Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Break Madness (Book Review)

Yesterday was a snow day and the kids were home from school...fighting. Well, that's not entirely true. There was some complaining too and a bit of TV watching mixed in. Demands for food. You know, the usual.

It got me thinking about March Break and how we are going to occupy them for an entire week. If you are facing the same scenario or you have little ones at home every day, I have a suggestion for you. That is, unless you are headed off to sunnier climes this March Break. This post is for those who are "staycationing" like my family. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday, sweet tooth edition and a giveaway

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! I'm sharing some food highlights from the week as usual, but this week I also enjoyed a few great snacks that I want to tell you about.

I have a fierce sweet tooth and I have always loved jelly beans. What I don't like is artificial colours. Not good for anybody, especially children. Luckily, there is a delicious alternative.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Take Those Old Records Off the Shelf


We all know how powerful music can be in bringing us back to old memories. I was reminded of this recently when my husband got a new needle for his record player.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Menu Plan, 9/52

Before I go over this week's meal plan, I want to share highlights from last week's meals. The plan went well...meaning I stuck to it even when it was challenging.

Which brings me to Monday. The plan called for minestrone soup in the slow cooker. When I was planning my menu, I forgot that Monday was the "Family Day" holiday. We had to be at my son's first soccer game by 8 a.m. (Who plans games for 8 a.m. on a holiday, by the way?) Nevertheless I stuck to the plan and quickly threw everything into the slow cooker before we headed out. No easy feat, because it takes us 20 minutes just to get the kids out the front door.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

She & Him, 8/52

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

She: is hatching a plan to take over the spare room now that her room is so messy
Him: got a kiss from miss jolene

Friday, February 22, 2013

Insta-Friday I'm In Love

Have I told you lately that I love you? Make fun of me if you want (mom), but you guys are awesome. I started this blog to help me appreciate the beauty in each and every day. Even if sometimes I'm grumpy...really grumpy.  I need reminders of how great life is even more on those days.

I wasn't sure anyone would ever actually read my musings. But I'm happy to say I have almost 400 GFC followers now, over 100 Bloglovin' followers and about 16,000 page views a month. I'm no celebrity, sure, but it's kinda cool that people take the time out of their busy schedules to visit my blog. So thanks. A lot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday, when boredom sets in edition

This "What I Ate Wednesday," I'm sharing pictures of the food that I ate yesterday. I called this post the "when boredom sets in edition" because the long, dull winter is causing me to become uninspired in many ways, including cooking.

I am particularly tired of my lazy toast with peanut butter breakfasts. The solution for that? Bake something. Yesterday, I went with an easy, comforting favourite - vegan Scottish Scones. If you are bored with your breakfasts too, print out the recipe here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Roasted Fall Vegetables and Lentil Salad

On Friday, I shared a Pea and Potato Curry recipe from Martha Stewart Living's latest cookbook, "Meatless."

Today, I am sharing my favourite recipe from the book (so far). As I told you in my original post about "Meatless," my husband made this recipe for Roasted Fall Vegetables and Lentil Salad for dinner one night. The ingredients are simple and healthy - like acorn squash and brussels sprouts. The results are surprisingly delicious. If you love veggies and lentils like I do, I highly recommend giving this one a try. Here's our version of the dish, below. My husband cut the carrots thinner than the book recommends to ensure they would be tender enough.

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's All Good

Here are some of my thrift store finds from the last two weeks. Last week, my finds fell under a tidy theme, "Think Pink."

This week, not so much. It's all good. My favourite find was this little owl. Not sure what my deal is with owls, but I just love 'em.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Menu Plan, 8/52

If it weren't for my menu plan, posted here for all to see, I don't think I would have made a darn thing this past week. I was slow, sluggish and irritable for most of the week, and I'm not even sure why. I just kept telling myself, "One day you'll wake up magically feeling better." It's always worked before.

I also started popping more Vitamin D, because that very well could be part of the problem. Time for spring now...please. In the meantime, I am chugging back warm beverages like decaf coffee and green tea. I'm also listening to soothing music. Right now I have the "Fireplace Folk" channel running on Songza. Simon and Garfunkel is playing at the moment. As I said in this post, they always remind me of thrift shopping with my friend back in high school.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

She & Him, 7/52

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

She: is thrilled that I have given up on keeping her room tidy
Him: has his fauxhawk back for soccer season

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pea and Potato Curry

I love Martha Stewart Living's new cookbook "Meatless" so much that I asked them if I could share a couple more recipes with you. They kindly agreed.

As I said in my original post about the book, the first recipe I made from "Meatless" was the Pea and Potato Curry. Here's the official photo, above, and my picture of the curry, below. I made some substitutions, but it still turned out to be delicious. The recipe follows.

Insta-Friday, winter edition

I haven't done an Insta-Friday post for a bit, so I'm playing catching up this week, sharing cell phone pics from a couple of weeks.

Winter decided to make her presence known recently. Boo.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday...with a pancake dinner

It's What I Ate Wednesday once again, and boy what a busy week. With Shrove Tuesday yesterday and Valentine's Day tomorrow, there's lots of food to be made (and eaten) this week.

Yesterday's dinner was...well, pancakes of course. But let's get back to that later.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Think Pink

On Saturday, I took my daughter to buy much-needed new tap shoes. She has grown a lot lately!

Shoes bought, I asked her to accompany me to the Salvation Army thrift store. We were pleased to see that it was a sale day...half price on anything with pink, red or white on it.

I just happen to love pink dishes anyway. I chose this small Royal York "Sweetheart Rose" plate.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Menu Plan, 7/52

I've said it before...this menu planning thing works. There are many times when I want to skip making dinner and buy some Taco Bell for the kiddies.  Then I think of my menu plan, posted on my blog for all the world to see. And I persevere.

Monday's Quick Asparagus Pasta was actually quicker than going for Taco Bell. Nothing fancy, but I enjoyed it. One snag in the plan, though. I needed asparagus. Turns out that's the one thing they didn't have at the grocery store. Does that happen to you too? The one thing you want isn't available that day?

Sunday Chillin'

Have you ever been this relaxed?

We really should take a lesson from our four-legged friends, like little miss Jolene here. That girl knows how to kick back (literally). Perhaps it was the scent of my son's coat, tossed on the couch, that made her extra chill last night.

I'm trying to make sure that I rest a bit on Sundays, maybe do a bit of reading, look away from the laundry pile for a moment or two.

Today, I read a couple of chapters of "The Virgin Cure" by Ami McKay. Spellbinding story. That was until my girl came home from her cousin's house. Then I watched two episodes of "Gilmore Girls" with my own little Rory. She insists that we hold hands while singing the show's theme song together.

My son has a friend over and they are currently engaged in a Nerf battle with dad.

Now, I've got a menu for the week to plan...but that shouldn't be too mentally exhausting. Then, there's that laundry pile, ever beckoning...

How about you? What's your favourite thing to do on a Sunday?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

She & Him, 6/52

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

She: insisted I could pull that sled through 10 inches of snow
Him: made a snow ramp for sledding

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hearts Aplenty - Valentine's Day DIY Decor

Yesterday, I showed you my made-by-the-whole-family heart garland. Now, I admit I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but when it comes to crafts I have to put that aside.

For one, I don't have much experience with making crafts. And two, I am working with children. One day I will pick up these sweet felt hearts with their imperfect edges and giant stitches and think about how little the kids were when they made them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Valentine's Day Garland

Inspired by this Valentine's Day rainbow heart banner that I found while surfing the net, I decided to hold a pre-Valentine's Day crafting party with my children.

A few days before, I had been to my daughter's Grade 3 class for a quilting session. That reminded me of how much the kids enjoy sewing things by hand. So, while the garland that inspired me was stitched on a sewing machine, I thought I would enlist the kids' help to sew our garland by hand.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday, with a Martha Stewart Chili Recipe (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! 

Before I get to the Martha Stewart Living "Meatless" cookbook giveaway (CLOSED) and the Martha Stewart vegetarian chili recipe, I want to share a look at a few of the plant-based foods I have eaten this past week. Breakfast is generally decaf green tea and spelt toast with peanut butter and jam - in other words, a classic, simple everyday breakfast combination.

One day, I also enjoyed one of my favourite vegan banana muffins recipes. I put dates in these delicious muffins this time instead of chocolate chips. As long as it's sweet, I'm good with it! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Neutral Hues

Last week, I told you how I found a vintage sewing basket while shopping for thrifty kids' clothing. I also found these assorted small treasures.

I'm a bit of a sucker for items that are displayed nicely. The clever thrift store employees arranged shelves of neutral-toned items that all worked in harmony with one another. I picked some lovely pieces from these shelves.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Menu Plan, 6/52

Before I get to my meal plan for this week, I would like to do a little look back at last week's planned dinners and how they turned out. Thanks for visiting and acting as my conscience. It forces me to stick to the plan!

As I told you, Monday's meal featured Hannah Kaminsky's Coconut Vodka Sauce. I am a big fan of this sauce. I eat it like I would chocolate...quickly and in large amounts. I'm not kidding. I just love this sauce. It uses coconut milk in place of cream and only a few simple ingredients, including vodka. I admit I sampled the vodka while I was cooking it too. That's a bonus right there.

The pasta is quite yellow in colour because it's gluten-free corn pasta. It sounds odd, but I actually quite like it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

She & Him, 5/52

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

She: is full of joy...and eating a doughnut
Him: put down his iPod to pose briefly

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