Friday, December 31, 2010

:: live, love and laugh {and eat} in 2011 ::

I think 2010 has been the fastest moving year of my life. I now understand why parents lament at how quickly the time is passing and how big their kids are getting. In January of this year I had a newborn little boy that I was just starting to know and love, and as we approach January 2011 I have a boisterous, hilarious 1 year old who, even when I feel I couldn't love him any more than I do right this instant, I love more and more every day.

Motherhood has taught me so much this year. The depth of unconditional love I am able to feel (even at 2 in the morning....*yawn*), the joy in watching your child learn something new (he's totally a genius!), the guilt you can feel when you think you aren't doing it right (trying let go of that is hard!), and how much your heart swells and melts when they wrap their arms around you and give you a hug.

I'm not making any resolutions for 2011. I'm just going to keep going in the same direction. Towards a joyful, love-filled life with our little family of 3! And even though many people start diets this time of year, we are going to eat this lovely leftover snowball cake from my hubby's birthday! Isn't it pretty? You can find the recipe here.

Thank you for reading, commenting and supporting my blog this year! Love you all! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

:: bright and bold birthday party ::

Not only is A of Pink Sugar Photography an amazing wedding, maternity, newborn and family  photographer, she is one of the craftiest and stylish mamas I know. Her blog is one of my daily visits.

Case in point, her daughter's ah-mazing second birthday party, with inspiring handmade decor in bright and bold colours to ease the dreariness of a winter birthday. I'm in love with it all. The pinwheels, the melange of paper globes above the snack table, the paper garlands, the cupcake tower, the custom art on her mantle, the photographs with balloons of her little girl, the hats, the straws, the matchy-matched sweet outfit - wow.

If you like this, you will probably die when you see her Christmas and Halloween decor.

If you live in the Edmonton area and need a photographer, you should definitely contact her. Unfortunately her services don't extend to planning your birthday party or decorating your house for the holidays.....or personal styling of your children. Isn't her daughter the best dressed little one evar?

Thanks A for letting me blog about the party! Happy birthday to your sweet little girl!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

:: spotted - great dress for nursing at gap ::

Where oh where was this lovely dress when I needed one to wear to a wedding last summer? This is exactly what I had pictured in my head! Pretty ruffles and a nice zip to allow for nursing in between the ceremony and reception.

 I am a big fan of looking for maternity and nursing wear at regular stores, and this is a great find. ($79.50 at Gap - buy it online here.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

:: starting 2011 right - with a new calendar from etsy! ::

I am pretty excited to start 2011 with this lovely Irene Suchocki calendar hanging in my office. This was one of my favourite Christmas gifts this year - thanks Mom! 

If you want one for yourself as a little New Year's gift - she is offering 20% off calendars until December 31st! She has the loveliest work, and she's Canadian too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

:: joy amidst the chaos ::

I think this might be my favourite picture from Christmas 2010. Pure joy on his sweet little face as he unwrapped gifts and happily ran around playing with paper and boxes. I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family!

As the days creep closer to the New Year I am feeling the familiar urge to organize and declutter. We are going to tackle painting our basement floor this week. I think it will be a great way to start 2011! Any colour suggestions?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

:: happy everything! ::

:: truly last minute christmas - printable gift ::

Loving this free printable sign to remind me to stop, breathe, drink some Baileys (:p) and enjoy the season. Get your own at Salt & Paper. 

:: last minute christmas - upcycled ornament mobile ::

Is it just me, or are all these ornaments from Crate & Barrel just perfect for making a DIY mobile? I looked for ornaments last year to do one for H's room, but came up empty handed. This year, woodland animals (especially owls) are all over the place! Scoop up some ornaments on Boxing Day and create something beautiful and unique for your nursery!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

:: last minute christmas - recipe for joy ::

presents + food = a recipe for joy

We got a head start on Christmas today and spent a lovely evening with family opening gifts and sharing a meal together. I am looking forward to our extended celebrations this year, spending some time with each branch of the family leading up to our Christmas morning as a family of three. 

 Kraft Canada's Recipe for Joy initiative sent me a lovely christmas gift full of food and recipes and this Creamy Crab and Red Pepper Dip is the first recipe I have made. 

It was a hit and was gobbled up in minutes. More recipes to come over the next week as we celebrate Christmas, Hubs' birthday and new years! You can find the recipe here, and you can send an e-card to someone you care about and Kraft will donate $2 to Food Banks Canada.

Merry Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

:: last minute christmas - tuesday edition ::

I did not get anything done today....and I am perfectly happy about it! There's always tomorrow, right? Right? Seriously, I think I thrive on the absolute last minute rush - a true procrastinator at heart. 

 I spent the morning drinking coffee and catching up with a friend which was just wonderful. In all the rush rush rush of the holidays, this is what is most important to me! H had lots of fun chasing around his little friend and hugging him over and over again. I love this stage - he is so affectionate. 

Since people seemed to like my attempt at a craft on Sunday, I'll share what I did this year for our stockings. I wanted all of our stockings to match and was overwhelmed by the choices on Etsy (though next year I would like to commission a stocking from Canadian seller RikRak....I was too late this year!)  To hold us over this year and give Santa something to fill, I decided to makeshift something out of some inexpensive materials.

I bought some plain traditional stockings at the dollar store, brought them home and thought they needed something else. I cut the letters out of a green sweater I found at the Goodwill, then washed and felted with the intention of making a stuffed animal (ah....the many craft ideas I have but precious little time or energy to follow through on!) I like the result, although the perfectionist in me wishes I would have used some sort of stencil for the letters....that D is a bit wonky. 

They are now hanging on our stairs ready to be filled. Only 4 more sleeps!

Monday, December 20, 2010

:: last minute christmas - monday edition ::

I finally finished writing my Christmas cards today (remember the lovely one from Tiny Prints - so cute!) and I am crossing my fingers they make it to the recipients by Christmas. They may become more like New Year's Cards.....oops!

H is enjoying the tree and oohs and aaahhhs and points at it all day. We have told him not to touch the he now touches them with his hockey stick....such a clever little boy! You can see a few of the wrapped gifts under the tree. I love wrapping with kraft paper and baker's twine. It really goes with our rustic Christmas theme!

I managed to get a few things wrapped last night, and I am loving the tags I printed this year, as well as the wooden tags I ordered from Lee Valley. You can print the ones I did at the following sites.

Bird Tags at Lollychops

Martha Stewart Tags

Mail Stripes Postcard Tags from EatDrinkChic

I wish I had printed these ones off that I found whilst searching for the links to the ones I did print. Argh! The internet is such a vortex of interesting links!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

:: last minute christmas - sunday edition ::

Still working on all that gift wrapping! As we put our tree together last night I came upon this ornament I made last year with H's tiny little footprint. I cannot believe how small he once was.....It was the easiest craft ever, and if you are at a loss for a personalized ornament this year you can make this in minutes!

I used Crayola Model Magic (bought at Michael's), rolled it out, and pressed his foot in. I then cut around it with a knife, but you could use a cookie cutter for a different shape. It takes a long time to dry, but the result is a very lightweight ornament you will love for years to come.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

:: last minute christmas - saturday edition ::

Want to follow along as I scramble to get ready for Christmas this year? Funny thing is, I bought this lovely book at Homesense in November (Simplify your Holidays by Marcia Ramsland) and had a plan to sail smoothly through all our Christmas preparations this year until the stomach flu ravaged our household a couple times over and I am now left, one week until Christmas, with a long list left to be ticked off. Thank goodness I am on Christmas break! 

We popped open some Baileys and decorated the tree that has stood naked all week and I am so happy to finally see it all aglow. Hunter is enjoying hitting the bell ornaments with his new hockey stick. Technically he is not touching the tree, the stick is....clever little guy!

Our Christmas sweater themed tree skirt was an Alchemy Etsy request two years ago and I just love it. Lots and lots of room for the presents I need to wrap tomorrow! 

Hope you are much more organized than I. See you tomorrow for Christmas cards and gift wrapping. You need to hold me accountable!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

:: last minute christmas cards - printable and canadian! ::

The Christmas of 2010 shall be known in our household as the December of terrible, horrible stomach flu. It has put us 2 weeks behind on cleaning, cooking, decorating and card-sending. We just got a tree last night and finally have the crisp scent of pine filling our house. I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts....I've been so busy with being back at work and taking care of my sick boys that I have had precious little time for my blog!

If you have had a busy December (hopefully not a sick one like us!) you will appreciate the services of Penny People Designs, one of my favourite Canadian companies. Owner Lindsay is a mommy too and blogs over at Little House Blog. {And....ahem! I would recommend checking out her blog for some fab giveaways this week}

Penny People's holiday cards are the perfect way to get your Christmas correspondence out toute suite! Just purchase her digital design package ($25) to have one of these lovely cards personalized for you and sent to you in an email. You can then print it at home or at your local photo shop. I am loving the simple yet festive designs and I know your friends and family will too!

Check out the full line of holiday stationary at Penny People here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

:: things i love sunday ::

- lovely Australian brand Il Tutto's gorgeous diaper bags. I love this stylish red hobo. And H would love to chew on that little leather bear too! They have a zip out washable lining which I LOVE! I could finally wash away all those cheerio crumbs that seem to accumulate in my bag. And it makes a lovely purse post diaper phase, n'est-ce pas?
- why kelle hampton blogs (and I am so glad she does! love her blog!)
- coffee + haircut + new sparkly dress = a perfect saturday topped off with a christmas party!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

:: happy birthday my love ::

It's the anniversary of the birth of my little love and I am feeling nostalgic about the last year. I look at this picture of us, just seconds after he was born and I am right back in that moment where everything was brand new and I still had no idea how our lives would change.....

How is it that a year has flown by, and this beautiful little baby who greeted us on the worst blizzard of the year has grown into a walking, talking sweetheart that delights us more and more each day?

How could I have predicted the depth of love I could feel for my child? And that it would grow deeper every day?

How could I have known how much he would change my perspective on love, family and faith?

How have I survived without a full night's sleep in a whole year? And even so, I still look forward to the cries in the night for some nursing and quiet cuddles...

How could I have predicted how proud I would be of him and how much I would love to see people smile at him and comment on his sweetness....I never tire of perfect strangers telling me how lovely he is!

Happy Birthday H. We love you more every day and you have made our lives complete.

Friday, December 3, 2010

:: things i love friday ::

handprint and footprint art - via a FB friend - LOVE these!

sweet advent calendar by daffodil design (love the notes inside - head to her blog to read them!)

I should have named this post "crafts I wish I had the time to make friday" little guy is sick with a stomach flu bug and the poor little muffin needs lots of cuddles and love. We are hoping we don't have to cancel his 1st birthday party on Sunday! Hope you have a fun and healthy weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

:: happy december! ::

It's December! It's a busy month at our house...H's first birthday, our wedding anniversary (4 years!), my hubby's birthday and Christmas all cozied up together in the same month.

I am wishing that I would have snatched up these ornaments from Toronto-based Etsy shop Rikrak when I first saw them. They are now sold out so I am thinking of making some of my own. Hoping to get our tree up this weekend before H's party!

p.s - just discovered Rikrak's blog. LOVE the holiday gift guides she posted about. Off to browse Etsy....I need to grab my last minute things before the shipping deadlines!