Birthday Surprise

Monday, January 31, 2011

A few weeks ago my girlfriend celebrated her bday.  I knew I wanted to make her something and decided to go with a zip pouch/clutch.  She loved it which I was absolutely thrilled about!

Then a week later, a group of us military wives were getting together for a goodbye lunch.  Again, I knew I wanted to make the leaving member of our group a gift, so I made her a zip pouch/clutch out of her favourite fabric since my other girlfriend enjoyed hers so much.  Well, it was once again well received (wish I had taken some photos of it).

So it got me thinking,

why did I ever stop selling these?  

That's right, they used to be available in the shop.

This is what I've been up to the past week.  Designing and putting together prototypes, I'm happy to say that I'm almost there.  There is still something that isn't right, or not quite right, so I'm taking my time, waiting until I feel that I have the perfect design.

Here's a peek of what I've come up with so far (please excuse the poor photos, that's another challenge, trying to come up with a unique way to display the items in photos).

As you can see the first one has a strap, giving you a few different carrying options and uses for the clutch.  These beauts could be used to organize your purse (clutch without strap) or you could use it as a purse when you only need to carry a few items around.

Look for these to be available in the shop in the next couple of weeks!

In other news, did you see the there are new Fabric Ruffle Notecards available in the shop?  A lovely way to write a little message!


Let's Write!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do you send notes/letters/messages in the mail? 

I personally love to send special messages to unsuspecting recipients via snail mail.

If you are one who likes to write a letter or special note the old fashion way, I've added some new Fabric Ruffle Notecard Sets to the shop!

Hope you're all enjoying a lovely weekend!


A Little Bit of This ~ Weekly Round Up

Friday, January 28, 2011

This week was a little wonky, wasn't it?  Nothing bad happened, but the kids were off kilter, I was walking around the house in circles and baby J's nighttime sleeping is just absolutely terrible (hello afternoon pot of coffee for mum!).

Today there is no school, the snow is falling and we are sitting here cozy in our pjs with no place to go, for that I think we are all thankful!

Here are few from this week!
  • love oreos? how about trying to make your own?
  • did you hear? Cartolina has an update for the fab Cartolina iPhone app! including 8 new designs! see here
  • one word: bakerella, how cute are these?!
  • do you follow me on twitter? if so, you've heard this already, but incase you don't this is the haircut I'm looking to get next week! soooo excited! will post before & afters
  • Jan over at Daisy Janie is having a sale in her Etsy shop! All organic sateen and organic canvas is priced to go! Read more here find her Etsy shop here
  • love cinnamon rolls? here's a recipe for you to try!
  • This week also included local talented friends reaching out to lend a crafty hand (thank you so much, truly appreciate it).
How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?

Have you joined the Project Make It Flickr group? Please do come on over and share your projects and see what others have made, so amazing!


Mmmm, mmmm, good!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's no secret that I love cinnamon rolls! I admit it, I'm a lover of the delicious treat!

I think we've made three batches in about two weeks, maybe even four?  So, I think I should at least share the recipe with you, so that I'm not the only one taking in a million carbs a day! In this together right?

First though...huge disclaimer!  I am not a baker, it is definitely not my forte!  I have a few recipes that I make and they are my "go to" recipes.  I don't know much about baking to be very honest, just the basics, so for all I know, I could be doing things totally wrong re: methods.   Also, there are a million ways to make cinnamon rolls, it can kind of be confusing, cut them this way, cut them that way, use this ingredient, use that!  For a non baker it can be very overwhelming!  So I love that I've finally found a recipe that works for me!

Okay, on with the show!  I use a basic swedish tea ring recipe that was forwarded to me by my lovely mother in law.  I've tweaked it a bit and that's the recipe that I'm sharing with you today!  Also, I use a bread machine to make the dough.  Throw all of the ingredients and voila, so simple!

So, here's what you'll need:


  • 1 1/4 cup of milk (I use skim because that's what we drink and I warm it for about 25-30 seconds in the microwave)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast
  • 1/3 cup margarine (make sure it's somewhat soft)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (I use demerara...why? to be honest, I started buying it ions ago when we first moved out on our own thinking it was your typical brown sugar. I had no clue it wasn't until about a year ago! ha! just love how it tastes, so I keep on using it).
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon (you can use more if you like)
Okay, now how to make it!

Put all of the ingredients in bread machine in order listed above.  Start dough cycle and walk away until finished (this is a great time to read some blogs get some house work done, play with the kiddos).

Once the bread machine has done it's job, take the dough out and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl (I use my kitchen aid mixer bowl).  Turn the dough over to grease all sides.  Cover and let it sit until it has almost doubled in size (40-50 mins).

Next you want to roll it out.  I like to do this right on my counter.  So I give it a good scrub, throw down some flour and put the dough on top of the flour.  You want to make a rectangle, about 16 x 21 inches, doesn't have to be perfectly straight, but you do want the dough to be relatively thin.

After you have rolled the dough out, spread it with the margarine (from the filling ingredient list) leaving an approximate 1" of dough without margarine along one of the 21" sides.  I sometimes use more than a 1/3 cup, just play it by ear.  Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.  Spread this mixture over the margarine, covering it well (my kiddos love helping me out with this step, as you can see in the photo).  You can now take your rolling pin and gently roll it over the sugar mixture to pack it down a little.

Now you want to roll the dough up starting on the opposite 21" side of the edge without margarine.  Just take your time.  Roll a bit, then tighten.....keep doing this until it is all rolled up.  I don't make it super tight, but you do want it to be tight enough so that the filling doesn't fall out once you have cut your rolls.

Take a knife, cut off the ends of the roll, mark 12 rolls and then cut them out.

After, you want to place them in a 9 x 13 pan. I like to spread a little margarine on the bottom and then sprinkle it with some brown sugar.  Place all 12 rolls evenly in the pan, like this.

Okay, now this is where I used to do things wrong.  The recipes usually call for you to cover the pan and let them sit for another 30 mins or until the sides of the rolls are touching.  I never believed that that could actually happen (the sides touching) because it never happened in 30 mins.  Then one time, I just left the rolls sitting there until the sides did touch.  It took at least an hour if not longer.  So, I recommend just leaving them until the sides touch or are relatively close to touching, because in my opinion, that is the key to having fluffy rolls.  

I also use one of those home made heat sacks (the ones with seeds in fabric). I heat it up and place the pan on top of it for warmth (I usually have to microwave it twice because it cools down before the hour is up).  I know you can place the pan in the sun too, but there are many grey days here during the winter months, so I can't rely on mother nature!

See.....sides are touching!

I now sprinkle the top with a mixture of melted margarine and brown sugar and then plop the tray into the oven.  Bake at 400F for 15-18 mins or until tops are golden brown. (I put a layer of aluminum foil in the bottom of the oven just incase the sugar overflows, nothing like burning sugar in the oven, oy!).

Take them out of the oven, let them sit for a bit and voila!

Now, if you happen to cook them a little too long because you are busy tweeting like I was, no worries!  Simply turn them upside down when you serve them and no one will know, like this!

Mmmmm, enjoy!


Organizing The Kitchen

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hello lovely friends! What have you been up to the past couple of days?

My days have been filled with organizing, it seems to be the theme in my life right now and I'm going with it.  I figure it will do more good than bad, at least I hope it will!

I have to be very honest and tell you that I'm going through slight shopping detox.  Not going out shopping for anything is so unfamiliar to me.  Shopping includes going to the grocery store, costco, starbucks, etc.  It's unreal how much I used to shop.  I very rarely went to the mall though, that's the kicker!  The money was mainly being spent at the grocery store on items we totally didn't need.  Don't get me wrong, I still treat myself and the family with yummy treats, but I don't just buy for the sake of buying and that's key!

So yes, back to organizing.  I find that in order for a budget to truly work you have to be very organized.  Therefore I'm getting back in to meal planning.  

Do you do this?  Have you ever done it?  

I highly recommend meal planning, it's amazing how much you can save by planning out your meals, but it also simplifies life in an enormous way!  I used to meal plan all of the time and then I eventually fell off of the bandwagon.....well, I'm now jumping back on!

Now, instead of standing in the kitchen wondering what I'm going to make 30 mins before we usually eat supper, I will know exactly what it is I'm cooking and because of that, we'll be enjoying more delicious meals more often!

I've already planned out 1/2 of February.  I've gotten slightly side tracked with organizing and purging my recipes.  I'm creating a binder with sections for the different types of recipes....appetizers, main course, deserts, fun things for kiddos, etc.  That's what I'm doing today.

So fun!

Shop Update:

save 20% on all Coupon/Receipt Holders until Jan 29th! (prices already reflect discount)

Remember I had mentioned that I was making some decisions in regards to the shop?  Well, after chatting with some amazing friends, and taking a step back to decide what it is I really want, I have come up with a plan that will work for me.  (Thank you to all of you who helped me out, absolutely priceless, can't thank you enough, truly meant so much to me to have you to talk to!).   With spring right around the corner and so many lovely new fabrics, I will be having a sale in the next little while.  A winter clearance sale....stay tuned for more info in the next week or so! Exciting!

That's what I'm up to this about you?

Have you made the Project Make It pledge by the way?  You can find out more here.  Don't forget to join the Project Make It Flickr pool to share your lovely finished craft projects as well!  You can find the group here.  

I will be featuring some of the finished projects here on the blog every now and then, so be sure to link the photos back to your blog post if you have one!


Couponing In Style Giveaway Winner

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hello, hello!  What an amazing group who entered the Couponing In Style Giveaway! I wish you could have all won, so that we could all be saving in style!

Okay, without further ado, the lovely winner of the Coupon Holder is.......

The lucky number 3 ~ Margarida! Congrats, look for an email from me today!

Thanks again to everyone who entered and remember that all Coupon Holders are still 20% off in the shop!

Cheers and have a lovely weekend!

What Are You Up To? - Weekly Round Up

Friday, January 21, 2011

Enter the Couponing in Style Giveaway?

Did this week just fly by for anyone else? I honestly can't believe it's Friday.  I'm thankful that it is, looking forward to a relaxing weekend, and excited that the hubs home! Yay for that.

Tonight I'm heading out with a bunch of ladies to celebrate a friends out!  I have to make a present to bring, am planning on making a zip pouch/clutch, will share pics next week!

What are you up to this weekend?

I have to say that this was yet another fab week of greatness on the web, wasn't it?

Here's a few note worthy items/sites:

  • I'm really loving these beauties, can totally see them going with several different outfits!
  • hello, how great would your washroom look with these fab towels?
  • just so cool!
  • I'm a note taker, a list maker, these would definitely come in handy!
  • that Martha, always coming up with brilliant must-try's another
I'm doing some reorganizing of the shop.  Organizing fabrics, items that are currently listed and items that need to be listed.  Stay tuned for a Winter Clearance Sale to make room for more spring/summer themed fabrics.  I promise, you won't want to miss this sale! It'll be a good one!

Cheers, have a lovely weekend!

Reality Check - Budget Update

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Enter the Couponing in Style Giveaway?

Ummm, this budget, well, I think it's kind of given me a wake up call of sorts, reality check to say the least.


I knew I kinda liked to shop, I knew I kinda, sorta liked nice things and I knew that sometimes (only sometimes) I shouldn't have purchased things I purchased.  But I never really took a step back to assess to add up alllll of those little, kinda, sorta shopping totals.

What a different perspective it has given me.

This simplifying life game plan is so great, it really is, but it's also like standing naked in front of a crowd.  If you want to go about simplifying life properly, you can't hold back, you can't hide anything, you just have to set your pride aside.  I'm no financial advisor, I have no financial background and I have only been at this self-imposed budget for half a month, but I really do believe it's such a positive and invaluable change.

So far I have saved or cut back spending in almost every aspect of our lives.  I've saved on groceries (to be honest, that was where most of the over spending was going) by simply reducing our "extras" and by using coupons (not many, but wow, those 50 cent coupons sure do add up quickly!).  I've stopped going out shopping as a time filler....bad, bad idea!  Simple changes, a little common sense too.

It's not about going about forcing change in drastic measures, it's about taking a step back assessing your expenses and re-evaluating/evaluating your spending.

Misconception: Budgets only need to be put in place because you have to be on one.

So far from the truth.

That's my update so is your budget going?


Couponing In Style ~ A Giveaway! NOW CLOSED

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sorry, this giveaway is NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who entered!

So, it seems as though I'm not the only one looking to save a little and spend less in 2011.

I think we should all stick together on this one.  To motivate one another and to keep track on how everyone is doing with their goal.

I'm wanting to do what I can to help!  I finally made another Coupon Holder for myself (I'm constantly giving mine away).  I have to tell you that by carrying my coupons in one of these holders, it actually acts as a reminder for me to use them.  Does that happen to you?  You gather all of your coupons before going to the store, and then when it comes time to pay, you completely forget to use them? Yeah, me too. help you get on track to saving a little bit here and there,

I'm giving away a Coupon Holder! 

Yay for giveaways!

One lucky winner will get to choose any one Coupon Holder that is currently available in my shop!  That's right, any one Coupon Holder.  These also act as receipt holders, so if you're trying to keep track of your spending, you can use it to house all of your receipts!

To enter, simply leave a comment with this post! Simple, easy, peasy!

Can't wait to see if you're the lucky winner, want one right now? No problem, I'm having a Couponing In Style sale!  All Coupon Holders have been marked down by 20% (discount has already been applied, prices are as shown).

Contest is open to everyone and will close Friday, January 21st at 11:59pm EST.  Only one entry per person please and as I said before, simply leave a comment with this post and you're entered.  Winner will be chosen radomly and will receive one coupon holder of their choice!

Good luck!


Weekly Round Up!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is it just me, or has this been one amazing week? I mean, I'm tired beyond words, and have taken in my fair share of caffeine to try to make it through the days, but I've read some great blog posts, viewed some lovely photos and found some amazing furniture pieces.

Let's round up a few of these lovelies, okay?

I've also noticed that there seems to be quite a few of us who are trying to cut back on spending this year.  I think we need to rally the troops and all stick together on this one. So far, I'm finding budgeting tough, although it is just the beginning.  So next week, look for a fun treat to motivate you to spend less!

I've also started a flickr group for Project Make It!  I'd love for you to join and post pics of the items you've created!  Remember, it doesn't have to be sewn, it can be any craft, DIY....knitting, scrapbooking, photo albums, etc.  Let's just get them done!  You can find the group here.

Have a lovely weekend!



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not sure if you've noticed or not, but I haven't been posting very many updates about the shop lately.  It's no coincidence.

I'm in the midst of taking a BIG step back and trying to make the right decision.

The Christmas closure made me realize a whole lot and I'm trying to do what's best for myself at this time.

I hope to divulge a little more soon, perhaps mid week next week (although you can probably guess where this is going).  I will continue to blog about this and that and will update you regarding the shop asap.


The Jar

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yes, the jar.  What jar? The money jar, the budget jar, the allowance may pick what you want to call it.  I think I'll go with the spending jar, or perhaps the pretty jar, sounds a little better.

Okay, let me tell you what I'm talking about.  One of my resolutions for 2011 is to spend less.  I have a tendency to spend money without really thinking, and that's a terrible, terrible, terrible habit.  This year, I want to simplify life.  We have so much"stuff" that we just don't use or need.  We started off by purging the kids toys.  Donating anything that was in good condition and that they no longer used.  We were absolutely flabbergasted by the amount of toys that we've bought them and that they no longer use, it was just crazy.  My problem,

I see something at a good deal, and I just can't pass it up.....need it or not, I buy.

So, this is where the pretty jar comes in.  I've put myself on a weekly spending budget.  I get a certain amount of money to spend on whatever I want and that's it.  I've budgeted other things as well.  I can do a number at the grocery store, picking things up that we can totally live without.  Do you know how hard it is for me to stick to buying only those items on my list? It's almost impossible, as if a magnetic force is pulling me back into the store to buy more! No, no longer!

To make it even tougher, I am on a cash spending budget (a la Til Debt Do Us Part).  So I took a jar that we had in the house, added some washi tape to it (had to add a little personal touch) and that's that.  It's where I'll keep my spending money.

Here it is....

Notice anything? Yup, it's empty!  I'm learning....quickly, it's somewhat painful, but I know I'll get used to it and in the end, it will be second nature (I hope!).

So, have you ever attempted a budget? Was it a success?  

I know that this is going to take time, as with most things, but I'm definitely committed.

I'll keep you posted on how the budget is going throughout the year.  Hopefully, the next time I share a picture of it, there will be at least be some money in it......


Just Like That

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well, here we are....I've finished my very first yarn wreath!

I'm so thrilled with how it turned out, just had to share!

I knew that when I started Project Make It that I would be challenging myself to actually get some of the DIYs/patterns I have stored away done.  What I didn't realize was how great I would feel making something totally different than anything I've made before.  I honestly feel that by making this wreath,

I have filled a creative void

Sounds so silly, but it's true!

I'm happy that I started with this particular project, because it's very forgiving.  It also taught me that perfection isn't always best.  The slight imperfections add character to the wreath.  The flowers are imperfectly cut, the wreath is imperfectly wrapped, but I love it more because of that!

Okay, that's one!  I think my next project will be the can find the link to the tutorial here.

What are you making for yourself/your home as part of Project Make It 2011?

Shared this wreath at Mique's Pity Party!
Come see!


Have You Started?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Have you started any projects yet?  Have you entered the Project Make It 2011?  You can find out more here.

I've started my first project, the yarn wreath.

What I've learned thus far.....

  • it's true, as mentioned in the tutorial I used, imperfect = perfect
  • it's recommended that if you use a hay/grass wreath to keep the plastic on....well, the store I bought mine from took the plastic off, easy fix = put some saran wrap around it when you get home!
  • overlapping not only looks better (in my humble opinion), but it truly blends in and gives the wreath a thicker look
  • it takes time to wrap the wreath....a looonnnng time
  • don't worry if you don't cover the wreath perfectly the first time around, that's when overlapping comes into play
  • you can move in the opposite direction when overlapping....who knew?!
  • make sure you pull tightly (but not too tightly).  It looks better, but if you forget, once again, overlapping will fix that problem in a jiffy
  • make sure you keep an eye on the interior of the wreath and the top, I missed spots in the interior because I was so focused on the top or front....but once got it, problem can be easily fixed with overlapping (I promise, won't say it again).
  • when cutting the circles of felt for your flowers, it doesn't have to be a perfect circle (at all) in the beginning since you'll be cutting waves into it later
Here's a quick pic (I apologize about the poor quality, it was taken with my iPhone) of mine so far.....

Few last thoughts.....these are fun to make, really, I have enjoyed it!  Making felt flowers, awesome, will definitely be making more for other at home projects!



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Lighting or illumination is the deliberate application of light to achieve some aesthetic or practical effect." ~ Wikipedia

Today, I'm heading out with a friend to do some shopping for the home.  Our plan is to hit Homesense, oh how I love Homesense.  This store honestly makes me happy.  I shop with a smile, I am inspired and motivated.

Today's shopping list looks a little something like this:

1 - How lovely would it be to welcome guests into your home with a gorgeous chevron rug? I'm looking for one with off whitish-tan and black.

2 - Our living room is in desperate need of some lighting, so I'm off to find a gorgeous floor lamp.  I'm hoping to find one with a nice, solid wood base and an off white shade.

3 - I'm determined to add some family photos to the walls of this house.  Must buy: perfect frames!

4 - Please see #2

5 - There is unused space above our kitchen cabinets.  I want to use that space to display some lovely white ceramic pieces.  Cake plates, bowls, etc.

That's what I'm up to today....are you going shopping? What are you shopping for?

P.S.  Have you checked out the Project Make It page? If not, hop on over and add to it if you'd like!

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