Monday, 28 March 2016

Book Review: After The Kill - A Jake Roberts Novel

After the Kill is the fourth novel featuring Jake Roberts.  The former police detective certainly attracts trouble wherever he goes.

This instalment picks up minutes after the previous novel, After the Goode, ends.  The introduction of the new characters is a bit long-winded, but necessary for the important plot points.  The killer in this book is a copycat in the style of Lori Powers, who we met in After The Evil.

I liked how all the books in this series tied together.  Characters carried over from one book to the next, even though their main jobs were done in earlier stories.  And Jake Roberts becomes an author throughout this series and they refer to the previous books inside this story which was a great sense of amusement to me.

Has Cary Allen Stone created more stories in Jake Roberts' universe?  I'm not sure.  He sure could.  The writing of these stories has gotten progressively better throughout the series.

This poor guy has been through enough crises and heartbreak in these books.  I hope, if his stories carry on, that Jake can find a quiet life after all the strife he's been through.  I know that doesn't make for a dramatic story, but I think Jake Roberts deserves his happiness!

Rainy Easter "Monday"

Today is "Easter Monday."  Not a holiday, not a "real" Easter related day.  Just a day where there's no school but there is work - for a lot people at least.  For us there's no daycare either (she takes it as a day for herself, to which I say "good for you!") so I took the day off.

And guess what?  It's raining.  Boo.  Yesterday was almost 20 degrees and sunny.  We had a fabulous time being at hubby's sisters eating and sitting around outside.  The girls got bubble guns and had a blast with them.  It was a great day.

Today I thought maybe we could get the bikes out.  Or at least the kids could go outside to play.  Looks like maybe that's not going to happen after all.  We do have plans to go visit some school friends this afternoon, but that's 5 hours from now.  That's a lot of time to fill.

On a different note, I'm actually happy to see the rain.  Hopefully it will wash away any remnants of snow and help my tulips grow.  They've been peeking through the soil for a week or more but it's just not their time yet.  I'm dying to get out into the gardens - it's only March though, not time yet!

Maybe I can get the girls to help me tidy away the Easter stuff (we have about 25 bunnies that only come out for Easter play) and return our living space to a room with, well, space.  But I think that will involve bribes with their own Easter treats.

What do you do with your school-aged kids when you're stuck inside on a rainy day?  My girls are 4 (almost 5 if you ask her) and 7.  They get tired of colouring but we did get some painting crafts from aunties yesterday - maybe we'll give that a try.

For now I need to find myself some breakfast and deal with some laundry so they're going to get tv time until I'm ready to find them an activity.  Enjoy your day readers!


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Book Review: A Place Elsewhere

If you like internal monologue, stream-of-consciousness type writing, this is the book for you.

Nigel Joslin is an adventurous hiker whose wanderings take him through the Scottish moors, as well as through many topics of speculation in this book.  I found it a really interesting read.  The only drawback I found was that I couldn't focus on his words for a long time - the deep thoughts required breaks for mental digestion.

With a fiction story I can usually gobble up the chapters and I often have a hard time putting the books down.  This book didn't work that way for me.  I did feel the drive to read it, but it wasn't a story I could get lost in.  Too much philosophizing for me to concentrate on for a big chunk of time!

The topics Nigel discusses are hugely varied, and he approaches and explains his thoughts quite clearly.  Even though he delves into a lot of science, introspection, and even the meaning of life, he doesn't lose the reader (unless they're like me and just need to step away for a few minutes to assimilate all the information he's presenting.)

I didn't know what to expect from this book.  I opened it only knowing it wasn't a work of fiction like most of my other reads lately have been.  The layout is a year in Nigel's life, and each chapter is a month.  The book opens with - you guessed it - a new beginning.  He does reach back through the months as the year flows along to return us to ideas mentioned earlier that he then delves deeper into.

For those of you who like to get inside other people's heads, I'd recommend this read.  Some of the topics and ideas Nigel pulls up and explains do sort of blow your mind.  While this wasn't my most favourite book of the last year or so, it does have the distinction of being the most thought provoking.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Three Thoughts I Had At The Dentist Today

Today I had a cleaning at the dentist.  I like going to the dentist.  Sure sometimes they poke and scrape a bit more than I'd like, but running my tongue over my super clean teeth is pleasure I greatly enjoy.

As a mom I really look forward to my visits to the dentist chair.  While I was there today I came up with 3 thoughts most moms likely have while reclining in the comfort of the dentists chair:

  1. Nothing - if you're a Mom (or a Dad) sometimes a few minutes where no one needs your attention is like a vacation.  Going to the dentist is definitely not a vacation, but if you can close your eyes, tune into the elevator music playing throughout the place, and block out the fact that someone has their arms in your mouth practically up to their elbows, you can almost pretend you're relaxing in a beach chair
  2. When's (fill in child's name here)'s next appointment?  Mom-thinking never turns off.  I was lying in the chair today thinking about my kids next appointment, and then mapping out the day's plan for that day (next month, as it turns out!)  I'm so excited to meet them at school, and rush them down to the dentist while manoeuvring around school buses and 10,000 parents also picking their kids up from school.  Always fun.
  3. Why do hygienists ask so many questions?  And they're never "yes" or "no" - they usually require a sentence of response.  So you fixate on the question and miss the second half of the story they're telling you and why the question was important, while waiting for the extraction of hands from your mouth so you can speak.  Conversation is hard in the dentist chair.  But you also relish the time to chat with another adult about anything!
Are there other things that run through a reclining parents mind when the kids aren't fighting nearby, or talking to you non-stop?  I'm sure there are.  If I missed any funny ones please add them in the comments!

Now that my teeth are squeaky clean I think it's time to start staining them up again with a nice cup of tea.  Oh ya, and no cavities!!

Until next time!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Review: Freddie Atlas - Musician

Freddie Atlas is a NYC based pianist, singer and songwriter.  Born in Montreal (a fellow Canadian!) Freddie had hoped to capture people's imagination since his early childhood.  By the age of 8 Freddie was playing Elton John hits on his grandmother's old, dusty piano.

He attended the Berklee College of Music where he received two of his four academic degrees.  After his schooling, Freddie relocated to New York City and began his career as a background singer for some up-and-coming talent.  You can view more of Freddie's bio on his website.

An excerpt from his biography on his Facebook page: "Freddie’s vision is to capture people’s imagination with the sounds of the human experience; psychology, impressions, time, universal love, pain and dreams. His style and sound are polarized, bringing contemporary visuals to the classic ponders and orchestrations of humanity."

Freddie's sound is unique.  He strives to combine 19th Century piano sounds and impressions with modern 1990's music.  He currently has two songs on YouTube that he has asked me to review for him.

The first song I listened to was My Valentine.  The piano melody perfectly compliments the lyrics and mood of this song.  As a pianist myself I really enjoy a well played piece.  After a little researching I found this song was actually a cover of a Paul McCartney song from 2012.  I know, shame on me for not just knowing that, being a self-professed music lover!  Strangely I think I enjoy Freddie's version of this song, especially the melodic piano playing, better.

Wicked Game was the second song I was asked to listen to.  I love Chris Isaak's version of this song from 1989.  Freddie's version is very close so I enjoyed this song very much.  The piano work in this song seems more hauntingly appropriate than the full ensemble Chris Isaak has in his work.

Overall my music tastes, while being appreciative of almost every genre, lean towards rock and alternative bands.  That being said I really enjoy the piano work in Freddie's music.  He is obviously a very talented pianist.  His music is very low-key, good for a relaxing de-stressor at the end of a long day.  I've been listening to his songs (and the originals) over and over while creating this post and his music has grown on me very much.  I'm very excited to stay current with Freddie Atlas and see what he comes up with next!

*I received compensation in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own*

Sunday, 20 March 2016

March Break Misnomer

Okay parents, I'm sure some of you are with me on this one.

Today is the Sunday following March Break.  I know that March Break is supposed to be a break for the kids.  Really, I think it's a break for the poor teachers who tirelessly deal with our kids every day!  But what it definitely is not is a break for the parents.  Well unless you're the family who takes time off work and travels to do something fun (and often expensive) over March Break.  We're not that family.

We have a swell daycare that takes our kids for March Break and Christmas holidays, plus PA days and all that.  She's great, the kids love her, and life is good there.  But there's something about these non-school days that makes me feel like we, the parents, should be trying to spend time with our kids when they're not at school.

This year we had sick kids over March Break.  Isn't it disappointing how often that happens?  So the Friday before the break one kiddo came home sick, then the other kid came down with it the Thursday of the break.  Luckily the second bout didn't include the vomiting that the first one did.

Since I have Wednesdays off, and there was no dance class for myself or my kids this week, I picked them up early from daycare and took them to see Little Ray's Reptile show here at the mall.  They love all the critters there.  I don't love the other kids in the way of my photos, or running around screaming through the mall.

My hubby's birthday often falls during March Break (and it did so again this year.)  He has an aversion to working on his birthday - and he usually has vacation days to use up this time of year - so he "stayed home" the Thursday and Friday of March Break.  He kept the girls home on Thursday - his actual birthday.  Well, "kept them home" isn't really what happened.  Despite Emma not feeling well, they went and did a build at Home Depot.  I think now he's stuck taking them to the builds there whenever they happen.  The girls loved it!

But despite the fun days, life is crazy busy all the time and that doesn't stop for March Break.  Sometimes trying to fit in fun around work schedules is so much more exhausting than the status quo of all the other weeks of the year.  Throw in some days when the kids are under-the-weather and life just doesn't really flow well at all.

I, for one, will be happy to get back to the busy "normal" weeks I'm used to.  Well, until next week when we have to start getting ready for Emma's next Fashion Show!

How was your March Break?  Go anywhere fun?  See anything cool?  Share with me in the comments!


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Review - L'Oreal Preference Infinia Colour Booster

*I received this product free of charge so I could try it out and create this review - all opinions are my own*

It's been 2 weeks since I dyed my hair.  Where does the time go??  At any rate, today was the day for me to apply the colour booster product that came in my L'Oreal Preference Inifina box.

The instructions were straightforward - apply after shampooing to towel dried hair.  Great!  What it didn't mention at all was conditioner.  I applied it without (which I'm sure is correct) but now my hair doesn't feel "conditioned."  It's fine, but after I condition is has a more moisturized feeling that's lacking after this colour booster.

I was hoping the booster would help me hide the little areas I missed when I coloured in the first place.  I had managed to miss that little space just in front of my ears (where you'd grow sideburns if you were more manly!) so I managed to get this nice red colour booster onto those hairs.  I feel like it did deposit a little colour there, but since it deposited on the rest of my head as well it's still a "missed spot."  The mousy brown natural colour isn't quite so obvious though!

The booster was a success.  My hair is now more red like it was on the first day.  I guess that's why they want me using the hashtag #makeday1last!  Being a more introverted person I actually prefer my hair after I've washed it a few times.  But I do love the shine it returns to my hair.
Before Colour Booster
After Colour Booster
There's enough booster left for me do to this again in 2 more weeks.  And the conditioner that came with the hair dye has a ton left.  I'm supposed to use that once a week (and I did last week) to help boost the shine as well.

Overall this is a great hair dye package.  If you're looking for a dramatic change, I'd recommend it.  Obviously the darker your starting shade, the less obvious the colour will be.  The booster really does help you return to the first day colour, as advertised.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Book Review: After the Goode - A Jake Roberts Novel

*I was sent this book free of charge so I could read it and create this review*

After the Goode is the third book in the Jake Roberts series.  I have one more after this one to read and review.

This book is a story of what Jake Roberts gets himself into after retiring from the police force.  Seems these good detectives can't leave the detecting behind!

This instalment started out well, but with some characters I hadn't seen before.  This isn't a problem, I was just expecting to Jake Roberts to be more involved earlier on in the story.  He does show up, and he has a big role in the novel, but there was an adjustment period where I had to wade through a bit of slow character development with the new characters.

Once I got into it, the story rolled right along.  I was pretty hooked once the conflict (read: murder) happened, and all the characters rolled into one coherent storyline.

This is really the story of murder by accident; and then the intrigue of one character trying to hide it while the others are trying to solve it.  Heartstrings are tugged a little at the end.  And then it's left only slightly open for the next story. 

Again there were some (although less) editing errors.  An extra re-read of the copy would have been beneficial I think.  Now that I'm three books in, I don't notice the errors as much, but comma splices, incorrect quotations etc. are unfortunately still there.

I do look forward to finding out how Cary Allen Stone wraps up this series.  Jake is slowly growing older, and he's trying to leave his detecting days behind.  Maybe the last book will see him settle down somewhere more remote with his lady and have a quiet family life.  Who knows!  I guess there's only one way to find out.

Stay tuned for my review of After the Kill, coming after the book I'm wading through right now.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Moms and Migraines

This morning I woke up feeling like someone was scooping out my frontal lobe with an ice cream scoop. Not a nice image - and not really a nice feeling either. Despite the pain, I chose to get up and start my morning. Looking back, I think maybe that was a mistake.

I put my coffee on, eldest daughter came downstairs without prodding from me - always a bonus - and I got her started on breakfast. I also pulled out the fruit I thought younger daughter would eat, and I had a few pieces. I also had a big glass of water - sometimes the headaches are a dehydration symptom. I don't think the food was such a good idea either.

At this point every movement was sending shooting pains from my forehead through my skull and out the back of my head. I chose to go back upstairs and poke younger daughter. Luckily she was mostly awake, so I went and laid down. I knew that what little food I ate was not going to stay where I put it, but I also knew it wasn't imminently going to dislodge itself. Oh, and I had taken some ibuprofen as well.

Little miss number two came into my room on her way downstairs, and I suggested she grab a muffin when she gets down there. I was pretty sure getting back up was going to be a bad idea. I'm lucky I have a spouse who can take over morning duties on those (thankfully very few) days where I just can't do it.

The rest of the morning is a bit of a blur. I did have to throw up in the garbage can when hubby was in the bathroom and I was in the kitchen helping kiddos get organized to go out the door. I had actually gotten up to look for my Tryptans (migraine pills). So I think the ibuprofens went out that way, but I did feel better for a bit and so I took the migraine pill and then went back to bed after the kids went off to the bus.

After such a fun experience I came up with a few words of wisdom for other moms (or dads!) who also find themselves occasionally afflicted with such lovely things as migraines:

  • Ask for help! - Get your spouse (if applicable) to do more.  Or call your parents/friends/anyone you know who'd help you out.  The more you try to do, the worse you can feel.  It's okay to ask for help.
  • Take drugs! - If you have a prescription for your migraines, take it!  My parents and hubby are good at reminding me to do this.  Or take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  And take it with lots of water - see my dehydration comment above.
  • Caffeine can help - if you're addicted to your morning coffee or tea (or other beverage), try to have some.  I made my coffee this morning but I didn't drink it until 2 hours later, minutes after the pot turned off it's burner.
  • Go back to bed - after you take something to help move your headache along, try for some more rest.  It worked for me this morning, but it doesn't always work.
  • Try to do very little, even it you're feeling better - I fall into this trap all the time.  I stay home from work with a brutal headache but then I lay in bed and think about all the things I could be doing if only I felt a little better.  Those things can wait.  You can't look after everything and everyone else if you don't look after yourself!
  • Get some fresh air - Say you're feeling a bit better (like the ice pick has been removed and every step is not causing excruciating stabs through your brain).  Take a short walk outside.  If it's sunny and the light is hurting your eyes, you're likely not "better" enough to leave the house yet, but if you think you can handle it, stroll around the block.  This perked me up today too, although that's also because it was 10 degrees outside!

Keep in mind these are all suggestions and I am not a doctor - I just speak from experience.  If you suffer the same affliction and have other tips, please share with me in the comments!

By 2pm the headache was gone, and so was the foggy brain feeling.  I could have gone to work for a few hours, by at this point in the day it's really not worth it.  Lets hope this fun doesn't occur again tomorrow...


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sunday Bath Success (For Me!)

Today I relaxed in the bath.  This, in itself, is not really news.  The kicker today is my entire family was home at the time!

My baths usually happen when I'm home alone.  Solely because I can't really relax when the kids are fighting, hubby is bored and wanting to talk to me (or go out), or there's just an extremely high level of noise in the house.

Today, somehow, the girls were entertaining themselves (and making a big mess after just cleaning up a big mess), hubby was concentrating on something for work, and I was between regular weekend tasks.  I had just cleaned up from breakfast, actually washed out the sinks, and had laundry in various stages of completion, when I decided spur-of-the-moment to relax in the bath.

I didn't tell a soul my plans, for fear someone would kibosh my idea and suddenly need me to do something that couldn't possibly wait half an hour.  Also, miraculously, no one heard me running water, getting a towel from the squeaky door linen closer, or even walking around upstairs.  Is it possible my family is becoming less mom-centric?  Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Vanilla bubble bath, nice warm water, and a book.  It seemed like a luxurious idea.  And it turned out better than I had expected.  My book was a bit hard to get into, Rose had to use the toilet (so I had to hide behind the shower curtain, at her request), and hubby was looking for me - but only once - so  my 15 minute bath was hardly interrupted.  Much better than previous attempts.

Now I almost feel relaxed, I've got 3 loads of laundry to fold and put away, and I'm trying to get some blog stuff done.  I'm thinking this will have been a productive day.  And all I needed to get out of my own head was a bath.  A mostly un-interrupted bath.  Oh, and it helps that hubby took the girls out to "some stores" so I could have a few minutes to myself (and my blog.)

Do you other parents get uninterrupted time to do what you want to do to relax on the weekends?  Or any time for that matter?  Share your stories with me in the comments.  When I get back from switching the laundry I'd like to see something posted down there!

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Saturday, 5 March 2016

March Means Spring, Right?

I can't wait for the snow to move along.  It's March now, time for winter to make way for spring!  I can't wait to get outside, go for walks (without 3 layers of clothing on!), and get into the gardens.

Last summer I created a post about enjoying the outdoors and being in the garden.  You can read that here: *warning - I talk about spiders in that post!*

This temperatures this coming week are all above 0 (after today, of course) and I'm imagining the kids going outside to play with less fights (and also less layers on), and sitting on the deck with my wine and whatever book I'm reading.  In reality it'll be wet and icky for at least a week and no one will go outside at all.  Hmm, on that note, where are the kids splash pants?  With any luck we'll need them soon.

We have another busy month going on: birthday party invitation for Rose to attend, first confession and mall fashion show audition (and rehearsal if they like her!) for Emma.  There are school field trips and March Break upcoming as well.  Throw in Dad's birthday and there's a full month!  Every month and season has it's busy moments.

The kids have mixed feeling about winter being over.  I don't blame them - we barely had "winter" as I remember it as a kid.  The snow didn't really come until well into January, and even then it melted between each snowfall.  We had some ice days and not many good days for playing in the snow.  At least they don't know what they're missing - in their short lives we haven't had a "good" winter for snow and sledding and all that.

I'll be glad if the snow disappears this week, with little slush-making and wet, cold days.  Maybe by March Break the outdoors will be calling to the kids, and the smushy wet ground will be dried out enough for the kids to go to the park.  I can dream, right?

What are you looking forward to this month, or this spring?  Is there still snow in your neck of the woods?  Are your kids sad to see winter go?  Share with me in the comments please!

Well that's enough musing for now - time to get ready for Rose's ballet class.  Maybe next week we'll be able to go in shoes instead of boots.  Bring on the spring!


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Review: L'Oreal Preference Infinia VoxBox

*I received this product free of charge so I could try it out and create this review - all opinions are my own*

My VoxBox arrived on Tuesday this week.  How fitting that I'm off Wednesdays so I could explore this box and figure out what exactly I'm supposed to do!

My First VoxBox!
When I opened it, there were 2 boxes of haircolour in it.  Fitting, as it was a L'Oreal Preference VoxBox.  This haircolour has a new feature - a colour booster you use at 2 weeks and 8 weeks post colouring, to keep it looking like first day colour for a lot longer.  As today will be day 1, you'll have to wait for me to try that part and create my review part 2!

VoxBox Unboxed!
In the qualifying survey they asked me about colouring my hair.  I said I do, since I did in October for my "halloween" costume.  There's a post about that here.  The colour was supposed to be 28 washes, but it's still growing out now so might as well colour away the roots.  And with 2 boxes of colour shipped to me I should be able keep this colour for a while!

Hubby and I - Rocky Horror Oct 2015 
Now that my hair is short, colouring it is "quick" and easy.  The whole experience today took me a bit less than an hour.  And I only used about 1/2 (maybe less) of the colour creme - I could have shared it with a friend!

Doing your hair yourself always has the potential to be a humongous mess.  I always do the towel on the shoulders stuff, and today I tried putting conditioner along my hairline to protect my skin.  I don't know if it made a difference, and it did cause me a little stress thinking that I got some on my hair and the dye may be splotchy.  Luckily it all turned out fine.

Now that my hair is re-coloured I may have to update my cut.  The short cut is getting "long" and I feel like its looking a bit chunky, or clumpy, I don't know how to describe it.  I'm planning to let it get a bit longer for the warmer weather.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive but I like to be able to do ponytails when the weather gets hot - and for ballet class too!

Colour Before (Natural Light)
Colour After
So stay tuned for my next haircolour post in 2 weeks time - when I try out the colour booster!  I'm not sure if it's for trying to hide roots, or just to pump up the overall colour and shine that tends to dull wash after wash.  Guess we'll find out!

This red is more "red" and less purple than my previous colour.  I apologize for the quality of this before and after photos - my cell doesn't take a fabulous photo.  I think they're good enough for a comparison, though.  The after colour looks darker in artificial light.  I'm happy with the result!

How Many Mittens Have Your Kids Lost This Winter?

It's March!  Winter should be shuffling off sometime this month.  I can't wait.

The thing I'm most looking forward to leaving behind (for maybe 6 months) is all the extra "outdoor clothes."  And all the "where's my _____??" that we do every morning.  Today we actually discovered Emma must have left her snowpants at her after-school care.  Lucky both girls have 2 pair!  (I will take some of the blame, as I do try to collect everything at the door, but some days the kids are so antsy to get outside that I just can't gather everything - time to learn to take your own stuff, kids!)

Today I want to gripe about mittens.  Do your kids lose mittens like crazy?  I can't say my kids "lose" them, more misplace and/or forget them.  We have to have about 3 pair of mittens or gloves (and I mean the cold/snow playing/nylon winter mitts) per kid, otherwise we'd be doomed to freezing hands.  And it was a struggle to buy a new pair each in early January (we're deep into winter so, of course, no stores have mittens) when we got holes in the ones from last year.  The new ones have holes now too, but that's another story.

I know my kids have cubbies and backpacks and their own spaces to keep things at daycare and at school.  So where do the mittens go?  Rose told me one day she left hers outside at recess.  Pretty sure it was cold out that day - why did you even take them off, kid?  (The answer to that was they were wet - ok, I'll give you that, but weren't your hands cold??)

Emma is a great helper for Rose to find things she's lost at school.  I'm not sure how many times Emma has gone through the school lost and found and retrieved items that belonged to Rose.  I tried at the beginning of the year to put our name stickers in every piece of clothing, but somehow that doesn't help them get found.  And then we had to buy 2 rounds of mittens over the winter and wear them right away, so I don't think they got labelled.

And then there's the storing of winter clothes inside my house - I have no room for hanging winter pants (2 pair each) and coats and then also store hats, mitts, scarves etc.  We have a tiny entryway - just big enough for the door to open - and then there's a set of stairs.  At the top of the stairs is almost immediately a set of stairs to go downstairs.

We use this little landing as our shoe and coat area.  It's not enough space for 2 kids in full winter gear to stand together and get boots on.  I've tried to organise with pigeon hole shelves and baskets, different types of shoe racks, and hooks behind doors and down the basement staircase.  We're as good as we're going to get there.  But all the mittens have a basket in my shelf unit that no one seems to know is there.  Hats and scarves go in another.  Grown-up winter gear has it's own slot also.  I know the system, I don't think anyone else here does.

This winter I've tried to get the girls to put their mittens on the heat vent.  You know the little cone shaped thingy that goes over the vent that you put your mittens on to dry out?  That's my landing space for any mittens worn outside. It's been working ok - until the morning that someone didn't do that (after I nagged 5 times the night before) and mittens are wet.  Cue the tears.  This is one of the many reasons we have extra (sometimes with tears in them) mittens around the house.

Anyway, the forecast for next week has plus 5 and 7 degree weather in it.  Let's hope we can downgrade to our fun knit mittens once the snow starts to fade away.  We have a ton of awesome knit "not for super cold weather" mittens that don't get much wear over the winter.  Guess they're our transition time mittens - although they don't work well in the wet weather of spring either.  Hmm...

Please share with me your family's winter solutions:  How do you keep mittens from getting lost or forgotten?  How you store all your abundance of extra winter outdoor wear?  How often do your kids forget snowpants or something at school?  I'd love to commiserate and share winter woes!