Friday, October 31, 2008

little lion




P loved being a lion, ("ly-lon!") but not so much having the hood on his head ("Off! Off!"). Happy Halloween!

cute little guy


My wonderful photographer husband Adam found out today that he won two honourable mentions in this fall's Sunbury Shores photo competition! I am so very proud. He took these pictures of P last week when I was away - I love how Phillip expresses his level of concentration in the positions of his hands. Lion photos coming shortly (I'm posting between trick-or-treaters)!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

lulujo baby slings


At the craft fair on the weekend, I met Dawn, a lovely maker and seller of gorgeous ring slings for toting babes around. The picture is of one of the fabrics she has available, and is from her site. She's based in Fredericton, and these slings are beautifully made, and available in some mighty cute fabrics! Her website is here, and think about Christmas gifts for sweet little babes! Nothing makes them happier than being toted around. Take a peek at her site!

... so I pulled over and picked them



I was driving back to my office after working with a student this morning, and I saw loads of these gorgeous, stunning, vibrant red berries in the ditch. So I promptly pulled over and picked some of them. I have a thing for red berries, and these ones are amazing.

It has been a very busy week, and I am so excited to spend lots of time with Phillip this weekend. I also have a couple of new magazines to read, and I'm planning on making this cake. Isn't it gorgeous? I've been planning on it for over a week, and haven't had a chance yet. Once again, red berries.

Hey - here's something you might be able to help me with - we're in the market for a new washer and dryer. Ours haven't died yet, but are so old that no one can tell us how old they are. (They were a very generous gift when we were first married, and they have served us well.) We're looking for a set with larger capacity, and more importantly, which are more efficient. I was kind of thinking of buying a Kemore set on sale this week at Sears, but after reading a bunch of terrible reviews on epinions.com, I've decided against that set. Do you have an HE Energy Star rated washer and love it? Hate it? I've decided that it's worth it to take my time finding a good one. Help! Any input is very welcome.

Cute baby in a costume picture coming tomorrow! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

craft fair pics




Once again, thanks to Ingrid! This time for sharing the pics she took at the craft fair this weekend.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

776


I am tuckered out! Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by the craft fair this weekend. I had a wonderful time, and sold out of almost everything I had! Now I need to start making more for the one coming up at the end of November. With some of my earnings, I bought the necklace above, which I love. It has a magnetic clasp, which is great for keeping it intact when Phillip pulls on it, which I'm fairly confident he will.

My week away last week was great, and it was really great to see all of my colleagues and catch up with them. It was hard to be away from P for four days, though. I'm happy to be home.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

away for a bit


Just popping in to let you know that I'll be away this week for my teaching job, and since next weekend is the big craft fair I keep mentioning, there probably won't be any posts until that's all finished. I don't know if I can go that long without blogging!

If you're local, please come to the craft fair next weekend! At the Grand Hotel on Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th. There will be all sorts of crafters there, and of course, me too. I'll have Candy Cane sugar scrubs, bath salt sachets (pictured above) as well as all of the regular lovely soaps, and some scrubby mitts and soap dishes, too. So come on out, and I'll be posting pictures afterward. I'll be back then!

a sirius error



I was lucky enough to receive a Sirius satellite radio (an early Christmas present) this week. Martha's channel (112) is programmed to number one. Partly because it was the first one I found that I wanted to program, partly because it's Martha. I'm super excited about it, mostly because I will be able to listen to the same program continuously when I drive to Digby twice a week. And mostly because I can pause a program with the radio we bought. Yee-haw!

Can you spot the error on the packaging? I wonder what Nelly thought?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

in which you see P walking, with a cameo appearance by our hideous kitchen floor

video

Here's P, showing off his walking skills. And that is our lovely *ahem* kitchen floor. There is one quality about the floor that I love - I can make soap as wildly as possible, and lye spots or anything else can't possibly make it any uglier. I'm hoping that I'll make enough money from the Christmas fairs to get a new floor! We've been working away at the house since we bought it, and this is just one of those things which hasn't been done yet. But it will, and you will certainly hear (and see) when it is!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

kiva


Kiva - loans that change lives


Yay! I'm tickled pink to let you know that I will be making a monthly donation to kiva.org with profits from my soap! It will be a minimum donation of $25 each month, and when the loans are re-paid, they will be re-lent to other entrepreneurs. Click here for more information on Kiva, and here for more information about how the process works. Consider lending, too - it's a great way to make the world a little bit better.

Today also happens to be Blog Action Day against poverty, which I only realized after I made my first donation to this entrepreneur. She's a mother and a teacher and has a small business, so I thought she would be a great first person to lend to.

p likes peanut butter


So, Phillip likes peanut butter. A lot. I have been giving him tiny bits on crackers and making little sandwiches, so it's not too messy when he's eating. Tonight he figured out how to open up said sandwiches and lick the peanut butter off. And rub it through his hair.
And I bought a pair of new shoes today! Holy white feet and weeds in the pic, Batman. P kind of needed some new shoes, and there was a 'buy one, get one half price' sale, and I saw these cuties. So now I have some decent work shoes to replace my flip flops. P liked his new kicks so much that we went for a real walk together (he was upright, not in the stroller) when I got home from work. A "wok, wok". To the "bok". The "may bok" (mail box). To mail some "pay-peh" (=paper=letters). It was so nice. P toddling along on the sidewalk, occasionally looking down and saying "sooos, soooes," and holding my hand. Sigh. I'm in love.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

thanksgiving


We had a great Thanksgiving long weekend together. The chinese lanterns in the garden need some serious talking to, as far as not being so controlling. But it was nice to have so many bright little lanterns around, especially when the sun was shining on them.

And it's election day here in Canada! If it's not too late, and you haven't voted yet, scoot on over to your polling station and VOTE!

Monday, October 13, 2008

9:59 pm


Here I am last night, full of local free-range, organic turkey, stuffed with Adam's pumpkin pie bars, and topped up with lovely tea and company. And ready for bed after a long and splendid day. And did I mention that I made a killer turkey dressing? From my own little brain because I didn't feel like going to the bother of looking one up? It was fantastic. And Phillip loved it, too. (Come to think of it, he likes pretty much anything which can be categorized as food. Except pears, oddly enough.) I had such an enjoyable long weekend, complete with sun and lots of hugs from P, and am back to work tomorrow.

I don't usually do the self-portrait thing, but I was wandering around the house last night looking for something to do. That is extremely unusual. I had a lot of fun, playing with angles and lights and such. I think I was really concentrating on getting some particular thing right in this one. I'll have to do it again during the day!

Have a great week!

Friday, October 10, 2008

bathtime

"What? You're taking pictures of me in the tub?"
"Who's on the phone?" (It was Ingrid. No, I didn't leave P to answer the phone.)
Phillip the cross-eyed plumber.
Sending air-kisses to me.
Scooping, pouring. Scooping, pouring. Scooping, pouring.
"Nose-ah."
"Teeth-ah."
"Eyes."

One of my favourite parts of the day, especially during the week, is Phillip's bath time. I get home from work, Phillip has his supper, then it's to the bath, and then he's ready for bed. We have our fun play time in the tub, and P's always goofy. Tonight I thought ahead and took the camera with me. Hope you had fun joining us.

I'm lucky enough to have both of my handsome guys home all of this long weekend, so I won't be posting for a few days as we celebrate Thanksgiving. We're looking forward to a lovely local turkey and farmer's market veggie dinner on Sunday with friends. Have a wonderful fall weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving!

frenchy's finds

I arrived in Digby a bit early this afternoon, and found these treasures at Frenchy's. Some beautiful wool remnants, which I'm going to use to make something like this.
A cute onesie. Adam has a scooter t-shirt, so they'll be especially handsome in semi-matching shirts.

And a brand new Halloween costume for Phillip! Guess what he's going to be? We got him to roar when I came home. "Rarr!" He's going to be one cute lion.
A new wooden tool bench, and a Little People set. The Little People set will be a Christmas present, even though P played with it for a few minutes tonight. It made him cry, actually, so we'll see how it goes. Total: $14.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

on happiness

Sun shining in a bedroom window on a comfy quilt makes me happy.

I'm one of those (sickening, to some) people who is perpetually happy. I can't help it. My favourite saying: "It could be worse." The glass is not only half full, but someone's on their way to top it up. I used to wish that I wasn't so cheerful, because I wanted people to take me seriously, and not think that I was an empty-headed grinning idiot. But then I accepted that it's just who I am (the cheerful part, not so much the empty-headed idiot part), and just as more serious people have their place in the world, so do I. (Good grief, I'm sounding like Stuart Smalley.) I'm just sunny, and if I can brighten someone else's day, all the better. While recognizing and acknowledging that there are awful things happening all of the time, everywhere, I try to help. I try to make things better. I need to do more of this.

On a completely different note, we did a bit of landscaping today. (Translation: my dad came over with his chainsaw this afternoon and I planted a few new things after Phillip went to bed). I was picking up some silicone soap molds at lunchtime at Canadian Tire, and saw that they still had a few struggling, pitiful trees on clearance. I bought an 8 foot lilac tree for $15 (regularly $89!) and a spirea for $1 (regularly $15). We had some scrubbly evergreens by the back door which were nice for the birds to nest in, but completely impractical in just about every other way. Since the birds have left for the winter, we had dad cut them down. I'll use the branches on the flower beds this winter, and we'll use the wood for firewood next year. My fingers are crossed that the lilac will bloom next Spring, but the tree may have been too stressed in its box-store pot. We do have another lilac in the yard, which is very old, and didn't bloom at all this year. It may be on its last legs, but I'm going to consult Marjorie and see if I can't revive it. There's the optimist in me!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

phillip videos and upcoming craft fair

video
Here's one of the things I captured while trying to get a clip of Phillip walking. He's saying 'choo choo' (in his silly voice) in response to the question 'What sound does a train make?'
video
And here are a few steps! He can and will take more than this, he just wouldn't when I was trying to record it, of course. Annie was here, and he's saying her name, "Nee."

And mark this on your calendars, folks! The 8th annual Christmas Craft Fair, put on by Tooie's Country Crafts, will be held at the Grand Hotel on Main Street here in Yarmouth on October 25th and 26th. That's just a few short weeks away! And I will be there with bells on, soap in hand, and hopefully my snazzy new vendor's apron I ordered last night on Etsy. Now if that isn't an image which entices you to attend, I don't know what is. I will be selling not only my usual fine 'regular' soaps, but my cake soaps are being reserved especially for this craft fair. You must come out and see the cakes for yourself - the frosted chocolate one smells like chocolate heaven. "Exactly like my mother's chocolate birthday cake," someone told me last night. And there are other cake scents waiting in the wings, too - spicy and warm and as-of-yet-unnamed wonderful coffee cake-y scents. I will also have a variety of fizzing milk baths for your sniffing and bathing pleasure. So please, come on out!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

i won a prize, phillip's walking, and nestle-free week

We had a cozy supper tonight of fresh homemade bread and lentil soup served in our snazzy new soup bowls. I love the weekend - I made apple sauce, bread, soup, penne alfredo, rearranged the living room, went through all of my clothes, giving lots away, putting summer things away and hanging up sweaters and winter clothes. Also did the same with all of Phillip's, storing some for future babes, giving some away, and tidily putting away all kinds of clean, bigger things. Which he 'helped' with, and we had lots of fun. Oh, and I made some soap, too. Hanging out at home is the best way I can think of to spend the weekend, and I'm fine with admitting that. Who needs parties when you could be reading 'Belly Button Beach' with Phillip on a pile of clothes?
I may have mentioned before that I seldom win anything. You know, that's just not true. I won a dishcloth on Sarah's blog, soap from Gracefruit, and many other things I can't recall at the moment. I am one lucky gal. I have a knack for winning door prizes at almost any event I attend, and this weekend was no exception. I went to a baby fair with Mr P (the best prize of all) yesterday, and won a cloth diapering set made by Little Squirts, a local business run by a mom. Her products are very well made, and I can't wait to try them out. I won one all-in-one, a doubler (liner), four flannel wipes, a set of bamboo nursing pads, and (this is the best part) - a travel bag for transporting the dirty dipes! Brilliant. Her diapers are sold locally at City Drug Store, too.

And oh-my-goodness-I can't-believe-I-forgot-to-tell-you - Phillip is walking! Did you catch that? WALKING! We tried to get a decent video clip today, but didn't. There will definitely be one coming shortly.

And did you know that it's Nestle-free Week? The primary reason is that the company often is not complying with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitues, including aggressive marketing of infant formula to mothers living in conditions which make it impossible to safely prepare formula, because there isn't access to clean water. I personally avoid Nestle products year-round, but this is a specific week to bring people's concerns to Nestle's attention by not buying their products, and letting them know. To find out more, visit Baby Milk Action. And consider a different brand of chocolate bars for Halloween this year, perhaps.

Friday, October 03, 2008

wicked apple cider and my favourite pot

I forgot to add this photo to my last post - it's Tide View Cider, made here in Nova Scotia. Ingrid brought it over last night. Holy smokes, is it amazing.
And I'm a little bit slow, but Elizabeth asked for photos of our favourite pots. This one isn't a pot, it's a pan, but I love it. It seems as though most of the other people who responded also love their cast iron! I've made everything from classic pancakes and eggs to fresh mackeral and apple tarte tatins in this very heavy, inexpensive Lodge pan. The only thing which causes any grief is the short handle. It rates extremely high is cuteness, but rather low in practicality. (Kind of like a certain American vice presidential candidate, but that's another story.) Thanks for the great idea, Elizabeth!

apple tarte tatin and a lovely craft swap

Blogless Annie and Ingrid came over last evening for a yummy fall dinner and secret craft swap. It was such a lovely evening - I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and think they might have had fun, too. I made the Apple Tarte Tatin, a Donna Hay recipe, which was a delicious change from crisp. I'm going from memory, but it went something like this:

Apple Tarte Tatin

4 apples, peeled, cut into chunks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 oz butter
1 pkg butter puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400.
In a cast-iron skillet (or any oven-proof one), melt 2 oz butter on medium heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently (I think you're supposed to cook until it's golden and caramelized, which I didn't really do. Still delicious, just not golden.) Add apples. Cook for 5 minutes. Place thawed puff pastry sheet on top, tucking in the edges. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Invert onto plate and serve with cream. Easy, quick, and delicious. (And it didn't require my KitchenAid, which is still in repair-or-replace-land.)
Annie made the pasta above, a recipe from Martha Stewart Living's October issue. Delicious.
Ingrid made these sweet little birds. I love them! There are three of them on a branch. I was having a hard time holding it and taking the picture - I'll try again once they're found a home. Annie made some cloth feminine products for us, which I didn't have a chance to take a picture of, and I made these milk baths and sugar scrubs for them:
Ingrid also made this yummy butternut squash soup, laden with cream. Mmmmm.

And did you know that it's "I-think-you're-wonderful day"? Adam told me that when I came home for lunch and he had this lovely new bamboo pepper mill for me! We've gone through many cheap mills, and I had pretty much given up and was grinding peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. So he and Phillip bought me this one today. And it works beautifully!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

strong

video
This isn't the best capture of Phillip's action for 'strong', but it's a less-intense version of what he does. He strains so that his face turns red, has his arms out straight, and his teeth clenched. What a goofy baby.

frosted soap cake


Pictures as promised! The chocolate soap cake is all frosted and smells wonderful. If I have any left after the craft fair at the end of the month, I'll list it in my Etsy shop.