Monday, January 30, 2012

A truly enchanted time @ Café O' Play!

Cinder Princess, Grace and I at Café O' Play

We got up extra early today because the princesses were coming to Café O'Play. My home away from home, my oasis of peace -  Café O'Play. I was told to be there AT 9, with an exclamation mark. I was told the place would be buzzing and to come early to get a change to have a picture taken with the princesses. We were there when they opened the doors. Everything was well organized (which I appreciate in a place where there is a lot of chaos and commotion). We had to sign in and got a number for the picture taking: # 2 was ours. I just love this place, L-O-V-E with capital letters. Grace and I go there at least once a week when we meet with our German moms group. It is really easy to get to from the Whitemud. Grace can run around, drive in the little cars they have, aaand of course she knows the yummy menu by heart. My little pumpkin... their cake pops are her fave.

Anyways... this day was special. Cinder Princess and the Snow Princess from Enchanted Parties were coming for a special photo shoot and face painting. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get Grace over her fear of fictional characters like Mikey, Goofy, Santa at the mall... you know what I mean.

The princesses were really cute and all the kids were really excited when they arrived on time at 10 am. Grace of course ran away but her curiosity and my bribe with a cake pop seemed to work after about 30 minutes.

I got her to sit with Cinder. The princess painted a heart on Gracie's hands - not the face - I think this would have been too much to ask of Grace.

Grace and Cinder Princess

Grace wasn't sure at first...

but on the way home she was showing her painted hands to me.

Needless to say it was cute. Watching the two princess girls working, I have to say that despite of the number of kids getting on and off their lap, they were really nice and patient. They let us crazy moms take a gazillion pictures and smiled for every snapshot. I can only imagine how nice it would be to have them come to Gracie's birthday. That would be fun!

After about an hour I asked Grace if she would like to sit with Snow - and she did! She even gave her a kiss! - BABY GIRL HAPPY - MOM HAPPY - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

An apple for my baby...

and a kiss for Snow Princess!

Let's just hope that we can do Santa next Christmas!

Three hours of fun for $6 admission fee, a really great latte, delicious banana loaf and scrapbook-worthy pictures. We came home happy and ready for a nap (mom and baby).

 Thank you Café O' Play - Thank you princesses!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

I cheated - but sometimes you just have to!

Sorry it took me over a week to write a new post. Somehow I have a pinched nerve in my neck and my whole left side of my neck, my shoulder blade down to my elbow just hurts like hell. I have to put a pillow underneath my arm to get some sleep and still I am waking up a couple of times during the night. With the naproxen, tylenol, advil and voltaren I am just trying to get through the day. I had this issue a couple of weeks ago and went to the chiropractor but last Thursday it came all back - worse than before. So I really had no creative spirit or energy to think about the next project.

Anyways...I still have to send Thank You cards to all of our guests for our wonderful wedding in August. I wanted to make them myself of course but I really couldn't find the time to make 50 cards. I looked around and finally decided I would use one of these printing services.

I normally go to Walmart and use one of these printing kiosks but I didn't even have the time to do that. Grace gets quite cranky when I try to "create" a card on that machine. I didn't want to spend a lot money and so I ended up on the Costco website. I knew they had a photo center but what I didn't know is that you can access it online, you can upload you pictures and they have some really nice options for cards and calendars. For a new member at their online Photo Center you also get 60 4X6 photo prints for free. I thought that is a great deal.

It took me about one hour to decide which pictures I wanted on the card, found a saying online and within a day I had the the cards printed. The price was great! For 50 cards (25 English and 25 German)including envelopes I payed $23.98. That is less than 50 cents a card including envelopes!
They had them in a nice box so they won't get damaged and I really think that they are high quality prints.

German Text

English text

The envelopes are lined with gold paper on the inside. I am really happy I went with them. I saved a lot of time and money and can send them over the weekend.
Really I was quite surprised.

Really nice envelopes were included

Now I will have to find a place that makes collages and puts photos on canvas for our other wedding pictures. Anybody know a good place in Edmonton?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I live in Canada!? Why DO I live in Canada?

Sometimes I do wonder why I moved to Edmonton. Especially in the winter when the temperature drops waaaaay below zero. Edmonton winters are sunny but bitterly cold. We do get a lot of snow and the winter time itself stretches from November to mid May. It is not uncommon to have snow on Halloween and still have snow on Victoria Day (mid May). I always wonder how people live in really cold places like Alaska or Greenland. Well this week we get the change to experience first hand how it feels to live on the North Pole where Santa is your neighbour.

Yup it was cold. Not only cold but with the wind it was freezing. I had an appointment at the chiropractor on Tuesday and I was wearing leggings. Was not a very smart choice. Just the quick walk from the parking lot of the place into the building made my legs go into shock and I wanted to cry for my mommy. The wind is like razors, your nose gets frozen stiff right away and god forbid you are not wearing a hat and gloves. You will be an frozen icicle within seconds.

West Edmonton Mall taken from our guest bedroom window - It was a cold morning

Despite the cold Canadians don't seem to mind it. I was told once that they throw their kids outside into the snow wearing noting but diapers. I know this must be a myth but I swear when I see young Canadian men wearing shorts and the girls at the mall wearing American Eagle mini skirts and flip flops when it hits -5, I do wonder if this is something you have to be born with or if it is a skill you could somehow acquire when you decide to settle down in Canada.

Our little west end complex

After a couple of days of staying at home I decided it was time to go for lunch with Grace. She was having cabin fever. So I dressed her in a pair of tights, lined jeans, -20 degrees winter boots, a undershirt, sweater, mittens, scarf, hat, coat and vest and we braved the cold. After a Tim Horton's ham and swiss sandwich, double double, hot chocolate and chicken noodle soup we were in heaven....

Grace dressed for -40 windchill - oh and Kelly our dog got into the picture

The weather channel is showing +3 degrees by the end of next week. That is tropical compared to today - maybe I'll bring out my flip flops!

What's the winter like where you live?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Townhouse living

We moved into our Westend townhouse in May 2009. We wanted to be in the Westend because many of our friends live here. It is ideal. All the major highways and freeways: Whitemud, Anthony Henday and Yellowhead are very close and also we have the West Edmonton Mall, Jamie Platz YMCA within a 5 minute drive.

It is an end unit with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms with a finished basement. We have a tiny tiny yard. We just got sod last summer so this year is really the first time I can do something in the yard.

I think that you have to live in a place for a while and get the feeling for it. This is why I have just started to decorate it more. I do feel at home here and with the yard being done (which I hated before) I am content and happy to be here.

I guess the most important thing is, that we are not owning the place so everything I make I have to be able to take down. It can't be a permanent change because of course I don't want to repaint the whole place when we move out one day. The other thing is that I want to do it myself on a budget. Inspired by my fellow DIY and thrift store treasure hunter bloggers I will attempt to get the style I want for less...

My inspiration for our living space is the beach, ocean living, living in Hermosa Beach. Our family loves the ocean. I lived in California before I moved to Edmonton so the sound of the ocean, jack johnson on the radio are what I wold like to recreate here in Canada.

First up would be the living room I guess...

These are the two posters that I have. They are from Avery Tillmon (A lovely day and Low Tide )

 I have put these two pictures on canvas (see tutorial here).

Although I love the beach- and ocan-inspired living rooms I do want to keep it somewhat contemporary. Since we only have a small living room and eating area in one I have to be careful about the patterns in order not to overwhelm the place so little accents here and there is what I am looking for.

I found some living room ideas I liked

I live the black dining room set, looks a lot like ours

I would like to get a beige L- shaped sectional couch

I love the coral accents, beige and blue

Our wall gallery was inspired by this picture and check out the couch and chair accent pillows

Accent pillows... oh how I love them. My husband hates them, he says they are pointless but funnily enough I always catch him using one as back support on the couch - all squished up and wrinkled. That in turn I can stand!

To be continued.....


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Boxing Week 2011 - Christmas Decor Haul"

What is the best thing about Christmas being over? To me it is the Christmas decor sale for Boxing Day/ Week. This year I found so many awesome, beautiful and super duper cheap things I will use next year.
Even though I have a very classic holiday style with gold, red and green I thought after seeing all the beautiful light blue decorations from my fellow bloggers I thought I need to get some stuff for next year.

My first buy: Aren't they cute? At the Westend Superstore I found these three little houses.The coolest thing about them is that they have little lights inside so you can turn a switch at the back and the windows light up and blink.

Original price was $9 each - I got them for $2.25 each (75% off)

I got these paper trees to go with the houses.
Original price was $7 (small) and $8 (medium) - i got them for $1.49 and $0.99.

All Christmas tree ornaments were 75% off too, so I got some light blue balls.

At Canadian Tire I got two little polar bear Christmas ornaments. All Christmas ornaments were 50% off! I thought they would go perfectly with my winter houses project for next winter (or this winter as we still have about 3 months of it ahead of us in Edmonton). One bear looks like he is trying to walk on ice (see his little paws all stretched out) - darn cute!!! The other one looks like he is ice-skating.

I thought how cute would it be if I make a winter landscape with these little houses and a little lake in front of it where these two little bears will ice-skate. I will start on it an keep you posted.

Polar bear ornaments - original price was $2 - I payed $1 each!!!

Also at Canadian Tire I found these 5 felt snow flakes. They were a buck each. Can't go wrong with that. I used them for a winter wreath project for our entrance door. I just took some wire and stuck it through the backside of the snowflakes and twisted it around a brach of the wreath that I got at Michael's during their last sale. Easy peasy - DONE.

Walmart had a ton of things on Sale. I got some turquoise Christmas balls that match the ones from Superstore and I got the last turquoise reindeer. It is so glittery. It will look awesome with the light blue and turquoise balls.

Then the best ever ever every, I saw these Christmas tree glass jars at Superstore. Guess how much they were - $2.49 each aaaaaahhhh. I could not believe it. I got three and I will probably fill them with some kind of decorations next Christmas. I can't wait!

Maybe like this...

This year the sales were amazing. It seems everybody tries to get rid of their Christmas stuff and you can get great deals if you have an open mind and an idea or at least a direction you want to go next Christmas.

What have you found on Boxing Day/ Week sale?!!?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

After our donair and hawaiian pizza from Domino's, watching "Dinner for One" a German New Year's classic. We went to bed two minutes after midnight. Yup. Boring but I figured this would give us more engergy to start the new year with all the projects on my list.

My To Do list this year is long and I want to start on day one so that I really have the 365 days.

1. Starting my Dukan Diet adventure...
2. Finish all my little winter projects (birdcage restoration, Goodwill birds, bedroom decoration, Ikea chair slipcover for Gracie's room) so that I can start the bigger projects (redecorating our bedroom , redecorating Gracie's room, finishing the living room and all the new projects) in the spring and summer.
3. Start scrapbooking Gracie's pictures. She is two and I haven't even scrapbooked one picture yet.

I guess I have to make a detailed list but these are my creative/ and personal goals.

See ya...
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