Monday, 30 April 2012

How to Ask Your Bridesmaids

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  I'm so looking forward to the warmer weather they're starting to call for this week, it's been an icky last few weeks here. 

Well, wedding plans are well under way!  When I asked my bridesmaids I wanted to do it in a fun way.  One of my friends loves the challenge of a good puzzle so I thought I'd try to make her a puzzle with a message on it.

I bought a foam flower shape for the base from the dollar store (I had a rectangle in my hand and knew that that would be way too easy for her so I opted for something with rounded edges).  Using some Mod Podge I cut up strips of newspaper and glued them to the flower.

Then (much like a randsom note) I cut out all the letters I would need and glued them on.

Side note: Randsom notes hold such fond memories for me haha, I remember this one exciting day or two when we were younger and we had had our aunt, uncle and cousins, who lived across the street, over for dinner.  I guess when they left they had forgotten their salad dressing at our house and hours later they sent one of their young kids over with a randsom note asking us to return the dressing or else...Of course we couldn't just hand it over, a few fun randsoms were exchanged back and forth and us kids were used to deliver them.  I remember it being so funny and exciting.  Oh memories!  Maybe that's why I was drawn to this idea haha

Anyhoo, with a permanent marker I drew out my puzzle lines

Cut all the pieces up! 

Fun Fun!  It was a bit of a challenge with the rounded edges but she got through it and figured it all out.  It was definitely more fun than just asking her.

I wish I had a picture of how I asked my sister but I forgot.  I had a card and the cutest (in my opinion anyways) little book called "You and Me" (or maybe "Me and You")...I can't find it anywhere and it was the last one on the shelf.  But basically it's about how the character "Me" was looking for a friend and in the end, Me finds "You".  Super cute. 

I have one more I'll show you this week as well  :)

Have you had to ask some of your closest ladies to be your bridesmaids?  How did you do it?  Did you get up to anything fun this weekend?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Because I can...

Thank you for all of your lovely comments on our stairs post, it was a big project and I'm glad it's not just us who can appreciate the outcome  :)  Anyhoo, just a quick pop-in today to say hello...

My cousin recently took some baby pictures of two-week old Lily, my most favourite little niece, and how could I not share this picture...

She tugs so hard at my heartstrings!!  I love every little inch of her increasingly pudgy body.


Monday, 23 April 2012

The Wait Is Over...

Wow have I left you hanging on this one or what!?  Sorry!  Well the stairs have been done for, yes, over a month now  :S  And maybe I'm a little biased but I think they are absolutely gorgeous.  All that hard and dusty, dirty work definitely paid off.

Let's take a look back at what we started with:

How it was when we moved in (and after a little reno wear-and-tear)

Mid- project, this was after the treads and risers had been sanded

And ahhhhhh, a breath of fresh air

So when all was said and done it took just over a month (of only weekend work - and one of those weekends was all baby shower and no stair work, so if you were going to attempt something like this I'd say give yourself anywhere from 3-6 weekends to get it done.  3 probably if there are two of you, but for the most part it was just me on my own so I'm going to say that's why it took so long ;)

Let's take another look shall we??


The staircase as we always knew it (with the trim around the newel post busted off from years of careless tenants) and then how it looked after I'd tackled it with the sander.

 It's so nice to touch now, it all feels so smooth and dustless.  We weren't sure of the paint on the panel before we got started on it, but I think it makes all the details stand out so much more than when it was dark and stained. 

For literally weeks after it was done, I would walk up the stairs running my hands along all the treads because they're just so glossy and smooth now, I love it!

Because most of the steps had shifted slightly over the last 92 years, there were gaps where each tread met its riser.  So we added some trim to cover the gaps and for some added detail:

The darker patches on the treads from years of traffic still peak through the stain, but that is A-OK with us because we didn't want the staircase to look brand new

(Yes, paint touch ups are still in order, and we have to re-paint the whole yellow-ish wall after we give it a skim coat to smooth it out)

This post is getting a little long so I'll share a few of my favourite details in another post.  But for now let's take one last gander at what people now see when they come in the front door...

Oh, how we love! 

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, ours was quite busy with get-togethers, baby visits, and errands here-and-there.  I'm already looking forward to the next!!

Linking up to:

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sweet Potato Soup

It has been a busy busy busy week for me (and may or may not have involved some wedding planning!) and I've had no chance to post until now.  It's just a quickie, but on the weekend we made this much-more-delicious-than-it-looks Sweet Potato Soup.  I love love sweet potatos so I was eager to give it a try. 

We did it in the crock pot so that we could get stuff done while it did the work for us, but I'm sure you could do it just as well on the stove.  You heat the potatos for 3 hours to soften them (but I'm sure you could put them in the microwave and get the same result much quicker?), then blend them to smooth the chunks out, add the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for 1-3 hours more (I just did the one hour and it was good to go)

Sorry for the lack of presentation and just trust that it was so yummy!

Here are the ingredients:

- 2 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half
- 2 packets Splenda or Truvia (I just put one TBSP of sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dry mustard

If my pictures don't appeal to you, this is the picture that first enticed me...

Pinned Image
source and recipe here

You might not feel like soup today, it's supposed to be lovely weather, but it's supposed to cool down on the weekend again and this might help keep you toasty warm!

Have you been trying out new recipes you found on pinterest as well??  Any good ones to share?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Playing Host

On Sunday we hosted our first ever holiday dinner.  We thought Easter would be a good time to try out our hosting abilities because there always seems to be less pressure around Easter for our family (as opposed to Thanksgiving or Christmas).  We had 10 adults over, and little baby Lily, and we think we did A-OK!

We roasted a massive pork loin from the local butchers and some bacon wrapped asparagus deliciousness (the recipe I found on pinterest, bless that site!)

We realized that morning that our oven only has one rack (clearly we don't use it often enough!) and that the pork and asparagus would not fit in there together.  So in a panic I called Darryl's sister who lives near by to see if she could pop the baking sheet in her oven (as well as to see if she had any brown sugar we could borrow as ours was rock hard!). 

We also had generous help from our parents.  My mum brought some wine and a salad and Darryl's mom brought some Philippino food.  So in the end there was more than enough food for everyone to eat and take home for left overs.

It was fun to get out all the china and drink from tea cups with saucers.  I just need to remember to slow down and take pictures next time!

At one point Darryl said, "It's actually pretty fun playing host".  I said "I don't think we're playing anymore!"

I hope you all enjoy the weekend and all the rain that it's supposed to bring to our neck of the woods.  Grow plants, grow!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Happy 2 Weeks!

I'm a little late in posting this, but on Thursday March 29th at 6:46am my little 7lb niece came into the world!!  Twenty-nine seems to be a popular number for female birthdays in our family - I'm the 29th of August, my mom is May 29 and her Aunt Lisa on her Daddy's side (who has a hilariously awesome blog- check it out especially if you're a fan of Survivor!) is June 29th.  Coincidence??  And all but one of us have names starting with an "L"???  That's got to mean something...right??

Little Lily Grace is now at home and doing very well.  She came right in between her Mom and Dad's birthdays, so they are all within 6 days of each other (even their Kitty's birthday is in there too!).  She's only 11 days old and already I love her so much it hurts!  I could just stare at her precious little face all day long.  At just 2 weeks old you can already start to see bits and pieces of her personality taking shape. 

Here she is only a few short hours after being born...

I may be a little biased, but tell me she is not the most beautiful little angel!!

Her first outing (to another house anyways) was over to our house for Easter dinner on Sunday.  She was in an adorably too-big Easter dress that I regret not getting a picture of!  Already I'm daydreaming of when she's older and having slumber parties and craft days with her.  I know, I'm a nerd, I can't help it.

I can't decide what I love more, her perfect little lips, her precious chin or my sister's mini-me nose.  And all that hair! 

I could ramble on and on and on about her already (and will spend my day looking forward to getting a little cuddle in with her tonight - sorry I'm such a Lily hog guys!) so I'll stop myself here.

Happy second week birthday Lily!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


A few weeks ago, Darryl and I went to my Great Aunt's apartment (she is moving out and needs to downsize so we went to see if there was anything we might want, and helped clear out a lot of stuff).  One of the things that had been placed in the donation pile I quickly snagged, not knowing what to use it for, but knowing that it was too good to get rid of.

Right away Darryl said it would be the perfect foolstool to go with my sister's glider in their nursery (she was using the carseat to push off of).  As soon as we got home I took the legs off and grabbed some left over fabric from some other nursery projects and Darryl got to staple-gunning while I pulled the fabric tight.

The next day, while I was priming the staircase (for hours...and speaking of which I have an "after" post to share with you soon!), Darryl took the legs out to the yard and primed and spray painted them with 3 coats of Rustoleum's Antique White.  Then he brought them in and he BAKED THEM!  My word, does that little trick make them look and feel sooo good!  (DO NOT bake painted things in your eating oven, we have a toaster oven on it's last leg that we don't cook with).

And after dinner and all my priming was done, we drilled the legs into place and voila!  An easy-peasy, super quick project with lots of payoff!

Let's see one more before/after...

And here it is to scale...

So now she can rock herself and baby while keeping the car seat in the car, woot!  

Have you redone an ottoman/footstool (what is the different between an ottoman/footstool anyways...same thing??)

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Treats

Last week I made some easter treats for co-workers and some kiddos and they were a huge hit.  I can't take credit for them though, I got the idea from...where else....pinterest.  But instead of filling them with egg gum, I put chocolate eggs inside.

Just grab some dollar store plastic eggs to use as moulds (the link says to spray them with non stick cooking spray, but I found they didn't need anything, they came out so easily on their own).

Then dip and decorate however you like, I melted coloured chocolate disks from Bulk Barn and sprinkled them with candies.

(if the krispies look green and pink, it's because in one batch I tried using coloured marshmallows, but IMO they don't taste as good as the plain ones)

They're a little labour intensive (and if you plan on trying them, make them in small batches or the rice krispies start to harden up and get too hard to mould), but worth it once you get to eat them!

I hope all who celebrate had a lovely Easter!

Did you do any Easter treats? Do you have a favourite Easter meal you like to make?  Traditions?