Friday, 30 September 2011

One week challenge

I forgot to tell you...
I have a goal this week.
To do at least one post a day.
We have been so busy, I just haven't gotten to my blog in way too long. And I really miss it. It's nice to share our days, pictures and ideas.  So, I think I started a couple days ago. I'll keep this up as long as I can; even though I will be away from home for a couple days, and maybe not very wisely- just signed up for an online course.
Please keep checking it, and I hope to have something new for you each time you do.

Framed Chalkboard D.I.Y.

I started with framed Anne Geddes picture, that was cutesie, but not my style.
I carefully took the glass and print out, and got rid of them.
Then I measured and cut out a piece of sticky backed chalkboard paper that I got from the dollar store.  It came in a roll.
I adhered this right to the cardboard. 
Then put it all back together again. 
And wa-ll-ah! We have a super cute chalk board for the kiddies.



I have seen this done before where you take everything out of your chosen frame, and cut out a piece of MDF, and paint it with chalk board paint and put it back in.  That would probably be sturdier than mine, but would take more time (which I don't seem to have a ton of).  Mine works just fine.

Also you could paint the frame, which would be totally cute (think glossy pink, turquoise, or yellow)... but I was happy with the bronze-y look.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Embracing the Camera

When I first started this blog I had a ton of ideas of what I'd like to share with you.  I honestly can't seem to keep up. I feel like I need to go back and show you more about my summer, and DIYs, etc...
There is another thing that I've wanted to put on here since day one.  And the idea is not mine. It is borrowed. From two sources.  It's about as a parent "embracing the camera".  How often do we really turn the camera around on ourselves?  I know I'm not tempted to often, since I know its often been days since I showered last, and I look a mess, with bags under my eyes, and my clothes probably have food on them from the kids,... the list goes on and on. Let's just put it this way.  I don't always look very photogenic.  But the thing is, that's how my kids are going to remember me.  When I look back at my memories of my parents I don't even remember if they were well groomed or not.  I want to have pictures of me, my husband and I, and us with the kids... no matter what we look like.  Because I would rather, as a family, to be able to at least have those photos to look back on.  For instance, I have very few pictures of me with my kids at certain ages (ie. after my daughter was born--- because I really did look awful, labour was not kind to my body)- and I totally regret it.
So here goes. I am going to aim to take more pictures, either by myself, with others, or with my kids. And I will post them. Say once a month. No matter what I look like (to some extent).

Read my inspiration:
Aleida's Challenge- from "Under the Sycamore"


Embrace the Camera- from "The Anderson Crew"

I love looking at pictures of my mom and/or dad and I from when I was little..  So hopefully I can give this gift to my kids too... I really hope that they don't start to think that I ever thought jogging pants were in style (like I assume my parents thought they were sooo cool in their hippie get-up).

Soooo... To start us off:

Alrighty, that's a pretty good start.

Who else is with me? Let's leave memories for our babes.

Leave a comment if you'd like (I've been having trouble with the comments, so send me an email me, or facebook me if we're friends and let me know if you are having trouble leaving a comment).

If you don't have a blog, you could do this on facebook.  Or keep a seperate photo album (if anyone uses them anymore), scrapbook or journal for your little ones.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

My other two favourite pasta sauces

My mommy makes THE best traditional pasta sauce.  When we were little we always got to choose our what we would have for our "birthday dinner".  Every year without fail, I picked mom's pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce.
I have made it a few times on my own, but it takes a while.
Here are my two new (other) favourite (quicker, easier) ways to top pasta these days.

The first is an avacado base...mmmmm

Creamy avacado pasta, topped with seasonal fiddleheads.

This recipe was copied and pasted from 

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste (I used 3 and it was quite garlicky, but if you are not a big fan of garlic use 1 clove)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta (I used 3oz of spelt and 3 oz of Kamut spaghetti)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
  • 3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
  • Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.
Now, I think that its fine to keep the extra sauce (which I have done) and toss on warm pasta another time.  I figured after the last note, that the sauce would brown, and it didn't.

This is my go to when my avacados are about to get a little too ripe (or I use them for pudding... I will post that another time. yum).  This is such an easy dinner to make. I get the sauce ready while the pasta is cooking. 

I often sautee other vegetables to top the pasta. My favourite so far was in the early summer- garlic and earth balance sauteed fiddle heads.  Other vegetables work well, such as asparagus, or peas....

I have also heard of others adding nutritional yeast to the sauce too.  I want to try this too.

The second is a creamy tomato sauce.  Also found on (recipe) (My pictures)

I LOVE this one too.  Now each time I made it, it turned out a little bit differently.  (Perhaps because my recipe following isn't exactally precise).
My husband and I enjoyed it the most when we used the leftover sauce the second day (why is pasta sauce always better the second day?).  On that night I cooked up a little garlic in olive oil, as well as chunks of tomatoes and mushrooms and mixed that in with the pasta.  Sooo yummy.
I'm a big fan of making a simple recipe more difficult by adding extra veg.  Guess that's the mommy in me.

Here she is:
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
  • 2 servings uncooked spaghetti (I used Kamut)
  • 1 large ripe tomato or two smaller tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp water or wine, (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop tomato and add it to the blender (including skin and seeds). Now add the cashews, water, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.
  • 2. Add your pasta to boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • 3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to low. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes being careful not to burn it.
  • 4. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, watching closely. You may add water or wine to thin out the sauce to you desired consistency, but this is not necessary.
  • 5. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the chopped basil and pepper. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse and drain it. Add the drained pasta back in the pot and now gradually add pasta sauce until your desired amount is achieved. Stir and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings, likely with sauce leftover.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Isabella and her Apple Bin

When Bella was born, my husband's business was in the process of building lots of new apple bins.  So, either my father in law, or husband decided to make one with Isabella's name on it (after two tries... the first was misspelled).
We have taken her picture in it every fall. This is actually kind of tricky- because there are soooo many bins, that we are lucky to find it, and when we do, it gets filled with apples, and I have to rush over with my girl and camera before they apples get whisked away on a truck.

 FALL 2008

FALL 2009

FALL 2010

and this year, I let Ben in on some of the pictures... (and my camera was acting up- so I'm not totally pleased with many of them)

Bella looks so tall here. I think the key is wearing a dress that's two sizes too small.

brr... mommy

I was quite impressed with Bella. She usually comes home from school not looking as cute as I sent her. On the day we took these pictures, we came straight from school.  I was so proud.  Her hair and outfit looked just like they did when I dropped her off that morning!

I've noticed after looking through these, that she's worn a white/off white cardi every fall... Looks like that's another tradition I'll have to keep up.
I love looking through these and watching her grow!