Comfy Hotel Slippers – Hello from Edmonton

Comfy Hotel Slippers – Hello from Edmonton

Hello from the warm but wet Alberta North! We have arrived in Edmonton where the temperatures are hovering above freezing so despite it snowing like crazy last night, outside is mostly just wet. But since the weather is warming up, we went exploring today.

This weekend we found the delightful Duchess Bakery, bought a box of Macarons, and enjoyed coffee and sandwiches. Sam is such a social butterfly that he has decided he hates restaurants where he can’t see and smile at everyone around him, so Duchess’s open atmosphere was perfect for him.

Last week I found a really cool pattern on Pinterest for crochet slippers with a flip flop sole. The pattern is great, but I’ll admit that I didn’t read the whole thing before deciding I had to have a pair. Instead I bought a cute pair of flip flops from Old Navy, a matching skein of yarn at Michaels (who had amazing sales last week) and tried to figure it out on my own.14

Then I went back and read the pattern because shaping the toes and heel was not something I instinctively knew how to do. I made two pairs over the course of a week, and pictures from both pairs are included. The first one is too big and I used variegated yarn which ended up with a slightly odd pattern.

The second attempt went much better. With a little practice it ended up being a 2 nap pattern, but Sam has been sleeping a little longer now.

So here we go! A cute pair of slippers to wear around the hotel and to the restaurant in the morning. I highly recommend checking out the pattern I based it off at Make and Do Crew because she explains how to taper the heel and do the toe much better than I can. Also, I’ve never written a pattern before, so I’m half writing a pattern and half explaining what I did.

It’s basically the same pattern, only I use 2 rows of half double crochet instead of 9 rows of single crochet because I’m trying to get them done while Sam sleeps. If you don’t want to struggle through understanding that, just jump over there and follow a properly written pattern, complete with proper diagrams. I won’t judge.1

You need:

A pair of flip flops, smaller than your shoe size. I used size 6.

1 skein of yarn, I used Loops and Threads Impeccable in Lavender.

A pair of embroidery scissors

Something to poke a hole, I used a glasses screwdriver, but a tapestry needle might work as well

A small crochet hook, about 3mm

A larger crochet hook, about 4.5mm

The first thing I discovered, which I would know if I read the pattern all the way through, is that you make these slippers with a flip flop that is at least 1 size smaller than what you usually wear. This way the crochet edge holds a little tighter to your feet. These ones are still a little loose, but they stay on well enough for wandering around the hotel.

The first thing you want to do is cut off the thong part that holds your feet in place.

Next I used a pair of embroidery scissors to poke 50 holes around the edge of the sole, about every ¼ inch, and then a glasses screwdriver to poke through the sole on an angle.

Round 1: Use a 3mm crochet hook to single crochet the first row all the way around the sole of the flip flop starting in the middle of the heel. Insert a stitch marker at the starting point. This was the part that took me the longest. It’s a bit of work to get the hook through the hole, grab the yarn and get it back through without losing the yarn.

Round 2: Still with the smaller hook, single crochet another round, do not turn.6

Round 3: Switch to the larger hook and single crochet another round, do not turn.

Round 4 and 5: Half Double Crochet (hdc) all the way around for two rounds. Do not turn at the stitch marker.7

Row 6: This is where I started tapering the heel. At Make and Do Crew, they have a really good tutorial on how to do this, so if my instructions don’t make sense, check over there!

Below is a chart of one side of the heel. The black square is the stitch marker. Work to the slip stitch and then back.

From the stitch maker single crochet in the next 15 stitches, or to the middle of the sole. Slip stitch into the next hdc. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 7: Slip stich into the next single crochet from row 6. Single crochet back to the stitch marker for the middle of the heel (if you did 15 stitches in row 6, it will be 14 stitches back). Do not turn.

8b Single crochet in the next 15 hdc in the opposite direction, slip stitch into the next hdc from round 5. Chain and turn.

Slip stitch into the next single crochet. Single crochet back towards the stitch marker in the heel. Do not turn.

Row 8: Single crochet in the next 13 stitches, or 2 less than you did in row 6. Slip stitch into the next single crochet. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 9: Single crochet back to the stitch marker in the heel. Do not turn. Single crochet in the next 13 stitches. Slip stitch into the next single crochet, chain 1 and turn.

Single crochet back to the stitch marker in the heel.

Round 10: Single crochet around the entire sole and fasten off.9

Shaping the toe: I followed the direction from Make and Do crew except I did 9 rows of hdc bunches instead of only 4. This way the toe covers more of your foot and stays on better.11

Cluster: 3hdc in the same stitch.

With the toe facing you find the middle of the toe and count 6 stitches to the right. Join your yarn to the shoe with a slip stitch.

10Row 1: (Skip 2 hdc, cluster in the next hdc) three times. Skip 2 hdc and slip stitch into the next 2 hdc from round 5. Turn.

Row 2-9: Cluster in the center hdc of each cluster in the previous row. Slip stitch into the next 2 hdc from round 5. Turn.12

Round 10: single crochet across the toe and around the whole shoe. Fasten off.

You’re done! These slippers are really cute when you’re finished, and really comfy to wear. Even my husband thought they looked neat and might secretly want a pair. He asked if he could try them on, but I informed him they would most certainly not fit his feet.13

Right now I’m working on 2 larger projects to share with you, so I might not get the next post up this week. Sam is also working on at least one more tooth and is even more fussy than when the bottom ones came in. I remember when my wisdom teeth came in, so I don’t blame him for being miserable, but it does make for hit or miss nap times and long nights. I often end up falling asleep while putting him down for his nap.

We have three more weeks on the road, and then I have an amazing cake to make for my step-dad’s birthday. This next month is going to be very interesting, and hopefully I’ll be able to work myself into a better rhythm for running this blog.

Until next time.


Back on The Road

Back on The Road

It shouldn’t surprise you that I spend a lot of time and money in Michael’s. There are people who I’m not allowed to go shopping with because it will inevitably end with me starting a new project. Or leaving with a bag full of yarn. However I still make almost weekly trips into town to wander through and get inspired to do new things.

When I was there the other day I was looking for candy melts so I could make cake pops (which I ended up not making) and instead discovered that their candy melts now come in Cheesecake and English Toffee. YUM!!IMG_20170212_1746592

I instantly knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I wanted to make some fun little candies for my husband before we took off on our longest business trip of the year. I wanted to bring them with us, but they didn’t last that long.

We are currently one week into a five week trip through the beautiful but freezing Canadian Prairies. I commented on the snow in Calgary, where we currently are and someone asked if I was really surprised.

“Calgary is basically a snow globe.” Which I know, because I lived here for 8 years as a teenager.

Back to the candies.IMG_20170212_1804202

This is super super easy, and I’m excited to try a few other things with it when I get home. But for now, let me show you the basics.

Get a silicone candy mold. Mine is a Wilton individual brownie pan, so it has 24 little squares. I also have little round ones, and saw hearts and different shapes at Michael’s as well.IMG_20170212_1748477

Make a thin layer of sprinkles on the bottom of each square.IMG_20170212_1800085

Melt your candies in the microwave. Stir every 30 seconds until they’re all melted. Pour about a tablespoon of melted candy into each little square.IMG_20170212_1804041

I decorated the tops with heart candies and some chocolate non parallels.

Put them in the fridge until they set up. You can also let them sit on the counter, but it takes a lot longer that way.IMG_20170212_1931168

Pop them out of the silicone mold and enjoy!

It is such an easy process that you can do it anytime you feel like. They make great little gifts and can easily be made while the baby naps.IMG_20170212_1932358

I even have a microwave in my hotel room so if I feel like it, I can make them on the road! Although my husband informed me he wasn’t a big fan of the English Toffee flavour (he’s wrong, they’re amazing!) I know that they also come in white and dark chocolate, and milk chocolate at Bulk Barn.

You can also decorate them any way you want. Swap out the sprinkles on the bottom for the ones that look like snowflakes or stars, or even coloured sugar or a coloured candy melt.

I’ll be sure to do another post with some other ideas for how to make fun little candies for different events.

Happy Birthday Grandpa – A Cake And Craft Post

Happy Birthday Grandpa – A Cake And Craft Post

A couple weeks ago my husband “borrowed” my computer for his business trip and I was only able to get one post up. His email system decided to download all the 90000 emails he’s sent in the last ten years and so he needed to borrow mine so he could get some work done. Then I started back on the road and Sam started getting teeth and absolutely nothing productive got done. So to compensate I’m doing one that’s a bit of cooking and a bit of crafting this week.img_20170128_1623089

It was my grandfather’s 70th birthday at the end of January and I have long been the family pastry chef. This position was solidified about 8 years ago when my mom bought me the book “Hello Cupcake” (a cute joke since my nickname in school was Cupcake) and it became even more secured when I took the Wilton Cake Courses at our local Michael’s 5 years ago. So I volunteered to make a cake for the party, and since he just bought himself his dream car (a Cherry Red Corvette) back before Christmas, that was the obvious choice for a cake theme.

I’ll start by letting you in on a little secret; I generally don’t make my cakes from scratch unless it’s for a big event like a wedding. I have a few good cake recipes pinned on Pinterest, and a few go to options for when I get requests, but usually I pop into Safeway and grab whatever mix is on sale. My trick is that I don’t always follow the instructions on the box, and I have access to the same type of syrups they use at Starbucks to make lattes.

This time I bought two Betty Crocker French Vanilla cake mixes. I used 2 cups of milk, 3 whole eggs, 2 egg whites (from back when I made crème brulees), ¾ cup canola oil and ¼ cup of Butter Rum Syrup. It was really good. I get the syrups at Cash and Carry in Bellingham Washington whenever I make a trip across the border. They can also be purchased at Starbuck or on Amazon.

I wanted to do 3 layers and I wanted them fairly even so I measured out the cake batter as I put it in the pans. I also made a dozen cupcakes to take to my Mommy Meet Up on Monday (which ended up just being me and the ladies that run it). My first trick to making layer cakes is to put parchment paper circles in each pan so that the cakes come out cleaner.img_20170127_2220223

After the cakes are baked and cooled, turn each cake out of the pan and peel the paper off the bottom. For a nice, level, flat cake take a bread knife and cut the rounded top off each layer. Place your cake on a base, either a cutting board or a cake board, cut side down. This way the bottom of the cake, which is already flat and won’t make a bunch of crumbs, is facing up.

To put filling between the layers, spread a thin layer of icing on the cake and then pipe a border all the way around the top of the cake. This way the jelly doesn’t seep into the cake, or leak out the sides. Spoon in your filling. I just used regular strawberry jam.

Place your next cake on top and repeat. Now you have a nice stacked cake with filling between the layers. Some great fillings are jam and the pudding mixes that make cream pies.img_20170128_1223423

The second great trick I learned in my Wilton classes was making a crumb layer. I’m sure smarter people than me know this one already, but it was mind blowing for me. Simply spread a thin layer of icing all over your cake so that you don’t get crumbs in your top layer. This also helps fill in gaps where the cakes are a little broken or wonky. Put the cake in the fridge so the icing sets and voila! No crumbs in the icing!img_20170128_1231187

Once your crumb layer has set, spread a nice thick layer of icing over the cake. I opted not to dye the icing a colour, but I kind of wish I had. Also, if you’re using fondant, cover your cake in fondant instead of spreading more icing. I love fondant because it hides ALL the mistakes in my cakes, like leaking filling or crumbly cakes, but grandpa finds it too sweet, so we went with icing this time.img_20170128_1527485

Now you have a lovely cake! On Facebook I’ve seen people refrigerate the cake and then smooth the icing out with a paper towel. Whenever I try to do this, the icing sticks to the paper and it doesn’t look as good. I do advocate getting a cake turner and a curved spatula because it makes icing a round cake way easier.img_20170128_1336103

So now the crafty part. I wanted to put the Corvette emblem on top of the cake. I know how to do this, but because I cheated and bought the cookie writer piping gel, that comes in little white tubes at the grocery store, instead of good quality piping gel that comes in a tub, it didn’t come out as sharp as I wanted. It also works better if you add a small amount of butter cream to your piping gel, about a table spoon of icing to half a cup of piping gel.

Here’s what you do:

Print off the picture you want to copy onto your cake and trace over it onto parchment paper.img_20170128_1336051

Flip over your page so you have the mirror image facing up and trace over that with piping gel.img_20170128_1545585

Lay the parchment paper icing side down on top of your cake and smooth out lightly. If you press too hard your design gets smooshed. You might have to do some piping touch ups on your cake.img_20170128_1546419

Now colour in with coloured icing or coloured piping gel.img_20170128_1606027

Using red icing I piped “Happy Birthday” and a big 70 on the top. I also free handed a couple of cars on the side of the cake by drawing them into the icing with the back of a paintbrush and then tracing over with icing. Grandpa was happy with the cake and everyone loved the flavour.

Happy baking!

Robbie Burns Night – Cock-a-leekie Soup

Robbie Burns Night – Cock-a-leekie Soup
For a couple years now, friends of mine host a Robbie Burns Night supper on the
weekend nearest to Robbie Burns’ Birthday on January 25. This year we celebrated
early, so let the pot luck commence!230px-pg_1063burns_naysmithcrop
We do the party potluck style, with everyone bringing a traditional Scottish dish to be part of our feast. Our host provides Haggis, both meaty and vegetarian, and we supply the mashed neeps (turnips), mashed tatties (potatoes), roasted veg,and cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leeks). Shortbread and other goodies are also popular, and we enjoy some Scotch and other spirits.
For the past couple years I have been tasked with bringing soup. The first year I found my recipe in a book that was published for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and was full of traditional dishseven-british-cook-book-coveres from around the United Kingdom. However, that first year it was a bit
bland so last year I set out to make a much better soup recipe. This year I’ve got it down to an art, and I’m going to share it with you.
Since it’s essentially just a glorified Chicken Soup recipe, this is also a good one to have on hand for days not meant to celebrate Scottish Poets and food. But like my grandmother I don’t have an exact recipe, since it mostly involves throwing soup ingredients into a crockpot and letting it simmer until hot and delicious.
Ingredients, listed in order of importance:
3-5 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
6-8 cups Chicken Stock
1 large Leek
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper
Herbs and Spices, including Sage, Thyme and Rosemary
Yellow Onions
img_20170122_1710174Fill a large crockpot or soup pot with chicken stock and let simmer on low. Finely chop your herbs and add to the broth to simmer.


Prepare your chicken breasts with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and Thyme. Roast for 15-20 minutes at 350F until done. Pull apart and shred with a fork.img_20170122_1713193

Chop your vegetables into bite sized chunks. If you’re not familiar with chopping a leek,
cut it in half length wise and rinse it in cold water. Then slice it width wise into bite sized pieces.
A leek is a sweeter tasting onion, and looks kind of like a really big green onion. You can
include from just above the bottom of the leek to where the
stalk starts to split into leaves.
img_20170122_1703203How much vegetables you want to include is based on how you like you’re soup. I like to
have lots, so I usually do 7 – 8 carrots, 4–5 stalks of celery and a full onion.
img_20170122_1721271Fry your vegetables in butter, and let cook until soft.
Add chicken and vegetables to the pot and let cook for at least an hour to get the full flavour.
For a proper Robbie Burns Night Feast remember to read the Selkirk Grace (a poem by Burns), the Ode to Haggis (Also by Burns), and enjoy lots of food and Scotch. After dinner read poetry, preferably of the Scottish Variety, watch a Scottish movie (or one with Scottish actors) and sing Auld Lang Syne.
Now you’re prepared for tonight’s festivities.

My Own Private Spa Night

My Own Private Spa Night

Last week’s post got me thinking about how much I miss soaking in the tub. Alone. Because of my work I travel quite a lot, thus the “on the road” part of the blog title. I love the big, luxurious hotel bathtubs, often made for two people and with jets. But I often end up not getting to use them because I’m working, or taking care of Sam.

So today I’m making bath salts and bath bombs on the off chance that I can convince my husband that I should be able to lock myself in the bathroom for an hour this weekend and he should watch the baby. If not, I’ll just have to wait until Sam goes down for a nap.

Bath salts are super easy, and everything you add to them is just to make it more relaxing or purifying. There’s no exact recipe so it’s up to you what you feel like adding. However, the two best additives to make your bath more purifying are baking soda and green tea.img_0015

I start with about a cup of Epsom salts, the kind you buy at the drug store in a big bag. If you plan on adding to it, don’t get a scented bag. I find the scents already included pretty overwhelming, so I try and go for unscented all the time.img_0017

Then add in about ½ cup or more of baking soda. Baking soda helps pull the toxins out of your skin and can help if you think you’re coming down with something. I haven’t gotten to take a bath while sick, but I would compare the feeling of getting out of the bath after using this recipe to the end of a really good Hot Yoga class.img_0018

Next add in eucalyptus essential oils and green tea. I used white tea this time, but green tea is much better for a detox bath. I have used good stuff from David’s Tea, and I have used cheap stuff from Walmart. Both work fine, just whatever you have. Green tea is both detoxifying and regenerating.img_0019

To get the most out of a detoxifying bath, run the water as hot as you can comfortably handle, pour in half the salt mixture and soak for at least half an hour. If you feel light headed, get out earlier. When you’re done, be sure to drink lots of water!

If you just want to have a relaxing bath, start with 1 cup of Epsom salts.

Add in ¼ cup baking soda, this makes it a little fizzy but not as strong.

Add in an essential oil of your choosing, personally I like peppermint, lavender or chamomile. You can also add in a complimentary tea (peppermint with peppermint, chamomile with chamomile, ect).

Run the bath water warm, but not super-hot. If possible, follow up your bath with a glass of wine.


If you feel like getting fancy, or making gifts for family, you can also make your own bath bombs. A couple years ago I made my mom a “spa in a box” with all homemade bath stuff. She loved it and it was really easy.img_0016

One of the best recipes I found when I made them for my mom came from here because the recipe is for 1 bath bomb.

You start with:

2 parts baking soda

1 part citric acid

1 part Epsom salt and

1 part cornstarch. (For one bomb, each part is about a tablespoon. If you wanted to make more, or bigger ones, make 1 part equal a cup)

img_0020Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add ⅓ part (about 1 tsp) of oil mixed with essential oils. I find Sweet Almond Oil or Coconut oil works best, but you can also use canola or olive oil.

If you want them to look really pretty add a couple drops of food colouring. Like the sugar scrubs last week, they won’t stain your skin, just look pretty.

img_0021Mix everything together and press into either a mold or a large muffin tin (I’m actually using a small tupperware container). Silicon molds work great because it’s easy to get them back out after they’re done. Let them sit in the mold for a couple hours, or even overnight. When you pop them out of the mold you might lose a little bit, but that’s ok. Pack them air tight in a jar to keep moisture out.

When you’re ready, just drop it in the bath and enjoy the fizzy, relaxing sensation.

It Only Looks Fancy; Creme Brulee for Two

It Only Looks Fancy; Creme Brulee for Two

Every once in a while I like to do something fun and fancy for my husband. Sometimes it’s for a special event, like our anniversary or Valentine’s Day, and other times it’s just for fun. I also like to pretend I’m a fancy a chef like my brother and hiimg_20170114_1737521s fiancée actually are. Either way, my go to way of making myself feel fancy in the kitchen is by making Crème Brûlée.

My brother bought me all the stuff to make crème brûlée a couple years ago, and since then it’s been a go to favourite in our house. However, most recipes are for six and I really only need two. Once I made a dozen for a friend’s birthday, but usually it’s just my husband and I (and Sam, but he doesn’t get any yet). So for your convenience I have scaled down my favourite crème brûlée recipe so that it makes exactly enough to share. Plus, my favourite variation for extra special “pretend it’s fancy” occasions.

Vanilla Crème Brûlée for two

2 egg yolks

⅔ cup heavy cream

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla (or one vanilla bean)

+ optional Cappuccino Creme  Brûlée

2 tsp espresso or strong coffee

1 tbsp Baileys or Kahlua

Preheat oven to 275oFimg_20170114_1730400

In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until dissolved.img_20170114_1731285Pour in cream, vanilla and espresso and Baileys if using, and whisk until combined.img_20170114_1732443

Place 2 standard sized flan dishes into a baking pan (a 9×13 cake pan works perfectly) and divide the custard evenly between them.img_20170114_1736489

Pour about 2 cups of water in the baking pan around the flan dishes, so the water is about half way up the sides. This helps the custard cook evenly all the way through without overcooking on top.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the custard jiggles slightly.img_20170114_2154282

Remove from the oven and lift the dishes out of the hot water. My brother has no feeling in his fingers and just pulls them out, but I recommend using a large flipper to lift them out without burning yourself or getting your oven mitts wet.

Let cool for a couple minutes and then move to the fridge. Let them set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but up to 2 days if you’re planning ahead.img_20170114_2158516

When ready to serve, sprinkle about a tsp of sugar evenly over top of each one. If you have a handheld torch, use that to brown the sugar on top. If you don’t have a torch, set your oven to “broil”, move one rack up to the top position and place the dishes back in the oven for a few minutes. Not too long or the custard will melt, but long enough that the sugar to melt and slightly brown.


There you have it! Crème Brûlée for two.




Flu Season and Sugar Scrubs

Flu Season and Sugar Scrubs

This last weekend threw a wrench in my blog plans for this week. I wanted to do a post about another really fun crochet project I found last month, but instead I spent the weekend sleeping off a nasty flu bug and got nothing really accomplished. On the plus side, I think I lost 2 lbs this weekend, although I’ve done cleanses that were more fun.

Instead, today I want to share some of my favourite sugar scrub recipes! Especially since after the flu I always feel like I need a spa treatment to get the rest of the sick out.

Two summers ago a girl friend and I did a craft fair. The intention was to go to farmers markets and other craft fairs, but the summer kind of got away from me and I ended up not being around enough to be a good business partner. One of the things we made and I still love using, is sugar scrubs. I have one in the shower and I use it before I shave my legs, so now I have pretty, smooth legs (that have stretch marks, but hey I had a baby).


I’m going to share three different recipes with you, each done a different way, but the nicest thing about this project is: There are no rules! You can literally play with the recipe until you find what works for you and then go from there.

You need a few basic things to start:

Sugar – White or brown

Oil (coconut or baby oil work particularly well)

Essential Oils

A cute jar to put it in

And that’s it! Mix it up until it looks and feels smooth, put it in a jar and enjoy.

Alright, I’ll get a little more technical than that. Here are my three favourite scrubs.

  1. Sunshine Citrus Scrub

Pour about a cup of sugar into a clean bowl.img_20170110_1950121

Add about ½ cup melted coconut oil and stir until incorporated. It won’t be perfectly smooth, but not clumpy either.img_20170110_1951197

At room temperature the coconut oil will solidify again, but it gets nice and melted in a hot shower.

Mix in 6 drops of orange essential oil, and 6 drops lemon essential oil.

You can also mix in a couple drops of food colouring. It won’t stain your skin, the oil actually protects you from it, just don’t add a lot.img_20170110_1957571

Pour into your little jar and enjoy!


  1. Wake Up Coffee Scrub

Start with about ½ cup brown sugar and add in about ½ cup ground coffee. I have a grinder because I have an espresso maker, but you could use store bought coffee or fresh ground from Starbucks.img_20170110_2002275

Add about ½ cup melted coconut oil and stir until smooth.

Add 10 drops orange essential oil for added wake up power.

This one is nice because coffee has some really nice effects on your skin. On top of that, it feels amazing and you end up smelling like a latte.img_20170110_2004031


  1. Peppermint Cloud Scrub

Start with your cup of sugar.

This time add in baby oil until its smooth. Baby oil is also great for your skin, same as it is for baby. Luckily Sam’s skin is pretty much perfect, but since mine is not I often end up using his baby oil.

Add in a couple drops of peppermint essential oil and enjoy! This one is great for using before shaving. I find coconut oil sometimes coats my razor and I spend a lot of time cleaning it back out of the blades.


Now that you have the basics you can run with it! Mix whichever scents you enjoy with whichever type of oil or sugar you prefer. Use them when you wash your hands or in the shower. I don’t recommend putting it on your face, although I haven’t personally tried it.

Oh! Bonus scrub for the guys.

Mix sugar with body wash or dawn dish soap and tea tree oil to create a scrub that guys appreciate. I made one for my step dad, a welder, and he loved it. We teasingly call it “Beast Mode”.

Using Dawn means it has a bit of a degreaser and can help with dirty hands after a day in the shop. You could use it too if you’re into working on cars, or out in the garden, on your bike, ect.