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Weekend Recap, Parties + A Close Soccer Game

Our weekend started off like it always does at Finley's tech training.  We left our house and it was so nice out but by the time we got to tech, the sky was black and it started to pour.


Thankfully, it only lasted about 12 minutes before the sun came back out and it was pretty hot for the rest of the training session.  


Penelope spent the entire tech playing with her soccer bff colouring and eating smarties.  They love each other and get very upset when they each have soccer and miss each other at games and practices.  They are super cute together.  

Greg went on a great adventure after work on Friday and rode his bike 80km home from work.  His office is not even close to 80km away from our house but he went all the north to like COP and Hidden Hills and then all the way back home.  He was really sore on Saturday and spent a lot of time rolling out his legs but was back to being relatively ok on Sunday.  We were both super tired from long weeks and days so we were asleep just after the girls went to bed.  It was clearly an exciting night in our house hahah. 


On Saturday morning, I tried desperately to sleep in but only managed to sleep in until about 730 and so I got up and made some cereal bars and 2 types of energy balls for our upcoming camping trip as well as some chocolate chip cookies because I promised Penelope + Mia that I would bring them some on Sunday for the soccer game.

Penelope had her final tech training that afternoon so Greg took her while cleaned up the house and got ready for her soccer party at Lake Sundance.  


The coach of Penelope's team lives in Sundance so he had a team party for the girls and the parents, it was a great afternoon filled with food, fun and sun.  The girls were so tired out after this that we got home, had supper and were in bed early.  Greg sat on the deck for awhile and I had a bath and watched MasterChef and he watched TV while I fell asleep.  


Sunday I got up early to go for my run and it was so beautiful out.  It was so quiet and peaceful and just a really great morning.  I got 6km in and ran it really fast which made me happy but my hips not so much.  I had a quick shower and ate breakfast before getting the girls (and Greg) up for Finley's soccer game. 


Pizza loves being outside and she attacks the door like a dog thinking that it might get her outside.  She is such a funny cat.  


On Sunday morning, Finley's team played their 5th and final game against the Foothills A team.  We have had 2 semi close games against them and 2 absolute blow outs.  We kept up against them for the entire game and with like 10 seconds to play, Foothills scored and we lost.  The girls were not nearly as crushed as the parents were but they were excited to have played so well against them and not gotten blown out like they did last week.  Hopefully this momentum holds up for their game on Wednesday night and their city finals next weekend!  

Penelope ate too many cookies and then got spun on the tire swing too fast and too much and then barfed up all her cookies into the bag holding her water bottle.  Why she didn't barf on the ground I don't know but she was fine after that so that's good.  She said she thinks she was allergic to fastness hahaha. 


After soccer, we came home and Penelope brushed her teeth and had a quick shower before she went to one of her best friends birthday party.  Her best friend is moving to Windsor, ON in August and they are both very sad about it.  

Greg and Finley dropped her off at the party while they went for lunch and to get groceries.  I stayed home and worked on this blog and some other blogs and some laundry since I have another busy last week of school coming up.  



I went upstairs to the bonus room so I could unload the photos off of my iPhone and was horrified at what I saw.  I rarely ever go into the bonus room and so I tend to forget about it and it was an absolute disaster.  Books, clothes, toys, paper, and garbage everywhere!  I am really going to have to crack down on this room with the girls over the summer and going forward.  There is no reason for it to be as messy as it was.


I had to take a photo of both sides because I doubt the cleanliness will last for very long.  I needed photographic evidence haha. 


Finley came to visit me while I was uploading the photos because it was taking forever.  Penelope was downstairs doing failed science experiments in the kitchen causing massive messes.  Escaping that was the only good part of my iMac being so slow that it took like 2 hours to get the photos off.  My aunt and uncle also stopped by to drop off some cat stuff and for a little chat.  


Penelope helped Greg make supper Sunday night and we had Princess Kitty Leia and a giraffe family who recently adopted a pink giraffe.  


Greg and the girls played outside while I cleaned up the supper dishes and prepped all of our fruits and veggies for the week ahead.  After that, I went to Chapters to get a gift card and then I met Michelle at the movies to see Rough Night.  It had some funny parts but I didn't realize that the storyline was quite what it was.  I would recommend waiting to watch this when it is on tv or netflix. That being said, I enjoyed getting out and eating popcorn with my best friend.  It was a great way to end our weekend.  

We are essentially super busy every weekend going forward until...well basically forever.  I am not even exaggerating.  Well the girls and I will be home for a weekend at the end of August because Greg is going on a crazy backpacking trip with a buddy.  I was trying to figure out the next weekend where we had no plans and it was the weekend of September 30th and most likely both girls will have soccer evaluations.  At least summer is coming and we will have our week days free!

Weekend Recap - Birthday Parties + Father's Day

Our Friday evening started like it always does - a quick supper and one of us taking Finley to soccer and that Friday was Greg's turn.  Penelope and I stayed home and she played some iPad games and I caught up on the previous nights MasterChef,  it was finally through the auditions and was now doing real competitions which is what i like.  The auditions bore me.  


After Greg and Finley got home from soccer, the girls had a sleepover in Penelope's room and were relatively well  behaved.  Greg and I watched some celebrity family feud before I fell asleep relatively early.  For some reason, this week had severely kicked my butt and I was exhausted.  


On Saturday, we all slept in - relatively speaking.  I got up and mowed the front and back lawns and my neighbours front lawn and then I decided to clean out my garage.  It hadn't been done since last spring and it was in a desperate need of a good sweep.  I got rid of our broken lawn mower for free on kijiji and organized our recycled bottles properly.  I should have sold Penelope's old bike too but I didn't feel like lugging it out to photograph it so it will probably stay like that until next year.  While I was cleaning out the garage, Greg and the girls went to the school to work on some soccer drills before Greg and Penelope went to her tech training.  


Greg's car is not working at the moment, and probably never will, so while he had my vehicle, Finley and I had to ride our bikes to a birthday party she was going to in the community beside us.  It was a girl on her soccer team who was having a birthday party just for her soccer friends and it was for 5 hours.  The did go to Shakers for most of it, but that is still a long party.  It was great for me because I had the whole afternoon to myself!


After tech training, Greg and Penelope went to their frousin's 1st birthday party and Penelope had so much fun playing with all of H's toys.  Finley was gutted when she found out that the party she had been invited to was on the same day and was conflicted on which party to attend.  We are happy that H had a great birthday party!


Since I hate cooking generally, I especially hate cooking for one so I went onto Skip The Dishes and found me some Vietnamese for supper.  It was delicious and hit the spot.  If you haven't used skip the dishes before, I recommend it because it is amazing.  We use it all the time.  Well not all the time - but usually whenever we get take out or delivery. 


Sunday morning was Father's Day which meant I had to get up early to get my run in and it wasn't a great run overall but I got it in and that is what's important.  I run by this geese family 1 - 3 times per week and they still hiss at me when I approach.  I love getting to see how big the baby geese are each time I see them.

Here are the Father's Day things Penelope made for Greg.  All but the bottom right were made at school.  She made about 5 other ones too but I couldn't get them all in hahah. 


These are Finley's Father's Day Creations.  I think all but the top left and right were made at school.  In case you didn't notice, she loves that he takes her hiking and camping haha. 


Father's Day tradition in this house is always a case of local craft beer and it is almost always Village since that is Greg's favourite.  And we get him a danish from Cobs and a Grande Flat White from Starbucks.  We then serve him breakfast in bed with all of his goodies.  Normally we try to let him sleep in a little bit on this day but unfortunately, Finley had a soccer game in Strathcona which is a 45 minute drive on a Sunday morning from our house and it was at 10am so he had to get up earlier then he would have liked.  


One of the girls on Finley's team lives in the community over from us and her dad works up north most of the time and her mom tutors at night so we take her to most of the games, practices and tech trainings with us.  It literally adds on 2 minutes to our commute so it is like nothing at all.  But he was in town and suggested we car pool.  This was like an extra father's day present since it meant Greg didn't have to drive.  Finley's team was winning 1-0 after the first half but ended up losing but in their defence, they were down 6 players due to absence or injury by the end of the game and they played very well and didn't give up until the game ended. 


After soccer, we came home and changed and then went to the home of the girl we drive to soccer as they wanted to make us lunch for helping them out.  We had originally had brunch plans at Provision but I cancelled them so we could attend.  I won't lie, I was terrified of going because I don't like spicy food and I am super picky but I actually really liked it.  My favourite dish was the tandoori chicken which is above.  I found it (and most everything else) super spicy but the flavours were so good.  They were laughing at me because they thought everything was no spice at all but yet I found it spicy.  Finley really liked it as well while Penelope only liked the naan that was made from scratch.  I also learned that in Southern India, they use their hands to eat and not utensils.  Greg joined in on this tradition but I did not.  It is amazing how efficient they are at cleaning off their plate with their hands especially since lots of food is very saucy.  I have learned a lot about their culture from driving their daughter all the time and it's been a great experience for us all. 


After lunch, we were taking Greg for ice cream when Penelope pulled out her tooth.  She was so excited to have lost her 4th tooth.  


Village Ice Cream has root beer as their seasonal right now and that is Greg's favourite.  So I said we would go there after we had lunch.  We first went to the Britannia location but they were sold out so Greg insisted we leave and we headed to the East Village location where they were also sold out so he disappointedly settled for coffee, which he still quite enjoyed.  He didn't realize there was a 3rd location in Marda Loop until we driving home later that night from his dad's and he made me call them to see if they had root beer left since it was on the way home and they did! However, when we got there, the line up was insane and he didn't want to wait that long for more ice cream  - especially since he had ice cream at lunch, at village and a ice cream sandwich at his dad's haha. 


Right now until the end of summer, the East Village has what they call the East Village Junction set up where they have food trucks and a stage for local performers and then stores in little shipping containers.  Lululemon has one and they offer free water for runners and host long runs out of there on Sunday mornings at 930am if you are interested.  They also had More Than Miles Swiftly Racerbacks, which I desperately wanted, but they only had size 12 and that is quite too big for me.  The guy who was working was not very helpful and I have no idea if they are getting more in or not.  He didn't even acknowledge us when we came in or left or anything.  Very disappointing experience. But other then that, it was a really cool thing to have going on.  They are allowed to serve alcohol one weekend per month as per the ALGA rules.  This is something they could do in Kensington and on 17th too and it could be quite successful.   Check it out if you are downtown Thursday - Sunday this summer!


After our East Village excursion, we headed to Greg's dad's house for supper.  We had lamb and ham and corn on the cob and raw veggies and dip and a tossed salad with ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  It was delicious and it was nice for Greg to celebrate Father's Day with his dad.  

It was a busy weekend as it is most weekends but a very good one at that.  Hope everybody had a great weekend and Father's Day!

Something I Thought That I Would Never Do...

I shopped, bought and built our new lawnmower all on my own!!

I went to mow my lawn on my usual Wednesday yard work day and I had forgotten to plug the battery in so I had to plug it in and wait until the following day to do it.  Thursday morning I grabbed the battery out of the laundry room where I charge it and it was crazy hot and I couldn't get it to fit into the lawnmower.  Greg told me to leave it alone since it was probably swollen from the heat.  Later that day I tried again once it cooled down and it still wouldn't fit.  Greg tried Friday morning when he was getting his bike out and said it was still swollen and we would need a new one. 

 I was really annoyed because this battery operated lawnmower was only 2 years old and the one we had before this was also only 2 years old when we had to replace it and yes it was battery operated.  We had purchased the latest one at Canadian Tire so I went online to see if I could find a replacement battery for it and the one that said would fit in my lawn mower with all the right specifications was actually more narrow then wide which would not fit.  I did find one in store that looked like it would fit into mine but the voltage was too high and Greg said it wouldn't work.  Plus it was the same price as the lawnmower I had found on sale so I wasn't too interested in it. 


As much as I absolutely loved my battery operated lawn mower, I knew that I wasn't buying another one.  They are much pricier then electric or gas versions and don't last nearly as long.  I didn't necessarily want the cheapest lawn mower but it had to be light and it had to be electric.  I don't like the idea of storing gasoline in my garage so that was a definite deal breaker for us.


Before bootcamp that morning I had looked at Walmart, Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire + Lowe's websites looking for the best deal.  I narrowed it down between one from Canadian Tire and one from Lowes.  Luckily for me, they are both in the same parking lot so easy to get from one to the other if necessary.  I ended up liking the one at Canadian Tire and it was pretty light and it was a pretty colour haha.  There was nobody around so I had to put the box into the cart all by myself.  It was fairly light and I am fairly strong so I was able to make it work.  It was a little harder getting it out of the cart though and into my journey but getting it out was ok. It was weird but I think it had something to do with the positioning of it in the cart since i had to lift up and then out.  I don't know though, just guessing. 


I was going to leave it at first for Greg to build but I really wanted to get the lawn done that day and not wait until the next day for it to be done since Finley had tech training that night. So I attempted to put it together on my own. 

I don't normally use a grass catcher on my lawn mowers because I like to mulch the grass once it is cut but I thought I would give it a try and it seemed pretty easy to put on.  Unless of course you don't actually have it on, it just looks like it is haha. 


It only took about 20 minutes and my lawnmower was put together all by me.  As you can see the grass catcher isn't on it and that is because as I was mowing my front lawn, I noticed that the cut grass was still on my lawn so I turned it off and unplugged it from the cord and looked at it.  Turns out I had it partially attached but not all the way in or something like that.  I took it off, threw it in my garage and there it stays haha.  Ironically enough, I used the same cord on this one as I did on our first electric lawnmower when we bought the house 9 years ago.  How do I know this?  It has electrical tape covering up the areas that I ran it over hahaha.  

The lawnmower is much more powerful then my previous 2 and is really light.  It is actually lighter then my battery operated one or at least very close.  It is small and compact like my previous one and cuts really well.  The cord is taking some getting used to but I have now used it 2x since I got it and I seem to be getting a routine so to speak down. 

Here's  hoping it lasts longer then 2 years!!

DIY Baking Birthday Party

Penelope doesn't turn 7 until August 18th, but we hold her friend party in June since we are still in school and have a teeny bit more free time to host it.  Last fall a friend of mine did a baking party for her daughter and so I suggested it to Penelope and she loved it so that is what we did.  Thanks again Sarah for your tips and inspiration!


The plan was to decorate aprons using fabric markers which are less messy then fabric paint.  Actually they aren't just less messy, they just aren't messy period!  That was a fantastic tip from Sarah because I was seriously going to buy the paint.  Thank god I asked her about that.  She also suggested jewels for the aprons from the dollar store that I never would have thought about getting.   The aprons and fabric markers were all purchased at Michaels using their coupons.  I got 40% off the markers and bought the aprons back in April when they had 55% off coupons.  So I paid about $14 instead of $32.  The aprons come in packs of 5.


Before the party, I laid out the aprons at each chair and gave them a bag full of jewels.  Once the girls were at the table, then I handed out markers and they all did a really good job of sharing the colours too, which made me very happy.


Once the aprons were decorated and all girls were happily wearing theirs, we started on the cupcake decorating part of it.  Each girl received 2 rainbow cupcakes made by me and 2 containers of frosting made by Greg with colours picked by Penelope and another container full of really cool sprinkles. The table cloth, napkins and plates are from Walmart and were $1.25 per package.


The sprinkles I bought at Winners for $3.99 each.  They have such cool decorating accessories to add on!


Penelope showing off her cupcakes that she decorated.  Once they were all done, I put them in little bakery boxes labelled with each child's name and a sticker that said "Compliments of Penelope's Bake Shop" and put them in their goody bags.  


These were also purchased at Michaels and they are $5 for a package of 5. 



Penelope didn't want to have a cake or cupcakes since that was what we were decorating for her party so she opted for Vanilla Dip Donuts from Tim Hortons.  I went early that morning after my run when they weren't busy yet and they made me 18 fresh donuts to take home.  



Penelope's Bake Shop also included chips, watermelon, rice krispy squares and homemade cookies.  

In their goodie bags, the girls got a box of smarties, some bubbles, their boxes of cupcakes and their aprons plus some homemade cookies compliments of Penelope's Bake Shop


The party was a huge success and Penelope loved it and after it was all said and done, we barely spent $100 on the whole party! While I don't mind spending money on birthday parties, it makes me quite happy to have such a fun party on the cheap!



Weekend Recap

Our weekend was spent playing soccer as it usually is but this time Finley was in a soccer tournament in Airdrie.  At first, it seemed like a good idea that it was "so close" to home but it really isn't considering we all live in the deep south and we had to make a trip there and back 3 days in a row.  We spent a lot of time driving that is for sure.


Finley's first game was Friday night at 7:15pm. We have to be at the field by 630 and I had to pick Greg up from downtown so it was going to take us even longer to get there.  We left our house at 5 and got to Airdrie right around 630.  It was nice in Calgary but it was cloudy and windy when we arrived there which did make for great watching conditions.  Thankfully I keep a quilt in my car plus I had a pair of lululemon street to studio pants to put on over my crops to keep warm.  We were playing a team that we play regularly during our outdoor season so that was kinda disappointing but it was a really great game for us.  We played really well and were really strong positionally.  Our team usually plays really well the first half and then kinda falls apart during the second half because they are tired.  This didn't happen tonight and it was a really fun game to watch.  Finley had by far her best game of the season and made the play to steal the ball and get it to her striker for the game tying goal.  She also had about 3 missed opportunities.  It ended up in a 1 - 1 tie which wasn't necessarily good for a tournament where goals for and against were used in calculating your pool standing for the finals on Sunday.  Regardless, we were happy with how well the girls played.  

We drove back to Calgary getting home just after 9 and the girls went to straight to bed and I soon followed since we had to be up at 7am on Saturday to get to their second game. 


On Saturday, the girls had a game in Airdrie at 915 which meant we had to be there around 830.  The parking was awful but we were able to park in a cul de sac behind the school that had a path leading to the soccer fields.  It worked out well for us because there was no parking near by to be found.  When we left Calgary, it wasn't bad outside, but when we got to Airdrie, it was a whole different story.  It was cloudy and windy and rainy and so cold.  It was really gross but unless there was lightening, the game would go on.  Greg has a tarp he brings in case of rain but it was so windy we couldn't get it up  so another parent used a sun umbrella to protect the girls from the rain and we staked it in so it wouldn't fly away.  Then I gave the girls my quilt so they could keep warm when on the bench.  Their coach had them running down the field on the sidelines before their shifts so they could warm up.  Penelope spent the game in a truck watching a movie with the little sister of a girl on Finley's team.  It was just too awful for them out there.  We were playing another team from Calgary but this time it was the Foothills B team which we had played in indoor when we were a B team but not since then.  The girls on both teams worked so hard and played so well despite the terrible weather conditions and we played to a scoreless tie.  This was even worse then the day before because now we only had one goal for and one goal against.  It was gonna take a miracle for us to finish 2nd in our pool. 


By the end of the game, none of us had feeling left in our hands or our feet and we were all wet (except Penelope) so we stopped at Tim Hortons for some donuts and hot chocolate.  It was full of lots of soccer players wet and cold haha.  

We finally made it back to Calgary where it then started raining too.  Greg and Finley worked on some soccer stuff on a white board while Penelope got ready for a birthday party.  Her tech training was rained out which made her happy since she didn't have to go late to her friend's party.  It was just across the street and around the corner from us so it was a quick walk.  I came back home and had a nap because I had slept so terribly the night before.  Once Penelope was home from her birthday party, we watched an episode of MasterChef before meeting my family at Boston Pizza on Memorial Drive for my cousin's birthday party.  Finley fell asleep on the way home and was in bed for the night before 7 and she slept until about 830 this morning so she was definitely tired. Penelope went to bed soon after. 


Greg met a friend for beer so I snuggled in with Pizza and finished reading Caitlin Jenner's new book about her transition and her struggle with gender dysphoria.  I try to avoid anything related to any Jenner or Kardashian but I was interested in reading it.  It was better then I thought it would be but it was still boring and dry in a lot of areas.  


Once I finished reading my book, I put on my new Mary Kay Charcoal mask and watched Beat Shazam which is one of my favourite shows.  I love this new mask so much.  It is easy to apply, it hardens fast and is so super easy to get it off.  You keep it on for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week and that is it.  My skin feels so soft this morning.  If you are interested in checking it out and don't have a Mary Kay consultant, check out Carol's Sales on Facebook.  She is amazing!  I washed my mask off and went to sleep!

I was also religiously stalking the tournament website to see how the other match in our pool went.  If we finished second in our pool, we would play for bronze at 2:15 but if we finished 3rd in our pool we played for 5th place at 11:45.  We ended up finishing 2nd in our pool because the team we tied 1-1 with lost 3-0 to the team we tied 0-0 with.  


Sunday's are usually my run days but not this day.  I was awake early enough and I  just kept putting it off and then i just didn't get outta bed until like 10am.  My allergies have been so bad lately and I am so congested and have so much sinus pressure that it's been tough.  Plus I haven't had much motivation mostly because I didn't take any time off after the Calgary Marathon and I think I am just tired.  I got up and cleaned up the house a bit and then worked on a few blog posts.  


Penelope had soccer photos so Greg and her went to that and then to get groceries while Finley built her space shuttle lego that Santa brought her last year.  She had a game later that afternoon and I wanted to make sure she was well rested for it.  


On Sunday afternoon, we made the drive out to Airdrie for Finley's bronze medal game.  Thankfully the weather was much better then saturday and I was definitely overdressed haha.  We played the U9 Airdrie FC Girls team and it was a good game and was scoreless until the last 10 minutes of the game  and then we scored on a penalty shot and got another one a few minutes later.  The girls all played really well and we kept up for the entire game.  It was a really well played tournament for the girls and we are all so proud of them. 



Finley getting her medal from her coaches.  She had a really strong tournament too.  She has improved so much since the first outdoor game of the season. Now it was back to the city.....


Finley had soccer photos at 445 and we decided the girls should wear their white jerseys since they had worn the red ones all weekend and were pretty dirty and probably smelly. We got to the Cardel South for photos about 30 minutes early so we went to Wendy's for 99 cent Frosty's as a celebration tweet.  


We finally got home around 530 and Penelope stole my iPhone and took like a 100 selfies.  This one was the funniest. 


Penelope helped Greg make supper and made some delicious brown butter mushrooms for our hamburgers. 


After supper, we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful Sunday night.  We had the hockey game on the iPad and Greg was enjoying a beer while playing some iPhone game and Penelope was reading a book while Pizza was eating her feet.  It was so perfect that you knew it was too good to last...


Penelope lost her mind doing soccer drills with Finley.  I knew she was exhausted so I told her it was bedtime and she clearly did not agree haha. Eventually she came inside to her room but she was not happy about it.  


Despite playing in a soccer tournament all weekend and getting very little time off from soccer, Finley was outside trying to get better at dribbling and doing it faster since it is one of her weaker areas.

Soon though, it was time for her to go to bed since she was pretty tired after a  busy weekend.  I watched the hockey game in bed while writing this (hopefully pens win haha) while Greg booked things for our upcoming summer vacation (one month 3 days).

Hope you guys had a great weekend and have an even better week!