Thursday 28 September 2017

Birthday Girls - A SMASH Journal Page

I used to share a lot about paper crafts in this space, because I used to do a lot of scrapbooking and card making: I used to be on a design team and back when I first started this blog, I designed and shared a new greeting card every week. But over the years, the amount of paper crafts I do has decreased dramatically, and as I type this right now, I can not remember the last time I made a scrapbook layout or a card.

For a while I felt quite sad that I was not scrapbooking and card making as much, but the truth is simply that it does not fit so well in my life anymore at the same level and intensity as it used to. And that is okay. I've come to believe that hobbies ebb and flow over our lives; they are something that we can be intense about for a while and then they can become less front and center as our lives change and/or as we go off to explore and learn something else, not disappearing entirely, but simmering in the background for when we come back to them. That is where paper crafting is for me right now. I do not have the time to scrapbook every little moment of my life like I used to, and again, that is okay. What I am doing is documenting our family holidays - like I did with our Eastern Canada road trip - and also, when the mood strikes, adding a few pages to my SMASH journal. I'm basically doing what I can, at a level that feels right for me, and I am enjoying it.
My latest SMASH journal page came together rather effortlessly using photos of my girls from their last birthdays. I enjoyed layering the paper and the embellishments - my favorite thing to do with paper - and documenting a beautiful moment in time. Listening to a little Jason Aldean while I worked was also fun!
So here's to paper crafts, doing what works, layering pretty papers, SMASH journals, ebbs and flows, country music, and enjoying it all!

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Sunday 24 September 2017


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Nothing but love for these sweet girls of mine...

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

P.S. The weather has been absolutely bizarre. According to the calendar and the crunchy leaves on the ground, it is autumn, but at the same time, it is so hot. We were all sweltering as I took this picture, wanting desperately to head back to the house and the air conditioning; we didn't have heat like this all summer long, and now we have it at the end of September!!???

Friday 15 September 2017


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Claire: You did it! With fierce determination and whispered words of encouragement to yourself (and after a few tumbles and splats), you learned how to ride your bike without training wheels. It was a happy day, a good day, a proud day.

Bridget: Always crafting. You never stop thinking about what to make for your doll, today it was a boat.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday 8 September 2017

Taking Stock

Back to school, back to routine, back to a fuller (but not too full) calendar...but first, I'm pausing for a moment to take stock

Making: lists
Cooking: soup - soup season has begun
Drinking: green tea and black coffee
Reading: this article - amazing
Looking: at all the girls' crafty creations - their imaginations amaze me
Deciding: on an aggressive savings plan
Hoping: for nice weather on the weekend
Enjoying: working on my summer blanket
Liking: the empty space in my decluttered home
Loving: the cooler weather
Pondering: this space and its future
Listening: to The Minimalists
Considering: essential oils - are they for me?
Buying: so much food, all the time
Browsing: cookbooks and crochet patterns
Wishing: I could work less
Wondering: what the girls are doing at school right now
Marveling: at the colorful leaves on the trees
Waiting: for my tea to steep
Cringing: at the increased cost of everything
Hoping: that the sniffles and soreness I feel will go away
Needing: a haircut
Wanting: a new winter coat
Smelling: fresh air
Wearing: layers, my favorite
Noticing: all the fallen leaves in the gutters already
Knowing: I can keep up with the pace of life, but not sure if I want to
Prioritizing: walks outside in the gorgeous weather
Sorting: through my closet again
Thinking: about our time in San Fransisco - I loved it so much
Celebrating: everyday moments (I'm getting better at this)
Disliking: making school lunches every night
Feeling: happy
Hearing: geese flying past the house
Embracing: rest

(The photos above are from our walk in the park last weekend. The swan's name is Otis and every morning when I drive to work, I see him gliding across the lake. The girls were very happy to make his acquaintance after I have talked about him all summer long)

Wednesday 6 September 2017


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

The first day of grade three and grade six; two very happy and excited girls.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Sunday 3 September 2017


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

We spent an absolutely beautiful day at Crawford Lake Conservation Area: exploring the longhouses, hiking the rocky trail to the lookout point over the escarpment, walking around the lake, chatting as we wandered along the shaded paths...

Both you girls loved each and every moment we were in the forest. You loved scampering up the rocks, choosing the most difficult path to walk, pointing out berries growing on the forest floor, and counting the number of white caterpillars that we saw.

We had a great family day, for sure.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday 1 September 2017

The Books I've Read this Year - Part One

One of my goals for this year was to read more, specifically to read twelve books.

I realize that twelve books is not a huge number, but considering how little I've read in the last few years, to do this would be a great improvement for me and an achievable goal - so achievable in fact, that I have already read thirteen books this year and it is only September.

I've come to realize how much I've missed reading and am really enjoying having a book "on-the-go" at all times now.

These are the books that I have read so far this year:
  • Open House by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe
  • The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
  • The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter
  • Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
  • At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
  • The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
  • Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 
I chose these books based on reviews I read, or simply because the title or the cover caught my eye when I was at the library - not a very sophisticated system but it has yielded some great stories that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Truth be told, I can not exactly remember what happened in some of these books, only that when I finished them, I liked them.

Having reached my "twelve books" goal, I am not stopping. I am enjoying having reading a regular part of my life again....

If you have any book recommendations, please send them my way, and I'll be sure to update you with what else I read from now until the end of the year....