Well, I bought a new book the other day. And let me tell you. This book has caused some serious conflict in our home. Everybody has an opinion about which rules I should follow from it. Here is the book:
I made my first batch of cupcakes from this book the other day....Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes....
...with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting.... (colored a light lavender)
The result? Pure delicious-ness! I forgot to take a final picture, but I iced them and then topped them off with some sprinkles. The cupcakes reminded me of a pound cake recipe I have, and the frosting....let's just say that a cup and a half of pure butter in the frosting made it melt in your mouth!
I have made a recommendation in working through our areas of conflict that this book has caused in our home. Every single member of the family will get to choose a flavor of cupcake, and I will make them. Art gets to choose next. What will he choose? Devil's food with chocolate ganache? Sticky toffee pudding with toffee glaze? German chocolate with coconut pecan filling and frosting? S'mores with marshmallow frosting?
OK, OK...I cannot go on....my mouth is watering and I am suddenly very hungry. You all are lucky....I'm not showing you the pictures....theses little cakes look AMAZING!
On Saturday, we made a quick trip into the city to go to Ikea to get the usual Ikea things.....napkins, curtain rods, and those cute flower lights you saw for the Little Girls room. By the time we got done there, and made it through the self-checkout (which, I might add is a good idea for me...not so good for Art!), it was time to eat. We treated the Girls each to a very fancy dinner out....at Ikea....hot dogs! I think, by far, the cheapest meal you can eat out - 2 hot dogs and a drink for $2! You can't beat that! Oh, a quick side note here. While we were standing in line, I asked Abby how frustrated Daddy was after going through the self checkout. Her answer?
"Oh, Daddy wasn't frustrated. He was very, very, very, very, VERY frustrated!" I laughed. A lot!
Anyhow, we finally made it to the front of the line, and bought our dogs. After I moved over to get the dogs, the lady behind me said this:
Friendly Kind Stranger-Lady: "Can I ask you a question?"
Friendly Kind Stranger-Lady: "Do you allow your children sugar?"
Friendly Kind Stranger-Lady: "Can I buy them this bag of (oh so yummy Daim) chocolates?"
Me: "Ummm, sure?"
Friendly Kind Stranger-Lady: "Your girls are just beautiful...and SO well behaved...and I just think that they are amazing... (you get the idea - a bit of a gusher, but she was complimenting my Girls, so I let her go on...and on...and on!)"
Me: "Thank you so much"
Me to Girls: "Girls, this friendly, kind lady bought you some candy. Please come and say thank you...." (which of course they did!)
Then, Friendly Kind Stranger-Lady says to Art: "I thought that maybe your Girls weren't allowed sugar because they are so well behaved. I just can't believe them!" (and gushing, again!)
Now, our Girls always ask for the, and I quote, "Candy for the Friendly Kind Lady".... :-)
There are a few things from this story that are interesting to me...
That this lady noticed my Girls, AND commented on them (again and again), AND wanted to reward them. The bag o' chocolate was about $7...and she only bought a hot dog (for $1). A big reward, when you look at it in those terms
That she thought that the only reason they were well behaved was because they didn't eat sugar. This is not only interesting to me, but even a tad bit disturbing. Seriously? Is this what we've come to as a society? That parents cannot train their children anymore, but rather, there has to be a 'special reason' that they are well behaved?! Don't even get me started on this whole topic!
Anyhow, it was a great opportunity for us to (once again) reinforce that we need to be kind and well behaved at all times, especially in stores. And no, they don't usually get rewarded for it, but on Saturday, they did. So fun for everyone!
Since the weather was pretty yucky this weekend, it gave us the opportunity to finish up a project that was started long ago....the Little Girls Room. We painted it probably a year and a half ago....and here's the finished product! Well, almost finished...the trim isn't done yet, but will it ever be? Really, let's be honest!
Art picked up the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids in Vancouver when he was there last June. I LOVE it! They are the same quilts, we just chose 2 different duvets and sheets to personalize them a bit.
We bought letters from Michael's to spell each of the girls names on the wall above their beds (in case they forget which bed is theirs!)
The little flower lights are (of course!) from Ikea. The little table was a $1 find from a garage sale, which I painted, and the book bin (mandatory in a bedroom in our house) is actually a galvanized tin for flowers. I would love to get a little dresser to fit in between the 2 beds that's a bit higher (the scale would be better), but for now this works. The dresser/night table will be on my watch list for garage sale-ing this summer!
The beds were made by my most amazing husband using old doors that we found at a local architectural salvage store in the city
Art framed them out since they weren't wide enough, and then I sanded...and sanded....and sanded them. And then we painted and I sanded some more! The side rails and 2x12's which are (of course) sanded and painted as well. I absolutely LOVE the finished product!
Art is going to eventually build a closet organizer, but until then, I tried to pretty up the closet. There's a little toy box in there, as well as a chair (mandatory for kids getting their own clothes!!), finished off with some white curtains tied with ribbons. The sign reads "I am a child of God"
We also wanted to have some room for them to play in there, so in lieu of a dresser (and until the closet organizer is finished), we bought rolling rubbermaid containers to put all their clothes in and store under their beds.
This canvas picture I picked up at Winners....it was on clearance for $29 (regularily $100). Pretty good deal, I'd say!
It was so much fun to finally pull this room all together. I've been collecting and thinking about the details of this room for quite some time, and it was awfully rewarding to be able to finish it up. And, best of all, the Little Girls LOVE it....and the Big Girls - they asked if they could sleep in there last night! :-) Success, my friends, sweet, sweet success!
Can I just say, "I LOVE COSTCO!!" We were there the other day, and I've been itching to buy some cut flowers for in the house. Instead, I decided to get a couple of planters, for pretty much the same price as a bouquet. I put this amazing hydrangia in an old butter box on the hearth of my fireplace....
And I put a planter of tulips in the very excellent lantern that I bought a few weeks ago. I think the result is fairly fabulous. Then, I put it outside my front door. I think it`s safe....
I've had people ask me before what I do with the suitcases that I collect. So, I thought I'd show you. Here is my little stack o' suitcases in the corner of my living room. As I find more, they get added in the stack. I love that all of them are different - I especially love the red and white one!
I really love that a few of these suitcases have the initials of the people that bought them and used them...
"Do they just sit there empty?" you may ask. Nope. Definately not. I put these bad boys to good use. First of all, I rip out the inside liner, which is usually very stinky, smelly and stained. Then, I line them with wrapping paper and use them for storage!
"How do you remember what you store in each of them?" is another question you may ask. Well, I put these cute little tags on them (although truth be told, I haven't written on the tags because I keep changing my mind about what is in them, and that just seems like a waste!)
Here's another one I have in a different spot. The lady I bought it from was telling me how that was the suitcase her mother (I think) brought over from England (if I remember correctly) when she immigrated here! There's even some of the labels left on it. I use this for storage (of course), and setting up vignettes.
It feels like Spring is FINALLY here, and Friday was the perfect day. I worked a bit in the shop this morning, sanding up Molly and Ellie Mae's beds (I'll show pictures when they're set up in their rooms, hopefully tomorrow....). After school and alone time, The Girls played outside for a while. And I thought, "It's Friday. And it's April. Could it be....garage sale season?!"
So, I loaded up the ladies and a friend, and off we headed, in search of the elusive, amazing Garage Sale. My wonderful husband was a bit of a neighsayer, saying it was still to early, but I was sure there would be something. We headed off on 'the circuit', and much to our delight, found a handful of garage sales. Well, only 3, but it's a start. I did, however, score a few finds....
A very cool, old tape measure. It was made in England, sometime....(there is no date to be found), and is encased in a very rugged looking leather case. Not sure what I'll do with it - but I thought my hubby might love it. This, together with another old tape measure (not nearly as cool) was a hefty $2.00, but I thought it would be worth it. Although I did have to borrow some money from Abby & Molly...
This very cool enamel pitcher. I know I have (more than) a few of these, but I just love them. And, I don't actually have one in this exact shape. Cost? 50 cents
Lastly, this excellent old suitcase to add to my collection of suitcases. I like this one because it is whitish/creamish, so it's different than the other red and brown ones I have. I think it'll fit right on top of my others. This is where I broke the bank. It cost me a ghastly $3.00!
Ahh, garage sale season.... I love it!!
Total money spent: $5.50. Not bad for a Friday afternoon drive, don'tcha think?
The Girls LOVE taking a little walk down to "The Creek", just up the road from us. So, on Easter weekend, the weather was beautiful, and we headed there with Auntie Frieda. I brought my clippers with me to cut some pussy willows, the Girls all wore their rubber boots to play in the water and marshy area around the creek. The water was a little too deep, but they did enjoy playing in the bushes and underpass thingy. Here is Molly, observing.....
The one thing that we have always said is that when The Girls learn how to ride a 2 wheeler all by themselves, sans training wheels, they get to ride to "The Creek". Well, that was Molly's motivation this week. She learned how to ride her 2 wheeler, and subsequently, has been BEGGING to ride there. Perhaps tomorrow?
Yes, yes, a little delayed.... But here it is. On Good Friday, we got together with some friends for the day. The kids rode bikes and played, we went for a little walk, we ate....and ate....and ate... And, of course, had an Easter egg hunt. It was a very fun, relaxing day had by all (or at least the adults, which is the most important!) Here are all the kids waiting to be released into the backyard for the Easter egg hunt.
And a picture of the triumphant kids....minus one (the only little man around, Ryan, wasn't up for the photo opp!) after the hunt was over.
Art even got a little nap in there....so he loved the day even more!
Continuing on with my previous posts about the old things in my home, I've decided to 'showcase' this something special today....
This cash drawer we bought from a neighbor who was moving. The drawer was his dad's, and it was used in their country store for years. So we bought it for $2 I think....and I love it! The little scale beside it we bought at a (surprise!) garage sale....it doesn't work, but it's still fun to use to display a little nest for the spring season. So there you have it.
I hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend! We had a great spring break/Easter weekend here. The weather was beautiful....we played outside, went quadding, rode bikes, had Easter egg hunts.... the makings of a fantastic week! Here are a few pictures of The Girls in their Easter Attire!
And of course, some goofy ones!
Trying to teach them to close their eyes until we were ready to take the picture....not too successful, but oh well! Better luck next time!