Friday, March 28, 2014

Etsy Feature Friday - Easter Edition

For this week's Etsy Feature Friday, I have decided to go with an Easter theme. It may seem a bit early to be focusing on Easter, but if you are going to have your decorations up long enough to enjoy them, the time to purchase them is now! (Plus it allows extra time to order that little custom something you've always wanted). All listed prices are in Canadian Dollars. Without further ado, here are our featured items for this week:

1. Handmade Easter Bunny - HandmadeGiftBoutique, $43.15

I chose this doll because of its soft, quaint look and feel. If you are trying to get away from the commercial aspect of Easter but still give your child something to cherish, this would be the perfect option. This little bunny would also make a great Easter decoration for a country-style home.

2. Hand-painted Easter Eggs - MyAuntieEva, $11.50

Many people, myself included, love the look ad feel of traditional patterned Easter Eggs, but do not have the time or talent to create them for themselves. MyAuntieEva provides a gorgeous (and cost-effective) alternative to making themselves, without the fuss or the mess.

3. Easter Nest Wreath - RedRobynLane, $55.25

This photo really speaks for itself. RedRobynLane's wreath captures the soft, quiet gentleness and frailty of spring in a beautiful rendition of the traditional holiday wreath. The use of grapevine and real spanish moss adds to its unique charm.

4. Easter Block Decoration - FayesAttic11, $24.17

This great decoration adds a pop of color to your living room or front entrance. The use of blocks and the childish font bring the memories of Easter egg hunts and mudpies into the door in a clean, happy ensemble.

5. Pussywillow Butterfly Wreath - WestTwinCreationsLLC

This decoration brings a particular smile to my heart. Every year, my grandmother collects a branch from a blossoming pussywillow tree, and brings it indoors as her Easter Tree. She then decorates the tree with wooden eggs. While pussywillow branches may not be available everywhere, this pussywillow butterfly wreath is a lasting reminder of the Easter tree and all of its meaning.

Finally - I would be remiss if I didn't mention something from my own shop, HardlyMartha.

Easter brings memories of mud, fresh grass, baby animals, and time spent with loved ones. It is with all of this in mind that I select my favorite shop item for an Easter celebration: Pretty Purple Handmade Earrings. These earrings sell for a bargain at $5.76.

Which earrings would you choose from my HardlyMartha shop to wear for Easter?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Technical Difficulties

The posts which should have been here aren't. Evidently, they have disappeared into cyberspace never to be seen again. What happened: When I finished the last post that published, I pre-wrote several other posts and scheduled them to launch automatically on the appropriate days. I had several posts about Mexico written, as well as two Etsy Feature Fridays. I wrote them, saved them and scheduled them, then let my blog sit. Somewhere during that process nothing actually saved, it seems. So, none of these posts ended up getting published and they are not in existence within my list of blog posts. Thanks Blogger. These posts will still be re-written and posted for you. Please note however that each post does take some time to write and put together, so it will take a bit longer to post all of these for you than I wanted. Lesson learned - save a local copy of everything.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Viva Mexico - Day 1 of 7

Viva Mexico - where to begin?

It seems like a distant memory already, with my tan fading and my stress levels climbing, although it has been only 2 1/2 weeks.

I suppose the best way to give you a conclusive (although not concise) review of the different facets of our holiday would be to allow you to experience it second-hand through my retelling, in the order that it originally occurred.


As my family is currently located in a few different locations within Saskatchewan, we chose a central location to depart, Regina. We arrived at the airport at 7am, with three hours to spare until our flight. As the long-term parking lot was full, we were forced to park in the overflow parking - a telling sign for the rest of the day. We wore an odd assortment of hats and layers, and protected ourselves against the brisk air while hurriedly rushing down the sidewalk to the airport.

When we arrived at the check-in counter, the line was already surpassing the queue.

I won't bore you with the pre-flight details - we had a 30 minute delay, we ate, we waited, we boarded the plane.

Upon the plane we were treated with mimosas and lunch - the flight was uneventful, and as relaxing as flying can be. We flew Air Transat, and while we did appreciate the food/drink, the plane was very crowded and there was no entertainment onboard. All the same, we were on our way to Mexico, where there would be peace, relaxation, and no worries.

Photo stolen from Puerto Vallarta Airport Homepage :)

That impression was shattered when we got to the Puerto Vallarta airport.

First, we got loaded onto a couple of standing buses to make the trip from our plane to the customs area of the airport. I took this opportunity to change out of my shoes and into some sandals, as well as put away my sweater. Finally - heat. But then...

People. People, people and more people. The customs line-ups were amazingly long - every queue line was full and people were lined up all the way down the hall - seemingly for miles.

Finally, we 'escaped' customs, and proceeded to the red-light/green-light game. I call it this, because every family that goes through must press the button. If you get a green light, you are good to continue through. If you get a red light, you and your baggage gets searched. Luckily, we all got green lights.

The next obstacle was getting through the timeshare hallway. To get to the bus to go to the resorts, you need to go through a hallway full of men and women in white uniforms, who look like they (may?) be airport employees. They are yelling at you to stop; I even saw one of them physically grab another tourist's shirt to pull him aside.

Successfully through this obstacle, we were able to find the appropriate bus bringing us to the appropriate resort, and we could breath.

Upon arriving our luggage was all unloaded and set aside, and then we lined up alphabetically according to last name for check-in. (Spoiler alert: P-Z is all in one lineup) At least we were given some fruity slush drinks to enjoy while waiting.

We had a bit of confusion as they had reserved us seats in an a-la-carte that we couldn't possibly make - we needed to find our rooms, then buy a key to the safe in the room, then actually put our things in the safe before supper - it was already 5pm and we were booked for 6pm. That said, the checkin process went relatively smoothly and we were pleased to find ourselves in Block 6 (the new building and quiet) and in rooms very close to one another.

We ended up going to the Jap-Jap (Asian) a-la-carte for supper. It was okay, but wasn't the best food that we had on the resort. I really enjoyed the hot and sour soup however.

We were also served a stir-fry beef, stir-fry vegetables, and noodles - much like you would find at a Chinese food restaurant in Canada.

After that, we spent some time getting oriented with the resort. We attempted going for a walk on the beach, but Gilles managed to stub his toe on an unknown object (later determined to be a lone brick hiding under the sand) and started to bleed everywhere - definitely not the best beginning to his holiday! We cleaned up his wound, and then went to see the night show.

The show that night was great - very professional dancers, with a fun "Michael Jackson" appearance at the end.

We went to bed immediately after the show - we were all exhausted from a long-days journey, and were looking forward to spending the next day on the beach!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I digress.

I am reluctant to admit, but despite my ambitious blogging plans, I still have not been here in some time. I can land the blame solely on two things:
1. I spent a week in Mexico
2. I have been cheating on this blog with my blog for work.

To explain further, I spent a week in the Royal Decameron resort near Bucerias with my husband, parents and siblings. (We also met up with my aunt/uncle/cousins while we were there).

Then upon returning I was immediately thrust back into the 'real world' with the launch of our new service offering (teleprescent robots) approaching. (See for more)

Technically I have still been blogging though, it just hasn't been here. In the last week, I have published the following three blog posts for work:

When Worlds Collide: TinyEYE Therapy Services Brings Robots into the Classroom
Telepractice: An Excellent Alternative to Traditional Speech Therapy in Alberta
Students LOVE Innovative Speech Therapy Technology in the Classroom

Now that things are starting to settle back into their normal routine, I have started to put together blog posts for my own blog again. I will be publishing a Mexico 'review' tomorrow, and Etsy Feature Friday will return this week. It's great to be back!