one year

L'il E turned the big number o n e today and I  feel like I just wrote this post yesterday.  It has been the most amazing year of my life (as I've mentioned before) full of laughs, new friends, responsibility, tired days, sleepless nights but mostly a whole lot of love. I can't remember what our life was like without our little man and I can't imagine equally loving another l'il something (no I'm not pregnant). What will year two with a toddler be like? The adventure continues...

To celebrate L'il E's big day we hosted a tea party complete with champagne and gluten free chocolate cake from Bunner's Bake Shop. Of course all grandparents, one great grandma (GGMA) and great aunts and uncle were in attendance. L'il E was the star of the show, but did not perform as I had hoped for the birthday cake photo opp. He neatly ate his cake and then became more interested in the strawberries than smearing vanilla icing all over his face (he is our child after all so I wouldn't expect any less). But my favourite part of the party was the special photo book I made of E's first year - we made sure everyone wrote their own message to him as a keepsake for later on in life. I used this company called Pinhole Press to create the book and the quality is outstanding.

Happy Birthday L'il E! Now off to lunch with Papa.


that's a wrap

Since we're already three days in to 2012 I guess I'm due for a 2011 roundup of sorts.

I'll start off by saying that 2011 was the best. Here's why.

I gave birth to our L'il E who is the best thing (besides The Hubs) in my life. Every day I have to pinch myself and I still can't believe he is mine forever. The pain and interrupted sleep is totally worth it.

I spent the year on maternity leave caring for our little babe, but also doing a million and one things that I used to dream about at my desk all day. These things included  blogging more, getting a gig blogging for TheKit, baking and cooking my heart out, sewing my first quilt, selling my own creations at a craft gift fair and just having fun and hanging out.

Health-wise I felt better than ever thanks to my wheat sensitivity discovery. Despite the fatigue of having a new baby, going wheat-free gave me more energy and my body back. I'm leaner than ever and less gurgly (if you know what I mean). This discovery lead me to a whole new world of cooking gluten-free and a lot of delicious recipes and healthy foods.

I made a lot of really great friends and for them I am grateful. The year just would not have been the same without them.

And finally The Hubs and I entered a whole new dimension of our relationship. Any parent knows that introducing a kid into your table for two is just a little disruptive. Fortunately we made it through our almost first year of being parents and for the better.

That's it! 2012 I'm ready for you.




January 03, 2012 — AlannaB

hands off

Want to know what really irks me? Complete strangers touching my baby!

This morning I was at the post office and a woman with smoke breath, a loud voice and gnarly teeth started freaking out about how cute L'il E was. Then she started patting him on the head and rubbing his cheeks. I was politely smiling and inching away, but what I really wanted to say was get your mitts off my kid lady. This isn't the first time this happened nor will it be the last, but to all you people out there please just look and don't touch.

Thank you!

December 06, 2011 — AlannaB


Now that L'il E is eating food independently the area around his high chair looks like a Queen Street West sidewalk after a night of partying. It's impossible to keep the floor clean and I don't have the time or the desire to wash the floor every few days. Cleaning isn't exactly one of my strengths either. Anyway, I've recently discovered Swiffer Wet Cloths (lifesaver). Now I normally don't like products like this because I think they're wasteful and bad for the environment, but when you need to just do a quick mop up they're such a time saver. They even have a strip of abrasive material that's supposed to be a scrubber I think, but it doesn't work on the caked on sweet potato, blueberries or cereal.

If you're desperate for a clean floor but short on time I recommend it. Fortunate for us we just hired our very first cleaning lady. She starts on Thursday and I already know it's going to be amazing.

Happy cleaning!

December 04, 2011 — AlannaB

loitering online

Now that L'il E is full of beans I covet his two naps a day. Sometimes they may only last 40 minutes, but that gives me time to cruise around online, shower, leaf through a magazine, work on my crafts or draft a blog post. I think back to my pre-child days and wonder what I did with all that free time.

Here is a list of my favourite sites I check into when L'il E checks out:

Kjerstislykke (no idea what language this blog is, but I love everything they post - the pics are amazing)

Lisa Grue/Underwerket (I would love to have this woman's life - she is an illustrator and super crafty, she also has a super cute son named Mika)

Lost at E Minor (when I'm having a mom jeans moment I check this site out and instantly feel cooler)

Pickles (lot's of wicked knitting projects) (one of the best baby sites out there - totally real and actually full of useful advice and information)

Healthy Happy Life (I'm not vegan but this site is brimming with delicious healthy recipes that also happen to be vegan)

Sew, Mama, Sew! (if you're into sewing like me, you'll waste a lot of time on this site full of awesome tutorials and cool ideas)

Oh, Fransson! (more wicked sewing projects - mostly quilting ideas, but really cool quilts)

The Kit (where yours truly blogs about all things health and wellness)

Where online do you like to loiter?


santa claus parade

Today is one of my favourite days of the year - Santa is coming to town! The (Toronto) Santa Claus Parade starts today at 12:30 and it's actually a nice sunny day. Every year the weather is different, but the memories I have of this day are cherished. I would be bundled in my snowsuit and hot chocolate with marshmallows was always on the menu. I can even smell the parade (is that weird?). Now that we have L'il E I can't wait for him to create his own memories.

With its very own website and an App the parade has become very high tech! There is even a Santa Cam (now that is cool!).

See you at the parade or watch it on TV on CTV and CP24 for the live broadcast at 4:30 p.m. local time.

Ho ho ho!



November 20, 2011 — AlannaB

the view from here

I just thought I would check in and let y'all know that I'm still alive. Somehow I've thrown out my back and have been lying horizontal on my sofa for the passed couple of days. It appears lifting L'il E (or should I say Big E) has left me with a very weak low back and I can barely walk. When I do, I look like an 80 year riddled with osteoporosis.

That being said, I've been spending a lot of time surfing the web so I thought I would share some of my finds. Enjoy the links and your weekend. I'll be here lying around...sigh. - sign up and you get an email a day with a dozen mouthwatering recipes from around the blogosphere.


Watching this made my back hurt more, but got me excited for the ski/snowboard season.

Knitting goodness at Pickles. I just love looking at everything on this site.

Cool custom holiday cards at Pinhole Press. I've ordered from them before and the paper quality is top-notch.

The Kit - the place where yours truly blogs about health and wellness

Keep it real people.

October 14, 2011 — AlannaB

time to give thanks

It's Thanksgiving weekend and I am stoked. Three days off and the weather is going to be gorgeous. We'll also be stuffing ourselves with delicious healthy food. Last Thanksgiving I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares (yum!) but this year I'm not sure yet (oh-oh!).

I have a lot to be thankful for these days but one person really stands out on my list and that person is the Hubs. L'il 'ol hormonal me hasn't been the easiest person to live with for the past year, but the Hubs has stuck by me and taken a lot on the chin. I feel very lucky to have such a supportive partner in crime and trusty sidekick.

Without you babes I wouldn't:

  • Have L'il E
  • Be organized
  • Have a shoulder to cry on
  • Have an ear to vent into
  • Have my best friend

Thanks for being there for me even on the days I'm a turbo bee-atch :)


Based on some feedback I received a couple of months ago I've toned down the posts about L'il E. Have you noticed?

I'm enjoying writing about other things and to be honest it's been challenging for my brain to come up with different topics. However, since E and I spend all day, every day together (we're BFFs) it's impossible not to throw a couple mummy posts in here and there.

I subscribe to this website (I'm sure you know it) called and yesterday in my inbox was the cutest article from them titled forty-two things that change when you have a baby. Some of the items made me roll my eyes, but here are the ones that really choked me up and a couple I added myself. If you're a mom I'm sure you'll agree. Tear drop.

  1. Every day is a surprise!
  2. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself (BUT mummies please remember to look at yourselves, a little make-up and a brush of the hair works wonders for those tired eyes!).
  3. You discover an inner strength you never thought you had. (This one gave me goosebumps because it is so true, you might be feeling utterly exhausted but somehow you find the energy to be ON for your little munchkin).
  4. You learn that taking an uninterrupted shower is a luxury. (Do I really need to shave my legs today?).
  5. You finally find out the REAL reason you have those breasts. (You really do get to know the girls a lot better!).
  6. You realize you can love a complete stranger. (It's crazy, but the love just keeps getting stronger too!).
  7. You're never in a bad mood. (How can you be when those eyes and giggles are looking back at you?).
  8. You love your hubs in a completely new way. (Watching him be a dad is amazing).
  9. You become a crazy multi-tasker and you're always prepared.
  10. You see the world for the first time all over again.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

September 22, 2011 — AlannaB

blog? what blog? oh ya!


Soooo I've been having one of the best summers of my adult life and as a result fridaysoff has suffered a little. So until we get back to our regular programing, you can watch this.

What have I been doing (I know you're wondering)? Well...

A little bit of this (yes!)...

but it looked more like this (ha!)...

and a little bit of this...

but really, a lot of this...

As soon as life is a little less busy I'll be back. Miss y'all!



August 30, 2011 — AlannaB