July 2015

Camping in Comfort at Niagara Falls KOA

Ken & I have been camping once as a couple, and we went once as a family.  It was a lot of fun to be outside and to "get away", but we were exhausted after one night because we slept so poorly!  Last summer, we opted to have a backyard camp-out (and we came inside to sleep in the end!).  So, while our kids love it, Ken and I have realized that we're not big fans of camping... at least not in the traditional way.  

We do love to get away and enjoy nature however, which is why we were excited to spend a few days at the Niagara Falls KOA (Kampgrounds of America) in Ontario.  It didn't take long on their website before I discovered that they not only offer cabins to camp in, but they also have "deluxe cabins".. and our preferred style of camping was discovered! :)

The girls had been talking about this little trip for weeks, so when we were ready for our road trip, they were very excited!

I took lots of photos of our time at the KOA because there is just so much to see and do! I'll walk you through our experience with lots of visuals!  Here are the girls in front of our cabin.  We were happy to have a fire pit and a BBQ to cook over as well as a table with 6 chairs outside, and a table with 4 chairs inside.  I loved the swing on our little front lawn!

Inside our cabin, we were very happy to have a bathroom (not pictured) with a full tub and shower (with good water pressure), regular toilet, and small vanity with sink and mirror.  They provide hair/body soap in the bathroom. Because the females in our family have a lot of hair, it's hard to do without conditioner (I know.. we think we're glamping here ;), so Ken drove to the grocery store to grab some. This "Kampground" is very conveniently located near lots of stores, so he didn't have to go far!

Free Days & Summer Fun!

The first month of our Summer came in with a bang! We did a lot of fun day trips and little getaways within that month, and now we're starting to have more free days. Recently, I decided to take the girls to see a daytime showing of the new Minions movie. We had enjoyed the silly little characters in previous movies and I thought it would be a fun surprise.

That morning, I told the girls to put on their Minion Shirts (from this trip) and that was their clue to the special event of the day. :)

My kids still have some Halloween candy left, so they each gathered some treats from their Halloween bags to bring to the movie and we were off! I had also promised them that after the movie, we would stop by Walmart to pick up some Minion Kinder Eggs as a special treat! (They were excited to add to the Kinder minion collection they began recently).

Here they are outside the theatre with their Kinder Eggs:

I have to say as a parent , that I wasn't a huge fan of the Minion movie. It was fine overall, but I didn't like the amount of "bare bum humour" (including a Minion in a thong) and there was a part that involved torture devices (which were not used in the traditional way, but it made me uncomfortable that they were included in a movie for young kids).  I asked my kids what they thought of the movie and their comments were positive.  I figure most of the things that made me a little uncomfortable probably went over their heads. So, depending on how sensitive you are about what you let your kids watch, you may want to look into the details of the movie before you take your young kids.

It was definitely a fun outing though and the Kinder Eggs were a great way to end it! (They went home to play with the puzzle one of them got, and add the little Minion figurine to their collection).

I love finding little surprise ways to make these free days of summer more fun and memorable!  We did something else really fun recently with a free day, and I look forward to sharing that with you!

Don't forget to visit the Kinder Canada Facebook page this summer (there are lots of games, activity ideas, and contests there!).

Disclosure: I’m a #KinderMom who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team; as part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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July 2015 Sharing Time - Week 4

Welcome to July's Sharing Time Linky!

We had a lot of fun at a cabin recently (details to come) and while we were there, we tried Potatoes on the BBQ- they were amazing!  Details Here.

I had another food post this week, with our little Summer Brunch Party.. a couple of fun (& easy) brunch recipes are over in that post!

I'm excited to see what you've been up to this summer!

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A Summer Brunch Party

Earlier this week, my girls and I hosted a brunch party with some of their friends (and their moms). It was such a fun opportunity to get everyone together during the summer! We had fun planning it and choosing some delicious little breakfast items to serve.

The stars of the party were definitely these parfaits!

Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits 
Layer ingredients (below) in whatever portions and order you desire! 
Yogurt (we used vanilla) Fresh berries (we used raspberries, blueberries, & cut strawberries)Granola (we used Jordans Morning Crisp- details below)

We also served little sandwich roll-ups (shown on the top plate in the photo below).  These were very easy to make and looked really fancy to the kids at the party.

How to "Bake" Potatoes on the BBQ!

We have had so much fun so far this summer, and one of the most fun things we've done was to go to a Cabin for a few days last week!  I'll share more about that, but today I want to share one of the meals that we made while we were there- it was a big hit!  We had a barbecue to use next to our cabin, so we planned some BBQ meals and one that we were excited about was to try BBQ Baked Potatoes!

This meal was SO delicious & I loved the toppings we used!

July 2015 Sharing Time - Week 2

Welcome to July's Sharing Time Linky!

Did you catch this week's post about our first week of Summer & how we 
packed it full of fun?

I'm excited to see what you've been up to this summer!

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How to Pack Your Summer Full of Fun! :)

We had such a busy week last week! Ken's good friend that he met while living in Mexico has been visiting Canada for a few months and he came to stay with us for about a week. He is going back to Mexico soon, so it was our last chance to do a bunch of things that he wanted to do while in Canada. We had so much fun in those 6 days! Today's post is a bit of a recap of some of the things that we did (at least the ones that I have photos of!)

He arrived in our town on Canada Day, so we celebrated together at a local celebration. We hadn't attended since before we had our own children, so it was fun to check it out again! I think this is the first time that we have gone somewhere (other than to Ken's parents' court where they set off fireworks for their little neighbourhood each year) for fireworks with the kids. Here we are with our 2 nephews (whose family we also met there).

I painted Talia's nails red with white polka dots to go with the day. Luckily Katrina wasn't in the mood to have hers painted because we ran out of time and mine ended up being plain white (not my full plan ;) the rest of the week. :)  We had a fun visit that morning with those same nephews & their parents, at a park.  And my parents came to visit for lunch & an afternoon visit before we headed off to pick Ken's friend up.

On day two, we headed for Niagara Falls. I love this photo I was able to grab of the American side with a rainbow in it!

We took the girls on the "Hornblower" (I'm not sure when they made the change from the old "Maid of the Mist", but it's basically the same thing with a different name).  I love this picture of the girls in anticipation of getting onto the boat.  We grabbed this dry photo of me with the girls on the boat, before everyone got wet with how close we got to the Falls- it is such a neat experience, and it was so fun to take the girls for it. :)

Neither of the girls could remember being to the Falls (although Talia thought she remembered it once we got there), so it was fun to take them, to show them how amazing they are, and to get some photos.  Here's one of the girls in front of the Canadian side (the "Horseshoe Falls").

On Day 3, we headed for another Waterfall called Webster's Falls (a gorgeous place where I took these photos).  While we were there, Talia found a legit four leaf clover!

Here's a photo of the Falls:

While we were walking, we were happy to discover some wild raspberries and a couple of mulberry trees!

We took a day to relax a bit after all of the walking we'd been doing, to enjoy some home-made cinnamon rolls and some authentic Mexican cooking, and visit a local market and village. I didn't get any photos from that day.

The following day was Sunday so we attended church, had a little nap in the afternoon, cooked up some Gyozas for dinner and relaxed because we were exhausted from all of our adventures so far!

Monday was our last day together and we decided to visit the CN Tower.

The last time we were here was 11 years ago, on our honeymoon!

How fun to be back just over a decade later, with our daughters. :)  Here are the girls on their first trip up the tower:

That night we had one last dinner together and then said goodbye to our guest.  We hope it won't be long before we see him again!  What a great way to start the summer- with a fun week, packed with fun and adventure!  I can't wait to see what the rest of the season will bring!

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July 2015 Sharing Time - Week 1

Welcome to July's Sharing Time Linky!

Did you catch this week's post about how to make Frozen Hot Chocolate?

It was SO GOOD!

We have had such a nice week this week, celebrating Canada Day and having a visitor at our house!
Maybe I'll post about it next week if I can carve out some blogging time! :)

But for now, on with July's Link Party!
I'm excited to see what fun activities and recipes you have been coming up with!

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