Great News! We’re headed on our vacay today! Stay tuned on my instagram for up to date photos on our annual get away. See ya later snow!
As of late, my mom skills include: doing everything on handed while holding a bebe, sleeping 4 hours a night while still being coherent in the morning, and finding the one piece of lego your toddler insists on having in a pile of about 100,000 other teeny tiny pieces. Have I mentioned assembling a puzzle with the Raisin and breast feeding at the same time? Ah yes, this is also how eating breakfast, lunch and dinner goes down. It’s always a meal for two no matter what! Multi-tasking at its finest.
Let’s face it being a mum is BUS-AY. Since we rang in 2016 it’s been go go go, and I can’t believe we’re well into the beginning of February. I also can’t believe we take off on our vacation soon! I’m excited, but anxious at the same time. It’ll be our first time flying as a family of four and I have TONS to do before we leave. Can we say luggage galore!? I’ll be doing a lot of packing one handed this week, but it will be worth it to escape the cold.
We needed to get our treat on before dusting off our luggage from the last trip which now feels like ages ago. Raisin requests are usually one of the following 3 things to make: rice krispie treats, madeline shell cookies, or peanut butter marshmallow bars. Because I didn’t have flour or rice krispies on hand, by default it had to be the marshmallow bars. We make this on the regular around here so hence the fall photo shots!
I love recipes we can make together. Raisin is pretty pumped on tackling all measuring, pouring and mixing tasks when we bake. One of the reasons I love this recipe is it’s flourless so there’s not AS MUCH clean up afterwards. Well there’s that, plus it’s honestly one of his favourite treats. Right now it’s pretty hilarious trying to bake with a toddler and holding a baby at the same time. But you know what, making these memories in the kitchen are timeless.
After making and munching on our marshmallow PB squares we packed some of Raisins’ loot bag for the plane ride. He’s been counting down the days for our get away, and I can’t blame him. He knows soon enough we’ll be pool side and licking ice cream cones to cool off instead of sipping on hot chocolate to warm up after toboggan runs.
True story: eating these squares is like a peanut butter bomb in your mouth – so if you’re a PB addict like myself it’s a WIN!
Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 pkg (300 g) butterscotch chips
4-5 cups rainbow mini marshmallows (or white, if you’re vanilla)
1 – Grease an 8×8-inch pan, or line with parchment paper – your preference. Set aside.
2 – In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips. I dare you to try and not lick the spoon during this process.
3 – Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. (This is an important step so that you don’t melt the marshmallows!)
4 – Stir in rainbow marshmallows and spread into prepared 8×8-inch pan.
5 – Refrigerate until firm and cut into squares.
Okay it’s not like I expect flowers, or even a card, but I do like the idea of celebrating love. We tend to surprise each other with little random surprises on random days like showing up with our favourite coffee, or a treat from one of our favourite bakeries out of the blue. Chris has sent flowers just because and that means so much during the year. But I like to make February 14th fun with a special little treat, or a fun breakfast with heart pancakes topped with a copious amount of red strawberries. You know, something to make the day special. I mean it’s fun on Easter, Halloween, and Christmas…so why would I leave out Valentines Day!?
With 2 little guys my heart is pretty much always goopy, so naturally I want to spend some time in the kitchen with my Raisins and make something fun with them. I’ve rallied up a few ideas we can do together above and I have a little feeling he will choose something with chocolate
Ohhhh I’m excited for a few reasons. One, I am heading to the salon for a root touch up which is MUCH needed…plus I love salon hair. It’s right up there next to chocolate and wine. Two, we’re in countdown mode for our annual getaway. I crossed off another to do on the list which makes me feel so happy inside. I’m a list maker and love the feeling of crossing off tasks.
Later on today we’re checking out an open house for a school we are thinking of having Raisin attend. Should be interesting because it’s starts during his bedtime and both nuggets have to come. I might have to bail early depending on how the littlest mood goes.
This week has been packed with errands and appointments from sun rise to sun set, except for tomorrow where I only have one commitment to tend to. So yaaay for that! Hope you’re all gearing up for a fabulous looking weekend. Muah!
Sophie has arrived for the second time in this household. Before Raisin was born (our first born) we received 3 of these as gifts. We kept one in the car seat, another by his crib, and another just around for grabs. For us it was a great gift. I’ve been blessed with 2 roley poley and drooly babies. Sophie has proven that she’s a great gummy toy for the both of them at this stage. The dogs go a bit bananas with the squeeking, but they just have to cope somehow!
Our littelest is loving her right now and she’ll be kicking around this pad for the next little while. Other big hits are the cloths with tags and crinkly sounds. It’s been a blast seeing the discoveries for a second time. I can’t wait to see what he wants to get into next!
Weekending around here is all about spending time together, finding fun adventures, indulging in some sweets and sorta bending the routine a little bit. I mean we’re all still up at the crack of dawn (thank the wee bebe and toddler for that one), but we’re at a pace of leisure.
Wanna know what’s a HUGE bonus? I don’t have to make breakfasts, lunches and feed a baby all at once in the morning. I can focus on just one thing when we wake up Saturday morning. It’s sorta one of my favourite things. That, and I can actually eat my breakfast with everyone! My weekdays consist of getting everything done for everyone else first, and then maybe eat standing up over the sink after everyone’s out the door and I’m cleaning up.
Another weekend highlight is baking. I can actually make something new or test a recipe out in the kitchen. Experimenting at its finest. There have been plenty of wins and fails. But if it’s a dessert more often than not it never ends up in the trash even if it’s a fail. Add a smear of pb and honey (or nutella) and your golden. Unless it’s burnt, then you’re outta luck in my books.
I’m a HUUUUUGE fan of sweet potatoes. Baked, mashed, sliced, smashed, roasted, I’ll eat em any which way. You need to try these crisps I made a few weeks back! Like I said, I’m a fan, but my little unit in this house hold, not so much. And don’t forget. I’m also just a mom, standing in front of her family, asking them to love sweet potatoes. Please tell me you caught that Notting Hill revamped quote. I think I’m the funniest person sometimes….and I’m pretty sure that’s a party of one right now!
So the thought occurred to me, why not bake some muffins with this tasty tater? Maybe if it’s in the form of a muffin I can convert their sweet potato ways. And guess what guys….they LOVED them! Plus they’re totally gluten free and pretty much sugar free. Win, win, win, win, win, am I right!?
These didn’t last the entire weekend if that tells you anything, but I always feel when muffins are mini you’re bound to eat them a lot faster! But don’t beat yourself up, they’re packed full of healthy ingredients and no added fat so that’s a score if I do say so myself. If you have any sweet potato critics in your home, you’ve got nothing to lose at this point. Give them a go and let me know your thoughts!
Sweet Potato Chia Seed Mini Muffins
1 cup oat flour gluten-free
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (you can use spice as alternate)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or use cupcake pan with liners.
2 – Microwave 1 small sweet potato on high for 5-7 minutes until soft. Let cool until easy enough to handle. Scoop out flesh and puree or mash 1/2 a cup with a fork in small bowl. In the same bowl, add egg, grated ginger, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla. Set aside.
3 – In a medium size bowl, mix together oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, raisins and salt.
4 – Add wet to dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
5 – Spoon in batter into lined (or sprayed) cupcake pan.
6 – Bake for 15-18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7 – Set on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and enjoy!
In the case of “Babies Wait for No One.” I give you exhibit A: Breastfeeding in the back seat of our SUV. As I’ve mentioned before, this EBFS (emergency breastfeeding situation) happens on the regular! I’m so used to doing this, that I sort of expect it now! It’s pretty easy to say babies wait for no one! They want what they want and can only wail to express how.
Today was one of those days. On my way home from an appointment I heard a teeny whimper and I knew what I was in store for. A minute later, a full fledge wailing baby was in session. IT’s the WORST feeling in the world when your baby is crying their lungs out and your on a stretch of highway. I don’t think it’s the safest place to pull over so I always try to get to a side street or parking lot. And those minutes that pass by are always excruciating. Clearly this will be the time where you hit a red light, or are behind the slowest driver in the world. Not that your anxiety levels are on a high or anything!
I’ve mastered the art of climbing over to the back seat, unzipping my jacket and unstrapping the littlest raisin out of his seat in no time flat. He’s on that boob and calm in no time! I’ll admit at first it was totally crazy and I was so stressed even before entering the car with anticipation of a crying baby wanting to eat. But I’ve become accustom to it where it doesn’t stress me out as much. I mean I’ll always feel bad when he’s upset and I can’t pull over immediately, but our journeys will always be filled with adventure for the time being! Does that happen to anyone else on the reg?
I was going to make Thursday my day of good news and to make sure and treat myself at the same time. But when you have a baby you realize pretty quickly you have to adapt to their schedule. And seeing as how the littlest raisin needed to be home for the afternoon today I realized my initial plans needed to change! But it was actually pretty great. With my mom out of the country on a family emergency I’m helping out at my parents place as much as time allows. So the morning was spent there with family which is always great, and the afternoon was quiet with baby wearing, laundry folding, dinner making and dusting. May sound uneventful to some, but it was perfect in my books!
Many of us at one point in our lives have been touched by mental illness, be it a family member, a friend, a co-worker/colleague, or even a friend of a friend. I have to admit I was really oblivious to what exactly mental illness was. We all have our own battles to deal with, but I didn’t know that you couldn’t just tell someone to “try and be happy.” I figured by doing that things will just naturally get better. It’s really not that simple, although at the time I thought it was. You can’t just tell someone to change the rewiring of their brain, but what you can do is be there to help and support them when they’re going through a tough time. The best thing is to lend and ear, and understand it’s not just a one time thing. This is a lifelong battle for individuals who suffer from mental health.
Experiencing it with a family member first hand I can tell you it’s a roller coaster. I have to admit I do get frustrated at times, it’s only natural. But I’m sure not as frustrating as it is to deal with it first hand. This initiative by Bell is pretty spectacular. Mental illness awareness is something that needs to be talked about. People who suffer from it shouldn’t do so in silence because they are scared to have people judge them for what they’re going through. It’s like kicking someone when they are down. The Bell Let’s Talk campaign is all about engaging a national conversation while working together with Canadians to help get the message out and break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
It’s so easy to participate too! Today, Bell will contribute 5 cents to mental health related initiatives for every text message sent, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day image! Easy peasy especially if you’re a social media fiend.
Do your part and participate to raise mental health awareness. I know I’ll tweet and text, and I hope you do too. And just so you know you can learn MUCH more about the initiative here.
The countdown is on for our annual winter getaway and I couldn’t be more excited. I love getting away from the winter. The best part for me is simple, it’s not having to gear everyone up to get outside…just slip on your flipflops (wedges for this gal) and walk out the door! But more than that I love the time we get to spend together as a family for more than just a weekend.
So prep is in full force with gathering all our summer clothes, purchasing travel insurance, renting a car online and of course Raisins’ loot bag, A.K.A carry on bag. We dubbed it loot bag when we first started travelling and it’s stuck since. It’s one thing he can’t wait for! He gets to pack it all on his own and knows he has to wait until he gets on the plane to use them.
Essentials for occupying his time are pretty simple. Work books, crayons, some fun toys which in the past have included puzzles and cars. But since then we’ve scrapped the puzzles as he’s totally into lego which makes for an interesting plane ride. There’s a lot of: sorry (total and hopefully super nice and patient stranger because this will happen again), do you mind grabbing our sons teeny tiny lego piece that fell by your foot?
We always pack some essential snacks. I know he’ll take my insanely large complimentary package of pretzels along with his cookie, but that will never be enough! So we bring crackers, veggies and some cheese. Then of course he’ll want to switch gears so we bring his LeapPad and earphones.
And if all else fails there is always the on flight tv – which you always hope is working because that can be a tossup! We bring our own iPad as a fail safe with a movie or some apps that he can play with, but that’s only plan “z.”
I’m counting down the days, but wish us luck because this will be our first time travelling as a family of four. We’ll be one on one parenting instead of tag teaming with just Raisin. What do you like to pack for your little guys for travelling to keep them entertained? I know when we travelled as kids I was lucky to get a crossword puzzle! lol.