Friday, August 31, 2012

foodie pen pal

a few weeks back, i stumbled upon a friend of a friends blog- in it, she mentioned how she had signed up to be part of a foodie pen pal swap. the general idea is you spend $15 on a selection of a few cool food things- whether it be local treasures, some of your favourite snacks or a random smattering of yummy treats, and you mail it to the person you are paired up with! so cool, right? especially for someone like me who LOVE food and loves getting mail!

this month, i got a delicious parcel from carol over at . here is a breakdown of what i received!

1 - coco libre organic coconut water - carol mentioned this was one of her favourite treats. i somehow missed the whole coconut water bandwagon, so im really excited to try this once its chilled!

2 - nutri crunch hemp seeds -  i am snacking on these as i type! SO yummy! they are seasoned with himalayan salt and organic kelp and are the PERFECT fix for my afternoon crunchy/ salty craving! yippy for new favourite things!

3 - apple larabar - always a nice treat when you just need a little pick me up. i haven't had the apple flavour before, so thanks for this new adventure!

4 - camino organic fair trade golden cane sugar - this is a staple in our kitchen and we were starting to run low, so thank you for saving me a trip to the grocery store! love this stuff!

also included was a sweet handwritten note on a christmas card (haha!) brought a smile to my face. what a wonderful little package! thank you so much, carol!!

if you are interested in learning more about the foodie pen pal program (or if you want to sign up to be part of it- do it!) visit the lean green bean website to find out all the details. it was really fun and so neat to pick out a few of my favourite things and receive someone else's in return! i will likely take a break from it this month (i just figure we will be a little busy with wedding stuff) but i really look forward to taking part again in the coming months.

if you want to see what i sent to my foodie pen pal diane, you can visit her blog HERE.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

life lately (according to my iphone)

as it always does, summer has swept in and taken over our lives. like most people this time of year, we are busy! the funny thing is, i cant really tell you what we have been up to. nothing too noteworthy, just lots of outside time - farmers markets, parks, pools, zoos, hanging out in the front yard... time with friends, family and LOTS of time preparing for our little wedding! (44 days away - how did that happen!?) as fast as summer sneaks in and steals your heart, its seems she is on her way out again. the days are shorter, the evenings and early mornings crisper, and i have already spotted a couple of yellowing trees. but right now - lets just be in the moment and love every warm, sunshine-filled day we have left.
watching the thunder storm
LOVED the new penguin exhibit at the zoo
this is YEAH YEAH - finn adopted him from the zoo
running around at the skatepark

having a water break under the ramps with mama
finn's auto shop open for business
science centre fun
i think our teepee needs a revamp!
the housing coop finn and i built
a room filled with rice = little boy heaven! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

building an oven

we have a couple of wonderful friends who run a small business in calgary called dirt craft natural building. ashley and heather offer hands-on natural building workshops, including earth ovens, rocket stoves, small structures and earth plasters. i have wanted to take a cob oven workshop with them for quite some time, and the first class i registered for i ended up coming down with the flu and had to miss - but yesterday was my day!! my friend paula and i finally got to join in and learn the in's and out's of building with cob - a 100% natural mixture of clay, sand, straw and water. We were able to help be a part of constructing a beautiful outdoor oven with our bare hands (and feet!) and learn a little bit more about sustainable and natural building techniques during the process. so incredible!

(thanks to paula for the first two pictures- you can follow her on instagram: @eco_bee)
mixing the cob up. feet work best. 

thermal cob balls 
paula working on the thermal cob layer
paula working the insulation - clay slip mixed with wood chips. 
cobby hands 
heather perfecting the insulation layer
the beautiful oven drying in the sunshine
an honest days work 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

yarn wrapped pipe cleaner words

i have been seeing yarn wrapped pipe cleaner words all over the place lately - first on pinterest, then over at ohdeardrea - but got my final push to try it out after my blogger friend chloe posted a really cute 'saves the day' lyric inspired diy on her site. i definitely want to do something with this for the wedding - i'm not sure what yet, but figured i would start with something little for a first attempt. a surprisingly easy project that just take a bit of patience. enjoy!

step 1: gather some pipe cleaners

pardon my dirty floors and chippy toes. 
step 2: twist a bunch of them together and form your word (it doesnt need to be perfect - its going to get all muddled up when you start wrapping it in yarn and once its all wrapped, it's much easier to form the letters and get them to stay in place)

step 3: gather some yarn - you can use lots of colours or just one. i went with the ever exciting- grey.

step 4: start wrapping around the pipe cleaners. once done, rework the letters and - taa-daa!! there you go! 

step 5: hang it somewhere! easy, right? 

and a random picture of finn being a cool dude. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

a few really good books for kiddos

i kind of have a thing for children's books. finn has always loved reading so whenever people ask what they can get him, after we say 'nothing at all' we usually default to 'how about a book?'. needless to say, our home if filled with many many gems. but i have found there is seriously some crappy books out there. often we leave the library with a bag filled with hopefuls only to get home and find they have all of two words on each page or the topic is redundant and we already own at least 8 other books just like it. long story short, i have always loved when people share their favourite children's books - we have acquired many of their recommendations and loved each and every one, so i figured i would share a few of ours.

xo - happy reading!

little owl lost by chris haughton - a sweet story about a baby owl who falls out of his nest and loses his mama. all the forest animals come together to help him find her.

what i be by michael franti- a beautiful book with a heartfelt message of love, gratitude and living life to its fullest - written by singer/song write/ amazing human being, michael franti.

when you were small by sarah o'leary, illustrated by julie morstad - this book is so sweet! and the beautiful illustrations make it a special treat for audiences of all ages. there are several books created by sarah and julie - we have and LOVE each of them (and have given them as gifts on more than one occasion.)

f is for fiddlehead, a new brunswick alphabet by marilyn lohnes - this book takes your through the letters of the alphabet linking each to facts, traditions, and history of the province. being that jeff is from new brunswick, its really neat to be able to share some of its wonderfulness with finn. (they have a book like this for each province- fun for sharing canadian tidbits with the littles.)

the busy beaver by nicholas oldland - a tale with a nice environmental undertone - a careless beaver on a path to destroy his home sees the err of his ways and makes cute steps the change them. of course mama loves this one. :)

hooray for fish by julie cousins - super pretty pictures and a nice flow to the story - we find this book really engages finn- he loves pointing out all his favourite fish (and giving kisses at the end!)

Toes in my nose by sheree fitch - this book actually belonged to jeff as a child and was passed along to finn by his great aunt. it is filled with really cute rhymes which finn loves- so much so we have memorized pretty much every page. its an oldie but definitely a goodie!

note: for convenience sake, the links for most of these books is through that being said, if you are lucky enough to have a local bookstore in your community, get out and support them! definitely head there before ordering online or running over to the big-box store. they will often special order things in for you, and being able to contribute and support your local community, and in turn, local families, is awesome!  

see round 2 of our favourite books HERE