Friday, May 31, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life

Can you believe it's almost June? How does that happen? Winter drags and drags and then suddenly it's summer. We have lost any sort of spring weather around here. This year, we went from snow to heat and humidity within a couple of weeks.

Enough complaining. I'm once again sharing a look at the pictures I took this week on my cell phone. First up, this pic I took of my daughter last weekend on dance photo day. I just love this costume she got for tap class. The hat is too cute. The makeup was a little more than I intended, but she WILL NOT keep still, so it's very difficult to do.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mrs. Crafty - and why I heart Justin

I had big, big plans this past Sunday. Yep, they involved putting away the baskets and baskets of laundry that can be found all over my bedroom, the kids' rooms and the upstairs hall. It's all washed and dried - it's the putting away that I really hate.

Anyway, my daughter had different plans for me. She thought we should dive into some of the cute craft books we are starting to accumulate. Who can say no to that? She went through each of our awesome Jane Bull books, as well as the adorable Aranzi Aronzo book I told you about recently.

She put sticky notes on the projects she was most interested in, and then we narrowed them down together. I kind of directed her towards the low stress, easy projects.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

There are weeks when I take lots of food photos and then weeks when I take few. This past week was the latter, I'm afraid.

Sometimes I'm just plain hungry and I have my dinner all eaten before I remember my dear camera, which generally sits smack in the middle of the kitchen counter. If I put it away I only have to go get it out again, after all. Anyway, for this What I Ate Wednesday, I'm sharing the photos I did manage to take, like this one, above. This is last night's dinner of Tofu Mexicali Scramble on tortillas.

I noticed when I was shopping for my weekly menu plan that I had put down three different tofu recipes this week. I love tofu, but I also like variety. This was a mistake, but I'm sticking with it anyway.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grasse Roots Perfumery (Giveaway - CLOSED)

I stopped wearing perfumes a long time ago. While I wore them with abandon when I was younger, I find I have developed a sensitivity to scents and chemicals. They make my eyes itchy and sometimes I even feel dizzy around too much scent (like in the aisle of cleaning products at the grocery store). When I became pregnant with my son over 11 years ago, I didn't want to expose him to toxic scents, so I gave up perfumes entirely.

That is, until recently, when I received a lovely package in the mail from Grasse Roots Perfumery. Grasse Roots perfume oils are vegan and created with 100% natural essences and fine perfumery botanicals. They are made from rare and precious substances derived from flowers, leaves, roots, grasses, barks, mosses, resins, woods, seeds and earth. Certified organic essences are used when possible.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vintage Fabric Aprons

My love of all things vintage continues to grow.  So I was pretty excited when fellow vintage enthusiast Holly from Gidget Sews sent me some of her new vintage-inspired aprons. If you're embracing the "new domesticity" like so many of us are, you'll enjoy baking your next blueberry banana muffins while wearing one of these lovely aprons.

Holly makes aprons for women, children and dolls (of the standard American Girl or Canadian Girl/Maplelea variety). My daughter loves putting on aprons when Mom does and she was over the moon to get aprons for herself and her doll.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Menu Plan, 22/52

After a few weeks of playing it by ear, I am back to menu planning for this week. We tend to eat healthier, better meals when I plan ahead.

I am also back to emphasizing fruit consumption for me and my family. For several weeks I was greeting the kids almost every day with an after-school snack of fruit on a tray or fruit salad. They enjoyed it and I felt good about them getting more fruit. So, I'm back at it again. Here's a fruit salad I presented them with after school one day this week, above. I cut up a pear, an orange, a peach, a banana and strawberries and then threw in some raspberries. My favourite part is the fresh berries. The kids love them too, but I'm finding I have to stop by a store every two or three days to buy more.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

She & Him, 21/52

 A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

She: ready for dance photo day...after a bit of a struggle over makeup application
Him: hanging out in his pajamas watching Saturday morning TV

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cute Clothes for Kids

Part of the fun of warm weather is switching over to a summer wardrobe. I tend to focus on clothes for the kids. I'm sure most moms are the same. After all, they are always growing. We don't have that excuse!

I'm loving the selection of offerings over at Tea Collection. Today through Monday you can get my favourite picks, above, on sale.  Tea Collection is offering select $15 girls dresses, $12 girls leggings and $12 boys tops. Sometimes I find that the really cute clothes aren't available in my kids' sizes, but Tea Collection offers sizes from 6 months to 12 years.

Here in Canada, we can only shop for Tea Collection in specialty stores. I will live vicariously through my American friends. If you are interested, hurry over to Tea Collection now, because they have already sold out of some styles.

What clothing pieces are you looking to add to your wardrobe this summer?

Insta-Friday in real life - pizza edition

Here's to Friday! If you're at work, you're probably doing the bare minimum, just waiting for the weekend to arrive. If you're at home with kids, you're probably waiting for the husband to get home so he can take over the diaper changes and the walks to the park.

However you spend your weekend, make it a good one. I hope all of my American friends enjoy their Memorial Day weekend.

And now for Insta-Friday, a look at the week in cell phone photos. Apparently this week was largely about pizza for us. In my What I Ate Wednesday post this week, I mentioned that I am consumed with thoughts of sushi and pizza. I found many pizza pics on both my cell phone and my Nikon this week.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Awesomely Awesome Books (Book Review)

My immediate family includes an 8-year-old girl, a 10-year-old boy, my over-40 husband and me (okay I'm over 40 too). With this diversity of sex and age, what sort of books could possibly have us fighting over who gets to keep them?

To borrow my son's adjectives, these "awesomely awesome" books are DK's books on the human body. When they arrived in the mail the other day, I thought they were pretty darn cool. What I didn't expect was that the family would argue over them. My husband saw them and immediately declared, "These will be mine." My daughter said that, no, she was going to have them. My son thought they should be his. Luckily we can all share, people.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome to another What I Ate Wednesday. Before I get to my list of Tuesday eats, I want to show you some other highlights from the week.

Although I have the occasional decaf coffee, I am more of what my mom would call a "tea granny." Must be the Irish in me. I believe there are few problems a cup of tea won't help with. That's why I love the idea of a company that allows you to send out "tea notes" to friends and family.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bunny Bag

Today I'm sharing a look at an easy, fun sewing project I did recently. How do I know it's easy? I made it. That means it has to be easy.

This was only my second sewing project ever (unless you count Valentine's hearts or felt donuts). I used to think that I hated sewing, but it turns out I just needed the proper motivation - making something fun! Have a look at my first-ever sewing project, a dress for my daughter's Canadian girl doll, here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vinyl Love

Just when you think you have one of your clutter problems under control...

My husband built a whole bookshelf dedicated to movies and vinyl records. He painstakingly alphabetized the movies and then the records. Everything fit, with just enough wiggle room to get your fingers in between the albums. Life was good.

And then we visited my parents again and this happened...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Weekend - in progress

This week's look at the weekend is a little bit different. With the Victoria Day holiday Monday tomorrow, more of the weekend is still to come. It's amazing how one extra day makes the weekend feel so much fuller and more satisfying, isn't it?

It feels like we have done so much already. We started off Saturday morning with a visit to a farmer's market, where we picked out a pot of organic basil.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

She & Him, 20/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

She: soaking up the sun
Him: tolerated the garden centre

Friday, May 17, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life

It's Friday once again. If you're Canadian like me, it's time for a good, celebratory long weekend. It's "May two-four" people!

Some info for those of you not in Canada - "Victoria Day" is a public holiday observed on the Monday before May 25th. It celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24th), but who really cares? It's a day off of work for most people. I believe we call it May "two-four" because many 24-packs of beer are consumed on this spring long weekend.

Whether you are opening up your cottage, starting your gardening for the year or just hanging out with friends enjoying the fireworks, I wish you a happy, safe long weekend.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! I hope you have been enjoying delicious, healthy food this week. Although the weather has been highly inconsistent, with everything from sunshine (very little) to rain to wind to snow, we have been acting like it's warm when it comes to meals. Quick and simple is the goal.

We continue to love sandwiches made of chickpea tomato salad on warmed naan bread, above. So yummy. I satisfied my pesky sweet tooth with a delicious cherry vanilla creme natural soda from Blue Sky.

Gluten-free Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

When it comes to baking, I like a long as the end result is edible. Having already "veganized" several of my favourite recipes, I am now taking on the challenge of developing gluten-free vegan recipes that are tasty enough to serve to gluten-eating folks.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gardening for Beginners (Book Review)

When we bought our house, about five years ago, there was almost no landscaping in the backyard. With a blank slate and a lack of confidence, I convinced my husband to seek professional help. Through a local garden centre we found a woman who draws up landscaping plans for $100, money well spent in my opinion.

She created an amazing plan, including stone walkways and a circular patio. As lovely as the plan was, we decided on baby steps. The yard isn't all that big and we wanted to leave some space for the kids to play. Because we have iron fencing and therefore a lack of privacy, we focused on creating a foundation of trees and bushes. My husband planted about 40 small cedar trees along the fences. I insisted on an apple tree, because I long for it to grow gnarly and crooked like the one we had in our yard growing up.

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Thrifty Treasures

In my "Small Town Shopping" post last week, I showed you a few of the treasures I found while browsing the thrift stores in the small town of Dunnville, Ontario. I have just a few more goodies to share.

My husband and I went shopping without the kids, much to my daughter's dismay. I promised I would bring her something back. I found this cute owl piggy bank, above, at the Salvation Army shop. When I brought it home, she said, "Is that all?" Well, I like it anyway.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Weekend - Mother's Day edition

I hope you all enjoyed a peaceful Mother's Day weekend. My plan for Mother's Day was to stay in bed, and that's what I did for the most part. This was the view from my breakfast tray. It's a good thing that my plan involved staying indoors, too, because it was windy, rainy and cold outside. There was a lot of hail and even some snow. Yuck.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

She & Him, 19/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

She: is a perfect combination of sugar and spice
Him: is daddy's little clone

Friday, May 10, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life

Friday seems to roll around so quickly. Maybe that's not true for some of you who are just yearning for the work week to pass. I understand. I have been there. I hope the weekend is all you hope it will be.

In looking at my week's worth of cell phone photos, I mainly found pics from last weekend when we went to my parents' place. Here's "the cottage," above, waking from a winter's sleep.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gifts for Mother's Day (Book Review)

My family knows that my perfect Mother's Day gift will always include a book. In fact, I like to get a book for almost any occasion. I favour simple pleasures over expensive gifts. Not that I would turn down diamonds, but I'm happy with a dvd, a lovely lotion, a scented candle, a sweet treat and, of course, a book.

Last year, I got the perfect Mother's Day gift. Here's what it looked like:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

Now that we are enjoying warmer days (finally!), we are getting back into barbecue meals around here. This week, we had veggie burgers more than once, with an array of barbecued veggies on the side.

Strawberry Scones

Mother's Day is just about here and many of us struggle to find a gift suitable for paying tribute to Mom and all she has done for us. How about giving her the gift of food? Nothing beats fresh-baked scones for breakfast in bed. Or make them the star feature of a Mother's Day brunch. If you're a mom yourself, consider handing the recipe off to your husband or teenage kids.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Small Town Shopping

In addition to enjoying the beach at my parents' house this past weekend, my husband and I also ventured into the nearby small town of Dunnville to browse some shops. There is a great thrift store in town with lots of vintage dishes and records. I looked at the dishes while he looked at the records.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Weekend

I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend, as we did. We spent the weekend at my parents' house, otherwise known as "the cottage," where we celebrated my dad's 86th birthday. How the time does pass.
The weather was as close to perfect as it gets around here. Lake Erie was not quite warm enough for swimming, but the sun was out and the beach was nice and hot.
I'm not sure I'm going to get my weekly meal plan done this week. I had to take advantage of the warm weather after all. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

She & Him, 18/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

She: celebrating her first skipped stone
Him: competing with his dad to see who can get the most skips

Friday, May 3, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life

Happy Friday folks! I hope you are all looking forward to a beautiful weekend with lots of sunshine and warm weather. The forecast looks good here: mainly sunny and around 20°C/68°F. It could be a bit warmer, but let's not complain. Once it's hot, it will be too hot.

It is my Friday tradition to share simple cell phone photos. This week, I am also sharing photos that my husband took on his cell phone. My favourite is this photo of his golfing buddies, above. They are a hilarious bunch. I thought this particular photo called for a vintage filter.

Join me on Instagram @ziajojo.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Club

Food, friends and great books. It's one of my favourite combinations (not necessarily in that order). Luckily I have two wonderful friends who are on the same page (pun intended). My beloved book club gals and I met this past Sunday after more than a year without a meeting. I'm afraid that, as much as we love our meetings, work and family commitments keep us pretty darn busy most of the time. 

That being said, we have to try harder to find the time to meet. We women need time to sit and chat with other women, sharing our ideas, our news, our troubles, our complaints...and maybe talking about the book a bit too.

In this case, because we hadn't met for so long, we actually discussed two books, The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I'll get to the novels in a minute. First, let's talk food.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

It's What I Ate Wednesday and time for a little look at some food highlights from the past week. I have been trying to eat less chocolate and other sweet stuff. Hence the dried apricots. I grabbed a couple of apricots whenever I craved something sweet. For about two days. Then the apricots were gone.

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye