It's Time for My Easter Nests

It's that time of year to make my favorite Easter treats.
 ( reposting from last Easter)

These nests are so easy to make and taste great!

You'll need a 1/4 cup of butter, a bag of chow mein noodles and a bag of marshmallows.  

Melt 1/4 cup of butter and 2 cups of marshmallows on the stove for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the marshmallows are melted, turn the heat off and add 4 cups of chow mein noodles.  Mix thoroughly.

Use a really clean muffin tin.  Rub butter in each spot.

Put a bit of the mixture in each spot.   Use butter on your clean hands too so you can push the mixture around to create the nest.  This recipe makes about 15 nests.  If you want to make more, buy two bags of chow mein noodles for each bag of marshmallows.

Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours, then carefully remove the nests with a butter knife.

I put some parchment paper down, then put the nests on that.  

Add M&M's, Robin's Eggs or jelly beans as the 'eggs' and you're done!

Thanks for your visit!


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What didn't get blogged....

Happy Friday! Here's what happened that I didn't have an opportunity to write about it on my blog. Overall it was a pretty quiet week...

[1] Oscar's 2nd Birthday Gift arrived! It is a group gift from some of us - I think we will build it and let him play with it prior to his actual birthday. (I'll reveal later which one we went with)
[2] Went flower shopping. I love the simple pleasure of walking to my local flower market to pick up a bouquet
[3] Business has been busy. :-)
[4] Hung out with my family, my brother watched Oscar for one night so Aubrey and I could grab a bite to eat ... solo. :)

Also, I am thinking of offering small box ads on my blog. It's been at the back of my mind for about a year. Part of my hesitation was that I didn't want to feel obligated to blog on behalf of advertisers. Over the last few months I've realized --- I'm in love with this blog and it's not going anywhere, so maybe it's ok to have advertising - Which will be nice, as it will help me contribute to the kitchen reno fund. ;) Anyhow, that's what happened this week!

xo Linds


Kitchen Counter Top - Cambria Quartz

I think it's safe to say that I'm not going with the marble for the kitchen. Although it is the look I want, I'm not prepared for the maintenance (or the worry).  The decision has been easy thanks to helpful e-mails from you, showing me your counters .... I'm seeing that I can get the look of carerra with other materials like Quartz, or Granite.

Which brings me to the photos above. I ordered a 12x12 sample of the Cambria Quartz Torquay on the weekend, and just a few days later it was on my doorstep. It cost me around $50 to get this sample to my door but it was totally worth it - Between juggling Oscar, my business, and, well - having a life - I decided to just get the biggest sample that they had, and see it in our house. I really, really like it. So this counter is in the running - the only concern I have is that it falls slightly on the modern side.  Some other counter styles are being shipped to me by other manufacturers so I'll show you those when they arrive. xo Linds

One of a Kind Show, Part 2

One of my favourite booths at the One of a Kind Show was Good Wishes Quilts. She had the most beautiful Easter baskets made with vintage Peter Rabbit fabric. They were just under $50 each and someone pointed out that they would make the loveliest heirloom baskets that a child could use year after year. My heart melted. I'm regretting not picking one up but with the kitchen reno we have little extra money to put towards things like this. But if you're not saving up for a kitchen reno - I encourage you to pick up one! ;) xo Linds


One of a Kind Spring Show

I went to the One of a Kind Spring Show on Wednesday. The show hosted a little breakfast to kick off the event and I was delighted to be invited. Although I always love going to the show (see old posts here, and here), this season it seemed to be exceptionally well done. Here are some of the shops that I looooved. More to come later. (Too many for one post)

[1] & [2] Moon Rox - Their jewellery is totally on trend, and drool worthy.
[3] Avril Loreti was at the show and have my favourite prints in napkin form.
[4] Sweet little wooden gift tags by Flakes Paperie would make a sweet addition on top of a gift
[5] Patouche makes the cutest clothing and I almost walked away with this vest for Oscar.
[6] Monster Factory - I love how they run their business. Awesome people, and an awesome line of Monsters. :)
[7] Mad Batter Bakery - I left with some bug cookies to share with my boys
[8] HeyDay Design - LOVE. You must check out her booth.
[9] & [10] Thorpe Toys - I picked up about $60 worth of toys for Oscar. If you knew how inexpensive they are, you will appreciate how much I bought!

Choosing Flooring for Your Home

There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the appropriate flooring for your home. With so many choices available, here are some key points outlined at Home Style Choices to consider in making the right choice:

§     Consider the room. The function of the room, as well as the location of the room, is a huge factor in your decision. For example, the kitchen is the busiest room in the house and is also prone to food and liquid spills. As a result, you want to consider a floor that will stand up to heavy trafffic, grit, etc. and easy to clean. Some popular choices for a kitchen would be Linoleum Floors, Marmoleum Flooring, Vinyl Flooring, Hardwood Flooring, and Ceramic and Stone Tiles.

§      Consider your family and lifestyle. How you and your family live makes a difference in choosing a floor type. If you have children and/or pets, take this in consideration when making your decision. Children usually mean more wear and tear from running, banging and simply more traffic. Some of the laminate products might be better in this scenario than solid wood due to the favorable wear characteristics of laminate. This is also a good choice if you have pets as it is much easier to cleanup from pets that shed whereas carpeting might retain pet hair. Claws from cats and dogs can also scratch wood.
Keep in mind also that grout seams associated with tile can be frustrating or even difficult for family members with wheeled walkers or wheelchairs. The wheels could catch or "clunk" as they pass over the grout, especially wider grout lines.
§      Consider your health. People with allergies and/or respiratory issues should be aware that carpet and other floor materials can contain higher VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that might contribute to ill health effects. Carpeting can harbor allergens that are more easily cleaned up from hard surfaces. In these situations look for products that have lower VOC emissions. As an example, Armstrong® products that meet criteria for low-VOC emissions carry their FloorScore™ certification. The Carpet and Rug Institute identifies low VOC products with their Green Label designation.

§    Consider the care and maintenance you will be putting into the floor. Some materials have higher maintenance needs than others if you want them to last and maintain their appearance. No floor will last forever if the grit isn't swept on a regular basis and kept clean but some materials are better than others in this situation. You must decide on a suitable material or commit to the upkeep required to maintain more delicate surfaces in these situations.

§    Consider your budget. Do you want a high-end expensive surface or does your budget allow a more economical choice? You might be surprised to find alternatives to your choices for less money. For example, you can find a laminate which is a close match to real wood. Be sure to research for alternatives.

§      Look at samples. It is important to visit several showrooms that sell the types of flooring materials you are considering. Looking at pictures and reading about them is one thing but actually seeing them in person and standing on them can help solidify your decision on which product is right for you. This is particularly true with laminate floors, where you can really see if the appearance is close enough to the real thing or not.

It's only natural that we want our floors to look great as it can make an entire room stand out, however, be sure to keep in mind practical aspects when making your choice.
For more information on Flooring contact Kruse Home Improvement at 860-584-8784.


Almost 2....

Oscar is almost 2. Two months away from turning two. Oh my. Within the last month I've seen a lot of changes. He's putting two words together. "Silly Mommy." "No Mommy." He's counting to 10, and can spell his name (which is hilarious, I must take a video). He knows his colours, and his favourite animal is still a turtle. He's also expressing himself a lot through screaming - which I've been told by other Moms, is quite normal. It must frustrating for him to not be able to properly articulate what is bothering him. Although we have tactics on how to deal with the outbursts (talking it through & patience) I have to admit, the iphone comes in handy in emergency situations (like above). The picture is just too funny. It was such a cranky moment, and I had to snap his expressive face. Love it.

Ps., On the subject of apps - right now our favourite apps are Interactive AlphabetLittle Fox Music Box, Eric Carle's My Very First App - Oscar loves the memory game and last week actually completed a full game matching animals. (It was crazy) Any ones you can recommend?


Kitchen Plans

Over the weekend Aubrey and I sat down with a calendar and planned out when our kitchen reno could happen. It has been set (kind of) .... June 4th our demo starts. So exciting!  For a long time we've known how we want our kitchen to look. It hasn't been that hard because the layout isn't changing very much. But we're taking our time and trying to see if we're missing creative ways to add unique elements, and make a "out of the box" kitchen look custom. Yup. We're likely going with Ikea. It's not 100% as we haven't actually bought the cabinets yet, so still things can change, but for now let's assume it's IKEA.

Here is what our initial design is. [Ignore the huge space between each side of the kitchen, we don't have that big of a walkway!]

[1] Above the sink --- open shelving for cookbooks like we saw done in a Kitchen Cousins episode.
[2] Where our fridge is now we're going to put a pull out pantry beside it and cabinets above.
[3] The biggest change to the space is that we're carrying through the base cabinets into the eat in kitchen. The counter will carry through from the kitchen area to the eat in area - marrying the two spaces. This is where some handy work will be done, and some IKEA hacking.
[4] Our GE Cafe Microwave will go above the stove.
[5] Layout Change: The oven is moving from the end of the counter, to the middle
[6] Flooring: We're continuing the hardwood from the rest of the main floor
[7] The blank wall between the end of the counter and the basement entrance is going to be a wall of tiles [I think]

White cabinets, and tiles & counter top to be determined. More on that later. Anyhow, thought you'd like to see the initial plans!

Update: Ignore the ceiling height in this diagram. Aubrey and I forgot to plunk in that measurement, but we're trying to go for the tallest cabinets possible.

Aubrey and I for a long time really were leaning towards custom cabinetry, and the place we wanted to work with was AyA Kitchens. If we had a bigger budget, we would do it in a heart beat. The service was amazing, and their cabinetry is wonderful. (I've seen it installed and it's perfection) But we're not at a stage where we can afford that level yet. But check them out because I LOVED their service.   


Beautiful Versatile Armoire

In 2003, my husband built this beautiful, solid maple armoire. It held our old, big tv perfectly in our family room. It was so heavy. It took 6 people to carry up our hill and in the back door to get in the house.

A few years later, we upgraded to a new tv and needed to repurpose the armoire.  Since the time it was originally put in the family room, he had remodeled our kitchen with a huge island.  Luckily we were able to clear the island by one inch (!) to get it out of there!  We again enlisted several friends and down the hill it went.  He cut it in two pieces to make it easier to move around.  It then became a wine cabinet in the living room.  It was easier to move, but was by no means whatsoever, easy to move!  It was still a beast!

We were lucky that when we moved out of that house, we had movers.  We put it on the main floor of this house, so it was easier to manuever for the movers. 

A few weeks ago, we got new furniture for our living room, the armoire again had to move.   My husband must have huge respect for my strength, because he was sure the two of us could move it ourselves.  Not a chance!  We were lucky to have strong visitors soon after who helped us get it out to the garage...

There, he again refurbished it.  This time he cut off the back to straighten it off rather than have it fit in a corner.  He couldn't reuse the crown moulding, so made his own!  Yes, he's amazing!  

Today he was finally ready for it to go back in the house and was sure that the two of us could get it in our room and lift the upper part (about 300 pounds worth!) onto the base.  Again, not a chance!  Luckily we had strong neighbors around who helped us. 

After we got the top portion on and he secured everything, he then reattached the four doors.  The upper doors weigh almost 25 pounds each!  He has a mechanism in there so the doors slide back into the sides and are out of the way. 

Now it is in our master and again holds a tv.  It is my favorite piece of furniture that he's ever built and I definitely wanted it where we could see it daily.  The details that he added make it such a beauty.  I'm so happy to have it back in the house. 

Thanks for your visit!


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Furniture Feature Fridays


What didn't get blogged

I forgot to show you something that came in handy over here when researching counter tops. I save things from magazines (remember, I tear things out and toss the magazines?) Well, in my kitchen file there was this helpful breakdown of counter tops from House & Home Magazine in 2006. I've scanned it so you too can review it if you'd like to gain some knowledge of counter styles.

  • The One of a Kind Spring Show starts next week. I'm going to be one of the judges in an art competition. Yay! How fun is that!?
  • I think I'm going to order that sample of the Cambria Quartz to see if I like it in our house. Although I'm leaning to marble, Aubrey isn't because of the durability factor. So we're going to try to find a compromise.
  • We're loving the appliances, I must show you in more detail next week
  • This week someone commented in my blog post, she dislikes when I do the "Read More" on my posts. Sadly it wasn't very nicely writen. I'm open to critique and comments, but have we lost manners online? If you start off a post saying "I'm not trying to be rude" or "Don't take offense" .... it doesn't make what you're about to write less rude. Anyways that whole thing brings me to ... did you notice that I updated my blog a little bit? The text area is wider and the header changed a bit. More changes coming up over the next few weeks. ;-)

Have a great weekend! xo Lindsay


Countertops, continued

Thank you for the amazing comments yesterday. It still remains that I'm in love with marble but still equally terrified. I'm still reading through all of the comments, taking my time and visiting the links that you've taken the time to include. (Thank you!) One of the links was from Jo, who directed me consider Cambria Quartz counters, and the style called Torquay. I have heard of Cambria, and when I saw the image my mouth dropped. GORGEOUS. I have yet to see it in person but it's kind of awesome, no? Turns out it's the counter from Ramsin Khachi's own kitchen. It could be a nice way to get white into our counter tops, without me freaking out if someone is in our kitchen?

Credit: Photo from Cambria's Flickr Site here

Modern Easter Egg

Last year I posted this DIY project on my modern approach to the Easter Egg and I loved seeing everyone be inspired to do it. [It was even on] But like many of you, I get inspired to do holiday carfts, maybe um, the week of the holiday, so it doesn't leave much time to do the project and post it for inspiration for others. I'm seeing Easter projects pop up everywhere so I felt like I could respost it now ahead of time for you to try. I think it's a pretty fun thing to do with kids. All you need are some rocks + paint. It's that simple. But if you want to see the original project, click here.


Counter Decisions, A world of stone...

I went looking for counter tops yesterday. I threw myself into the world of stone (figuratively, not literally). I went armed with the things that I need most. My Mom and my camera. In a sea of granite, quartz, limestone and marble I narrowed it down to one, which has always been my love - although I worry that it's a bad decision.

Read more »



Aubrey and I were watching Kitchen Cousins on HGTV and saw Episode 105 and paused the TV at the final reveal. It was perfect. I both have fallen in love with the placement of the cookbooks above the sink. What a great pop of colour. I've also fallen for 99% of the rest of the details. Isn't it lovely? Have you seen this show on HGTV?  There is another draw....

Read more »


A Dog Needs a Great Place to Cool Off

Our chocolate lab, Max, used to LOVE the pond in our old backyard.  He would chase the ball forever, then go cool off in the second level of the pond.  HGTV has his picture on their site today!   HERE is the link.

When we moved here, the summers were much hotter and he was getting a bit older.  We wanted a water feature in this yard and knew we needed a place for him to stay cool. We didn't have the slope in this backyard to make a multi-level pond, but we were able to make something that we love and he loves.

We built this pond a couple of years ago.    HERE is the link  

 We had to add this mesh so he wouldn't get in the deep side.  It's funny that the fish swim right up to him.  We call his area "Max Beach".   Yes, he is spoiled.  :)

Thanks to HGTV for posting his picture!  Thanks for your visit.



What didn't get blogged about

Best Buds. My Brother Peter, who Oscar affectionately calls "Uppa Pete".
I'm posting this on Thursday night as I'm going to tomorrow to hang out with Oscar & play.  This week I've been continuing on my spring cleaning and actually focusing on my twitter list + removing people that I used to follow. Do you hate unfollowing people? I did for a bit. I fretted about hurt feelings but then I realized that likely no one even notices that I unfollowed and secondly - seriously - it's twitter. (It's a social media site, not the end of the world) I'll be honest, I've been unfollowing the people who talk badly about others - twitter is a whole new arena for the "mean girl". I'm much more quick with the unfollow button these days. Anyhow, that's a whole other topic. Here is what didn't get blogged.

  • My brother Peter (shown with Oscar above) is doing a Relay for Life for the Canadian Cancer Society. I'm proud of him so I want to show you his fundraising efforts. He also did a really sweet write up about my Dad. If you'd like to make a small donation, I'd be grateful, as Peter and obviously so would the Canadian Cancer Foundation.
  • We're looking for a playhouse for Oscar I think for his 2nd birthday coming up. Do you think these are a wee bit over the top? [I think some people thought I was serious about this when I posted them on twitter] If I had unlimited money I may go for this one though.
  • I love this video. Are you a creative? I think you'll enjoy this.
Have a great weekend. xo Lindsay

Top Choices in Kitchen Countertops

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen but not sure what material should be used for the countertop, you may want to consider one of the choices below.

According to the Home Improvement Blog, the most popular materials used for countertops are granite, tile and marble. Although these natural materials are a little pricier than laminates, they are sure to be a good investment if they are maintained well. Other popular choices include quartz and solid surface countertops.

·         If you want a stylish kitchen with a beautiful appearance, Marble Countertops may be the best choice for you. Marble is elegant, but simple. If you choose to go with marble, keep in mind that it does require constant maintenance since it is a porous stone, which means that it is not resistant to staining. If you spill something on your marble countertop, you should wipe it off immediately. The surface is prone to scratching and is NOT heat resistant. Always use a pot holder or placemat to protect the finish of the countertop. Although marble is very costly and requires a lot of care, the properties of a marble countertop make it an attractive addition to any home and the expense of purchasing the countertop may be worth the length of time that it will last. 
·        Granite, the 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds, is heat and scratch resistant and very durable. Granite Countertops are very elegant and beautiful. You can choose from a range of almost 3000 colors as well as polished and unpolished countertops. Polish gives a “formal” appearance and can be taken off. Unpolished countertops are more popular because they are more practical. Granite is also a porous stone, so you need to keep in mind that you may have to reseal your countertops every year (this is not costly and you can do it yourself). Although granite is very expensive, it is one of the hardest materials in the world and kitchen countertops that are made out of granite are built to last for a lifetime. 
·         Quartz countertops are an alternative to natural stone such as granite. Although quartz looks very similar to granite and the cost difference between the two is minimal, quartz is a harder material than granite, making it more difficult to chip or break. The material is nonporous, requiring much less maintenance than other countertop material. Although quartz is resistant to scratches and stains, it does NOT offer the heat resistance of natural stone. Be sure to always use a pot holder or placemat to protect the finish of the countertop. Chemicals that are highly acidic or alkaline can damage the surface of the countertop. Be sure to always use a proper cleaner.
·         Solid Surface Countertops are very durable and provide years of low maintenance beauty and service. With a wide variety of colors, patterns and finishes to choose from, solid surfaces are nonporous, easy to clean and do not require resealing. One of the advantages of having solid surface countertops is that minor scratches can be sanded or easily buffed away. The material is heated to create the solid slab, which is also why excessive heat is one of the few things that can damage the countertop. Be sure to not set a hot pan on your countertop.

·         If you decide to go with Tile Countertops, you’ll have a huge variety to choose from. They are easy to clean and come in a wide range of color, texture, patterns and finishes. Ceramic or porcelain tile should be used on countertops because they are more durable and less porous. Tile countertops are a less expensive choice if you are on a budget.
There is no such thing as a bad or a good material for a countertop. When trying to determine which countertop material is the best choice for you, keep in mind cost, durability and style. Be sure to always use a proper cleaner. For homemade cleaners visit 



Avril Loreti | Modern Home

I stopped what I was doing when I spotted these from avrilloreti on Etsy. Why is it that I keep finding things for the kitchen that I *must* have, months before we embark on a kitchen reno? ;) Adding this to my must buy list for when we finish (heck, let's just start) the kitchen reno. Oh and bonus for me, she's in Toronto. Anyhow, just a fun shopping find! [Ps., I would even frame these as art, not just use them as towels!] 

Lattice Tea Towel, $25.00 & Spin Wheel Tea Towel $25.00


In the works...

I'm in love with one of my bulletin boards right now in my office - full of spring colours that are inspiring me to paint and design. My plate is full with corporate clients. BlogPodiummy shop. Writting thank you notes (that are way overdue) for people who were so kind in the weeks that followed my Dad's passing. And to chill out, I'm also painting. I'm also working on a blog redesign in the upcoming weeks - I'm feeling the urge to tidy up the blog, tighten up the design, make it a little wider. [If you have any great blogger designers let me know, I just want someone to help me code the blog!]xo Linds


Getting rid of "stuff"

I'm doing a lot of spring cleaning right now. I'm not sure if it's related to recent events, but I'm getting rid of a lot of excess in my house. Although my house seems not that "full" at first glance, our basement storage room is packed with things that I've been saving - many for sentimental reasons, other things not. I've already done two car load donation trips to the Value Village of excess, which felt great.

My family has two types of organizers. My grandmother was a hoarder and my other grandmother kept very little. Both styles of organization have their impacts - one parent reflects on having wished that more was saved from their childhood, and the other parent struggled with seeing a parent with issues of letting go of things.

Is there a happy inbetween? I'm looking at my storage room and it feels like a huge weight. Certain things like my diary's from my childhood. I'm reading through them with total embarassment. I would mortified if Oscar (or Aubrey!) read certain things. I read a few pages to Aubrey one night and we were in tears laughing at how dramatic everything was back then. It read as a soap opera. Certain pages were not read out loud. Yikes. And now as a parent, I want to save things from Oscar's youth. Between my stuff, and his, I have little room.

I'm thinking of scanning in certain things and turning it into a photobook. So I have memories, but I don't have boxes, upon boxes sitting taking up space. Anyone else struggle with it? You know - the stuff behind the scenes that you want to keep, but wonder how to?