Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chore Charts

Happy February!

I just wanted to share a really quick post. I was making my girl a new chore chart, and my friend ordered three of them for her kids.

She has got to be the most organized person I know, so I am sure her kids will not be surprised when they find these hanging in the bedrooms sometime soon.

They will either love me or hate me for them, we shall see!

Have a lovely week everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Small Mom Business

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today

I can't help but think how true this really is. Sometimes I wonder... when I was working full time, outside of my home, why didn't I take more vacations? Thinking back now, I had the money. I made good money!  Where did I spend it? Did I shop too much, eat out too much, did my girl have better quality clothes? Did I actually buy myself clothes back then? Did I put it away for a rainy day?

I can tell you, many rainy days have come and gone, and I certainly didn't go out spending money I had socked away.

This Facebook post was timely for me. I just had a friend open up her house to me, and we set up some of our "goods", invited some friends over, had some food, sat around chatting. We had a really nice time.

I came home, thankful for this friend and her support of me, and what I do, what I make and what I sell. I was thankful for her friends who bought journals and cards from me, and scrapbooking supplies from a direct sales company that I am associated with, Creative Memories.

I have met many people the last few years, and made friends with some phenomenal men and women who share their love of creativity. Some make soap, woodwork art, some make their own jewellery, some are in direct sales with various companies (and there are many of them out there!). But no matter what they do, which company they are associated with, or if it is their own company, all have one thing in common. They are all passionate about what they do, they are mostly supportive of each other, they all work very hard, and they all appreciate each and every sale, no matter how big or small.

Many of these people who sell the things they make, or sell the product they believe in through a direct sales company, are doing so to allow them to stay home with their kids and raise them. Some do it to pay for a dream vacation they have always wanted to take, some do it as a hobby that they love and that makes them feel good! Some do it, because they are doing what they believe in.

I do it, because I love to work with  my hands, I love to be creative. I need to be home right now to provide my daughter with a learning environment that allows her to flourish. I need the brain space to deal with a learning disability of my daughter, that in the past, has crippled me emotionally. I do it because right now it is what I love, and any other job right now does not allow me the freedom to heal what needs to be healed, nor the freedom that I need to figure out the next chapter of my life.

So the next time you are invited to yet another catalogue party, jewelery party, candle or wax party, scrapbooking party or ...you get the idea! Why not go, and take a friend. It doesn't mean you always need to buy something, but maybe your friend will. Maybe she won't, but that is OK. The next time you buy a card at the dollar store, a cheap bar of soap, think of the friends you know that lovingly make their own; and support them. The next time you are invited to a craft sale, go, and buy a gift that is unique and not bought at your local big box store. Alot of work goes into knitting a one of a kind scarf, a hand made quilt, a one of a kind blouse, designed by someone who sketched it while her son played at her feet. Buy that friend or neice or mom, a journal if they are going through a hard time, writing can be theraputic for so many reasons. Buy a photo taken by a local photographer, a painting that is created by a local artist. I challenge you, the next time that you want a new piece of jewlery, hold out, and buy it from someone who makes their own!

I hope that some of you who are reading this, know that I have referenced you, and the things you make or sell, and I encourage you to link your web sites, facebook pages and business links here!

Happy Monday everyone! Have a lovely day!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine Treat Ideas

Disclaimer: Just because I am posting some crap about Valentines, does not mean that I actually like the day itself!

So, I have been looking for some uses for my Fiskars Crimper, rather than just my coffee cup gift card holders, and I came across a great idea for Valentines. This is not my idea, I found it here on this blog, so check it out because it is a pretty great blog!

The instructions are great, however, I will change my measurements up a bit, and cut my paper 5.5 x 4 to make better use of a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. For some, I will cut 5.5 x 6, to have a larger tube to fit more candy, or bigger chocolates!

I thought these would be so cute for kids Valentines treats, or for your lover! These are really super easy to make, and I hope that you will try them.

At Christmas, when I was making some of my treat containers, I noticed that if I lay the template flat, it looks like a heart. So with my Stampin up, petal cone die, I decided to make some of these. They don't hold too much, so I didn't make that many.

And this is one of the cards I chose to make, because I love the stamp!

And of course in purple for a different occasion.

That's it for now! Have a super fabulous weekend, and stay warm. Snuggle, wear fuzzy socks, dance, eat soup......just stay warm!

Soup on a cold day!

Now that winter has officially arrived in Winnipeg, bringing us snow and cold weather (both of which I could absolutely live without!), I think we all need to eat more soup! It is healthy, hearty, hot and good for us. Soup is something I don't think we should ever use a recipe for, because it is so easy to make, but I am going to provide one here as best as I can!

Tomato and Potato Soup

2 tbsp butter
2 onions chopped
4 cups potato peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups celery chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots chopped
2 cloves garlic (or more if you love garlic)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (or add basil, oregano, thyme and salt and pepper)
1 tbsp corn starch
2 cups of milk
1 19 0z/540 ml can of tomatoes
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp tomato paste

In a large pot, melt butter, add onions and garlic (yum), and cook for a few minutes. Add cornstarch and the rest of the vegetables, with the chicken broth and seasonings. I also add a bay leaf now. Once the vegetables become slightly tender, add the tomatoes, the tomato paste and the milk. If you would like the soup a little thicker, take out a bit of the liquid and dissolve some cornstarch, and add back to the pot. Simmer uncovered for approximately another 30 minutes.

If you wish to add or delete any of these veggies, go ahead, the recipe will still be awesome!

I wish I had a picture to share, my apologies for not giving you one. I hope you will try it though, because it is so yummy! Of course it is better with a scone or a lovely slice of bread. To all my meat eating readers, sorry I can not help you with meat recipe!

Have a happy day and thank you for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooking at night

So, I am not a morning person. Big whoop! Now that I no longer have to work at 530, 630, or 730 in the morning, does it really matter?

I usually get a second spark of energy at 8:00 at night. This night it was more at 9:00 and I decided to make a Chocolate Cake and Oatmeal Banana Pancakes. Haley and I are crazy over pancakes, and these are a healthier version, especially on a school day! I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I just like to cook and bake in the evening!

I am sharing both recipes with you here tonight, and I really hope that you will try them. I don't share recipes often, because I rarely follow a recipe and I NEVER write it out in it's entirety, but I will try to do so here!

Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
1 3/4 cup sugar ( I use 1 1/2) see, I never follow a recipe!
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cold coffee
1 egg
2/3 cup oil

Sift the dry ingredients together, add sour cream, egg, coffee, oil  and mix just until moistened. Pour into 2 round cake pans, lightly floured. Bake at 35o degrees until a toothpick inserted, comes out clean!

Now I will show you a picture, of my completed cake, with icing. However, I do not use a recipe for icing. I just mix a 1/4 cup of melted butter with some cocoa and icing sugar, vanilla and a splash or 2 of milk until I get the smooth, chocolaty icing that Haley says is great as she is dipping her fingers in!

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter

Melt butter, add sugar and blend. Mix in the egg, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and banana. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix just until blended together.

I of course add a healthy dose of cinnamon, because I LOVE cinnamon and it is good for you!

These are great to make on the weekend, or spend an afternoon, making a double batch and then freezing them so that you have them ready to go on a school day! Yum! I top mine with bananas, just to keep with the theme, but you can top them with whatever you like! My apologies for not having a picture of these, but trust me, they are fabulous!


Have a great rest of your week people!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunshine on my face


Walking in the park today, it is a warm, sunny, winter afternoon. A winter that feels more like spring. The snow at my feet is melting, the sun casting a shine so deep and so warm, causing the slush to pool around foot prints, the concrete is wet and glistening. The sunshine on my face is so welcoming on a day like today when I feel the pencil on my page won’t move across the paper fast enough. A walk may slow me down, as I start to move faster.

I love,  that in January, I can sit on a park bench and the sun is warm enough to allow me to write without gloves on. It’s a beautiful thing. I wish I brought my camera, to capture the sun, bright in its glory, with no clouds hovering; it is just all on its own. Of course I have my cell phone, but have no idea the picture quality. Well, the truth is, I don't know how to get the pictures from my phone, onto my computer! 
I can feel the heat, on the side of my face, on the curve of my neck, and I can close my eyes and see the bright white, and wait for that to change color, to a color I choose in my mind. When I open my eyes again, and look at my writing book, I realize, man this is shabby! I need to make myself a new one. So when I am done with my walk, with my little moment of peace in the park, I make my way home, to pick out some supplies!

In the end, I re covered a book that I was already writing in, I am not ready for a new one of these, and for a new journey I will embark on, I made another. A day that started out rotten can end well.

Today when Haley got home, wow, girlfriend was feeling all domestic I tell you! She had her snack, watched 15 minutes of TV and then said she didn’t want to watch the TV. Suddenly she started with a floodgate of ideas. First she told me about a cupcake club idea that she got from a book that I bought her for Christmas. She wants to start a club, bake cupcakes and sell them in the summer to make some extra money. She wants to sell them on the street like when she has a lemonade stand. I tell her it’s not such a great idea, and together we come up with a plan that she can use a portion of my table at my summer market. How can I do anything but think this is fabulous. The girl has an entrepreneurial spirit already!

The next think I know, she is in her kid’s cookbook, wanting to make an appetizer or a dessert. She settled on dessert, and made her own vanilla pudding (from a box) and when she served it, it was layered with bananas and coconut!

While I was cooking dinner, she cleaned off the dining room table, put out the place mats, made name tags for the table, set a candle in the middle. When I walked away from my dinner prep, and came back into the kitchen, she was cleaning up my mess. I took one look at her, and in that instant, I got the same feeling as I did earlier that day, closing my eyes, letting the sunshine warm my face and my neck. Now I know that some may not see the beauty in this, but with whatever Haley may be missing in smarts with having to live with a learning disability, she makes up for in compassion, love, and kindness. Some may not see it every day, but I sure do. I love that girl! I guess that is why since she was a baby, I call her My Sunshine!

Have a good week everyone, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies - with a twist

Is there anything quite like a peanut butter cookie? I love the silky smooth yummy softness of a great peanut butter cookie! I don't make them that often, maybe a couple of times per year, but for some reason I just needed to make some this week.
I found a recipe that had a little something different in them, and thought I would try them. I was happy with the turn out, and thought I would share that recipe here with you. They have oatmeal in them, which makes them healthy right! Try them, they are really good.

Peanut, Honey and Oat Cookies

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey (I used agave nectar and used a wee bit less)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (or you could add more oatmeal instead of)

Cream margarine, PB, brown sugar and honey. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and add to creamed mixture. Stir in rolled oats and nuts. Drop by the tsp full onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.


Have a good weekend everyone!


I hope you make them.....enjoy!


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Journals

Welcome 2012! I hope you are a good year!

One of the things I love making, is journals. I like to journal, I like to have different books that I write in, be it personal essays, notes to self, lists, blog post ideas, writing assignments, anything. I have many books that I keep all over the house, in my van, in my bags, in my drawers, in almost every room in the house.

In the past, when I have made journals, I tried to make them, thinking of others. I wondered what young girls would like, women, students, even seniors. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I don't.

In the last few days, I took some of the pretty paper that I bought in Kelowna at the Ever After Scrapbooking store, and I let it speak to me! My hairdresser and I do that! When she asks me what I want done with my hair, I tell her I trust her and she just says she will let my hair speak to her. I think this is the best way to be creative!

So, I created - letting my paper speak to me. I think that I am just going to make journals that I love, that I would enjoy writing in, and I will trust that people will like them and want to buy them. These are some that I have made so far, let me know what you think!


With this fresh start to a brand new year, I plan on creating many things! As always, they will be my own ideas, not copied, and only created by me! Stay tuned and check in often, because I also hope that I will post more often. I am going to try to make this an achievable goal, but with two blogs, it is hard to keep up!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, a fun New Year, and I wish you lots of love, fun, and creative energy for the year 2012!

Thanks for stopping by!