Sunday, December 19, 2010

Get your chunk on

Canada Food Guide says we should be eating 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. I'm lucky if I get that in a week. I think alot of people struggle with eating enough, but my friend has the answer. The chunky.

She whacks a load of fruit and veg in a blender and bim bam boom - the chunky. They say necessity is the mother of invention, so what started off as a smoothie transformed into one hard core vegetable concoction that's anything but smooth. This ain't no berry breeze we're talking about, she adds brussells sprouts, edamame, kale, the lot. A frozen brussells sprout is tough on a blender, so there are lumps and bumps. But such is the case with all the best things in life.

She admits it looks and smells awful, but she's doing it man! One chunky once a day and she's good to go!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dancing feet

This weekend, I got Xavier new winter boots with flashing lights in the heels. He loves them.

Good Mom? Check!

This morning, I forgot to bring shoes for him to change into at daycare. He had to wear shoes from the spare bin. As luck would have it, the only pair that fit him were sparkly ballet flats.

Good Mom? ------------

Anyone else have any Monday morning Mom stories?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

sweet Sunday afternoon

Sometimes you have to revel in chaos and who better to teach you than a child?

My boy and I made cookies today and I knew it was going to be messy. But I clad the dining table in vinyl thrift-store tablecloth and threw caution to the wind.

After rolling out the sugar cookie dough, we grabbed our cookie cutters and got to work. We managed to get about 11 cookies instead of the promised 4 dozen. Some of the blobs had to be creatively named.

There was much wailing while we were waiting for the cookies to bake until I produced the coloured sugar and silver dragees. Xavier tasted a pinch of this and a pinch of that and was soon reduced to a multi-coloured smile.

We decorated the cookies with the remaining sugar and dragees and iced them with Scribblers. What a great invention! I would have had a royal meltdown if I'd had to make royal icing.

We iced and ate, ate and sprinkled, sprinkled and drageed.

We did it. We made homemade Christmas cookies. The house is a mess and there are none left for the Christmas tree or the neighbours but the sheen of the red and green sugar between the floorboards will act as testament to our magical afternoon for a long time to come.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I remember complaining to my mother-in-law once, about how I never seemed to have time to clean the house. She said, "oh, it wouldn't take long to go through your house, would it?". I was speechless. I didn't have an answer for her, because I'd never 'gone through the house' once in the three years we'd been living here. In fact, I'm guessing there are a few nooks and crannies remaining that have yet to beblessed by a duster or a broom. I try to stay on top of things but, you know. My mother-in-law goes through her house every day. I don't know how she does it.

I use the "Cheerio gauge" to determine how clean the house is these days. Anyone with a toddler will know that Cheerios shrink with age. I'm not sure why this happens, I think it is a unique talent in the cereal community.

All I know is that the smaller the Cheerios I find, the more aged they are, and the more derelict I am in my duties. See Exhibit A from a few week ago:

Lately I haven't found any really small Cheerios. Hooray! I just hope it's because I've swept them up and not because they're so old that they're invisible to the naked eye.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What a difference two years make

Usually I don't know how other people do it, but occasionally I don't know how I do it either. Do you ever get that feeling that you're looking back at another you, a you you're pretty impressed by? I don't get this feeling often, but today I've got it.

I'm playing the year ago game, but tacking on a year. This time two years ago I was in labour. We'd made it through close to 24 hours of labour at home and we'd called a cab to get to the hospital, we didn't have a car then. It was a cold night and I was so big my coat didn't fit around me. John was taking charge and kind of yelling at me, the way he does when he's feeling protective. When we made it to the hospital, it wasn't like the movies. It was quiet and there was paperwork to fill out and the waiting wasn't helping. Right about now I think I was requesting my epidural none too politely. We more scared than excited. This was it.

Today, our little guy is here and he'll be two years old in just a few hours. He's changed our lives forever. I don't know how we've done it but we have! Happy birthday Xavier!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Still clinging to the grunge scene

Remember when stringy hair, Black Cons and lumberjack jackets were cool? Life was so much simpler then. I was always right on trend when Grunge was in.

Fast forward 20 years and I still feel a little bit stained, a little bit sloppy and I'm guessing it's not as cool as it used to be.

Or is it? According to Six Revisions, a web developers and designers site, Grunge style is a theme that features crooked, irregular, worn-and-torn visual elements.

I incorporate all of these things in my daily wardrobe! Hooray! The 80s are back and better than ever!

Check out their super cool grunge wallpaper for your desktop.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

wag jag so bad....

Sometimes I don't want to be sold a lifestyle or an antidote to my angst. Sometimes I just want to chuckle at something stupid enough that it could be written by me. I don't know if the copywriter had had a late night or the organization subscribes to the "so bad it's good" philosophy, but Wag Jag has some refreshingly horrendous marketing prose on its site.

For those of you who haven't heard of Wag Jag, it's the Johnny-come-lately of the group coupon space that Groupon kickstarted two years ago. Each day they offer a different gift certificate for a product/service at a discounted price and if enough people bite it's theirs. "Buy together and we all win!" says Wag Jag.

Yesterday they were offering $50 worth of cheese for $25 at Taste of Cheese, and described it thus (italics mine):

"The frustrations of in-person cheese buying can be easily avoided by taking your mouse on an online shopping brie. Get the cheddar you desire while saving wallet-chedda’ with today’s WagJag: for $25, you get a $50 credit to use at for any cheese, gift basket, or other product delivered to your door."

That's gouda stuff. Keep it real Wag Jag!

Friday, November 19, 2010

November is my personal grooming month

November is more commonly known as Movember or even National Novel Writing month, but I'm assigning it personal grooming month. Yes, I suppose I should be groomed every month, but I'm just too busy. I've been showering and brushing on a regular basis, but I'm talking about the variety of grooming/hygiene services you need to make appointments for.

I figure November's the perfect time. Summer's over, so I'm in serious mode again. This month is the Christmas sweet spot too. Christmas craziness hasn't yet descended (shopping, decorating, sozzling and the like) but any work I get done might just stretch to the holiday.

So got my hair cut and coloured today, made a dentist appointment last week and will probably get some plucking done of some sort in the ensuing days of the month.

The other bonus to making November personal grooming month for us girls? No one will think we're participating in Movember...

What are you going to have done?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The only way we'll ever eat coq au vin at home

Dinner at our house is often cold and uninspired. John generally gives Xavier whatever he can scramble together as the beast is tearing up the house. Apples, pasta with cream cheese and baked beans are common, very common.

But dinner tonite was fancy. Coq au vin for me and Princess chicken for the boys (the poultry gender reversal was serendipity). No, I did not hack up a rooster and slave over a hot stove for two days. I went to the George Brown Chef School Bake and Take Out Shop. Hooray!

Three Coq au Vins, a Princess Chicken and a honking apple pie later and poof I feel like Mrs. Beaver  Cleaver. She probably wouldn't have given a toddler coq au vin though...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seasonal defective disorder

I was so proud of myself this week. I started shopping for a Halloween costume for my son a full 6 days before Halloween. I trotted off to The Children's Place in my lunch hour at work, where I'd got his costume last year. I was surprised to find there were very few costumes left. How could this be? Was 6 days early in fact late? Catapulting headlong into the next season I asked tentatively if they had any winter boots. Sold out. Pardon? It was almost 2 months before winter began!

I expressed my incredulous to some other moms in the office and they just gave me withering looks. They had completed their Halloween shopping by October 1. They already had winter boots for their children.

I like to warm up to a holiday, I like to give the rampant materialism time to wash over me before I commit to any purchases. I don't want to be shopping for Halloween costumes when it's still hot out and I certainly don't want to be shopping for winter boots any earlier than I have to. Fall is a time to rejoice in the denial that winter is around the corner.

Is there anyone who hasn't got it together yet to get their Halloween purchases? If you're lookig for a costume for your child, there are a few left at The Children's Place reduced from $24.50 to $4.99 for the disorganized and the cheap. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can't get enough of orgaporn

Remember when people started bandying around the word gastroporn? Apparently it was first coined in a Globe and Mail article by Joanne Kates. I know I'm a gastroporn fiend, Food channel, cookbooks, glossy mags, whatever I can get my hands on.

But now a new kind of porn strikes my fancy - orgaporn. The voyeuristic pleasure of watching homes, shelves, closets, etc. get organized is a guilty pleasure I can't get enough of. And there's plenty around to satisfy my cravings. Shows like Home made Simple or Mission Organization are about as vanilla as you can get. Martha kicks it into high gear with no messing around. And if I'm feeling sadistic I watch Hoarding: Buried Alive.

For my daily fix I subscribe to I'm an Organizing Junkie. I too want to live "a life of simplicity and orer" and for 10 minutes a day I succomb to this wild fantasy, in the comfort of my office chair Going for a peep now...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Haunted by nut-crusted fish

I should really have nut-crusted fish in my freezer. I've been reading recipes on Weelicious and educating myself on what healthy toddler should be eating. I even put the nut-crusted fish recipe in my recipe box. I'm hoping one day I get as far as making it.

Does anyone else find the whole concept of meal-making pretty challenging? I don't know how people put three squares on the table every day of the week! We give our almost 2-year old son Xavier relatively healthy food most of the time, but not in meal form. Tonight it was crackers and cream cheese, with pineapple and chunks of apple followed by a Kinder surprise egg (a moment of weakness on my part).

Getting a hot meal in our house is rare because cooking with a toddler around is challenging.  Xavier is big on the pre-meal snack which holds things up. He's also big on grabbing full cartons of eggs from the fridge,dumping boxes of pasta and hurling things out of the dishwasher. So meal preparation has been, shall we say, streamlined.

A few fish  fillets nutted and bagged might get us on track to healthy eating and make me feel like a super mom. Maybe that will be my project for the weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trouser trappings

Trousers stress me out immensely. It took me years before I gave up worrying about whether my ass looked fat or my thighs chunked out, but do you think now I can relax? Now I have to worry about perfect pant length.

All sorts of people, with full-time jobs who cook and clean on a regular basis, also find time to hem their trousers to appropriate ground-skimming length. Because if the millimetre precision is off there'll be snickers.

While this seemed like a rigid world view, it got downright despotic when it dawned on me that shoes had to fall into hemline for ever more. I thought for a while that maybe I was overthinking it. But I wasn't. I was underthinking it. Clearly. Read the rules here tells us that "You need to commit to a length. You won’t be able to wear the same pair of pants with your ballet flats and your high heels. You’ll need to have an assortment of pant lengths if you have an assortment of heel heights." How do you know which your high heel pants will be when you buy them? How do you remember? Is there some closet coding I don't know about?

I don't know how people do it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chatting on the couch...

Two of my oldest friends came over a while back for a chat. We've been friends for decades so we're as comfortable as a tea cosy and a pair of socks. We just slumped on the couch, shoulders curled, slowly chatting away. I probably put out snacks, but I'm pretty sure I didn't make them dinner.

Whatever the topic turned to, it usually ended with "I don't know how people do it." We were marvelling at the lives of others - not those who became political leaders or heart surgeons or lugers, they were too far out of scope to dwell on, but those insouciant folks who worked a day job, cooked a meal and kept their houses clean. We didn't know how they did it.

I can't seem to do all those three things in any given day with any sort of success. How is it possible? But every day I hear of people doing it. In fact, everyone's claiming they do. Commuting, computing, dinner and dusting. Really?

If you're doing it, I'd love to hear how. Please be as detailed as possible.