Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello...and good bye 2011



Hello Friends!   It is the last day of 2011 and I just wanted to say that this blogging journey has been a rewarding experience and I am glad to have jumped on board.  It has been fun!

I plan on making some changes and updating the blog with a fresh new look soon!  Hurray!!

Thanks for following and Happy New Year!!  See you in 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breakfast with Santa at the Peak of Christmas

I thought I would share the highlights from our breakfast with Santa at Grouse Mountain.   

The Peak of Christmas has some great activities to check out like Santa's workshop and his reindeer (Vixen and Dancer), outdoor skating, and sleigh rides.

It was a pretty misty trip in the gondola to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, we headed straight to breakfast where Santa was mingling with everyone and taking time for photos. 

After our hearty breakfast, face painting, and visit with Santa, we headed out to play in the snow.  The kids had great fun sliding down the snowy hills.  And I love the snow, too!

Vixen and Dancer look liked they were enjoying the snow before they head back to the North Pole.


After going on a sleigh ride, we went skating on the outdoor rink.   The fog finally lifted and we had a nice sunny afternoon outdoors. 
 
 

After a snack and little more playing in the snow, we headed back home.  It was a great day!


Our Santa photos


 Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays - may your Christmas be merry and bright!!




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gingerbread Men

How delicious are warm cookies and milk?    Or perhaps you prefer a warm cup of cocoa or tea to accompany your cookie treat.

This year we tried a new gingerbread man cookie recipe and it was a great success.  This recipe is a tried and true favorite used by one of my girlfriends and is taken from Mrs Fields Cookie Book by Debbi Fields.  







The kids really took decorating the cookies seriously by adding sprinkles and candies galore!



In our house,  these cookies will not last long so you better grab one fast before they are gone!!!





Linking to:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Make Your Own Christmas Gift Tags

Do you save your greeting cards?  I do.  And they do come in handy for crafting.

A couple of years ago, I went through my collection of memorabilia (mostly cards and letters) and I had been holding on to some cards for as long as 33 years!!!!  Some went into the recycle bin and some went into a crafting bin but there were a few keepsakes I could not throw away.

So, if you still have your last year's holiday greeting cards... GREAT!  It is time to pull them out and upcycle them into some cute gift tags like these ones.


To get started, you just need the following supplies:

  • Cards or scrapbook paper
  • Gift tag punch and small circular punch
  • Ribbon, thread, etc..


After a little paper punching and ribbon tying... Voila!  Cute gift tags waiting to attach to a beautifully wrapped present.






Linking to:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Toasty Toques

It is getting cold and a hat is a great way to stay toasty this winter.  I whipped up this cute toque following instructions from Made by Rae's snowblossom hat tutorial.  I had a bit of black and white fleece (leftover from a penguin costume) that was perfect for this cute hat.   It took less than an hour to finish it.


I definitely will have to go out and purchase some more fleece to make some for the whole family.  Maybe even one for myself!

These hats will keep us warm this winter!




Linking to:




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ribfest - an ultimate culinary experience

Ribfest is a well loved event among friends.  Last night we got together to enjoy some great food.

Not to upstage the main course of ribs but the homemade bocconcini, tomato and basil salad was amazing. How fresh is that bocconcini?  Well... just over an hour prior to consumption it was just milk, rennet and citric acid.  The completed salad looked fantastic and it was delish!


Three different types of ribs were on the menu and I had to sample them all.


Desserts were plentiful too - warm chocolate pie with whipped cream, fruit pies, broken glass jello, and a nice cheese and fruit plate.  (The dessert pictures are MIA as I was too busy eating to take out my camera.) 


Once again, the ribs were AWESOME!  Kudos to the Rib Master Chef!

I was thinking... with all the great food... maybe Ribfest should actually be called RibFEAST!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Having some photo fun with pixlr-o-matic

Hi,

Tonight I have been having fun using pixlr-o-matic on my PC.  I thought I would share some of the photos with you.


Original photo taken with webcam

Filters Amber-Redrum-Tiny

Filters Melissa-Rainbow-Halftone


Filters Tom-Vignette-Grunge
Pixlr-o-matic is super easy to use.  You can generate some cool effects and spice up your photos.
I think it is pretty cool!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tis the season... for craft fairs!

It is that time of year when artisans come out and show their wares at local craft fairs.   I headed down to one of those craft fairs today to check things out.

There was a very wide assortment of crafts and some non-craft items for sale but three craft tables caught my eye this year.  The items being sold were not new ideas but all the items were nicely displayed, all three stands were very busy and they sold items I find interesting.

1. Hand knit & crochet hats
2. Scrabble tile pendants
3. Domino pendants with hand painted designs

I really really liked the hand painted domino pendants and there were some real cute ones for the kids but the scrabble pendants won out for one reason alone.... Price!   I couldn't pass up the deal of 3 pendants for $12.  One for each girl and one for me too!  They had a lot of different designs including animals, abstract, nature, and holiday themes.  The girls loved the cat pendants.



The scrabble tile pendants were made by two moms and their business is called Charming Charms.

There are lots of tutorials online for making the pendants and maybe I will give it a try one day.  Until then, I am glad these ladies take their time to make and sell these great items.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday Cake and Cupcakes - part 2

Happy Birthday Cake and Cupcakes!
Here are the finished cake and cupcakes that I made the other day for a birthday party.

Hidden behind the fluffy white icing are 7 bright rainbow layers!


Pretty cupcakes waiting to be eaten...



If you are curious on how I made the bunting and flags check out my previous post here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Making a Birthday Cake Bunting - part 1

The last rainbow cake I made was a big hit so I offered to make another for a little girl's 6th birthday.  I am looking forward to the birthday party as there will be a Fairy Queen of Flowers who does fabulous face painting, fairy wand crafts, fun party games and dress up costumes.   

I thought a personalized paper bunting would be perfect to top the cake.  So simple and they look wonderful on cakes.
   
The final party count included 19 children and 12 adults so I decided to make some rainbow cupcakes to accompany the cake.

To make the bunting I gathered my supplies.



I made the paper flags for my bunting using a simple triangle shape but I thought if I had a butterfly punch.... Well.... can't you imagine how adorable little butterflies would be floating above the cake.

So after cutting out my flags, I found using a glue stick was much easier than messing around with a hot glue gun for assembling the flags to the string. 

To personalize the bunting, I printed out letters using the computer and cut them out using a circular paper punch.

The only time I used the hot glue gun was when I affixed the string to the bamboo skewers.


I also made some matching flags on toothpicks for cupcake toppers.


Check in again later to see the 6 rainbow cake layers and the lovely little cupcakes decorated and ready to party!  Click here!


Thanks for stopping by and see you again soon!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Quick Look at a Project from One-Yard Wonders

For my birthday this year, I purchased the book One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  This book caught my eye as it has lots of projects and you only need one yard of fabric for each one.
Most of my sewing skills were acquired in junior high school.  I took sewing classes for three years as part of my curriculum.  I did a lot of sewing when I was younger but have not really made anything until recently.  Maybe a lack of a sewing machine might have have been a factor.  


For my first (and so far only) project from One-Yard Wonders, I decided to tackle the hanging laundry bag. The fabric I used was purchased at Ikea

The laundry bag was easy to make and very functional for our household. It hangs in our bathroom and now contains the loose laundry that used to be strewn all over the floor.  




If you decide to try some of the projects in this book, check out a great blog by Pink Chalk Studio. They are doing a One Yard Wonder Sew along.  

NOTE:  There are some errors in the book and Storey Publishing have posted the corrections here.

My next project from the book will be the festive flag banner.  I have been wanting to make a personalized bunting for each of my daughters' rooms. 


I found One Yard Wonders a great resource and inspiration for sewing projects.   The idea to write about a book review originated from a terrific e-course I am taking though Blogging your Way.


Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkins

Hi,  I thought I would share some pictures of our family outing to the local pumpkin patch.  It was a beautiful day.  The kids were excited looking for the perfect pumpkin.  We visited the farm animals, took a tractor ride, walked the corn maze, panned for "gold" and found the two best pumpkins to carve for Halloween. 


Here is one of our favorite pumpkin rhymes:

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh, my it's getting late!"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run, and run and run!"
The fifth one said, "Time for Halloween fun."
  Then Woooooo went the wind
And OUT went the lights.
  And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!



Linking to:  debbiedoos newbie linky party

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Stamping Fun

The weather is starting to get cooler, the leaves are changing colour and all signs point that autumn is finally here.  It must mean one thing... Halloween is approaching.

The kids are really excited about Halloween this year and I thought it is time to start some Halloween crafts.

Inspired by a DIY homemade stamp I spotted on Pinterest, we decided to try and make some ourselves.
All you need are some recycled lids and caps, foam stickers and ink pads.   It is super easy and fun.  The kids loved making the stamps.

This is a great project that can adapted for any occasion, holiday or season to create homemade gift wrap, tags, invitations and cards.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Baking Birthday Party Highlights




To celebrate turning 6 this year, my daughter decided she would like a baking party theme.

Preparation for the party was more time consuming than I anticipated with all the baking and sewing.

We made some great matching chef hat and apron sets for all the party guests and pre-baked mini chocolate cakes and cookies for decorating.

To make it easy for the guests to bring their fabulous cake and cookie creations home, we put the cakes in small boxes and the cookies in clear plastic treat bags.  All bags and boxes were pre-labeled with names so there would be no cake and cookie mix ups.

Do you think the party guests had more fun decorating or eating their creations?



Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunbonnets - Little House on the Prairie Style

For bedtime stories in our house, we have been reading the Little House on the Prairie book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We are currently in the middle of the book On The Banks of Plum Creek.  The girls have been playing "Laura and Mary" and act out stories from the books and tv series.  And we have borrowed some of the series on DVD from our local library to watch at home.   Little House on the Prairie was one of my favorite book series and television show as a young girl.  I even dressed up as Laura one year for Halloween.  Thanks to my mom who stitched up my costume - dress, bonnet and shawl.

So Halloween is next month, and the girls have decided they would like to dress up as Laura and Mary this year.  So now it is my turn to locate and make some costumes.   I found a great sunbonnet tutorial here from Given Moments and additional suggestions from FabriCate & Mira here.   I ordered a children's nightgown pattern from Butterick to use as a prairie dress.   The girls picked out some lovely Calico prints from our local fabric store and once the dresses are made, I think, they will look like authentic little prairie girls.   I have already completed the sunbonnets and the girls love them!   

Mary and Laura

Updated pictures below:  The girls wearing their sunbonnets and dresses on Halloween night.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Tea - Neapolitan Cookies

It is Tuesday and it is time for tea!

How about some yummy Neapolitan cookies?  They are easy to make, they require no icing and look so nice.

I used Wilton's roll out cookie recipe for the dough.

To get the 3 different coloured layers,  I separate the dough into thirds and colour accordingly.
I added cocoa powder for the chocolate layer and pink gel food colouring for the pink strawberry layer.

I roll each coloured ball of dough into a rectangular shape and stack them on top of each other.
I slice them and bake according to the recipe directions.

And voila!  A nice tea time treat.  Enjoy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blackberries & Blackberry Muffins


In our backyard, I have neglected weeding and pruning the brambles near the fence.  So last month, I decided to clean it up and to my surprise we had a nice little blackberry patch.

After eating the berries straight off the bush, we saved a handful to make some muffins.

In my recipe binder, I have a blueberry muffin recipe written out on an old piece of paper.  I have no idea where this recipe originated but it has become a tried and true favorite.  I have adapted this recipe to accommodate the ingredients we had on hand to make blackberry muffins.



Blackberry Muffin Recipe


2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup yogurt (we just happened to have blackberry yogurt in the fridge)
1 cup blackberries
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and sugar together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, vanilla and yogurt.   Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.   Stir until mixed.  Fold in blackberries.   Spoon evenly into greased or paper lined muffin tins.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chef Hats and Aprons



am on a mission to finish sewing a dozen aprons and chef hats for my daughter's birthday baking party. I found a great chef hat tutorial and apron tutorial  that I used as guidelines.  I purchased the the fabric at Ikea.  I have completed two already and I think they look pretty great on my models, don't you?  The kids like to say they are wearing muffin hats.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainbow Tea Party

My youngest turned four a week ago and to celebrate we had a rainbow tea party with her friends from preschool.   Tea was served with rainbow birthday cake and cookies.  Tea always seems to taste so much nicer in china tea cups.
.


And homemade rainbow paper banners decorated the room.  



For activities, decorating paper tea party hats and making beaded bracelets were in order. The paper hats were made out of recycled brown paper shopping bags. 


The birthday party was a success.   Now I am planning the next one... a baking party for the oldest who turns 6 in a couple of weeks.