Things are changing

Dec 5, 2013

Good Morning everyone!

We've definitely had some interesting changes in the last couple weeks, and I know I promised to update you sooner.. sorry about that!

So we've had some life changing things happen, as I've said a couple times already. Daniel has quit his day job to start his own company, and I've also opened my own small business. We've both been feeling alot of stress lately I think, and we've had some family issues to deal with. Needless to say, I'm not used to him being home so much and I feel like it's definitely cramping my style.. but I'm so glad he's home now and we can actually have time together as a family! Its been more difficult to find time to write, sew, blog, read, watch tv... well do anything really. I feel like we need to catch up on missed time with "Daddy" around! So that is why I haven't wrote about our changes until now! We still have lots of kinks to figure out, mostly how to give each other space when we need it, and spend time together, and spend time with M.

I think we are all enjoying time together right now though.

My business I've actually had open for awhile. I've been doing photography and graphic design things for awhile now for myself, and recently have decided to do it for others. I've just finished a large project with a lady in town, helping her start her own personal trainer business. I've been booking a couple weddings next summer with my photography and seem to always be busy with some kind of photography project. I need to start bringing my camera out more often to take pictures of our family when we are out and about doing things though. I've also started sewing. Currently on my list of things I make and sell are baby shoes, baby boots, ties, headbands and scarves. There always seems to be things I'm adding to my list of things I sew! Its been super busy for me and I love every moment of it. I can't wait to possibly do it full time and not just after work/weekends!

Onto other big news, M's daycare has informed me that he has now moved up to "toddler"! Where has my baby boy gone? They said that now with him being a toddler, he gets to play with the older kids in the front of the building. It's way more fun up there anyway! He no longer uses a highchair, and gets to sit at the table with the kids, and play and color and just do more fun things instead of being around babies. I'm so excited for him! And thats about it, all the exciting new I had for today! I will try and write more as I can and keep everyone updated!

Lunch Break Cookies!

Dec 4, 2013

Lunch time is sometimes the only time in my day when I truely feel like I have time to myself. Its amzing what you can actually get done in an hour sometimes..
 
 
And sometimes, some people just want to be employee of the day and whip up gingerbread cookies on their lunch breaks! That was me today..
 
Gingerbread cookies to me are definitely a Christmas cookie. Their sugary, crunchy outside and their spicey, chewy inside give you so many different flavours its like an explosion in your mouth!
 
 
Gingersnap Cookies
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Keywords: bake snack winter

Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and continue to mix until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract, and mix to thoroughly combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl, reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, giving it a final stir with a rubber spatula.
Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are set, but centers are still soft. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. These cookies can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
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Mexican Quinoa Chili

Nov 13, 2013

Lately we've been craving comfort food here at our house. Dan was gone for a couple days this week and I decided that a new recipe was needed. I have been trying to eat healthy lately, and cut back on caffeine (which is hurting my head right now). I bought a rather large bag of quinoa a month ago and have barely used it so I was excited when I came across this recipe and couldn't wait to try it! Althought next time I think some more spice is definitely needed!

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Doesn't it look amazing!


Mexican Quinoa Chili
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew quinoa fall

Ingredients (8 servings)
  • 1 Tbsp.oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 clovesgarlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp.chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp.chipotle chile pepper powder
  • 2 cans (28 fl oz/796 mL each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (19 fl oz/540 mL) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (19 fl oz/540 mL) no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 red peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
Instructions
Heat oil in Dutch oven or large deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and garlic; cook and stir 5 min. or until onions are crisp-tender.
Stir in seasonings; cook 1 min. Add tomatoes, beans, peppers, corn and quinoa; stir. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 25 min. or until quinoa is tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Stir in green onions and cilantro. Serve topped with cheese.
Make Ahead
Prepare chili as directed, except do not add the green onions, cilantro or cheese; cool completely. Place in freezer container; freeze up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Reheat before serving. Stir in green onions and cilantro. Serve topped with cheese.
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A Learning Holiday

Nov 11, 2013


Well we had a wonderful long weekend here at our house! We were sad to see Daniel go to the city today, for his last meeting.. more to come on that later in the week. Just going to say that I'm super excited to see what this week all has in store!

So today we were woken up at 5:30am, this doesn't happen very often, so it kinda threw off our whole day. We spent two hours cuddling and watching tv, mostly news. This never happens! It was glorious! It really made me miss being at home on maternity leave.

So after a healthy breakfast of banana nut muffins, fruit and yogurt we all had a relaxing nap. Now, naps are tricky.. especially with a 17 month old! He is down to one nap a day, and this nap is crucial to predicting bedtime. But, when you wake up at 5:30 in the morning it throws everything off! We ended up aiming for an early nap and maybe a late nap or early bedtime. Needless to say we had a super short early nap, grouchy afternoon with no nap and a super early bedtime! Cross your fingers we get to sleep in until at least 6 o'clock. Anyway... after our nap we snuck outside into the freezing weather and went for a walk, and then decided to jump off the deck into the snowbanks! So much fun!


Seriously pink cheeks and noses are my favorite part of winter :)

We came inside after a good hour outside and had some chocolate milk and a snack, followed by more cuddles and crummy tv shows. Daniel had to leave around 4:30, so I took M into his room, read some stories and he went over to his potty and wanted to sit on it.. so I took off his diaper, and let him sit down, we didn't  even get through one story book and guess what.. He peed in his potty! Too bad he had to be in such a grouchy mood, I don't think he got anything out of it, but I was sure proud of him!

So after our exciting and long day M was exhausted so we had an early bath and bed, now I'm laying in bed, putting my newest book on my kobo and watching more crummy tv.. I need to do something about this crummy tv habit I have! My new book club book this month is "Traveling Light" by Katrina Kittle. I'm super excited to start reading it, this book club is the best thing.. I love the group of girls and spending time out with them!

Well, thats all for today.. seriously more interesting stuff to come this week! I promise!

I've been a busy bee lately :)

Nov 10, 2013

Sorry I haven't been around in awhile..

I have been busy with lots of stuff, but mostly my mommy duties.

I absolutely love blogging, recipe writing, trying new things and doing my photography, sewing and other crafts.. but lately my mommy duties have been number one priority.

Anyway, I figured this long weekend would be the perfect time to reconnect with my laptop, some tea, and writing.

On that note... I would like to tell you about a new app I downloaded. Its called "Grid Diary".

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I have been using it lately just to clear my mind at night. I can get anything out, feel like I accomplished something, and just brainstorm. I like that I can always have it with me on my phone, and lets be honest here... who doesn't take their phone with them every day?

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This is what it looks like on my phone, and I can just click on a square, answer the question and bazinga, I have an entry! And then, even better, I have something to blog about later!

So, hopefully in the next few days I can get back in the habit of writing and getting stuff off my brain at night!

Weekend recap - shopping trip!

Oct 29, 2013

We had a super productive weekend here at the Pihowich household! We went to our first hockey game of the season Friday night. Maddox did not too bad. We left halfway through the second period to go home and have a bath and head to bed. We knew going in to the game he wouldn't make it through, it's hard for him to sit still at this stage in his life.
 
Saturday morning we all woke up bright and early and had a quick breakfast, shower and took off to Prince Albert for the day. I had a photoshoot with my Aunt and Uncle and my adorable cousins! We also had a lot of shopping to do... good thing we brought the truck in!
 
 
 
 
During our shopping trip we had a lot of firsts for Maddox! First time picking out his own book in the bookstore, first time eating McDonalds, first time ordering his own supper at a restaurant! It was a fun day. Only had one meltdown at Walmart but it was definitely our fault because Maddox needed a break. He was exhausted. Also.. apparently my shoes were exhausted as one of them had a hole in it by the end of our trip! We got home late Saturday night so decided not to go out.. good thing because somone wanted to be a cuddle bug and sleep with mommy and daddy!
 
Sunday we spent the day lounging, decided to hang up our Christmas lights and clean out the garage. I will never understand why we don't think to fix the Christmas lights in the summer.. Oh well.. maybe next year! 

Apple Crisp for Two

Oct 18, 2013

When the weather starts to turn cold and crisp, there is only one thing that comes to my mind. Comfort food. This dish is my favorite to make in the fall. It smells amazing, and tastes oh so good and just reminds me of Mom's cooking!

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Apple Crisp for two (or more)
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert apple fall

Ingredients
    Filling
    • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
    • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
    Topping
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup quick oates
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 350F.
    Place apples in a greased dish, sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon ontop. Lightly toss to coat the apples evenly.
    In a seperate bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter and stir until it resembles crumbs.
    Sprinkle over apples.
    Bake for 35-40 minutes.
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    Add ice cream and serve!

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    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Oct 16, 2013

    Well we are back from a whirlwind of a weekend! I would have posted sooner but I've been fighting a horrendous flu. I finally feel like I'm back to myself!

    We spent the weekend and my parents farm. I had a couple photoshoots Saturday morning, and we took off as soon as I was done. My sister took some amazing photos of us!

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    It was nice to get some family photos done! It seems like it has been forever since we have had some done, Maddox just grows way to fast! He is such a little boy now it breaks my heart how fast he's grown!


    We must remember, we are family and we will walk together down this path we call life...

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    End of Harvest

    Oct 8, 2013

    Sorry that I dissapeared for a couple weeks there. Harvest time is busy and I wasn't able to get to my computer very much.. just to edit photos here and there when needed.

    Speaking of that, I would like to thank everyone for the continued support and love while I embark on my own personal business! It has been a wonderful venture so far and I absolutely love it!

    I did a mini session this past weekend and this was my favorite picture of M that I took. I had 5 families ask me for pictures with their kids and I loved the setups I put together!

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    So anyway, now that harvest is done I'm hoping to get to my website more and update it more often! I would love to start putting up more recipes and fun things and weekend reviews.

    As a review of harvest, I would like to share these three pictures with you taken one evening in the field. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous!

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    Untitled Hope everyone is doing great and can't wait to start spending more time on here!

    Home, Home on the Range

    Sep 4, 2013

    (Sorry for the crappy iphone pictures)

    We started off our weekend by helping "daddy" in the grain cart. M absolutely loved being in there and watching the combines dump grain. He really liked driving though, his eyes just lit up when I set him on Dan's lap. It was adorable.

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    Then we were off to my parent's farm on Friday after work. Mom and I made canned peaches...mmmm.

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    It rained all day saturday so we watched lots of cartoons..

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    I think M was telling me he wanted to go outside and play..

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    Sunday was a bit better. We played for a bit in the morning while it warmed up and dried up.

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    Then it was outside to play! We tried out this fun bike from my Aunt and Uncle.

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    And we played with the pigs. He wasn't sure what to think at first, but later he kept running back and throwing grass into their pen.

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    We had so much fun on the farm this weekend. Its too bad that it's so far away. I wish we could go out there more often.

    Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (Healthy!)

    Aug 30, 2013

    I need to ask you something and I want you to be totally honest with me, it might be awkward with us after this but I have to know how you feel, I have kept this in for a awhile and its about time I was straight up and confronted you about it, I hope this doesn't ruin the relationship we already have, I just need to know and I can't see any other way to get over this, it just doesn't seem fair on me if I don't get an answer, I want you to tell me truthfully, no matter what is is, I just want your honest opinion...


    Do you know the muffin man?

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    Did I have you going? These muffins are so yummy, light, delicious, airy, just yummy.. Sorry my brain isn't coming up with any other descriptive words today.. I think I'm drained.. Harvest has started, work is busy, I need quick snacks that keep me full that I can throw in my lunch. Somedays I have a super late lunch, sometimes I don't get a lunch.. These muffins are perfect for field lunch kits too!

    Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
    by Renee Pihowich
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 20-25 mins
    Keywords: bake snack

    Ingredients (12 muffins)
    • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, and/or nutmeg)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 – 1 1/4 cup milk
    • 4 carrots, shredded
    Instructions
    Preheat your oven to 400°F, and prepare your muffin tin, I used liners.. next time I will be using a greased muffin tin.
    In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt,and pumpkin pie spice, and give it a mix. Stir in your sugar, oats, and raisins. Add in 1 cup milk, coconut oil, egg, banana, and carrots, and mix it well to combine (avoid OVER mixing, though). At this point your batter should be thick but moist. You can add in the last 1/4 cup milk if it’s too dry.
    Fill each of your muffin cups with about 1/4 cup of the muffin batter. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through (you can test with a toothpick. It should come out clean).
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    The sun has set on summer

    Aug 28, 2013

    We had an awesome last weekend of Summer here in our small town Saskatchewan. Yes, I realize summer doesn't end until September 21, but for us, our summer has ended. Harvest will be in full swing by mid week and we are preparing for a busy one. As long as the rain stays away we will be going.

    We had an awesome last weekend of summer. I had Friday off because we were supposed to be going to a wedding, but ended up not going because of the distance and time off we would have needed to go. Instead, M went to daycare, I went to some appointments for my back and Dan worked a bit in the morning.

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    In the early afternoon we decided to go for a couple rounds of golf and ended up with a group of friends and stayed out there until midnight! We did some glow golfing, which was crazy fun! Dangerous, but fun!

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    It was so humid and hot this past weekend, and Dan wasn't feeling up to par on Saturday so we hung out at the house, did some laundry and house cleaning and just became lazy. M has been a bit fussy from teething and wasn't sleeping great so I stayed home with him saturday night and Dan went out to a friend's surpise party. I heard it was a blast... and I'm kinda sorry I missed out on it.

    Sunday we were up early, and out wakling when we ran into Dan's parents. They invited us to go fishing for the day and we spent the entire day on the boat! Dan and I were a little sunburnt but we had sooo much fun!

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    And with that, the sun has set on our last weekend of summer.

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    Cheers to a succesful and prosperous harvest!

    Sweet Potato Fries

    Aug 22, 2013

    Sweet potato fries are the perfect side dish to almost any meal. In my opinion anyway, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion right?!

    Sweet Potato Fries
    by Renee Pihowich
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 25 mins
    Keywords: side sweet potato

    Ingredients (4-6 Servings)
    • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch or cornflour
    • 1 teaspoon salt (I used a chilli salt)
    • 4 tablespoons oil (I used avocado oil so it’s a bit greener in colour)
    • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 220C/428F and line a large baking tray with parchment. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chip sized batons. Soak in cold water while the oven is preheating.

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    When the oven is ready, take a ziplock bag and add the cornstarch or cornflour to the bag along with the salt and shake around. Drain the sweet potato batons in a colander and add to the bag. Seal the bag and shake around the sweet potato so that the pieces are coated in the flour. If you need more flour you can add it along with a bit more salt.

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    Spread out the batons onto the prepared tray and drizzle with the oil and toss with your hands. Bake for 25 minutes and then using a turner (try not to use tongs as they can be delicate and soft) turn the chips over so that they crisp on all sides.
    Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce together and serve with the hot fries.


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    Turkey Burgers

    Aug 16, 2013

    These burgers are so easy to make, and so healthy for you too! We eat them so often I know the recipe by heart.

    Another option, instead of grilling is cooking them in a frying pan and adding a dash of lemon right at the end. It just gives them a little extra something.

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    Spinach Turkey Burgers
    by Renee Pihowich
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 10 mins
    Keywords: entree sandwich turkey

    Ingredients (6 Burgers)
    • 1lb ground turkey or chicken
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp greek seasoning
    • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 handful of spinach (chopped up fine)
    Instructions
    Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes for flavours to mingle.

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    Shape into patties and stick into the freezer.

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    Preheat the grill.
    Take out patties and grill for 5 minutes per side, or until done.
    Note: Make the patties flatter and bigger than you need because they do shrink up a bit.
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    Drifting away...

    Aug 14, 2013

    We had a great weekend this past weekend. My work had rented a house boat for a day and we spent the entire day Saturday just drifting down the river.

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    Some of us were even brave enough to jump in, and go down the water slide! Not this girl.. nope I was content sitting in the hot tub!

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    Maddox stayed at Nana and Grandpa's cabin overnight, and Dan and I were able to sleep in Sunday and watch a movie and get some house work done before we had to go and get him. I sent Dan so I could finish up some laundry and stuff. Then we went outside and did some yard work, and hung out on the deck for awhile.. just had an all around relaxing Sunday, the way they are meant to be!

    I'm really looking forward to a long weekend this weekend and heading to the city with my friend Mel. We haven't gone shopping since January and its a much needed trip away for a day!

    Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

    Aug 8, 2013

    This recipe is really quick and easy to throw together for supper. I made it at my lunch break because my slow cooker cooks things super hot and fast. And 4-5 hours on low is long enough. I need to invest in a new slow cooker I think.. one that I don't have to worry about while I'm at work. I can pretty much see my house from my office, so at least if it started on fire I would know right away! (Mom if you read this.. please add slow cooker to my christmas list!)

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    Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch
    by Renee Pihowich
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 4-6 hours
    Keywords: slow-cooker entree chicken

    Ingredients (serves 4-6)
    • 2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (can use turkey bacon)
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 (1 oz) packet dry ranch dressing mix
    • 1 (10.75 oz) can 98% fat-free condensed cream of chicken soup
    • 1 cup sour cream (fat-free works great)
    • 1 lb. chicken breasts (can be frozen or defrosted)
    • 8 oz. of your favorite pasta, cooked
    Instructions
    Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken in the crock pot.
    Mix the bacon, garlic, ranch dressing mix, soup, and sour cream together and pour over the top of the chicken.
    Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours.
    Shred chicken with two forks.
    Cook pasta as directed on package and serve chicken over pasta.
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    August Long Weekend Recap

    Aug 7, 2013

    Good Morning everyone! I can't believe another long weekend has come and gone! The last one of summer too! Where did our summer go?! It seems like we were just getting into the groove and now the weather is starting to get cold, and days are shorter... I wish summer could last forever. Actually I just wish winter was shorter.. because I love Christmas, and cuddling on the couch during  a snowstorm just as much as I love sitting on a hot beach!

    Speaking off hot beaches.. check out what we did for the last long weekend of summer!

    We went up to my family's cabin and spent some time soaking up the sun. M loves the water and the sand, and eating the sand.

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    Our cabin doesn't have running water, so having a bath in the sink is a BIG deal! We had to make a water run anyway, so I heated a big pot of water on the stove, and added some soap bubbles to the tub. 10 minutes later we had warm enough water to bath in! And no more marshmallow in M's hair! YAY! I was worried we were going to have to cut it out.

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    M has become a little social butterfly, thanks to daycare. He loves playing with other kids, and is pretty good at sharing, unless you have his toys then its "mine mine mine"! He loves running around outside screaming at the top of his lungs. I'm pretty sure if our neighbours were up they were constantly looking to make sure nobody was getting murdered!

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    "Put the lime in the... beer... and drink it all up"

    Something like that right? We had some drinks..

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    and just to clarify I wasn't the only one drinking.. my sisters also joined in!

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    We left bright and early Monday morning after breakfast to get back home and do some yard work, laundry, and all that other fun house cleaning stuff to get ready for the week. I'm making a mental note to not be as stressed out as last week, ever again in my life! I had such a bad week, and I'm making a conscious effort to never be like that again! So, hears to another week, and positive thinking! Cheers!
     

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