Friday, September 30, 2016

Nova Scotia 2016 Part 2

How is it already Friday? I was convinced on Wednesday that it was actually Thursday, hence why this post is a little bit tardy. I've actually had it ready to post on Wednesday for some time...Oh well! Friday post it is!

We were having a great time in Nova Scotia as a family and our vacation wasn't over yet! On Wednesday morning we picked up my parents at the air port! It was so nice for Sam and us to have them there to visit with. It really does make the trip. We stay up late every night playing competitive rounds of Euchre.

Ryan and I actually hosted cousins and their 2 year old daughter for supper and Mom and Dad went out for supper downtown Halifax.

The next morning we were up and ready. The boys were heading out to get new hats and lunch while the girls (myself, mom, Barb (cousin) and Vicki (cousin) loaded up and headed to a cute little store called Lola's for shopping and then out to lunch! It was so good to get some girl time in with these ladies and it still remains one of my highlights from this trip!

That evening we loaded up supper for Sam and ate in the boat while touring and looking for pirate ships! Sam really loved the boat rides! He thought all the sail boats were pirate ships and he would point out everyone. I would make up crazy stories and names like the tail of "Captain Red Jacket". It was a blast. We would go in, Sam would go to bed and we'd grab supper and then play more euchre! 

Friday morning we decided to stay around home. Sam wasn't allowed to get his ear wet so we didn't venture to the beach this trip. But we realized something, we don't have to! We went to Mom and Dad's beach EVERY day, even for 5 minutes. Friday morning we loaded up snacks, toys, towels, chairs and drinks and spent the whole morning at the beach and had a blast! Sam wadded in the water with his trucks, Ryan and I both went swimming, and Nana and Sam build a few sand castles. We spent hours down at the beach and it was a big highlight of the trip! 

Going with routine, we got ready for our last boat ride of this trip. Captain Sam had his supper packed and we enjoyed one last tour around the Bay. 

When booking this trip we decided to fly home Saturday instead of Sunday. This gave us Sunday to relax, get groceries, do laundry and get prepared to go back to our regular schedule. So, we booked an evening flight home on Saturday which I now think is my favorite time. We could get up and not rush! Do laundry, pack and Sam even got a great afternoon nap in before we had to leave for the airport! 

The flight home was just as good as the flight there with thanks to Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse! 

It was an amazing 10 days with my boys in one of my most favorite places in the world! I love Nova Scotia not just because of it's beauty and tourism but what makes it so special for me is getting to see extended family. So despite a little ear infection, this was a wonderful family holiday! 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Getting Ready For Hibernation

Happy Monday everyone! It is a frigid day here and it is looking, smelling and feeling like Fall! It kind of crept up on me being that just a little over a week ago, we were basking in the sun in Nova Scotia. 

We knew we had some work ahead of us this weekend and we were ready to tackle it! My brother and his family are gone and I have been enjoying spending some extra time with this fur ball when they are gone. It REALLY makes me want to get a big dog but we'll hold off for a while! 

We actually had to work on Saturday morning but thankfully Sam was able to come with us. We packed up breakfast and lunch to go and headed off. Sam was actually pretty fun to work with and it was just a quick job. 

I had pre-ordered my groceries from Walmart and so we swung by and grab them. I also had to run in to grab a couple things for my Sunday School lesson and Sam loved looking at the Halloween Costumes. 

Sam ended up having a dandy truck nap! We wore him out with the free child labor work he helped with! He slept HARD for about 1.5 hours. 

We stopped at Ryan's parents for a quick visit before heading home to unload groceries and then relax. 

Sunday morning I knew was going to be a busy day so I was up early with my coffee and to work! First I got about 1/4 of my frozen garden tomatoes simmering for a sauce. This is an ALL DAY process. It goes from this....

To this yummy sauce in about 12 hours...
It's a pretty plain tomato sauce base and I freeze it in batches either for spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce. I doctor the base with more herbs for spaghetti. 

We headed to church where I was the Sunday school teacher this week! I was pretty excited for my lesson and even though I only had 1 kid, we had a lot of fun putting the craft together for himself and some friends! Sam loved it too.

We got home for a quick lunch and then worked together in the garden pulling up the carrots. Sam loved this job. Once it was done he went down to sleep and we kept working and clearing out the veggie garden. It's a big task but a good one to have done before it gets too cold! We had such a successful garden. Virtually no waste and so many yummy treats that we'll enjoy all winter long. Our garden isn't very big but it gets us A LOT of fresh produce. And funny enough while I am glad to see it gone for the year and will like the break, I am already anticipating and planning for my 2017 garden.  

I got a text from my brother to go and pick some raspberries at his place because they don't want them to go to waste. So I headed over and picked all the ripe ones. I got a huge bowl full and threw them in the freezer for smoothies! 

I spent the rest of nap time making break and cookies for Ryan's lunch. I also started on cleaning and peeling the carrots. 

There were a few cool looking ones! You never know what is growing underneath that dirt. 

We had grown some regular and glass corn this year and used the stocks to decorate the porch. I also grew some squash and pumpkins just to use for decorating! 

The only thing I was missing was a square bail. So I texted my farming neighbor/friend and asked if they had any. And if so, if they'd be willing to barter. After supper (spaghetti, of course), I loaded up a basket of goodies to trade. Homemade bread, jam, pickles, a little knitted dish cloth and 2 company hats. It's nice to share some of your produce with great friends. 

And it was a successful trade! 

I was feeling kind of tired by the time we got Sam to bed so I opted to just chop and blanch the carrots I had already peeled, which was only about 1/4 of them. Hopefully I can get the rest done throughout the rest of the week! 

So much got accomplished around the house. I love that feeling on Sunday when you get lots of stuff done. I am glad the gardening season is over and now I can work on some of my other favorite hobbies during the winter months! 

How was your weekend? 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Nova Scotia 2016 Part 1

I think I am back in routine and the vacation hang over is over! People keep asking how our trip was. And I keep answering the same. "Amazing and very relaxing! It was so nice to spend so much time together". 

Because that is true.  I don't think before I left, that I realized that I actually missed Ryan and Sam. Sure, I'd see them every day but with the busy season, it was rarely quality time. 

We were a little nervous flying out on Thursday as it would be the first time Sam had his own seat on the plane. He loved it and watched Paw Patrol the whole time. It was actually kind of relaxing as Ryan sat with him on the way there. 

We had flown at Sam's nap time so for the 30 minute drive to my parents cottage, Sam had a little nap. He was clearly very excited to be in Nova Scotia. 

One very stress free thing about traveling down is that my parents have a dodge van and a car seat there so we get to travel light! No hauling a car seat through the airport! 

We arrived with some surprises for all of us. New trucks to play with for Sam and some liquid treats for us! 

It was so nice to sit back for that first hour unwinding from the plane ride and airport chaos and just enjoy the view. Vacation had started! 

We really kept it low key our first night. Hung out at the beach and ordered pizza in for supper! 

The next day we vegged around all morning, went for groceries and then relaxed and napped in the afternoon. Cousins Tasha and Gavin were coming over a for a games night! I was SO excited to see them and Sam loved the extra attention. 

When Sam went to bed we had a "snack" style supper. We could grab a little food in between visit and games! We played Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity. Next thing I knew, it was 2 AM!!! It was a late night but we had SO much fun visiting with them! 

The next morning we had a big breakfast before Tasha and Gavin headed out and more visits with cousins from down the road! 

We were invited to another relatives (yes, I have ALOT of family there) for a corn boil! There were TONS of family members and it was so awesome that we could be there for this gathering. It was at my cousin Ted's who has this beautiful home with an amazing view. Sam's little cousin Lily was there and the two little ones had a blast playing way passed their bed times. 

We got home around 8:30 and Sam promptly went to sleep. Ryan and I settled for a little movie date. Around 10:30 PM Sam started crying and then proceeded to be awake and crying until 4:30 AM. It was rough. He kept complaining about a sore ear so we had a feeling we'd be headed to see a doctor Sunday morning. 

Thankfully, Nova Scotia has these awesome walk-in clinics. So we were in and out (and only paid $32 for out of province) in less than 2 hours. Sure enough, Sam had gotten his first ear infection and he also had a tear in his ear drum that was likely from having an ear infection and flying.  

It was a quiet and low key Sunday. We had actually had plans to attend another party with more family but had to decline. Instead we hung around the cottage trying to keep Sam eating and happy. Went for walks, beach visits and boat rides. 

It was a quiet and early night for us all. 

Monday we really wanted to get out of the house. The best part of my parents cottage is that you know its not going anywhere so we feel no pressure anymore to see the sights and sounds of Nova Scotia all in one trip. We have vowed to just relax and try and see ONE attraction each visit. 

We opted for Ross Farm Museum because it wasn't too far from the cottage and it was something of interest to us. Sam was clearly thrilled.... 

It was very quiet there being that it was off season and a Monday. We pretty much had the run of the place ourselves. It's an old fashioned working farm with original barns and houses. We love this kind of history. It was a great place to visit with Sam because he could run around and look at the animals. 

We even got to go on a horse drawn wagon ride! 

We got dropped off far from the main farm and while you can take the wagon back up, we decided to take the 20 minute nature trail by the water! It was REALLY cool and well done. 

We got home for nap and then relaxed. Ryan and I tried to make every evening when Sam would go to bed a date. This night we had left over snack foods and played rummy and then watched a movie.

Tuesday my Mom had actually booked me a massage in the morning. For a whole hour I enjoyed some peace and relaxation. It was amazing! The boys played and Sam got a bike and I got back shortly after lunch. 

When Sam woke from his nap we decided to take the 20 minute drive to Peggy's Cove. We didn't get too close to the edge. We mainly went because I had spotted a new cross necklace at the Pewter store there last year. I was hoping during my birthday or Christmas that Ryan would gift it to me but no luck. Thankfully, they still had it! It's very plain and small but exactly what I love. Nothing too fancy to wear everyday and only $21! 

We went to one of our favorite spots, The Finer Diner which is only about 5 minutes from the cottage. We had hardly eaten out since being there and decided to treat ourselves. We were TOTALLY those parents who let their kids watch Paw Patrol on the Ipad while we waited for our food. Sam still wasn't feeling 100% better and it was what kept him happy and occupied while we dined. 

Seafood chowder and tea biscuit 

And my first snack of fish and chips! YUM! 

That night we made a couple homemade Caesars and played more cards and watched another movie! 

We were having such a great time so far despite the ear infection and we still had so many days left....

Stay tuned for part 2!