mommy tricks

There's been some talk on the blogs lately about mommy tricks. It's time I 'fessed up to one. Or two. Okay, tree. But only the first three that come to mind.

Mommy trick one: "Do you know how when you go to visit Jamie and he has a cat and your eyes get red and sore when you play over there? That's called an allergy. You can't be near cats, right? You'll get all stuffed up and it's hard to breathe. You remember when Mommy explained to you that if you play near Jamie's cats you'll get sick because of your allergies? It's like that for mommy with Barney. Mommie can't be anywhere near Barney because he's like a cat for her, and she will get sick. You don't want mommy to get sick, do you?

Yes, even when he's in the television."

Mommy trick two: In my home town, which is a whole time zone away from the east coast, we get east coast television. Don't ask me why. Consequently, we get our television shows a whole two hours before "the real" time. How handy this is for me at New Year's! "It's midnight. Wasn't that fun? Dick Clark still looks so young, doesn't he. That was the best New Year's celebration ever! Didn't we have a good time? You must be so tired. So is mommy. You promised that you would go straight to bed if I let you stay up to ring in the new year." Previously spotted: Saucy running around the house, setting all the digital clocks ahead by two hours.

Mommy trick three: "What do you mean, there are ghosts in your room? I'll take care of that so you can get some good rest. Let me grab the ghostie repellant from under the kitchen sink. I'll be right in to spray it around your room and keep you safe." Previously spotted: Saucy removing the Watkins label from the orange-scented room spray and replacing it with Halloween stickers.

Spill it, then. What are your mommy tricks? Your secret is safe with me.

the summer of dresses

Did I mention that summer 2008 is going to be the summer of dresses for Saucy? All dresses, all the time. How simple is that? It's like dressing in a jumpsuit or something like that, you don't have to put an outfit together, just throw on a dress and you're out the door. Yesterday I found my first two frocks:

First I found this soft cotton halter dress at Tommy Bahama, Veto's favourite store. Honestly, I really was shopping for him. This dress is so comfortable, so soft, and it wears like a dream. It's the nicest shade of chocolate brown... ready to be accessorized with ivory, pink, blue or any of those nice light colours that look so nice with brown. I think I'm going to wear this to see James Taylor in 103 days.
For my cousin's wedding in July, I found this little number at anthropologie... she's asked everyone to wear "a twist of lime" that day, be it on your dress, your handbag, maybe just a lime tie for the men. This oh-soo comfie dress has deep lime straps and details. And pockets! Genius. I have a lovely dark chartreuse wrap that will set it off nicely.

Honestly, I found the cutest shoes to go with both dresses and so I'm just tickled. I'm also spying this little number before I leave town... what do you think... is it a little too "Hawaiian vacation" for me? The comfort level was 10/10 and even at full price, I loved it. You know how much I detest full price.

and the winner is...

Congratulations, Cha Cha! If possible, can you email me tonight with your address... I'd love to mail your James Taylor Tribute DVD to you from Arizona over the weekend...

Yes! I'm leaving in the morning for sunny Tucson. Don't worry, I'll check in. Just to let you know how my shopping is going.

107 days and counting contest

Do you want to win a copy of the James Taylor Tribute DVD? Of course you do. Just leave a comment on today's post telling what song James will be singing the first time he gazes into my eyes on July 11th.

The draw will be held at 7:00 p.m. CST tomorrow (March 27th) - good night and good luck.

i'm unable to hold it a minute longer

Now that I'm not letting the cat out of the bag... my friend Amy is launching a new and exciting phase of Inspire Company... and guess what? Loopy and I are going to be two of her inspired friends! This word "exciting" doesn't even touch the tip of how we're feeling about this new adventure. We've been scratching our heads (yes... literally caught each other scratching) and hatching all sorts of plans and schemes. Amy will be unveiling her complete plan on April 1 so be sure you visit her and take a peek at all the goings-on.

In our dreams, we imagine a circus big-top where Amy is dressed like the ringmaster and all of the inspired friends make appearances on flying trapeze, walking on stilts, or riding on elephants. I'm pretty sure that's what it's going to look like.

News Flash! The results of my second art history exam are in! Not quite as good as the last, but I did miss two classes due to travel. I handed in my paper last night and now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... one more exam and I'm done. I'll miss it sorely.

No time for a class this summer, the university will have to do without me this year. Between renovating the new property, my cousin's wedding, stalking James Taylor, visiting the cottage in Ontario and a week in the maritimes, I'm done for. July is officially toast.

real cupcakes and a movie review

Kelly gave me the More from Magnolia Cookbook for Christmas. This weekend, I made the vanilla cake/vanilla buttercream cupcakes. They turned out excellent, but I remembered too late that I'm not a fan of vanilla... and these are really vanilly. I think I need to work on my swoosh-icing method to replicate the Magnolia Bakery look. Here are the Saucy versions:

All dressed up and ready to go! The sprinkles are from AJ's Grocery in Tucson. Loaded into my fancy cupcake caddy from Wilton (I used my 40% coupon at Michael's).

The dogs - both Duke and Wrigley were sick all week. Duke's neutering last week went well enough but his dewclaws got infected. Then his eyes got infected. Oh, wait.... did I already tell you this story? Then came the kennel cough - for both dogs. The cone was a necessity to prevent chewing off his crazy leg bandages. Did you know you can give dogs Triaminic cough strips? Dogs don't like grape, it turns out. Big four-paws-up for bubblegum and cherry, though!

Awwww, geeeez Mom! Don't take my picture! I feel ridiculous!

We needed a serious movie to cleanse the palate after Hannah Montana. Loopy and I picked up The Fan for The Other Boleyn Girl - man, have I been dying to see that movie... it was pretty juicy. Since Loopy and I both have secret crushes on Jim Sturgess - it was extra juicy. I pulled Loopy's hat over her head during the love scenes. Basically there were only two little dodgy scenes that I needed to restrict - and the knit hat and her hands over her ears (earmuffs!) did the trick. It was a nicely pared down story from the novel and didn't disappoint.

Loopy and I conferred and together we rate this movie 4.5 cupcakes out of five, five out of five if you like steamy love scenes and you are allowed to watch them.

concert movie review

Just in case any of you have been living under a rock, Hannah Montana IS Miley Cyrus... Billy Ray's daughter and the star of the Disney show of the same name. Loopy was crushed not to see her in concert - she wasn't playing anywhere near us.

It was genius of Disney to film the concerts in 3-D, edit them together with little regard for continuity (watch! no watch! she's wearing her watch again! the watch is gone!) and play the movie in limited release for those unable to see the concert. I mean, really. Disney will get you coming and going, even if you can't get there in the first place.

The surprise? I liked it! Loopy and I went to the first show in our city this afternoon. I expected it to be an entire concert, which could get a little tedious if you're not a fan. But it was interspersed with backstage footage - including lots of documentary material about the stage production and costuming. This part I loved.

And seriously, she it totally likeable and cute. I enjoyed the "Miley" parts of the concert better than the "Hannah" stuff, but that's just me.

The costumes were amazing... lots of changes. I'm fascinated with the production value of that stuff. Her mom waits backstage to change her - sometimes in 39 seconds!

I've seen Britney Spears in concert and also Hilary Duff... this movie was better than both of those concerts put together. Don't rush out to see it unless you've got a little girl in tow, half the fun is enjoying it with your daughter.

Oh, and after the concert, Miss Loopy copped to the fact that her real desire to see this flick was to see the super-adorable Jonas Brothers in concert.  I knew there had to be a catch.  They were pretty awesome too!

irresistible cupcakes

Do you have an upgraded Safeway in your area? You may have already seen the "irresistible" cupcakes being offered in the bakery department. Considering myself to be a bit of a cupcake maven, I finally decided to check them out today.

I had to go to Safeway to pick up more medication for Duke and Wrigley, each of whom have a horrible case of kennel cough. Cupcakes will surely help me feel better, anyway.

The verdict? A nice price point, they were $7.99 for six cupcakes. The packaging may be the best part of these little beauties. The taste? Average, grocery store bakery variety cake. The frosting is a nice, smooth consistency but somewhat discoloured once I sliced into it. I liked the variety of flavours: chocolate truffle, chocolate strawberry, coconut, lemon meringue, choco-banana... but each was a version of either white or chocolate cake mix topped with flavoured frosting.

Still, this is what's left of the blueberry vanilla. They were cute but I don't know if I'll buy them again anytime soon. I'm toying with the idea of buying my own pink cupcake boxes and inserts here and making cupcakes for hostess and teacher gifts this year. What do you think?

congratulations susan

My sister-in-law successfully defended her Master's thesis today. Not only that, it went so well - she may even win an academic award for it. Can you say smarty-pants? It's really impressive.

I went over to my new favourite store that I shopped at yesterday and had spied these nice spring flowers. I picked out the colours I wanted and the vase and came home and put this arrangement together for her. Don't you love that vase? I love pussy willows.

Spring break starts for Loopy tomorrow. Eleven days of no school! I'm sure we'll visit the Build-a-Bear Workshop that just opened in our city. Here she is on Grand Opening day, holding her latest creation, "Berry". It was too early in the morning for Mama and Gramma, we ended up in Starbucks after all that stuffin' and lovin'.

Berry's name comes from the local berries grown in this areas called "Saskatoon berries" and she can live alongside all of the other bears from BABW we've been collecting over the years... they're all named after the places we got them:
Miami and Orlando - the twins from our trip to Florida in 2000
Eddie (a gift for Macy) - from West Edmonton Mall, 2003
Callie - from Calgary, 2004
Navy - named after Chicago's Navy Pier, 2006
Kiss-im-mee - from our Valentine's trip to Florida in 2007

Notice that she's dressed up to bake some Saskatoon berry pie!

have you met joe?

I've made a fashion decision. I'm going to dress with Joe Fresh Style for the entire spring and summer. If you aren't from Canada, then you don't know Joe. Joe is the house brand of clothing at Loblaws... here in the west known as The Real Canadian Superstore. Yes. A grocery store.

You must see the spring fashion show. Today I slipped into the Superstore for just a quick minute and came out with this outfit plus a flirty raincoat for under $100.00:

(Not the real proportions!)
How about those wide-leg pants? Sassy. I have to report them to be made well enough... surely better than The Gap quality and infinitely more stylish. I'm going to pack in a few more pieces before the weather requires it. My wardrobe is in sad need of an update. The wretchedly cold weather and my less than stellar health has made way for too many long sleeve tees, plenty of fleece and jeans. I need outfits.

If you visit the Joe website, you might find it very similar in style (but not in price) to Anthropologie, my favourite spot to shop south of the border. I think Joe did his research. You can download three little indie-sounding songs there too... but be warned, the website hasn't got a fraction of the super-cute items you'll find at the store. Right next to the pasta aisle.

in need of a swap fix

Indeed... I am looking for a swap to participate in. Anybody know of a good one coming up? I've missed out on a few... the paper dress swap... tussie mussies... I need my swap fix. I am a very good swapper if I do say so myself.

Yes, I'd like to add "finish swap" to my to-do list, right after:

  • renovate and sell new property by July long weekend
  • practice swooning and googly eye face in mirror for James Taylor (137 days away)
  • research paper for art history class - by next week!
  • plan and renovate my own kitchen
  • plan Buddy Budderson's 18th birthday if I don't strangle him first
  • organize graduation suit, party and gift for Buddy Budderson by June
  • become queen of all cupcakes
  • finish reading "Pillars of the Earth" before it becomes a movie
  • reorganize storage room that I didn't un-organize
  • grow my hair to my elbows - the only thing on this list that may be impossible
I am still helping Andrew go through his mother's things. I feel sort of like an anthropologist, putting things together to help Andrew solve some mysteries. We've shredded two bags full of papers.

Looks like I have a few places to visit. Loopy and I were just naming the states we've visited over the weekend, then Natalie posted a link where you can generate a map showing all the states you've seen in red. Where have you been? Click here to find out.

luck o'the irish today

'Tis true! I be the lucky leprechaun who nabbed the pot 'o gold! I have front row seats to see James Taylor in July! This is the sound of me squealing with delight: yeeeeeee! What will I wear? Will I cry? Shall I start a countdown? Will you be sick of hearing about it?

I had a horrible flu over the weekend. Just rotten. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get out for tickets today, but I swear, I'd have crawled on hands and knees. Of course I'll be taking a Sharpie marker and a photograph for him to sign. I luff him so.

saucy movie review - the bank job

I do love caper movies. Heist movies. Robberies, cons, scams. Tonight Dear Veto and I saw "The Bank Job". It's supposedly the true life story of a robbery of a bank in London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered. The story was prevented from being told because of a government gag order that was alleged to protect a prominent member of the British Royal Family. Those scallywags.

This was a groovy little picture with a swingin' style. Set in the early 1970's, it had great costumes worn by a virtually unknown (to North American audiences) cast. I had an awful headache and I think that may have been what prevented me from really enjoying it at the start. Bright lights! Make the bright lights stop!

The verdict? Four cupcakes out of five. It dragged in a few places and my noggin and I found it noisy sometimes.

I was glad to have a little date with Veto because he is only in town for one more day and then he leaves town for the rest of the month. When he's away, the kids and I slip into a completely different routine. We eat breakfast food at supper. Loopy and I snuggle in together at night, making one less bed for us to make in the morning. Generally, we get a bit lazier, but we miss him terribly. Now I'll be counting down the days until the end of the month when I get to meet up with him in Arizona.

I think I'll get a few things done up around here, do you suppose? I'd love to finish off the craft room once and for all - it's so close - and post the final pictures. And the laundry room, I only have a little bit left to do, like the counter and backsplash. I think I need some motivation.

my name is saucy and this is my flip

Are you like me? Do you watch the "house flipping" shows and think what ridiculous projects they are sometimes? Do you find yourself thinking that you could do a better job than the television flipper? Well, come see my new project:

Veto and I found a house with "loads of potential" as they say on TV. It's rather large at almost 2000 square feet... we don't take posession of it until April 30th.

Now tell me, honestly... what would you do to this space? With only eight weeks and a limited budget:

First off, I'm going to have the cabinets painted. I've ordered a new stone countertop. I have to do something about that funky wavy bit above the sink. The mirrors have got to go. Oh, right! Hardware for the doors and drawers. Check.

I've ordered carpet, tile and some linoleum. There's quite a bit of hardwood too, I'm planning on refinishing it. Or shall I say, having someone refinish it for me.

The "potential" is hidden here, in the mudroom/laundry. I hope they take all that stuff when they go.

That bathroom. I don't even think I need to dignify that bathroom with an explanation. I'd tell you the worst part, but you'd be so horrified, you'd never read this blog again. Well, I'll risk that. There is makeup smeared all over the wall near the sink. Years of makeup. Foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, liner. I think it was excess makeup on the brushes at application. Seriously. I am not making this up.

Missing several closet doors if indeed there ever were any. Sponge Bob up there on the shelf is laughing at me. He's crying "blue paint, ha-ha! blue paint!"

The current owners combined two small bedrooms upstairs to make a large master suite but (like every other job) didn't finish. I'm hoping, if the budget allows, to turn the long, unusable side of the room into an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in closet.

and now for an earthshattering announcement:

My very own Guitar Hero is coming to my city this summer. How much do I love James Taylor?
  • I own every single CD, I have duplicates of some of them... I wore one right out "back in the day", before MP3 players.
  • One of my earliest memories is of driving with my mom in her Impala named "Ezzie" and JT was crooning on the AM radio. It was a warm autumn day and it was way before seatbelts and baby seats. I perched up on the front bench-style seat and fiddled with the knobs to make it louder. I stayed in the car - in the car! and listened to You've Got a Friend while my mother went into Safeway. Those were the days.
  • His "Greatest Hits" collection? My only tuneage to be stranded on a desert isle with.
  • I am pretty sure Baby Boom Baby was written about me. I'm the little turtleneck girl.
  • Veto took me to see JT for our first anniversary. We sat in the fourth row. When he casually strolled onstage, picked up his guitar and tuned it... I had tears streaming down my face. Again, not lying. I would never lie about James.
  • Further proof that I am the Baby Boom Baby? He sang it right to me. Right at me. ME I TELL YOU!
  • I think he may have winked at me.

    Tickets go on sale Monday, thus giving me three days only to cover all my bases and ensure that I get good seats. If you don't hear from me, be assured I am camping at the Ticketmaster.

Surprise! Look what sweet fun arrived from Sarah! A jolly Valentine banner. Now, I can't wait for next winter. It says BE MINE. Do you think if I sit in the front row and stretch it out James will see it and be mine?


Ten years ago I was:

Divorced, living at home with my Mom (The Fan), Dad (The Secret Weapon), Buddy and Loopy. How many parents would give up their master suite for their kid to live in with her kid, and also give up their office space for the other kid? Not as many as you'd think, but mine did. Unconditionally. Cheerfully.

I lived at home, worked at Mount Royal Collegiate in the Guidance office (can you hardly wait for Miss Guided? I can't.) and coaching the Varsity Co-ed Cheerleading team. In the spring of '98, we won every competition we entered. This is in part to my excellent taste in music. Do you know of any other cheerleading teams that danced to music by AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Prodigy, Blur, The Cars and a Pepto-Bismol jingle? In one season? I was also going to university...

If I had a billion dollars I would:

Go to Europe and see all of the places I've been reading about in art history. I would go to Paris and look into the same mirrors as Marie Antoinette in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. I would go to Istanbul and see the Hagia Sophia. In London I would go to the Royal Museum and see Lord Elgin's marbles. Then I would go to Athens to see the ruins of Ancient Greece and to Italy... where I would toss a coin into the Trevi fountain and make a wish. Then I would return home and make the rest of my money work for me. I'd give a big donation to the hospital where Loopy was born, to buy more "plastic houses" (incubators) for premature babies.

Five things I have to do today:

  • Drop Duke off at the vet for his little - uh-hm! neutering. At the behest of Bob Barker, you know.

  • Drop Wrigley off at doggie spa for a shampoo and brush.

  • Andrew is coming over with boxes of papers from his mother's house. He has to sort through them so I'm going to help.

  • Take my mother the one litre bottle of Kahlua we brought her from Mexico

  • I have to clean out the fridge. How I hate cleaning out the fridge, but it must be done.

And there you have it. Mundane. In spades.

back to the grind

The return from our holiday was met with delight (both kids at the airport to meet us after one in the morning!), shock (the weather is at the freezing mark, a relief for those who weren't in Mexico for a week but a shock for those who were) and awe...

As in ah, now it's back to reality and I have lots to get caught up on. Like laundry. And housework. Which will all have to wait until Tuesday, since I am an obsessed fiend studying for my Art History exam on Monday night. The focus of this exam will be on Roman, Christian and Muslim architecture and religious iconography. I have lots to brush up on, having missed two classes this term, which is very unlike me, whether we travel or not.

But then I thought... wait a minute... aren't I taking these classes for enjoyment? Out of my own interest... because they are fascinating and driven by a professor who has an immense grasp of the subject matter and makes it even more interesting? Yes, that's why I'm taking the class. So why am I beating myself up and putting all this pressure on myself? Because that's what I do.

I think I'd better give myself permission to ease up a little on myself and let this one ride. I'm enjoying it, I love reading about it, and someday I want to visit these places and see things with my own eyes - and understand it. So I will spend the rest of the day flipping through the pages of the books and puzzling until my puzzler isn't sore, maybe this once.

If I accomplished nothing else on this trip, I accomplished this: I slipped over to Wal Mart (yes, they have a nice big Wal Mart here) and bought an NFL football. Of course, you all remember that I always keep a Sharpie marker on me at all times, but I bought a fresh one, just because.

When I got back to the hotel, I tracked down the football players who are staying here for a "wealth managment" seminar. Graciously, they signed that football for Veto and I surprised him with it when he came back from his golf game. I have truly never seen such a look like that on his face! Totally worth it.

on the road again


You will never guess where I am, even as I type this post. I am poolside, overlooking the beach at lovely Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I am perched safely under an umbrella, sheilding me from the damaging UV rays. Don't get me wrong, I like a little tan, but not too much. Plus, some of my medicines make me a little sun-sensitive so it's best to play it safe, do you agree?

I don't have anything to report to you from my doctor's visit in Toronto. Not a thing. We are no further along on a treatment plan, or even a correct diagnosis. I underwent so many tests, I'm surprised to have any bodily fluids left in me at all. But don't worry, I'm drinking lots of water... and maybe even a mudslide or two. Also in moderation... but at this point, I deserve a drink.

Back to right now - I can see the horizon of the ocean, and the sky is as blue as a sapphire. There's not a cloud to be seen. A giant cruise ship drifted by this morning, giving the passengers a good view of the famous archway of rocks in the water here.

Veto is beside himself with excitement - the Green Bay Packers are staying here at the same resort - and some of the Chicago Bears! They have scheduled some autograph signings, but Veto has his pen handy, just in case.

This morning we had the treat of a "couples massage" which wasn't nearly as creepy as it sounds. We may as well have been in separate rooms, but it was really a good massage.

Guess what? There is a Costco in Cabo San Lucas. And a Wal Mart. And a Tiffany & Co. Where do you think I will go first?

We are traveling with a group of good friends. John and Claire met us here on their way home from Australia. We heard all about their trip down under over drinks last night. Fast Eddie and Heather arrived today - they've been in Hawaii for two weeks! It won't be long before everyone is downright homesick, but in the meantime there's plenty of visiting to do and the boys will play some golf... another thing I'll never, ever attempt. That's right. I'll be in Costco, scouting out trays of muffins.