Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The weather gods are conspiring against us

The last three July 1st long weekends, we have gone camping with a group of friends ranging from a group as small as three families to a group as large as six families (I think we were 22 people that year).

The first year, it was cold (and I mean, see your breath at night cold) and it rained on and off for three days.

The second year started with a torrential rainstorm the first night, followed by cool temperatures and on and off rain for three days.

The third year, we moved the trip to a different park in hopes of having better weather luck. We did have a bit of sun, but we had a lot of rain -- more daytime rain than we'd had in the past three years. And it wasn't that warm out either.

This year, the group came to a consensus to move the trip to the August long weekend, in hopes that the weather will be better. That being said, check out the long-term forecast for this weekend:
Had we gone camping this weekend, we would've likely gone from Thursday until Sunday. Thursday is looking to be on the cooler side, but after that it's nothing but hot temperatures and sunshine.

If our 'lucky' streak continues, anyone want to take a wild guess on what the weather forecast might look like for the August long weekend?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Breakfast time!

Another rainy day last week had us trapped inside pretty much all morning. It was one of those days where it was raining so hard, that you'd get soaked just running to the car.

So we stayed in, played with almost every toy we had and finally filled a dress-up box with all the dress-up clothes the kids have.

For lunch, we went the muffin tin route. And to make it a little more fun, I told the kids that they could only pick breakfast foods for their tin. There's nothing like telling a two-year-old and four-year-old that they can only eat breakfast foods for lunch to keep them engaged. They thought the idea was the funniest (and coolest) ever.

So, in our tin we have (top row) raisin bran, yogurt and blackberries (bottom row) peanut butter and jam on toast, honey nut cheerios and strawberries. This was one lunch that was devoured by both of them.

As for the rain, soon after lunch, it stopped and the sun came out, so I decided that a quick trip to the library (which is just down the street) would be a good way to get out before nap/rest time. So off we went. And as we were choosing our books, the clouds returned and opened up. Needless to say, we got a little wet on our walk back.

To see what everyone else's muffin tin meal, click here

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My new toy....a crackberry

When Ryan first got his Blackberry three or four years ago, I hated it. This statement comes as no surprise to him. I hated that it connected him to work all the time, I hated that he checked it all the time. I just hated it.

But I got used to it. And admittedly, over the years, it's come in handy.

That being said, I never wanted one, never felt the need to have one and, quite frankly, never really understood why someone needed one that wasn't work-issued. And I never in a million years dreamed of buying one.

I just bought one for myself.

Me; the same person who a little over a year ago had cellphone so ancient that it wasn't text-compatible, had a bare-bones phone plan because I barely used my phone and when someone did call me, I rarely heard it ring (or it wasn't even charged) which added to the barely used it factor.

But things change; life changes. A year on from that phone, I'm running my own, rather successful (if I do say so myself) part-time, self-employed business. (To be honest, the kids are asleep right now, I should be working and not blogging.) And with this modest success comes the need to be connected while I'm doing my full-time job -- being a mom. Hence the Blackberry.

It's been in my possession for four days now and I think I'm in love. And I've barely even begun to use it yet. So far, I've mostly only used it for work-related purposes -- e-mailing with a client while out with the kids. Although it did come in awfully handy when I wanted to meet a friend at the zoo yesterday and she was running late.

So, I guess you can say I've been converted. I'm already randomly wandering over to it at all times of day just to see if I have any new e-mails. Or heck, just to go online and check the weather. Why? Because I can.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The vegetable garden adventure begins

The vegetable garden adventure has begun once again, although this year, (I hope) I know what I'm doing.

I planted one afternoon, the week after the May long weekend (that's definitely one of the perks to being a stay-at-home mom) with 'help' from the kids. Our first step was to tame the raspberry bush which had completely taken over the garden.I had no idea when we planted it last spring that in a year's time it would do so well. In fact, at one point in March, as it sat limply in the corner, I was certain that I had killed it.

So, I pulled out the dozens of raspberry bush shoots, making plenty of room to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries and jalapeno peppers. That's right, that's it. I learned from my mistakes last year and did not over plant. I planted four tomato plants -- one being a grape tomato plant -- two cucumber plants (two different types of cucumber, although I did that by accident, picking up the wrong one at the garden centre but not realizing my mistake until I got home), one zucchini plant, one jalapeno pepper plant and one strawberry plant. (I moved the chives in the picture below to another garden in the backyard soon after taking this picture to give the zucchini plenty of room to grow.)We'll see how everything does. So far, so good -- thanks to the nothing-but-sunny-days-and-warm-temperatures of late May followed by a fair bit of rain in the last week. The strawberry plant has produced about four strawberries so far (but, like the raspberry bush last year, it's not supposed to do much in the first year) and one of my tomato plants already has a small green tomato on it.

The plants are all still small but already I'm excited to start cooking. I plan to stock my cupboard with relish and salsa (lots and lots of salsa) later this summer and maybe even bread and butter pickles.

Oh, and that raspberry bush that I thought I may have killed...there are so many raspberries on it (although not quite ripe yet) that I may even have to have jam in my future too.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - planting our garden

It's been awhile since I last posted a Muffin Tin Monday. It's not that we don't do Muffin Tin's anymore, quite the opposite. In fact, Alex asks for a muffin tin lunch pretty much every other day, but normally I just throw a bunch of stuff together -- or the kids choose a bunch of stuff to put in the tin.

Here though, is one of our most recent Muffin Tin's with a theme. It was right after we planted our vegetable garden out back and flower garden in the front so we came up with ideas from those activities.We have (top row) bread and butter flowers, raisins subbing in for dirt, grape tomatoes, (bottom row) cheese flowers, strawberries and blackberries (we actually have raspberries in our garden but the kids insisted on eating blackberries at this meal).

In our veggie garden (which I guess, technically is a vegetable and fruit garden) we also have tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, zuchnni, chives and cucumbers. If this year's gardening adventure turns out anything like last year's, it's going to be a yummy summer!

Check out more MTM here.