Monday, January 31, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon buns have been an unsatisfied craving for, no joke, weeks! I finally bought one Friday morning at Starbucks while hanging at the book shop with my little guy, and was even more disappointed than never having had one and so I finally took the plunge and made some that night.
That's a lot of pressure for one little cinnamon roll to have. I stared those things down while they rose, and rose again, and then yet again as they baked. There was a lot riding on these, and I gotta say though I was MORE satisfied, I sure wished I hadn't baked them so long. Every recipe said 25-30 minutes. When it comes to baking my oven always seems best closer to the higher temperature in a possible range, but I put them at the minimum of 25 anyway just to be safe and still they seemed a little overdone.

I checked a whole bunch of different recipes and took bits from several. One older recipe called for 1/2 a yeast cake - the book is an antique so that may explain it. When I looked it up all I could find were recipes for cakes with yeast?? Anyway, no recipe felt just right so I adapted. I really love how much my kitchen courage has improved in the last year. I feel more adventurous, familiar, and accepting of a possible failure when it comes to making it up as I go.

The whole creating of the cinnamon buns was to coincide with the delivery of our first paper on Saturday morning. Not the first newspaper ever of our lives mind, but the first we have had delivered to us in many years. We just subscribed for weekend delivery and were WAY excited for it. Is that a little bit sad?... What is sadder is that it never showed!! :(

Anyway, what could be more fitting than a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll while you read the paper - pipe dreams I know when you have a little one. I'm actually having a wee out loud laugh right now as I just realized our entire Saturday morning vision of coffee and a nice reading of the paper is truly hilarious!! Oh well, it can always be lovely in it's own crazy way.
The beauty of babies? There can be no true plan.

One thing I did learn, is that cinnamon buns only get better and better the next couple mornings. Passed 3 mornings I couldn't say. I imagine if the decline were to begin on any day it would be on the 4th - just a guess! :)
I feel like I will take this next weekends pending paper delivery as another opportunity to perfect the cinnamon bun!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Wee Break

I think I need a little time to refresh and renew and so I'm taking a week off from the computer. No word games, no email, no blogger... you get the idea. Please meet me back here next Monday, when hopefully I feel accomplished and full of words!


Friday, January 21, 2011

{This Moment}

Today has been a real Monday kind of Friday. Sluggish and slow, we stayed in pajamas until...well, I'm still in my pajamas. I did muster up some effort to put some clothes on my boy though. Now running on my second sleepless night, and then pondering how long children are cutting new teeth for, I am thinking teeth suck! Let's just have milkshakes and smoothies for all our meals and forget about it. Purees are cool too. I like 'em and could definitely deal. I am not looking forward to my poor little man's two year molars, and nor would he be if he knew what was coming. :(
Anyway, it's nice to have a glance back and remember a moment in my week when the sleep flowed like water, and times were good. Ahhhhh.....Memories. ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011


The final stretch is here with 6, yes that's right (where did the time go???) SIX WEEKS!! I suppose you could say I've been pretty nesty through this whole pregnancy, but I'm kickin' things up a notch between bouts of tiredness, playing trains, and reading the same 3 or 4 stories a hundred times over.

With my little one fighting his nap full force today, and me fighting his nap fighting, I had a couple good hours of cupboard clean-out to tend to. He is a persistent little man. It's amazing what a party a kid can have in his crib when he is THAT tired! So while song and dance, and near through the roof crib jumping ensued a pantry was cleaned out, along with our most jumbled kitchen cupboards. A sizable chunk of stuff has been added to a donation pile, a good bit of food went in the compost, and my life is feeling a little less cluttered and a little closer to ready for another being to join the roost.
I do love this little bonus of "nesting" that accompanies a pregnancy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm Dreaming Of A...

Fresh New Trip!

So, our mind wheels are turning like mad trying to decide on the best trip to take this year.
How long should we go? What can we afford? Are we mental (as we'll have 2 youngin's)?? and most importantly - WHERE?

We plan to travel slightly longer than last year as we have the benefit of parental leave for my hubby, and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that right??? Though 6 months to a year would be dreamy...ahhhh... 3 months is what we're gearing towards - if only we could get on the saving train!! Saving for travel becomes intensely more difficult when you go from being a full-time earner to a full-time mom.
Though there are more of us, and I'm not earning a wage we are saving better, and we definitely do less. The spending changes quite a bit when you aren't out on the town on a regular basis whooping it up, eating out, watching movies and all that jazz. Anyway, this is motivating me somewhat to finally post some stuff on Etsy, and we've been doing a healthy clean-out to sell some things locally on Kijiji or Craig's List.

We have brainstormed Central America, the Caribbean, Trans-Siberian railway combined with Japan (mega bucks though which would make this a much shorter journey), or a pop-tent trailer and a cruise across our own beautiful Canada with a big-time emphasis on the northern bits. My greatest wish is to take the Trans-Siberian railway, then a two night boat from Shanghai across to Japan and spend a month wandering about Japan, but we have decided that will not be this year. We would like to take a bit longer and so we need to find somewhere that we can afford to stay longer.
As for Central America, and the Caribbean there are too many issues around immunizations, malaria, dengue and the like that I just can't deal with for two little boys. Travelling to Italy, Levi had a cough which should be no big deal right? Well, with medical help simple and readily available, I'll tell ya it is still incredibly bothersome and scary at times when you are in a new place, so Central America with a malaria risk is not happening - yet...
As for our cross-canada dreams we have yet to invest in the vehicle that can handle a pop-tent trailer, and figure this is an ideal trip when we have more, and slightly older kids so another time.

We seem to be stuck on the idea of somewhere around Spain, Portugal, and Morrocco. Possibly a month each, maybe 3 months apartment rental in one spot with brief, side trips. We shall see, but we are seriously looking into this region. The ease of travel with convenient rail service and of course the cheap (if not slightly sketchy) airlines available make it a great choice, especially with friends and family a hop away in the U.K.
The fact that we have never been to these 3 spots, also make it an ideal option!

All will make itself known to us when we see the disposition of our new little travel companion. We feel that even if they start out a little fussy, taking them on a couple adventures when they are young can only be good training for later right? Levi is a fantastic traveller, and happy as anything on an airplane and a train - just don't bring him on a bus! He's still had to suffer through the odd bus ride, but restrictions do not bode well with him :).

Let the saving and planning begin!

Friday, January 14, 2011

{This Moment}

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

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In The Works

I'm working my way through THE list. I have no illusions of completing said list, but I sure do like having one to remind me of all the things I would love to do. Besides, it sure does feel good when something is checked off!

I've completed the book sling - #16 of my goals.

I have a nightly routine of weaving the ends in to my epic blanket (#15) note to self: (Everyone else is probably smart enough to know this already!) weave in ends AS YOU GO!! Man it sucks, but I will not be deterred. A couple finished ends each evening and then one night, suddenly, it will all be complete.

I have finished one of the two pairs of pants (#5) for my little boys - to be revealed when the pair can share the limelight.


I'm actually learning how to knit socks (#23). I have signed up for a three week course at my local yarn store which I started last night. All seemed to be going well, until I realized just moments ago that I have several more stitches kicking around on my needles than I started with - I really have no idea what to do with that, and I just can't see where it all went wrong. As it was fairly daunting to get into a rhythm I am very, very afraid to take it apart, but I suppose I may have to.

How are your New Year's Resolutions working out for ya?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reading Corner

I have been wanting to create a reading corner for our little guy, and it all came together this past week. I picked up this sweet rocking chair from Kijiji (basically an online garage sale in Canada) for Thirty Dollars, sewed up the book sling, and my hubby sawed the dowels, hung the brackets and set it all up.

The book sling was super easy to put together. I had this great yard of Little Golden Books fabric I bought from The Tin Thimble on Etsy which worked perfectly for the project.

I didn't have quite enough to double it as per the instructions so I instead had 2 rectangles cut out at an inch more than she suggests to make up for the additional sewn edge, and then followed the instructions from there. The sling is lined with a thrifted sheet I had. It is a bit long for the book stage he is currently in (the smaller board books) but we just turned the back dowel to shorten it up before tightening the brackets.

You can find the tutorial for the book sling here. This clever holder of books is also in the 2011 Page-A-Day Sewing Calendar - which is totally worth buying. There are a ton of awesome projects in this calendar.

I am liking it very much and I think Mr.Levi does too.

I so hope he always loves books as much as he does now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Clean-Up

There is so much to do in the next two months before our second son is born, and I just didn't feel I could move on with organizing until the Christmas clean-up took place.

Generally, I like to hang on as long as possible, and this year was no different. What made it all the more difficult was the face of my little guy every morning when we came downstairs for our breakfast and he would point at the tree and say "Oh!" and "Ooh!" - his little way of asking us to turn on those Christmas lights. I felt very sad taking that away from him, but there were full-on branches falling off on to the floor - it was most definitely time. We will keep our outdoor lights up for a good while longer, so at least he has his evening enjoyment each day as the timer kicks in at dusk.

The balcony is as far as our tree has made it at this point. We plan to just chuck it over as opposed to dragging it down the stairs and through the garage which would make for a pretty serious mess. Should we leave it on the balcony until tree pick up next Friday we may experience a once magnificent fir exploding into a fury of needles all over the street and driveway. Ah well, "LOOK OUT BELOW!".

No matter how much you love it there is always a slight feeling of relief when everything is all put away, don't you find?

Let the (pre-) spring cleaning begin!

Friday, January 7, 2011

{This Moment}

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

Have a Great Weekend!

Is It FINALLY Here To Stay???

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cloth Nappies

We have decided to go it alone with our nappies. We have been using a service since our bub was born, but have decided we could save a lot of money doing it ourselves. We have been really happy with the nappies we have been using, and the service is moving away from this particular brand which benefits us greatly. We were able to buy a bunch from them at a fraction of the cost of buying them brand new, and we save ourselves the risk of not liking whatever new type we would spend our money on.
While we were in Italy, we brought 20 nappies with us, and found the extra work involved in washing the nappies ourselves was minimal. A few extra moments a day to rinse out the especially gruesome ones, other than that all you're dealing with is an extra load of laundry and really, when you have a baby, one more load makes little difference.

We'll see how this whole thing pans out when a second diaper wearing little enters our world. We have contemplated using the service again for the first couple months of newbies life since things will be pretty hectic, and they do go through about 12 diapers per day. Many, many people have done this before me, so I'm sure I can handle it, and I would like to give it a try. We have bought medium and large size from the service, but I plan to make some for the earlier stage, as are seen in Amanda Blake Soule's book Handmade Home. We'll see how it goes. Adding this to my aggressive list of handmade goals? hmmm... I maybe be overstepping, especially since I seem to have hit a wall of exhaustion this week. Could be just a post-holiday slump...

We have had great success with the MotherEase diaper covers. We have tried several different types, and find that many seem to have a material on the edges that really soak up the moisture thereby soaking through the baby's clothes - Namely Kushies. Bummis were not so bad, and definitely much better than Kushies, but we still had a lot of soak-throughs. I would like to give wool pants a try. My mom had made a pair for Levi but I just never put them on him - maybe because I am so sensitive to wool I was worried they would irritate his skin. I have read of so many people swearing by them, that I will definitely try that pair on the newbie.

Anyway, we quit the service as of our Monday pick-up, so our first load of washed-at-home nappies just came out of the dryer.

Easy peasy. After reading up a bit, we put the nappies through a hot water cycle with an extra rinse. I'm feeling good so far about the whole plan - Less money leaving our pockets, and we're still sticking to our guns on keeping the cloth.
Wish us luck!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

{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.

Have a Happy New Year!