Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Books You Jump Out of Bed For

 holiday is also good for getting thrifting in -- 75 cent hammered silver cup my latest find.

If you are the kind of reader to have several books on the go at the same time, you are likely the kind of writer to do the same with your novels in progress.

So even though I have a few books I really should finish, I had to jump out of bed and write out the newest that came to me in a big chunk while trying to fall asleep last night: title, plot, sub-plot, main character, and even cover design. Time off work is good for the creative soul.

What writing hot looks like this morning: one fourth of a chapter in 30 minutes. At that rate, it would take 1 work week to get to first draft. But given that most of my writing is done cold (making oneself sit down and get to fleshing out the next scene) it will likely occur within scheduled early morning sessions before my daily walk. Even at that optimistic production rate, this means 100 days until draft completion. I think I have my 2016 project before me.

If you have a writing question or want some feedback on your 2016 writing project, email me at

Monday, February 23, 2015

Of thrifted treasures, dinner I didn't make, and time with my boys

One of my favorite things to do to decompress at the end of a demanding week is thrift. This weekend's under $10 haul: 2 farm animal collectibles, a chair for the corner of the kitchen, and a laptop bag.
It was D and my 18th anniversary yesterday. We did our favorite day: hanging out with the boys, getting our individual projects done, going for a drive, and watching TV to a dinner he made. And, chocolate, of course. It was lovely and mellow.
Working on a few to-do's before the kids wake up and the before school and work rush starts. This is my usual writing time. I get it back in a month. I've learned if I try to get everything done at once, I will likely get nothing done. Better to be realistic and compartmentalize the calendar.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Ode to Intentional Holidaying

 How did we land up in November so soon? Not that I'm not thrilled. I am a complete Christmas geek, collecting gifts and themed wrap (2 matching reversible patterns so I can keep straight the gifts which are heading in three different directions while we celebrate with our family of five and then with D and my families' of origin). Christmas tunes have been playing at my house awhile (and I am looking forward to putting up the tree the last week of November) and when D and I went out for a long overdue dinner date this week I was thrilled to hear them playing in the little restaurant a road over from our home. (he may have rolled his eyes ;)

Due to making like a girl scout and being prepared, I am now on round II of stocking stuffers. Because little C and I are pulling a near all-nighter getting ready for his sleep deprived EEG (tracking his petit mal seizures), I have the opportunity to make some of these felt stuffies I've been pinning on pinterest.

I'm thinking bunny deserves some new duds as well. what do you think? red cowboy boots? ;)
As the holiday season approaches, I'm looking forward to a mall-free season (FYI; if you want to skip the mall Santa lines, join us as we collect items for local babies & the food bank and get FREE pictures with Santa and a free book at the Hope library Saturday Dec 13 from 1:30-3:30) -- making it about more than the traditional hustle and bustle & focusing on spending time with loved ones, celebrating the reason for the season, and giving back.
Taking a break from the office to make up for last week's six day week. Behind me: date night (delicious, non-interrupted time with D), parent teacher interviews (which always make me fall in love with the kids' school all over again), and the watching of a great documentary on Netflix (happy -- which you will love if you are invested in being happier yourself and finding out the science behind it). Ahead of me: little c and me time (I spy celebratory Starbucks on the horizon and he is hoping to wrangle the brain scan from the technician for some investigation with his grade 5 science class), a playdate that doubles as girlfriend time for me and a couple of mommy friends, and a 2 day spiritual retreat. The sort of thing that fuels my scribing and keeps me sane. you know I like it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

rooms of sadness and other things i study

read and loved this book. it was about the kind of darkness you have to read through fast so it doesn't sit too long on your soul, but half way through the book, it took a turn and the heaviness lifted and as a mother of boys, the relationship between mother and son really resonated with me.

currently studying some really interesting material and making notes for what may be the next novel.
if you need a writing prompt click here.
if you want to win $100 to spend on good eats click here

Friday, June 13, 2014

the only thing i'll copy from a 'real housewife'

first day of summer for me and there's a week of writing and house puttering I have blocked off on the calendar.
in between thrifting and meeting first with one of my favorite writer friends Allison for lunch (which doubled as touching base on upcoming projects -- we're writing a writing book together and co-hosting the writer's weekend together again this year (save the date: Nov 21-23 in Hope BC) and with my sister for starbucks and a mall crawl (she has a baby so it consisted of cursory glances at storefronts and then dashing in and out of the dollar store to buy the supplies I need to copy the arrangement I mentally circled when watching RHOC (yes, guilty pleasure exposed -- literally no brain-power needed to
watch this show so perfect when exhausted ;)
then came home and executed my favorite kind of 30 second craft: insert foam into container, arrange flowers until foam is covered. done.
then heard the boys and friends coming down the driveway post school -- time to hide with a notebook and write

if you're looking for a writing prompt click here

if you'd like to win $100 to spend at the restaurant of your choice click here

Saturday, December 21, 2013

books, crafts, snow, and other holiday delights

 shot of dresser taken from bed to let you know about the lazy holiday state of affairs (currently reading this great book. notice my latest easy peasy craft: abandoned picture frame spray painted pewter glass and all and fitted with a piece of trimmed printed burlap -- all it needed was glue stick to hold it together and a plate stand to place it on)
 the cat holding court in the kitchen. ribboned boards beside him are waiting for our newly printed family pictures
 my attempts to capture night time snow play. I wised up after a few minutes and left them to their own devices -- more reading time for me ;)
my holiday decorating style is to use the things I already use day to day. grouping the red feels festive. little c contributed the sparkled house -- his holiday craft to replicate all those cute snowy houses you see in cloches everywhere -- 25 cent ceramic house covered again in glue stick and glitter.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours. photography credit goes to Velvet Moon Photography. design credits to sister made designs. thrilled with both.

Monday, October 14, 2013

prior to turkey dinner wrap-up

 This setting was the ultimate for a writer's weekend. If you'd like to join us for the spring 2014 edition, send me an email at

I am back from the writer's weekend and it was everything Allison and I hoped it would be and more. Safe to say it will be a repeat. The only side effect to turning your brain on and filling it with writerish things for an intense stretch is that you arrive home with a heightened case of writer's buzz brain. Luckily for me, nothing takes the buzz down to a manageable level than the to do list of a house left to the devices of my 4 male housemates. Who knew the second shift was such an integral part of mental health?

While I was out of town, (thankfully she kept me updated of the progress via text) my leggy blond SIL gave birth to the littlest Vandepol who is sure to make an appearance at family turkey dinner later today. She is adorable and we are all thrilled.

Add my sister's impending first birth on the other side of the family and you know why it's an exciting Thanksgiving. I am off to hang out with my so-big-we-have-to-rent-a-hall family Thanksgiving lunch first so I will do my best not to appear stuffed at D's family's shindig.

If you are looking for something new to throw into your life, get inspired by these entrepreneurs. I've been juggling multiple gigs my whole working life so you know I find their stories affirming.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Second sleep, alternative investing, and things that embarrass your kids

 I love how these armchair covers my grandma made makes our chair look all learned.
 who needs blankets when you have invested heavily in stuffies?

I'm getting pretty excited about this writer's weekend my friend Allison and I are hosting next weekend.

In unrelated news, I've definitely experienced second sleep of late. You know -- the crashing after dinner because you let the day run you ragged and then waking up in the middle of the night all finished sleeping for a bit. Some people might see that as a problem, but if you have books you have been meaning to read, it's an opportunity.

During that read about 14 hours ago, I came across a passage I read at least 4 times because it resonated with me (like all the best novels and stand up comedians do) It's from The Memory Keeper's Daughter:

"The three men -- it shocked her that she thought of Paul this way, but he stood shoulder to shoulder with David now, nearly grown and independent, as if his body never had anything to do with hers at all..." (Edwards, 179)

My 16 year old would declare the quote creepy, but it's true for me nonetheless.

Tomorrow's attempting to be my day off -- there's a work meeting and some freelance work, and some civic responsibility interfering, but I plan to pick up my free Starbucks and squeeze in some  chillaxing (read scribing and perhaps thrifting) too

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September notes

 my camera card is MIA or I'd show you the fledgling bits of homemaking my nesting sister is inspiring -- hard to believe but this last week I made both applesauce and pickled beets.
 I did over little c's room for him while he was at this great camp and it is a cooler version now that he's home -- not that I blame him -- us kids spent many a Sunday afternoon dragging our bedroom furniture all over the place ;)
Speaking of fledgling, I've been driving around with this driver -- surreal to me that we are already here at this stage.

came across this video which I found very thought-provoking and is in line with the few other parenting tomes I love such as grace based parenting and parenting adolescents. Dr Gabor Mate explains how to give your kids security and confidence and stay an influencing force in their lives. (the takeaway: three cheers for the staples like family dinners, family vacations, and simply hanging out. you want your kids to bond first with you and then engage with the rest of the world in confidence and strength.)

I am looking forward to this writing weekend. Join us -- we're counting on a marriage of fun and productive.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

summer top 20

I work in a school setting which means I start working around this time again after having the summer off. ( I know -- I don't feel sorry for me either ;) it was an amazing summer.
my summer top 20 (in no particular order)

1. sleeping in
2. my cousins' fresh vegetable stand
3. dyeing my hair purple
4. reading too many books to count
5. taking a writing class
6. cabins and lakes
7. spending time with friends who get what life's really about
8. beaches, swimming pools, anything cooling
9. a date night away with D
10. finally locating a bottle of jam jar shiraz (4 years of looking after spotting it in H&H)
11. family card games
12. lazy family dinners
13. sitting with the fan directly pointed at my face on particularly hot days
14. playing in a coed soccer tournament
15. sitting passenger to my oldest (driving) son
16. find a great camp for the kids
17. joining a book club
18. hanging out with my family at home
19. getting together with our cousins and the kids getting together with their cousins
20. counting my blessings in the moment... priceless

turning 36 in a week -- feel like I am finally getting the hang of loving right where I am without looking too far ahead or too far behind. it feels good.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

from do's to to do's

 little c and his cousins set up an adorable and short-lived lemonade stand.
 the littlest picked out the smallest giraffe family member on our recent trip to the best care-takers of children. we are on our way with treatment and things are going well.
 the sort of home office (and heavy planning ;) I do in the summer. for current version -- picture stacks of homestay recruitment papers everywhere and every social media window open on the laptop
 as far as my gardening aspirations have gotten -- seedling potatoes on top of the fridge. what can I say -- the great weather has provided a plethora of fun alternatives to gardening ;)
 hair the way I know how to do it (for polished version not done by me scroll down)
 privileged to be the first sitter for this adorable baby -- she loved reading magazines with me ;)
 my high schooler warming my heart by pre-planning his psychology degree
hair the way the best hairdresser in town does it :) loved this execution of all the pinterest pics I pinned
have some upcoming quiet writing time booked. which is good because I've been doing everything but

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

list me

the holidays are drawing to a close. it's now officially january so you know my list making tendancies are in full swing. not resolutions, but visualizations. i'm a dreamer, not a self-flagellator.
love buying quirky loot for my quirky boys 

my daily entertainment troop 
 my friend heather's reminder to me is on the wall
loved the new year's polaroids at our friends' soiree, now at home with the dining room to do list
 when you've promised the kids roasted marshmellows and are unsuccessful at fire building, you do the next best thing
 i was reading living etc and was inspired. check out the new book storage spot i found. the cat might be jealous.
my boys #2 and #3 helped me be eco about our new calendar acquiring (on the backs of former years of the mom calendar -- of which format i am a huge fan -- i save years' worth as they act as flashback diaries -- i can picture the specific days upon glance back. 2013's edition has charmingly specific art -- january ominiously shows us travelling through snow to work and school -- the almanac feature is a bonus ;)
my heavy duty to do list can be considered accomplished: reading, bon bon eating, finery wearing, homebase puttering, and general socializing and nesting... i enjoyed every minute of it.