Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Kitchen

Believe it or not, I don't take a picture of everything I eat. I am not that girl. I am almost that girl. And there are loads of comedians and people who think they are too good for Facebook, Twitter & reading blogs of ordinary people (me!) who make jokes about how lame it is to post food pictures online. And I usually laugh. But I find so much beauty in food...so I don't care what they think. 

I guess I have had my camera handy lately because I have loads of food pictures on there. Here are a couple I love.

My kids have lunch deficit disorder. Ok, thats not a real thing... The point is, my kids are much likely to clean their plate if its filled with more than one type of food. I think most kids are this way, which is why the 'muffin tin' style of lunch is so popular. I don't have muffin tins, but I do like to mix it up for them. (And for the record, this picture captures the ONE time we've had white bread in our house, leftover from a bridal shower).

I don't want to brag or anything, but I was pretty excited when I discovered that the canvas bag that came with a pair of Toms shoes works perfect for taking potatoes camping. It dark but breathable. And lets not forget cute.

I can't possibly express how grateful I am to have a family that loves vegetables. It shocks me when grown men (I'm talking to you Justin Hingsburger!) don't eat vegetables! I am grateful that my husband doesn't shun zucchini muffins, eggplant, beets or broccoli.... it means my kids (who thinks he lights the sun) will too.

Brussels Sprouts are Brian's favourite. Even my parents (who are big veggie eaters) didn't make us eat BS's when we were kids... but Granny Ruth did, so Brian, 20 years later, loves them. I love them because they look like Barbie Lettuce.

It seems that every time Brian and I sit down to watch a documentary, we loose our appetite for meat. Well, we spent late Friday night watching TED talks so it's been a bunch of vegetarian meals since then. I made an AMAZING couscous (below) the other day. Between the carrots & my cute napkins, I had to take a picture (but by all means, you don't have to look at it...). This couscous marks the first time I have cooked with dates (I used half of what the recipe recommended). They were delicious. And I like dates (I've had a date milkshake in Arizona & in Australia my husband lean red to make a mean sticky-date pudding) so I think I will look for a couple more recipes to explore them further. Nerdy.

Today I am making popsicles for the kids with pineapple, coconut milk, banana & vanilla whizzed through a food processor. Who am I kidding?...These aren't for the kids...these are for me.

Layout 301 & 302

I love these pictures that my cousin Christine Hopaluk took of my son playing football with her boys last summer. I feel lucky that she let me have copies (because, let face it, her pictures are pretty impressive works of art). I just wanted to scrapbook them the moment I saw them.

The ones below are mine... not nearly as impressive next to that of a brilliant photographers. But I'm fine with it. I especially love the little nudie (who is censored by a star) in the right-hand corner. 

Layout 300

The right side of this layout is dark because its actually a flap. There were so many pictures that I had to use on of those Close To My Heart Flip-Flaps (which I love) to get them all in). 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I have said it before & I will say it again "I have no control when I am in a bookstore". None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Today I was able to slip out for a couple hours & leave the kids behind.... so naturally I headed to Chapters. And then to Zellers (more on that later). 
I walked around for over an hour with a bag of liquorice allsorts & a chai latte. Mmmmm. And no kids to chase after (that was the best part). It is so nice to not have to sit in the oversized tea cup while my kids play with the trains or look at books. I mean, don't get me wrong, we've passed many awesome afternoons that way, but this was a nice change.

I found this awesome cookbook stand (splatter-proof) for just $7. My SIL got one at her bridal shower a couple days ago & I was green with envy. That last just 3 days. Hahah!

I also bought a new cookbook from the Bargain Book section (love!). I'll be sitting down with it & a stack of post-it notes later tonight.

I bought my husband these govino champagne flutes. He loved them. And deserved them because I came home to him cleaning the kitchen. Yay!

I bought four other books as well. Empire of the Beetle by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (which I read in grade school but would like to re-read, just because), Emma by Jane Austen (another classic I haven't read) and Karl Marxs' The Communist Manifesto. Its a bit of a weird combination, but I am a bit of a weirdo, so it works.

I also headed over to Zellers. I'm not a big WalMart shopper, never have been, so I will be sad to see Zellers go. When I mention that to people they always seemed shocked. Not sure why, because Zellers rocks. It's so Canadian. And when we were little, it was the only place to go for almost everything in Lloydminster. We even ate dinner at the Zellers cafe once in a while for a special treat! We would always see our neighbours Percy & Margaret there, having coffee with all the other seniors. Maybe thats why I like it. And maybe because I worked there for a bit in high school... and then again in college (although I quit quickly before they could fire me, I was a bit of a partier back then). Anyway, I will be sad to see it go. And walking through the aisles today, looking at all of the clearance 'junk', I couldn't help but mourn the loss of a Canadian icon. Don't get me wrong, I loooove me some Target, but I feel nostalgic when I am in Zellers.... like I am following in my moms path (she was a BIG fan of Zellers back in the day). I will probably reminisce to my kids about Zellers (back-to-school shopping, fries & gravy, lemon meringue pie, Club Z Points, our matching Zeddy Bear sweatsuits & the coveted Barbie aisle) with the same way my Mother spoke of Woolworths. Zellers was where we shopped for my first Cabbage Patch, my first backpack & cassette tapes with my allowance & now, some 30 years later, my daughters first pairs of underwear (we are potty training next week!). It seems like such a trivial thing, and maybe I am just a little too focused on loss today, but it made me sad.

Leaving the parking lot I got caught in one of those awesome summer showers. Summer showers are like, 1 million times better than Spring showers. You know, the ones that only last a couple minutes while the sun is still shinning brightly. It was so beautiful. And when I looked up I couldn't even figure out where it was coming from. My friend Pam, who would have been 29 today, must have sent that for me, knowing I was shopping in Zellers & missing 'the good old days' in Lloyd. Thanks Pam. It was perfect. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Layout 299

Well, this was a hard one. Not the layout, that was easy, I had these adorable scraps that Jen had passed my way... But actually making the pages, without getting too emotional, that was the hard part. I can't believe Miles is already done his first year of preschool. I feels like just yesterday that I dropped him off & sat in my car wondering "now what?". He has grown up so much in just a short time, and this is just the beginning. Mrs. Agnew, Miles teacher gave us come random pictures that were taken of him throughout the year, I am grateful for those, it seemed every time I volunteered I was too busy to take pictures. So I chopped them up & stuck them in here with his diploma. 

Layout 294, 295, 296, 297 & 298

CLEARLY I do not scrapbook chronologically. Above are pictures of Miles from last summer, below are pictures of him at the hospital, shortly after being born.

I love giving my kids a bath or hose down in the trailer. It brings back so many memories. And last year Molly was the perfect size for the sink. So naturally, she was the cleanest campers.

Layout 289, 290, 291, 292 & 293

Guess who finally caved in & paid for extra storage on their google account? Yeah. This scrapbooker. So without further adieu, here are a BUNCH of layouts from the past couple of months. 

The pictures on the top right are ones that we took while camping. Because I am a slick & responsible parent, I have devised a plan to keep track of my kids in the campground at night without having to get my butt out of my lawn chair. Glowsticks. Only $1.50 at Michaels for about 12, I wrap them around the kids so I can see where they are (or aren't). The neat thing is when the kids move really fast, the glow sticks make for some cool pictures. 

If I had to pick a favourite it would be this one (above) but I also have to point out the oooold paper below (Sandylion! haha!).

Layout 288

There is paper on this layout that is 7 years old. And it makes me smiles. I always look at my tremendous paper stash & wonder if I should get rid of it, but I invested so much money into it that it seems like a waste. So I am please when I am able to find use for something that is more than 3 years old. All of this stuff is, nothing new here, except that I am so happy to have these pictures in the album now. I just LOVE Mollys fat little baby face.

Layout 285, 286 & 287

It is pretty possible that I am becoming progressively worse at scrapbooking. I think the problem is that I scrapbook so infrequently that it is hard to get a groove on. Anyway, here's what I've done lately.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good Morning Sunshine!

This morning was near-perfect (If Brian had been home it would have been perfect). I laid in bed & listened to the kids play in the living room. The sun was shinning in through my blinds so I just stared through the cracks & watched the new day arrive. Every once in a while one of the kids would 'come check on me' but they had no requests so I just laid there, in the stripes of sunshine. It was bliss.

I must have dozed off because I woke up to Molly, about an inch from my face who smiled when she saw my eyes open and said "I eat?". She can be so creepy & cute at the same time. So I rolled out of bed & made blueberry smoothies for the kids. We love blueberries in this household. They beat out strawberries & raspberries every time. 

Because Miles is obsessed with 'facts' I did a little blueberry research for him this morning, what a pack of nerds we are. Happy Saturday!

A little food for thought...

- Blueberries are native to North America
Although they're called "blue" berries, blueberries grow in a variety of shades from light blue to dark purple.
- They are the second most popular berry in the United States, second to Strawberries (not in this household!)
One half cup of blueberries counts as one serving and contains just 40 calories
Blueberries get their intense blue color from anthocyanins, substances that may reduce risk of heart disease in humans
The French word for blueberry is myrtille
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The way I take on projects.... you'd think I have nothing else to do. That is not the case. This week I have been running around doing errands for my SILs wedding and prepping for the bridal shower I am throwing her on Sunday.

So last night, Lindsay & I went out to the Okotoks Salvage Center to look for mason jars & I spotted this chair. Gorgeous shape. And this morning, I was still thinking about it, so I made it mine. And it was only $3.30. Lovely.

Isn't it ugly?

Step one: Sand it down! I used Brian's 'mouse' which is the cutest power tool I have ever seen. And it's a slippery little sucker! It got away from me a couple times... but I recovered & uncovered a light blue layer of paint. I was originally deciding between robins eggs blue & grey, but when I was that it was originally blue, I decided she would like to be blue again. (Don't adjust your screen, I did just call the chair she. I do that. Especially on things I invest time or money into... It's childish, I hope my children never do it, but I do and cannot stop.) I had the paint lying around....really! I had bought it a couple months ago in the clearance area at Home Depot for only $1.00. 
FYI: That puts my grand total for this chair at $4.30 so far.

Now the first coat of Aegean Blue paint from Martha Stewart is on. And I can tell she is happy. Happy to be back in it's original state. 

I am going to peruse my fabric to see what I might have lying around to recover the cushion. I bet I can find something cute. And if not....well, isn't that the perfect excuse to head to the fabric store (this is where Brian cringes). 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Layout 284

Layout 283

It's About Time...

When I had my own business I was obsessive about my planner. If I found myself out without it, I went home to get it. If I lost it for even a minute, I panicked. Brian had suggested that maybe I wean myself off of it, that relying on something to much wasn't healthy. I heard his opinion & went at least 6 more months before I was able to be without it.

And then 3 years passed. 

Yesterday I bought a planner again (it's cute right?). I have been forgetting things again lately, and the anxiety I felt without my planner is nothing compare to the anxiety I felt when the Alberta Children's Hospital called to reschedule Molly's surgical consult, which I had completely forgotten about. How on earth does one forget something so important? I've also forgotten other important things in the past couple of months; a Doctors appointment, a physiotherapy appointment, that a babysitter was coming over to give me a much need break (seriously???) and a volunteer meeting for the Calgary Folk Festival. And all of these things were written on my calendar. And all of them I just 100% forgot. And that doesn't even begin to touch on numerous things I have forgotten to pick up, drop off & do for other people. My integrity is taking a beating.

So here it is: The Return of the Planner. And hopefully it isn't accompanied by the return of neurotic Haley. But I had no choice, the fridge calendar wasn't cutting it.