My Home Checklist: Seeding Grass Project

Kevin and I have some outdoor renovations planned for this spring/summer, and this passed weekend we got to check the first project off the list: seeding grass. Kevin spent some time most evenings last week prepping the yard, straightening out some areas, pulling out old cement blocks and putting them in other necessary areas. Two weeks ago he also cut off a beautiful pine tree that was right in the center of our backyard. We loved this tree, but it was growing bigger and bigger every year, making our backyard smaller and smaller. So we finally decided that it had to go. 🙁  

On the weekend we had soil delivered, and we worked really hard to straighten out our front and backyard, and finished by seeding grass. Our bodies were SO sore by the end of it, but we felt really accomplished and also really enjoyed working on our yard together. There’s just something about spring, sunshine, dark and rich fresh soil, working hard, seeding, nurturing the seeds, and then waiting with anticipation to see new grass sprouting up everywhere. We were so thankful for the perfect weather that accompanied us the whole time! Here are some pictures of the weekend. I have to remind myself to document our life and our every day kind of moments more often. These pictures will bring back many memories in the years to come.

Luna loved every second of her time spent outdoors!

Here are some semi-before pictures, as I’m hoping that the look of the back and front yard will change drastically over the next few years. To get the real before picture, imagine a pine tree right in the middle of the yard, and where the soil is lying, there was old grass, with a fairly bumpy and uneven surface. Leading towards the gate, there were broken cement blocks, forming a path.

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Our plan is to remove the chain-link fence completely, and replace it with a taller, wooden fence for more privacy (and to hide the not so appealing back lane).

I realize that I never showed you an “after” picture of the new deck that Kevin and my dad built last summer (2016). It isn’t fully finished, so I might to another post on it in the future showing the before and after pictures. But here is what it looks like for now, and we’re really enjoying it. Now we’re dreaming and working on turning the whole backyard into a nice hang out space, and eventually also an area for gardening.

   

I felt a strong urge to take off my shoes and work in the rich soil barefoot! Yes, my feet got incredibly dirty, but with a little soaking, and a little bit of soap and scrubbing, it all came off! They were almost as good as new!

Kevin taking a well deserved break.

Adding the sprinkler and watering the seeds felt like the final rewarding touch. Kevin finished up the backyard in the dark, while Luna got a much needed bath inside.

Thank you for following our little and big adventures. Wishing you all a great week!

Life Update & Mango, Pineapple and Coconut Yogurt Popsicles

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Hello my lovely readers! I’ve been having a little too much fun trying different popsicle combos. I quickly wanted to share a flavor combination that I really enjoyed. I won’t even make a recipe card, because it’s really that easy, and doesn’t require much explaining. Using a popsicle tray, fill each slot a quarter of the way with mango juice, and two quarters with coconut flavored yogurt (I used Activia brand). Then, simply pop in a piece of freshly cut pineapple, and place it in the freezer until frozen. 

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Hmmmm… my human is holding something strange… wait a minute, perhaps I recognize what that is… could it be? No… I doubt it… oh my goodness… I think it is… it DEFINITELY is! Popsicles!!! 

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As I was trying to take pictures of the popsicles, Luna must’ve seen what I was holding (she usually get’s part of my popsicle), because she got really excited and was desperate to have some! She started jumping, trying to reach for the popsicles, photobombing my pictures in the most adorable way! No worries, she definitely got some in the end! 😉

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Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, all of Luna’s hair got chopped off! She looks so different with short hair! Needless to say, we were pretty amused by her look right after her hair cut. Especially since we were only used to her cute teddy bear look. It’s definitely nice and fresh for the summer though!

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I also wanted to update you a little on what’s going on at the Kampens these days. Kevin started tearing down our old deck on Saturday. It is in pretty poor shape, and needs replacing. The reason why we’re tearing it down now, is because my parents are coming for a visit (so exciting!), and my dad wanted to help us build a new one!

My last update, which might make some of you a little sad, is that I will be taking a break from blogging (this will be my last post for a while) for two reasons. First, I want to be fully available when my parents are visiting, as I don’t get to see them that often. Second, Kevin and I are travelling to Thailand!!! What!? Yes, it’s happening! We’re really looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to show/tell you all about it!

Now you know, and don’t have to wonder why I suddenly vanished from the face of the earth! I will miss sharing posts with you, but it is also important to disconnect sometimes. Plus, this only means I will have a lot of new content to share with you. 

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I want to thank each one of you for following me, encouraging me, and reading along. It means a lot to me! May this summer make you as happy as the popsicles make Luna happy. Here’s to summer! Cheers!!!!! -Erika

Kampens Gone Campin’

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Last week Kevin and I (and our little Luna!) decided to go on a short canoe trip along the Seagrim Lakes Trail before the summer ends. We were a little back and forth on whether we should or should not go, but it turned out to be exactly what we needed. It reminded us once again how important it is to take time to retreat from all the noise that surrounds us daily in life. This noise has the tendency to cloud ones perspective and priorities. Going to a quiet place that is peaceful and spiritually nurturing brings back the calm into our lives, and allows us to focus on the things that really matter.

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The Seagrim Lakes Trail is found in Nopiming Provincial Park in Manitoba. I would highly recommend going during the week, as we literally got the WHOLE place to ourselves! When we got back to the parking lot there was one other vehicle there, but we never saw any people. There’s only back-country camping available here, so you want to pack light, as you have to portage all your belongings, including food. The portages are very short and doable though. We had to portage three times and crossed three lakes to get to our campsite, which took us about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. We picked a beautiful campsite that was on an elevated island, with a large rocky opening, which gave us a great view of the surrounding area and the sky. 

May I also suggest leaving all unnecessary media distractions (except for a phone in the case of an emergency), make up, and your best clothes at home. I think that one gets the most out of a nature outing when one is not constantly having to check media, nor having to focus on looks. You want to allow yourself to disconnect from your usual routine. And trust me, in the end you will be happy that you brought your ugly runners when you realize how much more comfortable they were than your nice flip flops would have been. 😉 Alright, enough tips! Let’s move on… Here are some pictures that we took. The pictures are not as good because we didn’t want to take our better camera along, but I wanted to share them with you anyways.

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Waiting for our first supper to be ready. I tried making this camp fire pizza. I love the idea because you can make it before you leave and then just throw it into your backpack or cooler (if you’re going car camping), and you don’t have any supper prep when you get to the campsite!! Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out as I had hoped. We didn’t let it bake long enough, so the dough wasn’t quite baked through, and perhaps I stuffed it too much, and too far to the edges. I still love the idea (cause seriously who wouldn’t want to eat pizza after all that rowing!), so I thought I would still share it with you. I might try it again in the future and see if it works out doing a few things differently. 

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We did some fishing and even ate one! Luna enjoyed the eating part in particular! I have this weird relationship with fishing. I really enjoy fishing and get pretty excited when I catch a fish, but then as soon as I see the fish I start feeling pretty bad for it.

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The nights and mornings on the island were serene. They were overtaken by the calm of nature, sounding the breeze of the wind, with a fish surfacing for some food every so often, and the small waves clashing playfully against the rocks. We were all by ourselves, which was both kinda frightening and at the same time so freeing. The black skies were covered in a curtain of stars as the moon announced its arrival, slowly rising over the horizon leaving its dancing reflection in the waters. The northern lights then decided to pay a visit to the heavens while I was falling asleep cuddled up in my sleeping bag. The emptiness and fullness that I felt at the same time can’t really be put into words, but it drew me close to the creator of it all.

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Luna got to sleep in the tent with us, which she loved, since she doesn’t get to sleep in our bedroom at home. Kevin and I take turns taking her out during the night as we’re potty training her. I was on the early morning shift because I’m scared of bears and everything else during the night! So I got up early to take her out (as you can tell from my puffy eyes!), and decided to watch the sunrise with her (although she was perfectly content wrapped in my shirt, and continued sleeping). The sunrise was so beautiful and peaceful. Oh the things we miss out on when living in the city…  

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Kevin enjoying the last bit of his oatmeal breakfast along with most of our camping gear. We were learning how to use his new camping stove, and I was pretty happy to not have burned the oatmeal after basically charring some of the bacon!

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We bought a little life jacket for Luna before going on the trip and it was quite funny and terribly cute watching her run around in it. We put her in the water and her body definitely seemed to understand the movement of swimming. However, she didn’t like it very much, probably because the water was too cold for her little body. She got out as soon as she could, only to resemble a miniature Lion, with her legs being wet and slim, and the hair on her head being dry and poofy, like a lion’s main. It was quite the site! We definitely got a kick out of it! 

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One last family selfie and some last minute fishing (without any luck) before heading back and being sent off by the eagles soaring above us through the sky. It was windier on the way back and required a fair bit more muscle work. But we rewarded ourselves with some amazing burgers and greasy fries on our way back, and topped it off with some mango ice cream! What a great way to end the summer before going back to work!

Meet Little Luna

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Some of you have told me that you’re waiting for me to post again. I have felt really encouraged by this, so thank you, thank you, thank you! And as promised, I’m back! 

It’s been a fun and eventful summer! I very much enjoyed working at the local garden stand till the end of June, followed by some travelling in July. Kevin and I went on a long and awesome road trip to Canada’s West Coast. As a blogger, crafter, and food lover, I was SO inspired during this trip! I was constantly jotting down ideas, and am looking forward to sharing many things with you! August consisted of having my wisdom teeth removed (and feeling woozy from the meds!), catching up with family and friends, and working on some more house renos… alright, alright, I’ll get to the point!

There is another exciting thing that happened in August that I would love to share with you all! Kevin and I made a big decision, which has already brought a lot of joy (and less sleep!) into our little home. WE GOT A PUPPY!! Luna has been with us for a week now, and we’re having so much fun with her! We’re pretty in-love to say the least! She is a toy poodle and is just over 11 weeks old. I thought it was only fitting to share these big news today, as it’s National Dog Day! Here are some pictures of our little pup. Enjoy!

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