Monday, June 15, 2015

Berry Good

We went berry picking at Krause Farms on Saturday with some friends from work and their kids. We met up and hard their waffle breakfast and they were absolutely delicious. I think Sacha finished his in 39 seconds. 

There weren't too many strawberries left, it was an early season this year and I also don't living hunching over to pick them so we moved over to the raspberries.  We stayed for a playground and the parents did berry wine tasting. I ended up buying an unoaked bottle of apple Riesling. It's delicious. I find the other ones a bit too sweet for my taste. 

I made an ice box cake with the strawberries and it was one of the best things I've ever made. Mixed whip cream with vanilla and a bit of sugar. Add macerated strawberries and then layered whip cream mix between layers of graham crackers and chilled it all day. Oh my goodness was it delicious. There is none left and I made a big dish of it. I'll definitely be making this again this summer. It's so simple too. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Crossing the Pond

On Saturday, Sacha had a swim up ceremony for Scouts and is now officially a Cub.  He also completed his White Tail program and received a Bronze Beaver Award, which is a huge crest for his campfire blanket and a bronze beaver pin to wear on this cub uniform.  Alice also "crossed the pond" and is now a Brown Tail, but she officially starts in September. Not that she hasn't been attending most meetings all year long, as a BIT (beaver in training). She just now gets to wear the hat and vest. Sacha is most excited about passing his knife safety lesson to get a pocket knife. He's already informed me that he would prefer a Swiss Army Knife over another kind. I'm hesitant to let him own a knife, I wonder if I can get away with a multi-tool. 

Andrew and I have both been sticking to our Fitbit program. I am getting to the point where I am thinking of upping my daily steps to 7000 but am hesitant because the weather has been cooler the last couple of days. I'm not sure I'd be so successful when the temperature is at 30, like it's supposed to be this weekend.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Bit of Fitness

For Andrew's birthday last week, I got him a Fitbit. I got one for myself as well because we both need some to major work on our fitness/health.  We both love it!  I've found out that on days that I work, I only take 2500 steps unless I make an effort to do something afterwards. It tracks sleep too and I've also discovered that I usually only get five and a half hours of sleep every night. No wonder I'm so tired all the time.  It keeps me conscious of everything. Steps, sleep, calories in/out, water consumption. I've lost 5lb since Tuesday.  I know Andrew is down too.  I'm really hoping that this is not just novelty and we can keep it up. 

From 2008-2011, I managed to lose 70lbs. From 2012-2015, I managed to gain back 60lb.  I know a huge cause has been stress as much as anything because I haven't changed to way I eat in that whole 7 year period.  I have gone through dry spells in exercise. It's hard to add it to the day when work is hectic, kids activities have me running around everywhere and even just having to be in the house while they sleep. It's gotten to the point where I am finding things more difficult to do because of my size. And that's not good. It's time to take care of myself. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kindness of Strangers

We had the coolest thing happen to us last night. It was Andrew's birthday, we had packed up and come down from a weekend at Bowen and thought it would be a good night to go out to dinner.  So we went to Milestones. Their spinach and artichoke dip is one of my favourite things ever. 

Sacha was having a bit of a rough night. The crayons were colouring too dark!?! Which led to him cracking them all in pieces and dropping the on the ground. <insert eyeroll> He turned things around pretty quickly but our order was pretty slow to cook which is always tough for the kids to be patient. 

Anyway, at the end of a really good dinner, Andrew had the prime rib, I had the Marassa Chicken and the kids both had chicken strips, I asked for the bill. That's when our waitress told us that an anonymous person had paid our whole bill but that she shouldn't tell us until we asked for the bill. It was totally out of the blue! What an amazing treat! It's something I've read about on the internet but never heard of it in real life. And on Andrew's birthday too. 

We've been trying to figure out who it could have been. A stranger treating a family with young kids? Someone who approved of how we handled a couple of kids who could have gone into full on brat mode in a restaurant but didn't. Or possibly someone who knows me from work? An alum that I helped out with transcripts for university? It's just such a puzzle. 

I definitely want to pay it forward. I'd have to pay it forward somewhere where dinner is a bit cheaper though. Or wait until we have a bit more spending money. Like when the kids are done college. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Will DOB

It's this time of year again. We've been so busy over the last 10 days. Alice is getting ready for her end of year ballet performance. We have Beaver activities most weekends. On Mother's Day, all I wanted was to stay home and watch tv and do nothing and Andrew was going to take them out so I could do that. However, after the 5:50am happy mothers day wake up, I only watched one cheesy romantic comedy before I was convinced to join the family at Fort Langley. The kids both got to practise shooting air muskets. Sacha's getting pretty good at it. 

On Tuesday, Sacha and I went rock climbing with the Beavers.  I was really proud of him. He did not want to go up. At all. And no one pressured him to do it. One of the rock climbing instructors convinced him to put on a harness, just for photos. He was totally fine with that, until some of his friends started climbing. He then had a huge panic attack. Crying, clawing to get the harness off, begging to go home, calling himself an idiot. We got the harness off him and that was fine, again, until he saw his friend Nate clinb up and touch the top, then he wanted to put the harness back on. He had a second panic attack. It took me and 2 other leaders to talk him into getting hitched up to a rope but he did it and he even got about 6 feet up a wall. Everyone was so proud of him. It was great. 

You can't tell from this picture that his shirt is just soaked with tears but I'm pretty sure he's ready for Cubs now. Their motto is Do You Best and that's what he did. 

Monday, May 04, 2015


This weekend was my work's big fundraising fair. I found a couple treasures this year, including some racehorse prints, a miniature trebuchet and a giant area rug, which really ties the living room together. 

I kind of ignored the kids this week. On Wednesday night I went to see Nick -Offerman's  show with Chris, James and Derek. The show was mediocre but it was a fun night out anyway. We were out again on Friday night, I bailed before everyone headed to the club. I'm not made for late nights out. Plus, I had colunteered to face paint again for the fair this year. I feel like I had the squirmy kids this year or my hands were shakier. Still fun but more difficult to get the results I wanted this year. 

On Sunday, the kids and I spent all day together. We had a nice lunch at white spot, a play in the playground and 3 trips around on the miniature trains in Burnaby.  I took a video of the last go round and added a song with iMovie. But the file is so big now, I can't send it to show anyone and fb took it down because of copyright infringement. ��

Oh well. I know it's cool. 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Phone Zone

I bit the bullet last week and bought a new phone. Upgraded from a three year old iPhone 4s to an unlocked iPhone 6. So far I love it. I have added back all the old apps that I had to cut because I was constantly running out of space on the old one. It also stopped charging on anything but an ihome base, which was fine on week days because I have a base at work and beside my bed. So I always had some charge. On weekends though, out and about, it wouldn't charge in the car. It also had a fun quirk of dropping from 30% to zero. Or one phone call that lasted more than 10 minutes would drain it dead. My contract doesn't run out until July, but I'm looking forward to shopping for different options, especially us roaming plans, because I just got a nexus card for the kids and myself. It was a complex appointment for them. My multiple names and dual citizenship. Sacha's dual citizenship and about 6 different names that he has had, from birth name, legal name and transliterated legal name on Russian documents. Fun times. 

The other weird thing with an upgraded phone is that when I got my first iPhone, I was so thrilled with it. It was like nothing is ever had before. I'm ridiculously addicted to my phone but trying to cut down. Anyway, with this new phone, is sparkly and new and fast but I'm tainted with the thought that in three years, is going to be a doorstop like the last one. Oh well. Maybe it will help shake my phone habit.