April Goals

The day before April it was as if Spring just all of a sudden arrived (kind of). It’s warm enough for no winter coat now and I’m finally back in sneakers after the long months of boots. With the changing season comes some of my favourite things. Walks outside, eating breakfast beside a sunny window, Cadbury cream egg McFlurries, and some of my less favourite things; Homer meowing at the door for hours wanting to go outside, and mud.



(That’s his eager, ‘take me outside to eat grass’ face)

This is kind of a crazy month for us. We have both been so busy lately. We are hosting Easter at our house and we have visitors coming this weekend so we are trying to finish painting the living room. This has made the house a disaster zone. Right now it looks like this:


(No those aren’t spots on the camera, there were actually that many holes that had to be plastered, I think the previous owners practiced darts on every wall)

There is plaster dust everywhere.


My goals for this month are fairly light because of the busyness and because I’m sure I will be doing a lot of backyard jobs.

1. Train/exercise 3 times per week. In May we are participating in the WWF CN Tour Climb. Where I will be, you guessed it, climbing the CN Tour, a total of 1 776 stairs. We definitely need to start training.

2. Finish my quilt. I’ve been working on a triangle quilt. I’m so sick of cutting triangles, but I only have 94 left to go. Then I can start the fun parts.

3. Clean up the garage. Since we moved we the garage has been a dumping ground. It is a huge mess! We will be having a garage sale at some point and getting rid of most of the junk (hopefully). Then we can create some organization systems for in there.

4. Clean up the yard. The winter wasn’t kind to our yard this year. Once the ground fully thaws I want to clean everything up and plant some flowers. Most of our vegetable seeds having already been started inside.

I know the month will go fast, so I’m just really hoping to get outside and enjoy it!

I really wanted to end this post with a picture of some beautiful Spring flowers for you, but alas all we have are tiny green stumps and garlic shoots. Not so pretty.

Goings On

Lately we’ve been:

Hanging pictures onto our newly painted walls.



Organizing under sinks.

Building cat forts. Got to use the guest bed for something, right?




Travelling sans cats this year (they’re at home with a pet sitter). I miss them terribly.

Considering our future kitchen reno.

Planning travel for the summer.


Crying over Season Three of Downton Abbey.

Spending time with friends and family.

Too Much Tea

Despite our kitchen not being tiny, it’s very poorly designed. We have very little counter space and not enough cabinets. That, however, it only part of the problem. The other part is something I can solve with spending thousands.
We have too much food. Here is one of the main offenders:


This is the cupboard where we keep spices, sauces, food wrap, pasta, etc. It is also the cupboard where you have to dig for things, and often have several things fall out at you before you find what you’re looking for. It’s not pretty.

My first plan of attack was to go through my tea collection. A few months ago I made a solemn promise not to buy any more tea, but still, here is the situation:


In my defense, some of it was given to me. Don’t judge.

So, what I did was take everything out, then choose four teas to keep out (a dark tea, a fruity tea, a green tea and a tummy tea). Those went back in, the rest went in a box and were put away until I run out of something.

I now have room for my tea making supplies in the cupboard, so they are not taking up precious counter space anymore.


It’s definitely an improvement.

Sewing Room Organization

My sewing table shares a room with Kurt’s computer, and our school and craft supplies. It’s not a very big room, but it has a lot of furniture. Too much furniture. I had my fabric in drawers. This was annoying because whenever I needed to look for something, or look through my fabric I would have to take everything out. It also caused a lot more wrinkles that I would have liked.

I came up with a solution to these problems quite easily. Clothes hangers. I sorted through all of my fabric vaguely organized it and then hung it all from hangers in a way that I can see it all at once. Now I can find anything easily and we can reduce one piece of furniture in the room. Easy, fast solution!




I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions. I read on the news that people aren’t doing it so much anymore, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I just think that a year is too long of a time to devote to one specific thing. However, I do think it’s important to actively pursue positive changes in your life. This year is going to pretty crazy for us. We are planning our wedding, buying a house (hopefully, if find the right one), and travelling. I think I might try to set monthly goals to try to keep moving forward.

This month I’m focussing on simplifying our house and stuff. So far I’ve been going through boxes in closets and getting rid of stuff. I’m trying to minimize things we have that aren’t used or important. It would be great to reduce our belongings so that if we do buy a house we won’t have to worry about packing and moving as much.

The other place I’m really trying to tackle is the kitchen. I’m trying to simplify the foods that we have/use. By this I mean, I don’t really think we need to have four types of flour on hand all the time. There seems to be a lot of ingredients in the pantry that we bought, used once and then forgot about. Or else things we bought in bulk, didn’t label, and now don’t know what it is. The first step will be to use up what we have (which is going to take a while) and then only replace key ingredients.

Hopefully my small steps help me achieve the simplicity I long for, in cooking and living

The Dreaded Candy Bowl

What, you say? Candy…dreaded? Oh yes my friends, the candy bowl is a problem. You see each birthday and Christmas Kurt and I (mainly him) amass a large amount of candy. For some reason people like to buy Kurt strange (and usually disgusting) candy. We like candy, but the problem is most of this is stuff we don’t like, or don’t like enough to care about eating. Generally whatever doesn’t get eaten in 2 weeks sit. In the dreaded candy bowl, taking up space and creating clutter.

Soon is Christmas, the season of more candy. In an attempt to lessen the problem I’ve challenged Kurt to get rid of at least one thing from the bowl per day, either eating or throwing away. Hopefully there are more days until Christmas than there are candy items. Everything that comes into the house from the holidays will be given an expiry date. If it’s still kicking around by that day, it’s gone. Simple. Hopefully it works!

Here’s the candy bowl now:

It actually doesn’t look too bad in the picture, trust me though, it’s bad. This is also in addition to a bowl of Halloween candy we bought on clearance. Don’t judge!

Embroidered Word Art

Erg, I already did this post, but part of it was mysteriously deleted, so here I go again.

I’ve been wanting to do a project involved words for a while now. I blame Pinterest. I was thinking something was a canvas at first, but this weekend I decided to try something a little easier first.

I started by choosing what phrase I wanted. I went with ‘Do more of what makes you awesome’. I typed it up, and sized it so that it would fit in a 4″x6″ frame. Then I printed it, and clipped the printed paper to some cardstock.

The next step was to take a needle and poke holes through the letters. Try to make enough that the letters will be recognizable, but not too many that when your cat does a dramatic jump off the couch arm at you, grabs the string and tries to run away, they don’t rip, not that that would happen. So, not too close together. Also, you need to have an even amount of holes in each letter.

Lastly, unclip the printed page and pick what colour of embroidery thread you want and go to it, weaving in and out of the holes. If you find that you need another hole for whatever reason, it’s fine to poke one with your needle during the process. Once I was finished I chose a frame, took the glass out and used it to trace the right size on my paper, then cut it out and pop it in.

I want to do a bigger one on fabric next, I just have to wrap my head around how to do it. I don’t think it will be as simple.

Spring Cleaning

Image Detail

Today I woke up in Spring cleaning mode. We have a guest coming this evening so I would have had to clean regardless. I have also been getting rid of some stuff that is no longer needed. I sent a load to the Salvation Army, posted a few things on Craigslist and already have someone coming for the sewing machine that doesn’t see eye to eye with me. Hopefully the mood continues so I can get more done. Happy Spring cleaning!

Household Chemicals

Today I was did my WHMIS refresher for work. It’s training for reading labels on hazardous stuff. It’s kind of a funny thing for me to have to do because I avoid hazardous chemicals by all means possible. The proper labelling aspect, however, got my attention. The past couple of weeks we’ve been having some labelling problems of our own. All of our homemade cleaning products are kept in clear plastic bottles. accidentally, the wrong things kept being mistaken for water and were sprayed in places they weren’t welcome (ie. vinegar on bread dough). So, because smelling things before spraying may seem laborious for some genders, I decided to label everything. I also had to buy a new water bottle, since we either never actually had one, or else it went missing.So, there you have it. Together with baking soda this makes up our cleaning arsenal. Thankfully, no ‘highly corrosive’, or other scary sounding warnings are needed.

P.S. I didn’t lay out a backdrop for the picture or anything. This is just the sheet we have covering the half-done puzzle on the kitchen table since Daisy loves chewing on puzzle pieces, especially when the puzzles are borrowed it seems.

Laundry Soap

For a few years now I’ve been making my own laundry soap. I love it. It takes very little time, works great, leaves my cloths with no scent (I hate smelling like anything), and it dirt cheap. Here’s how I do it:

I start with a great big pot. Add some water, I usually start with about 4 cups. Add half a cup of borax and half a cup of washing soda. Put it on the stove at about medium heat. Stir until the powders dissolve. Then take a bar of soap. I use Linda soap that they sell in the laundry aisle. I’d prefer to use something purer, like castile, but it’s so darn expensive. Take the bar and a knife and make a little mark where half is, then mark quarters. You will need a quarter of the bar for each batch. I usually grate the soap in with my mom’s old cheese grater. This is hard work. I think I read that some people use food processors, but I would look into that before doing it.

Anyways, grate the soap into the pot. Turn up the heat a little and stir once it a while until it melts. Add 12 more cups of water. It should get sort of clear.

Wait for it to cool a little then either pour it into whatever vessel you want to store it or, or using a funnel, put it into old, clean detergent bottles.

Leave it overnight to set. When you want to use it the first time you will have to shake the crap out of it because it gets a layer on top. Then use a quarter of a cup. Don’t worry if it is clumpy or gross looking. It’s homemade after all. I use it with a cold water wash and it works better than most store-bought stuff.