Sunday, 24 January 2016


Have you ever attempted to make a photo book? Let me tell you it is one frustrating process. I have tried at least three times and always end on the verge of tears with nothing to show for it. These websites are not easy to use! But doesn't it sound like such a nice idea to make these photo books from your vacation or family photos? I have this vision of one book per vacation starting with Switzerland...sigh... Scrapbooks of the future.

Tonight I had my FIRST successful photo book experience and thought I would share the tips I have learned through my failed attemps. I used Shutterfly and they have a sale on until Jan 27th if you also have two year old photos to print.

Here are my tips:

1. Save immediately and save often. Is it silly to save your file every thirty seconds you ask? No. No it is not. In fact it is prudent. PRUDENT, I say.

2. Choose your photos in advance. This will save you precious time online pulling your hair out. This is a get in, get out mission.

3. Upload photos one or two at a time. Anything more and these websites seem to implode. It's like Y2K predictions on these sites, people.

4. Upload ALL your photos before you begin formatting the pages and adding your pics to the template. I cannot say this enough. One time my photos were "uploading" for hours and hours and then days and days. They are likely still "uploading" in cyberspace this very day.

5. Shutterfly often has sales so there is no need to buy a photo book at full price. Absolutely no need.

6. If all else fails there is an option for the folks at Shutterfly to place your photos in the book themselves. My friend J has done this and she was satisfied with the result. You lose the freedom to micromanage this terrible project, but on the upside you don't need to consume a tub of ice cream at the end of the day.

I hope these tips help someone out there. Learn from my mistakes. Godspeed.

Thursday, 21 January 2016


This fall I had a mandatory education weekend in far, far away Nova Scotia and took the opportunity to make a pit stop in Halifax to visit my friend E! (Side note: the friends I made during my science degree are some of my lifelong best friends and I just love them.) E semi-recently moved back to the east coast after a stint in Saskatchewan and I'm so happy to have her back even though I still don't see her as much as I'd like!

During our visit she took me to a place I had heard a lot about but never been to - The Middle Spoon. For some reason the name always reminds me of Middle Earth and I kind of picture it being overrun with hobbits. :) That is fortunately not the case. As you probably know, it's a dessert place!

I had the most delicious toffee pudding (and apple cider)! It was the richest, most delicious, warm, comforting dessert ever and totally inspired me to make something similar at home!! I found this recipe and it turned out sooooo good!!! It was just like what I experienced at The Middle Spoon. I made it for friends and we all loved it (as far as I know)! It's something that is perfect for winter time since it's warm, sweet, and full of cream, sugar, and dates! But fair warning, the amount of cream used is somewhat alarming. Enjoy!

Sunday, 17 January 2016


Shout out to my best friend T who sparked the most hilarious idea.

Her little guy is our godson (cue the aaaaw's) and a few months ago I bought him this book at Wal Mart of all places. It is a really adorable book that is very interactive and slightly hilarious with fuzzy puppies, crinkly paper, and scratch and sniffs. So cute.

When I told T about this book she asked if there were pictures of border collies like Leroy. She said when she reads dog books to her little guy she points out "There's Leroy!" and "There's Maddie!" for all the border collies and golden doodles. Well having Leroy spotted in a book just seemed like the best idea.

So clearly I had to alter this book in some way. I took a photo of Leroy, cut around it and taped him onto a grey dog whose proportions suited Leroy's head. I like to think when we pulled this out at our godson's baptism it was a hit all around. Haha! Can't wait to read it with him and point out our favourite furry man.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Let's talk about two things, shall we?

Christmas and New Year.

First off - I am the biggest Scrooge. This Christmas I found it hard to buy presents. The older I get the more I feel most of us have enough "stuff". We have too much "stuff". And I am starting to become skeptical... I buy presents because society tells me I can't be empty handed when I see my family or friends in the month of December? Does anyone else feel this way?? Does anyone else agree that is not the point of Christmas??

Don't get me wrong - I love picking items up for family and friends throughout the year if I see something I think they will love. (I bought my friend J Mariah Carey's new Christmas storybook because I knew she would just love it - and she did.) And I'm very thankful for the things I receive. But to buy for the sake of buying when others are in need...

Little by little I hope to wear down my family this year (ok - really my mom) until they (she) agree we can stop buying presents for each other. Or at least get them to stop giving me Christmas presents because I truly am happy to simply have a couple of days off work and enjoy a good meal with those I love!!

Leroy, on the other hand was so excited about his Christmas presents that he fell asleep hugging his new Turkey. Does it get any cuter than that?

The next order of business - the New Year.

I never make any true "resolutions" but this year I have a few goals in mind. At the end of 2016 I'd like to be able to do a push up and a pull up. I'd like to go on two trips this year. (We have one booked!) I'd like to spend a little less money on eating out (I am a takeout monster). I'd like to live with my husband again. I also have some ideas about where I'd like my money to go (besides those trips - ha!).

Last year I bought a journal to document our favourite memories of the year on New Year's Eve. I'm really excited about it and I can just picture looking back on it years from now and remembering all the happy moments that stood out each year. I recommend doing it! It was even fun this year to look back at last year's memories!

I hope 2016 brings you all kinds of blessings.

Sunday, 10 January 2016


I've posted here before about my cousin, Dee (Dara) Wilkie and some of her projects and she has had a very busy fall season! She has been working very hard with great results so I wanted to showcase her most recent work!

Dara studied surface design at New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and graduated in 2012. Since then she has been working full time while she also starts her own brand and I am a big fan of everything she has ever done! Her biggest fan maybe. :)

Last summer Dara conceptualized a new project inspired by the seven deadly sins (hence SEVEN). She designed and created seven fabrics, each inspired by one of the seven deadly sins, and four local fashion designers turned these fabrics into beautiful garments. A completely Fredericton based project, local models were then styled by Billy Peterson and Michael Drost and photographed by Lance Kenneth Blakney.

The dresses and photographs are currently displayed at the George Fry Gallery at NBCCD. Gallery hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. 457 Queen Street, Fredericton, NB.

They will be displayed until January 19th if you're in town! Please stop by and support local artists!

Fashion design:
Michelle Duncan
Adrienne Goodine
Alexandra Keely
Bronwen Robbins

Surface design:
Dee Wilkie