Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Catching Up

You know when you spend a significant amount of time writing and rewriting a post, only to have it disappear into cyber space?  Yeah, that's happened twice in a week and a half.
My "Monday Musings" post from last week never appeared.  I hit "publish" and, poof, it's gone.  I can't locate it in my post archives and it certainly didn't publish.  I also know I didn't delete it as there's a confirm step before doing so, unlike the publish function which is a one-click function.

So this post will be a little bit of everything thrown together; I hope you don't mind.

Last week, I wanted to share how much fun I had at a Tocara party.  It seems in-home parties are making a come back; as I've certainly witnessed with my own Stampin' Up! business.  But somehow, I had never heard of Tocara; and, that's probably a good thing!  Tocara is jewelry.  Beautiful sterling silver and stainless steel jewelry.  Their line includes necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, rings and more!  I managed to only purchase an anklet while at the party; but, I came out with a booking to host my own party in January 2013!  I'm really excited too!  Just for booking, I'm going to get $75 in FREE jewelry.  The difficult part will be deciding what to get!

Saturday, the 20th, I took my Guides and Pathfinders to sell Girl Guide Cookies; which, I still have lots of by the way!  It was a cold and wet day.  We ended up with 9 of our 12 girls coming out and managed to sell ten (10) cases; not bad in the rain!  It must have been the, very faint, rainbow that appeared on the horizon.

After we wrapped up cookie sales, I headed home to warm up and grab some lunch before taking the kids to meet their new cousin!  I had the opportunity to meet my niece earlier in the week; but the kids were super excited to get to meet her.  

My parents, whom had been babysitting the kids while I was selling cookies with the Guides and Pathfinders, also came with us.  We loaded up the van with dinner supplies for our meal that night as well as several freezer options for the coming weeks.  

To say the kids are enthralled with their new cousin would be an understatement.  Here is Pretty snuggling baby I.

To end our already crazy weekend, I woke up Sunday morning with a head cold.  My sinuses were so blocked that I felt like my head my explode from the pressure.  Thankfully, it didn't seem to last long as I was feeling much better by Tuesday evening.

Luckily, our week was relatively quiet and I was able to shake the remnants of the cold and it seems like most of the kids have escaped whatever bug I might have shared.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Farewell, Friend

It's never easy to say goodbye to a pet. It's especially difficult when you are seven (7) and your first pet, one that is solely your responsibility, dies.

Snowball was Pretty's hamster. She asked Santa for it last year and Santa complied, sort of. You see Santa, in all his wisdom, brought a cage, food, bedding, accessories and a note. Not a hamster. The note explained that it was far too cold at the North Pole for such a small animal and it would have gotten squished on his sleigh. Instead, he brought her everything she needed and gave her $20 with instructions to tell mom & dad to take her out on Boxing Day to pick out her new friend. And that's exactly what we did.

We made sure to get the youngest hamsters available, as they do have short life-spans. We talked about proper handling and training of the hamster to make it a good and friendly pet. Pretty was ready to accept the challenge.

Sadly, last night as Pretty was getting ready for bed, she realized Snowball was missing. This wasn't uncommon for Snowball as she had escaped two previous times. I went to check the cage and begin the search when I found her in the corner of the cage, slightly buried in the bedding. I instantly knew she was gone; and I'm fairly certain Pretty saw her but went into shock and denial, hence the Snowball's missing call of panic.

I calmly took Pretty aside and told her how very sorry I was; but, Snowball was gone. Cue horrific sobbing now. Pretty was a mess. She was beside herself and wanted to know how it happened, why it happened and then "she's not dead, she's just sleeping".  When I managed to convince her that she wasn't just sleeping, I left her to grieve while I got the other two kids to bed.  Then I went back and we talked some more about death and how sometimes, even pets that are young, can have problems and die.  I explained that just because Snowball didn't look or act sick, that she didn't have something going on inside of her we couldn't see.

Pretty then did something that surprised me and made me realize how much she is growing.  She went and got the hamster care books and began reading to find out what she did wrong and what she can do to make sure her replacement hamster, "when my heart stops hurting", won't suffer from the same fate so soon.  I tried to comfort her by saying she didn't do anything wrong; but, if she wanted to brush up on her hamster care, I was okay with that.

She silently cried herself to sleep and this morning is in somewhat better spirits.  Snowball has been stored on ice until Mr. Twingle can be home for a funeral tomorrow.  Pretty wrote a letter to Snowball this morning that we will bury with her; and she's already decided her next hamster will be named Oreo because she wants it to be a sable banded teddy bear hamster.

Farewell, Snowball.  You will be missed.

"December 26, 2011" to October 17, 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Growing Up

My baby girl is three today.  Yep, three.  It's such a bitter sweet milestone.  While I love to watch Pickle grow and become a sweet little girl; she's my baby.  She is the unexpected blessing who brings so much joy and laughter to our lives.  The little girl who idolizes her big sister and doesn't like boys, including Boo and Daddy; though I'm sure she says that just to get a reaction from them.

My heart bursts with love and pride everyday and I can't believe she's ours.  I love you baby girl, happy birthday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Musings

There's nothing that starts a week off worse, than a sore neck.  Saturday night, I must have slept weird as I woke yesterday and could barely get out of bed for the pain in my neck.  The whole right side of my neck and shoulder is just a giant knot of soreness.  I don't know if I pulled a muscle, pinched a nerve or both.  I just know that even the slightest movement of my head sends shooting pain down my neck and shoulder.
And the pain isn't much better today.  I have a tiny bit more mobility of my head; but, not enough to really be productive at anything.

Of course, this doesn't go over well when I have a million things to do, including laundry and mopping floors.  Sadly, I've put both tasks off for too long and the house looks like a bomb went off.  It also doesn't help that Mr. Twingle is two weeks into his new job which has him working from home.  I feel like my daily routine is under scrutiny and that makes me uncomfortable.  Not that there's anything wrong with how Pickle and I go about our day; but, I feel like if I sit down at the computer too long or watch a complete TV show that I'm failing somehow as a mom and a wife.
I know I'm just overreacting.  Having us both at home is an adjustment for everyone.  Realistically, Mr. Twingle hasn't been home more than 2 or 3 weeks at a time in the sixteen years we've been together.  There have always been periods of him travelling and the kids and I have our routine down to a science.  Having Mr. Twingle home is going to take some getting used to and there will inevitably be some growing pains along the way.

Do Your Kids Have Allergies?

Happy Halloween! Don't let this fabulous offer from Mabel's Labels scare you!

From now until 10/19, or while supplies last, Mabel's Labels is offering a $3 off coupon for Allergy Alert labels, with all Halloween Loot Bag Combo purchases. The Loot Bag Combo was inspired by celebrities who love to include the Mabel's Labels waterproof Sticky Labels and Bag Tags in their children's birthday party loot bags. These sweet combos make great party favours and add a personalized touch to gifts! Best of all, you save $3 off Allergy Alert labels. Perfect, for keeping your child safe this Halloween. Don't miss your chance to shop this great offer! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This weekend is a time for family gatherings and delicious meals.  It's also time to give thanks.

I give thanks for my wonderful family and friends, our health and the love we share.  I'm thankful for a roof over my head and food in my belly.  And I'm thankful for you, my readers.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Blessed Be.

A brief history of Thanksgiving in Canada

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!
For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving Holiday.  But then on January 31, 1957, Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed." Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October because after the World WarsRemembrance Day (November 11th) and Thanksgiving kept falling in the same week.
Another reason for Canadian Thanksgiving arriving earlier than its American counterpart is that Canada is geographically further north than the United States, causing the Canadian harvest season to arrive earlier than the American harvest season. And since Thanksgiving for Canadians is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than the arrival of pilgrims, it makes sense to celebrate the holiday in October. So what are the differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving, other than the date? Not much! Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, family gatherings, pumpkin pie and a whole lot of turkey!
*History taken from http://www.kidzworld.com/article/2614-canadian-thanksgiving

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Peptalash Review

Every woman longs for longer, fuller eyelashes.  You can deny it all you want, but, we've all bought into the variety of mascara's that claim to make your lashes longer, thicker, fuller and more.

I have been blessed with long eyelashes, but I'm always looking for that next product to make them look fuller.  I was pleased to try out peptalash by Indeed Labs.  I really thought, "what's the harm?, I've tried everything else".   

This is the press release I received to accompany peptalash:

Indeed Labs launches peptalash in Canada
Longer, thicker, darker lashes in just two weeks
Toronto, ON – An innovative eyelash serum that intensifies lashes in as little as two weeks has hit the market from Indeed Labs, creators of the internationally acclaimed Nanoblur and Snoxin. Peptalash is the first-ever combination of three clinically proven peptides that work together to promote lashes that appear longer and fuller.
These active peptides have been subjected to at least three in-vivo clinical studies. The results? Lash length was shown to increase by as much as 43 per cent, with lash diameter increasing by 40 per cent – almost three times the volume!  
We used a patent-pending peptide that naturally boosts the pigmentation process of the skin on the lash line. It stimulates the melanin production in the skin leading to a more intense and dark lash line,” said Dr. Adel Rammal, chief scientific officer at Indeed Labs.

 Long eyelashes have always been a sign of confident femininity, with women around the world using cosmetic products, medicine and treatments to augment their eyelashes for a more beautiful expression. However, many of these temporary solutions can require consistent detailed application and wear off easily. 

Peptalash makes it simple, requiring just two minutes a day for proven long-term results. Available for just a fraction of the cost of similar products on the market, there are no side effects and Peptalash is available without a prescription,” said Dia Foley, VP. Sales and Marketing at Indeed Labs. 

How to apply: In the morning and evening, apply to the base of the upper and lower eyelashes using the applicator brush. Start from the inner corner of the eye working towards the outer corner. For optimal results, shake container gently before each use. 

Peptalash ($24.99) is available across Canada exclusively at Shopper’s Drug Mart. 

About Indeed Laboratories Inc.:Indeed Labs is a Canadian skin care developer and marketer focused on delivering real results as cost-effectively as possible. Indeed believes in factual science, advanced biotechnology, uncompromised safety, clinical results and hype-free communication. Quality is a top priority, and Indeed uses high concentrations of the rarest, most effective actives from clinical laboratories in Switzerland, Spain, France and the United States to develop highly specific treatment products. For more information, please visit www.indeedlabs.com.

It sounds intriguing, doesn't it?  I received my sample and set to using it day and night as instructed.  My initial concern was that I was putting something on my eyes that I hadn't heard of before.  I had no idea if it was going to bother my eyes or if I was going to have some sort of adverse reaction.  Thankfully, none of that happened.  In fact, I hardly noticed I was putting anything on.  The product is so light, you don't even notice it, other than it's slightly cooler than body temp when you first put it on.

I didn't notice a difference right away.  Let's face it, I look at myself in the mirror every day; I'm not going to notice a subtle difference.  It wasn't until I met my mom for lunch about 10 days into using it that she wondered what new mascara I was using.  I hadn't put mascara on that day, and so I knew peptalash was making a difference.  The change is very subtle, I don't have a wealth of new glorious lashes; but, they have filled in and seem a little thicker than they were before using peptalash.  As for the length, I can't really judge that fairly as my lashes have always been long, brushing the inside of my sunglasses whenever I wear them.  They continue to do so after peptalash applications, so I can only say, that they haven't lost any length!
I would definitely say that peptalash from Indeed Labs is worth a try.  You might just find that this product does something that no mascara, at least not one I've tried, can do.

Disclosure –  I received a sample of peptalash to review. This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of Indeed Labs or Rock-it Promotions.

First Camp of the Year

This past weekend, we held our first camp [out] of the 2012-13 Guiding year!  I'm a leader with Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada, working with Guide and Pathfinder aged girls.  Our Guide unit has grown in size from last year, which is amazing!  We have 11 girls in the unit and 6 of those girls came out to camp with us.  Pathfinders has only opened this year and we have 2 amazingly enthusiastic girls.  Only 1 was able to camp this past weekend, but we made sure she didn't feel like the odd woman out.

Since we were only going for one night, one of our leaders has a HUGE backyard, and we decided to make that the location.  It was a good spot as we were close enough to home should any of the girls have overnight issues and need to go home; but we still had the joys of nature to surround us.

The girls arrive at 1pm on the Saturday and we quickly got to work setting up camp.  We have camped using the unit equipment in the past, but since we only had 3 girls, we only needed 2 tents in the past.  We took the opportunity to set up all the unit tents and find out what tents worked and were still in good shape, what tents had broken or missing pieces and what tents needed to be retired.

In the 10 tents, we managed to find 5 that were useable.  There are a couple with broken or missing poles, one has a torn zipper and others were missing the rain fly... kind of an important piece when the forecast is rain.  One of the 5 tents we used actually had a gaping hole in the tent floor, but a green garbage bag and some tuck tape patched it right up and having been the lucky person to use the tent, in the rain, I can say my handy patch work held up nicely!

Once we finally got camp set up, it only took 2 hours given we had several first time campers, we had a light snack of apples and oranges and moved into craft.  The girls scoured the grounds for leaves that had fallen and we then made fall luminaries using the leaves, empty and cleaned baby food jars, and a little white glue.  We then popped a battery operated tea light into the jar for a beautiful little lantern.  The girls, of course, then used them to create a haunted house in the tree fort later that evening.

For dinner that evening, we tried something new:  tacos in a bag!  Thank you Twitter for introducing me to this fabulous camp meal.  The girls loved it and, frankly, so did I!  So easy and delicious and very little clean up.  The girls were divided by patrol into either meal prep or meal cleanup.  The Swallow patrol was on prep and had to dice up onions, lettuce and tomatoes, and grate the cheese to top our tacos.  It's always a pleasant surprise when girls know how to wield a knife when dicing food!

 We then sat around the fire to eat our tacos and discuss some of the things that are important when camping...like Be Prepared kits, fire drill protocols and more.  Then the girls shared silly stories that had us all laughing and trying not to choke on our food.

Once dinner was done, and clean up had been completed, we settled in front of the fire to ward off the dampness and participate in the campfire our lone Pathfinder worked so hard on.  There were lots of giggles as we acted out silly stories and made goofy noises to go along with them.  Of course, a campfire wouldn't be a campfire without singing and there was lots of that.  Thank goodness Sunflower warned her neighbours we'd be there; we may have been a tad loud when singing Thunderation!

The girls were all asleep by 11pm.  This is usually unheard of at camp, and I was surprised.  I lay in my tent awake for quite a while, listening to first the raccoons chattering and then the rain.  I wasn't cold despite the rain and cool temps; but I just couldn't get to sleep.  Finally, I dozed and woke at 6:30 when my internal alarm clock when off.  I remained in my tent until I heard the girls waking at 7:30, then we got the day going.  Canary patrol was on breakfast prep for bacon, eggs and toast.  We were eating by about 9 and I gotta tell ya, a hot breakfast on a wet morning is delicious!

After clean up, we set about striking camp and somehow, we managed to get all the tents dried for storage.  We've compiled a list of things that need to be repaired or replaced before our next camp; but all in all, we had an awesome time!  I can't wait to evaluate our camp this week at our meeting and find out what the girls thought about our first overnight excursion.  The girls were already asking when our next camp will be.  We have one booked for April; but, we might just need to schedule another one in between!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Musings

October 1st!!! My favourite month has arrived!
There are just so many good things that happen this month and I can't wait to enjoy them all.

Last week was crazy, hence the lack of posts. Keeping up with the kids and their schedules while Mr. Twingle is away is never easy. But when you factor in the adjustment to the back-to-school routine, I felt like I was flailing.
I'm hoping this week is better. Today was a good day and it would be awesome if the rest of the week goes as well.
I feel like there is so much more I could write at the moment; but, my brain is fried after the weekend and I think I just need to head off to bed.
I promise a better post tomorrow when I fill you all in on my first Girl Guide camp of the season!