Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Year of Good Things


This time last year I read somewhere about a really simple and cool way to remember the highlights of the year. A Good Things Jar! I feel like it's easy to remember the bad things that happened during the year, fights you had, people who passed away, embarrassing moments, but I find it harder to remember the everyday happy things that happen way more frequently. This jar was perfect to capture those little happy moments. I had planned on decorating a jar, but in the end just ended up using this old peanut butter jar that I had been saving for some reason. Whenever something good happened Dave and I would write it on a little sticky with the date and toss it in the jar. Other things we put in it: movie ticket stubs, receipts from date nights, price tags of things we saved up for, little photos, flyers from events, anything that we would associate with a good time or positive experience. I'll admit once Iris came around we kind of slacked/forgot but I didn't worry, any happy moments captured were better than none!

Tonight we'll dump the jar out and read through everything together. I can't wait! I'm hoping to put them all into a little book or add it to our 2014 family yearbook somehow.

What do you think? Would you try a Good Things Jar?

Also, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

DIY Winter Crown


I've been wanting to make one of these for ages! I've been eyeing large faux flower crowns for awhile now and thought I'd try my hand at making one for my darling pen pal Frankie. She seems like the kind of person who could pull off a flower crown :) Anyway I intended to make a neutral coloured flower one when I set off to the flower section of Dollarama but alas it was filled with Christmasy things instead! So I changed gears and went with a winter foresty feel, which I think I like better than my original plan actually. 



It was pretty easy to make, you'll need a few things though:

  • a wire based small garland for the base of the crown (I used a brown and gold one that came coiled up in a ring)
  • flowers and things to decorate the crown (I used green leaves with "snow", wired holly, and pussy willows)
  • green floral tape 
  • wire cutters 
To make it I just uncoiled my small garland and shaped it into the right size to fit on my head, then using floral tape, secured it's shape in a few places. Then it's just a matter of cutting and wrapping/taping your foliage on to the garland. A lot of the things I used had wire bases so I just wrapped them around the garland and then wrapped some floral tape around it to make sure it stayed put. 

One tip, don't use your fancy scissors to cut fake flowers like I did (I can almost hear my MIL groaning in disappointment as she reads this). Fake flowers have wires in them, so use wire cutters! 


I debated keeping this for myself as it's so pretty, but I think Frankie will love it too :) Wouldn't this be pretty to wear to a holiday party?

As a side note, I'm taking a holiday break from blogging for the next 2 weeks to enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas!


Thursday, 11 December 2014

A New Adventure


My mat leave has been kind of amazing so far. Ok, the first few months may have been kind of a newborn blur but around the 4 months mark I really started loving being at home with Iris. For me, my mat leave has been a perfect opportunity to evaluate where I pictured my life going especially when it came to family and how I make money. My secret dream was always to have my own creative business. Own a cafe, do my own dessert catering, make things and sell them, I was never really sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to create and hopefully make a little money with it (Dave and I both always knew that I would probably stay home while our babies are little).  

Quite recently (and rather unexpectedly) I started getting asked to take photos for a few families. And since then it has kind of snowballed into doing holiday photos, some head shots for business websites, and more family shoots. I'm not gonna lie, I had never thought that photography may be the creative outlet for me to make some extra money with! But I love it! 


I don't charge much at this point, almost nothing compared to real photographers, mostly because I am in no way a professional photographer and am still learning so much when it comes to my camera and how to get a good shot. But I also feel good about making family photos a little more accessible to the everyday family. Plus let's not lie, it is so lovely to have some (inexpensive!) great photos of yourself, am I right?


So who knows, maybe this will turn out to be my big creative thing? 

You can check out my photography facebook page here

Monday, 8 December 2014

Let's Call This a Hygge Moment


Ever since I wrote about the art of hygge I've been trying to capture the moments where I feel it. This one was from the other night. We had just finished eating dinner, the sun was setting, Sufjan Stevens playing in the background, Dave folding laundry with Iris promptly unfolding it. Kind of perfect really.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Homemade Holiday: Snowflake Window


Well as you've probably gathered, I have a lot of time on my hands, especially days when I don't have a car and am confined to the apartment/walking distance of the apartment. So I thought I'd spend some time making the place all festive and cozy. Last year we didn't decorate or even put up a tree (?!?!) because we moved the week before Christmas, I was pregnant and Christmas decorations weren't that high on the list of things to unpack first. So after unpacking our decorations this year and sadly realizing that a) there were very few decorations in there and b) most of them were from Dollarama and in terrible shape I thought I'd take things into my own hands and make me a whole window of paper snowflakes!

I saw a version of this on Pinterest and thought it looked pretty neat. So with Iris chilling in her swing I sat on the floor, looked at this for guidance, and covered the entire living room floor with snowflakes and little bits of paper. After that I just used some clear tape to tape them to the main big window in the living room. I love it! It looks pretty cool from the road too.


This took a awhile to clean up with all the little bits of paper around and to be honest I'm not really looking forward to peeling all that tape off the window, but right now, I'm really liking the look of it :)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Mini Gourmand Menus


She eats! Like a real person! A messier version of a real person perhaps, but the 3 of us now all eat dinner together everyday and I love it. I think I have a very laid back idea of what starting real food with a baby looks like. When I took Iris in for her 4 month shots my doctor gave me a pamphlet on starting solids for your baby. The thing was from 1999 and was sponsored by the Canadian Dairy Association and said I should give Iris rice cereal and introduce things like fruit juice (what?!) at 6 months. Needless to say that didn't really sit right with me. I know rice cereal is the common first food for most babies but I couldn't bear having such a bland (and highly processed) food to be her first introduction to the wonders of eating! This is just my opinion obviously.

I honestly don't remember what her first taste of food was, it was probably just what we were having for dinner one night, but slightly mashed. Most of the times I'll just give her whatever we're eating (think pasta dishes and vegetable sides like baked squash). Lately though I've liked having a few Iris friendly foods in the fridge for when we're eating something that isn't really baby friendly (like salads or sandwiches).  Here are a few that I've tried:

  • slightly boiled frozen peas mixed with goat cheese and basil (I use the tubes of herbs to keep it easy)
  • white beans pureed with a can of tuna, some basil and lemon juice (this is really good with carrot sticks)
  • rasberries and banana "sticks" (just a banana sliced in thin stubby pieces)
  • polenta with parm and some tomato sauce stirred in
  • scrambled egg (our go-to breakfast) 
  • crust of crusty loafs of bread
  • the rind of parm (great for teething, but Gus always inhales this as soon as it falls on the floor)


My goal is to have Iris grow up eating a variety of foods and being open to trying new things every day. I will not have a picky eater goshdarnit! 

So far, so good!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Art of "Hygge"


I stumbled upon a great little article the other week all about how the Danes, who spend a lot of their time with snow on the ground and the sun setting before 4pm, are one of the happiest groups of people in the world. And apparently what they attribute this to is a culture centred around "hygge". Here's what it means according to A Xenophobe's Guide to Danes:

"A love of or need for hygge is an important part of the Danish psyche. Hygge is usually inadequately translated as "coziness." This is too simplistic: coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people's behavior towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.
Friends meeting in the street might say that it has been hyggeligt to see each other, and someone who is fun to be with can be called a hyggelig fyr, when he would hardly be described as a "cozy fellow." The truly emotive depth of the word hyggelig is best captured by considering its opposite, uhyggeligt, which means anything from cheerless through sinister to downright shocking and grisly.
To have a hyggelig time is social nirvana in Denmark. Candlelight is used to encourage ahyggelig atmosphere. In fact, the Danes are mad about candles and use them everywhere, both in public places like cafes, bars, restaurants and offices, and in the home. The dim lighting helps to soften the clean, uncluttered surfaces and uncompromising white walls that are typical features of Danish living rooms. Everyone's ideal is to have a Christiania kakkelovn (antique stove) or an open fireplace and feel the warmth from its hyggelige glow.
Achieving hygge generally involves being with friends and family, and eating and drinking. Older Danes are horrified to hear of youngsters who hygger themselves alone on the sofa with a rented video and family-size bag of sweets." 
Isn't that great? I feel hygge perfectly sums up what I want my life to feel like, and it got me thinking, what things in my life would be apart of this hygge thing?
  • knitting on the couch
  • playing cards by the fire with family
  • making food and having friends over, eating on pillows on the floor
  • long walks and long talks
  • tea in big mugs
  • reading stories before bed
  • hikes in the woods
  • writing letters and sending them in the mail
  • candles
What about you, do you like this idea of Hygge as much as I do? What kinds of things do it for you? 

Photo by Joakim Eskildsen 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Cake #8 (Key Lime Cream Cake)


I am finding any excuse nowadays to make a cake, especially if it means that I don't have to keep the whole thing. Someone doing a bake sale? I'm bringing a cake! I have already mentally ticked off 4 cakes for my upcoming family holiday gatherings. Today my good friend had a day off so she drove down to come see me and Iris. My first thought? CAKE. Well I probably thought "YAY! Friend time!" first but cake was definitely the second thing I thought of. 

This cake was whipped up with a baby on my back and I'll be darned if it isn't the prettiest one I've made yet! It wasn't as lime-y as I would have liked but besides that it was pretty good. The whipped cream piped on top was a nice new addition from the other cakes I've made. 


My friend Jen suggested I should try an ice cream cake next. Hmmmm that may be one I'd want to keep all to myself...

Recipe (loosely followed): Bakerella
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