July 2013 archive

Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows

| Cooking, Outdoors

The best toasted marshmallows ever!

The best toasted marshmallows ever!

Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows – How about a little something for the adults for a change.  A couple of weeks ago we started our annual summer long camping.  We keep our trailer at the beach for the summer – only about a 15 minute drive from our house. We’re there for most of the summer, until school starts back up. Most nights, as the tip of Mt. Baker turns from white to peachy-pink,  we settle in with a toasty little campfire to keep us warm.  A few years back we discovered Bailey’s marshmallows – all I can say is be prepared, once you’ve had toasted marshmallows with Bailey’s you’ll be ruined for all other marshmallows from that point forward.

Making this is about as simple as it gets. Toast your marshmallow over hot coals, then dip the warm marshmallow into a cup of Bailey’s.  It can be a bit gooey and drippy so be prepared to bust out the wet-wipes.

Be warned… this is highly addictive!

Preparing quick meals on camping trips is easy if you have the right recipes and ingredients. Check out this great book for your next camping trip: 100 Easy Camping Recipes

6 Comments

Master Meal List

| Cooking, Printables

Master meal planning list printable

Master meal planning list printable

Master Meal List – I’m not much of a planner when it comes to meals, especially during the week.  Usually I just come home from work, look in the fridge, freezer and pantry and then just make whatever meal I feel like and can come up with quickly.  I have friends and coworkers who plan their meal every week in advance… kudos to them but I’m just not that organized.  Sometimes my decisions for meals are prompted by the newest cooking magazine that’s in my mailbox when I get home or often times I’m browsing through Pinterest and I see something that looks tantalizing. I cook meals at home at least six days a week so I need as many options as possible. For me, it’s often just a matter of coming up with the initial idea and then I’m good to go.

For months (well, maybe years) I’ve been thinking about having a master list of all my favourite recipes that I can quickly browse when I’m trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Finally I found a moment and made a page for keeping my recipe and meal ideas.  After I added all my meal ideas, I printed it out and taped it inside my cupboard door so that I can look at it anytime for quick inspiration.

Today I’m sharing my printable master meal list with you.  Click here to download.  If you’ve got any great recipe ideas feel free to share too!

Master Meal Planning List

Master Meal Planning List

1 Comment

How To Photograph People Jumping

| Design & Technology, Kids Fun, Outdoors

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

How To Photograph People Jumping – Who doesn’t love summer days spent frolicking on the beach.  More than half of our time during the summer is spent camping at our RV on the beach.  That means a lot of time hanging out enjoying the sand, sun and waves. During the past few summer’s there I’ve taken many, many photos, especially of my daughter.  I love capturing all the moments of childhood – digging, burying, throwing, riding, running and my favourite, jumping.

People are often too scared or intimidated to shoot high action jumping photos but there are a few tricks that can help you capture the moment. Most camera’s these days have all you need to take these super fun photos.

Choose your scene

Make sure you have a simple background. Usually something that isn’t too busy so that the jumper will stand out. Also make sure you aren’t taking the photo directly into the sun – always try to get the sun behind you if possible.

Get up close and personal

The closer you can get to the person jumping, the more dramatic the photo will be and the more detail you’ll be able to capture. Often times taking the photo in portrait format (or up and down) helps make the jumper stand out better – remember to leave room at the top of your photo so that the head doesn’t get cut off.

Go low, low, low

The most dramatic and energetic jumps are photographed when the photographer is lower than the jumper. It helps to kneel, crouch or lay on the ground when taking these photos.

Study your camera

If you have a DSLR camera, use a high shutter speed if possible – if you’re not sure just keep on automatic.  If you’re using a point and shoot, test how quickly your camera actually takes the photo after you push down the shutter button.  Many point and shoots have a bit of a lag so make sure you account for this minor timing adjustment.  You can also use the sports or motion setting  if your camera comes with that setting.

Focus

Have the person stand right where you’ll be taking the photo and pre-focus your camera by pressing the shutter button halfway down to prepare for the shot.

1-2-3-JUMP

Count “1-2-3-jump” to help get the timing right for taking the photo. You may have to do this a few times to coordinate with your jumper. Remember that you want to snap the shot at the peak of the jump.

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more

The beauty of the digital camera’s is that you can take as many photos as your memory card can handle and you can delete on the spot, so take as many photos as you can… well, until your jumper runs out of steam anyway.

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos

3 Comments

Easy To Crochet Cat Toy

| Crafts & DIY

Easy to crochet cat toy.

Easy to crochet cat toy.

Easy To Crochet Cat Toy – Bare with me a moment while I channel my inner crazy cat lady.

A couple of weeks ago we had the great fortune to be able to give Noelle a kitten for an (early) birthday gift. She’s been asking for a cat for the past few years but since my husband has a mild allergy to cats he’s always told her no (notice I said that “he” said no). After being subjected to drawing after drawing of our family with our old dead cat still drawn in it, Michael had had enough and gave in to his daughter’s dream to have a cat.

We did a lot of research and found out that while there is no completely hypoallergenic cats there are some breeds that carry less of the protein that aggravates allergies. We hunted high and low and finally found a breeder of Balinese cats on Vancouver Island and she just happened to have one kitten left. We went on a road trip and totally surprised Noelle. When she finally saw the kitten and we told her that it’s her’s to take home she totally didn’t believe us. The poor girl had been told for so long that we would never be able to have a cat that she thought we were putting her on. I’m sure it wasn’t until we were home with the little fur ball that it started sinking in that this really was her cat.

Little Milo Fluffy Pasta has been home with us now for almost 2 weeks and he’s so great. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed having a pet. He’s absolutely adorable and highly entertaining. Kittens have so much energy and they play non-stop so I thought it would be fun to make Milo some cat toys. I created this pattern (quite accidentally I must admit because I was going for something completely different) but I love how it turned out and so does Milo.

Materials:

  • Medium weight yarn (I used Red Heart)
  • Crochet hook (5.00mm H hook)
  • Toilet paper tube (I used 1/2 a roll for the small cat toy and a full roll for the large toy)
  • Bell
  • Needle and thread
  • Darning Needle to weave in ends
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, dc = double crochet (All U.S.)

  1. (Ch) 20, join with (sl st) to form ring (keeping tension firm but not tight – you want both ends to be a little tighter so they hug around the toilet paper tube).  Make sure to not to twist your stitches.
  2. (Ch) 2  in first chain and then (dc) in each remaining stitch in round. (Sl st) in last stitch in round to join.  Repeat for 7 rounds for 1/2 toilet paper roll size toy or 11 rounds for full toilet paper roll.
  3. Finish off  last round with 1 (sl st) in each stitch and join.
  4. Ch 30 then make 2 (dc) in the 3rd chain from the hook. (If you’d like a  longer curlicue than make the chain longer).
  5. Make 3 (dc) in each chain until you get back to the start of the chain. (Sl st) to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.
  6. Sew bell on end of curlicue.
  7. Fit over toilet paper roll.

Click here if you have any trouble knowing or remembering which stitches these are.

If you’re looking for more fun crochet projects check out this great book: Crochet One-Skein Wonders®: 101 Projects from Crocheters around the World

Toilet paper roll crocheted cat toy

Toilet paper roll crocheted cat toy

20 Comments

1 2