Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Xmas and a new Blog

Well, it's finally here... the day we have all been waiting for... today is my birthday... oh... and tomorrow is Christmas.

I want to wish every one of my readers a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year in 2012.
(If you don't celebrate Christmas, please accept my well wishes for your own merry holidays).

I started this blog two years ago and I have been very lucky to share many of my thoughts and projects on here.  I have received many wonderful comments (and some that we won't talk about).  I have decided to retire this little blog of mine.  It's part of my 30's and since I am now in my 40's I have started a new Blog.

Her name is Somerset Lane

Somerset Lane

I did a quick post explaining my new blog and why I decided to start it.

If you are a current follower on Frugal Mom x3, I would love it if you followed along on Somerset Lane, either by e-mail (top right-hand side) or as Google Friend Connect.

My parents are currently visiting from Portugal, and since I know it's going to be a busy week, I've decided not to start posting on Somerset Lane until January 1st, 2012.

Until then have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Award


I was pleasantly surprised today when I started my daily blog reading and noticed I had received a blog award from Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily!  
Thanks Carla!

According to Carla,  Liebster is a german word & translates to “good friend” in English.  Awww thanks!

Here are the rules!! 

There are rules to receiving and accepting this award.
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Cop and Paste the Award to your blog
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the word and love to other bloggers.

5. Have fun.  

Here are my top 5 picks (some of the blogs I read on a regular basis).
  1. Lori at Not the Mother of the Year.  Lori is an old friend, and some of her posts just crack me up.
  2. Erin at Sunny Side Up. Her family is like a younger version of my family.  And I love her hair too!
  3. Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane. I love the way she writes. She is such a positive lady.
  4. Ashli at Mini Manor (formerly Maillardville Manor). A fellow Canadian with a beautiful home, that she DYI's on a budget. I love her dog Max too!!
  5. Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick.  Sarah's is the first blog I ever read and I anxiously wait for her next DYI project.

Go check them out and see why I love reading their blogs!


P.S. - I have started a new blog Somerset Lane for the new year, and for my life in my 40's.  Come follow along!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A birthday letter... to me.

(grab a coffee... this is a long one, with no pictures)

Well, I'm gonna officially say it... I'm turning 40 at the end of the week! Yeap the big 4-0!

I've been in denial that this day would come for about... ummm... 10 years or so! I always thought 40 was old.

But I can't deny it anymore, I'm turning 40!

The past couple of days have been rough for me. I've been teary, and grumpy and snappy (more than usual); but I just can't help myself. Is it the mourning process? Mourning my youth?

For the past year, I've watched my highschool friends turning 40 and wishing each other "happy birthdays" and I kept thinking "Thank goodness mine's not until end of December, so I don't have to deal with it".  Boy has the year flown by, and now it's here.

I've been trying to figure out why this birthday has hit me sooo hard (and not in a good way).  Everybody keeps saying "40 is the new 30".  ummm... no it isn't.  Thirty was a piece of cake for me!  Thirty meant I had arrived!  I was no longer "too young" or "too in-experienced".  But what does forty mean?

I've been thinking alot about each decade of my life and what they have meant to me (yeap, pretty intense stuff!)

My first 10 years,  were all about family.  The first 5 years, I have memories of my grandpa and grandma (mom's parents) and lunches and dinners at their house in Portugal.  Christmas and birthdays meant that my grandpa would go all out and make my day special (which all it really meant was having a birthday cake and maybe a new doll).  I remember playing with my two cousins and roaming our little town by ourselves.  There were no dangers (that I remember anyways).  I do remember being sick alot.   I mean really sick.  I had typhoid fever, followed by German measles when I was 6. Or was it the other way around? I'll have to ask my mom. From age 8-10 it was all about Canada, and this new country that was sooo cold, and I had no friends and couldn't understand what the heck people were saying to me. It took me a couple years to truly learn English.

From age 10-20, was all about school.  When I was about 16 or 17, my parents thought it would be a good idea if I quit school and got a job somewhere. After all they had no school past grade 8 and they were doing ok. I fought tooth and nail, and stayed in school.  I had after-school jobs from about the age of 15 on, just so  I could prove I could do both. At one point, during the summer after grade 11, I would wake up at 6 am to catch the "van to the farm" to pick grean beans all day, and get home at 6:30 p.m., take a shower, have dinner and then  3-4 nights week I worked at A&P grocery store from 7- 11 pm or 12 pm and then do it all over again the next day.  It was hard, but somehow I did it and made alot of money that summer.  I know I physically couldn't do it now. In my teen years, I think I was little sheltered.  While my friends were out at parties, going to dances and on dates, I was at home watching my siblings, or working.  I was expected to be home when the street lights came on; which was pretty early in the winter.  Going to my highschool graduation dinner and dance, was quite the ordeal. I had to get a family friend to explain to my mother that it was important that I go. I had to explain that "my date" was just a good friend and no he was not my boyfriend.  When the next day I received 2 dozen roses from my date, of course my mother freaked out. "What did you do to deserve flowers?" Well, ummm, I graduated highschool and asked him to be my date to my graduation party and this is his way of thanking me.  Simple really.

From 20-30 it was all about finding love and passion.  I found a program in college that I loved. I found a career that I loved. I found a man that I love. I met my two oldest children that I love. I was an adult, but of course I was still learning.  I was learning to be a good employee, to be a good girlfriend, a good wife, and a good mother.  I was learning that sometimes you win some and sometimes you loose some.  I was learning, and that was ok with me.

My 30's were about being home with my children. When my oldest Sydney was 3, and Haley was 1, I made the decision to stay home with them.  They were more important to me than any old job could possibly ever be.  I have now been home on and off for the past 10 years or so.  I did go back to work when I heard of an opportunity "that I just couldn't pass up". But eventually I came home. My heart and soul were at home.  During this time Anthony was born and it felt like our little family was complete. It is complete. As a way to keep my brain challenged, I started a virtual assistant business, and was doing quite well for awhile, but then it was interfering with  my family life.  My family comes first... always.

This now brings me to my forties?  What's expected of me now? My children are all in school full time (except for Anthony, but come September he will be). I am home alone most of the time, on most days.  Of course when the three of them are home, they still need me. And I'm ok with that.  But what about the rest? What am I supposed to do with myself? Do I start up my career again? Could I truly work in an office environment after not doing it for 10 years?  Could I just be a home maker, cleaning house, make meals, paying the bills?  What am I supposed to do for the next 20-40 years? I know others have hit this milestone before me, but is the difference that they have jobs/ careers that is propelling them forward and giving them hope that there is so much more for them to do?

My husband tells me that it's up to me to figure out what I need to do.  He's right, I know.  I think back to my 20's, and it was up to me to figure out what program I wanted to graduate from in College, what courses I wanted to take. It was up to me to figure out if that job opportunity was a good fit for me and my goals for my career.  But now, I feel like I am too old. Or am I? A friend who is older than I returned to school last year, and took courses in a field that were completely different than what she had been in for the first 20 years of her life.  That takes guts! Especially since she had a 5 year old daughter, who still needs her.

I had another "older" friend tell me, to make a list of all the things that I truly enjoy doing. The things that make me happy, my hobbies, and maybe that is a start of what my forties will look like.

Well, I'm not sure what my forties will bring, but I'm looking forward to the surprises... I think.


Friday, December 9, 2011

My Fun Christmas Mantel

Hey there!

This morning when I got up and looked outside it was snowing.  I'm not a fan of the snow, although I've come to tolerate it over the years. (I supposed I have no choice living in Canada... in Southern Ontario... in the snowbelt... where it snows... alot!.

So I thought some Christmas decorating was in order.

I'm not quite done my new family room built-ins ( one final coat of stinky paint), but I decided to tackle my mantle.

My original plan was to re-do my mantel.  Built-in out... chunky-it-up. But time is getting away from me... and I'm seriously tired of going to Rona and looking for wood-cutting- old-guy-BFF.  So I'm going with what I've got... for now.

This is what it currently looks like...

Yes, I believe the word is "blah". I kind of like the brick (kinda/sorta) but the mantel is small... really small.

But that will be a 2012 project. And If I can dream a little, I'll add in a gas fireplace insert too.
(remember I said dream, as I think know it's NOT in the budget)


Because I didn't want to spend any money I went into the Christmas totes and gathered some supplies and went to work.

I took an old wreath that I've had for probably 13 years or so and took it apart. 
Then I found some fake poinsetta flowers in white and red and took them apart and added it to my wreath form.

I also found some flimsy green garland from along time ago as well.  I ended up doubling the garland just to make is look thicker. 

So here is a progress shot...

Then the kids started arguing about how blue the sky was or something and stopped taking any more progress pictures.
Sorry... but I'm sure you can figure out how I put the rest together.

I added lights and other different fillers that I "found" in my totes and went to town.

Here are some pretty pictures...

And one final one... ( I promise)

I kept to my red and white colour scheme (which is through out my home), and it kept whimisical by added a snowman that used to sing and dance (but someone removed the music box from it)

What are you up today?

Have you decorated your mantel yet?  If you need some inspiration check out Rhoda's Mantel Party.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Fireplace Built-ins

I have been working hard for the past couple of weeks.  Remember when I asked you what you thought I might be up to?

Well... I'm about half way there!  I have wanted built-ins for either side of my fireplace for a looooooong time, but we could never afford them, cause there were more important things to spend money on (new roof, new furnace, etc.). So I did what anyone would do, when they really want something.... I built my own.  Are you ready?

Introducing one side of the fireplace...

Here is a better picture...

Yeap I made it all by myself (with a little help from Home Depot and Rona.)

I started off getting my wood cut at Home Depot (the frame) and then I went back two days later to get more wood cut and they told me that their machine could not cut my size of wood (16" wide pine). 
Huh?  "But Pat just cut it two days ago!" I said. 
"Nope can't do it. Won't do it" Said John, the Home Depot wood cutting employee.
"Drats, now what" Thought I.

Off I went to Rona, and they had the same wood, same machine, and they cut the rest of the wood I need cut to finish this bookcase and

... the other side too.
(so, I don't know what Home Depot's issue was.  I even spoke to manager and he said NO".

So anyways, the bottom middle shelves on both sides still have to be re-cut because I cut them 1/16" too small, but I'm really happy how they are turning out.  I still have to prime and paint the one holding the t.v. but I wanted to give you a sneak peak.

What'cha think so far?

I'm linking up to...

The DIY Show Off

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 11-11-11

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Lieut.-Col. John McCrae

 November 11th. 11th hour. We remember our soldiers bravery.

I'm off to my kid's school's Remembrance Day ceremony.  It is always so beautiful.  They show a slideshow of the kids family members who served in the war.  As far as I know none of my relatives were in World War I, but my dad served in the Angola war against Portugal and I believe my Father-in-law served in WWII.

Will you be attending a Remembrance Day ceremony?
Or just have a moment of silence at the 11th Hour?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


My friend and fellow blogger Carla at My Half Dozen daily recently posted asking her readers to help her raise enough money to buy a goat, 2 hens, & a rooster for World Vision Canada!!! She was hoping to raise $150 which would help provide a supply of nutritious eggs, milk and cheese for food and income for a family.  Last time I checked, Carla (with the help of her fellow bloggers and readers) has raised over $500, and has increased her goal.  I am sharing this with you, cause I'm hoping you can join us in raising more money.  The minimum donation she is asking for is $1.00 through Paypal.  Please email  Carla at moraliaweblog (at) yahoo (dot) ca for her Paypal addy!!

She is keeping a running total on her side bar of how much money she has raised and what she is hoping to buy with the money. 
Bloggers and readers... let's unite and Bless another family less fortunate.


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