Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beautiful Beans

I didn't end up at the Farmers Market today. It's a long story, but there was no way it was going to happen. So I pouted for a bit. And then I made 3 dozen Chocolate Skor cookies (one dozen for a friend who helped me out the other day). I had big plans to take the kids on a looong walk. But it started to snow. Really? In April? Yes. In April. So, because I am stuck at home (I have no car. Long story.), I am going to pay homage to this crappy, cold weather by firing up my crock pot and making a great Turkey Chili. I know, sounds delicious. As I rinsed off my dried beans to boil them, I couldn't believe how beautiful they were. Ok, I could believe it... but they are pretty right? Kind of unexpected for 'supper'. So I snapped a picture and then tried to see how many of the items in this Organic 18 Bean Mix I could name.

Here's what I got:
Beans: Blackeye, Red Kidney, Baby Lima, Navy, Pinto, Small Red
Lentils: Green
Peas: Whole & Split Green

Here's what I missed:
Beans: Appaloosa, Azuki, Black Turtle, Calypso, Great Northern, Mung
Lentils: French, Red Split (I didn't know there were red split!)
Peas: Yellow

I think beans are overlooked in our home. I use them a lot in soups, stews and chilis, but knowing there are so many out there that I have yet to discover is intriguing. I don't think most people (who aren't vegan) know how versatile beans are. Last year I made a chickpea burger from scratch to take camping, and they weren't for me, but they opened up a new door for chickpeas in my home. Chickpeas were generally only used in Hommus but now I've even used them with squash in my Tagine. I am dying to find a source for more unique beans...perhaps the Farmers Market??

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So excited!

The Calgary Farmers Market has re-opened in it's new home. I am so excited to head over there on Thursday to explore. I love that they are open on Thursdays, and in their old location that was always the best day to shop/eat, especially if you're taking a stroller/kids. I'm looking forward to visiting Eden Essentials to pick up some much needed Nellies, trying out a new chai latte(I'll miss the love & care of a Phil & Sebastien soy chai).... but the things I have missed the most is being able to visit a fish monger. I looove fresh (not previously frozen) salmon. And it's hard to find in Calgary, as we are nowhere near an ocean.... So happy to have the Farmers Market open once again.

Market Hours

Thursday: 11 am - 7 pm

Friday: 9 am - 5 pm

Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm

Sunday: 9 am-5 pm

I'm Growing...

It's been a long time since I have put some TLC into spring planting. Actually, it's been 3 years. And Miles is 3 this June. Coincidence? Yeah, I thought not. The year I had Miles my friend Julianna actually came & filled my empty planters full of flowers (she is a Green Thumb & it killed her to have them empty). But this year I am committed to having myself a proper garden again. But it seems that, among my friends, I am the only one. Why don't more women my age garden? Why does it seem that we wait until the peaceful years in our lives to do something so peaceful? All I can do it tell you why I am.
1. I love the taste of garden fresh vegetables. The real ones. The ones that are washed with the hose & eaten at dinner the same day.
2.It's easy. Compared to scrapbooking. Mother nature does all the embellishing & she never goes wrong. And anyone can have a container or small raised garden. With the Internet, the resources are free & plentiful.
3. Kids love it. Miles has loved getting his hands dirty. And watching the sprouts pop up (my lovely cucumbers pictured above). I am excited to watch him learn how these plants will grow to be flowers and things we can eat.
4. It's good for the environment. And cheap. If you have the right water systems, it won't cost you a cent more on your water bill. You can use all sorts of recycled containers to plant your seeds (muffin trays! egg cartons!) & they cost just a couple dollars per pack (compared to $3 for a single head of cauliflower).
5. It's peaceful. Even with Miles running around the yard there is something therapeutic about being so close to the growing earth. The smells. The colors. And being outside soaking up the vitamin D... which is proven to make you happy :)

It's not too late. I planted my lettuce seeds tonight. And you can too. You are also just in time to plant Cucumbers (which your kids will love as they germinate in just a couple days!), Squash & Beans indoors. Or take a week or two to get your garden set up outside & plant Carrots, Kale, Peas, Potatoes & Spinach direct to ground.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Things.

 This weekend it finally FELT like spring. Maybe it was the sun in my face, maybe it was spending an entire weekend outside.... maybe it was just that I want it to be spring so badly. We still have snow in our backyard but I am ignoring it (maybe it will go away if I do). I love our yard in Spring. I love the clothes on the line, the toys in the yard & all the other little things spring brings (say that 10x fast). My pots are waiting to be filled with flowers, my lily is reaching for the surface, my grass is getting green along the edges....
 I am actually allergic to mushrooms. They make me sick. But I loooove the look of them. They are so cool, each of them is so unique. So I fell in love with these garden treats I saw at the dollar store (Yup! The dollar store!). It was so hard to only pick 3. I hope they hold up well, I love 'pottery' (my inner hippie chick) but it often doesn't survive outside in Canada. I would have a million lawn ornaments if it wouldn't look so trashy. I love the frogs, pigs & snails I see in the gardening them. And this year I find myself wanting chickens. Real ones. I am dying to have farm fresh eggs & as Jess put it today 'my own little urban farm'. Ok, I don't want goats: I've seen how they eat everything! But I wish we were allowed a couple chickens... luckily for my neighbors it is not allowed ;) For now I will just have to be happy with clay ones...
I have to admit I have COACH rubber boots. And until this year I didn't want to get them muddy. They are white (What on earth was I thinking?) and almost $200. What a waste of money. But at the time I loved them. Now I want them to enjoy the Spring as much as Miles' little boots do. These boots get a lot of love. They go out everyday and meet up with puddles, mud & molehills. I love his little boots. I can't wait for the ground to thaw so he can really test out the mud. I'm jealous of kids in the spring. I remember one day at Martin Brown school when it was slushy & I puddle jumped until I was soaked right through ( I think I got in trouble)... I remember it so well, and I know Miles is out there making those memories. Jealous.

Layout #236

Looks Like Trouble by Haley Ross
This is my favourite layout form my weekend at Camp Croppin & it is also the first one I did. I guess I lost momentum fast..... I love these pictures of my troublesome little girl. She is a little devil & you can see it in her face. I love these wooden butterflies I found at Scrapbookers Paradise. So beautiful. I loved this paper the minutes I saw it. And I felt like I won the lottery when I saw the little wooden butterflies at another store. Gorgeous. I sure did use the heck out of mini alphabet stickers this week. They really are such a great value (usually less than 3 bucks) and jump off the page so much better than writing in pen.
Materials: Paper: Making Memories, Basic Grey & _______ (I have no idea who is beautiful butterfly paper is by, but I got it at Scrap Yard); RubOns: Basic Grey; Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories & Thickers by American Crafts; Wooden Butterflies: Studio Calico; Gems: Kaiser Craft.

Layout #235

Spring Chick by Haley Ross
Um. I love this. I always regret putting effort into pages (the folded border strip) when I am mid-way through them. But in the end, I am happy. The stitching was the icing on the cake for me. And although I was worried it would look cheap & tacky, I am happy I included the card Molly got on her first Easter. Who would have thought I would be so happy with simple Doodlebug patterns & stickers. <3.
Materials: Patterned Paper, Cardstock, Stickers & Clips: Doodlebug Designs, Floss: Bazzill Basics; Alphabet Stickers: Thickers by American Craffts.

Layout #234

Buoy oh Boy! by Haley Ross
Worlds cheesiest title :) I love this line from Collage Press. Too cute.
Materials: Patterned Paper, Borders & Stickers: Collage Press; Pen: EK Success Zig Writer; Stickers: Pink Paislee & Thickers by American Crafts.

Layout #232

Campfire by Haley Ross
I hate this layout! Hahaha! When I pulled out those pictures my friend Kacey who was sitting next to me said "I've seen those pictures at every crop for the past couple years." It's true. These pictures are from 2007 & I love them, but couldn't seem to scrapbook them. Weird. Anyway, her comment forced me to scrapbook them (Thank You!) and I hate the layout. But at least it is done :)
Materials: Patterned Paper & Stickers by g.c.d; Alphabet Stickers: EK Success & Cosmo Cricut.

Layout #231

Molly Marie by Haley Ross
Pretty cute & girlie for camping pictures, non?
Materials: Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Ribbon: Prima; Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories & Thickers by American Crafts; Safety Pin: Junkitz; Journaling Spot & Buttons: Unknown.

Layout #230

Thankful for... by Haley Ross
I know that there's really nothing special to this layout (or any of my layouts really) to you. But to me, there's usually something I like enough to warrant keeping it in my album. I love the journaling on this page. I would have never thought to write down the conversation (argument?) that took place has it not been for my friends who laughed when they saw these pictures. I am glad I took their advice. I love this boring layout because I did.
Materials: Patterned Paper: K&Co, Making Memories, Paper Loft & Reminisce; Stickers: K&Co & Reminisce; RubOn: My Minds Eye; Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories; Pen: EK Success Zig Writer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Projects!

 I sit around most of the winter project-less. I love winter but besides skiing & scrapbooking, I am pretty unmotivated & uninspired. Not so in Spring. I've got projects on the go.

I'm starting my garden indoors. And although I lack the sunny spots (I have run out of room on our kitchen counter) I am having fun getting my veggies and herbs going. I always want to have herbs year-round but I never have, I think I will try to grow them through the winter this year. This morning I stopped at Home Hardware to grab some more Marks Choice biodegradable pots (pictured above) before I hit up with quilting store....
 ... where I found some flannel from My Minds Eye. I love this Penny Lane line in paper & even more so in fabric! So warm & happy. I'm not sure what I am going to make (maybe some cute, tiny pillows for Molly) but I had to have it. Last night I made a bag to house my clothes pins. It has been so long since I sewed (since the summer when I started making matching aprons from my friend Tasha & her daughter Hannah (which I packed up when I left teh cabin and totally forgot about...oops). I found them at the bottom of my sewing bin & I am committed to finishing them before I am in Lloydminster again.)...anyway, I was loving the sound of my humming machine. So peaceful. So although I am headed to Camp Croppin' this weekend, right now I am on a sewing kick.
Besides gardening & sewing, I actually managed to get a layout done in the past week (the reason I initially took my sewing machine out). I will post it soon. I loved the Little Boy paper from Echo Park so much that I picked up the girls version on Saturday at Scrapbookers Paradise with my CC 40% off coupon. I am trying to be very prepared for this weekend so I get lots done. I think a trip to the Scrap Yard is called for...maybe Thursday night.

That's all! Just keeping busy any way I can. I am so excited for Spring to finally arrive. I am going to go start super & try to convince Brian to make a fire out on the deck tonight.... too soon???

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Just have to send out a HUGE Congratulations to my friend Kim Collis who was invited to join the design team for Sketches2Scrapbook. If you have an iPhone (which I do not) you can download their app for some great sketches (perfect if you don't want to take your magazines to a crop!).

I will be borrowing her iPhone at Camp Croppin' next weekend.


 Molly. 5 days old.
I am sleepy. I am tired. And I am struggling. And I have no idea why. I haven't been staying up later than usual... but I find myself nodding off during the day. I am so sleepy. I think my kids are too! I have spent the past couple days rocking my babies to bed. I still sing to Molly (I loved singing to Miles, but now he just looks at me, as unimpressed as an Idol judge would be...). I know she will soon be too old to sing to as well (in which case I might just have to have another baby to fill the void). So even though I am sleepy, I am enjoying my time in the rocking chair with her. There is nothing better than when she rests her head on my shoulder & gives in. But I have to admit I have made up words in place of lyrics that I have forgotten over time. I am also guilty of turning songs like 'Bad Romance' into lullabies. Here are 10 songs I love to sing to my kids (as appropriate or inappropriate as the lyrics may be).

1.There's a Little Wheel A-Turning In My Heart
2. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
3. Ice Cream - Sarah McLaughlin
4. Jesus Loves Me
5. Baby Beluga - Raffi
6. Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
7. Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
8. Please Don't Stop The Music - Jamie Cullum
9. Easy Silence - Dixie Chicks
10. Yellow - Coldplay

Miles. 3 months old.