Friday, December 30, 2011

Just because it's pretty...

The original website for these lightbulb vases seems defunct...I found it on Pinterest, here.

P.S. Happy New Year :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

24 ideas to make your life easier

The new year is coming up sooner than later...why not start if off with the intent of making life easier?! Thanks to my Mom for this one. Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas B•O•N•K•E•R•S

I thought I had things under control up until last night...not that I'm super organized to begin with but I was hoping a few would have been done by now things done by now:
  • Christmas cards mailed
  • House cleaned
  • Laundry put away
  • Grocery shopping done
  • All simple, but thoughtful gifts bought/made and wrapped
  • Basement reno done (this one's sorta out of my control)
What to do first, right now? Nothing. That's right. I'm done. This afternoon I'm going to try and take a nap. I have 1 hour and 50 minutes until my daughter  comes home from preschool. I'll get back to the list tonight after the kiddies are in bed...

So, from now until after the holidays are over here please feel free to check out the Christmas Posts from the past (there are some good ones, including my Grandmother's Carmel Corn recipe) I'll be sporting a rubber glove on one hand, an oven mitt on the other while the hot glue gun is heating up next to the cookies to be iced on top of the grocery list -BUT HEY - these are all good "problems" to have...and for that I am really grateful. 

Happy holidays and see you in the New Year!

P.S. Dear Mom, I now fully understand why your Christmas list had "A Clean House" on it...XOXO

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Watercolour Icing

I made some shortbread cookies for Christmas and decided to ice them in buttercream (my favorite) with my Wilton Gel Food Colouring (12 pack from Walmart - so good). I had planned to ice each cookie with one colour but, of course, ran out mid I started combining colours and voila a happy accident - watercolour cookies. They are more impressive in person and almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Lindsay's Buttercream Icing Recipe
1/2 c (or one stick) softened margarine + icing sugar + splash vanilla
Just keep adding icing sugar until you get the consistency/flavour that makes you give yourself a mental high five.
Make it chocolate buttercream by tossing in some cocoa, add instant coffee grinds to chocolate to make mocha.
Can be flavoured with any flavouring (coconut, peppermint, etc.) instead of, or in addition to, vanilla.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elf Chocolate Hunt

Our three daughter had SO much fun searching for Easter Eggs last year that she still talks about it.
Well, I had an idea the other day, why not hide chocolate kisses on Christmas morning "from Santa's Elves"? I think it's gonna be a big hit...and it's another way to get my husband involved in the fun and tradition - he can be the one to hide the chocolates on Christmas Eve :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best Ribs Ever

Here's a butcher's recipe for the BEST RIBS you'll ever eat out of my kitchen (!)

Rinse a bunch of PORK BACK RIBS (not side ribs, trust me)
place them BONE SIDE DOWN in a baking dish
sprinkle with a little/a lot of PEPPER
dump a jar of DRY RIB SAUCE the thick stuff, not the runny stuff, over them
bake uncovered for 4 HOURS AT 250 C.

you're welcome (seriously, they are that easy, and that good.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homemade glitter

UPDATE: This was, ehh, ok. Worked way better as a method for making coloured sugar than glitter. 

Salt + food colouring + an oven = homemade glitter.

Good for Christmas decorations and cards. Maybe one could do the same thing to make glitter sugar for Christmas cookies?! I love anything preservative free.

From here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


have you seen these nail wraps (aka nail polish replacements)?!
two changer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

These are sooo good!

Stuffed Mushroom Caps
From Cookin' with Klinic Community Heath Centre (cookbook fundraiser)

10-12 lrg white button mushrooms
1/4 small white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T bread crumbs
1 T fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
salt to taste
mozzarella cheese
2 T butter/margarine

Filling: Clean mushrooms, remove stems. Mince stems, onion and garlic. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in frying pan, add minced items and saute for 1-2 mins. Add another tablespoon butter, bread crumbs, pepper, salt and parmesan.

Place mushroom caps in baking dish, fill with bread crumb mixture, sprinkle w/ mozza and bake at 350 F until cheese bubbles. OR broil mushrooms until cheese is golden.

I think you could mix it up w/ different filling - bacon + scallops (drool), feta and spinach? the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mom, is it Christmas?

Our 3 year old daughter has asked if it's Christmas the last 3 days in a row! I think it may be because the neighbours have done up their yard Christmas style and we've got the best view from across the street. 

I love it. I love it. I love it. 

I love Christmas (my favorite holiday) and I love that I've got another champion for the holidays in my house - go us! It doesn't bother me that the stores may be pumping Christmas music (I may feel differently if I worked in the mall though...), I like the outdoor lights turned on right after Halloween and I'm already looking forward to putting up our Christmas tree on December 1. All the warm fuzzies that come with the holiday and the good will that (most) people feel towards each other make me super duper snowflakes and hot chocolate happy! Christmas everyday isn't realistic, and would loose it's candy cane luster pretty quickly...but today I'll take it...

41 days until Christmas - countdown here...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

12 ways to wear a scarf...

I know it's past the easy to wear scarf season here in the middle of Canada...but who's to say you can't sport a scarf under your parka? Besides, a little coulour in the wintertime is a great pick me up!

12 ways to wear a scarf...from here.

UPDATE!!! Check out this video tutorial - 25 ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes. I love this!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life is like a train ride...

Not every day is perfect and not every day is easy.
I've recently read something that resonated with is like a train ride:

I can spend all my time at the front of the train, looking at what's coming.
I can spend all my time looking out the caboose, at what I've already passed.

[But what good does that do me?]

Or I can spend a little time in the front and a little at the back, but most (importantly) I can enjoy the moment I am in, looking out the window at what surrounds me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ruler Stars

Check out these Vintage Ruler Stars. A great decor idea for an office space or mud room! From here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Any of these kids costumes could be upsized to = adult (besides the last one...reverse the logic...perhaps minus the rod for safety?!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More pumpkin decorating ideas!

Here are a bunch (40 to be exact) pumpkin decorating ideas from the Country Living website. There are some really creative ones I like. Skeleton Hands (pictured below), Great Balls of Fire, Pumpkin City and Pumpkin Tower are some of my favorites. Enjoy browsing and happy pumpkin-ing!

P.S. The great thing about this website is that free printable templates are included (could be used elsewhere, not just for pumpkins)!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Painted Pumpkins

Just because you're not into carving pumpkins doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun of displaying festive pumpkins on your front step or in the window at halloween. I love these painted pumpkins. They are festive and cool. If the idea of painting an entire big pumpkin white turns you off, you could go always go for few smaller gourds (less to paint) or simply purchase a pumpkin that isn't orange (have you seen those black and white pumpkins?)...

So chic. From here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A poem a day...

If you like poetry have a poem sent directly to your inbox each day.
You can sign up here.

Today's poem (from here):

From Out the Cave
When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.
"From Out the Cave" by Joyce Sutphen, from Straight Out of View. © Beacon Press, 1995.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween is coming!

If you're not into carving pumpkins a bunch of these would look good in the front window for Halloween. They remind me of spider webs. From here. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How To: Braided Bun

I love the idea of a messy up do when it comes to hair. Since it's a hot look right now, why not experiment with your own hair? If it turns out great you may get asked where you get your hair done, in which you can reply, "Ohhh (pause) this old thing??? I did it myself." GEnIUs (said in a singing voice!).

Get the how to, along with other good ones, from here.

My hair isn't this long but...I could manage the side braid with a side bun - still cute!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let Her Eat Cake!

Our daughter will be 3 years old very soon. In preparation for her birthday I've asked her a couple questions, including what kind of cake she wants. She wants a pink cake with her picture on it. Ok. I'm thinking, how can i put her picture on a cake without doing one of those edible photo things?? I'm not sure how she'd feel about a knife going through her photo or someone eating her face, right!?

Bonjour Wilton. I love this idea of putting a plastic picture frame on top of a cake. Now this princess cake is bit blah for me, but the frame on top couldn't get any easier! 

Oh yes, she loves princesses...another idea (thanks mom!) is to simply place a princess tiara (like this one) on top of a cake. I would swap out Jasmine's photo with a photo of our princess, and voila, a princess cake with her picture on it.

I think cakes can make us feel special. If we're lucky enough, we have photos of ourselves as children in front of our birthday cakes, tongues wagging, waiting to dive in! 

Why wait for a "special" occasion to eat cake? If it means hitting your local grocery store and picking up something Yum - Do It! Let's enjoy our lives, that's what they are there for!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good for Fall - Sparkly Nail Treatment (!)

Yes! Bling up your hands/feet with a little sparkle this fall - check out this easy glitter glue treatment...
If not for everyday, perhaps Halloween? From here. P.S. I love stone colours for nails...

[Short cut - 2 coats of each: polish, glitter glue, clear lacquer)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still Updating the Baby Book...

Ok. Our daughter will be 3 in less than 3 weeks (what?! subject for another post) and I'm STILL updating her baby book. How is this possible? How can I remember what happened those sleep deprived days and nights ago? Well I'll tell's been part improvisation as far as dates and first go (When did she sleep through the night? Really? I can't remember when I slept through the night).

I've put pressure on myself to fill in every little detail and there are so, so, many details I'm "supposed" to remember. Yes, I know I was "supposed" to fill everything in the first year, not three years later...but in time of warfare and pure survival the last thing on my mind was to grab the baby book and a pen.

 I did pretty well, I think. Even so, I still sat there the other day sweating over the blanks taunting me: "What?! You don't remember when your child got her 3rd tooth (really)?"... Finally, finally I resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to complete the book the way I thought it should be completed. I felt like I hit the wall and put the pen down. Done and done and done. I want to be the perfect mother but I know that perfection is boring and unrealistic. I'm trying not to feel guilty and you know what, a few days later I don't.

In fact I've got a great idea...

There should be a Book of First for Parents. Here are some momentous firsts I think would be suitable:

  • though, oh God...what have we done?
  • used your hand as a baby wipe
  • accused your husband of "pretending" to sleep in the middle of the night so they didn't have to get up and attend to the crying baby (because they were pretending to sleep!)
  • pretended YOU were sleeping in the middle of the night so your husband had to get up and attend to the crying baby (I recommend this)
  • cried over a pile of laundry that seemed to multiply before your eyes
  • felt like asking for a divorce when your husband asked, "what's for dinner?"
  • tried to assemble an outfit that didn't have bodily fluid on it and accepted that this was no longer possible
  • locked yourself in the bathroom and lied that you had diarrhea so you could just get a moment to yourself (I haven't done this, yet)
  • considered grocery shopping as an exciting night out
  • picked your child's nose with your hand, held it up and shouted, "I GOT IT!"
  • decided that you may was well laugh about things or else you may as well shoot yourself in the foot (my grandma's suggestion)
I love where I'm at in my life. I know that it's going by way too fast and soon I look back on things like baby books I'll be happy I took the time to fill out the details (the funniest things so far are looking back at what my daughter has said at what age...). Whether it was April 28 or June 1 - who cares? Nobody will know but you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Recycled Book Page Bird Ornament

This recycled book page bird ornament would be pretty on a card, as a gift tag, on the christmas tree or even as a fridge magnet. I would only love it more if it was fashioned out of pages from an old dictionary. From here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do you know, it's Wednesday...

I'm tired. The baby is sick. The house needs a good cleaning (walls and everything). I want our basement renos finished, now. We have paperwork to sort through and complete asap (as in four months ago). I feel like a nag and at the same time I don't want to do any of fact I don't want to do anything...

Blah. It's Wednesday. It's supposed to be the original The We Can Do It Day but today it feels more like the I Suck and Don't Want To Do Anything But Run Away Day.

I want to feel better. So, with all that being said (and a lot more being held back), I'm going to try my best to have a better, if you'd care to join me...

This post (Trials and Tribulations of Motherhood) has a link to Karen Maezen Miller's Book and Blog Momma Zen. It's good. Here's a excerpt from her August newsletter that has been sitting in my inbox, unread, until today. I've copy pasted it all. Maybe you're lucky enough to be somewhere in the States and can attend a retreat? The links to the blogs are good (note: not all of them are Karen Maezen Miller's).

Voila. I feel a little better already.

The rest is easy

Let the future come to you. – Momma Zen

The future haunts these dwindling days of summer. Around the corner, school starts, if it hasn't already. Ready or not comes the rush and tumble of fall, the holidays – 
bam! – and the year's over. Or at least, we live that way. Are you living that way today? Racing toward the end of something? Getting ahead of yourself?
My daughter turned 12 last week. Yes, the baby in the book turned 12. She said to me "Mom, this year has gone by so fast!" Then I knew she had merged into the fast lane, the lane I'm trying to exit, where the days whirr past the window like tumbleweeds.
Here is your invitation to slow down for a day, to focus on the scenery and not the road. Ready or not the future always arrives on schedule. And this way, you might notice what is right here.

Mother yourself – Do you give yourself permission to rest?
Look at me – "What have you done with your life?"
Making a pie – The principal ingredient to human healing.
Taking some shots – Before the bus comes.
Showing up – To right here.
Easy ways in
The Art of Mindfulness retreat in Houston, Sat., Sept. 10. Having the good life is simple when you savor the one you have. Plug in discount code: MAEZEN for special savings on registration.The Practice of Everyday Life weekend retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado, Fri., Sept. 16-Sun. Sept. 18. Deeply personal, deeply practical.The Plunge retreat Sat., Oct. 1 in Pittsburgh. The peace and patience you thought you'd lost forever.Love Beyond Limits workshop Sat., Oct. 22 in Athens, Georgia.

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Sew Felt Wine Bags

Wouldn't you be happy to receive one of these no-sew felt wine bags (complete with wine, perhaps!)?From here.

P.S. It's only 4 months until Christmas...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Check Your Pockets - Laundry Room Sign

Perhaps this belongs by the hamper instead of the laundry room? I could have used one after washing and drying the following (not all at the same time): a tube of chapstick (this could have been a disaster but wasn't, it melted but the lid contained everything), felt marker (disaster - coloured the whole dryer purple), requisition form from the doctor (salvaged), money, keys, etc. etc...

From here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

house + love + letting go

i want to love our house again. there's too much stuff cluttering up our place and my head. it's time for some of this stuff to find new homes.

the house below inspires me. from here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Plumbing Pipe Candlesticks

If you like the industrial look you just might like these plumbing pipe candlesticks! There's a informative how to video with all the technical names for plumbing parts you can swing out so they'll think you're the cutest & plumber-butt-free plumber in the hardware store!

They spray paint the candlesticks in the video...but I kind of like the gritty looking hardware as it is. Spray painting it gold looks kinda King Midas Halloweenie (which could come in useful in a few months). I'm thinking that another colour (hot pink/white/glossy black, etc) may look more modern.

From here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pez Dispense Wall Art

Ok - the truth is...I'm not sure how I feel about this craft...I like the idea of spray painting Pez dispensers and hanging them on the wall but eyes without pupils freak me out! Maybe there are other toys/things that could be sprayed and mounted instead (?)... Or maybe it's the beige/white that's throwing me off. Maybe they'd be more my style if they were a punchy hot pink/acid green? I don't think art should blend in to the rest of my decor. It's still a cool idea though! From here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Super Sturdy Towel Bar Rack

This is good right? Sturdy...and...everyone's towel has a "special spot." From here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm happy to report we've survived the first 4 weeks of having a newborn join our family. It's been and adjustment but luckily our son is a very easy baby, eats, sleeps and hardly cries. We're so happy to have our healthy children - not every day, hour, minute is perfect (aka boring) but we're all doing our best (sometimes our best is not so best-like) to get along, clean up, feed each other, pay the bills and stay connected to the "real" world.

When I think of being/becoming somewhat organized one song comes to mind..."Dream the impossible Dream." Maybe there are some good websites out there? The kind that make your life easier, that not just look good but are useful? If you have come across any re: parenthood and organization please please let me know.

Hope you're all well and enjoying your summers. I can't believe it's already August! So, with all that being said I'm Back to blogging!

Monday, July 11, 2011

On hiatus!

Our house is no longer out numbered 2 to 1 - our son was born on July 6, 2011 at 12:50 am. Get this, he was born in the VERY SAME hospital room we had when our daughter was born in 2008 (lucky number 27)! So, I'll be on bloggrt hiatus for a while :)

Hope all is well and xoxo from our house to yours.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Decorating with Ribbons

Ribbons, crepe paper, cut up fabric or plastic table cloth? So pretty hung outside from the clothes line or twirled around some chair backs...from here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canada Day Flag Cake

This cake looks yum and I love festive celebrations! I already have a round chocolate cake in waiting for tomorrow night...but I think I can wing a Canadian flag onto it in honour of living in this great country. 
Living in Canada is a privilege. After some "interesting" overseas travel last year I almost kissed the tarmac after landing back on Canadian soil. Happy (Early) Canada Day!

Complete recipe, etc., from here.

what you need

1 pkg. (298 g) prepared pound cake, cut into 12 slices
2 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (85 g each) Jell-O Strawberry Jelly Powder
3 cups ice cubes
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

make it

COVER bottom of 13x9-inch dish with cake slices; set aside.
ADD boiling water to jelly powders in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add ice cubes; stir 3 to 5 min. or until ice is melted. Remove any unmelted ice. Stir in 1 cup strawberries; pour over cake. Refrigerate 15 min. Cover with Cool Whip.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until jelly is firm. Arrange remaining berries over dessert to resemble the Canadian flag.

kraft kitchens tips

You can also quick-set the jelly using frozen sliced strawberries. Dissolve the jelly powders in boiling water as directed. Add 1 cup each frozen strawberries and ice cubes; stir 3 to 5 min. or until thickened. Remove any unmelted ice. Continue as directed, decorating with 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries.
Using a toothpick, trace a maple leaf pattern on top of dessert. Place a strawberry slice on each leaf point, then fill in the leaf with remaining strawberries.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make your own modern concrete planter

Concrete pavers + concrete paver adhesive + 24 hours + dirt & plants = one nice modern planter.
DIY instructions from this Better Homes and Gardens DIY website. I think these suckers could get heavy...I'd be tempted to make them in place.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pinata Ideas

Nothing says party link a pinata!

Some of the things you'll possibly need to make your own pinata:
  • time
  • patience
  • a ballon 
  • cardbard
  • old newspapers
  • water
  • crepe paper
  • other decorations
  • an idea (side note: if this is for a kids party be careful - a dora pinata may be super until your little princess starts crying because everyone's trying to crush dora's face with a big stick? just saying...)

How to make a Pinata (from here)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Paint, crayons, or markers
  • Colored crepe paper
  • String
  1. Blow up a large balloon and tie the end
  2. Mix the flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste
  3. Cut the newspaper into long 1 inch thick strips and dip into the flour/water mixture
  4. Carefully place the strips on the balloon until it is covered, leaving a hole at the top
  5. Set aside and let the balloon dry
  6. Place another layer of newspaper dipped in the mixture over the balloon and let dry
  7. Repeat with one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top
  8. When dry, pop and remove the balloon
  9. Paint your pinata with different designs and colors
  10. If desired, hang colored crepe paper from the sides and bottom
  11. Punch 2 small holes in the top near the opening and string a large piece of string through the two holes
  12. Fill your pinata (through the hole you left at the top) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises. You should also fill with strips of newspaper so the surprises are not all in one location
  13. Tie your pinata in the air with the string and have fun!

You can be very creative with this project. You can design your pinata into any shape (animal, flower, etc,) with your imagination. Use thick colored paper filled with scrunched up newspaper and glue or tape to add any details to your basic pinata structure.
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