Me and my breadmaker

I’ve always been one of those people who goes on way too long missing a crucial piece of information but somehow still getting by. It’s a blessing and a curse and it struck again in the form of a breadmaker. I just didn’t get it. How does it make bread for you and whats the point? Then hubby came home with another thrift store find. Can you guess? Yes you can. A breadmaker! It’s one of those little ones that makes a tall load with a small cap, almost like a funny looking mushroom.

Well! I was curious. I looked up the model for instructions and a recipe and got going with a basic rapid bake bread. It was SO. EASY. I felt dirty it was so easy. Just pile the ingredients in, close the lid, press the button and it does it all. What. the. what? It took me a few loaves before I stopped feeling dirty using this super simple contraption and started to feel like a superhero. Make a loaf of bread while my little peanut finishes her cereal? Why sure! It’s that easy!

Now I know I get that weird little paddle indent at the bottom and sometimes the crust isn’t the best…but it sure beats the invisible bread I was making before. HA! The best part is that it rises every time, regardless of the temperature in the house. I still sometimes feel like a cheater cheater pumpkin eater, especially when I remember my mom kneading away at a half dozen loaves of bread in the kitchen while I ran around being my little snot nosed self, but in general I’m loving this super easy way.

Do you use a bread maker? What are your thoughts on them?


Canning debut!

I grew up watching my mother can food. Well, not really watching..more like, I saw her canning in my peripheral vision while I played! Either way, you’d think having been exposed to it all my life, I’d feel confident tackling the task myself right? Nope! I am days shy of being 29 years old and today was my very first attempt at canning. So exciting! So..scary!

The Mr. often picks up reduced-to-sell produce when he happens to be in town and as I was psyching myself up to try canning, I asked him to have a look for some tomatoes. Walmart had a large produce bag full for 2$, so he brought that home and I made my first 4 bottles of canned tomato sauce! I was nervous, but I set myself up a work space with everything I would need and got to work. It took a significant amount of time to get my large pot to boil with only 4 small bottles in it, but I’ll know for next time to make a bigger batch or use a smaller pot.


About to begin

Even more exciting than the 4 jars of sauce I made is the fact that the ice is now broken! A whole new world of possibilities just opened up to me and I am eager to create a garden plan that involves canning surplus and not just veggies that store well or can be dried/frozen!Bring on the 2018 harvest season!..In you know..8 or 9 months..

Finished result

A thrifty haul!

For as long as I can remember, thrift shopping was part of my life. My mom would hit up the local Saint-Vincent de Paul thrift shop for the 8$ bag days and come home with loads of great finds, much to my dismay. I loved most of what she got me, but I was always worried that someone from school would recognize her there, and (god forbid!!) know I was wearing second hand clothing!

Well, I’m proud to say, those days are behind me! I’ve grown up and learned that thrift shopping is FANTASTIC!

Check out some of our more recent scores!

Volcom Faux-Leather shoes

Firstly, my pride and joy! I wasn’t actually in need of new shoes, and honestly, it was not love at first sight. They caught my attention, but it took me a few minutes of eyeing them before I decided I liked them, but when I did, oh boy did I ever start to like them!!

Turns out these(practically brand new, maybe worn once?) bad boys are Volcom faux-leather and retailed for $75USD. I paid 4$CAN.


Secondly, this hella-annoying buddy; Beatbo! Baby Bell and I had actually spotted him at Walmart before Christmas and she loved him, but I could not bring myself to spend 50 dollars on him. Well, the Mister was working out of town and dropped into a few thrift stores while he was there and found a brand new, still in the box Beatbo for 7$ and snatched him up. My ears have been bleeding to the sound of ” When my tummy turns red, say something!!” ever since, but my Baby Bell enjoys busting some new moves to his tunes when she isn’t smashing his buttons, so totally worth it.

For some reason my picture wouldn’t load so this is a link to the little fella.

Winter boots

About 6 years ago, my mom picked up a pair of good winter boots that I’ve been wearing every winter since. They have taken a beating and I was starting to think it was time for some ”new” boots..which for me means within the next 3 years or so, I should probably get some. Haha! Well, I won’t need to shop for new boots after all!! Hurray! The Mister found a nearly brand new pair of winter boots in my size for 3$ and brought them home to me! They fit perfect, are warm, and the best part, they have hook&loop(velcro) closures rather than laces! It’s not that I can’t tie my boots, but it’s so annoying when your laces come undone in -20 weather and you have to take your gloves off to tie them back up and freeze your fingers in the process.

**Note: I was meant to do this post a few months ago and have worn in the boots significantly since I got them**

**Note2:The kitty did not come with the boots. haha! :P**

There are so many more finds I could share, but those are the ones from this week. I’m so proud of our finds, perhaps I’ll make these posts a regular thing!

Handmade and Thrifted Christmas

We’re two days into Spring and most people do not want to hear about Christmas, but I have exciting news! This year, we’ve decided to do a Handmade and Thrifted Christmas!

Like many of our grand-parents, my grandma used to spend all year making Christmas gifts for her 10 children, and come Christmas day, each kid was grateful for the gift they received. I love that! Of course it’s pretty great to unwrap a big shiny, new and fancy item come December 25th, but that’s not all it’s about and I’ve been craving a simpler lifestyle and tradition. I ran it by hubby and he agreed that it could be fun, and significantly cheaper, which is a bonus during a period of heavy renovations! Here’s what we decided to do:

We will continue to fill our stockings with the regular stuff we normally do ( small and useful things, edibles, toiletries) and we will be aloud to buy 1 new gift. Everything else will be handmade (by us or locally) and/or second hand( thrift shops, yard sales, Kijiji, swap groups, antique shops, etc.).

When I mentioned what we were doing to my mom, she got super excited and asked if they could participate too, and of course, the more the merrier! I love the challenge that comes with it. It’s the end of March and I am already busy working on several gift projects and hubby has already found a beautiful clock for my mom and apparently something for me!! I’m finding that much more thought goes into a gift when you know you’ll be spending many, many hours making it!

I know that someday the Littles will start to want things that we can’t make and probably won’t be able to find second hand, and I see no reason not to get her one or some of those items, within reason, but I also do not foresee going back to all store bought gifts after this year! I am enjoying this way too much to ever go back! I’ll share some of my projects as I finish them!

Do you do handmade gifts? Or have a gifting tradition? Share them in the comments, I’d love to hear what you do!



A step in the right direction!

With the cold upon us and no heating set up in the ”new” house, renovations have been nearly at a standstill since we insulated the office nearly a month ago. It’s not that we can’t handle the cold, it’s simply that the temperature drops can cause condensation and ruin our best to just wait it out a bit! Anyway, in the meantime, we’ve been busy in our heads: planning colours, choosing windows, drawing up plans for the barnyard, etc. Then, today the Mister logged into facebook and had a gander at a few swap pages and came across someone selling over 350square feet of good quality, nice oak coloured flooring for 140$. A small fraction of what we would be paying for new flooring! He quickly sent a message and as it turns out, the guy lives about 2 minutes away from my mom and dad, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone so to speak, and go pick up the flooring and drop in to visit my folks. I can already picture it in the living room and am so excited! Next step; windows!

The end of Maternity Leave

February is here which means that it will be Baby Bells first birthday soon! The big 1.0. I can’t believe my baby is almost a year old already.

Bitter sweet!

With all that comes the end of my maternity leave and a whole bucket of questions. Should I go back to work? What do we want to do with Baby Bell if I go back? Should I go back to my old job or find something new? Well, all those questions were put to rest January 28th when we decided I’d return to my old job, but only as super-part-time/casual on days the Mister doesn’t work. Therefore, I work 1 to 2 days a week, for a few hours a day and the rest of the time, I’m home with Baby Bell. We are both very happy with our decision, but obviously it will mean making a few cuts in spending and looking into alternative ways to make a few extra dollars.

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to take on this new challenge and to continue to spend my days with my ever growing and changing toddler-to-be!

Are you a stay at home parent? What ways have you found to bring in a little bit of income or cut down spending?