Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Handy Men

My dad is a pretty handy guy. He can make anything!
I realize every little (or not so little) girl says this about her daddy, but in my case it's true!

Zac loves helping others build things; and if the project involves any sort of manly tool, even better! So while visiting my parents I really wanted my dad and Zac to do a little project together.
I thought they would both enjoy the manly bonding.
When I saw this over on Cakies, I knew it was the project for the two of them tackle.
Such a cute memory!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creamy Orange Popsicles

Summer has finally hit Newfoundland!
I have learned that it is not entirely uncommon for the warm weather to hold off until late August/early September and this year proved to be no exception.
Although I feel slightly behind in the celebration for warm, sunny days I have been enjoying them as much as possible.
The town we live in is close enough to the Ocean that we almost always have a breeze, making warm days cool in the shade and hot days entirely bearable in the sun (my personal opinion of course).

Going through out kitchen cupboards a few days ago I stumbled upon our popsicle moulds and simply had to make creamy orange popsicles.
I was really pleased with how they turned and the boys loved them!
My mister felt they were a little too orang-y, which isn't entirely surprising as our citrus preferences are polar opposite - so adjust the proportions of the orange juice concentrate to your tastes, of course.

3/4-1 cup (roughly 1/2-3/4 of the carton) orange juice concentrate, thawed (I used 1 cup)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
Mix together and pour into popsicle moulds. Freeze overnight.
(our mould is only 4 popsicles so I just froze the left overs, thawed it after everything was cleaned and made some more)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Musical Monday: Peter, Paul & Mary - Blowin' in the wind

I've been thinking about the 60's a lot these days.
Nothing in particular, just as a whole.
Last Wednesday there was a special on TV about Peter, Paul and Mary and I got a little sucked in. I remember learning this song in my public school music class - love it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Riding a Bike

Zac can officially ride his bike - with out any help!
I'm so proud of him but it's breaking my heart to see him grow up so fast!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Old Picture

I love old photos, especially black and white ones.
Something about them is just too cozy for words. I always wish I could go back and sit in on whatever event was taking place in the picture. It seems like it would be so much more magical then anything that could happen in this time.
We recently visited my grandparents and she had some old pictures laying around. I found a wedding picture of some close cousins that I was completely taken with. I was even so bold as to ask if I could take it home with me. She chuckled, I'm sure thinking I was a little nutty, and said of course.
...I want her dress...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fleece Blanket

I am an Auntie to 7 fantastic kids.
After my first niece and nephew were born I made them blankets, not realizing the commitment I would feel to make each one of the kids blankets going forward. That said, the blankets I made were not at all hard so I haven't found it too daunting a task to make more. Thank heaven I didn't make quilts! sheesh!
Any-hoo since the blankets are super easy I thought I'd share a little how to...
You'll need:
2 types of fleece (I get 1 meter each... just cuz I like them big... think nursing mommy up at midnight, I wanted them to be able to be big enough for mommy to snuggle up with too)
Cardboard Tab (optional)
Lay your fleece flat, right sides facing, pin and stitch along one short end (the top). Trim, so it lays nicely when flipped so right sides are facing out.
With right sides facing out snip into the fabric along the two long sides and remaining short side. I'm crazy about making the tabs all the same size so I always make a little cardboard guide, roughly 1"x 3". I also pin the materials together so there is no shifting during the next step.
Tie knots into the fleece using the front and back pieces of the tabs you just cut.
Easy-easy, super cozy and always appreciated!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homemade Protein Granola Bars

A few weeks ago a friend gave me a recipe for homemade protein bars.
SUPER YUM! I kind of wish there was a better word to use then yum... they are like... yummilicious!
or yumtastic, if you will.
They're good... you should try them...

Homemade Protein Granola Bars
2 cups quick oats
1 cup protein powder
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups trail mix
1/2 cup walnuts (my trailmix had a bunch of nuts in it so I just put in 2 1/2 - 3 cups of the trail mix)
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup honey
2 cups peanut butter

Melt the honey and peanut butter in a big sauce pan and then mix in everything else. Press into a greased 9x13 pan and toss in the freezer. I melted peanut butter and drizzled it on top, and I know my friend does the same with chocolate.
I found it easiest to cut after about 20-30 minutes in the freezer and I stored them in the freezer, removing my bar roughly 10-15 minutes before I ate it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Musical Monday: The Like - He's Not a Boy

Like?? no, no, LOVE!!!!

another band found through the wonderful Katie, that girl's got excellent taste in music!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Date Day

While on vacation, in Ontario, the hubbs and I managed to get away for an entire day... all on our own!
It's kind of an annual thing for us... one date a year... no pressure but it has to be awesome!!


Our first stop was to the little village of Westport. There was a delicious bakery there and we stocked up for a day of no whining, runny noses or sticky fingers. It was fantastic.
After Westport we headed to a village just outside of Ottawa called Perth. It's really cute and was the best time. We ate lunch at this fantastic mexican restaurant right beside the water.
After we finished eating the hubbs surprised me by taking me up to a huge fabric store and letting me take my time and spend all kinds of money! It was fantastic, he didn't pester me at all with his boredom!

We wandered around the village for a while and then discovered a beautiful park hidden behind the main street. It was so quiet and peaceful. We sat under a tree facing a little creek that ran through the park. It was just so lovely!
There may have been some kissing... hey! once a year people, it's allowed!

We were home by dinner to two little boys that seemed extra adorable after a full day away.
We're already making plans for next year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Final Wedding Words

I don't have too much left to say about my brother in laws wedding, I feel like I've already shared a bunch, but wanted to show some final pictures of everything.
As mentioned here I made cookies as the place markers and favours for each guest.
It was a boat load of work, consisting of about 3 days of baking and decorating 210 (or so) cookies.
Once they were all written and ready to go, I put 2 cookies (one plaque with the guests name and one heart with the happy couple's initials) into a cellophane bag and topped it with a thank you note from the couple.
To make the topper tag, we purchased some scrapbook paper in their colour and printed a note on envelope labels, then used the same method I used here to finalize the packaging.
It turned out really nice and all the guests seemed pretty impressed. I think they looked really professional once everything was completed.

And who can forget about the cake! Let me just say, making a wedding cake in some one elses kitchen while all kinds of family floats around you is no easy task. I think I did pretty well, but I will not lie, there were some moments I wanted to pull my hair out. That said, I think everyone around me felt the same way.
It turned out pretty well and although I still see some issues with it I was generally happy in the end. Could have better, but it also could have been so much worse. I kept reminding myself that it has been over a year since I last made a wedding cake, so all in all, I gave myself a high five.

The boys wore their ties, mentioned here, and looked to handsome for words.
Eli was a bit of a challenge getting into his suit but, provided you didn't bring any attention to it by mentioning how handsome he was, kept it on all day. By dinner, he wouldn't let you touch his tie out of fear you would take it off.

It was a beautiful day and the couple could not have been happier!
Congrats guys!! Married life is awesome!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strawberry Picking & Rustic Strawberry Pie

I have always loved strawberry picking.
There's something about it that just makes me sigh and breath in summer, because of that,
I was so excited to take the boys berry picking for their first time this year.

It was too cute to watch them select their berries as they had very different styles.

Every berry Eli picked was saught out with near perfection. He would push his way through all the leaves in the bushes to make sure he choose the best looking berry in the cluster that he had found. He would then stand up, pick every bit of green stem off it and pluck it into his mouth. Once his berry was chewed and swallowed he would squat down and start the process over.
Zac, however, preferred to pick anything that was red and plunk it into his basket, his primary objective was filling his basket as full as he could. It took close to 30 minutes to convince the boy that it was ok to taste one, "no mommy, it goes in the basket not my belly, silly!"
It was great fun.

I know I've said it before but I love pie.
So with berries on the mind I made this delish Strawberry pie that really couldn't be simpler!

Open Strawberry Pie
1 pkg of puff pastry
5 cups strawberries, cut into halves and quarters
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 egg
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp (roughly) of apricot jam

Preheat oven to 475.
Mix the berries, sugar and cornstarch together and allow to sit while you roll out the puff pastry into a rough circle and place on a cookie sheet. Dump the berries into the middle of the dough (it's ok to pile them pretty high as they will cook down in the oven and spread your pie out a bit), and fold the edges of the dough up over the berries.
Beat the egg with some water and brush over the edges of the puff pastry and sprinkle sugar over the egg wash.
Place the pie into the oven and immediately turn it down to 375. Allow to cook for 30-35 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and is golden.
Heat the apricot jam in the microwave and pick out any chunks. Brush over the berries, it will give it a nice shiny finish.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I like to consider myself a crafty person... that said I have no illusions in thinking I am awesome at crafting.
You see, I have my limitations in what my brain can come up with as far as supplies are considered. Which tends to limit me a bit creatively.
A plastic bottle is pretty much always a plastic bottle to me... pop cans once served a purpose but once empty I have very little use for them. I tend to like to start with a blank canvas, if you will, so a yard of fabric has endless possibilities for me, but if it's a preexisting object I have a hard time seeing it as anything but it's original use.
It really amazes me to see the things people come up with using recycled objects and I'm discovering most of the options are limitless!

While staying with my parents I purchased this pattern for a cardboard kitchen that I loved!! My dad put it together for my boys and it worked out great.
We had some troubles with the door for the oven, as it kept falling off, but the boys knew no difference and still played with it a tone, more then I think my dad even knows!

My brother is a pretty environmentally concious guy and while visiting him I was absolutely in love with some cardboard furniture they had!
It has since been pointed out that cardboard may not be the most practical material to build a night stand with ("what happens if it gets wet?") but I still love it.

I'm Home & Musical Monday: Beatles - Twist N Shout

I'm home!!
Well... ok, I've been home for a week now, but it still feels so wonderfully new and comfortable. Is there really a better feeling in the world then coming home from a long vacation to your own house, filled with all your own things? I think not! and I plan to relish in this comfortable feeling for as long as I possibly can!
The boys and I have been in Ontario for a whopping 8 weeks, 3 of which my mister was with us and the last 5 with him in Newfoundland doing house renovations while the boys and I stayed with family in Ontario.

I know I've been posting pretty irregularly over these past few weeks, but that should hopefully all come to an end now my friends!! And if you've been checking in and stuck with me all this time THANK-YOU!! It makes me feel so special to have people care and get excited to see what I have to say and share!

What a more fun way to start posting again then with a Musical Monday!! I love this song; it always makes me want to get up and start dancing, which seems fitting at the moment, since all I want to do is dance around my house.
I must say though... watching this old video, it puzzles me that the Beatles were considered icons to the ladies... a different time perhaps...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Musical Monday: Shania Twain - Today is Your Day

I'm really not a Shania fan, but I must say I do enjoy this song very much!