Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Coffee Chat June 2015

I've been trying really hard not to drink coffee on an empty stomach and to sort of limit my carb intake. So if we're going to have coffee first thing in the morning chances are I'd also have some vanilla yogurt along with mine. 

The first thing we'd talk about is how camp is going. I'd sigh and respond that it's going well although I often feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. I might confide in you that it's near impossible to find time to talk to J. before 11:00 p.m. each night and by that point I'm practically falling asleep. These long distance relationship type situations are hard work. It is without a doubt worth the effort, but I'll be relieved when it's over. I'd ask about your experience with long distance relationships and hope that you might have some words of wisdom or advice to offer.

I'd tell you that I recently discovered a Vanilla Carmel flavoured creamer and it's been making my coffee extra delicious. I never use creamer at home but camp coffee needs a little extra boost. I know it's not a great choice health wise, but I think we all deserve an indulgence here and there. I choose to make mine Vanilla Carmel Creamer. And also thick cut, rippled, plain potato chips. What have you been indulging in recently? Or will your answers only make me want to rush to the nearest grocery store for more treats opposed to veggies?

If you're a regular blog reader you might ask how my summer goals are going. I'd be honest and tell you I was off to a really great start and then things quickly spiralled downwards. I haven't totally abandoned the blog and I've been getting to bed a little earlier than previous summers, plus most nights I read for at least 10-15 minutes right before bed. Lately though I've lost track of the Fringe Hours. I find myself acknowledging the fact I would love to spend 10 minutes taking photos of an amazing sunset and then hurrying away to fold laundry or prepare evening snack. I'm hopeful that this is the week I reclaim those minutes and use them for me instead of always prioritizing work.

I might share with you that my biggest, boldest, scariest and sincerest prayer right now is to find a full time position with a summer camp ministry near my hometown beginning this fall. I know it's a lot to request and in many ways it seems almost impossible, but I know that God can do the impossible. So I'm continuing to pray. I'm praying that specific prayer but also that God will lead me to the place He wants/needs me to be and that I can continue to trust Him. 

Even though I'd love to chat well into the afternoon or late into the night this month I probably only have time for one cup of coffee. Here's hoping that next month I'll be able to suggest a refill so we can discuss a few other things that have been on my mind lately. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Bonfires & Burgers

For the second time this summer the stars aligned and session break fell on a weekend. I drove home for the weekend since this is our longest break of the summer and pulled into the driveway at 7:00 Thursday night, perfect timing for a long weekend to officially begin. It's also finally starting to feel like summer around here. May and June have been cold, damp and rainy. We've spent a lot of time indoors and when the sun has been shining it's often still too cold to be outside without pants and a hoodie. Being able to wear flip flops without fear of frost bitten toes was a true highlight of this past weekend.

The focus for Thursday night and Friday morning was rest & relaxation. I took a nice long hot shower complete with great water pressure. I then proceeded to bed where I stayed until 9:00 Friday morning. I leisurely spent the day Friday drinking hot cups of coffee, finally catching up with blogs and enjoying every minute of being on having some real time off and away from camp. J. was house sitting this past weekend at his parents so I headed over there Friday evening for BBQ Burgers and maybe most importantly, Salted Carmel Ice Cream with chocolate sauce. I cohersed him into watching Love It or List It with me and then we got sucked into the last hour of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 that was playing on a different channel. Even with all that excitement I was home in bed by 11 p.m.. Sleep was very high on the priority list this weekend. 

Saturday morning I got laundry crossed off my to do list and enjoyed drinking hot coffee for a second morning in a row. J. and I had supper at Boston Pizza and then headed back to his parents for a bonfire. I'm not a huge fan of toasted marshmallows, I enjoy two or three and then after that I just feel gross. We toasted a few obligatory marshmallows and then opted to eat more salted carmel ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. And for the third consecutive night bedtime happened before 11:00 p.m. and all was well with the world. 

Sunday involved a stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things for camp and then home where I Skyped with H. & R., ate supper, prepared some blog posts for the week and watching the Food Network. All and all a great weekend, and it's not over yet. I'm not heading back to camp until Tuesday which gives me another whole day to focus on rest and relaxation. 

Linking up here.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Second Session Favourites

Our second session of camp wrapped up yesterday and I headed home for our longest session break of the summer. Making my first favourite of this week the fact that I'm writing this post from my living room couch. With a hot cup of coffee, reliable internet connection and no chance of being interrupted from the writing process but someone needing to know where the keys are to the shed or asking what's for breakfast. 

The start of my week was hidden with some unexpected favourite things. There was a mix up with the food order so myself and one of the head counsellors went on a grocery shopping adventure. Both those overflowing carts belong to us...our shopping list included 90 lbs of potatoes, 20 dozen eggs, 20 litres of apple juice, 20 litres of orange juice, 30 heads of lettuce, 10 lbs of tomatoes and 15 cucumbers. We got some looks as we looked at the grocery list the cooks had given us and tried to calculate how many packages of mushrooms we need to buy to be close to the one case of mushrooms they had ordered from our grocery supplier. Even if it's a little more stressful and confusion than usual grocery shopping is always my favourite

Chicken Cesar Salad is quite possibly my favourite meal, especially when it has real bacon and parmesan cheese and just the right amount of dressing. Chicken Cesar was my last non camp meal of the week before last session started and every bite was my favourite. Making the counsellors feel appreciated, loved and supported is not only one of the most important things I do but it's also one of my favourite things. This week I used Wunderbars and pieces of scrapbook paper to wish everyone a "wonderful week". 

After our marathon grocery shopping adventure N. and I made a pitstop for frozen yogurt before heading back to camp. Frozen yogurt is 100% a favourite.  Mine is on the left and on that particular evening I went for caramel frozen yogurt topped with graham cracker crumbs, gummy bears and hot fudge. Just looking at that photo makes me want more!

Sunlight reflecting off the water is my favourite.  The perfection of those moments when the sun is setting and hitting everything just right makes me feel all warm inside and filled with awe over how many amazing things happen in nature on a daily basis. I love spending time outdoors because it's where I feel really connected to God and 'see' Him at work. 


More spectacular sunlight reflection and the obligatory sunset photo for the week.

I've got a lot of weekend favourites over the next few days. Starting with an afternoon of Food Network shows and supper with J.. It's finally starting to feel like summer around here with temperatures in the low 20s and I'm excited to switch to shorts and t-shirts instead of pants and hoodies!

Linking up with Oh Hey, Friday & Friday Favourites!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

You Probably Don't Know...

I've been filling my little corner of blog land with lists, stories and photos for almost three and a half years now. I've shared a lot over the years and there's still so much more about me and my life that hasn't been mentioned. I also love a good list (you probably already knew that though) I'm joining Helene's link up today to tell the world some things you probably don't know about me (yet).

... The primary reason I am organized and prepared is because I hate feeling rushed. I don't like to keep other people waiting and I think being constantly late is flat out impolite.

... I love spicy foods. It has to be a flavourful spicy though, not just throwing a cup of Siracha on everything for the sake of spice.

... I've always loved the idea of having a koi pond in the backyard. I have no idea where this desire came from, but it's always been there.

... I recently discovered a new favourite afternoon snack, cucumber slices with a sprinkle of sea salt. So delicious and so simple.

... I have a really, really good memory for people. I remember names and interests and other things various associations with people without really having to try. Sometimes it's awkward because someone mentions once and then four months later I bring it up in conversation and make myself look like a crazy stalker.

... The second session of camp ended today and then I drove home for the break. My head is consumed with thoughts of bedtime and a sturdy and reliable internet connection.

...I'll be back tomorrow with some of my favourite things from this past week. (You probably could have guessed that.)

The excitement I feel about being able to sleep for a full 9 hours and do so in my own bed is indescribable in this moment.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Chicken Strips & Groundhogs


There's a family of groundhogs that live at camp and we hadn't seen them this year, presumably because there's been a lot of construction happening after the winter. During break though I was strolling around camp with my camera when I accidentally stumbled upon the happy family. I spent well over an hour quietly observing and taking some family photos of Mama Groundhog and her six littles. Sitting outside and watching animals go about their business is one of the most relaxing things for me. Especially if I happen to have my camera and can take photos. It's occurred to me that I would love to be a wildlife photographer. Although I have no idea how to go about that. And I'm pretty happy with my current job. 


I love cooking and making balanced meals. I am also a connoisseur of chicken strips. Go ahead and judge me. Tuesday I went into town to pick up a few groceries and decided to grab some chicken strips from the deli counter to have for supper that night and lunch the next day. When the lady at the counter took my order for 8 chicken strips she was kind enough to inform me that the special for the day was 10 strips and medium wedges. So for an extra $2 I could get two more strips plus wedges. I thanked her for letting me know and said I'd take the special. As she handed me the box she let me know that she threw in some extra strips because they were only small. She was pretty much my favourite lady for the rest of the day. And I got 3 meals of chicken strips instead of two (don't judge).


Today's Friday Favourites post marks 300 published blog entries! I don't have any deep thoughts or reflections on the matter, just seems like something that should be acknowledged!

I love lime all year round. Summer makes me love it a little extra though. Slices of fresh lime in ice water, lime flavoured popsicles, Pepsi with lime, coconut lime drinks. Everything lime, all the time. Plus, it's a pretty colour!


Last, but not least, the mandatory sunset image of the week.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

June Currently

When I read through blog entries be it my own or other bloggers the posts I find most interesting aren't tales of weekend getaways, exotic vacations or special events. I love reading about people's normal, every day lives. Currently posts are no exception so when I saw Bailey Jean's list of Currently prompts I decided I'd answer them for myself. Side note; if you're not reading Bailey Jean's blog Brave Love you need to start. She writes so beautifully about her faith, her goals and her many creative projects. Go check her out! (Then come back and read the rest of this post :) )

Reading... I've been re-reading The Poisionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
Playing... This week I played a lot of 
Watching... I just bought the fourth season of Call the Midwife. I'm too impatient to wait for it to be released on Netflix.
Trying... to balance getting work done and staying on top of things with taking a break.
Cooking... Later on this afternoon I'm going to cook up a big batch of sausage, mushrooms and rice to have in the freezer for meals this week. 
Eating... The usual camp food. 
Drinking... Lots of lime infused water and iced coffee and the occasional can of pop. 
Calling... J. every night before bed. 
Texting... The usual group convo with H. & R. and occasionally N. and often J. 
Pinning... Quotes and ideas for camp crafts and games. 
Tweeting... I don't remember the last time I tweeted something. 
Going... Home next session break! 
Loving... This summer.
Hating... Our currently lack of lifeguard, which means we haven't been swimming.
Discovering... A new favourite spot at camp where I can observe the groundhog family that lives here and enjoy the outdoors. 
Thinking... About my to do list and what I need to do before session starts. 
Feeling... Rested. 
Hoping (for)... A good week! And that we find a lifeguard. 
Listening (to)... I'm really loving the catchiness of Sangria by Blake Shelton. With the campers though we've been listening to lots of 90s pop. 
Celebrating... A successful start to the summer! 
Smelling... The end of session smell of bleach and cleanliness. Mixed with freshly mowed grass.
Thanking... Many people for many things
Considering... Adventuring to town for frozen yogurt. I had root beer frozen yogurt the other day and it was delicious and amazing and I want to eat it every day.
Starting... To get caught up with reading blogs and then starting this week's staff appreciation treats.
Finishing... writing this blog post! 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

You're Going to Rock It

While the vast majority of people are beginning their weeks today, mine is ending. Our first camp session ended today and I'm making time to blog about the week. We had some major and minor hiccups this week and some of our most popular programs didn't run. I am totally blown away by how amazing it was all handled by the counsellors though. What was a sucky situation to begin with could have been made so much worse had it not been for their positivity and upbeat attitudes. If the first week is any indication it's going to be a wonderful summer.

The week started off a little bitter sweet. I was so excited about this year's staff. It really is an awesome group of people. One of my goals this summer is to actually make some of those Pinterest things I've pinned and make an effort to show staff appreciation. For week one I went super simple but I think it was still a cute gesture and it went over well. I stuck the little note and candy in everyone's warm and fuzzy envelope. It was also my first Day 1 without H. & R. so to combat a little bit of that sadness the three of us wore matching socks as we went about our respective days. 

Since this session break is only two days long I'm sticking around camp rather than drive 6 hours home. My first night off was fully of tidying my room, reading, a long and leisurely phone call with J. and then sleeping for a solid 9 hours. Today I went into town to run a few errands, stroll through a few stores and pick up some groceries.

This evening I have a Skype date planned with H. & R. (as long as the internet cooperates). If the rain holds off I will take my camera and go for a stroll around camp and take in the sunset.

Tomorrow will be spent doing a lot of quiet reading and napping. I have a ton of blogs to catch up with and a few posts I want to write. Turns out I'm getting pretty good at this whole self-care and making myself a priority thing.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Bumble Bee Philosophy

Saturday afternoon I spent some time hanging out with myself and my camera. As I sat on the picnic table with my camera hoping to catch a glimpse of the family of groundhogs that like to hang around our property I noticed a bumble bee zig zagging between the random wild flowers.

I started clicking away trying to capture the impressive balance  of purpose, busyness, beauty and calm the little bee displayed as it when about it's business. My attempts to capture the bee were largely unsuccessful. And now taking the 'perfect' bumble bee picture has somehow crept into my summer to-do list.

I've always appreciated bees. Maybe it stems from a childhood love of Winne-the-Pooh or maybe it's got more to do with their contrasting bright yellow and black shapes. Whatever the case may be seeing one buzzing by doing it's thing makes me really happy. I was googling suggestions on how exactly to photograph bees and I came across this quote:
An instant new favourite as far as I'm concerned. Camp is a collective of small teaspoons. All mixed together to form something big. And sometimes when the 1/12 of a teaspoon is emptying a garbage can, cleaning spilled paint off the floor or cutting out 45 construction paper stars so that every camper goes home with an award it doesn't feel like you're doing much. I fully intend on writing that quote on a post it and putting it where I can see it everyday this summer. 

I thought this quote made a good point too, especially in the midst of making time for me this summer and practicing good self care. Spending my time wisely and being busy for the right reasons. 
That's my bumble bee philosophy for the day. And odds are it will probably be a reoccurring theme for the summer. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Monday Mish-Mash

It's a rare occasion during the summer when my days off are actually a legitimate weekend but wouldn't you know that's exactly what happened this past weekend. Staff Training ended Thursday afternoon and our first session starts on Monday. We did have a rental group on site from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon so I didn't exactly have free roam of the place but I made it work.

Friday evening I went into town to pick up a few groceries, put my cheque in the bank and run a few errands. I ended up cooking a frozen pizza for supper and spending the rest of the night hiding out in my room with chips & dip catching up on my Bloglovin' feed that has been neglected the past two weeks. 

Saturday I did all my favourite camp things, jumping on the trampoline at dusk, watching the sunset and walking along the shore with my camera. Plus I indulged in the simple act of sleeping in a little later than usual and laying in bed with a book for an hour before I really started my day. Savouring the simple things will be a theme this summer. 

Sunday I slept in (and by sleeping in I mean 9:00 a.m.) then did some more reading in bed before finding the motivation to get up and start my day. I did two loads of laundry and cooked a big batch of chicken and rice to freeze in individual portions and did a major tidy and organization job on my bedroom. I love spending Sunday preparing for the week ahead and recharging my batteries. Sunday evening I went to see Pitch Perfect 2. It was by far the best movie going experience I've had in recent memory and if you liked the first movie you should definitely check out the sequel. I'm not a huge Rebel Wilson fan, but I love Anna Kendrick and overall it was a pretty cute and fun movie. 

My goal for the weekend (break) was very much to fill my time with the things that make me happy, to prepare as best I could for the week ahead and start the week feeling refreshed and relaxed. And I definitely consider that goal to be accomplished. I'm looking forward to our first session and I'm optimistic that a more consistent schedule will allow more time for blogging!

Linking up here & here.