We celebrated the last day of Movember with moustaches.  Just what the pink ribbon has done for women's health, the moustache has done for men's.  A great way to get people's attention and pay attention to their health.  And to give of course.  

For some reason I think one of these moustaches is sticking around for abit, yikes.

target for the win

A friend and I did a kid swap this week.  We often take turns looking after each others kids for a few hours.  Yesterday was my day to have a few hours to myself.  It's amazing how much you can get done in a few hours without kids.  I was on a mission to get stuff done and lots of it.  But got sidetracked in Target.  Went there to find Oliver a sweater or shirt for Christmas.    And come out with two dresses.  I was hoping to get a new shirt or sweater as well for some Christmas parties but was thrilled to find clearance dresses, $12 and $14!  Can you tell I like a good deal.   

When I heard Target was coming to Canada it was bittersweet.  I love me some Target and love crossing the boarder to find a variety of different stuff and good prices.  But now that its in my neighbourhood practically, I feared it would loose its 'specialness'.  The selection isn't as good nor the prices but I still ALWAYS find something to buy there.  So I guess it's a win win because we have Target close by, even for the practical things and Target just minutes over the boarder for the good prices and variety of stuff.  

the christmas card

It's almost December 1st and I want to get my Christmas cards out before the craziness of the season starts.  I decided to make our Christmas cards this year.  With beautiful family pictures I knew it didn't need to be too fancy.  I went on Minted and Tiny Prints to get some ideas.  So many pretty cards.  Chalkboard font and gold are definitely popular this year.  So I got creative and designed our cards.  I usually print them off as a photo but a friend suggested  to go to Staples and print on cardstock.  To my surprise they turned out great and not that expensive.  I found a pack of 50 brown 5x7 envelopes at Michael's and bought with my 50% off coupon.  Around $25 for 50 Christmas cards this year ... I like!

quiche it is

Today was a busy day and I felt like a little bit of home so I made my mom's quiche recipe.  It's quick, easy and delicious on a cold day like today.  This is a good recipe for brunch with friends, Christmas morning or making a meal for someone.


20 tart shells (unsweetened) or 9" pie shell.  Tenderflake is recommended.

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together:
4 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 nutmeg
pinch of pepper

1 cup swiss or cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup bacon or cut up black forest ham

Prick pastry with fork.
Layer cheese and ham in pie crust.
Cover with egg/cream mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.  35 minutes for tarts.
Let set for 5 minute before cutting.  

verse of the week

This project is abit of an Ikea hack.  This brown chalkboard was bought for our condo years ago from Ikea and I pulled it out from the closet and decided I could revamp it for the playroom.  I painted it white and decided to make it our VERSE OF THE WEEK board.  I've seen some really nice ones on Etsy.  

For Oliver's 4th Birthday in May, I did a safari themed party.  I bought dollar store animals and spray painted them gold.  Not wanting the kids to play with painted animals I had Trevor cut them in half and glued a magnet on the back.  It only worked for the small ones because the large ones were hollow.  Perfect little magnets for our magnetic chalkboard.  

game day

The cold weather has set in and it seems like most days are 'inside' days.  I find it's easy for the kids to get antsy and whinny.  When this happens I need to re-set the day and I find playing games always helps.  The kids usually just want to some mommy time and attention if they have been playing by themselves for a while.  I must admit I'm not great at free play or pretend play.  I can only pretend to be a dinosaur or snake so many times.  Trevor is great at pretend play.  When he comes home, costumes come out, animal adventures happen and battles begin.  I on the other hand read, play games, bake, craft and sing with the kids.  It seems to be a good balance of our parenting play skills.  

Today has been an inside day after a busy weekend.   Today we played the Manners game and Cariboo.  We are really working on taking turns, playing by the rules and being good sports about loosing. Even as adults, it's not always easy but important life lessons.  I never know if a game is going to be a hit or a miss so many of these games I bought at Toy Traders or a consignment store.  Or given as gifts for birthdays or Christmas.  When someone asks what my kids want, I usually suggest games, books or crafts.  Something to do rather than just to have.  They have plenty.

it's beginning to look alot like Christmas

Last night we went to our first Christmas event of the year.  It was an hor d'oeuvres party with a few close friends.  It was a great way to kick off the holidays season.  I tried a new recipe this year that I've seen a few times posted on Pinterest, Toasted Ravioli with marinara sauce (I added a garlic cheddar biscuit).  Here is the link if you want to try it from Just A Taste blog, Deep Fried Ravioli on a Stick.  It was ok but not sure if it's a re-do.  I guess it's always a risk with new recipes.  Definitely better fried than baked.  We got Most Creative.  I'll take that.  

Today we started decorating the house.  This is the earliest we have ever decorated for Christmas.  I usually wait till December 1st but it seems like the holidays are starting earlier and earlier every year.  Is it due to busyness?  Or commercialism?  Either way we needed to do it early because Trevor starts five days of a firefighting course every weekend till mid December.  Not ideal timing but must be done.  It makes me sad that's it's taking away our family time on the weekends because I love doing Christmas stuff with the kids.  But we will make the most of the time we have all together.  

I LOVE decorating for each season.  It makes me happy to have the house decorated special for the kids and to really get into the festivities.  We put Christmas music on and we transformed the house.  The kids loved putting the ornaments on the tree.  For the past two years we decorate an artificial tree and closer to Christmas we visit a tree farm and get a little real one for the kids.  
I'm calling my decorating style this year "vintage glam".  I always use red as my primary colour at Christmas and then add different accent colours each year.  This is definitely the year of all things GOLD.  I try to add a few items each year to my rather large (eight totes plus 3 boxes) of Christmas decor.  

My favourite detail this year was adding candles to our fireplace.  Why didn't I think of that before?  So pretty!

Gold spray paint is my best friend this year!


September long weekend we decided to do one last weekend getaway.  I've always wanted to go to Leavenworth, WA and our good friends the Hauser's had been and loved it.  So we packed up the tent trailer for the first time in the summer and headed out on an adventure.  The weather was perfect, Leavenworth was cute and very German and the kids had a blast.  KOA campgrounds are perfect for families complete with pools, organised games, outdoor movies and free chocolate chips cookies every afternoon = worth every penny.  

Our friend Ang of Ella Haus Photography is an amazing photographer and she was ever so kind to squeeze in a family photoshoot during her holidays.  Her pictures are magical to say the least.  She captured so many great moments.  Here are some of my favourites ...

With such beautiful pictures I knew I needed to get them up on the wall.  The tough part was choosing which ones to print and frame.  I bought the wood frames from Cut It Out Already.  They don't ship with glass so I used glass from older picture frames I already had for the 5x7 and 8x10 frames and got glass cut locally for the two 16x20.  They come unfinished so I painted them white, cream and gold.  

what I need today

Isla decided 4:45am was a good time to get up this morning.  We put her into our bed which  neither Trevor or I enjoy.  A queen bed is not fit for three people.  Finally at 6:00pm she thought it was time for cartoons.  At that point I obliged out of sheer exhaustion.  And fighting a cold.  Trevor left for work and I finally got out of bed.  Straight for the Keurig I went.  At this point I realised Isla had got a stool and got into some dill pickle chips.  Not ideal but I'm chalking it up to resourcefulness.  Who doesn't like chips first thing in the morning.  

It's going to be a long day.  I know myself that getting up earlier than 7am present a crabby, impatient mommy but I'm making a choice not to be short, grouchy or checked out.  It's easy to just put on tv or submerge myself into the computer but that's not fair to the kids.  They deserve an active and involved mommy.  Some days I know I need more patience and God knows that.  So I need to be faithful and be in relationship with him all throughout the day not just in the morning or before bed.   

Off for some more coffee and quiet devotional time while the kids play together. 

This spoon is from JessicaNdesigns.  She reposted my picture on Instagram for her Fan Photo Friday.  She has some great stuff and makes for perfect gifts.  Follow her on instagram @jessicandesigns.

play + learn

Today is a chill at home, relaxed day because Oliver is sick with a cold.  He just wants to rest and watch tv which most of us do when we are not feeling well but I knew some  organized play would be good for all of us so I got out our busy bag tote that I often forget about.  Over a year ago a mommy friend put together a busy bag swap with about fifteen moms.  We met at the park one sunny afternoon, the kids played, mommy's chatted and we all took home fifteen different busy bags.  Most were under $20 to make. 
I love that the kids are practicing fine motor skills, problem solving and reinforcing things they already know like colors, shapes and letters all while having fun!

Fruit Loop Chain




Make a Cupcake

Shape & Color Sorting and Finish the Pattern

Popsicle Puzzle
Some great blogs for busy bag ideas:

roasted parmesan broccoli

I'm sure many of you have seen this on Pinterest and it truly is the best broccoli recipe.  Kid approved and super easy.  My kids always ask for seconds which makes this Mommy happy.  This is definitely a regular in our house.

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

2-3 heads of broccoli
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Optional: 2 tbsp of pine nuts

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
2. Chop broccoli into medium size pieces and place on baking sheet.  You can wash the broccoli but I don't because it comes out crisp and crunchy which we prefer.  If you wash it, dry it very well.  
3. Mince garlic and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
5. Add fresh lemon juice, freshly grated parmesan cheese.  And pine nuts if you want. 

monday mornings

I've been following a blog called Mommy Shorts.  She has a series called "Monday Mornings" and is documenting five random mothers in the New York area to prove there is beauty in every mother's morning.   Today she documented Ilona.  Check it out at: Monday Morning with Ilona.

My Monday morning could be summed up in three words: sleepy, predictable and comfortable.  
I woke to a messy house after having company late last night.  I usually don't like going to bed with an untidy house and kitchen but I liked this beautiful mess.  The dirty dished stacked on the counter, Chinese containers needing to be thrown away and an empty wine bottle reminded me of what is important.  Relationships.  Sharing life with those you love and care about.  It was a blessed evening.  

I have just started to share my blog with friends and family.  I was recently asked by a friend if I'm going to share the hard or not so great things in life.  It was a good question.  Without hesitation I quickly responded of course.  Life isn't always about pretty things, smiling children, a happy couple.  Life is hard and messy.  Like everyone we have tough days and go through hardships.  No one is immune to it.  I think it's refreshing to be honest with those close to you and vice versa.  I'm not one to broadcast my problems with the world especially on social media.  I don't feel that's a place for it.  On the flip side it's easy to portray a picture perfect life to everyone.  I know I'm guilty of it.  Who wants to put the worst picture of yourself as your profile picture?  Not me.  Or your tantruming child?  Not me.  Or the laundry stacked up that has been sitting for a week?  Not me.  But I think we all know that there is more that what we see in those pictures.  We all have laundry, cranky children and unflattering pictures of ourselves.  So look beyond pictures, status updates and a smile.  I don't want to portray an easy, perfect life but despite all the messy, hard things in my life, I do try to find the blessings and the lovely parts.  

Watching Toy Story with my sick little boy.  Sad he can't go to preschool today.

Blogging tips