I just put an old lady's maxi pad through the wash and all I can think is this is my life...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: Blood Brother by J.A. Kerley

Occasionally when I'm at the Used Book Store, I pick a book for no other reason than I'm intrigued by the title or am drawn to the cover. Sometimes I even get around to ready the summary on the back and that's what win's me over. This was one of those books. Apparently Blood Brother is the 4th book in a series of novels about a character named Carson Ryder. Not having read the 3 previous books (or even having known they existed) was not an issue. The characters were interesting. The plot was original and well laid out. The storyline bounced around between past and present (and NYC and Alabama) enough to hold my attention. I certainly didn't feel lost for having not read the previous books but I also wasn't overwhelmed with backstory. Looking back, I'm really not surprised that this is from a series as some things (like previous relationships) were hinted at but not fully explained.

Anyway, Blood Brother was about a Homicide Detective from Mobile, Alabama who gets called up to New York City to help solve a crime. Upon arriving he realizes that the prime suspect is a psychopath that he knows all too well. You see, the prime suspect is his older brother. How's that for a teaser? Let me just say that if you like a good murder mystery and don't mind staying up late to read one more chapter, just one more chapter then this is a good book for you. I think I'll even look for the first 3 books in this series. This is my life...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wedding Planning: Guestbooks

Since the UPS guy just delivered the guestbook for my wedding, I thought it appropriate to share it with you. It also helps that it's totally awesome! Oh, and it will kick the ass of all other wedding guestbooks.

I ordered my guestbook from the Guestbook Store. It was insanely easy to do and it's the most unique guestbook that I've ever come across. Sure I could have taken hours and painstakingly put together a beautiful, scrapbooked guestbook. I could have spend hundreds of dollars buying the individual stamps and ink pads and matching paper for each individual page. I could have made twice as many pages as I needed and thrown half of them out because they weren't completely perfect. Sure, I could have done that. Instead, I went to the above website. I chose from the Wedding from the menu bar (there are many occasions to choose from). I was shown photos of album options - over 70 options in all - and I picked a nice black one. Now my total was at a whopping $18 (if you have a large wedding, be prepared to purchase two albums as they only hold about 120 pages)! Then, I was given two page design options (Casual or Formal). I chose Casual. The formal pages are what you'd typically expect from a wedding guestbook while the casual pages ask for some creative feedback from the guests. Like this example:
You're then given the price per 20 pages ($8) and the option to personalize each page with the name of the bride and groom ($16 per 20 pages). Since my wedding is small, I ordered 40 standard pages which adds another $16 to my total. Step 5 of 6 prompts you for the name of the bride and groom as well as the wedding date to be used on the FREE titling page (a.k.a. the first page in the guestbook).

The last step offers you other pages to put in your guestbook. You can opt for none of them, a few of them, or them all. All the prices are clearly listed and some of the additional pages could be Journaling Pages, Invitation Pages, or just plain old Lined Guestbook Pages. I opted for the Invitation Pages ($2 for 2 pages) and the Wedding Day Reflections Pages ($2 for a set of two pages). The Wedding Day Reflections Pages offer a place for the bride and groom to remark on their favorite moments and memories as well as write a love letter to their new spouse.

My total before shipping charges was only $38.00!!! Considering that the package shipped (in a week - from date ordered) from Wisconsin to Nova Scotia via UPS, the total cost of $64.80 was completely worth it! I can't even imagine how much something this unique would have cost me to make homemade. Obviously I love my Guestbook Store wedding guestbook! Even Turkey Butt has exclaimed that he's never seen anything like it and cannot wait to see the pictures guests draw of us! This is my life!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Time to Relax.

So, I finally took the plunge and gave my two week's notice to the Nursing Home that I work at. I've enjoyed it and I love the ladies, but it's almost entirely overnights and it's at least an extra 3 shifts a week on top of my shifts at my other job. The real turning point was finding out we're getting two new residents who each require a lot of care. Working alone with 5 residents was exhausting enough, expecially if one was under the weather, but 7 residents is too much! So I gave my two weeks notice and my last shift will be January 31st. Honestly, I'm nervous about the reactions I will get from the owners and residents, but I am SO happy to have time to myself. I've been too exhausted to spend any time with my family and friends lately, and life is too short for that. So, in the words of my co-worker Cee, "Yay me!" This is my life!

Impatience leads to recycling brilliance.

I have never been good about keeping things a secret from Turkey Butt. I'm really the worst when it comes to gifts. At Christmas I had to beg him to let me give him some gifts early! Then, when the day came I felt like he didn't have enough under the tree (since i'd made him open most of them) so I went out and bought him more. I just can't keep anything from him. Perhaps it's because I don't like surprises. Maybe it's because his eyes light up when I give him something he really wanted. He practically knocks me over trying to hug and kiss me and tell me he loves me. Then just like a kid, he has to go and try it out right then and there. Haha, it's wonderful!

So in true Elle-style, he's already received his Valentine's Day gifts... and it's only January. I found a great deal on a hardcover Muhammad Ali book from Cole's, bought him some yummy smelling body wash and gave him a heart shaped container of chocolates. While taking my vitamins this AM, I noticed the empty chocolate container on the kitchen table and came up with a brilliant idea.

I turned this (see above) empty plastic container into a place to sort my vitamins - one hole for one day's worth of vitamins. A Ultra Cran vitamin here, a prenatal vitamin there and every few spots, a Vitamin D3. I think the old ladies at the Nursing Home are rubbing off on me! This is my life!

Wedding Planning Continued...

While I'm on the subject of wedding planning, I thought I would pass along a couple things that I have found useful to me. For starters, I slowly began buying bigger ticket items before we were even engaged (in our case I knew it was coming - maybe not recommended for all). My wedding band has been purchased from EidelPrecious on Etsy (in September) and my custom wedding dress was purchased from Etsy (in December - but that's all I will say on the subject as Turkey Butt follows my blog).

Since my venue is a freebie, and my photographer comes at an amazing price, I've had extra room to start purchasing lots of little things. I am ALL about the details, I really think that is the key to an intimate wedding ceremony and reception. So these last few months before our wedding, I'm spending a little money here and a little money there to get all the details just right.

This month I've created our personal Save-The-Dates using Picnik and printed them at Walmart's Photo Centre. I've ordered our customized guestbook from the GuestBook Store (so simple, unique and inexpensive). I've picked up numerous monogrammed items from Michael's and through wonderful vendors at Etsy. Again through the wonderful land of Etsy, I've ordered a custom wedding stamp, custom wood-carvings, and even some coasters which I'll decorate all on my own.

And the total cost for this month of wedding planning: $250. Considering I purchased all of the above, plus all of the gifts for my wedding party and invitation samples, I think I made out pretty good. The best part? It was all money I had to spend. December was a 3-pay month at one of my jobs, and having that second job was good on the wallet as well. Now I've got a great headstart and my financial situation is still very secure! This is my life!

Wedding Planning Confession...

... I will not be dropping big bucks on my wedding! There, I said it. I know it completely goes against the grain (think shows like, Say Yes to the Dress where brides spend 20 grand on there wedding) but I'm a simple kind of girl. My engagement ring, for example, cost my wonderful fiance a whopping $200 (taxes in). Believe it or not, I picked it out of the Sears Wishbook.

Not spending $3,000 (the price on the vintage-esque ring I liked at the jewelry store) on a ring is such a stress reliever. I can jump into wedding planning and trip planning and just general life planning without wondering where the money is going to come from. Sure it's a cubic zirconia and not a diamond but you wouldn't know it. Most importantly, I get to spend the rest of my life with Turkey Butt and I wouldn't trade that for all the diamond rings in the world. This is my life!

(Sorry, not the best photo...)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We had to have our poor little man put down yesterday. Talk about a shock to the system! He was wheezing and having a little trouble breathing so thinking he might have asthma like "Aye's cat", I took him to the vet. At the vet's office, they said he had a fever so I could put him on antibiotics (incase it was an infection) or they could do a couple chest xrays to see what was going on. I opted for the xrays - better safe than sorry, right? I had to leave him there for a few hours to get the xrays. Not much more than an hour later though, as we're eating lunch in a local Cafe, we get a call from the vet. Fluid in the lungs... Three possible causes: an incurable virus, internal bleeding or a tumour. None of the causes were treatable.

After a lunch that I didn't taste as I was trying to hold in my tears, we went to the vet's office. There we got the news we were preparing ourselves for. Rocco would not get better. We could take him home, but he would get much worse. Putting him down was given as an option. Looking back I think it was the only option as they didn't even want to bring him to us until we asked to see him. Our little baby had had a steroid injection so he was a little dopey but had more energy and enthusiasm than he had that morning. He cuddled with Joseph and I and purred the whole time. We bawled our eyes out, and hugged each other, and lamented on all the heart aches we've been through in our relationship. {I'm crying now just thinking about it} We loved our little man as much as we could in the half hour we had left with him and we said our goodbyes.

Our baby Rocco was born on August 31st, 2010. At some point in his early life he was thrown out a car window but was luckily rescued and taken to the shelter. His damages were so severe the shelter considered putting him down but put him into foster care instead. He was 2 and a half months old when we came across our little shelter kitty and we knew he was coming home with us. From the second that I set his cage down on floor of the spare room he started purring and didn't stop for days. He fell in love with Adora (and vice versa) immediately and they were the best of pals. He gave his Daddy kisses before bed but otherwise hid from his as Daddy like to splash water on him). He cuddled with me on the couch and in bed often. We think he had the best few months with us and knowing how things ended up, we wouldn't have changed our minds for all the money in the world. He is soooo missed already! But there will definitely not be anymore kitty's in our future.

This is my life.....

(Rocco after he tore into Adora's Christmas gift... Eating the dog bone... Or at least attempting to)

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Amazing Fiance

He loves me with all of his heart. He is an AMAZING Red Seal Chef at a fine dining restaurant. He has an undefeated amateur boxing record. He graduated from high school early, took Journalism from a very difficult to get into University, graduated from culinary school, and has his Business Certificate from a local Community College. The Canadian Armed Forces recruiters have ranked him a 5 out of 5. And now his article has been short-listed in a writing contest for a boxing website! This guy excels at absolutely everything he does... Well, except for Scrabble :) But I honestly couldn't be more proud of him! I love you Turkey Butt! This is my life!

Friday, January 14, 2011

In need of a good home.

We need a new place to live. I would go into the details but I am too damn upset to type about it right now. Let's just say I am not a happy camper. And by not a happy camper I mean I bawled onto Turkey Butt's chest for 15 minutes and sobbed, "I hate this place" over and over again.

This is my life.......................................................................................................

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wedding Planning: Will you be my...'s

When it came time to choose my Maid of Honour, my Bridesmaid and my Flower Girl - my choices were very easy. I'm sure anyone who knows me would know exactly who I would pick. But that doesn't mean that I couldn't have fun with it. This is what I made and sent as my "Will you be my...'s":

This is my life!

Shopping Proof.

.. at last.
(three gorgeous new necklaces and a pretty way to display them)

(yellow gold with light blue beads - super cute and it'd have to be for me to buy anything yellow gold)

(this long chain with the owls charm was on sale, and then 25% off the sale price)

(I love beaded necklaces, and these pale colours will be perfect for the Spring)

(a few monogrammed items from Michael's... notice no i's though, that store is officially i-less which is only slightly stressful when wedding planning and your future last initial will be i... grrrrr)

(Really beautiful top from Old Navy, it was my most expensive find but too cute to pass up)

(totally adorable light cotton top from the clearance section at Old Navy. Cream with navy blue polka dots and a slightly ruffled collar - Turkey Butt hates it but my love for it outranked his opinion)

(another Old Navy find - loose fitted, super soft and a cute pattern)

(a really adorable little cardigan/wrap to wear over my wedding dress... here's hoping the colours don't clash)

(cute little apron that I found at HomeSense - might have to use this for my '50's housewife themed engagement photos...)
There a few other things being left out, some cute tank tops and some wedding crafting material... But for today, this is a good idea of what I came home with. This is my life!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Just had an amazing shopping trip. So excited to share my finds with you. But since I'm off to work, it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

This is my life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coffee at 4am...

... such a bad idea. This is my life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lazy Blogging and Wedding Planning...

I've been on the computer on a dauly basis catching up on my favorite blogs and I've only just now realized that I haven't been writing any posts myself. As per usual, I am insanely busy with work. This week alone I've done 5 O/N's (with my 6th one tonight) and 3 evening shifts. It makes for a very busy Elle...

Also making for a very busy Elle? Wedding planning! The wedding is in less than 9 months. Gasp! We've gone back and forth a little on the exact date, but we've known since Day One (pretty much) that'd we'd marry in the Fall of 2011. It seemed SO far away once upon a time. Now it seems like it is coming so quickly. I've ordered a custom-made wedding dress from Etsy. It was cheap and if I don't like it, I figure i'll have lots of time to look for something else. I've booked the first few nights of our honeymoon at one of these cottages. I've created, printed and am in the process of writing on the envelopes for our Save The Date Cards. Our guest list has been finalized. It may start a family feud (and not the good TV game show kind) but we're happy with it and best of all, we don't have to break the bank and rent a bigger venue. We're looking into booking our Pre-Honeymoon at the end of March/early April. There seem to be so many great last minute deals that we're waiting til closer to the date to pick one.

Honestly, it's a bit of a mad house around here. But a good mad house. One filled with much more love than stress! Our animal babies are doing great. Little Man has doubled in length since arriving here and Adora had her 2nd birthday last week. They grow up so fast, sigh. As for Turkey Butt, he's busy with work and was busy training for an upcoming boxing match. Was being the key word. The amateur boxing rules have been changed and he's not a fan of the outcome of them and is questioning whether he wants to box anymore. Honestly, not having to watch someone trying to punch him in the face is just fine with me! Don't get me wrong, I would have been ringside at the fight had it gone on... but I'll be happy if that's something my eyes never have to see. Turkey Butt is undefeated in his amateur career but I know first hand that that doesn't mean he won't come home with cuts, bruises, and broken ribs (that was the worst). As it is, he regularly gets chronic nose bleeds because his boxing career has caused holes to form in the veins of his nose. Anyway, I will try to update everyone with more wedding stuff as it comes up. Enjoy your weekend, whether you're working, or just to relax at home with a loved one... or both, like me! This is my life!