Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas in our house

We hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! Here are some pictures from our celebration.

This picture went in our Christmas card. Don't be offended if you didn't get one. We only sent out a handful, mostly to family who aren't on Facebook very often.

 We continued our tradition of making pizza on Christmas Eve. 

Christmas morning!

Sadly, this is the BEST picture of me from Christmas morning (I caught a cold virus and wasn't feeling well. I'm surprised I look as good as I do, because I felt a lot worse!)

Once a shaker, always a shaker!

As soon as I saw this "complimentary cereal bowl", I knew it would be perfect for Husband! 

Once again, Husband shows his amazing wrapping skills!

Every Christmas for the past 4 years, Husband has given me something for my Willow Tree Nativity Set. These animals were the last part of the set. He says he has no idea what to get me next year. Poor guy.

Duck lips!

I'm not sure what's going on here...

Taking it easy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This year, Husband made his own Halloween costume. He wanted to wear a kilt, so we went to Goodwill and bought a long skirt. We cut the bottom off and that became his sash. We borrowed a sewing machine and Husband hemmed the skirt (I'm telling you, he's a closet Martha Stewart!). I think the skirt...oops I mean kilt and sash looked amazing! And his legs looked sexy in the kilt. I'm just sayin'!

Husband sewing away.

Still sewing. Once he started, he wouldn't let me touch it.

See what I was saying about those legs? Woo-woo!

Husband's pumpkin (and I did NOT break it this year!)

My pumpkin.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Taking the back roads

Last weekend Husband and I took a day trip to the Shenandoah National Park to drive the Skyline Drive and see the fall colours. Despite reports on various websites that the leaves were near "peak colour," this did not turn out to be the case! While some of the trees had fall colours, the vast majority were still green, while others had already lost their leaves. The drive was still beautiful but it left us wanting to see some great fall colour. (You can see pictures from that drive on my Facebook page).

Yesterday we drove some back roads around where we live, searching for great views and wonderful fall colours. Unfortunately for us, I think peak colour happened earlier in the week, so the colours weren't as bright as we would have liked. We did, however, see some amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and, of course, we enjoyed spending time together. What more could you ask for? Well, maybe more fall colours, but apparently that is asking too much!

Friday, October 12, 2012

DIY Tin Can Lanterns

I had some time off from work this week and thought "Hey, I haven't tortured myself with crafting lately. Time to craft!" I decided to try making these tin can lanterns I saw featured recently on The Chew. By the way, have you seen The Chew? It is my new obsession. Last week they had Cary Elwes on the show and under his name on the screen it read "Survived fire swamp!" Ha!

Anyway. Back to the tin cans. I was surprised at how easy this was to do. As you know, I am not craft inclined. In fact, when I told my sister, Mandy, what I had done, she asked me in a rather incredulous voice "Did it work out?" She then tried to backpedal and say that she just meant that "those projects on pinterest never work out." But I know she was really thinking "Oh my goodness. She crafted and it actually worked? The end of the world is near!"  I also figured I was in the clear in regards to injuries because this project didn't involve a glue gun. Well, I was wrong about that: in less than 5 minutes I was bleeding. I'm not sure why I was bleeding so I can't warn you of the hazard that awaits. Sorry folks but you are on your own with this one!

All things considered, this project worked out pretty well, and I plan on making more lanterns as soon as my fingers recover! For step by step directions and tips on how to do this craft, click on the link above. You can get the gist of it from looking at the pictures below.

My frozen cans

This is the pattern I used. Nothing fancy here.

I may have hit my finger a time or two (or 10)! Do this on a towel so you don't get ice and water everywhere.

Voila! I know they aren't perfect, but not bad for my first attempt.

I will probably paint it black. I think it will look really good with paint.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Can't stop...

I found this recipe for apple chips in my latest issue of Whole Living Magazine. I've made two batches since Sunday because I can't stop eating them!

I also picked up a couple bags of candy corn the other day, and I can't stop eating those either. Seriously, what do they put in candy corn that makes it taste so good?

I figure the good of the apples cancels out the bad of the candy corn so I can eat as much as I want of both...right?

Monday, October 8, 2012


This year for Canadian Thanksgiving, I wanted to make as much as I could from scratch. A little more work? Yes. Worth it? Not sure. I was exhausted on Sunday! I slept 10 hours Saturday night (I never sleep that long!) and still had to take a nap. We had our friend WVL over and she brought the best mashed potatoes: "These potatoes are so creamy!" Quick! Name that movie! I'm not very good at taking food pictures, but here's some pictures from our dinner. It was delicious, but for American Thanksgiving, we are going out to Cracker Barrel!

Homemade rolls: they don't look perfect, but they sure tasted good.

Apple pie! Normally I just buy a crust, but this year I made it myself! 

Our Thanksgiving table, complete with Philip and Isabelle.

Husband stirring the gravy made from the turkey drippings.

Homemade stuffing! (J if you are reading this, I didn't use your Apple and Bacon recipe. It looked too complicated for my first attempt. Maybe I will give it a try at Christmas.)

Absolutely delicious squash and feta dish! Find the recipe here!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Impromptu Date Night

In an effort to eat healthier and save a little money, I am slowly making the switch from canned beans to dried beans. Of course, this means a little more planning and preparation on my part as dried beans take longer to prepare. I read online that you can cook a huge pot of beans, then divide the beans into bags and freeze them for later use. I liked that idea and decided to give it a try today, which meant the beans needed to be soaked last night. The hardest part of cooking dried beans for me is sorting through the beans and discarding the bad ones. So, last night as I getting the beans ready, I asked Husband to help me sort. As you can see by the picture, he was less than thrilled. In an effort to put a positive spin on a dull and time-consuming task, I said "This can count as our date night!" He was not impressed by my fast thinking, mumbling something derogatory (and probably unpublishable) about date night . I am guessing that my next date night idea - alphabetizing the DVDs - is not going to go over well either!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Big Three-Oh!

Husband hit the big three-oh a few days ago. I wanted to make his 30th birthday special and when I saw this idea on Pinterest about a daughter filling 60 envelopes with memories from family and friends for her father's 60th birthday, I knew I had struck gold. I made a Facebook group, sent out emails, and basically nagged people to send me their memories. Thankfully, Husband's family and friends came through (despite my multiple "friendly" reminders!) and I was able to fill 30 envelopes with memories and birthday wishes. It was hard keeping this a secret, and at one point I thought Husband was on to me: I can't remember what we were talking about, but one night he made some comment about collecting memories for my birthday. Pretty sure my heart stopped for a second or two as my brain screamed "He knows! He knows!" Turns out, it was just some random comment because Husband had NO IDEA what I was doing. Whew!

All 30 envelopes, bundled and ready for reading

He sure was surprised

No knives here; I thought a letter opener was a better idea

Reading all those letters took awhile 

There was a lot of laughter as he read through the memories 

I love this picture! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Visitors from New England

Recently our good friends, J and A, came to visit us all the way from New England. They brought along their adorable 1 year old boy, who is now nicknamed Flipper because of the dolphin-like sounds he made all weekend. We had a great time spending the weekend with our friends and we are grateful that they made the 12 hour drive down!  My camera is on the fritz so I don't have many pictures, but I thought I would share these:

Husband and Flipper, just chillin' out!

Of course Husband had to play with Flipper's toys. It was all good though; they are both pros at sharing!

Tickle Monster!

This little guy is definitely used to a camera. He would make this face pretty  much every time I tried to take a picture! And then he would want to look at the picture on the camera. (BTW, that is Husband in the background still playing with the toy!)


Not really sure what this face is about, but it cracks me up!