Sunday 31 January 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Claire: you are the master of silly faces...

Bridget: lost in a book. If I talk to you while you are reading you don't hear a thing, the story has your complete attention.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project. 

Friday 29 January 2016

Project Life: Eastern Canada

I realize that there have not been any scrapbooking posts here in quite some time, but for good reason: I have been busy working on my scrapbook for our trip to Eastern Canada (I shared about our trip here and here).

We took thousands of pictures on this trip and in order to include as many pictures as possible in my scrapbook I decided to make a Project Life Album.

To begin, I organized my photos by place and/or event. I am now working through selecting the pocket pages and photos for each layout. It is a very slow process since, like I said, there are a lot of pictures to look through.
I ran into a small hiccup when I discovered that the place where I normally print my pictures has lowered their quality considerably, but after Steve did some investigating, we found another photo studio that prints better quality photos; I will be going there from now on.
I bought a few themed cards (Road Trip and Travel) to write titles and journaling on, but I am going to wait until all the pictures are in the album before I start adding words. I am so glad that I kept a journal when we were on our trip otherwise I may have forgotten all of the small details, the silly comments, the music, the thoughts.....everything that made this trip special.
These tall envelopes are perfect for storing postcards, booklets, brochures and other memorabilia.
I am really happy with how everything is coming together. Looking at these pictures makes all the memories of our trip come rushing back; I can smell the ocean, feel the sand beneath my toes, feel the wind on my face, taste the fish and chips....I remember the days like they were yesterday....

Thursday 28 January 2016

Now is Now

A simple list of the moments that I enjoyed and cherished this week:
  • Noticing that the days are getting just a little bit longer
  • The sun streaming through the window at work
  • Drinking green tea
  • Working on my scrapbook
  • Looking at sewing patterns with Bridget
  • Cooking healthy meals for my family and trying some new recipes
  • Cuddles with Claire-Bear
  • A much needed and long awaited date night 
  • Crocheting
  • Wearing a dress
  • Restocking the pantry 
  • Listening to a podcast
There is nothing earth shattering here, but feeling less hurried has allowed me to be more present, to be in the Now, to see what is happening right in front of me and enjoy it that much more. Thanks to a shorter daily 'to-do' list I feel less frantic and more present; who would have thought that such a small change would make such a huge impact.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy all the little moments happening right in front of you.

(Read more about Now is Now here)

    Sunday 24 January 2016


     "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

    I am so glad that you have each other; the friendship and love that I see between the two of you is such a beautiful thing.

    Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project

    Thursday 21 January 2016

    Now is Now

    I mentioned last week that perhaps a shorter, less ambitious daily 'to-do' list might help me stay more present. Well, this week I gave that a try. I only put two or three things on my daily 'to-do' list (rather than five or six) and it turns out that in fact it is true: a shorter to-do list allows me more time and energy to focus on Now. With fewer things on the list clamoring for my attention, I felt less hurried, less frantic, and more able to take in the present moment.

    After I finished the few tasks on my list I had the time, space, and energy to look out the window and notice the winter landscape in my backyard, to work on my vacation scrapbook, to read my book, to cuddle with my girls, to have a much needed conversation with Steve. I was able to focus on Now and on what was right in front of me, what recharges me, what brings me joy, what strengthens my relationships....

    And you know what, everything that needed to get done still got done. I know that my desire to live a more present life can not come at the expense of my responsibilities, that there will always be things that need to be done (in my case this is always a load of laundry or cooking), but with fewer things on my daily list I have more room to breath. I am doing what needs to be done but leaving space to enjoy the present.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Gretchen Rubin: "By doing a little bit each day you can get a lot accomplished." So true, my friends, so true. So long as I remember to focus on "doing a little every day" I can get done what needs doing, and still have the time, space and energy to enjoy the day that I am living Now.

    (Read more about Now is Now here)

    Tuesday 19 January 2016

    A Chunky Granny Scarf

    One cold afternoon last October I visited a fiber festival with my friend Jill. We spent some time perusing the booths, which were set up in an old barn, and that is where, beside a stall of alpacas, I found this beautiful yarn.
    I was immediately drawn to the unique color combination and the chunkiness of the yarn, plus compared to all the expensive hand spun and hand dyed yarns, it was an absolute bargain. Even though I had declared that I was only going to the festival for inspiration and was not going to buy anything, six balls of this scrumptious yarn came home with me. I could not help myself.

    I knew right from the get-go that this yarn was destined to become a scarf or a cowl and by chance I stumbled upon this absolute perfect pattern for a chunky granny scarf.
    It was an absolute breeze to make; I started and finished it in a weekend, fitting in a few rows/stitches when I could. In fact it was quite an addictive little project, the chunky yarn worked up very quickly and seeing such immediate results is rather inspiring, wouldn't you agree?
    Winter has arrived with a vengeance so I could not have made a scarf at a better time. It is warm and cozy, very pretty, and it makes me very happy to be walking around town wearing something that I made.

    Monday 18 January 2016


    "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

    My happy girls playing in the snow.

    Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

    Thursday 14 January 2016

    Now is Now

    Monday night when I was doing the dishes I noticed that my African Violet, which lives on the kitchen window sill, is blooming. We got this plant from a friend when Steve's grandmother died several years ago, and every time it blooms I see it as a good omen, a sign that Grandma Klages is watching over us.
    I've sat with a hot cup of green tea (which I have just started drinking and quite like) reading this book. It is so good. And very thought provoking; I've spent hours, days even, mulling certain concepts and ideas over in my mind.
    Crochet. Nothing helps me focus on what is right in front of me more than this wonderfully calming craft. I've been working on my shawl, a somewhat finicky pattern I have to say, but with beautiful results....
    I have enjoyed eavesdropping on the girls as they craft. We are not a very scheduled family, more often choosing to stay home together rather than run off to different activities. It makes me incredibly happy to be home with my girls, giving them the time and space to just be. Bridget has been working tirelessly on paper fashion designs (she got a really great kit for her birthday) and while the dresses are "waiting to be decorated" they are lined up on the dresser in the kitchen; seeing them makes me smile and makes me very aware of who my daughter is right now.
    Of course this week had its fair share of real life work - I spent an insane amount of time last weekend cooking meals to put in the freezer - and to be honest, I struggled on more than one occasion with what to do: embrace Now by sitting down and reading my book, helping Bridget decide which patterned paper to use as she designed another dress, doing a few rows of crochet OR moving on to the next thing on my list. Constant productivity is a hard habit to break, I am learning. And the feeling that there is always something else to do is a hard feeling to shake. What I think might be the key, is a shorter, less ambitious daily 'to-do' list???

    But all in all I do feel like I have been more present this week. I feel less hurried, and I can honestly say that each and every day there were moments when I truly embraced Now, when I looked at what was right in front of me and just took it in.

    What were your Now moments this week?

    (Not sure what this series is all about, head here for an introduction)

    Tuesday 12 January 2016

    For Baby...

    Making something for a new baby is one of the sweetest and happiest things to do. My sister is expecting her third baby in February and while I will not be there when the babe is born (my sis lives on the other side of the country) I am sending her this little crochet cutie for the baby.
    It's a rattle and the pattern can be found in this book.

    I am happy with how it turned out with one exception: because the rattle goes inside the duck only a very small container filled with rice would fit, and once I added the stuffing, the rattle noise became very quiet. I am hoping that because the duck is so cute, the fact that he does not rattle like a champ will be forgiven.
    As for yarn choice, I used my trusty old friend Bernat Handicrafter Cotton and kept the colors gender neutral as my sis does not know whether she is having a boy or a girl.

    Just imagine a sweet little baby hand grasping the blue ring....

    I have not crocheted a toy in a long time so it was great to get back at it. And while I had my pattern book out, my girls were quick to put in their orders....I already have a few projects on the go but when has that ever stopped me from starting something new....

    Sunday 10 January 2016


    "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

    This was my view from the kitchen every afternoon last week: the table strewn with paper, glue, rubber band looms, scissors, markers...and you two girls completely absorbed in what you were creating.

    Afternoons such as these make me so happy: when I am working in the kitchen while you girls create at the table, when we can chat about what is happening at school, when you ask me questions, when I can listen to the conversations you are having with each other. I love that we have this time together at the end of the day; it is time that I truly cherish.

    Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

    Wednesday 6 January 2016

    Now is Now

    The beginning of a new year is always a time of reflection for me...
    I've spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about 2015: what worked and what didn't, what was good and what was not so good, how I felt, what I would change.....

    A lot of thinking, yes, but I made a very important personal realization:
    I spent a lot of time last year feeling overwhelmed and hurried. That there was always something else I needed to do. I could not quiet my mind. I always had a list and whenever I would strike something off, I would add another five things. I spent a great deal of time cleaning up from something or getting ready for something, spending all my time on yesterday and tomorrow and not at all on today.

    It occurred to me that I was not fully enjoying the day I was living, the moment I was in...and this needed to change.

    I was struck with the fear that in my flurry - in my constant 'get things done' mode of operation - that I was missing things. Bridget just celebrated her ninth birthday, and for me nothing puts the passage of time into perspective more than the birthdays of my children...

    I came to the realization that I need to start living in the now a little bit more. Enjoying the everyday moments more. Not that I hadn't been at all - there were many, many wonderful moments in the past year that I fully embraced - I just realized that I was not doing this as often and completely as I could, and as I wanted to. I had let the hustle and bustle of life take over.

    One word kept coming to mind: Now.

    About the same time as I came to this realization I stumbled upon this gorgeous print: Now is Now
    A beautiful and concise articulation of exactly what I need to pay attention to in my life.

    Of course, there will always be lists, weekly laundry to do, school lunches to make for the next day, a soup to cook for the busy week ahead, party preparations, grocery shopping....this is the stuff of life.....but in and among all that I need to take the time to enjoy the present day. To experience and revel in the now. Seize the moment in front of me and enjoy it for what it is.
    To make a cup of tea and drink it hot rather than let it get cold on the kitchen counter. To go for a walk on a beautiful afternoon and leave the chores at home. To cuddle on the couch with the girls and watch a movie. To get absorbed in a project. To take some time for myself...

    Because Now is Now.

    This, my friends, is my direction for this new year.

    Now is Now.

    I've hung my print on the wall in the kitchen, an ever present reminder, and to keep my focused on this direction and to help me along, I am going to share with you photographs of my Now moments on a weekly basis...

    I wish you all a wonderful day and please enjoy the little moments happening right now....

    (I took all the photos in this post one afternoon when I got home from work and the sun was finally shining, seizing the moment to capture photos of a few of my favorite things.)

    Monday 4 January 2016


    "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

    Bridget: Happy Birthday to our aspiring fashion designer....your own sewing machine, what a lucky girl you are.

    Claire: another lost tooth. It fell out while we having lunch. Your eyes welled with tears you were so excited, especially since you could put this tooth under your pillow (unlike the last one).

    Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project