Saturday, July 18, 2009


Yes, I actually have time today for a quick post. Here's what we have accomplished today so it's surprising...
  • DH went to the chiropractor while I watched the fence company finish off the fence (love our new gates with lattice!)
  • we went by an antique shop in town to see if it was open because we'd seen a beautiful model sailboat in the window. Despite being 10 minutes past the opening time, it was closed. Small town hours!
  • we went out for breakfast - I had a huge plate of warmed brie with maple syrup and nuts, with a pile of fruit and a latte... yum!
  • we drove down to one of my galleries in Toronto to drop off some paintings
  • we drove out to the Orfus Road shopping district and looked through half a dozen lighting stores before finally picking out some new lights for the front of the house to replace the faded cheap ones the builder put in
  • we considered going to Yorkdale mall, but the parking lot was a madhouse so we left (note to Yorkdale - we were in a spending mood, your loss!)
  • we drove back to our neck of the woods, stopping at a farmers' market and buying some freshly picked raspberries
  • we returned to the antique shop, which was finally open, and bought the boat! Love it.
  • we came home and I made a raspberry cheesecake with raspberry coulis, while DH installed the new lights on the house. Love the new lights! (and of course, love cheesecake! YUM)
Now DH is napping and I'm playing contests as usual. I've found a few to add today... and please do enter my Affordable Baby Organics giveaway! It's such a nice prize (wish I could enter) and there are hardly any entries so far.

For baby:
  • Win a Puj Go Sling at Guessing All the Way! Ends on July 19th, I believe, as a winner will be chosen on the 2oth.
  • Win a pregnancy journal at the Sure Baby blog. Ends July 31st.
For the ladies:
For those who sew:
  • Win some Japanese fabric charms from Rae Gun Ramblings. Ends July 31. One time I won some Japanese charms and they never did come :cry:. That wasn't from this blog, though!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Every day is like Sunday...

Ahhh, I'm just being kind of sarcastic. No, my life's not as depressing as a Morrissey song. (Although it is kind of silent and grey out today.)

Our fence is still not done - they are finished the back and side, but not the front gates yet. We opted for a nice lattice double gate with a removable post (in hopes we can get a machine in for grading & post-hole-digging when we get around to building a deck). The fence company is doing about 10 houses on our street so they are doing all the easy work first, I think. I have been very happy with them, actually - the fence looks great, they are taking the time to level each piece of wood so it is nice and straight, they have been relatively quiet, work hard, and clean up after themselves. The company is Can-Do Fence and Deck, if anyone's looking for a fence recommendation in our area (Markham-Stouffville).

Some giveaways for today:

For baby:
For the ladies:
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to Jumeau (bags/belts) at Living as Mom. Ends July 29th.
  • Win a Japanese Weekend (nursing/maternity) top at Rave and Review. No, don't, because I really want to win one! Ends July 30th.
For anyone:
  • Win a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free at A Simple Kinda Life. Ends July 27th.
  • Another chance to win a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free at The Giveaway Diva. Ends July 24th.
  • Another chance to win a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free at The Money Jar. Ends July 21st.
  • Win an In Balance Blanket at Mommy Goggles! Ends August 3rd.
more to come...

and don't forget to enter my own giveaway for an organic baby onesie and hat from Affordable Baby Organics!!! Ends July 23rd.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Affordable Baby Organics - Coupon Code & Giveaway! (ENDED 7/26)

Oh! I am so excited to be hosting a giveaway for AffordableBabyOrganics. Let me tell you a little about this online shop.

A mom is looking for quality, organic clothing, but it is all so darn expensive (sound familiar?). She's sure she can find it at a more affordable cost - and she does! Not only that, but she shares her finds with the world by opening up her own online store. This is how Affordable Baby Organics was born.

So what is on offer in the store? Affordable Baby Organics stocks organic cotton clothing by Organic Beginings (a Canadian company!). These sweet onesies, hats, pants and (coming soon) tees were developed by a Canadian mom and come in gorgeous, vibrant colours. The onesies have a roomy rear that accommodate cloth or organic diapers as well - bonus!
They also carry organic Baby Legs, and even organic baby slings and carriers by HugaMonkey and Karma Baby.

Now for the best part. As I'm sure you noticed, besides Organic in the company name, is Affordable! And they really mean it. Organic onesies are now on sale from $9.80 to $12.50 each (US dollars) - and right now if you buy four, you get one free with coupon code "BuyFourGetOne"! Um, yeah! US addresses also get free shipping (maybe us Canucks will too, one day soon!).

Here are some points to consider about the onesies:

Eco-Friendly Features:
• 100% Certified Organic Cotton

• Made in Fair Trade Facility

• Dyed with Eco-Friendly, Low-Impact Dyes
• Enzyme Washed for Extra Softness

Organic, check. Fair trade, check. Supporting both Canadian and mompreneur companies, check. Affordable, check. Soft and smart design, check. Ultra cute, check. My criteria are met!

Ready to shop? You can get a 10% discount off their already low prices by using the coupon code "emilyisland10"! (Please note you can only use one coupon code or offer per purchase)

Affordable Baby Organics is sponsoring a giveaway on my blog! I got to choose the prizes, and I went with an adorable gender-neutral outfit (cute, yes?!):

Ready to win? One lucky blogger will receive BOTH the Organic Beginings Apple Green Organic Cotton Onesie (in the winner's choice of size, 6-12 or 12-18 months) AND the matching Apple Green Organic Cotton Knot Hat (one size, fits 0-18 months). Yeah, BOTH the items pictured! Oh, if only I could enter!

  • OPTION 1: Create a blog post about AffordableBabyOrganics & in the post link to your favorite product on their website. Leave the link in your comment for me to see. It doesn't have to be long or time-consuming - a quick blog post with a link will do!
  • OPTION 2 (new!): Add their button to your blog sidebar

    Affordable Baby Organics

  • OPTION 3 (new!): make a purchase from Affordable Baby Organics before the end date of this giveaway & tell me what you bought (just 'cause I'm curious!)
Any one of these can count as your mandatory entry OR as an extra bonus entry for those of you who have entered already!

Do your mandatory entry first please, or your comments will be deleted and not considered for the giveaway! Make sure your email address is either visible in your blog profile, or leave it in at least one comment - otherwise I won't be able to tell you if you win!

(leave a separate comment for each bonus entry!)
1. Follow AffordableBabyOrganics on Twitter,
2. Sign Up for the Newsletter on AffordableBabyOrganics
3. Follow my blog on Google Friends
4. Add my button to your blog
5. Link back to my giveaway on your blog (in your post about AffordableBabyOrganics if you like) and leave the link for me to see.

Who can enter: residents of Canada and the US
When: I will accept entries until Sunday, July 26th at 11:59 pm EST (comments after that time will not be published), and do the draw with a randomizer on Monday, July 27th.
How: I'll email the winner and post their name on my blog (on this post and probably on a fresh post as well - 'cause I know I hate checking back a million times to see if I won something or not! :) The winner will have 48 hours from my email to get back to me or I will re-draw.

I was not compensated in any way (product or payment) for this post. So the disclaimer is, I have not tried out any of these products - though I'd love to - but based on the information I have, I'm all over them. These are just my opinions.

Images courtesy of AffordableBabyOrganics

This giveaway has ended - and the lucky winner is Morgan from Mon Petit Amour!

Unspilt milk

The crying part I can forgive myself for... hey, it's freakin' sad to be me just now.

But I must say that the nurse called from the prenatal care centre today and let me know that (despite my probably incoherent message on their machine yesterday) they are refunding the full amount and hope to see us next time. I'm not sure if that's their regular policy for women who have lost pregnancies or if the weeping triggered sympathy. However, I am grateful that they waived the admin fee for my situation. I mean.. it's not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, it just seemed like a crappy thing to lose that on top of all the hopes, wishes, dreams and happiness I'd packed into 10.5 weeks.

And of course her call this morning unleashed a fresh torrent of tears... My husband had called earlier and we had been talking about what might happen with the fee, and he said I just need to "deal with it and get on with things." I so took it wrong, I think... I felt like he was saying that about my sorrow over the loss and not just about speaking with the class organizer. I didn't say anything but I do feel like he's growing impatient with me being sad. I still don't think he really gets why I am 'still' sad and not back to the cheery, happy-go-lucky Emily he loves. I can fake it and even feel okay for a day here or there but I don't think this pain goes away that easily.

And then I had a nightmare about a baby shower I have coming up, it's for my best friend. I dreamed that I lost it at the shower and everyone thought I was just being a selfish jerk because nobody knows about our loss. (My best friend does know but she respects me not wanting to tell others). arghhhh This is not what I want my life to be about!

As usual, I have found some giveaways today -

For baby:
  • Win an alphabet or numbers art print and your choice of two cards by SweetBeets (a Canadian company!) at {Natural} Mommie. Ends July 25th.
  • Win an item of your choice by Picaflor clothing at Go Graham Go! Ends July 30th.
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to Bug & Pickle at Simply Stacie! Ends July 29th.
  • Win an Eco Fleece Sleep sack (size small in blue or pink) by kohlrbaby at {Natural} Mommie - I'm late on this one, it ends tonight, July 16th!
  • Win an awesome looking baby gift pack from Verona Organics at Your Mama Reviews! YMR was impressed even though she didn't want to be! That says a lot! Ends July 23rd.
  • Win a personalized alphabet print (love!) by Penny People at Mon Petit Amour! Ends July 21st.
For the ladies:
  • Win a Rock and Roll Mom tank top by PeaceLoveMom at A Giveaway Everyday. Ends tonight (July 16th) at midnight!
  • Win a $25 gift certificate to Passion Spice (maternity/nursing lingerie that is actually sexy!) at Katydid and Kid! Ends July 20th.
  • Win a $25 gift certificate to Layers Clothing at Flying Giggles & Lollipops! Ends July 29th.
For anyone:
  • Win a $30 gift certificate to Gorgeous and Green (another Canadian company!) at My Mom's View. Ends July 24th.
more to come...
and I'm going to be posting my very own giveaway later today so watch for that! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I was okay until...

I had to call and cancel the pre-natal classes I'd registered us for.

Everyone told me to get in early because the classes fill up. I am not glad I did that.

I had the m/c over three weeks ago (well the start of it, I'm still bleeding - TMI I know) and I kept putting this off to call and cancel. I called today and left a message but broke down in the middle of it.

You know what sucks? I mean, rubbing salt in the wound kind of sucks - they have a 20% 'administration fee' if you cancel. The price was $175. It's not about the money... it's more the concept of profiting from tragedy. I can see if we just decided not to go, or if we found another class we wanted to take instead, or if we called a week ahead of time... but that's not the case.

The class doesn't start for another 4.5 months and they typically are turning people away because they get so many people wanting to take the classes.

I'm just feeling... sad and ticked off, mostly just sad... I have that little kid feeling "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" The whole situation. I'm all irrationally angry that I have seven friends with healthy pregnancies and I was and now I'm not.

Just needed to vent a little... I'm feeling sorry for myself

I'm trying to stay positive, but...
oh, it's sad


Ooh, exciting!

Many exciting goings on over here!

First and probably only really exciting to me and my husband (maybe the dog), is that the fence is FINALLY going in today. By the end of today we should have an actual yard, not a communal football field. Yay! We moved in to our newly built house in October of 2007, so it's been ages without any backyard privacy. Kids have cut through our yard to get to the nearby high school (last year there was a huge teenaged fight in the backyards), the neighbours' toddlers constantly run through the yard (love kids but not necessarily uninvited kids) and we hardly use it because it feels like we're on display. No more! And I can finally start doing some landscaping beyond my vegetable gardens (which are doing great, btw!).

Okay on to exciting news for my readers (and me!). I'm in the process of sorting out a few (three!) upcoming giveaways here on my blog! Something sexy for the mamas, something organic for the tots, something helpful for wannabe parents. That's all the hints I'm giving! You'll have to come back to see. May I recommend following me? Be the first to know! ;)

And now for some giveaways I've come across out there today...

For baby:
  • Win a Twilight Turtle at anti-supermom! I actually have one of these already (no, I'm not entering the giveaway myself!) and it is pretty darn cool. I can't wait to have a little one to enjoy it. I'm not sure when this giveaway ends, but it just started on the 10th.
  • Win a custom Bloomers Designs onesie at First Comes Love... Then Comes Marriage! Ends July 19th.
  • Win a pair of See Kai Run or Smaller shoes at The Bragging Mommy! Love their shoes. Ends July 20th.
  • Win a whole pile of baby items from Coco Baby Boutique at Organic Girl! Ends August 7th.
  • Win a set of Bummas cloth wipes at Gobs of Giveaways! Ends July 24th.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I smell chocolate banana bread...

and it smells heavenly. I can't wait until it comes out of the oven! Yum!

As a personal update, I have gotten the blood results and my levels have dropped off completely. So, no complications, no further drama (fingers crossed), I'm 'fine' and back to my non-pregnant state. What a rollercoaster. It was annoying how perky the doctor was about it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vote for me on Facebook!

If you are on Facebook, I would love it if you voted for me in the Kia Forte contest. I think you can go directly here to do so - but if not, you can add the app and my photo is recently added, the title is "Getting licked on the face, not my forte" and it looks like this:Yes, my husband thinks it's very funny to act like he's going to kiss me but instead lick me on the face. Ugh.

I know when another photo already has something like 3500 votes (to my 6) and it's of two cute kids that I'm probably not going to win. But I'm an eternal optimist.


I hope if you have a chance you'll read today's earlier post about the art exhibition. It just got a little long so I decided to do the giveaways list in a new post.

Between the miscarriage and the art show I am a little behind on my giveaway postings. So if you enter a lot of giveaways please check that you haven't already entered these ones. Otherwise, I hope there is something new here for you!

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:

Art exhibition stories

Well, I am back after a long weekend at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. I don't know how many of you have done trade shows but it is absolutely exhausting. It's not just the set-up, the long hours (Friday, for example, I was downtown at 6:30 am - meaning awake at 4:30 - and didn't get home until 9 pm, then worked until 11 at home), and the exposure to the elements (we had about 2 hours of torrential downpour on Saturday, the rest was very hot and sunny), it's constantly being 'up and on' that is so tiring. If you have worked retail you know what I mean. My smile was so fake by Sunday it was more like a snarl. It's a wonder people talked to me at all.

Nevertheless, it was a good show for me as always. It was my tenth (!) year at the TOAE and despite a city workers' strike (that means garbage hasn't been picked up in the city of Toronto for more than three weeks now) and the weather, the show went on much as usual. I had a few crazy things happen though!

On Saturday we were standing away from the booth a bit, chatting with friends, when a squirrel ran into my booth. He sat there for a few seconds, looked at the paintings, then decided to jump into one. Not onto - he wasn't trying to climb it - but into! My paintings are of water if that helps set the scene. So he jumped headfirst into a water painting and of course bounced off. He sat there for a second, considering, then made a second attempt! At this point, my husband brought our dog into the booth and chased the squirrel out. The squirrel then ran around the back and up the walls of the booth, along the top and was all set for a third attempt when the dog finally scared it away. Luckily the painting was only lightly scratched by squirrel claws and easily repaired with a fresh coat of varnish.

Another weird thing that happened was that a young man (late teens or early twenties) came into my booth, and considered the paintings for a long time. Then he walked up to me and said loudly, "Don't you think you're overcharging?"
I hardly knew what to say. I explained that I have been painting for many years, that I exhibit internationally, that my work has been featured in magazines (most recently on the cover of January's Style at Home magazine), on television (often on HGTV) and is in galleries that set my prices. I mentioned that he could find comparable prices at many of my peers' booths around the show. I talked about how this is my job, and one painting not only represents three weeks' worth of work for me, but I also incur the hidden costs of studio expenses, supplies, advertising, web design, professional fees and taxes. I talked about how my hourly wage is probably less than he makes per hour, yet I probably (based on his age) have more education. I mentioned the numerous paintings I'd sold the day before (not to mention over 12 years of exhibiting my work) and suggested that fair market economy demonstrated that the valuation of my paintings was appropriate.

"Yeah," he said, "but it's just water." And walked away.

I shouldn't have bothered even talking to him. I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish by making such a comment. Was he trying to say he loved it but couldn't afford it? Was he a painter who isn't successful? Was he just ignorant? Was he trying to antagonize me personally, or just looking for a fight or someone to rant to? I have no idea what his motivation was. It was simply bizarre.

The only other thing that was a little nasty about the weekend was that there was a bench directly behind my booth that became a camp site for some homeless guys. They did not disturb me and were not even visible from the front of the booth - in fact, they were downright helpful to some of my fellow artists with less stable booths, when a gust of wind threatened to topple displays. But they smoked CONSTANTLY and so I spent the entire weekend engulfed in cigarette smoke. It was pretty gross. I feel like my lungs need a bath.

Anyway that was my weekend - I had a lot of friends and family stop by, even some of my blog readers which was very cool! I got a chance to catch up with some artist friends who I don't see much. I spent the entire weekend with my husband which was great. And made some money which is always a relief! I got lots of feedback on my work as well which is nice. Being an artist is a pretty solitary pursuit most of the time so it's nice to get out and hear what people think. Overall it was a good weekend. But I sure am glad to be home and finished with the show for another year!