It's cold and very wintery already in Northern Alberta - our first 'staying' snow landed on November 1st. Already the stores were being filled with Christmas decorations and reminders that we better get shopping early - The Countdown Has Begun! It is easy and fun to get caught up in the energy of the season and I am definitely one who likes to decorate early and watch The Grinch asap.
Growing up, Remembrance Day was honoured at school and talked about a little bit at home but I don't remember going to any of the city-wide services. However, my husband served in the Canadian Armed Forces when he was younger and views Remembrance Day as Sacred. My eldest son is heading in that direction as well, planning to sign up after graduation next year. So the significance of Remembrance Day is very close to our hearts.
This year, I created a Memorial Wreath for our front door using a wire form and burlap roll, and sewed on simple red poppies. This simple wreath is in honour of those who didn't make it home, those that did, and those yet to Serve.
Thank you, we will not forget.
One of the things that I felt would help me on the way to a Plastic-Reduced kitchen was Beeswax Wraps!
These handy sheets and bags were made with an old, clean duvet and napkins that were destined for goodwill, a block of Beeswax from our Health Food Store, my handy dandy sewing machine and some string from Dollarama. Thankfully my Mom was around while I sewed the bags and she grated up all the beeswax for me (thanks Mom!)
First Step was to create the bags...I used no pattern and just eye-balled the size and shape (which is why this rectangle is not perfect - I am a 1 hr-project girl after all!), creating a 1/2 inch hem at the top for the drawstring.
Next I used aluminum foil to line my oven rack and cut to size a piece of parchment paper to go inside the bag to keep the two layers separate. This way I could do 1 side at a time without them fusing together 🙂
Oven preheated to 200F, it only took a few minutes to melt into the cloth...keep an eye on it! When it looks all melted, pull it out of the oven and let it cool ~ I like to pick it up and wave it around 😉 Once it is cool, it is ready to use!
They aren't perfect or overall as pretty as I would like...but that's what trying something new is all about! Next time, I want to choose some fabric that is more colourful and create some sandwich/snack bags for school lunches ~ when I have done them, I'll post some pictures!I find that they keep my vegetables fresh for waaay longer than plastic bags!
Here's an example of mushrooms that I bought in a plastic container, removed the plastic and replaced it with a Beeswax Napkin:
TWO weeks later....
a little bit brown but Still Edible! That's a WIN!
We are finally on the Cusp of the Golden Age in the world of birthday parties..the kind where only the Nearest and Dearest are invited and Mom throws food at you and leaves you pretty much alone. From my side, I'm not worried about kids sneaking booze or sneaking out in the middle of the night to wander the parks. They just stay in, giggle, talk, cry a little, make cookies at 2am...Glorious.
The Cusp is not over the edge though and we have a transition period to get through. This year's 11th Birthday for my daughter was the year I said 'We're done with goodie bags'. So...what was I going to do then when her friends look expectantly at me at the end of the party? This is what I did to soften the blow:
Dani was having a sleepover and hot tub party, so I gathered a few things that would work for a Take-Away that the kids could use at
the party: a towel, re-useable water/juice bottle, re-freezable ice cubes, sleep mask, toothbrush and a washcloth. I found all of these items at Dollarama and the Dollar Tree.
It's always a good idea to have a few game ideas on hand just in case and I wanted to make the 'Transitional Goodie Bag' part of the fun. One of the games we loved as kids and my kids have enjoyed is a Treasure Hunt. With the towel and other items as the End Goal, I added a few games to get them on their way.
I found the cutest 'Rock, Paper, Scissor' erasers at Dollarama and each guest had a turn to play with the overall winner as a way to decide Who Goes First for the next game - Unwrap the Present. I found big dice at Dollarama and wrapped them in layers and layers of paper and tape. We used a sand timer from another game as a way to measure the time for each guests turn. Some tape was easier to find and peel up than others! When the dice were unwrapped..they were the game pieces for the next game - Yahtzee!
I created a simplified Yahtzee score sheet on a poster board (also from Dollarama) and each goal reached meant that they could turn over a clue written or drawn on the back of a post-it. These clues, when all put together, would lead them to their Treasure!
It was so much fun! The kids could do the entire process with little assistance and, upon finding their Goodie Bag, moved the party along to the Hot Tub portion of the evening!
The great thing about this game...it is re-useable! With little adjustment, I used it for my 9-yr old's birthday party a few days later!