Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm here, I'm here! I know, I've been gone a looooong time. Life gets away with you sometimes, you know? All is well on the are great, business is picking up, every day is a blessing!
The weather leaves something to be desired...cold and wet. Such is fall, I suppose - sometimes I wonder why I claim that this is my favourite season! But then one day the sun pulls through and lights up the colours in the trees and spreads across the ground, and I remember why. The earthy smell of the leaves beneath your feet, and a cozy sweater wrapped around you like a warm hug. Perfect. Comfort.
For me, this is a whole season of comfort...comfort food, that is! Fall harvest is in full swing, which makes for perfect seasonal roasts and stews. On a cold, soggy day like today, when I'm chilled to the bone, nothing warms me up more than a hearty meal cooking in the oven - and a pie, of course. Is the smell of apple pie in the oven not the epitome of autumn? Mmmm...

I do have a great new apple pie recipe to share with you, but not today. You'll have to come back for that one ;) But for now, get your soggy self out of the rain, come in to my kitchen and warm up! We've got the woodstove burning, it feels amazing...have a cup of coffee - or maybe hot cider? and you'll be feeling warm and cozy in no time. Here, you have to try one of these gooey cinnamon's that for comfort?

~Jackie's Cinnamon Buns~

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 tbsp baking powder

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/4 tsp baking soda

- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (don't have buttermilk onhand? mix 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, and enough milk to equal 1 cup...stir and let sit for about 5mins...use 3/4 cup of this mixture for this recipe)
- 8 tbsp butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 400F - grease a 9" round baking pan.

* Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Stir in oil and buttermilk and stir just until blended.

* Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll dough into a 15"x8" rectangle (you may trim edges to form straight lines, if you wish).

*Spread the butter over the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small dish, and sprinkle evenly over the butter.

* Roll up rectangle in a "jelly roll" fashion, starting from one long side.

* Cut the roll into 1.5" slices. Arrange slices, cut side up, in your prepared baking pan.

* Bake until lightly browned, about 15-20mins.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Read All About It!

I'm famous again!

You MUST visit the blog of my *favourite* fabric supplier, Bev from "44th Street Fabric"! I look to her for the fabulous designer fabrics I use in my "Babylove" projects...the only problem is, they carry so much selection I never know what to buy! Because honestly, as much as I'd love to, "one of everything" just isn't cost-effective. *Sigh* Until then, I'll just work my way through her stock, piece by piece.

Bev and I recently did an interview, and you can find it posted on her blog today! If you'd like to learn a bit more about "Babylove by Jackie" and my background, be sure to check it out! And then, browse her'll be sure to find something for your next project, and if you're not a "sewer" you can always tell me your fabric pics for my future projects! I always choose fabrics that I personally like, but never know what my customers may be looking for.


Visit 44th Street Fabric here:

Of course, you'll have to visit my shop as well - new items have been added!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WWJD - "What Would June Do"

There are two eras that I've always felt I could belong...Victorian, and the 1950's. But in all honesty, I'm afraid I may suffocate if forced to actually live in either!

I've always adored the image of the 1950's housewife, and often thought I should strive to be more "June Cleaver-esque". But then I give my head a good shake - I adore the *image*, but in my world, the lifestyle just isn't practical. Was it ever? Did women during this time really uphold their household and family the way they are often portrayed? How was it more possible back then, and not now? More and more often I find myself standing in the middle of my house, feeling like we've been hit by some act of God/natural disaster...I would blame the children for the mess, if I could find them amongst the dirty laundry and dishes...but the sad fact is, I'm just as equally to blame. I have too many distractions, and I think that's what ahs changed most through the decades. In the 1950's, a woman was expected to greet her husband at the door with a cold drink and a hot meal on the table...the children and floors scrubbed to perfection. And that's all. She wasn't expected to contribute financially, her "place" was most often at home. Over the years, we've gained independance, but with "liberation" comes distraction. For example, right now I could (rather, "should") be washing my dishes, and tidying up from the day's adventures. However, I choose to sit at my computer and blog. Ah, yes - the internet...the master of all distractions. Through the day, I could vacuum and dust...but I'll get to that after my show is over on tv. Unless, of course, I decide to load the kids in the car and head off somewhere for the afternoon. These are all things that would not have posed a problem 50-60 years ago. Maybe if I want to at least make it "look" like I've got it all together, I need to simplify my life a little. Be a "stay-at-home-mom" that actually...stays home!
One of my many personal distractions is, as you know, sewing! I recently bought a vintage 1950's apron pattern, and had to try it out this afternoon! My first attempt is shown in the photo above - aprons will soon be available in my Etsy shop! Whether you're a "Domestic Goddess", or just playing "Desperate Housewife", you'll be sure to look the part - heels and pearls optional ;)
Don't those cinnamon buns look yummy? I wish I could share the way my kitchen smells, through my computer. A-MA-ZING! I'll share my recipe in my next post. When all else fails...bake! :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Hunted

The Hunter
he came to investigate while I was taking pictures in the front yard

The Hunted

In case you forget me saying it before, I'll say it again - I love living in the country. The peace and quiet, the seclusion, the fresh air...but in the absence of traffic and crazy people (okay, maybe not the crazy people...they seem to thrive out here - for example, the beaver trapper who felt it necessary to knock on my door and interrogate me as to why I locked the neighbour's gate. Um - it's the NEIGHBOUR'S gate.), we still have our fair share of threats and dangers. The most prominent that we've noticed lately, is the wildlife - coyotes to be exact. In real life, these bushy-tailed critters are not quite as gullible as you may remember from "Looney Toons" - they are, however, very wylie. Sneaky. Quiet. In most situations, I would have thought that they would keep to themselves, and I would easily believe the old addage that "they're more afraid of you, than you are of them". I would have thought that they would smell humans and keep their distance. That is, until they started hanging around my back door! Apparently, they've caught a whiff of my little dog, and she smells mighty appetizing. Not sure why, this scrawny little thing is no bigger than a small rabbit, and there's probably better eating in a rat...I mean, she's a Miniature Dachsie! Maybe they have a taste for Oscar Meyer. Regardless, she's now being hunted by at least two different coyotes - and that scares the crap out of me. These creatures that should be keeping their distance in the bush, have been crouching in the grass outside my back door waiting for us to take the dog out...have you ever had to "bear arms", just to take your dog out for a pee? It's not ideal. I'm pretty sure he's been marking his territory (ie. MY territory), because Myah is afraid to go outside and when she's out there her nose never leaves the ground - unless she finds a particularly interesting smell, and feels the need to roll in it to bask in the aroma. And if they'll go after my dog, what about my children? They'll at least run in the opposite direction of me, but I'm afraid that these opportunistic hunters may see a small child as a tasty snack. So I now have a love-hate relationship with my surroundings. I love everything that the country has to offer, but hate that I am afraid to take my children outside to enjoy it.

After doing some research, it turns out that coyote numbers in my area are rising, and bounties and campaigns to cull them don't seem to have an effect; in some instances, their numbers have climbed higher after being hunted. There's also a pretty good chance that these particular animals are a hybrid mix between a coyote and an eastern wolf - which would explain why they appear larger than normal. Coyotes are highly adaptable opportunistic feeders, and will eat anything from apples to deer, and will become specialized in hunting animals that are abundant in their territory (which can range hundreds of kilometers). I'm wondering if this year has been hard on their normal food sources, as a hungry coyote will become more bold and venture into riskier situations - they'll do anything to get food. Even a chain-link fence will pose as no more than an inconvenient obstable, because it can easily be climbed. A few suggestions, if you find yourself living with coyotes:

- don't leave garbage or pet food in your yard
- don't compost meat products
- install motion-sensor lighting

- don't leave pets and small children unattended

- erect a solid wooden fence, at least 6-8ft high

I don't think so. I can keep my garbage picked up, but I am certainly not going to build a barracade around my house. But what if that's my only solution? After our last encounter, I blurted out that I couldn't live like this, and wouldn't live here if I couldn't keep my family safe. Irrational, yes. But I just don't know what to do! Have any of you ever been in this situation? Has your area imposed any sort of program to control the coyote (or any wildlife) population? They say that the coyote population is cyclical, and will "bust and boom"...I'm hoping that a "bust" is in the near future...or that these sneaky hunters will meet a different type of "boom".


Monday, August 3, 2009

"As Seen on GGC..."

I'm standing in the spotlight, basking in my 15 minutes of fame! Well, sort of. One of my little pillowcase dresses is getting the attention, not me directly. But I'm okay with that!

A little while back, I contacted my most favourite of all Mom-Bloggers, Rebecca Woolf of "Girl's Gone Child" ( ), and "Straight From the Bottle" ( seriously, check her out!). If you're a fan of "Momversation", you'll no doubt recognize her as one of the regular panelists. She's a mom of two, author, married to a producer in L.A...She's a real, tell-it-like-it-is, no sugar coating type of mom - and I crave what she has to say! She always hits home, no matter her topic - she has a way of reaching her audience by reminding us that we're all human and going through the same experiences. I can't get enough!

So, anyway - a while back, I emailed her to let her know about my new Babylove shop ( - I swear I'll learn to do a proper link one of these days...), and offered to send her one of my dresses. Her little girl, Fable, is 10 months of adorable - and this kid has a droolworthy wardrobe. Readers are always commenting on what she's wearing, and asking where they can find it... Rebecca kindly accepted my offer, and I shipped one of my dresses off to "LA-LA Land"! She offered to take a picture of Miss Fable wearing my dress, and link to my shop!

Well ladies, today is the day! If you visit "Girls Gone Child" today, you'll see Fable proudly modeling her "Babylove" dress! Stunning, if I do say so myself ;) Traffic to my shop has been great today - lots of people have added me to their list of "favourites", and one sale so far, but the day is young...I'm hopeful for more!

Thanks again Rebecca for this opportunity! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twilight...Minus the Fangs

Austin and Grandpa

***First of all - my of the downfalls to living in the country, means having a sllloowww dial-up internet connection. Blogger and I are having "issues" at the moment, so this post/pictures are pretty disorganized...stay tuned for a 2nd installment of more pictures!***

We were presented with a plaque

Four generations being introduced, all have lived and worked on the farm.
Dreamer and Classy watched from a distance.
Angela and Amber, overseeing the festivities.

Pull up a bale and grab a plate!

Cars and trucks lined the laneway, and filled the barnyard.

Fun was had by all generations.

Come on in! glad you got here early, it'll be hard to find a parking spot soon! Don't worry, the only vampires likely to make an appearance are the mosqitoes; hope you brought your bug spray, they're nasty this year!

A while back, I mentioned that the farm would be hosting a big event...after months of hard work and preparation, the big evening finally arrived! On July 9th, we hosted the annual "Twilight Meeting" for our county's Holstein organization. The get-together is appropriately named, as it begins when the sun starts to fade...not because it has anything to do with the popular book/movie series. As the colours of the sunset brightened, the farm became host to approximately 200 guests - fellow dairy farmers and their families from throughout the county, as well as some visitors from surrounding areas. All gathered for an evening of food, friends and fun - a great opportunity for us to showcase our cattle and facilities! We are proud of the hard work that is put into the farm and our herd, and it was nice to be able to share with everyone. The evenings activities consisted of a generous BBQ dinner, musical entertainment, farm tours (including a tractor/wagon ride!), "Farmer's Olympics" for the 4-H kids, and we finished off with both a silent and live auction; where else could you expect to buy "the champagne of semen"?! Yes, that's right - I said semen. I was sure to wander around and take some pictures - from what I could tell, fun was had by all and the evening was a great success!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coming for Dinner?

When I first started this blog, I promised to share a few of my recipes - I figured it was time I passed on a few of my favourites! I originally planned to post a new recipe every week, but we all know how I lose my train of thought and, I'll aim for a weekly recipe ("Foodie Fridays", maybe?), but it will probably end up being more of an occasional entry - no promises attached this time!

Since moving out into the big wide world (ie. out of my parents' house), I've learned that I love to cook - which works out great, because I just so happen to love eating. I was a bit intimidated at first, because after living with my parents for the first 22 years of my life, I had never HAD to cook - both of my parents are great in the kitchen, meaning I never had to prepare anything that didn't come from a box, package, or can. Dinner was cooked for me, and I ate it. Spoiled? Absolutely. I had also never done a load of laundry, and I STILL have yet to ever mow the lawn...but that's another story for another day. So - all of a sudden, I not only had to cook to feed myself, but also my hubby - and soon a child; which meant whatever I cooked had to actually be "edible". Survival depended upon it. Fortunately for all of us - I have always loved to bake. Cookies, cakes, pies, you name it - I was willing to try it, as long as I had a recipe in front of me. Hey - a recipe! Maybe if I had a recipe to follow, I could cook meals as well....cookbooks soon became my best friend. I have developed a pretty impressive collection, and am always looking for new additions! My favourites are those with lots of pictures (I have to *see* what I plan to make), and those that are compilations of recipes passed down through generations - they type you buy for fundraisers and such. I'm also a HUGE fan of Rachael Ray - her recipes are not so figure friendly, but are always delicious. I sometimes have to refrain from licking my tv screen...though I'm sure no one would notice for all the finger prints and lick-marks left by Abigayle. Cookbooks, however have been like "training wheels" in my kitchen - eventually I gathered enough confidence that I could let go and try things out on my own. There were a few "wobbles", but I quickly learned how to balance the different spices and flavours. I certainly would never claim to be a master chef, but I think I've come up with some pretty good stuff!

This recipe is an adaptation of one I found in a magazine - it's one of Ted's favourites, when I ask for his input on our weekly menu, it's always on the top of his list! One of my favourite things about it, is how flexible it is; it never tastes exactly the same because I play with different seasonings every time. It's fast, simple, and filling. Let me know if you give it a try, hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Jackie's Chicken Pot Pie
You will need:
- one or two frozen pie shells, thawed (depends if you want a double crust, or just a top crust)
you could also use homemade pastry, if you prefer.
- a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. You could use chopped fresh seasonal veggies if you'd like, but the frozen makes for less prep and is much faster. The amount you use depends on the size of the casserole/pie dish you need to fill, but I usually use 1-2 cups for a 9" or 10" pie.
- 8oz container/brick of cream cheese
- chicken stock
- seasonings of your choice; I like to use poultry/provencal type spices, and usually add in onion powder, garlic powder (or minced fresh garlic), salt + pepper, sometimes some "Old Bay" seasoning. This is really all based on your preference! You could use basil, oregano, fresh with it a bit!
- 2 or 3 chicken breasts, diced

Put it Together...
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Dice your chicken and brown it in a large skillet. If you'd like to add some extra flavour, try cooking the chicken in a vinaigrette-type salad dressing (like Italian) instead of oil.
- Once the chicken has pretty well cooked through, add the cream cheese to the pan and melt it in with the chicken. Add a bit of stock as well, to keep the cheese from drying out and sticking to the pan. The stock and cream cheese will be your sauce, so add enough stock to form the consistancy you'd like. If you accidentally add too much liquid, you can always thicken it up with a sprinkle of flour.
- Add in your seasonings
- Add your veggies and simmer until everything has heated through
- If using a double-crust, pour everything into one pie shell. Remove the pastry from the second foil tin, turn it upside down and set it on top of the filled shell. Press the edges together (I like to rub a bit of oil or butter around the inside edge to help the shells mush together). Cut a slit to let the pie vent - I like to use a cookie cutter and make it look pretty :) If you'd prefer, you can pour the filling into a casserole or pie plate of your choice (instead of a bottom pastry), and cover it with your pastry/a thawed pie shell.
- bake in a 350F oven for about 30mins, or until the pastry turns a nice golden brown.

It doesn't always look pretty when you serve it, it can be a bit sloppy - but it sure tastes good!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cowgirl Couture

These boots were made for...well, walking in poop of course. Not quite what Nancy Sinatra had in mind. But what else would you expect me to dress in? I got all gussied up, but had to make a quick stop in the horse paddock...I didn't feel that my stilettos were appropriate in case a quick getaway was in order (you never know if the "girls" are feeling frisky and want to include me in an impromptu game of Tag). Besides, if you've ever walked across a hayfield in pencil-heels, you'll know how they like to sink into the soft ground - not so good for the shoes. Of course my favourite pretty pink shoes were in the car for a quick wardrobe "upgrade"...which I remembered as I was standing in the drive-thru bank machine, with a line of cars behind me. I could see a smirk on the face of the passengers and I realized that my feet were somehow still...comfortable. Definitley not in heels. Oh well, at least I was still colour coordinated. Especially when I did strap on my little pretties and saw that I has still managed to get a nice greenish smear of horsie poop across the toe. *sigh*

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I know my "Weekly Weigh-In" pulled a disappearing act a while ago - I honestly couldn't remember to keep posting. Sad, I know; you see, my thoughts are like butterflies...some flit around for a little while, but before too long they flutter into the distance, never to be seen again! I blame the children. "Mommy Brain" is real, and it never goes away.

So - I figured it was time for an update on my weight-loss situation! I've still been plugging away with WeightWatchers, and seeing better success than I had ever expected. As of Monday night, I have lost a grand total of...drumroll please...21.2 lbs! WOW! When I first started, I had planned to lose 10-15lbs, and doubted myself from the get-go. I am so proud of myself for making it this far! That puts me at a current weight of 115.8lbs - a number I haven't seen since I was in highschool. It feels AMAZING! Bit by bit, my pile of "outgrown" clothes that were destined for the Goodwill is getting smaller. I'm able to fit into some of my old favourites that I've held on to "just in case" - never expecting that I would actually wear them again.

I was trying to think of a way to show/visualize how much weight I had lost, when I got this brainwave...please feel free to laugh, Ted sure did! On my way home from my WW meeting, I decided I would build myself a little display...of butter. Yes, that's right folks - I stood in the middle of Foodland and built myself a castle out of 21 pounds of butter! I did my best to be quick and sneaky...I can see the headlines now, "woman escorted from Foodland, and banned from dairy department...". It doesn't take much to make the front page of our local paper.

A funny story that also happened that evening...

When you lose weight and start to fit into smaller clothes, it's inevitable that some of your larger clothes will no longer fit. I had put on one of my favourite little sundresses (we finally had a warm day!), but when I got dressed I noticed that my "undergarments" were a little on the loose side. I was in a hurry, so I figured they'd be good enough and on my way I went. On my way home, I was fed up with the bug guts smeared allover my windshield, and stopped in at the gas station to squeegie it off. I was scrubbing with enthousiasm...scrubbing my butt off, you might say. Well, maybe not my "butt", but definitley my undies. Apparently all that scrubbing was more than my undies could handle, because they slipped right down to my knees! I inadvertantly dropped trou in the gas station parking lot. I'm really striving to make the front page of this parents will be so proud. Thankfully there was no one there to notice, so I gathered my panties and my dignity, and continued on my merry way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where I'm From

I was listening to the radio the other day while I was running some errands, and a song came on that really caught my ear; it's a newer song by Jason Michael Carrol - a country song, of course. I listen to just about everything, but country seems to be what's on my radio most often. I didn't really recognize it (otherwise, I'd be belting out loud!), so I listened to the lyrics, and they brought a feel-good smile to my face. The song is called, "Where I'm From", and it described just that - I swear he could be talking about where I live. It all sounds so simple, and I'm sure that everyone can relate to it in some way, but it felt like he was singing about *home*. Here are some of the lyrics (just the chorus) - if you want to know more, you'll have to listen to it for yourself!

I'm from the front pew of a wooden white church
The courthouse clock it still dont work
Where a man's word means everything
Where moms and dads were high school flings
Gave their children grandmothers maiden name
Yes it may not sound like much
But its where I'm from

Where the quarterback dates the homecoming queen
The truck's a ford and the tractor's green
And Amazing Grace is what we sing
Well there's a county fair every fall
And your friends are there no matter when you call
Yeah It may not sound like much but it's
Where I'm from

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sew Much to Do!

Busy, Busy, Busy! I've finally gotten all of my fabric that I had ordered - time to get to work! Just thought I'd give you a sneak peak of what I've been up to...

This is an example of the little "pillowcase" dresses that I'm making. I've found some adorable designer fabrics, and they're turning out to be SO precious! I've called this first one "Oh Deer"; it's made using Michael Miller's new "Pet Deer" fabric.

This one is called "Orange You Glad" - again Michael Miller, this is the "Medallion Bloom" print, from the Farmer's Market collection.

Both of these dresses are currently listed on my Etsy site ( - they are being sold for $25/ea +SH, and can be made from size 0-8.

Think the fabric is way too cute, and want in on the action? Treat yourself to something adorable - and environmentally friendly - with a "Coffee Cozy"! Made in the same fabric as the pillowcase dresses (two layers of cotton, with an insulating layer in between) and embellished with a vintage/repurposed button with an elastic loop closure - these little cozies will replace the need for double-cupped coffee, and cardboard sleeves. Great for cold drinks, too! (I hate getting my hands wet from the condensation on cold cups). These little lovelies sell for $5/ea +SH , and ship for free if combined with another item from my shop! I think if you paired one with a coffee shop gift card, they'd make a perfect little "thank-you" gift for teachers, busdrivers, daycare providers...

Now, I've got loads more sewing to do...back to work!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Give Peas a Chance!

Austin is no longer on a strictly liquid diet - he has entered the wonderful world of FOOD! He's been sampling his way through different cereal varieties, but has now moved on to veggies. You know what they say, "start with veggies first, or they'll never eat them!" There have been new studies to prove it makes no difference whether fruit or veg are introduced first, but call me oldschool - if I took a bite of a sweet, juicy strawberry, do you really think I'd be so eager to eat my broccoli? Not this girl.

As a mom, there are many things I *swore* I would never/only do. I should have remembered what MY mom told me when I was young..."swearing" is bad. In this case, it's because if you "swear" you'll do something, it's just gonna come back and bite you in the butt. Nothing is written in stone, and as much as we hate to admit it - we are not in control! These tiny dictators have the reins - the sooner you accept this, the sooner you'll learn to "go with the flow". So - I swore that I would never feed my child processed baby food - I was going to make my own, no ifs ands or buts about it. However...after I let Abigayle try a jar out of convenience...she turned up her nose at anything that I made for her. So, I gagged my way through jars of babyfood - I felt pretty guilty feeding it to her, when there was NO WAY that this gunk was going to make it into MY mouth. But, it was either that, or a starving baby. You haven't met stubborn until you've met my Abigayle. You can say "if she's hungry, she'll eat it!". Not so easy.

I was excited to have a chance at redeeming myself when Austin came along...handmade babyfood right from the start! I stocked up on some fresh veggies on my last shopping trip, broke out my Magic Bullet (not to be confused with the Silver Bullet...that's a whole other story, and probably not appropriate for use in my kitchen), and ice cube trays! It was fun, and satisfying (again, not to be confused with the Silver Bullet...)! And the verdict....he LIKES it! So far he's had peas and sweet potatoes. Green beans are lined up in the freezer! I feel so good about feeding him something that I made myself - I know exactly what's in it (did you know that a small jar of mixed veggies contains 24mg of sodium?!), and where it came from. It even looks better than the store-bought stuff - vibrant colours, vs. grey sludge. Besides, he's got to learn to appreciate my cooking sooner or later, right? Bon Apetit!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Babylove

I've been hard at work! I'm finally putting some much-needed energy into my little business - I've revamped my vision, and have shifted (maybe "expanded" is a better term) my focus. "Babylove By Jackie" will still primarily be an Etsy shop, don't worry! I'm in love with this little "community" right now, it's a bit addictive! I've met some great sellers while arming myself with new supplies, and am hoping that I've started a great relationship with each of them. However - this is where I'm expanding! Soon, "Babylove" will not exist only online - keep an eye out for us at your local Fall Fairs and Farmer's Markets, hopefully starting this fall! I've got a bunch of supplies on order (can't wait for everything to arrive - it's like Christmas everytime I check the mailbox!), and will be sewing like a madwoman to prepare for some upcoming Fairs. After I've dipped my toes to test the waters, I'm planning on a long winter of preparation for the mother-of-all Farmer's Markets next spring/summer - those of you who are local to me have no doubt heard of (if not visited) the Keady Market. The Market draws a huge, varied crowd - lots of exposure! I'm also planning to speak with a couple of children's consignment shops, to see if they're interested in carrying a few of my items.

As part of my revamp, I've designed a logo (with the help of - I absolutely love it! I'm doing my best to appear "professional" - I've ordered business cards, and other business stationary, as well as custom-printed tags (featuring my logo) to be sewn into my little dresses. Oh yes - forgot to mention, I've added a new product! I'll soon be selling oh-so-cute, vintage inspired "Pillowcase Dresses". I've found a love for designer fabrics (particularly Michael Miller, and Amy Butler), and can't wait to see how these little creations are going to turn out!

Wish me luck while I nurture this little egg...I can't wait to see it grow wings and FLY!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

I meant to blog on this day, but...well...I forgot. Story of my life! I know it's loooong gone, but wanted to say - I hope everyone had a beautiful day, appreciating your Mommy and being appreciated yourself!

I spent the day with my family - I was woken up when Ted brought Abigayle into my room...I pretended to still be asleep while I heard him whispering to her "say, Happy Mommy's Day, mommy". Instead, I opened my eyes with a giggle when she shouted out "Happy Burrfday Mommy!!". Of course she still got a ginormous hug anyway - it's the thought that counts. However, there apparently hadn't been a thought in the "gift" department, I decided to treat myself to a little something - hey, I deserve it, right? I went "shopping" on my new favourite site (, and picked out this little sparkly number. There's something so neat, knowing that what you've ordered is one-of-a-kind, and made just for you. I got a note with this picture attached yesterday, to let me know that my necklace has been completed! It's now on it's way to me, and I can't wait to wear it and show off my babies! It was created by a very nice woman names Sandy, and you can check out some of her other great work in her Etsy shop -

Maybe you'd like to treat yourself to something pretty, too!

Happy Half-Birthday!

6 months. SIX months have gone by since Austin joined our little family. Half a year. Where on earth has the time gone? Before I was a mom, I swear I didn't know it was possbile for time to feel like an instant and an eternity, all at once. In six months...

-Austin joined us on a cold November morning

- the day we brought him home from the hospital, his Papa had a heart-attack. I guess his heart was so full of happiness to finally have a boy in the family, that he just couldn't contain it anymore...

- his Nana and Papa both quit smoking (so PROUD of you, guys!)

- first smiles (4wks)

- struggled with weight-gain (just like his big sister)

- started sleeping through the night (by about 8wks, I think)

- first rolls (about 18wks)

- made strange with Papa for a while - I think he's finally realized he's not so scary

- started first solid foods (so far we've had rice, oat, and wheat cereals)

- started wearing diapers that are only 1 size smaller than his 2yr old sister's

- yet still fits nicely in size 3-6 month clothes

- his Mommy has lost about 17-18lbs

- finally starting to develop a bit of a nap "scedule"

- being bothered by his teeth, but they haven't made an appearance yet

- has celebrated his first Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, and Easter

I'm sure there have been more firsts, but having two children to keep track of now, my poor brain is a little fuzzy. Not that it wasn't before, I just have an excuse now :)

Happy "Half-Birthday" my Little Bubba! I can't wait for all of the "firsts" that are yet to come.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This Little Piggy...

Enough of the dark and spooky! Check out my piggies! The shade is called "Strawberry Fields Forever"; two of my favourite things - nail polish and the Beatles - all rolled into one pretty pink package! I was very lucky to spend the afternoon at the Spa yesterday! When Austin was born, a cousin gave me a gift card - the BEST baby gift ever, might I add! Forget about the "Pampers" - Mama needs some "Pampering" of her own! I was able to leave both kids with "Nana" while I escaped and had my first-ever spa experience. I was treated to a pedicure and a massage - heavenly! I'll admit, I was a bit creeped out at first - laying nearly nude on a table, being rubbed down by a strange chick in the dark...but I quickly became okay with it :) Afterwards, I was able to catch up with a friend (that I haven't seen in 2 years!) and spend some time at the barn where I used to work - where I got to sneak in some play time with a new little foal! I polished the day off with a bit of shoe shopping (talk about a perfect day!), and then went back to pick up the kiddies. Who were covered in sand, and mud, and drool...with a Goldfish-cracker-covered kiss, I was back to reality.


I promised a post about the Paranormal, and had planned to incorporate it into my last entry but got carried away....

You've probably grown up believing that "there's no such thing as ghosts" - but I didn't. I grew up knowing quite the opposite. Living in a house built in the 1800's (it'll be 130 years old next year - Happy Birthday, House!), I learned it to be completely normal to share my home with several spirits. I'll admit at times I was petrified, but for the most part I just knew it as "the norm". "Why did that door just open on its own?!", "Oh, it was probably just the ghost...". Needless to say, I have many friends who still confess to being afraid to spend time in my parents house. Apparently it's not "normal" to have to ask a ghost to leave you alone...

So when I moved out of my parents' house and into the farmhouse, I wasn't sure what to expect. When I first started spending time here, there was the undeniable feeling that Iwasn't alone. I wasn't sure who was here with me (other than the fleas and the rats, but that's a different story...), I just knew that they were. In the beginning, there were a few times that I felt a rush of panic and anxiety come over me - like I would suffocate if I didn't run out of the house at that exact moment. It wasn't as bad if there were other people around - the natural comfort of safety in numbers - but it got to the point where I wouldn't stay in the house by myself. I would sit on the front step until someone came back. I knew that I had to confront this problem and gain posession of my own house - so one day I had a conversation with "whomever" is here, telling them that this is *OUR* house now. I didn't mind that they were here, but they had to leave me alone. Call me crazy, but it seemed to work! No more fear and panic - I was able to spend time on my own, cleaning or painting, or working away. You could argue that it was all psychological, and it just made me feel better to speak out about my feelings...but I know better. That was pretty much it for a while - but over the past 3 years I've had a few encounters. Wanna hear about them? I know you do :)

I know that there is a man here. I've seen him. One day I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I saw a man walk past the window in front of me. Assuming it was Ted, I didn't think much of it. But when he didn't come in the house, I got up to look for him. There was no one in the yard, or anywhere around the house. Ted's truck wasn't here - he was obviously still at work.
Another night, I was here alone while Ted was playing hockey. Again, I was sitting on the couch watching TV when out of the corner of my eye I saw a man standing diagonally behind me (to my right). Even though I thought it was too early, I assumed it was Ted home from hockey. I asked why he was home already, and turned to look at him but he was gone. I got up to look in the kitchen, but there was no one there. Ted didn't come home til about an hour later.

I'm not sure what it is, but there is "something" on my livingroom ceiling. I know, that sounds strange. I was "doggy-sitting" my parents' pooch for a couple of weeks, and she kept looking up at this one spot on the ceiling and growling. She would hunch up defensively, and grumble. Occasionally, my dog "Myah" will look up at the same spot and bark - she doesn't bark at *anything* (a useless guard dog!), but she'll bark at the ceiling. Both Abigayle (as a baby) and Austin have also stared up, watching the exact same spot - but not yet old enough to talk, I couldn't ask them what they saw!

Now that Abigayle is old enough to talk, she scares me sometimes. She always jibber-jabbers away when she's by herself. She's a chatterbox, so it's nothing out of the ordinary. But when she talks to the "Boy", I have to wonder. "Here Boy, you want this?" - conversational sentances. I've tried asking her who she's talking to, but she doesn't really answer. The other day I was getting her out of bed in the morning when she said something about the "ghost" - I'm very careful not to say that around her, because I don't want to frighten her, or take the risk of putting thoughts in her head. I calmly asked her, "where is the ghost?" - she pointed down the stairs and said "he's there!" - right where I had seen the man standing that night in the livingroom. She's pointed out a "man" in the same spot on other occasions as well.

There seems to be a bit more "activity" lately. A couple of days ago I was in the shower when I heard a little knock on the glass door. I thought that Abigayle had made a jailbreak from the livingroom - she likes to tap on the door if you're in the shower. I washed the shampoo from my eyes and looked - no one there. So I kept washing the rest of the shampoo out, when I heard a much louder knock - definately on the shower door, no mistaking it. This time I opened the door and looked around, thinking that maybe Ted had come in and was playing a trick on me - still no one.

Go ahead and call me crazy. Ted does all the time - you should see the way he cringes when I turn on "Ghost Hunters" or "Paranormal State" (even though he admits that GH isn't "that bad"). I know what I've experienced, and I know that I couldn't possibly prove any of it to you - I can't expect you to believe me! And I'm okay with that.

What I'm not okay with, is how to go about explaining things to my kids. I have no clue how to go about this. My plan at the moment, is to not mention anything unless they bring it up - like Abigayle's "ghost" comment the other day. What I don't want to do, is to brush their experiences off, or try to disqualify them. I can't simply say "don't be silly, there's no such thing as ghosts!", when I don't believe that myself. But at the same time, I don't want them to be laughed at when they're in school, talking about ghost stories at Halloween...and they tell their class that "Mommy says that ghosts are real! They're in my house!". I believe that young children are so much more open/sensitive to spiritual activity because society hasn't yet "tought" them that spirits don't exist. I believe that all children (and animals) are able to see what we can't - we used to have the ability too, until we supressed it somewhere along the way. Think back to the very first day in Science class...when you learned that "energy cannot be destroyed - it simply changes form". Our energy can't simply disappear once we're gone - it continues on, and takes a different form.

So you *still* up for that visit? You might want to bring your flashlight ;)

Days Gone By

The other day, I was outside trying to clean up the yard a bit, when something caught my eye. There was a squared-off stone poking out of the lawn, near the foundation of the house - curiosity got the better of me, so I stepped away and came back with my trusty shovel (these words can never lead to anything good...curiosity killed the cat, and all...). I pried it up out of it's snug little hole for closer examination. "Neat", I thought to myself - must be a piece of the old foundation (as mentioned previously, the original house was destroyed by fire). I was about to put it back down, when I noticed something white glisten in it's newfound patch of sunlight. I picked it up - and this is where my treasure hunt began. In my hand was the tiny head of a ceramic/porcelain figurine. Now this really caught my attention - I had to see if the rest of him was still in there! On my hands and knees I started to sift through the soil. I didn't find the rest of this little man, but I did find more "goodies". The hole kept getting bigger...and bigger...and bigger still. I tried to contain my curiosity, I really did - but each time I pulled out something else, I was intrigued as to what was hidden under the next handful of dirt! I really didn't come up with anything much - and to most of you it might seem boring. But to *me* - lets just say I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to things of the past. Amidst charred bricks, I found this little collection.

* A piece of burned "something-or-other". Pretty sure it's not wood, it's too hard. I know that glass and other materials can turn molten and harden when burned - maybe this is what happened?

* An old nail. You can tell it's old by the shape or it - squared edges, like a giant horseshoe nail. It was badly covered in rust/corrosion, but after soaking it in vinegar I was able to crumble it away.

* The head of a little figurine - glossy white ceramic or porcelain, not quite sure. It has a bit of blue detailing/paint on what would be his shoulder.

* A shard of white ceramic, broken to resemble a little bird. I felt like I was "freeing" this little bird from the cold, dark ground - once again able to see the light of day after countless years of being buried.

* A piece of pink ceramic/pottery, with a floral pattern on it - looks like rose leaves, possibly. This piece is pretty interesting - the ceramic itself is pink, not just the glaze. I've never seen this before. I can't help but wonder what it used to be...was it a vase? A plate? A piece of someone's good china - a wedding gift maybe? Who used to own it - did they love pretty pink things as much as I do?

I've always been curious about who has been here before me - and my little excavation made me even moreso. It's obvious that the remains of what was once someone's home were pushed aside for a fresh start; I feel a bit of giddy satisfaction in knowing that these little trinkets - no matter how small or insignificant - will remind me of what/who was here. It makes me sad to know that this was once someone's home - they lived here, probably raised a family here similar to what I'm doing now - and no one knows/cares who they were. No one remembers them, they are merely a speck in time. What will happen when *I'm* gone? I don't want to be forgotten. For this reason, I feel like I owe the previous life of this house and its families the respect of my curiosity. I've returned the bricks and stones to their resting place, and replaced the sod - if my husband came home to see such a hole in the lawn, someone may be finding me buried in there with the bricks 50 years from now...But I'm planning a trip to my local Land Registry office. If nothing else, I at least want to know the names of the homeowners over the years, along with the age of the house and any other tidbits of information I can find! I'm also "Googling" the pink pottery and little figurine, to see if I can find out what they may have looked like. My search has just begun - are you curious, too?

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the Winner is...

Thanks to everyone who commented! I really do appreciate all of your suggestions, and will do my best to make them happen! :)

The "winner" has been selected at random, using

Congratulations to... Michelle Lynn! Michelle is one of my wonderful online "Mommy" friends. Hope you've had a chance to browse through the store, can't wait to see what prize you've chosen! I'll be in touch to work out details.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now!

Hello to all of my *Lovely* readers! Last week, I promised that if you stayed tuned I would post a it is!

As some of you know, I've been trying to find simple ways to make a bit of money on the side - as much as I LOVE being a stay-at-home Mommy, the job doesn't pay very well. I love to sew, paint, and other crafty ventures so I decided to open an online shop on Etsy to sell my wares. My shop is called"Babylove By Jackie" - I make nursery artwork/decor, hair bows, diaper bags, my new "Cozy Capes", and other accessories for babies and toddlers. I'll soon be adding a "Coffee Cozy" assortment, and other things for Mommies, too. I'm just getting started, and don't have a lot of things listed just yet. I'll be adding more as time allows, and will hopefully do a lot of custom orders as well - I'm always open to suggestions! If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to visit:

Now it's time for you to help me - in both my blog, and my store! Here's what you need to do - there are 3 parts to this little challenge, and you must answer all 3:

1. What has been your favourite post of mine so far?

2. What would you like to see more of? Would you like to read more about the kids, the farm, the animals...suggest something for me to write about! The more original the better - I promise to write about EVERY topic that is suggested!

3. What is a product that you would like to see listed in my Etsy store? I know that most of you are Moms, and I really value your opinion! If you aren't a Mom, that's okay too - ANY suggestion is welcome!

This isn't technically a "contest"- all thoughts and opinions are appreciated equally, and the winner will be chosen at random.

Ready to hear what you could win?

One of you will recieve...your choice of ANY item from my Etsy store, custom made for you!!! Based on the things that are listed, that's up to a $40 value! You don't have to necessarily choose something directly from the store - the item will be custom made in the colours/fabric etc. that you prefer. Again, I know that not all of you are Mommies - this is where your product suggestions are important! You could choose one of the listed items to give as a gift, or we can work together to create something for yourself. Your choice.

I'm really trying to draw traffic to my online store, and I know that word-of-mouth is the best way to get attention! Please help me out by directing all of your Mommy friends to see me!

You have until the end of the weekend to respond - I'll announce a winner on Moday (May 4th).

Good luck - I can't wait to read all of your comments and suggestions!!!

The Potty Dance

I swear, this potty training business is gonna be the death of me. This is the time that I've been both anticipating and dreading since Abigayle was born. I know it's not going to happen overnight, but it feels like a losing battle, and I may just rip out my hair in frustration. But not just because of the fact that most of our "emissions" don't make it into the potty...also because of the SWARMS of unsolicited advice from everyone and their mother. Does this never end? I've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child", but I think that too many people are taking this to heart...apparently they think that everyone in the village deserves a say in how to raise my child. They also say that "every village has an idiot", and I swear I've met my fair share. Even complete strangers, usually ask the typical "How old is she?" followed by, "oh, you must be having fun potty training, then! Well, you know the best way to do it is...". How about...

"Oh, well my little Johnny was potty trained by 18mos..."
Come on Lady, what 18month old is *truly* potty trained? I'm pretty sure that I don't believe you.

"The only way to do it is to let her run around naked..."
Okay, so are you going to come to my house and clean up the trail of pee? I already have a dog who pees in the house, I don't need to steam-clean my floors and furniture because of my daughter, too.

"Sit her on the potty every five or ten minutes, and she's bound to go some of the time...she'll get the hang of it and figure out what to do"
Seriously?! So I'm going to be cooking dinner/feeding the baby/living my life in 5 minute intervals? I know that potty training isn't necessarily convenient, but come on...

"Use/don't use Pull-Up's"
"Use/don't use training pants"
"Reward with stickers, jelly beans, toys, treats, privileges...."
"Put a dolly on the potty to show her what to do"
"create a routine"
"buy her pretty panties"
"Use/don't use the regular toilet/children's potty"

Not all of this advice is bad, and if you were the bearer of this insight please don't be offended - in fact I AM doing some of these things. I'm just saying that I've gotten so much advice that my head is spinning, like the swirl of the water in the toilet bowl. This is just another example of figuring things out for yourself...a trial-and-error. Other moms will always tell you what worked best for them, and it's up to us to wade through their advice and piece together what will work for us. Nothing is ever simple.

Time for a funny story!
The other day, Abigayle told me she had to poop. I was in such a rush that I sat her on the toilet, instead of on her potty (which had been taken apart for cleaning). Our visit was uneventful, and she needed a clean Pull-Up which was right behind me. I told her to "hold on tight!" and showed her how to hang on to the seat so she was sturdy. I did my best basketball-style pivot to reach for a clean diaper, but as soon as my back was turned I heard *splish*, followed by "HELP! HELP! I STUCK!!!" I turned back around, and all I could see was feet and hands sticking out of the toilet bowl. I couldn't stop laughing as I pulled her out and dried her off...People have asked why I didn't get a picture - apparently they know I'm a bit "camera happy"...but for once my camera was out of reach and I would have felt pretty bad if I left her there to wait while I went to find it! Maybe next time ;) In hind sight, I should have flushed - maybe I wouldn't have had to wipe! Sort of like a bidet? No?

Ohhh well. We'll get this potty training thing mastered sooner or later. I keep trying to remind myself that she's still so young, and nobody goes to college still wearing diapers. We're not behind "schedule", and it wont last forever - it'll happen when she's ready, no sooner. Just in time for me to start all over again, with Austin! Oh brother.


I've seen this circulating, and thought it was cute! Here's my attempt...

ABCs Of Me
A - Age: 25
B - Bed size: double
C - Chore you hate: putting away laundry
D - Dog's name: Myah
E - Essential start your day item: M.O.M.M.Y needs C.O.F.F.E.E
F - Favorite color(s): pink
G - Gold or Silver: depends on the jewellry, but usually silver
H - Height: 5'2
I - Instruments you play: flute
J - Job title: Mommy
K - Kid(s): Abigayle and Austin
L - Living arrangements: the fam and I own our farmhouse
M - Mom's name: Kathy
N - Nicknames: Jacks, Jackie-Ray, Jackie-O, Jackers
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: when I was a toddler I had to stay for...not sure. Croup maybe? I'll have to ask my Mom.
P - Pet Peeve: too many! How about...when Ted doesn't turn his high-beams off when we're driving. I nag him about it and it drives him nuts ;)
Q - Quote from a movie: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner..." lol
R - Right or left handed: right
S - Siblings: two younger sisters
T - Time you wake up: about 9am
U- Underwear: usually comfy cotton
V - Vegetable you dislike: raw onions, and peppers
W - Workout style: it's gotta be fun, or it wont keep my attention
X - X-rays you've had: knee
Y - Yummy food you make: baked macaroni and cheese
Z - Zoo favorite: giraffes

Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome to the Farm!

I know, I know, it's been way too long since I've written! I tried to write this morning, but would you believe that my own dear Blog had shunned me? "What, you think that you can go weeks without visiting, show up whenever you want and expect me to heed to your every whim?! I think not." ( I had material to write, and she refused to load any pages...). My poor, sweet blog...I promise I will no longer be so fickle, and you will nevermore be ignored.

As for my readers, I apologize to you, as well! If you'll forgive me, will you join me on a quick walking tour of the farm? Wear something to cover your ears - the wind is nasty out there today, I think it's blowing in a storm. I had planned to spend more time showing you around, but I'm afraid we might blow away, so we'll keep it quick. You might want to wear your rubber boots, too - the boys are spreading manure today and a few "chunks" have fallen over the side of the spreader, and all over the laneway. Mind your step. I'll forwarn you, nothing is looking very pretty right now - it's a pretty "blah" and yucky time of year. Soon everything will brighten up and be nice and green again. On the bright side, you'll be able to see a great contrast between "before" and "after"; we'll be doing a lot of cleaning up this spring/summer, because the farm is hosting a big event in July - I'll take you on a better tour when we've got it looking nicer.

This is our road! We're literally out in the middle of nowhere. No street lights, no traffic, not many neighbours. Just fields, and trees - that's the way I like it! Except for in the winter - we get quite a bit of snow, and the plow driver seems to "forget" to come out here might not want to come visit on one of those days.

We're finally here - this is my place, on the right. Our lane is pretty long, with fields on either side - can you see our house waaaay back in there? Let's walk up so you can get a closer look.

Hey, look over there! We get lots of visitors out here - but not many of them are of the human variety. Don't get too close, they're probably guarding a nest - and you do NOT want to meet up with an angry Mama Goose!

We're getting closer now - you can see the house a bit better, and this is the new barn that was built this past fall. This is where we keep the heiffers (ie. young cows that aren't milking age yet).

This is my house - as you can see, there's a lot to be done! The original house burned down, but was rebuilt on the old foundation about 60 years ago. It was in VERY bad shape inside when we moved in, and on two occasions in the past it has been left abandoned. We've put a lot of work into it, and there's still a lot more to do. We just had this new steel roof put on in the fall, we've had a lot of the windows replaced, and I've started to paint. It'll look much better when I show you again in the summer.

Now, stand right there and turn around to look behind you - that's the other half of the farm, across the road. This is where most of the action takes place, and is where my in-laws live. Ted grew up here, and is the third generation to live on the farm. It's the biggest farm on our road - there are 7 buildings if you include the house. If it wasn't so windy, I'd take you across to show you up close, but we'll do that another day when the weather is better.

When Ted's grandfather owned the farm, it was called "Echo Creek" - this is why. This is a part of the creek that runs through the property. If you yell out, you'll see where the "echo" part comes into play. We're in a bit of a hollow, and everything echoes from miles around - it's pretty eerie when you wake up to hear the coyotes howling (it sounds like they're right outside my window), and gets annoying when the poodle breeder down the road has a ruckus.

Another view of the creek...

You've gotta see this little girl - she's so cute, I couldn't have you visit and not meet her! I'm not sure what her name is, I'll have to ask Ted later. Hold out your hand - she'll suck on your finger!
Well, there was a quick tour - now you have a better idea of what it's like to live out here. Come back another day and I'll show you around in more detail - we'll have to plan a visit inside the barn/house one of these days too. But for now, how bout we go inside for a cup of coffee? That wind'll blow right through you...Brr!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Close Encounters of the "Turd" Kind

I've come to the sad realization that as a Mom, my life revolves around poop. I'm either cleaning it up, wishing one wouldn't go so much, or wishing the other would hurry up and do it. The day we are potty trained will be a *glorious* day, as Abigayle doesn't seem to have any problems with having a dirty diaper. She seems to enjoy wallowing in it, which makes me gag by the time I find the source of the repulsive odor wafting from her direction. And then there's Austin - We're supplementing him with formula right now, and this can...slow things up a bit. He's just gone a 3 day stretch with no "movement" so to speak...and then it happened. An almighty eruption...3 minutes before I was supposed to be walking out the door (and *almost* on time - a rare occurence). But instead of being upset that I was (once again) going to be late - I found myself quite excited, and cheering him on - I was cheering for poop, and I'm ashamed to say I think it was the highlight of my day; good grief, the things a mother will get excited about. And when it becomes perfectly normal dinner conversation between yourself and your husband - "So how was your day, honey?" "Well, as a matter of fact..." - you know that all table etiquette has gone down the proverbial crapper. The glamorous life of a Mom. What can I say, other than..."Shit Happens"! And if it doesn't, just mix a little squirt of corn syrup into a bottle of formula. Cheers!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Come on, Summer!

I'm accessorized and waiting! I'll be feeling like Barbie, sporting my new hot pink purse, and rhinestone-studded sunglasses. Love em!

I may need to wear the glasses to mask the brightness of the least I wont be lost in a crowd!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Boots

You asked, and you shall recieve! I know a few of you wanted to see my lovely *pink* rubber boots...voila! This is me, posing with my moo-moo's in the barn :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Now, Where Was I...?

I was sitting on the edge of my bed, staring in shock and awe at a positive pregnancy test. I think that's probably the exact moment that my sense of style took a flying swan dive out the window. All consideration and regard for fashion - may you rest in peace. I was entering the world of "Mom jeans" and cotton...and it wasn't going to be pretty.

Even though you may not believe me right now, I really did used to care about what I looked like - I promise! In highschool, I used to scour the pages of "Seventeen" magazine, following the teen scene and learning about the newest trends. I used to adore shopping, and would battle my way through dressing rooms until I left the mall - victorious in my shopping conquest for the *cutest* new outfit. I would sit in front of the mirror testing out new hairstyles (for my frequently dyed hair) and mastering makeup application. I wouldn't dare leave the house without *at least* eyeliner, mascara, and a swipe of my newest shade/flavour of lipgloss. While my husband and I were dating, I even put in the effort to make sure I was wearing a matching bra and undie set, *just in case* he was going to see them (sorry, Mom - that may have been too much info for you!). My poor, naive little self had no idea what kind of trouble that matching bra and itty bitty little undies could cause..."mommyhood".

And then it all changed. I was exhausted. Sick. And ever expanding - in all directions. I just couldn't care less if I looked less than spectacular, because that's how I felt. I did enjoy shopping for maternity clothes - they're so adorable! But their price tags are not, and with a little peanut on the way I just couldn't afford to be trendy. As my wasteline grew...and grew...and grew...I was finding that I was needing to add to my wardrobe every few weeks. Until I found my new best friend, and the greatest invention known to woman (okay, aside from a good push-up bra) - elastic and drawstrings. Where have you been all my life?! At first, I resorted to wearing my "track pants" to work - I was in a bakery and spent my time either in the kitchen or behind the counter, so no one would see. I felt like I was committing such a horrible faux pas, and the fashion police were surely going to bust me any minute. But they were so comfy...almost liberating. Then I started to get more brave, and started wearing my new wardrobe to the grocery store, the bank, visiting family. Just in small doses, where only the "locals" would see me - afterall, most of these people wear their rubber boots and coveralls to town, how could I look out of place? But I kept getting more and more comfortable...too comfortable. Because money was still tight, I found myself buying dual-purpose clothes - clothes that were stretchy enough to be comfortable during pregnancy, but I could also wear after the baby arrived. I knew that I would still have some "babyweight", and the clothes would fit and be comfortable until I could get back in shape.
"Purple Shirt...Before"

Except that never happened. I never lost all the weight, and I have never stopped wearing the clothes. Right now my wardrobe consists of a few pairs of track pants, a handfull of stretchy cotton shirts, and 2 pairs of jeans - also of the stretch variety. Nursing bras aren't exactly sexy, but at least they are colour coordinated with my worn out "granny panties". I can honestly say that I can't remember the last time I bought something for a reason other than its "stretchability" - from somewhere other than WalMart, or Giant Tiger. When I leave the house, sometimes I've taken a minute to sketch a bit of eyeliner across my eyes - but usually not. I just went through my extensive make-up collection and filled the waste basket in the bathroom....if it wasn't expired, it was horribly out of fashion (can you remember the last time someone wore glitter?) When I get out of the shower, I put a bit of mousse in my hair to tame the frizzies, but my jewellery has been replaced by a hair elastic on my wrist, because I'll likely get sick of having my hair tugged on and tie it back. It's not that I don't care - I really do - I just don't have the time or energy.

"Purple Shirt...After"
*note the "perpetual ponytail" and lack of make-up*

There is a light at the end of the frumpy I'm losing weight, I'm gaining some of my confidence back. I want to look as good as I feel! I want to be me again - look out fashion sense, it's time for a ressurection! I've made myself a couple of promises - to reward myself as I reach my weightloss goals. When I reach my 10% weightloss goal - I'm going to get my hair coloured. I used to love being blonde, and I'm going to treat myself to some highlights! By a more colour from a box! When I reach my final weight goal, I'm going to go shopping - at the MALL - and buy myself a couple of new outfits. That make me look good and show off the new me - not because of what they can hide. I even bought myself a cute pair of pink rhinestone sunglasses to add to my new accessories - the future looks best through rose coloured glasses :)