Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Road trippin'

Much has happened and many miles have been covered since my last post on Friday.
We left home late afternoon on Saturday, reaching Montreal by about 11:00pm (of course I can't stop there without a visit to Simon's - it's just a clothing department store, but it exists no where other than Quebec, and different is always fun. Of course, I bought myself a little something!
Sunday found us driving through the beautiful state of Maine. We'll be passing back through with a 2 night stop in Portland on our way home. We had a couple brief stops for play, and snacks and then ended our day in Bangor.
Monday morning was a surprisingly slow moving morning, and by the time breakfast had found it's way into our bellies and we were back on the road it was around one in the afternoon. We ended up reaching our final destination at about 10pm. A long day for sure, but a good one.
So, now that's us safe and sound in Prince Edward Island. What a beautiful province. I visited when I was twelve years old, and had really great memories of it, but seeing it a second time around has beat out my memories - It really is stunning.
My brother-in-law's family cottage is right on the ocean and a perfect escape. They visit every summer - not a bad way to spend a couple weeks!
We woke early this morning and went for a bike ride to a nearby lighthouse. A really chilling way to start a day.
We have a lot to cram in to just a couple of days, and more planning still for the days that follow P.E.I. so the rest of the week will likely be far too busy with good times for posting, but I may have a chance to drop a couple postcards on here once or twice...


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Little Astronaut

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- A photographic moment from my week

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy Bees

My week is lacking in the blog world, but very, VERY full in the real world. We have been prepping & packing for yet another journey, running about gathering up things we need, catching up on necessary appointments, sewing up something special for a friend's little baby soon to be in this world (I'll show next week post-baby shower), writing a few long overdue letters (I love mailing a letter, almost as much as I love receiving one), some Etsy browsing - and ok yes, some Etsy buying, a wee bit of baking, and just trying to do a little house cleaning (I love coming home from a holiday to a clean house).

Today, we had a visit to our local library to stock up on guide books about the Maritime provinces of Canada. We have struggled with our itinerary because of course we want to see absolutely EVERYTHING in 2 weeks time but obviously cannot, and we don't want to push it too hard for the little guy's sake. Hey, I would be pretty crabby if I were buckled in to the same position for any great length of time! We want to make sure our driving days aren't too aggressive, and that we have time to stretch them out for plentiful stops so our son can enjoy a bit of run around time in between those sits.

Choosing what to give up on an adventure is one of the most difficult things, but really when it all comes down to it the less you do can actually make the trip. You can immerse yourself in the things you do choose to do without feeling time pressures and stress - which we all have enough of in our regular day-to-day living.

So here we are, making a few last minute decisions. Thank God for the internet when it comes to planning a journey. Being able to connect with others on various forums to hear what their particular must-sees are is very valuable.
A couple of spots we rely on regularly are:
The Lonely Planet's Thorntree forum

The planning and anticipation of a trip are a pretty awesome part of the whole process.

This is my busy bee at the library. He just loves to move things around and organise which is what he is all about here.

If you aren't currently traveling or planning to, you should muster up a serious dream trip. It's the best kind! When we aren't away, we're most definitely dreaming about it...

Monday, August 23, 2010


Summer is coming to an end, and in my mind it is coming quickly. We will make the most of what is left for sure and squeeze in as much camping as possible.
This weekend was spent at Darien Lake. It was a very nice weekend, though it POURED rain all Saturday night and Sunday morning. It rained so loudly (the sound only elevated by the fact that we had a tarp over our tent - Thank God!) that I could barely sleep most of the night with anxiety. I went outside several times and our site looked flooded in areas which didn't help my thought process. I was sure the tarp would overload and collapse on us, so I kept going out to lift the tarp and encourage the piles of water to run off, I also imagined one of the nearby trees being struck by lightning, a flash flood - don't actually know how that works but it sounds pretty crazy-, among many other things. Wow, how the mind works hey? Sometimes it is so difficult to control our own thoughts.
Anyways, it WAS a nice weekend. ;) We had lots of relaxing by our fire, lazing around reading (& crocheting), eating great food, and even going on a couple rides and for a swim.
Which brings to mind our ride on the Ferris wheel which also stressed me out. WHAT is my problem?? Growing up, my mom only ever went on the swan boats, the kiddie cars, and occasionally the "Ghoster Coaster" at Canada's Wonderland - a sort of kids, toned down coaster. Guess maybe I'm headed that way...

It's not the height that freaked me out. It is the big question mark that surrounds every ride, who created it, and how long will it last??... A broken ride that high up?? Ok the height is a little freaky too!
Now that I think of it, having an antsy little boy next to me may also have contributed...

A very plain and simple, tasty salad I made with grape tomatoes, sliced
cucumbers, chopped red peppers, fresh basil, fresh chives, fresh parsely, and goats milk feta cheese.

Our camping brekky this weekend was oatmeal which I have been making regularly at home for myself and the little guy. I add raisins, chopped apples and a cinnamon stick for the full time the oats are cooking. Very delicious and healthy.

I have always wished I liked marshmallows more. Watching people cook them over a fire - it just looks fun, but I never really enjoyed the eating part, or the gooeyness all over my hands factor. My AHA! moment of the weekend was S'MORES! Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallow together?? What's not to love? (PS. It's GOT to be dark chocolate.)
I think this may have been my first time having S'mores and mmmmm.. won't be the last.

My blanket-to-be smells a little campfire smokey now, but when it's finished (next year!) I'll give it a good washing ;).


Friday, August 20, 2010

Millions of peaches, peaches for me!

...Just daydreaming about that thought...
(that is one of those songs that even if you hardly know it, it's in your head for a lifetime)

Tis the season for peaches, and we have been enjoying it to it's fullest, particularly this past week.

We're leaving today for the weekend and this morning I was looking at some lovely peaches that threatened to spoil, so here it hit me! I have aspired to try my hand (both actually) at canning for quite some time and there is no better time than the present.
It seemed like a good load of fruit I had, so off I went chopping and crushing, cleaning and boiling my jars & lids, and of course having a little taste here and there.
I admit, having a little one, I abandoned my post regularly, was highly disorganised, and just generally took a pretty long time to do a job that actually seems like it should be reasonably quick and easy.

I remember my mom making peach jam and having it on fresh tea biscuits with a bit of whipped cream. MMmmmmmm...Think I'll be doing that in the next week, or rather hope so!

The Materials:

A Piece Of The Process:

By the way, after ALL that chopping, and crushing, cleaning and boiling here is my less than full lone 500ml jar of peach jam.

So, needless to say, I didn't really get in to the full canning process for my first experience. Due to my small yield there was no need for processing the JAR. I didn't expect loads - I only sterilized 3 x 500ml jars, but I had hoped for at least a couple full ones. Oh well! At least I'll get to enjoy eating it.

I did learn something that may be a useful tip for others (since I prepared 3 jars and used one): heated, yet unused, snap lids can be used again. Good thing or I would have felt bad about wasting those other 2 (I know they are cheap but still).

I definitely feel like next time I'll be able to confidently go the full distance, though with small amounts, I think I'll try freezer jam...

IT'S A... BABY!!!

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- A most momentous moment from my week
Try saying that 5 times fast: mostmomentousmoment, mostmomentousmoment ... and whatever... couldn't help it... seemed like one of those things right?

A perfect little formed person with hands, feet, head, legs, tummy and so on, yet only a mere 2 inches in size. WOW!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day Out

Today, the little guy and I joined a few other babes and their mamas for a trip over to Toronto's awesome little island.
I hadn't been in so long, and it really is a lovely place to spend a day.

I love opportunities to appreciate where we live!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The lucky man of the Fifties...

I was just doing a bit of cleaning and came across this article which was handed out at my wedding shower, and I thought I should share it with you (Just in case you are having trouble with keeping your home a haven...)

The following is from a 1950's Home Economics textbook intended for high school girls, teaching how to prepare for married life...
Advice For Married Women: How To Keep Your Home A Haven For Your Husband

1. Have Dinner Ready: Plan Ahead even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time. This is a way of letting him know you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare Yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His difficult or boring day may need a lift.

3. Clear Away The Clutter: Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, cleaning items etc. then run a dust cloth over all the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give him a lift too.

4. Prepare the Children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them play the part.

5. Minimize The Noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a smile and be glad to see him.

6. Some Don'ts: Don't Greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

7. Make Him Comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or hot drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind from his busy day.

8. Listen To Him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first and be attentive.

9. Make The Evening His: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain, stress, and pressure - and his need to be home and relax.

10. The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

I wonder if this article served it's purpose well for the guy that wrote it?...

Personal Summary:
*Stop complaining about lack of sewing time
*Get more rest (it said that right??)
*It's probably a good idea to minimize noise throughout the entire day in case hubby should come home early ;)
*Buy hair ribbons
*Be more interesting

Ahhhh, the fifties... Am I right??

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thrifty Business

There have been many visits to many thrift shops this week. Strictly business you see - to collect a few different camping utensils. Thrift stores are great places to load up on cutlery, and cooking utensils for camping. I bought a large spoon, and tongs yesterday for less than 49 cents each. I bought a few other things the other day for even cheaper.
So here we are at the end of the camping season, very organized and ready (finally!) - it figures. Oh well, we'll be well set next year. We still have plans to camp next weekend and for a week after that, so I'm glad we are sorted. We had sold a lot of our camping gear when we went away travelling a couple of years ago, and have had to do an almost full replenish.

So, of course, where there is business there must also be pleasure... Enter all the items I didn't need, but could not say no to:

I've been looking high and low for the old "choose-your-own-adventure" books for my nephew. I'm sure he would love them. They are surprisingly difficult to find though.

I found a whole bag of vintage greeting cards for 2 dollars, and a couple patterns for a quarter each.
Notice the bag of googly eyes for my turtle footstool makeover? Stay tuned...

What a sweet framed vintage picture for my little one's room. I held it up to his wall for him and he laughed hysterically - I think that means he likes it!

There are a couple more precious things not pictured - fabric (of course), and a glass drink pitcher for $2 bucks.
Good times indeed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This Moment in history...

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- A photographic moment from this week one year ago!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And it goes...whishwhishwhish

So lately, I have been unbelievably, undeniably, unreasonably exhausted, and thus I have hunkered down for morning naps with my little one (which I do love), sacrificing my time to accomplish. This has been very tough to give in to, but considering that my body is, once again, sharing it's space with another little heartbeat (which I finally got to hear today) a few extra zzz's have become important, nay, crucial to my daily coping skills.
I swear, no matter how many home tests I did, I could not believe it was true, despite the clear signals from my body. I just needed that outside opinion, and precious little, "whish-whish-whish" from my abdomen (that was my heart beat sound in case you didn't get it). Sweet Lord! Two bubs under 2!!! It seemed like a good idea...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Camping in Kingston, Ontario

We spent a lovely weekend in this lovely place. A little camping, and a little 1000 islands boat cruise.
Twas our first camping trip with our little munster, and it was pretty successful. I would refuse to believe otherwise though, even if it were true.

Nothing is uneventful with a one year old around that's for sure. For starters, SOMEBODY did a twoosy on the tent floor - must have been just so excited to be camping! He'll probably want us to tell that story a lot when he's older - haha. ;)
Friday night was freezing - 8 degrees - at night, but I tell ya, it felt like zero. Needless to say, the little guy slept with us instead of in the playpen. We all wore hoodies and pants to bed (that's trousers for you brits, a tad warmer than the british "pants"). We slept on an air mattress with a fitted sheet, a top sheet, a thick sleeping bag and a woven blanket - not enough! Saturday night was a tad cozier with a few minor adjustments, but ended in rain Sunday morning. I do love being in a tent and hearing the rain come down (trying not to think about the packing up of wet stuff, and what you may have left sitting outside but are way too tired to go and rescue at this point).

Saturday was a beautiful day. We took a 3 hour boat cruise through the 1000 islands which was a really nice way to spend an afternoon, not to mention pretty reasonably priced. We did the cruise from Kingston, but have heard if you take it from Gananoque you get a bit more island and a bit less open lake, so may be worth giving that a shot.

Yes folks, it's true. Best Town Crier IN THE WORLD!
I wonder if this is a paying gig??

And finally, a stop off at the Kingston City Hall...

I just love photographing architectural details. I have many, many pics like these from my travels. There is a lot of creative inspiration to be found in building design.

Checking out a relative (great-great-grandfather) hanging on the wall of the fourth floor. He was the mayor in 1900. A pretty cool feeling seeing this. Apparently the painting weighs over 300 pounds. The ornate frames help with that. I don't believe there are too many people these days who would endure the long motionless hours required to have their portrait done in the way they used to.

We definitely learned a few camping lessons this weekend, and feel much better prepared for our second try next weekend.
Lesson #1 - We cannot start making dinner as late as we used to do. Trying to make dinner, entertain young master, build a fire, clean up cooking mess, and put little one to bed is just not all that reasonable.
Also, we forgot that when we cook a camping feast it often takes a couple hours, and little people just don't like to eat at midnight (Go figure?..) !

Roasted fennel, Sauteed Mushy's, Steak, & Roasted potatoes w/ carrots, onions, garlic cloves, and red pepper. Pretty awesome dinner even if we did have to wait until about 10pm to eat it!

Lesson #2 - Bring sweet little fleecy hat for youngin' always. Temp drops sometimes at night, and nothing maintains warmth like a cosy hat.
Lesson #3 - Do not let baby run naked in tent, unless you don't mind cleaning up a bit of a mess. Our boy takes advantage of his freedom quickly, every time!
Lesson #4 - (And then I'll call it a day on the lessons, as the word lesson is getting me down)
Do not pack the morning you are leaving to go camping, especially when it is the first time in 2 years. Unless of course, you don't mind a hundred different small bags of crap that you panicked about and stuffed in the car. (Classic move by me!)


Friday, August 6, 2010

Just brushin' my teeth..

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- A photographic moment from my week

Couldn't resist this piccy. He's just leaning there taking care of his toothy business (with his now 3, yes THREE chompers!). He LOVES brushing his teeth, or at least he loves the strawberry banana flavoured toothpaste (who wouldn't?).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tip of the day

I just need to share something super domestic with you...

The inside base of my stainless steel pot had a layer of cooked on food from the pot of soup I had made, and I could not get it off after scrubbing and scrubbing. I looked it up (yay internet) and found a little tip.
I patted the inside of the pot dry, poured lemon juice, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and left it to sit for 20 minutes or so. When I came back to check if it worked, all the food had lifted and was sort of floating in a solid layer, AND my pot looked brand spankin' new! Easiest clean-up ever!! Just wish I had looked that up before attempting to scrub for so long...

Anywhoozers, there's my awesome domestic tip for the day :)

Paint with water

I received this Buddha Board as a gift and realised today that it is a pretty cool introduction to art for a little one, not to mention reasonably mess free.
This is my little guys finger/brush painting "masterpiece":

Remember, It's all fun and games until someone starts drinking the Buddha Board water! ;)


I thought it would be very positive, and uplifting to think about all the things that make me happy so,
Here are a few of my favourite things...

*Finishing a project (It is so rare for me, that this is an especially favourite thing!)
*Bright colours
*Good beer - My favourite is from a local Toronto brewery
*Vintage Cameras

*Kneading bread dough
*Eating those first slices of warm bread from a fresh baked loaf
*The smell of a fresh baked loaf wafting through a house (ok, I think I'm having a craving to bake bread, or at least to eat it...)

*Wearing my sleeping baby

*Watching little hands turn book pages
*Adding to the fabric stash (Finding something brilliant to make with the stash is even better)
Here are my most recent additions:

*Fresh sugar snap peas
*Stepping on to my balcony to cut fresh herbs (I can only imagine the pleasure in collecting an entire meal from your own yard - someday!)
*The first day of the new year when you can roll your windows all the way down (my soundtrack for this day has been Bob Marley's album "Confrontation" for the past few years it seems)

*Seeing into other people's creative spaces
*House browsing on the www.
*any and all Audrey Hepburn films

*Meeting a new person while travelling, jumping right into a full-fledged convo only to realize maybe an hour in, or maybe ever that you still don't know each other's names.
*Sunflowers (and just today I had the pleasure of driving by a whole field of them!!)

*Crazy thunderstorms (While relaxing in my house of course)
*These cookies as posted on the blog 101 Cookbooks.
*Good Books (of which there are just too many to share)
*Browsing thrift stores and antique shops (of which I spent the better part of this day)
*Owls - I have been trying to not create a theme in my childs bedroom but, alas, I keep buying owly things for his wall. Today's owly find at the thrift:

*A glass of white wine, with my hub, on my balcony, on a warm (not grossly hot and humid) evening
*Scanning a world map, planning and dreaming
*Knowing that there are no limits to where I can go in the world (Must get going!)
*Knowing there are more places in the world than I may ever get to, and yet it is such a small, connected place

Quite frankly, I love a lot of stuff. I could go on and on and on... But, I'll spare you. Now that I've unleashed and had fun doing so, there may be a few more posts like this.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Now that my "break" is officially over I'm sitting here staring at this white space, feeling totally blank.
I suppose the harder you try to think of what to write, the more elusive the words can become.

Too many people, including myself, have experienced loss in the past couple of months. When things like this start taking over life, it becomes increasingly difficult to find those moments in your day that bring you happiness and peace (hence my brief hiatus).
Death, not for ourselves but for a loved one, is one of the most difficult things that any of us has to face in our lives. That feeling of truly missing someone; where hopping on an airplane, or picking up the phone, is an impossibility.
So, on that note, I send out every happy thought I can muster, every prayer, and every ounce of love to ANYONE who has experienced a loss recently, or ever for that matter.
All I can say, which someone once said to me, is that it never goes away but it does get easier. God Bless xo