Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Penpal

The Lean Green Bean

Hey guys! Have you heard about Foodie Penpals? Check it out: at The Lean Green Bean, Lindsay has organized an awesome foodie swap. You get matched up with a partner from the same country as you, and get to send them $15 worth of food treats. Someone else has your name and sends you goodies! It's a win-win!

My penpal was Françoise from Quebec, who unfortunately doesn't have a blog for me to link to. I was so spoiled! Take a look at what arrived on my doorstep:

Is that some sweet swag or what? Here's a closer look at what was inside my Foodie Swap package:

Two knitted dishcloths that Françoise made just for me - and they're the only type that I use!

A package of homemade pancake mix, and the recipe to recreate the mix at home.
(We made the pancakes with fresh raspberries in them - mmm, mmm!)

Herbal tea, another favourite of mine. I haven't tried blackberry tea before!

A handy jar of minced garlic, which is perfect since I'm on my last bulb of local garlic from last fall.

Quebec honey - it will be neat to taste the slightly different flavour!

This product is new to me! It's salted herbs, which Françoise told me is nice to rub your roast with.

It was so exciting opening up my swap package! I can't wait to taste everything. Françoise also sent me a lovely note and fun Quebec magnet. It was such a thoughtful package!

If you'd like to learn more about the Foodie Penpal project, click here. You can sign up on that page, too! 

Now, don’t you wanna join in the fun?! Here are the Foodie Penpals details:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. -Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
I can't wait to prep a package for next month!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blog Update

After almost a year with the old header and colours (can you believe it?!), I decided to do a little revamp. A simplified look, that always classic black and white combo that's so dynamic. Lots of other changes are coming to Polka Dot Soup next week, visual and content-wise. Hold on to your socks, folks, you're in for a ride!

What do you think of the new look?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Graduation Station

It's all over but the cryin', as they say. 

My little middle brother is a high school graduate

Though 1994 seems only a handful of years ago, the little baby boy that was born that August is now finished high school. I can remember him going to pre-school, for pete's sakes! Seeing David as a young man is a little unnerving, but it's so exciting to see who he's become.

When my friend Heidi graduated last month, I wanted to find the perfect Bible verse to use on/in her card. The verse that I found from Proverbs is so perfect, I decided to use it for all of the graduation cards that I had to make this year. Take a look:

I'm so glad that Mom and Dad both got to be there for David's big day. Dad got home from working away this past Saturday, so we were all a little relieved that he was able to make it. My parents have been through a lot over the years, as any parent of teenagers has been. I know I certainly contributed to their hard-earned grey hairs. I love muh family.

David was his class' valedictorian speaker. His speech was on puzzles, and he did a great job. His English teacher (who was mine back in the day) ate it right up. It was neat that he and his speech were chosen out of around eighty grads. Proud sister, I am. He also got a nice selection of bursaries and a scholarship from his future university that he will be attending this fall.

The boys and I tried to get a picture taken together and got photo-bombed by Dad :) Formal posers, we're not.

Although the festivities have officially come to an end, I'm sure that we will be celebrating for a while :) There will be bonfires and family dinners, for sure. I know for a fact that we've got a cartoon night coming up soon that's sure to be memorable. Pull out a little Ezma and Kronk stop. You are never too old for a good kids' movie. Juvenile laughter doesn't get old.

I'm thankful for the wonderful young men my two brothers have become.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We are young and so is the night.

I can't believe it.

My middlest brother is graduating tomorrow! All growed up... so crazy. I remember the day that he was born - I was at my aunt's house and cried because he wasn't a girl. True story. Boy, how little did I know. I'm so glad that I don't have sisters - with our age differences, having two little sisters would have been quite the drama. Now that they're 18 and 14? So crazy. My littlest brother is going to high school in September. WILD.

Last night was David's high school prom. For our local high schools, they do a coordinated dance and then introduce all of the grads and say where each are from, along with who their parents are. It was the best grand march that I've ever seen, seriously. Whoever they had as a coordinator this year needs to be signed up for every prom for the next fifty years. It was so well put together and every grad looked fantastic! 

(Yep, I didn't get any of the tall genes in the family - just wear the short jeans. :) I'm finally okay with it.)

The photo above sums up the whole evening - the two boys having to pose for a picture and then breaking down with silliness. I love those boys. Cuteness monsters. Best brothers ever.

Tomorrow is the big graduation day - that will be a real tear jerker. I managed to stay dry-eyed yesterday, but when the grad gowns come out, I think it will be more of a challenge. I cannot believe that it has been seven years since I've graduated from that same school!

I'll be back to scheduled blogging as soon as life settles down a bit. a

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Succulent 101

Don't you just love a low-maintenance houseplant?

While shopping in a big box store's garden centre (shh!), I spotted a selection of larger-than-I've seen-in-real-life succulents. Score! After choosing two brand new succulents to bring home with me, I seized the opportunity to put them in new pots before even bringing them inside. I stopped at the dollar store and picked out two simple, modern yet classic containers to re-pot them into. $1.25 per container, can't go wrong with that. Take a look!

That guy in the front? I've had him for almost two years, just repotted him at the same time.
I love the simple, graphic look of a succulent. There are so many varieties out there, too - you could have a house full of different ones. Succulents are extremely low maintenance! They grow fairly slowly, so they don't require frequent repotting. Plants are pretty smart - most of the time they will only grow to the size of the vessel that they are contained in. A little like the pond-sized goldfish deal, if you've heard of such a tale.

Succulents require a mix of soil and sand, so don't go potting them in standard potting soil. Most of the time you can find the mix at a good garden centre, and if you can't find it, the shop can mix some up for you!

Succulents require very little water. It's hard to say how often to water them, but on average, every three weeks or so. When the plant doesn't feel as rigid and gives a little when you squeeze it, it needs to be watered. The most important thing is to remember to not over-water the plant. Over-watering will cause it to rot, and you will be one sad plant owner.

There! Did you learn a thing or two about succulents? I hope that I helped! If you haven't started a houseplant adventure, buying a succulent is a great place to start.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Multitude Monday

It's 10:30 10:55 pm... I'm just squeaking in with my Multitude Monday post. Better late than never, as they say. Who are they, anyway? If you know, do tell!

What is Multitude Monday, you may ask? Well, curious critter, each week I like to list ten things that I'm currently thankful for. It helps me to stay focused on all of the positivity events and energy in my life (positive energy - can you tell that I spend forty hours a week with a granola crew? haha). There is so much negativity that surrounds us every day, and it can be very easy to be sidetracked by the "bad stuff". 

Since I had such a lovely day yesterday (and took pictures!), I'm choosing to list ten things from my day as my Multitude Monday choices. Today, I'm thankful for:

480 - getting to go to church with Dan yesterday morning. I really miss being there when I don't get to go.
481 - spending all afternoon with my mom. We had a great day together!

482 - going to a local farmers' market and purchasing arugula (to make a walnut pesto with!) and focaccia bread - and having a yummy vanilla steamed milk while we browsed.

483 - supporting a cute little girl's art. She made the cutest little critters out of clay.

484 - getting a delicious lunch at a local bus take-out - gotta love a good greasy treat!

485 - finding a picnic table at the beach to enjoy our lunch. The weather was beautiful!

486 - soaking up the salt water air. I'm so thankful for living by the Atlantic ocean!

487 - laughing at the funny little dogs at the beach, desperate to avoid getting back into their car.

488 - a pretty new pot of herbs that I purchased. They're in beautiful shape!

489 - getting an hour long walk in at the track last night. It felt to nice to be outside in the fresh air.

490 - that I got to finish my meal before that crazy crow arrived! Seriously, we had been back in the car about ten seconds before the crow arrived and started inspecting our lunch table. Too funny!

What are you thankful for today? Do share!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the best father I know. Dad, you're enough to bring your only daughter out of a blogging rut. That's pretty special. (Also, sorry for putting a working woodsman photo of you on the internets. I think you look cute.)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nature's Calling...

I love spending time outside. We have a wood road behind our property that's probably about 2 km. It's a great hike, and lately we've been doing it 2-3 times a week. The exercise is wonderful, and I love have Sage and sometimes Dan for company. Let me rephrase that: I love when Dan comes with me - but sometimes it's just the dog and I. There, that's better. Don't want it to sound like my poor husband and I are on the outs :) We hiked it on Sunday and Monday so far this week. It's lovely to get the fresh air pumping through your lungs!

What's your favourite springtime outdoor activity? 
Share your adventures with me!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Polyvore Loves

Have you been missing Polyvore Loves or what?!

My friend Jacalyn has a fun outfit request. She's going to an event that requires her to get all gussied up: an anniversary dinner and dance. She needs to be dressed up, but also comfortable so she can dance her socks off. Jacalyn looks great in colours, so I used this formula to create two outfits for her:

neutrals + metallics + pop of colour = cute outfit!

Take a look at the ladylike options I've chosen for her:

for jac1

for jac1 by littleohme featuring zipper bags

I chose a great navy dress as a base - it's a lovely neutral that is a bit more lively than black. There's a great statement necklace in shades of green that would look lovely with Jacalyn's skin tone - the shade closest to her face won't wash her out or make her look ill. The purse matches the necklace, natch. Cute as a button gold earrings will be a discreet source of detail, and the neutral pumps are extremely versatile and elegant (I've been looking for a pair for ages!). The basic trench should be in every girl's closet: classically timeless, yet functional for those chilly evenings. That's one class act!

The second outfit packs a serious punch, too:


jac-2 by littleohme featuring metallic handbags

Wow-ee! A polka-dot dress - oh, Jac! This ensemble is fun and youthful, yet each element is classic so as not to rile up the old folks :) The gold accessories: bow and pearl earrings, stack of rings, and shiny clutch, all help to keep this dress on the up and ups. The turquoise peep toes are beyond sweet - a mid-height heel for dancing the night away, and a sweet little bow to make you feel girly. Coral lipgloss is a fresh and springy twist to top it all off.

So, if you were headed for a celebratory event, which outfit would you choose?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Multitude Monday

It's time for Multitude Monday!

Each Monday, I like to reflect on ten things that I'm currently thankful for. As I sit here, sipping my lemon, ginger and honey hot drink, I realize that there are more things than I could ever count that are amazing in my life. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the negatives, and I'm the worst offender. Taking the time to list only ten things helps to get my day and week off to a great start. Feel free to jump in with some things that you're thankful for, whether here in the comments, on your own blog, or simply in your head!

This week, I'm thankful that:

470 - I got to have a phone date with Heidi last night. I miss her like the dickens!
471 - my boss called to see how I was feeling after she heard through the grapevine that I was under the weather. So thoughtful!
472 - my little bro did so well at track and field provincials: first in javelin, and second in shot-put. Amazing!
473 - I've been able to go for a few walks and hikes with my honey lately, instead of alone. He's the best.
474 - Sage, our pup, has given me so many laughs. He's the funniest creature I know.
475 - there is a big batch of squash and black bean chili to take for lunch all week.
476 - I finally caved and got an cute little iPod Nano on Friday. I'm loading it up after work with some tunes to exercise to.
477 - my dad made it safely back to Quebec. It's sad to see him go, but he'll be back before we know it.
478 - my mom is starting to feel better after a week long battle with a chest infection.
479 - I have the weekend off this coming weekend! Yay!

Tell me, what are you currently thankful for?

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Just dropping in for a quick share. My youngest bro won first place in javelin at our track and field provincials here in Nova Scotia! Pretty exciting, I'm so glad I was able to attend :) Tomorrow is his shot-put competition, which is his favourite - here's to hoping he does well in that event, too! I have to work, but I'll be cheering him on in spirit.

Fun fact: he was closer to the provincial record than distance between him and the second place winner! Crazy, eh? So close to beating a record - awesome!

I'm totally allowed to brag about my 14-year-old bro. All bragging rights reserved :)

Happy Weekend!
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