BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB-in-the-Bucket

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you?

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

The More We Get Together The Happier We’ll Be

We are not at home this weekend, but we are together and that makes me …


We are spending our weekend in Moncton, NB to celebrate a birthday and since it is pretty chilly outside we are making an effort to thoroughly enjoy …


We made an effort to get out for a bit today and wound up at one of our favourite places – Chapters!

With a new Star Wars movie merely weeks away from being released into theatres, the merchandising is at its peak. Chapters has a tonne of fun new things for Star Wars fans – young and old – and a really cool selection of Star Wars themed books. There is even an adult colouring book! I mean really. How awesome is this?

Light Sabre Mandala Star Wars
We found what we wanted and needed. Then we bought what we needed and left the Millenium Falcon Bluetooth speaker and somehow bid the two foot tall talking Yoda adieu.

Daddy-O took our purchases to the car (along with Thing 1’s hoodie and my fleece jacket, because it was a thousand degrees in this particular Chapters today) and we went to find a spot where we could sit inside the very crowded Starbucks.

We walked to the back of the store to where Starbucks is located and we all agreed it was very strange to see the windows which used to gaze upon Crystal Palace – and a whole lot of natural light – completely blackened by the walls of the gigantic retailer that now occupies the space. That’s going to have to be fixed because holy darkness! It didn’t help that there were also a couple of lights out.

We found a table and asked our table neighbours if they could spare a chair. They were happy to oblige and we were very thankful. So we sat and waited for Daddy-O to return.

As soon as he was back we ordered two for one hot chocolates for the kiddos and two for one Praline Chesnut lattes for the parents. The hot chocolate was a hit as usual and we liked the lattes which we were trying for the first time. Yum!

This was supposed to be a coffee date. Just the adults. An hour or so alone with decadent Christmassy coffees. Solving the problems of the world. Making plans. Just the two of us.

You know what they say about plans …

Oh well.

After recent world events (that I definitely cannot solve alone) I could instantly think of about eighty-seven things worse than our date turning into a family affair.

One coffee was all I needed.


Two made it a date.


Four made it family fun.

Who am I to argue with that Math?

How was your Saturday?

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!

img_2879

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

img_2880

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!

It’s iCal Day!

Happy iCal Day!

ICal_Icon

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 …

img_7336

img_7418

img_7586

img_7803

and down time …

img_7535

img_7360

img_7432

… and activity!

img_7345

img_7619

img_7833

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?

Source

Source

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!

PhotoADay_July2015

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

98834-Do-It-For-Yourself-Not-For-Them
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!

Source

Happy Earth Day!

It’s Earth Day and I am just about to head outside for a walk with my NS BFF. Apparently we are going to take a new-to-me path. It’s a good thing I trust her, or I might be worried.

IMG_8563

Oooh! I like how it’s all mapped out! It speaks to the control freak in me. (There is also a QR code speaking to the geek in me!)

Earth Day is a great day to recommit to reconnecting with nature.

Remember when you used to just go outside and play? Do that again.

It doesn’t matter if you are tired. You can be tired outside.

It doesn’t mater if you are anxious. You can be anxious outside.

Though, I am willing to bet you won’t be as anxious when you are out there as you were when you were inside dwelling on it.

That’s the thing about nature. It just makes everything better, calmer, more reasonable.

Isn’t it time we all go outside and play?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

March Breakin’!

We worked so hard. We studied and tried our best. We did our homework and learned lots of new stuff. We woke up on Mondays and went out bravely into the cold even though there were some days when it was physically painful to do so. We had our hair brushed and braided. We were on time for band. We made healthy lunches (or, at the very least, interesting ones). We suffered through cold and flu season and survived. We finally made it! Yippity biscuits! It’s March Break!

*blink blink*

Now what?

March Break Mug

Monday morning coffee in a customizable mug. LEGO! (Bonus: Math book)

Well, first of all a healthy dose of relaxation is in order. That is what the weekend is for, in my not so humble opinion, and we relaxed as much as we could knowing we didn’t have the same obligations we usually do, to be up and at ’em, come Monday. There is something so glorious about the Sunday before March Break “officially” starts. We were mellow. There was no acute case of the “Sunday Stresses”. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell you.

Yesterday was great! We had a day free of scheduling and just relaxed and spent time together as a family. We played an epic game of LEGO Champion, had a simple lunch,  went outside into the sun (and cold!) to play at a local park close to the water (well, it’s still ice actually, but I digress..) – we even invented a new game while we were there! Then we went grocery shopping (Yes all four of us! Crazy, I know, but it works for us.) for the week and came home to prepare dinner. We really kept it simple because everyone needs to minimize stress, not just the “students”.

After dinner there was time to do whatever we wanted on our own before we all got jammified and ready to watch our feature presentation. Thing 1 had some CPU time with Daddy-O, Thing 2 watched a TV show and made more Rainbow Loom creations, and I went to my happy place. Yup. Social Media. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. I even perused Linked In. (WOT!) It was wonderful!

Then we all piled into the big bed to watch our movie. It was one of our favourites. We used a randomizer app – just for fun – to choose between “A Bug’s Life” and “Enchanted”. “Enchanted” won. Yay! Silly technology FTW! The movie was great, as usual. The Princess saves the Prince and they all live happily ever ever after.

Now it is Monday. March Break has officially begun, and we, like many families are looking forward to five days of freedom and some frugal fun!

So, without further ado (Hah! That’s totally further ado, isn’t it?!), here are some ideas for free, frugal, or relatively inexpensive fun, for the coming week.

From Monday to Thursday of each week Video Difference allows families to borrow two DVDs gratis.

Of course you know we are readers and we love the library. There are special events planned for each day of the March Break at Halifax Public Libraries branches all over HRM.

Chapters Indigo also has a free special activity for children in store every day this week.

All week long from Monday to Friday Cineplex has a March Break promotion called Toonie Matinees.

With many fun museums to choose from, in and around Halifax, there is plenty of entertainment and even a bit of education (Awww. Mo-OOmm!) to be had by just picking one and going for it!

I think we might choose to spend some of our March Break budget on something grody! The Discovery Centre has “Animal Grossology” as its feature exhibit. Ewww!

As always, we will go out and play as often as we can this week – even if it is a bit chillier than we would like – because playing is simply the best way to get exercise and have fun together as a family. Getting outside into the sun is good for everyone!

Hopefully, we can swing a play date or two and maybe even meet up at one of the special events mentioned above with some good friends.

How will you be spending your week? Will you have lots of time with your children? Does this fact frighten you.. or is it business as usual? Are you on a beach vacation? (What?! And you didn’t invite *me*?! *harumphs*)

I’d love to know what you will be doing and what kinds of activities your family enjoys during these long school breaks. I hope you will share some of your fun ideas with me by leaving a comment. Let me know if you decide to take in any of these cool activity suggestions! I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy March Break, everyone!

“A” is for ABBA

This morning I was sitting here (No it was NOT procrastination! It was an exercise in collecting my thoughts. Believe, you, me, that’s a job in and of itself. SQUIRREL!) about to open iTunes and choose my soundtrack for the day. I had this really fun idea to just go alphabetically and see where that led me, when suddenly a tweet popped up over on “the” Twitter that my friend Alex was doing the same exact thing! Proof that there are no original ideas.

Not only was I going to do this, I was going to do the thing I always tend to do, which is skip ABBA because I have the “Thank You for the Music” box set and listening to “People Need Love” every time I open iTunes and randomize it, kind of grows old, so I have taken to just skipping ABBA. I know it’ll come up again when I get to movie soundtracks in the “M”s, so I just wait for “Murial’s Wedding” or “Mamma Mia!” to pop up and enjoy “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money” like everybody else on the planet who grew up in the 70s.

Well this little twitter conversation made me press pause (heh heh) and reflect on what my plan was actually going to be. Would I skip ABBA (iconic satin pants wearing Swedish band of my youth) and go right to Adele or would I – nay should I – start with ABBA and commit to listening to the very first band in my collection of CDs? (Yes. I own the CDs. They’re all in iTunes now and I have a love hate relationship with that fact that I can tell you all about that at another time.)

The answer was clear. Thanks to that little Twitter exchange, I decided to begin with the beguine. It had to be ABBA.

Do you know how many songs ABBA has? Do you know how many have been enormous hits? It’s astonishing.

Disc 2 has just started. “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. I LOVED this song when I was kiddo and actually I think this section of the box set is my favourite because it brings back the best memories of summers in Cape Breton as a free-range kid. Up and OUT! All day. Biking and swimming and climbing trees with best friends. Or building forts  or walks to “the” woods (like they were the only woods in the world – and when your world is that tiny they are the only woods in the world!) to eat.. er.. pick blueberries. It was the life, I tell you!

Anyway, I am currently on a glee-filled, ABBA induced, high and – quite possibly – couldn’t be any happier at this moment in time. My cheeks hurt from smiling and if it’s possible even my ears are happy right now. Despite the fact that they are being forced to hear me belting out all the songs .

Speaking of singing, can you even imagine a better song than “Thank You for the Music” for a little girl (or boy) to listen to when they have dreams of being on Broadway, or singing at the Met, or playing in Carnegie Hall or becoming a professional musician in any capacity? I defy you to try. It is THE best. I love it. I have loved it since the moment I first heard it, decades ago, and I love it still. I love hearing it and until I breathe my last breath (many, many years from now when I am a crazy old lady who rambles on and on about things) (Which is vastly different than now, when I am young and perfectly sane and ramble on and on and on about Things!) I will love it.

There are so many great, inspiring songs and lyrics in ABBA’s catalogue. I mean, they have had a feature film made about the band, their music has graced a stage on the Great White Way and then went on to become the soundtrack for the movie adaptation of the Broadway production. (“Mamma Mia!” I know *you* know, but I felt that maybe some people might need a refresher.) “Mamma Mia” has been a hit time and time again around the world. That’s some pretty amazing “reach”, wouldn’t you agree?

With lines like, “… try once more, like you did before, sing a new song [Chiquitita].”, or  “… one chance in a lifetime, yes I will take it, it can’t go wrong”, or  “… if you see the wonder of a Fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail..”. (Come on! That is gold!) it is practically a collection of “Life Lessons from ABBA”. In fact if Benny, Bjorn, Agnatha or Frida were to write that book, I’d probably buy it. No. Not probably. I would definitely buy it. *coughs* Pre-order *coughs*

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty, what would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music. For giving it to me.

Friday Family Fun Night: Olympic Pizza Edition

We have a tradition at Chez Peady. To be truthful, we have many, but Friday Family Fun Night has been a part of our family, practically since we became a family.

It may have started with a frazzled, hormonally charged “I am a failure as a mother and therefore as a human being!”, but I assure you it has evolved into a lovely family tradition over the years.

Friday Family Fun Night can be anything that works for your family at the end of a busy week. We have, on occasion, even moved FFFN to Saturday to assure a more relaxed experience. I know we can’t be the only set of parents, come Friday, who would really just prefer to crawl into bed and zonk out until the light of day. We are not alone, right? RIGHT?! I didn’t think so.

We tend to change up our FFFN activities on a regular basis so that it doesn’t just start to feel like yet another obligatory “scheduled something” that we have to do. That being said there is one component that seems to have rooted itself deeply into our Friday night plans. Can you guess what it is? No. Guess again! No. Guess again! It’s PIZZA!

(You really should have gotten that sooner. I mean it’s right there in the title of this post. We have to work on your reading detective skills.)

Pizza always plays a part and on a Friday night there is NOTHING easier or more appreciated than a delicious, cheesy pizza. Wait. When you are a kid, there kind of is – it’s making your very own pizza! The Things are pretty creative and over the years we have had a myriad of pizza themes and shapes. From faces to animals to the Death Star and many things in between.

I know that, traditionally, today is a day for hearts, but that would have been cliché and besides with all the Olympic *love* we are seeing and hearing about, tonight’s theme was obvious. We would make an Olympic themed pie. Specifically, we would make the Olympic Flag. And we did!

It was easy and delicious, as usual, but it also fit in perfectly with our Canadian pride (Go, Canada, Go!) and like other MYO Pizza nights the activity is built right into making the meal. How fun is that? I think it’s great because no one is ever waiting around for dinner. They are actively taking part in the preparation, learning new things, making decisions, talking to each other, laughing and having fun. (Speaking of activity, while the pizza was cooking there was a pretty heated game of “Horse” happening between Daddy-O and the Things. I highly recommend those over-the-door basketball hoops.)

This time we really had to think about what kinds of toppings we could use to make those iconic Olympic Rings. We needed blue, black, red, yellow and green. Some toppings popped immediately into our minds. Green peppers and tomatoes seemed obvious choices for green and red.  Three out of four diners enjoy green peppers and tomatoes on their pizza, too, so that was a done deal. It took only a second more to come up with pineapple, which everyone enjoys, for yellow. Great! Thing 1 then had a “Eureka!” moment and shouted “Black Beans are black!”. Terrific! Now blue. Blue was tricky. There was a rather lengthy discussion about which would be more disgusting on pizza: blueberries or blue cheese. Blue cheese won the prize for grossest topping because “it has mold!” and then there was further discussion about the fact that all cheese has mold, but some molds are more scrumptious than others. (Thing debates are the best! I should really record one one of these days.) In the end, blueberries won their place in Olympic pizza history!

We think it turned out great. What do you think?

Veggies

Green peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, black beans, blueberries. Yummy!

Black beans

Thing 1 started with the black ring in the centre, so it would all be even. Logical! (Black beans are *actually* just really dark brown.)

Blueberries

Thing 2 added the blueberry ring and ate a LOT of blueberries in the process.

Veggies

Almost done! What do you think? Doesn’t this look delicious?

Flag pie

Ta daa! An Olympic pizza.

Yummy!

Thing 1 approves of his blueberries and black beans.