When My Grandparents Got Engaged

December 30, 2013
While this time of year is usually a time of reflection and sharing photos while looking back at the year that has passed, I wanted to share with you something that I learned about my grandparents that I never knew before. This Christmas, my Grammie shared with us her engagement story -- which even my Mom didn't know all of. I thought it was such a precious story that I wanted to share it with you too. Although it is quite simple, it still very beautiful:

Let me start by saying that both my grandparents were people of the prairies, but they both ended up in Victoria, British Columbia. They loved to dance, and ended up meeting at one -- and went to many more during their subsequent marriage. They became engaged on Christmas Day of the year that they met. My Grandad asked her to marry him while they were alone together in the kitchen of her apartment -- I asked what he said to her, but it remains a secret.

My great-grandparents were in town visiting with my Grammie and her room-mate that Christmas, and  as she came out of the kitchen she held her hand out to her father and said to him "Not all of the Christmas presents are under the tree."

My grandparents during a trip to Ireland.

It made my heart so full to be able to hear such a story from the mouth of my grandmother as my grandfather has not been with us for many years. It's so wonderful to be able to get little snippets of their life together.

Have yourself a fantastic rest of 2013, and go make some precious stories in 2014! Take care :)


Last Minute Gifts: Glitter Star DIY

December 23, 2013

I Used:
Papier Mâché Star
Martha Stewart Multi-Surface High Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint in Purple Yam
Martha Stewart Smoky Quartz Glitter
Martha Stewart Glue Writing Pen

I started off painting the papier mâché star with the purple craft paint. I painted both sides at the same time and then strung it onto a stick that I placed across two containers so that the star could dry evenly.

After it was dry, I made little glue dots with the glue writing pen -- this thing is truly amazing -- and then added the glitter. I did the glue and glitter in sections so that the glue wouldn't dry before I had made dots all over the entire star. This part is a little bit tedious, but I found it really easy with the glue pen. I let the one side dry and then made little polka dots on the other side as well.


The Gingerbread House

December 21, 2013

I decided to make gingerbread houses with the children at work this year using this fantastic recipe for the gingerbread and the icing, but I kept one of the houses at home for the Little Boy and I to decorate. We sat down today to put it all together. He had a lot of fun putting the candy on the house -- and eating some of it too! He can't wait to eat the little house, and went down for his nap talking all about it. I think this might become a Christmas tradition.


Last Minute Gift For Teachers: Wooden Ornament DIY

December 18, 2013
Sometimes the weeks before Christmas can be hectic, and before you know it you realise that you forgot to get a gift for your children's teachers. This year I decided to have the Little Boy decorate wooden shapes that we could make into Christmas tree ornaments for his teachers to hang on their trees as a reminder of how awesome my son is :)

We Used:
Wooden Shapes that can be found in any craft store
Other Fun Findings
Wire Cutters
Round Nose Pliers

I had my son paint and decorate the wooden shapes that we picked out at the craft store. Then I shaped the wire into a shape that would allow it to hang on the Christmas tree, and glued it in place -- you can use a glue gun...I have just misplaced mine -- and just like that you have a simple Christmas gift for your children's teachers.


My Finds: Flock and Gather Winter 2013

December 16, 2013

1. Buttons - Ookie Ookie
2. Embroidered Monster - Erika Folnovic Designs
3. Bear Plate and Mug - Carole Epp
4. Stud Earrings - Shannon Welch Silversmith
5. Air Plane Terrarium - Plant
6. Coffee - Bogarts Bay
7. Healing Salve - Uncle Mike's

It's been over a week since the Flock and Gather 2013 Winter Wonder's Handmade Market, but I've been busy being sick -- you don't want me to even talk about it. I still really wanted to share with you all of the amazing things that I found this year, and, believe me, if I had a thousand dollars with me I would have purchased something from every vendor that was there. This is the most amazing handmade market that I have been to to date, and with vendors like these I can only assume it will get even better. Please check out the Flock and Gather blog to see for yourself all of the other amazing people that were there.


5 Things For Little Boys This Christmas

December 06, 2013

1. Fun Stacking Blocks - Ollie Blocks
2. Wooden Toys - Wooden Camera
3. Clothes to be worn on Christmas Day and other special days - Bow Tie
4. Dress-Up Play Accessories - Operation Incognito Mustaches DIY Pattern
5. Cute Shirts for every day of the year - Alphabet Shirt


Christmas Traditions: Christmas Cards

December 04, 2013

You might think that I enjoy Christmas cards because I make them myself, but my love of holiday cards goes back much farther than the two years that I have been making them.

When I was much younger I would see my Mom getting the family Christmas letter and Christmas cards ready each December to be sent out to our family and friends, and I loved sitting down to read through all of the cards that my family received. As I got older I started writing Christmas letters to friends, some that I hadn't seen in years, and it fostered my newer relationships as well as brought back some older relationships.

I find that Christmas cards bring us together in a way that the other forms of communication in our lives are unable to. Christmas brings about cheer, love and fuzzy feelings and Christmas cards send those feelings on to the people that we hold so dear. They are a holiday tradition that refuses to move on despite the advances that we have made in technology. Yes, some of those holiday cards that have funny songs or little videos that go along with them are fun, but give me a Christmas card that was sent in the mail and you're guaranteed to make me smile.

I like to believe that there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way that I do. How about you?


What I Am Thankful For

November 27, 2013

Although I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in October, it's still go to think about what I am thankful for. Usually I say that I am thankful for my family, but this year at the supper table, I told everyone that I was thankful for the food, and I still am. I am thankful that I am able to sit down to supper -- almost -- every night with my family and eat a well balanced meal. I am thankful that we have the money to buy that well balanced meal, and I am thankful that I have my family with which to sit down and enjoy that meal.

What are you thankful for?

Thankful Link Up


DIY: Mini Bunting Banner

November 25, 2013
Do you remember the little bunting banner that I made for my shop for the handmade market? I realised a couple of days before the show that I wasn't going to have my shop name displayed on my table, so I quickly made a mini bunting banner with my shop name on it using items that I found around the house. It's really simple if you want to make one for a birthday cake, or your own shop.

I started off by cutting a 1 3/4" thick strip of paper -- 1 1/2" was too small and 2" was too big -- but you can make it whatever size you like.

I then cut little triangles along the strip -- snipping along by alternating my scissors back-and-forth allowed me to create triangles without a template.

I used my mini hole punch to make two holes for the string to go through each small triangle on the banner, and then wrote each letter of the name of my shop on a different triangle.

I attached the string to two kabob skewers -- remember that I made this quickly with what I had in the house -- and used tape to attach it to the window that I used to display the art prints.


5 Things You Need For Christmas

November 22, 2013
I know you're thinking it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but I know for a fact that many people already have their Christmas Trees up, an, if we're being honest here, there's really only about a month left until the big day. I know that postal services can take a while sometimes, so it's a good thing to start thinking about what you need for Christmas before it's too late and you're running around like mad.

1. Cute wrapping paper
2. Fun Christmas cards
3. An ugly Christmas sweater
4. Festive stamps for decorating your Christmas letters
5. Unique Christmas decorations

Hope you have an amazing weekend!


My First Handmade Market: The Underground Market

November 18, 2013
I spent most of this past Saturday at this amazing local coffee shop. Every weekend the owner of The Underground Cafe opens up four tables at the back of his shop for local artists and vintage hunters to sell their wares. A friend of mine -- who sells the cutest button earrings -- and I set up two tables next to each other to take advantage of the people coming into the shop who may be in the market for some Christmas gifts or cards.

It ended up being the slowest day the cafe had in a month-and-a-half -- thanks to the wind and snow -- but we had a good time chatting with each other and drinking coffee and tea, and we both ended up in the black anyway. I had a lot of fun getting ready for the market and figuring out how to arrange my table, and I plan on sharing with you how I made the little bunting shop banner later on this week. I will definitely be stopping in at The Underground Market again.


Pinterest: Baked, Eaten, Delicious!

November 13, 2013

I made this delicious recipe for cinnamon pull-apart bread a couple of weeks ago, and it was a huge hit at our house and at my in-laws -- I brought it along with us for as snack as we were watching a football game. Next time I would sprinkle a little more of cinnamon and sugar mixture all over it because I found that there was not enough in a few places.

I also made this recipe for banana bread. I am not a big fan of banana bread, but my husband absolutely loved it. He said it was very moist and soft. It was probably the nicest banana bread that I have ever made. It rose very well and ended up being quite thick. My husband likes to warm it up in the microwave and slather on some margarine. Mmmm...

If you like these recipes, check out some others that I've got on my Pinterest board called "In The Kitchen". I've been having a lot of fun trying out several of the recipes on there lately, but these two were my favourite.


Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

November 11, 2013

My great-grandfather was an orderly in a hospital during WWI. Once, when my Grammie, my Mom and I were going through an old box of his war things that my Grammie had just found, I stumbled upon these two photographs and asked if I could have them. I was pulled in by the stories that they told: the first photograph is the hospital he worked in after it had been bombed, and the second photograph is him and a war buddy in France -- my great-grandad is the one on the right.

I didn't want to make a blog post today, but then I remembered these photographs and I really wanted to share them with you. Even though they are only one piece of an incredibly large puzzle, it gives you an idea of what our loved ones experienced during that time. May we never experience it again.


What I Wore: My New Leather Boots

November 08, 2013
I purchased my new leather boots to keep my ankles warm while wearing shorter pants during the cooler months -- as if it's possible for me to even have shorter pants. I must say that I love them, and they remind me of a pair of riding boots that my sister owned when we were younger. I got to take them to horse camp one year -- oh the memories that come back in the oddest of ways.

Boots: Aldo
Pants: GAP
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: Forever 21
Brooch: Made by Me


5 Things On My Christmas List

November 06, 2013
Maybe it seems a bit early to some to start Christmas shopping, but not when what your purchasing comes from a shop on Etsy. It's always best to ahead of the game when it comes to buying -- or making your own -- handmade gifts. Here are a few things on my Christmas list from Etsy this year. What's on yours?

2. If You Think You Can Print
3. Felted Pebbles
4. Mini Art Feeling - Ambitious
5. Pink Cats Polka Dot Tank Top


What I Learned From The Ocean

November 04, 2013
Like most things, I never really understood the ocean until I experienced it myself. Now looking at this photo I am quickly transported back to the exhilarating experience that I had while surfing. It was during my time in this vast body of water that I learned some important lessons.

Before we began our surfing lesson, my husband and I went for a swim on a nearby beach. My husband was having fun jumping off the bit of an edge that the surf had created in the sand, and I was building a little sand creation with a flat top on which I was placing pieces of shell that were washing up on the beach. There were some amazing colours of shells, and even some sea glass particles that I discovered. But what I soon realised was that although the ocean was giving me these amazing things, it was washing them away even more quickly than I could grab them, and I learned that what the ocean gives, it can quickly take away. We noticed this too as the beaches looked different every morning after the water had crashed upon it over and over again the day before.

During our surfing lesson our instructor told us that, if we caught a good wave and had to swim back to him, we should swim up the side of the waves instead of crashing through them. I had an amazingly good ride on my first wave, and was making my way back towards my husband and our instructor when I quickly forgot what he had told us. I didn't understand. I had never been in the ocean before and this was my first experience with any natural waves -- let-a-lone 10 foot waves. The only thing I remembered him telling me was to push my body up off the board as a large wave approached me so that the water would go between me and my board.

I had been attempting to swim back to them for several minutes and wave after wave after wave kept crashing into me. I was exhausted from attempting to paddle back to them, and it felt like the waves were pushing me even farther back to shore and I wasn't going anywhere. Several times I laid my head down on the board in frustration, ready to give up, but then something in me kept pushing me to get my arms moving again. The last time that I laid my head down I actually said aloud to myself: "No! Keep going." It was then that my instructor showed up and towed me back to our spot. After that I remembered to swim around the waves and I had no more troubles.

I learned something important about myself that day: I had literally experienced that proverbial situation where people talk about not giving up when the waves are crashing down on you, and I did not give up. I learned from the ocean that I have a strength in me that I did not know was there.


Make It Yourself: Apple Pie Recipe

November 01, 2013

I love apple pie. If I had to choose one desert to eat for the rest of my life, it would be apple pie. don't get me wrong, I love peach pies too, but apple pie just seems to hit the right spot with my tummy and all the right memories from growing up.

Start off by making your favourite pastry, and then peel and cut up about four Granny Smith apples -- the sour green ones. Add 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 3 1/2 teaspoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon -- or a bit more if you like the taste of it -- and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Stir it all together and pour into your pie shell that's ready to go. Cook it in the oven at 350F for about 40-45 minutes, and enjoy the aroma as it bakes! Yum :)


Curious George and The Lady With The Yellow Hat

October 30, 2013

He is so excited to be Curious George for Halloween this year, and I'm so happy that I have a couple more years left of being able to dress in fun costumes with my son -- one of the perks of him coming to work with me. Have a safe and happy Halloween with your little ones!


A Walk Across The Train Bridge

October 28, 2013

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