Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's official!!

Hello! I'm so excited to announce that my new business is off the ground! The name is...(drum roll please..)...... EllaMarsh! It sounds like a fun accessories name to me and of course a combination of Ella  and Marshall makes it very dear to my heart. :) 
 My latest work is pictured below and is also listed on Etsy(yes I now have a store on Etsy :) ). 




 I will be doing this one in a variety of colours and combinations with custom sizing to fit all wrists. I'll be listing more things on Etsy over the next few days so check it out and please feel free to share it with your friends. :)
 I will also be putting together a Facebook page and you can follow me on Twitter: Mariah Dupuy (ellamarshshop) on Twitter
 Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Farmer's market, iPhone app and music

 We had decided to check out the farmer's market this morning, but when we got up the plan was almost derailed by the weather. The market just isn't fun in the rain, but just when we decided to stay home(and I was contemplating going back to bed with a book) the rain stopped so we quickly packed up and headed out the door. We hadn't been browsing long when Chris got a call for work so it was a quick trip, but fun to get out. We hadn't been to the market since last year and it's growing all the time. I'm sure once the weather picks up a little further into the season it will be even bigger.
 I downloaded another app(free, yay!) for my phone called Picture Frames. Here's a little sample of how it works courtesy of our market visit:

 I used Instagram to enhance the pictures(the above effect is called Early bird...hence the sort of 60's photo feel) and then put the three photos together. I think it turned out great, love this app!

 I also thought I would share some different music from my playlist that you probably haven't heard before.

The Bird and The Bee - My Love - this one is easy and mellow, kinda sweet with a happy beat.

The next two are french(keep an open mind!!) and are really catchy and fun.

Rachid Taha T├ękitoi  - has a middle eastern beat

Camille - Ta Douleur  - my recommendation would be to walk away and listen to the song and not watch the video. It's weird and will ruin the song for you.

 Let me know what you think. :)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventures in Netipotting.....

 I have been feeling like my nose has been kind of congested for quite awhile now, well not congested exactly, more like crusty for want of a better word. Sorry, that was probably way too much information.  ..lol. Anyway, I decided to try out a neti pot and see if it made any difference. For those of you who have never used one I'll give you a brief rundown of what you do. You fill the little pot 3/4 full with lukewarm water, stir a half a saline packet into it until it is dissolved and then you pose for the camera:






 And then you put the spout into your nostril(over the sink please!), tilt your head to the side and let the water flow through and out the other nostril(make sure you breathe through your mouth!). Then repeat on the other side.


 No no Chris, you weren't listening...you don't drink it, you put it in your nostril.


There you go....


 Once you finish, just a gentle nose blow and everything feels very clean. I noticed I sounded a bit congested immediately afterwards, but once the last few water drops leak away that goes away too. I didn't feel congested at all though and in fact my nasal passages feel pretty good. It is recommended for  colds, allergies etc... I would definitely use it for those reasons, I really think it would help.
 I got my pot at Wal Mart(big surprise) and it was about $11.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Playing with Instagram

 I downloaded Instagram for my iPhone and have been playing around with it. I love the different effects you can use on the photos. Here's a little sample:

Ella and Marshall in the vehicle on the way to Mark and Chantal's wedding.....


Driving home over the Malahat..........


The cherry tree in full bloom in our backyard......


Ella at gymnastics class.......


A couple of new jewelry pieces and some BIG NEWS!

 The Blogger people have changed how photos are uploaded so I wanted to share the big news first but it will be at the end instead. I'll figure it out!

The first couple of photos are the last two jewelry pieces I have made. The bracelet has a stretch cord in it so no need for a clasp or toggle and the black and silver can go with just about anything.


 The necklace is in a colour I love. I wore it yesterday with a brown v neck top and it looked great. I particularly like the pendant.


And the really big news?? Ella lost her first tooth yesterday!! She was biting into a pepper and out it popped, easy peasy, no working on it for days which was nice for her. I thought it would go a little longer, but apparently I was wrong. She was thrilled to show me when I picked her up from school. The school gives out little tiny treasure chests to kids who lose their teeth at school so they have something to bring it home in. On our way home from school yesterday we made a trip to Tim Horton's to pick up Ella's three free timbits for her part in cleaning up during Earth Day(the guy at the till was so nice and threw in an extra timbit for Marshall). Ella had insisted on taking her treasure box with her into Tim's and when we got back to the van and everyone was buckled in I walked around to get into my side of the van only to open the door to a little girl with tears streaming down her face and crying that she had lost her treasure box. I told her it was ok and that I would retrace our steps to find it. I didn't have to go far because as I turned to head back into Tim's I saw a little blue box crushed by a car tire lying on the pavement. My heart sank, but I walked over, said "please" under my breath and lifted the biggest piece of what was left of the box and there lay a little tiny white tooth. Phew! Ella was happily wiping away her tears when I got back and we decided not to carry it around as we ran the rest of our errands.
 When it came time to go to sleep Ella was out like a light, she wanted that Tooth Fairy to come! I polished a toonie with sparkle nail polish for the fairy dust and wrote this little note to go along with it. She came crawling into our bed at six o clock this morning with her note and toonie, absolutely thrilled that the Tooth Fairy had come. She melts my heart. :)


I'm off to clean the house and do laundry before picking Ella and her friend Abby up from school. There is an early dismissal today so they get to have a good play before Ella goes off to gymnastics.
Thought I would share my new favourite song before I go. I just love it, pretty much puts into words how I feel these days. Hope it puts a smile on your face. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

The perfect bun

I know, I know..two posts in one day, you must be so amazed. ;)
I had to share the perfect bun secret. First I'll show you some pictures:
From the front.....

Side.....


Back....


The finished look....and check out that bracelet! I wonder where it's from....... ;)


The secret to the perfect bun comes from a little store called Sally Beauty Supply. Overall this store is just ok, a little low end but with a few things that you can't find other places except real beauty supply stores. One of the things I found there was for making perfect buns. It's a round mesh type thing that looks kind of like a pot scrubber. It comes in all different colours for different colours of hair and you just thread your ponytail through it and then arrange your hair around it with bobby pins. Finish with a little hairspray for fly aways and you're done. It's seriously easy and only takes about five minutes to do. It's gives you a much bigger and fuller bun than if you used your own hair, and it keeps the bun even in size all the way around. And it's only about $5.
So that's the secret, enjoy! :)

Happy Earth Day!

The weather was lovely again today, got close to 20C. I love being outside with no worry about needing a coat.
I decided to add a little touch of spring to the house when I was grocery shopping today and saw these beautiful tulips on sale, only $2 a bunch. They are normally $5 so a great savings. I have three bunches in the vase here, so only $6 for this beautiful punch of colour, and who doesn't love fresh flowers? :)
The biggest news of today came from Ella. Check out that tooth!!

She is beyond excited, so excited in fact that she even cried a little when she found out it was loose this morning. She has been waiting a long time for this. She has been working on it all day and of course told everyone at school all about it. It's a big milestone in a little ones life. A friend said that she used to put glitter on the money under the pillow, a little tooth fairy dust if you will. I think that's a great idea and will definitely be doing it for Ella.

I have started my foray into jewelry making, and below is my first attempt. I am really happy with how it turned out and in fact I have been wearing it all day today. There will be many more pieces to follow and I will be sure to post pictures here.

In celebration of Earth Day yesterday we decided to plant a tree. We were originally thinking of getting a pink Dogwood as they are just so beautiful but when we looked at the price tag($100) we decided to go with our second choice which was an Italian Prune Plum($35). I have some of the best memories of sitting in my Grandpa's plum trees as a kid and eating myself silly. I love prune plums so I am so excited for this one to produce(I have a long wait..lol).


The kids have been spending lots of time outside and the sandbox has become one of the current favourite places(thank you so much Mom and Dad for providing it, they love it!). The two of them really play well together, and now that Marshall is starting to talk the interactions are getting better and better. They have me laughing all the time...lol.

I had a good visit with my friend Melissa today. She was in town for the day waiting for her foster dog to be spayed so we had a great time catching up, as well as a yummy lunch at White Spot(thank you Melissa!). I love catching up with friends, so much fun. :)

I'm off to make dinner, but just wanted to mention in case you didn't know....you can click on each picture in this blog to make them bigger.
Cheers!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wedding love, good weather and healthy food

The biggest news from the last couple of days is the wedding of my sister Chantal to her long time boyfriend(and now husband) Mark. Don't they look sweet? :)

The weather for the wedding couldn't have been more perfect. The lovely sunshine managed to take the chill out of the air and the Filberg Park in Comox was the perfect backdrop for some beautiful pictures. My brother told me that the Park was originally homesteaded by Mr Filberg who settled Comox many years ago. His house, and old outbuildings(dairy barn, chicken coop, root cellar etc..) are all still standing as well as his amazing grape arbor that still produces huge bunches of grapes. The vines are over 70 years old and the trunks look like small trees. I can only imagine how they will look in a couple of months when their leaves are out.
The kids were pretty good for the wedding. It's a long day when you are little, but Ella was a trooper and Marshall was pretty good up until the actual ceremony and then Chris had to duck out with him for a short bit. Missing nap time does not fit well into his schedule.

Overall it was a really good day and I'm so glad we were able to share it with Mark and Chantal. All the best to you two! :)

I have been looking around to get some new sheets for our bed, but suffer from sticker shock every time I see them for a king size bed. Dang they are expensive! I did find these ones at Costco and they were only $38.99, a super good deal. The little green leaves go very nicely with the grey duvet cover don't you think(and you can certainly see what a bookworm I am! lol)?

I have gotten very spoiled with my bamboo sheets(let me tell you, if you don't have bamboo sheets you should consider making the investment...there is NOTHING like them...they are amazing), but they are very expensive so I decided to try these cheapies from Costco. They do the job but they have nothing on the bamboo and feel very rough in comparison. They should soften a bit more with use, but I am pretty sold on the bamboo. :)

The gorgeous weather has been bringing with it more and more outside time, and I love that we can go outside in nothing but a t shirt..come on summer! Here's a cute pic of the kiddies enjoying some bubbles.


I told you in a previous post about my smoothie drinking and it's still going strong as my morning staple. The blender that I had was really awful. It would take many tries to get it together properly so it wouldn't leak and then it was almost impossible to get it to sit right on the base so that it would turn on, and then it usually still leaked anyway...hated it! I decided to see what Wal Mart had in the blender department and came across this little gem. It's only $16 and makes the perfect amount for Ella and I in the morning. It's really easy to use with no mess whatsoever and it comes with a to go lid so you can just pop it on the top and take it with you in the car. I absolutely love it!


I also thought I would share a pic of one of my favourite quick to go sandwiches. This is the Bistro Club from Safeway. The Safeway sandwich counter is one million times better than Subway. This sandwich is delicious!


Anyone heading to Victoria for the Times Colonist 10k next weekend??? I'm debating entering...anyone want to join me? I've done this race a few times in the past and it is so fun. The route is beautiful and makes it's way through Beacon Hill Park and along the water on Dallas Rd and there are so many people it really feels like you are a part of something big. And quite frankly you are as race monies are donated to different charities each year, this year five are benefiting which you can read about on the TC10K site: TC10K
So, anyone want to do it with me?? :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another multi day update

So what do mother's with babies do before they go out with the girls for a bachelorette party? Why they pump of course...lol. Had to laugh a little as my sister in law and her sister in law were getting prepared to go out....so rowdy. ;)

I had a great time at my sister's bachelorette, it was a good blend of girls with lots of laughs and so much fun. I did say that I don't think we need to have someone getting married in order to get together and go out, so I hope this is something we do again in the future, at least a couple of times a year I think would be a blast.

On my way home I managed to find a cute dress for Ella for the wedding this weekend. Of course when I got it home it was fairly big so looks like I will be heading back to Nanaimo to get the smaller one. Oh well...what's another trip right?

Yesterday Ella had a fun play date with her friend Aiden while I visited with his mom Dana. Dana has her own business selling some great kid products and one of the products she carries are these super cute hats! I had to get one for Ella:


Ella loves it and is already wanting to wear it everywhere. To see more of what Dana carries check out her online store here: The Spotted Owl
Now time for a few random bits, that is the name of the blog after all. ;)

First a pic of my nails sporting the nail colour I mentioned in my last entry:

Next, a little movie review... Have you seen Country Strong? I watched it about a week ago and really liked it. It was better than I thought it would be and the music was good(if you like Country). Here's the trailer: Country Strong 2010 Trailer - YouTube

And last but not least for the entrepreneurs out there: Small Business Ideas and Resources for Entrepreneurs . This is a great website from Inc magazine. Lots of great ideas and helpful tips. The magazine is great too, I found it at Wal Mart(of course ;) ).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clothing and products and randoms oh my!

Eek! I haven't written a post since Tuesday! Sorry, got a little behind there. I had a little reminder from one of my fans that I was getting behind(ok, so it was my sister, but still, I have a fan!).
Glorious sunny day today and the blossoms are really starting to come out. Victoria was a couple of weeks ahead of us as always but we are fast catching up. Isn't this beautiful??
I have been seriously enjoying some retail therapy lately so that means I have lots to share. :P Here is a pic of my latest make up finds:

The polish is Nicole by OPI in Next CEO. This is a great goldy shimmery colour and ever since I put it on my fingernails Ella has been asking for it on her nails too. Next is a Revlon lip gloss in Coral Reef. I was a little unsure about how orange it was but it's growing on me. The pic below shows me wearing it...thoughts? Next is another lip gloss from Annabelle called Gasp. This gloss is very slick and non sticky, whereas the Revlon gloss has just a little more stick, but not too much(which I hate). I think the Annabelle stuff needs to be reapplied a lot because it slips off so easily. Next is Maybelline's new creme shadow called Colour Tattoo in Bold Gold. I tried it today(also in the below photo, but mixed with some other colours) and it hasn't really creased yet. I always use a shadow primer, but creme shadows usually crease fairly easily. And last but definitely not least Revlon's new gel liner in Charcoal. I have never used a gel liner before and I am a total convert. This stuff is awesome and stays put all day.

I've also done a little clothes shopping lately and I must say, I think I might be a Winners convert. I used to really hate that store, and you really have to have a lot of time to shop there and be ready to dig but there are so good deals to be had. I got this cute sweater for Ella there(doesn't she look like a little model??):

I also got some new shoes for summer(these wedges are pretty high, make me just a little taller than Chris):
And new shoes for my sister's wedding next weekend(!!!):

I also got a couple of DKNY shirts. I haven't really had many Donna Karan clothes, but I love these two and will be looking for more.
Ella and I have really been enjoying our morning smoothies, isn't she just so adorable!?

Ok, Granny Wendy just arrived. More later! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A visit to Victoria Butterfly Gardens

It was another absolutely gorgeous day here yesterday, in fact it was so warm we didn't even need to wear coats, I spent the whole day in a t shirt. Love it! Warm sunny weather is such a great mood lifter.

Yesterday the kids and I met up with my friend Dana and her son Aiden who goes to kindergarten with Ella and Aiden's sister Alina to check out the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. This place is so cool! It is filled with butterflies and they fly by and all around you, some even land on you, it's a little piece of paradise. The kids had a great time seeing and learning about all the butterflies as well as parrots, flamingos, lizards, frogs, turtles and koi. I highly recommend this place for a visit. The only drawback(and an understandable one) is that the place is very hot to keep the butterflies at the right temperature. Poor Aiden had it the worst of all of us and got quite sweaty.


After our visit to the Garden we decided to head to the mall to shop for wedding clothes for the kids and I. Dana and the kids came along too. It was a good time as we got lots of visiting in but it reminded me why I can't do any real shopping with little ones. It's just too hard to concentrate on anything when you are constantly reminding them to walk slowly and be good. It pretty much just turned into a mall wander and lunch at the food court which was fun too. :)

So after gorging myself on all kinds of Easter chocolates and goodies I am ready to get back to healthy eating. I did a big grocery shop last night which included lots of fruits and veggies as well as yummy smoothie ingredients for easy morning breakfasts. I also got some Barlean's Fish Oil for the whole family. This stuff tastes great and gives you your daily dose of Omega oils. Barleans - Omega Swirl . I have only ever bought the lemon zest flavour and it's great, Ella loves it too. I can't even convince Marshall to try it as he's suspicious of anything that's not a banana, but I'm working on him. The Barlean's is a little pricey but if you want to try it out it's on sale at Thrifty's right now and you can save five dollars off the regular price.

If you're like me you need inspiration for new hairstyles all the time, so I thought I would share one of my favourite YouTube sites. These two sisters have a hair extension company and regularly post great hair tutorials: LuxyHair - YouTube . Many are very easy and straight forward and are a good way to save you from the same old hairstyle everyday.

I finished The Hunger Games a couple of nights ago and really enjoyed it. It's a short book and an easy read. Chris and I are going to check the movie out this Friday night when his mother comes over to visit and sweetly watches the kiddies so we can go out in the evening. Really looking forward to it!

Do you have any favourite books or recommendations for me?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Chris got me some beautiful tulips for Easter and here's a picture of Marshall giving them a sniff...so cute. :)
Our Easter was so wonderful. Chris had Friday off so we took full advantage of the long weekend and joined my side of the family in Courtenay for a yummy dinner and lots of catch up chatting. I love seeing everyone and never want to leave at the end of the day(neither does Ella! lol). After dinner we had a quick Easter egg hunt for the kiddies and then headed for home. Both kids managed to stay awake for the entire drive home and then a quick bath and into bed.
On Saturday we spent lots of time outside enjoying the sun, playing soccer and running around. That always make for tired kiddies which is nice when you are putting them to bed at night. ;)
Sunday the kids woke up to an Easter egg hunt(Ella was so excited about the Easter bunny coming during the night) and even Marshall did a fairly good job finding eggs. The hunt was followed by a home made waffle breakfast with bacon, a few chores and we went off to the Forest Discovery Centre for their Easter Eggstravaganza. While I don't know if you could call it an extravaganza as there really wasn't much going on in the way of Easter stuff we did have a good time. Ella and I did the scavenger hunt together which ended with getting a little goodie bag and it was fun to see all the little museum like set ups from the Forest industry many years ago. We also got to ride on the train which was a good time.
Here's a little pic of Ella and I just before the train started moving:

Tomorrow Chris is back to work but the kids and I are meeting some friends at Butterfly World in Victoria to check out the parrots, flamingos, plants and of course butterflies. :) If Marshall can handle it the plan is to head to the mall to do a little shopping for clothes for my sister's upcoming wedding(so exciting!). Wish us luck!