CHARGE on for Noah

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On my second night in residence at MSVU, I went out on the town with the girls on my floor. For the most part they all knew each other having lived in res the previous year and I was the new kid. I had an amazing time, totally hit on a floor mate's best guy friend, danced until 3am and was feeling the effects of the night before the morning after.

Laura came into my room the next day and we chatted for hours. Turns out we liked a lot of the same things and had a lot of the same interests. 2 weddings, 1 move to Alberta and 5 kids later we are as close as we have ever been. Laura is one of those amazing people who can overcome anything and I've learned so much from her and depended on her so many times over the years.

When her second little guy was born, he was fighting for his life. .Within weeks of Noah's birth he was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. Noah has many challenges that make his growth and development more difficult but seeing this little warrior overcome the smallest of obstacles brings overwhelming joy and happiness. He is one of the strongest, happies,  stubborn and determined little guys I've ever known. He is just as amazing as his momma.

Noah was born with bilateral optic nerve colobomas, severe to moderate hearing loss, unilateral facial palsy, cranial nerve malformation, laryngomalacia, a critical airway, small semi-circular canals (which affects balance), sleep apnea, a heart and a bladder defect, and he is fed by a gtube. These are just some of Noah's diagnoses. 

(It pains me that they dress these poor children in the blue and white...
black and gold would be so much cooler! lol)

As you might imagine hearing this news as parents was devastating. It felt like all the hopes and dreams that they had for their beautiful boy were slowly being removed with every doctor visit and hospital stay.  Over time these setbacks became just that, setbacks. It was a very difficult time but Laura and John met the challenges head on and  are doing everything they can to make life "normal" and exceptional for their little guy.

Laura and John have been very active in the CHARGE community and are planning to attend a conference in the spring to help them learn more and help Noah reach his full potential.

Just last month, Laura lost her mother and the unexpected trip home to say goodbye to a beloved mother and grandmother has put a dent in the funds they had set aside to attend the conference. They are really hoping to get the whole family to the conference but it might just not be possible to get us all there without some support.

Christmas is a time for giving. They have given so much to me and to so many others and I want to help them get to the conference. I'm hoping that a few of you will want to help too. Please visit their gofundme page and make a donation. I know how much it will mean to them.

Guest Post: A hair- WHERE?!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Urban Farm girl strikes again!

Source- and a side note this is CAKE!

It was a Friday evening,  I was soaking in a sea of bubbles, admiring my newly painted toes by the candle light. The scent of orange blossoms and yalang yalang filled the air. I gingerly sipped a glass of bubbly. Life was good. 

Wait scratch that...

It was Friday,  that much is true.  The rest was a great big lie. There were no bubbles, not even shampoo. The kids were playing coffee shop/ science lab in the tub again.  It is because of them I no longer buy quality hair care products and I look like someone from the walking dead. It's a bit easier to forgive them when the empty bottle says Herbal Essences. So there I was in a questionably clean tub with no bubbles to hide my "wholesome figure". Which is just a nice way of saying you have to tuck in your fat roll every time you stand up,  your arms jiggle like Oprah’s and your ass would never, never fit in a pair of low rise skinny jeans again! 

But like all wholesome women know we have two assets working in our favor, yup we've got boobs. So after I finished counting my stretch marks, 1 million, 3 hundred, 58 thousand 6 hundred and 2, my eyes drifted upwards. I smiled to myself, you old girls don't look so bad. 2 kids, 7 years of breastfeeding later and you've still got it, at least while you're immune to the gravitational pull floating nicely on the water. And in that moment all seemed right with the world.  But these little pleasures never last long and in the snap of a finger my world came crashing down.

You see, that's when I saw it. Right there before my very eyes...A hair!  A dark, strangely straight hair ON MY AREOLA!   Yes I said areola, not nipple.  It is physiologically impossible to grow a hair on your nipple. (But enough with the science lesson). I screamed and clutched my chest. Surely I've suffer enough. Dear sweet baby Jesus!  I moved my hand and looked again. It was still there. I squeezed my eyes firmly shut and started pondering what this would mean for my future. How could I ever wear a bathing suit again? A lace bra? Become a playboy centerfold?  How could Drew ever be happy being married to a woman with more chest hair than him? I was starting to hyperventilate.

Then the answer came to me, I would call Ashley. She is the master tweezer at work. She does eyebrows, chin hairs, neck hair even. Surely one little chest hair wouldn't be too much for her. I had to talk myself down, this was crazy. It's just one little hair. I will just pull it out. Yes that's what I'll do. Drew will never have to be emasculated. He will never have to know. Just one quick pull and it will be over...... and if it grows back????? I will reduce our grocery budget and save for lazer hair removal. 10 dollars a week for 50 weeks I calculated. Totally doable.

I stepped out of the tub and reached for the tweezers. Surely a mother who birthed two children, one completely drug free, could handle the pain of plucking a breast hair, I told myself.  Just like a band-aid. But as I ripped there was no pain. None at all. I've lost all feeling in my nipples I thought.  Everyone told me this would happen if I insisted on letting the kids self wean at 4.

 As I examined the hair more closely I realized that I had seen a hair like this before, yes I was sure of it. The hair was very familiar indeed. Long and straight and oddly grey......Joe. The hair belonged to our cat Joe!  I fell to my knees and wept with joy. I don't think I had ever been so grateful for anything in my life. I skipped to my room, my wholesome body bounced all the way and just that once I didn’t care. My breasts were hair free, life was good. I slipped into my pajamas and into my unmade bed with my sweet grey cat tucked in close. 

Focus 35 Friday: Update

Friday, December 5, 2014

I started the 21 Day Fix a week or so ago and have been doing pretty good. My eating has been cleaned up a lot but these sugar withdrawal headaches are killing me! It was incredible hard to look myself in the mirror and admit that I couldn't even say "despite my best efforts" because I haven't been putting in my best effort. G and I had a really great chat and we made a schedule that gives me time as soon as we get home from work to get my workout in. He's really helping out in the kitchen and that helps me stick to the plan. Last week I was down 1.8lbs. I didn't take my measurements at the start so I won't have an inch comparison until next week.

Here are some of the resources I tapped into this week to get me on track:

I found some great meal ideas here. Eating is 80% of the battle and that means dealing with my sugar to tackle that now before the holidays so that I don't let myself get out of control.

I really like the 21 Day fix portion control. It does make it easy. I am actually having a hard time eating all of the portions that I am suppose to! I also downloaded the 21day fax tracker app from itunes. It is great and makes tracking easy and even lets me know what workout is scheduled for each day of the program.  Highly recommend it!

Next week I'll post a stats update!

The 7th Player

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Last weekend was an incredibly exciting weekend for our family! Austin was picked to play at intermission of the Mooseheads game with some of his hockey teammates from the Sackville Minor Hockey League.

Credit: David Chan

I was over the moon excited! for a few reasons

1. "Um HELLO!!! That's MY boy! -hockey momma proud moment
2. Austin was on cloud 9 and it was just so nice to see him so happy
3. Full circle moment. When G and I were dating forever and a day ago, we would go to Moosehead games all the time. One of my favorite things about going to the games was watching the little timbit hockey players. We were watching them one time and I looked at G all love struck and googly-eyed and said "Can you imagine if one day we had a little Timbit hockey player of our own?" (yup...we were mushy and gushy back then...that probably led to some sort of discussion about how many kids, how far apart, hockey or ballet for the know...those things you have time to talk about when you are all in love)

So we got tickets and were sitting in the same section as the team. Just before the first period the players were all coming to their seats but Ozzy was no where to be seen. My phone rang and it was G telling me that Ozzy had won the stick draw and was going to be the 7th player of the game! He got to skate our with the team and stand with them for Oh Canada. We still haven't been able to wipe the smile off his face.

The Moosehead players and the team that works behind the scenes at these games were amazing to our little hockey players. All of the players gave the timbits fist bumps when they came off at the end of the first period while the timbits were lined up waiting for their turn on the ice. Bobby Mac of Q104 was great with the kids, joking around with them before and calling the game as they played.

If you know my boy, you know that he wants to be a goalie. He dreams of playing the nets for the Boston Bruins, but he pretty much adores every goalie there is (except Montreal...we did teach the boy to have standards lol).  After being selected to skate out with the Mooseheads, Austin was waiting for the team at the entrance to the ice. Zachary "Zach" Fucale  (the Goalie) came out, looked at Austin and said "Are we ready to do this Austin?" My boy's jaw dropped and he just starred in awe as Fucale got into the zone.

Sorry it took me a week to post but it's been a little busy around our place. Ozzy is still talking about skating with the Mooseheads and tells everyone about it. What a great memory for our little guy!

*Oh the irony- Fucale was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2nd round (36th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.- such a nice kid...

Friday Favorites- Pick me ups!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It has been a shitty week. (Sorry but sometimes a girl just has to say it like it is!)

A dear friend had a very tragic life event and my heart is broken for her. It was a blessing to be able to be there for her like she's been her and her family but it doesn't change that it sucks and is sad and is not going to be okay for a long time.

Holiday stress is setting in and I'm desperately trying to get organized. I have committed to having a local Christmas as much as humanly possible. I am making the majority of our gifts and what I need to buy I will be getting at local stores and from local mompreneurs. There are only a couple of things on the list that need to come from a box store to get the best price...but I digress... G has been working crazy hours and I have just been feeling completely drained and overwhelmed. I decided that I NEED to get some me time in the schedule before I go crazy.

After supper I changed into my workout gear and G took the kids up to the tub. I had to drown out their protests and tantrums and efforts to get my attention by cranking Shaun T on max...I'm sure everyone walking by our house heard all about how 25 minutes a day can change your life.  Checked that off the list and went up to help put the kids to bed.

I felt good and I decided that I wanted to feel better. So I did my nails and this morning I wore a few of my favorite things. It's amazing what a few simple things or taking a few minutes to stretch in the morning can change a whole day.

1. lia sophia Pippa earnings and Taffeta necklace (Buy 1 get 2 at 50% off is on until Sunday, November 23!) I love how this works with jeans and with business wear.

2. OPI Affair in Red Square. The BEST red nail polish. I love it and sometimes a girl just needs shinny red nails :) You can get this colour wherever you buy OPI locally. Mine came from Chatters.

3. Stella & Dot Elephant Scarf- I am in love with this and pink and the covered in cute elephants- what is there not to love?

4. Adore me- I am so over the old, tired nursing bras...yes its been awhile since I've updated that drawer of my dresser! A friend recommended Adoreme and I really like the designs. I don't have time to go to the store for me and I got amazing deals! 1st order was 50% off plus free shipping and then a second deal came in with a $10 credit off my VIP price + free shipping. LOVE!

5. Stella and Dot tech wallet- This wallet fits my phone, cash and cards and has a wristlet that my keys clip to. I love the pattern and this one is on sale right now too. It also is great for switching purses and not forgetting the essentials!

I am heading into the weekend hoping to keep a positive attitude. G and I will be making a few changes around the house to help support my determination to live a healthier lifestyle. Stay tuned! Big changes are coming in our house and the ride should be interesting.

It's craft fair season - and I'm missing out

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A2 Designs is still on a break. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make to take a break. But I couldn't keep up with my late father in law's illness and death and trying to get through the summer. I thought that I would start up again in the Fall and be back in full swing in time for the Holiday Fairs. I miss my crafting mommas and the time that I used to have hanging out with them at fairs. I have been inspired and encouraged by them and love how we laugh, come up with ideas and have a great time at the events. What I don't miss are the endless hours of sewing, seam ripping, guessing what will be popular, trying to stock the right fabrics. 


Photo credit: Shannon Shields

All the stress and very late prep nights slowly took away my desire to sew for fun. I took a break and just focused on fun sewing. I've created quilts, pjs, dresses and fun little things. I'm making a dent in my fabric stash and enjoying creating something from scratch.

Don't get me wrong, I love sewing for others and I love seeing my designs and creations being enjoyed by others. What I didn't love was the overhead that came with fair prep and having to justify why a handmade dress made with high quality premium fabric was worth $50. One too many requests for a discount or a deal from the lady who's child had on a $45 Gymboree sweater that she just had to have for her as soon as it came to the store (thanks for telling me you paid full price even though it was made in a factory- seriously cute though right? *le sigh*).

It's difficult to see other markets that crafters have huge success with a similar item at a higher price point and are able to justify the time and effort it takes to make each and every creation.

I think this is a very well written article about pricing of handmade goods. (Thanks to Sarah Dhooge for sharing this with the Momma Collective Community)

Paying for handmade a gentle rant

I am thrilled for the mommas that are able to make it work, and love that I still get to work with some of those amazing ladies on products that their customers love (FYI- Home Grown Goods will soon be fully stocked with chalk mats again- and Frozen will be in the mix!).

I will still go to the fairs and support these incredible women and I remain committed to having a local Christmas for all of the gifts that our family gives others. I will still feature my favorite local holiday ideas and showcase these talented entrepreneurs. That's my way of doing my part for this community that has given me so much.

Source: Cherpeace

Little Lady Triangle Quit

Monday, October 27, 2014

Finally it's done! This was a labour of love over a short period of time but I am thrilled with how it turned out.

And I think she loves it too...

I had a vision in my head for how this quilt would come out- what I ended up with is absolutely nothing like I had planned! My friend Erica had been waiting to finalize the nursery until sweet baby arrived and they knew if it was a boy or girl. The colour would be grey, orange and blue or pink. I had planned out a square quilt with the elephant print from Premier prints along with some coordinating polka dots, chevrons and solids. Those fabrics needed to be ordered because they are not available locally.

Then, during one of my marathon Pinterest sessions, I saw a gorgeous triangle quilt by See Kate Sew and immediately changed my plan. Triangles would be happening. I went to Atlantic Fabrics for a completely unrelated reason (ninja headbands in you must know) and came face to face with a pearlized collection of greys. Next thing i know I had about 10 bolts of fabric on a cutting table trying to find the right combinations of pink, orange and grey.

I was finally happy with Kona Solids in pink, orange and grey, two of the grey pearlized fabrics, an orange herringbone from Henry Glass and a pink circle design from Riley Blake.

After the Ninja Turtle party was over on Sunday (post to come) I decided to destress with a triangle template and some gorgeous fabric. Kate's tutorial is great so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. This quilt was done in 7-8 hours. I found laying out the quilt to be a little tricky because I was using the guide on my iphone screen and I kept losing my place. Once I had the rows layed out and stacked in order the sewing was pretty quick.

I followed the advice of Jeanette at Stamp*Stitch*Create and used spray adhesive to attach the backing to the batting to the quilt top. I tried to make sure there were no wrinkles and I left that to bond overnight (because I ran out of

I decided to only quilt the grey triangles in one direction per row. I love how that looks on the backing. I also appliqued an "L" on the backing before assembling the quilt.

I just love how the colours all work together. I almost wanted to keep it for myself! But I couldn't deny this little cutie..It truly is a very comfy quilt.

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I need to finish this for tomorrow so you'll get the details on Finish it Up Friday!

This has been my labour of love this week.

Tonight I will finish this off. I can't wait to see what my friend thinks of this for her girl!  I am following a tutorial by See Kate Sew. Details and links on Friday :)

Linked up at Freshly Pieced!

National Coffee Day- WOO HOO!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Let me sing you the song of my people...

Source: The Nest via Pinterest (broken link)

I love coffee. I actually didn't have my first cup of coffee until I was working at the IWK Foundation. Nancy introduced me to the latte and I was hooked. I loved how it was coffee but not harsh. Then I discovered really good coffee...not the burnt bottom of the pot stuff that I had been served for my first taste that turned me off forever. Austin didn't like to sleep...(at least I thought he didn't- compared to Amelia he was a dream sleeper!) and I was tired. One day I was out just for the sake of being out. Austin had finally fallen asleep in his car seat and I was tired and didn't want to take him out of his seat for fear of waking him. I pulled up to the coffee drive through and asked for something caffeinated.  I got an amazing cup of medium roast Paradiso and then I became this:

Source: The berry

My kids know that coffee is just part of my life. At my friend Kelly's house, Austin would drive the Crazy Coup car up to the "drive through" and order "A dubba dubba wif keam and a watté no foam"


We are a family that has coffee dates. The kids get a little hot milk and we all sit together and chat- a modern tea party. I cherish my coffee dates with friends where we just curl up on the sofa with a warm mug and talk. I miss when life seemed to be a bit simpler on maternity leave and those coffee dates were frequent and full of laughter. Work is getting in the way of my social life.

I really just want to drink coffee and make pretty things. Instead I have to work full time partly because of my fabric and coffee.

Source: Bear and Robot

So it's National Coffee Day. Whether you are like me and need a cup to start your day, or you could take it or leave it, coffee is not just a drink. It's part of our social fabric and I, for one, am very happy to include it in my everyday!

Guest Post: Urban Farm Girl: From homeschool to public school

Monday, September 15, 2014

Please don't judge me, I let my daughter go to school

As parents we are constantly being judged. Judged by our kids, by our parents, by our partners, by other kids parents, by random strangers in the grocery store line up and mostly by ourselves. In a world of parenting books, parenting blogs, and parenting experts we are all trying to give the best, be the best and do the best for our children, but what if we aren't sure what the best is? That's where I am right now but it wasn't always that way....

I had it all figured out, really I did! Natural childbirth, attachment parenting cloth diapers, co sleeping, babywearing and breast feeding till the ripe old age of 4 ( years not months) I quit my job to be a stay at home mom. My children were never left with a baby sitter expect family. I did my best to love and nurture, to respect and care. 

Life was good and I was proud of myself. 

When Clare was 3, I was introduced to the idea of home educating, it was just what I was waiting for! I had already taught her everything she knew, so why shouldn't I continue teaching her? Of course I could! So we ordered a pricey curriculum and signed up for classes at the Art gallery, a dance class and swimming and got started when Clare turned 4. She loved it, I loved it, and all was right with the world. My daughter is a bright, funny, happy, fun loving and independent little girl. 

She also has a mind of her own.....Grade 1 and things were going great until, one day, out of the blue Clare comes to me and says " Mom I want to go to school". I remember looking at her blankly, no words would come, my mind was racing. I thought you were happy, I thought this was working, why would anyone want to get up early, go to school with a bunch of strangers, sit in a desk, deal with the kids, do home work? I just smiled at her and shook my head yes. 

Let's back up a decade or two...

It was grade 6. Lunch time on the playground. The feeling of fall was in the air, cool and crisp. I watched a group of girls talking, laughing, giggling, arms linked as they walked. They were in my class, I knew them and they knew me. We had been in the same class since primary, but we weren't friends. They were , not so much. I got up the courage to approach them, slowly walking in their direction, telling myself that they would let me join in. Why wouldn't they? But you know what? They didn't. When I finally walked close enough to be heard I said "Hi". And one of them turned, looked me in the eye, smiled and said "bye!" I froze, did I hear her right? Did she say hi or bye? Why would someone say bye? Unless, yes that's it, I was not welcome, my heart sank. I remember that day like it was yesterday and I'm now 32 years old. The strangest part is that it hurts as much now as it did then. 

So it brings me back to the question, why would anyone want to go to school?  
But Clare is different than I was, she is confident and social and loves other people. She will chat it up with just about anyone. This summer she befriended a 75 year old lady in the swimming pool in Quebec. They swam together for an hour, laughing and chatting. Clare asked for her room number and address before we left. 

I made the call to the principal of the school around the corner and he agreed that Clare could attend Phys Ed class. That's all I will was willing to give, 1 hour twice a week. I told myself that she wouldn't like it, I might have even prayed that she wouldn't like it.  
Day one, she had new sneakers, we were on time, her hair was done, we sat waiting on the bench for the class to arrive. I said "hello" to the teacher, Clare said "hi" to the class and then she was gone. No hug, no "I love you mom", no "can you come in and stay with me mom?". Nothing just a wave, a smile and a bye. 

 Week two and she begs, please can I go upstairs and do math with my friends? Math? Ok I can understand gym class but math? No I said, quickly stuffing her sneakers in the bag and taking her by the hand. We are going to go home and put on our Pjs and make cookies I said smiling at her. She didn't look as impressed as I was with my idea. 

Six weeks before school was out for the summer I let her go, full time, all day. 

It killed me but once again I was sure she wouldn't like it. Surely all day would be too long, surely she wouldn't find it fun. I give it a week I told Drew, one week. He just smiled at me knowing his daughter well. Clare finished out the year, all A's and B's. We enjoyed the summer and I put school out of my mind. 

Two weeks before school went in Clare started asking when she was going back to school. My heart felt like it was honestly breaking. It wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't what I planned. But it was what she wanted.... 

Today was her first day of grade 2. She sprung out of bed and threw on her clothes. Grabbed her backpack stuffed with duo tangs, colored pencils and glue sticks and hurried the rest of us out the door. Shes there right now, in a room of 20 kids and a teacher I don't know. Someone else molding and shaping her, teaching her and caring for her. 

Isn't that my job? 

Yes it is, but I'm learning to share my precious baby girl, I'm learning to respect her decisions and trust her choices even at 7 years old and I'm secretly praying that she will change her mind. So to all you moms and dads out there who have it all figured out, please don't judge me, I'm just a mom trying to do her best and right now that means letting my daughter go to school.

Focus 35: Weekly Update 09'12'14

Friday, September 12, 2014

This week was a challenge. I didn't get my workouts in until 10 pm most nights...but I did get them done.

I need to do my measurements but I'm down 2lbs! Total of 12lbs gone since July. I also gained that 12lbs between April and end of June so I'm more or less back at my starting point from October last year.

I am loving the T25 workouts! I know I've said that before but I really do love it. I am still working hard to make the time in my day to work out. It's so easy to skip a workout but I have to admit I am not so easy to convince myself that its okay to miss one and I look forward to my workout time.

3 Weeks of Alpha left before I move onto Beta. I'm definitely feeling stronger.

Pattern Review: All You Need Jammies from Heidi & Finn

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I was thrilled last week when Christine from Heidi & Finn asked me to test out her new pattern for jammies. She has designed an incredibly versatile pattern (13 options ladies and gentleman!) that is incredibly easy to follow. The pattern fit is perfect and the options are limitless! While the pattern is designed to be made with knit fabric with a bit of stretch, I did use a lightweight flannel for one of my bottom options and they fit well without making any adjustments to the pattern.

I tend to buy jammies when, really, they are so simple to make- I just haven't tried.  Austin and Amelia keep growing out of pants faster than I can lengthen or replace them, so making jammies would be easier on my wallet given the size of my fabric stash!

I was asked to make size 12M and I had just the little guy in mind! 

Seriously it should be a crime for this guy to get any cuter! 

I did both the long and short sleeve shirts.  The sleeve width was great for both versions.  The long sleeve length was perfect. A little bit a room to grow but no need to worry it would shrink and be too short. The short sleeve version fits well with room for movement. Little Rhys loved his new pjs.
I did made both the leggings and lounge pants with the knit and then . I then made a pair of lounge shorts with a lightweight flannel as well because I went to the fabric store for elastic and came home with this adorable fox print:

Ignore the neck of the shirt. I made a mistake with the hem. Follow the instructions and your neck binding will lay right. My serger needle broke a third of the way through trying attach the binding and I miscalculated the hem with my regular sewing machine. 

Over all I love this pattern and (spoiler alert) am already planning Christmas jammies for all the kids on my list. I love all of the options and the versatility that this pattern provides. You can purchase your copy of the pattern here. I guarantee that it will be one of your go to patterns!

Shared on Pin It Thursday with Sweet Bella Rose!

lia sophia giveaway

Monday, September 8, 2014

There are only 2 days left to enter! Contest closes September 10 at midnight, EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

As a mom, back to school brings to mind little kids with their new book bags and the smell of fresh boxes of crayon. It means endlessly pinning lunch ideas and teacher appreciation gift ideas, scheduling in the PTO and helping with homework.

As a kid, teenager and college student back to school was all about the new clothes. The shopping trip before to get the new uniforms and then the excitement of putting together actual outfits when the uniform was no longer required. Spending time trying to find my style and sadly that did include a year with bangs and a semester with a pixie cut.

What better way to celebrate the back to school wardrobe refresh with some new jewelry?! I am loving my lia sophia business and love that I get to see and collect incredible pieces! I got into this because I was so impressed with the lifetime guarantee and the selection available in the Spring/ Summer catalog and I wanted it all and I wanted to share it with other people.

I hosted an mystery hostess show on my blog last month and the hostess winner walked away with over $450 in free and discounted jewelry.She was excited and I was excited that she was excited (see the circle of excitement there?).

I gave away three rings on my facebook page just a couple of weeks ago and loved the excitement of the ladies who won.

I wanted to share some more excitement with more people so I got to thinking about back to school- back to a fall wardrobe. And what better way to spice up your wardrobe than with new bling? Think of it as your grown up equivalent of a fresh new box of crayons!

I am giving away:

1 (One) Bolt Bracelet (Medium)

1 (One) Treasure Trove Bracelet (Medium)


1 (one) $50 credit to be used on any order from the new Fall/ Winter collection by October 31, 2014. 

The new Fall/Winter collection is out and again I want it all. Almost 50% of the pieces in the line are priced below $50. I couldn't believe it. So the winner of this credit could get a free piece or put it towards a more expensive piece- completely up to them!

Here is how you win- Complete the Rafflecopter entries below. That's it. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will be open from September 2 until September 10, 201411:59 PM ET. Winners will be posted on the blog within 24 hours of contest closing.

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is not endorsed by lia sophia. The prizes are provided by me and all opinions are my own. I have not been paid to say nice things about the company and I am providing the prizes at my own expense :)

Focus 35 Friday Update 08/29/14

Friday, August 29, 2014

The last two weeks have been really good! 

The first week I followed my T25 schedule and got in three run/walks in. The scale didn't reflect my effort but I did go out for supper and ate more salt than I should have and finished the night with an ice cream and a stroll along the Halifax waterfront.  It isn’t always about the numbers. The skirt I had made that week was 1.5 inches smaller in the waist then the last skirt I made myself. That was an accomplishment!

I packed my workout gear and headed to Newfoundland for a vacation. I got in some walks and an arm workout with my sister. We improvised and used heavy water buckets for some of the moves. My arms were so sore the next day!

This morning the scale said I gained needs a new battery... guess I'll get my real result for the week tomorrow. And I slept in so I didn't have time to do my that will happen tomorrow morning too.

WIP: Amelia’s Hoo’s in the Forest Chevron quilt

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My friend Emily seemed like she was always working on a quilt. I used to joke with her that she was a little old lady as, at 26, she would be sitting on the sofa, hand stitching a quilt for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do something like that. 

Now I get it.

Creating something handmade is awesome. Anyone can go to the store and buy a machine made blanket or quilt and receive the instant gratification that comes with that. You can order a quilt from an artisan and wait with anticipation for them to finish your order. Making it is a labour of love.
Some quilts can be made in a matter of hours, some a few days or weeks. I might just hold the record on this one though. I bought the fabric for this quilt when Amelia was just a few months old...Now she is 3.

I picked this gorgeous Hoo’s in the Forest fabric collection by Riley Blake and held onto it not knowing where to start or what to do. I finally decided on a chevron style quilt but the tutorial that I had pinned no longer led to a blog post. So I had to start the search for a tutorial again. After a while I can me across this tutorial from MODA.

I got to work but, because of a few cutting mistakes, I ended up with not quite enough fabric to make the top as large as I wanted to. 

I wanted the chevron pattern to go horizontally so the strips are sewn and then put together on the diagonal. 

I've finally finished putting together the zig zag top but need to add a 10” border around all 4 sides to make it big enough for a twin bed. I am thinking that I’ll use a solid white and a pink with white pin dots on it for the border. If I don’t have enough of the pink fabric in stock I’ll have to find something else that isn’t fussy but has a bit of character to it.

Emily is going to help me with the backing and then with sewing it all together. I'm terrified I’ll ruin it.  Fingers crossed it all turns out okay!

What are you working on? Link up at Freshly Pieced and share your Work in Progress!

Pinterest Project: Dress Up Storage

Friday, August 22, 2014

One of the projects we tackled while the kids were away was painting our basement. Since Gordon’s father passed away, he has moved the furniture around in the basement a number of times. He had a vision but couldn’t make it happen without tearing the place apart.  So with the kids out of the house he patched walls, fixing spots where hockey sticks have left their imprint and “pucks” left dents, and holes that had been cut to thread wires and cables through the walls.
Long story short- the basement looks awesome. 

And because we had everything we needed on hand it didn’t cost us a penny. My sewing space is another story but I digress.

We tried to pair down old/ broken toys and reconfigured the storage for the kids things. They have a little tykes football that doubles as a dress up trunk but inevitably it gets stuffed full of random things. Awhile back during one of my Pinterest binge session I found the cutest dress up storage idea.  We had a storage shelf that G was about to put in the shed when I remembered the storage idea. I pulled up the Pin, showed G and about 2 hours later we were done! The longest part was waiting for the Modpodge to dry between applications.

G cut a new back for the shelf and I used ModPodge to adhere wrapping paper to its surface. I don't think I did this part 100% correctly. There were a few little bubbles but they didn't affect the overall result. Now when we get home from NL, if the paper has come off I'll know I did it wrong!

While I was doing that, Gordon screwed a dowel rod through either side of the larger section. We carefully attached the back and then I organized the dress up things. I was really happy with how it turned out. If we had more time I would have painted it but we didn’t and the dark finish coordinates with the basement furniture so its all good.

I love the polka dots! Wrapping paper is from Target.

Austin's dress up is in there too. You can see some of Spiderman's muscles poking out behind the puffy dresses.

I can’t wait to see their reactions when they see this next week at home J
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