Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Watermelon Sprouting

gardening, growing watermelon, sprouts, indoor seedlings

I really enjoyed growing my own strawberries and tomatoes last year.  So much so, that when I saw some seed kits at the local store I decided to buy some.  There were many offered (tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, zucchini and watermelon)

I decided that I would try the watermelon and strawberries (I enjoyed the berries last summer, but the plants produced very small berries - definitely not enough to replace buying them throughout the summer).

I bought the kits last Monday, got them ready on Wednesday and today, a week later noticed that the watermelon had started to sprout! The berries have as well, but they are so tiny it wasn't showing up in a picture.

Do you grow any of your own food?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Minion Cake

Like many kids his age, Mr. J really likes the Despicable Me movies, and of course the Minions are a big part of that liking.

When we were brainstorming ideas for this years cake raffle at his school, a Minion cake was at the top of our list.

It's fairly simple to make and only takes a little bit of trimming to get the correct shape.

1) Bake your favourite cake in a 9*13 pan
2) Allow cake to cool
3) Freeze (not necessary, but will make carving easier)
4) Once frozen, use a knife to trim the corners so they are round

how to make a minion cake

5) Start with 4 cups white buttercream and tint 1.5 cups yellow, 1 cup blue and 1/2 cup black - reserve 1 cup white
6) Using your knife, make a mark where the yellow and blue will meet
7) Frost the upper portion yellow and the lower portion blue
8) Pipe the goggle outline
9) Fill in the goggle with white for the eye
10) Pipe in the black pupil on the eye and any additions you may want to add (hair, smile, buttons)

despicable me, cake, minion, how to make a minion cake

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My First Time. . . . . #bconnectedconf

My first time attending a blogging conference

This past weekend was filled with firsts for me.  My first blogging conference, first time meeting a lot of the bloggers in person that I chat with online, and the first time being away from Mr. K overnight.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Family Game Night

board games, game night, family time, scrabble jr

When I was young, my family played board games, card games and dice games all the time. Monopoly, scrabble, rummoli, yahtzee, spite and malice were all regular additions to our kitchen table.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Konrad, I Will Find You {book review}

Book Launch, Konrad I will find you, review, jennifer perlin, jay lutes, children book
To celebrate the release of Konrad, I Will Find You there is a book launch party! Details can be found in the photo above - I will be there with my family to enjoy the activities and listen to the book reading.  Copies will be available for purchase as well.

"Konrad, I Will Find You" is written by Jennifer Perlin (a local blogger) and illustrated by Jay Lutes. It tells the story of a little boy that is experiencing some separation anxiety about starting school, and the questions he asks his parents. He is worried about getting lost and them not being able to find him.

I really enjoyed reading Konrad, I Will Find You.  It is a book that is very easy for me to relate to, having been through separation anxiety with both of my children. I found familiar images playing through my head as I read through the story.  It's a quick, easy read and a great book to share with your kids if they are worried about being away from you (whether it is overnight, at daycare/school or with a babysitter).

The illustrations are great also - the pages are filled with details that you would expect if you were to walk into someones kitchen or down a school hallway (scenes in the book)

Konrad, I Will Find You will be available for purchase at Tag Along Toys or through Another Chapter Publishing

Monday, April 7, 2014

Awesome Children's Books From Raincoast Publishing

My kids love books. They are happy to read the same book over and over, but they are always THRILLED when new ones make it into the collection.  A few weeks ago we had a package delivered from Raincoast Publishing and Mr. J was very excited!

We hurriedly went to the kitchen table to open the envelope and see what books we had received! 

Our package contained 5 books:

1) I didn't Do My Homework Because
A book filled with every excuse you can probably think of for NOT having homework done - excuses that could only be thought up by the imagination of a child.  Mr. J and I enjoyed reading this at bedtime - he thought the excuses the child was giving to the teacher were absolutely hilarious, and then started talking about what reasons people may have for NOT completing their homework.  We settled on 2 being acceptable: you were ill or there was an emergency. Otherwise, he said that you have to do your homework.  Mr. J is really starting to improve with his reading now, and this was one that he was able to read with me.  He had trouble with some of the words, but the sentences are short and the book is an easy read.

2) Lately Lily
This is a book that takes you around the world on travels with Lily (she accompanies her parents on their trips).  The colours in this book are so vibrant and the illustrations are great.  This one didn't hold the kids interest though - I think perhaps better suited to a slightly older age group (8+) than my boys.

3) At The Same Moment Around The World
This one was a great book to talk about time. It goes through the hours of the day, and the fact that at the same moment, there are different countries/cities that are experiencing a different hour of the day. At 5 o'clock here in Ottawa, it is 2 o'clock in Vancouver (the book doesn't use these cities, but we did to help him understand a little better) He thought it was really interesting that when he is getting ready for bed, there are others that are waking up to start their day.  Mr. J (6 yrs) thought it was great, but it didn't hold Mr. K's (3 yrs) attention.

4) Here Comes Destructosauras
This book is about a child's temper tantrum when he can't find his favourite toy.  Of course, kids wouldn't make this connection as the illustrations show a dinosaur destroying a city.  Mr. J didn't make the connection at all, but I definitely knew immediately what was going on and had a little chuckle. Both the kids (ages 3 and 6) enjoyed when I read it to them, and it has wonderful, detailed photo's.  

5) Busy Bunny Days
This one is by far the boys favourite.  You follow the Bunny family through their day with the chance to find different scenarios throughout each section.  Both kids enjoy looking at this one and finding the different characters through the different themes. They love to look and find, and they make it a race to see who can find Benny the Badger first!  

All of the above books can be purchased online or in-store at Indigo Kids.

How would you like to add the above titles to your home library?  If you live in Canada and want a chance to win, simply fill out the form below. Closes April 21 at 9PM (est). Good luck!

April 7th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

giveaway, linky, monday madness, enter giveaways, list giveaways
Welcome to the April 7th Monday Madness giveaway linky!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Clean And Sweep Cash Giveaway #CleanSweepCash

Welcome to Spring! Not sure what your weather is like, but ours isn't very spring like around here. How would you like to win some CASH to help you buy your spring cleaning/organizing supplies?  I have joined together with some awesome Canadian bloggers to bring you this Spring giveaway!

Simply fill in the form below (follow the directions) and enter for your chance to win! Contest is open WW and closes on April 30 2014.  Thanks to Downshifting Pro for getting this giveaway organized!

Good luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Come Party With Me - Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UBP14

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Well folks, it is that time of year again! The Ultimate Blog Party 2014 is happening right now - why don't you join me while I party?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring #backyardfun giveaway!

playhouse, water table, giveaway, spring time, backyard fun

I am so excited about this giveaway! I have teamed up with a GREAT group of bloggers to bring you this #backyardfun giveaway.  With the snow melting, and the nice weather starting to make an appearance, it's that time of year we start to think about our backyards and outdoor play.

April 1st - April Fools Day

Today is April 1st, which is known as April Fools Day.  Growing up, I took great pleasure in switching the sugar in the bowl for salt - and watching my father's face as he drank his coffee.

Of course, my uncontrolled giggling had him on high alert, and even though I did the same thing EACH year, he always played along with me.

I am not big on April Fools Day pranks (mostly because I am not good at coming up with ideas for them).  I love to see/read/hear about other pranks that people play on their families, friends and co-workers.

Will you be playing a prank this year? What are some of the best you have done or had done to you?

Spring Cleaning 2014

It's another post for the Canucks Content Carnival! This month is all about Spring Cleaning. Have a read through my post and then visit the rest of the blogs linked up below to see what they have to say!

Spring has sprung and it's time to get to cleaning! I always find that by this time in the year I am itching to get the windows cleaned and opened up to air out the house. I also like to clean every inch of my kitchen. It's a time to purge (as I am putting away winter clothes I transfer my oldest's outgrown to a drawer in my youngest's room and then the younger ones get boxed up and donated or sold) As I am going through their spring and summer clothes I take inventory so I know if we need to buy more (I try and stock up during end of season sales, but sometimes they outgrow what I have bought)

I go through my own closet and see what I didn't wear and get it ready for donation as well; it's a time to go room to room and de-clutter. We pack up toys that they don't seem to play with and pass them on or throw out broken games.

It's a time to get the back deck organized for patio season (bringing up the table and chairs, cleaning the bbq, re-setting up the gazebo - it is steel, so up all year, but we re-hang the netting and curtains).

I clean out the water table and play house and get them ready for another season of playing, although this year the play house will likely be sold as it wasn't used much last year. We pull down all the outdoor toys and bikes and organize the garage to store them for the summer.  We tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer (playing with chalk, bubbles, picnics in the back yard, trips to the park etc) so it's nice to have everything in one spot so we aren't running around looking for items when we decide to head out.

As I am cleaning out the bathroom cupboards I check to see what kind of sunscreen supply I have and organize the bandaids (for the inevitable scrapes and cuts my rambunctious boys are destined for)

What does spring cleaning look like to you? What is the one area you focus on the most, or the one chore you cannot stand doing?