Friday, December 30, 2011

Dear 2011...

Dear 2011:


Phew! We made it! All the prep, the planning ... and the driving (10-12hrs each way), have all been thoroughly enjoyed and taken in as the Christmas of 2011. In British Columbia, we rejoiced in the Saviour and one very special ladys 90th Birthday;  while mingling with family and feasting on pretty much everything. And LOTS of it!   Upon returning to Alberta, we have seen more feasting (Have appetizers become a staple??) and with New Years in only a few days, there will certainly be more feasting. (And family and friends and fun!)


Really, this year has been fantastic all around! Personally, I've met some really interesting people across Canada and have had some really awesome opportunities thrown at me along the way. My journey into the 'media' world has been an eye-opener and has also got me thinking about what I would like to be in my 'life after kids' life.  I attended Blissdom Canada in Toronto, where I further networked and explored these interests.  (I may have also sang karaoke with reckless abandon in a crowd of screaming women when Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block graced us with his presence. *Blush*)  I hosted my first 'Social Good' event MomsNightOut2Donate&Dine in November (Thanks Boston Pizza!) and look forward to expanding the idea in 2012.  My blog, Peek Thru Our Window, was also asked to link up with the Calgary Herald Opinions page online.  I've been out in my community more this year and this has all been a good thing for me.  I am not from Calgary and while the kids and I do get out and do things and meet people, I've never done it alone.  Heck, I've never even had a job in Calgary ever (my last employment was in Canmore, Ab)... so I know no one.  If I have been lucky enough to meet you this year in Cowtown or otherwise, please know that I have enjoyed it all.

Family-wise, the kids continue to grow at the speed of light. (Seriously, could we put on the brakes a bit??) Beebo is now in Kindergarten and loving it all; especially, the 'riding the bus' part. Her reading skills have been rewarding, as she often reads Xman stories and her math skills have been the most surprising. A few months ago Beebo did not care about numbers at all and now I can't stop the girl from counting into the thousands, endlessly. All.the.time.


Xman began at his own preschool this year (not shared by his sister) and has really turned into a big boy. I cannot believe he'll be 4 years old in a few days.  While he is a very TALL boy for his age, I've always reminded myself that he is still very young inside. He is enthusiastic, happy and helpful most often. He adores his sister and looks forward to her return from school each day. He also loves to get her goat; he's fairly good at it too. ;) Xman has also began working with a Speech Therapist and looks forward to his time with her. The sounds are coming out a lot clearer these days, but he'll continue on with his sessions for the rest of the school year.


The Hubby spent another year working hard to run the company. It has presented its normal array of opportunities and issues, but we continue onward into the future. We were lucky to take a vacation this past summer with family in Maine, USA. It was a lovely time away and we had a great chance to boost the kiddos roadtripping skills and food-from-the-sea skills. This year, we look forward to meeting the 'Mouse', as we'll venture to Disneyland (California) with a few friends and their families.

That's been us!  We're ready and eager to see what 2012 holds!

*Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Safe New Year Everyone!*



Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from Peek Thru Our Window

The Muppets (Mahna Mahna!) and Peek Thru Our Window would like to wish you all the happiest of Holiday tidings. From our home to yours, may your holidays be filled with laughter, family and best wishes. (Be safe, play safe too!)  Thank you for following along in our adventures this year. We are excited to see what the New Year holds!

We danced the Charleston Jib-Jab style for you... check it out HERE.

*If you live in Calgary and area and would like to attend the 3D Advance screening of Beauty and the Beast on January 7/12, enter HERE.*

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Our Elf Fred

A few days ago, we found Fred all cuddled up on the tree top with Tinkerbell. And, we may have found him there the next day too... guess he's in love!  (Okay, admittedly, I forgot to move the darn thing! Whoops!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Tale As Old As Time... This January! (Advance Screening!)

This January, Disney releases one of my favourite movies in the 3D format,  Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't be more excited to finally share this tale of 'appearances aren't always true' with my daughter Beebo. It has been in the Disney vault for years now, so I am very sure she will love every moment of it!

Would you like tickets for 4 to attend the Advance Screening of this Disney Classic in Calgary on Saturday, January 7/12 ?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday In My City: Bass Pro Santa Year 3

To see, Year 2 .
To see, Year 1 .

Unknown Mami

This Sunday, we visited the Big Guy.
The Bass Pro Christmas experience is better than all others. And you can't argue with a free photo. ;)

Don't forget to visit our lovely host, Unknown Mami.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mark's Does Yoga- Do You? (Winners!)

The Mark's Yoga wear outfit in size Medium goes to Caroline Wilson and the size Large to Leslie Brooks! Please contact SamiJoe as soon as possible to swap details. (48hrs)

*Winners were chosen by *

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where Could He Be?

Yesterday the little man was barking at everyone! None of us were very pleasing to him at all. I was wrapping some presents in the livingroom and Girlie was in her room singing. (I was soooo happy she went to her room to sing-- she was driving me batty!) Anyhow, it wasn't until Miss Singing-Thing was gone that I realized how quiet it was. How very, very quiet.

Then it dawned on me! It was too quiet!

I began to look around the house for the Mister. Ten minutes in, I started to worry. His coat and boots were still hanging up, so he wasn't outside. His room was empty and no one was downstairs at all! I had run out of places to look; the usual suspects were not hiding Xman. Then I remembered that when Xman is grouchy, sometimes he goes behind his bed. It seems to be his calming down spot.


And there he was... asleep behind his bed! Cue the awwwwwwww! Phew, cute as a button, but now I knew where he was at least. I was a little puzzled as to why he was so tired, but whatever-- little dude loves his sleep! (I put him to bed at 730pm the night before and he was out within 15 minutes. Then I had to wake him for school the next day at 815am.) I left him sleeping for about half hour and then woke him up. It was nearing 4pm and I didn't want this little nap messing with bedtime!

We were all very thankful for Xman's self taken nap. His demeanor was entirely different and we all were happy about that.

Do you have a little sleeper who can happily pull up a bed wherever the need calls??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday~ The Xmas Tree

Somewhere near Waiporous, Alberta...
($5 permit gets you 3 trees from a designated area!)





Thanks to CNK for the family shot!

I know the tree looks a little big, but is wasn't that full. In a few days, i'll show you what we did to make the tree more filled out!

Do You Need a Dressy Dress? I've got the answer!

When I went to Blissdom Canada back in October, I was very fortunate to dine with some very interesting ladies at Table 17 in Toronto. Why were they so interesting you ask?

Well, they had cooked up a rather brilliant idea in my opinion and tis' the season to share these ladies with all of you!  Do you have a formal Christmas party to attend but have nothing to wear? How about a dressy New Years event that has you searching out stores for the perfect dress??

Now tell me, how many of you have had kids and are well... in between sizes? You have dresses in your closet that used to fit, but um yeah, they do not exactly fit the same now??  ~Sigh~ life after kids. Or, you've had a child and plan on having another one and to go out and spend a small fortune on a dress that you'll never fit into again seems pointless?

OR-- you do not have kids at all but you love to look fabulous without spending a lot of money??

Have I fit everyone out there into some category yet??


"Why buy a dress for your next big event when you can rent the hottest frocks at a fraction of the price? Rent Frock Repeat delivers high-end fashion from the runway to your wardrobe. Browse the latest dresses from the hottest designers with ease and stay savvy to recent looks and trends. Rent Frock Repeat is your new approach to style."

Here's how it works:

1. Register with Rent, Frock, Repeat - be sure to completely fill in your email address, billing and proper shipping details.

2. Browse the many designers on the site (Badgley Mischka, Nicole Miller and many others!).

3. Choose by colour, sizing, how fast it can be shipped... click RENT.

4. The dress will arrive 2 days or so before your event. A second dress of the same (diff size) will also be included in case the first does not fit.

5. Wear the dress. Enjoy. Look fabulous. (Take a picture and post it on their Facebook!)

6. Place the dress and its spare into the prepaid envelope provided. Take it to your nearest Canada Post outlet.

(Rent Frock Repeat will deliver anywhere in Canada.  Currently sizes are carried up to 16.)

That's it!

If you need a dress for any event, be sure to check out Rent Frock Repeat. The ladies are well versed in every dress they rent, so if you are having issues using the website, feel free to call them for more help. They will be sure to send you a dress that fits you just right!

*No one compensated Peek Thru Our Window in any way for this post. I enjoyed meeting these ladies and loved their business.   It would be a shame to withhold this information at a major dress wearing time of year!!  Always nice to know our options. *

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gifts of Food This Holiday Season

Christmas baking is always something I aspire to do around the holidays. Whether it be for host gifts, the bus driver, teachers, special feasts or ourselves, eating yummy good things is synonymous with the holiday season. This year I've really stepped outside my normal repetoire. Some of my attempts have gone quite well, others could have went better.  I am glad I chose these food gifts for Christmas , because they are really good and I may not have made them at other times of the year.

Two New Recipes: Rum Balls & Bacon Jam



I will warn that neither of these recipes were cheap to make. But their taste is worth every penny!

Things learned while making these two new recipes:
- It is soooo boring rolling rum balls. Unless you are drinking the rum. ;)
- Don't skimp on the bacon. Fat city.

If you'd like the rum ball recipe, please leave a comment and your email and I will send it to you. It is a friends old family recipe and I do not wish to post it.

If you'd like the Bacon Jam recipe, pop over to Dinner with Julie !

What things do you normally bake up for holiday treats?
Did you try baking anything new this year?

*This post contains a link by FoodSpring.  Be sure to visit them for more holiday treat ideas! *

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mark's Does Yoga- Do You? And A Giveaway!

Mark's new line of 100 wash Yoga wear is truly an innovation.  Back in September, I was given a pair of Mark's yoga pants. It was handy timing, as my workout gear consisted of some really bad shorts and a few old t-shirts and I had just joined a gym. Everywhere I looked I saw LuluLemon...

Now here is where I fess up. LuluLemon and I have a love/hate relationship.  I like that they are Canadian and I am all for buying things of quality and well hey, I have purchased crappy spandex in the past (in my rowing days) and fully know what happens to it after 3 or 4 months. But something deep within just won't let me buy LuluLemon. A hundred dollars for pants that are stretchy seems very steep to me!!

All that said, if you choose to buy LuluLemon I will still think you look stylish. It's your money, not mine. But if you could buy a pair of yoga pants that offer you the same things: comfort, style, washability, no shrinking, fading or piling... would you?

My yoga pants from Mark's cost $39.99 and after having them for almost 4 months (and around 40 washes or so), they still look exactly like they did when they were first given to me. I secretly giggle when I am at the gym, because I wear a pair of yoga pants that are quality made and I didn't overspend.  (I recently purchased another pair because I loved the ones Mark's gave me so much!!) Mark's has a 100% guarantee... so there is never fear of trying one of their products and not liking it. If you're into Lulu, I encourage you to check out the 100 wash line at Mark's. If you need good workout wear, then Mark's has your answer at a price your wallet can handle.

Mark's Does Yoga- Do you?

To encourage you to give these Mark's 100 wash yoga pants a try, I have been given two outfits courtesy of Mark's to giveaway to two of my readers!

Yoga Bhakti Full Zip Jacket.  Deep Pink (Size Womens M) and Deep Orchid (Size Womens L). Retails for $59.99.

100 Wash Modern Flare Yoga Pant : Black (1 M & 1 L- Womens). Retails for $39.99.

Mandatory entry: Leave a comment letting me know which SIZE outfit you would like to win (Women's Medium or Large). *Please note that sizes and colors cannot be changed as items have already been purchased for this giveaway.*

You may do any or all of these extra entries. Please leave a separate comment for each entry, as well as your email information so that I can get back to you!

-Subscribe to Peek Thru Our Window in Google Friends Connect. (1 Entry)
-Like Peek Thru Our Window on Facebook. (1 Entry)
-Follow @MixtressSamiJoe on Twitter. (1 Entry)
-Like Mark's on Facebook. (1 Entry)

Tweet “ #Win a @MarksWW 100 Wash #YOGA outfit on #Canadian Res Only! Ends Dec15/11 at 9pm MST
(1 RT per day. Please leave the Twitter link in a comment each day.)

-Add Peek Thru Our Window's blog button to your site.(1 Entry)
-Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link, as well as link my blog title back to me. (5 Entries)

Ends: December 16, 2011 at 9pm MST. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to claim their prize! Failure to get back to me within 48hrs, will result in a new winner being picked.

Open to CANADIAN residents only.

GOOD LUCK! (psst... don't forget, Mark's has online shopping too!)

*Peek Thru Our Window received a pair of Mark's 100 Wash Yoga Pants for review. The opinions expressed are always my own.*

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Have you been looking for CanadianMama?

Earlier this week, a blogging buddy (er, hmm...coincidentally the lady responsible for me starting this here blog!)  had some issues. Apparently her domain name had expired through some serious hijinx and was now in the hands of a Japanese company! (Sneaky... why would peeps in Japan want to be a CanadianMama???)

Anyhow, the story isn't as important as making sure you can still find her! Just Another Mom Blog dropped its .com and became a .ca (which is truly WAY more Canadian in my opinion)!  You may have to re-join her Google Reader, but I am not 100% on that. If you followed her and have noticed that you haven't been hearing anything lately, this is why.

Just Another Mom Blog... same CanadianMama, with a few different letters.

Go find her!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: Laundry Room Reno

We recently put in slate tile in the foyer, repainted and put in new trim.  It looks lovely!

Don't you agree?




True enough, you do not know what it looked like before the reno; but trust me when I say it is better. ;)

The laundry room is next on the list for tile, as it shared the same yucky lino as the foyer. My laundry room is um... ugly... and if we'll be doing the floor I may as well take care of a few other things. Proof of ugly... because no one would believe me if I told them.

Picture 1:

They're everywhere! Oh My!

Picture 2:

I have no idea what on Earth and for all that is Holy, possessed someone to cut out pieces from the border? The border is tacky enough all on its own, but for real?? They cut out individual shirts and individually pasted them on the walls. Who thought that was a good idea? I'm pretty sure this is why I hate doing laundry... coming into this room depresses me for more reasons than one. ~sigh~

And the cupboards?  They're just old and will come off... nothing some cedar shelving can't fix.

My problem is (and the reason why I've come to all of you for your lovely opinions) :

The laundry room is kinda small. While I love my front loaders, they certainly take up half of the room. I'm thinking I'd like to have a stacked washer dryer set-up, but wonder if that is what I want? If I stack my washer/dryer, all the controls will be up at the very top. Will I still be able to reach them? Hubby is definitely not short and neither am I, but would I stack the washer up top, or the dryer? In my head, I'm thinking it would be harder to get laundry soap into its area when it is up top, but adding a dryer sheet up top isn't that hard to do.

Am I over-thinking this?

Do you have your washer and dryer stacked?
Or do you have them side by side?

*This post contains a link by Brandsource. The opinions, reno and laundry room ugliness are all my own.*