May 2013

Neighbourhood Memories #KCT

The warm weather has hit us! We are mostly happy about it (I'm looking forward to getting the air conditioners installed ;) But mostly, we're getting excited to do lots of fun things outside!

When I was growing up, we lived in the country, so our backyard was our playground most of the time. On special days, we would drive into town and visit a park that had big teeter tawters that were so fun to go on with my parents and siblings! When we moved into the city about half way through elementary school, it was a whole new experience for us to have friends' houses close enough to walk to, and a community park within walking distance!

I can remember when our community park got a "makeover" and how cool it was to see the new things they were adding and updating. Now that I've got my own kids who are the perfect age to visit parks, we are lucky to have a park practically in our backyard! When we first moved here it was pretty outdated and worn down, so you can imagine our excitement when they ripped it out and put a brand new one in! I've seen this happen to an old park we used to visit when I was little, living in the country, too! (They've even added a new splash park to it which is a big hit with my kids when we're in my home town, visiting Grandma & Grandpa ;)

There is so much fun to be had in your own neighbourhood! Where do you like to go, to spend your time in your neighbourhood? Do you have a place in your community that needs an update? If so, I have good news!

You can nominate YOUR community to win $25,000
to create something new or make something better!

Kraft Canada & TSN are doing their 5th-Annual Kraft Celebration Tour!
Each winning community will also host one of 10 live broadcasts of Canada's most-watched sports news program, TSN, as part of this summer's cross-country tour from August 16-25th!

To get you thinking about the possibilities,
here are some of the projects that the tour has helped happen in the past:
- building a skateboard park
- upgrading a sports field
- improving a boxing facility
- renovating a community youth centre

You can nominate your community online at until June 7th!
Winners will be announced on June 30th.

To nominate your community, you'll submit a short essay and up to five photos explaining why your community deserves to be a part of the Kraft Celebration Tour and how the $25,000 community award will go towards the creation or improvement of a local community space. The essay should also touch upon how the award would help promote community spirit, a passion for sports, and an active lifestyle.

So, head over there and check it out! You can also visit their facebook page.

Disclosure – I am participating in the Kraft Celebration Tour Blogger Campaign. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

21 Principles

I am loving the book that I'm reading right now!
It's called 21 Principles by Elder Richard G. Scott, published by Deseret Book.

I've taken my time reading it, just soaking up the information and experience contained in it. This book is a treasure- I know I'll be reading it again. It's a book that will be filled with my own notes and underlined sections. Maybe it's just a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately, but I think it's more than that. I love the way it's written- straight forward, clear, and full of little tips.

Each chapter is on one of the 21 principles that Elder Scott shares that he has learned in his life, in regards to living by the spirit. The chapters are pretty short, but they are packed with goodness! You could spend a lot of time on each chapter, really thinking about the things you're reading and pondering how to apply them in your own life.

It's a great collection of helpful insights, all in one place. I would definitely recommend this one!

This book is available as a hardcover book, an ebook or a book & ebook together.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Deseret Book. All opinions expressed here are my very own.




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Alexander Steven (A Birth Story)

Almost a month ago now, I was privileged to attend the birth of my newest nephew. It was the second homebirth I've had the opportunity to attend and once again, I went away amazed and feeling blessed to have been able to witness such a huge moment for a family.

On Sunday I saw my sister-in-law, Betsy, at church. She let me know that she had been having regular contractions, but nothing too intense yet. That evening we decided I would go out of town a bit for a family dinner and that my girls would go to my parents' house overnight (Ken was out of town at a conference). It's a good thing we did that because my brother-in-law, Steve, called me at 5:15am to let me know that they had called the midwife and I could plan to come over soon!

I arrived at their house shortly after that (and just like Laura's birth, I was there before the midwife). I went up to see Betsy who was calmly focused, laboring in her room alone while their son, Donovan, slept in the next room and Steve hurried around, getting things ready.

Soon the midwife arrived and then my mother-in-law (who is a Doula and would also be attending).
The midwife got set up while Linda (our mother-in-law) helped out, doing whatever she could to help Betsy to be as comfortable as possible. This is the second time that I've been impressed at a birth, with how the mother seems to just retreat into a calm, focused place- sort of "away" from everyone else. She remains focused on what she has to do while everyone else scurries around doing whatever they can to offer assistance!

May 2013 Sharing Time & Week in Review

Here's May's Sharing Time Linky & a review of the last 2 weeks' posts:

This week I posted:
Newborn Photos I took of my nephew, Xander.

A CD Giveaway (which you should go, enter!)

and reminisced about my cute kids, then shared details about a fun contest.

Now, on to the link party- can't wait to see the new ideas you'll add!

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Pure Joy #BestLittleLaugh Contest

Pure Joy.
Don't you love those moments?
When you can just feel the joy your kids are experiencing? :)

One of my favourite things to watch my girls do is dance. They just get into their own little worlds and look like they are thoroughly enjoying themselves! Even more, I love to watch them dance with Daddy! That inevitably turns into some sort of ride- Daddy lifting them up above his head while they gracefully pose, arms outstretched, toes pointed :)

I gathered a few photos of my girls over the years that just make me smile
because I love to see them so happy!

On this topic of joy, today I’m here with news from Fisher-Price about the launch of their new Laugh & Learn site! It’s a fun part of the webpage where you can find webisodes, games and activities for your kids that are all centered around early learning.

Fisher-Price is celebrating the launch of this new site by hosting a contest called the Best Little Laugh! The contest celebrates all those insanely-cute, over-the-top-adorable smiles, giggles and laughs.

So, go back through your videos & find those cute moments that you captured of YOUR kids!
You can find the contest here:

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sweet Is The Work (CD Giveaway)

Please welcome back to the blog Steve & Julie of Opus2Music:

I have loved their previous CDs, All Through the Night and Morning Has Broken. They are my go-to home background music!

And they're at it again! :)
Their new CD, Sweet Is The Work is out and it's just as lovely as the previous two!

Here's a bit more about the new CD:
Award-winning composer and arranger Kurt Bestor and photographer Mark Mabry have once again teamed up with the flute-and-harp duo Opus 2 in the production of Sweet is the Work. This missionary-themed compilation focuses on the peaceful subset of beloved missionary hymns, and emphasizes the gentle and thoughtful side of missionary service. Songs such as A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy, Joseph Smith's First Prayer, Army of Helaman, and many others add a gentle glow to the existing canon of missionary music. An ideal gift for missionary study or reflection time, and the perfect gift for the missionary in all of us.

You can get a taste for the CD by watching this short video:


And then be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy of the new CD!
(to enter, just fill out the form below- if you don't see it, it will load in a moment!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Baby Xander

My sweet nephew arrived 2 weeks ago, and we are SO thrilled to have him here! I went over to take some newborn photos on Saturday and wanted to share a little preview here :) I was able to attend his birth as well, and will have some photos to share from that in the future.

Week in Review & May 2013 Sharing Time

Here's May's Sharing Time Linky & a review of the last 2 weeks' posts:

I posted about the Little Man Mustache Baby Shower that we threw for my Sister in Law.

I also shared the newest book about L. Tom Perry's life and
a book by M. Russell Ballard called One Drop At A Time recipe.

and on Sunday I shared a Mother's Day video.

Now, on to the link party- can't wait to see the new ideas you'll add!

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Moments: One Drop at a Time

Overheard at our house:

Me: "How much honey do you think one bee makes in its lifetime, Ken?"
Ken: "One 12th of a teaspoon, Heather."
Me: "How did you know that?"
Ken: "I'm a biologist."
Talia: "and plus, he's a genious."
Ken: "Out of the mouths of babes..."

:) What a girl.

I had bees & honey on my mind because I was reviewing a book called One Drop at a Time by M. Russell Ballard, published by Deseret Book.

The book is based on Elder Ballard's talk from the October 2012 General Conference called Be Anxiously Engaged. The book is beautiful- it's full of gorgeous photography and sketches relating to the story about bees and honey that he uses to illustrate the difference that we each make with all of the seemingly small things that we do.

Isn't this topic perfect for women? For mothers? It seems we are all so overwhelmed, so busy, so "engaged". We are also very critical of ourselves- seeing where we fall short, and seeing so many things we wish we had done but have not managed to. In reading this book, we are reminded that just as each bee only produces a very small amount of honey, our seemingly small efforts add up to make a beautiful, sweet difference.

Your small, simple acts of service DO matter!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Deseret Book. All opinions expressed here are my very own.

An Uncommon Life: Years of Preparation (L. Tom Perry)

Today I want to share a new book called L. Tom Perry ~ An Uncommon Life: Years of Preparation by Lee Tom Perry (written about his Father, Elder L. Tom Perry's life), and published by Deseret Book.

This book is the first volume in a set of two- it covers the first part of L. Tom Perry's life, up until the time that he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
I am looking forward to the second book!

The book is called "An Uncommon Life". When you start to read the book, you find out that Elder Perry often comments that he is, "as common as dirt." It really made me look at the book (and his life) from a different perspective. It is so interesting to read the story of the life of a person like this, who we sometimes think of as "above us". It's such a reminder that even the leaders of the church, though of course called of God, are "normal" people.. they live normal lives, and they go through the same sorts of experiences that the rest of us do!

The book begins with stories of Elder Perry's ancestors and moves through to his parents, and his birth and on through his life, with story after story as well as notes from letters between different family members from various stages of life.

One of my favourite stories shared in the book was one from when Elder Perry was a young boy. It tells of a job that his father gave him involving straightening out used nails (this story is also shared in a talk given by Elder Perry, recorded here.) I found this story interesting, as a parent. I am always paying attention to the different ways that parents teach their children lessons. I am also interested when I hear stories from the past, that teach me how much my children could be doing (that they are not doing) at their current ages. (The story about the nails was from when Elder Perry was Talia's age, so it really had me thinking :)

The book includes a section of pages containing pictures (I always love the chance to sort of get a peek into someone's family photo album)

I also enjoyed reading about the early stages of the Perrys' marriage, and Elder Perry's different jobs. I felt like I was learning right along with them, learning from their experience, and taking note for my own future, of the importance of keeping things (work, family, church, etc.) balanced in life.

You can read an excerpt from the book as well as reviews, or purchase the book at Deseret Book online.

Disclosure: I received An Uncommon Life free of charge from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my very own.

Little Man Mustache Baby Shower

My sister-in-law, Betsy, is pregnant with her second little boy. We are so excited about it!

My other sister-in-law (Rachelle) came up with the idea to throw a diaper shower for her, since it is her second baby. So, we invited a few close family and friends and had a little party to celebrate this little one's arrival!

Throw a Moustache themed diaper shower or birthday party for your Little Mister by

Rachelle found some inspiration on Pinterest, and recreated an invitation that she saw there. (I would have linked to it, but the pin didn't send you anywhere, so I don't know where it originated) Isn't this adorable?!

May 2013 Sharing Time

Here's May's Sharing Time Linky & a review of this week's posts:

This week I posted a Triangle Bunting Tutorial

& shared a Summer Broccoli Salad recipe.

Now, on to the link party- can't wait to see the new ideas you'll add!

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DIY Paper Triangle Bunting Tutorial

My post about the paper triangle bunting that I made for Talia's Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday Party has been a popular one. I originally just posted the idea and linked to the tutorial that I had found online.

That tutorial came from a blog that has since become private,
so I've received a lot of comments from people looking for the tutorial.

So, here it is!

How to make a triangle banner with 12x12 Scrapbook Paper at

You'll Need:

The Beginning of Better Days

With Mother's Day approaching, it seems like a great time to introduce a new book called The Beginning of Better Days, published by Deseret Book. It's a collection of notes taken by Eliza R. Snow, from talks by Joseph Smith to women, with personal insights from Sheri Dew and Virginia H. Pearce.

I have not yet read it, but I am looking forward to it!

Here is a video with some women who HAVE read the book- they share a bit about their experience reading and sharing the book with others through a book club, and their thoughts about the book:

Product Description from

How important are women in the restored church of Jesus Christ? We learn something about the answer to the question from a simple historic fact: In 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith took time to attend several meetings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo and give personal instruction to the women there. He did this at a time of great personal turmoil, when persecutions were raging and his responsibilities were heavy. He did it at a time when society barely acknowledged women as having any kind of status at all. On six separate occasions, he taught the women personally about their privileges, their opportunities, their obligations, and the blessings the Lord had in store for them in His kingdom.

The Beginning of Better Days includes Joseph Smith's six timeless sermons to the women of Nauvoo, along with personal essays from Sheri Dew and Virginia H. Pearce that help us better understand the sermons and their relevance for Latter-day Saint women today. "We have attempted to share a little about our own processes of discovery regarding the sermons," writes the authors. "This is what worked for us. What works for you may be similar — or it may be completely different. The important thing is to dig in."

I look forward to checking the book out soon!

Disclosure: I am not being paid for this post. Deseret Book will provide a copy of the book to me in exchange for sharing it on my blog.

Summer Broccoli Salad ( #cbias )

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #cbias #SocialFabric

One of my favourite things about Victoria Day weekend for me and for my family is the opportunity to get everyone together! We get to enjoy the beautiful weather (that we've waited so long for!) together.

In the past we have gathered in someone's backyard for a BBQ and games and visiting, followed up by roasting marshmallows- I love that! This year we're going to have my husband's sister and her kids in town- which is very exciting because they haven't been back to Canada since my other sister-in-law's wedding which was right after Katrina was born, so I wasn't in a position to run around and participate in everything!

I recently tried out a recipe that would be perfect to bring to a BBQ like that- it's a simple salad that could be brought along to a BBQ as a side, or added to with some grilled chicken or salmon.

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