Sunday, 31 March 2013

Hippity, Hoppity Easter's Here!

Happy Easter!

Well, that Easter Bunny sure did hippity-hop right through our house this morning! There were eggs everywhere! 

Not to mention a very tell "tail" sign who was to blame!

There was a lot of basket stuffing and carrot crunching going on around here while we were all tucked in our beds last night.

Mr. Cottontail tracked us down with those giant feet of his even though we were staying with relatives for the Easter holiday. Wow! He is quite an amazing bunny!

Baskets were filled with sticker books, sidewalk chalk, skipping ropes, yo-yo's, sunglasses, tennis balls, golf balls, Lego, chocolate eggs, chocolate coins and of course, a marshmallow chocolate bunny.

He also left the kids these funny little bunny teeth so they could practice their bunny skills! 

The Easter Bunny did a great job hiding eggs around the living room for the little ones to discover throughout the morning. However, I think our little Audrey found the majority of them before her big brothers!

Yes, the Easter Bunny was generous this year and we are thankful.

The kids were super excited to be surrounded by family and friends this blessed holiday. We wish each of you the same happiness, a wonderful long weekend and baskets full of goodies!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Saying Good-Bye to Grampie

Just thought I would pop in for a little writing therapy and share some of the goings on around here. Excuse the lack of pics and anything fancy as I am away from home for a bit and didn't bring my cartel of office extras ..... just me, my laptop and a story.

We are currently in the Annapolis Valley visiting loved ones after a death in our family. My husband's father was diagnosed with leukemia in September of 2012. After fighting through the first round of Chemo, he returned home for Christmas with us and slowly regained strength. But just a few days ago we were informed the cancer had returned. The doctors did all that they could, but there was nothing else they could do to battle this horrible disease. We were packing our bags when we received the call that he had passed away on March 21, 2013.

So now we have gathered with our family and friends to mourn his passing, but also to celebrate his amazing life. A cherished husband, father to 3 boys, grandfather to 9 grandchildren, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coach, community member. He will be dearly missed.

This heartbreaking time for our family has been a true testament of strength. I find that with each passing day it becomes easier to recall fond memories of our time together without the sadness. Our hearts ache with loss while our minds make plans for the future. Dealing with the loss of a loved one helps you gain stronger appreciation for those who are still here with us on this journey.

We have lost a number of great grandparents, great aunts/uncles since my husband and I have come together as a family. Our children have suffered these losses with us, but being at such young age, they have very little understanding of the meaning of death. This is the first extremely close family member that they have lost, and are handling the news of Grampie's passing well so far. My husband and I have decided that they will all attend the funeral which will be their first. I am sure there will be plenty of questions and tears on this day and the days that follow.  

Informing the kids of their Grampie's death has by far been the most "grown-up" thing that we have had to do as parents. Letting them know the details, but not too much. Keeping the information simple for them to understand. Ensuring them everyone else they love is safe and healthy. Letting them know that it is ok to cry and to ask questions. Letting them know that they are not alone, that many other children, and even their Mommy and Daddy have lost loved ones at their age.

We have a few days to wait until the funeral as we wait for family members to return home. These days have been the hardest as we yearn for closure. Family, neighbours and friends have spent endless hours here with us sharing fond memories and stories, loading our bellies with delicious food and filling our hearts with love and prayers.

It is at times like this that I am so thankful we were raised in such a glorious community.  And even though we used to complain that there was nothing to do in this small town, I am proud that we still call this "home." There is a fine line between friends and family and everyone knows your name. We are starting to sound like a country song here, but I like it that way.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and blessings. And please cherish those that are traveling through this life with you. Each day is a gift, live it to the fullest.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Dirty Little Secrets ..... Christmas Decorations in March!

Well, here we go. Another installment of Dirty Little Secrets. This one is just plain embarrassing, but I signed up for the job to share, so share I will.

Christmas decorations .....

displayed in my home .....

..... on the 12th of March! 

See, embarrassing right? Now I remember a few times in the past, discovering the odd decoration around the house; a reindeer-print hand towel in the guest bathroom, a few ornaments in a mantle vase or even a wreath on a side door ..... but that was in late January/early February! Never has it gone to March Break. And this is an entire Christmas village!

My Mom has renamed her village to be a "Winter Village", so that she has an excuse to leave it up longer (or is it procrastinate taking it down?) Ha! Lucky for her, she collects the Dickens Village, so with the exception of a few Christmas wreaths, it doesn't shout Christmas. Mine on the other hand, is the North Pole Series by Dept 56. And as the title states, it is Santa's Village ..... Christmas.

Now one of the problems with my village is that I never got it fully together this year. This was our first Christmas in our new house, so I wasn't quite sure where to set it up. I moved it a dozen times, but it ended up here in the library on top of the kid's book shelves. I purchased new trees and accents, received new pieces for gifts but they never got added in. They were just thrown on top of everything else, waiting to be stored away ..... and they waited ..... a very long time.

This is where my village began ..... LEGO ..... as most decisions are based on in our Lego obsessed home. I was shopping at one of my favorite local shops, The Abbey, and came across this piece for 30% off. How could I resist? If you can see, the red colour dispenser on the end lost it's colour grains. For me that was not a big deal. I figured once my children got their little hands on it, that would be the least of my worries!

From that point on, I collected pieces here and there, trying to find just the right pieces to compliment the Lego Workshop. Then one sad day, it was announced that The Abbey was going out of business. I ventured down to see what I could find. To say that I purchased a lot is an understatement (And all at clearance prices!) So my village became a mash of everything. It was all the North Pole Series, but there was a lot inconsistency and it didn't really work. So now I am back trying to fill in the gaps and make it flow properly.

But enough with my design dilemmas, let's get back to packing this stuff up!

So while the kids are home with me this week for March Break, I figured I would enlist some little helpers and be rid of the Holidays once and for all! (We wouldn't want Mr. Peter Cottontail getting his tail-all-in-a-tangle seeing Santa still displayed at our house.)

With most collector items, they come very well packaged. I find it very easy to pack away (once I finally get around to it!) I simply disassemble all cords and small parts. Lay the items on the box that they are to be packaged in and then call in the little elves for help. I prefer to store all the little packages in a tote to keep them together and the larger boxes go on the shelf beside them in the storage room.

It took about an hour in total (with little helper!) I only wish I had tackled this sooner. Nevertheless, I now have a Christmas-free home and a clear space to dress up for Spring!

Is anyone else guilty of leaving Christmas up too long? What are some of the items that you are finding lurking in corners or under the sofa? I'm hoping this is the last of it for our house, but I'm sure Spring Cleaning will turn up some tinsel somewhere.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Halfway Point for Lent Purge Project

So here we are, March 7th, halfway through Lent (for some denominations) and thought it would be a good time to check in and give a progress report. Progress has been made! Check this out!

Now I picked the front of our garage to stock pile the items we are getting rid of as I thought it would be easier to move at the end of this 40 day project. Open up the doors and have a garage sale, load up the truck for a garbage dump trip or donation drop off. We haven't quite decided at this point what will happen to it all, probably a combination of the three. But for now I am just happy to have it out of my house! (happy dance! happy dance!)

Filling a bag per day has been a challenge, but in the end it will all work out. To tell you the truth, some days are just too crazy around here. I definitely have to be in the right mood to plow through a closet and see results. On the other hand, there have been days when I can't stop! I've made it to the halfway point and so far I am ahead of the game, so I'm not going to fret too much ..... maybe on Day 39 when I'm riffling through my husband's underwear drawer praying to find a holey pair! But for now, we're good.

In this pic, you are seeing;

25 boxes
7 garbage bags
3 pcs. of furniture
odds & ends (not in boxes/bags)
and 3 bags (partially full)

We have also had 2 garbage days since Day 1, so I have also purged 3 bags of garbage and 6 bags of recycling! Feels good people, feels good!
So are you keeping up with me? Surpassing me? Right on target? There is still time!

We need to cut back on the excess in our lives and Spring is a great time to start. Even if you are reading this for the first time, join in and start your own purge project TODAY! So much stress, time and energy is soaked up by the clutter we keep in our homes. If it was all taken away, would it really matter? I'm sure that my children would say 'yes', and sacrifice themselves for the piles of Lego in their toyroom, but I know you would think differently.

Let's get ourselves and homes in order!

20 more days = 20 more bags to go!

You can do it!


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

What's On My Front Door

I am one of those people. The kind that is a bit nosey, and always interested in what celebs are doing in their "spare time." The kind of person who wants to see what my architects house looks like, how white my dentist's teeth are, and how current my stylist's hair is before she picks up her scissors. I am also a tad weary of the people out there giving advice when I have no idea what their credentials are and if they practice what they preach. Wouldn't your purchase decision be a lot easier if you knew the car salesman actually owned the same car he was trying to sell you?

As a wreath designer, shop owner, blogger, I would like customers to know that I stand behind every product in my shop. So I thought it would be a fun addition to my blog to show what I currently have hanging on my own front door.

Now please, don't be disappointed. I am a very busy Mom of five and work my tail off on a daily basis to ensure that your front doors look welcoming and amazing ..... so that leaves little time for my own decorating. 

Psst ..... I just took down this Christmas wreath off my side entrance ..... forgot all about it until it was wayyyyy too late! Oh my, what my neighbours must think! :)

Please be aware that I often design things for my own house that I don't have listed in my shop ..... usually because of price, time restraints or limited product. You see, when I am in my studio wearing my creative cap, I throw the price tags and shop talk out the window and just create. More often than not, that doesn't translate well into business terms. But please be assured, if you see something you like, send me a message and we can discuss designs and prices.

But enough with the long-winded introduction and let's get on to sharing!

This time of year, between Valentines and Easter, I always like to play it a bit nature-inspired, late winter/early spring, birds returning to nest ..... kind of vibe. I leave my greenery and birch branches from Holiday decorating in planters and window boxes all winter. I just remove the lights and Christmas ornaments in early January and it lasts until spring thaw ..... however, now that I am looking at this pic, my greenery is looking pretty worn!

So I picked up the hues from the surrounding 'treehouse' scenery and created this woodchip wreath. I incorporated pinecones, birch bark, a cute ornamental bird and a bit of sparkle to add life to the dreary days of late winter. It doesn't scream any season, just a nice filler before I burst into Spring and Easter colours.

So there you have it! What I currently have displayed on my front door for this in between season. I would like the tangled treehouse customers to feel confident that they are buying quality, handmade wreaths,  and the designer herself proudly hangs them on her own front door.

Spring is in the air! For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you have already seen some pics of my new creations that will be hitting my Etsy shop very soon. I'm very excited to get these in the shop as I know you will love them! Sign up to follow along so you don't miss out! 

Hope you all have a great day!