Updates and Tortilla Soup

Feb 22, 2015

And just like that another month has gone by and I never got a chance to post.. This winter has been hard on me. I feel like we've either been crazy busy or else stuck inside the house because it's too cold or someone is sick. Most days I've been so tired it's been hard to get anything done, but it's getting better. My Maely baby has been sleeping so well lately and even Maddox has started sleeping well for a change, Dan and I are able to have some down time together which is nice. We actually spent last weekend away from the kids with other adults!!! Shocking! I know right!

This week however we've had a gloomy cold snap. Actually, the entire winter has been gloomy and I am pretty sure that is what has been leaving everyone in our house in the dumps. We need some extra vitamin D, preferably in the form of sunshine! It's hard to get motivated when everyone is so miserable, but I finally went for a run and made some yummy soup I have to share the recipe for! I bought the "Oh She Glows" cookbook a long time ago (like last summer) and I've been itching to try a recipe. I came across this Tortilla soup recipe and since all of my in-laws happen to be in Mexico during the coldest days of the year I decided I would make it! I lived on tortilla soup when we went last Christmas to Mexico. Its so yummy.

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Tortilla Soup
by Renee Pihowich

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 ear fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • One 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chopped green chili peppers, drained (optional)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (or beans of choice)
  • salt & pepper & crushed red chili pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lime juice, to garnish on top
  • Non-Dairy Cheese (I use Daiya cheese), for sprinkling
  • Chopped avocado, for garnish
  • Tortilla sticks (flour tortillas, olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, to taste)
Instructions
In a large pot over medium to low heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven on medium broil setting.
Meanwhile, chop the peppers, zucchini, green onion, and remove corn from cob (I take a chef’s knife and slice down the 4 sides). Add the veggies into the pot and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.
Add in the crushed tomatoes, cumin, broth, and chia seeds. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Stir in drained and rinsed beans just before serving.
Meanwhile, make your tortilla strips. Slice flour tortillas into 2 inch strips (see below). Place in a small bowl and drizzle with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle on garlic powder and chili powder (to taste) and mix well with hands. Place on a lined baking sheet and broil for up to 3 minutes on medium. Watch very carefully. When golden, remove from oven.
After the soup simmers, ladle into bowls, and top with chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, cheese, green onion, and tortilla strips. Serve immediately. Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days or can be frozen for 1 month.
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/08/30/vegan-tortilla-soup/#ixzz3SVteuHNl
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I was surprised to see Maddox actually eating it. It has a bit of spice to it, and a ton of vegetables, which I know Maddox will eat. And it's topped with cheese... and chips!

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Jan 26, 2015

Wow can you believe its Monday already?! We had a super crazy week this past week and it seemed to just fly by! Between fitness class, book club, splurge group and a jewellery party I held I had something going on 4 nights in a row! By Sunday I was kind of peopled out.. do you ever feel like that?

Not only that but Sunday my wonderful husband caught the flu and spent most of the day/night and even today laying on the couch in the basement. I kinda kicked him down there because the kids and I #1 don't need to get sick, and #2 don't need to listen to him in the bathroom every 5 minutes! YUCK!

I will say that I had a great time all week with my many different groups. It's so nice to have different groups of friends with nothing in common. I'm not a "clicky" person and enjoy the company of anyone who wants to sit and visit. I'm getting really good at putting myself out there! A year ago I probably would have came up with a lame excuse to not go out..

Our weekend started on friday when we decided to take Maddox sliding. We were lucky Maely slept in her carseat for the full 4 hours we went out! Fresh air is good for kids.. tires them out and makes everyone feel better right? Friends of ours met us there and brought this big semi hood turned sleigh. It was so much fun! We all piled into it and then flew down the hill and got picked up at the bottom by the skidoo! We had even packed a snack/lunch and came home around 2pm for naps all around!

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Anyway, I know Christmas is over, but I'm still on a good cookie kick! After all, who doesn't love a nice yummy chewy cookie?! I'm pretty sure these two (well at least the one that eats solids!) love cookies as much as I do.

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So we set out one morning, after a full nights rest now that everyone is somewhat healthy, to make cookies. We made these peanut butter cookies. I know they aren't super healthy, and have a tone of sugar in them, but all good things in moderation right?

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I tend to go towards recipes that say "the best" or "worlds best". If they have that, usually the writer of the recipe has tried a million different recipes and this is the best one they found.. right?? I found this recipe here.
The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 mins (per batch)
Keywords: bake snack peanut butter

Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheets with a non-stick spray.
Cream together the sugars, shortening, butter, and peanut butter.
Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined.
Mix the dry ingredients together, add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture.
Roll the cookie dough into tablespoon size balls.
Roll the cookie balls into sugar.
Place on the cookie sheets- DO NOT mash with a fork in normal “peanut butter cookie” fashion.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes.
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Doing it All

Jan 23, 2015


I read a post today, that SkinnyMeg wrote (check it out here) called "Doing it All". Now, I would like to talk to you about my life a little bit. It is by no means perfect, or even close to being ideal sometimes, but it (usually) works for me and my family. SkinnyMeg had the quote "create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside" and I couldn't agree more with that quote. Every person deserves to be happy and feel good. I have had a lot of people tell me that I am a huge inspiration, and when people tell me this it usually surprises me. I am so used to being shy and not putting myself out there and I'm so glad I'm starting to get out of that rut! Now...

Keep in mind that I have this little adorable thing and her toddler brother keeping me on the tips of my toes!

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First off, just like SkinnyMeg, I have a wonderful husband that helps out when he can. I try to leave him alone during the 9-5 hours and not expect him to help out too much because those are usually when he's busiest even if he works at home. But, he does usually help me unload the dishwasher, and load it after meals, he has been known to fold laundry for me and tidy up the house. He will also watch the kids if I need some downtime or need to grab groceries, go to my exercise class, do a photo session, etc.. all in all he's pretty great. He is my support most of the time, as well as his parents who live only 20 mins away.

His parents usually take Maddox one night a week, and all day Thursday. This gives my husband and I some downtime together, even with the adorable baby around, we usually watch a movie, eat supper on the couch or catch up on each others lives. Its definitely much needed! Maddox also still goes to daycare two days a week. He needs the energy burn, and social interaction with other kids and even if it is a hassle to get him out the door in the morning, it's so worth it at the end of the day!

There are lots of things in my life that I have given up, these include... going to the bathroom alone, finishing a warm meal, or drinking a whole cup of coffee while it's hot. I don't very often get to have a bath, or finish getting ready within an hour (hello healthy air dried hair!). I also gave up sleep. Have you ever heard that saying "you can sleep when you're dead"? I am a pretty good morning person, and it doesn't bother me to wake up around 5:30am and watch the news, drink my coffee and browse the net. I sometimes don't shower in the morning and go for a run during Maely's first nap on my treadmill. I also stay up late sometimes and write on my blog or just watch some mind numbing tv. Maely is on a pretty awesome schedule right now..

8:30pm - kids go to bed
11:00pm - parents go to bed
2:30am - Maely wakes up for a feed
6:30am - Maely wake ups for a feed and I get up for the day
8:30am - everyone else up for the day
9:00am - Breakfast
10:30am - 12:30pm - Maely's first nap
12:30pm - Lunch
2:00 - 4:00pm - Maely's second nap
6:30pm - supper
7:30pm - baths and stories
8:30pm - kids go to bed and repeat!

I have a bit of a cleaning schedule, I try and do a 10 minute tidy every night before bed, and wipe down one room a day. I also try and do at least one load of laundry a day. I find this works best for us most of the time, and let me have weekends with my family!

Maddox has taken an interest in exercise videos and lots of times he will pick one out for us to do. It makes it super fun for both of us, and it's nice to see him having fun and getting active with me! He also makes sure we do one just about every night before bath time!

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So thats it, I think it's important that we stop comparing ourselves to other moms and other people. I have learned that I can't do it all, I'm not a superwoman and I don't have super powers that make me be in three places at once. Lots of times if I focus a lot of energy in one area another slips. You need to find balance in your life, but remember nobody is perfect and what works for someone else may not work for you!
 

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