Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I don't know about you, but I've been having a great holiday! I haven't had much time to pause & blog, nor go through the 1700 photos I've taken in the past week... but I have been spending lots of time with family - eating, laughing & playing games. To me, that's what Christmas is all about.

Santa certainly spoiled us this year - just look at all those presents! How incredibly lucky we are! I hope everyone received what they asked for - I sure did. I got some clothes, chocolate, books, things for the kitchen, some vintage jadeite dishes (that's right!!!), Christmas decorations, a tripod & a cross-hatch filter for my camera, bath stuff & more. Here's my new filter in action:We've also been celebrating quite a few birthdays this past week: my gramma on the 23rd, Dustin (the oldest of the 3 kids) on the 24th, my mom yesterday & Eddy turns 4 on the 31st. We're going to go skating, have free ice cream cake (my aunt owns the Dairy Queen in North Bay - sweet!) & then bring in the new year in style: games, fondue & maybe a few drinks (or more than a few). Pat & I are planning on driving home on the 3rd. I'm so not looking forward to getting back to reality...

I hope everyone is having a blast - Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


When it comes to Christmas, I'm like a little kid (except for the snooping part - there's nothing worse than ruining a surprise!). I have no patience - the anticipation kills me! I want to open my gifts & give away presents as soon as they're wrapped. The spirit of the season is just so much fun!
Pat was on the ball this year - he finished his shopping on Tuesday & wrapped right away. And then ... well ... just look at those gifts under the shiny tree!
How could I resist? (Not all these gifts are for each other! The 2 large one at the front are for me & the 2 smaller ones on top are Pat's.)
And apparently Pat can't resist me & my excitement because he caved right away. "Let's just start with the stockings," I convinced him, as if I'd ever stick to just that.
My stocking was a good one this year - filled with chocolate, socks, magazines & some cooking utensils. Pat got some undies & socks, bath stuff, coffee & a PSN (playstation network) gift card.
As soon as the stockings were unpacked, I handed him his first gift to unwrap. It's always easy to get unwrapping underway when you hand out the packages.
I got Pat some jeans & a sweater. Generic, yes, but he's the type to go out & buy things for himself as soon as he needs them. Plus, his mom already went through most of his list. Regardless, he seemed pretty pleased with what I picked out.
He gave me 2 books (the 3rd one in the Wicked series & The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo), a grilling pan & a cast iron roasting pan.
(Yes, that's my excited Christmas grin, as seen in almost all these photos. It was plastered on my face the whole night.)
Even without a list, Pat knows exactly what I like! Thank you honey for a great kick-start to the season!

Now we're almost ready to head home for the holidays. Just a few last minute things to do around here & then we're on the road!

It might get a bit quiet on my blog in the next week or so - I'll try to post regularly, but no promises. Things tend to get frantically busy as we try to get in as much family time as we can! I hope everyone has a weekend filled with goodwill & cheer!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy Birthday Gramma (today's her 76th)!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Secret Santa

I signed up for 2 Secret Santas this holiday season - one with my friend Niki & one through a favourite blog, Lillyella. My first gift box arrived this week - I'm pretty sure this is from the exchange organized by Lillyella since I don't recognize the name. Want to open it with me?

When I first received the call that UPS was downstairs with a package for me, I was confused. I wasn't expecting anything... oh riiiiiiight! My Secret Santa gift is here!
Let's start with the pretty card (filled with flattering compliments - thank you Alyssa!):
And underneath:
I had a mug of the mint hot chocolate Friday morning - it was delicious! (All those candy canes are gone too...)
Next, I eagerly pulled out these gorgeous face clothes:
I love the colours & especially the texture! They are so well made!

I remembered about taking pictures before I pulled out the next part:
Delicious smelling soap! I could smell these the whole time I was handling my package, trying to place a very familiar scent. I didn't figure it out until I saw the amaretto cookie - yes! Amaretto! Yum!
I think the peppermint is my favourite, but the amaretto cookie is intoxicating too! I can't wait to use them.

The soaps are from Rose's Eclectic Garden. The clothes weren't labeled, but after a little Etsy snooping, I'm pretty sure they're from CocoaBeans (a lovely shop I would highly recommend browsing through).

My gift was carefully put together by Alyssa Mae - thank you so much! This was a perfect present - full of fun, useful & delicious things! I love it & look to my next Secret Santa with anticipation!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Five

The holidays are almost here! Who else is scrambling to get everything done?

Here's what I accomplished this week:
  1. I baked some cookies. Expect a cookie challenge update soon.
  2. I decorated some cookies. I went all out with my sugar cookies this year. I went with 4 nice bright colours + white frosting. Fun!
  3. I mailed out all my family Christmas cards - hopefully everyone gets them in time. I still need to write up a few for some friends, but these will likely end up being Happy New Year cards...
  4. I received a Secret Santa gift! I'll devote a blog post to it over the weekend, but here's a sneak peek at the cute face clothes & delicious smelling soap.
  5. I brought baking in to work all week - I love spoiling my co-workers! But I'm late with today's batch, so off I go (to impress with my sugar cookies)!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Crafts

The holidays are rapidly approaching - can you believe Christmas is only a week & a half away?!

I don't know about you, but the only things I want to be doing are holiday crafts! Here are a few that have caught my eye... if I can gather up the supplies & find some time, I'll definitely be trying my hand at these!

There are lots of recipes I want to try as well (not necessarily only for the holidays):

And if that weren't enough, the long thread has rounded up a whole bunch more holiday crafts to tempt!

What have you been making for the holidays?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vintage Haul

When I went home a few weekends ago, my mom & I went to this cute little store called "Neat Stuff." They carry vintage, antique & new items, all displayed on gorgeous antique furniture that is also for sale. I just couldn't resist picking up a few things.

This dish was the first to catch my eye (you may recognize it from my craft table display).
There isn't anything that special about it - my mom didn't particularly like it - but I was drawn to it for some reason. I love the green colour & delicate lacy flower border. Here's the stamp on the bottom:
Anyone have any idea on the value of such a piece?

Next I saw this miniature iron & seriously squealed.
I LOVE miniatures, so there was no way I was passing this up. It was sold as a vintage toy, but I think it may have actually been used.
When my mom & I did a tour of Dundurn Castle, a "house" built in the 1830s for Sir Allan McNab, one of Canada's first premiers, we found out in the laundry room that tiny irons like this were used by the laundress to make all the little creases, ruching & ruffles of the period's clothing perfect. (How tedious!?!)
So was this iron ever used? I don't think I'll ever know... but it's so darn cute it doesn't matter!

Since I had been going on about vintage things that weekend, my mom gave me this bedroom set that belonged to her grandma:
They're a little worn & faded, I love the burgundy colour & delicate purple flowers. I know the the little stand is a ring tree, but I wonder what all the little vessels were originally for...

Last but not least, while we're on the topic of my great-grandmother, here is a set of pins of hers (the two eyeglasses - the red one I found on Etsy) that my gramma gave me a while ago.
I never really used them as a kid (pins weren't that cool then) but I recently pulled them out again. I think the sparkly rhinestones are perfect for the season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Five

After a busy weekend, I took it easy this week. Here's what I was up to:
  1. I went out for dinner with my brother, Matt, & his wife, Terri-Anne. They're in Toronto for my sister-in-law, who had appointments all week at the Lockwood clinic there. This clinic is amazing - they have a bunch of specialists on call so it's basically a one-stop diagnostics centre. Terri-Anne has been having a lot of problems over the last 2 years & the doctors at home were starting to tell her it was all in her head. Actually, no. It's a huge relief to finally be getting some answers. So we had a nice dinner together, just the 4 of us (which never happens at home!).
  2. I signed up for 2 online secret santas this year. Here are my wrapped gifts - I'll be shipping them out today. Number 1:I got to play tetris to get them all in a small shoe box:
    And number 2: I even stamped this gorgeous reindeer on the card envelopes:I hope the recipients love their gifts!
  3. I had a meeting with my supervisor - I'm extended for another 3 months since I still haven't gotten all the samples I need to finish. What a relief! Pat & I were worried about managing without my pay...
  4. I decorated my tree! I need a bigger one to hold all my ornaments - as it is, the back is just as fully decorated as the front.
  5. I didn't get around to baking anything this week, even though I really wanted to. Mostly because our apartment building is infested with pantry moths (& no one is doing anything about it... awesome). I had to throw out ALL my pasta, rice, crackers, cereal, flour, etc. We're heading to Wal-Mart tonight to grab a whole bunch of containers... ugh.
Hope you have a great weekend! We're planning on finishing up our Christmas shopping. Think of us at the mall - it's going to be crazy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Creative Space

Now that my craft show is over, I've been relaxing a bit. I took out this cross-stitch I started months ago & started stitching in the sky:
It'll be similar to my Soar piece, but with different colours & a different word (still haven't decided on what).

I'm also making paper snowflakes: I want a nice fun window display for the season.

What have you been up to creatively?