Weekly Roundup November 1 (WHAT?!), 2015

Nov 1, 2015

I'm dreaming of a white ... Halloween?

We had our first snowfall this week and the kids had an absolute blast jumping in the puddles! I was actually a bit nervous as to what little M was going to think, but she actually seemed to enjoy it.



Big M's preschool had a Halloween party Thursday and he ditched his ninja turtle costume last minute to be spiderman.. so glad we bought two turtle costumes for him!

My yoga is winding down, only one class left and I'm super sad. It does start up again in the New Year, but there is a month when there is nothing going on.. so... I signed up for bootcamp! This is like a serious all out bootcamp my friend Amanda puts on. It starts with a weigh-in and measurements on Tuesday and although I hate seeing numbers and I dislike the idea of tracking them, it will be nice to actually see progress. I'm hoping this week I can also start running again. I haven't been able to find the time (poor excuse I know) to exercise since little M was born, and I can definitely tell my body is not where it should be strength-wise. For signing up and actually completing a fitness class (yoga) I bought myself a shirt and necklace to wear to the Halloween fundraiser Big M's preschool is putting on. I am going to treat myself to something LuLu once I'm done my bootcamp I think...

We had an absolute blast carving our pumpkins and making pumpkin seeds! 



The kids got spoiled for Halloween like usual. 



The kids ended up having a sleepover at their Nana and Grandpas and Daddy and I were able to out and enjoy our evening together with friends!! It's been forever since we've had time together.. And slept in!!! 


Sweet N' Sour Pork

Oct 14, 2015

I had purchased some vegetables from our local grocery store that I've never seen before. This is usually a bit risky, with my picky eaters, but they were on sale and I had a $1 off coupon for them.

This dish actually turned out pretty amazing though, even Dan tried it and he doesn't like vegetables at all!


Sweet N' Sour Pork
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: fry entree Chinese

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 1 lb Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into pieces
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 carrot, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 (15 oz) can pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
Instructions
Partially freeze pork, cut across the grain into 2 1/4 inch stripes.
Preheat wok over high heat, add in vegetables and cook until crisp-tender. Remove from wok and set aside.
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In the same wok, brown the pork. Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. In a small saucepan combine the juice, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and soy sauce. Bring to a boil; cook about 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.
Return vegetables to the wok with the pork, stir in pineapple and the thickened pineapple and the thickened pineapple juice mixture. Cook and stir until heated through.
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Serve with rice, if desired.
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Weekly Round Up October 11, 2015

Oct 11, 2015

Wow what another whirl wind week!

Little M turned One on Monday, started the morning off with presents of course, followed by our one year checkup and then had the in-laws over for a wonderful supper and Turtle Chocolate Cake! Yum.. I had bought two souvlaki pork roasts from Walmart for $9 each. They come with pop-up timers and were actually delicious! I know some people frown upon buying groceries at Walmart but it happened to be convenient on my way home from sewing class Sunday!


Both my babies have been sick for a week and I do feel incredibly bad for them. Not really a fever, just sore throats and coughs. But we still managed to head outside for some fresh air. I love the sweaters little M has for the colder weather!








Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Oct 7, 2015

This recipe I'm sharing today actually comes from my brother's girlfriend! She is such a sweetheart, and definitely a keeper. She comes from Manitoba, from a family of 5, and is close to my age. She is amazing with my children and just a genuine down to earth human. 

She has my brother eating many different things he wouldn't normally have tried, which is good. My family is a meat and potato don't eat anything weird or out of the norm type. We grew up on a farm eating lots of beef, potatoes and macaroni with cheese and tomatoes on them. My mom and dad still use lard to fry things, not oil or butter. So very "old fashioned". 

This recipe is good on a bbq or in the oven, definitely add onions if you don't have picky eaters! Also, when I buy pork tenderloin it comes in packages of 2 (2 halves). I only cooked one for this, but you definitely could cook it all in one package. Also, if you do bbq it, wrap it all around in tinfoil. I just baked it in the oven unwrapped and uncovered.

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Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake entree fall

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • 1 pork tenderloin, or two halves (albs)
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425F.
Line a baking dish with tinfoil and place pork tenderloin inside.
Brush with your favourite bbq sauce, Rub in the garlic and rosemary.
Bake for 45 minutes at 425F, or until done.
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Enjoy!

Weekly Round-up October 4th, 2015

Oct 4, 2015

Oh my gosh, has it been so long?? 


I seriously keep waiting for my life to slow down but it doesn't. I have come to the conclusion that I just need to make more time in my life for things that I enjoy, like blogging! I've got a tone of stuff to catch up on tonight, and this was kind of random, so I won't be able to write too much this week. But I promise promise pinky promise I will start to update more I really do... I'm going to sit down one evening a week and plan 3 posts a week, including a recipe, an update and maybe a random post. 

 So wow, whats all changed. 

Big M has started 3 year old preschool. So far he has his moments but he seems to enjoy it. I just wish it was easier to get him out of the house in the morning! His preschool falls on Thursdays, as does little M going to daycare and Me leaving for yoga all within 15 minutes of each other! Talk about crazy morning! Little M, what can I say.. she's walking and into anything!


She has such a personality! 


Aah, my me time this weekend was spent with my sisters and brother's girlfriend. We had an amazing time at Riverdance, if you haven't seen I highly recommend it, and then a late night followed by a sewing class with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I have been dabbling in quilting for a couple years now, and this was my first serious quilting class. Needless to say I think I fell in love.. definitely doing it again soon!

Is there anything better than my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and a sewing class?!


This is how far I got done on my quilt, thats 6 hexagons, and we are supposed to make 27!


Summer Happenings

Jul 27, 2015

Oh man, figured I had better check in and just do a huge ramble..

We've had a busy summer, and we have about a week left before we get busy with harvest this year. 

We spent the last two weeks camping with swimming lessons and I feel like I completely underestimated how much work it is with a 10 month old baby (that's almost walking). Baby M was absolutely into everything and dirty the entire time! But hey, that's part of camping right?! Her swimming lessons were more just to get her used to the water and play in it than anything, but of course she passed with flying colours! 



M had a blast! He was at the park and rode his bike and did everything little boys do! He is such a fish in the water! He would jump and swim under water for 20 seconds before coming up for air. The first couple times he did it I thought for sure he was drowning!


Other that than, summer has just been busy. We spend most days outside all day, unless it rains. We definitely have a super active life! 

Dan and I take off next week for a few days of relaxation from the kids in a little cabin on a golf course.. I can't wait! As much as I love our kids after this last two weeks I could definitely use a recharge! 

Super Soul Sunday with Barbara Brown Taylor

May 24, 2015

I know what you are thinking, where have I been lately, why does she keep saying she is going to write more and then doesn't. Why is it getting longer and longer between posts?

There has been a lot going on in my life that I need to concentrate on, and take time for myself to heal. In the past couple weeks there has been 8 people who tragically were taken from this world way too soon. One of them was a very close friend of mine's son. It's so hard to watch someone in so much pain, you never know what to do or how much to do.. the most important thing is just to be there for that person.

I was recently watching "Super Soul Sunday" which happens to be one of my new favourite shows. Oprah interviewed Barbara Brown Taylor on "Darkness", and how to deal with it. I thought it was very fitting for everything we were going through in our small community.. some pointers I took from the episode:

People will not remember what you said, or what you did but they will never forget how you make them feel.

Give people permission to feel how they are feeling.

And then at the end of the episode Oprah asked the question; What is giving you life?

Why is it such a hard question? I've said it before... people get into auto pilot mode and they don't really "live" life, they just exist. I seriously think that most days what was giving me life was the promise of tomorrow, a better day, a better sleep, more me time, etc. But I keep forgetting to think about this moment, this breath, this now. I live each day hoping that tomorrow the kids are better, and some days they are, but I forget that they will only be this age once, and they grow up... maybe all it took was a little getaway to Toronto for me to realize this, but it's so true!

Anyway, if you are reading this can you answer the question; What is giving you life?

Washing Dishes

Apr 29, 2015

I read a super short clipping in the November issue of "O" (Oprah's Magazine), and it really stuck. It was titled "Your Sinkful of Dirty Dishes". Basically it stated, "when you wash the dishes, the dishes also wash you." That simple quote hit home for me so deeply.

I take such great joy in doing my dishes, and feel so much better after I do them. I try not to rush, usually its my last chore in the day. I buy dish soap that I enjoy the scent of, maybe even light a candle and just really take the time to scrub every last morsel of food off my dishes. I think about things letting them pass through my mind, but not really concentrating on any of them. I let go of anything bad that happened during the day, I concentrate on every breath, letting each in breath fill me up and I thank myself for taking this time for me.

I recently came across this picture and thought it was fitting.

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I've really been struggling in my life lately to find that happy work/life/motherhood/family balance. I'm lucky that I get a full year of maternity leave, but I still do some stuff on the side as well as write this blog, and I'm still there for my family and kids when they need me. I've been overwhelmed lately trying to decide what needs to be done, and what doesn't.

I send big M to daycare one day a week still, and my in-laws take him one day. I generally spend one of those days cleaning, and one focusing on work stuff. The rest of the time is family time. If something comes up I'm making the effort to put it off until one of the days big M is gone and I can devote a nap or two just to that. My blog tends to fall on the back burner, and I feel like I have so many ideas bubbling in my head that I need to get out...

I want to write so many posts.. recipes.. take amazing pictures.. I know it will come eventually but for now I'm just going to concentrate on the little things and make sure I wash my dishes every night so I can be a better person the next day ;)

"Oh Motherhood"

Apr 21, 2015

Oh my has time ever slipped away from me. I feel like it has been forever since I've posted, and well, let's face it, it has been. I've been busy with my two littles that call me "Mom". 

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Is it just me or does motherhood drain you and leave you absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, but yet all you just want to do is stay up and catch up on your tv shows and Facebook feed? Where do you find the time for you during the day? Even now as I write this my littlest one is in her high chair squishing banana mush into her hair, while her big brother is at daycare for the day. I've been so lucky to be able to keep Maddox in daycare. He needs the social interaction, and I need the break sometimes. He is getting better though, he's almost 3 and he just started sleeping through the night finally, and in his own bed even! We make a point to get outside every day and it does us all good. 

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There is something to be said about fresh air, bubbles and giggles..

I've really been having a hard time with my depression the last few months and have actually felt like I was just in survival mode, not actually living my life the way I want. I'm starting to get out of that rut now, and I honestly think it was partially winter blues, mixed with a bit of post baby depression. I was really beating myself up about not being active, not spending enough time with each little, not being there for my husband and not being true to myself and giving myself time. I've been having horrible headaches/migraines and have finally felt like they are under control and I don't feel "fuzzy" all day.

So with that being said, and hopefully all bad yucky feelings behind me, I'm hoping to get back to blogging and being back to my crafty self. I've got a tonne of recipes to share, stories to tell and favourite items to fill you in on! Just hang tight while I get stuff schedules and find time to finish my posts here and there :)

Talk soon!
Renee

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!

Super Quick Bacon Carbonara

Jan 20, 2015

I have started to become the master of quick and simple meals. My freezer is packed full of casseroles, and breakfast staples. I'm a new mom (more on this later!) and quick simple meals are a necessity. My husband has hockey two nights a week, I have exercise class one night and this week I also have book club, splurge club and I'm hosting a jewellery party on Saturday! This usually seems to happen once a month, our schedules are crazy busy all in the same week!

At least our kids are back to themselves, and no longer sick!!

Anyway, back to food right!

I've always been super intimidated by using egg in cooking like this, I mean does it cook? What happens if it scrambles? Do I throw it out? Then what do I serve?

I was feeling fairly brave and after a couple google and pinterest searches on "how to properly cook carbonara" I felt pretty confident I could do it! And you know what, turns out it's super easy!

Here is the recipe.. I have heard of people adding white wine, however I don't know how that works with little kids? Maybe that will be my next step!



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Quick and Easy Bacon Carbonara
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: saute side 30 minute meal

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup real bacon bits (I keep chopped, cooked bacon in my freezer for occasions like this!)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Instructions
Cook pasta (remember to reserve about ½ Cup of pasta water to thin out sauce if it gets too thick!)
In a large skillet saute bacon, garlic.
While all that is cooking in a bowl, whisk oil, eggs, and parmesan cheese together.
Once the pasta is cooked place in the skillet with the bacon and keep the heat low/medium.
Slowly add in the egg mixture and make sure to keep everything moving you do not want scrambled eggs.
Add in seasonings and parsley.
Enjoy!
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 Bon Appetit!

Jan 17, 2015

Well, my posting once a week New Year's Resolution isn't going very well.. I've spent the entire week on the couch with sick kids, with Bubble Guppies on repeat. Have you ever noticed the things on that show that are underwater? Like.. hair dryers for instance.. what are they teaching our kids these days? Just kidding. Lets just say it was a bad week for Dan to be gone, and my in-laws to leave to Mexico for two months.. I had no back-up!

Today we needed a much needed break from the couch and television and numerous kid cartoons we've been watching, so after a rare nap for both kids that happened at the same time we went outside and played. Maely has the horrible cold still and didn't want to be outside too long, but Maddox had a blast! The best part? The weather was absolutely gorgeous!

After our little play outside I made us some curly fries using my vegetable spiral cutter that I bought a couple months ago and haven't used yet! Interested? Click here to see it!

Even Dan had to try out the spiralizer and cut one of the potatoes for me.. I can definitely see myself using this neat contraption a lot in the future! Was an awesome and super affordable purchase!

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Home-made Curly Fries
by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake snack side potato

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 2 large white potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning, or seasoning salt
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spiralize both potatoes, using the blade with the smaller triangles.
Using scissors or a knife cut the potato "strings" into smaller bite-sized fries.
Add to a bowl and add the oil and seasonings you prefer. Toss to coat.
Spread out over two parchment-lined baking sheets. You will need to use two as you do not want to overcrowd potatoes.
Place trays in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, flip fries as best as you can removing any fries that have already crisped up. Swap trays before returning to oven so tray that was originally on the top is now in the middle and vice versa.
Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Remove trays and serve hot.
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Welcome 2015

Jan 1, 2015

Well, another year has come and gone.. and I figured since I didn't post much this past year maybe I should fill some of you in with this;

2014
Things I loved...
Wow, where do I begin. We had so many new experiences this year! This year was totally about family.. from expanding ours and spending 4 solid weeks in a camper together, to moving out to the family farm. We did many things I loved.. some of them are; announcing our pregnancy in February and getting a call from hubby's parents in mexico when they got the message, going to the demolition derby, buying the camper and then camping, swimming lessons, taking two weeks off work to be there for Maddox's swimming lessons, participating in a 3km marathon while 8 months pregnant, cheering on a friend running a 3km marathon with her 4 year old son on my due date, welcoming our baby girl Maely on Oct 5 and moving out to the farm in December and hosting my very first Christmas supper!

Things I am thankful for...
I am so thankful for great friends and family this year. Without them I would have been a complete disaster the last three months of the year! Between going on mat leave, having a baby, buying a farm, moving to the farm.. I would have lost my marbles somewhere had I not had an amazing support system. Thank you to all the amazing people in my life!

I am thankful for our amazing health care system, and my nurses during my labor with Maely. I was so sure I was not going to be able to handle it without anything for pain but because they were so awesome we did great! I am also thankful for my Dr who left a conference early to come deliver my babe!

Favourite Memory...
My favourite memory this year was welcoming Maely into our lives. She was almost a week overdue and I was so tired of being pregnant I almost jumped for joy when I finally went into labor on a Friday night! She was born that Sunday at 3 in the afternoon. Yes it was a long labor, but it never got to the point where I was in too much pain until the very last 10 minutes.

Greatest Lesson Learned...
Another labor memory... I learned that I am strong and can do almost anything. I gave birth with no pain medication except gas at the very end. If I set my mind to something and concentrate I can do it. I am strong!

Hardest Thing...
I really struggled this year with feeling like I was enough. I always felt like I needed to do more, to prove more, to be more than I am. I wanted to be someone bigger and better. This was good and bad for me. I feel like because of this I did put myself out there more and have overcome my shyness in groups and really feel accepted in our small community. But I also feel like it wore me out.. like I did to much and didn't say "no" when I should have. When I needed down time I was usually working on something for someone and I need to learn to say "no" and take care of myself.

Best Thing...
The best thing this year is that I feel like I have overcome my shyness and feel accepted in our small community. I feel like people look at me now and see who I really am.. not just this shy girl that lives here.

Looking forward to this year


Things I want to do...
This year I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to start each day with goals, eat more real food and drink more water and tea. I want to hug the ones I love, start exercising and stick to it. I want to run a 10km marathon and participate in a muddy donkey run. I want to shop for quality not quantity when it comes to clothes. I'm tired of filling my closet full of cheap clothes that don't stand up to more than 5 washes! I want to find the best in others and show the best in me and what I am.

Things I want to get better at...
I want to get better and communicating, especially when it comes to my feelings. I want to pick up the phone and visit with friends and family. I want to get better at spending time with my husband. We lack downtime together, even if its just finding a tv show we can get into together.

Things I am looking forward to...
I am really looking forward to having this summer off and being able to go camping. We are thinking of taking a week or two long trip to do a tour of saskatchewan and alberta to visit friends and family we don't get to see very often. I am really looking forward to getting back into shape as well and feeling great!

And so there you have it!

A lot can happen in a year, today is page 1 of a 365 page novel.. write it!
 

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