Browsing the blog archives for October, 2010.

A Typical Day….because you asked.

Crafty, Domestic, Healthy, Kids, Marriage, Naughty, Nerdy, Small Town

For what it’s worth (and because I’ve been asked), this is my basic schedule since we moved about 6 weeks ago. I’ve included the other stuff too, just to give you an idea of how I work around everything else.

Our mornings are prepped the night before, (because as I’m sure you know, chopping celery and washing lettuce goes a lot faster at 9pm than it does at 7am). So clothes are already picked out and school bags are already packed and ready on each kid’s hook by the front door. I know my neurosis is showing again, but this takes maybe 20 minutes after the kids are in bed to accomplish and I save myself all kinds of headaches in the morning – and frees up that time to get other things out of the way.

I brush my hair and throw some makeup on while I’m still in my PJs right after I’ve brushed my teeth – otherwise it just might not happen! Then I just grab whatever I put out for myself the night before and wake the kids – then they separate into their bathrooms for teeth brushing and face washing (that sentence made me sound a lot snobbier than I really am, we just happen to have two bathrooms very close together). I’ve changed the baby and brushed her teeth at this point and she’s likely on my hip in the kitchen making oatmeal with me while the other two get dressed in whatever was pulled for them the night before.

While they’re eating breakfast, I take their (mostly made) lunches from the fridge, add whatever is left to add and put them in their bags. Now, I have time to make the beds, pick up laundry, give each bathroom a tidy and wash the breakfast dishes before we even have to go outside for the school bus.

Once the older two are on the bus (to keep time in perspective, I usually get up around 6:30ish and the school bus rolls up around 8:30), wee one #3 and I go back inside and do a quick tidy of the home office so it’s ready for my husband when he gets up. Then, for no more than an hour, I set to work on all the chores for whatever room is assigned to that day:

Mondays – office & kitchen
Tuesdays – living room & dining room
Wednesdays – bathrooms & hall
Thursdays – kids’ rooms
Fridays – our room, laundry room & entrance
Saturdays – outside & garage

Each room gets a total once over every week, so it’s always super clean. Aside from the occasional ‘how did that end up on the ceiling fan’ chocolate milk mishaps, nothing too damaging happens over the course of a week. It’s when we leave things for months on end and then notice how gross it is, but by then everything has been left that long and it’s all gross!

So after giving the area(s) of the day an hour of cleaning time, it’s about 9:30. 9:30 and the house is clean (I don’t do laundry in the day because we’re on time of use meters in Ontario for our hydro consumption, so I save my family a lot of money by only doing laundry (and cooking) at off peak times).

This frees up the next hour to working out. I know. Roll your eyes at me harder, why don’t you? 😛 I’ll type out my workout routines for another post – some days it’s stability ball exercises, some days it’s resistance bands and there are usually free weights in there too. And cardio. As a rule is goes like this; Mon, Wed & Fri are abs & arms days with PSX cardio. Tues, Thu & Sat are butt & legs days with strippersize (ooh la la) and on Sundays I try to do ‘fat burning yoga’. My friend Gill is the fitness queen, and I try to make her proud, this schedule may seem crazy and you may assume I am super fit, but really this routine is nothing compared to hers and I am just borderline healthy, not yet fit. Ask me where the toddler is. You know you’re thinking it. She’s right beside me trying to work out – it’s hilarious! Of course. Then, once you add in changing in and out of my workout gear, drinking about a liter or more of water and having a very fast (and very hilarious) shower after, where I very carefully avoid getting my face and hair wet – and try to keep wee one #3 from stepping in with me, it’s about 11am.

That’s typically when I sit at my computer and check out my favorite forums and read some of my favorite blogs (while sucking on a protein shake, no less). I check in with my girlfriends via email around this time and then as I’m making lunch I generally call my Dad. I’ll be 30 next week and I still feel the need to check in with him, and let’s be honest – I totally call him Daddy. Ahem. I’m a grown up, shut up. 😛

I feed the littlest one and then cart her off to her room for a nap between 12:30 and 1pm. This is where parenting controversy comes in. When I put her down with her water and her blanket, I sit in the room with her (on wee one #2’s bed) and I knit until she sleeps. Will she always need me there? Am I warping her for life? I don’t know, but I did this with the other two and all is well, so I’m not messing with a good thing. Sometimes, she’s out cold within 15 minutes and on those days I’ll sit there and knit for another 15 or so. Other days it might take half and hour or even 45 minutes. I just keep knitting, happily while she lays there watching me till she drifts off. I’m out of there by 2 for sure, usually a lot earlier.

Wee one #2 is in SK, and in this district that means she’s in school 3 days a week. So if she’s home, we’ll get crafty together for an hour and a half at this time. Usually painting or coloring or something involving pipe cleaners or glue and googily eyes. If she’s at school, I’ll use this time to work on the blog or call a long distance friend or reply to pen pals. Yes, pen pals. <3 The magic ‘nap must end time’ at this house on a week day is 3:20, because we have to be at the end of the driveway for the school bus drop off just before 4.

Once they’re off the bus, they run around and play in the front yard, if no one has homework we take the 5 minute walk to the lake and maybe collect rocks, or just throw them in the water.

Once we’re inside (always by 5) it’s that whirlwind of supper prep and homework. I am a homework helping kind of mom. I never do it FOR him, but I always check answers and insist sloppy homework is redone. If supper is ready before homework is done, we take a break and it’s finished up while I do dishes and clean the kitchen after supper. Now it’s about 6 or 6:30ish. All homework is finished up or kept at if there is lots and school bags are prepped for the next day. All papers signed, all books put away, and they’re hung on the kids hook by the door.

Wee one #1 will either read or practice his guitar or maybe watch a movie with Dad or wee one #2. Bath time for the younger two is at 7, I wash them and then read to them till 7:30, then it’s teeth brushing and PJ time for them. They’re both in bed having their last story read by 8. I sit there again and knit till #3 is sleeping, which usually happens around 8:30. Then I remind wee one #1 that it’s time for a shower, he gathers up his school stuff if he hasn’t already, puts it on his hook and is in the shower by 8:45.

While he showers, I prep lunches for the next day, take another look at the calendar to see if there’s anything important going on and once the oldest comes back to the kitchen to get a glass of water and say goodnight, I’m off to the laundry room to pop in the only load of dirty clothes (sheets and towels are done on Saturdays). Then I’m in the office with my husband to update the family photo site with the day’s photos and then I close my laptop, watch old movies with the husband and knit my face off till around midnight. Then I have a shower, get primed for the next day and go to bed, usually somewhere around 1am – unless my husband comes with me and then who knows how late I’m up? 😉 I pop the wet clothes in the dryer before I got to bed because we have this indoor dryer vent thing to help heat the house at night. Anything that saves on hydro make us happy around here. 😉 Saturday and Sunday are typically the days I do the most baking, though I can be found in the kitchen instead of knitting doing supper for the next day if I’m excited enough about it. Food nerd alert!

Nothing fantastically glamorous, but I love it. Things we used to do weekly (like date nights, Saturday night parties and Sunday suppers at my aunt’s house) are now monthly things because we moved to the woods, but the trade off has been amazing! My girlfriends will come up in two separate groups about once a month, and we’ve already had a handful of random visitors make the drive, and a few on their way!

What I like most about this schedule is that if we make last minute plans or someone wants to come for the weekend on little notice, it’s not a big deal to skip a day because it’s always done!


Window Shopping Wednesday, Part 7

Crafty, Window Shopping

I have been itching to sew, but there is knitting to finish up and some random bloggy stuff to attend to first, so for now, I will just drool over fabrics and patterns. <3



I had six more images in this post, but I took them down because I they were crowding these patterns! I want to order every pattern from this shop and sew them all for my girls. Anyone want to come keep my house as impossibly clean as my husband has come to expect? That’ll teach me. 😉


I have an overwhelming urge to sew up some cute dresses from gnome fabrics!!


Birthday Baking and My First 3D Cake

Domestic, Kids

In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

Wee one #1 turned 10 this summer, and he wanted a serious birthday bash to celebrate. I’m always up for throwing birthday parties, as I’m sure you’re well aware at this point, so once he figured out his guest list and theme, I started playing in the kitchen!

He’s very big on soccer, so a soccer theme was an obvious choice, and naturally he asked for a 3D soccer cake. I have watched my mother make countless 3D cakes, mostly of the soccer ball and teddy bear variety but I have never made one on my own and I was a little nervous about it. However, I never back down from a kitchen challenge, so I called my mother for some tips (and to borrow her soccer ball cake pan).


First I made a marble slab cake to go under it, and then I made a chocolate cake for the soccer ball. I made a double batch of green buttercream icing for the grass, then I made a half batch of plain buttercream for the whites in the soccer ball and another half batch of chocolate buttercream for the black in the soccer ball and the wording. In hindsight I really should have picked up some black gel colouring (hmm, and if I had, I’d have some on hand now at Halloweeny time). Anyhoo, once I made a crumb coat of green on the slab, I evened it out and went to work outlining the soccer ball.


Once that was done, I piped on the grass with a wilton grass tip, which really makes you look like you are an accomplished cake decorator, when really you’re just the kid of an accomplished cake decorator. I wont tell if you don’t. 😉


I used a wilton #2 tip for filling in the soccer ball, though my mother always uses a 16 or 18 star tip and pipes on about a million little stars. Moving on…I filled in the grass to make it nice and full and then I used the #2 to pipe on the words. He and his friends loved it, so that’s all that really mattered to me anyway. I thought it was pretty cute too.

I seem to be incapable of baking just one thing for any occasion. Incapable. So, once the cake was finished, I very carefully carried it to the basement kitchen where no one would see it or touch it and set off to bake more treats!

First up was chocolate chip brownies. They were as good as they look!

Chocolate Chip Cocoa Brownies
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a mini cupcake pan.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Take off the stove and mix in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. It’ll be runny and ‘gloopy’. Add the flour mixture, and stir, stir, stir. It’ll be a little tricky at first but it’s worth it.


Now, add in about half a cup of chocolate chips. I say ‘about’ because when a recipe tells me to add chocolate chips, I always put in more.

Fill each mini muffin cup about 3/4 full, and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes. Check your oven!

As soon as they come out – when they’re still horribly hot, put a single chocolate chip on each one. Give them 10 minutes or so to cool off before putting them on a wire rack to cool completely.


Next up was chocolate chip cookie cups. I made a very standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, and baked them int the same mini muffin pan as the chocolate chip brownies. I used the back of a rounded tablespoon to give them a bit of a dip and just like the brownies, I put the Smartie on top after they came out of the oven.


The kids wanted to make their own snacks for lunch, and all kids have a natural affinity to burgers and pizza right? And everything is more fun when it’s small, right? Enter mini pizzas and mini burgers – and even with all the veggies available to them, they ALL made identical pizzas (tomato sauce and cheese). I sort of saw this coming, so I made the dough from scratch (whole wheat) and I made the tomato sauce too (as many veggies as I could reasonably cram in with a generous helping of oregano to make it ‘pizza-y’). Ha! Mom win!

This ended up being a bit of a Smell You Later party for the kids in addition to being wee one #1’s 10th birthday because we moved two weeks later! It was a fun send off for him and all the kids were happy – we had a pinata of course they were happy!!


Making Your Home a Haven – Week #2

Churchy, Kids, Marriage

In this post, I am participating in Making Your Home a Haven, and Marriage Mondays.

So far, I am really enjoying these challenges. Last week, I lit my candle every morning and remembered to say a little prayer for peace in our home and family every time it caught my eye. I found that having the candle there as a reminder, when I started feeling myself pulled in too many directions, I was able to collect myself there at the kitchen sink, turn to my children and say ‘mommy is doing ___ right now, I’d love to help you with ____ in a few minutes just as soon as I can.’ Amazingly, it worked and the wee one who needed me for something so very pressing (like changing a game in the wii or to hear them tattle on one another), stepped back like I made perfect sense and let me finish when I was doing. So that rocked. I will be keeping that going for sure.

This week’s challenge is to play soft music and focus on using peaceful words to maintain peaceful relationships. I’ve always listened to loud, angry music. I’m not a horribly angry person, I just really love Soundgarden. However, at the same time, I have also got a real soft spot for Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller – music my grandparents adored. So this week I will not listen to my 90s rock and will instead focus on that. Courtney also posted a sample of the music she likes the most, it’s a lovely wordless piano piece and it really does change the feel of the house. I think I will switch to that at supper and keep it on through bedtime. I also really love Point of Grace and listen to them quiet a bit throughout the day, which is poppy and borderlines on country, but is also churchy, so I think that fits too.

Once the music is playing, it’s time to focus on the more important aspect of this week – our own reactions to others. As humans in general, I think most of us are guilty of this. I know that as I sit here typing this, I have a clear head and a positive attitude about greeting my husband when he gets up later. However, I also know that when he gets up and he’s got his morning grumpy cloud over him it will be very hard not to react to that! Maintaining a calm voice and greeting him with a smile will be my top priority this afternoon, so far it has worked well this morning with the kids. Anything that keeps the peace around here makes me happy. 🙂

We let the kids climb trees

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada and as a family we all have so much to be thankful for it’s wonderful – and important to keep in mind when the little things in life are not going our way. We drove down to Toronto to see my parents, sister, aunt and uncles and had a great time with everyone. My father encouraged our two older kids to climb the tree in their yard and there was wee one #2, up in the tree in her stripey tights and jumper. So cute!! Sidebar: my father later climbed the same tree and broke a branch off! Really! He is 61 years old and still climbing trees!

We don't freak out when the grown ups try and break them

With this mindset, I have already broken up many sibling squabbles without raising my voice this morning. This is something I am aiming for in my daily life. One squabble at a time!


Love Cakes and Lemon Meringue Pie


Both recipes in this post are amazingly fun (and super easy) to pull together. The Love Cakes are pretty standard cocoa cakes and simple to make. I’ve posted a similar recipe before, but this one is a little different and the Lemon Meringue is a recipe I’ve never done before.

All plain chocolate cake in this house is referred to as Love Cake, because my husband’s favourite cake is plain chocolate. Not chocolate fudge, or chocolate chip or chocolate mocha or any variation from straightforward ‘hold the fancy pants’ chocolate cake. He does like a little icing sugar dusted over the top. Much like the rest of his personality his sweet tooth favours the classics.

It can either be be fantastically boring to bake the same cake all the time, or fantastically fun if the recipe is one that you can do over and over with ease. Like this one, called Stir and Bake Chocolate Cake! It’s from the Robin Hood site, they must have a good test kitchen because their recipes always work!

Stir and Bake Chocolate Cake – From Robin Hood

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup veggie oil
1 tbsp vinegar

Preheat to 350 and grease an 8″ square pan.


Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil and vinegar and mix till smooth.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. This cake is so moist it really doesn’t need anything – though a little ice cream is always a good thing – and it’s even better the second day!


Just as he loves standard issue cakes, my husband LOVES standard issue pies and I really, really love baking pie – any kind of pie really. In no specific order, he loves pumpkin, blueberry, apple, cherry and lemon meringue. Lemon meringue was the very first pie I ever learned to bake in my Grandmother’s kitchen, and as ‘from scratch’ as her kitchen was, she always used Sheriff lemon pie filling. Always. So I never actually learned to make it from scratch! I know, the horror! So I spent years using that same pie filling, and while there is a whole lot of nostalgia around using that filling mix, I just can’t bare to keep using a box. So, enter this recipe.

Lemon Meringue Pie – from Dad 🙂

6 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 6 tbsp sugar
2 cups water
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp butter
6 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 baked 9″ pie crust

Mix cornstarch, salt, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan. Slowly add 1-1/2 cups hot water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Boil for about a minute, then add a little hot mixture into the egg yolks. Blend the egg yolks into the sugar mixture.

Cook and stir for another minute, then remove from heat. Add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and rind. Cool slightly, and pour into your baked pie shell. Set aside and make meringue.

Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tbsp sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread it over the filling, and make sure you seal the filling by spreading the meringue right to the crust. Pop it in the oven at 400 for about 5-10 minutes. Watch your meringue people – you don’t want to wreck your beautiful pie on the last step!

Have a great weekend!! I’m very excited about Marriage Monday next week!


Window Shopping Wednesday, Part 6

Nerdy, Small Town, Window Shopping

Living out in the middle of nowhere has made me more grateful for my friends than ever before. Some of them I’d see literally every weekend, some even more often than that (hi Gill!) and some friends about once a month. Now that I’ve moved a couple of hours away and some of those friends have moved even further (hi Talea, hi Brigitte!), we are all about texting and emailing and talking on the phone – and letters!! That’s right, good old fashioned letter writing! Talea mailed one a few days ago and texted me that I’d be getting it ‘when the pony express made it’s way through town’. So, naturally, I’m now on the hunt for stationary and fun letter writing gear!

I found this neat organizer that looks perfect for stamps, a pen, post cards and an address book or note book. I have found that while a letter writing box or area at home is great, you really need all your gear on you and quickly accessible when you want to send post cards on road trips.

My husband is always off to the next town after we pick up post cards, so if I want the post mark to match the town on the card, I have to get that sucker in a mailbox and fast!! This little number just jumped to the top of my wish list!

This sweet Etsy shop is probably for scrapbooking, but I can only see the endless possibilities for other paper crafts! Cards and stationary galore! Super cute papers!

I am also in love with the clip art.

Now that I have a bean field out my back window, this clip art is so fitting it hurts!

These wee notebooks are too cute to not post, though I’m not totally sure what I’d put in them. Maybe a nice, long, catch-up style letter? Or maybe they could be shared, long distance journals (!), now there’s something I haven’t done since junior high!


it occurs to me that I have no actually posted any stationary! Maybe next week I’ll have some to post. For now, I’m loving these finds and maybe I’ll spend part of this week making some stationary for my friends!! I will keep you posted!

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A Smell You Later Supper


In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

I made this supper for my friend Jade and her boyfriend (now fiancee) in July, before we even found this house, but I’m calling it a Smell You Later Supper, because although I didn’t know I was leaving, we all knew he was leaving for Vancouver for school in the fall.

When a good friend meets a nice guy and things work out, the Greek girl in me takes over and I absolutely must make them supper and break bread with them. It’s clear to see that this guy is a wonderful match for her and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. He likes my cooking, so I’m down with him!

I went fairly down home with this supper and started with onion buns. I like to make dough in my bread machine and then add in the details and let it rise myself before putting it in the oven. Plain bread I’ll just let the bread machine take over and do the whole nine, but it’s also great for the prepping of dough – this way I can be doing other stuff at the same time.

The recipe I used for these came from the Robin Hood website, and I’ve been using it for a few years now.

Onion Rolls – from Robin Hood

1-1/4 cups water
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp butter
4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the dough, just pop all the dough ingredients into your bread machine and select the dough cycle. Mine is about an hour.

Meanwhile, saute onions in the oil till they’re that delicious golden brown, then set aside and let them cool off. When your dough cycle is finished, roll it out onto your floured counter, cover it with a tea towel and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Set aside 2 tbsp or so of your onions to sprinkle on top of the buns later. Knead the rest of them into the dough. You’ll probably need to add more flour.

Once the onions are mixed into the dough, divide the ball into 12 small ones, put them on your cookie sheet, sprinkle with onions you set aside earlier and cover them up with a tea towel again.

If you’re already baking, your kitchen is likely warm enough to for the buns to double in size after about 45 minutes. Then pop them in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes! Careful not to burn them, I came dangerously close!!

Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Rice

2 cans tuna
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can cream soup (you pick the flavour)

This is one of those non-recipe recipes, where you really can just eyeball. I know there are a lot of recipes out there for this type of meal that call for raw minute rice, but cooked parboiled is just so much yummier, especially alongside the tuna and cheese!

Use your favourite rice, tuna and cheese in this, just steer clear of really overwhelming cheeses. Cheddar, mozzarella and marble are obvious choices for their melty factor. You’ll need about two cups of cooked rice, a cup (or more if you really love it) of shredded cheese and a can or two of tuna. I’m wild for tuna, so I used two cans, and just like the cheese, you choose the soup. I used cream of celery, it’s a good clean base and will work with pretty much any other flavour.


Mix the canned soup with a cup of milk (unless you’re using ready tio serve, of course). Drain your tuna and mix that with the soup and cooked rice in a casserole dish. Add 3/4 cup of shredded cheese to the mixture and sprinkle the rest over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top has baked into a nice crusty top layer. Mmmm.

This apple crisp recipe is from one of my Granny’s cookbooks – one she gave me before she passed. 😀

May’s Granny’s Apple Crisp

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
6 cups peeled and cubed apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Prep the topping first. Either put all the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse till crumbly (but not dusty) or cut it all together with two knives the way you would a pie crust dough. Even though I’ve got the giant blender, I like to use knives for this topping and others like it because it’s so easy to go too far and have a dusty topping accidentally. If you use the knives, just make sure there are no chunks of butter and if you use your food processor or blender, make small pulses so you can keep an eye on the consistency.


Put the apple cubes and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and toss with the lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Pour into a greased casserole dish or pie pan and cover with the topping. Bake for about half an hour – till the filling is bubbling around the edges and the topping is crispy.

Serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Do not ruin this with cool whip!

We had a lovely little supper and then had coffee on the front porch for a couple of hours chatting about nothing specific. I love those chats the best. 🙂 I wish them well, he’s got the May stamp of approval and just a few months after this supper they’re engaged. How exciting!! <3 I am so excited for next Tuesday's post, I'll have my daring chef food up and all the treats the kids and I are creating for Thanksgiving!

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Making My Home a Haven – Week #1

Churchy, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

In this post, I am participating in Making Your Home a Haven, and Marriage Mondays.

I have been looking forward to this challenge!! When I mentioned it to my husband, we both thought how perfect a time it is for this challenge to enter our life, as we are just getting settled into our new house. We’ve been here for a month this weekend, and we’re all unpacked and solidifying our schedules and routines.

This week, we are to light an extra large candle and say a prayer for peace in our homes and families every time it catches our eye. I lit mine around 6:30 this morning, so I’ve already said a few prayers for peace. I have been pretty open on this blog about being a bit of a ‘self help junkie’ where I’m always pushing myself to be better, but it’s not that I ever think I’m perfect. So, so, so very far from it. I struggle with daily frustrations and obstacles. Maintaining my patience with my children when they are misbehaving and staying cheerful when my husband is feeling grumpy or stressed out are challenges I face daily. Those are two other things I will pray about when I see my kitchen candle throughout the day.

From an example on Courtney’s blog, I’m focusing on staying engaged with my family, smart in my time management, content with my life and to keep praying everyday. <3 These examples are some of the reasons we left the city for the woods!! It's only been a month, but I do feel that the slow down of our lives has helped our family already. Wish me luck with my patience this week!!

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Cookie Packages and Christmas Twinkleberries

Crafty, Domestic, Kids, Small Town

When I baked and decorated the snazzy sugar cookies earlier this week for the Daring Baker challenge last month, I mentioned they were destined for our neighbour’s tummies, since we were going to package them up and give them out when we walk around introducing ourselves. We live in a seasonal area, and as we discovered this week, we are one of just five houses that are occupied all year! Most of our neighbours are long gone back to their regular lives and we wont see them again till next summer. Pfft. Amatures.

Our little treasures were only recieved by three of our neighbours, one was away for the weekend, and one I only found out later lives here all year (I thought she had cleared out with everyone else, whoops)!

The people we met and chatted with were all genuinely surprised that anyone would come and say hello, let alone bring a treat, which was sweet because they were all really warm and inviting. Of course, we are already friendly wiith the people next door, they are wonderful neighbours and I am sad to say they are trying to sell their house. 🙁

We will likely be driving into town for trick or treating, so the kids have houses to visit! We’ll bake up something cute and wish our handful of neighbours a spooky night though!

Even though it’s not even Halloween, I have started on Christmas knitting. As any serious knitter will tell you (hi Mom!) I am very late for this. So late actually, that before I could get started on I had to finish a Christmas project from last year! Behold the three Twinkleberry socks it took me almost a year to knit!


It’s not that it’s a hard pattern or that I had issue, it’s just that I wasn’t knitting. Life hit me hard and I was doing everything but knitting. Why are there three? What’s Christmasy about them? My bestie Miss Talea, bought me this yarn for my birthday last October. It’s called Starry Night, because it has flecks of real silver in it (!), I totally adore it. I also knew that she was leaving Toronto for Ottawa and the way my husband was talking it looked like I was leaving Toronto for the middle of nowhere (hey look, here I am), so I really needed to make soemthing special from this yarn.

I had read in a Martha Stewart Living magazine almost 10 years ago an idea to knit up little Christmas stockingsa for kids and hang them on the inside of their bedroom doors on Christmas eve! When the kids get up they have a wee snack, a few small toys and mom and dad can throw back a coffee or two before the kids bust the doors down and make a run for the living room.

Making something I’ll use every Christnmas eve forever was a wonderful way to know that Talea will be with me in some fashion every year no matter what – though she will hopefully be here for real too! The yarn is perfect for this project too because it’s all twinkly and pretty – and the pattern was chosen solely for it’s name – Twinkleberry! So sweet – and finally finished. Actually, almost! I need to find some pretty silver or blue ribbon to make a loop to hang them from.

Finally free from the shame for a year long knitting project that should not have taken more than a couple of weeks, I casted on just three days ago these lovlies, Socks of Kindness. They are knitting up so incredibly fast it’s bananas! The pattern is a snap and I’m already on the heel. I can only knit for a few hours a day with all the wee ones and other obligations so this is surprising!

Now I’m off to learn how to make a short row heel (hooray for You Tube)!

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