Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adding burlap to my tree

When I saw this Burlap Garland at Micheals I  knew it was either going to be exactly what my tree has been missing or another epic fail.  I was shopping with my bestie who said, "If anyone could do this it's you.  Try it and let me know how it goes."  Love her!  I bought it and in my opinion it is perfect.  I love the mix of modern ornaments and this rustic touch.

I used some of the extra garland to make a bow for my banister.  This is my favourite addition to my decor this season.  I just love how it looks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Tree...

Last week I told the tragic story of my first Christmas married and how I hated my ornaments.  If you missed that you can get caught up here.  This year I have focused on warming up my Christmas decor and I will be sharing these new touches with you all week.

What have you added this year?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we are cuddling in bed,
watching the parade,
and deep frying a turkey for dinner!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A story about ornaments...and how they're now covered in twine

When Mr. D and I first got married we were so excited for our first Christmas.  I absolutely love this time of year, and it brought tears to my eyes every time I thought about us creating our own Christmas.  Being newlywed meant we got to pick our own decor and start our own traditions.  We started by purchasing all the ornaments for our tree.  Mr. D wanted colour while I preferred something more subtle.  We eventually decided on some beautiful red and white ornaments from Crate and Barrel, a compromise on colour yet still modern.  I ordered all our ornaments online and could not wait to put them up when they showed up at my door.

I pulled them out of the box with eager anticipation of our "forever tree" and...HATED what I saw.  I didn't like anything I purchased.  Crushed, Mr. D took me to Target, Walmart and Kmart to find the some Martha Stuart inspiration and hopefully save our first Christmas.  I purchased all blue, which was a total copy cat of my Mom's tree, I felt anxious about trying anything else new.  We took our Christmas Starbucks drinks home and set to work hanging our new choices.

Mr. D sat on the floor attaching the hooks and handing me the ornaments.  About half way in he knew something wasn't right.  "Is everything okay?" he carefully asked, not sure he really wanted an answer. "Yeah..." I said.  "You hate it don't you?" he asked.  "Yeah, I do."  Being the loving husband he is, he suggested I try my Crate and Barrel ornaments I thought I hated on the tree.  Maybe they will look better on.  As we spent the next hour carefully removing one set of decorations and exchanging them for my original purchases I felt so nervous I might not like them.  Luckily Mr. D was right.  The ornaments looked much better on.  We returned the blue ornaments and fell in love with our forever tree.

While I was super happy with our tree there was always something about it that kept me from absolutely loving it.  I couldn't get past the "friendship" phase if you will.   We filled some of the holes with some plastic  ornaments to make the tree look full, so when I decided twine would add the warmth my tree was lacking I grabbed the cheap balls and set to work.  I simply popped the top off, covered the ball in glue and wrapped them in twine.  Glue the top back on and you are done.

 I love my new twine ornaments.  
The next step to adding warmth to our tree, is adding burlap. 
 I added this on the weekend, and fell deeply in love with my tree,all over again.

Stay tuned as I reveal the Christmas 2011 additions that have taken our decor to a new height!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Our weekend, in photos...

This weekend we....

Went for a nature walk to collect pine cones for our church Christmas banquet...

Baked cookies and fudge to get us in the mood to decorate...

Decorated the tree....

Filled and re-filled our advent calendar...

Helped fill vases...

Had some loving around the tree...

Enjoyed story time at church...

Went to the Santa Clause parade...

Fell asleep on the way back to the car from the parade...

And started our tree skirt...

Lots to share this week, but for now...we are exhausted!  Hope you had as much fun as we did this weekend.  I loved every minute with my two favourite people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Embracing the Season...

There's a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called  "There was a little girl"
and it goes like this

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,     
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

I sometimes think of this poem as my 18 month old throws a fit in the middle of a mall,
or when she throws her head back and screams when asked to do something she doesn't want to do.
Most of the time she is so happy and easy going but every so out.

This really upsets me and stresses me out, 
especially in public places.
I feel like everyone is watching and thinking "So glad she isn't mine",
I think to myself "she is such a sweet child, you would l just love her to bits".

And then I see this sweet face...

Something about this sweet girl just brings a smile to my face.
During this holiday season there are going to be meltdowns,
they are inevitable.

Rather than allowing her ugly moments to stress me out, 
I am choosing to embrace them.
Loving this little person for who she is and realizing that the reason for her meltdown, 
is usually the result of being pushed to far.

Why is it shocking to me that an 18 month doesn't have the same shopping attention span as I do?
I guess she doesn't realize how many gifts we need to buy?  

My Girl is truly a gift from God and I am so excited for all this holiday season will bring.
I am so excited to share Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the travelling in between with her.
I will find my joy in her joy!

Linking here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Shopping for a Toddler Girl...

Christmas is my MOST favourite time of year.  
I love it even more than Fall!  
I think its because, unlike any other time of year, we make time to spend time with family, friends and co-workers to celebrate the season.  
Even though The Hubby is American, and it is against his inner core to start celebrating before Thanksgiving weekend, I have softened him a little so we start Christmas music and Christmas shopping as soon as Halloween is over.  
He even lets me decorate the weekend before Thanksgiving.  
What a guy!

All year long I have seen things I want to buy for the girl but have been holding out for Christmas.
It makes it more fun right?
I know thinking of ideas can sometimes be tricky so I thought I would share some of the beautiful things I am thinking of for the girl.
She will likely not be getting all of them but here is a starting point.

Happy Shopping!

1. A baby stroller for her to push her babies in. Pottery Barn Kids $79.00
2. Minnie Mouse Ears for everyday play. The Disney Store
3. Could these moccasins be any cuter? I would wear them inside and out. Target $14.99
4. Hand stamped silver baby bracelet. Julie the Fish Designs $54.00
5. Toddler size back pac for her stuff when we are on the plane. Skip* Hop $19.00
6. I absolutely adore this jumper.  Add bright tights and a long sleeved-t. Baby Gap $39.95
7. Every girl with growing hair needs some clips to keep it out of their eyes. Target $2.49
8. Baby Stella has magnetic accessories that attach to her mouth. Manhattan Toys $32.00
9. Child size table for crafts or tea parties. Ikea Table $39.99, Chair $19.99
10. Stylish yet cute to keep her warm in our cold weather. Target $10.00

Linking up here:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Etsy= Easy, AGAIN!

I have had yet another wonderful experience with Etsy.

With Christmas decor hitting the stores like crazy I am in the spirit really early this year.   My Hubby doesn't let me decorate until further into November so the only "Christmas item" I could get started on was our Christmas card.  I really like the idea of photo Christmas cards, especially when your kids are young and you live far away from extended family.  Every year I find it difficult to get a good photo of the entire family.  It is literally like pulling teeth to get Mr. D to comply.  Last year it was a total fluke that we got a cute picture.  He took a self portrait of us right after we finished decorating the tree and it turned out great.  Enter Christmas card 2010!

  I didn't even tell him I was going to use it for our Christmas card or he wouldn't have taken it.  
Tricky, I know!

Last weekend I was shopping with my Mom and found the cutest red tule skirt at Gymboree.  Since it was on sale with 30% off the sale price it was the perfect piece for our Princess.  She loves to be fancy, but is also a little bit of a tom boy.  She is rough and tough and puts her clothing through a beating.  This inspired my editorial style photo shoot (more on this later).  I know, who do I think I am?  I am no photographer.  I have a little point and shoot camera but I loved the idea of mixing patterns, styles and letting The Girl run free outside.  What better subject than an 18 month old toddler.  She definitely has an opinion but I am way bigger than her.  If only I was bigger than my hubby....

Originally I tried this shoot as a practice.  I was going to add my hubby and myself and get my older sister to take the picture.  When I captured this shot and saw this Christmas card, I knew it was a match! Cute family card without organizing the entire family...Etsy = Easy.

Let me introduce you to Jocie of Cards Etcetera.  She has, in my opinion, some of the cutest holiday cards around.  The best part is that Mr. D was as happy with my selection as I was.  Her service was super fast and she was so accommodating.  We needed one minor change and she was more than happy to do so.  My cards were complete with edits in about 2 hours.  Awesome!  If you are looking for a cute design check her out here.  You will not be disappointed.

Also, for my Canadian readers, I received an email from Blacks Photography offering 50 5x7's for $5 all this week (Ending November 17).  This means my total Christmas card expense with printing will be $20 (without postage) plus I will have gotten a few extra photos on top of that, which always makes the Grandparents and Great-Grandparents super happy.

Where are you getting your Christmas cards done?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today We Remember...

Today we remember all those who fought for our freedom.  Growing up I remember year after year attending Remembrance Day (Canada's Veteran's Day) assemblies.  They would hand out poppies for each student to wear and you would drop a some change into the envelope out of respect.  I remember each year as hard as I would try I would still loose my poppy.  The school playground would be scattered with random poppies who had lost their owners.   Year after year the assembly was virtually the same.  We sang O'Canada and read "In Flanders Fields".  At precisely 11:11 The Last Post was played followed by a moment of silence.  On the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour we show our respect.  The assembly would end and we would go on with our day like any other day.  I think the magnitude of what was being celebrated was lost on young students but the tradition of these actions seemed comforting.

After leaving high school and moving on to University I remember wondering how they gathered everyone in University for this traditional assembly.  There are no mandatory assemblies in University.   I quickly realized that as you become an adult no one forces you to respect others, it was something you choose to do for yourself.  The University would offer a short service in one of the main cores of the school and have cadets selling poppies throughout the campus.  One year I remember being particularly busy and working away on a paper in one of the computer labs on campus.  I was typing away when all the sudden I heard the last post and students in the lab began to stand one by one.  I looked around and joined them.  This was powerful to me.  Although I had lost track of the day, and lost track of the time we still stood and had a moment of silence.  Our lab was right outside where the schools service was taking place and so I shared that moment with my fellow students.  While I would hardly brag that this was more than enough respect to be shown I was grateful for the University's initiative to hold a service and grateful I didn't miss that moment of silence.

Today again we come to Remembrance Day.  While getting ready this morning I saw footage of the services taking place at our Nations capital.  I wondered to myself where I would be during the traditional moment of silence.  It seemed rather disrespectful to just go on with my life today without taking a moment to pause.  I received a poppy a few weeks ago and ensured I had it on this morning. Morning routine rushed on and I went to spend the morning with my Mom.   We decided to check out a new home decor store that has recently opened near our house.  As we were shopping an announcement came over the loud speaker.  My Mom and I continued to shop until I started to listen to what they were saying.  Slowly shoppers slowed down and stopped as they too began to listen.

Today we stood with perfect strangers and showed respect.  We showed respect to our country, our freedom and most importantly those who sacrificed their lives or portions of their lives for us.  We listened to "In Flanders Field" followed by a moment of silence.  We paused for a moment of thanksgiving and celebration for our country.  And while the moment finished as quickly as it started it was amazing.  I was proud to be a Canadian and proud to stand with strangers and celebrate strangers who fought for us.  The Girl was a little unsure of what was going on and kept pointing to the sky where the sound was coming from.  But sitting in a cart with her Mom and Nana we celebrated Remembrance Day together.

Where were you this year?

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
 Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
 In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This Man Knows How to Throw a Party...

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my older sister turned 30!  Yes, it took me this long to post about it but work has really been getting in the way of my free time lately.  Anyway, I wanted to post a few pictures of the amazing party my brother in law hosted.    Her definitely knows how to throw a party!

I really should've asked him to guest post about this party because he is going to kill me for the butcher job I do of this.  In the category of foodie or fatty, I am a total fatty.  I appreciate something that tastes good but definitely don't crave food....not even when I am prego!  None the less I appreciate a good party and artistic appearance so this is my best effort to explain this amazing meal.

We started with antipasto plates.  Guests were met at the door with a glass of champaign or wine and stood around mingling and nibbling on these meats, cheeses and olives.

My Brother-in-Law is big into the shock factor so he had taken all their furniture out of their dinning room, built a new table for the event and hung a white canopy over the table to all go with his Italian theme.

We then sat down and ate until we were sick.  Course after course Jared and his team brought out beautiful dishes.  They were amazing.  I accidentally missed a picture of the soup and the desserts...oops, I must have been busy eating.

Each course was better then the previous and a full meal if you were ever invited to my house.  No one went home hungry!  Jared spared no expense.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween Costume

This year, despite my best persuasion, The Boss was Shamu.  She was stuck on the idea and while I tried to talk her out of it I ended up LOVING it.  When we were invited to a halloween party the easy answer for Mr. D and I was to be whale trainers.  So our little family, dressed in black and white, and represented one of our favourite places we have been as a family...Sea World!

I made The Boss' costume from a sweater pattern I purchased from Heidi and Finn.  I absolutely love their stuff so it was a great excuse to purchase another pattern.  I used the urban unisex hoodie pattern and  just exchanged the front section with white instead of black.  Her eyes were made of felt and then I made her fins are made from of thick batting and covered with some black taffeta I had at home.  

Unfortunately most of the pictures we have are blurry because as you can imagine the girl was so excited and in constant motion.  She was so funny tromping around in her costume.

At first she seemed very unsure of tricker treating, but once she saw all the attention and food she was getting she got really into it.  She went door to door saying "Treat....treat!"  When her and Mr. D got home she show me each item she was given again saying "Treat...treat" as she took them out to show me.

Here is one of my favourite pictures from the day.  Her with her cousins, Brainy Smurf and Abby-Cadabby!