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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an harry potter kinda weekend

This weekend was nothing short of amazing. I’m exhausted today, but it was sooo worth it. I had been eyeing an Harry Potter concert in Montreal for months, and early last week, Brian got us three tickets for Saturday night; and I have been prepping ever since! Liam and I have been watching Harry Potter every chance we got over the last 6 months, and I knew he would love the concert. Logan, not so much! That’s why he only got 3 tickets!

So on Friday night, I organized the ultimate Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone viewing party to set the mood for the next day. I decorated the living room with floating candles, houses crest, books, more candles, and our wands, of course!

For the occasion I had baked a cake, prepared some nutella filled  “Howlers” pop-tarts, had some popcorn ready, filled lots of different sized jars with candy and chocolate, and displayed all of it on our huge credenza. We also brought up the kids playroom tv for the occasion. So once we got home from work and school, the boys played outside with the neighbors before inviting them to come inside and watch the Harry Potter movie and share the fun night with them. They had never watched the movie so I was very excited for them… they’re so lucky to see this movie for the first time! They all had lots of popcorn while Logan had way too much candy and chocolate; but still, he was the first one to ask to go to bed!

On Saturday morning we cleaned up the house and left for Montreal, while dropping Logan at my Mom’s place on the way there. We rarely go out with only one child. Maybe we should do it more often, but they pretty much like the same things, and it’s fun to spend some family time, so we always bring both of them with us, whatever we do. But on Saturday we decided that we would try to do this more often with only one of them since Liam just loved it, and I’m sure Loggy will too! Liam even told us couple times that he felt like he was on a vacation with the two of us! I thought it was so cute for him to tell us that. And I loved that he felt like that! I guess he needs time away from his brother once in a while!

So we went shopping with him… wow, so much easier with only ONE kid!!! Then we brought him over to Scarolie’s for diner; which is Brian and I favorite Italian place in Montreal (and has been ever since the first time we’ve been there on one of our first date back in the 90’s when we were just teenagers!). Liam loved his pasta, ate a lot of bread, and with a 4:30 reservation for three, well by 5:45 we were out of there and on our way to Place des Arts, Downtown Montreal. Once we made it there, Liam putted on his Gryffindor robe while I wore my Luna sunglasses. Liam and I had also both brought our wands! Good thing cause Liam would have surely wanted one, and they were like 50$… while mine costed around 1$ to make! Not bad, right? But of course we had to buy him something! So when he saw an owl stuffed animal who looked just liked a mini version of Harry’s, how could I say no! So he was walking in Place des Arts with his owl looking just like Harry!

So we made it to our mezzanine seats, and the concert hall was full. The show consisted of the second movie of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, on a large high definition screen with a live symphony orchestra playing the movie score. It was quite impressive to watch –and to hear– the orchestra, and sometime I would completely forget about the movie and just get lost and captivated by the music, and vice versa. Even though it’s a very long movie, Liam didn’t take his eyes away from the screen, even for a minute. Once the show was over, he told me he was coming back in June for the next movie. I didn’t even know that there was another show coming up. Guess he saw that somewhere! But of course we will be back. This will probably become an annual date with Liam… as we both like movies, music, and a bit of magic! So by the time we made it back to the car, Little Harry was pretty tired, and before we even got out of the theater parking lot, he was sound asleep.

Sunday consisted of visiting family and playing in a huge piles of leaves. We so lucky with this mild October weather that we are trying to spend has much time outside as possible.

We had a perfect Fall weekend. Hope you have a magical week my friends!

 

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cruising straight to halloween

It’s almost time! Halloween is upon us! And we are READY!!!

The candies have been bought, the decorations have been up for a while, we have a regular requests for Halloween pajama comes bedtime, and now we have a daily Halloween parade happening every night in our house, cause I am FINALLY done with their Cars costumes! Although I’ve spent a lot of time making some pretty amazing Halloween costumes for my friends and I over the years, especially back in our early twenty’s when we would go out all night on Halloween night and win prizes, well this year’s costumes will definitely go down as the most time consuming, space taking and glue gunning costumes EVER. If the kids complain about the weight of their costumes, I’m blaming it on the glue! And then I’m telling them to shut up and forcing them to wear it a little more! (I’d like to specify that I won’t really be doing that; got to be careful with humor nowadays).

So, I’ve always been Cars obsessed, like, ever since the first movie came out… and this was one of the first Pixar movie I’ve showed the boys… and just like me, they’ve been in love with McQueen and his friends since. But last year, our love for Cars grew to a whole new level after we visited Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. So, since going to Disney, with the last Cars movie coming up last summer, it basically was a McQueen year at our house with Cars everywhere. I knew the second I saw a boxed costume of McQueen on Pinterest that I needed to step up my glue-gunning-skills and get to work. Cause after all, I needed 2 cars.

Back in August, I loaded my house with huge cardboard boxes I was able to find, and then invaded my kitchen with fabrics and all kinds of crafty thing I knew I’d need for this project. Now that they’re done, I can say I am in LOVE with how they turned out; just not sure it was worth the 15 hours it took to make each of them. Yep, I guess I really love Cars and craft and Halloween to spend that much time on DIY kids costumes. But I mostly did it before the admiring eyes of my boys, looking at it every steps of the way (probably wondering when it would actually look like Cars!), sometimes helping me, so it was all worth it!

Liam wanted to be Cruz Ramirez, and Logan, his beloved Lightning. So after many hours of works, last Sunday morning, both cars were finally declared done and ready for a test drive. One look at them riding their new cars and I knew it was well worth the mess. They kept on running and laughing and bumping each other, and then even agreed to go out to take pictures. Liam even asked me to put a Cars song on my cell phone and put it in his car to make like a car radio… so he was cruising while listening to the Cars soundtrack… I just love when they ask for small things like that that reminds me of things I would have also asked as a kid. He’s after my heart this one! He also requested a Cars Day. I guess I’m rubbing off on him! So now we’re planning to have one of those on November 7 when the new movie will be out on Blue Ray, so they can sit in their cars and watch the movie, Drive-In style!

But for now, we’ll continue to parade in our costumes, and you might even spot us on the streets, dancing and singing ‘Life could be a dream, life could be a dream, sha-boom, sha-boom’! All that, of course, while patiently waiting for October 31st for the real Lightning and Cruz parade. Hoping the next few days go by fast so I can eat some of my kids mini chocolate bars! Ka-Chow!!!

 

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a little diy

Ever since we moved  into our new house, almost 3 years ago, I’ve been wanting larger than life prints of the boys.  I think I’ve pinned over 100 frames on Pinterest the last 2 years, and they were all very nice, almost looking like what I wanted, but just not quite… so I knew this frame project would have to be a DIY type of thing to get me pleased!  So this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and called my step dad for help!  Without having a Pinterest account himself, just by listening to me, he knew right away what I wanted.  I gave him the dimension of the pictures and the next thing I knew, the two frames were built.  And they were just perfect!!!

I already had my pictures picked out, so I sent them right away at Walmart to be printed… and for 14.97 each, I’d say it’s very reasonable for a 24×36 print!  Frank made the frames from old reclaimed wood with a 45 degree angle cut; and he also made a groove inside for the pictures to sit in.  So using a spray adhesive that I already had from a previous craft project (Liam’s baby baseball room with a full wall covered with old Red Sox Baseball cards; clearly not my idea!), I sprayed the back of the pictures, glued it to a thin Luan board that I used as the back of the frames, putted the picture/board in its spot and nailed it in place using mini finishing nails.  You can buy these boards at Home Depot and have them cut out the right size for you for a small fee. Then I’ve installed a wire at the back for hanging, and just like that I had some awesome frames ready to be installed!

Even though I didn’t cut any of the wood and don’t know how difficult of a task this represents, I’m pretty sure the hardest part of all this was hanging the frames.  We have 9 foots ceiling and I wanted the frames to be hung in the stairwell. Brian was not impress with me that morning. But with our ladder and some planks we were able to build some type of homemade but not-to-steady and clearly not-so-safe scaffold that did the job!  I wish I had taken a picture of Bry while he was standing on his wobbly 10 foot long 2 X 8 over the staircase, but I guess holding his back was more important than taking a shot of him at that time!

So now it’s up there, and it’s now one of my favorite walls in the house. The frames turned out even more awesome than expected.  I love doing some DIY projects, and I got some more already in mind as my to-do list is long, but I can finally check this one off. You know, large pieces of art are expensive to buy, but these two frames costed me less than 35$ each to make, so you can’t go wrong with that. So give it a try, and if you encounter a problem, call Frank, he’ll know what to do!

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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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