Monthly Archives: February 2015

{SQT} Blogs I’m Following Lately

I’ve only been in the blogging world for 2 months, but here are some of the blogs I have been reading that have inspired me!

1. Love Taza – the first “mommy” blog I happened upon that opened my eyes to this online forum for moms to be….moms! They live in NYC and their family is ridiculously good looking. The way she blogs about her family shows the world that being young and having kids is something rewarding and exciting 🙂

2. Small Things – Her blog has such an earthly and old-soul flavor to it that I absolutely love. It was her weekly Yarn Along link up that eventually inspired me to finally take that knitting class I’ve been wanting to do for months. Her 9-person family lives in an old farmhouse on a couple of acres, and as of late she has been reading about raising goats. Sigh.

3. This Ain’t the Lyceum – Funny and charming, this mom of 5 injects some much needed comedy on the topic of motherhood. She also hosts the 7 Quick Takes link-up that has inspired me to write about 7 things on Fridays 🙂

4. The Sitting Tree – Her knitting projects and photography are absolutely dreamy.

5. Holland’s Reverie – Another “earthy” mum who showcases her charming family and their country home! I love her sincere blog posts – a great one to follow!

6. Hello Neverland – This one is great because she offers so many great blogging tips and ideas to keep things fresh

7. beth a-dilly – a professional photographer who shares light and airy photos, and also shares some tips and tricks!

I would love to follow more photographers – but I’m having a hard time finding good ones! Most of the time their “blog” is just pictures from their latest shoot. That’s all fine and well, but I would love to find people who share about their pictures.

What are your favorite blogs to read?

Advertisements

Project 52: Cross-Processing Effects in Lightroom

This was a fun challenge for me to do because I didn’t actually have to go and take any pictures, I could rummage through old unedited pictures and do something creative with them!

The technique I learned this week in my 52-week photography challenge is known as “cross-processing”. According to Wikipedia: “it is the deliberate processing of photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film.”

Traditionally used with film, many photographers can achieve a very similar look using manipulation of contrast/brightness, hue/saturation and curves in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

Here are some examples of what this technique looks like when applied:

I decided to use some pictures from the summer of the first time Josh and I went sailing. It was Canada Day, and a good friend of ours asked us if we would like to take a rip in is sailboat around the Bedford Basin and watch fireworks from his boat. Um, heck yes we do!!

I was pretty disappointed to see the pictures from day. They were just so darn flat and boring!

Week5-5Cross-Process 3

Not anymore 🙂

By using the “Tone Curve” and “Split Toning” features in Lightroom, these images were really able to POP!

I achieved this look by playing around with the Red, Green, and Blue curves

I achieved this look by playing around with the Red, Green, and Blue curves

Cross-Process Cross-Proces 1What a fun day that was! Now I can look back and think fondly of the beauty I got to experience 🙂

Vintage Cookbook: Sudbury’s New Jewish Cook Book

ChocolateCake-1

I have a thing for cookbooks. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t even go to that section at the library because I will take sooooo many home. I just love ’em! I get so seduced by the pictures and day dream about all of the culinary delights I will make.

ChocolateCake-2

As much as I love newer cookbooks with all of their dreamy food pictures, I also love the home coiled ones that come from church fundraisers, with recipes from all the little old ladies who make all the baked goods that are served at the coffee socials. Um, heck yes I want to know all the ingredients to Miss M.A. Macdonald’s famous Dainties.

I also love those oldies because you are never quite sure how the recipes will turn out because they didn’t go through a “test kitchen” like the bookstore published. While an exercise in blind faith, I am always SO delighted when something turns out!

ChocolateCake-5

My grandmother was a bit of a cookbook collector, even though I don’t ever remember her actually making anything. My Papa was the one who did all the cooking, and I’m pretty sure he never used any of her cookbooks.

She passed away last year, and I am so pleased to have inherited her vast collection.

ChocolateCake-4

Up on the list of “successes” is this chocolate cake. My grandparents lived in Sudbury in the 80’s and 90’s, so while not quite “vintage” this cookbook is still exciting because its Jewish. How exotic! I know lots of churches put together cookbooks, but I can’t say I’ve ever come across one from a synagogue.

ChocolateCake-3

Yum!!

7 Tips For A Successful Marriage (Newly-Wed Edition)

OK ok, I know Josh and I have only been married for a year and a half, so what can we POSSIBLY know about marriage?! Especially because we only have one kid, and he is still a baby! Fair enough, but I believe that this list holds true no matter HOW long you have been married or HOW many kids you have. I would also like to think that Josh and I have something to add to this conversation because we have been together in TOTAL for almost 10 years!

So after discussion with him, this is what we came up with:

  1. Make Christ the Centre

Most importantly, Christ needs to be the centre of MY life. What is my relationship like with God right now? Do I make a point to have prayer time and make personal contact with my Creator each day? I’m a different person when I don’t make time for God. I know, its true, new moms barely have time to shower let alone have prayer time. I don’t think we need to have a one-hour structured prayer time. But doing some “Hail Mary” passes during the day will help a lot. (Oh dear Mother of God, pray for me, I am about to lose my sanity)

Likewise, Christ needs to be the “third” person in our marriage. Simply going to church together each Sunday isn’t enough. We both need to make sure He is front and centre in all aspects of our lives: finances, family, relationships, etc. How do we do that? See point #2

 2.   Pray: Together and For Each Other

Early on in our marriage, Josh and I would get ready for bed, turn off the lights, say goodnight, roll over and go to sleep. Something in this routine simply felt “off”. After prayer one morning, I realized it was because we were not praying together! That night I asked Josh if he would like to start praying together before bed and he answered with an enthusiastic “YES”! And then…what? How do we even pray together? We started off simply doing a thanksgiving prayer: praying for our day that we just had, and for our days tomorrow, being specific. Sometimes our prayer is more intense, but for the most part this is what we have been doing for the last year and a bit. However, every single night we start our prayer off with, “Thank you Lord for my wife,” “Thank you Lord for my husband.” Oh, and now we get to include Joseph.

Don’t forget to pray for your spouse every day (see point #3).

  1. Always be on the Same Team: Benefit of a Doubt

This one is so important to Josh and I! We agreed early on that we would always be on the same team and give the other the benefit of the doubt.

Imagine a tennis doubles team: it would be detrimental for team dynamics if they got mad at each other for “missed” plays. Instead, they work out rough patches so they can battle together for their next match, always improving and getting better, so they can win. We should treat our spouse with the same intentional attitude, always striving make each other better competitors (but remember, nagging is not what a good teammate does). Teammates should always give each other the benefit of the doubt that they other person is working as hard as they can towards the goal.

I always try to assume that Josh is trying his best and has the best intentions (he didn’t intentionally leave his dishes on the counter, he probably just put them there and forgot!). And he does the same with me. This attitude shift has done great things for our marriage. It means that we always assume the best of our teammate, and this in turn causes them to rise to the occasion. Of course if there is a “missed” play that needs attention – talk about it right away!

  1. Give them your Best

I recently came to this realization, while putting on makeup to go to church. I am so willing to put on my best clothes, hair, make-up, and attitude when I am around other people. Yet I am more than willing to greet my husband when he comes home with 3-day old hair, a shirt with spit-up and God knows what else on it, and a cranky attitude. Sure, I know that he will always love me, and it’s a wonderful thing that I can be myself with him. However, if I only ever give him my “leftovers” how will that make him feel? It’s true, I’m not perfect and fail at times, but I do make an effort to give him my best, all the time!

In the wise words of my husband, “Always treat the other person like they are having a bad day.” It sounds weird, but if I imagine Josh has put in a hard day at the office, I am very compassionate, gentle, and loving when he walks through the door. Instead of dumping all of my troubles on him, I am willing and ready to listen to him!

  1. “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

“As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.” Eph 5:21, 24-25

This one can be hard, since the word “subordinate” has such a bad connotation. But if you read it closely, the passage’s first lines tells us to both be subordinate.

sub·or·di·nate:

  • lower in rank or position
  • treat or regard as of lesser importance than something else

We are expected to regard ourselves as less important than the other; to put them ahead of ourselves. There is an intonation of sacrifice here. And for those who think that men got it easy in this passage, remember that Christ died for the church out of love…so men must die to their wives!

  1. Know your love languages

This one is kind of fun to discover. It can go under the category of “communication”. I think a lot of frustration can happen in couples when the other does not love them in the “right” way; that is, the way they are readily able to receive it.

There are 5 broad categories for the ways we give and receive love

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Gifts
  3. Quality time
  4. Physical touch
  5. Acts of service

I can feel pretty unloved if Josh doesn’t tell me he likes dinner (words of affirmation), or if he doesn’t put the recycling in the bag (acts of service)! Take the test to find out how you feel loved, and make sure your spouse does it too! http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

7. Spend some quality time together each week

We find this one especially challenging, but no surprise, one of the most important. It’s so important to check in with your spouse to find out how they are doing, what’s going on in their life, how they are feeling, etc. It’s also important to just enjoy the other person’s company! Often parenting and keeping house is a never ending to-do list, so it’s so crucial to see the other side of your spouse – you know…the one you married!

Don’t misread this. We don’t mean going on legit dates every week (although if you can, all the power to you!). But have dinner as a family. Or sit on the couch together and relax (yes, watch Netflix, but you should probably say at least 5 sentences to each other first!). Or make an outing to Walmart fun (as opposed to stressful) by being lighthearted and thinking of it as an “adventure”.

Would you add any other tips?

First Yarn Along (Finally!)

 

My first knitting "project"! Our instructor had us cast on and try a few different stitches.

My first knitting “project”! Our instructor had us cast on and try a few different stitches.

I’ve been following the Yarn Along through Small Things for a few weeks now. I have a keen interest in knitting and crocheting, but haven’t had any real opportunity to actually learn. I can finally post something I’m actually knitting!

With a new baby, I have discovered that having hobbies is a challenge! In order to have a hobby, one must actually devote some time to said hobby, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do when it is so much easier to give all my attention to my family and household. Josh and  I decided that we each need “me” time, so every 2 weeks or so I get to take 2-3 uninterrupted hours to do whatever I want to! I decided to take a knitting class at a super cute knitting store in downtown Halifax called The Loop.

TheLoop-2

We stopped in a couple of weeks ago and they had all of these dreamy yarns ❤ I was so delighted to see a class list with knitting AND crochet!

TheLoop-1

My heart is just exploding with daydreaming about all the beautiful, cozy things I can knit with my new found skills.

It’s a little bittersweet though. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother tried to teach me how to knit. I was a tomboy when I was younger, so I had absolutely no interest in the things she longed to share with me.

By the time I was old enough to appreciate what she was trying to hand down to me, her eye sight and health had deteriorated too much to show me. So everything I make now is in memory of her.

This is the last time I saw my grandma out of bed. I finally told her I wanted to learn how to crochet. She made such a big effort to walk over to her bookcase, and took needles and books out for me. I cherish that moment.

This is the last time I saw my grandma out of bed. I finally told her I wanted to learn how to crochet. She made such a big effort to walk over to her bookcase, and took needles and books out for me. I cherish that moment.

One of her last projects had been sitting in the trunk at the foot of her bed. I tried to untangle all of the yarn!

One of her last projects had been sitting in the trunk at the foot of her bed. I tried to untangle all of the yarn!

An afghan of granny squares. I'm so excited to learn how to make them so I can finish it.

An afghan of granny squares. I’m so excited to learn how to make them so I can finish it.

You can see a few holes in it...I learned the basic technique for lace!

You can see a few holes in it…I learned the basic technique for lace!

I’ve discovered that the library carries lots of cute books for knitting. Guys, I am so excited!

 



Follow the Yarn Along!

Baby Shower Love

Johannah's Baby Shower-14

Someone near and dear to me is about 7 months pregnant. She and I have had coffee together pretty much every week since I moved back to Halifax in May. She was with me through the last legs of my pregnancy, and was one of the first people to meet Joe. Then she got pregnant and it was my turn to walk with her!

It was my absolute honor to play host to her baby shower. What is better than food, friends, and cute baby things?

It was so fun to be crafty! I was a little intimidated because planning and executing are not my strong suits (I’m a big picture kinda gal). But it went really well!! I even managed to coordinate a group gift…which I must say she was pretty excited about!

A fun prediction calendar I made. Guests picked boy/girl sticker and placed it where they thought she would give birth!

A fun prediction calendar I made. Guests picked boy/girl sticker and placed it where they thought she would give birth!

Guests wrote addresses on envelops to make it easier on mom to send thank-you notes

Guests wrote addresses on envelops to make it easier on mom to send thank-you notes

Guests got to leave sweet notes for mom and baby

Guests got to leave sweet notes for mom and baby

Johannah's Baby Shower-8 Johannah's Baby Shower-9 Johannah's Baby Shower-11 Johannah's Baby Shower-12

Do You Have an Elephant Memory? A fun matching game I created. Match "water breaking" and win sour watermelons! "Play Dates" Sour Patch Kids. "Delivery Doctor" and win Butterfinger :)

Do You Have an Elephant Memory? A fun matching game I created. Match “Water Breaking” and win Sour Watermelons! “Play Dates” Sour Patch Kids. “Delivery Doctor” and win Butterfinger 🙂 I had 15 total pregnancy-related phrases and fun candy/chocolate bars to go along!

Johannah's Baby Shower-68 Johannah's Baby Shower-18 Johannah's Baby Shower-98

French Toast

I married a french man.

Ok, so he doesn’t speak a word of french. Which I find quite humorous because his family, including his dad, are very francophone. I mean, with a last name like Brisson I can understand why people make assumptions about our bilingual-ness.

This morning, I discovered my husband can make French Toast. Like, he just whipped it up. No recipe. I’m not surprised. That’s how he always cooks, and it’s always amazing.

My poor housewife heart wishes I had the same culinary skill. Although, I am sooooo happy to have someone who is willing to cook.

He must get it from the french side. Although his Austrian side can power through a mean schnitzel. I eat very well here.

FrenchToast-1

Oh by the way, we are trying to change the status of our french-speaking abilities from “can’t” to “can”.  Josh found this really cool, and FREE website/app called Duolingo. He has used Rosetta Stone and says this is better! Go check it out here.