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Celebrating Summer

In our house summer time is about Popsicles and after dinner trips to the park, festivals on weekends, family and pool time and everyone enjoying a little less schedule and a little more time…

As we come up to Canada Day long weekend and one of the most celebrated bbq holidays of the year I couldn’t help but wonder what most people look forward to this holiday.  Is it the mayhem of the Canada day events and hope of a free tattoo or face painting?  The fireworks?  Hiding out at a friend’s house with a beer in hand and a steak on the bbq? I don’t want to hear from those who enjoy working (and earning double time) on this day – Canada day grinches aren’t my thing 😉

I feel like there is so much to see and do in the summer in Vancouver.  I download all the events onto our family calendar and we decide a couple of days before the weekend which of the events we’ll head to each weekend.  For those of you in Vancouver – we’ll be checking out Carnaval del sol on Saturday on Granville street with the kids, and will try to catch one last act of the Jazz festival at some point.  On Sunday we’ll attempt one of the crazy Canada Day events – likely we’ll retreat to our favorite hang out – Granville Island – where our son enjoys traipsing from one singing location to another with a donut in hand and we happily follow tapping our toes to the beat of the banjo or the great french musican Josh Minsky.  Our Granville island mornings are definitely some of our favorite family moments.  For other ideas this weekend (or any weekend) I always find our friends at yoyomama have a fabulous round up of all the events.

This is also a big backyard weekend for us traditionally with the celebration of birthdays and summer with close friends.  One of my favorite things on an almost hot July 01 is a homemade frozen lemonade – virgin or alcoholic these thirst quenchers elicit feelings of relaxation and soaking up the moment like nothing else.  ahhh where’s my lawn chair?

This is a great weekend to stop – take a moment with your close friends and family and just enjoy the people we love – we’ll hope to see some of you out and about – we’ll be the ones all in our Canada gear (mostly circa 2010 olympics with a few new purchases for the smallest Buschels).

 

Frozen Lemonade:

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 can white lemonade concentrate still frozen
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water or soda water
  • 1/2 cup vodka or white rum (optional :))
  • add strawberries for a great variety
  • Blend in a blender (sepparate in two parts if needed) and serve with a straw and a lemon wedge

If you’re a purist you can make your own lemonade instead of using a can by boiling the juice of 5 lemons with 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar and letting it cool before adding ice, soda water, liquor and blending …

 

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cake pops – the mystery is solved

It seems in the entertaining world that we are always searching the new “haute” thing.  That party food, drink, giveaway or trick that leaves people talking – and impresses with the ever sought after “I’ve never seen that before!” comment.  Cake gave way to cupcakes about seven or eight years ago, and in the past couple of years its been all about the cake pop… the bite sized cake on a stick encircled with icing and some cute design.  Well – my girls first birthday is coming up, and rather than pick some up at a bakery I had to learn how these delectable little morsels were made and what special round pan or press I needed to splurge on to make them happen. 

Turns out no such pan is required.  Simply bake a cake – from a box – in a sheet pan.  Then add icing and crumble up the cake into a big mess – and melon ball scoop the cake forming it into little balls.  Pop them on a tray in the fridge until chilled and slightly firm and meanwhile melt some candy coating (try Michaels or your local baking shop).  Place your pop sticks in a bit of the melted candy coating to make the cake stick – then into the round chilled cake ball and dip the whole thing into the melted coating.  Stand your pops in a tray (made mine from a cereal box that I cut slits into) until they are dry.  Voila! Cake pops!  Now if you’re really cool you can make your pops into bumble bees and butterflies and a whole world of cute animal friends – but I have other appies to plan for so I’m satisfied with knowing that these cool little bites are from the bakery of Kerri B.  Here’s hoping that the bakers of all the cake pops I’ve consumed washed their hands lots because the method behind these little cuties is less than attractive to think about…

What is your party food de jour?  My sister makes an amazing mango salsa … maybe she’ll post it here (hint hint…)

Choices…

I’ve taken a hiatus – still written a lot so you might see it up here in a flurry one day.  I’m back now with what might not be a popular post.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I value.  That’s where all the etiquette and niceties come from isn’t it? What you value, what you see as important and hold as key to your happiness.  Above all else I value my family.  I will never be grateful enough for the family that raised me, or the family that I now have the privilege of raising.  I adore them. Those three little faces are my and my husbands whole world.  So why is it that I’m leaving them in a month to go back to work full time?  Choices.

I play the scenarios in my head at least 20 times a day – how can we make it work so that I can maximize my time with my babies during these fleeting moments when they are so small, so impressionable, so full of love and wonder and need?  It doesn’t seem to work.  Any way we slice it I need to leave them in someone else’s care.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy or feel fulfilled with my career – in fact I love the prospect of what I’ll return to – and I value where I work and what it stands for – but I feel empty inside when I think about leaving my babes five days a week right now.

Unfortunately this is the world we choose to live in. The city we choose to own a house in.  The clothes and toys and vacations we choose to “need”.  I want nothing more than to have the will power to throw it all to the wind.  I want to tell all those women who fought so hard so that we would have the choice to work that they only created a society where we still don’t really have a choice – instead now we have to work. It seems so wrong.

I want to be stronger. I want to be able to put my ego aside and be happy with whatever we end up with so that we can raise our family the way that we wistfully spoke about seven years ago when we first got married.  At what point did “choice” become a scary word wrought with opportunity cost and lost chances?

A dark return – and not entertaining to say the least – but fear not I have recipes and party tips galore right around the corner.  Until then my friends – please share with me what you value most and how you marry your choices to that which you hold dear…