Monday, May 31, 2010


Moving sucks! Bear with me while I have a little pity party here.

I believe it when people say that moving is one of life's most stressful events. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with everything especially when I look at the calendar and see that tomorrow is JUNE 1st. Ahh! 30 days to get everything done. And there's only me, myself, and I to do it. I know my husband feels bad that I have to pack everything, but yeah.. that doesn't negate the fact that I do!
What sucks further is all the little details you have to think about when moving countries. All of our boxes and what's in them need to be accounted for so we can cross the border. Every account we've ever opened needs to be cancelled. New accounts need to be created. I'm sure there's a million things to do that I haven't even thought of yet.
Also what's stressing me out is finding a good job in Chicago! Sometimes I can't seriously believe I am leaving my sweet, sweet, well-paying job. I am getting the impression that teachers are not nearly as valued (not sure if this is the right word) in the States as they are in Canada.. at least this is certainly what seems to be the case when comparing pay cheques. That's even if I can find a teaching job...

So yeah.. I'm just trying to roll with the punches here. Make lemonade out of lemons. And holy crap, this last minute of the Hawks game is giving me a heart attack!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeds From Space!

As a teacher I'm always looking for interesting things to do in the classroom. I somehow found out about the Tomatosphere project and now in my class I have two sets of tomato plants growing. One set being from normal, ordinary tomato seeds and the other from seeds that were on board an International Space Station. Yes, space seeds! Here they are below, floating with Astronaut Robert Thirsk. Pretty cool, eh?
This is a blind experiment so I don't know (yet) which seeds are which, but as you can see, one set of seeds grew much better than the other.
The main reason for this experiment is to understand issues related to long-term space travel. Traveling to and from Mars could take up to three years so astronauts need to learn how they can grow food for their journey. How does the carbon dioxide that plants inevitably consume from the astronauts' breathing affect their growth?
The plants are big enough now that they are beginning to smell like tomato plants and the kids are obsessed with putting their noses right in there. Kinda funny.

So, do you think the space seeds yielded the faster or slower growing plants?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Subtitles, Please

Tonight I went to see "Cats".
Holy crap. Does this show have a story? I have no clue. I can't tell you what it was about, other than it has a lot of cats that sing and dance. Totally over my head.

Here is my problem. I cannot understand what people are saying when they sing. I can only focus on the melody, not the words. This does not bode well for a show that is done 100% in song. I need subtitles!

I still enjoyed it though, mostly because the girl who sings "Memory" was fantastic. Shivers. So good.

I think I was half nuts when I bought tickets for this show because it really isn't my type. I hate cats! But it's a classic, the ticket was cheap.. and what the heck, why not? I'm not sure if I'd recommend this show considering I can't even tell you what it's about, but if you like music, dancing, cool costumes, and crazy makeup.. then go for it!

So, have you seen "Cats"? If so, what'd ya think?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Piccolo Sogno

Last night we went out for dinner in Chicago at Piccolo Sogno, which is a nice Italian restaurant with an even nicer patio. It was really hot out last night so thank goodness there were tons of trees for shade.
When M went to this place a while ago with some friends, one of the guys proclaimed they had the best balsamic vinegar he'd ever tasted. Oooh, and it was! It was sweet and so flavourful, unlike any other balsamic vinegar I've ever tried. They import it straight from Italy.
For dinner I ordered the pappardelle with spicy meatballs. It was really yummy with these flat, wide noodles that were so fresh.
M had the gnocci, which tasted more like tortellini than a typical gnocci. Yummo!
Chicago is definitely not lacking in great food and restaurants!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Go To Breakfast

Is it just me, or do you find when you eat cold cereal or toast for breakfast, you're hungry again an hour later? One day I switched up my regular breakfast cereal with a "green monster" and my hunger was gone until lunchtime!

Since then, the green monster has become my go to breakfast! Here are the ingredients I use most often: 40g of spinach (about 2 handfuls), 1/2 cup milk, a half or whole banana, 1/4 tsp of pb, 1 scoop of protein powder, and 2 cubes of ice.
Blend it all up...
Yes, yes, blend it all up until it's creamy and there are no more little bits of spinach floating around. It should be nice and frothy!
And there you have it, breakfast of champions!

I promise, you don't taste the spinach at all (although you may have to experiment - once in the early stages my drink tasted like earth, ugh). It actually tastes like a chocolate pb banana smoothie to me. It must be okay because I've even gotten my mom to start drinking these!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#@*& My Kids Ruined

When you have a minute, check out this website: #@*& My Kids Ruined. It's laugh out loud funny. Here's a preview of what you might see, minus the amusing captions.
The worst thing I've heard about in my family is perhaps an incident with baby powder or vaseline. Have your kids ruined any of your #@*&? Do tell!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gearing Up

Here I am, it's almost 1 am on a school night, and I'm blogging instead of sleeping. That's dedication! Blogging everyday (almost) is hard!

How long does it take to pack a house when moving? Many people have asked me if I've started packing yet (no) and then look at me like I'm a crazy woman. Really? I only have two bedrooms, a den, the kitchen, two bathrooms, the living room, a storage room... okay, so maybe I do have a lot of work ahead of me. I have a month and a half to getter done! I'm going to start this week.

Here are some more pics from my quick weekend at home. Notice I call my parents' place "home". A few years ago I also started calling Toronto "home" as well, and Chicago will soon be home, but probably not "home" for a while! I need sleep.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two Worlds Collide

Today my two worlds collided when my bff came over with her son to have a play date with my nephew. I didn't technically get any pictures of them playing together but I think they both had fun! Aside from all that hair pulling, screaming, and crying ;)
Both of these little guys were pretty interested in the riding lawn mower. He doesn't look it, but my nephew was thrilled to be sitting on it! He kept asking, "Why can't I reach the pedals, Aunt Djilly? Why can't I reach the pedals?"
He even got to go for a (slow) ride with Gramps and steered the whole way.
You know it's a good day when a kid doesn't fight his nap!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blogging in the Buff

Today is officially "Bloggers Without Makeup Day" which you can read more about here! For the most part I only wear makeup when I'm going out for a hot night on the town. That's mostly because I'm lazy and don't know how to do makeup. Also, I work with kids all day and I don't think they care, although I have gotten the question, "What's wrong with your face?" a couple of times this year :)

I'd say that I'm makeup less in 90% of the pictures that I post on this blog, so you won't be in too much shock, but here's me, au natural.
I am actually very happy that I feel comfortable leaving the house sans makeup because that would take a lot of effort and time everyday! Who knows if this will change as I grow older, but for now, I am not afraid to bare all! Are you?

Even the stars are doing it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Addicted to Crystal

Have you heard about the healing powers of crystal?
Two posts about "The Hills" in one week. Pure craziness! My stomach hurts from laughing so much about Spencer's addiction to crystals. Doesn't he look insane?
Read about it here!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Indian Food Feast

Way, way, way back in February I completed my 36 in 365 goal of making a five course meal for my husband. I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, but I didn't take many pictures and the ones I did take weren't very pretty. Oh well!

Now let's see if I can remember what we had! Our courses were:
1. Pakoras with mango chutney (chutney being the only non-homemade part of the meal)
2. Mixed vegetable salad
3. Dal with naan
4. Aloo Gobi (cauliflower/potatoes), rice, and raita (yogurt sauce)
5. Strawberry rhubarb pie. I couldn't think of an Indian style dessert, so sorry.
I went all out and served the food straight from the pots! Only the best for my husband! I tried to make some things beforehand, but in total I bet I spent a good 6-7 hours cooking this meal. And it was delicious, if I do say so myself!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, What Have You Done?

Last night I caught up on the first two episodes of my guilty pleasure - The Hills. Oh yes, you know you love it. Recently, one of the main stars of the show had A LOT of plastic surgery done: breast implants, brow lift, nose job, lipo, butt augmentation, Botox, etc. etc. etc.


Here's a before shot when she was young and fab:
And now, perma surprised.
I wonder how she feels when her dad tells her she looks "frozen" and "stretched" and her own mom says she doesn't look good anymore. So sad.
And she's still not done! She wants to be even more boobalicious! Size "H" for Heidi!

How do you feel about plastic surgery? I told M jokingly (sorta?) that after I have kids I want a tummy tuck and a boob job! Ha ha, we'll see what happens when that time comes :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mumzies

I know you all think your moms are the best moms in the world, but that obviously means you haven't met my mom yet :)
She's pretty much my favourite person, my best friend, and I know I can count on her for everything and anything. Plus she is awesome with chopsticks! I love you mumzies! Thank you for everything you do! You always make me feel like your most favourite daughter.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Did You Eat Today? #2

A few of my trusty blog readers (ha!) told me they liked seeing what I eat, so here is another round of "What Did You Eat Today?" I definitely don't count my calories on a daily basis, but I am trying to pay more attention in general to what I'm putting in my body. I do find it very interesting to count once in a while though, to see if I'm on track.

Here's my breaky: Oatmeal topped with peanut butter, jam, and chia seeds. This concoction was so yummy - just like a pb and jam sandwich! I wanted to make it again for lunch! I also had cranberry juice and half a banana on the side. This breakfast was about 330 calories, 60g carbs, 9g protein, 6g fat.
For a snack I had some carrots, cucumber, and hummus. In total, about 140 calories, 20g carbs, 4g protein, 5g fat.
I was still hungry so a bit later I had more cranberry juice, cheese, and crackers. This was 250 calories, 36g carbs, 10g protein, 7g fat.
My weekend eating is always messed up and I didn't end up having lunch till 2:30pm. I realized I needed to up my protein intake and decided to make egg salad with 1 whole egg and two egg whites. I added 1 tsp of both mayo and mustard to create my egg salad. I also had a handful of grape tomatoes and pickles on the side. 215 calories, 21g carbs, 17g protein, 6g fat.
For dinner I had a turkey burger, a serving of rice crisps, guac, and peas. I threw out the turkey burger box and I have no idea what its nutritional info is, so I just estimated by searching the internet. I think the estimate is high, but oh well. This dinner is huge at 650 calories, 49g carbs, 32g protein, 31g fat.
I ended the evening with a protein shake because I needed to up my protein for the day without adding many carbs. 120 calories, 3g carbs, 23g protein, 2g fat.
Today's eating totalled about 1700 calories. Too many carbs and not enough protein. C'est la vie!

Notes about today's eating:

1) I rarely drink juices (other than pure OJ) and now I remember why. They are chock full of sugar! The 1.25 cups of cranberry juice I had today were 44g of carbs, almost all sugar. I could have eaten two big pieces of bread for the equivalent number of carbs. That juice was leftover from a party we had and thank goodness it's gone now!

2) All morning I was feeling like a bottomless pit. Then around 2:30pm I realized I hadn't had any water to drink, whereas on the weekdays I'd have had at least a litre by this time. Drink water to help fill you up if you're still feeling hungry!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Late Easter Celebration

Last weekend the fam got together for a late Easter brunch. Better late than never, right? There's so many of us now that it's really hard to get everyone together at the same time, especially with M in Chicago. Here we all are!
This is my newest nephew. So darling.
He even likes M. The other three kids are scared of M. Seriously.
He's a bit of a drooler!
Family time = fun time. I can't believe I just said that but it's true. Now I just wonder when my next niece or nephew will be on its way. Hopefully there's a bun in somebody's oven soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Holy Busy, Batman

Work for the past couple of weeks has been ridiculously busy. I feel like I've gotten nothing accomplished! For example, this week on Monday I had a workshop, Tuesday a presentation, Wednesday a dress rehearsal for our spring concert, and today I was at a conference with my boys reading club. Combine all of this with double recess each day for track and field practice, and time is disappearing! Not a bad thing, actually!

Today's conference was a really nice break from school. One of my favourite ladies and I took the boys in our reading club to a conference with other boys from all over Toronto.
Doesn't it look like we're having fun on the bouncy old bus?

We heard Barbara Reid talk about how she makes plasticine illustrations for her books (wow, wow, wow). The rapper "D.A" taught us how to freestyle (HA!), we had pizza for lunch, then watched this cool basketball trickster guy do tricks, and a sound effects guy make crazy noises. But the highlight was being *this close* to getting trampled on by screaming 8 year old boys in the mosh pit. Hilarious.

Tonight was also our spring concert and my kids did a fabulous job and thank goodness it's over because I'm sick of practicing the same songs a million times.

Time to curl up with a book and hit the hay! TGI(almost)F

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Buck's Twin?

Do we have a Buck look a like in the family, or what?

This is my niece, dressed up as Bob the Builder, or Buck, whichever you prefer!