Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favourites.

I'm doing something a little different today, I am sharing some products that I like to use.  I was an Arbonne rep for two years and although I do still love the products, I am excited to be able to use whatever I want rather than being bound to one brand.  

Something that is still important to me is using "clean" products that don't have as many toxins or fillers.  I found this app the other day called Think Dirty.  You can scan a product's bar code and it will tell you how it scores on the "dirty meter", meaning if it contains known carcinogens, toxins that interfere with hormones, or allergens.  It also explains what the ingredients are.  It is a neat tool, but I still use it with caution.  (Also, I have read a few articles recently about our preoccupation with eliminating toxins and chemicals is unnecessary, so I'm still trying to figure out what I should be worried about and what is okay).

Okay, end of that sidebar, these are some of my favourite products:

Live Clean shampoo and conditioner - I originally bought them for our guest bathroom but then got some for our shower for Dave to use.

Live Clean Baby shampoo and wash - I thought this was the best option at the drug store when our Arbonne baby wash ran out and E likes it. 

I love the soap from Maison Apothecare - it is gentle and they have nice scents.  I recently bought the baby one for Q. 

Last year I went on a sort of crusade to find a sunscreen that didn't contain a certain ingredient that apparently interferes with hormone production.  I can't remember what the ingredient was, but the sunscreen I ended up buying was Ombrelle.  I buy the Sport one in both the lotion and the spray.  I see Live Clean makes sunscreen now too so I may try that if I see it on sale.

I've always love the body wash from The Body Shop but haven't bought one in years.  When my current bottle of body wash runs out, I plan on picking up a new one.  I may even be nostalgic and pick out Satsuma. 

I said in my post yesterday that I am looking for a new facial moisturizer that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  I actually found an extra bottle of the Arbonne one I've been using, so my search is not imminent.  But if you have any suggestions, let me know.  I'm not really interested in a "regimen", just a bottle of moisturizer.  I saw a few at Sephora but they were well over $50 for a small tub and I thought that was too much. 

Happy Friday, hope it's nice where you are!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monthly Goals

My goals for April were:

Clean the inside of the car.  Done. It was pretty dirty and I think it could use another round of cleaning but it hasn't been super warm where I've felt like being outside vacuuming the car, maybe this weekend.

Pay my library fines.  Done.  I would have had to do it anyway since I needed to do my annual renewal of my card.

Get my haircut.  Done.

Go to Ikea.  I haven't made it there yet, maybe next month.

Try a new restaurant.  Done.  Dave and I went to Campo on Jane St. last weekend.  It was yummy.

Do some more outdoor exercise.  I have walked E to and from school a few times, and have gone for a couple of runs.  Next up will be to get the running stroller out so I can go for a run even if there is no one to stay with Q. 

My goals for May are:

1. Transfer up some summer clothes and store some sweaters.
2. Find a new facial moisturizer that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
3. Stock up on sunscreen for the summer. 
4. Clean out the oven, fridge, and washing machine.
5. Tidy up the drawers in the kitchen that are catch-alls for napkins, dish towels, etc. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What's up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - we ordered Chinese Food 
Monday - Haddock, Green Beans and Israeli Couscous Salad
Tuesday - Shay's Lemon Gnocchi with Peas
Wednesday - Hamburgers and Fries
Thursday, Friday, Saturday - not sure yet

What I'm reminiscing about...
I posted this photo of my friends and me at Summersault in 2000. This was a summer concert on Citadel Hill in Halifax. I can't remember everyone that played but we did see The Smashing Pumpkins and that was a big deal.  The funny thing was, Dave also went to this concert but of course I didn't know him then.  He has his own stories about that afternoon/evening. 

What I'm loving...
The NBA playoffs.  We love the Raptors around here and although they didn't get off to a roaring start in Round 1, they played a good game on Monday.  Let's hope they can move onto Round 2 with a win tomorrow night.  

What we've been up to...
Hosting guests which means trying to keep the house tidy and planning menus.  

What I'm dreading...
We are only a couple of months away from knowing if Q will have a spot at daycare for the time we want it, and I'm dreading what will happen if we can't find a spot right away.  We have a couple of months to play with before I have to be back at work, but I was hoping to get back a little early.  

What I'm working on...
Helping E with his school work.  He can write his letters and numbers, do addition and subtraction, and read some words, but his tidiness, focus on his task, and attention to detail is lacking.  We bribe him with iPad time if he can do some practice letters or numbers or reading, some days are better than others. 

What I'm excited about...
Some new rose wine that we bought this week.  Sometimes rose can be too sweet, but I think the ones we got will be okay.  I like the white Vielle Ferme, so I wanted to try the rose, and then my mom bought the Whispering Angels one and it is tasty.

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching our usual weekly shows, plus we are watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.  We are only a couple of episodes in but I really like it.  

I'm reading The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.  I also need to pick up our next book club selection, The Eduction of Dixie Dupree.

What I'm listening to...
Dave decided to subscribe for Spotify for the Spring/Summer so we are listening to whatever we want!  He is much better versed on it than I am, but he's putting together some playlists and then we link it to our LG sound bar or our Bose speaker. 

What I'm wearing...
My load of laundry from this week consisted only of exercise clothes and pyjamas so I guess I need to mix up my wardrobe a little bit.  When I click on things that other bloggers have suggested, I leave the pages open in my browser on my phone so I can remember them for later.  My birthday is coming up in June so I will have to make sure to put some of these things on my list.  So far I have bookmarked a sweater at Loft, the Madewell t-shirt from Nordstrom, and pink Nike shoes.
(From Jillian Harris' blog)

What I'm doing this weekend...
Our friend from PEI is coming to visit so I'm going to the Jays game with her and some other friends on Friday night.  E has a birthday party on Saturday at the grocery store.  The weather looks nice so hopefully we can get outside!

What I'm looking forward to next month...
School Bingo night, E's soccer, and travelling to Ottawa to visit with family and run a 2K race with E for Ottawa Race Weekend.  Dave is running the half marathon.
(Last year, watching the runners)

What else is new...
I got my haircut this week.  I haven't had it cut since before Q was born (so about 7 months ago) and although I didn't get much cut off, it is nice to have the ends tidied up.  It's also just nice to have someone else wash and dry your hair, small luxuries. 

What is your favourite spring/summer shoe?
I love sandals and although they aren't super fancy, I wear them constantly when the weather is nice - my Birkenstocks.  I like the light green colour although it means they can look dirty.  The colour is surprisingly versatile, I can't think of many things that it doesn't match.

Linking up with ShaySheaffer, and Mel.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday 

Today's topic is Grown Up Parties, parties we've thrown for the adults in our life.   This is a hard one since I haven't thrown a truly adult party for years.  Since many of our friends have small children, I prefer inviting the whole family to come along for brunch, an afternoon, or a BBQ - then they don't need to find a sitter, and E has someone to play with.  We don't do this as much as I'd like, we are busy and so are our friends, but I'm hoping to have more people over this summer.  Adult only parties will be in our future in years to come. 

For my 30th birthday we had friends over and I remember it being fun, even though I was pregnant at the time and couldn't drink.  We had lots of good food, drinks, cake, and and ice cream sundae bar.  My birthday is in June so we were able to sit out on our back patio (at our old house).  For Dave's 30th birthday we went to the Biermarkt on the Esplanade.  I remember it being difficult to organize a party at a restaurant because many places wanted a fee for the space, in addition to the cost of food and drinks.  The Biermarkt worked out pretty well, although their menu wasn't perfect for sharing plates.  

When E was still a baby we had a couple of dinner parties where we could put E to bed and then enjoy our guests' company.  We did a Minute to Win It party one time with three other couples, it was really fun.  Many of us are pretty competitive so we got into the games.  I have no pictures of any of these events :(

I did share my tips for hosting a small group here.  This basically applies to any sort of adult party where you're not serving a meal.  

Things that I like about a party:

Being outside and twinkle lights

Mexican pizza (or whatever you call it, cream cheese/sour cream layer on the bottom of a pizza pan, topped with chopped tomatoes, peppers and green onion, and cheese, eaten with nacho chips) - I tend to park myself in front of this if I see it at a party, I cannot explain my love for this 


Unlimited white wine


Good conversation (as much as I love having kids at a party - my own and others - I never feel like I can have a real conversation if I've always got an eye and an ear out for my children)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Recap

My mom arrived on Friday afternoon to spend the week with us.  Dave will be away for a couple of days so it will be good to have her here to help out and for the company.  We made some chicken on the BBQ and sweet potato salad.  We tried watching a movie but there were too many sports on and we were tired so we gave up.  

On Saturday Dave headed out on a long run, and the rest of us hung out at home until Q woke up and then we went for a walk up the street.
E kept himself busy with some selfies. 

Brotherly love

In the afternoon, Dave went out to watch the Raptors game and we treated ourselves to an afternoon coffee and ginger molasses cookie. 

We took advantage of my mom being in town and finally tried Campo on Jane St.  It was exactly the type of restaurant we like - small and cozy, a good drink list, tasty food, Italian and Spanish inspiration, and within walking distance.  We ordered the cured meats and marinated olives to start, then I had the chorizo meatballs served on polenta, and Dave had the house made gnocchi.  Really though we shared both of them.  Then we shared the honey cake for dessert.  I am looking forward to going back, especially for brunch.

On Sunday morning, Dave left early for the airport.  His conference doesn't start until tomorrow but he went down early with a couple of other guys to get a couple of rounds of golf in.   The weather looks very pleasant in Dallas for the next few days, so hopefully he has fun on the course before being requested in his hotel for the rest of the week.  

After breakfast and before church, I went for my own run, and had to take a picture or it doesn't count!

After church, we braved the crowds at High Park to see some of the start of the cherry blossoms and to hit up the playground.  I'm more interested in seeing the people that are in the park, it is so interesting to me.  The blossoms are just getting started but they were pretty.

Stopping for a snack by the playground (excuse my selfie skills)

Hanging out with this guy while Q napped and Mom stayed with him

The promise of a treat from the ice cream trucks parked by the subway was good motivation to get E to the top of the hill and on our way home.  Fortunately they had plenty of Spiderman popsicles when we got there.  

We ordered Chinese food for dinner, watched a bit of the Leafs game, and had an early night.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favourites.

If you are a fan of the Royals and the show The Crown, then you should watch the show on Netflix called Elizabeth at 90.  It shows members of the Royal Family watching old home movies and other footage of the Queen through the years.  It is lovely to see them all acting so "normal", at the same time they are still so formal.   

We went for a walk after supper on Wednesday by the river.  We are so fortunate to be so close to a park that always has something different to see.

The spring trees are starting to bloom here in Toronto - forsythia, cherry blossoms, magnolia.  I wanted to get a photo but it was pouring rain on Thursday so I didn't get any.  Hopefully I can get a few photos this weekend, although they never turn out as well as they look in real life.
(These are the cherry blossoms in High Park, not my picture, and not from this year.  Sakura will be happening any day now.)

I posted about some homemade baby food ideas yesterday.  Looking for any tried and true recipes that you'd like to share.

I started reading Charlotte's Web to E this week.  It was the first chapter book I read by myself, and although E is a long way from reading it on his own yet, the story is good and I think he likes it.

That's it from over here this week! Enjoy your weekend, I hope it is warm where you are. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Baby Food Ideas

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my love of the Baby Bullet for making my own baby food for Q.  Since then he has tried a bunch of vegetables and fruit.  Next up is eggs and meat (which I will still make in the Bullet).  After that I'll be looking for some baby friendly recipes to make.  I've tried giving Q little pieces of food to pick up on his own, but he hasn't figured that out yet.  When he does, we will start giving him bits of our own food to try.  We are big believers that kids should be eating the same thing as the adults and that everyone eats together.  That being said, having something especially for Q will come in handy when we are on the go, or if the meal we are eating just won't translate for him.

Rice rusks seem to be a common staple for babies around here, and E used to eat them too, but I want to try making my own version.  I want to try something like this recipe although I don't think the camomile is necessary (we have the naturopathic camomile medicine for Q's teething anyway).

These carrot stars look similar.

I remember making meatballs for E that could be easily made in bulk stored in the freezer. I found this recipe that includes veggies that will add moisture and nutrients.  You could probably substitute zucchini for the spinach, and ground chicken or turkey too.

I love this recipe for muffins.  No sugar, no fat, lots of fruits and veggies.

We often add cauliflower or butternut squash to our macaroni and cheese recipe anyway, but it is a fun way to serve it to a baby.  I like the little star shapes or detalini pasta shapes.

Please share your ideas for homemade baby food in the comments!