Bookish Posts · Lifestyle

Biscuits and Honey

by Vicki.

This post may contain affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything, but we may get a little something. 

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If you follow our Instagram you might have seen yesterday’s post where I admitted that I was finding homeschooling to be a bit of  a struggle. I don’t know if its the weather, the fact that my baby is now a toddler and into everything, or just slow days turning into slow weeks turning into slow months. I sat down this week and figured out where we were in our My Father’s World Curriculum and it appears we are 4-6 weeks behind schedule (yes, a full month). Now, that doesn’t sound great, but to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was going to be much worse! The two week difference is because there is a Fruits of the Spirit unit at the end of the school year. I am not going to stress about getting that unit done before the end of June – I think we will just work through it over the course of the Summer. It can be a good way for Peyton to stay in the learning mindset before Grade 1 starts.

This week we are learning the letter “Ii” and discussing insects. The children’s book that accompanies this unit is “The Bee Tree”. This book is a really cute story about a Grampa taking his granddaughter on an adventure to find a bee tree. Along the way different people join the search and, once the tree is located, help with harvesting some honey. Afterwards they all enjoy the honey with biscuits, tea, music and dancing. The Grampa later draws a comparison between the hard search for the bee tree and its sweet honey reward to the hard work of learning to read and the sweet adventures that can be discovered between the pages of every book. A very cute story that both Peyton and Chase really enjoyed.

The curriculum suggested making biscuits and enjoying them with honey after reading “The Bee Tree”. The kids love helping in the kitchen, but I rarely include them in food prep because I don’t like mess. So, when I suggested that we all bake together, they were very excited. I found this easy scone recipe on Pinterest. It was fun baking with them, they were actually very helpful (and just a little bit messy). It also was exciting to see them try and enjoy doing something new. The whole process from start to warm-just-out-of-the-oven scones was less than half an hour. I’m sharing the recipe below because it really was quite easy and the scones were absolutely delicious!

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Simple Sweet Scones (from GeniusKitchen’s website)

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder,  1tsp salt, 8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (cut up), 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F (220 Celsius).
  2. Put flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl; stir mix well Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Add sugar; toss to mix.
  4. Add milk and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms,(the dough may be a bit crumbly). Add a bit more milk if the dough isn’t crumbling or attaching to itself.
  5. Place dough on floured counter and knead gently until the dough comes together in a ball.
  6. Pat or roll into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick.
  7. Cut each circle into 6 or 8 wedges.
  8. Place wedges on a greased cookie sheet- slightly apart for crisp sides, touching for soft.
  9. Bake about 12-16 minutes, or until medium brown on top.

If its rainy and chilly where you are (like it is here) these make a wonderful late afternoon snack with a hot cup of tea! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Lifestyle

My *recent* Favs.

by Vicki.

This post contains affiliate links. It costs you nothing but may give us a little something. 


I was scheduled to write about some of my Spring Favourites. But Spring is a myth and doesn’t actually exist…so I wouldn’t know what to write about. #wherehasspringgone

Seriously, though! What is with this weather?! Its unbelievable!

So here is a carefully curated list of just some of my recent favorites. Not exactly Spring-related, but just more in regards to what is going on in my life right now. So instead of Spring Favorites, we can call it Favorites for My Life Right Now – less catchy, buuuuut, like I said, Spring is a lie. #wherehasspringgone

1. Of course number one on my list has to be these three kiddos.

IMG_1186 (2)IMG_1184 (2)IMG_1222I mean, come on! They are adorable. They are sweet. They are crazy. They are my favorite! And, disclaimer, they are not just my recent favorites but have been top of the list since each one of them made their first appearance :). Also, don’t let this sunshine fool you – these pictures were from early March…before Spring disappeared. #wherehasspringgone

2. This beauty. houseMark and I purchased this house and get to move in in about a month. Its a definite fixer-upper in need of some a lot of TLC, but its got “potential”. I have to admit there are days where I’m like, “Potential?! What does that even mean?!”. But mostly we are really excited to get our hands dirty and create a home for our family to grow {up} in! On that note, I am planning a little Home Tour Post so that I can document the beautiful home that we’ve called ours for the past 4 years.

3. These shoes. Old Navy had 50% off footwear last month and I actually jumped at the chance to buy a couple of pairs of shoes for my family: rubber boots for Chase, little sandals for Dax, and a pair of shoes for myself!! #notafashionblogger so I’m not sure they are cute…but I like them! Driving Loafers for Women - Blushin' UpThese are really cute and actually comfortable! And (added bonus) I wore them for about 2 hours the other day and received 3 compliments! Win-win! Its nice to brighten up my wardrobe a bit right now since everything outside is so grey (#wherehasspringgone).

4. The Instant Pot. I know, I know…I am so.late. to the party. Mark bought me this for my birthday and, although I’ve only used it a handful of times, it truly is amazing. I am the Queen of forgetting to take meat out of the freezer in the morning…and now its not such a big deal! I cooked a whole pot roast (with turnips and carrots) in 45 minutes! And, here’s the important part, it was delicious and juicy! I can’t wait to figure what else I can do with this baby! (I also was able to make PERFECT hard boiled eggs…like shell-slipping-off-the-egg perfect, and golden-yellow-yoke perfect, and kids-ate-them-all perfect!)instand pot 15. Some of you might judge me for this one…but it was my life saver and I would do it again in a heart beat.

I…paid…someone…to clean my car. Like “detail it”. Honestly, it feels like a brand new car (and smells like one too!). Our van was getting to the point that I was worried the Health Board was going to confiscate and quarantine it. From crumbs, to garbage. to mud, to piles of rocks/twigs/grass/acorns, to toys, to books, to crumpled paper, to vomit and other bodily fluids, to just “ew”. Obviously, I have cleaned it multiple times (especially after aforementioned bodily fluid instances) but I could never truly get it clean to my satisfaction. I paid a local company to vacuum it, shampoo the seats, steam clean my kids car seats, and wipe (clean) every nook and cranny. I honestly feel like I can breath a bit easier…it was something that was always on my mind. Not only was I embarrassed of the mess if someone happened to see my van with the doors open, but I was concerned about the health and safety of my kiddos driving in the petri-dish of bacteria that is an enclosed vehicle (especially during Winter). So, now, one less thing to worry about. And one very clean van to enjoy! It wasn’t that expensive and hopefully from here on out its just a matter of maintaining the clean (the company does have a maintaining package for about $30 – worth it!). So, here’s a poor quality cell phone pic of my sparkling van.van.jpgIck. That’s a horrible picture. You are going to have tojust trust me…its looks amazing.

Well that’s all for me, for now! I guess I’m kind of fickle because ask me in a couple of weeks and I may have a whole new list of my favorites (other than the kids, barring any major tantrums (I joke!), they’ll still be on the list).

I love finding new products or hearing of new life hacks that could become new favorites – so please, if you have something that you are loving right now: SHARE! I’d love to check it out :).

Lifestyle

Best. Movie. Ever.

by Vicki

I don’t normally watch movies. I don’t normally go to the theaters. I definitely don’t normally do a movie review. In all honesty, this will probably by my one and only.

But.

This movie begs to be watched, reviewed, and shared. I watched the entire movie having to remind myself to breath – because I was enjoying it just so much! Its been all the rage for a couple of weeks now so I know you probably won’t be surprised when I say:

Go watch The Greatest Showman.

Just do it. Watch it. Now. Stop reading this post and go watch the movie.

One of my good friends invited me to go and watch with her, and well, I guess I owe her ‘one’ for introducing me to my new favorite movie! Haha!

It was captivating, entertaining, heart breaking and interesting. You go on a journey with the characters and follow along as they develop and grow. The fact that this movie is loosely based on P.T. Barnum’s actual life is pretty cool. While it’s important to note that many details have been changed or dramatized, it is still an interesting snap shot of a different time in history. I love a good historical fiction and this one didn’t disappoint.

Now, it is a musical. But, wow. The music is fun, catchy and adds so much to the story-line. I came home and immediately downloaded the entire sound track to my phone. Its all we’ve been listening to for the past week (+) and my kids already know the words (they actually request certain songs).

I think the movie is good for the entire family. We will definitely be watching it with Peyton when it comes out on Rogers on Demand. She will love the dancing, music and circus acts! Its a clean movie and I believe there was minimal (any?) offending language. Gah! I can’t wait to watch it again! (Which is saying something for me because I normally don’t watch movies more than once).

Anyways, if you are still reading this, go and watch The Greatest Showman. Learn about the circus, P.T. Barnum’s life, and (of course) sit back and enjoy the show!

Go to this link to listen to one of the amazing songs from the soundtrack: A Million Dreams. 😉 My little {valentine’s} gift to you! Because I am a dork I’ve started singing this song to Dax as I rock him to sleep! (Haha, I am. I’m a total dork!).

Have a happy weekend!

Lifestyle

Nursery Reveal…(finally).

by Vicki.

Months (and months and months) ago I shared the start of our nursery renovation. At the time I promised a final reveal within the month. Ha! It would have been better to promise it within the year. It took me quite a while to decide on all the little details and to be 100% happy with the final results. But now that I am, I love this room! I love how it looks and I think its my favorite room in the house!

Without further ado, here’s the final reveal of Dax’s Nursery!!!!!

The light is one of my favorite items in the room – an exciting Home Sense find! Its blown glass, wood details, and big bulb wonderment! We also added a little greenery in the form of a hanging plant to freshen the room up a bit and purchased the dresser/change table from a Facebook Auction site (its a beautiful green/grey which I absolutely love). The rug is an IKEA purchase, I love its natural look and it keeps my feet warm for the middle of the night feedings/checks.

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The closet is small in the room (this room is small in general) so we needed to find a way to make it more functional. We added these barnboard shelves along the top and sides and added these banana leaf woven baskets (from Walmart) for diapers, next size up clothing, bibs/beanies/suspenders, and shoes/moccassins/Padraigs. It looks great and is super useful for hiding and storing all of those baby things!

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I found this wire magazine rack at Home Sense (love me my Home Sense!) and knew it would work so well for Dax’s books, some receiving blankets and this fun apple pillow I bought from PatPat (all the way from Australia). The little house shelves were a find from Walmart (who is really upping its decor game lately) and when I saw them I knew I needed to take them  home with me.

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This bear blanket is from the very talented Willow and Wheat (she’s one of my favorite Canadian small shops – a rocking mom at home with her two boys making beautiful items). The monkey is a Jellycat stuffie – we always buy a “special” stuffie for our babies when they come home from the hospital. So far Dax hasn’t overly bonded with the monkey, but I still hold out hope.

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It only took 11 months but I finally printed off some newborn photos of Dax. This picture was taken by my very talented Aunt. Rita Zietsma Photography – she’s fun to work with, takes excellent photos, and captured our baby in his yummy newness. The table is from Winners and the lamp and frame are from Home Sense. The little house is from Walmart. Its actually a candle holder but I thought it was cute for Dax’s extra soothers. Can you tell that I am channeling my inner Sherry from Young House Love blog/podcast with the tiny house obsession?! I can’t walk by a little house in a store without at least putting it in my cart (and 99% of the time taking it home with me!).

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Of course this room wouldn’t be complete without a bit of macrame! This one is from an etsy shop in France, but I would suggest checking out Macrame by JM if you’re in the market!

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I found these frames at Home Sense. Theyre the perfect combination of woody knobyness and texture. The prints come from the etsy shop Synplus Printable Art. I love this wall! Mark worked hard making my shiplap dreams a reality and I just can’t get enough of the wide white planking! It was actually relatively easy to do and not expensive! I see many more shiplap walls in my future 🙂 (#sorrynotsorry Mark!).

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Well that’s all she wrote! I love all the little details, how the room works together, and how soft and calming it feels. It wasn’t so much of a renovation as a revamping: putting up shiplap, painting the walls white, adding a jute rug, hanging cute animal prints in awesome wood frames, adding some new furniture, and making the small closet functional.

Gah! I’m just so happy with this room reveal! Do you have a cute nursery you want to share? I love seeing what other people have done and gathering ideas for my next projects :). Share a link in the comments below!!

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My littlest dude and my biggest dude photobombing my photos!

 

Lifestyle

Its Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

by Kara

 

Its November 28. Christmas is less than a month a way.

This is the extent of my Christmas decorations so far:

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I bought this tree on Saturday from Michael’s. My husband set it up while I was out getting some groceries. And this is all we have done so far. Which means, I am way behind schedule.

In the past, I have been known to decorate in October. I love Christmas, I love Christmas decorations, and I love Christmas music. This year, the months of October and November have slipped away, and it may be December before I finally decorate (insert shocked face here, then dramatically swoon). Unless I make decorating a priority for today.

The beginning of the Christmas season hasn’t completely escaped my notice. I have been listening to Christmas music for well over a month. I have also bought some of Zoe’s Christmas gifts, the Christmas gifts for Tsjibbe’s family, and some of the gifts for my family.

As this is my first Christmas with my baby girl, I have a strong desire to spoil her. Every toy, teddy, or book I see, I think “I should get that for Zoe! She would love it for Christmas!”. I have this vision of her sitting in a pile of presents, being so excited for every gift she opens. But let’s be honest: She’s 10 months. She’ll be more excited for the wrapping paper than the toys hidden underneath. So Tsjibbe and I made a tough decision (tough for me, obvious for him). We are going to get 4 gifts: Something to wear, something to read, something she wants, and something she needs.

She’s getting two something she wants, because I already bought her two toys. But I’m excited about starting a 4 gift tradition. I hope it will help keep our Christmases simple. It will also let me know when I’m “done” buying Christmas gifts. I find that, since I started buying gifts so early, I have a tendency to keep buying gifts. Since I bought gifts on sale, I have a tendency to think “Well, I’ve only spent…”, and then go and spend well over our Christmas budget. Now I know I’m done buying her toys, and I can get her something to read, something to wear, and something she needs.

In all honesty, she will be getting more than 4 gifts every year. On December 5th we celebrate the Dutch Sinterklaas, and she will get a book and pajamas. Also, I will buy her a Christmas ornament, because it is never too early to start collecting Christmas decorations.

Speaking of Christmas decorations… I have to go decorate my house!

Lifestyle

Winter Ready (or Not)

by Kara

November 10, 2017: A bright, sunny morning, -5°C. Outside looks cool and crisp, but inside we’re snug and warm.

November 10. We’ve heard rumors of snow. The forecast threatens snow in the areas around us, but our town seems to be in its own odd little climate.. Every year we get snow a little later than other places. But no matter what the forecast says, in Canada, November 10 means winter is well on its way.

The threat of winter arrives around the same time as November. November snuck up on me, but once I realized it was November 4 or 5, I decided I should spend a day getting ready for winter. This is a big chore, and is usually a fun day, as I pull out all our winter clothes and pack away all our summer clothes. So, I headed up stairs to get all our big totes of winter clothes, scarves, hats, mitts, boots, etc. I cleared off the stairs, so I wouldn’t trip while carrying these big, full boxes down. I cleared off the kitchen table to make space for all the sorting I would have to do.

This is what I came down stairs with:

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Where are all my winter clothes? Where are the big totes that I imagined I had stored up there, filled to the brim with sweaters and pants and blankets and hats and mitts? And more importantly, does the fact that I can find nothing else mean that I get to go shopping?

I did at one point have a tote filled with winter clothes, and I’m sure we had a bucket full of scarves and mitts. But last winter, I was pregnant and wearing maternity clothes. And part of my ‘nesting’ was cleaning out upstairs (an area that we use exclusively for storage), and it is more than possible that cleaning that out meant donating most of my winter clothes. The remainder of my sweaters and jeans spent the summer in my closet and dresser. As for the box of hats and mitts? I must have done the same thing – donated whatever wasn’t being used at the time. Which is fine, since the little bucket I have is exactly what we need for winter.

It was a very anticlimactic day. I did a quick load of laundry so that the hats and scarves hat we did have would be fresh and clean, I found a blanket to put in the car for emergencies, and I packed away my three pairs of shorts. Zoe tried on some winter hats, but since all her clothes are already very warm and wintery, there was nothing else to do for her either.

So, on this cold November morning, I feel totally unprepared. Although I know I do have warm clothes, the fact that it took me less than a single morning to ‘winterize’ makes me think that I must have missed something. But, I suppose, like in any job: it’s the quality of the work, not the quantity. I guess we’ll find out when that snow does finally hit.

Lifestyle

Confessions of a SAHM

by Kara

Hey, all!

Lately, my blog posts have been few and far between. So I thought I’d do a little bit of a ‘life update’.

I was originally introduced to you as a “Farmer’s Wife”. That is no longer the case. Although I still live in a big, beautiful, somewhat drafty farm house, my husband got a job in landscaping. This has been a big change for us. He is no longer home for coffee and lunch, but he is home on Saturdays. In addition to not having my husband home during the week, I also do not have a car available to me anymore.

I love being a stay at home mom. I have a hard time being a stuck at home mom.

I am taking a long journey to learn how to be productive when nothing I do seems to make a difference. I clean constantly, but at the end of the day, my house never seems clean. I can spend all day in the kitchen, but the dishes are never done and the meals are never cooked. I can have the laundry machine going from morning until night, but the laundry hampers are always full. Which begs the question – how did it seem easier to get stuff done around the house when I spent more time away from the house?

Its so easy to get bogged down by the repetitive nature of cleaning and cooking and laundry-doing. I have spent the better part of my time as a ‘stuck at home mom’ being discouraged, annoyed, and anxious to get out of the house. Zoe regularly crawls into her car seat. She has the same ‘get up and go’ gene that I have.

I love that ‘get up and go’ gene. It’s the gene that makes me want to be a stay at home mom, and eventually a homeschooling mom. It’s the gene that makes me want to take my kids and teach them how to handle different situations – visiting and grocery shopping and crowded sidewalks. Its tied to that ‘home-body’ gene. The gene that makes me love to spend most of my days cooking and cleaning and doing laundry. Most, but not all.

People ask me if I’m bored at home. I’m not bored. There is a never-ending train of household chores. If anything, I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by how fast the days go by. Night comes, and I suddenly realize I didn’t actually play with Zoe at all, or that I never sat down with a cup of tea and a good book, or that I forgot to write a blog post.

So here’s what I’m doing: I’m taking baby steps. I’m making a conscious effort to work out while Zoe naps. I’m focusing on drinking enough water in a day, maybe including a cup of tea. I’m trying to find a time when I can sit and do personal devotions. I’m currently looking for some kind of ‘day planner’ so that I can sort out all the jobs that need to get done around the house.

And I’m slowly learning that sometimes it’s okay to let the laundry stay in the hamper for an extra day.