Tuesday, May 31, 2011

lilacs in May

the discovery of a lilac bush in our backyard

the many, many memories that the scent of the lilacs awaken

little girl learning a new word 'flower' both verbally and in sign language

the library's plethora of books

evening family time

bright sunshine and blue skies

fresh laundry 

lilac-scented house

dark chocolate and tea

an email from a very dear friend

dinner with good friends who share many similar passions to us

visit with an old friend 

the anticipation of summer and all the lovely, fresh vegetables and fruit

knowing that my rest is only found in Him

choosing to live in the moment and enjoy the rest

mason jars filled with lilacs

the way my little girl runs to see her daddy 

snuggles on the couch while reading the same book over and over again

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We're going on a Treasure Hunt

The day started early in a very delicious way, I stopped by a favorite bakery for breakfast and she brewed hot drinks. Then we were off to find what treasures we could in other people's yards.

We each had a list of things we hoped to get but even if we didn't get anything, the time together was very special. I love going to garage sales, not only is it a frugal way to purchase items, it's a fun way to spend several hours with a good friend. My sister, Caleigh, and I had a blast together. We would point things out to each other that we knew the other wanted, divide up the awesome book stashes we came across and ask each others opinion on clothes we found.

Kilmeny's summer wardrobe got a major boost for just a few dollars. My little girlie-girl was delighted by her shoes and shirts. I was delighted by an almost new copy of Charlotte's Web for a extremely low price. 


Can't you just imagine this cake safe holding a decadent chocolate layer cake or being piled with fresh scones? I will be making a torte soon, I think. It was one of my favorite finds from the day. I purchased it from a family who is moving to Italy, I felt in this small way I was part of this tremendous adventure they were embarking on and that made me happy.

 And one of my other favorite finds from the day, I wasn't even looking for something like this and I hesitated before buying it. But now I'm so glad I did. It adds that little something to Kilmeny's room and provides a perfect place for her to sit and color while I am busy. 

All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with lots of special moments and fun purchases with one of my favorite people.

My three recommendations for going to garage sales:

Have a limit whether it's cash, space or time; you'll go home with more things that you actually want to keep.

Start early and make it an event by getting breakfast on the way, and bring fun snacks. This may be just a pregnant woman talking but I'm always happier when I have just a little something to nosh on.

Hit the high end neighborhoods, they tend to have high quality stuff for really good prices!

What are your secrets for scoring great deals?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a picnic

It was the long weekend, the first bookend of the summer, and we wanted to do something special with special people to celebrate. It was Queen Victoria's birthday but our menu didn't look very British.
We've been soaking up every time we spend with these special people, they're moving in less time then I like to think about and we just love being with them. It's a childhood dream for my sister and I to be living close to each other like we have been for the last six months.

We were going to go camping but decided to save that for next year when we have more time to plan and to book a place and when we have doubled the number of kids. Because we're like that. 
Plan B was a hot dog roast complete with s'mores but a province wide fire ban canceled that idea. So we settled for a picnic in our front yard and barbecued the smokies instead. It turned out beautifully. 

The kidlets were happy in their chairs and thrilled with the idea of eating outside.

We had lots of yummy food - potato salad made in the style of my Nana, all natural Kettle Chips(so we could feel good about eating 'junk' food), fresh veggies, the regular condiments (which will be all homemade next year, if my experimenting turns out this fall) and drinks.

The weather was perfect, the company superb, and the mosquitoes were few. It really was one of those times that everything worked out and we laughed and talked and ate s'mores after the kids were asleep. And knew that we were making a memory that would become a tradition in years to come.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to be the Best Mom Ever....

....or Breanne's list for the days when she doesn't feel like the best mom ever.

 1. Even when you aren't feeling well due to a lingering cold, morning sickness (just now in the 2nd trimester) and little energy, make the moments you have count. 


2. Take time to snuggle on the couch and read books. Even when it's the same book three times in a row.
3. Snack time is always a good thing especially when you make it into a picnic in the living room and it keeps a little person occupied for just that much longer.

4. Relax. Smile. Laugh. Even when you get to the library program a little late and your daughter is the only one not sitting on a lap but rather is dancing to the welcome song in the middle of the room. And continues to dance along with every song. You can teach her the sign language that was introduced that week at home.

5. Go to the park. Let your little one set the pace. If she wants to run all over the field, let her. All that fresh air will tire her out. If she would rather play on the 'big kid' playground, help her explore it. 

6. Stick with simple meals and activities. The ones you know she likes. Introduce new concepts one at a time.

7. Plan and anticipate dates. My husband and I are going for dinner tomorrow night at Corso 32. It's the "new kid on the block" in Edmonton's hip-local-organic-foodie dining scene and is headed by chef Daniel Costa, who is making waves in the Edmonton food scene. I'm very excited. A night out with my man, just the two of us.

8. Enjoy the breaks when they come but don't expect them. My sister and I are spending a few hours on Saturday together and the guys are watching the kids. My man offered, I accepted. It's so much easier to scout out a garage sale without also watching a little one.

9. Know your limits. There is no such thing as a super-mom cape so there is no need to try and earn it. The dishes can wait and so can the laundry. 

10. Life does move very fast. Focus on today and on the little one(s) that you have. Enjoy their discoveries, their smiles, the dirty diapers, and the fact that nap time and bedtime do happen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the baking of the bread

I made bread yesterday. Rather I baked bread yesterday.
On a baking stone. When it came out of the oven, it looked beautiful.
Crusty, golden brown, dusted with flour.

I think I might do it again. Today. And that would be a good idea since the loaf is almost gone. It was a small loaf. 

It's been a bit of a process and it was all started by a Christmas gift from my parents. A book called Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. I read it cover to cover in a very short period of time. And then I waited. For our own place where I could have any number of bowls in the fridge waiting their turn to be baked up into luscious goodness. For the wheat to be gotten and then ground into flour. And for the right time to try out the first recipe.

The concept is simple. Take any one of the basic recipes, mix it up and store it in the fridge. On baking day, take out a portion of dough, shape it, add stuff to it and let it rise. Bake it up and enjoy fresh artisan style bread.

There are a few basic equipment needs like a baking stone and a pizza peel but these are great to have on hand anyways. I found myself making do with what I had and it worked fine for the time being. 

let my dough rise on a thin wooden cutting board dusted with flour since I don't have a pizza peel. I sprinkled my baking stone with steel cut oats since I'm all out of cornmeal. Sshh, don't tell....
 I used a pie pan filled with water to create the steam for the crusty exterior of my loaf. 
And it all turned out great! 

I started using a cookbook that I've wanted to use for sometime and this pretty much guarantees it won't be collecting dust on my shelf. 
I used organic wheat and ground it myself. Part of our journey of eating locally produced organic food
And I made artisan bread at home for a fraction of the cost. 
All little goals I've had for myself and the results are very satisfying. 

And I feel more ready to complete all those other little goals that are on my list.

disclaimer: the bread pictured above was not baked by me but mine did look like that. That loaf is from our favorite bakery, Treestone Bakery, where we get our Saturday breakfast pain au chocolat and where we used to get our bread. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

a list for a Monday


sunlight streaming through the windows

all the laundry done

my little girl 'helping' with the laundry 

trying out a new bread recipe 

a long walk with my husband and little girl 

letting all the stress and frustration of the day go  

Starbucks iced tea

creating more memories with my sister 

slobbery baby kisses

French press coffee with cream 

late night talks with my husband

seeing part of my family over the weekend

my Dad's humor 

homemade wooden blocks for my little girl made by my brother

 smell of fresh paint 

an email from a friend

 apple blossoms

bruschetta and baguette 

the quiet of the evening 

Friday, May 13, 2011

one of those weeks

It's been one of those weeks. You  know the ones where events happen that you don't always plan on and the real-life version of your plans looks a lot different than simple text on your Google calendar. 

We were out for the first three evenings this week. All very needful outings, all very enjoyable outings but outings nonetheless. Kilmeny was in bed each night at least an hour after her 'normal' bedtime but being the social little person that she is, she only started getting grumpy tired towards the end of each evening.

And I've been out during the day for the last three days. All very, very nice outings. And all very needed.

But in the midst of all the outings and busyness, there's been time to remember the moments. To make snuggle time happen. And to go for long walks through the forest. To have tea with a friend.  To meet my husband for frappuccinos and to walk home together. And to play dress up.

Because it's those little moments that I remember and carry with me. 

Enjoy the moments that make up your weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a little tour of a little girl's room

Little by little our house is becoming a home with second-hand furniture finds, gifts from friends and treasures being unpacked from where they were stored in rubber maid bins.

Kilmeny's room is one that I have been anticipating setting up and decorating for some time. And it has been so fun. I still have a few touches that need to be completed but I thought I'd let you see what it looks like as it is. 

I love classic children's books, whimsical and feminine touches, and of course, organizational systems that work and look pretty. So, all of that inspired Kilmeny's room.

We got the dresser and hutch off of kijiji, it was covered in stickers but I knew that once they were removed it would work perfectly for her room. We got it for a really good price which was a further encouragement to not buy retail. It's all about being a good steward of what we have.

 This little figurine was a baby gift for Kilmeny and though I'm not a huge fan of knick-knacks, this was too cute and I love it! 

 What the room looks like if you were to stand in the doorway. There are tons of windows in our place which I love but we needed something to block the light in Kilmeny's room. She was waking up too early, too often. So we have not-so-pretty-but-practical black fabric covering her windows and it does the trick quite nicely. 

And one of Kilmeny's favorite places to play, her shoe collection. She often asks to switch her shoes several times a day and loves playing with him. "Boot" was one of her first words.

What inspires you as you personalize your space?

A beautiful weekend

And there are so many moments to be remembered from it.


the first Saturday in a very long time where we just relaxed as a little family

invigorating morning walk through the forest, alongside a creek

pain au chocolat for breakfast and bread for the week from our favorite bakery

wandering through shops and a farmer's market, reveling in the time together 

getting caught in the rain and running the last part home

dinner with my great uncle and aunt 

laughter around the table despite a very grumpy Kilmeny 

chilling at my sister and brother-in-law's house with a movie and pumpkin pie

talking with my sister, both cozy under blankets, like we used too before we were married

the sound of our neighbor's water garden greeting us each time we step outside our door

Mother's Day brunch at a great little cafe despite not feeling very good 

eggs benny with smoked salmon and asparagus

 another walk through the valley and up the hill, all for a half-price coconut creme frappuccino

my husband who loves to spoil me and knows the little things I like 

my little girl who makes me smile every day 

finding the exact dresser we wanted, second-hand, in great condition

tea with milk and honey 

an inspiring book to read in the evenings

God who is so gracious to me and gives enough for each day 

feeling little baby kicks

our home


Saturday, May 7, 2011

For Mother's Day

2 years ago, I was just a few weeks pregnant with Kilmeny and it was special to be a Mom on Mother's Day although only a few knew that I was.

1 year ago, we were on our way East with a packed van. My little daughter was a few months old and I treasured the flowers my man bought for me.

This year, I am loving being a Mom. There is nothing else that can compare to the emotion that my Kilmo-girl brings me. I am constantly praying for wisdom and grace and the ability to cherish these moments.

Next year, I will be cuddling two little ones and knowing what it's like to be a Mom of two. The newest member of our family should be making an appearance later this summer and we are excited and anticipating our threesome becoming a foursome.

And every year, I am more grateful for my own Mom and her example and love. I can't imagine my life without her and am so grateful for her steady rock in my life. I am also increasingly grateful for my other Mom, my mother-in-law, who inspires me with her love and dedication to her husband and children. I'm so glad I get to be part of her family. 

our little princess as captured by her daddy wearing her sweater my Mom knit for her

Monday, May 2, 2011

a tea party and the counting of moments

 leftover cookies for afternoon tea

espresso mugs for little hands

memories of our overseas wedding trip in Starbucks mugs

a little girl who communicates very well in sign language, 'more tea, please'

refreshing break to stop and have tea and soak up the moment in the midst of a busy weekend

late night decorating for a surprise party

uncles who love their little niece

Sunday breakfast with fresh muffins

my husband's beautiful performance of the Bruch concerto with orchestra

a full choir and orchestra performing hymns in an old church

pulling off a successful surprise birthday party 

watching emotion on people's faces

having a new appreciation for the family I married into 

refreshing chats with other moms 

enjoying Riverdance with my husband, sister and brother-in-law

late night conversations and laughter

latte art and chocolate cranberry cookies

being able to vote

warm spring weather

my husband's love and the way he serves me


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