Month in Review - April 2010

Here's our April in Review! (I cannot believe it's over- this month went fast for me!)

1. Vanessa & Joe's Engagement Photos
2. The Now & Forever frame was added to our living room collage
3. Talia got a new bike!
4. Bunny Bubbles
5. Love Letter Books
6. Homemade Cheesecake
7. Finger Puppets
8. Printable Easter Egg Game
9. Shirt Dress
10. True meaning of Easter Egg Hunt
11. Rainbow Cupcakes
12. Baby Terrah was born & her Mommy's maternity photos

I also posted blogging tutorials on How to Write Beside a Photo and Placing 2 Photos Beside Each Other.

Rainbow Cupcakes

I've seen rainbow cakes online in several places, and it's really simple to do! We did it a while ago, but I'm finally catching up on some blogging now, so looking at these pictures again has me really wishing we still had more of these ;)

Here's how you do it:

1. Get some gel food colouring
2. Get some white cake mix
3. make the cake mix like the box instructs
4. separate the batter into smaller bowls (one for each colour)
5. mix the food colouring in (Talia loved this part)
6. pour the batter into the pan, layering the colours
7. bake & voila!

I've seen this done with cheesecake, too- I would love to get my hands on some of that! (I'm not quite ready to bake more cheesecake... it was kind of a lot of work! ;) But doing the white cake from a box method is really easy & definitely pleases my kids :) If you want you can add some rainbow frosting or something like that- we did white with rainbow sprinkles :)

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Homemade Cheesecake

I am kind of in love with cheesecake. Good cheesecake. And I like to bake. But I had never made homemade cheesecake! I even have a set of springform pans that my mother in law gave me one year, that were still sitting on a shelf, unused. It was really a shame. I guess I didn't want to try making it & have it fail.

Then one day I found a post about mastering the art of cheesecake on How Does She, and have been dying to try it ever since.

I finally did it a couple of weeks ago & it turned out wonderfully! I was so happy with it! So, if you're like me, waiting for the perfect time to try baking cheesecake, or if you've already tried & been disappointed, I encourage you to check out the excellent tutorial over at How Does She, and give it another try! Doesn't it look delicious? (I admit it, I ate 90% of this cheesecake myself). No, I am not exaggerating- ask Ken.

Upcoming Review

I recently found out about a website called CSN stores which has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from bar furniture to briefcases, toys to home decor, cookware to cribs, and tons more! (Seriously, you could spend a lot of time on their website, checking everything out... I did ;)

I'm excited to have been contacted by them and given the opportunity to do a product review for them soon! Watch for that post if you want to see what the product is and hear about how it went- we're excited to tell you about it! :)

Please Note: My mom was shocked that I linked to bar furniture in this post, so let me clarify something. I don't drink! It's actually against my beliefs & part of my religion, not to drink. I do, however, love some of the products in the bar furniture section of this website- like their counter-height table sets (if I didn't already have a kitchen table set, and if I weren't concerned about my little monkey Katrina climbing up on the chairs, I'd be all over one of those sets! ;)

Homemade Happy Birthday Banner

For Ken's birthday this year, Talia & I got out one of her rolls of coloured paper (purple was her choice- she was sure he would like it ;) and a bunch of random craft supplies and went to work creating this Happy Birthday Banner for him.

We surprised him on his birthday by waking up before him, putting the banner up, blowing up balloons, and making him breakfast in bed. Talia also presented him with a present chosen by her (she knew for days that she wanted to give him a paddleball :)

It was so nice for her to feel included in celebrating his birthday, and how much more fun is it to see a banner on your birthday that was made especially for you, than a store bought one?

Not Dead ;)

It's Monday.
& I don't have a Monday Moments for you.
And it's been 4(?) days since I last posted.
That might be a record since I started this combined blog (eek!)

I have posts coming on:
- my latest sewing project
- a baby photoshoot
- an old sewing project that I will soon be able to post about, once it is gifted
- a fun thing to bake with kids
- some things in our home
- a confession & a goal
- and lotsa other stuff

I've just been busy sewing, playing, visiting new babies, taking pictures, and such, to keep up with blogging the last few days! But, it'll come. I just need a good long naptime to work on things ;)

Just wanted to post & let you know I'm not dead & neither is the blog ;)

Love Letter Books (Guest Post on Or So She Says)

My guest post on Or So She Says goes up today! Please head over there and check it out! I'd love it if you would support me by commenting over there and letting me know what you think! :)

The post is about Love Letter Books- you'll have to click over there to see the details!

And despite the fact that this is not Friday, I want to do a little feature on Or So She Says:

I've subscribed to this blog for quite a few months now and I've really enjoyed it! The whole blog is basically a collection of great ideas that are useful in all kinds of different areas of a woman's life (recipes, deals, ideas, tips tutorials, the list goes on!). They have contests over there, too, and I actually won one! (a post will come eventually about that).

Definitely check them out- I think you'll like them! (And today is a great day to check them out, with yours truly as the poster.. hint.. ;)

Shirt Dress

I made a dress for Talia out of a man's plaid shirt that I found at the dollar store! I am so proud of myself! :)

Here's the Price:

(so with the trim, I made the dress for less than $4)

And Here's the "After":

I have not sewn an article of clothing since the pair of shorts I made myself in highschool Home Ec. Class! So, I'm kind of thrilled that I pulled this off. I didn't have a lot of confidence in it turning out in the beginning- there was a lot of debate over whether it would end up good enough to be a dress or whether it would be a nightgown.

So, you want to make one? Here's the tutorial I followed from


Oh, and by the way, I'm going to be guest blogging over at Or So She Says tomorrow! This is my first guest post & I was really excited to be invited to post there! (Somebody out there in the blogging world has noticed me- yippee! ;)

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Monday Moments #13

Remember my SIL Rachelle who was expecting her baby any day?
Well, she arrived yesterday at 4:54am. Due to mixed messages, we thought the baby was breach at first (she wasn't).
I tell you this detail because of Talia's quote of the week:

Talia: "Can we go see Aunt Rushy today?"
Us: "Yep, after church!"
Talia: "We still can, even though she was preaching?

Yesterday was a special day for us as we got to meet the girls' new cousin Terrah who wasn't even a day old yet! They sure loved her :)

Vanessa & Joe (Engagement Photos)

Vanessa & Joe
Engagement Session
April 13, 2010
Downtown Brantford

Meet Vanessa & Joe. They are adorable.

Vanessa wanted to incorporate train tracks & graffiti in their engagement photos.

They were excellent sports & were willing to do anything I asked of them (from sitting in a pile of old tires to posing in broken glass infront of a random garage door, to attempting acrobatics on a rocky ledge (there's a reason that one didn't make the blog ;)

Vanessa, you are gorgeous.

Thanks so much for having me for your photographer, I loved our morning together & can't wait for your wedding in July!

Vanessa & Joe (A Preview)

I'm working on an engagement session from Tuesday. Here's a little preview:

I had some fun with this photo & I'm having fun with the rest, too :) I look forward to a full post, but for now, this is all I have for you ;)

Rachelle - Maternity

This is my sister in law, Rachelle.
Her due date has passed.
She is still pregnant.

Isn't she gorgeous pregnant, though?
Despite this, we are praying for that baby girl's safe arrival (asap ;)
Because her Momma is so ready and because her Auntie is dying to meet and hold her.
(Okay, there are probably other good reasons, but I'm focussed on the last one ;)

p.s. I'm featured again on ABC & 123. Today they've posted about fun ways to teach counting by 2, 5, & 10 and they've featured my number wheel post.

Now & Forever

I spotted this framed "Now & Forever" when I was out, shopping with my mom last year & I loved it. My vision was to have it above our headboard in our room, but we put something else there (which I'll share in a future post). It ended up working as a part of our collag of photos that hang in our livng room & I love it there!

I cannot tell you in words, how much I love having this photo collage in our living room. It is a statement of what is most important in our lives. And I love having the "Now & Forever" as a part of it now. Just wanted to share!

Someday I want to share photos of my girls' rooms because they have been so fun to decorate, but I'm not making any promises as to when I'll get around to it! ;)

Monday Moments #12

All recent Talia quotes today:

Smart mans know how to do pigtails on their daughter.

Talia: ahahaha! Heather you've gotta look! You are gonna be SO entertained!
[Katrina walks into the room with wet hair, spiked into a semi-mohawk-ish do.]

Mom, Im trying to make you crazy!.... Mom, go crazy!!!... Are you gonna go crazy, Mom?!!

Easter Loot

I was talking to my friend, Jenn, about Easter loot, the week before Easter. We were talking about avoiding too much candy. She told me she'd been thinking her boys' baskets would contain more Spring things like bubbles and sidewalk chalk and less of "junkfood".

Ken & I had also been hoping to scale back on the amount of candy our kids got. We know the Easter bunny tends to leave plenty of chocolate and candy at their grandparents' houses for them (no objections to that here ;), so we were hoping the bunny might have other ideas as well.

So, this year, while the bunny came and filled our plastic eggs with mini eggs and cereal (Katrina's fav.), the "Easer Parents" (as Talia was calling us) left homemade finger puppets, new rubber boots and long skipping ropes.

Monday night we were out trying out the new, long skipping rope. It was great! Even though neither of the girls can do it quite as they were intended, we can do the wiggly snake, get Mommy speed-jumping, watch Daddy jump with Katrina (who was having a great time), and let Katrina move the rope handle (also a blast). It was lovely! :)

Bunny Bubbles

Here's an easy way to make Bunny Bubbles out of generic little wedding favour bubble containers!

We had bubbles at our wedding 6 years ago. We still have some of those bottles of bubbles today :) They come in very handy around here! You can get them at a dollar store too though, so no worries if you want to make these guys yourself ;)

Bunny Bubbles

The night before the Easter Bunny came, I got the idea to make bunny bubbles.

What You Need

1. Bubbles
2. Gluegun
3. pompom
4. googly eyes
5. marker
6. felt & scissors

How To Make Bunny Bubbles

1. Heat Gluegun
2. Cut Ears out of felt
3. Assemble
4. Voila! :)

Finger Puppets (Feature Friday #4 - Cheryl A Smith)

A friend of mine told me about some finger puppets she saw on etsy, here. They are absolutely adorable!

For Easter I wanted to make some finger puppets for my girls, and I have to admit that I totally attempted to copy Cheryl's cute puppets. Here's what I came up with:

The chick has googly eyes because I forgot to put the eyes on before I sewed the rest together ;) My embroidering skills leave something to be desired (as does the rest of my sewing, but I did my best for a newbie ;)

If you like finger puppets, check out Cheryl's shop- she's got a ton of cute ones there (and she's way more skilled and experienced than I am ;)

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Blogging Tips (Placing 2 Photos Beside Each Other)

Yesterday I posted half of the answer to Cheryl's question: "Do you know how to place 2 photos beside each other- or how to write beside a photo?" I'm back today with part 2.

How to Place 2 Photos Beside Each Other

The best way I can think of to tell you how to do this involves html coding. It's pretty straight forward though, so stay with me. Here's what you do:

1. Click on the scary html tab

2. Enter the following code:
<center> <img src=""> <img src=""> </center>
3. If* you upload your photos to blogger, upload them as you usually would (and they'll be stacked one on top of each other as usual).
2. Then click on "Preview" to preview your blog entry.

3. Right-click on the first photo, click "Properties"

4. Look for "Address: (URL)"

and then hilight and copy the address there (which should start with http:// and end with .jpg or .gif

Make sure you get the whole thing- it may not all be visible at once.

5. Click on "Hide Preview"

6. Make sure you're clicked on that scary html tab, and go paste the address you just copied, inbetween the first set of ""
7. Repeat steps 2-6 for the second photo, pasting inbetween the second set of "" and you're done!

*Note: If you want to use a photo that you've already uploaded somewhere else, you can still use this method- just right click on it wherever it is, and use the address you see.

As before, please let me know in the comments whether this tutorial made sense or was useful to you!
And if it didn't make sense or you still have questions, comment & let me know- I'll be happy to help if I know the answer!

Got something you'd like to learn about photography or blogging?
Tell me about it in the comments & if I can help, I'll post about it!

Blogging Tips (How to Write Beside A Photo)

Thanks Cheryl, for posting your questions!
Cheryl asked, "Do you know how to place 2 photos beside each other- or how to write beside a photo?"

How to write beside a Photo

Blogger makes this one easy. All you have to do is:

1. Upload your photo as usual, by clicking on the "Add Image" icon at the top of the compose window.

2. When the image adding window (I made up that name) comes up, make sure you've selected either "Left" or "Right" under "Choose a Layout".

If you choose left, your photo will be to the left, and your type will be to the right. If you choose right, your photo will be on the right, type to the left.
3. Add your text(before the photo if you chose "Right", after the photo if you chose "Left"), and you're done!

I'll post the answer to her other question tomorrow.

New Bike

We visited my parents yesterday, out of town.
We had a lovely day.
We went to the park.
Katrina didn't nap.
Grandma & Grandpa watched the girls for a couple of hours & Mommy & Daddy went on a spur of the moment date.
We ate ice cream cake.
We stayed late (for the girls).
And we drove home happy.

On the way home, we picked up a bike that we bought for Talia on kijiji.
When we got home it was late, it was dark, Katrina was asleep.

But Ken set up the bike & Talia got to ride it around in pajamas, in the magic of the night and all things sparkly, girly, and princessy. It was a great day & a lovely end to the day.

p.s. I know I went another Monday without a post (sorry Rachelle;) There WILL be one next Monday, I promise! There are more posts to come, I just need to catch up with everything after this long weekend.

True Meaning of Easter

We don't expect the Easter Bunny to show up here until tomorrow, but this morning the girls had a little egg hunt designed by their parents. :) We hid plastic eggs that had paper pieces inside of them. (From an old issue of The Friend Magazine)

After all of the eggs were found, we put the papers in order & read the Easter Story. I was surprised how much Talia rememebered from the one other time this week that we talked about the story.

We had a few eggs left over, so we put goldfish crackers in one, cheerios in one, gummy bear vitamins in one, and coloured marshmallows in one. This video catches Katrina's reaction when she opened one of the eggs with treats in it- it was so cute! :)

After the hunt, Talia announced that there was just enough sugar! lol This girl is health conscious somehow! :) They really enjoyed this hunt even though most of the eggs only had paper in them, and the ones that had treats weren't too out of the ordinary. Just goes to show you that they really don't need all of the extra sugar that we tend to give them! (However, I think that only applies upto a certain age, because I certainly love getting good chocolate ;)

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