Thursday, March 31, 2011

{this moment}

Inspiration taken from SouleMama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 
Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Furbaby

I wrote a few weeks ago about my parents and their dog, Sadie, and her deteriorating health.  Sadly, last week, Sadie's short life came to an end.

The loss of a pet is never easy and my heart goes out to my parents who are grieving.  Their loss has made me realize how much my own furbabies mean to me.

Our oldest furbaby is our cat, Meeka.  She turned eight on March 5 and she is a Siamese/Angora cross.  Meeka is special as she is my first cat.  My mom is allergic to cats and so I never had one growing up even though I really wanted one.  When Mr. Twingle and I started dating, he had two cats and I loved to play with them, when they were in the mood!
For my 25th birthday, Mr. Twingle got me a litter box, food dish and collar and told me I could get a kitten.  This was a big deal since we weren't yet living together and the cat would be living at his parents' home.  Finally about six months later, I went to see a litter of kittens and found Meeka.  I'm not quite sure what drew me to her.  Maybe it was the fact that she was trying to get away, while her brothers and sisters were all clamouring for my attention.  Or maybe it was the white rings on the tip of her black tail.  Either way, I picked her and promptly headed to the nearest pet store to get her some food and litter to go in that box that sat waiting at home!
Meeka has always been feisty.  I think that's the Siamese in her.  If she wants something, or doesn't like something she lets you know.  I also think she's bi-polar because she could be purring and rubbing against you one second and turning to hiss and swipe at you the next.
Yet, despite this she is super tolerant of the kids.  Pretty picks her up and carries her around like a doll any time she can and for the most part Meeka just goes along with it.  The times she doesn't want to be bothered, she'll let off a growl and Pretty knows to leave her alone.
Regardless of how psycho she may be on any given day, I love her to bits and wouldn't trade her for the world.
A sleepy Meeka Christmas morning

Our other furbaby is Röxi.  She is a 2.5 year old Lab/Shepherd cross.  Röxi is the BIGGEST suck of a dog.  She's tiny for her breed and she loves to curl up in your lap to cuddle.  It's probably a good thing she only weighs about 35lbs and not what a Lab or a Shepherd normally weight.
Röxi was chosen for our family about four months after losing our previous dog.  We were ready for another canine to love and adore and we found a family with a litter of pups and went to visit.  
The twins instantly decided on Röxi and we brought her home the following day.  Röxi has the best temperament.  She is still very much a puppy and adores the kids.  They are her buddies and wherever they go, she goes.  Of course, at night she sleeps with me 'cause she's my baby.  I can't imagine life without Röxi.  We couldn't have asked for a better dog.
Posing for a picture.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rain Gutters for Bookshelves?

We all know rain gutters have a purpose and do their job on the exteriors of our homes.  So if I were to tell you that I have re-purposed rain gutters and they are going to be used inside, what would you think?

Crazy, right?

That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about using rain gutters for shelving.  After some reading online, Mr. Twingle and I decided to give it a shot.  The twingles have LOTS of reading material that is often scattered haphazard around their bedrooms.  These shelves seemed like the perfect solution.  They would provide enough space to neatly put their books; but, they aren't cumbersome and won't stick out far from the wall.  This was a huge selling feature for me as I remember catching apendiges on the corner of my own bookshelves growing up and it hurt like hell.

One fine day over March Break, we set out for Lowe's to purchase the necessary supplies.  The twins couldn't wait to help.

We picked white vinyl gutters as we figured they'd be more versatile and would match whatever paint changes may occur in the rooms over the years.  The gutters come in 10ft lengths and so we decided that we would use a variety of 5ft and 2.5ft shelves for their rooms.

Mr. Twingle measured off the lengths and cut them on a table saw; but, a hack saw would have done the job.  We then had the twins use the air compressor to blow off the little bits of vinyl before bringing them into the house.

Each of the twins took turns showing us where in their rooms they wanted their shelves.  The helped use a stud sensor to mark the studs and then helped use the level to ensure they were straight.  Of course, they couldn't wait to start organizing their books once finished.




Overall, the project was simple and quick to do.  We had fun creating the shelves as a family and spent quality time together.  

However, if you're looking for affordable shelving, this isn't the way to go.  While the gutters themselves are relatively inexpensive, the clips and end caps are pricey!

It's Cookie Time!

Do you know what the best part of Spring is?  Girl Guide cookies!  Our classic vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies are now available from your favourite Guiding member across the nation.  If you're local and looking for cookies, I know a cute little Spark who'd love to sell you some!  They are $4.00 a box and Oh so Good!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Question Friday

Wow, it's Friday already?  It feels like this week has gone by in a blur; but, that's likely because it has.

Last Friday morning I went in to get Pickle only to find she had thrown up in her crib, twice.  Of course, Mr. Twingle was out of town which makes dealing with it all that much more difficult.  I had to bath Pickle, because she had obviously been laying down when it happened and her hair was covered.  Bathing the baby was NOT on the list of things to do in the morning routine.  I hurry to get her dried and dressed then rush downstairs to make breakfast and pack lunches for the twins and then drive them to school.  Pickle vomits three times on the drive to and from the school.  Once home, her bed sheets, pajamas, coat and beloved Piglet all go in the wash.  I try giving her some water to keep her hydrated; but, it just comes back up.

All day long, whatever went in, came out.  I called Telehealth Ontario to see if they had any suggestions; but, they too didn't work.

Saturday rolled around and by 3:00pm she had only had one (1) wet diaper, so again I called Telehealth for fear of Pickle being dehydrated.  Turns out my fears were valid and at 6:00pm we were off to McMaster University Children's Hospital ER.  Six (6) hours later and 500 mL of electrolytes later, we were able to go home.  It has really only been yesterday and today that Pickle is back to normal.  She is still having some bowel issues; but, that's to be expected with any kind of stomach bug.

Oh, and did I mention that I felt "off" the whole time.  I think I had a bit of the bug myself; but, not to the full extent that Pickle got it.  So dealing with a sick toddler, two 6 year olds all while unwell myself has left me exhausted.

I'm ready for a new week to begin and I'm starting it off with Five Question Friday!  Why not hop over to My Little Life to play along and link up too?


1.  Do you know what your REAL hair colour is?
Unfortunately.
I'm a dark, dirty dishwater, ugly, mousy blonde.  Thankfully, I haven't actually been that colour in a long time.  I'm currently a dark mahogany with copper highlights.

2.  Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?
For the most part, I fly by the seat of my pants.  The only real plans I make are to go camping.  But even those plans are usually left to last minute as it all depends on Mr. Twingle's schedule.

3.  What is your favourite meal to cook?
I love to make chicken fajitas.  The colours and aromas are divine.  Not to mention that they taste good too!

4.  Do you get offended by not receiving thank-you's?
No, not really.  I mean I do things for others regardless.  A thank you at the end is definitely nice; but, I'm not going to get my pee hot over it if I don't get one :P

5.  How did you meet your best friend?
My "oldest" best friend and I have known each other since I was eight months old, she was sixteen months.  Our families were good friends and we grew up together.  We've maintained that friendship and I'm proud to say we've been friends for thirty plus years.

My "bestie" and I met in Jr. High; but, we didn't really become BFF's until high school when we reconnected in the school band.

I love my best girls and I don't know what I'd do without them.  Thanks ladies for always being there (HUGS)

___________________________________________________

Now it's your turn!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Disney on Ice Winner!

It seems many of you missed out on our second chance giveaway of 4 tickets to Disney on Ice, Let's Celebrate.  That is all, except one lucky reader:  Tracy Erb Bolger!

Tracy, you are the lucky winner of our Disney on Ice giveaway.  You have won 4 tickets to the March 17 show at Copps Coliseum.

I will be emailing you shortly with details on how to claim your prize.

Congratulations again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Amazing Girls

I stumbled across a website the other day and I wanted to share it all with you.  The site is for KKL Bracelets.  It wasn't really the bracelets that caught my attention, it was the story behind them.

You see, KKL Bracelets are made by three girls, aged 13, 12 and 9.  It all began when the eldest approached her father wanting to do something online.  Not sure what she wanted to do, they held a family meeting of sorts to brainstorm what they could do.  The other two girls decided they wanted to be part of the venture and so it was eventually decided that whatever they would do, would involve a charity.

From their mother, Deanna:  "I don't even recall how they decided on making bracelets as I was hesitant about everything, concerned that they may not sell anything with the economy being as it is and all the charities already in existance.  They have been proving me wrong ever since.  We are using this as an opportunity to not only help the hospital but teach the girls everything envolved in planning and managing a "business".  They each have a role to play from updating the financial and inventory books, working on the websites, packaging the bracelets once purchased and mailing them.  The girls make the bracelets and will be in the community more actively selling them once the weather turns a bit nicer.  KKL Bracelets is the first initial of each of their names, it really is their charity with my husband and I helping spread the word."

When asked why the family decided to help Sick Kids Hospital, Deanna replied "Even though our kids have never had to walk through the doors of the hospital, they have a friend who has had to on a frequent basis... she is now 8 years old and had cancer.  She was diagnosed about 3 years ago and during that time the girls were with her at her house after several of her treatments, ignoring the fact that she had lost all of her hair, might rest inbetween turns on wii or even vomit and just saw her as the beautiful fun girl she is.  The girls also have had exposure to children with special needs children and who access HSC through me.  Both my husband and I work at an agency with group homes for children with a variety of diagnoses such as autism, PDD, Epilepsy, global developmental delay, tourettes, downs syndrome and the list goes on.  Most of the kids I have worked with through the years, and that the girls have gotten to know and love, have no verbal communication skills, utilizing picture symbols and relying on staff support for life skill / self care skill development."  


KKL Bracelets make three different Women's bracelets and one for Men.  The three women's bracelets cost $15 each and the men's is $20.00.  From each bracelet sale, $5.00 goes to Sick Kids Hosptial.

My personal favourite is the Tiger Eye & Black Onyx Charity Bracelet



In addition to school and their business, the girls are also your typical, everyday girls.  They are, or have been, involved with Girl Guides of Canada, choir, gymnastics, art classes and ukelele club.  

It's rare and inspiring to find three young ladies with such divine aspirations.  But these three young ladies are just that.  They are angels from above and are truly amazing.  

I'm certain that everyone at Sick Kids Hospital thanks you for your generous work.

Well done girls, well done!

You can find KKL bracelets online at their website and on twitter

I Won!

Back in January, I entered a giveaway on Little Village Naturals for a custom Drops of Sun necklace; and I won!

Working with Anna from Drops of Sun was remarkable.  She was speedy, efficient and professional.  You could also tell that she loves her work.

Drops of Sun are unique because they are made from recycled and sustainable paper.  Yep, that's right...paper!

I got to pick my paper choice, and I chose #15

My necklace arrived this week and it's better than I could have imagined.  You can't tell at all that the piece is made from paper.  It's funky and cool all at the same time.  I'm totally in love.  My only grievance is the chain length.  Since I'm a full-figured gal, my neck is a little larger and the 16" chain isn't quite long enough.  But that's easy to fix, a chain extender will make my beautiful necklace just that much more perfect!

If you're looking for unique, affordable gifts for family, friends or even teachers (year-end isn't that far away), Drops of Sun is the place to shop!

I'm wearing the necklace

A close up of the finished product

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sad News

My parents dog, Sadie, a beautiful golden retriever just turned four last month.

About a week ago, my parents noticed that Sadie's belly looked swollen.  I saw her last weekend and agreed that she looked puffy and suggested they take her to the vet to get checked out.

A week Tuesday, they had a bunch of lab work done up and the vet was pretty sure there were liver issues; but, ordered an ultrasound to be certain.  In the meanwhile, Sadie was given some penicillan to try and help with things.

Fast forward to today.

I just got off the phone with my Dad and things don't look good.  Sadie has liver disease, or sorosis of the liver.  Unfortunately, it's not treatable.  The vet can give her some medication to make her more comfortable; but, my parents are going to lose their fur baby.

The vet wouldn't give a timeline as he has no way of really knowing.  He did tell my parents that he's seen cases that only lasted a couple of weeks and others that lived as long as a year.  Basically, she will stop eating and things will then go down hill from there.

I feel horrible.  While Sadie was never really, my dog, she's still part of the family.  My fur baby, Röxi, and Sadie are best friends (they're only a year apart in age).  And Sadie was the first puppy the twins got to grow with.
Not just that, my parents were dealt a devastating blow prior to getting Sadie.  Our family dog, Val, a smart and very cute boarder collie passed suddenly at the age of nine due to a brain aneurism.  We had all gone out to a sporting event and my parents came home to find her, gone.  Of course, they suffered from grief and guilt; but, there was no way of knowing that her passing was going to happen.  It took quite some time for them to be ready to get another dog, so for this to now happen, well it's just not fair.

We will miss Sadie when she's gone and I hope that she doesn't suffer too much.

 Sadie, age 3

Sadie with Röxi, wrestling

A New Winner...and Another Chance

Sadly the winner of our Let's Celebrate, Disney on Ice giveaway, didn't leave me an email address and didn't contact me to claim her prize.  But this is good news for you, since I'm now drawing another winner!


Congratulations to The Bauman family!  I will email you the details on how to claim your tickets!


SECOND CHANCE GIVEAWAY

Feld Entertainment has graciously provided me with a SECOND family of four pack of tickets to giveaway to the Hamilton, ON on March 17 at 7:00pm
Please leave your email address with each entry so I can contact you when you win.  Giveaway open to Hamilton, ON residents, or those that are willing to travel to the area.  Giveaway closes March 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm EST.

MANDATORY ENTRY
Leave me the name of one other Disney on Ice show

OPTIONAL ENTRIES
Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway (one tweet per day) - 1 entry
Follow me on Google Friend Connect - 1 entry
Like me on Facebook - 1 entry
Blog about the Giveaway, leave me the link - 3 entries
Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post - 2 entries

Disclosure:  Feld Entertaiment is providing my family and I tickets to the show in exchange for an unbiased review.