Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, October 31, 2010 | | 0 comments
It was candy overload for the police officer and Tigger tonight...

We managed to get two crazy boys into bed before anyone was bouncing off the walls! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Hallowe'en!

Check back tomorrow for a GIVEAWAY!!

Some Hallowe'en Cuteness!

Thursday, October 28, 2010 | | 0 comments
Get ready for some awwww's!

And my favorite...

I'll share some pictures after Hallowe'en of Mr. James and Jacob in their costumes. James had a Hallowe'en party at pre-school today and loved every minute. I picked him up completely unprepared for the bag FULL of candy. His class had done some trick or treating and their stash was quite impressive. 

I hadn't even thought of how to approach the candy overload situation. One a day, your candy do what you want... ??? Looks like I have some serious google'ing to do!

Enjoy the rest of your week and Happy Hallowe'en!

This One's For YOU!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | | 0 comments
I came across an image while browsing the internet and wasting time working feverishly while the boys were napping. It has brought me complete serenity!

Photo credit
This, my friends is going to be tattooed on my forehead...anyone with me!? OK maybe not tattooed but definitely printed off, framed and hung in every single room in the house. Every. Single. One!

Anyone else do this? Think they can do it all? And maybe you're much more productive than me and can do it all!

I hit a HUGE learning curve after having Jacob (baby #2). I'd lie in bed at night exhausted but unable to get to sleep because I hadn't made it to the mailbox to get the mail that day. Yes, I know! It's almost nine months later and I'm finding myself being OK not doing it all... and I'm telling you it feels good to be OK with that!

So if you didn't get everything accomplished on your to do list today... no biggie! There's always tomorrow... or even the day after that!

Down & Out

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | | 3 comments
Our day started very unexpectedly this morning at 2 am. We were suddenly awakened by James with a bed full of throw up and Jacob sitting up in his crib with... you guessed it, throw up (weird huh?). 

After a quick bath everyone was dressed in new pjs and new beds were set up with fresh sheets. Luckily we all crashed promptly and no more throw up sessions ensued. 

That is until I pushed my luck. Everyone woke up healthy and early (ugh!). Not a lot of breakfast was eaten but they managed to have an appetite so I figured we were good to make an early morning trip to the grocery store. Many of you can probably make a well educated guess where this story is leading us...

Moving on... I have learned that the only way I will enter a grocery store with two children is for the following reasons:
a) We have no food in the house. Clearly poor planning on my part...'nuff said!
b) First thing in the morning. Isles are empty, shelves are stocked and produce is full!
c) A store where they bag your groceries for you. Sorry Superstore, I love you more then you'll know (especially for Joe) but I don't have four arms: #1 to keep James entertained, #2 to keep Jacob entertained, #3 bag the groceries in lightening McQueen speed (don't know about anyone else but this beyond stresses me out) and last but not least PAY! Us ladies can multi task but I've given up this zit causing, spike your coffee kinda outing... no thank you!

So we hit up the grocery store first thing in the morning as my children rise hours before the sun even begins to make it's appearance. I zipped through the isles and to be fair James made it clear he wanted to go home. I pushed it I know, I know! We were almost there, beginning to unload the food on the belt and I even had the thought of grabbing a coffee for me on the way out (insert hysterical laughter here). James announced he NEEDED to get out of the cart...I saw the look on his face, lifted him out and Niagra Falls exited his mouth directly onto me... the woman that carried him for nine months and endured long hard labour to get him here. 

And we all know what comes next... "Clean up on checkout till nine". Yep that was us. 

Looking back I have no idea what I was thinking. Why do we do this to our children? Or am I the only one who pushes things beyond the limit (ie thinking I'd go grocery shopping, grab a coffee and skip through the rest of our day)!

Here's hoping for a healthy Thursday! Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

How to Choose

Sunday, October 17, 2010 | | 2 comments
Last night I came across a contest that Cheerios is running for a dream vacation. Before looking into the contest rules and details I got a little ahead of myself. As I often do when buying lottery tickets or entering contests I assume that I will beat the hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions and be the winner. Therefore I planned my dream vacation... OK maybe I made a list of my dream vacations and decided I would pick one once I had been contacted that I had won.

Yes you can all see how disappointed I am when I don't win the $40 million jackpot where you have better odds of being struck by lightning 23 times!

The other slight hitch is that the contest is only for US residents and the dream vacation is for travel within the USA. It only took a few minutes to get over my pity party and decide that I would still make my dream vacation list as it's always nice to have dreams and put them on paper or a blog!

So... in no particular order here is my list of dream vacations:

1. Machu Picchu- I can still remember the first time seeing pictures and the feeling I got. Goosebumps and the NEED to go there! I won't make this a history lesson but you can find more info here.

2. France- I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Paris. This dream vacation involves a full month of travel all over France with my Mom and sisters. And no, the mini me version in Vegas will not do!


3. Backpack Thailand and Cambodia- Sorry boys... your spring break and summer vacations won't involve Disneyland! 

4. Re-do our Honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera- Yes that says re-do. We did the whole first comes love, then comes the baby in the baby carriage and then comes marriage! As dedicated first time parents we insisted on bringing our 10 month old baby with us on our one week all inclusive honeymoon in the Mayan Rivera. Day two we woke up to a playpen FULL of throw up. The remainder of the holiday included "loose stools", more throw up and our hotel room. It was 100% our fault as everyone told us to go alone and looking back we really should have. So next time will include hubby, me and an adults only resort! 

And there we have it! All four of my dream vacations!  These are all at the top of my bucket list. So tell me what are your dream vacations? C'mon people let's dream big! As we all know I've set myself up for a never ending vacation savings account!

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

PS- New to our blog on the right hand side is the option to subscribe to our blog via email. Simply enter your email, press subscribe and follow the steps... easy peasy!

Bonkers about Conkers

Thursday, October 14, 2010 | | 1 comments

There's a chill in the air and fall is definitely here.  For me, growing up in England, one of the clearest memories I have is going 'conkering' in autumn. Conkers are the fruit of the horse chestnut tree, they have a spiky exterior shell and the greatest joy was to find one with the shell intact and then to peel off that shell to reveal the smooth shiny conker inside.
Annie with conkers

Jemma with Conkers

Once you have your prized nut you want to play conkers with it.  This is where a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Playing Conkers

You strike one conker with another and the last conker standing is the winner.  You can make your conker harder to crack open and beat by pickling it in vinegar or even baking it in the oven, these methods are not strictly within the rules or spirit of the game but, as they say, all's fair in love and conkering! 

 Now England is a small island with ALOT of people so finding a horse chestnut tree that had not had every last nut stripped from it was a challenge. Imagine my surprise and delight when we moved to Canada and discovered conkers are not a prized possession, there is no game of conkers and if you can find a horse chestnut tree in October in Canada you can bet your bottom dollar you'll find more conkers than you can shake a stick at!

Last week I took my two girls and some Canadian friends conkering, it was almost too easy.  I needed carrier bags to take our haul home.
But we won't be threading them with string so we can  knock seven bells out of our oppositions knuckles though, my little princesses are far to refined for that and besides they have no-one to play with!  Like all other years they'll gather dust in their bedrooms, or wherever they leave them and then when enough time has passed so they won't notice I'll surreptitiously put them in the compost bin, 'til next autumn.

Happy Conkering

PS. Check out some of these Esty conkering finds.  here .....they really do have everything.

I'm Thankful For...

Saturday, October 9, 2010 | | 4 comments
A tradition in my family is to go around the table during Thanksgiving dinner and say what you're thankful for. So here goes...


Two of my favorite people who are happy, healthy and oh so lovable!

Love never felt so good until I met these two...

That they have an amazing role model in their lives who they get to call Daddy...

That I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing family and friends.
To have joy and happiness at every turn that life takes me and in every nook and cranny.
To be able to sit here and think I could go on and on and on as I am truly thankful for everyone and everything!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend!

Another Small Victory

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | | 2 comments
Last night it finally happened. I finished my 897 page book. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb was amazing. 

Another one of his book's She's Come Undone is one of my all time favorites so I knew this would be good. And let's be honest they both made it into Oprah's Book Club so there's no reason to doubt them!

There was something satisfying about finishing this book I can't quite explain. Although it took me a good month and many late nights, it feels so good to move it to the small pile of 'read' books that sits next to the towering pile of 'to read'. 

I guess time to read a book doesn't involve a quiet Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch with a blanket anymore like it did before kids. Now the reality is that it happens sometime after 10pm when everyone is in bed, dishes are done, emails are answered and a few things from the 'to do' list have been accomplished.

Reading my book until 1am is my new guilty pleasure. Wow, I just re-read that and have realized how exciting my life is! 

So tell me... what is your guilty pleasure? And I'll throw a little more honesty in there... I am a reality tv junkie! And I'm not talking the somewhat decent reality shows like Survivor! 

Hope you're all having a good week!

Run for the Cure

Monday, October 4, 2010 | | 0 comments
On Sunday Rachelle and I took a well deserved morning off and participated in the 19th annual Run for the Cure in Kelowna.  We walked the 5km, talked about work (inevitable I guess), our kids and families but most of all we remembered my best friend and Rachelles Mother-in-law, a very special lady who lost her battle to breast cancer nearly 5 years ago. 

I know she'd be thrilled we'd started Hands-on-Keepsakes, that we were doing something we loved and that it involved children - the passion of her life.  She'd be telling everyone about it and the fact she'd been included in a Blog, she would say that was 'brill'.

I forgot my camera yesterday so once again there are no shots of Rachelle and I together, but actually that seems quite appropriate, after all the day wasn't about us but about all the people touched by this disease.  I'm so glad that we went, that we participated and that we took the time to think about what we'd lost.

I've put together a Breast Cancer Awareness list of products and I did check that all of them donate proceeds of their sales to the cause.  Find them here

Taking the Handmade Pledge!

Saturday, October 2, 2010 | | 1 comments
It's October (yes I'm stating the obvious!) and that means Christmas isn't next month but the month after...yikes!

We were in the mall today searching for a present. I've always known I'm an awful shopper under pressure. Now add two kids and it's an unavoidable disaster.

During one of my many hours reading blogs I came accross the Handmade Pledge. After one of the most unenjoyable hours spent in the mall I came home, sat down in front of the computer and signed the pledge.

My love/obsession for Etsy make this one of the easiest holiday shopping seasons yet. I've put together a treasury of gorgeous handmade items that can be found here.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

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