Friday, October 17, 2014

Dreaming THE dream

In casual conversation, I often talk about 'THE DREAM'; if you're a parent, I bet you have the dream too. I think everyone's version is a little bit different and may change with the month or day or even moment, but here's a few of the things that define THE dream for me.
In THE dream:
  • My boys are best buddies; they laugh, they play, they don't hit each other every other second, or even at all.
  • My boys don't need to be entertained every, second of the day.
  • I absolutely, never ever, have to change another pair of poopy pants.
  • My boys pee IN the toilet, wipe up their own dribbles and even wipe their own bums.
  • The hubs and I leave the house, together, alone, regularly.
  • The boys don't catch every cold they walk by.
  •  My boys are polite, kind and considerate.
  • Everyone contributes to keeping the house clean and tidy willingly (myself included).
  • The dog stops getting scared, snappy and biting.
  • I never have to work on the weekend or evening.
  • My boys know how to handle their emotions without great frustration.
  • My boys love books and nature and exploration more than television, computers and video games.
  • Eating out safely, for both the Bolt (peanut-free) and myself (gluten-free) is easy and delicious.
I'm certain there are many more things that encompass THE dream for me, but for now this will have to do. I'm curious, what defines YOUR dream?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Blog has a Muffin Top

I recently read a blog re-branding article and although I don't remember exactly which article it was that resonated with me, what I remember clearly is that when I finished reading the article, I was left with a single resounding syllable in my mid.

  • Does my blog feel like it doesn't quite fit as well as it used to? YES.
  • Does my blog feel too much like work and not enough like creative release? YES.  
  • Have I been neglecting to post quality content for far too long? YES.
So what does that mean? I'm not exactly sure.
  • I know, that I don't want to let my blog, that I worked so hard to create, fall to the wayside. 
  • I know, that I like that I like being a blogger and having connections with amazing people across Canada and the world.
  • I know, that my time is limited, my family is my priority and I need to be realistic about the expectations I have of myself.
Much like the pants that don't fit quite the same way they used to, I've realized my blog has a muffin top and instead of continuing to cram on those too tight pants, I'm ready to work to find the pants that fit the body I have instead of the one I had.

Right here, right now, I'm committing to myself AND to you, the reader:
  • I will write at least one post a week.
  • I will be brave and I will write, what makes my heart sing, or cry, or whatever else feels right in the moment.
  • I will not hold onto a post, because it is not perfect or because it might need just a little more editing.
  • I will continue to think about what I want my blog to be and I'm going to honor it enough, to let let it change.
Thanks for reading, for your support and for your patience.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where did Summer go? | #kindermom

As a child I remember time passing so slowly. The time between birthdays and holiday's felt literally like forever. As I've aged and become a mother, time has begun to move at a speed I didn't think was possible. There aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do; to excel in my job, to be a kind and compassionate mother and to be a loving and considerate wife.

Even though I can't be everything at once, I can be something in every moment.

And one of my favourite things about being a #kindermom is that Kinder Canada encourages us to celebrate playtime and all the amazing moments that make our lives unique and special.

This Summer has been a whirlwind of activity, of exploration, friendship and excitement. Although we have watched movies and played video games, we have spent so much time outside together, living THE dream.

We have explored a few of the many lakes near our new home. The boys LOVE to create 'rivers' along the shores, build dams made of rocks and sticks and then watch as the water flows back to the lake when they open the floodgates.

I loved paddling around the lake in our friends Kayak with Simba along for the ride and the hubs has been working away (with Simba's help) to sand, paint and prepare our new (old) boat so that we can enjoy time on the water as a family.

We went on treasure hunts in crown land (ie. Geocaching), attended a 'Learn to Fish' event, made a waterslide in the backyard, went to Lake Country to visit friends, welcomed a rescue dog into the family and visited my grandmother's farm nearly every time we visited Vancouver.

No wonder the time went fast, we were busy.

Are you looking for a way to capture some of your summer memories? I used the new Kinder 'photo-strip' app to create the photo strip in this post.  

Want to create your own? It's easy, just follow the instructions below:

Step 2: Start your photo-strip
Step 3: Upload your photos
Step 4: Choose a fancy KINDER® frame
Step 5: Choose a filter (make yourself look silly)
Step 6: Save & share

What was your big adventure this summer?
Personally, if I had to sum up Summer 2014 in a word, I'd go with 'exploration'.
So far 2014 has been one heck of a year and I can't wait to see what new adventures the last few months will bring.

Disclosure: I’m part of theKinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation withthis group.  The opinions on this blog are my own”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our Country Summer | #KinderMom

My most vivid childhood memories are of summer; sitting on the fence eating raspberries, the juice dripping down our faces, splashing in the backyard pool, jumping ditches, catching frogs and of course laying in the grass reading book and after book.

Now that we've moved away from our urban existence, I look forward to sharing a summer of discovery with my boys. I hope that this summer will be filled with laughter, joy and exploration and that the draw of the great outdoors will far outweigh the mind numbing stimulation of television and video games.

Our home backs onto a small green belt that we've dubbed the 'Secret Forest'; there's a small clearing that is just perfect for hide and seek and deer sightings are a regular occurrence. Five year old Bolt and I recently went on a 2 hour adventure and although we never reached our destination or found our geocache, it was one of the best afternoon's we've ever shared. I love nature and I hope that this first summer in the Highland Valley will instill in my boys the same awe in nature that is truly defines me.

 I want this summer will be about resetting our balance, finding our peace, playing in our pyjamas, splashing in lakes, discovering new adventures and meeting new friends. And of course, this #Kindermom has a few peanut-free Kinder Surprise Eggs stashed away to share with our friends on our summertime picnics!

And we can't wait for all our friends and family from Vancouver come visit us here at our new Country House. We just returned from a week long visit on the coast and as lovely as it was to be close to our people, we were all eager to return to a place, that has so quickly become home.

What are your plans (and hopes) for this summer? 

Disclosure: I'm part of the Kinder Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Letter To My Very Special Friends

True friendship is sacred, something to be valued among the ranks of family; it's honest, it's real and it's authentic. Friends are the only family you get to choose in life and believe me, I choose wisely. I put a lot of energy into my people, so much in fact that I've been described as coming off as snobby simply because I appear so engaged in the people around me. But the truth is, when I'm around my true friends,their presence is simply enough.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this means I have a handful of people that mean the world to me, and lately, I've been missing them. So, I offer this letter.

To my very special friends,
I confess, I haven't been very good at keeping in touch; social media is no substitute for a phone call or even a text. For that, I am sorry. 
I keep imagining myself as a little girl, shaking a snow globe just to watch the transformation from complete chaos to a peaceful, perfect moment. Our snow is finally subsiding and the calm is creeping in between the floorboards and windows. 
And as we settle, I miss you. 
It's hard to make friends as adults, though not impossible, but new friends are different; the friendships we have last years, decades, lifetimes even, if we are lucky. 
And so as we've navigated our new home, our new life, our new everything, you may have slid out of plain sight, but I promise, its just temporary. My mom taught me that the best friends are the friends that feel like you saw them yesterday, even though in reality its been ages. 
And, I really wish we could share that feeling today, or tomorrow, or at least sometime soon. 
But it seems unlikely. I didn't even call you, even though I was thinking of you.
All of you.  
I guess that's why I wrote it here. 
And you know what the very best thing is about friends like you?
I know you get it. 
I love you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Give a Cluck and Go Cage-Free!

When we first started talking about moving out of the City, the hubs and I had visions of a small acreage, a huge vegetable garden, fruit trees and so much space our boys wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

When we started looking at real estate however, we realized we needed to put some of those dreams on hold, not let them go per say, but consider whether the timing was right. Of critical note is that I’m working on a contract which means there is a very real chance we could end up moving back to the city within a few years. The market in our area isn’t booming to say the least, so the possibility of being unable to buy in the City because we can’t sell our home in the Country landed us in a more suburban part of our 2,300 person town.

Despite our location, I knew we could still have many of the experiences we desired, just on a smaller scale.

In particular, I had my heart set on Chickens, laying hens to be exact. The idea that my kids could be connected with where their food comes from and that we could have feathered friends lounging in our yard and laying us delicious eggs seemed amazing. I scouted the local bylaws, searched and researched chicken coops, chicken breeds and of course what exactly commercial egg laying facilities look like. 

Many of those poor chickens spend their lives in small cages, shared with five or six other birds.  Many never feeling the ground beneath their feet, spread their wings or experience fresh air and sunlight. These intelligent, social animals become valuable only for their ability to produce eggs.

Unfortunately, although we both had dreams of an acreage type property, it quickly became clear that the hubs and I had differing opinions when it came to the idea of keeping chickens in our backyard. I’m not giving up on the idea just yet, but I’m also not pushing it, this year we have a yard to personalize and a garden to grow but we also have eggs to eat and in truth this whole experience has made me reconsider my grocery store choices when it comes to buying eggs.

Choose Cage-Free is an initiative by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to empower individuals to commit to buying cage-free eggs and working with farmers and businesses to adopt cage-free practices.

So what’s so great about cage-free farms?

On a cage-free farm hens can live a far more natural existence.  They can walk and run, stretch their wings, turn around, give themselves  dust baths, forage and peck on the ground. Cage-free hens are happier and healthier and have a much lower risk of Samonella contamination.

In our house, eggs are a staple; we easily eat two dozen a week and Simba and I eat them for breakfast almost every day.

Currently my favourite way to start the morning is with a spinach and feta egg tortilla; this is a great recipe as you can adjust it to your tastes, uses gluten-free (like me) or flour tortillas and in less than 10 minutes you will have a hearty well balanced breakfast you can eat on the go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Spinach and Feta Egg Tortilla

  • 1 tsp (coconut) oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red (or green) onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tortilla
  1. Heat a pan that is approximately the same size as your tortilla over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together your eggs and spinach.
  3. Melt coconut oil in the pan and then saute your onions for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add your egg mixture to the pan and use your spatula to confine the mixture to half of the pan. Salt your eggs as desired.
  5. Once the egg starts to set, place your tortilla over the egg, then place a full size plate on top of the tortilla.
  6. Holding onto the plate, carefully flip over the pan so the egg and tortilla are inverted onto the plate.
  7. Carefully slide the egg and tortilla back onto the pan (and back on the element) and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  8. After about 30 seconds, your tortilla should be warm and pliable, fold it over to cover up the egg and feta.
  9. Allow to cook until lightly golden (~1 minute) then flip your tortilla over and allow the other side to brown and the feta to melt.
  10. I like to cut my tortilla in half for ease of eating, but however you eat it, ENJOY!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Outsmarted by a Three Year Old

I’m a firm believer in picking your battles and letting the little things slide so I can stand my ground on the big things. Unfortunately, in my attempts to use a more peaceful parenting method, I may have occasionally started choosing the easy road with my children and they are well aware that sometimes, Mommy just gives in.

Yesterday morning I was making smoothies for breakfast with the help of my boy Simba. He loves to blend the spinach and watch the water turn green before scooping all the yummy deliciousness into the mix. I recently purchased a new bag of goji berries and it quickly became obvious that the little handful I gave him to eat while we blended was not going to be sufficient today.

He happily took his little bowl of goji berries to the table and promptly spilled them on the ground. Simba then commanded me to pick them back up, to which I refused. 

He started to bawl and power struggle ensued. Aware that I have been giving in far too much lately (because it’s easy), I stood my ground and told him to pick up his goji berries. He continued to cry and ignored my offers to HELP him pick up his berries.

A few moments later I made a trip to the potty and upon my return three year old Simba informed me he had peed in his pants, all over the chair and onto the floor. It is worth noting here that he IS potty trained and although he occasionally has accidents, more often than not, his accidents are actually quite purposeful.

Then he looked right at me, picked a wet goji berry up off his chair and was about to eat it when I snatched it out of his hand and told him he couldn’t eat it. I proceeded to clean up the pee and the soiled goji berries, got him some new pants and finally sat down to eat my breakfast.

It wasn’t until I was sitting at work later that morning that I realized that I had in fact lost that battle; my boy wanted me to pick up his goji berries and I did.

When did he get so smart?