Monday, January 31, 2011

Musical Monday: Bruno Mars - Count on me

I like this song.
It makes me smile.
I couldn't find a video I liked of it though as anything I could find was a live performance with girls screaming and singing off tune, so you'll have to settle for this umm... fabulous (?) pose of his while you listen to the song.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Books

I've always been a big reader.
When I was in high school I would spend about 2 hours in Chapters at least once a week just puttering around, looking through books, making wish lists and buying the ones I would read that week.

After Zac was born I didn't read much for that first year.
About a month before we had Eli I panicked a bit thinking I wouldn't have the chance to read ever again. I read about 10 books in one month (!), then had Eli and didn't read anything for the last 21 months!

One of my goals for 2011 is to read more and take more time for myself. Lucky for me, one of the things I love to do for myself is read! So I get a two for one when I read.
This month I went a little crazy with the reading though. It seems once I start I just can't stop, so I thought I'd share the 5 books I've read as I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them!

Hubby bought me this book for Christmas and I must say, he did very well!
In short, Casting About is a story about a young married couple, in the first year of their marriage. He has a daughter from a previous relationship and she comes to live with them. The story is about the love that develops between Monica (the main character) and this little girl.

Hunger games.jpg

The series takes place in the future, in the ruins of North America. The area is run by "The Capital", a harsh government, which is surrounded by 12 districts. In order to keep the districts in line The Capital forces each district to send 1 boy and 1 girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight on live TV to the death. The last kid standing is the winner.

I'm not going to include descriptions of the second and third book as it could spoil things, so if you're interested Catching Fire is the second book and Mockingjay is the final book.

I LOVED this series. LOVED IT!!! I read all three books in 3 days, I could not put any of them down! Seriously, SO good! And such an easy read.
You can read some of the book here if you're interested, you just need to click on the picture of the book.

Buy The Friday Night Knitting Club

It took me a bit longer to get into this book then the others and I had an easy time pacing myself through it.
The story is based around the lives of the women who participate in a... Friday Night Knitting Club!!! bet ya didn't see that one comin' eh?
It's sweet, you get to see past scars heal in some characters, new love develop in others. New adventures for some and loss for all. It may not sound like much, but I really enjoyed it once I got going.

What are some of your favourite books?
The nearest book store to us is 3.5 hours away by car so I order most of mine online. Any suggestions are MORE than welcome!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bath Time Shaving Cream "Paint"

My mother in law gave me this wonderful book for Christmas and I am loving it!!
One of the crafts that it shares is for bath time shaving cream paint and I couldn't wait to try it out!
The boys had so much fun with it and seriously, it couldn't be easier to make!!
Put some shaving cream in a few bowls and add a drop of food colouring and mix it all up!

I used the water based food colourings as they tend to stain a bit less, if they are going to stain at all.
I tried out a little area on the wall surrounding the tub a few nights before I let the boys loose incase there was any stainage and I would strongly encourage you to do the same if you are going to try these. I had no problem though and the boys loved it!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Embrace the Camera - Me and Zac!!

Yesterday Zac asked me to take some pictures of us while Eli was having his nap.
I said why not and we wandered off into his room to try our hand at using the timer on the camera.

We had some troubles with the timer, I will admit...
I can't tell you how long we held these smiles before the timer went, I'm impressed Zac's still looking amused to be honest!
This picture was a bit of surprise from the timer... although you'd never be able to tell based on his enthusiasm!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This is the last time I'm going to mention that I had a birthday... I promise!
However I had to share the recipe for the best brownies I have ever had!!!
I've never been one for birthday cake for myself. Honestly I can't remember the last time I choose to have a birthday cake in celebration of me. Usually I have a birthday pie.

This year though, after great internal debate, I decided I wanted moist, gooey, mocha brownies.
And let me just say, they did not disappoint!!
You should make these.
You should make these right now actually...
I'm not kidding... if you have the stuff, go make these!!

Mocha Brownies
1 cup flour
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
8oz semisweet chocolate squares (8 squares)
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine together first 4 ingerdients and set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler in a large bowl. Once melted take off the heat and stir in sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each one.
Fold in flour mixture and while some flour still remains add in chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
Spread into a prepared 9x13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until set but a few crumbs stick to tester when inserted.

They also keep really well in the freezer. I've been pulling them out through out the week to make for some wonderful moments
and they've tasted just as good as they did when they first came out of the oven!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow Days

We've been getting buried with snow the last couple of days and I am loving it!!

It let up some yesterday afternoon and I was able to take the boys out to play. No pictures though I'm afraid, truth be told, they weren't nearly as excited about it as I had hoped.

Eli's not too sure about snow because it's cold and he can't help but continually doing face plants into it! And Zac's just not a fan of the cold wind that tends to come along with the snow.
I'm loving this weather!
Something about being covered in snow and unable to leave the house just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Musical Monday: Adele - Rolling in the Deep

This has to be my favourite song at the moment...
I just can't get enough of it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Date Night Salad Dressing

As I've said, last week I had a birthday.
It was a great day! The weather was horrible so we took it easy only venturing out once between phone calls from family.
Hubby and I decided to have a date night in, as it had been awhile since our last.

I made a delish pasta with a cream sauce, chicken and veggies, along with some fresh bread (store bought of course!)
A yummy salad with beets, feta and pistachios and a homemade dressing!
And Birthday brownies with frozen yogurt!
I'll share the recipe for the brownies later this week, because right now I have to tell how to make the dressing for the salad as I'm practically drinking the stuff.
I've eaten more salads the last few days then I have in the last month, just as an excuse to use this dressing!!

Honey, Dijon Dressing
1 Shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon

Whisk the shallot, vinegar and dijon together. Slowly add the oil whisking constantly until everything has emulsified. Whisk in the honey and add salt and pepper to taste!

mmm... I'm off to make another salad!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I had a birthday this week.
This means, thanks to my generous family!, that I have some decisions to make on how to spend some birthday cash...
Last summer my hunnie bought me my dream camera and I have been craving an amazing camera bag to carry it around in ever since.
I recently discovered Jo Totes and am IN LOVE!!
Trouble is I can't decide which one I want... well more, which colour...
Hubby is a little disgusted that I would buy such a girly camera bag so he is no help in my decision making, so I thought I would turn to you for your help!!!
I think I've narrowed it down to the following two bags:
Rose - Raspberry
Rose - Teal
which would you choose??
If neither, you should pop over to Jo Totes and look at the other ones and let me know if you think there's a better option. They're a little low on inventory at the moment, but I'm totally willing to wait to scoop up the one I love...
sigh, I just love them all!!

Foam Stickers

I was once told that the key to entertaining kids is foam stickers.

I can honestly say, I didn't believe it could be so simple, but I did pick up a couple packages of different stickers along with some visors and door hangers to decorate and packed them away for the day I needed something to entertain the boys.
We were having a boring day a couple of days ago and the boys could not be entertained for more then 5 seconds doing anything. So I consulted my crafting stash and came across the foam stickers and visors. I pulled them out, dumped them all over the kitchen table and sat all three of my guys down to go to town.
They had a ball!!
It was the best investment I could have made and really it cost less then $10 and I still have enough left over for at least 3 more sittings.
If you don't already have some in your entertainment stash, I would hurry out and get some now!!!

What is your rainy day activity?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Embrace the camera: My Mister!

This is my mister.
I love him a lot.
Because of him I was able to have this wonderful little boy.
And then 17 short months later this sweet little thing!
Ah yes, my mister... he's a great guy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tool Belts for the Boys

We've slowly been working on some home renovations and every time hubby reaches for his tools both boys go a little crazy and run and get their play tools in an effort to help out.

Zac loves the idea of a tool belt and can often be found shoving tools into the elastic band of his pants and/or underware. I decided that because of this, he needed his own tool belt. Shockingly enough, those suckers are hard to come by in a size small enough for his little waist! So I made him one.

In the future, I plan on using fabric instead of felt, just to make it a bit sturdier, so I'll give instructions for using both felt and fabric, because I'm nice like that!

To start you'll need:
Scissors (I also used my rotary tool)
felt or fabric
a ruler
sewing machine or hand sewing supplies

Cut a strip 24" long x 3" wide for the waist band, and cut 3 rectangle pieces 10" long x 5" wide, or you can measure the size of the tools and change the measurement according to what will best fit.
Fold the waist band in half, long sides together, and stitch from one end to the other, closing off one end. Fold your rectangles in half, short sides together, and stitch up the sides. Turn everything right side out and close off the end of the waist band that you had left open.
Add velcro to the ends of the waist band (will need to be place on opposite sides in order to match up without needing to twist the band.). If you use felt to make the tool belt, you will want to pull all your hair out trying to turn the waist band, I only turned 1 and left the other with the stitching showing... You may also want to throw in a top stitch to each pocket to give it a bit more finish.

Take your pockets and cut 2 slits in the back (works best if it's close to the middle, not quite as high as I have in the picture), roughly 2" long, or however long you need to in order to thread the waist band through without bunching. Thread the waist band through, and do the same thing with the remaining 2 pockets. If using fabric, make 2 button holes in the back of each pocket using the same measurements.

To make it a bit cuter, I cut 3 tool shapes out of sticky back felt and stuck one on each pocket.

Voila! I think it's so cute!
I couldn't get a nice picture of Zac, no matter how hard I tried!
Eli was just up from his nap and couldn't even allow himself time to come to completely before he was off and stuffing things into each pocket!

They both LOVE them!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zac's Birthday Party

Zac's birthday party was over a full month ago and I'm just now getting around to sharing details!
How horrible am I!!

Zac loves pirates, he always has, so we decided to go with a pirate theme this year. I'm not too wild with themes though because, quite frankly, I'm too cheap to go all out. But I was able to find super deals at the dollar store that I was really excited about.

Way back in the spring I was in Michaels and found a little cupcake liner package that included pirate liners and little pirate flag tooth picks. I scooped them up and tucked them away for the party.
Zac was floored when he saw them!
All other decorating was from the dollar store though, which I am so proud to say!!

The center piece for the table was a little wooden chest filled with chocolate dollar candies and a few jewelry necklaces.
Goody bags for all the kids were also wooden chests, just slightly smaller then the one in the middle of the table, filled with candy necklaces, chocolate dollars and candy rings for the older kids, and playdough for the younger ones. So each kiddo was able to take home some buried treasure!
I was pretty impressed with some of the detail work on the wooden boxes I picked up for the kids, especially since I only paid $1.50 for them!
(I'm hoping you can see the detailing in the picture)
It was a busy day though and Zac ended up falling asleep about an hour into the activities and slept the rest of the party.

Now to start thinking up plans for next year!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Musical Monday: JJ Heller - Your Hands

I've been a little low this last week or so; just in a bit of a funk that I'm having troubles getting out of.
I've shared JJ Heller before but I really like her. I find the lyrics for all of her songs so powerful and comforting...and real...
I've been clinging to a couple of her songs this past week and thought I'd share one!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Socks in a Box

Look what I got this week!
And looks what's in it!!!

Bet you can't guess what I'm going to do with them...
Well you can guess all you want actually, but I'm not telling until closer to May... hmmm...

I'm very excited though, thought I'd share!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Journalling Pt 2

This week I've been working on my journalling for my "New Year, New You" class and once again, it's been great fun.

I feel like I was moving in slow motion most of the week, so I didn't get as much accomplished as I had hoped, but I'm almost up to date on my entries!

Thought I'd share my progress.
I had to write about accomplishing my goals at one point and I was really excited to have the extra push to start getting things done!
My journal is becoming my accountability partner!
What does "A New Season" mean to you?
My one word mantra for 2011 is "Create"!!

I think this quote is great!
Have you ever made a list of all the things you were thankful for? I love doing it whenever I get down, it seems to always help lift my spirits.
Whew! Seeing all the pages listed like that I feel like a star in my progress this week!!

Missed Part 1? Click here if you're interested.