Friday, 29 May 2015

International Children's Festival

Last Friday we headed over to Grandma Jen’s place for a quick lunch and a trip down to the International Children’s Festival.  None of us have been before so we were quite excited.  And to add to the excitement, we got to go in Grandma Jen’s Beetle with the top down.  The girls LOVED this.
Getting ready to head downtown for the festival.
This was the first activity we did.  Finley did it the right way but Penelope was being her regular quirky self and went the opposite way.  She didn’t seem to mind at all.
The highlight for everybody seemed to be playing in the water at Olympic Plaza.  It never occurred to me that this would happen so the girls remained wet for quite awhile.  Thankfully it was so hot out that they dried off before we had to leave. 
The highlight of the festival was seeing Squonk.  They are Squonk Opera from Pittsburgh and they travel around doing science shows set to music.  It was fabulous.
This machine shot steam at everybody and the kids loved it so much.
Once the musical ended, they held a science workshop explaining how it all worked and they interacted with the kids so well.  It was really well done.  Definitely my favourite part of the festival.
Hanging out at the Parks Canada Booth.  They love anything they can stick their face out of hahaha
Parks Canada had another booth with a bear trap and a talking bear in it.  It was really well done and there was a guy in it talking for the bear.  We know this because the bear commented about Finley’s dress which totally made her day.
Playing bubbles
There were some kids who had balloon animals and Penelope loves balloons and was sad we couldn’t find the person who did it.  Apparently this was the first year that there were no balloons inside the festival area so there was a really good guy who was walking around the perimeter making them for the kids.  We had given up on locating him but as we were walking back to the parking lot, I saw him.  We had some happy kids once this done.  Although Finley’s popped driving to Grandma Jen’s and she was not very happy about it.
After the Festival, we stopped in at Village Ice Cream because it was so hot and we needed to cool off.  It was delicious as always!
We made a quick stop at Nellie Breen Playground in Inglewood for some play before we headed back to Grandma’s house and then back to ours.  This is by far my favourite playground in the city.  Everything about it is awesome.  

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bike Calgary

Over the May long weekend, Greg and I were trying to think of something fun to do on the Holiday Monday.  We had joked around about biking downtown but the morning of, it became reality.  We initially were going to start from our house but went to the Banister Road entrance of Fish Creek Park  so that we would be close to a train station just in case. 
A view of downtown.  It was amazing how many fabulous views of the downtown area we saw.  
18.59K into our bike ride, we stopped for lunch at Carbon Park.  I had never been here before and it is such a nice green space and water area.  I can’t wait to come back over summer vacation and spend so much time exploring the area.  We even saw baby owls in the tree.  It was up high but still pretty cool.
Just like most of the parks in Calgary, there is still so many reminders of the flood of 2013.  Here there are picnic tables in the water, stairs leading no where and broken docks.  
The original path was washed away but there has been a go around created by those who use the trails – just like in Fish Creek.
Another stunning view of our city.
This path kinda sucked.  It said it was open – no  barriers or signs or anything so we continued on but it was rough and finley was going to fast in the gravel and totally wiped out.  It was so funny to watch because it was in total slow motion and was the funniest thing ever.  Well I thought so at least, she didn’t too much.  
Despite saying the trail was open when we got to the end of the trail and needed to get on the bridge – it was gated and padlocked off.  Thankfully Greg is super strong and was able to lift all of our bikes over and he helped others in the same situation as us.  The City of Calgary really needs to look into the open/closed paths because most signs whether there or not are incorrect.
Another view of downtown – so much closer! It was crazy how close we were to my aunt and uncle’s house at this point.
This path took us to the Inglewood Golf Course and the Bird Sanctuary and very close to Grandma Jen’s house.  The girls loved this.  This was a new addition post flood – and it is really nice.
We were not sure how things would go being downtown and off the great bike trails but we were pretty close to Village Ice Cream which was our destination.  Bribery goes a long ways when making your girls ride for an excessive amount of time and distance.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our ice cream treat after a 35K bike ride.  We were all tired except Penelope who got to ride behind Greg for the whole thing.  We all wanted to sleep and she just kept biking when we got home. 
After Village Ice Cream, we rode our bikes to Stampede Station and hoped on and took the train to Fish Creek Station where Greg got off with his and Penelope’s bike and rode back to our car. We stayed on until Bridlewood Station and got the bikes out and waited for Greg to come get us.  It was so windy so taking the train back was a smart idea.  It was really windy when we started out and it sucked and to have to endure that the whole way home was more then we could take.  Plus Finley was tired.  The girls loved the train and we never ever ride it so it was a fun end to a really good day.  
I loved every minute of this bike ride and loved all the great parks, paths and sights we came across.  It’s such a great way to see your city while getting exercise and spending time with your family.  We are already plotting our next long distance bike ride in the city and I can’t wait!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

The second last weekend of May, we loaded up the new vehicle and new roof rack carrier and headed to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  We needed to do a test run with the smaller vehicle to figure out how we would manage on bigger camping trips.  We knew even before doing this that we would need a roof rack carrier and as luck would have it, the one we wanted was on sale at Canadian Tire the week before. 
The girls were so excited to finally be going back camping.  It was a long winter for them.  
Some wild life we saw on one of the drives.  
The girls are such good campers and helpers.  They haul everything from the car to the tent and get it all ready.  They also help Greg set up the tent.  I literally have to watch, that is it.  I have it made my friends.
We went for a bike ride but it wasn’t a long one since Penelope wanted to ride her own bike and she gets tired pretty quickly.
The ice cream shop wasn’t open yet but the store still had some frozen treats.  It was incredibly busy at the park and only a handful of empty sites remained when we got there on Saturday morning.  It was kinda crazy!!
Upper Kananaskis Lake.  I think this might be what heaven looks like.  We hung out here for a bit and chilled and while the girls built castles out of rocks.  It was pretty nice.
Their Grandma Gail bought them princess roasting sticks which are pretty cool.  The girls love having their own sticks.
eating her gooey marshmallow goodness.
Finley was mad and pouty because her marshmallow kept burning and she had to keep starting over.  
The days were warm but the night was cold.  So cold.  It was freezing.  The girls also slept terribly.  It was a long night.  If this happens again, there might not be a whole lot of camping in our future haha.

Simple Hoisin Glazed Salmon

Another terrible photo of a deliciously easy meal.  
Simple Hoisin Glazed Salmon

½ cup soy sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2-3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp honey
2 limes (I didn’t have so didn’t add)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1.  Mix soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, garlic, ginger, honey and juice of the limes.  Transfer to wok over medium heat.  Simmer until it reduces to a syrupy consistency that will stick to salmon.  Remove from heat. 
2.  Preheat oven to 350.  Pour oil into dish and arrange salmon in the pan.  Brush salmon with thin layer.  Bake 15 minutes then remove from oven and brush again and cook another 15 minutes.  Remove and brush again one more time before serving.

Monday, 25 May 2015


We registered Finley for outdoor soccer in February but she decided she wanted to play field hockey instead.  I found a field hockey league here in Calgary and they had a group that Finley could play in close to our community.  2 days before every spring program in the city was to start, I got an email saying they had cancelled the SW/SE portion due to low enrolment.  I could have switched her to play in Tuscany but driving an hour each way in rush hour did not appeal in the slight. 
I looked and looked for an activity for her to do so she didn’t feel like she was being left out when Penelope was playing soccer and someone suggested yoga for her.  She did yoga last year with her Junior Kindergarten class so I knew she would like it.  I found a class for her on Tuesday afternoons from 4-445 in McKenzie Towne and so far so good.  She loves it so much!
Getting ready to go in to her yoga class.  I love her pattern on pattern look hahaha.
Waiitng for her class to start.  I love everything about this photo.
The class is about 25 minutes from our house so there is no point in going home.  The first class we hung out in the car and Penelope played with her iPad
And I listened to the radio and relaxed.  I had forgotten my wallet otherwise we would have gone down to 130th to keep us busy.  I have since used this time to do my pick ups and drink starbucks :)
The end of her first class.  She loved it!!  

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Ok so I am totally late to the game on this but here is my Mother’s Day post – FINALLY!!  But like I always seem to say in my posts – better late then never ever right??  At least that is what I tell myself.  I need to start treating blogging like a job and commit myself to working on it a little everyday instead of all at once or nothing at all. 
My mother’s day started Saturday night when Greg and the girls brought home flowers from Sobeys when they ran to get something they forgot for dinner.  These were our wedding flowers so for the last 9 years these are what I get anytime Greg decides to get me flowers.
I am in love with this white jug that I used to display the flowers.  It used to be the centrepiece of my kitchen table but I recently switched it up.  I can’t bear to part with it so I must find a space for it somewhere!
I was really surprised to get breakfast in bed since we had brunch reservations later that morning.  But I can’t lie – homemade biscuits with homemade raspberry jam??  It was amazing!!
One of the items Finley made for me for Mother’s Day.  She also made me a chia pet but she claimed it as her own and I have not seen it since it came  home from school that Friday.  The girls also wrote in the Mother’s Day Journal that Greg got me last year which I love!
Me and the girls on our way to The Nash.  I picked a different photo then the one I shared on social media because I love love love Penelope in this photo.  This photo is just so perfectly us it is ridiculous.  How lucky am I to call these 2 mine?
At breakfast.  She is so cute.
lots of wild animals roaming around Banff.  It’s tradition to head to the park for Mother’s Day.
We hiked Johnston Canyon and this is always my favourite part.  If you have never done this hike, I really recommend it.  It’s really easy and you don’t even have to be a hiker to do it.  As long as you can walk, you can do it.  And you won’t be disappointed.  Any time of the year, it is stunning.
We ended our day at Toque which is a relatively new establishment in Banff.  I will post on our experience there but I will say the decor in this place is second to none.  It’s as Canadian as it gets and we loved it.  The food and service? Not so much!
All in all, it was a great day spent with those I love the most in this world.  I am grateful everyday that I get to raise these 2 beautiful girls and even though sometimes they make me want to run away, I am glad just the same.