Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Last night while playing some piano I had Evelyn on my lap. I was just messing around with some rhythm in the bass clef while Evelyn slammed her fist into keys in the treble clef. By chance she hit a note combo that met my note combo in a sweet sound. One thing led to another and a song was written. This morning was a continuation of that inspiration where the song received words. I called it Evelyn's Song. It is a lullaby for my sweet girl, and all of my sweet babies actually.

Once the song had words I wanted to quickly record it so I didn't forget it. After a few recordings (using my iPhone voice memo app) it turned out really well. I really wanted to share the song on Facebook so some girlfriends could hear it. At this point I haven't figured out how to actually upload just a song to Facebook-I don't even think I can. If someone knows please, TELL ME!

So in order to share the song I had to use iMovie to make a video, it is a semi-random sampling of family pix. I say semi random because I chose pictures where they were sleeping (mostly) but I also just briefly scanned for good ones. Making the video also gave me a great chance to work with some of the iMovie tools (I've had this Mac for over 1/2 a year and still know just a scratch of what it can do).

With the video done I decided to finally make a youtube account so I could upload it. In addition to Evelyn's song I also posted a video in the same style which was the first project of this kind I did. Click on the following titles to go view the videos.

Evelyn's Song
In God

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bright Idea

So every once in a while I will get a bright idea. It's not that I don't think not bright (I like to think I am rather intelligent) but more so than on occasion a particularly bright lightbulb pops on. A spark that speaks to my creativity and imagination. Are you wondering what this bright idea was? Don't worry, I will tell you.

Daddy and I are always working on our music. Thinking of ways to get out there. How to get known. To get any recognition in the music biz you need a following. We have a few plans out there. Ideas that at one time were revolutionary but now a days spin out teeny bopper music sensations-yes I am talking about the youtube music video. I'm not knocking it, don't get me wrong. We definitely plan on getting some youtube videos going (whatever video we get at our upcoming set will be going on both youtube and my personal Facebook page). Other ideas are obviously a web site and of course just getting out there playing. We are also currently working on a promotional packet that we fully intend to send to the submission departments of the major Christian recording labels.

Sorry, I've become side tracked. Those are some ideas from the past but back to the one from today. I have recently become enthralled with Etsy. You can find EVERYTHING on there. I discovered that EVERYTHING also includes music. People sell their CD's, downloads, etc. on Etsy. So really it wasn't MY idea but you get the drift. So in addition to all of our projects we have going on we will be opening up an Etsy shop where we can sell our music. This works awesome for us not only for exposure and getting our name out there but also because it allows us to not have to narrow down one genre. While we play great music together we are equally talented as solo artists and although we primarily work together in a Christian music sense we have other musical pursuits. Having an Etsy shop will let us sell a wide variety of music including Christian, Children's, Classical Piano, Original Composition etc. If we can record it, we can sell it.

With all that in mind stay tuned for youtube links for any videos we post, a link for our duo's web site and of course information about our Etsy shop.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Hitting the Stage

I am very excited that in a few short weeks Daddy and I will be playing "out". That's right, on September 30th we will be rockin' the roof at Holy Family Parish. It has been far too long since one of us has been on stage in some form and even longer since we have been on stage together. I am looking forward to this opportunity with great anticipation (and anxiety).

Since we are a duo, Daddy and I, have a fairly simple set up. Two guitars, one mic for sure, two if we can figure out some backups for Daddy. More than likely we will both plug in the electric acoustics. Our set list will be short, kept to about 4 songs tops.

I am still not 100% sure on what our set list will be but I am really hoping that we can hammer out one of the newest songs I have been working on. It has a bit of a bluesish bass bit (as blues as this former farm girl can get) and while the lyrics are fully complete here is a sample...

"Every day, is like a fight, tryin' to get closer to the light
Time flies so very fast, so for now, I've having a blast....

....and who says you can't ever go home
but for someone who's never left, never left
how the hell would you know...

You do it right, you do it wrong
Tryin' to make yourself belong
It ain't healthy, it ain't wise
But I'm no saint so I won't criticize...

...and you're never gonna make it on your own,
who's got your back,  pickin' you up,
keepin' you on your toes..."

One of the best parts about this little gig of mine is that it is for an great cause. It is a fundraiser for the Catholic School of Evangelization which is a non profit organization and runs completely on donations and fundraising efforts. This particular fundraiser will be done in a coffee house fashion and the organizer is a dear friend. If you are interested about the fundraiser or the organization itself please visit Anita at the Catholic School of Evangelization.

I better run now, I have LOTS of practicing to do.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Another notch in the belt...

Just to clarify I’m not talking about a notch in THAT belt. This would be a notch in the belt of natural parenting. When it comes to natural parenting I feel that that are many definitions, descriptions, ideals and definitely opinions. Not just little opinions either, these are big hot topic opinions. On natural parenting forums all over the internet women hash and rehash old and new debates on old and new topics in often civil but some in down right nasty ways. 
How someone else defines and understands natural parenting is none of my concern. To each their own. If a child is fed, clothed and loved who am I to judge. I am by no means a full fledged member of the natural parenting community myself but I do like to sample here and there, kind of like a Christmas and Easter Catholic. 
For me natural parenting is a throw back to simpler things. Having children need not be confusing and high tech all the time (although I do love me some technology). Here are just a few terms involved in the world of natural parenting: breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, baby led weaning and cloth diapering. Beyond the basic baby care there are controversial subjects such as non vaccinating and non circumcision. There are those who view natural parenting on a more literal sense meaning such things as organic food and chemical free cleaners. Those who decide to homeschool their children (such as myself) often see that as an extension of natural parenting as well.  
This is just scratching the surface though. Each topic has it’s own side topics and each side topic...well you know how that tune goes. What I’m saying is that there is so much information out there. If you are interested in any of it seriously do research and do it well. Find first source material, not something someone said or interpreted to suit their argument. The way I see it if it feels natural to you well then there ya go. As in anything make sure you are making the right decision for you and your family. Not all aspects may be for you. Don’t just drink the kool-aid cause you might regret it.
In the Sanford family though natural parenting includes: breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, baby led weaning and homeschooling. We aren’t doing any of these things to be trendy or crunchy granola or whatever. We do it because this is where our lives and the choices we have made have led us.
Enough of the public service announcement spiel. Now back to our regular programming...uh I mean posting. The notch on the proverbial belt of natural parenting.
Very soon we will be....CLOTH DIAPERING!!!! I am unbelievably excited about this. I have wanted to cloth diaper for years. While pregnant with our 1st I saw a demonstration at a baby trade show on cloth diapering and I was hooked. For reasons and circumstances at the time though it just never panned out. With our 2nd Daddy vetoed it in favour of disposables because they worked so great the first time. With our 3rd though I have been bitten by the bug again and bitten hard. I pitched the idea to Daddy and my long term nay sayer to cloth diapering said YES. I couldn’t believe but I did craft a good argument for it. Mostly though I change all the diapers so it gets to be up to me how I do it. 
Back when I was first looking at cloth diapering my biggest concerns were chinese cotton, indian cotton or prefold. The diaper wraps were fairly basic, plain and plasticy. My how the world has changed in just a few short years. There are different styles, closures, patterns and of course price points. I won’t go into detail about it because I know I can’t do it justice but for a great cloth diapering 101 check out Caterpillar baby.
After a lot of looking, researching and deliberating Daddy and I have decided to go with pocket diapers. The next closest thing to the convenience of disposables are all in ones but that is a little pricy so pockets it is. I am trying not to get swept away with all the cute colours and patterns but it is hard. Since we still would like more children though I know I can’t just go all out pink because that would defeat the cost saving purpose if we had another boy. Oh don’t worry there will be cute pinks and flowers but there will also be bright colours like blues and greens and yellows.
I will for sure need to figure out how to put pictures on this blog soon so that when I receive my load of fluffiness in the mail I can show it off. I’ll be ordering next week my start up batch of stuff so it won’t be long (Insert squealing with glee here).
Before I conclude this post I have to say that I missed giving baby girl a shout out on Thursday. My sweet girl is 4 months old now. She is getting to be quite a mover, squirming and rolling all over the place. She is getting chunkier too. Already 1/3 of a year? Is that possible? I know it is but it still gets me every time. 
With that in mind I will leave you with a lyric from one of my newest songs I’ve written... 
“Everyday is like a fight, tryin’ to get closer to the light. Time flies so very fast. So for now, I’m havin’ a blast.”

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I love muffins. They are a perfect little bundles of goodness. You can eat them with a tall cold glass of milk or a hot steamy cup of coffee or with an afternoon tea. They can be filled with a variety of things. They can have fruits, vegetables, nuts or chocolate in wide and varying assortments. Toss them in a lunch for a power packed pick me up. 

I should stop before I turn this post into a full fledged "Ode to the muffin" but seriously what is not to like about a muffin? 

My sister visited my parents over the weekend and being that my mum is like our own personal Martha Stewart she sent some homemade muffins that they made over the weekend. There were peach poppyseed muffins (absolutely awesome!) and a muffin that we have now renamed the "mish mash muffin". This "mish mash muffin" has in it :pattypan squash, carrots and crab apples. The best part is that the boys LOVED them, it could have been the melted sugar on top or the intense moistness but there is a ridiculous amount of veggies in them. I have to give a shout out to the clean living of the prairies too. The squash came from my mums garden as did the crab apples and the carrots came from my great aunt's garden. Totally organic. You could practically taste the love in every bite. 

Mish Mash Muffins (Makes 18)
2 cups flour
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded apple
1 1/4 cup sugar (or splenda)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup.chopped walnuts
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp grated orange peel

1 tsp vanilla
3 lrg eggs
1 cup oil
Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Mix dry ingredients together well. Mix fruits and vegetables well. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Add the vanilla, eggs and oil. Be careful not to over mix (that is the downfall of a good muffin). 
Divy out the batter into paper muffin cups. Sprinkle some of the sugar over each muffin. Bake for approximately 22 minutes. 

A Few Notes: you can use any summer squash such as green zucchini or green or yellow patty pan. My mum likes to fancy things up a bit so she used a combo of brown and white sugar for sprinkling. Since some people don't like nuts in their muffins you could use them instead for placing on top of the muffin (easily picked out).

I had a few just passed bananas hanging around in the kitchen so I to decided to whip up some muffins this afternoon (especially since the ones mum sent in are finished up). I have a feeling these ones may not make it till tomorrow either (does anything with chocolate chips in it last overnight?). 

Banana Chip Muffins (Makes 12)
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup splenda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 beaten egg
1/2 milk
1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium over ripe bananas)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Do not over mix. Pour batter evenly into lined muffin cups. Bake for 18 minutes. 

When ever I make muffins I like to use just a standard muffin tin with the regular paper cups. I'm not particular in any way. I have tried the silicone muffin cups before but I found that they left the exterior of the muffin kind of rubbery (in texture, not flavour). I would like to branch out a bit and maybe and a fun muffin pan for the boys, like mini muffin pan. I could go for a giant muffin pan really but that would be bad for me. 

I would also like to experiment too by adding some wheat germ or ground flax seed to my muffin (and in general most quick bread) batters. The wheat germ would pump up the fibre in the muffin and the flax would up the nutrient value too while adding a pleasant nuttiness. 

Try the recipes, really. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I will leave you now as I have to go slather a piping hot muffin with butter. G'Night. 


Monday, 5 September 2011

Like Any Other Day (mostly)

Like Any Other Day (mostly)
It is a holiday Monday here in Canada. Labour day weekend. I’ve never really understood the whole labour day holiday really, perhaps I should look it up some day, have an appreciation for it. As a work at home mother though, it’s a Monday and pretty much shaping up like any other day. For most employed outside the home it is a day off, a get away. Daddy Sanford and I own a business(s) which means there are no holidays or days off. We get time when we can and this weekend was one of those times. Today though Daddy will be working so around here, it’s just a Monday.
I have to interrupt this train of thought to brag for a moment. It isn’t even noon yet and I have supper ready. If you are thinking “how does she do it?”, simple, I have two words for you: crock pot. I have a roast in there and it won’t be long until the smell of sweet spicy sauce wafts through the house. My roast will cook all day and all I have to do at supper time is cook a vegetable and cut up some buns. This is definitely in my list of top ten favourite meals. While I am stoked that I will be having an awesome supper tonight, I am equally stoked at the prospect of the stolen time I will have later today in lieu of the regular supper prep. 
Recipe for BBQ Beef Sandwiches
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup worchestercire sauce
1 tbsp vinager
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together. Place your choice of roast in the crock pot and pour sauce over it (I usually use a standard beef roast, no need for fancy cuts. Also tastes great with venison and I suppose would be equally yummy with pork). Turn crock pot onto low and let simmer and cook all day. Cooking time may vary depending on roast size but about 8-10 hrs on low or 4-6 hrs on high should do it. ***If you like things extra saucy then double the recipe, I always do***
Since everything is closed I know we won't be going to do any shopping of any kind so our day will probably be rather low key. I hope tonight I can find some Mama time and try out my new Lush bath bomb - aptly named "Sex Bomb" (I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Lush). Check out  Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to see for yourself but really find a store so you can actually smell for yourself. 
Yesterday I made some sorting progress in our on going attempt to de-clutter our home and our lives. I pulled out my sewing baskets and bags and went through them. I was ruthless. There were so many bits and pieces and partially begun projects. I had to be ruthless. I did however find a few past gems in there, such as the first cross-stitch I ever did, my old spool knitting stuff (which was my dad's as boy), and the almost finished Winnie the Pooh cross stitch from when I was pregnant with Viktor. Since everything is sorted now I am going to finish it. Shouldn't take too long and I will feel wonderful about it. I'm excited to get back to my old hobby.
My impending cross-stitching has me now in an overall mood of creating. I want to play music. I want to bake. I think our day may hold the fruits of our creative labours today. Maybe for us it is a labor day. A day of our labours. And although labour day I know does not have anything to do with the labour of child birth it does invoke that mentality, in me at least. I feel gracious today for the results of those labours. My 1st, my 2nd and my 3rd. 
Just writing this out I am realizing, stolen time, Mama time, reviving a favourite past time, maybe today won’t be like any other day. Like they say in "Up", "Adventure is out there!".

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Here, There and Everywhere

Sometimes it seems as though we go for days without doing anything at all and then there are some days when there is action to be had. The last few days have been a flurry of unexpected but enjoyable activity. 
Our slew of activity over the last couple days began with a visit to my Aunt’s house. My cousins were home and they kept the boys occupied both playing video games in the basement and lacrosse outside. Once baby girl got settled into a different place with different people and sounds my Aunt and I were able to chat over Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). We chatted about a whole variety of things and while I don’t fully recall the conversation I do know that it was peaceful and pleasant and I left with a full spirit as did my children. Me from the tranquility that I so rarely get and the boys from the rambunctious play that little boys only get when they hang out with the big boys. I also happened to snag some zucchini from my Aunt along with her recipe for zucchini chocolate cake.
When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to have a package in the mail. The baltic amber teething necklaces I ordered from arrived. Although baby girl isn’t in full on teething mode and has only worn them a couple days I have already noticed that she isn’t drooling as much. I’m liking this whole natural parenting thing more and more all the time.
On Thursday evening I ordered up some supplies for homeschooling off of Among the stuff I ordered were some math flashcards, a planet earth dvd collection and a cool globe. I’m excited for when our things arrive. I still have to order the actual curriculum and I’m about 90% sure I found the right one. While some family members may not be on board with my plan to homeschool it is a decision that Daddy Sanford and I are firm in.
I still have more intrigues to tell from our Friday and Saturday but I’ll save those for my next post. Tomorrow I think may be more of a lay low kind of day. I’m still trying to decide what if anything our day may hold and while I may not know yet I do know that we will make the best of it.