Friday, August 31, 2012

I Feel Like a Grown Up When...

I listen to CBC.
{Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the non-Canucks.}
CBC Logo vintage
I have fond memories of my Dad cooking Sunday Brunch while listening to Radio 1.
For some reason when it starts to get cooler I feel the need to turn the radio to AM 740.
It's like fall comfort food for my ears.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Seamstress?

I've been really enjoying some new titles I've taken on recently.
I thought I had them all figured out until yesterday.
I got a beautiful note from a friend {thanks Bri} and it blew me away.
I have called myself a blogger but she called me a writer.
I have called myself a bridesmaid but she called me a friend and seamstress.
Hers are so much better!

You see...
When I found out that Diana was getting married I immediately panicked. 
{Edit: First I was overjoyed for her, then the panic.}
This is a friend who hand-makes beautiful gifts for weddings and showers.
I'm not talking simple hand-mades here.  
We have gorgeous full size quilts and knit blankets care of Diana.
I didn't know if I'd be able to conjure up something quite as thoughtful.

Then, as we looked at some Etsy shops for wedding dresses, I found myself thinking "I can do that".
I used to sew, I used to love sewing.
But, as with many things, who has the time?
Not to mention that clothes are so cheap {a la Joe, H&M, F21} that is isn't cost effective anymore.
Well, in wedding dresses, it is.

We found 2 patterns that, combined, made her dream dress.
We sourced some Dupioni Silk in a closing out sale {thanks to a tip from her Aunt}.
I got out the dress form and we were off.
The dress came together beautifully with a few minor pattern adjustments.
tea length wedding dress
Then we decided to add a little fun with some tulle peeking out the bottom.
I couldn't find the right colour so bought some ivory and tea dyed it.
These were my testers. I tried coffee {far} as well but it had a bit of an orange tinge, good old Earl Grey {middle} was the winner.
tea dyeing
We also got such a good deal on the fabric that we had enough to make a flower girl dress.
{I altered this pattern to add some red tulle and a layer of lining so that she wasn't itchy.}
Flower girl dress
I even ended up with a little time for altering my own dress.
Now that I'm a mother {and over 30} I don't find I can wear things as short as I used to.
I loved everything about this dress except the "Jersey Shore" length.
A trip back to the fabric store for a little navy chiffon and I had another 4 inch layer at the bottom.
{These are the before and after shots, you can barely see that 4th layer.}
Navy bridesmaid dress
Navy bridesmaid dress
 So, for now at least, I'm a seamstress.
Maybe someday, when I can make the time for it, I'll really own up to this title.

Update:  Please don't judge our circa 1970's attic space {aka my office} in those last 2 shots.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Happy Mess

You know the one right?
That satisfying mess that makes you feel like you're accomplishing something.
For example.

Introducing carrots to baby for the first time.
Starting solids
Making your own...anything really.  
{This is baby food and the prep to make jam.}
Make your own baby food
Dinner from scratch.  
{With some canned ingredients of course, let's not get carried away.}
Shield Automotive Refinshing
And last but not least, playtime mess.
Playing in the rain
Now I'm not saying that all messes make me feel warm and fuzzy.
More often I'm driven crazy by them and find myself in a never-ending tidying frenzy.
But once in a while I own our mess and let it be.
{For a little while.}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One of Those Days

If you were hoping for a happy or cute post today, stop reading.

Today is one of those days where it feels like I'm being crushed.
I have these once in a while when things are crazy at the shop.
The end of the month is coming and we are short on money for bills.
Our bills are a little higher since we hired a new bodyman {more on him later}.
It's also taking many of our customers an extra long time to pay.
{We have lots of money in receivables, this does us no good right now.}
It's been tight before and there has always been a way to make it work.
It will work out this time.

There are some other stresses too though.

Things always feel harder when Jeff and I don't have time together.
We depend on each other to talk things out and reassure each other.
Because of all the hail work we have right now this is not happening.

We are also still trying to deal with Disaster 2012.
Our "loss of business" insurance paid us a pathetic amount compared to what we actually lost.
We have put out money to fix damage and this has not been reimbursed.
Now the company that installed the sprinklers is giving us grief.

This is just too much for someone who is still postpartum to deal with!
Sorry for the bummer but my shoulders feel a little lighter now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend at the Farm {Wedding Style}

It feels like the summer has been leading up to this weekend and next.
I have been honoured with the title of Bridesmaid for 2 great friends.
{Don't you dare call me a matron!}
And now one of those weddings is done, just like that!

We headed out Friday to set up a bit but there was a bigger task looming.
I was to teach a super secret flash mob.
We danced into the darkness.
Luckily all the friends learning were great with kids so I had lots of help with Feefs and Cedric.
You see Jeff was MIA due to the big hail storm this week.
We are now backlogged with hail damaged cars.
Well, these are one of those times when the scale has tipped so far that it's near impossible.

Jeff did manage to make it there on Saturday just in time for me to zip out for pics.
Farm WeddingFarm Wedding
The weather cooperated, it was beautiful.
The bugs were a different story.  Those country mosquitos are mighty and no amount of citronella could keep them from my bare legs.
Honestly though, I didn't notice until the middle of the night, the rest was too beautiful.
Diana has always had such a great sense of style.
I've always admired how everything she does looks beautiful but easy and soulful.
They sourced almost everything from western Canada and found a caterer that would do the same.
Their dresses were made in Alberta (more about that later) and BC.
Their favours were homemade jam.
Farm Wedding
 Fiona couldn't wait to start dancing in her boots and Cedric couldn't care less about his.
He was much more interested in the ribbons on the table runner.
{Ced's boots were from Dan at Stallion with the big boot across the street from the shop.}
Dancing ToddlerFarm Wedding
Farm WeddingDancing Toddler
 Sunday we were back at the farm for a post-wedding potluck and penny carnival.
It was less busy so I was able to take a couple shots of this fantastic farm.
With a couple of the fam at the end. 
{Fiona and I rocked our boots again.}
Farm Wedding
Farm Wedding
Shield AutomotiveShield Automotive
 Congrats to Diana and Carly!

Friday, August 24, 2012

When You Go to Canmore

You have to check out the Carter-Ryan Gallery and Live Art Venue.
Carter-Ryan Gallery
We went on our little trip to Canmore and it was great.
Beautiful art by Jason Carter paired with a fantastic book by Bridget Ryan.
It's really the best of both worlds for parents.

Carter-Ryan GalleryCarter-Ryan Gallery
Carter-Ryan Gallery
Just get the kids past the breakable beautiful sculptures in the front and "Who is Boo?" is laid out page by page under huge pieces of art.
Jenna had brought us a copy of the book a while back and Fiona already loved it so excitedly squealed "Boo" when she saw a painting of the loveable bunny.
Reading toddler
Reading toddlerReading toddler
We were also so lucky to get a print to display proudly in Cedric's room.
Boo by Jason Carter
We all can't wait to hear more about Boo's adventures.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buried Alive

I have been spending the day buried in paperwork and tulle.
Odd combination I know.
The tulle...well, I'll have lots to tell about that after this weekend.
Not quite this shade of tulle but it's a good visual, no?
Sorry Jenna!
The paperwork is for yet another {insert expletive here} loan application.
As I was telling you, we were approved then turned down for a loan from our bank.
We have now filled out all the paperwork and been approved to lease our equipment.
That takes care of the equipment part of the equation.
Now we just have to pay for some extra hands on deck.
To do this we are applying for a loan with the BDC.
This requires preparing approximately 847 {I may be exaggerating a smidge} pages of information on the business and us.
I'll say it again.
It's a heck of a reality check to see your financial situation all laid out in black and white.
{And a boatload of red.}

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"It's good for the soul...

...when there's not a soul in sight."
I heard this in a song playing on our drive home tonight.
{Can anyone tell me which song?}
This line resonated with me.
You see, it struck me these last couple of days that I'm never alone.
We were up in Canmore with our friends Jenna and Steve.
The first thing we all noticed up there was the quiet.
It's amazing how much noise we live with in the city.
We don't even notice it anymore and if we do it's oddly comforting.
It really hit me though when I took the opportunity of having 2 people there who love my kids and went for a solo run.
I have been going on some runs alone, but never this alone.
At one point I was nervous that I hadn't seen anyone in the last 2km.
That can't be possible, I thought, something is wrong.
Running alone
Nope, just alone. 
Mountain Road
Literally not a soul in sight.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just a Minute

Is how long I have to tell you about the weekend before I pack the kids up for a little impromptu getaway.
It was busy but great.
It seems that we're in the stage in which all your friends and family are hitting big events.
I'm mostly talking about weddings and babies.
{We also have some major birthdays and retirements though.}

Anyways, this was a pre-wedding and baby weekend.
{With a smattering of running {me}, working {hubby}, laundry {me and Cedric} and playing {all}.}

Friday, August 17, 2012

The F Word

The last few mornings have felt like Fall.
There I said it, FALL.
It's crazy but that little chill in the air in the mornings makes me excited.
Excited for the sweaters, the boots, the scarves, the comfort food and the colours, oh the colours!
Toddler in Fall
I really love fall and I'm sorry if the thought of it gets you down.

This little chill has also given me a little kick in the butt.
I have been thinking all summer of the great things I would do with Fiona come Fall.
Yesterday, my usual blogging time was consumed with online registrations.
So far we have enrolled in a gymnastics class and swimming.

{I have been inspired by the Olympics I must admit.
If I could put her in rowing right now I would.}

The gymnastics class was a challenge since Ortona was switching over their website yesterday.
I realized that I am useless at finding contact info if it's not readily available on the web.
Phone books?  Do we still have those?

Swimming was also less than straightforward since many of the classes are full.
Thanks to our friends Carmen and Lea who helped us find one with openings!

My last task is to get Fiona into one day a week of preschool.
I'm looking forward to a day alone with Cedric.
That Mama Guilt is kicking in and I feel like he doesn't get enough any one-on-one time.
I have visions of us baking "pumpkin-y" or "spice-y" things and taking crunchy walks.
Baby and Pumpkins


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