Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Liebster Award

 
 
Twice in one day?!  Wow!  Just coming by to say that I've been nominated for the Liebster award (honestly I've never heard of it before)  but apparently it's a blog hop to get to know other new bloggers.  I was nominated by Lia, take a peek at her blog!
 
 
The Liebster Award is a fun opportunity to promote small blogs as well as revealing a bit more about yourself to your readers. To qualify for the Liebster Award your blog needs to be less than 6 months old (date of the first blog) OR have less than 200 followers. And you also have to do the following:

1. List 11 random things about yourself
2. Answer 11 random questions from the person that nominated you
3. Choose 11 blogs to pass the Liebster Award on to and notify them
4. Create 11 questions that your nominees have to answer
 
11 random things about me:
 
1. I mostly think about sewing all day long!
2. I'm sometimes at a loss for what to do with my kids.
3. I met my husband through a patient I was taking care of, who ended up dying (not because of anything I did)!
4. Hubby is 13 years older than me, and only two months older than my sister.
5. I can now say I've lived in two countries.
6. I'm going to be honest here...I'm a registered nurse (currently I stay home) I have no interest in going back into nursing and would rather make money through crafts.
7. Want to open an etsy shop.
8. I'm currently loving Downton Abbey, after my initial resist.
9. I've been to Mardi Gras many times.
10. We are getting ready for a Disney vacation.
11. I have a very strong desire to travel without kids one day.
 
Lia's questions to me and my answers:
 
1. What is your favourite colour and why? Red!  No reason!
2. The weirdest food you've ever eaten? A chocolate covered cricket
3. Most desired holiday destination? I would love to go to Fiji or Turks and Caicos or how about Hawaii?
4. Your biggest wish for the future? To have a strong bond for life with my girls.
5. What is the colour of your car? Gold (ick)
6. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would have wonderful patience, something I'm working on.
7. How many sewing machines do you own? 2, one for my home in the US and the better one here in Canada.
8. What is the first item you ever made (sewn) and do you still have it? A baby dress just 3.5 years ago.  I think I got rid of it!  The sewing was awful.
9. Where in your home do you sew, do you have your own craft room? I have a spare bedroom dedicated to crafting!
10. Do you have a favourite quilt fabric designer? And if so, who? Love too many!
11. What would you rather receive for your birthday, a nice meal at a restaurant, or an afternoon shopping at a fabric store? Probably the fabric store, unless I could have dinner with my entire family!
 
Here are my nominations (in no particular order):
3. Becki
4. Mandy
5. Ira
7. Jenny
8. Penny
10. Rebecca
11. Diane
 
Ok!  And here are my 11 questions:
1. What's your favorite crafty activity (sewing, gluing, stamping, crochet etc.)
2. Have you met other bloggers in "real life?"
3. Do you have children?  Ages?
4. Where did you meet your significant other?
5. Does he/she accept any crafty obsessions?
6. Favorite season and why
7. Do you have an etsy shop?
8. House or apartment?
9. Something crazy you did as a child.
10. Glass half empty or half full?
11. The farthest place you have traveled to from home.
 
Well this was fun! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sleep...

Before my first daughter was born 3.5 years ago, I read all the books.  All the books about babies, insisting that they will sleep through the night by one year old.  Ha!  3.5 years later and she has decided that she'll wake up at night and walk around the house...before climbing in bed with my very exhausted husband and me.  And forget about the 1.5 year old.  She still wakes up twice per night and will not go back to sleep without having a bottle.

Anyone else there with me?


But I've been poking around the internet a bit recently and it seems as though I'm not alone.  So many mothers breast feed toddlers throughout the night, so many parents co-sleep with their older children.  Right now my little one is growing a mouth full of teeth, is it fair for me to expect her to sleep with all that pain?

Peeking out the bedroom window when she should have been napping.  (Her crib is no longer near the window)

Someday they have to learn to sleep through the night, right?  Someday they'll be putting themselves to bed at night and someday they definitely won't want to share a bed with me.  I guess I'll just wait for that day and cherish the sleep and loving in the middle of the night that we do get now!

PS.  I would love to hear any sleep deprived stories you may have.
PPS...just so you know I'm not interested in crying it out.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

WIP

Today I am joining the amazing quilters over at Freshly Pieced for work in progress Wednesday.  The more I quilt, the more I can't wait for Wednesdays to come around so I can peek at all the beautiful projects.

This week I started my skill builder blocks.  I'm taking part in my first ever sew along.  Alyssa from Pile O' Fabrics seems to be a wonderful teacher.  This weeks block is called sound wave.
From this point of view the columns look a little wonky.  But they really are not!  I wish I could have gotten a better picture!


Just love these fabrics.  I have never used starch before and it seems that I may have over done it.  This block has a bit of dimpling from the starch but I do believe it will work itself out in the wash?!


I've had a fair amount of time to work on my husbands Any Way You Slice It quilt.  One more stack of blocks to go!  The colors are not bothering me as much as they were.  But you can see the difference between the fabrics I go for (such as above) and the fabrics a guy goes for (such as below)!


I have been thrifting for a while now.  I have dreams of making a buttery soft quilt out of vintage sheets.  Here is a peek at my stack.  I think I need a few more but this will hopefully be my next project.


And I wanted to ask for peoples opinions on the following tool.  I think it's very handy but are their other tools that work just as well or better?  It's definitely helping me with my lack of measuring abilities.  It has the wonderful notches where the rotary cutter is placed and then zip! it's done!



Monday, 21 January 2013

Right now...


Right now WE are:

Taking time to lick the frosting off cupcakes!  Just look at that tongue.

Spending much time looking through pinterest for activity inspiration.  We've had some trouble sharing lately. The screaming that can come along with fighting over toys and really been emotionally draining.  I am doing everything I can to develop an activity a day that we can all participate in together, where sharing isn't necessary (but is always nice).  I'm planning a pinterest post on the activities we've tried in the near future.

Playing many rounds of shop keeper and customer.  I find that my 3 1/2 year old is starting to figure out the whole "make believe" thing.  I loved this kind of play as a child and I'm so thrilled to see her imagination take flight!

Enjoying new children's books.  I just bought a couple that I adored as a child.  Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  And also Love You Forever.

Completing lots of driveway cleanup.  This driveway is horrible in the winter!  So glad we'll only have to be here one more winter.

Right now I am:

Cozy in bed, reading my favorite blogs, while the baby naps.  Lovely!

Sipping my new pomegranate, rose petal green tea.  Mmm...so warming.

Listening to the Jason Spooner band.  Maine based so I'm a bit biased...but I do love him.  And you will too if you have a listen!

Thinking about all the wonderful projects I am working on and how enjoyable the community of craft bloggers really is!  I'll be back here Wednesday for WIP!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sick

What a week we've had.  The girls and I are all sick.  While the baby likes to sleep it off (thankfully), Hazel becomes the grouchiest person you've ever met and doesn't sleep it off.  She is finally back to pre-school today, I'm feeling so happy about that!

On top of sickness, we also found out the hard way that Hazel is allergic to raw honey.  She has no other allergies so this was a shock!  Covered in large, hot hives!

We are also questioning whether she has developed hearing problems.  Oh this girl!  Starting in December we noticed that she wasn't hearing us all the time.  Now she seems to be lip reading...not good!  Off to the Doctor we go!

And finally we had a rather good sized snow storm yesterday.  Our driveway is straight up to the sky!  There was maybe an 1/8" on it yesterday when I came home.  The little car just wouldn't go, but also ended up slipping right off the edge of the driveway into the ravine next to it!  Scary!  The girls and I had to climb out and walk the hill, with them crying the whole way!

But I am happy to say we are on the mend, the car is back in the driveway and Hazel is no longer allowed to eat honey!

I have some updating to do about projects but in the meantime here are some storm photos that I loved!




Looks like rain but it was all snow!  Lots of it.

See you back here soon!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Joining up with Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday.  Taking some time to reflect on the past week and the wonderful things that filled it.


This week I am grateful for:

Sunny skies, after all the snow it's almost a shock to see the sun again.

Anticipating a long walk alone this afternoon.

Slowing down.  Sometimes being sick slows everyone down to a pace that's better tolerated for everyone.

A new music class and dance class.  So important for the girls to learn to socialize at a young age, I think.

Seeing her break out of her shyness...just a bit.

The simple act of a hug, it can do so much good.

Homemade turkey and rice soup, my husband is such a good guy!

Anticipating a trip.  Trip plans are in process and it's so exciting for all.

New found muscles!  The gym is paying off...no matter how much I grumble about going. 

A few pounds of that "baby fat" gone! 

My husbands smile at seeing "his" quilt coming together.

I hope you all have a wonderful week...I'm looking forward to it.

PS. Anyone having trouble uploading pictures?  I'm only able to do so through picasa, which is more time consuming.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Work In Progress

Today I am linking up over at Freshly Pieced for WIP wednesday.  I honestly don't know how these ladies do it.  They are master crafters, the amount of sewing/quilting that they complete/start in a week leaves me in awe.  I try to work on some sort of craft a bit each day, maybe I'm just slow...and I guess that's alright!

My husband has been asking (begging is more like it) for a quilt.  He started asking last spring.  I had planned on having a completed quilt under the tree but that didn't happen.

I decided on Denise Schmidt's Any Way You Slice It.  It's manly enough, definitely doesn't feel like my style. 

I don't like brown at all, actually most of the colors in these blocks don't mix well with my style.  But I wanted to stick with Denises color suggestions.


The pattern has thrown me a bit off too.  I can't seem to get the edges all lined up properly.  Each block is supposed to measure 10.5" and mine will all be 10, not sure what happened there.


But it's a learning process and I am fairly new all this quilting.  I must say I do love it so!

Christmas Swap

With all the rush of the season I forgot to report on the Christmas swaps I was involved in this year.  It was the first time I have done anything like this and I loved it. 

The first swap I did was through Natalie's blog Marigold's Loft.  I made her this ornament.  And Natalie made me these wonderful knit fingerless mittens.  I've worn them a lot!

 
 
(I think I got the better deal).  With the mits I also received a knit bookmark..really cute.  Although I'm a little worn out from all the making I did for this past Christmas, it was so much fun and I cannot wait to join in again next year!

Monday, 7 January 2013

The Best Chili

Just like anyone else I love comfort food.  However, comfort food loves my waist line.  So finding a recipe that is warming to the soul but good for you is always a challenge.  This is my all time favorite winter recipe, especially for weeknights because it's pretty quick to make. 

White Chili

 
Vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (11oz.) can whole kernal corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained*
1 (15 oz) can butter beans, drained*
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast**
 
*Any white bean will do...we've even used brown beans before.
**Some nights when I am tired and lazy I buy a precooked chicken, tear it apart and add to pot.
 
1. Heat oil in Dutch oven.  Cook onion and garlic in oil until onions are tender.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 15 minutes.  Stir in cooked chicken; simmer until hot.
 
The End!  Easy right?  And so tasty.  I love cilantro so I add a little on top to each bowl. 
 
****We also add fat free sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and sometimes crushed tortilla chips to each bowl. 
 
 
 
I hope you give it a try.  If you do I would love to hear how it turns out. Enjoy! 


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Gratitude Sunday

I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots again this week.  This ritual leaves me appreciating life more.  So I hope to continue writing about the things I am grateful for in the coming year!  Join me!


This week I am grateful for:

The constant snow in the air.  I've never experienced anything like it but it really has not stopped with the flurries in weeks.  Not being from Canada, this is new to me. 

Snow angel making discovered by my girls.

My husband for always shoveling and salting our treacherous driveway. 

Pre-school starting again.  It was lovely having three weeks together everyday but so nice to have a few hours each day of peace and quiet.

Not feeling guilty about ^^ above gratitude.

The start of music class this week.  My little Violet loves to dance so this should be fun!

E-mails home to my mom, I miss her so much. 

Planning a late February trip!  ...we need a little sunshine after all this snow.

White chili.  Hopefully I remember to write a post with the recipe here tomorrow.  It is my absolute favorite dinner recipe and so simple.  Oh and low in fat too! 

Unfortunately I was unable to upload pictures in this space today.  Not sure why..hopefully tomorrow.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year, New Start

We had a wonderful Holiday season.  Spent almost two weeks at home with my family in Maine.  Once again I was sad to leave and venture back to Canada.  It's so lonely to come back to a place that doesn't feel like home.  I am so close to my family, it's hard to be away.  But we've started a new year.  And I just know it will be a good one.  I never make resolutions.  But this year there are a couple simple changes I would like to make.

1) Love more
2) Be in the moment

In the past year I have heard myself many times sounding harsh.  I don't like it...  So I've decided I simply need to love my family more.  Cuddles, hugs and snuggling...less nagging (oh I don't like that word).  And simply be in the moment with these little ones that I love so much...time is moving quickly.  That's it, these things cannot be too difficult to achieve can they?  I'll keep you posted.

So I'll leave you with some wintery shots I've recently taken.  It's bitterly cold and snowy here in Canada at the moment.


 
 
 
 
The girls opening their mama made dolls.  Blogged about here.
I think these little dolls will be well loved (and worn out).
 
 
Happy New Year to all!  I'm so glad you've joined me here!