Tag Archives: winter

iPhoneography // Skating, Day 2

Gracen s Second Day of SkatingGracen and I went skating for the second time today (see our first try here) and it was pretty great.  We still rotated rounds of skating with the support with the extra fun chair rides, but Grae was a lot more confident today and skated for most of the time without me holding the support behind her.  

Here she is in all of her skating glory…

That little clippity clop of her skates on the ice makes my heart melt.


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iPhoneography // A First: Skating

IMG 9078While on Christmas vacation in the Okanagan, I finally came across something I’d been on the lookout for for a while now… Old-school double-bladed skates. ☺

And though we didn’t get around to a family skate session while on vacation, today my little lady and I stopped by Hillcrest Centre for their weekly preschooler skate.

IMG 9075Gracen was really excited about trying skating, so we got suited up and hit the ice.  At first, we skated hand in hand, her taking quick small steps on the slippery surface and I doing my best to balance the both of us.  After a few minutes, I realized we’d both be better off starting with one of the plastic support apparatuses (thank heavens for them!)  It was so much easier, especially with my rusty skating skills involved.  Grae stood in front with me behind her and all was good. In fact, we happily made it all the way down the ice and halfway back again before she took her first spill. That’s when things started going downhill a wee bit.  While she’d been confident and happy for the first bit, after the fall she was anxious and much more cautious.  Though I got her up and having fun again, she told me several times ‘Dis ice is soooooo slippery.  Too slippery, Mama!’  

IMG 9077In an effort to turn things around, I offered to push her on a chair for a bit like many of the other parents were doing with their kids.  Needless to say, with the risk of falling removed and the fact that she could glide across the ice at super speed without really having to put forth any effort added in, she loved it.

IMG 9076With spirits boosted from a good long chair ride, we hit the ice again and tried holding hands and using a cone for support.  

It was short, but overall I’d say our first ever skating session was a success.  Gracen left happy and she says she’s excited to go again next time.  Can’t ask for much more than that. ☺


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Strangley Delicious: {Vanilla Maple} Snow Ice Cream

Vanilla Maple Snow Ice CreamI’ve seen snow ice cream floating around the web a lot lately (like here, here, and here)…  Some recipes use eggnog, some use sweetened condensed milk, some use vanilla pudding powder, and others use raw eggs.  The trouble is that I wouldn’t feel good about giving any of those things to my little lady.  So today we set off to create a healthier version.  (It would have been a shame not to with all of this snow we’ve been getting in the Okanagan!)  

I’m happy to report that the end result turned out wonderfully!  It was sweet, creamy, and delicious – a perfect afternoon treat.

IMG 4279Here’s our line up of ingredients…  Cream, vanilla almond milk, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla, and some really good cinnamon. 

IMG 4261Oh, and a bunch of this – light and fluffy freshly-fallen snow.

IMG 4249To get us started, Gracen poured both the cream and vanilla almond milk into a large mixing bowl.

IMG 4251Then she added some pure maple syrup…

IMG 4254Some pure vanilla…

IMG 4257And a few pinches of cinnamon.

IMG 4259Then she stirred everything up.

IMG 4262The next step involved adding the snow.

IMG 4263The monkey requested a mitten in order to get the job done.

IMG 4265With all of the ingredients added, it was time to mix, mix, mix.

IMG 4266We found that alternating mixing with a sort of mashing motion worked really well and broke up the clumps at the same time.  Here’s what our batch looked like once it was ready.

IMG 4267To serve it, I added a little sprinkle of cinnamon (Miss G loves it and it has great health benefits, so we add it to a lot of things) and topped it with a pecan.

IMG 4270Not only was it delish, but it was a really fun snowy day activity.


Vanilla Maple Snow Ice Cream
  • 3/4 cup of vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • a couple of pinches of cinnamon
  • 6 cups of freshly fallen snow
Add the milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl and stir well.  Add the freshly fallen snow and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed and clumps are broken up.
A couple of quick tips based on our experience…  
  • You do have to work a little bit quickly in order to prevent the snow from melting and turning your ice cream into soup.  If needed, you might be able to buy yourself a few minutes of extra time by placing your large mixing bowl into an even larger bowl lined with ice.  
  • This ice cream is best made and served fresh.  After a few hours in the freezer, ours pretty much turned into an ice block.
  • If you don’t have snow where you are, processing ice cubes in a blender or food processor until fine is a fairly effective way of making your own snow.


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Stair Sledding

IMG 4189IMG 4192Most people walk their tushies to an actual hill.  We, on the other hand, pile heaps of snow onto the deck stairs, send Brad down a few times to pack it in, and tell Grae that she now has her very own sledding hill.  

Ingenious, or just plain ol’ hick? I have a feeling we’ve been in Lumby for too long… ☺


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Snow Spray Painting

Snow Spray PaintingThough it feels like we’ve had a good, long winter vacation already (because we have), we’re lucky enough to have one more week to spend in the Okanagan before Bradley’s return to work.  And while we’ve been doing more than our fair share of relaxing (and indulging – oy!), we’ve also been trying to make the most of our time with the snow, because before you know it, we’ll be back to our city of rain, rain, rain.  

IMG 4123Today we tried something new – snow spray painting!

IMG 4120In order to make the paint, all I did was pick up a couple of cheap spray bottles (I made sure to give the triggers a little squeeze in store first – some are little hand-friendly, and others are not) and filled them with some cold water and food colouring.

IMG 4125Then we headed outside {in pajamas} to decorate the freshly fallen snow.

IMG 4125We played with the nozzle on our spray bottles to get the flow  just how Miss G liked it – in a steady stream in order to achieve maximum distance. ☺

IMG 4127Her goal?  Covering as much of the snow in snow spray paint as possible.

IMG 4140“A new spot now!”

IMG 4138IMG 4144Though using a fine mist is a little trickier (because you need to be quite close to the snow for it to show up well), it makes pretty cool results…. Pink snow anyone?

IMG 4138Of course when you’ve painted your little heart out and you’re ready for a break, you can always topple over in a snowbank and have a rest. ☺


Snow Spray Paint

  • 3/4 cup of cool water
  • 10 drops of food colouring

Pour the water into a small spray bottle and add the food colouring.  Repeat for multiple colours/bottles.  Spray the snow.  Have fun!


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A First: Snowman Building

Those of you who know Vancouver, know that snow around these parts is a rarity.  It barely makes an appearance, and when it does, it’s for a very brief amount of time.  Before long, it begins to melt and the city is a slushy rainy mess in no time.  This time around, however, we were lucky enough to hang onto much of yesterday’s snow, plus get a fresh batch early this morning.  To make the most of it, this Grae and I spent the morning outside playing, walking, and sledding in it, plus we shovelled our walkway and sidewalk, as well as those of the neighbours on either side of us. 

This evening, after picking up Papa from work, we decided to stay out and enjoy it just a little longer… This time by making Miss G’s first ever snowmen.  

IMG 3711Meet Tess.  A mama snowman (snowlady?) who is 2 years old.

IMG 3712Gracen loves her so.

IMG 3714And despite how it may appear, this is a kiss and not a nose nibble.

IMG 3716Tess’ plastic hat just wasn’t working for her.  Time to switch it up.  This one has Grae’s stamp of approval.

IMG 3717Meet Yess.  Mama’s baby boy snowman who is 1 year old.

IMG 3719I’d say she had a great first snowman experience…  Now what to tell her when her beloved Tess and Yess begin melting away…


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The First Snow {2012]

Though not a lot, Miss G has definitely seen snow before.  But today, when she woke up and I whisked her off to the window to show her the surprise that had arrived overnight, she said to me, “Mama?  What’s dat white stuff?”

With that, we promptly layered on some winter gear on top of our pajamas and headed outside to play in the {barely there} first snow of the year.

IMG 3676“Dis is snow?  Santa likes snow.”

IMG 3677Perfect snowball making snow.

IMG 3687“Yook, Mama!  Yook what Grae Grae has.”

IMG 3679Snowballs.

IMG 3682A collection.

IMG 3684Attempted snow angel.

IMG 3690For the freezer.

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Stanley Park Bright Nights

Today my little lady and I headed down to Stanley Park for our second year at Bright Nights.  Last year, Miss G was just a tiny little thing still riding around in the Ergo, but this year was a whole new ballgame.  She rode the train and pointed out things with one hand while holding my hand with the other, she cruised around the displays taking in the lights, she made friends with the Frosty the Snowman mascots that were strolling around the park, and enjoyed a warm milk and a bag of popcorn as a special treat.

Here’s our evening in photos…

IMG 3633All aboard!

IMG 3636Beautiful light displays.

IMG 3644Through the tunnel.

IMG 3652Chillin’ with Frosty.

IMG 3655Firefighter Grae.

IMG 3658The happiest little girl.
IMG 3662
Taking it all in.
IMG 3660Magical.
IMG 3666“Mama, take Grae Grae’s picture!”
IMG 3673Warm milk to end a lovely {and chilly} night.
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Winter Nature Shelf

Winter Nature ShelfToday Gracen’s autumn nature shelf got a much needed makeover…

IMG 3387Gone are the crunchy leaves, dried out sunflowers, mini pumpkins, new apples, and shedding cattails…

IMG 3398And in are the bare branches, pinecones, evergreen limbs, and dried red berries.

IMG 3388
IMG 3389
IMG 3391
IMG 3400If we’re striving for accuracy, the title ‘Christmas shelf’ would probably be more appropriate at this point, but we’re sticking with ‘nature shelf’ because soon enough all of the little Christmas extras (many of which were mine when I was little) Miss G carefully selected and added will be tucked away until next year and we’ll be back to having shelves filled with plain ol’ nature things.
IMG 3393And because we don’t have quite as many wintery things as we did autumn-y things, we decided to use the bottom shelves for seasonal books, which Gracen loves having on display.
Here’s a look at our mini transformation…

Autumn to Winter

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