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Thursday, June 7, 2012

MEET FLUFFY

Meet our new addition Fluffy the dwarf hamster...


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

C MONSTER NEW FOOD GUIDE

One of my biggest challenges as a parent is to get C Monster to eat fruits and vegetables. To make it less arbitrary to him when I say "you can not have more bread until you eat vegetables", I decided to make him an interactive food guide.   I used the canadian food guide as my example. They have a section where one can create a personal food guide.  I used this to determine how much food a 4-year-old boy should be eating. 

For the interactive guide I just drew and coloured a chart on a piece of paper and then printed pictures of the food groups off the internet.  I cut each one out and attached a magnet to each. Voila: a food guide simple enough a 4-year-old gets it.

The house rules for the food guide are:
  • No dessert until all other categories are filled up.
  • Once you are done your bread products, that is it for that category.
  • Once you have filled up all 4 food group categories, you get a sticker.



Sunday, June 3, 2012

DANCE RECITAL

The C Monster had his first dance recital on Saturday. A 6 minute hip hop dance routine.  He looked so cute. 


Saturday, June 2, 2012

VICTORIA DAY FIREWORKS

I have been busy as always and that = me not having time to post anything.  2 weekends ago on Victoria Day we took the C Monster out to see fireworks at Ashbridge Bay.  We live close enough that we can walk and well if we could not walk there I am not certain you could pay me to go - traffic is nuts.

We packed a picnic and headed down wagon in tow to the lake for supper and fireworks.

Geoff trying to eat his supper...

All that said I have to say the city puts on a pretty good firework show at Ashbridge Bay.  And cuddling up with my little C Monster on the sand while watching the fireworks and hearing him say wow, ahh, beautiful mama and start spontaneously clapping is well worth it.

I think it took C Monster 5 minutes after the fireworks to pass out in the wagon. He was so tired he fell asleep eating the rest of his supper I had to fish out sandwich bits from his mouth.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

WEETABIX ?

I have to say this one took me by surprise.  When I purchased a box of reduced Weetabix the last person I pegged as eating them was C Monster.  Here he is enjoying Weetabix with vanilla yogurt and a little honey.  He also likes them with just a little milk.



I wanted to also take a minute to talk about cereal in general.  I am very particular about what cereal we buy in our house.  Our food is no longer 100% organic that is a decision we had to make when we decided to purchase a bigger house.  Bigger house = bigger mortgage = cutting cost in various locations.  However we do not buy food that is full of additives and chemicals.  So what do I look for in a cereal?
  1. Sugar content must be 6g or bellow; ideally between 0g and 4g
  2. It can not contain any preservatives or ingredients that one would not find in a well stocked kitchen pantry
  3. It is on sale. As cereal is a treat in our house we only buy it when it is on sale. 
If have to say once you follow all these rules there is not much left out there one can buy; so I was delighted when C Monster decided that he LOVED Weetabix.



Friday, May 25, 2012

GROWING GREEN ONIONS INSIDE

I read a post on apartment therapy about 3 weeks ago about re-growing green onions inside your home. I decided to try it.  Here is the final results after I transplanted my newly sprouted green onions to there more permanent  home - a planter from purchased from Urban Pot

On a side note I have to say I was very pleased with the customer service and product from Urban Pot and will definitely look at them again in the future for my potting needs.



I also added some green onion seeds to the pot in hopes to increase my yield of onions, here they are just 5 days later sprouting.


Next indoor gardening project will be sunflower sprouts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DAY OUT WITH FRIENDS

I have to say I feel so fortunate to have made some fantastic friends in my neighbourhood and am reminded of that almost daily.  Last week I made a trip with Sallyanne to Playground Paradise; it's in the Flemingdon Park area of Toronto and is so worth the trip every time.

We left extra early so we could have a picnic lunch and play in there outdoor playground before they opened for the afternoon.  We should have hung out at the park that is just across the street until Playground Paradise opened as the playground was pretty much just a climbing structure and a bit to complex for Sallyanne daughter.  However it's a pretty cool climbing structure that C Monster & H really enjoyed.
Look at me I am Spiderman

Once we got in at Playground Paradise everyone had a ball.  I would post picture but I can't as no cameras are aloud inside.  On the way home we just missed our bus, meaning we got stuck in rush hour traffic.  There was kind gentlemen that gave his seat to C Monster and H. The picture below is of them pretending to sleep squished together on a single TTC bus seat.  G, Sallyanne daughter, was comfortable in her stroller sleeping for the trip home.

C Monster & H on the bus

Thanks Sallyanne for a great day.

BTW - H is the little girl I looked after last summer, Sallyanne is now her care provider.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BATHROOM ACCENT COLOUR - SELECTED

When it comes to home decor it takes me forever to select anything for my house.  For a client I can do it in no time; myself well it took us 6 months to select a bunk bed, but that is for another post.  This post is about the main bathroom.

When we moved in last December the house had no mirrors; we have been taking our time selecting mirrors for the bathrooms.  In January we selected and purchased the one for the main bathroom; however before putting it up we want to paint the bathroom.  Selecting the accent colour took me another 4 months.  I decided I wanted to paint one wall to match the accent colour of the towels and bathmat.  The image below is the winning colour.  After bringing home 12 different towels and returning them all we found this one at Simons it was exactly the colour I was imagining in my mind.  Now to make the trip to Paint Depot to have them colour match it for my paint.

Image from Simons 


I almost forgot you are probably curious as to what mirror we selected. Trinity from Electric Mirror.

Image from Electric Mirror

Monday, May 21, 2012

SUNNY DAY HAPPY MAY 24 WEEKEND


PEAR POMEGRANATE POPSICLES

As summer approaches I really get into popsicle making.  I find this is a great way to get C monster to eat more fruit.  The flavour of the week for popsicle is pear pomegranate.

It's very easy just mix in with emersion blender or regular blender 1/2 cup pure no sugar added pomegranate juice with 2 cups packed no sugar added canned pears.

I make my own canned pears to avoid the BPA in the can liners; if you do not want to use store bought pears just measure out about 4 cup pears and cook them until soft. You can boil them in a little pear juice or water. You can bake them in the oven. Use your imagination.

Once the mixture is complete just pour them into your favourite popsicle mould freeze overnight and enjoy!




Monday, May 14, 2012

MATCHING WINDOW COVERING

 
One of the many home reno projects we have on the go is C Monster's bedroom.  We recently added a black out blind from the Shade Store that matches with his bedding.  We let the Monster select the style; he chose a rolling blind.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

BACK YARD RENO PART 1

You ask what have we been up to?  Well as the weather warms I have been spending my time in the back yard working hard.  I spent the 2 months of "winter" in our new home trying to plot out the best location for a garden.  For this year it is along the east side of the back yard.  This plot of dirt originally had cedars running along the fence; they were only a few years old so this made them prime targets for successful transplant to someone else yard. Thanks to Freecycle and Craigs List they were all gone in about 2 weeks; all 64 of them. We kept 3 that we relocated to the back of the yard to create a visual barrier. Eventually behind the cedars will be a potting bench and a compost bin.

I know some of you are thinking why remove all the cedars they were hiding that ugly chain link fence well we have other plans that will hide that fence in a few years.  This includes hopefully a new fence and some berry bushes and trees, but for now taking the Cedars out gave me a great temporary space to plant vegetables for the next few years.  

As you can see in the picture we have started planting and I still need to work on turning the rest of the dirt and adding some nice black earth to the top and so on.  I will be planting cucumbers, tomatoes, string beans, peas, kale and radishes to name a few.

More picture to come as the work progresses.






Thursday, May 10, 2012

SPRING BLOOMS IN YOUR HOME

One of my favourite spring home decor touches is to cut branches from blooming trees and make floral arrangements with them.  It's a great inexpensive way to have flowers in the house and well at the same time you are trimming your trees.

C Monster also made his very own arrangement for his room.  His vase is a tiny pear juice bottle he got a few months ago at a restaurant and as he put it "mama it's so cute and tiny I need to keep it because it's cute like me"  Ever since he brought it home I have been trying to place a flower in it regularly; I think right now it has a tulip from our front yard but in this picture it has a matching floral arrangement to the one I made with branches.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

MY MONKEY

Just wanted to share this video...


Saturday, April 14, 2012

GETTING ORGANIZED - CLOSET

Here is another post in my series of getting organized.  With a new house comes trying to organize all your things so they work in your new space.  I have a lot of jewellery, mostly thanks to my amazing husband that has good taste in jewellery. I need a place that is easy to store it and in view or I forget what I have and end up just wearing the same 3 pairs of earrings.  I have a great little jewellery box that is about 10 years old that I have totally outgrown so I started thinking what could I use for my jewellery.

A few years back I had seen at the One of a Kind Show in toronto a wooden jewellery rack by Bijoux Display Company that you can hang on your wall.  I never got it because at the old house I really did not have room for it, but now that we have moved it works perfectly in my closet. And voila all my jewellery perfectly organized and easy to find.

Friday, April 13, 2012

GEOCACHING WITH C MONSTER

After reading a blog post on inhabitat about geocaching with kids I decided to try it out with C Monster.

I looked up a bit about how geocaching works as I did not want to break any rules on my first time out. I also checked out and signed up on the geocaching.com web site.

After that I downloaded the app for my iPhone. We were ready to go.

We started with a spot pretty close to our house to see what he thought about it. It was pretty neat, this little treasure hiding in an area I pass by every week.  C Monster loved it and asked if there were more treasures to find. I showed him the map in the geocaching app and off we were to destination #2.

We ended up staying out from 10am to 4pm and looked for 6 treasures and found 3. The picture to the right is of C Monster checking out the contents of the 3rd treasure.

We need to go a second time pretty soon because we ended up with a travel bug. This is a special item that travels from location to location.  But that's ok with both C Monster and me because he wanted to try to find one of his friends treasures.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

THE NEXT SKATE CHAMP

I think C Monster started showing interest in skateboarding around 18 month.  He had an old board that he found on the side of the road that gave up last summer.  We had been talking about getting him a board ever since so a few weeks ago off we went to Hogtown Extreme Sport and got him geared up.

We got him a helmet, pads and a mini board. The pads I have to are really nice. We had bought him some pads from sellers for about 20$ a few years ago and those look like junk compared to these. They are from Little Tricky and cost about $35. Worth every penny.

For those of you who do not know what a mini board is. The board is approximately 28x7.5" instead of approximately 32x8" everything else is the same as a regular board.  This makes them a much better size for little kids to handle and learn on.

The board he selected is by Golden Dragon this is a good starter board as it's pretty well made but is cost effective at right around 100$.

After only a few times out on the board we realized that getting him to place his feet above the trucks was going to be much easier if the screws were not the same colour as the grip tape, so we changed the screws to coloured ones he selected pink, orange, green and blue.

As I am writing this the C Monster is playing on his board right beside me while waiting for papa to be ready to bring him to the skate park. He seems to be really getting into this and we go out about 3 times a week right now if not more.

He has mastered getting on and off.  He has pretty good kick turns considering he is 4 and is currently working on learning how to push off with no assitance.






Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BYE BYE TREE

Our new house has this massive maple tree in front of it that overhangs the house; so after we moved in we placed a call to the city to have them inspect it.  I really did not want it falling on our house :-)

They came by last week and said one leader needs to come down because its too close to the electrical wires; one leader diseased. That would only leave one leader that is small and overhangs the house. They trim the trees away from the house so that they do not overhang your home so that would not leave much tree.  So our tree has received the orange mark of death.

It should be coming down in the fall and the new tree will go in spring 2013. We selected a Turkish Filbert.




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

C IS FOR COOKIE

I wanted to share these awesome cookies that Geoff made with C Monster a little while back.  The recipe comes from "Kitchen for Kids" However I am pretty certain you could make them with almost any cookie cutter style recipe.  You want the dough to be dense, but other then that it should work.

To make the letters you basically roll the dough out into a snake then shape them in the letters you want.  After they are cooked, you paint them with icing (icing sugar, gel icing color and a tiny bit of milk).

I thought this was a great idea and not only did C Monster get to do some baking, he also practised spelling his name.

Monday, April 9, 2012

CUPCAKES GROWN UP STYLE

OK so I will admit it one of the things I like about blogging is well I can brag about stuff.  I said it.  Fellow bloggers you know you like it too. I wanted to show off these awesome cupcakes I made for my friend Jessica's going back to work party that I hosted for her a few weeks back. They are a mix of vanilla and chocolate with pink cream cheese frosting topped with hand made (by me of course) chocolate almond skulls.  I was pretty proud of myself.

Now that I am done patting myself on the back...

It's only been 1 week your back at work Jess and well I miss you; hope the transition is going well for you and your family.

Love ya.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

EASTER CHEZ LES WISEMAN

Easter this year was pretty simple. As neither Geoff or I celebrate easter as a religious holiday it's really all about C Monster.  On Friday night he planted magic jelly beans in the garden and a lollypop grew overnight for him.

Then Saturday afternoon papa and C monster started colouring his eggs, that they had so carefully emptied all week.



Then in the evening I helped C Monster make his easter train and this morning we filled it up.


Last night the easter bunny also visited and left a trail of eggs behind for C Monster along with a chocolate surprise at the end. (Pictures to come papa took these)

He also received a few easter packages in the mail from my family - thank you guys!

Now as I relax with my day to myself C Monster and papa are of to the skate park.


HAPPY EASTER


Saturday, March 17, 2012

HOET DESIGN

Hoet Glasses (Image by Hoet Design)
As some of you know I was shopping for new glasses recently and well I did not end up buying glasses from Hoet Design but came pretty close.  I flip flop between a pair by Hoet and a pair by Theo for about an hour.  When it came down to it the Theo's worked better for me but I wanted the Hoet to work so much.  They are hands down the most comfortable glasses I have ever put on my face.  They are so light. The strong clean modern lines on the frames are also just gorgeous.  However they only come in black, silver and gold - those colours really do not work with my personality and skin pigmentation; so no Hoet for me this time around but I will certainly look at what they have next time I need glasses.

Check out their site not only do they have fantastic eye wear Hoet also does some fantastic accessories and other design pieces.

Friday, March 16, 2012

KITCHEN - GETTING ORGANIZED PART 1

My new house has a lovely kitchen but it was so hard to organize as there are a lot off deep cupboards and tall ones too.  Since our cutlery tray were screwed in at the old house they had to stay behind this means we have none here.  

My parents were visiting and my dad helped me get started on organizing.  We got 2 bing things done. The first is we used base cabinet dividers to sort out all my pans and trays. However instead of installing them in the bottom cabinet I installed them in the top of my pantry.  See I can only reach about 3 inches higher then the top shelf in the pantry; this lets me reach all the trays and so on and uses up space that otherwise would need a step stool for me to get anything from. We installed then upside-down so that the shelf can still be removed for cleaning. 


The second thing was my spice rack. Before we put the other house on the market we took this down in the old house because I spent a small fortune in 2010 organizing my spices. See I cook a lot so I have lots of spices; as of today I have 63 kinds.  I started getting these little tins from The Spice Trader 2 years ago and collected them all and refilled them as they were empty until all my spices were in matching containers. Then we used magnetic toll bars to hold them up to the back of a cabinet door.  It can hold up to apron 78 jars.


There is lots more to do in the kitchen but at least it's a start.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

WHAT TO DO IN TO

I wanted to compile a list of places in Toronto that I want to visit with the C Monster and I was trying to figure out were to write the list what better place the on The Wiseman Conspiracy.  Every time we visit a place I will update the list.
  1. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
  2. Cirque du Soleil 
  3. Young People's Theatre
  4. Solar Stage
  5. Casa Loma
  6. Hockey Hall of Fame
  7. Royal Ontario Museum - Visited; great children section
  8. Textile Museum of Canada
  9. Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre
  10. Toronto Refrence Library
  11. Fort York National Historic Site
  12. Gardiner Museum
  13. National Film Board of Canada
  14. Luminato
  15. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  16. Nuit Blanche
  17. Art Gallery of Ontario - Visited; great children section but it has limited hours
  18. Tall Ship Kajama 
  19. Canada's Wonderland - Visited
  20. Centreville
  21. Fantasy Fair
  22. Sky Zone - visited in May 2012 I think I had as much fun if not more then him
  23. Wild Water Kingdom
  24. Evergreen Brickworks 
  25. CN Tower - Visited; I am pretty certain C would be willing to go up the tower everyday if we could afford it
  26. Indy Toronto
  27. Toronto Leafs Game
  28. Toronto Raptors Game
  29. Toronto Football Club Game
  30. Toronto Marlies Game - done April 1st 2012
  31. Toronto Blue Jays Game
  32. Toronto Argonauts Game
  33. Ontario Science Centre - Visited; we are members :-)
  34. Toronto Zoo - Visited; we are members :-)
  35. Riverdale Farm - Visited; I think C Monster could go here every week and never get board
  36. Reptilia - Visited; we did this about 2 years ago and I keep on meaning to go agin C really enjoyed himself
  37. Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory - Visited; C Monster was afraid that the butterflies would land on him 
  38. African Lion Safari
  39. HtO Park
  40. Toronto Island Beaches
  41. Allan Gardens Conservatory - Visited March 12 with papa
  42. Centennial Park Conservatory
  43. Cummer Skateboard park
  44. Franklin Children's Garden
  45. High Park - Visited; we try to go here once a year
  46. Music Garden
  47. Toronto Botanical Gardens
  48. Trinity Public Labyrinth 
  49. Take the Ferry to Toronto Island
  50. S Walter Stewart Library - visited; this is C's favourite library
  51. East York Farmers Market - visited
  52. Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market - visited
  53. Leslieville Farmers Market 
  54. East Lynn Farmers Market 
  55. Apple picking - we go every year
  56. Raspberry picking - done in 2011
  57. Strawberry picking - done in 2011
  58. Blueberry Picking 
  59. Maple Syrup Farm - we go every year 
  60. Honey Farm
  61. Camping
  62. Lionel's Pony Farm & Petting Zoo
  63. North York Fire Dept. Museum
  64. Take the Go Train
  65. Douglas Snow Aquatic Center
  66. Corn Maze
  67. Bizzy Bee Play Center - Visited 
  68. Playground Paradise - Visited; this is probably our favourite indoor playground so far
  69. Book bank  - visited 
I am certain I have missed things and will add to the list as times goes by.  What are your favourite places to go with kids in Toronto?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

4 YEARS IN IMAGES

So the C Monster turned 4 this March here is a look back at some of my favourite picture taken of him over the last 4 years...



Taken in the first week he was born

2nd Halloween







He lived in his new helmet for 3 days; even slept in it.





I miss his mohawk it was soo cute


C Monster falls asleep anywheres when he is tired



Once again; he was playing upstairs too quietly I when to check and found him sleeping.

Halloween 2011