Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What is a Cricut machine? What can I do with it? Plus, pretty diy decals for spring!

Painted mason jar with pretty diy bunny decals cut with the Cricut - perfect for Easter or spring

Perhaps you've walked through your local craft superstore and stopped to wonder at a shiny new Cricut machine. "What is it? What can I do with it? And why do I feel like I need one in my life?" you ask yourself. I know because I used to do it and think it too! Since the fall, I've been one of the Cricut-initiated - I've been getting to know and love my own shiny new Cricut Explore Air™.

So I thought today I would give you a wee intro to the Cricut electronic cutting machine and cover some of the things you can make quite easily with it. (Hint: it does much more than scrapbooking!) First of all, do you know how to pronounce Cricut? I didn't. I was pronouncing it Cry-cut, when it's actually pronounced cricket, like the insect.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf (Vegan)

Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf - a fluffy and delish vegan snack bread that pays tribute to both cinnamon toast and cinnamon rolls

When I was a kid, I enjoyed eating toast topped with margarine and a sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar mix. (Put cinnamon and sugar in a spice jar at a ratio of about 1 to 3.) Even today, if I'm feeling snacky in the evening and we don't have any treats in the house, I'll fall back on this quick and tasty sugary snack.

This Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf pays tribute to my good old reliable childhood snack. I adapted (veganized) this recipe from one in The MacDonald Mixing Bowl 500 Down-east Recipes, a cookbook created by a collective of women in Nova Scotia, complete with ads in the back for local spots like Truro Lanes, The Family Fun Centre.

Friday, March 10, 2017

True North Maple Cake with Buttercream Icing and Strawberry Filling (vegan)

Most of us Canadians walk a fine line when it comes to national pride - on the inside we are extremely proud of our country, but we don't like to appear boastful or make like we're better than others. Our pride is not often on display - there aren't many flags flying on porches - except on Canada Day, July 1st (and maybe when we're watching our hockey teams).

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada. Most of us know just how lucky we are to live here in Canada. We celebrate tolerance, diversity, education and respect. We promote peace. And we love our surroundings, from the rugged cliffs of Newfoundland to the Yukon's Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books To Keep You Busy Sewing On Spring Break

Ever since I saw Molly Ringwald's character, Andie, craft her own prom dress in the eighties film Pretty in Pink, I have imagined what it would be like to sew your own unique threads. Of course I only ever imagined - I didn't actually learn to sew clothing.

My daughter has expressed an interest in taking sewing courses. (She's almost as old as I was when I watched Pretty in Pink!) Maybe she can live out my dream by creating her own unique teen wardrobe? Either way, I thought it would be fun for us to explore some sewing books this Spring Break. Maybe we'll start off with something a little more simple, like a toque or a pillow cover.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring Break $200 Cash Giveaway

Looks like spring is on the way! And if it's not, I don't want to hear about it. Let's be optimistic - together we'll look forward to sunshine, blooming flowers, bike rides, breezes flowing through open windows and maybe a bit of shopping.

In the spirit of springtime, I have joined together with a group of Canadian blogging friends to offer up $200 to one lucky winner! That should get you started on your spring shopping. You could buy some seeds to start off this year's plants indoors perhaps, or even better, get a pedicure to prepare for flip flop weather! Or treat the family to a great meal on spring break. The prize is $200 Canadian and the giveaway is open to readers worldwide.

Come Back & Enter Each Day During The Giveaway Period!

Giveaway rules: Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter every day. Mandatory question must be answered to be eligible to win. Giveaway is open worldwide. Prize is $200CAD, to be transferred to a PayPal account. Ladena from MyFamilyStuff is responsible for awarding the prize. This giveaway is sponsored by all bloggers included in the giveaway widget. The prize is non-transferable. Giveaway runs to Mar. 13, 2017. Void where prohibited.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Our Powder Room Makeover - The Big Reveal!

Our powder room makeover is complete! I'm pretty sure our tiny bathroom space couldn't look any more different from the bland, purely functional original space it was. Before, the powder room didn't have much to say about the family who lives here or the things that bring us joy. (I know, enough with the Marie Kondo already!) Now, when I open the door to the powder room, it sings to me. It reminds me of spring, good cheer and, quite frankly, my younger days.

You see, we got a bit "safe" in this home. The tiny Toronto apartment we lived in before kids had three rooms and three different vivid colours - deep green in the kitchen, sunny yellow in the living room and dark blue in the bedroom. And we loved it. Although we won't be getting that "colour brave" again, I think we are finding our way back to colour, this time with a more sophisticated approach befitting our ages and tastes. Clearly our most bold choice for the powder room is the Eden Orange/Grey/Cream wallpaper by Graham & Brown at The Home Depot Canada.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What I Ate Wednesday

The weather is warming up significantly around here. We were promised some sort of record-breaking warm day today. I'm not sure we're quite going to make it, but the temperature is expected to go up to 13 degrees Celsius this afternoon. It's warm for February, but today it's also accompanied by dense fog. With most of the snow melted, the yard is just plain ugly. But I'm not complaining (okay, I'm complaining a bit) because spring is surely on the way!

This What I Ate Wednesday, I'm looking at highlights from the last couple of weeks. I don't seem able to post as regularly as I used to, but I hope spring takes care of that too. More energy, more ambition, all that good stuff. As I said on Instagram, between sick days, PA Days, exam days and snow days, I had one or both of the kids with me quite often over the past month or so. That has limited my creative time and also my time spent experimenting in the kitchen. Once the kids were finally back at school for a stretch, I decided to make a special breakfast just for me. The kids aren't hot on the idea of coating French toast with coconut, so I made one of my favourite quick, easy and delicious breakfasts - the coconut French toast from the incredible Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week.

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