Monday, April 25, 2011

Show Some Bloggy Love

The other day I ran across a 'new-to-me' blog called

Mom Seriously, Rebecca Ingram Powell

I was immediately drawn in. You guys know my stance on God and Christianity, so I was so happy to find this blog. I am even happier to share it with you all.
The first post I read was, How Do I Explain Modesty to my Young Child?
Um, hello! This is something that I am definitely interested in, especially having a little girl. It's already hard enough to find appropriate clothing for my 3 year old. A lot of the dresses and shirts are made just like adult clothing..i.e. halter tops and spaghetti straps.
That's one of the reasons I make S.R.'s clothes. 
I have truly been uplifted reading Rebecca's posts, and I think you will too.
So when you get the chance, take the time to visit
Mom Seriously
and show her some love by becoming a follower:o)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

CMHC and the Calgary Herald - a new low

Regular readers know that IMVHO Canwest has helped to destroy most of the integrity of Canadian Journalism, now that new owners are in charge of the till, I had hoped for better things.

Well what do you all make of this?

It sure reads like an ad for the CMHC. Yet there is no mention of it being an advertisement. At the bottom it says copyright Calgary Herald.

In fact I am sure it is an ad, even if it is disguised to look like an article (a very poor fawning one at that), by the Canwest organ.

An ad makes the sin even worst. Not content with placing you, the tax-payers at risk, not content with helping inflate the property bubble to the detriment of the younger generation, the CMHC is now spending your money telling you how smart and great they are.

Disgraceful - is the only word that comes to mind.

Friday, April 22, 2011

E's Easter Party

Yesterday was E's Easter party, and I was one of the helpers. I'd like to say that it went off without a hitch, but that's not true. It was slightly underwhelming, and of all things, we forgot to bring drinks...DUH!
BUT, I got to witness E's very first program at school, and it was so exciting for wasn't spectacular by any means, but it was a "First" for him, and I got to witness it. I even got a little misty-eyed at the beginning. I am really proud of him..he's a good boy:o)

I spent Wednesday getting ready for said festivities. After I got home from church, I whipped up this shirt for E.
 The inspiration came from THIS post. I just made it a little more masculine:o)

For teachers' gifts, I found some jars (50% off at Hobby Lobby this week) and filled them with candy. I found the printable from THIS post.
 These are the CAKE POPS that I made for the party. They are supposed to be Easter Eggs:o) Most everyone seemed to really like them. Just a little side note, the actual cake part needs to be frozen for 2 HOURS or the melted chocolate will not harden fast, and it becomes a drippy mess. 
They are delicious though:o)

Aren't these little bunnies the sweetest thing? E's teacher made them for all of her students. 

  And here are the
put to use.
One of the other mothers helping with the party put 3 Peeps in a sammy bag and tied it off with curling ribbon. Then we attached the little Peeps tag. Turned out cute:o)
So obviously with all of this sugar, I had some WILD children when I got home. 
There were delayed naps, an incident involving mud on my floors AND a wall, a "come-apart" performed by yours truly, and a poopy "event" with the puppy which involved scrubbing the dickens out of his little hind parts(that had to be one of the grosser things I have ever had to do).
Needless to say, yesterday wasn't what I had planned, but I survived....and isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Free Easter Printable

Two posts today...weird I know. I am in the middle of helping with E's Easter party, and I had a free printable I wanted to share with you. This is sort of a last minute thing. The other day I ran across THIS post over at Joy Ever After. She had this really cute idea using peeps, and tags. I thought, PERFECT! We can use these printables as party favors for all of the little ones. But then I realized it was for the cards and not the tags that were available for printing:o(
So I just spent the last little bit making these. 

They are similar, and they will definitely do the trick.
To download this printable, go
 I'll share the little baggies that we are attaching these tags to tomorrow.
You can find a picture of how we used these tags

House Cleaning

Yesterday I spent the better part of  nap time doing a little house cleaning...not my actual house, which desperately needs it, but on my blog.
I made a new header and created a new button...


It was frustrating to say the least because my computer skills are less than mediocre, but I got it done.
 Now whether the button is right....who knows??? Let me know if it works....if it doesn't, I am going to go crawl in a whole and lay in the fetal position and suck my thumb...:o)

My button does not work...waaaaah:o( Gotta figure out what is going on..stay tuned:o{

Major house cleaning today since I have a few clients coming this afternoon and tomorrow. I am desperately wanting to repaint the dining room...shhhh! Don't tell the hubs;o)

And I have to help with E's Easter party tomorrow, so I will be making cake pops today. So much to do, so little time.
Have a fantastic Wednesday!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PBK Inspired Bed Skirt

A very dear friend of my mine is expecting her second baby, and Baby Girl should be here in about a month. So momma bird is nesting:o) She found this beautiful bed skirt at Pottery Barn Kids and fell in love with it, but they don't offer it in the crib size. Plus the twin size is $149.00...YIKES!
So I told her I would make it for her:o)

 (picture credit to Pottery Barn Kids)

And this is what hers looks like:
(please excuse the flash photography...the room was dark)
It was actually pretty easy to make, and a lot cheaper than trying to get it from Pottery Barn Kids. Momma Bird was thrilled with the results, and so am I:o)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Sewing Day

I missed out on some major yard sales today b/c I have a mission...
.plus I don't have any money:o) 
This mission WILL be accomplished TODAY. 
I have 4 dresses that need to be made for some bridesmaids. The wedding has a vintage feel to it, and from the sound of it, it's going to rock!
 Here are the dresses that I am making:
The blue one on the far's reeeeeally cute:o)

And this pattern:

These dresses are fairly simple in construction, and I won't have to finish them completely since I will need to do a fitting, but THEY GOTTA GET DONE!!
I can't wait to see them completed:o)
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend...I really want to start fixing up all of my yard sale finds from last weekend, but these dresses have to take priority.
Wish me luck;o)
b.t.w....this is day 4 of not having Facebook....I feel sort of cut off from the world...but I am trying to be free;o) If I weren't so stinkin' nosy, it might not be as!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yard Sale Love

Last weekend we had several neighborhood yard sales just down the street from us, so you can imagine how pumped I was. I came back with so many goodies! I had to call it quits b/c I ran out of room in my van:o)
Here are some of the big items that I brought home:

A Sofa Table..
I was using the drawers to hold down some plastic in plcae while spray painting another project

 A small needs some major love:o)

An oak rocker. This chair has perfectly worn arms on it. I was so happy to find it and at such a good price. This guy will be getting a new seat. I have already ripped out the stuffing...which was original...blech!

A sweet little pillow form. I have this for sale in my Etsy shop. If you are interested in it, just click on the link in the upper right hand corner on this page.

And a small strainer...also for sale in my Etsy shop.

These are just a few of the things that I rounded up for the day. I found so many more treasures. The kids were super pumped about the air hockey table that I got for them for $10. They have had so much fun with it.
 I am definitely going to have a busy weekend finishing up all of my projects that I purchased. I have a few other pieces to share, but I am saving that for a special post:o)
Oh, and for all of you out there who were friends with me on Facebook....I deactivated my account. Yep, I took the plunge and I am not sure how liberated I feel:o) I am starting to purge things from my life that are taking attention away from my family. Getting rid of Facebook seemed like a good place to start. So if any of you guys need to get in touch with me, you will either have to email me or contact me through this blog.
Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The bank of Canada sits pat

No change form 1%

Even Europe which contains some of the most bankrupt countries in the western world, moved up to 1.25%.

Meanwhile the B of C says that we are near their target of 2% inflation. How we can be at 2% when housing, food and gas are up several multiples of that is beyond me. How the three biggest costs inputs can be up 5-10% and yet the over-all number be 2%?

Even if assume their 2% is even near the mark- which I doubt. That means that this recovery is being taken out of the hides of conservative investors.

You would have to get a 4 year GIC at ING (which pays some of the best rates) to make sure that your after tax return matches inflation. And that doesn't even allow your money to grow, just keep up.

However would you really want to lock your money up for 4 years? It depends if you think the B of C can hold the rate at 2% or if they will lose control and we could be at 4-5% in a couple of years.

And Marc Carney, with a straight face, lectures us about borrowing less and saving more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Skip To My Loop Skirt

We had a birthday party to attend this weekend and it was so much fun! Cinderella made an appearance at the party, and S.R. was IN LOVE! She was Chatty Cathy once Cinderella walked thru the door. I really wish I had brought my camera:o/
Anyway, the Birthday girl needed a gift, and being the procrastinator that I am, I didn't have a gift for her. Saturday night I was racking my brain as to what I could make that would be super fast, but still be super cute...this is what I came up with:
This is 100% designed by me...if there is another skirt out there just like it, I promise I haven't seen it.
I came up with this particular design because I always have the hardest time judging how long to cut the elastic. Sometimes it's too small, sometimes it's too big, and every now and again it's just right...sounds like something out of the Three Little Bears, right?
The waist has button holes and a belt laced thru it. Problem solved:o) You can tighten or loosen to your heart's content.
S.R. was a little upset that she couldn't keep the skirt on for the party, but I had to remind her that we were giving it to her friend as a birthday gift. 3 year olds...I tell ya;o)
I will be making a pattern and tute soon, and it will be available in my Etsy shop.
In other news...I had a fantastic yard sale weekend. I will share with you guys my great finds in the next few days.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Dress, Some Fun, and a New Adventure

Yesterday I made this dress for S.R. I have been in sewing mode here lately and it's been so much fun!
She looked so sweet in it last night at church and had so many compliments.
I got to do something even funner than sewing yesterday as well (yeah, I know funner isn't really a word, but that's how much fun it was;o). I got to rearrange my friend's living room. She bought an ottoman, and didn't know where to put it. One thing led to another, and I ended up shopping her house and completely redoing her living room. It turned out so awesome! She was really excited about it as well. So if any of you out there need someone to come rearrange your house...I'm ya girl!;o)
In other news...
I finally bit the bullet and opened up an Etsy Shop...yep, I caved:o) I have fought the idea for a while now, but with the government furlough approaching, we might need the extra income...just in case. I only have a few items listed, but hoping by the weekend to get a few more up. Look over at the right side of the page and you will see some of the items I have for sale. Just click on the pics:o)
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I have lots of plans for the next few days.
See ya'll back here on Monday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Batman Cape

Last Saturday was my first time out this year for yard sales. I was pumped and ready to go...but apparently those needing to rid themselves of unwanted junk were not of the same mindset. I only came across 3 yard sales near us:o( I found a few things, but nothing that you would call a "treasure." Anyway, the last yard sale I went to had a lot of dress up clothes, mainly for girls, but they did have a Batman mask. I snatched that up b/c I new that E would have a fit over it.
I was right:o)
So I thought  I would make him a Batman cape to match. I got busy making it yesterday, and I was so excited to show it to him.
He was really excited to see it...and then he put it on...
He said, "Where are the holes so that I can fly?" with utter disappointment. 
I apparently told him that I was going to make little pockets for him to put his hands in so that he could spread the cape out, but the way I made the cape, it wasn't possible.
He then told me that he didn't want feelings were hurt:o( That is the very first time that I have made anything for my children that "FAILED".
 So who's wearing the cape, you ask? Why, S.R. of course:o) She even came in this morning with it on. She loves it, and doesn't care that she can't "fly" in it! It is the perfect size for a 3 year old:o) 
I guess I will be making a larger one with pockets/holes for flying. I will include a tutorial with that one as well. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring-y Dress for S.R.

Yesterday we had some nasty storms. I knew they were coming and new there was a chance of no electricity, so instead of preparing our supper early, I decided to make a dress...b/c you know a sewing machine needs electricity;o)
I had the fabric on hand, and I had an inspiration dress. To see said dress, go HERE
 The creator of the inspiration dress has her own blog, Girl.Inspired. She has so many cute ideas, and is one talented lady. I have been following her for a couple of months now, and she has given me so many ideas. Definitely take the time to check out her blog.
Here is  a close up of the top of the dress. 

When I was making the top, I thought I was being crafty in the way I was constructing the dress. However, I forgot to take into consideration that there needed to be a place for the straps to go...on the back that is:o) So I came up with a quick solution. I put button holes in the back as well, and just ran the strap thru it. Turned out cute, don't you think?

S.R. is always excited about a new dress, and I am excited for her to have something nice and Spring-y;o)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Now is the time to speak up...

There are few times when our potential political representatives are interested in our opinions. This is one of those times. From what I have read of the major parties plans so far, affordable housing is not at the top, or anywhere near the top of - the 'big issues.'

It is up to us to move it up there.

Remember what we want is NOT to crash the housing bubble. We just want sanity. We want a situation where people do not have to go into precariously high levels of debt to afford to buy. We want the government to level the playing field, and pay as much attention to us potential future buyers as the Real Estate lobby groups.

The crash of housing brought the US to the verge of depression. Policy-makers saw this bubble unfold before their eyes and did nothing about it. Let us not go down exactly the same path.

Here in my very humble opinion are some ideas which (if not too late already) could at least help stabilise housing going forward:

1) Changing the Taxation of housing 'flips' from Capital gains to fully taxed as income.

The lower Capital gains tax rate, is meant to reward those who risk capital and invest, and in so doing add to the prosperity of society. For example a business owner or a stock market investor. In the first instance, a business owner is adding to employment and taxation. They do have the most tax benefits when they sell, including exemptions. Rightly so

Being a share-holder is a less virtuous form of investing. They provide their capital for companies ( and of course allow insiders to cash out :)) and therefore they only have capital gains tax rates. Again, this is appropriate.

Flipping housing has no virtue at all. A speculator, removes housing stock from the limited supply. This is often kept empty, so that it may retain maximum re-sale value (since the goal of the speculator is short term capital gains and not income from the property). The property is then sold to another speculator or end-user, without adding anything appreciable to the economy. In fact the only possible benefit I can possibly see from this activity is that it supports pre-sales and so gives the developer more comfort in starting projects. However, as we saw, once prices move down (as in 2009) the speculators will find every possible loop-hole to exit the position, leaving the project floundering or in the hands of lenders.

All sales should have to be reported directly to Revenue Canada by one party in the transaction- eg Realtor, lawyer or notary.

2) Canada is not the Real Estate bank of the world.

In my building we have owners from China, Taiwan, the Middle East and Israel, Russia and Germany. Most of them are empty and not rented out. I can only assume they have been purchased for investment or for 'emergencies' since Canada provides stability. Some may argue that they are ideal owners, since they are paying the local taxes and not using services. However this form of absentee ownership makes life more difficult for the rest of us living here and providing this stability.

Firstly, like most countries, we should have some restriction of property ownership to those who live or wish to live in Canada. There are many countries desperate for investment money eg in Central America who will allow non-residents with money to buy any amount of land, other wealthier countries have restrictions is place to try and prevent bubbles. We should be in the second category and not the first.

A city where, for example, 10% of it's prime down-town housing stock is owned by investors from China will not enhance that City 'livability'.

Furthermore there should be higher taxes on suites and homes which are left empty. This is obvious. These properties are mostly down-town or on the Westside or in West Vancouver. The result is that employees, unable to reside near their place of employment put added burden on the subsidized transport systems.

3) Interest rates are at artificially low rates for too long.

As the Governor of the Bank of England and several US Fed members have admitted (and even Mark Carney has alluded to), keeping interest rates below inflation for such a prolonged period is punishing savers and rewarding speculative activity. There is no point for the Bank of Canada or the Finance Minister to extol saving, when they punish the prudent. The ridiculously low rates pushes money into speculation, and it is the cause of the huge wind-fall profits of the banks, who can pay savers a pittance and lend at much higher rates.

Carney says his fear of raising rates is the further rise of the Canadian dollar. However Australia has a rates 4X higher, and is in a similar situation as us- with a commodity boom and massive investment from China and still their dollar has remained in line with ours. So this is a fallacious argument.

4) The CMHC has become the enabler of the housing bubble.

The actions of the CMHC, which the government is finally trying to control, has transferred an unacceptable amount of risk to the tax-payer. The banking industry is strong because we have assumed the riskiest mortgages.

Everyone has a right to housing, No one has a right to own a house. The actions of the CMHC, have in fact, made the first goal less achievable by enabling those who cannot and should not afford to buy, to get into mortgages and help sustain high prices. The same game plan that was followed in the US by Freddie and Fannie Mae to such disastrous consequences.

People say it is different here as we have recourse mortgages instead of the non-recourse in the US. In my opinion, it makes very little difference either way. If someone cannot pay, they cannot pay whatever the fine-print.

5) Renters are tax-payers too.

As the US is now finding out - high ownership levels are not a good thing particularly when the prices are falling and sellers cannot sell. It restricts the ability of people to be mobile and move where the jobs are, because they are tied to the house.

There is no reason why all the benefits and inducements are tied to home-owners. They already get all their gains from their primary residence tax-free, and when the recession came there were the home-owner renovation credits. What about renters, who are tax-payers and often lower income, why are they left out?

Why not allow all moving and associated costs that a renter has to incur when their landlord asks them to leave (usually so they sell or raise rents) to be tax-free?

6) More control is needed of the lending industry.

Canadians are protected from other potentially damaging activities eg anti-smoking ads. How about anti-debt ads??

We have a constant barrage of advertisers from banks, to private lenders extolling consumers to withdraw what little equity they have accumulated in their homes and use it to supplement their income or use it to go on a holiday.

This is exactly the folly that got the US in a mess. We are following them every step of the way, a perfect example of those who ignore history are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

Our per capita consumer debt has now surpassed the US. a fact that should send chills through all candidates spines. Do they really want to be our representatives when this blows up and THEY are held responsible for doing nothing when they could have curtailed it.

OK readers, here are a few of my ideas. I am sure you have more and better ones (please feel free to share them).

At the least lets get this critically important matter on the agenda. If we have a further growth and explosion of this housing bubble- it will affect everything else. We can kiss our over-bloated health budget good bye and we will have to cut all program spending spending just to bail out the CMHC and the banks.

We need to act now. At the least, please print out the list, add your own, and make time to discuss them with your candidates.

AND if any of them dare say that this would be excessive government interference in an industry, tell them that there has been nothing but interference....from the extension of mortgage terms, to increasing the CMHC borrowing and making it's lending rules even more lax, to the mild changes which the Government announced late last year and then gave three months for the industry to have a last push to squeeze even more debt onto consumers backs and onto the tax-payers ledgers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Easter Decor

I cannot believe that Easter is at the end of April this year. We actually get to enjoy having out all the Easter decorations for a tad longer than usual.
 I love spring decorating. It brings life back into your home after the hum drum of winter.
I hope to be sharing lots of spring decorating with you this month. Here is a little something I made a few weeks ago....
I made this flower arrangement for my mother as a "get well" gift for her surgery. I wanted to give her something that she could enjoy for years to come.
 I fell in love with this little lamb and bunnies from Pier 1. I knew I had to use them somehow:o) The flowers were purchased from Hobby Lobby. 
This was such a fun arrangement to make. My mother loves most anything with spriggy things coming off of them, so it was perfect for her. 
She was very happy with it...or maybe it was the drugs she was on;o)
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