Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lazy Mom Fall Decorating Reveal

My front door area needs a lot of help. The door is just awful; full of marks and old stickers. I am desperate to replace the door with one with a window to let some light in because I have zero windows on the front of the house on my main floor. But replacing a door seems like a normal person DIY project, which means we are not capable AT ALL of doing it. So it will wait. 
So beautiful...

But it is a bit sad. I have a dead hanging basket hanging on the front and a generic black rubber mat that says "Welcome". That's it. I wanted to spruce my stoop (is it a stoop?) up for the fall season.  So here is the before photo:

See? It needs some help. There is a lot of space for really cute fall decor, and it has a lot of potential. So I did some decorating that fits into my busy lifestyle:

All Fall-ified

 Isn't it amazing? Here, I'll show you a side-by-side comparison just so you don't miss it. 

And here, my dear ones, is an example of setting small, achievable goals. You too can have a blog worthy front porch with minimal effort! Here is a handy tutorial: 

Step 1: Purchase pumpkin.
Step 2: Place pumpkin on step. 

Happy Fall Everyone! 


Monday, July 20, 2015's Me

Whoa. So normally I kind of hate the "sorry I haven't written" type posts, but considering the fact it's been about 2 years since my last post, I suppose there should be SOME sort of catchupiness happening here. 

So. It turns out blogging when you have 2 small boys is hard, yo. I mean, I had a lot of balls to juggle, and blogging seemed like the best one to drop. Because the other two were my boys (and that isn't a good thing, I am pretty sure we can all agree), or my ever-loving mind. I have managed to escape with that one somewhat intact, though it hasn't been without a struggle. 

Depression and anxiety are not great for my creative juices. I had opened my laptop many times and stared at the blank screen with my hands ready to type and literally nothing came to mind. It was almost like someone had deleted the writing program from my brain. I have not really written much of anything for 2 whole years, and that is pretty crappy. Because I do love to write, even if it is dumb little anecdotes. 

So, here we are. 2 years later. After therapy, and group therapy and medication and many, many, many tantrums (both from the kids and from me), and tears and laughter and joy and fun and sadness. We have made it through, and are at a point where I can put them in front of the TV to watch Penguins of Madagascar (I mean, how hilarious is Dave?!) and sneak upstairs to write this. Because the days of my children needing 140% of my time and attention are gone, and now they only need about 110%. So maybe I can use that -30% to concentrate on myself for about 20 minutes until someone needs something. I mean seriously, how many times a day can you hear the words "Mom, I'm STILL hungry!!"!?!  You are tiny little humans with stomachs the size of lemons*. I mean how much can you actually fit in there for crying out loud?? 

*please note, I have no idea what the actual size of a preschooler's stomach is. 

You know what? Parenting is hard. Being a person is also sometimes very hard. It's even harder to be a parent and also a person at the exact same time. I haven't got it mastered yet, but I am getting better at it. 

I'm sure it's been hard, in my absence, to not know what my thoughts were on (trying desperately to think of parenting issues that have happened in the last 2 years...) the Royal babies, celebrity baby names and *insert hot-button parenting issue here*, but I am sure you managed somehow. And thank you to all who wrote me a note to check in and see how I was doing, and to those who requested I start to write again. I am sure you will regret your decision soon enough. 

So here is where we are at now. Peanut (Finn) is turning 4 next week. New Baby (Q) is now 2.5 and Hubby and I are still basically the same, just with a few grey hairs. Also, Kitty is still alive and well (she is still not quite right in the head, but that is her normal, and we generally love her anyway). We moved into an awesome house last year where we finally feel completely at home. Despite my terrible past as a plant serial killer, I am trying my hand at growing some fruit and veggies in our gardens and not completely failing. So far my success rate is about 60%. The plants are being lulled into a sense of safety. I am still at home with my boys, which means I basically sit on my butt all day and watch Maury Povich (is that guy still on TV? Because Oprah isn't, right?) and eat bon-bons. 

So there we have it. When written down it sort of sounds like I haven't done much these last 2 years. Which is basically true, lets be honest. Sometimes just surviving is all the busy you can handle. 

Much love to you all. I've missed you, darlings. 


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why Leaving the House is The WORST

Ok. Upon reading the title of this post, you may assume it is because of my recent struggles with anxiety. But it's not. It's because of these 2 little angels: 

Sweet, right? Yep. They generally are. Until we have to leave the house. As if my sanity wasn't fragile enough, I also have to wage fullscale WAR in order to walk out the door. No matter how much strategy I employ, no matter how clever I think I am being in preparing hours in advance, I am always outwitted, outlasted and outplayed. I am the weakest link, there can ONLY BE ONE!!!! and it's not me. 

Let me explain.
Sometimes, we just have to leave the house. Maybe we have an appointment, maybe I'm crazy enough to think an outing would be nice, who knows. In any case, I have to be somewhere at some time. I try and start at least an hour before we have to leave, but this has proven to not be sufficient. I get them changed, which is like trying to wrangle an octopus into a ziplock bag, but twice. I eventually succeed, and then it is my turn to try and make myself presentable for the outside world. 

This is impossible. The oldest is running around and throwing toys and dumping puzzles and pushing his brother and chasing the cat and evil laughing while dumping a glass of milk on the carpet. The youngest is screaming and crying like I have abandoned him in the wilderness despite the fact that he is 2 feet away from me. If I have to go to the closet to get a sweater, he crawls after me with his head up screaming and wailing at the ceiling. The 10 minutes it takes me to get dressed and run a comb through my hair is the loudest and most chaotic 10 minutes that has ever existed in space and time. It never fails either. I can have a ton of well-timed activities planned, I can even resort to putting Thomas the Tank Engine doesn't matter. None of this holds any power compared to the innate instinct to make mommy lose her ever-loving mind. 

This is usually the point where I start to really lose my composure. I shut down into a resigned zombie with no feelings on auto-pilot. I think it's a coping mechanism. "No Finn, don't hit your brother, Q, you are ok sweetheart, Mommy still loves you even though I am not physically touching you" while I smear eyeliner on and pull my greasy hair into a "messy bun" (understatement of the year). 

After this, the hunt for the boots/coats/hats/no-not-the-green-ones-the-blue-ones-mommy-mittens begins. This is where my adrenaline starts to kick in and I wake up out of the zombie-state and start to get into a state of panic. I have usually noticed that if we don't leave the house in exactly 5 minutes, we will once again be late. But of course this one boot cannot be found. How can it not be there?! It's always in the box with all of the stuff. Could it be in the closet? I have checked absolutely everywhere, including the places that is doesn't even make sense to look. Maybe it's behind the toilet in the bathroom?! Any attempt at recruiting help from the toddler is just enlisting him to run around yelling "where's my boot mom?"about 30 times. Eventually, with one minute until we have to leave I unearth the missing boot from underneath the couch in the basement (I have no blooming idea how it could have gotten there) and get it on. 

I put Q in his bucket seat and begin to buckle him in. Maybe I'm actually going to make it this time!! I can't even believe my hair is in disarray and I have non-matching socks on, but we may have actually done it. Just as I clip the last buckle, I hear the tell-tale rumble and know that it is not to be. Somehow the diaper which is designed for the specific purpose of not allowing everything to explode everywhere has failed, and it requires an entire change of wardrobe for the babe. Any chance we had at being semi-punctual is out the door (unlike us). 

Once we get that settled, we all head into the car, and I strap the toddler in, while he tries to escape so he can drive Francesco Bernoulli. Why my toddler thinks our tiny little Honda Fit is a Formula One Racecar from Cars 2, I have no idea. 

I finally sit in the car and heave a sigh of exhaustion. We haven't even pulled out of the garage and I am ready to go home. 

And this happens every.single.time. 

So THAT, my friends, is why leaving the house is the WORST (and also why I will be late every time we arrange to get together...sorry). 



Friday, December 20, 2013

A Few of my Favourite Things

It's almost time for Christmas, so I thought I might share with you a couple of my favourite things, just in case you are still looking for something to put on your lists (or to snag in some great Boxing Day (week...month...??)  deals!)

The Nexus 7 Tablet

Up until very recently I had never owned a tablet. In fact, I had only used an iPad very briefly. I LOVE this tablet. It's nice and small, and the screen is incredible. It looks better than my TV! The sound is also pretty amazing. I don't even need to plug it into my speakers when I am listening to Songza (another one of my favourite things!). I also liked how easily it synced to my phone and automatically downloaded all my apps. Pretty slick. It would make a great e-reader due to it's size, but I still prefer reading on my non-backlit Kobo, as it's easier on the eyes. The only thing I'm not that crazy about on the tablet is the camera, but that's fine. I always think it looks funny when people take photos with their tablets anyway. ;) I always thought that tablets were sort of redundant for me, since I have a laptop and a phone, but it changed my mind. 

My moccasin slippers

I loooooove these slippers. I don't even know where they are from, as I got them as a gift from Hubby last Christmas. They are so warm and comfy, and I love that when I wear them I don't get cheerios and crumbs and all the other little treasures my boys leave all over the floor for me stuck to my feet. They take a beating and keep on cozying my feet. 

The Sodastream

I wasn't sure about the Sodastream. I hemmed and hawed about it for a long time. I mean, it seems like an awesome idea, but I'm a bit of a soda snob, especially when it comes to Cola. So I knew I wasn't going to use it much for making pop like Cola or Rootbeer. I didn't use it too much at first, but then I branched out and tried the other syrups they have, and the Kool-Aid syrup is my absolute favourite! I loooove bubbles, and that is the reason I drink so much pop. It's awesome to be able to control the level of syrup I use, as well as to add some bubbles to things like orange juice so I get that fizz fix but without adding calories or sugar. I also picked up some Torani syrup and make myself Italian Sodas as a treat every now and then. For those who like carbonated water, this is a must. It's so handy, and it was definitely something that grew on me. 

Dogeared Jewelry

If you haven't heard about Dogeared, please don't Google it, since you will probably fall in love. I adore their designs; so clean and simple and beautiful. I have coveted the Karma necklace for a few years now and finally decided to buy myself a little present and picked it up, as well as a bracelet. I love them and wear them every single day. I am pretty sure I want one of everything...hint hint Hubby!! ;) 

*Please note: I have received some items listed in this post for the purpose of review, however all opinions (as always!) are my own. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

THE most delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding

This recipe is the devil. It's basically the most delicious thing ever, and it's really easy to make. 

I was recently obsessed with the Sticky Toffee Pudding from President's Choice. Hubby got real sick of me thinking of things we needed from Superstore just so I could get my hands on more. It's seriously amazing. But I always think homemade is way better than store-bought. So if this stuff was so good, what would homemade sticky toffee pudding be like? It would have to be mind-blowing. 

As fate would have it, a friend of mine just so happened to post on Facebook that she thought that sticky toffee pudding was perhaps the most perfect dessert ever created. I shared with Sarah my love for the gooey stuff and I started on the lookout for a good recipe. There are many out there, but they all seemed a little intimidating, or missing the gooey factor (which is the best part). I wanted something that was easy to make and preferably not using ramekins, as I don't own any (gasp!). 

A few days later, Sarah says her mother-in-law is visiting from Scotland, and happens to have a recipe for sticky toffee pudding which is both easy and scrumptious. And let me tell you...that is an understatement. This is literally heaven in a bowl (or straight from the pan if you have no self-restraint like me). 

Many thanks to Ann and Sarah for bringing this into my life, although I'm not sure my waistline thanks you as much. Ha! 

So without further ado, I bring you

Oh mannnn...that sauce! Drool.

THE most delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding 

Sponge (cake)

1 cup sliced, chopped dates
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups of boiling water
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Toffee Sauce

1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 vanilla bean

Place dates and baking soda into a medium saucepan and pour the boiling water over them (mixture will foam up). Set the pan over medium heat and simmer for one minute. Take off the hear and leave to cool for 15 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350F, and grease a 8" square baking dish. 

Place butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together, and gently stir into bowl with a spoon, followed by date mixture and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Pour into greased baking dish and bake for 35 minutes until springy to the touch. 

While cake is baking, make the sauce. Place sugar, butter and cream into a medium saucepan and add a split vanilla bean. Heat gently until butter is melted, then bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened and a rich toffee colour. Try not to eat the whole pan. 

When cake is done, spoon a little sauce over the sponge to coat the surface and return to the oven for 5 minutes. 

Remove from oven, cut into squares and pour hot sauce all over the sponge. Lick the plate. 



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