Category Archives: Review

Year End Wrap! The Bad….


I have had a fantastic year! My manifesto has given me so much motivation this year. But before I take the time to look at my successes I want to look at the areas where I failed, sometimes spectacularly.

Whenever you leave behind failure you’re doing good. If you think everything you’ve done is great, you’re probably dumb. ~Louis C.K.


1. I am going to eat less take out and fast food but MORE butter and good cheese. I think life is too short to live without these things.

HAHAHA! NO, so much no. If anything Gil and I ate out MORE. We were SO busy we were eating on the fly all the time, plus we ate and some fantastic places. And we loved every moment.  As my dear friend Theresa told me “You have to spend your money on something!”

3. I am going become a flosser, one who flosses. I am going to brush AND floss every day.

5. I am going to try a new recipe once a week.  I am tired of eating the same things over and over. It is time to be more adventurous in the kitchen especially since I have the time at home now.

It’s hard to try new stuff when you never cook. LOL 

17. I am going to get a new kitchen counter.  When we got the dishwasher Gil cut the counter in half with a skillsaw to get it in. It was supposed to be temporary, that was 5 years ago.

UGGG stupid money. 

28. I want to have game nights. We own SO many board games and we play so seldom. Game nights are such a good way to spend time with out our friends

I don’t think one time counts.

29. I want to be more green. We need to start using the travel mugs and the reusable grocery bags but I don’t use them all the time. We could use less cling wrap, tin foil, paper towel, Kleenex.  There are ways to be green in my everyday life that just take a little effort and I want to stop being lazy and be more contentious of the impact I am having on the world around me.

This one makes me sad. I really wanted to do this. It is absolutely going on to my 2016 list. 

30. Whenever possible I want to buy local and fresh.  It sometimes make more effort but as above, it is time to start being more aware of my community and my place in it.

32. I want to get our art work framed and hang it on the wall. Gil and I have several beautiful painting we have picked up over the years and they are just sitting in the computer room, not being looked at. That is a disservice to the artist.

35. I want to play more chess. I am never going to be good if I only play every few years.

Again I don’t think once counts. 

36. I want to go to the campground with Tanya & Trena.  They are some of my favorite family members and we hardly ever see each other. I need to take time for the important people in my life and T&T are high on that list.

37. I want to make loads more things from scratch like bread and cakes and waffles. There are so many good things that I could make if I just put the time in.

38. I want to finally learn to make good tea biscuits. I have tried several times and always end up with hockey pucks. This year, the tea biscuit is going to be my bitch.

39. I want to learn to sew.  Gil and I are talking about buying a sewing machine but if we do it HAS to be something we use. I often see projects that I would love to try but sewing has been to daunting. Imagine all the cool shit I could do if I sewed?

Well we DID get a sewing machine… it’s still in the box.

40. I want to paint Gil’s computer room. It is another project that we have been talking about since we bought the house 6 years ago but have just never gotten around to. No more laurel resting!

41. I am GOING to paint the master bedroom. See above but with more emphasis because the walls are so much uglier.


42. I am going to try hard to multitask LESS. I feel like my attention is always split in 10 different directions. It is

Guess what I am doing RIGHT now?!

47. Two words… CHEESE FONDUE!

49. I want to send more snail mail. Yeah, stamps are getting expensive but I love the craft of writing a letter. There is something so personal about it.

Do Christmas cards count??

57. I want to send birthday cards to my friends and family. Maybe I could make them, that is creative. But I love getting cards, especially in the mail. I want to pass that feeling along because I bet I am not the only one.

I don’t think I sent even one. Sorry guys!

63. I want to learn to make samosa’s from Gee’s mom. If you are going to learn something it might as well be with the tutelage of a master.

There is still a plan in the works!

64. I want to Skype with my brother Deedee WAY more often.  We have this gift of technology and we use it so seldom. Time to fix that.

It takes two to Tango!

65. I want to have Sunday dinners, at the table, with Michael and Gil.  Not every Sunday or anything but regularly, once a month even to sit down together as a family and relax over a nice meal.

Not even once. LOL We suck

67. I want to have some nice pictures taken of Gil and I.  All the pictures we have we are pulling faces or they are selfies taken at odd angles. It would be nice to have something to show what an awesome, good looking couple we really are.

There was a plan, I swear, then I got my hair cut…

69. I want to learn to play crib. It is one of those things that people do. I have never learned because I thought you had to know math.

72. I want to lower my blood pressure.

73. I want to lower my bad cholesterol.

74. One word…. BRAN!

76. I want to finally learn to make pie crust.

77. I want to go on hikes. Hikes encompass so many of my other goals, walking, being outside, taking pictures.  It is the perfect combo pack

I did walk a lot playing Ingress but I don’t think there were any hikes

84. I want to run a D&D game.  I have been playing for 13 years now and I have loads of fun ideas. The only thing keeping me from running is fear of failure and the is just dumb

87. I want to scrape the pink paint of the front and side doors. Damn it is ugly. I have hated it since the day we moved in. I just need to get off my bum and do it.

88. I want to finish painting the closet and bathroom doors on the main floor. They have been primer for about 5 years.  There is just no need of that.

89. I want to finish my linen closet project. I already invested the money, now I just need to put in the time and the manual labour.

90. I want to build pillow forts.  I haven’t built a fort in longer than I can remember. It was so much fun when I was a kid. I bet it is still fun now.

91. I want to attack my debt like the foe it is.  Sure a lot of the things I have listed here will take some money but not that much. If I spend wisely maybe I can be out of the whole by the end of the year.

93. I want to put a serious effort into our back yard and garden this summer. We have spent a lot of energy on the front but the back has a lot of great space we could use if we just put the time into it.

94. I want to make homemade cleaning products, more natural, more green, more economical. Win, win, win.

I bought the STUFF to make them…. good intentions 

97. I want to put my smart phone away at meals and in social settings. Nothing so important is going to happen on Facebook while I am having dinner with my husband that it can’t wait until later.

Oh Ingress! 

So I know it looks like a LOT of things I didn’t get done but I am genuinely undaunted. I don’t look at this list and feel like a failure, I look at this list and am proud at how optimistic I was at the start of this year. I know I can just let some of these things go altogether but I can’t wait to see how much I can get done in 2016!!


A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. ~Franz Kafka


One of my manifesto edicts for 2015 was to read more.  I remember a time when you could not pry a book out of my hand. I read so much as a child that I would get in trouble for it, reading past bed time, trying to sneak a book at the dining room table, reading rather that socializing with children my own age.  I just LOVED a good book But somehow in the last few years I have not been able to make the same time for books and that is a terrible thing. There is no much out there I still need to read.  I thought, in order to drive my quest, I would share with you what I am reading and my thoughts on the subject. Call it a book review if you will but I have never written such a thing, this is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt or a box of Sifto.

The year has started off slowly for books. I picked one up at start of the year but it was a little dense and meaty for my mind which was preoccupied with birthday prep and wind down. So this week I randomly choose a book from my shelf, mostly because it was at eye level and within reach. I figure if it is on my shelf then at some point I have deemed it worthy of my attention. There is a lot on there that have come into my possession but I have not yet read.



I have never read any of Emily Grayson’s other works. Looking at her collective works now it seems she is an author of the romantic style, admittedly not one of my favorite genres but not one that I hate either. I admit I didn’t read the back of the book before starting and the title didn’t really give me any insight with the exception that the probably would be set in England.  The story itself was sweet and simple. It took be approximately five hours over two days to read.  I correctly surmised that the location, and I was happy to find it was set during the period of World War II which is a period of history that I am very interested in. The narrative was not unpleasant. Our protagonist, a young American woman names Maud who starts as student of literature at Oxford and winds up a trauma nurse in London is lovely I was interested to see where the book would take her. But… well but. It was so light! There was so much potential is the story that Mrs Grayson had to tell but she stopped short. I wanted steak and potatoes but I got a salmon mouse, tasty but no substance.   I wasn’t going to re-read it so the book has been passed along now, hopefully it will find a new owner who will love it.

2014 – Let’s Take a Look Back


This was the year…

We kicked off with a PJ party










We celebrated my birthday by playing dodgeball and raising a bunch of money and food (231lbs of food and $420) for Feed Nova Scotia












I got to go with my boss to run a REALLY cool errand for Adsum house.










I made my 7th Kiva loan. I have been reinvesting the same loan over and over since we made the first donation in memory of Kevin almost 6 years ago.

Our Pantel family devastated by the loss of our fearless leader Eamon

My gall bladder blew up and I spent 4 days in hospital having emergency surgery

I learned to bake bread

I worked pretty much every weekend of the winter, thanks Mother Nature                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

We celebrated Aimee’s birthday with a super cool masquerade party










Gil and I took an AMAZING trip to Cuba, it was seriously one of the best weeks of my life










More storms, snow and ice kicked our ass! April arrived but failed to bring Spring with it.



We celebrated SZJ 10!












Gil suffered through the longest cold EVER

We had ANOTHER basement flood

May brought a hint of Spring at long last



Our sweet little Logan turkey turned one













Gil got his cat suit and changed the face of dodgeball forever












The world lost Maya Angelou and it broke my heart

Gil gave life to his dream of Jugger

I got a permanent position at work which has been the cause of both joy and strife

June finally brought some decent weather and a break from the storms

Moncton suffered a terrible tragedy and the whole of Canada had it’s heartbroken

FIFA World Cup!!

Corey went to Hong Kong to play a little dodgeball and came home with a gold medal

July came and brought the heat, and Arthur, Screw you Arthur!!


Jennifer threw one hell of a retirement party for my right ovary











I had a major surgery to remove an ovary and two very large masses












Aimee, Gil and I perfected the twatsiepop.

Recovery was very long and very difficult but I really found out who the best friends in the world are



August first our household became a little bit smaller when Kian moved into his own apartment but our family became a little bit bigger with the arrival of Great Niece Vienna












We celebrated our first ever Thanksgiving in Summer

The world lost Robin Williams and became a less funny place to live

We played and won Great Escape










Jugger exploded taking Halifax by storm



17 of 100







August 21st brought the best phone call I have ever received NO CANCER


Despite my discomfort we set off to PEI for another amazing DB tournament (I watched, Gil played) and spent a wonderful weekend with our DB family











September kicked off with an amazing declutter challenge, which I totally rocked!

Went back to SMU for the first time in a decade to watch some football

Sara and Jay got married!!!


37 of 100










I got a fish! Welcome to the family Baby Blu


I hand one last infection post surgery and my doctor launched a nuke of antibiotics to finish it off.

Aimee, Jodi and I had another Jann date and this time we had some new friends too Katie and Darla.

I applied for and got a work at home position, making yoga pants my favorite new work outfit.

I took two glorious weeks of vacation

Gil and I celebrated 8 years of marital bliss

We celebrated thanksgiving with a birthday party potluck










A senseless murder in the nations capital shocked all Canadian’s to the core

Our computer room was transformed into a skull production facility














Gil turned 43, putting him back in his prime


The rest  December has flown by in a haze of parties and crafts and Jello shots. It has not been an easy year pretty much everyone I know has faced a lot of challenge this year but I for one feel like I am coming out stronger, more well rounded, grounded in the things that really matter.

I hope that 2015 brings more love, more adventure and most of all more time with the people I love. Happy New Year Everyone!!