Monday, August 25, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, a glimpse into the summer blur

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Monday: YOYO / Dinner out with Friends
Tonight we have friends in town from Calgary - I'm looking forward to a dinner out with them! After a week away at camp, and then a weekend doing house stuff I'm tired so it will be nice to rest with friends. 

Tuesday: Lifegroup BBQ at Spanish Banks - Hot Dogs!
It's going to be awesome! Hot Dogs, friends and the beach. Ahhhh

Wednesday: Leftovers (from BBQ & Connors Birthday!)
Connor's 6th birthday is Lego Themed - he knows he's having a party but not what the theme is, so that's a big fun surprise! I've been dreaming of lego now for weeks. This party will be at our house in the afternoon - I've got the day off for it and I'm stoked!!!

Then after the party and feeding the house, Paul and I are off for a coffee date with a couple from church - we don't hang out with them often so I'm really looking forward to the time.

Thursday: BBQ - Grilled Veg & Meat

Thursday I have to work on a talk for the following day so we'll have a leisurely BBQ together, then I'll hide away to work.  

Friday to Monday: YOYO
Friday morning I'm heading to speak at a retreat with our church, then in the afternoon Paul and I are off for the weekend! We're heading to Port Alberni until Monday for a wedding and Sproat Lake lounging. I am very excited. The wedding will be great, and the lake will be fabulous. We will also be visiting friends and family and it shall rock. 

We have two students that move in on the weekend - we spent this past weekend getting their rooms ready for them since the rest of this week is busy!

Our sweet student Nagisa left to head home to Japan on Sunday. 
She was a joy to have in our home for 3 weeks!

In Review:
Meals made recently for the first time: Crispy Black Bean Taco's{SLOWCOOKER} QUINOA TEX MEX
The Black Bean Taco's were time consuming but super tasty. I would make them again. Bit house hit & the Slow Cooker Quinoa Tex Mex dish was tasty and easy - especially with some crumpled corn chips. Both will be repeated.

Week in Review:
Camp was amazing and exhausting and relationally fruitfull and so so so wonderful. It was everything one hopes camp will be and more. Hopefully at a time I'm not so tired from it I can expand more but I'll just leave a few shots for you to enjoy - I believe they sum up the beauty of the island and the fun that is volunteering on program staff.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Blur

This week has been HECTIC. Not only has work itself been go go go, but so has life outside of work. And on top of that Saturday morning at 6:30am I leave to volunteer at a teen camp (Anvil, woot woot) for a week. Getting prepped for that is always hectic. Costumes, clothes, extra's. Making sure I leave food and meal plans for the household while I'm gone. Plus working my regular work week plus one extra day, means it's been interesting to fit everything in. BUT I'm mostly packed - just washing some extra stuff, 90% of my costumes are finished/bought/found and I've finished all the camp related admin tasks I needed to accomplish. Which is how Wednesday night came to find me wearing a black pantsuit romper and a miss america style sash. Ahh camp. 

Last week was great but BUSY. We had dinner guests, house visits from perspective tenants (praise the lord we have a full house come the fall - deposits in, contracts signed!), dinners with friends, birthday dinners, dinners with friends, baby shower, church meetings and regular "feed 5 people every day and work 8.5 hours" every day life. Phew! But at least many of those things were fun! The baby shower I went to for my dear friend Emily and sweet Madeline was LOVELY.

Ems and I with the bear I made Madeline - Emily knew from my blog post last week that hers was the baby shower I was attempting to sew something for! I'm pleased with how it turned out!

The birthday party for our friend Stef was also great - Taco Salad, lots of laughter, an evening out by the fire complete with Smore's. Lovely. Also Stefany, as per usual, was glowing.

And of course I got to hang out with one of my favorite babies, Wyatt. That kid makes my heart smile. And my face too, I guess.

As busy as last week was, and as full as a week at camp will be, the following weeks won't be any less busy. I get back from camp on a Saturday morning and have to spend a day revamping a student room - the final one!! Woot woot. Then we'll do some painting for our big family room makeover and do a bunch of laundry from camp. Also a nap will be in order. Sunday will be more work on the new family room, then off to church and a church move! It's our last Sunday is our former space, so we'll be working as a church to move everything over together. The following week is filled with more work on the family room, lifegroup at Spanish Banks, dinner with friends, a Lego Birthday party for my nephew ( so stoked!), speaking at a conference Friday and then off to the island for a wedding and visiting for the long weekend. PHEW. Imma need a nap by the end of it. And most likely a few time in between. 

Looking at this schedule reminds me that it's ok to not do it all. There are things I have to do but there are things that I want to do. And while wanting to do them isn't bad, it's ok to put them off. Like our family room makeover. If for the next little while we only go partway and make it liveable and decent, that's ok. If the makeover itself (all the painting and project-ing) doesn't happen right away, it doesn't really matter. I want a beautiful space down there. It's one of the last two spaces that need a revamp (the laundry room is still just ok, but desperately needs some shining up). I have to give myself permission to not do stuff when I can get away with it or I lose my energy and ability to love people the way I am called to and built to and that is my real life purpose. 

So my sashes for camp are sewed but not written on - we'll do them there, with help. And I'm not leaving fully pre-made meals for my household, but as they remind me, they are adults and if I leave them groceries they are fine. And more than that I've left them menu's and recipes that they'll like and are easy. They are excited. I don't need to be super woman. People can help me. 

And I get to have a fun couple weeks ahead - a week up at camp with people I love, a weekend on the Island (Sproat Lake!!!) and my normal life. It is good!
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Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 12)

--- 1 --- 
It's been three weeks of No Wheat, No Rice, No Alcohol and very limited (like once a week) moments of potatoes and corn. I'm feeling amazing. Less sluggish - even tiredness that remains is from doing way too much with my life. I've lost 8 pounds, which is super awesome and I know I'm making healthy eating choices.  I'm a fan of all this. And it's still not that hard!!!!! 

--- 2 --- 
Last night I headed out with Paul to Tsawwassen to visit my dear friend Rebekah and FINALLY meet her baby girl, Amariah (pronounced amar-eeah). On top of those two great things, we were also going to be having dinner with Rebekah's long time friends Naomi and Chris. I grew to love Naomi during Rebekah's wedding and was stoked to get to see them all. I got to know Naomi really well during the pre-wedding prep - as we chopped and diced and helped make a buttload of food.

There's Naomi and I in the center photo

The last time we all hung we looked like this

And Rebekah and I - since this is a fabulous photo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DIY Headboard under $20

This new blog post THRILLS my heart. I have been dreaming of making a headboard since we moved in. I was going to make one for our bedroom upstairs – actually it probably would have used very similar fabric to the one I ended up making. However Paul and I ended up being given a huge painting that worked really well over our bed and took the place of a headboard so I didn’t get to do that DIY. As I’ve mentioned in some posts we have to furnish three rooms come this month. We had bed frames for two rooms (one beautiful sleigh bed from Lyndsay for our wood room and one frame (no headboard) for middle room)  but only a mattress/box spring combo for the third. We tried it in the room and it looked pretty pathetic without a frame. We looked around for free first (as I always do) or for cheap on CL but weren’t coming up with anything, especially since the mattress/box spring is a weird quarter size – smaller than a double but larger than a single. Annoying! Armed with the exact measurements we set off – nothing at Ikea, nothing at a whole wack of furniture places on Bridgeport BUT when we made our way to Sleep Country Canada (did anyone else sing along with that when they read it?) they let us know that the single/double frame was adjustable and would easily fit our measurements! The frame was only $50. Score! In that moment I knew, this was my moment to DIY a headboard…and I had JUST the material to make it happen.

First up, Paul needed to build the frame. While he did that I ironed the material we would be using. When we were done putting the frame together (parts of it needed two people) we then started to put together the headboard. It was so easy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: August begins

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Tuesday: Crispy Black Bean Taco's
Tonight I need to catch up on cleaning and tidying after my lake day yesterday but other than that I don't have plans - seemed like a good night to try something new. And I'll use corn tortilla's so I can eat them!

Wednesday: Pizza Bubble Up
Wednesday we will be working around the house. Bubble Up's are always crowd pleasers. I'm needing to take a meal to some friends with a new baby so I'm going to double this recipe for them. Also I'll be serving mine with Zucchini, rather than bread bubbles.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice

Thursday Paul and I have dinner out with friends, so I can leave this meal in the crockpot with some rice (made the night before) and voila! Easy for our students. 

Friday: YOYO
Friday night Paul has a games night and I have a friends birthday party

Saturday: YOYO

Saturday night we have dinner out with friends.

Sunday: Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake
Sunday it will be nice to eat at home together - I'm hoping to get a bunch of painting done in the day, then proceed to church. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Goldilocks & the search for the perfect chair

As most of you know we have students that live with us. We do this for a few reasons (finances, community, etc) and we LOVE it. It’s so fun to have people in our home and to help others experience Canada.  We offer furnished, partially furnished or unfurnished rooms. Each time we switch up our students (about once a year) we tend to need to flip rooms. We just went from having only 1 furnished room and 2 unfurnished rooms, to needing 3 furnished rooms for August! So we’ve been stockpiling furniture in the garage for the past few weeks and have everything we need.
We recently inherited a bunch of furniture from my Grandpa’s house. One of the things we got was a small gold chair – I could picture it being used at a women’s vanity, for applying makeup and brushing out hair. It had a pretty ugly green felt on it but I was pretty sure I’d be able to change that out.

2014-07-28 20.34.28

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Venturing into the rabbit hole

Normally when I go to home depot I’m with Paul. Usually he comes with me to the paint department (because I rarely travel outside of that realm) and we spend like an hour there picking colors and then we leave. He often will pick something up elsewhere and sometimes I’ll need a large sheet of MDF board cut to size and so he’ll go with me and do all the talking. Now I’m a strong confident woman but for some reason when I get into Home Depot and am faced with all the rows and rows of things I don’t fully understand I just sort of freeze. I revert to some 50’s housewife that needs my husband to speak for me. I don’t love this, but thus far it is what it is.

Last night I was at Home Depot. I was meant to meet Paul there after work but his movie plans got bumped up and so I headed there alone after dinner. This trip I wasn’t just buying paint – I also needed to buy two tools. Gulp, I was feeling nervous. I know, I know, but still, nervous. I decided that faking it until I made it was the way to be. Boldly I strolled into the store, straight to the section labeled “tools” – it seemed like a good place to start. I looked around for an employee to help me make my decisions. We were looking to pick up a sander (for furniture projects) and a staple gun (for chairs and material projects). These are tools we’ve wanted to own for a while but have usually borrowed from people – it hit us the other day, why don’t we just buy them? It’s not like we’re stopping the up cycling free furniture train anytime soon – might as well own the tools to do it. You can see some of our past adventures in furniture redo's here and here!

I found the sander pretty quickly – and I would hope so! Paul had located which one he wanted me to buy, had sent me the link, and all I had to do was find this item at Home Depot. Pretty straight forward. While looking for a staple gun I ended up in the nail gun section marveling at how expensive they were (not yet realizing I wasn’t in the staple gun section) and marveling at how hard it was to find an employee! Finally after waiting 10 minutes (now it was 8:30, the store closed at 9 and I knew I still needed paint mixed!) I called Home Depot on my cell and asked them to transfer me to the tools department, I then asked the guy on the phone to come help me – and help me he did! He helped me narrow down what we wanted and pick a tool best suited for our needs.

Oh I felt proud! I made it through the tool section! With only minimal help and quickly. Then it was off to the Paint section – my safety zone. There was Johnny – one of my favorite two Home Depot paint guru’s. As per usual he was super super helpful. I ended up with the paint I needed (I’m doing something similar to this which I talked about here) but it took the full half hour they were still open – thankfully they stayed open, I was the last to leave at 9:10, mixing paint isn't fast!

My inspiration


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