Monday, July 21, 2014

Straddie Day 1: The Gorge and Cylinder Beach

Andrew and Nathan's holidays have never matched up over the past three and a half years, but since this is one of Andrew's last breaks, we took Nathan out of school for a couple days for a short getaway to Straddie. After Nathan and Andrew returned from watching the World Cup finals, we packed the car and drove to Cleveland to board the Big Red Cat (ferry) heading towards the island. 

It was a quick 45 minute trip, and once we arrived on the island, we drove straight to Point Lookout. We had some time to spare before we could check into our accommodations so we walked along the North and South Gorges. It was windy and cold but the views were spectacular.

By the time we got back to the car, it was time to check in. We rented a cozy little shack for the three nights we were there. It was a small space but it had everything we needed. The boys loved having a TV again, and I loved having hot water and heating through the night. I'm pretty easy to please. 

After our late lunch, we went straight back to the beach again. This time, we went to check out Cylinder Beach. This was one of the more accessible beaches and the boys loved it. They got out of the car and ran straight for the sand.

While the boys kicked the soccer ball around, I went exploring. I just kept walking, climbing over massive rocks and then along the water. Eventually, when the sun started to set, I turned around to go back to the boys.

Before we came on this trip, I had these romantic ideas of us sitting on the beach, watching the sun set and maybe even laying down under the stars, admiring them for a little while. This was before I realized how windy and cold it would get as the sun went down. So I scratched that idea, though we did manage to stick around and stay warm for a little bit as the sun dipped into the ocean. 

Andrew and Nathan managed to take a few updated silhouette pictures. I loved the poses they came up with, and look at how straight Nathan's lines are!

Andrew was going for an Air Jordan pose in this shot. Nathan's silhouette looks more graceful, like a dancer leaping into the air. 

After a few more photos, we decided to head back to the car before it got too dark for us to find our way to the parking lot.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July: Right Now

Squeezing every last moment out of our extended holiday.

Transitioning out of vacation mode and back into our regular routine.

Starting to rewrite my daily routine around both boys being in school.

Getting a little anxious about Caleb going to school.

Thinking a lot about where we'll be next year.

Sitting in the sun to keep warm.

Being more conscious about our food and where we get it.

Reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel.

Missing the daily 6km morning walks we did last week.

Letting Caleb take over my side of the bed as I get an early start in the day.

Working on being more patient with the boys.

Debating whether I should jump on the fitbit bandwagon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Open Skies and Bike Rides

I'm so grateful for playdates where the boys can just be free to enjoy wide open spaces, breathe in fresh air and ride around on their bikes or scooters without a worry in the world.

I'm grateful for supportive friendship circles where no one gets left behind because of their age or ability.

I'm grateful for times when boys can feel like they're at the top of the world and can conquer anything.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 12 & 13

Week 12: March 16 - March 22

This was another typical week at home. We had a lot of new food this week - tried out a new restaurant and went to check out the Eat Street Market, did some light homeschooling with Caleb and the boys made their own lemonade concoction.

The boys spent a lot of time collecting these Dreamworks Hero cards from our grocery trips so I kept one of the wrappers. I also stapled in a few paint chips that I had collected to do school work with him. Matching colour chips was a little too easy for him so we moved on to colour gradients and putting colour chips in order from darkest to lightest.

The second half of our week involved a lot of food. From homemade scones and Eat Street Markets, to homemade flavoured lemonade and our regular orders from the West End Market. The boys also managed to find some time to build a spaceship out of Jenga blocks so I snapped a picture and put that in as well.

Week 13: March 23 - March 29

This week, we celebrated Nathan's 8th birthday. It started off with his class celebration and ended off with a dinner at Sizzler on his actual birthday (his choice). I also did a bit of celebrating of my own on a one-night getaway with a few girlfriends down the coast.

I had a lot of fun putting together the "Nathan turns eight" insert. That and the Happy Little Moments one below it are my favourite. I'm hoping to work towards this brighter, cleaner style in my next album.

There's a slim 6x12 insert for this week, documenting the morning of Nathan's birthday. Caleb and I got up super early to decorate Nathan's birthday cheesecake. It is mostly pictures with the story captured on a 4x6 card on the front.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kale Chips

This year, I'm trying to take a step out of my culinary comfort zone and eat different, hopefully healthier, foods. After hearing people rave about kale for years now, I finally went and bought myself a few bunches.

It was a little intimidating to see so much kale sitting in my kitchen. I had no idea what to do with it and I wasn't about to make a green smoothie - I'm not quite there yet. I stirred a bit into some meat sauce for my lasagna. But I was still left with a lot of kale. A friend had been making kale chips recently, so I decided to give it a try.

Wash kale and tear the leaves off the stems into bite-sized pieces. I've found that bigger pieces are better as they're quite brittle after baking and tend to break into smaller pieces anyway. I don't own a salad spinner so I shook out the leaves and let them air dry a bit on these racks we inherited from our good friends who were moved to the states.

Put the kale to a bowl and toss with olive oil and sea salt flakes - they stick to the leaves better so you end up using a lot less. Lay the pieces out on a tray lined with baking paper.

Heat oven to 175°C (350°F) and bake each tray for about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to let the edges brown.

Try to convince your 3-year-old to save some for his brother. I had no idea Caleb would like kale chips so much! Kale chips are super easy to make and even Andrew approves of them, so we'll definitely be making more.


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