Category: Things

My Current Mindworm {A Semi-Regular Series} : Cheap Thrills (Sia ft. Sean Paul)

sia-furler-010

Come on, come on, turn the radio on
It’s Friday night and it won’t be long
Gotta do my hair, put my make-up on
It’s Friday night and it won’t be long ’til I

Hit the dancefloor
Hit the dancefloor
I got all I need
No I ain’t got cash
I ain’t got cash
But I got you baby

Is that perfect or what? 

I cannot get enough of Sia. I have been a fan for quite some time. I didn’t discover her swinging from a chanelie-eer.. from a chandelie-eeeeer … either. 

The first time I heard Sia was when I heard this song.

That was a long time ago. Thing 2 was about 2. Itty bitty compared to now. I loved Sia’s voice instantly and then I saw the video and was in awe. A true artist in every sense of the word. That is what I felt I was seeing and hearing.

The word artist gets tossed around rather haphazardly these days, I think. Much like the words sexy and basically, it is overused. But I digress.

My point is Sia is amazing and I have been enjoying her music for years, but now my kids are totally loving her, too, and that makes me extra happy. Yay!

So, without further ado, I give you the video for the song we are loving and listening to lots lately. The song is fabulous and fun and the video is highly enjoyable. If you decide to play it, please actually sit (or stand, but definitely stay!) long enough to watch until the end. It’s worth your time. I promise. I’ve watched it at least three times while writing this (short) post, so you can imagine how many times I have watched it since it was released. 

The song is in pretty heavy radio rotation ’round here, too, and we have yet to switch stations to avoid it. A sure sign of a terrific tune! Thing 2 knows all the words and has been heard singing in the backseat of the car during road trips, during breakfast on a daily basis, and/or bursting out in full voice randomly while alone in her room. Yep. It’s a hit!      

She will love the video when I show her.

I love that it is a lyric video. That normally bugs me, but this time it is, again, highly enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed it!

So, what songs have you been singing this summer?

What’s your current mindworm?

Go ahead and share it in the comments. If you know me at all, you know I love music and if you share something new to me all the better!

I hope your Friday night has at least a little bit of dancing and maybe even a few cheap thrills.

 

 

Source: Sia’s VEVO Channel, a beautiful, artistic rabbit hole, which – and I am sure this surprises exactly zero of my readers – I highly recommend you allow yourself to fall down.

Source: The Guardian 

Birds and Fudge and Cheese and Flowers or Random Tuesday: The “Why The Heck Not!” Edition

Here is a picture of a Blue Jay.

blue_jay_glamour Cornell Lab of Ornithology all about birds jays blue jay Cyanocitta cristata

I did not take this picture because the very noisy Blue Jay that has been visiting my patio is also suuuuuper paranoid and I have yet to be able to capture his image. I found this very pretty photo here. I really enjoy birds and I absolutely love the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It is an endless source of information and they are always doing good things for birds and the environment.

Here is another picture of a Blue Jay.

Roberto Alomar blue jays baseball blue jay

Because Random Tuesday. That’s why! Roberto Alomar had his number (12) retired back in 2011. He was an excellent baseball player and as far as I can tell an upstanding gentleman. I wonder what he is up to in 2016.

2016 may be remembered (at least by some members of my family) as the Summer of Fudge. Hoo boy! We ate more fudge this summer than we did all year! This is not a good thing, but in the moment it was glorious. Here’s a peek at a wee sampling. We bought these two at the Anne of Green Gables Chocolates inside Avonlea Village in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. If you head into Charlottetown, PEI, you can watch them making some of the confections through big windows from inside the shop. (Then you’ll very likely need to purchase some “COW Chips”. Consider this fair warning.)

Brown Sugar Fudge ann of green gables chocolates PEI chocolate fudge anne of green gables chocolates PEI

We also had fudge purchased at the PEI Preserve Company. I think it was made by the New Glasgow Candy Company (though there’s no remaining evidence to serve as proof) and the flavour was Turtle Delight. As you can imagine it was – wait for it – delightful.

How do you feel about cheese curds? I mean real, honest-to-goodness, full fat, squeaky, cheese curds. They’re awesome right? We used to buy St. Albert’s when we lived in Ottawa and they were great. This summer my brother had some he purchased at Costco (I presume, as the bag was pretty large) and they were delicious and very real. I’m going to have to get the details before I go next time. Hmm. Or should I not get the details? Cheese can be dangerous. Though, soon it will be playing a substantial role in meal prep ’round here. Actually, as it is Taco Tuesday (but we skipped tacos tonight) there’s usually at least two kinds of shredded cheese on the go. Mmm. Cheese.

Speaking of cheese, do you get all caught up in changing your decor over from Summer to Fall? (Stay with me. This is going somewhere.) (Plus, hello! Random Tuesday!) Do you have a set idea of what constitutes Fall decor? Are you mad about Mums or is Mum the word where your personal plans lie? I ask because I love Fall Mums, (I have written about them here. Several times, apparently.), but it has recently been brought to my attention that some people loathe them. They are cliché and played out as far as some of my Mum friends (that’s mother Mum, not plant Mum) are concerned. They’d rather have nothing than a Fall Mum. I can understand not loving a street full of the same flowers, but I find them to be very happy making. Especially the gigantic ones I get (in yellow, usually) from Costco. (Although, to be honest, I saw one today when I was there and it was looking a little long in the tooth. Mind you, I was practically running through the aisles to get to the checkout to buy movie passes. Jumpins! Costco needs a new system for buying things like passes. * eye twitch * Don’t get me started. That’s an entire (rant filled) post waiting to happen.) Meanwhile, my friend has gotten into my head and now I am not sure I want Mums. Well, I do, but maybe not only Mums.

As luck would have it Kent has sunflowers in planters that basically look like a live bouquet, so maybe I’ll get a couple of those instead. 

What do you keep growing in and around your space when Autumn weather arrives?

I asked Thing 2 to say the first and most random thing that popped into her head this morning and she exclaimed, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” with such glee that I would be remiss to not share this gem right this minute.

Did you hear that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke will have cameos in a new reboot of Mary Poppins? True story.

I liked this Guacamole 101 recipe. Avocados really are a wonderful fruit. They’re loaded with fibre and chock full of good, healthy fat. I vow to add more avocado to my diet. Guacamole ought to be its own food group. Wouldn’t you agree?

We took the Things to see The Secret Life of Pets this evening. Have you seen it? Here’s a Kevin Hart teaser.

He was perfect as Snowball.

Before the movie we saw a preview for “Sing”. I definitely want to see this one!

It looks cute and I love the premise. 

So … how did I do? 

Is this random enough for a Random Tuesday?

SpaghettiOs! <– That’s Thing 2’s final injection of random 

blink blink

 

Summer Snack: KISS Edition

white chocolate chocolate dipped strawberries sweet

We just had an awesome and delicious snack and I am not exaggerating one bit when I tell you the kids can make it themselves. I whipped it up this time, but next time they’re on their own. Frankly, it’s just as well. I don’t think I can be trusted all alone with its deliciousness.

Have I piqued your interest? Are you curious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat? 

Well, okay then. I’ll tell you what our scrumptious afternoon snack was today. It was so simple you might just think I am silly for blogging about it. Then again you didn’t think to have this today, did you? Oh ho ho! I’ve got you there, haven’t I? 

Okay, okay. Enough with the suspense already!

We had juicy, fresh, local strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Ta daa! 

So easy! Right? 

Here’s what I did.

Pick or buy fresh local strawberries. Ours were bought, but most definitely local and oh so fresh.

Clean them and remove any that might be iffy or mushy or underripe. Taste test 17 just to be sure.

Get some good quality, white chocolate. Today we used Baker’s, but white chocolate chips, white chocolate melting wafers, white chocolate chunks from your bulk food store, etc., would all work fine.

Break the chocolate into individual squares. Or if using larger blocks chop it up using a serrated edge knife. This will help it melt faster and also will give you a chance to taste test the chocolate to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. It hasn’t. Taste it anyway. You know, just in case.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used one of my trusty little square dip bowls from President’s Choice. (More on those later. It’s a very short love story.)

Pop the chocolate into the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently. You are not trying to whip it up, really, you want smooth, bubble-free, shiny chocolate. Place back in microwave for 10 seconds. Stir. This may be enough time, but if you need more melting time, be sure to use only 10 second intervals because you don’t want the chocolate to seize or burn. That’d be a shame. 

Give the chocolate one final gentle stir and place in the centre of a platter. 

Fill the platter with your beautiful, clean, fresh, local strawberries and stand back while the wolverines – umm – I mean children dig in!

See?

I bet you’re glad I suggested all that taste testing when you first started this little snack journey, now, aren’t you?

You’re welcome.

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

 

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity. 

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases. 

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it? 

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference. 

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB in the Bucket letter, BBITB, poem, BB Letter

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you? 

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

 

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

Permission

Yesterday Thing 2 was hanging out in my room with BB, reading to me, doing a bit of homework, and – after she finished that – watching Disney Channel Canada on our TV. 

I was in and out doing things that need doing on a Saturday. You know. The typical things. Making meals, tidying up, putting away laundry, the usual. 

At one point I popped in to check on my daughter to see if she needed anything and she was gone.

I found this on my desk.

notes remote control change the channel Things

So I wrote a reply.

change the world Things permission

Then I brought it to her.

Things message received smart girl wise kid world changer

I think she got the message. 

I’ll keep reminding her though because apparently nagging mothers get decent results.

For the sake of the world, I hope so. 

Thankful Thursday: American Thanksgiving Edition

coffee cup thankful Thanksgiving Fall decor

Happy American Thanksgiving Day!

I know it’s late, but I have been busy celebrating.

If you want to know how we spent the day I think the quickest way for me to show you is by directing you to this post, “How To Celebrate American Thanksgiving In Canada”, I wrote for Life In Pleasantville. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tom Turkey

It went pretty much according to plan, except we didn’t eat any pie! That is a travesty!

I have a friend in Texas who hosted a 100% pie Thanksgiving today. How amazing is that?!?

And here we are stuffed like the turkey with no room for pie. Oh! The shame! 

We’ll have to train harder for next year.

In the meantime, my unending quest for awesome American side dishes (You know they are amazing, right? Oh, you really must go read my post!) I asked my very best imaginary friend, Sheila (Hey Sheila!) for a recipe to share with you and being the awesome friend that she is she came up with this gem!

 

Sheila’s Corn Casserole
Shoepeg corn, 2 cans, drained
French cut green beans, 1 can, drained
Sour cream, 8 oz.
Slivered almonds, small pkg.
Chopped onion, half – whole (depending on your tastes)
Ground pepper, to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, sharp or mild,
1-2 cup Cream of something** soup (celery, mushroom or chicken.)
Mix it all up in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam
Topping
Tube of Ritz crackers, crushed.
Stick of butter, melted.
Blend crackers and melted butter and spread mixture on top of casserole.
Cook 350 for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbly and top is browning.
(Brown to your liking.)

 
Ta daa!
I am definitely making this side dish next year.
 

Pumpkin Patch turkey thanksgiving wreath

It’s late and I must sleep because Friday will be a very busy day.

I want to tell you a bit more about our Thanksgiving dinner conversation with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but it will have to wait until I have a bit more time. I wish I could tell you right now! I assure you I will share as soon as I can.

Thanksgiving dinner turkey stuffing dressing mashed potatoes carrots turnip rutabaga gravy peaches and cream corn

I will tell you all about Friday’s busy-ness tomorrow night. Promise!

Meanwhile, pie for breakfast!
I kid. I kid.****

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?
Did you double up on this holiday of gratitude?

What are you thankful for today?

 **Can you see now why I love Sheila?
***They all work. Celery is what original recipe called for.
****Kinda sorta.