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Christmas snow

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It was a white Christmas afterall!

I wasn't so sure it would happen. We had snow and then rain and then snow and then rain. Typical Halifax weather but then the weather started to settle nicely in place. Christmas Eve it was mild but not too warm and Christmas morning there was a Christmas snow falling.



Ozzy sprinkled the magic reindeer food and left the carrots on the lawn. I just loved watching his excitement.


Zoe is loving running in the backyard! I have never seen a dog love the snow so much. We spent some time playing in the snow with Nanny and Aunt Janice.





Oz is wearing his new monkey hat from Blue Frog Creations. One of the many locally made gifts that were under our tree this year.

I hate being cold and I don't usually like the snow, but snow at Christmas just feels right. The kids are loving it and I'm thinking we'll be in for a sliding adventure before the weekend is out :)

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 27, 2013

'Twas the morning before Christmas and Hermie was bundled in his hat, scarf and boots. Ready to return to the North Pole to tell Santa if littles were good enough to get their loot.


They were wound up and excited, sleep was not coming 
So we read more stories and Momma debated the Gravol, off to dreamland these two would not travel!


Finally they snoozed and the elves got to work, wrapping presents and filling stockings, eating the cookies and milk...when one little child awoke from her sleep. All movement stopped not a single soul creeped.

She drifted off to sleep once more and then the elves called it a night. The tree was well stocked, the Christmas music played and now we waited for the morning's first light.


His eyes popped open, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!" he exclaimed, and he shot out of bed as if his arse were on flame. He threw open doors and woke the whole house, he ran down the stairs and he started to shout.

They were both so excited it just so much fun.





Merry Christmas to you all, each and everyone!

And the Winners Are...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Drum roll please!
A2 Designs
$20 Gift Certificate
Kim Nadasdai-Ingalls
Grasshopper Kids Creations
$10 Gift Certificate
Rebecca Luedee
HomeGrownGoods
$20 Gift Certificate
Lisa  Harietha-Benson
Nounou Booboo Designs
Colouring Book & $10 Gift certificate
Sohani Welcher
Little Lovelies
Crystal Snowflake earrings ($18 value)
Michelle Hunter
Little Lemonade Stand
Embroidered chalk board gift tags (Value $15)
Lynda LeBlanc
Epicure (Laura Steeves)
$20 Gift Certificate
April Boyle
Laughing Pear Soap
3 assorted bars of handcrafted soap ($15 value)
Mary Middleton
Midnight Designs
$25 Gift Certificate
Beverly Ivey-Newell
Courtney Richardson Photography
$50 gift certificate to be redeemed in 2014
Courtney Smith
M & A Doggie Delights
$20 Gift Certificate
Alisha Bond Monk
Erin’s Harbourside Designs
Print
Cynthia Yates
Flirt with Desserts
1 dozen cupcakes to be redeemed in 2014
Jody Hogan
Naptime Designs
Artwork and $15 Gift Certificate
Amanda Buckle
Mommy & Me Purses and Accessories
$20 Gift Certificate
Kerri Learning
I Dream in Colour…Do you?
$15 Gift Certificate
Heather Neill
Blue Frog Creations
Snot Monster and $10 Gift Certificate
Emily McDonah
Banana Bottoms Cloth Diapers
$15 Gift Certificate
Melanie Davis
Ella’s Cottage
$25 Gift Certificate
Shannon Shelids
Ceilidh Creations
$20 Gift Certificate
Chelsey
Tiny Dancer Tutus
$20 Gift Certificate
EC Rowe
BabyB Handmade
Nova Scotia Tartan Bib (Value $10)
Courtney Richardson
Simply Gorgeous Naturals
Luxurious Gift Set (Value $20)
Lee Ann Sacco
Bella Shopia
$10 Gift Certificate
Kelly Quenneville

Social Media/comment prize: Deirdra Cluney -$5 Starbucks Card!

Thank you to all of the incredible vendors who participated in this giveaway. I hope that all the winners enjoy your prizes. Winner Please note that you will receive an email within the next 24 hours with instructions on how to claim your prizes.

For the littles- GIVEAWAY ENDS TONIGHT!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

So you've noticed that there is seriously too much talent for me to write about all the prize contributors in one post~ this one's for the children (extra entry if you know what holiday "classic" that is from- name the band in the comments!)

It's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Grasshopper Kids Creations. Shelley does incredible things with ribbon and has been a huge supporter of me taking my craft beyond just friends and family. Miss A has two clipboards full of her incredible creations.


One lucky reader will win $10 to add that extra touch to your gift for the little accessory lover in your life! She's got some awesome items up in her ready to ship album and is offering 25% off those pieces until December 17, 2013!

I wish I could paint...but I can't so I did a trade with Jessica of Naptime Designs for a Christmas gift. She got an apron and I got an awesome personalized gift that my friend loves! (Yes I gave it to her early :)- I was too excited to hold on to it) Jessica has put this adorable painting and a $15 gift certificate up for a lucky reader to take home!


Erin's Harbourside Designs has offered a prize that I really just want to keep for myself!

I love this vintage inspired piece. The colours are awesome and I love the simplicity. You has so many different prints to pick from. You can definitely find something for that hard to buy for person on your list! 

I am a cloth diaper lovin' momma. I clothed both my littles and just (sadly) sold off my stash. Wish I had found these cute Banana Bottoms Cloth Diapers before we finished buying diapers!  You could win a $15 gift certificate. She also has soakers and other awesome items in her shop.


We can't forget about the little mommas...Amelia loves playing with her Sophie doll and will be surprised with a gift set from Mommy and Me Purses and Accessories!

Lisa makes great stuff for baby dolls, Mommy and daughter handbags, scarves and more! She has offered up $20 gift certificate for one lucky reader to spend. If you have a little mommy in your life you need to check her stuff out!

One thing about getting a business off the ground is getting a chance to meet other crafty ladies. The first time I met Kerri, she had a tutu around one leg and was working on it while doing 4 other things. Kerri is the multitasking momma behind Tiny Dancer Tutus & Accessories.

She created some amazing mommy-daughter halloween costumes this year. She's offering $20 for her shop. I guarantee a tutu never goes under used! (If only I had had a tutu for Miss A's newborn pictures!!!)



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Countdown to Christmas Roundup!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just hours to go before I announce the winners of the Countdown to Christmas Giveaway! And just 10 days left for me to get my shopping done....I'm so far behind. Good thing this girl's got connections to get hooked up with local mommas!!

My cousin Laura just started selling Epicure. Honestly I had never bought it before but my coworkers were asking if I knew anyone who sold it and raving about it.  Then at my cousin's first birthday party I had the Cranberry and Apple cheese Ball (OMG!) So tasty! Guess what some people are getting for Christmas :)



Stocking stuffer sale is on until December 16! Fingers crossed you win the $20 gift certificate she has up for grabs!!

I love embroidery and how cute it can make anything. An embroidery machine is totally out of reach for me at the moment but I'm lucky that Little Lemonade Stand has the equipment and the talent! She's offered up a gorgeous set of chalk board gift tags.


Nadja has recently launched a new adventure that she is calling Midnight Designs. Seriously love the name because like most mommas that is when she gets her work done! She designs custom items like invitations and birth announcements and she's giving one lucky ready $25 towards your own creation!

You'll need pictures to go with that birth announcement, holiday card, birthday invitation and there is no one better to take them then Courtney Richardson! Courtney has offered a $50 gift certificate towards a session in the new year.  Love her work and you will too. She's a sweetie (as most Newfies are) and is great to work with.


If you have a fur baby, you'll need some treats to get them to sit pretty for their big camera moment! M & A Doggie Delights makes homemade dog treats. You get a treat you can feel good about feeding your four legged friend. She only uses the best ingredients and everything is vacuum sealed to ensure freshness. If you win the $15 gift certificate she's offering, you'll get to try a few different kinds!



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Countdown to Christmas Giveaway

Today The littles found Hermie colouring a picture for them, and he even had pictures and crayons for each of the kids to colour with him! He was all too happy to share his awesome re-purposed crayons. Teaching the kids sharing and recycling all at the same time J And who doesn't love snowflake shaped crayons!



Like the crayons? HomeGrownGoods makes awesome re-purposed crayons and homemade play dough and chalk. She even carries locally made chalk mats*, crayon holders* and fun colouring pads. Mandy has very generously offered up a gift certificate for $20 to one lucky winner of the Countdown to Christmas Giveaway.  Know what goes great with homemade crayons? A local artist's colouring book! Neuneu Booboo Designs has offered this colouring book a $10 Gift Certificate! She has puzzles and prints too. Great Christmas gifts!

*Shameless plug…I make these and I think they are pretty awesome! 



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Baking- GIVEAWAY

One of our Christmas traditions around here is making a gingerbread house. Given that our whole month has been in an uproar thanks to renovations, illness and G's crazy work schedule, I finally got the kids a gingerbread house to build. Ozzy was so excited.



Amelia was more than happy to lend a hand and was thrilled when Austin let her have the icing bag.

I do a lot of baking around here for the holidays. People have everything and short of being able to give them extra hours in the day there isn't much I can give them that they don't already have themselves. I decided a few years ago to bake and give people cookies, breads and cinnamon rolls and people love it! One thing I can't make well are lemon squares. I love a good lemon square and my friend Danielle makes the best I have ever had! Just a few month ago she finally started to take orders for home baked goods to help her fundraising efforts for Autism. I've ordered my lemon squares for Christmas (and you should too!) 

Flirt with Desserts has offered up a dozen of her delish cupcakes for the giveaway! Enter for your chance to win!


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Sewing like a mad woman- Giveaway link

Friday, December 6, 2013

I've been a bit crazy this week trying to get the last of my Christmas orders done and out the door. I had one very special project that ended up eating my week and so I have tonight to finish a couple of dresses to be picked up tomorrow.

One thing I haven't gotten to is our Christmas quilt. Hermie thought he would help me.(In my dream world the seamstress has elves like the shoe maker...) And then taunt me that he has a blanket and the kids don't


Kids found Hermie in the little people's bed covered in his very own Christmas quilt and giggles ensued. They are very entertained by Hermie's antics.


I have a fabric problem...I really do. I buy it and then don't want to cut it because I have the "perfect" project in mind for it.At the Forum I met another lovely lady with my fabric problem. She is the momma behind Ella's Cottage and she has graciously offered up a $25 gift certificate to one lucky winner. AND she's offering 20% her shop leading up to the holidays! Just enter "HOLIDAY20" upon check out. She has got some amazing fabrics in stock and she also makes amazing quilts, like these:



Good luck!


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Hermie's got a new hat- GIVEAWAY

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Baby it's cold outside...

We've been getting snain (snow/rain combo) which is hell on the driving and cold. Miserable weather not really "put you in the Christmas Spirit" kind of weather.

But it is cold. I'm not sure how Hermie stays warm in that little elf hat of his. So I asked Jen of Blue Frog Creations if she could make him a little something...



The kids found Hermie on the mantle this morning reading a book to the Snot Monster and little people. Amelia thought it was funny that he was reading a My Little Pony book and Austin loved his hat!

The Snot Monster is up for grabs in the Countdown to Christmas Giveaway. Jen is also giving away a $10 gift certificate to go with him.


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Elf on a Shelf- Bath time & GIVEAWAY link

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Oh Hermie,
How I’ve missed you…well not really me but the kids sure did miss you.  Ozzy asked about you just last week when we had our first snowfall.  Because snow means Santa is coming and if Santa is coming that means Hermie is coming. Miss A was a little oblivious to you last year, maybe this year she’ll catch on.
Hours have been spent pouring over Pinterest to get ideas from other people who have far more creative ideas than my own (and mommas lets face it any excuse I can get to spend a bit of time on Pinterest I take!) and in the end it will all come down to what will make my kids smile. That is the whole spirit of the Elf on a Shelf, at least that is how I see it.

But in trying to recreate some of those Pinterest things Hermie got dirty… I was trying to get him to hang from the light fixture in the dining room and I poked my finger with a sewing needle (what? You mean you don’t try to stitch your elf in place?) -  I should say I JABBED my finger with the needle (apparently I had a few aggression issues with the elf last night) –but I digress… I dropped the elf right in a sticky something that was left on my table. So up to the bathroom I went trying separately to un-stickify Hermie.

Might as well let him have some fun in the bathroom! I wish I had a doll house tub to put him in but I don’t so I grabbed a bowl and filled it with bath salts and stuffed Hermie in.  I thought the kids might get a kick out of that one. I took a couple of baby face clothes out of the closet and wrapped one around Hermie’s hat and put the other next to his “tub” (empty wipes container) hanging from a toothbrush (another great use for that item in case you have any Hermie sized people in your home!)

The kids thought it was hilarious! Miss A was too cute declaring “Oh Hermie…what you do tomarrow?”

See that nice stack of soap next to Hermie? Those are from the Laughing Pear Soap Company and are one of the prizes in the Countdown to Christmas Giveaway. Her coffee soap was one of my favorite things from the Forum (too bad I wasn’t Oprah…”YOU get a bar of soap, YOU get a bar of soap and YOU get a bar of soap”) and I’ve ordered more for myself and to give as Christmas gifts. Did you enter the Giveaway Yet? Maybe I will get to say that “YOU GET A BAR OF SOAP!”

And those bath salts that Hermie is soaking in? They are from Simply Gorgeous. She is offering up a gift pack to one luck ready! Hermie now smells all nice and fresh :)

Countdown to Christmas GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I love giving gifts. One of my favorite thing about the holiday season is watching the reaction people have when they open a gift that has been chosen just for them. When I thought about doing a giveaway here on the blog, I wanted it to be big. I’ve given away an item here and there but nothing quite like this!
I called out to my circle of mompreneurs to see if any of them would be interested in sharing some joy this holiday season. Naturally they all were and so instead of one winner, I've decided to share the momma made love with 21 lucky readers!



Here is what is up for grabs:
A2 Designs ~ $20 Gift Certificate
Grasshopper Kids Creations ~  $10 Gift Certificate
HomeGrownGoods ~ $20 Gift Certificate
Nounou Booboo Designs ~ Colouring Book & $10 Gift certificate
Little Lovelies  ~ Crystal Snowflake earrings ($18 value)
Little Lemonade Stand ~ Embroidered chalk board gift tags (Value $15)
Epicure (Laura Steeves) ~ $20 Gift Certificate
Laughing Pear Soap ~ 3 assorted bars of handcrafted soap ($15 value)
Midnight Designs ~ $25 Gift Certificate
Courtney Richardson Photography ~ $50 gift certificate to be redeemed in 2014
M & A Doggie Delights ~ $20 Gift Certificate
Erin’s Harbourside Designs ~ A print (will show picture in separate post)
Flirt with Desserts ~ 1 dozen cupcakes to be redeemed in 2014
Naptime Designs  ~  Artwork and $15 Gift Certificate
Mommy & Me Purses and Accessories ~ $20 Gift Certificate
I Dream in Colour…Do you? ~ $15 Gift Certificate
Blue Frog Creations ~ Snot Monster and $10 Gift Certificate
Banana Bottoms Cloth Diapers ~ $15 Gift Certificate
Ella’s Cottage ~ $25 Gift Certificate PLUS she is offering 20% off in stock fabric purchases in December! (code holiday20)
Ceilidh Creations ~ $20 Gift Certificate
Tiny Dancer Tutus ~ $20 Gift Certificate
BabyB Handmade ~ Nova Scotia Tartan Bib (Value $10)
Simply Gorgeous Naturals  ~ Luxurious Gift Set (Value $20)
Bella Shopia ~ $10 Gift Certificate

Can you believe all of these great prizes up for grabs?!?!?! There are more than $450 worth of prizes up for grabs! Pin the image and use #boutilierbabblings in the description. Comment on this post saying you've done so. I've got a special prize for the social media shares!!

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This giveaway is open to Canadian and US citizens.(US citizens may be responsible for additional shipping costs) All prizes will be awarded December 15, 2013.

GOOD LUCK!


WOW!- Kenya Boys Choir @ the IWK

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What an incredible experience!

I still have chills and goosebumps from what I very literally just experienced. About 10 minutes ago I had the privilege to take in a performance by the Kenya Boys' Choir who are in Halifax to take part in tomorrow's We Day Atlantic celebrations.From the moment they were introduced they captivated the whole audience! They entered singing and chanting and kept us all engaged the whole time. I loved how they gave their music movement the whole time. I could feel the music.

They sang accapella and I was completely amazed by their voices. These young men have sung for President Obama at his inauguration and have been part of WeDay celebrations the world over. What a blessing that they sang for us today. They did a cover of a Joe Jonas tune and I think it was way better!

I did take a video of them singing "O Holy Night" but I can't upload it just yet. I will update the post with that as soon as I can.

UPDATED!

Here is the link to part of their performance. I dare you not to smile :)

Longer version of the Kenyan Boys Choir | Videos | The Chronicle Herald

You tube these guys...you won't get the exact same shivers as being in the room with them but it's pretty close!

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I was on the phone with my sister a while back and it was clear that she was stressing about mid terms. I wanted to cheer her up a bit so I thought I would send her a care package to take her mind off exams. I had been seeing pumpkin cinnamon rolls all over Pinterest and read a lot of the recipes but I kept coming back to my favorite cinnamon roll recipe and I thought I would try modifying it.


I added 1 cup of pumpkin puree to the milk mixture. I followed the recipe from there but I ended up needing a lot more flour. Like 4 cups come flour! Next time I will add 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, 2 extra cups of flour with the first addition of flour and then 1 extra cup of flour with the second addition.  I usually divide the dough into 2 batches but I decided to go for the mega rolls this time...




Normally I get at least 4 dozen of rolls...this time I got 2 dozen. Instead of using my usual cream cheese icing I decided to mix it up a bit. Fall calls for maple! 


All tasters seriously approved of this modification. Sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up Stantecers!

Want someone to love you forever? Make these. I'm not kidding. Go do it...NOW!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

-Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 12 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin pie spice (I use this recipe from My Baking Addiction)
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  •  Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  •  Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon mixed with additional pumpkin pie spice
    ____
  •  MAPLE FROSTING:
  • 1 kg bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/4 cup room temperature Butter (salted is best for this recipe)
  • 4oz room temperature cream cheese
  • milk as needed to achieve consistency

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 10 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup flour. Add the remaining cup of flour as needed so dough is not sticky.  Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (this is up to you- how do you like it?) and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp serrated knife, make 1-inch slices. 
Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese add powdered sugar and maple syrup. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in milk and more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds. 

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