Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Don’t let the name fool you – this palate pleasing puree is 100% dairy free and truly delicious.  It`s a fall favourite at my house so I always make a double or triple batch so there is lots left over to freeze.

If this is your second time making it and you want to change it up a bit, try roasting the squash or adding a sweet potato, some leftover pumpkin you have kicking around your freezer or roasted red peppers.  We like it spicy too so I tend to go heavier on the spices and I`ve been known to add a red chilli or two.


1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 tsp curry powder (or to taste)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup apple juice

4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash

1 cup peeled chopped pears (or apples)

salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


1.   Saute onions, celery & carrots in oil in a saucepan until tender (about 5 mins).  Sprinkle with curry powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook for one more minute.

2.  Add broth, apple juice, squash & fruit and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender.

3.  Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree soup.   Return to pot and add salt and pepper and more spices if desired.

4.  Top with crumbled bacon and scallions and if you eat dairy, try a generous tablespoon of sour cream.


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lets get together and share supplies!

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handmade gifts for him

‘gifts for the manly man’ by 3rdlife

















Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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Amaryllis… you’ve made my day

Last fall my husband brought me home a beautiful flowering amaryllis.  It had long pointed leaves and gorgeous red trumpet flowers.  The thing was almost 3 feet tall and I couldn’t believe it was coming from a bulb in this flimsy little pot from the grocery store.  It wasn’t even staked… why didn’t it just fall over?!

I loved my amaryllis and it loved me back.  It flowered for me through Christmas and I was very sad when the last petal dropped to the floor.  “Oh just stick in in the basement” said my sister-in-law Erin, “And bring it out next fall.  It’ll grow again.”  Oh sure.  Has she seen my other plants?  If there is one thing I don’t have, it’s a green thumb.  But I listened.  It’s worth a try, right?

Well this poor little bulb sat in my workroom all summer and when I dug it out to bring it upstairs last week it was covered in sawdust and cobwebs.  But I’m a believer.  So I watered it and put it in a sunny spot.

And not even a week later…

I’m so excited for it to grow and bloom  And it’s all thanks to my plant-whispering sister-in-law.  Thank you Erin!  I’m dedicating this amaryllis to you!


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3rdLife is at Handmade Harvest

Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and come by the Handmade Harvest Craft Show at the Old Town Hall in Almonte today or tomorrow!  They have 35+ vendors selling everything from home dec items to jewelry to clothing to preserves to sweet treats.  There will be something for everyone at the show (and don’t forget to pick out something for yourself!)

Stop by and say hi to Rebecca (our freckle) at the 3rdlife booth!

My niece Isla had a hard time choosing her favourite bag out of all the beautiful ones Rebecca has on display.

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Halloween… a nerdy crafter’s favourite holiday

Sure Christmas is the number one holiday for crafters.  Not only can you adorn your home from top to bottom with handmade decorations, you can also lavish your friends and family with the fruits of your crafty labours. But Halloween… Halloween is the time of year when nerdy crafters (and crafty nerds!) really shine.  Not only can you flex your creative muscles decorating your home and serving up tricks and treats, but it’s the one time of year we’re allowed to dress up as our favourite superheros or video game characters.  I have to admit… it’s my favourite holiday.

Here are a few highlights from Halloween’s past.


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Craft Room Make Over

When we moved into our new home, the first room to get a face lift was my craft room.  It’s the room in which I want to spend most of my time and considering the amount of materials and tools I have stored in there – it’s the one which requires the most organization.

I started by clearing out the room, ripping up the old carpet and removing everything from the walls.  I brainstormed what I wanted my completed craft space to look like and drew a rough sketch to map out my needs.  Once I had an idea of what I wanted to end up with, I could make a list of the things I needed to do or get in order to make it a reality.

The things that were important to me:

– flooring that is easy to sweep up,

– power outlets and lighting where I needed them,

– enough storage for all my tools & supplies, and

– lots of work surfaces to spread out my projects.


Removing the old carpet revealed a concrete floor and because I was trying to be as thrifty as possible with this renovation, I decided to finish it with paint.  $35 for a can of concrete paint and a few hours later I had a beautiful chocolate brown, easy to clean, floor.  I matched this with a coat of fern green for the walls and already it made me happy to walk into my new craft room.

I assessed the electrical situation but found it to be severly lacking.  From experience I knew I did not want to trip over extension cords and fight with task lights in my new space so I hired an electrician to install a few outlets and lights for me.  What a difference $100 can make!

With my electrical needs met, I moved on to storage.  Ikea… here I come.  Since my new craft space was a bit larger than my last (and my supplies seemed to have increased considerably as well…) I needed to add to my Antonius storage & shelving system.  Easy peasy – I love Ikea.  While I was there I also picked up some great boxes and bins to keep my things nice and orderly.  That store is full of wonderful organization inspiration.

With the drawers put together & shelves up, the last thing on my list of needs was satisfied with a big ‘ol pine harvest table which I centered in the room.  This bad boy is sturdy and large enough for a couple of crafters at a time.  And the best part about it is that all the scratches and dings it will suffer from years of crafting abuse will only add to the table’s character and charm.

Now the only thing left to do is to decide what my first project will be!

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photo dump update

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Friday Favourites: Doily Dreams

I guess I’ve been feeling a little granny-chic lately. I really enjoy nontraditional takes on lace and doilies, it’s so interesting to see such a traditional item used in modern ways, here are some of my favourites:

Art by Joana Vasconcelos

Pillow cover by Tuuni

Art by NeSpoon

Photography by Anders Schønnemann

Lace lamp – DIY by Dos Family

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In Bloom!

After about 6 years of neglect and infrequent watering, my orchid decided to surprise me by growing a new stem and now it is actually blooming! It makes me so happy, I’m not the best at taking care of my plants so this feels like a little miracle of sorts. He also seems to be outgrowing the pot but I’m too afraid to transplant him, anyone have any tips?

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