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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Behind the Smile

I've been struggling with writing this post for the last couple of days. I wrote it, I deleted it, I wrote it again. I saved it. And here I am again, re-writing, editing, thinking... and I'm still not sure I want
to post it... but here it is.

Monday night I was at a family dinner celebrating my parents' birthdays. Out of the blue my brother-in-law says "Oh my God, Robin Williams killed himself!" Understandably, everyone's reaction was the same: "What?!" And over the past couple of days we've been inundated with posts about his life, his amazing works, and perhaps not surprisingly quite a few posts about mental illness, specifically depression.

Let me be clear: The last flipping thing I want to do is capitalise on the unfortunate and very sad death of someone who brought millions of people joy and laughter. That is NOT the point of this post. In fact, not referring to it in my blog has been my main reason for not posting this piece again and again over the past few days. But I just have to speak to something that I keep seeing in the media and on facebook and twitter.

Almost all of the posts that take issue with people's reaction to Robin Williams' death start with or reference the tweet that Evan Rachel Wood & The Academy posted:

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Northward Bound

We're coming up on the Civic Holiday weekend here in Canada. And for the past many years this has been a weekend where my family (my parents, my sisters and I and our respective families) head up north to our family cottage to get a little silly and crazy and have a general good time. Unfortunately this year our youngest sister won't be able to join us but we're still looking forward to a great weekend of swimming, sunning, bonfires, games and cottage dance parties.

There's just something about the cottage. I spent most of every summer growing up there. I got engaged and married there. I've spent countless birthdays, family celebrations, corn roasts, boat rallies and Canada Days up there. I would live there if I could...

I often joke that if it weren't for the fact that I'm so obviously addicted to things like social media, digital photography and my e-reader that I should have been born in a different century. I love to do things like knit and crochet, sew, and I put up tonnes of homemade pickles and jams each year. And there's something about being up north, where our cell phones don't work and there's no Internet that just.... refreshes my soul. I usually bring my guitar and my yoga mat. And I spend a lot more time sitting, drinking tea and talking to my family members - live and in person than I normally do. Getting up early to go and do yoga on the dock as the sun burns the fog off the water, drinking tea in Adirondack chairs, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a bonfire, and singing silly songs with my Dad and my kids while I play my guitar... those are the things that have real, honest, value in my life.

I look at this weekend away as a kind of retreat. I will miss you bloggies - but I will return to my normal, electronically filled life far too soon - but for now - I'm packing up and heading northward bound. One of the places my heart calls home.

Hope you're having a peace and rest-filled weekend too!
Talk soon.

Monday, 28 July 2014

On Track.... ish

Wow - it's been a while blog-o-sphere - sorry about that.
Two things:
1) I'm going to start posting here more regularly - promise. HOWEVER, I may post about boring/weird/awkward/bizarre situations that are generally just, y'know LIFE. Ugh. So, consider this your fair warning. If you wish to just be amused and not challenged in any way shape or form by the internets then please click here instead: Go fun times!

2) I will not be posting What Mama Wears on Talk and Tea Leaves any longer. WMW has it's own new shiny home. And it can be found right here! What Mama Wears

SO - what's new, you ask? (Well thanks for askin!) Um, everything and nothing. Obvs. I'm still unemployed, except that my little sister and I have a totally home-based, friends of friends cake business! Yay! Actually it's super fun, we have a great time baking and creating and we want to share the love of cake (Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeeeee) with everyone. It's called Candy Girls Cake Co. Because we both used to have the last name Candy! And it's so sweet! And fun! And kitschy! And this is a lot of exclamation points!

Other than that. I've gained weight. Ugh. So not fun, but terribly terribly true. Which is one of the reasons I've started up WMW again because let's be honest, plus-sized clothing for tall girls with boobage is so ugh.

My kiddos are SO big now. We went on our first ever family vacation with just the 4 of us - yippee! Except that we decided to drive from Ontario to Alberta to stay in Calgary with friends. The staying in Calgary with friends part was AWESOME, the driving 40 hours there and 40 hours back with 2 kids in a jam-packed 20 year old Nissan Sentra was..... less.... awesome.

My littl'un is actually going to start school in September - all day, every day Junior Kindergarten. Which means..... Mama is going to be lookin for a job! But I need that job to have me work Mon-Fri between like 9:30am to 2:30pm... I know, right - TONNES of options. But I digress.

So now - because you've been such good little readers, I will leave you with some pictures from our family vacay - just the highlights here kids!

Talk soon!
My boys, hangin at the Hoodoos!

 For reals kids! That's the woodchipper from Fargo! Yeah? Yeah! Jeez!

 Just me, holdin hands with Toby Keith like it's NBD

 Dog River! Word!

 Corner Gas Baby!

 The Ruby! Hey, Kids! Get that F & E off my lawn!

 Littl'un and his buddy T-Rex at the Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller

 Best. Day. Ever.
Hubs? Can we move to Banff?

Corner of Moose & Squirrel in Downtown Banff


 Miss you so much already! Friends are the Family you choose. :)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Make it: Advent wreath

So, I'm officially fed up with the crazed commercialization of Christmas. My kids are on complete overdrive! It seems like the second that Hallowe'en was over, Christmas advertising started.

Recently, we asked our boys why we have Christmas - their responses were expected: Santa! Presents! Christmas Tree!

Boy oh boy - we have some work to do.

I asked them if they knew WHY we celebrate Christmas? Nope. I asked them if they knew what Advent was? No clue.

We decided that this year, as a family, we would work on what Advent means to us, as Christians in today's world. It's a time of preparation, of anticipation, and rejoicing. To help remember these lessons I made an advent candle wreath for our home, which we will light with the boys each Sunday evening of Advent before they go to bed. That, along with the advent calendar of books I'm preparing (another post) we're hoping to have some real, honest, open discussions with our boys about why we celebrate Christmas, what we believe, and how to make that a part of our everyday lives.

Onto the project!
I started by gathering supplies:
  - Grapevine wreath (Michael's $4.99)
 - votive candles (Walmart, $1 ea)
 - White pillar candle (Walmart $2)
 - Christmas decorative sprigs (Michael's $1.69 ea)
 - side cutters
 - scissors
 - LED light pack (Michael's $7.50)
 - labels
 - twine or leather stringing

Step 1
 Cut apart the decorative sprigs using the side cutters and weave them into the top of the wreath for some colour
 Note the quality control inspector ^

Step 2
 Weave the LED light string into the wreath from the bottom

Step 3
 Using hot glue, glue the four votive candle holders evenly spaced around the wreath.
Step 4
 Create Hope, Peace, Joy & Love labels for each of the four votive candles. The Joy candle is the pink candle
Step 5
 Using leather stringing or twine place a dot of glue on the back of the candle holder to start to attach the string, wrap a couple of times around the votive, slide on the label, and then keep wrapping until the end of the string. Secure with hot glue.

Place somewhere in your house and put the white Christmas/Christ candle in the centre.

 Voila! Family advent wreath. :)

Here's a couple of resources for Advent and kids that I have been using to help me prepare for this season with my kids:


How are you celebrating the season of Advent with your kids? Do you have any go-to resources?
Here's to the season of waiting, anticipating, and preparing.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Back in the thick of things

Hello dear Readers,

Sorry I've been away for so long - the summer was insanely busy and having both the kiddos with me at all times makes it pretty difficult to keep up with the blogging as well as everything else.

Crazy things happening over the summer - aside from our regular back and forth between home and cottage - we finally managed to hire a new minister at our church (Yay!) and he and his family were getting settled. Then with September we kicked back into high gear with the big'un in SK and me and the little one settling into our regular day to day.

On a sour note: we had a flood at our house. :( Literally came home and the hubs said "It's raining in the basement!" Not even joking. Ceiling came down, floor is ripped up, our downstairs bathroom is going to have to be gutted, replacing the electrical panel and all kinds of other joyous little things. Ugh.

On an up note: The cake business with my lil' sis has been swinging merrily along, and I'm going to share some of our creations with you - let us know what you think!
Animal cake we made for our HeyOl'man for his birthday...

Our first ever topsy-turvy cake!

A special cake for my gorgeous Mama-in-law's 60th birthday. :)

A fall wedding cake with our first try at handmade gumpaste tiger lilies!
 My little pony cake!

Nana nana nana nana, Nana nana nana nana - BATCAKE!

I promise I'll be more with the updating now that we're sort of settled back into life


Sunday, 21 July 2013

What Mama Wears: Coral Lace

I love all the lace that's in stores lately. Though, admittedly, I have a hard time finding a way to wear lace without looking too much like a doily.
I mean, seriously. Cream coloured lace on me makes it look like I'm waiting for someone to put a bowl of pot-pourri down on me.

Then I found this sweet little coral lace dress at Dressbarn this past weekend and thought - well, that ain't your Grandma's doily!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What Mama Wears: Links and Stripes - Pin to Real LIfe #6 -

I love these two pieces separately, but was always concerned that putting them together looked a little... well..  HEEEEY Sailor! ;)

Y'know what I mean.

But after seeing these few pins like this one, this one, and especially this one with the big links necklace I was convinced to give it a try. I actually quite like how this outfit came out!