Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, filled with family and friends, good food and very limited oven space. In my family we love sides - more starches! More veggies! More carbs! We want it all. Even with a double oven that can make finding space for cooking the sides and the turkey a bit of a logistical nightmare.
As a housewarming gift we were given a Napoleon BBQ that has a rotisserie feature, and I thought it would be a great way to cook the bird and keep the oven free for everything else. I have to say that I was incredibly happy with how it turned out, it was easy to do, moist and soooo delicious.
5 - 7 pound turkey breast - bone in (serves 6-8 people)
Cooking turkey seems to be a time honoured family tradition so... how do you cook your turkey?
I, like millions of others around the world, have once again hopped on the Olympic bandwagon and am excited about all these summer sports I've never heard of (if you know me, a passion for sports does not come naturally).
I think it's pretty clear based on my love of food, wine and Netflix that I will never compete at the Olympics, but then I started thinking, maybe I'm already participating an Olympics games all my own: the "Mommy Olympics". Read on to see what I mean.
Traditionally a sport featuring sabres and a face mask... if you're a mom, you'll recognize this as "Floor Time". When your baby was a newborn, floor times was a fun, low key activity. But around six or seven months every item becomes a potential weapon and it's up to you to dodge your way to safety.
On an Olympic track theses athletes look graceful and manage the hurdles with ease. As a parent, you are also familiar with the hurdles, but it's jumping over your kid's crap all over the floor when the phone rings during bedtime or nap time. That shit is real and speed is of the essence to avoid wake ups.
Long Distance Running
Though I haven't experienced this myself yet, I can tell you from observation this kicks in when your little one starts cruising and/or walking.
In the Olympics this sport is beautiful and involves perfect coordination. For the Mommy Olympics, this is bath time. Where in the Olympics you get to practice coordinating movements with your partners in the water, as a Mom, synchronized swimming is trying to get your crazy mobile little one clean all over. Unfortunately, there's no way to anticipate what move you're babe will make next, so in real life this lacks a lot of the elegance of its Olympic counterpart.
In the world of parents I think we can all agree that diaper changes with a little one who has learned to roll is the Mommy Olympics equivalent to the gold medal wrestling match.
Before I had my son I picked out a bucket seat that was good for a baby up to 35 pounds. So frugal, so smart I thought. As a new mom though you don't factor the weight of the actual car seat, and how heavy that sucker is when you're carrying it, the baby, the diaper bag and your purse from once end of the parking lot to the other. It's an impressive feat and one definitely worthy of the Mommy Olympics.
I hope you are all enjoying the Olympics! What's your Mommy/Daddy sport of choice? Let me know in the comments below.
Do you have a recipe from your childhood that just reminds you of a simpler time? That you could still identify from the first mouthwatering aroma coming from the oven? For me that was always my Mom's blueberry muffins.
In my family we've always believed that the muffin batter is simply a vessel to barely hold countless blueberries in check. And I'm not ashamed to say that half the fun of these muffins was trying to pick the one with the most blueberries!
What's a recipe from your childhood that you love? Let me know in the comments below.
If you have read my posts about food you know that I love to cook from scratch, but i love a good cheat too, and that's where Bisquick comes in. I can make pretty much any meal on short notice if I have a box of Bisquick.
Last week my cousin came over for a visit and I wanted to have something yummy to eat but had a pretty awful night (first tooth!) so I needed something quick and easy, so I made these guys which were like two bite brownies.
So you may be wondering why this is so important to me that I'm writing a blog post about it. And, in short, this movie has been a huge part of my life. Not just because it was a fun rom com with deeper values about how you can achieve what you dream, but because it was my Grandma's favourite movie, even at 92.
Yes, the movie taught me how to "bend and snap" and the subtle art of telling someone off without being rude. But it was also much more than that. For fifteen years it brought a great deal of enjoyment to my Grandma. She would watch it once every week on VHS. She was legally blind and couldn't operate a DVD player.
So when her copy of Legally Blonde got worn out we would take to Amazon to find her a new one. Her only request was that it not skip in the same spot as last time. It was okay if it wasn't perfect as she knew all the words by heart. The movie brought her a tremendous amount of joy and laughter.
When my Grandma passed earlier this year and we got together to celebrate her life we didn't wear black, we went in pink instead (in true Elle Woods Style) in honour of Grandma. So "Happy Anniversary!" Legally Blonde, you meant more to me than you'll ever know.
Hi everyone, first let me apologize for the gap in posts last week. You will understand when you read my upcoming posts about my kitchen transformation, but anyone who has done renos/updates can tell you things don't always go as planned.
Anyway, I'm back! And to celebrate Mommy Monday ('cause why not celebrate), I wanted to share with you ten things I've learned since becoming a mom.
1. It's okay to not enjoy all of the little moments.
People will tell you to "enjoy the little moments" and "they won't be like this for long", both are true. But you don't need to enjoy EVERY little moment. For example, that time I had rocked my son to sleep for four hours when he was sick at three am? I'm good, once was enough. There are so many special moments with a baby but not all of them are winners, so don't feel bad if you put a few in the mental recycling box.
2. Doing things for yourself doesn't make you selfish.
I've just started reading again. I mean reading stuff not baby-related. I've spent so much time reading blogs, parenting books, and sleeping books and anything kid related that I forgot that sometimes it's nice to read about two vampires falling in love against all odds. Also, when I take time for myself I'm happier with my family.
3. Asking for help isn't weakness.
Why do we have to do it all ourselves? I thought it takes a village to raise a child? Why now does it seem if we need help we're not doing something right, and why is it mostly other moms that make us feel this way? The best thing I ever did was ask for help with sleeping (read about it here) and it was amazing.
4. Freezer food is the only way you'll eat.
Batch cooking has saved my family, Because somehow even though I can't tell my husband what I did all day, I have no time to cook.
5. I could be part of the paparazzi.
I've very good at taking 95 pictures of the same moment and being unable to part with any duplicates because they're all worth something.
6. Mom guilt is hard (and totally self-imposed).
That's all I have to say for this one, haven't found a way to navigate or let up on myself, any tips?
7. My definition of clean has changed a lot, personally and for my house.
A "top knot" is a classy way of saying "I didn't wash my hair because I'm too tired to dry it". If you're a guest please stick to the main level because I likely only had time to clean that if I had less than 24 hours notice of your arrival.
8. I actually don't need a hell of a lot to be happy. One of my best days to date was a day where we didn't really do anything. My hubby and I didn't do chores or go out or have any special experiences. We just chilled with the baby. Mostly sitting on the floor. And I loved it.
9. It's hard to find yourself amidst all the mommying.
I'm still trying to figure out this new version of me and it can be really hard to have an identity outside of Finn. But I've always been an individual and it's okay to still want to be one.
10. It's hard and that's okay.
I had a difficult time getting and staying pregnant and so I wanted Finn to have a Pinterest worthy first year and I wanted everything to be wonderful. But to be honest, it's not the case (the Pinterest part is wonderful). Being a new mom is hard. Being a new Dad is hard. Being sleep deprived is hard. Finding your confidence as a parent, individual and couple is hard. My mom always says all change is hard, even good change and welcoming a baby is the biggest change you'll ever experience. Knowing it will be hard is one thing, but admitting it's hard and moving forward is equally as important.
For Mommy Monday I was going to tell you all about Finns's first swim. But then instead, I went to bed. At like 6:30. Ever have a day where you're just overwhelmingly tired and everything else can wait? That was yesterday. Maybe it was the heat and the toll of a little guy who has been cranky AF for three days, but Momma needed a rest.
As for the first swim, to be honest it wasn't the magical experience I'd dreamed of. My little guy who LIVES for bath time was underwhelmed by pool time.
However, in general he was pretty cranky that day so it could have been that. Getting ready for his first swim was monumental, the right floatations devices, sun shirt, sunscreen, swim diapers, hat and towels. In the end what he liked best was being held by Mom or Dad.
Especially when it was just all too much and he had a rest on Momma.
How was your first time swimming with your little one? How do you get them used to and excited for the pool?
To celebrate Canada Day I asked my twitter followers what truly Canadian dish they'd like to see and "Maple Anything" was the winner. When I told my hubby about this he suggested Maple Bacon Cheesecake, and since I like maple, bacon and cheesecake I thought it was a great idea.
This is actually pretty easy to make, just takes a little time because you have to bake the bacon at a really high temperature so you can't do the cheesecake at the same time.
Top your maple cheesecake with the maple bacon and enjoy!
What are you doing for the Canada Day long weekend? Want to have a say in what I make next? Follow me on Twitter!
Last week I started to write my blog post for “Whatever I Want Wednesday” ...and I had nothing. Literally nothing.
When I first thought of this post series I wanted it to be just for me. Not about baby and not about food. I hoped that Wednesdays would just a time to talk about the other things I was doing.
But then it happened, I was empty. I looked back at the past month and couldn’t think of anything to talk about that wasn’t baby related.
I’ve always had a lot of passions and suddenly I couldn’t come up with anything. And it got me thinking. What happened?
I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but in wanting that did I agree to give up myself? My husband asked me what I would like to do and I couldn’t answer. For the past three years I’ve been driven by getting pregnant and then having a baby. I couldn’t tell him what I’d like to do as a personal hobby.
But now that babe sleeps more and we have a schedule, I have free time. And I don’t know how to fill it. It’s no ones fault, I think it’s just a natural part of the different cycles of life. But what happens when you want to find yourself again?
How do you balance the responsibilities of a mom, wife, friend and individual? How do you push aside guilt that isn’t created by others, but worse, by yourself.
As you define the new you, how do you balance your family and individuality?
I’ll keep you posted as I find my own balance. Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!
I've been quiet lately on the blog because I totally devoted myself to sleep training our baby boy. I know for some it's a controversial topic, it's ok if you don't want to sleep train your baby, but it was much needed for us and as the mom I made the call to benefit my family.
After months of struggling with sleep, reading countless books, and considering a three hour stretch of sleep to be a major win, I knew I had done all that I could on my own, and that I needed help. I ended up contacting the Goodnight Sleep Site. I knew that I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't do it alone and I needed some guidance.
They responded the same day and we set up a time for a consultation. I answered a super in depth questionnaire and prepared for our call and sleep plan. The consultant, Jamie, http://goodnightsleepsite.com/halton/meet-jamie/was wonderful and listened to me every step of the way.
For us going to sleep wasn't a challenge. He went in his crib awake, we had nap time and bedtime routines we had followed since he was about six or eight weeks old, and we didn't feed him to sleep. We followed the eat, awake, sleep model. That's why I was so confused why, with all these healthy habits, my little one was waking up ALL NIGHT LONG?
At his six month appointment we had gotten the ok to stop night feeds as he wasn't eating a lot at night and eats a ton during the day. So we were ready to address his (and our) sleep needs.
I was mentally prepared for a tough few nights and with the support of my consultant got down to the business of consistent sleep training. I think that was the key for me, being consistent and having someone who could give me structure and reassure me that what I was doing was the right thing to do. What if they wake up after half an hour? How do I slowly stop those night feeds? What do I do if he wakes at 5am ready to party?
The best part of working with a sleep consultant was having those guidelines. I felt empowered knowing what I would do throughout the night. The first couple of nights were hard. There was crying, and I was ok with that, he was learning a new routine and it was going to be tough. While trying to reduce his feeds he just suddenly started to not need to feed at night, which was great.
By about night four we were down to one wakeup at night (from 4-7 wakeups - what a win!) and often he settles himself before I get to his room. This has been a huge win for us! I am sleeping the majority of my hours together, and just sleeping well in general!
Finnley wakes up happy and is generally happy to be in his crib. He goes to bed without a fight and settles himself down. He doesn't need me to run into his room multiple times a night to pop a soother in. He just doesn't need it during the night anymore.
Sleep has also helped him during the day. He's happier, more alert and actively learning. Our time together is quality now, and I love seeing how much more he smiles.
I don't think I would have been as successful without the help of Jamie. It was great to have an unbiased person giving me support and structure. She checked in with me several times a day and gave me tips for the future.
If you're considering sleep training, I say go for it. If you can do it yourself that's great, if you need help that's ok too. Just know when your child sleeps (and you sleep) you'll both feel so much better. You'll get to enjoy your child more and bedtime won't instil fear in you.
How did your baby learn to sleep? Did you sleep train? Let me know if the comments below!
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.