A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Friday, May 28, 2010


Tuesday night I came down from my bath to find this vibrant collection waiting for me; just a little reminder of a meaningful day Andy and I spent together a few years back. 

I don't have much time to post as I'm off to pack my bag because early tomorrow morning Andy, Molly and I embark on a road trip up north to the Scottish border for a three day weekend.  Its been well over a year since we've been on tour and I can't wait.  I will try and post as soon as I can after we return with (hopefully) a few good stories and more than a few great photos.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Body Punishment

On Sunday morning I woke up aching because my head was in a slight mess from consuming copious amounts of pink champagne and wine the previous evening at Robert and Dawn's.

This morning I woke up with muscles that were shouting at me due to the body pump class I attended last night.  It was great to get back as I'd been procrastinating about it for months, and finally figured there was no time like the present; add to that I figured Dawn was ready for it after months of gymming it with me.  The music was rockin and I won't say I wasn't chuffed if slightly bashful, when the instructor shouted out her pleasure to have me back in class.  I left with promises to return to another class soon.  My legs, which embarrased me by shaking continually during the lunges are trying to tell me a different story but I won't listen to them because its not an annoying pain like Sunday's headache, its a good pain - anyone who works out will know what I'm talking about.  It's a pain that gives you a sense of punishment accomplishment.  And I like it. I feel like I've worked hard and it keeps me motivated to continue to do so.

We had an awesome weekend full of sunshine and fun.  Here are a few pictures I managed to capture:

Connor taking a break in the shade with Molly

I'm smiling because it was such a beautiful day...

At the seafront for a cool down

Robert and Dawn, the happy chef's in their gorgeous new kitchen

Throw the ball already!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


This is Seda, my friend and colleague's 11 week old Slouvakian Roughhaired Pointer.  Alison brought her over for a bit of socialization with Molly last evening. (Puppy classes aren't working out so well - this girl is a bit full on). Seda had such a great time that apprently she fell asleep over her food bowl last night after playing with Molly for an hour.  Ali had been worried she'd be naughty but she was a real little treasure, just busy and curious like any little pup can be.

Here are a few more pictures from when Seda met Molly:

I love her floppy ears as she tries to catch Molly.

Playing ball is exhausting... I need a top up!

I was never that small and annoying rambunctious was I Mama?

I'd rather nip your ears than play with this ball...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Costco Envy

The first time I met up with Dawn when I was at home was for lunch at Cora’s. I won’t go into how absolutely scrumptious the food was as I always get exactly the same thing on my annual trip to Cora’s; I’m never able to switch it up, no matter how determined I am to do so. I won’t go into how wonderful it was to catch up with Dawn; to just sit in a cafĂ© eating great food and whiling away a few hours with one of my very favourite people. What I will say is that on that particular morning Dawn was going for a workout after our brunch and she had a pretty blue warm-up jacket on that I really loved. I mean really loved.

That night I was picking Stacy up from the airport and damn if she didn’t walk through arrivals wearing the same warm up jacket in navy blue. Was it any surprise when she opened her suitcase later that night to reveal not one more warm up jacket, but two – in white and red. No.  Us McDonald girls, all of us, have a habit of buying an item in almost every colour if it works for us. Stace and I alternated those jackets throughout my stay and it made up part of our regular outfit for movie going, paired with black yoga pants. Comfort all the way baby; but we rocked it with great hair and perfect handbags.  What a combination eh?

Stacy was kind enough to send me back to the UK with the much coveted white one and let me tell you how I love that jacket (but not as much as I love her). I was thrilled when I found out they could be purchased at Costco; Dawn, Stacy and I went into the Costco one evening shortly before I was due to leave so we could get a few more but naturally they were sold out. Damn. Hopefully they will have more in stock at some point and perhaps my sister can fetch me another when she travels back.

I’ve also been reading a few healthy-living blogs and the number one shop of choice for good foods at great bargains is....Costco. What a variety of foodstuff that can be found on the shelves in that place. The only bummer is we don’t have one here and that really blows.

One of the first items on the agenda when Andy and I relocate back to Canada: get a membership at Costco.

Oh, and I can assure you all that I will not ever wear that white warm-up jacket while cleaning my kitchen and bathrooms – bleach and I don’t get on so well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wendesday Whinge

On Monday morning I went to work feeling good and as a result had a very productive day. I got home and had a great chat with Stacy as it was her 25th Birthday (Where does time go? My littlest sister is halfway through her twenties. God I feel old). For supper I cooked a delicious beef stir fry that my husband didn’t enjoy however I can’t be cooking two different meals every day and since the boys don’t want to eat my healthier options all the time that’s what I usually do; however Monday I chose to cook just the one healthy meal. (Sometimes I will eat a smaller portion of what I’ve cooked for them, but that is not often.)

Andy and I had another good workout and despite finding out mom will actually need chemo after all, managed to remain optimistic and positive. All her lymph nodes and surrounding tissue tests came back clear, however the tumour was an aggressive type and they want to do four rounds of chemo over 12 weeks followed by radiation as a precautionary measure. It will be a long tough road for Mom but she will get through it, just like she’s gotten through every other hardship that life has thrown at her. We joked about her losing her hair, which she hates anyway as its rather thin, and talked about the posibility of it growing back thick and full like her sisters.  She filled me in on all the great (free) therapy treatments that are offered to cancer patients at the hosptial and mentioned how she thinks they have wigs as well.  We giggled at that, but I also told her that our own fashionesta Stacy, would also be able to help her out with scarves if she wanted that option.  Between all of her daughters and sisters, I'm sure she will have it covered.

Yesterday wasn’t the smoothest of days for me. It actually felt more like a typical Monday in that I wasn’t in the best of places. My day started off ok, but then I let myself get bothered by something that I probably shouldn’t have and blogged about it, but have since decided to delete the post as I don't want to be that person. Also Beryl suffered one of her heart ‘episodes’ (her words) and had to be taken into hospital. She had waited until morning to do anything about it, when normally she rings me in the middle of the night. Both I and the doctors have told her she has to ring straight away, not wait. She was admitted but released yesterday afternoon when her blood work came back ok. I took her home around 4:30 but first stopped at McDonald’s to get her a cheeseburger and fries as she hadn’t eaten all day and I wanted to tempt her with one of her favourites (and of course I indulged, naughty girl). Beryl’s ok, just tired and worn out and needs to rest up as she is supposed to be going away for the weekend to celebrate her son’s 60th birthday.

Last night I made the decision to skip the gym as I was just plain tired. Tired, emotional, out of sorts, whichever way you want to put it. So Andy and I just had a lovely walk with our girl Molly during which time I must have made his ears bleed with my diatribe about everything that was on my mind. Upon our return home I had a long soak in a hot bath and ate a bar of chocolate. (I don’t. think there is much point in jumping on the scales this week eh? Anyway, I haven’t budged for two weeks now and am getting annoyed).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I've just been to the gym and let me tell you it felt great - the sweat I had on was just awesome.  Well it was.  I'm not gonna lie; I'm someone who sweats a lot when I'm  working out.  If I don't sweat much then I really don't feel like I've worked hard enough.  The past week has seen me laid pretty low with some kind of virus that is making the rounds.  I've had a voice that makes me sound like some kind of late night caller, a tight chest and zero energy.  I tried to go to the gym early last week and as my work-out was similiar to the 80 year old woman next to me, I figured I'd better call it quits till I was feeling fine again. 

Friday morning I tried to go back into the office after being off for two days.  I felt slightly better and although I had a bit of a cough it wasn't as bad as it seemed. However my boss was having none of it.  She informed me that I better go home and have the rest of the weekend to recover; that was an order.  And to think Andy was worried that she'd be annoyed I'd already missed two days.  The team I work with isn't like that - they have a family first ethos and they like their staff to be healthy.  Honestly, I felt kind of bad being home on Friday but the extra rest seemed to do me a world of good; I didn't end up with a chest infection as can so easily happen when I get sick.  Yesterday we exercised Molly for ages on the field, and today we took her for a long, refreshing walk up through the apple orchard.  I've only needed my inhaler a few times so I figured tonight was as good as any to get back to the gym.  And it was just a plain good workout -  one of those nights when I actually enjoy the work out;  listening to great music my sister downloaded onto Georgia (the ipod she passed on to me now that she is the owner of a gorgeous new i-Phone).  I was thinking about old times as I sweated it out to Fantasy (I know, I hate Mariah but I love that old dancy version that makes me think of good times in downtown Halifax), Madonna (I love She's Not Me) and various other tracks. 

All in all, I'm feeling good and ready to face the week ahead. I will hold a cease-fire with my hatred of Mondays just because I am feeling that fine. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

37 Things I've Learned the Hard Way in my 37 Years (tagged by Dawn)

1. Wishing you’d done something differently is only just that – wishing.

2. Ever believing Cat when she said ‘we’ll only be out a few hours, home by midnight – promise’

3. Molly doesn’t like canoes – at all.

4. Having everyone like you isn’t that important.

5. Honesty isn’t always the best policy; sometimes it’s better to just keep it zipped.

6. To drink a lot more water in between ALL THAT WINE.

7. That being amicable with an immigration officer wasn’t the right choice and got me nowhere, at least being a bitch would have felt much more satisfying.

8. Some people just wear two faces, nothing will change that. And it doesn’t mean you have to like it.

9. There are those that don’t put their children’s sense of well-being before their own.

10. You never, ever move your bag to the trunk when someone could be watching, especially when your passport is in that bag.

11. Partying all night on the beach till 5 am with Cat and thinking someone would get us up in time to catch a 10 am flight.

12. Falling down in front of your friends never brings about sympathy.

13. Always double check that your husband hasn’t left the keys to your car in a Venice hotel, when your car is parked at Manchester Airport.

14. Never let the boy’s chase your sister’s white cat till she runs under the car and gets stuck in the engine.

15. Laying on a beach drinking beer and forgetting sun block is just the stupidest thing ever.

16. Bitter women will call the police with horrible, false accusations about good men for their own twisted sense of revenge.

17. It’s better not to jump up too quickly after you’ve missed your chair.

18. Pushing your cousin into the corner of the TV so hard that he cracks his ribs isn’t a way to earn your Aunt’s love and affection. (Thankfully she forgave my 10 year old self).

19. Sending someone in your place to do your job doesn’t always work out the way you’d hope.

20. That I should have got the clasp fixed on my beautiful (favourite) bracelet before it fell off my wrist for the millionth and last time.

21. Sometimes if we don’t take the chance, we miss it forever. Sometimes there are no second chances. (But sometimes there are :)

22. Wax is a bitch to get off a carpet.

23. Nettles don’t hurt that much, but they do when you grab a whole handful.

24. Insomnia is a real asshole.

25. Laying on an outcropping of rock while the tide is coming in isn’t a great idea, especially when your mobile phone is also on that rock.

26. Cleaning the kitchen or bathroom with bleach whilst wearing a favourite outfit is bound to end in ruin.

27. That I suck at math.

28. Always make sure everyone has their passport before leaving the house, not when you are an hour away from home.

29. Keep Stacy and Alex far apart from each other when things like number 28 happen.

30. Never admit to who you are unless you know who and why the person is asking (getting slapped in the face by some crazy girl is not nice, nor is the reaction I have when someone strikes me)

31. Watching the aftermath of what it does to your family when you’ve gotten so drunk you hurt yourself is the most horrible feeling ever.

32. Always hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign outside the hotel room door when housekeeping is making the rounds and you really don’t want to be disturbed.

33. Sitting still when a wasp is around is not the right thing to do.

34. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can be embarrassing as well as hurtful.

35. If you are going to skinny dip, be prepared to swim for awhile when other people turn up at your spot at the lake.

36. If there is fox shit around, keep your dog well away from it.

37. I should have listened to my mother much more than I did.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wine is not my friend...

I have to stop denying it; wine is really not my friend.  Oh, it acts like a friend, promising my mouth a glass full of delicious delight , and my head a moment of calm and peace, but when it its gone I'm  just left bloated and up on the scales.  What kind of friend plays a nasty trick like that? 

For two weeks I went without a glass of wine.  I usually only indulge on the weekend because I don't want to get into the habit of drinking a glass (or two) of wine every evening.  The primary factors behind this would be a) It gets to costly; b) it could lead to a serious problem and c) its too damn calorie-ridden and obviously  makes me retain fluid.  Two weeks ago I embarked on a healthier eating kick and decided to stop drinking wine.  I lost three pounds and was pleased with the result.

And then last weekend came and I indulged in a bit of wine. Ok, I'm lying; I indulged in a lot of wine.  And now I'm paying the price because I'm retaining fluid (I can't blame it all on the wine, its my hateful time of the month, which was another reason why I gave into the wine, but hey, I stayed away from chocolate at least).  I got on the scale this morning, groaned and got off. I'm not boring anyone with the details and I'm not going to log it because Friday is my weigh day; and I'm not getting on the scales again until Friday.  Also, I'm really going to try hard not to bore you all with weight talk every week.  I just need a little outlet at the moment to keep on track, because I can do this. 

I don't want to constantly stress about my weight either as I think life has proven over the last few months that sometimes your weight isn't the most important aspect of living, however I want to be healthy and fit and after working so hard eight years ago to drop 28 lbs (2 stone), I really can't let myself put it all back on. I think the way to proceed at this time will be no wine and an increase in weight training. I think some Body Pump might be in order.  This is the last weight post for awhile, I swear.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I don’t know what it is about Mondays. I never seem to want to get up on a Monday morning however if I wasn’t working and able to sleep in, I’d still end up waking up early. I often wonder that if the work week began on a Tuesday if I’d feel the same way about Tuesdays; to this I would have to say ‘presumably so’.

I think the only way I couldn’t possibly hate Monday’s was if I didn’t work. You might deduce from this that I have a job I despise which isn’t the case at all. I do like my job – it’s not too demanding yet challenges me to be the best I can be (no, I’m not in the military, lol). I don’t leave work stressed and tired out and I don’t have to work beyond the regular 37.5 hour work week unless I choose to. But I do abhor the 9-5 grind, (or 8-4 whichever you choose). My mother always told me I should have chosen a career that would be shift orientated i.e. nursing; however if I had, I’d probably still complain about shift work, as so many people that have to work shifts do. When I was in my early 20’s I worked a 3-11 shift and actually enjoyed this as it allowed me to go out clubbing after work and sleep in/go to the gym the next day. However as suitable as those hours were then, they wouldn’t be now. For a start, I don’t go clubbing anymore.  But on second thought... well the answer is still no, it wouldn’t be a better alternative as I’d never see my husband (on the weeks he works in town that is) atlhough I might be more motivated to go to the gym.

I wonder if people are just pre-destined to complain i.e. the grass always being greener syndrome. We dream all these dreams, thinking we will be happier if only, but sometimes our reality is so far stretched from our dream, we wonder where the dream originated from. Why I’ve even crossed over to this topic is beyond me. I don’t even feel that way about anything in particular right now – I’m fine with the way life is at the moment – sure there are certain dreams I had that didn’t come to fruition, however who said we could have everything we want in life? I just wanted to have a rant about how much I positively hate Mondays and would rather be at home having a nap with Molly

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What I would be dreaming of if only I could sleep...

I've decided its Sam over Dean...

This is the best picture I could find... but its a Tiffany
Bracelet, one of a few that I have my eye on.

Truth be told if I actually do sleep tonight I probably won't be dreaming about either of these hot items, although Sam does visit me from time to time. I'll be  happy to just have a few hours of dreamless sleep. I'm tired of sleepless nights or those filled with haunting dreams. 

When I was in Nova Scotia, apparently I sometimes woke Stacy with the question 'Whose that Man?' in the middle of the night. Well it wasn't the guy pictured above that's for sure!  Maybe only Daisy knows.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


On the weekend I finished the last page of my 20th book. I didn't realize it was my 20th until I placed its name and rating on the tracker on the sidebar of this blog. It wasn't the most amazing book I have read this year, but it was quirky and interesting, not to mention, nicked from my sister's bedroom during the last few days of my time at home. It doesn't even belong to Stacy but in fact Tawny, however I'm sure both of my sister's realize I took good care of it and that it can be returned to either one of them whenever they wish. I'm just grateful it was there for my reading enjoyment.

I had thought by now I would actually be well into my 24th/or 25th book since the rate at which I had been devouring books during the first few months of this year would indicate just that; however the last month or two hasn't really allowed me the time or interest to get lost in a book. I am grateful though, that while I was in NS I did have the opportunity to read The Book of Negroes which was unbelievably well written and gripping. I can again thank my sisters for that enjoyable read.

I had been hitting the library hard prior to my time away, but decided this month that I would like to purchase a few books and am now reading The Crimson Rooms, a fictional story that takes place in the aftermath of WWI; a story about a young woman who is struggling to make a name for herself as one of the first female solicitors in London and how she and her family come to terms with the lost of her beloved brother.

I often don't know what I'd do without my books; they are a great way to pass the time whether I'm waiting for an appointment, sitting as passenger in the car or riding the stationary bike (which gets me a lot of strange looks at the gym here but not in Nova Scotia - strange eh?). Every member of my McDonald clan is the same way. Andy's side of the family on the other hand, do not have the same passion for reading at all, except for his sister Ali (although his mum Wendy does enjoy the Harry Potter books). The kids often make comments about how much I read.

For this, I make no apologies.