Thursday, January 31, 2013

Write Me a Poem, Baby


My son pulled this book off his bookshelf a couple of nights ago and asked me what it was. I got this book, written by H. Allen Smith, many years ago, but I have barely touched it since. The title, "Write Me a Poem, Baby" stuck with me though. I modified it for a post I wrote last year about the joy of reading poetry to small children.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday


Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks for your very kind comments on my high school grad dress post yesterday. I have met the sweetest people through this blog.

I hope you are enjoying some good, healthy food this week, along with a few treats. We all need a treat now and then, especially when it's January in a cold climate. Sunshine, why have you forsaken me?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My High School Grad Dress

When I showed you my office overhaul a while back, I mentioned that I still have the Seventeen magazine that my high school graduation dress was featured in. A couple of you asked if you could see the dress. Your wish is my command. Here I am wearing it, above.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sew Thrifty

I haven't done much thrift store shopping lately. The house is full up with dishes and stuff and any spare funds the last couple months went toward Christmas shopping.

Last week, my willpower faltered though when I got an email from the Salvation Army saying they were having a one dollar kids clothing sale this past Friday. The fact is, my kids don't need any clothing, but $1 for jeans? Why not?

Of course, I knew I wouldn't pass by the housewares aisle without having a peek. I loaded up on kids' jeans first. I even got each of the kids a coat for $1. Then I headed over to peruse the dishes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Menu Planning & Vegetable Soup With Lentils

I am trying my best to keep up my weekly meal planning. This is week four. Read on for this week's menu plan.

Last week started with Monday's Vegetable Soup with Lentils. This is a old favourite that my husband and I began making many years ago. The recipe follows. What I really like about this soup is that it's simple - you throw in the ingredients and let it cook for an hour. That gives you time to make a salad, slice up your bread, pour a glass of wine and relax.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

She & Him, 4/52

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

She: likes to set up shop and sell me my own cookbooks
Him: isn't signing any photo releases this week

Friday, January 25, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life...with an Italian wedding celebration

Insta-Friday -- my look back at the week using family cell phone photos. This week, I am showing pictures from last Saturday when we went to a wedding celebration.

My husband's cousin in Italy got married and came to the US and Canada for her honeymoon. Ontario in January? Interesting choice.

Anyway, some relatives of the newlyweds had a party for them. Yes, there were showgirls, but I'll get to that later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday and a cookbook giveaway

Happy hump day! I hope your week is going wonderfully well. We are freezing here (-15°C) and poor Jolene the beagle mix hasn't been getting all her regular walks.

But we can stay inside and eat, right? I showed you some highlights from last week's eats when I shared my weekly meal plan on Sunday. 

Not on the meal plan was Saturday's lunch, which my husband put together. He made fresh guacamole and served it along with tortilla chips and cheese. The chips in the picture are mine, so they have vegan Daiya cheese on them. We also had cantaloupe.

Veggies for Carnivores Review & Giveaway

I am a self-described cookbook addict. I love to read them more than I even like to cook from them. Now, I adore veggies, especially when someone else cooks them, but my knowledge of vegetables cannot compare to that of cookbook author Lora Krulak.

She kindly sent me a copy of her lovely book "Veggies for Carnivores: Moving Vegetables to the Center of the Plate." Don't be fooled by the word "carnivores." This book is all about vegetables.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Starting the year off family room organization

First, I showed you my office organization for the new year. Next up was my kitchen organization. This week, it's the family room. Here it is after my cleaning and organizing mission, above.

Sure, it's easy to say that you've organized your space, right? But can you prove it? Maybe it just stays clean all the time. I wish.

Here's my scary before picture:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Menu Planning Challenge, week three

With two weeks of meal planning under my belt, I find I am enjoying the process. Outlining what I want to cook for the week and having all the ingredients available kind of forces me to stick to the plan.

Otherwise, I might be inclined to slack off some nights and make less healthy dinners. In my opinion, half of the struggle with cooking is the daily decision-making.

Last week started off with Monday's Curried Chickpea and Tomato Linguine. I used a recipe from Best Health magazine. It was simple to make and I quite liked the curry flavour combined with the pasta.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

She & Him, 3/52

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

She: is constantly snacking
Him: is quite a character

Friday, January 18, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life

The weekend's almost here. I hope you all have a good one.

I'm taking a look back at our week using Instagram photos. Follow me on Instagram @ziajojo if you are so inclined.

I took a photo of the banana bread with chocolate chips I made yesterday...just because. I love food.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday...with chocolate peanut butter treats

On Monday, I shared my vegan menu plan for this week. I also showed you photos of some of the dinners I made for last week's plan. 

Not wanting to repeat myself this What I Ate Wednesday, I am going to show you some food items that weren't on the plan. Yesterday, I was in the mood for chocolate. The same goes for the day before...and the day before that...

I made my favourite no-bake, chocolate-topped nut butter cereal bars. This time I was out of brown rice syrup so I used agave nectar instead. I added peanuts to the mix just because I had some in the fridge. The problem with these things is that I eat about three of them in one sitting. I'm about to do it again when I finish this very post.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Menu Planning Challenge, week two

Last week, I created my first weekly menu plan for the year. Before I get to this week's plan, I would like to do a bit of a review of how last week's meals turned out.

I based Monday's Vegan Sausage and Rapini Melt on a sausage on a bun recipe in Chatelaine magazine.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

She & Him, 2/52

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

She: loves to pose for a photo
Him: would rather talk about Minecraft

I was inspired by Jodi over at Che and Fidel to start a new project this year...taking a photo of each of my children once a week, every week. I am joining the party in week two. I am looking forward to documenting the kids over the year and seeing how much they change and grow.

I would like to create photo books at the end of the year for the kids to keep. They grow up so quickly.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life and a giveaway winner

Friday has rolled around again. Christmas is a distant memory. Two or three more months of winter to go. Not that I'm complaining...well, maybe a little.

Here, cell phone pics from the week...this week I'm showing you my Instagram photos. My son started an Instagram account this week, as did my husband. They aren't looking for followers. We basically just look at each other's photos. You can follow me @ziajojo if you like.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Starting the year off kitchen organization

Last week, I showed you my home office organization. This week, the Organizing Revolution continues with week two - the kitchen.

I once read an article in Real Simple about a fabulously organized but seemingly relaxed mother. Her home was simple but lovely. I'm not saying I believe everything I read, but one thing she said stuck with me. Her secret was to ensure that, at the very least, her kitchen was back to clean at the end of each day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday, new year edition

On Sunday, I shared my vegetarian menu plan for this week. (Well, it's vegan for me and vegetarian for the other three family members.) Today, on What I Ate Wednesday, I'm looking at a few meals I consumed in the past week, before my menu plan kicked in. Visit me Sunday to hear whether my plan was a success. I'll share any of the recipes that work out.

As I noted then, my goal for the new year is to increase my family's fruit and veggie consumption every day. One of the strategies I'm using is to buy more frozen vegetables for quick, easy meals.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Menu Planning Challenge

I am finally joining my (crazy fit) buddy Laura for her menu planning challenge.

I always think about planning my meals for the week, but I rarely do least not in any really successful way. But it's a new year and a perfect time to re-examine my priorities.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Insta-Friday in real life, New Year's edition

Simple family moments, captured on cell phone cameras. That's what Insta-Friday is about. 

I always freeze my Christmas goodies. Then I defrost a little pile of stuff...every single night...after the kids go to bed. Pictured, date squares, chocolate peanut butter fudge and Sweet Marie bars (my fave).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday...with another owl mug

With all the effort that goes into holiday meals, sometimes we just feel like slacking off the rest of the days, don't we? Well, I do.

This What I Ate Wednesday, I have a few meals from the last week to share, but not many, because I just didn't make much or take many photos. I have spent a lot of time in pajamas.

Above, on Saturday I put together a lunch from whatever groceries were left in the fridge. I boiled a sweet potato and some regular potatoes and made a mash. I baked tofu in teriyaki sauce. I used leftover pesto on pasta. We had rapini and roasted veggies left from the day before. Finally, I boiled some carrot slices. I quite enjoyed the mishmash of tasty stuff.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting the year off office organization

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. But, I like to start any new year thinking about goals and wishes for me and my family. As a freelance writer who works from home, one goal that's always at the top of my list is an organized office space.

In that regard, I am starting the new year off right, since I recently (finally!) completed my office organization quest. On the road to home organization, I have stumbled and fallen many times.

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