Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Well I was coming to show you all our fabulous pumpkins today.  We had a family carving session on the weekend which was great fun and I had taken photos but guess what?  My SON left my camera at school and the pics are on it and the pumpkins are all outside and it's dark and so I can't take more pics and oh yah the camera is at school anyhow.  
Gah.  Kids.

So lemme show you my new grass just for fun.

Since moving into our house our front yard has been a mud/weed combination, 
only made worse by our house lift.  We had a walk way made out of crushed rock and then we used pallets for a really long time.

sidewalk and grass!!

It is amazing the difference grass can make, not to mention my fancy stamped sidewalk.  I almost look forward to shoveling!  We're working on a garden as well.  
Slowly, but surely!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Flowers

I often think of buying flowers in the spring, but there are all sorts of beautiful fall coloured beauties available now.  My local Co op store had a great selection this past weekend.

I used to work at a florists, many years ago, and here's what I learned. 

Don't let any leaves sit in the water...they rot and poison the water and make your flowers die.  So strip the stems below the waterline and change the water regularly.

If you're arrangement is not sitting right you may need to cut it shorter.

Before, some stems are too long.
After, shorter stems let the buds sit right.

Don't try to use too many flowers in an arrangement.  If they don't all fit easily, fill another vase.  These few little buds would not fit well in my arrangement so they got their own baby vase.

I'm a huge fan of short arrangements.  
Here's a great post on how to make long stemmed flowers look pretty cut short.

Check out your local grocery store and see what pretty fall blooms you find!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hallowe'en Costumes

It's a love hate for me.  Like, candy is great and I like a fun time together but can't we all just agree to wear jammies or something and ditch costumes?  Ugh.  I hate dressing up and I super hate having to figure out how to dress my kids up.

Particularly when Cate asks to be Olaf.
Gah.  Seriously?  Does a white sheet with eye holes look like Olaf?
So I thought I'd pinterest it just to see.  Of course, there were some seriously frightening works of art on there.  Stuff that you could whip up...if you had a 3 months and no other activities.

But look oh look at this guy.

Valk on mimi   making sweatshirt Olaf TOOTHless 030.JPG

Nice!  I feel capable.   
Of course, I will have to sell it to Cate.  

So if you've had the impossible requested from you, I suggest a pinterest browse.  There will be lots that's just crazy, but you may find something totally do-able.  Big shout out to those who post the do-ables for those less costume savvy.

Monday, October 19, 2015


 Some lovely friends brought each of my kids a pumpkin on the weekend.  
They, of course, are dying to carve them in the traditional triangular eyes, nose, toothy grin style.
I cannot convince them to try one of these fun ideas...
but perhaps you will have more luck at your house.  

Here are some ideas from Country Living 2014.

Cross stitch or wrapping with elastics...I love it!

Ribbon or furniture tacks.

 Cute animal creations...actually I might be able to sell this one.

Drilled holes or duct tape. 

 And from Country Living 2015...
I find the moose squash adorable.

And my ultimate favourite, the Hudson's Bay pumpkin.

Here's a fun trivia fact about me:
I will eat anything pumpkin...soup, scones, loaf, muffins, cheesecake, 
but not pie.  Bleck.  What a waste of whipped cream!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thanksgiving Vegetable Casseroles

Maybe you clicked on to see what the joke is.  Cause me talking seriously about veggies is not an every day occurrence.  But, in fact, I have 3 favourite vegetable casseroles that are not disgusting and are also easy to make for family gatherings.  The trick is that each has a magic ingredient.  Link to the recipes if you need something to serve your family this weekend.
Happy Thanksgiving!

(magic ingredient: marshmallows)

(I know, sounds horrid, but yum thanks to secret ingredient: french fried onions)

Green Bean Casserole

(secret ingredient: panko - or maybe it's the water chestnuts, or perhaps, the mayo)

Zesty Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Monday, October 5, 2015

Back to School Finale: Bedtime

We've had some bedtime frustrations in our household, particularly because we have 4 kids.
If we could just put them all to bed at once, life would be so easy.  But apparently they all need different bedtimes so in the past my entire evening would be spent on the bedtime routine times 4. 

We used to send our kids to their rooms 30 minutes before bed so they could get ready, do their devotions and read.
We have come up with a different solution now that has helped us out.  This doesn't work out every night, but when we can, we have a family quiet time at 8:00.  Each kid has to be in their own room to do their devotion and read for 30 minutes.  During this time, Dino and I can then read with the youngest and have any discussions necessary with the others.   At 8:30, our youngest goes to sleep and the other 3 are free until their bedtimes which are 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00.  However, as those bedtimes arrive, we can just tuck them in and say good night.  

We also used to spend time reminding and giving warnings but now we have an agreement that any child not ready and IN their bed at their specified time will go to bed early the following night.

It has been much nicer not to spend my whole evening watching the clock.

I think I've shared these before, but here are the devotion books my kids are using.  It's probably time to switch it up again.   I'll put it on the Christmas list.