Sunday 31 July 2016

Month of Blogging- Day 31

I have completed it!  I blogged every day in July!  That is 31 blog posts in just 1 month.  They weren't exceptional and a few were just to check in and post something, BUT I did post every day.

This experiment was important to me because I hadn't been devoting the time that I wanted to my blogging.  Blogging has become such an outlet for me.  I enjoy writing.  I also really appreciate the blog friendships that I have made.  They have been so important to me.  Recently, I felt like I was letting this side of my life slip away and I did not like that feeling!

July proved to me that if I make blogging a priority there is enough time to do it.  It proved to me that the blog truly is important to me and that I value the time that I get to spend on it.  With that in mind,,  I hope that the blog will be much more consistent in the future.

Behind the scenes this month, I spent time in the working on the vision and intent of my blog.  It felt good to do some planning and hammer out some goals.  I am confident that if I carve out the time, I can make my blog blossom into something good.

Thank you for reading along this month.  I had a lot of fun and I hope you enjoyed some of my posts!  I will be returning to a much more "normal" schedule in the future, so no more daily posts for me!  I plan to post 3 times a week.  I am excited to commit to Peaceful Simple Life and I hope that you continue to follow along!

Saturday 30 July 2016

Saturday Plans- Day 30

I have a boring, productive Saturday planned.  We have already been to my friend's house to water plants.  I am getting ready to tackle a few things of our own that need to be done.  Here is my Saturday to-do list:

-Do our budget and pay bills.

-Change sheets and tidy the house.

-Go through Miss. E's clothes and take out all the items that are too small.

-Make a roast and potatoes for supper.  (It is a cool, gloomy day and roasts were on sale this week!)

-Start planning my Fall Capsule.  I think that I would like to give capsules a try again.  I enjoyed being free of the capsule for the spring and summer but I also spent too much money on clothes.  A few of the items were necessary but some of them were just for fun, which adds up.  I am excited to be able to share it with you at the end of the Summer!

What are you up to this fine Saturday?  Do you have big plans or are you just playing catch up at home like me?

Friday 29 July 2016

Summertime To Do List (High Five For Friday)- Day 29

Eeek!  Half of Summer is already gone!  I can hardly believe it.  It feels like we just started June!  I am going to share a few things that we still want to do this summer.  Summers never seem long enough and a person has to try to cram everything in!

1.) Visit Drumheller, AB-  We would love to take Miss. E to the Royal Tyrrell Museum to see the dinosaur bones and other prehistoric fossils.  The land around Drumheller is super interesting and I think she would enjoy the trip!

2.)  Have a few more backyard fires.-  I love sitting by the fire.  It is so soothing.  I hope to get to do this a few more times this summer!

3.)  Hit the beach!-  Miss. E was completely in love with the beach which was so much fun!  I would love to take her again so she can dig in the sand and play in the water.

4.)  Visit my brother.-  My brother recently moved so we would like to go visit him.  It is always nice to see him and it is certainly our turn to visit!

5.)  Plant some raspberries.-  We bought a few raspberry bushes for the cabin.  Our family loves to eat raspberries and it would help fill in some of the bush that is slowly dying off.

Do you have more plans for summer?  I would love to hear about them!

****I totally spaced out when writing this post- I forgot that it would be published on Friday!  BUT, it is a list of 5 so it all worked out.  If you want to link up for High Five For Friday, please do so with the lovely ladies below!

Thursday 28 July 2016

Gilmore Girls- Day 28

Oh my goodness!  I am so excited!  Gilmore Girls is returning November 25!  I watched Gilmore Girls growing up and I was so in love with it.  My Mom and I would watch together.   It was such a great show and I am so excited that Netflix is doing a reboot of it!

After I calmed down (a little), I realized that there were a lot of great shows that I loved to watch while growing up.  I miss them all.  Here are the Top 10 shows (in no particular order) that I loved to watch as a kid/teenager:

1.)  The Secret Life of Alex Mack  I loved this show!  A girl who ends up in a chemical spill and gets powers!  What's not to love?

2.)  Lizzie McGuire  I was probably too old to be watching this show, but I really liked it.

3.)  Captain Planet  Ummm.... yeah.  No one else my age remembers this show.  It was what I watched when the other kids were watching The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I wasn't allowed to watch the Ninja Turtles.

4.)  Gilligan's Island  My brother and I liked this show a lot.  It was hilarious.  It was also fun to see the quirky inventions they had to help make 'island life' more comfortable.

5.)  Bewitched  This show was also a lot of fun.  Many times I wished I could wiggle my nose and make things happen.  Ha ha!

6.)  Home Improvement  We watched this show as a family and it made us laugh so hard!

7.)  Family Matters  This was another show that we watched as a family.  We really loved Urkel and his antics!

8.) Full House  Sigh.  What a great show.  I have been enjoying the reboot Fuller House, as well.  It is super corny but that tends to be how I like my sitcoms.

9.)  Boy Meets World  This was one of my favourite shows in the TGIF line up.  I really enjoyed it.  Disney Channel has a continuation of sorts in it's show Girl Meets World, which follows the daughter of Topanga and Corey.  It isn't to the same caliber as the original but it is a fun show.

10.)  Gilmore Girls  Of course!  I hope Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is a sweet continuation of the original!

What shows did you love growing up?

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Simple Ways To Help Out The Environment- Day 27

Protecting the environment doesn't have to be difficult and it can also save you money!  Here are some simple ways to help out the environment:

1.)  Use reusable dishes and water bottles.  A person can cut a lot of unnecessary waste if they pack a reusable water bottle and dishes for their lunch every day.  You also save money because you aren't constantly having to purchase disposable items.  There are so many great options today for reusable dishes.  I really like the options that Tupperware has to offer.

2.) Use rags.  Hubby and I made a decision a few years back to try and cut back on our use of paper towel.  We made some rags out of old towels and I purchased one pack of microfiber cloths at the hardware store.  We have been shocked at how much less paper towel we purchase!  We buy paper towel maybe once a year.  It has definitely saved us money!

3.)  Try to purchase locally grown food.  This one can be difficult because we are Canadian and our growing season is pretty short.  I will purchase Canadian produce when it is available and in season.  When Canadian produce isn't available, I try to purchase produce grown in the United States as the U.S. is our closest neighbour.  Our grocery store is very good at encouraging local produce and farmer's markets can be great places to find food from growers in your area.

How do you help out the environment?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday 26 July 2016

A Little Under The Weather- Day 26

I am sorry that there won't be much of a post today.  We have been gone for 4 days and I am feeling a little under the weather.  I will be back with a better post tomorrow!

Monday 25 July 2016

What's In My Road Trip Bag- Day 25

I love travelling with my Hubby.  It is nice to have someone to chat with, someone to help with Miss. E and someone else to drive!  Hubby does the majority of the driving when we travel together.  I will drive now and then to give him a break but he really does the brunt of the driving.  This leaves me with time to do other things.  Here is what I pack in my road trip bag.

Books-  I love reading so I usually pack the novel that I am reading.  I am nearing the end of my books so I packed 2 novels for this trip.

Hat-  Sun protection is important and this adorable hat adds style to whatever I am wearing.  I like to pack it along. (It is from Walmart!)

Water Bottle (by Contigo)-  I like to pack my own reusable water bottle.  It is better for the environment and helps me to remember to stay hydrated.  This one is great because it doesn't leak.  

Love Hearts-  I am seriously addicted to these candies.  I like to nibble on them on road trips!  Yum!

Change purse- This is always good to have on hand for parking meters or a coffee run.

Cross-body bag-  Honestly, my Coach bag is pretty much the only purse I ever carry.  It is small so I don't ever overfill it, which is important due to my neck issues.

Notebook and Pen-  Ideas seem to pop in my head on the road so I like to have a place to jot them down.  I found this notebook at the Dollar Tree!  The pen was a gift from my Hubby.  It allows you to use 4 different colours.  It writes nicely, too.  Hubby knows me well.  I really love this pen!

Lip Balm (from The Body Shop)-  My lips get super dry in the vehicle, likely from Hubby blasting the AC on our trips.  I love the feeling of this lip balm and the raspberry flavour smells so good!

What do you pack in your road trip bag?

Sunday 24 July 2016

Be Still- Day 24

Our world moves a million miles a minute and it can seem hard to catch our breath.  We have worries, commitments, and things to take care of.  It can be hard for us to slow down and connect with our Creator.

"Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalm 46:10

This is a Psalm that I often repeat to myself.  I often need the reminder to slow down and give God time in my life.  He has given us life and has promised us everlasting life in Him!  It is a glorious gift that we need to show gratitude for.  We are called to be His children and when we are in communication with the One who made us, our lives feel much more peaceful and grounded.  Take the time to "Be still".

Saturday 23 July 2016

10 Random Facts- Day 23

Today I thought I would share 10 random facts that you might not know about me.  I enjoy reading these posts on other people's blogs so I decided to give it a go!

1.)  I really loved Nancy Drew books growing up.  We used to go to Costco with my parents and they sold the hardcover Nancy Drew books in packs of 3.  My parents usually let me get one when we were there.  (My Mom also loved Nancy Drew growing up!)  I thought that Nancy Drew was so cool and I wanted to be a detective just like her!

2.)  I was hit with a tennis racquet when I was in 3rd grade.  I was hit in the eyebrow and I now have a chunk of eyebrow missing in the middle of my right eyebrow.  I rarely fill it in.

3.)  I am Canadian so I don't allow the spellchecker to correct the way I spell colour, neighbour or honour.  We follow the British spelling of these words, which have the "u". I grew up spelling this way so it annoys me when Blogger tells me I am wrong.

4.)  The first poem I ever wrote was about a rat and being frustrated that it was gone.  Strange, I know.  I wasn't very old.  Probably Grade 1.

5.)  I snore.  Oh boy, do I snore!  I have allergies so I think that's the main cause.  Poor Hubby.

6.)  I am playing "Pokemon Go".  It is kind of cute.  I never play games so my Hubby was shocked,but I like collecting the random little creatures.  I don't play obsessively (um... #toddlermom and #housework) and I don't really understand it, but I do like it.

7.)  My old summer jobs include: librarian and janitor.  I used to clean the school when I was on summer break and I actually really enjoyed it.  I also loved the library, because I love reading!

8.)  As a child I used to wish that Mary Poppins would come babysit me.

9.)  I super vivid dreams and can almost always remember them.  Hubby rarely remembers his dreams.

10.)  I love cherry strudels.  They are terrible for me, but I love them!

Friday 22 July 2016

High Five For Friday- 22.07.16

I had a lovely week and I hope you all did too!  Here are my five:

1.) Hubby and I had a quick getaway to the city this week.  It was really nice.  We enjoyed a night out together, just the two of us.  I really enjoyed it!

Hubby wants it on the record that he changed his shoes for our night out.  They were in the car at the time of this photo.

2.)  Miss. E was so excited to see us when we went to pick her up, that she squealed.  It was adorable and heart warming.

3.)  I snagged a pair of Gap sweatpants for 1/3 of the original price.  I wanted an extra pair to wear at home.  (For the record:  I never wear sweatpants in public.  I do however, love to wear them at home!)

4.)  I watched Gran Torino with Hubby this week.  (It was playing on AMC when we were in the city.)  I actually really enjoyed it.  I am not a Clint Eastwood fan, but this movie was pretty good.

5.)  I had the most delicious strawberries and peaches this week.  Yummy!  I love summer produce!

How was your week?  Link up with the lovely ladies below and tell us all about it!

Thursday 21 July 2016

Hair Products That I Love This Summer! - Day 21

I am not huge on hair products.  I find that most products leave my hair with a bunch of yucky build up.  This summer, however I am loving a few hair products.  I thought I would share them with you!

Damage Detox by Pantene-  This shampoo and conditioner line has helped my hair regain its balance.  I had trouble with oily spots on my scalp and dry ends.  This shampoo/conditoner has brought my hair back to 'normal' and I really like it!

Pantene's Airspray-  I normally hate hairspray, but this one is so nice, light and truly touchable.  It smells great, as well!

Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing Souffle-  I use this when I am going to wear my wavy hair 'naturally'.  It is also light and helps define my waves nicely.  It isn't sticky, which I find most other mousses are.

What products are you loving this summer?

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Almost missed it! -Day 20

Phew!  I almost forgot to post today.   This post is super late but I am counting it!  We had a nice time in the city.  We got home late last night and spent today playing catch up.  We missed our little lady (she stayed with Nanny and Papa) but it was nice to have some time to ourselves.  We hit some sales and purchased Miss. E a bedding set for her new "big bed".  It was the right price point and I really liked the colours!  We had dinner out and really enjoyed our meal (Big T's BBQ in Calgary, Alberta).  It was a quick trip and it was fun.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Summer Loves- Day 19

Summer Loves:

My striped tank dress from Maurices is so super comfortable! (similar here)

Fresh cherries, blueberries, and peaches.  So yummy!

My Father-In-Law's guacamole!

Nights out at the campfire.

Campfire treats!

Playing in the sand with Miss. E and Hubby.

When Calls The Heart-Season 2 on CBC

W-Channel movies on Sunday nights.

Fresh raspberries and Saskatoon berries from the garden.

Beautiful flowers blooming everywhere.

Sigh.  Summertime is so sweet.  What are you loving this Summer?

Monday 18 July 2016

Quick City Getaway: What I Packed- Day 18

Hubby and I have to make a quick trip to the city this week.  We are going to take advantage of the evening to ourselves and go out for a date night.  In the photo below I have shown you all of the pieces that I plan to wear over the 2 day trip.  We have a 4 hour car ride each day so I tried to pick outfits that would be comfortable.  The forecast is calling for rain the first day and my Hubby likes to run the AC full blast, so my outfit has to be warm.  I made sure to pack a special outfit for date night because a night out is something to celebrate!

From left: 

Outfit #1 (For the car ride to the city.):  Black leggings, light pink tank top, grey sweater, and black Tom's.  

Outfit #2 (For the car ride home.):  Grey sweater, striped tank dress and black Tom's.

Outfit #3 (For our date night.):  Black pleated skirt, black tank, black belt and leopard heels.

Outerwear:  Long trench coat- a must for the rain!

Sunday 17 July 2016

Love Your Enemies- Day 17

It has been a heartbreaking week in the world.  My heart is heavy with the horrifying loss of life that has occurred both at home and abroad.  I often feel helpless during times like these and in many ways I am.  We were reminded by our pastor a few months ago that we are called to pray for our enemies.

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"  Matthew 5:44

This verse is powerful.  It is asking us to do the unthinkable.  It is calling us love EVERYONE, even those who do unspeakable acts of hate and violence.  Only LOVE can fight hate and this verse is asking us to do just that.  Love.

After my pastor reminded us of this bible verse, I have been actively praying for those who are being sucked into evil groups and for those committing heinous acts.  I have been praying for them to recognize the evil that they are doing and for them to turn their hearts to acts of love instead.  It might seem trivial, but it is actually one of the only concrete things I can do at this point.  I have also been praying for the families and loved ones of all those affected by these acts of evil.

In addition to praying for my enemies, I always try to meet every person I meet with love and kindness.  The smallest acts can trigger change.  How do you love your enemies?  Do you pray for them?

Saturday 16 July 2016

Leopard Shoes! - Day 16

When I had my girl's day with my Mom the other day, I was so excited to find a nice pair of leopard shoes!  I have been looking for a pair of leopard heels for 3 years.  The few pairs that I have found were either super uncomfortable or too expensive.  I was thrilled with my purchase.  I can't wait to use them in my wardrobe.

I keep a list of items that I really want to add to my wardrobe and I give myself permission to purchase them when I find them.  These items are (usually) classic items that will work in many seasons and with many outfits.  This list is usually quite short and consists of items that have been hard for me to find.  

Do you have a "unicorn" item that you have been searching for?  What is your rule when deciding what to purchase for your wardrobe?  Do you have rules?  I would love to hear all about it!

Friday 15 July 2016

High Five For Friday- 15-.07.16

Friday is here again!  I had a fun week!   Here is what I have been up to:

1.)  We went to camping weekend with Hubby's family.  It was so much fun.  You can read about it here.

2.)  I got together with a girlfriend this week and we had a nice chat.  We sat in her backyard which is seriously one of the most beautiful backyards I have ever seen.  She truly has a green thumb!

3.)  I got some flowers and shrubs on clearance from a greenhouse.  I know that I will be around for a bit, so I planted a couple pots on the front step.  It was nice!  They look a little sad right now but they will perk up with a little TLC.

On our way to check out plants on clearance!
4.)  I had a girl's day with my Mom yesterday.  We went for lunch and shopping.  It was a lovely time.  We hit some fantastic sales (I got 2 sweaters for $2.97 each!) and had some delicious food.  I enjoyed spending time with her and it was nice to be able to chat.

5.)  Last night Hubby and I had a campfire in the backyard.  It was fun to sit out and enjoy the evening.  I love summer!

How was your week?  Link up with the lovely ladies below and tell us all about it!  Have a happy weekend!

Thursday 14 July 2016

When Life Is Crazy- Day 14

What a week this has been! Things are seeming a little crazy around here.  I hope to be able to go into it in a bit more detail in the coming weeks, but for now it is best if I keep some of this under my hat.  There is nothing bad happening, just a lot of potential changes!

Change is constant, but I like it to come on my terms.  Ha!  That rarely happens.  If you have been reading this blog over the past months, you will be well aware that I seem to constantly battle my Type-A personality.  I have become much better at accepting change, but it can still seem overwhelming at times.  This week I have been telling myself, "Be a willow, not an oak!"  I need to bend with the changes.

When I feel overwhelmed I like to do the following:

1.) Pray-  I spend a lot of time in prayer, especially when I feel unsettled or unsure.  I try to remind myself the God is in control and that I will find peace within Him.  I really like to refer to my Jesus Calling devotional, written by Sarah Young.

2.) Get outside- I feel most at peace when I am in nature.  I like to experience the outdoors and even a quick walk can make me feel much better!

3.) Spend time with family and friends-  My family and friends are a great support network and I can always turn to them when I need them.  Sometimes we don't even have to talk about what's happening.  It can be refreshing just to be in their presence and laugh!

4.)  Organize and Clean-  My house is never so clean or organized as when I am upset or overwhelmed.  I think it gives me a measure of control when I feel like I have no control and it is also a way to physical outlet to help me deal with whatever is going on.  The upside is a clean house!

What do you like to do to help deal with life throwing curve balls?

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Currently- Day 13

Here is what I am:

Watching: When Calls The Heart (Season 2 is airing in Canada this summer) and Masters of Flip

Eating: All of the yummy fruits of summer!  Cherries, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, Saskatoon berries, and watermelon!

Listening to: The "Hot Country" playlist on Spotify.

Reading:  I am currently between books (although my new books are in at the library today!) so I have been basically catching up on blogs.  Here are some of my favourites:

Celebrating:  I got some medical test results back lately and got some good news.  It was nothing super serious, but the good news was welcome. 

Dreaming:  I have been dreaming of planting a few new plants in the garden and a few flowers.  I picked some up on clearance at a greenhouse so now I just have to figure out where to put them.  I didn't buy at the beginning of the season because we weren't going to be home much.  Plans have changed a bit so I felt comfortable purchasing a few plants.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Inexpensive Ways to Survive Trips With Your Toddler- Day 12

I have made a lot of long trips with my toddler lately.  Some have been pleasant, some not so much.  Here are the things I have learned:

1.)  Have snacks in toddler sized containers.  I keep a small bowl in the car that I pour Miss. E's snacks in.  It helps to keep the mess down and the she seems to make the snacks last longer that way.  I pack the snacks from home so I don't have to purchase anything on the road.

2.)  Leave at a time that works for your toddler.  I had been trying to leave earlier in the day because it was easier to arrive at our destination before supper.  It made for horrible trips with my daughter.  Miss. E is a high energy kid and she doesn't actually nap at home.  She does, however, start to get tired in the afternoons.  She will also sleep in the car in the afternoon.  Unless I have to leave for an appointment or make an event, I leave after lunch.  This way, Miss. E can burn some energy off in the morning and sleep the first couple hours of the drive.  (Our drive is 6 hours long.)

3.)  Stickers.  Miss. E loves stickers.  The general consensus among the toddler moms that I know is that most kids do.  I stopped at Dollarama and picked up an inexpensive book of stickers and a notebook.  It amazes me how long she will sit and stick her stickers to the book (and herself!).

4.)  Sing songs.  Miss. E loves songs and can actually sing quite a few on her own.  We sing songs together.  The sillier the song, the better!  It is a great way to occupy time and it doesn't cost a thing.

5.)  Spotting animals out the window.  This doesn't have to be animals, necessarily.  It could be buildings or clouds or anything else that you may spot on your trip.  Miss. E is obsessed with cows, right now.  I live on the prairies, where there are many ranches.  Cows are guaranteed on our drives in the Summer and Fall!  I like to point out cows on Miss. E's side of the vehicle.  She also spends time "searching" out her window for cows.  It is always exciting when she sees one!  This game is free and Miss. E really enjoys it.

How do you survive trips with your toddler?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Monday 11 July 2016

Weekend Recap- Day 11

We had a really fun family camping weekend with Hubby's family.  We went to Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park (link here) in Saskatchewan.  It was a wonderful time.  Miss. E LOVED the beach.  It took Hubby and I a few minutes to convince her that walking barefoot on the sand was fun, but after that she had a blast!  She happily went in the lake and built sandcastles (or sand-cities) with her Daddy and Uncles.  She played so hard and had a wonderful time!  It was great!

City Building is serious business!

Hubby and I at the cabin.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Happy Sunday- Day 10

We are travelling back from Hubby's family camping weekend today.  I hope you all have a restful Sunday.  I will leave you with my favourite Psalm.  It is the Psalm that first comes to my mind whenever I am having a tough time.  It reminds me that I will find all that I need through He who created me.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.  He leads me in right paths for his name's sake."  Psalm 23:1-3.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday 9 July 2016

How to Keep Your Home Show Ready- Day 9

I live in a small town.  We have been trying to sell our house for several months to no avail.  There is very little for work around here so people are moving away and there is an abundance of homes for sale.  Most of my showings have been on short notice.  With stiff competition, I like to keep my home ready to show at any time, or at least in 20 minutes!  Here is what works for me:

1.)  Have fresh flowers in your home.  I try to keep fresh flowers in our home at all times.  I keep a small bouquet or single flower in the living room and bathroom, with a larger bouquet on the kitchen table.  Flowers brighten up a space and make it look polished.  I don't spend much money.  I just grab a medium bouquet at my grocery store and split it between the 3 locations.  The bouquets usually last 2 weeks.  I just pick out any flowers that are wilting and rearrange!

2.)  Stay on top of your dishes.  I try to do dishes right after each meal.  Home buyers don't want to see dirty dishes in the sink or stacked on the counters.  We have limited counter space in our kitchen and I really don't need anything crowding it up.  If we have not time to do dishes, I quickly rinse them out and stack them neatly in the sink, but that only happened once!

3.)  Have a fast and easy place to corral toys.  I live with an active toddler, who doesn't really understand the concept of putting things away.  She is slowly becoming better at it, but still only picks up when she is instructed to.  So, inevitably, her bedroom and my living room usually have toys scattered about.  In Miss. E's bedroom we have a large toy box that used to belong to Hubby.  In the living room we have a large basket with a lid on the ladder shelf and 3 smaller baskets on the T.V. stand.  These locations make it quick and easy to put toys away in less than 5 minutes!  I don't organize anything, I just toss the toys in and we are done.  I try to curate the amount of toys that Miss. E has.  I have either packed away or donated the toys that she has outgrown.  This helps keep the chaos under control.

4.)  Put things away when you are done with them.  Honestly, this one sounds like common sense, but how easy is it to toss the mail on the counter and forget about it?  Or throw an outfit over a chair instead of hanging it up?  I used to be terrible about this!  I like to keep a clean and organized home, however, I used to just take care of all of it at night, after Miss. E was in bed.  This made for stressful and exhausting evenings.  I have learned to put things away as I am done with them.  I credit part of it to wanting to have the house show ready, but also partly because of the Kon-Mari method.  (An update is coming soon!)  Just file the mail as soon as you get home.  Hang the outfit back up.  You truly have the extra 30 seconds, I promise.  It will make life so much easier!

5.)  I stick to a cleaning schedule.  I vacuum my floors quite often and I stick to a cleaning schedule so that nothing looks dirty or dusty.  People can't see past dirt!

6.)  I have a quick checklist as I am leaving the house.  When I am pressed for time, I try to do what is most important.  I tidy up, straighten the beds (Miss. E thinks that it's fun to crawl under the covers once the bed is made), take out the garbage (no one wants to smell anything funky!), open the curtains (let that natural light in!) and wipe down counters.  This checklist helps me make sure that I am not forgetting anything that may jeopardize the showing.

How do you keep your house looking it's best?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Friday 8 July 2016

High Five For Friday- 08.07.16

This has been a really great week!  Here are the top 5 moments of my week:

1.)  Camping with my family was a blast.  My brother surprised me with a visit and I was thrilled!  Miss. E had a lot of fun and I ate a ton of camping treats!

2.)  Our raspberry bushes have started producing.  Miss. E and I enjoyed picking some and eating them this week!

3.)  We finally did Miss. E's 2 year old check up after rescheduling twice!  All is well and she did a great job at the doctor's office.  She loves to tell me that "Doctor checked my ears!".  She thinks it is hilarious!  We had a quick lunch before the appointment and she sat so well by herself in a 'big' chair.

4.)  I had some time this past weekend to dream up some ideas for our backyard.  I am sure Hubby is looking forward to implementing them!  Ha ha!

5.)  I have freshened up my blog's look and I have been learning some new things.  I am a bit of a slow learner, but I think I am slowly catching on!  Ha ha!

Have a fabulous weekend!  If you want to join in H54F or check out some great posts, click the link below!

Thursday 7 July 2016

A New Look - Day 7

As you can see, I have been playing around with the look of my blog.  It was kind of fun and frustrating at the same time.  I am not that tech savvy so everything takes a lot longer than it should!

I did my new blog header on Canva, which was surprisingly easy to use.  I hope to play around with everything else they have to offer when I get a chance.

That's it for today!  I spent too much time playing around with my blog look and not enough time writing.  Oops!

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Favourite Camping Treats! - Day 6

I love food.  I have always been able to eat a lot, so it is no surprise that I look forward to all the yummy treats that camping has to offer.  Hubby and I try to keep things simple when we are camping and we like to try to make food over the fire or on the grill.  This past weekend we were at my parent's cabin and got to enjoy some great treats!  Here are my favourites:

S'mores- Upgraded!  My friend and I were texting this weekend about our obsession with S'mores.  She texted that she had made one with a Caramilk and it was delicious.  I had access to Reese's Peanut butter cups, which was so delicious in S'more form.
For a basic S'more, you place a piece of chocolate on a graham wafer, add a fire-roasted marshmallow, and top with another graham wafer.  To upgrade, you can swap out your piece of chocolate for any chocolate confection that you would like.  I would suggest using something that is fairly flat and that will melt, to obtain gooey perfection!

Bush Pies  These little guys are the most versatile camping food that I know.  I should have snapped a photo of this one, but, you know, the toddler was needing attention and I was HUNGRY! Ha ha!

We own a bush pie iron which is what you use to make these bush pies over the fire.  You need 2 slices of bread.  Spread butter on 1 side of each of your bread slices.  Place the bread in the iron, butter side down.  This is where things get creative!  The possibilities for bush pies are endless!  You toast the bush pie in the fire, until the sides of the bread are golden and crisp.  (Think grilled cheese...)

I like to make pizza bush pies for lunch.  We put pizza sauce, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers and cheese in our pizza bush pies.  They were soooooo delicious!  Yum!

For desserts we put a spoonful of pie filling in our pies.  Cherry is my absolute favourite.  Hubby likes blueberry.  I like to shake a little white sugar on the pie before I devour it.  It is so good!

Hot Chocolate with a Roasted Marshmallow  It was rainy and cool on our first day at the cabin and I needed something to warm me up.  Normally, I really enjoy marshmallows on my hot chocolate.  I also love eating roasted marshmallows.   I decided to blend the best of both worlds.   It just made sense!  The end result was delicious and super yummy.  I would definitely recommend trying it.

What are your favourite camping treats?

Monday 4 July 2016

Favourite Authors- Day 5

I love to read.  I used to read everything and anything that I could get my hands on.  I read poetry, classics, Shakespeare, non-fiction and my favourite: light, fun reads.  In recent years, I have found it easier to stick to lighter reads.  I can switch gears easier when Miss. E needs my attention, which is important in this season of my life  I do like my books to have some substance and I really enjoy faith based reads.  Here are my favourite authors:

1.) Denise Hunter-  These books are romances and have a little suspense thrown in.  I am currently waiting the next book in the Summer Harbor series.

2.) Cathleen Armstrong- I am waiting for her next book.  I hope there is one!  I have really enjoyed her novels so far.

3.) Jan Karon-  I have fallen head over heels for the Mitford Series.  Katie from the Cup of Tea blog had mentioned the series in a video and I decided to try the series.  I am so enjoying it!

4.) Irene Hannon-  Irene mostly writes suspense novels with a romance thrown in.  I so enjoy her books and I often have a hard time putting them down!

5.) Dee Henderson-  Dee Henderson was my first foray into the Christian Fiction category.  I read all of her O'Malley series and I really enjoyed them!  She has some more recent books, but I don't love them quite as much.  The newer books are still decent, though and I do like them.

What are your favourite authors/books?  I am always looking for new ideas!

Places I Would Love to See in the USA- Day 4

Happy 4th of July!  I actually have an American connection.  My Grandma was born in Iowa.  Her parents moved to Canada when she was young.  I hope all of you have a wonderful day and a safe holiday!   In honour of the 4th of July, I thought I would tell you some of the places I would love to see in the United States.  I have been to the States a few times, but there is always more to see!

1.)  New York City-  I used to dream of living there!   Ha ha!  It might me a little too fast-paced for me, but I would like the chance to visit and see all the sights.

2.)  Maine- I read a lot and a lot of novels are set in Maine.  The scenery sounds beautiful and I would love to see it for myself!

3.)  Portland, Oregon- This one is specifically to see Powell's bookstore.  I am such an nerd and love to read!  This bookstore is the largest in the world and has more than 1 million books!  Gah!  I would love to see it!

4.)  Disneyland, California-  I would love to take Miss. E when she is a little older.  I went to Disneyland with my family when I was a kid and I was absolutely enchanted.  I think she would love it!

5.)  South Carolina-  A lot of my blog friends seem to be from here or near here and I would love the opportunity to meet some of them in real life!  In addition to that, South Carolina seems beautiful with a lot to offer.  The architecture, history, and scenery alone would be a big draw.

Have a happy 4th of July, my friends!
This flower totally reminds me of a firework!

Sunday 3 July 2016

Day 3- Gratitude

When life is good and when life is hard, I always take the time to thank God for all that I have.  We are told that it is important to keep a heart of gratitude at all times. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (Thessalonians 5: 15-18)  It certainly makes life's storms easier to weather and it helps keep our hearts open to the glory of God.

This Sunday I am grateful for many things, but I thought I would list a few:

1.)  Wonderful time spent with family this long weekend, including my brother!  I haven't seen him in a while and he surprised me with a visit!  It was so awesome.

2.)  New opportunities and the trust that things will work out.

3.)  Miss. E feeling better and acting much more like herself.

4.)  Nice weather for travelling.

5.)  The support and fellowship of good friends.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday 2 July 2016

Day 2- Dollar Tree Haul

I headed to the Dollar Tree the other day.  I didn't know we even had Dollar Trees in Canada.  Perhaps they are new to us?  I was so excited by what I found!

I grabbed a binder and small file folder that I needed.  I bought the Hello notebook and Canada Day themed pinwheel on a whim.  I snagged some awesome flashcards for Miss. E and an adorable Elmo book.  I also found a magnetic weekly planner!  I am so excited.  I plan to use it for my weekly meal planning, just like my friend Whitney at Come Home For Comfort.  The best part of all?  I hardly spent any money!

Friday 1 July 2016

High Five For Friday- Happy Canada Day! (Day 1 of Blogging Month)

Happy Canada Day!  My beautiful country turns 149 today.  For this week's H54F, I have decided to tell you about my 5 favourite places in Canada!  I am going to count them down:

5.) The Yukon-  This territory is filled with magic.  I went with my family when I was 11 years old.  We got to go gold panning, admire the wildlife (bears, sheep, and moose) and experience the midnight sun.  It doesn't get dark in the Yukon in the summer.  It is a really cool thing to see!

4.)  Calgary, Alberta-  We love this city!  There are so many great things about it, but my favourite place to go in Calgary is the Calgary Zoo.  I LOVE visiting the penguins, gorillas, giraffes, and hippos.  Miss. E loves the meerkats!  The city has great food, shopping and beautiful parks!

3.) Banff, Alberta- We go to Banff almost yearly.  It is a beautiful town nestled in Banff National Park.  The mountains are breathtaking!  We like to do mountain hikes, go skiing, enjoy the great restaurants, and shop!  It is such an amazing place to visit!

4.)  Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island-  We visited Prince Edward Island when I was 10.  It was absolutely enchanting.  My Mom had read the Anne of Green Gables books to me when I was little and I was enthralled.  We dragged my Dad and brother to every Lucy Maud Montgomery historical site on the island, including Green Gables itself!  (The author based her books on an actual house).  We saw the Enchanted Forest and strolled down Lover's Lane.  I loved every minute of it!  The Island also boasts beautiful red soil, delicious seafood (lobster, anyone?), and awesome historical sights.

5.) Manitou Lake-  This place doesn't have a link because it is a small, alkaline lake in Saskatchewan.  You can't fish in the lake (nothing lives there except the Manitou Monster) and there has been little for development in the park.  My parents grew up in neighbouring towns and they put a cabin at the lake when we were kids.  We used to go all the time!  It is my happy place, the place where I can always find calm.  My parents have fixed up the cabin and we love to take Miss. E out there.  It is my favourite place in the world.

Have an awesome holiday weekend!  If you want to join in the link up, please check out the lovely ladies below!  This is my 1st day in a month of blogging and I hope you stop back to see some of my posts!