Hello December, I’m filled with both excitement and a bit of sadness as we start this festive month. This morning I was excited to shower treats upon my baby and my fur baby! Jacob loved the things Elfonzo brought and Jasmine was very intrigued by these boxes of treats first thing in the morning that we were all very excited to show her!! Treats before breakfast and gingerbread are currently her favourite parts of Christmas!! Jacob was excited when he noticed a Purdys Santa beside his lunch. The Purdys Santa is 100% something Mom did for me as a child on December First! December lost most of it’s magic last year when Grandma got sick and left us and I want to honor her memory and my memories of how hard she always tried to make Christmas special by doing my best to bring back the fun and magic of this special month. 🎄🎄🎄⛄️⛄️⛄️🤶🏻🎅
Happy New year friends!! Hope everyone enjoyed a quiet evening and ushered the new year in healthy!
We stayed up till midnight to blow our horns and watch some fireworks!
Today we spent the day having a cozy family day!! We ordered some Freshii for dinner, went for a walk in the rain, played some Nintendo, a d did a puzzle!
It was the perfect way to start the year!!
After the changes and chaos of 2020 I’ve decided I’m not setting any resolutions this year. I have however decided to commit to getting outside and walking every single day despite the weather! I’ve also committed to making sure I drink my water every day. I’m not considering these resolutions because I’m looking at them as healthy habits that I want to do for my wellbeing!
Are you setting a resolution? Goal? Any big plans for 2021?
Grab a drink (I’ve got iced Christmas tea mixed with diet ginger ale and it’s pure heaven) and pull up a seat! Let’s talk! Real talk! 2020 has been a really tough year on many levels for most people! I’ve continued to try my best to practice gratitude and offer my assistance to others in need in ways that work for my little family. But I’m going to be honest with you all… I’ve had my moments & struggled. I’ve had my moments of frustration , irritation, fear, sadness, anger, pretty much every emotion! Thankfully for me I’ve got an amazing husband to fall back on for support, a house full of family, and a handful of amazing friends to turn to. I’ve got a whole team of you here on social media ready to interact with me and share some giggles at the click of a post!! I’ve made new online friends through our shared Love of vintage stuff, crafting, love of community, etc.
So to all of you who help break up my day and make me laugh, smile, reflect, learn, etc thank you!! To my new found friends I’m so excited to get to spend time with you when it’s safe!
To all of you getting through this thing day by day and doing your best to follow the rules and show kindness, Thank you!
Yesterdays announcement on Christmas restrictions hit me hard. I held it together over the evening but I literally burst into tears over breakfast this morning. And you know what … that’s ok. It’s ok because the announcement sucked, the realization of what it all means just flat out sucks. There is no sugar coating it! Watching other people skirt the rules or flat out ignore them is straight up maddening. Sometimes it’s hard to not get angry and blame others for this mess.
So this morning I had my cry and I pulled myself together and I’m not going to sit here and spew toxic positivity at you and tell you it was rainbows and butterflies all afternoon because it wasn’t! My mood continued to reflect the weather! Kinda dark and gloomy but progressing through the afternoon. But I will tell you I spent part of the afternoon doing little things to help other people (because acts of service and gift giving are how I express love) and honestly that was the highlight of my day. I got my parents groceries at Ralph’s Farm Market because I truly don’t want them in stores if we can avoid it and I feel very safe doing their shopping at Ralph’s. We dropped off our reverse advent calendar donations (a few days late) to Cloverdale Community Kitchen. I dropped off the tree ornaments a new friend had me make. I generally kept busy!
During my brief out and about today you know what I noticed??? People trying their best to follow distancing protocol. I noticed staff that were welcoming and smiling behind their masks (you can tell) I noticed most people are being kind and doing the best they can to get through this. I noticed kindness despite adversity and fear. I noticed thankfulness from others and then I remembered the quote from the Grinch.. “Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more”. Maybe this year we all need to find a way to make it mean a little bit more. Maybe we can all try to flow through our days with kindness and intention. Maybe we can try to find the good. Share a smile. I’m not saying to suppress the hard feelings but try to find the silver lining. Again I’m not going to throw toxic positivity at you and tell you a list of ways to stay positive. I’m just asking you to make an effort to see something good in each day.
Hell im sure I’ll have another good cry before the week is over but I’m going to try my best to take care of myself, my family, and actively try to look for that silver lining!
Today I cried and felt sad but my silver lining was feeling safe shopping and seeing my parents from the driveway when we dropped off the groceries. Jacob singing jingle bells in the truck! Hearing my Mom cry briefly on the phone then pull herself together and tell me how happy she was to see us today (even if it was only a few minutes from the drive way). Listening to her tell me how much she liked the little chocolate treats she found in the grocery bag! The air hug from 10 feet away when handing off an order to a new friend! Spending a few minutes alone arranging the beautiful flowers I got at the market and finally getting these words out.
We’re all in this together! ❤️
I’m thankful December is here! I’m thankful for the glow of the Christmas lights, our beautiful tree, and the magic that comes along with this time of year!
How are we 6 weeks into 2020? How did Jacob turn 5 this week?!? How is it Thursday again?!!
The last week has been super busy for us. We bought a brand new truck, officially started home renovations and celebrated Jacob’s birthday!
I really can’t wrap my head around the fact he is already five!
This week I am thankful for the opportunity to share his birthday with friends and family!! We’ve got a whole Curious George themed party ready to go!!!
So it’s really cold and snowy here the last few days! Which is not typical for our location but it does happen maybe once or twice a year! We usually cancel any plans and appointments and just hunker down at home until it passes! Yesterday We made cinnamon rolls & bacon and enjoyed a family weekend brunch on a Wednesday! Snow days aren’t so bad!
Early this morning Jacob and I took to the kitchen to fulfill hubby’s request for chocolate chip cookies! Now anyone who knows me knows for the past 15 years I’ve stuck to (and been famous for) these Chocolate chip cookies. Now last summer Kevin bought me Joanna Gaines cookbook Magnolia Table and I’ve been obsessed with her chocolate chip cookies!
I pretty much follow her recipe exactly except I use a full tablespoon of real vanilla and sprinkle the tops with chunky sea salt when they come out of the oven! I also add chunks of good quality melting chocolate to each cookie prior to baking! Trust me you can’t go wrong with pools of melted chocolate! For the chocolate chips themselves I use a mix of regular size and mini chips! I find it gives the cookie these amazing caverns of chocolate!!
If you want to try these yourselves but don’t have the cook book you can find the recipe Here.
If you do try these please let me know what you think! Or any changes you’ve made! The recipe itself minus the chocolate chips makes an amazing cookie base for your creations! At Christmas time I used this recipe with white chocolate chips, cranberries, and a pinch of cinnamon! So delicious!
It’s that time of year again! A new Epicure catalogue has launched with lots of new products and meal solutions. I thought it might be fun to review some of the new products and share my thoughts.
If you aren’t familiar with Epicure it is a local to me Canadian company that aims to inspire clean eating through their line of gluten free, sugar/salt/fat conscious line of spices, mixes, and meal solutions.
In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I am an independent Epicure consultant! That in no way means I will withhold my honest opinions on these products. This is not a sponsored post in any way and I have purchased these products at my own cost.
So, on to the soup!
I followed the directions on the package using the water option instead of broth. The ingredients and directions are extremely simple. You boil the water and seasoning, add in tomatoes, boil again. Meanwhile rinse the black beans. Add beans and corn and simmer.
To serve top with Greek yogurt, cheese,avocado, lime juice, and tortilla chips if you wish.
Now in all honesty I found the soup incredibly bland after following the directions on the package. Next time I will definitely use broth over water.
After trying it as prepared according to the package directions I went ahead and added in some salt, taco seasoning, red garlic sensel, and a few other things to give it more of the flavour I was expecting/looking for.
I also added two chopped Roma tomatoes because I like chunks or tomatoes in my taco soup.
I don’t mind at all that I had to add salt to this soup. In fact I think that is a good thing given how many packaged mixes and soups are sodium heavy. I’m not one who adds much salt in my cooking but I will when it’s needed. I will admit I wasn’t expecting to have to add so many extra ingredients/spices to this soup to make it more flavourful. On the other hand it’s easier to add ingredients to your liking then to try to cover up a flavour you don’t like in a package mix.
Once the soup was done and topped with the toppings mentioned above and cilantro I very much enjoyed it but again I don’t think I would of enjoyed it very much had I not tweaked it to my liking.
With that being said would I make this again? Absolutely! I would make it using broth and set out knowing what I want to add. I’m also looking forward to trying this with the addition of veggie ground round (or ground beef for the meat eaters). I would also use this mix in other recipes, I’m thinking a taco casserole.
This product is not at all what I was expecting as a quick meal solution/soup mix but it’s a product I will happily use as an ingredient in my own creations.
2020 …. How did that happen? Wasn’t it just 2010? Didn’t I just start nursing? Get married? Become a mother? How did 10? 20? Years go by so fast?
I’ve got very little advice to offer at this point other then to be weary of people in the darkness who hold flashlights. Not everyone drawing you towards them wants to help you.
This is what i contend with at every meal.
This adorable face who has made it her life’s work to be sure that I remember sharing is in fact caring. How do you say no to that face? No really please teach me as I cannot seem to do it.
Anyways, I don’t know if you know this or not but walking down a hill covered in black ice is a treacherous adventure! Walking back up the hill is never a picnic, but you know what they say…whatever doesn’t kill you!!!!! I have to admit it was a beautiful day here, considerably nicer then the foggy afternoon yesterday.
Yesterday’s foggy walk compared to today’s clear skies.
The area I work is great for midday walks. Lots of flat areas and hilly areas depending on how I’m feeling. I actually felt decent today. Which is a change from the last little while, so we did a quick mile walk mostly hills. I like this area because it is very much city life but still close to nature and the country.
I’ve been in a cooking mood lately and this morning was no different. For breakfast I chopped up an apple added some water,sugar, and cinnamon to a pot and cooked it just long enough for the apple to soften. I drained the water mixture and was left with amazingly flavourful, sweet cinnamon infused goodness. I added half my creation to a bowl of oats and peanut butter, perfect for a cold morning. The other half found itself mixed with a few little cheddar cheese squares ad my afternoon snack. I’ve been reading that cinnamon has some serious health benefits, so I sneak it in where I can.
I was lucky enough to have Kevin bring me lunch today. He stopped on the way here and grabbed us both Quiznos. I can’t even remember the last time I had a sandwich from there, but it was very good. Mine was some turkey, guacamole, veggie concoction, and while it was far from pretty it was satisfying. I looked up the nutritional value on their website and it wasn’t half bad other then the sodium content.
Kevin hasn’t been feeling great either so it was nice we got to hang out over lunch while I’m at work. I know a lot of our friends are sick right now and I really don’t want to catch it!
My need to be in the kitchen proved successful at dinner time as I made a quinoa salad for my boss and I. I love quinoa, such a great source of protein and so versatile. I don’t make it at home often unless its for my sister in law or dad and I as it is on Kevin’s will not eat list. Actually a good portion of the salads ingredients are on his will not eat list!!!! Though he will straight face tell you he isn’t fussy! I guess I still love him. Anyways the salad consists of quinoa and a mix of chopped onion, peppers, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, avocado, and beans of choice. I used chick peas because I love them and that is what was in the pantry here! I used fig balsamic vinegar as dressing but Greek dressing is also good on it. My boss and I had the salad with some lemon garlic chicken breast pieces, so good.
I guess I should get back to work, I have another hour before my weekend officially starts. Hope everyone is enjoying this wintery Wednesday.