Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's Catch-Up

Today I have a little catch-up post, to check in with my sponsors and see what they've been up to recently. Take a look at all the interesting things they have going on, and be sure to follow the links over to their posts!

I've been pretty busy lately redesigning my blog, filling my Etsy Store with some new goodies and enjoying the last days of winter with some trips to the snow. The next few months are the busiest time for my Red Parka Designs so I've also been ordering plenty of stock and beginning to make things for the Christmas markets. Winter is pretty sleepy here in Tasmania but spring is on it's way - time to wake up!
~ Jen

Our summer has been filled to the brim. We've been spending lots of time in our garden and canning lots and lots of tomatoes. We've also been racing against the clock to finish building our egg mobile before our hens are in full laying mode (we gathered our first two eggs this past week). Our family is also gearing up for homeschooling in just a couple weeks. We've managed to put together a complete curriculum from materials we already have on hand, which has been a huge blessing. Be sure to keep up with all that's going on in our lives by visiting our blog, A Heart for Home.
We've also recently opened up sponsor opportunities on our blog and would love to share our growing platform with your blog or business. (We've had over 20,000 unique visitors in the month of August alone!) Check out all the details here.
 ~ Allyson

Well over here I'm sad that summer is coming to an end.  I'll have to go back to work, and Wesley's returning to school and into grade 1 and my little 3 year old Nate is heading into JK! Where has the time gone? But the change will also bring with it fall and my 2 afternoons a week to come home and enjoy some me time and focus more on my blog, shop and self!  I'm really excited.  Hopefully I can get to the summer to do list that seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle of keeping 2 little boys busy!
~ Tara

It seems it has been busy summer for everyone! I hope you are finding time to enjoy it :) 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Packin' Up!

Pip and I are busy packing up today! We are headed West to visit my parents and their cottage near Georgian Bay and then up to Reggie's family cottage, near Algonquin, over the weekend. Reggie will be bear hunting for a good part of the weekend, but Pip and I are looking forward to sunny skies, sparkling water, and fewer responsibilities than at home! The last time we were at Reggie's family cottage (pictured above) he had just finished putting the deckboards on the new deck! So now Pip and I can sit outside in the shade without having to lug everything down to the waterfront. Oh don't worry as soon as Pip goes down for a nap, I'm in that gorgeous water for a quick swim!

We will likely be away until September 4th, but don't worry with the Blog Party starting on Saturday I have a few posts planned in my abscence... it's like you won't even know I'm gone ;)

I hope you have wonderful weekend plans wherever you are!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Did You See Summer Passing By?

I know, technically there are still a little over three weeks of summer left; but really if I were still in school I'd be wrapping up my summer activities and getting ready to head back to the books. Luckily for me there isn't such a harsh finality to summer these days. I can continue to enjoy warm afternoons, pretty sunsets and local fruits and veggies for a little while longer. Pip and I will be headed to my parents cottage later this week, and then on to Reggie's family cottage for half the weekend and a few extra days and then I'll come home to a whole new month. My favourite month in fact, it is my birthday (2nd) and wedding anniversary (24th) as well as the beginning of my favourite season! Fall here we come.

So although Summer has really flown by this year, I have been to lots of cottages and done a fair amount of swimming and relaxing, and I am ready for September and the beginning of fall!

Not to mention September 'round these parts will be pretty spectacular! We are having a little blog party with some fun link-ups, giveaways, sales and fun fall inspired posts. If you've been meaning to contact me about being involved you still have time! E-mail me: nfldratheart[at]gmail[dot]com for more info. Also, what a great time to become a sponsor, lots of space available. See the ad shop below for more info! :)

Thanks so much for spending the summer with me, here's to fall!


Monday, August 27, 2012

The Vision Behind Red Parka Diaries

I have a wonderful lady for you to meet today. She writes a sweet blog full of colour and creativity, read below to learn a little more about her and sign up to win one of her beautiful prints!

You can find Jen here:

Jen's shop Red Parka Designs is filled with colourful, cute designs that are definitely worth a peek! And today she is giving away this sweet print:
This A4 print is from an original illustration by Jennifer Skelly of Red Parka Designs. It is printed on archival, cotton rag paper and will be sent to you from Tasmania in a cello sleeve with stiff cardboard to protect it. See it here.


We are gearing up for a great Blog Party in September! Interested in participating? E-mail me! nfldratheart[at]gmail[dot]com :D

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When the Web goes Out

Today the internet was down at our house, and I was amazed at the amount of time it created. Pip only sleeps for about 30-40 for his naps and although he has a few of them I often run out of time. But today, with no internet available to check my e-mail, browse a few posts in my reader or catch up on twitter I had so much free time (for a person who hangs out with a 3 month old!).

So while Pip was napping, and without the internet I managed to: vacuum upstairs and down, do the dishes, tidy the kitchen, water the plants, finish four (small) sewing projects that were sitting around for ages, fold and put away laundry, and eat... I always need some time to eat. But it really made me realize that perhaps I don't need to spend so much time on the computer, and with that free time I can do... well, just about anything!


Monday, August 20, 2012

September Party!

I'm not sure if you've heard or not, but September is my birthday, my wedding anniversary and the beginning of my favourite season, so...

I'm having a party!
And you are invited!!!

There are going to be lots of fun things happening, and if you want to be part of it please let me know! Here are a few things that will be going on:
  • Giveaways
  • Guest Posts
  • Fall themed decor, craft, and recipe ideas
  • Flash Sales and Discounts at various shops
  • And a little sneak peak at some birthday and wedding photos from days gone by
If you are interested in helping out with any of the above e-mail me nfldratheart[at]gmail[dot]com and stay tuned here on the blog to find out more specifics about when things are happening. And feel free to spread the word, the more the merrier!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Unexpected Love

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments and messages I received after my post yesterday! I am so glad that my slower posting pace and less structured focus hasn't turned everybody off! It feels really good to be able to share what I want, when I want to! So big hugs and kisses to all of you!

And perhaps a little catch-up! How is your day/week/summer going? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you have been up to and a link to where I can find you and I'll try to make some time to come say hello. My reader is totally overflowing with unread posts and I get overwhelmed every time I try to get caught up, so I figure this is a better way to find out what is going on in your world!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rules, or Not!

I read a post recently that kind of opened my eyes a little. It was all about the rules of blogging, and how these 'rules' are not necessarily so. It got me thinking a little bit, about when I first started my blog; back when I wanted to share my Newfoundland experiences with everyone, and worried less about number of posts, sponsors, content, etc.

Since Pip was born, I find myself blogging a little more like I did when I first started out over a year and a half ago, and at first I worried that some followers wouldn't like it. And then I noticed a few people stopped following, and I was sad for a minute. But I realized, I enjoy my blogging more if I am talking about my life, my experiences and the things I love to do. That is why I started my little corner of the internet in the first place! So I'm happy to say that I have come (almost) full circle; I blog when I want to, and when I have something exciting to share. Not because I have committed to a certain number of posts per week (also, having my time consumed by tending to a mini person might have had something to do with it). And I am so grateful for all the people who do stop by my little blog, and sometimes say hello!

So thanks for sticking around, and I will continue to share bits and pieces of my life - crafting, baking, preserving and of course my beautiful family! And I will try to bring a little Newfoundland flare back to the blog, because I feel like I am losing touch (perhaps it is time for a visit!).

I hope your weekend is going wonderfully!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pip Update: 3 Months

 From the eyes of a sweet little Pipster

Oh my how time does fly :) I'm already 3 months old! I can hold my head up on my own, and roll onto my side. I can sit up with a little help from pillows and when mama holds me I like to stretch my legs out and stand. Just you wait, before long I'll be running with the big kids. Let's see, what else did I get up to this month... I visited with family, and got to out my toes in the sand.
I also managed to match my thumb to my mouth. Both mommy and daddy were thumb-suckers, so I might as well be too.
Started wearing big boy pjs, only sometimes though. And I love to lay on the couch and wiggle and smile for mama!
I got some hand-me-downs from my uncle Tim, like my hoodie? Do you think if I wear his baby clothes I might grow up to be over 6'6" just like him? (I think my mom and my dad hope not)
And another photoshoot with Molly. I don't know why she has to be in the photos, but mom seems to think it's cute.

There has also been lots of family visits, trips to the market, helping mom make jams and pickles (she says she knows she owes you a post about it), yoga classes and all kinds of fun things. I can't wait to see what next month has in store, I heard something about a hunting trip... ? I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baking Challenge: Chocolate Berry Tart

The Baking Challenge started with a recipe posted by a good friend. She was unsure of how to decipher a recipe in a thrifted church cookbook, and I took it as a challenge to try it out. To see all The Baking Challenge posts, click here. And please join in and try out any that seem enticing!

Also, if you have any challenges for me please comment below or send me an e-mail. I'd love to try something for you!

Today's treat is unexpected I know, but a couple weeks back I wanted to make a dessert for a family dinner, and just happened to have all the ingredients necessary for this delicious looking tart.
It is another Canadian Living recipe, thank goodness for that magazine and all the great recipe ideas! I changed it a little bit by only adding raspberries and blueberries, and my ganache was a little runny, but it still tasted delicious! I know it looks a little intimidating, but follow the recipe, and you will have a tasty tart staring back at you in no time!
And a little tip, when pressing the crust mixture into the pan it is helpful, I find, to use a flat bottomed object such as a glass to even out the surface. That and the baking time suggested in the recipe is likely a little long, I would watch the crust and opt to pull it out of the oven a few minutes early next. And ohh indeed there will be a next time!
In case you missed my hints above, you can find the recipe here. I would suggest giving it a go. Even my nephew who is particular about which desserts he eats, ate every last crumb on his plate! :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

In the Garden: Enjoy it!

Since we are in the height of the summer and delicious local veggies are abundant I thought I would share a simple recipe using some of the freshest ingredients. Tomatoes and basil came from my pot garden, and the cheese from the grocery store.

Caprese Salad

2-3 tomatoes, local and fresh for the best taste
Fresh Mozzarella (you can find it at your grocery store, it is also called bocconcini)
6-7 Basil leaves, fresh from the garden

Slice the tomatoes and cheese to equal thickness. Wash basil and remove leaves from stem. On a plate alternate tomato and mozzarella, adding basil among the other ingredients. To finish drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy!
I have seen this done in a bowl instead, cut the tomato and cheese into chunks and if interested add chunks of cucumber and slices of red onion. It is a fantastic, fast salad, full of flavour for the summer season!

Have you ever tried it before? What is your favourite salad?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Toes in the Sand

Pip and I just had a little vacation and spent almost a week visiting with family, many of whom live on the other side of the country. It started out as a trip to the cottage for the long weekend, as I found out about more family who were here visiting the trip got longer and longer. We left last Thursday and got back last night, went to four different towns/cottages and visited lots of people! Pip even got to put his toes in the sand and the water. It wasn't his favourite, but he didn't scream!
So we had a busy extended long weekend, but it was great! And now I promise I will get caught up on posting! I have baking, preserving and gardening posts all to share. And depending on how things go I might even have a little sewing to share :)

How was your weekend, long or not?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just for Mom

I found out recently about this great giveaway going on over at Boys oh Boys, and I thought since I'm a new mom it would be nice to help out and co-host this event in order to spread the word to other moms out there. Check out these great items, and be sure to visit all the lovely sponsors.

 Who wouldn't love a reason to do a little selfish shopping?
Visit Boys oh Boys
 This sweet package includes: customized printable Invitations, Welcome Sign, Cupcake Toppers, Favor Tags, Banner, 4" Party Circles, and Fancy Food Labels!  Sounds like a pretty fancy party to me!
Visit Sweet Pink Designs

So many moms these days are opting to work from home, this practical guide is sure to put you on the right track, or answer any questions you might have!
Visit Our Milk Money

 Beautiful handmade jewelry, and you have the chance to win a Mother's Nest ring in colours of your choice!
Visit Monkey-do's Boutique
 Wear this super cute bracelet, and think of your little one. Customize it with a name or word of your choice!
Visit Woven Memories
This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents!
And thanks so much to Boys oh Boys for organizing such a great giveaway :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August... Seriously?

Where has the summer gone? Last time I stopped and looked at a calendar it was sometime in June. And now we're at the beginning of August. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I love the change of the seasons and we are coming up on my favourite month and beginning of my favourite season soon, I'm just surprised at how fast the time has flown :)

If you were hoping to get your name out there and sponsor a couple blogs this month, but kinda forgot, you still have time! You can still get September free when you purchase August. See this post for more details.

Also, I am planning a bit of a blog party for September, to celebrate my birthday, wedding anniversary, over a year and a half of blogging as well as the beginning of my favourite season. If you might be interested in helping out in any capacity (giveaway, hosting, promotions), please let me know. You can comment below, or e-mail me!

And finally, the winner of the Celebration Giveaway is....
Chelsea Thom

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and to all the sponsors who offered up an item. And don't forget you still have time to enter This Enchanted Pixie's Giveaway of that beautiful bracelet!