Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Beginnings

Once upon a time, there was a blog here and it was about more than just postcards.

But then life happened and blogging became something that stayed at the bottom of the to do list.

In August, Alex and I did something we'd been talking about for years. We packed up our stuff and sent it away to storage. We loaded our kids and a few things into a UHaul, the back of our car and my mom and dad's station wagon and we moved to Kelowna. With no jobs, no daycare and a place in French Immersion for Miss J.

It was a bit scary and a lot exciting and somewhat nerve wracking but we did it.

And now, almost six months later, we're feeling quite settled and there might just be time for some blogging as we create new memories in a new city. I'm making no promises but I think I'm back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cakes and birthdays

37.3 and 37.4 Try 34 new recipes

birthday boy and his girls

It was Alex’s birthday this weekend and we celebrated the way we’ve been celebrating things around here lately…quietly and with cake. Because you have to have cake. When we were in Kelowna for spring break, we made my mom a scrumptious lemon cake with lemon curd and when it was my sisters’ birthday a month later J wanted to do the same. But it ended up being a bit busy the day they were coming (two weeks after their birthday because that’s how we roll), so I just made a lemon cake with lemon icing.

master cake decorater

My head cake decorator had very specific requirements…this cake was blue and orange (although the final result looked pink) with purple icing (that ended up quite grey)

ready to light the candles

J was in charge of the decorations and she picked the candles. Apparently my sisters turned 211 this year. I’m not sure where that leaves me since I’m the oldest!

inside the cake

The cake ended up quite pretty looking. My oven almost caused a cake disaster…it wouldn’t be the first time…

For Alex’s birthday, I convinced J we could have a “normal” coloured cake, but she got to pick the flavours. Which I got to veto if the combinations were too strange. She settled on a very delicious sounding chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

the cake
She decorated it herself with Reese’s Pieces that we sent Alex to the store specifically to get…and being the awesome daddy that he is, he was shocked and surprised when we presented him with the cake.

yum

The cake was delicious and, due to close monitoring, my oven did not destroy this cake…but I can guarantee that if I did everything exactly the same way next time, I would end up with either a burnt or a raw cake. I miss my old oven…

I would totally make this combination again. It was a hit. I have a go-to chocolate cake recipe, but after sending Alex for Reese’s Pieces I discovered I didn’t have enough cocoa powder, so my friend Mr. Google helped me find a recipe based on how much cocoa powder I did have. And dear Martha came through again. I loved this cake. And it only took one bowl. And normally I’m not a fan of chocolate cake at all…maybe I have a new go-to? The frosting was fabulous…I might play around with it next time…less butter more peanut butter? We’ll see.

YUM!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

82. Choose a month from the 26 things photography scavenger hunt archive and do the scavenger hunt

When we were in Kelowna at Thanksgiving, J and I decided to do another photo scavenger hunt. The first one we did was just the alphabet, but this time we chose the one from September 2004.

frame

frame

glass

glass

arrow

arrow

numbers

numbers

small

small

open

open

fruit

fruit

wheel

wheel

plastic

plastic

cover

cover

natural

natural

saturday

Saturday

multicoloured

multi-coloured

home

home

shadow

shadow

sticky

sticky

clean

clean

foot

foot

sport

sport (she’s demonstrating how to dribble and block at the same time…)

round

round

group

group

man made

man made

half

half

path

path

full

full

the end

the end

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Birthday Cake with Lemon Curd

37.2 Try 34 new recipes

While we were in Kelowna at Spring Break it was my mom’s birthday and J really wanted to make her a cake. So she did. Sort of…she decorated it with sprinkles, but it worked out perfectly. J wanted to make a lemon cake, so we went all out and made lemon cake with lemon icing and lemon curd.

lemon cake with lemon icing and lemon curd

The curd was amazing…you can see it seeping out here and unfortunately that’s the only picture I got of it, but it was soooooooooo good. I used Ina Garten’s recipe and I will be using it again…

sprinkled

We were a bit pressed for time…if I were to do this again, I’d spoon the curd on just before serving, so it could run down the sides. I would just ice the top layer of the cake (maybe the sides of the top layer, I haven’t decied)…although…it was even more delicious the second day when some of the curd had soaked into the cake.

birthday girl

My mom’s second birthday cake was a success!! Yum!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Sun Run Fun Run

21. Do the mini-Sun Run with J (and C if she's old enough)

So, the Sun Run literally runs past our front door. We always watched it, either from J’s room in our old place or from the grass median in front of the building (or both)…last year, J’s Auntie TeamHardCore ran the Sun Run and J decided it was time for her to run it too.

Obviously 10 km was a long walk/run for a five and a half year old and J also said she wanted all four of us to do, so when we got a notice from the school about Team Registration, we signed up for the Fun Run. It’s a shorted 2 km run/walk down around the arena and BC Place.

We were going to put Little C in the Ergo, but at the last minute, I decided I’d rather put her in the stroller. The Sun Run ended right at nap time and while she’ll still nap in the Ergo, she naps better (and longer) in the stroller. And then I decided to put the extra seat on the back…

Good thing I did…there was a bus schedule mix up and we ended up moving Little C to the back and actually getting J to ride in the front…she’s just under the weight limit still, but she’s sooooooooo big for the stroller. Once both girls were secured, Alex and I did some serious speed walking to the train and then from the train to the start. We got there one whole minute before start time!

the runners

Alex and J started out walking with me, but then J wanted to run, so they sped off ahead.

our smallest runner

Little C had a great time…she pulled off both her running shoes, but thanks to kind people on the course, we got them both back…it took us just under 30 minutes to walk it which was pretty good considering we had paced it at closer to 50 minutes based on J’s speed through our neighbourhood.

four of us done

Little C ate more of the recovery food than the rest of us put together (where in heaven’s name does she put it all?!?!)

bouncing

The highlight of J’s day was not finishing the run…it was the bouncy castles set up in BC Place for the kids to play in after!

stroller for two

We were happy to have the double stroller on the way home. J was exhausted and it would have been a long, complainy walk home…instead we loaded her back in the stroller, put the sun shield on and she slept almost the whole way. Maybe in a few years we’ll try it again…maybe we’ll even try the 10 km!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

J makes dinner

Little C’s first birthday meant it was almost time for my maternity leave to end…and that meant a whole bunch of changes for our family. One of things I’ve been in charge of is dinner, but with work hours, it would be after 5:00 before I’d even get home…and C eats early and goes to bed early. Alex is a novice cook and J had a great suggestion…they could learn to cook together!

So, off we went to the the kids’ bookstore and got them a couple of kids’ cookbooks with fairly easy recipes and lots of tips on techniques and photos to show how things are done.

J’s first dinner was tomato soup with garlic bread.

stirring the pot

She loved being in the kitchen – she is using a paring knife, but we’re going to wait until her paring knife skills are a bit better before she gets to chop stuff…even so, she did most of the work on this yummy soup.

a girl and her dinner

And she was pretty proud of the final product!

little c approves

It received a Little C stamp of approval as well!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Back to basics…

 
For ages and ages and ages (okay fine, the better part of a year) I tried to post a menu plan for us each week. Lots has happened since my last menu plan…two and a half years ago…eeeep….
 

So after riding the roller coaster of life for a while, Alex and I have decided we’d like life to slow down a bit. Meal times are a bit hectic what with four competing schedules and two very tired kids at dinner time…I’m only going to plan dinner this week, but once we’re back into the swing of things, I think I’m going to try to plan our lunches too…all too often my lunch ends up being tossed together at the last minute and as I’m already not the biggest lunch fan, it doesn’t make me happy…

Monday: Chicken Wings with rice, carrots and peas

Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese (with hidden cauliflower) and broccoli

Wednesday: Meatloaf with chick peas served with mashed potatoes, cauliflower and peas

Thursday: Teriyaki chicken with rice and stir fried broccoli

Friday: Chicken and dumplings

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Carrot and lentil soup with Kari’s bread

Nothing fancy here and nothing new to us…the first two recipes are courtesy of my mom and I don’t even use a recipe anymore, the pizza dough recipe is my dad’s and while I used to make it from memory, my memory isn’t that good now that I have a toddler and we haven’t made pizza for a long time. The meatloaf is packaged up in the freezer and we’re all excited about it! Yummy!!!

Of course, being the Organizing Junkie, Laura is still posting meal plans…if you need ideas (or more likely when I need ideas for next week), there are links to many meal plans over there.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

And then she was one…

sisters meeting

One year ago, this was the scene in our living room…it was a very exciting time for all of us…

sister a year later

And now, both of those little girls are so much bigger…it’s been one incredible year!

today im one

C was super excited about her birthday even though she really didn’t get it…I think she was just excited because her big sister was!

wheres my cake

She was not impressed when we took the cake away to be cut up…but she didn’t get as sad as her sister did on her first birthday(s)

yum

And she was pretty happy when the cake finally came back….

presents

She loved opening presents…there were enough gifts that each of her cousins and her sister got to help her open at least once…what a spoiled little lady!!!

family of four

Happy Birthday Baby C…can’t imagine not being a family of four!