Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Monday

We had a good, productive weekend...Shane finished the fence, we played outside, got some errands run, had lunch with a family friend and had a family BBQ last night. Onwards to the week ahead!

I always feel motivated to get organized on Sunday/Monday for the week ahead but sometimes my enthusiasm doesn't translate into action! Over at Simple Mom they are running a Back to Basics series and the post today was about creating and organizing your weekly routines. Good stuff! And it includes links to some great printables that you can use to set up your routine. I am planning on printing and setting up some new weekly routines during this afternoon's nap/quiet time!

I AM organized for the week ahead when it comes to meals though. Once again the BBQ is being called into service to keep heat out of the kitchen! Here's this weeks Menu Plan (and don't forget to visit Orgjunkie for LOTS more menu plans!)

Sunday: Family BBQ. Steaks, corn on the cob, asparagus, new baby potatos, strawberry shortcake for desert.

Monday: Grilled Pork Kebabs (boneless pork chops cut into chunks, marinated in BBQ sauce and threaded onto skewers with peppers and onions), new baby potatos, broccoli

Tuesday: Grilled hamburgers on buns with fixings, coleslaw and potato salad

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken, prepared stuffed potatos, green salad

Thursday: Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta, veggies & dip

Friday: Pizza and a salad (probably Ceasar). Oh, and a nice glass of red wine!

Saturday: Hoping to do a picnic supper in the park. It might be sandwiches, veggies, fruit etc., or we might pick up some Kentucky Fried Chicken before we head out! Looking forward to that a lot!

We are loving going to the Farmers Markets and picking up lots of fresh fruits and veggies these days. In fact a lot of our breakfasts lately have been simply fruit and yogurt and lunches are often plates of fruits and veggies with some cheese, cold meat and buns. Simple and easy. Besides, who wants to cook or eat heavy meals in this heat?

I have been enjoying reading some new fiction and am looking forward to the re-grouping of our book club this fall. Out first book selection is The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells, author of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I enjoyed the Ya-Ya books as well as Little Altars Everywhere, so I am looking forward to this book too. But I recently "gave in" and read Twilight since everyone seemed to be talking about it. I had always been a fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and so Twilight seemed a little tame in comparison, but I have to admit that I enjoyed it and was cheering for Edward and Bella by the end. I think I will have to rent the movie and see if all the hype was worth it!

I will be posting a new page plan on SMS later today, but for now I am off to get organized and "eat my frog" (AKA laundry!)

Happy Scrapping!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Combating the summer heat and the summer blahs.

As much as I dream about it during the long cold winter months, I really don't think I am cut out for the hot weather. I don't tan - I get red and blotchy. My eczema flares up. I feel fat, bloated and sluggish. My hair frizzes from the humidity. It's not a pretty picture! And poor Sam has inherited my skin issues and is now sporting itchy red heat rash in addition to his eczema. Poor guy! And each year I say "Next year I'm getting AC", but I never can justify it because we only have a handful of these hot, hot days each summer. It would be nice, but at least electric fans and homemade popsicles are helping!

Anyway, I was mentioning to my friend Wendy the other day that I find we are watching too much TV these days. Many mornings slip away while watching PBS kids programs (although they ARE pretty educational) and it is all to easy to let G. watch the shows while Sam plays or naps and I tidy up or do laundry or whatever. So even though it's hot, I have been trying to make sure we are not wasting the day in the cool basement watching TV all day. Here are some of our favorite fun (and mostly cheap!) things to do on hot days.
  • Get outside in the morning to play in the garden or park behind our house BEFORE it gets too hot.
  • Setting up the pool in the backyard in the later afternoon. Or hooking up the misters to the hose and running through them.
  • Arrange more playdates. Yesterday we visited with my friend Julie and the boys played in their new cool, basement playroom!
  • Since our basement is pretty cool too, we head downstairs during the afternoon heat to do craft or reading projects when Sam is napping. I do a lot of art actitives, and I have also found some great sites/blogs which post educational activity ideas for preschoolers. Two of my favorites are Let's Explore and No Time for Flashcards.
  • Visit the air conditioned library for new books and videos.
  • Go to the air conditioned mall for a walk around to look at the pets in the pet store and play in the indoor play area (while mom has an iced coffee!)
  • Make homemade popsicles and lemonade ice cubes for fun, cool refreshments.
  • Visit the Zoo using our season's passes - again we try to go in the morning.
  • Head out to one of the handful of outdoor wading pools in the city with a picnic lunch and an umbrella I can stick in the ground (this is the plan for this weekend!)
So these are a few of the things we have been occupying our time with. Any more suggestions for hot day fun?

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am now back into the routine of menu planning and feeling on top of things!

Since I don't feel like cooking a lot in this heat we are doing a lot of BBQing. I dug out one of Sandi Richard's early cookbooks called "Gettin' Ya Through the Summer" which has 5 weeks worth of hot weather menu plans. In it she includes recipes for the BBQ, crockpot and regular recipes for cloudy days when it's OK to cook inside! Easy and delish! (Note: I don't see the cookbook listed on Sandi's website...I wonder if it is out of print?!)

Anyway, this week we're having:

  • Sunday: BBQ at cooking YAY!

  • Monday: Honey Mustard Chicken Burgers with Fruit Salad (From Sandi's book.) Mix 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup liquid honey and 1/2 tsp each of Mrs. Dash Italian and Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasonings. Toss sauce with 4 chicken breasts until glossy. Grill on BBQ with lid closed approx 5 minutes each side or until center is no longer pink. Serve on buns with toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onions etc. and with fresh fruit salad topped with vanilla yogurt.

  • Tuesday: Speedy Salsa Chicken Quesadillas with tortillas, veggies and dip.

  • Wednesday: Salmon in Orange Ginger Sauce with Rice & Asparagus (Place salmon fillets in greased oven proof dish. Cover with a bottled sauce like VH Orange Ginger or Knorr Mandarin Sesame. Bake at 400 about 10 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes with fork.)

  • Thursday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (made ahead in big batch and frozen) with green salad.

  • Friday: Pizza night!

  • Saturday: BBQ Burgers with potato salad, veggies and dip.

Sounds like a good week! Be sure to check out lots more menu plans on!

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Since I have busy writing about scrappy things for Sharing Memories Website, I realize that I haven't written about our regular old lives on this blog for a long time. I love having this blog as a record of what we have done and what is going on in our lives, so I am going to try and keep the everyday family sort of stuff on here, as a record for myself more than anything! So to catch-up...

I have been keeping up with taking my Project 365 photos, but I haven't been keeping up with posting them. Since changing over to the Shutterfly site from Flickr it just hasn't been as quick and easy to upload on a daily basis. I think I only have to the end of MAY on the site right now! I have to get a lot of photos developed too so I can slip them in the little slots and journal while the events are somewhat still fresh in my mind!

I haven't posted a lot of photos on this blog either...again, after a recent change my hubby made as to how our photos are uploaded once I plug my camera in, it is now a more cumbersome process and I do dread it a little bit. I will have to rectify that, otherwise none of our photos will get dealt with!

The weather has been strange this month...reainy and cold for one week and then hot and muggy the next. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot LIVE somewhere hot...I enjoy visiting and lying on a beach in a hot locale, but I wouldn't be able to get on with my ordinary life in a hot climate. But, BC still looks good...I'm thinking a more temperate climate would still be better than our crazy weather in Calgary. (Interestingly enough, we may have a chance to move to BC as Hubby and his business partner look at a possible expansion. Far off still, but we'll see.)

Around the house we are slowly getting things done...Shane is adding privacy slats to the fence we installed last summer. I am still undertaking organizational tasks inside the house...does that EVER end? and we are debating about the degree of renovations we should do on our main level.
Grayson is in a very strange mood these days. I don't know if it is jealousy over Sam as Sam starts to want to play and gets into G's toys, or if I need to spend more time with him, or if he is just raring to go, go, go and do more, more, more. He is definitley touchy and easily irritated these days. He squeals and does a fake whiny cry (which is driving me nuts) doesn't listen and is quite defiant. This is not my boy! Where did he go? But we went to Calaway Park yesterday with friends and he had a good time (until we had to leave!) Sigh...

Sam is 13 months, is huge (27 lbs), is crawling like a madman, and still isn't quite walking. He walks around the furniture, but not on his own. In fact when you hold his hands ot help him walk he either lifts up his feet or justs sits down. All in good time I guess. He is eating everything in site and is generally pretty happy. Lots of noises (especially imitation sneezes!) and babbling, but not quite talking yet either, although I like to think he is saying Ma-Ma, Ma-Ma! He has just cut his 7th tooth.

Well, I think that's a pretty good snapshot of where we are right now. to make Menu Plan for this week and write SMS blog post for today!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're Back!

We're back from our "Vacation" as well as our "Stay-cation" and we had a great time!

First we took off to visit some of Shane's family at Laurier Lake and had our first camping experience with the boys. Shane's Aunt and Uncle brought a trailor and parked it on their cabin property for us to stay in. And this was no "roughing it" type of was about a 26 footer, had a full size Queen bed, couch, table with benches, 2 bunks and a full kitchen and bathroom. Man, if that's camping these days, I am IN! The boys loved it...Grayson enjoyed the campfires, the beach and the boating, and Sam REALLY liked playing in the sand. Shane and I enjoyed visiting with family, some great food and of course a few beverages around the campfire! What a great time!

When we got back we simply laid low for a few days...I didn't blog or do a lot of work. We just relaxed and continued in vacation mode, even though we were at home! The weather wasn't great, so we relaxed indoors, read a lot of books and played with a new farm and tractor set! This past weekend I had some ladies over for an all-day scrapbooking workshop, and went to a couple of BBQ's -one with friends and one at my dad's place. Overall we have had a great time the past couple of weeks!

But now we are back to normal and looking forward to getting back into our routines. We do have a lot of fun things planned for the rest of the summer, so we certainly won't be sitting around for very long. I haven't got a menu plan going for this week yet...most likely I will be back at it next week. This week we'll eat some leftovers, do a little BBQing and maybe have one night with take-out or a pizza.

I am working a bunch of new articles and blog posts for the Sharing Memories site, and am busy putting together product kits which I hope will be available online in August. Awhile back I said I was going to have a big launch in July...well, it looks more like later in August now! I am finding that although I am very excited about my new business, I was perhaps a bit unrealistic about how fast I could get each step accomplished. But a lot of great things are in the works for Fall, including multi-consultant crops and a Fall retreat. More details to follow...I promise!

I am taking Lisa Day's "The Challenge of Me" class over at BPS and while her prompts and ideas are great, I haven't been keeping up with my assignments. I WILL be going back to complete them though, because I feel is so important to document my story for my kids...I wish I had more information on my relatives and their stories...not just the dates and places, but the REAL stories of their lives. That brings me to this week's inspiration over at Sharing Memories...we'll be talking about journaling and stories.

Once I upload my pics from our vacation/staycation I will post a few for fun!

Until then,
Happy Scrapping!