mypostcardsfromhome


Get Outside with Family Geocaching!

As a family, we often get out and explore nature:  family hikes, biking the trails, beach-combing, or, my personal favourite, our vacation pyjama walks.

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Now we can add geocaching to our list of family adventures.

Yesterday, we set off for the first time and found several hidden treasures close to home.  The boys were keen – even in the rain.  Normally if we walk to the park and there aren’t any friends around to play with or it starts to rain, they would complain!  Or if I say, “lets go for a walk” they ask “where?”  But not this time.

What is Geocaching?

According to Geocaching.com “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

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How to get started?

This is the best part.  All you need is your GPS-enabled cell phone* and a free membership plus the free app!  Start with the map, follow the GPS plus any clues and search until you find the hidden item.  We found 4 that were within a 5 block radius of our house!

What will you find?

This is the fun part!  With a little effort, you should find a hidden or camouflaged, waterproof container known as the “cache.”  Inside you will find a “log” or notepad/piece of paper and (hopefully) a pen or pencil to record your name and the date.

Sometimes, you’ll come across little treasures; you can trade these, so be sure to pack a few small items with you that you can leave behind for the next person to discover (good etiquette suggests they be of equal or greater value).  Some great ideas for the kids are mini erasers, small toys, glowsticks, bouncy balls etc.  (Avoid non-perishables that might get slimy or rotten if they get wet.)

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Some tips:

  • wear comfortable shoes
  • bring a pen, just in case
  • pack a snack & water
  • take a camera

If you’re super keen, you could also pack a plastic bag and some tongs to clean up any litter you find en route!

Have a look at the map and see what’s nearby.  My boys and I were thrilled to see lots in our immediate area, but even more excited to see that they are EVERYWHERE!  Any time we go camping, skiing, hiking or even just visiting friends and family, we now have another reason to get out and explore.

We’re hooked!

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* we’ve been warned to be cautious of data-usage on the cell phone as this may incur extra charges depending on the plan
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“Every job is done halfway. Then the other half is done.”

I just came across this post written by a fellow mom, Kathryn Thompson, and am feeling better about my own half-hearted attempts.

Sometimes my intentions just don’t reach fruition.

Some days I manage to cross a few items off of my To Do list; sometimes I’m super productive, but it seems like I don’t have enough hours in the day for my Want To Do list.  So many ideas and projects I’d like to work on, but I’m either out of time or out of energy (or both!!) once the kids are out the door or tucked in for the night.

Half Hearted Attempt

http://www.howdoesshe.com/in-defense-of-half-hearted-attempts/

The author says: “…people talk about doing a job halfway as being a negative thing. What gives? Every job is done halfway. Then the other half is done. And if you stop after the first half, that’s one half more than you would have completed if you’d never tried at all.”

Perhaps I’ll just set my sights on accomplishing half of what I want to do; odds are, once I start, I’ll finish!  Photo books?  Archiving kids’ art? Sewing projects? Train for a triathlon? So many options. . .

But first, I think I’ll go half-heartedly clean the kitchen and taste the blueberry scones I just made with my son.

blueberry scones

PS.  they are delicious!

 



It’s about time!

I’m a little behind on posting and have been getting some attitude about it.  Truth be told, I have 16 drafts started and a few that are almost ready to publish, but I’ve been busy.  I could name all sorts of reasons, but let’s just call it “life”. Time to get back on track.

My 39th birthday was in October; yes, it’s been four months, but a busy four months they were. This year, after my annual birthday resolutions were made,

Vision Board "39"

I also made a vision board to keep me focussed, but, I didn’t post my goals for all to see. If you’re new to my birthday resolutions, check out last year’s post: Happy Birthday To Me.

2013 Birthday Resolutions

To Do: a road bike event

To Have: a regular date night with my husband

To Be: clutter free

To Give: my undivided attention

To Learn:  how to use my digital camera settings

Happily, I can report that I’ve taken steps to help me achieve these goals.  We have interviewed new babysitters to watch the kids so my husband and I can  exercise and socialize together plus we have both registered for the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer in June. You can make a donation here: http://www.conquercancer.ca/site/TR/Events/Vancouver2013?px=3156646&pg=personal&fr_id=1441.

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To get more comfortable with my road bike, I am planning to do another Duathlon in March.  And to work toward being clutter free I am following a “declutter calendar” for the year which I stumbled upon  (http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm).

To give undivided attention is aimed at having more “quality” time with each of my kids and my husband as well as cutting back on multi-tasking.  Focus, focus, focus!  Which brings me to my camera; I haven’t yet made a formal plan here, but am confident I’ll get this one done, too!

Now, to check my 40 Before 40 list to see what other goals I can achieve this year!

Have any tips or advice you want to share?



Turkey leftovers? Here’s some inspiration . . .

After several days of holiday meal planning, baking, prepping, and cooking; it’s officially time for leftovers!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love turkey dinner leftovers especially when I had back-to-back Christmas dinners and was treated to prime rib with my in-laws last night.  But rather than just recreating your turkey dinner out of tupperware containers, try this delicious recipe from Jamie Oliver!

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/turkey-recipes/turkey-and-sweet-leek-pie

"It's not a pretty-boy pie; it's a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table."  Jamie Oliver

“It’s not a pretty-boy pie; it’s a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table.” Jamie Oliver

He featured it on his Christmas Special last week and we had a test run with chicken. We liked it so much we both went back for seconds!

This time, I’m making two and popping one in the freezer.  Because we didn’t have any, I substituted pancetta for the bacon and left out the chestnuts, otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing, just be sure you roll out the puff pastry so it’s not too thick.  Enjoy!

 



Not only on Thanksgiving . . .

 

Since I started my gratitude journal last year, I have been more thankful.  More appreciative of the little things.  The smell of my sons’ hair when they come in from playing outside.  The lingering embrace at the end of a quick hug from my husband.  A perfect cup of tea.  A relaxing foot massage.  The simplicity of everyday routines.

But today is Thanksgiving (in Canada) AND my 39th birthday . . . I have much to be thankful for:

  • a husband who does more than most
  • two boys who inspire me to be better and do better
  • true friends who remember my birthday (without the help of Facebook)
  • old friends who are still there despite the passage of time
  • new friends that have come to me through my children
  • a family that has supported me whether they agreed with my decisions or not
  • grandparents that are still around to teach their great-grandchildren the joys of baking and the many uses of a magnifying glass
  • being able to stay home with my boys until I decide what to do next
As Edith Piaf croons and I prepare a traditional turkey dinner for my loved ones, I am savouring a glass of wine while my boys watch a movie and my husband takes a well-deserved nap.  Life is good.
Now to commit to my resolutions for 39 . . . to do, to have, to be, to give, to learn. . .

 



“An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities.”

My thought for today as quoted from my Yogi tea bag.  I love it!

As part of my Happiness Project, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal, but I’ve fallen behind.  So today, I am picking up the pen again.  It’s great to be reminded of how lucky I am and to keep things in perspective when I’m facing a challenge!

It really is the little things.  A hug from my boys, tea made by my husband, ballet class . . .some days I have so many moments that I want to remember, I don’t even get to write them all down.  But I do spend the day trying to be mindful and appreciative.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m cheerful and perky all day – my kids still don’t listen to me when I ask them to stop bugging each other, there are still terrible drivers everywhere and petty annoyances, but focussing on the best of the day seems to make it easier to forget the rest.

Yesterday . . . my dishwasher.  I am lucky to be able to turn it on when I go out and come home to clean dishes – allowing me to spend time with my family instead!

Today . . .  I’m grateful for a much-needed morning shower and clean hair!

And you??



February Photo-A-Day Challenge

In a previous post, I mentioned that I came across this great idea from Fatmumslim (http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/) and am excited to try it.  Basic premise is to take a photo a day inspired by the list provided:

It’s a fun endeavour, but tricky to remember throughout the day and then find the time to upload the photos, but I’m enjoying the challenge!  Check back as often as you like!

Feb 1 "My View Today"

Feb 2 "Words"

Feb 3 "Hands"

Feb 4 "Stranger"

Feb 5 "10:00am" (on Pinterest!!)

Feb 6 "Dinner"

Feb 7 "Button"

Feb 8 "Sun"

Feb 9 "Front Door"

Feb 10 "Self Portrait"

Feb 11 "Makes me Happy"

Feb 12 "Inside my closet"

Feb 13 "Blue" (sky!)

Feb 14 "Heart"

Feb 15 "Phone"

Feb 16 "Something new"

Feb 17 "Time"

Feb 18 "Drink"

Feb 19 "Something I hate to do"

Feb 20 "Handwriting"

Feb 21 "Favorite photo of me"

Feb 22 "Where I work"

Feb 23 "Shoes"

Feb 24 "Inside my bathroom cabinet"

Feb 25 "Green"

Feb 26 “Night”

Feb 27 “Something I ate”

Feb 28 "Money"

Feb 29 "Something I'm listening to"

 

 




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