Thursday, October 27, 2011

Patty's Wild 40th Adventure!

We are so lucky to have a group of friends in Swift Current that are just like family to us!  Together we celebrate, console, heckle, do hockey drafts, splurge groups, Christmas Carol, Easter Egg Hunt, coach hockey together, cheer for the Riders ( a few for the Eskimos) together, pass around babies, dogsit, babysit and a million other things that families do.  When Pat put out the call for our friends to come with him to Las Vegas to celebrate the momentous occasion of his being on the planet for 4 fabulous decades 16 brave people canceled work and called the grandparents to babysit and we were off on an Epic National Lampoon Vegas Vacation!

The morning we left we all signed a pact that said there would be no spousal disputes and that there would be no pictures put on the internet so for this reason I am protecting the groups identity :)  Everyone knows that Patrick's very best friend in the whole wide world (or at least under the sea) is Sponge Bob so I secretly bought Walmart out of their entire stock of Sponge Bob shirts and delivered them so everyone could wear them the morning we were leaving!  Yay Patrick Starfish. 


Patty Patty Party Planner had champagne waiting in the room for us all to toast to a great weekend to come!
 The logical thing any man turning 40 should do.  Climb on a mechanical bull.  Be sure to sign the waiver first!
 We have one "real" cowboy in the group be he didn't coach Pat that you are supposed to put your non dominant hand in the rope.  Pat had a bruise the size of his whole inside thigh from this wild ride!
 Nothing screams cowboy more than a Mickey Mouse Tshirt, plaid shorts and sandals!  Ride em Cowboy. 
 Good Form.
 He didn't last long!
 And the trip starts and ends with his best friend!
A special Thanks to Grandpa Al and Grandma Charlene for watching the kids while we were gone.  I know they loved every minute!

I was waiting for the Lone Wolf speech while we were there about how Pat now had an 18 man wolfpack but there was no speech but I think Pat said it best in his Thank You email to our Vegas Freinds. 
A man should be so lucky to have friends such as you guys and even after leaving Las Vegas with near empty pockets I feel I am the richest man alive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lancer Chokecherry Festival- Community Spirit!

Pat and I both grew up going to weddings in the town hall, fall suppers in the church basement, egg salad sandwiches and marshmallow squares, a group of ladies in the kitchen doing dishes and laughing, a group of fellas in ball caps visiting in the corner over a cup of coffee that was poured into a styro foam cup from of a 50 cup stainless steel urn.  A simpler time when generations would get together and the kids would run and play and the dance floor chasing balloons until someone would come out and put dance wax on the floor meaning it was too slippery for kids to run and play it was time for some two stepping and waltzing.

There were no cel phones or portable DVDs or Ipads to entertain just good old fashioned visiting, eating, dancing and later a midnight lunch so you could eat again. If you really needed to make a phone call there was a rotary dial phone in the kitchen and you may have only had to dial 4 numbers to get who you needed.

That is the feeling I got when we took the kids out to the kick off to the Lancer Chokecherry Festival.  There is just enough chill in the air to make coming into the hall even that much more welcoming.  As the door swings open you can hear the laughter and smell the chili and homemade buns. 
 The girls. 
The boys. 
 Dad and his helpers doing the draws for prizes. 
 Mini me. 
 A hall full enjoying coffee and Carrot Cake for dessert. 

 Winner Winner!
 The boys took it upon themselves to hold the door for everyone and say Goodbye!
 I am so glad that Pat works in so many unique towns.  Their traditions become part of our yearly traditions and we look forward to this lunch every year!  I know our kids will look back fondly on our road trips when Mom pulled them out of school!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Have I mentioned before that my husband LOVES to cook?  The latest hit at our house was when Pat cooked Gnocchi.  He boiled it in a pot of water.  While it was boiling he fried butter and onions then put the cooked Gnocchi in the pan with the butter and onions and served as a side dish with Steak.  

Pot of water with a bit of salt and oil so they don't stick.  

Butter and onion. 
Introduce the Gnocchi to the butter and onions!  " Hi Nice to meet you!"

This was DELICIOUS.  We all agreed it tasted just like little bites of perogies!  The kids loved it.  
And if you are having a bad day this video will probably make you laugh!  I love this guy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ShaToBu Review

I love online sites that give Moms a place to connect.  Being a stay at home Mom or a work from home Mom is such an amazing, important, rewarding job but without a great group of friends to share stories and ask advice it can be lonely.  That's why I love the Yummy Mummy Club there are articles on everything from Sex and Relationships to Haloween I have even written a few articles for the site myself.  They also have great contests and giveaways.  When they were asking for ladies to test a body shaping hosiery I was in!

The product is called Shtobu for Shape Tone Burn.  Among the reasons I love Shatobu was it was invented by a Canadian, a female and chiropractor.  I really related to Dr. Denise Perron as she talks about developing a product and tweaking, changing, using family as guinea pigs as I have just spent a year and a half going through that getting Snappy Socks for the ground. 

As you will see the thing that makes the shapers and tights different from others is that they were designed with resistance bands so that wearing the product during your everyday activities has been proven to burn 12% more calories in a day than without. 

A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail with these cute pink packages. 
 The products in include shapers that range from mid thigh to knee and from your waist to a high waist that goes up to your bra line.  They come in nude and black.  The tights come in black, steel and brown and also have regular waist or high waist.  The tights also come in footless, with a ribbed or diamond design. 
So here is my review.  For starters I will let the pictures do the talking.  Let me just say this was a first for me to NOT retouch pictures of me.  Hopefully it is obvious but here is my before wearing a festive peach workout top that I thought would enhance the look of Martha my Muffin Top who I usually try to hide! 
And then here is the same shot with the Shatobu Shaper on.  Goodbye second set of Boobies.  We have successfully muffled Martha so she isn't hanging over my dress pants!
From the back.  Now I know why your elbows are behind you.  If I had to look at those everyday I would cry.  No wonder my kids think they are funny and pinch them. 
My fabulous friend Deb helped me out with the photography!  We had a few giggles in her back yard.  I think it looks much better!  This is with a body shaper and the high wasted black tights. 
Here is what I would usually wear out.
Here is where the tights come to and you can just see the flesh toned shaper underneath. 
I would definitely wear the tights and shaper when going out or to work.  I found that as I have an umbilical hernia the shapeware had an added bonus of supporting that area. Usually when I am wearing a dress I would wear this style of a tight underneath but other tights I have worn in the past would sag down to my knees.  Being a tall girl can create a challenge for getting tights to stay up so in the past I have worn the tights with a pair of my husband's boxers overtop It worked ok but to be honest it freaked my husband out.  Well the Shatobu tights stayed up all by themselves. They fit right under the bra to shape nicely and there was no creeping down at all.

In general I would recommend this product to a friend.  With having five kids and running two businesses I don't always have the time or energy to get to the gym, so anything I can do while running errands around town to increase my muscle, burn calories and smooth out my back fat is my new best friend.

This was my first product review but I am pretty sure for the sake of full disclosure I am supposed to say that Shatobu provided me with the product for no charge and asked for my honest opinion.  Other than the free shapeware I was not financially compensated for my review and now when you goggle my name and look at images there will forever be a record of me with back fat so that just shows you how dedicated I am to helping all of us look better ;).

Here's hoping you have ave a wrinkle free,  muffintop minimizing day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The X Factor

I Love Reality TV. You would think a week of sick kids home climbing the walls would be enough reality for me but I can't wait until supper is over and Mom takes control of the remote! Tonight we watched two episodes of Risky Business that we had taped.  A big thumbs up to my business partner Brett Wilson.  Then we watched Dragons' Den and tweeted along #cbcdragonsden.  As a family of 7 it is hard to find something we all agree on watching, and by the end of the day I can't take one more episode of Two Kings, Suite Life on Deck, Max and Ruby and Barney which are all conveniently on Video on Demand!  What ever happened to Saturday morning cartoons when we woke up at the crack of dawn to get our fill for the week!

Another show we are hooked on is the X factor.  Is it just me or does Makenna of the duet Makenna and Brock look just like Amy Poehler?   Maybe I need some sleep.  Have a great night. They are both adorable and talented.

Take Your Kids to Work Days

15 Years ago when I started photography I did so because I wanted to stay home and raise my son.  Over the years I took the kids to family reunions, cap and gown sessions, classes, workshops all where I was working.  Eventually as they began to seriously outnumber me I began taking them to a sitter when I was shooting and realized that was a much quicker and more efficient way to work.  I recall one incident where Carson hurled an empty milk jug at one of my husband's colleagues right in the middle of her head shot in my home studio.  I would always think, It is only going to be 15 minutes surely they will watch TV for 15 minutes and I can do a quick shoot!

A few weeks ago I dropped the kids off at school and the sitter, got dressed in real clothes including pants that had a zipper and went out for a birthday lunch with friends.  After lunch I drove to Elmwood Golf Course to photograph the beautiful 18 hole golf course for their website.  As I was opening the shed to drive out the golf cart I was thinking the kids would really enjoy this but if I put it off any longer it won't get done until the snow flies!  

I shouldn't have put that thought into the atmosphere because I didn't have the lock open and my cel phone rang.  It was Kelsey, "I don't feel good."  So I closed the shed and drove to the school to get him.  Well if I have one I might as well get the other from the sitter so off we went for our adventure in photography!

My happy assistants.  Not sure he looks real sick.  The fresh air must be doing him good. 

Beautiful flowers on the course!

I  love picking her up from the sitter she is so happy to see me.  The kids all see and adult coming and the rush to the door to see who it is.  Then like a game of toddler Bingo one of them realizes that it is their parent and they are here to get them.  "It's my Mommy!"  That's right we have a winner! 

 Wait for me you crazy driver. 
 There is wonder everywhere even in a golfcart tire!

Such a beautiful course

Not the day I planned but a great time together!
 A gentleman to open the door for me. 

We didn't quite get all 18 holes done before the kids were getting off the bus so I had to head home to meet them so I had to go back and photograph the last 3 holes so back we went again.  It was kids dress like teachers and teachers dress like kids!
He is so helpful showing me where the tee off box is!
I had to take the keys out of the cart every time to make sure we didn't end up with a runaway cart.  Hey it's not my first rodeo. 
Too bad the snack shack wasn't open.  They were being so good!
Driving Miss Ellie. 
Always good to stop and the Credit Union and get a balloon.  I can't believe it didn't blow away. 
Do you work at home or take your kids to work ever?  What are your tricks to keep them entertained so you can get something done?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Birthday Burger Balls

The lyrics of this song keep running through my head!

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene

There is definitely a chance that pandemonium is strolling up my front door. 

It has been a busy September getting used to back to school and activities. 

Here is Levi's special birthday supper.  In our house you get to pick what you would like and Levi always requests Dad's famous "Burger Balls".  They are a hamburger patty (which include Pat's secret ingredient bacon grease) wrapped around a square of Monteray Jack cheese.  Then browned on each side.  Next you saute mushrooms and onions in the burger pan and add mushroom soup and cream.  Pour over the burgers and bake for 45 mins. 

You have no idea how good these are!!
 Doesn't the birthday boy looked thrilled!
 Someone has smiles. 

 Time for the birthday cake.  The recipe is in the first Breast Friends cookbook.  Chocolate Cake and Brown Sugar icing. 
 Yay for Birthdays!
 I have exactly one more month until I have to give up the drivers' seat to this guy!  Ahhhhhhhhh.