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There's always something to do in your own backyard, grab a Glass of Rose. I'll be here

Our Snow Day .. Rainbow Snowman

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I had to work yesterday when Vancouver got hit with the annual ONE Day of snow.  I enviously watched my Facebook feed of family and friends playing in their backyards building snowmen and plopping into the snow to make snow angels.

As usual today  the temperature is warmer and the snow is slushy.  On the way to give Auntie Robin her gift Little A picked up some snow and threw a snowball at me and started laughing  her little head off.  OH GAME ON!  I picked up a bit of snow – hey good packing snow.

We were going to make a snowman,  not just any snowman – a rainbow snowman.  We built a snowman, went hunting for rocks and branches, grabbed a carrot and some cranberries – for the nose and eyes of course.

Then I grabbed her paint and it was time to make this snowman the coolest dude on the block.  Little A was so engrossed in painting her snowman.  She made buttons, pants, painted a smile, added hair and cheeks.

Who needs fresh snow!  We had a Blast outside!

This gallery contains 11 photos

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Firelog channel please don’t go

I love the firelog channel.  I don’t have a fireplace currently but grew up with fireplaces in most of my homes and enjoying bonfires.  My mom and I would alternate standing in front of our fireplace warming ourselves or getting so hot we couldn’t stand to be in front of the crackling fire any longer.

I like the firelog channel so much a good friend bought me a DVD of the fire log and I love a quiet evening alone reading with the firelog crackling in the background.  But I mainly obsess over the firelog when it is the holiday season and I can flip to the channel for an hour here or there.

Soon that channel will be gone.  I am sad. The firelog represents near zero schedules, relaxed days, family time, I am not ready for that to end, I am not ready to get into the swing of 2013.

Nothing beats a warm fire crackling

Nothing beats a warm fire crackling

I want more holiday time.

I want casual fun days with my hubby and Little A.

I want slow mornings.

I want to wake  after 8 am and the first noise to hear to be that of my daughter calling my name, not the annoying chime of the alarm clock.

I want to sing christmas carols and listen to holiday stations.

I want mid day walks with our dog collecting chestnuts, twigs, rock and other things to give to the squirrels.

I want to hang out with my extended family, laughing and eating.

I want to share late night conversations with my husband and some great wine.

That is what the firelog means to me. It makes me physically warmer and keeps me connected to the happiness of the holidays. I will flip to the firedog a few more times throughout January to help me ease back into the full swing of the new year.

Enjoy some firedog

Happy New Year

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Beginning Advent Calendar Days

PHEW I made it.  Finished filling Little A’s special Advent Calendar just in time.

December 1 came up so quickly this year.  Times certainly does NOT stand still when you have a toddler.

My husband and I are now quietly reading while Little A sleeps, but I’m bursting inside wanting her to wake up and see the Advent Calendar.  It looks like the Advent and the Chair are ready to go too.

Advent Calendar

Advent and Chair – ready for Little A

Isn’t it beautiful.  My sister-in-law and her husband made it for Little A last year.  I was astonished when they brought it out and presented to her. I was beyond words thinking about all the time, and energy that would have gone into making this advent calendar.   Hand crafted and every box filled with homemade, personal gifts from my wonderful in-laws.  Little A’s cousins helped by making finger puppets and writing stories and other gifts.  Beyond thoughtful!  Aurora is so lucky to be loved by my extended family.  I was so very touched by this gift.

Advent Calendar

Auntie showing Little A how to look for goodies in the Advent Calendar

Little A with her cousin playing match 2 - pair of cards each a photo of family members

Little A with her cousin playing match 2 – pair of cards each a photo of family members

 Little A figuring out how to open her advent gift

Little A figuring out how to open her advent gift

Little A opening her animal flash cards

Princess Butterfly gets to open finger puppets (notice the hockey in the background. sigh)

Princess Butterfly gets to open finger puppets (notice the hockey in the background. sigh)

Quietly colouring in her handy dandy notebook after opening box number 18

I could go on and on because last year I was obsessed with taking a photo every day when Little A opened them.  This year I will still take pictures but I want to enjoy the moments not behind the lens but beside her.  With Christmases to come I hope to make better and better choices with the items I put in the advent Calendar  -the inaugural Advent Calendar bar was set very high.  While this year my gifts are all store bought, for me the point was that  I did it, I followed thru and continued the tradition, that was important to me.


Happy 60th Birthday – Little things to make the party unique

My mom and I are the best of friends and it was her 60th birthday this month.  My brother and I wanted to throw her a special party filled with love and little touches to make her happy.  It was amazingly hard to keep it a secret from her.  I’m the kind of person who gets super excited and wants to dance gangnam style over fun ideas.  But this was a surprise party.

After calming myself down and putting aside what “I” would like in a party; I came across a couple ideas that would speak for themselves and would be meaningful to my  mom.  My mom is an outdoor lover.  She loves hiking, walking, cross country skiing and being out in the sun.  She is also an amazing woman who has survived cancer more times than anyone should be allotted in life.

Life and Nature floated around my brain.

Idea #1 – Trail mix bar

My mom is always nibbling on trail mix .  You can always find – almonds, craisins  close at hand when my mom is around.

Trail Mix Bar

I found some clean white bowls to serve a variety of individual trail mix options.  I paired the bowls with some large white spoons for scooping.

What to serve trail mix in?  I took brown lunch bags and cut them down with some squiggly scissors.  Then I hand stamped them with some birthday themes and some cute flowers.    Everyone could pick and choose their own amounts of pretzels, almonds, sunflower seeds, wasabi peas, teddy grahams, mini marshmallows, dried apricots etc.

Individual Trail Mix Bags

Idea #2 – Tree of Life/Love

My brother and I worked together to create a memorable guest book and Tree of Life.  A friend drew a beautiful tree with bare branches.  As guests arrived we asked each of them to add a “leaf”  with their thumbprint and then to do the same in the guestbook with a wish or happy birthday comment.

Tree of Life and Love

Thumb Print Stamping

The party was a great surprise and my brother and I even managed to surprise my dad with a dear friends traveling from Ontario to attend the party that he didn’t even know were invited.

Just a couple touches we hoped would make the evening unique and special.

Happy Birthday Mom with lots of love from your kids and grandkids to you!

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My First Craft Post…Pumpkins, Letters and Learning

I am not crafty.  I so want to be but when I try things they look like a 2 year old did them.  Which right now is great because Little A (my daughter) is 2.5 yrs.  So there’s a bit less pressure to get it perfect.  Her imagination more than makes up for my lack of talent.  My chalk markings become dinosaurs and giraffes- bless her little soul!

But having a two year old means you need to do crafts and projects.  So I try to let go of my need for perfection the first time and off I go to find something easy, crafty and Halloweenish.

My first craft attempt was a bust.  I wanted to make hand spiders like these I found on Pinterest-

Finger Spider Craft

How hard can they be, really, it is a hand print and some google eyes.

First lesson about Craft Club

1.  Crafts only work if your child wants to do them

That day she wanted to use a brush on the paper, NO FINGER Painting.  Ahhh well.  I’m not craft savvy to think on my feet so a regular painting session it was to be and back to the itnerwebs I would go later.  (Ha ha punnny, spiders, interwebs haha)

During the week Little A received a parcel from Nana… some felt letter stickers. And The Imagination Tree  (fantastic blog) had a great halloween pumpkin craft so I dove in to try it.

The Great Alphabet Pumkin

You need:

1 pumpkin                      check                 We had our pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, Little A picked it out on her own this year

1 pack of felt letters      check                Thanks Nana

Little A chose her own pumpkin and was so proud of it

We sat down on the floor with our Great Pumpkin and the letters.  I explained we were going to look at each letter, sound the letter out , pick words that started with that letter and then put them on the pumpkin.  Both of us were very excited.

I pulled out the first letter ” B”

Me: “This is the letter B… It has a long line and two little bumps on it.  It sounds like ..b..b..b..   What words start with the letter B..b..b…b…?”

Little A :  “I don’t know.” (smiling and tilting her head in interest)

Me:  “B..b…b…b.. BEAR”

Little A:  “Bear!  Ahhhahhahha”   (note: said with a 2 yr old “accent” like she was from Boston)

She thought this was pretty funny.  I handed the letter to her to peal the backing off and put anywhere on the pumpkin.

We continued picking up letters, looking at how they were shaped, sounding them out and then picking a word to go with the letter

“H- two lines and one little line half way to connect them.. h…h…h…. HIPPO, HORSE ” – Giggles and guffawing

“V- one line on an angle going down and one line going up…v…v…v ….VACCUUM”  – Again loads of laughter.

There was much thought put into the placement of each letter.  She rolled the pumpkin around finding the best spot for each letter, some she wanted close to other letters, some she wanted to stand alone some she chose to put on upside down.

B - b..b...b.. BEAR!

We did this project earlier in the week and the letter obsession is now in full swing.  She is often asking what does this or that start with. We have letters on the fridge and she is naming the letters and asking to replicate the sound.  The animal magnets have now become part of the learning.  “What does zebra start with?”  and so on.

By the time Halloween rolls around I’m hoping the pumpkin will be loaded with letters, its a fun activity to come back to every couple days. Depending on attention span this could be done on the kitchen floor while you are prepping for dinner too.

Its very exciting to see her recognize the alphabet and new synapse sparks happening.  Little brains are amazing.

The  Great Lettered Pumpkin now sits beside  Captain Turkey she made at daycare.