Thursday, May 20, 2010

sweet pleated dress

My sister found the pattern to this sweet pleated dress from the blog "Make It and Love It", and then my incredibly talented mother-in-law sewed it for my litle girls!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Secret Jenkins' Family Ice Tea Recipe

The year I got married to a Jenkins' boy, was the year I learned the secret Jenkins' family ICE TEA recipe. Now if you know my hubby's family, you know that they love (some might say are addicted to) their ice tea! The story goes that while they were living in Delaware, they learned this recipe and it has stuck with them every summer since! I remember drinking this tea when I was 16 years old, and not particularily loving it, but obviously as my love grew for my hubby, so did my love for his ice tea.

Well, who knows what sort of trouble I could get into for sharing this secret recipe, but here goes:

6 cups of water
8 bags of tea (be creative)
1 cup of honey
A few lemon slices and/or peppermint leaves

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
2. Turn off the gas or burner.
3. Drop in 8 bags of tea (my personal favourite is 4 bags of Earl Grey and 4 bags of Peppermint).
4. Put the lid back on and let sit for 15 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes, stir in 1 cup of sugar.
6. Dilute the tea solution with a ratio of 1 of tea solution to 2 of water.
7. Add lemon slices or peppermint leaves to add a little extra taste!

I like to use a large mason jar as a pitcher. It has a chic country vibe, and I needed to find a use for the 30 odd jars I unknowingly purchased in a recent auction mishap!

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Ahaaaaaaaaaa" (envision that I am singing this angelically with a vibrato on the "haaaaaaaa" part)

Have you ever had a "Ahaaaaaaaa" moment when shopping? Here are my top 6 "Ahaaaaaaaa" shopping moments:

6. Shopping with my friend and her step daughter for her wedding dress. I believe we both sang our angelic "ahaaaaaaaa"s together when we walked into the loft space that screamed anything but the "usual" wedding dresse!

5. Shabby Chic with a French Twist Mirror for 10 bucks. Logger's Games? Yes, an unlikely place, but the location made the "ahaaaaaaaa" even more incredible.

4. At a garage sale this weekend I scooped up some vintage flower fabric for a couple of bucks. I was so exicted that I remember looking around thinking that I better hold onto it so no one else steals my treasure! See my facebook page for photos of the dress

3. "Ahaaaaaaaa" moments are even better when the item is free! I found a big, old, decrepid, white frame on the side of the street on a rainy day last spring and dragged it home. It now holds it's rightly place on my living room wall (much to the disgrace of my husband who doesn't quite see the value in the "garbage" that I drag home).

2. Vintage Sundress. Salvation Army and Value Village(VV). Need I say more? *perfect with light brown cowboy boots*

1. My cowboy boots. I spent a glorious (child-free) afternoon at Kensington Market in Toronto. I had some birthday money and I have been dreaming of light brown cowboy boots for some time. Each store I went into was all out of boots my size, let alone light brown. I was feeling a little hopeless and then, well, the boots sang out to me! It was too good to be true to find the perfect pair in my size. I was practically singing in the store to the sales clerk who was clearly pleased that she had brought so much pleasure to her customer. *I also found a vintage sunflower dress at VV later in the day to top off my heavenly shopping experience*

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Do you ever feel like the toys just keep multiplying all your house? Yesterday I decided to simplify the toy situation. So at the end of the day, all the books and puppets went into a cupboard and the toys went into one toy box and the doll houses were hidden behind the couch. One huge garbage bag was taken to our guest room, which has turned into the "stuff to go to the attic but never quite makes it to the attic" room.

I feel so cleansed and well...civilized. Now I just have to self-talk my way through the day to fight off the feeling of clutter that little ones generate. I know, I know, clutter is just a part of the package with kids. My husband subscribes to the philosohy of "clean up as they mess up", but I have been pondering the consequences of this mindset, namely, I will be cleaning up all day! Why not just clean once, at the end of the day, and even better, teach the girls how to clean with me. (This plan is foiled if you have guests over "during" the day.) Now, I admit, depending on my sleep and stress levels, I do find the clutter overwhelming some days, but I am a firm beliver in effficiency.

These are my random thoughts on cleanliness, brought on my having guests to my house last night, which is quite frankly, exausting because all day I am feeling the pressure to keep the house clean for the end of the day....but that is a whole other topic...why do we feel the need to present our house as calm, cool and well...clean...when in reality it is anything but that!

On another note, I have a tidbit of advice about how to control the toy situation and keep the little ones entertained after their nap, so you can have more time to recharge. I used to go to the dollar store every 2 weeks or so, but this idea is even more frugal. Swap a toy bag with a friend (or in my case my sister). After the little ones have fallen asleep at nap time or night time, put a few toys on their bed. When they wake up, instead of crying out for "Mummy" the plan is that they see their new toy or book and play for a while longer. Or, even if this doesn't stop them from crying for their Momma, at least they have a few novelty toys or books to keep them excited for the afternoon. If you don't have someone to swap toys with just leave a few toys out for the children to play with during the day, and then at nap time, reach into that huge garbage bag in the "guest room" and reunite your children with their long-lost toys.

Now, I admit, sometimes I do hear the whisper of a nagging guilt about turning my children into consumer robots but I can usually quiet that whisper with the joy of seeing them play independantly with their new little goodies. Perhaps I should just stick to giving them new books instead of toys....hmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today was a multi-tasking day, and as I am writing this I am multi-tasking talking to my husband about my day...Baking, helping my sister pick her kitchen cupboards, cleaning the house, learning to twitter and blog, hosting a twin group night, being a mummy to 2 year old twin girls...mummy tasking!