Thursday, January 14, 2016

The year of the photo #366

I've joined up with a group committed to taking a picture each day for the coming year. Some days this has been easy and other days I almost forget. I'm curious to see if this helps me get my focus back for blogging and if this can improve my photography skills! I'm hoping it can! I hope to buy a used camera soon so I can actually grow my skills, rather than just using my iPhone. 

January 1st - Playing is hard work

January 2nd - Juxtaposition

January 3rd - Let sleeping babies lie

January 4th - A. The look of hope


January 4th - B. Love

January 5th - Sharing is caring

January 6th - You just like me for my car

January 7th - Cookie Butter is proof of good things

January 8th - Costco is not empty

January 9th - Oh Snap, it's a diaper camera

January 10th - Bathtime

January 11th - Precision

January 12th - By any other name

January 13th - Shades of Blue

And there we have it! My first two weeks! Looking forward to 50 more! 
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The slow fade

Christmas Day - Mom couldn't join us for any meals as she can't get in either of our houses (stairs) and only eats pureed meals fed to her anyways. We made the best of it though and spent a couple hours on Christmas walking the seawall - I was dreading this time because I couldn't imagine it would be as lovely as it was. It was a crisp, cool day, with a bright sun. The views were amazing and the company was perfection. It was a Christmas highlight.

Lately life has felt extra poignant. I spend each day with my sweet baby girl who is growing and learning and is just so engaging. I also spend time with my mom, who is fading and shrinking and disengaging. The juxtaposition of these two life stages is not lost on me and at times, is hard to bear. Mom's state has declined greatly - she is wheelchair bound, prone to seizures and is often quite out of it. She has been loosing weight (which is a sign of the end) - we like to tease her that she's finally reaching her pre baby weight. That does get a smile out of her - she always longed to regain that girlish figure. This week her floor is on quarantine because of a G.I. outbreak - and so visitors are kept a minimum and that is hard too - she is quite alone there it feels. She shakes in her chair at times - agitated, wanting to get out. She loves when we walk - Dad pushes her wheelchair daily all around the seawall - even if she sleeps through most of the walk it seems to be a highlight of her day. Each week when I see her she seems to get worse - and each week it seems to me like it should be the end, and yet time marches on.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Minnie Mouse Baby Shower for Hanne


Hanne and the AMAZING planning team. Seriously, these ladies are AMAZING.

As you might have noticed, I LOVE throwing showers for people, and I especially LOVE making them themed and fun. My wonderful, dear friend Hanne has just had a sweet little baby girl, Isabelle. She is 1 month old now. Sometime before her birth we (her 4 best Vancouver friends) threw a shower for Hanne. Hanne loves all things pink and Disney. She loves a bit of cheesyness and she loves mashed potatoes (mash, as she calls it). It was obvious us to us immediately what the theme needed to be: Disney & minnie! With tons of polka dots and pink, of course.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Avelynn is older!

Avelynn is 7 and a half months old! She's a bundle of pure energetic joy. I can't believe it's been so long already. I have been a mom for half a year. Crazy. I mean, crazy.Here is a compilation of thoughts written over the past two months, written when I could convince myself to focus and write. I love to write and love to blog - and normally there's lots to say about my baby each month and yet....I was drawing a blank. 


A blank...like a sleeping baby


Too busy partying - sleep needed


Seriously, so no to this face

Friday, October 16, 2015

Post Partum Style

I read so many blogs about post partum style. Some would say post partum survival. For me it was a mix of the both. I wanted/needed to survive but for me, it's not just about that. Clothes are never just about survival. It makes a big difference to me if I feel great in my clothes. And boy, after you push a baby out of you, clothes become tricky for a period. And then it goes back to normal....pre-pregnancy normal. And so that felt like a rude awakening too. I mean I loved being pregnant...finally I didn't need to suck in! Finally I never had to worry about my belly...in fact I could even highlight it!!! But then I was back....back to worrying and sucking in :( So clothing has been an evloution. No post on my post partum style would be complete without a shout out to my sister. Basically I have stolen her style and man, am I pleased with that. It has worked out very well for me. I've also grabbed a lot of ideas from online but also much is from Jenna's wardrobe.

So without further ado....the different post partum stages of outfits for the middle class-city living mom...a specific niche, eh?


The first 6 weeks: Outfits needed to be comfortable, flattering and not tight on my tummy. I wore skinny joggers and leggings often, with maternity jeans making a regular appearance. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight but didn't want pressure on my stomach! 
1. [top] 1 week home from the hospital, skinny joggers and a t shirt [bottom] leggings & a comfy T.
2. Maternity Jeans, nursing tank top and stretchy cardigan 3. Maternity jeans, nursing tank & top.
4. Skinny joggers, nursing tank, and favorite necklace (from global mothers).

I got my maternity jeans from Motherhood Maternity and my skinny joggers from Target. I also have a pair from Old Navy that is no longer available but awesome. Speaking of Old Navy, Target and Motherhood, that seems to be where all of my clothes are from above! Both t shirts in photo 1 are from Target as well as the T in #4, the nursing tank in #2 is from Motherhood and the striped top in #3 is from Target. All easy to wear and comfy!

1. Striped top & sweatpant leggings, both from Old Navy with nursing cami from Motherhood (all of them).
2. Skinny joggers from Target, T from Target, Pullover & sandals from Superstore
3. Skinny joggers from Target, T & Denim overshirt from Old Navy.
4. Striped top from Old Navy, jeans from Motherhood & shoes from Payless.

Skinny joggers make me feel pulled together and comfortable. Nursing cami's are great for easy feeding access and a t shirt overtop means I can feel covered when feeding. Pull T shirt up, and tank down. Perfect for constant breastfeeding. 

1 & 3. Tulip Hemmed shirt from Old Navy, jeans from Motherhood, Cardi from Liz Lange maternity at Target & wedges from Payless. 
2. Maternity jeans, Blouse from Marshalls (I have it in 4 colors), necklace from Global Mothers
4. Blouse from superstore, Old Navy Rockstar jeans, necklace from Global Mothers.

And then we fade to summer. This summer I was dead set on looking pulled together in life. Also I was so so tired. Avelynn is sweet and adorable and also, I was tired. My heart not only needed Jesus (definitely) but also caffeine. Avelynn, thankfully, is very peaceful at Timmies, so steeped tea came to the rescue. Can I tell you? Taking my sister shopping for shorts was the best plan I'd made in some time. 
1. Old Navy tulip hemmed tshirt, Necklace Global Mothers, short from Old Navy.
2. Blouse from Superstore, jean shorts from H&M, necklace made by me! Bag from Pick Your Plum
3. Comfy shorts from Reitmans, blouse from Forever21 & necklace made by me!
4. Shorts (same as black in #1 from ON), T from Target, Necklace by Global Mothers.
5. T from Old Navy, shorts from H&M, Necklace by Global Mothers.

Figuring out how to pull together outfits in the summer once the heat comes is tricky! I am hot and don't want to wear much but want to feel pulled together. I copied my sister a lot this summer!

1. T shirt (lace on back) from Marshalls, Necklace Global Mothers & shorts from H&M
2. Blouse from Superstore, Necklace Global Mothers & shorts from ON
3. Tulip Hem T from ON, shorts from Reitmans, Necklace Global Mothers
4. Shorts from H&M, Blouse from Forever21, Necklace Global Mothers
5. Necklace from Forever 21, Blouse from Marshalls, Shorts from H&M. I call this my southern woman look.

You'll notice the ever present sandals in white and black, $20 from Superstore. So comfortable and so much better to pull an outfit together than flips! Also the ever present short jean shorts from H&M that Jenna talked me into buying. I love them and am so glad she convinced me to go there. I was definiely skeptical at first. 

H&M shorts in each photo, all shirts from Old Navy. These are for sure favorite easy every day looks.

1. Sweater from the Latest Scoop, Rock star jeans. 2. Soft pants from ON with ON tank, necklaces from Forever21 & sporty cardigan from J76.
3. Skinny joggers from Target, T from ON (relaxed fit), with buffalo check blouse from ON.
4. Sporty cardigan from J76, tank from ON, necklace from Global Mothers, skinny joggers from ON.

1 & 3. Rockstar skinny distressed jeans in both. Black tank & flowered tank from ON also.
2. Soft patterned pant from ON, T and necklaces from Forever21. 3. Rockstar coated skinnies & tank from ON.

Can I tell you something else? My sister is amazing. See how all the photos above are taken by me? At least mostly? Jenna has agreed to be my outfit photographer going forward. Today she took some photos of me and man, I looked good. So not only does she inspire my outfits, she captures them beautifully. I'm so thankful for a sister like this. She is the best. Also last night she babysat my  baby and when I arrived to pick Avie up she looked so peaceful and happy. Auntie did a great job. Also turns out, my fabulous 7 year old nephew Connor looked after her for most of the night. I'm so proud of that little guy. And so loved that someone I have cared for and loved, cares for and loves my baby. Connor, you make an auntie proud. 
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, October 12th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 

TuesdayShepherds Pie
Over thanksgiving weekend I combined veggies, gravy and turkey into the shepherds pie base and then topped with mashed potatoes for the topping. I froze one and made another for the fridge for Tuesday. After a holiday weekend it's great to have easy meals when I'm all vacationed out. Tuesday I have a staff meeting after going to the YMCA and then will go to Costco to buy stuff for the week.

Wednesday: Broccoli Rice Bake
I will cook rice, mix with leftover turkey and broccoli and bake. For myself I will make cauliflower rice to mix with these things. I can make this up Tuesday evening so it just needs to be baked Wednesday afternoon, which is perfect since I have a visit downtown, women at prayer, then a family gathering....so an easy dinner is important!

Thursday: Butter Chicken (with Turkey)

Thursday is a family walk and packing for the weekend - food prep, clothes packed, etc. So easy butter "chicken" is helpful. 

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: YOYO
I'll be visiting with my Nana on the island! Woot woot!

Week in review: 
Monday: Indonesian Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce with Rice & Stir Fried Veggies
Monday we had great friends over - one of them is heading back to Ireland and I will miss her a lot. 

TuesdayCrockpot Chicken Taco Soup
Tuesday night we had plans at 4 to bottle beer, having crockpot soup in the crockpot was super helpful. 

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Spinach Pesto Lasagne Breakfast for dinner
Wednesday was a busy day. Time with my mom, lunch with a friend and driving another friend. Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? I made a regular breakfast for dinner for Paul and I but two of our other students were out so I mixed the rest of dinner together into a casserole dish and served a successful breakfast casserole. 

Thursday: Pumpkin Soup Tilapia Veggie Stack

Didn't buy a pumpkin or many onions. So Tilapia Veggie Stack was born. 




Friday: Nachos 
Friday night was a pre-thanksgiving dinner hangout for our friends. So much turkey over the weekend always makes me want mexican.

Saturday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with friends)
Saturday was our family and friends dinner - international students and homestay students! It went so well. New friends, great food.


Sunday: 
Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Mitchell's)
Sunday was family brunch. I made Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups - always super popular. Then we headed out to Surrey to stay with Paul's Dad and step-mom. One of our happiest places. 

Monday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Morgan's)

Dinner with the other half of our family! We got to sleep in while the rent took care of Avelynn. Great relaxing morning and then a wonderful dinner. So full. So good. 
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tilapia Veggie Stack

Recently I picked up some Tilapia Burgers from Costco thinking they would be easy to make and eat. Then I forgot about them for a bit. One day I had no idea what to make and wanted to make something healthy and I remembered the burgers!! I decided that I didn't want to make actual burgers, that I wanted something healthy and tasty that didn't feel healthy. We had leftover Rice and lots of veggies, and so this idea was born. The Tilapia veggie stack. And oh was it good. 



I threw the burgers into the oven, and then diced a tray of vegetables and roasted those in lemon dill sauce. Peppers, Mushrooms, Zucchini & asparagus. I also steamed some broccoli and added that to the mix once it was roasted. I also diced up raw tomatoes to top the mix with. I crumbled up some Queso Fresco/Cojito cheese (feta or mozza or parmesan or anything really would also work - or goats cheese if you like that gross stuff). I also mixed some pesto with some mayonaise because why not. 

To plate each meal I laid out rice on each place (cauliflower rice for me), then topped with the veggies mix. I placed a burger in the center, spread pesto mayo on each item, added raw diced tomatoes and sprinkled the whole thing with cheese. 

The stack with regular rice

The stack with my cauliflower rice

Seriously. This dinner. So easy. So tasty. Healthy. This is going on repeat. 

Ingredients:
  • Tilapia Burger Patties
  • Rice
  • Veggies (Mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes)
  • Cojito Cheese 
  • Pesto (two spoonfuls)
  • Mayo (one spoonful)
  • Lemon Dill seasoning to flavour

Instructions/ The Prep:
  1. Cook Tilapia Burger according to package directions
  2. Dice and roast vegetables (seasoned with oil and lemon dill seasoning)
  3. Crumble/Shred Cheese
  4. Cook Rice (I used garlic and onion seasoning with broth)
  5. Dice tomatoes
  6. Mix Pesto & Mayo
Instructions/ The Prep:
  1. Plate Rice in a circle on center of the plate.
  2. Add veggies on top of the rice.
  3. Center the pattie on the stack. 
  4. Spread pesto on pattie.
  5. Top with tomatoes
  6. Sprinkle with cheese
And voila. A wonderful, healthy, tasty, snack. 

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