Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #60

Every once in a while I think of a fun activity for Catie and this one was a real winner.  I gave her a little bit of rice and a bunch of different containers and some measuring spoons to pour and scoop.  It was really messy but so much fun that it occupied her for at least 45 minutes.

I think this was right before bedtime.

This picture doesn't do the dress justice.  My sister-in-law made 5 dresses for all the girl cousins and 4 matching vests for the boy cousins.  They all wore their outfits to a Christmas Party, they made such a cute, easy to find group.

We recently took a trip to Ikea and Catie was thrilled with the beds to climb on.

She also loved this cute little chair.

Playing with Daddy.  He pretended to sleep so she could say "boo" and wake him up.

And to finish it off, one crummy but cute iPhone photo.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Noah's Ark Quiet Book

Since I posted my Quiet Book Templates I've had a couple people ask me to make them their own and normally I turn them down flat because they're such a ridiculous amount of work.  But when Jan asked me to make her one I was feeling especially poor so I agreed.  Once we got down to specifics I was even happier to make a book, she only wanted the Noah's Ark page.  The finished book is super cute and hopefully Jan loves it.

The cover page with a cute vintage button.

You open up the cover and see a title page (cutting these letters out were a pain, it made me wish I had a Silouette).

Flip open the next page and you have a landscape scene that will have velcro dots for all the animals, I'm just having a hard time finding some.

The next page includes the ark with a pocket to slip in the animals.

The animals.  I blanket stitched them all and hand sewed everything using cute little black beads for the yes.

One more photo of the animals.

The back cover looks the same as the front.

There it is, a Noah's Ark quiet book.  I shipped it off, hopefully she'll actually get it before Christmas.

If you want to see the rest of my Quiet Book pages then take a look here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sarah Slean - Land and Sea

I don't listen to the radio in the car very often but lately my music selection seemed slightly stale so I switched to the radio and I'm just surprised at the really poor quality of music that's popular.  It seems that every song is filled with dance club, synthesized beats so that they all sound the same.  The lyrics can't even begin to be called poetic or intelligent, also is it just me or do they only play the same 10 songs?

This crummy radio selection only proves the quality of real artists, like my favourite, Sarah Slean.  I've mentioned her many times on my blog but not recently and since then I have lots of new US readers.  I figured most of you are unaware of this Canadian gem.

Her music is sometimes quirky but always so musical and beautiful.  The lyrics are heartfelt and intelligent and to see her in concert is really something.  Brad and I recently had that opportunity.  She came and played and we were once again awed by her brilliance.

She has a new album out that everyone should listen too, it's a perfect mix of slow and fast and I thought I'd link to a couple songs for you.

She recently did a series for CBC with an orchestra and performed some of the songs from the new album, this was my favourite.


Land & Sea would make a great Christmas present so listen to these songs, be inspired and then purchase the album.  There are tons of her songs on youtube so if you need more convincing check some of them out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #60

Allright, I'm aware that these pictures are getting worse but she really does dislike having her picture taken.  It's getting more and more difficult to take a decent photo.  Also, it gets dark so ridiculously early these days.

It's hard to tell but this sweater is so cute.  It has serious pink ruffles that are adorable.

She loves her hat.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MyMemoriesSuite Giveaway Winner

Guess what I forgot to do yesterday, pick a winner for MyMemoriesSuite Giveaway.

It appears this isn't something very many of my readers are interested in so ladies, the odds were in your favour.  I had five whole entries :)

I went old school and wrote your names down on pieces of paper (sometimes twice, depending on how you entered) and then I mixed them up and pulled one out.

JoDana, you won!
Send me an email and I'll give you instructions on how to download the software.

If you didn't win don't forget about my discount code to get you $10 off.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Black & Blue Quilled S

I'm embarrassed by this project.  I started making it at least 3 months ago and it's taken me this long to finish.  I would see it sitting there and just push it aside.  To make things worse it's not even a project for me, it's a gift for a friend (a very belated gift).  This two weeks of posting commitment was a great motivator, I needed a post for today and it was the project closest to completion so I pulled out the mod podge and finished.

My friend Janine asked me to make her an S and since I hadn't made it to her wedding I said I'd love to make it as a gift.  She said she wanted blues and black so went out and found this awesome blue frame and some pretty paper.
I had planned on using some damask paper to frame the letter but it just wasn't quite right so I went with the colour stripes on the side and I love them.

This is the second S I've done and because of the swoops in the letter they're kind of a challenge.  It's easy to lose the shape of the letter.  I'm really happy with how it turned out though.

If you want to take a look at the other quilling I've done go here to see.

(By the way, the glass proved very reflective making for sort of crappy photos, it's real pretty in person.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #59

I didn't realize just how few pictures I'd taken this week until it was time to get this post ready, sorry but this week has included a lot of potty training and I can only take so many pictures that look like this.

I hadn't planned on using this picture at all (she'll love me for it later hey?) but there were just so few I figured I'd better.

Dancing with Daddy

Look at that sad red nose, she's had a cold this week with also contributed to the lack of pictures.  

She sneezes and then runs to the box of Kleenex, grabs one and brings it to me so I can wipe her nose.  She was in the bath one morning and I'd gone to the other room for a minute.  She sneezed and then repeated, "tissue, tissue, tissue" until I got back.  It'd be much cuter if her nose wasn't so raw and painful.

A do have a video to add but it's not from this past week, it's from when I was in Utah.  Grandma taught her the crocodile song and she loves it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More About Me

So I promised two full weeks of posts and already I've run out.  I have some good stuff coming I've just been so lazy doing a little here and a little there so nothing actually gets finished.  A promise is a promise though so how about a little about me.  I saw this getting to know you on A Girl and A Glue Gun and it'll have to do for today.

  1. 1. Be Rich or Famous? Rich.  I'm not the type who likes to be the center of attention but I sure would like to shop and vacation and give amazing gifts to friends, definitely rich.
  2. Have an amazing Shoe collection or an amazing Makeup collection? Makeup.  Nothing makes me feel more fat than shoe shopping.  I have very large feet and shoes never fit so I put it off as long as possible.  I also tend to buy shoes that end up being painful, I'm really terrible at shoe shopping.  I love make-up though and I love to add new products to my Make-up Board.
  3. Be able to Sing or be able to Dance?  I know it's cheating but I'd really love to do both.  I watch So You Think You Can Dance and it's inspiring and I'd love to be able to do that but I have two left feet.  I really love to sing and in my imagination I'm amazing, in real life I'm barely average but it's something I'd love to be better at.
  4. Receive a bouquet of Flowers or a box of Chocolates?  Normally I'd jump at chocolates because they're way better than flowers but since I'm trying to lose weight I'd go with flowers.  I do love getting flowers.
  5. Go without Brushing your teeth for a year or go without Washing your hair for a year?  I recently had a conversation with my brother-in-law about an article he read that stated that washing your hair was unnecessary and without any added product it will take care of itself.  The oils will eventually regulate and it won't be gross but your teeth will not do the same thing so I'll brush my teeth every day thanks.
  6.  Drink Coffee or Tea? Neither. I can't bear to drink my calories.  I have very few allotted to me these days and a hundred here or there is a big deal, I'll stick to water thanks.
  7.  Converse or Stilettos? Converse but if I was shorter and skinnier I'd rock the heels. 
  8. Be a Fairy or a Mermaid? Easy, mermaid.  I've always loved to swim.  In the summer when I was younger I'd go to the pool multiple times a day.  My exercise of choice is swimming laps and I could spend hours in the water.  It's the only form of sports I've ever excelled at and to be able to spend hours underwater would be a dream.
  9. Have your dream House or your dream Car? House.  I spend a whole lot more time in my house than I do my car.
  10. Ask or Answer? Answer. I'm not the type that makes friends really quickly, I don't get how others do it so when I'm in a situation where I'm a little uncomfortable I tend to talk about myself a lot, it's easier.
  11. Laugh or Smile? I guess smile?  This is a strange one, how do you laugh without smiling?
  12. Would you rather skip Christmas or skip your Birthday? Birthday.  Your birthday is just one day but Christmas seems to be the whole month with friends and family.  If birthdays were no more though I'd need to start having Christmas Cake, I really like cake.
  13. See a movie at the Theater or at Home? Depends on the type of movie.  If it's a comedy or love story then I can watch it at home and be far more comfortable but if it's a big action movie I like the big screen and the big sound.  I also have a serious love of theater popcorn and could eat a shameful amount.
  14. Spend or Save? That's a tough one too, I think I'm pretty good at saving and living within our means but I love to shop and buy treats.  If I had the money I'd definitely be a spender but right now we're in save mode.
  15. Have a picnic at the Park or on the Beach? Here's something you probably didn't know about me, I really dislike eating outside. There's the bugs to deal with and there's wind that blows the hair into the food and the napkins off the table.  A picnic is slightly better because of the family experience but not much.  That said I'd choose a picnic table, tall trees and grass over hot sun, towels, beach chairs and sand.
So there you go, a little more about me.  Hope it was informative, hope there's something better to offer on Thursday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yummy Salad

Sometimes you manage to do something right in the kitchen and this salad is definitely right.

We've named it, That Yummy salad and we can't quite get enough of it.  If it's a side to the meal it steals the show, if it's the main course seconds are necessary.  It's a salad so it's really easy and I figured it was time for me to share it with all of you.

First up, your ingredients.  Some green leaf lettuce (hopefully less sad than mine was), crumbled feta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese (not that crappy powdered stuff, you need some good parmigiano reggiano), craisins, poppyseed dressing and some toasted pecans.  For this salad I went the extra mile and candied the pecans. I knew they would be good and I knew they'd make the salad better but I had no idea how salad changing they would be.  I'm not sure I'd make the salad without them now.  I used this recipe to candy them and I highly recommend it.

We ate this for dinner and since it was just Brad and I eating I ended up using half of all the ingredients you see below.  If you used the full amount it would make a salad big enough for 4.  So the key to this salad is lots of toppings and just a little dressing.  Be liberal with the toppings and show restraint with the dressing, just a light coating is all you need.  As you can see in picture number 4 it barely looks dressed but trust me when I say it's plenty.  

I served this with homemade bread sticks and it was a delicious meal.  If you wanted you could add some chicken to the salad but we don't usually think it's necessary.

So go ahead, make your own Yummy Salad.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Allright, lets talk about something different today, something we don't normally talk about.

I went to get my drivers licence renewed in August and they took the new photo, showed it to me and all I could think was, "Really?  My face is that round?  Really?"  I decided it was finally time to do something about how much I weigh.  My new resolve was enough to motivate my sister-in-law and then her husband until eventually a three couple, family weight loss competition started.  A two month long competition to see who can lose the most.

The point of this story is to tell you about this amazing free app my sister-in-law found.  It's available for both iPod and Android and it's called MyFitnessPal.  It's a calorie counter that has a huge food data base so it's super easy to keep track of everything.  You can scan bar codes to help you add your foods, you can add recipes and search through foods others have added.  You add in your meals, snacks and any exercise you do and it keeps track of everything for you.  There are weight loss charts and you can record your measurements.

Here's a screen shot of one of my days.

If you could continue to scan down the screen it would show you the swimming I'd done for exercise and the snacks I'd eaten.  You can also follow your friends and see how their progress is going.

I won't tell you how much weight I've lost because that's against our competition but I'm doing well and it's really all because of this app.  So if you're wanting to lose weight why not start now and lose with me.  Become my friend and we'll follow each other, motivate each other.  Simply download the app and on the friends screen enter my email address (

I thought I would periodically update you on my progress so stay tuned for that and if you decide to join me, good luck.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MyMemoriesSuite Giveaway

*Update - thanks for entering, I picked a winner already but I'm glad you came to check out the giveaway*

Guys, the craziest thing happened.  Someone contacted me and wanted to do a sponsored giveaway.
It's a company called MyMemoriesSuite and they're all about digital scrapbooking.  Here's the downside though, I've never been into digital scrapbooking and I just couldn't see myself doing this program justice.  I didn't want to turn down such a fun opportunity though and it didn't take me very long to think of my friend JaCobi who happens to love digital scrapbooking.  I asked her if she was interested in guest posting and she immediately said yes.

MyMemoriesSuite provided me with a copy of their software which I passed on to JaCobi for her to play with.  So without further ado, here's JaCobi and her review (make sure you read to the very bottom where there's a treat for you).

Hi there!!  I'm JaCobi and I blog over at Changed For Good.  I'm super excited to be visiting here at Laura Thoughts today and sharing my digital craftyness with you! As some of you may know, I've been into digital scrapbooking for a few years now.  I started by downloading the GIMP (an image manipulation software) and then teaching myself how to use it to scrapbook.  This was not an easy task, as this software is not very user friendly.  But I learned to do what I needed to and have made a ton of scrapbook pages and some other crafty stuff with it. But, recently I got a new digital scrapbooking software!  I was so excited to get MyMemorySuite and to try it out!  The first thing I noticed is how user friendly it is!  It has a convenient side bar menu that makes it quick and easy to add or change anything to your page, whether you want a background paper, a photo, embellishments, or text!
The next thing I noticed is that although there are papers and embellishments that come with the software,  I can still use all of the kits and embellishments that I already have!  This is a great feature, because I have been collecting papers and kits and stuff for years and would not be happy if I couldn't use it still.  But I can!  I can find all of my files and add them through the Resource Gallery menu on the left.  All I have to do is look through my files, then just drag and drop elements onto my page.  As easy as that!
Another thing that I love about MyMemorySuite is all of the ways to share a project.
  • You can print at home or export to JPEG, which I usually do to post my projects on my blog or facebook, or to have them printed at Costco or Walmart.  
  • There is a Professional Printing option.  You can upload your album right from the program to the MyMemory website to have it printed and bound as a book or calendar.
  • And then there are the Multimedia Output options.  You can save your album as an Interactive Album, Movie, I-Pod Ready or DVD-Video files. 
I guess I need to explain some of the other cool features before I explain the multimedia output options.  MyMemorySuite allows you to add music or narration to your album.  So maybe there is a story that goes along with your pictures, but it needs to be heard, and not just read.  Now you can actually narrate your album, telling the story how you want it! You can also add video or audio clips, files, website links and links to another page of your album.  If you share the album as an interactive album on a CD then your audience can actually click your hotspots to play videos, or open websites or files.  I love that this scrapbooking software is not limiting, but allows me to do even more than I thought possible with my photo albums! I used these great features to make a Wedding Album.  I was able to add one of our songs as background music and then I added video clips from our reception program.  With all of the video, the album is too big a file to post online and keep the quality, so I ended up cutting out the video so you could just see the wedding album.  I also realized that no one else probably wanted to see our wedding reception program anyway!  So here's just the Wedding Photo Album, set to our wedding song, JALS by Colors.
Some of the other features I love:
  • you can just drag and drop photos into photo boxes
  • you can rotate text or set it around a circle or square
  • you can quickly and easily add a mat or shadow to any photo or element
A couple things that I haven't figured out how to do yet (or maybe I can't do them at all) with MyMemorySuite:
  • change the color of any element
  • use page templates from other sources (the program has it's own, but I can't figure out how to use ones that I already have)
  • how to change the size of the grid to help line things up more precisely
But the features definitely outweigh the limitations for me!  
Now check out some of the other projects I have made with MyMemorySuite digital scrapbooking software:
I made this page completely from scratch
Created with a kit by Connie Prince
Here's my new To Do list!  Check out this post to see other To Do lists that I've made
Created with a kit by Captivated Visions
Here's an album that I made using a pre-made pages that came with the software.  All I did was add pictures and titles
I hope you all have as much fun as I did playing with MyMemorySuite!  I'm so glad I could come visit LauraThoughts and all of you, her awesome followers!  Thanks for letting me come on by!

Thanks JaCobi, now the fun part for you.  Not only did My Memories Suite give JaCobi a copy of their software but they want to give one to a lucky reader.  All you need to do to enter the giveaway is visit MyMemoriesSuite website and then leave me a comment telling me about your favourite product.  Whether it be a scrapbook kit, a template or a theme, doesn't matter just tell me something you love.  I'll give you a second entry if you go to JaCobi's site and tell her how awesome she is (you'll need to comment here telling me you've done so).  I'll run the giveaway for a week and then pick a random winner.

Because they're so awesome they've also given me a discount code to pass on to you.  This code will get you $10 of the price of the software ($40) or $10 to the store.  Just copy this code, STMMMS87059, and paste it at checkout.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #58

This week is full of lots of new clothes from our trip to Utah so this was a fun photo week.  The boots I got at Superstore the other day are the icing on top.

We play a lot of tea party at our house with loud pretend slurping and tea cups full of pennies.

I tamed her hair a little and she chose this spot to watch a movie.

Mom and I found this set at T.J. Maxx and we just couldn't resist.  We first saw the classy black coat (great photo hey?)
And then we turned it around to see the dress that came with it.  There was no way we could leave without it.
I love the pink ruffly sweater, those are some serious ruffles hey?  And could you just die over those boots.

If you're going to have gorgeous, tall, faux suede boots you'd better have some skinny jeans to go with them.  I sure wish I dressed as cute as she does.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I've mentioned before that we recently moved and this house has something I've never had before, a fireplace with a mantel.  I feel like I just became a real blogger and now I have to show my seasonal mantel decorations.  You probably can't actually expect to see many seasonal changes since I'm not a big decorator.

We've been here for a month now and so far the only thing on my mantel was an orange bucket that holds Catie's pirate gold while it's not being played with.  I wanted something up there but couldn't bear to spend much money.  While I was in Utah we stopped in at the Tai Pan Trading Company.  That place is awesome and full of really reasonably priced home decor items.  There were lots of things that I wanted but I was responsible and only bought one thing, a carved bird.

I decided to find a cute print to go with it.  Now the frame isn't awesome and the easel is really special but until I get a better frame it'll do.

I figured I'd change out the print for different seasons.  I found this print at eighteen25 and you can download it in a bunch of different colours.

So it's not much but it's better than it was before and it's a start.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cape for a Queen

Allright so I mentioned in my Halloween post that Annie wasn't my first choice of costumes for Catie.  My first choice was to make her a Queen, using this photo for inspiration.
Cute hey?

I was going to borrow a pretty dress and then make the cape, crown and sash.  This is as far as we got.

I started with the crown and used this tutorial where you just coat some lace in mod podge a bunch of times until it's stiff enough and then sew the ends together.  In the tutorial she paints hers gold but I skipped that.  I did add a bunch of pretty glitter though.  Next time I would use a thinner lace, mine may have been a bit much.

Then I made the cape.  I really liked this one because it had a collar so it was my inspiration.

I basically took a rectangle of satin and added a couple pleats in the back, sewed on a collar and attached a hook and eye.  I hemmed the raw edges and added some jumbo ric rac and it was done.  Easy and pretty, if only she would keep them on.  We didn't even get to the sash and pretty dress stage.

She sure looks cute though and I figure in a couple months she'll be ready for dress up and she'll use them then.