Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Putting Pen to Paper

I have never been one to make lists.  Just didn`t like them.  It helped that I seemed to be able to remember things.  Even in university, I knew when essays and projects were due.  Call it a gift.  And then I got pregnant.  Am I correct in assuming you have heard of pregnancy brain?  Not only did dates and appointments make a quick exit from my brain, so did words, simple everyday words.  Babbling idiot at times, I tell ya.  But still  no lists.

Fast forward to this fall.  My memory has't improved but the amount of things that need to be done certainly has.  So a few weeks ago, I broke down one morning and grabbed a scrap of paper.  Jotted down a few things I needed to do that day, things that couldn't slip my mind like they had the day before.  Now here's the shocker.  The list worked.  It worked, I tell ya.  I emailed my brother-in-law.  I made soap.  I did all kinds of things.  i even added yoga to the list and guess what?  I did yoga!  This list thing is amazing.  Where has it been all my life?!  It is revolutionizing my days.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but I do feel a little more in control.  And a little more control is definitely something I am needing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Preparations

We are not yet in full-blown Christmas mode but I definitely hear the pitter patter of little elf feet.  Letters to Santa are being written.  The countdown to the beginning of Advent has begun.  Paper snowflakes are being cut.  A lot of paper snowflakes.  The goofy singing and dancing Snoopy  is out.  The snowman and dog will be out soon.  Oh, and the outdoor Christmas lights are up and on.  Yep, we are getting pumped.

I thought it only fitting to design and make a couple of Christmas soaps as well.  My first Christmas soap is my Gingerbread soap.

Gingerbread soap is scented with ginger, clove and cinnamon essential oils with a dash of vanilla for sweetness and topped off with a drizzle of "icing."

My second Christmas soap was inspired by childhood tales/threats of stockings  containing only a lump of coal in the toe, or in some cases, a turkey leg.  I didn't really want to make a turkey scented soap and so Lump of Coal was born.

Lump of Coal is scented with peppermint and vanilla and coloured with activated charcoal.

In other soap news, I delivered my first wholesale order to a local pharmacy earlier this month.  The owner is a very nice woman and a fellow soap lover and I am very excited to have my soaps available in her store.  Would it be weird to go visit my soaps?  I just want to see how they look.  However,  a part of me is afraid to go.  What if no one is buying them?   Insecurity certainly does play a number with one's head, doesn't it?    

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Knitting for My Boys

Winter, if not yet knocking on our door, is definitely walking up the front steps.  Although I may not be emotionally ready for it this year, as far as wardrobe is concerned, the boys are ready for it this year.  Mittens.  Check.  Neck warmers.  Check.

I do believe his mittens are on the wrong hands.

Knitting for the boys was a much easier task than taking pictures of those hand knits on said boys.  Quick and dirty photo session.

For those of you interested, the neck warmers were knit using Amanda's Wintry Weather Cowls pattern found in her latest book The Rhythm of Family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All to Ourselves

This year, I find I am not mentally prepared for the oncoming winter.  Maybe the mild fall which has continued into November hasn't helped but I have witnessed the foreshadowing of winter.  As a result, I find I am taking advantage of such days whenever we can.  Yesterday, Quinn and I made a trek to a local conservation area.  I am not exaggerating when I say that, aside from a few staff members, we were the only people there.  We had the whole place to ourselves.

The dark corners of the play barn seemed a little darker yesterday, without other children running around.  Quinn: "I'm a little sad there are no other children."  That didn't stop him from enjoying the zip line.

We enjoyed getting up close (but behind enclosures) with the various birds of the raptor centre who are there for rehabilitation.  I had an interesting encounter with a bald eagle who took an instant dislike to me.  Without getting into details, those birds can be intimidating.  Quinn told me to stop doing whatever it was I was doing to upset the bird but I swear, I wasn't doing anything.  I can still feel its eyes staring at me, as it moved closer to the barrier.  A little unnerving but amazing to be in its presence.

More exploring . . .

Many wishes for November days spent exploring.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Playing Hooky

Yesterday, the boys and I played hooky.  I used Keegan's slight morning cough as an excuse but really, everyone was fine.  We just all wanted a day without obligations.  Lots of playing.  A little crafting.  Reading.  And a hike.  It was unseasonably warm for November and we took advantage of it.  Warning:  In the following photos, you may see children who "hate hiking."  Don't be fooled by their smiles.  They really didn't enjoy themselves.  Ha!

We don't tend to overschedule ourselves during the week and it wasn't that our weekend was so very hectic but there was still that need to be somewhere.  Yesterday it was nice to not need to be anywhere but where we wanted to be.

There is something freeing about playing hooky, isn't there?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Messes

Life has been busy -- in a good way.  Boys, school, soap, cooking, a little cleaning.  I have been wanting to return to this space on a more regular basis.  I keep thinking, "Today is the day" and before I know it, I am in my pj's.

Today has been another "busily good" day.  The sun is shining and it is unseasonably warm.  Quinnie's friend Olivia is spending the day with us.  Bowling in the morning.  A soap delivery which involved climbing 9 flights of stairs.  They were fine.  I was pooped.   Playground -- lots of climbing, running and monkey-barring.  Lunch followed by Halloween treats.  Then some quiet time.  Yes.  Coffee.  Oh wait, the crossing guard is at the door with a knitting question.  Coffee in the microwave.  Now quiet.  I sit but can't help but notice the little messes that surround me.  I should  maybe just pick that up but no.  Instead, I grab the camera and try to see the beauty in the little messes.


These stones are not at all a mess.  I just love them and wanted to share them.

Big picture -- the house is a sty.  Up close -- not so bad.