Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo of the Day January 31st

Those of you who know me well know I'm a veracious reader... when I sink my teeth into a new book I find it hard to put it down. Chris captured a good example of that this evening, as I multi tasked making dinner and reading the book Eclipse. Despite being a bit distracted our dinner turned out wonderfully - roasted vegetables and shrimp with mushrooms in a sun dried tomato marinade!

Photo of the Day January 30th

Which could be more appropriately titled "I can't get enough of those coffee filters!"
If you've been following our photo-of-the-day blog, you'll notice a trend here... I've once again taken coffee filters from the kitchen and have re-imagined them as craft supplies. Today Rhys and Rowan were here and needed to expend some creative energy, so we coloured both sides of several coffee filters, then pierced the centre and fed a pipe cleaner through. After using pom-poms to anchor the coffee filter in place on the pipe cleaner we formed it into a simple flower, and filled a vase with our spring-like creations. There's nothing quite like a vase of colourful flowers to dress up the place!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Photo of the Day January 29th

Oh, the cold... Oh, the snow! Don't get me wrong, I'm a winter person who really does prefer the cold weather over sweltering heat... but this winter has been a bit much even for me. I think a dose of sunshine would do us all some good, but until it comes along we're going to work on bringing warmth and comfort into our meals as much as possible. It's a perfect time for Hearty Vegetarian Chili, a meal that you can make early in the day and with minimum effort, but that boasts maximum flavour punch. With some cheese sprinkled on top, a dollop of sour cream and nacho chips on the side it makes for a hearty meal indeed...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo of the Day January 28th

What a lot of snow today... the roads were a nightmare for driving and the walking wasn't much better. This blustery snowbank photo was taken on my very slippery walk home from Tecumseh Public School this evening, where I was teaching a card making class titled "Be Mine... Valentine". Parent and child participants made a set of eight Valentines and a nifty origami box to carry them in... for photos and instructions on creating the box please visit my crafting blog at, and stay warm out there everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo of the Day January 27th

Long before we had the excuse of having a child, we had Lego in our house. Both Chris and I loved playing with it when we were kids, and I suppose the memory of so many childhood hours of building fun inspired me to buy Chris a large tub of it for Christmas one year before we were married. Since it's full of small, choke-worthy pieces it's been packed away in a closet for many years, but today Chris decided Sophie was old enough to be initiated into the world of Lego and pulled it out. Turns out it's still just as much fun as we remembered, and Sophie had a ball with it too - the windows to look in and doors to open and close were her favourite.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo of the Day January 26th

This afternoon Sophie, Rowan and I decided to celebrate this bright winter day by decorating our front door with coffee-filter snowflakes. With random patterns drawn in about 6 shades of blue crayon, these freshly cut snowflakes certainly leave no doubt in the mind of anyone coming to our front door that there are children at our house!

Photo of the Day January 25th

Pull Up A Chair!
I have a soft spot for little dishes and other accent pieces that either serve/display food or otherwise enhancing my dining room room table. Several years ago on a Sunday drive we popped into a small gift shop and I found these charming little chairs. They're only about an inch tall, and aside from looking super sweet they also act as place card holders. They live in my china cabinet out of Sophie's eyesight, as I'm sure if she found them they would quickly make their way from being an accent piece for my table to being part of her Polly Pocket's dining room set!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bonus Photo of the Day

I follow my friend Jenn's blog, and enjoy many of the creative ideas she posts (not to mention numerous photos of her adorable children!) Today she's passed along a challenge, which I have accepted and in turn am passing on to you... Open whatever folder you use to store all your photographs (ex. My Pictures) - open the sixth folder within - find the sixth photo in that folder and post it to your blog, explaining it. So, here was what came up on my computer:
Taken in April 2008, it shows my husband Chris after he popped into our playroom for a visit. He was immediately snagged by Sophie and our friend Rhys to read a story, and did a fine job if I remember correctly! Thanks Jenn... 

Photo of the Day January 24th

So many pictures to choose from today... we spent the morning lazily, then went for a snowy walk around our neighbourhood. Sophie looked angelic in the sunlight, all bundled up in her snowsuit hopping down the sidewalk in front of us (she was making "bunny tracks" for us to follow in the snow.)  This afternoon was spent painting and working on dinner together - two very colourful activities as our dinner this evening included one of my favourite salads: Spinach Salad with Fresh Fruit and Candied Almonds. Although I often think of this salad as being a "summer time" one, it does a great job of brightening up a winters day too. The only downside of serving it in winter is knowing there's no way the ingreadients are local... but darn it, a winter squash and beet salad just wouldn't have fit the bill this evening!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo of the Day January 23rd

Today's photo of the day comes early, as it's of my morning coffee. No, more than a coffee really, my morning "treat" would be more accurate. My wonderful sister-in-law Mary decided that she really didn't need a coffee maker capable of brewing coffee, making espresso and frothing milk when she doesn't actually drink coffee, and therefor suggested we make a trade... my thermos-style regular old coffee maker in exchange for her whiz-bang barista center. I'm in caffeine-fueled heaven, having started this morning with a hazelnut-cream cafe au lait with a sprinkling of cinnamon. I can't wait to experiment some more - thank you Mary!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo of the Day January 22nd

AKA "Lady and the Tramp"

Sophie and her Cousin Courtney recreated a scene from the movie Lady and the Tramp over dinner this evening... you can imagine our peals of laughter when, later in the evening, Sophie said "Hey Tramp, look at this!" to Courtney! Here's hoping she lives that nickname down quickly...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo of the Day January 21st

Today offered up some much-needed sunshine, and even better: the free time to enjoy it. After dropping Sophie off at Preschool, Chris and I went out for breakfast at a local diner and then to browse the Central Library for travel books. It seems a lot of people had travel on their minds, as all the current books on family cruising were checked out and had extensive hold lists for when they are returned. On the up side I was able to find the Lonely Planet guide to the Dominican Republic, where I'm very much looking forward to spending a week in March with my mother. After picking Sophie back up from school we took a trip to Springbank Park to feed the geese and enjoy this beautiful day... that lovely sunshine on snow; clean, crisp and sparkling.

Photo of the Day January 20th

We're sending a big "thank you" to our friend Al today... he spent the morning at our house reformatting our hard drive and reinstalling Windows XP and some other software. Of course, there were several breaks in the process as Sophie came to borrow Uncle Al for some play time!
Hope you caught some of the Inauguration today... it's a remarkable time in our shared history, and hopefully a time of change and growth for the US specifically and North America as a whole.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo of the Day January 19th

It's only shortly after 10am and we've already had a busy morning! Our friends Rhys and Rowan arrived this morning at 7:30am full of energy, and it's been non-stop since then. A morning highlight? The three piece band of Sophie on keyboard, Rhys on drums and Rowan and I sharing the guitar... it's quite the musical extravaganza as I'm sure you can imagine! I took a moment to grab a close-up shot of the guitar strings on Sophie's Princess guitar while we were on break between sets.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photo of the Day January 18th

Chris will be working an overnight shift tonight, but we're settling in for a nice dinner together first. Chinese Hoisin Stir-Fry... flavourful, healthy and yummy! We always have lots of interesting sauces in our fridge and it's great to find a recipe that uses so many of them - I snapped this photo shortly after Chris started getting out the ingredients.

Photo of the Day January 17th

We enjoyed a wonderful visit and make-your-own pizza dinner with our friends Tiffany and Scott and their two amazing daughters Charlie and Rachael this evening. I've known Tiff for what seems like my whole life... 29 of the 35 years of my life anyway. It's such a joy to watch her daughters and mine play together, running around the house laughing and playing crazy games... I was kicking myself for not taking a moment to grab the camera and capture their fun. Instead, since each of the girls stopped at some point this evening to admire our lava lamp, I've chosen it as our Picture of the Day. It's casting a glow over the desk as I type, and since it's quite late (again) I'll need to turn it and the computer off shortly and head to bed... I have to be sure not to get mesmerized watching it first!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo of the Day January 16th

It's late, and I'm working on some new cards and listening to some of my favourite tunes. Although I had planned to grab a cup of tea some time ago I haven't actually made it to the kitchen, and instead popped over to the china cabinate to grab some mints. I'm not a candy eater as a rule, but scotch mints are my weakness and I almost always have a large bowl of them somewhere in the house.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photo of the Day January 15th

AKA "I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world..."

Sophie received Barbie dolls for the first time this Christmas, and to make sure they live in high style Papa Gerry got her the "Barbie Dream Condo". We've been playing with her new friends this afternoon - here they've all settled into the Barbie couch to watch some TV (on the wall-mounted flat screen Barbie TV no less). These dolls live better than we do!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Photo of the Day January 14th

I'm making one of my "comfort food" faves tonight... curried squash soup. At the moment, the squash, carrots and onions are in the oven roasting and the liquid component of veggie stock, coconut milk and apple juice are simmering on the stove. Here, freshly grated ginger and a mix of curry and cinnamon wait to be added to the soup once the veggies are done. Mmmm... can't wait for dinner!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photo of the Day January 13th

I've got lots of little "clean up" projects on the go today, including taking down the last of our Christmas decorations. The tree is still up although I've had it free of decorations for over a week, and our stockings are still hung in front of the fireplace (you know, in case Santa decides to make a surprise mid-January visit!) It's time to do something about that. I just took down all the Christmas cards we recieved over the holiday season and am getting ready to pack them up... it always makes me a little sad to see these festive elements dissapear from around my house.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Photo of the Day January 12th

I'm spending a busy day at the house looking after both Sophie and our little friend Rowan, who's becoming quite the expert walker lately. Every once in a while he still needs (or more specifically wants) a hand to hold while he's trouping around the house... his chubby little fingers never fail to make me smile!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photo of the Day January 11th

Sophie loves the idea of snow angels, but has always been hesitant to actually make them. There's something about putting her head back on the snow that she doesn't like, despite the fact that her head is cozy warm inside the hood of her winter jacket. This year, we finally got past whatever discomfort she had in previous years, and now she's a snow-angel making machine! We've certainly had a lot of snow this year for her to practice in - today's photo of the day is one of her heavenly creations.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo of the Day January 10th

Sophie will be starting an introductory dance class called "Ballet Babies" on Monday, and in anticipation I took her to Len's Mill store to pick out fabric to make a dance skirt. She's been admiring the tutus that traditional ballerina's wear, but I wanted to go with something a bit smaller and easier to move in. I gave her the option to choose whatever fabric she wanted (preparing to veto if she picked out animal-print fun fur or something) and this was what she decided on: a light gauzy netting similar to what you would see in a tutu and oh so RED! I spent the evening re-familiarizing myself with machine sewing using my Mother-in-Law Shirley's sewing machine, and am pretty happy with the results. All that remains is for Sophie to try it on in the morning... I "eyeballed" the size and am concerned that I may have made it too large. Only morning will tell...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo of the Day January 9th

While Sophie was at preschool this morning I got a visit from one of my favourite "men in brown", our UPS delivery man. His friendly face at my door always means a new Stampin' Up shipment has arrived, and today's was full of products I pre-ordered from the new Spring/Summer Idea Book & Catalogue, due to be released on January 19th. Stampin' Up sells all their stamp sets unassembled to cut down on the manufacturing costs, so part of my morning was spent putting my new stamp sets together... here, a series of wooden blocks await their lables and rubber images.

As a Stampin' Up Demonstrator, I have a LOT of experience assembling stamp sets! For a complete tutorial, please look for the most recent crafting blog post titled "Some Assembly Required"on:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo of the Day January 8th

We've been getting snow squall warnings all day, with a fierce wind blowing outside to prove it. Although you can't tell from today's photo, the snow's being blown by the wind so hard that it's whipping through the air parallel to the ground rather than actually falling. That said, so much white does make for a beautiful background for some of the bright red bows on the back steps...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Photo of the Day January 7th

My friend Valeeta and I are meeting at her house for coffee on Friday afternoon and I suggested that I could bring some home-made goodies along for us to enjoy. So Sophie and I donned our aprons to bake this afternoon... my cookie choice was shortbread (bottom rack) and her choice was oatmeal with white chocolate chips and almonds (top rack). She actually wanted to add some crackers to the oatmeal cookies as well, but I had to draw the line somewhere!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Photo of the Day January 6th

It's mid-afternoon, and Sophie's feeling peckish after our walk to Wortley Village to visit the bank and to grab some veggies for tonights dinner. This lovely pomegranite, although a bit challenging to get into, has her jumping up and down with excitement! She had the bowl of seeds half-empty by the time I finished peeling the fruit completely... and couldn't understand why I stopped for a minute to grab the camera with my sticky fingers to capture this picture. I think it was worth it!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Photo of the Day January 5th

On the glass shelves of our china cabinet, our wine glasses can be seen from both above and below (as in today's 'photo of the day'). Over the past several years we've amassed quite a collection of wine glasses, along with an appreciation of wine. We're planning another trip to Niagara this winter to enjoy the Icewine Festival, and perhaps a couple of these glasses will end up in our luggage for tastings!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Photo of the Day January 4th

It's hard work being a cat...

Gabby takes a break from her tireless work chasing Georgie, napping, eating, napping, playing and napping. What a life...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Photo of the Day January 3rd

We've decided to draw out Christmas this year, especially for Sophie's sake. She's received so many wonderful presents from friends and family (and from mom & dad too!), and we want her to really appreciate them. So, it's been "one present a day" for the past week or so... and last night she opened this new scarf and hat set from us. Today, she's showing it off to the world as we head to the market for some tea that I've been craving and to Lee Valley for Chris to spend his Christmas gift cards.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Photo of the Day January 2nd

AKA... "The Little Drummer Girl"!

We bought Sophie her very own drum set for Christmas, a tiny version of the real thing complete with base drum and cymbals. I think the star pattern is particularly rockin'!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Photo of the Day January 1st

Our New Year's Day dinner will be a home made lasagna with lots of fresh veggies. In the front bowl, a mixture of fresh baby spinach, asparagus, leeks and celery are blended with ricotta cheese. In the back bowl, pureed cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers and cottage cheese are blended with tomato sauce. Garlic fried mushrooms, noodles and mozzerella cheese finish off what promises to be a yummy dinner tonight!

Welcome Home!

January 1st, 2009... the start of a new year and new possibilities, and a great time to launch a family project! Inspired by our friend Jenn N., we're starting this blog not just to share our general thoughts on life, but to start a 'photo of the day' journal. Each photo represents something happening in our home or lives the day it's published - not necessarily a remarkable event, just a snapshot of what's happening with the Burtons today. We hope you enjoy it!

Chris, Summer and Sophie