Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the vintage box: If you want to have a girls' night....

My sister wrote a beautiful post about a lovely evening we had together, and since she put up such great pictures, and such perfect descriptions, I thought I'd just share what she said....

the vintage box: If you want to have a girls' night....: ".... it's best to start in the afternoon with a little scrapbooking. Orange julius make a very nice refreshment while you cut and paste and ..."

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Little Boy and A Little Girl

Two of the cutest kids I know.....
 She's into books, he's into the camera...
 He's checking out the bookshelf to see if there's anything worth reading....
 Nope, back to the camera....
 She's happy with her book she's found, he's decided to take off to find another adventure!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Treasure Hunting

 Once upon a time there were two sisters.  
One day, they decided to go "garage sailing" together to find treasures.
The day started off very beautifully with tea and coffee, and amazing treats from a wonderful bakery.

The two sisters were very successful in buying things they needed, and finding wonderful treasures together!
By the end of the day, the little van was full, and the sisters were happy and excited with what they had acquired.

My wonderful finds.....all this for less than $60!

And a few favorites.....starting with this beautiful edition of Lord of the Rings, illustrated by Alan Lee!

And next these adorable shoes for Ian when he's a bit bigger!

And I got two more books for my Dr. Seuss collection!

And some fun clothes for a few bucks....the shirt has my birth year on it, I mean, how cool is that?!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

A couple of weeks ago, my sister came over and we made homemade laundry detergent together.  It was something our mom did, and something we both had wanted to do for a long time.
There were several reasons, cost being the biggest one for me.  It is waaaaaay cheaper to make your own laundry detergent!  If I was amazingly organized, I would have all the figures right here so I could blow you away with how much money we're saving.  But I don't have the figures, so you'll just have to believe me. :)  All the ingredients we used for two recipes cost less than you would pay for one medium sized container of detergent, and we both have enough to fill at least three such containers.  
It's so exciting to find relatively simple ways to save money every day!  It's such a blessing to be able to be at home enough to do things like this!  

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

2 cups grated soap (we used Ivory, but any gentle soap should work)
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda (not baking soda)
1 quart of boiling water
2 gallons of water

*Add grated soap to the boiling water and stir until the soap is melted.  (You can keep it on low heat until the soap is melted.) ~I just used a kettle to boil the water, and stirred it until it was melted.

*Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda.  Stir well until all is dissolved.

*Add the 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.

*Cover pail and use 1/4 cups for each load of laundry.  Stir the soap each time you use it.  ~I poured mine into an empty laundry detergent container, and just give it a good shake before I do laundry.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Boy and a Shopping Trip

We went to buy a few things all together a few days ago.
It was Ian's second ride in a shopping cart.

 And the little man was thrilled. :)

Doing his little "trucker man pose"

Taking in all the sights.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Phil. 4:6-7)

I was thinking this morning about purpose and direction, and significance.  There's a craving inside me that longs to be significant in what I do.  And that craving is sometimes disappointed when I feel like all I've accomplished in a day is tidy the house and do laundry.  Not every day is like that, but there are plenty of them.  I desperately want to do something that matters with my life, to do something that other people can look at and think "wow, she's really gotten something accomplished."
I'm realizing more and more that what the world sees as significant and praiseworthy is definitely different than what God sees as praiseworthy.  My challenge is to differentiate between the two, and pour myself into what God wants.
The above verses came to my mind this morning as I sat on our front steps, contemplating these things.  We are told to be thankful a lot.  It's so easy for me to ignore a "simple" command like this, in my search for something "deep" and "important".  I think this is probably the best start I could have on my way to finding significance and purpose in what I do every day.
I don't think there's anything in Scripture that even resembles a "ten-step plan to happiness" but there are so many things we're told to do on a daily basis that are so easy to ignore (at least for me!) in our search for purpose.
I want to just go back to the "simple" commands I see in Scripture, and start with those in my everyday life.  I am convinced that when we get to Heaven, we will be come to a true realization of what God truly desires from us, and we will see how much of our life we wasted trying to accomplish things that meant nothing to Him.  I already have things I regret, ways I spent my time, things I did, or didn't do, and I do not want to live the second half of my life regretting the first.
I think the only way to avoid this is by seeking God every day through His word.  It's difficult to obey, but it's not a mystery, it's right there for us to read anytime!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cream Cheese Strudels

I made these delicious treats a few weeks ago when we were going to my sister and brother-in-law's for the evening.  They were sooooo yummy, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you! 

Cream Cheese Strudels
All-purpose flour    2 tbsp.
Granulated sugar    2 tbsp.
Block of cream cheese, softened  4 oz.
Lemon juice         1 tsp.
Package of frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions 14 oz/397 g.
Mixed berry spread or jam   1/4 cup
Large egg, fork beaten
Sanding (decorating) sugar  1 tbsp
(or granulated sugar)

Combine flour and sugar in small cup.
Beat cream cheese and lemon juice in small bowl until smooth.  Add flour mixture. Beat well.  Chill for 1 hour. 
Roll out 1/2 of pastry on lightly floured surface to 6 x 12 inch rectangle.
 Spread pastry with 2 tbsp of berry spread, leaving 1 inch border on short ends and on long side farthest from you.

Spoon 1/2 of filling in dabs, over berry spread along closest long side.  
Brush expose pastry with egg.

Roll up, jelly roll-style, starting with closest long side.  Pinch side edges together to seal.  Place, seam-side down, on lightly grease or parchment (not waxed) paper-lined baking sheet.
Brush roll with egg.

Using sharp knife, cut slits across top at 1 1/2 inch intervals, down to filling layer.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp sanding sugar. 
Repeat with remaining pastry, berry spread, filling, and sanding sugar.
Bake in 400 F oven for about 25 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove to wire rack to cool. Cut each roll into 3 slices. 

Serves 6

NOTE: These are very rich and fairly heavy.  You could easily cut down on the cream cheese, and then you would be able to enjoy the jam and pastry a little more, if you so desire!
You can also make these in any flavor, just exchange the filling for a different type of jam, or, my personal favorite, melted chocolate! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Canadian Crib

After 7 months of sharing our room with Ian, we finally moved him into his own room!   We were given a crib from some friends of ours, but it didn't have any hardware with it at all.  So we looked at it, and wracked our brains as to how to set it up, and then my husband finally came up with this brilliant idea!
After all, hockey season is finished for now!  At least for us amateurs. :)
We'll probably get some dowels or something eventually, once winter comes, and we need our sticks back, but for now, this proves to be an admirable solution to our dilemma! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

My "New" Picture Frames

My next fun decorating project was turning a collection of motley, unused wooden frames into something beautiful to put on our wall.  I got the idea from my sister and was really excited about trying it out!  With a little bit of spray paint, and some new pictures, they looked great!



The pictures in the frames aren't in their final state yet - evidenced by the one on it's side! :P I was just so excited about getting them hung, and seeing the effect, that I didn't want to wait till everything was perfect! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photo Memories....

A few weeks ago, our whole family met in Canmore for a weekend get-away together.  It was such a fun time of relaxing, having fun, and just being together all as a family!  Our first day together, we went for a hike in some of the nearby trails, so much fun!

Ian did so well, he really loves being outdoors!

Everything was just beginning to thaw out, so I got to drink from a mountain stream while hiking ...... so good! :)

Okay, this was seriously the best caramel apple I've ever had!  And not just because it was covered in amazing chewy caramel and m&m's either!  The apple was pretty good too. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011


"Anne bent from her window for a thankful goodnight look at the world before going to bed. A cool wind was blowing in from the sea. A sort of moonlit rapture was running through the trees in the Hollow. Anne could even laugh . . . with a quiver behind the laughter . . . over their panic of an hour ago and Aunt Mary Maria's absurd suggestions and ghoulish memories. Her child was safe . . . Gilbert was somewhere battling to save another child's life. . . . Dear God, help him and help the mother . . . help all mothers everywhere. We need so much help, with the little sensitive, loving hearts and minds that look to us for guidance and love and understanding."

Anne of Ingleside

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Walls!

I love decorating and making our home more cozy, welcoming, and nice to live in! However, as I see from perusing different home decorating magazines, it's often incredibly pricey.  And really, a lot of times, the pictures and ideas I see in those magazines are not at all practical for our home, don't fit into my decorating style at all!  I love finding ideas that look great, but don't cost a million bucks!  

I put this wreath together for under $7!  Under $6, actually, if you count that I already had the ivy garland I had from our wedding. :)  I saw a basket of these beautiful grape vine wreaths for just a few dollars at Michael's, and on a whim, I bought it.  I usually try not to buy things on whims, but I figured that $3.99 was a fairly cheap whim, so it was okay. :P  I brought it home, not exactly sure how I would "dress it up" but knowing definitely that I loved it!  After a few days, I remembered that I still have all the ivy garlands from our wedding, which were currently sitting, unused in a box.  I pulled two out, and wrapped them around the wreath, and voila!  I'm not a huge fan of silk flowers and big bows, so I was quite delighted to do something with the wreath that fit my style.  I love the way it looks in our hallway, the texture and color of it warm really warms up the wall!

After I hung the wreath, this wall was begging for something, so I finally hung this beautiful plaque up, and it compliments the wreath perfectly!  It was a graduation gift to me from some very dear friends, and it's the perfect finish to the hallway. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

A little bit of news....

I was feeling particularly "Anne-ish" earlier this evening.  Everything had a sort of storybookish tinge to it. Stephen was taking a nap on the couch after dinner, Ian was happily crawling around on the floor (his newly acquired skill - marine style! :) and I was enjoying a delightful cup of tea, pumpkin pie, and a good book. (it was Anne of Ingleside.....which may have contributed slightly to my "Anne-ish" mood!)  Oh, and did I mention that the sun was in the beautiful spot just before it sets, where it throws a sunny golden glow on everything?!  It's quite magical, actually. :)
Oh, and in case some of you hadn't heard, I'm expecting again!   This little one is due on October 17!
I have to say, I'm so blessed that I don't get sick when I'm pregnant, in fact, for the first couple of months, I sometimes almost forget that I am pregnant! :P  I think sometimes, my emotional whackiness makes up for my physical healthiness....my poor husband. :P  He's very patient with me though, and that helps so much!
I'm so thrilled now with the weather getting warmer and warmer!  I actually got hot on our walk today!  What a wonderful feeling!  And I discovered the most charming path only minutes from our house!  It actually has a red dirt path! :)  (yes, it's the one in the picture. :)  I only wish it were longer, it reminded me of PEI, and the many meandering paths there!  I think, if we're ever rich enough, I'm going to make red dirt paths all over the place where we live, and have paths wandering through the forest in every direction! :)
I hope you all are having a wonderful early summer!