Wednesday 31 August 2016

Snippets of Me

Every once in a while I get out my SMASH book and add a few things. I'm not sure how popular these books are anymore - I got mine at a scrapbooking show several years ago where they were being flaunted and demonstrated everywhere you turned - but that is not really important, is it? For me, I love how this book is casual and quirky, how the whole philosophy behind it is to just put stuff inside - stuff that you love, words that inspire you, pictures that makes you smile, mementos that make you happy - what is not to love about that?

This time around I added a few pictures I took when I was deep in making my Cozy Stripe Blanket, and talked a little about why I love to crochet:
I also wrote down some of my favorite quotes:
And finally, this page, featuring a smiling horse and a gorgeous photo I took of a Dahlia when we were in Halifax last summer.
The pages are random, there is really no rhyme or reason to things other than that this is a place where I can record snippets of me. I made an "about me" page last year and really enjoyed reading it again now as I flipped through my book; so happy for a glimpse into who I was and what I was feeling then.

I have a few other page ideas for this book, mainly one with all the memorabilia I saved from when Steve and I were dating. I think it would be fun to get it all out of the shoe box and arrange it whimsically on these pages...not to mention, what a trip down memory lane that would be.

It feels so good to take this time for myself, to sip a cup of tea and record what I am feeling, who I am, my favorite memories, my deep and silly thoughts, get my story down on the page, even if that page also has a smiling horse on it.....

Monday 29 August 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 10

So much goodness in this week's box: cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, field tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cucumber, pears, carrots, purple beans, potatoes, green pepper, and onion.

With this week's box being very similar to last week's, I didn't try any new recipes, but simply remade some of our favorite dishes. One night we even had an entire dinner prepared from what came in our box: Balsamic Honey Roasted Cabbage Steak (try this, it is delicious, and an excellent way to get cabbage into your diet), roasted potatoes (nothing fancy, just olive oil, salt, and pepper), and Tomato and Cucumber Salad (I was going to add basil from the garden, but it was pouring rain so I could not go outside). This was a lighter dinner, but with it being so hot outside, it was perfect.
As for the other produce we just ate it as it came: cantaloupe for dessert, grape tomatoes and carrots dipped in hummus, steamed beans, sliced pears...

I'm sure I sound like a broken record saying this again and again, but I love having all this produce available to us. It is local, and tasty (the way food is supposed to taste actually), and with all this in my fridge every week I am spending less time and money at the grocery store...

Tomorrow we pick up our next box....I'm excited to see what is inside.

I can not believe how much of a foodie I've become...

Sunday 28 August 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

We spent the day in the woods: hiking along the paths that were muddy from the previous days' torrential downpour, enjoying the breathtaking views over the edge of the escarpment, eating granola bars while sitting on fallen trees, prancing precariously on the edge of the creek, staring in wonder at the waterfalls. You girls walked, ran, and chatted the entire time, so completely happy...that is until the end of the walk when you were both very "hot and hungry". It is these simple days together that are my favorite.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52Week Project. 

Thursday 25 August 2016

Meet Ellie...

It has been so long since I have made a crochet toy, so very long. I used to make them all the time when my girls were little, but then didn't anymore.... because I went back to working full time and had less time to craft...working really cuts into crafting time, a harsh and sad reality....

But....I have been on vacation the last two weeks (glorious!) and as a result have had some serious crafting time, and with that, the little elephant that I began crocheting back in May is now finished.

Meet Ellie: 
Isn't she adorable? You bet she is. And she is all mine, currently sitting on the dresser in our bedroom, making me oh so very happy every time I see her.  

While I love to make these toys, I do tend to morph into an obsessive-perfectionist when it comes time to join all the pieces together: I count and recount the stitches between the arms and legs, find the center countless times, leave ends undone for days while I look at the toy from every angle...all to make sure that everything is exactly straight and centered.  I got this way when finishing off Ellie, so much so that Steve exclaimed "good grief, you did a great job, stop nit-picking your work". And he was right, it was time to move on, time to stop obsessing. This was last night, and today when I looked at Ellie again I loved what I saw and walked away without recounting more nit-picking.

As for my yarn choices, I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton from my stash to crochet this cutie; I am still stash busting and even resisted a trip to the local yarn sale, remaining firm in my decision to work only from the yarn I have on hand....yeah me!

On the crochet front, I now only have two projects on the go: my Color Block Blanket and my wreath. And I intend to finish these projects before I start any others; I find it a little overwhelming to have too many projects on the go at one time....

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 9

Our first produce box after our vacation was a real treat: cucumber, potatoes, green peppers, grape tomatoes, field tomatoes, zucchini, corn, onions, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, cabbage, and chum.

Have you ever heard of chum? I hadn't, so I did a little research and learned that they are a hybrid of plums and cherries. They have a pit inside and a very bitter plum taste. I was not overly keen on them, but the girls loved them.

The cantaloupe was absolutely delicious, perfectly sweet. I did not even know that they grew cantaloupe in Canada. Many years ago when we were in Costa Rica for vacation we saw fields and fields of cantaloupe growing under the tropical sun and I never would of thought that these melons would grow here in the north. Thank you produce box for teaching me something else about local food.

I was happy to be back in the kitchen this week cooking up delicious meals for my family. Here is what I made:
(from left to right)
  1. Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw - one of my own creations. I cut up the cabbage, shredded some carrots, and diced up a little onion, mixed it all together, and dressed it with Honey Chive Dressing (recipe from The Forest Feast cookbook). 
  2. Carrot "Noodle" Salad - recipe courtesy of The Forest Feast for Kids. The recipe calls for the carrots to be cut into "noodles" using a spiralizer (which I just bought and was trying for the first time). Unfortunately this tool seems to work better with fatter carrots, and with the exception of one carrot, the carrots that came in the produce box were too thin. I will try making this salad again when I have fatter carrots on hand, but have to say that even though the presentation was a little off, the salad was delicious.
  3. Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Basil - another one of my creations: tomato, cucumber, fresh basil from the garden, all dressed in olive oil. The girls gobbled it up.
  4. Quinoa Zucchini Fritatta Muffins - recipe courtesy of The Forest Feast (where else?). These muffins are a little bit of work - you have to cook the quinoa and shred the zucchini first - but they are worth it...
We are right in the thick of the summer bounty now, with such great things coming in our produce box and from our garden....I'm so thankful for all these fresh fruits and vegetables...

Monday 22 August 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Pierced ears and so excited.

According to Bridget "it didn't hurt at all" while Claire was brave faced for a split second until her lip began to quiver and the tears slowly fell from her eyes.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Thursday 18 August 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Beautiful flower girls in Aunt Carolyn's wedding...

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Thursday 11 August 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Down by the river (Thompson River, Kamloops, British Columbia)

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Friday 5 August 2016

What I'm Crocheting on Our Holidays

Our summer holidays are fast approaching, and while I am busy packing all the necessities for our week away, I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to crochet while we are traveling...obviously this is something very important to consider.

While I would rather not start another crochet project when I already have three on the go, I think it is unavoidable in this case. The small elephant that I am working on is about ready to be stuffed and sewn together, so I can't bring that because there are just too many small supplies to pack. There would be way too much yarn to bring along if I wanted to work on embellishments for my wreath. And my blanket is getting a little large to cart around.

So a new project it is.

When choosing a project to bring along on holidays I always try to find something that meets the following criteria:
  • Simple - something I can work on in the midst of many distractions - at the airport, on the plane, pool side, lake side - I want something that I can work on while carrying on a conversation, something that I can easily pick up and put down.
  • Limited Colors - I don't want to lug all kinds of yarn around
  • Small - it needs to fit in my lap
  • Fun - it is summer after all
And while this is not always the case, this time around I was determined to choose a project that I could make using yarn from my stash. Stash busting continues.

So, with all this in mind, I have decided to crochet stash baskets as we travel. They meet all my criteria with the added advantage that I will be able to use up the variegated yarn that I have had in my drawer for years (variegated yarn always seems like a good idea to buy, it always looks so pretty all wound up in a ball, but then I find it very difficult to find something to make with it).

I've packed my project - yarn, hook, pattern, tape measure - in a pretty pouch which I will slip into my purse so that it is readily available whenever a crocheting opportunity arises. My scissors, yarn needles, and a few extra balls of yarn will be packed in my checked bag.
I love having a crochet project with me when I travel. I love to pull it out and work on it in different places. I love that it is something that I can do during the down times, the wait times that are inevitable as you travel. I love that when I come home with a finished (or near-finished) project, I always remember that I worked on it while somewhere else. Crochet always make me happy and brings me joy (it has been on almost every one of my Now is Now lists), I can not imagine leaving home without it.

    Wednesday 3 August 2016

    Local Produce Box: Week 8

    There was so much produce in our box this week that I had trouble fitting it all in a photo...which is not such a terrible problem to have, especially since our grocery bill for the week was much lower.
    In this week's box we received: cabbage, beets, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, onions, beans, carrots and raspberries.

    With so much delicious produce on hand, it was quite simple to cook for the week. This is what I made:
    (from left to right)
    1. Tomato Parmesan Quiche - a simple and tasty dinner, delicious served with a salad (recipe courtesy of The Forest Feast).
    2. Zucchini Pesto Tart - this is a favorite family (recipe from The Forest Feast cookbook).
    3. Carrot Slaw - simple and delicious (recipe courtesy of The Forest Feast cookbook) and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. I made it on the weekend and we will have it for lunch several days this week.  
    4. Beans and Tomatoes - recipe courtesy of last year's box
    With the cabbage, I made the same cabbage steaks as last week. This was one of those recipes that I was a little hesitant to try - it is a little unusual - but I am happy to say that everyone likes them.

    I roasted the beets, the potatoes and the zucchini. And I chopped the onions and froze them for later; there have been so many onions over the last few weeks that I am not sure what else to do with them.

    As we move into August I am excited to see what else is coming; I'm hoping for more fruit and no more onions....

    Tuesday 2 August 2016

    Backyard Flowers

    Yesterday morning I took a little walk through the garden and was thrilled to see so many flowers in bloom. The weather has been very severe of late - hot and dry - but these blooms have persevered and brought their beautiful colors to the garden. My backyard flowers make me very happy.

    Monday 1 August 2016


    "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

    Early Sunday, running through the backyard in your flip flops, laughing and chasing butterflies...a perfect summer morning.

    Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.