I love this idea of a word of the year.
It gives me another way to keep the cobwebs off the brain.

I think listen is good word for me, I love to talk and I think I need to listen more.
I love to listen to my 2 year old tell me what he's doing, what he wants and what he needs. I feel so lucky to be able to hear and watch him grow. I am so lucky to be his Mom.
"Are you happy Mommy?" are the sweetest words right after "love you soooo much".
This holiday we really focused on family and listened to our hearts. We skated, we sang, we played, we visited the pet store for over an hour.
Listening takes patience-I wonder what else I will learn in 2011.

Christmas Do Again's for Next Year

One big present instead of many little ones. With a tree full of gifts a new kitchen was the highlight leaving many unopened gifts even a few days later!Appies! MMMmm! Spinach Dip, Baked Brie, Des's Ham ball and Pam's new Hot Mama Southwest Chicken and Taco Dip......a huge hit!Salad's in parfait dishes. I was going for a red and green theme, pretty and yummy. Thanks to my brothers great teaching I even did a balsamic cran-raspberry dressing solo this year.Brunch. Brunch is my favorite. Quiche, fruit cups and fresh cinnamon buns are easy to do on a lazy Christmas morning. I loved sharing them with a few close family members-this was my favorite part of the day. Oo, and the vintage mugs from my collection-note to self look for more green and white fire king for next year-had enough for brunch but it was close for after dinner tea.Schmoo Torte.
Whipped up fresh Christmas morning (extra fresh whipped cream went on the fruit cups). Dessert also included home baked apple and Saskatoon berry pie and fresh fruit cups. I felt like a good hostess giving my guests options of what and when they wanted dessert. Dessert bar-definitely a do again-note to self- keep your eye out for a few more super dainty and cute vintage side plates, I think they make homemade pie taste even better!

Happy Holidays!

I call this my anti-Christmas card.
The pics were done this summer by the amazing Justin G-google him, he's off travelling the world right now instead of shovelling snow in eighteen layers like the rest of us. Anyway, with my master's classes finals at the same time Christmas family pictures should have been done...classes came first.
Oh well, I like the idea of Christmas pics in a bikini-makes me wish I lived in California even more!
Happy Holidays!

more gingerbread...

We have a new Christmas tradition..... It involves gingerbread men on sticks and our favorite ipad app. The gingerbread men on sticks is great for acting our the story. The sticks are like long thin Popsicle sticks-no points, perfect for puppets.

We listen and read this story more times in a day that I can count. The story is riveting. A real page turner. Book clubs beware. I can't believe Oprah hasn't suggested this read yet.
The Gingerbread Man.
Read it. Love it. Repeat.

tools of the trade

I love having my boys in the kitchen......

I love that my boys tolerate my family kitchen activities.....

I love having a house that smells of warm gingerbread and has trails of gingerbread crumbs following my boys.....

small things for Christmas #2 planners

I love planning, organizing and reviewing.
I like it even better all wrapped up in one place like this super cute book I whipped up.

The idea came from another blog of course and it is a keeper!
I made 3 and loved sharing one with a great friend. I also gave her one to share with another person of her choice. Makes the giving even more fun.
So far my book is filled with to do lists, menus and gift lists. My favorite part is an envelope I added in the back for ideas for next year.
I carry my book in my purse an jot down ideas whenever I get a chance, today I came across a cranberry ricotta quiche recipe which will definitely be a part of my Christmas morning brunch.
The book is a small thing that has brought me great joy in sharing. Next year I'll have the girls over in early November for pre-Christmas planning party and we can each make our own.

small things for Christmas #1 lunch treats

Being a teacher I've never really had the option of eating out for lunch. My husband on the other had the delicious food of the hospital cafeteria to nourish him for the years pre-me. Needless to say when the offer of making him lunch for the next day arose early in our relationship he jumped at the opportunity. A lunch taker was born.
Many years later I still take part in making my hubby's lunch.
I take pride in taking care of him a little bit.
So for each work day in December I made a treat bag for him.
Each bag contains small treat and a little love note, warms my heart just thinking about it.
He has already thanked me for his first note and the others are lined up ready to be popped into his lunch, 16 in all.
For me, Christmas this year is about the small things.

booster juice

At least 2 servings of fruit and 1 serving of yogurt....I am thrilled when my little guy asks to make booster juice. The sweet part is he actually makes it himself, well mostly. Our recipe is never the same because the amount and type of berries that go in are always a little different. We use berries bought or picked in season (Yup, those are Aunty Connies raspberries from the farm you see!) that I freeze.

We add a 1/2 cup yogurt per person, 1/2 cup berries per person and a splash of juice. The night we made these that sweet little boy ate both servings! (and that was directly after supper!)

I love my magic bullet. I still smile when I think about using it to make every speck of baby food for this big boy. I know exactly how many baby food jars we purchased - 6. It was while on a trip to in Vegas. He wouldn't even swallow the peaches. For three days he ate (and loved) fresh strawberries, bananas, toast, rice from Chipolte (I wanted to eat there every day), and anything else I could mash up. It is my favorite appliance and must have for all Mommies! (but I really missed all the fun things I could have done with the baby food jars!)

What is your favorite appliance?

rider cookies

We can make any day around here a baking day.
(please note the two spatulas, for some odd reason this little chef does not like to share his equipment, even his spatula with the head chef! We each have our own set of spatulas, wooden spoons and measuring spoons and cups.......if it was up to chef junior here there would have been our second kitchen aide mixer in the cart this past Saturday at COSTCO too.) Our Riders had a big day and we just happened to have one last bag of green m and m's in our baking cupboard.
We stirred.
..and sprinkled....

...and had a great afternoon.

Go Cookies!.....oops......
Go Riders!

do great in the small things

I am totally overwhelmed.
Masters, 2 year old, running a household, teaching.
The end is near. Well, for my classes at least.
Today I have my last Saturday class presentation.
I have been putting together my presentation for a few weeks but I kept feeling it was lacking a certain something.
Then, I found this quote on a stamp.
Do Great
in the Small Things
It was perfect for my topic of assessment.
Perfect for teachers.
Perfect for Moms.
Just perfect.
The quote reminds me to try my best even when tired, cranky, hungry, busy or just being a Mom, Student and Wife.
People don't always notice the small things but as the gift giving season rolls around it reminds me to skip the one a year big gift and rather do nice things, maybe many small things all year long.
The quote also reminds me to let supper be a little late if it means playing trucks or reading a story with my favorite 2 year old for a few more minutes.
So if you get crazy busy like me and need a sanity saver try doing great it the small things, it sure feels good!
(p.s.-the cute little bags will hold my favorite tiny organic candies. I will share them with my classmates so they too can contemplate the quote over my invigorating presentation on assessment :)

candy jewels

I picked up a few hard candy molds last spring and have been itching to use them. I finally was tipped to a great recipe from a friends Aunty-thanks Nic's Aunty!

The flavorings I purchased from Golda's Kitchen. I also get my stacks of cupcake wrappers there, I like they are Canadian and I don't have to pay tons of shipping and duty!
For the jewels I tried strawberry kiwi this time and they were delish! I still have some tweaking to do, the photos look great but up close the jewels need fine tuning so I'll get back to you later with a perfected technique-trust me it will require many hands!

Any ideas what I can use these yummy jewels for?


Did yow know that gala apples are very slow to turn brown. The eventually do but they stay fine looking for a good amount of time. My good friend and gal pal at work told me this as I peered into her salad she was eating at lunch. I can't wait to add a gala to my salad!
This is a little fruit/veggie plate I whip up for my favorite 2 year old in the afternoon. I love to see him snack on a garden carrot or apple as we make roads and tunnels for cars. I find myself having a nibble too. I always feel so lucky for fresh produce.

coach gift card

I have a great husband. Really great.
He travels to great places for work, I vaguely remember accompanying him on many travels up until our son turned 1.5. After 3 plane changes a 6 hour delay getting home and the total destruction of our stroller I called an official family travelling quits until.......I'm not sure when.
To numb the pain of being home bound my great husband often, ok, ALWAYS, brings me home a present. It is usually a little blue box but his last few trips have been to Coach upon my request. Last month he went to San Fransisco, his hotel was on Post Street-Tiffany's to the left and Coach to the right. Perfect.
So just this week when I brought in the mail I wasn't surprised to see a card from Coach, the hand written address was a nice touch but I know the girls at Coach are nice like that. When my great husband got home he passed the envelope to me (it was addressed to him) I opened it with a fluttering in my tummy. A $50 gift card-wow! And the nice note......hmmmm...Lovely Rose...I LOVE you! My husband went on to explain that he didn't think he did anything to overly impress the sales girls but I think he earned points for being one of the few trendy males to pick out and purchase his wife's accessories. I'm thrilled and although a little in shock over the gift card, I'll use it and smile each time I use my new matching poppy tartan wallet that my husband is as charming now as the day I met him!

Baking Bread

We take our baking very seriously around here! I love to make bread because it requires minimal attention and that means LOTS of time to play trucks trains and Lego's in between! It is so fun to be able to do so much together, I think 2 is the best age ever! I am so lucky to be home most of the time I really want to do more than just errands and TV. Even though some days all I want to do is collapse on the couch after a crazy morning of getting everybody ready and off to the right places, getting myself to work, organizing programs, teaching in 3 or 4 different classrooms, speaking to parents and getting back into the city by 1pm to pick up my favorite 2 year old. Life is busy and I want to make the most out of each day with those I love. I am trying to think of ways to organize my days so I have goals for myself, and my family. I'll get back to you when I figure it out!

We treated ourselves to cinnamon buns that were ready just after supper, perfect timing, perfect afternoon!

boys and booster juice

The key to keeping boys happy when shopping-keep them well hydrated and well fed!

Spa Goddess

Had a great night out with the gals last week. We had a private party at Spa Goddess-it is place where you design your own scents and they are added to lotions and potions- I made a creme brulle reed diffuser-YUM! The business is local and a great place for girl parties!

my treat!

I treated myself to a set of new to me bowls and three different sized cookie scoops. The colours could keep me happy all day long!
Cousin Saucy is the expert on cookie scoops for baking, I really don't know how I lived with out a scoop before!
I plan to use a plastic marker to write the cookies that work with each scoop, that idea came for JL. She's the crafty genius to introduced me to plastic markers and now I can't live with out them!

like Mommy like Son

We take a clean house very seriously around here.
This boys has won my heart I tell you.

Halloween 2010

The week leading up to Halloween was a busy one.
Really busy.
We tried a new activity each day.
The best part was the great Mommy feeling about spending quality time with little guy. The activities were pretty short, some only a few minutes long but the smiles and giggles that filled my heart will last much longer. It is not easy working, going to school and being a Mom, I feel I can’t give anything my 100% attention sometimes. This last week has really taught me that my number one job is my family and family always deserves 100%!
Now I need ideas for November....
Saturday night- We loved carving pumpkins and baking the seeds!

Friday - The Pumpkin Maze was a-maze-ing!

Thursday - Reading Halloween stories, gotta love book order!

Wednesday - Halloween stamps- we made cards for family and friends!

Tuesday - Pumpkin cookies-promptly baked and eaten!

M0nday - Counting spiders and singing Itsy Bitsy..EEK!

Sunday - Funny sticker faces made us laugh!