Thursday, June 30, 2011

$4 Dishwasher Makeover

My friend had a dishwasher. Then she moved into a home with a built in dishwasher, then passed it on to a friend who then moved into a home with a built in, who then stored it in their garage. I am the blessed recipient of said dishwasher. I was given a dishwasher... great, I know! I love having it. Well, I decided to give it a little facelift recently.

Some of you from an older generation are going to laugh about this. I bought two rolls of contact paper for $2 each and stuck it on my dishwasher. This is not a new idea. I had a good laugh with my mom as we remembered my grandmother's love of contact paper or mac tac as we knew it. Grandma put this stuff on absolutely everything. I'm not about to cover my cupboards, books, shelves, toys, jars and other random objects with the stuff, but it did do a great job on my dishwasher. I'm pretty happy with the results.

Abby was quick to discover it's magnetic capabilities were still intact.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things I Love

I've had a little bit of crafty time this week, but no pics yet... stay tuned for that. In the meantime, do you Pinterest? Aaak! So addictive. By that definition, it's time to exercise my spirit of self control... no more this week.

Seriously though, I get asked a lot about where I get ideas for parties, projects, sewing etc. Well, it all began when we first got our iMac in 2006. I'm not even sure of how I came across it, but I found my first sewing tutorial. Up until that point, I had never heard of a blog let alone the vast community of artists online. Well, thanks to Melissa (Tiny Happy), I have never looked back. In the comments from the post on her shoulder bag tutorial, I found links to other blogs and was happily introduced to blogdom. I have benefited from sooooo many free tutorials from lovely domestic bloggers. I have tried my hand at things that I never would have tried without the guidance of someone and I'm so glad that I did.

I constantly have ideas in my bookmarks and now on Pinterest that I'm itching to try or wishing for an occasion to try it. I've researched theme ideas for parties, dreamed of do-it-yourself projects just from seeing someone else's creativity. I think though, that I probably spend too much time "being inspired" and not enough time "doing inspired" things. So, I think that, unless researching for a specific event, I will probably limit my inspiration searches to once a week. This should help to insure that I spend more time working on my own projects and less time drooling over other people's.

If you do check out Pinterest... don't I say I didn't warn you. This is me warning you... highly addictive!!! There have been some questionable pins that I've come across also ones I disagree with, but that's the internet for you. I choose not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Also, you can browse without an account, but you need to be invited to join and post on your own boards. If you want to join, leave me a comment and I'll send you an invite.

(I cut the bars in half as soon as I get them)

Oh, and for real life things I love. You know, ones I've actually touched, bought and used... Pumpkin soap from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Aaaak! Best soap ever! It's specifically designed for Eczema, which I don't have, but it's deep moisturizing qualities make it great for anyone. When I was pregnant with Abigail, I had such terribly itchy skin. I could barely stand it. Well, I remembered the recommendation for Pumpkin soap from someone and bought a bar. I haven't looked back. Our whole family uses it  and I won't use anything else. Love it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maybe It's Growing On Me

I loved this concept the minute I saw it. Inspired by this pattern. The execution... not so much. I think maybe skinny girls would rock this style so much better. It is growing on me. I guess I feel like I spent enough time on it to make a good effort to like it.

David reminds me that he's the only one I need to impress and he's already impressed, so why stress? He's so sweet. Well, it may or may not be my last piece of clothing for awhile. I don't know. I guess I find more satisfaction in a finished accessory where size doesn't matter. Maybe someday, I'll have to take a class on sewing clothes in order to boost my confidence. *sigh*

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The very next day after I posted our family update...

David got a full time job!
After 1 year, 1 month and 8 days of being unemployed!
Congratulations, Darling!
David started a sales position at Computer Trends yesterday and I miss him already!

In other exciting {obviously not as exciting as a job news} news, I conquered my fear of pastry! I was convinced that I'd never try it, but I did and though it's not perfectly beautiful, I DID IT!

This is my third attempt and third meat pie (Recipe loosely followed) this month.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gingras Family Update Spring 2011

David and I used to write quarterly newsletters and mail them out. It was quite costly in time and money and with our family growing, we haven't done one in quite some time. Since I know some of our friends are keeping touch through this little blog-o-mine, I thought that it might be time for a proper family update. So, without further ado:

Our little man has been such a great addition to our family. He is adored by each member of our little family. During one of my maternity ultrasounds we discovered that Malachi's right kidney was enlarged and thus began a bunch of tests and doctors appointments. In his first 5 months since he was born, Malachi has had an ultrasound, a VCUG test and a MAG3 scan. All these tests and a urologist to tell us that Malachi's kidney is still functioning, but has a slow drain time. The time it takes his kidney to drain is in okay parameters and so there is no talk of surgery at this time. He will be sent for another ultrasound in August and possibly another MAG3 scan in eight months, but the urologist is happy for now. Malachi isn't in any pain and for that we are very grateful.

I could fill this little blog with Malachi's accolades and accomplishments, but it would be through a mother's eye and therefore a little biased. He is a typical newborn baby boy and a delight! His smiles are ready to light up the room and bring me out of my tired grumpies in a wink. He adores his big sister and she, in turn, adores him. I cannot imagine our little family without my little man.

Our creative gem. Abby continues to delight us and challenge us. Abby loves her little brother almost to the point of injury and he is one of her favourite playmates. Abigail recently moved from her playpen into a tent (we wanted to train her to sleep in another form of portable bed so she would sleep at friend's houses) and even more recently into her 'big girl' bed - a great toddler bed! Abigail has a great imagination and even better, a great faith in God. Malachi was having a fussy cranky day and at one point Abby came over, put her little hand on his head, closed her eyes, bowed her head and prayed 
"Dear Lord. Help, Jesus. Malachi crying. Amen." 
Abigail has such a tender and compassionate heart and notices if someone is sad and tries to help.

Abigail's, two year old, hormones have brought challenges as she attempts to communicate with us. One minute she is happy and playful and the next angry or frustrated to the point of screaming. With God's guidance we are trying to train her how to control her temper, but we don't always handle it very well. I am so grateful that Abigail is almost as quick to change back to her happy, playful self once her 'issue' is resolved. The funny thing is that often, we're not sure how it was resolved.

Abigail loves to go 'out'. Her favourite outing is to the park and would quite happily spend every day, all day there. She also, almost daily, asks to go to church. Once, when I took her to the mall, she cried when we got there because she thought we were going to church. 

There are many cute stories I could tell you, but I'll leave you with her latest insistence, that we call her by both of her special nicknames when we kiss her goodnight. If we forget, she'll remind us by saying "goodnight, Pookie" or "goodnight, Dolly". Melt my heart!

The man I respect and admire so much, has been so challenged in his walk of faith this year that I've seen his faith rise above his experiences. He has led our family with such strength and endurance and I am so proud of him. This past year has been full of challenges for us as David's department in Best Buy was laid off last May. David, who is incredibly gifted and extremely hire-able, hasn't found a replacement position since then. We've joined the school of hard knocks, as we learn how to fully trust Jehovah Jirah (the Lord, Provider). We have good days and we have hard days, but it's been an extremely valuable year for us as we've seen time and again, how faithful God has been. This past April, we started to journal how God has been providing for us and we're constantly amazed at His generosity. David has been faced with the challenge of being "wired up" to work and provide for his family and yet blocked at every turn. He has been faithful to follow what the Lord's been directing him to do, even in the face of criticism. I am so proud of him. 

David has been invaluable to me at home during this past year. Last summer in the crazy heat and emotional swings of pregnancy, he took such great care of me and Abigail. Since Malachi's birth, David has faithfully woken up with Abigail in the mornings so that I can sneak in a little bit of extra sleep after the long nights with Malachi. David has taken it upon himself to prepare our meals for us (a chore, I don't enjoy at all) and he is gracious to drive me and the children wherever we need to go, including our weekly mom's group. I will really miss having him home, when he is blessed with employment.

Did you enjoy David's blog about our Winnipeg adventure? Well, he is full of great ideas and we get to join him as he finds new places to explore. We'll be sharing more reviews from our home city.

David brought my mud mask along on our weekend getaway. We "invited" Malachi to join in on the fun. I love that David thought of this, what fun memories!

I've had my own faith walk and growth this year that has been a challenge. I am learning more and more each day about my role as a wife and a mother. I've been learning to lay down my desires and selfishness to serve my family better. I don't always get this right and find myself frustrated when I can't get to what I want to and get it done. I am trying to take a breath and remember that it's my privilege to serve my family and I am so blessed to be at home with them.

Many people have asked me when/if I will be selling my sewn goods. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time, and aside from a few small commissions here and there, I feel that this little dream of mine will wait until my children are school aged and not so dependent on me. I don't ever want to feel the pull to choose between paying attention to my family and filling orders. Perhaps when the children are in school, I will take the time and effort to give it a go. In the meantime, I'm always flattered when approached to take on a custom job and if you're willing to be patient for the finished product, I'll probably be able to accommodate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I often hear myself tell people that I "saw it on a blog that I read". You have no idea how inspiring it is to follow other people's blogs. There are soooo many great ideas that my bookmarks are constantly full of tutorials, ideas or just plain pretty things. I thought I'd share some inspiration with you today. Mostly because I don't have the physical energy to do anything creative right now, so I'll show you someone else's creativity.
(source - what inspired me to try my hand at my own)

  • Design Mom, has great posts that she titles "A Few Things". These posts are links to some great things she's found throughout the week.
  • It's no secret how much I love red doors!
  • Browsing here has almost become an obsession with me... we're definately making one for our children for Christmas this year!
  • One of MANY children's sewing projects that I've been itching to do and have actually even started (stay tuned for the finished product).
  • I did make some of these and haven't taken the time to take pictures to show you yet. I used them at my birthday party and still use one for jewelry.
  • I might have to get over my fear of sewing clothing to make one of these in black jersey. Check out how many ways you can wear one!
  • I'm pretty sure that I'll make one of these for Malachi's first birthday party - one decoration with a huge effect.
  • I don't even like cake, but am itching to make one of these!
  • Drooling over these amazing custom bunks. Makes me want to have a bunch of children to justify have one or two rooms setup like this.
  • Why doesn't my small space ever look this cute and functional?
  • Would love to go on a getaway with my David and stay here - so cool!
Hope you enjoyed dreaming with me. *sigh*

Friday, June 3, 2011

DIY Draft Stopper

Because I don't have much else to show you right now (I will take pictures of my failed/semi-failed clothes attempts and show you, hopefully soon-ish), I thought I'd show you my draft stopper. David's been asking me to make one of these for some time. It was so quick, I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to it, but it's finally done. Now, we need to have something at the door crack all the time. If it's not to keep out the bad burnt food smells or cigarette smoke from other people's apartments, then it's to keep our "bought" air (air conditioned air) inside our apartment and not cooling the entire hallway outside our door. We were using our kitchen mat, bunched up at the door crack, but this was a pain for a few reasons.

  1. I have a kitchen mat to be used in the kitchen not jammed under my door.
  2. When we left our apartment, we had no way of jamming it back under the door and so our "bought" air would escape.
  3. Every time we needed to open the door (think: check the mail, do laundry, take out the garbage etc), we'd have to move the silly mat. This was especially a pain if you had your hands full. The matt stuck to the carpet just enough to make it too difficult to just kick out of the way.
All of this was in consideration when "designing" a draft stopper. I use 'design' lightly, as I'm fully aware that there's not much design to it. In any case. This is what I came up with.

I surged a tube of semi-slippery fabric. The idea being that it could glide along the top of the carpet without too much trouble.

(you can see how much of a crack there is between the floor and the door)

I sewed three ribbon tabs spread across the length of the tube then pulled them under the door and stapled them in place.

(my, what an ugly door!)

This keeps the draft stopper attached to the door. It just hangs around and does it's job whenever the door is closed.

So far, so good. I never have to touch it, it functions well and hey, it's one more project out of my brain and off my sewing desk. Onward!