Summertime weather seems to be in full swing here in Kamloops. Has been for a bit now. With the warmer weather we tend to gear more towards easy meals that mostly include the BBQ and salads. We are also blessed to be living in an area that is extremely kind and fruitful to growing gardens. No joke, these garden beds are almost on steroids. Something about the dryer climate makes them flourish. Early. Everything is ready to start picking (and enjoying!) and we haven;t even hit July. This is my third year working on my gardening skills and I must say, every year comes with new lessons. The first year, only plant what you are going to eat. This is also the year I discovered I do not like kale. I hope the Food Bank did as they received A LOT of it. The second year, I learned the importance of spacing and seed quantity control. This year, it almost looks like I have a tiny idea of what I am doing out there. So far so good but one never wants to jinx themselves! Our crop this year includes peas, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, a strawberry patch, a pumpkin patch, cucumbers, and a large variety of peppers. We are big salsa and ‘mexican night’ people so it’s important to have a nice selection of peppers ranging from sweet to mild to burn your booty off. With all of these fresh veggies it of course leads me to looking at new recipes and different ways to use them. Enter Pinterest, as usual. So today I want to share with you not only some fantastic summer salad recipes but also some dressings – many of these can be used as a marinade too. It’s kind of a let your senses guide you situation in my kitchen with very little rules. I often go with my gut and maybe I just have a husband that loves all of my cooking, but things tend to go over pretty well. Now if I could just get my extremely picky children on board. If you have a toddler that eats salad, applause to you mama!
Honey Mustard Chicken Avacado & Bacon Salad – Ok this one is amazing. My mouth is watering just reading the ingredients. This link has a huge collection of healthy recipes to try out but number one on the list is the one I am referring too.
I am sure I am not the only one who is totally over winter. As I sit here on my sofa (Hallie has passed on her germy cold to me so we are snuggling and watching Toy Story while Jackson blesses us with a nap) I can’t help but appreciate how beautiful winter can be. The snow, the white, the trees that are dusted from the last snowfall still…. I get it. We love it. For a little while! For a season even! But come on folks, March is literally right round the corner and we all need a little warmth and vitamin D in our lives. I believe that Old Man Winter is sticking around everywhere too. Not just Kamloops. So I don’t feel too burdened knowing that many others are dealing with the chilly temperatures as well. Nothing can stop me from dreaming about spring which basically means perusing spring clothing online and losing hours of my life on Pinterest while I research summer recipes, outdoor activities for the kids and backyard remodelling ideas. Normally I turn to my essential oils diffuser and diffuse something fresh and tropical to lift our winterized spirits. Today (and for the last two weeks) it has been Thieves in the diffuser all day, erry’day. I do believe we have avoided most of the bugs this season because of our oil use and Thieves in particular. I have also made my own countertop cleaner, incorporated it into our laundry, and made the kids roller balls and chest rubs for when they aren’t feeling top notch. It is amazing stuff for building those immune systems. Though they did catch a bit of a cold the last couple weeks, I hundred percent believe their symptoms were mild because of these efforts. So when the germs depart and I can get back to sweeter scents, my favourite to share with you today will leave your home smelling exactly like Anthropologie. Everyone who loves that store KNOWS that smell. You can thank me later! Combine Grapefruit, Geranium, Orange and Bergamot. You will be seeing sunny skies in your mind before you know it. I have also decided to share some fashion favourites that have me personally hoping spring get’s it booty here STAT! Also, for those not suffering from the sniffles, a dreamy sangria recipe to get you in the mood for warmer temps:
The last long weekend of the summer has arrived. Labor Day weekend is one of my favourites. I am not entirely sure why but there is just something about it. A certain feel or vibe is in the air. Everyone is relaxed and easy going from enjoying recent summer holidays. We are tan with crispy and freckled noses from long sunny days at the lake. ‘Summer feet’ have developed from the lack of wearing shoes. Fall, school & responsibilities are just around the corner but on this weekend, that matters not. Everyone is having a good time and hanging on to the last of the summer sunshine. If you live in the Interior, you also may be hanging on to 35 degree weather. Aside from a wedding on Sunday, we do not have any major long weekend plans. We will be lighting up the bbq non-stop, sipping on some sweet summer drinks, and feeling all the feels that this time of year brings.
Many of you know I am a lover of all seasons. The colors in the leaves & trees changing, the holidays that present themselves all of a sudden and disappear just as quickly. I love it all. It’s a festive passion almost that I plan to encourage my children to embody as well. The summer lovin’, the fullness of Thanksgiving, the spookiness of Halloween and of course the magic of Christmas. The fresh feeling you get when starting the New Year, the excitement of Easter, the easy-going fun that comes with May Long Weekend camping and the patriotic party that comes along with Canada Day. So much fun packed into one year that I find it impossible not to be excited about each season as they approach. I have a number of people in my life who have their favourites too. Some are winter people. They love to ski, snow mobile, drink hot chocolate and hike off into the woods to cut down their own Christmas tree. My mom has a green thumb and loves to create beauty in the garden. The gardeners in my life tend to gravitate towards Spring. Sunday football, chilli & stew lovers always look forward to fall. Though I LOVE all of these moments in the year, I think I have turned into a bit of a summer girl. I love hanging in the sunshine with my kids, eating watermelon for dinner, juicy peaches and corn on the cob. Packing up for the day to head to the lake and bringing most of the sandy beach home with us, finding it in our hair or beds for days to follow. Exploring where we live. If it has cell service, we probably don’t want to go there. Taking that leap into the water only for it to quickly take your breathe away, then adjusting and not wanting to get out for it’s warmer in the water and the sand is going to be way too hot on your feet as you scramble back to your back towel. Summer is a secret escape from routine, bedtimes and stress. Sure those are all present somewhere in our heads and I am not one for living in total denial. But it seems to be a lot easier in summer to ‘leave that for tomorrow’ and enjoy the rest of today. So one question I have as we approach a new season. How can we bring that summer feeling with us all year long. At Christmas time, I FEEL Christmas and vow to carry that happiness, joy and care for others in my heart all year long. On January 1st, we make promises to ourselves that the year ahead will be different than the last. The year ahead will be better. WE will be better. Better people, better mothers, better eaters, better at exercise and spending money. So my vow is to keep summer in my heart this year. Try to be more relaxed. Enjoy more moments with my family and be grateful for our time together and the experiences we have. Keep a little more adventure in my spirit and leave a few of those chores ‘for tomorrow’. I won’t be able to keep my tan or my flip flops and I am guessing it might be hard to enjoy sticky popsicles in the snow. But I can keep summer excitement alive in my family by being brave, playful and present. Everything that summertime requires.
Have a happy and healthy labor day long weekend friends!
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.
Who looks like they ate FOUR pirate packs…. it’s my one sitting on the floor haha! Oh Jackson . … . .
Can I start off by asking where the heck has July gone?! Summers are always busy. I know that. This year though I feel like it is zooming by. The days may be long but the weeks seem to be disappearing way too quickly. Tomorrow is the beginning of August which means we are well on our way to Fall and this mama is just not ready for that.
I can also say that with two babies running round, my house seems to be in a constant state of chaos. Toy bombs have gone off in every room, about twenty-five sippy cups litter the living room and kitchen, chairs are knocked over, blankets and stuffies are everywhere. I simply walk around following the monsters, picking up in each new disaster zone they have created. The floors are hazardous due the fact that multiple popsicles are consumed throughout the day, and when you have small hands that means most of said popsicle melts all over the floor. (Normally I encourage outside popsicle consumption but due to the wildfires and the smoky air, many outdoor activities have transformed to indoor). The kids are always sticky and sweaty and covered in grass or sand from the beach. The laundry NEVER ends and has honestly lead me to believe that there must be at least three other people living here that I am not aware of. Bath time needs to happen on the daily and quite often dinner and bedtime is a bit later than one would hope (as in me!). Amidst the mess are sticky watermelon kisses, movie night snuggles, and all of the sprinkler jumping giggles you can handle and I am SO OKAY with that. Not only does summertime fun exhaust us but it brings out the best in everyone in this household. So as we enter the final month (and pray for an Indian Summer in September) we intend to do ALL of the things and get out as much as we can. We still have a couple camping trips to do and I definitely think a few lake days are in order. Before you know it pumpkin spiced lattes will be around and we will be planning our Halloween costumes. So lets stay up a little later, play in the pool a little longer, and embrace the summer heat (40degrees on Friday!?) while we can!
It seems to be a common theme since I had my second baby that I am always behind the eight ball. Whether it is decorating around the house for a holiday, gearing up for a vacation, or even just general day-to-day planning, I am not on my game like I once was. My husband says it’s OCD, and he may be quite correct, but I have always been super organized and well prepared. With the birth of each kid, that sharp skill has dulled. It’s still present but definitely not as mastered as it once was. This is also why I purchased and started using my new planner well into February rather than on the first day of 2017, like other super organized individuals who share the same sickness. I should disclose my feelings about planners and calendars while we are on the subject as well. It is a love/hate relationship. My need to be overly picky when it comes to my agenda is so bad sometimes I often think I should sit down, design my own and have it printed. That would take an immense about of time though which is a luxury I know longer have. There also has to be different calendars in use, it seems. I have always been a big fan of the monthly whiteboard in our home office area. I will usually plan out the month indicating family events, appointments and bill payments so that they are there, up on the wall for both hubby and I to see. When Henry became a realtor, he got all fancy and joined the world of technology, more so than before. This meant calendar sharing with him on our phones and laptops. People, we are now up to three separate calendar areas I have to update. Lastly, at Christmas I was given a pretty fun wall calendar. It’s monthly glance and has areas for each person in the family. It also has fun stickers to use. Most of all, it was a gift and even though I love it, I feel a slight obligation to include it in my rotation (read: crazy roller coaster of trying to be organized). Thankfully, we changed up our ‘home office’ and the whiteboard no longer suited the space. So the score was evened back down to three: Wall calendar for the family, personal planner for me, the family and my business, and finally the digital calendar shared with the husband. I am HORRIBLE at updating that one though so maybe it doesn’t even count. Either way, all of these are avenues in which I attempt to lead a semi-organized life, keeping all the people around me organized too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it absolutely doesn’t. This obsession however has lead to me finding a planner that I ADORE and felt the need to share with you. I have tried a few over the years, many of which I have found to be useless. So far I am loving my START PLANNER and every little detail in it. I selected the HUSTLE PLANNER which has a small business section at the back. It has financial planning, meal planning, grocery lists, holiday planning, vacation planning, monthly and daily views for the calendar, really I could go on and on about it’s features. It also looks great. It is on the bulkier side so if you are looking for slick and streamline, this option may not be for you. I tend to carry the contents of my entire house in my purse or diaper bag so to me it makes no difference. In fact the bulkier the better for me; that way it stands out amongst the diapers, goldfish snack packages and paw patrol books that crowd up my bag. A small glimmer of a put-together adult hanging out with a couple of sticky-fingered monsters. Which I love to bits and pieces but they still can be monsters. MY monsters. So moms, what are you using these days to keep your crew/zoo organized? Have you completely moved into the digital world or do you still enjoy putting pencil to paper like myself? Or all of the above. Either way, cheers to organized chaos!
Happy Friday! Except it really doesn’t feel like one. I guess after the holidays it’s normal for most people to go back to work and continue on with their routines. As a stay/work-at-home mom I may strive for the odd routine here and there but often my day to day is quite unpredictable. Did you see that meme that floated around social media over the holidays? Something about eating lots of cheese, not knowing what day it was, where you were in life, what you should be doing or what day it is? I guess parts of that still exist for this momma. The eating lots of cheese part and not knowing exactly what I should be doing. We have absolutely NOTHING on the go this weekend and I am also feeling awkward and fidgety without a go-go-go plan on our hands. But I guess this is one of those more quieter times of the year I should just appreciate. Speaking of appreciating things. I have a couple girlfriends back in Vancouver and we have an ongoing text chat about life, wine, babies… you know all the important things. Sleep, or should I say sleep deprivation often seems to be the most popular topic. Well that and daytime chardonnay. But at the moment, we are very tired mommies. With my first baby, I blocked out the nights where I would get up five times in a night. I forgot about the many mornings where I dumped a spoonful of formula into my coffee instead of sugar. I absolutely neglected the memory of heading out the door wearing my husbands pants instead of my own. Sleep deprivation, though can be very comical as previously stated can also be extremely dangerous. Luckily no babies have been harmed due to my lack of zzzzzzzz’s. While it is so easy to forget all of these painfully exhausting moments, I find myself right back in the middle of it with baby number two. This time, there is no ‘nap when the baby naps’. No, you need to spend that time chasing after the naked toddler making sure the Sharpie she is holding doesn’t make it’s way onto the white front door. Oh snap, it already did. In the odd moment one baby sleeps, the other one will be wired awake and demanding all of your attention, but in the most sweetest way so that all you can do is smile, sleepily and lovingly at them. By some crazy (probably never going to happen) miracle they BOTH sleep, you better count your god damn lucky stars, guzzle that bottle of cheeky afternoon wine and get those nine loads of laundry done that have been staring at you for the last three days. BUT! Here is the caveat…. these times are fleeting. They are exhausting and they are transitory into the next phase which will no doubt be more tiring than the last. And here is the real kicker. You miss it! I actually miss how small Hallie was and how she needed me to get through the night. She couldn’t go a few hours without my cuddles. Or maybe formula but whatever, I was the giver of formula! Now you couldn’t pay me to sleep with her. It’s like sleeping with a drunk octopus. But there you have it, that light at the end of your tunnel moms. It might seem like the end of the world now, and trust me some days it feels like it is. But soon they are two years old, CRAZY, and sleeping is the least of your worries. They’ve got it DOWN. Now it’s time to find out where they are stashing their baby brother’s dirty diapers…
Since it’s Friday I leave you with my playlist for the weekend. Have a good one!