Thursday, January 31, 2013

I've been......

In case you were wondering what I have been up to while I neglected to update this blog.......

I finally painted the little antique dresser that I bought at an estate sale last summer. I used a fantastic chalk paint by Annie Sloan paint in a color called "duck blue". After painting it, I sanded and distressed it a bit and then waxed it with dark and soft wax to give it that "antique" look. I haven't quite finished it yet, but I am getting close.



I also painted this frame (with the same paint) and then rubbed some dark wax into the details. Believe it or not, I picked this solid wood frame up for 8.00$ at a thrift store just down the road. The frame was a greasy gold color and contained a ghastly painting. I replaced the painting with a sheet of cork board  I am SO excited about my "new"  inspiration board.



Amelia and I filled our inspiration boards one afternoon while Claire napped.

They are so fun and colorful!

 A couple of weeks ago I scooped up some great fabric at a Fabric land sale. I had wanted to make a little curtain for the girl's dress up wardrobe as well as some curtains for their bedroom.

I used the pink sheer polka dot fabric for curtains.

And the remaining fabric for a ruffled curtain. It is far from perfect, but, it is girly and fun!

When I had initially purchased this dresser off craigslist, it was lined with green fabric and pink faded ribbon.
I stripped the fabric off, pulled out a zillion staples, scrapped off glue and then painted it yellow. Unfortunately, I choose  a shade of yellow that looked hideous in reality and made me nauseous when I looked at it. Three days ago I painted it white and added this adorable ruffled curtain. I'm hoping to use fabric remnants for some cute throw pillows and or few seat covers.

I still have three more items in need of some love and imagination. All of which were free or purchased for less than 10.00$

This book shelf  

This dresser

And this desk 

Oh and I turned the bland white walls under my cabinets into a chalkboard....



I filled it with funny kitchen quotes. My favorite is: "No man has ever been shot doing the dishes". I am certain that is is true!

:A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life"....

I spent some time at Chapters a couple of days ago, sipping my tea and leafing through piles of gorgeous coffee table books, and magazines. It was  refreshing and inspiring. 

I loved the quote on the front of this colorful, visually appealing book. 

While I LOVE and I mean L.O.V.E having a tidy home, I realize that baking with my girls, building play forts that span entire rooms, and making crafts is much more memorable. That being said, I still adore well put together rooms that ooze color, personality and warmth.

And spaces where everything has its place.... *sigh* 

Perhaps one day, when my sweet children have grown and left the nest, I will find myself free of sticky fingers and stuffed animals and  long for their return. Or perhaps, I will rejoice and maintain an immaculate
home. Probably not! I'd rather be be catching babies as a midwife, travelling the globe with my husband and doting on my grand babies. 

What about you? What do you dream about doing twenty years from now?

Friday, January 25, 2013

In the meantime...

I finally found Claire some gumboots. Now she can and ruminate in the mud and dash though puddles. Right now the girls LOVE walking along on logs, and old cement barriers. It has been so cold lately that we have not been able to spend much time outdoors before Claire starts melting. I look forward to the long, sunny days ahead. 

In the meantime we will continue....

Wearing fun mittens

Playing at the park

Climbing trees (armed with ponies of course)

Enjoying the harbour

Playing in the sand (bundled up)

Taking long walks on boardwalk

Visiting Family


Cuddling new family members

Enjoying God's creation

And just soaking in each precious moment....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I have been suffering some MAJOR internet withdrawals this past week and I am THRILLED that I finally have internet access again. I don't need television or even a telephone, but I feel cut off from the world when I can't hop on goggle and look something up. In the meantime I have been painting, sewing, cleaning and playing with my girls. I am blogging from a friend's laptop at the moment since our computer is out of commission. Hopefully I can find the cable for my camera, otherwise I will not be able to post photos for awhile. 

Monday, January 7, 2013


"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak"
- Rachel Zoe

 One of my girlfriends came over for tea the other day, and and we started chatting about a topic that has been on my mind for awhile. I was cleaning out my closet when she popped by, so I invited her into my room while I finished folding and organizing. I showed her some of the skirts that I used to wear in University and lamented about the fact that I no longer had the guts to wear them. I was not ready to toss them, as they represent a very special time in my life, but I also don't feel as though they represent me any more. I knew my friend would understand since she used to have dreads,  drove a VW van, wore tunics, and smoke an old fashioned pipe. (She is such a cool chick)!
 When I was younger I was not as concerned about how people viewed me. Now that I am older, I care about how I am perceived, and I wish that I didn't.  While I love wearing high heels I often worry that people will write me off as vain, shallow and "high maintenance".  Conversely,  if  I wore one of my colorful flowing skirts, which have not seen the light of day in ages, I would worry that people would write me off as some new age freak. Furthermore, I have no interest in wearing jogging pants or workout gear any where other than in bed or at the gym
In elementary school I wore whatever my mother bought me. I do, however remember trying to coordinate my socks with my scrunchy. I cring even as I type the word "scrunchy". In high school I insisted on wearing whatever irked my classmates. That meant  wide legged polyester pants, army attire, socks pulled up to my knees, and vintage shirts. I was obviously, much more bold in my clothing choices than I am now. In my first year of University I wore long colorful skirts, lots of scarves, and my roommates cast-offs. I was also growing out a pixie cut that looked rather ... um ... messy. I shopped primarily at thrift stores, and wasn't overly concerned about my appearance. In my second year, I started working as a recruiter for a publishing company, and started to dress more professionally. I bought my first suit, learned how to apply make-up and embraced high heels. When I entered the work field after graduating, I worked with battered women and children and began wearing jeans and  T shirts. Years later, when my hubby and I traveled the world, I once again, embraced my inner "hippie", and wore whatever my heart desired. Now I am a mother, and I have reverted back to jeans and t shirts. Why? Well they are the easiest things to clean and my life is MESSY!
So this is where my dilemma begins...... what is my style now and how do I define and it? I wear gumboots, but I also wear pearls. I adore wearing high heels but I am also comfortable being bare foot the majority of the time. I tend to go au natural most days but I also love to wear mascara and lipstick. I typically love earthy reds, oranges, browns and greens but I also adore lace, sequins, tailored blazers, pencil skirts and shades of grey. I have always been attracted to  "granola" type people with dreads, who keep organic gardens, don't wear a shred of make-up, and whose unruly hair is  a mass of curls or dreads. I see them as confident, unhindered, natural, self aware, free spirited souls. At the same time I admire a classy woman who knows how to apply liquid liner with an expert hand, and who can pull off the latest tends with ease.
 Lately, I feel as as though the "hippie" part of me has gone into hibernation and has been replaced with someone who has become far too comfortable with shades of black and grey. How boring!
Ultimately,I feel like I am have become a mixture of those two "types", if you could call them that. So, I have been asking myself, how can I blend my two loves into something that is fun, but also practical  as a busy mom.
Right now the "Navajo" style really appeals to me.  It includes all my favorite items.....  bright colors, blazers,turquoise, lace, tribal prints, ponchos, and has that touch of modernity to makes it current. In case the term Navajo style is lost on you, I have included a few illustrations gathered from google images.


The other day I picked up a great jacket, similar to the one is the middle photo, and I wore it for the first time today. Hurray for a little color in my life!!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

Much earlier this month I wrote.....

"For the past three years I have enjoyed documenting our favorite memories leading up up to Christmas. It is my "advent calender" or sorts and a way to capture our family's traditions and highlights. One year I did a digital version which which was expensive,however it gave me the freedom to include lots of pictures. Last year I decided to go a simpler route and make my own hand cut pages. It was inexpensive and sweet, and I look forward to . Weeks ago Claire helped me comb through my supplies and select pretty ribbons, papers and embellishments. We decided to use felt cutouts of stars and flowers,brown cream and red papers, some pretty vellum, cream ribbon, and some vintage style keys. I am excited to see how it turns out. I haven't scrappbooked since we moved to Nanaimo, and I am looking forward to it."

Our Christmas!!!

How was your Christmas?

Ours was a whirlwind of family, guests, food and snow!  We spent the holidays with Nathaniel's side of the family for the first time this year and it was fun. On Christmas day we were joined by Nathaniel's brother and wife and their sweet little cherub of a newborn. Holding her made my womb ache for another baby.
We had a sumptious turkey dinner with garlic mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, glazed yams, brussels sprouts and bacon, carrots, and pecan and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our fridge is still stuffed and I am happy that I don't have to cook for a couple of days. Well, that is not entirely true since I just made a GIGANTIC pot of turkey soup.
 Nathaniel made the girls a kitchen play set out of an old entertainment system he found on the side of the road. I have yet to add a few finishing details like scalloping, a ruffled sink skirt, a window, stove elements and knobs, and a chalkboard for the front of the fridge (you know... all the pretty things). I will post a photo once it is finished!  On Boxing day, Nathaniel woke up at the crack of dawn and waited in line at Future Shop for a great deal on a Flat Screen TV. It is the first TV that we have ever purchased in our married life. In the past we have always used hand me downs and cast offs. Bye bye tube TV!

I love all the preparation, events and special moments leading up to Christmas Day and I thought the  best way to share my highlights would be to share my December Daily album with you. Half way through taking pictures of the album my little one decided to help me turn the pages. Enjoy!

This is a little calender where I kept track of what we did this month.

1st - The girls spent some time watching vintage Christmas cartoons on YouTube. Amelia particularly enjoyed "Frosty the snowman". Even Claire sat quietly and enjoyed the shows while she munched on her afternoon snack.

2nd - As you can tell, this is NOT our Christmas tree. We did go to a tree farm in search of the perfect tree though.... The sun was shinning, the water was glistening on the branches of Norwegian pines and noble firs and my girls were happily  darting in and out of tree, but when I pulled out my camera to capture them I realized that my battery was dead. Nooooooo!

3rd- Today the girls and I went to value village and found a great little pop up tree for their playroom. When Claire took her afternoon nap, Amelia and I happily decorated it with sparky pink butterflies, white lights, homemade decorations and a few vintage wooden toys from my childhood. I hope that having their own tree will encourage them to decorate and undecorate to their hearts desire and leave our main tree alone!

4th- After Nathaniel and i dropped Amelia off at preschool, we took a little hike. It was really windy outside and we nearly got hit by some flying branches. Claire plodded through puddles and Chester ran himself into exhaustion. I felt so refreshed but the time we had returned home.

5th - After a great deal of consideration I decided to just make a few classic that Nathaniel and I both love. Tonight, after the girls had gone to bed, I went to the store and purchased the ingredients I needed to make butter tarts, gingerbread and almond roca. Yum yum yum!

 6th - Today we baked up a storm. Claire happily licked beaters and spoons and I allowed myself to nibble on chunks of almond roca as well as a butter tart or two.By the end of the day my teeth felt as though they were wearing sweaters.

7th - Today, while Claire was napping, I went to friends and house and she taught me how to needle felt. I felted a dogwood flower onto a felt of burgundy felt. I think it would make a pretty Christmas decoration. Later that evening I made gingersnaps and watched my favorite show - Grey's Anatomy.

8th - Today I finally got the chance to tidy up the house and string some lights through my garlands. Now I can just soak in the beauty of all the Christmas decor. Oh how i love this time of year!

9th - We had initially planned on riding the Christmas train in Duncan this evening, but since the girls were not feeling well, we decided to stay home and relax. I wore my pj's ALL day (which is incredibly rare for me) and blogged about funny Dutch traditions.

10th - This morning the girls and I collected some boughs of spruce and pine and used them to embellish our packages of almond roca. Amelia spent some time playing with the gingerbread play dough that we made earlier this week. Later we attended a friends birthday party and  the kids played until they dropped.

11th - While I spent the morning in waiting in emergency for an ultrasound of my bladder and kidneys Amelia was at preschool making these adorable angles out of paper, pipe cleaners and doilies. My favorite detail is the happy faces. I didn't even know that she knew how to draw them!

12th- Thankfully, we had some decent weather today so I jumped at the opportunity to take our annual Christmas photo. With my camera set on automatic timer, and balanced on a chair, we managed to get a few decent photos.

13th - Today was filled to the brim with fun! Claire and I went to strong start and  spent some time with our dear friends. In the afternoon, I wrote our annual Christmas letter and then took the girls to the store to buy some candy to that we could decorate our gingerbread shapes.

14th - Both of my children woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning and by 10:30 I was tired of the whining and put them down for a nap. To my surprise, they slept for two solid hours. Afterwards, we went to the mall and ran some errands. It was absolute mayhem out there. The roads and the stores were bustling with people and the line-ups were astounding. Amelia was happy because she caught a glimpse of "Santa" in the mall :0)

15th - This year I decided to take my Christmas cards to Starbucks  for some caffeine fueled writing. Armed with a caramel brule I wrote for over two hours. It was a wonderful idea and something I plan on doing in the years to come. Now, I just need to get them into the mail BEFORE Christmas!

16th - We attended church this morning and enjoyed the most beautiful Christmas concert. It brought me to tears. The girls and I were enraptured by the children's choir, the dancing angles and the story of Christ's birth. Perhaps next year, Amelia will be old enough to participate.

17th - Last night we had the most glorious snowfall. Thankfully ,there was enough snow for Amelia and I to build a handsome snowman this morning. I was so excited to finally use the snowman kits I had purchased two years ago.

18th -This evening I had a few girlfriends over for an evening of chocolate and wreath making. I was so much fun and I loved how unique each women's wreath was. Hopefully I can do it again next year!

19th - Our delightful friends from down the road came by for a visit this afternoon. Charity and Thorin have practically become fixtures in our home and we are so happy about that fact. I just adore this photo of the two of them playing in the girl's playroom.

20th -This morning Claire and I attended the Christmas party at Strong start. We brought a plate of homemade gingerbread that the girls had decorated. Afterwards I wrapped presents for hours! When I had tied the late bow the girls helped me place them under the tree. It is a tradition I remember fondly as a child. Hopefully Claire won't start tearing the paper off!

21st - Today I used some of the evergreens left over from my wreath making party to make a garlands for my front door. I LOVE how it turned out and I plan on trying it again next year.

22nd - Honestly, I spent the majority of the day working on my December daily scrapbook. I am hopelessly running behind and I want to catch up before Christmas Eve. When I grew weary of glue and paper, the girls and I hoped in the car and went to the North end Naniamo, to pick up a few last minute gifts. I took the girls to Subway for dinner and I have never seen them eat a sandwich so FAST!

23rd - Went shopping at one of my favorite boutiques downtown with a girlfriend and we bought a can of Annie Sloan chalk paint together. We are both a little obsessed with painting furniture. ( I forgot my camera, otherwise I would have posted a photo of us grinning like schoolgirls with a bag full of candy). When I got home, Nathaniel and I sat down and planned out our Christmas dinner.

24th - Every year I choose a different chocolate for my countdown calender and this year I choose Hershey's peppermint kisses. Claire loved them but Amelia did NOT! When Nathaniel's parents arrived in the late afternoon we whisked them away for an evening of Christmas carols and cookies at out church. When we got home we inhaled the chicken pit pie I had made earlier and tossed the girls into a bubble bath. Afterwards, the girls opened two gifts (pj's and a new stuffed animal) and then were tucked into bed.

25th - Claire and I were the first ones up on Christmas morning and we had a little cuddle before we woke Amelia up. The girls opened their stockings under their Christmas tree and squealed over their new treasures. When everyone else had woken up (except for my hubby who had just come home from working a graveyard shift) we had eggs and bacon on English muffins and a fruit salad. Once Nathaniel had slept for a couple of hours we buttered up the turkey, tossed it into the oven and started opening gifts. The girls were spoiled rotten! We were blessed to have Nathaniel's brother, his wife and their sweet baby girl join us for our turkey dinner!

There are so many highlights that I did not have the space or the time to document like the Christmas brunch with a bunch of ladies from my church, hhelping put together gift bags and goodies for street workers, collecting evergreen boughs with Nathaniel, visiting with friends, all the yummy food I munched on.....

As much as I loved all of the sugar, chaos, presents, squealing and overeating , I am ready to have my ordinary life back.
Hope you had a merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!