happy new year

I took a picture of the beautiful frost on the window this morning to share with you. To me, the colours, the light, and the sparkle all look very reminiscent of New Year's decorations and party dresses. Frost patterns are some of my favourites of Nature's patterns. Along with leaf veins, sand ripples, seashell spirals, snowflakes, pine cone ridges... okay, so there are many.

I'm taking a wee moment in the midst of a relaxing and fun holiday to wish you the very best of new years. I hope that 2013 begins (and continues) with you feeling hopeful, inspired, content, and grateful.

Take care, and I'll see you in 2013!


last minute Christmas making

There's been all kinds of last minute making of gifts going on at our house over the past couple of days. The boys made some birdseed ornaments to hang outside, and some extras to give to friends.

I made some spoon oil for gifts (and a little bit to keep!)
And some lavender sachets, and some rose petal ones, using the rose petals I dried this summer. The colour has faded, but the scent is still lovely.

 I also made these cocoa butter lotion bars, with a touch of peppermint for a chocolate mint experience. They're so smooth and lovely!
 And, of course, some little soaps. I posted this picture a few days ago, but it's worth a repost.

It snowed the night before last, and as soon as Thomas saw it, he started making plans. "I need to shovel the street! I need to shovel! I need to shovel! Can I go outside? Can I go outside?" So he and Adam went out for a bit, and his sweet little cheeks were rosy for quite awhile after they came in.

Merry Christmas Eve!

(P.S. Most of these things take very little time to make, so if you're in a pinch and realize you forgot something, there's still a wee bit of time!)


around the house

I think that things are ready for Christmas in our little house. The last purchased gifts arrived in today's mail (phew!) and I just have a few fun little things left to make. We have a handful of cards left to deliver, which we'll probably do over the weekend when we go for a drive to see the lights and decorations. The last grocery trip was done today, and I don't think we have any remaining commitments, other than hanging out, playing, and eating well. It sounds good to me - I feel like I need a break from the regular routine.

Phillip has been writing up a storm lately. He's spelling everything out loud (seldom making mistakes) and loves to copy. I love finding his little notes around the house.

I hope that you have a peaceful, relaxing weekend with the ones you love.


me, too

I've been avoiding the news lately, because mine is, too. (He was writing about something else entirely, and doesn't know what happened.)



When I see an unusual fruit at the grocery store, I'll sometimes bring it home, for several reasons. First, I have an insatiable curiosity about everything. Second, it's a great way to expose the boys to new foods and tastes, and third, we can also learn about where it comes from and how it's prepared.
I hadn't noticed tamarillos until last week, and they are just so pretty, I couldn't help myself. So I bought two. I must say, though, the flavour is... well...

"Terrible." Phillip just came in, read what I was typing, and finished the sentence for me.
Maybe these weren't quite ripe? I tried adding a bit of sugar, but that really didn't help. They're tannic and bitter, and I couldn't find a way to make it tasty. I have one left, so I'm hoping that someone (Teresa? Mad? Anyone?) may be familiar with them and offer up a way to prepare the last one.

Even if I can't find a way to eat them, they're so very pretty. Still worth the purchase!


shiny things

Since the boys have joined our lives, Christmas decorating has been reduced drastically in time spent, scope, and effort. Which is not a bad thing - I kind of love how it happens gradually, bit by bit as time presents itself, and the boys love every shiny little thing. And so do I!

They decorated the tree almost entirely on their own this year. It's lopsided and ornaments are clumped on in little piles on the lower branches. And it's perfect.


cookies with P

An adorable someone helped me to make a batch of Snickerdoodles today. (He always sticks his tongue out like that when he's concentrating. I love it.) They're my favourite cookie for a few reasons: 1) they're delicious 2) they're super quick and easy to make 3) you probably have everything necessary to make them in your kitchen right now.

The recipe I use is a Martha one; you can find it here.
If you're looking for some other delicious, easy cookies to make and share, you might want to try one of these recipes:

Cranberry Shortbreads. Always a huge hit.

Pecan Logs. Pecans. Icing sugar. Butter. Yum.

Thumbprint Cookies. A handy way to use up some of the jam or jelly in your cupboard! Kids seem to especially love these ones.

Speaking of cookies, here's a beautiful video that Adam made of Phillip making Valentine's cookies, when he was three. So cute! (You'll see that he was sticking out his tongue then, too.)

May there be cookies in your weekend plans!


Atwood's Brook

The skies have seemed extra beautiful lately. This is where I sat and had my lunch (in the car) today - unusually, the water was calm and clear, and the light was evening-like.

I hope you have some moments like this over the weekend.



In my job as an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments (I know - it's the best job!) I get to travel all over this end of my beautiful province. And recently, I've needed to take a ferry (!) to visit a student. The ride only lasts a few minutes, but it's lovely. One day, I'm going to take my camera and squeeze in a few minutes for some more scenic pictures. In the meantime, these are ones I took last week.

We're going to get our Christmas tree this afternoon, and the boys are very excited. We've started their advent calendars (nothing wrong with chocolate before breakfast!), and I found an advent candle from Natural in Japan's shop that we love.

The boys just arrived home after a little walk, and the oven's beeping - oatcakes are coming out post haste. Hope you're having a lovely Sunday.