diy straw hat

Wow! What a nice long weekend that was: record breaking temperature, Canada Day festivities and three pool parties in three days. Yeah, right now I’m totally beat, but still, I’m ready to go and looking forward to start this second week of summer vacation with lots of outdoor time, including four playdates with friends and lots of swimming in between. We just love to be out in the summer time, but right now, with this heat wave, the sun can be so warm that it will wear you down in no time. My favorite way to stay cool is off course to never leave the pool, but my second preferred option is to simply wear a nice and fancy hat to create myself some shade! Yep, I have another addiction: HATS!

I’ve seen so many awesome and pretty hats just about everywhere over the years, but obviously, had to control myself a little, as I would have bought them all!!! But about a few years ago, I just told myself: ‘ENOUGH! You can probably make those hats for way less; so just do it yourself’. And I did. And so far I have made 3 different ones and I just can’t stop, and won’t stop! You can do a fancy one for yourself or have a fun little afternoon project for yourself and the kids. It’s cheap… like the lobster hat was about 78$ at Anthropology… and made mine for the price of a Starbucks Latte! Like really, I love Anthropology, it’s one of my favorite store ever, but who would pay that for a lobster hat? Well certainly not me! I usually find my hats at Walmart, Michael’s and even at second hand store (found my now lobster hat at Value Village for a mere 3$) and then embellished them, which is quite cheap to do too. Any crafts shops or even dollar stores have many options of things to use for your hats… All you need is an idea!

Here’s a few hats that have caught my eye and are on my future hats list! Let your kids be involved in this process and I’m telling you, they’ll be as excited as you to go shop for hats and to find treasures to create their one of a kind masterpiece!

Next, with a pencil, either sketch on a paper or directly on the hat the design and location of your design. I’ve used acrylic paint, glue gun, sequins, yarn, etc. for the creation for the various hats I have done, and they held up pretty nicely. And even if they don’t last forever, well you will have paid less than 15$ for a one in a kind crafted hat that you can now fix yourself! Not bad right?

Once all designed, don’t be scared… you can do it! Even if it doesn’t end up perfectly as planned, you will have fun and that’s what matters! And I’m sure that the next one will be better.

So go ahead and start creating. I can tell you that I have a few more I want to try out before the end of the summer and I can’t wait to show them all to you! So, be creative and have fun! And just like that, you’ll have your very own pretty or fancy hat ready for your next outdoor gathering where the sun won’t burn that pretty face of yours! For me, this summer it’s all about my new favorite lobster hat!

Happy crafting my lemon drop life friends! Stay cool, and wear a hat.

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plenty of fish

So Friday night I was alone with the boys and we started talking about the month of April and that tomorrow was going to be April’s Fools day.  They didn’t really know about it and how it was about playing tricks on people and fishies!  We decided right then that we would celebrate ‘Fish Day’ on Saturday.

At 6:40 am the next day, we we’re busy tracing, cutting and drawing all kinds of fish.  We made a mural with more than 40 fishes and made special ones for the people we love.  Also found some fish t-shirt we already had and then we were ready for some food.

We made a cake and some individual fish pizza (themed pizza is my go-to food activity, I feel like we can make everything with a pizza and it’s always a hit)!

Then it was practice time, they had no clue how to stick a fish on other people’s back!  It was so much fun watching them practice for the real thing… they just seem not to get that you had to be subtle when trying to stick the fish!  After a while they got better, but once our family started to arrive, they were too shy to stick it to them!  So I guess we have a bit more practice to do for next year.

So it was a spur of the moment kind-a-day and we had so much fun!  Not everything needs to be planned ahead, make it happen and have fun.  That’s what it’s all about anyway!

Have an awesome month of April and enjoy spring time!

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easter edible art

I would have loved this activity as a child.  I saw the ad online two weeks ago and within minutes I had recruited my cousins for an afternoon of fun with our kids.  Two words and they we’re hooked; Chocolats Favoris!

Two amazing things put together: Easter and Chocolats Favoris… marketing GENIUS.  Either online or in store, you can pick out everything you need for this great Easter activity.

Véro picked out the chocolate for everyone in advance, but it would be even more fun to bring your kids to the store and let them pick out their favorite one, and of course, have an ice cream cone while you’re there!  The prices were very reasonable, with an average of 12$-15$ per child.  An outing, a craft and delicious chocolates!  A win for everyone.  Once you have chosen your favorite mold, you pick out a chocolate color palette and voilà, you’re ready to go!

I would recommend a disposable tablecloth, which we didn’t use!  We ended up scrapping off chocolate off my table for ever!

We melted the color palettes in escargot dishes, best idea, because in a plate I would think that the colors would run together…  Within 5 minutes, the 5 kids were busy painting.  We thought it would last two minutes, but surprisingly, they were entertained for over 25 minutes.  They loved it!

I loved that each kids had their own chocolate palette and did whatever they wanted with it.  They were mixing the colors as they felt; you can really see their personality in their work!  Some were really expressive while painting!

It dries really quickly, so you can pile-up paint on paint on paint without ending up with the same color all over your chocolate.  But of course, by the end, there was chocolate paint everywhere.  Liam loved it so much he was licking the table while Jacob and Logan were eating the paintbrushes!  All resisted eating their work of art.  This activity was even more successful than expected.

I’m probably going to do this again before Easter, since it was such a great creative activity (but next time I’m getting one for myself for sure!).  My favorite masterpiece was Logan’s!  It almost looked like a piece of art I would buy.  Finally, the artsy side of my boys is coming out!

I’m pretty sure these will fly of the shelves of Chocolats Favoris stores.  So grab one and run!  All these pretty colors sure made me ready for Spring; so be ready to be flooded with Easter and Spring posts in the next little while.  Cause although I just spent an amazing March break at the cottage with Brian and the boys, tubing and snowshoeing with cold nights and fireplace, I can say that I’m pretty much done with winter for this year and ready for Spring… and so will you once you do this fun family activity!

 

 

 

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14 days of love

Last year, I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day for 14 days.  Why not… it’s love, and isn’t all about love?

We don’t have family that lives in our city, so date nights are pretty rare.  They used to happen all the time, we would go out one day to the restaurant, then the next day to the movies, then again to the restaurant, and on a good week we’d finish it by going to Royal Thai for dinner on Friday!  But since we’ve had kids, it’s been different!  We sometime sneak in a date when we visit our family on the weekend, as we tell them we’re coming down for the day when we’re actually only passing by to drop the kids… (thanks Mom, thanks Annick, thanks Brian’s mom) but to be honest, it doesn’t happen that often!

So my 14 days of love was for our entire family.  It’s doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing.  Here’s a few things we did last year:

-heart shaped pancakes

-wrote valentine cards for our friends and family

-made some strawberry pop-tarts for my coworkers

-bought myself new red nail polish… it counts!

-had a stay-at-home movie night with v-day popcorn

-went through all the Valentine’s Day cards that we received through the years… (yes, I kept all the cards… since I was a baby… I love these type of souvenirs!)

 This year, I still want to do the 14-day Valentine thing, and here’s a few idea I’ve added on my list:

-go skate on the Rideau canal

-try a new restaurant

-make pink pancakes… this should happen every weekend!

-have the boys answer a little questionnaire about what they love and read it with them one day, like in 10 years…

-make more v-day popcorn… you can never have too much popcorn!

-heart shaped pizza TODAY

-wear fancy rain boots

 So what’s your favorite V-Day tradition?

I hope you’ll try the 14 days of love this year!  Or at least try to treat yourself and your lover a couple times!

Happy Valentine month!

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i’d rather be in stars hollow

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Exhausted this morning, but for an awesome reason…GILMORE GIRLS!

Yep, I’m one of those!

It was a religion for us…watched it with my Mom and my Mimi and when I was in university, on the phone with my Mom.  Always waiting for the ‘I want to live there’ moment, basically every episode.  I even chose my wedding dress because of that show.  When Lorelai found the most perfect Monique Lhuillier dress in a vintage shop after she got engaged, I knew this was going to be the dress I wanted to wear on my wedding day, even before I got engaged!  Searched it, found it, bought it without even trying it and wore it on my wedding day 7 years ago.  I would still choose that one.  Sadly for her, she never got to wear it as they never got married…

So finding out about a Gilmore Girls remake on Netflix was kind of a dream come true.  I knew there would be a viewing party, my Mom, some friends, pizza, nachos, licorice, donuts, chocolate cake, cupcakes, coffee, drinks, popcorn, more chocolate and pop-tarts!  So we planned it all: Friday night; 4 episodes; 6 hours.  We could do it!

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Made some GG famous faces cut-outs, with creepy eyes, some Luke’s coffee collar, a few prints, and the decor was done!  Also made a t-shirt from a Pinterest idea.  Easy, quick and ready to binge watch!

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SPOILER ALERT

You are warned…

Honestly, I was nervous.  What if I don’t like it, what if the story doesn’t go the way I want.  Well, we went through all kinds of emotions last night.  Four seasons, four chances to get it right!  They got older… well they had too, because I surely got older myself since the last time I watched the show!

Luke and Lorelai are still together, and they still make such a great couple.  Rory, well, she’s all over the place, trying to find herself, not exactly where I pictured her.  But I just love her; I love them all so much. Emily finally found herself, probably one of my favorite story line from last night.  We remembered Richard Gilmore, the good and the bad, but most of all, how much we miss him.

Paris is still stressed and paranoid. We saw Dean 3 minutes, Jess maybe 6, Sookie 2. We love Kurt, Babette, Carol King, Lane and Michel, who was awesome, and is truly a Gilmore family member.  Logan surprised me the most, loved how he loves Rory and wants to give her only the best.

Honestly, I didn’t see enough of the mom and daughter duo, felt like they both had so much on their own, and not as close as they were before. Rory writes a book about it all, about her relationship with her mother; and Rory’s book hurts, in a good way, and Lorelai found the perfect title for it: ‘Gilmore Girls’.  Like they say, full circle.

And then, at the end they threw a curve ball…how could they do this to me?  The only possible answer: another season!  Well, I hope, because you can’t say ‘Mom, I’m pregnant’ and then be done… just like that, after 6 hours, after 16 years… So I went to bed at 2am, wanting more… needing more!!!

But this morning, I realize this may be over for real, and I’m almost okay with it.  As last night was just perfect, and it just made me happy. I enjoyed every moments of it, I laughed, and I cried. The show was and still is awesome, with witty responses, clever lines, and of course, Paul Anka! I could have probably done without the 20 minutes Stars Hollow musical -except that I did love the Waterloo song, just like in Mamma Mia!- but I couldn’t have done it without the part where Lorelai finally gets…

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may the force be with us

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Our costumes for this year are a bit different from the last few years… my boys are growing up and so are their tastes!  So I went with it!

They don’t know anything about Star Wars…for a long time they called it CarWar.  They’ve never watched a movie or show, know what Star Wars’ about or what they stand for.  But last summer, Liam went on the Star Wars 3D ride in Disneyland at 10:30 pm for his last ride of the day and came out a fan.  The following day everything Liam wanted was some CarWar stuff; so did his baby brother!

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So, in 2016, we are officially Star Wars fans (I grew up watching the movies, but Brian had never heard about them until I came in the picture and dressed up as Queen Amidala in grade 13).  I still wanted to make our costumes; Liam as BB8, Logan as R2D2 or has he calls him Hardy-too, Brian as Chewbacca (not included in our pictures because of his major lack of fun-ness!) and myself as Princess Leia (I have the hair so why not used it!).

My mom knitted some hats for the boys and I sowed and glued their robot costumes (probably the easiest of costumes ever made).  So they were not too complicated to do, but they are just so nice!  We went to a very shady part of Brian’s hometown for the pictures, a place call Peace Mountain, which was perfect for taking pictures, but a place I don’t recommend visiting alone, especially if you’re easily scared like my chicken-shit Chewbacca!

Now, we can’t wait to decorate our pumpkins and make special treat bags for our friends.  Only 1 more week to go!

I love family themed costumes, I hope they’ll let me do it for a bit longer!

So what’s your costume this year?

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i love shoes, painted shoes

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I didn’t invent anything: shoes and paint; simple!

My mom made us dozens of them while growing up.  We had a basket of fabric paint in our house that my aunt Lucie bought me for my first communion; sounds boring, right?  But no, best first communion gift ever!

Well, fast-forwarding a few years later, now with two boys of my own, lets say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, since now I’m the one who paints shoes for my kids!

It started 2 years ago…  I had an old pair of TOMS laying around, we were going to Disney, so I decided to make Mickey and Minnie ears’ shoes!  They were a hit!!  Then last year,  I did four pairs of Minions shoes for the movie premiere, one pair for the boys, one for my mom and one for myself.

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This year, we were going to Disneyland and I had a few ideas in mind for our trip!  Jojo got one, Liam and Logan each got one as well, and I made myself 2;  I’m the one who makes them after all!!!

I got my first official order a few weeks ago: a tiny pairs of Shopkins shoes.  Thanks Isabelle for being my first customer!  I had so much fun making these.  I just got my second order from a coworker.

So here’s a few pictures of the shoes I made this summer!

Need a pair?

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blog started: check

My blog is ready and suddenly I am not! Want to say so much, do so much and yet, I’ve sat numerous hours in front of the screen and nothing comes out!  Ready, set, go!

I’m Andréanne, thirty something, living in a small town, close to Ottawa.  Married to Brian, we have two awesome young boys, Liam and Logan.

Love to create memories through travel, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, photography, diy and anything worth doing on Pinterest!

You’ll find here, our day to day life,  the food we love…and we do love food, the adventures we share and all the little things that we do!  It may not be perfect but it’s ours!

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