the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

The heart of your home can never be big enough: how your dream kitchen could become a reality!

When we bought our house almost six years ago, it was a disaster.  Not untypical for Vancouver…it was absurdly expensive and in need of A LOT of work.  But…we saw loads of potential and knew we were getting in to an awesome neighbourhood, so we bit the bullet and dove in.

The first place we wanted to start was the kitchen…and, man oh man, did this kitchen need work.   We took down a wall to open the space up and basically ripped the entire thing apart.  There was no fixing what existed – we needed to start from scratch.  Luckily, my husband is quite handy, so we (and by “we” I mean he) were able to most of the work ourselves.

This was a one-sided galley kitchen.  The orange walls were what sold us.

This was a one-sided galley kitchen. The orange walls were what sold us.

We had to rip down a wall, add in a beam to create the open concept we desired.

We had to rip down a wall, add in a beam to create the open concept we desired.

You don't even want to know what we found in the ceiling!

You don’t even want to know what we found in the ceiling!

The finished result?  An open concept kitchen with sparkling white tiles, counter and cabinets.  For us, it is just the right mixture of modern and traditional…a one thousand percent improvement on it’s predecessor. Read more…

Momcabulary Monday: Groundhog Day

groundhogday1ˈgrau̇n(d)-ˌhȯg – ˈdā

Once your baby is born, you will enter into a cycle where the weeks that go by feel like one long day.  You’ll wake up, feed your baby, change your baby, put your baby to sleep, fall asleep (if you can) and wake up to do the exact same thing over and over and OVER.  It’s maddening and by the end of the first week you will be so sleep deprived that you will feel like you are losing your mind….which, by the way, you are.

Win a Vancouver/Fraser Valley 2014 Entertainment Book

Entertainment-2013BookSlantI don’t know about you, but I love getting a deal.  Whether it’s finding designer shoes for 60% off at Winners, or waiting for a coveted handbag to go on clearance at the Bay, I get a rush from finding a bargain.  I am LITERALLY that woman in the Ikea commercial….START THE CAR!!

So, needless to say, I’m a big fan of the Entertainment Book.  The 2014 edition is now available to consumers who want to see their hard-earned money stretch farther, without sacrificing their desire to dine out, travel and shop. Read more…

Mama, I’m scared: tips for helping your child cope with fear

IMG_0431Recently, my daughter got her ears pierced.  She is a rule-follower (we call her “the hall monitor”).  If Claire’s says she can’t take her earrings out for eight weeks…that’s that.  Never mind that Claire’s is not the boss of her (I am!) and that some rules need to be broken…especially when said ear becomes a tad infected.  Her earring needed to be taken out and washed thoroughly as some of the cotton wool used for cleaning had become lodged around the post.  I could tell it was sensitive, but gently told her what needed to be done. Read more…

Gripes from the Grind: In Sweden, Money’s No Issue

Swedish flagGuest Post by Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

I just came back from spending two months visiting my husband’s family in Sweden. To say we are getting a bum deal here in BC would be the understatement of the century.

It took me a month to figure out what was really different there when it came to socializing with friends. Then I figured it out: no one complained about money. No one complained about the cost of raising kids, no one complained about the cost of housing, and no one complained that they were struggling to make ends meet. And no, our friends aren’t rich, they are pretty much in the same boat as us.

But when I tell them about how much things cost here, they ask “How do people afford life?” And we all know the answer to that… most of us don’t.

So what’s so great about raising a family in Sweden? You’ve probably read articles about it before, so I’ll sum it up in a few points. Read more…

Is RCMP Barbie the best PR decision the Mounties could make??



Now for sale on (the official retailer for the RCMP) is RCMP Barbie!!  From the site:

*LIMITED EDITION* The Dolls of the World® Barbie® collection celebrates travels with Barbie® dressed in the ancestral clothing of her country. This Barbie® Doll of the World hails from the land of the maple leaf, maple syrup and the maple donut: Canada! Part of the Pink Label collection, RCMP Barbie® is dressed in the uniform currently worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties, as they are widely known. Her scarlet tunic is accented with the cross strap and belt, navy and yellow breeches and tall Strathcona boots while her Stetson can be removed to reveal her bright red hair. RCMP Barbie® comes in keepsake travel trunk packaging and includes a “pink passport” for the perfect way for Barbie® to travel across Canada, and the world, in style! Read more…

Momcabulary Monday: Yuppifide

east_van_2yup if eye-d

To make (an urban area, for example) attractive to young affluent residents or consumers.

What is happening to my neighbourhood!!??  When we moved in, there were cars parked on front lawns.  It was acceptable to chat to your neighbours.  Kids came out of their houses…during the day…and PLAYED.  In a block, you would see a woody station wagon, a beater Pinto and maybe a Merc (on bricks).

Fast forward to today…

Landscaped front lawns…curtains drawn and doors closed.  Kids practicing piano from after school until the sun goes down.  Bugaboos.  And…Range Rovers, Range Rovers, Range Rovers.

Is this Yaletown or East Van, yo??


Guilt-free snacking with iögo 0% with stevia extract

This was the summer of “Yes”.   Yes to BBQs, pizza nights, wine, parties, margaritas, wine, marshmallows, cotton candy, wine…you get the picture.  By labour day weekend, I felt like I was actually ready to go into labour!  My poor body was bloated, tired and paying for all of the poor (albeit delicious and fun) choices I had made over the previous two months.

So…this month, I’ve been doing a detox.  I’m on the wagon, eating healthy and exercising daily…and I’ve cut out sugar and caffeine. So far, it’s been awesome and I’m feeling great….but every once in a while I do get a craving for something sweet. Read more…

Ever have one of those weeks…and not a f*%king drop of wine in your house?

So…after a summer of blissful overindulgence, I have been taking a break from my beloved wine for the month of September.  It’s something I do every once in a while….partly to make sure I’m not actually an alcoholic, but mostly so that I can get myself back on track with health(ier) habits.


Read more…

Affordable child care for all…is it really too much to ask?

I feel very fortunate that I've been able to avoid having to pay for full-time child care for my kids.

I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to avoid having to pay for full-time child care for my kids.

I feel like I dodged a bullet when it comes to child care.  When my daughter was born, I took the full year of maternity leave.  When I returned to work, I did not have to worry about looking for daycare for her; my husband and I worked opposite shifts and my parents helped out, caring for my daughter two days a week.

A few years later, when my son was born, I again benefited from a full mat leave.  I went back to work part-time a year later, with my husband and mom taking over on the days I worked.  It wasn’t perfect.  My husband and I barely saw each other and we really had no social life (but who does with young kids, anyway).  However, at the end of the day, our kids were being taken care of by one of us at all times and, thankfully, we weren’t shelling out thousands (YES…thousands) of dollars a month on child care expenses. Read more…

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