Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Menu Planning - Post summer start-up


It has been an exciting summer, with plenty of travel and activity.  The one thing we haven't had was a routine!  I haven't been menu planning for ages, and I have definitely noticed.  Meals were random, "Let's see what's in the fridge." was a common phrase heard around here!  Now that fall has arrived it is time to get back into our routines.  I have loved the effect that menu planning has had on our life, so that is where I am starting!



Wednesday- Stir-fry with leftover steak


Thursday- Borscht


Friday- Left-over Borscht


Saturday- Homemade Pizza



Sunday- Chicken and roasted potatoes


Monday- Spaghetti and meatballs


Tuesday- Roast beef and vegetables


Now, I'll make my grocery list and I'll be set for the week!  Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam - YUM!

My husband stopped by the grocery store today to pick up milk.  He forgot all about the milk when he saw the great deal on strawberries. $1/lb.  He brought home 8 pounds of strawberries!  I knew that if I didn't do something right away, many of these strawberries would go to waste. Wasting strawberries is practically a crime, because these ones are REALLY GOOD.  So I removed the tops and washed them.  All 8 pounds of them.


This is only a few of our strawberries!

Then I decided I would freeze some of them, and I should make some freezer jam.  I had recently read a post about strawberry freezer jam over at The Frugal Girl.  After reading the post I picked up some special freezer-jam pectin in anticipation of jam making.  So I was ready to begin my adventure!  


The directions said to crush the strawberries, so I chopped them finely and then mashed them a bit with a potato masher.  They looked kind of crushed, so I mixed up my pectin with the sugar and mixed it all together.  Then I poured the mixture into some jars, and voila!  Strawberry freezer jam!  How easy was that?!


Mmm!  Delicious freezer jam!


Hopefully this post will inspire you to try something new today!  I had never made freezer jam before, but it was so easy, and it was definitely worth it!  Thanks to my impulsive husband I now have freshly made freezer jam, and frozen strawberries to put into my smoothies... I can always pick up milk tomorrow, right?


Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day Back... to Homeschooling

So, today was our official first day back to homeschooling after the summer.  Here's a photo of my boys today.




Yes. It was going THAT well.  Fortunately my younger son didn't give me the same kind of grief as my nearing teenage son did.  We did manage to get some math done, some spelling practiced, we worked on dictionary skills and read a story for our medieval study.  I think that took 4 hours!  OUCH!  Hopefully tomorrow the boys will crack down and get their work done in an appropriate amount of time! (about half as much time, or less!)


I hope you have a wonderfully whimsical day!
Alice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Big Idea Festival

Stacy Julian is awesome!  She was the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine, my favourite scrapbooking, but now defunct, magazine.  She is an inspiring speaker.  Her blog is fantastic!  She is super-fun!  She wrote a fabulous book to help scrapbookers store their photos and scrapbook in a stress-free and guilt-free way.  This is just my 10-second list of wonderful things about her.

Stacy's latest project is Big Picture Classes.  At Big Picture she shares her excitement and passion for scrapbooking in online classes, and she brings together other experts to share their knowledge as well.  Some of the online classes are free, some have a fee.  I would highly encourage checking them out!

The class I did recently is called the Big Idea Festival.  Every day, for twelve days, a new word was assigned and a page was to be made.  I am excited to share my pages! (Click on a photo to enlarge.)














All of the products I used are from Close to my Heart.  (If you are interested in ordering please click the link on the right side of the page under my profile photo!)  The paper is from the new Roxie line, and the book is a My Creations Board Book.

This was a great project to get me back into scrapbooking after having a summer off.  I mostly take photos during the summer, then I spend the cold winter months scrapbooking those photos and reliving memories of our life without 3 feet of snow!  Information about upcoming classes that I will be teaching in my workshop will be coming soon!

Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Exciting News: HERE IT IS!

I am so excited to share that today I am a guest post blogger over at Stuff Jewish Girls Like today!!


Here is the link to the blog post.


I would like to thank Jewish Girl for this opportunity to share my story with her audience.  I hope you will go over and read about my adventure to Oshkosh!  (Jonas and I flew there in his airplane last month.)


Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Things

Albertans seem to like Big Things.  We have an abundance of giant landmarks.  (Click here to see a list.)  I had the opportunity to explore some new places in my province last week.  From Monday to Friday my boys went to 4H summer camp.  The camp was a 5 hour drive from our home, so in all of the dropping off and picking up I spent 20 hours just driving - oh boy! (Please read that last comment with heavy sarcasm, thank you!)  


Along the way I visited two towns with big attractions.  Smoky Lake, Alberta is the home of the Great White North Pumpkin Fair and Festival.  The town has a display of some very big pumpkins perfect for a quick photo op.


Then we went to pick up the boys at camp.

awe!

Signing the camp T-shirts.


Now that we had our boys back we stopped in Glendon, Alberta to see the World's Largest Pyrogy.  A pyrogy (also perogy and pierogi) is a dumpling most commonly stuffed with mashed potato.


While visiting the giant pyrogy we decided to order some pyrogy's from the Pyrogy Park Diner.  While we waited my boys played in the park.  (I absolutely loved Merry-Go-Rounds as a kid!)


When our pyrogies were ready, they were delicious!  No wonder Glendon is famous for its pyrogies!


I'd like to tour Alberta to see all the "Big Things."  I don't think I would travel just to see them.  Perhaps I should keep a list, and mark them off as I do my regular travels.  Do you have any larger than life landmarks near you?  What do you think about these "tourist attractions"?

I hope you have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Green Album

I love the Muppets.  Present tense.  I loved them as a child and I still love them as an adult.  My best-ever lunch box had a picture of all of the Muppets on it.


The Muppets were always more than just puppets that sing and make jokes.  I was exposed to new and interesting kinds of music, from Elton John to Alice Cooper.  I sang along with The Muppets music.  I hoped that Kermit would somehow be able to avoid the advances of Miss Piggy, although a part of me really respected her for never giving up.  I learned that sarcasm is hilarious, thank you Statler and Waldorf.   I longed for some of Miss Piggy's fantastic wardrobe, so glamorous!  I found that even though the Swedish Chef didn't speak English I could understand what he was saying.  I smiled and laughed, and my mom laughed alongside me.  That was another great thing about The Muppets, it wasn't just fun for kids.


Today I discovered that a new music album, called The Green Album is soon to be released.  This album brings some of today's great new music stars, like Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore, and combines them with The Muppets' famous music.  Listening to Amy Lee, lead singer of Evanescence, sing "Halfway Down the Stairs", Alkaline Trio's "Movin' Right Along" and Weezer and Hayley Williams' rendition of "Rainbow Connection" made me smile.  The Muppets have done it again.


Sales start next week,  I've pre-ordered mine already! You can place your order from Amazon at the link below. Mahna Mahna!


Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.







Friday, August 5, 2011

Drive By Inspiration

As I was driving home tonight I passed a car and this is what I saw:
DON'T FORGET YOUR IMAGINATION

This put a HUGE smile on my face!  I slowed down so I could pass them again and get a photo to share!

As a kid I loved playing the "How many people can you get to wave to you game" in the car.  As an adult I have fond memories of travelling with some friends and having a conversation with a car full of strangers on the highway, displaying notes just like in the photo above.

Why is making a brief connection with an unknown person so interesting?  I love to chat with strangers in airports.  (Yes, I'm THAT person!! I get it from my dad!) I'm not expecting to become life-long friends.  I just love to find that common bond, whether it is travel, scrapbooking, kids, or who made the cut on American Idol. 

What kinds of things make you enjoy the trip, not just the destination?

Have a wonderfully whimsical day!
Alice.