Friday, November 30, 2012

Festival of the Trees

This one snuck up on me.
Thank goodness our besties from down the street asked us to go today.

We would have missed it.
And this is one that I don't like to miss.

Many festivals really don't cater to the babes.
We drag them along anyways and luckily our kids are pretty adaptable.
{Eg.  Impromptu song & dance performance on the steps in Churchill square while waiting for the fireworks that scared the bejeezus out of Fiona anyways.}

Festival of the Trees is different.
There's so much for the kids to do.
We try to look at the trees and usually find something they like along the lines of Sesame Street or this year's giant snowman.

Really though, the Santa letter writing and cookie making stations are where it's at.

This year Fiona also enjoyed the "happy feet" piano and hockey.
{And here's the usual self portrait of me wearing Cedric.}

If you haven't been, it's worth it.
Even without the kids, I always love how it gets me in the Christmas spirit.

I leave you with a video of a future member of the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team.
{Daddy would have been so proud.}

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No More Identity Crisis

We finally have our new sign.
It looks great and now we don't come off like a shady backdoor operation.
Up to this point putting money into advertising our name seemed pointless.
It was near impossible to find Shield Autobody unless one of us had told you what to look for.
Until now that is.
One more step closer to taking over the world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shield Au"MO"body

Things are getting a little hairy at the shop.
For once I'm not talking about our constant need to jump in the deep end.
MO, I'm MOt. It's a little MOre literal than that.
Get the drift?
As MOvember is coming to an end this week I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some pics.
Warning, mad MOs coming your way.

Movember - Shield Autobody
Movember - Shield Autobody

Movember - Shield AutobodyMovember - Shield Autobody

Clockwise from top left is Saban, Jason, Jeff and Matt.
Lookin' classy guys.
If Cecile could grow a 'stache I'm sure she would have.
Instead she no doubt did her MOsista duty and gave lots of MOtivation.

Seriously though, it says a lot about this group that they're willing to sacrifice their faces for this great cause.
{They all look so happy to do it don't you think?}
We got a late start on our fundraising so would love if you could help us save face {ha}.
The guys are doing this to help "raise vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives".
Here's the link to Jeff's MOvember space.

It wouldn't have been fair to include Brian in the fundraising effort since he's been working on this bad boy for 40+ years.
Movember - Shield Autobody
He's really just MOre of an inspiration to MO growers everywhere.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Green Pillows

I have a clothes bin in the attic that I put my out of season stuff in.
I always like turning over my closet.
Otherwise your sundresses are just hanging there taunting you.
"You wanna wear me but you can't for another 8 months, sucka!"

Well, I feel the same about my home.
In the summer I have bright blankets and throw pillows.
{This year I used the leftover fabric from our wedding favours to make pillow covers.}
Then as soon as I start to take out the Christmas decorations it feels all wrong.
I really wanted to neutralize but still have something interesting.
I knew I needed a nice warm texture in a muted colour, maybe grey?
In the spirit of recycling what I have, I raided my clothing and fabric bins as well as the linen closet and couldn't find anything that fit the bill.
As a last resort I went down to our coat storage and came across the perfect fabric.
I wore this Zara coat postpartum 2 winters ago and pregnant last winter.
It has been stretched and pilled beyond recognition so I felt ok about tearing it apart.
Grey Zara jacket 2010
I started by ripping out the lining and removing part of the zipper.
Once I had a workable section of fabric I laid one of my old pillowcases down and cut with a 1/4 seam allowance.
I was able to get 2 pieces from this coat.
{Bailey enjoyed a nap in the hood while I worked.}

I really wanted 2 pillows so I needed another fabric for the back.
I had a bunch of plain white fabric {thanks Lori!} that was perfect.
I also wanted this to be easy and free.
 Read, not involve zippers and hemming.
I folded the white fabric selvages together and cut a piece that was double the length of the grey piece but the same width.
{Cedric helped.}

I folded this in half and cut along the fold so I was left with 4 pieces all with one selvage edge.
I then laid the grey piece down, right side up.
Laid one piece of white on top with a couple of inches hanging off the edge.

Laid the other piece on top of this with the opposite edge hanging off.
Make sure that the selvage edge is the one opposite from what is hanging over since this will be the edge not sewn into a seam.

I pinned around the edge of the grey piece then sewed with a 1/4" seam.
That's it!
Turn it inside out and stuff the pillow in.
Easy pillow cover
The last time I made this type of cover I didn't overlap the back as much.
It's easier to get the pillow in this way but I found the back gaped open a bit.
I'm really happy with the result.
I also go the husband seal of {comfort} approval.
Cost: $0.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Now That's How You Do a Surprise

Americans celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday.
{And Happy Thanksgiving to you.}
Though we had our holiday a while back, the sentiment was definitely felt this November 22nd.

Last night we bundled up the kids and headed to a party.
Ready to get our celebration on for two of our very best friends.
{They also happen to be Fiona's best friend's Moms and our neighbours.}
They met 10 years ago with a dance and,  to paraphrase Stacey's beautiful words, the dance hasn't ended.
It was a party to celebrate the last 10 years of memories, little did we know, a biggie would be made that night.

Halfway through the night, the jazz trio {yep, I said jazz trio} took a break and Stacey rounded everyone up.
Her sister Marcey warmed up the crowd with a poem that would put Dr. Seuss to shame.
Then the girls took the floor to reminisce about the truly fateful day they met.
A real life love-at-first-sight story.
As the story faded into an introduction of a new face in the crowd, the room burst into cheers and applause.
We all realized what was happening.
We were at a wedding.
The person being introduced was a Commissioner.
And we couldn't have been happier.
I also couldn't reach for my phone fast enough to freeze the moment in photos.
I'm so glad I did but trust me when I tell you that they don't do this event justice.

If only I could have captured the beautiful vows they both wrote.
If only I could share the pure joy felt by their parents.
If only you could feel how honoured I was that Kerry asked me to witness their marriage.
If only I could show you that the beauty these two have on the outside doesn't even begin to demonstrate how beautiful they are.

So yes, I {as I'm sure all in the room did} felt so thankful yesterday.
Thankful that I live in a country that respects love in all forms.
Above all, thankful that I count these two among my friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

This guy knows what I'm talking about.
{Sorry I've been watching way too much How I Met Your Mother.}

 We want our kids to have it all.
And that's about where the similarities end.
Having it all means something very different to each of us.
I can only speak from my own {and Jeff's as far as we've discussed} point of view.
Yes, of course we want our kids to have great clothes, toys, rooms {within reason}.
But what we want most of all for them is what we have no clue how to give.
I mean, we hope that we are but never really know.
Until it's too late that is.

What we want is to mold them into the best little human beings that have ever walked the earth.
{Is that asking too much?}
We want them to be kind, intelligent, modest, confident, fit and healthy.
Not only that but we want them to be unwavering in their beliefs.
To be fair and without prejudice.
To have more success than they've ever dreamed of.
And to be generous with it all.

If you picked up 10 books on parenting, you would count 59,255,983,025 many contradictions.
There are so many great parents out there but none of them have the magic formula.
{Sorry, they may claim to, but they don't.}

Sure we educate ourselves.
But we can really only hope that we're doing right by these little babes.
We feel their unconditional love.
We see the admiration in their faces.
They think {for now} that we have it all figured out.
And here I am thinking "please don't let me mess this up".
It feels like you only get one chance at that purely clean slate.
Slip up once and it comes right back to you.
That sweet little voice...not so sweet in those moments.

Of course we all make mistakes.
Laugh {or try to contain the laughter} and move on.
Forgiving, that's the other trait I want for them.

Get to the point right?
This week we participated in Operation Christmas Child.
{Part 1 of Operation Generous Child.}
I had seen these shoeboxes in the past and never looked into it.
Finally, this year I did and loved the idea for Fiona.
Earlier in the week we went shopping and she was able to pick out little things for her and Cedric's "friends".
Yesterday we packed up the gifts.
At last, today, we dropped them off.
She was so proud and posed happily.
Cedric was less impressed but I look forward to getting him in on the action in years to come.

Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas ChildOperation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child
Anyone out there have any good toddler charity ideas?
{Year round too?}

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Parent Rap Y'all

Thanks Christy for sharing this with me.
It's funny 'cause it's true.
Parents, enjoy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Green Dress {But Not a Real Green Dress, That's Cruel}

A little CanCon for ya.
Love vintage BNL.

I have a perpetual donate pile of clothing in my attic.
Usually I can't get rid of it fast enough.
Then I read this post on Blue Collar Red Lipstick and decided to let the pile sit for a while.
This way you avoid that feeling of regret after the hasty purge {you know the one}.
I'm so glad I did this because I was able to rescue that pair of jeans I recycled last week.
This week I salvaged one of my t-shirts.
I liked the pattern on this shirt but it didn't flatter me at all.

This shirt had a wide neck {meant to be worn off the shoulder} so I had to start by gathering it.
I tied my ribbon around a tapered chopstick close enough to the top so that it couldn't slip off the end.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
Next I threaded the chopstick through the neck band.
For the shoulder seams I just did a little jump out and back in on the other side of the seam.

Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
After I went around the length I just pulled the ribbon out and tied the ends together so it wouldn't slip back in.
It would be better to use thin elastic then you wouldn't have to mess with tying it to fit each time.
I just used the ribbon because that's what I had on hand.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
Next I had Fiona put the shirt on so I could mark the fit.
I marked 4 spots in this order.
1.The arms hole size.  
2. The width at the hem. 
3. The width around her waist.
4. The point it should hit under her arms.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
Sewed 2 seams connecting these 4 points.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
 Cut about a cm seam allowance.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress
Put it on her.
The hardest part of this project was getting the girl to stand still for a picture.
These are not the best pictures but it turned out really cute and comfy.
Total cost $0.
Recycled t-shirt to girls dress

Friday, November 16, 2012

And...Here We Go Again

It's official, we are crazy.
The only consolation is that we now have some partners to share the craziness with.
I know I still haven't introduced Jason and Chloe.
I really have every intention of doing so.
We have been so happy with the partnership.
It has taken our business to a new level.
I was just starting to feel comfortable.

Comfortable?  That won't do.
{That was the universe stepping in again in case you didn't recognize it from previous posts.}

I kind of thought we had bought all we needed at the shop for the time being.
So naive, I know.
We have loaded our space with all this great equipment, what else could we possibly buy?
Why the space of course.

That's right.
We are considering getting ourselves a {very} permanent location.
Delving into the world of commercial real estate.
You know how "they" say that your house will be your largest purchase?
"They" might be wrong.
The thought of a mortgage for $3,000,000 makes me ill.
There are 6 zeros there folks, 6!

I hope that I look back at this post someday and laugh.
Laugh about how I thought $3M was a lot of money.
Yes, I'll have a good chuckle with my personal assistant while we're being flown by private jet to our beach front house in Maui from the condo in Paris.
Too much?


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