Friday, December 16, 2016

Puppy Love

Last month, our eldest son told Mr. O and I about a girl he really likes in high school.

Mind you, A.R is in grade eleven and she's in grade nine.

What?! 

Noooooo!

It was jaw dropping news for me!

He said they first met in school choir and later in guitar club.

Without a doubt, he's smitten!

We've never seen him so inspired. 

He acts and speaks differently whenever they Skype each other! 

It's definitely puppy love!

It sounds sweet and innocent but we did have a serious talk with him. We told him that they're still very young to be in a relationship, and they should focus on their education and having fun.

A.R agreed with us and said he enjoys hanging out with her at lunch and at guitar club.

And last night at their school Christmas concert, he introduced us to her.

Mr. O took a picture of them. 

I admit they looked so cute together! 

(However, you won't hear me say that to my son.) 

A.R is still my baby. 

I'm not ready to let him go!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Supermoon 2016


Mr. O called me at home last night and told me to look outside. He said the moon was huge and orange.

I didn't see anything.

I checked again.

Nothing.

Where was this Supermoon? 

What is all the hype?!

I went upstairs and looked outside my bedroom window. And there it was luminous and orange in hue.

I grabbed my camera and took a few shots but couldn't get a clear picture because of the trees.



                                This is what I captured. It's so eerie and mysterious. I love it!

                                And this is exactly what I needed -  a little inspiration.

                            I was so inspired. I took more pictures of the full moon tonight!


                                                             
                                                                        Isn't it lovely ?


                                                   Next Supermoon is December 16, 2016!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October Favourites


I've been loving these drugstore and high end products lately. And I wanted to share them with you.




This is my first time using Marcelle cosmetics. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with Marcelle Accent Eyebrow Crayon and 2 in 1 Retractable Eyeliner in charcoal. Both are highly pigmented and long lasting. Marcelle can be found in Canadian drugstores and are sold in Canada only. However, you can purchase these products online. Another favourite is NYX retractable eyeliner.

I love Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze for every day wear. No creasing and fading. You can find a variety of shades and colours.



I heard so much about Physicians Formula bronzers that I wanted to try one. I picked up Bronze Booster Beauty Balm in medium to dark shade. So happy I did! This is a more expensive bronzer for a drugstore brand but they make such great products!


IT CC cream SPF +50 (medium) is my favourite every day foundation. I can't live without it! And the new IT Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder is divine. It has a matte finish and makes your skin tone even, banish pores and doesn't settle in your fine lines and wrinkles! And IT Cosmetics makeup brushes are the best! IT Cosmetics is a high end product but worth the purchase. Sold exclusively on The Shopping Channel (TSC) in Canada and available on QVC and Sephora in the US.

What are your favourites?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Autumn Days

It was the perfect day for a morning stroll.

The air was cool and crisp. And the sun shone brightly.

Mr. O and I took a nature walk along the Waterfront Trail.



We followed the winding path and stopped to admire the beauty of the marshes.                                    



And we sat on a park bench and enjoyed the view. It was so calm and peaceful listening to the waves.


And we found a red maple leaf.


                                                                          Autumn is here!


                                                                  Enjoy it while it lasts!



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Scrub

"Bruh, stop trolling me!"

What?

Pass me the urban dictionary because I have no idea what my teenage boys are talking about!

The language they speak with their friends isn't always understandable.

My eldest son once described a game with the word "vanilla" meaning you have to play the basics.

I joked that Mr.O plays in mocha!

"Mom, NO! Please! Are you trying to be cool again?"

Analogies aside, I guess I'm not the cool, hip, and tech savvy mom.

Hmph!

Millennials.

So smug.

Here's a sample of words used in daily conversation:

troll - Someone who is annoying or creates disruption or discord
rekt- When someone who gets completely destroyed or wrecked (in a game)
bodied- Same meaning as rekt
scrub- Someone who is bad at a game or activity
noob- Someone who knows little or newbie
P-cool - Pretty cool

Take notes Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.

J.P shakes his head at me, "Mom, you're such a noob."

Is that so?

'You're such a scrub!"

Dinner's ready...

Boom.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Outlander

This September has been a busy month.

It seems like each week is filled with appointments and school activities.

J.P's air cadets fall on Monday nights and A.R has school choir on Tuesdays. He's also in drama this year. Rehearsals will soon be on the agenda after school and on weekends.

I had to give up my hula lessons on Wednesday evening to accommodate their hectic schedule.

What am I going to do now?

Dinna fash, lassie.

Let's read, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" from Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series.

What a joy to bury oneself in a good book!

Aye.

If you haven't heard or read Outlander, it is a tale of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from World War II who is transported back in time to Scotland in 1743 and meets a chivalrous and fearless Highland warrior named Jamie Fraser. She finds herself caught amid the Jacobite rising and uses her skills for survival as she tries to return home.



The novels weave a historical, romantic, adventurous and science fiction/fantasy story. It is hard to put down once you've read the first book!

If you don't want to read all eight books - you can watch Outlander Season One volume 1 & 2 on DVD; it airs on Showcase in Canada or check your local listings.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Jack-of-All-Trades

Laundry is one of the many chores I do weekly. 

And when the dryer sounded like a freight train passing by. 

I was worried that it was broken!

I read the manual and it said to make sure it was level to the floor. And if it made noise, call for service.

What?! Oh no.

Where is hubby?

I did another load and still it was rumbling loudly.

Would we have to get a new machine? We just purchased a new fridge!

I checked behind the dryer and discovered it was very dusty. I moved it; swept the floor and cleaned the vents and exhaust hose. I also adjusted the level feet.

I put in the last load of clothes.

The dryer was very quiet.
 
Mr. O came downstairs and I thanked him for fixing the dryer.

He looked confused.

A.R said, "Mommy is commanding officer, chef, baker, nurse, caregiver, seamstress, personal assistant, barber, gardener, navigator, gamer, tech support worker, photographer, blogger, and service repair guy."

I laughed heartily as the boys took turns describing me.

Mr. O asked, "Is there anything you can't do?"

"See that? Mommy is the jack-of-all-trades!"


Monday, September 12, 2016

Back to School Makeup

September is here!

Drugstore products have come a long way to keep you looking flawless. Here are some affordable and makeup essentials for back to school:




Cover Girl Outlast all-day primer- To set your make up.

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Luminous- This foundation is great for dry skin and if you want that dewy look! (Creamy natural shade)

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte- I use this foundation if I want my make up to last all day long! Great for a matte finish. (101 Classic Ivory shade)

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles concealer- Light to medium coverage.

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte+Poreless (Normal/Oily) - To set your foundation and concealer.

Maybelline New York Eye Studio- Black eyeliner gel to make that perfect winged eyeliner!

Maybelline New York The Nudes Palette - Eye shadow for day and night.

Maybelline Super Stay 24hr Color - Long wearing lipstick (30 shades)

Elf Eyebrow Kit- Medium

Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder - Another fave to touch up your make up throughout the day.

The Body Shop Lip Gloss- Peach and strawberry for a more natural look. (not drugstore but a great buy $5-$6)


*Note- I didn't realize I had so many Maybelline products! What are your favourites?

I didn't have a blush but used Rimmel Natural Bronzer (waterproof bronzer) for contour and colour.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Labour Day Weekend

Summer vacation is over and the boys are back to school. 

I must confess - we're still adjusting to the regular routine. 

Today I woke up late and A.R missed his school bus. Luckily, Mr. O was still home to drive him to school.

I guess we're still dreaming of summer and of our long Labour Day weekend!

Last Friday, we went to Fan Expo Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Here are some highlights of our day:


The boys along with their cousins took a photo with the one and only Stan Lee! The creator of Spider Man, Captain America, The Avengers and The X-Men and many other fictional characters. It was his final Canadian appearance. J.P was so happy to meet and take a picture with him!


Overlooking the North Building, the venue is packed with many visitors sightseeing and shopping at vendor booths.


Look who I bumped into....R2D2 was nice enough to stop and say 'hello'. 



And continuing with the Star Wars theme, we found this life size Lego build of Rogue One. Isn't it so cool?

On Sunday, we headed to the Canadian National Exhibition (or otherwise known as the CNE or the Ex.) An annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place for 18 days leading up to the Labour Day weekend.


The Midway is the centre of amusement rides, games and food booths.

We also watched the 67th annual Canadian International Airshow featuring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. We picked up the calendar to show our support. It looks like the airshow will be our family tradition!




There was an International Sand Sculpture Competition from August 19-24. Here is a Star Trek sand sculpture by Karen Fralich on display. 


And the CNE is all about the food! We made our way to the Food Building to find goodies and treats. We had BeaverTails -it's a fried dough pastry. And a Canadian culinary icon - BeaverTails topped with chocolate hazelnut spread and bananas. Or your choice of whipped cream, crumbled Oreos, or cinnamon sugar.

We had a fabulous long weekend with the boys!

Can't wait till next year!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Stephen King's 'It' Remake

Mr. O heard there was a movie being filmed in town - a remake of Stephen King's 'It' film.

A vacant lot was being used for the project.

One day after doing errands, he told me we were going to the movie set.

"What?"

I didn't bring my nice camera!

So, off we went to find the street where it was filmed.

And this is what we found:

                            An old dilapidated house. Yes, the one that you see in your nightmare!



The structure is built around scaffolding and will be used for exterior shots.




A creepy old tree stands in the front yard.
     


                                                     
                                                             Don't even think of trespassing!




                                                                            Side of house.


The house faces west, and it's located near a quiet neighbourhood. We visited the movie set in the evening and it was the perfect backdrop for all things eerie!

Release date of the movie is September 8, 2017.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Road to Recovery

My Dad is out of the hospital and staying with us until he recovers from surgery.

He's been with us since Friday.

And life became a little more hectic in our household.

It's for the best.

I can monitor his blood pressure, make sure he takes his pills on time and he eats well.

My main concern is that he gets his rest and he's comfortable.

Mr. O and the boys don't mind that Papa is here.

Life without Mom has been hard on him.

Dad tried to live alone but I don't think it's working out.

He needs to be with his family.

And for now, he will remain here until he regains his strength.

Until then, Dad will decide what the next step would be.

My brother and I wish that he would consider moving out of his apartment and living with one of us permanently.

It's our duty and responsibility to make certain he has the quality of life that he deserves.

We want him to be healthy, active and happy in his twilight years.

Dad is getting a glimpse of what life could be like for him.

He doesn't have to worry about rent, meals and bills.

And he wouldn't be alone.

Sounds enticing, huh?

You bet.

Dad agreed to stay for awhile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Nervous Weekend

Last Friday, my father had routine surgery to remove his kidney stones but somehow there were complications.

He was taken to Intensive Care Unit in the middle of the night because his blood pressure was dropping so fast.

Once again, we drove all the way to my childhood neighbourhood; to the hospital where my eldest son was born and where we said goodbye to my mom two years ago.

The car ride was sombre and quiet.

It seemed we were lost in our own thoughts.

We visited Dad in the ICU.

His breathing was laboured, and his hands were cold.

It's hard to see someone you love hooked up with tubes and machines.

The good news is that his blood pressure was improving and he was moved out of ICU. The bad news is that he's still in the hospital and undergoing tests.

Dad wants to go home.

Unfortunately, he'll stay at the hospital for the rest of the week.

And I feel so guilty that I cannot visit him daily.

I hope and pray that everything will be fine and he has a speedy recovery.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Summer Essentials


A few weeks ago, I wrote how I'd share more about beauty and fashion on my blog. Here's my first post! 


Summer essentials:




It Cosmetics CC Cream/SPF 50+ (medium shade) - I wear this when I'm out all day long.

It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation - I tend to put this on when I'm out doing errands. It's quick and easy to apply.

Rimmel Natural Bronzer (Waterproof Bronzing Powder) - I use both as contour/blush and may use as an eye shadow.

Maybelline Great Lash - I can't live without waterproof mascara!

The Body Shop Lip Care/Aloe - Lip balm for sensitive, dry lips

It Cosmetics 'Damsel' Vitality Lip Flush - Long wear lipstick stain

Marc Anthony bye bye Frizz / Blow Dry Cream - You can apply on wet or dry hair. I love this to tame the frizz.

The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose Eau de Toilette - Who doesn't love a floral, summer scent?

Marc Jacobs sunglasses



Monday, July 25, 2016

Graduation Parade

J.P had been gone for two weeks in Trenton for cadet summer training.

And I was so miserable.

I never felt this way before- feeling sad, worried and depressed.

And when my eldest son wanted to volunteer at his aunt's work, he had to stay overnight at her place for a few nights.

I couldn't sleep nor eat.

Mr. O tried to comfort me.

Both my boys weren't home.

It was too soon to be an empty nester!

However, that all changed last Friday.

We were going to Trenton to attend the graduation parade for General Training cadets.

I was so excited to see J.P!

We left early in the morning.

It took us a little over an hour to get there.

We arrived at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton parade square at nine o'clock, and took a seat on the bleachers that were located under a canopy of trees.

At ten o'clock the graduation parade started.

There were speeches, awards and inspection by the Reviewing Officer.

J.P was lucky enough to speak with honorary guests during the inspection.


And we watched proudly as we saw him march past with his unit.

After the parade, we went over to see him. He was saying goodbye to his new friends. Cadets from all over Canada - some from Thunder Bay, Quebec and as far as Nova Scotia.

J.P changed.

He wasn't the boy who left us two weeks ago, he was now a young man.

Finally, he walked over to greet us.

I held him tight and told him how much I missed him.

My son was going home.

My sleepless nights would be over!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Duran Duran

Last Wednesday, I received a call from my brother.

Every time I get a phone call, I associate it with bad news.

When L.A asked what I was up to in the evening, I said nothing.

Then he asked if I wanted to go to the Duran Duran concert.

Really?!

He said he had won tickets from a contest that a local news channel had a few days ago.

I was ecstatic!

My brother picked me up at five o'clock, and we had dinner at the mall.

Then made our way to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. The outdoor venue is located near the shores of Lake Ontario.

It was a hot, muggy night but that didn't stop us from enjoying great music from the 80's!

We ventured through the throngs of people inside the amphitheatre, All revelling and dancing to the opening act, Nile Rodgers - with hits Le Freak and Good Times.

We found a free spot on the grassy hill, just steps away from the beer station. How convenient!

The sun was setting. And the buzz and excitement was in the air.

Duran Duran came on stage and started the concert with their new single, Paper Gods.  They continued with many of their hits - Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf, A View to a Kill, The Reflex and Planet Earth with a special tribute to David Bowie with Space Oddity.

From new wave/synth pop, to a more edgy and more funky vibe. Duran Duran continues to grow musically.

I'd say it was quite the dance party!

I think Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor are still rocking after all these years!

Mind you, Nick Rhodes did not perform that night. He had to leave the tour due to an urgent family matter and had to fly back to the United Kingdom. I must say he was missed!

For the encore, Duran Duran played Save a Prayer. Definitely, my highlight of the evening. And they ended the night with Rio. Beach balls bouncing happily around to party goers.

Overall, it was a memorable night shared with my brother. So grateful for the wonderful chance to see and hear Duran Duran live in concert.






Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Training

Last week, I was busy packing for my son's trip.

Let's just say this isn't your ordinary summer vacation.

J.P will be attending summer training for cadets in Trenton, Ontario for two weeks.

He has never been away from home this long - especially without us!

I've been feeling anxious for weeks.

There was so much to prepare.

He was given a long list of things he needed to bring for his stay.

I was quite overwhelmed with the task at hand.

I drilled him like an officer and told him not to lose his health card and important documents.

I also asked him to open and lock his suitcase on his own. And to set combinations on his padlocks.

I said we wouldn't be there to do it for him and that he would be responsible for his belongings.

We double checked the kit list to see if we had forgotten anything.

Are you ready?

Yes, ma'am!

Yesterday, J.P left for Trenton with his squadron.

Before he boarded the bus, I hugged him and asked him to call us after he settled in.

I was teary eyed when I walked away.

I never thought it would be so darn hard.

An evening phone call from my son softened my worries.

He sounded happy and excited.

Glad that he's safe and sound.

I think he'll be just fine for summer training.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Clueless Beauty

One day, I was browsing on YouTube when I discovered a make up tutorial video.

What?! 

Have I been living under a rock?

FYI...yes!

Clearly, this mama doesn't get to do much on her free time!

And when you're the only female living in a male dominated household. You find yourself navigating your way to anything but sports, anime and online video gaming.

I was quite fascinated and spent the whole day watching these videos.

Funny, huh?

I sat at the table, glued to my laptop screen watching girls get ready in the morning and at night. 

So many uploads of applying foundation, shaping eyebrows and contouring faces.

Honestly, I was more interested in the skin care routine.

I was suffering from dry, red, itchy skin under my eyes. And the dark circles weren't helping either!

Mr. O said I had raccoon eyes.

Waaah!

Thanks, honey. 

I was on a mission to remedy this problem.

How can I look and feel beautiful again? 

The solution  - the right skin care and anti-aging products!

Yes, that's it.

Thanks to those beauty experts and make up artists on YouTube! 

I'm now so inspired. 

I want to share my thoughts on beauty, fashion and skin care in the coming weeks!

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

So Impressed

There are soccer, dance, baseball, and hockey moms but I'm a mother to a budding violinist! 

Last Saturday, J.P had his ensemble competition and finished first in strings ensemble.

Glad he is getting experience playing on stage with other students and performing before so many people. 

I'm very impressed with J.P right now. 

He had to juggle school, air cadets and his violin practice this year. 

And he did it without any hiccups. 

His school report card was outstanding, he developed his vibrato in violin and he's showing initiative and maturity when it comes to his cadets.

And did I tell you he has been playing violin for almost two years?

Two parents commented on his violin performance, saying they appreciated his playing more and said his piece was beautiful - even though he placed second overall. It's wonderful that he's touching people's lives. 

Such a gift! 

I can't tell you how proud I am of my son!


Monday, June 20, 2016

A Birthday/Father's Day Weekend

J.P officially turned 13 on Saturday.

I can't believe he's a teenager!

I now have two teens in my household!

We surprised him with a Captain America lanyard and Avengers t-shirt. His reaction was priceless! We're glad he loved his birthday gift.

We couldn't throw him a party because of the busy weekend we had. A 6oth birthday lunch on hubby's side of the family and J.P's recital at the New Conservatory of Music Festival.

We wanted him to practice and have a relaxing evening at home before his recital the next day.

So we ordered pizza and J.P had his practice time.

Yesterday, he performed, "Sad Romance" for his violin solo. I've heard him play this song many times before but I was touched with his performance. It's so beautiful with piano.

He placed second in the Junior violin category.

Well done, J.P!

What a wonderful Father's Day gift too!

You made us so proud!

He had a great birthday weekend!


Monday, June 13, 2016

The Story of My Life

"Mom, I can't find my game. Do you know where it is?"

"Ma, my dress pants are too long. Can you hem it?"

I start to hem pants until hubby comes down the stairs to ask, "Can I use your laptop?"

Mr. O is the worst of them.

He's constantly asking me to do things for him when I'm already busy with something else.

It feels like question period at the House of Commons.

It drives me crazy.

I feel so overwhelmed.

Breathe.

I am personal assistant to the nearest, and dearest to my heart.

Yep.

I'm beginning to think that their world will quickly fall apart when I'm not around.

Hubby says I keep their daily schedules running smoothly.

Is that so?

Oh, if they only knew... the story of my life!

Sigh.

I need a drink!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ready to Return

Hello there! I'm back.

I know.

Where have I been?

Good question.

Life has a way of pulling you in different directions.

In my last post, I said I changed my lifestyle and I became more physically active.

These days, I have more time for myself. I walk, workout and do yoga. I've also taken up hula.

Motherhood is still my pride and joy - I can't believe my boys are taller than me! Sigh.

A.R.is a typical teenager and J.P is a almost a teen.

Where did the time go?

I think I'm ready to return and share my adventures again.

I hope you'll follow along.