June 26, 2012

Fun Summer Fonts

Typography: (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. It is also highly addictive and habit-forming...

Well, there is a little lesson in Greek for the week. I feel smarter already! After discovering Font Squirrel & DaFont, I thought it would be fun to share a few favourite free fonts with you (say that 3 times fast!) These fonts are all free for commercial use, so you will have a clear conscience using them for whatever real-life or blog-land project you may have up your sleeve. Personally, I find font-hunting as much fun as going to a great fabric store and finding that one fabric that inspires an entire project - it's the same with fonts! Now that school's out for the summer (or may as well be if you are a sub), I'm looking forward to some freed-up inspiration time. When we're not out enjoying the sun, road-tripping or house-planning, I may be squirrelled away on the deck with laptop and fonts close at hand...


5. Bilbo | 6. Ugly Qua (poor font isn't ugly at all!) | 7. King Things Cross Stitch

Oh, and if pretty fonts get you excited too, feel free to stop by my lines to live by or lettering Pinterest boards for more inspiration.

And do check out my Free Printables site - Take Joy Designs!

June 25, 2012

fresh rooms & road trip tunes

Just had to share a few recent Pinterest finds! I'm totally crushing on bright & airy blues and greens - perfect for summer's blue skies. Is it just me or can this colour combo rock every room of the house? I'm sure you will see it in at least one room once we settle into a place of our own. Until then, I pine - uh - pin away and smile!







Fresh and pretty!

On a side note, in case you are road-tripping in the near future (we will be soon!), I'll share my favorite hands-swimming-out-the-window tune;

Need to breathe - Keep Your Eyes Open
(it's kinda funky-retro) ;)

"Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown
Till you keep your eyes... open my love

So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know I'll never let you fall apart
If you keep your eyes... open my love"

June 21, 2012

First Day of Summer: 2012

and this year it truly feels like it as we are under +25C clear sunny skies - bring on the shorts and tanks! 

Here are a few little plans for summer fun activities this year, 


and a few to add to the list:

- break in our new bikes on the river trails
- go swimming
- sleep in a tent
- go on a picnic-date
- consume large quantities of fresh garden carrots
- take late evening walks
- read good books on the back deck
- listen to songs like this little retro tune :)

What are your summer fun plans?

(for some adorably creative and kid-friendly summer plan lists see LeslieAshley and Chelle's posts!)

June 18, 2012

A weekend away

included an evening like this:


calm water, fishing boats, sandy toes and a pretty sunset.

Friday evening was a breath of fresh air amongst bank & contractor meetings, packing up the last of my things at a school I dearly miss, and chatting with & hugging some precious people I dearly miss. Oh, do I ever get the concept of bittersweet right now; happy with where we are, yet still tied in the heart to wonderful people and places I will always hold dear. Even the smell of school hallways brought back so many memories, from nervous first days to end of year picnics. 
Despite the bittersweet, I have decided that it is better to miss and be missed than to forget or be forgotten. I may be back, I may not be. It will be another year of wait-and-see as our puzzle pieces fall into place. It is hard not to know. Is this goodbye or see you soon?


Back in 2003, when a young girl was just beginning an adventure of a lifetime, she traveled to a place called Slave Lake. It was a drizzly fall day and just as the car reached the highway that led to the beach she would come to love, a deep, bright rainbow broke across the sky and over the Slave Lake Provincial Park sign. Tonight, 9 years later, while traveling the opposite way down that highway, another rainbow broke through grey skies, and she remembered the promises of a loving God who holds all things in his hands...

for more on our Slave Lake journey, see here


June 15, 2012

In the kitchen: Pizza Friday



I have a little card up my sleeve: a no-fail pizza dough recipe that only has to rise for 1/2 an hour! That means delicious, healthy pizza in less time than it takes to order and wait for delivery. Oh, but it gets better, this pizza is a fraction of the cost of take-out!

No Fail Pizza Dough:

2 tsp active dry yeast (I use quick rise but regular works just as well)
3/4C very warm (but not burning hot) water
1 teaspoon honey

Add yeast to warm water and let stand until frothy

In a separate bowl, combine:
1C white flour
1C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
dash of basil/oregano/other spices to your taste

Add  2 Tablespoons Olive Oil to the yeast mixture and pour it into your dry ingredients, mixing until the dough comes together.

Knead dough (I always grease up my hands with a bit more olive oil, but if the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour)
Cover dough and let rise in a warm place.





My thrifty side (which dominates my other, lesser personality traits...) has trouble justifying an extra-large $18 pizza when I can make my own healthy version for under $5! Plus... I get the added satisfaction of dough that looks exactly like it should, unlike my vain attempts at bread which end up looking like this mess...


any bread-advice greatly appreciated btw! 


Ah, that's better.

Anyone feel like pizza tonight? 

June 13, 2012

Printable: sunshine

What better thing to do on a rainy day than remember that above the clouds the sun still shines! 
Here is another little free printable for you, 


download and print over here

June 7, 2012

In the kitchen: Cafe Latte Scones



The promised baking! Except this batch is going to an event tonight... 

I took a regular old scone recipe that called for cinnamon, found out I only had a tiny shake of cinnamon left in the cupboard, and decided to try something a little different. Here is a Cafe` Latte` version for your future enjoyment. *side note: I don't even drink coffee but the flavour in these scones is delicious!*

Ingredients:

3C flour
1/3 C sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon (or whatever you have left!) cinnamon

1/2 C butter or margarine

3/4C milk + 1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees
* In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon
* Cut the 1/2C butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse 
   crumbs (I just use a fork, but a pastry blender also works wonders)
* Stir instant coffee into milk and whisk in egg and vanilla
* Add your wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine
* Get your hands nice and gooey by giving the mix a couple turns in the bowl, 
   then turn onto work surface (if it's too gooey add a bit more flour, too dry - 
   add a dash of water)
* Divide dough in half (on in 1/3rds for smaller scones)
* Roll out each portion in a circle shape, until 1/2 inch thickness
* Use a pizza cutter to cut your halves into eighths or your thirds into sixths 
  (always hated math, but baking and fractions seem to go hand in hand...)
* At this point you can sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top or give my coffee glaze 
   a try once they are baked and cooled!
* Transfer your little triangles to an un-greased baking sheet, baking at 350 for 
   15-20 min until golden brown

Coffee Glaze:
* Once your scones have cooled they are ready for a-glazing!
* Mix 4 tablespoons of icing sugar with a dash of milk until a slightly-runny consistency is achieved
* Add a dash of instant coffee to your sugar mixture and mix well (glaze will turn light brown and have small bits of instant coffee showing - don't panic! it's supposed to look like that)

Lightly drizzle glaze over scones. I like to line them all up on a cutting board with sides touching (for efficiency) and just drizzle away. These would be awesome with your favourite cuppa from Starbucks or tea if you prefer. They also freeze well if you want to have some on hand for a later date (or sneak them after a hard day of work...) Enjoy!

*for more recipe goodness check out Tonya's Weekend Potluck  and spread some recipe-love!*

June 5, 2012

Confessions...

1) I am in the midst of a major peanut-butter-eating fetish. Usually I hate the stuff, but after spontaneously purchasing a little tub of 100% natural, non-chunky PB, I've found myself sneaking into the fridge for 'just one more spoonful'. Along with the bachelor-like habit of eating straight out of the container, I've also whipped up a couple rounds of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Averie Cooks. Mmmmmmmm...

2) I may have angered a semi-truck driver on my way home from work today. He happened to come out of nowhere as I pulled out to pass another semi sluggishly climbing a very small hill. Kamikaze semi driver raced up behind my little car and sat on my bumper for the 2 seconds it took me to pass, even though I was obediently driving the speed limit. I may have touched my brakes (you big bossy truck...). There may have been some hand-waving coming from his passenger-side window as he flew past. I may have forcefully pointed to the conveniently placed speed limit sign, hoping to convict him of his felony. I could only guess what his hand waving meant, so I didn't really look... I'm sure his flailing arm gestures just added to his previous offence.

3) Neal & I are on an adventure of really trying to discern how we can invest in this new community we are living in. Part of investing means finding and attending a church in our community, and we are excited for the door we feel God has opened. Some opportunities to invest seem to seek us out, which I love! New friends for dinner, lots of opportunity for involvement in school and community events; it is all so refreshing and good. Not to mention a great opportunity to practice keeping our priorities in order, God always first, then love your neighbour as yourself. This is exciting. This is starting to feel like 'home' (confession 3b - I teared up writing that...).

4) Just when you think you have gone through a lot and learned, well, a lot!  God shows you areas where He wants to refine you. They could be deeply personal, or seemingly shallow (yet both are in essence heart issues). I confess this one is on the shallow end... I have found myself sucked into the vortex which is Old Navy clothing sales on-line (aaahhhhh - the coupon website made me dooo iiiit!). No. I have now banned myself. Yes, I needed to replace my clothes, but really, I have enough already - more than enough! A closet full of enough! No more on-line sales for me... I will pull myself out of the never-satisfied culture that says I need more.
p.s. for a really awesome read on obedience see Wendi's recent post, "To Obey"

5) When I came into the kitchen tonight it was under the honest-to-goodnesss intention of whipping up some homemade baking for lunches this week. Well, I ended up here instead. And laughed really hard when Neal came downstairs smelling the air in anticipation. With some hesitancy, I ask, "what are you smelling?", and he replies with a mirthful "it's more what I am not smelling!" strutting around our tiny kitchen with a smirk on his face... 

Sorry honey, I'll bake tomorrow night... (I still got a kiss on the cheek and was told I was the most amazing wife - am I lucky or what?) Or - perhaps it is merely buttering-up for promised-baking - hmmmm... I see how this works... ;)

Finally, I will conclude this session of confession with the following thought;