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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Go to Hell, 2013

So I for one, am not sorry to see this year end. It has been one of the worst in my life.
And while driving home yesterday, my radio station was running a show with the question, "What song title describes your life this past year?" It got me thinking, and now I'm posing the question (slightly altered) to you:
What Book Title (not necessarily the content) Best Describes Your Year?

For me, I could go with any of these:

How about you? Has it been a year of increasing debt? Maybe this one is for you:











Been hating your diet?

Evenings been getting out of hand?


You get the gist. 

And here are my hopeful titles for 2014:




I hope the new year brings you everything you wish, and be safe out there tonight!

Peace out,
Kelly


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho!

Just a quick post to wish you and yours the happiest Christmas ever! We had a wonderful day in the Komm house: full of hugs, presents, chocolate and naps. All the best stuff:)

Merry Christmas!!

Peace out,
Kelly


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crappy Tire

I officially hate Canadian Tire.
Yes, this is a complain-post. You are warned.

Just thought I would share the letter I just finished writing to this illustrious Canadian institution, to reinforce my promise to NEVER recommend their services:

"We are completely unsatisfied with the "service" we received on Nov.21. I only booked with your store--even though it was more expensive--because I could make an appointment, instead of the walk-in service at your competitors. I couldn't afford to spend hours waiting for my tires. Oh, the irony!
I asked the woman I booked it through how long it would take, and she assured me that by making my appointment for 9am, it would definitely be ready by 11:30am, as it should only take an hour. I told her I needed to pick up my daughter from school and would have to go by that time. She told me she would make a note of it in my order, and that I should remind them when we arrived that morning. She also told me the tires for my car would be ordered promptly. My husband took the car in that morning, as was told they "might" have the tires we needed. Might? He was also told they were running late due to a mechanic not showing, but should be able to get our car done in time for him to pick up our daughter. (For the record, if you have that many vehicles to work on and less staff, you should call your customers and offer to rebook them instead of wasting their entire day. Apparently our time is of no value to your, only our money.)
At 11am, and again at 11:30, my husband asked and was told of them running even more behind. We had to arrange for someone at the last minute to pick up our 4-year-old from school and inconvenience our friend further to drop our daughter off to my husband. Past 4 HOURS of sitting around your service department, my husband was told the car should be done by 1:30pm, even though it was still sitting in the parking lot. After 2pm, my husband had the foresight to arrange for someone to now pick our son up from school, since his hope of our vehicle being ready in time for that had dwindled. We inconvenienced another friend to do that, and by this time I had been waiting at my job for a ride home for some time. After 3pm--over 6 HOURS after bringing in our vehicle--my husband and daughter left (and I'm sure it was great fun keeping a 4-year old occupied for more than half that time in the service department) but not before forking over almost $700 for our rims and tires. He wasn't even offered any sort of discount or compensation for his entire day being wasted by the incompetence and mismanagement of your team, not to mention the people we inconvenienced to pick up our children, and my time wasted waiting for a ride home after work.
A simple offer to rebook could have avoided this mess, but once it began, management should have offered a taxi service for my husband and daughter home, or at the very least some sort of compensation or discount for all the trouble we were caused. This sort of customer service is unacceptable and appalling considering the money spent and I can't imagine we will ever visit your store again, nor ever recommend your company to anyone we actually like."

*SIGH*
I know nothing will likely come of my complaint, but I know I feel better just doing the complaining. Isn't that terrible?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Procrastination Post #1

So here I am, quarter after eleven at night, trying to catch up on my NaNo word count...I'm too busy being distracted by my dirty house this weekend and I'm already behind! And then I'm online catching up on friends' blogs, and generally procrastinating, leading me here. 'Cause nothing makes more sense when you're procrastinating than to blog about the fact that you're procrastinating, right?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Zombieland!

Pretty exciting find at Walmart the other day! I love Alice in Wonderland, so I was pretty excited to find this:

I'm just crossing my fingers it's going to be full of this:

And not this:

Since it's published by:

Here's hoping! I'll let you know how it is!!

Later!
-Kelly

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ready?

I haven't posted in ages and I threw around the idea of posting a barrage of entries each about different aspects of what I'm up to, but decided against it. Instead, I'm gonna write one huge entry and throw that at you!

Ready?

GO!

First off, books. I finished the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet. SO fantastic, I loved it. And was a little more than peeved to see the third book, Cress, isn't coming out until February. Brutal.

I also read America's Cheapest Family for some money-saving tips. Found some
interesting ideas, although I refuse to freeze my milk:) Photocopied their budgeting forms and we'll see how they work!

I am currently flipping through Raising your Spirited
Child to hopefully get some tips on communicating better with my "spirited," (AKA "difficult") daughter. She is absolutely amazing, but her and I butt heads like a couple of Alpha rams.
I should also note, I was extremely discouraged when I first Googled different key words to try and find a book like this. Rather than be met with helpful links, I was inundated with terrible ones, leading me to websites for "Child Boot Camp" and many articles about how my daughter's strong-willed nature was my fault. Anyhow, if you're a parent with a kid like me, I recommend this book. So far, it approaches this situation with sensitivity and optimism.


Let's see, what next? How about writing!
I'm pumped for a November that I'm not in school! I'm excited for another year of NaNoWriMo!
First off, if you don't know what I'm talking about, go here immediately.
If you do, back away from your computer, stand, and let's do a happy dance together!
Commencing *SQUEEEEEEEE*
Allright, let's try to calm down:-D
Although it's only a week away, I'm torn between 2 different story ideas that I've had brewing...not sure which one to go with! Yikes! The only year I ever actually won this, I had my story outlined and organized well to begin with, so I suspect this year will be another shit-show. And I always have a blast competing with my girls Christal and Sherene<3

I've also been plugging away at a children's book that my immensely talented friend Jessica will be illustrating. Only one hint: it's based on a dream my daughter had about the tooth-fairy. I hit a wall with this one due to some personal issues confiscating my life, but I am now back at it and making progress! Yay!

I'm also really enjoying watching two different TV shows too. Anyone who knows me will know this is a HUGE deal, as I have major issues with people and their television addictions, But since I have moved into a house with no dishwasher (yes, first-world problem) and it my most-despised chore, I've found hooking up a pair of headphones to my iPhone and jumping on Netflix can turn this hateful task into a much more enjoyable task. So I'm currently watching through the beginning seasons of Glee and Once Upon a Time! Both so much fun and right up my alley:)


Lastly, I'm currently attempting a Pinterest project I found where you can convert a men's dress shirt into a dress for a little girl. I am presently battling the sleeves, so we'll see how that ends before I can say if this thing will work or not. Time will tell!

On that note, I should go upstairs and feed my kids...they sound like they're trying to break the sound barrier in their ridiculously dramatic cries for sustenance;)

Cheers,
Kelly

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Well, hi!

Man, it`s been almost 2 months since I last blogged! Pitiful!
Some huge changes in mine and the kids' lives the last few months, hence my online absence. Needless to say, I'm back and will do my best to stay regular! (That's soooo important;-P)

I'll catch you up with the books I've been reading!
When I last posted, I was reading "Goose Girl" by Shannon Hale. I banged up my dear friend's copy, which is always a good sign that a book was enjoyed! And it was! But I know this particular friend takes extreme care of her books, so I ordered her a shiny new one. I'm keeping her copy, which I have lovingly broken the spine of, and roughed up with affection. I look forward to reading other books by Hale. (I was recommended her YA novel titled "The Book of a Thousand Days" and was able to pick it up at the local Library Book Sale for $1.00!) Looking forward to it!

I finally tackled "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer and it was fantastic! Loved it! Such a great spin on the classic tale, and I ordered the next installment, "Scarlet," the day I finished it! It is sitting in my TBR pile, haunting me...




In keeping with the unconscious theme I was apparently on, I quickly picked up a
book recommended by the delightful 'Once Upon a Blog'. The premise fascinated me: A version of Snow White where the evil stepmother is Rapunzel. I'm about halfway through it, ad so far it is fantastic! I'm really enjoying Turgeon's style and this new twist on 2 classic tales!



On a personal note, the kids are both back in school, with Evan in second grade and Ella beginning kindergarten this year! Crazy, right?! I'm working several part-time jobs, and planning to resume my next semester of school in January. Which leaves me November for the first time in a couple years to actually be able to participate in NaNoWriMo!! Hooray!

Chat soon!
<3Kel

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What is this infamous "Sleep?"

So my house has turned into a death trap as we are in full-on packing mode, therefore disarray is abundant, to say the least. On the + side, moving day is in 9 days! Now I just need to get a day off to pack...

In my spare time, (HA!) I'm really enjoying the YA novel loaned to me by one of my BFF's, Christal, called "The Goose Girl" by Shannon Hale. It's very well-written with many undertones, and a good homage to the
Grimm faerytale. Only about halfway through, but a good read, so far!

Prior to this, I zipped through another title by Jodi Picoult - always a favorite. This one was "Second Glance" and it was one of her better ones, I feel. Several solid plot lines, her trademark twist at the end, and an overall fine book!




In addition to packing, I'm also working on two book trailers right now. One is for an American author, Jesse Giles Christiansen. His book, Pelican Bay, is a mystery thriller, and was super fun to create for. Sounds intriguing and spooky! The second I am just beginning, and it is for Canadian paranormal suspense author, Pauline Holyoak. Her book, Ultimate Sacrifice, is the third in her Merryweather Lodge series, and it sounds fabulous! In fact, it sounds intriguing and spooky too... odd...

Anyhoo, I suppose I better back to packing - something my children find immensely exciting, oddly enough. Crazy must run in the family!

Cheers!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent!

That's right! I thought I'd give the recipe I pinned on my Pinterest a try! It led me to the blog "Why Not Sew? Quilts." I ended up looking around at different recipes, but this one was the most concise, had pictures, and included a link to where her recipe was tested against a store-brand version. So I went for it.

In the end, I'm happy with the result, but there are a few notes I'd add. SO I'm posting Why Not Sew's recipe below, with my notes added in - in pink, naturally:-)
~~~

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

In the spirit of Laura Ingalls, with wash day being Monday, here's a little recipe for homemade laundry detergent you can use tomorrow, Monday!

wash on Monday
iron on Tuesday
mend on Wednesday 
churn on Thursday
 
clean on Friday
 
bake on Saturday
 
rest on Sunday 


from Little House in the Big Woods


* I use these utensils for detergent making only. They all stay in the pot until I make a new batch.
Estimated cost is $6.00 for 576 loads (depending on soap used and amount used per load, ONE BOX of Borax and ONE BOX of Washing soda)
The savings is incredible. (This is not entirely accurate, as up here in Canada, prices vary and what-not, but I would estimate that I spent about $6 or $7 dollars on these 2 loads and I filled 3 bottles totaling 12.7 litres. We'll see how many loads it gives me.)

You will need:

1 bar of soap (any kind you want)(Whatever colour your bar is, that 
will be the colour of your detergent-if that matters to you. Also, it's scent will be
the most prominent in your batch. Lastly, she made a note that some people found their batch too thick and to cut down to 1/2 bar of soap. Mine does seem very thick as it's cooling, so I would recommend that.)1 cup of Borax,
1 cup of washing soda (This was difficult for me to find,so I found a recipe here that showed me how to easily make some.)
a big pot ( that holds more than 2 gallons)(I would go with
at least 2.5 gallons, or 5 litres.)a grater
a funnel
a long spoon
2 empty gallon jugs/containers



Grate your bar of soap into your pot.


Fill one gallon jug and pour water into pot with grated soap. Cook until the grated soap dissolves.(This does not take long.)


Add the Borax and washing soda.


Bring to a boil. It will coagulate. (Okay, so this should be brought to 
a SLOW boil. A fast boil will result in a wicked-fast reaction and an
overflow all over your stove. Yep. That happened.)

 Turn off the heat. Add 1 gallon of cold water. Stir well.


Pour 1 gallon of your detergent into each container.


A funnel helps tremendously.


Now you have 2 gallons of (OUTRAGEOUSLY HOT, BURNING) homemade laundry detergent. (I left mine on the counter with the lids off. It's been 5 hours, and the containers are still quite warm to touch.) I use 1/2 cup per load. With the prices of detergent being outrageous, I feel really happy every time I make a batch of this.

This won't make many, if any, suds. Suds don't equal clean. It took a while to get that into my head. This detergent cleans wonderfully!
The detergent should thicken / coagulate when it cools. Usually within 24 hours!
(Also, with clean-up at the end, this all took only about 45 minutes.)
Let me know if you make any or if you have any questions.

Happy washing!
~~~
SO in the end, I made 2 batches because I kind of effed up the first one, but I'm happy with it all. I have yet to use it as it seems like it will be cooling until fall with this weather, but hopefully I can try a load tomorrow. The one change I did make was to add some essential oils to the finished batch, as I chose Sunlight bar soap for the cleaning power, but the shit smells like Pledge wood polish! I don't really want my clothes smelling like that, so I added some lavender/mandarin essential oils and it smells much better. I'll be sure to post after I've washed with it too, so we'll see how it works!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reading and Stuff

Reading Update! ('Cause I know you were just dying to know what I'm reading:)

I last posted that I was muddling through The Hickory Staff by Robert Scott and Jay Gordon, but I gave up. It's not something I do very often, but I've just decided I don't have the time for certain books, and unfortunately, that's one of them. It's just freakin' gigantic, and moving way too slow for me.

I basically reached my hand into my TBR pile and randomly pulled one out. Turned out to be Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - one I've been meaning to tackle for awhile, but kept getting turned off by the lack-lustre review of friends. I'm halfway through and I can say this about it: it's a slow read, not a page-turner. She's created characters that are strangely compelling through their total ordinariness. It's quite bizarre that I'm still interested in finishing this, as I don't usually stick with the uber-slow ones (As exhibited by the above title...) so go Niffenegger! I can't explain why I'm enjoying this one. I suppose it just works out that certain books work at certain times.

Also, this week brought the end of school for my kids!! Hooray!! My son is officially finished grade 1, and my daughter is a preschool graduate! I'm not ashamed to say my son totally kicked ass on his report card too. That kid totally rules. Their school finished off the year with a talent show (of course Evan practically raced to sign up for that;) and an indoor hamburger lunch for everyone. Once the bell rang at the end of the day, I was deafened by the cheers of students ringing in summer break. I thought that only happened in movies. Nope.
Unfortunately, our summer of fun is no longer in the realm of possibility, but hopefully we can still fit in a few of the plans we made despite the sudden changes. So far it's not looking good, as our first plans (to go to the Calgary Zoo this weekend) were kiboshed by Mother Nature and her "rain" of fury on Calgary this past week. But, stay positive, right?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Help?

I had an interesting talk today with some other women - who happen to be Moms. We were discussing most women's difficulty in asking for help, even when you desperately need it. Why is it that when we are at our most vulnerable, our very weakest, that we still feel the need to put others before ourselves?

"I don't want to put her out.."
"I don't want to be an inconvenience..."
"She had other plans..."

It seems ludicrous when I think about it: if a friend of mine were in my position, I would give her the shirt off my back, yet I have SO much trouble accepting even the smallest of aid with things. Is it pride? A lack of confidence? WTF?!

So that will be my goal over the coming months...to ensure I take the best care of my children (and myself) I'm going to accept help - even ask for it! (If needed.) But in baby steps:)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Focus!

Nothing like a completely devastating life event to change your focus, right?

While I was looking forward to several months off school to spend time with my kids, write my pants off, and generally take it easy for the first time in my life, apparently my lack of anything ever going the way I want it decided to kick in. I am now forced to change my focus and prepare to job hunt and create a new life plan for my children and I. My stress levels are at an all-time high, yet in true Kelly-form, just when I don't have the time to think about writing, my creativity nags at me.

I wanted to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo next month with some friends, but as usual, my word count will likely suck, as it appears I'll be now working full-time along with taking care of my kids. Booooo!

BUT! I still intend to write as much as I can. Another typical Kelly behavior is to cram as much into my life as possible, without killing myself:) And nothing like staying inhumanly busy to take your mind off your own misery. On that note, I'm working on outlining my new book to begin writing it! It's a paranormal piece - a first for me, so we'll see how that goes! I'm also editing my completed YA fantasy, Aryx. And I'm slowly working on an illustrated children's picture book with my friend and talented artist, Jessica Casson.

So I can do all that, right? Totally.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sometimes things happen that forever alter your life. I'm having one one of those this month.

While I don't know how this is going to end, I am doing my best to stay positive:
- I am trying to only spend minimal time feeling sorry for myself / sobbing incessantly. This is hard.
- Bake like 13 Dwarves are coming over. Seriously. Bakin' like a damn fool.
- Count my blessings. I have 2. One is six and one is four, and I am soaking in their awesomeness as much as I can these days.
- Plan ahead. While I am uncertain as to what my future will hold at this point, I love to organize and am covering my ass and planning ahead for things as much as possible.
- Clean. This is the best tool to fight emotional outbursts, I find! Gonna cry? Scrub that toilet! Angry as shit? Stomp around the house dumping garbages!

Honestly, staying positive is so hard, but I find so important in what I am dealing with. How else will I get through this except to continually remind myself of my own awesomeness? Right? Right!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

FREEEEDOMMMMMMMMmmmmmm....

So Friday marked the last day of my semester and while for the last 4 years this is always cause for celebration, (at least until 2 months later when the next semester starts) this is an extra special one. After feeling extremely burned out for the last few months, and knowing I have about a year and a half left of school, I've decided to take a few months off before starting my next semester. So today marks my first day off until JANUARY.
I keep stumbling over my own feet racing to my bed for sleep! (Well, not quite, but that would happen if I tried to run to bed.) Instead, I've been cleaning my house, as it's been super neglected the last few weeks. I was careful to take many breaks (I know you were all concerned at me overworking) so I also happened to finish the new Dan Brown book (quite excellent - pick it up).
I'm pretty excited at the prospect of all that I now have time to do! Oh, the writing that will get written! Oh, the books that will get read! Oh, the baking that will get...baked!
On that note, I'm going to continue the book I didn't finish before I started my last semester: The Hickory Staff. Amazingly enough, I remember it well enough to continue where I left off! (That is truly remarkable, for me).
On another note, I have a friend that revealed to me how "addicted" she
is to the Harry Potter films but has NEVER - brace yourselves - NEVER READ THE BOOKS. I nearly had an aneurysm, as this woman is not illiterate, she enjoys reading! But anyways, I'll stop my snobby book rant. You know who you are! I'm coming for you! (And I'll bring my copy of the first HP book, and you'll read it! And you'll love it!) So now that I've publicly outed you, I'm off to bathe my kids:)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

SO done...

Yesterday my daughter and I hit up the playground near our house for some fun. There were already several moms there with their younger children (that hadn't reached school age.) I sat and read for a bit between pushing Ella on the swings, climbing with her, and generally watching her enjoy life.
What I also watched, were some of the other moms, toting their newborns and crawling babes. I remember
that stage well, and BOY, seeing it on these handful of women made my uterus want to shrivel up. Some of these poor ladies had breastmilk stains on their shirts and you could tell they hadn't washed their hair in a while. I do not miss those days, and while our adventures tend to include making it to a bathroom on time rather than diapers, I'll take it!
Sometimes a movie or tv commerical will tug at my heartstrings and make me consider the possibility of maybe thinking about possibly, maybe, possibly, maybe...
But no. I'm done. Sooooooo done:)

Monday, May 27, 2013

This Week

Happy Monday everyone!

Rather than dwell on the fact that it's the first day of the week, I try to spend my Mondays looking ahead at the week. I'm a control freak and I like to know exactly what's coming my way:)

This is the last week of my semester, and I have 2 essays to complete by Friday, May 31st. Unfortunately, these are my focus, and I totally can't procrastinate. One is virtually finished, but the other is a long one about Ophelia from Hamlet and I'm struggling to get through it.

Despite my essay push, I have derby practice on Monday and Thursday nights, and I've missed the last few due to school. I'm really going to try and get there. I love it and it's great stress-relief. Plus my derby sisters always make me feel better no matter the shitty day, week, month or year that I've had!

I spent most of my weekend putting off my essays (bad girl) but on the plus side, I finished listening to the audiobook of The Hunger Games. I was really skeptical about this one, (as I am about any book that gets the level of hype it did) but I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed the gore of The Games, muddled through the angsty teenage parts and am left lukewarm about Katniss, but looking forward to reading the next one.

I also began a new book, despite my better judgement (hand slap). I don't usually read anything not related to school while I'm in school, but with only a matter of days left and no assigned reading, I gave in and cracked open the new Dan Brown. I'm only a wee bit in, but already enjoying my poor decision:) I'm so glad to dig into the HUGE pile of TBR books I've been carefully building during this last semester.

The rest of this week will hopefully bring many moments of essay inspiration so I can be done with this semester. This Saturday night I'm heading out to the bar with my life-long friend, Karyn for some well-earned live music. I'll actually get to wear make-up and do my hair! For a full-time mom, that IS a special day.

Hope this week brings you everything you need, too!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beginnings...

Hi there!

I've decided to begin a blog to keep myself actively writing through my time off from school (more on that later) and to hopefully get in touch with myself a bit (more on that later, too).
Ready to know all about me? Me too!
Stay tuned!!

Kel