My nephew celebrated his 9th Birthday today with a Medieval theme.
There was a little crown decorating
Grandma (my mama) made this awesome castle cake
And she also made him this Jester costume from thrifted shirts and pants which he requested. She winged it and it worked out brilliantly!
There seemed to be a slight Star Wars theme to the gifts, one of them being this crazy lego ship my brother "helped" him put together which I'm told is the "Republic Attack Cruiser". 1,170 pieces put together in a couple hours. That's a dedicated Fan!
Quite the par-tay.
Happy Birthday! Where did 9 years go??...
A little time spent at my favourite Goodwill in Edmonton, Alberta left me rewarded with a few awesome little goodies.
This sweet little wooden pull toy - hedgehog? porcupine? Cute anyway. It's Ikea, but I have never seen it before and I'm sure it wouldn't have been as cheap as I scored it for.
This awesome little vintage retro kids chair which I will keep red, but recover the seat.
This vintage Spear's Weaving Loom from the 50's. Can't wait to try it out. Though my mom bought me a vintage "Weave-it Loom" for Christmas last year and I still haven't gotten around to it. I'll just addd this one to the pile of things I REALLY would love getting around to someday! ;)
I also picked up "The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway" for my hub, and a couple of sweet kids books: "Til All The Stars Have Fallen : Canadian Poems For Children", and " A Trip to Granny Rumbletummy's".
There may yet be another thrifting post before I head back to Ontario on thursday. My Mom and I love treasure hunting at second hand shops, and they are just so great here - cheaper and less picked through (*knock on wood*). I think Wednesday will be a great day to hit our other favourites.
Yesterday was a mix of frenzied packing, dealing with home builder warranty issues (yuck), an injury my little one could have done without and I KNOW I could have done without, and the Roasting of my very first chicken! After thinking about tackling what seemed like a big feat for so long, I finally did it and it was too easy!
I used this recipe from Jamie Oliver's website and it tasted really amazing. Don't be afraid of the lemon, the flavour was nowhere near too strong. Really delicious.
I feel like I'm saying "We're off" a lot! Admittedly, I have been very spoiled in getting to go back to Alberta to visit family for my now 5th time since getting back from our long trip in 2008. My son just turned one and this is his 4th time if you aren't counting the time he was in my belly! He should have some sort of West Jet Frequent Flyer card or something.
The time difference is only 2 hours but it does make a difference. The last time I was wakened every day at 5am (not by choice, mind). I wonder what this trip will bring? Italy was a 6 hour difference and he did very well, so he should be a pro at this by now right??
A visit to Alberta is generally a busy one. There are so many in our family (immediate and extended), and they are so spread out you spend a great deal of time in transit. I am so happy to be here! ...Ah, but then I miss my man back at the ranch. I wish he could have joined me on this little excursion. :(
It is an amazing feeling when you visit your parent's house that no matter if they have moved, changed things around, or bought new furniture, it always feels like home - to me, anyway. I always feel an immediate sense of calm, and happiness just walking through the door. It's Good To Be Home!
Mondays aren't so bad. They just push for getting things done. Laundry gets washed, rooms get tidied, and sometimes even a couple of fun things are accomplished. I love a good Monday.
I started a pair of pants for the munchkin out of an old thrifted sheet. Still need hemmed & a waistband. Won't take long though. I use this awesome tutorial regularly. It is so simple to do.
I squeezed in a little sewing time for myself, and whipped together this wristband that has been on my mind for a bit.
And finally, I made the Oat Bran Applesauce Muffins for the little guy from The Hospital For Sick Children: Better Baby Food cookbook.
They are pretty tasty. Very low sweetness level, and great fluffy texture. Perfect for a one year old.
Here is the recipe: Oat Bran Applesauce Muffins
Age 12-18 months
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease, or paper-line a 12-cup muffin tin
1 1/3 C Whole wheat flour
1/2 C Oat bran
1/2 C Loosely packed brown sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/4 C Vegetable oil
1 C Applesauce
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 C Finely chopped raisins (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
2. In another bowl, stir together oil, applesauce, and egg. Stir in raisins. Add applesauce mixture to dry
ingredients; stir just until moistened.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, or until muffins are firm to the
touch. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
Per muffin: 133kcal, 2.8g Protein, 22.0g Carb, 4.7g Fat, 1.19mg Iron
Let's hope I get a good dose of the Tuesday's too, because I have a lot to accomplish since I used so much of my time yesterday for the fun stuff. I leave tomorrow to visit my family in Alberta for a week. Time to get organised!
On saturday we went to Darien Lake. It is meant to be a 2 hour drive, but unfortunately we were stuck in a line at the border for 2 hours! Despite that, I did get some pretty great cuddles and we did have some fun playing in the backseat (sorry but I'm not going to leave my kid in a car seat for 2 hours while we aren't moving, and it is crazy hot outside).
Turned out to be a great day! Thank God the border crossing was better on the way back.
Tonya of Plain and Joyful Living has the awesome idea of working to celebrate a holiday of homemade goodness, be it created by our own two hands, a local pair, or a hardworking set from a fabulous crafter's site like Etsy. On Plain and Joyful Living she suggests it is even as simple as just supporting a local business.
I am so excited to join her on this quest and though it may seem early I assure you it is not. Christmas will come faster than any of us can imagine, and since it's my favourite time of year I love the idea of getting started RIGHT NOW! :)
Let's celebrate a holiday where we consider where EVERYTHING comes from and bring love and meaning to every gift we give, and every bite we eat.
After several blisteringly hot, sun shiny days we had some much needed rain yesterday. I loved passing over the plant watering responsibility, and I believe our little one loved our rainy day reason to bring him to an indoor playground!
Though he spent most of the time just watching all the other little children, he really gravitated toward the play kitchen and played there for nearly a half hour or more.
I have just finished my first ever knitting project - a dishcloth.
I gotta say, it feels great! This cloth sat for ages waiting patiently to be cast off, and I finally took the minute to figure it out.
Here is my second project I cast on for - a winter hat/ neck warmer from the book: Knitted Gifts
But, I have just decided one more dishcloth couldn't hurt. Just a little more practise might be in order before I get all super ambitious and tackle a hat using a circular needle.
I love that I knit!
All this while someone else is playing with yarn in a different way. He loves getting into that basket!
So, here is my vanity table & seat I FINALLY finished (with a little help from my hubby) for our bedroom. I bought it at the thrift shop for 30 bucks at about this time last year. The mirror is an old find from several years ago, the little vintage Avon jars I picked up around the same time as the vanity. My husband's aunt gave me the tree which is meant for small photo frames but they have been discontinued. It works perfect for my collection of earrings (jewellery was and is my travelling weakness).
...And here sits my next project
(Desk from the thrift shop for Forty dollars)
...And my next
(This turtle footstool was built for me by my Grandpa, but has since lost his eyes, poor guy, and worn out his "shell" a bit - He is in desperate need of love)
That's all I'm allowed right now. I have been forbidden to bring home any more furniture projects that I may want assistance with.
Oh, but he is a good sport. I'm sure he could be swayed should the perfect item appear. ;)
I have found a toy strap for the stroller invaluable while out and about, so I thought I would share with you a simple tutorial for how to make your own. Hope you like it! They are great for snack cups, toys, and sippy cups.
*Easy to sew velcro
*Fabric of your choosing 2" wide by 28" long - It works out to being just under 20" long which seems like the perfect length as it won't hit the ground, but is long enough for the child to play and move the toy about.
Lay your 2 pieces of fabric out and press.
With the right side of the 2 pieces together, stitch the 2 ends and along one side
Turn right side out - You can see the raw, open edge on the left side in the photograph below
Fold in unstitched edge and pin
Stitch around entire strap, fairly close to the edge
Fold one end over 4 inches and press
Stitch in place through all layers where shorter, folded over piece meets the main length of material (You can see this on the left side of the photograph below)
Fold over other end 4 inches, measure and pin 'easy to sew' velcro in place
Ta Da! A handy, dandy, cheap & easy, made from scraps, toy strap! :)
Please NEVER leave your child unattended with this toy strap. Be careful to fasten low enough (don't hang above childs head) on the stroller or car seat to reduce the risk of entanglement or strangulation. Do NOT use on a crib or anywhere child may be unsupervised.
**When I first started making these, I placed velcro on both ends. It isn't long before your little one is quite adept at opening the velcro end nearest them and throwing the toy on the floor despite your efforts to sew them a cute little strap to prevent this very situation. The end without velcro is sturdy, and easily wraps around any toy or sippy/snack cup. Simply wrap the sewn loop around your item, and then pull the velcro end through the sewn loop before securing to your stroller, cart, or car seat.
I know how hard I searched for party ideas, so here are a few I can share
The little container with the #1 on it came in a 3 pack from IKEA (including a #2 and a #3, of course), I will use the 2 next year (etc.), and then he has 3 little containers to keep his toys in. I thought it would be cute as a birthday centerpiece, and it also held all the cutlery.
Loot bags were made from the sleeves of thrifted men's shirts that I am collecting to make this little boy's (one day) big boy quilt
Plates, cups, bowls, and cutlery were bought (as a substitute for disposable) at IKEA to be put away and used only for Birthdays. I would have preferred something that wasn't plastic, but you'd be hard pressed to find something as durable, long-lasting, and easy for a child's birthday
And of course, the Reusable Birthday bunting made from scraps of pillowcases, dress shirts, sheets, and other bits from the stash
My one disposable splurge (besides balloons) were these sweet napkins. Couldn't help it!
All in all, a fabulous day. A year ago, we were marveling at this brand new little guy - wondering what his personality would be like, when those first teeth would come, when those first steps would happen - and now here we are looking back on his first year already. I love this little boy of mine SO much. Happy Birthday to him!