#3in30 – February Week 4 Update + #HelloMornings Update

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Final Week for Feb!

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  1. Get up at 6 am every morning (well except maybe Saturdays), as part of the Hello Mornings challenge hosted by Inspired to Action.
    I’ve been continuing to concentrate on going to bed earlier, and then waking up earlier if the night hasn’t been very (very) short. Which was not often this week. There’s been a few 3-4 am bedtimes (between both girls waking up and not falling back asleep), so 5-6 am wake ups were not even to be considered. πŸ™‚ The past 2 nights were good though, so this morning I’m up! I’m glad I’ll have a bit of quiet time before the action of the day, I really find that it sets the tone much better when I’m able to “wake up” on my own for an hour or so than if I’m rushed to get up and going at the same time as the girls!Next month I think I will just keep this goal going. As DD2 gets older, it will get easier.
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  2. Work on the activities, games and crafts for Miss A THE MONTH PRIOR.
    I’m done all of the St. Pat’s stuff, which I’ll picture and post later. DD1 found them and already started crafting/playing with them. πŸ˜› I’ll make her a few crafts for Spring at the end of the month, then on to Easter celebrations!
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  3. Having more patience and grace.
    Definitely still lots of improvement here! πŸ™‚
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See you next month!

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Booking Through Thursday – Reading Meme, Part IV

This was posted a while ago on Booking Through Thursday – never a better time than now to answer it πŸ˜‰
It’s long – 55 questions! – so I’ll be posting it 10-ish questions at a time, for the next few Thursdays.

Part I
Part II
Part III
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36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
2 to 3, on average. Plus the ones I own that are on the go too…
Yes, I manage to follow the plot line/argument of each of them πŸ˜‰
No, it doesn’t take me months to finish each. A few weeks. If I’m reading just one book at a time (rare, but it happens), it’s a few days to maybe a week – unless I’m REALLY busy.
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37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
Almost never – I like to finish what I’ve started. Call it a perfectionist thing.
Although one of my friends pointed out in the comment how she used to be like that, until she decided that life was too short to waste on boring books… she does have a point…
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38. Favorite fictional character?
Hmmm…. I like quite a few of them.
To the risk of being sappy and conventional – I like Bella and Edward (yes, I like Jacob too)
I really enjoyed Ronan O’Mara in Frank Delaney’s Ireland.
Oh yes, Rebecca Brandon nΓ©e Bloomwood (the Shopaholic herself) is classic. Luke is cool too.
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39. Favorite fictional villain?
Erm… no one comes to mind. Well I guess Damon in The Vampire Diaries is somewhat of a villain – and quite charming.
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40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
A bi of everything – just in case I feel like reading this and not that. That was one of the sellers for me to get an e-reader πŸ˜‰ Much lighter to pack!
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41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A day or two. But even then, I probably read a few blog posts or part of an ongoing magazine (snippet reads, as I call them – perfect for slotting in a free 30-seconds time slot).
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42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Currently, I’m having issues with Don Quixote. Part of me wants to finish it, because it’s supposed to be entertaining, and maybe it gets better later on (frankly though – if it isn’t good by page 220…)? And because it’s a classic and it would be trendy to say I’ve read it. Part of me, though, feels like the answer to question #37 – life is too short to waste 1000 on a book that draaaggggsssss.
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43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Kids. Then again, I don’t usually read when I’m with the kids LOLΒ  But say my husband is watching/playing with them, I go upstairs or – luxury! – in the bath to read… Yea, never really lasts for long.
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44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Lord of the Ring are EXCELLENT adaptations. I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love too – I only saw the movie, but it didn’t have a draggy, cut cut cut feeling of an adaptation. And the TV version of The Vampire Diaries is EXCELLENT – completely different plot line than the books, and far better in my opinion.
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45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Almost all of them. Films and books just don’t have the same flow. But sometimes it’s nice to watch the movies anyway, just to see what they did with it, who they chose to act out the characters (and visualize them – I’m a visual), and maybe get a detail or two you missed in the books. Most are watchable, if not all that good πŸ˜‰
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to be continued…

#3in30 – February Week 3 Update + #HelloMorning Update

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I didn’t post an update for Week 2, so… this is two-week update!

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  1. Get up at 6 am every morning (well except maybe Saturdays), as part of the Hello Mornings challenge hosted by Inspired to Action.Humm… I should rephrase that: Go to bed early in the evening, so that I MIGHT be able to get up at 6 am, as part of the Hello Mornings challenge. πŸ˜‰

    Yea. The whole things isn’t working out as well as I had hoped for. As I mentioned in my first post about it, I planned on being gentle with myself. The fact is, I have a not-so-new-anymore newborn around (5 mo on Monday – eep!), as well as a busy toddler, and frankly, the nights are often short. DD2 is often not in bed for the night before 11 pm, at which point DD1 usually decides to make an apparence in the story and wake up – it’s not rare that we finally get some shot eyes around 1 am. Add to that a mid-night (~ 3 am) nurse with DD2, and 6 am comes quick – too quick. And that’s a good night.

    But…. It HAS helped me so far to just GO TO BED in the evenings. I’m a night owl, big time. I would just stay up in the evening, and when the girls would wake up around midnight-1 am, I hadn’t even slept a bit yet. At 7 am when the girls got up… it had been a shooort night. But now, I usually go up around 9-9:30 pm with DD2 for her bedtime nurse, and when she’s done, I hop in bed right away. Sometimes I even start dozing before she’s done… πŸ™‚

    And then, if the night is pretty good and no one wakes up too much… come 6 am, I wake up and feel refreshed – and get up. πŸ™‚

    I have to say though, I do really enjoy having some quiet time before the crazyness of the day starts, so I’m not really letting go my Hello Mornings. Just taking it slower. DD2 has started consolidating her day sleep, and will have more of a “schedule” soon, and her bedtime will get earlier and she starts doing more solid and predictable naps. All in due time. Soon enough, I’ll miss those night time one on one times… πŸ™‚

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  2. Work on the activities, games and crafts for Miss A THE MONTH PRIOR.I’m almost done March! I have pretty much all my St. Patrick’s stuff printed and gathered, I’m just finishing up a few stuff like cutting the crafts, or putting together the file folder games. Then I’ll gather a few spring ideas to get us through March 18-31, and April will be Easter. πŸ˜‰

    Next month, this goal will be to put together April’s activities πŸ˜‰Β  I really like being 1 month in advance – it’s so much easier to have everything together and in the activity drawers when I want to do a game or a craft, then finding an idea, rummaging to find the materials, and DD1 will give me about 5 min of patient waiting before she starts acting bored so it’s just, well, stressful.

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  3. Having more patience and grace.Still going strong on that one! I like being more aware of it, and the days go much more smoothly when I’m not, well, freaking out πŸ˜‰

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Final week!

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Booking Through Thursday – Reading Meme, Part III

This was posted a while ago on Booking Through Thursday – never a better time than now to answer it πŸ˜‰
It’s long – 55 questions! – so I’ll be posting it 10-ish questions at a time, for the next few Thursdays.

Part I
Part II
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22. Favorite genre?
Isn’t this awfully like question #12? In any case, you can find out the answer in question #12.
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23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Mystery and crime investigation novels. Beurk. I don’t even wish I did. πŸ™‚
(not saying they are bad – you can love them. I just don’t πŸ˜‰ )
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24. Favorite biography?
Oh that’s another genre I don’t really read much of (but that one I wish I did).
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25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Some, yes. Some were good, some were crap.
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26. Favorite cookbook?
Cook Once a Week, by Theresa Albert-Ratchford
Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, by Robin Robertson
Vegetarian Cooking, by Emma Summer
Blender Baby Food, by Nicole Young
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27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson (2010)
Currently reading The Ministry of Motherhood, also by Sally Clarkson, and it’s just as inspirational.
Just love her work. She is such a great woman and mother, her values are so in line with mine and her family dynamic is a good example of what I want/hope to achieve with my girls, it is so refreshing to read her.
You can also read her blog at I Take Joy.
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28. Favorite reading snack?
Anything that can be munched on – chocolate chips are nice, though not the healthiest. πŸ˜‰ Other good options would be grapes, pomegranates, pieces of cheese…
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29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I can’t think of anything. I don’t really get influenced by hypes, or get bothered by them. If I like it, I like it; if I don’t, I don’t.
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30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t read many book reviews – I tend to select my books because the cover is pretty (very legitimate reason, mind you), because the synopsis looks good, because it’s an author I enjoy, because someone recommended it to me, or because it’s a book club selection. I guess what I wrote above applies here too: If I like it, I like it; if I don’t, I don’t.
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31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I have no problems with it. I still try and remain polite to the author – my taste might not be their or everyone else’s tastes, especially if the critic is purely on a preference & enjoyment level. If the critic is more about style, writing, plot, etc. – well it could still be just me πŸ˜‰ So I’ll say what I don’t like and why – and then it’s up to anyone reading my review to make their choice.
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32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Japanese – because it would be cool. When I studied it in university, I had hopes of reading mangas in Japanese. Although I have my minor… well I’m nowhere near a manga reading level πŸ˜‰Β  And anyway, I forgot most of it since I graduated and never used it (because we all know that Japanese is one of the main spoken language in Canada, right?) No, really – I had plans to use it to do a PhD in Post-War Japanese Contemporary Art (in Japan), but that didn’t really quite work out, for a host of personal and logistical reasons. It’s ok – I love my SAHM daily grind. πŸ˜€
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33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
La peau de chagrin, by HonorΓ© de Balzac. Eeps!
Some of the bigger classics are intimidating too, just by their big sizes. Not that I mind big books – in fact, I enjoy them: more time to dive into the fictional world created, and to spend with the characters of the story.
Oh yes, and the Lord of the Ring trilogy is intimidating. Entertaining – but huge and VERY descriptive. But I’d read it again πŸ™‚
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34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
None – I am afraid of NA-THING. Bhahaha. (seriously, I’ll read anything)
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35. Favorite Poet?
I don’t enjoy poetry. Tried, but it never did it for me. Sorry, poets!
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to be continued…

Booking Through Thursday – Reading Meme, Part II

This was posted a while ago on Booking Through Thursday – never a better time than now to answer it πŸ˜‰
It’s long – 55 questions! – so I’ll be posting it 10-ish questions at a time, for the next few Thursdays.

Part I
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13. Can you read on the bus?
Absolutely. It’s the one most single thing I’d say I miss from working downtown and having a 1h bus ride mornings and evenings – uninterrupted reading time. πŸ™‚
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14. Favorite place to read?
In bed, just before sleep, as well as nursing, once Baby C has fallen asleep and is calm and serene in my arms – so relaxing πŸ™‚ (if I don’t fall asleep too…)
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15. What is your policy on book lending?
Pretty loose, I’ll lend to good friends I know well, and family. I keep a running list of who has what so I don’t loose track.
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16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
I’ve done so on SOME occasion… but I don’t really like to πŸ™‚ Here is my take on it, answered during the Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge.
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17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
I don’t like to do that either, but I have done it when studying a book for a class.
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18. Not even with text books?
Yes, text books I will. πŸ™‚
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19. What is your favorite language to read in?
The language it was written in – provided it’s in French or English, haha! I’m not proficient enough in any other languages to read them πŸ˜‰ If it’s a translation from another language, I’ll usually lean toward to English translation. No reason other than it seems to be my preference!
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20. What makes you love a book?
A great, well-rounded story, with no loose ends or unfinished lot lines, with great characters who evolve and move forward through the story, and leave you feeling like something happened, a change of character (big or tiny) occurred, and that you are leaving some memorable friends behind. I always say that if you are either reluctant to start a new book until you’ve had a day or two of breather, or if you are still thinking of the characters a couple of days later, then it was a good book!
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21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I feel moved by it, changed by it. Or, if I know that it would be right up the person’s alley!
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to be continued…

Awesome-ess Breakfast Recipe

EDIT: I KNEW I was forgetting some stuff! πŸ™‚
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The original recipe calls for a slow cooker. I did try it the first time I made it – but like the last time I made slow-cooker oatmeals, it was all yuck and mushed in the AM… not very good (though it was ok as a toast spread!) It also didn’t keep AT ALL, so I pretty much lost the whole recipe. So I do prefer to do it in the AM, using steel cut oats, and letting it simmer 30 min – perfect πŸ™‚
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Also, to save prep time in the morning, you still could do the bulk of the prep the evening before. Toss the sugar, spices, apples, cranberries and oats in one container, and the liquids in another. You could maybe add the butter pieces to the liquids, or just cut the butter in the AM. In the morning, toss both containers together in a stove pot, and voilΓ ! 5 min (+ 30 min lol) oatmeal πŸ™‚
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On a more positive note from my last post (!), I have this amazing breakfast oatmeal I discovered a few weeks ago, and it has made me love oatmeal again. It i seriously DELICIOUS! And not very long to make. I do a half recipe from the one posted, and it lasts me 3 days – it’s actually very re-heatable, not mushy at all – just add a bit of water!

You can find the original recipe here, but I’m re-typing it here, with the half measures & my modifications.
You’ll see some of the comments say to reduce the liquids if you do it in the morning and not overnight in a slow cooker, but I use the exact amount listed with steel cut oats, and it’s perfect!

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CHRISTMAS MORNING OATMEAL (May be enjoy year round)

Ingredients:

  • 1/6 cup (or, 40 ml – I use 2 teaspoons & 2 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Β½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored, and sliced ΒΌ inch thick (I used any apples, and I don’t peel them, and just cube them, and it’s always fine!)
  • 3/8 cup dried cranberries
  • ΒΌ cup butter, cut into pieces (I think it makes a difference to put it, so I do. I just cut a couple of mini pieces, I don’t measure it)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I’ve also used same quantity of quinoa, and it worked just as well! Mixes it up a bit πŸ™‚ You could probably do Β½ cup each too)
  • 1 cup water
  • Β½ cup apple juice
  • Β½ cup cranberry juice

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Directions:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and cranberries in a stove pot. Top with butter pieces.
  2. Add oatmeal, water, and juices. Stir briefly to mix.
  3. Cook on Med-High heat for a few minutes until it starts simmering, then bring heat down to simmer for ~ 30 min, or until liquid is well absorbed, stirring once in a while.
  4. Enjoy!

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To reheat:

You can store unused portions in a container in the fridge. The next morning, just take what you want out, put on the stove with some water, and heat on low-med heat. Keep an eye on it, bring heat down it it overboils, add more water if needed. Re-enjoy – it’s just as good! πŸ™‚

Little Irritations

This morning starts with lots of little irritations…

  1. Trying to grab my PJ pants and socks in the dark to not wake DD2, I only grabbed one sock… Hello cold feets. (but at least my slippers were in the living room from DD1 playing with them!)
  2. Coming downstairs I notice the alarm isn’t on. I hate when it’s not on, but I guess I didn’t know until now so it didn’t stop me from sleeping… I’m a scaredy cat πŸ˜‰
  3. My computer mouse still won’t work. Grrrrr…
  4. Want to grab a muffin before while my oatmeal cooks and I notice someone (sorry honey, but you did πŸ˜› ) forgot to take them out of the freezer yesterday. I don’t want to use the microwave because DD2 sleeps just above the kitchen and yes, the beep beep wakes her up (been there done that)
  5. Want to wash my apple for my oatmeal and our veggie scrub was left at the bottom of the sink so now it’s all full of gunk from the dishes rinsed yesterday. And anyway squeezing old water out of dishcloths at the bottom of the sink grosses me o.u.t.
  6. Oh and since I did all the laundry yesterday (ALL of it! :D), it will be a day or two before I can wash said scrub.
  7. It’s 5:50 am and I’ve only been up for about 15 min.

Right.

So now that that’s all off my chest, let’s move on to a better day, shall we? πŸ˜‰