Hanging out in the woods

Friends of ours bought some land in Pakenham (Ontario) last spring to build a small camp on, and Chris and I have been heading out there over the past year to hike/snowshoe and help set up – but mostly just to fart around. It is so much fun to go exploring and build forts and stuff. As a kid, my sisters and I were always outside climbing things and playing games. Now as an adult it’s so refreshing get outside and just have fun poking around. Still have yet to find any deer antlers or other treasures, but I’m not giving up hope!

I also shot my first gun last fall, and again this past weekend, completely annihilated a gatorade bottle. Not gonna lie, shooting at targets is pretty fun. Here are some photos from this past weekend, we went to help put in some bridges over a swampy part of the land.

Pakenham, ON

Forest hiking

Yellow Birch tree

Putting in bridges

Forest life

Chris getting his aim on

I was a little trigger happy

Huge wild turkey tracks - Chris' hand for context

The boys heading out

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Time flies when you’re having fun!

Wow, I just realized we haven’t written anything in about a month — crazy! So much has been going on it’s been hard to keep up with everything, let alone write about it, but we do apologize.

To sum up our lives for the past month in one post: two of our bestest friends are getting married this Saturday, we had our annual Bon Echo camping trip, and not to mention bachelor and bachelorette parties and showers in abundance, dragon boat practices, and I started running. Although we have been super busy, it has all been so much fun and totally worth it!

The following photos are all from this past month’s activities, enjoy!


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Roasted vegetable soup with herb dumplings

This weekend we had two friends visiting from Toronto, it was so nice to catch up and chat since we hadn’t really seen either since the wedding. The weekend was full of delicious food and drinks and we had such a good time, even though the weather didn’t really cooperate. Today was still a bit chilly so I decided to make a soup for dinner.

Roasting vegetables is now my go-to for an easy dinner option. They work well as a side or in a soup and the best part is you can pretty much use whatever you have in the fridge. I wanted to add a little something to it though, and came across this recipe from theKitchn that suggested dumplings. I’ve made dumplings once before and it went well so thought I’d give it another try. All-in-all it was pretty tasty but I think I would have preferred fresh bread instead. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Check out the recipe below. Cheers!

veggies_uncut veggiesroasted_veggies_on_pandumpling_dough finished_soup

Soup Ingredients

  • Vegetables: today I used sweet potato, zucchini, onion, carrots and a yellow pepper
  • A couple cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary and thyme
  • 7 cups of vegetable stock

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp of chilled butter, cut up into tiny bits
  • 1 tbsp each of thyme, marjoram and parsley
  • 1/2 cup of milk


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut up all the vegetables into 1-inch chunks and spread onto a baking sheet. Leave the garlic unpeeled and place on baking sheet as well. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs. Roast for about 40 minutes, flipping them half way through. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skin. Bring the broth to a boil, add the vegetables and garlic, and then puree with a hand blender until you reach the consistency you like.

While the veggies are roasting you can prepare the dumplings. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Next mix in the butter bits with your fingers until the mixtures resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the herbs and then add the milk and mix until combined.

Drop blobs of the dough into the simmering soup (they expand so don’t make them too big). Cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. Bon appetit!

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Our little backyard oasis

Due to the unusually AWESOME weather we have experienced lately, this will be the first year that we have the backyard up and running before the long weekend. Chris and I were so ahead of the game we had to wait for the garden centres to get their herbs in.

This will be my fifth year living in this apartment and Chris’ fourth, and every year we have tried growing stuff in the backyard — some successful, others not. By now we know what will and won’t work and just have to work with what we got, which is basically shade tolerant plants and herbs. The bane of Chris’ existence are two Manitoba Maple trees (his least favourite tree) which provide us with lots of privacy and shade in the back, but limits sun exposure.

A nice surprise this year though was our chives came back from last year, so we got that going for us. Even though the backyard is quite small and is hard to successfully grow stuff, I love the space we have. It’s perfect for us right now and is a nice retreat to hang out with friends, BBQ, play darts and read.

This year we planted rosemary, mint, cilantro, dill, basil and parsley. We planted two mint plants due to our Mojito consumption, hopefully it’s enough!

herbizzles before_herb_garden chris_transplanting annual_chives dartboard manitoba_maple buddha oskie_boy cilantro mint finished_herb_garden backyard_oasis

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