Friday, August 29, 2008

happy happy

My niece and Lulu left this message for me.
I try hard not to think of Bobby McFerrin's lame song when I hear this phrase and instead think of the simple message.
Ah, if life was that simple.
I'm happy to report that these days I'm feeling pretty damn happy.
Family visits and obligations- done for a while.
Work has slowed down- in a good way.
Lulu is about to embark on another year of nursery school and is so over-the-top-incredibly sweet these days.
I seriously can't get enough of her.
I woke with her gently kissing my face whispering "wake up mama, I love you and I'm ready for a little snuggle time" while softly stroking my cheek.
I mean does it get sweeter than that?
well...with the odd exception of a long 10 km run through the city/woods in the morning.
I can't believe how fun running is.
who knew?
I feel sooooo much better re: health.
I went for a 10 km run last week and felt like I could just keep going-a la forest gump.
so liberating.
nothing better than a long run with amazing music on a sunny morning through the city.
I even had wheat pasta the other day just to test the waters and all systems go.
first time with wheat in over two months.
threw in a glass or two of wine and I still feel fantastic. yayayyyyy!!
life is gooood.
i also started a new ritual.
Every Friday I started sending Big daddy for a massage at 8 p.m.
the massage therapy studio just happens to be on our block.
man oh man- what an awesome idea.
he gets to relax and I don't have to lift a finger (if ya know what I mean)
So it's the weekend and I hope to keep the happy fires burning.
life is good my friends.
happy long weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2008

luvin the cousins

Lulu's only cousins arrived this weekend from L.A. for a week long visit.
She's thrilled, as am I.
I love watching them all together, it truly melts my heart.
It seems like yesterday that the oldest (now 12) was just a baby, now she's looking after my baby.
who according to her is NOT a baby and a big gurl now.
I wish they lived closer.
we have lots of things planned for the week and I will try to post some pics along the way.
I was cooking up a storm yesterday for our picnic that we have planned for today.
I hope they like Orzo pasta salad with Smoked Cumbrae's chicken breast, fresh green beans, grilled corn and goat fetta cheese.
Cantaloupe, prosciutto, bocconcini, and mint salad.
Cauliflower salad with roasted red peppers, olives, celery and capers (lulu's favourite)
lots of cold cuts and dips and I'm throwing some hot-dogs in just in case.
yum. now I'm hungry.
oh and speaking of hungry...
I have a confession.
I picked up a bunch of organic milk chocolate bars for the smores we are going to make this week and well I thought
hey I'm feeling soooo much better what harm is one little piece going to do?
but one piece turned into the entire bar.
couldn't stop myself.
I can't remember the last time I had milk chocolate.
soooo good.
Not sure it was entirely worth it, after how I feel this morning though.
who am I kidding?
hell yeah, it was so worth it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

mama said there'd be days like these

Some days with a three year old are challenging to say the least.
Then there are the days that make up for it all.
Today was once of those days.
We drove down to visit my mom in the morning and she was the perfect passenger along the way.
When we arrived at grandma's house she was just so affectionate and loving.
My 87 year old grandmother is visiting and it was so wonderful to see her with her great-gran.
Chatting away and charming her in her sweet Lulu way.
Pretty impressive seeing as she's only met her twice in her life.
I sat back and watched in awe at how amazing my little gal is.
I really am one lucky mama.
I wish everyday it could be like today.

Friday, August 08, 2008

wheat-less in Seattle

Well I'm not in Seattle- though I might as well be, seeing as we have had more rain here this summer in Toronto than Vancouver and Seattle combined.
I just made that up- but still, it sure feels like it.
Better than a drought I guess.
I wonder how the farmers feel about all this rain?
Speaking of farmers...
I haven't really be writing about food much these days.
Usually my summers are spent dreaming up delicious menus for friends and family, trying to take full advantage of all the fantastic fresh local fruits and veg.
This year not so much.
We have yet to have a soul over for a back yard BBQ.
Big Daddy has been working like a dog and he is usually completely exhausted by the time Friday rolls around.
And because his job is pretty social- the last thing he feels like doing is more socializing.
But I miss all our friends and would love to see more of them.
One of these weekends I hope.
But the real reason is...well I'm on a bit of an elimination diet.
Fun Fun.
Not a diet to lose weight- but to figure out what the heck is creating so my havoc with my system.
So for the past few months I have been Wheat free, dairy free, alcohol free, caffeine free and chocolate free.
In a nut shell- Fun Free.
I'm hoping it's all temporary and that eventually I'll figure things out.
I have an appointment with a really great allergist in October so hopefully this will help with coming up with some answers.
So that's why i haven't been posting much about food.
The love of my life....sniff sniff..
but before this "elimination diet" I made a little white anchovy flat bread with fresh asiago cheese and olive oil- pictured above.
Simple and delicious.
I dream of it at night....the soft fluffy dough, the sharp tangy cheese....ohhh ahhhh...
errr...As I was saying...
I'm actually finding some fantastic Gluten-free cook books and web sites that I am drawing some inspiration from, which I will post soon.
well once I get over mourning the lack of Lime & Lagers, ice cream and choclolate I'll be partaking in this "summer"...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

simple times

So I was out for a long walk with Lulu today (and can I say how happy I am that she still loves hanging out in the stroller for long power walks) and I was thinking.
thinking about so many things- where to begin?
I've been on a bit of a reading binge these past few weeks, and for some reason all the books that I seem to keep choosing take place around 1915-1945.
Must have been such different times.
Simple yet complicated because of the war.

Wasting food or anything for that matter was unheard of.
I cringe every-time I scrape food into the green bin when I think about how much we have today and how little they had back then.

People had small closets for a reason- they had limited amounts of clothing.
I'm still not sure why I have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 40 tee-shirts...
After all there is only seven days in a week.
let's not even mention shoes.
quite frankly it is a little embarrassing how many pairs of flip flops and ballet flats I own.
Back then it seemed like nothing was taken for granted.

Aside from the war I often think it would be so amazing to go back during that time.
A time where people were polite and had good manners.
Imagine that? a polite society?
I'm often floored at how rude people are becoming these days.
If someone walks directly in front of you while at the video store or the grocery store (especially pusateri's) would it hurt to just say excuse me?
what's up with that?
Honestly the rudest people on the planet shop at pusateri's-present company excluded of course ;
Fortunately I don't go there on too regular a basis- it's just that they just have such amazing produce, and bakery and deli and butcher...
I could think of so many other examples of general rudeness that I encounter each day but I try not to dwell on it too much.
I just keep on trying to emphasize being polite and saying yes please, no thank-you & excuse me to Lulu as much as possible.
So far I think it's sinking in, but it's still a daily effort.

I love that people took the time back then to write letters in beautiful handwriting on lovely stationary.
There is no greater thrill for me than a hand written note in the mail- I think it is one of life's simple actions that for me goes a long way.
I would love to improve my handwriting so that it could look as beautiful as my grandmother's once did.
Note to self ( 'scuse the pun) must send more notes to friends on lovely stationary.
Or at the very least send longer more thoughtful emails..

And although I know I would have a difficult time living without cell phones, cable and computers, I do fantasize about how nice it would be to not have access to all these things even if just for a day.
Just not on Thursday when the season finale to So You Think You Can Dance is on...

While sitting in the kitchen tonight eating dinner with Lulu we had some old jazz playing (okay it was on itunes, but still..)
and I couldn't help to think about what family lived in our house back in 1920.
What was their life like?
I wonder how different is was from ours and how similar?
I guess I just have to walk next door and ask the old lady who was one of the original owners of the house, well that is if she ever came out of the house.
which she rarely does.

many other random thoughts bouncing around in my head at the moment, but I'm about to crack open another book and as most of you know, me time in the evening is fleeting..

what's on your reading list these days?