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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Look Back on 2013



The year began with me being extremely ill.  My Crohn's disease was in full swing.  We had a talk with my surgeon during one of my hospital stay about a temporary ileostomy.  He agreed to give it a chance and I had my surgery on May 29.

The day of my surgery I was so nervous.  I really didn't know what to expect with this operation or whether or not it would be successful or not.  After my surgery, I got extremely sick within 12 hours.  For most patients your bowel goes into shock after such a surgery, and its usually about 5 days or so.  Unfortunately my body just kept on keeping on.  Due to the amount of liquid passing all the time, I went into renal failure.  I was so sick and thought I was going to die.

But things settled down and a 4-7 day hospital stay lasted 21 days.  Some of those days I remember nothing.  I was actually quite shocked to find out I had been in the hospital that long.

We got home and the healing began.  It was hard at first getting used to all the changes I had to make to my lifestyle, but suddenly things became so easy.  Other than a few technical issues with glues and adhesives , my life was getting better.

I was actually having a lot more energy, and I started getting out of bed for longer and longer periods.  I can now spend the whole day up and about if I do not overdo it.  I still get very tired if we do things like cleaning and going out.  But my quality of life has increased significantly.  To me, that is a huge bonus and I am so thankful for that.

I was asked if I would still have the surgery if I knew then what I know now and all the issues I have experienced and the answer is a resounding Yes!

My son got some help with some mental health issues he was having and I am so proud of the man he has become in the last 6 months.  He is doing really well, and the meds have him on a great level so he is always eager and taking life on full tilt.  I cannot even begin to tell you how proud of him I am.  He is becoming the Man I knew he always could be.

September is when I officially got back to the blog and it has been a good outlet when I am able to get on and work on the vision I have always had for this blog.  I wrote a small tutorial on cleaning up your Pinterest boards.  I also revisited my post about my one favorite homemaking ideas from the 31 Day Challenge the year before.

As usual my mom left for Arizona after Halloween, and it still is so hard for me.  I feel like I am being robbed of her for 5 months a year… and even though we talk often, it's not the same.  My mother is my best friend.  She is an amazing woman and I am so thankful for the relationship we have cultivated over the last ten years.

November I was able to spend a wee bit of time to create my Christmas Wishlist for the holidays.  I got a couple of the things I asked for.  My birthday is also coming up on Jan 25, so I might get a few more things for then.  I was able to get the embossing gun, a set of new pajamas, a new fairy, and a Xyron sticker maker.   There are a couple new items on my list.  I have found an amazing sewing machine that I want to get.  The reviews for this machine are outstanding and I even saw it quite cheap at Walmart.

Mom agreed to pay for half of my bill so I could buy the Silhouette Cameo and she was purchased and I have to tell you that it has been amazing to have for Christmas.  I made lots of things with it, but have yet to try the vinyl, I am saving that till I can really spend some time with it.  Hopefully the new year will have a few times where I can really sit down and read up on using vinyl and give it a test run.

I started blogging again as I started to feel better.  And here we are, I am still here blogging, and trying to make more of a presence on the blog.  Hopefully with the new year I am going to move the blog to a permanent domain and all that it will entail.

I am looking forward to making a lot of home décor items this year, as well as attempt to make home beauty products, and review them on the blog.  We will see which items work the best and feel the best.

I have a lot of plans for the new year, I do hope that you will come on this journey with me.  It looks like an amazing year ahead.  Now I have to write my goals for 2014,and then I can leave 2013 behind me.

Happy New Year to all of you and I hope the following year provides you with great health, great wealth, and great knowledge.  Love those you love fiercely so they always know how you feel.  Make sure to touch base with your friends this year.  Make time for each other.  And most importantly, take care of your family, love them, teach them, build them up.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Wow what a busy few weeks at 884.  Due to my health I was spending all waking moments focusing on making Christmas presents for the kids.   Our Christmas eve was celebrated quietly at home, just G and myself.  We slipped on our new pajamas and watched Polar Express.  I have never seen that movie before so it was nice to enjoy a cute movie, new pajamas and then to top it off, G let me open my presents on Christmas Eve.

I wasn’t able to get out this year on my own to pick up a present for G for Christmas.  I am getting him a membership with our local photography club.  The yearly fee is only $40 so it's very reasonable.  I really wanted to buy something this year that he would use.  He often gets it in his mind that he wants a new gadget and then once we buy it as a present it doesn’t get used.  So I wanted this year to be different.
They get together on Wednesday nights, once a week.  They offer challenges, day trips and many cool techniques.  If G really enjoys the class and makes an effort to get out and take more pictures I might even consider joining myself.  I am not a photographer.  I stumble just taking pictures with the automated settings.

But the gift that has him super excited is an xbox1.  He would have gone out and bought it already but locally we have none in any of the stores and today is the last day of his mini Christmas vacation.  I'm kind of eager to see all the neat features etc.  I have been wanting to play any of those dancing games for the Kinect.

G bought me an amazing fairy/dragon sculpture.  You can see it in the pictures below. *This is my first attempt at collages with PicMonkey, hopefully with practice I will be able to get better results*   It is extremely detailed and has tons of amazing features that captivate my heart.  This is the biggest fairy I have.  When G and I moved to this new home in October, I absently stated that we would have to get  a bigger fairy to sit on top of my glass fairy cabinet.  He remembered that comment and this is my big gift from G.  He is so amazing and I enjoy that He is my best friend and cares about the small personal comments I make and wish for.








For the last 4 years my family and extended family have started me collecting these fairies.  I have no 'collection' per say.  But I do have the beginnings of a lifetime of love for special pieces like this.  Here are pictures of the few other fairies that live with us at 884.



I was once asked which was my favorite and I honestly couldn’t answer her as they each hold a special place in my heart and the fairies symbolize hope and dreams to me.  I am even going to be building a fairy garden in the flowerbed in the front of the house.  I am unable to pull weeds and look after gardens these days so when I saw the front of our house, that is what I envisioned.  I will be sharing the creation of our fairy garden with you in the next few months.

Wow got sidetracked there LOL.  Back to Christmas.  G also gave me a Xyron sticker maker.  This will definitely help with all my paper crafts.  Paper piecing can be a slow tedious process at times trying to get a small element glued.  This will definitely get used a lot this year.  When I had an at home scrapbook store, I stocked tons of Xyron products.  They are versatile and have always been one of my go to adhesive musts for my craft stash.

When drove over to R and M's apartment around 2 to help out with Christmas dinner.  This is the first big get together they have had since they got their apartment.  It was a pretty decent amount of family and friends.  I think the boys were a bit naïve in the process of completing a family meal like this.  It's a dance really.  Preparing this, heating that, cooking this in the oven, while three pots are about to boil over on the stove type of chaos.  You all know what that is like.  These boys are 22 and they found out that while it is great to have this type of holiday, it takes a lot of work.

The boys and G got together to buy me another present.  So while there I opened my presents, they bought me a game that I have been dying to try since it came out years ago.  The problem was we are xbox people and nobody had a ps3 in the house, and this particular game is machine specific.  I told the boys before they moved into their place that I was going to buy a copy and come over and play on their machine.  Guess they didn’t like that idea….

They bought me the game, and 2 others, as well as a used ps3 cause "we didn’t really want you hanging out on the couch all the time mom" was the silent message passing through the room.  Then we all burst out laughing.  It was a great evening.  We all laughed, and ate till we were ready to burst.  

As usual my tummy got in the way of staying longer.  I will be glad when this operation is over and hopefully get back on the road to recovery instead of always taking these three steps backwards .

This year, I was finally in a festive mood.  Seems Scrooge found another victim this year.  I enjoyed all the family and friend time we got in.  Love was flowing through the holiday wrapping my loved ones in a cozy blanket hug.


I am hoping that each of you had a great holiday.  We have so much to be thankful for this holiday.  I will be writing a post of the year in review soon as well as some of my goals for 2014.  One of the most important goals I have this year, is to get the domain site ready to go live and be a beautiful peaceful place for you to pull up a chair and sit and get to know one other.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Blogtastic Reviews



I am always looking for blogs to read so I am often adding to my super long list of blogs I follow.  While we all find blogs on our travels, I thought I would share two new blogs that I have come upon recently.  I am going to be giving you a small description of what you might find on these blogs.  I am going to try and have this as a new blog feature each week.  I am not sure what day I will be hosting this feature, but will have it figured out by next week.  We can all use more to read and do right?? LOL

I hope that you find something of interest and if you find a blog or two to add to your ever growing list of those you follow, great!  Let me know in the comments if you find something.  Also if you know of a great blog that you would like me to review please email me HERE


A blog written by Randi,a stay at home mom, who lives in Seattle.  She has a great husband and two beautiful children.  She loves being creative and shares many of her amazing crafts with her readers.   She also has a fun quirky humor that is infectious.  Which is one of the reasons I was attracted to her blog.

Randi writes about a bunch of day to day things, and has done a couple of great 31 day series.  She also shares her weekly menu's and has some features she partakes in each week.  She also hosts the Awesome Things Blog Hop on Tuesdays.  She also features some great roundups and giveaways. 

Below are some of my recent favorites over at Sowdering About.  I am sure you will enjoy her site whether new to Randi or not.


The next blog I have found recently that I have been enjoying is Imparting Grace.  Richella describes her life and passions in this blog.  She is married and her children and grown and off on their own.  She has a stunning house that has a soft décor.  This blog does discuss Richella's religious beliefs so if that type of post bothers you then please skip this recommendation.  (As a personal note:  If you let it sway you into not heading over to her blog then you really are missing out).

My favorite posts from Richella:

Dealing with the ugly and the pretty - Great message found in this post.
Decorating My Dining Room - love the bold color choice.
Family Portrait Wall Clock - I think I might borrow this idea


Till next week, I hope you get your blog reading in and enjoy.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Kylara's Favorite Find's Friday

I've been under the weather this week so I thought I would share some of my favorite finds/articles/pins of the week to share with you.  I'm also in the process of getting my blog planner all set up and organized.  I am hoping that having some structure will help me in being able to post on a more regular basis.

I also just wanted to forewarn you that on January 18 I have to have another operation.  This is partly why I have been quiet.  I just don’t get out of bed too often.  I am trying hard to keep up with my blog reading though. 

Here are a few awesome finds from my week in bed.  I am sure that you will be able to find something of interest in this little round up.

The first post I want to talk about I found over on Pinterest.  It is a something very unique and I love finding new ways to use common objects in a new and wonderful way.  This video shows you how to embellish a collared shirt with photo corners. 




Another of my favorite things is adding a bit of 'me' into my style.  The following article teaches you how to turn a regular flat into a bit more dressy version by adding a chain ankle strap.  This is a very easy transformation and one that should not take long as well.   I am looking forward to making a few pairs of these this winter, so I will be ready soon as the weather turns nice again.




While doing a bit of snooping on I Spy DIY I also found other shoe mods that might pique your interest.  It is a great site with many areas to get lost in.  If you haven't been to I Spy DIY grab a coffee and expect to sit awhile as you will find so many things to try yourself.


I don't know if I am sheltered or what, but this is the first time I have seen a yarn bowl.  I found this while spending a few minutes this week on Pinterest.  The original item that I have pinned has been sold so I went to the Etsy shop of RedHotPottery and picked out my favorite.  She has different designs, as well as colors to choose from.  They range in price as well and are quite reasonable.   Click the picture below to be taken to this particular product in the store.



Another interesting thing I found this week was a blog post about some new DIY Digital Magazines.   The blog post about the magazines was found HERE at Chic Steals .  I like all three so was unable to pick a favorite for you LOL.  Like I need more reading material to keep me from doing my housecleaning.

One of my favorite bloggers Elsie and Emma at "A Beautiful Mess" posted this Pom Pom Garland last week.  I love the uniqueness.  It's something you don’t often see and it just warmed my heart up a bit.  I love how classic and romantic it looks. 



I found this awesome kid craft over on Pinterest from Crafts Unleashed.  I love the simplicity of it, and the fact you can get the supplies readily.  I will have to make these "Cinnamon Stick Tree Ornaments" with a friends children next year.  So cute, don't you agree?



And last but not least, one of my favorite quotes.  This is from Marilyn Monroe.  The wall vinyl quote is from the etsy shop of Its Written On The Wall .  She also has some other great products.  You should slip on over there and take a peek at her range of products.



I hope that you have enjoyed some of the amazing things I have gathered and saved this week, to be used in the future.  I hope that you're not too 'crazy' with the holidays coming up.  Remember to spend quality time with your loved ones as that is one of the greatest benefits of the season.


Have you found any great things on your blog/pinterest/surfing adventures?  If you know of something you think should be showcased send me an email HERE

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Bloglovin

Im trying to claim my blog on Bloglovin.  Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Kylara

Friday, 6 December 2013

"This is Homemaker Haven, reminding you to help control the pet population;"

Quote: "This is Bob Barker, reminding you to help control the pet population; have your pets spayed or neutered."

Today I was going to blog about my creative space in the new house.  But I am not prepared with photos and such.  It's never as simple as writing up a blog post.  There are so many other things involved in preparing a post for you guys.

So without further ado, let's talk about my babies.  We have 6 kids between G and I.  He has 2 girls and a boy, and I have 2 boys and a girl.  We are the Brady Bunch lol but mixed with a large amount of Roseanne and Dan.

But when I refer to my babies,  I mean my four legged friends.  Our 'furry' children.  We have had Phoenix for 6 years.  He is a really cool combo of breeds.  Whenever we get asked what he is , we laugh a little before revealing his hilarious DNA.  He is part Corgi (the Queen's dog) and part Husky.  Now just that mash up is hilarious to think of but the best part is the husky  was the mother.  She had to been taking a nap when the little short studly corgi gave it his best shot (no pun intended, really LOL).



We got him from a rescue agency that goes to Moosonee to rescue any of the 'loose' dogs.  Due to massive overpopulation, they have what they call "hunt days".  Any dog they find that is not tied up or contained gets shot.   They have to do something to keep the feral dog population down.  The organization we used, goes up and grabs pups all the time.  Anyway, when we got together with them they brought 4 pups with them out of the litter of 9.  One of them immediately went off exploring our house.  One cowered under a bed almost the whole time they were there, another one was just a bit indifferent, and lastly the one pup, went and snuggled and played with us the whole time they were there.  It was a very easy decision as to which one we would adopt.

Phoenix, is a very special dog.  He is extremely intelligent, and intuitive.  Due to my ailments, he is always super observant of me and stays really close to me on the days that I am very sick.  He truly is my best friend.  He is super gentle in nature.  Every vet we have ever taken him to , falls in love with him.  He is a huge bright light in my sometimes dark days.

Our other dog is a shih tzu that we got from my aunt, who rescued him from a young couple who supposedly was being evicted and not able to keep the dog.  If you noticed the way that sentence ix worded you will understand that that is not what happened.  A few months later, a friend of my aunts, who originally brought the story to my aunt, saw this couple out walking down the road with a brand new pup.  Well I heard they got quite an earful and lecture about their actions.



What I believe happened based on my work with the dog the first few weeks we got him is that he used growling all the time, but I am guessing they let him do or behave the same, due to not disciplining the dog to behave properly.  His growl never frightened us and we quickly turned that behaviour around.  Don't get me wrong, he still growls, but it’s a dog purr that he does when cuddling , he is a strange dog lol.

We have had Smudge now for 3-4 years and he is our comedian in the family.  He just is so wound up all the time and he does before thinking things through.  Like going for a massive leap onto furniture and misjudging the jump and slamming into the couch front with his chest.  He also whips his toys around so hard that he has actually knocked the wind out of himself.  He is a cute but wild dog.  He keeps us on our toes and laughing along the way.

Anyway the reason that I write this post is because today they got fixed.  It has been a long time in the making due to the costs associated with it.  When we lived in Barrie, Ontario, we were quoted $500 per dog to be neutered.  It is ridiculous.  Here we paid less than $500 for both dogs.

They came home all loopy, and with those darn cones on their heads.  They are bumping and getting caught on everything.  They have both been super quiet all night long.  It is so unlike them it's kind of unnerving.

Look how depressing they look LOL  Is it normal to feel a little guilty for putting them through this???


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Deck The ...Halls Doors with a Home-made Wreath



Well I started off this wreath project with another idea completely.  I was planning on making the Christmas candy wreath I saw over on Pinterest HERE.  I tried about 7 times to make this but I was having a huge brain fart and was unable to understand how to tie on the candies so they would look full even after pushing them together.  I was super frustrated and had already promised my son I would be making him a wreath for his new place. 

So after much deliberation I used a small Styrofoam wreath form I had and covered it with Green yarn I had laying around.  To do this I would hot glue to the start of each 3 foot length of yard and place all glued start and endings on one side so the other side is neater and better to use as your 'front'.  Keep doing this till the wreath form was covered.  Please note that when doing this wrap around, that the inner circle is smaller so you will have to push the sections over a bit and there could be some overlapping on the inside.  Try and make sure that the overlapping is not too noticeable. 

Then I went to a few shops in my area to look for small decorations for the wreath.  I found a bunch of supplies that were meant for larger wreathes but I cut everything so it would be better proportional.  I hot glued my center leaves and decorations first as they are the focal point of the wreath.  I also used some of the glittered stems from the leaves as décor for the top of the wreath.  Waste not want not right? LOL

Then I gathered some of my colored craft wire and using the red wire I glued a small glittered red ball to the end and then wrapped the other end around the wreath form, so it would dangle in the middle of the wreath.  I also added one gold ball with gold craft wire to either side of the red ball.

I then looked for some more greenery and found these holy pieces.  They were originally part of a Christmas bell ornament that had these holly glued to the front.  They were super easy to take off and if by chance the red holly berry popped off, its super easy to glue them back on.

I also found some cute small ornament balls that  I attached to a 20 gauge gold wire and inserted into the foam wreath at the bottom. 

The inspiration for this wreath was actually the "Believe" sentiment I found in my crafts.   I painted it gold as they came in silver glitter and that would not work well with the colors I have going on.  Also my  son and his room-mate want mostly red and gold Christmas décor.  Can you imagine 2, 22 year old's, being so specific with their decorating wishes.  LOL I am getting such a kick out of how proud they are over this home and the pieces they put in it.  My boy is finally growing up!  Which is awesome, and a huge stress off my shoulders let me tell ya.

So I waited and waited overnight even, for the gold paint to dry but even after completing all but this step on my wreath.  I finally decided to just use the gold glitter glue on the wet gold paint.  I used Crafts Fine Glitter Glue and a small paintbrush to spread the glue to the edges of my word. 

I am sorry that I didn't take any pictures during this craft but I didn't think it would be such a process LOL.  In all honesty it went quick once I changed my plans and figured out the design. 


Have you ever made a wreath? Have you blogged about it?  Leave me a link in the comments below so I can go drool over your wreaths and others can get inspiration for their wreath making this year.  If you haven't blogged about a wreath but have pictures, please feel free to share them with us also.

Monday, 2 December 2013

OMG its December?!?!?!?

December 2,


Wow where did the last week go?  Seems I have been sleeping for most of the week.

So with my short absence I thought I would post an about me post for you all so you can understand my sometimes abrupt absences here on the blog.

Where to start…

When I was 15 I was hospitalized for a few months while they tried to figure out why I was extremely skinny and having tummy issues.  After 2 months they finally diagnosed me with Crohn's disease and I was operated on the day after.  My surgeon removed 3 1/2 feet of my bowel.  It was pretty rough to go through at such an early age and I was at the time in foster homes and my hospital stay was so long that my 'spot' in my previous home was full and they had to find me another foster home for when I was discharged…so not only was I going through recovery, my life was also disrupted by learning my new place in a new home.

After my surgery I was still sick but not horribly.  It seems like I never went into remission like a lot of the other people with this disease seem to experience.  There were some years where I spent upwards of 3-4 months total in hospital each year.  It was extremely hard to have a 'stable' life.

Well the last few years things have been a bit more rocky with my disease and then last year around the new year, I got extremely ill with a blockage.  As the surgeon came in daily for updates on my condition, G and I discussed the opportunity of having an ileostomy to see if that would help me out.  We agreed to try a temporary loop ileostomy to see how my life changed and if it was for the worst or better.

The day after my surgery I went into renal failure.  I don't think I have ever been that sick and if I have I have forgotten it.  I was for sure it was the end of my journey.  But with the grace of a higher power, I made it through and while I am still struggling with my disease, I personally feel that the ileostomy has some cons, but they in no way come close to the pros of this operation to my daily life.

Not only do I suffer from Crohn's disease but I also suffer from Fibromyalgia.  This disease is very hard to understand and I often use the "Spoon Theory" , click HERE to read what that is, to explain to people how my life is played out.  Just to clarify, this theory was initially written about lupus which is in some way quite like Fibro.  It is actually misdiagnosed often.

A few weeks ago I started to get more pain in the site of my ostomy.  Also my tummy started to extend a bit which caused us some concern.  Well it appears that I might have what is called a parastomal hernia.  I have a CT scan scheduled for this week on the 5th.  If I do in fact have this hernia, it will probably require more surgery to fix the issue.

So during the last week I have been exhausted.  So exhausted that I have slept pretty much for the last 50 hours.  I am forcing myself to get up today and get a few things done before my PSW shows up today which should be in the next 1-2 hours.

I hoping to be able to complete my first set of 6 Christmas cards today.  I also would love to be able to finish R's Christmas wreath I have started. 


Well this was just a short peek into my life and I hope that it helps you to understand my absences.  It is by no means me forgetting about the blog but I need my spoons for other things.

I hope that everyone is enjoying this amazing month and spending time with family and loved ones.  Are you making homemade DIY gifts this year?  If so I would love to hear and see what your making for your loved ones this month.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

To & From Holiday Guide 2013

As I was doing my normal morning routine which consists of checking emails, playing my favourite Facebook games (Bingo Blitz, Royal Story and Hidden Shadows), and reading a few blogs, I came across a fabulous gift guide.

I wasn't scheduled to make a blog post today but I had never heard of this gift guide before and I love it and want to make sure that as many people as possible get a chance to see this.  I grabbed it from a post on House Tweaking called "To and From Holiday Gift Guide".



It gave the link to the guide itself which you can find HERE.

Some of my favourite picks are:

Peacock and Ice Custom Agenda - Page 8
Netflix Annual Subscription - Page 22
Ouch First Aid Kit - Page 25
Cuyana Low Back Tunic - Page 27
Single Hammock Chair - Page 30
Doorbot - Page 52
Xbox 1 - Page 55
Gem Magnets - Page 207
Target Deer Head - Page 211


What would be your favourite picks this year from the magazine?  Go take a peak and let us know which are your favourites in the comments below.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies



I must admit that this article started out with just your best of Christmas cookies till I found a gluten free one and this idea blossomed.  I do feel bad that a lot of the time those with Celiac end up missing out on holidays and goodies due to their very limited diet.  To bring a bit of holiday spirit to those suffering this holiday I bring you the following post.

We found out this year that one of G's kids has Celiac disease.  If you have never heard of this or don’t really understand what this disease entails I will leave a few links below for you to check out.


Normally my plan each year is to make Christmas cookies to give the kids each year but my health has always stood in the way.  This year since I am feeling much better, I would love to make cookies but time and the holiday uproar may make this impossible.

So I am going to make a small recipe book for her with some of the best gluten free Christmas cookies recipes.  Below are some of the more traditional cookie recipes I found.


 1. Molasses Spice Cookies - Recipe from Celiac.com



2. Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies - Recipe from LynnsKitchenAdventures.com


3. Snickerdoodles - Recipe from BettyCrocker.com


4. Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Icebox Shortbread - Cookitallergyfree.com


5. Gingersnaps - Recipe from Gutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca


6. Coconut Macaroons - Recipes from Theprimalist.com


7,  Chocolate Snowballs - Recipe From Themommybowl.com


8.  Peanut Butter and Jelly - Recipe From elanaspantry.com


9.  Chocolate Crinkles - Recipe from heythattastesgood.com


10.  Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies - Recipe from glutenfreeonashoestring.com



Do you know someone with Celiac?  Remember that a lot of people these days have dietary restrictions.  I hope that this round up will help you to include them this holiday.  If you try any of these recipes I would love to hear how they went and your critiques. 


Saturday, 23 November 2013

I'm making my list, and checking it twice...

November 23,



Today I figured I would get my Christmas list done!  Such hard work really LOL .  Usually we have been unable to have the traditional holiday due to finances, and it's virtually impossible to get all the kids under one roof. 

But this year is a special year for me.  I am here to enjoy this year, and even though there may not be tons of presents, or tons of people, I want us to have a brilliant day in our own way.  I also want to start some holiday traditions that we will be able to teach the grandkids to do one day.

One of my favorite posts that I saw last year was about a Christmas Eve Tradition.  Now please remember that the 'kids' are between 14-26 so no little ones around but I think this year we will do this with G and then as kids get married and have little ones, we can just add them to the traditional festivities.  Here is the link to the article I found at MomFab Fun 

First thing I want is an embossing gun. I found it at Walmart .  Of course then I need embossing ink and powders to go with it lol.



Next thing I am hoping to get is an envelope punch board.  This device is used to create envelopes at home with any paper.  Another gift that can be found at Walmart.



While surfing around Walmart's craft section I also found a Pink Die Cutter Tool Kit and Case.  This will go perfectly to aid in my vinyl work. 


Another crafty Item that looks interesting is the Silhouette Sketch Pens 24 Pack.  So far you only  need to hit one store to get all my goodies lol.


Any Glitter packs as I have none at the moment. 



I want Pajamas this year!

As usual I hope I get one fairy.  G has got me at least one of these every year.  I love them and have a special glass case they are kept in.  I have no preference as to which one, as long as I don’t have it already.

I have a broken PC Monitor that needs to be fixed.

I need a new external drive since both of mine are no longer working.  Would love to get the information off them too as a gift.

Gift Cards at Lens Mill Store, Dollarama, and Walmart would be easy options too.

And last but not least, I would love to have a shelf built 1 1/2 foot from ceiling on 3 of my 4 bedroom walls for storage and magazines.


Well I am too tired to keep this list going lol so will stop for now.  Have you all thought about what you would like this year?  If you could get one thing (make it affordable lol) this year, what do you want most?  Have you made your list?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas came early at 884 this year!!!!

Geez it seems like every time I want to delve back into this blog something comes up.  But I want you all to know that I am around and thinking about posts all the time. 

I am going to try and come around a few times a week, instead of trying the impossible (at this time), once a day.  I have a lot of projects that I have started around the new house and massive plans for the next year. 

I do have some awesome news.  I finally, after years of coveting this amazing techie toy, I was able to get one!  I am now the proud owner of a Silhouette Cameo and if you are not sure what this is… please click HERE to be taken to the product page so you can see what this machine is capable of.   On the right side of the page there is a blue box, that says "What can you make?".  Clicking on the links below it will give you an overview of this beast :)



I have had the product since last Thursday and have been playing around with it a bit and Friday I made my first Christmas card in years.  I am going to try and get a tut together for all of you who enjoy making home-made cards for family and friends.

Now as much fun as it is to make cards and the like, there is another project that I can do with the Cameo to help make some extra cash around here.  I am going to be making some custom vinyl sayings and monograms.  I am really looking forward to playing around with this Cameo as there are so many wonderful things to make.

We are still unpacking and trying to figure where to put everything.  G is making shelves in the garage to help keep my craft supplies all neat and organized.  I am going to be putting some ideas I have for my craft area together soon for a post, so be on the watch for that. 

After we get most of the boxes unpacked and stored, then comes the decorating.  I am really looking forward to that stage as I have never truly decorated before.  I always had hand me down furniture (which is not a bad thing, but I would take things as long as they were needed), without care for how it 'fit' with the rest of the room.  So with that big project I am quite excited and am hoping to focus on one room at a time till it is done how I envision.  It could honestly be a long time till things are done to my taste but that is ok.  The fun is in the process in my eyes.

The weather has definitely changed here in south western Ontario.  It is cold and windy, with snow here and there mixed with nasty rain.  I hate the 'dark' days of winter.  It can get so daunting and depressive.  How are you planning on bringing some sunshine into your life this winter?

The Christmas season is fast approaching and with it, my brain is in overdrive with many projects I want to make and give as gifts this year.  I have started on a few of them so far and hope to be able to finish and share them with you in the weeks ahead.

I will also be trying my hand at making 'home-made' beauty products to give to the young ladies, for H, N, and M this year.  I also have some goodies in mind for the guys this year also, R has just moved into an apartment with his friend M, so they are needing things for around the house, and I will probably be making C the same as R and M, and not real sure what to do for W this year. 


What can you make for a 14 year old boy?  If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please leave me a comment below.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Recipe Review

A few weeks ago I went searching into my recipe boards on Pinterest in search of a quick and easy supper I could make that wouldn't have much prep involved and I came across a recipe for French Dip Sandwich's.



The recipe consisted of the roast, beef broth, and buns.  You place the roast and broth in crock-pot for 5-7 hours on high or 8-11 hours on slow.  Gregg and I both felt it was too bland and so I would suggest adding 1-2 packages of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and any other flavouring you like with your roast.  The roast was nice and tender and with the addition of the Onion Soup and a thickening agent ( I used cornstarch), to give the 'au jus' a bit more consistency.

I would love to hear other versions of your favourite Beef Au Jus recipes.  We love having this type of comfort food in our house and we would love to try out any you suggest, so please leave a comment below with your recipe.




Thursday, 24 October 2013

What I have been busy doing..

Well, it's been a "few" days since my last blog post, so let me fill you all in.

A few months ago our landlord gave us 2 days notice that she was putting our home up for sale.  We were very shocked but our home was not in shape for a showing due to me being pretty much bed bound for the last few years.  It wasn't dirty, but cluttered.

I started working on the house right away but could only do an hour or two at most a day.  Well then my landlord accused us of trying to sabotage the sale of her house.  Geez.

Unfriendly words were spoken by both of us and I was emotionally drained after a full day of this so I finally told her to evict us and she said she would and I hung up.

I wasn't very worried about the eviction because I knew she had no grounds.  We were not and have never been in arrears and we had not damaged the home.  I also had an ace up my sleeve.  That was my five year lease of which I still had 2 years to go.  Seems she forgot about that and realized she was going to have a hard time selling this house that the tenants still had 2 years left on the lease.

Thank god she asked us for a 5 year lease, LOL, that kind of back fired on her.  Now she had to disclose this to each potential buyer.  So she called and asked if we could get together to talk.

She said that we could buy the place ourselves (there is no way I would ever buy this house), or move out and she would pay our first and last at the new house and our moving truck and the use of 2 guys to do the lifting as neither Gregg nor I should be lifting things.

Gregg and I talked about it and realized this might be our opportunity to find a home more suitable for me. A ranch or bungalow so I wouldn't need to go up and down stairs any more.

We immediately set out looking for a new home.  We looked at 3 houses within days of having this conversation with our landlord.

One was really small, one was older but the basement smelt damp and mildewy.  And a fully redone century home.



The last one, the redone century home, was really beautifully renovated.  It had the original hardwood floors, sanded and re-finished in a dark chocolate stain.  All brand new windows, new tile in kitchen, landing and bathroom.  


It had a 1 1/2 -2 car insulated garage, which of course Gregg loved.  He can't wait to get his tools all set up so he can do things he used to enjoy.


A huge backyard that was mostly fenced in.  Directly behind our property is a park so we didn't have to worry about neighbours behind us. The house was basically perfect except one very huge issue that made us actually turn down the house.

This house was a 3 bedroom (we only needed a 2 bedroom), but the third bedroom was only suitable for a nursery or office really.  And the kitchen was so tiny you couldn't even put a dining room table of any sort in there.

It was an extremely hard decision to turn it down and we took all weekend to finalize that decision.

Monday morning I got an email from the owner's asking us if we had made a decision and Gregg emailed him back with an explanation as  to why we were turning it down.

Not 30 minutes later we received a reply back that made me scream and clap my hands.  The owner's had been trying to decide whether or not to open up the one wall in the kitchen into that small useless bedroom.

We called them and agreed to take it with the new plans.

The only drawback now was we had 15 days to pack and move.

So, we have moved to what will now be referred to as "884".  We have the other place till Oct. 31 and have gotten all our belongings out with the amazing help of my oldest son and his room-mate.  They have done all the lifting and if it wasn't for those two I don't know what we would have done.   Gregg's son even came down to help us one day.  Now I just have to clean it and say goodbye.

And just because I have to vent, my ex-landlord reneged on the deal and hasn't given us a cent.  We definitely didn't have the money right now to move but we couldn't risk losing this bungalow as they are rarely available to rent in my town.

I am slowly unpacking and getting things done in the new place but I will have some progressive photos as we continue to settle in.


Monday, 23 September 2013

Tried and True - I have used it for a year

Last year I participated in the 31 Days challenge over at The Nester.  I had a lot of fun gathering information for everyone and I even tried a few things myself.  But I have to admit there is only one thing that I tried myself last year that I am still using today.

Can you guess which one it might be?

If you have read the series you will see that there are a lot of neat DIY 'recipes' posted and billions more online for you to find but I wanted to update you on the one thing I use and will never stop using.  It's the DIY Dryer Sheets Method 1.  I went to the local thrift store and bought a couple of baby receiving blankets and cut them up to use as my dryer sheets.



We have only purchased ONE bottle of Fabric Softener in a year and we still have lots left.  I personally use one home made sheet for 20 washes and then re-soak and use again.  The only thing we found to be a negative was that when my son would do laundry, he would always take my dryer sheet home with him, and we would never see it again lol.  So now we don't let him use them LOL .  See only one negative and I fixed it.


Here is my latest load with the dryer sheet.  It looks dirty but remember that it is used about 20 times and then washed and we do the whole process over again.


Have any of you tried this?  If so what did you think and are you still using it?  It saves us  tons of money each year.  If you have not tried this yet, please do, it really does work, we never have static cling and like I said we do use each 'sheet' approximately 20 times before moving onto the next one.  


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Saturdays Recipe Round-up

I'm going to try and do a feature post on the weekends where I share interesting recipes that I have found on-line that week.  I also am hoping to prepare one of the previous weeks recipes and give you my review for that recipe and what it was hit or a miss. 

I want to try and do some of the things that I lovingly pin each week.  So for this week's recipe round-up please see below and if you decide to try one of the recipes featured each week I would love for you to come back and let us know what you thought about the recipe, anything you found difficult or would change/add, and its level of difficulty.

Do you know of a good recipe that you think should be showcased, please click the link below to email me the link to the recipe and I will try and get up some from those sent in each week.

So let's begin our very first feature here at Homemaker Haven.  I hope you will enjoy this feature, if you do please leave a comment and let me know if this is something you wish to see continue.


Yum! I wonder which recipe I will choose to make this week.  So many possibilities and so little time.

 

And last but not least, here is the recipe that I am  going to trying to make this week.  With October coming up upon us I decided to try out these amazing looking Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  Just click the picture to be taken directly to the recipe. 

I do hope that someone will join me and make one of this week's recipes and leave a review in the comments below.  Happy Cooking!