Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May you and yours be blessed beyond measure this Christmas season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Yellow Day!

8 years ago, today, while washing laundry, I accidentally died our whites yellow. My David instantly declared that December 20 would forever be yellow day in honour of that boo boo. I laughed it off, but he was in ernest. So, I bring you this year's instalment of yellow.

I found various yellow shirts at the second hand stores (it is almost impossible to find yellow in the winter! we will shop for next year's yellow day in the spring) and made some iron on transfers for mine and the little's shirts. (Designs inspired by these.) It's a work day for my David, so I found him a dress shirt and did not ruin it with a t-shirt transfer.

I'm not sure if we'll get a family shot later or not, but two of my littles were ready to represent for the blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Checking In

It's the middle of December?!?!?! When did that happen? I can hardly believe how fast the last few weeks have gone. I have a lot to catch up on, so let's get to it!

  • Before IKEA, we celebrated Malachi's 2nd birthday. He loves hats, so we had a hat party. I made myself a mini top hat to wear. It's a bit rough, but maybe someday I'll have reason to make another and to make it better.

  • With much help from my David (he did some serious rescuing) we made a two layer checkerboard cake. Malachi practised blowing out candles for days before his party. He walked around the house singing "Birthday" (blow) and "yay!" It was super cute.

  • Micah turned 6 months old! I am blown away!

  • We've decorated for Christmas. We only have a little three foot tree and I find that a little too small, but thankfully we were able to borrow a nice tree and so this Mama got to decorate a tree and the littles got to decorate a tree. It's hard to get a nice picture of a Christmas tree, isn't it?

  • We gave the children Christmas pajamas on the first of December. We're starting a new tradition to do this. They were so excited. You may have seen this on Facebook, but it's worth showing you again...

  • We made an advent calendar this year. I've been wanting to do this for some time and finally was able to do it. My David found these cute boxes at Walmart. I printed off the numbers from here. We hung them on the garland we bought from IKEA. Inside the boxes are chocolates (hooray for the free swag from IKEA), a Bible reference to look up and read together, an activity (thanks to our Sunday School ministry team) and a flavour of tea for David and I to drink. My pictures aren't great, but you get the idea.

  • I made roman blinds for my living room window. I like them. Not bad for a first try. I measured the windows, but didn't account for the beveled frames, so I had to tweak the first one with a trim. I ended up re-cutting the other two panels. They are much better than those awful plastic vertical blinds that we'd been using.

  • I finally can show you my fun pin cushions that I made awhile back. One was a gift, so I didn't want to give away the surprise. Aren't they cute? Tutorial here.

  • David and I participated in Bethlehem LIVE! for the fourth year. David was a tour guide and Micah and I were townsfolk at the well. We had a great time. You can read about BL! here. Micah, by the way, got to be a stand in for baby Jesus. That means that all three of my children have played the honoured roll at BL! We are so blessed. On one of the tours that we were in the stable scene, a lady came back after her tour group had moved on to whisper "Thank you" as tears rolled down her cheeks. I am so glad that she was so moved.

  • Working on Christmas projects now. May or may not be showing you some before Christmas, but will definitely have lots to show you sooner or later.

Friday, November 30, 2012

IKEA Shopping Preview - the SWAG! (Final Post)

I'm sorry if you're sick of hearing about IKEA, this is my last post. When we were leaving, we were both handed a huge bag of free product. Having planned events, I should've expected this, but I was actually surprised. I felt treated with the invitation and the discount and wasn't expecting anything else. Let's get to the SWAG!

David and I received a bag each

here are the contents of one bag (they had the same items in every bag)
 Contents: coffee, milk frother, napkins, bowl, frame, egg timer, 4 espresso mugs, 2 candle holders, 100 tealights, desk lamp and organizing box. Plus (not shown) a light bulb (link not found, but similar to this one), a bag of chocolates and a flash drive with all the media information.

here's what we bought

Contents: garlands, napkins, napkin holder, baker's twine and an angel light (no link found). Plus (not shown) sparkling drink and a chocolate bar.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write about IKEA. These are all of my own opinions. Go or not, it's up to you. I just blog about what I like and I like IKEA.

IKEA Shopping Preview - SHOPPING! (Picture Heavy)

(photo credit - IKEA) We didn't actually catch this when we were shopping, but now this art piece is on our wish list.

Finally the part you've all been waiting for. Let's shop! David and I wandered through IKEA at a leisurely pace for about two hours. We had in mind certain things that we wanted to see and items we might purchase. In the end we only spent about $40, but we sure had a great time browsing.

David took lots of nice 'n' juicy pics. I'll let them tell this part of the story.

my love of colour had me drooling over this one!

I Love new bedding!

IKEA has such great children's products

Textiles are always full of colour and fun!

We love IKEA and will hopefully go back soon. Our only wish is that IKEA wasn't always so far from where we live. Why is that?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

IKEA Shopping Preview - the Cocktail Reception

Part of our event was the cocktail reception for the media. Let me set the stage for you...
David and I arrived at about 5:55pm. We waited outside in the cold until they opened the door. It was fun for me to imagine who people were and what media organization they represented. Did some of these people feel surprised by their invitation or were some expecting it? Were there other "mom bloggers" who left their littles at home with Dad or a babysitter? Did anyone else feel nervous about the cocktail reception and whether they were dressed "professional" enough. Those five minutes seemed to last forever. David was so cute, for those of you who know him, it would be no surprise to you to hear that he was literally bouncing with excitement. I, on the other hand, pretended to be taking in stride. "No biggie, folks, media events are *yawn* 'old news'." Inside I'm going "EEEEEEEK! Let me in! Let me in!" Doors open.

We then checked in. "Hi, I'm Coralee Gingras from the Angry Turtle, and this is David." It's hard to sound cool and professional with a blog title like the Angry Turtle. I think I might have giggled a little. So much for taking it in stride. The lady checked us in and over her shoulder said "Happy IKEA date night."

We dropped off our coats at a coat check set up for the evening and headed up the escalator. At the top of the escalator were servers offering us our choice of wines or champagne. Toward the restaurant we were greeted by IKEA PR people and servers with appetizers. There was a DJ playing music and we headed further in to check things out.

This is the part of the evening that intimidated me going in. I am not a networking type of person, though I was prepared with my handmade business cards. I am an introvert, but have been working hard over the last five years to be more bold and assertive in regards to meeting people. I was so proud of myself for taking the initiative to introduce myself to a lovely young lady. Hi, Amy!

David took a bunch of pictures and we "parked" ourselves at a cocktail table and let the servers come to us with appetizers. I was waiting for what I was assuming would be an official program of sorts. I expected speeches from different IKEA representatives, but was surprised that the extent of the formalities ended after a 2 minute speech by a gentleman, whom I don't recall his name or role at IKEA.

At this time I realized if I wanted someone to answer my questions about IKEA for Children, then I needed to take care of it. I have to admit, this took a few tries. Did I mention that I felt intimidated? So, I found the first IKEA worker that looked like someone I could approach (someone who didn't dress like a fashion magazine or look like an executive). Well, I happened to stop a restaurant worker, she took pity on me and flagged down a PR guy for me. I stumbled over a couple of questions and called it done. David teased me a little. I did only end up asking two or three questions with little information. I still wanted to take some pictures and tour Småland, so I knew that I needed to try again. I flagged down another IKEA representative and asked permission to go take some pictures and he said he would get someone to escort me. The lady who took us and answered our questions was great. PHEW! My "business" was done. Time to shop, relax and enjoy the rest of the evening!

Just a note about the IKEA Restaurant and Cáfe: It's beautiful. My favourite features are the separated seating areas. It has created a more intimate environment than other IKEAs that I've been to and taken away from that typical cafeteria type of feel. We are looking forward to going for dinner sometime.