Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday Feature Follow-Up

Eeeeeek! I'm so excited. Just stumbled across Claudine's link to her CafePress page. Her "Autism Mom" piece is available on multiple items (stickers, keychains, coffee mug, T-shirts, and even PJS!).

I will definitely be ordering! But I still want the original artwork as well (hint#2 hubby!).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Feature - The Art of Claudine Intner

Once again I almost forgot my Friday Feature. So without much time to research shops, I am choosing to feature a favorite Etsy artist, Claudine Intner.

Firstly I LOVE mixed media collage art. Secondly she is a fellow mom of boys (one of which is on the Spectrum).

Below is an absolute favorite. I would love to have it in my home (hint to hubby!)

Being a mom is challenging enough, but throw in autism and you have to become a super parent!

This collage is dedicated to all the autism super moms out there that go above and beyond. "Autism Mom" shows her heart on her sleeve and loves to wear her autism awareness earrings. She would do anything for her kids!"

She also has some beautiful Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece pins in her shop.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful art with us Claudine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Great Recipe is Worth Passing on...

Okay, this isn't GFCF, but Gav isn't about to eat a brownie any time soon. Grady on the other hand, would devour these! They look so Yummy....Had to re-share this!

From the Alberta Street Team blog, which credits kabukikreations blog for the original post.

S'more Brownies 
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs 
2 tablespoons sugar 
Pinch fine salt 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
3/4 cup white sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon fine salt 
4 large cold eggs 
1 cup all-purpose flour 

4 cups large marshmallows 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch. 

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated. 

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun times in OKC!

Just a few pics from our trip to Oklahoma. These were taken at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Probably the highlight for the boys!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Break through?

So I don't know how many times people have asked (in regards to Gav's feeding issues) if he was hungry enough would he eat something else (i.e. soldis)?

Well last night after our flight from from Oklahoma to Great Falls. We were driving the rest of the way home and both boys were hungry and irritable. I passed Grady a cracker.  And handed Gavin a piece just to see what he would do. He turned his head away as I expected. But then turned back and inspected the cracker carefully. Then as I offered it to him again HE OPENED HIS MOUTH and let me touch his tongue with it! After he stopped licking the saltiness from his lips. I offered it to him again. He went through the same routine, turn away, then back, stare, and opened up again! But this time he even closed his mouth on the cracker and I felt his teeth clench the cracker! I pulled it out, as I did not really want him to get a piece of it and choke on it. But I was so excited!!!

Definitely think we need to tart pressing with the meltables! Just need to find the right thing that when he does taste it, he is gonna want more!!!

Had to share! Hope you have a great week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Feature - Peachy & Keen

Today's Friday Feature is "Peachy & Keen".

Or check them out on Facebook:

I cannot wait to get home from vacation to order some of this natural, gluten-free Fun Dough for my boys!

Here's a excerpt from their shop:

Destress and embrace your creative genius with these handcrafted fun doughs! All beautifully fragranced varieties are made of natural, gluten-free ingredients, plant based dye, and natural grapeseed and essential oils. These doughs are the perfect tools to relieve tension and build important developmental skills. 

Their fun dough comes in 2oz. stackable containers.

Or in economical & enviro-friendly flat packs (re-purpose your our air tight containers from home)

And the scents and color combos are wonderful!

green mint [animating]
blue eucalyptus [invigorating]
lemon yellow [refreshing]
sweet orange [uplifting]
pink rose [fortifying]
violet lavender [balancing]
vanilla cream [calming]

Love it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beading to Beat Autism

Last year when we we're down in Oklahoma for the KFC World Cup of Softball and Border Battle I found this wonderful booth selling hand beaded bracelets. "Beading to Beat Autism". I was immediately drawn to it, for at the time we we're just beginning our quest of getting an official diagnosis for Gavin.

I bought a few bracelets to bring home to friends and family, and later hopped on their website to find out more about the organization and it's founder Michala's story. What a wonderful story it is!

I am happy to hear that they will once again be set up at the event this year. I can't wait to buy even more bracelets (I have SO many people to bring them home too!) and hope to get a photo of our family with Michala's "peeps".

Monday, July 18, 2011


Oh my, has packing for a trip ever changed since having kids! And even more so since Gavin's food allergies were diagnosed.

I'm busy packing for a 5 day trip to Oklahoma City. Luckily the weather there is beyond HOT, as shorts and tanks take up much less room in a suitcase than pants and hoodies! But it is still unbelievable how much "stuff" I need to take. I'm an OCD list'a a few highlights (beyond the obvious clothes, shoes, etc)

iPad & Charger
Phone chargers
camera, video camera, and chargers
DVD player (portable)
Baby monitor
Sound machine
Boys blankets
Gav's Teddy
Grady's pillow & "Suckie"
Diapers & wipes
Soy milk (just until we get to airport security)
Food for Gav on plane & layovers (something security will let through?)
Gav's Gluten Free instant cereal
Snacks for Grady
Gav's Allergy report (so we can fly with the Epi-Pen)
Gav's letter from Doc (re: Autism)
AND one double wide stroller, that even after two phone calls to Continental I am worried they will not let me "gate-check" so I have use of it in the airports....

I am only packing enough food, diapers, etc to get us there. Now that you have to pay for your checked luggage it just isn't worth over packing, and paying for extra pieces.

I will shop once we get there. Need to find GFCF food I can prepare in a hotel room without a microwave - I have done some research and think I have my grocery list planned. I will be purchasing a cheap plug in kettle & cooler there. And I will chat with the restaurant staff about warming food for Gavin as well.

I also don't plan on packing toys. I will pick up a few cheap thing there (Dollar Store, Target, etc).

Oh, and to top it off, now I am dealing with the stress of not being allowed to take Gavin's car seat on the plane because it isn't FAA approved. Canadian car seats do not have the FAA sticker on them. But somehow him sitting in a plane seat too large for him, with just a lap belt is safer than him being in a Canadian Transport approved car seat???  Having a hard time grasping that concept? Oh well. Like everything, we'll manage.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Feature - Wires n Pliers

OMGosh...I almost forgot this Friday's Feature! This week has just flown by....

So without further ado...please check out "wiresNpliers" Etsy shop.

This shop features beautiful handmade jewelry (including some Autism Awareness dedicated pieces).

There is also a shop section featuring pieces created by Sarah (aka Sarahbushka). Sarah is a 25 year-old diagnosed with ASD. She creates jewelry pieces as part of an Art Careers program and sells them on her mom Carol's Etsy shop.

Above is one of Sarah's necklaces. Within the product description there is information about the Art Careers program.

A wonderful idea!

You can also check out their blog:

"Dear 16 Year-Old Me..."

Another Autism Mommy's blog today ( reminded me of this video I shared on facebook a while back.

It's so good, I thought I would share again!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GalaxyLand West Edmonton Mall

 Last weekend after packing up the boys and heading north to St.Albert, Alberta for our Provincal Softball Championships, our games got rained out, and the entire event was postponed.

We thought we would make the most of the trip (and our prepaid hotel rooms) and head to the West Edmonton Mall with the family. Needless to say it was crazy busy on a rainy, summer Saturday. But it was an enjoyable trip, and Daddy managed to remain somewhat calm...yes, I'll give him "somewhat"...

Here are a few pics of the boys enjoying GalaxyLand. (with Daddy, Uncle Bubba and Grandpa Z assisting)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That warm fuzzy feeling!

Last week I packed up a bunch of summer clothes that my youngest has grown out of. I sent them off with my mother-in-law, who in turn forwarded them to a family friend who is packing up supplies to take on her upcoming trip to Ghana.

Her two children have been over there for two months now teaching. She and her husband will be joining them for their final month there.

Today I received a little thank you note from her. It was a wonderful reminder of how the smallest, kind gesture can touch so many. And it left me feeling all warm & fuzzy inside (and maybe a little teary eyed).

An excerpt from her note:

And here is a link to their blog.

I personally will be checking the blog regularly. I can't wait to see photos from their trip, and perhaps see an outfit that looks a little familiar!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Feature - Aid for Abby

Today's Friday Feature is the "Aid for Abby" Etsy Shop

This shop feature artwork created by an 11 year old girl (Abby) that is on the Spectrum. Her mother and her have began selling her artwork on Etsy to help cover the cost of Abby therapies.

The following is an excerpt from their Etsy shop:

"Abby suffers from autism and expressive/receptive language disorder. Abby cannot have a normal conversation like you and I. We do alot of communication through the use of visual pictures. Autism affects boys more than girls. Abby is preoccupied with circular shapes and mixtures of colors

Although Abby is not a trained artist, the benefits that she derives from such artwork is tremendous. Abby loves circles and most of her artwork is done showing circles. We have alot of fun together creating artwork and I hope that you will find one that you enjoy and will display proudly in your home. Please pass the word around about us. We lost everything (house, car, possessions) and are trying to rebuild our lives.

Each piece is signed (I had to use bribery on this aspect!) Abby wanted me to include a picture of her along with her therapy dog Buster, who is a beagle. Buster goes everywhere (with the exception of school) with Abby."

Although not one of Abby's typical circle paintings, the one above is my current favorite!

Thank you for sharing your art with us Abby. Your paintings are as beautiful as you are!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My worst nightmare....

The iPad is BROKEN!

It is still functioning. But after taking a tumble off the stroller onto concrete at a ballgame on the weekend it does have a series of small cracks along one side (kind of like a chipped windshield).

We are up in Edmonton this weekend for a ball tourney and I will try taking it into the Apple store in West Ed. I have heard amazing things about Apple's customer service - people taking in broken iPhones and walking out with new ones. So I will try my luck!

But with our upcoming trip to Oklahoma just a few weeks away, if I cannot have it replaced on the spot I think I'll have to wait 'til after we get home to send it away to be repaired. Cannot imagine making the trip (flights, hotels, nights at the ballpark) without it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Time!

After a cool, wet spring, summer is finally here!  We spent the Canada Day long weekend finishing some outdoor projects. Backyard fence is about 80% complete (to be finished tomorrow night). Boys playground set (swing/slide/fort) is completed. And a newly purchased kiddie pool got filled today!

The forecast for this coming week is spectacular. I look forward to adding some pics of my little guys at play shortly.

Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! Happy belated Canada Day and/or Happy Independence Day (tomorrow) to all my readers!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Feature - Sugar & Spice

Gonna try something new... every Friday I will feature a member from the Etsy for Autism team.
This could be someone who creates and sells Autism Awareness pieces, therapeutic/educational items, or is an artist on the Spectrum. I hope you enjoy my finds!

This Friday feature is "Sugar & Spice".

Christine creates adorable fabric rag dolls, including a line of Autism Awareness dolls (one pictured below).

She is also the mother of a little girl recently diagnosed with ASD, and a fellow Blogger.

Thank you for sharing your art and your stories with us Christine!