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Showing posts from 2012

Be Still...

We all know how crazy, hectic, impossibly busy this time of year seems to be.  For some reason, I'm finding myself stressed and worried more than usual this year.  I feel disappointed that I don't seem to have it all together and I was convinced life was supposed to be simpler with the move - almost a year ago!  It hasn't been.  

I've gotten busier (yay!) with my Wisdom & Whimsy projects, I've started doing data entry from home part time, and on top of that I'm still trying to earn the mom of the year award while wearing my Martha Stewart hat - and I'm failing miserably on both those fronts!  And just because life in and of itself isn't enough of a whirlwind, illness decides to pop by for a surprise visit like an unwanted house guest, seemingly sucking the life and energy out of us all ever so slowly.   Oh, and we're going on vacation over the Christmas holidays and I'm a detail person - I need lists, checkmarks, plans in place well in advan…

Kitchen Dreams

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There are some fabulous home & decor stores out there with even more fabulous websites with extra, extra fabulous catalogue rooms and crazy ridiculous price tags!  Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn... and one of my favourites, Ballard Designs.  Besides the inspiration I find in magazines, Pinterest, and through some talented bloggers I follow,  I could spend hours drooling over browsing the websites of these non-budget-friendly outlets while looking for ideas for our home... all the while hoping I can pull off a similar look without breaking the bank.   That little voice inside my head is always niggling away with thoughts like "I wonder if I could do that for cheaper..." or "That would be easy to do myself..."

This is our current dining nook.  For our living space, we have one big open concept room off the deck (which we use as our main entrance).  The room includes our living/tv room and eat-in kitchen, both of which need some serious updating  horrid…

Charming Ribbon Bookmark Knockoff

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I'm not sure I've ever tried (or successfully managed) a chain store knockoff before.   A few weeks ago, the boys and I were in Pier1.  (I think that trip gave me a heart condition - do NOT EVER - never, ever even - bring two rambunctious monkeys into a store filled with pretty expensive things.)   I have never said, "Stop touching."  "Look with your eyes!"  "Don't run."  so many times in one short span of time.

I  love Pier1, but for a mama on a budget who isn't quite sure how she wants to decorate her house, it can still be a bit pricey.   They have some fabulous items though - their decor, art, dishes, and accessories make me swoon a little when I meander through their greatness.   I even love their little tchotskys and giftables - which is what inspired this knockoff.

I love to read.  I've said it before, I'll say it again.  This is just a fact of who I am.  As much as I like books, I loooooove pretty bookmarks.  Seriously.  I…

Angelic Children...

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...don't exist.  At least not in my reality. See their halos gleaming brightly in this picture?

What?  You don't see them?  Oh right... that's because they don't have any halos... because despite their innocent faces, they can really be quite devious.  

Side note:  this photo was taken early yesterday morning (7:30ish - that's early for someone who slept in til almost 8 am all summer long.)  I took it before driving them to school.   Note Justin's grimace.  He's not upset about school, he's angry I'm taking his photo.  This was the best of the bunch.   Lately, he's developed this strange aversion to the camera.  Unfortunate, for despite his less-than-angelic behaviour, he really is quite cute.

Back to that behaviour, then...   All summer long, they woke at the crack of stupid.  Seriously.  They could stay up late and still be awake between 6:30 and 7 am, full of energy and smiles.  I mean, who does that willingly???   They'd go play quietly…

Question Everything

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Anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows how much to read.  In general, I'm particularly fond of light, easy-reading, happy-ending, love and romance fluff.   Definitely not stimulating or thought provoking, but a quick escape from reality that doesn't require intense concentration.   I don't have particularly high standards when it comes to author or content.  I don't have high expectations that I'll get something out of a quick read.   I want entertainment, pure and simple.  If it's boring or requires undivided attention, it gets re-shelved very quickly.

All of that said, once in a while I'm struck by a paragraph, line or even general message that a light & fluffy book can bestow.  I just finished reading "The Briton" by Catherine Palmer.   She's a Christian author who doesn't get "preachy" and this particular book is my favourite genre:  historical romance.   It was a predictable, not-too-deep fiction and I could pic…

A Steadfast Hope

I'm the first to admit we tend to slack off in the church department.  I don't think this is a reflection of my faith - my beliefs, the ones that are solid and unshakeable, remain the same.  As I've matured, I've learned to question for myself and I don't take everything at face value.  This has changed the face of my faith but not the core of my beliefs.All that said, our weekends get busy and more oft than not, our Sunday mornings are lazy.  We don't make the effort to get to church.  Besides, who wants to be a quartet of cranky people in a service that's supposed to be a reflection of praise and happiness?  It's hard to get in the spirit of things when you just spent 2 hours fighting to get out the door.But....on occasion, we actually do make it (relatively on time) without any bloodshed.  After participating in a summer kids' program, faces are more familiar and it feels like a comfortable place to be.  We've found a welcoming, warm hearted …

Tick, Tock

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The summer is flying by.  In just over two weeks, the monkeys return to school and we have a whole list of things on our summer bucket list that we haven't even attempted yet.Now comes the mad dash to cram it all in before the big Back To School.  On one hand, I can't wait - it's hard to tackle my own projects while entertaining the troops.  On the other hand, I enjoy our lazy mornings and watching their excitement over silly things like pet rocks, movie marathons, and hunting for grasshoppers. Time is running out and we have to make the most of summer days remaining.

A {CRATE} Idea!

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It is now the second day of August.  This is not a revelation for most of you.  For those who get behind the whole Christmas-in-July thing, it's a frightening enlightenment.  Particularly if you seem to have skipped through the entire month of July with nary a thought of Christmas.   On occasion, a fleeting glimmer of *something* would flutter through my brain and I had the best intentions of getting the ball rolling on the home-made, heartfelt Christmas wagon.   That *something* seems to have fluttered in on a wisp of nothingness and floated back out the same way.  At least I have 4 months to pull in some ideas and execute some last minute late night creative sessions.

When I am organized, I can start thinking holiday mode before Christmas has even passed the previous year.   I'm just that crazy.  Not so this year - with the packing, and the move, and the settling in, and establishing new routines, and making new friends, the first half of this year has disappeared and I seem…

Day-Cation: Part II

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It's almost as good as the tropics!  I'm finishing a sun-drenched afternoon with a {yummy!} banana daquiri.  It's not quite a pina colada on the beach but it hits the spot!http://instagr.am/p/NzNAeIA7B1/
Banana Daquiri, The Oasis Girl, Cobourg

Day-Cations

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We aren't taking holidays this summer but have instead opted to enjoy daytrips. With a little imagination and a very small budget we're able to explore local destinations and still get out of the everyday mundane.   I like to think of them as day-cations - little escapes without the big ticket price and I get to sleep in my own bed at night.  We might just be sitting on the shore of Lake Ontario today but in my mind I'm feeling ocean breezes, lying on a white sandy beach with the scent of saltwater in the air. All I'm missing is the Pina Coladahttp://instagr.am/p/Nyp-eAA7JG/
Beach Boys at Victoria Beach Park, Cobourg.

Another creation

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I have been steady with my Wisdom & Whimsy creations but this is ine if my recent faves.MDF painted with an off white, vinyl letters as a mask, topped with a coat of espresso, sanded to distress a little, then sealed.  It looks amazing and I'm a little jealous it will be leaving our home.

Miss me?

So it's been approximately 3 months since I last blogged.  Some days I've thought "Oh, I need to share this..." and then (as always) life gets busy and composing a post just slips my mind.    So much has happened, but if you follow me on Facebook, you are probably on top of the latest gossip involving our lives anyhow.

I just recently switched (a week ago? maybe?) from my dinosaur vintage iPhone 3G.  It wasn't even 3 years old but man, oh man, it was starting to drive me nuts.  Now, in Apple's defence, the phone fell in the toilet twice, the dish water once, and was left in a stroller in the rain briefly.  It fell on gravel, store floors, concrete, hardwood, ceramic and grass.   Despite the scattered screen after a slip out of my pocket (iPhones don't bounce!) the touch screen still worked and with all the other mishaps, it held it's own.    That being said, it was 2 models behind when I got it (I think they just brought out the 4G)... and over the l…

I'm Hungry!

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I've gotten out of the habit of creating a meal plan and/or grocery list... and I always go way over budget at the grocery store and run out of food well before I should.   (This also happens if I grocery shop with a) Kevin or B) children.   With Kevin, items randomly appear in the cart.  With the kids, I tend to just want to get in and out as fast as I can so I fly through the aisles grabbing whatever I *think* we need.)   

With two FUSSY monkeys, (ohmygosh they drive me crazy with their complaints at dinner, breakfast and after school!) and lately, no desire to spend lots of time in the kitchen, I want quick, healthy, yummy meals that will make table time a breeze.   Unfortunately, when we do find something that the majority (3 out of 4 ain't bad!) enjoys, it gets added to the regular rotation and *I* get bored of it quickly.   (The "men" get spaghetti and meatballs... mommy makes toast and eggs, or a bowl of cereal.)
Today I went shopping for a 10 day meal plan -…

Ginger Snap Scraps: Mega Mother's Day Giveaway

Do you ever stop to think about how social media has changed the dynamics of consumer, business, and even personal networking? Do you ever dial "0" for the operator or call 411 when looking up a telephone number? When you need to get in touch with someone - for a quote, for an order, for a quick question - do you pick up the phone (forget writing a letter or sending a fax!) or do you send a text, an instant message, or an email?


The internet and social media are amazing things - providing access to information and ways of interaction to an extent we never imagined even 10 years ago. Here's an example of how you can just stumble across something wonderful.

On a random blog, I found an example of some paper crafting projects and stamping products I loved. Unfortunately, I didn't know anyone who was a rep for Stampin Up. ---->

Head over to Stampin' Up website and locate a local consultant. ------>

Place an order online and find out said consultant has a blog

Black & White

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Nothing in life is as simple as black and white.   Yes, there are obvious rules and morals that are clearly defined, but not everything fits so neatly into such a categorization.   Black & White is the inspiration for today's second photo-challenge inspired post - I'm back on track!  

When talking photos, black and white can hide some not-so-perfect elements in an image you'd like to capture.   I find sepia can do the same.  Using basic camera settings on newer digital models or a decent image-editing software, you can pretty up those pictures that otherwise just look "blah."    Generally while crafting with images, I use a sepia or black & white - it just eliminates distractions in the photo and gives everything a more polished look.

When talking about my life, nothing (minus a good extent of my wardrobe!) is so boring (or is that sophisticated as?) black and white... but here I present three of my favourite "things" - in monochrome.

This is …

It's In The Cards...

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I haven't been crafting as many cards lately as I did, say, oh the 2 months before Christmas.   For some reason I find it harder to create all occasion cards that are attractive.   I find inspiration on Pinterest, through some magazines, various blogs - but when it comes down to it, Christmas cards just seem to be my thing.

This is one of my most recent cards, a set of 4 made for my Wisdom & Whimsy group.
It's blank inside... which makes it perfect for a girlfriend's birthday, a wedding shower, or just because.   It's simple... but I feel like it's just missing something.

Here is another simple card I've created for Wisdom & Whimsy since "the move."  I found the charms, used as my sentiment, at Michael's in the clearance department and thought they were too good a deal to pass up.  I wasn't thinking 'card' when I bought them, but I saw a similar idea through an online print shop for wedding stationary and thought they would w…

A Burst of Colour

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I know it's been so long since the last post... and I feel like every new entry I'm apologizing for the span between... but life get's busy and some days it seems as if we're just settling into a working routine after "the big move."

We've been in the house just under 3 months and haven't even begun to scratch off the items on our to-do list.   We've survived the move, the school transfer, the bus mishaps (they forgot to drop off my kids not once - but twice - since mid-January!) We've survived a small basement flood, a larger basement flood, a thunderstorm, a snow day, and March break.   We've met some neighbours, met the original owner, met (& sheltered overnight) 2 runaway Kuvasz dogs  - one who decided to walk right in the house when I opened the screen door to the deck.   Needless to say, life goes on, life gets busy, life is seldom without it's adventures.

I really want to maintain the blog now that we seem a bit more settle…