: 2012 :

Well we're ready to ring in the New Year in our home - banner is up, food is prepared, drinks are chilled and we're pretty excited about 2012!
{thanks to tomkat for the banner}

This Christmas I bought got a gift, a gift from me to me ;) I bought myself a special little journal -- "Q&A A 5 year journal" and tomorrow will be the first day I write in it; pretty excited to start it!
Hope you have a fabulous time welcoming the new year and a fresh start - I plan to make this a year to remember!



: New Years Outfit :

Well this weekend is the start of the new year -- and I'm thinking about my outfit...it's not super formal, but cute enough to catch Mr. L's eye. I haven't bought anything new, I'm just taking from what's in my closet.

The one thing I have new is my new drop diamond {aka cubics} from Mr. L for Christmas, so here's what I threw together...

$133 - allsaints.com

€40 - welikefashion.com

$124 - topshop.com

£24 - houseoffraser.co.uk

$22 - dorothyperkins.com

$1,700 - maxandchloe.com



I hope you have a great time ringing in the NEW YEAR -- Look forward to hearing about all of your New Year resolutions and words of the year for


: Lazy Days :

We've been having lazy days at home for the last few days -- evenings we have been out {far too late for these parents; we're talking 1 am+} and last night we had a "date in" -- ever done this before; put the kids to bed, enjoyed a evening not thinking about the house {literally left the freshly folded laundry on the stairs} and just doing things you enjoy together in your house; it was fabulous and so lovely!

We're gearing up for another busy weekend and a few nights out and a few nights hosting in so I'm making hay while the sun shines; organizing/cleaning; decorating and unpacking the last few boxes that have yet to be touched from the move.

But I'm going to enjoy making some cookies with my littles today - saw these on pinterest via homemakinggirl and thought they would be the perfect no bake kinda cookie to make with my boys. Gonna replace some of the sugar with honey - 2 cups of white sugar is a bit too much for me - but I love that there are oats in them...we'll see how my swap in the recipe works ;)

Have a lovely Thursday lovelies -- I'm so thankful for the past week of being home and not having to drive anyone anywhere...bliss!!!



: What I LOVE Wednesday :

I know, I know...two posts in one day -- the one about The Queen's Speech was a freebee ;)

So here ya go, my Wednesday list of LOVES --- I've actually had this all set up ready to publish for the past month but didn't have time to do the finishing touches...Enjoy and please share with me if you have any thing you LOVE too ;)

Cucina kitchen
I LOVE this stuff, it's perfect hand soap for the kitchen - the feeling and smell is delish! I strongly dislike the smell of sweet soap so Cucina from fruits&passion
perfectly fits the bill :)
Bobble water bottle
My SIL got this in her stocking from me - it makes the perfect little gift for those who drink water in your life {ha ha - really, who doesn't drink water!?!}. Anyway, the bottle is a great ergonomic shape with a built in water filter. I found the one for my SIL at a local grocery store in town for a stellar price! No more flats of purified water!!!
TRESemme Hair spray
Found this super great hairspray when I was out of town this past month - I needed some spray and didn't want to spend a fortune! My SIL {my other SIL} encouraged me to try the cheapo TRESEmme and I fell in LOVE!!! I think it rang up for $4.39 @ Walmart and I am still using it! Super deal!
Honey Bee Tees
Fell deep in love with the simplistic designs of these tees from another blogger...and finally the boys got one as a gift for Christmas from G&G -- they love them and so does this Mama!
Sprig Toys
We've had Sprig toys for quite a while, but I just have to share! My boys are super hard on their toys and these toys last the test of time ~ they are made with recycled products and are super fabulous! If you keep your eyes peeled you can find them for a steal @ Winners
Divine Twine
I had seen this twine on another bloggers blog {sorry, don't know who's!} and fell in LOVE with it, I knew I needed it for my Christmas wrapping! I found some online, but then I happened to call Essential Packaging and found it there for the exact same price as online, less the shipping!!! Score! Thanks Essential Packaging!
That's it for today lovelies!!! Hope you're still enjoying the rest of the holiday and getting things accomplished. I'm off to re-organize my closet; it's a bit of a schmozel!

I'm also hoping since Mr. L is home I can get some drapes hung in our family room {fingers crossed}!

Oh, and are you starting to think of your word of the year; I've started to --haven't got a clue as to what God is laying on my heart for 2012 so I can't wait till He helps me find a new direction for the New Year! *

: The Queen Speaks :

I'm in complete awe of the Royal Family --- So much so my family bought me a Royal Family year in review book as well my MIL bought me this for my pandora; also knowing how enamoured I am with the Royal Family

"Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas."
* * *
What a phenomenal message the Queen has for us -- may you be just as blessed as I was by the words she so eloquently spoke.



: Merry Christmas :

We've had a wonderful few days celebrating Christmas from the Christmas Eve service at church {followed by driving by some lovely lit homes, dinner from a drive-through (ha!), talking about Jesus' birth, watching Charlie Brown Christmas, reading "twas the night before Christmas}Hide all

Then on to both our parent's homes on Christmas day and returning home well into boxing day...we've had a wonderful Christmas and today we're still enjoying the magic of Christmas -- the tree is still trimmed and smelling wonderful, Mr. L is still off work, boxes of goodies spread throughout the house, vanilla candles burning; it's all still so wonderfully, delightfully enjoyable! Quality time spent as a family can never be replaced! And it's noon and we're all still in our pj's :)

We ALL got spoiled, the gifts have been overwhelming - we are so blessed and count it one of our greatest blessings to live in Canada, we don't know how good we have it!

Well, going to get back to my family here, but I just wanted to officially wish you a Merry Christmas, I hope you're taking a moment to take in all that this glorious season means to you!

Oh, and Meg...you asked how I keep my house so clean, stylish & white...If it was me I would have an all white home, but I live with Mr. L and he likes colour. I find that white is one of the easiest thing to keep clean..everything is washable!

And my house isn't always tidy, of course I took those photos when there was less junk spread about, but truly I hate clutter so I have to like to put things away c o n s t a n t l y. I am continually tucking things into there proper places; from mail to bills to dishes etc. it doesn't really ever end.

One thing that I swear by is a play room...we have one {it's upstairs in this house} and the boys have to keep their toys in it. However if they want to bring some toys in the family room {like in this post}, that is okay bu the rule is only one toy per boy. They get it and typically it's a toy that they play with non-stop. The wood trains set was in our family room for 3 days until it was cleaned up on Christmas Eve. And I'm okay with that...I find that when they are only able to play with one toy they play better. I also take 15 minutes per day to do a quick clean up, doesn't get everything taken care of but generally the house is clean and tidy and I don't get overwhelmed. So there ya go, hope that helps ;)

But we're just like everybody else, this is currently what our family room looks like....

Have a great day --- I'll be back with a photo re-cap and some of my favorite gifts I got ;)


: Home Tour 2011 :

Well, since it's been a CRAZY long time since I posted anything, I thought I may as well start with a {albeit partial home} tour of our decked out home for Christmas...I've had quite a few who don't live close ask if and when I'm posting pic's of our new home...so here you go!
Welcome to our new home! I wanted a new wreath but wasn't prepared to spend $30+ on a real green Christmas wreath, but this one from Michael's fit the bill just right and at $5.39 I couldn't beat it! I've already got an idea for our front door wreath next year, jut couldn't make it happen this year. I also found a "L" ornament for cheap {$3 cheap} at a local grocery store and the little birdie is one of three that are new additions to our trees.
Here's our dining room/living room
Lovely gifts wrapped with love
Another one of our new ornaments, I thought they were just so sweet!
Christmas flowers, bought 4 bouquets from a floral outlet and put together little bouquets of fresh cut greens, salal leaves, Lillie's/tulips and faux silver leaves...nothing beats fresh flowers!

On we move to the kitchen where I have a daily reminder of what this season is all about; thanks to Jones Design Co. You want one too, you can find it here...she's a sharing girl ;)
Here's the rest of my little corner I see daily, paper straws in a mason jar, silver snowflake napkins in an old peach jar, Santa's cookie plate for Christmas Eve, fresh cut greens and my framed printable - Love it!

Last year I made this wreath, since my front door is glass and no longer black -- I needed to find a new place for it. Along with the silver topiary trees, blanket of snow with a strand of 20 lights, made a perfectly dreamy window scape above our sink.
...brown paper packages tied up with string...
this is our annual pannetone this year ~ can you say YUM!?
Here is a full shot of our kitchen

On to our family room with our real tree

This tree is much wider than we thought, a whole 4.5 feet wide, but it's a beauty and smells SO great! Thankfully it's very moist and doesn't drop many needles. I purchased a new skirt for this tree...we have a very traditional red skirt for this tree but when Mr. L and I were out for a date a few nights ago we stopped by Lee Valley and found an old coffee sack for just $1 -- I needed it, not even knowing what I would do with it. Mr. L gave me a look but when I took it apart and wrapped it around the bottom of the tree his quizzical look vanished. Both of us love this tree and the best part is; the boys put all the ornaments on it by themselves! They had a blast and loved really being part of the tradition this year

This is my favorite ornament from JJ - it's his hand print and 5 little snow men. We have yet to open up our ornaments from Cole, they are still wrapped and under the tree :)
We've got quite the little collection of Christmas books that we get to read throughout the holidays - every night or so we light the lantern and pull the blankets out from my new Land's End tote that I got for my birthday {thanks M&D} and read a book by the light of the tree...really is the small things that count!

View of the fireplace inset in the family room

Here's a little dressed up nook we have in our kitchen just leading into the front hall, love the little shelves Mr. L put up for me, they don't match but I don't care, I just LOVE them!
On your way out of the kitchen you pass by a door {to the basement} and that's where I chose to put up all of our photo cards from our friends and family -- I had made the gray wreath for the boys room in our last place, but it never made it up..so I just added some white satin ribbon I had left over from our front door wreath and a little tag "knit together by love" and voila a cute little display! Ps. remember "funtak" that's what I used to stick up the cards with...totally forgot about that stuff; it's amazing!
Here's the view from the bottom of the staircase looking past the basement door into the kitchen.

And amazingly enough you're back at the start of the house ;)
Hope you enjoyed our house tour and I look forward to touring you through the upstairs soon -- If you want to see our previous years tours here they are 2008 & 2010

I've spent the past 3 days hibernating as I had basically been away from our home working for Cranberry Creek from November 28th - December 20th - so to say the least our kids & home needed some loving tender care and I've never been so happy to be in my sweats playing trains and cleaning then I have in the past 3 days!

Hope to get on here more and in case I haven't stopped by your blog lately, don't worry I'll be catching up over the holidays ;)



: Christmas Wish :

Oh. My. Goodness. It has been a pathetic Fall for this blog! Oh well, we've been "doing" life and life has been FULL ~ All good, and full.

But things are starting {HA!} to come around and become a little more routine..but more on that later!

For now I've been dreaming of all things Christmas, from singing songs that celebrate the REAL king of kings, to the time with family, the traditions we depend on, to decorating, gift giving, strolling hand in hand with a cinnamon something from Starbucks...it's all such a wonderful time of year! And all in celebration of Jesus' birth!

I've been requested from both of our families to compose a Christmas Wish {dream} list...and even though I like specific things, it's really hard to put together a real list of "oooh I want", "oh, I like", "that would be great to have!" especially when we have SO much

At any rate, it was truly fun to have the time to sit and write a list, so I thought I would share. Here's my gown up Christmas List . .
Christmas Wish

Hope you've taken some time to dwell and enjoy what Christmas really means, and by all means if you've got a Christmas list; share it! It was really fun to do!


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