Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just Gonna Squeeze This One In

It has felt very busy around here the last couple of days.
We've been consumed with sickness, Halloween, bookkeeping/payroll and work.

{Yes, I'm back working 3 hours a week.  
Thank you to the feds for hearing our complaints about some of the EI changes.}

I will hopefully have some more time tomorrow to sit down and write more.

For today I just want to hit you with this little gem.
zippy's auto edmonton
Nope, not a Halloween display.
 That's our shop neighbour, Greg, at Zippy's Auto.

This came off of Jeff's phone when he sync'd it last night.
{This happens once every couple of months.}
Apparently he stopped to see if Greg was ok, thinking he was stuck.
Once he knew he was ok {just hard at work} Jeff snapped a couple of pics.

If you're looking for an honest mechanic, Greg is it.
He's who we trust with our own vehicles.

Have a happy and safe Halloween

Monday, October 29, 2012

Aspiration Time

No, I'm not going to lay out my hopes and dreams.
This post is not about that type of aspiration.

It's happened.
My little man has his first cold.
He woke up snorting this morning but still sported a smile.
Such a trooper.
It's really such a sad thing to watch a baby who can't breathe out of his nose try to nurse.

Fiona was a bit of a stuffy baby.
I didn't realize this until we had Cedric.
We haven't even had to break out the saline and nasal aspirator in his first 7 1/2 months.

Well, it's time.
Nasal aspiration is really not my favourite thing.
{I know you're shocked.}
I find those little squeezy bulbs {that's the technical term, no?} quite intimidating.
 I don't feel like I have a lot of control over the sucking pressure and I'm terrified that I will accidentally squeeze it while it's still in the baby's nose.

Cue the Hydrasense nasal aspirator.
I was tipped onto it by a friend {thanks Andrea} and it's wonderful.
It's still disgusting. 
More actually.
You see it still has a bulb but instead of squeezing it, you put the tube that's attached to the other end in your mouth and suck.
No, this is not a gross Halloween prank, it's real.
Please note that the tube is about 6 inches long and there's a filter in the bulb.
No snot gets close to your mouth, ever!

Cedric is napping at the moment but I've pulled out the supplies and am ready to aspirate.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Now That's a First Car

I would be over the moon if Fiona grows up to be like this amazing girl.
I really just want her to have it all.
I also daydream of her dancing on pointe or taking over the business world but who says she can't be a CEO-mechanic-ballerina.

I can only imagine the pride her parents feel.
You can see it all over this Dad's face when he talks about her.
Very cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mason Jar Coffee

That's right, mason jar.
A couple of days ago my french press shattered.
I was devastated.
I have come to love my french press.
I've done drip, espresso and even had a short stint with instant.
{In my first trimester with Cedric I couldn't stand the smell of brewing coffee.}
I have found that the press produces the smoothest cup.
{I'm sure the half and half doesn't hurt.}

Just go buy another right?
I probably would have if the kids weren't in bed already.

Ok then just take out one of the other methods.
I almost did.

But I had just had a bunch of beans ground for the french press.
Besides I just didn't want to go back to these other methods.

I thought "I'm sure I can simulate a french press."
And so was born my version of Mason Jar Coffee.
{Patent pending, not really.}

1. Boil water.
{I know the visual is really helpful right?}
 2. Get your supplies.
Mason Jar
Coffee (course grind)
4"x 4" piece of porous fabric
{I used tulle since I had a bunch leftover from some projects a couple months ago.}
Cloth of some sort
Mason Jar Coffee
 3. Put coffee in jar.
I usually do a heaping tbsp for each cup (250ml) but that may be a little weak for you.
Many websites say 2 tbsp for each 250ml in a french press.
Mason Jar Coffee
 4. Pour in boiling water.
This is getting complicated, I know.
Mason Jar Coffee
 5.  Put the lid on {not the ring} and let steep for about 5 mins.
You should have that nice bloom on top.
Mason Jar Coffee
 6. Give it a quick stir {I just used a chopstick} and the grounds will sink a bit.
Mason Jar Coffee
 7. Place the fabric in top.
Mason Jar Coffee
 8. Screw the ring over the fabric.
Mason Jar Coffee
9. Pour! 
This is a 2 hand job so I have no pic but I think it's pretty self explanatory.
The jar does get hot hence the washcloth or something to hold it with.

That's it.
I even tested this method out on my former-barista sister yesterday and she gave it a thumbs up.
I love the fact that I didn't spend any money on this or add more gadgets to the house.
{I am a little anti-gadget for those who don't already know this about me.}
It's a keeper.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Once in a while we get something really rare through the shop.
This definitely fits in that category.
It's a 2012 Roush Mustang RS3.
Roush Mustang
There were only 24 with these specs made.
"In Canada?" I asked Jeff.
Nope, in the world.
Roush Mustang
Now that's rare!
Roush Mustang

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tap That

{It's not just you, the titles are getting worse.}

I have roots in Ontario.
Both my parents lived there until they were in their mid-twenties.
We went back every year to visit.
When coming home we often brought back a bucket of maple syrup.
That's right folks, a bucket.
Maple syrup is a staple out east.
Salt, pepper, sugar, maple syrup.
Not in that order.
So I grew up with an intense love for maple syrup.
REAL maple syrup.
I have often settled for "maple type syrup" because of the price difference.
Recently I discovered President's choice 15% maple syrup.
It's not the same as the real thing but it's a decent stand-in at a fraction of the cost.

Well, Diana and Carly were at the cabin a while back.
 Jeff, of course, made his to-die-for french toast.
And I took out the good old 15%.
Cut to a couple weeks later when they showed up with this...
Maple syrup
...tied up with a bow no less.
Well, seeing as dinner was in the works, I wasn't about to whip up a batch of pancakes.
{I'm not above having pancakes for dinner.}
But I really wanted to dive into this jug.
Then I remembered something my Mom used to do.
easy Maple syrup dessert
Looks good right?
It is.
Vanilla ice cream sprinkled with granola and drenched topped with maple syrup.

{A special thanks to Kim for leaving the ice cream after our meeting last week.}

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ready to Rummage

Ok that was bad I know but it kinda rang true.
This weekend was the SEESA fall rummage sale.
I have been meaning to go to one of these for years!
Each year I'm either pregnant or have a baby so I forego the sale.
Well, this year I still have a baby but also had a Jenna and a Steve who offered to help out.
{Jeff was working on hail again this weekend.  
Thanks Daddy, we so appreciate how hard you work.}
Rummage Sale
I wore Cedric and Fiona was a doll on her best behaviour.
wood bowls
We went at opening to get the best selection.
Now I'm glad we did but that timing is what gave this post it's title.
Those rummage salers are ruthless determined!
Cedric actually got a hand in his face at one point so I didn't last long in the big room.
Rummage Sale boys clothes
Despite that I managed to do pretty well.
 Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, I even went back on Sunday for a more leisurely {albeit picked over} browse.
I hightailed it out of there before the $2 bag madness began though.
I have my limits.
Rummage Sale soup bowls
 Those little girl guides were also there and they just get me every time.
As my Grandma would have said "they're lovely girls".
{I'm channelling Grandma after seeing so much that reminded me of her this weekend.}
Girl Guide Cookies
All that and I only spent $21!
Now I know I've been talking about purging rather than bringing more in.
The bonus of this though was that I was prompted to organize and clean up a bit to fit my new treasures in.
Just let me justify it ok?

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Very Happy Half Birthday

In Alice in Wonderland style we're creating birthday celebrations here.
Happy Half Birthday
I feel like one birthday a year just isn't enough at this age.
There is just too much growing between 2 and 3 to not acknowledge the halfway point.
Plus, I have been waiting patiently to do this balloon streamer dealy.
{It took longer than I thought so I'll try more next time.}
Happy Half Birthday

Happy Half Birthday
I can't believe this little chicken is growing so fast!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Impromptu Bib Success

Something wonderful happened last time we were at the lake.
I forgot Cedric's bib.
Ok, you're right, that doesn't sound wonderful.
I didn't think so at first either.
Then I grabbed a tea towel, folded it in half and tied it around his neck.
Voila, the best bib you've ever put on your baby!
I'm not kidding you.
It has it all.
You know how you pay out the wazoo for the food catching pouch?
It has that.
You know how you pay extra for those super large bibs that cover their shoulders because inevitably the dog will bark or the toddler will scream by and the baby will whip their head around before you get a chance to spoon off that extra food and it ends up all over their shirt?
I know you do.
It has that!
You know how you also break the bank for a bib that kind of makes your baby look like a really cute cowpoke/hipster?
It has that too!
I love a good discovery, especially the thrifty kind.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Love Grandparents

Airplane with Grandpa
Grandpa airplane.
I mean who doesn't right?
But we really have the best situation going on.
Both sets of grandparents live within a 1/2 hour drive.
Both sets of grandparents love spending time with the kids.
Both sets of grandparents are willing to have sleepovers.
Sleepovers, you guys!

Fiona had her first at Grandma and Grandpa's this weekend.

She has had a couple at Gram and Grandpa's. 
The last in which she contracted Norwalk, threw up all night and passed it on to my Mom.  
Still sorry about that Mom.  
Did I mention we really REALLY love grandparents?

At first I was a little nervous that she'd be homesick and we'd end up driving out at 2am.
So I stuck around for a little while to ease her in.
Imagine my surprise when she said, "Mommy drop me off?  Mommy say bye bye?".
"Feefs do you want Mommy to leave?" I asked, sure I knew the answer would be no.
{Knife through the heart.}

Needless to say, she had a blast.
She even brought home a haunted house.
Grandma and Auntie did their best to convince her it was inedible.
Their efforts were futile and it quickly went from this.
Chocolate Haunted House
To this.
On Sunday as Jeff and I were having a leisurely morning with Cedric, Jeff says:
"We really need to start utilizing this sleepover thing more often."
Right you are sir, right you are.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Equipment {AKA Before You Came Into Our Lives We Missed You So Bad}

It's here!
We have all the equipment in.
We are now arguably the best equipped auto body shop in town.

Frame Rack

This is what allows us to do framework on site.
We are now officially a full auto body repair shop.
{insert applause}

Velocity Max

With this we can measure the condition of your vehicle's frame including body openings.
It will tell us exactly what needs to be done to return it to it's original state.
We can also give you printed documentation of this information.


The ProSpot i4 can handle the most difficult to weld materials.
It includes an OEMprogrammable feature with detailed repair illustrations and customized weld programs.
Translation {for those with my level of knowledge}: Super amazing welder, fix good.
If you want more detailed info visit the Shield website.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pinterest: Keep it and Kill it {again}

Keep it:
This is absolutely genius.
It's a growth ruler that you actually want in plain view.
No hiding this baby behind doors.
I pinned this from a website that sells them and thought it looked easy enough to do.
I bought a 6 foot 2"x6" from the hardware store and a paint pen and stencils from the craft store.
Stained it with some leftover stain then measured out the 1" marks and stencilled the numbers.
{If you make this don't forget to start at the 6" mark so you can hang it off the ground.}
Lastly I used some leftover varnish to protect it and give it a finished look.
I later found out that there are DIY links for this project but was glad I worked it out on my own.
 Sorry the pics are so dark, electrical is not the best in our 1914 home.
Perfect segue to...

Kill it:
Our house was built in 1914.
I love the character but one thing I could do without is the lack of outlets.
Outlets in 1914, not so important.
Outlets in 2012, essential.
The outlet shortage stuck us with this awkward charging arrangement.
The cord is currently sitting on a stool at our kitchen island.
Right where my daughter has breakfast every morning.
But doesn't it get in the way and doesn't Fiona play with it?
Yes and yes!
I loved this pin as soon as I saw it.
                                                                             Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

It seems so simple, how could it go wrong?
Well, the problem I have is that my counters are all too thick for these clips. 
I either need thinner counters or bigger clips.
I'm killing this one because I feel like bigger clips would stick out too far and get knocked off.
Good idea but not for this household.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Not Ready

It's 9:30pm.
I'm sitting downstairs listening to a very wide awake toddler.
She was in bed talking to herself and has now sucked Daddy into a conversation.
I think...
I don't even want to say it.
 We might be approaching the end of napping.
I'm in denial.
Fiona has always been my sleeper.
{As evidenced above.}
I've so enjoyed those days when I manage a tandem nap.
I get so much done for the home and shop when both kids are sawing logs.
But we really can't have her up until 10pm.
I'm not giving up yet but I've started on the path to acceptance.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Snow Day

I know, I know, it's all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs.
I can't help it though.
The first snow is always a little exciting.
snow on trees
Don't hate me just yet, I'm not praying for a dump or anything.
I just love watching my kids experience the snow.
This was Cedric's first glimpse of the white stuff and suffice it to say he was puzzled.
Baby boy winter
It was also the first year that Fiona could really enjoy it.
She's steady enough to run through the flakes screaming "I's gots snow on a my nose Mommy".
toddler girl winter
And how is it that kids instinctively open their mouths to catch snowflakes?
toddler girl winter
Now I'm just looking forward to making snowpeople and snowangels.
{Ok, maybe I'm hoping for a bit of a dump.}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Crunch Muffins

Trying something a little new today.
I wanted to post this recipe because it's just too good not to share.
I'm not one of those gifted people that come up with their own recipes.
I am just starting to figure out how to modify recipes to suit my family's tastes.
I have a long way to go until I start giving culinary advice however. 
Let's be honest, that day may never come.

My Mom used to make these for us as kids and they wouldn't last the afternoon.
{You should know, though, that my Mom is a dietitian and treats were infrequent.}
Fiona now loves them just as much as we did.
I especially love that this recipe uses only one bowl.   
When I have to mix groups of ingredients separately it bugs me.
I know, I know, lazy, right?
I'm the same with pots.

Thanks Mom, love you!

Pumpkin Crunch Muffins

2/3 cup Milk
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cup oil {I use canola}
1 Egg
1 3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 cup Raisins

Preheat oven to 400F.
Spray muffin tin with Pam.
Combine mild, pumpkin, oil and egg in large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients, stir until just blended.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
Sprinkle {GENEROUSLY - this is the best part} with brown sugar.
Bake for 15-20 mins {until a toothpick comes out clean}.
Makes 12 muffins.

Note: I also have made this with 2/3 cup pumpkin and 1/3 cup oil to cut the oil a bit and they turned out great.  You could probably even go 3/4 and 1/4 with good results.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pinterest: Keep it and Kill it

Keep it:

Simple way to free green onions it's called.
This actually works!
They do grow and the bonus is that it looks great sitting on your counter.
The only problem is that you have to save the white parts for regrowing and sometimes you want to use those for cooking.
It also doesn't work forever, I mean how could it?
You can't just grow infinite green onions out of water, right?
I found that after a while they had less flavour.
I'm talking a month plus though, still pretty good!
Also, change the water fairly often or they get slimy.

                                                                       Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

 1 week!

Kill it:
I thought this would be a cute project for Fiona.
You know, watch it grow, like you do with the beans in elementary school.
Well, I'm sticking with the beans since what was supposed to look like this:

                                                                Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Ended up looking like this:
6 weeks later, nada!
I actually went back to the website to see if I was doing something wrong and the page is not found now so this project is dead.


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