An Invite

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m going to be selling the Simple Choices products at a Craft/Small Business Fair this weekend.

Lotion Bar

Here is a list of the different products that I have available:

– Diaper Powder
– Cloth Wipe Solution
– Diaper Cream

– Breathe (Eucalyptus) Cream
– Refresh (Peppermint) Cream
– Calm (Lavender) Cream

– Bath Salts
– Body Scrub
– Body Butter
– Lotion Bars
– Lip Balm

– All Purpose Cleaner
– Room Spray

These products are natural alternatives to everyday products that we use. They are non-toxic and work wonderfully.

I use all of these products in our house and on my family and I stand behind them 100%.

Calm Cream

Years ago, I started on a journey to a healthier me and I realized that there are so many chemicals and unnecessary ingredients in our food and especially in our beauty products and cleaners. Seeing as our skin is our biggest organ, I wanted to be able to be confident with the product that I use, both on our bodies and in our home.

I began to search out alternatives for the products that I was using and was frustrated to find that the more natural alternatives were SO MUCH MORE expensive. I began looking into the different ingredients and started to make my own products.

It was exciting to be able to create products that were natural and that actually worked.

If you are looking for more natural options for yourself, your family and your home…..I’d love for you to come and see these products. I hope that you will love them as much as I do.

Stop by and see me on

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19
between
9:30am – 3pm
at
Alex Hope Elementary School
21150 85th Avenue
Langley, BC

I’d love to meet you, and I hope to see you there.

Out With the Old & In With the New

I was talking with my dad the other day and asking how much it would cost to get new carpets put in on my stairs….

The carpet that was there was the original carpeting and the house is 15 years old. There was only one other owner before us, but still….there is 15 years of someone else toenails and dead skin and coffee spills, not to mention that those particular carpets were a lovely off white color.

Bare Stairs

Old Icky Carpet – GONE!

They probably looked AMAZING when the house was first built, but let’s just say that after almost 2 years of our family trucking up and down those sucker a million times a day and even with multiple steam cleans over the almost 2 year period….off white carpeting (on the stairs, no less) is probably not the best color for a family of 7.

Literally, We’d steam clean them and within an hour, there would be a NEW stain. It was so frustrating because no matter how hard I tried to keep them clean, the stairs just looked disgusting.

So, I asked my dad about pricing and he mentioned that he might have something at the office that would be perfect…

My dad owns a flooring company in Langley, BC – “Kennedy Floors”.

The next day I came home from running a quick errand and Xandra mentioned that Papa had dropped off a carpet sample and that Uncle Tim would be coming the next day to install the carpet if I liked it.

Wow, talk about service. Ask and receive! BAM, just like that!

Old

Thrilled to be getting rid of it

The carpet looked great next to our walls AND, it was a great pattern and color for a high traffic area. So we said, YES PLEASE!!!

My brother showed up the next morning and ripped all the carpet off the stairs. Josiah was LOVING just hanging out with his uncle for the day and my brother is amazing. He worked around having a 3 yr old “helper” who is well….he is just so very helpful!!!

It was interesting trying to keep the baby occupied because I couldn’t put him down on the floor or he would gotten into everything, but to get new carpeting……it was so worth it. We hung out on the couch some and checked out what was going on the back yard….it was really exciting stuff, like watching the grass grow!

Hanging Out on the Couch

Fortunately the baby took a quick nap, and before Tim put the new carpet in, I was able to paint around the edges of the
stairs.

Touch Ups

Downstairs Hallway Color – a Dark Grey

Here is a picture of the finished stairs from today…

New and Clean

sorry ’bout the crappy cell phone photo

The lovely piece of wood in the left hand side of the picture is our custom made baby gate. Judah can crawl up faster than you can imagine, but he hasn’t quite figured out that standing or just turning around is not the smartest move and he’s definitely not clued in as to how to crawl down the stairs. I really must work on that with him, but until then…..Jon made the handy dandy piece of wood gate! It’s pretty classy and even has rubber edges so as not to damage our floor or banister. Purdy, aint it?

For about a week after, Tim installed the carpet, Josiah would walk up and down the stair and say to either Jon or I, “I sure love your new stairs. They are the best!

This is Heavy!

Using the mallet and the kicker

I think he just really enjoyed the time spent with Tim. I have to admit, it was nice to have a day of hanging around with my oldest little brother. He’s pretty amazing. And I can’t wait for him and Daisy to have their baby. Any day now…….I’m so excited to be an aunt again. I love my nieces and nephews. Family is so much fun!

My Little Brother

And new carpet is pretty cool, too! Thanks Dad! I love you!

(part 2 is coming…)

Safety Matters

Yesterday (Saturday) was a pretty boring day.

After the chaos of the past month, this is not a bad thing, but it also leave you feeling a little lost, as you try to fill the time and space and “come down” from the stress and attempt to figure out some “new normals”.

That’s a lot of quotation marks, but that’s a little how life feels right now…..punctuated by pauses (………) and “quotation marks”.

Angelica had a bit of a better day emotionally, although she’s had a pretty brutal headache for the past 2 days. On Friday it was her back that was bothering her terribly and now she’s had a brutal, brutal headache. I’m wondering if her back is out and we are going to try to book an appointment with our chiropractor for Monday to see if that will help her. It’s so hard to watch her be in pain and to not know how to help her. Because Tylenol can mask a fever, and basically fever is how her body will manifest an infection, we are not supposed to give her Tylenol and so we called in to Children’s today and they are getting her some Codeine. We’re hoping this will help alleviate the pain, and also help her to enjoy herself a little. Because of the pain, she’s been basically laying down and sleeping. I’m not so upset that she’s catching up on some sleep, but it’s hard to see her so “down” or “low” and I’d love to see her cheerful and enjoying herself again. It’s so hard to watch your children hurt.

We did have one moment yesterday that managed to break the monotony of our day….

Josiah has been climbing the counters recently…well, he’s been doing it for a while, but just recently with Geli and the baby requiring a bit more supervision – he’s managed to actually scale the counters and one day Jon found him up on the very top of the cupboards. Not cool!

Jon found these very nifty locks at Children’s Hospital and bought one to “try” at home. He figured that if it worked, we’d just pick up a few more the next time we were there.

He and Jeremy installed it on Friday evening…..I hate it. It’s a magnet lock. There is a magnetic key and the locking mechanism. You install the locking mechanism into your cupboard and once it’s closed, unless you have the magnetic key, you cannot get inside. We decided to keep the key in the cupboard above the pantry (that has the lock installed in it.) That way it was close enough to get at, but Siah couldn’t get it.

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You need to have both hands free to open the lock and then you have to remember to put the key back up in the cupboard where it gets stored.

We had one scare where I thought I had locked the key “inside” the pantry, but after a few moments of panic, we found it over on the counter.

Yesterday though, we really did lock it into the pantry and we did not have one magnet strong enough to open the lock. The key doesn’t feel like it’s a very strong magnet and yet….surprise, surprise IT IS!

We tried EVERY magnet we own and NOTHING worked. Some were almost strong enough and we could hear the lock clicking but nothing was actually strong enough to actually unlock the stupid thing.

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Finally Jeremy googled and found out that there is a SUPER STRONG magnet inside a Hard Drive and Jon had an old one of those kicking around……amazingly enough, it worked….

Here you can see the little white key sitting on top of the spaghetti sauce jar!

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The locks are currently flicked into the “unlocked” position while we try to figure out what we’re going to do going forward. At the very least, we had some entertainment on our boring Saturday!

More Creative Nesting

I’ve been going through a massive “PURGE” recently.

I think that most would call it nesting, although – I think that it’s a little early for the whole “nesting” thing to happen.

It would be awesome if I had massive amounts of energy to go along with my desire to clean and tidy and it would also be amazing if I could either continue this on until the baby comes or bottle it up until 2-3 weeks before the baby is supposed to arrive.

BUT……regardless, that’s what I’ve been doing with any “free” (ha ha ha ha ha – what a joke, as if I really have any free time) time.

I have managed to knock a WHOLE TON of things off my to do list, and that scares me as I don’t want to be sitting around at the end with a month to go and nothing to do, but deep down inside of me, I know that’s really not a reality. I’ll ALWAYS have or at the very least FIND something to do.

We have pretty much set up our room/the nursery and aside from a few little things like determining exactly where to store all the babies stuff so it makes the most sense….like clothes and blankets and diapers and supplies, etc – we’re pretty much ready to go in there.

One of the things that I co-ordinated with the rest of the baby’s “stuff” was a white board……

White Board

But wait a minute, you might be saying….that looks an awful lot like a tray….and well, it is….but it’s hanging on the wall close to the change table which is also close to the doorway….which makes it very convenient for writing notes or reminders on.

I got the idea from Make it and Love it….

Basically, you can write on top of glass, the same as on a white board and so you can take whatever frame you like and add whatever fabric you like and VOILA!!!!! Easy, cheap and beautiful white board.

I like the idea that you can create something very practical, have it be beautiful and yet, customize it perfectly for you. You can take any frame and if you don’t like the color but you do like the shape and design…..spray paint is very cheap and a great way to be able to co-ordinate with your decor. Depending on whether or not you have fabric pieces on hand, you can either use those, or go through your clothes or sheets or blankets and see if there is something suitable that you’d like to re-purpose. You could even use scrapbook paper or any combo of papers set up together. I had thought about creating a dry erase board for my kitchen with different sections for “To Do:” and another long section for a “Shopping List” and another section for “Dates to Remember:”. You could totally use co-ordinating papers to create different size sections and it would look very cool. In something like this, you’re pretty much only limited by your imagination…..

I re-purposed a tray that we had been given a while ago. It was one of those picture frame trays, but the kids had spilled my coffee on it and it had soaked through and mucked up all the frame and pictures. I chose a light patterned fabric from the stuff that I’d used for my quilt. I figured that would make it easier to see what I was jotting down. Then I used my glue gun to secure the fabric to the back piece of the tray. We secured a piece of wire to the back of the tray for hanging purposes.

The handle of the tray provides a nice ledge for the dry erase marker to sit on and right now my biggest issue is keeping my family from drawing silly faces on it.

I plan to use it for marking down notes or baby items that we run out of or even just the time that I least fed or changed the baby.

We just have a few pieces of art to get up on our bedroom walls and then I’ll take some pictures and show you the whole thing. It’s come together so nicely and I’m loving the fact that we’ve created a space that feels comfortable to just “be” in. In fact, I enjoy hanging out in there more than I do in my living room and I LOVE my living room.

Do you have a favorite room in your place? Which room and why?

Where I’m at….

I was sitting on my couch, this morning, in my living room…..

I was sitting on my couch in my living room, this morning…..

In my living room there is this couch that I sit on, in the mornings…

This morning as I was sitting on my couch in my living room…..

……..the soft gentle chirping of the birds in my backyard floated in on a gentle cool breeze that smelled crisp and clean and just like fall. I could smell my coffee as it rested beside me and the hear the familiar clicking of the keys on my keyboard as I checked on my e-mail and while uploading a few photos.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Now the reality is that I attempted to check my email while fending of a 2 year old who was climbing all over the top of me…..while he attempted to wedge himself in between me and the laptop so, “Siah see pictures! Siah see pictures! Siah see pictures!“. I did have a coffee that was getting cold in the kitchen because we have no coffee table and that previous reference to the wriggling 2 year old would mean that the couch and I would be wearing more coffee than I’d manage to get inside me. There is a cold breeze hurling through the window (that faces the dark, shaded backyard) that Jon opened behind me which is competing and winning over the gorgeous sunshine that is flooding through my front windows. I am currently listening to the majestic sounds of the roofers yelling crude comments and laughing while hammering and working on the other houses in our complex. Fortunately, our house is finished so they are not banging on my roof. WOOT!

Jon has taken Siah to the bank to drop off a deposit. Thank God! and I am taking a few moments to breathe.

There are certain aspects of the kids going back to school that have been a little difficult. Siah is COMPLETELY LOST! He loves his siblings and is having to learn how to play without someone entertaining him 24/7. It’s a rough life….I know.

The house is SOOOOO quiet with the older three back at school and I’m finding it easier to keep on top of everything. YAH!

Now, this could be a post all about where I’m finding myself emotionally and mentally as we step back into the fall routine, but really……it’s all about location! (And apparently overused punctuation – excuse that!)

Anyway, I love to imagine where people are when they are sitting relaxing or attempting to work with a scrambling 2 year old on top of them…..whichever more describes your life….

Do you ever do this?

Well, You don’t have to wonder anymore……

Living Room

When I’m at home and actually able to sit down for a moment…..This is where you’d find me.

We are not finished decorating and we still need to get some furniture pieces and other finishing touches, but we’re getting there and I LOVE it. I love the open feeling of it and the clean, uncluttered look and well….it’s exactly what I was hoping for when I first started imagining what we could/should do with this place (Our HOME!)

We’ll be having an open house fairly soon and if you’re around, we’d love to have you drop by! I’ll keep ya posted as we plan and actually managed to come up with a few concrete details….

And, Jon and Siah are back…..which means, I get to be done, for now!

But, do you have a “Place” that you relax or that you feel is “yours”? What’s it like? Or what would you like it to be?

Fresh Start

I can’t believe it’s already September.

Where did this summer go?

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It seems completely eaten up with the house purchase. That is how I will remember the summer of 2009. It was the summer we bought our first home.

I’m thrilled that we were able to buy and that we are getting settled in. It’s not been a fun, go-a-lot-of-places and have-a-lot-of-adventures kind of summer, but it HAS been a good summer. Tough, but good!

Friends of ours are also starting another leg of their life journey and are in the process of buying a new place. We went over to check out their place last night. We LOVE these guys and are so thrilled for them.

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We had some great food and some even better conversation.

It used to seem like we lived so far away from these guys, but then we moved closer to them and now they have moved closer to us and now we are considerably closer than we were before. (Okay, that’s a completely lame sentence, but it is what it is…..and I’ll just throw it out there and slowly walk away from it.)

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I managed to snap a bunch of pics of the kids while they were swimming. (yes, this new place of theirs has a pool – how wicked amazing is that?) and what’s even better…..after it got dark, we sent the kids to watch a movie and we adults headed down to the pool. Can we sigh a HUGE SIGH of HEAVENLY-NESS?!? I felt so relaxed last night.

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Relaxed! Ha! There is a loaded word. Yesterday was Jon’s first day back at work and today is my first day back at work and well……I was mentioning to Jon yesterday how I was already feeling the pressure of “the Fall” starting to weigh in on me. It’s good…..Sorta! This is going to be a GREAT fall with exciting and amazing things, BUT….it’s going to require a significant amount of work and well………that work will require effort and…..well…..when I think of the sheer volume of work it’s all gonna require……then I just want to run and stick my head in the sand and head back to vacation.

Ahhh! It’ll all be good. I’m just looking at the volume of everything all at once and I know that if I just focus on what is in front of me (today) then it will all work out.

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That is a very short snippet of a very big “AH HA” moment that I’ve had very recently and one that I’ll be talking more about as I think it’s HUGELY relevant to me right here and right now.

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Well, gotta get started on my day. Click here to see the WHOLE set of pics from last night.

Hot and Puffy

Today was a much cooler day, but it was still warm. When I look at the thermostat in my house and it reads 28 degrees or even higher at 30 something… that’s too hot….for inside……

We’ve still been trying to plow onward and empty more and more boxes and trying to put away more and more stuff and to bag up and throw or give away anything that doesn’t actually have a “spot” to fit into.

So far we’re getting there. It’s slow going, but we’re getting there.

The stairs in my house are slowly killing me. I’m not used to it and it’s annoying to have to run from the top to the bottom only to find out that your forgot to bring something with you and it……just. happens. to. be. onthefreakingtopfloor.

So you pound up the stairs again and then rinse, lather, repeat a hundred times a day.

If I were actually losing some weight as a result of this, I’d not be complaining, but nope. No such luck on that point.

If anything, I’ve gained some weight and judging by the size of my feet tonight…I’ve been on them WAY TOO MUCH TODAY.

They are huge and puffy and they hurt like crazy…

But we are getting there.

It’s my baby’s second birthday tomorrow.

How the crap did that happen?

Where did the last two years go and where did this little boy come from?

We are going to be celebrating his birthday in September. The weather will still be nice enough and hopefully I’ll have my house in a little bit more order…..Am I dreaming on that one?

Well, The baby is being bathed and I gotta do what I can to tidy up the kitchen before Jon is done with him……lets hope I haven’t used up all my time.

Reality… in pictures.

So! Yes, things have been quiet around these parts because our lives have been INSANELY busy in all other areas.

I’ve had a few people asking for pics of the new place and today I ran around….mess, painting swatches, and all…..and snapped a bunch of pics. I’ve not edited them or staged anything….I just snapped and uploaded and then tried to title and label them appropriately.

If you look, you can see all the unpacked boxes, the chaos that we are thinking will eventually be our office or our TV Room. I don’t really want the TV in the front room and at the same time I like to see what my kids are up too so I’m undecided on what to do about that. You might be able to see the brushed silver knobs on the kitchen cabinets that totally update the look of the kitchen (there were gold brass knobs previously – there is SO MUCH gold/brass accenting this house. NASTY!) Our messy, MESSY bedroom, the kids stuff everywhere and the nasty couches that we dragged upstairs the the previous owners had left behind just so we could have something to sit on. The couch doesn’t match the grey/beige (greige) color that you might be able to see in some of the pictures as tester swatches on a few of the walls, but at least we have some place to sit and I don’t feel like I have to hover in the kitchen 24/7.

Funny story about the paint….although it still deons’t seem THAT funny to me…

I picked out a color that I thought I would love. I had seen pictures that I had liked and so we found out the color and even went and bought a small can. I brought it home and painted it in a few places and then freaked out that it was sucking ALL THE LIGHT IN THE HOUSE into the walls and that we’d end up feeling like we were living in a dungeon.

So, we went out an bought another small can of paint in a different color…..nope it was WAY TOO BEIGE. So we bought ANOTHER can of paint and it was WAY TOO silver/blue grey…..and really when it all came down to it the color that I really wanted was the original color…it was the perfect blend of the two and when we painted an entire section it actually looks AMAZING and I LOVE IT with all my heart and it will look perfect when it’s all done. Especially when we have everything pulled together and all the white accent pieces that we plan to use.

The colors that we are going with are this greige color with tons of white accessories and a gorgeous espresso color and some black thrown in to tie it all together.

When all is said and done we should have a very contemporary looking place.

I only know that because I went looking in decorating magazines and online to try and figure out what my “style” actually is.

It’s the very straight edges and clean lines and simple pieces….yah…right now my house doesn’t look anything like what the picture in my head looks like, but one day…..one day it’ll all come together as we are able to save up and buy the different pieces that complete the “look” that we are going for.

Now that I’ve blathered on and on and on, Here are the pictures if you want to peek at the place.

Front door

If you click on the picture it’ll take you through to the set. (edited to say that I’m not sure why the picture link isn’t working, but if you click HERE it’ll take you through to the set.

I hope to have anyone local over fairly soon for a “Yah we bought a house party!” Until then go ahead and familiarize yourself with my place via some pics.

Quiet Day at Home

I’m posting, not because I have something amazing to share or some deep thoughts to throw out there, but because I find that if I purpose to write, then it happens and the more it happens the better it is, but this one…..this is just drivel, put out there in an effort to continue on.

It’s just Siah and myself at home right now and so the house is quiet. I wish he were sleeping, but it’s not so…..

We have managed to clear out Jeremy and Siah’s room and I just need to put Siah’s clothes away as they are currently folded and on his change table.

We’ve put our big dresser in our walk-in closet and have all of “that” (clothes and closet) stuff about half put away.

I’ve had two “at home” days in a row and am feeling slightly more settled – which I know is a HUGE false sense of reality thing, but I’m holding onto it as the emotional stability of all of this is just as important to me as the physical reality and so I revel in my feeling more settled-ness.

We still have “oodles” of stuff to do at the old place and so many boxes to unpack and so much stuff to throw out here at the new place. I’m on a garbage binge and it feels SO GOOD!

For your viewing pleasure……….more cell pics…..

p-s

Anyone Still Out There?

It’s been a while, eh?

So, Um……well, we are moved….or moving….or started moving or something.

We are not completely out of the old house, but we are living in the new place.

As of yesterday, the floors are in and we have set up our bed and well……I’m feeling a tad bit more settled than I was earlier this week.

We’ve set up the front room – sort of – ya know, as much as you can with no furniture.

Here is a sneak peek from my phone….

house-peek

Okay, it’s not that we have no furniture, but no couches…..fun eh? So if we invite you over, bring your lawn chairs….fun, fun.

We still have a long way to go, but we’ll get there.

I just wanted to check in. Say “BOO”! Let ya’ll know that I’m still alive and that we FINALLY got internet……

All the lovely people around here have their wireless connections locked up tighter than Fort Knox and the one signal that we could get was extremely spotty and very weak.

So, we are back on-line and lovin’ it.

Now, to put the baby to bed and hope for 2 hours of time to clean and sort and organize and arrange.

How’re you all loving the heat?