Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favourites.

Check out this hipster kid - CBC shirt, dad sweater, and distressed dark jeans.  

Earlier this week I discovered full episodes of Laguna Beach on YouTube.  I watched every episode when I was in law school, I was obsessed.  It's all so ridiculous but I love it.  

My copy of the first edition of the Abundant magazine from Thrive Moms.  I haven't had the chance to read anything yet, but I've flipped through it, and it looks lovely.  

I tried a new recipe this week for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.  I was a little skeptical but it was really tasty.  E ate two bowls and asked for more. 

Happy Halloween to you all this weekend.  We will be out with our little Rubble.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Recipe - Sweet Potato Soup

I love making soup - it's easy to make ahead, it's nice to have a light supper once or twice a week, and it's a good thing to bring for lunch.  I found this recipe for sweet potato soup that I thought would be nice for fall.  It was very tasty, we ate it on Monday and Tuesday nights.  

Here is the recipe:

6 strips of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk (more or less depending on the consistency you want)
salt and pepper to taste

In a dutch oven, or large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove from the pot and pour off some of the bacon fat.  Add onions and celery, cook for 5 to 10 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  

Stir in potatoes, dried thyme, and salt.  Pour in chicken stock and simmer potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes. 

Blend up with an immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a regular blender) and puree until smooth.  Pour in coconut milk and stir.  Heat through.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste.  You can garnish with the bacon or just stir into the soup. 

I ate mine with crackers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's up Wednesday

Linking up with Shay and Shearer for What's Up Wednesday.

What we're eating this week...
Sweet Potato Soup on Monday and Tuesday (recipe coming up tomorrow)
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese on Wednesday and Thursday
Steak on Friday
Tacos on Saturday

What I'm reminiscing about...
Since we celebrated E's birthday last week, I am reminiscing about him as a little baby.  Since he was born, whenever I've given him a bath I have always wrapped him up and carried him to his room, and  I still do it and carry him like a baby.  He loves it, but last night I realized it's getting more difficult and someday I won't be able to carry him like that anymore #sniff

What I'm loving...
Looking at dresses on Anthropologie.  I'd like to get a new dress for the holiday season.  It's probably a good thing that I can't just order things online from this store, I need to try them on, otherwise my credit card would be in trouble.

What we've been up to...
 We had a great time in Barcelona (read about our trip here) at the beginning of the month.  Then we celebrated E's birthday and then put together his Halloween costume.

Rubble from Paw Patrol

What I'm dreading...
Raking leaves.  We have several large trees in our yard.  I think we had over 40 bags of leaves last year.  It is good exercise though and such a good feeling of accomplishment when you're done. 
Last year's raking adventures

What I'm working on...
 We have our two pumpkins but now I need to figure out how to carve them.   I will probably carve them on Friday evening but I need to make sure I'm prepared with good designs before then.  I'm thinking zombies from Walking Dead and a Frankenstein face.

What I'm excited about...
I mentioned it last week on Friday Favourites, but I am excited about our new Prime Minister.  I've always been interested in politics, but this is the first time I've felt really interested in what plans they have for our country.  For the last 10 years, I was mostly just apprehensive, annoyed, terrified, etc. of things our Conservative government was doing, and before that I think I was just too young to really care. I think there is a real opportunity for change (and not just as a cliche) and it is an exciting time.  

What I'm watching/reading...
While on holiday I read Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah and The Castaways Elin Hilderbrand.  They are both okay, but I preferred the Elin Hilderbrand book.  It was the first book of hers I had read, so I'll have to try out her other books.  Now I'm reading our next selection for our book club, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. 

We are watching Walking Dead, House of Bryan 3, and The Affair.  And we will be watching a lot of Raptor games as the NBA season gets underway soon.

What I'm listening to...
 Just catching up on my podcasts after being away - This American Life, and the Jay and Dan Podcast. 

What I'm wearing...
 More jackets, scarves, tights and sweaters.  

What I'm doing this weekend...
 Attending a birthday party for one of E's friends, and then Halloween!! We know many more people on our street this year, and E is definitely fully aware of the concept of Halloween now.  It should be great!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Starting to plan for Christmas.  We are hosting Dave's parents and sister for Christmas this year, and we will be having our 2nd annual open house (this is my post from last year's inaugural event).  Both of these things take a lot of planning, but I love doing it!

What else is new... 
Just working hard this week, trying to close some deals before month end, and keep up with all of my other clients.  Dave has a lot going on with work too, travelling, meetings and training.  Maybe November will be a calmer month, work wise.  

What's your favourite Thanksgiving recipe?
We didn't really celebrate (Canadian) Thanksgiving this year.  We were just flying back Barcelona that weekend and I wasn't going to make a full turkey dinner.  Instead I made a little roasted chicken with carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy.  We bought a pumpkin pie.  Something I made last year that was so good was loaded mashed potatoes - basically regular mashed potatoes with cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions added.  It is very decadent but so tasty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Weekend Recap

What a busy weekend!  I feel like we were working towards E's birthday party and the first Halloween event for awhile, even though it was only a week or so, but we got everything organized and it was a successful weekend.

On Friday we had some friends over to watch the Jays game.  Vin was here from BC for a conference so we were happy to visit with him (and Mark, Marion and Vic who live here).  The Jays had a disappointing game (no thanks to Beardo) but overall they had an amazing season and playoff run.  

The boys on the couch playing Nintendo waiting for the game to start.

The next morning we got ready for E's birthday party.  I made these cookies for the treat bags, and added them to a small Robert Munsch book for each guest.  I made a regular layer cake (using this recipe) and decorated the cake with balloons (just different coloured icing and red liquorice laces).  I made guacamole and salsa to snack on.  For the kids' dinner I just made some grilled cheese sandwiches and served some veggies and dip.  In addition to the cake and ice cream, we had strawberries and mango (for some kids, including E, they preferred the mango over the cake!).  We had five kids, plus E (and a baby) and a couple of parents stayed around for a visit and to rein in the chaos.  It was a successful afternoon and E was happy to have some friends over.

Guacamole ingredients


We played a few games with balloons The kids ran around with balloons down in the basement

Waiting for the cake

The next morning we got E dressed up as Rubble from Paw Patrol to go to the St. Joseph's Halloween Fest.  They had a 5K walk but we decided to forgo the walk and just go to the street festival.  The costume worked out pretty well, and it was aided by the sheet of Paw Patrol stickers E got for his birthday, and the box of one of the gifts he got that was the perfect size for Rubble's pack.  It was a beautiful day out, although a little chilly when the sun wasn't out.  

Watching Splash 'n Boots live in concert, they are from Treehouse. 

Not sure what this is, it was at the Nintendo booth

Much to my dismay E played at the hockey booth about four different times, and he was actually pretty good.

When we got home, we watched Star Wars (Episode 4), I got groceries, and then we went for a walk around the block before supper.  

Excited about the movie!

Next up Halloween, a couple of birthday parties, and, dare I say it...Christmas!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Being Happy

I read this article over the weekend about why people under the age of 35 are not happy.  Basically, the way we have been raised has led us to the attitude that we should be completely fulfilled in our lives immediately upon starting our careers.  We have been told we are special and that means that we should therefore stand out among our peers.  Now there isn't anything wrong with being told we are special, but by its very definition, we can't all be special, otherwise the word loses meaning.  It's a good article, especially since it has some fun illustrations featuring a shiny unicorn, complete with rainbow. 

Being happy is different for each person obviously, but I think the "expectations" part of the article's equation is the most important.  When I look at certain parts of my life - work, social (including family and friends), and general wellbeing, I think I can safely say I am happy, but I have also tempered my expectations to account for this. 

My job is challenging, but I am still happy with being a lawyer at my firm.  Sure, some days I actually walk into work with the explicit thought of "this day is going to suck", but as long as I know that going in, then it will all be fine.  Usually those are the days when I'm trying to close a deal and know I'll be dealing with difficult clients or lawyers, or when I know I'm not going to have enough time to get stuff done.  

Of course I argue with my husband and yell at E a little too often, but this is obviously a part of being married and raising a small child.  

I don't tend to worry about things that I cannot change, even if I am disappointed by them.  Of course, the revers of doing that means that you don't expect more when you do deserve it or when you could do better.  It is a balancing act, and happiness is on a spectrum.  I certainly don't feel completely happy each and every moment of the day, but generally I feel pretty good about my life and the people in it.  

Things that contribute to my happiness - getting stuff done, being organized, looking after my family's needs, having people over to visit, being challenged at work and finding the answers, sharing jokes with friends, having something to look forward to (like a holiday or trip), and seeing E enjoying life.  

A rolling stone gathers no moss, so I didn't lie in the grass for too long that day;)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favourites

I realize that I usually do 5 favourite things (Five Friday Favourites, I guess I like the alliteration), but today I am going to forego the numbering and just write about my favourite things of this week, regardless of whether they fit into my predetermined number of five. 

This week I found some earrings that were in my drawer downstairs that I had actually forgotten about.  One pair is from Stella and Dot and one is from Kate Spade.  When you "lose" jewellery and then find them again, it's like getting new things - my favourite!

Birthdays are my favourite, and this week we celebrated E's 4th birthday.  Dave was away on his actual birthday so I only gave E some of his gifts (with the rest being distributed when Dave returned), but we did have some yummy cupcakes from Bake Sale.  For breakfast we had oatmeal with berries, almonds, coconut and chocolate chips (special but still healthy), and for supper we had Mexi Mac and Cheese, a favourite of E's.

Lately E has been watching Daniel Tiger on Netflix.  This is a spinoff from Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood from my childhood, but it is animated.  I like shows that have some sort of "lesson" and this show always has a little song that goes along with the lesson that day. It is really cute and I love the throwback to the characters I remember.  Definitely recommended quality programming.

Canada elected a new Prime Minister this week (Justin Trudeau of the Liberals), and although I actually did not vote for him (or for the person representing his party in my riding, because that's how it works here), I am really excited about him.  I can relate to him more than any person who has run our country before.  His father was also the Prime Minister when I was born. I have great hopes for him and what he intends to do.  Sure, he won't be perfect, but he seems like a genuine person, which is leaps and bounds ahead of our former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.   Also, Justin has inspired the term and hashtag "#PMILF".  If you know what a MILF is and realize that PM is prime minister, I think you can put that together and figure out what PMILF means.  I'm not exactly sure if I agree, but I suppose if you consider the rest of the world leaders, then sure, why not, eh?!

Brooding Justin

I'm not sure if it was all of the icing from the aforementioned cupcakes, but whatever it was, E was sick overnight after his birthday.  So much so, that I decided to keep him home from school the next day.  He bounced back midway through the day the next day, so no real worries, but it was nice to have the day of rest.  The very day after I was up the night before cleaning puke out of sheets and a rug, and then holding a bucket for E throughout the night, I read this post from Erika about kids and being a mom.  It was very timely because despite being up during the night, I wouldn't have changed anything, I was happy to look after him.

My new favourite place to buy Halloween costumes is Spirit Halloween, the pop up costume store.  I was trying to locate a Rubble (from Paw Patrol) costume and had no luck anywhere else.  Going to other places totally had me discouraged about Halloween, but then I went to Spirit and felt better.  They actually had Rubble costumes, and even though they were sold out I was able to piece together a pretty good costume from random bits and pieces.  Maybe someday I'll be better prepared for Halloween.

Ears and tail, construction hat, yellow shirt, and face paint

Happy Friday all!