31 December 2006

the eve of a new year

A new year is fast approaching and I am thinking about my list of resolutions. I have made a list for many years now, and I try to keep it within realistic terms, nothing too wild or fanciful. The top of my list usually is health and fitness related, trying some new exercise regime or renewing an old one. I think last year my list included getting back into yoga, which sadly did not become a reality. I have'nt done any yoga for a few years and I can't seem to get back into for reasons unexplainable.
Lately, in the past few months, I have been using my handweights while watching tv and taking power walks 2 or 3 times per week. It seems like I have to really force myself to do both, instead of just naturally incorporating the habits into my daily routine. Why do I hate to exercise? In the past, I have had several gym memberships and I can't remember if I dutifully went or otherwise. My body is slowly losing tonality and it scares me a little. I hate to look at myself dressing in the mirror now and you would think those two things would send me running back to the exercise mat. But no, I guess I have sort of resigned myself to this feeling of 'Oh well .......ce sera sera'. Maybe as we age we give in and resign and say 'that's okay'. It's not the end of the world if we have a rounded tummy or cellulite on our thighs. It's okay if we don't look like a celebrity or supermodel.
On the other side of the coin, being physically fit is more about health and wellness and respect for the body. If we treat our bodies well, through eating and exercise, we can live longer, be healthier and hopefully ward off disease and disorder. That should be the real goal of exercise. Now if only I could follow this good advice, and stick to some mode of exercise in the next year. My list also includes giving up or decreasing some bad habits: less junk food, pepsi, coffee, chips, cookies. My delicious bad habits, of which I indulge much too frequently, should be occasional treats and not a part of my daily diet. That will be goal no. 2.
For the past 5 years the first two resolutions have always been the same.
I hope someday that I will not have to write them down on the list any longer and that they will become a part of my life, and not have to be enforced.

29 December 2006

Christmas lights

photos of houses in our neighbourhood. The first one is fuzzy but I like it anyway. The last one is our house.

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is looking at all the pretty lights on houses and trees. Steve wanted to use the new blue LED lights and we got two different shades of blue. It's a nice effect I think. I saw greenish turquoise lights that I would like to get to put around the windows for next year.

27 December 2006

Christmas photos

Here are a few photos of Christmas at our house:

Even though we have a real fireplace we like to play this fireplace DVD cos it has a nice soundtrack.

Me and Mama - Christmas dinner. I look exhausted from cooking and from very little sleep on Christmas Eve.

Unwrapping the gifts

Happy Holidays

vintage card

mixing the dough for fruitcake hermit cookies

ready for the oven

the finished product ready to eat!

our festive diningroom window
Yes, it was happy indeed at our house. We made merry, we ate much, and shared gifts. I managed to make 4 kinds of cookies-gingerbread, brandy molasses roll ups, fruitcake hermits and chocolate shortbread(almost recovered from the accident) and made my napkin rings, sewed up the placemats although I did'nt finish Eddies' stocking or make my chocolate cherry morsels. Maybe I'll make them in a few days or try a new recipe so I can use my new shiny red beautiful Kitchen Aid processor. That was my best present this Christmas, and I thank Steve for indulging me so. I also received the flatiron for my bad hair days, about 6 books on cooking, fabric, interior design and the new Audrey Hepburn book (thanks Joe!). Santa was good to me as always and I loved all my gifts. I am also thankful for the company of family and even though not everyone could make it this year, it was very pleasant being surrounded by loved ones and seeing how much everyone enjoyed the holiday.

24 December 2006

God bless us everyone

This santa is very old and has been hung on the Roberts Christmas tree for many years

I do hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and lots of good food, nice presents and holiday cheer. I'm going to make gluuheim tonight - a german mulled spice wine and we'll have a nice selection of cheeses and dips. It will just be Steve and me for Christmas eve, since our guests won't be arriving until Christmas Day.
Looking forward to watching The Christmas Story - the boy who wants the Red Rider bb gun, and my favorite movie A Christmas Carol with Alistar Sim.

22 December 2006

It's NOT looking a little bit like Christmas!

my antique tray from Goodwill, all cleaned up

our tree
my beaded napkin rings

Rain today! Yuk! Drat! Ick!
I want some snow in southern ontario, now, please!!
I wish they could send all the excess snow from Colarado here so we can have a white Christmas. (I do hope all the Christmas travellers make it to their destinations.)
We had to go to the dreaded mall yesterday to snag a few more gifts. Unfortunately Whitby does'nt have much in the way of small cute shops like Toronto does. So we found parking, 2 miles from the mall it seemed, and went in like brave soldiers to join the swarm of people in a mall that never ends, trying to find the music store, Old Navy and a few others. Man, what chaos.
It's no fun trying to weave your way through a sea of people who don't really look where they're going. GRR!
It's not enjoyable to line up with 8 people already ahead of you, each holding 3-4 items, and then have the check out clerk ask for a price check. ARG!
It's certainly not entertaining to have to search for your car for 15 minutes, then line up for another 15 minutes just to exit the mall parking lot. AHH!
My sister was smart. She used her head and bought everything online, and had everything waiting on her doorstop. Stress-free, hassle-free, and easy peasy.
I've learned my lesson, and how! Next year will be the beginning of a new shopping tradition. Thanks sis!
This will likely be my last blog until the 27th or so.
I wish everyone the merriest, happiest Christmas!

the decoration at the park near us

19 December 2006

6 days til the big day

I got the last 4 cards mailed out this morning, I baked a batch of brandy molasses lace cookies last night (very sweet - whoa!) and I've purchased a couple more gifts, and treated myself to some beautiful crystal wineglasses for Christmas dinner - they're so fab! I just love a beautifully set table with nice linen napkins and tablecloth.

Now I'm going to work on my napkin rings and then start another batch of cookies. Maybe wrap a few gifts tonight while watching tv. I feel a little less stressed now. I just want to enjoy the process of making and baking and not feel like I'm watching the clock or calendar. Tis the season to have fun! Think I'll go make myself a hot cup of cocoa now.

18 December 2006

Hectic Season

St. Lawrence Mk. Front St. Toronto

Front St. Toronto CN tower on left (click on photo to enhance)

Christmas is in one week people! Nooooo! Not ready yet?!, Have'nt made all the cookies, or finished shopping, or made Eddie's stocking, still need to mail 4 cards, wrap presents, then plan for Christmas dinner. How could I let this happen?
Okay, I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'll just pace myself and try to get some things done. I know I can't do everything. So busy trying to clean and organize a very messy house in preparation for guests this weekend. Dinner party on Saturday. It's overwhelming, so I'm just going to say to heck with it, and just go with the flow now. If if it does'nt get done, tough! Christmas won't be ruined if I don't get that stocking made or I don't finish my beaded napking rings or if I only have 2 kinds of cookies, instead of 5 kinds. Why should we work ourselves into a anxious frenzy and be too stressed to enjoy the season. We need to give ourselves a break. We need copious amounts of dark chocolate and a few glasses of good cheer (I'm talkin booze, friends). So put on some Bing Crosby Christmas tunes or a Christmas movie, and put your feet up.
Enjoy your holiday and enjoy your families and friends and RELAX!
(This blog entry was mainly a message to myself to relieve me of tremendous anxiety about the holidays. Hope it helps you too, if you're feeling the same.)

12 December 2006

Terrible Tuesday

Ouch Baby! Very OUCH!!

I had a terrible morning, I dropped a burning hot tart pan on my forearm, burning myself quite nastily, as you can see from the photo. Of course, I reacted to this by dropping said pan, and destroying the chocolate shortbread. ARGHH! I was in so much pain, man it was intense. I sat at the bathroom sink for nearly a half hour soaking my forearm in cold water, then applied petroleum jelly and wrapping in bandage. Luckily, the pain has now subsided alot, although there is some blistering, but I am REALLY pissed about my cookies. I will attempt again tonight this time being ever so cautious with the pan.
On a lighter note, we got our tree on Sunday, finding a perfect Balsam Fir and have got the lights on it, and hope to decorate it tonight and listen to Charlie Brown christmas soundtrack, turn on the gas fireplace, and have some hot cocoa. Theres nothing like the smell of a fresh real tree in your house, and cookies baking in the oven, so very nice indeed!

11 December 2006

Saturday Shopping

Swararski crystal tree, Eaton Centre, last year

So shopping was fun, but poor Steve was miserable. He hates to shop, and complained too much, so next time I shop alone. I hit 4 or so nice shops on Queens St. W, independent of course, and had a lovely time picking out items, which I wish I could show here, but then certain people would see what they are getting, so alas, I cannot.
In between shopping, stopped at a cafe for a delicious gingerbread latte and maple walnut tart, to fuel myself for the rest of my shopping day. I had such a nice time talking to shop owners and petting doggies in the street and seeing beautiful soaps, toys, decorations, and lots of other neat stuff. My poor wallet was empty by the end of the day but my heart was full from the joys of the day and the spirit of the Christmas season.

08 December 2006


So, I'm off to Toronto for the weekend to do some shopping and a few appts. I may go into the crazy Eaton Cente Mall just for a few minutes to see the decorations maybe take a few photos, no shopping there though, I'll be hitting some cute little boutiques instead, to keep my sanity, thank you very much. I'd much rather buy unique gifts instead of something mass-produced or run of the mill. It's so much nicer to receive something one-of-a-kind and also help the independent shops. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and hopefully stress free, stay away from the malls people!

06 December 2006

Thrifty Thursday

my thrift store loot
So Scotty and I did'nt get around to our holiday baking. We wandered around downtown Whitby, first hitting the thrift store and finding a lot of cool stuff: I scored a few Christmas decorations, a vintage wind-up toy doggie whose tail goes round and round, a cute blue creamer , 3 home and country mags, red linen checked napkins, a cute little bird house that I want to paint 50's green and a beautiful antique silver-plated tray that needs a bit of tlc but once it's cleaned up I'll put a bunch of silver and red Christmas balls to make a nice display. (total $7.45) Scott snagged a pineapple ceramic knick knack that he is going to paint silver and try to make it look like he bought it at Bombay Co. and he also got some nice old greeting cards.
We then headed to the dollar store and got a bunch of Christmas balls, since I want to fill a big glass vase with various colored balls, very nice decoration for the house($3.45).
On the way home, stopped off at the florist shop and picked out a pretty red gerber daisy and the lady there gave me some pine, which I placed in the vase for a very nice display($3.45). So it was a fun and cheap shopping experience, we spent very little and avoided the crowded, hectic malls. I hope to do most of my holiday shopping outside of the malls, buying handmade and going to cute little boutiques instead. Tis the season to be jolly and stress free.
Scotty and me

wAckY wEdnEsdaY

Steve donned Eddies' scrunchy tent. He kind of looks like an astronaut. Silly!
Eddie looking adorable as ever!

05 December 2006


Christmas cards

Scotty the bear

Here is some of my latest work, this teddy bear I created for my little nephew Callum (who is almost a year old on Dec.31) and a few of my cards. For the bear, which I named Scotty, since he has plaid arms and legs, I embroidered his facial features, adding a silly grin. I also appliqued the initial 'C' on his belly,and gave him a french knot for a belly button and a cheery red scarf to keep him from getting a chill (tee hee). It was a real sense of satisfaction making him and seeing the progress day to day, so I very much enjoyed doing this project. I hope little baby Callum loves him and they become good friends, I can just picture him sleeping with him or dragging him around the house.
Now, I'm off to work on some more cards and then later, my friend Scotty is coming over to make cutout sugar Christmas cookies.

02 December 2006

So, I'm off to Toronto for the weekend to do some shopping and a few appts. I may go into the crazy Eaton Cente Mall just for a few minutes to see the decorations maybe take a few photos, no shopping there though, I'll be hitting some cute little boutiques instead, to keep my sanity, thank you very much. I'd much rather buy unique gifts instead of something mass-produced or run of the mill. It's so much nicer to receive something one-of-a-kind and also help the independent shops. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and hopefully stress free, stay away from the malls people! Lovely shop

more crafts

button wreath
Originally uploaded by little birds.

Love this! Have to make, luckily I have a lot of buttons in my collection.

So, hope everyone had a good weekend. Steve and I went to see 'Casino Royale' with the sexy Daniel Craig, that shot of him on the beach was tres yummy! Wow, what an action-packed, plot-twisting movie. Gorgeous exotic locale shots, smart and witty dialogue, courtesy of Canadian Paul Haggis (co-writer) and an amazing chase scene at the start of the movie. Highly recommended.
We also stopped by the St. Lawrence Antique show and saw alot of neat stuff, including lots of beautiful Christmas ornaments and decorations, we bought a few ornaments to add to our growing collection. I've started to decorate the house, A Euclyptus wreath with silver bells and set out our collection of vintage Christmas cards, and were going to put the outside house lights on tonight. Still more to do, of course, in due time.

I love this Christmas Village scene:


Here is a photo of another cat named Ziggy. You may have heard about her in the news recently. She was found in a ships container in Liverpool England after being trapped for 17 days without food or water. Poor Ziggy, who was named for her different colored eyes after David Bowie, was rescued, and they are trying to find her owners (if any) in Israel where the ship came from. If I could, I would adopt her!

01 December 2006

Feelin' Crafty

I recently made some lavender sachets

This felted craft is so cute!

I started making Christmas cards yesterday, using fabric applique on the cards, it's easy and fun. I made 3 so far. 11 to go, will photograph and add to the blog soon. These cards are really nice. (not mine)

I feel pretty lousy - got a cold and it's rainy last two days - yuck! Does'nt feel Christmasy yet outside. I finished making my nephews' teddy bear - hope he will like it. It is so cute! So, 24 shopping days left now. I want to make cookies soon, my friend Scotty is coming next week to bake sugar cookies here. I'm watching Martha Stewart lately, with all the Christmas projects, feeling very inspired, but low on energy so I'd better pace myself. Oh yeah, I want to make stockings for Archie and Edie. So many things to do, I always want to do so much stuff, but I know I can't do everything I wish to do. Sigh.


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