Monday, February 28, 2011

Musical Monday: Sarah McLachlan - Blackbird

I had forgotten how much I liked this song.
Until the other day when I heard it for the first time in what must be years.
I haven't been able to stop singing it since then!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Craft Hope

I bought this book a few days ago.

I didn't look through it as thoroughly as I do most books, but I decided that it was a must have. It's filled with loads of craft ideas and had this little green sticker on the front saying "$1 from the sale of this book will be donated to Global Impact" which made me feel a certain justification in buying the book.

When I sat down to finally read the introduction to the book and all the projects, I was thrilled with my somewhat carelessness in purchasing the book.

You see Craft Hope is an organization that encourages crafters to help others by creating goods and packaging/sending them on to those that may need some help. The first project Craft Hope undertook was pillowcase dresses that were sent to a children's shelter in Mexico. The second project was soft cloth dolls for an orphanage in Nicaragua.

I had troubles getting through the introduction to the book without bursting into tears as I was so moved and inspired by Jade Sims and was simply itching to get involved!

I love the idea that I can get the boys involved with this as well! Although they may be too young to actually sew or make some of the items, they can help me package them and assemble kits and learn the compassion involved/needed when helping others.

I really want to encourage each of you to pop on over to the Craft Hope site and snoop around a bit and see if there is anything you could do to become involved as well. Even if you're not a crafty person, try teaming up with someone who might be able to teach you or take over the crafty part of the project (you could stuff bean bags that your crafty partner has sewn, or you could find all the supplies needed for a birthing kit, while your crafty partner makes the bag to put them in along with a stuffed animal and blanket), or money donations are always appreciated by the groups featured for each project.

I am so excited to get involved in all the Craft Hope projects going forward and possibly doing up some of the projects that have already passed current status on the site.
I feel it's so important to remember that we can all do our part to help others and that living in the places we do, we should almost feel obligated to help those that need it most. So even if Craft Hope is not something you're especially interested in, I challenge you to make the world a better place this coming week somehow! and if you're up for it, leave a comment telling me how.

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dinosaurs A-Z

As the mother to 2 boys I have a problem.
It's proving to be a bigger problem then I had anticipated at first as it resurfaces each and everyday... at least 4 times!

You see my problem is this... I can not pronounce dinosaur names...
I know, I know, I can hear your gasps of disapproval from here!

I can say the standard ones, you know, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor...
but we have this book, and Eli loves it!
He sits down with it at least a dozen times a day looking at the pictures, and chases me around the house at least 4 of those times asking me to sit with him so he can point out the dinosaurs and I can try to sound out their names.

I mean really:
Am I the only one out there that can't say these names no matter how hard I try?

That's why when I found this song I just about cried in relief!
Dinosaur Train is a known show in our house, but I had never heard this song until I stumbled across it on YouTube a few days ago.
Needless to say, I am trying my hardest to memorize it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kool-Aid Playdough

My boys really haven't had much interest in playdough.
All their little friends loose their minds for the stuff, but my boys have always been able to take it or leave it, with no real feeling either way.
That was up until last week of course!
We were having a bit of a rough day and in an effort to make everyone happy (or quiet!) I decided to whip up some play dough and hope for the best. I'm not too sure what was so magical about that day, but since then both boys love the stuff!
They ask to play with it at least once and day and can be caught telling people it's their favourite thing!
I know there are a million and one recipes out there to make playdough, but I thought I'd share the one I used. I didn't have any cream of tartar so I skipped it and it worked out just fine! The kool-aid makes it smell super yummy and I've read it has less chance of staining then if you use actual food colouring! I'm sure how true that is, but thought I'd pass on the rumors!

Kool Aid Playdough
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 pkg kool-aid drink mix
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water

Monday, February 21, 2011

Musical Monday: Ray LaMontagne - Shelter

I can't get enough of this song. I love it.
A few weeks back I couldn't sleep (I say that like it's not a regular occurrence... tricky, tricky, I am!), and I literally sat at the computer at 1-am listening to this song over and over and over...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


My brother in law and his sweetie are coming for a visit starting today all the way until Wednesday!
I'm super excited!
We haven't had much time to get to know his fiance, living so far away and all, so we're really pumped about the chance to hang out before she's officially a member of the family.
And neither of them have seen the boys since the summer! That's like over 6 months ago!
It should make for some fun times!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Embrace the Camera: My brothers

I come from a family of 5, my parents, my two older brothers and myself.
Hubby and I moved away from our families almost 2 and half years ago because of my mister's work and in that time we've only been home for a visit once. My parents, the hub's parents and my brother in law have all come to see us, here, but my brother's have their own families and very busy lives that are full of all kinds of responsibilities that just haven't allowed for them to come for a visit.

During our summer visit we had some family photos taken and I love this one so much. It's everything my brothers and I are!
We pester each other to no end, but we always have fun and remain close while we do it!

Awe, I love you guys! Only 4 more months to go!

**pictures were taken by Pure Joy Photography, she's awesome if you're living in Kingston, ON and in need of a photographer, look her up!!**

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Sandwich Valentine's

As I'm sure you have figured out, I love a good excuse to bake.

I saw this recipe last week and since I still had strawberry icing left in the freezer from my strawberry cupcakes I simply had to make them!
I doubled the cookie recipe, plunked them in cute little bags, made little topper tags and took them into hubby's work as Valentine's from the boys!
I was really pleased with the toppers and since they were so simple I thought I'd share how I made them.

You'll need:
Scrapbook paper
Ruler (optional, I didn't use one)
Computer labels

Cut the scrapbook paper the same width as the goodie bag you will be using (you could always measure this with a ruler... I didn't...) and long enough to allow room for your label and to be folded in half (so double the size that you would like the finished product to be).
Stick the top of the goodie bag into the bottom of the folded label and staple everything together.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mattress Slide

Last week I went out on my own.
I left the three boys alone without adult supervision... (yes, my hubby is considered one of the boys in this story... no worries... there was "technically" an adult in the house).

Often when I leave I never know the state I will be coming home too.
Will everyone be fed? Will someone be bleeding? Will everyone still have their clothes on? Will naps have occurred?

I can honestly say though, I was not expecting to come to home to this...
...this took me by surprise...
but as hubby stated so matter of fact-ly,
"hey, everyone's having fun, why would I put it back?"
...still... you have to wonder how it got there in the first place...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Musical Monday: Beyonce - Etta James

This has been a favourite song of mine since I was little.

I remember belting it out at my mother in the front landing of my childhood house and her just starring at me with big wide eyes and her eyebrows meeting her hair line.

I still giggle thinking about all the times I would randomly start singing this to people!!
Good times... good times!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Last Minute Valentine Ideas

I had such hopes this week for Valentine crafting, but as you can see it was primarily filled with Valentine eating...
I find my mind tends to run a bit with ideas but I don't always put them into play as my boys just don't get the same enjoyment of wearing heart shaped things as a little girl might...
So since I didn't manage to complete any of my Valentine crafting ideas I thought I'd share a couple links to some other blogs I follow that had some fun ideas...

I love the Purl Soho blog. I dream of the day I will finally be able to set foot in that store!
"Molly's Sketchbook" 's posts are always super exciting to me as they are filled with such fun and easy ideas!
Click here to see a cute felt heart barrette tutorial.

Honey Bear Lane is a blog I follow mostly through e-mail updates, but went straight over to her little corner of the web when I saw her "How to Sew Your Valentines" post. I can't wait to use some of her ideas for next year.

Lastly Strumpet's Crumpets is a new blog to me, but Becky makes me giggle so I've been keeping an eye on her ramblings. She posted this the other day and I was so disappointed that I had already packaged up the boys Music class goodie bags (follow the link in her post to find the toppers on her blog). These are also something I am going to try my hardest not to forget about next year!!

So although I failed in providing fun crafting ideas from my home, I'm hoping you might find some enjoyment in the ones I've included above!

Undie How too's

I've been on a bit of a thrifting kick these days, trying to think of ways to use the fabric from old clothing for new projects.
I was shocked to see the number of tutorials on YouTube for making your own underware reusing old shirts.
So in the spirit of the big V-day I thought I'd share some.

If you are easily offended and a little bothered by the fact that I don't find it a big deal to share undie-how too's on here, then I sincerely apologize, but... is Valentines day and all...

these ones are a bit fancier...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strawberry cupcakes with Strawberry Icing

I have this cake stand.
In the spirit of valentines day I decided it needed to be put to good use holding some delicious Strawberry Cupcakes with an even more fantastic strawberry icing (it tastes just like strawberry ice cream!!)
I'm pretty proud of these suckers.
Hubby gave me the best compliment when he ate them too!!
"These are possibly the best cupcakes I've ever had!!"
So I smiled, and handed him another.
(warning: if you pipe the icing on them as I have in the above picture, strawberry bits will get all through your icing tip preventing you from doing more then 3-4 cupcakes this way... just to give you the heads up... they sure do look pretty like this though don't they?)

Strawberry Cupcakes
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups, thawed, chopped frozen strawberries
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup juice from thawed strawberries (or however much you get from thawing your frozen berries)
3/4 cup milk (or however much you need to give the juice and milk a combined measurement of 1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Chop your strawberries and set these aside as well. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy then add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Add the flour in 3 parts alternating with the strawberry juice/milk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Fold in your chopped strawberries. Bake for 20-25 min in a 350 oven.

Strawberry Icing
1/2 cup, thawed, chopped frozen strawberries
1 cup butter
1/4 cup juice from thawed strawberries (or however much get from thawing your frozen berries)
1/4 cup milk (or however much you need to give the juice and milk a combined measurement of 1/2 cup)
6-8 cups icing sugar

Combine juice/milk, butter and 4 cups of icing sugar and beat until combined. Add the strawberries and remaining icing sugar until you get a consistency you like (it's ok if the strawberries get a little broken up while beating)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A cute little short for your Friday.
This is the world's smallest stop motion animation film (Dot is only 0.35 inches tall!).
I think it's fantastic!

Valentine Goodie Bags

My boys attend a music class every Saturday morning.
It's more of an introduction to music really... teaching kids the basics of rhythm and keeping time and encouraging them to enjoy music.

It's fun and they always look forward to it!

Every holiday the parents always put together little goodie bags for the kids and I always forget.
I mean always forget.

I sit there with my boys encouraging them to be polite and thank everyone that hands each of them a bag full of goodness (that's right, I collect 2 while giving none... I'm horrible, I know!).

This Valentines Day though, I am prepared!
I can walk in this Saturday morning with my head held high and a huge smile on my face as my boys hand out their goodies!
What's even better is I was able to get everything for our bags for about $4 per bag.
The dollar store is seriously my favourite place these days!

Each bag includes, a note pad for drawing, a pencil with a valentiny eraser, a candy bracelet, candy hearts and a little tub of playdough.
I put everything in a cute little bag and tied it all off with some red ribbon!
Now to just remember to bring these babies on Saturday...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Marshmallows

Way back in mid January one of the blogs I follow posted this post.
It got me thinking and I so wanted to try covering strawberry marshmallows with chocolate!
The only thing is... strawberry flavoured marshmallows have not yet made their way to my part of the world. This little fact left me with only one option...

I had to make my own marshmallows!
They were surprisingly easy actually!!!
I used this recipe, only with frozen field berries instead of fresh strawberries.

Once everything was all set, I dusted a heart shaped cookie cutter with icing sugar and cut out some cute little hearts to dunk in some milk chocolate I had melted and allowed to cool a bit.
Once the chocolate was set we dug in!
They were soooo yummy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Musical Monday: Frank Sinatra - Funny Valentine

This week I'm going to have a bit of a Valentine's Day theme going on, with a few crafts and/or baking I'm doing in the spirit of the coming day.
So to kick off the festivities, here's a little Frank Sinatra, because really, who's more romantic then Frank??

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Quarrel with Hair Dressers

I have a bit a of a quarrel with hair dressers...
You see, I take in my baby, looking all sweet and shaggy like...
you know... like a baby.
She goes about her business, doing what she has been trained to do and hands me back my baby... grown about 3 years in 5 minutes...
ripping my heart out with every little smile he shines my way thinking how life is moving too fast...
not cool folks... not cool...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Pirates

My boys love pirates.
We spend most of our days pretending to be pirates or cowboys, more often then not though, we are pirates.
We have a love seat that has been deemed "the ship" and while playing pirates we are all required to pile onto the couch and refer to eachother as captain, fish, and discuss the things we happen to see on the starboard side while wearing the proper hats!
Since we spend so much of our time playing pirates I thought it was a good idea to take some pictures, so we can remember all the little details!
Have a balmy day matey!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RV Living

The idea of selling all of ones belongings to move into an RV is oddly inspiring to me.

It's not a lifestyle I think I could handle, as I like my privacy and space a little too much, but I am almost envious of those that can handle it.

I don't know why I feel this way...
The lifestyle doesn't seem particularly glamorous to me, but just so... comfortable...
(picture source & Janssens family blog)

I follow a bunch of blogs, as I'm sure you could have guessed, and one that I check in on every so often posted this post a little over a week ago. It talks about her and her husbands decision to sell their home and move into an RV.

The next day Laura from Violet Bella posted this post and I fell even more in love with the idea of RV living!

It's really amazing to see how different people live and how happy it's possible to be with very little by today's standards...
It really makes you think about how much we really need vs. how much we actually have.

Like I said before, not a lifestyle I think I could handle, but it's just such fun to imagine!

If you were moving into an RV what items could you simply not live without?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zac's Boo-Boo's

This little man is pretty accident prone.
It stresses me.
See that little mark under the left side of his mouth? He was outside with his daddy, doing manly things in the garage, slipped when leaving the garage and fell on his face. Thank goodness the outside was only a tiny scrape! Inside however was a bit of a mess. He had a big gash running from his lip, just inside all the way down to the base of his gum line. It's healing quickly though, but still not nice.

Today he was playing on the kitchen floor and we noticed blood on the floor. Looking at Zac's feet, he somehow managed to take a chunk out of his middle toe, just under the nail...
Thank goodness for bandaids!
They fix things almost as good as a hug and hold from mommy!!