mypostcardsfromhome


It’s Strawberry Season!

It’s officially strawberry season in BC which means there are fresh, juicy, ripe, local strawberries everywhere!  Road-side stands, farmer’s markets, even the big-chain grocery stores are selling them.

At the same time, our school teachers are on strike which means my boys are missing the last two weeks of school. I’ll admit, it’s a mixed blessing; it’s nice not to be packing lunches and rushing off to school and activities everyday, but it also means the kids are underfoot and full of energy.

What to do?

Pile into the car with some friends and head out to the fields. IMG_1265

We drove out to Emma Lea Farm in scenic Westham Island, Ladner BC.  It was our first time there, but they clearly know what they’re doing.  A playground, tractors to climb on and ice cream for sale and, of course, fresh fruit to be picked and purchased. Once our buckets were weighed we set off to the fields. The boys did a great job of filling their buckets with the odd berry tasted for quality control purposes, of course.

Now that we have all these delicious, juicy, strawberries, it’s time to try out some new recipes such as these moist Strawberry Muffins and these flaky, Strawberry Scones. Both recipes are easy to make with great results.

Do you have a favourite strawberry recipe?

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No Skirt, No Service
July 26, 2013, 10:12 am
Filed under: family, kids, organized | Tags: , , ,

My great friend had me laughing out loud this morning – enjoy!

Growing Signs

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I woke up this morning realizing that exactly 10 years ago today, I had taught my first baby sign language class at Cambie Community Centre. My daughter was just a year old and I had been creating a curriculum to teach my own baby sign language classes, which would allow me to make my own schedule instead of returning to my previous full-time job designing & teaching kids’ recreation programs.

You should know that I am one of those people who likes to plan, prepare, and practice when I teach. I have shelves full of binders and folders of my teaching notes. For this new venture I had written up everything I was going to say, every sign I was going to teach, every song I was going to sing during the hour-long class, and even some anecdotes to share. I had 11 pages of notes and 10 flashcards. I…

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Daily Prompt: The Natural World

I was inspired by todays daily prompt: The Natural World.

It was easy to find photos I had taken that show nature in its various forms: beaches, trees, sunrise and sunset, but I was most excited to see so many photos that include my boys exploring nature.

Although they are “city kids”, we do plenty of  beach combing, hiking, and paddling to discover treasures.  My favorite excursions are the pajama walks we take early in the morning while on vacation.

Where are your favorite places to explore nature?



Half full or half empty?

The age-old question of the glass being half full or half empty is sometimes used as an indicator of your views on life.  Are you an optimist?  A pessimist?

fish

Or perhaps you don’t care either way and are just happy to have the glass.

the glass

Since I became a mom, I found another glass metaphor – the one that measures my energy level.  I remember talking to a friend about parenting young kids and how demanding they are with constant questions, needs, and wants.  She replied ” your kids will drain you all day long; they suck the life out of you, so you have to make sure that you start each day with a full glass” (no, not of wine).  And then she forwarded me a link to a blog post about nurturing yourself while nurturing your child.

After reading this article I realized that, at times, I was too impatient with my kids and frustrated by the lack of time for myself.  I chose to leave my career in finance to stay home full-time with my kids, but I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be.  So this year, as I approach 40, I have made an effort to put myself back on the never-ending to-do list.  I decided that I needed to take some time every day to do something that is just for me.  Something that makes me happy.

I exercise.  I make a cup of tea (and try to drink it before it gets cold).  I treat myself to a great pedicure.  I read.  I savour a square of sea salt Lindt dark chocolate.

If I had more time,  I would sew, paint, make jewelry, garden, but until my youngest is in school all day, I will keep pinning great ideas on my Pinterest boards for future reference; even this makes me happy!

What do you do to fill your cup?

the glass



Spring Treats!

Spring is in the air.  The flowers are blooming and the frost has taken a backseat to the rain, but the sun is still only making occasional appearances.  What better time to have a spring party!?

My 4-year-old’s preschool had a class party yesterday for family to attend and parents were asked to contribute treats, snacks, drinks and decor.  What fun to see the variety of delicious treats on the table; home-baked iced cookies, rice krispie treats, cupcakes, even some delicious candied-popcorn (I asked for that recipe!).

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This year we made bird’s nests!  They were quick, easy, child-friendly and delicious.  Our class has a number of allergies including nuts, eggs, and kiwi so these were allergy-friendly, too. They are also super-cute and were popular among the kids and parents.

We first attempted this treat for dessert on Easter weekend, but they didn’t turn out.  Apparently when you run over to the closest corner store and purchase the only chow mein noodles they have, it doesn’t mean your nests will be edible.  Cute, but not edible.  So we tried again – successfully!

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The ingredient list is short:

 chocolate

chow mein noodles

mini-eggs

Ready?  Melt your chocolate, mix in the noodles and spoon them into some lightly sprayed muffin tins.  I didn’t exactly measure but found that melting the chocolate then stirring in noodles a bit at a time until they were completely covered but not too “wet” worked well.IMG_1769

Once they’re in the tins, use your fingers to make the shape nest-like so there’s a place to put the eggs.  Then add 3 Cadbury mini-eggs (you could use other types like jelly beans or something, but these look so cute and taste great!).IMG_1770

My 4 year old happily helped with the mixing, spooning, and placing the eggs, then licked the spoon clean, of course!  It’s a bit of a sticky process, but they come together quickly and look and taste great.

Enjoy!

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My teenage daughter.
February 28, 2013, 2:22 pm
Filed under: family, friendship, kids, life | Tags: , ,

I’ve written about my boys before, but never my teenage daughter and I think she deserves a mention.

I love her.

Over the years we have traveled together to places like San Francisco, New York, and Paris. We’ve shopped, we’ve dined, and we’ve laughed a lot. We’ve laughed so hard in places that are meant to be quiet that our seats shook and tears streamed down our cheeks!

But we also drive each other crazy.

found on Etsy, Scissormill

found on Etsy, Scissormill

I’m sure she’s just like other teenagers – she stays up into the wee hours of the morning, she sleeps in and wastes away half the daylight hours, she doesn’t answer her phone when I call her, she even forgets when we’ve made plans or what time we’re supposed to meet. I figure this is payback for my own terrible teen years. Thankfully, she willingly babysits my boys who adore her; she feeds them junkfood and is sometimes late, but I’m not paying her so I try not to argue too much.

We don’t really see eye-to-eye on life and somehow are polar opposites in many ways despite our blood connection. This sometimes causes tension and arguments, we often disagree, but underneath it, we both know that we’re not going to convince the other to come to our point of view. She seems to respect my opinion and asks me questions, expects me to know things that she doesn’t and is surprised when I don’t have all the answers. Unfortunately, I’m often too short-tempered, too impatient, and too tired to give her what she’s looking for, but I think she understands.

Oh, did I mention? She’s 65 and my mother!



Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

As a final post before the new year begins, I thought I’d participate in the weekly photo challenge of “my 2012 in pictures”.  As I looked back, I was surprised to see how much we travelled.  Not quite the same as before kids, mostly local trips, but still away from home somewhere almost every month!

I was also surprised by the number of photos of food I took this year – food that marked special occasions, vacations, birthdays, holidays, and class treats for school so I’ve decided to post those photos instead of our various trips.  Let me know what you think!




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