Friday, September 30, 2011

Photography and Pinterest Challenge

Recently, I accepted two fun challenges. The first being a 30-day photography challenge by Staci over at the Gatorette and Me (and by the way, I think I found Monkey's future wife in Staci's little girl, E. So cute!). I'm starting it tomorrow (October 1st) and I'm excited to use my camera effectively. Right now, I take about 10 pictures a day of Monkey, but they are typically him playing. It'll be neat to see how I do! If you want to join, check out Staci's site.

I was also challenged with a Pinterest Challenge. I've got a bunch of neat little things pinned that I'm hoping to do and this challenge will give me the push I need!

The first is a Christmas Countdown calendar. I'm not sure this will be done by the time the challenge is over because it looks like a lot and I have to scour some stores for decent prices. Those little tins are expensive!

The second is felt napkin rings for Thanksgiving dinner. Dinner is on October 10, so I have to make at least 10 of these prior to that!

Next is a group of frames spelling out the word Autumn. I'm also going to make one for Winter.

Lastly, a homemade spinach and artichoke dip. This is a favourite of my family when we go out to restaurants so I'm going to try to make it as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner and serve it with pitas and tortilla chips.

Well, that's it for my challenges. I'll update as I go and completely things. Oh, I'm still doing my Bookworm Challenge. I'm getting there and I'm completely obsessed with the Hunger Games right now! Fantastic books!

Feel free to check me out on Pinterest too. Here's a link to my boards.

What are you challenging yourself with?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Weekend of October (yay!)

I love October. It is by far my favourite month. I find that October epitomizes Fall and that everything I love about fall happens in October. The leaves change completely, the temperatures change, Thanksgiving, apple picking. Everything. Therefore, I love this weekend! So it's time for my weekend planning! I'm linking up at My Happy House for the Weekend Planning Blog Hop.


Finish laundry

Organize Monkey's room (put laundry away)

Clean out my car

Empty container in my room (it's just a ton of junk that needs to be cleaned out)


Monkey's 7 & 8 month pages for his scrapbook

Sweep and wash kitchen and front hall floors

Clean downstairs and upstairs bathrooms

Read 1 research paper (not necessarily a home thing, but it needs to be done)

Start photography challenge (more to come)

Go to 10 year high school reunion and homecoming!


Watch Buffalo Bills football with Monkey and The Husband

Wash tablecloths and napkins

Wash bedsheets

Read 1 (a different) research paper

Clean/organize scrapbooking stuff

Start napkin rings for Thanksgiving dinner

I think that's all. It's a big list that can change depending on the weather and how long I'm planning on spending at homecoming.

Please check back tomorrow for my Photography and Pinterest Challenge! I'm excited for both.

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I've been MIA

I apologize. I have been MIA the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I had to do a presentation for my Master's class so Sunday and Monday were pretty much focused on the presentation. It went really well although the girl that did her presentation first stole some of my ideas but what can you do!? I had offered to do the first presentations of the class so the professor was already impressed with me (I know...I know....I'm a brown-noser)

Today, when I normally post and read other blogs, when Monkey naps, I actually napped too. I went to make our bed, decided to just lie and read a bit and I fell asleep! I got a good hour nap so lo and behold, didn't make it around to the computer.

I hope you all didn't miss me too much and I can't wait to read about what you've been up to.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Me being crafty again....

I'm almost done the felt book I'm making for Monkey. The previous posts about the book can be found here and here. I'm excited to be almost finished. I just have the back cover and a page that says The End, plus any other embellishments to add. As in the other posts, you can find all the details here at this blog.

Dedication page

Title page

I also made a yarn wreath. I've seen these all over Pinterest and I love them! I'm planning on making one for every season and potentially for some family if they'd like. The wreath itself was really easy, it just involved wrapping yarn around and around a foam circle I got from Michaels. The flowers were a little trickier. I got the tutorial from this blog. I love all of her crafts and will eventually try some of her recipes!

The finished wreath

A close-up of a flower

Linking my crafts up today with:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekend Planning Hop

Finally, it's the weekend again. This week seems to have gone by a little slower. Maybe it's because there was something on every night of this week! Phewf! As usual, I'm linking up at My Happy House for some weekend planning:

I don't have too much planned for this weekend except that I need to work on a presentation for my Master's class on Monday. We are getting some visitors in the evenings this weekend as The Husband's sister, husband and niece are coming into visit some friends and they're staying at our house. It'll be fun, especially for Monkey, because he loves playing with his niece.

I would like to clean this weekend: bathrooms, sweep, wash floors, vacuum carpet, everything! I always plan this and it rarely gets done. Time to actually do it!

What's up with you this weekend?

Random Ramblings

Again, no Tasty Thursday post for me. I had meant to make banana bread (which I will later this afternoon) but never got around to it. However, I do have a bunch of random thoughts going on in my head so here they go:

-Do I have a Halloween party/dinner with our friends? It's been a while since we've seen them and Halloween is an always a fun time for kids and parents. So do I do it or not? Do I make it a potluck or just ask for an appetizer/dessert?
-I love anything that is DIY. I'm now obsessed with crafting and my list of things I want to make just keeps growing and growing and growing. The husband enjoys seeing everything but wonders how much money I'm spending at the same time.
-I just can't get motivated to workout. I find it more of a hassle than anything. Even just getting Monkey out for a walk is a pain because it takes so long and he's rather just crawl than sit in the stroller. However, I going to dedicated myself to eating better and going for at least a 45 minute walk everyday.
-I can't wait for the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is a little more than 2 weeks away (Canadian Thanksgiving) and then Christmas. I love this time of the year.
-I really, really don't want to go back to work in January. I feel like I'm going to miss so much of what Monkey does each day. I love watching him learn new things and figure things out. I pray that he starts walking before he goes to daycare so that I can have the moment, not the daycare teachers.

Please head over to The How to Mommy to check out Tasty Thursday. There are some really yummy looking recipes there:

Tonight I'm going to put up my recent pictures of my crafting. They are coming along!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Faker

I have a faker. That's right! I have a child that fakes his coughs and his cries.

An example of when this fake crying comes about is when he pulls himself up on the table. He fully knows how to get himself down, but sometimes wants help. Here is where the fake cry comes in (see picture below).

The fake cough typically appears during meals when he doesn't want to eat much or at nap time when I'm taking him up to his crib and he's trying to get out of going to sleep.

I never realized he would try to manipulate me this much at 8 and 1/2 months. I was waiting for the teenage years at least! It's crazy!

The fake cry

Literally, seconds later

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Blah Day!

I was planning on getting my new fitness regime started today by packing Monkey into the stroller and going for a walk. Unfortunately, the gorgeous sunshine that was out this morning when we went grocery shopping has given way to the nasty gray clouds that is rain. Hopefully they'll clear up so we can get outside for a bit.

I'm feeling kind of blah in my blog writing today so I decided to head to Pinterest to see what's happening. Here are some of my favourites of late:

Thanksgiving Napkin ring from here

Chicken Hand Puppet from here

Paint chip art from here

Hope your Monday isn't a Blah-day like mine!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The many hats of Monkey (literally)

Monkey, Grandmom and I went to Michaels Craft store today. I was looking for some things to finish off my felt book as well as some scrapbooking materials. While we were there we found lots of funny hats that I decided to torture poor Monkey with. Enjoy!

Ready for Thanksgiving

Ho Ho Ho!


Hallowe'en pigtails

I think I'll be saving these for some embarrassing purpose in the future!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Me being crafty continues...

So I have continued my "crafty" ways and have finished the last letters for Monkey's book (you can see the first couple here). Now I begin the process of putting the pages together and then creating the title page, dedication page and back of the book. It's going a lot faster than I first thought it would and I'm still enjoying it.

As I said in my last "crafty" post, I got the idea from another blog, Craitlyn. Please stop by her blog if you are interested in making the book. She has a tutorial as well as the patterns for all of the letters.

Linking up with Freestyle Friday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tasty Thursday: Slow-cooker Chili

I finally have another real recipe for Tasty Thursday. This past week I started class on Monday nights. I have class from 5-8pm so The Husband has Monkey. I decided a way to make his life a little easier is to have slow-cooker Monday. Monkey seems to hit his cranky time at 5 and things can get pretty crazy. So if you have any slow-cooker recipes I'd love to try them!

This Monday I made my chili. It's a family favourite.

-ground beef
-red pepper
-green pepper
-1 can red kidney beans
-1 can brown beans in tomato sauce
-1 can diced tomatos
-1 can tomato sauce
-chili powder

This recipe is nice and easy. I use one of each of the peppers and onions, but you can add or take things out based on the likes/dislikes of your family. In the past I've added mushrooms and corn, but this is the way that I like it. Cut up the peppers and onion and brown the ground beef. If you want you can brown the onion before, but I find in the slow-cooker the juices get into the onion and soften them that way. Combine all ingredients in the slow-cooker. Add as much or as little chili powder as you would like and stir. Cook on low for 8 hours.

We also have a breadmaker so I try to use it an make fresh bread to go with the chili. A French or Italian loaf from the grocery store works just as well though.

This is one of our favourite meals on a cool, fall evening!

Wordless Wednesday: Closeup

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Fall!

Picture from here

I love fall! This is definitely my favourite season. I love watching the leaves change colours, the cooler air in the morning and evening, the smells, apple picking, Thanksgiving, pretty much everything.

My favourite holiday is definitely Thanksgiving and living in Canada, this occurs the second weekend of October. Turkey and stuffing are my absolute favourite and I'm still trying to find ways to incorporate a turkey and stuffing throughout the year.

I have two favourite traditions in the fall. The first is my brother and sisters and I (and now significant others, my nephew and Monkey) go apple picking at a local farm. There is a playground, hay maze, farmer's market, petting zoo and a wagon ride out to the apples. They also sell hot apple cider which is perfect on a colder day.

My other favourite tradition is The Husband and I head to a farmer's market about an hour away. They have really good prices on meat, fruits and vegetables, baked goods and my favourite, fudge! We also head into the little town, have lunch and check out the little shops. My favourite is definitely the Christmas Shop and a scrapbooking store.

I'm so happy fall is finally here!

What traditions do you and your family have in the fall?

Joseph at a Farmer's Market we visited

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wonderful Weekend Recap

It's time for my weekend recap. I think I only got a few things done from my post on Friday, none of which were really productive but that's okay.

The focus this weekend was my brother's wedding. The day started early, the weather was perfect and the wedding was absolutely gorgeous. It was nice to see our all of our family again and of course show off Monkey. The ceremony went well (although my sister and I couldn't see very well because our aunts and uncles took the seats before we got there so we were banished to behind father wasn't too pleased about this either).

The only issue was the lovely speech my sister and I gave. Writing the speech was difficult enough because my brother is pretty much the best behaved child and we didn't really have any good stories. Well, we got up to do the speech that I wrote (my sisters mooched off my speech), I had only had one glass of wine and it was going really well until my now infamous line. The line in the speech was "He treats SIL like a princess" and I was expecting awwws from the crowd. Instead, I flub the line and say "He eats her like a princess". The younger crowd absolutely lost it and I could fell my face go bright red! I quickly ended the speech. I wanted to start to cry right there (and pretty much every time someone came to tell me they loved my speech) but I lasted the night. I thank the red wine and the Tom Collins' for getting me through the night.

Lastly, football started and The Husband and I took our positions. My on the couch and The Husband at the computer repeatedly checking scores and looking at our pools and seeing how poorly we were doing. Monkey was asleep for most of the first game.

One more point ~ tonight, I begin my LAST class in the pursuit of my Master's degree. It's been 2 1/2 years since I started the degree and it's finally coming to an end! Woohoo!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Congratulations to my brother who is getting married today! And welcome to the family new sister-in-law!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Me being crafty

This is my newest obsession craft project. I'm making a felt book for Monkey. Each page is a letter of his name along with an animal that matches that letter (i.e. J for Jellyfish). I found this project at another blog Craitlyn. She doesn't post often anymore, but the patterns for all of the letters and a tutorial are available so if you like what you see, go check it out. Once I finish Monkey's I'm going to make one for my nephew and niece for Christmas. I'd love to make one for every little one I know, but it might take awhile!

Linking up for Freestyle Friday!

Weekend Planning and Giveaway

First, I have to tell you about a giveaway taking place at The How To Mommy. It's a Bright Starts Having a Ball Cluck and Learn toy. Click on the button and head on over to enter (go visit but don't really enter, because I want to win).

Today is also the Weekend Planning blog hop. There isn't too much to plan this weekend as Saturday is my brother's wedding so we'll be having a lot of family time!


- clean craft room/area

- start 7 months scrapbook page

- sweep kitchen and front hall

- make sweet potatoes and apples for Monkey

- visit scrapbook store going out of business

- get Monkey a dress shirt for wedding


- be pretty and mingle with family :)


- finish scrapbook page

- work on Monkey's felt name book (more to come on this)

- clean bathrooms

- vacuum upstairs and family room

- watch football!

Head on over to the Weekend Planning Blog Hop at My Happy House.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tasty Thursday Cheat

I'm linking up to The How to Mommy's Tasty Thursday:

Well, I'm cheating. I went to do a little grocery shopping and found the Pillsbury Halloween Pumpkin sugar cookies! They are the first time I saw them this year and I'm so excited. I love their sugar cookies as well as the convenience of them. Also, my in-laws are coming to babysit on Saturday and I like to have something "homemade" for when they come.

So here are the steps:

1. Go to the grocery store and buy the Pillsbury Halloween cookies.

2. Read and follow the directions on the box (essentially: preheat oven to 375, place cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes).

3. Enjoy your cookies!

I find keeping them in a Tupperware container keep them soft and chewy for a couple of days (if they last that long)

Before going into the oven

8 minutes later!

It's Official...

....I'm a sports nut. Most wives complain about the amount of sports their husbands watch, but I think The Husband and I are equal in the amount of sports that we watch.

I admit, I'm not a football widow. The Husband played football in highschool and university. I went to a few games at my university but never understood the game. After 4 years being with The Husband and therefore football season, I now have a good understanding of what is going on. I still get confused between Canadian football and American football rules, but I have the basics down. I've even joined to football pools this year! One with my fellow January Mommas and one The Husband's dad runs. I'm going to win (I hope!).

The sad part, I've never been to a NFL game. The Husband and I are Buffalo fans and we're hoping to head down there to do some shopping (yay Target!) and watch a game (notice how I still put shopping first...I'm not totally crazy!). I'm really excited about this fact. Yes, I'm excited to go and sit my butt in an outdoor stadium in the cold, cold Buffalo weather and watch men in tight pants squish each other on the ground. Hopefully my laser-surgery enhanced eyes can see what's happening.

So who's with me? Where are my other sports nut mommies? Anyone else enjoy watching sports as much as me? Who are you cheering for???

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday: 8 Months

Dear Monkey,

8 Months! You are 8 months old today. Time has flown by way too fast! You are definitely keeping me busy beyond belief. I never thought you'd be so mobile by 8 months. You crawl amazingly quickly (especially when the fridge door is open) and during the past week you've been pulling yourself up on anything that is stationary. Everyone thinks you'll be walking very soon. I don't know if I'm ready for that!

Sleeping through the night is still an issue although you somehow managed to do this for Grandmom and Grandad this past weekend. Your naps are now fantastic although I sometimes get bored when you nap for too long! You are eating better throughout the day so hopefully this will help at night!

You babble all the time, have figured out how to clap and make funny noises with your mouth. You only really fuss when you are tired and it's time for a nap or to go to bed.

You're still overly obsessed with your blankie and I'm going have to make another one before you go to daycare so that you have one there and one here. Solids are still going well and we're going to add some more "chunks" of food. I think peaches are still your favourite.

Your favourite toys are shoes, tv remotes, telephones, balls, socks, laundry and cupboard doors (especially the one with the diapers).

Daddy and I love you more and more each day and we're looking forward to you learning new skills and coming up with more surprises!

Love Mommy (and Daddy)

Helping with laundry

Pulling himself up

"Organizing" the diapers

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekend Recap

I survived my first weekend away from my baby. The Husband and I had a really fun, softball-filled weekend in Niagara Falls (Canada). We played 6 games (2 Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday) and made it fairly far into the tournament. Not bad considering last year they didn't make it past the round robin phase. We even had one game where we were losing by 6 runs, scored 14 in an inning and won by 8! I did come home with a bruise however. Instead of catching a ball with my glove, I caught it with my bicep and now have a huge, nasty bruise with a rainbow of colours.

Despite all of the fun, I did miss my little boy. Every baby I saw my mind immediately wandered to Monkey and what he might be doing. I must admit, I was a little bit happy when we lost our last game and we were able to go home and give him a big hug. The Husband and I spent the rest of Sunday playing with him and crawling around.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Falls. Bear in mind we headed down to the Falls at about 9:00 so the pictures were in the dark, I had my cheap point and click camera and there was a lot of mist.

American portion of the Falls

Canadian Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls right as the water is going over the edge.

I hope everyone else had a fantastic weekend too!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekend Planning: It's Here

Tonight will be the first night spent away from my Monkey in almost 8 months. I'm not looking forward to it. I'll survive, but it does certainly suck!

But I do get to see this...
...little. I'm playing softball in there too.

So I'll be back on Sunday and can't wait to catch up with everyone's blogs!

Don't forget to stop by at this hop and do some planning:

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