Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yipee!     It's award time again for Three Jewels In My Crown!
This week I was crazy excited to recieve "The Versatile Blogger" award twice.  This is the third time Three Jewels In My Crown has received this award and I am very proud of this achievement.. 
I love this award because it recognizes the fact that I strive to branch out in different areas when coming up with subjects to post about.
First of all I would like to thank Tisha from Purely For Fun as well as Robyn from Adventures in Abbeyland
for presenting this award to me.

Sooo what's this award thing all about?
**This is just a fun way to meet other bloggers and get to know one another, by passing these fun bloggy awards to other bloggers that we like! There are some FUN rules in accepting this bloggy award.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.
4. Contact the bloggers you choose and let them know they won the award.

So to fullfill my are seven very important things you should know about me!

  • I was a hockey goalie for 16 years and if I didn't have a trillion things on my plate right now then I would join a women's league.  In fact, I have recurring nightmares about showing up to the arena without my equipment and my teamates waiting on me to start the game
  • If money was not a factor in which career path I chose then I would drop the nurse gig and join the cast of broadway's The Lion King
  • If I didn't drive a minivan than I would be driving a Mustang convertible.  Car seats don't fit so well in a mustang (trust me I've considered it)
  • I'm currently trying to overcome my habit of overusing paratheses within my blog posts (it's not working out very well)
  • I'm a reality tv junky(stop with the booing already.  Give me credit for my honesty. Besides,  I subscribe to The National Geographic-does that count for anything?)
  • I've been bloggin for 9 months blogging for 9 months now and totally 100% addicted
  • I'm a size 12, foot size 7,  height 5 ft 4 inchs, head circumferance 28 cm, 36 C cup, size S gloves (Could I be anymore of a cookie cutter "mommy"?)
Ok, enough about me lets move onto the blogs I've been subscribing to lately.

I am passing this award on to the following blogs

  1. This Mom Loves
  2. The Activity Mom
  3. Today's Creative Blog
  4. Dear Piper
  5. Be Different, Act Normal
  6. A girl with a glue gun
  7. Crafts by Amanda
  8. Freckles and Fudge
  9. Mommas kinda crafty
  10. Peeling an orange with a screwdriver
  11. Surviving a teacher's salary
  12. The Journey Inside
  13. The Pleated Poppy
  14. Mrs Sassy Crafter
  15. Traci66
Wishing all of you a great weekend!    Cheers,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Falling in Love with Fall!

It's not too difficult for me to "Fall In Love With Fall".  It is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year.
Here's why...
  1. The crisp cool autumn air
  2. The lovely rich fiery colors of the folliage 
  3. The ability to once again cuddle with my kids and husband in our ever shrinking bed
  4. Digging out my flannel pajamas
  5. Finally having something to watch on TV again
  6. Thanksgiving and Halloween.  Then childishly anticipating Christmas' return
  7. Being able to turn on the oven once again and enjoy the smell of Butternut squash and apple casserole  
  8. Sapphire and Opal were both born in the fall
  9. Kids are back in school and life seems to be much more orderly
  10. Burying myself under a wool blanket and reading a fabulous book while sipping on a hot drink
I recently read this quote and it reconfirmed why I love Fall so much...

"If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection"~author unknown

Here are a few pics of how I've been enjoying fall this past week

Which season do you love the most?  Maybe you hate the Fall because along with it comes flu season, rainy weather, having to change to snow tires(for my Canadian readers), and the death of your flower/garden beds that you so diligently cared for all summer.
By the way, if you would like the recipe to the Candied Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole with bread crumb coating or the Spicy Ginger Curry Carrot Soup then feel free to email me.  I did link to a recipe above but I have my own versions that are guaranteed to warm your body and soul

Monday, September 27, 2010

Have you considered making a "Pumpkin Totem Pole" this halloween?

Wanna have some fun with your digital photos?  Then you must visit Photofunia
Here is a good example of what you can do with your pics.

Don't ya just love this pumpkin totem pole that my kids created with their Papa and Grandma?  I've seen this idea before here.  

Of course, this one isn't as chic as the others but what do you expect when you have a 6 and 4 year old infusing their creativity.  I'm contemplating making a smaller version for inside!

I'm really liking these ones that I found on flickr.  The possibilities are endless

I think you seriously should consider making a pumpkin totem pole this halloween.
Don't forget to email me a pic if you do.
Hope your week is off to a great start.
Drafting this post just put me in the mood for a pumpkin spice latte.  Maybe before I head to work this afternoon I'll swing by chapters.  They 're soooooo yummy!

Cheers everyone,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jazzed up, blinged out, sassy broom craft

Shhhhhhh...all three kids are asleep at the moment!  I'm sitting here with a white chocolate mocha from Star Bucks in hand and enjoying these few peaceful moments to catch up on emails and visit with all of you.  The last load of laundry has been put away, I just got a whiff of the homemade lasagna cooking in the oven, my floors are gleaming and a lovely breeze is playing with my curtains.  

Ouch...Stop pinching me!!!  You're so cruel, waking me from my daydream like that.
Yes, of course I was just dreaming about how life would be for the perfect mother/housewife.  Unfortunately, my reality is....all three kids are home from school today(PA day) and driving me bonkers, I haven't showered yet, my feet are resting on the basket of clothes I should be putting away, I have no idea what to pull out for supper and I would definitely benefit from another cup of java.

Can anyone relate?
Anyway enough about me,  let's get on to the real reason you stopped by.
Hopefully it's to check out my latest project!

So, the other day I was shopping at Home Sense  and I came across some of these.   Don't judge, but I fell in love with the sassy, decorated broom handles and cleaning tools.  I wanted to purchase one, but the cheap frugal part of me wouldn't allow it.  You see, paying $24.00 for a broom and dust pan makes as much sense as dog food that claims it has a "New and Improved Taste"! (who tested it?)
Anyway, I decided I would try to replicate them.

Tip-to measure the circumference of the broom handle use a piece of string.  Then lay the string out and measure the string.  This will be how much paper you need to cut in order to cover the broom handle.

Please don't comment that you think this project is tacky.  You've already burst my bubble once today by waking me from my daydream.
Personally, I think they're fun and amusing.  Seriously, who wouldn't want to jazz up a boring job like sweeping up dropped Cheerios?
Hoping your day somewhat resembles my daydream

                                                      Cherrios everyone,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Word pointers-A simple device to support emerging readers

Reading ca, that will assist your little one when developing reading skills.

Last year Sapphire's resource teacher sent home a set of these to assist her when reading. 

  (Halloween is just around the corner so grab some while you can)

Sapphire found it much easier to isolate words in a sentence when wearing a plastic witch fingers.   She hardly ever lost her place in a sentence and it made reading much more fun for her.  A simple assistive device like this can improve your child's reading skills.  Thanks Mrs S. for this wonderful idea.

We love using Word Pointers so much that we decided to make our own.  Here are a few examples of our homemade Word Pointers

I would love to hear witch (halloween on the brain) which strategies you use to prevent your little one from becoming a reluctant reader.
Does anyone have any creative ideas for learning sight words?  I'm struggling with sparking Opal's interest when it comes to memorizing his sight words. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

Do you have "Fever Phobia"? When and how to treat your child's fever

I used to become a "panic stricken parent" every time my kids would present with a fever.  Rightfully so, considering both Sapphire and Opal experienced repeat febrile convulsions as toddlers.  Then I came across this quote, "The way your child looks and acts is a much more accurate reflection of a child's illness than the presentation of a fever".  When I read this quote, I began giving myself permission to trust my instincts (as a mother and as a nurse) when it came to treating a fever.
In fact, I began to actually believe my pediatrician when he told me, " A fever is just the body's NORMAL response to infection."
To this day, a fever remains the most common concern for which parents bring their child to the E.R.
Why?  Because parents don't understand what a fever is and how to properly treat it.   
Today I want to present you with some information that will hopefully help you understand fevers, how to treat them and when you should seek medical attention.

Here we go........

O.K, are you ready for a really big medical word?  Hypothalamus!  Maybe you've heard of it or maybe not.  Maybe you're still trying to pronounce it!  Basically, it's the part of your brain that acts as the thermostat, regulating the body's temperature.  For example, if the body's core temperature or blood temperature cools, then this funny sounding body part receives a signal and begins initiating processes that promote heat gain and inhibiting further heat loss. (ex-shivering promotes heat gain). Likewise, if the body's temperature rises, the hypothalamic thermostat is once again triggered.  In return, the body initiates a set of involuntary and voluntary responses to control the excess heat.(ex-sweating or lethargy/weakness)
Now that we understand (hopefully) how the body regulates it's temperature we can move on to discussing fevers.

What is a fever?
  •  A temperature is not considered a fever until it is at least 100.4 degrees F. taken twice, thirty minutes apart, and the child is unbundled, and in a normally cooled room. According to, many body variables determine a child’s "normal" temperature. For example, temperatures up to 101F can be caused by exercise, excessive clothing, a hot bath, or hot weather. Warm foods or drinks can also raise an oral temperature. In addition, a child’s temperature may vary depending on the time of day it is taken (higher at night) and the age of the child (younger children generally have somewhat higher temperatures than school-age children.) A young child's thermostat is far more sensitive than an adult’s; consequently a 104F temperature in a 9 month old is equivalent to about 101F in an adult.
  • A fever is the body's defense mechanism against invading bacteria or viruses.  Bacteria and viruses most often thrive in normal body temperatures.  A fever or raised body temperature inhibits this growth.  This is why some medical professionals suggest not bringing a fever down all the way. 
What is the difference between oral, rectal and axilla temperatures?
  • A normal oral temperature is 98.6F or 37.0C.  A normal rectal temperature is one degree higher; an axillary (armpit) temperature is one degree lower.  A rectal temperature is most accurate because it is closest to the body's core temperature.  
Why treat a fever?
  • The #1 reason most people treat a fever is because of fear and misunderstanding.  Most parents misunderstand what a fever represents or because they're not yet comfortable analyzing how severe a fever related illness may be.  The #2 reason is because fevers can be sometimes uncomfortable.    
How to treat a child's fever?
  • A fever is treated symptomatically (also known as supportive therapy).  For starters, don't panic!!!  If your child becomes uncomfortable then go ahead and treat with a fever reducing medicine.  Acetaminophen or Motrin for example(aspirin is contraindicated in children because of the increased risk of Rye disease).
  • When your child has the chills, add some blankets until he/she feels comfortable. Similarly, when he/she begins to sweat and feels warm, you should take off clothes or blankets. Bundling him/her up when they feel warm defeats what his body is trying to accomplish. 
  • The only reason to lower a child's temperature is to make them more comfortable and to avoid a febrile seizure.  Note-it is not the height of the fever that causes febrile convulsions but how fast it goes up or down.  
When should you seek medical care?  
  • Any time a child under the age of 6 months experiences a fever a medical professional should be notified.  Their immature immune system may be to weak to handle infection.  In older children, call your medical professional if the temperature is over 103F or if he/she has a temperature of 101F for greater than 48 hours  
  • You suspect your child may become dehydrated (for example, sunken eyes, dry diapers, tented skin, unarousable, etc.)
  • You have been to your child's doctor, and your child is now getting worse or new symptoms have developed.    
Next time your child becomes feverish, remember to keep your cool!!!  Did this post help you deal with your  "Fever Phobia".  I know I'm still battling mine.
Just wondering if anyone else has experienced a child with febrile convulsions? Any suggestions or helpful hints?

***Note This information is solely for informational purposes. 


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fun Family Pics

We had a blissful weekend!  How about you?  I still can't wrap my head around the fact that Sapphire is 7 years old already.  I'm loving these pics I captured over the weekend and couldn't help but share them with all of you!
Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, September 13, 2010

We've got the Fall Feeling

I'm not sure about you but it's starting to feel like fall around here.
Today I rummaged through our fall decor.

Take a look!

Have I mentioned yet how much I Love Fall? 
Can't you just feel the holiday season approaching?
P.S.  I'm totally in love with Pearl's Pumpkin Beanie.  This hat was given to us by a talented artisan named Jen.  You can visit her Etsy shop here.  You seriously have to see her adorable hand knit Santa Beanie.  I'm also loving her Butterfly Beanies.  We have several in all sorts of colors.  I think they would be a fabulous accessory for holiday photos!
Cheers everyone,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rainy day craft idea- Milk Money Wallet

Today it's a damp, rainy, fall day and the kids are somewhat listless.  Instead of watching cartoons all afternoon, we visited one of our favorite craft  websites for some arts and crafts inspiration.
We unanimously chose this craft project to make.  (Well, I persuaded them.  I liked that it costs nothing to make, it's geared toward a 4 and 6 year old's interest and practical all at the same time)

It's a Milk Money Wallet/Purse.  It may not look much to you or I but to a 6 and 4 year old,  it's a fabulous little craft.
This craft is ideal for children responsible enough to carry their milk money/change to school with them. Sapphire preferred a purse so I added a ribbon strap.  

For a full set of instructions or to watch the step by step video you can visit the family fun website
You could decorate it to suit your child's interest but I wanted to keep the milk carton pictures the focus, since it is a "milk money wallet" after all.
Why not give a go?  Oh my, I think I've watched one too many episodes of "Mister Maker" !!!
I'm just repeated his catch phrase.
Anyone recognize what brand of milk we buy?  Only the best, Kawartha Dairy Milk 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Photo identification labels for your kid's school gear

Well, Opal only had two days of SK this week and already he's mixed up his "indoor shoes" with his "outdoor shoes".  Let me explain for my readers south of the border.  Up here in Canada the weather man throws every possible weather scenario into a empty Tim Horton's coffee cup.  He proceeds to shake the cup vigorously, then he removes the lid and out tumbles the weather forecast for the day. (Kinda like yahtzee)
As you can imagine, this makes it quite challenging when trying to outfit your child for the day.
As a rule, most schools insist children have a pair of "indoor" and "outdoor" shoes.  This cuts down on slush, snow, mud, or whatever nastiness that may perhaps enter the school.  The "indoor shoes" typically stay at school.
Anyway, as I was saying, not only did he mix up his indoor/outdoor shoes but he also came home wearing some other kid's shoes.  How does that happen you ask?  Well, apparently two parents didn't bother to label their child's shoes. (Moi and parent ???)  Add to this, the fact that 4 year old boys couldn't care less about who's shoes they may be wearing instead of theirs.
Needless to say, the shoes will be returned to the appropriate owner Tuesday morning and I was busy this afternoon labeling my kids' school gear.

Initially I was going to print off some labels from an online site but then it dawned on me that most 4 year olds can't read yet (well they may be able to identify their name but probably not another kid's name).  So I decided to make photo labels for Opal's school bag and shoes.

 Photo identification helps children easily identify their items from their classmates.

I used these self-laminating pouches from the $$$ store to protect the label and a key ring to attach it to the school bag.  For the shoes,  I printed a picture of Opal on blank sticker paper that I purchased from Staples.

Hopefully this will avoid any future mishaps.

Speaking of shoes, I wonder if this could be a possible reason why my precious Pearl isn't walking yet at 15 months....

These adorable shoes make a squeeky noise when a child walks in them.  Pearl, on the other hand, (pardon the pun) likes to put them on her hands when she crawls around the floor.   Anyone have any helpful suggestions on how to encourage my very stubborn 15 month old to walk?
Any other label suggestions?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Five things that I carry in my purse that you should be carrying in yours!

 It's no secret that women LOVE purses!  I'm no exception to this rule.  Those who know me well would agree that I have a small obsession with handbags in general.  I love small ones, big ones, fancy ones and casual ones.   
I'll admit that purchasing a new purse triggers a physical reaction in my body and brain.  My heart races as blood is shunted away from my digestive tract.  My pupils dilate and my sight sharpens.  My perception of pain diminishes and I have an overwhelming feeling of euphoria.
Purses are truly a wonderful thing.  In particular big purses!  Some may perceive a women who carries a large purse as "high maintenance" but I personally think it signals someone who's down right practical.
In fact, I tend to carry everything except a small dog in my purse.  I'm not sure why but I have this uncontrollable urge to be prepared for any situation that arises.  In fact some of the odd things I carry in my purse have come in quite handy over time.

So...What are the five things I carry in my purse that you might want to keep in yours?

1.  Swiss Army Knife-As I count them, the tools include a (1) small knife blade; (2) a large knife blade; (3) metal saw with (4) metal file, (5) nail cleaner and (6) nail file; (7) wood saw; (8) fish scaler (9) fish hook (10) ruler (metric and English); (11) scissors; (12) pliers with (13) wire cutter and (14) wire crimping tool; (15) magnifying glass; (16) Phillips head screwdriver; (17) bottle opener with (18) large flat-head screwdriver and (19) wire stripper; (20) can opener with (21) small flat-head screwdriver; (22) reamer with (23) sewing eye; (24) hook; (25) fine flat-head screwdriver; (26) wood chisel; (27) corkscrew; (28) mini screwdriver; (29) tweezers; (30) plastic toothpick; (31) ballpoint pen; (32) key ring (lanyard ring)  It actually shocks me that someone hasn't marketed a female version of the Swiss Army Knife.  It really is the ultimate must have tool to keep in your purse! 

2.  Address Labels-What for you ask? I happened upon this tip some while back and it's come in handy several times.  Don't toss out those return address labels that we all tend to receive during the holiday season. Store a couple in your purse to ensure you never waste time filling out your mailing info ( ie-movie store, registration, draws/giveaways, clothing stores)    

3.  A 1 Quart Plastic Ziplock Bag-If your not a parent yet than trust me when I say "It'll come in handy"

4.  Set of Utensils-No for real, they've come in handy at the most unexpected of places.  Really though, which would you rather eat with-Plastic utensils vs Stainless Steel?  When your finished just store them in your plastic baggie!  Ah ha!  See, I told you the baggie would be put to use.  Plus, people will respect you for being environmentally friendly.

5.  A copy of any one of my blog posts-O.K I won't be so vain as to think that would be possible but maybe a Archie comic book instead.  You never know when you're going to need something to read to pass the time. 

Have I missed anything?  So, what are some other things you keep in your purse?  Besides the usual makeup, diapers, pacifier, USB card, pen/paper, stash of $20 bills?

Hurry out and purchase yourself one of these>

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tip-Use your kids craft supplies to clean your keyboard!

Look down right now!  Look!  Down!  Seriously look down at your keyboard.
I know!
Totally dirty right?  Consider this-There are about 2,696,400 germs on your keyboard right now!

That's equivalent to the number of germs on 539 toilet seats.

Because I work in a hospital, I've become somewhat obsessed with cleaning and/or sterilizing high traffic areas of contact.  Unfortunately, cleaning a keyboard is often pretty low on the massive "TO DO LIST"
That is until I realized how relatively simple it is to clean a keyboard.   
Yes, you can stock up on a couple cans of compressed air but why bother when you can use your kids craft supplies. 

Here are a few ingenious ways to clean your keyboard using craft supplies or office supplies!

  • Silly Putty works wonders for reaching the crevices between keys and magically attracts the dirt and grime

  • Paint brushes are handy for sweeping crumbs and dirt left behind (please tell me I'm not the only one who checks emails why eating chocolate covered pretzels?)

  • Pipe cleaners are very effective little critters for cleaning between the keys

  • Packaging tape or any clear tape will work fine.  After, be sure to wipe the keyboard with a wet cloth to remove any adhesive.  

  • The adhesive part of Post It notes will also work wonders on the dirt and grime

  • If you don't have a small paint brush than reach for a Q tip instead. 

Happy cleaning everyone!!
What are your favorite things to eat or drink while playing on the computer?  I'll feel less alienated if you share your snacking secrets too!

P.S.  Today's post was going to be a lovely back to school tribute but my computer's card reader is down again so I can't upload any pics right now!!!! Urghhh!  Off to the PC paramedics we go.   

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Iron clothes in half the time!

Lets face it, most everyone hates ironing clothes.  I'll admit I'm guilty of adding extra minutes to the dryer just to avoid having to iron wrinkled clothes.  Ironing clothes is one of life's chores that is extremely boring, yet sometimes necessary.  Like SEX for example!!! (Joking-but I know you smiled)
I bet you didn't know a sport exists that's called extreme ironing.  People actually participate in extreme activities, such as sky diving, all the while ironing clothes.  And here I thought ironing my clothes in just my bra and panties while dancing and singing to Katie Perry's latest hit was considered risky business!  Apparently not! T.M.I? Sorry about that visual for those who know me well!

So, as much as I try to avoid this mundane task, inevitably 10 minutes before we have to go somewhere, my husband meanders up to me with a dress shirt needing to be ironed.  I know what you're thinking.  Tell him to iron his own dang shirt.  My response to this would be, Pick your battles ladies!

So just to make your life that much easier I'm going to share with you a little tip about ironing clothes that actually works quite well.


Just Don't

O.K., tip #1 doesn't count.

When ironing, put a piece of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron so you can essentially iron both sides at once.

Yep, I just wrote a blog post about ironing clothes!  Just keeping it real ladies, not all my posts have to be about curing childhood constipation (believe it or not, this post actually receives the most traffic), what my husband got me for our 10 year anniversary, or how a salad spinner can save lives.
I hope this post was less boring to read than ironing your husbands dress shirt.  Maybe you could set up your ironing board in front of your pc screen and read some of my other posts.  (FYI-if your new to the blogosphere, click on any green word and it will link you to some of my favorite and most visited past posts)

Have a exciting weekend everyone! 3 more sleeps until school starts which means hopefully we'll be able to chat more frequently.  This means leaving me comments so that I can chat back!
Here's today's community question?
Which would do you consider most boring of the following list?
  • ironing clothes
  • peeling a bag of potatoes
  • sitting through your child's entire Christmas concert even though your special little star has already performed
  • watching reruns of PBS pledge programs 
  • listening to chamber music while waiting for the telephone operator to return to the conversation

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Winner Is!!!!!

Thanks for everyone who participate in my most recent giveaway! The winner of the Bumpy Books Book is Karen McNeil!

Karen left this flattering comment:

Karen McNeil said...

You are so creative. I admire that.
August 26, 2010 8:24 AM