Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer and Some Big News.

Oh boy. It's been awhile since I've been on here, and by 'awhile', I do mean the ENTIRE summer.
The summer just flew by for us. Not because we did anything extravagant - no summer holidays here. Everyday was what some would call a 'perfect' summer day. No plans, no agenda, just hanging out and going with the flow. Most days, that worked in our favour. Some other days, our 5 year old reminded us that some structure is a good thing and that having a plan for the day isn't always bad.

Onto the big news I guess. We've decided that I will not return to work. I am joining the ranks of the 'stay at home moms'. While I will continue to nurse one day a week, the rest of it will be at home, with our now 15 month old (crazy!). I feel very fortunate that this opportunity is a reality for us and our children and know full well that a lot of people who would love to stay home, cannot - for various reasons. I will say, however, that if you are or have ever considered it, read the book "The Radical Homemakers" by Shannon Hayes. It's what got me started thinking about the reality of staying home - more so the financial aspect of it.
I also visited Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website. She's the 'Till Death Do Us Part' woman. On her website there are a ton of resources available, including budgets, dept calculators, etc, that I used when working on our budget. We know where every single penny (well, nickel I guess now) goes. While our budget is quite limiting, it is sorta fun seeing all the different ways you can save money.

I'll leave you with two of my favourite photos of the summer:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrating 146 years

Happy Canada Day!

Like many, I am proud and thankful to live in this country. Sure, we have a few policies that I'd like to see changed, but nonetheless, I am happy, very happy, to be a Canadian, if only for the last 33 years.

Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the garden. Holy moly its a lot of work!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Once Around The Sun

Oh. My.
I am now the proud mama of a one year old little lady.

I'm sure I've mentioned before how terrified I was of having a girl. Girls scared me, and I'm not gonna lie, they still kinda terrify me, but I can't imagine my life without this one.

She has completed our family in the best way ever and I have loved watching Gage grow into his big brother role. He absolutely ADORES this lady, to the point that my eyes swell with happy tears when I watch them interact. Simply precious.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Falling Off My Needles - Gnome Edition

Who can resist a plump garden gnome? Not me.

I filled this guy with beans and some toy stuffing, but mostly beans. It gives him a great weight to live his life's purpose of being a doorstop.

He is going to live at my sister's place, as a housewarming gift. I hope their dog doesn't eat him.

Want to make one for yourself, or share the gnome love? This link will bring you to the pattern via Ravelry. Enjoy!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Last night, I had the pleasure of spending some time with one of my favourite people, Amy, who's one half of this fabulous blog.

We went to the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto to see Michael Pollan speak. Yes...that's right, MICHAEL POLLAN! THE Michael Pollan. He has written another book, Cooked. I haven't yet cracked it open (except to stare at the autograph!) so I can't tell you anything about the book itself, but from what he described, it's a an exploration of cooking, from the first BBQ to a raw food diet.

He was exactly how I thought he would be. Approachable, not soapbox-y, full of great ideas and insights and had a great sense of humour. Overall...awesome.

Plus, to top off a great evening (besides an ultimate parking fail and crappy misty/rainy weather), sushi and girl talk.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


- 10 strawberries
- Cilantro
- Basil
- Dill
- Horseradish
- Parsley
- Garlic chives
- Red cabbage
- Carrots (LOTS!)
- Lettuce
- Kale
- Tomatoes
- Peppers
- Jalapeno pepper
- Tomatillo
- Runner beans
- Raspberries
- Watermelon

Put in a raised bed to try out using a cold frame this fall. I'll have to start scouring for supplies.

Started edging the fence line with cinder blocks. This will allow our neighbour to trim around her fence without hurting any of our stuff. AND, hopefully it will slow down weed growth in that hard to reach area.

It is HARD to decide where to put everything. Companion planting, plants hating other plants, planning walking paths, etc. Tricky, tricky I tell ya. There are already a TON of weeds. It's crazy how prolific they are. Look at the ground around the trellis...covered in weeds. I have a new found love of a good hoe. The best garden tool ever!

Strawberries, tomatoes/peppers, red cabbage/herb section and a garden view

Bean trellis, raspberry plants, cheery tree, red cabbage. Oh, and that sunspot (?) on the cherry tree picture, don't people say that it's a ghost or something? Whatever it is, I hope it's nice to the cherry tree.

5-in-1 Pear tree

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Garden Is Happening

The garden this year is going through a major overhaul. Not quite what I had planned/dreamed, but due to some reasons that I will explain at a later date, we've revamped our imaginations and garden design.
With the help of several friends who are garden savvy, we have decided on a 20' x 60' space dedicated solely to garden - mostly veggies but eventually, I can see some room for ornamental perennials. A few feet at the beginning of the garden is going to be an herb garden with some fruit trees. Don't yet know if the apple trees will be going in this year, but they have a space saved for them for next year (or the year after....).

Super exciting.
In the meantime, I thought I'd capture what the yard looks like now so you can bear witness to the change as well. I just have to remember to take photos during the process! As a wise woman once said "Always remember the blog!".

(NOTE: I never did take any 'before' shots of the garden. Ha! I wrote this post, headed out with the camera and then was sidetracked with other duties - child rearing, laundry hanging, etc. So, I've linked to previously posted photos of the garden that will give you an idea of how it looked and how it has changed. My apologies).

The garden is a whopping 20' x 70'. It starts around the clothes line post (that you see in the winter shot) and ends just at the little hill in the back of the property (middle shot). It's a big garden. So big in fact that I'm quite intimidated by it at the moment. The potential is unlimited.

What I know for sure right now is:

  1. The area surrounding the clothes line post is going to be dedicated as the 'herb garden' with some perennials, like rhubarb. 
  2. After the herb garden, we are planting three fruit bearing trees. I really wanted to plant heritage apples and pears, but am having a hard time sourcing them. Any of you know a good place?
  3. None of this could have been done as fast as it has without the help from our community. Our neighbours not only lent their time and backs, but also an excavator and heavy duty tiller. We really do live on a great street with great people and have some amazing friends. 

As for the rest of the garden...well, we'll just have to figure it out as we go. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Craving Change

We've been in this house for 2 1/2 years and haven't done a thing to the inside of the house. We did quite a bit of work on our old place to get it ready to sell. That hard work is difficult to forget, which is probably why we haven't done anything in this place.
The last few weeks, the colour of the living room walls have been really bugging me. In the pictures, they look like beige, which is true, but they also have a purpley/maroon undertone to them. Ugh. I couldn't stand it anymore. A change was needed.

I know some people think my colour choice is a little much, but all I see is happiness when I look at it. It's not your typical 'grown up' colour. In fact, after I painted the wall, my husband said it looks like it belongs in a frat. house! Ha! He also said that it's not a re-sale colour, which is perfect, because I intend to stay in this house for as long as I possibly can! AND - it's only paint. What's the big deal?

That mirror hanging on the wall is where baby girl gives herself kisses. 
Wow! That's bright!
The colour I picked it the second from the left. 
What I accomplished during the first nap time
First coat done

Here's to change!

Friday, April 12, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

April ice storm. Ugh...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

And It Begins!

Oh man...I wish I was the kind of writer that could describe my feelings in such a way so as you, the reader, could feel the exact sense of excitement that I am feeling. My masters course is finished for this semester (and I don't have another course until September!!) and my green(ish) thumb is ready to get dirty.

That's my hand. Getting the soil ready to sow some seeds

Two weeks ago, a good friend of ours, who has an amazing resume in organic farming, came by to help us (me) finally design the garden of my dreams. We spoke about the food we eat, the benefits of raised-bed gardening vs. conventional in-ground gardens (we're doing raised just fits with me), and even braved a spring snowstorm by venturing out to our backyard to take some measurements and for her to get a visual of my dream. This dream of mine is big - really big (we even talked fruit trees!) - but totally doable. The initial cost and work will be substantial, especially (again!) for my dear husband as there are several raised beds, a fence and a whack load of digging that needs to be done.

Exciting, no?

I'm a little behind in sowing seeds however. Gage and I just planted them about a week ago. Three different tomatoes and two different peppers. I did a few leeks as well, but am fully aware that they should really be almost 2 months old by now! We also planted some cilantro, basil, marigolds and pansies. I have a really hard time controlling myself when it comes to planting. I wanted to sow ALL the seeds. There's just something exciting about watching them all grow. Alas, I had to be realistic not only about space in the garden, but also about how many tomatoes I wanted to deal with in the summer.

So my friends, the growing season is just on the horizon. If nothing else, it will surely be better than last year!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back To Reality

With March Break officially over, it was back to our normal routine of school, work, studying and of course, parenting. If my post on Sunday left you a little worried of my mental state, do not fret, as the title stated, it really was just one of those days.

Thanks to Facebook, I came across this article written by Una Lamarche for the Huffington Post. I have no idea who she is or what reputation the Huffington Post has, but it rang true to me and once again reminded me that parenting is really hard. Not only because you're literally trying to raise an adult who has all the qualities that you wish you had, but because there are always people who will judge you and your parental decisions.
It can serve as a reminder to do what's right for you and your family. Case closed.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One of those days...

Picture this...

A baby that won't nap, has a runny nose and is starting to get angry when you take something away from her.

A 5 year old who has lost his iPad and television privileges, leaving only a whole basement full of toys that he doesn't want to play with and who won't. stop. talking.

A mom, who despite being allowing to sleep in this morning, cannot kick the heaviness of sleep from her eyes, can't find her daughter's birth certificate of SIN card (a sleep deprived mom should not be allowed to be responsible for important documents such as those. I'm sure I put them somewhere logical at the time that made sense to sleep deprived me), who's ears are wearing to the constant natter of her 5 year old and is kinda upset with her husband who was the one who took away her 5 year old's media privileges.

A dad, who is regretting his appropriate consequences, having to listen to a wife tell him other appropriate consequences he could have doled out instead of an all media attack, who's tired because he was nice enough to let his wife sleep-in and who's also straining to respond to the constant 5 year old dialogue.

It's been the kind of day where you just want to opt-out of being a parent. Not just because there was no media allowed, but because both of us....both adults in this house....just weren't up to the challenge today. Usually we can tag team this life of ours but today we both wanted to tap out.

Please tell me you've had these kinds of days too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Falling Off My Needles - Cabled Vest

First of all, let me just remind you that I don't knit garments. I have had so many failures in that department that the taste in my mouth is nothing but sweet bitterness. Sweet bitterness? Yes, that's the kind of bitterness that sometimes tastes a little sweet to make you forget the real bitterness taste giving you the gull to cast-on that beautiful, seamed, stranded sweater that you added to your favourites on Ravelry only to re-discover how much you hate knitting those kinds of things.

I digress.

This is a garment, yes. BUT - it's for a smaller human and it doesn't have sleeves. Vests are my new besties. That being said, this half-garment was a challenge. The cables, the button bands, the lining for the button bands, the i-cord button loops...phew! Lots of steps in this one.

I put this down many times to knit others. I really procrastinated on the i-cord button loops and sewing down the lining on the button band. It's always the final steps that frustrate me.

The pattern can be found here, and my Ravelry notes here.

It just fits my little subject. Oh well...I'll save it for little miss.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books Galore!

Nothing like a Masters course to suck all the fun and time out of reading for pleasure. Hence, the pile of books on my nightstand that keeps getting taller.

I'm looking forward to finally tackling these babies. Have you read any of them?

Monday, March 4, 2013

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the pillow cover give-away. This evening I had our son choose a number, and the big winner is.....Marijke - PetiteDaphne!!!!! Congratulations!

Please email me your address at

I'll be sure to send it out to you by the end of this week.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Spoiled (and a CONTEST!)

Geez...I'm flabbergasted by the wonderful, beautiful and totally appreciated well wishes and gifts that my family and friends have showered on me this birthday. Thank you everyone, especially for spending some of your precious time with us over the last few days. I love visits!

Yes - that's how messy our house usually is and yes - my birthday cake is a pie plate filled with mini-eggs. I'm one lucky lady!

And, in the spirit of giving, I'm doing my very first giveaway!! Yay! That means the dozen of you (number exaggerated)  that actually read this little life o'mine have a very good chance of winning!
I have been totally smitten with navy the past few months. I want everything in this house to be navy, grey and white...with a little splash of turquoise and yellow, or pink, or orange...
Anyway, I made this pillow cover a few days ago and hope that some of you love it as much as I do. The front (bicycles) is cotton and the back is a cotton/canvas-y mix. It fits a 16"x16" pillow form. For your chance to win, leave a comment and I'll have my 5 year old pick a number out of a hat (need to find me a hat) on Monday evening. should enter  - there's a mighty fine chance that you'll be the only one to comment!

Thank you for reading and good luck!


Friday, February 22, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wasting Time - Pinterest

I got sucked in again. I don't go on Pinterest very often, but when I do, the time warp is ridiculous. All of a sudden, it's 2 hours later and my eyes are dry from not blinking.
So, to feel as though I didn't waste all my time, I'm sharing with you some pins that I thought were interesting, cute and some, even useful.

Have a peek but don't. get. sucked. in.!

1. Some family fun
2. These look fun, though a little time consuming.
3. So sweet
4. Simply amazing! I need to learn how to crochet.
5. And these are just adorable.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Falling Off My Needles - Slouch Hat

Slouch hats are all the rage now, aren't they? It seems anyone can wear them. Hipsters especially seem to like them.

The white one I'm wearing with Lady Gaga in the background was for my son's former daycare provider. She knows I wore it before giving it to her. It was so warm and smooshy and lovely. And yes, the Gaga concert was AMAZING! That woman knows how to put on a show.

The Blue one is one of the projects that I mentioned here. The Cashmerino is a bit 'looser' (I'm sure there's an appropriate knitting term here, my brain just isn't finding it) so it has more slouch than the white one but it will do. If I make another one, I think I'd choose the Diamond Luxury Collection again.

Pattern: The Rikke Hat

Friday, February 15, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Plans For Knits

Oh. My. Goodness. Our local yarn store had their 3rd anniversary sale this past Saturday and I went prepared with my list of knitting potential.

Here's what I got.

1. Some Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label for these beauties. I had to cast on these mitts because I'm still a little upset that the Fiddleheads didn't fit. These are looking quite slim but when I try them on, they do stretch. I should probably have swatched these first, and perhaps maybe gone up half a needle size. Next time?

2. Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Navy for this hat.

3. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in black for Eric's Valentine's gift. Here's a picture of it. Ignore the creepy head. (good thing my hubby doesn't read my blog!)

4. And some Diamond Luxury Fine Merino Superwash for these lovelies.

Surprisingly there are no projects in here for the kids. I typically like knitting for the smalls since their projects are usually fast and size forgiving.

What is on your needles?

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Falling Off My Needles - Mittens

Remember these mittens?

They are finally done. Knit. Blocked. Knitted Liners. Blocked again. D.O.N.E.

The kicker? They don't fit. Not even close. I have super long piano fingers that I just cannot squish into these beauties. It's heartbreaking. I blocked these suckers like there was no tomorrow. Some would even say aggressively, but they just weren't meant to be, for me.

The upside is that they will hopefully make someone really happy and their hands warm.

I bought the pattern/yarn as a kit at our local, amazing yarn shop. I think I remember someone saying that the kits have been discontinued. Here's the designer's blog.

Happy Wednesday.

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Moment

Linking up with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Teething much?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Because That's What We Do

I have the flu. The real deal. Influenza. It sucks. It's horrible. I feel like that guy on the NyQuil commercial that asks his wife to call his mom for him. This shows my former anti-flu shot self just how bad it can be. I can officially tell you that from here on out, I'll be getting the flu shot. (I know, I know, the flu shot won't protect me 100%, etc, etc. Please don't leave me nasty comments).

Parenting is a hard job to begin with, but throw in the flu (or a cold or something that throws you off your game) and it becomes downright impossible. My dear husband has been fantastic. He took a day off work to help me out and has been picking up all the slack. He's even been doing the middle of the night feeds so I can get a full sleep! (thank goodness little miss will now take a bottle. I'm pumping in overdrive!)

Last night, Elle was having a hard time falling asleep. I was nursing her for the third time in an hour and she finally looked like she was going to fall asleep. My head was pounding. The 17 pound baby in my arms felt like a tonne with my aching muscles, I had to cough but didn't want to wake her up and my nose was running. Pulling a kleenex out of the box sounded like a truck hit the house (which has happened...but that's another story). She had her eyes closed and then suddenly pulled off wide awake. Mt heart sank. I was needing my bed like I need air. Elle looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes, gave me the biggest two tooth smile I've ever seen and then promptly closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms. It's like she knew that I had no more to give.

Isn't that the way it works? Just when you think you've had enough, your child makes you smile and melts your heart.

Here's a picture of another family member that melts our hearts every. single. day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2012 Intentions

If you remember this post, you may be wondering how things have been going.

1. I have not made cheese yet and there are no plans in the near future to do so.

2. I made a kneaded bread that failed miserably. This was months ago and became one of many moments that I should have photographed but didn't, to blog.

3. The garden. Well, that was an epic fail.

4. And the whole getting chicks idea is not going to happen.

So this year, I'm keeping it real. The garden is going to be a big priority. I'm tired of 'making due' and making constant revisions to the lay out, etc. I want it done. I want the bones of the garden to finally be 'set in stone' so to speak so that year after year, I just have to plant some seeds, minor weeding, minimal watering (this will be another year's project) and eat the deliciousness of my hard work.

Outside of the garden, my intention is to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave (that is going shockingly fast!) and eventually re-enter the workplace with grace.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

That's right. I'm jumping on the homemade detergent bandwagon. I don't really know anyone who's doing this, but according to Pinterest, I'm way behind the times.

I actually didn't get this particular recipe from Pinterest. I got it from the Dog Island Farm blog. I really like their posts and the fact that they farm, smack-dab in the middle of suburbia amazes me.

I digress...

I bought all the ingredients required. Bar of soap, washing soda (found at Joanne's Place - health food store), Borax (already had this) and a tub (bought at IKEA. Originally intended to use for the excess of toys but it's perfect for this too).

**A word of caution about the soap you decide to use. I bought some beautiful smelling soap from our local soap store, SIMPLE. It's delicious - a bit of a lemony and earthy scent. BUT - when you grate soap, the beautiful smell that you love so much can become a little noxious. Seriously, I just grated the soap and I've got myself a scent headache. So, a word to the wise, choose an unscented bar or a scented one that you either love so much that you won't be knocked out by it or be prepared to hate it for the rest of your life. **

Add the grated soap + 6 cups of water to a pot. Melt on medium heat.
Add the 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing soda until dissolved
Remove from heat
Pour 4 cups of hot water into your laundry detergent bucket of choice
Add soap/Borax/washing soda mixture and stir
A 1 gallon + 6 cups of water (1 gallon = 16 cups. Thank you Google) and stir again.
Let sit overnight or at least 6 hours prior to use

Voila! Detergent.

Make sure to stir before using. I used 1/3 cup in my first load and it seemed to work great, at least, my clothes appear clean. And luckily (for me), the soap smell didn't linger. I don't think I could have stomached smelling that soap for the next however long it takes to use up all this detergent. I had to hold my breath last night while washing the pot I melted the soap in!
I should also mention that I have a front-loading, high efficiency (HE) washer. Because this type of detergent doesn't 'sud' very much, it is HE safe.

I made this back in October. (Just blogging about it now...). The silver thing in the detergent is a fallen measuring cup. I've since started using 1/4 Cup instead of 1/3 and my laundry still comes out clean.