Monday, August 29, 2011

:: firsts and lasts, before & after ::

Last week was a whirlwind of last days at the lake...

First day of school (and new dayhome for H, he loved it....especially all the trucks he got to play with!)

First home haircut. My technique? High chair outside. Keep making little mohawks all over their head and snipping off the tips. iPhones make perfect entertainment for this :)

And, most exciting of all, finishing up my very first furniture painting project, a $20 armoire from Kijiji that we painted with a mistint gray/blue shade I bought ages ago. I am so happy with how it turned out and how nicely adds interest to our otherwise blah bedroom. It has me inspired to get going on our upholstered headboard too. Thanks for all the comments on my previous post - I have lots of inspiration for the rest of the project now. I have the best readers!

Friday, August 19, 2011

:: things i love friday - back to school edition ::

I may have to order some for the library. Love.

These bookish library card notebooks from crabappledesigns on Etsy.

The Ballerina Bun Tutorial at thebeautydepartment. I'll probably do one sans ribbon. I think only LC can pull it off. And little girls.

My new Exeter Schoolboy Blazer. Love the fit of this and am already dreaming up multiple outfits, and hoping I wont get in trouble for rolling up my cuffs, since the kids aren't allowed to wear their uniform blazers this way. What a rule breaker I get to be as a teacher!

I did quite a bit of shopping recently, and found this Real Simple article {Never Buy the Wrong Thing Again} to be so helpful in identifying my common shopping blunders (ill-fitting stuff that was a total bargain - check, impulse buys - check!) as well as this page about dressing for your body shape. I'm an apple - how teacher appropriate right?

How is your back to school shopping going? Do you love this time of year like I do? Or are you angry with me for even speaking of Fall while the calendar still says August?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

:: master bedroom makeover - help? ::

I'm feeling the crunch to complete a few more projects before school is back in session. I started the summer with a long to-do list, and I have checked off quite a few items.

I decided this summer to record the "Things I did" rather than schedule to-do's on my calendar and feel disappointed when they did not get done on time. It has been enlightening to discover how much I really do get done in a regular day at home, even if most of them are not tasks from my to-do list. I have celebrated the little things I do, like spending some one on one time with Hunter eating breakfast at his little table and saying "cheers" before each sip of coffee, visiting the bakery early in the morning for warm donuts, or walking (very slowly) to the park and stopping along the way to admire each rock, flower and tree that piques his interest.

Kids seem to make your life much more busy, but also provide so many reminders to stop, slow down, and savour the moment.

When the busy-ness of life is at it's peak, there is nothing I like more than crawling into my freshly washed sheets and reading a good book. Our master bedroom has been in need of a makeover for a long time, and though I have purchased a few things to spruce it up, I know I need to do more and I am not sure where to go from here. Since my design sense is nothing like my blogger friends Lindsay, Jen, Sarah, Shannon or Christine I really need some help! (I would love Sarah Richardson to come and help - I've sent off my application.....fingers crossed!)

Here are a few pictures of our bedroom right now. What would you add? Right now we have the items to make a DesignSponge inspired headboard, and I am on the Kijiji/Craigslist hunt for an interesting armoire I would most likely paint navy or gray/blue to hide our TV.

I'm also considering a photo wall of pictures of my husband and I. We have many since we have been together since we were 14. Actually, we have been together 14 years this year. Half our lives - and still very much in love :)

Ok, design savvy friends....Tell me what to do!

boring bed - what kind of fabric would you use on our DIY upholstered headboard? 

Our curtains.

pretty dish I thrifted - love this design/colour scheme.

My dresser.

Hubs' dresser, TV. Extreme lack of stuff on walls. Need a chair?

p.s I found this armoire on Kijiji and I really like it and think the design on the doors is similar to our curtains and my thrifted plate. I think it would look nice painted it navy and with some new hardware. What do you think? Have you repainted furniture like this? Centsational Girl has a great tutorial and I think I could handle it on a nice summer afternoon. Hopefully it has not sold yet!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

:: wordless wednesday - workspace makeover ::

Spent a few hours in the library yesterday "morganizing" my office space. I got the great navy buckets at Wal-Mart and the wood clipboards at the dollarstore. Amazing what a few new things can do to make you feel more prepared for a new school year.

 Can't wait to hang a framed photo of Hunter reading (taken by my talented sister in law Amy of Tickled Pink Photography) to complete the look. 

I'm planning on framing a few printable posters I found on Pinterest as well. I have a few ideas pinned on my new bibliotheque board. I've also started a new professional blog. Can you tell how excited I am about my new job?

Starting to think of my first read-alouds for my classes. What was your favourite children's picture book?

Friday, August 5, 2011

:: things i love friday - world breastfeeding week edition ::

It's World Breastfeeding Week, and I thought it might be nice to share a few things I love about our nursing relationship over the last 20 months (yes, we are still enjoying a little nursing cuddle every morning and bedtime!) and a few things that might help you if you are wanting to breastfeed your little one.

{things i love}

- the milk drunk newborn face and the sweet little noises they make as they nurse
- having the perfect antidote on hand for fussiness, owies or sleeplessness at all times
- the reminder to sit down or lay down and enjoy my little baby (or toddler) throughout the day and to just enjoy the moment.
- the cuddles, oh the cuddles! I think that is what I enjoy most at this point in our extended nursing relationship.
- knowing that the growth I see in my little guy was due to the milk I made especially for him.

{5 things to set you up for breastfeeding success}

- Read about these Booby Traps before your baby is born. This website has great information on avoiding common issues and setting yourself up for a wonderful nursing relationship, and lots of interviews with celebrity nursing moms too.

- go easy on yourself the first weeks. Try and rest as much as you can (easier said than done...I know!), spend lots of time skin to skin with your new bundle and nurse on demand to establish your milk supply. You are both learning something new and it took us a little while to figure it all out, but it was so worth it.

- find some support people in your community. A certified lactation consultant, a friend who has breastfed her babies (email me if you need someone!), or a La Leche League meeting in your area to help you through the hiccups you might have along the way. Online support is great too. We loved the KellyMom community.

- Read Dr. Jack Newman's website and book for the most in-depth information out there from the a wonderful (& Canadian!) breastfeeding doctor.

- Get a great nursing tank. I love this one from Canadian based Bravado Designs. I wore it all the time in the early days under everything I wore for easy access at all times. Get some good nipple cream for the first few weeks. I would highly recommend having Earth Mama Angel Baby (available at or Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment (by prescription from your doctor) on hand. 

Do you have any breastfeeding tips to share?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

:: lovely long weekend ::

We had a lovely long weekend, spent with family and friends, playing, eating, relaxing, and getting a few projects done around the house. We even squeezed in a mini photo shoot featuring our most recent thrifted find - our vintage schooldesk - with Hunter's Auntie, who is a wonderful photographer.

We had a delicious summer BBQ last night and tried a few new recipes that are headed for the regular recipe rotation. BBQ Halibut with Cilantro Garlic Butter, Grilled Zucchini with Pesto & Parmesan, Roasted Orange & Almond Quinoa Salad, and Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream for dessert. I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch today.

What did you get up to on the long weekend? 

p.s Here is the recipe for the quinoa salad. It's from the Sobey's grocery store magazine.

Grilled Oranges with Quinoa and Almond Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 navel oranges
1 tbsp chopped red onion
8 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/2 tsp cumin

Cook quinoa in broth, according to package directions. While it cooks, peel one orange and cut into rounds. Grill until grill marks appear, about 2 min. When done, fluff with a fork, juice the second orange into the quinoa and add the red onion, mint leaves, cumin and almonds. Garnish with the grilled orange slices. Serve warm or cold. It's so fresh with the orange and mint!