Be a Queen #ownyourpower #oprahwinfrey #thesearethedays

I’ve had my copy of Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul since I was a teenager. And I can’t get rid of it because of this one excerpt from Oprah Winfrey, from her speech addressing the graduates from all-female Spelman College in 1993.

Be a Queen

Be a queen. Dare to be different. Be a pioneer. Be a leader. Be the kind of women who in the face of adversity will continue to embrace life and walk fearlessly toward the challenge. Take it on! Be a truth seeker and rule your domain, whatever it is – your home, your office, your family – with a loving heart.

Be a queen. Be tender. Continue to give birth to new ideas and rejoice in your womanhood…My prayer is that we will stop wasting time being mundane and mediocre…We are daughters of God – here to teach the world how to love…

It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, where you come from, who your parents are – nor your social or economic status. None of that matters. What matters is how you choose to love,  how you choose to express that love through your work, through your family, through what you have to give to the world…

Be a queen. Own your power and your glory!

                                                                               – Oprah Winfrey

Fancy Stitches ~ My New Love #thesearethedays #sewingfun #brothercanada #brotherinnovis

Sitting down at my sewing table and having NO idea what to create {because I’m avoiding the quilt still} turned out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I stared at my fabric piles, ate half the candy in my drawer {an idea I stole from one of my best friends, who stole the idea from her mama haha}, and stared longingly at the machine waiting for some inspiration.

And then it hit me.

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun

Look at all those stitch options *cue heart eyes*

I grabbed a piece of knit fabric and started to play!

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun stitch options

I know, some seem a little weird and I’m not totally sure when I’d use them, buuuut still so fun to try them out 🙂

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun stitch options 3

I love a few more from this set and plan to play around a lot with them on different projects. Watch for them! 😉

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun stitch options 4

Oh I looooove these ones! It’s entirely possible part of it is the one on the left reminds me of palm trees – Obviously I’d be in love. haha

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun stitch options 5

I think this one would be so pretty on a little girl’s shirt sleeve or skirt hem, don’t you agree?

One thing I love about the computer screen on the Brother Innov-is, is that it tells you in the top left corner which foot to use for the stitch selected. Takes the guess work out of it, which this girl is a HUGE fan of! Love me a computerized machine!!!!

brother innovis stitching these are the days sewing fun 6

Yes, I’m still in love.


Doll Quilts with #AveryLaneSewing and the #BrotherInnovis ~ #thesearethedays #sewingfun

I think I’ve overestimated my sewing skills. Seriously.

cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun

I had the bright idea to use this adorable coordinating fabric set for an 18″ doll quilt. In fact, so bright was my idea that I cut enough pieces for THREE quilts. THREE people.


cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun

I typically do projects with a reasonably high margin of error. I have bad sewing habits and am not nearly as detail oriented as I ought to be, but I have been determined to change this. And I made every effort from the very start of this project to do it right.

cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun

Do you see those pins? Yeah, I used them! *holla*

On every single piece I was sewing, I used pins. I told you people, this girl’s making changes!

cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun

{shameless plug} I seriously LOVE sewing with the Brother Innovis. I cannot even explain properly just how beautiful of a machine it is and how smoothly it pulls the fabric through. I never want to live without her. Not ever.

cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun

Of course, using pins gave me a certain arrogance that led me to believe I had this in the bag. HA! Just 6 steps in I realized I had missed step 5. HOW?! WHY?!

It’s just not fair people. It seems I am incapable of doing a sewing project without pulling out this little seam ripper at least once! *cries*

So back to the *almost* start and I was off again, working ever so diligently to complete the first square of the Bonjour Quilt from Avery Lane Sewing {Etsy}.

And then THIS happened:

cute like me avery lane sewing bonjour quilt these are the days brother canada brother sewing sewing fun And that right there is the bane of my sewing existence.

I gave up. I threw it all away.

Okay, I kid…I didn’t and I am determined to actually figure this out. But for now I did put it away so I could take a breather and stop hating my sewing life! hahaha….there are some things the Brother Innovis can’t fix, apparently 😉

Stupid seams….*bangs head*


It’s a Jord Wood Watches Coupon Code!!!! #jordwatch #wearJORD #BeYou #thesearethedays

Because it’s a real bummer if you missed out on the Black Friday discounts, and because Jord is seriously awesome, they are offering my fabulous readers {that’s you} 10% off any purchases made between now and December 31st. After which, the discount will decrease to 5%, which is still awesome but not quite as awesome as the full 10!

Seriously it’s the perfect gift for your significant other (male or female), parents, friends, etc. These watches are so beautiful!!!

Jord Wood Watches Wear Jord These are the days cute like me christmas gifts gifts for men

Dark Sandalwood and Blue Carbon Delmar Series {$149} and the Purpleheart and Plum Frankie Series {$179}

Follow the link HERE to receive your special code!

Also worthwhile to note is the FREE international shipping!

Happy Wednesday!

Starting the Captain’s watch collection with Jord! #jordwatch #wearJORD #BeYou #thecaptain #thesearethedays

**Disclaimer: Jord provided the Captain with the gorgeous watch below for review purposes. However, this has not affected my review and all opinions are 100% honest and my own. Spoiler alert: These watches are INCREDIBLE!**

For the majority of our married life {13 years}, the Captain has talked about having a watch collection. And thanks to Jord {and me for choosing a men’s watch of course} he was finally able to start one – with this gorgeous piece:

dover-47-front-angled Jord wood watches wear Jord these are the days

Ebony & Rosewood, Dover Series

I told myself if it arrived when the Captain was away at work, I would wait to let him open it. But I just couldn’t – and am I ever glad – this watch is BEAUTIFUL. From the box it is packaged in to the pillow it’s set around, both of which he still uses, every detail is pure perfection.

ebony and rosewood jord wear jord these are the days cute like me mens watches

Not only do I love when the Captain dresses up {insert googly eyes} but I especially love when he can complete his look with such fine, dapper details.

My only regret is that he didn’t have this a couple of years ago, when he dressed up every day at his previous job. Oh I miss those days. Because his tie collection is quite extensive I grabbed a few that I thought coordinated well with the watch. The trick is in the reds family – too orange clashes with the watch as do red and burgundy, but I worked it out… and present to you the gallery:

Jord Wood Watches Cute Like Me These are the Days watch review

I love the way it looks with each of these ties, proving it really can coordinate with multiple colour schemes. I was so excited when I paired it with the tie below, a gift from his late father after spending some time teaching English in China/Inner Mongolia. The way the light hits the orange casts enough shadow to really make it a perfect match.

Jord Wood Watches Cute Like Me These Are The Days Watch Review

And if you are excited for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in just 8 days,  and happen to have an old school tie on hand, Jord’s got you covered there too!

Jord Wood Watches Cute Like Me These Are The Days Watch Review

Am I the only one giggling? Old School meet the New School! 😉

I tried to venture into shirts but none of the Captain’s worked at all, being the wrong colours altogether. At least for dress shirts, but luckily this fabulous watch can also work with casual shirts ~ always a bonus!

Jord 8edit

Nothing too outrageous about this combination as it’s a fairly plain grey and black shirt, but I love the way it looks. But interestingly the most surprising combination has ended up being my favourite. The shirt below was gifted to the Captain several years ago by our Japanese student and is easily one of his favourites, but he rarely wears it because he doesn’t want to ruin it. Can you see the gorgeous hand painted detail? And the way it compliments the rosewood colouring of the watch – the Captain is going to have to get over his fear of washing this shirt because it’s so unique and an awesome way to showcase the watch, don’t you agree?

Jord CollageI flat out love it. And I love that this watch is the first {of many} in the Captain’s watch collection.

Lifelong Jord fans right here! Hook, Line and Sinker!

Why You Need a Brother! #brotherinnovis #sewingfun #brothercanada #thesearethedays

I promise you I’m not just saying it, but you really need a Brother.


And my lovely cousin, Laura would agree. Earlier this year, while watching her two younger kids, I made her daughter a couple of skirts using this adorable Girl’s Maxi Skirt Pattern from Girl Charlee.

amy skirt girl charlee these are the days sewing fun

They quickly became favourites and was shared between two of her girls (yay for knit fabric that can stretch – also from GirlCharlee). So she planned a fun little trip with her two older kids to make a few more. I’ve been raving to her about how easy they are and that they seriously take 20 minutes to make, so she had high expectations.

And then she started sewing on her machine.

You know when you spend more time starting and stopping, rethreading and troubleshooting to figure out the heck is wrong this time?! She spent about 15 minutes in this run around, not too hopeful about making progress on skirt #1.

And then she started sewing on my machine.

It was like the heavens opened and the sewing angels poured their happiness all over. Scoff if you want, but it’s true. She was immediately sold and spent the next 20 minutes finishing the first skirt while saying things like:

*Oh my word, no wonder you love sewing*

*Now I know why it only takes you 20 minutes*

*It’s so quiet and smooth*

*Now I need one of these*

Flat out in love. And I could only sit, grinning cheek to cheek and nod along in agreement. I am also flat out in love with this machine. And she really did it….she made 3 skirts (and a tank top) for her 8 year old and each project honestly only took about 20 minutes, start to finish.

Girl Charlee kids maxi skirt these are the days sewing fun

{Photo Credit: Laura Taylor Photography}

It was the perfect little afternoon of sewing and I’m certain it’s only the first of many get togethers we have. This Brother machine better get ready – these two cousins are going to rock its world!


My First Fight With Shaw *angry face* #thesearethedays #theinvisiblelimit

A couple of times in September I had a message on my phone from Shaw wanting to discuss my account, though with so many phone scams going on there was no way I was phoning back. I honestly figured if there was a problem, they could send me a letter.

shaw cable internet phone these are the days

Then the Captain texted to tell me that our internet was out, so I told him I would phone after work. I cannot even explain to you how aggravating the next 15 minutes were, trying to figure out what the real situation was/is. The Shaw representative that I spoke to, actually both of them, were very nice…I just thought their explanations sucked. Ha!

When I mentioned that our internet was out, I was told they had tried, unsuccessfully to reach me. He told me they were trying to talk to me about going over our limit.

What limit? I asked

Your plan allows for 150 GB per month

Really? Where does it say that on my bill? Who ever told me there was a limit?

Well, the past few months you’ve consistently gone over the limit. We are just notifying you as a courtesy, so that if it continues we can look at other plans that might suit your needs better. But it’s not really an issue because we don’t charge for going over.

Not to be rude, but if you don’t charge and I don’t even know there’s a limit, why would I care?

{our conversation continued politely, though I was certainly annoyed, and then he transferred me to the Bandwidth guy}

Okay so it shows here that the past few months you’ve gone over your limit

A limit I didn’t know I had. Why isn’t it on the bill? If there is a limit to even go over, every bill should have it on there, *You used so much/so much this month*.

Well it doesn’t really impact many people

That shouldn’t matter…if there is a limit, it should be communicated. This really is poorly communicated.

Well you can always go to your account on to check your usage

Usage I didn’t know I needed to check? {I fully recognized to this nice representative that I was cranky but didn’t mean to be a bag….but stuff like this infuriates me}.

We tried to call you a few times

Honestly, there are so many phone scams going on I didn’t trust the phone calls. If you have a concern about my account, put it on my bill or send me a letter.

Well we can’t send you a letter. There are certain laws in Canada that prevent us from putting it in a letter because of personal information

You mean the personal information that is already on my bill? Send the letter with the bill? How can you not send me a letter?

I agree, it could be better communicated but we don’t do it that way.

Okay, so our internet is out. Can you please hook it back up?

 Yes, we can turn that back on for you {turns it back on}. If you notice your usage continues to be over the limit, we can figure out another plan that works better for your needs.

This plan works just fine for my needs, but thank you.

{we say our goodbyes and he, no doubt breathes a sigh of relief. I just shook my head. I may have screamed….}

See here’s the thing that ticks me off. IF there is a limit, let people know. I don’t care if that limit affects 1 or 1,000 people. LET THEM KNOW!

Ultimately what happened was this: Shaw threw a hissy fit that I didn’t phone them back so they cut off our internet to get me to phone them back, so that they could tell me about a mystery limit that nobody seems to know about, and doesn’t even matter.

Seems normal, right?



5 Things I Would Change About The Manteo Resort #manteoresort #thesearethedays #kelowna

Our stay at the Manteo Resort was fabulous, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that everything met our expectations. It has nothing to do with being difficult to please {AT ALL}, and everything to do with the expectation that comes with paying $300+/night.


So these are the 5 things I would change:

  1. Smack Dab ~ Their in house restaurant, whose slogan is *Crazy Good Food* had okay food, but nothing spectacular. We had their pizza for lunch, which was good, but the crust was SO thin that the piece nearly collapsed as soon as it was picked up. It was very difficult to eat without a knife and fork {and who wants to eat pizza with a knife and fork?}. My cousin tried their fish tacos {$16 for two fairly small portioned tacos} and was less than impressed {size and taste}, though her husband had the fish and chips and was happy with them.  But perhaps my {our} biggest complaint was the lack of options. I felt by day two, there wasn’t anything else that appealed to me. While I understand the simplicity, I felt for the poolside menu, they were lacking some basic, but delicious options. There are about 5 things that I make personally, that I would love to see on their menu, and to snack on while laying in the sun. I just know they’d be instant favourites.
  2. Lack of restaurant options ~ On a resort that large, it surprised all of us that Smack Dab was the only on site restaurant. We had 6 kids between us {ages 3-10), so having a waterfront café, burger or sandwich joint, or even a little ice cream/popsicle stand would have been so convenient for meals and snacks. We ended up ordering Boston Pizza on the first night and Cactus Club the second night, which were delicious, but next time I think we’ll look into more options nearby.
  3. Outdoor pool area ~ Again, based on the size of the resort as a whole, we were surprised the outdoor pool wasn’t larger, even possibly offering two slides. The outside area is designed in a bit of a triangle, with the outdoor pool, kiddie pool and hot tubs in each of the corners. The kiddie pool/splash pad was also smaller than we expected, but perhaps our greatest complaint is that there is no visibility from the hot tubs. There is a partition blocking the view completely, which makes it difficult for someone with children who want to be in different places at once. In an ideal world, every section of the outdoor area would be visible from any given point. In addition, we were also bummed that there were shrubs and a {now unused} gazebo that blocked the gorgeous lake view.
  4. The Villa garages ~ We did not stay in a villa, so this is merely an observation. While the villas looked fantastic {and they sure did}, the garages were too small. I’m not sure who designed them or how this detail was overlooked, but many of the villas had a vehicle parked on the driveway, noticeably larger than the garage. I realize this is an impossible change at this point, but it’d be awesome if they were able to change the garages into a sort of bonus room, additional bedroom, or something like that. But honestly, having not stayed in a villa, I don’t know if this is a feature that has bothered other guests, it just seems like unused space.
  5. Additional Fees ~ {directly from the website}:                                                                      *Manteo offers the “Manteo Resort No Surprise Service Fee Guarantee”. At Manteo Resort there are many pleasant surprises. Like the exceptional service – the extraordinary comfort of your room, the long list of amenities and the perfect surroundings on Okanagan Lake. What you won’t be surprised by is that long list of extra charges. That’s right. No resort fees, no charge for local phone calls, Internet, national newspaper, and parking. Manteo Resort. Be pleasantly surprised!*                                      

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I love not having to worry about additional costs, and for the most part, this was accurate. But unfortunately, there were a couple of things that weren’t:

* Kids Club ~ not including babysitting rates, I anticipated the kids activities to be included just like they are at other resorts. But they weren’t; there was Pizza and Movie night – $25/child, Craft Hour – $3/kid {I think, though could be wrong}, and Sundays Sundaes – $5/kid while we were there. I do think including these activities would be a nice perk, but at the very least, the fees should be noted on the website.

* Breakfast ~ Most hotels, even our *not fancy at all* hotel the first night, offer some sort of complimentary breakfast. But breakfast at the Manteo Resort in Smack Dab {albeit more than muffins and juice} is $9/adult and $4/child. Really, It’s not that the price is outrageous {it’s not)} I just like when things like this are included. Even if it was just a separate table of complimentary muffins and juice, and then still a charge for the Smack Dab breakfast if necessary {it does sound fabulous}.

Our stay was still enjoyable and relaxing, and our time together was fantastic, but these are the 5 things I would change…you know, if I had a say {Especially Smack Dab’s menu and a complimentary breakfast option}. 🙂

{PS. One thing I would definitely NOT change is the location. It was perfection.}

Manteo resort kelowna cute like me these are the days okanagan





Scarlet and Gold #givegrace #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #adoption #infertility #thesearethedays

scarlet and gold give grace adoption infertility these are the days

While I wasn’t the girl who got pregnant on the first try, and Brooklyn is actually a Rainbow Baby, I can’t even pretend that I know what it’s like to struggle with infertility. And although I was adopted and have seen many lives blessed through adoption, I do not know personally what that actually feels like. I can imagine and think I come pretty close to understanding, but ultimately I don’t know.

But I will always support those in their efforts to expand their family.

Which is exactly what Scarlet and Gold has done ~ created an opportunity for me and for you to support the struggles of infertility and the blessings of treatment and adoption, through their fabulous Give Grace campaign.

scarlet and gold give grace adoption infertility these are the days {from the website}:

We believe that God has given us such an amazing platform to inspire and encourage people, and we are hoping to do so with the Give Grace™ Campaign. Some of you may know about our owner and founder Megan Smalley and her struggle with infertility. Blake and Megan have been battling infertility for over two years now. Exactly one year ago today, they began an IVF attempt that ended up failing. As you can imagine, the entire process of IVF is emotionally, physically, and financially draining. Megan and Blake have finally reached the point of being willing to try again, and the Lord has laid on our hearts the desire to do whatever we can to help. The Give Grace™ Campaign is the fruit of this desire.

We as a team at Scarlet & Gold have decided to create a line of prints inspired by Megan and Blake’s story that will be available for pre-order starting Monday, June 15. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this line will go towards sending them to the top fertility doctor in the country. Once we have raised enough money for their treatment, we want to continue selling the collection of prints and donate the proceeds to help more couples struggling to start a family, whether that is through IVF or adoption. You can read more about the campaign here.

One fabulous way you can help is by purchasing items from their shop. I personally have my eye on these adorable temporary tattoos *swoon*

FALLmkGG21212121234123123342321 (1).jpg*swoon*

What a great way to support a great cause! I just love companies that give back!

Coachella Shorts #brotherinnovis #brothercanada #thesearethedays #Coachellashorts

When I saw these shorts made by iCandy Handmade, I was immediately in love.

coachella shorts striped swallow designs icandy handmade these are the days

In fact, I went to the fabric store the very next day to grab embellishments {I’m trying to be responsible and use up fabric I already have…I know, sad!} and purchased the pattern from Striped swallow Designs so that I could get started right away.

coachella shorts cute like me these are the days striped swallow designs icandy handmade

Now let me tell you – the pattern is ridiculously easy. Which is probably why it took me ALL night to figure it out. *sigh* I made some assumptions based on how I thought the leg *flap* worked, and as a result, I did it wrong SEVERAL times over. I mean, SO wrong. Embarrassingly wrong. I’m so glad I didn’t photograph the process.

I finally, FINALLY figured it out ~ by actually following the instructions, who’d have thought ~ and was so excited with how they turned out. I was also incredibly relieved that all my sewing, seam ripping and re-sewing {and repeat} didn’t destroy the fabric. I give all the credit to the fabulous Brother Innovis machine that I’m lucky enough to get to sew with. I promise there are more machine details to come…she really needs a post all to herself!

As you can see, the shorts are a bit big for Brooklyn and she finds the trim seam a little itchy (so I plan to figure out a way to cover it), but aren’t they adorable?!

coachella shorts 2 cute like me these are the days striped swallow designs icandy handmade brother innovis brother canada

I have several other adorable fabrics that I have big plans for in the Coachella shorts department…I can’t wait to do a sewing marathon, sometime in the spring perhaps {when I’m not busy dreading the upcoming snow!}. Brooklyn’s closet is going to be overflowing!

Now I’m missing summer. 🙁