Welcome

Welcome to Prairie Girl West Coast Heart!

As the name suggests, I am indeed a Prairie girl with a West Coast heart. I grew up on the east coast of Vancouver Island. It nurtured a love for the ocean and all things coastal and island inspired. My husband and his family ventures furthered my love of the ocean. Life however, always has plans you don’t know about and we ended up in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, looking east over the Canadian Prairies!

Here you will find snippets of my life, things I find interesting or exciting.

 

With love,

Prairie Girl with the West Coast Heartpost

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Milestones!

Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am that … wait for it …

I GOT THE JOB!!

I am now officially working as a sonographer, my chosen profession! And it may have even only been a week but I love it! There’s just something so satisfying about putting all that work in and finally achieving your goal!

Aside from that, I’ve also written the American exams and can officially practice my craft and this week I write the Canadian exams! That will be the official end to all the every day studying. You still do lots of learning but it’s not as intense and there’s an amazing amount to be learned on the job.

So what does this mean?  Now we can start building our empire and maybe do a little spoiling of ourselves after a few years of putting life on pause.

One of the things we did was purchase an automatic coffee machine. I wasn’t so sure about this but the hubs likes the coffee and it’s pretty quick, with lots of different options.  So which one did we go for?

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Nespresso Evoluo + Aerocinno 

This fancy little Nespresso machine. So far it’s been pretty fun to play with it and the coffee tastes a little better than my little French press…mostly because I haven’t figured out the perfect coffee/hot water ratio that makes the French press happy and this little machine just pumps out the right amount of coffee/water for a pretty darn good cup of joe!

It’s been nice to have the coffee as a hot drink since we got a big snowfall this past week! Places got up to 48cm but we had a little less in the city – still, it’s beautiful to see the city painted white!

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Courtesy Global News 

Crazy hey?! Once everyone figured out how to drive in the snow, it hasn’t been bad commuting around the city and it’s just so pretty out!

So here’s hoping that you all are staying warm during these cold winter months!

With love,

Prairie Girl with a West Coast Heart

Paradise Found

So last time I believe I mentioned that hubs and I were about to head off to Maui for our post-graduation trip. I have to tell you last few years (five or so in fact) have been either about Dom getting his footing in his career, paying for our new home or me finding school and embarking on that adventure. It has been a very, very long few years with only visits back to the West Coast as a “vacation”…and when I quote vacation, I mean it’s all about fitting in family and friends. Anyone else experience this while “vacationing” where you grew up?

So we said, screw it, when I am done school, we will go on vacation. And boy was it worth it. Paradise Found!

You guys, Maui is amazing.

This is what I would wake up to!
My Morning View

This is how I would start my day – with the sound of the waves (and ok, maybe some human noise too). Then it was breakfast on the lanai – super important to keep hubs from having a celiac flare and it was more fun to eat there and watch for whales and turtles than to pay tourist prices for breakfast. Still, if you are going to Maui I would definitely recommend Duke’s for breakfast and evening libations. Fairly expensive but considering Maui is both an island and a tourist destination, the food was delicious and worth the price. And oh my heavens, the view!

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Duke’s on the Beach @ Kaanapali

We spent an amazing ten days on the island, driving all around it, finding a hike or two and some incredible views. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about having to leave Maui and go home, but at least we have pictures and memories.

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Sunset on Kaanapali North Beach

We never hit the same beach twice, we snorkelled, hiked, ate and just enjoyed our adventures in Maui. An incredible place.

But now, it’s back to reality and the cool, snowy weather of the prairies. It’s a little disappointing to come back to snow and ice, even when you know that’s what you’re going home to.

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Icy sidewalk

Now it’s the job hunt for me. And studying… more studying. I swear, does it ever end? I have liver problems, heart problems, baby problems and more stuck in my head and I’m hoping to have them all straightened out in the next few weeks so I can write my registry exams, pass those exams and begin working in my chosen field.

Wish me luck!

With Love,

Prairie Girl with a West Coast Heart

I’ll leave you with a few more images of Maui ❤ Also, let me know if you want any recommendations for your own trip to Paradise in the comments 🙂

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Upcountry Maui
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Waihee Ridge Trail
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Kapalua Beach

A Breath of Fresh Air

So it’s definitely been a while I know, since I last posted. Life has been entirely too crazy over the last few months.  The big news is:

I am now a college graduate (again!).

It has been a crazy two years of books, practical experience, tears, fears, triumphs and all that is left is to write the national board exams! (Scary in and of itself)

The only drawback to all of this is, it’s of course winter time. And with winter time comes dry air, cold air, snow, sun and a whole lot of holiday craziness. My poor husband has been at home sick for the last few days! I have to say, it’s been a relief that I can be home to help him out.

My saving grace has been the essential oil blends from Saje. Their Good Health diffuser blend collection has been a blessing. The fresh, uplifting and antibacterial blends have been keeping our home smelling amazing while helping to promote a stronger immune system! I have been blending the Immune and Tranquility blends in my diffuser to help us sleep and feel better in the morning! It’s pretty heavenly! Good Health blends from Saje Good Health blends from Saje

Hopefully it helps keep everyone else from getting sick and we can enjoy the holidays with family!

Keeping in the Christmas spirit, I want to share one of my favourite Christmas treats: the chocolate Christmas log I used to make with my mom. It’s one of those easy, kid friendly recipes that always goes around well.

Christmas-Log
Christmas Chocolate Roll

Also called Church Windows or Coconut-Chocolate log roll, it’s super simple to make. Just a few ingredients (or more if you feel like fancying it up) has a deliciously sweet and fun treat to share with everyone.

All you need is some chocolate, butter, marshmallows and coconut. My mom and I used to add maraschino cherries to the mix and you can play with sweet, semi-sweet or dark chocolate to your taste. Melt the chocolate, cool it, add the marshmallows, roll it in the coconut and pop it in the freezer. Voila, done! How easy and quick is that?

Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a shot:

  • Chocolate baking squares – 2 to 4
  • Butter – 2 – 4 tbsp
  • Egg – 1, beaten
  • Icing sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Flour or Graham crumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Coloured marshmallows – 2 1/2 cups
  • Maraschino cherries – 1/2 cup, quartered
  • Shredded coconut for coating

Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat (don’t burn it!)

Take it off the heat and add the egg, sugar, flour (or graham crumbs), marshmallows and cherries and mix. It might seem like you don’t have enough chocolate mix to cover the marshmallows but don’t worry, it will work out. Let it cool and roll it up. When it’s still slightly warm, roll it in coconut so that it covers it nicely and sticks. Wrap it up either in aluminium foil or wax paper and freeze it!

When you’re ready to eat just slice it up and plate it! Gorgeous!

Now I’m off for some Christmas family fun and then off to Maui in the New Year – gotta celebrate somehow!

Can’t wait to be here soon!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Prairie Girl with a West Coast Heart

A Glass of Good Wine

So it’s been a while since I last posted. Life has been incredibly busy for me.  Now in the last semester of my program, I have been going to practicum everyday, working between one and three evenings a week and trying to study and live somewhat of a life.

It’s crazy!

One of my vices has recently become wine. I have always liked wine but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between a Pinot Noir and a Merlot. Probably still couldn’t actually say too much but I have been learning, alongside my husband. Why?

Because we have grapes! And thus we have the beginning of wine.

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A relaxing retreat among the vines!
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The grapes!

 

When my father-in-law brought the first small batch of grape juice we knew that we had to try making wine! The grape juice had a bold flavour – just what kind of wine would it produce? Bold or subtle? Light red or deep ruby? All these questions!

 

We started our journey at Grapes to Glass in Calgary with excitement! This looked like it would be overwhelming when we stepped inside but the gentleman there was very helpful in guiding us to the right products for our experiment.

Winemaking 101
Winemaking 101

Car boys, specific gravity and yeast – oh my! With all the necessities newly purchased we got home and dove right into winemaking 101! Somehow my husband and I are involved in very science-experiment like hobbies!

So with all the instructions followed, now is the waiting game to see what happens to out grape juice. Will it become wine? Will it become grape vinegar?

Stay tuned to find out…

Wine?
Will it become wine?

 

Thanks for reading

 

Prairie Girl with a West Coast Heart

Weekend Life

So every week is always a busy one in our family. Between my husband working a full-time job as well as a couple of side jobs, me “working” as a full-time student on practicum and picking up the odd shift at work, weekends have become the time we spend cleaning our home from the craziness of the week.

One of the things that is always going it seems is the laundry. I have to share with you guys such an awesome product:

Moss Creek Wool Works has these things called “wool dryer balls”.

Dryer Balls
Moss Creek Wool Works Dryer Balls

You guys these things are amazing! I love that they are natural wool instead of chemical filled sheets. Throw them in the dryer with your clothes and they work just as well. Even better, drop a few drops of essential oil on them and your laundry smells fresh and clean – or in my case like lavender!

Luckily this weekend is less about the cleaning all weekend and more about the family time. My husband and I have been so busy lately that we haven’t really seen each other so Saturday will be a cleaning and home day but in the evening we are going to hang out with my brother-in-law, his wife and their four adorable kids: two fur babies and my twin nephews! Some river time, good food and family is often the best way to relax. I can’t wait for it!

Sheep River
Sheep River

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

With love,

Prairie Girl with a West Coast Heart!