A lifestyle blog, with lots of photography, creating and pretty things.

February 27, 2014

collection

A new post is up on my photo blog. I chose to capture my collection of old books. Click on over to see Gabi's photograph, she took a unique angle in responding to the prompt.


I laughed a bit when I saw Gabi's collage of pictures because I also had the below picture ready for the response.

 

1. We have a turtle collection in our bathroom. I'm not sure how it started but we get them as gifts and find them in thrift stores. There are about 20 of the little guys hanging out on a shelf.
2. Jeremy decided we should have a duck collection, so that is now added to our list of things to hunt for when thrifting.
3. My collection of buttons is constantly being dumped out and sorted or made into pictures. And not just by me, the younger boys play with them too.
4. I want to add to our collection of older books but will have to find a bigger shelf for them. This one is full.

When I look around, there are other collections in our home I could have taken pictures off. We have a vintage glass collection, a shell collection from beach walks, rock collections that are souvenirs from various adventures and let's not forget the dust bunny collection under my bed.

I'd love to hear what you collect!

February 24, 2014

My Plaid Skirt - Memories

I remember this plaid skirt, or rather, I remember 1 event surrounding it and the feelings this picture evokes. (That's my little sister, we were pretty cute!)



I lived in rural New Brunswick growing up in a teeny, tiny town called Hartland, home of the Longest Covered Bridge. Even today, the population is a whopping 947.

We were at the dump, I was between 8 to 9 years old, and the garbage at the dump was on fire. My dad was throwing our bags of garbage from the car onto the piles and one of the bags ripped open. And there it was. My skirt. My favourite plaid skirt that I LOVED. In the garbage, it wasn't on fire yet but what was it doing in the garbage!?

There were tears, there was a hissy fit and my dad saved the day and reclaimed my skirt from the burning garbage pile.

My mom was surprised when we got home, I don't think she realized the meaning the skirt had for me. Or maybe she just couldn't take my crazy pattern pairings any longer.

Seeing this picture and recalling the event has reminded me how I felt and that I need to respect my boys and their belongings. I  will confess that I have snuck items into the garbage and donation bags when I have felt they have outlived their usefulness; but I won't do it again without their permission.

I don't have any memories of wearing the skirt again or whatever happened to it. But I did have good taste.


February 23, 2014

Sunday Links No. 6 - Hashtag Edition

I came across some inspiring hashtag projects this week and decided to share them here instead of my weekly collection of links. I'm going to be using these this week on Instagram, you can follow me here!

#sfgirlguide The blog SFGirlBay, is collecting photos on Instagram to create guides of various destinations. The idea is to get the gem locations from the locals; an off the beaten track picture guide for your next vacation. Here are the details on how to tag or find your city's must see locations.


#justsayhello Oprah has started a campaign to get people connecting and reaching out to one another. Why not just say hello to someone and see what happens? You could be making their day!


#whp__________ Every Friday, Instagram announces a theme for their Weekend Hashtag Project. This weekend is a video prompt, #whpwhereiwalk. "The goal this weekend is to take a creative video looking down as you walk."

Ready, set, #!

February 22, 2014

6 Years Old (and my first GIF)


My baby turned 6 yesterday, 6 sounds so big - not so "baby" anymore.

At 6 he:

  • answers all his questions with "maybe". But not in a non-committal way, more in a coy, I'm not going to tell you kind of way.
  • tears up when he gets in trouble and won't say a word.
  • has the best imagination.
  • tells so many stories at dinner that he is always the last one to finish eating. We have to tell him to stop and take a bite or we would be at the table all night.
  • seems so much older than his brothers did at this age. Having older brothers is making him grow up way too fast.
 Happy Birthday Grayden!

February 19, 2014

Perspective

In case you didn't know, I have another blog that I contribute to every Wednesday. It is a photo blog collaboration with my good friend Gabi. (And now you know!)

This week's theme is perspective. My shot and thoughts are below. You can visit the blog here to see Gabi's take on the theme and her thoughts behind it.


It's okay that I left my clean laundry in the hallway (not folded) and the boys thought it was dirty laundry and piled their dirty clothes on top. It's okay I broke my own rule and didn't take my shoes off downstairs. It's okay because I spent the time playing knights and dragons with a special little boy.

February 16, 2014

Sunday Inspiration No. 5

This weekend is the first one I have had to work in years! I am not complaining (much) as my job lets me be home so much more than before, but still, not my favourite to be at work while everyone else is at home.

Here are some of the links that inspired me this week:

I am doing a photobooth at my boys' school for a fundraiser. Still sorting out the details, but this template looks great.

I've been thinking about bangs lately. I like having them but get bored quickly and HATE growing them out. This solution may do the trick.

I'm not a bling kind of girl, but I do love this combination of peach and mint.

I have an open closet in our hallway and the contents really aren't display worthy. This would be the perfect solution.

image source: Design Sponge
I have some left over flowers I pressed last summer. Here is the project I will use them on, who wants an old-fashioned letter on homemade paper??

I fall into this trap all the time: reading blogs and getting inspired to create and then reading more blogs, clicking on lots of links and then I end up doing nothing. So take this advice and go create and have fun!

But if you want to click one more link, you can check out past Sunday Inspirations here.

February 14, 2014

Happy Love Day


I spent Thursday evening making cards for all my guys. I found the inspiration for these quick and cute cards here. It was tricky using the white crayon on the white card but I am pleased with the results. (material used: white crayons, watercolour paper and watercolour paints)

I think next time I will let the recipient paint the card after I've written the note. It will be a secret message card and a craft all-in-one!

February 11, 2014

Family Proclamation (Manifesto)


It was Family Day here in British Columbia yesterday. To celebrate, I created our Family Proclamation (I was originally calling it a manifesto but Jeremy thought that sounded too negative). It is going to be a 2'X3' print with a white frame. My husband thinks it should be downstairs in our laundry room where we enter and leave the house, I am lobbying for over our dining room table. We will see!

February 10, 2014

Seeing Beauty No. 1 - My Yard

 
I know we all have those areas of our home (inside or outside) that you look at and cringe and think, "I really should do something about that." But time, money or lack of motivation steps in and nothing changes.
I took my camera out this weekend (thank you Mr. Sun for coming out to play) and decided to take shots of all of the areas of my yard that need some extra love.
And instead of looking at these areas with criticism, I looked at them with the goal of finding art and beauty. Much more kind than thinking of a mildew covered birdhouse or a bunch of toys that were never put away.


I enjoyed it so much that I am going to do another photo shoot inside. Look for it in the coming weeks.
If you decide to take your own series of "Seeing Beauty", please let me know in the comments so I can come visit.

February 09, 2014

Sunday Inspiration No. 4

Enjoy browsing these links with your Sunday morning coffee or tea (this is how I start everyday: reading blogs with my coffee while everyone is still in bed = BLISS):

A twist on a weekend breakfast staple French Toast with Croissants (yummy)

Enter Modcloth's Prints Charming contest and design the fabric for this cute spring and summer dress (the prize of a new dress and the money is a bonus):

Technical 

Really good advice from Hands Free Mama on how moms and dads can help create an environment that encourages kids to go device-free more often.

I love this idea from the Inspiration Nook of hand-stitching felt hearts onto paper for a Valentine's card (or anytime card).

Download the free font Blenda from the Lobster Studio (as discovered on How About Orange)

https://www.behance.net/gallery/Blenda-Script-Free-Font/13832171


I laughed so hard when I read this on Where My Heart Resides. It reminds me of a text exchange I had with my sister last summer. I was trying to convince her how absolutely horrendous my boys' bedrooms were and she didn't quite get it. It ended up with us talking on the phone while texting pictures back and forth of our messy houses. I would share the pictures but neither of us have them any more (I promise!). But really, not too much has changed and I could send you a picture from today too.

February 07, 2014

Nail Polish Water Marbling

On Elise Blaha Cripe's Blog enjoy it she posted a 2 part series on how to water marble using nail polish.

Part 1
Part 2

I had to give it a try, and I love the results.

I tried 2 odd-sized glasses and an unfinished terracotta pot. The glasses were dipped stem first so no paint got on the inside. I then used the nail polish remover to clean the bottom of the glasses to create a smooth surface.

With the pot, I would put it into the liquid slower next time. The air bubbles that were created made little holes all over the paint. I might not be able to get around that though with the hole in the bottom of the pot.



I am going to experiment more this weekend. I have already learned a few things (like keeping the nail polish remover close at hand and not to use warm water - it makes the nail polish clump). I am looking around my house for more things to dip!

February 06, 2014

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to cut out processed granola bars and other snacks from my kid's lunch boxes this year. I won't say we don't eat any processed food, but what we do eat is very minimal and we are label detectives (no BHT or TBHQ for us).

What this means is I have been doing a lot of baking, A LOT. The danger with baking in a house full of boys is that the cookies you make for next week's lunches will disappear in a day if you do not guard those cookies. My trick? I freeze them! They thaw by lunch time and they last a wee bit longer.

I have been playing around with recipes, yummy ones, easy ones, ones with not too much sugar but hadn't found the perfect one until I combined a few that can be made in, wait for it, 1 BOWL. Less mess and mixing!



Here is the recipe for my 1 Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 large egg
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown or golden sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla

Mix these ingredients in your bowl first

Add in:

1 cup of rolled oats (I know most people say not to use quick oats, but I do with no issues)
1 cup of flour (I use whole wheat)
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda

Mix these ingredients with the wet

And THEN:

3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter and place in a 350 degree oven for 9-10 minutes. This recipe makes 16-18 cookies depending on how accurate you are with making the cookies the same size. I typically use parchment paper but was out and they still cooked evenly with no burning.

Enjoy!


February 04, 2014

Etsy Shops to Check Out

I have purchased a fair number of gifts for myself and others from Etsy over the past couple of years. It is on my birthday goal list to list some items for sale in my own shop that I have set up (more on that in a couple of months).

But for now, I want to share my favourite shops, some I have purchased from on multiple occasions and others are bookmarked for future gifts.

Smilesophie

Pea pod necklace, personalized initial necklace, bridesmaid gift, family necklace, mother gift, sterling silver available

I have 3 necklaces from Smilesophie and I love and wear them all on a regular basis. I have this necklace (click on the picture to go to the listing) that represents my 3 boys and the initials J + H. You can choose up to 5 pearls in different colours and 1 or 2 leaves.










 
Theaterclouds

When she held her child... landscape version 8x10
I have 3 prints from Theatreclouds and this one of a mama holding her little boy is one of them (click on the picture to go to the listing). She sets up these beautiful 3-dimensional paper scenes, takes a picture and creates dreamy prints with depth.








Discoverprints

1900 Antique Haeckel Jellyfish Lithograph Print - Original Lithograph - First Edition - Rare Ocean Nature Print - Luxury Wall Decor Art


Discoverprints sells both antique lithograph reprints and original prints like the one in the picture (click on the picture to go to the listing). This one is on my wish list!












Aspen Croft

Handmade felt flower wedding bouquet

This is a new Etsy shop that a girlfriend I know from highschool has just opened. She has a Heritage Farm in Ontario where she raises the sheep, hand shears the wool, dyes it and then felts it by hand. Wow!! AND I am getting a custom pencil case for my art markers. I love the idea of this wedding bouquet, a forever keepsake of your big day (click the picture to go to the listing).




Metal Mantra Jewelry



Copper Shoe-plate/ pendant for runners and athletes stamped with BELIEVE
This is another Etsy shop that I know the owner in real life. She creates hand stamped mantras to help you through a long run or even just through a difficult day. I know that when I run with my son and he is getting discouraged I always tell him it is what you say to yourself that matters. We would say "I can do it" when we were going up a hill or were tired. He has agreed to run a 10K with me this July, I am going to get him a metal mantra for his shoe (click on the link to go to the listing)


What are your favourite Etsy shops?

February 03, 2014

Long Distance Stories

My mom does a great job creating a relationship with her grandsons even though they live across the country from her.

This isn't done by sending gifts in the mail (although she does do that, but not to the point that the boys expect it). We periodically Skype (the times we don't are all my fault, I forget about the time difference until it is too late to call), and she comes up with creative ways to engage them.

Before Christmas she sent them each a story with a cliff hanger. They boys had to write the next part of the story and send it back to her. We are getting ready to send part 4 of the stories to Ontario. It takes us awhile to get all 3 stories written, it is mostly Darien that makes the process a bit longer. Grayden dictates his to me and Connor writes his own, but Darien (who is in grade 2) is still learning to sound words out and gets frustrated easily. I don't push it, when he is done we take a break, I don't want him to hate the process.


As they write them I have been typing them out in case of any lost snail mail letters. It would be easier to e-mail them to her but that takes away from the excitement of getting your very own letter in the mailbox.

It makes me want to have a pen pal of my own!


February 02, 2014

Sunday Inspiration No. 3


I love productive days that go on and on but you aren't exhausted by everything at dinner time. Saturday was just one of those days. I got all of my errands and grocery shopping done in the morning, got a donation load ready to go from my closet and donated some toys to our littlest neighbour from the playroom. And there is still Sunday to relax and do more!

I don't know about you but doing more on a weekend rather than lounging around makes the days off more satisfying.

Here are some links to browse for your weekend:

I bought a bottle of Sriracha today. And I'm going to make this spicy popcorn for game night with Jeremy.

Spicy Sriracha Popcorn | www.kitchenconfidante.com

My beautiful friend Vivienne has created this video about self-portraiture.

Poppytalk has posted some pictures of new releases IKEA has for February.
I want these 2:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-juIRxgu2Zas/UuvDqV7uQ5I/AAAAAAABJeg/TAa74eB9zs4/s1600/Screen+shot+2014-01-30+at+10.45.22+PM.png

I think these origami hearts would be perfect with a Hersey Kiss inside for the boys' classmates this year.

I love the look of hanging plants but I never water them and then they die. Maybe this trick is worth a shot.