Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kijiji is Super!

So while I was doing my spring cleaning a couple of weekends ago, I decided that instead of bringing EVERYTHING to Goodwill, I would try to sell some of the more valuable stuff. Well.. I am now addicted to Kijiji!

I put up ads for a few things on both Kijiji and Craigslist, but so far most of the responses have been from Kijiji. I've made $65 by selling a TV, DVD player, belly dancing skirt, and a kitchen appliance thingy. Both the TV and DVD player have been sitting unused for three years so it was time to get rid of them! I have a few ads still up for wedding stuff and I look forward to checking my email every day because lots of people reply! It's a serious addiction!

It's not even so much about making money. I just enjoy making people happy! When you give stuff to Goodwill, it's gone and you don't ever find out who ends up with it! This is different. For example, I sold the perfectly good TV for $15 to a young girl who was desperate for a TV. She was so excited! I also sold the kitchen appliance thingy to a university student who thought it was the most amazing invention in the universe! He was jumping for joy practically!

If I knew someone who needed or wanted my old "junk" I'd just give it away. That gives me warm fuzzies too! Don't they say that one person's junk is another person's treasure? So, here is what's left on my list of things to get rid of: Love Actually (dvd) in fullscreen, 300 pink silk rose petals, and 16 containers of wedding bubbles. Random, yes. Any takers? And no, dad, this offer does not extend to you!

Take me, please!

Busy, Busy

Work is busy right now. I'm exhausted!

This year I'm part of an arts committee that organizes a week long event where classes put on performances for each other. After months of scheduling and organizing, the festival is finally happening this week. I taught the Grade 1-3's a couple of songs to perform so we've been rehearsing them over the last month. We performed today, and we're also going back tomorrow because another school dropped out and we had to fill in the spaces. The committee members also MC the performances and today was my day to do that. So between MCing and conducting the choir, I was running around like a crazy woman!

My school is also putting on a musical next week, so we've been having entire school rehearsals almost everyday lately. I work with the cast every lunch hour as well, so I haven't had a lunch to myself in quite a while!

Put this together with job postings coming out last week and preparing for interviews, and I'm ready for June 26th to be here now!

It is so worth it. It's very rewarding to see the work you've done over many months come together in the end to make a beautiful thing. The kids are amazing, really. When I hear all the kids in the entire school singing the songs I've (and many other teachers) worked hard to teach them.. it's really, really worth it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ohhhh, Danny Dichio

Today I went to my first TFC game of the season. It was fun, as usual! We have season tickets but I don't like going toooo often, so M. takes a friend to most of the games, and I go to the leftover ones. I love the view of downtown from our seats!

I like going to the games because they sing there! All game long! My favourite tune is sang during the 23rd minute and goes like this: "Ohhhhh, Danny Dichioooooooo, Dichio, Dichio, Danny Dichiooooooooo." Repeat.

It's fun if you know the words to the songs, and I pretty much do. I did hear a new one tonight that I thought was about "passports" but it was really about "fat bastards". Close enough?!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bestie!

Happy birthday to my beautiful bff, M.T.
You are the best of the best!

I love you, love you, love you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today I started and finished this book.
I am awesome! Or I just have no life?

What can I say, I love Jon and Kate. It wasn't half bad, either! A solid 3/5. This is my fourth non-fiction book this year. I've almost reached my 36 in 365 goal. Only one more to go, and it's going to be a good one. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ponytail Tales

Today marked the first day of track and field at school. I help with long distance running and run with the kids before school, twice a week. Kinda ironic, since I am a pretty terrible runner and have not run for the last 6 months. Anyway, we started practicing today, which means I wore my hair in a ponytail.

I guess this is the first time since September that I've worn a ponytail because the kids went crazy over it! Who would have guessed! They loved it! At least 15 kids mentioned how "beautiful" I looked. Now this is ridiculous because my hair in a ponytail is not attractive - it's not quite long enough so the back constantly falls out. Also, my elastics are not the right size, so it's always either too loose or too tight.

Here's a cute picture! Oh la la!

After M took this picture for me, he asked if he could use a razor to cut off those wispy bits! Should I let him?!?

Kids are cute. Sometimes. But only when they boost my ego.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What a Rip Off

Before going to Thailand last summer M. and I had to get a few vaccines and some malaria pills.

I went to a travel clinic near where I work and it ended up costing me $160 in total - a $50 consultation fee plus $110 for medication. M went to a walk-in clinic downtown where there was no consultation fee but they upped the prices a little. I think in the end all of the medication was covered by our plans, except for my consultation fee. Okay, fine.

Today I had to go back to the travel clinic to get my second dose of the Hep A vaccine, which ended up costing me $45 for the shot, plus a $20 consultation fee. I don't know what I was consulted on, considering I was in the office for about 2 minutes and knew exactly what I was there for.

When I was making my appointment on the phone, the receptionist reminded me to bring cash, so I ended up giving $80 for my $65 bill. She told me she had no change, which I thought was odd for a place that asks for cash. Then she asked me if I was in a rush to head home, because it might take her 15 minutes to find change - so I said yes, I am in a huge rush. Then she asked me to pay with debit. As I looked at the debit card sitting in my wallet, I said, oops, I must have forgotten it at home. Then she suggested I go downstairs to a store to get change. I think I must have given her a dirty look because she went into her own wallet to get me change.

Don't ask me to bring cash if
1) You don't have change, and
2) You have a debit machine.

Ha, now you know my true colours! And ow, my arm is tender!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Attempt #2

I will not surrender to the plant gods! If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again? Probably, with my luck! But at least I will try! This time I planted seeds instead of getting an already grown plant. It's basil! Mmm, I hope this works out!

Spring Cleaning Makes Me Happy

I spent a lot of time this weekend CLEANING! Who would have thunk it, me, cleaning? I guess when the mood strikes, embrace it!

And oooh, it felt good! I love getting rid of old junk and organizing things. I am definitely not my father's daughter in that way. My dear dad loves keeping everything.

I spent a lot of time cleaning our den because that's where most of the leftover crap with no real home ends up. I went through our file folders, cleaned them out, and filed or shred everything that has been stacking up for the last few months.

I took all of our cd's out of their plastic cases and alphabetized them. Right now they're sitting in shoe boxes until I can find a good booklet to put them into. The stands were just taking up too much room. I also cleaned up our big bookshelf and alphabetized our movies, which let me to realize that my husband has a severe movie obsession!

Mid-way through the process. This took me a good 2.5 hours to finish!

I went through all of our closets, cupboards, and shelves and got rid of pretty much everything we don't use. How's that for some catharsis? I feel free!

Now I just need to load up the car and head to Goodwill!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Have a Nice Chagrin?

I am currently reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series). I started it at the beginning of April and am still only 100 pages into it. That's unheard of for me! It's just not that spectacular. I find myself daydreaming through a lot of it, actually.

There are lots of other books I'd like to start, but I know if I put The Host down it'll be a long time before I pick it back up. Then I'd have to re-read what I've already read, etc, etc. How long do you wait to give a book a chance? I am definitely not afraid of stopping a book mid-way through, because what's the point, if you're not enjoying it?

Anyway, back to the real point of this post. As I was reading last night before bed, I came to this sentence: "The chagrin in her tone was not because I was upset, but because she did not like being wrong."

Oh no she didn't!

Stephanie Meyer LOVES the work chagrin. In her Twilight books, she uses it all the time. It was especially bad when I was reading the book aloud to M - you're much more conscious of words when you have to read each one out loud. Every time I came to that word, it was so funny, because really, who says that on a regular basis? I didn't even really know what it meant until I looked it up! Thank you dictionary.com!

And thank you, Stephenie Meyer, for increasing my vocabulary, but please, stop using that word so much! Thanks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What To Do About Martina?

Every time I go home I think about poor Martina. She's hanging in the basement - alone and dirty.

I knew Martina was the one because well, I liked her right away and this is silly, but, she fit into the family well. You see, Marnie.. Marina.. Martina! Perfect!

I love Martina, but I just don't know what to do with her now. I don't think I'm ready to part with her yet. Maybe in a couple of years, but for now, thinking of giving her away just kills me!

I really wanted to do a trash the dress shoot, but isn't it a little weird waiting so long now? I don't want to clean her because what if that type of opportunity magically arises - I'd have to clean her again and that's expensive.

So I guess there she'll hang, until I can either say goodbye or come up with another brilliant idea.

She's so shiny and beautiful. What to do, what to do?

Happy Easter!

I had a fantastic Easter weekend. It was just what I needed. Last week I hated kids and was ready to strangle someone. So, a four day weekend could not have come at a better time!

I feel much better after spending time with family and friends, and just relaxing. Here's what I was up to:

On Friday morning I got up early to see the little rugrats. They jumped into my parents' fancy bathtub and stayed there for almost an hour, playing with the lights and jets.

I helped them make some cookies while we waited for the rest of the family to come over.

Then we all decorated Easter eggs, played outside, and had a fish fry for Good Friday.

More bathing followed, then everyone went home and it was peaceful again!

On Sunday I went over to the States to celebrate Easter with my bff, M.T. and her family. I love that crew.

This guy is adorable. Look at that curly hair! He is so beautiful!

M.T. is amazing and worked her butt off, cookin' up a storm! It was so delicious, one of the best holiday meals ever to enter my mouth. I found out I love turnips a lot!

After that I went to my Grannie's house to visit for a bit before heading back to Toronto.

Somewhere else in there I managed to watch Marley and Me, eat steak and drink wine, go to Church twice, have a soup extravaganza, and fill up 3 photo albums for my mom!

I also realized that this weekend involved being around a lot of kids, but it's different when you actually like them.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My dear husband is a crazy dreamer. Especially when he has an exam coming up, which he does in a few weeks. Whenever I'm woken up by a huge bounce in the bed, I know something is up...

Often he wakes up trying to escape the "bug" that is near his face, but sometimes he has no idea what is going on.

For example, last night I woke up to a huge crash. I looked around (to make sure I wasn't about to be attacked, but that's a whole other story) and couldn't see M anywhere. I thought he fell off the bed. Then I heard some moaning and there he was, hanging off the end of the bed. I have no idea how he gets into these crazy positions because he seems to happen in one big leap. He stayed there hanging off the end of the bed for a good ten minutes, I guess because he was in pain after hitting the bed frame?

I just asked him if he remembered what happened.. and he said, "Oh, that must be why my leg hurts."

Ha ha ha. It kills me every time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sun, Please Come Back Out

Why must you tease us, Mother Nature? When I grow up, I'm moving somewhere with a summer that lasts more than 2 months, I promise.

On dreary days like today, I dream of sitting on the patio at the Bier Markt or Beer Bistro and drinking an ice cold Früli. Ahhhh. After M is finished writing his exam in May, I am dragging him out on the first nice patio day to fulfil my lifelong dreams.

Früli and I enjoy each other's company. A lot.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend Recap

Here is my Sunday in pictures! For some reason it involves a lot of food?!

The sun was shining and I was a lazy bum yesterday, so I decided I needed to get out of the condo! I googled a walking tour of the Yorkville area and went on my way!

Yorkville is cute but yuppie-ish! Many of the back streets are nice and quiet with pathways through cafes and EXPENSIVE shops! Now I know where all of the lap dogs in the city live - I've never seen so many in one area before. I kept hoping I'd see a celebrity, but no such luck!

There are so many places in Toronto I've never been to. The little park area shown below is right off Bloor Street, called Philosopher's Walk. I'm sure I've passed by it many times, but never noticed. That's one thing I like about Toronto - you can be in the heart of downtown, turn onto a street, then be in total peace and quiet.

The walking tour took me through some of the U of T campus, which is so pretty, then through Queen's Park, shown below. I think I walked for about 3 hours in total, it was lovely!

You know it's spring when all of the hot dog vendors are out in full force!

When I got home I was parched, so I picked up some bubble tea for me and the husband. I got my usual, honeydew with grape jellies, and M got kiwi with apple jellies.

I made some healthy banana bread, which I'll use for quick breakfasts and snacks. M even ate a slice and didn't gag!

I am trying to do some spring cleaning of my cupboards to use up things that have been sitting around for a long time. We made crab rolls for dinner! Yes, "we", can you believe it?

Next, I experimented with making shrimp dumplings. Yes, I bloody well made these! I am shocked that they actually turned out well! I steamed a few to take in my lunch tomorrow, and had to taste one, of course, but froze the rest for easy dinners.

Here is part of the process so you believe me! I did NOT make the wrappers though, that is too hardcore.

And there you have it, that's what I was up to today!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Dreaded Surplus

I haven't been writing a lot lately for a couple of reasons:
1) I don't have anything interesting to say.
2) I am annoyed and busy with work.

April is the month where you find out what grade you'll be teaching in September, or in my case, which school I will have to move to.

First, I must say I am lucky to have a job because the outlook for teachers right now is not the best. They are even talking about a possible board surplus this year, which means some teachers in my board could be laid off. So, yes, I know I am fortunate to at least have a full time contract, but this time of the year is plain stressful.

Over the last 4 years of being a teacher I have worked in 7 schools. I have never taught the same grade - although it is kinda fun to be able say that I have taught every grade from JK-6 plus Special Ed, ESL, and Music. I am also quite certain that I will be surplus again this year and will have to find a new school for next year.

Let me tell you, this process of finding a new job is not easy. I have heard there are usually between 100-200 applications for each job posting, and they only interview 5 people for each. Trying to find a grade, job, and location you like - and actually being offered the job - is nearly impossible.

So yes, this is what I have to look forward to in the next month. Okay, I'll stop complaining now. Thanks for listening.

In happier news, I've put together some mean lookin bulletin boards, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Tattoo

I had been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while. Deciding what I wanted was the hardest part. So, I kept thinking and thinking, for a good couple of years, then one day I magically knew! I went into Waycool, a highly regarded tattoo shop in Toronto, and booked an appointment for a few days later. It was all so fast, I thought I'd have at least a few weeks to work up the courage!

I had found an image of a cherry blossom tattoo on the deviant art website, printed it off, and brought it in with me. I was picturing the tattoo would be 3 inches, so I was quite surprised when I went in for my appointment and saw that the artist had drawn it to be around 7 inches long! I thought, what the heck, go big or go home!

This was day one. You can sort of see the scabs starting.

So away we went, but had to stop after 5 minutes because my body had gotten so clammy. I think I was in shock because I don't remember a lot from the beginning. The artist kept telling me to breathe, so that's what I focused on for the hour and a half that it took. By the end I pretty much wanted to die.

The next day someone at work asked to see it to make sure I could still get an epidural if I ever needed one! So don't worry, it's more on the upper lower back, if that makes any sense. No "tramp stamp" for me!

I don't think I'll ever get another tattoo. Mostly because of the pain, but also because I don't have a spot to put one. I don't want one in a spot that is noticeable, so that really doesn't leave a lot of places.

I love my tattoo and don't think I'll ever regret it. And of course it has a special meaning. I often forget it's even there, but when I do get a glimpse of it, it's like a sweet little surprise every time!

M on the other hand, is way past addicted.

You know you're hardcore when you can study while getting tattooed!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Today I was trying to explain what April Fool's Day means to the ESL kids. After talking about it, I asked them to come up with a joke or prank. I actually wrote some of their answers down so I could remember them, because I was rolling on the floor laughing.

Picture these quotes being said with a lot of excitement and broken English.

"Warning! The chair wants to eat you."

"Watch out, there's a mucas spider behind you. It's going to kill you, don't turn around."

"The closet is dangerous, don't go in it."

... and my favourite...

"Don't look back - you're husband is eating blood."

Hmmm.... I don't think they quite understood...