Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Buzz About Me

This is fun. I'm participating again.

This Weeks Questions and Answers:

1.  If you had to label yourself as to one genre of music you listen to the most, what would it be?
Soft rock to hard rock.

2. What are five items that you always keep in your purse?
Phone, bus pass, building pass, gum, lip balm...I'm a simple person

3. If you could drink only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

4. What are three tv shows you miss watching that are no longer aired?
LOST, Facts of Life, Silver Spoons

5. What is one cd your own that people would laugh if you told them you actually bought that?
A-ha 25 years what?!?!

6. What is one job/career you told yourself you would never do even if it was your last resort?
Maid...oh crap that didn't work out too well (fuck I have to go clean the shitter now...)

7. How did you decide on the name{s} of your child{ren}?
Erik was named by us seeing his name written somewhere (can't remember where) and we liked it. Markus was named (sort of) after one of our favourite Canucks of the time - Markus Naslund.

8.  What is one show you refuse to miss no matter what?
Big Brother. But if I have to miss it I will because I don't have a PVR.

9. How many miles would you say you drive in a week?
Probably about 3. I take the bus to work and I only drive to the store, hiking, etc. at the weekends. I don't drive during the week. (I'm a loser cruiser taker to

10. Who is one celebrity you wish would just go away & disappear off the face of the earth never to return?
Carrot Top. Sorry but he's dumb!

Wordless Wednesday - Let's go cruizin'

The Disney ship in port at Canada Place in Vancouver.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You wanna go where? Do you know how much liquid I've had?

Okay so here's a little pointer for you, brought from me to you because I care...

Don't go on a long hike right after you've guzzled two large mugs of coffee and eaten a pound of watermelon. Just sayin'.

And ESPECIALLY after you've birthed children and your bladder can no longer handle a simple sneeze without saying Hidee'ho!

We did the Lynn Loop today, which was nice and all, but I had to pee really bad during this entire hike of 6 KM, uphill, downhill, lunch break near the river (running water makes you want to pee more - why is that??).

I don't know what I'm doing here, but I can tell you this....I REALLY need to pee!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Turned 15

I just recently celebrated 15 years of incarceration at my company (I mean that in a good way) and for my services I received a very nice watch. A Citizen Eco-Drive. Very nice and I'm ever so grateful. It's a total pleasure to work for my company.

However, this morning, my department put together a nice little "morning treats" party for me and presented me with a card that was created from scratch. Inside the card was what you'd expect, written comments from everyone. Very nice comments and I work with the best group of folks EVER.

But also inside the card were a list of things about me that everyone thought up, things that I have done, or represent, etc. I thought I'd share them because they're really cute:

She's a great writer, a great blogger and a great mom - to her children both at home and at work

She remembers everyone's birthdays (that's cuz I've written them all down cuz I'm a smarty pants)

She makes shiny, delicious cupcakes

She's every member of the marketing team's first friend because she's so friendly and she's already stalked them on Facebook (oh you know it!)

She can target a marketing list like no spammer on earth

She makes fanny packs look cool (fanny packs are the new purse...didn't you know??)

She brought the see-through dress back in style (okay I have to clarify this...last year at a company event I was dirty dancing to K$sha unknowingly in front of a strobe light that was on the floor...thank God my knickers were fairly nice and new!)

She's our resident reality TV show expert - two-time winner of the Amazing Race pool (and came very close to winning a third time had my team not screwed up in the very last challenge!)

She knows how to get a killer deal on killer heels (3 words, Ross and TJ Max - all you need to know)

Give her 10 minutes, an elastic band and a paper clip, and she'll produce a winning webinar

She turned Ibiza into a family-friendly destination (this after I had sobered up from my first day all about that here)

She's North Van's most fashionable and fit'll see when she passes you on the Grouse Grind (very flattering but the only way I'm passing you is if I'm in the Gondola LOL)

She has a contagious laugh

She's a hidden gem - operating quietly behind the scenes, she always gets the job done

She will always rise to the challenge and is always professional and eager to help

She's a testament to growth and change - she's is quick to take on more and grow her skills

She makes the best of every situation and always puts her best face forward (I leave my worst face for when I get up in the morning...really just ask my boys when they see me in the morning when I've forgotten to remove my eye makeup)

This is me holding my AWESOME card with my mug on the front.

Seriously, this is the best list ever and I'm SOOOO touched. Did I mention that I work with the best group of folks EVER!!!!

Thanks Marketing team, and Company for 15 great years. It's truly a pleasure!

For lunch we headed out to Robson Street to try out the food cart vendors and sit on the new faux beach in front of the Art Gallery.

I had an awesome hotdog. Here's most of the gang stuffed after eating...and procrastinating the inevitable trek back to work. I got mustard and ketchup all over my three bracelets and down the front of my top. I'm a slob!

Five Question Friday

Today, for the first time, I'm participating in Five Question Friday that I saw on Canadian Blogger Girl who I'm following. Go check her out, k? She's cool.

Feel free to hop along. Just copy the button and the below questions into your blog and fire away.

Here goes...

1. Did you make any fun purchases this week?
Yes, I bought a cool item from one of my favourite stores, Lululemon. It's the Vinyasa Scarf and you can wear this thing in like 10 different ways. It wasn't that pricey only $48. Mine is in grey and I can't wait to wear it.

2. If you could go to any musical concert, what would it be?
This is probably going to sound stupid, but I don't is after all MY thoughts isn't it? If A-ha ever got back together again, I'd love to see them.

3. What is your least fav/ most fav house chore?
Least fav, cleaning the pee up off the floor around my toilet...yep you read correctly, pee on the floor. I'm not sure what it is with boys and their "aim" but it sucks big balls. I'm sick and tired of the puddles of pee on the floor. That and ironing. My iron and I are at war.

Most can there possibly be a favourite house chore?

4. Would you prefer new appliances or clothes?
Tots obvs. Clothes.

5. Miracle Whip or Mayo?
Neither really. I do love sammies but I'm trying to stay away from bread. If I do have one it would probably be mayo.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 4

Off to Germany.

We hitched a ride on Ryan Air and made our way up to Hannover.

A number of years ago, Hubby and I did a relocation cruise out of New York to Miami on a Royal Caribbean ship. Our dinner table mates, Heike and Andreas, were around our age, super nice and cool, and from Germany.

They've been to our house in N. Van to stay with us before they did an Alaska Cruise - now it was our turn to stay with them in Germany.

They are childless and their place is filled with almost priceless artifacts that they've collected from around the world while on their travels. We have two BOYS and our place does not have priceless artifacts...unless you count the old container of chocolate milk found under the couch from Gawd knows when (I clean there...I really do) that was hardened SOLID!!!

So I spent five days stressed beyond normalcy praying that no "brotherly love" would start up resulting in something broken that I could never replace unless I travelled to Egypt....well on second thought I'd actually love to go there.

Heike and Andreas toured us around Hannover and another close town called Hildesheim where Heike's brother works.

I had my first schnitzel in Hildesheim at the above restaurant and it was damn good. The portion sizes are HUGE and I could never finish anything.

We drank LOTS of wine, Ouzo (can't do Ouzo), and ate tonnes of cheese because it's cheap. Well actually, the marathon stuffing our faces with cheap cheese Olympics started in London and just kept rolling merrily along throughout the trip. I mean, what I would pay CDN $8.00 for a wedge of brie, you would pay Euro 1.92 or less for the same size. Holy cheese balls I ate my body weight.

Hannover portion of the vacation ended and we rented a car and drove ourselves up north to visit relatives. Hubby got his "speed on" driving the Autobahn.

Thank you Heike and Andreas for sharing your home with us. We had a great time.

*Thank God hubby speaks fluent German because I had no freaking clue what ANY conversation was about the whole time. It was sort of like being on one of those "quiet retreats" where nobody talks, only I was the only one participating!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Buzz About Me

I started following From Mommy to Calm Insanity and she does a weekly "Buzz About Me" so I thought I'd join in.

The Rules:

1. Write a post with your answers provided to each week's questions
2. Place the button in your post so others can find this link back
3. Have fun and come back every week
This Weeks Questions:

1. What was the first concert you attended?
John Denver. My Dad took me.....Bahahahahaha RIP John.

2. Who was your celebrity crush{es} when you were younger?
John Taylor from Duran Duran, Morten Harket from A-ha

3. Who is your celebrity crush{es} now?
Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, and STILL Morten Harket (sorry but he's friggin HOT to this day), see?:

4. What is one of the strangest/unique things about you?
I'm totally fascinated by the paranormal. I love me some haunty stuff.

5. What are three fears you have?
Kids getting taken from me, meeting a Grizzly Bear when camping, and SPIDERS!!!!

6. What is one question that you have been asked so much that if you are asked one more time, you will punch someone?
"Am I going to get sick"...from my 12 year old when he eats meat he thinks is raw. First it's not effing raw, and second, one of these days I'm going to staple his mouth shut!

7. What nationality/nationalities are you?
Scottish, English and a bit of Irish.

8. What is one physical feature you like about yourself?
My long eyelashes. Jealous?

9. What is/was your favorite three reality shows?
Amazing Race, Big Brother, and What Not To Wear.

10. What three celebrities are you guilty of liking that everyone else seems to hate?
Do bands count? I like Nickleback. My co-workers HATE them. I can't think of anyone else.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 3 - Mom Fail

To Ibiza, Spain we went.

Seriously, once you're over in Europe, getting around is so cheap. It cost us £10.99 plus tax each to get from Edinburgh to Ibiza. No wonder the place was teaming with Brits/Scots.

Nothing terribly exciting happened in Ibiza. We stayed at an all inclusive up in Sant Miquel FAR FAR away from the partay'ing. After all it's kind of hard to party with kids in tow.

We sat by the pool, sat by the beach, ate lots, played pool, ate ice cream...oh yeah, and drank quite a bit too.

Hmmm, oh yeah, I got drunk on the first day there. Okay so I wanted to try all the different little drinks the hotel was offering. Yellow, orange, blue and green. All pretty colours filled with vodka. Top that with the heat and not enough water, I was pretty much over by about 6PM.

Okay, by "over" I mean curled on the bed, wet bikini still on, face squashed into the pillow, drool draining out my mouth, and uttering incoherent curses to anybody who would feel sorry for me (hubby sure wasn't). Total MOM FAIL!!

So needless to say, no dinner for me that night. Hubby took the boys up to the buffet all alone and left me to pray that the band playing in my head would stop and that the hotel would cease spinning around me.

This is the first day. Me drinking the yummy yellow drink....all downhill from there.

So that was the only noteworthy thing that happened in Spain. No birds were hit by cars like in Scotland. No illegal pictures were taken like I did at the Tower of London. And we were able to get Internet too at the hotel.

These are ma'boys enjoying the pool.

Our hotel from the other side of the beach.

 I can knock Spain of my Been There list.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 2C

How to get Internet in St. Andrews

When I asked my Mom if there were Internet cafes in St. Andrews, Scotland and she said no. I kind of didn’t believe her. I mean, come on, it’s 2011. Who doesn’t have an Internet cafe?

St. Andrews, Scotland doesn’t. She wasn’t kidding!

The FEW places who did have WIFI (and I mean I can walk faster than their WIFI speed), were temporarily “not working right now”.

How the heck do people send emails in this town!!

We needed to get onto Internet somewhere because we needed to do some online booking for flights we were taking for the remainder of the trip (you can only do this a certain amount of days ahead).

We eventually found a place, The Victoria Bar and Cafe. Slower than a snail moving at high speed, but we’ll take it. We went in once, ordered beer and used their Internet, but for the remainder of our stay in St. Andrews, Internet went something like this…

  • Hubby races into town with the car and looks for a spot in the pay parking.
  • Hubby pays for one hour of pay parking.
  • Hubby races to The Victoria Bar and Cafe.
  • Hubby plonks his derriere down on the rock wall opposite The Victoria Bar and Cafe
  • Hubby holds laptop up in the air and waits for a signal.
  • Hubby finds signal and types away as fast as he can before he loses it.

This is hubby “using the internet” in St. Andrews. Gotta love it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Campout and a very sore back

Tent set up in the backyard? Check!

"The sleeping gear" and stuffies in the tent? Check!

Kids all excited to campout in the backyard by themselves? Check!

...1/2 hour before getting in the tent for sleep, 8 year old says he's scared and doesn't want to campout anymore. Not even with his big brother there with him, the backdoor unlocked, a flashlight, and a phone if they want to call us in the house.

Hubby pissed because he set up the damn tent? Yup!

Mom to the rescue. "Want me to sleep in the tent with you?" Kids - YYYAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!

I like camping but I do it on top of a queen size blowup air mattress, not on top of patio lounge chair padded covers, no matter how puffy they are.

Mommy need help getting up and out of the tent the next morning because her back is KILLING her? You bet!

I'm too old for this!

*FYI, a million stuffies surrounding you all night does not a comfy sleep make when you're over the age of 13

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 2B

...we hit a bird.

So we're driving back from Edinburgh to St. Andrews after a day of climbing all around the Edinburgh Castle, walking down the Royal Mile, having a peek inside the Edinburgh Dungeon (we didn't go in cuz we don't pay for stuff like that, too 'spensive), checking out the haunts of Detective Rebus (Ian Rankin books).

We get over the Firth of Forth bridge, no problem, pretty views. Kids are quiet (could be the slogging around behind Mom and Dad that has done them in).

We're on the motor way, and I'm dozing as I usually do when hubby is driving, when BHAM!

I got jolted awake *thinking to myself, we're in a rental car, that my parents are paying for, what the fuck was THAT!!

Hubby saw this pterodactyl fly up past the driver side, couldn't swerve because we're doing 100 on the motor way. Car still sounds okay, no weird noises coming from engine, so let's pray to GOD that there's no damage and continue on our way.

We get back to the house and survey the damage.

ACK. Round bit on the bumper is missing next to the license plate along with some bird blood.

So hubby comes up with a plan. He phones a BMW dealership in Dundee and orders the round part and matching paint. We go the next day to pick the parts up (and pop into the shops - Primark specifically - because we just happen to be in the area).

Hubby fixes up the parts, takes pictures for an insurance claim he's going to file when we get home. Then we drop off the car back to the rental place and...

Hubby to the rental agent: "yeah dude this piece fell off so I'm putting it back into place now...see there, it's back in place, all done"

We didn't let on about the accident because then they'd start looking for more damaged parts on the bumper.

£40 for parts vs. the messing around we'd get from the dealership had they known about the bird, not to mention extra money being handed over to them.

*Damn them Scottish birds are big

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 2

To Scotland we went...

From London we hopped on a British Airways flight to head north up to Edinburgh. From the airport we rented a car to be driven up to St. Andrews Scotland.

So I'm not sure how my hubby does it (probably his smile) but whenever a lady is at the car rental booth, he always seems to snag a nice car. In Long Beach, CA we somehow ended up with a Mercedes C300. Nice car and we felt special.

Hubby posing with 'the car' next to my parents Peugeot.

In Scotland, he manges to snag a BMW something or other for the same price as a regular compact car (Toyota, etc.). However I digress into the world of cars.

The whole purpose of this trip was so that my parents, particularly my mom, could take us all back to the ol'home town of St. Andrews, Scotland. The home of Golf! I've got a lot of history there on my mom's side. My Great Grandfather was the mayor. Much of what you see on the ride through the golf course to the West Sands parking is all because of another relative who was the Burrough engineer.

Both my grand parents, who moved to Canada 20+ years ago, both died in North Vancouver. However my mom and aunt brought them back to the family plot in St. Andrews, Hence, yet another reason to bring us all back to St. Andrews, to "see" my grand parents and other relatives buried there.

It was very peaceful to see the grave site (where my mom wants to be buried - another trip to St. Andrews for me whenever the time comes). I love old grave yards. They are creepy, magical, mystical and romantic all at the same time. In the above picture, my grand parents' engraving hasn't yet aged so it's not quite readable like what's above it.

*in a creepy kind of way, I was hoping to see or feel a ghost.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A wee hike, mountain bugs, and a whole lotta F-Bombs!

...but I was sporting my Lululemon outfit so I looked good looking bad.

I just came home from doing the Grouse Grind for the first time in about a year. This "hike" (ahahaha) is one of the North Shore's gems favoured by many, many people of all fitness levels.

This is the hike you take your "fit" cousin from Toronto on and once he's/she's completed this trek, they will be bowing down to you for the rest of their life.

This is "Mother Nature's Stairmaster", 2.9K (1.8M), 2800 feet elevation, near vertical HELL ON EARTH!

I am certainly not at my prettiest when partaking in this torture. Snot is dripping out my nose, sweat is coming out of every pore, F-Bombs are flying out my mouth aimed at nobody in particular, and I'm heaving my backside up this "stairmaster" in any way possible, usually hunched over in a near fetal position.

To make matters worse, every time I stopped to catch my breath (and it was often) I would be immediately swarmed by mountain flies, landing on every square inch of exposed skin.

Well I managed to complete this in about 1:45 which is my usual when I haven't done it in a while (compare to someone like my hubby who does it three to four times a week in just over 1/2 hour - make me barf).

So here's me at the top, squinting because I stopped and the friggin flies swarmed!

Yay me.

And the best part? Coming down on the PACKED tram that's filled with Grouse Grinders who are sweaty and stink!

*got home to find a few flies plastered to my sweaty face...nice!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Epic Vacation Part 1C

Hamleys toy store London - where no sane parent should ever take their child unless that parent has a secret wish to die a slow death by nonstop pestering.

Licking dirt off the floor is more appealing that listening to non stop nagging children demanding you purchase everything in site, then listening to the whining because you said "no"! (I hate you, you don't get me anything...!)

Multiple floors, packed wall to wall with everything you could ever imagine if you're 13 or below, and two or three sales people per floor demonstrating different gadgets to catch the eye of your child and keep them mesmerized and "I want that, it looks cool...please mom, please!!!!!!"

I knew the instant we made the decision to seek out the store on Regent Street that we'd regret ever using the brain cells to form that momentary thought and act on it. We've been to toy stores before - Walmart, Toys R Us, even FAO Schwarz - and we've dealt with the nagging and demanding. All parents do. It's in the job description.

But I believe the sole purpose of Hamleys is to go far beyond that realm of toy-store-nagging; it takes you on a journey to the Twilight Zone of hell on floors 1 through 5 with no exit in site.

Parents walk around like possessed robots with their arms outstretched and a credit card pinched in their fingers, a look of terror in their eyes but they're unable to snap out of the evil trance that has been placed upon them by their children.

You get sucked into a vortex that places you on another planet seen only on SciFi shows. Before you know it, your credit card has been charged and your child is walking away with a purchase and you have no idea how it happened.

...Wait..what the...who...where am I???

And then you walk out of the store pinching yourself - wake up, c'mon, wake up, it was just a dream...right?

*holy cow, that store was amazing