Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Foodie Penpal

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! I'm linking up with the big reveal post today over at The Lean Green Bean.

My swap partner was Kim from Montreal. Look at what arrived in my mailbox:

Take a look at that loot! She packed that little package full of goodies, and wrote a cute little note, too. Here's a closer look at what Kim sent me:

Pate from her recent trip to Portugal

Seasoning packs from her local market

Maple butter and maple jelly, which I'm excited to try

The loveliest sounding jam - that combination sounds divine!
I'm so excited to try my goods. Kim did a great job at choosing items for me - I can't wait to use the seasonings for our barbecued meals in the evening this summer. The jam, jelly, and butter would all be so lovely with tea and toast.

My penpal partner was Diane from Toronto. She blogged about what I sent her - check it out!

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 August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

Happy Tuesday!

Multitude... Tuesday??

The days are flying by! Can you believe that it's the last day of July?! I certainly can't. I missed writing my Multitude Monday post yesterday, but that doesn't mean that I'm not thankful! :) I decided to write a list of ten things that I'm currently thankful for today... it's too important of a post to skip for a week!

Today, I'm thankful for:

511 - my brother and sister-in-law arriving safely after their cross-country trip!
512 - spending time with my adorable 14 month old nephew, he's a riot.
513 - having three weekends off in a row
514 - Dan ordering a back seat for his new bike
515 - Janelle getting closer and closer to baby-day!
516 - Heidi starting a brand new job yesterday - I can't wait to hear how it went.
517 - Picking up my cool new sneakers tonight - maybe that will be in the incentive that I need
518 - visiting two farmers' markets over the weekend
519 - having an ice cream date with my family
520 - knowing that August is going to be the most fun ever!

What are you currently thankful for? Do share!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Over this past weekend, Dan and I discovered the best little town ever. There were three antique shops right in a row! If you know my province then you know that there aren't an abundance of neat, clean, well-priced antiques. There was one large one that smelled amazing, one beautiful, well-curated one, and one flea market, diamond in the rough style antique shop. I was a good girl and only came out with one item: a piece of Pyrex in the prettiest shade of green.

My favourite shop (of course!) was the beautiful, well-curated one. I knew that I had to take a lot of pictures because if you're a Bluenoser, you just wouldn't believe me without proof. I'm thinking that I need to load up a carload of girls and make an antique road trip! I'm not going to lie, Dan was really into it, too. One of the shops had some great boy-friendly finds, and there was so much beautiful furniture, windows and doors around that he couldn't help but fall in love.

Here's a few photos from my new favourite shop:

Beautiful, eh? Drop me a note if you'd like to learn the location of this shop! I don't have the name of it and can't seem to find it online but I can give a mean list of directions. If you want to go on a road trip, you know I'm game! As Dan said, "this place is like Anthropologie" which he knows is one of my most favourite places. Antique lovin', handcrafted, character lookin' me.

Are you into antiques? Tell me your favourite find!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Multitude Monday

It's Multitude Monday!

This week, I don't even know where to begin. I'm so thankful for the past week - there were so many days that I just smiled and thought about how much I love, and am loved. Seriously, so blessed. Over the past few months, I've definitely had more than my share of highs and lows. Some days are far more challenging - you just lay your head on the pillow at night and thank the Lord that you made it through the day without incident. I had a good finish to my work week last week, and then I was off for the weekend. Can't beat that! Here are ten things that I'm thankful for:

501 - taking the time to stroll the streets of a cute little town and enjoy the sights
502 - spending the entire weekend with some of my favourite people in the world
503 - getting the giggles over the silliest things, like when men get insulted easily about their tiny dog/pup - let's face it, some breeds are not the most manly ones to carry around

504 - finding the most special necklace - I can't wait to share more info!
505 - buying a pretty green ceramic ring holder for seventy-five cents
506 - having a six or seven year old flip phone (oh yeah.) that works like a trooper
507 - Dan completing his first run - 153rd out of 523. Sweet, eh?

508 - walking along a beautiful beach as the sun sets with the cutest guy I know
509 - going camping for the first time in 2012
510 - discovering new places that will be regular vacation sites!

What are you thankful for today? Do share!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Garden Update

I brought home three bright yellow strawflower plants today (or bracteantha, if you're feeling wordy) to brighten up our walkway. See that photo? I also worked on a little outdoor project that I can share as soon as I'm home when there is more sunlight! We have a little gravel path to our step, but there isn't a defined border between the walkway and the lawn. I hauled (well, Dan helped when I filled the wheelbarrow too much :) ) lots of large rocks to create a cute path edge. I love how it turned out!

Earlier in the week, my little brother helped me to get an old spool from the side of the highway. I have been looking for a while for one in good shape to turn into a coffee table. This one is a little shoddy, but it's a perfect herb stand. I was able to move my herbs into a spot that has more sunlight, out of the shadow of the house. 

I started a bunch of nasturtiums from seed and that's what I have around the base of the spool. If they take off, they'll be part of the decor for the wedding I'm helping with the end of August. Nasturtiums are so cool - they're a beautiful edible flower with large round foliage. Google them if you're interested in seeing the lovely colours!

My container is filling in quite nicely! I chose to go with mostly foliage for my container this year. Having a bee allergy, I find that I need to be careful about what I bring so close to the door of our home. I wouldn't want to invite trouble into our home! I'm not super paranoid about it, but I just try to be smart. I'm not sticking my head through the sunroof of a car or becoming a bee-keeper or anything :)

As I write this, Dan's outside building me a window box to hang from the side of our step. It pays to have a handy husband :) I just finished making supper, so it's a good trade-off. I hope to get the window box attached and fill it with plants before it gets too dark outside.

How about you? Do you have a green or brown thumb? Have you planted anything this year? Do share!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sneak Peek

... just a little sneak peek of a project that I was working on with a friend today. Those colours are so lovely together! It's all of my favourite things in one photo - old doors, hardware, wallpaper, chipped paint, imperfections, soft colours. Ooh, be still, my heart. Aren't you itching to see more - and find out what it's all about?? You'll just have to wait and see! I should be able to share more by the end of July.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thing I Heart

I have a serious love of Jadeite. Over the past few years, I've started my collection of dishes.  Last year, a large amount of my farmers' market profit went towards my collection :) Jadeite's milky green colour and heavy-duty, everyday style are so appealing. Jadeite was popular back in the 1940s and 1950s, with the most popular brand around here being Fire-King, which was produced by the Anchor Hocking Company. Want to see more? Here are a few pretty photos from around the inter webs:

image via Country Living

image via Martha Stewart
image via Martha Stewart

image via Casa Sugar

Do you have any collections? Tell me about them.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 16, 2012

You win!

The winner of the Multitude Monday giveaway is...

Congrats, sweet pea!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's date night!

Our community summer festival is on now. Dan and I are headed to the events this evening. There are canoe races, craft and bake tables, a cake walk and barbecue, and live entertainment. I'll try to grab a few pictures - I need to start documenting our summer more. Should be a healthy dose of small town fun!

Have a date night recently? Do share!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Eventful Tuesday

image via let's get jiggy

Well, I had quite the adventure yesterday!

The original plan:

My aunt, mom and I were planning on travelling to "the big city" for the day. My aunt Ida was in town from Winnipeg for the week, so we were going to meet her for lunch. My cousin was already up there so we were all going to meet. Road trip with the girls, right?! Wrong.

Yesterday morning, my aunt decides to not go with us because her grandson was sick: my cousin's (who was already in Halifax) little boy. My cousin, Tanya, heard that he had gotten sick so decided to drive home in the early morning to relieve her mom from sick-duty. On her way home, as the sun was rising in the sky, she was blinded by the sun and hit a deer, head-on, on the divided highway at full speed. She's so blessed to have made it out of the incident without harm! Her car was badly damaged, though, so we were going to meet her in the next town on our way to Halifax and she would just travel home with us in the evening. 

So... as we pulled into the coffee shop at 8 am to pick her up, our car goes up in steam. Yup. Our radiator had something wrong and our car overheated. We had to sit there for forty-five minutes until the car cooled down, and then were turned away from two different garages. Finally, we made it to a Honda dealership. They repaired the car in an hour - and drove us to the shopping mall to browse while the car was being repaired! After the car was fixed, we decided to just spend the day in the town we were in. All this happened before noon.

I texted my visiting aunt and apologized for missing her: it would have been too hectic to continue on to the city and meet her. My aunt, mom and I shopped 'til we dropped in the little town. I'll have to share my thrifted finds soon! I found several cute summer blouses, two dresses, and a pair of great Gap jeans.  Two of the items still had the price tags attached - yay!

A fun end to a crazy morning.

Share time: have you ever hit any animals with your vehicle? 
About six years ago, I hit a bear! Crazy, eh?!

Happy Wednesday!

* * Don't forget to enter the Multitude Monday giveaway! * *

Monday, July 9, 2012

Multitude Monday Giveaway

Each weekish I like to share ten things that I'm currently thankful for in my life. It helps to keep me aware of the positives in my day-to-day experiences, and it's also a great way to start my week. There are so many things in each of our lives that can weigh us down, but if we stop and think about it, we are so blessed. I am so blessed. Feel free to use the idea and start your own list. I got the idea from another friend a while back, and now look: today I'll reach 500 things that I'm thankful for! In celebration, I have a little giveaway for my sweet readers. Before I tell you the details, here's what I'm currently thankful for:

496 - freckles on my face and arms from the summer sunshine
497 - new summer clothes that arrived in the mail from Old Navy
498 - strong winds this afternoon that are driving the flies away
499 - new episodes of one of my favourite shows
500 - each of my readers - creepers and commenters alike :)

Now, the part that you've been waiting for: the giveaway! Look at the goods:

- an orange and wood beaded necklace, perfect for summer
- a coffee cozy to protect your hands from the heat 
(or use the cozy for a cold drink to protect your hands from the cup's moisture)

I have the red version of the necklace, and I love it! I've gotten so many compliments on the necklace. It's great with sundresses or t-shirts. It's a nice pop of colour when you're feeling a little bland, but it's not too intense or wild. If you aren't a fan of flashy jewelry, it's a great way to start :) Let your friends know about the giveaway, too! Everyone loves a good freebie.

Would you like to win these items? Here's what you need to do:

In the comments,
Make sure to include your name and e-mail address so I can contact the winner.

The giveaway closes on Friday, July 13th at 8:00 pm. Thanks for being such faithful followers!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Herbs 101

Are you new to the herb world? Welcome!

As a seasoned herb gardener of one year (muhahahaha!) I thought that you might like to learn a little bit about growing and using herbs. Starting out last spring, I knew little to nothing about growing and storing herbs. I had bought lots of fresh herbs from both the supermarket and farmers' market before, but hadn't had much luck growing them. Most of the time, in order to learn anything about herbs, you really need to dig, pun intended. I've learned a bit over the past year and a half that I'd like to share with you! Curious? Read on!

I took the photos of my very own little herb pots to share with you. They're growing so big and strong!

- does best with lots of sun and well-drained soil
- fertilize every two weeks
- use fresh for best results
- storing for a day: keep the stems in water away from the sunlight
- storing for several days: cover the jar with plastic and refrigerate

- resembles flat-leaf parsley but is paler green and has finer leaves
- used in French cooking
- use to enhance white fish, chicken, eggs and zucchini, as well as soups, salads and sauces
- its flavour is best fresh - add it near the end of the cooking process
- prefers cool, moist conditions and enjoys a semi-shaded space

- used in chinese, indian, asian and mexican foods
- fresh and bright flavour; can be overwhelming if not balanced by other flavours
- always use fresh and add towwards the end of cooking
- may be refrigerated with a paper towel lined container

- can help with indigestion and ulcers
- often self-sows but is an annual
- add to salads, steamed vegetables or fish
- best fresh but can be used dried
- grows up to 18" and has a short growth span

- prefers well-drained, chalky soil
- has shallow roots, so it will need to be watered often if grown in a container
- pests aren't a problem
- dries well, but flavour becomes more concentrated

- high in vitamin C and antioxidants
- not good for those with osteoporosis, kidney disease or pregnancy
- prefers rich soil and lots of sun
- fertilize every four weeks
- keep plants well watered
- best fresh or frozen for a short period of time
- perfect for garnishing, salads, appetizers, soups and grains

- has shallow roots and can rot if overwatered
- prefers to be out of the wind
- certain varieties can be used as barbecue kebab sticks
- great in savoury dishes such as pork, stew, soup and shellfish

- works well with vegetables, meat, chicken, eggs, cheese and fish
- used fresh but can be dried
- nice to make compound butters with
- needs good drainage
- can be grown in a variety of situations such as edges, ledges and containers
- fertilize containers once a month

There! That just about covers my knowledge of herbs. Let me know in the comments if your have any questions, and I'll share my answers with you. If I don't have the answer, I'll find it out!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How does your (herb) garden grow?

I've been getting my hands covered in dirt in my little herb container garden over the past few weeks. Herbs are something that I love working with, planting and enjoying. They are relatively easy to grow and store and their scent alone is enough to make a person want to become a gardener. Do you have any favourites?

I'm sharing some tips about herbs tomorrow morning - stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Multitude Monday

Each week, I compile a list of ten things that I'm currently thankful for. Doing so helps to get my week off to a great start - it's so much more profitable to focus on the positive things in our lives. Some weeks, it's a struggle to come up with ten positives, and other weeks, it's almost impossible to stop at only ten items. 

This week, I've decided to only share five things that I'm thankful for. Next week, I'll hit a count of FIVE HUNDRED! Isn't that unbelievable?! To celebrate, I'll be hosting a blog giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled!

Today, I'm thankful for:

491 - being able to have a girls' evening out to support our friend Julie!

492 - Julie's beautiful ballet recital - they did a ballet/modern dance version of The Jungle Book!

493 - getting to give treats to my aunt's gorgeous horses this afternoon.

494 - the lovely double rainbow through the car window on the way home this evening. (Look closely - the second is on the right!)

495 - Dan's new toy! He's had his motorcycle license since he was 17, and has been saving for a bike for a long time. He bought one on Saturday - I have one happy husband! :)

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh, Canada!

Awesome print available via Etsy

Happy birthday, Canada! Thanks for being the home to most of my favourite people. Thanks for being a safe place for me to lay my head. Thanks for your cold winters and hot summers, your maple leaves and open fields. Thanks for letting me be free to worship my Lord. Thanks for protecting me from bad guys and the ability to trust in the law enforcement. Thanks for just being you!

On this hot summer day, take the time to read this great post from Jami Nato. Before you slip into that pair of cutoffs, it might give you something to think about. It will only take a few minutes but may have a significant impact on your wardrobe decisions. You can also groove to her sweet tunes, the source of most of my new music. You're welcome.

Happy Canada Day!
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