Category Archives: Kids

the collaborative smoothie

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Who’s the little bunny adding kale to our green smoothie? Brody has his own ideas as to what to add to a smoothie, lemon and kiwi being his 2 favourites.

Apple, banana, kiwi, lemon, frozen berries, pineapple and kale!

It wasn’t as tart as you might think, honest.

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my favorite adventurers

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Today was a beautiful day in Vancouver, a rarity this time of year. You have to take advantage of it while it’s here so I talked my kids into going for a hike with me and I promised to take them to the park on the way home. Deal.

Just starting out, they brought their own walking sticks.

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At the top of the look out.

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“What’s up, Duck?” -Kaden, age 9

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Must stop at every marsh.

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A view of the lake.

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Brody found some lichens.

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Then we found some cool ice crystals.

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We also saw that someone had decorated this bench for the holidays. It warmed my heart.

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One last view of the lake…

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It was a day well spent in the beautiful sunshine. Quality time with my little adventurers is never wasted time.

Peace and love.

boxing day rituals

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I have 2 boys. They love Lego. For Christmas they get lots of it. Last year was all about Lego Star Wars, this year it’s Lego Ninjago. I still love Lego; it’s different from when I was young. The kits are more intricate and less free form, pros and cons with both. Eventually, it all becomes free form Lego.

I spent 2 hours helping Brody build his “ultra sonic raider”.

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Later on, I finally got around to a pinterest project I’ve been wanting to do. I needed a DIY idea to store my necklaces so I turned to pinterest. I was able to use some hooks I already had leftover from another project, so this one cost me nothing and I got to use my drill!

Here’s my new necklace organizer!

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Now, why didn’t I think of that!! So clever. Excellent use of pinterest and a drill.

Peace and love.

time to bake

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Tonight when my mother called she announced that she is giving up baking. I laughed, the thought of my mom giving up baking is as preposterous as my dad never watching golf again! She told me she’d tried a new recipe and is worried it didn’t turn out. “If it doesn’t turn out, I’m never baking again.” I told her she couldn’t base all her baking experience on a recipe she’s never tried before. My mother taught me how to bake, at the time she called I had just finished icing cookies with the boys and was getting ready to pack them up. I love baking and I have fond memories of helping my mom bake goodies at Christmas and all throughout the year. I don’t know if she’ll quit baking for good or not, but if she does her legacy will carry on, in me and my boys.

Time to bake, I love the science of baking. How you like that meniscus?
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Ready to bake….

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Brody pouring on the icing 🙂

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“Santa?”

“Yes, Stick Gingerbreadman?”

“I fear there are ninja among us?”

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“Never fear Stick Gingerbreadman, it’s only Disco Ninjabreadman and his merry backup dancers!”

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Happy Holidays!

Peace and Love.

yep, I am now that chick

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5 packs of socks

It’s true. I am now that stranger in the check out line that ruins your day. You are not going to believe this and for why? I was at the grocery store and had all the time in the world, well, at least until my kids get out of school. I shop at Superstore once a week and every so often I look through the boys clothing section to see if there’s anything worth while, lately I find that the Joe line has gone up in price but the quality is still lacking so I usually pass. However my kids need new socks and yesterday I found the mother load of discounted socks. I found 5 packs of socks, score! Four of the packs were 50% off and the last pack was also 50% off but marked incorrectly so they should be 75% off. (This is what caused the hold up at the check out.) When I picked up the socks at the beginning of my journey I thought to myself, I’ll buy these IF I get them for 75% off. So I loaded up my cart with all the things on the list and got in line. When it was my turn I handed the socks to the cashier and explained my discovery. She put them through and the socks rang in at 50% off. I again explained the incorrectly labeled discount. She called 2 separate people and 2 different managers had to physically come to her check out line to approve the pricing, 1 to approve it and the other to override the register. The poor cashier had to explain the situation e-v-e-r-y single time. It took about 15 extra minutes, the young Mom behind me and I joked about how many customers had come and gone while I did this, she was super nice about it, too. Usually I (and I assume you too) give in or give up by paying the higher price or just not taking the item altogether. How much did I save?  -$1.50!!

Score!

The socks were originally $6 discounted 50%. On the top of the discount tag it reads: Discount off last price 50%. On this particle package of socks some employee put another price tag on that read: was: $6/now: $3. So put it all together the socks should be $1.50, score! Technically I suppose I saved $4.50 as the socks were originally $6.

I apologize to all those customers that I ruined their day and gave them fuel for their fire to be so angry and bitter at strangers at the grocery store. This is the first time I have ever done something like this, as I said previously, I usually pass when it becomes too much work or I’m burdening too many people in line behind me. Their unknown needs are usually more important then mine. I have to say it was worth it, it was worth the $1.50 savings to be selfish and monopolized my cashier, it was a positive experience. I was positive and friendly to the cashier and she wanted me to get the discount, she could clearly see that I was right and when all was said and done she said she would’ve done the same thing as a customer. And my kid got 3 extra pairs of thick, warm, fun, new socks with the sticky circles on the bottom that he loves so much. It’s the little things, folks.

The $1.50 socks

dinner is served

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"I don't like vegan food"

Last night during dinner Kaden confessed that for as long as I’ve been vegan, everyday he’s secretly wished that I’d change back. He doesn’t like vegan food! There, it’s all out on the table now, a big sigh of relief waves over him. I got the sense it was difficult for him to finally admit this to me, he’s sensitive and he seemed prepared for some kind of backlash, after all, it’s been brewing in him for over a year. There was no backlash. I just gave him an understanding smile as he held up his bowl asking for his third helping of the vegan Tofu Cacciatore with Brown Rice Spaghetti we were eating for dinner.

 

 

 

Dude, don’t let your head get in the way of your stomach.

I have to admit the cacciatore turned out pretty good, our pickiest eater and smallest had 2 helpings so that’s all the confirmation I need. I adapted my version from 2 recipes and with the ingredients I had on hand. I’m more of an improvisational cook and look for recipes that suit the ingredients I have rather than make a grocery list according to recipes. Pasta is always a quick and easy meal. Here are the 2 recipes I used as reference Giada’s Chicken Cacciatore from the food network and from Robin Robertson’s Pappardelle Cacciatore from her cookbook Vegan Planet. I’ve made Giada’s recipe a few times before I went vegan so I knew it was a great recipe.

Mama’s Cacciatore

1 pkg (175 g) super firm tofu or 1/2 pkg of ex firm tofu, drained and pressed, cut into cubes
2 tbsp seasoned flour or sub flour with salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped
6 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp fresh gr black pepper
1/2 cup white wine (or sub red)
1 jar of strained tomatoes (or sub can diced tomatoes)
1 cup of broth
pasta of your choice

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan to med-high, I use a cast iron enamel pot. Put the seasoned flour into a bowl and toss with the tofu cubes to coat. Once the pan is hot add the tofu and lightly brown on all sides. Remove the tofu and set aside. Turn down the heat to med, add a little more oil if needed and add the veggies. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Saute the veggies until tender and most of the moisture is cooked out of them. Add rest of seasonings and cook 1 min. longer. Add white wine, simmer and reduce to 1/2. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil and turn heat to low. Add tofu and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, get your salted pasta water boiling and cook your pasta according to the package directions.

And dinner is served.

Chef Tips:
-With recipes like this I like to prepare all my vegetables first. I chop them to the same size and put them all into a med sized mixing bowl. That way they are ready to go into the pot when needed.
-Draining and pressing tofu can be done earlier in the day so it’s ready to go when you need it, if you have foresight. Otherwise, drain it and slice the tofu block in 1/2 lengthwise so you have 2 thin blocks then wrap it in a towel and press it.

happiest new year

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I can’t remember the last New Year’s Eve that we actually went out? For the last 6 years, I’m pretty sure I spent the evening taking down the Christmas decorations. Which suites me fine. It’s not that we don’t have any invites, we have had them in the past and this year too but we don’t mind so much, New Year’s is not a holiday either of us really see any point in. This year I thought it might be fun to have a family New Year’s but that didn’t work out, onto plan B. Bryn picked up some Coronas for himself and got me Mango Cider. I’m hoping to last until midnight. Although I did follow through on one of my New Year’s traditions of packing away all the Christmas decorations. I loved having them out but definitely don’t like dragging out the Christmas season and I don’t mean that in a bah-humbug way.

As I was putting the kids to bed tonight I told them that when they wake up tomorrow it would be 2012, today was the very last day of 2011. They were amazed by this and Brody thought that meant he went to school tomorrow. With the talk of moving into the new year I told the boys that tomorrow we could think about our New Year’s resolutions. Kaden said “oh no, I hate resolutions, last year’s resolutions SUCKED”! haha I guess to an 8 year old giving up candy does suck! On a positive note they did a great job of sticking to the resolution and we were able to cut out a lot of candy and sweets from their diet. Maybe this year we’ll be a little more collaborative about what we choose?

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

In my world this is still the happiest way to spend new year’s eve.

Happy New Year with peace and love all throughout the year.

Mmmmango cider and cinnamon donut holes.

This afternoon I made Cinnamon Donut Holes from Vegan A Go-Go cookbook that Bryn got me for Christmas. It’s a little pocketbook style book that is perfect to tote along when you’re traveling. Looking forward to enjoying them with my mango cider!