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Showing posts from 2010

Check This Out!

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I've been channeling my creative energy and actually getting stuff done!  (I've also decided without a shadow of a doubt that next year I need to get my holiday move on waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in advance.  I'm feelin' the pressure with a number of countdowns on the go - and all less than the 2 weeks away!)

On Tuesday, we went to Montana's to celebrate my parents' 30th anniversary (whoa, I just accidently typed 50 - seriously overdating them!) as well as my sister's 25th birthday.  Big family dinner with all 13.5 of us - I'm sure the other restaurant patrons were happy when we called it a night - especially after Kaleb played paparazzi with Auntie B's camera and focused on tables besides ours.

Here are some of the photos of the card I made for Mom & Dad (sorry, I can't remember the name of the paper pack - it's upstairs in the craft room and tonight I'm too lazy to go find out for you!)











I was so excited about the sophisticated silve…

Makin' A List....

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...and checking it twice. Wondering if this makes me naughty, nice or simply crazy? Christmas 2011 gift and crafting extravaganza planning has begun. I haven't even finished my shopping or creations for 2010 but as I Google (or Yahoo search to earn my Airmiles!) yet another query, I'm motivated by all the great ideas I'm finding.

One search result will bring me up pages of neat ideas and then of course, I have to browse each page, seller, etc. and come up with even more great ideas. Here are some of my think-I-have-to-try ideas for Holiday Season '11! (Spoiler alert: if you are one of my regular holiday gift recipients, please try to contain your excitement for the actual occasion. You have 12+ months to perfect that look of awed amazement!)

From Little Birdie Secrets: (one of my new favourite blogs!)

Easy Photo Blocks & Tiles







Christmas Countdown Blocks
Fish-In-A-Bag Soap









From that legendary domestic diva, Martha Stewart, here are some good things:

Body Scrub











Spiced Pec…

Feelin' Blue

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Not my state of mind... just the colour scheme that seems to have struck my fancy during some recent Etsy browsing sessions!
 













  












  I know I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again... but I LOVE Etsy! I just made some stocking stuffer purchases (first Etsy purchases ever!) and am anxiously awaiting their arrival in the mail. It's a great source of inspiration for do-it-yourself projects or out-of-the-ordinary-I-think-you're-extra-special gifts for everyone on your list year-round and pat-on-the-back-I-deserve-a-treat steals or splurges for yourself.  The hardest thing about it is the overwhelming choice - with so many options it's hard to decide.

Think Outside The Box

Yesterday being Rememberance Day, I find myself in a somewhat reflectful mood.  Honourable men and women worldwide are willing (and have been willing for years) to stand up for freedom, liberties, justice - to fight in the name of peace and truth that this world be a safer, better place. The cost of these freedoms is ultimate sacrifice - sweat, blood, tears, life - and we remember these men and women willing to serve, who lay everything on the line day in and day out.  I know it's an oversimplified viewpoint but I'm not looking for an in-depth discussion; I'm merely trying to lay a foundation for my thoughts.

For myself, I find Rememberance Day is always a prelude to the Christmas season.  As much as I love Christmas, I hesitate to totally embrace the 'season' (not the meaning!) until we've paid our respects to those who have served our Country faithfully.  As I relfect on the sacrifices they've given - often their lives - in a fight for peace and goodwill…

Homemade Holidays

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Now that Halloween is over, Rememberance Day is just around the corner (wear your poppy with pride!) and before you know, Christmas will be upon us.   My mom has been suggesting for years that we celebrate the "commercial" (i.e. gift-giving) side of things as the Dutch do, celebrating St. Nicholas, early in December for Sinterklaas Day and leaving the 25th for a the true reason for Christmas, a celebration and rememberance of love's greatest gift.  After a hectic October and what is shaping up to be a busy November, my siblings and I discussed (and decided) that, hey, maybe Mom's onto something here.  So with my immediate family, we'll be celebrating Christmas in early December (not actually on Sinterklaas Day, though.)

This is all excellent in theory... but it means I've lost close to 3 weeks in my "making-a-list-and-checking-it-twice-all-while-staying-on-a-budget" window of opportunity.  Don't get me wrong - I'm organized on paper but my …

Apple Orchards & A Thanksgiving Twist

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I just thought I'd share this (which I'm sure we'll all recall.)  It's a classic and for some, I'm sure it's just a rote tradition when sitting down to that big stuffed bird.  I would hope it has more meaning than that to us:

Bless us, Oh Lord,
and these thy gifts which
we are about to receive from thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.

~ A Traditional Prayer of Thanksgiving


'Tis the season to think of bounty, gratitude and the myriad of blessings we enjoy.  Today, I volunteered with Kaleb's class on a trip to one of our local orchards, Archibalds.  Always a great group of kids and the lady leading our tour was amazing - she had songs, puppets and rhymes and did such an excellent job of simply explaining to a group of 5 year olds.       The orchard has a pretty smart set-up when it comes down to adult chaperones on field trips.  Once we got off the bus, the teachers and students sat in the outdoor classroom while the parents/adult vol…

Creative Comforts

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I think that everyone of us has something inside just itching to get out.  I don't necessarily mean talents or gifts, but just a part of us that when left untouched, tends to keep us feeling unfulfilled or antsy.  For me, one of these itches is the need to create - to do something with my hands and see a finished product as a result of my efforts.  Depending on the day, my mood, the activity, I'm left feeling relaxed, satisfied, energized, etc.

It is my goal, now that we're back into a semblance of routine, to try something new every week to give vent to this monster.  More importantly, I'm starting to realise that for everyone's well-being, I need to grab some "important-to-mommy-let's-keep-her-sane" time - without feeling guilty.  So far, I'm off to a decent start.

Michael's (I love Michael's!) offers some crafty courses in a wide variety of interests, catering to various skill-levels.  Per chance, one day I saw while browsing, that th…

Lucky Linds Is Loved

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I love alliteration (a la the title of this post.)  That's just a side note for free....

You must be pretty lucky - not often you get two posts in a week, let alone in one day!

On the 21st of August, I celebrated my 29th birthday.  Shocked?!?  I know, I don't look a day over 25.  :)  I spent the day packing, cleaning, and driving home from the cottage.  No worries though - I did celebrate!  The 'boys' took me for dinner, informed me while I was doing groceries that I could buy a Kobo eReader (I have mixed feelings about it!) for my birthday and I planned a girls night out with my friends.

Last Wednesday, my friends and I had a lovely dinner at Jack Astors, followed by dessert at Demetres in Whitby.  Let me tell you - spending a night with these hot mommas always makes me laugh and feel loved!  We can complain, joke around, share our stories, our joys, are dramas, our concerns and always end the night feeling better than we started.

As we were celebrating my birthday, …

Baking Makes Me Happy

I will be the first to 'fess up to the fact that I am NOT a domestic diva.   I am nowhere near close to being crowned the next Martha Stewart or being monikered June Cleaver (although for some odd reason, I like the idea of serving dinner in heels and pearls).  Dinner is often a fast food affair and when I do cook, it's often with disasterous results (or decent results and then a 2 hour battle to get everyone to eat their meal without complaining!)   All that being said, however, I do enjoy my time in the kitchen when inspiration strikes, I'm not feeling rushed or pressured and all things go as planned.

I often find baking a great pick-me up.  I'm sure there's a scientific explanation that has to do with the smells triggering emotional responses, blah, blah, blah... but really, it just comes down to having fun and putting a smile on my face.  I tend to achieve better results (or at least better customer satisfaction - and my monkeys are two tough customers!) when …

Don't Quote Me On This But...

Have you ever heard/read the quote saying implying that those who rely on quotes lack inspiration or the creativity to think for yourself?  I can't remember exactly how it goes and I'm too sleepy to Google to find it.   Anyhow, everytime I 'hear' this quote, I tend to chuckle as I'm a BIG relier on quotes and I find them very inspiring.

Today I was browsing some of the local home decor stores for wall art (my kitchen is now painted and all that's left in our reno project is a few baseboards and the transition piece at the stairs.  It only took all summer but it's looking good!  Thanks, baby!)  Anyhow, HomeSense and Winners had slim pickings, a few hopefuls but nothing that struck me enough to buy and Pier1 is just a scary store to go into with 2 rambunctious monkeys.  The couple things I saw were pretty close to what I was looking for but way out of budget.

This disappointment led me to browse Etsy, which I haven't done in some time. The category I opt…

The Celebration Of Life

This weekend offered a spectrum of choices in the celebration of life.  My great-uncle, Frank Weening, passed away suddenly on Thursday in his 78th year and while I have not maintained a close relationship  with many of my extended relatives, he was still much beloved and will be missed by many.   My heart is saddened on behalf of his children, many of whom I've become good Facebook friends with, and of course, for his wife, Auntie Rita, and siblings, especially my Pake.   While it is necessary and normal to mourn, I'm always struck by the laughter that often can be heard at the visitations and memorial services of those who cherished life, family, faith.    What a wonder that in the midst of such great sorrow, we can look back and remember all the good and know that above all we love and are loved.   That not only do we say goodbye and mourn, but we celebrate happier times and a life well-lived.

I was touched by many of the Facebook statuses and messages I read over the last …

Summer Lovin'

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We are indeed blessed.  We live in an amazing country.  We have a roof over our heads, food on the table, 2 beautiful boys, the joys of family and friends.   It is at once incredibly easy to count our blessings and impossibly difficult to number them all.

Every season I'm struck anew with a wonder at the beauty and bounty surrounding us.   Summer brings with it it's own particular set of blessings to count and enjoy.  Some of the simplicities - small things that bring me pleasure, are:

* My gardens - I don't really have a green thumb but I love to pretend I do.  I'm always amazed when I can pull produce from the garden and glow with pride because somehow I managed not to kill it!   This summer, once again, my beans are thriving, my zucchini is an overwhelming jungle, my basil is fresh and fragrant, the cucumbers survived and the rest are hanging in there.

As for my perennial beds, my lilies (always a favourite) are indulgent with blooms - a deep pinkish purple and a …

I Feel Like A Princess...

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...when I think of how Kevin 'courted' me.   I know it's such an old fashioned word but really, that's how he made me feel.   As much as I'm a sucker for romance novels, I'm not naive enough to believe that life is a fairy tale and that happily ever after happens without an effort made on both parts.   I was never a damsel in distress unless you count the few times I ended up broken down on the side of the road.   
Kevin was a romantic - surprises and dinners and flowers and more.  He won me over with his charm, his endless patience, his wry sense of humour, his firm and steady personality.
We've known each other for 10 years.  We've been marred for 6 - yesterday was our anniversary.  You would think by now, the shininess of our relationship would have worn off.  Don't get me wrong, most of the time, with two kids underfoot and busy lives, the grime of daily life means you have to look for that glimmer but when I look at him, really look at him, and…

Daddy & Me

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It's Father's Day tomorrow.  It's also our 6th anniversary.  On June 20th, 2010, I not only will I miss and remember my incredible Opa (maternal grandfather),  marvel at my industrious Pake (paternal grandfather), celebrate my incomprable father, but I get to celebrate 6 years of mostly blissful marriage to the love of my life.   10 years that we've known each other, 6 as husband and wife, 4 as the most amazing father I've been privileged to know (and that's alot of amazing dad's when you realise the size of my extended family!)


For now, I'm going to post laud to my dear old dad and save the anniversary accolades for tomorrow.   I have tender memories (and some not so tender as most of us do!) of Daddy & Me.   I can remember 'working' in the greenhouses with him, fishing, camping, snowmobiling (and then having to pee in a snowbank - no small feat for a girl in bib-front snowpants), cuddling when I couldn't sleep and he watched the evenin…

Tick, Tock....

Man, this year is just flying by!  I know they say that happens as you get older, but really, c'mon now, I'm not even 29....    Kaleb has less than 2 weeks of school left and it's crazy to think how it seems like yesterday we were taking pictures of his first day of JK. 

It's also amazing the things they pick up when their out from the sheltered life that mommy encourages.  I'm by no means overprotective and they are probably exposed to stuff that is slightly older than age-appropriate at times as a result of having slightly older kids in the house... but some of the things they say leads to some pretty mixed reactions - laughter and the knowledge I should probably address it because it's wrong.
The most common refrain we here these days is the ever-popular "Well, you're not my (blank) anymore."  This always comes on the heels of someone they are playing with not wanting to play by their rules.  Everyone wants to lead and no one wants to follow.…

I Love My....

...hubby.   Kev's the best.   I know I don't always show how much I appreciate him (and his hard work) but I really do.   He is an amazing husband and father and I can't imagine how different (and lacking) my life would be if we had not met.

...kids.   They light up my lives.  Two very active, excitable, crazy little monkeys come with their challenges and endless patience-testing occasions, but moreso, they come with hugs, cuddles, kisses, funny antics, and a ton of moments that make me stand back in awe and pride that I am so blessed to be their mother.

...kitchen gadgets.   I figured I should get the important stuff out of the way first, but now that everyone knows my priorities are straight I want to rave about my new T-Fal Actifry!   (Check it out on the T-Fal website.)   Kaleb won't eat potatoes unless they're in french fry form and I was feeling guilty feeding him the frozen variety too often (and let's be honest, baked from frozen just doesn't cut …

I'm Sorry!

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I've been remiss in my posting but I have a good excuse.  Really!  Honestly!  We've been busy and THIS weekend is only going to get a whole lot busier.  I'm sure I posted about my 'worries' re: the whole daycare situation.... well it's worked itself out for now and I'm looking after a good friend's little boys for the mornings.  They're close in age to my monkeys and the school schedule is the same so it works well all around.   This week was our first with this switch up in the schedule and while it's going well, change always takes it toll on us.

Speaking of change, thanks to my magnificent, wonderful, generous mother, Kev & I put a huge dent into our main floor rejuvenation project.   Mom (and Dad, I suppose), took the boys last weekend (while tending to my youngest brother recovering from knee surgery - brave souls!)  The absence of my precious babies means that we were able to tackle the next step, also known as Phase 2:  Painful Paint…