Monday, December 22, 2014

MOMday: More Elf on the Shelf Ideas 2014

Oops - cutting it a little close on keeping this post on a Monday this week ;)  Busy day around here.

Anyway - before I get into the ideas, I want to share a little story of Christmas magic with y'all.

This weekend, we ended up going to Fabricland to source some fabrics for one of hubby's upcoming shoots.  Me and the girlies were hanging out around the fun fur (o - they were trying to climb INSIDE the fun fur) when a man and his wife came around the corner.  He was a big guy.  Full head of white hair and a neatly trimmed white beard.   And both he and his wife were wearing red button down shirts.   I did the super sneaky "Psst.  Grls..." and nodded my head over to him and he caught my eye and winked.

In a stage whisper I said "Oh my girls...look at that man.  You don't suppose it could be , you know who, do you?  Like that he might be buying supplies to make christmas toys from?"

Their eyes got big as they took in this big fellow.  He casually sauntered over to the fur they had been playing with and winked at them.  Then asked "I am thinking of upgrading my suit this year"  he stroked the long fluffy white fun fur - "Do you suppose this would look nice on it?"

Both girls jaws dropped and in a twinking and a wink - the man turned a corner and was gone with his wife grinning behind him.

It was AWESOME.  I can't even make this shit up.

Now on to the ideas.

I found this little hat and robe at the dollarstore and decided to expand Libby's holiday wardrobe...oh yeah...and they happened to be a wine bottle wrapping....

One day the girls made hats like these at school and couldn't wait to tell Libby about them.  Guess Libby wanted one of her own too and whipped it and some paper dolls up while she was crafting...

Libby seemed to really be missing the north pole this year.  She brought the girls a holiday puzzle but ended up only building half of it in favour of snuggling with the santa piece instead.

To follow the theme of missing home - she also snuggled up in the tree with a couple of elfy friends one night.

This one is pretty easy, as long as you don't buy gft wrap at costco (that roll never ends)...I meant to do it with 2 full rolls, but couldn't seen to acquire a second I cut the one in half....

A little acrobatics from the ceiling fan in our bedroom.  And no - we will not be doing another elf setup in our room EVER.  6am wakeups with 2 kids with flashlights is NOT a fun time!

Oopsie - it looks like someone knocked the santa tree topper right off the Christmas tree that night...

I ended up skipping over one of the ideas on my calendar because the girls weren't sleeping soundly enough for me to fill their rooms with I handed it over to hubby to come up with an idea to replace it.  This is what he came up with.

For our last night at home before heading out to spend the holidays with family - Libby got a little creative with toilet paper, washi tape and the living room ceiling....

Monday, December 15, 2014

MOMday: Another Week of Elf Ideas 2014

Paper Kids
This one ended up being a favourite of the twins...seeing their own mugs done up all elfy.  Priceless.  And all it took was a photo printed and some scrapbook paper to pull off.

Do you wanna build a snowman?
This one proved surprisingly easy to put together and crushingly difficult to find.  

Snap Crackle and Pop
This one was great for a lazy night.  I had something similar planned, but ran out of time to make it a reality so this worked great in a pinch.

Inside a balloon
This one is a bit trickier.  You first have to find a clear balloon (I finally managed to find one at party city) and then you have to streetch the balloon and blow a little air into ti.  Then comes the hard part - shoving the damn elf inside.  I opted to fold her up to as few limbs as possible and stretch the neck of the balloon wider with my fingers then I shover her inside until the whole thing looked a little embryonic.    Once she was in and I had pulled the neck of the balloon out - it inflated like a charm and a bot of jiggling unfolded her and got her into a workable position.

The beauty of this one is that you can suspend it anywhere AND there is no chance a kid can touch it.

Angry Birds
This one was SO MUCH FUN to put together!  My girls love Angry Birds so they got incredibly excited to see it.  They end up knocking it down and rebuilding the towers all day.

All you need is some print offs of the pigs.  If you have any angry bird toys, you can position them around your elf...or you can do what I did and glue google eyes onto pom poms.  They'll understand.  I used a pompom maker as a slingshot, but you could always invest more time to make something more authentic.

Lego Friends Makeover
Ok - this one was supposed to be a hostage taking by lego men...until I discovered we only have the girl lego people.  So makeover it was.

Unfortunately, now I can't get all the green eyeshadow off...

Santa's Workshop
Thank goodness for dollar stores.

I was planning to make an igloo out of packing styrofoam popcorn, but had no I improvised with a little paper playset of santa's village from Dollarama and hid it in an unlikely place.  

When the girls did finally find it - they treated it like a shrine to santa all day - leaving notes and drawings for Libby to take with her.

So there is another week of ideas for you.  Hope you are having as much fun with your elf this year as I am!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Reads: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

When a book is described as "genre bending", I tend to be instantly intrigued.  This one described the plot as being centred around murder, time travel and history, so I snapped it up right away.

If I had to draw comparisons, I would say this is kind of like The Immortal Nicolas Flamel by Michael Scott meets A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness with an oversexed musicologist thrown in for good measure - if unusual character development.

Sarah Weston is a Doctoral candidate in Musicology.  Her mentor, Sherbatsky, has been on a special assignment relating to Beethoven for a royal family in Prague when she is suddenly informed that he has died and that she is being summoned to take over forhim on the project.   She has been told that he killed himself, but she doesn't believe it.  A mystery grows around her and an unusual partnership/romance grows with the Prince who has an unlikely connection to her own past while battling power struggles in his own future.  Sarah is soon in the middle of the mystery as she tries to figure out those around her and to solve the alchemal bond she seems to have to Beethoven himself.

Alchemy meets time travel meets murder meets history twisting meets vpolitical intrigue meets strange romance...and set in a castle in Prague.  There's even a 400 year old dwarf (of course there is), but what comes out of it is a really rich cast of characters and a sense of never knowing who is really on whose side in the power struggle

I REALLY enjoyed this book.  So much.  And I was over the moon to discover it has a sequel so I won't need to leave this world quite yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting By With a Little Help from my Friends

For seven long months of 2014, me and running were not to be.  The fractured tibia sidelined me in more ways than one.  Not only was I cut off from the cardio I loved, I was also cut off from a very important social structure that I needed.

Luckily, my runner girls rallied around me and kept me from going insane - on 24hr standby most days.   They listened while I whined and bitch slapped me when I needed it.  I will be forever grateful to these two ladies for all they did to keep me from going insane - whether they knew it or not.

So, come September 1 when I was cleared to run again - I was looking very forward to hopping right back into the game.  There was one pretty big hiccup in my plans though - I forgot the habit part of it all.  And the fact that when you set aside one thing - other things move in to take over the time you used to spend on them.   My running habit was broken and everyone I knew was going too far and too fast for me on their own training plans.  I was sidelined again on the social side but I did it to myself in that I didn't want to slow them down to build myself back up.

Yeah - I got bitchslapped again.

And then I got my ass dragged out there.  My BRF, Tina, happened to have today off and she told me she would drive down to run with me - my pace, my distance..whatever...but we needed to get my head out of my ass and my ass onto the road again.

Luckily - the weather also happens to be unseasonably warm right now.  Slush city, but capri weather nonetheless.

And that slush - probably exactly what my shoes needed...they were still caked in mud from, I mean the after party at RNR Van.

Tina was a little late, but we were soon on our way, making our loop of Southwood

The first sign of how out of shape I am was when I had to walk up the hill on Southland.

Once we were on Elbow, however - it was mostly smooth sailing.  We had to single-file it to get past the icy bits, but it was all good.  The hill down Sacramento was fairly clear, but once we were at the bottom - it was treacherous.   Coming into the homestretch - I took a lovely fall that managed to bonk my left ass cheek and my right knee simultaneously (See - still got talent!) Not even sure if you can see the red mark in the pic, but I pouted.

But it was so good to be out with a friend.

I have only run 4 times since I was cleared and I need to do better.  If for no other reason that i need the run-therapy that co es with running with friends.   And in that almost 4k today - I think we got in a little run-therapy that each of us needed so badly.  Time to build momentum.

Monday, December 8, 2014

MOMday: A week of Elf on the Shelf ideas 2014

Yep - Libby is back and is up to her usual mischievous tricks again.   So here is a peek at what she did this past week.  Perhaps it will help you come up with ideas for our own elf in the coming weeks.

She came back to us in a hot air balloon made from a balloon, pipe cleaners and a plastic drinking glass.

The next day, she tried her hand at some slinky bungee jumping from the second floor.

Apparently the toy dogs around here haven't been getting walked Libby decided to be helpful

What good is a tree without a treehouse...

Selfie Time! She stole hubby's instax camera to take a cute selfie!

Then there was her slightly different take on singing in the rain.

Nothing quite like Smores and a cozy campfire...

She must have made the trip back from the north pole in a flying gift...good thing it was easy to break out because I couldn't help but notice the lack of air holes...

If you want to follow along with Libby's adventures day by day - check out my Instagram.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Reads: Bridget Jones - Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding

I clearly remember reading the first two Bridget Jones books.  Devouring thema nd laughing my way (usually aloud) to every page in my little apartments way back when.   Her neurosis made for a great read and there is always something about feeling like you are intimately involved in a characters life when it is written as a diary.

It's been a long time since Bridget was a singleton.   Now, she's a 51 year old widow with two small children to think of and a four year dry spell her friends think it is high time she ended.

Oh - you caught that widow bit.  Yeah - I can't avoid that part of the book.  Spoiler alert - Mark Darcy passed away in a tragic accident (of course it was tragic) and now Bridget, while well taken care of by his estate, has the task of being a mom and a woman and trying to finally get her life back together again.

I do not want to share any other spoilers so I am just going to write about my feelings as I read this book.

1) While it is laugh out loud funny - it is also heart breakingly sad.  Both in how lonely and heartbroken she is, but also in how the old Bridget is still inside there and she is trying the old tricks in a much older body.  Some of it works.  Some of it doesn't.

2) Helen Fielding MUST be a mother.   The way the passages around Bridget and Mark's children were written and the thoughts about parenthood - oh my gawd, I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my face.

So for both of these - this is NOT the chick lit that used to be Bridget Jones.  Jonesy is older, if not exactly wiser, and she is operating in a much different world than she used to - one with social media and toy boys and, more importantly, impressionable young children with commitments of their own.

I really enjoyed the book, but I am quick to say it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.