Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Since it's been over 2 months since you last heard anything from me here, I thought it was high time for a little update on what's been going on in my life. :)
My days have been so packed, every single minute I have of true spare time (yes, I now count my spare time in the minutes, not hours), is spent with my little family, or just taking time to breathe. :)
At the end of February, I started some school: an online course to become a medical transcriptionist. It's been fairly intensive, my goal has been approximately 3-4 hours of school every day except Sundays, and a few other days here and there.  As I'm sure you can appreciate, this doesn't leave a whole lot of time for, well, anything else!
So there it is. My life right now.  I am allowed 12 months to complete the course, so we're anticipating a pretty intense year in a lot of ways. On the plus side, I'm learning to be more scheduled, organized, and disciplined than ever before, which is awesome! It's amazing how you can really structure your day to accomplish more when you have to!  You also realize exactly what your priorities are in life.
I would love to finish off with something pithy and brilliant, but my brain cells, like my time, are rather occupied elsewhere. So instead of words, I'll show you a few snapshots of my life recently. :)

My very first dandelion bouquet from Ian (yes, his daddy helped him pick it :)

My baby girl enjoying our awesome backyard.

Little man modelling daddy's safety helmet. 

Sharing mommy's tea (mug :P)

My beautiful Jasmine is growing up so fast! She is such a delight!

We have a great playground minutes from our house which Ian loves!

So, until the next time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thank you God, for my life!

My life has been so busy and full lately, leaving my blog rather quiet and empty.  
It's funny, there are so many days when I get to the end, exhausted, worn out, and feeling like I've accomplished almost nothing.
I'm such a project oriented person, that sometimes it's difficult for me to see the value (long term and short term) in "just" being a mom.  In "just" being there for my babies.  In "just" making healthy meals for them and my husband each day.
Today was a little different.  I'm still tired at the end of the day.  I have a headache for some unknown reason, but I feel like I did a lot today. 
What changed?  Mostly my attitude.  I didn't cross off that many things from my "to-do" list, but there were so many moments today that I just took a second to let it sink it how incredibly blessed I am.
My husband goes to work every day, faithfully, even when he doesn't feel like it, to provide a good life for us.  And we have a good life!  I get to stay home with my precious children, be with them all day, watch their little smiles, feel their little hugs, watch them changing every day.  I get to teach them things, and hear them laugh.  Yes, I get frustrated, sometimes, really frustrated.  But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have it any other way!  
I admit, I struggle sometimes with feeling fulfilled.  I wonder what it's like "out there."  I wonder what it would be like to have a "real job" and feel like I'm contributing more financially to our home.  But then I think about our children, and almost keel over with gratefulness that I, not someone else gets to raise these children; that I get to spend time learning about the healthiest and most delicious and beautiful ways to feed my family; that I get to spend time creating beauty and organizing our home to make it a nicer place to be.  
I sometimes wish that I had hours to just think and study and figure life out.  But you know what, I'm figuring it out as I go!  I'm snatching time to read my Bible when I have a quiet moment, I'm praying as I work (although not nearly as often as I should!).  
I have it soooooooo good!  I have bad days, where I spend a lot of my time complaining, audibly or inwardly.  And yet, the truth is that God has given me so much more than I deserve!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making a Card Album

For about two years now, I've had this dilemma.  Wedding cards.
I'm sure some of you can relate. :)  We got so many beautiful cards, so many encouraging notes, that even the "minimalist" inside me cringed at the thought of just tossing them all out!
Finally, one day, in amongst my usual exploring of Pinterest, I found this beautiful tutorial, and the solution to my card dilemma!


So I decided to do my own version.  I do crafts a lot like I do cooking, I read the recipe, and then go do my own thing based on the ingredients. :)  (I do sometimes follow recipes exactly, but not very often! :P)

Our wedding cards as they were:

First step, I organized the cards into three piles: small, medium, and large.  This part wasn't included in the original tutorial, but when you have over 300 guests at your wedding, you end up with a lot of cards! 

Next step: I needed to find cardboard to make the backs and fronts of each of the albums.  We had a few smaller boxes around that worked for the small and medium albums, but nothing was working for the large one.  Not being the most patient person, especially when I get excited about a project, I finally remembered that we have a small space heater.  And seriously, who keeps their heater in its' original box?!  So this box got cut up, and the biggest album had its' covers. :)

The most monotonous part was probably the hole punching.  There were a lot of cards = a lot of holes!  But I got it all done, ruining just one hole punch in the process. :P

I didn't take any pictures of it while I was doing all the glueing and paper cutting and stuff, so you get to jump ahead to the finished product!

Ta-Da! :)

I'm thrilled with how it turned out!  Now we can look through our cards whenever we want, and we have them on display (or not) instead of stuffed away in a shoe box in our closet. :)
For those of you who were counting, I haven't "quite" finished the other two albums yet, but they'll look pretty similar to this one. :) I just got so excited I wanted to share it with you all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shall We Begin?

In light of my recent post about my New Year's goals this year, I wanted to share a project with you that makes me smile every day!

May I introduce you to our office: 
One of the only places where unpacked boxes still hide out.  A place where clutter still feels at home.  A place that looks like a war zone half the time!
Yes, it was getting so bad, I almost didn't want to come in here!  It was the only room in the house that I hadn't officially "unpacked."  It was unpacked enough to be functional, and I had left it there.

So I finally had the energy, courage and stamina to tackle this room!  I put the children down for their naps, shut the door, turned on the music, and....finished about an hour and a half later, just as Ian was waking up!  Perfect timing?  I think so. :)

I have this thing for "before" and "after" photos of....just about anything!  I don't know what it is, but there's something about seeing a transformation from bad to beautiful that I love!


I'm so happy to finally have a room that has floor space, and desk space, where I actually know where specific things are instead of just a vague idea of which box they're in.   

This room is definitely not finished, but step one has been taken.  It's now functional and neat.  The beautification and "deep organizing" will be next! 


I know this is one of those projects that is kind of like a cute child.  No one will find the child cuter than its own mom. :P  So don't feel guilty for not going into raptures of delight over this room, I just wanted to share what was making me smile today! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Organizing: A Recommendation

Okay, I have to tell you about one of my FAVORITE blogs ever!  It's an organizing blog, with loads of amazing, inspiration ideas!  Seriously, I practically drool every time I read the latest post!
If you love organizing, if you love making things around you beautiful, you will Love this blog! :)
It's called IHeartOrganizing! 
Check it out, tell me what you think. :)

On that note, since reading this gal's blog on a regular basis, I've been even more inspired than ever to organize spaces in my home, and make things beautiful while I'm doing it!
I've been wanting to do something with Ian's toys ever since we moved in.  I had them in a few baskets for a while, not bad looking, but not super tidy either.
Today, I noticed we had this piece of furniture that I might be able to use for this purpose!  Sure enough, when I brought it inside, carried it upstairs, and put it in his room, it was perfect! :)

I have to confess, I did this (quietly) while Ian was sleeping. :P  I just couldn't wait until morning!
I know, it's the simple things in life.... :)

I don't have a specific "before" picture - another testimony to my impatience - but if you go here, you can see what it used to look like.  Not a huge change, but I just love the look of his toys all neatly sitting together on the shelf now! :) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year!

I know this is a little late for a "New Year's post", but we've been super busy over the last several weeks, with a trip to Alberta, all of us getting sick at various times, and really, with just "normal, everyday life!"

I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of my New Year's resolutions goals.  I don't really get into the whole "resolution" thing, because I like the idea of setting goals better.  I like the idea of improving your life and lifestyle by learning new things and changing old habits, as oppose to the idea that your life is a mess and you have to write down these  "resolutions" to change everything, otherwise, you'll continue to be a failure.  Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. :)  It's not that bad.  I just like the word goal better. :P
I think I've said before on here how I hate the idea of growing stagnant.  The thought of just "existing" every day, without actually living, makes me shudder!  
One of my ideals would be to always have a "big" project/subject that I'm working on improving in my life, as well as smaller ones (i.e. thing I can accomplish in a day or two).  There are sooooooo many avenues of interest that I have, this is the only way I can hope to cover them all without getting totally burned out!

Specific areas I want to improve on this year:

- Sports: Volleyball (I just joined a ladies' volleyball night, and I'm so excited about getting better!)
- Health - this is such a huge area, and so important!  It can be overwhelming sometimes with all the resources available, and all the "better" ways of doing things!  I want to *gradually* change over things so we're doing them in a better way, without getting totally burned out by trying to do it all at once!
- Sewing - I have this amazing sewing machine, which I haven't even used a tiny bit to it's full potential.  I love the idea of not having to rely solely on other sources for clothes, so this is kind of an exciting goal for me to have!
- Scrapbooking - the best way to improve something is to just do it!  I love displaying photos and memories beautifully, and preserving them, so this is 
- Fitness - work out/walk at least four times a week
- Organizing: Work on each area of my home over the next year, making it beautiful and efficient (definitely one of my favorite things to do!)
- Spiritually: Read my Bible everyday, start memorizing Scripture consistently, have one 'spiritually challenging' book on the go on a regular basis.
-Practically: Build skills that can bring income into our home, and get better at finding deals/shopping second hand, etc. (this one is a little general, I know, but there are specifics that I'm beginning to work on soon, more on them later. :)

So there you have it, a little glimpse into some of my goals. :)  I'm such a "list-maker" and a goal setter, it helps me like nothing to be focused, have direction, and purpose on a regular basis!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Decorating Project 2011

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new tradition that I wanted to start.  A DIY Christmas decoration for my home! 
I had a few pictures of things I thought would be fun to make.  Well, I still think they would be fun to make, but I did something totally different. :)
I wanted to do something special for Jasmine's first Christmas.  Last year, we bought Ian an ornament for the tree, and I wanted to do an ornament for Jasmine as well.

I decided to make a little handprint Christmas tree ornament.  I totally love how they turned out!
I used a simple salt dough, (recipe below) cut out circles with a regular water glass, and took Jasmine's hand impressions while she was napping. :)

Ian got in on a little bit of the painting, he loved it!  I was pretty impressed with his hand/eye coordination, for a one year old, it was pretty good! :)

He even got to help with the snowflakes! :)

The finished product!  

Salt Dough

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

  • Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.

  • Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.

  • Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.

  • Use cookie cutters to cut out as many shapes as you want.

  • Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want.

  • Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.

  • Bake for 2 hours.

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.