Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Family Day Fun

We are one of the lucky provinces to have the Family Day holiday in February.  This year my husband was off so we were going to enjoy Family Day together, as a family, in theory.

This is so like us for this to happen.  Dean went to feed the cows and check on them before we left for our Family Day activities.  It was a beautiful, sunny day-a real change to the cold days we'd recently had.  We were all looking forward to finally getting outside.  Dean was taking a little while longer than normal which I knew could only mean one thing...something was wrong.  And shortly after I had that thought, Dean came in and said the water bowl was frozen.  Well we couldn't leave the cows without water and I had no idea how long he would be (nothing is ever an easy fix for us).  So on the day we were suppose to be together as a family, I packed the kids up and the three of us headed out to a friend's camp for a sliding party (or coasting party for my East Coast followers) and left Dean behind to tend to the water bowl.

Dean feeding the cows.  The dreaded water bowl is the yellow box attached to the barn.
My daughter had a great afternoon of sliding with friends and my son slept happily in his stroller.  We later roasted hot dogs on a bon-fire and then had a wonderful "hunt camp meal" - baked beans, chilli, hamburgers, etc.  And of course dessert!

I decided to take cupcakes so was searching for a good recipe.  Typically I'll search for recipes on Pinterest but sometimes I find it overwhelming, there is too many to choose from.  So when I feel like that I dig out my old reliable cookbooks.  My favorite cookbooks are the ones that are typically put together by schools, churches and families as fundraisers.  So for my cupcakes I used the Best Ever Chocolate Cake recipe I found in my church's cookbook which they published a few years ago and an icing recipe from my elementary school's cookbook they published in 2000/2001! And they didn't turn out too bad. 

Best Ever Chocolate Cake (Makes 24 regular cupcakes + 12 mini-cupcakes)

2 cups white sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce to cut down on the fat content a little bit)
2 cups water

Original Directions (for cake): Mix first 5 ingredients in a 9x13 inch cake pan.  Mix vinegar, oil and water together and add gradually to dry ingredients until all mixed.  Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.

Raising Two Directions (for cupcakes):  Mix dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients.  Mix.  Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake about 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Peanutty Cocoa Frosting (double or triple recipe, depending on how you like your cupcakes iced)

Cream together:
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter

Blend in:
2 Tbsp cocoa

Gradually add:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 Tbsp milk

Blend until smooth.

Dean did eventually get to join us.  His mother (have I mentioned I have the best mother-in-law) came over to help him thaw the water bowl.  We're looking forward to next year's Family Day holiday and hoping this can become an annual event-the kids had so much fun (minus the water bowl disaster). 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Be My Valentine!

So I suspect one of the rules of blogging is writing timely posts, i.e. don't write your Valentine's post almost two weeks after Valentine's Day.  However, I'm sorta playing catch-up since my first three posts were about me and this blog.  So here it is, my first "real" post with content and pictures.

First of all, Valentine's Day has never been a big deal for hubby and me.  But once you have kids it seems these holidays have a little more significance.  I little gift for the kids, some fun crafts, and yummy baking.   So I was more than surprised when I received this arrangement of flowers from the kids and Dean.  And maybe less than impressed that he sent his mother to get them for him (I have the best Mother-In-Law in the world).  But as they say, it's the thought that counts.

I made Valentine's Day cards with the kids to send to the family.  I hope everyone appreciated how hard it was to get the hand print of a 9 month old! I originally saw this idea here.

I planned a special dinner of Chicken Parmesan, Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread.  And made this for dessert.


I love chocolate so of course love this blog by Chocolate Covered Katie.  She has a great recipe for single serving chocolate cake.  Click here for the recipe.  I omitted the mocha as I don't like the taste of it. I baked it in a small Pyrex dish.  Single serving is important for me as I have NO willpower.  So if I bake a full-size cake it will most likely be eaten entirely by me!   I placed a paper heart on the cake and sprinkled it with icing sugar.  It made for a tasty little treat.  

All in all it was a pretty good Valentine's Day, most importantly filled with love from family and friends. 


Friday, February 22, 2013

All About Me

There is probably an article out there with guidelines and suggestions on choosing a title for your blog.  Except I didn’t read them.  I just thought what do I do?  Well I raise two children and a whole lot of everything else (right moms??).  In addition to being moms we’re wives, employees, friends, daughters, daughter-in-laws, sisters, and sister-in-laws. We have hobbies that may include everything from playing sports to writing (maybe a blog!).  We love spending time with our families but also enjoy those few moments of quiet we can sometimes steal away.   Hence the name, Raising Two and Everything Else I Do. 

I’ve been married for 6 years to Dean.  We have two children, a daughter, 3 years old (going on 16).  And a 9 month old son.  I work in public relations and promotion for a local waste management facility. I absolutely mean it when I say I love my job.  I try to incorporate the 4R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Re-purpose) in my everyday life.   I'm far from perfect when it comes to this but as a family we try pretty hard (someday I'll write a post on the huge party we threw one summer and only had one small bag of garbage, I was pretty proud of that feat!).  Right now I’m on maternity leave. 

We live on a hobby beef farm in the Ottawa Valley.  I have a new found love for crafting because of my addiction to Pinterest.  If you’re a Pinterest lover than you’ll probably enjoy my posts.  

I also enjoy reading and you’ll see posts about the book club I belong too.  I love our Canadian Maritime Provinces as I was born and raised in Nova Scotia.  My decorating style would be described as primitive/rustic-I love anything re-purposed.  I love my family and friends dearly. 

With all that being said, hopefully I’ll be able to use what I just described above to create a few interesting posts that you'll enjoy reading.

Thanks for following along and have a safe and fun-filled weekend.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Raising Two - What's This Blog All About?

In my first post I tried to explain my thought process in becoming a blogger.  So I guess the next step would be to tell you what I actually intend to write about.  This might be a short post as I’m not quite sure…this is probably not a good way to dive into the world of blogging.  I should have a plan. 

But since I don’t, I envision my posts being on a variety of topics.  I suspect the majority of them will be related to parenting and family experiences because lets face it, as moms these things pretty much consume our lives.  But I also want to share my love of all things re-purposed and recycled.  Or share things related to cooking, baking, and crafting – something else that I spend a lot of time doing-not always successfully.  I will likely also write about my love for my home and country life.  

I’m not saying I’m an expert in any of these subject matters, far from it.  But, like many other moms have done for me, I’d love to share my thoughts in hopes they can be useful to others out there. 

Now that I’ve possibly caught your interest – hopefully you’ll join me later this week as I post a little more information about myself.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

To Blog Or Not to Blog

I’ve decided to join the world of mom bloggers.  Apparently there is a lot of us out there and I hope to hear from some of you.  An article published by Today’s Parent states that in Canada there are 1,000 to 1,500 influential mom bloggers out there.  Read the full article here.  

While it’s apparent some moms can turn their blogs into a source of income I also think moms turn to blogging as a creative outlet.  Which is what I intend to use mine for. 

My decision to start blogging did not come easily.  First – does anyone care about what I do?  Will I have followers other than my mom?  What will I write about?  Will I have time?  What about confidentiality?   Do I want to put my family experiences out there?  And the biggest thing-how will I be judged? 

I belong to a few “mommy” groups on Facebook and it always surprises me to read some of the comments.  Sometimes us moms are not very nice to each other!  Which I never really understand.  Are we not all trying to do the same thing-provide a safe and loving environment for our families to the best of our ability. What if I start blogging and I'm now the recipient of negative comments? How would I deal with that?

At the same time I was already writing posts in my head.  I would be doing something and take a picture in case I wanted to use it in my blog.  Or I would be thinking "if I had a blog I could talk about this."  So I knew it was time to seriously consider taking action.  After consulting a dear friend and fellow blogger – check her out at Glitterary Girl-I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

So I hope you'll follow me so I can share some of my life experiences with you and in turn you can share yours with me!  Looking forward to connecting with you all!