Raising Memories is Now Accepting Sponsors!

Leaves... we're watching them change, we're watching them fall, we're raking them, we're jumping in them... oh, and we're turning over a new one!

Raising Memories Blog is now accepting sponsors!

If you're interested just click here for more information.

For a limited time, I'll be offering sponsorships for HALF PRICE!
This is an introductory price & won't last forever, so get in on it while you can!

Now, back to our regular schedule of posts... ;)

Jack O'lantern Cookies

My mother-in-law bought us a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter (which was awesome, because it made me feel like we had to make jack o'lantern cookies! ;)

We used this recipe & they really were soft!

The girls got to cut the shapes.

Bonus: This recipe doesn't have to sit in the fridge at all!

We made sure not to bake them too long.

Made some orange coloured frosting.

Got to work frosting all of those cookies (I did most of them while the girls napped, but saved enough frosting for them to each do a couple when they woke up).

Then it was time to decorate! (Katrina guided my hand because it was hard for her to squeeze)

We ended up with quite a few happy little jack o'lantern cookies!
What a fun time! :)

Shutterfly Giveaway

I've made a lot of photobooks and photo products in my day. And I've tried a lot of different websites & companies. Shutterfly is one I don't think I have used yet, but I have admired their holiday cards in years past. So, I was really excited when they wanted to send me some cards to try out & give some away to 3 of my readers!

So, I went to their website to see what my choices were, & I'm loving their Photo Christmas Cards for 2011!

There are SO MANY that I love! It was really hard to narrow it down to my favourite, but I've finally done it! :) I have already ordered them and I cannot wait to see what they're like. I've heard from blogger reviewers that they have been happy with the final product, so I'm really excited! I'm especially fond of how colourful so many of the cards are!

I haven't sent out a Christmas card in a couple of years, so I'm psyched to have one for this year. I'm really happy that I was able to find a design that fit several pictures and had room to write a little letter to our friends & family about what we've been up to this year. (I love it when others include those with their cards!)

So.. do you want a chance to Win 25 Free Cards???
3 of you will win!
I'm trying rafflecopter for this giveaway- I hope it makes things easier for you & not more complicated!

If you don't see the contest entry form, just click on "read more" below this, and it will show up. Let me know if you have problems!

Decorate Pumpkins with Markers

We went to the pumpkin patch earlier this month & had a great time gathering pumpkins- each of the girls chose one.

They were VERY happy when I said they could decorate their little pumpkins with markers. (Katrina doesn't usually get to use them & Talia usually only gets to use them when Katrina is asleep- so this was really cool that I was allowing them both to let loose with them! ;)

Our house is extra festive now, with the touch of our resident artists :)

Longing for Stillness

I wrote this a few days ago:

I need some stillness.

I have so so many things I want to do.

But time keeps racing past me.

I want still.
But I also want busy.
Not sure why.

I want my house clean.
I want to do a million different things with my blog.
I want time to edit photos, and print photos, and get out & photograph for enjoyment.
I want to play with my girls and be totally involved.
I want to do activities with them & plan things, & be present with them.
I want to plan & make meals.
I want to keep up on tidying my house, decluttering my house, cleaning my house.
I want to have friends over more.
I want to help others more often.
I want to get out on dates with Ken more.
I want to find fun things for Ken & I to enjoy together more.

Funny how you can want so much more & at the same time just want simplicity, and less.

Can you relate?

A Little Artist

Somebody is getting good at drawing....

So fun to watch this happen :)

(Sure the legs & body both connect to the head- so what? ;)

I Can Be

As a young mother in the grocery store, my mom ran into a person who knew her from an earlier stage of her life. He asked her what she had been up to since she had finished her education. She explained that she had taught school for a while until her first baby (that’d be me) was born. Then she quit teaching to be a stay-at-home-mother. The man responded with, “What a waste of your education.”

I could not disagree with him more.

When I was young, I knew what I wanted to grow up to be. There was one person I knew who I looked up to, that had the perfect job, the perfect role. I watched her daily. I appreciated her selfless acts. I loved her for the love she showed me.

She taught me the importance of gaining an education (we both got University degrees). She taught me that women can do anything they choose. She showed me that motherhood ranked higher, for her, than an extra income. She showed me that her children were the most important thing to her. She was there for us always.

I have always just known that that was what I wanted. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be there for my children and home as much as my circumstances would allow. I cannot put into words how happy I am to have had her as a role model, and to be blessed to be in a position to stay home with my children.

I realize that this is not a choice that all women are able to make, even if they wish to. I also realize that there may come a time for those of us who are stay at home moms that we will need to go out and have a career. I think it’s important for us to teach our girls that they can be whatever they want to be, period. That applies to choosing a career and to anything else in life. I also think that while we’re teaching them about all of the career choices out there, and the importance of education, we need to be careful to make sure that they know that there is nothing wrong with not having a career while they choose to mother.

I am writing on this topic because a brand new website called Barbie I Can Be The Voice is being launched that is dedicated to helping parents with the task of raising their daughters to be smarter, stronger, happier, and more fulfilled. Terry Carson, a Canadian parenting coach, will be sharing new themes and parenting tips and ideas each month on the website. In one of her articles on the site, Terry says:
"Over the next year I will support you in building your skills to raise daughters who have, to use an old fashioned term, character—girls that have strong values, are self-reliant, and know how to build on their strengths; girls who are motivated to follow their dreams without fear; girls who can embrace their mistakes as learning experiences."

Sounds good to me- I look forward to seeing what discussions take place on the site- wanna check it out with me?

Disclosure – I am participating in the Barbie I Can Be campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Mattel Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Saltine Cracker Toffee

[photo source]

I forgot to take a picture of the cut, finished product, but found the one above online. I had pinned the website where I got my recipe, but the pin isn't working right now, so I can't link to them! Here is a link to the pin, incase it kicks in again.

Now after all of those technical issues, I bring you the step by step photos on how to make these yummy squares! (And they are EASY, so your kids can help!!)

Step 1: Foil the cookie sheet
Step 2: Line it with crackers (great kid job)

Step 3: Mix Brown sugar & butter together (1 cup of each)
Step 4: Bring to a boil

Step 5: Pour mixture over crackers & put in oven (400 degrees)
Step 6: It'll get all bubbly (take out after around 5 min)

Step 7: Sprinkle Chocolate chips on top
Step 8: Spread the melted chocolate around

Step 9: Put in the fridge to set & voila!

Then you cut it up into pieces & it'll look like the pic. at the beginning of the post ;)

It's a really simple recipe & it's yummy, too! Also, great for when you need to bring a treat to a function :)


Now I want to take a moment to tell you about our newest sponsor:

Jim & Brenda are a husband & wife team that work together to turn beautiful vintage wood into one-of-a-kind pieces for the home. From wall shelves, to tables, to picture frames. It really is beautiful stuff!
Here is one example of their work:

But don't take my word for it, go & check out their shop, barnwood4u on etsy!

Huggies Baby & You Event (& $50 Giveaway!)

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me talking about Loblaw's Baby and You facebook community. Well, they've always got discussions going about things that apply to moms, and now I want to tell you about something fun that's going on at some of their Superstore locations across Canada!

Between October 18th and November 2nd, there will be a bunch of HUGGIES® Baby and You events going on- babies are welcome of course, and it's free! You can come out with your baby, learn a couple of fun recipes (for yourself & for baby) and have fun with other moms at the Superstore Cooking School! (I have been there before with Talia & loved it. It was fun, it was easy- everything is all set up for you and ready to go. Talia is still talking about it, way after the fact! I'm excited to go & make a memory like that with Katrina!)

These events sound like a fun way to get out & have some fun with your baby! Oh, and did you know Huggies has come out with a new slip on diaper??! I can't wait to hear more about this- sounds like a great plan for squirmy roller-babies! (I know I'm not the only one who has had to attempt the standing-up diaper change either.. not always an easy task! ;) You'll leave your event with Huggies coupons and fun tiger ears for your little one, too. :)

You can get all the details for your community by visiting the Loblaw Baby and You Facebook page here. (There's a quick-link on the left of the page, called "PC Cooking Class")

Oh, and while I'm telling you about this event, Loblaw wants to give one of you a $50 gift card to spend at any of their stores!

Just comment on this blog with your favourite Mom or Baby dish to enter!

Want bonus entries?

Follow Raising Memories on Twitter (comment to let me know you did it)
Like Raising Memories on Facebook (comment to let me know you did it)

Contest will be open until October 31st.
Readers may enter the contest on multiple blogs but are only eligible to win a single $50 Loblaw gift card as part of the contest.
Disclosure – I am participating in the HUGGIES® Baby and You program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Kimberly- Clark Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Wedding Season in this Family!

Last month, my little sister got married.


This weekend, my little brother's getting married.

I've been busy... more blog fun coming soon!
In the meantime, there's lots of Fall & Halloween fun in the archives. :)

oh & don't miss the giveaway!

Yoga for Kids (Review & Giveaway)

The girls and I recently embarked on quite an adventure! It involved baby Condor eggs and yoga... and it all took place inside of our house! As soon as we received Playful Planet's Storyland Yoga DVD, I was ready to get out the yoga matt & some blankets so we could do yoga together (disguised as a fun adventure for the girls).

It was so fun! The girls were totally into it & it was cute to see them doing yoga poses that I remember from a grown up Yoga class that I took. It was surprising to me that going along with the story helped to distract me from the fact that I was doing exercise! (Until near the end when I was reminded of my yoga class... because I started getting worn out ;) You really do get a good workout!

Both of my girls (aged 2 & 5) stayed interested for the whole adventure. I think this will be a great thing to pull out when the weather gets bad & they need a way to stay active indoors!

Good News! Playful Planet wants to send one of my readers a Storyland DVD to try out.

To enter, be a follower of my blog & leave a comment letting me know that you are.

Want bonus entries? (Do any or all of the following & leave a comment for each)

Follow Raising Memories on Twitter
Like Raising Memories on Facebook
Follow Playful Planet on Twitter
Like Playful Planet on Facebook

Giveaway Details: This giveaway closes on Friday, October 21st. A winner will be chosen randomly from all of the comments. Winner will be contacted by email (please include your email in your comment if I can't find it through your profile). If you do not respond within 48 hours after I email you, a new winner will be chosen. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Sponsored by Tomoson.com

Sharing Time (October 2011)

It's October and I'm looking forward to seeing some Fall & Hallowe'en themed posts shared here this month! Come on over & check out the links & add some of your own!

My Little Family

My friend Verity & I decided to do a family photo swap. I'll be taking hers this weekend, but I've already got my files from our family's session. I wanted to post this one here. (There will probably be more to come as I sort through them ;)

Fall Fun!

After talking about the Pumpkin Roll this week, I thought I'd share some of our favourite Fall traditions/activities that we have posted about in the past. Maybe you'll find an idea that you'd like to try this year. I hope you'll share some of yours in the comments!

Owl Cupcakes

Leaf Rubbing

Handprint Turkey

Place Cards

Tissue Ghosts

Awesome Pumpkin Roll

Today I'm sharing my most requested Fall recipe over at howdoesshe.

The Pumpkin Roll.

Do check it out - and do make it - you will not regret it!

A Bit About My Beliefs

Something that is a large part of who I am is my beliefs. I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. I believe that there is a Prophet on the earth today.

Twice a year, we have the priviledge of watching General Conference. The prophet, his counsellors, members of the quorum of the 12 apostles, and other church leaders speak to us at General Conference.

I so look forward to this opportunity. There are several 2 hour sessions of conference that take place over one weekend and are recorded and can be read or watched online after conference (or live, during conference). I am always uplifted and inspired by the messages that I listen to during this weekend.

Conference is a chance for me to reevaluate what I'm doing in my life, refocus my priorities, and think about what is most important to me, and what I want to focus my time and energy on.

In the future, I'd like to share some of my thoughts about Conference with you.

I hope you won't mind my getting a bit personal and religious here at the blog. It's something that's very important to me and my family and the things I'll be mentioning may be of interest to you even if you don't share my beliefs.

If you're looking for Sharing Time, it'll be here next week. I look forward to your fun Halloween & Fall posts!