Spinach Salad with Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I’m a sucker for a good homemade salad dressing, and am always looking for a new recipe. This fits the bill completely. And soooo easy (they often are) and seriously scrumptious.

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For the salad:

Spinach

a bunch of fruit cut up into bite sized pieces (apples, grapes, mandarins, strawberries, raspberries, melon, etc.)

sliced almonds or pecans (I like to sugar mine – equal parts margarine and sugar….melt and mix together in pan, add nuts and stir. watch carefully so they don’t burn)

Feta, Goat, or blue cheese….or asiago, swiss emmental, etc.

Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola/vegatable oil

2 Tbsp raspberry jam

2 Tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp salt (optional)

3/4 tsp. dried mustard

Drizzle over salad, toss, and ENJOY!

 

Fun and Delicious Kool-Aid Popcorn

This is a great treat to make with the kids and it’s so delicious too! Years ago, when one of Jonah’s preschool classmates handed out baggies to everyone, I may or may not have eaten the entre thing. *oops*

kool aid popcorn these are your days snacks kids 2

2 cups sugar

1 cup white corn syrup

2/3 cups margarine

2 packages of Kool-aid

1 tsp baking soda

Boil the sugar, syrup, and margarine together for 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda and Kool-aid and pour over 6 quarts of popcorn.

Bake at 225 for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and break up immediately.

ENJOY!!! (Make two batches and add the festive flair – red/green. orange/black, red/pink, or perhaps just a few random colours for fun!)

Be Scared and Do it Anyway

Last summer, in a gutsy move, Jonah agreed to try kneeboarding. He was a little nervous but my cousin reassured him he would be okay and showed him what to do.

He only tried once but that was enough. The rope came off and he flipped over, but his knees didn’t pop out of the straps like he expected. So while his head was never under the water, he was certain he was drowning and just moments from death.

I’m serious. these-are-your-days-do-hard-things-be-scared-and-do-it-anyway-making-memories

He was completely traumatized and unwilling to try again, which broke my heart. I just really wanted it for him, knowing he would love it and feel so proud of himself. But there’s a fine balance in knowing when to push and when to trust. I chose to trust his choice to wait.

Fast forward to this summer at the same lake, with our same cousins. We spent a good part of time boating and tubing. When some of their other cousins went out on the kneeboard, I could tell Jonah was waging an inner battle.

He told me he wanted to try it again, but that he was scared.

I shared with him a story I had read earlier this year, of a young girl standing on the edge of the pool, wanting to jump in. An older lady noticed her hesitation and asked what was wrong. When she replied that she was scared, this older lady said simply,

Well, be scared and do it anyway

And just like that, it became one of my favourite lines, a motto of sorts. And the opportunity to pass it on to Jonah was a shining parenting moment for me. Better yet was that he took it…he believed it….he was scared to kneeboard again, but he did it anyways.

And you guys, he rocked it!

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Not only did he love it {minus a scary bumpy part in the middle}, but the impact on his confidence and pride in himself is irreplaceable. And he saw that he can do hard things….he can make things happen…he can be scared and do it anyway!

 

Start Your Watch Collection With A Jord Giveaway ~ Everybody Wins!

I could not be any more excited to feature Jord Wood Watches again. And not just because I’ve finally started my own watch collection with this beauty:

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Cora Series – Purpleheart & Mother of Pearl

But because I seriously love this company and their watches. The Captain received one for review, then I bought him one, and now I’ve received this one. They are such unique and cool watches, and the quality is really quite amazing. I seriously can’t get enough – don’t be surprised if I continue the trend and buy myself another one next.

Seriously.

Also, can I just take a minute to tell you how much I love the new packaging? These boxes are gorgeous, with a magnetic lid and a cute little drawer at the bottom. Sigh – All the heart eyes.

Okay, so here’s the deal: Jord is giving away a $100 gift code to one lucky winner AND a $20 gift code to EVERYONE who enters! EVERYONE!

You get a gift code. You get a gift code. Everyone gets a gift code!!!!

Enter the giveway HERE and then head over to find your favourite Women’s Watch or Men’s Watch

But can you choose just one?

**Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches,

but as always, ALL opinions are my own. I seriously love these watches! **

**Photo Credit: Huge thanks to Micah Maria Photography**

4 Podcasts That Inspire Me

I know I’m probably the last person on the planet to discover the podcast app {thanks to my cousins}, but can I just say  that my life has been forever changed because of it.

And I can’t stop.

Here are four podcasts that I listen to on the reg {ha, I just said it that way to sound cool}. And by *reg* I mean, on the way home from taking the kids to school, while eating my breakfast {Qi’a oatmeal and fresh fruit} and packing my lunch, on the way to work, on the way home from work and picking up the kids from school, while working out, and often for a few minutes before drifting off to dreamland. It’s basically replaced everything else. haha

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  1. Tony Robbins – First, watch his documentary *I Am Not Your Guru* on Netflix. Then, once you’ve recovered from the life altering inspiration {I’m not kidding}, check out his podcast. His first season was good, but already his second season {2 episodes in at the time I’m writing this} is over the top. I particularly loved *How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible* with Siri Lindley – amazing!
  2. Earn Your Happy with Lori Harder – Several weeks ago my cousin Radelle texted a screenshot of one of her new favourite podcasts to pass onto our other cousin, Laura and me. Laura immediately responded that she had also recently discovered it and was hooked. Ha! Well add me to the mix because I can’t get enough. I polished off all the episodes while driving to our recent BC camping trip and pretty much spent the entire time insanely inspired, especially episodes 52: What Make a Happiness Expert, Happy with Gretchen Rubin {author of The Happiness Project} and  57: Go From Tragedy to Legendary Life with Ted Ryce {I warn you, his personal story is unexpectedly intense and so heartbreaking}.
  3. Untame the Wild Soul with Elizabeth Dialto – One of the amazing guests on Earn Your Happy, Elizabeth Dialto speaks to my wild soul. To that burning inner passion, that almost nobody understands and that you simply can’t explain to people who don’t get it,. But Elizabeth Dialto gets it. She has it. She owns it. And I am so inspired by that. Check out episodes 119: Martha Beck on Life Coaching, Dreams, and Integrity and 126: Alexi Panos on 50 Ways to Yay.
  4. The Soul Fueled CEO with Amber Lilyestrom – Another guest from Earn Your Happy, this amazing podcast has me excited for possible future endeavors. Of the few I’ve listened to, two of my favourites are The Goddess Revolution with Mel Wells and Building Your Hustle-Free Empire with Amanda Loveland.

Thanks to my newfound podcast addiction, I can honestly say my days are more productive, and start with more clarity, inspiration and motivation.

I’ve got some big dreams here, my friends, and I can’t wait to make them happen!

**You can also purchase any of these podcasts on iTunes. I promise it’s worth it!**

 

Making Memories With Your Kids

It should be clear by now that making memories is my passion, my purpose…and the main focus of my blog. But I don’t want to just show you how I’m making memories, I want to inspire you to do the same.

Luckily, there are others who share that same vision, and today I’m linking up to one such site. The Dating Divas

I’ve been a fan of there’s for a couple of years now, and although the majority of their posts are specifically about dating/marriage relationships, I found a lovely little gem 

Making-Childhood-Memories the dating divas these are your days making memories

50 Ways to Make Childhood Memories {photo used with permission}, which includes ideas for:

Indoor Activities, Out of the House Activities, Small and Simple Surprises, and Outdoor Activities

Trust me, there are some great ones. Actually, I love them all and have done many of them. Of course, now I have new ones to add to my list. Check it out!

4 Tips To Make Travelling With Kids Easier

Taking trips with the kids on my own is nothing new to me. The Captain was often working whenever there were family weddings, reunions, and other getaways, so I’ve been heading off on adventures alone with the kids since they were babies. And each time, I get a little more clever and find something else to make the trip easier.

On our recent camping trip to BC, these 4 tricks saved me a lot of time and hassle.

  1. I typically plan and pre-cook most of our meals, so that most of the work is done beforehand. But this time, I avoided all of that and went the path of least resistance…and work. Haha…It was a 5 day trip and I packed convenience foods and snacks that all fit nicely in an *under the bed* size tub.

 

camping food made easy these are your days making memories traveling with kids

Kraft Dinner, Ichiban {Ramen}, Bear Paws, Cheese and Salsa {Tortilla Chips in a separate bag}, Trail Mix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Plaintain Chips, White Bean Crackers, Campfire Popcorn, Oatmeal, Cup-a-Soup, Fruit Source Bars, and I ended up buying Hot Chocolate, Tea and Hamburger Helper as well

2. I packed our clothes in laundry baskets for years, which I love but over the past couple of years I’ve switched to packing in reusable grocery bags. Trust me, it’s a much better solution! Even better, this time I used our MASSIVE Ikea bag. It held clothes for the 3 of us for the 5 days plus towels and there was still room. Plus the handles make it super easy to carry.

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                         This photo was taken after the trip, with the first load of clean laundry, but you get the idea. lol

3. I hate not having something to put dirty clothes in. When I used to pack in laundry baskets, we would use it if we were somewhere with dressers {hotel, condo, etc.}. But now that I use the reusable bags, I grab Brooklyn’s old collapsible laundry basket and it’s completely awesome. It doesn’t take up any room AND keeps everything off the floor, which is especially important in a tent.

Added Bonus: Since I always wash everything after a trip {especially camping}, worn or not, there needs to be a reasonably easy solution that doesn’t take up more space. This trip, I emptied the dirty clothes back into the Ikea bag, collapsed the laundry basket and was on my way.

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This pop up hamper was from Walmart – similar

4. We set off on our trip a day early to shorten the trip a bit and stay in a hotel. I’m sure you’ve all been there before – vehicle nicely packed and no real interest in mucking around. We were staying over for one night and our main purpose was to enjoy the pool so we really didn’t need a lot. I LOVE these small lululemon bags and use them for so many things {like my lunch at work} and knew they’d be perfect for this.

lululemon these are your days packing made easy camping traveling with kids making memories

I packed:

1 bag for each kid – Swimsuit, pyjamas and clean underwear. I added mine to one of the bags as well. You could fit the next day’s clothes in as well, but we just wore our same clothes again to make it easy.

1 bag is our permanent goggle/swim bag

And the blue bag {I clearly need to shop at lulu more lol} was for my toiletries.

Heading into the hotel was super easy and even if you have small kids, these bags are easy to carry for them too.

What tips and tricks do you have that help make travelling easier?

Tag me on Instagram @theseareyourdays

There are no whales in the toilet

It’s one thing I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. So when Travelocity listed Whale Watching in Santa Barbara as a YEAR ROUND activity, I was sold.

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It is so stunning

I have a tendency to get car sick so had some concerns about getting sea sick, but didn’t want to buy Gravol for just one use. I asked my cousin if she had any to bring, but she didn’t. Our host family even looked in their house for me but to no avail. So I chose to hope for the best.

I made the wrong choice.

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While I was still upright

The real mistake for me was going into the café on board. It’s the area of the ship with the most movement and as I waited for my burger {thinking I was hungry}, I could feel it happening. Just one bite of my burger {which was delicious honestly} and I knew I was in trouble.

That delicious $7 burger with one pathetic bite out of it, found it’s way to the garbage after my first bathroom visit, and I proceeded to spend the last half of the trip either hovered over the toilet or laying on a life vest storage bench on the back deck.

The breeze and sunshine sure felt nice though.

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My opinion on the whales? Well, Gray Whales are boring {case in point: see above}….we did see a baby which was fun but they really do nothing beyond breaching. And there weren’t any dolphins at all, which was a real bummer for me personally. At one point there was a Humpback Whale, though within seconds of getting up to go see, I was finding my way back to the bathroom. Haha…

The company – Condor Express – was fantastic and despite this experience, I will definitely book through them again. I’ll be booking my trip around Humpback season though as they are arguably much more exciting to watch. I will also be taking Gravol BEFORE and will never make the mistake of eating a protein cookie beforehand or ever again actually {It was the last thing I ate before boarding the ship and the very last thing that came up….after an hour of being sick…and the nastiest, thickest sludge ever….sorry for that….just keeping it real lol}.

Whale Watching Nap These are your days making memories seasick grey whales

While I was able to recover with a 3 hour nap afterwards {Honestly, I died}, the truth is that queasy feeling didn’t go away the entire rest of the weekend. So although I’m definitely glad I went, I’ll be doing things much differently the next time around.

Photo credit: Eternal Reflections Photography, except for the last photo…the grainy one, courtesy of my iPhone. lol

 

 

Another Amazon Swimwear Search for Girls

Last year I posted about all the cute swimwear on Amazon, and even ordered a couple for Brooklyn which I LOVE! But it’s time to add to her collection once more.

I’m pretty picky with the bikinis I like and buy for her, and have discovered a love for the ruffle or flounce tops. And Kanu has really knocked it out of the park. I want one of each.

Kanu Surf Girls Allison Nikki Chloe these are your days swimwear beach ready

    Allison * Nikki * Chloe 

Kanu Surf Girls Hannah Karlie Kelly these are your days swimwear beach ready

    HannahKarlie * Kelly

But why stop there? Here are a few other gorgeous swimsuits worth checking out.

Arshiner Gossip Girl Attraco these are your days swimwear beach ready

 

  Arshiner Floral * Gossip Girl AztecAttraco Rainbow

And it continues – you really can’t have too many 😉

A Snail Named Georgie

Well, we finally got a lake day in.

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I love spending the afternoon watching the them kayak around. I mentioned them on Instagram as well, but if you haven’t purchased these kids kayaks from Costco yet, they are a must for next summer! Seriously, even your little 3 year olds can maneuver them! Major win with this purchase!

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As I was loading our stuff into the vehicle, Jonah was sitting at the shore just playing in the water. And of course, he found a little friend.

And of course he begged to bring her home.

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And OF COURSE, I said no.

*But she has a mommy she needs to stay with*

*She’s going to die*

*You aren’t bringing her into the house*

*Please don’t bring the snail home*

*She’ll miss her friends*

But of course, in the end, none of that really mattered {unless she really is missing her mom now…and I suppose if she dies as a result….oops} and I decided to simply #beayesmom. And now we have a pet snail named Georgie.

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Jonah’s heart couldn’t be happier.

I love hearing your #beayesmom moments, so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @theseareyourdays