Monday, August 25, 2014

Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We were expecting some bad news in regards to Mr. Picky's job, so last week he decided to take two days vacation so we could get ahead on our moving (we are due out of our old place this coming Friday) and take the weekend to go to Halifax. This is a trip to another province, Salean's first, and there was a specific destination I had in mind. He figured it was now or never and so very early Saturday morning, we were off. Here are some of the 175 pictures I took over two days!


For someone who was pulled out of slumber and plopped into the car seat, Little Miss was in good spirits!


We followed the clouds to the border, it rained off and on the whole way to Halifax.


Windmills at the New Brunswick / Nova Scotia border. I took about 30 pictures of them over the 3 or 4 minutes it took to drive past, both coming and going. This is because his Mom loves them, and I was trying to get a really nice shot for her. 


Half way between the equator and the North Pole, we stopped for a leg stretch at a place called Mastodon Ridge in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. 


Looking through the UFO with a little help from Daddy. 


The reason this place is called Mastodon Ridge. 


The first place we visited in Halifax was called The Discovery Centre. They have a Sesame Street exhibit, and Salean loved running from activity to activity!


Posing in front of the Sesame Street door. 


Activities on another floor included this really cool mirror, Salean didn't know what to think of the other 'babies' in the mirror. She played with them for quite awhile. 


This building was outside of the Discovery Centre, I thought the windows were really neat; each one has an old time star. 


After the Discovery Centre, we went for a walk along the waterfront. This beautiful island is out in the harbour. 


We also saw Theodore Tugboat! Salean thought he was pretty neat. 


A monument representing the people that built our great nation, Fathers leaving their families to immigrate here for a better life. This was near the Pier 21 museum that we visited, where the immigrants first landed all those years ago. We were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. 


After Pier 21 and lunch, we drove around to Dartmouth. This is one of the toll bridges that goes between each city. We preferred to save the toll and take the drive. We then visited the mall and went back to our hotel for dinner and a swim before bed. 


Sunday morning was beautiful. We went for another walk along the waterfront to look for the Cows Ice Cream Parlour. We found it, and we all had our first Cows ice cream. Yum! 


Pictures from our drive home. 


And a final scenic shot when we got back into New Brunswick.


One of the reasons we went to Halifax was to visit the Build a Bear Workshop. They no longer have one here. We made a bunny for Salean to give her baby sister when she comes, and a bear for her to get from her sister. We dressed them in matching outfits. 

I am glad we decided to take this quickie vacation, we decided it was going to be a now or never trip pending the upcoming job announcement. And this morning we found out the news...next week he will be leaving us to go to Alberta for work. He will be gone at least 21 day at a time and have 7 to 10 days home. We are hoping it will only be for six months, but it could be indefinitely. We will adapt and hopefully learn to get along without Daddy for longer periods than we already do (currently he is away Monday to Friday most weeks). And hopefully six months from now he will be back in New Brunswick where he belongs! 

Well, that is our little trip. I hope everyone is having a great week (and summer, I guess, since I have been lacking in the post department).

~Natasha.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Salean's Announcement

So it has been a month since an update (oops) and we are expanding in many ways. As stated before, Salean is going to be a big sister around Christmas time, and next month we are moving from a tiny apartment to a rental house, yay! Yesterday, we got to take a peek at our new little bean, and we were able to find out the gender! Here are the pictures I took of Salean so she could make her announcement to our friends and family.


I have an announcement to make!


Let's see what is in here!


Pink Balloons!


Its a girl!!


I'm getting a baby sister, coming mid-December 2014!

So the cat is out of the bag, it's a girl! I'm sure if Salean realized what she was getting into, she'd be really excited, but for now she seems to be oblivious. Except for the balloons...balloons are fun :-)

Have a good week, everyone! 

~Natasha. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tot School Update and an Announcement.

It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything about our Tot School adventures. We haven't quit, but it has sort of been shuffled to the back burner for now. The summer comes with lots of outdoor fun, we are seldom home. This summer is no exception, it seems. On top of that, we are moving in about a month and a half and things are changing in little Miss Salean's world. 

Come December, our little Jellybean will be joined by another. Yes, she is going to be a big sister. She really does not understand, but I have been trying my best to talk about babies and sharing. I borrowed a couple books on babies and being a big sister from the library; we will keep them a few weeks and then get some more in November. We got her a baby doll, and she was just given a Cabbage Patch doll. As well, she will have a new baby cousin any day now. Hopefully we will be able to teach her about being gentle with babies and she will be ready by the time baby is ready.

As for after Christmas, her second birthday and after baby comes, I have a new plan. I was given the opportunity to purchase a preschool curriculum called Before Five in a Row, one that comes highly recommended. It is aimed at 2 to 4 year olds, so come January we will dive into it. It will be Salean and Mommy time set aside each day. I have been reading through the curriculum and feel we are really going to enjoy it, there is so much packed into it that we can pick and chose from. I don't feel she is ready for it now, at almost 18 months, because she does not have the attention span and focus to sit through a whole book daily. Some days she can, others we get through a few pages and she is off. 

So, for now, there may not be any more Tot School posts. Once January comes and we start Before Five in a Row, hopefully I will have lots to share on the subject! 

Here we go on the first day of summer! Happy weekend, everyone!

~Natasha. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Produce Pack: Week 2

We were not supposed to get a produce pack this week, but last week a few rainy days were followed by a couple really nice ones, so things grew and we were told there would be enough for a pack this week.


Look at all the wonderful things!! It is hard to see it all, but I will try my best.

Top along the back: bok choy, leaf lettuce, Honey Oatmeal bread, spinach.
Bottom: broccoli, swiss chard, 2 Lb parsnips, tomato, microgreens, 2 Lb beets, mizuna, an herb.
Not in picture: A dozen free run eggs.

Instead of the tomato, I could have chosen a cucumber, there were 3 different herbs or radishes to choose from, and instead of the beets I could have taken more Jerusalem artichokes, but I have yet to use last week's batch.

Left over from last week I have half a cucumber, some mizuna, the beets, a parsnip, a few potatoes, half a container of hummus, the celeric and the Jeruslem artichokes, both which I hope to use today. Sadly, I had to toss the fiddleheads, some of the lettuce and microgreens, and half the loaf of bread because we just didn't get to them before they went bad.  I used up the rhubarb, all the eggs (mostly in our baby shower baking) and tomato, and most of the potato and parsnip in a stew.

I hate to have to throw out food, especially such delicious things! But, I am thinking I may have gotten in over my head. I am going to give it one more week and if I am wasting to much, I will cancel. This will give someone on the waiting list a chance to have a Produce Pack; they only accept 100 people each spring and have a long waiting list. If I do cancel, I will get a 100 dollar gift card from the store that started the packs, which I will use by going to their store and creating my own produce pack once a week. This way, I will be able to get less and customize it more towards my weekly needs.

So that is week two, hopefully I do not end up cancelling and there will be a week three, four and more.

Have a good day, everyone!

~Natasha.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

I've always wanted a bread machine. So, last Christmas when I was gifted some cash, I went out and bought one. It sits on the counter taking up space and looking forlorn; I use it about once a month. A couple weeks ago, a complaint was put in about that fact. My problem with homemade bread is that I have a hard time slicing it, it is so thick that it won't fit in the toaster and then it gets forgotten for store bought bread. I was mentioning this to a friend last week and they said "well, why don't you make rolls?" Huh. I honesty didn't think of that, after all the machine has a dough setting on it. So, that night I did another recipe search, and came up with THIS. I decided they would be perfect to make Friday to go with a rainy day stew.

Someone had commented on the recipe that they had divided the dough and baked half of it off a few days later, so I decided to make the dough one night and bake it the next morning. I pulled it out of the bread machine and carefully wrapped it in plastic wrap. Into the fridge it went, and the next morning I was greeted with this:


I guess I missed a spot! Expanding dough will always find a way out!


The recipe states it makes 24, I mis-divided and managed 32 mini rolls. I had to put them in two pans. I will have to be more careful with my math the next time, as some are just a little to small. In my defence, it was 6 AM. I couldn't sleep so I got up to get ahead start on the days baking (for Saturday's baby shower). 


I let them sit and raise almost 2 hours, while I baked cookies and got ready for the day. They baked off in 15 minutes and, as bread always does, smelled absolutely delicious coming out of the oven at 8 AM. To bad little Miss was sleeping and Mr Picky was working, there was no one to share the yummy smell. I brushed them with a bit of butter, something my Mom taught me to do when she made bread; she told me it keeps the crust soft. I managed to wait 10 minutes before diving in!

This recipe is extremely easy and delicious, and again, smells divine! So long as the masses agree, I will be making them again! Even if they don't agree, I might :-)  
Have a good day, everyone!

~Natasha. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Diaper Cake

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Yesterday afternoon, I helped throw a baby shower for my sister. She is expecting her third boy, and is soon going to be vastly outnumbered! Last time, I made a diaper cake that was well received, so I decided to do a repeat performance for this baby.


Layer one is about half a box of Kirkland diapers. I used a cheap bottle as a centre to give it a bit more support. I rolled each diaper individually and tied them with elastics. For each of the 4 layers of rolls, I put a larger elastic around the previous set of rolls and tucked diapers into it.



The second layer is made up of cloth diapers. I use cloth and she is thinking of using them for the newbie. In the middle I stuffed a small wet bag for a spacer, and then I used another large elastic to secure the diapers around the top of the bottle. I ended up stuffing a diaper in the centre as well.


The top layer is made of baby leggings to match the diapers. Again, I rolled each and secured with an elastic and then put them altogether with an elastic. I covered all the elastics on all three layers with some blue ribbon.


Finally, I topped it off with a cute onesie I found in Calais, Maine when I was visiting there before Easter. I thought it would go with it nicely.


The finished slightly floppy cake, I decorated it with a few baby toys, two soothers and some sample sized shampoos and baby supplies.

The baby shower was a success, Mom is happy and due in two short weeks!

Once again, hope everyone has a great Father's Day!!

~Natasha.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rhubarb Crisp

Tuesday, I wrote about the Produce Pack we started receiving through a local fruit & veggie 'stand'. One of the goodies I received was 2 Lb of rhubarb; I'v never cooked with it before, so after cruising the realms of the internet, I came up with THIS recipe.


I used a bit more rhubarb than what the recipe called for. By the time I had measured out 4 cups, I only had a stalk and a half left, so I just chopped them into it.


Rhubarb prepped and in the pan, sugar, flour and cinnamon added.


Adding the topping. I cut back on both the brown and white sugars. The recipe calls for 1 cup of each, I only added 3/4.


Out of the oven, baked and smelling delicious! Even though I cut back on the sugars, I still found this recipe to be overly sweet I could not taste the bitterness of the rhubarb at all. I gave a bit to Salean and she loved it! Mr Picky wouldn't try it. To many memories of rhubarb in his teens. I think if I receive more rhubarb I might make it again, but cut back on the sugar even more and maybe add some strawberries.

It's Friday the 13th, I am not really superstitious, but I hope the day goes well! I have lots to do before a baby shower tomorrow!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

~Natasha.