Monday, 31 December 2012

Reflecting on 2012

This year has most certainly been a year to remember. It has been filled with lots of family togetherness including family campouts, birthday celebrations, oktoberfesting and the usual fishing derby.

It has been a year of growing - from watching our niece and nephew Ava & Kalvan going to school, growing and learning each day to seeing our step-brother and sister become new parents to their sweet daughter Mazie who is just over 2 months old now.

The year 2012 has also been a year of love and loss; in 2012 I married my best friend, but I also suffered the loss of my nana.

Grandma (right) with her younger sister Bernice
The loss of my nana was something that will never go away. She was a strong woman whose life only stopped because of Leukemia. She never let her sickness get to her. In fact, I almost think she became stronger because of it. She had her mind and wit until the very end which we are all thankful for.

Grandma and Grandpa Graham, 1945

My nana and I shared a special bond which started when I was a baby. She took care of me while my mom was at work so I spent most of my days with her. You may remember the post here on the special tribute to my nana on her 91st birthday earlier this year.

Grandma and Grandpa Graham, 1946
During one of our visits to grandma's, Matt and I had asked her if she had any wedding advice for us. She just said to us… “ just love each other, treat each other right and never go to bed angry. I hope you two will be as happy as I was.” A simple message with so much meaning. We definitely took it to heart and have not forgotten her words.

Aside from the sadness of losing my grandmother, I also was able to say "I do" this year to my wonderful husband, Matthew. I have waited for so long for our wedding day and it was perfect in so many different ways. When you look back and the things that went "wrong," you realize that those little things really don't matter and definitely do not define your day. We were blessed to be surrounded by all the people who matter most to us - even though some of them could not be there.

We are sad to see 2012 come to an end, but also excited to see what 2013 will hold for us! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Recycling Holiday Cards

I keep all of my cards I receive from Christmas, birthday's, thank you's, etc.. in a memory box in my room. In fact, I have so many cards I now have 2 boxes simply full of cards! My mom and husband would tell me to "get rid of them, already!" But I am the kind of person to turn one person's trash into another person's treasure. With that said, I decided it was time to purge my inventory and decided to turn them into gift tags!

I began by going through my cards and set aside the ones that I could finally let go of and start creating gift tags with. I also have lots of scraps of scrapbook paper that I used for tags as well.

Cut the pieces in 2-3" pieces, mount them to coloured or plain cardstock, punch a hole, add a ribbon and voila! A recycled card turned into a gift tag!

And there you have it!  A recycled card that someone else will be able to enjoy!

Saving the verses

I like the thought of taking the insides of your cards (where all the personal greetings are) and put them into a scrapbook. That way you are still saving the memories, only this time they are in one simple book vs. taking up loads of room scattered in boxes!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It Runs in the Family

My aunt Sandra and I share some of the same qualities - crafty, creative and can make beauty out of objects others may disregard as old or trash. She has done some of the most beautiful work I've seen with DIY makeovers and wanted to share a few of them!

Here are a few projects she has done lately:

Dresser set for her daughter's bedroom


Headboard Before


 Sweet End Table 


These are only a few and every time I go to her place there is a new piece of decor waiting for me to catch my attention.

They also did a complete 360 overhaul on their kitchen by reusing and painting their old cupboards and installing new countertops. I can't wait to show that off in a future post! 

Happy painting!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Designer piggy bank for cheap!

We are constantly finding loose change around the house - from pennies, to toonies, it's everywhere (unfortunately, more pennies than toonies!!)! We wanted one central location to throw all our change when it gets messy in our pockets (Matt is very guilty of this!) instead of finding change all over the top of the island, dining table, end tables, etc..

We had a charity yard sale last year to raise money for the Children's Heart Network and had LOTS of donations for it! This plaster piggy bank was one of the donations - so I scooped it up for one of my projects! (Yes, I made a donation to the charity for taking the piggy bank!)

I removed the laces and spray-painted it silver for a quick designer style look! I used a silver "Krylon Metallic" Silver colour spray paint and covered the entire shoe in a few coats. 


We throw our loose change in here and when it gets full, we roll it up, take it to the bank and treat ourselves to dinner (or coffee, depending on the number of pennies inside!)

Note:  We still have yet to paint the shelf and mail desk itself!

Similarly, we also keep a jar in the laundry room for the loose change we find in the washer, dryer and our clothes pockets. It works fantastic and keeps the change from scattering itself around the house!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Special Birthday Celebration

Today's post is for celebrating one of the most admired women in my life. She is one of the most independent people I know, self assured, tough on the outside yet she can completely melt your heart. That woman is my nana.

My nana was born in 1921. She met her husband during WWII and they were married in 1945. Sadly, after only 30 years of marriage, she lost her husband at the age of 53.

Since the day he passed she has raised her 4 daughters, stabilized a life in her home (which she still owns AND lives in to this day), worked to support her family and managed to take care of herself as well.

Today she turns 91.

My nana is a huge inspiration to me, not only for the life she had to sustain on her own, but for the pure love that is still in her voice whenever she talks about her beloved husband.

In just 7 months I am getting married and I plan on celebrating with Matt every chance I get. It doesn't matter if you're 3 years married or 42 years married.... being together should be a celebration, especially when you have as much love as my nana and grandpa had.

So happy 91st birthday to my nana today! I love you so much!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Our Advent Calendar for 2011

Matt and I have started some traditions recently and one of them is creating activity advent calendars as mentioned in this blog post.

These are the activities we decided to do together throughout the month of December. Unfortunately, my very busy work schedule did not allow us to do all of these activities, but we tried to get most of them done (even if it wasn't on the specified day!). 

Advent Calendar Activities

1.  Wrap some Christmas gifts!
2.  Make holiday tags from recycled Christmas cards and scrap paper

3.  Create a christmas card hanging display
4.  Put up the Christmas tree, drink eggnog and exchange ornaments!
5.  Snuggle on the couch with a hot chocolate and a good show
6.  Take Simba for a wintery walk

7.  Make holiday cards!

8. Make paper & pipe cleaner snowflakes and decorate the windows
9. Make ornament gift toppers!
10. Wrap and send care packages
11. Wrap Christmas gifts together by the fireplace
12. Make a list of ten things you are thankful for. Hang it where you can see it every day.
13. Bake something together (cookies, muffins, bread or cupcakes!)
14. Sing and dance to christmas music!
15. Mail Christmas cards!
16. Attend ugly Christmas sweater party!
17. Get dressed up all fancy and go to company Xmas party!

18. Spend some time laughing and playing with Family

19. Bake a batch of Christmas cookies
20. Bake another batch of Christmas cookies and share family and friends
21. Tally up total dontations for the Children's Heart Network and donate online.
22. Make cake pop Christmas tree!

23. Tour the Northern lights
24. Make a gingerbread house!
25. Merry Christmas! Remember to love and recieve love this holiday season - that is the warmest gift of all!
Grandma and Grandpa with their grandkids!