Sweet Sunflower Snacks (A Pictorial Snack Tutorial)

Did you know you can cut an apple almost all the way through, pop out the core, let the flower petals fall open, then add a dollop of peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips, to make a delicious and nutritious sunflower?

You can!

See?

Isn’t that fun? It is a favourite around here, especially in Fall, when the Nova Scotian apples are at their absolute best. Delicious!

Easy, right?

Totally.

You can use what you like best, of course, but I tend to use a Golden Delicious Apple, Natural Peanut Butter*, and gluten free mini chocolate chips. You only need a few chocolate chips. They are chocolate chips! They seem to have a magical power over kids. If they find 2 in a mini muffin they’re thrilled, so I just go with what I have worked so hard to achieve. Happiness!

So, what do you think? Do you think your kids would like to try a Sweet Sunflower Snack?

I am willing to bet they would.

What is your favourite snack food? Do your kids have special snacks after school?

Let’s talk about it!

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.

Oh, just one more thing! I nearly forgot!!

Look!

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It’s a teeny tiny Thing 2 enjoying a Sweet Sunflower Snack a few years ago! Aww!

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This small Corelle bowl might be the ideal serving dish for this snack. Notice how it helps the apple slices keep the flower shape, while containing the Peanut Butter? That’s better than the larger plate for presentation. (Though the larger plate was best for an after school snack with extra Things!) I also like the mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate chips here. It seems more flower-like, to me.

*Of course, if you have a peanut allergy you can use another nut butter or a soy butter in its place. Still yummy!

Get Out The Vote!

Tomorrow is Election Day!

I am so excited!

I can’t wait to cast my ballot and then wait and see the results from riding after riding after riding come pouring in.

We always take our kids and talk about it a LOT leading up to the election. As you can imagine, my Things are pretty well versed at this point because it has been 77 days since the election was called. Tomorrow will be day 78 and every single day has involved a conversation about what Canada means to us. We can’t wait!

It matters.

It matters to me and it should matter to you.

I love this country and I have great hope for its future.

I know you have heard it a bazillion times over the past few months, but please, oh, please, oh, please go and exercise your right to vote tomorrow. The polls are open for 12 hours. That is a long time. Make sure you take the time to go and cast your ballot.

There are people in this world who would die for this right that we so often take for granted.

Think about that.

There are women who fought in this country for this right. It wasn’t all that long ago. It is shamefully recent history if you really think about it. Do not disrespect them by disregarding what they laid their lives on the line to accomplish.

They fought for you and me.

They gave us the right.

It is yours.

Exercise it.

Here’s a helpful video!

Once you vote and pat yourself on the back for taking part in the direction your own country takes, you will want to find out about the race and who is winning it. Who is doing well in your riding? Did your candidate win? Is your chosen party getting new seats in Ottawa? It’s all so exciting! You just want to know!

How will you know?

There are so many ways!

You will absolutely be hearing election coverage on radio and television both locally and Nationally. It will pretty much be unavoidable! Yay!

Here is another helpful tool from Elections Canada!

Since I am an avid Twitter user, I will definitely be following along on Twitter. You can follow Elections Canada here.

Essentially, the only way to not hear about the election on Monday October 19, 2015 would be to bury your head in the sand. And you don’t want to do that, now, do you? I mean, you’ll be in the dark and you will have sand in your ears. And that just sounds awful! * shudders *

Since we are all on Social Media why not go ahead and pledge to vote and show it? You can change your profile pictures! Check this out! Fun!

Okay! So we are ALL voting right?

Cool!

I knew I liked you guys!

Let’s do this!

So tell me, did you already vote? Will you vote tomorrow? Are you as excited as I am? Are you taking your kids with you? Will you be following along on social media and waiting to hear the exciting news at the end of the night?

I know I won’t be alone.

Twitter will be all, well – a twitter – with politics.

I hope to tweet you there!

AFTER you vote!

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We Will Be Invincible

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I choose to focus on the future and the potential of a world filled with people who are problem solvers.

In our family it is important for us to teach our children not to live in what we call the “Problem Domain”.

Yes. Life can be difficult.

Yes. The news of the world can bring you to your knees.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel scared.

Yes. Sometimes you will feel lonely.

Yes. Sometimes you will not know what you are supposed to do.

It is at precisely these times that you must dig deep, listen to your little voice, and figure out what you should do.

Know that you do have what it takes to get out of your particular situation.

Know that you are loved.

Know that you are trusted.

Know that you have people pulling for you.

Know that whatever the absolute worst thing in the world is (to you) right now, that it will not be forever.

When you bring a problem to someone, believe there is a solution.

Maybe have a few in mind, if and when you feel that is appropriate.

Move beyond that problem domain and realize that the more you begin to move your mind outside of the problem, the more you will actually begin to feel like maybe it isn’t so insurmountable, after all.

You are smart.

You are curious.

You are loved.

You are caring.

You are kind.

Whether or not you happen know it right now.

You are invincible.

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Pretty Much

This*.

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Goodnight!

*At least I posted something. Semantics. FTW!**

**IOU 1 blog post of substance.***

*** If I write 2 tomorrow, will that do?****

**** That just made me think of Wimpy’s, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!”

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A Labour (Day) Of Love

Sun setting on summer 2015.

Happy Labour Day! (That’s Labor Day to all my awesome American readers!)

We might have to give up our lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer, but we sure as heck don’t have to let the joy of summer fizzle. We took the weekend and made the most of it and just like we try to do with most of them, we carpe-ed the heck out of this diem!

There was an epic board game last night, a movie in the theatre today — complete with extra butter on the popcorn and peanut M&Ms, followed by a special dinner out and ice cream for dessert. Stick a fork in this Labour Day weekend. It’s done!

We are saying goodbye to our beautiful summer break and even though my Things have already started back to school, I am well aware that lots of children are starting their school year tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Oh, it is never easy, is it?

Even if your kiddos are great students and love all things scholastic and extracurricular, it is still a bit daunting to have to say goodbye to summer.

Of course summer isn’t really over, you still have until September 23rd to check those things off the summer bucket lists. Yes. Yes, I am here to bring you a loophole. sings That’s what friends are for! You’re welcome.

Anyhoo!

Where was I?

Oh yes! Even the happiest little pupil might not be so thrilled with Labour Day and the unofficial end to summer, so I am here to bring you hope! (Also, loopholes. We can’t forget the loopholes.)

You may or may not have noticed my absence here this summer. It was not intentional.

I was on a technology-fails-us-all-just-when-we-need-it-most sabbatical. It was, as you might imagine, not planned.

I will expound on all things technological (I may even have my IT Department contribute to a very techie blog post about the trials and tribulations we have been going through) in the not too distant future, but tonight, dearest, darlingest, readers I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I am here and I am going to be here every single day from now until the end of days. So, I hope you are happy and feeling like some chatty blog action because that is what I am in the mood for and that is exactly what I am going to do. I am sure you will let me know if you want something else. More photos. Fewer words. More words. More cowbell. You name it. I will deliver!

In the meantime, thank goodness for excellent blogging friends who allow me to contribute to their amazing blogs.

Just in time for my kids to start school, I wrote a post for Life In Pleasantville about how we can lessen the stress associated with back to school in a post called “6 Steps to Ease Back to School Stress“. Since many of you have children starting school tomorrow, you might find it helpful. I’d absolutely love it if you made your way over there to read my post. As always comments are greatly appreciated. I make a point of replying because I love the connection and conversation that can emerge from a simple comment. That is the whole point of my being here, there, and everywhere.

So, now that I have written nearly 500 words, I feel slightly less terrified about posting tonight. I will be posting earlier in the day, eventually (maybe), but until I get my blog mojo back, frankly, getting something posted – at all – is way more important than what time of day it is posted. SEO be darned!

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As if I know anything about SEO.

Two questions:

  1. Are you ready for back to school?
  2. Do you want more cowbell?

May I confide in you? I kinda-sorta, really-really, hope you missed me.

There. I said it.

Phew! There goes a weight off my shoulders.

After you read my post over at Life In Pleasantville, why not come back and share something about your summer and maybe a hope for the new school year?

I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

 

Too Much Looking. Not Enough Leaping.

This is an actual road in New Glasgow, PEI. There's a street sign and everything. AACK!

This is an actual road in New Glasgow, PEI. There’s a street sign and everything. AACK!

I have to go for it, right?

I have been tiptoeing around things and you know what? I am not much of a tiptoe-er in any other aspect of my life, so what the heck is my problem when it comes to asking for what I want?

I dunno!

I don’t even care* right now.

All I know is that it’s over.

I’m only popping in here for a minute to tell you this.

I felt you – of all people – should know.

So there you have it!

It’s time to leap.

Why not? Right?

Life has a way of working out, when I do.

I mean, we survived our adventure down the road** pictured above. That was a miracle of sorts. The Things were sufficiently freaked out and in all honesty I wasn’t sure we would make it out alive. Having an active imagination is a wonderful thing – until you turn down a one way, red dirt road, after dark, relying on a GPS (whose prowess thus far – let’s be honest –  has proved to be sketchy at best) when you know darn well that you could have found your own way home. I asked Daddy-O to take a picture because no one would believe it otherwise and well, if we met our untimely doom, there would be, what? Evidence of our blind faith in technology? It was hard to capture what we were actually seeing. It was so dark. There were downed trees or large branches on the road along with deep grooves on either side of the car and a lot of deep puddles. It was as if the road was brand new. Like, we might be following the bulldozer – new. Frankly, it felt like a scene from a cheesy, scary movie. It was fun though! Lots of laughs and shivers and “Whoa!”s coming from inside our teeny car.

Maybe we are a bit more invincible than we thought?

Could be.

I intend to find out.

Oh! And there will be more PEI posts to come.

I think everyone should come to the Maritimes and visit many places (all the times!), but Prince Edward Island has a special place in my heart (that I can’t even really explain), so I will be sharing some serious PEI love this week and maybe, if I am fortunate, even more into this blog’s future.

So, let’s see where this all leads, shall we?

Tell me, are you a looker or a leaper?

How is summer going, so far?

Are you hot or cold?

We are a lot chillier than we should be, I think, but hopefully it will be warmer soon.

*That’s a lie. I always care.

*Mt. Tom Road. FYI. Look it up. Fun! I dare ya!

 

It’s iCal Day!

Happy iCal Day!

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Are you aware of this fact? Did you ever notice the calendar is always on a specific date? July 17. Yup. It’s true. Go look. I’ll wait here. * drums fingers on desk *

No. No I don’t know why the little icons for Apple calendar app reads “Jul 17”, but it does and that’s today and that’s reason enough to celebrate, isn’t it?

No. You mean you need more?

Okay. I’ll find out.

Look!

Now you know!

Should we eat cake?

No.

  • shakes head *

No that would be a silly reason to eat cake.

Though, one might argue that any day is is a good day to celebrate a thing with cake, but I digress …

Wait.

ical-cake

Oh! Ho ho! I knew it!

Oh sure! The number is changed to reflect a birthdate or anniversary or something worthy of cake, but that is most definitely an iCal cake!

This person and I could be friends, I bet.

Anyway!

Happy iCal Day! Happy Friday!

I know it is very silly, but I wanted to pop in and say hello and now we have all learned something, so there’s that. What can I say? I’m a giver.

How is your summer going?

Ours is going great!

We seem to have struck a nice balance so far of outings …

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and down time …

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… and activity!

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I am enjoying the laid back nature of it all and I am managing to blog a bit or contribute a bit to other places.

The Peady #PhotoADay challenge is in full swing and more than halfway over. Have you been seeing the daily posts? I have very kind friends on Instagram and some of the photos are really fun! There’s still time to join in. Come on! The more the merrier!

I really do love summer.

Next week Chez Peady is hitting the road for a little getaway. I’ll try to write a bit from the road when I can.

So, tell me, what have you been up to?

Are you enjoying summer so far?

Do you have any little vacation plans? Or BIG ones?

What’s been your favourite thing so far?

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Our Canada Day Cancellation Was Ignited On Independence Day!

It is always a goal of mine to capture at least one decent fireworks shot during Canada Day celebrations. Well, that was tricky because this year’s Canada Day fireworks were cancelled.

Thankfully the very smart people who are in charge of civic events in Halifax always build a rain date – or in our case a fog date – into their schedule and this year Bedford’s rain date fell squarely on July 4th. Yes, American Independence Day! Perfect.

Especially great for all the Canadian-Americans who just so happen to live in Bedford.

The Things and I made our way to DeWolf Park just after dark and found a place to watch the show. It was really amazing!

I wanted to get a decent shot, but I also always want to be truly present at these things and not completely distracted by the cameras I happen to be carrying, so I decided to try and get a couple of shots with my iPhone and then I put it away. Most of the photos I took are utter garbage, absolutely destined for the trash, but I managed one decent iPhone shot in part by following some tips I read earlier in the day.

For the record, I still feel that it’s mostly dumb luck.

Then I enjoyed the fireworks with my kids and when it was coming down to the wire and I knew the finale was about to happen I took out my trusty point and shoot and tried my best to capture a big one!

I did it!

Not only did I manage to take a photograph that wouldn’t offend the eyes of everyone who was forced to look at it, but I think I did a pretty good job at conveying the whole feel of this fun family event and annual tradition.

Look how pretty!

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What do you think?

Did you attend a Canada Day or Fourth of July fireworks display this year? How was it? Did you take lots of photos? How did they turn out? How many did you snap (as opposed to the number you’d be proud to share)?

Go ahead and leave a comment! I’ll share my numbers if you share yours.

Do you have any fun family traditions that go hand in hand with summertime?

What are you most looking forward to this month?

At the very least, I hope your July has started with a bang!

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Jump For Joy! It’s July! (A Peady Photo A Day Challenge)

Summer is great. We get to take a break from the everyday routine. We’re able to relax a bit more. Maybe we even get to go on a few little adventures. You know what’s really great about summer, though? Taking extra time to tap into the childhood skill of using our imagination more.

Let’s try it, shall we?

Okay, you pretend it’s July 1st and I’ll pretend that this was published then as I had intended.

Ta daa!

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Yay! We are very good at pretending!

So, there it is. July’s Peady Photo A Day Challenge.

You can jump in anytime. Interpret the prompt that corresponds to each day as you see fit and share a photo on Instagram* or your preferred social media platform, use the hashtag #PeadyPhotoADay, and we can all enjoy the summer through our shared memories. Fun, right?

I think so.

Speaking of July, it is off to a great start. Canada Day (That’s July 1st for my International readers.) was lovely and low key. It rained off and on for much of the morning, so we stayed home instead of heading downtown for the parade. We watched the noontime concert from Parliament Hill on CBC. I made homemade poutine (and hot dogs – because kids!) for lunch and it was perfection. Thing 2 and I painted our nails in the utmost patriotic shades of sparkly red and opalescent flecked white (They look really cute, actually. We even did a top coat and Thing 2 has little maple leaves with a jewel on each leaf on four of her nails. I’ll have to try and snap a photo.) so we would be all set for the fireworks show at 10 pm, but alas, the fog came rolling in and the fireworks were cancelled. So, like any good Canadian-American family we spent the remainder of the evening watching American Ninja Warrior**.

All is not lost though, the fireworks have been rescheduled for July 4th. Isn’t that fun? We will be there wearing our red shirts, skin stickers, and Canada Day headbands. Oh, I love it when a backup plan comes together!

How is your summer going so far?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

Show me!

Here’s to a very joyful July and a spectacular summer!

*Follow me @peadypics, if you’d like.

**Remind me to workout forever and ever and ever. Mmmkay?

Sometimes You Should Just Do It Anyway

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I decided against posting a blog every single day for the month of June.

The timing just isn’t right.

Besides, I already did it in November and that seems a better time for such insanity. (It was no easy task, I assure you.)

There’s no reason to put that pressure on myself. Silly! I actually stopped for a second and thought about what I would do. I contemplated all the last minute stress it can cause when I already have a busy schedule. Then, like a grown up, (Who am I?!?) I told myself no.

It’s very freeing to say no – even to yourself. Try it.

I did it again last night, actually. I was peckish after dinner and  – even though dinner was delicious – I went in search of a little something sweet. You know how it is.

Anyway, I got halfway there (I’ll just wait here while you finish belting out the lyric and I told myself to do the right thing.

Me: Do the right thing.

Me: But we need something sweet.

Me: Listen, no one needs something sweet.

Me: Shadap!!!

Me: * stern look *

Me: But

Me: * raised eyebrow and head tilt of righteousness *

Me: * glance towards the cupboard of sin *

Me: You bought some yummy good-for-you Greek yogurt today. 100 calories. Good protein. Not too sweet.

Me: FINE! * mumbles “I hate it when I’m right.” under breath *

Sometimes I adult very well.

Speaking of doing things that are good for me (and you) I will be going for a short walk in a few minutes and as luck would have it one of my favourite radio stations played one of my favourite songs, “The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums. I think it’s a great walking song, actually. It’s an excellent tempo and it’s also (if you take it literally) about walking so it’s a fun fit for getting fit!

I had never seen the video and I have been wanting to post a song* so I went to YouTube to find it. I like it!

So, here it is!

Do you use music for motivation?

What song gets you up and running?

If you were to make a playlist for a 20 minute daily walk, what songs would absolutely make the cut?

*In fact, I was just talking about song posts yesterday with a friend. I hope she sees this! It made me think of her and her work in the online world and the lyric “can’t keep up with my rhythm, though they keep trying” brought her to mind because she is faster than the speed of light!

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