Bachelorette

On Saturday I hosted a bachelorette party for my sister, who is getting married in October. She is the awesomest little sister and we are good friends with each other, so I had a pretty good idea for how to go about planning a day in her honour.

First up, brunch!

cora's

Image via Cora

We all met at Cora which is a great spot that specializes in delicious breakfast fare. Open from 6am-3pm you won’t find Plain Jane meals on the menu. Everything is pretty unique and since the restaurant opened in Montreal, there is a French-Canadian twist. Delicious!

Next up, glo-bowling!

academy lanes

Image via Academy Lanes

I reserved a lane for the 5 of us at Academy Lanes, one of the most well known bowling alleys in the city. The building itself is pretty interesting, it’s a converted theatre! We bowled for a few hours and then drove to the closest Marble Slab Creamery for a cold treat.

From there we went to check into our hotel room and fixed ourselves up for supper!

We ate at the Pony Corral on Pembina Highway, which was absolutely great. The restaurant is situated right by the river and there is a giant deck with tiki huts and patio sets with little gas rings in the middle of the table so you can enjoy a fire while you eat your meal! Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative so we had to eat inside, but it was no skin off our nose since the restaurant boasts a giant disco ball and a guitarist to enhance your dining experience!  Our waitress was amazing and the food was delicious as well as very filling. I always love going there!

Then it was time to go back to the hotel where we dressed ourselves up for a night of dancing! We rode in a limo to King’s Head where we stopped for a few drinks and visited around a big, round table.

limo

That’s me on the left!

king's head

From there we walked to Whiskey Dix to dance!

whiskey dix

All in all I think we all had a good time, so that makes it a successful party!

Killarney

On Friday I rushed to Brandon with Little C to pick up a few essentials for the long weekend (here in Canada, August Long is always the first weekend of the month. It’s officially known as a civic holiday).  Big C and I were packing up the baby and heading to Killarney, Manitoba for a relaxing trip!

Killarney is a pretty and active town about an hour away from where we live. It’s main draw are the two campgrounds and golf course located beside a large lake. It is a total beach town, in the best way possible! Southern Manitoba may not advertise it, but the whole area is dotted with freshwater lakes and beaches have been created for the public’s enjoyment. There are many little recreational spots dotted all over the countryside if one looks hard enough!

On Friday we set up camp (well, I guess it could be considered a ‘glamp‘ since our camper is 28 feet long and we ran the air conditioning 24/7!) and visited with my husband’s aunt and uncle, who were camping (glamping?) beside us. Unfortunately for us, the beach was experiencing blue-green algae and ‘no swimming’ was advised so we spent a beautiful Saturday alternately in town shopping and lounging in the sun while sipping on our ice cold drinks!

On Sunday we drove 15 minutes North-East to Pleasant Valley, where Big C spent the morning golfing with his uncle and cousin-in-law. Little C and I visited with my aunts-in-laws and cousins. We drove down to the beach where Little C had his first Lake experience! I was SO excited to introduce him to the water, but he was not as charmed by the cold, lapping waves as I was. *Sigh* I’ll give it time.

After a relaxing Monday morning, and roasting our lunches over the open flames, we packed up to return home. I have wonderful new memories and a striking new tan to commemorate our trip!

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Rushing

Part of my ‘problem’ of living in the countryside is that when I do travel to an urban area I tend to see all the ‘stuff’ available within arm’s length and go bananas at the shops. Usually I’m with another adult, ie. my husband, and that fact alone tends to reign me in. Not that he controls the purse strings, but when I stop and linger over the 17th pretty object in my sight, he tends to shoot me that decidedly ‘male’ look of exasperation and I then I feel sorry for the poor guy. But when I’m by myself (as in, it’s just me and Little C) there is no telling if I’ll mentally justify an indulgence (or three)!

This morning I rushed to Brandon for camping supplies. Little C needed swimmers, I needed food to plan a healthy menu (after all, I’m trying to be kind to myself) and I had a present to drop off for a friend’s daughter. I have daydreams of a leisurely day in the city, strolling through the shops and enjoying a long lunch with my Mom and sister at Lady of the Lake, but alas today was not that day.

After rushing around Target and making three trips to the car, then rushing around the mall like a chicken with no game plan I finally found all the things I needed. A budding headache made me realize that I had not eaten yet, so a quick (and slightly depressing) sandwich from the drive thru was in order. While eating my food and driving out of the city, I reflected on why I felt so disorganized. Frankly, I realized that in order to be more organized, I must indulge more often!

I kept getting distracted by shiny things and found it hard to focus on my list of essentials. If it wasn’t gorgeous mint sandals on sale, it was ‘oh, I need a new camera, I should look at those’ or it was the desire to find the ‘perfect’ toy for a 2 year old. If it wasn’t all that, I was constantly on the look out for entertaining ideas. Items for my sister’s upcoming bachelorette, or decor ideas for my mom’s upcoming birthday (she’s turning the big 6-0!), or even picnic items on sale were drawing my eye. My list fell to the wayside as I oohed and ahh-ed over paper goods, shoes and cameras.

None of this was on my camping trip list! Hauling myself back to reality was extremely difficult.

Brandon is such a great little city. I can find almost everything I need/want here and I need to make a point to come more often. When I first moved to the country I hopped in my car and drove to Brandon once a week to get my ‘urban’ fix. I need to start traveling there more often again.

Perhaps without my husband so I can linger over all the pretty things😉

Kindness is Key

When we arrived home after nearly a week of camping and volunteering at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum, I was mysteriously brimming with energy. But instead of focused movements, I was running all over the place and after putting most things away back in their proper place, I went out into the garden to take stock on what was happening with our vegetables.

The peas were more than ready to be picked and there were two overgrown zucchini calling my name. After plucking the food from their vines I weeded in between plants until I got bored, then brought everything indoors. After panicking for a single indecisive minute, as I didn’t want to let the vegetables just sit there on the counter, I decided to bake a chocolate zucchini cake and cook a cauliflower salad.

After checking to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients (I did) I set about boiling the cauliflower and eggs as well as getting the cake batter ready for the oven. I don’t know what possessed me to do all this. I was in a tizzy! Between my time in the kitchen, taking care of Little C and trying to catch up on blog posts, the whole day was frazzled, the total opposite of relaxing.

Truth be known, I love to cook and bake. It’s a creative outlet that many people enjoy and it’s something I do for myself. Big C is a picky eater and is known for rejecting many a culinary masterpiece if it’s not plain steak and potatoes. Although I am slowly and gently nudging him toward a more open mindset, sometimes just by adding herbs and spices to otherwise mundane dishes, he does not eat anything ‘mixed’ like casseroles or anything with a sauce. Gravy or soup is OUT. How crazy, right!

With all this baking around the house, I’ve been snacking unnecessarily on junk food. To my shame I’ve been ignoring the delicious fruits and vegetables in my fridge in favour of cookies and brownies. I am not happy with the way I am acting. Treating myself poorly is not the way I envision living. I know I will have to make a conscious effort to be kinder to myself. Perhaps I will document this journey? We will see.

I recently read an inspiring post about treating yourself kindly. It certainly resonates with me, as it’s something I struggle to do every day. After I had my son, 5 months ago, I got a blood clot. So between dealing with being a new mom and these new health issues, nutrition took a total backseat (like, I threw it in the trunk and slammed the door down). I recently saw a picture of me that a friend took on a camping trip and I almost cried. I hated what I saw. I want to change that! Life is too short to be unhappy with the way you look. Yes, it’s good to accept who you are, but it’s also right to be the best you can be!

This isn’t a food and exercise blog. I am by no means an expert. Ha! Not here! This is my beginner’s guide, my buckling legs, if you will, to treating my body kindly. I am not rigid, of course not! I seek pleasure all the time, which is why I am in this predicament in the first place. Somewhere along the way my brain decided cookies and other sweets were the answers to my pleasure prayers. And although it’s perfectly fine to indulge once in a while, everyday three times per day is not an indulgence, it’s a bad habit!

So, Kindness is Key!

It’s Alive!

I’m typing this from my camper as I feed Little C. We are here in Austin, Manitoba for the Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede! Hundreds of volunteers are working their butts off to make history come alive, and as usual they’re succeeding! I can hear the bangs and whistles, motors and flywheels. People are shouting and chatting and laughing. It’s a great place to casually walk, stroll, and hike while you learn about Manitoba’s agricultural history! The reunion lasts from July 24-July 27! There’s entertaining demonstrations on the grounds during the day, a fantastic rodeo at the grandstand in the evening and a ‘kick off your heels’ kind of dance at the Corn and Barley Corral at night!

Let’s Do Lunch

About a month ago a friend of mine announced that she was moving to Saskatchewan to pursue a new job opportunity and we immediately made plans to have a nice long visit before she left Winnipeg for (possibly?) greener pastures.

At that time, she was still living in St. Boniface, and as it’s easier for her to eat locally (she doesn’t own a vehicle) and I love exploring new places, we made plans to lunch at the Marion Street Eatery.

Tucked into a long booth, Nicole and I had a wonderful visit and tasted delicious food (I had the Roasted Vegetable Baguette… scrumptious!) and as usual, Little C was the toast of the town. He smiled cheekily at the waitress who brought my umpteenth cup of coffee and grinned at the businessmen across the aisle. As we were leaving, two young women, who looked like they were ready for festival season stopped us to coo over Little C and of course he wooed him with his wiley charms and toothless grins.

As we said our goodbyes and I drove to our next destination, I thought to myself that I would recommend this place to anyone! So if you’re in St. B, or any part of the city, it’s worth a visit!

The start of learning how to dance on tabletops

 

(Note: I am not affiliated with this restaurant or hotel and I am not being paid to write this. I simply loved my experience there and wanted to share!)

Austin

On Sunday I packed up the car and took the baby for a 40 minute drive to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to meet with my mom and sister, who were starting to organize themselves for this year’s fashion show. They, and others who help them, put on a vintage fashion show as an extension of a group we belong to, Reunion Ladies Activities. This group demonstrates different things that prairie pioneer women did ‘back in the day’.

This museum is close to my heart, as it is where my parents met, got married, and practically raised us. This is, in fact, their 40th wedding anniversary! My sister and I know the hard work it takes to put on a show and make history come alive for spectators. She has grown up helping our mom with the Ladies Activities and I have split my time between this and helping our dad to run a steam engine. Last year was the first year in a long time that I was not on an engine. I could not get time off work to help during the week, and I was pregnant and didn’t want to be jumping on and off, or falling off the engine or breathing in the wood/coal smoke. It is a hard and dirty job but I was so sad, as I love my time on the steam engine.

This year, with a new baby, I will not be on the engine again. I am having trouble finding my niche, as I always had a routine during the show, and now it is being disrupted. I have no antique crafting skills like looming or quilting, and am mediocre at embroidery. I found my grandma’s recipe for sourdough pancakes, which she used to make there, and I’m going to try to make this at home to see if I am any good at it. Who knows what’s in store…

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum is located just off the trans-canada highway, on highway #34, North of Austin, Manitoba. It is really a wonderful place to visit and learn about Manitoba heritage!

One our engagement pics, done  by the lovely Jodi of Memories by Me at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum!