Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Tasty Tuesday – A British Thanksgiving

Because Thanksgiving & Christmas are only a month a part, our family decided to switch things up for our Thanksgiving meal so that we don’t have two overly similar meals at the two holidays. Each year we pick a different country & prepare our Thanksgiving meal with an international slant. We’ve been doing this for years – we’ve done Jamaican, German, French, Cajun, Mexican, Italian, and Southern (we consider the Southern United States to be a foreign country although we’ve all lived there!)

This year we went for British. We always have turkey & will often have traditional sides, but with an international twist. Here is this year’s menu:

Brussels Sprouts
Smashed Roast Potatoes
Spinach Salad
Yorkshire Pudding
Bread Sauce
Homemade Cranberry Sauce

For dessert:

Spotted Dick with Warm Custard Sauce
Pumpkin Cobbler

It was a yummy meal. I was in charge of the Brussels sprouts & the potatoes. A couple of people hadn’t had Brussels sprouts for years & didn’t have good memories of them. I converted one with this recipe, but not the other. I also had no idea that they are actually called Brussels sprouts & not brussel sprouts until I was researchign recipes – you learn something new… This was the second time I made the smashed roast potatoes – the first time I wrote about here. They were still super good.

All the elements of the meal were so tasty. The spotted dick was very good – haven’t had it for years – the custard sauce is always a great addition.

Whether you are an American or not, there’s never a wrong time to be thankful! I am overwhelmed by all the blessings in my life & I want to be thankful everyday.

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Make It Monday – Button Christmas Tree

One of our traditions with my sister & Mom is to make a Christmas craft together over the Thanksgiving break. We will often pick a craft together & do the same thing, but this year we each chose to do our own thing. We actually all chose something we saw on Pinterest! What was life like before Pinterest?

Given my love for & collection of buttons, I chose to do a button tree. I saw several versions on Pinterest. Here’s one.

There are so many ways you could go with this idea – different colour schemes, different types of buttons and pins. I chose to go with a rainbow look. Why? Because I love colour & I love rainbows. I was kind of obsessed with rainbows when I was growing up – I had so many rainbow stickers in my sticker collection, it was kind of ridiculous. Pair a rainbow with a unicorn & I was very pleased. Make it a flying unicorn & I was over the moon!

This was a super easy project which was good because I was exhausted when we were working on our crafts. I was worried about running out of buttons, but I need not have worried at all, it was the pins that I ran out of. I was going to do two smaller trees to match, but didn’t have enough pins. We’ll see if I get some purchased & make more trees before Christmas.

Are you creating anything homemade for Christmas?


Thankful Thursday – Stephanie Edition

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s also my sister’s birthday. While her birthday is not always on Thanksgiving, she was born on Thanksgiving Day on an army base not long before my Dad was sent to Vietnam.

There are five years between us. When we were younger, we weren’t always best friends, in fact there were incidents of being chased around with a butcher knife & maybe even some fist fights.

There were also nights when I was scared & she allowed me to crawl into bed with her underneath her poster of Tom Selleck. There was the time when she had just broken up with a boyfriend, she had some friends at our house & despite being completely embarrassed, she allowed my best friend & I to dance our way through the entirety of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album – “to cheer her up.”

The older we got, the closer we got. We travelled with our parents to Jamaica to live for a few years. We did the laundry by hand together in big tin buckets. We sang songs at the piano together. We explored that amazing country together. She started a school for special needs kids while I went to high school, she was 18 years old.

Then we moved to the States together while our parents stayed in Jamaica. We worked, served & had so many amazing times together. By now, we were well & truly best friends. It was a fun time & a really tough time. I wouldn’t have wanted to go through that time with anyone else.

Then she got married, I moved overseas, but the bond was forever and she’s still my best friend. Through cross-country and international moves. Marriage and children. Children, there’s a thing. I am so thankful that we get to raise our children together. It’s an amazing, miraculous story that our two oldest boys are only four weeks apart to the day & that we get to share mommyhood together. And despite the fact that she lives six hours away by car (it used to be about 5 hours, but we have kids now!), she’s still my best friend. Always a phone call, text or email away. She’s the one I call when I see a funny bumper sticker or when I am having a frustrating day & just need to vent.

Today, on this day of thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for Stephanie. She’s kind, faithful, loyal, fun, creative, funny, beautiful, smart, strong and I couldn’t ask for a better best bud.

I love you, Stephanie! Happy Birthday.

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Words on Wednesday – Guest Post at Mommyhood Memos

I guest posted earlier this week over at Mommyhood Memos about ways to archive our family moments & memories. You can go here to check it out. Adriel is an American living in Australia raising two gorgeous little boys with her Australian husband. They have been involved in missions work with Youth With a Mission for years. Check out Adriel’s blog, she’s an amazing writer. So many great posts. Thanks, Adriel, for having me on your blog!

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving here in the States. I adore this time of year. I am thankful for family time, great food, traditions & cousins giggling together.

Here’s a shot from last year’s Thanksgiving. I wonder what memories we’ll create this year.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!



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Tasty Tuesday – A Few Fall Favourites

I had a hankering for meat pie this week so I made a ground beef pot pie. I roughly followed this recipe. I didn’t use a packet gravy mix though, I made my own. I used ground beef instead of cubed & I used what vegetables I had on hand, corn, celery & carrots.

It was so yummy & easy to make.

I also wanted to share my go to recipe for roast chicken. It always turns out great. Crispy on the outside, moist & juicy on the inside. Only two ingredients – chicken & salt. I always plan to add herbs, but I love the simplicity of just the salt. It always takes longer than 50-60 minutes to cook – I would say it’s about 80 minutes in all, I measure the temperature and make sure its 180F.

I made a couple of new sweet treats. The first is pumpkin cupcakes. I saw the idea on Pinterest to use a box cake mix and mix it with a can of pumpkin – no other ingredients – to make a cake. I decided to try it out. I used a yellow cake mix, canned pumpkin & because I wanted to accentuate the pumpkin flavour, I added nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice & ground cloves. I chose to do cupcakes & topped them with caramel sauce & an acorn (made previously, here). I thought they turned out really well – they were moist & very appropriate for Fall. I loved the caramel sauce too.

Finally, I made some fun little pilgrim hat cookies, seen here. I used fudge stripe cookies & mini Reeses peanut butter cups. I attached them together & drew on them with writing icing.

Hope you have a tasty week!

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Make It Monday – Necktie Camera Strap Cover

So I’ve been planning on making my own camera strap cover for ages after seeing this easy DIY on Pinterest. I probably still will, but I managed to come up with a different strap cover idea all on my own!

I love vintage ties & I have quite a few of them. So I decided to try making a camera strap cover out of one. It worked really well & I love it! It was pretty easy to do as well.

I started with a vintage tie. You need to make sure that the tie is wide enough to accommodate your camera strap. I measured the length of the strap on the tie itself & cut it, leaving enough room for a small hem.

Then I hemmed the cut end by hand & added a bit of fray-stop. I threaded it through the strap & reattached it to the camera. The threaded end seems to stay in place without help. I added a vintage tie pin to the wide end of the tie.

I love the outcome. I plan to make more – I need to go through my ties & find one that is still wide enough for the strap, but that is a little less wide at the end. I really do love this idea though – super fun.

An easy DIY with minimal sewing. What DIY projects are you working on lately?


Secondhand Sunday – Jackpot!

There is nothing like walking into a thrift store & seeing a sign that says “50% Off Everything in the Store”. Nothing like it. Then, when you actually find some treasures, well, it’s what thrifting is all about.

The three treasures that I am sharing today come from just such an experience I had yesterday. The St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in town has moved location several times & I hadn’t yet visited its latest abode. I finally did yesterday & they were having 50% off everything.

My first find was an amazing vintage 60s hat box, I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t been claimed – the woman at the checkout said it had been around for a couple of weeks! It’s going to be great storage for some of my vintage hats. They had it priced at $4.99 – I got it for half that! The pattern on the outside is so fun & the lining is lovely too.

At the jewelry counter, I found a sweet little vintage handbag. The opening mechanism is cool – can’t really show that in a photo, and the beaded fabric is nice. It was priced at $5.99, so half of that…

My final find was at the exit. It was hanging on the wall. I probably wouldn’t have looked at it if it wasn’t half off, but I’m so glad I had a closer look. It’s a vintage mirror. I love it! Haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it yet, but there might be some spray paint involved & it might end up in our powder room. It was half off $12.99.

I also visited a few other thrift stores in town & was tempted by a couple of things, but I’m learning to exercise restraint. Just because something is cool or fun or rare, doesn’t mean I have to have it. I even turned my back on several vintage owls Because they didn’t really appeal to me. I want to learn to only add things that are meaningful to my collections.

Yesterday was a fabulous thrifting day!

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Fashion on Friday – First Real Snow of the Season!

Just a couple of outfits this week…

We had our first REAL snow in the night last night. My favourite moment of the day was putting the boys in front of a window, opening the curtains & seeing their eyes light up in wonder & joy as they looked out at the beautiful, white snow. I’ve never seen them get dressed so fast. They bundled up & we headed outside. I started shoveling the snow off the driveway while they played in the yard, but soon enough they wanted to join in & help me. We have one child-sized snow shovel – we definitely need to get another. My littlest used a regular kid’s shovel. It’s not particularly helpful when they help me, but it’s so worth it for the fun and I love that they want to help. When we finished up, they were ready to come inside for some hot cider. It was a lovely way to start the day.

Shrug: Torrid
Dress: Old Navy
Leggings: Walmart
Boots: Ross – love these boots!
Necklace: Vintage/Thrifted – one of my many owl necklaces.
Headband: Ross – needed a bit of colour for this grey & black outfit.
Funny Boy: God

Jacket: Target
Dress: Target
Leggings: Walmart
Boots: Ross
Earrings: Forever 21
Super Cute Kid: God

After running some errands this morning, we’re now snuggled up in the house & the boys are playing with an original Weebles Treehouse – one of my favourite toys as a child. A crock pot full of chili is filling the house with yummy aromas. It’s a lovely day indeed.


Thankful Thursday – Thankfulness Tree

We decided to start a new tradition this year. A Thankfulness Tree. For the month of November, everyday, each of us will think of something we are thankful for & write it on a leaf that we will attach to our tree. On each leaf, I also added the initial of the person who thought of it.

I cut a very simple tree shape out of brown wrapping paper & put it up on our game cupboards (Yes, two cupboards FULL of games). Then I cut out enough leaves for the entire month. Every evening after dinner, we each go around & say something we are thankful for. It’s been fun to hear what the boys come up with. Sometimes Zane needs a little help. Most times that we ask him what he’s thankful for, he says, “stars”. He always finds other things though.

It’s been good for all of us to take time each day to be thankful for something specific. Our lives are full of blessings – big (our house) & small (butt paste), profound (God is our Provider) & mundane (roast potatoes AND mashed potatoes – Zane loves potatoes), but blessings all the same.

I am thankful that we have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful that the boys are learning to be grateful & to appreciate all that they have been blessed with. I love that all of Jude’s prayers start with being thankful.

As a worrier, pessimist, melancholic, I need all the reminders & help I can get of all that we have been blessed with. I am grateful that we have an entire holiday dedicated to being thankful. I am thankful for Thanksgiving! I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with the rest of the month.

Here’s our tree & some of our thankful leaves.

Do you have any traditions around the idea of being thankful?

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Make It Monday – Sweater Clips & Coloured Pasta

I have so many Christmas projects going on! It’s fun, but it’s also a lot to keep organised. I also won’t be able to share any of my Christmas present projects until after Christmas. I’ll have heaps to share after Christmas though so watch out!

A while back I made some coloured pasta. It’s easy to do & my oldest son loved helping out with it. It does involve food colouring, so make sure your zip lock bag is actually sealed before shaking it up. If you don’t, you might end up redecorating your kitchen in blue like we did! You can find instructions here. I’ve also done something similar with rice & it’s great too.  Zane wanted to make sure that the dinosaurs were the stars of the photo & not the pasta…

Anyway, we finally got around to doing something with some of the coloured pasta last week. We made simple necklaces. Good fun. I even made one & wore it all day – I felt quite fancy!

Last week I wore a denim jacket & accessorised with a DIY sweater clip. I love vintage jewelry & I think that clip on earrings are gorgeous. I do wear them as earrings, but I’m always looking for other uses for them. For the sweater clip, I simply used some chain I had on hand & attached it with jump rings to the earrings. Then I clipped the earrings on to my jacket. Super easy & I love how it looks.

Hope you find the time & energy to create something this week!