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It’s Me! Julia Roberts!

28 Oct

Jamally asked me this morning whether I’d do a birthday blog.

Writing a blog, at times, feels selfish and as though you’re that person at the party who only talks about numero uno.

So it feels odd to write a blog posting celebrating the day when cake is consumed and I’m reminded of the events of my birth date (My dad took a shower after my mom woke him up to tell him her water broke. I was born an hour later. Maybe it’s that HE’s reminded of the story).

Considering this blog is all about being on the Brink of 30, and now that I’m literally ON 30, it may be appropriate to say a few words. Though it still feels weird. But here goes.


“It’s meeee!! Julia Roberts!”

There’s an episode of The Family Guy where Julia Roberts comes on stage and says simply that, demonstrating how Julia Roberts is all about Julia Roberts.

(When you watch the video, you’ll see I’ve actually mis-quoted the scene. But you catch my drift).

That’s how I feel writing a birthday blog posting. Like Julia Roberts on The Family Guy.

But, wait! There’s a connection.

Julia Roberts and I share a birthday. Today she turns 44.

So while I may not want to shout out my celebrations – except, of course, for this morning when I jumped on Jamally (who was still in bed) following boot camp to open my card from him – we can celebrate everything Julia.

Happy Birthday, Julia! More importantly, thanks to those who have made my turning 30 a remarkable opportunity to reflect on why I should be grateful for getting older and getting the chance to share more moments with these special people.

The weekend celebrations include a trip to the big city to visit my brother as well as spend a brunch meeting up with a good friend. Cheers to that!


Our Living Room Reveal

25 Oct

It’s been a while since I displayed our living room! You know, ever since I became a crazy makeover wife.

It all started in the summer when I wanted a change of scenery in our home. Our white walls were enough to make anyone feel like they had been admitted. As opposed to switching around our decorations to accommodate the white walls, a friend suggested painting the walls. So we did.

I don’t have an actual ‘before’ photo as my camera decided to erase all contents from its memory card.

But you’ll remember how we decided on a colour:

Benjamin Moore Boardwalk:

Once we completed our paint job, it was time to put the room back together again.

Jamally has this beloved reclining chair that, although great, doesn’t match our room. I tried to put it in the corner:



But Jamally told me: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”

Following a coffee table re-finishing job, new window treatments, and purchasing a rug that didn’t smell like the dog (for now), here’s our final product:



I do find the carpet a little matchy-matchy, but I think if a few accessories that ‘pop’ are brought into the room it will complement one another well.

New window treatments include Bamboo blinds and white curtains:


And for the corner, a vase with ‘sticks’ as Jamally likes to call it:


And a few personal touches, too. The coasters with a card written by my late aunt:



As well as a framed photo of our family’s old barn in Westport. The frame is made of actually wood from the barn. A present from our uncle.



And of course, the coffee table:


It has wheels on it and has worked out well considering we eat every meal in the living room. I just need to purchase new handles.

I know this isn’t a designer’s dream living room, but I’m proud that it’s now a warm, welcoming room. Also, we did this, which is also satisfying.

I’m sure come springtime I’ll be jonesing for another room makeover. But for now, I’ll enjoy my dinner on the couch.

30 Things to do When you Turn 30

24 Oct

A Grade 3 reading competition left me in second place behind a notorious book worm. We had to log the books  we read, and while I tried my best to crack open a book at all opportune times, I just couldn’t keep up with the leading quota.

More than 20 years later, my family knows my love for reading continues, and it was evident at last night’s birthday celebration for me.



My aunt got me the book, “30 Things to do When you Turn 30”. It’s a collection of essays from well-known contributors including Paige Davis, Timothy Ferriss and Amy Powell.

I’m really excited to crack open this book, and see what insight is provided.

Here are some chapter titles:

  • Create a Screw-Up Fund
  • Go Hug Somebody
  • Go Outside your Comfort Zone
  • Kick the Caffeine Habit (pardon?)

And yes, that’s a “Simply Thai” recipe book in the background! I also got a Church Cookbook and have been told to make the Tuna Casserole dish. Apparently turning 30 makes me a cooking machine. And I can’t wait to test out some new dishes.

Today’s Question: What advice would you give to someone turning 30?

Real Simple. Squash.

18 Oct

As a young(ish) married couple, you’d think our Saturday nights would consist of late nights out and plenty of socializing. Not exactly.

Last Saturday night we decided to hang out at home and Jamally headed to the store to run some errands. He returned home with the best present in the world.

Real Simple Magazine.

From filing junk drawers to 30 dinner recipes to a how-to on cutting squash, I was in love. I shrieked with glee each time I turned the page.

Cutting and preparing squash has always intimidated me, so when I read up on it, I decided to make it part of Monday night’s dinner.

Real Simple Magazine Recipe

I learned to cut, peel and pull out the squash’s membranes as well as roast it properly. And it’s cheap, too.

The menu included:

-Maple Pork Tenderloin

– White Bean Mashed Potatoes (drain full can of white beans; put it in bowl and microwave for three minutes; mashed it with fork until smooth; add two tbsp cottage cheese and 1 tbsp butter; mash; add 1-2 garlic cloves for taste).

– Butternut squash salad with mixed greens, blue cheese, red onion and homemade dressing.

It was amazing and I was proud of overcoming my squash fears.

Today’s Question: What food preparation fears do you have? Which ones have you overcome?

Picking out a Birthday Present

17 Oct

Are you serious?! Really?! Wow, I can’t believe it’s only 11 more days until my 30th birthday! Thanks for pointing that out…

Six weeks ago I told Jamally what I wanted for my birthday gift. I’m pragmatic and want to ensure I get a present I’ll love.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, marriage is all about communicating your expectations. If I don’t communicate my birthday present requests, my expectations may not be met. I’m only doing this for the sake of our relationship.

Working from home means many days spent in comfortable clothing. But when your husband starts to call your sole Lululemon hoodie (as seen here) your ‘uniform’, it’s time for a wardrobe change.

Enter my birthday present request demand:

Birthday Present

It’s purple. It’s warm. It’s awesome.

Jamally was going to order it online for me, but since we’ll be near a Lululemon store on my birthday, I suggested we purchase it in person. Just in case I want to select another item.

I outlined this great idea to Jamally via MSN (yes, we still communicate via MSN, as it’s his work IM, too) today as well as a few other birthday demands.

Here’s the convo:

Cathy James says:
but you still have to get me something to open.

Cathy James says:
like a broom or something.

Jamally James says:
oh i see… you get 2 gifts

Cathy James says:
and a card
I’m 30

Jamally James says:

Cathy James says:
and think of the loving present you got for your 30th

Jamally James says:
true….so I should get something I will resent for the rest of the winter?
like you and my time at the course!

Cathy James says:
Ha! Yes. Like a lifetime bottle of wine

Jamally James says:

Cathy James says:
*clicks glass*

Today’s Question: Do you outline what you’d like for your presents? Or do you love the thrill of a surprise?

Giggling with Glee

14 Oct

It takes very little to keep Jamally happy.

Make him banana bread and he giggles with glee.

Prepare a pork chop dinner and he giggles with glee.

Surprise him with a bag of chips from grocery shopping and, well, he giggles with glee.

Ok, so just make him food and he’s happy. But all the food in the world can’t beat the power of dog cuddles.

Each evening, Tux strolls off his bed in the living room and saunters over to Jamally, where he’s sitting in the reclining chair.

Tux pulls himself up on the chair, snuggles between Jamally’s legs and falls asleep. Talk about giggling with glee.

It makes Jamally smile every time, and it’s become such a habit, Tux doesn’t even ask for permission.

He knows whose boss.

The Chair

The Mouldy Bagel

13 Oct

Monday evening conversation in the kitchen:


16-year-old Boarder: Hey, is there still that mouldy bagel in the cupboard?

Jamally: Is it still there? It’s so gross!

Me: No, I threw it out on the weekend, not realizing it was there.

16-year-old Boarder: Darn! I have to do a science experiment and thought I could use the mouldy bagel!

Jamally: Oh, too bad.

Me: Wait a second. You’re both telling me you spotted this mouldy bagel in the cupboard last week? And rather than throwing it out, just left it there?

16/J: *Chuckles*

Me: That is ridiculous!

16/J: *Chuckles*

Me: *Drinks Wine*