Wednesday, May 30, 2007

see ya in while crocodile

Why do I find it so hard to let Lulu stay over night at her grandma & grandpa's for a few days?
The days leading up to her "departure" I already start missing her.
I'm such a worry wart sometimes.
Now that she is gone, it does feel a bit strange without her here, but I have to is a nice little break.
Even though I was working and not even home all week it was a quite nice not to have to rush home and worry about bed & bath time etc.
Or it was also nice not having to tip toe to bed or whisper as to not wake her up.
Or to be able to have a nice leisurely meal with big daddy and actually be able to have an uninterrupted unhurried conversation.
I'm sure she is having a blast and when it comes down to it, it's probably good for all of us to have little mini breaks now and then.
That being said, I am really looking forward to picking her up later today and smothering her with kisses.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

7 year itch

It's hard to believe big daddy & I tied the knot seven years ago today.
We've been together for a decade now.
I can barely remember what life was like before Big Daddy came into my life.
It's been an amazing ten years so far.
We have had our ups & downs, but fortunately the ups far out weigh the downs.
He still makes me laugh, and does the best voice impersonations.
He always smells amazing, even after working out. How does he do that?
I call him the wonder smell.
I still love looking at his hands, strong shoulders, killer calves and his perfectly shaped lips.
(though sadly I don't kiss them as often as I should)
Oh and how could I not mention his fab hair.
The guy's got good genes.
He's a really great partner and makes me feel secure and I never doubt his love and loyalty to me.
I admire and respect him more than he probably thinks I do since I am always questioning things.
Probably unnecessary, and an annoying habit I'm sure.
I'm just one of those people I guess.
But I really don't need to question him as he is so smart.
I'm still get impressed with all the random facts he seems to know.
He can be a moody bastard some times, and it has taken me all these years to try to get used to his "low blood sugar issues".
He is also a Taurus so he tends to be ultra stubborn which drives me insane.
The toe knuckle cracking is grounds for divorce as well.
not to mention some other obscene inhuman sounds he tends to make...
But I still love him despite all the crazy noises that come out of his body.
The past couple of years since having Lulu have been pretty challenging on our relationship.
On one hand we are closer and amazed that we created such a beautiful and sweet child together.
On the other we do tend to be a bit more snappy with each other, most likely due to all the lack of sleep.
But fortunately big daddy and I were on pretty solid ground before we had Lulu, and had almost eight years alone together before the two of us became three.
the romance department is still pretty pathetic these days, but I'm confident that it will return again some day.
Because after all these years I'm still 100% sure I am with my soul mate and best friend.
Things may not always be perfect (like this weekend) but I can't imagine spending my days with anyone else.
I love you big daddy.

Happy anniversary.

Friday, May 25, 2007

hide and seek

There are certain times of the year that things seem more hectic and full than others.
The holidays and now.
It's as though the To Do list is never ending in the spring.
Being a total list freak, I've been busily trying my best to cross as much off as I can these past few weeks.
I really like to be on top of things and totally organized all the time.
It's a bit of an obsession.
I've always been this way to a certain extent, but now it seems more than ever.
This is really the first year that we paid any real attention to our yard and gardening.
fortunately we are 99% finished.
I still have one or two more things I'd like to plant.
cross that one off the list.
It was pretty nice sitting in the backyard last night-so nice in fact, that I fell asleep out there under the stars with Lulu snuggled into me under a blanket.
Big daddy said it was sweet to watch.
I'll have to take his word for it, as I had visions of periwinkle and boxwood dancing in my head.
I've been trying to organize and edit down the storage room in the basement, which constantly seems to be overflowing with a bunch of crap.
but with the weather being so fantastic, who wants to be stuck in the basement sorting through Christmas gift-wrap and Easter eggs?
I think I'll move that one to the bottom of the list, or at least until we are in the middle of a heat wave.
Lulu will soon be ready for a new bed and so I'm trying to figure out what to do with her room.
and what to do with the old stuff.
The pressure is on, as I somehow got roped into shooting it for a story.
I guess the one stop shopping at pottery barn kids won't cut it, so I'll be hitting all the antique shops on a mission to find some great pieces for our little princess.
I have a bunch of jobs piling up and it looks like I have projects to think about and work on up until October or November.
Being freelance this is a good thing, but at times I get a little worked up about it all.
The T.V. thing starts on Tuesday and I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it, but at the same time a little nervous.
The concept is that I really don't know what exactly I'm working on until we start shooting.
The producers feel it will make things feel more authentic and spontanteous.
I agree, but sheesh..nothing like having a camera in your face and not having done any research and drawing a stupid blank stare.
uhh..I think this might look nice...duh..
I really hope this doesn't happen.
or that I look like a cow on camera.
I also want to sign Lulu up for some classes this summer to help prep her for nursery school in September.
we just finished her last library reading class this week and it was a huge success.
She really loved it.
I'm just sad it's over.
I'm amazed at how quickly programs fill up. It's all new to me, guess I should have moved that one to the top of my list back in January..

The summer is so short, and I want to make sure we get out and really embrace it.
There's so many things I'd love to do this year.
like for example

go to the zoo
go to Toronto island
go to Ontario place
cycle on the weekends
have a backyard bbq party
have a cocktail party
explore all the great trails in the city (and outside of the city)
fly a kite
play badminton
read a bunch of books
enjoy some street festivals
go to a base ball game
take a road trip
go antique hunting
make home-made jams and pickles
take lulu on lots of picnics
cycle through the wineries in Niagara on the lake
watch some fireworks with lulu and big daddy
enjoy a few girls nights out
take lulu to the beach and build sandcastles and really try not to stress about all the sand
(I'm not a big fan what can I say? it is dirt after-all..)
blow up the pool and let lulu have a ball in the back yard
take her to all the fantastic wading pools throughout the city
visit family out east
visit family out west
go up north for a weekend or two
have a few nice dinner dates with big daddy
sit under the stars
take guitar lessons
roast marsh-mellows on a camp fire
and last but not least...lulu's favourite as pictured above- play lots of hide and seek with my favourite little buddy.
what do you want to do this summer?

on a completely unrelated note, the most annoying thing happened to me the other night.
I recorded the finale to American Idol-why I still watch it is beyond me..
anyhow I watched the entire thing (only fast forwarding through, Tony Bennett, Sanjaya, and a couple of songs that the kids had already sung and when it gets to the final moments, and Ryan Seacreast sais "and the winner of American Idol is....."
the recording stopped.
how annoying.
serves me right for watching so much bloody television.
so add that to my summer list
minimal television viewing
just the final episodes of the sopranos
nip tuck
so you think you can dance
and top chef
and I think that's it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

eei eei o

A bunch of beautiful fuego radish.
Some stunning extra large shiitake mushrooms.
Sugar & gluten free sweet potato muffins
A gorgeous bouquet of lilacs for $7. a bunch
Just a few things I picked up at the cabbage town farmer's market today.
everything grown locally and organically.
Lulu had lots of fun checking out what all the vendors had to offer.
I wish I had thought to bring more cash with me as there were other goodies I would have loved to pick up.
after we perused everything and chased a few dozen pigeons through the park, Lulu and I went to visit the animals at the farm.
how great is it that there is a fully functioning animal farm in the middle of the city?
I also love that this is the time of year when there are so many great farmers markets around the city.
I used the shiitake in a dish called sang choy bow for dinner tonight and they were delicious.
I used minced chicken instead of pork and added extra shiitake and bamboo shoots.
super healthy and super delicious.
not sure what I'm going to do with the radish for tomorrow.
I'm thinking of something simple like crudites with a homemade cornichon dip.
I also picked up some red, yellow and orange peppers at my local which might work nicely.

Monday, May 21, 2007

happy birthday vicky

hope your long weekend was as good as mine was.
good food
good wine
good friends & family
a couple of good workouts
good weather
what more can a girl ask for?
I wish every weekend was a long weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

afternoon delight

It's a very rare thing over the past few years to actually get the opportunity go out for lunch during the week.
I've never really considered myself a "lady who lunches" but I have often envied them while scarfing back a quick turkey wrap while trying to coax Lulu to finish her veggies or while eating something on the fly.
Generally dining out for me is reserved for evenings and the odd (if we can get our shit together in time) weekend brunch.
But the opportunity arose, and I found myself standing right in front of czehoski's at around 1p.m on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
I've been before, but only for dinner and a couple of times for cocktails.
So I figured I would give it a try for lunch.
First things first, it wouldn't be a proper lunch date without a glass of Malivoire 06 Ladybug Rosé VQA to start. (make that two..this is the first lunch date I've had in years so why not?)
I love this all natural pesticide-free winery and there's just something about a chilled glass of rose on a warm spring day.
It went very nicely with the little Alsatian caramelized onion tart with Gruyere cheese and a side of beautiful organic mixed greens.
It was so relaxing and reminded me of my honeymoon in France almost seven years ago (in a week).
I can't believe we spent five weeks solid eating and drinking like that everyday.
ah, memories...
The French really know how to enjoy life, and I forgot how nice it is to enjoy a glass of wine at lunch time.
Totally takes the edge off and makes dealing with a tenacious two year old so much easier.
Not sure I could do that everyday, but once in a while it's a real treat.
Lulu was actually on her best behaviour and quietly sat colouring and playing with her sticker book.
we strolled around the neighbourhood Lulu snoozing in her stroller and mommy with a mild buzz.
I remembered how much I love my city.
There are so many great restaurants, great places to shop and nice big green parks.
It's such a different city when the weather warms up.
Toronto the good.
January & February...not so much..
Anyhow it was a really nice afternoon.
I really should have wine with lunch more often.
Such a nice start to the long weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

waiting in line

Oh so many deep thoughts to post about today on a rainy Wednesday afternoon..
Paris and her pending incarceration.
or maybe
David Hasselhoff's public drunken humiliation.
or the always on my mind,
Brangelina, trouble in paradise?
or who's going home tonight?
Blake, Melinda or Jordin?
I'm thinking Jordin.
Just a hunch.
I do try not to pay too much attention to the tabloids, but how can you not when you are stuck in line at the grocery store?
Then again, I usually check out all the cooking magazines as well.
I was recently inspired by spring version of good ol' spaghetti & meatballs but with a little twist.
this is my version
Spaghetti with Spring Meatballs

Kamut Spaghetti (or regular)

place 1 slice of bread in 1/4 cup of milk to soak.
add 1 lb of ground veal (or ground turkey)
2 tablespoons of chopped mint, basil and lemon rind.
1/2 cup of ground parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mix well.
make into small meatballs and fry in nonstick frypan in batches until slightly browned. place meatball into oven @ 355f for around 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.
in frying pan add 2 tlbs of butter, 2 cloves of sliced garlic and 1 bulb of very thinly sliced fennel.
then add pasta, and around two cups of baby arugula and the meatballs.
top with a little extra cheese add crack a nice bottle of semillon sauvignon.
I did.

Monday, May 14, 2007

calgon take me away

Some days with Lulu are more challenging than others.
Today, I had an appointment in the morning and she was great.
Quiet, cute and well behaved.
That's my sweet girl.
Then we went to the studio and she was in high maintenance mode.
I knew she was hungry but she refused to eat a proper lunch (if you call a hand full of rice noodles a proper lunch)
She smashed a glass, had a temper tantrum and wouldn't let me change her diaper.
Oh and got a hold of some sharpies that she refused to surrender, no matter how much I tried to bribe her.
Yes I've actually had to start using bribery tactics already.
Kids and sharpies are a lethal combination (especially in an all white photo studio)
All of this of course took place in front of some work peers, which made me even more tense.
I'm trying my best to be professional and composed while holding a squirming screaming over tired two year old under one arm.
I can't even remember how many times I apologized and or made excuses for her behavior.
"This is new to us" and "she's probably just really tired and hungry-gotta love that low blood sugar thing" or "her teeth are probably bothering her"
and finally "maybe she was possessed by the devil?"
I made a quick exit and begrudgingly drove home.
putting the kibosh on any plans I had to get some things done today.
She wailed most of the way home, announcing that she wants her "daaaaaady" and that
"I not tired!"
eventually passing out five minutes from home.
I tried the ol' car to house transfer, that 99% of the time works, but not today.
almost two hours later, plenty of tears and many long very deep breaths by me, she has finally fallen asleep.
Not every day can be happy happy I realize this.
I also think part of it, is that I am at the end of my rope and need a little alone time.
Being a mother is amazing, but 24/7 gets to you after a while.
everyone needs a break.
even just a hour at the gym would help take the edge off.
She's only two and for the most part is a complete sweet pea, but today she was really pushing my buttons.
Today is also a day where I found myself realllly envying full time working mothers with good child care.
most of the time I'm super grateful for the opportunity to work part time/ free lance and look after Lulu full time.
today...not so much.
is 3 p.m. to early for a vodka martini?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

happy mother's day

Really, shouldn't everyday be mother's day?
Lulu & I spent the first half of the weekend with my mom.
we had such a nice visit.
Perfect weather for a picnic in a park overlooking an apple orchard.
My mom has more way more energy and patience than I do, and is often mistaken for Lulu's mother and not grandmother.
She totally loves that and isn't too quick to correct them.
I'm really lucky that she is still so young and healthy.
The big advantage of having me when she was only twenty.
Twenty, I can't imagine.
I was so self absorbed and so far from being ready to be a mother when I was twenty.
Anyhow, she's been in remission from breast cancer for almost fifteen years now, and it's easy to take that for granted.
It was pretty scary when she was sick and it's easy to want to try to forget that period of time.
I'm just so grateful that she made a full recovery.
Not just for my own sake but for Lulu's as well.
she is one helluva grandmother too.
So it's good that there's a specific date on the calender to remind us to celebrate and cherish the women that gave us life.
so happy mother's day mom, I love you more than I probably show it and definitely more than I ever say it...

I have to admit, it's also nice to be celebrated.
Lulu has been saying happy mother's day for over a week now and I swear it's the cutest thing ever.
There really is no need for pesticides, just hang out with a two year old and she will pick every dandelion in sight.
I have quite the collection of yellow "flowers" hand picked by my little gardener.

So happy mother's day to everyone.
I hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did.

Friday, May 11, 2007

happy birthday big daddy

happy B-day big Daddy
(though it was yesterday)
So I hope you enjoyed all your "B's" as per your request.
Back scratch

I guess I forgot one crucial one huh?
hmmm wonder what that could be?
anyhow enjoy your "b"abyfree night tonight.
and your "b"abyfree morning tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

clean green

I've recently replaced all the cleaning products in our house, and made the switch to "natural" & "non toxic" products.
I actually did this years ago, in fact I worked on the Seventh Generation packaging.
I in fact propped that green leaf.
Now there's a job that I actually felt good about at the end of the day.
anyhow I ended up falling off the natural wagon and found myself buying the standard brands at the grocery store.
To be honest, I actually never really found many of the natural product alternatives to be that affective.
The price didn't help either.
why pay double for something that didn't seem to work as well as the stuff I grew up with?
But these days there's so much more selection and things have really improved.
I've actually found most of the products to be really great.
My favourite brand these days is method.
They have some great scents which always makes me feel like things are cleaner.
With all purpose cleaners like french lavender, pink grapefruit & cucumber, how can you not feel like you are at the spa and not scrubbing the pee off of the toilet bowl?
okay, a slight exaggeration, but hell it does make the task just a little less daunting.
It's all about things smelling fresh & clean.
I also make my own all purpose spray cleaner for things like Lulu's highchair and bib.
tea tree oil + lemon juice+ water.
smells amazing and works really well.
It's nice knowing I'm not exposing her to any harmful chemicals as well.
I have yet to find a decent wood floor cleaner, so I'm still doin' my swiffer wet jet thing.
I also have a secret bottle of fantastic with bleach that I only use if I have a relapse and start jonesing for a little harsh chemical nostril burn.
It's addictive, I swear.
I never really thought about how prolonged exposure to cleaning products has/could affect us until we had Lulu.
Now I'm always thinking about how I can make her environment more "green".
I guess it makes sense.
Our outdoor environment is already polluted enough, why pollute the indoors?
so that's it for now.
I'll get off my soap box.
well, my all natural, chemical free soap box that is.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

baby burrito

The weather this weekend was (is) so fantastic.
First thing everyday we are out the door, anxious to enjoy the near perfect temperatures.
Beautiful and sunny with no humidity, and cool enough for a light sweater or jacket.
My kinda weather.
Big daddy and I went out for dinner to one of our standbys Gio's on Friday night.
find out what we had and how it was over here.
Saturday I did an early morning yoga class, which felt good except I started getting antsy while in corpse position near the end of the class wanting to get outside and enjoy the amazing weather.
We took Lulu to a neighbourhood outdoor fair that had all kinds of fun stuff for kids.
Pony rides, giant inflatable jumping things??, clowns, balloons, games, music, face painting, the works.
Lulu was of course too small for most of the attractions, but was pretty stoked when she got a yellow butterfly balloon from the creepy clown.
actually he wasn't that creepy, but personally I find most clowns to be pretty creepy, but she didn't seem to mind him.
Then we went to her boyfriend's first birthday bash.
Happy birthday Sammy!!
Sam's mama and pops put out quite the spread with a little Mexican twist, seeing as it also happened to be Cinco De Mayo as well as our favourite little man's birthday.
The place looked great and the kids all had mini sombreros and mini maracas.
Not an easy task to get everyone with their hats on in the same photo, so unfortunately I didn't quite get the perfect shot.
oh well.
but trust me it was adorable.
there were lots of yummy Mexican snacks that went rather nicely with the most delicious margaritas I've ever had.

I can hardly believe Sam is already ONE!
or that Lulu was where he was at this time last year.
what a difference a year can make..
Time certainly does fly, all the more reason to enjoy each day as it comes.
and days are even that much more enjoyable and fun when you get to spend it with good friends.
well that and when you get to enjoy copious amounts of some seriously kick ass margaritas..
So happy Cinco de mayo
and more importantly happy First Birthday Sam!
Feliz de cumpleanos!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

building the nest

Oh happy days.
The sun is shining, the trees and flowers are blooming, Lulu has been sleeping like an angel these past few weeks, and finally the last of the never ending home Reno's are almost finished.
We finished the interior a while ago, with the exception of some small little finishing details, but we decided to tackle the exterior this year.
New roof, driveway, porch and stairs, repaint all the trim, new custom shed, new flagstone, new fence and deck, new outdoor furniture and last but not least all new landscaping.
I had no idea it cost so much to do the exterior of a house.
But it's so worth it.
Nothing like good curb appeal.
Though we have finally decided to lay off of the MLS listings and stop torturing ourselves by going to open houses, and have decided that this is where we will be for a while.
And why not fine tune it and make it a place we are happy with both inside and out?
Besides it looks like we will be spending most of our summer here this year.
My parents sold both their cottage and their home (with a fabulous pool) last year and are in the process of "figuring out" what and where they want to spend their golden years.
It's been a constant source of bewilderment to both big daddy and I.
They finally have a grandchild and they sold the cottage and the big house with the pool.
All they ever talked about was how amazing it would be with grandchildren up on the lake or learning how to swim at their place in the summer.
They even went as far as building a little beach on the lake for the grandchildren.
who didn't exist at the time.
I love my folks but I'm not entirely sure I fully understand why they do the things they do.
I wonder if some day Lulu will think we are crazy?
Then again I hope that by the time I'm closing in on sixty I'll be settled and not living like a gypsy somewhere, not sure what city or town I want to live in.
I think my parents have moved somewhere around 20 times so far in their lives.
and no my dad was not in the army (as I was constantly asked as a child)
they just get restless and like to flip real estate.
me on the other hand, I want to live in the same country/city/neighbourhood maybe even street for good.
This doesn't include secondary properties somewhere in the south of France..
Que Edith Piaf music and the smell of fresh lavender......
oh yes where was I? right moving.
I hate moving, and I don't think of it as an adventure
(that's what exotic vacations are for) I think of it as a major pain in the ass.
So yeah, I'm settling in for the long haul here in our eighty year old house.
I like it here.
Is it my dream house?
no, not necessarily.
But for now it's home, and I'm really looking forward to watching all the new trees that we are planting grow.
Besides, I really can't imagine having to spend another three years with our handy man..
( if you're reading, I know you know who I'm talking about and I'm sure can relate wholeheartedly)
He does a great job, but I'll be very happy when it's all said and done.
So the nest is almost finished.
slowly but surely, one twig or more accurately, one two by four at a time..

to mamas

I've been invited to join the party over at as the
"restaurant reviewer" aka. the Restauranter
I've actually been eating out a fair bit lately so I have a few reviews up my sleeve.
My debut foodblog was about one of my favourites, so come on over and visit. my opinion the best pizza in town.
and who doesn't love pizza?