Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 "The Year of The Challenge"

So it's two days away from a new year.  Have you made any resolutions yet?  I've been thinking about 2013 for a couple months now.  What am I going to resolve?  Well I've dubbed 2013 as "The Year of The Challenge".  It could also be known as "The Year of Just DO it" or "The Year of Firsts".  In 2013 I plan to run that first marathon I've been meaning to do since I was 15 years old.  I'm following this plan, and plan to run a marathon early May.

 I also plan to run my first triathlon in July.

And finish the 3 quilts I have on the go that are half finished in the basement.

The one thing I'm really excited about is my plan to make every single recipe of this book:

There are almost enough recipes to do one each day!  I've planned out the month of January's recipes I'd like to try.  I'll be trying products I've never used before like:

Blue Cheese
Portabello mushrooms
Greek yogurt

Who buys these things?

In order to be successful at your resolutions you NEED a plan because:


You still have a couple of days to plan, then on Jan 1 you can hit the ground running, literally in my case.

Let me know what your doing.  Did you know that those who WRITE out their plans are more likely to DO them?  So write them out.  Now that I did, I guess I'll have to do them!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent Wreath A-Glowin'

 It's the 4th week of Advent and that means that all candles will be lit.  It's a beautiful thing to see all the candles lit.  Our Lord is ever closer. 

This year we still didn't have an advent wreath but with a set of Crayola Window Crayons you can make anything.  Each week I "lit" a candle by drawing the flame and added the week's meaning.

1st week: Hope
2nd week: Love
3rd week: Joy
4the week: Peace

And there's no need to store or dust this wreath.  Just wipe off with Windex and paper towels.  Nothing more simple, just like I like it.  Not sure if I still want a real wreath anymore.

I hope you have a blessed Christmas.  Give yourselves extra time to get to mass since you'll have to walk a mile from where you park your vehicle.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Playdough

Need a Christmas gift?  Well I guess whoever really NEEDS a Christmas gift?  In anycase, here is one that can meet any budget.  It's about the best homemade playdough recipe I've come across.  I love it 'cause it doesn't use as much salt as other recipes do, therefore the hands don't dry out as much.

Homemade Playdough

3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Alum
1/2 cup salt
3 Tbsp oil
2 cups boiling water
Food colouring

Mix all the ingredients with a spoon.  Once your hands can handle the heat, knead the dough until it's smooth, about 5 minutes.  Your hands should come out clean since it is playdough.  If it's too sticky then add a bit of flour. 

Divide the dough into the amount of colour portions you're going to make.  Place one portion on a plate to catch any food colouring that might accidently drip.  With each portion make a little well in the centre and add about 5 drops of the colour.  Knead in the colour.  Then add another 5 drops.  Each colour will need about 10 drops to reach a nice colour.  I find if I add all 10 drops at once it colours my hands.  Cover the other portions while you do this so they don't dry out.

I keep mine in Ziploc bags but let them cool off before closing the bag.  That's it.  They should stay soft for a long time.



Thursday, December 6, 2012


So I read.  A lot.  Right now I find the time mostly when I nurse baby.  Also, just before bed I can get in a good half hour.  I wanted to share the latest book I finished.

It's an incredible true story of a Navy Seal.  Although it isn't JUST about being a Navy Seal.  It's his full life story and it isn't dull.  It's comforting to know that people like this exist.  There is also a small video as well here.

Until Later.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cardboard Gingerbread House Tutorial

Every two weeks a dear friend and I get together to homeschool a religion class and a craft.  She teaches the religion then I take care of the craft.  Anyway, this past week I decided to make cardboard Gingerbread houses that they could decorate.  You could also call it a Christmas house if gingerbread house makes them sound edible.

Here's what you'll need:

Hot glue and gun
Craft knife and a surface to cut on like a self healing mat
Or you could use scissors

1. All you have to do is mark your lines on the card board where you're going to cut.
2. Cut them out with whichever method you choose.
3. Glue
4. Decorate
So you'll need 1 x Base, 2 x Roof, 2 x square sides, 2 x Pointy sides.

Here are the measurements:
Base: 4" x 4"

Square Sides: 3"x 3".  The windows are 1" x 1".

Pointy Sides:  It's a 3"x 3" square but to add the point you need to find the middle, then make a mark 1" up.  From that mark draw a line to one of the corners of the square.  I hope that makes sense. You'll be able see my lines in one of the following pictures (Ignore the mark that says 3.5" in red. I don't know why I wrote that). Oh and I just cut a little window and door in one piece as you can see.  No method or measuring, just wherever you want.
Roof: 2.5" x 3"
Then start gluing one side at at time.
And Voila:
Make a bunch to decorate.  I usually plan for 9 kids to craft.
 You can decorate using markers, puff paint or glue on pom poms, beads, sequins, etc. I wanted to use a mock icing.

Mock Icing: 2 parts glue, 1 part white paint and 1.5 parts flour.  Then I put a dollop into the corner of a ziploc bag, cut a teeny tiny corner off the bag.  To make 7 small Ziploc baggies I used 1/2 cup glue, 1/4 paint, and approx 1/3 cup flour or to pipe-able consistency.

I had the kids "pipe" it on while adding beads.  I found that you need to use a good amount when adding beads otherwise the next day the beads will fall off easily.   A 3 year old was able to use the mock icing as well.

Here are all the finished houses.  They had a lot of fun.
Hope you will too. 



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turn Your Thinking Upside Down

I saw this idea in a magazine.  I think it was Family Fun magazine.  Anyway, thought we'd add humour to our neighbourhood.  The snow around here isn't too conducive to snowman building though.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

First Furniture Redo

She's tanned.  She's petite.  She's curvy.

No I'm not talking about a lady, I'm talking about our side table.  Doesn't everybody give their furniture a gender?

Well anyway, she was tan but now she's lime green, or chartreuse if you want to give it a fancy named colour.

Now I did this during the summer.  What I learned is you never should let painted furniture dry during a summer evening.  Reason: No See-Ums.  Yes, when I went back to check it's progress, there were all these bugs stuck to my work.  Why didn't I think about these bugs?  'Cause I didn't See-Um (har har).  So I grabbed a pair of tweezers and hoped they would come off that way but I ended up spearing them instead and little bug guts graced the table.  I then just wrapped some tape around my hand and picked them off that way.

Our living room was in desperate need of some colour and I'd say that's no longer an issue.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Should I do it? Do I dare?

I have been following many blogs for a few years now and so I decided I should jump on the wagon too.  The only thing is, I am so not computer savvy.  I'm already running into trouble with a thing called a favicon. I guess it's to be expected to have hiccups along the way.

I'm hoping that this is the push I need to get to all those house projects I've been meaning to get to for so long.  You are officially invited to my little corner of the world.


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