Tuesday, December 4, 2012

hello, goodbye

note:: I had this post prepared a few days ago but blogger is not allowing me to upload pictures.  I have been trying to figure it out and can't so I am posting without pictures.  SORRY!


:: December
:: Gwen, our Elf on the Shelf with a twist (more about her another day)
:: snow... and the constant sledding demands in this 1/4"snowfall we just had
:: the idea of Christmas creating with a deadline.... nothing like a little Christmas stress
:: homemade version of angry birds using Jenga blocks and Korean Gonggi
:: a new somersaulter in the house

GOODBYE and good riddance

:: Movember.  Don't get me wrong, I am not against the cause, just super sick of disgusting amounts of creepy facial hair.everywhere I look.   Of course NO picture required

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nailed it!

This fundraising trailer for an upcoming documentary sums up perfectly how I have been feeling recently.  I am so excited to see this film in its entirety!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali!

  Sri and I decided that we should start introducing the kids to some of his Hindu traditions and beliefs so I thought a party was a great way to jump right in!  Yesterday was the first day (of four) of Diwali.  This is also known as the Festival of Lights and is the biggest of all Hindu festivals.  
                                                         We really partied hard!

                           We decorated mason jars with tissue paper to make lanterns.  Our intention was to put them outside for when Sri got home but we got sidetracked and forgot all about it.

                              Anthony's lanterns were slapped together in typical boy fashion

Ava took her time and placed each piece of tissue paper carefully... it actually became painful to watch.

We read the story of Diwali from here and re-enacted it several times.  Anthony was obviously the hero, shooting me (the 10 headed demon) and killing me.   He LOVED it!!!! 

We enjoyed an Indian meal by candlelight.  (ordered from Gate of India....the best!)

To cap off the night we had a traditional Indian dessert.

Fortune cookies- found at the back of the fridge by Anthony!

The kids truly loved learning about Diwali.  I think I had better start my research because I have a feeling that next year the they are going to want to kick it up a few notches.... maybe a trip to India?? in my dreams!

Monday, November 12, 2012

highly recommended

I don't think it would surprise any of you to find out that we have a lot of art supplies around the house. We go through phases as to which are our favourites.... Sharpies tend to get a lot of use as does SPARKLE GLUE.  I thought I would just let you know what we are loving right now.

We are addicted to using our set of Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 pencils.  These chubby little pencils/crayons/watercolours have helped to amp up the art output to crazy proportions.  

I bought them at Mixed Media where they came highly recommended by the most adorable 4 year old, the owner's son, who hangs out with his Dad at the store some mornings and has great suggestions.  
I must say he really wasn't wrong.  We bought a pack of 10 which came with a great assortment of colours along with a sharpener.  There are also sold in packs of 6 or singly.  I plan on collecting all 18 colours.  Oh I mean, the kids are excited to collect all 18 colours.
We all have a different way we like to use these pencils.  I like to draw my picture with marker, colour in with the pencil and then dip a brush in some water to make a watercolour piece.  Ava likes to press really hard with the pencil to get a very rich colour and "HATES" adding water.  Anthony, as you can imagine, soaks his paper with water first and then just draws away and then uses his fingers to blend and get his desired effect.  The blue picture on the left on the piano is one of his... it is a "shark attacking the water".  

*hint* We now use this heavier weight paper (also bought at Mixed Media) so that the paper doesn't ball up or tear when adding water.  I also highly recommend this purchase!   Anthony was brought to tears a number of times when his picture disintegrated in front of his eyes.   I was being el cheapo and forcing the kids to use whatever paper we had.   Lesson learned. 

I really can't tell you how much fun we have been having creating with these pencils.  They would be an excellent gift for ANYONE you know! 

Friday, November 9, 2012


This week I am thankful for so many moments.  
 Here are just a few I was smart enough to capture.

My Papa's 80th birthday!

Anthony taking HUNDREDS of pictures of his fingers

Baby feet....they can cheer me up anytime (BABY feet only!)

Austyn and her genius artistic ability

Witnessing the very first meeting of cousins who are sure to be the best of friends growing up.

My dad taking Anthony skating... my back is very thankful!


Monday, November 5, 2012

going once, twice, three times and SOLD!

my beauty

endless possibilities

Ava's win....marshmallow butterscotch bars

our haul or should I call it our booty because that is exactly where it is headed!

the famous clipboard.  Ava was busy keeping track of bids and winners.  I can't help but save all of these papers.
The pie auction, oh the pie auction.....how I wish every weekend included a pie auction.  For anyone not familiar with the concept of said auction it is literally what it sounds like except that there were all kinds of delicious baked goods and not just pies.  This annual event is  held as part of the (99th) anniversary celebration of St. Paul's United Church here in Hamilton and was open to everyone... not just parishioners.  We had such a great time bidding, laughing, getting out of control and spending too much on way way too much baking.... the pile of treats we brought home (just on the heels of Halloween) was literally embarrassing.

We not only bought treats but also contributed a pie/cake.  After many delightful hours of research on Pinterest I ended up deciding to bake a pumpkin pecan pie cheesecake with a gingersnap crust using this recipe from the blog Piece, Love & Cooking (where I feel like I am packing on the pounds just looking at the pictures!).  The recipe is a bit confusing but with help from my friend Nikki we were able to muddle through it.  I am not sure how it tasted, obviously, but I can tell you that it smelled delish and that I was caught in a bidding war over it.   No, I was not ashamed to bid on my own contribution.  Wait, should I be?   I am proud to announce (please read BRAG) that my pie brought in the highest amount of money...$42!

You can bet that I am already planning for next year... nutella cheesecake, mini meringues, rainbow cake?  100th year anniversary means I am going to have to really kick it up a notch.  If any readers  in my area are interested in participating in this event or wanting to meet some of the nicest people ever please let me know and I can point you in the right direction!

waiting out the storm

                                                                      Source: Uploaded by user via Krista on Pinterest

The weather around here has been less than optimal recently.  We have had a few weeks of cold, windy and not good to play in, rain.  I have struggled to keep the kids occupied.  Yes, there have been a few marathon days of iCarly and Power Rangers Samarai but for the most part we have been having a good time playing together.  Wanna know my trick?

My sanity was saved by the playclip!

These amazing wooden clips work just like huge clothespins and are easy enough for young children to manipulate.  Around this house the main use of these clips is to hold our forts together.

see how easily the fabric clips the the edge of a stool!
We keep a basket around with our fort making supplies...a few sheets, scarves and play clips (bought here )... add in a few chairs, stools and any other clippable surface and the kids have a fort whipped up in no time.

Anthony loves fort construction! The axe is actually for "protection from invaders" in case you were wondering.
Ava is the "foreman" of the job, shouting out random numbers and then writing furiously on her clipboard.  Apparently we have passed her inspection and the fort is ready for action (or fake sleeping)

Oh, just in case forts aren't your thing, playclips can also be used as spiderweb shooters, nose pluggers, claws, earrings and oh so much more.

Gift idea!!! A fort kit.... a few flat sheets/scarves, a flashlight, a fantastic book and some playclips.  I'm sure that any child (and many adults) in your life would love to receive this ..... I WOULD!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

at the top of the to-do list

After months of seeing "blog post" at the bottom of my very long to-do list.... I never really make it past  #3 or 4 on the list... I just decided that this morning was the day that it was movin' on up. Yes, it bypassed other things like renew healthcard, change furnace filter or fold and put away laundry(which also typically stays at the bottom of the list) but I think it is going to be worth it.

So today i bring you .....HALLOWEEN!

The kids were more than excited to get all the "guts" out of this huge pumpkin. So excited in fact that it required standing on the table....obviously!

Ava's design for the pumpkin.  A bat with eyelashes, very small teeth and balls for feet.  

The finished product.  You can imagine the meltdown when her vision and drawing did not match my carving. We ended up agreeing that it was a "bat-bird"at which Ava rolled her eyes saying "whatever that is"
Some costume DIY.  It was such a proud moment.  Without my help Ava decided to cut off a sleeve of a shirt and make it into a tail.  YAY!!!!!
The Halloween Trio.  Anthony the kimodo dragon....he is showing his teeth.  My nephew Isaiah is Captain America.... next year I am going to make him a Captain Canada costume! Ava is a "rainbow leopard" demonstrating her paws and sharp claws. 
Here they are trying to "walk" to the next house.  See the tail in action?  Now that I see the pictures I think we may have started a little early.

In this spot I really should have a picture of the candy haul that each child brought home and the sheer thrill and chaos of sorting through it, but to be honest with you, I was DONE at this point and didn't have it in me to take anymore pictures. 

HELP!!!!! I am participating in a pie auction this weekend.  I have only ever made one pie before and am NOT a baker.   Any ideas for easy pies?  I want to look fancy but not be difficult.  LAZY!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

new life

a new life for an old board book (tutorial is on its way)

a new life for an old bed sheet

a new life found in our begonias 

a new life for our backyard...we dug our vegetable garden this weekend!!!!!

the best kind of new life... a new cousin!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

busy bee

busy hive
princess and the pea

work in progress:: three little pigs
I have been working on these softie sets ($20/set) for the Mayfair that I am participating in on May 26th. 
Okay, I know that I am biased but I must admit that I am totally in love with each of these sets.  No flashing lights, buttons to push, rules to follow or batteries to install, just plain old fashioned imagination and creativity required.  

Each piece was hand embroidered lovingly by me whilst watching the entire of season 1 of Community on Netflix....hilarious!  

In an ideal world I imagine children sitting quietly on their bedroom floor building stories and houses and little make-believe worlds for these pieces.  My own kids have been BEGGING to play with these sets (ah the forbidden fruit) and I have actually  caught Anthony rifling through my sewing stuff trying to find them the other day....I have them very well hidden!  

I think I am going to work on some woodland creatures next but I also have 3 billygoats gruff on my mind.... I think I'll leave that decision up to the kids. I just may end up with an entire set of Ninja turtles!

Friday, May 11, 2012

keeping track for the keeping track challenged

I am always writing down the cute things that my kids say and the always take note of milestones met on the calendar.  I can never find the tiny scraps of paper I have written these cute words on nor can I ever find the milestones written somewhere on some calendar that I shoved who knows where.  I think I may have found a solution to this problem that will literally allow me to document milestones and cute events for the next 14 years!
Okay, I know this looks and sounds a bit crazy but I think it is really going to work.  
For each child I found an inexpensive recipe box and filled each one with 365 index cards, each card having 14 lines.  
I dated each card with month and day but NOT the  year .The years are going to be represented on each line on the card.   
My intention is to write a one-liner capturing an important event, milestone or cute saying for each day of the year on it’s corresponding card.   Since there are 14 lines on each card you will be able to use each card for 14 years.  
Are you confused?  Here is a sample.

At the end of 14 years I will have hopefully filled each card in the box.  I think it is going to be so much fun to go back through the box and remember all of the little details we had forgotten.    I only wish I had started this when they were babies, then I wouldn’t have to pretend I remember exactly when they took their first step or said their first word...oops!     

Monday, May 7, 2012

the verdict is in!

Yes, we all know that i am trying to "simplify" my life.... I'm not sure that I even know what that is supposed to look like anymore.  In an attempt to figure out what is actually "complicating" my life I have been omitting certain activities to see what kind of impact they are having.  This kind of sounds like trying to figure out if you have a food sensitivity, doesn't it?

Last week I took a break from blogs (including my own) and Pinterest .
This was a hard one!  I realized that I waste A LOT of time reading blogs, lurking facebook and pinning and really do need to limit myself....I would get so much more done in the evenings.  I whole-heartedly missed posting the goings on around here though.  I felt the need to go back to paper journaling for the week and it just didn't feel the same.  So the verdict is obviously in.... dump lurking but keep blogging. I think we all could have predicted that outcome!

This past week took me by complete surprise.  I seemed super sensitive to noticing growth all around me.

1. Ava with her first loose tooth.....and yes I cried (ugly cried) when she showed it to me!

2. Anthony with his new big boy haircut....I swear he instantly aged


3. My "little" cousin Emma moving to Europe....moving!  

sorry about the blurry pic Em, lets blame grandma's lighting!

4.  Our terrarium farm is growing like crazy....we will soon be harvesting mini carrots and strawberries

5.   both kids made HUGE improvements in skating this week....well, Ava made improvements in actual skating skills and Anthony's had more to do with attitude adjustments,  but growth all the same!

6.  Ava can swing super high without a starting push....this also made me cry!

7.  business growth....new green thimble products.    These are pencil rolls that I will be selling at the Mayfair held by the Westdale Children's School on May 26th.  They are going to be $10 and will come with a handmade notebook.  Throw them in a tote bag, head off to the park and spend the afternoon colouring....we do!

With all of this growth last week I felt old, I felt like life was moving way too fast and I couldn't get it to slow down.  How is it that I have a daughter old enough to be losing teeth?  How do I have a son able to play by himself in the backyard?  I get really choked up thinking about how quickly time flies  but I am ever so glad that I have this space to share these moments with you  because in some small weird way it helps things slow down just a little bit.