Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Chalkboard Wall

I think it's time to show off our finished chalkboard wall.

Here's a look at what we started with...


...and how it looks now...


Check out this post for some in progress pictures of our board and batten entryway.

We've had a lot of fun doodling and writing messages on it, but last night, I tried something a little bit different and I think that it turned out quite well!

Here's the how to...

A little stash of old stencils...

... is perfect for getting creative with a favourite quote.

Hold up!
Just hold the stencil up to the wall and draw in some chalk.

Smooth it over.
Blending with a finger does the trick.

Footloose and Fancy-free.
Smudges and marks are inevitable.  A damp paper towel works well to clean up some areas, but I think some imperfections add a bit of character. 

Fun.  Simple.  And if you make a mistake - it's just chalk!

Do you have a chalkboard wall?
If so, what's written on it at the moment?

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A gift from the sea

My in-laws recently spent some time vacationing in Florida.  While there, they collected many lovely seashells for me {thank you!}...

...I love all of the different shapes, sizes, and colours...

...there's a sand dollar in the mix....

...several large pieces...

...and little ones too...

They are all so unique...

...isn't this one incredible?

I can't wait to find a place for them in our home... maybe I'll even incorporate them into an upcoming project!

Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The First Pancake

Well, things here at the new house are starting to get back to normal.  So I am hoping to get back to our regularly scheduled programming here in blogland.

And what better way to kick start my returned focus to Charcoal and Crayons, than with a delicious breakfast recipe?

My husband and I have been trying various Buttermilk Pancake recipes, searching for the perfect one.  I think I have finally found it!

You can find the original in the comments section of this recipe.

I've tweaked it just a little bit...

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups *{buttermilk substitute}*
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla

*{To make Buttermilk Substitute:  The basic ratio is 1 tbsp of vinegar per 1 cup of milk.  This is what I do... pour 1 tbsp of vinegar into bottom of measuring cup.  Top up to the 1 cup mark with skim milk.  Let stand for 5 min.  To make a 3/4 cup portion, use 2 1/4 tsp of vinegar and top up to 3/4 mark with milk.  I actually prefer this substitute in all of my recipes rather than the real thing... the vinegar seems to have a lovely fluffy reaction with the baking soda.  Don't have any vinegar?  Lemon juice works too.}*

  1. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  2. In medium bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet to dry, stirring until moistened.
  4. Let stand for 10 min.
  5. Heat skillet over medium heat and brush or spray lightly with oil.
  6. Ladle batter into skillet.
  7. Cook for 2 min. until bubbles on top break and golden on bottom.
  8. Flip and cook for 1 min. longer until golden.

I like to freeze any extra pancakes.  Pop them in the toaster, and there you have a quick easy breakfast.

And I just had to share what has to be my favourite saying about pancakes...

In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake.
If it's not perfect, that's okay, there are a lot more coming along.
- Antonin Scalia

So far, I think my first pancake turned out just right...

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Trail

Today (unlike the past few days) it didn't rain.  So Oliver, Roxy, and I went for a walk down the trail that starts across the street from our new house.  I have been itching to go out and explore this new neighbourhood of ours, and boy am I glad that I did!

I popped outside to set up the stroller, then came back inside to this...

Oliver had taken every single plastic baggie out of the box.  Have to get those drawer locks installed soon!

So after the baggies were back in their box, we set off.
The trail starts in a wooded forest area which was carpeted with these...

The beautiful white Trillium flower is the official emblem of the province of Ontario (where we live).  They are quite delicate and will die if you pick them... so please don't!  It's actually illegal to do so on conservation lands and in provincial parks.  This is the closest picture I could get of them without stepping off the path.

As we walked further down the trail, I was truly in awe of our surroundings.  On one side was the creek and on the other were some of the most incredible backyards I have ever seen.  Luscious gardens, stunning balconies and patios, rows of birdhouses and feeders, and canoes resting creek side delighted our senses.  I felt weird taking pictures here, in case people were watching... so if I ever get up the courage to snap a couple, you'll be the first to know!

The trail continues on to the waterfront.  More magnificent townhomes and condos can be found here.  We had the entire waterfront to ourselves, save for a friendly older gentleman pushing a wheelbarrow.  I think he was glad to be out gardening after the rainy week that we've had.

It was so foggy that we could just barely see the lake, lending a magical atmosphere to our afternoon stroll.  We soon came across the perfect spot for a little snack...

Oliver enjoyed his lakeside banana...

And Roxy sniffed out the Hi-Spy Masterview II...

I took a look through the lenses, but all I could see was fog.  The white space just beyond the grass is actually the lake...

As we got ready to head home, the sun began to shine through the fog...

We made our way back down the trail and I noticed the marina peeking through the trees...

What a wonderful walk it was... and it only confirms just how much
I love this neighbourhood.
And I think Oliver likes it too.

I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Have you had any delightful discoveries in your own neighbourhood recently?
Where's your favourite place to go for a walk?

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome Wagon Wackiness

My husband, Chris, is working the night shift tonight, so after Oliver and I waved him goodbye, we enjoyed a quick dinner.  Ollie likes to feed himself... and it shows... so he went right into the bathtub.

I had just taken him out of the bath and wrapped him in a towel, when the doorbell rang.

So I gathered up my toweled baby bundle and headed downstairs to see who was waiting on the front porch.  I had just opened the door when our dog, Roxy, hurtled past me before I even had a chance to think of grabbing her collar.

Needless to say, the Welcome Wagon woman at my door received a big wagging tail, flopping tongue welcome from Roxy.  Unfortunately, with my hands full of squeaky clean naked towel wrapped baby, I was still unable to get a hold of that dog before she bounded off of the front porch.

The wonderful Welcome Wagon woman went after her and thankfully brought our pooch back to the porch and into the house.

Once I had Oliver dressed in something other than a towel, I was able to welcome the Welcome Wagon woman into my home.  A home with dinner dishes on the counter, a toy explosion all over the floor, a nosy slobbery dog, and some very comfortable living room furniture...

These borrowed folding camp chairs are filling in until we find a couch the fits our family as well as our budget.

The Welcome Wagon woman had a basket of little gifts and info about our new neighbourhood for us... and even a bag of yummy dog treats for Roxy.

And my embarrassment over the state of our house was slightly lessened when she told me about the 11 month old baby in her own toy explosion home.

Do you have a similar experience?
Has an unexpected guest ever caught you off guard? 

If you want to learn more about Welcome Wagon, check out their website.

Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A childhood favourite...

Oh how I've missed you all!

Last weekend, we decided to start moving boxes of smaller things from the condo over to the new house and...
I haven't been back to the condo since!

It was actually a good thing that the internet (and thus no blogging) wasn't hooked up at the new house yet, because there has been a lot of other things to do.  I finished up the board and batten project {I'll be posting more on that soon} and have been doing lots of unpacking.

Our wonderful friends - Tom, Tara, and their 3 year old daughter Tessa - drove all the way up here to help out with the move too {Thanks guys!}.  Oliver was quite smitten with Tessa and we all really enjoyed their visit.

We're still recovering from all of the commotion and our daily routines are a little bit off schedule.  So last night, with Chris back at work, Oliver and I required an easy and super simple dinner.  I thought it was the perfect time to introduce Ollie to one of my childhood favourites...

Wieners & Beans


1 can of baked beans
2 hotdogs

  1. Pour can of baked beans into a pot.
  2. Slice in the hotdogs.
  3. Heat over medium - high heat, until hotdogs are cooked {they puff up a little bit}
  4. If necessary, you can add some water if the mixture is too thick.

Oliver enjoyed  his with a side of peas and corn...

mmm... makes me feel like a kid again!

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flingin' Chicken

Today, we were out and about and decided to stop at Swiss Chalet for dinner.  Their specialty is rotisserie chicken, so that is what we had.  Oliver even had his own child sized version.

Along with his chicken, he was eating up all of the attention from the waitresses.  Even at 13 months old, he  was definitely hamming it up and excitedly enjoying his delicious dinner.  Maybe a little too excitedly...


With handfuls of chicken, he started waiving his arms around, causing pieces of chicken to fly through the air all over the place!  I was sure one of those chicken pieces hit the lady at the next table (Chris later assured me that it didn't - but I noticed that she quickly finished her dinner and left shortly afterwards).

As we were trying to stifle our uncontrollable laughter, I remember thinking that this is only the beginning.  I am sure that there will be many more funny family dinnertime moments in the years to come... and if you are ever over at our house for dinner, be prepared to duck.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Award

I was very excited when Sugar & Spice in The Land of Balls & Sticks awarded me with my first blog award...

Now that I've finally had a chance to sit down and think about it a little bit, I can accept this award by telling you ten random things about myself...

  1. I watched my little Oliver take a couple of steps today.
  2. Although I'm short, I am a flip flop and ballet flat kind of girl.
  3. I love flipping through the weekly flyers... even if I'm not looking to buy anything in particular.
  4. I like birds and beachy things.
  5. Since I was a little girl, we've been renting the same cottage every Summer... it's been about 17 years now.  My husband and I spent our honeymoon there.  It's one of my favourite places.
  6. I love Diet Pepsi... actually any type of pop will do!
  7. I don't like being in a car.
  8. Every time that I enter a Home Depot, I get a little nostalgic and sentimental.  Before I became a Stay at Home Mom, I worked and designed kitchens there...  so many great memories and people.
  9. I love containers, boxes, and baskets.
  10. I am such an indecisive person.  I usually over analyze things, although blogging has helped me bite the bullet and just click the submit button already!

Well, I am supposed to pick ten blogs to pass this award on to, and my indecisiveness has kicked in full force.  I've been going through my favourites (several times), and here's just ten of the many blogs that I love... in no particular order...

  1. Thrifty Like Me
  2. Sweet Little Smoothie
  3. Purple Froggie Clay Stuff
  4. Michelle's Charm World
  5. Ma Nouvelle Mode
  6. Junky Vagabond
  7. Ice Lolly Loons
  8. Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
  9. At Home With K
  10. Brushed Satin

 Thanks for dropping by.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Back to Civilization and What I've been Up To

    Well, I'm back to civilization.  The past 4 days working on the new house were exhausting and exciting, yet peaceful.  I actually enjoyed the quiet that comes with no television, radio, or internet.

    The big project that I've been working on is almost complete, but I can't wait to show you what I've been up to...

    So here it is... a look at our Board and Batten so far...

    Front Hallway Before

    Front Hallway so far

    Front Entryway Before

    Front Entryway so far

    Entryway Closet Before

    Entryway Closet so far

    Chalkboard Wall Before

    Chalkboard Wall so far

    Another coat (or two) of white paint and a few touch ups left to go!
    I'll be working on a more in depth post about it all.
    But first, I'm off to catch up on emails and my favourite blogs... :)

    Thanks for stopping by.