Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A skillet diary

It's a funny story how I came upon owning a cast iron skillet in the first place actually...
We were headed outback camping with our friends and  we planned to use pie irons for all of our meals. Turns out on the drive there we realized we had forgotten the pie irons all together!! Which was going to be very difficult with the food we had with us. So a Walmart stop it was and a skillet with aluminum foil had to do the trick! Little did I know at the time I had actually acquired a GREAT new addition to my kitchen!
Here are just a few recipes I have tried in the last couple weeks. The possibilities are endless--just be sure to season your skillet when your done and remember not to wash it with soap. Just water does the trick! I also never follow exact recipes and always change amounts according to how big I want the serving to be. Sorry if this is vague but less rules makes it more fun!!

  S'more Dip
 This is deliciously sweet and great for when your hosting something!I made it for a baby shower. Definitely want to be feeding a crowd!

1 cup marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips
2 Tblsp milk

(more marshmallows for top)  
Melt together on stove top until runny in your skillet. Then top with a layer of marshmallows and broil in oven until golden brown! (Approx 2min)
Serve with graham crackers to dip in it!! 

This was super easy to go from stove top to oven only using the one dish! 
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
(courtesy of one of my Martha Stewart Living magazines)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350degrees, mix ingredients in large bowl and transfer to oven proof skillet. Smooth top with spatula and bake until golden brown! (about 20min) Let cool and and then enjoy!!

Egg Bake
(courtesy of Chatelaine magazine with lot's of tweaks ;)

 1 tsp cumin
Red onion ( I used 1/2 of large onion)
pinch of garlic
Colourful bell peppers (I used two different coloured halves)
1 tbsp honey
1 Tomatoe
1 tsp paprika
Salt and Pepper
Eggs (I used 3)
Feta cheese

Cook seasonings,onion and peppers on med heat until slightly soft then add tomatoes. Make three wholes to drop eggs into. Sprinkle salt, pepper and feta cheese
across top and bake at 400degrees until your eggs are cooked to your liking :) This was a great Saturday morning breakfast!

Broiled Salmon and Zucchini Slaw
(zucchini slaw courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

I LOVE my salmon broiled and it's super quick for dinner! 
 Set oven to broil and place salmon pieces in skillet. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Broil in oven about 8-10min until done. Top with more freshly squeezed lemon!

Zucchini Slaw
1 zucchini
1 celery stalk
1 apple
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4cup sunflower seeds
fresh basil or parsley
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!  

As you can see I just love eating...which means I love to cook in order to enjoy my love of eating! I hope you can enjoy some of these recipes yourself! Like I said, I NEVER follow the exact amount in recipes. I am constantly finding recipes online and magazines and  making changes that work with what I have in my kitchen or something I like even more! And when it comes to chocolate...well I always add more ;) Enjoy!!

From my home to yours,

Monday, 13 April 2015


I read somewhere once that;
 'what you do everyday matters more than what you do every once in awhile'

Sometimes we like the idea of things but we very rarely do them. Sometimes we even use these rare occasion things to describe who we are as people.  We all need a 'good' answer to the question "what do you do in your spare time?"We have things that we like to write on a list as our hobbies and interests. But if we asked ourselves how often we do these things we might be surprised how rare it is. And if it isn't often then what is it that I am filling my time with?
 I have many things that I wish I filled my free time with. I wish I played the piano and practiced more. I wish I finished the many crochet projects I tend to start but rarely finish. I wish I painted more often. These are all still interests of mine and maybe even still hobbies, but I know that I do not do them often and what my day is filled with is important to me. What do I do everyday?
 Most peoples work fills the majority of there day time hours and that used to be me as well. Fortunately I loved my job teaching young children and was very involved in my everyday interactions and planning for their learning. Recently I had a baby and am now at home taking care of my baby girl. That does not mean that I actually have hours and hours of free time like some people might think. Babies are a lot of work and definitely a full time job like they say--but my days are filled with different activities than what they once were. I am finding now though that I must be even more intentional about what my week will look like or I could easily be in the house in my pjs if I wanted not connecting with others or with the outdoors.(Especially in winter) And this is not great for a persons happiness!!
I have sat here and decided to share with you the things I believe to be true about what I do everyday. These are the things that are important to me and will plan to do everyday. They are not the mundane things like checking facebook and folding laundry etc. They are the small things I am careful to make apart of my everyday. Even if it is for a short time or long time. They are the little things that can bring happiness to me even in a day filled with constant diaper changes, spit up cleaning, sleep deprived me, who hasn't gotten a chance to shower in who knows how long.

Everyday I sing. I may wish that I played the piano more but even when I do I get too consumed by singing to bother continuing to move my fingers. But singing? That is not a problem. I sing my heart out in the shower or while I wash dishes. I sing along with the wonderful songs I enjoy on the radio and often have a tune that suits a certain emotion I am feeling. I often wish I could make a soundtrack to my life. Live in a musical if I may ;) and I do so myself. I used to use song so often in my teaching at work with my students. Now at home with my daughter I continue to sing to her through many everyday interactions. I love to sing and I know I sing everyday.

Everyday I get fresh air.This was easy when I worked as well as I went outside with my students twice a day. Now I try to walk outside everyday. This is especially easy in spring, summer, and fall. Winter is a different story. Especially in the extreme cold days where it wouldn't be safe to be outside with my baby. But those days I am still intentional about opening my front door to get my mail. The days I know I won't be spending much time outside I purposefully stop to breathe in the fresh air on my face. This I will do everyday. No matter the weather. We are lucky in ontario to be able to enjoy the beauty of four very different seasons that all have their own wonderfulness. Fresh air is fresh air no matter the season.

Everyday I create. This is a broad one but I like to keep it that way so that I can accomplish it. Yes I wish that meant I sewed, crocheted, or painted something everyday but I don't. Everydays creations are different but to me even preparing dinner for my family is a creation in its own way. I love putting together a colourful plate of food for us to enjoy, or mixing together ingredients that will bake into something delicious. Sometimes I decorate a small space in my home which I love doing. Other times I will use paints, sewing machine or yarn to make something with my hands. Everyday will be different but everyday I create something and I want my children to find joy in doing so too so I want to be an example to them as they get older.

Everyday I love. From the first embrace I give my daughter when she wakes in the morning(even if its 2am) to the goodbye kiss I give my husband when he leaves for work, I am showing love. Yes there are lot's of moments that I don't remember to show love in my actions but everyday I do still show actions of love. I love my family and it is easy to show small simple acts of love to them. I also show love to others I come in contact with by even just smiling at them.I know there will be many times that I will need to be reminded to show love but I will strive to do so everyday in my life. I love because God first loved me and I want to share that with those that I connect with in life. And yes that even means the person serving me at Tim Hortons who totally messed up my order ;) ha This one is a goal to strive for. I hope that I can show love in some shape or form everyday of my life.

I am sure there are many other things I do everyday and we all have different things. There are also all kinds of things I do everyday I that I wish I didn't, but I do. I need to remember that what I do everyday is important. It does matter.
It matters much more than that one lovely thing I enjoyed that one time awhile ago. I should do things everyday that bring me joy. I should spend time with people that bring me joy. Right now I carry a big responsibility in raising my daughter. She is watching me. I want to be the best example I can possibly be to her and to me that is teaching her to enjoy everyday to the fullest.
If you are reading this-I hope you will take the time to do something everyday that matters to you. From the time you peek outside to check the weather to the moment to lay your lead on your pillow to sleep at night I hope you remember to do something today that you love and brings you joy.

  'what you do everyday matters more than what you do every once in awhile'


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Footprints on my heart

Dates on a calendar are a powerful thing. They bring us to celebrate special moments in our lives like birthdays,anniversaries and past accomplishments. They also bring us to reflect on hard moments that have passed us by. Unfortunately some dates that pass by make us remember a difficult time in our lives and it can be hard to see that date come again. You can only hope that when that date arrives again you will find yourself in a different place than where you were when it happened to you. You can hope that you have grown and changed in the past year and hope that you were still able to enjoy life's happiness again even though you remember the terrible feeling. Like a Dark spot you can travel too in a second. The place where tears arrive instantly and you have to swallow sorrow in order to not stay there long and be consumed again.
The feeling of having someone ripped right from your heart leaving an imprint that will never be the same.
Everyone has their own imprints. Their own stories. Here is a glimpse at mine.

Mine is a unique case as it is for someone I did not get to meet. Someone I loved so dearly and gave me my first maternal instincts. Someone so small that others may even tell me it was in fact not a someone at all. But I know it was. I know what I felt and and what I lost.
I lost a baby.
My first baby.
My child left me way before I even got the chance to meet them. The story of their life that was just beginning , came to an end. The terrible feeling that gives a mother is indescribable.
My mind wanders and I think of this baby often still. Who would  they have been? What would they have looked like? I miss them. I miss a baby that I bonded with for a short time in my womb. But I know that the bond was real. So real. However short the time was every mother knows their thoughts are so consumed by the plans and dreams they have for their future children when you are an expecting mother. You think of them all the time. I was just that mother.
Ready to jump into the adventure of parent hood. But then a darkness came. I ended up in the hospital long before the books and the doctors told me I would.
I experienced severe anxiety, pain, and a fear like no other. In one short weekend I went from an excited expecting mom to a grieving confused young woman. A woman with an imprint on her heart that would change her forever. An imprint from a child she will never get to hold in her arms. I became one of the statistics. One of the many pregnancies that end in miscarriage.

I made a promise to the baby I lost. I fought for their life with everything I had in me. But when all was said and done I promised to fight for their memory. So that is why I am writing this to you. Here in this place. This weekend it will have been one year since that dark time in my life.
I think of that baby so often. I hope in my heart that they are in heaven looking down on me and getting to know their mommy from a distance. And I pray that they see the love I feel for them even though we did not get to meet.
I am in a different place than I was a year ago. I am a different person. I can close my eyes and feel the deep pain again in a moment but I can also look at that time from a distance. From a place of hope because God was faithful to me in His own timing. I will never understand why that had to happen to me but I know now that I am held is God's hands no matter my circumstance. I know that I am a small part of a bigger story and I will live my days with that hope. I am so very blessed.

I gave birth to a baby this past fall. My beautiful daughter. My heart has stretched and grown in ways I didn't think possible. The same heart with that imprint on it from the baby I lost. This heart has felt happiness like no other after a season of feeling like it wouldn't come. But if we all hold on it will come. Joy will come in the morning!
I am sending a prayer out to the mama's out there who have felt this darkness or are still in it. Just remember we have the memory of our lost babies sketched onto our hearts forever. And we can choose to make those memories  beautiful ones. We also carry the hope of what is to come. Someday I will meet my baby in heaven. But today I will put another foot forward in my story of life and embrace the person I am becoming with each new day.

Blessings to you where ever you are in your story,


"How softly you tiptoed into our world.
Almost silently, only a moment you stayed.
Oh, but what an imprint your footprints
 have left on our hearts" -author unknown

Friday, 23 January 2015

Frugal thinking

I am a thrifter. I have been a thrifter since the day I set foot in a second hand store. Who wouldn't be thrilled to get more for your money and unique finds that no else has? Especially as a  young high school student trying to express myself with little money :) As my little brother once told me, "You were hipster before being hipster was cool". Ha whatever that means. I am not considered 'hipster' anymore as I am in my late twenties and a mom BUT I will say that thrifting has become quite the thing nowadays and I was doing it long before it became trendy. It was not cool when I started but I knew how to get a bargain and I still pride myself in finding a great deal. And the thrill of the hunt is just as addicting! You never know what treasures you will find in second hand stores. It is very true what they say about one man's trash being another man's treasure!  Recycling old belongs is almost always guaranteed to be a sweet find for someone else in a different place than you are. So if you have something that is still in good condition that you don't use--always donate it before throwing it out!!
I recently read a silly little book that I thoroughly enjoyed called, "A bunch of pretty things I did not buy" by Sarah Lazarovic. A fun read about the challenge of saving money in little ways. Not your typical read, more of a coffee table type of book filled with drawings along with her thoughts but man oh man did she ever describe me well. I felt as if I could have written portions of the book myself with my love of thrifting and expressing myself, and how much it changes with each chapter in your life. I thoroughly enjoyed the read but mostly took from it her idea of THE BUYERARCHY of NEEDS. I love to try new things all the time. And with today's Pinterest world I have a whole fantasy closet of items and household decor I wish owned. My instincts tell me when I want something to always look to find it used first and then buy new if I really want it and can't find it. That goes for all types of things-not just clothes.
BUT as a new year is upon me and I am currently on a mat leave that will end quicker than I might think, I hope to stay at home to raise my baby girl myself. That means one less income then we are used too and that really means thinking extra frugal. I want to still be able to enjoy the little things and not feel tight for money so I will work hard at taking on small challenges in saving money in unique ways. I am thankful that I started my thrifting young as I am an expert by now.
Challenge number one is thinking in the BUYERARCHY way first before rushing to a store in general. Here is how it goes.
So you have something that you really WANT...a scarf, a skirt, shoes, a jacket, a throw pillow etc. We all have these times in our life. Before you rush to a store....follow these steps.
  1. Use what you have. What you say? But seriously...next time you fall in love with an item that you think you must own, take a look through your closets and chests again and see if there is anything that you have that is close to it. Maybe the same colour or style. Many of us own more clothing items than what we actually wear and chances are you will forget about certain clothing pieces if they are tucked away good enough. You might just find a scarf under your bed that had a plaid pattern in it (not the same colours of the pinterest one you love BUT plaid non the less) I recently had this experience. I hadn't worn the scarf in probably two years and lucky for me it gave me the small satisfaction I craved from wearing a plaid pattern on my neck in winter and it felt new again as it had not been worn in so long. Just give it a try sometime. 
  2. Borrow. Pshhh you say.. Who does that? Well...people do. And the ones that do are most definitely smart. How many times have you bought a new dress for a wedding and it has been tucked in your closet since? And the next time a fancy event comes along you are wanting something new yet again but the practically new dress in your closet isn't exciting you enough. So ask a friend who has the same style and size as you if you could borrow a dress for that one day event you have coming up. Worth a shot anyway am I right?
  3. Swap. Even better yet you will have items in your closet that you are done with and a friend will have the some too. Why not trade a few things. You will get the thrill of a new pattern or colour in your wardrobe that you have been craving and given yourself a few more hanger spaces by getting rid of some items you don't wear anymore. Genius.
  4. Thrift. If you are really wanting something different or new to you, go looking for it used first. Either at a thrift store or with online buy and sell groups these days you can go garage saling sitting on your couch. I have found so many of my treasures in these different ways for less than half of what things would have cost new. It is also thrilling just wandering a store with only ONE of everything in it. 
  5. Make. This is another great way to let your creativity soar. Either using items you have around the house that you can alter some or buying something used for cheap and making it into what you want. I have done this with many of my home decor items and I hope to keep making my Pinterest dreams come true with this same idea! I used to make many of my clothes in highschool and they weren't great quality but they gave me a sense of uniqueness for a short time until I was onto my next idea. We will see if I can put my sewing skills to work again in the near future. There will definitely be some Pinterest fails to report.
  6. Buy. This is the last option. If you are in need of something specifically and had no luck with all the other options than you buy it. But I am telling you...this will feel way less satisfying when there are 7 more of the same item on the rack or shelf behind it. Plus you might be appalled at the number on the price tag after all your treasure finds and creations else where! If you can get your hands on coupons and always read flyers this will make buying new feel better. Of course there will always be items that you will need to do this with BUT in many cases you will save yourself lot's of money buy thinking through the first five steps first! 
Wish me luck! I feel like I jump to thrifting first which still is spending money in the long run. My biggest challenge ahead is to start at step one and use what i already have. As a thrifter I have many collections of things hidden away that I think I could work with first before getting out my wallet.

But I am feeling inspired already! I have just gone through old scarves and clothes and put them in my crafting room. We will see what comes of it...

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Chapter 27

It is January again. I time where we all take a look a where we've come from and where we are going next. Whether you are a resolution person or not; our minds tend to entertain these thoughts at the start of a new year. I for one think of new beginnings in the fall season as I have always lived and worked along with the school schedule. I have loved meeting new children every September and starting a learning journey with them. But yet every January you can't help but think of a fresh start again with buying a new calendar to hang on the wall, and suddenly looking at deciding what to fill your schedule with this coming year.

This fall was different for me. I started a new school year with new faces and setting up my classroom to start the adventure together. I had a baby growing in my tummy though that was due to arrive November 10th 2014. I would start my year with as much gumption as I always did but my head was somewhat elsewhere as I prepared for a new child joining my home life. Much to our surprise our baby girl arrived a whole month early on thanksgiving weekend October 12th 2014. This made for an even quicker transition out of my teaching role and I jumped into motherhood without turning back.  

Motherhood. Becoming mommy. Something I have dreamed of my whole life. I am one who can honestly say that becoming a mom has always been at the top of my dream list. It was this far off fantasy that I could not wait to embark on. So what a strange and wonderful feeling to have arrived. Wonderful indeed and crazy when your dreams become your reality.

The first weeks of transitioning were filled with their own challenges of overwhelming emotions, physical healing, strange sleep patterns and so on. Then December rolled around and whether we meant to or not we were caught up in the whirlwind of celebrating  Christmas going here and there and bringing our daughter with us which meant many different people holding our sweet girl. It was strange to be tucking my daughter in at night and realizing how little I had held her that day. Yes sure I had my moments of nursing her but the moment that was done there was a wait list of people wanting to hold our precious girl. I don't mean to complain. These people were overjoyed for us and wanted to share in our awe and amazement at the little life we created. It is my joy to share her with others. Christmas can just seem overwhelming with many days like this with a little one. I was happy to celebrate the season and just as happy to slow down in the new year.

Which brings me to now. The first full week of January that my calendar is much more wide open than I think it ever has been. My job? Well I have a little baby girl to take care of every day and night. I have a home to 'try' to keep somewhat running smoothly. My family that was so recently made a little bigger has become my full time 'job'. What a strange sensation. Why less than three months ago I was a staff member in a workplace. I ate lunch in a staff room. I planned and engaged with other people that were my day time commitment. I had a boss and colleagues to be accountable to. In many ways it is a distant memory already because I am not the same person I was three months ago already.

I have a child. I have a child that is my own. And what a blessing and challenge it is, and will be, to care for her every need. Will it be hard? Of course. Will it be rewarding? Of course. I like to remind myself daily and especially in those late night feedings, how much a baby needs it's mother. There will only be a short window of time in my child's life that she will need me this much. And what a special feeling knowing I am the one to meet those needs. Right now it is a cry and outstretched arms but before I know it I will be on the receiving end of a long drawn out, "Mom"! I will remember to try and be grateful to be the one my children will need. Because as a songwriter once wrote;

"You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this"
-Trace Adkins

So my new years resolution? My resolution is to be here, right now where I am and enjoy it. Don't rush it. Don't  wish it away. I need to stop thinking too far ahead making my next big dreams and plans. Of course I will continue to have hopes and dreams, but I will not let them take me away from where I am today. I am mommy.I will not let the future fill me with worry. Will this be difficult? Of course. We live in a society of what's next? But I am blessed. I have a husband that will hold my hand along the way and a God who is so big I cannot fathom what he has in store for me and my family.

Here I am starting my twenty seventh year and God has been faithful every step of the way. Through the ups and downs and I know He will continue to be. I just hope time doesn't slip away to fast on me. I want to soak it all in. I am looking forward to enjoying chapter 27 ;)

Blessings to you and yours this new year.
Love from,

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Salt dough

I made salt dough ornaments with my kindergarten class this winter for a special gift to send home for parents. The children loved being apart of making the dough and cutting out the shapes, as well as decorating them after they were baked.
Luckily there was plenty of extra dough I was able to take home with me and get creative over the holidays. I had fun making bird and mitten shapes. I have yet to find a bird cookie cutter that I like so I did these by hand with a knife. This time around I painted them afterwards. Since this was the first Christmas in our new home I decided to make some ornaments for our tree. I have decided this will be a tradition in our home that every year we will make some sort of ornament to add to the collection. I had a lot of fun with these and gave them out to some family.
I look forward to what creations I will tackle this year and I am thrilled about my new hot glue gun I got for Christmas! We will have to see what comes from it! Happy New Year! -elycia

Monday, 14 October 2013



My favourite time of the year. Back to school with a new class and new projects on the go. This fall I feel especially blessed to be starting the project of our house! We have found a home that we love and are starting to make it fell like home with different project ideas and work on the go. I will love to see the changes we make over the years and how it will continue to feel more like ours. With this lovely home also came some very large trees. I have loved taking pictures of the season in our yard and all the colours we are enjoying. This fall I am taking on the project of attempting to blog more often. Share the things that  I am working on and seek out others who share my interests in different parts of the world. How exciting that we are able to connect with others similar to us that are in a very different location than ourselves! I look forward to what this new year brings. I plan to cook lots, colour loads and create as much as I can! Here are some pictures from a hike and our yard this fall! Enjoy!!