Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Exciting Announcement

I knew I should have never written any New Years Resolutions down. 

The funny thing about putting something down in writing is that has a way getting wheels turning in your head and makes you re-evaluate what's important and what is not important in your life. 

For me, the phrase "Write about what I love" has thrown me for a bit of a loop. If you haven't noticed, the whole DIY part of my blog has run stagnant. Call it a creative block, call it different priorities, call it life for all I care. I still love my home and love doing little projects but nothing has been hitting me. Instead I've been having other thoughts in my head and those other thoughts have brought about a renew excitement in me. 

If you've been following for awhile, you will have noticed that I have fallen in love with mini cakes. I love their cute little presence at a party, their non-committal nature and how they bring about a lot of fun in a small package. This passion for small cakes has compelled me to venture between the walls of this blog and narrow my focus a bit.

I'm super excited to reveal my new blog!

If should be lot of fun! I plan to share tutorials for the cute little Mini Cakes you've seen here, as well as give recipes, tips and eye candy. 

I'm not planning on leaving Blessed Life Atop A Cake Stand to whither and die, I'll still be around. But for now, I'm going back to my true love which is cakes!

I hope you can follow along and have fun with my in this new venture!

Lots of love,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pictures of Life: Sledding

family sledding
those eyes

Our kids are at super fun ages.

Brooke is just a bouncy little go-getter. Her smile is contagious and she's just bursting with fun and creativity. She's in love with princesses and all things girly but still likes to get in there like a little tomboy as well. She lost her first tooth while she was spending the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The tooth fairy almost forgot to leave some money when we got home, but good thing mom went down in the morning to look for it while Brooke was occupied upstairs and "just managed to find a looney under her pillow".

Caleb's just loving life as well. He absolutely adores his cousin Gavin and is always making him pictures of angry birds star wars and writing his name. (He actually knows how to print Gavin's name better than his own). He has a little idol worship going on with "Gav". He still loves preschool, going to basketball with daddy and being creative and destructive at home.

Benji is just a great big bundle of fun. His laugh is hilarious. He has a forced gravelly laugh that you can't help but chuckle with. He's mischievous, busy, playful and adores playing rough with Caleb. We went to watch Jason coach basketball the other night and if Caleb was anywhere near Benj, Benji would try to tackle hug him to the ground while laughing his evil chuckle. It got so ridiculous to the point that I had to banish Caleb to the top of the bleachers so that Benji couldn't get at him. He's such a little goof! He's starting to talk more and more. He's started forming sentences and has his own little way of saying his siblings and cousins' names.

Jason is still plugging away at school. He has a full course load and coaching basketball so he's a little stressed and busy. We see each other in passing most days. But he's doing awesome! I love him more and more each day! He is a treasure of man and a husband!

My new years goals are still going well. I still have yet to meal plan, but my goal is to do that starting next month. I also have yet to make a batch of cookies for the sheer joy of having cookies but instead I make them for the cookie dough. I can change...I can change! I'll let you know when I finally meet that goal!

I {heart} winter!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What I've Been Reading

I have a love for books and put that together with recently figuring out that I can borrow e-books from the library from the comfort of my own home...I've become a reading pile of irresponsible mush.

I've been reading, on average, between 2-3 books a week lately. 

The problem with reading so many books, is that I want to talk about the books and the characters from the books when I'm done reading the book. But I have a hard time finding people who have read the books. So my plan is to introduce you to a number of books that I've read so that you can read them too and then we can have a cup of tea proverbial 'tea' (or real if you want) and obsess about what we just read. Sounds like a plan? .... Perfect!

Let's start off with the book that began my reading frenzy. At the end of November, my 12 year old niece showed up at my parents' house with a book. I, not being able to resist a book, pick it up and began to read. Before, I knew it, I was 5 chapters in and she was grabbing it out of my white knuckled hands because she had to go home and the book had to go with her. 

The book was, "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner. It's kind of Dystopian book in the likeness to the Hunger Games series (which I have also read and loved. More on that later)

You can read the first few chapters of the book here. 

I hate books that give away the entire plot on the back of the book (I like an element of surprise when I read) so this book was great. There is no back plot summary. So I didn't know what I was getting myself into. PERFECT!

I don't want to spoil anything, but here's a quick little intro to the book. 

It's about a teenage guy who shows up, via an elevator, in this place called the Glade. His memory of his past has been wiped clean. The Glade has been a self-contained subsistence for about 30 other teenage guys with erased memories for the last 2 years. At the beginning of each day the walls surrounding the Glade open to reveal a maze. For the last 2 years the group of boys have been trying to figure out the maze so that they can get back to wherever they came from. There are different trials and circumstances that they must overcome to not only just survive but to figure out how to get out of that place. 

I personally loved this book. It's not a typical genre that I tended to gravitate towards. (I lean more towards those cheesy Christain romance books). But now I'm hooked on this type of dystopian society genre. 

Some things that I didn't like about it was some of the language. They didn't curse outright, but they used made up terms which isn't fooling anyone. The characters like to call each other "shuck faces", 'shanks' and other delightfully lame names. For someone who doesn't swear, it was pretty annoying to have to read all of the 'swear words'. 

There was also a lot of unnecessary/faceless violence. The whole book series is about sacrificing some people for the greater good. It often makes the deaths of some people seem senseless or unemotional, like human life has little value. People get killed but the characters just sort of move on as if nothing happened. However, the main characters are valiant, strive towards a greater purpose and are closely bonded and reliant on each other. (It's just those minor characters whose lives hold little value or sentiment)

Although this is classified as young adult fiction, I would recommend that you read the books first before you hand it over to your child. Boys will especially love this book with all of its suspense and action and only tidbits of romantic interest. 

There are three books in the series and once you finish one, you'll want to keep reading through all three books! 

Plus, they are in the midst of making movies based on the book series. First movie is due to be released in September. So please, people read the book before the movie comes out. There's nothing more fun than picking apart a movie because they missed some of your favorite parts from the book or characters were not quite what you imagined!

If you like this book then you will probably like The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (my #1 choice) and The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth (#2 choice) with The Maze Runner as my #3 choice in this genre. 

Anyway, I'm starting to dwindle down my reading list. What books have you been reading lately? Let me know so that I can keep the obsession alive!

Have you read The Maze Runner series? What did you think! 

If you want to check out something lighter. Here's another author you may like. 

Let's talk books!

Happy Reading!


Monday, February 3, 2014

This is Our Room

It's by no means big. We have about 2-3 feet of walking space around our bed. Our closet is smaller than the closet I had growing up and it now needs to be shared with another person. 

It is by no means stylish. Our bedroom furniture is nice, (our last major purchase before having kids) but not knock-your-socks off glamorous. 

It is by no means fancy or trendy or really anything super special. The wall colour hasn't changed since the previous owners. The ceiling is a popcorn ceiling gone really bad. There is no master bath, sitting area or tv for that matter. 

It is by no means a sacred retreat or a sanctuary. It is a room. It is where our bed is and where our clothes are. 

But... it is by all means, one of the most loved rooms of the house and always full of love. 

Our Room

My most favorite part of this space is the BED. It's were all the magic happens. {hubba, hubba...okay, that's a little creepy}

Instead, maybe I should say that this is where things magically happen.

Like it's the place where kids magically appear. It's rare that we go a full week, and sometimes even a full night, without that creepy feeling that someone's watching me. Just to open an eye and see a small child hovering inches from my face whispering "Mom...mom." But then, without even missing a beat, I slide a bit over and that child snuggles right in.

Our bed isn't just our bed but a family bed.

And I kind of like it like that.

Growing up, my parents' room was similar to ours. It was a room that was for them but one that we were welcome in. Up until the day after I got married, I would get up in the morning and hop into bed with my mom. My dad's side would often still be warm from him getting up a bit before and I would snuggle in and either doze off for a few more minutes or chat with my mom before heading into the shower.

Sometimes we would goof off and she would pin our legs between her legs so we would have to pry and fight to get out. I was always amazed that she could completely pin at least two of us at one time and render us useless with only her legs...and she was smaller than us all!

Growing up, if I had a bad dream, was up super early in the morning or just couldn't sleep, I remember going to my dad's side of the bed, rolling over top of him and making myself comfortable between him and my mom. Neither of them would say much, but just slide over a touch to get me a little more room. Magically, I would wake up in my own bed though.

Our kids now do the same.

Brooke's been joining us since she's been  days old. Sometimes it's just easier to take them in with you than to suffer the constant crying and getting up to check on them.

Caleb is the best snuggler. He just curls right in, keeps his hair out of my mouth and doesn't move. Caleb likes to come snuggle for a few minutes but then migrates to his preferred place: the floor. But then again, Caleb will fall asleep almost anywhere.

This little guy would be joining us every night if he could figure out how to climb out of his crib. On a good night, he's up at least once crying. Mostly, we ignore it but once in awhile he joins the other two to make the room a communal sleeping area. But he's a wiggle pants, so once he's calmed down and sleeping, his limp body is brought back to bed. 

This is stack of blankets we keep for out midnight visitors.

Brooke and Caleb rarely bother us anymore. They just grab a blanket and find their spot on the floor. Brooke's spot is on Jason's side of the bed in a 1.5 foot space, over top of the heat register. Caleb likes my side of the bed. Although, sometimes he does have to wake me up so that I can clear a spot among my mountain of clothes.

I treasure those mornings that I wake up and I am surrounded by all of my family. Sure, sometimes it gets old and being with just Jason would be nice but I just remind myself that they are only little for awhile and I need to enjoy it now.

What's your room like? Is your bed a revolving door? Is it a sanctuary or scene of chaos?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Parents' Bathroom Reveal

Don't you just love a good surprise?

When my parents came home at the beginning of December from their Hawaiian cruise, they had no clue what had been happening in their home. I had visions of hiding behind couches and under tables and yelling "Surprise" when our parents came through the door and shocking the living daylights out of them. But we were about 20 minutes too late. {sad face} The funny thing is that it took my parents about that long to figure out that we had done anything to the house. No serious!

In all fairness, the bathroom isn't right in the main living area, but you'd think that after all that traveling one of them would have been rushing to the toilet. But nope!

As we were pulling into the driveway of their house, my phone began to ring. It was mom. 

Mom: So, it looks like you were busy!
Me: Whatever could you mean? {snicker, snicker} Come to your door!

That's when I hung up and we (Matt, Steph and I) rushed to the door. I still yelled "Surprise"...because it's fun to say. After much needed hugs we headed to the powder room where all the magic happened. 

This is what they saw!

blue bathroom

We know we did good when mom looked at the light and pointed out that she was looking at that exact same light for this bathroom too. BINGO! {Matt picked it! He's awesome!}

You can get a good view of the tile here. I {heart} it! Oh and we LOVE the faucet, not because it's fancy or pretty or anything but because the kids can turn it on and off themselves! Whoop! No more stinky, sticky hands for our kids anymore...well, if they would actually wash their hands in the first place without prompting that is!

For art, it only seemed fitting to frame some pictures of old black and white cruise ships, since they were on a cruise at the time. I thought I was making it even more special by including pictures of the ship that my dad and his family (all 15 of them) took from Holland to Canada when they immigrated. But...I found pictures of the wrong ship. Oops...it's the thought that counts right?

Well there it is folks! One room of many can be checked off the list at my parents' house!

My favorite parts of the room would be: the framed mirror, the cruise ship art and the tiles!

Jason's least favorite part of this post: me taking pictures in my "old woman sweater". as he likes to call it!

It's getting tons of use and just makes all of us smile when we use it. Now, we just have to convince them to leave on another adventure so that we can get another room done!

My parents deserve this makeover and more! They are pretty much the best parents a girl could ever ask for!

Love you Mom and Dad!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Parent's Bathroom

I love my family.

We all get along really well, have complete patience for one another, don't mind being enclosed in small spaces together breathing in paint fumes and getting loopy, and we all love my iTunes playlist and love of gold.

Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little. Although the looped Alex and Sierra covers from X-factor is basically the greatest thing ever, they vetoed all sentences that started, ended or included the word 'gold' when it came to discussing making over my parent's bathroom. (Which is really too bad because, come-on, gold is the greatest!)

In November, my parent's left for almost the whole month. In that time, we decided to surprise them with a little bathroom makeover.

Their main floor "powder room", for lack of a better word, was just screaming for a little attention. It's white walls were chipped, the vanity doors were sagging, the knobs were falling off, the tile was hideous, and the overall sense of charm and life were lacking.

About 5 years ago, my mom decided to choose colours for the bathroom that went with those hideous green tiles. That stripe of paint under the mirror has been there for that long, just mocking us to do something about it!

Steph and I spent the first day doing a lot of demo and cleaning. The first this to come out was that hideous green tile. Steph, chipped that stuff away like a boss.

Afterwards, Steph took the doors off the vanity and painted them while I painted the ceiling. It's amazing how much better the room looked after just brightening up the ceiling.

We also removed the old baseboards, took apart the radiator cover to spray paint it and washed the walls before we painted.

Then our hubbies came to help us. Matt painted walls a smokey blue and then they tackled the new tiles (Cararra marble/white glass mosaic tiles from Rona).

Nope, Jason didn't do it all. This crazy guy helped as well!

During the week, the guys came back to grout the tile and frame out the mirror. In my opinion, this frame made the space. It warmed the bathroom up and gave it a polished look.

That's where I'm going to leave you for today! Tomorrow, I'll show you the whole reveal.

Have you ever done a room makeover as a surprise for anyone? Anyone have a slight obsession with wanting to do Trading Spaces back in the day?



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