Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I wore a bikini!

Honestly! Ask my kids.  It certainly isn't as sexy as you might be thinking.  But it comes from years of knowing that my kids cannot help themselves, when the tub has water in it (if that water is warm) they are drawn towards and into it, without a fail, every single time.  And so it goes without saying that if I am in the tub (because of a run and weights at the gym) they will, without asking or thinking, strip down and join me.  I know this! If I want a relaxing tub, I do it well after they've fallen asleep, if I want a therapeutic tub, I hedge my bets that they will eventually be joining me.  Hense the bikini.  Today I got lucky, I actually got 45 minutes to myself, before the zoo joined in!  But it was a glorious 45 minutes.  Jets on, back getting massaged... p.e.r.f.e.c.t. 

I hope I'm ready for the punishment (I mean 5K) on Canada day!  I'll have to remember that my tummy won't be as big at 9AM as it is at 5PM, so that's a positive thought.  And even thought I really really want to run the whole thing, it's not like anyone would blame me for walking a few minutes.  I don't think I'll get overipe fruit thrown at me, I wonder why I push myself so hard? Or why I'm so hard on myself?  Do you do this? Have extreme expectations for your yourself, ones that you would never hold to anyone else? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Laundry Mocks me!

I felt pretty proud of myself, doing 5 loads of laundry this weekend, all hung to dry on the clothes line in the backyard.  But now that the motivation is running low, I have 4 baskets of folded laundry that are hanging out all over my house.  Two baskets upstairs, and two in the living room (didn't even make it up the stairs).  Now they mock my lack of motivation.  I hear them "Hey lady, get over here and spend 15 minutes putting us away!"  Instead I spend hours doing other house stuff and keep thinking about those baskets...  "Hey lady, those kids of yours are going to dump us all over the place!  Put us away!".

 So not a good sign when your laundry is talking to you! Other than the talking thing, I have a feeling I'm not alone with this laundry phenomena, it gets folded and then stuck in the baskets!  The kids start to root through them to find their favorite outfits and eventually two things will happen. : 1 - the basket becomes a mess and you just chuck it back into the wash hoping this time you will have the motivation to actually fold and put it away  2: your spouse puts it away (Lord knows the kids won't)

If anyone out there knows the secret to laundry, getting it all done from start to finish let me know.  Currently I try to do all the washing on the weekend (so that I get used to the energy conservation thingy), and every load is already seperated so (Annaliese gets a basket, Luke has one, Patrick, me and Mark, towels, sheets and diapers... )  any suggestions would help! Of course if you don't have like 10 loads of laundry a week, I'm not really sure you understand what it's like!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Matcha (green tea) Frappachino!!!

I've cracked the code....  I no longer have to spend 5$ for my favorite summer Starbucks drink! Partly driven by necessity (lack of funds -as always) and my neurotic pregnancy cravings, I was very motivated to find a solution to my problem.  And voila!     

vanilla soy "frozen" drink box
1 1/2 tsp match powder
2 tsp agave nectar
a drop of water to help it blend

I used the magic bullet because it grinds amazingly.  I don't think I even need to add the agave because the vanilla soy is sweetened.   

Just cut the wrapper of the drink box and stab it to break it into pieces. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Backyard Bliss part 2!

This is how bad the creeping charlie was in the lawn.

Here you can see the mud patch under the swing and the patchy looking grass/weeds that made up our lawn.  The little play house in the corner was also the lowest part of the yard and Mark raised it about 8".

More sad yard!  Pre-face lift.
Well the sod is all down, the play structure has a new base and we are happy that it's done.  The kids love the stones and have already played for hour upon hours with it.  Here are the after shots.

Encased pea stones around and under the play set, back corner is raised 8" to be flush with garden (rather than a water trap) and creeping Charlie is ERADICATED!!!!  Muahahahahaaa

We removed the stepping stones (for now) because the kids kept lifting them out of place to see bugs, and put down more sod.

Now we all need to pray that this sod will take and not all die. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Watermelon after Hot Yoga!!! a match made in heaven.

I got back from hot yoga, which was hot, since it's getting hotter and hotter outside.  And when I walked in the house I darted for the fridge to find the cold watermelon I bought yesterday.  OMG was I in heaven, yes I did eat 1/4 of the melon by myself.  I don't want to know the sugar content of that much watermelon BUT.... and a big fat BUT....  I knew it was a super healthy choice because I have known and re-read about lycopene found in watermelon. 

HERE is one article detailing a study done on patients drink watermelon juice and the lycopene absorption. The gist of the article is that lycopene is a powerful antioxidant.  Which means (basically) that it helps the body detoxify those cancer causing miscreants that float around our body/cells.  The actual defintion involves a chemistry lesson about oxidating, and I'm not the expert on this stuff.  But what I do know is that I can feel good about eating a giant slice of watermelon after and already detoxifying "hot yoga" experience. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CREPES!!! Gluten Free desert style lunch!

I am supposed to be eating clean and healthy but sometimes I look for loopholes.  Like today, I just wanted to eat desert!  So why not go for it!  I decided to make crepes using egg whites and a bit of GF pancake mix and mix up my own version of a spinach filling as well as another one with a strawberry chocolate filling.  I managed to make it super healthy so that I didn't feel any guilt!  Here are some pictures, because I made it up I can't give exact measurements but all the same you can try this if you are feeling like a little healthy sin food :D

Crepes: 1 heaping tbsp of GF pancake mix (or 2 tbsp) and almost 1/2 the container of egg whites (it's about a cup)

Spinach Filling:  (mix these together and heat for 1 minute - or until soft)
2 giant handfuls of chopped spinach
1 tbsp of ranch dip (renee's ) ceasar would work too!
a big chunk (about 3-4tbsp) of pressed cottage cheese
some chopped green onion

Heat the skillet (cast iron) make sure it is well oiled (spay it again if you need too), mix batter with whisk and pour evenly on skillet.  Heat through till it's visibly cooked on top.  Then AND very IMPORTANTLY!!!!  Turn off the skillet and don't try to take the crepe off until it is cooled and the edges are curling up.

 Make two! and place them aside while you prepare the filling.  I did mine really fast so I cheated and used the microwave, if you want to be fancy you could heat both fillings (the spinach and the strawberry) on the stove top! Add fillings, wrap and enjoy! 

Strawberry Filling: (mix these and heat for 1 minute - or until soft)
fresh strawberries (5-6)
2-3 tsp of chia seeds
1tbsp of chocolate covered cocoa nibs* (which are sold at bulk barn)

I melted some dark chocolate to drizzle (I used 85%).
* cocoa nibs are the edible part of the cocoa bean that has been removed from the pod, fermented,dried and broken into pieces.  It is minimally processed which means it retains most of it's nutrients. Such as: antioxidants, potassium, tons of magnesium and calcium, Vit. A,C,D,E and B1, and healthy fats! They are crunchy and slightly bitter (kind of like crunching cocoa powder) strange at first but you get used to it!    That`s why I was delighted to find chocolate covered ones at Bulk barn!  Even Mark will munch on them! They make a great addition to your trail mixes!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Half way!!! and a dorky pose to celebrate :D

So I'm gearing up to run the 5K on Canada day!  I'm running on the treadmill at the gym (because it's close to the washrooms) no outdoor running for me!  and I'm doing hot yoga to keep my joints cooperating with the running.  Tonight I ran my 3.5miles and did weights and stretching. Tomorrow is hot yoga (with Sherry)!!!
Here is the normal 20 week picture!  (oh ya I cut my hair last weekend! and it's curly now... naturally... prego hormones are weird)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's day!

Well we had a late night last night, but all the same I was up at 7:30 and let papa sleep in till 9:45!  I fed the kids, went grocery shopping, made pancakes, cinnamon buns, fruit salad, eggs, bacon and waffles!  (ok well the waffles were not so much making as putting in the toaster)  Mark's favorite morning treat are cinnamon flavoured eggo waffles (blah! I think) but anyway.  I bought him chocolate milk and extra pulp orange juice (again ewww... but he likes it and you better believe the kids were thrilled to have juice with their brunch).  I also started work on making an amazing batch of homemade ice tea (for diner). 

He got woken up by 3 kids jumping on him and telling him to come downstairs to have breakfast and open his presents.  We had a lovely brunch, and actually made it early for church (a whole 5 minutes). I swear when Mark was turning in to park, I was confused and asked what he was doing; because usually we are in the nose bleed section of parking).  He gave me a funny look, and said "free spots".. Wow, this was VIP parking for church.  And only 5 minutes early!  I have to remember that. 

The rest of the day was pretty typical of a Sunday for us.  We got come home after church and munched on leftovers before taking a long afternoon nap!  Poor Mark had report cards to work on (but I'm sure he appreciated the peace and quiet of the house).  Then it was wake up, do some laundry, kids playing in backyard, get diner ready, have diner: honey garlic sausage, asparagus and mini potatoes on the BBQ and a huge ceasar salad from the garden lettuce.  Fruit salad for desert and we both got to enjoy the fantastic ice tea I had made.  I used a berry herbal tea - loose leaf style, added about a tsp of agave while it was hot, let it sit in the fridge all day and when I was about to serve it I added about 2 tbsp of some left over grape juice.  It was refreshing and very much like POM ice tea! If you've ever had it!

Mark and I did enjoy a nice relaxing 10 minutes after diner while the kids played in the new sand pit we added to the backyard. Then it was bath, bed and enjoy the evening!  Well I'm enjoying it, again poor Mark is working on his report cards! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Local!

They may not be organic but at least they're local.  Yesterday we went to Springridge farms, it's about 15 minutes from our house and the place is done up like a tourist destination.  But at it's heart it is still a farm; they produce, strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins.  You can pick your own strawberries at this time of year.  I won't say it's the perfect place to pick, since they do use some pesticides but at least my kids will grow up understanding were their food comes from.  Here are some pictures of our picking adventures:

I explained to Luke that he could only pick the strawberries that were all red with no white left: he took his job very seriously...

Our booty, it cost us 6$.  Not bad I guess (2.75$/lb)

That little spec is Patrick! Isn't it beautiful... the rows of berries!

Hard at work! 

He also realized that it is sooo much easier to pick out of a basket than off the plant!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm sharing this golden nugget (my BIL found).

Don Miguel Ruiz is known as a nagual, or shaman, of the Toltec tradition. The Toltecs were an ancient group of scientists and artists that was formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. It is not a religion, but a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Toltec wisdom arises from the same essential unity of truth as other sacred esoteric traditions that are found all over the world.
The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. To embrace and live each of the Four Agreements is to find yourself experiencing personal freedom--possibly as never before. The Four Agreements are:

Be Impeccable With Your Words
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best

From the cover of the book:

Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

This book may be small in size, but it packs a hefty punch in terms of shattering personal illusions and opening up a path to personal freedom. I consider this book a must-have for anyone wanting to become more conscious and wanting freedom from personal stories and agreements that cause suffering.

I was reminded again today what the point of this blog was, it's not just a journal of my day, a place that I can share fun facts and recipes, it is the place that I am documenting my growth towards a happier year.  I am so glad that Peggy commented on one of my older posts because as I read back I realized that I had forgotten why I was doing this, sure I know the title helps to remind me.  But this is my journey towards happiness!  I believe I am happier, I'll have to dig up that online test for happiness and compare my scores.  But today as I was visiting the midwife and she was asking me all the standard questions, I felt strong and confident.  I believe that I am doing the best that I can given what I have.  But of course there is always room for improvement.  The above review sent shivers down my spine because of it's simplicity and it's wisdom.  I think I'll get back to making small weekly goals.  And posting them on here will be exactly what I need to keep myself accountable (keeping me honest) ha ha...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't have time to eat your salad... Drink it!

No excuses now... he he he...  If you are running out the door, or late for a meeting, or just don't feel like spending 15 minutes eating a salad... Here is your alternative!  Blend it and drink it.

I used garden greens, fresh mint, 1/2 frozen banana and some local strawberries (yes I've given up on getting much output out of my poor plants)

I beefed it up by adding my daily shot of liquid iron and coconut water. (oh and a few frozen raspberries since I had the space)

Yummm... So what if it's the colour of swamp water, it's super healthy and super tasty!  

And speaking of needing a fast diner, I needed to make super for my family and be out the door by 5pm, my daughter get's picked up at the bus stop at 4:30... You do the math... It has to be fast.  So I made an egg pizza!

4 eggs
1/4 cup of egg whites
pasta sause
gratted mozza cheese
leftover chicken
asparagus (about 5 stalks)
1/4 of an onion


Beat eggs and egg whites together. Add to oil covered cast iron pan, place on medium heat till the egg mixture is almost cooked through, then place under low broiler for about a minute (just until all egg is cooked), take the cast iron pan out and add "pizza toppings" as usual, then place under low temp broiler for about 5 minutes or until golden. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Second Lunch (inspired by nature) and Morning Pics

Oh man what an amazing day I've had.  First I went to Bronte park with the boys and a friend (I'll post the pictures at the bottom of the blog), then I stopped in at Longo's to grab some lunch and diner foods.  Since Leah was still in the van we decided to have a BBQ lunch at her house.  We had grilled asparagus, corn on the cob and salmon and I made a sprout salad with some fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, olive oil and lemon juice.  It was fantastic, too bad the boys didn't appreciate the meal!  Oh well I brought the leftover salmon home and decided to use it up in a salad.

Second lunch is the perfect time to make a salad with leftovers!  So I hit up my garden and look at what I managed to find.
From left to right: Green onions, a few small strawberries, mint, oregano, chives and asparagus.  (mixed lettuce on top)

The thing with making a salad from the garden you can't just throw on "any" old salad dressing.  Something needs to inspire you, so I decided that I would chop up my 3 herbs and add them to some olive oil with a splash of raspberry infused balsamic vinegar.

Once I mixed this up I realized something was missing... Oh ya.. Some maple syrup.

ps. baby food jars are sooo sooo perfect for mixing your own dressings.

The finished product.  If you aren't brave enough to try eating asparagus raw (like carrot sticks) try cutting them up and adding it to salad.  You will be amazed at how subtle and sweet the taste is.

Bronte Park Pictures:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hot Yoga at 19 weeks!

Hello, as I write this I can feel the baby kicking me.  Must be because I've been squishing it for the last 2 hours (well 1h15min of hot yoga, a car ride home and then some demo's for a photo opt).  You would think that after 3 pregnancies I would be used to the "alien" feel of it, but no!  It's soooo weird.  But anyway at 19 weeks pregnant I wanted to prove to myself that I could still do (not only crow) but also wheel.  So here are some pics of tonight's accomplishments from my class.


Bound side angle pose.

Getting into Bird of Paradise pose. 

Bird of Paradise pose (not perfect but a work of art at this point), my bottom leg should be straighter and I think I should have been looking at the camera.  ??ehh still not bad!

Anyway, if I can do this stuff pregnant use it as a catalyst to try something new!  It's really fun and the folks you meet are amazing! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spring Salad!

Eventually I will venture outdoors with the camera, but for now Mark isn't done his landscaping master piece and doesn't want me to show how messy the yard is... so I'll have to show you garden pictures next weekend!  Anyway, while the kids were playing and Mark was hauling stones and sand around the yard I decided the garden needed some attention.  I pulled weeds for a while until I realized how much lettuce we had ready to pick... I have been picking it almost daily for sandwiches and individual salads, but with the amount of rain and heat/sun we've had in the past week, tons of lettuce was ready for picking.

Here is my spring mix, baby spinach, boston lettuce, romaine, leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce.

Picked out of the garden: I have learned that you either have to use it instantly after picking it or it will wilt within minutes... OR....

Wash it, Spin it and Store it in the fridge and it remains crunchy and fresh!

Here was tonight's easy diner!

 - Whole wheat, flax and sunflower seed bread - prepared after lunch and it just did it's thing in the bread machine
- Honey garlic sausage (it has less sodium than all the other types from Longo's)
- Aasparagus grilled (very lightly coated in olive oil)
- The garden salad with a tiny bit of Renee's cesear salad dressing (the kids love the taste and it works for me with the added omega's and low sodium).

Sadly I don't get to pig out on the fresh bread I did tasted it, but instead (and unfortunately) I had some GF bread in the toaster, definitely not as good!.  This is one of those moment's that I hate the fact that gluten will bring me such discomfort within hours and the next day!  grrrr... darn gluten protein. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The things that made me Happy today!

I'm back!  And I am feeling very refreshed from my staycation (www - free week) Today was a lovely day and I think I'm going to share my favorite moments, the things that brought a smile to my face or joy to my heart.

1) I got 8 hugs from 8 different people (ok so 4 were from my own family... but still good lovin'!)
2) At the farmer's market I gave my daughter a ten dollar bill and sent her to pick out cherries and pay for them, she was feeling very proud of herself, while I watched from the sidelines with the boys... When she came back she was thrilled as she handed me 5cents back as change... So wow, we just got 3lbs of cherries.  We are all happy about the purchase (perhaps not so much Mark, but still who doesn't love sweet cherries?)
3) The lady at the kettle corn stand stamped my card 3 times for the 2 bags of popcorn I bought, which means that next week I'll get a free one :D
4)I got a 45 min, uninterrupted - luxurious nap
5) Annaliese told me she loves me more than all the other kids put together love their mom's (she is learning about addition in school, so I'm impressed at her conceptualization and her sweetness)
6) While at soccer tonight, I was lovin' and ticklin' on Luke and he got so into it, he wet his pants a bit!  I had to laugh at how cute that was. 
7) My brilliant, sneaky little children have learned to whisper when put to bed so they don't get in trouble, and I hear them "shushing" each other when they hear me coming up the stair"... something I can hardly get mad at, they are cooperating/conspiring together. Voila family bonds are created!
8)Eating popcorn for lunch
9)Discovering "Better off Ted" on Netflix, what a funny brain relaxing 22 minutes!
10) Having slept in till 8AM this morning because I didn't have to rush Annaliese to school (PA day)... ahhhhh

Such a wonderful day!  And Friday to boot... two more glorious days of weekend coming up!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dear Readers...

I'm taking a hiatus (a vacation) for a few days. C ya when I get back!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Backyard Bliss

We have decided to facelift, well I guess it's called landscape our entire backyard.  It's our favorite spot in the world to be with our family and so we had had enough of the creeping charlie that is taking over every square inch of our grass and is now trying to invade our garden.  We were also getting tiered of the kids feet being covered in mud (from under the swing set) so we are going to be putting in sand.  I really hope this doesn't turn into the neighborhood kitty litter box! Blah!

Creeping charlie.

Mark takes such pride in his gardening skills so it was very annoying to him to be bested by a weed, I don't think I really cared either way.  Shh don't tell him, but I kind of liked the little purple flower on the creeping charlie! Either way, in case we didn't have enough work to do around here, now we are about to rip out the sod (already started), lay down more soil to raise the back corner of the yard, put gravel then sand under the play structure, add pea stone beside the shed and possibly around my herb garden (depends on how I think it might look) and add new sod to the rest of the yard.  Fun stuff. 

Oh ya I almost forgot, since we will be picking all these products up ourselves (to save money) we also have to add a hitch to the back of the van so we can borrow my dad's trailer.

So at some point this summer we will sit down in the shade of our grape vines, that we planted, on the deck with the pergola, Mark built; enjoying the veggies from our garden, Mark planted and I cooked ...and we will look at the weed free lawn we have.  It will be great!  And while we are sitting for that brief amount of time, you better believe Mark and I will be coming up with our next big project.  Since isn't that what home ownership is all about...  one project after the next :D   (ps. probably windows)