Friday, January 31, 2014

Foodie Love ~ Pull Apart Cinnamon Buns

These are the easiest thing to make and so perfect for Sunday morning brunches. The best part about this recipe is that you put them together the night before so all you have to do in the morning is turn the oven on. 

The Necessities:
~ 1 Package of frozen uncooked dinner rolls
~ 1/2 Cup of brown sugar (packed)
~ 2 Tbs of vanilla pudding mix
~ 2 Tsp of cinnamon
~ 1/4 Cup of melted butter
~ Butter to coat pan
~ Bundt cake pan

The Process:
~ Coat pan with butter using pastry brush
~ Place 12 of the frozen dinner rolls in the pan spread out as much as you can
~ Sprinkle evenly with sugar, pudding mix and cinnamon
~ Pour melted butter over entire mixture
~ Place in oven (obviously not on) to rise overnight
~ In the morning remove pull aparts and heat oven to 350C
~ Bake pull aparts in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until they are nice and brown on the outside
~ Remove from oven and flip upside down onto a plate to serve

Mrs. E

Our Canadian Girl

If you grew up in Canada your know how to snowshoe.

Growing up in a place where I swear we have snow 10 months out of the year we all learned to snowshoe in phys ed. It just seems like a natural activity for one who often gets snowed in. David's sister and her husband gave Sydney her own pair of snowshoes for Christmas and we just had to wait for a warm enough day to give them a shot! She got all bundled up and headed out. Aside from one incident where her snowshoe and boot got stuck and pulled off she did amazingly! It was such a cute moment for our little Canadian girl. I am so excited for her to get more opportunities to use them. 

Mrs. E

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kid Experiment ~ Squishy Baff

When you were a kid did you ever dream of what it would be like to swim in a bath full of jello?

Sydney got to do just that. While we were visiting my dad over Christmas he gave her a double package of a product called SquishyBaff. I had seen it before and thought it looked like fun but I didn't think that they sold it in Canada. She was so excited to try it out that we opened one of the packs the next day. 

I am not exactly sure what it is that makes the powder turn to jelly crystals but I do know that it was cool. We ran a warm bath and poured in the packaged powder. Within minutes we were swimming in a tub of jello. It was weird and squishy and totally cool. It took some coaxing to get Syd to actually sit down but once she did she was thrilled. To make the water turn back to liquid all of have to do was add the step 2 pack of powder and stir it around. Super fun!

Mrs. E

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY Our House ~ Built in Bookshelves

When we started this project I fully intended on taking step by step photos.... well that didn't happen.

Since we bought our house last year I have been fighting with what I should do for shelving and storage in the family room. I am really not a fan of our corner fireplace. David and I have been debating options for this space for a very long time. We finally decided it would be best to move the fireplace to the middle of the wall and have built in bookshelves put in on either side of it. 

Once we nailed down a design we contacted a few finishers for some quotes. The cheapest quote we received was over $5000! Woah... that is not really within our budget. After some further debate and a little bit of research we decided to tackle it ourselves and adapt the plan. The easiest way to accomplish our goals was a straight up Ikea hack.

He headed to our local Ikea and Lowes picked up the following:

1 ~ Two narrow width Billy bookcases $49 each
2 ~ Bookcase corner bracket kit $5
3 ~ Two 15" deep wide Billy bookcases $69 each
4 ~ One 8 Foot length of Rope molding from Lowes $18
5 ~ Two 8 Foot Lengths of Poly foam crown molding from Lowes $13 each
6 ~ Two narrow width Billy bookcase extensions $20 each
7 ~ Two wide width Billy bookcase extensions $35 each

You will also need:
- Several lengths of 1.5" flat moulding
- Paintable caulking
- Finishing nails
- Clear varnish
- Wood filler
- Drydex
- Sand paper
- Flat braces for connecting units
- Baseboards to cover the length of the unit that match the ones that you currently have
- Two pieces of hardboard that are cut to the exact size of each of the sides of your unit
- Primer
- Paint for shelves (We used Picket Fence by Martha Stewart in a semi gloss)
- Paint for back of unit (We used a deep blue that I can't remember the name of but I will try to find it again)

Here is a general breakdown of how we put his whole thing together:

1 ~ Measure your space and choose the size of shelving you would like to use. 
2 ~ Purchase and assemble the individual shelving units leaving the extenders off if you are using them 
3 ~ Place the shelves where you would like them to sit (using the corner bracket if you are working with an angle like we were) and anchor them to the wall using the anchors provided with the Billy bookcases
4 ~ Using the flat braces, bolt the units together along the top
5 ~ Attach the extender units
6 ~ After carefully measuring the sides of your unit, have hardboard cut to exact size from floor to ceiling and front to back. This will hide the joint between bookshelf and extender unit and create a nice smooth side panel to work with. Securely nail in place.
7 ~ Measure, cut and adhere flat moulding to the fronts of all shelves and front edges of the unit using finishing nails.
8 ~ Cut and adhere crown moulding to the top of the unit using finishing nails.
9 ~ Cut and adhere baseboards to the bottom of the unit using finishing nails.
11 ~ Cut and adhere rope moulding on top of the baseboard to hide the gap that will be there. Use finishing nails.
11 ~ Fill all unused shelf holes with wood filler and allow to dry.
12 ~ Sand smooth.
13 ~ Prime entire unit
14 ~ Fill any remaining holes, cracks, nics and dings with drydex and allow to dry.
15 ~ Sand smooth (I know.... this is the worst part)
16 ~ Use paintable caulking to fill all cracks and gaps and allow to dry.
17 ~ Paint the unit in the color or colors of your choice. (Two coats)
18 ~ Clear coat the back of the unit with two coats regular gloss varnish.
19 ~ Clear coat the rest of the unit with two coats of high gloss varnish. 
20 ~ Pour yourself a nice drink, sit back and enjoy!

This beast took us almost five days to finish. It requires so many steps to make it look right but it was so worth the effort. The entire thing cost us under $650 which is substantially less than the $4000 we were quoted by a professional. It was well worth the sweat equity. 

Once you have given the unit a full 24 hours to dry it's time for the fun part! We were able to finally pull out some of our books and travel items that have been packed in boxes wince we moved into the house. It was so great to go through everything and reminisce. I missed seeing some of our favorite memories displayed with pride and I love how the unit adds so much warmth and personality to our family room. We also filled the bottom of the unit with storage baskets that hold all of the kids toys... that means that there are no toys out in the open now!!!!

What do you think of the final product?

Mrs. E

Mommy & Me

Having both a little boy and girl in my life has made me realize how different my bond is with both of them. 

Sydney and I have so much fun together. We giggle and play and enjoy girly moments that only a mother and daughter could enjoy. Each moment I spend with her is special and we have an incredibly close bond. My bond with Henry is different. He is my sweet little man and is completely attached to me. We have a very unique relationship and when we get moments alone I savor every second and try to lock details of our interactions in my mind for the difficult days I know we will have in years to come. I love this boy so, so, so, so much. 

Mrs. E

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bad Blogger!

I have been an absolutely blogger lately!

We have been completely tied up in the process of hiring our nanny and developing the basement so she has somewhere to to live. It has been a crazy mix of interviews, paperwork, construction, scheduling and organization. The house is a mess, the nanny has been chosen and the basement is coming along. The whole thing has been very stressful and fun at the same time. We are taking a huge hit financially to make everything happen and it makes both of us anxious. I am trying to deal with everything on top of being there for the kids and plan two upcoming parties (a baby shower and Sydney's birthday) and it is taking its toll. 

I promise to update more often.

Mrs. E

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas Day

I am finally getting around to posting a few photos from our Christmas morning. 

It was Henry's first Christmas and the first one that Sydney actually really got into. We had so much fun! Both kids had a great time opening gifts and we had an amazing family dinner. It was the perfect Christmas morning. 

Mrs E.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Eve

Here is a quick Christmas Eve recap....

We had to keep this guy from attacking the Christmas tree and all of it's sparkly decorations....

Sydney and Daddy made some delicious cookies for the Jolly old man in red....

...and we wrote him an amazing note to say how thankful we are for such an incredible Christmas together. 

Mrs. E


I have been so absent from the blog lately. 

To be honest, our life is just a little but overwhelming lately. Over the holidays we decided that I will be returning to work full time (*sob*) and that we will be developing our unfinished basement for the nanny we will be bringing in from oversees. You heard me right... we are hiring a live-in nanny. 

This decision has been really hard on us and as soon as we got home from Christmas in Lethbridge we had to jump into planning everything full on. There is no time to mess around because my first day back to work is scheduled on April 28th! To say that I am panicked is a complete understatement. The paperwork involved with bringing in an out of country nanny is huge and the basement reno is just adding to the stress. Nothing like working under the gun!

I will try to keep you updated along the way. But for now, I just ask for a little patience with me as I try to return to regular blogging. Life is getting interesting over here!

Mrs. E

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas #3 ~ The Eliuks

Our third Christmas was with David's family. 

We had organized a gift exchange and could not wait to trade goodies with everyone. I had David's mom Joan and I made her a beautiful quilted Christmas table runner and picked up a few other little things to add (including some gorgeous Anthropologie earrings). The kids opened gifts and loved all of the attention. Sydney mastered the art of ripping paper while tossing it over her head in dramatic fashion. Henry tried to eat all of the paper she tossed over her shoulder.

It was so much fun to spend some time together before we went our separate ways for Christmas morning. We did the gift exchange in the morning followed by brunch and then had full turkey dinner that night. It was such a great day and night and I can't wait to do it all again next year. 

Mrs. E