Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day has been so many things for me.~

The educator in me sees it as I time to celebrate the birth of a great nation, one that celebrates the diversity of its citizens and provides opportunity to those that are willing to seize it. It is a time to recognize the many transformations that have happened in the 144 years that our country has taken its place on the world map.  What a great place to live

The mother in me sees it as the beginning of 60+ days of freedom!  No school, and therefore no work for me!  Warm summer breezes, rainy day crafts and summer nights where there is no bedtimes.  I completely lose the routine for the next two months...something that the kids love and causes me anxiety but we live through it!

Obviously this photo is not recent...but it reminded me of the easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy days that are ahead!

Happy Canada Day everyone!  Stay safe and enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two months is Too Long!

Well it seems that according to this blog that I fell off the face of the earth...but it has been the busiest 70 days that I have had in a long time....

Where to start...

Well competitive dance season came to an end ~ it was truly a great season for Miss Megs - she had several personal bests and handled herself like a pro throughout the season.  At the end of the season she also was involved in a production for a charity event in Kingston.  She also had the opportunity to take 2 workshops with SYTYCDC alumni Jonathan Arsenault (check out the photo!). Exams fell in between  - this was her first year studying the CDTA syllabus and I was very proud of her results!

We also celebrated Mac's 5th birthday with a Lego extravaganza...check out my facebook album for some great photos (way too many to post here!)

I filled in my spare time (note the sarcasm) with completing and altering dance costumes.  This weekend is our studio's annual Spring Recital and I am looking forward to seeing not only my pride and joy  (Megs and Mac) on stage but the results of my handiwork as well....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dancers and Illness - a crappy duet!

Oh the Spring brings many things, sunshine, flowers, dance competitions, allergies and flu....ughh...

As I prepare for our second competition (and I use the term our in the sense that I do the grunt work and Miss Megs does the hard work!), it seems that everyone around me is dropping like mad from colds and flu...I have considered wrapping Megs in a bubble but realize that it is not feasible unless I get an identical one for everyone in her numbers!

This morning my best friend posted that her daughter, Piper (Megs' bff) was under the weather with a cough and upset stomach (which Piper assured Kelly was the result of too much coughing!).  I noticed that our studio director is fighting a bug, one of our choreographers was off with a bug and when I picked up Mr. Mac he was in tears over his ears that "really hurt when I yawn".  Trust me there are not enough Lysol wipes to avoid my little dancer coming into contact with something.

And then I remembered a poem I read on a fav webiste created by dance moms for dance moms -  I thought I would include it here.  I found it last year when Megs and Piper came down with chickenpox, right before competition I might add, it really put humour into what is a dance mom truth!

The Night Before Competition

'Twas the night before Competition, when all through the house
Not a creature was worried - not even my spouse.
The rhinestones were glued to each costume with care,
And certain to blind every judge with their glare.

Our dancer was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of Platinum danced in her head.
And dad in his t-shirt, and me in my sweats,
Were just kicking back with a beer and some chips.

When up in the bedroom there arose such a clatter,
I fell off the couch and yelled, "What the hell is the matter?!"
Away to our girl's room, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and caught glimpse of...The Rash.

The red on the face of our girl let us know,
That this illness could threaten her spot in the show.
When what to my husband's mind should occur,
But the we'd invested to register her.

With a little calculation done frighteningly quick,
He said "we'd waste hundreds, if she truly was sick."
More rapid than switchleaps, the treatment they came,
And I diagnosed quickly and called them by name.

"Try Advil! Try Nyquil! Try a couple Aleve.
Put on Aloe or Cortizone or Benedryl Cream."
From the medicine cabinet at the end of the hall,
I dispensed every treatment and said, "Use them all!"

With thermometer in hand, I demanded a chance,
To check for a fever. "Damn, I hope she can dance!"
We took our girl's temp. and suspected the flu.
And I nearly passed out when it read 1-0-2.

And then in an instant, we lost sight of our girl,
Who ran into the bathroom and started to hurl.
As she wiped back her tears she sobbed, "This isn't fun."
"Competition's tomorrow, and I could have won."

She'd have been dressed to kill, from her head to her foot,
And no one could have beat her.  She's really that good.
A bundle of talent with a smile to delight,
Would have brought her top honours-- her God-given right.

Her jewels would have twinkled.  Her costume? Cranberry.
Same shade as her lipstick, as she'd shake to "Proud Mary".
She was born for this dance, and could nail it cold.
Leaving the judges to award nothing less than High Gold.

Her hairstyle--expensive, like the costume beneath,
And we'd mortgaged the house, just to straighten her teeth.
All in all you could say, we'd invested a ton,
It was like the stock market, but now she's Enron.

Alas, full of meds, dancer lay back in bed.
To console our dear daughter, we stroked the child's head.
We spoke not a word - too consumed with our fret,
Until dad broke the silence, "Why's her forehead so wet?"

I checked for myself, for I feared a cruel joke,
But found hope had returned, yes, her fever had broke.
We sprang form her room, and we danced down the hall,
With a good night of sleep, she'd compete after all.

We had rescued this weekend, for our daughter so dear,
More important: preserved hope for her Broadway career.
And we heard her exclaim at the next morning's light,
"I'm ready to dance, mom, yep, I'm feelin' alright!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Legofest...the beginning

They say that you want for your children what you did not have as a child....if this is the case I obviously have some deep seeded resentment over the lack of handmade birthday invitations!

From the time my kids have been able to give me input on what they would like their theme to be for their party (or in some cases the theme that I have given them!) I have been making their invitations.  Some of Meghan's past invites have included seed packages for a garden party, backstage passes for a Hannah Montana dance party and flip flops for a make and take flip flop party.

This was the invite that I made for Mr Mac's 2nd birthday party - a farm themed party on my parent's farm complete with pony rides and a cow pinata!

But I have to confess...Mac is truly is a second child!  Last year, his birthday fell in the midst of dance season and his sister's First Communion.  Unfortunately, his birthday was merely glazed over.....

But in true "Guilty Mama" fashion, I am back to focus on his birthday with a vengeance!

I asked my dear boy what he would like to do for his birthday...his 3 wishes ~ bowling, Lego and a cake!  And that is what he will have.  He nearly skipped into the bowling alley when he went with me to book his date and he was patient as he has ever been as I dragged him through Michael's, to get what I needed for his Lego invites.

I decided to keep it simple (amazing, I know and so like me lol!) - the invites needed to say Lego but I had to keep in mind that I had about 20 to make!  I decided on using the infamous Lego brick for inspiration.  What I came up with was a 6 stud Lego brick (which I now have found out doesn't exist) using 5 colours of card stock, some white cards & envelopes and my 1" circle punch.

I punched out all the circles needed and originally glued them to pieces of card stock that I planned to glue to the cards.....

But it seemed much too 2 dimensional for me, so I tried sticky foam squares......Success!

They look like giant Lego pieces...just what I wanted!  All that was left was to fill in the details of the event and decorate the inside and envelope!

I love easy to make things look nicely finished!  Now time to pack some into the message bag for school tomorrow, hand deliver some locally and send the others in the mail......I just hope my plan for the cake turns out as well....good thing the day before is Good may take some work!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dance Like No One is Watching!

This weekend, the kids and I made a trek to our neighbourhood Michael's to get materials for Mac's birthday invitations (check back for details).  While scoping out the store Miss Megs found this garden flag and I had to buy it!

First of all I love the way the Peanut characters dance....if you look at their faces they are lost in their own musical happiness just carrying out the beat as a message of musical joy!

My second reason for this flag is that it is the perfect flag to be flown during competitive dance season!  This sentence is one of the last words I whisper to Miss Megs as she heads out on stage because although she dances for her teachers, the judges, her team, at the end of it all it is all about her and her happiness!

The whole quote is this
"Dance like no one is watching -  Love like you will never be hurt -  Sing like no one is listening - And live like it's Heaven on earth"   ~ William Purkey

It is a terrific quote reminding everyone to live life to the fullest.  So we will fly this flag until the end of the season as a reminder as we pull out of the driveway on route to the studio or the competition venue....that we all need to be dancing like no one is watching!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Laura & Kelly's Excellent Adventure - Part 2 - The Beginning, Again!

In less than 24 hours, Miss Megs will begin her second competition season with her bff Piper, who happens to be the daughter of my bff, Kelly!

I am so lucky to be sharing this journey with them!  And am super excited as Kelly's older daughter ( and my pseudo daughter) Hailey is joining our ride for the first time this year...can't wait to watch her compete!

We have so many memories of our first year competing ~ "Tips up Ladies" ~ Ann, many fishbowls, the Germans, Diane, the armpit of the U.S.A~  But I am looking forward to making more memories as we start a new chapter with our new studio, Angela Maracle Studios..Already I am making my list ~ wine IV's, Mr Dressup, Bush Trimming....

I can promise everyone that it is never a boring ride when you are on one of our adventures and this year will be no different....stay tuned for details!

Miss Megs in Alice

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get Ready to be Shamrocked on my Birthday!!

I am sensing a theme this week, and the theme is obviously "My Birthday"!  It isn't very often that I head out to the local watering fact I rarely do...the idea of running into former students really gives me the creeps (and believe me it has happened!).  Tomorrow night I am making the exception!  I am off to the Bellevegas Boardroom for their Get Shamrocked for Gleaners Food Bank!

The Bellevegas Boardroom is a new establishment here in town....taking it's name from the nickname that we locals have long called our friendly city.  I know a few people who work/been there and they say it is out of this world....the classy, adult friendly bar that has been missing from Belleville for decades.  They have a great looking list of live bands that are set to play in the upcoming weeks.  Not only am I excited for tomorrow night but am hopeful that I have found a place for my friends and I to go, enjoy a martini, have a great gab and enjoy some entertainment!

Tomorrow being St. Patty's Day, Bellevegas Boardroom has linked up with our local food bank Gleaner's.   Making/bringing a donation for the food bank is ticket into what should be the best party in town!  Jessica Murphy ~ Rock 107 Lovely Lady/Dance Teacher Extraordinaire/Bellevegas Boardroom Bartender~ has secured us a VIP section for the evening!  What a great way to celebrate my birthday ~ helping a great cause, supporting a local business and sharing an evening with friends!  Hope to see you there!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey Hey It's my birthday!!!

Every year in March, two things happen, we have March Break and I celebrate my birthday!

Today I began the downhill glide to 40....and really I'm OK, if you take into account that I self cut some fringe to hide the ever deepening wrinkles on my forehead and have purchased a hair colour to hide some new found white twinkles!  But seriously birthdays are something I think everyone should relish and celebrate!

So what does a whimsical Walton do on her special day?  Nothing!  That's right, nada!  As a matter of fact I haven't stepped into a shower or out of my pajamas yet....pathetic?  Me thinks not!

It wasn't planned to be a day like this....originally I planned to go get keys cut to the dance studio, grab the remaining costumes, finish altering some costumes, apply some rhinestones and complete my list of things to grab at the dancewear store at the end of the week.  But...I didn't.

I did do things, a great many things, as a matter of fact, I filled my day with random self-serving activities.  I made phone calls to my grandmother and best friends.  I played games on the computer because I could!  I read the directions to my new Singer serger and convinced myself that I can teach myself how to serge (or whatever the verb would be).  I received a beautiful plant from a dear friend and mother of my godson. I ate cheezies for lunch and followed it with a dessert of Easter Cream Eggs.

It was a complete "Laura" day...unfortunately there was a little nagging voice that told me that "this is ridiculous" so I also organized the dancewear order and made a list of everything that I need to do this week!

One item on the list was doing my birthday blog so I guess I check this one off!  I thought I would share some of the wonderful gifts that I many people were so thoughtful....

Mac went with Daddy and bought me a new bead for my Pandora. He picked this out "'cause it will remind you of me!"
Here it is with my really is growing....

My sister, Leanne, gave me some money for shopping while we were in the States.  I decided to put it to good use on these super comfy Puma sandals/shoes!  They are perfect for what my bff Kelly and I call "in between" weather!

This was an unexpected but super gift!  A Singer Serger!  My mom and I having been drooling over them for years.  It so happened that while in JoAnn Fabric we came across a super deal and voila great present!

My good friend, Victoria, brought me over a beautiful plant, it looks so springy!  I hope I can keep it alive long enough to see spring!

One of the sweetest gifts...Miss Megs bought these for me with her own hard earned money....she is such a thoughtful person that way and I am so proud of her!  Thanks Megs!

Keeping with the birthday theme, I hope everyone is able to attend my birthday get together on St. Patty's Day at the Bellevegas Boardroom....all the details will be available tomorrow....


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fat Tuesday and International Women's Day

I have to tell you I am not a lover of pancakes....they are heavy little creatures, no matter how light and fluffy they claim to be....however, I am a stickler for observing dates on calendarS....bringing us to yesterday providing me with the materials for today's blog.....

Voila!  Pancake Tuesday chez The Walton's.  Buttermilk pancakes, turkey sausage, strawberries and locally made Maple syrup!

The story behind Shrove/Pancake Tuesday is the story of Mardi Gras (translation Fat Tuesday).  Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday are celebrated as days of indulgence before Christians start Lent, a traditional time of fasting and giving things up in preparation for Easter.  Rich ingredients such as eggs, butter, sugar and flour would be used up before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday) in order to avoid temptation to break the fast.Since I was a child, we have always had pancakes on this day - and so the tradition continues!

Yesterday was also International Women's Day, a day in which I believe is completely under rated.  Mabel's Labels, is one of my favourite, online/organization/kid necessity companies.  As if their labels are not the greatest, they produced an awesome video in celebration of International Women's Day that I just had to share.  I wish I had posted it yesterday but better late than never!
Hope you had a great International Women's Day and an even better Fat Tuesday!


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Glimpse Times 2!!

I wanted to start off by highlighting my friend's new blog.Just a glimpse...Shannon is the epitome of all things I am not, great stay at home mom, pagan and vegetarian...I can't wait to share in her experiences, recipes and journeys...I hope you will join us on her ride as well!

And back to me (tee hee)!

This past weekend was all about costuming, alterations and stretching my creativity!  Prior to this weekend I was having some serious fits, worrying that costumes were not going to arrive in time for me to alter and bling before competition season began at the end of the month!  Well the costume gods heard my prayers and a big box of joy arrived on the doorstep of our studio owner!

I thought I would share what's been going down, as well as the creative straw that almost broke this camel's back!

A selection of props that the dance moms extraordinaire have been working on....creative ladies, Michelle, Donna and Sue!

Michelle's husband made the great monkey bars, Michelle decorated them and I use them as impromptu hanging racks for my collection of costumes!

A beautiful tutu that I tacked (bad photo)....

Now for the costume that nearly drove me nutso!  Picture a "Black Eyed Peas" inspired hip hop.....the choreographer wanted the green covered in silver....thought about duct tape but decided on reflective tape....will look great once I finish!

A shot of both the green and reflective....

Just missing the extra tape to make solid, thick lines.....


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birthday Wishes and Prezzie Dreams

As my blog readers know (and I keep telling myself that you are out there), 2011 has been my year of change.  The Walton's have been sticking to our Budget Jars for two months, I have been trying to keep priorities in line and now my newest change...a Birthday Wish List.

Every year, friends and family alike ask what I would like for my birthday and every year like a responsible adult I reply, "nothing".  But really, this is a half truth.  In fact, I do want things, but I have convinced myself that asking seems greedy and immature.  Or, the things I want have been lost in a shuffle of things the children, the family, the house, etc, need and by the time the question is asked I truthfully have forgotten.

This year, I have decided (with the help of my bff, Kelly, who remembered many of my wants throughout the year) to actually make, share and hope for, a birthday list!

So here are some of the ideas...with pictures for those of you who are visual learners!

Lug Bag - I actually love two of these bags, both of which I can completely justify having, therefore needing both!
I love these colours too!

While we are discussing accessories...I must confess once the dreaded white stuff disappears my little toesies are crying to be free!  It is then that I turn to my tried and trusted Birk's.....I love the ones I have now, little bit earthy, little bit dressy...but fact is I need new ones!  These are the ones that I am hoping to snag this year down in Syracuse when we go on March Break....

Next on my list is an item that is a complete indulgence....I am quite happy with books in the paper form but I am secretly longing for an e-reader....a complete long shot gift but mucho appreciado should it appear!

Last, but certainly no least, is the old stand life has changed so much in the last few years....whereas before I would be looking for designer classic pieces that be suitable for work, dressy occasions, etc...I know find myself realizing that I can not crawl around the studio altering tutus in wool trousers!  That isn't to say that I am becoming a total "Schlumpadinka" but there has to be a happy medium between fun and functional....that being said here are a few pieces that are singing my tune

Well that's it!  And believe me, it feels really good!  I suggest if you have a special occasion coming up that you make a list of things you need/want and share it!  By the way, if you run into any of my family...most importantly James, please let them now about the items on my list!  I promise to do the same for you when it your special day comes around!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm back!!!!

Oh my goodness....the best laid plans of mice and men!!!

When I started this blog I had planned on being uber faithful and updating regularly....this vow came before I realized the amount of things I actually do in a day!!!

So what have you missed....

February started with a ridiculous amount of snow, which drove me to a state of wishing I could hibernate!!  But alas it was not to be so instead I baked, sewed and organized....

Recital and Competition costumes are order, in some cases, received and even altered!

February also brought the horse drawn sleigh rides, Superbowl parties and Family Day Skates!

Looking back on it, it is not so surprising that Walton's Whimsy went AWOL for a while...but rest assured I am back now!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Channeling My Inner Fly Girl....

January means the start of the second term of dance classes in our also means we are on the home stretch towards the competition season and after comp season comes recitals.  And recitals mean costumes!!!  Lots of costumes!!  In fact there will be close to 12 costumes in our house alone....oh the bliss of being a dance mom!!

Costumes mean sewing to me and it is the kind of thing I love!  I started sewing costumes last year, I really enjoyed the entire process - from being handed a package of fabric and notions right up to watching my creations on stage!  This year is even more exciting as I am lucky enough to be involved from the beginning of the process and I am making costumes for my little man too!

So this is what happened....

Mr Mac is in a Hip Hop class in which they are doing their recital number to MC Hammer's Can't Touch This.....

I am in Fabricland today, looking for fabric for my bathroom and Megs bedroom redo and I found the best deal on fabric!!  I quickly spotted this fabric.....

It is a delicious, silver, fantastic, fabric....which reminded me of .......

So now I am on a mission to re-create MC Hammer and the Fly Girls from In Living Color!  Little bit of a blast from my past but I can totally picture Mac and the little girls in his class kicking it old school!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wish List Wednesdays

I have to be honest I am copying one of the items on Wish List Wednesday from a Facebook post I made before Christmas.....It truly is what every mother, father, person-on-the-go needs.  And no it isn't more time in a day!!

It is a wireless key finder!  Seriously, how many times have you misplaced your keys and while wandering around your house searching for them have said..."I need one of those call buttons like the phone has, for my keys".  Okay so maybe I am the only one who says that..but still I think this thing is so cool!

It comes with 2 key fobs so you can find both your keys and your hubby's.  Check it out Wireless Key Finder.

My next wish list is a project that is sitting on my husband to-do list for a few weeks...eventually ....

I need this organized craft space in my living room! 

For anyone who knows my house, my living room is essentially split in 2.  On one half is our couches and TV...on the other half is my antique piano, the fireplace, computer and stacks of my craft stuff.

What I really would like, is a workable craft/storage space that is functional!

One would think that this would be easy, knowing that my husband is a carpenter, but just as the shoemaker's kids go barefoot, the carpenter's wife goes without the craft centre!

Here are some other that I enjoy and would love to incorporate.....  What do you think?