Friday, 22 July 2016

Fred Penner Magic ♥

Fred Penner @ The Children's Festival
Where: St. Albert
Date: June 4, 2016

I can not even begin to express how excited I was for this and for the chance to take Anna to see him perform. I remember him from my own childhood with such fondness and can still sing all the songs. He began strumming his guitar and I literally had to bite my lip to focus so I wouldn't burst into happy tears. He sang some of my favorites: The Cat Came Back, It's Ain't Gonna Rain, The Bump, Celebrate Being and he closed with You are my Sunshine. That one got me, I couldn't keep my emotions in check any longer and I cried from pure joy and respect. 

After the show we went and stood in line for a photo op. I shook his hand and said thank you for making music... almost lost it again but I managed to keep my emotions in check. He and his music truly are magical! 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Evening Walk

As I mentioned in my last post, we've been putting a big focus on exploring and getting outdoors this summer. It is mostly Anna & I during the mornings but these photos are from an evening walk with all three of us in St. Albert. I love their trail system and it's only 15 minutes from our place. 
These trails lead you through lush greens, singing birds, beautiful sunsets and once again I forget I am in the city. I feel happiest when surrounded by these things. 
This particular night our path lead us along the Sturgeon River and to a gorgeous rail bridge, an outdoor fitness park and a playground. It has something for all of us. 

Where: Red Willow Trail in St. Albert
Date: June 1, 2016

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Product: Jilli Bean Soup's Mushroom Medley

I have been making a very big effort to get out, go exploring and find adventures in our own backyard. There is so much to do and see in the city. My goal this summer is to do just that... get out and discover. 

Goal: Explore
Where: Anywhere
Why: Because summer (and life) is too short to sit around and be bored, there is so much to see. It also makes me so much happier and leaves lasting memories for all three of us.

Maybe you'll discover something here that you didn't know about. Maybe you'll be inspired to go discover and explore yourself. Here's to new adventures!

Where: Kinsmen Park
Date: May 6
Cost: nothing
What we brought: picnic dinner (and runners next time as the sand makes all other surfaces slippery)

At the beginning of May Anna & I had a picnic / park date with our good friends Lisa & Lucas. We both packed up meals for our families and met at the Kinsmen Park where we spent the evening eating olives, Cheetos and maybe perhaps sneaking a G&T in a to-go mug. We climbed on equipment, refused to go down the spiral contraption (me) and watched two kids get to know each other better. 

"Is Lucas a boy mom?"
"Yes Anna, Lucas is a boy."
So... Auntie Lisa doesn't have a girl?"
"Nope, just Lucas but he loves to have fun just like you and I am sure he loves the park."
"Hmmm.... Ok."

"You're right, Lucas was fun. They also had cheesies"

On our way home the two of us pulled over and went for a little walk across the river on the LRT bridge. I asked her if she wanted to go home to bed or to go see the sunset. She had no trouble choosing that one.  It was beautiful and I love these little moments of exploring. We talked about how beautiful the sunset was, we watched a beaver and she told me about the boy in class that doesn't listen.  They are some of my best and favorite times with her. 

Anna: "Mom, can I tell you something?'
Me: "Always."
Anna: "R doesn't listen to the teacher very good. But you think he's bad. S is even worse! He never listens, for real."
Me: "He can't be worse than R?"
Anna: "He is."

Monday, 30 May 2016

Parenting is hard...

Product: Crate Paper

Being a parent is hard. Like really hard! I spend so much time worrying if I'm screwing up, screwing her up, screwing up the future. It gets a little  a lot exhausting. 

I feel some days like I am obsessing and that I sound like a broken record.

Remember your listening ears.
Choose kindness. 
Be the kind of friend you want your friends to be.
Be respectful.
I love you.
Put away your snobby face.
Don't act like a jerk. (I used that the other day when Anna was a total jerk, not my best parenting move but there was nothing else to describe her behavior)
Remember your listening ears.
Choose kindness.
Are your listening ears on?
Take a deep breath.
I love you.
Remember kindness.
And the list repeats itself over and over and over.

I try to remind myself that she's a great kit, she's amazing actually and that she is not perfect- nor would I ever want her to even think she is. I try to remind myself that the mere fact that I am even thinking about these kinds of things is proof enough that we're on the right path. 

Parenting is hard, I can only imagine how much harder it's going to get. I just want her to be happy, I want to be happy. Is it too  much to ask that raising a joyful,  kind, productive, compassionate member of society be a little bit easier? 

I didn't think so.....

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

What's the point of scrapbooking?

Product: papers, rosettes & flowers: Pebbles' Spring Fling, alphas: Bella Blvd, doily: Studio Calico, glassine bag: Creative Packaging

I was teaching a card class this past weekend and a lady I had not taught or met before asked me the following questions, one after the other, bang, bang, bang - "What is scrapbooking? Why do you do it? What's the point? What do you do with them?"

I just stared at her. What do you mean? Why wouldn't I scrapbook! It's my thing. The point? I actually felt a little stumped. 

I answered a generic answer- "For the purpose of memory keeping and as a creative outlet."  I then continued on with instructing my card class. 

However, I didn't just let it go. Why do I scrapbook? What am I going to do with them all? She obviously, unknowingly- hit a nerve. I felt like I needed to defend myself. My feelings were a little bizarre actually. 

I came home from that class and felt compelled to create, to scrapbook and to tell a few stories. I scrapbooked for 2 days straight, only stopping to eat. The whole time answering the burning question- "Why do I scrapbook?" 

Product: paper & stickers: Doodlebug Designs, cardstock: American Crafts

I scrapbook because it makes my happy. It lights me up and is there really any other reason that matters?

I scrapbook to preserve our memories, to  tell a story, to freeze moments in time. To jump back into the past and touch those memories. I scrapbook because beautiful pattern paper sends endorphins to my brain that make me giddy! If you don't love pattern paper then you won't understand but maybe your thing is new bake ware or paint or fabric. Everyone has a thing. I scrapbook because that happens to be my creative outlet, my space to express myself and recount a story.

As for the other question- "What am I going to do with them all?"

I honestly don't know. Will Anna want them all? I don't know.

What I do know is that I don't think about it much, it's not important. What is important is that for right now, in these moments- creating makes me happy, it brings me joy.  I do hope that as the years go by and aging takes over that we will have these pages, these albums full of memories, albums full of my touch and full of my words to go through. I can't see the future but I know that they will matter, all of it will matter and I will be so grateful that I have a love of memory keeping.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Layout Inspiration with My Mind's Eye

No new info here- I love My Mind's Eye and their paper collections. This line- On Trend 2 is Gorgeous! The gold foil has my heart and I could use it all day! 

These glass/mirror embellishments that I used on both layouts are dreamy.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


all photos taken 04/20/16

The long, cold days of winter pass by and then finally after what seems like forever spring starts to show herself. When she shows up something happens inside me that can only be described as an awakening. I feel the stir to get outside, the urge to make things make sense, the desire to create, to thrive and the need to organize. I feel a literal buzz after spending time in the sunshine. I feel alive. I feel joyful. I feel a sense of purpose and a drive to uncover things hidden deep inside. Perhaps a metaphorical dusting off of my soul. 

Spring represents a fresh start and I am inspired by that prospect of dusting off my soul and decluttering my mind and my heart.  And let me tell you that there is so much more dust there than ever before. Grief, resentment & anger have done a number on me and changed me for both the good and the bad. I desperately want to thrive in the positive, to allow in the light, to raise my energy, raise my frequency with the Universe and learn the tools to move through all the ugly shit that comes my way. This is instead of allowing it to consume me... as I have been. 

Each day I head outside and peek on my perennials, hoping that they made it through the winter and are going to come back. Come back stronger and more full. My energy is palpable when I see the first plants come up through the dry, hard dirt. The perseverance amazes me every time!  I come inside and tell anyone that will listen that there are new plants to see and then we all go back outside to inspect the new growth.

Taking inspiration from spring and it's rebirth has become a daily practice for me. Noticing all the greens, the blooms, the smell of the fresh air, respecting the survivors after a spring snow, feeling the warmth of the sun and listening to the song from the birds. I could listen to the birds all day, they always sound so freakin' happy! I even smiled at 5am the other morning when they woke me up. It was too pretty to make me grumpy & I went on to have a wonderful day. Making a metal note of my energy and how the rest of my day unfolds has been big for me. Was I shitty and ended up having a shitty day? Did something crap happen that I couldn't let go of and therefore I gave permission to the crap to ruin the rest of my day. Paying attention has opened my eyes.

Pay attention to all of it. It all matters and it all has a story to tell. The birds, the blooms, the crap, the sunshine, the giant ticket you got in the mail.... it all has a story to tell you if you care to listen.