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Love. Create. Celebrate. : April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Edmonton Getaway

 Another adventure!! YAY!! 
This weekend I was given FREE tickets to go to an Edmonton Oilers hockey game. 
It's a four hour drive from here... but FREE hockey tickets + shopping time = amazing!
I was disappointed when I found out that Mr. A had to work all weekend :( 
But that just turned it into a girls weekend! 
I grabbed my friend Mel, who likes hockey AND shopping better than Mr. A anyway! 
Off we went for another relaxing weekend away from home.

Here are some snippets from my weekend away:

My puppies watching me leave. They were a bit sad... 

 Mandatory trip to the dutch shop in Edmonton! Brought home some essentials... Speculaas (goes very good with tea), Nasi Goreng, and pea soup mix :)

And... did I mention shopping?? Here are a few of my finds. Note the similarities to the items on my Spring Fashion Wish List here. I was shopping very purposefully. Not only because my husband tries to make me budget (hehehe), but also because I had made a list and didn't need to do any impulse shopping! The baby things are for my friends new baby (just in case people had any ideas...).

And after all the shopping... dun duh duh DUN! OILERS GAME!!!! Here's Mel and I getting excited before the game started! Both proud owners of Oilers jerseys :)
[ps - look how GOOD our seats are!!! And did I mention that they were free!!!]

Classic hockey meal. 

Game started off well! 

And ended well! 7-2 for the Oilers. They may not have made it to the playoffs, but I got to see a very exciting game where they battled in an on-and-off tie game for the first two periods, and then slaughtered the Canucks in the third period. Great game to go see! Here are all the players celebrating the end of their season.

I woke up for a relaxing morning before we had to hit the road, and so did Diesel. 

These magazines were SUCH a good decision!  I can't wait to go garage saleing!!!

And here's my after-run glow on Sunday morning. I have to keep up the practice on holidays if I really want to succeed in the race mentioned here

Joop was sad he missed everything, so he made sure he was ready for the next time I left... 

It was a great weekend! 
Great escape from GP. Great company. Great weather (mostly). 
BEST live sports game I've ever seen :) 


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Busy Bee's Gotta Eat

There are few things I enjoy more than entertaining.
I love hosting parties, evenings in, evenings out, dinner with friends.
You name it!
Of course with all of these things comes... FOOD!
There are a LOT of good recipes out there that you can whip up in no time. 
Here are a few of my current favourites to serve:

Tried and true spinach dip!

Desserts to share with friends!
Super easy layers of chocolate pudding, whipped cream (self-whipped of course!), strawberries, and brownie chunks. The adoable brownie garnish (if you can call it that!)  is a special touch by my husband :)

I heart putting spreads together for friends when they visit.
This one was no exception! Cheeses included gouda (yummy dutch cheese), goat cheese with cranberries, brie, and classic marble cheese. Veggies, crackers, breads, and a raspberry vinaigrette to dip into - delish!

Delicious breakfast to go before meeting up with friends.
Raspberries, blackberries, granola, and vanilla yogurt.

I stole this broccoli salad recipe from the beautiful Ashley, on her blog here. It went great with our dinner!
Broccoli, cauliflower, bacon bits, dried cranberries, & sunflower seeds.
Dressing: 1 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar. 


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making Decorative Bowls

 I saw these amazing bowls online recently and I thought to myself.... I can make those! 
They make very cute as decorative pieces.
Homemade. Rustic. Natural. Just my style. 
I made three of them, mostly because I find three to be a nice number when decorating, but even just one on a shelf would be nice.

Here's how it's made: 

Various sized bowls, bowl for glue, scissors, fabric stiffener, jute string, and plastic wrap.

Wrap bowls with plastic wrap.
Be sure that they are fully covered, even on the inside. 

Pour fabric stiffener in a bowl and cut strands of string.
<see below for lengths of string>
String should be long enough to wrap from one side of the bowl to the other and back.

Put strands of string in bowl with stiffener and soak them so that they absorb lots of the glue.

Wrap your bowl with as much string as needed to cover it.
I used 8 or so (around 12 inches) on the small bowls, and a dozen strings on the bigger ones (the bigger ones had longer string too - around 20 inches).
Try to wrap it so that the string ends land somewhere in the middle or on the bottom of the bowl. I tried to curve most of the top edges.
The string will feel soft and insecure, but it does harden later!

Pour a bit of extra fabric stiffener on the sections where multiple strings cross, as these spots need to be stronger.  

Push down on the bowl periodically to make sure the strings are pressed tightly together.

Let them dry overnight.

When they are stiff to the touch (24 hours later) turn them over and take the bowl out of the centre.
Then slowly peel the plastic wrap away from the string.

Clean up the little clumps of leftover glue hanging from the strings on the bowls.

Ta-Da! Done!
Just for some ideas: You can fill them with yarn (as I did!), fruit, or decorative accents. I plan to make some and fill them with cookies (as housewarming gifts), or hats (as welcome-home-new-baby gifts), or dishcloths (as wedding shower gifts). So versatile! They can't hold anything too heavy, but you'd be surprised how strong they are! Enjoy :)


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Best Friend Birthday Gift

I LOVE my bestie. 
Love. Love. Love her. 
She has been my friend for 20+ years, and was my Maid of Honor when I got married. 
(And actually.. probably was the best maid of honor in the history of the gig)
We grew up close to each other, but now we live 3 provinces away and only see each other a couple of times a year *tear*. 

The hardest thing about being so far away is that we no longer get to celebrate all of our birthdays, holidays, and accomplishments in person with one another. 
A phone call is just not suffice all the time. 
We still do our best to call and send a little something, but you often end up paying more for the shipping (darn Canada Post!) than you do for the gift itself when you mail anything. 

So I thought... what can I buy/make that meets all my criteria:
1. Thoughtful
2. Not too heavy to send by mail
3. Homemade (if possible)

So here's what I came up with... I bought a lightweight coffee mug, and filled it with chocolate, teas and a starbucks gift card. Then I crocheted some lovely coffee cozies for her mug :) 
Plus the homemade card with a picture from my wedding day [but that's a given with me...lol].

Love you times a million!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pawsatively Free

 In case you couldn't tell from my previous post... the vacation wasn't just for Mr. A and I :) 
I think that the dogs may have actually had a better time in Jasper than we did! 
One of the many great things about Jasper is how dog friendly the town is.
{great for us... maybe not so much for people who don't love dogs!}
It's way easier for us to get-up-'n-go when we don't have to worry about where to bring the dogs.
Dogs are allowed to stay at many of the cabins, go on most of the trails, and even walk into many of the stores.
They even had dog treats waiting for them at the park gate.
Lucky pups!

Here are some snippets of the puppies enjoying their freedom with us in Jasper: 

^^ Enjoying being back in the snow! ^^
^^ Bad idea to chase mountain goats?? ^^
 ^^ Literally walking on a lake! ^^
^^ Joop being a dare devil! Daisy wasn't even brave enough to try! ^^ 

I don't think the puppies will forget about this trip for a while. 
In fact... I'm pretty sure Joop was dreaming about hiking last night {imagine little puppy feet waving back and forth here}. 
All they've done since they got home was sleep, but they LOVED every minute of every hike. 


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Jasper Getaway

It would be an understatement to say that last week was tough. Last week was probably the hardest week I've experienced in my life thus far. Lots of ups and downs. Needless to say that when my husband offered a trip to Jasper for the weekend I jumped at the opportunity. It's so amazing to have such gorgeous scenery on our doorsteps here in Grande Prairie. Just a short 4 hour drive and we were far away from all of the stresses and pains of the previous week. The relaxation was well-needed. Cabins without internet or tv's. Amazing hikes discovering the world's natural beauty. Breathtaking. 

I think this weekend getaway was exactly what we needed to rejuvenate. It was very restful, peaceful and quiet. We stayed in Jasper, but also walked around Pierre Grey's Lake on the way home, and did the short jaunt up Sulphur Gates. The hike we did in Jasper was the Old Fort Point hike - at the suggestion of a friend. It was beautiful!! The view at the top is unreal. I didn't even attempt photos of it, because I don't think I could ever capture the vastness. Highly recommended.

 Here are some snippets from our Jasper getaway:
^^ Best way to start a roadtrip :) ^^ 
^^ Good company for lunch in Jasper ^^ 
^^ Sign that Spring is coming!!!! ^^

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