Tuesday, December 28, 2010

happy holidays



Last week Lulu was quietly (okay not exactly quietly...more like chattering to herself while colouring a picture) she looked up me and announced "You know mama, Christmas is really just in your heart."
"it's kind of a special feeling more than anything."
Um okay..

and "it's also the little Ord Jesus's birthday"
uhum..

When I asked her what she wanted from Santa her answer after careful consideration was
"just a surprise...because I know Santa will just pick the right thing for me."
"he'll just know"
Really? wow..
"but do you think he might bring me the polly pocket splash set?"
I bet he will.

She was also very concerned that not just Santa would be hungry when he stopped by our house on Christmas eve and that we needed to leave a snack for his reindeer too.
Always the animal lover...

So all in all a very nice Christmas for us here at Casa PetiteGourmand.
Especially from the perspective of our sweet five year old.
She really never ceases to amaze and delight us with her observations and acute awareness about matters of the heart.
We are all enjoying spending time together without schedules and a ton of things to do.
Enjoying lazy mornings, late breakfasts, snuggling in bed, reading books (lulu included) going out for lunches, watching movies & catching up with friends.
I guess that's the best part about the holidays for me.
I guess it really is in your heart and not necessarily wrapped up under a tree.

I'm really not sure who (if anyone) really reads this blog anymore, but if you are out there, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are having as nice a holiday season as we are.
xo pg.

Friday, December 17, 2010

memories of christmas past


This time of year often brings up memories from when I was a kid.
Some of them better than others.
I can't say that Christmas was one of my favourite holidays.
(I'm more of a Halloween girl myself)
It's not that I don't enjoy many of the traditions that surround Christmas, it's just that it was never really the happiest time of year at our house growing up.
Not that my parents didn't try their best- but there was always something missing.
that something being-Family.

All of our relatives live out east, so each Christmas was spent with just my parents and brother which always left my mom feeling especially melancholy.
Okay more than melancholy- she was often in tears come Christmas day after talking to all of her seven brothers and sisters on the phone.
Melancholy is a bit of an understatement.
It was kind of a lonely time for us and for some reason we never went out there during the holidays to join in on all that east coast holiday cheer.
(Otherwise known as a boozefest)

So Christmas around our house was usually pretty low key and relatively quiet.
Mind you, my brother and I were usually pretty thrilled with all of our Christmas loot and had plenty to distract us from the lack of comfort and joy around the house.
Bring on the new colecovision!
Nothing like playing a good solid eight hours of Donkey Kong and smurfs on Christmas day.
Family-shmamily
Gotta love the over abundant commercialism and mass consumption during the seventies and eighties.

Fast forward 30 years and oddly enough not much has changed.
(especially with regards to consumerism..)
Christmas is still really low key, we don't have to make our rounds and do dinner here or have dinner there.
It's just my mom & dad, big daddy, Lulu & I.
We usually just have a quiet dinner here and then that's about it.
Christmas is over for another year.

Only now it's not just my mom who gets kind of melancholy at this time of year, I find myself feeling a little the same.
But do I really want to go to Newfoundland for Christmas?
No, not particularly.
No offence to the rock.
But I would love it if Lulu was surrounded my her extended family.
All the cousins and crazy aunts & uncles and even her great grandmother.
I think that would be so fun for her.
When I hear about other people with so much family living nearby it does make me feel kind of lonely and a bit envious.
I know big daddy feels the same.
Wow what a bummer post.
Okay on the up side- we have each other.
Right?

So aside from me feeling a little sorry for myself that my last name isn't Brady, Osmond or most especially Oliver (anyone see Jamie's family Christmas on the food network?)
I have tried to muster up some of the more positive memories from my childhood.
and here they are.

Every Christmas eve we would order Chinese food.
Gosh, even that sounds depressing...
anyhow it was a real treat as we lived in a small town that only had one Chinese restaurant.
At the time I thought it was amazing.
I'm sure these days I would turn my nose up at how unauthentic it really is.
But back then I couldn't wait to sink my orthodontic enveloped teeth into Mr. Panda's cinnamon egg rolls.
They were THE best.
I can still remember the taste all these years later.
Cinnamon in an egg roll. who knew??

Denninger's pate by the fire at my bff's house.
Okay that and the mulled wine we used to sneak when her parents weren't looking.
I loved spending Christmas eve at her house.
Her parents were British and it was always a very English affair.
Right down to the tick tock of the huge old Grandfather clock across from the roaring fire.
Perhaps I have a twisted memory but I could swear everyone was decked out in tweed and plaid each year...

Sneaking frozen shortbread and brownies out of the trunk freezer in the basement with my brother.
We would eat them while they were still frozen solid in the dark.
My brother & I were co-cookie snatching conspirators.
I don't think I was ever as close to my brother then at that moment in time.

Mom's jelly roll trifle.
Actually it was kind of gross (still is) but I loved the jelly roll part.
This year I'm doing the trifle and it will most definitely not involve canned cocktail fruit and canned custard.
Instead I found a great recipe here.

Clove infused ham.
Is there a better smell on earth?
I'll never forget the year my brother (who enjoyed watching Kids In The Hall with me) said to my mom at the dining room table,
"This is F'ing good ham mom!!"
Anyhow my brother still says it every year which I guess you could say is a bit of a tradition.

Okay, so I'm seeing a bit of a theme here.
That being Food.
The best part about the holidays for me is hands down, the food.
It may not make up for the lack of having a big family to celebrate with, but it sure does make it a little easier to enjoy.

What about you, any amazing food associated Christmas memories or traditions you care to share?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

holiday hustle



I feel like I've been on a treadmill that is running on full speed these past several weeks.
I know I know, don't we all?
They don't call it Holiday Stress for nothing.
For some reason today I just felt overwhelmed with things "to do" before the 25th arrives.
But let me back up a bit.

My 40th birthday weekend was a blast.
We went to some friends for dinner and they had a special cake for me which I thought was super sweet.
Literally- the sweetest most amazing cake ever.
Big Daddy surprised me with some over-the-top new bling for my ears.
Not that I'm a blingy kinda gal, but I must say, he did great.
I hosted a little kickboxing party for all my favourite ladies at the gym and we kicked some 40 year old butt.
(or at least I did)
They all got me an extremely generous gift card from Lululemon, pedi & manicure gift certificates, some lovely wine and the most delicious cupcakes.
Not to mentioned they all came to a class on a Sunday!
Needless to say I was extremely touched.
I was on a bit of a high for the entire week actually.
Minus the nasty cold I was sporting at the time- but whatever, life is good.
So the past few weeks have been fun- to say the least.

They have also been very busy.
School plays and extra activities, some parties, getting ready for Christmas in general.
Big daddy was out of town for the past five days which was even more hectic flying solo for it all.
For some reason today I just kind of hit the wall.
I was so tired tonight I barely had enough energy to eat dinner.
When I finally sat down at the end of the night and put my feet up I barely moved for three hours.
I didn't even want to get up to go to bed- which is where I am now but my brain is still on that treadmill even though my body has fallen off.
So I'm yammering on about being tired and feeling slightly overwhelmed, but what I am feeling the most these days is GUILT.
I feel like the person paying the biggest price for all this rushing around is Lulu.
We are constantly on the go.
In and out all day long and seemingly always running a few minutes late (which is my pet peeve)
We rush through breakfast, lunch and lately even dinner- which is sad to me.
Meals should be enjoyed not scarfed down.
At least that's how they do things in France and I love that.
I'm constantly telling her to "hurry up, let's go, quickly get dressed, quickly get in the car, let's go, let's go, we are going to be late!"
Poor little thing.
I want Lulu to enjoy all the magic of the Christmas season and not feel as exhausted as I do.
Poor thing told me today she was so excited to have a break from all her activities and couldn't wait for some "extra snuggle time" with mama.
Broke my heart.
So that's how I'm feeling (well that and I have some wicked PMS this month) oh joy oh bliss.
I don't mean to sound all bah humbug- but that's what going on in my head today.
But I'm sure it's just a one day thing- it usually is.
This time of year can be crazy, yet exciting at the same time.
Tomorrow is a new day and if I can I'm going to make a concerted effort to just be in the moment and not worry so much about all the things I still have to do.
Because let's face it, what's more important than Christmas for a five year old?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

mid-life crisis



I hate to use the word "Mid- Life", but technically speaking I guess that is approximately where I am headed this coming Friday.
Assuming I live until I'm 80.

Yup, I officially turn the big 4.0. on December the 3rd.
Not entirely sure how I feel about this.
On one hand I feel better than I ever have before.
I'm feeling fit, healthy & happy for the most part.
I'm also feeling extremely fortunate to be healthy- especially after receiving some sad news about a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer- she's only 33 years old..
Appreciate every day that's for sure.
Especially where your health is concerned.

I finally feel relatively confident and secure in my almost 40 year old skin.
Regardless of the stretch marks.
I'm trying to think of them as badges of honor rather than imperfections.
Lulu just had to be two weeks over-due....not a line in sight until 3 days before she was born!....argh.
Ah well, she was most definitely worth them.
But for the record, they're not even that horrible, and like I mentioned, there are much more important things to focus on in life than a few unsightly marks on my midsection.
Then again don't expect me to be sporting a bikini anytime soon. ;

Either way, I'm not as hung up as I used to be about physical changes on my body.
If I was, then I have a long unhappy road ahead of me.
Because let's face it girls, you can't fight the aging process no matter how much eye cream you invest in.

Instead, I'm investing in things that really matter.
Like relationships, my family, exercise and my inner health.
At least these are things I have some control over.

So what does turning forty really mean to me?
Well I guess I can finally say I know who I am.
I like where I am headed.
I love surrounding myself with positive & upbeat people.
But most of all I'm just grateful to be here.
ish... at least most days...

I'm not sure what the next decade has in store for me.
I only hope it's as good as the last one has been.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

trimming the tree


I almost forgot to post about the latest issue of Canadian Family Magazine.
We shot it several months ago- Christmas in August....
Anyhow I think it's a really sweet story.
I have to say how much I love Lulu's hairdo in the first shot.
I only wish I could get it like that.
Aside from me gushing over my uber cute daughter (if I do say so myself)
There's some really clever decorating ideas that my good friend Arren Williams came up with.
I especially loved the red spray painted christmas tree.
Now that is dedication!
I think we are going to do the recycled painted can lids on our tree this year and maybe even the pasta garland.
Lots of other great ideas in this issue, so if you don't already have a copy be sure and pick one up.



A behind the scenes shot of Lulu.
why is it she never sits this still for me when I'm doing her hair?

The shopping gods have been listening

I knew this day would eventually come.
"Popular U.S. clothing retailer J. Crew coming to Canada"
yipee!!!
thank-you.
thank-you.
thank-you.
next up- Target??

Friday, November 12, 2010

allergic to snack time



The other day I was chatting with a friend in the school yard who's daughter is in a different kindergarten class than Lulu.
She was telling me how frustrated she is when it comes to packing her daughter's snacks for school.
Not to mention how discouraged she was when trying to plan a class party with baked goods and food for the class.
She had just been reprimanded when she packed a banana in her daughter's lunch that day.
A Banana!
Apparently there's a kid in the class that's allergic to bananas- therefor no one is allowed to bring bananas for a snack any longer.
There is also a child in the class that is allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat.
Which basically eliminates a ton of available options for snack time.
Not to sound insensitive, but man, am I glad that kid isn't in Lulu's class.
Of course there's a few kids with peanut allergies in the class as well.
Not much of a shocker there.
We have several good friends who have kids with peanut allergies (though none in Lulu's class this year)
so we are totally used to avoiding anything with peanuts (or any nuts for that matter) when packing her snacks or lunches.
I think most parents are aware of peanut allergies these days.
I'm pretty sure it's a basic policy of most schools to avoid bringing them to school or other kids programs.
I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the parents, not to mention the poor kids.
I mean to never enjoy a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on fresh bread washed down with an ice cold glass of milk is truly unfortunate.
So my heart really does go out to kids with food allergies.
But....
That being said, at what point do we make the kids responsible for making sure they just don't touch or go near other kids snacks?
Our friends who have kids with allergies know that eating something with nuts can literally kill them so they just don't go near other kids food.
simple as that.
I know in Lulu's class they are very strict about not sharing snacks and washing hands before and after eating.
But they are still pretty young, so things can slip by the teacher's attention I'm sure.
So I totally get it when it comes to avoiding bringing "potentially dangerous" foods into the class.
But where do we stop when it comes to banning certain foods?
I mean eggs, dairy & wheat are pretty hard to avoid if you technically don't have an allergy to them.
And bananas??
really?

Try planning a class party with that child in your class.
Cookies. nope.
Cupcakes. nope.
Sandwiches. nope.
Pizza. nope.
fruit plate. yes. oh wait...nope- well not if it has bananas on it.

Like I said, I feel terrible that all these food allergies exist- and more importantly, why are kids from this generation becoming so allergic to so many foods?
A very scary situation.
But honestly what food options are left for this mom friend of mine to pack in her daughter's snack each day?
That's a bit scary too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

c'est formidable!


We are back from our trip to France.
We had an amazing time, and it's hard to believe it was only a few days ago that we were wandering around the beautiful streets of Paris.
Fortunately none of the strikes, rioting & general political unrest affected us.
Though we did have several concerned emails and texts from friends and family wondering if we would make it back okay.
I think the media made it sound much worse than it really was.
But enough about that.

We went to three different areas of France that we love the most.
Starting with Champagne.
What's not to love about the birth place of the world's most effervescent and celebratory beverage?
We stayed in an adorable hotel in a small town called Troyes.
We'd been to the town on our honeymoon 10 years previous and said that if we ever came back we HAD to stay there.
It was even nicer than I had remembered.
It was so charming and the perfect way to begin our week in France.

We then kept driving south to Bourgogne.
we stayed for the weekend at a small cottage at the top of a hill in a vineyard.
What can I say?
quaint, spectacular views, private...perfect.
We really got to know the town of Beaune quite well.
We LOVED the Saturday farmers market and had a few really delicious meals there.
I was a bit disappointed as I had planned on taking a cooking class while there, but the unfortunately the timing didn't work out.
Ah well, maybe next time.

Then we headed back up north west to the Loire.
An opulent area.
So many chateau's and country estates it's mind blowing.
The french really know how to live in style.
"Let them eat cake" is an understatement.
We stayed in a family owned Chateau in the middle of the country.
It's been in the family for over seven generations.
As in pre-revolution.
very cool experience.
The owner is a woman was from France (my age) and her husband was from California.
So needless to say we had some great conversations at breakfast time.
I love the B&B experience- very unique and so informative.
we did a few tours of some old Chateaus- which was so perfect as I've been reading The Josephine B Trilogy by Sandra Gulland.
Talk about being able to get a visual for the backdrop of the story!
Bonus that we were practically the only ones visiting Maintenon that particular day.
I guess there is a big advantage to travelling off season.

We finished off our trip by heading back up to Paris for three days.
Ah...Paris....
Such a beautiful and inspiring city.
we stayed in the sixth arrondissement which was fantastic.
Our hotel was tres chic and the perfect spot to end our trip.
We walked, shopped, sat in cafes, people watched, wandered though gardens, musuems, walked some more, shopped, ate, drank some great wine, ate some more...
tres tres extraordinaire.
J'aime France!

There's more to say about the trip, my thoughts and observations but for now that's just the quick recap.
since we've been back things have been pretty hectic.
Lulu has been stuck to me like glue- which I don't mind in the least as I missed her a lot.
We had a birthday party to go to the first night we got home- happy b-day Rachel! great party btw.
Had a photo shoot at the zoo this morning with Lulu as a model in a Halloween costume- so SO cute.
stayed tuned for more details on that.
Life is busy and life is full...but most of all...

La vie est belle!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Au revoir


We are off to Paris today.
We, as in big daddy & I.
We were there on our honeymoon ten years ago and said that if we survived a decade together we would return to some of our favourite areas.
So here we are- married for 10 years and 5 months (not that I'm counting...) and about to jump on a plane en route to Charles de Gaulle.
My parents are manning the fort while we are away and looking after Lulu for us.
As excited as I am about a week with my man alone in Europe, I can't lie and say that I'm not just a weesie bit apprehensive about leaving my little peanut for nine days.
I know I know, Lulu will be totally fine with her grandma & grandpa- but it's just so far away....
gulp.
But it's good for all concerned to take breaks- especially for marriages.
And just think of how much she will appreciate us when we get back.
Not to mention how much we will appreciate her when we get back.

So Au revoir mes amis!
xo pg

Monday, October 11, 2010

thanksgiving



It was the most beautiful Thanksgiving weekend weather wise.
Is there anything more gorgeous than autumn leaves?
My absolute favourite time of year hands down.
Family, good food and incredible weather- couldn't ask for a nicer long weekend.
Hope yours was as nice as mine.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For The Love of Fashion



I grew up around "fashion."
Or at least in a retail sense of the word.
My dad worked in men's wear his entire life and has had his own clothing store for years.
One of my first jobs was to work in the family business and then eventually I moved on to wholesale and had the opportunity to represent designers and sell their labels.
Then gradually I started doing P.R. for fashion stylists while working at an agency and finally decided to become a stylist myself.
I started doing wardrobe for shoots, then eventually moved into Props and Set Design.

So there you have it, my abbreviated resume in a nut shell.
You would think I absolutely LOVE fashion and follow all the latest trends.

Not exactly.

Oh sure I see what looks good on other people and love to dress them (especially kids) but me?
Not so much.
I find clothing shopping to be a huge pain and a waste of time.
I find it so far from pleasurable that I would rather wax my...errr..floors...rather than go shopping.

"When it comes to fashion, many women get lost along the way somewhere in their thirties, caught up in the pressures of family or work. Reaching your forties often causes a dilemma in terms of dressing – in trying not to appear too old, or as if you are trying too hard to look young."

Ah yeah..

Plus I'm just not digging the styles these days.
It's all so Eighties, and it just takes me back to a place I've been before.
Been there (ahem...stirrup pants) done that.
Which in turn makes me feel. Old.

I mean, I love to shop at Anthopologie for example, but all those girls that work there look adorable in that boho- hippie chic look and can totally get away with mini skirts, those shoe-boot things, feathered headbands and a military jacket all mixed into one outfit.
Me, I would look just ridiculous going to pick Lulu up at school dressed like that.
As tempting as it might be...
Though I have to admit, the other day the store manager asked if I would consider a part time job there, as they are looking for sales staff.
Flattering, yes- but still, I just have a hard time with all this mixing and matching styles.
What ever happened to that nice year 2000 all black Prada look?
So simple, so effortless.
Speaking of all black.
Same goes for my other stand by- Club Monaco.
Just not working for me this season.
The styles are so frilly and shear.
I mean it's soon going to be freezing outside, I don't think a chiffon blouse is going to do the trick.
Not exactly practical.
The Gap & Banana have gotten pretty boring if I'm being honest.
Not everything, but nothing is really jumping of the racks this season.
And Holt's well- knowing the mark-up on clothing I have a hard time justifying spending so much on clothes.
Winners- don't even get me started.
Lets just put it this way, I always leave there not only empty handed- but annoyed.
All the independent shops in my neighbourhood are totally not me, plus all the women that work in them are super bitchy.
Or at least that's been my experience.
H&M and Zara- again, never have a ton of success, at least for me.
Lulu on the other hand always walks away with a killer wardrobe.

Which leaves few other options. at least ones that I have time to go to.
Time is of the essence these days and clothing shopping isn't really at the top of my priority list.
But a girl has to look and feel her best, and for me clothing usually fits that bill.
All is not lost though.
Thank g-d for J.Crew.
Not super trendy, practical but still cute.
Annoying that there isn't a store in Canada yet, but on-line shopping is actually a pretty decent way to go.
I can shop at midnight in my P.J's with a glass of wine in one hand and my credit card in the other.
No line ups, no crowds, no small poorly lit dressing rooms or crusty sales girls.
None of the styles are over the top high fashion, but I think they suit my lifestyle at the moment and I don't end up feeling like a 39 (almost 40) something trying to look 20.
Or worse a 39 (almost 40) something looking like 60.
Not there is anything wrong with 60- I'm just saying...
Not quite ready for Talbot's quite yet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

zero numbers



Well it's been quite a while since I posted about restaurants.
I'm sad that I'm no longer doing important "research" for the now defunct blog that I used to write for.
Though the old reviews are still up and running.
Anyhow the greatest part about writing that column was that it kind of encouraged us to try new restaurants all the time.
Oh sure, I love my stand-by's, but it's always fun to go to different neighbourhoods to try new things.

A couple of years back we went to Seven Numbers on the Danforth (though I think I forgot to post about it) and from what I can recall, we had a pretty decent meal.
It's super casual, with an eclectic mix of kitchy art, wax laden old wine bottles and mismatched chairs.
When you're eating out with the kid(s) at the end of a long week, a casual atmosphere is always welcome.
I also love menus that break things down into four courses: antipasti (salads, seafood), primi (pastas), secondi (meats, fish), and corntini-(side veg).
I find it's the perfect way to sample a bunch of things and also happens to be a super family friendly way to eat.
So it sounds like a great place to go for dinner right?

Wrong.

I have to say it was one of the worst meals I've had in a while.
The bread was stale, the olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles were dirty and sticky.
Never a good sign of things to come.
the Involtini Di Manzo- Grilled thinly sliced striploin wrapped around prosciutto, green onions and mozzarella was in a word- gross.
It was onion overload.
The Beef Cheeks were...um how to put this...disgusting.
Oh sure they were tender, but also mostly fat and served in such strange tasting wine sauce.
The Grilled Red Pepper and Arugula Salad was over dressed (soggy) and even the side grilled mushrooms tasted off.
How can you screw up grilled mushrooms?
Even Lulu had to send back her under cooked orecchiette.
So in a nut shell every single item that we ordered was terrible.
Oh wait a minute, not everything- the lasagna was decent.
Oh and the service was good too.
Too bad because I like small family restaurants and it was so good in the past.
Not sure what happened.

We passed on dessert- surprise surprise....
Opted for the warm home made brownies that I baked earlier in the day instead.
In fact we should have just stayed in for dinner.

But all is not lost in the land of Toronto dining experiences, we managed to try out some fantastic restaurants over the summer.
Stay tuned for some more reviews.
Or better yet, any good recommendations?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

happy new year


Even though big daddy is away, I still love to celebrate one of my favourite Jewish holidays.
When you really think about it, this time of year really does feel like the start of something new.
A new season, new schools & teachers, new routines (oh how I LOVE routines) and just an over all sense of renewal.
But most importantly, a time for new shoes...kidding...

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy & sweet new year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Recap


As the summer is drawing to a close (though not according to the weather, 34 degrees today!) I find myself both a little bit melancholy and a little bit excited for the change of season.
This was a really fun summer without a doubt.
Experiencing summer break with a five year old has to be hands down one of life's greatest pleasures.
Everything is so new, so fun, so carefree.
I think for the most part we covered a lot of ground this year.
Tons of swimming, camps, day trips and soaking up all the fantastic summer weather as much as possible.
Food always tastes better when eaten outside am I right?
We managed to catch up with friends whom we hadn't seen in way too long.
We still missed a few- you know who you are and hopefully we'll see you sooner than later.
We really embraced the boat this year and had an amazing time spending the majority of the summer weekends on the lake.
Not that there were too many, but we made the most of rainy days and went to museums, art galleries and even some summer theatre.
Lulu has grown so much in the past 2 months- literally (2.5 inches!) and emotionally.
Sounds crazy, but lately when she goes to bed there's a little part of me that wants it to be morning so we can wake up and start a new summer day together.
I said little right?

Things I learned about my daughter this summer:
She doesn't like wearing shorts or anything with a zipper.
It's dresses, dresses and more dresses. No daisy dukes for my kid.
Wish I knew that when buying all those cute shorts at Old Navy at the beginning of the summer.
Speaking of Daisy Dukes...She likes Katie Perry.
Not quite sure what to say about this one except for- she didn't hear it here at casa petitegourmand.
Maybe it was at Camp? or at a friend's house? maybe a store? Or EVERYWHERE !!!
She's not the best at lip synchronisation and pretty much messes up the lyrics to every song.
The apple doesn't fall to far in this department.. ahem..
She LOVES to dance.
See above re: the apple tree.
She loves Mochi's, tofuti cutie pies, blue freezies and roasted marshmallow & chocolate mint gelato.
On a more healthy note, she finally likes strawberries, blueberries, melon, peaches, cherries, and watermelon- sans seeds.
She loves to coordinate coloured "diamond" sticker earrings to her outfits.
It's all about accessorizing these days.
She has a phobia about public washrooms and elevators.
I already mentioned the apple tree right?
She loves butterflies and can name the different types better than I can.
"look momma, it's a Giant Swallowtail, oh no wait, I think that's a Common Buckeye."
She is a complete water girl and has no fear whatsoever of lakes or swimming until her fingers are all waterlogged and wrinkly.
Could easily spend five hours straight colouring and drawing.
Literally. Maybe even eight hours come to think of it.
She is a bit of a leader and likes to share her creative games and ideas with others.
Is exceptionally sweet, funny, smart and completely beautiful.
I can say that because I'm her momma.
But it's %100 true.

Things I learned about myself this summer.
Taking personal time is beneficial to everyone in our family, not just me.
I am not a perfect mother, nor do I have to be. Mistakes are part of the journey.
I really love to workout and want to set new physical fitness goals for myself in the future.
I love female camaraderie and had an amazing summer connecting with my girlfriends and making new ones that I have lots in common with.
Decided I don't have to be friends or hang out with every parent at Lulu's school or our neighbours just because.
I'm very content with our family dynamic.
The number 3 has always been my lucky number after all.
I really need 8 hours of sleep at night- and thankfully that's been my summer reality.
I don't enjoy T.V. as much as I used to.
I mean how many episodes of L.A. Ink and The Next Food Network Star can a girl watch?
Then again, talk to me in January...
I still don't like swimming in lakes and most likely never will without slightly hyperventilating.
I still enjoy the creative process and am very content being behind the scenes and helping out with big daddy's biz and not working full time.
I love summer. Yes, even the part about having to don a bathing suit.
This was the first time ever that I really didn't give a rat's ass how white or spider veiny my legs look.
I'm healthy, happy and have a beautiful loving family- who cares what I look like sitting by the pool?
Speaking of which..
I love sitting by a pool.
Such a bonus that Lulu is swimming well enough now that I no longer have to be in the pool the entire time she is.
Within arms (or foam noodles) reach, yes, but not IN the pool.
Awesome.

So as much fun as we had this year and as sad as I am that yet another season is coming to an end, I am looking forward to the fall and the wonderful world of routine again.
I'm happy that our first year of kindergarten is behind us and we can start school without all the nervousness and uncertainty we had at this time last year.
Until then...I think it's time to run through the sprinkler and eat a nice cold blue freezie with my girl.

Monday, August 23, 2010

rock lobster


Don't you just love rainy days?
Whoever invented glitter glue, magic markers, paint and paper puppets must have done so on a rainy summer day.
As much as I love spending every possible waking moment outside in the summer's fleeting months, I do have to admit, sometimes it's nice when it rains all day long and you're stuck inside with nothing to do.
well except maybe 6 loads of laundry...
But in addition to that fun-ness, Lulu and I got all Martha Stewart-ish and whipped up these puppets.
(there's also a lion, frog, pig, dog and a blue bird)
Cute huh?
If I'm being completely honest, I don't sit down and do stuff like this with Lulu often enough anymore.
Oh sure, I help her with her spelling and when she asks what colour crayon to use on her latest master piece, I'll give her my two cents (which is almost always- "I don't know sweetie, which one do you think would look best?")
But as I stopped for a moment this Sunday (thanks again mother nature for that rainy day) I realized how fast my little girl is growing up and how I need to stop what I'm doing more often and just do things like this with her.
The laundry can wait.
Paper puppets can't.
Which reminds me, I haven't had lobster all summer.
mmmm lobster....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

pickled


We went to the St. Jacob's Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago and picked up some delicious fruit & veggies.
Oh and some incredible Mennonite smoked salami.
So I decided to make some pickles.
With the cucumbers not the salami.
I can't wait to crack open a jar in two months time.
In the mean time I'm trying to find a good template for some labels and have come up empty handed.
In the past I've just done them by hand- but I thought it might be faster to find something on line.
any suggestions would be great appreciated.
Next week I'm hoping on making my peach and vanilla bean jam- which if I do say so myself- is delicious.
I love this time of year with such an abundance of amazing produce.
It will be nice come February to have a little reminder of our sweet and delicious summer of 2010.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I like to move it move it



The last time I was at the African Lion Safari I was around 7 or 8 years old and I vaguely remember a very cheeky monkey jumping on top of our car and ripping the windshield wiper off.
Then he proceeded to pee on our front windshield.
I swear that happened.
honest.
Okay maybe not. But every time I tell big daddy that story he completely cracks up.
Which in turn, totally cracks me up.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) nothing that dramatic happened while we were in our car at the African Lion Safari last week.
Instead we saw a few very bored Lions.


A few Cheetahs cleaning themselves under the shade of a tree.
Can you imagine those hairballs?!



A family of Giraffe.
The baby was especially cute.



Some Zebras.
Much shorter and stockier than a horse, and such incredible coats of fur.
It amazes me that mother nature can create something so beautiful.
Though I have to admit, I kept imagining them sounding like Chris Rock if they could talk..



One very frisky Ostrich.
Lulu freaked out a bit when one walked up to the car and started pecking at the window.



So she decided she would drive after that.
I just wish she hadn't hit that Rhinoceros.
Our insurance is going to be insane from here on in...



kidding of course...

Monday, August 09, 2010

the living is easy



Because I can't be bothered to sit down long enough to write something of my own these days....

"What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass."


~ Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden~

Monday, July 26, 2010

july bliss



Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
-- Sam Keen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Freedom



Mel Gibson said it best whilst clad in a kilt with blue warrior paint smeared across his face in Braveheart when he shouted "FREEDOM!!"
and no not while he was being pulled over for D.U.I in L.A. or in a drunken craze on the phone with his soon to be ex-wife.
Talk about a man with a temper....yikes...

Anyhow back to freedom- or more specifically- MY freedom during the month of July so far.
Lulu went to camp Grandma & Grandpa last week and had a great time.
Big Daddy & I had almost six full days of childlessness.
Our longest stretch to date- and I must say- long overdue.
It was a really great break for all parties.
Last week it was so great to just take a stroll around the neighbourhood holding hands after dark.
We went for some really fantastic meals at a few restaurants I had been dying to try out.
I also read a bunch of great books-such a treat! stay tuned for some book reviews soon.
But just having some down time was so fantastic.
It makes such a huge difference.
Sometimes it takes being apart to realize how much you love someone.
Our someone being sweet Lulu of course.
Who btw- is back to being as sweet as can be.
She's in camp for the next two weeks from 8:30-3:30 and once again I have so much freedom.
I am so not used to this.
I'm trying to catch up with things and starting to feel creative again as a result.
Such a great feeling and a real bonus that I have a very talented photographer at my disposal to collaborate with when time allows it.
I don't have any camps or anything planned for the month of August- not that I want to think that far ahead- so I'm really trying to just embrace this quiet time and appreciate it as much as possible.
Because in a few short weeks it will be back to camp Mommy 24/7.

As much as I love my little bean- it's so great to have a breather so that I can appreciate her all the more.
Rested momma= happy & more patient Momma & daddy- which in turn = happy and better behaved Lulu.

Friday, July 09, 2010

road tripping


I am dying to go on a road trip.
Not entirely sure where- but I just want to get in the car and drive.
I grew up taking road trips.
I think we pretty much covered most of Canada and The United States in the back of our '77 Oldsmobile station wagon when I was a kid.
Faux wood panelling on the sides and all.
I loved that car.
My brother and I were most likely camped out in the back part of the wagon on our sleeping bags, breathing in a combination of fresh air from all the windows being down and my parents Matinee special milds blowing in from the front seat.
Seat belts, what seat belts?
My brother and I would encourage my dad to "GO FASTER DAD!!" over the winding roads and hills and get up on our knees in the back pretending that we were on a roller coaster.
Hard to believe that we ever did anything like that now that we live in a world of uber car seats and safety regulations.
Not that I'm knocking the new way of life (preservation) but I do find myself pining for those good' ol days of being so carefree.
One of the parents at Lulu's camp this week asked me last minute if I could drive her daughter home, and I said not a problem except that I didn't have an extra booster seat- and she said, don't worry about it, we do it all the time.
Sure it was only a few blocks, but still, I totally felt put on the spot.
What if I get pulled over? or worse, get in an accident?
Statistics do show that most car accidents do tend to happen close to home..
I am a law abiding citizen after-all....
What would you do?

But I digress..
Back to my road trip down memory lane.
My parents really did go with the flow when we were kids, and as a result we had the opportunity to have some really great experiences.
We would just jump in the car and go.
Travelling by car is all about the journey, and not necessarily the destination- right?
Try telling that to a little person in the back seat asking "hooooowww much faaaarrrrrttherrrrr??????"
Lulu has never been in the car longer than 3 hours, and I have to admit, her constant chatter was a wee bit grating at the best of times, so I wonder how we would survive 7-10 hours of driving.
How did my parents ever deal?
Okay now that I think about it, I do recall several threats of "YOU TWO BETTER KNOCK IT OFF OR I WILL PULL OVER!!!!!" coming from my dad in the driver's seat.
How he managed to drive one handed and reach back and catch us with the other hand still amazes me to this day.
I can't even reach a juice box that's dropped on the floor and still keep my eyes on the road at the same time.
Ah the fantasy is always better than the reality I guess.
Back in the day there were no such thing as built in DVD players in cars- look out the window kids- the world is your oyster!
GPS-I loved reading maps and following along with my trusty red pen
Seat belts (see above)
itunes - had to love the crackle of the a.m. radio stations, or if you were a high roller an 8track player-I hope they play John Denver-Take Me home Country Roads again!
Those were much simpler times.
Or were they?
Maybe I do need to take a cue from my folks and just "go with the flow"
and maybe just get in the car and go.

Or if Big daddy has his way..Leave on a Jet Plane....

Monday, July 05, 2010

the blame game


When I wrote my last post I was feeling so proud of my little lady- Lulu.
This one...not so much.
Lulu has always been a good natured kid- a bit sensitive, likes things a certain way- but pretty good for the most part.
Or at least as good as a five year old can be.
But over the past few weeks something has changed.
She has done a few things lately- and acted out in ways that make me feel far from proud.
On the contrary- I'm quite shocked and embarrassed by her behaviour lately.
Her last T-ball game of the season wasn't one of her finer moments, that's for sure.
Won't go into too much detail, but lets just put it this way- who knew T-ball was a full contact sport?
We had a play date with a friend last week and once again- not too impressed by her behavior.
Nothing physical happened- but her overall attitude wasn't something I had really seen before.
It was her way or the highway- and she certainly had no problem being vocal about it.
We went to friends for a BBQ on Canada Day and she did something that I am having a hard time getting past.
Again- won't go into too much detail- but I was completely mortified and really really upset by it.
I'm really trying to figure out if this is some sort of phase she's going through.
And if so, when will it pass?
Is this normal for 5 year olds?
Are these habits that she picked up in school?
Or is there something deeper bothering her?
Or worse....is it me?
Am I the cause of this problem? Maybe we are spoiling her or letting her get away with too much?
She is an only child after-all, and as much as we tried to not to let it happen, she has become the center of our universe.
So when that's not the case with her peers, maybe that's becoming a problem for her?
Who knows?
I pride myself on being pretty strict though, especially when it comes to manners, and how to treat others.
Big daddy & I try to be consistent with her and for the most part have a "united front" when it comes to most issues with her.
Physical aggression isn't something she has been exposed to- here at home at least, so I have no idea where this has come from.
Maybe this isn't as big a deal as I am making it out to be- but when you put all these incidents together it's upsetting.
At least to me.
I want my sweet gentle little girl back.
Both big daddy & I are working on things with her and hopefully with a bit more consistency with our discipline we will get past this "phase"
Oh lord- please let it be some sort of phase that is derived from frustration and not anything more serious.
No one wants their kid to be "that kid"
That must sound terrible.
I just feel so responsible for every thing that Lulu does.
Especially anything bad or less than perfect.
I need to get over this, I know.
I told a friend about the Canada Day "incident" and she kind of laughed and said "you should see what my kids are capable of...
Don't worry about it- move on- these things happen."
It's advice I'm trying to listen to...trying.

Oh and the entire weekend wasn't a bust- we also went to some other friends for dinner on Saturday and Lulu played so well with their little girl and was excellent, so all was not lost.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive about all of this.
I just want to make sure she is happy and well adjusted- especially in social situations.
Or maybe it's time to write about something else other than my daughter all the time.
she really has become the center of my world.
Maybe that's half the problem

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the graduate



Well the first year of school is officially finished.
And what a fun year it has been.
When I think back to all of my apprehension and fears this time last year I can't believe that I ever felt that way.
Lulu really flourished this year and I couldn't be more proud knowing that she experienced one of life's big milestones with such enthusiasm and comprehension.
That kid is a Jolly Phonics expert- seriously.
It's so hard not to compare- but really watching her not only keep up with kids more than a year ahead of her (and in many cases- surpass) how can I not be so proud?
I love that she is practically reading now- and I can't wait for her to be able to experience tucking into a favourite book and reading it all on her own.
That's not to say that I don't still love reading stories to her every night.
Her writing has come along way as well- her letters are precise and in most cases really neat & tidy.
That makes one of us...
Then there all the great new friends (and parents) that she (I've) met.
So nice to really feel like we are officially part of our community.
Anyhow I've written about this in the past, but I'm just so incredibly grateful that we live in such a fantastic neighbourhood with such an excellent school with so many great teachers.
Feeling blessed at the moment is an understatement.
Fingers crossed that next year we'll be as lucky as we were this year.
But as much fun as school was this year, I'm very happy to officially say hello to summer break or as Lulu & I were singing all morning.....
Skool's Out For The Summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

gone fishin'


Earthquakes
Tornadoes
Full Moon
The G20 Summit
Crazy traffic
For some reason sticking around the city this weekend isn't really that appealing.
definitely need a change of scenery....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

date night


For the past few months I've been making a concerted effort to commit to booking babysitters once a week so big daddy & I can get out and spend some time alone.
MUCH needed time alone I might add.
A couple of weeks ago we found a new cheap & cheerful sushi joint that I thought was fantastic.
There are so many sushi restaurants around town and we have three or four that we go to on a regular basis.
But we kind of stumbled upon this one by accident while trying to avoid the construction mayhem on Bloor St (when oh when will it be complete?!- what a mess..)
Anyhow it's on Bay st- just across from Pusateri's.
Ignore the carpeted floor (the only flaw in my opinion) the food was really great as was the service and rest of the decor.
We had such a fun night- sipping sake, eating fresh (inexpensive) sushi and hanging out for a few hours at the Bookstore afterwards.
Though I might warn against book shopping while under the sake influence as we ended up buying a ton of books that we really didn't need.
So our cheap date night- kind of ended up not so cheap.
Ah well.
What can I say? we felt like two kids in a candy shop.
Even the most casual things can be that much more relaxing and fun when you get to be together as a couple without the kid(s).
Nothing against our little angel- but I think it's really healthy to spend time apart.
I'm currently trying to build up our roster of babysitters- as our regular gal is off to camp for the summer.
sniff sniff..
But all is not lost, as we are trying someone new for this week- fingers crossed that she works out.
Who knew it would be so difficult to find great babysitters?
Actually, Lulu really looks forward to her night with the sitter as there is usually pizza, potato chips, bear puffs, ice cream, movies and games involved.
Have to butter up the babysitters and feed them well- it's pretty competitive out there when it comes to booking the best kids.
When I'm at the grocery store buying "food" for the babysitter I always feel like telling the person behind me in line that "it's not the stuff I usually feed my family- it's for the babysitter- honest"
Something tells me that the usual veggies & hummus with flax pita might not go over so well with the 13-15 year old set.


How about you-What's your favourite thing to do on "date-night?"
and how often do you have date nights?
inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, June 14, 2010

tell me why I don't like mondays?


Actually I usually LOVE Mondays.
Not that I don't enjoy the weekends, but I really like getting back to our weekly routine and starting a fresh new week.
Most Mondays I usually go to the gym for a two hour workout to get the week started off on a good foot.
Well that, and to work off all the guilty pleasures I indulged in over the weekend.
Unfortunately that wasn't the case today.
Big daddy had the day off and we had a ton of things to deal with in the morning, plus for some reason (late bedtime and up at 5 a.m. with nightmares) Lulu was in fine form.
Anyhow I did manage to squeeze in a run- but like I said- the day just didn't start out the way it usually does.
Big daddy was in a mood that could best be described as- cantankerous.
He's not quite used to the Monday morning "routine".
Lulu was also thrown off by big daddy's day of playing hooky and suddenly fell ill right before school was about to start.
I could spot a good fake a mile away but big daddy- being the novice that he is- let her stay home from school.
and that's when the day that started off on the wrong foot- ended up on the wrong leg.
sigh.
Everything we wanted to get done today- didn't.
C'est La vie.
Unfortunately big daddy doesn't speak french.
so he is currently sulking.
Lulu admitted to faking being sick at 3:30- we made her stay in bed until then- hey if you are "sick" then you stay in bed.
Big daddy felt (feels) totally burned.
I feel a little smug since I kept telling him she was fine- and really just wanted to stay at home with him.
He told be I was being "harsh" and "the poor little thing is really not feeling well"
And "maybe she has anxiety about going to school and dealing with "certain" classmates"
That part did get me- I admit.
But still, I was 99.9% sure she was fine and just wanted to extend the weekend.
Once I made that call to the school- guess who perked up?
'nuff said.
Tuesday is looking very good right about now.

Oh and above picture is Lulu latest drawing of big daddy.
hmmm...what's she trying to convey?
aside from the fact that Big daddy needs to add a pair of pink pants to his summer wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

social hurdles



With the school year end just around the corner, I find myself reflecting on all that both Lulu & I have learned during the year.
I say "I" because as much as this was a new beginning for Lulu in her academic future- it was a huge learning curve for me too.
Somehow during the first week of school I was coerced into becoming (at the time a reluctant) "class parent".
But now I am so happy that I got involved at the very beginning.
It forced me to come out of hiding and get to know all the parents (and kids) in Lulu's class.
I also had the unique position of having a really great one-on-one relationship with her teacher.
How great is that?
Bonus that she has such a fantastic teacher.
That being said, I'm not really the type of parent who gets too overly involved with what's happening with Lulu in class- not that I don't want to know, but I figure she's in great hands and Ms. Fantastic teacher would let me know if there ever was anything to be concerned about.
Each time we have discussed Lulu- I get nothing but glowing reviews.
She's very bright, socially mature for her age, a bit sensitive, but over-all a very good listener and great with "most" of her class mates.
All but one.
More on that last bit in a minute though.
It was really great getting the chance to get to know all the parents when it came to organizing things like Halloween parties, Christmas, teachers gifts and the year end party.
We are so fortunate to have had such a great class of really nice parents & kids this year.
So all in all it has been a very positive experience for both of us.
However...the past few weeks Lulu has been having some conflict with one of her class mates.
One minute they are super happy playing together- the next it's drama, drama and more drama.
Lulu & this girl really seem to clash.
I can't point the finger of blame in her direction only- because I know Lulu contributes to these little (or depending on the day-BIG) outbursts.
But it's just so out of character to see her upset so often.
We have talked about this situation at length.
I have made countless suggestions of maybe the need for a bit of separation- "play with some of your other friends instead" to her.
but the second we get to school she goes running up to this girl despite the fact that I keep "suggesting" that perhaps they need to give each other a bit of space.
It's like the more I do that- the more she does the opposite of what I recommend.
Kids will be kids and they need to learn to work these things out, it's all part of the social experience- but I am so tired of the drama when the two of them get together.
It can turn a perfectly beautiful afternoon completely upside down.
There is more that I could add- but now that this blog is no longer anonymous- and a few people at her school know about it, I won't go into too much more detail.
But I will say that Lulu has come home from school three times with cute pictures of colourful flowers, grass, sun etc. that she has drawn for me and there has been a big black scribble mark in the middle of the picture.
When I asked her what that was all about- she told me that "girl with conflict" scribbled on it because she said her drawing was ugly and she was a bad artist.
When I brought her to school a few weeks ago and her hair was in buns (my favourite hairstyle on her) "girl with conflict" comes up to her- right in front of me and says- "your hair looks weird" said in quite a mean way.
Now Lulu refuses to wear her hair like that anymore.
There are a few more things that have happened that Lulu has told me about- and some of these incidents are cause for concern.
It makes me wonder what else has happened that I don't know about.
I do know that lately Lulu isn't herself.
More than once I have heard her say "nobody likes me anymore"
She has been very emotional lately- and it makes me feel so bad for her.
I can't believe this is happening to her.
In JK!
I feel awful.
And is this normal?
When I talked to ms. Fantastic teacher about this- she assured me that Lulu is not to blame and that she is a really sweet kid.
She is very popular with her classmates and I had nothing to worry about.
That was a relief- because I can't lie and say that a part of me was wondering if it was Lulu.
She can certainly be feisty when she wants to be.
A wall-flower she is not.
Does that sound terrible to not instantly take sides 100% with your own child?
I just never want to be the parent who thinks that their kid can do no wrong.
School is full of situations like this- especially with girls.
She's a tough cookie- and I know she can hold her own, but I just wish this wasn't the way we were finishing up the year.
I hope I'm doing the right thing by trying to discourage a friendship- because I just know- nothing good will come of this "relationship" I have a gut feeling about it.
But then again- who knows? maybe I'm handling it all wrong.
Who knew these politics would start as early as kindergarten?
Like I said though school is definitely one big learning curve.
Can't wait for high-school...
not.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

puppy power


It's interesting how kids move in and out of phases- or in Lulu's case- obsessions.
Last year it was dogs dogs and more dogs.
It was her favourite thing to play and talk about.
She would beg us for one every day.
we told her that when she turned five we would get her one.
Well...her 5th birthday has come and gone and still no fido here at casapetitegourmand.
but the main reason being that some time around say 6 months ago she just sort of stopped being so dog obsessed.
She still LOVES dogs- don't get me wrong, but she no longer asks us for one constantly, nor does she bark when being spoken to or walk around the house on all fours drinking water out of a bowl on the floor.
kidding...well sort of...
Maybe it had something to do with "seeing people picking up dog poop with their hands mama!"
When she realized that the movie Dog Hotel is not actually real- and no toilet training for dogs would realistically be possible- she started having second thoughts.
Anyhow I'm sure we will eventually get her the dog we promised.
The truth is, both big daddy & I would love to have a family pet again.
I grew up with dogs, he grew up with cats.
So we both think it would be nice for Lulu to know what it's like to have a pet growing up.
Just not yet.
We will know when the time is right I guess.
Fortunately it's no longer on the top of the list for Lulu and she is more than thrilled with her Zhu Zhu fake hamster.
As am I.
oh and I forgot to post about it, but Lulu's 4th birthday party was featured in Canadian Family Magazine May issue.
and is also up on the main home page at the moment.
so check it out.
ruff. ruff.
Let's just hope that her new love of horses subsides before her next birthday party....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 years ago today.....


10 years ago today there was no such thing as facebook, skype, twitter or high speed dial up.
We didn't have to worry about things like "texting & driving" - back then it was all about the R.I.D.E programs and getting drunk drivers off the road.
Come to think of it- I haven't seem a R.I.D.E. check stop in over a decade.
What's up with that?

digital photography was just in it's infancy- we still used film and Polaroids.
Oh the good old days...
Then again- I do love the instant gratification of digital photography- I only wish I would get around to printing images from time to time.
Nothing better than flipping though a photo album tripping down memory lane.
Somehow it's not quite the same when everything is on a disk or hard drive some where.

Travelling was a breeze- there was no such thing as multiple security point checks, ban on liquids, human exray machines, having to remove your shoes at the check points, frisking old ladies in wheel chairs or the need to make young mothers dump out baby bottles before finally making their way though long long security lines.
Pre 911- the world seemed like a much safer place.
Hard to imagine.

Toronto had 4,682,897 people living here- today it's 5.5 million and growing.
No wonder the traffic is getting so bad in the downtown core.

Don't even get me started on the drastic rise in housing prices from 2000- 2010.
If I knew then what I know now...

The movies Chocolate & Traffic won Academy awards.
also worth mentioning- Almost famous, Billy Elliot and Requiem for a Dream.

David Letterman had heart surgery and Survivor was in it's first year- how is it that Jeff Probst looks the exact same after more than a decade?
My favourite show at the time was The Naked Chef- hosted by a young unknown chef named Jamie Oliver on the BBC.
But in those days I had to make sure I was home to watch it live- gasp..
Oh how I love modern day PVR'ing.
I guess progress is a very good thing in the land of television.
How did we ever survive back then? never mind Richard Hatch.

The Budweiser campaign- "what's Uuup?" was launched- and from what I can recall- that was all I heard every time I would call anybody.

Songs like "Hey Ya"- by Outkast, "Beautiful Day"- U2, "Yellow" by Coldplay, "Music" by Modonna, "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, "Let's get It Started In Here" by The Blackeyed Peas and "Slim Shady" by Eminem could be heard on the radio.
But I was most likely listening to Fragments Of Freedom by Morcheeba, Moon Safari by Air or Kruder or Dorfmeister the k&d sessions in my car.

We lived in a downtown loft and had to climb a ladder to go to bed.
It was rustic- but so much fun.
There was no Starbucks, trendy boutiques or restaurants in our old neighbourhood.
It was definitely considered the 'hood back then.
Amazing what can happen over a decade.
Sometimes- change is a very good thing indeed.
Kind of sad that we no longer live in that part of town actually-but very glad to still have the studio down there though.

10 years ago today I wouldn't be writing this- because there was no such thing as a blog.
Then again- most likely I would have been writing in one of my many journals.
I wonder where they are now?

And last but certainly not least- 10 years ago today I said- I Do.
and married big daddy.
How can that be?
10 years of marriage- wow.
so hard to believe that we have been married for 10 years!
We have had our up & downs- but I'm happy to say that it's been mostly ups- and the downs just seem to make our relationship stronger.
Over the span of a decade we have bought & sold our first home, started up businesses, travelled to some amazing places, made some really good friends, become parents (that in itself still blows me away) and remained best friends through it all.
There is no other way I would have wanted to spend the last 10 years.
And no one else I would have wanted to spend it with.

So Happy Anniversary Big Daddy- here's to the next 10 years together.
all my love
pg xoxoxox

Thursday, May 20, 2010

so you think you can dance



Lulu had her first official dance recital a few weeks ago and can I just say what a proud mama I was when seeing her on stage?
She remembered all her ballet moves and was a ham as per usual.
or I guess in this case- a bunny.
I was more than a little misty.
I'm so glad she loves dancing as much as I did.
Okay-do.
But nowadays it usually involves a bit of liquid courage on my part.
then again- if I'm being completely honest- Lulu & I were dancing to a little Ida Corr-Let Me Think About It- in the kitchen at lunch today.
The only liquid I had consumed by 12 o'clock was an orange juice and a green tea.
Anyhow I love busting a move or two with my girl- I just hope she has a bit more rhythm than I do as she gets older.
Going to keep up with those dance lessons for sure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

resurfacing


It sucks to get sick.
But I'm happy to report that everyone seems to be back to normal.
For the past four weeks we have been on a sick rotation around here- and quite frankly I'm so glad to feel healthy again and getting on with life.
The one okay thing about being under the weather though, is that it forced me to take it easy for a couple of weeks.
So in that respect- maybe I kind of needed a bit of a break.
I had no idea I was feeling as run down as I was.
Anyhow I'm glad to feel better and can't wait to resume my never ending To Do List.



Before everyone got sick- I went to a baby shower for a friend of mine.
A couple of her friends put on the spread.
and can I just say not only was it beautiful but super delicious.
It was a very creative group of ladies all in one room- and a really great way to spend the afternoon.
Those little flower pots were mini chocolate puddings- super decadent- and so pretty don't you think?
there was also leek & asparagus filo tarts with goat cheese (they were devoured before I could snap a few pics)
and the most fantastic cherry lemonade- punch concoction.
Yum yum.




Not only pretty- but so delicious.

Speaking of baby showers- is it me or is that baby boom still going strong?
Every where I look it's babies babies everywhere these days.
And no I'm not getting baby fever- still happy with our family dynamic- but just an observation.
Then again- they don't call my neighbourhood breederville for nothing.
Our street almost needs a special stroller lane for all the kiddies.

Anyhow if you want to see more pics from that lovely shower you can find them here.
Oh and did I mention that the hostess hand painted all the white bottles using old glass jars?
So inspiring..
Add that to my To Do list
- save old jars and glass bottles and hand paint them.
or not.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday, May 08, 2010

wallowing away


So I've been on a mission these past few weeks getting things crossed off the ol' To Do list.
Spring is all about renewal and fresh starts so I've been trying to take advantage of this time to clear the clutter so to speak.
Clothing being a big thing on my list.
Out with the old- and make room for the new.
Truth be told-our small closets leave me with few other options.
Over the last few years my size has changed, and quite frankly styles have really changed as well.
Not that I'm all about trends or anything- but I have really noticed a change in fashion in the past couple of seasons.
I try not to subscribe to the whole eighties revival look- because honestly- been there- done that.
It wasn't a good look on me in 1984 and it definitely isn't a good look for me in 2010.
Though I did manage to pick up a few cute things here.
But really it's all about comfort and practicality.
If I can't wear it to the park, then I probably won't buy it.
I said probably right?
Anyhow the only fashion I'm sporting at the moment is my black sweat suit and white fuzzy robe. (clutching my heating pad for dear life)
For the past THREE days!
As I was saying- I was on a roll getting things accomplished when bam! I get sidetracked with a very nasty flu.
You're not supposed to get the flu in May- wtf?
Today's the first day I'm actually somewhat coherent- but for the past 48 hours I've been down for the count.
Haven't felt this knocked on my ass in a long while.
Lulu has been super sweet- in fact a tad too sweet as she keeps trying to kiss and snuggle with me.
Not only is that uncomfortable (every muscle hurts) but I don't want her to catch what I have.
Even though I probably caught it from her in the first place as she was sick all last week.
The poor thing was like Linda Blair she had so much green stuff coming out of her nose.
Big daddy on the other hand could use a bit of work in his bedside manner.
I know I know- it's a total inconvenience for me to get sick- when he has to look after Lulu and g-d forbid feed her....gasp!
I know that he is super swamped with work at the moment.
But really- would it hurt to be a teensy bit compassionate?
oh sure he stopped on the way home to get some contact C for me- um thanks.
But I hate getting sick- and I really wish he would try to be a bit more sympathetic and not make me feel like
"when he gets sick he has to just deal with it- drug himself up and go to work"
That it's a "luxury" to stay home when you are sick.
Luxury huh?
That totally felt like a luxury taking Lulu to and from school yesterday- though I could barely see straight.
So that's my rant.
I'm annoyed that I'm down with the flu when I was on such a roll getting things done and that my partner in life is being such a schmuck.
Oh and I'm even more annoyed that I had to cancel our baby-sitter for tonight as we were going for dinner and to an art opening of an old friend that I would have loved to see.
oh and that tomorrow is mother's day and the last thing I really want is breakfast in bed, as that's what I've had for the past 3 days straight.
If you consider ginger tea and water "breakfast".
whah whah.

signed- feeling sorry for herself- aka the petitegourmand

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

how old is old?


Lulu asked me today how old is old?
good question.
I guess it's all a state of mind I suppose.
Then she asked if everyone lives to be 100.
no- unfortunately not- or maybe not unfortunate, if you are looking at things from a health care perspective.
Do most people really want to live to be 100?
depends on the person I guess.
Sometimes after talking to my grandmother, I don't get the feeling she does- seeing as so many of her friends and her husband are already gone.
It must be lonely.
She'll be 90 this summer.
For the record, I hope she does live to be 100.
Lulu asked me how old the oldest person in the world is?
I guessed and said 115.
Turned out to be a good guess- as I just noticed this is the news today.
Makes me want to eat more sushi, thats for sure.
maybe a morbid topic- but hey when inquiring minds want to know...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth day


Well I'm a little late with this post seeing that Earth Day was April 22nd.
But really, shouldn't every day be earth day?
The kids at school were asked to dress in blue or green- why not brown?
Earth is technically brown right?
They also did a bunch of cute projects about recycling and being more environmentally friendly.
Now when I'm prepping dinner, Lulu keeps a watchful eye in the back ground to let me know if I'm running the water too long while washing the veggies.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing....
And we all know the saying if it's yellow let it mellow- if it's brown flush it down.
But do we really need to sing it at the dinner table?
Okay to be honest, she really doesn't sing that at the dinner table- but she does in fact live by that particular motto- which I'm still not sure how I feel about.
Okay enough about that subject.
Anyhow I'm so glad that hopefully this new generation will be more mindful about the earth.
It's about time.

What are you doing to be more environmentally friendly these days?