Canada 150

Canada is having a big birthday tomorrow! 150 years young.

We celebrate Canada Day every year but this is a special year so I made special shirts. I could have bought Canada shirts but where is the fun in that? Historically we have made flag hand print shirts which I love, but this year called for something extra special.

We live in a great country so get out and celebrate on July 1st.  Happy Canada Day!

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May was made for Reading

Read Making A LifeI haven’t posted much lately because I started a new job at the beginning of May. There have been lots of changes happening at home, and we all needed some time to ease into new routines. I have however been reading.

When I was a student I did a lot of reading but none of it was for pleasure. As an avid reader, I struggled without an escape into a good book. Therein lies my dilemma.

As soon as I finished school I dove into my first read of the year. Reading is a sedentary activity which I probably why I enjoy it so much. The trouble is that I can and will read for hours at a time, and even though my fitness tracker is buzzing, flashing and all but telling me to get off my fat ass I can’t help but read just one more chapter. I balance out this predicament by reading humour. I laugh, I burn calories it’s like a workout, although I can’t find the “reading” setting on my fitness tracker.

Book reviews aren’t really my favourite thing to write but if I am telling you about what I read consider it a recommendation. Also, three of the four books are written by Canadian’s and the fourth is an honorary Canadian so these are perfect for the month leading up to Canada’s 150th.
4_stars.svgOne Brother Shy by Terry Fallis (Canadian!)

  • disclaimer – slight bias because my last name was used in the book but only 4 stars because it was misspelled.
  • second four-star disclaimer – I also won this as an advanced reader copy from Goodreads, but my stars can not be bought with free books so it really is good

4_stars.svgConfessions of a domestic failure by Bunmi Laditan (Canadian!!)

  • I am a Pinterest mom and I still loved it!
  • I read it in 24 hours, my fitness tracker almost caught fire trying to encourage movement

4_stars.svgThe Fashion Committee by Susan Juby

  • I preordered this one and waiting very impatiently for it to arrive, but once it did I threw my fitness tracker into the dryer for a spin and got down to business
  • Eat local, buy local, read local – Susan Juby lives on Vancouver Island!

4_stars.svg I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (Honorary Canadian)

  • There was zero laughing, but there was crying
  • Honestly, I had a hard time with all the people mentioned, and the history but the message is so important
  • I am amazed by Malala Yousafzai and her determination

 

What are you reading? Tell me I want to know.

Canada Eh!

Canada Eh!Canada Day is a special holiday for me aside for the fact that it’s Canada’s birthday, its the holiday that I spent with my Nana. Sure we spent lots of holidays together, but rarely did we have holiday time without a whole pile of other family. On July 1st my grandparents would typically be at their cottage, and once I was able to get there independently I would call up a few days ahead of time to reserve my room. She would always tell me that it was ready and waiting.

Continue reading

Fireworks

FW1Did you go out this year to watch Canada Day, or Independence Day fireworks? What city were you in? I am not sure but I don’t think that I have ever been to the Canada Day fireworks in Victoria, my excuse is young children. Almost the entire time we have lived in Victoria we either had a newborn or a toddler to take care of, and nightfall was way past their bedtime. Never mind the noise which is frightening to me as an adult. This year with a seven and not quite four-year-old we were able to enjoy the fireworks together as a family. Continue reading

Eating Beavers

For our Canada day celebrations I made beaver cupcakes for the little cannucks, or at least that is what they are supposed to look like. For some reason when I made them they did actually resemble the animal, now looking at the pictures I wonder how much wine I consumed while baking. Either way the kiddies ate them up.

If you want to take a run at them this is what I did, perhaps you can improve on it.

  1. baked and iced cupcakes with chocolate frosting
  2. for the tails I used lady finger type cookies cut in half
  3. the flag is helping the tail stand up
  4. ears are M&M’s
  5. eyes are fondant with brown food colouring dots
  6. teeth are white fondant
  7. the nose is the last step and it a red M&M

Canada Day Cake

canada day shirtI haven’t posted anything in a little while because I have been on a baking frenzy and I am supposed to be studying for exams. I write the first exam of three on Wednesday of next week. I just can’t let a holiday pass by without some sort of festive treat. We had a party on Canada Day to celebrate the birthday of our fantastic country and I made a cake, no real surprise there. I also made some festive cupcakes for the kiddies, I will reveal those tomorrow. We had a great time and the kids had a blast with water guns, and water balloons. Here is little L sporting his new Canada Day shirt for the occasion.

Historically I have made a sheet cake frosted with white icing, and decorated with strawberries in the shape of a Canadian flag. I thought that I would mix things up a bit this year. I have wanted to try making a cake with more than 2 layers. So I made a red, white, red layered cake to resemble the colours and pattern of the Canadian flag. It was more like pink than red but after a few drinks who could tell the difference. I did my best free hand maple leaf on the top. My free hand technique could use some work, but the taste is the same regardless of drawing ability.

Celebrating Canada and Nana

I might get a little sappy on you with this one, just a warning. Canada Day is a special holiday for me, and believe it or not it doesn’t have anything to do with celebrating Canada.  While I was in my twenties before kids & marriage every year just before Canada Day I would make a call to the cottage to see if it was ok to come for the Canada day long weekend.  My Nana would always answer, your room is waiting and we would love to have you.  We would always have a chat about the weather, the weekend, and whatever.  I miss those chats.  I could still call the cottage and see if I could come for the weekend but someone else would answer and it wouldn’t be quite the same.  The last time I saw Nana was on a Canada Day long weekend just weeks after we found out that she had cancer.  We had a great visit but it was the last Canada Day that we got to spend together.

canada day cake

Every Canada Day she made this simple and delicious cake, or tricked my aunt or I into making it.  I think that she used to make the base out of angel food cake but I make mine vanilla, with vanilla icing and topped with cut up strawberries in the shape of the Canadian flag.  I have been making it for years to celebrate Canada but more importantly to keep traditions alive and to celebrate Nana.

 

 

We played tourist in Victoria today by taking the Hippo Bus it’s an amphibian bus so we got a land and water tour.  Here are some of my favourite pics.

After that we went to a Canada Day event in Esquimalt complete with a bouncy castle, Hayley Wickenheiser, and the Mounties playing hockey.  It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that, EH.  I will let you guess what was the most exciting part for a 2 & 5-year-old.  As you can see Logan was not quite so sure about the RCMP, but all in all a fun day.

Canada Day

We are getting ready for the big event on July 1st.  My very patriotic 5-year-old has inspired the making of Canada day t-shirts.  This craft is probably the easiest that I have ever blogged about, so no excuses.  It was a very good thing that it was fast because one child was riding a scooter over my feet, while the other was climbing on the dining table.  Crafting with kids what more do I need to say.

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Materials:

  • Red craft paint
  • Textile medium – optional
  • HANDS – come on I know you have those, feet, or paws would also suffice
  • White T-shirt
  • Paint brush

Instructions:

1. In reality you should always wash clothing before you print on it, but who has time for that – so lets say optional

2. Put paper towels inside the shirt (3 layers) to make sure that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the back of the shirt

3. Lay the t-shirt stuffed with paper towels all smoothed out on a flat surface

4. Mix the paint with textile medium per the textile medium bottle instructions.  Textile medium helps the paint stick and not fade when washed.  It also waters down the paint making it easier to work with and faster to dry but if you are planning to wear this only for one day you are safe to skip the textile medium.

5. Make the kids wash their hands, unless you want cookie, pasta, juice and who knows what else as part of the maple leaf

6. Have the kids practice stamping the shirt with unpainted, clean and dry hands (I know that’s a lot to ask)

7. Paint one kids hand red – TIP paint one kids hand at a time if you have more than one kiddo

8. Help them place their hand on the shirt, and press it down (gently)

9. Get those hands washed before you have red hand prints on the couch and dog

10. Using a paint brush paint the solid sides of the Canadian flag, if you are not brave enough to free hand it, then use painters tape to make rectangles, but only after the hand prints are dry.  My rectangles not perfect but I think are in keeping with aesthetic of the hand print.

11. Let the shirts dry completely, I would leave them over night to be safe.

12. Iron to heat set the flag and if you are feeling like super mom iron out the wrinkles.

We live in a great country so get out and celebrate on July 1st.  Happy Canada Day!