Family Winter Memories 2017

Hey, Readers!

It has been a while since I have shared some of the memories my family experienced during the beautiful seasons we experience here in Canada’s capital. Now that winter is about to make way for spring in just a few days, I thought I would let your in on some of our favourite moments of winter.

 

Reese Speaks Snowball Love Photo 2

Christmas held many fun memories for our family, but there is more to winter than the holiday season. It is about getting out and enjoying what this frozen season brings.

My other half dragged my butt away from my laptop on many occasions to get out for a run. It snowed on most days we tied up our runners to hit the trails. Though the white fluffy stuff made this workout a bit challenging to pull off, we were thankful for our shades and (somewhat) cleared paths to trek along. The best part about the snow was that it made the scenery around us beautiful, allowing us to marvel at the views around us.

 

Reese Speaks Running Canal Collage Photo

 

As the snow piled up in here in Ottawa, we were able to spend some fun times in our backyard oasis. The VPs had a ball marching around (because the snow was as high as my knee at times), flopping about and playing with snowballs together.

 

Reese Speaks Kids Winter Play Collage Photo

 

While the VPs were outside, I decided to have a bit of fun, too! I began embracing being in front of the lens more often. I used a handy tool to give me an assist to make some of these shots happen.

 

Reese Speaks Reese Snow Fun Collage Photo

 

The sun decided to smile on us many times this winter, giving us some unusually warm days. We got the VPs outside to hit the neighbourhood sledding hill. They loved racing down the hill on their sleds and could have stayed there all day long.

 

Reese Speaks Maya and Cous Sleeding Day Photo 2

 

There were also times we ventured away from our neighbourhood to take in winter in downtown Ottawa. I took the VP of Cuteness ice skating for the first time at City Hall and she did not want to get off of them.

 

Reese Speaks Maya Mom Skate Photo 2

 

We also took in Winterlude and some of the other sites while we were strolling around the area. I was even able to snap a shot of my eldest on our way home. The snow covering objects and buildings gave the city a sense of beauty that only happens at this time of the year.

 

Reese Speaks Winter Out on the Town Collage Photo

I tried to capture a bit of the gorgeousness of the season. With the temperatures rising and plunging so often this winter, nature decided to show off what it could do leaving some amazing scenes to snap shots of. I have to admit, the frozen fish shot still makes me laugh whenever I see it.

 

Reese Speaks Winter Nature Collage Photo

This winter was full of fun and surprises. The thermometer dipped and soared, and with the VPs being a bit older, they got to experience winter more on their own. Though throwing, sledding, and skating make for fun times, we are all on pins and needles waiting for the ice and snow to recede, allowing for the first buds of spring to appear. I can’t wait to be able to show you what my family gets into when this season (finally) appears! Thanks for the fun times and the sweet memories, winter!

Dish with me: What is your favourite part of winter?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Gone Fishing Party Theme Table Idea

Hey Readers!

I wanted to do something special for my other half for his birthday last year. He was turning the Big 4-0, yet has never been big on celebrating in a splashy manner. Since my guy does so much for our family, I could not let this important milestone go by without some kind of fun. So I thought for a few days on what my guy would like for me to do for his B-Day, and I came up with this small, yet fun theme party idea that he would find fun. Since he loves fishing, I thought I could put together a cute “Gone Fishing” party area for everyone to sit around and enjoy to celebrate his special day!

If I didn’t already love craft and dollar stores already, I certainly started after putting together this idea! Here are the supplies I used  to put this party theme idea together:

Bunting Supplies:

  • Card Stock
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Measuring Tape (not pictured)
  • Tacky Glue (not pictured)
  • Box Cutter (not pictured)

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Bunting Supplies Photo 2

 

Water Table Supplies:

  • White Plastic Table Cloth
  • See-Through Teal Shower Curtain
  • Rocks,
  • Faux Greenery
  • Blue and Green Food Colouring
  • Glass Bowl
  • Plastic Wildlife
  • Balloons
  • Floating Floral Candles
  • Packing Tape (not pictured)
  • Sandy-Coloured Sizzle Paper (not pictured)

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Table Supplies Photo 2

 

I tackled putting together the bunting together first because it is the most time-consuming part of this theme to create. My first move was to find a spot I wanted to set up my surprise and measured the space so I would know how big I would need my letters to be.

To make triangles for my bunting, so I measured the size I wanted for each piece of card stock. Based on my measurements where it was going to hang, I found I could get two triangles out of each piece. I only needed eleven letters, but I made a few extra just in case I goofed up when writing on them.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Measure Bunting Photo 2

 

I cut out each triangle shape, scoring each one about two inches from the top so it would be easy to fold. I scored each piece about 2 inches from the top and folded it down. I then wrote out the letters on the pieces.

 

Reese Speaks Bunting Cutting Collage

 

Since I knew how big the area was for this theme table, measuring out the length of yarn I needed was the fun part of this task. I spaced the triangles along their lengths so there would be about 3 centimetres between each letter. When I put together this idea again, I will try using twine instead of yarn.

For my own piece of mind, I lined up all of the letters in the order that I would be attaching them to the piece of yarn so, in my tired state of mind, I would not flub up and mistakenly put a letter in the wrong spot.

I placed the first triangle on the yarn and applied tacky glue along the scored line of the triangle. I moved the yarn on the line of glue and folded down the flap, smooshing it down so the glue would adhere to both sides of the cardstock and the yarn. Once all of the pieces were attached to the yarn, I placed it, face (or letter)-side down to dry (for about 10 minutes). I also placed heavy objects on top of each letter to make sure the flaps stayed in place to stick together.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Gluing Bunting Photo 2

 

Now on to the more creative part of this theme table: the water table. I was trying to achieve the grassy banks we would see along the river we would see whenever we went fishing with my other half’s father. I decided to use the sand/water table our kids have in our backyard, and I put the cover over it so I could have as flat of a surface as possible. I then spread the see-through teal shower curtain over the white plastic table cloth over the table, affixing them to the table with packing tape.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Table Covering Photo 2

 

Placing the grass around the back and the side of the table was next. I fanned each piece out and tried to make it look as “natural” as possible. I kept these pieces in place with packing tape and folded the extra bits at the bottom under the table.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Table Grass Collage Photo

 

To make my “pond,” I placed my glass bowl in the center of the table and added water to it. I then added ten drops of blue food colouring into the bowl, followed by about five of the green colour. After swirling them together, I then played around with each colour until I got the right shade of teal that matched the shower curtain/table cloth covering.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Table Water Colouring Photo 2

 

The sizzle paper was a spur-of-the-moment idea I had when I felt that the grass looked a bit sparse. Thank goodness for my pack-rat ways! I then ran into my storage area where I keep all the sizzle paper I received from a previous review products and added it to fill in spaces between the grass to make it look more grass-like.

Next stop: decorating time! I place my animal wildlife, rocks and floral touches all over the table and inside of the bowl to add more fun.

 

Reese Speaks Table Decor Collage

 

It was time to bring out the bunting! Since our porch kind of looks as though it could be a dock, I hung the bunting above the table to bring the theme together. I then added more sizzle paper and balloons along the rails to add to the theme and to make it look more festive.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Bunting Complete Photo 2

 

What kind of fishing trip is complete without chairs to sit in?! I rustled up two of our camping chairs and added some balloons to add even more fun to this theme table.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Table Chair Balloons Photo 2

 

The second-to-last bit of business I had to deal with was the fishing gear. I added the finishing touches by placing the two fishing poles on each chair.

Now I was able to show the birthday boy the reason why I got out of bed on his birthday. He was surprised since this was my first attempt at putting together a theme table like this in a short amount of time. We all had fun on my guy’s 40th B-Day! It was great to sit back and pretend to be at the lake without leaving the comforts of home.

 

Reese Speaks Gone Fishing Feature Scene Photo 2

 

What I like about this Gone Fishing theme table is that it does not have to be just for a birthday party. This table can act as a water play table for quite a while, and the items used can also be used again for other ideas or playtime. You can also change what the table looks like, or expand the theme by adding fish themed snacks or cupcakes. The lid for the water table can be removed and you can have a different design all together. The sky’s the limit with this Gone Fishing theme table!

Cost to put this theme together – roughly $60.

Length of time to complete – about 3 hours (I adjusted the time a bit because I had to take photos as I put this idea together).

What sort of thing would you add to make this Gone Fishing theme table fun?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

 

Strolling Through the 2016 Canadian Tulip Festival

Hey Readers!

I had another magical time at this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival! Every year, I am amazed at the variety of shapes and colours this type of flower can take on. I took a sneak peek at the rows upon rows of flower beds displaying tulips and other flowers the day before the festival officially kicked off on May 12, 2016. My little guy was along for the ride, and he had a bit of a crush on these blooms as well. I know I shared my last visit with you a few years ago, but I had to share some of the gorgeous tulips in a gallery post for you as well!

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest General Photo 2

 

First, there were the tulips that had the cup-like shape most people are accustom to seeing. Each shade I saw was beautiful. It was hard just picking a few for this post!

 

Reese Speaks Single Layered Tulips Collage

 

Then there were the multilayered tulips that I was surprised about! If I did not go to this year’s festival, I would never have known that these flowers were tulips!

 

Reese Speaks Multilayered Tulips Collage

 

Oh, these various pointed leaf tulips were so jaw-droppingly nice! They captivated all who viewed them.

 

 

My little guy was having a great time while visiting the flowers! I was smart enough to bring our wagon so he could ride in it when he grew too tired of walking through Commissioner’s Park or if he wanted to entertain visitors to the festival with his shenanigans.

 

Reese Speaks Tulips Marcus Collage

 

There were some awesome seas of tulips! I could get lost in them if I were by myself.

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Orange Pink Purple Sea of Tulips Photo 2

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Orange and Yellow Sea of Tulips Photo 2

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Multicoloured Sea of Tulips 3 Photo

 

Overall, I really enjoy kicking off the spring season in Ottawa by visiting the Canadian Tulip Festival at Commissioner’s Park. There are always new varieties of tulips and other flowers to see, it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the warmer spring weather and it is always a great time spend with loved ones.

 

Reese Speaks Tulip Fest 2016 Floral Mix Photo

 

The festival wraps up on Victoria Day (or Memorial Day for those of you in the US), so there is still time to pop over to the locations where this festival is being held and take in the beauty of these awesome flowers! I know I will be making another visit this weekend with my family!

 

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Winter Family Adventures in Photos

Hey Readers!

Well, March Break is almost over, and spring is all but here! It was a crazy winter in my neck of the woods. It started late, but when it decided to unleash its fury, we were really snowed in! I thought I would chronicle my family’s winter adventures through a gallery of photos we took over the season!

Christmas! One of my favourite times of the year! We had a blast putting up the tree, decorating the house and getting ready for the Man in Red to arrive!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Peanuts Tree Photo

This was the second tree we “put up” this year. I loved it!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Stockings Photo

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Cookies Photo

The Big Guy has a little bit of everything!

 

Ah, Christmas morning! Our kids couldn’t wait to open their stockings before breakfast and then their gifts after we ate. Santa was good to our kids, and they were playing all day with their toys!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Day Stockings Photo

 

Food is always a HUGE part of our holiday traditions, and my other half made sure we were fed well with his special chicken dish for Christmas Eve and a terrific turkey dinner for Christmas Day!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Dinners Photos

 

With Murphy’s Law at play, the snow came after Christmas! My guy took advantage of our winter wonderland and build a snow fort and a snow hill for our kids to enjoy. We even got the sleds out and tried to get some air time with the little ones on them.

 

Reese Speaks Snow Play Photo

Their smiles were infectious! I t was hard to keep the camera still for these pics!

 

Reese Speaks Winter Outdoor Play Collage Photo

I think the faces of my daughters says it all!

 

My little guy LOVED the winter! He would take any chance he could to be outside and play in the snow, even if it was to help me shovel the driveway. He even learned about the hazardous life snowmen live.

 

Reese Speaks Cous Winter Fun Collage Photo

My little guy is super helpful!

 

Oh, the night of the big football game is another favourite part of winter in our home! We got out our projector and watched it on our living room wall as we ate a family favourite for Game Nights: Chicken Nachos! We even dressed up for the night in our jerseys and goofed around. It was a fun night for us all!

 

Reese Speaks Big Game Collage Photo

 

There are times during the winter that you just want to stay inside and hide from winter’s frightful fury. There were quite a few nights where we had fun indoors. From a morning sneak attack in bed to a rock out session in our basement, we had a blat without cracking the door open!

 

Reese Speaks Winter Indoor Bed Photo.jpg

 

Reese Speaks Drums Collage Photo

This was such a fun night! Maybe we’ll put a band together?

Nature is so beautiful around our home at this time of year. Even though there are no leaves on the trees, the snow and ice take over and create their own breathless magic in our backyard and front yard oasis.

Reese Speaks Winter Nature Collage Photo

These were just some of the adventures my family had during this roller coaster ride of a winter this year! Now that the snow is beginning to recede, I am REALLY looking forward to all of the awesomeness spring has to offer us this year now that the kids are old enough to really start exploring the world around them. Thank you, Winter, for helping our family to create some amazing memories. We will never forget them!

What part of winter puts a smile on your face?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Reese’s Fishing Adventure, 2013

Hey Readers!

Here in Ottawa, it is going to be a balmy -20°C, and I am LONGING for those warm, lazy days of summer.  Then the dusty ol’ light bulb flicked on in my head, and I remembered that I had forgotten all about my latest battle of wits versus the fish while I was visiting my boyfriend/partner’s parent’s home last summer, and I was transported back to that day on the boat.  Sure, I was sweating like crazy in my sweater to keep the mosquitoes at bay while wearing enough bug repellant to cover three people, but I enjoyed every minute on that boat!

On this trip, it was the same gang as last time, except my boyfriend/partner stayed behind to be with our little ones.  We all but duck taped my eldest daughter to her seat, as she loves going fishing, as is getting better at it each time she goes out.  Granndpa was at the helm of the boat, guiding us along the Napanee River that flows just minutes away from his home, and taking us to the prime fishing spots along the way.

Below are some shots of the scenery we had a chance to experience on our way to our first fishing spot.  There were some other fishing crews out on the river, too, trying to see if the fish were biting but  Grandpa was able to shake them off of our trail!

These are just some of the beautiful pics of scenery we had the advantage of being out on the Napanee River last summer.  This is not helping me deal with this freezing cold weather!

These are just some of the beautiful pics of scenery we had the advantage of being out on the Napanee River last summer. This is not helping me deal with this freezing cold weather!

Some of our casts were successful…

This was so much better than last year!  We lost a few while reeling them in, but we were proud of what we caught!

This was so much better than last year! We lost a few while reeling them in, but we were proud of what we caught!

while others were not.

Grandpa is showcasing our

Grandpa is showcasing our “Other Catch of the Day.” We caught a lot of weeds in our line.

We even had a few friends drop in for a visit.

Dragonflies are some of my favourite flying beings.  They are inspiring, and are a sign of positive change.  I guess my Lady Luck will smile down on me to get some fish!

Dragonflies are some of my favourite flying beings. They are inspiring, and are a sign of positive change. I guess my Lady Luck will smile down on me to get some fish!

Overall, it was a fabulous few hours fishing.  I am by no means the seasoned angler I want to be, but I am getting closer to this goal every time I cast my line!  I have to make a point to catch more than my fish-crazed daughter next time, or else I’ll hear the end of it!

Can’t wait for my trip this year!  I hope you enjoyed this little bit of summer, if only on your computer screen!  🙂

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

<// >

Reese’s Big Fishing Adventure!

Hey Readers!

Fishing.  For some people, it is the ultimate past time.  For a born and bred city girl like myself, it seemed as though it was a day spent in a boat surrounded by swarms of killer bugs trying to catch this unattainable prize that is laughing at you for attempting to entice it with your rod and bait.   When the opportunity came for me to actually try fishing, I was a little apprehensive, yet it was an experience I had never tried.  So with my fishing rod in hand, and a sweater to aid my paranoia of insects, I boarded a boat with my oldest daughter, my boyfriend, and his father to take on this new challenge.

We are off in the boat to find a good fishing spot...can't wait to catch my first whopper!

We are off in the boat to find a good fishing spot…can’t wait to catch my first whopper!

Love nature shots!  I just liked the set-up of the log and the light filtering through the trees while we passed by

Love nature shots! I just liked the set-up of the log and the light filtering through the trees while we passed by

VERY hard to see, but can you see the crane on the shoreline?

VERY hard to see, but can you see the crane on the shoreline?

This was just a beautiful area!  I had to get a shot of it.

This was just a beautiful area! I had to get a shot of it.

This a gorgeous shot of the Napanee River while speeding along in our boat.  The water was so calm and beautiful.  We're off to find a good fishing spot!

This a gorgeous shot of the Napanee River while speeding along in our boat. The water was so calm and beautiful. We’re off to find a good fishing spot!

Can't help it!  This group of trees and logs compelled me to whip out my camera.

Can’t help it! This group of trees and logs compelled me to whip out my camera.

This was one of the fish I was trying to catch, but I wasn't quick enough reeling it in.  Most of my day was like that, but it was fun!

This was one of the fish I was trying to catch, but I wasn’t quick enough reeling it in. Most of my day was like that, but it was fun!

This was not on my line, but we got one!  Not bad for a first-timer, huh?!

This was not on my line, but we got one! Not bad for a first-timer, huh?!  Don’t worry, we caught and released it.

After we fished and fished some more, we realized it was getting late, turned the boat around, and headed for home.  I was able to see why people enjoyed fishing so much.  Whether you are alone or with a group of people you like hanging out with, it is a chance to take in nature right at the source.  We laughed at each other for loosing fish, or just being goofy.

It was a good time, and where the bugs were concerned, we were lucky because it was too early in the year for a lot of bugs to attack us.  Would I go fishing again?  Yes, I would.  I don’t think I’d go everyday, but it would be good to do once in a while.  Hopefully on my next fishing excursion, I’ll actually catch something!  If I do, I’ll let you know!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.