About Me

March 26, 2014

On a rough day ....

.... chocolate and white cupcakes are heavenly!

All that's missing is the wine!!

March 23, 2014

Well we finally, after 14 years of dreaming, planning, worrying, fussing, scheming and saving, signed our formal contract on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 to build our new home out in the country. A custom home that we got to design and should meet our needs, while including a dedicated space for our adult daughter and grandson to continue to live with us while she is in school full time for the next 4 years. Currently, they live in our basement in one big open space. In the new house, she'll have 3/4 of the lower level, with a family room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Our grandson will finally have his own bedroom and place to play. We'll have the upper two levels that we'll share with our youngest daughter. Pure bliss and heaven and worth the long wait!

Our move in date will be November 1st, 2014 but our builder gave us that date as the latest. His goal is to get us in mid October, if not earlier. It feels so far away but he tell us it will go incredibly fast. For now, we'll be very busy painting, purging and packing, while he builds our new haven. Can't wait to have Christmas in our new home in the woods! 

Have you ever built a new house?
Any tips to share?

March 20, 2014

Spring? Winter?

 Today is the last day of Winter.

And we woke up to a blizzard!!

After weeks of sun, dry road, snow melting ....

.... it was a bit of a shock to peek outside.

Blustery winds all day have made staying inside
more appealing. I'm writing, baking, soaking in a
hot tub and listening to the wind howl.

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. 

I wonder if it will appear?!

March 18, 2014

A Skinny Pig!!

Meet Ginger!

She's the newest addition to our preschool. 
A 6 month old Skinny Pig.

A hairless guinea pig, with small tufts on her snout.

Sweet, cuddly and fun to play with!

Have you ever seen a Skinny Pig?

March 16, 2014

The stories it could tell!

Having a lazy Sunday morning but we're off in a while, to meet a perfect stranger, in a parking lot, to do an exchange of cash, for one of these:

I've been coveting one for a while now, seeing them pop up on kijiji, at the antique mall and online, but always several hundreds dollars and not always with the wheels or often with a piece broken. I joined a local antique group last week on Facebook and within minutes, an add popped up that intrigued me. The very item above, intact and wheels that turn. It needs a bit of cleaning up, I'm told and I'd love to give it a quick stain but so excited that it sounds like and looks like it's in fine condition. For the budget~friendly price of $40, I certainly can't complain if there's a scratch or three!

Anytime we find an item for our home that is vintage, I often think about who might have used it. What they were thinking as they worked away. What their life was like. How many children they had. Where they lived. What they did for a job or for fun. I always wish for a way to find out about a piece but sometimes, many owners have loved it before us, so we can't always get the history. 

If only this piece could talk, what stories it could tell!!

March 12, 2014

Our Little Guy.

Home sick today, again, with a high fever.

So sad to see him not well. 

Thankful for a flexible job so I can be here.

Holding his little hand while he sleeps.

Hoping for a quick end to his pain.

Off to the children's hospital soon.

March 6, 2014

First Stick!

He did it!
He learned to skate all by himself.

The reward?
His first hockey stick. 
Custom cut to his height. 

Congratulations B!
We're proud you met your goal!!

March 4, 2014

Grief Workshop.

Our community is getting ready tonight for the opening of a Grief Workshop tomorrow night and all day on Thursday. Each of us who provide grief support for families have been invited to have a table display about our programs. Mine is almost finished. Just waiting for my administrator to send me the final posters so I can print then laminate them. I have to be at the hotel at 4 p.m. tomorrow so lots of time but I like to get it done now so I won't be running around tomorrow. Rest is more important than gathering items. I love the opportunity to talk about what our centre has to offer to the grief journey that so many try to navigate on their own. Finding support can be so helpful for many and we are grateful for this chance to showcase who we are and what we do. Help for the present and hope for the future. 

A soft bear, gifted in love,
in memory of our youngest son B.

The matching sweet girl teddy,
to remember our youngest daughter C.

March 3, 2014

Thrifty Treasures!

I grew up in a family that started out with two teenagers, in love but with no money, tons of support and a little one on the way. That was me! Yup, a true "love child" of the 60's. Hippies until they grew older, my parents learned to live on little but had big dreams. We moved to this province and the tides changed. From nothing to wealthy, they cherished the life they carved and never forgot the tough times. 

When we got married, there was no baby on the way (thankfully), we had already bought our first house and we owned our one and only tiny car. A bit of money in the bank for emergencies, we lived a frugal but fun existence. When it was time to have our first little one, we planned that I would take the maternity leave I was entitled too but once it was over, I'd return to work. We truly needed 2 incomes to live a comfortable life. However, C was born, gently, quietly and completely naturally, and we all fell in love. I couldn't, from that moment, fathom putting her in daycare or handing her over to another mother to care for her each day. I agonized for months about leaving her and then one day couldn't stand it any more. At that point, I only had a few weeks left (mat leaves in Canada at that time were about 6 months long) and I was getting frantic. Every child care place we checked out was fine but I knew in my aching heart that I really couldn't do it. That night, we had dinner, bathed our precious baby, played with her, sang to her, read her a story and rocked her to sleep. Then we talked all evening, trying to come up with a magical solution. Outside of robbing a bank (I worked for one so not the best idea) or winning the lottery, we could not make our budget work on one income. Our expenses weren't high, pretty frugal in fact but the issue was my husband's income at that time was not high. Decent but not enough for 2 adults and 1 baby to live on. Our mortgage payment was lower than what our friends were paying in rent, we didn't have a car payment or any loans, just the basics of food,  utilities, taxes and clothing were all we spent money on. In the end, we decided that I would stay home, open up a dayhome and care for children, giving us some great tax breaks, income higher than my bank pay and the opportunity to provide playmates for our daughter. It worked so well, we ended up having a dayhome for 25 years. Loved the families we met and the children we cared for. It's so much fun now when we run into them in our community, all grown up and doing well. I love that we had a hand in shaping not just our kids but other children as well. 

During that time, we learned that we didn't need to buy everything new. And thrift store shopping and garage saling became a life style for us. Our kids were raised knowing that at Christmas and on their birthdays and other special days, they would receive new items but the rest of the year, we'd always try the thrift store first. Now as they raise their kids, they have embraced the thrill of finding treasures to create their homes. 

We still frequent the thrift store as well as the Antique Mall for items to enhance our lives. I love finding treasures, as we call them, at a fraction of the cost, especially when the original price tag is still on them. On the weekend, we had a bit of time in between activities and decided to thrift store shop. I was looking for a book to read and a basket for my art studio. Although the store was a bit low on items, we managed to find a few great things, for the very meager cost of $5.75. 

Our haul!

The perfect basket for my studio for .50 cents.

Love the light lavender color. Perfect for spring.

An author I've enjoyed. Perfect new copy,
not even "cracked" open yet. 
Original price: $24.95.
My price: $1.00.

Another brand new copy. 
Original price: $9.95.
My price: .50 cents.

Two new tins for art supplies. 
My price: 1.00 for both.

A Partylite Candle stand, new.
Original Price: $38.00.
My price: $1.00. 
And it's very heavy!

The candle I already had fits perfectly. 
Yes, it was thrifted too!

Tiny china bunny for my
spring display ~ coming soon.
My price: .25 cents.

A little shelf that I'll paint a lighter color. 
My price: $1.50. 

And that's how to spend $5.75 on a cold, winter's afternoon. My dh is away on a business trip this week, so I am looking forward to curling up in our empty bed at night to read a good book, or two! Our little library continues to grow. 

March 2, 2014

Sugar Overload!

Yummy cupcakes for the Oscars.

Each one individually iced.

Even a B for our grandson!

Wait, I made 12 ....

Ah, found the missing one!!

Mini House Update.

Stripped and taped.

Ready for the next step.

And finally, painting!!

Our New Toy!

We ordered our KitchenAid Mixer off The Shopping Channel and it arrived at our house 8 days later. 

The box was huge!!

Loaded with many goodies + the mixer. 

Even B was excited to open the big box!

His mama helped me get the mixer out. 

A vibrant shade of green apple!

And then the mixing began ....

First we made white cupcakes. 

Then a yummy chocolate cake.

I truly believe when we wait for something we'd really like to have, saving, scrimping, dreaming and drooling, we truly appreciate the item when it is in our possession. I love to bake and still have the very small, handheld mixer that I received as a wedding gift 30 years ago. But now I have a real treasure and am so grateful for a husband who understands my need to save so a large purchase like this, even on sale at "an amazing, unbelievable, extra tools included plus the cookbook" price how happy this makes me. 

So worth the long wait!

March 1, 2014

Six Weeks ....

.... until we pack up our suitcase and hop on the plane to a much warmer climate than we are experiencing here. We're definitely warmer than Saskatchewan and certainly do not have the snow that British Columbia is having but it's cold here and the forecast isn't changing anytime soon. At least the sun is out, making our nippy cold temps somehow not as bad as it sounds. No complaining here.

We booked our hotel a few weeks ago and are excited that we found a lovely spot. Today, we booked our airplane tickets and are grateful for the sale we found. And the lovely agent who helped us choose the best time to fly each way. So far, we're under budget for what we expected to pay. A few more things to book or arrange and then we're good to go. 

Although the picture I chose for my post tonight is whimsical, we plan to travel with just out backpacks and one carry on bag. Not checking luggage saves time and we don't ever have to worry about lost luggage. Light travelers, we are!

Are you planning a journey this year?
Where will your next adventure take you too?