Skate ’till You Drop

Had a beautiful day yesterday. The -6° C felt balmy but cold enough to keep the ice in good shape. We skated until after dark, knowing the deep freeze was on it’s way again. Soon after we took our skates off for the night, the wind began to howl with the approaching cold front and so did the coyotes. What a wonderful lullaby to sleep to.

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Easy Snow Globe

This is a fun little project the kids loved making last year and were just as thrilled to pull out of the Christmas decorating box and see them again this year.snow globe
Here are the supplies you will need:snow globe
- Figurine ($3 at local toy store) and tree ($1 for 3-pack at dollar store)
*Note, make sure figurine fits in opening of globe!
- Globe (I used a jar from a dollar store $1)
- Snow (here I used finely shredded coconut and sugar to add sparkle)
- Glue gun
- Marker

snow globe
I am sure it is pretty self-explanatory to do this but here are the steps:

1) If the jar is not even all around, close lid and make a mark on lid where the front of the jar is so you will know which way to place figurine.

2) Open lid and hot-glue figurine and tree to lid

3) Fill globe with snow, close lid and voila!
snow globe

Delicious Pumpkin Muffins

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This is my favourite recipe for pumpkin muffins and is also great as pumpkin loaf if you are lazy like me and don’t want to bother filling all those paper cups :)

I purchased these muffin wrappers which I think look a little more spooky for a Halloween party I went to, but if you would like to make your own, you can find a tutorial here.

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Oil – I use light olive oil which is pricey but healthy. Any quality vegetable or canola oil should do
  • 1 3/4 Cups pure pumpkin from a can (be careful not to get pumpkin pie filling by mistake)
  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups rasins or chocolate chips
  • Brown sugar for sprinkling on top*Note: if you double the recipe, you can use a full 796ml can.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Mix together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of ingredients (except the brown sugar).
  4. Add bowl of dry ingredients to wet and mix all together thoroughly.
  5. Fill muffin tins and sprinkle top with brown sugar.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean after poking centre)

Enjoy!

Halloween: Tissue Ghosts (easy and fun with kids)

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Of all the fun crafts my mom involved my sister and I with when we were kids, this one stands out as my favourite and my kids seem to love it too. It is about as simple as you can get as far as Halloween crafts go and great for all ages.

Supplies:
- Kleenex (tissue)
- White thread
- Marker

1) Take one tissue and scrunch it into a ball.
2) Wrap second tissue around first and twist to form the head.
3) Wrap thread around neck of ghost and tie knot leaving enough tail of thread to be used to hang onto something.
4) Make dots on face with marker for eyes and mouth.

We have hung them from our dining light but are also great in a window or anywhere really. Another great option is to pick a branch and hang them from the it.

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On The Doorstep Of Fall

Just thought I would post a few pictures from yesterday and today. The seasons definitely feel like they are changing. The air is crisper and clearer. The trees are on the brink of changing colour, and the animals are all very busy preparing for the winter.

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Evening and dusk
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Moon setting behind a cloud early this morning

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Crisp, clear evening

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Sunrise reflected on trees with morning fog

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Saw the first otter since spring!

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Heard what I thought was knocking at the door (apparently so did my dog because she started barking). It turned out to be this guy on the tree beside our house!

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Love our bedroom in the fall…

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…and the sparkling reflection of the water from the living room.

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The trees are just on the brink of changing colour.

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One thing about fall I can’t say I am fond of is it also means a rush to be prepared for the long winter ahead. Here are our wood piles in various stages of chopping.

Battle of a Young Bald Eagle and and Osprey

Heard weird screams outside a few minutes ago and looked out to see a young bald eagle and osprey fighting in mid-air! Two incredibly strong birds. Eagle won and osprey flew away seemingly unscathed. Wow!

Grabbed my camera but the battery was still in the charger – of course >:s  By the time I got the camera ready, all that was left of the battle was the young bald eagle circling the lake looking for fish. Oh well, here are my very rough photos of it.

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Easy AND Healthy Pie Crust!

I am going to share with you a very old family recipe from my great aunt who was a nutritionist many years ago at a fancy prep-school. I’m not sure where she got it from but it has been the “go-to” crust in our family for decades. To have a crust recipe without lard and/or hydrogenated oils that still tastes awesome and is quick and easy to make is a real find…in my opinion.ingredients

Recipe for 1 pie:

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons cold milk

1) Mix flour and salt together with a fork in a pie plate
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and olive oil until well combined
3) Add wet to dry in pie plate, combine with fork and/or hands and press into plate until it is all an even thickness
4) Use fork to poke holes
5) Bake 425° for 15 minutes

pressing in pie plate and sticking with fork

It is not the fanciest crust but I like the rustic nature of it and when it is yummy and healthy, who cares :)
pic of crust

Here are a couple of pics of my fave rhubarb pie which I will post the recipe for soon. The first pic shows after it has been baked and before the filling is added.

July12_2013_4a rhubarb pie pic

Enjoy!

Lilacs

There is something about lilacs that fills me with happiness. Perhaps it is because the scent of them brings me back to my childhood where I had a lilac bush outside my window.  I recall bedtime in the spring when the sweet scent would fill my room and make sleep a pleasure – a rare thing at a young age when bedtime is never a favourite time of one’s day.

It has been a beautiful year here for lilacs and unfortunately, they have come to an end until next spring. Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.June7_2013_1 June7_2013_2 June7_2013_4
Lilac bush out laundry room window (makes doing laundry a little more enjoyable)June7_2013_5 June7_2013_6
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