Hello, and welcome back to The Christmas Calmdown, where we're planning ahead for a calm December! The Christmas Calmdown is co-hosted by myself and my cousin Ainsley of Pattycake Manners.

Oh my goodness. It's September 29. SEPTEMBER 29!!! That means two things...

One, that I'm late posting the September installment of "The Christmas Calmdown," and...

Two...in just a few short days, it's October. We're into the double digits.

In my wacky world, when the calendar flips to October and therefore "double digits," Christmas, well...it's just around the corner.  This is a cause for excitement, but for those of us who are trying to be organized, we become aware that "planning ahead" has transitioned into simply "planning." In short, it's time to put our best laid plans into action.

This is actually going to be a rather short post, because I want you to go find that Christmas Planner we discussed back in February and do some posting of your own. Go through it. Don't be discouraged if there are empty pages (I won't lie...mine isn't as full as I'd like it to be.) BUT, if you've been following along, you've been mentally taking stock and giving the holidays some advance consideration, probably more so than you ever have before. So, grab your favorite pen, and a hot cup of tea, and make your "Real" holiday "to do" list. 

In preparation for this post, I went back and read the earlier Calmdown posts. It really helped to get me on track with what I want to accomplish this holiday season. And, oh my goodness, we've covered a lot! Gifts, cards, cooking, making time for loved ones and pets...so many aspects to the holidays that we never really consider during the hustle and bustle. But this year, this year I really do feel calmer. As I read through the posts, I was mentally checking off items on my list. All those decisions that so often get made "last minute" are this year going to be well thought out with confidence. And so, over the next few weekends, I will be committing my "real" holiday to-do list to my planner. 

Because then? THEN the real fun begins! Stay tuned...we've still got three months to go!

It's Good to be Back!

Hello, lovelies! I'm back!

And, oh, how I've missed you! However, over the past few months, I've had a touch of writer's block and just a smidge of busy-ness. I am blessed to have found a job that I really enjoy, however working full time has left me with less time for my creative pursuits, blogging, and of course, personal time. So I took a few months to slack a bit and adjust. As regular readers may recall, Autumn is my time of rejuvenation, and as I suspected my creative juices are flowing and the urge to write has returned. 

First up, I have some housekeeping to attend to. The last few weeks were a bit of a whirl, and to my chagrin I missed posting the link to the August edition of The Christmas Calmdown. Ainsley prepared a wonderful post on holiday greetings, which you can read here.  You have my sincerest apologies for my tardiness. I will be posting the September edition on or around the 25th.

Next, a brief explanation of what I've been up while I've been neglecting Nesty (and all of you!). Well, despite the weather's best efforts, we did our best to enjoy the summer. We were blessed to have visitors (my husband's cousin and her family) and for a glorious long weekend in August we soaked up the joy of having family close by. We barbecued, enjoyed leisurely morning coffees on the patio (we had one of the only sunny weekends this summer while they were here!), had camp fires, and of course, this being Northern British Columbia, we fished!

Oh yes, that's me!
 This was my first time salmon fishing in BC, and I had a great time! I was equipped with a shiny new rod (not the pink one!), a fluffy pink marabou jig (the jig of choice that weekend, I didn't choose the colour. Really.) and tons of determination! After a terrible showing the first night, I had much better luck the next day! Above, I am posing with a Chum that I caught. Unfortunately, he was foul hooked so I couldn't keep him but I had quite a time bringing him in! We realized about half-way through the battle that my reel was on the wrong side of the rod for right-handed me...check out my fighting face below!

 Luckily a few folks caught some keepers, and our freezer is filling up nicely. Thanks to some very generous friends, we had some lovely salmon in our freezer to serve to our guests; I used this recipe to grill one on the barbecue and it was fantastic! We are hoping to smoke some salmon over the next few weeks, which of course I'll tell you all about!

We are looking forward to Fall and some holiday time. I have been trying out new recipes and am planning a few new features for Nesty. One of them is a "brown bag lunch" series, while the other will be meal solutions for busy households. Now that we are both working full-time, meal planning is becoming more important. So I'm coming up with some solutions which I'll be sharing here. Look forward to "fix it and freeze it" meal solutions as well as lots of slow-cooker recipes. I'm also looking forward to crafting and decorating for the upcoming holiday season. 

Finally, I got a new camera, so Nesty will become much more visual once again! I'm really enjoying capturing the beauty of "Super, Natural British Columbia" on camera again! For those of you who enjoy my tales of life in Northern BC, there should be more of those coming up soon! The bears are back, as well as lots of other wildlife, so I'll be keeping my camera close at hand as we go adventuring this Fall.

Folks, it's great to be back! Have a great week!!!