May 2011

Playroom Wall

One day I was browsing CSN Stores' website (you can get lost in there, I tell ya) when I found this specimen of cute wall decor. I could not get it off of my mind for a long time, and finally asked my mom for it for a birthday gift :)

I finally got it up on the playroom wall & I'm loving it! I have several other little projects on the go for the playroom & I look forward to sharing them with you soon! But for now, isn't this cute??

My mom & I spent an afternoon carefully placing each little wall sticker & are very pleased with our work. (Stay tuned to see how Katrina added to the masterpiece)

Fabulous Footwear

Katrina put her own socks on:

Well, they both match her outfit- see?
(pretty fabulous shoe choice too, eh?)

Easy Homemade Cheese

My husband served a mission in Mexico, so he loves Mexican food, but finds it difficult to find real Mexican food. Recently, he bought the Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest issue on Mexican recipes and has been whipping up all kinds of special Mexican meals! Recently, we decided to make "Queso Fresco" (this means fresh cheese) with the girls. It was so easy! Here's what you need: 8 cups (1/2 gallon) whole milk 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 cup white vinegar And here's what you do (I took pictures just for you, so you could see how easy it is & what the steps look like)
1. combine milk & salt in large pot over medium-high heat until 190 degrees F, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
2. Gradually add vinegar, stirring gently. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir gently (some curds should form).
3. Place a double thickness of 100% cotton cheesecloth in a colander set in a sink. Carefully pour hot mixture into the colander, discarding the liquid whey. Allow cheese to drain for 15-20 min. to remove all excess whey.
4. Gather cheese & transfer to a small bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 min. before serving. Can store in fridge for up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups of cheese. 

Moments- "He Trying To Get Me!"

Katrina saw a single ant on the kitchen floor a couple of days ago. She scurried into the living room & crawled up onto the couch, worriedly announcing "He trying to get me!"

Oh, how I love her :)
(photo courtesy of Talia)

Congratulations to Our Busy Little Bunch, you are the winner of the $96 Hapari Gift Code!

Sensitive Teeth (Sensodyne Deals & Giveaway)

It was after Talia was born that I started having teeth issues. I started getting cavities and my teeth got sensitve. I've wondered if the cavities have anything to do with pregnancy, and I suspect the sensitive teeth are the result of getting older (apparently the most common ages for tooth sensitivity are 20-50).

(This seemed like a good time to show a photo of my baby ;)
(Sooo worth the cavities!)

Anyway, my dentist has recommended that I use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and sent me home with a sample of Sensodyne. I started using Sensodyne after I realized that the tooth sensitivity was here to stay, and I've never had any reason to try anything else because it has worked great for me! It's awesome to be able to eat everything that I used to be able to eat (and drink). It is NOT cool to be wincing just from trying to drink a glass of cold juice! I'm happy to be done with that!

I usually use Sensodyne-F Ultra Fresh because I like the taste of it. Recently, I tried their iso-active Multi Action Foaming Gel. It's kinda fun because it comes out like shaving gel! (but tastes like toothpaste ;) It gets all foamy in your mouth.

As part of SENSODYNE’s Prevent the Pain from Returning Again campaign, SENSODYNE is providing Canadian consumers with a couple of great offers,so mark your calendars, because you'll want to take advantage! Here they are:

- At Wal-mart – from May 27 to June 16, consumers can visit and sign-up for a free sample of Sensodyne Toothpaste that will be mailed to them.

- At Shoppers Drug Mart – from June 4 to June 10th and June 18 to June 24th, consumers can get 10X the Optimum points when they spend $10 on Sensodyne products.

To go beyond those great offers, Sensodyne wants to give one of my Canadian readers a SENSODYNE product gift pack! (gift pack includes a line-up of Sensodyne toothpastes and toothbrushes)

To enter, just leave a comment, letting me know what food you look forward to enjoying again!

This Giveaway will end on June 30th. Winner will be announced on July 4th. Winner will be chosen randomly & contacted by email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure – I am participating in the SENSODYNE program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline. I received a SENSODYNE product pack and a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Moments (Fireworks Past Bedtime)


Last night after the girls were in bed, we started seeing fireworks out our bedroom window. Ken went & got the girls out of their beds & we all watched fireworks for a long time, on our bed. It was a magical moment :) Some quotes from that time:

Katrina: (whispered firecracker sounds) "chyoo! chyoo!!"
"Woah! Cool! That's a pink one! Wed! Gween! Pink! Boo!"

Talia: "I'm gonna draw a picture at school of you & me watching fireworks in your bedroom."
"Wow, that is just... bravo! Do you think that was the finale?"
"This is the best night ever!"
(repeated at least 10 times)

I can remember how excited I was when I got to do things like that as a child. These are great memories to make! :)

Sharing Time- May 2011

You guys, our grocery store had a really good sale on Haagen Dazs yesterday, so I bought two of them. So far I've tried this, & I love it!! Have any of you tried it before? I have to recommend it to you- if you're ever splurging on Haagen Dazs & wondering what flavour to try, go for it!

Also, the Hapari Swimwear Giveaway ends tomorrow, so if you haven't entered yet- this is your chance!


Memories (Grandma's Closet)

This blog is called Raising Memories because it's about building memories while raising your kids. One of my favourite memories as a child is of spending time at my Grandma's house.

There are a lot of reasons for that- some are related to my wild & funny Grandpa and the things he would do- how he'd chase us and we'd run away squealing, how he'd pick us up & plop us down on his lap for a hug & say, "Now give me a love." He always had a candy stash somewhere and I always always felt loved by him.

Some of those memories are related to my Grandma- how we used to have "Grandma Days" when just one of the kids in my family would get to spend an afternoon, alone, with Grandma. These days for me involved playing Memory together, making popcorn or fudge, and one time when we went for a nature walk & my Grandma let me take a picture with her camera (a big deal at the time- I was probably 5 years old).

One of the things that has great memories for me (and I'm pretty sure for all of the grandchildren) is Grandma & Grandpa's hall closet. It was full of dress up clothes and treasures that my Grandma would pick up at garage sales. I wish I had a photo on hand from back in the day when we'd all dress up crazy and parade into the living room with a fashion show for the adults!

Talia, myself, & my Grandma

A few weeks ago, I was so happy to be at my Grandma's house, watching my girls pull out the dress up clothes. I could see the same thrill on Talia's face that I remember. It was hilarious to see Katrina parading around in the things my sisters, cousins, & I used to fit into!

Cream Cheese Cupcake Frosting

I found a cream cheese cupcake frosting recipe while I was at my mom's house with the girls. We gave it a try & LOVED it! We dyed it several pastel, Spring-y colours, and had fun decorating (and then eating!)

Spring Cleaning

Yesterday I guest posted on HowDoesShe? again. Go check it out & leave me some comment love if you've got a minute! :)

The post is on 10 Ways to Include Young Kids in Spring Cleaning. I'd love to hear ways that you've had your kids help out with spring cleaning!

Talia, washing the cupboard doors.

If you missed my first post on HowDoesShe (about making a storybook with your child as the author/illustrator), it's here.

Getting To Know You - Courtship!

When I was 14 years old, there was a dance every month for the youth in my church. It was held in a city 45 minutes away from my home. I met a boy there. At the time, my family didn’t have a computer yet (I will feel like a total dinosaur when I tell my kids this story someday ;) So, the boy and I started to write letters to each other (through snail mail). This continued until I convinced my parents to buy a computer and get the Internet. Then I was introduced to email.

I soon set up an email address that was based on a nickname I had through an inside joke with the boy. We emailed a lot and our friendship grew. I still use that email address and have a folder in my email that contains emails from him, from a decade ago!

At a dance, 16 years old.

When we were 19 years old, the boy went to Mexico for 2 years, to serve a mission. We were able to keep in touch by mail & email throughout those years, and I’m really glad we did! About 3 weeks after the boy got home from Mexico, he proposed!

Almost 8 years later, here we are, married with 2 cute little daughters! Email has played a big role in our relationship. We had a long distance relationship for much of the 7 years that we knew each other before we were married, so I’m really glad we had email to keep us connected! And really it’s not over, because we still email each other several times every day. :)

Now, I’m curious: How did you meet your hubby or significant other?

Fingerprint Flower Greeting Card

For Mother's Day, Talia made some cards that looked like this, for her Grandmothers & Great Grandmothers:

We just used markers & some ink pads that I had in my lonely collection of scrapbook supplies. She loved doing it and caught on right away.

I got the idea to do something with finger prints here.

abc button

Hapari Swimwear Giveaway

I've always worn one piece swimsuits or tankinis, in an effort to be modest. As I got older and taller, it became very difficult to find a one pice that was long enough for me, so I've found myself hunting year after year for tankini swimsuits that have a long top, so that I'm still covering my tummy. I have found them, but I hadn't found them in colourful prints that I liked until I started to look online. Enter Hapari swimsuits!

Hapari sells one piece swimsuits and tankinis for women and girls (size 8+). They also sell cover ups and various types of bottoms to go with the tankini tops. You can also find Men's board shorts and other products.

I love that you can wear the cover shorts when you want to get down in the sand with the kids & want a little more coverage, or the skirt to be cute but extra covered, or the regular bottoms (which come in a tummy tuk version- so you can be sure your tummy won't peek out- a bonus for a lot of moms! ;)

I've been totally impressed with their swimwear- I love the print choices, and the variety in top and bottom styles. I'm pretty sure you'll love them too- and Hapari wants to give you all the chance to win a $96 gift code to purchase your choice of products from Hapari!


How to Enter:

Leave a comment for each entry!!

Mandatory Entry:

Link to one of the following via blog, Twitter, or Facebook:

Then come back and comment on my blog with the URL where the link to Hapari can be found.

Extra Entries:

Share the link that you posted about in the mandatory entry on Facebook or Twitter. (if you do both, you get two more entries) Link to each instance in the comment.

Be a Follower of my blog (scroll to the bottom of the blog to find the widget & click on the Follow Button)

Follow Raising Memories on Twitter

"Like" Raising Memories on Facebook

Post about the giveaway on twitter, your blog, or facebook, with a link back to the blog. (You can get 2 entries for each of these, so post two comments to let me know you did it! :)

This Giveaway will end on May 24th. Winners will be announced on Thursday, May 26th. The giveaway is open to the U.S. & Canada. Winner will be chosen randomly & contacted by email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. I will be receiving a gift card from Hapari in exchange for hosting this giveaway. Opinions expressed are my own- I have purchased from Hapari in the past and am very pleased with their product & service.

Happy Mother's Day!

Looking for the Sharing Time Linky?

Don't forget about Sharing Values.
It's a new link up I'm trying out until the end of this month. If there's enough interest, I'll continue it.


I'm so happy to be the mother of 2 daughters.

I love this video clip & I love that the scenes they show are not perfect- they are real! It brings tears to my eyes because I know exactly what it is to feel discouraged and worn out as a mother- and I also know the extreme joy that comes from it.

Moments- "You Essited?"

Last night I was working in the kitchen (which is currently separated from the dining area by a baby gate because Katrina WILL use the garbage can as a stool, get up on the counter and get stuff from on top of the fridge or in the medicine cupboard)… where was I? … I was working in the kitchen when I decided to wipe the dining table down.

I stepped over the baby gate (while looking at the table ahead of me), forgetting that the dishwasher was open (right where my foot landed- in the silverware).

I basically did a roll in the air, to try and avoid the most damage. I landed on the floor, on my side, with one leg in the air, and my face on the floor (resting on the wet cloth I was planning to wipe the table with). The baby gate was detached and laying across the open dishwasher (which had moved at least a foot from where it originally stood).

Both girls came running to my rescue & Talia immediately began to question me about where I had hurt myself. I told her my foot hurt (my other foot) and asked her if my toe nail was broken (it looked like it from where my face was) and she told me it was ok- there was just butter on my toenail (ha!). However she announced that my foot was bleeding & that she would run upstairs to fetch a bandaid and some ointment.

I was left on the floor with Katrina standing over me, her hands on her knees, looking down on me with excitement in her face. She said, “You essited?” I asked her to repeat (confused about why I should be excited about injuring myself) & she asked if I was excited to have a bandaid. (They both love it when I determine an injury to be bad enough for a bandaid). It was some good comic relief ;)

Talia came down ready to fix me up & I let her do it (and grabbed this photo while she worked away). Katrina was also “helping” :) What sweethearts :)

I had braided her hair in hopes of wavy hair for today- one came out, hence the interesting hairdo ;)

Congratulations to Amanda who won the Sugar Bellies Earflap Hat!

Stay tuned because there's a really great giveaway coming up in a few days!

Temple Canvas

I want to share a project with you. I photographed a couple of weddings at the temple last summer. The temple is a very meaningful place for me and for my family. It is a representation, to me, of my belief that our family can be together forever.

So, when I was looking through the photos from one of these weddings and came across a favourite, I decided to make it into a canvas through Heritage Makers. We didn't have a photo of the temple hanging in our home yet, and I liked the idea of having one displayed that I had taken, of the temple where we were married.

So, here it is:

I'm really happy with it! :)

Getting To Know You - Dream House

In continuing with getting to know each other, today I'm going to write about my dream house. (and I want you to tell me about yours! :)

When I was younger, I determined that I would never live in an apartment. I didn't understand why someone would want to live in a small place with no yard. I didn't fully understand money yet either. ;)

When we got married (7 years ago) at age 21, we were both University Students. We found a 2 bedroom apartment in an old building that used to be a button factory. It was actually pretty cool- it had tall ceilings with tall, curved windows.

When Talia was almost 2 years old, we moved to a 2 bedroom townhouse with a small backyard that backed onto a park. It was great! Then a few months after Katrina was born, we moved down the street (literally. Our address changed by one digit) to a 3 bedroom townhouse where we now live.

My husband still has about 2 years left in his PhD, so I expect that we'll be hanging around here until he starts a post-doc. We have no idea where in the world that will take us, so we can't really plan for our future home yet.

But I'm writing about my dream home... I would love to live in the country (like I did when I was growing up) where we'd have a lot of land, tall trees (there must be leaf forts in the Fall), squirrels, chickadees and a swing set. I'd like to be close to the city though (I'm all for convenience). I want raspberry bushes and flower gardens with tulips and snapdragons.

I'd like to live in a new(ish) home (like the one we moved to when I was 9), and I want to have a big kitchen, a big living room, and a games room (for Ken).

It's funny but most of the things I dream about seem to have more to do with outside than inside... I guess I want to recreate those magical moments for my kids, that I remember from when I was a child, exploring outside.

What would your dream home be like?

May Sharing Time

Happy Sunday! :)

Don't forget about Sharing Values.
It's a new link up I'm trying out until the end of this month. If there's enough interest, I'll continue it.

And don't miss your chance to enter the Sugar Bellies Earflap Hat Giveaway.


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