Super Commuter: The Super Power I Never Wanted

Apparently I am in the category of Super Commuter and it’s a club I never thought that I would be part of.  A Super Commuter is anyone who commutes over three hours a day for work and uses more than one means of transport.  I moved from East York in Toronto to a northern suburb. I work downtown Toronto. I am not sure this is healthy for me at all.  I have gained more weight than I ever thought possible.  The time I have lost in my commute is the time I would use for fitness.  I really don’t even know how I got here.  Well I do but it’s a personal story that I don’t own completely so don’t feel as though I can share it publicly. I came to the realization I love my work but it’s costing me.  I am left to wonder if it’s worth it.  This is what I have gained with my move:

  1. House value increase that is greater than the value of my old East York home.
  2. Affordable and awesome childcare.  Like ridiculously awesome childcare with great programming and wholesome food.
  3. Wonderfully intimate school for my girls.
  4. Time to read, and it’s absolute smut most days.
  5. Space for a vegetable garden, if not destroyed by rabbits.  They may look cute but they are assholes.
  6. Some great new mommy friends that got my back. I had them in the old hood too.
  7. Closer to family that help when that ‘sick’ call comes.  And it always does when I don’t have time for it.

I am hoping those things are enough.  Yes the home is bigger but I really don’t care about that stuff.  Seriously when the family is together we occupy the same 20 square feet anyway. Right now our girls like being with us so I’ll take all the snuggles I can get.  Let’s see what the next three months brings while I figure out if this move was worth it.  The Super Power I would want instead of Super Commuter would be eating without consequence but this is the one I got.  Let’s work with it. Or change it.

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Goals: Gotta Have’em

I made a top 40 list of things to do this year.  I couldn’t stop at 40 so it’s actually 41 things on the list. Some of them are quite simple to help me keep it real.  I won’t share all 40 because frankly some are intimate and are not meant for anyone but me and my guy.  I told you he won a prize when he picked me.  Here are few:

  1. Hold an owl.  Check.  This is big kid but I did it too.
  2. Lay down in the grass with my girls.  Once we get rid of the bunny crap in the back yard I may get this done.
  3. Eat really expensive chocolate in bed.  Can’t wait for this one.
  4. Learn how to use digital analytics.  I am on it and this blog is part of the learning process for me.
  5. Drink a $250 bottle of wine.  I just may share, depends how good it is.  Really I am fine with being a cheap wine girl.  It keeps it real.
  6. Get a new cell phone.  I am still rocking the 4s.  It’s almost vintage, right?  But really it’s to go with point 4 above.  Need the right tools to be great at something.
  7. Go somewhere I have never been before.  I am heading to Kingsville ON in June and I am so excited for this. It will be without kids so maybe I can get to some of the private stuff on the list that’s not fit for public viewing.

Hope everyone had some family time that required much cookie eating last weekend.  Greek Easter meant I got all the stuff I have loved since I was a little girl and my brother, God love him, brought doughnuts that dreams are made of.

CRASH VEGAS: I am 19 again

I woke up this morning ridiculously excited.  Walked the kids to school and am getting ready for work and I am bubbly.  For those who know me bubbly is not a word to describe me.  I am witty, love to laugh and am a bit too honest at times.  But I am almost 40 years old so my sense of filtering has shifted.  I don’t have time to beat around the bush.  I realized walking back from dropping the kids off that I am going to play today.  I get to spend my time this morning with a group of women who decided to take a career break and are trying to navigate going back to work.  This is my favourite thing about my job.  I get to help these women re-invent and re-emerge in their careers in a beautiful way.  Our success rate sits at 68% and growing.  These are the women who make our communities run.  They are usually off for childcare reasons but they do so much and they have forgotten.  Committee work, volunteering and supporting the next generation.  Getting them pack to the paid workforce when they are ready and able is a privilege.  Check box one for an amazing start to my day.  I love running the Back to Work Program.

Check box two, I am hanging with best friend tonight listening to the band that shaped my teenage years and into my early 20’s.  Crash Vegas is back and I am so excited.  There will be Smoke in my eye tonight folks.  And my cookies tonight will be of the barley or grape variety.

Keeping it Real Recall

I said I’d start this blog to keep it real but I should qualify, real to me.  If you are one of those mums who can get it all done congrats.  I don’t know you and I really think you are a fiction but heck, mermaids are fiction too but it’s fun to believe in them.  Here’s what I have done so far this week that most likely wouldn’t admit to:

  1.  I had to steal money from my big kid’s wallet to pay the cleaning lady.  I couldn’t get my act together to make sure I had the exact amount on hand, $113.00. Really who has that perfect amount of cash together in the age of debit and credit?  Thankfully my big kid hoards all her cash so the $8.00 I needed to top up the fee to get the house cleaned I had to steal from her.  I did replace it with $10 so really she did come out ahead.
  2. I have a pair of navy velvet tights that I love.  They are a size too small but I look fabulous in them when they stay done up.  I wear a shirt long enough to cover the zipper so when it ‘pops’ open no one can see.  But again, I am vain and they look great.
  3. I ate the last chocolate fudge cookie and likely 2/3 of the box. Double frosting. Might be why those pants in point 2 don’t fit. Yes packaged cookies, I don’t bake.  I hate it.  I hate the mess and the time it takes.
  4. To get my youngest to move into a gear I can work worth, I tell her the coyotes will get her.  She will likely speak to a therapist about this and hate me but you know what, I am getting my stuff done.

There are likely more things that I have done but frankly I can’t even remember the drive to work in the morning so that’s enough for this ‘Keeping it Real Recall’.

Enjoy a cookie folks, it’s Wednesday.  Good enough reason as any.

Body Positivity: Hard Work but Fake it Until you Become It

I posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend.  It was one where let’s face it, I didn’t look “photo ready”.  In a culture where everyone over shares pictures of an ideal beauty that took 20 shots to get right, we all know it’s not real.  But the pressure to be beautiful in a socially acceptable way in every image is strong.  Even for a woman like me that regularly says screw the patriarchy.  I wear what I want, I say what I want and frankly I am Greek and few hairs grow where I don’t want them to but it doesn’t stop me from wearing bright read lipstick.  When I get around to removing said hairs I do, but I am in no rush to do it.  My arms look soft in this picture, and I am laughing at the antics of my fearless Silvie.  Silvie is obsessed with my arms.  She is constantly stroking them and she gets upset when I am not wearing a t-shirt.  She has been this way since the day she was born.  The joy of feeling someone love you unconditionally and is compelled to cuddle with you is all I need.  The photo isn’t pretty but it’s real.  And real is so important because honestly no one looks like perfectly curated posts of beauty.  I’ll try not to cringe at the photo but I am not perfect and a moment of self-loathing catches in my mind.  I look at the arms and think wow, how the f@#!% did that happen.  But then I remember I am almost 40 and I am here and I own all of my shit.

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Go it Alone

I just bought my Georgia O’Keeffe tickets at the AGO.  Or really I should say one ticket.  I had this romantic idea that I could share my favourite artist with my girls.  Then my husband reminded me; “They’re going to ruin it for you.  Buy one ticket and go by yourself.”  But I am a feminist, and I have two strong-willed girls, they need to know Georgia!  The thought is burning in my brain.  The colours, the flowers the magnitude of scale.  How can someone not love Georgia and be on their best behaviour?  Then I pause and remember they are 6 and 2.  They can be jerks and I am selfish.  If they ruin my chance to appreciate Georgia I will never forgive them.  So I am going alone.  I am going to have an awesome brunch.  I am going to buy the poster.  I am going to hang it above my couch and I am going to tell my girls they need to get themselves to Georgia O’Keeffe when they  are old enough to not piss me off and to love her the way that I do. They can look at the poster until then.  Thank you to the world’s best husband who reminded me that I need this for me and not necessarily share the exact moment with my girls.

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5 Minute Triangle: No Exceptions

Here’s the low down, my kids are 6 and 2.  Their social life can’t run my roost or momma is going to loose her s#*@! .  So I live my life with the 5 minute triangle rule.   I commit to nothing on Sundays.  I want to be spontaneous so I schedule spontaneity for Sundays. Awesome and ironic right?  Beyond that, my kids and all their social gatherings or personal health appointments have to be either five minutes from my house or five minutes from work.  No deviation.  This means I am on time and my kids don’t think they are missing out on a thing.  And the truth is, after I drop my kids off at their event I am five minutes away from home. I go back and do whatever I want and I am not wasting time in transit.  Or I just hide at the local library reading trashy novels that I would be too embarrassed to be seen in public with.  Life hack gold I tell you.  Can I get a heck yeah just like the joy in the face of big kid below from when she was little?Big Bonk

Green Stuff: More Than Kale

Ok this idea was derived from the fabulous and thoughtful Loreta.  In my original rant about lifestyle choices I implored people to eat pasta.  To which she added, ‘and there are other greens besides kale’. I love veggies but I am not a huge fan of cold salads in the winter months.  I find it far more satisfying to line a cookie sheet with parchment and roast a bunch of stuff at once and then I bring it to work all week.  It’s cheap and easy, which to my husband’s delight, I actually resemble that remark. He really is an exceptionally lucky man to have this prize as his wife, but I digress.  Ease up on the kale folks.  It’s over done and full of pesticide crap to keep up with consumer demand. Seriously what’s wrong with rapini, swiss chard, dandelion?  Oh and if you want to know my fabulous sheet pan trick  (not my trick but I steal ideas regularly), check out Skinnytaste.  Monday night while I am cleaning up after dinner, I put a sheet pan in the oven with chicken or salmon and veg with a variation on seasonings.  Pack it up in individual serving containers and pull one out of the fridge every morning.  Then I have great food for lunch for the week with no prep in the morning.  Honey is the it factor for me.  A small drizzle of really good honey over the chicken or salmon before a I pack it up and when I reheat it at work it tastes awesome.  I am half Greek.  You need a regular dose of honey or life just isn’t sweet enough.  Also a honey drizzle over fresh ricotta on olive bread toasted is swoon worthy.  I guess I need to start adding picturs to this blog.  It’ll come.  When my moderate life gets to it.

What Makes me Happy?

Little things are the real deal.  The things that make me the happiest are:

  1. Opening the jar of peanut butter and taking the first bite with a spoon.  It’s the best tasting bite in the whole jar.
  2. Sleeping naked after a shower in freshly washed sheets.  Add that those sheets were dried outside on a clothesline and I may squeal.
  3. Watching Dirty Dancing all for that wonderful moment when “No body puts baby in a corner.”
  4. Sleeping through the night.  With two kids and one who grinds her teeth so that I can hear said grinding all the way down the hall, it’s a big deal.  She’s going to cost me a fortune and make a dentist a wealthy woman.
  5. Cheap wine that doesn’t taste cheap or cause me heartburn.  I have a few faves.
  6. Fancy beer that makes me look like I am hipster.  I have a few of those too.
  7. The kids falling asleep on a car ride home after a day with extended family.  They get to sleep feeling safe and completely loved.  I get control of the music.
  8. Pancake breakfast Sunday morning with my tribe.
  9. Pancake breakfast for dinner with my tribe.
  10. My tribe.

Be happy with moderation.  It makes everyday things feel extra special and frankly they are.

Go have a gooey cookie friends.

Moderation Begins Somewhere

I did not have eight different varieties of greens in an egg white only omelet this morning for breakfast.  No, I got up at 4:50 am, pressed the on button to the coffee maker.  Packed lunch for big kid and her daddy.  Got dressed, remembered to brush my teeth, put my hair in a pony tail (A really cute high one.  Think “I Dream of Jeannie”.) and poured 2 cups of coffee.  One in my Anchor Man mug for quick gulping and the other in my travel mug for the early morning ride to work.   Guess what? I made it to work on time, 7 am.  I am the champion of the world.  Once I got the classroom set up I treated myself to two slices of banana bread and a yogurt.  I freaking rocked it this morning.  Oh and my theme song through this regular thing called life; ‘Near to the Wild Heart of Life’ by the Japandroids.  Give it a go.  It’ll grow on you.  Have a great week friends.

japandroidshead

The Japandroids. Guaranteed to get your week going right. ‘Kiss me like a chorus…”