Saturday, December 24, 2011

bring it on....I'm ready!

Good morning and happy Christmas Eve day!  Our day started off a little shaky when someone started a vicious rumour that Santa had come last night in order to get Ava out of bed to play "super hero dress up club" with him.
Ava perked right up when she realized that it was her turn to open the LAST advent book (which have a big hit around here!)

our collection of christmas books.... should I keep these in the shelf all year?

Anthony is now doing everything with his "superhero fight gloves" on...spiderman socks!

Last night while wrapping gifts, Sri and I were talking about some of our most favourite Christmas gifts from when we were younger.  I thought I would compile a little list of my most memorable gifts.

Source: via Krista on Pinterest
little professor

Source: via Krista on Pinterest

see through phone

Source: via Krista on Pinterest

crayola caddy

Source: via Krista on Pinterest

swatch watch
Source: via Krista on Pinterest

These are just a can check out my blog board on Pinterest for the rest.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of family and friends!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Just a little post to whine about my morning with the intention of making you feel sorry for me/ get a little much needed motivational parenting advice.

1. the kids and I started off this morning (9:00) waiting 45 min to renew Anthony's WAY overdue healthcard....not too bad right? How about Anthony yelling out "that man beside us stinks DISGUSTING"

 Limeridge mall::
1. Tommy Hillfiger-
was forced to wait in a huge line just to find out the total on my gift card was 1/4 of what I thought it was supposed to be
-the kids behaved so badly in said line that the woman in front of me turned around and said "don't worry, it will get easier"
- while i was looking for a watch (for a gift) I looked down to see anthony licking the cabinet glass... obviously i took the first watch I clapped eyes on
- ava had to be asked by staff (x2) to stop touching the sunglasses
- when we went to leave the alarm started to go off......of course Anthony was wearing one of their purses....OF COURSE

2. Kernels popcorn
-the kids took FOREVER to choose bags...ava chose one of the disgusting holiday mixtures and anthony went with double butter.  I asked for the SMALLEST size which the girl assured me was a small. While I was paying I heard the woman behind me ask for a snack size.....what???

3.  Shoppers drug mart-
I only had to buy gift problem.
I grabbed them and headed into a LONG line only to find once we got up to the counter that gift cards were not accepted at that register SOOOO we head to the back of that line.  While I was trying to stop Ava from requesting and touching every little product we stood by Anthony took a huge bite out of a kinder egg.  Just to top it all off, the lady in front of us had a return.

4.  Santa
The elf taking the picture was a mean and nasty elf....end of story!

The day did get better in the afternoon only because we All had mandatory nap time.  Now the kids are in their beds sleeping and look like little angels and I am sitting on the couch writing this while watching A Christmas Story.  Compared to this morning, right now I am living in paradise!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

guest post

I know its been a little quiet in this space lately.  Hopefully later this week I will have a Christmas Present related post but for now I have a guest post to pass along.

The kids and I made these spiced christmas ornaments made from applesauce, cinnamon and craft glue.   Check out our tutorial over at Bunchland.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the calm

I woke up at 6am this morning just NEEDING to cut out a Christmas dress for Ava.  Krista, you ask, have you finished all of the gifts that you are supposed to make?  NO! but I do have a unrealistic plan but a plan non the less.
I have forgotten the benefits of waking before everyone else.  How productive you can be without little bodies following you around or little hands grabbing sharp scissors or pins.  How nice it is to know that if all goes down hill today and we end up in a crying, no nap, time-out mess for the majority of the day I know that at least I did something productive.
So my christmas present production plan will most definitely involve waking up earlier than the kids and starting my day off with a little calm (before the storm).

Friday, December 9, 2011

on my needles

It wasn't that long ago (before the kids were born) that I had a little knitting blog focused on knitting and my dog Ruby.  Back then I was totally into knitting....taking classes, finishing one project after another, taking on huge pieces at short notice,  buying expensive yarn and needles and carrying a project with me everywhere I went.
Oh how things have changed since having kids.  Although I still love the comfort of picking up my needles and click clacking away, I can't seem to find the time to dedicate to a complicated pattern.  I do however  always keep an easy project on my needles, one that I can pick up and put down after only a few minutes.  It also needs to be one that I am not too stressed if Anthony rips the needles out the stitches while trying to defend us from "crazy crocodiles"... he just can't resist pointy objects that resemble weapons.
I try to find time while the kids are busy playing or while I'm watching my nightly episode of Coronation Street.

I have been working on these socks for myself, made from Patons Classic Wool from my  goto sock pattern book, since March 2011....see what I mean S-L-O-W!
I am hoping to finish the socks and wrap them up for myself for Christmas....I had better get knitting.  Not like I have a list of 17 or more gifts I am still convinced that I am going to get problem!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012: the year of order

I love everything to do with organization.  I spend a lot of time on Pinterest (no big surprise) looking at how people have organized their kitchens, basements and craft rooms.  I am slowly getting my house to a point of some form of order... it is a real struggle because by nature I am not an organized person.

2012 is going to be my year to figure out a system by which I can get and stay on top of things i.e., cleaning, deadlines, school activities, finances, blog schedules and the list goes on and on and on.  I have gladly been researching a method to simplify and plan this type of massive mission.  I have come up with a few ideas:

1.  This 2012 planner by Laurel Denise that I bought from Mixed Media.  I love the way it is set up, but I think it may be a bit small for me to actually write legibly in... only because I have disgustingly huge hand writing!  This is something I should have considered before my costly purchase but I fell in love with this planner and there was no talking me out of it... believe me, Sri tried!

2.  This household binder.  I love the idea of everything being in one place plus I do love the geekiness of a binder.  I am thinking Finder Binder with a horse on the front!!!!!

3.  These free planning pages caught my attention.  I can see myself sitting down at the end of the day  (or week) to start planning for the next day (or week).... right?

I am not the type of person to plan things.  I kind of just see what the day brings and go from there.  Currently that type of attitude (while fun) has caused a lot of problems with actually getting anything done.  I LOVE making lists but always leave them at home and very rarely get to cross anything off of them.  I am hoping that if I can find a system of organization that works for us, our family will be much happier and productive (and Ava will not miss anymore pizza days at school...oops!)
If you have any tips on how to keep EVERYTHING organized please share..... I really want 2012: the year of order to be successful.

Friday, December 2, 2011

another "BO-WING" event in the Rao household

This year I decided that I was going to put a lot of effort into advent calendars for the kids.  By effort I mean searching pinterest for amazing ideas and delightful products.  I originally decided on this dinosaur playmobil advent calendar.  I love all things playmobil!
Source: via Tiffany on Pinterest

I was quickly reminded by my ever so supportive husband that I have tried that route in the past and was sent insane by trying to keep track of ALL of the minute pieces PLUS the fighting between the kids over every detail would be exhausting.

After many more hours of searching (I love pinterest research!) I found this Christmas Book Advent Calendar idea by Dana of MADE fame.  I got to work right away!  My favourite kind of work....trolling Value Village for Christmas themed books.  I wrapped and numbered them, making sure that the Night Before Christmas was the 24th (smart eh?).  Because I was able to find a few bags of Christmas books the entire project cost me $6.04....YAY!!!!

I was so excited for the kids to get up this morning and open their first advent package.  Anthony took one look at the wrapped book and declared the event "BO-WING"... there is no pleasing him unless I had wrapped a very sharp sword, then he would be interested.
Ava complained about  the lack of chocolate involved and Sri was just shooting I told you so looks in my direction.  I am well aware that kids like chocolate and toys but BOOKS...come on!  I would LOVE to receive a different book for 24 days and as Sri says "that is the difference between an adult and a child".... oh be quiet!

As soon as I took the camera out Ava threw a smile on her face and began posing.
Here are her fraudulent pics::

Next year....dollar store advent calendars for the kids and books for me!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I know its hard to believe but I am not always the cheerful and chipper person that you imagine.  There are many a day that  I really need something to make me laugh or I may not make it through.  I currently have 2 goto laugh inducers that work WITHOUT FAIL!

Source: via Krista on Pinterest

2.  I have watched this video of the Countess and her camel without class a million times and NEVER get tired of it....NEVER.

I hope these make you smile....and maybe even laugh out loud.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


This weekend we::

and ate our Amish Friendship Bread....YUM!
this year's advent calendar (a post about this to come)

the movie, The Dolphin: story of a dreamer.  It was clearly too scary for the kids.  I found them cuddled together on the back of the couch.

these cute little birds.  They are to be given to a friend to be made into a mobile for her babe on the way.  Pattern here

with friends to watch the Flamborough Santa was SO much fun!

the heart and passion these two put into their dance moves with every musical float that passed by us

like crazy when Santa came by us on his VERY illuminated float.  Ava was so perplexed by the fact that Santa would not be leaving presents tonight.  "If he is already here why doesn't he just leave them NOW"  oh dear have so much to learn about the way men organize and prioritize!

this adorable custom baby set.  It includes Diaper Bum pants (with a panel sewn into the back to accommodate chunky diapers), co-ordinating bib and warm blanket ALL...

in this hand embroidered, monogrammed and re-useable fabric envelope!

It looks like we had a busy weekend but a lot of it was spent doing TONS of laundry, cleaning the kitchen a thousand times and eating way way too many PC chips (delish!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thankful for.....

Happy Thanksgiving to all of those celebrating today.  In honour of your holiday I thought I would write a little giving thanks post.

I'm thankful for.... forgotten on the phone

...crisp afternoons spent at the park bridging the EVER so dreaded gap between the end of school and dinner

...ava becoming so very brave at the playground

...a winter coat I got for anthony last year that he is clearly going to be wearing until he is 20!

... a nice big pot of 0pt soup at the ready

....a million huge bags of fabric graciously gifted to me by a friend that included such beauties as this piece and many many like it!

...boxes of seedless clementines from far off countries (locavores look away)
... a little girl who LOVES homework
...the pig who gave his life for us to eat WELL this winter 

...afternoons spent crafting and peacefully co-exsisiting (@ opposite ends of the table of course)

... a shoe situation that went from this

.... to this

to FINALLY this!!!!!

I am aware that I have A LOT to be thankful for but am also painfully aware that i don't say thank you enough.
Soooo, Thank you to everyone who reads and enjoys this little blog of mine.  I love hearing from you and am so very appreciate ALL of your comments and support! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

always a production

Little Miss Muffin
Sat on her tuffin
eating her courage away
along came a spider and scared her
and she really ran away

Check out my newest guest post here about making this shadow puppet theatre.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011


why is it that I bring my camera with me to most big events but NEVER take any pictures?  Is this a common affliction or am I the only one?  My sister had a big party to celebrate her marriage Saturday night (No, not a wedding) and I only took TWO pictures, and those were taken before the party even started.
my sister's manicure in action
Although these two pictures clearly indicate a rockin' party I wish I had captured just a little bit more of the evening.  I really wish I had documented the number of movember 'stashes wandering around the house... the pride a man has in growing hair on his face is quite unbelievable to me!

On the positive side of things......
 My children looked completely adorbs and I in fact DID remember to snap some pics of them before going to the party.  Yes, I did finish the dress and it turned out to perfection!
Ava clearly fancies herself a model!
In case you are interested in recreating this look... I used this Butterick vintage pattern for the dress and this very easy tutorial for the t-shirt flower.  I am thinking of making a few of these dresses in size 6 and putting them up in my etsy shop... we shall see!

Friday, November 18, 2011


We have been neglecting a lot around here lately... sleep, well balanced meals, raking leaves, putting away laundry , brushing a little 5 year olds knotty knotty hair, our manners and oh so much more.  One thing that you will not see on this list is tending to our friendship bread starter.  It has consistently made the "to do" list for the last 4 days....that is a record for any responsibility in this house! It has gone a little something like this.....



add flour, milk and sugar

The kids must recognize that this type of follow through is odd for us because this morning Ava was heard saying "I can't believe we are still doing this!"  Wow...note to self.... the kids really are paying attention.

Totally unrelated::

Ava is finding her creative voice and I AM LOVING IT!  I am finding pictures like this one all over the house and can not resist saving each and every one of them.  This particular piece is her version of the ENTIRE cast of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.  I feel like Buck in the lower right corner is especially accurate.

Ava's french education is certainly rubbing off on all of us but most adorably our little Anthony is picking up some key words.   Bar none the best is how he randomly and most gently makes eye contact, kisses your hand and says (in a garbled fashion) "bonjour mes amis".  I will never tire of this!

wish me luck....i am going to attempt to make this dress for Ava for a party on Saturday. Hopefully there will be a picture of her wearing it....hopefully!