A Visit to the Beach

7-20-2017 Ilahee IMG_6346 Artsy

The summer has been great for us and it was a beautiful day for a visit with friends at the beach. It’s always nice to get the kids together. Our daughter enjoyed being doted on by our friends’ daughter and my son was excited to be with friends his age. I, of course, was super happy to be able to talk with other adult moms. We sometimes forget how important it is to nurture friendships at our adult ages too.

My goal is to start planning ahead for activities during Fall and Winter before our beautiful summer goes away. Nurturing friendships old and new. What are some of your favorite activities?

Here’s my daughter enjoying the wonderful breeze, ocean and sand.

Hillside Collage of Roses

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage7-2-2017 Rose Garden Artsy IMG_5896

Here are a few photos from our recent trip to the International Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The roses were spectacular!!! Even our little one enjoyed taking the time to smell a few roses here and there7-2-2017 Rose Garden Artsy IMG_5932

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Visit to Bloedel Reserve

A lovely quiet spot on Bainbridge Island, WA that we have come to love is the Bloedel Reserve. It is a serene and tranquil property that is perfect for a stress-relieving stroll, a place to gather your thoughts or time and place to simply admire nature’s beauty.

Our two year old loves trekking along with us on the trails. At yesterday’s visit we were blessed to see ducks in the pond, geese on the lawn, a deer and her doe in the forest and a little squirrel scurrying across one of the trails. Our daughter enjoys the beautiful flowers and never fails to try and skirt away to the water’s edge. So we always have to keep her close. I just hope she never tires of being around nature’s wonders.

Visit Bloedel Reserve. http://bloedelreserve.org/

Flowers and Strawberries Kind of Party

No matter how hard I try to plan and prepare for a party earlier in the year, I still manage to wait till the last minute to complete a project for a party. The problem for me is that there are way too many great party ideas on Pinterest. Ending up with just a few ideas for a party never seems to happen.

I often tend to overthink things and go overboard but I just love decorating for parties. One of my biggest flaws is that I get so into decorating that I often forget the time. Therefore, I’m always running late. Then I forget to take pictures of the decorations before the party begins.

Here are just a few pictures of our daughter’s birthday party from a few months ago. The paper flowers for the backdrop were so fun to make. I watched many Youtube.com videos and saved so many pins on Pinterest on how to make them. Be prepared to have lots of hot glue sticks on hand if you plan to make the flowers.

The party theme was Flowers and Strawberries. The cake table backdrop turned out a lot shorter than I wanted it to be but it went over fairly well. We used our room divider to display it. The material I used was thin, cotton broadcloth from Joann Fabric. It was on sale for $1.99 a yard and I only used about 2 yards.

The strawberry eggs were filled with candy for a garden hunt for the little ones. I found the idea via Pinterest which lead me to the following link. There are so many cute strawberry party ideas. http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2013/10/aaylas-strawberry-shortcake-birthday.html

We absolutely love having pictures taken of the guests at our parties. We created a photo booth with a pink floral background that I purchased from Amazon.com and completed the booth with handmade berry signs and cute but cheesy photo props. We were so happy to get some great shots of the party guests for our daughter’s memory books.

Here is the Youtube.com video from http://ashandcrafts.com/ that I used for one of the flowers on my daughter’s birthday party backdrop.

 

Here’s the link to the instructions to the Dahlia flowers on the backdrop.

https://houseofcoleman.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/welcoming-spring-with-a-dahlia-tutorial/

Can’t wait to plan my daughter’s next birthday. Pinterest… here I come!

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

This is our oldest son being goofy at our last visit to the Hobbit House. I used the Orton custom effect on PicMonkey to edit the photos.

Goofy Framed Pictures.

Frame 1Frame 2

Fun Baby Picture

Couldn’t help but capture and share this fun picture of our daughter. Quite Artsy “Fartsy.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Fun!

Who Farted marked

Tuesday Visit with Grandma and the Tall Ships

Hawaiian Chieftain 2

Tuesdays are designated our day for Grandma this summer. Life gets so busy for us so we try to keep Tuesdays afternoon/evening as the days we get together and do something with my mother-in-law. Whether it’s to hang out here at our house, visit her at her retirement home or to go somewhere fun, our children know to reserve that day to visit with Grandma.

Grandma’s request for yesterday was to go and see the visiting wooden tall ships, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. We just watched the movie “In the Heart of the Sea” with Chris Hemsworth during our last visit with her. Maybe that spurred her interest in seeing some wooden ships up close. We didn’t get to tour the ships because the dockside tours are held earlier during the day but we were able to see the Hawaiian Chieftain set sail for their evening cruise around the bay.

Set Sail watermarked

Both ships are quite beautiful. We didn’t get to view the Hawaiian Chieftain up close but we were able to catch a few pictures of him with his sails up. We were able to get quite a few close up shots of the Lady Washington and a few random pictures around the docks of the Port of Brownsville.

Port of Brownsville sign watermarked

Port of Brownsville boats watermarked

Lady Washington 1 watermarked

It’s so interesting to see how much rope is involved in the functionality of all the sails. In the pictures it just looks like a knotted mess but each rope has a purpose.

Ship Ropes watermarked

Barnacles are found in abundance on the marina’s pilings.

Barnacles watermarked

There are a lot of little fish and jellyfish hanging out in the marina.

Fish watermarked

Do you love the sea? Could you imagine living on one of these tall ships out on the open sea for weeks at a time?

Portraits

Portraits

I love the first picture below of our son. These are some great portraits of him and of an Elk. We were visiting the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA when these were taken.

David black and white watermarked

Elk watermarked

David and Elk watermarked

My Painted Rock

I love to paint! I have oodles and oodles of paints. It’s one of the many art supplies I love to hoard. I someday hope to take a painting course at our local college but in the meantime I use Pinterest and Bob Ross videos for ideas and tips. You have to love Bob Ross and his “happy little trees”.

Painted Rock

Here is my latest piece where I used very little of my oodles and oodles of collected paints. Yes, it’s a rock! It’s my first painted rock for a group in our community. The members of the group paint rocks and hide them for others in the community to find. Whoever finds the rocks can keep them or re-hide them for someone else to find. Such a great way to promote creativity and art within our community. Especially for the young children. A lot of people post pictures of the rocks they have been finding on the Facebook group page. It’s awesome to see all the great smiles and all the different artwork. I can’t wait to paint more rocks with my children and hide them.

I’ve created a Pinterest board just for painted rocks. So many ideas! I love it!

Pies in a Fire Pit

Since our son has become proficient, and confident, at making campfires, he has been bugging us to make pizza pies in our pie irons for dinner. We decided last night was the night. I ran to the store to purchase the ingredients and we had a great time making the pies.

Our son did a great job in building and starting the camp fire in our fire pit. He used scrap standard construction wood (from our college teen’s summer lumberyard job) but the coals didn’t last as long as we wanted it too. (I took too long taking pictures for my blog). We were able to cook 3 pizza pies but then the coals started to die off.

We had a bag of charcoal for back up just in case and it worked quite well. My husband added about a fourth of a small bag of charcoal to the already established wood coals and, with just a few well-placed breaths, he soon had the charcoal blazing.  We were able to finish cooking the rest of pizza and dessert pies after the coals were ready.

IMG_3548

It took about 20-30 minutes for the wood to burn down to coals. Charcoal burns down much more quickly.  The wood coals also may not last as long as charcoal depending on the type of wood that you use.  Hardwoods burn hotter and longer than soft woods.

Start cooking your pies as soon as the coals are ready. You do not want to put your pies in the fit pit while there are big flames. The flames will cause your pies to burn. You can add more wood to increase the coals as you go along, but you’ll need to wait for the big flames to die down before you can start cooking your pies again.

Here are some ingredients you will want ready for some fun pie making.

  • Loaf of bread
  • Softened butter
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Sliced olives
  • Cherry or Apple Pie filling
  • Cream Cheese Spread (for cherry pie)

Pie Iron

As soon as your coals are ready you’ll want to prep your pies.

1 – Add butter to the insides of your pie iron or to your bread. Place butter side of bread down on the bottom piece of your pie iron.  (Make sure the bread position matches)

2 – Place your preferred ingredients on the bread then cover with another buttered slice of bread. Ensure that the butter side is up

3 – Close up your pie iron with the provided clip and scrape away any bread sticking out of the pie iron. What is left out of the pie iron will burn and will not taste well.

4 – Place your pie iron onto the coals. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes then flip the pie iron. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes more.  It will take longer as the coals burn down.0

5 – Remove the pie iron very carefully (using the wooden handles) and place it on a non-flammable, heat resistance surface (ideally a wooden cutting board).

6 – Unclip the clasp and open up the pie iron. Very carefully remove your pie with utensils or by removing the top piece of the pie iron and flipping the food from the bottom iron onto a plate.

The pie and its contents will be very hot. My suggestion is to cut the pie in half and let cool before giving it to any small child. I even like cutting mine and letting it cool just to be on the safe side. I have to admit that my son and I were not fans of the pizza pies that we made but we did love the fruit pies. I’d love to try cooking tuna melts in the pie irons next. Here is a link to other recipes.

http://www.pieiron.com/recipes.htm

Have you tried cooking in pie irons? If so, what are your favorite pies to make?

Here is the link to purchase the pie irons we have.

https://www.amazon.com/Rome-Industries-1705-Sandwich-Cooker/dp/B000FNLXWG