you don't have to call everyday. Unlike my begonia trees in the front that seem to be dying - all of the leaves are turning yellow on me! I don''t know what I'm doing wrong with those. Too much water, too little water, too much sun? I guess I should Google it and see what's up with that.

I love it when the weather man is wrong. Today they called for rain and thundershowers all day - we woke up to a bit of rain but since then it's been hot and sunny. Summer volleyball has started up again so I'm thankful we won't have to play in puddles tonight.

I am giving the pool the cold shoulder and I think it's working. I am ignoring it and it seems to be clearing up - a bit. Who knew ignorance could work?

Yesterday I dropped off some jars to a flower/gift store here in town. Is it bad of me to want to go in there and see where she's put them? I just want to go in there with a big hat and sunglasses and snoop. Maybe stand there and and say out loud to people who walk by - "Aren't these GREAT? Hey! Look at these products - they're FABULOUS!" lol I'm such a dork. And can I just give a big shout out to Carol and Marylou who bought Hope Jars from me today - you both made my day!

May 30, 2007

The Hope Jar Giveaway

Jennifer wins! She is an absolute sweetie that I originally met through my ebay days...

This was fun! Thank-you everyone for your kind words and for entering the contest! :)

I'm a wee bit sad today as all of the babies have flown the coop! Yes, all four robin's flew off today - this one was the last to go, it took him a while to muster up some courage I guess! We have cedars right in front of the house and I think I hear some of them out there. It's an isolated spot so they will be safe there. Good thing we don't have a cat! ;)

May 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary and I almost forgot - again! Hubby had to remind me last night. What does that say about me? That I am getting early onset Alzheimer's?!

Well, I've had a lot on my mind, perhaps that's the reason. Like our pool. Which by now SHOULD look like this:

But instead, looks like THIS:

It's covered in a toxic sludge. And the worst thing is, it smells as bad as it looks! Swamp-ish. Like Shrek himself may pop out of there at any time. I can't see down to the bottom which makes vaccuming prety much useless. I have put so many chemicals in there and nothing will clear it up. It is disgusting and I want nothing more to do with it!

The baby robins are getting so big! This is another pic I snapped the other day. They're even bigger now. And what a mess they're making in between those two doors! The Mama is so funny to watch - there is a cute chipmunk around here and she attacks it every time it gets anywhere near the vicinity of her babies. I don't think chipmunks EAT baby birds but hey, what do I know? I can't even remember my own wedding anniversary...

Don't forget to enter The Hope Jar Giveaway if you haven't already! (see below)

May 27, 2007

The Hope Jar™ Giveaway!

*A winner has been chosen and will be revealed later tonight- thanks to all who entered!*

The Hope Jar™ is growing!

For those of you who aren't familiar, The Hope Jar contains 30 daily affirmations and is a unique and special way to show someone you care. I have added 4 more Hope Jars to the product line which include Friendship, Heartbreak, Pregnancy and Marriage. These jars have more of a fun feel to them and the last two are unique presents for baby and bridal showers.


Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will get an entry to win their choice of any 2 Hope Jars! If you want to go one step further, add a Hope Jar link to your blog and be entered to win your choice of *3*!

I will pick a winner on Wednesday, May 30th and post the winner's name later that evening.

Which two (or three) will YOU choose?






May 23, 2007

Don'tcha Just LOVE Birthdays?!

My day isn't even over yet and I have been spoiled! I just had to take some pictures of the beautiful gifts that were given to me. I am so blessed with wonderful family and friends....

May 22, 2007

Let's Get It Started!

It was time to plant our window boxes so off we went to a local nursery here in town. Ahhh, a feast for the eyes! Man, can you ever spend a lot of money in a very short time there. What we loaded in the back of our truck was not a lot, but the price tag made it feel like it should have been full!

I tackled the big job of weeding the milkhouse yesterday. THAT is a chore. Crab grass always seems to work it's way in there. I weeded, added more ground, planted a couple of shrubs and then MULCHED it 'til I could mulch no more. Keeping the weeds to a minimum is top priority! I transplanted some of my MIL's lily of the valley two years ago and that stuff re-seeds like crazy - it takes over!

Every year I think these little trees in my urns will die - they look so burnt and dry but every year they come back to life, hearty little guys! In a few weeks the potato vine and nasturtiums will drape around it.

Hubby and I are excited because it finally feels like our backyard is beginning to take shape - it has been a work in progress for 9 years now. Nine long years. The retaining wall is almost complete - the pillars just need to be capped and the wrought iron fence needs to go in between. I say 'fake' wrought iron as it's cheaper and no-one will be able to tell the difference - hubby's not completely sure. That's our on-going battle right now. UGH.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day here and the rest of the week looks promising too. Tomorrow is my birthday and it is going to be sunny with a high of 28! Woo-hoo!

May 20, 2007

While In the Car...

Hubby to me:
"Do you want to grab a coffee for the ride?"

"Nah, I'm all coffee'd out."

A sarcastic Ellie adds her two cents from the backseat:
"Well, there's a first..."

May 19, 2007

Costco Rocks!

Here it is, our new patio set from Costco. Man, I love that store. Because it can get pretty windy in our backyard, all of our old sets have ended up taking nasty tumbles which have destroyed them. This table is heavy, it looks like marble but it is actually resin. And it's nice and low too which I like. The chairs are that outdoor wicker and really, you can't kill that stuff, it really holds up well.

The Dutch girl in me couldn't leave without this straw mat for the sunroom. Cute, huh?

We also picked up our planters today! They are really massive for it only being May -they will be absolutely monstrous come August! It was just a beautiful day here today weather-wise and we enjoyed every minute of it. I just love Spring and Summer...

May 18, 2007

Shameless Self Promotion!

Well, this is it - I am sending off my first shipment of Hope Jars to - drum roll please,
The Comfort Company.
She's already got my product under the category "Best Selling Gifts". (let's hope!)


I also have an idea for this blog that I will be trying next week. It involves all of you who want to participate and yes, there will be prizes involved! More on that later...

I found another meme for fun.

7 Random/Uknown Facts About Me:

1. I am the one in the family who MUST hold the t.v. remote
2. I play "Punch-Buggy" with Wilbur when he's alone in the car with me (I nearly always win)
3. I was a "mistake". My Mom was on the pill when she got pregnant with me. (the pill was new back then and not quite fool-proof!)
4. My mother orginally wanted to call me Debbie (!)
5. When I was young I wanted to be a transport truck driver (!!)
6. I love surprises
7. I am completely and utterly addicted to poutine

O.K. I am now tagging all you bloggers who read me!

It's a long weekend here in Canada so I wish all my fellow Canucks a GLORIOUS sun-shiny 3 days off!

May 17, 2007

Why I Hate Reality T.V.

Permission to bitch?

Melinda Doolittle was robbed! This girl had more talent in her left hand pinky finger than the other two had in their entire bodies! If American Idol is based on talent than this show has lost it's credibility with me. After she performed her last song on Tuesday evening I turned to hubby and said "She could sing the phone book..." Low and behold in Simon's critique two minutes later, he said the exact same thing! She had grace, she had poise, she would have represented Idol well. And she's old enough to handle the pressure. At 17, Jordin should be enjoying highschool with her friends, I feel she's too young for all the pressures this industry will inevitably throw at her. Now, having said all of that, I know Melinda will do well and that she doesn't need American Idol. She will be a huge success. I just soooo wanted her to win.

O.K., listen to this! (have I mentioned that my mother LOVES it when I say that with baited breath?) I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not but hubby and I are looking for an outdoor patio/dining set. In this town they are either really cheap or really high-end in price with nothing in between. There is a lady in town who let's just say is a bit shady in her dealings and she carries outdoor furniture. We have dealt with her in the past and she is a bit of a schister. However, we wanted to see what she carried so we walked in her store a few weeks ago. She had a set that we really loved - a nice, large table with really comfy chairs, but the price was staggering - $3499 for the set. Nuts! (just like her ;) So we have been continuing our search for the perfect outdoor set. Yesterday we went to Ottawa and figured we'd check out some stores up there. I mentioned to hubby that I wanted to go to Costco first (Chunks, you with me on this?) because, hey, you never know. After getting lost in the fever that is Costco we headed towards the outdoor section where they carry barbeque's etc. We turn the corner and guess what? THERE'S THE EXACT SAME SET! And guess what else? IT WAS MORE THAN HALF THE CRAZY LADY'S PRICE! Yes, the exact same set for 1500.00. We stood there stunned. No too much mark up, huh? We ended up looking at a different set and it is even cheaper so I think we may pick that up on Saturday morning. It pays to shop around people!

May 16, 2007

Show Us Your Dirty Wow Wow!

This may sound dirty - and believe me, it is!

Show Us Your Dirty Wow Wow!

It's a contest I found online and I knew I had to include Ellie's beloved Buddy the Bunny. He's about the 12th one down for your viewing pleasure. She's had him since birth and never sleeps without him. He goes everywhere with her. Ellie now thinks she's found fame and fortune and is currently interviewing agents on Buddy's behalf. You just never know where this will take him!

May 15, 2007

Over the Moon Excited!

GUESS WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember I told you that I sent a sample of The Hope Jar™ to the lady who owns a big website that gets 60,000 hits a month? Well, she received it yesterday ... loves it ... and ... WANTS TO CARRY MY PRODUCT!

I am so thrilled beyond words ... I was doing the happy dance last night! I hate to jinx it by revealing her website just yet but it's a big one with great market potential. So great in fact that they once featured her on the Oprah Show!

p.s. Thanks Chunks - glad you like 'em! :)

May 14, 2007

Planting the Seeds...

I finally found a 'tree' to plant in my new planters. It's called a Gardenia and it gets the most beautiful white rose-like blooms on them. Fingers crossed I won't kill the poor things! I went to the Dollar Store and bought some smooth river rocks to cover the ground and help keep the moisture in. Nine small bags of river rocks are actually quite heavy!

I was out shopping last week and came across these neat 'grow your own name' plants. They are just the cutest thing and I was surprised to see that they had both of my kids names available. :) I don't know how the heck it works but the bean has the name written on it and when they grow, their name becomes embedded in the leaf. Very cool. They have started to sprout a bit already and the kids love to see the daily progress. So much so that it seems every time I walk in the room they are watering it! Ugh. I'll keep you posted on the progress...

My poor Jack had another migrane after school today - he's still up in his bed right now actually. The only thing that works for him is a dark room and a cold cloth. He refuses to take any medication. I have a feeling he played too much of his Gameboy Advance yesterday...that can be one trigger we think. Very frustrating...

May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

I am blessed with a wonderful Mom. You could say in the lottery of Mom's, I hit the jackpot. My mother is the sweetest, most caring and lovable woman. She has been through so much and her faith remains steadfast in the Lord. She sets a wonderful example for her children and grandchildren and we are so thankful for her everyday. She is loved deeply by all of us.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love you!

May 11, 2007

Happy Friday

I am working at the computer this morning and Elle sneaks up behind me dressed like this. She's such a spazz! The kids are off from school today for a P.A. day or whatever they call it now. We all slept in which was absolutely fabulous.

My flower bed will soon look like this again. Spring has officially sprung here and the trees are all past the budding stage and now starting to show their leaves. My hostas are sprouting up nicely, I swear they grow an inch per day. The process of perennials never ceases to amaze me, these same plants that looked horrible a few weeks ago are now starting to come alive. All on their own! I really love this time of year.

May 10, 2007

Great News So Far

I'm so excited...

I have spoken with a lady who owns a large website which I think would be a great avenue for The Hope Jar™. I gave her a link to my site and she really like the product and thought it would be a great addition to her site. She also liked my wholesale terms and has now requested a sample. Fingers crossed that she likes it! (she gets over 60,000 visitors to her website each month!)

I also solicited a gift store here in town and the owner not only wants to carry The Hope Jar (and the new Hope Jar varieties that are now on the way) but wants exclusive rights to sell here in this area - which is great because she gets the most traffic.

So things are coming along nicely. But the hiccups are always there too! Like logistics, sales tax, freight expenses, order time - I am learning so much through this adventure I tell ya. And I am loving every single minute of it!

And now for something completely different...

We have a fan at the top of our loft which we haven't turned on in a while. Yesterday I looked at it when I was walking upstairs and the dust on that baby was unbelievable. COLONIES of dust had formed. WHOLE CITIES! I made a mental note to tell hubby NOT to turn on the fan until we cleaned it. Well, I think you know what's coming here, huh? It was SOOO hot here yesterday and because hubby has this weird mental block thing about turning on the air conditioning in May, we were suffering through it at about 8:00 p.m. last night. After I put the kids to bed and walked out into the loft area, I looked up mortified and then ran in what seemed like slow motion yelling "Nooooooooooo!" Too late. He had turned it on full blast. (his eyes are not so good) So now dust has propelled itself into every single nook and cranny that it could possibly reach. Not just dust - but dust bunnies. Fat, fuzzy dust bunnies. That multiply in the thousands. Oh well, on the positive side I guess that's one way of cleaning the fan...

May 8, 2007

To Have, and To Put Up With

There is one thing that I do that drives hubby nuts. See below:

Yes, I tend to leave the vacuum hose out and he inevitably trips on it. Well, I like to leave it out because usually one hour later the house needs to be vacuumed again! lol They should invent a hole in the floor that you could just pull it up from. That would be handy.

There's one thing that hubby does that drives me nuts too. And it just happened to happen in the same room (hence the idea for this blog entry) What is it? See below:

The 'ol leave your dirty clothes anywhere thing. I pull the chair out to sit down and find his dirty t-shirt and pair of jeans. It's called a laundry hamper - use it! ;)

Our faults even us out. And this May 29th marks 14 years of putting up with each other - oops, I mean wedded bliss!

May 7, 2007

The Hope Jar™ is Born

"The Hope Jar™ contains 30 daily, faith-inspiring affirmations that offer comfort and hope to those who have lost a loved one. These notes of encouragement can be used as an inspiring start to the day, a restorative source of consolation at night, or anytime in between."

My concept has finally come to fruition. I created The Hope Jar™ 2 1/2 years ago after my brother passed away for my sister-in-law and mother. In a very hope-less time I wanted to fill their minds with warm, comforting, soothing thoughts before they laid their head on the pillow at night. It only came to me a few months ago that perhaps I should take this idea and really develop it. So I contacted a lawyer and trademarked "The Hope Jar" and then started looking for suitable jars and a printer to create labels and cards for me. My ever-so-talented cousin Tim designed the logo and my best friend Janet came up with the brilliant tag line "Bottled Inspiration". (credit where credit is due!) I decided to keep my first order of cards and labels low just in case there were any hiccups. And hiccups there were. On Friday when I went to the printers to pick up my order I was disappointed to see they hadn't collated the 250 sets of 30 different quotes. So guess what I was doing all weekend? ;) Still haven't completely finished but I managed to get 50 jars set and ready to go. Now I have to try to add them to my website of which I am still learning the ins and outs. My goal is to get these jars out there and I will be peddling them to local stores as well. Plus, there are MORE Hope Jars coming - different versions - so exciting! I feel like I finally know what I was meant to do. It's a glorious feeling!

May 4, 2007

Black & White Friday

I'm loving the silver look right now - it may be a bit out of step for Spring but it still makes me happy. The more, the better. I like to cluster everything in groupings or else they seem to get 'lost' on their own, y'know? Last year I bought an old typewriter at a yard sale and promptly pried off the keys when I got home. What a job that was - next time I will remember to wear safety goggles! Like always, my intention was to sell them but somehow they've managed to stick around.

Wilbur totally cracks us up. Every evening after hubby and I put the kids to bed, we watch t.v. in our bedroom and hubby brings up a big bowl of fruit including Wilbur's favorite - apples. At this point Wilbur is usually laying on the couch in the loft which is about 20 feet from our bedroom. For the last 3 nights in a row we have been astounded at this dog's hearing. As soon as hubby starts to slice an apple with his knife, Wilbur jumps off the couch and comes running. We thought it might just be luck the first couple of times but last night, right before he began to slice, he turned to me and said "Watch this..." Ever so quietly he pushed the knife in and as soon as he did we heard Wilbur JUMP off the couch and come running to take his place beside the bed. Apple peelings are his fav snack!

So, last night I watched the 2 hour episode of Grey's Anatomy. When I first heard that they were going to do a spin-off show I thought they were getting greedy - why mess with a good thing? Well, I have to say I was totally hooked! It was brilliant! The writing was fresh and I loved that the set-up of their medical practice was not inside a sterile hospital. California, gotta love it! I actually found it a bit boring (*gasp* did I just say that out loud?) when they would they would go back to Seattle Grace. Still love Meredith and McDreamy, but man, who let the air out of their tires? You know they are setting up to break them apart. And then what happens? I don't know ... but I do know I'll be watching to find out!

I am hoping to get a call from the printer today! Fingers crossed they won't keep me waiting through the weekend...

May 3, 2007

Under My Feet

"You are so annoying!"

"Do you MIND?"

"Stop staring at me like that!"


"Can you please leave me alone???"

"Go knock yourself out!"

"Do you HAVE to follow me EVERYWHERE I go?"


Alex, I'll take "Things I Say To My Dog On A Daily Basis" for 200 please.

May 2, 2007

This Post Shall Remain Nameless

In reference to my new baby, The Hope Jar:
I shall quote Mr. Tom Petty again - "The waiting is the hardest part"...I am at the mercy of my printer right now and I am DYIN' to get this show on the road. My life seems in limbo and I can't wait to tell you all what I have been up to.

Hubby and I picked up this great planter a couple of weekends ago at Home Sense. We were lucky to find a mate for it last weekend at another store so they will find their new home flanking our front door. They will replace the cast iron urns that were originally there as they were rusting a bit at the bottom. Love them 'cuz they're fibreglass and so lightweight!

I also picked up some dinnerware for the patio. Gotta say I'm lovin' the resin plates! And good for the environment too - no throwing away plastic or paper plates for those sunny day barbecues. The leopard print plates are actually chargers and for me take the place of a placemat as they are so huge! Now all we need is a new patio set, the wind took our last one for a good tumble and we are now shopping around, doing the comparison dance. I find they are either ridiculously expensive or very much on the cheap side. There seems to be no happy medium around here.

May is a very busy month around here - hubby's birthday is next week, then Mother's Day, then comes my birthday, followed by our 14th wedding anniversary! Could I squeeze anything more into this merry month?

May 1, 2007

I Got Nothin'...

Nothin'! The well is dry again. If I can't write somehting half-way interesting I won't write anything at all! I'll just post a picture of Wilbur (pre-hideous haircut) and call it a day...