Monday, November 29, 2010

A "Belly" Good Holiday

Belly enjoying a virgin bevy

Belly off for a walk

Belly having a bite of steak

Belly at the "bus stop"

Belly at the buffet

Belly with big brother

Belly at the sea

Saturday, November 27, 2010

From Sand and Sea, To Snow

Well I tried daily but the connection just wasn't strong enough to upload any photos, publish posts or even just save drafts of posts.

We spent the past week at a resort about 25km from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It went by in a flash and yesterday we went from this..

To this..

It is always so great for our little guy to have his mom AND dad 24 hours a day for an entire week. Every time we return home from a trip I really notice a difference in him with Jim back to spending his days at work. He goes through a brief period of being extra sensitive and cuddly – making sure I am always close by.
It was also so awesome for me to have all the extra round-the-clock support - and of course have Jim by my side all day each day.

It took us a couple days to adjust to holiday time in which we still have the responsibilities of home with our little one - as it does.
He didn't go to sleep until well after midnight for the first two nights. We always seem to pass through a time of trial where we need to let go of our expectations of home, relax, and just go with the flow.
We did finally reach that space and enjoyed our days lounging on the beach immensely.

The staff were so amazing throughout the resort. We had 24 hour room service which rocked! We never order room service because it is always so pricey, but just another one of the benefits of a resort - no need to worry about money once you've paid for the trip.
Levi had a little accident on our bed one of the nights and we requested clean sheets. We felt guiltily like maybe they thought we were unhappy with our room, as two women came quickly over at 10pm and spent 20 minutes not only replacing the sheets, but putting up balloons and curling the piles of ribbons attached. I think the more excited Levi was by the balloons, the more the women wanted to put up which may be why, by the time they left, every corner had been decorated.

One night was spent laying awake (for freakin' AGES) to the sound of our clearly childless (at least while travelling) neighbour's making a ruckus with their headboard. Yikes! Like I need anything to add to my tiredness...
There are a lot of little reminders to the differences in travel with a young one at an all-inclusive resort. The beautiful thing is, mostly they bring relief. Like when you realize you are not the one being sick in the bushes outside your room, and no that was not you being carried out of the sea from an overdose on rum punch and sunshine.

We spent so much time in the lobby where so many people seemed to congregate and Levi loved watching the other little kids. He is such an affectionate, social little guy - though I feel some kids are a little overwhelmed by his aggressive need to hug and kiss constantly when he meets someone he thinks is great. :)

This was our second time at a resort, the first being for our wedding in Mexico about 5 years ago. It's hard not to compare everything to that first time which was special for totally different reasons. We did really enjoy our time this week especially with the totally awesome staff (our cappuccino girl in the lobby xo), and the beautiful powdery sand beach (which IS the one thing definitely better than the resort in Mexico).

We tend to need to see absolutely everything when we travel, so a resort is sort of ideal in that we are in a spot where we are forced to chill out. Even still we spend a little bit of time trying to schedule our days and plan some stuff, but in the end are just maxin’ out in the sand with our little dude and his trusty pail and shovel.
I must say that although it is highly depressing to be putting on shoes AND socks again, and it's a bummer that my belly can no longer get a bit of fresh air without being mighty chilly, it does feel pretty sweet to be home with the snow coming down and Christmas on it's way!

Friday, November 19, 2010

This is the Life...

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- A photographic moment from my week

Maybe this one needs a disclaimer?? ;)

Handmade Holiday: Ornaments

I love Christmas tree ornaments. I love taking them out of storage and examining each of them, placing them on the tree one by one, gifting them, making them, and collecting them.
They are such a huge part of the holidays - for me anyway.

Every year on Christmas Eve my brothers and I would open up a single gift which was always a pair of pajamas topped with a dated ornament. When each of us was married and moving into our own family home, we were given our ornaments collected through the years. It certainly was a nice little start for us, and decorating our tree is filled with precious memories from our childhood.
This tradition is definitely one to be carried on. I can't quite remember Levi's ornament last year, but this year I have sewn him a rocking horse from a 1983 Creative Circle pattern that was my mom's. My mom has made several from the patterns in this package.

Almost done! A few more stitches, attaching the reigns, and of course a ribbon for hanging.

Tree decorations are such a simple (usually), and fun project to add that little something something to the top of a present, or they make a great gift on their own. I generally love to top as many gifts as I can with one.

Sometimes I'll buy existing ceramic or wood cut-out decorations and paint them. It is one of the easiest things and you can often pick the ornaments up on a crazy post-holiday sale.

My next ornament I am planning on making is a holly hobby style one that has always hung on the Christmas tree at my mom's house. I took a photo of it which is floating around somewhere and I also drew a little picture of it so I have the general idea. It is a basic ornament so it shouldn't take too long, and yet it's these mini-projects we embark on -because we think they will be quick and easy- that tend to soak up a great deal of time.

One year I went mental on the origami paper for everything, and decoupaged these using existing papier mache type ornaments I grabbed on the extreme cheap.

Here are a couple I made just this past week. A quilt block which took surprisingly long, and a small felt one to be gifted.

A small accomplishment on my list of handmade items for this holiday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Additions

It does seem like I do a whopping number of posts about fabric. I do love it though!

There has been a lot of it coming through this house lately.
A few vintage fat quarters from an antique market.

A few fat quarters from The Workroom - a great little sewing shop in Toronto that holds workshops.

And a big old stack from the thrift shop.

It has become quite difficult to pick up second-hand pure wool sweaters. I was hoping to pick up a few, felt them, and make a couple things, but I am finding them so rarely.

I'm waiting on three yards of Michael Miller fabric which I purchased through Etsy so that I can sew the "Quick Change Trousers"
from Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings. They've been shipped, so it won't be long now.

It is fun to just rummage through the stash occasionally and imagine what different bits will be. I think I need a system where I label certain pieces with my imaginings.
Sometimes it's hard to find what you want or remember what you have, so I aspire to compile a little notebook with swatches of fabric from all my half yard and larger pieces. Then I wonder if I cut out a small swatch and then wanted the entire piece as a quilt backing or something that would mess up my plans, so then I think I should photograph the materials, but then you don't have the feel of them in the notebook hmmmmm.....
Now to figure out how to group them. By colour maybe makes a lot of sense, but then by type would be a good idea as well. Therein lay the problem with thrifted material - it can be very difficult to figure out what certain fabrics are made of. Someone should teach a workshop on that...

I've definitely got some thinking to do on this little plan of mine, or maybe I should forget organising and re-organising and

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My connection to the outside world just resurfaced. My husband just spent some time with the phone company being talked through the problem. It seems the guilty party was our wireless router.
It was probably good for me to lose my internet connection for a couple of days, and yet still terribly annoying...
No telephone was not so great, seeing as my current priorities that were meant to be finished today were all phone calls!! This time around I am an unwilling procrastinator (kidding, I'm always willing).
But I digress, I will be back tomorrow with bells on and an actual post. Don't give up on me now. My posts are few and far between as of late but I do have them on the brain at least if that makes any difference?

Loving the sound of the pouring rain right now. Perfect time to lay my head down for the night. xo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Where does it go???

Time, that is.
I keep thinking a magical week will appear where everyday I can blog about wonderful progress and completed projects in my sewing space, where instead the days are whizzing by in a frenzy of sniffles, errands, naps, and zoning out in front of my laptop. That is SO not progress!!
I have learned in the past week that giving in to naptime actually makes me feel a whole lot better. At the same time, this little give in to a simple need rewards me with PILES of laundry, dirty dishes, and toy chaos the likes of which I have trouble catching back up with. A bit of a conundrum to be sure...

This week only brings more errands, but will end on a hot, sunny beach in Punta Cana. That is a fine end to a week I must say, and seeing as my necessary errands bring me to thrift shops I really have little to complain about. I'm on a mission for a couple little items for my boy, and if a few bits of fabric or good books happen to come back home with me... so be it.

I picked up a noisy little plastic guitar from the thrift this past week for the little guy. It is something, if I saw in the store, I would be so not into but he picked it up and played with it the entire time we were there occasionally setting it down on the ground so he could have a wee dance, hands-free. It was too cute and funny to not bring the party home with us. I imagine his interest in it will wane quickly but for three dollars I can definitely deal!

My sister-in-law happened to be passing through the city this weekend on one of her flights (she is an attendant) and we had the pleasure of spending the whole day with her. A great visit, a nice walk around our local "lake" in the downtown area with a hot drink in our hands, and topped off with a dinner at Marche in Toronto. It made for a perfect Saturday.

Here's one for the taloids to tip off your weekend.

I hope everyone is having a good one! xo

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Today was, I hope, a very happy birthday for my hubby. Finally, once again, we are the same age! It's just not fair those 4 months he gets to linger in the year behind me. ;)
We celebrated with a big old pot of chili, an icecream cake, and good company.

All my love to Jim on his 32nd birthday xo

Friday, November 5, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} is Inspired by Soulemama, and beautifully done by so many. It reveals a single moment from our week that is special enough to stand alone, without need for expression, or explanation.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkins Aren't Just For Pie

I prepared a small pumpkin the other day to use for a couple of recipes. It was something on my list last year for things to try, and it was not only easy but super tasty.
I read somewhere that it works well to boil the entire pumpkin and then cut it up. The pumpkin holds it's flavour better as well as it's nutritional value as it isn't being boiled out. This was what I did on my last pumpkin cooking venture, and it was successful.
This time, though, I opted for the simple roasting method which I found here.

I used it first, for a batch of pumpkin pancakes, this recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart. I really love these pancakes. Just enough flavour. I left out the cloves the second time and preferred it, but that would be up to your taste-buds to decide.

The rest of the cooked pumpkin went in a batch of my own recipe of curried pumpkin soup. I love a bowl of hot soup on a cool, fall day. Really I love soup on all days, but especially once the temperature drops.

*1 onion
*2-3 cloves garlic
*salt & pepper
*heaping tsp of curry powder
*3 cups vegetable broth (turkey or chicken broth would be fine too)
*5-6 sm/med carrots
*1 sm pumpkin (prepared)
*1 small macintosh apples (I used 2 today and it was nice as well, though the soup was thinner)
*tsp of lemon juice

Add onion, salt, pepper, curry powder, and garlic to 2 Tablespoons of heated olive oil in stock pot.
Add 3cups of broth, and carrots. Boil until carrots are softened.
Add apple and pumpkin. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Use a hand blender to liquefy.
Stir in Lemon juice.
Top with cilantro and homemade croutons.

When it comes to cilantro people either absolutely love it, or despise it. I love it fresh as a garnish on this soup.

Soup is made to mess with which is what I love about making it. It's very useful for using up whatever random produce you have laying about.

Of course, we can't forget the seeds which after patting dry with a clean towel, I laid them out to dry on a cookie sheet where they waited patiently to be spiced and roasted (my husband's specialty).
He just adds whatever he is feeling at that moment and roasts them for about an hour at 250 degrees.

mmmmm... I do love pumpkin

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Haircut!!

I loved, loved, LOVED his precious little curls, but he was practically growing dreads in the back (something he gets from his old papa bear), and it was beginning to carry just a whisper of a mullet so off to the haircutters we went. So very sad, but I have no doubt it'll grow back like crazy.
I have given him a trim at home twice now, but this is his first full-on proper cut at the hairdresser's.
Forgive the crazy amount of photos - we were mega excited.

He was so great through the entire process, which was mad quick actually. He even gave the girl a hand by combing his own hair.

The buzzing hair trimmer freaked him out a bit.

He looks all grown up... :(

But, oh SO cute!

His sweet little curls all gone...

For now...

This certificate, before and after pics, and a little bag with his first cut lock were all part of the package.


Happy Halloween

Our little chicken helped hand out a bit of candy. Only about 15 kids at our door, though that was double from last year.
Levi was quite tolerant of this sweet little costume, and enjoyed running around in it for quite a while (Thanks Heidi for the loan!).

We have had a busy couple of weeks with some of my family visiting from the West. Sadly, we just said goodbye to the last - my mom and dad - a couple of hours ago. I so miss living near them. At least I can look forward to seeing my mom when our second little baby bundle is born. I'm sure the time will go quickly with all the projects I have on my list. Holidays are over and it's time to get back to work. Less than 2 months to go until Christmas!

Thanks for the visit family! Wish you ALL could have been here. xoxo

Hope Everyone Had a Happy Halloween!