Tuesday, 31 December 2013

December Wrap Up

This month consisted of a lot of coffee drinking, cookie eating,  and Sci-fi reading.

My card reading this month brought the Elk and I read that as an opportunity to work on being "present in the moment". This is easier said than done. My intentions were there but I have such a personality where I have the constant need to multitask and run through to do lists. But I was able to grab a few moments to stop, breathe and enjoy. Here are a few of those moments;
1. Snuggles with Ray, when he would fall asleep on my chest some afternoons, instead of putting him down to nap so I could clean, I would feel his warm little breaths on my neck as he nuzzled in close and enjoy his sweet snugs.
2. I went for dinner alone. One evening I was asked to leave for a couple hours so Josh could wrap gifts, so I walked in our neighbourhood and stopped for dinner. I had pasta and a glass of wine and I sat and finished the last chapter of the book I had been reading. It was magical.
3. The night I had a bath.. with homemade lavender infused bath salts. The last time I had a bath was when I was pregnant,  so this one was thoroughly enjoyed.

I had also decided this month with the help of the Elk that standing tall meant working on my posture, so I took a Mom & Baby yoga class once a week this whole month. It was really good,  not very peaceful with fussing babies around but I definitely think it helped my posture.

I'm excited to see what January and the new year brings.  2013 was the best year of my life, so far. I've never felt more happy in life. I love my boy and our little family, I am so lucky.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Craft: Painted Wine Glasses

These were for my mom for Christmas. I remember seeing a couple hand painted glasses at her house, I believe they were of astrology signs. She loved these glasses but her man put them in the dishwasher and the paint started peeling. Noted.

So I made her a set of four. They aren't painted all crazy like the ones she had. I wanted these ones to be more simple, glasses she could bring out while entertaining or something.

Wine glasses
Enamel paint
Oven (optional)

To paint glass or ceramic you must... MUST
use enamel paint. (I have tried the whole Sharpie on ceramic thing that Pinterest makes look so easy but it NEVER turns out for me)
I used two different colours (and a bit of white) and dotted the paint on the glasses with the opposite end of the paint brush and then dotted smaller dots with a toothpick. I also painted the base of the glass, on the bottom, the solid colour.

Bake in the oven (upside down) at 350* for 30min OR let air dry for 21 days.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Craft: Cake Stand

This is easy peazy lemon squeezy.

I've seen a lot of these floating around, DIY cake stands from vintage plates and candle holders.
Any thrift store has a gazillion candle holders, I have probably donated a handful of these over the years and now I'm wishing I had held onto them. So I super lucked out and happened to find a candle holder that matched the plate I had picked out, if I wasn't so lucky I might have painted the holder. I might try to do another one of these in the future to show how to work with a mismatched set (hmmm maybe make one for myself).

This one, however, is a gift for a friend that makes the best food like ever. When I got home from giving birth she had lasagna, perogies and carrot muffins all ready for me. She made the most beautiful cake ever for my baby shower. And on my last day of work she made me my favorite... carrot cake. Yum. Not to mention everything else she's ever made me. When I decided to eat meat again after years of being vegetarian, it was her thanksgiving turkey. I can literally spend all day listing the amazing meals and desserts she's made. So I thought why not take my craftiness and make her something to display her art... food.

Vintage plate
Wide base candle holder
Paint (depending on the look of your holder)
Contact cement
Sandpaper (optional)

Since the bottom of the plate and the candle holder were both smooth, for a stronger hold I roughed up the surfaces that would be joining together with sandpaper

I liberally applied the contact cement to the candle holder and then place in the middle on the bottom of the plate. The directions on the cement said to wait atleast 30min to dry, so that's what I did.

And ta freakin da. That's it. Done. It turned out better than a cake stand you can buy in stores.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Space: Christmas Decor Inspiration

Christmas is just around the corner and I am definitely in the bright spirit. I always look forward to Christmas, but this year more than ever. It's our first Christmas as a family. I've spent Christmas Eve and morning with Josh the past 6 years and usually with whoever our roomates are at the time, I think only one of those years it was just the two of us. So this year it's more exciting than ever, we finally have a little family and from now on Christmas will be full of excitement and wonderment.

I've spent a little more time this year decking our halls because I want the Christmas spirit to shine through. We are also hosting a Christmas dinner this year for Josh's side of the family, so I wanted our place to really feel warm and inviting for our guests.

I've gathered a few images off Pinterest for inspiration. I'm loving the nature theme and bringing that indoors for a woodsy winter cabin look.

I've incorporated some of my favourite ideas into my home, tree trimmings in vases and bottles, handmade paper garlands, gifts wrapped like parcels, pinecones, candles, and a wintery table setting.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Craft: X-mas Garlands

If I could, I would decorate my entire house with dozens of handmade garlands, but they are time consuming. It took me an entire afternoon to make 4 garlands, I happened to luck out with a sleeping baby so I was able to get these all done and hung before I was called away.

For the star garland and the reindeer garland I used cookie cutters to trace out the shapes on cardstock paper, poked holes in each with a toothpick and thread some pretty string through.

The triangle garland is two different colours of cardstock, folded in half and cut out triangles, then glued each side together with the pretty string in each crease.

And the pinecone garland(Pinterest has been just littered with these lately), I spray painted the cones with a bronze paint and then just wrapped the string around the base of each cone.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

5 Months!

My boy turns 5 months old today. He has hit so many milestones already, I just love watching him grow. He's thisclose to sitting up, he sits for a bit before toppling over. Getting close to rolling over as well, he's trying so hard. He loves laying around and grabbing at his feet and lately he has been serenating us with what we are calling his "whale songs". I think he is just loving his own voice and is testing out all the different noises he can make.
He has a blast in the jolly jumper and his favourite toys right now are Sophie the Giraffe, his sock monkey and a ball made of wires.
Reaching and grabbing for items is a new one this month.

We are getting ready for our first Christmas as a family, and couldn't be more excited! I know that he is still so young and won't have any idea what's going on but this is the first so it's still a big deal for us.

Monday, 2 December 2013

December Elk

My card reading for the month of December brought The Elk.

The Elk teaches us to stand tall and maintain your dignity no matter what, and others will treat you with the respect you deserve.
To slow down and be present in the moment, I feel that my goal last month to get all my shopping and Christmas planning done before December will really help me with this. Now that I don't have "to do" lists weighing me down I am able to enjoy my days.

A few key points to work on with the Elk is - confidence, stamina, agility, posture, strength and power

I have decided in the spirit of the Elk this month I will work on standing tall, posture and focus. I plan to try yoga and meditation to help with this, so I've signed up to try a Mom & Baby yoga class in my neighbourhood. I have always wanted to try a yoga class again but I was discouraged after trying it a few years ago. The class I attended made me feel embarrassed and stupid because I had no experience, the instructor and all those in the class seemed very condescending and stuck up. But I have heard good things about this studio, and since it's a Mom & Baby class I already know someone... Ray. So if everyone else there is too cool to talk to me then I will just talk to him, hopefully it goes well and I get the confidence boost I'm looking for.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

November Wrap Up

 What a busy month you have been, November. I was pretty ambitious with my goals for this past month and I'm proud to say I have accomplished what I set out to do. The photo above is our fall table-scape, I like to switch it up for the seasons and holidays to keep things fresh.
 These are just a few things I had going on this month, one goal I set for myself was to have all my Christmas shopping and gift making done by December 1st...CHECK! These are just a couple sneak peek photos of  handmade gifts because I don't want to give away any surprises. I will be posting completed photos and some tutorials after these have made their way into their new homes. I'm very excited about these and I can't wait to share them. And now since I am all done with getting gifts I get to sit back and enjoy the holiday season. Which means hanging out in PJ's, drinking hot beverages, baking goodies, and decorating my house. Getting festive all up in here. I am extremely happy about avoiding malls now, even last week they were starting to get crazy.
 Here are a few "new" additions to my wardrobe that I thrifted earlier in the month. My card reading this month was the Octopus, I wholeheartedly embraced his shape shifting ways. I altered my style a bit with new clothes and I changed the colour of my hair (nothing drastic just a couple shades darker). I even changed my lifestyle with more healthy eating and exercising, and I lost 5 lbs! I didn't go crazy with change because I love who I am, just a few little tweeks here and there. I feel much happier.
I can't go to a thrift store without picking up something for Ray too.

All in all November was a successful and productive month, I will take the practises I learned from the Octopus and carry them on through the following months and into the new year. I'm very much looking forward to December and what it has in store for me... I, however, won't be in any stores HA!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Whats cookin?

Just the other day my amazing man and father to my child tells me how happy he is that I don't work nights any longer because he gets to eat healthy home cooked meals, and no longer goes through KFC drive thrus. Being a stay at home mom has awakened a passion for cooking that I never knew I had. I used to just do what was quick at easy and I didn't branch to far out, but now with all my extra time for meal planning and prepping, I have even surprised myself with some of the meals I have made.

Vintage cookbook that belonged to my Nana

Freshly picked carrots from my garden
 First things first Spaghetti Squash... where has this been all my life?! What an amazing and versatile veggie, so far I have made Turkey Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella on Spaghetti Squash and Marinara AND Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. The Pad Thai has definitely been a hit and I have made it again and again.

I have also made a few different soups and stews, from scratch! That's right, not from a can! Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Red Pepper and Coconut Soup, and a Sausage Kale White Bean Stew.

Now some days I don't have a lot of time to cook dinner with a fussy baby that needs to be held most of the day, but I still get a healthy meal on the table. How? With the help of my the Crockpot. Thank God for Crockpots!!! You just throw all the ingredients in the pot and like 6 hours later ... BAM dinner just cooked itself. A few go to Crockpot meals include Cashew Chicken on Rice, Pulled Pork Sliders and Ribs.
I have also improved on a few old quick week night favs: Coconut Curry, Sausage Casserole, and Chicken Pot Pies.
Thank you to Pinterest for giving me creative recipes and ideas for cooking. There has, however, been some meals that just plain failed. A Pork Tenderloin, a Spaghetti Squash Alfredo and a Veggie Lasagna are a few that come to mind. Oh well, they can't all be winners.   
Nevertheless I have a very happy and well fed man right now. And I look forward to getting to a few more recipes I have pinned.
Happy cooking. Happy eating.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Space: Craft Room Inspiration Board

Craft Space Inspiration Board
It's time for another "Space" post. Today it's a tribute to Craft Spaces, I have been working on a few projects lately since Christmas is just around the corner, and while I've been creating I've been dreaming of the perfect space to do so in. Above is an inspiration board of some lovely spaces I've compiled from Pinterest.
Craft Space 2013
We have a small two bedroom place and since my little one came I no longer have my own room for creating, so I have taken over two small corners in our living room. It's not ideal but I would rather have a nursery than a craft room. When I need to spread out I venture to the kitchen table and take over that space, I have learned to keep tidy and clean up after myself which is difficult because creativity is messy. Someday when we own a house I will have an extraordinary craft space where I can make a mess and simply shut the door.
Craft Space 2012

Craft Space 2010

These are my past craft rooms. Please keep in mind each photo was taken in the midst of creating for  art shows so I will say it again... creativity is messy. My space in 2012 is now Ray's nursery and the space in 2010 was in our old place.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

4 months!

Ray is 4 months and he is the best. He sleeps less in the days now but sleeps really good through the night. He is such a happy baby, smiling and laughing at everything. We are so lucky

I don't want to jinx myself when I say this but I have one of the most well behaved babies. He is so good with people, which I love because I don't want him to cry for mama anytime anyone holds him. I really wanted a social baby and he is! He seldom cries in public so I don't worry about taking him out to restaurants or shopping.

This was one of the main things I worried about before becoming a mom, I know it sounds stupid, but I didn't want to feel embarrassed. I was once one of those people who would roll their eyes and get annoyed at a crying baby in a restaurant. Now I understand and I see it differently, those poor moms with their crying babies... it's not their fault! They deserve to go out to eat just like the rest of us, maybe even more. One thing I still stand by, however, is weekend nights. I won't ever take Ray out to dinner on a Friday night, because maybe the people at the next table over are paying a babysitter so they can have a romantic night to themselves and how terribly ironic would it be for them to listen to a crying child on their one night out. (true story)

Don't get me wrong though with all this happy baby talk... he does cry... trust me he cries!

Friday, 1 November 2013

November Octopus

I have decided to start each month with a card reading, just for fun, and to see where my focus should be.
November = the octopus. Meaning to focus on shape shifting and altering my appearance, while staying true to my core. Challenge excepted. I've decided I will alter my style a bit and work on changing my body, in other words getting rid of that pesky pregnancy weight.

I have also set a goal for myself to be finished Christmas shopping by the end of this month, so I can enjoy December with nothing weighing on my mind. A lot of my Christmas gifts this year, like previous years, are handmade so I have a lot of creative projects to complete this month.

I won't be posting photos of these until after Christmas because I don't want to ruin the surprise for the people who will be receiving these gifts.

On a side note another Halloween has come and gone, Ray's costume turned out great and he looked so damn cute. We went trick or treating at grandmas house and that's all, it seems silly that I spent all that time making a costume that he wore for an hour but it was for the pictures (they last forever) .

My costume took 20 minutes to make, which is so strange to me because some costumes I have made for myself in previous years have taken hours upon hours of making and planning. Like I said though in my last post, Halloween isn't for me anymore. I will get more joy out of a kids Halloween and I am excited for that.
Here are some of my past Halloween costumes...