Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just a woman in 2010

Every year I chose a resolution that is easy to keep & hard to measure whether I have kept. Each Dec. 31 I resolve to try to be all that I can be in the following year. There are slight changes from year to year, sometimes I focus on being kinder, lose weight and so much more.

For 2010, as a wife, mother of 2 & unemployed Marcomm person, I resolve to focus on the P's: Patience, Positivity & Prosperity! They way I look at it, if I am able to have more patience with those around me, be more positive with everything (it's really too easy to get into a negative rut... and being negative only makes more negativity - so for 2010 I choose to be positive) then hopefully if I can do that, then prosperity will follow! Who knows perhaps I'll be able to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life, not such an easy task!

ain't I got any smarts???

Everyone I know these days is doing something other than just being a woman, an employee, a friend, etc. I can't help keep asking myself what's wrong with me??? Lots of people have side businesses built out of their hobbies or passions: photography, making soap or jewelery, or designing amazing tableware! I consider myself a fairly intelligent person so why don't I have a side business that focuses on something I love to do?? More importantly what would I do??? Now while on maternity leave is the perfect time, I can put the legwork into developing a project, only what is a passion of mine that I can actually get a tangible reward from? There seem to be more questions than answers but I have 6 months in 2010 to try & figure it out!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Off with the old

As 2009 draws to a close it's a time for taking stock & figuratively shedding your old skin to start new. I decided to do that literally and took my winnings from the family holiday party for a spa visit! OH MY GOD... everyone has to do this. I told my husband 'happy wife happy life' and my kids well they will benefit from a sane & happy mommy so an hour, or two ... or what turned to be 3 hours away from me will do them good! I was greeted by smiling faces, herbal tea and relaxing scents. Then for the next 3 hours I was exfoliated, wrapped, massaged and even got a quick nap too! This place is awesome and I also got a insurance receipt for the entire price - $160!!!

I think a lot of people feel guilty or feel it's too intimate a thing for them to partake in. I can vouch that the masseuse I visited are totally professional and I feel NO guilt about pampering myself. After spending most of my day, every day, taking care of my kids, husband, friends and family, it's good to treat yourself. Besides the holidays are about giving aren't they?? And it's never too late so you should first start with giving to yourself! If your lucky enough to have insurance that will cover some (or all) of the costs than you really have no excuse - go make an appointment today!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas with family

Finished another amazing dinner with my in-laws. My husbands god-parents really know how to throw a party - it also helps that I won one surprise gift of $140!! For the dinner I made desserts & decided to try making all kinds of finger food sized bites that allow you to try a few different things! I made mini vanilla almond cheesecake, butter pecan tarts, strawberry pound cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate pudding, and what turned out to be the hit: mini-maple walnut cheesecakes: These little delights took no more than 10 minutes to make & the artistic feature when you flip them over & see the maple leaf cookie had everyone thinking they were gourmet!

Of course I also had my usual bevy of holiday cookies, peanut butter, shortbread, snowballs, gingerbread men and of course a few types of biscotti!

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to making a few I had hoped to like mini lemon meringue tarts, and a few others from the kraft site (which I recommend if your looking for a super quick & easy recipe, especially for entertaining or cooking with/for kids too):
- mini raspberry cheesecakes (which can be topped with anything really)
- individual baked cheesecakes
- Yuletide slices (Which remind me of Rocky Road cookies we had growing up)

Older or wiser???

Not sure which I am but I know there was NO way I was gonna wait in any line to buy anything on the 26th!! I have friends who got 15$ jeans, cool electronics and all kinds of other stuff. Now to clarify I used to be that person, I've stood in like to get a $350 pair of Oakleys for $60, a $100 Habs jersey for $10 and even stood in line to get $1.00 mascara!! Perhaps it's having children, or being out of shape (lazy) with baby fat. or old & needing the extra sleep... whatever it is, the thought of standing in line for any discount on anything seemed like the last thing I wanted to do. For all those that stood in lines (inside or out) and shopped till your dropped, my hat is off to you. I hope you enjoyed your deals... I enjoyed spending the day playing with crash up cars, play dough & watching my baby girl start to roll over!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

After too much eating & a delicious dessert which I will be proud of for weeks, Christmas Eve draws to a close. It was a great night! We entertained my in-laws, the kids are old enough to open their gifts and play with them while we chatted & drank, what more can you ask for?? And the icing on the cake was my mother-in-law got engaged after being with her boyfriend for 20 years!! And did I mention I made a kick ass dessert???

For those of you wondering about the dessert, I made a Croquembouche from my good friend Martha( it was fairly easy thanks to Martha's video & I highly recommend it! It's a french dessert & the name translates into 'crunch in the mouth' which I like. I like having something sweet and delicate yet delivering a surprising crunch too!

For those of you wondering about my mother-in-law there will be a wedding next summer when she turns 60 and we can't wait!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why is enough never enough when it comes to presents???

Ok so it's Christmas Eve Eve or what maritimers call 'Tips Eve' - cause you are supposed to have all your holiday stuff ready so you sit back & have a few drinks & get tipsy! The key being 'supposed to' have everything ready.

Why is it that I think I have everything done then as I'm going over in my head what is happening christmas day I find myself thinking I should pick up a little something for this this cousin cause it's a speical Christmas, then what about the dinner hostess ... a little something might be nice for her too... then before I know it I have a whole other list of gifts I just HAVE TO get. Well not this year. I will no longer give into last-minute gift scrambling or be sucked into marketing tactics like those cool gadgets as you wait in the cashier line which are at eye level to suck you in to buy even more crap for people who don't want or need it! This year I will not buy anything else until Dec 26th - well excpet for wine so I can get a little tipsy!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the perfect gift??

How do you chose a holiday gift for the person who is responsible for caring for your child all year? The person who makes sure they are well fed, learns (and uses) manners, are kept safe and so much more. This is an important gift, it's for the person who gives hugs & magic kisses on boo-boos when mommy can't.

In reality for most moms & dad's this is also the person who spends more time with your child than you. This person spends on average 10 hours a day with your child!! I am so thankful we have such a wonderful daycre, when I look at what we pay her I almost feel bad and we aren't even in a $7/day daycare that's availble here in Quebec. When I think of this I am so thankful my mother was able to stay at home when I was young!

Usually I start by asking other moms what they give. Then I think of what would help make her life a bit more relaxing. Let's see...after all day with 6 very energetic children, I'm sure she'd like a week away down south! But since I can't afford that (not even for myself) I'll give her an hour away all to herself with a massage. Hope she likes it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Cookies - Gingerbread

Being a smalltown girl I was raised that you show your holiday love by baking treats!! This year I tried to make traditional Gingerbread men cookies. I love to bake, although it doesn't always turn out as I would like, I keep on trying. To my suprise this recipe from a baking whiz friend turned out amazing!!! To see her creations check out:

You can find the recipe here (it also includes a yummy icing recipe for decorating the cookies):

If you need any help getting into the holiday spriit, you shoudl give it a try. I made them with my 2 year old son who loved helping out & then my husband helped me decorate them.... opps I promised him I'd say it was my son who decorated them!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tis the season

The snow is falling, it's freezing outside and my bank account is dwindling... the holidays are here!

This year while on maternity leave I thought FOR SURE I'd have time... time to get the pefect present for everyone... time to send holiday cards early... time to make homebaked treats... and time to get my house decorated. But here it is a few days before the 25th and nothing is completed! So I decided to step back & look at what is consuming my time. For example, every year I send out over 60 holiday cards - why? does a cousin or friend halfway across the country who our only communication is exchanging holiday cards really going to miss mine?? Am I that person who thinks that everyone MUST have my kids latest picture?? check one item off my to-do!

Is it all necessary?? Isn't the point of the holidays to spend time with friends and family, to help those less fortunate... and to not have to work?? When did it happen that it's so important to have more gifts than quality ones, to get new decorations than cherish older ones, and find time to make everything from scratch like Martha?? Is this just everyone going over board with the holidays or is this just being a grown up? If it's being a grown up I prefer to remain childlike! For this year I'm going to try to cut down on everything... just why does even that seem like so much work?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I am very happy to have a very good friend, amazing professional working mom who has things to say about being 'just a woman'.

As a working Mom, I am in survival mode. I have to do more in less time because I have to leave at a set time to pick up the kids at daycare. I have to be good at what I do because in our increasingly demanding workforce, clients and an employer are counting on me to maintain the same level performance and even increase it. I have to make my husband happy because he could fire me too. The kids need to eat well, get enough sleep, be clean and groomed, have brushed teeth, learn how to make their beds in the morning, be dressed in stain-free clothes and arrive at daycare fresh and not tired having had a good nutritious breakfast and with pink ribbons in their hair. After all, all the other children look so happy and well-served! After a few weeks of sleeping less than 5 hours a night I'll go through a bout of laziness and not work from 10 pm to 2 am to catch up on emails and outrageous last-minute demands. And so the survival continues. They won't beat me, because the more I survive, the better I get at it. The better we all get at it. Don't let them win!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Piece of the pie

What does it mean to be a woman in 2010?? I find a lot of girlfriends are looking for answers to the same questions - how can we be everything we think we are supposed to.

Every woman I know is trying to figure out what to be ... a wife, a mother, an employee or employer, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a therapist and so much more.

More importantly, how do we find time for everything?? Home cooked meals beacuse they are more nutritious and inexpensive; work long hours so we have our careers & of course pay the bills; recycle for the environment; help charity; work out to lose our back fat & love handles; spend time with our kids, husbands, family, friends... oh and somewhere in there find time for ourselves so we don't lose who we are in the process.

I look at it like a big pie. Sometimes there is a bigger piece for family (especially when your children are sick), sometimes a bigger piece for work, your husband, friends, charity, and of course there is always the tiniest piece for yourself. Above all else you need to always know that YOU WILL be able to do everything because you are a woman. At one time we were not allowed to vote because we were 'just a woman' now we are able to do all this because we are 'just a woman' ... but what many of us don't even know is that no woman is 'just a woman', these days most are 'just a superwoman'.

This blog is meant to share the stories as I try to be just a woman. Hopefully people will share their advice and I will be able to pass on any useful insights I learn.