Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012 - Birthday Card

We've been invited to a 1st birthday party for a little sweetie that lives on our street...and seeing as it's been a while since I put my scrapbook desk and Cricut to use, I decided to make this little princess a birthday card.

I found a similar card while searching on google and decided to create my own with my own personal touches.

The Cricut cartridges I used for this card are
* Create A Critter - for the hippo, and flowers (which are a layer option of the cute little rabbit)
* Cuttin' Up - letters for her name
* Plantin SchoolBook - for the number 1

I used scraps for the paper - sorry I don't have names for the printed paper like some scrapbooking websites do. You could use any combination of colours and patterns for this type of card.

I love the look of different patterns together - Not sure if you can see, but the light pink layer of the hippo is embossed with little hearts - adds a bit of dimension to it. I also used small adhesive squares to maker he hippo stand out a little more.

The brads I used were from the Making Memories line which I purchased at Michaels. I love using things like brads and eyelets - they are so easy to use and add a touch of colour, texture and charm to your cards or scrapbook layouts.

I love making cards for my friends and much fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012 - Being a Mom

Being a mom is the hardest job, but it is the best job.
This is a beautiful video - Grab a tissue, Moms.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012 - OBA's

DH was proud to be a part of coaching the U14 Burlington Panthers girls team this year. They played in a few tournaments throughout the year before heading to Ottawa for the Ontario Basketball Association championship. Friday night, the girls played amazing and won against the Upper Canada Ice. A second game on Saturday showed the girls were in it to win it...destroying their competitors, the Orillia Lakers.
The girls were pumped and ready to play on Sunday - and they sure played their hardest...Their first game was at 10:30 and they won that one, too. They were heading to the championship at 3:30 and we couldn't have been prouder. The energy and spirit while we had lunch before the last game was amazing. They were so proud of themselves and ready to play for GOLD.

The final game was against the Orillia Lakers, who they had beat on Saturday, as well as in previous tournaments. They had a decent lead at half time and played their hearts out in the 3rd and 4th quarters....and as the buzzer sounded - the parents and spectators roared with excitement. Our girls had won GOLD!!!!!

Way to go, girls! It was a pleasure to watch you throughout the season - working so hard to improve each week. Your hard work and dedication has certainly paid off! CONGRATULATIONS, PANTHERS!

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012 - OTTAWA

This past weekend we had the pleasure of travelling to our nation's capitol. DH's U14 girl's basketball team was playing in the OBA championship there, so we decided to tag along.

We left Friday morning around 9:30 and made excellent time with a quick lunch stop in Odessa. We arrived in Ottawa around 2pm and quickly checked into our hotel so we could have a couple hours to walk around before the first game.

Our first stop was to Parliament Hill. I have never been to Ottawa so this was a bit of an exciting trip for me and the kids. According to Wikepedia, Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year. The kids were so excited to see the large buildings with their pretty green roofs.

Buddaroo's favourite part of the buildings was the beautiful Peace Tower. Although we were disappointed that we missed the last tour of the tour, we were able to hear the pretty bell sounds while we were there. We spent a little bit more time wandering the grounds before heading downtown to Byward Market.

Byward Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets. It offers something for every one - restaurants, night life & entertainment venues, galleries, shops, salons, and of course the farmers market with local vendors and artisans. But the highlight of visiting the market was trying our very first Beaver Tail.
I had no idea what a beaver tail was - DH assured me that it would be amazing. So off we went to find the Beaver Tail stand...we ordered some with brown sugar and cinnamon and one with nutella and Reese's Pieces for the kids. OH EM GEE! It WAS amazing. For something so simple, it was deeelish! It was really too bad that we didn't have a ton of time to go back down there and get another before we headed home.

Saturday morning was spent at the Museum of Civilization.
We visited the famous Children's museum, which I would HIGHLY recommend. We had a blast inside. It has been developed around a central theme - The Great Adventure - and gives children an opportunity to travel the world. The kids loved stamping their passports at each stop around the world. From there, we headed to the IMAX theatre to watch Rocky Mountain Express. The kids loved seeing the large steam engines...we did, too - but sure loved seeing all of Canada's beautiful scenery! Gosh, Canada is gorgeous, isn't it?

Later in the afternoon, Buddaroo came down with the wicked stomach bug that HoneyPie had a few days earlier. It was awful. There's nothing worse than a pukey kid 6 hours from home...stuck in a hotel. Poor buddy.

I will create a different post about the actual OBA tournament as this one is getting quite lengthy...we were home Sunday night around was an amazing weekend, despite some tummy woes, I love spending time with my family...seeing new things. It really was a great experience.

Have you been to Ottawa? Any recommendations for a future visit? I'd love to head back with DH sans much more to explore!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012 - Amazing

Just a little something to make you smile...I know I sure grinned from ear to ear while watching it. The imagination on this kid is amazing...he should be so proud!!!!

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012 - MOMS

I'm sure, like me, you have struggled with the idea of "Am I a good mom?" Maybe after a stressful day with the little ones, or a day that you may have raised your voice a little too loud or too often. It happens. I struggle with this thought often.

I came across this checklist on interest linked from Richmond Mom and thought I would share:

Take this quiz and see where you stand!
Are you a good mom? I bet you are! I bet you are!
You and you alone are the most amazing mom to your children!
I need to remind myself more often that so am I.

Leave a comment below and tell me what makes you a great mom....or a great dad (for my male readers ;)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012 - Stress

I am easily stressed. Being a stay at home mom who provides daycare to children in my home adds to the stresses of daily life with 2 young children. I need to develop some strategies to help manage my stress levels and keep me in a happy place in my daily life.
Any tips, likes the ones, above that you can add?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7, 2012 - Ladies Night Out

Yesterday, I headed to Niagara Falls with some friends to celebrate our dear friend, Amanda's, upcoming wedding. We started off the event by some drinks at the hotel before we headed to
The Keg for dinner. We were sat at a table right against the window with a beautiful view of the Falls...and an amazing rainbow! Dinner was great - I absolutely love The Keg - but the prices in the Falls versus the prices here are incredible. I can't believe how much they jack up the price.

Once done dinner, we headed back on the shuttle to the hotel...where we had some more drinks (WHAT? It's a bachelorette party!), some snacks, and a fun game of "Kiss the Peen" ha! (a racy take of pin the tail on the donkey). We all got done up and headed over to Dragonfly Nightclub. I had never been there before - but I would love to go there again. It has an amazing feel to it - the atmosphere/decor is great and was a fantastic <
place to dance.

It had been a while since I've been out dancing so I was so excited to get out with my "bitches" and dance the night away - I barely sat...until my feet started aching terribly. I am happy to say I danced for 3+ hours in heels. That is a record for me - I am NO GOOD in heels! We had a blast.
In the pic to the right, the bride, Amanda, is the one in the navy dress to the left =D

We went to the casino for a tiny bit - some of us went in to play - I was too tired and rested by the fountain with some of the girls. Back at the hotel room - 2:30am - we ordered some pizza and chit chatted until bedtime around 3:15.

It was a fantastic night - can't wait to party on the 21st when Amanda gets hitched!

Mary-Beth, Shannon, Tracee, Aimee and I - taken by the Dragonfly photographer (missing Amanda, Jenn and Angela)

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012 - Easter is coming

Well today is Good Friday - Easter weekend is here. And that means, soon there will be a house full of chocolate =D / =(

The kids are so excited to have a few days off together. HoneyPie loves it when she can be home with all of us; she misses being able to stay home, not that she is in grade 1.

This weekend is going to be a busy one - This afternoon, DH is dropping me off at a friend's house, and 8 of us are heading to Niagara Falls for the night to celebrate our good friend's upcoming wedding. (Will blog more about that tomorrow) I'll be home sometime tomorrow afternoon and then we will have dinner at my parents to celebrate Easter. Easter Sunday may be a lazy day - nothing planned until Monday when we have dinner at DH's parents - although he will be at the Toronto Blue Jays home opener instead ;)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend with their families!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012 - 5 THINGS


1) Scary Movies

Horror flicks terrify me...that doesn't mean that I don't subject myself to the terror. For example, DH and I went to see Paranormal Activity on Hallowe'en Day 2009 - and why the heck did we choose to go see it on HALLOWE'EN???? This one was SCAAAARY! But, #2 was way worse....I rarely see a horror movie IN a theatre. I'd rather sit on the comfort of my own couch where I can wrap my face in a blanket...and cuddle up with my honey. And I'm so glad we chose not to see Paranormal Activity 2 in the theatre...DH and I are perfect horror movie dates....we are scared/startled easily - and enjoy cuddling and hiding from the movie together.

2) Driving in snowy & icy conditions

I am a very nervous driver in snowy and icy conditions. I feel that now that I have children, my fear of winter driving has increased. I need to keep my children safe - and its not that I don't trust my own driving, it's that of the jerk offs who don't drive accordingly to the weather. Many years ago, DH and I spun out on the highway while coming home from Niagara Falls. We hit a patch of black ice, and spun 4-5 times and landed up on the median. Thank heavens there was no traffic. The car was fine - the tow truck driver was able to push us back down and we were able to drive back home. I also did a 180 when I hit a patch of ice heading to work...I ended up facing a car behind me - the lady was so nice and mouthed "ARE YOU OK?" and backed up to let me turn around - it terrified me. So now, I drive very carefully and keep my children's safety in mind at all times.

3) Ferris Wheels

Oh gosh, I will never go on a large ferris wheel!!! I don't know what it is about them that terrifies me. It may be the height, it may be the fact that they don't look all that safe to me...I hate the look of them. I will go on the pumpkin ferris wheel at Canada's Wonderland with the kids - it is quite small and looks very sturdy ;) AND, because HoneyPie really wanted to go on it. I can't put my fears onto her, so I put my brave face on and rode the ferris wheel with her =S We had a great time...but man, I don't know what I will say when she asks me to go on a large ferris wheel...ugh, I'm cringing just at the thought.

4) Noises in the Night

It never fails, the nights that DH is away and I am alone with the kids, I am kept awake all night by strange noises - - Creaks, thumps, bangs. One night DH was away and all of a sudden his iTunes came on blaring Adele - no idea why, but it scared the hell out of me. I always keep the phone handy in case I need to call 911 LOL Just a big scaredy cat, I guess.

5) Public Speaking

I have a mild case of "glossophohbia" - a fear of public speaking. While speaking in front of others doesn't leave me in a state of physical distress or panic, it does leave me anxious and very nervous. I hated doing presentations in school - the feeling of everyone staring at me would make me nervous for days before a big presentation. Once, in OAC English, I had to do a 30minute presentation on Canada's most influential women...I was terrified. So I set up my video camera in my room, taped my presentation, sent it in with my boyfriend (DH) along with a note saying I was getting my wisdom teeth out (they had already been out for a year LOL) and I stayed home. It was so terrible of me but I had worked myself up so much that I was dreading going to school for that presentation. Needless to say, I got half the mark that I should've because I wasn't actually presenting and able to answer questions, etc. Oh well ;) I was also so nervous about public speaking that I didn't even speak at our wedding (which I really regret). I did speak at my brother in law's wedding and felt good about it - so I think as I am getting older my fear is subsiding a little. But I still have a LONG way to go.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012 - My New Fave App

Has everyone tried DRAWSOMETHING??? It is my new favourite app for my iPhone. It has exploded onto the scene - fifty days after it's release it had been downloaded 50 million times....and I can see why - it is amazing! So much fun.

DrawSomething is a mobile app developed by OMGPOP. In the game, two players alternate turns between drawing a picture for the other to guess. Just like Pictionary. The person drawing chooses one of three "guess words" to draw. Each player earns one to three coins if the drawing is guessed correctly, which build up to eventually allow the player to purchase more shades of color for drawing or "bombs", which can be used to eliminate letters not part of the answer or to exchange their list of words for new ones.

After the drawer has finished drawing, the guesser will view an instant replay of the drawing, minus hesitation and delays. The guesser is given a number of blank spaces and scrambled letters to type the guess word

It is such a fun game - I have games going with quite a few people and look forward to seeing my friends and family's artistic skills.

To check out some pretty amazing drawings done of this app, visit: Best of DrawSomething Some of the drawings posted are phenomenal - wondering if they have some sort of stylus pen. Man, I need to get one of those ;)

If you haven't checked out this app, download it - it's definitely worth the 99Cents!!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3, 2012 - Tea

I've never been interested in drinking hot drinks. I do not care for coffee, although I do love the smell of it....I have never really enjoyed tea - perhaps I just haven't found the right one, or the right formula of added milk or sugar...or as my Mom has said in the past "I'm just not grown up enough for it yet" (same goes for wine LOL)

Tea has seemed, in the last little while, to explode with popularity....with new tea shops opening around us - such as Teaopia and David's Tea , I thought I would give ea drinking a shot.

My good friend, Erin, has started a Tea Blog called Erin's Tea. It is a fantastic video blog that she started not too long ago and has already over 3,400 likes on Facebook. It is a fantastic blog where she reviews an assortment of teas as well as talks about different brewing techniques and even yummy snacks that accentuate the tea drinking process. Just a shameless plug for a dear friend ;)

Anyway - all this talk of teas got me thinking today while I was at Fortinos doing my weekly shop...
I decided to buy a box of tea bags. Now, I didn't go somewhere fancy for my teas...just my local grocery store but they did have a huge selection of tea. I decided on a President's Choice one as I didn't want to spend a bunch in case I didn't like it. After the kids went to bed, I got out my kettle and boiled some water and thought I'd try some. I had purchased "Feeling Calm - Chamomile Citrus" as I haven't been sleeping great and I'd heard that Chamomile is a relaxing tea that may help you sleep better.

I wasn't sure if I should add anything to, I drank it as is. I even got out one of my fancy Royal Bone China mugs that my Opoe bought me years ago. Thought I'd better drink my first cup of tea out of something other than a plain coffee mug I use only for guests ;) I must say, it was pretty good. Not very sweet, couldn't taste the citrus at all - but it did have a nice flavour. I am off to bed shortly, so we'll see what sort of sleep qualities is possesses ;)

I looked up the benefits to Chamomile Tea, just wondering if there were any - (next I may try Green Tea, as I hear it helps in weight loss ha!)
This is what I found:
Better SleepChamomile tea's most well-known benefit is as a sleep aid. It is known for its relaxing and soothing properties and is often taken before bed to promote restful sleep. Could definitely benefit from this one!

Stomach Soother Peter Rabbit's mother was right to give him chamomile after he ate too much in Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden. Chamomile is helpful for a variety of stomach problems. It soothes stomach aches, eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assists in overall digestion. It is often found in teas for digestion in combination with peppermint.

Menstrual CrampsThe ancient Egyptians used it to soothe menstrual cramps and now science is catching up. One study found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea helps menstrual cramps.

Cold Fighter Chamomile has immune boosting properties and helps in the fight against colds due to its antibacterial properties.

Wound Healing The Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used chamomile flowers in a poultice and applied them to wounds to speed healing. They must've been on to something. In one study, rats given chamomile extract in their water experienced faster wound healing times.

Diabetes Management Chamomile tea is being studied for its beneficial effects in the management of diabetes. In one study, daily consumption of chamomile tea was found to prevent the progression of diabetic complications and hyperglycaemia.

Cancer In-vitro studies show possible protection against several different types of cancer cells.

But also found these Precautions
Some people have serious allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to chamomile. If you are allergic to other plants in the same family such as daisy, ragweed, aster, chrysanthemum, or marigold you should use caution when using chamomile. I do seem to have an increase in hellish allergy symptoms when ragweed is high, although I did not test positive for the allergy when I had my test at 10yo....I did not notice any sort of reaction to drink this tea...thank goodness!

So, I think I will continue to try some different teas - maybe even venture into a tea shop for some fun new flavours. I certainly enjoyed my warm drink before bed...and can imagine myself liking something warm in the morning, as well. So - we'll see...wish me luck on my new adventure ;)

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012 - The Hunger Games

This past week I blazed through a book that has been getting some major hype as of late. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was first published in 2008 and I truly wish I would've heard about it before the movie trailers were released.

This book was amazing. Here is an excerpt from Google Books:
A chilling tale of survival from the New York Times bestselling author. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor tohis or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

The Hunger Games was addictive; I could not put this book down. I read every spare moment I had - and with 2 children plus a daycare business, there isn't a ton of time during the day to read. But like I said above, I BLAZED through this book - this novel has been an overwhelming success and now it shows with how well the movie has done over the last two weekends. DH and I are dying to see the movie - hopefully in the next week or so we can arrange to go - as I hear it as great...but of course, not as good as the book.

I am already looking forward to reading the second book in the trilogy "Catching Fire", but want to wait until we have seen the movie...I kind of feel like the two of us are the only ones who haven't seen it yet! ha!
If you haven't read this book - definitely RUN out and grab it. We got the trilogy in hardcover for $35 at Costco. Great price for hard covers....ENJOY!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012 - Newest Addiction

Years ago, I was on a popular social networking site called MYSPACE...soon FACEBOOK was introduced and I received invites which I declined saying I didn't want another site that I would be addicted to. I caved soon after and didn't realize the time I would spend lurking people's walls and photo albums, updating my own page and statuses...just wasting time, when I could be doing other things. And then came....
In case you have not been introduced to this amazing site - "It is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and or 'like' photos" Wikepedia

I have spent countless hours browsing the different categories creating my own boards of things I like - Such as clothing, recipes, crafts, and home decor ideas. I have found some wonderful new recipes and have created some neat craft items - such as the birthday wreath and ceramic tile coaster I blogged about previously. I also use it as a piece of motivation - to dream big and to work a little harder.

Yes, I admit, I've been swept up by the hype of Pinterest, but it is a really amazing site. I can search for a certain topic and have hundreds of items show up with the website where I can find more information about that recipe or fashion item, etc.

If you haven't had a chance to check out Pinterest and would like an invite - let me know and I'll send you one. Believe me, you'll love it!