Showing posts from March, 2010

Sweet Serenity

I don't often have music on in the house - I'm not exactly certain why, but I lean towards the reason having something to do with the chaos and noise that surrounds this household.   We're loud!    There is usually one afternoon a week that the house falls silent - Kaleb and the daycare kids are at school, I have no errands to run and Justin is quite content to hang out with Mommy.

These are the days I turn on the radio, pick a digital channel on Rogers or actually use my iPod or the iPod feature on my iPhone.   On a very rare occasion, I'll pick up one of the kids music cds or dvds (this depends on my patience level and weighing whether the entertainment value will outweigh the annoyance quotient).

 Today, I went even rarer and popped in one of Justin's PraiseBaby DVDs.   I highly recommend these for any Christian family with a baby or toddler in the house.  Justin is 3 and still cuddles up on the couch and even if he doesn't watch it, Mommy actually finds th…

9 Months Til Christmas!

We're coming through a busy week and quickly approaching what is going to be a very busy weekend. (why does the week following a holiday seem so exhausting?) We have birthday parties, kid-shuttling, concerts, laundry, housework, etc. My kids woke up fighting before 6 am this morning and are super-cranky (not to mention the other children who have invaded my home and brought their grumpies with them.) I blame it on the weather - the gloomy overcast skies are not bringing out the best in people today - myself included. I'm feeling icky with a sore back/kidneys and am hoping the antibiotics fight this infection as quickly as they can!

On to happier things, Easter is right around the corner. It's hard to believe how fast March seems to have flown by. Someone on Facebook pointed out that we only have 9 months til Christmas! I'm glad it's spring but I much prefer the warmer sunnier days. We have started our seeds (well, the boys did their seeds) in anticipation of adding…

Fabulous Finds

I've never purchased on Etsy but I shop (window shop, that is) all the time.  Someone (my mother, perhaps?) asked what I look for and honestly, more often than not, I go to browse rather than looking for a particular something.    I look not only for things to buy but often to get some creative inspiration.

Here are some of my recent Etsy faves:

Garden Love Handmade Buttons
$8.50 USD
Seller:  Tessa Ann

These adorable buttons would look perfect adorning a spring-themed
scrapbook page or handmade card.

Reversible Fabric Organizer Bin
$18 USD
Seller:  Baffinbags

I would love to get some of these to organize the monkeys' room.  Also available in a variety of other fabrics - they're all just so appealing!

Tri-Fold Colouring Crayon Wallets
$15 USD
Seller:  GetSassed

These are a great idea for dinners out, waiting rooms and long car trips.  Super-cute to tote around as well.  Also available in other kid-friendly patterns.    These might just make it onto my stocking stuffer list!


Fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Orange Sauce

Saw this Becel brownie recipe in my MedicAlert newsletter (which I rarely open let alone flip through.)  I thought they sounded delicious and while I haven't tried them yet, I will in the near future - although I will undoubtedly tweak to suit my pantry (i.e. substituting butter for margarine and sticking to one type of flour).

Brownies                                                                       2 tbsp 30 mL Becel margarine 1/2 cup 125 mL cocoa powder 1 cup 250 mL granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup 175 mL unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp 10 mL vanilla
1/4 cup 50 mL all-purpose flour
1/4 cup 50 mL whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp 2 mL each: baking soda, salt


1/4 cup 500 mL Fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup 125 mL orange juice
1/3 cup 75 mL granulated sugar
1 tbsp 15 mL cornstarch
2 tbsp 30 mL cold water

1.Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spray an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with cocoa, shaking out excess.

2.In a small sa…

I'm On The Hunt For:

One delicious pot roast (oven or crock pot) recipe.  

Once upon a time, I had the most delicious recipe that wasn't so much a recipe but a scribble on a scrap piece of paper culminating my trial-and-error attempts at fine-tuning my pot roast recipe.   All I can remember is that it involved ginger and onions!  

I would toss everything into the crock pot, cook on high for 4 hours and the roast would turn out tender, juicy and oh-so-tasty.  I could even make it from memory.  The last time I made it was Christmas 2008.  Somewhere along the way I lost a few brain cells (the ones that had the recipe filed away for safe-keeping!) and I unfortunately also lost the scrap of paper and for the life of me cannot duplicate the results. This makes me a little cranky when I'm anticipating a wonderful roast and end up with a mediocre replacement. 

I'm picky about roast - it has to be perfect for me to truly enjoy it.  We've had some 'ok' roasts since then...but none have li…

Live Your Life Well

To start on a happy note, can I just say how much I love Pier1?  I have never, ever bought anything of significance there, I just love to browse that store.  I walk out with so many ideas and a desperate desire to win the lottery.   Today, I bought a lovely reusable tote that I will be using as a gift bag - it's cute!

On a sadder note, this morning was the funeral service for a family friend, Colleen Mills.  Colleen's in-laws are great friends with my grandparents and our families have many connections - business, church, school, community, etc.   Alec & Colleen are my parents neighbours and I babysat for them occasionally when their 3 children were much, much younger.  My heart goes out to Colleen's family and friends.  She was so sweet and a shining example of a woman of faith and kindness.  She suffered a heart arrhythmia on January 18th and despite many prayers and the best efforts of the medical community, passed away on Saturday, March 6th.

Here is a testament to…

6...5...4...3...2...1... Switch!

Crazy going slowly am I.

Okay, here's a humorous comic strip that was sent to me via my mother.    I found it appropriate for my ill frame of my mind today!

I Am Slowly Going Crazy...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Switch...

Ohmygoodness today has not been a happy day at our house!  I will be the first to admit I'm glad the windows are closed as there has been lots of yellin' going on.    Not one of my prouder moments, but seriously, between the mud, the dog who is chewing us out of house and home, and two mad monkeys who will not stop fighting, throwing, pinching, hitting, yelling "Mommy" every 30 seconds, and to top it off a couple of extra kids this morning who suddenly forgot every rule we have in place, I think I just might snap! 

Oooookay... breathe in, breathe out!  Counting down til after school when we can hit the park and playground.     (Our backyard would be fantastic, but since they developed behind us and we took home a puppy who digs like crazy, I think the muck might swallow them whole!  Would it be bad if I let that happen???  Just kidding - I won't sacrifice them to the mud.)

Kid-Media from the Veggie Tales Guy

Ok, so if you have young ones running around underfoot and the thought of another half-hour of Dora, Diego or Hannah Montana makes you want to scream, check out this site:

Jelly Telly is a fun kid-friendly media from Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales.   The site features a free weekly show, some games and you should really check out the "Grown Up" section for interesting facts and background on the Jelly Telly concept.   The clips present educational content and present Bible facts to kids who are exposed to all kinds of media (and I'm NOT saying that media they're exposed to is always bad) - this just provides a Christian alternative.

Apparently, limited clips are also available on YouTube and he's also created some fun DVDs called "What's In The Bible"  featuring "Buck Denver", a character from the Jelly Telly media.    I love this!   You can guarantee that I'll be exposing my monkeys (and probably m…

I'm Smitten

I saw these mimiTENS mittens in an email from Savvymom and I have to say, they're ingenious!   Someone had their thinking cap on :)

Available in assorted baby (no thumb) and toddler sizes (with thumbs), they stop that whining about snow in the sleeve.    A similar idea to the long 'snowmobile' mitt but with an extra dash of cuteness and no zippers!   I absolutely love them.

Made of water-repellant nylon, lined with Thinsulate and bamboo fleece, and featuring extra-long cotton-lycra cuffs, they're a great idea for your cold weather adventurer. 

I prefer the girl selection to the boy but the designs ARE adorable.  They also carry a line of soft mitts, hats and scarves. The brand is a little pricey (unfortunately) - but if you had a kid who complained all winter long I could see the investment being worth it.  (Or maybe you're just a mom like me who likes to indulge in a little whimsy once in awhile!) 

Check out the full selection of mimiTENS on the website - it als…

Castles In The Sky

I saw this quote earlier today and I loved it:

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." ~ G.K. Chesterton

It's imagination - it has no limits except for those imposed by our own limited minds.   It is not reality, it doesn't have to follow any rules of logic, it just has to be thought to be so - this is the wonder of imagination.

My boys, like most children, have wonderful imaginations and I enjoy just sitting back and unobtrusively observing this imagination at play.   (Today they are elephant keepers.  Justin does the groceries while carrying around "an angry robot" and Kaleb is looking after a baby who apparently keeps pooping on him.)

Earlier, their elephants were hungry so they (the boys) climbed on the arm of the couch, elephants in hand, searching through the leaves of the dwarf umbrella tree plant I keep on the fireplace to see if they could find food.   Apparently there are snakes and lizards living in this jungle of a pl…

What's Your Brew?

I am by no means a connnoisseur of tea or coffee based beverages but I enjoy a well-brewed cup of tea and the occasional mocha or latte.   The debate on loose-leaf vs. bagged means nothing to me - I can hear it but I will still buy an occasional bagged tea if it sounds appealing.  I'm not a purist and will drink my tea black, milk and sugar, sugar, honey & milk, just honey - whatever tickles my fancy.

I've tried a few brands and flavours and am always itching to try something new.  I favour black and white teas to green teas and am trying to develop a taste for fresh-brewed ice teas not loaded with sugar.   My all time favourite tea is Stash White Christmas - a wonderful white tea blended with peppermint and ginger.   I've only tried their bagged variety but have a package of loose leaf just waiting to be sipped.

The hostess section at Chapters is always a delight to explore.  I've noticed the Tea Forte line but haven't tried it yet.   I find it's a visua…

With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise

Ohmygoodness... I am so PROUD to be CANADIAN.   I've never been one to follow the Olympics but figured I'd be a bit more patriotic this year and follow along as they were on home turf.   I'm so glad I did!!!  I tuned into a few events and got hooked right in. 

I was awed, astonished and pumping my arms and cheering for our incredible athletes!!!   They did amazing and I can't even pick a favourite moment - the athletes from Canada and abroad are all so incredibly talented and these games were the finest I've ever seen.   Curling, hockey, ice dance, speed skating, bobsled, etc - it was so much fun to tune in this year and it's fun to bask in this golden glow surrounding the nation!

There are so many great clips and highlights on the various media outlets - CTV, the Facebook group, Yahoo sports, etc.   Can you believe we took the gold medal record?  And CONGRATS to the States for their overall medal count - they've got some serious skilled athletes too!