Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why I am still awake at this hour? It's not that it's super late, it's that I have to get up at 7 tomorrow morning because we're off to Julie's cottage. I can't seem to drift off; I'm just not tired. So instead I will upload this flickr challenge that lots of fellow scrapbookers have been doing. It seems as though we all just keep copying and pasting the instructions, lol - so thanks Barb , Claude and Nathalie for the inspiration! I admit that I fooled around with it a little to make it more visually appealing.

If you want to join in the fun, type your answer to each of the following questions into Flickr search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite image, then copy and paste each the URL's into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

Here are the questions:
1. What is your first name? (Ashley)
2. What is your favorite food? (chocolate)
3. What high school did you attend? (Centennial - okay I cheated a bit on this one and went to the second page of results because all the images were so atrociously ugly)
4. What is your favorite color? (turquoise)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Josh Holloway)
6. Favorite drink? (Starbucks coffee)
7. Dream vacation? (Hawaii)
8. Favorite dessert? (raspberry mousse)
9. What did you want to be when you grew up? (school teacher)
10. What do you love most in life? (family)
11. One word to describe you? (dedicated)
12. Your Flickr name? (I don't have one - I literally typed those words into the search)

Okay, now let's try that sleep thing one more time... zzzzzz...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've been lagging yet again in the posts. Here are 10 things going on with me:

1. I'm so, so tired right now. I just got back from a long day at work and the kids really wore me down. I think the new boy we have has ADHD and frankly it's exhausting. We have to take all kinds of new safety precautions just having him around - he likes to climb up the stairs and goes on the gym set with no shoes on, which is a no-no. I really hope he gets adjusted soon.

2. My back is killing me. I have used the foam-roller twice already today, and still it hurts. I think it's a combo of bad posture and lifting babies all day. Not fun. I'm going to go rub some tiger-balm on it soon and hopefully that will help.

3. Another reason I haven't been writing much lately is because things have been crazy at my house. High-strung isn't even the word to describe the way my dad has been acting. He's taken out all the fence in our backyard by himself, re-arranged the furniture on the deck, vacuumed the (above-ground) pool while standing on the ledge, much to my horror. He also went and bought a brand new heat pump without telling my mom (to replace the one we've had problems with). He even cut up the wires to my mom's rock speaker and then threw it in the garbage. Later, when my mom asked if knew where it was, he said no. She got suspicious and went looking through the garbage and found it, and when she confronted him, he had nothing to say. We are at our wit's end with his behavior, and I haven't even mentioned half of it. Of course we're happy that he's being so active, but it's just too extreme, too impulsive, too much, and too soon. He went for a bike ride to the bank the other day with no helmet on, and later admitted to having fallen off. He even parked his car in the driveway when he hasn't driven in over 8 months and is not allowed because his licence was suspended following the stroke. Anyways, all this to say that the roller-coaster ride continues. He sees the doctor on Thursday, when his medication will either be changed or adjusted. Meanwhile, we're completely exhausted. I've used that word twice already in one post.

4. I go back to school next Tuesday and can't believe that the summer is already over. I have school five days a week, and start my stage in mid-October. Time keeps rolling by (sung in my head as the lyrics to All Around The World).

5. From my previous sentence, it is no secret that I am SOOO excited about the upcoming Oasis concert - I am like a giddy school girl. Yes, you know those girls screaming and crying over The Beatles when they first came over to the States, I so get it! Okay, no seriously don't worry guys, I promise I will contain myself at the concert. Until Liam walks on stage, then all bets are off.

6. I am making a mini-book about my high-school years, and that's about the only scrapping I've been doing at the moment. I'm just not in the groove these days. I hope to get the mojo back soon. This book is really fun though and I get to dig through old photos of awful decor, hair and wardrobe choices. Julie was horrified when she saw a picture of herself the other day that was sitting on my scrap table. It was the 90's, so we can forgive ourselves. It wasn't our fault.

7. I went to Omer Des Serres (actually, I think they just call it Des Serres now) yesterday, to see if they had any Luxe papers for a contest (which they didn't) and then resisted buying papers which were 25% off. The reason being, I didn't really need them. So I walked away. I will save my scrapping allowance for the new Basic Grey papers that will be out soon, apparently within a few days even!

8. We might go up to Julie's cottage this weekend, if weather permits. I'm so happy about that! We really need a get-away.

9. We also might visit my mom's auntie Heather and family in Val David this weekend, which will be awesome as I love her and it's been a decade or more since I last visited. Sad that we have let that much time go by.

10. I'm going to eat hamburgers now, so nutritious...

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've been a bad blogger this week - it's because I've been busing working in daycare. The kids have kept me on my toes. We have a new three year old boy starting, and a baby just being introduced to the group (who is amazing), so we've been busy. And there have been several pee and poo incidents throughout the week. But overall, I still love them. One mom and grandmother actually told me yesterday that they think I'm going to be (and already am) an amazing teacher, that I'm a natural, that the kids love me and so forth, so that was a very nice boost! It's always nice to hear positive feedback, and what's also really nice is that the grandmother is a kindergarten teacher at a school nearby, so I just may end up in a stage in her classroom, we shall see...

Last night I went to a wine and cheese at Darla's house. Darla and I were close friends in high school and college, but have sort of drifted apart in the last few years because we've both been busy with our own lives. We are trying to keep having get-togethers every once in a while. It was very refreshing to go to her place and be re-acquainted with several old friends. At first there was the awkward "I feel out of place" feeling, but I didn't buy into it and decided that it would be a fun time, and it really, really was! We played this hilarious game that Cheryl introduced, kinda a mix between certain aspects of Cranium and charades, loved that! All in a all, I'm very glad I went, and it got me thinking that I simply can't lose touch with old friends, and it doesn't hurt to make some new ones at the same time.

Today I'm supposed to be doing something with Julie, which is still to be determined, but I'm hoping that it's scrap-related! I should go and call her now actually. But I should also post some new layouts, as I'm way, way behind in that. I've been really inspired by Ali Edwards lately and am trying to focus on the stories way less than the products. That's what it's all about for me. So I don't care that some of these photos are crap because they tell my story and offer way more perspective than boring posed photos. I'm not saying that I don't care about products completely, but I'm trying to get out of the rut of "needing" certain new products and such. Oh, and that reminds me, I've spent nothing all week, except for $7 on a bottle of wine yesterday. Yay me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm feeling kinda "blah" physically this morning. I must have allergies, I'm always waking up with a stuffy nose and itchy, irritated eyes. I have to use eye-drops and a nasal pump practically every morning. It helps somewhat, so that's good. Patrick got me started on that, as he has been using a netty for a long time and it really helps him.

I was supposed to be drinking coffee at the same time as writing this, but my dad thought it would be a good idea to dump what was left in the Starbucks coffee bag into the filter. Oh dear... I thought it smelled strong and then I lifted the lid and noticed that it was filled completely to the brim, and bubbling over... I was SOOOO mad! I obviously over-reacted, but my dad's behavior has been really challenging the last few days. He is acting aggressive and impulsive, and is being quite mean to us. He is sick of us bossing him around, so he's not afraid to let us know that he's not a child, etc, and is being snappy. So to avoid making him angry, I took for granted that he remembered how to make the coffee himself, only to find out that indeed he did not. He shouldn't even really be drinking too much caffeine on his meds. But whatever. I came downstairs to cool off a little bit. No coffee + being annoyed at my dad's recent behavior = bad mix. So on to another topic.

I "slipped up" (if you wanna call it that) with my budget yesterday. I went to Scrapbook Centrale and bought some new American Crafts. I spent 26$, which is not that much for scrap supplies, but still, can't be spending that every few weeks. I wanted to get paper for the mini-album that I'm starting about my high school years, so it's justified. I won't be back there for quite some time because I'm working for the next two weeks straight, and then I start school. There will be no time left for shopping after that. Oh, and last night I also bought some songs for Rockband... spent 7$, but it was for three Oasis songs that will bring me countless joy and entertainment.

I don't want to beat myself up over the whole budget thing. I just want to be more aware of where my money is really going. Just the fact that I've had to come report this here has made me realize that I'm somewhat of a consumer/marketing sucker and I need to just slow down. I don't need to be spending that much every day or every few days. Yes, I still want to have fun, but in less expensive ways. I realize that a lot of it has to do with the thrill of shopping, the hunt for the perfect item, and the excitment of having something to do. Not such a good thing. When I think about it, I could have probably just forced myself to be more creative to make the mini-album with stuff that I already have, you know? It makes for some good reflecting, which I need to do a lot more.

Pat is very good at reflecting. In fact, he does so every day. He writes every day; his mind is constantly overflowing with ideas and complex thought. A while ago I starting sharing some of his daily thoughts, then I stopped for whatever reason. Well I think I should start again. Here's some wisdom that caught my eye, isn't it just so true?

Most arguments can be avoided in the first 5 seconds. It is important that when you ask someone an important question and expect them to react the way you want, you don’t overreact when it does not happen. It is like playing the lottery and expecting to have all the correct numbers, when all other numbers will just make you upset. If you focus only on the response you did not get and not on working with the response you received, your conversation will no longer be relevant to the other person. Your thoughts will be locked away in conflict, and you will not react properly to the person you are speaking to. In fact, disagreement will most likely arise. We hate it when people label us or judge us, so don’t label and limit people’s responses until you have had time to absorb them with positive intent.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Okay so I ended up spending 6$ last night because we rented a movie and I just had to have Swedish Berries, I know, so bad at like 10 pm... I'm going to burn it off now because Julie is coming over to do aqua aerobics in a few minutes, and I just spent an hour doing some intense vacuuming since our house is a pigsty by the end of the week thanks to the two men who make so much more of a mess than my mother and I. Anyways, I don't feel too guilty about those two things, but I guess we could have just watched TV and not had junk and that would have been fine.

I seem to be getting more Trojans on my computer, what's up with that?? So annoying. Anyways, gotta go, Julie will be here in a few minutes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I was browsing around the net yesterday and stumbled upon an Oasis blog that is updated, it seems, at least daily. Yes! Not like anyone cares on this side of the pond besides me, but that's just fine and dandy.

However, I found this recent picture of Liam and was horrified over the bowl haircut. Can he possibly look any more like Ringo Starr and Julie's dad at the same time? Freaky, icky, please make it go away...

But thankfully I checked back on the blog today and found this, taken in the last few days. Apparently he's realized that awful haircut just didn't do him justice. It's a good thing because my heart would have broken a little bit if he'd sported that 'do at the Bell center in just a few short weeks.

Sigh, he's looking a little thin and Noel-ish in this photo, and I'm not sure about the scarf. But I'll always love my Liam.

Also, I've realized that nobody cares about my Oasis rants because I never get any comments on them, ha! Sorry to bore you all but you must realize that a dream dreams, she never dies....

And in terms of budget, today I have spent NoThInG! Thanks for all your support thus far.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For the past few days, I've been wanting to start a spending journal. Maybe it's because I've seen a couple shows on budget and people having crazy debts, coupled with thoughts of my shopping spree to Burlington and all the times I've been scrapbook shopping this year. I should be saving more money for the future. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm in debt at all. I do have a fairly good amount of money saved up for a student, but I could have saved at least double that in the past year. Granted, I have had a lot of unexpected car expenses, but I think I've finally fixed the last of the problems for at least a little while I hope. So anyways, I figured I would start posting my spending journal on here, to make sure that I own up. I will also be less likely to spend money if I know that I have to go report it on my blog to all my faithful blog readers. So who's with me on this? I challenge you to take part in this for at least a month, and maybe after that it will just become second nature...

Here's what I have to report today:
- 40$ on gas
I'm working today - shocker! I have a little bit of time before heading out the door. Since it's only a 7 minute drive away, I'm pretty lucky and can maximize my morning time.

My dad has had a complete 180 in the last week, I can barely believe it. He is suddenly his old self again. He actually told me last week to stop bossing him around! Yesterday he was on the phone all afternoon, calling credit card companies, insurance companies, and so forth. That was virtually unheard of only two weeks ago, when he was too confused and afraid to take simple calls from anyone other than family members. He's been exercising a lot too, by himself on top of it, and he's getting stronger! He actually did chest press and upright row the other day - I was shocked. And he's been doing hamstring curls with increased weight, and now he's able to lift his left leg way higher than he could last week. It's all very shocking. He wants to go bike riding, do things with friends... it's just crazy. He's been getting annoyed at us because he feels we're babying him too much. I had to remind him that that's what we've had no choice but to do for the past 7 months - he doesn't seem to remember that. Anyways, let's just say that I'm extremely happy, but it's still a huge adjustment. We'd like him to have a little less attitude, and more sensitivity. But I guess it's just part of his reaction to the pills.

Well, I've gotta take off but I'll leave you with some pages.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's been a fairly busy weekend so far. Friday night, Julie and Ken invited us over for a BBQ, which was really fun. We had shrimp, corn on the cob, pork fillets, salad, rice, and a dessert tat Julie kept a big secret until right before we ate it. It turned out to be a Toblerone/Reese's pieces cheesecake. It was so incredibly good that Patrick ate nearly 1/4 of the cake. Sugar high! I also managed to drink several glasses of wine without getting drunk off my ass, which sadly is what normally happens to me. Julie and Pat were very surprised, yet pleased. I think it was the lower percentage of alcohol, combined with the fact that she served the wine in glasses without stems, which somehow fooled me into thinking there was less. See??

We also rocked out to Jon's hit, which required ridiculous arm flailing, captured here (she will probably kill me for posting this)...

Yesterday my mom decided that she wanted to have a brunch at our place. Little did we know that it was going to be so formal - she invited my grandma and uncle over and had the table all done up. She made a really good quiche, blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs, and fruit with a lemony dessert sauce to put on top. We were all very stuffed afterwards, but it was so good. Here are some pictures.

Afterwards, we ventured to Alex and Ryan's engagement party. Thankfully there was no rain, so they were able to have it in Alex's parents' backyard, which looks like it should be on HGTV it's so nice! There was so much food there, and really good food at that! We had a good time, good company, and her dad made the cutest little speech. Here's a picture of the bride and groom to be, don't they look nice?

Today is pretty low-key. I did a butt/back workout this morning and was DYING because it's been so long since I did that P90X dvd. But it was well needed after all the food I've eaten this weekend. Now I've got the house to myself so I can do some scrapping and listen to music at full blast. I also took a bit of sun. Later I'm going to Patrick's house for a BBQ. Hope you're also enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Well it's about time that I update my blog! I've been meaning to do it for the past few days but just never seemed to get around to it.

So, I've been cleaning up my room - I mean the really, really nasty part of my room that is "hidden" from the naked eye. Since I'm in the basement right beside the stairs, there is a crawl-space behind my dresser. It has been gathering dust and other such disgusting things for years now. My dad also shoved a bunch of stuff in there that had previously been damp and musty in our shed... and he never cleaned these items off before putting them in there... so it was super disgusting. Turns out that the old weight bench was growing mold on it, and part of the concrete floor has a hole in it. If you reach down, you can actually touch dirt. Super nastiness. Anyways, we cleaned all the crap out, vacuumed, then washed down the concrete with bleach and water, then aired out the space for a good day. I slept upstairs on a futon in the computer room for a good three nights. I also decided to throw out a spare mattress that I had under my bed, that I'd pull out for when Pat sleeps over. Well low and behold, there was mold developing on the underside of that as well. I was just so grossed out by the whole ordeal. I don't know why we didn't clean this stuff up earlier or realize that it could be effecting my health. So, so stupid. But the important part is that it's clean now. But I still have the powerful urge to just knock down the whole wall and extend my room a good meter in the space under the stairs. I could fit a desk and shelves in there quite nicely, but it would be a big job to add flooring and everything. But a girl can still dream, right?

In other news, something very strange happened on Monday. My dad's brother came to visit with my aunt and grandmother. The strange thing is that my father and his brother haven't spoken in over ten years - he didn't even call us after my dad had his stroke. They had a falling-out after some very nasty stuff happened regarding the will of a relative. Also, my uncle lives in Vancouver and visits extremely rarely. Yet, he showed up the other day totally out of the blue, I think mostly because my grandmother really wanted all of her children to be reunited. They only stayed for a very short while and it was rather awkward, but at least he made the effort to come, and maybe some sort of relationship can be rekindled afterwards. I hope so. My grandmother also mentioned that they had a bunch of old films and photos of the family, which I am dying to get my hands on. I really, really want to scan and copy those things. Anyways, here's what my dad's side of the family looks like. My uncle (second from the left) is actually younger than my dad. My dad didn't even recognize him when he came to the door; he has changed a lot in twelve years since he last saw him.

I went out for sushi with Prevost the other day. Okay, his real name is Eric, but we call him Prevost, or Prevz - it just stuck years ago. He is a long-time high school friend. Well, technically the only reason why he knows of my existence is because his friend Jer (Joel's brother) was obsessed with me for a little while in high school... haha!! Him and his weird friend Jason would walk by my locker several times and actually gathered the courage to write me little love notes, and even tell me in person that they loved me. Oh, the golden years... lol! Anyways, Prevost and I have been friends for a long time, and have been concert buddies for several years. We've been to six or more concerts together, and we are also going to see Oasis in less than a month's time. So he needed to give me the $ for his ticket, and it was time to catch up. Of course, we bumped into some acquaintances, and there was the awkwardness of being seen with "another guy" in public, because you never know what people are going to assume. Of course, Patrick is totally cool for the most part of me having guy friends and seeing them every once in a while. Anyways, Prevost and I had a good time together and got to share funny work stories! He was rather impressed by all the tales from the GPK library. I tell you, there are many weirdos around and it makes for very entertaining tales.

Pat and I saw this movie the other day:

It was just pure gold - that is if you're into Will Ferrell sense of humour. I actually laughed out loud throughout most of the movie. It was just so ridiculously funny. We tried to see it at Guzzo but they were having a power failure, so we went to Cineplex Odeon at the dix30. I didn't know they showed English movies there, but they do show a few. I was so overwhelmed by the amount of food they sell there! There's a Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza, and all kinds of popcorn, ice cream and other junk. Apparently they even sell bottles of wine?! Since when has going to the movies become such a formal event? I'll stick to Coke, thanks.

I scrapped with Alex and Julie yesterday and good times were had. We were in a particularly giddy/silly type of mood as we gossiped and vented, and joked about all kinds of things that cannot be mentioned specifically here since you never know who may stumble upon this blog. I made 2 pages that I rather like, but I am so behind in posting stuff. I really should get to that!

I know there's a bunch of other stuff that I'm forgetting to talk about, but I don't feel like wasting more time on the Internet when I could be doing more productive things. I'll leave you with some photos from my mom's garden. The butterfly just happened to be on the flowers the whole time that my dad's family was visiting, maybe it was my grandfather coming to check up on things...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wednesday's trip to Burlington was a smashing success! Patrick didn't go because he had a client, plus he would have had to purchase travel insurance, so it just wasn't worth it. Anyways, first we took a sort of round about way of getting there through the Champlain islands, and had a picnic lunch. My mom wanted it to be fun for my dad, to see the scenery and be reminded of places where he used to go when he was a kid, since they had a cottage in that area. Then we arrived in Burlington and hit the stores at full force. The regular pattern was followed: Micheal's, Marshall's, The Christmas Tree Shop, The Olive Garden, Creative Habitat, TJ Maxx. It was a long, long day. We spent practically 2 hours at Marshall's alone! It was crazy. My dad was a very good sport and very patient. We knew he was bored, but he agreed that it was better to be out and about then sitting at home doing nothing. I am happy that he made it despite being nervous about going through the border and such. It's sucessful outings like that that are going to slowly give him the confidence he needs. Also, the reason why we're wearing really ugly clothes in the picture is because we threw them away while down there and wore our new finds back. We ended up making it through the border without having to pay any duty! It was a lucky day.

What did I get? In terms of scrapbooking, I got some great deals. The scalloped square punch was on sale at Michael's so I got it for only 10$, and the ribbon, paper pads and epoxy stickers were all 1$ or less! That album you see, I got for a mere 7$ at Marshall's, when normally it would sell for 30$ or more in the scrapping stores! Yay me!

I also got a pair of shorts, 2 shirts, earrings, sandals, and this spectacular find. Yup, I'm still a sucker for Roxy.

Yesterday, Julie and Alex came over to scrapbook. We've been really good at keeping up our weekly get-together. I was quite productive and made a layout and 2 cards, which I was quite pleased with. I wanted to take pictures of the cards because they were soooo nice, but my mom already gave them to our neighbors, I'm quite upset about that! I'm really trying to document everything that I create lately, but I guess sometimes we just can't keep track of it all. Oh well, there are bigger problems in life. Now I'm off to exercise and probably go to the mall yet again with my mom. She's such a bad influence, lol.

I got to drum a few songs on RockBand last night, since Patrick's parents were singing karaoke and thus I didn't have to worry about waking anyone up. Thanks for the fun time babe ;)