Monday, December 29, 2014

Change Is Here!

Change starts now!  I'm taking back control!   

This past Sunday in church our pastor reviewed some of all the topics we heard throughout the year, he also said a new year is a blank slate just like a new day is.  He mentioned how many have their resolutions that begin on January 1st simply because it's a new start.  Fresh start!  He also said a fresh start is a good thing.  We take a look back at ourselves personally and review where we've been and what can we change going forward.



Going forward, well lets just say that I'm really tired of being thrown under the bus.  I'm really tired of hearing about what someone said to someone else about me.  Get over yourself already will you!!  I'm really tired of trying to fix relationships that shouldn't have gone sour in the first place but then again, some don't even have a clue as to what's going on around them anyway!  Ha! 

So I'm done!

CHANGE.

Renewal.

I've found a greater peace with God and with myself as a person.  I'm not in high school so I really don't want to play high school games.  I not a fan of "pretend, pretend", I out grew that ages ago.

I'm not who I was. ... And that's a good thing.  Those who really knew me then and know me know are well aware of this and compliment me on it.  I'm not looking for compliments though, I'm just looking to please my God .....and my Mom. 

Things are already looking up...because "the Light unto my path" is bright! 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gotta LoseIt!

 I'm so glad I didn't buy any chips, cheese puffs, chocolates,jube jubes or any other junk food this Christmas!  The loseit app is slowly keeping me accountable for eating soo much.  Problem is I'm gaining weight solely because my irritable bowels are  dung hoarders!  

LOL at "dung hoarders"!  

Ok it really is no laughing matter!  I just have irritable bowels and am trying to make healthy adjustments lately but with the holiday baking ... Well...

Fruitcake
Banana bread
Fudge
Biscuits 
Sweet bread
Black cake (also known as rum cake)
Chocolate chip cookies

I rest my case!  


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nap Time

 Yup, I intend to get plenty of rest.  I'm still rather busy trying to get the photography done for my Etsy shop but I'm also making use of the time I took off work to recharge my batteries! Nap time!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Greeting Cards By Snail Mail

 One of my most favourite things about Christmas is the greeting cards by snail mail.  The kind you can get excited about when you open your mail box (providing you actually GET your mail from whomever checks that box, just sayin') . 

Most folk who know me are well aware I don't celebrate any other thing through out the year.  I mean sure I have the dinner for Thanksgiving, and eat jelly beans on Easter after I come home from church but I don't usually give greeting cards for them....except to my Mom.    And, if anyone hasn't heard from me in a while, they know me well enough that their Christmas card is on its way!  

This instagram photo is an early shot of our card line.  We got the mini clothes line and pins at the dollar store and just connected two together and strung the empty line along the wall when we decorated and waited for the first card to arrive.  

The first card was from my Aunt Patty in Toronto!  And for a few days it was the only card displayed there...then the rest started arriving.  

Not sure how many are displayed  in the picture but last count was thirty!  We had cards from friends and family here in Montreal, as well as Toronto, Nova Scotia, New York, Colorado, Chicago, the Philippines, England, and the West Indies.  We usually drop about fifty in the mail each year.  I didn't find a great card assortment in the shops this year so God willing, I'll be ordering some online in the next few days to put aside for next year.  I got that idea from a friend!  It never occurred to me to do that!!! 

Anyway, I'm just going to enjoy the decorations we have up for a few more days.  Un decorating will happen on January 3rd before heading back to work on the 5th.  

Merry Christmas!!

The Day After

 My husband and I didn't exchange gifts.  We mostly do that when we know we intend to travel.  We upgraded our Olympus digital camera for a Canon "big thing I don't need" as my nephew said.  Anyhow we need the big Canon for when we go away to England later on in 2015, God willing.   Husband and I never really exchange gifts even on other holidays like Valentines or Easter.  That's just the way we are I suppose.  Besides, I'm just not into that flowers and candy business, just remember me at Christmas and we're good.  

One thing we always do is exchange greeting cards at Christmas and birthdays.  Funny thing is each year the card we get for each other on Christmas always seem similar to each other....did that make sense?  What I mean is this year the card I got husband spoke of our friendship and special love.  The card he got for me pretty much discussed the same.  Last year if memory serves me, the cards were about quality time.  We had a good laugh at that coincidence on Christmas morning though.  

No shopping rush today though because its a rest day.  Still not feeling up to par but still smiling at the memories of our Christmas dinner.... That turkey wing was fabulous.  I said "fabulous" in my Samantha Jones voice by the way.




Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas To All....

 Another Christmas has past us by.  I've been busy as a bee stitching ornaments for the children at church and for friends and family.  I'm down to just a few left that will be delivered by New Year's Day, God willing.  I've still got to make it to the post office to mail a Christmas box for my brother and his family as well as a box to my husbands sister for her family as well.  We were late with the box assembly to get them out in time for Christmas but we have faith that Canada Post's Express Post will get them to their recipients on time for New Years Day.

On Christmas Eve, husband and I got up early to try and avoid the store rush, to no avail I might add!  We ran some last minute errands and then I baked another fruit cake for my eldest sister who had requested two this year!  Later on we relaxed at home prior to attending our church service that evening to sing Christmas hymns and listen to verses from the Bible on the birth of our Lord and Saviour then off to my Mom's place to sit and chat for a while while snacking on egg rolls, chicken nuggets and sausage cocktail weenies that my nephew so enjoys.  All in all, Christmas Eve was pretty nice....and calm.  I also managed to get a nice long walk, in the drizzle rain, during the day.  No complaints, it cleared my mind and felt good.  

I'm not feeling 100% today, and I'm somewhat tired.  It was a very windy day today, rained most of the night disolving most of the snow so travel was easy peasy.  We just had a nice time with my Mom, nephew and two sisters over a small quiet and intimate dinner.  This year we all had pretty much planned on going small and just staying home and relaxing.  Just like the good ole days when Christmas was intimate and not "big" and "overdone".  So many years recentlynwe've had rather large and overwhelming celebeation gatherings but this yer we just wanted to avoid all the drama and It worked out very nice, dinner was delicious, dessert was an ice cream log that was scrumptious.  And now we're home, chillaxing on the sofa and I'm enjoying a nice big cup of hot tea.  

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Keep It Down


As difficult as it is, I'm still trying not to over indulge on snacks and beautiful baked goods this holiday season.  I joined a few challenges on the loseit app and one of them is to keep my calorie intake below my daily max point.  It plays with your head let me tell you!  I'm dying for egg rolls but am indulging on mashed turnip instead.  Big difference but I really don't want to gain too much this month.  



I'm walking more and exercising at home a tad but that will increase when the new year rolls around.  I really want to drop the pounds befor out trip to England late next summer!  

I just really need to drink more water!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Elf On The Shelf

I've got a love hate relationship with the elf on the shelf.. I really do want one but I'm really afraid they come to life when I'm asleep or not around and that's just real creepy.  I've got a crazy vivid imagination, probably from watching too much TV or from reading too much but still, it's creepy.  I'm afraid one day I may look at it and his cute little face will be sinister. 

Think I'm crazy?  Look here, I found this photo on Instagram and the elf teamed up with Chucky and is shredding the toy snowman!  That's just wrong.... And creepy. Poor little snowman.  


Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Shopping!

I've never been one to finish Christmas shopping early. I try every year, I have a plan mapped out and a list of what to get for each recipient but I never completely finish the shopping until the week before Christmas.

Nothing has changed this year.  I'm still struggling with the last 7 gifts.  

I get enjoyment out of getting gifts for folks especially if it's something I know they really like or need.  Having to ask someone what to get for them is ok too because it makes the shopping a lot less of a hassle.  I may be one of the few folks who enjoys Christmas shopping mainly because I spend more time looking at the store decorations and listening, singing and even dancing to the Christmas music playing over the store intercom than I do searching for the gift I'm there to buy.  

Happy shopping!!  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Susan's Favourite Things 2014

Welcome to another edition of Susan's Favorite Things!  Much like Oprah's, this is a list of things I like but my list won't include 72 items like hers did!  No, that's just cray cray.  My list will be 12 items, you know, like the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS but with my favorite things of 2014!!!

Ok so first start humming the song "these are a few of my favorite things..." in your best Sound of Music voice!

My list once again this year, is in no particular order.





RECYCLED GROCERY BAGS


I always have one of these babies folded and tucked inside my backpack or purse just incase I stop in a shop.  No way am I paying five cents for a cheap plastic bag that will rip and tear before I even leave the store!!!


BUCKET HAT


I wore bucket hats while on vacation in the Southern Caribbean earlier this year.  These hats aren't expensive, come in a variety of colours and patterns and are quite stylish.  Look good while keeping the sun off your head!  I've got a yellow one that's reversable... solid yellow on one side, yellow floral on the other  side!  pretty cool. 



ETSY
With Ebay now recommending sellers use some international shipping setting, shipping costs to Canada from the USA are insane!  Ridiculously insane!  Like $15 to ship a small two inch plastic craft frame that can fit inside a standard letter envelope for a buck or two.  Craziness!!   I've all but stopped using Ebay and now get all my craft supplies on Etsy.  Besides, Etsy sellers are far more personable... better customer service up in here!



NEXT ISSUE


I do like reading magazines and getting a ton of them for $11.25 Canadian a month after taxes is a super deal.  The best thing is for that price you also get a year of back issues per magazine! So you know I've been reading the Prevention magazine from cover to cover!!!  The only down side is the magazine selection is quite limited.  There are no crafting magazines, no knitting, no crochet, no cross stitch, no woodworking and if you want the gossip rag mags you need to upgrade to the $15 per month before taxes.  This is the only thing that bugs me about this service, now if only their service could combine with Zinio's selection I'd be the happiest woman on the planet!


IPAD MINI


Husband bought me an ipad mini for my birthday in 2012 or was it 2013?  I can't remember but either way I own one!  It's awesome.  I read magazines on it (Next Issue & Zinio apps), I play Candy Crush on it, I do the facebook on it , the google plus and the instagram and log my eating habbits and sometimes I blogger on it.  I have tons of apps and it has become an extention of my left hand...



JAM WIRELESS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER


These are small but they pack a punch.  The sound quality is great if you want to listen to your music on a speaker and not on headphones or earbuds.  I've got two of these, a blue one I leave at work to listen to my ipod touch with and a silver one I have at home for when I'm in the kitchen and want to listen to online radio streaming from my ipad.  They run via bluetooth wireless connection or you can connect the wire to them and if your mp3 player isn't bluetooth compatable.  They could be made a bit better to let you know when the charge is running out but otherwise I love them.



PINTEREST
 

And it's free!  Yes, one thing about Pinterest is it has made surfing the internet so much easier for crafters like me!  Looking for a pattern, why Google it when you can search in Pinterest.  Looking for a new hair style, search Pinterest!  Looking for some decorating ideas?  Pinterest is the place to be.  Create your own boards of things you like, and pin on!


CUPCAKES

I baked cupcakes for our Church's Harvest Party and for family gatherings and have become obsessed with the little buggers!  I can eat one whole cake and not feel guilty for cheating on a diet!  BECAUSE ITS A CUPCAKE!  Any flavor cake mix and pretty it up with a fancy coloured paper liner and some icing and sprinkles... oh the joy!!!  *dreamy sigh*  Problem is I never stop at just one.



CARNATION MILK

I love this stuff in my coffee.  Only in coffee though because it's too rich.  I find it gives coffee (or hot chocolate) a nice creamy taste, better than cream in my opinion.  I tried it in tea but not fond of it.  I always keep a couple cans in the cupboard. 



SONY HEADPHONES

I got these white  headphones by Sony earlier this year.  Husband has the black pair.  The sound in these things is Amazing!!!!  (Ya, I said "Amazing" in my excited Oprah voice)  I enjoy the sound when listening to audiobooks nice and crisp.  And also classical music and jazz sounds so incredible in these. I can listen to what I like without disturbing my husband.  The only thing we do not have in common is our taste in music!  He's a reggae, soca, old gospel person, I'm a classical, jazz and contemporary christian person.  Go figure. 



TIM HORTONS COFFEE


I love the new Tim Horton's Dark Roast coffee.  Large decaf with two milk on the side.  Ya, I'm not fond of them adding the milk or cream for me because they will stir it in with the nasty spoon that was sitting in the  cup of rancid water for hours going in and out of thousands of cups of coffee leaving residue in the water that gets transferred to your coffee... no thank you, just put the milk on the side and give me that large decaf please.  mmm... smooth!!!!



THAI EXPRESS

Oh... My... Goodness.... have you had their General Thai Chicken and rice?  
I HAVE!  With two spring rolls and a fortune cookie too!!  It's a bit steep in price though like almost $15  the general with spring rolls, cookie and a beverage but oh goodness gracious is it ever good!  Just adding to my hips and back fat.  That's all it does.    Sigh. 




And there you have it!  Favorite things ordinary joe can afford!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Naked Tree


So right now our Christmas tree is posing nude in our living room.  I assembled it last Thursday while I was supposed to be watching the Macy parade on TV but ended up watching a Christmas movie on the Lifetime channel instead.  


I haven't put lights on the tree yet because I want to get all white ones.  We have the multi coloured LED ones from last year but I seen a tree that had combined the bright and dim white light on and it was remarkable!  So nakey tree will continue to break the internet until Friday when I can dress it up!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Memories: First Snow

I was on my way from the grocery store, just picked up the last of the ingredients for the Christmas fruit cake and it began to snow!  I had to gingerly walk along the sidewalk because that light dusting layer is slippery.  

And then came the wonderful memories.... when we were kids, Mom had this pair of rubber style boots.  They weren't rubber, more like man-made materials leather-look style you know.  The boots had a flat square heel but were terribly slippery on snow because they had no grips whatsoever!  

My sisters and I were never fond of these boots (even on Mom's feet) but when it was the first dusting of snow we actually argued over who would get to wear them because they were perfect to run along the sidewalk then stop and let yourself slide.   They were awesome to slide in!  I think I only got to wear them once because my feet were too small.  We used to try going out in our running shoes to slide like that on the first snowfall but the Mom-radar caught us every time "GET YOUR BOOTS ON SO YOU DON'T CATCH YOURSELF PNEUMONIA".  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Retro Toys: Lite-Brite

Remember the Lite-Brite toy?  
Ok, you have to be born in the sixties to truly remember those!  They were hugely popular in the 70s.  We had one when we were kids.  I think the true owner of it was my eldest sister but we all shared our toys so it was more "ours" than it was "hers".   Santa Mom got it for my sister at Christmas.  We loaded it up with batteries and started poping those the pegs into it to create lit up pictures.  I really don't recall it being something we played with too often since it required batteries and in those days rechargeable batteries weren't invented yet!  And if they were, we didn't have em!!  But I do remember it was something we loved to use whenever we had batteries.

Are these things still on the market?  I saw them on the Elf movie last night and it just brought back all those fond Christmas memories.  



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Deck The Kitchen!

It's Saturday morning technically because its 01:30 in the morning and do you know what I'm doing?  I'm decorating my kitchen for Christmas!   I washed down all the walls and the horizontal blinds and hung up the red kitchen curtains and hung the small poinsettia wreath on the kitchen door.  I've still got to get to putting on the red tablecloth and setting out the red and white striped fruit bowl but I'm on break now!  I've got some christmas music playing on my iPod through my wireless Jam speaker.  I put up the tree on Thursday morning when I came home from work because who needs sleep right?! Ha!  Alright, break is over.... I'll be updating this blog in a few hours because right now my ipad is about to die!   Ugh!  Where is the charger at! 




Friday, November 21, 2014

Letter To Santa

Alright, now is usually about the time kids and some of us grown folk write a letter to Santa Claus, allowing it time to travel slowly via snail mail in the blizzard up hill to the north pole.  I found this letter template on pinterest and decided this will be one of my few letters.  Yes, few letters.... just in case one gets lost in the mail.   HERE IS MY LETTER.....



A Holiday Christmas Letter to Santa 
November 21, 2014

Dear Santa

Hi!  My name is Susan and I am 45 years old young.  I live in the city of Montreal in the state province of Quebec which is in the country of Canada!  I have been trying really hard to get on your "nice" list this year. Some of the wonderful things I have done are:
1. I baked cupcakes for the kids at church
2. I gave up my seat on the bus when I was really REALLY tired.
3. I yelled at a dude who was watching me fold my laundry at the laundromat.

I have a few special Christmas wishes.  They are:

1. I need some magic dust to sprinkle on my cellulite to make it shrink up.
2. I need some other type of magic dust to sprinkle on my greying hair to make it stay dark brown.
3. I need a magic wand to whack that creepy dude at the laundromat if he happens to be there again trying to eyeball my fruit of the looms.

I am very excited for your visit!  I promise to leave out some metamucil travel packs since all those cookies from everyone else may bind you up.  Please give my favorite reindeer Hacker a huge hug for me!


Happy Holidays Merry Christmas!

Your pal, Susan

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Another Chubby Chick Saga

See, now what did I tell you?  One day at a time works out just great!  I exercised again on Tuesday morning and ate a bit better until I came to work and found a bag of jube jubes in my locker!  Yes I ate the whole bag but it was a small bag only like 400 calories but still not good.  Tasty but not healthy. I also binged on hot chocolate with marshmallows too!  Sad thing is I say that like its a good thing, oh help me when I log this in the app!  Ugh! 


Anywho, Now I'm looking on loseit for another challenge because I find that when I join in on them, I seem to do better.  I've also read a few success stories on the loseit site that seem to encourage me to get my game on.  So... Lets do this!  


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Ahead

I'm feeling it better to take one day at a time, like baby steps, when it comes to trying to keep with the exercise routine.  Lately the emotional eating got out of hand.  Friday I had a big bag of sour cream and onion flavour ruffles with chive dip for breakfast.  Yup, you read that right!  


I went for a nice long walk on Saturday and ran a few errands at the same time and also had plenty of one on one time with God in prayer.  On Monday morning after I got my husband off to work I did 30 minutes of exercises and felt really good.  I'm still drinking lots of lemon water and already I see the difference in my complexion and with my inner pipes!  I don't want to tell myself ok this week you'll do this... Blah blah blah, because apparently i have trouble sticking to anything that lasts longer than a day.  Sad but true these days.   So Monday that's where I was,  now it's Tuesday and I'm starting fresh again,  I did 30 minutes of exercises!  So you see, if every day I start fresh, I just might get somewhere!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lemon Water, Drink Up!

While skimming the news feed on facebook, you know how the minute you "like" a magazine, they fill your news feed with every article known to man.  Well, the other day I came across one, no don't read them, just the headline and if it's enticing enough then I'm like a fish on the hook!  So as I was saying, the other day I came across an article, not sure if it was Women's World or Women's Day magazines, but anyway, it displayed two photographs of a woman from the shoulders up.  On one photo they called it her "before" photo, and the next one was the "after" photo.  She claims to have turned back the hands of time by drinking twice as much water on a daily basis.  Now the article tore that statement apart and insisted with no actual scientific proof it can't possibly be true then they criticized the lighting on the photo and said it could be photo shop.  

Wow, who's have thought scientists were so moody.  

Anyway, I can't offer any scientific proof but I can say that drinking the recommended 8 to 10 glass of water a day WITH LEMON IN IT, does make a difference.

Here is my scienterrific research.  I had issues with my inner pipes.  Lemon water was always been the perfect beverage to disinfect your inner pipes so for about a month whenever I drank water, it was always lemon water.  I'd prepare a two litre bottle each day and drink it all by the end of the day.  I found that after a few days my face broke out (the lemon getting rid of all the toxins) and my pipes were telling me how much they loved me on a more regular basis.  After about two weeks my face was completely clear and looked so refreshed!  Hmm.... guess I need to go back to drinking lemon water on the daily.  Anyway, since water is great for a diet, and lemon is a natural cleanser for the intestines, lemon water it is!  Prepare it in the morning in an empty juice container or water/soda bottle.  Just cut up some lemon slices, rind/skin and all and toss them into a bottle of water.  Drink up! 

Now if you don't believe just google "health benefits of lemon water" and see for yourself! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Feels Like Christmas

We had flurries yesterday afternoon!  I was outside in the midst of it.  

It made me nostalgic.  It made me feel even more Christmassy than I already feel.  So I strolled down the street and headed to the mall to buy toys to fill up six boxes for operation christmas child.  I walked up the candy isle in the store and spotted peanut brittle.  Over heard two older ladies saying "you know it's christmas when they break out the peanut brittle". Well not for me, christmas I fudge, biscuits, cookies, cakes and pies.   

I'm looking forward to Christmas and all the goodies but my hips and thighs and jelly butt are not looking forward to being squeezed into clothes that will eventually be too small.  

The Question

See, I told you the December issue of the O magazine was worth the purchase!  I'm truly loving the segments this year.  Bravo Oprah!  Bravo! Bravo I say!

This segment was called "The Question" where readers responded to one question.  The responses are sweet and heart warming, and I'm glad my screen capture is too small for you to read...GO SPEND THE CASH ON THE MAGAZINE or better yet, sign up for a 30 day free trial for NextIssue and read it for free!  

Ok, here is my answer to "The Question" : What's the most special gift you've ever received?

... The most special gift I've ever received was knit socks & mittens from my Paternal Grandmother.  She made me a matching pair every Christmas since the early 1990s and would mail them to me (she lived in Nova Scotia while I'm in Quebec). She passed away in early 2007 so I stopped wearing the socks and all but one pair of mittens and stored them for safe keeping in my tickle trunk in the closet.  They mean the world to me, so I do wear one pair of mittens each winter because they are the warmest, knit with love.





Friday, November 7, 2014

In The Spirit

Fret not, my list of favourite things is in the works, I know how you all get a kick out of that eh!  But first I couldn't resist taking a page out of the December O magazine!  Ok perhaps a few pages!! 

The magazine had a segment called "In The Spirit" speaking of the spirit of Christmas obviously.  The digital copy displayed five colleagues of Oprah and their individual responses to the same questions.  I chose to screen capture this one that's too small to read, because she's the one who mentioned the shoebox of toys for needy kids.  I will note that another individual mentioned giving back by helping out a food bank which is also super amazing.

Now, here are my answers to Oprah's list of "In The Spirit" questions:

I'll never forget when I was given....
A Wendy Walker doll!  I was five years old and really wanted one of those dolls.  Santa Mom got me it for Christmas and would you believe I STILL HAVE HER stored in a box under my bed forty years later.  

But I'd rather forget the time I received....
A foot bath.  Seriously, my boyfriend at the time gave me a foot bath tub.  I hated it even though he thought it was a thoughtful gift because occasionally I had achy feet.   But seriously...a foot bath?! 

When in doubt, my go-to gift is...
Pyjamas.  If I don't know what to give a person, I get them pyjamas, usually a two piece number with the pants and top because if they're not worn to bed, they can be worn to lounge around the house on snowy or rainy days.

During the holidays, I give back by...
My husband and I always prepare six shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through our church.  We do six because we can never decide between the gender or age groups so we do one for each.  We also donate $100 of non perishable food to Sun Youth Organization for their food bank & Christmas baskets to help the needy. 


The Oprah December Magazine

  I confess, I'm one of those folks who always look forward to Oprah's favourite things issue.  When she had her talk show on TV, I'd be sure to record it so I can watch it at my leisure and fast forward the commercials.  Nowadays I have to wait for the O magazine to publish them.  

No.... I'm not one of those folks who runs to the store to buy anything on that list.  I'm just not "rich" enough.  I'm rich in many ways, but not when it comes to money.  For once I wish Oprah would publish a list of favourite items that are ALL under $100.  I love that the price range for the 72 items on her list is wide but us poor folk who support the magazine would really like to see more than a book or a cup of tea in our price range.... Just once make the list for the every day ordinary joe.

Seriously, the first item on this years list is a Beats by Dr Dre Bluetooth headphone with matching portable speaker set for $700. 

Wait, what?  $700 is rent or mortgage money for most of us.  What's almost laughable is there are people who will now wait in line to buy this item, and probably one person who will be late with the rent while doing so.  Lets hope there are no stupid folks who will make their kids go hungry so they can make this purchase!  

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on Oprah.  I'm a loyal December issue buyer of her magazine after all. Her magazine is nice year long I'm just not a fan of the photoshop on the cover!  I must say, I love this years format...cover and all!  Bravo!  I seriously suggest buying the magazine.  I've got it on the NextIssue app but I'm going to buy the paper copy so I can scribble in it like all kids do with holiday magazines!  Ha!

I've only skimmed the mag thus far but I like how she included her employees & colleagues in a sort of questionnaire on the holidays.  The digital issue includes a recorded message from Oprah and in it she speaks of giving and of charity.  I like that.  I wish one of her shows would speak of the Operation Christmas Child pack a shoebox for a needy child for Christmas.  In the first few pages of the magazine, one of her employees mentions packing a shoebox of toys for a needy child but that's pretty much the extent of it.  Oprah has a chance to really help that event but she flopped again.
 Either way, the December issue of O magazine is a nice format and well worth the purchase.





Saturday, November 1, 2014

Digital Magazine Rant

I'm getting somewhat annoyed with the NextIssue app.  
See, here's the thing.  I like that the NextIssue app gives you a bunch of magazines for ten bucks a month and you get at least a year of back issues too.  The problem for me is it's not too easy to see if you've downloaded something already or not, the notice images are too small, whereas on the Zinio app a big arrow on the cover of the page clues you in, and the page is slightly shaded too!  

I really like that.  

Truth be told I like the Zinio app better, I just wish their service was sort of similar to NextIssue.  Not offering a bunch of magazines for a one shot price but at least give the reader a year of back issues included with the one year subscription price!  

Zinio offers a wider selection of magazines I LOVE THAT.  

I just wish that when I paid $20+ for a one year subscription to the magazine that I would be able to read last years issues included in the price or have a sort of coupon code specific to my subscription that will allow me to download at least three of the back issues free.  

Anyway, I'm just ranting on again because I was just scrolling through magazines on both apps.  I'm only sticking with the NextIssue app to get the December issues, baking, holiday ideas, you know!  Then I'm shucking it.  I've got only one subscription on Zinio now but when it runs out, I haven't made up my mind which app to stick with.  

They're both good apps but .... A reader really needs to have both of them unless NextIssue expands its selection to include crafting and hobby magazines like Zinio.  

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now!  

Walked It Off!


I lost two pounds.  Ya, I couldn't wait to throw that out so why cut to the chase.  I lost two pounds and I'm trying my best NOT to find it again!

The one thing about the autumn season is it's so beautiful to walk in.  The crisp leaves beneath your feet, cool breeze if you're dressed accordingly and the beauty of nature.  So ya, I've been walking a lot!  I've been better at logging on the loseit app and its helped.  

I lost two pounds.  I say it like its the greatest thing since sliced bread eh!  Ha!  


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tilda Doll Obsessed

I've recently become obsessed with Tilda dolls.  Home made cute and classy dolls.  I've been researching the tools I'd need to create one and the skill level isn't that bad either depending on which pattern I choose to do first.  The only thing standing in my way is that sewing machine!  Oh sure it works just fine, I just constantly experience user problems with it so I've decided it would make sense if I just read the user manual from cover to cover like I do with everything else on this planet and then maybe I might get somewhere.

I was chatting with an online pal about the Tilda dolls.  She's in the UK so getting supplies are easy since all the online stores that sell the stuff are located .... guess where..... IN THE UK!  Etsy has some supplies online and I'm totally boycotting Ebay unless it's from China because the American shipping has gotten totally out of control.  I still can't get over folks in New York mailing something to Kansas so it will come to Canada then charging an arm and a leg.  Ha!  Craziness.  Until sellers rethink that international shipping thing that is optional on Ebay, I forsee a drop in some sales.


Anywho, I've also discovered an online site with tons of patterns for the Tilda dolls, ya sure Pinterest has tons too by the way.  I'd seriously suggest purchasing a book though so you can feel it up and look at the colour pictures and feel special like you know what you're doing and all.  Ha!  

I did print a pattern from a Pinterest link (not the pattern shown here though).  The pattern will make the doll pretty large.  When I seen these dolls I recall my Grandmother made me a fabric doll when I was about 4 years old.  It had yellow yarn for the hair.  She wasn't a Tilda doll, or a Waldorf doll either for that matter, just a plain white cotton fabric doll that I found to be pretty cute.  I have no clue what happened to that doll over time though.  Had I known better I'd have preserved it.


Anywho, as I was saying before my trip down memory lane, the pattern for the Tilda doll I printed will make her be about two feet high.  I can do it but I want to gather all the tools first.  I just think these dolls have such character.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In Production

The past couple of weeks have been spent brainstorming over the Etsy shop I'll be opening soon.  I don't have an exact grand opening date and going on the professional advise I've been given, I'm not going to put a date out there yet.  The shop name and email address have already been set up and soon enough the items for sale will be added.

I still have to sort out all the items I'll be selling first, then take photos of them so I'll need to set up a mini-photo-studio in our spare room for this with extra lighting and whatnot.  Then comes the detailed descriptions!  It's really a lot of work and right now it seems overwhelming because I'm down to the wire on the annual home made Christmas ornaments that need to be completed for mailing on December 1st.  I figure once I get through with the ornaments I'll be able to put more effort into the shop.

And speaking of the shop, I've ordered a few buttons from an Etsy store, that will have my logo on it!  Pretty cool.... got that idea from my Gran's pin. You can see the photo of the pin in link to that blog post. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Moving Forward

I've been walking more lately and doing about 30 minutes of exercise at home.  I can't do too much as I've got some abdominal issues but I do what I can without over doing it.  I weighed myself two weeks ago and actually logged that weight up on the LoseIt app.  I've also joined a challenge over there, just an easy one to get me back into the swing of logging everything I eat on a daily basis.  So far it's been helping to get me back on track.  

I gave up on the hypnosis.  I got really creeped out when my crazy friend said that the hypnosis could be turning me into Shallow Hal .... where she's full figured and he only sees a skinny chick.  Well, my crazy friend suggested that I'm seeing a skinny chick in the mirror but my butt is fat. 

Yes, she said my butt is fat.  I'm not sure how I feel about knowing my friend looked at my butt though. However, I must admit it did get me wondering what the hypnosis thing is saying to me while I'm fast asleep.  Kind of got me all creeped out so I ditched it. 

Water and MetaMucil are my best friends!  Not only am I getting added fiber from the MetaMucil but I'm also helping to lower my cholesterol. I'm also drinking more green tea and am trying to reduce my coffee intake but that's just too difficult so I'm still on decaf coffee because I just love the taste of coffee!!!!!

I'll weigh in on Saturday to see how I'm doing with this adjustment but so far it feels good.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Biggest Loser Workout

I haven't been sleeping well lately and the lack of sleep is playing havoc on my system.  I've got mad munchies.  I've been logging my food on loseit daily but that doesn't seem to deter me from eating crispy crunch chocolate bars.  My candy of choice.  My body apparently wants sugar.  I gave up adding sugar to my coffee, I use honey instead, no more sweeteners either.  I only use sugar if its an ingredient in a recipe.  When shopping, I read labels for low sugar, low sodium, low fat but not always low fat, seriously that just means taste free!  

I'm exercising...

I've added more walking to my health routine.  I take public transit to and from work so I get off the bus two stops early and walk the rest of the way.  I take the stairs when using the subway rather than ride the escalator.  I'm still doing the daily exercise routine of jumping jacks, push-ups and whatnot but this week, today actually, since its officially Monday, (it's just past midnight) I'm going to add the one hour Biggest Loser exercise video I found on YouTube.  What I like about that video as compared to the other Jillian Michaels workouts is the folks doing the exercises don't have flat washboard bellies, they're out of shape jellies like me and that's what makes me encouraged to proceed. 
I'm on a plateau with weightloss but that's no surprise since I'm sleeping less and eating chocolate bars like they're about to go extinct!  First thing I'm going to work on is putting the ipad DOWN and going to sleep.  I will work on getting 7-9 hours of sleep daily.  I'm also going to get started on this one hour of biggest loser.  Got to get off this plateau!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pinterest Find

My addiction to Pinterest always lands me on something great and useful.  This home made potpourri is quite lovely.  I don't boil it on the stove though because I've got an electric potpourri crock pot.  Just add ingredients to the crock, and plug it in.  Leaves our home smelling so lovely! Water, citrus slices, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, cranberries.  Boiled up it smells mmmmm....




Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm A Crafty Girl

I've been awake sine 05:30 this morning and decided to get out of bed and do something productive.  I got up, made a cup of coffee and called Mom for a little whisper chit chat while husband still sleeps.  I may need a nap later!  Always love my morning chats with Mom.  

Right now I'm chilling in the spare bedroom, watching I don't know that's on TV right now and I'm installing updates to my laptop and running the virus scan, gotta keep that dude up to speed you know!  And I'm also getting some stitching done on the enormous amount of Christmas decorations I need to complete.  Taking a skim through my social media sites and jotting down ideas for the craft shop.  I'm feeling mighty crafty today.  

I suspect the restlessness is due in part from knowing that today I pick up my new Canon camera!  Woot! Woot!  A new toy for me to play with and just in time to photograph items for my craft shop!  


Friday, October 17, 2014

Excitement

I'm really excited about starting up a craft shop on Etsy.  It's a much different feeling than what I had earlier this year when I had initially planned to set one up.  I gave up on my earlier plan because my heart and soul weren't into it.  I seemed to find every little reason NOT to proceed.  Recently it's all I can think about.  I want my own craft shop, so I prayed.  And I prayed and prayed some more and kept asking what should I do.  Each time I got the same answer...go for it.  It's my dream and I have a chance to live it, successful or not I can at least try.

So I once again, printed the entire Etsy sellers handbook and created a new store name that fits me and I've got a notebook of ideas and suggestions, basically my brainstorming.  So, no grand opening date has been set because I'm taking it one step at a time with God's guidance.  I do already have a long line of buyers who constantly ask if I sell anything that I make.  

My cup runneth over! 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Craft-Tastic!


I was asked "what is the one thing you'd like to do in your lifetime".  Hmm the bucket list is a couple pages long but aside from that, I'd really like to open a craft shop one day.  Yes, I was supposed to open an etsy shop earlier this year selling some of my overstock supplies but I don't really want to sell my stash!  What I really want to do is sell things I've made.  

I find myself thinking of ways to get my foot in the door.  Etsy sure sounds like the right direction to go but I really don't have time to hand sew as many things my mind pictures me selling.

That's where my sewing machine comes in....well actually it's not MY machine but my sister's.  She was kind enough to loan it to me months ago and she's in no hurry to get it back, apparently it frees up some shelf space for her.   Anyway, I've got a few cute Christmas felt ornament patterns that would likely sell should I put my mind to it.  I just need to set one weekend aside to learn how to use it... By watching plenty of YouTube tutorial videos!  So yes, one day I will have my own craft shop but when that day will be, I really don't want to place a date yet, lets just play it by ear.




Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Minute In Susan's Mind

Have you ever seen someone who reminds you of someone famous?  Well, when I ride the bus home from work, there's this dude who, from an angle, looks just like Dan Ackroyd. 
 I'm tempted to snap a photo of the dude one day but my stealthy paparazzi skills are lacking in the stealth department.  Well, the other day I saw Kanye West on the bus!  Ok so it was a dude that looked like him again, from an angle.  So that's my thing when I'm out and about; I look for folks who remind me of other people simply because its entertaining.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ebay Shipping No Joke

So the newest problem with eBay is that new "international priority shipping" policy.  I've been ripped off by this once already and with the help from a very friendly American eBay seller, we discovered how eBay is robbing both the seller AND the buyer!

I wouldnt be surprised if most, if not all, eBay sellers are unaware of this.  You see earlier this year I purchased a bunch of plastic cross stitch frames much like the ones in the photo below.

 Usually shipping from USA to Canada for something this small and light weight is no more than $9 ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM.  I've purchased many on eBay and have paid shipping ranging from $3USD to $9USD depending on how many are being shipped.  The ones I purchased a while ago had a ridiculous shipping price so I contacted the seller for a real shipping quote to my postal code.  She was kind to pass it for free shipping because she simply wanted to get rid of them and she changed the listing to adjust the shipping to free.  Problem is that new international shipping feature eBay has was in place and charged $13USD for shipping.  The seller emailed me because she had my actual address from when I asked for a quote but she inquired why had she received an email from eBay telling her to ship the item to KENTUCKY USA instead of MONTREAL CANADA.  Together we figured out that the seller only gets the actual $3 or $4 shipping cost and the balance goes to PITNEY BOWES who claims to clear the item so there are no further duties to be paid by the buyer.  For all the years I've been on eBay, only once did I have to pay duties on delivery because the seller made an error on their export document by falsely identifying the item.  Other than that, no probs.  I suspect some American eBay sellers must be wondering why sales are down from foreign buyers.  This is why!


$15 to ship three small packs of plastic 2" frames?  Ha ha ha oh that is so funny!  Craziness! 

Most of the craft supplies I use are purchased on eBay and if shipping is insane I skip it.  Some sellers are aware of ths and have opted out to keep their sales up.  Good move!  

Now I pick and choose my purchases more carefully.