Thursday, 30 April 2015



The communities you find on the internet. The people of the Place Under the Pine have been diving into many niche communities on the 'net. From Haul Videos on Youtube to #twittergames on Twitter. The latest find is a good one - YARN ALONG.
Finally, a like minded group of people who have similar obsessions - yarn and books.

Click on the Yarn Along button to see more...

Currently in the PUTP, there is a half done elephant and a half done Grisham book...which one will be done first?

The crocheted pieces in the picture above are the head, arms, and legs for a small elephant. This elephant was started many moons ago...24 moons would be a rough estimate. It was initially started as a gift for a newborn Oskie. Oskie is now over two years old! However, the last few weeks have seen the elephant go from only a head to a head with extremities.

The Litigators by John Grisham has also been sitting on a bookshelf for similar amount of time. Grisham books often sit, but, when opened are devoured by the bookworm in record time. This one is no different. It may be done even faster than usual as Matty has been riding the bus to work everyday and uses that time wisely - to read.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015



Pine Tree Post | Food

Food continues to be a major topic of conversation, a major time consuming activity, and a major expense in the PUTP. Three hungry kids can sure put away an enormous amount of food, especially when it is delicious. And, if food makes them smile...who can blame the parents for consistently giving in and feeding their hungry mouths?

Elli, powering up right before his hockey game - Gretzky style with a piece of apple pie

The last few months of winter brought multiple colds, coughs, and the flu to the citizens of the PUTP, which is why this meal of simple chicken noodle soup (from a box) was 'cooked' up.

Add pouch to 6 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 5 mins. Serve.

The coldest winter in many years made hot soups and roasted meals taste even...tastier.

French Onion Soup made an appearance

A bean filled vegetable warmed some souls

"P DINNER" - A roast pan full of porkchops, potatoes, pears, parsnips, lemons (Lolli's Favourite)

Cheesy pasta dishes always go over well... can add roasted asparagus...

...or even chicken to make many different dishes

No, the PUTP is not going Paleo, this is a typical dinner.

Ruebens - broiled in the oven.

Can't beat a fresh loaf of banana bread.

Sometime it is the simple meals that bring out the smiles.

The end of winter blahs, combined with tales of coworkers and friends heading to Cuba or other tropical destinations, brings on a desire for some bright, fresh, and summery food.

Green is fresh.

Colourful fruit and multi-coloured wraps help cure some winter blahs

The bright papaya looked better than it tasted.

This time of year lunches seem to fall into a repetitive routine, rotating through roughly five main ideas; sandwiches, pasta, cheese & crackers, and eggs. Fresh things are in short supply, or too pricey, to buy often. Apples, Oranges, and carrots make appearances daily in the lunchbox.
However, sometimes things gets changed up, for a bit of variety.

Beans make a great snack

A separate container of granola keeps it from turning the yogurt into a pile of mush

Doesn't a little lettuce on a sandwich make it looks so much yummier?
Sunbutter is a school friendly substitute for peanut butter.

Lunchbox Tip #341 - Soggy Sandwich Prevention

A container, such as the Lock & Locks used by the PUTP, which has multiple containers can become a bit of a mess when shaken around, say when put in the backpack of an active child. To prevent any wet foods from contaminating the sandwich a small barrier of cling wrap can be used. This small tip can save a lunch from becoming that 'soggy mess you sent me Dad!'

Step 1 - place a small strip of plastic wrap in between the fruit and sandwich spot

Step 2 - arrange plastic over the sandwich to prevent moisture from causing sogginess.
Now time for dessert.

Sugar, butter...more butter = yum

Berries + strudel mix = yum 

Many new products have found their ways into the cupboards of the PUTP, including a change in coffee.

Smooth and tasty - a new fav coffee

The coffee was originally bought as a short term substitute for our regular brew (President's Choice Great Canadian) because it was on sale ($2.50). The LavAzza became the new coffee of choice, at least for a couple of months.

Speaking of President's Choice...
The editors at the Place Under the Pine food post have noticed that a certain brand keeps popping up at the table - President's Choice (PC). This is not a recent trend, the PUTP has been using PC products for years.

There are some many old favourites.

Not Kraft Dinner around here - White Cheddar instead

You've seen the lean Italian meatballs before

And, recently a few new products have been added to the grocery list on a regular basis.

The 'Free From' meat is a great substitute when the deli is closed at 10:45 pm and you need sandwich meat

The Maple Balsamic has been coating many salads lately 

Even the PC pasta sauces are being emptied at a rapid pace...especially on days Matt cooks

Happy Eating

Don't Joke about getting your hand caught in the mixer Elli!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015



After being cooped up in the house for the past six month due to the cold weather it was no surprise that the first weekend of sun and warm weather (even hitting the double digits) inspired every citizen of the Place Under The Pine to head outdoors. It was a weekend full of bike riding, road hockey, yard clean up...and topped off with a family walk in the woods.

With a spring in their step the crew started walking.

Chickadees were there to greet the children.

And, other birds came to say, 'hey'.

The changing of the season was most visible by the lake which just last week was frozen over. It is now partially open and full of slushy ice that was mushed even more by the mighty rock throwing of Oskie and family.

Ready your rock

And skip out for the ducks!

The bright sunshine and the open water, both of which have been lacking for months, brought some fresh life and energy into the crew. They all ran along the water, threw heavy rocks, searched for treasures, and even risked getting an icy bath while frolicking on a washed up log.

Nature's treasure

Wishing you listened to your Mama and wore rubber boots?

Or, just following in your Mama's footsteps?

It's pretty amazing how a little bit of sun bring out the smiles.