Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

With the may long weekend fast approaching, it has been a wee bit hectic, to say the least!  Getting the garden planted with the help of my family on Mothers day, spring cleaning, "job interviews" and getting the trailer from "winter storage" into "caming mode".  No easy task!  While miss Izzy napped today, I went out and re-made the beds with washed linens, put away all my freshly washed dishes, and put the fridge back together after a thourough cleaning of our 5th wheel.  Then off to fill with water.  While I was waiting for the painfully slow water-filling process, I started mentally going through what needed to be done.  And I realized something.  i'm pretty damn awesome when it comes to camping! I know how to hook up our 5th wheel, unhook it, level it, set up the awning,etc.  I also know how to load, tie down, and unload both (sometimes all three) quads.  Compared to some of the princesses I know who won't even go camping to start with, I think i'm doing pretty damn good.
So as the title of this post says:

I am woman...hear me roar!


Have a great weekend all! Fingers crossed that good ol' AB gets some rain to douse the out of control forest fires AND perhaps lift the fire ban duirng the weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sew easy...

Well it would seem spring has finally sprung out here in middle-of-nowhere, Alberta.  Acreage life is proving to be a little more busy than city life.  Along with my regular spring cleaning tasks, there is also the task now of getting my garden prepped and ready for planting.  If you know me, stop laughing, this garden is going to be great! I hope! :)  Blogging seems to have fallen by the wayside lately due to these tasks, but today I have something to share that is just too cute to not show off!

I've been feeling creative lately, but often take on projects that don't turn out how I want them, or as good as I want them, and then I feel discouraged about tthem.  Not these.  I'm THRILLED with them!! And, if you are a beginner sewer, these are super easy.  Tedious with all the pressing because I'm a perfectionist, but worth it!

Reversible Mommy (or Daddy) and Me Aprons!!

Izzy got an apron from my folks to go along with her play kitchen that they gave her as a christmas gift.  The apron was cute, but not well made for a kid.  She tore the straps so bad that they didn't really work anymore, so I decided I'd make her a new (and improved) apron.  I used the crappy apron as my guide for Izzys, and then just adapted it to fit me! Turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  I need to add some kind of detail to the 2nd side.  I have some ideas, but I want something thats going to wash well because I want to be able to actually USE the apron.  I'll update the pictures when I figure it out.

I don't think a lot of people read my blog too often, so I won't go into all the details of how to make unless someone requests it.  This is just the beginning of something bigger I'm hoping to reveal in the next month or so.   Thanks for taking a look!

Side 1 of Aprons

Detailing across the Chest of Side 1

Side 2

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Divine Hat Designs

With all of the very high-fashion that revolved around the Royal wedding last April, it got me thinking about hats.  How much I love them, but rarely wear anything more than a baseball cap when I'm running out and don't feel like doing my hair.  I had quite often perused Etsy, daydreaming about the fabulous outfits I could wear with a fascinator, the wonderful places I would wear them to, etc.  One evening in October, during one of our infamous "once a month marathon catch up phone calls" my BFF and I were discussing her upcoming nuptials, which I should mention at this time, I'm the Maid of honor in :).  The topic of "dress code" came up, as my husband wanted to know if he had to wear his suit jacket or not.  I laughed and said 'maybe I'll wear a fabulous fascinator and pretend I'm at Will & Kates wedding'.  My BFF gasped and said "you totally should! why wouldn't you!? OMG do it!" I laughed it off, but I admit it got me thinking....

Fast forward to 3 days later and I'm on Etsy again, dreaming, when I come across a little shop that makes these BEAUTIFUL mini top hats.  I was intrigued, so I plunged in a little deeper and found that the seller of these fabulous hats does custom work!  As luck would have it, my dress for the wedding was only available in full length and the dresses needed to be knee length, so I had a bunch of extra fabric.  I quickly typed out a message, asking about pricing, sizes, etc.  Jenn answered my questions about the hat and was very excited to fashion me a hat.  I chose the adult size small.  I'm sure that different hats cost different amounts, as I requested something with not a lot going on (some of her fabulous hats have adorable flowers and big feather details.  This wedding is a small town wedding....a girl wearing a top hat is going to be scandalous enough on its own) so the cost was $38.50.  And let me tell you...worth.every.penny!

I received the hat just the other day (I don't need this hat until august, as my BFF is such a big deal shes having a Part A and Part B to her wedding, so I advised Jenn that there was no rush).  It was simply beautiful.  Exactly what I'd pictured and then some.  My dress is a royal blue, so the hat was done in the royal blue with black trim, a black ribbon around the tall part of the hat, a small sparkly black brooch, and a black feather.  You can tell by looking at it that the craftsmanship that went into this hat was very in depth and that careful attention was paid. I am THRILLED with this hat, I cannot wait until August now.  I highly recommend this etsy shop, she does wonderful work that will add a little pizazz to your next fancy occasion. season is coming! want to be the 2nd best dressed lady there??  Talk to Jenn and you will NOT be disappointed!!

Divine Hat Designs

I will post better pictures this evening as I've had to write this in snippets due to a busy baby :)
View of the back

 View of the front (sorry, its a poor quality picture, I was so darn excited to get this I took it in the parking lot of the mail pick-up place)
Move over, hatter is FAR better than yours!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rainbows and Presents and cake...oh my!

Huzzah! Finally! we have internet! and not just crappy dial-up, but really good internet! I can blog again!
(sorry for the exclamation points, but internet is a big deal LOL)

My next blog post is about my girls birthday party/how to make a rainbow cake.

I decided to hold back and not do the all-out, fancy-pants, put-on-your-princess-dress birthday party until my little miss is a little older to fully enjoy it.  That, and both of the other children at her party were boys :)  I choose the theme of rainbows for her party.  She has been such a ray of light into myself and my husbands lives that it seemed only fitting.  Its stressful trying to plan a first birthday! Especially for your first child.  I wanted everything to be perfect for her. 

We start with the cake, which turned out better than I could ever have possibly imagined.
Materials needed:

2 boxes of white cake mix (you could make your own too, but Betty's got it down to a fine art)
Wiltons Gel food coloring in a variety of colors (I purchased a variety package)
several small containers.  I chose to use coffee mugs.  you could use ziploc containers, bowls, whatever.
1 can of vanilla frosting
1pkg marshmallows (mini or large, doesn't matter)
1 bag of icing sugar

1.  I started with 1 cake mix as I was doing an 8" round layer cake with 2 layers.  Prepare the cake batter as directed.  Then I used a small scoop and divided the cake mix into 6 different coffee mugs.  I just eyeballed it as to the quantity.  I suppose if you wanted, you could measure it all out and make it exact.  Then I mixed a different color of food coloring into the cups.  NOTE:  you'll need to use a fair amount of red to get it looking more red than pink.

Cake batter
2.  Grease your cakepan.  I used a silicon pan for this, which didn't require greasing and it worked quite well.  Start with the red cup, using a rubber spatula, pour the batters, one at a time into the cake pan.  Put in oven to bake according to baking instructions.  Remove once a toothpick can be inserted and is clean when removed. 

3.  Remove cake from pan. 

4.  Repeat stemps 1 & 2.  However this time, start with purple and work your way backwards.

Once both cake layers are cooled, I leveled the tops of the cakes with this and filled them with banana cream pie filling.  You could use whatever you want for filling though! be creative!  After you are finished this, I made the fondant, which i will out line right away.  Once you are fnished the fondant and are ready to put it on the cake, you need to put the icing on the cake first.  It doesn't have to be pretty, it just needs to be on the cake before the fondant.  Also, I want to give a shout out to my pal Ashlee LaVallee for giving me the recipe and tolerating more than a few FB messages asking questions :) thanks hun!

This fondant is EXTREMELY forgiving, so don't stress about it.  start with a few handfulls of marshmallows.  Put them in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with about 1 tsp of water, just enough to dampen the marshmallows.  Microwave at 10 second increments until the marshmallows are nice and fluffy.  Then add your desired food coloring color for the base of your cake.  I did light blue for mine.  Add icing sugar and stir until your mixture is the consistancy of play-dough.  You might need to put some icing sugar on your hands and knead the mixture.  Use the same method in smaller quantities to do your decorations.  You can make the fondant ahead of time, but its a rather large pain to knead the colors in AFTER you've got it to the consistancy you want it. 

Roll the fondant out onto a corn starch or flour covered countertop.  I needed my hubbys help to lift the rolled out fondant onto the cake, so you might want to enlist some help too.  And thats about it! 
My finished product:

sorry its sideways!

Not too terrible for my first attempt!!

Anyway, we did more decor for her birthday that included multicolor streamers, multicolored balloons, multicolored food, and multicolored goodie bags!  We had lots of family and friends make the trip out to help us celebrate.  I will post some pictures on my facebook page later today now that I FINALLY have internet (in case you wanted to know...again...)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Greetings from Hillbillyville, Alberta!

Well, its actually greetings from my moms basement.  Who knew getting Internet out in the country was going to be such a gong show! we are 2 months and counting with no Internet, and its driving me a little batty as my only source of www is my phone, which has a VERY small screen to be looking at forums, checking out pictures, and most of all...blogging!  I tried to start a post one evening, but quickly grew irritated with the auto correct feature fixing all of my "mistakes" into what it thought my words should be.  So I did what any logical person would do.  Put my phone down and picked up a bottle of wine.  :)

I've had a VERY busy two months.  It kinda started with a very minor car accident in mid-November.  I got my first brand new vehicle in April of 2011, a Mitsubishi Outlander.  Of course, that's what my husband and I were in when we got hit.  I felt worse for the poor guy who hit us, a 15 year old with a learners permit.  No one was hurt (thankfully) but sweet mother, it was 6k to fix my car!  And, of course, this happens mere days before we're supposed to move.  Thankfully, our insurance company was awesome and got us a rental right away.  Certainly wasn't my first choice to be rollin' in a Dodge Caravan, but sometimes the world works in mysterious ways, and it turned out to be an essential item for our move.

Our move went as well as I suppose can be expected.  Our movers were 3 hours late, didn't finish until ten minutes to midnight, our daughter was exhausted, as was my mother in law, who offered to come help us watch her while K and myself did the move stuff.   After looking at the less-than-desirable staff that had come to move us, I decided really important things like photo albums, keepsakes, my kitchenaid mixer (haha) and the computer needed to go into our van as I didn't trust the movers not to wreck them.  I must say, it was a very different feeling for me to move from our house in town to our new house.  I've moved several different times, and never quite felt like I was "home" until I moved in with K.  Once our old house was packed, our girl was securely fastened into her car seat in our van, K and his mom drove out with the moving truck, leaving me, alone, to finish the small cleaning details.  As I began vacuuming in our spare room, I smiled, remembering all the guests we'd had over the last 5 years.  My mom and sister to help with the new baby, K's brothers and wives for all sorts of different occasions, K's cousin (the infamous AHL player) even stayed with us a few times.  Then onto the next daughters nursery.  Just a plain square room, with blue-gray paint, white trim and light carpet.  Nothing in there physically to indicate there was ever even a baby there.  But I was in tears as I vacuumed through the room, thinking of the nights we cuddled in the glider, the time she shot poo 5 feet across the room and sent her poor dad running for the door, gagging, and even all the sleepless nights I spent when we decided it was time for her to move from the playpen next to our bed and into her own room.  I carried on through the house, thinking of the first night of living together, our first night as each others fiances, our first night home from our honeymoon, and so on.  As I locked the door, dragged the vacuum to my car, and drove away, I felt a little like I was leaving such a huge part of my life in this house, and how could I ever make such sweet memories anywhere else?  Once I arrived at our new house though, and saw my daughter and husband playing in what would be our living room, I knew that the very best years were yet to come :)

So fast forward, we had Christmas with our respective families.  As I suspected, our girl got far too many toys that are probably more fun for K and myself to play with right now.  She also is quite the fashion plate now with all her fancy new clothes.  Hubby and I were also spoiled.  I got a LOT of new knickknacks for my our new house.  K got a fancy underwater camera for ice fishing so he can watch the fish laugh at him. New years was spent with my co-coach D and her husband.  Very low key, exactly what we needed after a very hectic month. 

And now we've just passed another amazing, tear-jerking milestone.  My daughters first birthday was this past weekend.  It was also spent in a very low-key manner as I had to be in my hometown an hour away for cheer the next day.  My folks took us out for lunch, which was lovely of them.  My sister came from her home in Edmonton to have birthday cake with us.  In true baby fashion, she had cake EVERYWHERE and quite enjoyed smearing it around rather than just eating it.  The evening was spent just my sister and my daughter and I.  My folks had supper plans with friends as it was one of their birthdays too.  The night turned out to be so much fun.  My sister and I played crib and had one of those "feed your soul" conversations I enjoy so much.  We, of course, also shared some good giggles together, particularly when I managed to somehow beat the crib champion (suck it, donnie!).   When I finally looked at the clock, it was 2am, and I had to be the bright, chipper coach at 8:30am, so off to bed.  The next day we had breakfast with my mom and dad, headed over to K's moms to visit her as well as his brother, wife and daughter.  More presents to open there for my little miss, as well as a bowl of grammas hamburger soup.  THEN just to make the trip home more interesting, K called and asked me to pick up bleach to try and solve a small sewer issue we were having.  I had JUST stopped for gas in Nisku, so I decided we'd stop in Devon to pick up bleach.  We made 2 more quick stops in Stony Plain to drop off birthday party invitations to some old friends/neighbors and finally, by 7:30, we were home.   It was a wonderful weekend filled with good family and friends.  Her "party" is this weekend, and I am probably more excited for it than I was for my own wedding....(sorry hun!)

Anyway, I suppose that's enough, for now.  I miss blogging :) hopefully we have at LEAST dial-up out in the middle of nowhere soon....I think K and I are having some serious withdrawals!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things that never used to occur to me

It never ceases to amaze me thing things I do now in the name of saving time.  Now that my girl is scootching around and pulling herself up onto things, running to the basement for something takes careful consideration.  For instance, yesterday I had to pee.  Ran to the bathroom, heard a loud *crash* and came running still hiking up my yoga pants.  There was a massive fisherprice car accident in my living room.  I'd like to tell you no one was seriously hurt...but some of the little people barnyard animals were squashed pretty hard and are still recovering.  My daughter managed to get a rather large bruise on her forehead from it.  *sigh*.  Anyway, I realized yesterday there was a small mountain of dirty clothes upstairs, so I figured I'd better get on my laundry.  As I'm about to put my girl into her "circle of neglect" (aka exersaucer) I also realize I need to take a picture of myself and weigh myself and send it in as I'm doing a weight loss challenge for 6 weeks.  The scale is downstairs.  I also needed to bring up dinner for the evening and a couple boxes to continue packing my house.  Oh yeah, and bring up my turkey roaster to do a batch or two of nuts and bolts.  Finally, I realize my brain is on complete overload in trying to remember everything I need to do in the basement in one shot, so I made a checklist in my iphone.  I climbed the babygate at the top of the stairs.  I should mention Izzy is about 15 minutes shy of going down for her nap, so shes crabby, and starts screaming that i'm not in my usual 5 foot radius.  So I run downstairs, pick up the dirty clothes as I go, get down there....

realize my phone is upstairs on the counter still.


I used to be organized...really I did...

Happy weekend all <3

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Creative Few Weeks

Well, once again, blogging has fallen victim to the daunting tasks of being a mom, wife, cheercoach, and now crafting extrodinare and expert packer.  I coerced my husband into giving me an hour and a half of his time on thursday night, and lo and behold, our basement is about 75% packed!

But that is not the point of this post.  The point of this post is, as my sister calls it, "Crafting".  I see all kinds of blogs, like my friend Beth at keep the shiny side up that have all these wonderful crafting ideas, so I'm almost always game to do some crafting, I just didn't expect my sister to be my partner in this!

A few weeks ago, my sister K phoned me and said she wanted to "craft".  At first, I thought she was drunk and someone roofied her.  Seriously.  My sister is was the type of person to sit and drink wine and watch my mom and I do "domestic" things like baking, cooking, sewing, crafts, etc.  Once I was over my initial shock, I was elated that I'd have a partner to do these things with as my poor momma is very busy with school right now. 

So on the 27th, K came over, helped me feed, bathe and put my daughter to bed, and then we got started.  We picked a craft from Here and promptly decided on the various (and copious) crafts we wanted to do.  I had bought the supplies ahead of time for #38, the holiday soap pumps.  This was actually pretty easy to do, I'd even go as far as to say this would be a good craft for slightly older kids to try! since you have to use acrylic paint, you don't want kids who don't understand that paint doesn't fall in the 4 major food groups to do this. 

You'll need:
a bottle of liquid soap with a pump
white spray paint that adheres to plastic
a hair blow dryer and/or a bottle of goo gone
acrylic paint & various sizes and shapes of paint brushes

To start:  use a blow dryer to heat up the stickers on the bottle to loosen them to take them off.  The original blogger said she used the goo gone, we didn't have any, and honestly it didn't seem like we needed it.  Just make sure you do it long enough.  Then we stood the bottles up, took the pumps off, stuffed the top with kleenex, and sprayed the bottles with the spray paint.  While those dried, we painted some random wood plaques I had from years ago with christmas sayings.  Once they were dry, we pulled out the tissue and we painted with the acrylic paint.  once all of that was dry, we screwed on the pumps, and tied a nice bow around the top.  I'm actually pretty impressed how they turned out!  My sisters "joy" one didn't turn out as nice as I think she was hoping (puting "joy" in black against red...c'mon...maybe in ozzy osbournes house) but here is the finished product:

 K's are on the left, mine are on the right

The Backs of our red soap pumps

Not too shabby eh?

THEN it was the night before halloween, and since its I's first Halloween, we didn't want to disappoint her and be lame and not do a pumpkin.  Her and I were doing a little tour around central Alberta for halloween to see both her grandmas and grandpa, my grandparents, my husbands brother, 2 of his cousins, and my moms BFF, and poor K (hubby) worked so he wouldn't be home until 7 to hand out candy.  Ah well.  Anyway, being the wicked parents we are, we choose "kid friendly" patterns.

I did mumble, K did Elmo.  I know...mine's better :)

And then lastly, I took a page from a friend of mines craftiness and made my girl some homemade finger paints.  They were easy and fun!  Messy once my girl got her hands into them, but it was a blast :)  Thanks again Jenn!!  (interesting fact about Jenn, her and I both had our first babies, both girls, 3 hours apart on the same day)

2 3/4 cups water
1/4 c cornstarch

mix the two together in saucepan

1/4c water
1 envelope knox plain gelatin

mix together and set aside

Heat the saucepan until cornstarch and water come to a boil.  Mixture will thicken as it heats.  Make sure you keep the lumps out of it.  Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture.  Then i poured into smaller containers, mixed in some food coloring for fun colors and let it sit in the fridge to cool off.  I laid down a sheet on the floor, stripped my girl down to her diaper, and here's how it went!:

On her face
 we started on the floor...but it kinda was more like leg painting than finger paintin

 working on our second masterpiece
breaking for a quick chew on the high chair harness.

All in all, its been a great week or two.  Looking forward to doing some more crafting with my sister, packing, and my bff's wedding in 2 weeks.

Much love to you all :)