Thursday, 31 July 2014

I Popped My Cherry

My geocaching cherry that is - I found my first one!  I have known about geocaching's existence for years but I have never felt the desire to do it myself.  Until my friend told me she had gone out and found like eight of them.  For some reason that ignited a fire in me and I went straight to Google, found realized there are some so close to my house.  

What is geocaching, you may ask? Direct from the website:

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

So during dinner one night I started telling the Mr. about geocaching and he tells me he found one at one of his job sites!  One of his job sites is located on a popular trail along the river and geocaches are generally located in parks and other public areas.  I think anyway...

Needless to say I had to find this geocache as well.  So I created my profile downloaded the app and on Saturday Milo and I set out to find our first geocache.  The app isn't as exact as a GPS but it apparently gets you within a 30 foot radius of were the geocache is supposed to be.  I'm pretty sure my friend is just using her phone and she is banging them off like crazy.

I suck you guys.  I totally couldn't find it.  I literally called the Mr. and he had to basically guide me within two feet of the thing.  But it felt great when I did find it!  
The blue dot is you and the green arrow show the geocache location
we found it!  (the small green box on the log)

I added my username and date to the log but didn't have a trinket to leave - I will be visiting the dollar store this week to stock up

Before we found the trinket, Milo got bored of walking in circles
Once you log your find you get a smiley face!
It was so fun and I want to find more!  I even checked and there are a bunch near the lake, including one in the cemetery but I don't think I'll be looking for that one.  I wonder if I will even be able to find one though?  Seriously friends, it was pathetic.  I think a GPS purchase is in my future.

Any thoughts on what I should leave as my signature trinket?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Artichoke Dip

Today I am sharing my recipe for the easiest party please ever.  It is by far my most requested recipe for family dinners, cabin weekends and parties which is lucky for me because it’s ready to serve in 15 minutes.

  • One 14oz can artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • dash of lemon juice

  1. Drain and chop up artichoke hearts (FYI this is the most labor-intensive step)
  2. Mix everything in a bowl until combined.
  3. Transfer to an oven-safe container
  4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips or both! 

Chop artichoke hearts.

Mix everything together.

Pour in oven-safe container and bake.

Serve and take in the compliments. Get ready, there will be many.

What did I tell you?  So easy.  Make this dip for your next event friends, people will love you.  

Monday, 28 July 2014

Weekend Recap: At Home Edition

After work on Friday I dragged the Mr. to our local night market... every Friday and Saturday night from May through September, 20+ food trucks and countless artisans gather to sell jewellery, art, what they think is art and fresh vegetables at the Shipyard Night Market.  I have heard nothing but amazing things and finally managed to drag my husband down there.  As soon as we hit the parking chaos I knew it was a mistake.  I love the man and he tried, he really did, but he hates big crowds and obviously, markets.  Do you have any idea how difficult that is with a wife who loves markets?  Extremely difficult.  But I managed to get a quick walk through and it's amazing, I will for return with someone who gets it, likely my sister B or K.  

the only photo I managed to take on our race through the market

the view at the end of the pier

After escaping the market we picked up dinner (pizza) and headed home to watch a movie (Kevin James so we both laughed) and I polished off a bottle of wine that I opened a couple days earlier for cooking (best excuse to drink wine ever, not that I needed one).

Saturday was yard day.  He mowed the lawn, etc. and I planted a bunch of tomato sprouts that I had been ignoring, and harvested some of the veggies I did manage to plant in May.  After the work was over we enjoyed the sun with a few cocktails.  

garden harvest: purple kale, butter lettuce, green leaf lettuce, HUGE zucchinis, peas and strawberries


Two of my boys

I did a little DIY project

a great ending to a great day.
Sunday was quiet and uneventful.  We slept in, drank baileys coffee while watching Laguna Beach reruns, did laundry and Milo and I managed to squeeze in a trip to the park with Zoe and K.  The dogs went crazy and ran off some energy.  Back at home I was playing around with my camera which didn't go very well because most of my photos are blurry, but I did manage to get a couple good non-blurry ones of my two favourite subjects.

Jinx (my third and final boy) napping on the back porch

Milo napping on the outside bed (it went out one day while we were cleaning and they both love it so it stays out)

And that pretty much sums up our nice quiet weekend at home.  Now we just have to get through the next five days and then we are on our way to the lake for sun, wine, kayaking, family time and tons of fun.  We can't wait!

How was your weekend?
Linking up with Bella and Lisa...
Weekend Recap

Sunday, 27 July 2014

What's for Dinner

For dinners this week I want to use up what we have in the house because... we're going on VACATION!!  Saturday morning at 5am we are heading to the lake for a week of fun in the sun.  To say I'm excited is a complete understatement.  Anyway, I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready for the vacation (pedicure, shopping, etc.) so I also wanted quick and easy.

Sunday: Chinese food.  No explanation really, just pure Sunday laziness.

Monday: The Mr. is cooking chicken and veggies (peppers, onion and zucchini) and will combine it with rotini pasta in a sun-dried tomato pasta sauce.  

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday!  I will cook beef, add taco seasoning and serve with flour tortillas and all the fixings.

Wednesday: Sauteed pork chops served with herb wild rice and broccoli cauliflower topped with cheese sauce.

Thursday: Breakfast wraps: scrambled eggs and maple turkey bacon in flour tortillas.  Using up the eggs, tortillas and turkey bacon before we leave :)

Friday: We will pick something up and eat while we get everything packed up.

So nothing too exciting but it's hard to focus on anything more than getting through the next five days as fast as possible.  I'm not even really sad that tomorrow is Monday!  

What do you do to make the week before vacation go a little quicker??

Friday, 25 July 2014

Oh Hey Friday: Wet Weekend Activities

It has been pouring rain for the last couple days and I'm not too sure what the weekend is going to be like so I have some indoor activities in mind to keep us entertained.

1 |  Go see a movie.   Sometimes a weekend matinee is just the thing to escape the rainy blues and we have been wanting to see 22 Jump Street.  We liked 21 Jump Street and have heard from quite a few people that the sequel is even funnier.  And my movie theatre water bottle fits a full bottle of wine or 3 ciders so bring on the popcorn!

2 |  Bake cookies.  Or cupcakes, whatever you want, just get in that kitchen and whip up something tasty (you can find delicious recipes here).  


3 |  Go puddle jumping.  It might be raining but the dog still needs to go out and how much fun is it to run through puddles?  I love walking in the rain, hearing all the raindrops fall around me and the smell of freshness in the air.  And it is the best feeling to get home, dry off, put on warm, cozy pjs and curl up with a big mug of hot coffee and baileys.  This is definitely going on my list.  And echinacea is going the grocery list because I don't need to get sick.

4 |  Clean/organize the house.  This one sucks but it is something I have to do this weekend, at least in our spare bedroom.  But it's totally worth it because my sister and her fiancĂ© are coming to stay with us for a few days!  Plus I always find something I bought but forgot about so it's almost like a shopping trip...
Not our actual guest room but a pretty darn close representation of it! (source)

5 |  Take an afternoon "nap".  This might be my favourite way to hide from the rain... and you even get some exercise!  Followed by an actual nap.  And then enjoy some of the cookies and cupcakes you baked earlier.  


What are your favourite rainy day activities?

Linking up with Karli and Amy!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

Ok I am super late to this party but I really want to join in on the fun!  Erin over at Two Thirds Hazel has published 2 of these quizzes and I missed out on both of them... third time's a charm right??  

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Survival Kit Essentials

I am a big podcast fan.  My commute to work and back is just over an hour and this chick needs to be entertained during that hour, so this is when my podcast addiction started.  As I explained in this post I was originally obsessed with Jillian Michaels but had to branch out and soon after I discovered the Adam Carolla Show and thankfully they post 5 new shows a week!

So as I am driving to work one day a few weeks ago listening to my podcast I heard them announce a new sponsor called Man Crates, the ultimate source of gifts for men.  I wasn't really paying attention (to the ad not the road!) when I heard him say the crates are delivered with a personalized crowbar to open them.  I wasn't sure if I heard correctly (it was about 7:20am and I don't have coffee until I get to work) so I actually rewound to listen to the ad again and I do not regret it.  You see, I am not a good gift buyer, not for anyone, especially my husband... and our first anniversary is coming up.  I was trying to think of something that I could surprise him with that he would actually enjoy and I know a man crate filled with awesome stuff would be the perfect gift.  Plus he would get to pry it open with his very own crowbar.  Can you say perfect gift?!

I checked out the website and immediately found the winner: The Golfer's Crate.  My husband loves golf and would use everything that comes in the box.

The Golfer's Crate

There are a bunch of different choices for guy type (athlete, gamer, carnivore, etc.) and even one dedicated solely to bacon.  I also found another crate that, with a couple tweaks, would be perfect for my hubby.  So hey Man Crate peeps - any chance you can create the Sasquatch Survival Crate (similar to the Zombie Survival Crate)?  If you can get that online in time for Christmas I will be receiving the Wife of the Year award (and just maybe that new purse I want...).  Please keep me posted.

Zombie Survival Crate

So I was all hopped up on Man Crate awesomeness when something pretty amazing happened... out of the blue (and before I placed an order) the company contacted me about participating in their essential survival kit campaign!  I have been asked to share what five things I would include in my own survival kit if I were stranded on a tropical island.  Maybe this means that they are going to create Awesome Chick Crates (and if they aren't I get dibs)?  Whatever it means I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

These are my survival kit essentials:

Desert Island Survival Kit

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

1 | S'well bottle: my S'well bottle keeps drinks COLD for 24 hours and I have tested this by leaving it in my hot car for hours and even when the bottle is almost too hot to touch, the wine water inside is still cold!

2 | My favourite sunglasses to protect the eyes and hide the fact that I don't have any mascara or other makeup for that matter.

3 | Wine.  Lots of it.

4 | eos lip balm: I am completely addicted to chapstick.  I love the eos ('eggs' as I call them) because it's really hard for me to lose them.  Plus I saw a DIY on Pinterest that uses empty ones as a travel jewelry cases and that somehow makes them even better.  I have a bunch of these all over the place but the blueberry acai is my favourite.

5 | Sunscreen.  I am a big fan of Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer sunscreen, both the lotion and the spray, because they cover really well but don't feel sticky.  I cover myself in lotion first thing and let it set a few minutes before heading out into the sun and then I spray myself throughout the day.  

What would be in your survival kit?

This post was inspired by Man Crates but I was not compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Taste of Tuesday (Pet Edition): Dogsicles

Milo would lay out in the sun all day if he could and as soon as one of us is home we open the back door and he's out.  More often then not he avoids the grass completely and stretches out in the only small dirt section available in full sun.  A couple years ago I found this pin and loved the idea but didn't really want to make one huge ice treat.  So I decided to tweak the concept a little bit.
This is so easy!
I combined 3 cups of water with half a chicken stock cube and popped it in the microwave for about 90 seconds (it was way too hot to turn the stove on!).  Once the chicken (or beef) stock was mixed into the water, I used a measuring cup to pour the mixture into mini muffin trays (I have also used ice cube trays and they work great as well :)

All I needed to whip these up in about 3 minutes!

After 90 seconds in the microwave, I whisked the mixture to combine.

The measuring cup isn't necessary but it makes for easy pouring!
These froze fairly quick but in all honesty I forgot about these for a couple days because it started raining...
Your dog will thank you!

Voila! It takes about an hour for these to freeze and then I just pop them in a bag and keep them in the door of the fridge.  
Milo loves these and I like knowing that he is getting a tasty treat but staying cool and hydrated.
What do you do to keep your furbabies cool in the heat?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Planning Meals & Giving Away Money

After quite a bit of procrastinating (on my part) we finally nailed down a meal plan for the coming week.  We did great last week except for Thursday when working late and a craving for fries derailed the night.  My husband was asking me at 8:30am what we were having for dinner but there is no way I can think about dinner food before noon much less before I get a cup of coffee in me.  

We are trying another recipe I found on Pinterest and fingers crossed it turns out well... it calls for wine so how can it be bad?  

Sunday: I NAILED dinner tonight!  We decided to have the lemon and herb chicken we had originally planned for last Thursday and I served it with wild rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with cheddar cheese sauce.  I once made a cheese sauce from powder for a family dinner with my to-be-in-laws and I was teased mercifully... I learned how to make a cheese sauce a couple days later!!  Anyway, the chicken was delicious and I will be making this again.

Monday: Hubby is on dinner and pasta is quick and easy for him so he will boil some linguine and throw some prawns in a rose sauce.  Throw in a side salad and we're golden.

Tuesday: We have decided to add pork chops into our dinner choices and are trying this recipe that includes a white wine mushroom sauce, delish!

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday: Meatloaf.  And I am trying to decide if I should try and trick my husband with mashed cauliflower or make mashed potatoes for him, cauliflower for me.  That just seems like a lot of work but I haven't made cauli-mash before so really not sure if I can get away with it... thoughts?

Friday: Dinner out!  I'm thinking Greek...

And now that you have suffered through what we plan to stuff our faces with this week - who wants to win some CA$H??
I have teamed up with 16 other ladies who are hanging out on September Farm this month to make someone very happy.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for $235 cash plus some ad spaces from two of my fellow bloggers!  

Good luck!

sparkles + lattes | dream big + buy the shoes
{the farmer's wife} | baby ridley bump | saraphrasing life | flowers in my hair | top free mmorpg
eat drink + be mary | rhapsody + chaos | sugar, spice + everything life | lot 48 | treasure tromp
rad maverix | behind the camera + dreaming | KALIWOOD | September FARM | courtney stitches

Friday, 18 July 2014

Oh Hey Friday, Let's Get Our Treat On

I was catching up on my blog reading tonight and checked on Karli's gender reveal (absolutely love the photos and congrats on another baby girl!) when my eyes landed on this post.  I tried to forget it and kept going through my usual reads while trying to come up with a topic for Karli's new Friday link-up... my mind was blank and of course I hadn't prepared anything and I was scared I was going to have to turn to gifs (again) because I couldn't think about anything except Karli's post!  And then I knew I had to admit what my 'Oh hey Friday' 5 was going to be... five treats that I can't wait to make!
1. Karli's Cupcakes
Made for the family's gender reveal party, these look absolutely delicious and I have no doubt that is exactly how they taste... real butter and extra eggs in the batter and vanilla pudding in the frosting, need I say more?

2. Crispy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Chocolate and peanut butter, the perfect combination of salty and sweet!

3. Brown Sugar Oatmeal Coconut Chewies
My hands-down favourite cookie is soft/chewy oatmeal chocolate chip.  I also love coconut (but I can't stand coconut water, weird).  When I found this cookie on Pinterest last December I had to add it to the Christmas cookie selection even though they aren't remotely Christmasy.  Huge success, HUGE!

4. Bluberry Croissant Puff
This recipe combines yummy buttery croissants, fresh blueberries and cream cheese to make what I am sure is one tasty breakfast.  I am going to try this one at the cabin :)

5. Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
I got this recipe from a colleague and have made them a couple times, definitely a favourite at our house.  The bonus is these are somewhat low fat and made with applesauce and yogurt.  They turn out super moist every time and no one can tell they aren't totally sinful!

I have some great eats ahead of me!  Definitely making Karli's Cupcakes first... or at least the frosting for sure! 

What is your favourite homemade treat?

Linking up with Karli and Amy!