Saturday, April 30, 2011

May is on its way!

Today is April 30th, and although I am sad to see it go, I am soo excited about the up coming month! May is the 1st time I am going to have sponsors, and I have a great group of gals who are already working on some guest posts and thinking up things to give away. That's right, Newfoundlander at Heart's first ever give away will be in May (there might even be more than 1), and I will finally open my Etsy Shop... yay!

May is also a birthday month, both my mom and my dad celebrate their birthdays - only 13 days apart!

Also, in May I head down to the Canadian Congress on Leisure Research, in Brock, to present research I did on my second home: Gros Morne N.P., Newfoundland and Labrador. I will give you a little more information on that later.
And, finally, May is when I go back to my job at the provincial park near-by. I run all the outdoor education programs and activities and I love it!

What are you looking forward to in May?

Friday, April 29, 2011

No Power, No Problem!

Yesterday we had a crazy wind storm. And, shortly after I finished my second last spring cleaning post we lost the power. I had planned on using my new sewing machine all day long, but I obviously could not when there was no power. I spent the day cleaning and reorganizing storage areas, such as our bookshelves, and my craft storage. And then in the late afternoon I decided I would need some water (we are on a well, and without power the water doesn't get pumped into the house), and I drove into town to my in-laws to get a couple jugs of water. I had the candles and camping lanterns ready to go for when I got home.
Luckily we have a gas stove, so with a couple matches I had dinner and dishwater on the go! A pan for grilled cheese, a small pot for pasta, and the large pot to heat some water to clean all the dishes I made during the day. It was much like camping! :)
And just as I was about to sit down with my candles and work on some hooked mug rugs, there was a beeeeep. And the power was back. Oh, well I guess it is back to lights and background noise. The quiet throughout the day was a very welcome change. However, once the power came on I managed to get a little sewing in, before making some cookies for a snack!
Did anyone watch the Royal Wedding this morning? I caught the tail-end and then some highlights, very classy. I was impressed! :)

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning: Sewing Space

This is my second last spring cleaning entry, and then I plan on moving to the garden - permanently! lol I meant to post this on Sunday, and then on Tuesday I got a lovely surprise, so I'm glad I waited. Here is what I started with:
A vacuum, a stereo that is not in use, a file folder, a printer that we never use, weights, and general clutter. And, the sewing machine is not even in this photo! I put the vacuum downstairs, along with some of the larger items, cleaned away the crafting supplies that I am not using, filed the papers/bills into appropriate places (some of them the recycle bin!). It was a pretty easy clean. Take a look:
The desk is looking a little rough from here, but it is solid wood, so we will keep it and likely give it a little TLC. I decided to keep relevant things close, so we have odds and ends for current projects (elastic, unfinished shoe beanies, and silica beads), as well as my great-grandmothers (? I think) sewing basket. I got it when I was just young, and have never been able to part with it!
My little storage container that I actually use, and some very relevant sewing tools: scissors, measuring tape, fading tracing marker, and stitch ripper (not that I ever have to rip out any stiches, lol).
And now you are wondering what surprise I was alluding to earlier... Remember my trip to Fabricland a few weeks ago? When I spent $7 on fabric? Well since it was their birthday celebration they were having a huge sale, and a draw. So when I paid for my fabric, the woman at the desk asked me if I would like to enter the draw. I said sure, filled out my name and number, walked out and promptly forgot about it; until... I arrived home on Monday afternoon with a message to call Fabricland. So I did and the associate told me I won a sewing machine. Excuse me? a what? My brother and father have always been the lucky ones in my family. I hardly ever win anything. I. was. ecstatic. Here is a photo of my mom's old sewing machine, that she let me have when I became interested:
A Sears Kenmore, from the 1970s. It is an antique, and so far has worked fine for everything I have used it for. I just found out recently that the bobbin winder doesn't work. I took a peek at a few new machines online, and decided I couldn't afford one. After all I heard from everyone that I should put a little money into it, or it would just break. And remember that sneak peak from yesterday?
That is my winnings! A new fancy sewing machine. A Janome 2160 QDC. A brand I have never heard of before, but seems to have a good rep in the world of sewing. I think the QDC stands for quilting (as it comes with a quilting kit) and decorative (it does some 60 stitches, a few of which are very fancy and embroidery like). Anyways, I love it, and I am so excited to get sewing. All those projects that I have been putting off, will now get completed - I have no excuse! And, as Crystal said: "your machine is so fancy you will be able to press the 'dress' button and it will just go ahead and do it", lol. I don't think it is that easy, but pretty exciting none-the-less.
Have you had any wonderful surprises lately?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tweet Tweet

Yesterday's sky was dark and dreary with the threat of rain. Despite the impending doom, I spent most of the afternoon outside cleaning up the front yard. Reggie and I have a rather large yard, and it is separated into three sections. The front, which faces the road, has a few spruce trees, a decorative tree (I will find out what it is called, and let you know), two very large pine trees, some lilacs along the driveway side and a small garden in front of the house (looking very drab here). All this to say, it is quite a bit of work to get it cleaned up. And as I was trimming the decorative tree (it kind of looks like a mini weeping willow) I noticed this:
Can you see it? We will move in a little closer:
Don't worry, I did not touch the eggs, or even the nest (thank goodness for zoom). But aren't they sweet? Two perfect little eggs, just waiting for spring to call 'tweet, tweet'. After I snapped a couple photos I noticed a mama bird doing some crazy dive-bombing, and loud chirping; I quickly moved away. I think she thought I was a predator. Don't worry mama bird, your eggs are safe in their nest in my tree :)
Speaking of birds, Polly over at Pixie Mama is running a promotion at her etsy shop. She is offering a free pair of earrings with every necklace purchased :) Just purchase the earrings and necklace you'd like, and in the message to seller put code "riverfun" and she will refund the cost of the earrings! Check out her shop here, she has some super cute little owls and things!

How is our Tuesday so far? Find anything interesting in your garden?

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Wonderful Easter Weekend

I had a very busy but wonderful weekend, which is why there was no spring cleaning post yesterday. I will do one later this week, and my last one on Sunday - May 1st!

Reggie and I decided since we had some time off together (which doesn't happen very often) that we would go check out the cottage. Our plan was to go up Thursday night, and head back early Saturday morning (I had to work). Then we heard that there might still be some ice on the lake at the cottage, and thought going up, just for the day would be a better idea. So Friday morning we got up early, packed the truck, hooked up the boat and drove north. Once we go about an hour north of here, there was some snow on the ground and ice on many of the lakes still. We decided it was a good idea to go up just for the day. The cottage is a bit of a trek, and when we got to the end of the road that is plowed in the winter time, look what we saw:
 And where we hoped to launch the boat... lol
We decided to hike the road, which made for a long but very enjoyable day!
We stopped in at a friend's cottage. You can see Reggie and Gunner past the water slide, on the end of the dock. :)
And when we arrived at the cottage, Reggie went to the dock to see if he could safely get onto the ice to do some ice-fishing (since the boat was out of the question). And Gunner decided to test the water. Gunner is only 8 months old, and had only ever waded in the water, but being a Labrador Retriever after falling through the ice he swam himself back to the dock, where Reggie helped him out. I don't think I have seen Gunner happier - built to swim! We spent a couple hours eating our lunch, relaxing and drying in the sunbeams, before walking back to the truck.

Reggie looks impressed doesn't he? It was a wonderfully exhausting day, and I look forward to another soon! For a contrast in scenery, we headed over to my parents on Sunday for a family dinner. Gunner had a great time visiting with my cousins little boy, who was equally excited to meet an energetic puppy! It's amazing how captivating sticks can be when you are only 15 months :)
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I'm looking forward to a few days of crafting and blogging!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From The Box: Easy Coleslaw

The Good Food Box is available in cities throughout Ontario. They purchase fruit and veggies from local (or as close to as possible) farms and suppliers and distribute all around Ontario. I purchased my Good Food Box from the local health unit for $15, and look at all that I found inside:
  • potatoes
  • apples
  • oranges
  • onions
  • rutabaga
  • cabbage
  • green onions
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • strawberries
  • not in photo: lettuce, cucumber

I was super impressed! Look at all the great food I got for only $15! I want to check the actual prices of the fruit and veggies and compare to what I paid, but I guarantee it would have cost a lot more. So with all these tasty treats I am going to try some new and interesting recipes, and I will of course share with you! First up:

Easy Coleslaw
2 cups    cabbage, sliced
3            baby carrots, thinly sliced
1            green onion
2 tsp      fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp    mayonnaise
2 tbsp    plain yougurt
2 tbsp    salad dressing (your favourite)
dash      salt and pepper
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Thinly slice the cabbage, baby carrots, and the green onion, combine with the cilantro, mayo, yougurt, dressing, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes and cranberries on top, and enjoy thoroughly!

It was so good, and super quick! I love meals (or sides) that come together in minutes. :)

Have you tried anything new recently?