Thursday, December 27, 2012

Carebear Countdown

Now that it's all said & done, I can finally show you what I crafted for the 4 sweet children for Christmas:

I found the pattern (for free!) on a blog via Pinterest. (I am unable to find the link anymore...sorry!)

From left to right: Cheer Bear (for Helen), Funshine Bear (for Henry), Good Luck Bear (for Johnny), and Goodnight Bear (for Owen).

I do not know why the green bear turned out so much larger than the others. In any case, it's size suits it's new owner :) 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Party Season

So, December is flying by. How did that happen? I am enjoying the first day of my two week holiday today. Baking & making & blogging & getting ready to go to a family Christmas gathering later this afternoon.

Dan & I hosted our annual Christmas party earlier in December. We had 19 or 20 guests I think, and we had a great time. Luckily, our kitchen island adjustment was done just in the nick of time! I think I meant to blog about that but just never got around to's still a giant rectangle, but now we have seating on two sides instead of just the short end....oh look, here are some photos WITH Christmas party food included!

Changes in progress.

With granite & party food!

We changed around the bases a bit to accommodate more seating, and got a new granite top. Love it!

Last night we all donned our holiday best and enjoyed the Farm Christmas Party. Here's what we (I) wore;

Dress: Banana Republic Black & White Printed Wrap Dress
Heels: same ones from last year!
Necklace: cheap-o one from Suzy Shier

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Gift Guide!

Dan & I are taking it easy on Christmas this year. As in, we have exactly 4 gifts to buy. (Plus something for the littles, but you know me & crafts - it's in the works already! If you follow me on Instagram you'd have seen a sneak peak of THE cutest thing I've ever made. I know I say that a lot, (it's my catch phrase??), but I keep outdoing myself, so, it fits!)

I am weirdly excited about the small gift list. I feel like this Christmas is going to be no stress at all! Since my fam is going to Belize later on in lieu of holidaying in Lethbridge over the technical Festive season, we are calling off gift giving this year. I couldn't be happier about it! (And, I think Michael is too). (Ha). Also, Dan & I have decided to get a new TV as our Christmas gift for each other.

Anyway, if I were getting Christmas presents this year, here are some things I'd want, and also some things I just like, and a few things that I might buy for other people!

1) First up, these earrings made by my friend Cheryl! I myself am not an earring wearer, but I can't help but love these. Cheryl is discontinuing her earring line, so what you see on that page is what there is. (I may have already snapped up a pair for someone!) I love the "Autumn Leaves Chevron" ones, pictured below.

 2) I've signed this book out of the library several times, and would love to actually own it! I want to get on the "stacked books as display" bandwagon (I just do, ok?) and while the content is home decor eye candy, the teal cover is really what I love!

3) Kobo E-Reader for the win! Do most people have these already? I totally want one....before I am flying all around south of the 49th parallel (hint hint birthday gift Dan hint hint)! The price point seems pretty reasonable, and I like how with the Kobo you can sign out library books. Our library also just got Zinio, so I wonder if you can read magzines on a Kobo too? Anyone? Regardless, I think this would make a great gift!

4) Charity gifts. Perfect for the people who have everything! This also makes a great corporate gift, I think. (As in, yes, I give this to my bosses). My favorite charities are the World Vision Gift Catalog, and BC Children's Hospital. (Since my nephews spent so much time there, it's become closer to home). Alternatively, (shameless plug ahead), you could click over to that "OCC Fund Page" at the top of the page and donate to my fundraising efforts to go to Costa Rica!

5) For someone small, it doesn't get cuter than these little delights! I have some seriously talented friends - this is Rachel's shop. What kid wouldn't love those Wee Mouse Tin House things? So cute. 

6) Coffee Card. I am sorry, but this is one of my go-to gifts, and EVERYBODY loves to get some free coffees, or lattes, or ice caps or passion tea lemonades or whatever! Can't go wrong with a gift card to a favorite coffee place.

I think that covers what I personally would love to get & give! What about you? What are your favorite things to give & get at Christmas? Love to hear! (I need some ideas for 3 out of those 4 gifts we need to buy!)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

(Almost) 2 Years later...

I has been a long time coming, but I FINALLY finished recovering this chair! Anyone remember when I mentioned in passing that I got a wingback chair off of Craigslist? It was 18 months ago, so I really would doubt that you'd remember. Anyway, I finally started working on it this past spring and just finished (this afternoon!)

Here's the before:

 And here's the after:

I'm liking it a lot, and am pretty proud of myself for getting it to look as good as it does. By no means professional grade, but still pretty good :) I couldn't get the arm end things to go on properly, so I cut some foamy stuff I had to the right shape, covered them in fabric and glue gunned them on. Works for me.

I am mostly just glad that I can move on to the next project! There is never a shortage around here!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Art, Part 4

I follow Tommy Smythe on Facebook, and a couple weeks ago he posted a tea towel he'd designed for Ulster Weavers that was for sale at The Bay. (Here!). I thought it would make some great kitchen art, so I clicked & bought one.

Last weekend I took a trip to Ikea and bought a Ribba frame. I had to un-stitch the factory hems so it would fill the opening, but after that it fit perfectly! 

I hung it with 3M command strips and two hangers. I didn't want to damage the fridge gable by using a nail or hook. So far, so good! 

I like it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fringe Friday

One of my closet staples is a grey sweater. I have three. Today on the dreariest of Friday's (more to come, I am sure) I reached for this one I got in Palm Springs.

Shoes: These boots
Jeans: Banana Republic (go figure) Straight Leg Jeans (bought a couple years ago? Maybe last year?)
Top: Bootlegger Kismet Tank (I didn't get this in Palm Springs, but these tanks are one of my favorite basic pieces)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Comfy Cozy

Today I kept standing too close to the camera, hence the cut off head. I was short on time this morning, so this is the best I could do! #selftimerfail

Top: Suzy Shier Navy & White Striped Top (old, and really need a new one!)
Cardigan: Anthropologie Argyle "Intarsia" Cardigan
(something else with mustard!)
And even though you can't (really) see them, I wore the same jeans and shoes as this day.

(I could not leave that cardigan in the store. When we went to feast our eyes at Anthro, the day was a bit cool and I just needed a sweater to wear in the air conditioned store. This was the first one I saw, but when I put it on I LOVED it! Since sometimes it's hard to justify buying anything in Anthro at full price, I put it on hold. I went back for it later in the day, and am glad I did!)

Wednesday Wears

I'm going to have to start repeating items now, because as per anyone's closet (right?) I have more tops than pants. Also, check out my casual leaning pose AND be aware that this shot only took me 12 tries!  I'm getting awesome at this self timer thing! Haha.

Shoes: Bare Traps Silver Flats (old, but other metallic flats here!)
Jeans: Banana Republic (of course) Dark Denim (bought last year I think?!)
Top: Banana Republic Printed Twist Tee 
(my goal was to purchase something that had mustard colour in it...this qualifies!)
(Also, since this top was from the factory store I can't find it online)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day & Night

What I wore out to dinner last night, and to church this morning:

Jeans: Banana Republic Dark Wash Skinny Bootcut
Top: Banana Republic Printed Shawl Collar Wrap Top 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thus begins the fashion show

Don't you love when the outfit you are wearing requires you to cut tags off of every item? Ah yes, thus begins my very own "fashion week" AKA things I bought in Palm Springs. 

Don't mind my weird hand. I was self timing this photo shoot and this was the best of about 36 photos. Haha! I'll coerce Dan to help me in the future...maybe.


Jeans: Banana Republic Jeans (BR Jeans are my FAVORITE EVER!)
Blazer: Guess Cropped Sleeve Blazer (similar styles here!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2013: Southern Bound

I just got back from Palm Springs you guys. It was great, just not as hot as I would have liked! We shopped, ate, enjoyed the sun. As I wear my new wardrobe I'll fashion show it on the blog a la last year!

But I'm not posting about that today. I'm posting about two other upcoming adventures that I am getting excited about. Last week Dan & I went to update our vaccinations because we'll be doing some international travelling in the next 7 months.

First up, Belize. Oh man I can't wait! My family decided to skip out on Christmas in Canada this year and instead head to Belize for a week in February! This will be a totally new kind of holiday for 2/3 of my family (Dan & I have done a couple beach vacations before and enjoyed them). I'm excited!

Next, and more adventuresome I think, I will be going to Costa Rica in May! What??? You may have noticed that there are two new tabs up there at the top of this blog. One is called Operation Christmas Child, and one is called OCC Sponsorship Page . I am going to Costa Rica with Samaritan's Purse on one of their OCC Ambassador teams. Click over to one of those pages to find out more!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Cousins, Costumes & Stairs

Helen the Cow

Johnny the Puppy

Owen & Henry as Calvin & Hobbes

And some stairs slide action to make you smile....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I took your advice and bought some boots to solve my winter shoe dilemma.

I bought these ones, but in black. The black is more like a dark grey, which I like. (And now that I see the brown ones, I want those too!)

So far, so good. Comfortable, cute, and my feet aren't cold.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I love this song. And I am loving this cover even more. I can't imagine how long this took to make! Enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lunch Lately

I just realized I've purchased 3 out of 4 lunches this week. This is not my usual. I am a pretty faithful "take the leftovers for lunch" kind of person. But I haven't been home much lately, which means I only cook supper maybe 1 or 2 nights per week. Doesn't leave much in the way of leftovers! And obviously, since I'm buying a lot of lunch, I am not eating great wonderful healthy food. (Although today I did buy a salad from a grocery store, so that's....better, right?) And since I'm buying food, I'm spending money. I'm not opposed to getting lunch out, but it can add up quick, so I try to bring my own lunch most of the time.

The worst part is I actually bought stuff specifically for lunch earlier this week and obviously didn't eat it. Granted, it was stuff like baby carrots and apples and Babybel cheese (which is all delicious), but I need something more than that to tide me over at work. Plus I hate sandwiches. I now know what my mother was faced with in making school lunch for me for 6 years straight!

So next week I am going to try to do better. Here's how:

 - Pack my lunch the night before. I usually already do this when I'm cleaning up supper. I was really lazy this week (and also, not home) so didn't do this at all except for on Monday, which also happens to be my day off. (Not a coincidence!).

 - Make supper that makes good lunch. Stir fry is the best. (Basically anything with rice makes a good lunch the next day.) Ribs do not make a good lunch the next day.Well, they do taste good, but are messy and hard to eat when you sit at the front desk.

What about you? Got any lunch suggestions for me?

(PS, here's one person's take Starbucks Thai Tuna Wrap - one of my go-to lunch out items!)

Recipe Here!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I got nothing....

Just wanted to check in and say that I have nothing to say....maybe next week!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hey business casual ladies! What kind of shoes do you wear to work in the cold weather months?

I am usually a flats wearing kind of girl, but when it starts to get rainy and gross and cold outside, I am kind of at a loss of what to put on my feet. I work in an office, so a lot of days I do wear flats anyway, but then my feet are always cold and lets face it, some of my recent footwear purchases are not at all comfortable! I do switch it up occasionally and wear riding style boots, but I can't do that everyday either - believe it or not, they start hurting my legs after a day of wear!

So! I'm trying to change that! Once again I'll be heading to Palm Springs in November (yahoo!) for our annual shopping trip, and this time I want to be prepared! In years past I've bought all kinds of shoe types thinking they'd be great for work in cold months, and then worn them about twice, deemed them ugly or uncomfortable (or both) and haven't touched them since. Unrelated side note: I have some size 9 shoes up for grabs.

What do you wear? Ankle boots? With or without a pointy toe? Slip on style something? Help a girl out!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Scenes from Saturday (Evening)

We've been having an amazing September thus far. Warm sunny days, cool nights. 

Last night we had our annual weenie roast.
Perfect weather, great company, delicious food. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

When you turn 4, you bar-b-q.

Helen's 4th birthday was this past weekend. You know I crafted up something awesome! Here is it!

I followed this tutorial from Apartment Therapy. Super fun to make, inexpensive, and just TOO CUTE! I added on some dollar store accessories, since I couldn't find any play sized ones. 

And you can't play bar-b-que without some play meat! This part of the craft was a childhood flashback for me - plastic canvas! I made up the steak and the hamburger, but those sausages were beyond my imagination. (Thanks again for loaning the pattern books to me Auntie Rose!)

Burger please!

(Helen loved it, and so did John! And rave reviews from the family. It's a winner!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Four Years of Awesome

I love being an Auntie.

Helen is turning 4 this week, and I've been thinking about when she was born and how exciting of a time that was. How does a tiny little baby bring such joy and wonder? It's amazing.

I realize it may be strange for me to write about her in this way, considering I am not her parent, but man, I love that kid something fierce!

On the day she was born, Dan's mom called me at work to say "It's a girl! They named her Helen!" I was SO excited to go meet this baby (and was also a little puzzled at her name - now I can't imagine her being anyone else! Good choice M&K!). I had no idea of the ocean of love I would have for her!

Our family went from 10 normal adults, to 10 normal adults who could only talk about this new little bundle. Seriously, I don't know what we did together or talked about before she was born! Not to say my nephews haven't also done this, but with Helen being the first, she wormed her way into everybody's heart and hasn't moved an inch since then! In the months before she was mobile, family get together's had Helen laying on the floor surrounded by adoring fans. Actually, even when she started to move she was surrounded by adoring fans, cheering her on and loving on her.

It has been so incredible to see her grow and learn and discover the world. She tells stories and uses logic and tries to reason her way into or out of anything. (It's pretty entertaining!). Her imagination is wild and girl can tell a joke and tease you right back. She most definitely has a mind of her own, colours in the lines and loves My Little Ponies. Carries cats around the farm, rocks the gumboots and shorts combo, and pretends she's a unicorn.

Pretty much the coolest 4 year old I know.

Happy Birthday Helenator. I love you.

November 2009

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Barn Update!

Warning: This post has A LOT of teats in it. Just tellin' ya!

If you pay attention to me on facebook, you'll know that our cows moved into their new home yesterday! (Or, moooved). (I am so punny).
I think they are happy at their new location, although there is a huge learning curve for the cows, the workers and the robots as this transition takes place. Dan and his bros have been working some very long hours.I got my act together and took some photos (and videos) tonight!
1. Milk Jar! I love this great big glass jar that sits inside the robot housing (photo 2)
2. Robot brains! Those tubes go from the robot arm (which attaches to the cow) to the milk jar
3. Cow being milked

1. Juno feed pusher robot. This thing goes down the entire length of the feed alley pushing feed back toward the cows.
2. Robot arm about to attach to udder (photo taken from inside a robot room)
3. One of the milking robots
4. View from the outside in

Our cows also wear necklaces now, which the robot scans when they walk into the milking area. The chips in the necklaces access all the data on a cow - number, when they last were milked, how much milk they produce, all kinds of stuff! 

Here's our robotic feed pusher in action (kinda boring, but also AWESOME!):

And here's a cow being milked (sorry about the length, and also the shaky, grainy/out of focus-ness. I just learnt how to record video on the camera I've had for a year....and it was dark in there!...and I was crouching!):

(Song is Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright [why yes I did choose it because it had the word "milk"!])

The first round of robot milking was a long process, as I am sure you can imagine if you watched that whole thing and were disappointed every time the milker things didn't go on! The robots scan the teats and then by the power of technology know where to suction on! Pretty cool I think! Lots of learning left to do, but so far, so good, and thank goodness not every cow is such a...cow about getting hooked up.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Count Down is On (Really)

Remember when I mentioned our farm was going automated?  Well, the old barn has been knocked down, the new one almost finished, (permit has been granted), and the robots have arrived!


View from the road - before

View from the road - old barn down!

View from the road - new!

New! Looking awesome!

There has been more progress than this, I just haven't been on top of photo taking! Robots are in, milk tank is ready, hay loft has been loaded, siding is on, concrete is all poured...yes indeed, the countdown is ON!

Dan will milk the last shift on Monday morning. Then the cows are changing address.

This will be a thing of the past! Hooray!

A zillion down! Two more early mornings to go! 
(And then, like, 3 weeks of real hellish work as the cows figure it out, but you know! The end is in sight!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pretty Good Muffins!

Over the weekend I tried a new recipe. I really had to muster up the energy to do that - I've been seriously slacking in the food department lately. The ingredient combo intrigued me though so I gave them a try!

I found the recipe here, but I will post it here for your clicking convenience!

Sweet Potato Peach Muffins

1 cup mashed sweet potato (I bought one medium sized one and roasted it, then mashed it up)
1 peach
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (check the ethnic aisle of your grocery store for the smallest can)
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Puree the sweet potato together with the peach. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix it up.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix up as for muffins, folding in nuts at the end.

Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

The site (Green Plate Rule) that this comes from has lots of other recipes that use natural sugars and whole, unprocessed foods.  It's interesting to peruse and get meal and snack ideas too!

4 Littles

Love times a million. Four times over. 

(five if you count Dan!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend in Whistler

Dan & I spend August long weekend in Whistler. We didn't go for any particular reason, just to get away and have a change of scenery! We stayed at the Hilton, which was great because it was right in the middle of the village and we could just walk wherever. Our hotel also had an outdoor pool, which we were looking forward too a lot, since it was the HOTTEST weekend, but alas, the pool was closed for maintenance! Ah well, at least we had out hotel snacks!

On Saturday, we went up on the gondola to Whistler mountain, went on a hike (I learned that I still don't like hiking!) and took a ride on the Peak2Peak gondola over to Blackcomb mountain, and then rode the chair lift back down. We also had the best breakfast on Saturday morning at Crepe Montagne! Delicious! We recommend that you go there if you are in Whistler.

This was where we turned around on our hike. As in, went back uphill. 

Another fun thing was that Whistler village had free concerts both nights we were there. Fun times! (We really wished we could have stayed for Great Lake Swimmers on Sunday night). 

How was your long weekend? Any crepe eating and snowball making?