December 25, 2013

The in-between...counts.

A few weeks ago now, we sent out the resumes. There was (brief) was done. It was out of our hands. The waiting game put it mildly. We had a few emails saying "thank you and we will keep you on file", a few that said he "must apply to a specific position and to keep an eye on their website for one", a couple flat out "we are not hiring" and a couple that asked for more information etc. This was within a week or so of sending them out. Since then, nothing. I know it's the holiday season, but we are feeling defeat. The two years experience needed and not graduated until April details are more than likely going to hold us back here in Canada for two more years at least. Disappointing. We are not giving up all hope, just being realistic about the situation. The competition for these positions is fierce, we knew that going in. 
If things don't go our way this coming year, our plan is to get an apartment here in town and you know, live the fullest, without waiting around for our dream to come true...which the last two years has felt like for us. We need to start living our life...more. Everyday. 
Oh, we still are planning on moving to Switzerland. He will keep applying every year until he gets a teaching position. It is our dream and we are not giving up. In the in-between time though, our own place, our own things, our life is going to start again. 
If we don't hear anything by late February/March we are going to get an apartment and move out in May, bring our things down from NB out of storage. It will be so nice to have our things around us again. I signed up for an eight week knitting course starting in January and Justin joined the local gym...we are starting our life when our dream comes true, we will continue it over there. The standing still and waiting game has needed to. Does that make sense?

We just went through a major ice storm where we live...I have never seen anything like it...beautiful and so damaging. We had no power for almost two came back on just in time for Christmas...which was a miracle on its own.

Pure ice sidewalks (and everything else too!)

So many trees fell and caused a lot of damage...we were really lucky.

I wish you and yours an amazing holiday season...stay safe and warm.

December 13, 2013

Nom nom nom....


'tis the season to fill your belly with deliciousness...which means, lots of treats! This year along with the staple of chewy chocolate gingerbread, I made some bark as well...the above photos are of the candy cane & toffee skor bits barks I made today. Last week I made two different flavours...cranberry & almond (I used dark chocolate on top of milk chocolate and mixed fresh squeezed orange juice in the dark melted chocolate) and a salted caramel one (which I ate the WHOLE thing myself...I *might* have hidden the tin so I didn't have to share it....).
Bark is SUPER easy to some good chocolate that you like...melt it on low (careful not to burn it) or in a double boiler. Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined cookie sheet...add whatever you like on top....and let cool in the fridge. Voila! Deliciousness! 
Are you enjoying the holiday goodies?

December 1, 2013

We found...

...the perfect Christmas tree this weekend!
What were you up to?

November 22, 2013

On my mind...

art credit

One week until CVs (resumes) get sent out! eeeek!


Seems like the season is in full swing now...our decorations are up, including our advent calender for Felix (photo above). We picked up the little advent bags last year after Christmas for 50% off at Ikea...they are super cute and it is nice to be able to put what you want into them. We basically put a piece of chocolate into every bag except 6 of them....every fourth day there is a toy car (we bought a pack of 5 toy cars and divided them up) and on the 24th day there is a toy train (one that we originally were going to give him as a Christmas gift).
We kind of re-arranged some of his gifts around once we found out what my mom is getting him. We just don't want him to be overwhelmed and we also don't believe that Christmas should be about a crazy amount of gifts...some are fun, a ton is just silly. The nice thing is that Felix's birthday is at the end of January, so gifts can easily be "re-arranged".
From us he is getting two books (under the tree) and in his stocking he has a chocolate Santa, a Hello Kitty hair brush (he got Hello Kitty obsessed over Halloween from watching this video) & a couple of small wooden toys. My mom got him a little people firetruck & a car ramp thingie (also little people)...I am positive he will LOVE it all. He is still getting the same Santa gift on the 25th.
The December 6th St. Nicholas gift is still a boot filled with nuts, oranges & chocolate...we are just giving him one book now though, but added Thomas the Train pj's and a Thomas Christmas dvd. We stumbled upon the pj's and dvd and couldn't help ourselves. It is waaaay too easy to go overboard at Christmas! :)
We are pretty much done now though....just a few more cards to to the post office next week to send away the cards and two parcels....just one more person left on the list...all should be done by December 1st....before the whirlwind of activity gets even crazier! :)
Our first week of December has us getting our tree, celebrating our first advent candle lighting (reading a Christmas story), a farmer's Christmas tractor parade, St.Nicholas day, a Christmas tree lighting with Santa & his reindeer, a date night/late night trip to the One of A kind Christmas Show (where I will try *really* hard not to spend too much money)...this is all packed between day to day life of working, school and chores... 'tis the season...and I love it! :)

The first official baking day of the season happened yesterday....chewy chocolate gingerbread...Christmas is officially here!

November 5, 2013


...on my mind...

Believe it or not, I actually started my Christmas card writing today. I try to send them away by December I am not too crazy for starting now (I think?). This way, here and there, I write one or two cards (and address them...the always not so fun part) when I feel like it over the month of November and it wont seem like a pile of work. When the mood catches me, I have everything ready on my desk. 
Last month I made a big list for this year...categories of who gets just cards (friends that live far away), a gift & a card (immediate family only), and a tin of homemade cookies & a card (lots of friends and family). We keep gift giving to a minimum (for financial reasons and because that shouldn't be what it's all about). We exchange names for immediate family only and give gifts that way. For friends I make a pile of chocolate gingerbread cookies, put them in colourful tins with a card and deliver those. The last couple of years I also started making homemade caramels for friends as well. It has become a tradition of sort, that I think people enjoy...who doesn't like cookies? ;)
Do you do something similar? Or something completely different?

October 17, 2013

wishin' and hopin'...

Justin and I usually make sure to update our wish lists around this time of year (on their universal wish list)...more so to have an idea handy for whatever family member has us that year to buy for....we "draw" names in our family with the adults (actually, I make a list and pair up people that were not paired up last year or the year before...small family ;) ). I usually will get one or two gifts off of the list and get something I found on my own...depending on the cost of things etc...we try to stay within a certain frame money wise. It can be hard not to go crazy getting things, because lets face's fun to shop and even more fun to spoil (once in a while) the ones you love.
I thought I would share with you some of the things I added to my "wish list" for the Christmas season this year...i hope to get lucky and receive one or two things from it... ;)
(I am kind of boring because I keep the prices low(ish) and this year, again, I thought of transporting stuff in, trying not to accumulate too much or too bulky things)

This cream is suppose to be AH-mazing! (I LOVE Lush stuff)

Who wouldn't want to smell like a honeycomb?

love me some sandalwood...

These gorgeous woolen socks are calling my name...

I always have trouble sleeping on and off, I think this would really help...and it fits nicely in a stocking ;)

Who couldn't use a little firming? ;)

LOVE how the Body Shop creams smell...this honey one smells lovely.

Found this adorable piece of embroidery art on Etsy and fell in says "Off to see the world"...perfect to hang in our in apartment next year...and small enough to pack in a suitcase ;)


Have you started a wish list?

October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...

...if you're located in Canada....if not, well, I hope you had an awesome weekend as well...

My niece turned two! we celebrated her special day this past weekend and we also went to a local farm to celebrate the season and oogle the pumpkins ;)

I will never be a professional cake decorator, but at least it tasted damn good! 
I hope your weekend was lovely too...

October 9, 2013

Standing still...

I am a planner. I make lists and try to think ahead...all the time. It's annoying, exhausting...and quite helpful too ;) 
I realized this morning, as I was researching more day-cares in Switzerland, that I have come to a point in our planning for our move to Switzerland...the point where I am done....done for now. I cannot plan anymore...until I know where exactly we will be settling and where Justin will be working. I am relieved and frustrated at the same time...if that makes sense? 
Relieved because it has been a lot of work and frustrating because it has kept me busy and it's just a waiting game (more so). 
It is crazy to think that next month (next month!!!) Justin will be sending away his resumes and cover letters. They start to hire in January...we have no idea the timeline for that. Justin will be sending follow up emails at the beginning of January to make sure they received everything and to refresh their memory ;) We are not sure if they start interviews in February (our guess) and when they officially hire you (maybe May? I hope earlier). Most international teachers move in July to be there for the August beginning of the school year. This is all guess work on our part...we have read so many different accounts. 
...9 more months if everything goes as planned...fingers crossed!!!

September 23, 2013

Autumn's here...

We went apple picking this past weekend... celebrate the "official" season change ;)
Apples, pumpkins, sweaters, layers, oranges, reds, yellows, browns, crisp air, colourful leafs, hot tea, apple crisp, apple pie, apple & pumpkin everything, hot chocolate on late evening walks, having the window open at night and being snug and warm under blankets, days getting shorter (feeling cozier), mushrooms, knits, apple picking, halloween, pumpkin picking, pumpkin carving, costumes, christmas planning (oh, yes!), cooler weather foods, extra warm blankets come out of hibernation, halloween candy, pumpkin bread, breaking out light knit scarves, hats & mittens...these are just a few things i absolutely LOVE about autumn....what's your season?

September 20, 2013

This moment...

Inspired by Soulemama

 . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

September 18, 2013

Gift giving on my mind...

Once the Autumn weather rolls around my mind immediately wanders to Christmas...yup...I am weird. I have always started thinking about Christmas gift giving in September. I think it is because I send gifts overseas, so I always have to have things organized early for that so they arrive in time (and I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for speedy shipping). 
This year Christmas will be even more special...Felix will be more aware of what is going on, it might be our last Christmas here for a little bit, and my brother and his fiancee are expecting a little boy in December!
Because Felix will be more aware of everything this year, Justin and I had to finally figure out exactly what kind of traditions we want our family to continue and create for ourselves. I grew up with Christmas on the 24th and we have done that always together as well, but we wanted to include Santa in there too! When I was younger, nothing was decorated for Christmas in the house and we had no tree until the night of the 24th....when we got back from church or a long walk, the "Christ Angel" or "Santa" had come and decorated, brought the tree and left gifts (he is very productive indeed!). Justin grew up with the waking up on the 25th to a mountain of gifts. 
We debated at one point at not making Santa part of it all...we didn't like the idea of essentially writing a list of things you wanted to someone and getting them based on being "good" or "bad" seemed greedy and weird...we were feeling especially dramatic that day ;) 
Then we thought "F it"...we can do what we picked all the things we liked about the traditions we grew up with, got rid of the stuff we didn't like or didn't suit us....and this is what we came up with...
:: every Sunday in December we are going to light a candle on an advent wreath (4 total) and spend some time telling Christmas stories & poems and things we are happy about etc...
:: Keep an advent calendar and open a window every day of December.
:: December 6th we will leave Felix's boots out for Saint Nicholas to fill with nuts, clementines, chocolates and a Christmas book.
:: December 24th is about spending the day with family, playing games, watching a Christmas movie, eating an amazing meal and opening gifts from each other. We want to keep gift giving to a minimum...quality over quantity.
:: December 25th Santa will have come overnight and brought Felix a special gift (which I hope to wrap elaborately to make it look really special and magical).

I think we came up with good ideas and we hope to add to the traditions every year :)

Last week we actually bought our Christmas gifts for Felix....Thomas the train toys...they were 20% off so we thought we would take advantage for Christmas and bought him two engines that he doesn't have yet. Yesterday I placed an order for the rest of his gifts....

These are the ones that he is getting from us on the 24th...
This book has been on my wishlist for Felix for a while now...

Can't beat 20% off! ;)

We are mostly trying to collect all the main eight engines for Felix, but he has a Thomas movie with this character in it that he loves :)

We still have to get a couple of things for his stocking (toothbrush, PJ's, a chocolate Santa and a small book or puzzle)....and that is it...Felix is done! :)

This is his big special Santa gift that he will get on the 25th....

He has been obsessed with Curious George lately...I plan on wrapping all three things together for one big special gift.

For Saint Nicholas day his boots will get filled with nuts, clementines, chocolate (and lebkuchen once we are in Europe) and a couple of Christmas books. I ordered the two above books from for this year...I think he will love them. :)

I also bought my one nieces Christmas gift last night....

 I found the above adorable felt finger puppets on Etsy...I think they will be a big hit :)

Have you started thinking about the holiday season yet? What are your special traditions?

September 11, 2013

Going a little nuts...

I have literally wasted my day off away...
Last night we found out that everyone's water will be shut off in our neighbourhood (major construction has been going water lines are being put in everywhere due to the huge new housing developments in our little area) from 9am until 5pm. Grrrrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaat. My one day off a week (without anyone at home, under foot). The day everything gets shiny and clean in the morning so I can spend the rest of the day feeling guilt free and "relaxing" (I put quotes because I have truly forgotten how to's sad really). I don't handle sudden change well when I have a certain script in my head already. There might have been some swearing....ahem. So, I got up early to have a shower and eat breakfast (and do the dishes at least before the water disappeared) and then apparently spent the rest of the day (it's two now) withering (a *bit* dramatic) away in front of the computer (eating nutella covered frozen waffles (don't worry! they were organic! ;) ....and our sons) and having a 2 hour nap. Mission: Not-So-Much-Accomplished. 
My hours in front of the computer today resulted in my going a bit nuts thinking about the big (hopeful) move to Europe. I am soooo anxious!!! Not anxious as in going to throw up....but anxious as in "I want to goooooo....right nooooooow!!!!". Sighhhhhhhhh.....I am not a very patient person sometimes. My other great accomplishment was adding more things on my amazon least I am not spending's like window shopping! ;)
I hope you have accomplished more then me today?

September 10, 2013

35 things...

I made a list like this before on my previous's funny how things can change in a relatively short is my updated 35 things I would like to do before I turn 35 (...and I realize I only have 1 year and 8 months to do it...WTF? heart just lurched! ;) ).
I am keeping this list simple and (hopefully) easily 40 before 40 list is going to have some crazy wishes in it, but this one, this one I am going to keep achievable (I need to feel accomplished damn it! ;) )

:: live in Switzerland (or Germany)
:: have finished ONE knitting project (see? I really am keeping things simple)
:: be pregnant or have had another babe (still on the fence sometimes...but he's been really well  behaved lately ;) )
:: have gone to an outside theatre or movie (a la orange cinema)
:: pursued/taken a course or attended a birth (other then my own!) for my doula studies
:: stayed overnight in the mountains somewhere
:: get to know more people and have a fun dinner party (we are hermits...seriously....that and lazy at night)
:: go to a fancy restaurant in Switzerland and eat fondu (can you tell that in my mind we are living in Switzerland?) 
:: start going swimming regularly (I don't now, but I do enjoy swimming for fun, plus, it seems like the only kind of exercise I don't hate)
:: own my bicycle and go cycling as a family (again, another form of exercise I don't despise)
:: have a basket and saddle(?) bags on the said bike...ooooh....and maybe orange in colour! 
:: take a cooking class with Justin
:: go to a knitting meet up....or something along those lines...
:: attend a Squam workshop retreat...I had one booked last year, but had to cancel...I was heartbroken...but I firmly believe in things happening for a reason...I do believe a retreat is in my future :)
:: will have lost that last pesky 10lbs (well, I guess that all depends on #3 ;) )
:: have a part time job over in Europe (wherever we end up)
:: make a homemade costume for Felix (be it for Halloween or Fasnacht)
:: potty train my 2.5 year old (this seems like a BIG feat right now)
:: go swimming in lake Zurich
:: create a wall of photos in our apartment
Found this image on pinterest and LOVE it!

:: be living in our own space again...
:: create the most amazing room for Felix EVER! 
:: have our things shipped over from the storage unit to Europe (this all really depends on #1 coming does most of this list actually...)

which brings me to the next point...
:: keep dreaming big and take each day hour by hour 
:: pursue my photography more...
:: spend more time as a family
:: spend more time hugging said family
:: spend more time kissing Justin...what an easy thing to not do enough of once life takes over...
:: watch the Godfather movies...I really want to see what all the hype is about...
:: visit Paris with Justin (oooh la la!)
:: visit Germany 
:: visit Gruyere and eat my weight in cheese!!!
:: visit cookie heaven!

Some from the old list that I still want to achieve...
:: make the perfect macaron (or buy it and eat it while looking at Swiss mountains ;) )
:: own a pair of high heel shoes....and possibly learn how to walk in them see? Some points are frivolous...some are important...and some are just plain me.
What would be on your list? 

* I had a really hard time coming up with 35 things, because honestly, right now, our list is tiny (in a way)....we want to live in Europe, in our own place, with our own things, together, happy and healthy under one roof.....lets throw a view of the mountains in there just in case someone is paying attention ;).

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