Family Time

The End Of Summer

Somehow we have gotten ourselves into the middle of August. Normally I am a glass half full kind of gal and would be thinking we still have lots of summer to go, including a nice September! This month however seems to be a huge downer. The BC Wildfires have taken over the province. Not only is it super smoky but it also seems to bring the temperatures right down making it feel very fall-like. Of course the bigger issue here is for the people in the dangerous areas closer to the fires. My heart goes out to the evacuees who have been forced to pack up with very little notice and stand by waiting to see if their home survives mother nature’s rage. It really is heartbreaking. The community I live in has been outstanding with supporting evacuees which I have to say makes me so proud to live where I do. Unfortunately there is not an end in sight for ending a lot of these fires, but we pray for all of those effected by it and hope for the end soon. Perhaps maybe we can claim back a little of our summer too! We certainly plan to pack as much into the last few weeks of August. This week is a busy one as I have the Farmer’s Market tomorrow for my business which always makes for a hectic week. I am also getting all aspects of family life ready for the end of the week…. parent’s vacation weekend! Yes. We are leaving for three whole days. Gramma has a friend joining the toddler battle field and they are taking care of the two little rascals all weekend long. I know right now I am going to miss my babies like CRAZY (no FaceTime calls allowed, lesson learned on a previous trip – drunk momma talking to babies = ugly crying in the bar). Hubby and I are headed down to Vancouver to see some friends, do some shopping, eating and drinking, AND to see Zac Brown Band! I find it slightly hard to contain my excitement for this show as I have been hoping to see them live for maybe the last five years. So bring it ZBB, this momma is so ready! Once we return we have to pack right up again and head out to see family in Grand Forks, kids and all on this trip. Here’s hoping for a couple winery pop-ins on the way there. And back. We’ll see! Then once we get back from that trip it is right out again in the trailer for a weekend on the lake. Funny how all of this vacation time may just exhaust us. As long as no one gets sick I am going to be happy. Germs ruin the best of times in this family lately. All of this busyness and thinking about the fall season approaching really just leaves me wanting watermelon, sprinkler jumping, sticky popsicle kisses and wet grassed sweaty babies. Summer is so wonderful here in Kamloops and we are totally feeling shafted with it being cut so short. It actually even started late after the longest winter of all time. Time to get out as much as the smoke allows, and soak up all the last sunshine filled summer moments that we can, am I right? So as I catch up on the first Bachelor In Paradise episode (Can I get an Amen for the classiness of all these fabulous people!) I toast you – cheers to the end of summer and all we can cram into it without losing our minds!

 

OHYA! Did I mention how excited we are about potty training. Public toilets (she thinks its the best…..) Pirate Pack dates. Oh and our new funny faces.

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Who looks like they ate FOUR pirate packs…. it’s my one sitting on the floor haha! Oh Jackson . … . .

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Family Fun At Easter

Happy Easter every bunny! See what I did there? =) I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, spending time with your loved ones and soaking up all of the joy that Easter brings – and all of the chocolate! We have had a full house for this holiday weekend. Not only is my mom close by, my father-in-law is in town and staying with us for the weekend. The weather was cooperating up until this morning – Sunday. We had beautiful sunshine and spent most of the last two days outside in the backyard. I hope everyone got their Easter Hunt in yesterday though because right now it is pouring! I am almost relieved Hallie is too little to know what is going on or we would be outside in our gumboots searching for tiny colourful eggs in the mud. There is nothing wrong with that – sounds like a good time actually! My head cold is being stubborn though and I would mind staying in with my steamy cuppa coffee. Selfish mommy! When the whole house is up and at ’em we will attempt an indoor hunt. I think if we both carry a basket and I SHOW her how to collect the eggs, she may get the hang of it. I already surprised her this morning with her ‘Easter goodies’. She looked quite stunned and happy to wake up to a little display of presents! We even decorated the living room with balloons and streamers which delighted her to no end. The holidays are really special, even MORE SO with little kiddos. It’s just going to get better and better the older she gets too! I can’t believe next year I will have two rascals to be the Easter Bunny for. This year her basket consisted of a tiny stuffed rabbit that she seems to like, and plastic bunnies and carrots filled with Teddy Grahams. There is some chocolate but she hasn’t seemed to notice – don’t think I will give it to her until AFTER breakfast. I also had a bigger bunny but she looks rather scared of it. May pop that guy away till later too. The Easter Bunny even did up baskets for the rest of the family! Mainly just chocolates but for the hubby, I tucked in some cute hockey inspired baby boy clothes. Okay so technically it’s a gift for baby boy coming soon, but something to get hubs excited nonetheless. Well I am a little blank on the words this morning as I have yet to finish my coffee. A bag of mini eggs is calling my name too! But here is a collection of fun photos from the last couple days. All filled with good food, smiles, dirty party dresses and most importantly, LOVE! Enjoy you Easter Sunday friends!

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Thanksgiving Meal Prep

I can’t believe we are already well into October and it is Thanksgiving weekend! Seriously, where does the fricken time go? Hallie will also be ONE on Friday! I am baffled at how the last year passed by so quickly. When you watch a tiny baby grow into a toddler it really puts time into perspective. But enough time of reflect because it’s high time we cooked a turkey. Or at least prepped for cooking it tomorrow.

It’s our first holiday in our new home and new life in Kamloops. Even though there is only going to be three of us in attendance, I still felt the need to go all out with the usual Thanksgiving meal. I found a great local butcher and though I probably shouldn’t have, ordered a fresh local Ā bird. I requested the tiniest turkey possible, falling in the 11-15 pound category. I had a mild heart attack this afternoon when I went and picked up (and paid a ridiculous price for) my NINETEEN POUND birdie! WTF. May as well invite the entire Food Bank over now. I have not told hubby how much I paid for this chubby chickadee either. I will drown my broke ass sorrows in wine tonight though!

Since the real cooking action does not take place until tomorrow, I had a full afternoon of preparation on my hands. Now either I have done this meal too many times, or the shiraz has numbed all nerves, but I found it relatively stress-free and enjoyable. Or maybe it’s because no one is coming over. That sure relieves the usual holiday tension as well. I have decided to share some of my prep pictures and recipes, just in case you are in a last minute scramble looking for some tasty ideas.

Fall Inspired Sangria:

This was inspired by my new neighbours. I went to a shopping party the other night (yes, a shopping party) fuelled with this sangria and boy was it tasty. I am also never one to flow recipes exactly so feel free to toy around with the ingredients. I have a feeling though that this particular concoction will result in a very happy Thanksgiving afternoon.

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1 bottle chardonnay, 2 cups club soda, 2 cups white grapefruit juice, 2 cups rum (I used spiced rum for an extra kick), 1 cup sugar, half a bag of cranberries, chopped apples (I used Honey Crisp and Granny Smith). Let it sit and simmer for 24 hours, add ice and get tanked! I will let you know how it goes…

Homemade Stuffing For The Bird:

I am known to cook up some stove top stuffing on a normal day but the holiday calls for the homemade goods. There are countless recipes out there and sometimes it is fun to try variations that include sausage and apple and nuts. This year we are sticking with the traditional flavours. Three days ago I ripped up a bag of white sliced bread and let it go stale. I combined 2 cups of celery, 2 cups of onions, butter and the usual spice suspects in a sauce pan and let those babies sizzle. My kitchen smelt amazing! In a large mixing bowl mix together 2.5 cups of chicken stock, the stale bread, 2 eggs beaten, the celery/onion combo and salt and pepper. Go easy on your salt though because once you cross that sodium line, you can’t go back. That’s it. Refrigerate the mixture overnight and stuff that birdie with it in the morning. (On a side note here, if the turkey is done and your stuffing is still a bit soggy, bake it under the grill and it will crisp right up. Most importantly those turkey juices have become one with your stuffing, all getting ready for a party in your grateful mouth.)

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Cranberry Sauce:

Every time I make cranberry sauce I miss one of my best girl friends so so much. Maria, this batch is for you. We have a tradition of making cranberry sauce (while drinking) and I feel super nostalgic whenever I have to complete this task on my own. Much like stuffing, there are a TON of recipes out there. My favourite includes orange zest but since it is a sparsely attended meal this year, I am keeping it simple. I even followed the directions on the packet so that just shows you my imagination is limited right now. I did add a splash of whiskey and a sprinkle of nutmeg because it is tradition and really adds a punch of flavour. I highly recommend you take a peak in your liquor cabinet and see what secret sauce you can add to your own recipe! Untitled

My last tip is don’t forget to keep that little one busy. Here is my attempt while my husband turned our living room in to a construction zone and I prepped for our MASSIVE meal that shall go down tomorrow. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving prep to you!

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Our Weekend

Hello! Happy Hump Day! This post is brought to you by…. nap time! I was meaning to post on Monday. Then again on Tuesday. But for some reason, I needed nap time just as bad as Hallie did. Though slightly still zombified from shitty sleeps this week, I feel as though I am functioning better today. (more…)

Long Weekend & Family Day Fun

Today is feeling like a Monday because of the long weekend we just had. Very sluggish and lazy and sad to see Henry go back to work. It’s always so nice having him here all weekend – not to mention all of the assistance with nighttime feedings! So with it being a long weekend, we had three whole days and boy did we get a lot done. For those of you who are not from B.C. Canada, we have Family Day here. Great idea if you ask me! For the most part, we got quite a few things done around the house. Hubby did a massive clean out of the garage and finally got all of our clutter organized. He sheepishly admitted that he in fact has more junk down there than I do – I am completely astonished by this but will not argue. Saturday night we decided to have some neighbours over for drinks and appetizers. There was quite a few laughs and on my part, quite a few glasses of wine. Sunday Hallie and I took off to my mum’s – she has a pool in her townhouse complex so were were going to have Baby’s First Swim! It was adorable. Not only did she have the CUTEST bathing suit (I have mentioned it many times already in other posts – have been dying to get it on her!), she also had the cutest darn expression on her face the entire time. It was the biggest bath tub she had ever seen. We didn’t get any smiles or giggles. I think she may have been a little overwhelmed. We also didn’t get any tears though so will take it as a win. I can’t wait to take her swimming again next weekend. I feel like we will have to keep at it to make sure she enjoys it. Based on her bath tub interactions at home, that kid is totally a water baby. Summer will be fun! On the holiday Monday, in the true meaning of Family Day, we went to visit some family. Henry’s cousin just had a brand new baby boy, also named Henry. His other cousin was visiting town as well with her baby boy who is seven months. Unfortunately I only have one picture from the meeting which was Hallie and her cousin Will, no pics of the brand new babe. Lets just say that was one room with A LOT of cuteness happening. Babies everywhere! I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend as much as we did. I guess it’s a countdown to Easter now!
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