Friday, July 29, 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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Well, I could post a top 100 cause truly there are that many amazing things to see there, but if I absolutely HAD to narrow it down...

#10 - My first glimpse of the main canal in Venice when I stepped out of the train station. Wow.

#9 - St.Peter's Basilica

#8 - Michelangelo's "David"

#7 - Piazzale Michelangelo, A park overlooking the city of Florence with absolutely amazing views. Grab a nice cold beer from one of the many vendors, and just chill. Aside from the wicked views, people watching extraordinaire.

#6 - Bread, wine, olives and cheese Picnic on the grass next to the leaning tower of Pisa. No need to climb it, just chilling out beside it makes for the most perfect afternoon.

#5 - Italy Farmstay in Abruzzi National Park

#4 - Riding bikes along the wall of the old city in Lucca

#3 - Pompeii

#2 - The Last Supper

#1 - Sistine Chapel. No words.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Doll Sling

Using Amanda Blake Soule's pattern for the doll sling in Handmade Home, I put this together for my niece's birthday gift a couple of weeks ago.

I cut a rectangle of 40 inches x 20 inches. The gift was for a three year old, and it also fit my 2 year old perfectly.

I stitched together two separate slings of different patterned fabrics, and then placed one inside the other, wrong sides facing and stitched them all along the outside of the original hem to create a reversible doll sling. Just makes it a bit more fun I think.

Good thing I had a willing participant of just the right size to test it out for me! I think I may need to make another...

Friday, July 22, 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, July 21, 2011

Day Out

Wednesday was a near perfect summer day. Blankets in the grass, lounging poolside, with the occasional walk in for a cool dip on a day where the temperature was a toasty 37 degrees C. and the announced heat alert was in full swing. Ouch - even a spot of shade doesn't help much when it's that intense!

Keep cool if you can!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homemade Frozen Treats

Mmmmm...Nothing quite like a frozen treat to cool you down on a hot summer day - especially when it is totally made by you, and nothing but healthy goodness!

I have been tinkering about in my kitchen lately with the help of a very willing taste tester, and came up with a few yummy recipes for frozen goodies.

These recipes generally fill 6 popsicle molds. Enjoy!
Peach, Mango, Orange
2 canned peach halves (packed in fruit juice)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup OJ
1 small red mango (skinned & chopped)
2 Tbsp honey

Blend & pour in molds.
Avocado & Banana
1 ripened Avocado, chopped
1 medium sized Banana
1/2 cup Plain yogurt
3 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp lemon juice

Blend & pour in molds
Berries & Cream

1 cup Mixed Frozen Berries
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 small ripened avocado, chopped
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Blend & pour in molds
Banana Pops
1 Banana
1/2 c plain yogurt
2 canned peach halves (packed in juice)
2 Tbsp honey

Blend & pour in molds
Mango Twist

1 cup Orange juice
2 canned peach halves (packed in juice)
1 ripened mango (chopped, peeled & pit removed) - about 3/4 cup

Blend & pour in molds

The molds I use are the star shaped molds by Cuisipro. Obviously any molds will do, but I do especially love these ones because they are nice and tidy. Being push pops, your little one only ever has as much popsicle as they can handle.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Toothbrush Family

In an attempt to convince my son that brushing your teeth is fun, I pulled this old goody up on you tube a couple days ago.

My attempts were futile, but at least l was able to enjoy watching the toothbrush family get up to their crazy 70's antics.

Levi's conclusions:
Brushing teeth? Still no fun.
Watching cartoons? Once again, confirmed. Good times.

Friday, July 15, 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, July 14, 2011

Thrifted Find Needs TLC

I found this awesome crocheted lap blanket at the thrift shop last week for 3 bucks!
The only problem is, it has a serious need for TLC and I'm not quite sure how to give it...
There are a few squares that have unravelled or torn, and the loose ends clipped.

Any links or thoughts anyone can share that may lead to the repair of this blanket would be greatly appreciated.

In the meantime, I'm on a yarn mission to work on this project. This is very likely one of those things that will sit on a project pile for many moons before it receives attention. Hopefully, one day not too far from this one I can show you how I mended it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Loungin' Time

So, it happened. My lovely little boys coordinated nap times so mama could hang out in her sewing room for a bit, and now my lounge pants are complete!

The hubby's first question upon seeing the new pants:
"Are those pillowcases?". (Uh, bed sheets actually.)

The hubby's second question upon seeing the new pants (accompanied by a concerned and quizzical expression) :
"Those are just for at home right?".

Message received dear one. I pinky promise the new loungers will not leave this house (but I can't help it, if people come over and happen to see me wearing them...).

Nap times have been coordinated; Next up is laundry folding itself, and then let the loungin' begin! ;)

*I used the pattern for Pajamas For Everyone from the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

P.S. If you are new to sewing this is the best project for you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We have now used Priceline to "Make [our] own price", for the third time.
This week, we booked a brief 4 night stay in Dusseldorf, Germany for the end of November.
When you are putting an offer on Priceline, you state your city, followed by the area (ie. downtown, airport, etc.), finally setting your requested star rating and then setting your price. This way you are narrowing down the places which can accept your offer.
On a whim, after some difficulty in finding appropriate accommodation, we hopped on Priceline, made our selections including a 4 star rating and placed our offer of 60 dollars per night. What do ya know? It was accepted! When I then went online to check prices through pretending to reserve a room at the same hotel, the best available rate came up at 151 Euro per night. That's a pretty wicked deal we received, and the hotel is a reliable place. We would prefer a hostel or apartment rental, but being at the end of our trip this is a welcome place to rest our heads for a few nights after what will be quite a bit of travel.
Definitely would recommend Priceline.

Previous accommodations we have booked this way were in Halifax, Nova Scotia & Portland, Maine.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thrifty Upcycle: Cheap and Easy Artwork

Keep on the lookout for children's books with great artwork at your local thrift shop and garage sales. Worn or damaged make no difference when you're cutting them up. In fact, yay you for saving a book that probably wouldn't get purchased otherwise!

This would work well with old cookbooks for a little kitchen art, especially books from the fifties to seventies. Is it just me, or did the 70's have a major love for the hotdog as a main ingredient in everything?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Birthday Boy

Without means to upload my camera for the past few days, nearly made me CRAZY! Finally...

The Birthdays So Far...

Brand New

One Year Old!

And here he is, growing much too quickly...Wow. Two.

The Party...

This photo is a bit blurry - the pilons are from the thrift store @ 50 cents each, and the piece of material is Wheels by Riley Blake. I only had the one bit of fabric left, so I folded it in on the sides for tidy edges, and placed it in the middle as an accent. I still would like to use it for sewing, so I protected it with a vinyl table cloth.

Levi is sharing one of his birthday presents with a napping, unaware Owen.

Prepping for the lemonade...

I used THIS recipe.
I think for every thing we make now, we look up "Best..." on the internet. It has to be the best if you do that, doesn't it?

To avoid it getting too watery, I froze a lemon's worth of slices, and put them in the lemonade along with a bunch of frozen strawberries, and then a few ice cubes as well.

The beverage canister is from Crate & Barrel. Love it.

The materials for his birthday T-shirt are both by Riley Blake. Unfortunately, the '2' barely shows up on the background material, in photographs especially.

I did not make this cake. The bakery at Metro made it. Easy peasy!

..And so begins another year in this busy two year old's life!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Pho - a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup made with Banh-Pho noodles & beef broth. My go-to was and remains to be Pho Ga (Chicken Soup).
A variety of garnishes and sauces are added to personal taste including hoisin sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, thai basil, thinly sliced white onion, bean sprouts, coriander, fresh thai chili peppers, and lime wedges.

At our favourite Pho restaurant in Vietnam, Pho 24, which is found all across the country, there were small bags of cashews at each place available at an extra cost. I suppose they were meant for eating on the side, but we decided it was a garnish for our noodle soup, tried it, and loved it. I must admit we have even brought cashews with us the odd time to our favourite local spot here in Canada for our soup - might be worth a go if you happen to make Pho at home.

Bowl of Pho in Sapa, Vietnam

"Pho 24", our favourite Vietnamese spot for Pho. This particular photo was taken in Hanoi.

Here is a link to one person's opinion on The Best Pho in Toronto. I will definitely have to look into a couple of these spots...
We have a small local joint we love. The owners know us, and even bought Levi a present a few months back of a bowl, cup, plate & cutlery set - how sweet is that? Anyway, love the pho.