December 31, 2008

P.S. I Loved It

If you want to watch a movie that will make your heart feel like it's being torn in two you should watch P.S. I Love You. I cried, hard, both times. Maybe I'm just a cheese ball.

December 30, 2008

Delish Dutch Apple Pie

Jessy's grandma's apple pie is super yummy and super easy to make. I know, I've made it three times in the last week. This is one of those recipes that everyone at the table requests after eating a piece. DELISH!

What You Need for Filling:
4 cups cooking apples (3-4 apples) peeled and chunked - I recommend Gala apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
Nutmeg and cinnamon to taste

What You Need for Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
2 tbsp cream/milk (optional and I chose not to use it)

Pastry: 9" pie shell

What You Do:
1. Sprinkle apple chunks with lemon juice.
2. Toss with sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. Place in pie crust.
4. Sprinkle on topping.
5. Cover loosely with foil.
6. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.
7. Uncover, dribble with cream if using, and bake for 15 minutes more.

December 27, 2008

Fab Pick of Last Week

These vintage typewriter keys turned wine tags are super cool. There won't be any question of what glass belongs to what guest if you sling these funky charms on goblets at your next shin dig. Visit QA Create to check out what other unique bits typewriter keys have been turned into.

December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Flickr photo thanks to Gizmo_F

I'm hoping all of you have had a stellar Christmas, I certainly did. I've eaten enough turkey to last me a lifetime and although I'm still stuffed (we had Christmas number 2 today) I'm seriously considering crawling to the fridge to snag a slab of stuffing. My second mom makes the best stuffing ever created by human hands. Seriously. Just writing about it is causing my full belly to growl -- stuffing and wine, oh my. The bonus of hosting big dinners is leftovers and I have a massive chunk of stuffing sitting in my fridge waiting to be devoured. Oh and there's the cheesy cauliflower too... oh no.

A big thanks to Sarah for Christmas dinner number one, it was fab. Thankfully the snow stopped falling Christmas eve (our snow banks were 7 feet high after mike dug out the 5 ft of snow at the end of our driveway left by the plow) so Christmas day was perfect for traveling, not that we had very far to go. It was a lovely day with unexpected appearances from Mr. Napkin head and Prince Napkin head. If only someone had snapped a photo of the original Mr. Napkin Head - it's one of those 'had to be there' moments but trust me when I say my dad caught all of us off guard and it was hilarious.

Today we cooked the bird for the other half of our family. Gertrude, affectionately named Gertie, was a pretty turkey and tasted delish.

Mike and I were spoiled rotten by our families: loads of lovely gifts! We slept covered in our new duvet last night and it was heavenly; I'm currently wrapped up in the softest blanket ever and we have enough chocolate around here to last a lifetime. A zillion lovely gifts, far too many to name but I'll definitely share some of them with you over the next couple of weeks. One will be my new fab pick of the week.

I'm chopping the lid tomorrow, I'm desperately in need of a cut considering my last one was in September! Ick, my hair is a mess. I'm going to a new stylist and trying a new cut - not sure if a brand new style is a smart idea with someone I've never been to but I'm going to give it a shot and hope to hell I don't end up with a hack job. I'll report back to you soon, I'm sure you'll think of NOTHING but my hair until you hear from me again.

I can't resist it any longer, stuffing and wine here I come.

Happy Holidays everyone!

December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Big Bro!!

My big brother turns 44 today. Happy Birthday John!

Did I say 44? I meant 34. Seriously, he's 34 going on 14.

On this date many years ago (for MANY years in a row) John would be threatening to tell me what all of my Christmas gifts were if I didn't tell him one or two of his. He couldn't handle not knowing and I loved being surprised. Of course the reality was he would have never told me what my presents were but I was convinced he would ruin it for me so I would always give in and tell him a gift or two.

As if you really needed me to tell you John! You were the master present opener and re-sealer. There was just one year I gave in and looked with you and I totally regretted it on Christmas morning.

Although you are were a total pain in the ass big brother who looked out for me rather than buying me vodka and cigarettes - what nerve!! And even though we could have been aired on UFC on more than one occasion - I so did NOT throw a knife at you, you simply imagined that... or maybe I blocked it out? I have loads of fond memories of us growing up and I love you more than you know John. I am lucky to have you as a big brother and I'm lucky to have you as a friend now that we are bigger kids adults. and I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of you, you are an amazing man and a phenomenal father.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday bro! May all of your birthday wishes come true.

Oh and I made you a little something for your birthday - everyone feel free to check this out and have a good laugh on John's expense. John this is what you will look like if you let yourself go a little... okay, a lot. Go Bro, it's your birthday!

December 21, 2008

Christmas with the Crazies

Our annual Christmas with the Crazies took place last night and now it really feels like Christmas is just around the corner. We skipped the typical turkey and trimmings and hosted a pot luck instead this year, it was perfect! Less mess and less stress! EC took care of the tunes.

Jess made the best apple pie I have ever tasted and I intend to replicate it for our family shin digs, a frozen cheesecake or two will be waiting in the wings just in case. I'll share the recipe with you if all goes well.

I spent this morning clearing the wreckage from the pah-tay and the proceeded to procrastinate... eventually I managed to get my butt in gear and a few things were wiped off my TO DO list.

I finally got to Rosie's Christmas gift and I am stoked with the results. How cute is this tiny sundress?

A big thanks goes out to Habitual where I found this super sweet pattern.

I know it's December but I figure she can wear it over a long sleeve shirt and tights or leg warmers. Once Rosie's too big to wear this as a dress it can be work as a little tunic top. Super cute! This pattern is definitely a keeper.

I also whipped up this little crayon roll for my dad; he is stuffing Neve's stocking and was looking for a little something extra to add to it.

Remember to enter the draw for the ZipIt by leaving a comment on this post.

Oh So Sweet Tags

Abigail Halpin has posted a free downloadable pdf for some super sweet gift tags. I have a zillion tags leftover from last year so as tempting as it is to print these off I'm going to save the pdf to print next Christmas. Enjoy!

December 19, 2008

Mushrooms and Snails and Tiny Pig Tails

I had a request for some teeny tiny Lola's for some teeny tiny girls for Christmas and I am really pleased with the results. I found this super cute fabric at Above All Fabric and was thrilled with the super quick delivery and friendly service; be sure to check out the selection at this Etsy shop if you're looking for some fabulous fabric.

I hope the little ladies like this tiny Lola as much as I do!

December 18, 2008


HO HO HO! Time for another givewaway!

Leave me a Christmas related comment: fav memory/tradition/joke WHATEVER on this post and you'll be entered in my draw to win a ZipIt similar to this one.

The contest closes on December 25th. Be sure to leave me some sort of contact info (email or link to your blog) so that I can contact you if you're the lucky winner!

Gamer Love Song

Mario Kart Love Song (Original)

I found this video over at Oh, Hello Friend and fell head over heels for it. Whether you're a Super Mario Bros. fan or not you're sure to think it's a sweet song - listen closely to the lyrics. A syrupy voice, unique lyrics and an acoustic guitar: this guy has been added to my favs on YouTube.

December 16, 2008

Easy & Delish = Danger

Read this post at your own risk.

This is the time of year when I go hunting for new blogs to add to my list of regular reads, I have a hard time sitting down doing nothing so surfing blogdom kingdom while watching tv during Christmas holidays is my way of relaxing.

Tonight I stumbled upon Made by Petchy where I found a pattern for an adorable and simple little peanut dress that I think I might whip up for Rosie for Christmas AND the recipe for this simply deadly delightful chocolate cake in a cup. Seriously. CAKE in a CUP. BRILLIANT. In less than 5 minutes I made one for Mike, when I asked how it tasted and received a chocolate mouth filled "Yum!" I proceeded to make one for myself and I concur: YUM.

Easy peasy. I highly recommend the hot fudge topper along with coconut as suggested by Petchy. Mmm mmm good.

Here's the Recipe:
Dump the following ingredients in a coffee mug and stir
5 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Once you've stirred these goodies add the following:
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk (or 1 tbsp milk plus 2 tbsp applesauce)
1/4 tsp white vinegar

Stir it up and place mug in the microwave. Cook on full power for 1-2 minutes, depending on your machine.

One of the ladies who left a comment following Petchy's post suggested that you "watch for the rise and then the beginnings of falling back into the cup (for done-ness) or the signature steaming up of the microwave door, after which (she) count to about 15." I'll try this next round!

When you pull it out of the micro you'll look in the mug and think "ew" or "hmmm I don't think that's done" even when it is. Use your typical cake testing method to see if it's all good and then tip your mug upside down on a plate. Give it a few moments to settle (this would be a good time to melt your hot fudge and/or scoop your ice cream) and then give the mug a shake and THUMP out falls your little cake. Well, in theory you'll get the thump. I had one thump and one that I had to dig out with a spoon.

This is a pretty rich dessert that tastes like a brownie so next time I'll share one with Mike OR I'll be sure to add vanilla ice cream and pineapple to take the edge off. Oh me oh my this cake in a cup might not be a good thing after all.

Santa's Message to My Man

This is a very cool little tool you can use for your kids (or husband) for Christmas. A personalized video from Santa himself!

Check out the message from Santa to Mike, I'm sure he'll be thrilled when he sees it. Be sure to have your volume turned up and you might have to refresh your screen once or twice before it actually comes up, it will say error but it's LYING!

Oh and one side note, if I was creating one of these for a child I think I would choose one of the options other than "how does Santa know who has been naughty and who has been nice" - how creepy are the elves peering in the window?! That would freak me out if I was wee!

Fab Pick of Last Week.... or was it two weeks ago?

I'm a sucker for fabulous photographs and then there's my weird obsession with swings... needless to say it was love at first sight when I spotted this beautiful print in Oranje's etsy shop.

December 15, 2008

Mmmm Buttons

My favourite woman dropped off a massive ziploc bag of my favourite things this weekend - thanks mom! Yay for Thrift Shops and a mom addicted to scouring them for fabulous goods.

I've decided to finally sort my collection of lovely buttons by colour so that I can display them in my sewing room/office. I started sorting and soaking the little buggers last night and I know I'm a dork but there is something oddly satisfying about the task.

Oh how I love buttons.

And the WINNER is...

Congratulations to Melanie from Whimsical Creations who is the lucky winner of the alien stocking! With the huge number of entries (all TWO, hee hee) I figured writing names on slips of paper was the easiest way to take care of the draw and Whimsical was the name pulled.

Thanks for entering the contest. I'll be posting another giveaway VERY soon but will be leaving this one open longer to give more people a chance to enter.

December 14, 2008

A Big One!

Enter the Oh How Lovely Shops Big Holiday Giveaway!

A big giveaway at Oh! How Lovely! - even if you don't want to enter the contest you should check out this blog, it features loads of awesome goods.

December 13, 2008


You have 25 more hours to enter the draw for one of my alien stockings. Click here and leave a comment telling me what your fav Christmas tradition is and you will be entered into the draw. I'll close the contest at 11pm Sunday evening and will contact the winner for mailing info as soon as I have drawn the lucky number. Family and friends feel free to enter as well - the more entries the merrier.

I'll be posting another giveaway this week so be sure to pop by!

December 12, 2008

A Sticky Star

I was poking around WhipUp and ended up at A Foothill Home Companion where the tutorial for this fab stick star can be found. As soon as I spotted this decoration I thought of my friend Cara. Cara is one of the most artistic women I know and she comes by her talents honestly, her mom is an amazing potter who creates stunning pieces. Many, many years ago Cara and I were chatting in the car outside of her parents house (just moments before curfew was up I'm sure) when I glanced out the window and spotted a star just like the one shown above hanging from her parent's tree. It looked so pretty dangling from the branches, there was snow sparkling all around lit by the moonlight. I immediately assumed that Cara's mom had created this little piece of heaven but it wasn't Rose at all, it was Cara's dad Ron who had created the stars and hung them up to surprise his lovely wife. So sweet!

I think I might take my little friend Grace out for a walk tomorrow to gather some sticks.

December 11, 2008

Ania's the New Girl On the Block

This hot mama was created thanks to a special order. I just love this purple fabric and the black velvet bow is always a winner. I plan to sew a few more Ania's over the holidays... after I get going on the mini-Lola's that have been ordered. If only there were more hours in the day!


Ho Ho Ho ladies and gentlemen.

I promised to give out goodies in December and although most will likely be links to downloadable fabulousness and links to other blogger's giveaways I will certainly be dolling out a few freebies myself. It's time.

The first little something I have for you is one of my super sweet (if I don't say so myself) alien stockings. I should have done this a couple weeks ago so that the very lucky winner would have the stocking for Christmas (there's a novel idea) but I didn't so oh well, you'll have it to stash away for next near! See, what I'm actually doing is helping you out with your Christmas shopping for 2009. No need to thank me.

The stocking I am putting up for grabs is not the one show in the photo above so the pattern placement will differ slightly. The lining is red cotton and the white trim is crazy soft. This stocking is not listed in my shop because of the fact that I sewed the trim on a little wonky. The seam on the trim doesn't line up with the seam on the stocking, it's one of those things that isn't at all noticeable unless you are looking for an oops. Why did I even bother mentioning it? Well... the winner might examine the stocking closely and if they were to find the oops and I hadn't mentioned it they might just think I'm sloppy and I wouldn't want them to think I sell sloppy goods in my shop. Blah, blah, blah. What was meant to be a short post has turned ridiculous.

If you want this adorable alien stocking what you need to do is post a comment telling me about a fav Christmas memory or a tradition you love. Post your comment by Sunday December 14th so that I can draw a winner late Sunday evening and ship this puppy off on Monday morning. Depending on where you live there's a slight possibility that you might receive the stocking by Christmas.... it's doubtful but possible. Never say never! Remember to leave me some info whether it be an email address or a link to your blog so that I can reach you if you win.

Feel free to let your friends know about the giveaway. It's time for the lurkers to show their pretty selves. There are many regular readers here at JJ who I have yet to 'meet' so this is your opportunity to leave a comment, don't be afraid, I won't bite... hard.

Slap a Stamp On It

The Christmas cards are in the post. Finally. Yep, I left it late so our family across the ocean will be receiving Christmas wishes after the holidays I'm sure, but at least they'll know we were thinking of them. Better late than never.

I love opening the mailbox and finding mail (not bills) addressed to me so Christmas cards are just one more reason I can't get enough of this season. Our little Christmas card display is slowly filling.

Mom this little link is for you in particular. I stumbled upon this blog and she has posted a pile of links for giveaways for scrapbooking and card making supplies.

Mike & I received one super special card yesterday from a fabulous friend who we won't be seeing this Christmas *insert sad face here* A card from the Stephen Lewis Foundation arrived and to be honest with you I figured it was a 'please donate moolah' request. I was thrilled when I opened it and saw that it was a thank you note from the foundation, money has been donated in our names! What a very cool gift from a very cool and thoughtful friend. Thank you Tanya!!

December 7, 2008

Christmas Elf

The majority of our Christmas decorations have been hung at the three foot point and below this year and each was hung accompanied by a very intense look of determination. We had a fun night filled with decorating and dancing. Let the Christmas season begin!

December 6, 2008

From Me to You!

I just arrived home from running some errands and it's a winter wonderland out there! Tomorrow morning is guaranteed to be filled with shoveling and I'm kicking myself for not picking up hot chocolate mix when I was at the grocery store earlier. I suppose I'll be hunting for a yummy hot chocolate from scratch recipe later this evening.

My niece is coming over to hang out with her favourite aunt (that would be me) tonight while her mommy and daddy enjoy some grown up fun at a Christmas party. We're going to eat spaghetti, decorate the Christmas tree, bake some cookies and definitely watch High School musical while doing all of the previously mentioned. I'm guessing we'll fit in two viewings and possibly begin the third by the time my brother comes to pick her up. Thankfully I haven't seen the movie yet so it shouldn't be too painful.

While pulling out the decorations for the tree I started thinking that it would be great if I could give all of my readers a gift for Christmas. Then I remembered I'm a student and me giving everyone a gift would actually mean Mike would be giving all of you a gift since he's currently my cash supply and something tells me he might not like the idea as much as I do! Rather than giving you all material gifts I'm going to try to pass along freebies as often as possible during the month of December. The freebie might be a recipe, tutorial, printable or a handmade something to be sent through the post. I'll try to post as often as possible but I'm not promising anything!

My first share of the month is thanks to How About Orange - I know, I know, you're not surprised - who posted the link to this beautiful free printable 2009 calendar at Mibo. Sign up for their newsletter and in return you'll receive the pdf for the calendar. Lovely!

More goodness tomorrow! Stay warm.

December 5, 2008

One Year Wiser!

This is a very belated Happy Birthday post for my fabulous husband. No I didn't forget his birthday, I just haven't wished him a happy day publicly. So here I am wishing my Michael a VERY happy 32nd birthday! I love you Miguel! I love you so much in fact that I'm willing to have you plastered all over some bombshell's bod. NOTE: That might sound like an open invitation but it's a once in a lifetime thang and since you're plastered all over the girl below the offer is now null and void.

A birthday post wouldn't be complete without a PhotoFunia pic.

Last Week's Fab Pick

Alsita has created 4 x 6" prints of some of her breathtaking papercut art. For a crazy low price you can purchase one from her Etsy shop. Beautiful!