Wednesday, September 17, 2014

End of Summer Visit to Deep Cove

      A collective sigh of relief was heard across British Columbia yesterday morning- upon waking parent's and students alike learned we will most likely be headed back to the classrooms early next week. The labour dispute between government and teachers has reached an agreement and our wonderful teachers will be at the front of the classroom and ready to teach. With that said I am so happy we took a final little day trip this week- with Momo and Poppa who are visiting- we headed out to one of our favourite spots- Deep Cove.

        The weather these past few weeks has been nothing short of spectacular- perfect for a dip in the ocean- water so clear the kids could spot crabs scurrying across the ocean floor from up on their perch. Of course many rocks were thrown and it took bribes of doughnuts to get the Littles to leave the beach- I'm sure they could sense the change in the air- see the trees tinged with orange. This summer has been idyllic- one adventure after the other- I am so grateful for all our wonderful hikes, beach days, forest exploring and park play. My heart is full. 

         Back to our Deep Cove visit- my parents had never been out to this spot and so we thought we would share it with them- a hidden gem on Indian Arm. Our day spent out in the Cove was the perfect way to wrap up summer- fall officially starts this weekend- this seemed an appropriate way to say goodbye! I am content with knowing our Littles are headed back to school full of wonderful memories and a few new skills- a little more well rounded than before. Thank you summer- see you next year!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rhythm of The Weekend

         This weekend looked a little different for our family- this was my first weekend back at work- our first weekend learning to adjust to a different pace- a different rhythm. I am pleased to be returning to a company that I've worked for in the past- it's like coming home- seeing old friends- revisiting old behaviours. The wonderful thing is this time I am working in our neighbourhood- further becoming part of this wonderful- eclectic- place our family calls home.

      My feelings on returning to work as a working mother are complicated- logically I know I have nothing to worry or even complain about- I work weekends and so our kiddos just hang out with the Mr.- we do not have to worry about day care. Of course as I stepped out the door I felt heavy with the knowledge I would be missing out on all sorts of family fun- simultaneously I felt light because I knew I was stepping in the direction of our dreams.

        My days were strangely singular- when not at work I found time to sit and quietly work on my next pair of socks- sipping a coffee and noticing changes in the neighbourhood- noticing the light moving across the cobbles- noting the fall colours popping up at shops. Quiet is a totally foreign concept for me these days- it was such a gift to walk freely and quietly through the streets.

         Of course upon returning to home at the end of my days I was greeted in the best possible manner- giant hugs and squeals of joy- so happy to have Momma home. Sometimes a little absence is just what we all need to make the heart grow fonder- I'm noting an increase in patience on my part this morning. Sitting here drinking my coffee this morning in the crisp morning air I can smell Fall- it's just around the corner. The time for wooly socks, boots and sweaters is coming- time for nesting into our family- seeking comfort in the simple things. I love this time of year- the changes in our life are bringing renewed creativity- a new rhythm.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Favourite Cake Friday

Cousin Laura's Blueberry Muffins

The Goods

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 large egg- slightly beaten
2/3 cup veg oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
2 cups berries

The Deal

whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla as well as orange zest and juice

combine dry goods in another bowl and fold in berries

with a light hand fold in wet ingredients- do not over mix
    - this is a very dry, cake like mix

fill each muffin cup to almost full

bake about 20 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven
     - if using frozen berries bake about 3-5 minutes longer

        We have a freezer full of blueberries- and we have all ready started indulging in some of our favourite recipes- like this one- shared with me years ago by dear cousin Laura! I make this recipe at least once a week and it never fails to disappoint! If you don't happen to have an orange on hand a lemon will do nicely in a pinch- slightly tweaking the flavour in a favourable way! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do- even though it is not a cake per say!

       Dear Friends it is Friday again- September is just flying by- to which I am sure many of my stay at home Mum friends here in BC are rolling their eyes! The children will go back to school- eventually- all will return to normal- until then I am trying my best to enjoy this extra time with my Littles! Keep calm everyone- grab that extra cask of wine and have a super wonderful weekend! Happy Friday Friends!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thrifted Thursday

           Today's Thrifted Thursday is a little bit thrifted and a little bit crafty- truly the best of both worlds- made all the better because it came in the guise as a gift from a dear friend. I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time but honestly so much has happened this summer that I just haven't had the time to write about yet! At the end of July we were paid a visit from my dear friend Sarah- who incidentally wrote a guest post for me last summer which can be read here- she and her family were visiting from Wisconsin. Sarah truly is one of my kindred souls- we bonded in University over beer and thrifting- some things really never change!

          So anyways Sarah and her sweet family stayed with us for a few days and of course she and I both had a few gifties for each other- I almost died laughing when we essentially exchanged wool! Into my yarn stash went this dreamy, soft neutral skien- from a local Wisconsin mill- Blackberry Ridge- the perfect base for one of my natural dyes. Along with this yummy little treat was this wee maroon satchel- purse to you non fashion types! I used this diminutive little bag only a handful of times before my little Miss declared it perfect to tote around her treasures- so I feel I may never get to use this bag again- shades of things to come!

         In other news as much as I am desperately trying to hang onto these final gentle days of summer I can see and feel fall creeping in. The mornings now hold a crispness that simply wasn't there last week- soon it will be boot and sweater weather. The nights come quickly now and the beach toys have all been packed away- I'm reassessing our rain gear- patching jeans- starting to think about soups and baking bread again. The Littles are still out of school- which feels a bit strange and yet totally right- their nature collection is growing daily as we wander and explore our way through our city- easing out of our summer skin and on into fall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Studio Update

           This summer has been a bit crazy- I've found it really difficult to carve out time to work in the studio- and to be perfectly honest I haven't wanted to- I so enjoyed spending my hours adventuring with my Littles- I have no regrets! In spite of all the fun times a few things have managed to come out of the studio and made their way into the Plain Jane Etsy Shop- lots of custom orders which was fantastic! It's tricky this whole work/ live balance and as I have said before I tend to look at it as less of balance and more of a dance- finding my rhythm and moving to Mother Nature's tune.

           These little swing tops have been super popular this summer- easy to wear for any little gal on the go- in fun colours and fabrics- each top is unique. Initially I designed this pattern in celebration for back to school- the days of September are still warm but the Littles need something on their shoulders- perfect for the playground. School or no school my gal has been wearing hers a tonne- I have a few more going up into the Plain Jane Etsy shop today.

          This fall Plain Jane is looking a little different- I have really narrowed down what I enjoy making and have fun with- great fabrics- natural dyes- little things for some of my favourite small beings. I'm so happy with how things are unfolding in the studio these days- feeling refreshed by the changing season- feeling like nesting in our home. Although school is still not back in I feel like fall is the start of the new year- fresh and crisp- new beginnings!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day Dreaming on Bowen Island

         Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask is it really possible that we live in such a beautiful place? My love affair with our beautiful province knows no bounds and so chances are if the weather is fine our family can be found adventuring outside- after twelve years life on the coast still amazes me. It's only natural that with our extended summer break the Littles and I are adventuring- further afield on our own than ever before- including but not limited to day trips to some of our favourite spots. Last week we hopped a bus downtown Vancouver and were quickly deposited at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal- we were Bowen Island Bound.

          For my kids education does not need to be complicated- we find learning in even the most mundane of exercises and adventures- a ride of the ferry for example quickly turns into a conversation about tides, weather and whales. The boy is fascinated with how the ferry works and what all the ship hands are doing- where the captain is sitting and why all the ropes! Miss Lo gets excited being on whale duty- they know if we spot one on this short trip it would be nothing short of extra special. It's little things that I may take for granted like a short ferry ride that get the kids excited and learning- get them thinking and asking questions.

           Once we land at our favourite little town Snug Cove we quickly hustle over to the candy store- Bowen Island boasts the worlds smallest candy shop- a tiny little nook which unfortunately was closed mid week. Up to the Co-op we go for lunch supplies as well as to check out the candy situation- which P.S. does not disappoint! Supplies in hand we headed to one of our favourite short trails in Crippen Park- I feel so comfortable hiking on my own with the kids here as there are no bears or cougars on the island.

        Turning our feet back towards the water we head to our favourite sandy little beach- complete with hidden tire swing- we meet up with another little friend for lunch and play time. Plenty to entertain and engage the kids on this short strip of beach- everything from catching crabs in the shallows to collecting shells for our shell chart. Our day could not be more bucolic as we sit there- the Littles playing and the Mommas chatting- commiserating on the lack of public school and learning more about the fantastic home school network on the island- looking into options and laying plans for the future.

        Once our play time winds down we head back towards town and over to the infamous pie shop down on the wharf- chocolate banana cream pie is obviously called for- the perfect way to wrap up such an excellent day! Down on the wharf a few changes have taken place- most noticeably Shika Provisions- a yummy little sushi and gift shop- it's the obvious spot to play a game of hopscotch while we wait for our boat- lingering as long as we can.

         Bowen Island is officially my happy place- I feel relaxed- it feels like home- small town B.C.- just the way Peachland used to be. Given the chance I would move here in a heart beat- open my studio and call it a life. Until the day comes that my pay check matches up with my dreams lots of visits are called for- island living is for me and I can't wait to head back!

P.S. if we ever move to Bowen we could have chickens!!!