Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Switzerland or Wales..?

Today, a special treat.....a guest blogger from across the world!
And my first guest blogger!
Meet Rachel from Three Years and One Stone Then Home. In her post, she gives a little glimpse of her current home, Switzerland and her heart-home, Wales. Aren't the pictures gorgeous? Stop by her blog and say hi! Find out what her son's first word was.. :)

Life Inside a Snow Globe

Of all the countries that I have passed-through, visited or lived in, Switzerland is the one that is most definitely ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille. So picture-perfect, so clean, so safe, so harmoniously run, it’s the on-earth contender for Avatar’s Pandora. One of the richest countries in the world with its largest city, Zurich, regularly featuring in ‘top 10 places to live’ and ‘top 10 quality of living’ surveys, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a place conjured up by the best of Hollywood’s scriptwriters. But it’s not. It’s a place where I live. And it’s a place that, try though I might, I can’t call home.

On paper, Switzerland, Zurich specifically, has everything a family could want. Parks, museums, amazing healthcare, excellent schools, a safe haven for children to play outdoors and walk to school by themselves (from the age of 6 would you believe). Mountains on hand for winter sports, a lake so clean you can drink from it, for summer sports. Public transport that runs frequently and on time and a train station that you actually want to spend time in – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Have I convinced you to move out here yet?

Call me crazy, call me insane, but my heart belongs to Wales. I want to go home. And here’s where the problem lies. The most difficult toss of a coin that I’ve come up against. Weighing up the pros and cons of bringing my son up in surroundings and circumstances that dreams are made of versus being close to family and friends and everything familiar.

I’ve looked back to my own childhood to help make the decision and on the whole, my memories are based entirely on people, never location. In fact, I realized at an early age that you can be bought or buy yourself everything under the sun, travel to the most amazing of places but the best times you’ll ever have are with the people that you love. I don’t need to go further than my mum and dad’s old dining table for most of my favorite moments. Rewind a little further and it’s my grandparents back garden.

So I can bring my son up in this hugely impressive country or instead, choose to bring him up in the middle of an equally impressive collection of family and friends. Which will give him the best start? Which will give him the best memories? And which of those will help to nurture him to be the best and happiest he can possibly be?

This post has been provided by Three Years and One Stone ThenHome as part of the Multi-Coloured Blog Swap carnival.

Picture 13
Hey check out my post for a yummy
Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake over at Glass Half Full

Thanks to Troubled Doubled for hosting this awesome Blog Swap Carnival!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Painting, from a Women' Perspective

Recently, when reading a post from Finding Fabulous, Jane and her husband are at opposite ends on whether to paint the brick/fireplace in a recently spruced and painted room.

Don't we all have that? Shouldn't this debate be covered in Relationship 101 Manuals, right up there with toilet roll placement and toothpaste squeezeability? Why is it that men just get completely cold feet when it comes to painting things like wood or brick? It's not like it takes away from the durability of the item. It's still wood, dude! Just prettier.

Anyhow, my husband and I had this lovely conversation when I wanted to paint our kitchen, from its boring, er, solid oak cabinets. But we ended up painting them --- er, I even got them to be blue lol!

And we had the conversation again, when I wanted to paint the brick over the fireplace. I never did a post on it but here are some pics.

Isn't the white brick so much nicer and lightens up that room? I think it's a much nicer transition to my blue and white kitchen than red brick!

And we will have the conversationagain when I bring up how I now would like to paint that actual fireplace. Thinking a deeper red.....

And oh boy, will we have the conversation, when I mention that I have now been recently very VERY inspired by Design Mom's Painted Piano. That's right, I said PIANO. She went green y'all!

Consider this your heads up, hon :)

I'm partially kidding, as my "crazy sounding" ideas do turn out to be quite fabulous, if I can toot my horn. My husband even liked my turquoise dining table, which he painted for me :)
Again, I need to do a post about that one as well....

My thought is that it's your house, make it your home. Let it reflect who you are. Surround yourself with what you consider happy, calming, beautiful.

Or at the very least, you've got a conversation starter. Or, free passes to Hands-on Couple Conflict Resolution Workshop :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Writing on the Wall

It looks like I am getting into the swing of things, juggling a 3 year old and an infant. And with Jed getting a little older, I can actually put him down after nursing and he will stay asleep - allowing me to return to my nighttime crafting routine.
So, I am just ticking off items from my Pinterest or Bookmark list.
And obviously, I am in the wreaths category, for I've done three this week (previous two were the Turquoise Coffee Filter Wreath and the Spring Pinwheels...)

Now on to a bigger one: the Book Paper Wreath.

And I'm sure you've seen these all over, yes?

Well, have you seen any with robin eggs? :)

Now, in my dining room....

some close ups...

can you guess how many pages I used?

Linked to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Making the World Cuter
DIY Showoff
The Girl Creative
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Made By You
Today's Creative Blog
Blue Cricket Designs
Fireflies and JellyBeans
Tales from Bloggeritaville
Somewhat Simple
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
Sweet Little Gals
Raising Homemakers
finding fabulous
romantic home
fingerprints on the fridge
kojo designs
Sugar Bee Crafts
Topsy Turvy
Funky Polkadot Crafts
Let Birds Fly
Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons
Tea Rose Home

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And another wreath...

This is 2 of 3 wreaths that I made...I was on a roll apparently.

This is what I call my "I'm pretending that Spring is more around the corner than what it looks like outside" wreath.

Because I am in Canada.

And it's cold.

And I need some pretty spring looks around here.

Or maybe turn up the thermostat.

Hey, I've got Caribbean blood people :)

Linked to:
Domestically Speaking
Southern Hospitality

2012 Book List

Of my 40 books on my 2012 reading list....
Each book has a link to their listing on I post reviews on some books, but do let me know if you want it on a particular book.

I've read,
1. The Happiness Project
2. The Coming Revolution
3. The Blythes are Quoted
4. Baby Days
5. Amish Values for Your Family
6. Going Green: Growing Vegetables
7. The Mom I Want to Be
8. The Year of Living Biblically
9. Say You're One of Them
10. The Measure of a Man
11. How to Have a New Kid by Friday
12. Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe
13. Middlesex
14. Farm City
15. Real Marriage
16. Hot Apple Cider
17. The Little Red Book of Wisdom
18. Raising a Sensory Smart Child
19. The Help
20. 7, An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
21. Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
22. Plain Promise
23. The Out of Sync Child
24. Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
25. Plain Perfect
26. Man of His Word
27. Anything
*updated October 25th, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mama's Got a Wreath

I finally got around to it.

I've seen these wreaths all over and I "reserved" the box of coffee filters and put them aside. Actually, it was more like "hey no one drinks coffee here right, so these are up for grabs...these are mine."...

I had seen the natural color filters and thought I was going to make that one, but having only the white ones, I decided to frugally make do.

But I wasn't really impressed with the way the white ones looked. Maybe it was just me, but they were so darn obvious: Hi, I am a scrunched up coffee filter. Trying to look pretty.

And besides, I wanted to do a completely different color. And I hadn't really seen any turquoise

No need for a full blown tutorial -- it's pretty much along these lines...
1. Grab a box of coffee filters.
2. In a bucket, mix warm water and a few drops of food coloring. Make the color a little more intense than what you are desiring as it will fade a little when dry.
3. Place filters in colored water and pretend you are a human manual washing machine.
4. Take filters out, squeeze excess water out and lay flat to dry on newspaper.
5. After drying, you may want to repeat Steps 3 and 4 to get the desired color.

When dry,
6. Place filter in palm of left hand and push in middle with available right pointer finger until you get a slightly scrunched flower look. Sort of like what you do to dinner napkins when you put then in the napkin ring holders.
7. Hot glue "stem tip" and place onto desired spot on wreath. Push down with end of unsharpened pencil (so as to not burn those fingers --- you do use a whole box of filters lol).
8. Keep going until wreath is complete.

Some tips:
About halfway, you WILL think it looks like a piece of junk...just keep going. Ignore the "look at me, using stained scrunched COFFEE FILTERS as art" comments dancing in your head.

Also I put the filters in the middle of the wreath and fluffed as I went.I didnt want just the flat/folded look. I also filled in whatever spots showed.

And my biggest tip --- HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON THIS WREATH, as it only cost me $2 bucks....
DON'T buy any wreath, especially from Michaeal's. It's just gonna get all covered up. Instead, I bought a foam board (pk os 2 for $4) and just asked my husband to cut the wreath shape from it. Now, I also have an additional foam piece to do another wreath.

Linked to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Making the World Cuter
DIY Showoff
The Girl Creative
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Made By You
Today's Creative Blog
Blue Cricket Designs
Fireflies and JellyBeans
Tales from Bloggeritaville
Somewhat Simple
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
Sweet Little Gals
Raising Homemakers
finding fabulous
romantic home
fingerprints on the fridge
kojo designs
Tea Rose Home