Sunday, May 19, 2013
• The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.
• Please understand that there is no one depressed in this house; we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.
• I don't dislike babies, though I think very young ones rather disgusting.
• I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous.
• Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.
Queen Victoria 1819-1901
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The last few months I've been trying to be even more diligent about healthy eating.
Trying to cut out processed foods, pretty much anything white- rice, bread, pasta etc.
maybe not wine...but trying to cut back there as well.
(Well as much as humanly possible for a girl of Irish decent...;)
I do my best to eat mostly whole grains, lots of protein and plenty of fresh fruit and veg.
This has pretty much been my food mantra for years, but I'm really doing my best to keep it clean in terms of eating (and drinking) this spring.
One of the foods I'm trying to eat more of is fish.
I enjoy it, as does Big Daddy- unfortunately Lulu, not so much.
I've tried for years, but no dice.
However I made these Mahi Mahi fish tacos the others day and she "kind of" liked them.
Anyhow they are de-lish, healthy and super easy to make.
I like to use gluten free corn tortillas, but you could use whole wheat as well.
To save time I also buy a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix.
I grilled the fish on the bbq because A. it's so nice out these days and B. I don't love the smell of cooked fish in the house.
but it's easy to just broil it as well.
Tilapia or any firm fish also works in this recipe
Also if you can find green Tabasco it makes all the difference.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
I love this time of year.
Near perfect temperatures, the air is fresh with the fragrance of spring blossoms with minimal humidity, the birds have returned from where ever they hide during the winter months (such smart creatures).
The days are getting longer and all the extra sunlight is just plain uplifting.
There is an energy all around that is palpable.
Everyone just seems happier, more energetic and positive.
No more heavy winter coats and clunky boots...ahhhh....
What I don't love is the whole clothing transition thing.
We have small closets here at casa petitegourmand so I have to do the "big switch" from winter to summer each season which I dread.
And I do love my accoutrement.
So needless to say, I have A lot of stuff to go through each time around.
It's a bit of a weakness for me actually.
Especially when it comes to clothes for Lulu.
I mean I only have one girl, and all the goods are just so cute (and cheap) these days.
And to be fair she is continually growing and her size keeps changing each season.
Plus it's so hard to resist each time I am either at the grocery store (curse you Joe Fresh) or when I just happen to find myself in the girls section of Zara or H&M.
Don't even get me started on all the cute shoes....
Then there's me.
I can't seem to stop myself.
If I find something I like, I'll often get it in 2 or 3 different colours.
Why not? right?
Besides, it usually costs next to nothing and it saves me from having to go shopping again.
Because as much as I love fashion, I don't love shopping.
But it the end I always wear the same few favourite things and the rest just gets shoved to the bottom of the pile in my closet.
So my latest goal is to try to keep things simple.
Especially when it comes to clothing.
To only get a few key pieces each season.
To not be tempted by sales or promotions. (if I get one more email from The Gap or Banana Republic I'm going to scream)
I just want to give my closet a bit more breathing room.
Not to mention making the decision of what to wear each day an uncomplicated one.
I read this this morning and it just reiterated the need to be less of a mass consumer and know when to say when.
Yes...even at Club Monaco....
There are only seven days in a week after all.
And to be honest half the week I'm in my workout gear anyhow, so how many cute tops from Anthropologie do I really need?
How about you, is your closet over flowing with garments made from countries that maybe we should be caring a little more about?
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Has another year already come and gone?
Lulu is eight years old today....
Wow. So hard to believe.
The weather is much like the day she came into this world.
Rainy, a tad chilly, a full moon and with the hint of spring blossoms in the air.
That night seems so far away, yet still so unforgettable.
April 24th 2005. The day that changed our lives forever.
In ways I could never have imagined.
Every year I learn something new from Lulu.
She is bright, insightful, sensitive, super smart, introspective, intuitive, kind hearted, energetic, logical and absolutely the love of my life.
I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments this year.
Her piano playing is getting better all the time, once again she received straight A's on her report card, she has a very full and fun social circle, she finally lost her first tooth, can ride a bike, is a pretty good skater not to mention dancer.
She is amazing on stage and has more courage than I'll ever have.
I love her great sense of self and confidence, yet she is still humble and grateful.
I am so proud of her artistic and creative nature.
Her creations are endless and so imaginative.
I couldn't have pictured myself with a sweeter more amazing daughter.
We are very lucky indeed.
So that's all the gushing for now.
Just so proud of my little lady.
Happy 8th Birthday Lulu.
I love you....
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I just spent the last couple of months catching up on the HBO series Homeland.
We were on a mission to get current, so big daddy & I hunkered down each night glued to the set watching Nick Brody in action.
I still can't get over the fact that he is British and not American!
His accent is impeccable.
Also that he is the exact same age as I am...that really freaked me out.
He seems so much more....well...older than me.
Anyhow the show has won 6 Emmy Awards and they are well deserved.
Claire Danes is spectacular as well as Mandy Patinkin.
In fact the entire cast is great.
It's an edge-of-your-seat (or in my case, sofa) kind of series.
It is also apparently Obama's favourite show.
And if the president of the United states takes the time to watch a T.V. show it's got to be good. Right?
Anyhow I can't wait until September- Season 3 to begin.
Then again, might hold off and do a viewing marathon like we tend to do with most HBO series.
I hate having to wait each week to see what happens.
I'm not good when it comes to patience and having to wait.
Thinking about starting House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright next.
Or Downton Abbey.
Then again, Mad Men and Mr. Selfridge looks pretty promising too.
So much for my New Year's resolution to cut down of my television viewing....
oh and I snapped that image while on the highway in California last fall.
now that's not something you see everyday up here in the great white north.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Just back from spending a week in Florida with Lulu & my parents for March break.
It was really nice to travel with just Lulu.
The last time it was just the two of us she was just a few months old and sat on my lap the whole time.
She's a bit of a seasoned traveller now and is at that age where she can actually help out with luggage, passports etc.
Looking around at all the crying babies on the flight I had a hard time not feeling a bit smug, knowing that those days are far behind me now.
Then again, Lulu never once cried on a flight.
I know, I'm pretty lucky in that department.
She's pretty awesome when it comes to travelling.
Next stop Asia??
Anyhow, it was really nice to get away and soak up a bit of sunshine, blue skies, green trees and perfectly manicured gardens everywhere.
Not to mention enjoy all the spotlessly clean shiny cars and pothole-free freshly paved roads.
Florida is a drivers paradise.
We spent the week at my parents place. Which was.....interesting.
I haven't actually spent that much time with them since I moved out 24 years ago.
I love them and we are close, don't get me wrong, but it was a bit of a flash back from the past and there were several times when I felt 14 again.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that my mother followed me (and my dad) around reminding me (us) (relentlessly) to apply more sunscreen, wear a hat and watch the sun.
I know, I know, she just cares, but geez...we are in Florida after all.
And a bit if vitamin D isn't going to kill me.
For the record, as soon as I get up I slather on the 65 SPF and for the most part avoid the sun when it's the strongest.
Gone are the days of applying sun-in to my hair, copper tone tanning oil and lying in the middle of the black paved driveway frying like an egg.
We were so idiotic back in the day.
Boy if I knew then what I know now....
Clearly this woman isn't worried about too much exposure and didn't have someone following her around with sun screen.
So that was a tad annoying and I had a really hard time biting my tongue.
There is a fine line between caring and being concerned and nagging.
I think I walk that line every single day actually.
What mother (wife) doesn't?
I find it difficult not to constantly repeat myself and go on about things that I feel are just in someone I love's best interest.
But it was a bit eye opening.
note to self: try not to nag at Lulu (and big daddy) all the time and cut them some slack and try to be be more relaxed about stuff. (especially sun screen)
Speaking of, unfortunately big daddy couldn't join us.
Or at least unfortunately for us..him not so much.
As nice as it would have been to have him there, he would have gone mental spending the week with my folks.
All due respect.
But it did get me wondering if some day Lulu will feel the same.
Will she want to spend lots of time with us, or will I drive her completely crazy.
I'd like to think that we will be close and want to take vacations together even when she's an adult.
But who knows.
Only time will tell.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I'm not much of a baker.
Love to cook savory, but sweet not so much.
I do love to eat sweet things though.
And there are few scents more heavenly than home baked treats permeating the house.
But recently I came across this recipe and figured, why not?
Simple and who doesn't love a rice krispie square?
O.M.G. such a subtle little change to a classic recipe yet it makes ALL the difference.
Bonus it took about 5 minutes to make.
My kind of baking.
I love reading Smitten Kitchen and have been a follower of her blog for years. (long before the awesome cookbook)
I highly recommend picking up a copy.
I have yet to make one thing that didn't turn out perfectly.
Not necessarily light on calories, but still an excellent cookbook filled with recipes that are not too daunting or complicated.
Her little personal stories about each dish make it even more enjoyable.
oh and as a side note if you do make this recipe I used mauldon sea salt which always bumps things up a notch.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
While reading this morning's news I came across this and was pretty horrified.
How could anyone want to eat horse meat?
I just find it so sad. (and gross)
Nothing against cows or chickens but for some reason that doesn't seem as bad as eating a dog or horse.
Every time I look at my sweet Chelsea I think- "How could they??"
I know, I know, many cultures eat all kinds of things that most North Americans deem unacceptable, but really?
Seabiscuit and Hidalgo?
Not to mention War Horse.
Lulu would be even more horrified than even I am.
She has a "Saddle Club" and her and her little friends are currently horse obsessed.
I'm a pretty adventurous eater, but that just makes me sad. It also kind of makes me want to become a vegetarian.
Anyhow, I'm so glad that last week while at Ikea, I decided to skip the hot dog and swedish "meat"balls and stick with the frozen yoghurt cone..
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Recently I had the opportunity to hear Jennifer Kolari speak at our school.
I had never heard of her before, and to be honest, this was my first time hearing a motivational speaker or "parenting coach" talk.
I am so glad I did.
She was funny and informative and I left feeling so much better than I did before I got there.
Of late, my patience has been on thin ice.
Holy g-d it's been freaking cold out during the month of February! brrr
But I digress...
The past few weeks (okay months) I have not been the most patient parent on the planet.
Same goes for Big Daddy.
Neither one of us are candidates for parent of the month this month, that's for sure.
I'm pretty sure the primary reason being that we haven't had any time away from Lulu in ages.
Our last child-free date night was in December.
And as nice as Miami was, it was Lulu 24/7.
So romantic it was not.
To have an uninterrupted conversation has become almost impossible.
And when we fall into this pattern, Lulu tends to get more needy and clingy.
It's sweet that she loves spending so much time with us and wants to be a part of every single conversation, but it also becomes extremely frustrating.
She has even started hanging out beside me when I'm sending an email or text and reading them asking questions about who, what, where and when??...grrr
Which then equals a lack of patience over the smallest of things and the envitable explosion of temper ensues.
But after hearing what Jennifer had to say, I felt this big sigh of relief and a feeling of "Hey I'm not alone and it's normal to feel frustration as a parent. We all drop the ball from time to time and there are tools I can use to help me cope with life's obstacles and be a better more focused parent."
The timing couldn't have been better.
I needed to hear this advice more than I even thought I did.
It was like a two hour free therapy session.
Did I mention that our school's Home & School association funded this event?
So now even some of the doubts and questions I had last week about private vs. public school have been answered.
She was sold out of her books (that's usually a pretty good sign) but I'm picking up a copy the next time I'm at Chapters.
I can't remember the last time I read a parenting book actually, (maybe the baby whisperer 7 years ago??) but I'm thinking hers would be of great value and help me to become a more loving (if that's even possible) "connected" parent.
Speaking of being patient and learning techniques on how to be more calm and patient parent, Lulu finally lost her first tooth!
I can't lie and say that I haven't been a wee bit anxious about the fact that she is almost 8 and hadn't even lost a single tooth yet.
Especially when most of her classmates have mouths full of new teeth.
Plus her new teeth have started coming up behind her baby teeth.
Um hello orthodontics....I'll most definitely be needing an extra helping of patience when dealing with her braces down the road. *shudder*
But at last, one finally
I remember all the fuss when that tiny tooth first appeared.
The drooling, fever, sleepless nights, tears, angst and overall misery that poor Lulu went through when she was teething.
Boy did I even need patience back then.
Wish I had heard of Jennifer 6 years ago!
Some kids are so lucky, getting and loosing teeth is no big deal.
My Lulu, not so much.
Anyhow it's out now..whew... I may have actually been more relieved than she was.
Clearly I need to get a life. sigh.
The good news is that the tooth fairy came and went and hopefully is keeping it nice and safe.
And with a little patience there will be plenty more where that came from..