What Does the Checkout Lanes Look Like Bag Free?

While grocery shopping the other night, I had to take a picture of this lovely sight!!! No plastic bags!! The checkout was so quiet, no rustling of plastic.

No plastic bags in sight, just reusables. Kind of wish I took a before the ban picture for comparison.

PEI is the first Province in Canada to bring forth the plastic bag ban! Not even a month later, Sobey’s has announced that their store chain will be eliminating plastic bags from all their stores too in 2020! A follow up from what PEI has achieved!

Reusable Lunch Baggies

Last weekend at the farmer’s market I picked some cloth lunch bags for the kids at school. I am trying to cut down the number of dishes that need washing. Also, containers take up a lot of space in the kids lunch cans. No pre wrapped snacks go to school with my kids. Snacks are bought at Bulk Barn or are homemade. Crackers are the exception, have not tried to make them myself yet. Also, fresh fruit and veggies are usually bought package free.

Inspire Essential Oil Heatable Bags makes all kinds of bag like items from reusable grocery bags to money purses. Definitely worth a look if you in the area! I will be purchasing more in the future for school. Super simple to wash them too, just put them in the next wash cycle. I find the containers are very tedious. Takes a long time for them to dry because of all the crevasses, let alone washing them 5 days a week, gets tiresome. 4 containers per lunch can = 12 tops and bottoms per day. Sometimes I get away with reusing some that had dry goods inside like crackers or pretzels.

Anyways, not really wanting to rant, lol. This bag here is my favourite. It makes me think of my daughter Alaina.


Last Berry Pickup From a Local Farm

We never did make it to a strawberry u-pick farm this year. Time flies so fast and I have a hard time to just plan and go.  Also, I don’t really have the space to store/freeze a bunch of berries. I have not planned on making jam this year either. It will be easier next year I imagine when the little people are another year older. Thomas is still in cloth diapers, there seems to always be housework to do and so much fun outdoors doing other things. I can not imagine bringing Thomas to a u-pick either. I would just be chasing him and not picking. lol.

On Saturday, Daniel, Jack and I went to Compton’s Vegetable stand to get some more berries to snack on at home. I brought my own bowl, as last time I was in, they allowed me to dump there crates into my bowl and they could reuse the crate.  They were very happy to do it again. I found out today was the last day for the u-pick. Deep inside, I really did want to go and at least get enough for snacks during the week and also just take the older 4 kids. But, I missed my chance, and that is okay. I bought 4 crates and used my bowl.

Fooled by a Box

One of the food items I have cut out from the kids are the Goldfish Crackers. We used to go through 2 bags a week. Looking at it nutritionally, I know there is not much in them to offer. I have thought about making our own, but I find the days are busy enough. Maybe in the future. I do have a recipe saved somewhere!

While shopping a couple weeks ago at Superstore, a young mother behind me at the cash put up a box of fishy crackers. I seen it and immediately thought, no plastic bag! The kids ask once in a while for fishy crackers and I always refuse. I thought I would go and pick up one of those boxes (family size). I got home and showed the kids what I bought, and they were so excited and so was I!! I opened the box and . . . it was lined with plastic inside. I was felt so sad. The kids got what they have been asking for but the environment suffers for it. I got fooled. The disappointment over whelming.

tip: shake the box and listen for a rustling sound. If you don’t hear a rustle, should be plastic free!

Sometimes we get tricked though, like this box of fishy crackers. I hope I can deter someone away from buying this box to see if it is actually plastic free.

July Beach Day at Kenny Shore

Our first official trip to the beach this year was amazing! The kids are easier this year to manage and everyone had so much fun! Thomas is still cautious of the water, but now and then he tested it, then falls in as this beach has a bit of a drop. He was fine! Nothing wrong with a bit of a dunk!!

Grammie Jean and Chris’s brother Steve was there too. Grammie brought water guns for them to play with. What a fun adventure they had! I got to go swimming, have not done that for a couple years at best. Always stayed close to shore with the kids. It was so nice! Me and the girls played too, carrying them on my back and trying to swim away from them as fast as I could while they chased me, so close to my toes.

Chris got in the water with Daniel right away. They walked out to the sandbar, still knee deep at least; it was high tide when we got there. Chris usually likes to go for long walks along the shore, but he did not get a chance this time. I am sure we will get there again soon!

Daniel sure has grown to like the water. Though he can not swim yet. He makes fun by dumping a bucket full of water over his head. So funny!!

Alaina spent much of her time digging a hole at the shore line. She found a baby shrimp or fish in her bucket. She set it free so it could go back to its mommy! So sweet!! Floating logs are another favourite, but sticking very close to the shore.

Julia liked going in the water if someone was with her. Otherwise, she was playing in the sand or squirting everyone she could!

Jack also mostly played in the sand beside Alaina. He came in the water a few times. Jack had lots of fun with the water guns too!

Thomas spent most of his time on the sand. He did not stick around the water very much and did not want us to take him out in it. A couple times he tried on his own, but fell into the water.

Chris’s sister Catherine and niece Isla came to the beach later in the afternoon. Isla is a good swimmer. No fear in her! Isla and Jack spent lots of time together too. Best cousins! Though, I have no pictures to show of these two, forgot . . .

Julia and Jack settling in
Alaina got her first bucket of water already
Chris and Daniel in the background, found the sandbar. Thomas running and Jack digging.
Hair down!
Uncle Steve playing with the kids. Big kid at heart here!
Water guns are out! Steve has two!!
Steve running after a floating shovel.
Dramatic leap over the shovel.
Kids are highly amused!
Got the shovel.
Lost his saftey glasses though. (Found the next day on the shore by brother Mike. Yay!)
Chris and I. Picture perfect!
Thomas squirting dad with a squirt gun!
Here comes Julia
Refilling and going after dad
Another floating toy, another dramatic rescue!
Julia trying to race Uncle Steve.
They made it!
Chris, looking tired from the sun.
Thomas going along with the fun
Filling up the water gun
Look out for Jack!
All 5 kids. Alaina, Daniel, Thomas, Jack and Julia
Alaina playing with the log.
Thomas by the water exploring
Daniel and someone, can’t tell.
Water gun play and gang up on Unlce Steve
So much fun for the kids
Alaina running for a refill in the bucket.
Uncle Steve now has a bucket of water as defence.
Look out
Can’t remember if Alaina is looking for help from Steve or is going to squirt me!

Glue on Jars

My trick to remove glue residues from jars after peeling the label off is peanut butter! It is super easy! All I do, is just lather on peanut butter on the residue area and let it sit overnight or maybe about 12 hours. After, wash in hot soapy water as one would normally wash dishes. With rubbing, the oil in the peanut butter will remove the glue. I find with really thick residue, it needs to be done another time. Sometimes, for what ever reason, the residue does not come off. I may have 2 jars I have been unable to clean up.

I hear that lemon essential oil works great too. Sometimes just soaking the jar in water overnight does the trick too.

July 25, Out With the Kids

Busy day once the chores got finished. From about 2:30 – 7:00 we visited two parks. First we went to Central Street. This park has the splash pad, but also many play areas. Daniel, Alaina, Julia and Jack played hide and seek. They had so much fun! I got to follow Thomas everywhere he wanted and could go. He is one busy boy!

Alaina, Julia and Jack running off to hide
Daniel counting.

Thomas is not afraid to climb! He surprised me on a curved ladder!

There he goes, 4th time and no accidents.
Almost, my heart pounding!
Making it! Ta-da!!

We got some swinging time too! The kids love to swing. I wish there were more swings at this park; there used to be before it got revamped.

Jack and Thomas side by side
I love that he can use the big kid swing!!
Daniel and Alaina swinging. Julia playing in the dirt.
Switched Thomas over so the big kids could swing. He still fits!
Hot day!

While the big kids were playing hide and seek, Thomas got on the slides as well.

Down Thomas goes.
Here he is.

So, by 4:00 it was time to go home. Need to get some supper into everyone. Not long before we got home and before I started supper, the power went off! All over the city. Oops!

So after finding some good snacks for everyone, they all went outdoors. Boys oh boys did they get loud!! No one was listening to me either, so I packed up a few items in my bag went outside and told them we are going out again! Need to burn some more energy!! We went to Heather Moyse Heritage Park. Big open space, lots of paths and little bridges as well as a running track!

I got everyone out of the van and told them to just go and have fun. Be loud here!! LOL. We walked the trails and bridges. Daniel found a frog, sitting in the pond soaking up the sun.

Keeping close to Thomas, you never know!
Kids running laps around the area. It has 3 bridges which leads in a large circle.
Off they go!

After the many laps around the bridges, I took them further down the trails. We went down another circular path then I let the 4 oldest dart for the track. Out of sight, but on a one way path to the destination. Me and Thomas took our time to get there. I could hear them in the distance, lots of joy, I knew they arrived!

Daniel turned left before I could get his picture with the group!
Full circle back to where we started, while the big kids headed to the track
Thomas loves to explore and is not scared to be by himself!
Getting up to the track

Once I got to the edge of the track, Daniel had already made a full circle run and met us there. Jack was not too far behind him, but he too made the full circle! Alaina made it half way then cut through the field to meet us. Julia was plodding along, in her flip flops. She certainly did her best too! They played in the field a little then we headed back, kids were thirsty and we left our belongings back were we started.

Hey Daniel!
Jack coming up the track
Rest time, but not for Thomas, lol!
Here he is!
Kids down the way!
Here I am, there they are
Julia coming around
Jack boy
Julia made it back!
Cuties. Alaina is great at watching Thomas! Daniel too! I will call to them, look after so and so, and its never a problem!
Time to head back.

Once we got back and refreshed, I hauled out the pack of chalk I have been hiding and waiting for the perfect moment to give to the kids. They were overjoyed! (I do not buy the small packs as they are wrapped in plastic. This big box is plastic free! Always check and look at the options available!)

Many many colours!
Hands in!








I let the kids colour the bricks along the walk ways. It was shaded and cool! Perfect! I even got to put my feet up for a while! I also made a hopscotch for the girls.

Daniel, marking #14. Lol. He does not know why!
Share share share! Lots to go around!
Alaina is so quiet, sweet and pays attention to detail! She is making a snowman! LOL!
sit back and enjoy!
Feet up, kids are busy
Jack using all the colours per brick!
Daniel used a whole purple chalk stick! oh my!
Alaina’s work. Rainbows so sweet!
Julia, here and there.
Hop scotch.

A boy and his mother arrived shortly after. The boy was riding his bicycle for the first time! He was doing great and Julia wanted to try! She politely asked if she could have a turn and it was no problem. She got to try a few times, and she did not too bad. Just needs to learn to keep peddling! Next trip here, I am packing the bikes. That is one area we have not worked on with the kids, bike riding! I did not take any pictures.

When we got home, the power was on, the stove clock read 12:07. We were just on time! Everyone got cleaned up, Pj’s on, popcorn and a drink for snacktime. I put on Toy Story #1. The house got super quiet, Thomas fell asleep after his snack was finished. Everyone is in bed, here I am finishing this post!

Quiet Day at Home

Its been a quiet day at home. Kids are in and out. Playing games and swinging outside. I got the grass cut and currently making shepard’s pie. Super yummy!! I guess I should get a recipe up for that!! Really did not do too much today, pretty lazy. Looking forward to the next few days. Hoping for some beach time with the family!

Meanwhile, I took a walk around to see what everybody was up to!

Cooking super!
This guy, sleeping with his food!!! Lol! Wrapped in so many blankets!!! How!!!?
Jack is not camera shy!
This girl, well . . . Isn’t she sweet!! Lol!
Happy go lucky Alaina!
Daniel doing his favourite thing!


Take Care of the Toaster

Last night, Chris and Daniel were baking a snack. While waiting for the oven to pre heat, they discovered our toaster had slide out trays, a crumb catcher! They asked if I knew about them by which I responded yes, but I don’t empty it often. Often, I forget it is there (but know its there, if you know what I mean). Not a habit to check it periodically, Maybe once a year!! Eek!

Some back story
We have been having trouble with the toaster for quite some time. The toast diosn’t always toast the way we expect it too. Most times it’s toasted on one side and not much on the other. Doesn’t matter which slot we use. Also, when the toaster was recently used, one should put their slice of bread in a different slot, other wise the toast would come out nearly burnt! As for toasting bagels, we had to set it at #4. We always toast at 3, as of late, we had to go to #2.5 on the dial.

I told Chris, after he emptied the tray and told me the toaster needs a good clean out, I would look at it the next day. This was past 11:00 pm, wasn’t doing it then!

This morning I took hold of the toaster and found a huge crumbly mess underneath! No way the boys dumped the trays there! The toaster was filling up with crumbs, offsetting the heat, causing our poorly toasted food!

Talk about crumb overflow!

Not only was the mess on the counter under the toaster, but crumbs were stuck in the toaster too at the bottom. Lucky there was no fire in my opinion! I did my best to shake the crumbs out. I tried  too reach the bottom with a paintbrush, different sizes. Not much luck. I tried air pressure by blowing through a straw, but it did not work so well. I think in time, with the toaster in use, it will help dry out those crumbs and they should fall out easily. Just need to remember to clean it more often, weekly and stay on top of it!

I thought our toaster, which is about 9-10 years old, was slowly crashing. I figured we needed a new one, but I didn’t want to get a new one. Surly they must last longer than 9 years! Glad we do not need a new one!

Shake and rattle!

While I had it out, I decided to give it a shine as well. I took some baking soda and water, made a paste, and the dark parts on top of the toaster came right off! The real dark patches were much harder to remove. By the end of cleaning the top, I came to realize and reassure myself to not look for perfection! I would be there all day trying to make it spick and span like new, my original idea. No need, really!

Baking soda paste, rag, tooth brush and paintbrush. Great tools for cleaning, scrubbing and reaching hard to reach places!

A Waste Free Snack

Popcorn is a great snack to have at our house! Popcorn maker, package free kernels,and margarine wrapped in paper (I can not find butter not wrapped in plastic).

It used to be we bought popcorn kernels in bags and used the popcorn machine. Then we switched to prepackaged popcorn, individually wrapped, microwavable. It was convenient and more “tasty”. Then we started to cut back on plastic, and popcorn was one of the first switches after I started to go to Bulk Barn. 

We brought out the machine again! I did buy a cloth popcorn bag at the Farmer’s Market awhile back, but it did not serve us long. It did not pop the kernels well, some burnt while there were half not popped yet. It seemed to take a long while before we had enough popcorn for everyone, and the bag got super hot from microwaving so long. I was worried about a fire. We used  about a dozen times until I retired it. The machine was certainly the best option! The cloth bag, in my opinion, would be good for a single person, or single use. Not for making a big amount, for like 5 people.

So now, we use the machine popper. I melt butter in a dish in the microwave, covered with a cloth (that will be washed and reused). No garbage, no waste! I always try to eat what they don’t, later.