January 30, 2012

I may or may not be a weird stranger

I had an experience a few weeks ago that made me wonder something. I was in a fabric store looking for the perfect binding for the faux chenille blanket I made for my friend Sharlee. (And she did have a girl! Little Della Michelle - LOVE her name?! I do!! But I might be biased!) I was trying to decide between 2 different shades of pink and when a lady walked by I asked her if she would mind coming over for a quick second to give me her opinion. She gave me a look that was somewhere in between, 'why are you talking to me?' and 'ok... because you asked.' I acted like I didn't notice her reaction and asked her which pink she liked better, thanked her for her opinion and just kind of laughed off the awkward moment.

Conversely, I was in another fabric store (I gotta get out more...) a few days after that when I was stopped by a lady asking for my opinion on which flannel went better with the fabric she had for a blanket she was making her grandson. With my previous experience in mind I was thrilled that she had approached me for an opinion and told her that I do the same thing when I'm shopping alone.

Now my question to you is, which woman are you? If someone stops you in a store to ask for your opinion do you think it's strange or are you happy to offer it? Are you the gal asking what someone else thinks? I don't limit this to fabric stores either. I know I do it in the fitting room as well - if a gal comes out of the dressing room to see herself in the mirror, I'll tell her what she's trying on looks cute if I think it does. Is that annoying? I may be the totally weird stranger but I think when you're shopping alone sometimes it's nice to get some feedback from someone else. I know I appreciate it.

Where are you ladies on this?

January 27, 2012


I’m pretty sure he likes it.


January 26, 2012

the magic spoon

So. This is the story. Porter (like most children) loves chocolate milk so we often have chocolate syrup in the house. He likes to get a spoon and stir his own cup, watching the white milk turn to chocolate. (Acutally, he likes to get his own cup, get the milk from the fridge, pour his own milk, squeeze the syrup, get his own spoon, and then stir the cup. Independent much?) I don’t know what sparked it but one day Neil handed Porter a spoon and told him it was a magic spoon and that it would turn white milk to chocolate milk! Porter didn’t know that Neil had already squeezed the chocolate syrup into the cup of milk as it had all settled down on the bottom. Porter took the magic spoon and began stirring. His eyes got wider and wider as the white milk started to turn chocolate. He had been pretty skeptical it was going to work (he’s no dummy). He still asked Neil a few times if he was teasing but Neil assured him the spoon really was magic. Porter thought that was awesome.

Last week I was in the living room and I heard Porter clanging around in the kitchen, opening and closing the utensil drawer. I could also hear him mutter to himself things like, “it’s got to be around here somewhere.” and “maybe this is the one.” After I heard him stir in a cup a few times I knew exactly what he was up to. I walked into the kitchen to find this. My little boy had gone through almost every spoon in the drawer looking for the magic spoon to turn his white milk to chocolate. Could you just die?  Part of me laughed cause it was so cute and part of me wanted to cry because this innocent child took his dad’s word for truth. How trusting are our children. He asked me to help him find the magic spoon and because we were out of chocolate syrup, as much as my mommy heart desired I knew I wasn’t going to find it for him. I don’t remember how I diverted him out of it but he was fine with whatever I said and I told him we’d ask daddy when he got home. And then I called Neil and told him he was a bully, haha! We thought it was cute and so sweet. Children are innocent and trusting and sometimes I wish I had a little more of that left in me.

photo (11)

January 25, 2012

McGavin's Bread Basket

Would you like to buy really great bread at a really great price??? -in my best infomercial voice-

I thought I would share with you my favorite place to buy bread (I know, who gets excited about bread?) as sometimes when I talk about this place people haven't heard of it before, and I feel like that's really unfortunate. I'd hate to be keeping something from you.

I have been shopping at McGavin's Bread Basket on and off for years. I'm not sure why there is ever an 'off' because every time I go back I wonder how I could possibly buy bread anywhere else. McGavin's sells all kinds of baked goods but what I go in for is their amazing bread deal. You can purchase 10 loaves of bread for $11.99, and they are hearty loaves like Dempster's Ancient Grains, Wheat & Oats with Honey, Flax, and my favorite- 12 Grain. (Side note: when I was young I used to call this kind of bread "fingernail bread" because it's so chewy and full of crunchy little things that feel like, well, fingernails. I didn't really care for it and complained when my mom bought fingernail bread. Think of that when you're enjoying your next sandwich. :)) Similar loaves are sold at Costco (correct me if I'm wrong) at like $5.99 for 3 loaves. Ten loaves for $11.99 makes the price of each loaf  a whopping $1.20, that is amazing for a loaf that would cost you around $4 at most supermarkets. That deal is not limited to bread either, you can throw in bagels, wraps, pitas or buns and they have other kinds of bread too if you fancy Texas toast, cinnamon raisin, or sour dough. Heck yeah! The stock is sometimes hit and miss, you really have to go in on the right day to find a full variety but when you do it's worth it to buy a pile and take them home to your freezer.

I don't know a ton about the McGavin's franchise but I do know that all the cities I have lived in have had a store or two. I really do think it's worth checking out if you like good bread but don't want to pay a high price for it. I'm not usually one that breaks up my grocery shop into a few different stores (get me in and out and my screaming children home, please!) but I do feel it's worth skipping the bread at Superstore to head over to McGavins and pick up my supply there.

Anyway, this is getting wordy, about bread of all things, but if you haven't checked out a McGavin's before I say, hey give it a go. But they don't supply bags so take your own. Or children to carry loaves.

January 19, 2012

clever boy

For my birthday a couple girlfriends gave me a cute gift – a box with 29 suckers in it that says “29 sucks.” (Hee hee!) As you can imagine my boys have been all over it and ask for a sucker a few times a day. We were hanging out downstairs and after Rigby had had his fair share of suckers I walked up the stairs and put the box on the ledge so it was out of reach.

A few minutes later I came up and found this:
photo (9)

And walked into the family room to find this:
photo (10)

Please excuse the blurry photos, I had to grab my phone and snap quickly as the little culprit was trying to run away.


January 18, 2012

Naked2 FOTD and what I think so far

Since I shared with you the thrill of receiving this palette I thought I had better give you an idea (I’m not joking I just typed eyedea…) of how the Naked2 palette transfers onto the eyes. This is a simple look using a few of the new shades I am loving.

I started with my Urban Decay Primer Potion and then added Painterly paint pot to give the look a neutral base. I applied Suspect all over the moving lid with Half Baked in the center. I added Snakebite to the crease and carried it under the eye. I blended the edges with MAC Blanc Type and added Blacktrack gel liner on top and Maybelline Unstoppable liner (which btw is not unstoppable) to the waterline. I finished it off with Maybelline Volum’ Express Turbo Boost mascara.

I know this is a lot of pictures but I wanted to catch the shadow in different lights to give you the best idea of how it looks.

click any photo to enlarge

The shadows in this palette, not unlike the original Naked, are very smooth and easy to use. They are highly pigmented and the shimmery shades have a beautiful finish. Like Sidecar in the first palette I find Chopper to have unnecessarily large shimmer with annoying fall out, but having said that, the shade is pretty and it is something that can be dealt with using a good primer and proper application. I found a surprise love in Bootycall, a shade that didn’t catch my eye at first. It is a frosty cream color that has such depth on the eye. It looks beautiful as an all over lid color or as a highlight. I am still experimenting with different combinations and looks but have found some real favorites here as well. As I said, so far so good!

On the rest of my face I used:
MAC Face and Body foundation
MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW15
MAC Refined Golden bronzer (which I think is too red for my fair skin, I’m still deciding)
MAC Soft and Gentle MSF to highlight
MAC Hue lipstick (have I mentioned how much I love this shade?)

January 17, 2012

someone teach me how to do this

The favorite of my guilty pleasures is The Real Housewives shows (don't judge). I’ve been a fan of the Orange County series for years and started watching Beverly Hills this past summer (thanks Judy!) I haven’t got into the others as these 2 hold enough tears and screaming to get my drama fix. Taylor Armstrong from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has just about the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. Every episode I sit and admire it. Taylor herself has gone coo coo bananas (poor dear) but her hair is magnificent and I’d love to know exactly how she her personal hairstylist does it.

I am kind of all thumbs when it comes to doing hair. When I receive a compliment on my hair I really feel like I’ve fooled you because I actually have no idea what I’m doing. If it ever looks half decent it’s a fluke I’m sure.

Now I have no idea what I’m doing putting a picture of myself next to Taylor’s but here is an attempt I’ve made at replicating her hair on myself. Comparing them now side by side I can see some tweaks I need to make (thanks for that, cowlick...) but if anyone has any hair tips on how to create this look I’d love to hear them. Would you use a curling iron? A straightener? Loose curls? Tight curls pulled out? What products would you use? See, I just have no clue.

I think Taylor is a sweetheart, albeit an unstable mess, but the only thing of hers I’d like is her hair. I do wish her happiness and a much less tearful next season, and for myself, I wish her hair. Can anyone help?

taylorphoto (7)

January 16, 2012


I grew up with dogs and have always considered myself a ‘dog person,’ even though the pets we’ve had include a ferret, cat, and frogs – not dogs. Dogs are a bit more of a commitment and up to this point we haven’t felt ready for one. Just before New Years we were speaking with some good friends that suggested we become a foster home for dogs, in particular the Prairie Pitbull Rescue organization. We thought it would be a great fit at this point in our lives as with Neil’s job taking us away every summer (to apartments that don’t allow pets) we can’t have a dog of our own. We have also been concerned that Neil’s asthma and allergies, that were severely affected by our cat, would be affected by dogs. We didn’t want to get a dog just to find out he does react and we'd have to give it away. This would prove a good trial for his asthma as well as to how our boys would adapt to having a furry friend around. We were also thrilled at the thought of providing a safe, loving home for an animal that needed to be loved until it found a family. After discussing it for a couple weeks Neil and I informed our friend that we were interested and would be willing to be a foster home.

Last week we were contacted and told that a little lady needed a place to go and were we interested in having her. We said yes and the next day I went and picked her up.

Meet Willow.

Aren’t those the most adorable ears you’ve ever seen? :)

It has only been a couple days and we are in love with her. She has fit right into our family like I wasn’t expecting and I think we’re really in trouble. Fostering means you have to give them away right? *sob* She is a gentle girl who is obviously timid and a little unsure, but seeks to be loved. She sticks her nose out and puts her ears down asking to be pet. She will sit at your side for hours and every once in a while rolls over so you can tickle her tummy. She is kind with the boys who have been very excited to have her in our home. She lets them pet her and snuggle her and licks their arms when they reach out. Rigby loves to watch her eat and helps her by handing her one piece at a time which she gently takes from his fingers. Porter brings her his blanket and stuffies and tries to make her feel safe as we’ve explained to him she is a little afraid and needs to know we are her friends. She is still adjusting to our house and hasn’t shown much of her playful energetic side yet but we do get glimpses of it here and there. She likes to stick her bum in the air and go down on her elbows, ready for action.

The only thing we know of her history is that she is approximately 10 months old and is a stray from LA. She is beautiful with no scarring or patches and has shown absolutely no signs of aggression or cowering. I don’t know her past but I do know that through this rescue operation she has a bright future with a family that will love her. I’m so grateful we get to be a part of it.


If you think fostering a dog would be a good fit for your family visit the site I’ve linked to above. They have many dogs in need of temporary (and permanent!) homes. All dogs are vaccinated and spayed/neutered and come with a collar, leash, crate and the organization provides food. They just need somewhere safe to be and someone to love them.

Now to end on a sappy note – when I found out we would be fostering a little girl named Willow, I immediately thought of Paul McCartney’s song “Little Willow” from him album Flaming Pie. I’ve been singing it to Willow and I actually think it’s quite fitting for this little orphan.






January 13, 2012

faux chenille blanket for a special little girl

When Neil told me he needed to head to Edmonton this weekend I knew that if I got my act together I could have something ready to send with him to give to my BFF Sharlee who is expecting a baby any day. I enjoyed making my last faux chenille blanket so much that I didn’t have to think long about what to make for the special little lady on her way.


I picked out this adorable cotton print and matched 3 pinks and one cream for the fuzzy side. You can find the tutorial of how to make a faux chenille blanket on this post at made. It is definitely a time consuming project but it is enjoyable and easy. And the end result is fantastic.


I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do cream or black binding and had actually decided on cream but the fabric store I was at didn’t have a long enough length and had no more in the back – thank goodness! It wasn’t until a few days later I thought about doing pink and I’m so glad I did. I love the way it ties in the patterned back and looks against the chenille stripes.


A faux chenille blanket is fun because although they are not necessarily a swaddling blanket, they are soft and snuggly while having enough weight to act as a car seat cover or play mat on the floor. I hope this one will have many uses and get lots of love.


I hope Sharlee adores this little labor of love as much as I do. And I hope she actually has a girl! :)


January 12, 2012

your response

Wow, thank you! I can't believe how many of you commented on my cry for help - where are all y'all every other day? :) Jokes aside, thank you for offering your opinions and advice. You gave us some really great points to consider, things I hadn't even thought of yet. I truly appreciate it.

It is pretty obvious to us that there isn't a right or wrong choice, as we've all agreed. Neil and I both have late birthdays as well and to further complicate our decision - he was sent early and I was held back, haha. I guess rather than complicating things that should prove to us that either way is right - we both turned out (mostly) ok!

Thank you again for offering your thoughts, they gave us a lot to talk about and we are confident we can make the best decision for Porter. I'll keep you posted!

January 11, 2012

calling moms of children with late birthdays

Yes, I need you moms. I have a question and I want your opinion. My Porter has a very late birthday (you know where this is headed already...) and we have come to that place when it's time to decide whether or not to put him in kindergarten yet. He can go in September at 4, or we can wait until next September when  he will be 5. I know there is not really a right or wrong answer as what is best is very dependant on each individual child, but I would appreciate some feedback on what you have seen with your own kids, or other kids, or what you have decided if you are in the same position right now.

I am somewhat hesitant to ask this because at times it feels when people give their opinion they are sure their way is right, but knowing I will ultimately do what is best for Porter, I would appreciate some feedback.

Thanks moms. :)

January 10, 2012

clever ideas

I am sure we have all seen the helpful hints that are flying around the internet, specifically on pinterest, that make us think, "why didn't I think of that?!" I seem to see the same ones over and over again but I recently received an email from my dad with a few new ones that I just had to share. If you've seen these I apologize. I thought they were too good not to pass on.

Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone/iPod in a bowl  - the concave shape amplifies the sound. 

While travelling, keep shoes in hotel shower caps to stop dirty soles from rubbing on your clothes.

Find tiny lost items like earring backs by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose. 

Rub a walnut on your furniture to hid any dings and scrapes. 

Store sheet sets in their matching pillow case to keep your linen closet tidy and organized. 

What are the others you've seen and thought, "genius!"

Now just to remember them all....

January 9, 2012

my sewing partner

He drives and I steer.


January 6, 2012

purses: out with the old, in with the new

I bought this purse last year around my birthday. I have used this purse solely for the year. I love the style, color and it's nice and big to fit everything I need to carry (like toy cars. and orange peels? True story.) I still love it but it really has seen better days. The bottom corners have almost worn all the way through and the straps are cracking and spitting.


My wonderful in-laws gave me some birthday money and this is what I purchased with it.

(click on the photo to enlarge to see detail)

An adorable new purse. I love the three separate compartments, the neutral color and the sophisticated and feminine style. It's big enough to carry the things I actually need and not the extras I don't, *cough cough, orange peels*

Love it.

Do you have a purse that adds a 'pop of color' or a neutral one that goes with everything?

January 5, 2012

I’m about to change your life

I pinned this on Pinterest a while back but hadn’t got around to trying it out until today. My sister in law Mandy tried it and says it works but I was still skeptical. But, it works! And I’m excited about it.

Did you know you can make your own microwave popcorn by… putting your popcorn in the microwave?! Haha, it sounds simple and it is! I bought some brown lunch sacs at the dollar store and I put about 1/4 cup of popcorn into one (just enough for a snack for my kids), rolled the top down twice and then put it in my microwave. That’s it. I did the typical microwave popcorn thing where you just listen until there’s a second or two between pops and then take it out. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I opened the bag - it was popcorn!

It was easy, there was no appliance to drag out, no loud roar of an air popper and no chemical-y coating in my mouth from the store bought stuff. It was easy, mess free, fast, and my kids can eat it straight from the bag.

I’m sure you’re just as skeptical as I was so let me know if you give it a try!


January 4, 2012

I just threw up a bit

I happened upon this today and literally felt my stomach churn.

Uh, I mean... lucky girl?

January 3, 2012

thrift store score(s)

On the weekend I went thrift shopping with two of my many fabulous sister in laws. We went to Catholic Charities as the last 2 days of the month everything is 50% off. I love treasure hunting thrift shopping because you feel like you've really lucked out when you find a piece you like, in your size, and for a great price. It's like every time I want to say, "what are the chances?!!" I thoroughly enjoy rummaging through racks looking for hidden gems. 

This weekend I really hit the jackpot with a few items. This was one one of the very first items I saw when we walked into the first store. I thought it was a youth size but walked over to try it on anyway. Turns out it's a ladies small and it fits like a glove, er, jacket. It's a Billabong coat in excellent condition (minus a couple tears in the lining) and I got it for, wait for it.... $7.50. Wicked right?


The next item I feel I really lucked out with is this pair of skinny jeans. I liked the wash but was a little indecisive as they are too long and will need to be hemmed and do-I-really-want-to-bother-with-that-trouble-for-a-cheap-pair-of-jeans? I really liked the way they fit and since they were only $3 I decided to get them as really a hem job isn't the end of the world. I noticed I was unfamiliar with the name brand and decided to look them up out of curiosity later that night. You can imagine my amazement when I realized this is a high end brand and this same pair of jeans is online for $178 and I had just purchased them for $3. THREE DOLLARS. Bahhhaaaaaaaa. I win.


This is another item I purchased for $2, a cute little top with so much fun detailing I could just cry. Love. It.


How do you feel about thrift shopping? Have you ever made a really great find?

January 2, 2012

it’s my party…

… and I’ll cry if I want to! But there was NO crying here! Friday was my birthday and I find it very fitting that this arrived! I’m not joking I was so excited I was dreaming about it. So far, soOOooo good! I’ll let you know how I think it compares to the original Naked palette as I get the chance to use it more. I can tell it’s going to be a tight race.


And I’ll leave you with a little birthday FOTD. I recently purchased a MAC fluidline gel liner in Dipdown and was excited to do a winged liner with it. Sometimes I think the softness of a dark brown is more appropriate than it's harsher black counterpart. I love the formula of these gel liners and the staying power can’t be beat.


MAC Pro Longwear foundation in NW15
MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW15
MAC MSF in Light Plus
MAC MSF in Medium Dark/Natural and Shimmer to contour
MAC powder blush in Springsheen
Urban Decay Virgin eyeshadow used to highlight

Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC Mystery to darken crease
Urban Decay Naked and Buck to blend out crease
MAC Blanc Type all over lid
NYX white eyeshadow from the Champagne and Caviar palette to highlight inner corners
MAC fluidline eyeliner in Dipdown
Maybelline mascara Volum’ Express Turbo Boost

Annabelle lipliner in Havana
MAC lipstick in Creme d’ Nude