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my name is monica but now i'm better known as nana. i have recurring dreams about faraway places and wild animals running free. i love to create with paper, food and yarn and i love to share snippets of my life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Mayan vacation





We had a wonderful vacation in the Riviera Maya. My favorite things we did were snorkeling, authentic Mayan meditation and participating in the Aztec energy dance classes. I loved the resort we stayed at called the Gran Bahia Principe. I don't think I've ever eaten so much in my whole life and I never felt the least bit guilty!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy No-Sew Throw-Great Christmas Present!

Join the Challenge with me!

So most of my regular blog readers know that I follow a low GI (glycemic index) diet and for the most part its been a life saver, especially this year with the start of weight gaining treatments for Lupus. So why would I switch it up? Well,I need a change to my system,a shock, you might say and under as I've hit a plateau for sometime now. Under the recommendation of my son (owner and fitness trainer of PHAT Training), I've decided to do the Body by Vi 90 day Challenge. I started yesterday and it is so simple! I plan on blogging and vlogging my journey so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog Candy!!!

Check out my friend Linda's blog for a chance to win a beautiful advent calendar!!she does beautiful work. Good luck!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Huge Success!

Our Craft sale was a huge success again this year. Not only did we sell the fruits of all of our hard work, we had the opportunity to visit with friends and family over a cup of warm, spicy Peach tea. To top things off,the weather cooperated with a light dusting of the first snowfall of the season. All in all it was a huge success!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Craft Slae

I have been so busy pricing and creating getting ready for our annual craft and bake sale which is going to be on Nov. 11 and 12. I spent most of the day pricing items and I'm starting to get super excited for the big sale! If you live in the St. Albert/Edmonton area please send me an email and I'll send you the address for the sale! Now I'm off to bed for some well deserved rest !

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hola! Ole ole ole ole!

I'm going to the Mayan Riviera!! Hoot.hoot! My husband and I are celebrating two big birthdays and our 40th anniversary this year so we thought it was TIME for a special holiday so we are going to the Gran Baha Principe Coba just outside of Cancun, Mexico, just before the holidays! I am so excited!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm knitting this hat.

I'm knitting this hat with White Buffalo wool that was given to me by my son in law's grandmother. I use to knit with this yarn years ago but it's hard to find! White Buffalo Yarn has been discontinued which probably means nothing to you unless you live in Canada. According to the yarnharlot's blog It's unspun and drawn out for knitting, several strands come off the puck at once. It has some oils it in, and it is absolutely water resistant. Historically, it's been used in here in Canada for sweaters that are a knock off of the Cowichan sweaters. Wearing a sweater made of of white buffalo wool is like wearing a furnace! I'll post a pick of my hat when I'm done!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Apple A Day?!!

I've heard apples are good for you but this getting ridiculous! I am up to my ying yang in apples. Today I made homemade applesauce and some delicious applesauce cake which was very yummo but it seems like I haven't begun to put a dent in our apple harvest!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vintage Distressed Frame- inspired by Somerset magazine

Christmas Cards

Thanksgiving Canadian Style!

This year we kind of celebrated Thanksgiving twice! First was a couple of weekends ago at my sister's place. Her daughter was here visiting from Jersey so we all got together and it as extra meaningful because my brother, who last year at this time was in a coma, was there bearing gifts and thanks for all of us who helped him through his ordeal. It was potluck and my grandson made a 'casserole' for the birds on my deck. So Sweet!
We also celebrated this past Monday and my mom stayed over and we cooked together.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autmnal Equinox 2011

Just look at the gorgeous roses that I just picked in my garden today being the first day of Autumn. I swear the flowers are more brilliant in the fall as if to say notice me before I'm gone! We've been having a stretch of Indian summer so the weather has been beautiful. Fall is my most favorite time of the year!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Canning can be dangerous!!!

Well it's harvest time again which happens to be my most favorite time of the year!
I've been grating zucchinis for muffins, eating vine ripe tomatoes daily and making jams and jellies. Yesterday, while I was making some crab apple jelly, I dropped a mason jar on the counter which shattered and then cut my foot in three different places, I thought it was so funny as I've never heard of anyone getting cuts and wounds while making jelly!!
The jelly tastes really, really good though!

'Take Note' Mini Notebook Swap at YPP - September

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School Card using ABC Primer by Graphic 45

Back To School!



It seems like yesterday when my first born was starting Kindergarten and now my first grandson has begun his school journey. Time truly does fly! Enjoy every precious moment and congratulations to all of the mommies and daddies out there that are bravely watching their little ones leave the nest for the first time!
I'm taking my grandson out for lunch today so I created this card using the the ABC Primer paper collection from Graphic 45.Have a beautiful day everyone!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Look what I thrifted!


I was at our local Salvation Army Thirft store yesterday and I came across a large bag of 10 brand new balls of Les Fils Marnel acrylic/mohair yarn. Normally one skein would cost at least $5-$6 on sale and I scored these 10 balls for $4.00 in total!!!
I immediately started on these Instant Mittens from the Mary Jane, Midge and Mink blog. I decided to add a cable for interest.
Gotta love thrift stores!

Dump Cake Recipe


Even though I'm still watching my weight I like to make my husband a treat once in awhile so tonight I made a Peach/Pineapple Dump cake for dessert. I split the recipe in half and gave one to my son and his wife.
The recipe goes like this:
2 cans sliced peaches (one drained, one not)
1 can crushed pineapple(do not drain)
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1/2 cup butter.
Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Dump all 3 cans of fruit onto baking pan. Evenly pour dry cake mix (yes, you read that right!...dry cake mix!) over and spread out evenly. Melt butter and drizzle on top.
Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
**Note**It's a really sweet dessert so I would suggest serving it with unsweetened whipped cream. Yummo!!! You can also use pie filling as well. Enjoy!

Getting ready for the christmas craft Sale!


Santa's workshop is open for business as we start to prepare for our big Christmas craft sale in November. I usually do my canning items first and this year is no exception. I started with the most amazing Pina Colada Jam and it is a hit!!!
It's great on toast, ice cream or even as a dip for coconut shrimp. Yummo!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Tim Holtz paper Pads giveaway!...



....plus a few other things. To show my apprecIation for all of my subscribers and followers I am offering a giveaway on Youtube. Make sure you follow me here on my blog as well!
go here to get the detailsz; FREE GIVEAWAY!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Healthy Grilled Cheese!


I had the most tasty lunch today. I had just baked my daily bread so I sliced a couple of pieces, toasted it and topped it low fat mozza, fresh picked tomatoes and basil from my potager and topped everything with cracked pepper.Move over Rachel Ray!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lovin' my Junk!


I am loving the new junk journal craze right now. The best thing about them is that you use the stuff you already have in your stash to create the most amazing journals. Here is a travel journal I just finished for a swap on YPP. The one I received in return was so amazing that I just may have to book a trip just so I can use it!!

Masculine Sympathy card

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Art Journal Prompts for Junque Journals

Art Journal Prompts


Sometimes you get into a rut and your creative mojo has got up and gone. When that happens to me I go to my Art Journal prompt box that I created and pull out a couple and let them take me om an artistic journey!!!
Copy and pate the following into your word program, print them out and then cut them into strips and you're set!

• BUBBLE WRAP
• WATER COLOR PAINTS
• DRAW OIL PASTEL INES AND PAINT ACRYLIC PAINT IN BETWEEN
• CHOOSE YOUR PAINT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED
• PAINT WITH CRUMPLED TISSUE PAPER
• DRAG PAINT ACROSS PAGE WITH CARD OR CARDBOARD,DRY AND SAND
• APPLY TAPE RANDOMLY ON YOUR PAGE
• USE STENCILS
• USE BRAYER WITH PAINT
• PUT STRING OR ELASTIC BANDS ON A BRAYER OR TOILET PAPER ROLL AND PAINT
• JOURNAL IN A CIRCLE
•APPLY GESSO AND THE REMOVE SOME OF THE GESSO
•APPLY RANDOM PAINT SPLATTERS
• USE DIMENSIONALS ON PAGE
• APPLY MAGAZINE GEL TRANSFER
•APPLY CHARCOAL
•DRAG PAINT WITHA CREDIT CARD
•APPLY CARDBOARD
•COLLAGE LETTERS
•USE ANY OF YOUR EPHEMRA
• USE A MASK
• USE RUBBER STAMPS
• DRAW BLACK WAVY LINES FOR JOURNALING
• USE A PALLET KNIFE
• ADHERE TEXT STRIPS TO THE PAGE
• SCRATCH SURFACE WITH A STYLUS
* DIP END OF TOILET PAPER ROLL IN PAINT AND CREATE CIRCLES ON THE PAGE

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary to us!


It seems like yesterday that we were getting ready for the wedding. I was at my parents home getting dressed. The house smelled of roses as a friend of my parents had roses flown in for the wedding. There must've been 50 dozen roses everywhere. Our wedding was so nice and I was so-o-o scared. The reception was at the Saxony Hotel which was really nice back in the day and we dined on Filet Mignon. Our first dance song was the Theme from Romeo and Juliet the movie.
We changed into our funky outfits and bid farewell as couples used to do back in the day and I remember as we sat in the car to leave my pants split open!!! Ha ha ha ...fun times. We took a road trip honeymoon to Vancouver stopping in cabins at Jasper. Wow...39 years, 3 children and 5 grandsons later...wow!
It takes a lot of hard work and there are MANY hills and valleys to get this far in a marriage and we plan on celebrating in true style with annivesary games...stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Easy Microwave Cake!!


I found this recipe on a friend's Facebook page and it looks yummy!!! I HAVE to make this with my grandsons!!!
This was made from a boxed Cake Mix. No real measurements. I dumped about 1/3 of box of cake mix in a bowl. Poured in about 1/2 cup of Boxed Egg Beaters (you can use 1 whole egg), and poured just enough milk to make a thick batter. Fold in Chocolate Chips or any mix in that you like :)
Spray inside of mug with Pam/Non Stick Cooking Spray.
Pour in Microwave Safe Mugs half way , and nuke about 1 minute at a time since all microwaves are different. I took about 2 1/2 to 3 minute intervals til the center was pretty much not wet anymore. Microwave cakes will be more dense and spongy, and DON'T Overcook!
Cool for about 5-7 minutes (it will still be warm) top with Cool Whip, Whipped Cream or Ice Cream, and drizzle with fave topping!
Great way to 'portion control' without making a whole cake! Use any flavor cake mix and come up with your own combo!!
Makes for a VERY quick and yummy dessert!
For Single Serving:
*3-4 Heaping TBS of Cake Mix
*1 TBS of Egg Substitute (you don't need to add eggs if you don't have it, it will still rise a little)
*Just enough water to make a thick batter
*any mix-ins to fold like Chocolate Chips.
Microwave til center is done, and add fave topping and enjoy :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My purple creations! A Facinator, card and mini scrapbook page!

Super cute and sassy birthday gift!




After a visit to Michaels Craft Store and their bargain bin I was inspired to make the cutest birthday gift for my daughter in law. First I purchased a Paula Dean recipe card box and the matching cards and some really super cute coordinating muffin liners. I then embellished the box with her name in glittered Thickers and some flowers after watching roxyfur's how to video. I then went on to make yoliebeans apron design for her out of a waffled green tea towel I picked up at JYSK. I added a fabric flower I made using my Tim Holtz tattered flower die cut and placed a pink button in the center. It turned so so cute and sassy and she loved it! Nothing like homemade gifts!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Italian Pancake Lasagna Casserole






What do pancakes and Lasagna have in common? Just a whole lot of yumminess, that's all. I made this delicious recipe (see below) from yoyomax12 on Youtube.( I would reccomend watching her video on how to make this as the recipe seems complicated but it is so super easy!) You have to check her out. Every single recipe that I've made from her has been so good and so easy. If you want a really yummy easy supper recipe give this a try. I made three of them as I made one for a new mommy and one for my friend recovering from surgery. The top one in the second picture,is made with ground turkey,whole wheat pancakes and partly skimmed mozza cheese, making it low G.I. and just a good!
***The only change I made in the recipe is that I replaced the tomato sauce and spices with prepared pasta sauce which I embellished with fresh herbs from my potager.***Give it a try and you won't be disappointed and it freezes well too!
Perfect with garlic bread and a salad.
Italian Pancake Lasagna Casserole
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup all−purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef**
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste**
2 tablespoons instant minced onion **
1 teaspoon basil**
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt**
1/2 teaspoon oregano**
1/2 teaspoon salt**
1/4 teaspoon pepper**
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine eggs and milk in medium mixing bowl with rotary beater. Add flour and salt; beat until
smooth. Heat a 9−inch skillet over medium high heat. Grease lightly before baking each pancake. Pour
batter, 1/3 cup at a time, into skillet tilting pan to spread evenly over bottom. When pancake is light
brown and set, turn to brown other side. Prepare 4 pancakes.
Brown ground beef in medium skillet; add tomato paste, onion, basil, garlic salt, oregano, salt and
pepper. Place one pancake on bottom of 10−inch pie pan, 9−inch round cake pan or 9−inch skillet.
Spread with 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 meat mixture, 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1
tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining pancakes ending with cheese. Bake at 375
degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.
To serve, cut into wedges.
Yield: 5 to 6 servings
Tip: Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vintage Window turned chalkboard!





I am so blessed to have a dear friend and neighbor who LOVES finding great thrift and vintage finds and LOVES to share them with me!! This great antique window was found by my neighbor in an abandoned farmhouse and with a little spit and polish and application of some chalk paint (she had some leftover that she gave to me)it is now a great new chalkboard that I will hang in my back porch!
Total cost for me:FREE!!! Thanks Laura!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Little Buggers!



I thought these little garden gloves were so darn cute! I picked them up at the Enjoy Center for my grandsons as they love to garden with their Nana and Papa! They were so inexpensive ($3.00 each)that I bought 2 pairs!

A Walk in my Yard






Sometimes you just have to step outside and right before your eyes is a wonderful retreat of just plain prettiness. I wanted to catch the Forget-Me-Nots before they were gone and forgotten and I managed to snap a picture of a poppy seconds before it bloomed!
For the past few years I've planted a jardin potager(A potager is a French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden) right outside of my backdoor which opens right from my kitchen and I have fresh herbs right at my fingertips in nano seconds. The aroma of the herbs wafting through the window is an awesome side effect too!
We have what I like to call tomato alley which is a series of ceramic pots filled with different tomatoes and all I have left to do is plant some lettuce and spinach and my salad garden is done!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

S.T. C.S. #5 -Making Journal Part 2 - Free Tim Coffey Fabric covered Jou...

rEcycled Deck Table



I have vowed to keep my consumption of plastics down to a minimum and that includes my outdoor furniture as well. I went for lunch at the new Enjoy Garden Center and I saw the table that I had envisioned for our back yard. Only problem...it cost hundreds of dollars. My daughter and son in law were reconstructing their deck so my husband created this absolutely beautiful recycled table for me for free!! I absolutely LOVE it!!!
I purchased some chairs from a Salvation Army thrift store, and some were donated from my sweet neighbor and voila!!! ...backyard magic!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Back online!


OMG I can't believe how lost I was without internet service for a week. There was something wrong with the router and we had to wait for a service appointment. I missed everything and everyone of my online friends.
I really and quite amazed how important cyber space is to my daily activities and I'm so back to be back online!!

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