Happy... November?!

Nov 19, 2014

Where has all the time gone? It's hard to believe that Maely has been here for an entire month already, and I'm starting to feel like we have our own little routine going and everything is just starting to go smoothly!

So, I apologize now, but this post is going to be a bit picture heavy! Just some things we've been up to in the last month!

After Maely was born we were out of the hospital within 18 hours. Now, let me note here that getting out that fast was probably not the best decision I have we have ever made. We had had a long 2 days in and out of the hospital while my labor slowly progressed until she was born. So we were ready to be home, we missed Maddox.

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Maely has been a good sleeper (knock on wood) since she was born, and I've been able to play with Maddox and help him adjust to being home with a new baby around the house. The weekend after she was born was Thanksgiving so we headed back to my parents for the weekend. The weekend after that we had to travel 3 hours to a wedding. We decided it was best to leave Maddox behind with his Nana and Grandpa and he fully enjoys their attention!

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And of course, we can't forget our Halloween adventures!

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It took Maddox a few houses to understand what was happening.. he would ring the doorbell, say trick or treat, then the door would open and he would walk right in and ask for toys!

So that was our October, and now it's the end of November! We have been crazy busy packing and getting ready for our big move in the next few weeks.. so I apologize for my absence but I feel like I'm need elsewhere.

Surprise!

Oct 16, 2014

So, guess who finally decided to show up!

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Almost a week past my due date, our little bundle of joy showed up! We are all doing amazing, except for our dog who is having extreme anxiety issues because of the new baby.

Happy September 1st, Happenings!

Sep 1, 2014

Hey ya'll, it's September 1st! That means a few things for me, but most importantly, I'm officially on Mat leave!! I'm so thankful I was able to take an entire month off before my due date to take some time for me to relax, and get stuff ready for baby! M is still going to daycare 2-3 days a week but will be home with me more now.

I also have started meal planning again, because it's fall and harvest is starting to go (when it doesn't rain), so M and I need some easy healthy meal plans. Now that I'm home, I will have more time to prep and get stuff together, I'm totally ready to jump in! I'm going to try meal planning more on a budget this time around.

Being only 30 days from my due date, my countdown has begun! Our doctor seems to think we will be a few weeks early, but he said that with M as well and he showed up right on time.

Anyway, we all slept in this morning, which is not really how I wanted to start the day, but hey, sometimes we need our sleep right?

Book Club - Left Neglected

Aug 15, 2014

This past month our local Book Club read the novel "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova.
8492768 This was truely an amazing novel. It was beautifully and simply written, which made it easy to follow and hard to put down. I read it while we were camping and would sit on my blanket at the park while M played.

It was interesting to read about the main character, Sarah, both before and after her accident. I didn't know such an illness as "left neglect" existed. It was interesting to read about the self absorbed work aholic and then how the accident changed her. This novel reminded me that we should all slow down sometimes and enjoy life, and that you never know when something life changing such as a car accident could happen. I liked how all the characters in the novel had their own personalities, and the author intertwined them beautifully! To Charlie's ADHD and her mothers own emotional problems, as well as her husbands love
and compassion for his partner, they were just well rounded beautiful characters! 

Our book club discussed the questions as follows:

1. Is Sarah better off at the end of the novel than at the beginning? If so, in what ways?

2. Sarah has a series of anxious dreams in the nights leading up to the accident. How would you interpret these dreams? What do you think her subconscious is trying to tell her?

3. Is Sarah a better mother before or after the crash? How do you think she would answer that question? Consider the amount of time she spends with her kids, her ability to keep track of them, and the level of participation in their lives.

4. The second time Sarah and Bob meet with Charlie's teacher about his progress in class, they learn that he is the target of some bullying. Ms. Gavin tells them many children experience this whether or not they have disabilities. Do you agree with Charlie's teacher? Do disabilities like ADHD make a child more of a target than other kids?

5. Sarah's Type A personality seems like it should help her through her physical therapy, but her friend and therapist Heidi believes she needs to stop trying to "win" and learn how to "adjust." Do you agree? Do you think by adjusting to her new limitations, Sarah holds herself back from a quicker recovery?

6. If Sarah had recovered completely, do you think she would have gone back to her high pressured job at Berkley Consulting?

7. While Sarah is in the rehabilitation hospital, she and Heidi trade watches, even though Sarah's is clearly the more valuable of the two. Toward the end of the novel, Sarah notes that Heidi is still wearing her expensive watch, but never asks for it back. Why do you think she doesn't reclaim her watch?

8. After Sarah's accident, Bob uses his cell phone at least once while driving in the car with Sarah and their kids. Why do you think he does that? Do we sometimes make exceptions for ourselves and do something unhealthy or risky in the interest of saving time or getting more done (like texting or using a cell phone while driving) even when we know it is dangerous? Why do you think that is?

9. At one point Bob argues that he doesn't think Vermont is a place to live full time when they are young. He sees it as a place to spend their retirement. Do you agree? What are the benefits of living and raising a family in a suburban setting versus a rural one?

10.Which character do you identify with the most? Which the least? Who is your favorite?

11.Is Sarah's mother's response to Nate's death understandable or unreasonable?

12.What did Sarah miss out on by having such a withdrawn mother? If her mother had been more available, do you think Sarah would be as high achieving?

13.Sarah's trauma gives her a chance to reconnect with her estranged mother. Why is it so hard for Sarah to forgive her mother?

14.Can working mothers really have it all—a successful career, well-adjusted children, a great marriage, a sense of well-being, and personal happiness? Or is that a myth? Does something always have to give?

15.Sarah's work/life balance before her disability is weighted toward work, whereas after it is weighted toward her family. How would you categorize your own work-life balance? Does Left Neglected make you reconsider any of your career decisions?

16.The back cover states that the novel is "about what we ignore and neglect in ourselves, in our families, and in the world around us." What do you think you are neglecting in your life? Yourself? Your relationships? Your home? Your job?

Back from Holidays

Aug 14, 2014

Well, we are back from camping two weeks earlier than planned, and I'm back at work this week.. insert "waa, waa" here.

I just couldn't do another two weeks of camping with my big pregnant belly anymore. I know I'm going to have a large baby, and it feels like its most likely going to be an early baby just the way that he/she has dropped already and is putting so much pressure down there. We ended up home last Friday, and I had a 3km walk with a friend in the local marathon run Saturday morning which I came dead last in, but at 33 weeks pregnant it was good enough for me! I feel like I've been in nesting mode since!

I've made to do lists, started canning and freezing food for baby, and straightening up the house. If only I could motivate D to start cleaning up his office and moving it into the basement! Maybe that will be my next week project, in all fairness I'm not exactly excited for that move as I will end up losing my sewing room.

We did have a great time camping non-the-less. We had amazing weather, lots of good company, and M did great in his swimming lessons! I actually couldn't believe how much he paid attention and loved the water. His teacher was the best, she could sing songs with them and get them to go on treasure hunts and she was truely an amazing person! I feel truely blessed to have taken off the two weeks from work to be able to participate with him in his lessons! I can't wait for next year's lessons already :)

Anyway, should get back to life, cheers!

Summer Vacation Time

Jul 15, 2014

Can you believe summer is actually here? The weather is absolutely gorgeous and we've officially moved out to the park for six weeks, no I haven't fallen and hit my head, SIX WEEKS of camping! Lord help us, our set up day was definitely a marriage make or break day and we survived. I now believe our marriage can make it through anything!

See look how happy everyone is! Well actually, let's just assume everyone is smiling and laughing int his picture since you can't see face, mmkay?

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We are now two nights in, and though the first night was rough, and we couldn't figure out why we kept losing power we now have everything setup and have purchased a few missing items we didn't think we needed. *Note* when your husband says, "I ain't buying no plastic steaks to tie down the mesh tent!", buy them anyway.. or he will blame you for not having them! Lesson learned!
 
Even though we are camping, we are only really a small ten minutes from town and I have been driving into work and M still goes to daycare and our awesomesauce dog has been going home for the day.. another *Note* having a dog while camping is very stressful.. you don't want to be "that" dog owner with the yippy barking dog that is never on a leash
 
All in all, we are (and by we I mean I) are super stoked to be out camping. Last night Dan and friend when golfing while M and I went swimming, somethign that my 29 week pregnant body needed! When finished we came back to the camper, changed and cuddled up to watch some tv shows on the ipad and snuggle. Then off to bed and I went to shower quick and then hit the hay as well. We all had amazing sleeps last night and it's truely amazing how relaxed and refreshing camping can make you feel. The smell of camp fire and coffee in the morning is truely the best smell in the world. Someone needs to bottle that stuff, seriously!

Quick and Simple Fresh Bruschetta

Jul 4, 2014

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Now that it's summer and we will be moving out to our camping spot in just over a week, I've been looking for some quick and easy recipes that may be doable in the camper or on the bbq. There is no reason you couldn't toast the bread for a quick and simple bruschetta on the bbq or even on an open flame. And all the ingredients are fresh and simple and the taste is just so pure. There is nothing I love more than using local ingredients as well, so we are lucky there is a few local greenhouses that sell produce to our grocery store. 

I should mention, there really isn't much of a recipe for this bruschetta, and the ingredients I use change from time to time. I've also added things like shrimp, or a poached egg on top to make it a meal for myself.


Quick and Simple Bruschetta
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 mins
Keywords: appetizer sandwich snack tomatoes

Ingredients (1-2 servings)
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomoatoes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil (a good quality extra virgin olive oil works best)
  • a small bit of parsley, or basil, or oregano
  • balsamic vinegar
  • crusty bread or baguette
Instructions
Place the tomatoes, oil, parsley and garlic in a bowl. Lightly toss to coat.
Slice bread and lightly toast in oven under broiler until good and crusty.
Spoon mixture over bread, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
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And there you have it, doesn't it look delicious?

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Glow Bars

Jun 24, 2014

Summer is here, and quick healthy snacks are a must as I approach the final stages of my second pregnancy. I've been looking for things high in protein and energy. These granola bars are taken from the Oh She Glows Cookbook and have had a couple changes to them. Living in a small town, I've had trouble finding things like Chia seeds, brown rice syrup and hemp seeds. When we go on city trips (which happen about once every 3-6 months) I tend to stock up on some of these thing I know I will use. Both hemp seeds and chia seeds have not dissapointed me.

Anyway, now that I'm rambling.. These granola bars are best left in the fridge or freezer as they do tend to get kinda messy left out on the counter. Dan has actually eaten probably half of them already and I just made them two days ago. He has declared them "actually really good" and "are these really health?". So that has to say something right?
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Sorry for the crappy phone photo, I haven't been taking my camera out nearly as much as I should these days... I know.. I'm a horrible person!

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows.

Glow Bars
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: breakfast snack

Ingredients (10-12 servings)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup rice krispies
  • 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds (pepita seeds)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (I used 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
Spread the pecans in an even layer on a cookie sheet and toast in oven for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl (I found a plastic bowl works best), mix the oats, rice krispies, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt and cooled pecans.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, mix the brown rice syrup and almond butter. Continue to cook until the mixture starts to bubble and add in the vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until everything is wet and coated. Pour into the parchment lined pan and press down with a spatula or wet hands, the more compressed you can make it the better.
Chill for 10 minutes or so in the freezer then cut into bars, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2 weeks, or freezer for a month.
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Weekend Recap

Jun 9, 2014

Do you ever get that guilty feeling, where you know you haven't been updating nearly as much as you should.. because you know some family reads your blog from time to time and you feel like they are missing out?? Yah.. sorry guys! I promise I will be updating more often.

So let's do a weekend recap. Friday we filled up M's sandbox with sand and he had a blast playing in it all weekend. He moved sand around our yard, filling up buckets and dumping them and even sitting in his sandbox throwing sand everywhere, which was fun until his hands got dirty. I tell you I definitely have a little boy, until his hands get dirty then he turns into a little girl!! Just kidding..

I had been wanting to clean out our spice cabinet for awhile now and move some spices into our camper. So I started by taking all of the spices out of the cupboard and going through and getting rid of doubles. M helped by smelling and tasting almost all the spices. I then moved the spices from those little bags into jars. Those bags annoy me, seriously, they never close and I pull them out and spices spill ever.. cinnamon is the worst!

Saturday we spent the day outside, cleaning up the yard, cutting back our trees so we can cut the grass, and getting rid of dead trees. We weeded the garden, and then we all had a lovely three hour nap! M has been rocking super long naps lately, and I think its because we are usually outside all morning! Saturday evening we had a wedding social to go to up at the lake that I needed to take pictures at, so we spent some time up there and then headed out to our local pub for a Carrot River Idol contest and a few drinks (not for me of course).

Sunday I spent the day running back and forth to work as we finally had our train cars that had derailed earlier in the week and they needed to be filled!

Our weekends have been a bit busy lately but we have been totally 100% enjoying them!

June 8 Weekend

We have a bit of a busy week as Dan's gone for a couple days, then my birthday, Dr appointments and Maddox's birthday party (his birthday isn't until the 21 of June). It's also family festival and a few other things going on this weekend so it should be fun!

Bring on summer!

Chicken Doritos Casserole

May 27, 2014

It was a rainy cool day here yesterday and I was craving some kind of soul warming, quick and easy, casserole. Sorry for the crappy iphone photo but it was seriously too good to go find my camera for..

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I had bought some of those small snack size bags of chips two days before Dan finished harrowing so now I'm stuck with leftover chips, I have hid them because, out of site out of mind right?  Maybe not so much when you're pregnant!!
 
 
Chicken Doritos Casserole
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Keywords: bake entree chicken

Ingredients (4-6 servings)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded tex mex cheese
  • 2 cups crushed doritos
  • fresh tomato, chopped
  • lettuce, chopped into bite size piece
  • avocado, sliced and chopped
Instructions
In a large bowl mix together chicken, sour cream, milk and soup. Add in 1 cup cheese.
Layer in a greased 9x9 inch pan. Top with crushed doritios and remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins.
Serve over cooked penne noodles, top with lettuce, tomato and avocado.
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Menu Plan for May 26-30

May 26, 2014

Morning everyone! Have you meal planed for the week yet?

I've been menu planning since the beginning of the new year, and I find that it makes supper go so much more smoother. I know what to take out in the morning so its defrosted by supper, and if I'm running late my hubby knows what to make. Win win!

I do alot of prep on the weekend for the week ahead. This week I made a huge salad, baked banana bread, and cleaned all my fruit and veggies.
 
Breakfast: fruit salad (grapes, blueberries, strawberry, apples) with yogurt and granola
Lunch: Salad (made sunday - I put a plate in the bottom of my bowl so any water goes under it which leaves the salad nice and crisp all week! My salad has lettuce, green onions, carrots and broccoli. To keep my salad interesting I make it different ways each day. If I want a taco salad I add tomato, black beans, corn, a small handful of crushed doritos and some salsa/plain greek yogurt. If i want just a tossed salad I add tomatoes and ranch dressing, sometimes I will add avocado, tomato and a hard boiled egg. The options are pretty much endless..)
Snacks - Banana bread, puffed wheat cake or rice kris pie cake (from freezer), veggie sticks and hummus
mon - Dorito Chicken Casserole, ceasar salad, rice or pasta??
tues - Maple Soy Salmon, Rice, peas
wed - burgers, potato wedges, salad?
thurs - pork souvlaki (wraps with veggies -cucumber, tomato, red onion, tzakiki), rice
fri - pizza and ceasar salad
Nothing too exciting, sticking to pretty simple things this week as Im working at a different site and I plan on being busy and working through lunches

Lately

May 20, 2014

I've been busy, exhausted, and just down right miserable.. the past couple months have been hard on me.

We are currently expecting baby #2 and are in the process of moving M to a "big boy" bed. Things are not going well.. and to top it off seeding has started here which means I'm on my own and dealing with grouchy farmer husband. Joys of working full time and being a single parent lately..

Anyway, I'm really missing blogging and hopefully will be back soon :)

Thanks for understanding.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years - Yes I'm doing this!

Jan 25, 2014

It's a month after Christmas and all through the house… Mommy's playing catch up and it's time to write a blog post…

Yah, I know that doesn't rhyme, sorry. We've been busy here at our house and I feel like we are finally catching up on life in general. Yikes!

We spent Christmas in Mexico, and let me tell you it was sure a nice break from the freezing temperatures we've been having! It was a great trip, M travelled so well. Our plane ride on the way there ended up being during his nap and he slept for probably 3/4 of the way there, and then on the way home he slept most of the way back because it was during bedtime and he was all warm and cozy in his pjs.

PicMonkey Collage

You can tell from the smiles in most of his pictures that he was having fun!

We landed back in Saskatoon late Sunday night, and decided it would be best to travel to my parent's farm yet. We got back at 2 am I think?

So then we ended up spending New Years with my family and came back home on January 1st. Having been gone for almost 2 weeks we had some serious shopping, cleaning and meal planning to do!

My New Years resolution this year is to manage my time better. I find that the best way to manage my time at home is to have a good meal plan and a well stocked fridge and pantry. I need to know what I'm making for supper before I leave for work in the morning, and can do any prep work at lunch if I need to. I've been spending any free time I have on Thursday or Friday doing a meal plan for the next week, then Friday or Saturday I get groceries, Sunday I prep my veggies or do any other prep work that needs to be done, as well as do a general house sweep/clean. 

And that is the best way I have found to make my house run smoothly, and it will be put to test in the next two weeks.. D is leaving us for 2 weeks to travel for work! New Orleans, Chicago and Iowa.. so jealous!

I'm already praying I can find the energy to get through the next two weeks!! Anyway I'm off to make some baked doughnuts for breakfast… recipe to come later :)

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