7 Ways to String Lights in your Backyard!

Make your backyard a twinkly retreat with some quick and simple ideas using string lights! – – – – – – This post has been sponsored by Wayfair Canada!  But as always all thoughts, ideas, opinions and such are my own. One of the nicest things about summer nights, is being able to sit out on the deck under all of our twinkly lights.  There’s just something so pretty about the light they cast…it almost feels as if we’re sitting in our own little fairy garden. The best thing about using string lights for lighting is how easy they are to hang.  Pretty much anywhere you would like them, you can hang them.  My favourite though, is to drape them along sort of droopy looking, as opposed to a straight line. Last summer I put together the easiest patio light project and I still love it SO much.  Above is a picture of the lights strung around our deck space, hung from wooden poles on each of the corners.  I used to just go out and sit there under all the lights.  Pretty pretty pretty. This year I’ve added more string lights, but this time I have draped them all […]

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What’s For Dinner? Homemade Burgers and Fries

A delicious dinner of Homemade Burgers and Fries!  Includes burgers, home fries, a tomato salad and brownies for dessert! – – – – – It’s time again for What’s For Dinner!  Every time I write one of these menu plans, I get reallllly hungry.  This week especially because it features my favourite home made burgers!  Burgers are the best.  And with home fries, it’s like summer on a plate! This menu is great for any time you are craving burgers, but it’s especially perfect for weekend BBQ’s, and gatherings with friends and family. Homemade Burgers and Fries Menu Main Dish:  Best Beef Burgers Side Salad:  Fresh Tomato Salad Side Dish:  Home Fries Dessert:  Chocolate Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies These really are the Best Beef Burgers!  I have been making burgers with this recipe for over 10 years and we just love them.  They’re juicy and so flavourful! This easy to make Home Fries recipe is the perfect side to burgers!  Just bake them in the oven until they’re nice and crispy…so good. Add a nice Fresh Tomato Salad, and your burger dinner is complete!  This salad adds just the right amount of crunch and sweet to accompany burgers and fries! And if you can fit it all in after all […]

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Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids can be fun!  Get them involved in planting seeds, flowers and a fruit and vegetable garden.  It’s so good for kids to get first hand experience with how to grow a garden! – – – – – Can you believe that it’s already time to start planting our gardens?  The start of gardening season sneaks up on me every year, and I think it’s because our transition from winter to spring is not very obvious.  One day it’s spring, the next day it’s winter.  Literally.  But then it happens, all of a sudden it’s May Long weekend, and suddenly we have permission to garden.  Oh the relief!  So I burn off to the garden centre with all the optimism a Canadian feels once winter is truly and finally behind them.  Because if the garden centre is ready and full of plants, it’s time right?!  Yes. So on a sunny and warm morning this week, I ventured off to our local PC® Garden Centre and filled my cart.  It was one of those trips where I told myself that I would only get a few things, but then left with a trunk full of plants…and maybe the front seat too.  But who’s counting?  😉 […]

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Surprising Our Kids with a Springfree Trampoline! And How To Win One of Your Own!

Disclosure:  I am working with Springfree Trampoline as a brand ambassador, and I am excited to share my experiences with you!  As part of this partnership, I have been compensated, but as always, all pictures, views and opinions are my own.  We reaaaaally LOVE our new trampoline!  I even jump on it…shhhh don’t tell anyone.  😉  Trampolines have been a HUGE part of life over here…my parents bought a trampoline for my sister and I when we were very young and we jumped on it until I moved out to go to university.  True story.  I remember getting up really early in the morning and using the trampoline as a way to exercise.  I have always loved trampolines.  So as soon as our kids were old enough to jump on trampolines we bought one for our backyard.  Even at that time, which was over 10 years ago, trampolines had come a long way from the ones we had as kids.  There were nets and pads so we were good to go, haha!  But it didn’t take long for the nets to disintegrate and the pads fall apart.  In no time we were left with quite a rusty trampoline skeleton.  See below… […]

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Fajita Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Make this Fajita Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner in less than 1 hour!  One dish means dinner prep and clean up is easier than ever!  Serve with all your favourite fajita toppings! – – – – – – This is such a fun way to serve a fajita dinner without all of the work!  Just line a pan with chicken, peppers and onions then season generously with taco seasoning, and you’ve got a Fajita Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner…so easy and delicious. This time of year we are SO busy…I mean really, who isn’t?  Soccer, baseball, rugby…whichever sport you family is involved in, is in full force right now.  We have kids in sports 4 days out of the week right now, so for me, menu planning is at the upmost of importance.  And not only meal planning, but quick and healthy ideas.  I need dinner ready in less than one hour, and I need it to be healthy. That’s why I love sheet pan dinners so much.  You can add so many fresh and delicious ingredients to a pan, and have it all ready in less than an hour.  So during the time it takes for dinner to cook, I have time to […]

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This Big Adventure!

I have some exciting news I want to share with you!  Together with my husband, we are the proud new owners of the travel blog This Big Adventure! So here’s the backstory…I have wanted to incorporate travel into this site for quite a long time.  And over the years I’ve posted a few travel things, but I’ve always felt like this kind of content never really fit in well with what I regularly post here at ‘A Pretty Life’.  I even started a travel Instagram account but it just didn’t feel right.  In the mean time, we’ve been busy traveling with our kids, and exploring everything from our home town, to taking road trips, to seeing the sights, and more, and I’ve been dying to share our experiences. So when the opportunity came up to buy the established blog, ‘This Big Adventure’ from a friend, who is changing directions with her own blog, I jumped on it.  Like within minutes.  I have always loved this site and LOVED the name…in fact it was really everything I imagined for a family travel site.  So when it became available I knew I had to have it. This Big Adventure is just under 2 […]

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What’s For Dinner? Chili Dinner Menu

Recipe ideas for a Chili Dinner!  A full Chili Dinner Menu, including bread, a side salad and dessert! – – – – – – Welcome back to another edition of What’s For Dinner! It’s that time of week, where I get to share another delicious dinner menu idea!  I really enjoy putting these posts together.  They help me to meal plan, and hopefully they help you too!  This weeks menu is for a chili dinner!  The great thing about this menu is that it’s perfect for any time of year…it’s great in the summer, fall or winter. Chili Dinner Menu Main Dish:  Best Beef Chili Side Salad:  Caesar Salad Bread:  Mozzarella and Parmesan Buttermilk Quick Bread Dessert:  Fresh Fruit Juice Popsicles This really is the Best Beef Chili. It’s the recipe that I have been using for over 10 years and it turns out delicious every time.  This recipe makes a big batch, so you can use half now, and freeze half for later.  I love double duty recipes. I always have to have a bread with my chili.  You can serve buns, or make this Mozzarella and Parmesan Buttermilk Quick Bread.  This is such a great bread with chili.  And the great thing about it, is […]

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