Pyjamas for President.

Every morning I wake up grateful.  Also groggy and in need of a coffee, stat...but mostly grateful- until I get my coffee.  Did I mention I am fuelled by coffee?  This is a good thing as it keeps me generally cheerful and perky all day.   



Well, until the kids start yelling at each other and fighting over random shit like socks.  That sure is a buzz kill.

Alrighty- back to my blissful mornings of sheer gratitude.  Here's the thing.  I LOVE silence in the morning (and coffee).  I'm pretty sure I would be the top student at the morning session in a monastery.  I have always avoided conversation/noisy eaters/overly chipper people/duelling pianos/duelling kids in the a of m.   That is until I get my coffee.  Wait- there is an exception- my kids.  I will chat up a storm and sing cheesy wake up songs to annoy them any and every day if it makes them smile. But then I get them their breakfast, I put their lunches in their backpacks and Dan takes them on their way.

And at that point it's the glorious dark and quiet hour of 7:30 am and I have all morning to remain in my meditative state until I'm fully caffeinated. 

That being said, I usually only lounge on the couch with my coffee (at this point I agree it sounds like I'm drinking multiple litres of the stuff in the morning, but in reality I cut myself off at 2 cups).  (I could drink it all day though, I find it so comforting).  Once I'm done my two cups, I am also done reading the news, reading my blogs, checking over my to-do list that I will get up and do something around the house.  Usually it's productive, always I'm still in my pyjamas.  

Speaking of pyjamas (which was originally my intent of this post before it was highjacked by caffeine)...we're sharing our favourite Christmas pyjamas on our link on the Blended Blog today and it just so happens, by golly (fancy language courtesy of the happiness caused when kids go to bed easily and early) that my real life BFF is the host- so you could hop over to her blog (Christy's kickass blog) to see what she's sharing.  

So here's a pictorial display of the progression of my mornings.  

1- item one- me in my pyjamas reading my blogs and giving whomever was lucky enough to snap that photo some serious side-eye.


2) Item two- the sun rose and it was glorious so I stopped all my doings and went outside (in my pyjamas) (that was nipply) to soak in the glory.


3) Item 3.  It is bright out now, I'm still in my pyjamas and my coffee is somewhere empty therefore that means I should start my day.


The pyjamas were a special souvenir from Australia.  I wanted to find something special to bring home my besties- so I found this designer/brand/whatever that was all over that beautiful country- Peter Alexander. and I got us all matching PJs.  I had to find something that would hopefully fit everyone (plaid nightshirt) (my son always yells at me to put some pants on).  And the added awesome of this piece is that there is a PA embroidered on the pocket (obviously for the designer but maybe also an homage to our hometown).

Here we are wearing them in Edmonton!


So whatever, I don't know if I'm waking up grateful because my kids are cute or my pyjamas are cozy or my coffee is delicious, but regardless I am loving my life right now and that's gotta be something to celebrate, non?
Cheers

Christmastime is here



Each year I try to add something new our unique Christmas experiences repertoire that will help us feel all jingle belly and festive inside.  I had a couple ideas - the frontrunner was a sleigh ride out at ChampĂȘtre Country which didn't work out then my mom and dad booked us a trip on the Wheatland Express as our Christmas present so my task was taken care of.  Thanks, mom!

A train ride in Saskatchewan? We're not the first ones to want to do this despite it being super flat and lacking any mountains...or curves in the roads for that matter.   Frosty's route came through Saskatchewan, so if it's good enough for him, then it's awesome for me.


The Wheatland Express had just opened this past summer with themed rides and is on my want to do list- this would be a perfect splurge date for this summer - a murder mystery on a train? How fun does that sound- plus I can just imagine how beautiful the prairie landscapes would be.


As for our winter trip- right now we're kinda lacking snow but the weather has been super beautiful so no one is complaining.  Well, except for those who want to cross country ski or snowmobile.  There's TONS of winter left for that, so let's soak in these mild temperatures while we can.   Maybe if we could get a nice snow fall this weekend, that would be perfect.


Alright, back to the train ride. Honestly, I was expecting this to be a crappy train car with wood benches and no heat.  Instead we had historic carts (one was President Truman's, complete with bedrooms and kitchen and the other was a restoration cart from New Orleans).  The seats were comfy and cozy and the atmosphere was perfection.


I think this is probably best experienced with over zealous kids and children at heart type adults who enjoy singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs, reading classic Christmas stories and MEETING SANTA.  Guys, he had a real beard and the kids were oozing Christmas joy during their private session with him.    Okay, so was I.   Sadly, my kids started the experience with their hearts three sizes too small- their grouchgame was strong.  But by the end of the ride (it's 2 hours long) they were joyfully singing their who-hearts out with their cousins, and even dancing in the aisles.


And that's the magic of the season isn't it- it gives you a chance to take a breath and enjoy your surroundings (while gleefully singing with a bunch of elves).  Speaking of which, the staff on the train were probably the best part.  They were engaging and energetic and quite funny too.


Make sure you bring cozy clothes (most kids were in their pyjamas) and blankets because it does get a little chilly despite being heated.   The hot chocolate they served was the best hot chocolate I have ever had and it didn't even have Baileys.   


Cheers!





Relax, cousin.

I suppose I have been talking all week about taking risks and doing things I would normally shy away from doing, so maybe I should introduce you to creative project numero 1.  I figure that I will never know if I want to do something if I don't just go and do it.  
So here's to doing it.
In the taking risks sense. Get your mind out of the gutter, people.

I'm trying this thing that has been ruminating in the back alleys and corners of my mind for awhile.  This T-shirt will be available until Monday, in small batches because I wanted to have it ready for Christmas.  I thought this would be a poor deadly present anyways.

It's all about baby steps.

Just kidding- I have a whole hometown series designed which will be released sporadically (isn't that a great word?) throughout the year.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, order your first shirt from the PA Speak Collection.  Don't know what PA is...well it happens to be my hometown of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and is a land of towering pines, crystal clear lakes and sparkling northern lights with a people who have their own language.  

Cheers!

Be bold, grasshopper

My entire life, I have had a ginormous fear of being rejected/failing/being crappy at something.  I may possibly be a perfectionist..except when it comes to loading the dishwasher, that, my friends is not my problem and is an enigma I just cannot solve....

My husband gives me this look when he sees the "masterpiece" I have come up with:



But what I have come to realize (and also conveniently ignore in the dishwasher realm) is that if I want to do something, all I have to do is trick my brain into thinking I have it mastered.
Life is just one big mind game isn't it?  I mean, I could spend all my time wallowing in self-doubt and giving myself 8 million reasons why I can't do something OR I pretend I know what I'm doing and go for it.

I am done talking myself out of things and have decided that this will be the year that I just go for it. You know, that whole - take that leap, believe in myself stuff.


Step one would be kinda sorta telling you about a fun project that I have in the works.  This is something that normally I would think to be completely awesome but would let the self-doubt creep up and push me away from it.  Nope, not this time (although I do admit that I spend a lot of time second guessing what I'm doing).   I have teamed up with two very amazing women and we're creating Salt and Light Lifestyle.  I don't have many details right now, but you can hop on over to our Instagram or Facebook and give us a follow to see what happens when we launch in January.

Back to my point, because I'm pretty sure that I had one.

Now, for general living and wanting to do things, I typically just convince myself I can do it in order to get myself to do it.  But in the fashion world, however, I feel much more ease.  I will never forget a compliment that my lipsense lady, Ashley gave me to me...she said that she always gets the impression that I am 100% confidant in what I'm wearing.  Or something like that.  It really made me realize that I was already practicing my "fake it until you make it" mantra.  Purple Lipstick, sure why not.  A romper? Yup, I got it.  A sequinned mini skirt on a -20 night- I'm in.  The trick is that you just got to own it.

Speaking of which, our prompt today on the Blended Blog is an outfit that makes you happy.  You can also pop over to the always stylish blog Daily Style Finds- I love Lisa.
A happy outfit? Well that's an easy one for me as it would be my go-to happy Deena outfit.
Glam jacket + comfy sweater + jeans + boots.  Typically in true Deena fashion, one of these pieces will be bold and in this outfit I picked my floral s*^t kickers because they make me feel kickass.

I should really get around to patching these jeans...I get frostbite on one little part of my leg

Note the acrobatic cat that always likes to make an appearance in my mirror pics


Boots- Dr. Marten (purchased on a whim, Ă  l'Abbie on a girls' trip in Calgary- I think Candace was with me)
Jeans- AG (so comfy- soon will have to be replaced I wear them so much)
Sweater- Rag and Bone (from Marshalls, also with Candace)
Jacket- Michael Kors (from Winners) (it was one of those- I don't need another jacket purchases- which turn into HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT YOU!)

In a perfect world I would be able to show you these exact products- but they're all old...so here are some similar ones.  Links are all affiliate.


Now I triple dog dare you to convince yourself you can do something and go for it!   This week's challenge for me is to tell people I blog when I meet them.  So far I have failed twice.

Have a great day!  Come back on Friday for something fun and taking a leap-ish!

5 things that make me feel all warm and eggnoggy inside

Our prompt on the Blended Blog today is something that makes you smile.  I had a post in mind but couldn't find the words and am actually feeling a pull away from blogging...then I fell down the rabbit hole of posts that I wrote a long time ago and have since turned into drafts.  Since I didn't want to write something just for the sake of putting a post out into the world, I figured it would be fun to bring back a post I wrote 5 years ago to see how things have changed.  So here you go....my thoughts on 5 things that make me happy from Dec of 2013....Lucia was three, Willis 5 and we had just moved into this house. I had just said good bye to Celine.  Man, I miss that girl.

********

1- the Love Actually extras
I can't believe I have never done this before, lover of Love Actually that I am.  The other night, on my 3rd time watching it this Christmas season, (which, by the way, pales in comparison to when Alynne and I used to live together), I decided to see what they had for extras.  Low and behold there is a wealth of deleted seasons that are explained and make it seem like there's a whole other movie to watch.  This is a must do for Love Actually fans out there; the fart bubbles are still making me giggle.  


2- A new blog to follow by a girl I would totally girl stalk in a non-creepy way
Once upon a time, I took in a Teacher Candidate, her name was Abbie.  She had a stellar fashion sense, an infectious smile and top notch teaching techniques.  She is now teaching and doing her thang and I'm more than pleased to see she has started a blog, Grumbling Grace.  She wrote for our 30 somethings and as I was impressed with her teaching years ago, I was again left admiring her voice and writing style.  This is a blog I will read and I know I'll leave feeling uplifted.  Yay, Abbie!


3- Student visits
Sometimes you get some awesome students in your class, and I definitely can say I've been blessed with some great adolescent friends in my career.  I love when they pop back in your life here and there to say hello and to catch you up to speed on their going ons, facebook also helps!  I have one particular student who was a ray of sunshine in my group last year who keeps making  a point of popping in and saying hello, asking how I'm doing.  He's still my ray of sunshine.  He doesn't need to come say hi to me, but he still does, with the same smile on his face. I think he may even read this blog. I love that.  It makes me love my profession that much more.  It's all about connections after all, isn't it?

4. Willis reading
One morning this week the kids slept in. Which is always awesome.  But it got to the point where I had to wake them up so we could get places on time.  So I wandered down to Willis' room to get him first and opened the door.  There I found my little boy, laying on the bed with the lamp on, reading.  Melt my heart.  He immediately told me that he had read 20 chapters (Captain Underpants) and had been reading since he got up at 6 am.  HOLD ON.  He woke up an hour earlier and didn't get out of bed? He chose to read instead? AND HE WAS LOVING IT???!!! Oh my.  Oh my.  I couldn't help but step back out of the room, slightly verklempt, after seeing a dream come true.  He's a READER!!!!! I think that's one of the greatest gifts of all.

 5- Words and lyrics
Truth be told, I'm still grieving and finding myself withdrawn from my usual with-it-ness.  I've been finding comfort in words and lyrics though, more precisely the Home Alone Soundtrack.  That one manages to always warm me up.  
The other thing I stumbled upon was a couple nights ago at Book Club chez Kyla.  She had read us a portion of her book and of course, being an Elizabeth Berg book, it hit home.

From Range of Motion

They say that one of the reasons for tragedy is that you learn important lessons from it. Appreciation for your normal life, for one thing. A new longing for things only ordinary. The feeling is that we are so caught up in minutiae—slicing tomatoes and filling out forms and waiting in lines and emptying the dryer and looking in the paper for things to do—that we forget how to use what we’ve been given. Therefore we don’t taste the plum. We are blind to the slant of the four o’clock sun against the changing show of leaves. We are deaf to the throaty purity of children’s voices. We are assumed to be rather hopeless—swallowed up by incorrect notions, divorced from the original genius with which we are born, lost within days of living this distracting life. We are capable only of moments, of single seconds of true appreciation and connection. That is the thought.
I never did believe that. I always felt I had a kind of continual appreciation with a flame that did not flicker, despite the ongoing assaults of an imperfect life. I didn’t think I was the only one, either. I thought that all around me were awake people with hearts huge and whole and open. And I wondered, after the accident happened, what is the point in this? Where is the meaning in it? What lesson can I possibly learn?
But sometimes lessons take the crooked path. I mean that I used to wonder how I would feel if I were suddenly plucked from my normal life. I wondered how I would see it; wondered, in fact, if I would see it. I suppose it’s like the desire for a true mirror to reflect all of our parts, both visible and unseen. I think now the accident was a way of that happening. Because I did get plucked from my normal life, put in the position of seeing it from another vantage point. And I would say that I did see it. I would say that I saw and saw and saw it. And though the method is not one I would have chosen to verify a supposition, I would also say that my gratefulness is unutterable.

Have a blessed Christmas, friends.  Enjoy it, love it and don't forget to live every moment.

This post first appeared on Shoes to Shiraz on Dec 20th, 2013.

Sparkle and Shine Style

My heels are covered in dust.  
Quite literally.  
They rest peacefully on the top shelf of my shoe wardrobe in retirement- waiting for the rarified event that has me taking them out.  I am actually thinking of selling them, that is how seldom I wear them.

Am I going to have to change my blog name if shoes are my thang anymore?????? Hi, I'm Deena- a recovering shoe addict.   Sweats to Shiraz?  Selfies to Shiraz? Just Shiraz? 
Shit, now I'm craving wine.


I think the last time I got really dressed up fancy was either for our anniversary supper last December or for the Vegas trip.  Heels and driving my kids around town all day just don't vibe.
Neither do sequined skirts.  I'd like to try just to see the looks I get.
It is rare that I get to put on a fancy outfit and hit the town, so when Larissa from Lovely Roots wanted to play around with sparkles and twinkly lights and slow exposure photos, Abbie and I were a definite yes.  Our outfits were picked before we had even confirmed. 

I knew the exact skirt I wanted to bring down from the archives- I had bought it for our trip last year to see Britney in Vegas.  PS- did you see that she's coming out with a new tour?  Dear husband, I promise to wear more short, sequined skirts if you promise you won't roll your eyes when I want to see my bestie, Britney again.



Abbie and I had a blast playing around downtown Saskatoon with Larissa and then the three of us had a lovely supper together at Cactus Club.  I had the butternut squash ravioli which is the dish that our group of girls always all order whenever we go there.  So yummy!  Great, now I'm salivating and can't remember what else I was going to say about our outing.  
Moving on.

OUTFIT DETAILS (sans links because everything is old, just like me)

I paired the sequined skirt (Vera Moda- old) with my cape (Burberry- her name is Hermoine) for the outer layer- it was cold but not horribly cold.  Under it I wore a black cape blazer (Forever 21) for that extra super-heroed effect- and because it's rare I get to really get dressed up, I wore the Louboutins for the indoor shots at the rRemai Modern  and my crazy tall leopard print heels (Michael Kors) for the outdoor.   


All these pieces are unidentifiable on the interwebs, so I've made a fresh new widget with pieces you can actually get if you want to recreate this look.  Links are affiliated.  I forgot to add shoes. Oops. 


Head over to our host, Whitney's blog to check out her sparkle look and link up with us there or on the Blended Blog.

In the meantime, I'll be planning a fun outfit that is "Merry and Bright" for the next post.

TBB ASKS about the Holidays

About a week ago, I wasn't anywhere near feeling like getting into the holiday spirit.   Not too sure why- I think mostly because I was finally getting into a back to school routine after our schedules had calmed down.  But after a week of fog and snow globe conditions- I am fully immersed in the spirit.


I'm a planner and a preparer of things, surprise surprise....so I like to have everything in place so I can find that inner peace during December and really enjoy the lights and all the twinkle that goes with.  Sure our schedules become a little crazier with more events but I find myself floating along and enjoying them more when I have a firm grasp on all the things that need to be done.   I love walking the mall at Christmas as long as I'm not the one scrambling for presents. Thank you, Amazon Prime.

Let's dig a bit deeper into the holidays.....



I don't care for candy canes and will maybe have one all season.  This has confirmed that I am NOT part elf.
On Christmas Day I wake when my kids wake, which is usually somewhere between 730 and 8 which somedays feels like a sleep in and other days it feels early.
I don't shop on Black Friday.  I am trying not to shop at all for myself until my birthday in April.  Also- with the move coming up next year, I have a million other things to be scouring the internets for.  Current obsession is a Smeg fridge.
My Christmas tree takes forever to decorate so it usually goes up mid November and I just put the twinkly lights on it so we can enjoy it until we decorate it at the end of November.


I have completely given up on Pinterest for all things and it's the last place I look.  Oops. Is it still a thing?
I like glam and I like ugly sweaters and I'll wear a little bit of each all season long.   Usually not in the same outfit now.  Ugly sweaters have kinda lost their appeal to me now that you can find them everywhere.
Stocking stuffers are wrapped and hung on the chimney with care in hope that Saint Nick soon will be there.


I prefer Traditional Christmas songs.  I went to the "Christmas Experience" at Elim Tabernacle and it was....a very different Cmas experience.  I'm not used to laser beams and Jesus. I'm more a stain glassed and ritual type of girl.
What the effery is fruitcake?


Shopping is 98.3% finished and as a minor Christmas miracle (you're welcome, husband) I didn't buy myself anything.
I live in a snow globe and probably would cry if there wasn't snow.  
"Christmas just isn't Christmas without snow" - Jo Marsh. Probably after she opened her presents.


I haven't met a Christmas movie I haven't liked...except everything on the Hallmark channel.  What is wrong with me?  I feel like I'm in the minority here. I honestly thought everyone was watching them as a gag. It's like a train wreck. I can't do it.  I prefer real cheese (and wine)- none needed while watching movies.  I'll stick to the classics: Elf. Love Actually. The Holiday.

- Signed, the HallmarkGrinch.

PS. the randomness of this post probably makes more sense if you knew I was answering questions to go with our TBB ASKS for the month. Link up with us the Blended Blog!



Holiday. Celebrate in Cape.


Holiday season is here. Well I guess that depends on your level of tree decoratedness. 


Maybe the holidays is still a far flung idea for you or perhaps you're already 80 hours deep into Hallmark movies.  Which by the way, I still don't get.  But I'm not opening that can of worms here- I might as well ask you if you believe in vaccinations.

                              

Right. The Holidays.  Clothing.  Fun.  Some years I am all about dressing up for Christmas and then there are the years that I want to stay in my pyjamas.  Looking back, these are directly related to how I feel about myself and this year I am feeling particularly strong and awesome so I'll likely be dressing up.  But I'm not showing you those outfits until next week when we talk sparkle and pizazz.


This week is all about the comfort and cozy and kinda looking dressed up without putting in too much effort.  For that kind of outfit I pick:
1- dark skinny jeans (they go with everything)
2- a cozy turtleneck (the softer the better)
3- a symbolic necklace (my grandma's china)
4- moccasins (the ultimate winter comfort boot)
5- a cape (always. everyday. all jackets should be capes)
6- a fun tuque (the bigger the pompom the better)

Photo creds to the amazing Larissa at Lovely Roots


Now I could be a good blogger and link all the outfits but I'd rather sleep.  We've got tons of exciting prompts coming up- so here they are if you blog and want to join us!






Linking up with these lovelies over on the Blended Blog and go check out our host Vanessa!


Identity Loss


What percentage of your identity is taken up by your profession?  Does what you do define who you are?

I almost had a job subbing back at my old school last week but things didn’t work out and I couldn’t take it.  Turns out when I terminated my contract in June it meant I had to reapply to be a sub.  Oops, didn’t know that.  But then I had a moment and remembered that back in June I had also decided that I was going to completely call it quits and not sub and there was a reason for that.


I don’t know about you but guilt is a real struggle for me.  You know that feeling, the one where you feel you have to do everything and that saying no is equivalent to shutting the door to opportunity? Or you just hate letting people down?  You see,  I knew that if I kept my foot in the door for teaching that there would always be a part of me that could easily be persuaded into going back.  I find myself continually getting stuck in between the chasm of wanting to be a productive member of society and wanting to be the best at what I’m doing now: momming.  Which is crazy, because isn’t parenting one of the most demanding jobs you’ve ever had? Or are my kids just #extra.  They're cute but also can be completely psychotic.


I hate forms and mostly all paper work in general.
There have been a couple times in the past month or so that I had to fill out a form stating my job.  I had to hesitate because instinct had me putting down "teacher" yet I am no longer that.
So if I'm not a teacher,  what am I?  What do I fill in on that blank without feeling like I have lost a huge part of who I am?  Part of me wants to be a smart ass, okay actually all of me does.  Many times I have been tempted to put down my current job description as my title:

Chauffeur?
Chef?
Tutor?
Entertainer?
Life Planner and Organizer?
She who tucks them in?
She who gets dirty looks?
She who must not be named?
Master Puppeteer?

It has almost been 3 full months now that I haven't had a job and you’d think I’d have made peace with this identity loss I have been experiencing.  It has been nice to have friendly ears to bounce my thoughts off of; women who are going through the same thing and feeling the same feels.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  Really- that isn’t a horrible thing is it when it pushes us towards growth?


When it comes down to the grit and grime of what matters, I know that I need to feel useful, productive, creative and fulfilled.  I know that me taking on the household management frees up tons of time for my husband who is currently building another company.  So that is important to me.  And I'm also confidant that what I'm meant to do will be shown, doors will open and I will be pushed towards something that will bring me as much joy and fulfillment that teaching has for 15 years.



I had a neat moment on the weekend, running into one of my favourite former students who is now fully grown up- he made me remember how much I did love my job, but in the same breathe- it feels awesome knowing that maybe I went out at the top of my game.

Now to figure out what the next chapter will look like.


Cozy Sweaters are my jam.



Here's the thing with winter and blogging: the cozy atmosphere of twinkling lights and fireplaces are very conducive to writing.  You'd think that I'd be all over the blogging game right now.  That's somewhat true.  I am loving the act of writing, recording, reflecting and crafting posts- I feel like I have some stories to tell.   But then comes the time for a fashion post which I normally also love but that appreciation takes a turn in the winter.  The temperature outside is impossible for outfit pictures and the lighting indoors is not ideal.  So I start to lose motivation and that is where you find me today.  Mostly lazy and just wanting to cuddle up by the fire.



Luckily the temps this week have been glorious and I was able to ditch the giant jacket in place of Bindi, my cozy and comfy duster that I picked up in Australia.  We're talking women cozy sweater on the Blended Blog today so it worked perfectly for the prompt.  I feel like I live in cozy sweaters in the winter.  I decided to take comfy to another level by pairing it with the Smash and Tess Romper and moccassins.  Perfect for driving kids around for 8 hours, cause everyone loves spending a day in the car.

One of my first fashion posts- January 2014
Now let's do some throwbacks to previous posts with comfy sweaters and much shorter hair:


Style Challenge 2014


This is my fave short hair picture- if my hair could look like this everyday then I would definitely cut it.
November Style Challenge 2014


You can jump over to the Blended Blog to link up, or visit our super cute and wonderful host, Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side.




It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year

There's a small sliver of time between the golden hues of autumn and all the glory of winter and it's in that little window that I find myself right now.  For me, the 2-4 ish weeks in November (depending on our schedules and my motivation) is a time to strip away everything: the colour, the foliage, the decor and to keep it simple and clean for a bit. A little soul cleansing if you may before diving into the beauty of the holiday season.
Sometimes I feel we get so caught up in quickly flipping from one holiday to the next that there is no time allotted for just being.  I mean, they have their tree up already so why shouldn't I?


I don't know about your house, but decorating for Christmas isn't a simple ordeal and I need time to prepare.   And it's always that anxious preparation where I really want to get it done because I know the sooner I do the longer I can sit around the glowy tree at night.  I have no clue how my mom waiting until Dec 17th every year to put up a tree.

Despite being a frantic cleaner- I have really come to appreciate this time as it provides me with a chance to purge and prep and fall clean the house - almost a spring cleaning but this year it has taken on a whole different meaning as I'm packing up all the summer and fall stuff and bringing it to the storage container at the new house.
I am guesstimating that our house will be done sometime in May or June, which means we're in that period where we're living the last seasons at this house.  I'm excited and sad.

And in the meantime, I'm slowly spending the next two weeks getting all the Christmas decor sorted, organized and prepped so we can have a fun decorating once we get a little closer to that most wonderful time of the year.

Here's a little house update!






Linking up with the Blended Blog as we talk Holiday Prep Tips.

The Phoenix has landed

Have I ever told you how much I like baseball?
I love baseball.
I love that it's a chill sport to watch yet there is tons of crazy strategy that goes into every pitch.  So when my son fell in love with the game as well, of course I was thrilled and yes, naturally my encouragements pushed him towards the sport but hey- benefit of being a parent- the kids are supposed to live out our childhood dreams, aren't they? No? Oops.

The thing with living in the world we live in is that our outdoor baseball season is quite short.  They try out in March/April...play in May-July and then they're done.  But when Willis had the opportunity to try out for a fall baseball team starting in August, we jumped on the opportunity to extend his season.  He made the team and they practiced August-November...mostly outdoors and it was a very cold fall so that made for some fun in the snow.   Do you know how much it hurts to hit a ball when it's cold out?

Our fall season culminated this past weekend in Phoenix at the Veteran's Memorial Salute Tournament.

While most players went down for a week to soak in the Arizona sun, we travelled Thursday- Monday and didn't really get a chance to explore the area.  It was really a ballparks of Phoenix tour and I was okay with that but I had that wanderlust feeling while being there, wanting to see more.  Phoenix felt like home- it was flat and you could see sky for days and the heat felt like summers in Saskatchewan- that dry intense heat.  So needless to say I will be hoping and praying that Willis will want to try out again next year for the travel team (and according to him he will- he had such a great experience).

Here are my highlights from the trip:

The extra curricular fun.

We saw the Phoenix Suns take on the Boston Celtics, with the chance to watch warmups and then get on the court after and shoot some hoops.  We also went to an Arizona Fall Baseball League game to see some MLB prospects play (Vlad Guerrero Jr!!!)


The friendships.

Will's team was a combination of players from all the other zones so he got a chance to play with kids he normally played against.  Bonus for us was getting to know other ball crazy families.


The baseball.

I have to keep reminding myself that my child is only 11 cause I feel that I'm super critical of his game.  He is a good little ball player but has so much to learn yet.  Good thing the coaching for Going Yard is fantastic.  The two men in charge were constantly teaching and showing patience to these young boys.  Will improved so much in the 3 months.



Exploring somewhere new.

We stayed at the Arizona Grand Resort which had multiple pools and a whole waterpark/lazy river.  The pools were open and perfectly heated but sadly the waterpark and lazy river were closed for "winter".  We ate delicious food from Mexican to BBQ meat coma to American Diner.  I feel like we barely saw the city and the area around it, leaving us tons that I still want to explore.  I guess we'll have to wait until next year!



Any must dos around Phoenix that I missed?  Clearly the shopping here is amazing but I was actually shopped out...I know, gasp.  Hiking?  Food? Please share!

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