Category: Saturdays

I Moved My Cheese

It may not look very different to you, but behind the scenes there have been a lot of changes taking place here at Tempered with Kindness.

So far 2015 is shaping up to be a year filled with changes.

Change is bad.

Wait. I’ve said too much.

I know change is good. I know. I do. Honestly, I do.

But.

Change is difficult. Can you give me that at least?

Challenging.

There. Is that better?

I declare 2015 the year* of challenges and changes.

I will be challenging myself, personally, to grow and learn and change for the better.

I will be challenging myself, professionally, to grow and learn and change for the better.

I have goals – both personal and professional – and I intend to reach them.

I will be sharing more about these things in the weeks and months to come and hopefully you will begin to notice and like the changes you see as they become more apparent.

I hope you will stick with me and maybe even share my little blog with friends who have no clue of its existence and maybe one day if I am really lucky I will be able to stop making my “tens of readers” joke and have a more substantial readership.

Granted, for a blogger with tens of readers, I happen to think I have the absolute best tens of readers a blogger could have.

No. Strike that.

I know I have the absolute best tens of readers.

Thank you for that. I appreciate it so much that you take time out of your day to pop into Tempered with Kindness to see what’s new in cake, see what the Things are up to, check out our latest Taco Tuesday adventure or see where I am in my personal journey to healthy and happy.

It really means a lot.

Somedays it means everything.

I have made some really great friends through my life online. If you know me – in real life – you know that I am very much a wysiwyg kind of person. I like that about me. I strive to keep my wysiwyg self as a blogger too.

My focus here at Tempered with Kindness is to shine a light on the positives in the everyday.

This doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge or experience the negatives in the everyday.

I do. Of course I do! I am human. Real flesh and bone.

News of the world can overwhelm me to the point of a heart gripping terror in the middle of the night. The things we do to each other as humans seem to have reached a pinnacle of awfulness and yet, I know, as bad as it has become, we are capable of so much worse.

I vow to never make it worse.

A person can only absorb so much.

I am sensitive and I’d like to stay that way.

So …

I make a choice.

In the coming weeks and months I hope to continue creating something special.

Something worthy of your time and energy.

Something positive and happy-making.

Something good.

Kindness is such a simple concept.

It’s time to make it mainstream.

So, are you with me?

I can’t make any promises, but I can guarantee you this, if you stick with me, you will have made at least one Pollyanna the happiest Pollyanna on the planet.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

You will never know how much it means to me, but if we ever meet out on the real world and I get a chance to give you a big squeezy hug, you might get an indication.

Now, I must go and talk myself into attending my first opportunity for growth, learning, and change of the new year. Tomorrow is Podcamp Halifax and though I have had my ticket since the day – nay, the minute – they were made available, I am feeling terribly, ummm … well …  chicken *buk buk* … about actually going.

Time to dig deep and drum up some of those “Peady Powers” to use on myself. I probably should do that more often, too.

Yeesh! So many ways to learn, grow and change.

How is 2015 going, so far, for you?

Have you committed to anything major that is making you feel a bit stressed out? Are you going to do it anyway?

 

 

 

*I swear to Jobs that “year” typo-ed “tear”. Mmm hmm. Oh yeah, I’m perfectly fine with change. Suuuure I am.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Today might be a three post kind of day because I have so many drafts, that I am starting to get anxious about it.

Anxiety at Christmas? You don’t say!

Hah!

Who doesn’t have a little extra anxiety during the holidays? I don’t think I know a single person, actually.

However, I have vowed to not be that stressed out Mummy. No way. It’s no fun to be told Christmas is nothing but stress. Or worse, to think it. Especially when you have little eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you do and say. It’s simply not true, anyway.

Christmas is a wonderful season of perpetual hope, and if there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet* it’s that hope floats. It’s always there and you have to hone your hope holding skills throughout your life, because it’s short. Really, really short. Even when it seems long.

Christmas is what you make it. You can make it all about stuff and spending and stress. Sure! Go right ahead. Seriously, fill your boots, but don’t blame your getting caught up in the commercialism on Christmas. Nope. Christmas didn’t make you do that. Santa didn’t point to the most expensive, elaborate, electronics and say, “By the powers of Comet’s Candy Cane, I command you to buy that!”. Not a chance.

Christmas is simple.

Humans make it complicated.

You have to be human, but you don’t have to be pressured into a holiday that stresses you out.

Cool your jets.

Take a breath.

Remember the wonder.

Breathe in the aromas.

Think back to a time when you believed in the magic.

Embrace the simplicity of an old fashioned Christmas, whatever that means to you.

Know that you are not alone.

Everyone is stressin’ a bit.

No one has *everything* done.

Martha Stewart has a team!

We just have each other.

Smile and know that even when people around you seem to have everything under control, there’s always an element of mystery in how the heck things get done.

For instance, we here at Chez Peady have been having the soggiest December I can ever recall and we have also been fighting a wicked cold, so we are very admittedly behind our typical December schedule. All the things that have not yet been done, were put on the back burner while the things that had to be done got done. School concerts, finding the lost trumpet, trumpet practice, finding the right shoes, making sure everyone was where they needed to be on time, getting a bit of shopping done, making sure I talked to my mother as often as possible, getting to a few charity eventseven one in my Jammies – these all took precedent over making sure the ornaments were in the perfect place.

It’s life and it’s messy.

Look!

 

Am I freaking out? Nope. Why should I? Why should I waste a single drop of my precious energy freaking out when it will get done, with or without a grown-up tinsel tantrum?

It always has. I have yet to miss a Christmas. *wink*

So, my best advice to you, as Christmas is festively, twinkling up on us, is to take a deep breath and embrace the merriment.

 

Don’t forget to take care of your own needs, too. You matter! We need you to be at your best**, of course.

This morning I went to Zumba – just so you know I really am practicing what I preach – and I almost jumped for joy when I heard this pop up in the middle of class.

Yes, we did a Hula this morning to Mele Kalikimaka***. It was so fun! Could my Zumba instructor be any cooler?

 

So, tell me, what stage of preparedness are you in for the upcoming Holidays?

Are you about ready to be Dasher and flee the scene?

Are you happily a Prancer ready to take on the task and dance your way through your cookie exchange?

Are you feeling Grinch-like and wondering what the heck is the big deal anyway?

Has your inner Ebenezer reared his Scrooge-y grumpiness?

What is your best advice for having a yule that’s cool?

Leave a comment and share your best tips for avoiding tinsel tantrums.

 

 

*No, I have never lived on another planet. Though there was that time last winter when it felt like we lived on Hoth.

**But we even like you when you are at your worst.

***Mele Kalikimaka**** has been a month-long mind-worm. Go ahead and ask my chicas! Ukuleles at Christmastime? Oh YES!

****Then there’s this, which I saw on Saturday, but wasn’t blogged out until today, hence the edit! COME ON!! This is hulu-arious! (Day #8) Zucchini is the sweetest doggie!

Moderation Contemplation

Everything in moderation, including moderation. ~Oscar Wilde

 

Saturdays are pretty casual at Chez Peady, but we have a few things we tend to do on any given Saturday when we are in town.

I have a regular Saturday morning Zumba class, which I would never (ever, ever, EVAR) miss, unless I was physically not present. I missed last weekend because I was away celebrating a very important birthday and though I missed baltering with my bestie, I am so glad I was able to be present to present the presents.*

The Things are not currently enrolled in any extracurricular activities on Saturdays, so they tend to have a fairly relaxing morning. They might read or have a bit of TV or CPU time for a little while and, after a while, typically the topic of cleaning will be brought up by Daddy-O and they vanish like, well – like clean in a kids room!

There are a million great reasons to tidy a Thing room. In that there are a million things that need to be picked up off that darn floor and put away, donated or tossed.

And yet, today just didn’t seem like the right day to push it.

Thing 2, clearly got wind of a forthcoming fumigation because she decided to sleep in. It was an avoidance tactic, obviously, but I know my kiddos and it was also a clear sign that she was feeling stressed about stuff. It’s funny, you know, stuff can really bog a person down. Even a teeny Thing-like person.

They are always so relieved and relaxed once the annual pre-Christmas purge happens, but there’s no need in stressing them to the max in order to create calm. It sort of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

Thing 1, was happy to hang out with Daddy-O and play some computer games while I went off to Zumba (which was awesome, by the way) to dance away my stresses. He has an interesting set of avoidance skills, himself, mind you. He can organize his books for hours, but the closet floor will remain carpeted with a week’s worth of clothes. It’s enough to make a mother consider a rather pricey investment in that caution tape the police use to keep people away from crime scenes.

No. Today was a day of doing as little as possible and doing it with enthusiasm.

 

Usually, Saturday’s lunch is left over pizza from Friday Family Fun Night, but last night’s was so yummy the Things ate the whole pie! It was a simple Pepperoni & Cheese pizza and they were hungry Things! So, leftover pizza was out.

It seemed the kind of day that a fun lunch was in order, so we came up with the following meal. Brace yourself. No really. I mean it. Go eat some kale and have some cucumber water to prepare yourself for the forthcoming information.

This is a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Nutella sandwich – on WHITE bread!

*faints*

With BBQ chiptonite on the side.

*dies*

The Things were thrilled.

 

 

I didn’t even know there was white bread in the kitchen. I never buy it. I suspect it was purchased by mistake. But seriously, if you were a kid who typically eats lots and lots of healthy meals (especially on school days, by the way, because it really is important) wouldn’t this make you happy?

BB looks like she might be saying, “Awe you sewious, wady?!”* (BB photobombs are the bomb, no?)

So, I guess what I am saying is …

 

Well, mostly.

 

 

 

 

*Is it any wonder ESL students get confused?

**This is the way BB has started speaking. We have no idea why she started speaking, at all, actually, but the voice – hoo boy. The Things do a voice and well, this is what she sounds like. It’s “adowabow” and extremely irritating at once. BB often gets up to shenanigans at Chez Peady, but her breakfast capers are what drive the parents the absolute most bananas on any given day. Especially if BB speaks prior to the coffee pot *beep*.

 

 

Sourse: http://www.rick-miller.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/everything-in-moderation.jpg

Source: http://lisas-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/moderation-garfield.gif

 

Panda Hugs and Electric Cars or Why I Love WWF Canada

I love charities.

I am a fan of fundraising.

I have this cockamamie dream that one day I’ll reach the pinnacle of my career as a volunteer and become a philanthropist extraordinaire and spend the remainder of my days making people’s lives better.

It’s a lofty goal. I admit it.

Oh, but what a great story that would be.

I’ll keep dreaming and doing my part to make the world a better place one little act of kindness at a time.

 

In the meantime I am so glad there are organizations like WWF Canada making steps towards reversing climate change and keeping our planet, our one true home, safe, so that my children (and yours!) will have a home for a very, very, very long time.

Clearly, I am a fan. Yes, of the planet, of course, but also of WWF Canada. I’ve written about it here before. I’ve also written about it there.

 

On Monday, I received the latest “Panda Mail” from WWF Canada and one of the featured pieces was called “First Dates with David Miller”. This is a three part video series wherein Canadian celebrities go on a first date with former Mayor of Toronto and current WWF Canada President & CEO David Miller and chat while riding around Toronto in an EV (Electric Vehicle).

You could go ahead and let your imaginations run wild, but I think it would be best if you checked out the silliness for yourself.

But I will share one.

Enjoy!

Yes, that is Kid In The Hall, Mark McKinney.

I wonder if he tried to crush David Miller’s head.

 

So that was fun, wasn’t it?

I thought so.

But…

Now I can’t get this out of my head!

 

How *can* you deny an electric car?

 

Cover me!

This has been a busy, fun, very musical week.

It all started on Monday when Kim at Co-Pilot Mom made a shocking and entirely awesome string of confessions and then it just got better and more musical from there.

On Friday my friend Rebecca (“Bitsy” to her best tweeps) at A Little Bit of Momsense updated her “Current Song Obsession” and it made my day.

I thought it would be fun for me to follow suit and share a few of the songs that I just can’t stop playing.

 

I seem to be all about the covers lately.

The first one is a cover of “When Doves Cry” by Prince. I know. I know. Risky territory. And yet somehow this works.

Here is The Be Good Tanyas with their version.

 

I’ve written before about my love of Walk Off The Earth and everyone knows about their Gotye cover, but have you heard this?

They are amazing musicians! The video is just too cute! They have a great YouTube channel and I think everyone should check it out.

 

Here’s another song that we seem to always enjoy, no matter who is performing it.

Pentatonix! Who knew?!

 

On Saturday I had grand plans to attend a Christmas Craft Show, but it just was not in the cards.

You know what was in the cards? More music!

Thing 1 plays trumpet in his school band. His trumpet is in desperate need of a cleaning and we needed a new cleaning kit. So, with the clock ticking*, I rounded up my little family and we hit the road and high-tailed it to our local music store for a kit and, as luck would have it, a trumpet stand. (Musical instruments in cases are not happy, played musical instruments. As my big brother would say, “Are you a trumpet player or a trumpet owner?” Note the difference.**) With the stand he will be able to see his trumpet more often and hopefully play it more often, too.

After our musical victory with all things trumpet, we felt we deserved a little treat, so we went to a 50’s diner and had dinner.***

Do you know what any 50s diner worth its salt has? A Jukebox!

Do you know what any mother worth her salt always has when she goes to a 50s diner? Quarters!

Do you know what this all leads to? More music!

 

After dinner we came home to play a board game, but since I had a NaBloPoMo post to write I asked for a bit of time first. The Things kindly obliged and I came to my desktop to write, but something was missing. I needed some music.****

So, I fired up Songza and found not one, but two new favourite channels – “Disney’s Best Sing-Alongs” and “Singin’ in the Rain”.

 

So, would you agree that it was a very musical week?

Are you a fan of music? Do you sing?

What kind of music is your favourite?

What is *your* current music obsession?

 

 

 

 

*The music store closes at 5 on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays. Time was of the essence! We arrived at 4:54. Whew!

**Note the difference!

***Because *sings* Dinner in the diner.. nothing could be finer.. than to have your ham and eggs in Carolina!

****I may have a problem. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really!

S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. (Silliness And Things. U R Dancing Again Yay!) (Hoo Boy!)

 

I bet you didn’t expect that?

I just did some serious chair dancing while I previewed the video. I know the quality is low, but the nostalgia-metre is extremely high! So …

It’s late! I must post this before midnight.

 

Today was a fabulous day.

I went to Zumba this morning with my NS BFF and I am *so* happy because not only have we found a new and brilliant instructor, but the location is terrific, too!

If you have ever been to a great Zumba class, the chair dancing needs no explanation.

If you have *never* been to a great Zumba class, I am sad for you.

You should totally go! Seriously. I mean it. Go sign up right now for a Zumba class.

(Oops! Heh heh! Sorry. I’m all enthusiastic and a little bit bossy because I have endorphins coursing through my veins. They are probably not just coursing, I’m willing to bet they are dancing. Just picture all those happy little mood enhancers doing a Salsa all the way to my brain. It’s pure joy, I tells ya!)

Back to the chair dancing. I am chair dancing because at the moment the rest of my body is jelly! I am sure I used new muscles today. Not just dormant ones, but brand new, never-been-used-ever, muscles.

And that is the glory of Zumba.

You really get out of the class what you put into it and when you have a great – enthusiastic – instructor with flawless cues, great music, and obviously easily modified “moves”, it is so much easier to work your butt off. Literally*.

 

After Zumba I immediately** jumped in my car and drove home to hop in the shower because I had a hair appointment to get to! (What?! Could this day get better?!) (Yes. Yes it could.)

My hair turned out great. I love it! I was way overdue for a cut (as one does) and I knew I needed a change and a lot less hair and because my stylist is actually an artist (magician?) I really didn’t have to say much. She had free reign***. That’s trust.

 

Later, I survived being trapped in the busiest <insert name of major brand name retailer> I have ever seen. I tried to convince myself that it was just the grocery section and went about my business, but no, it was in fact insane. I thought I would never get out! Every cash was open and operating and there was a long line at each one. I had four measly items, three of which were the same,so technically I had two measly items and yet it took me nearly 30 minutes to get checked out.

I had an over the shoulder tweet creeper**** behind me, to boot! *shudders*

 

By the time I actually got to my door, I was feeling pretty pooped.

Then I walked though the door and was greeted by this!

 

Yup. Today was a fabulous day.

 

 

 

*Well, in all hopes, literally.

**After chatting with my NS BFF and our super new Zumba instructor and her BFF who was in the class because BFFs do these things. BFFs are the best, no?

***And now I have highlights! Whee!

****Just stop that.