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what’s a couple of months between friends?

Hi again. I hope you’ve had a great couple of months.  I dropped off, quite honestly, because I had a bit of a shift in priorities after Christmas.  We went away in search of sunshine for a bit, and the preparation at work to get away, together with new programs for the kids, coupled with a desire to eat and be healthier meant the months flew by.  Unfortunately the only bits of time left in my days to collect myself for planning better meals and working out were the scraps I used to use for trolling creative sites and writing this fun little blog.  Two months in, and I think I finally have the hang of it all – so I’m back – and soooo happy to be here.  I’ve missed being creative, and have missed writing.

We went to Hawaii.  This is our second trip to the same place – recommended by wonderful friends.  This year we were lucky enough to overlap with those friends, and then with 3 sets of other great buddies that we had in turn recommended the place to.  My mom came and joined us for half the trip and Matty even had school friends staying just up the beach – it was awesome.  So family friendly, quiet, relaxing and fun.  I won’t go on about it but if you want details pop me a note and I’m happy to pass along.

girls hawaii

Did I mention the turtles?

turtles

The kids and I continued our crafts, and built some pretty cool new art pieces along the way – and Matty developed a big love for science so we have been experimenting quite a bit as well.  I’ll try to share some of the cooler pieces this week and maybe pass along some ideas for Spring break if anyone is home with kiddos over the next couple of weeks.  We’ve been playing a lot with filmo/sculpey, making erasers and crayons, drawing animals and dinosaurs, and we have plans for making bouncy balls and paper-mache masks next week.

I know I’m turning back time here but I didn’t share our Valentines this year – and I really wanted to show you how they turned out.  For the girls – I wrote the alphabet out in a heavy black font except for the letters “I” “O” and “U” which I wrote in red, and switched the “O” to a heart.  I printed on kraft paper – 2 up (they were 4×8) and then the girls helped cut them.  We ordered chocolates from the oriental trading company (crazy good website – thank you Lori for recommending it!) and put a picture of the three kids on it with a Valentine message around the outside.  The girls had fun sticking the sticker-pictures on each of the chocolates and then attaching them to their valentines.  It was a fun way to share the valentines spirit with their preschool in a bit of a home-made fashion.

valentines  chocolates

 

For Matty we did a few different things.  For his class we bought some little mazes and attached a “You aMAZE me” note to them that Matty signed.  I found this idea on pinterest .   It was okay, but neither of us were in love with it.  So we made a different one for some very close buddies and his cousins.  We bought some pull-back trucks and he helped me design tire tracks on a 4×8 (2 up) template – using very basic power point.  We wrote out a few messages but the coolest one was “I like the way you roll”.  We got plastic bags at the dollar store and attached the trucked inside, taping the back with some cool washi tape.

roll cars car

 

I hope you felt loved this Valentines day.  And I also hope you’re seeing signs of Spring, wherever you are.  We have crocuses and tulips and have been lucky with the sunshine for the past couple of weeks.  I’m so glad to see spring on it’s way.  The kids are outside more, chalk art on the driveway, hair blowing in the wind, and their bikes and balls are everywhere in a happy mess.  I drive to work in the dark still, but at least it isn’t dark again by the time I get home.  I’m not a big winter girl.  Bring on the sunshine and the soccer games, the smell of fresh grass and the warmth of the sunshine on your skin.

It’s nice to be back…

january escapism for the creative

How’s that for a title?

We had an amazing (AMAZING) Christmas.  We entertained right up until the 24th with a wonderful Christmas Eve spent with my Mom and Sister’s family (missed you Krys) and then had five full days of letting wrapping paper lie where it was, leaving dishes in the sink, laundry to pile up, and desserts to harden on trays … and we played.  It was such an awesome month of celebrating with friends and family and then was topped off with the absolute best gift of cuddling with our own family with no schedule, no travel, and no where we had to be.  We spent our last days of 2014 skating, swimming, checking out lights, and then playing with Gabbie – who came into town for a fantastic visit.  I was so loving the moments that I didn’t want to break away to write a blog – but I’m sure some of our crazy crafts and baking adventures will show up on future posts.  From animal kingdoms to pom pom making and finger puppet shows to glitter trees… It was definitely a creative holiday.

Monday last week hit all of us hard.

It’s kind of cruel ripping a five-year old away from his playmobile animal safari/ocean/rainforest bliss.  It’s not any nicer getting in a cold car and driving 45 minutes to work in the pitch dark before the world wakes up.  But that’s January for ya. We’re all just hanging on hard to the pleasure that was our time off together.

So here I am. Sunday – before week two.  Trolling the web while Cam works away.  Unable today, to face the mountains of work and planning that sit waiting on my laptop.  I find myself on familiar sites – enjoying the wares of people who have better execution at the creative than I do.  From Martha Stewart to Etsy to All Recipes…it’s so cool to see what’s possible.  And it made me wonder what other great locations I’m missing out on … so I thought I’d share in hopes that you might share as well.  Here are my top 5 right now – what are yours?

Pinterest. 

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Obviously.  For everything from party ideas to craft how-tos.  My favorite pins are actually often the ones that link to creative blogs, and the ones with free fonts.  I’m a font junkie.

Houzz

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Love this for ideas as we start to slowly tackle rooms in our own House.  The kids spaces are amazing but it’s the kitchens that leave me drooling.  And I love that there is a great area to search out where products are from.  This takes the mystery out of those amazing rooms and literally brings the trends and opportunities to your fingertips.  Pin it.

IDEO

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As a marketer obsessed with how brands can better meet the needs of people – I love the ideas and thoughts behind IDEO.  It’s a brilliant company and think tank that brings us everything from better shopping carts to people-centered design ideology. Check it out if you are interested in that kind of thing…

Minted

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For a font and stationary junkie, this is the ultimate high.  A group of amazingly talented designers – all showing their own stuff.  An inspiring blog.  A community of designers that supports each other.  And every day new creative ways of saying the same old things.  “Thank You” never looked so cool…

 

The Knot

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I used to plan weddings.  In fact I think it was the time in my life when I felt that my passion and my career most closely aligned.  I loved it.  From the stationary to the flowers, the event run through to the details that make that wedding completely you.  I’ve taken a lot of ideas from wedding magazines and from this site over the years to build from for other events and for clever little DIYs at our parties.  Brides seem to fuel the creative industry with an stress induced adrenalin that not even the largest corporation can compete with… and the results are often cool, unique and zany.

 

That’s my list right now… have you seen them all already or did you find something new ? Any creative sites you love?  I’d love the inspiration …

The year Santa asked me to marry him

Story time.  Grab your hot chocolate (with whatever you like in it) and a few of those Christmas cookies…ready?

It was ten (10!) years ago today.

My boyfriend was due for one last visit before he flew home for Christmas.  I had a little apartment in Vancouver, and he lived with ‘little buddy’ about ten minutes away.  We had a group of awesome friends, and had spent the lead up to the holidays enjoying some fun nights out and Christmas spirit.  I was sad to see Cam go but was looking forward to exchanging gifts before he flew out later that day to head home for the holiday – it was December 23rd.

engaged!

You know this already – but I love LOVE Christmas.  I always have.  My parents made Christmas an incredibly magical, holy, and huge family celebration.  There was always a lot of traditions and excitement and people around.  I’ve loved trying to keep all of that alive in our own way.  It has always been an incredible celebration.  An excuse to throw parties, a reason to believe in miracles, a challenge to decorate and dress in the spirit and so many excited faces.

Cam is a little more of a realist and a little less in to Christmas craziness – but he’s been sweet and he humours my passion for the season. He puts up the lights.  He buys the real tree even though we have our fake one already set up.  He helps plan the parties, and always thinks of cool new things to add, he gets the kids all excited, bakes cookies, writes letters to Santa and drives to see lights near and far.  I think he even finds it pretty fun, most days. More and more, I even catch him getting in to it and searching out new fun traditions – and that sweet grin, or the way he whistles or belts out a Christmas tune once in a while – that makes my whole day.

In the interest of full disclosure… we had been dating for four years and I was … ready for whatever potentially came next.  So in my little brain, each special holiday dinner and romantic walk through Christmas lights was a bit of a held breath for me – but by this point – the day he was leaving- I was a little resigned that the only ring for this reason would be the ringing of Christmas bells.

Then came the knock at my door.  I opened the door, and stood face with the man in red.  From eye brows to boots on his toes – this was SANTA.

He came in with his big belly and red hat and great big red bag, and “Ho Ho Ho” – one by one handed me presents – magical presents.  Things I grew up adoring.  The holiday barbie.  The special story. My favorite clothes.  The last gift was a magazine.  A wedding magazine.

I jumped up on the couch – disbelief and sheer excitement.  Thinking all the while over and over in my head – you have to remember this forever – what is he saying? Holy Sssshugar this is really happening!! Santa was down on one knee.  He was talking about being in love with me.  He was talking about forever.  He had his nervous smile on.  He was amazing. Remember this forever!

There was a ring, there were lots of “YES” “YES”s … there were tears, and then before I knew it he was gone.  Leaving me over Christmas to daydream about our big day, and start my favorite part of any amazing party … the planning.

At this time of year, every year, I love seeing Santa come out and delight the kids in our lives. Love seeing him come to life, and love the magic that embodies him.  Most of all I love that my husband knew me so well that he made my dreams come true with Santa that day.  Ten years ago today we got engaged.  It’s been a crazy wonderful ten years … and this sleigh ride’s just begun.

matty age one

You better watch out! You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why … 😉

 

xo

cam and ker