You Snooze, You Lose

Happy last day of 2011!

This morning the four of us discussed our new years resolutions.  I love that the monkeys are old enough to make their own and they both thought of really thoughtful and insightful goals for themselves to work on. We each though of a few for ourselves then each chose one resolution for each family member to improve on.  I'm going to type them up and hang them in our main living space to have as a reference.
One member of our family is going to work on not sleeping in which reminded me of this alarm clock:

This alarm shreds your money if you don't get up in time- Yikes!
The monkeys thought it would be funny to have a hammer alarm clock that you leave your IPhone or in their case ITouch under and it would smash it if you didn't shut it off- Double Yikes!!
I'm a morning person but tomorrow we're going to a friends for a morning brunch- might need something like this then!

One of my resolutions it to take more chances this year-
Happy New Year and all the best in 2012


Food Tips

Hull a strawberry using a straw

Rub a walnut over dings and scratches on your wood furniture

Stop cut apples from browning by securing with a rubber band

What are your favorite food tips? 


Green Tips

Tips to make life easier while staying 'green'
Re-use bread tags to identify cords

Re-use a wet wipe container to store plastic bags- 
I'm going to make one of these for my car!

I love this idea and love how it looks- 
Re-use old gutters to make a window box veggie garden.

We recently bought a stove top pop corn maker which we love- 
This idea of using plain paper bags alleviates the plastic lined bags usually used for microwave popcorn.

 What are your favorite 'green' tips to make life easier? 


Dreidel Cake- Hanukkah

We made this dreidel cake over the weekend- 
It is super easy to make and has the added bonus of getting immediate rewards by tasting the cut off parts right away. 

Here is a post about dreidel's

We baked a vanilla cake in a rectangular cake pan 
Cut the top with two large squares on either side

two triangles off the bottom

and there is our dreidel cake

{would love to see your on Instagram- I'm ladyofthearts}

I sprinkled some icing sugar on top and it was company ready!
Only two more nights of Hanukkah- 
How is your holiday season? 


Holiday Tips

My friend S. sent me an email with some great ideas to make life easier-
Here are a few that are sure to make your holiday season a little easier:
Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough
over the top and voila, you have cookie bowls for fruit
or ice-cream.

Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls
against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the

Use egg cartons to separate and store your
Christmas decorations.
Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting
crosses into a box lid.

What are your favorite tips to make the holidays easier? 
(Besides alcohol!)  


these moments

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember- I generally don't veer from the one photo format but this week I decided to share a moment for each of my monkeys- May you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season. 


Hanukkah Craft- Wreaths

I'm not aware of wreaths being solely a Christmas decoration.  We made this craft at a workshop where other children used Christmas themed scraps of fabric- and we used white and blue.

First we cut a circle out of recycled cardboard.
 Then using two different fabrics we placed one on top of the other and tied them together to create a 'bow'.
We repeated that step 30 times! 

Finally we glued our thirty bows around the perimeter of the the circle being careful to rotate them slightly. 

Finally we tied a blue ribbon and glued it on.
I hole punched the cardboard and added another ribbon to make it easier to hang.

I imagine I will have these for years to come- My mom still has the macaroni wreath I made in kindergarten and she puts it up every year. 

What decorations of yours was your parents favorite? 
What is your favorite homemade decoration? 


Hanukkah Latke

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah- there is a buzz of excitement in the house.  
As is the tradition we made latke- we like to make the traditional potato ones and this year we tried a carrot curry recipe.  Every year we make the latke ahead of time and I quick freeze them.
On the nights we eat them I heat them up on a tray in the oven.  Anyone who has made latke knows that it is messy and the smell of frying oil permeates the house.  By making them ahead of time we are able to avoid the hassle and enjoy our guests.  

To see a recipe for potato latke and my post from last year (where I took much better photos!) click HERE
Traditionally they are served with sour cream and apple sauce.
I prefer the apple sauce. 

Happy Hanukkah! 


this moment

this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


DIY Holiday Gift Ideas- Spruce Up The Gift Card

We give out a lot of gift cards- I enjoy making the gift more personalized and having the monkeys get involved with making gifts.
We purchased mugs, hot cocoa, and candy canes.  
We then made non denominational ornaments and wrapped up little gift packages with a gift card tucked inside each mug. 

We started off by collecting pine cones and painting them.

We then glue gunned a piece of ribbon to the base and called it an ornament. 

I don't believe in cellophane- if you have any ideas for clear wrap that is better for the environment- please let me know.
For the sake of identifying what gift card was in the gift and to keep production lines moving on our dinning table I opted to use the clear wrap. 
I would love to get a gift like this- Wouldn't you?

In case you wanted to see the cutest dog in the world:
here is my Spike with his holiday cut and some bells to prove it! 


Color Drip Candles

When I was in college, my roommate and I used to spend hours making drip candles.  We would get various colors groups and starting with the darkest drip layers of wax along wine bottles- (wine bottles were not hard to come by!) I love lighting candles, especially around the holiday season and had started saving stubs of candles to do this project when I came upon these Color Drip Candles at World Market.

Each pack comes with two candles which is a great starter for two wine bottles-  To continue the wax drip art just add colored candles (the ones that are colored through and not white in the center are best).

The monkeys are really quite into playing with wax and fire (shocking I know!) so we are going to gather a few more wine bottles and actually make the bottles I had originally wanted to make- The starter pack is a great way to get the project up and running (pun intended).
Happy Monday!
What is your favorite candle decorative? 


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Film: Chloe

Atom Egoyan is a famous film maker, in Canada.  One of my top favorite movies of all times is The Sweet Hereafter (1997)- if you haven't seen it I highly recommend you do, it is one of those stories that stays with you.  Last night I watched Chloe (2009), touted as an erotic thriller.  The film stars Julianne MooreLiam Neeson, and Amanda Seyfried- an amazing cast in my opinion.  Amanda Seyfried who I best recognize as the oldest daughter in Big Love is an amazing actress and has a sexy big lipped look about her.   
The film takes place in Toronto not far from where I grew up- in fact Atom Egoyan lives right in my parents neighborhood.  It was really awesome seeing various scenes form Yorkville, The Royal Ontario Museum and Queen Street West.  The snow and cold reminded me of how glad I am to live in the South West!  
As I mentioned this film is considered an erotic thriller, a label that I don't like.  It feel that the expectations and the audience that such a label attracts is not the same audience who would enjoy the intricate layered relationships which contribute so much more to the story. The film is about a high end call girl Chloe, who is hired by a woman in an attempt to seduce her husband to gauge his faithfulness to her.  As is typical in a tragedy- the characters ultimate demise is rooted in the bad decisions and choices they make.  
Watching the film to see the architecture and design of the house Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson's characters live in- is alone worth watching the film. 

Have you seen Chloe?
What do you think of the Erotic Thriller genre? 

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