Sugar Baby

They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes. I'm not quite sure who 'They' is, but it sounds official enough to be true.

Which is what my husband and I were discussing over our morning coffee as he went through our finances, prepping for the upcoming tax season and I sat beside him reading Facebook status updates and TMZ posts.

(This basically sums up our relationship. He is serious and gets things done while I like shiny things and am easily distracted by links on the internet. Like a raven with fingers and free wifi.)

As he talked mumbo jumbo about financial net worth, alternative investments, options and charitable donations, I tried to show him how my hair really does look like Justin Bieber's.

Apparently his desire to pay for his children's post secondary university trumps my desire to not look like an asexual, high pitched male pop diva.

Go figure.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not concerned about how much university is going to cost us. It's been on my mind since I discovered I was pregnant with my second kid only four months after giving birth to my first. It's like we were determined to bankrupt our future selves as we happily procreated premaritally.

But we've spent the last 16 plus years struggling to make ends meet and well, somehow, more or less, we've always managed to find a way. Some times we were poorer than other times and sometimes we were a chin whisker away from destitute but we never starved. I would rather put my rose coloured glasses on and assume the same will hold true when both Fric and Frac look to us for tuition help.

My husband dislikes my rose coloured glasses. Literally as well as figuratively.

So Boo continued to plan and fret and I continued to ignore and evade and harmony was brought to the marital land once more.

Until our daughter walked in the room.

"Hey. What are you guys doing?" she innocently asked.

"I'm trying to figure out a way to put food in your mom's belly while sending you to medical school," Boo replied without looking up from his sheath of papers.

"And I'm trying to figure out a way to meet Gerard Butler. I hear he's kind of a dirty dawg but that accent of his gets me every time."

Fric blinked a few times and then (wisely) chose to ignore me and focused on her father. From there they launched into a strategy session involving scholarships, part time jobs and investments, while I followed one Internet rabbit hole after another, clicking link after link.

Eventually, like Alice and her rabbit hole, I landed somewhere fascinating.

"Hey look at this! I found a way for Fric and Frac to pay for their educations and it won't cost us a dime Boo!"

Boo looked at me suspiciously, (apparently he knows how my mind works,) but my sweet child eagerly asked what I found.

"A sugar daddy site! You just agree to be their sugar baby and they'll pay for everything!"

It was right about then that my husband started choking on his coffee.

"Um, that's called prostitution Tanis."

"Well sure, if you want to be all dirty about it. But the site says it's legal and above board and no sex is involved. It's for real romance. Between a sugar daddy and his sugar baby," I responded tartly, indignant that my husband would even suggest I'd pimp out my kid to avoid tuition costs.

Meanwhile, Fric was reading the fine print.

"Or you know Tanis, she could just get a JOB."

"Sure. Because that's fun. Anything involving sugar sounds fun." I demonstrated by jumping up and singing Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me while playing my air guitar.

"Not cute, Tanis," he said when I was done.

"A little cute," I replied while holding my fingers an inch apart. He cracked a smile.

And that's why we are still married.

"I think I'd feel a little more comfortable with a little less sugar when it comes to how my kids will pay for their university costs," he sighed.

"Fine. Be the voice of reason," I muttered as I flopped back down to close the browser page.

"Wait Mom, did you bookmark that site?" Fric asked.

"Um no. Why?"

"Well it could come in handy. You know, in the future."

Her dad groaned.

Fric looked at him and smiled. "Don't worry Dad. I'm just thinking ahead. I've got some time. We'll talk about it in two years."

He couldn't quite tell if she was teasing him or not.

"Besides, it could very well be this or twirling the pole, you know," she tossed out nonchalantly as she walked out of the room, leaving me alone with her father.

He just glowered at me.

My little sugar baby

The apple off of my tree.

"What? YOU were the one who left me alone to raise YOUR babies. You didn't think I'd rub off just a little?"

I couldn't quite make out what he was muttering under his breath but instinct tells me it wasn't very nice.

Some people's children, I tell you.

My Annual Etsy Gift Guide

There is one word, one teeny tiny four lettered word that has been known to cause my husband to break out in a cold sweat and start to twitch.


My love for all things Etsy is unparalleled. Where else can I find pickled baby pig heads and intricately crocheted doilies, all in one place?

My love for Etsy grows stronger every year, as does the collection of oddities in my house.

Not only do I get to support crafty small business people, but also I get to do it from the sanctity of my ugly leather sofa, pant-less, while eating pickles and listening to Nicki and Victor from the Young and Restless get back together on the television. All of this while avoiding holiday madness and mildly insane Christmas shoppers.

It's an Etsy win I tell you!

Because I love Etsy so much I've decided to put together my third Etsy Holiday gift guide to highlight some of the awesomeness that is found in the hallowed cyber halls of the Etsy mall. (You can find the very first gift guide here and last year's guide here. Check them out and watch your brain explode from all the fabulous uniqueness contained within. I double dog dare you.)

This? This is my gift to you. Just remember, if you find a jackalope, I've got dibs.

Disclaimer: The following items are a reflection of my personal taste and are very likely the reason my husband decided to punish me with the Zeppelin Hangar. All opinions are my own and have not been bought, bribed or solicited.


You know when you see something and you simply must have it? That's what I felt (haha, get it?) when I saw the Hare Brooch. I neeeeeed this brooch. And then I need the white rat hatpin. They will go fabulous with my dead bird necklaces and my gopher feet earrings. Pay attention husband. This is at the top of my wish list.


I love birds. But I hate peacocks. Don't get me wrong; they are beautiful creatures. So majestic. So pretty. SO FREAKING OBNOXIOUS. Our neighbour had a peacock and it liked to come to my yard, sit in the tree just outside our bedroom window and HONK like it was dying. Yes. Peacocks HONK. If I could have plucked that bird bald and made jewellery with it, I would have. Instead, I will have to settle for these lovely Iridescent Peacock Earrings, which are way better than real feather earrings. They are just as beautiful but more unique. I'd wear these and then HONK into my husband's ear. It would be a total turn on, I know it.


 Here's a bit of Tanis trivia for you, since I know you are all dying to learn more about me. I am, and always have been, slightly obsessed with the culture of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. Which is why I love these Bear Dangle earrings. In fact, I love everything in this shop.


I have a soft spot for oversized rings. Because I have giant oversized fingers. My hands are larger than most of my men friends. You know what they say about girls with big hands right? We wear big rings. Which is why I love this Labradorite Trellis cocktail ring. It's the perfect ring to make my mitts look feminine.


Sometimes a geek girl needs to get her geek on, jewellery style. This shop? This is the place where that geek girl goes. If only I had seen this shop when my husband and I were picking out wedding bands. I'd have totally made him get us the Gate Keeper & Key Master rings for our nuptials. Nothing says true love like some awesome hand stamped jewellery with a twist of pop culture.

 Spiffing Jewelery


It's no secret I love skulls or that I love decorating with them, much to my husband's delight. Or lack of it. There is just something about skulls that ding my inner bell. When I saw this filigree skull sculpture, I knew I had to have it and I know exactly where I am going to put it. And I will smile every time I walk past it because it is pure awesome.


Sometimes, when wandering in the bowels of Etsy, you stumble across a shop so filled with awesome, you immediately want to empty out your bank account and buy every item that store has listed. This is that store for me. If I could, I'd buy it all. And then I'd buy it all again, because you can never have too much of a good thing. Like these Curly Clouds. LOVE.


I will admit, I squealed like the girl I am when I found this shop. I have no shame. Between my love of all things Dia de los Muertos and my fan girl appreciation of all things Star Wars, it was like I was in nerd heaven. Not only that, but I'm fairly certain my husband will lose his mind over the Imperial 3-pack. I'm picturing the walls of his man cave up in the Zeppelin Hangar lined with these. Between these and a gold bikini, my husband could possibly have the best Christmas ever.

 CaptainMagnificent. Oh yes he is.

There is something about hoop art that I just love. I see it and I immediately want to strap on an apron, bake and get really domestic. I can't explain it. I find it so appealing. I love these Orange Poppies so much. I love poppies, I love hoop art, and I love everything about this. It makes me happy.


I totally own this moose head. It's hanging over my television. I plan on hanging Christmas decorations from its antlers in a week or so. Just to watch my husband, the great-white-wannabe-hunter twitch. Hands down, this is one of my favourite, EVER, Etsy stores. I want a head for every wall in every room I own. And you know what? That Zeppelin hangar my husband built is going to have a lot of walls. Yeehaw.

White Faux Taxidermy 


The best part of Christmas is the part that involves kids. Now that my kids are getting older and creeping towards adulthood, I'm realizing how fast their childhood really does go. Which, luckily for them, makes me want to spoil them rotten while I still can. And nothing says love like a wall mounted unicorn head, at least in my world. I love this shop. It makes me want to have more babies so I can justify buying everything they sell.

Sheep Creek Needlecraft

My grandmother used to make us stuffed toys. Stuffed bears, stuffed elephants, stuffed dogs. I've got every single one she ever gave me and I cherish them all. My grandma was the best darn grandmother to ever grace the face of the earth. The only way she could have been any better was if she had made these Zombie Teddy Bears. Every kid deserves a hand made stuffed bear. Especially if it is zombified.


I am always on the look out for new toys for the Jumbster to play with and I know he will absolutely love this whirligig hand kite. It's the exact right combination of colour, scarves and fun for him to appreciate. I love this store.

Indie Bambinos

Okay, so this shop may be a little pricey and not for the younger children in the world, but oh my goodness, the colours! The textures! The pure awesomeness! How cool would this felted dragon look in a kid's room? Or in my room? 37 is still young enough to be considered a child in some cultures, right? Plus there is a Labyrinth inspired dragon! My favourite movie! I clearly need more children. And more money.

 Tanglewood Thicket

"When you look at the dark side, careful you must be ... for the dark side looks back." - Yoda.

"When your child looks in the mirror wearing this hat, pure awesomeness looks back". - Tanis.

Okay, so I'm not as awesome as Yoda, but oh my goodness, I soon could be, because this hat also comes in ADULT SIZES. Picture the look on my teenagers faces when I WALK INTO THEIR HIGH SCHOOL WEARING THIS. The Death Star would explode from the sheer awesomeness of that thought.


My brother and I used to build forts in our basement when we were little. We'd steal the sheets off our sister's bed and then use the piggy banks my mother so lovingly HAND CRAFTED for us to secure the sheets with. Then we would accidentally yank on the sheets and the ceramic piggy banks my Mom made for us would come crashing down onto the cement floor, shattering everywhere. Sorry about that Mom. Maybe if we had something like this Fort Kit my brother's Kermit the Frog piggy bank would still be alive.

Megan's Shop 


One of the things my husband loves the very best about me is my penchant for pillows. One can never have too many pillows. Not on the bed, not on the couch, not even in the armchair. Pillows make life better. Stop rolling your eyes Boo. You know you love my pillows. And I know he'd love this pillow. It would look perfect on our couch. Plus, both of our kids are in chemistry next semester so they could lounge on this pillow and LEARN something. It's a win win!

 Yellow Bug Boutique

 I love, love, looooove pottery. I collect it. And I love nesting bowls. I can never have enough bowls, mostly because my darling kids keep breaking the darn things as fast as I buy them. But if I had these bowls, I'd never let my kids touch them. Because I'd be too busy stroking them and whispering, "My precioousssssssss." Darn I love these bowls.


I may also have a weakness for pie plates. Not because my kids break them, no, because PIE. I love pie. Both the baking and the eating. And everyone knows a pie always tastes better when it comes from a pretty pie plate.

 Art et Manufacture

Gorgeous coffee mugs will eventually be the death of my bank account and the reason I'm one day homeless. The upside to this is I'll at least have pretty mugs to panhandle with. Pretty, pretty mugs like this robins egg blue ceramic mug.


One of my life list items is to eventually get a family plaque to hang in our home. I don't know why I haven't gotten on that yet. Maybe I was just waiting to find a family plaque as pretty as this one.

Paloma's Nest 


I can't tell you how much I wish I had saw this bowtie before Nixon died. That dog would have walked around with a bowtie on every day of his not-long-enough life if I had known this shop existed before his death. I'm totally getting these for my brother's dogs though. I'll be the coolest doggie aunt around.

Little Blue Feathers 

Before I was ever a dog lover, I loved cats. Then I married my grumpy gus husband who believes the only good cat is a cat that never comes inside. If I hadn't already invested 21 years of my life and four kids with the man, I'd consider trading him in for a man who loves cats. A man who would totally want to buy a cat cave for his kitty. It's too late for me, but cat lovers out there, rejoice.


 There are some things I must have. This dog treat jar is one of them. Right this second, my neighbour's dog is sitting on my deck, with his nose pressed against the garden doors, looking at me with his doggie eyes and whining. Dude wants a cookie. I love this entire shop. It's filled with pottery goodness, and not just of the doggy variety.

 Symmetrical Pottery

This kitty coat is totally a better idea than trying to stuff my cats into old Cabbage Patch doll clothing. Which I used to do when I was younger and loved band-aids. Why play with dolls when you can dress up your cats? Every cat (and dog) needs an awesome coat. Look no further for awesome.


I. WANT. It's just as simple as that. This is the diamond of all dog collars, but without the diamonds. This dog collar is reason enough for me to get another dog. And a job, which I'll need, to pay for the collar. But IT IS WORTH IT.



Every year I send out Christmas cards to our family, to members of the community and to all our friends, both on and off the internets. And every year, after I post all the envelopes, I end up finding the card I WISH I had sent out. Like this card. Because Christmas doesn't always need to be classy. Please don't tell my mom I said that.


Have you started to notice a theme here? I can't help myself. I have a thing for all things Yoda. And I have a thing for letterpress. This shop is the best of both worlds. Geeks everywhere will squeal in delight.

Dingbat Press 

I try not to do repeats on my annual gift guide, but I had to make an exception for this shop.  Robin has mastered the art of irreverence and sass and she does it so sweetly too. Her shop is one of my forever favourites and it's my happy place on Etsy.

 Robin Plemmons Lemons With a Pea

For as long as I can remember I have always had a journal. I've stacks of them saved in a rubbermaid container, waiting to be burned or read, or both. I've always used a journal to help sort out my feelings and immortalize my stupidity. Pretty journals like this one are my kryptonite and I can't help but buy them. I have dozens of journals waiting to be filled because I buy them faster than I fill them. It's a sickness really. Like shoe collecting.



I couldn't help myself. I love zombies. Zombies are better than sparkly vampires and lovesick werewolves. I dig a good zombie. I dig a family of great zombies. Which is why, if I ever decide to get a car decal, this would be the one I would get. It would be worth it just to see if my husband rolled his eyes so hard he'd hurt himself.


Skip the fuzzy dice and go for the head. The head of a zombie gnome. I'm totally getting this for my kids when they finally get their own vehicles. And then I'm getting one for me. And one for my husband. And I'm pretty sure my siblings needs this too. Zombie gnome heads for everyone!


Okay, I'm going to tell you something and you are all going to read it and then judge me for it. I'm prepared. I totally want this statue. Not for my garden though. I want this for my son's grave. Because you know what? Going to see him at the cemetery is hard and seeing this would crack my shit up. Guaranteed. Grief is hard. Irreverence makes it easier.


What's the point of a zombie love affair if you don't have anything to feed your zombie? Enter: the brain beanie. The perfect accessory for the zombie lover in everyone. With the added benefit of keeping you warm in winter. It's a win-win for everyone. Even the zombies who don't really exist yet I'm talking about them like they do. Whatever.


 Now, go forth and get your Etsy on.

The Pumpkin Never Rolls Far From It's Patch

It's Canadian Thanksgiving weekend here and for my kids that means a four day weekend. For me it means pie baking and wearing shirts long enough to cover the fact I've unbuttoned my pants at the dinner table.

I'm classier than stretchy elastic waistbands.

This holiday, I'm going to sit back, unbutton those pants and give thanks for a few of my favourite people in the world.

It's so weird.

I can't figure out where they learned to be such dorks.


Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving to each of you.