First Time Mom!

Sweet Coraline

Sweet Coraline

My name is Christine and on October 28th, 2014 I had a beautiful, bouncing baby girl named Coraline. She arrived after 24 hours of grueling, induced labor via C Section. That was singlehandedly the worst and singlehandedly the best day of my life. Let me tell you a little about my experience with my labor process…

Winter – Jean-Paul Sartre

Lonely winter cottage in the forestTo read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

Route 66 – A Window Into America

Delgadillos Snow Cap Route 66Who hasn’t heard of the song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66″? But how much do most people know about it, and how many people have actually been lucky enough to drive it? Beginning at Grant Park in Chicago, and ending at the Santa Monica Pier in California, Route 66 has been winding its way 2,448 miles across America since it was formally established in 1926. Crossing eight states, Route 66 is more than just a highway across the country – it’s like a living history of cross-country travel, culture, and kitsch.

Read the rest of “Route 66 – A Window Into America” and check out some great Route 66 photography here. 

Ten Top Tips for Winter Walks With Babies or Young Children

mommy baby walkA winter walk always presents additional challenges – it is darker, colder and tends to stay wet underfoot for longer than the summer months and walking with a baby or toddler adds in a whole new set of considerations.

Last year my daughter was so tiny I rarely took her out for a winter walk of more than 30 minutes so this is the first proper winter I have been out with her. I have learned (and had old lessons re-enforced) that whilst a blast of fresh air over the winter months is great (and incidentally this is a lovely, quiet and moody time of year to enjoy the great outdoors) you need to be well prepared to make sure that baby enjoys your winter walk as much as you.

Read the rest of “Ten Top Tips for Winter Walks With Babies or Young Children” here.

How to Grow Microgreens All Winter Long

Growing microgreensWinter can be a tough time for those of us who take pride in growing some of our own food. While we wouldn’t even think about dropping a seed in the ground, that doesn’t mean we can’t grow our own food during these dark and dreary days. One fun and easy way to stick it to old man winter is by growing microgreens on your windowsill.

Over the past few years, microgreens have become incredibly popular with chefs and discerning “foodies” alike. For good reason. They’re delicious! They can be used to add flavor and color to your salads or even as a main salad ingredient themselves.

Learn how to grow microgreens in winter here.

Enjoy the Beauty of Winter Photography

two horsesGorgeous landscapes, early morning fog lifting off the frozen lake, the glistening icicles on the tree branches. Photography opportunities meet you at every corner.

When your winter vacation takes you to the secluded, covered in snow, corner of Ontario; and you just discovered that perfect winter paradise scene; now you want to get it on film, or store it for latter so you can plaster it all over your desk top… Or maybe your children build that perfect snowman and you need to make a digital record of it, so you can show it to their children someday…

Read the rest of “Enjoy the Beauty of Winter Photography” here.

In January – Maurice Sendak

Chicken Soup JanuaryIn January
it’s so nice
while slipping
on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup with rice.
Sipping once
Sipping twice

- Maurice Sendak, In January

DIY Wedding Favors: Natural Sugar Lip Scrub with Honey and Coconut Oil

Handmade DIY natural sugar lip scrub with honey and coconut oil

Handmade DIY natural sugar lip scrub with honey and coconut oil

Handmade wedding favors are a lovely gesture, and this is recipe for sugar lip scrub is great because it uses all natural ingredients that are reasonably priced and available at your local grocery store.

Find out how to make your own natural sugar lip scrub here.

How to Make Very Vanilla Body Butter

Handmade DIY natural body butterThis very simple recipe uses pure coconut oil, which is one of my favorite ingredients for bath & body products because it’s very moisturizing, 100% natural, and easy to find since it’s readily available at most grocery stores.  If you can’t find shea butter at a local store and can’t wait to order it, you can make it without the shea butter (just reduce the fragrance oil amount a bit if you do) – I do love my pure coconut oil moisturizers as well – however the shea butter adds a wonderful consistency and it’s great for the skin. I also opted for the CandleScience Very Vanilla fragrance oil because it is a warm, strong, sweet vanilla bean fragrance and comes at a good price.

Find out how to make your own moisturizing vanilla body butter here.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Making your own apple cider vinegar is a great way to make use of those apple skins, scraps, and cores that you might normally toss out.  This method only takes about 8 weeks to make, and produces a wonderful homemade vinegar to use in cooking or cleaning.

The kind of apples that you want to use really depends on you!  Using locally grown apples is a great way to celebrate the seasonal fruits of your surroundings.  There are sweet apples like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Gala, and Red Delicious to use; tart apples like Granny Smith, McIntosh, Liberty, and Winesap; and bitter apples like crabapples and Cortland.  Braeburn apples have a tart and sweet flavor. You can mix it up to your liking, and then change up the recipe later depending on your taste.

Read how to make apple cider vinegar here.

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