Sunday, December 22, 2013

farewell...for now..

dontbeafraidofchange 10 Quotes die je inspireren en aansporen tot verandering
When I first started this blog, blogs were a new thing.
I was also stuck at home with a new born and wasn't really part of any "new mommy group".
I was alone and trying to figure it all out by myself.
Then I found all these funny (and some not so funny) mommy blogs to read and it kind of helped me get through it all.
The blogosphere became my salvation back in the day.
It was my stay-at-home mommy group.

I also wanted to document the early years of parenthood and all the cute (and not so cute) things that Lulu did each day.
It gave me a creative outlet during an often monotonous and challenging time in my life.

Flash forward eight years and well, Lulu is still super cute, but I'm guessing that she wouldn't be so thrilled about me writing about her and sharing tidbits about her life with people she doesn't know.
Plus life is far from monotonous these days.
Then again, what is really private these days?
with Facebook, Twitter, Instragram..there is not much left when it comes to privacy.
But out of respect for her, I think it's time to hang up the petite gourmand's hat.

It's been great.
A wonderful outlet and a way to remember.
But I'm thinking that I would like to move it in a new direction in 2014.
Not sure if it will still be called the Petite Gourmand or not, but it's time for a change.
So for those of you who still stop by or have been along for the ride for the past eight years
It's been swell...but I'm going to take a break for now and go on a bit of blog hiatus.
But until then...

Happy Holidays & wishing you a very happy and healthy new year.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

workin it

Regardless of how dismal things can sometimes feel, (and yes, unfortunately there are days when I just feel blah)  the perfect antidote for me is a good workout.
I love to exercise.
It's my life saver and totally keeps me feeling not only fit and healthy but so much more balanced as a wife & mother.
It's such a huge stress reliever and I need my kick boxing class fixes, the way Rob Ford needs carbs & crack.

But seriously, I never thought ten years ago when I joined an all women's neighbourhood gym that not only would it become such a part of my weekly routine, but that I would also make so many genuine friendships with so many incredible women.
I've been going to different fitness clubs since I was in my early twenties, along with yoga studios, but there has never been a place I enjoy as much as my current gym.
I walk in the door and instantly feel happier.

run fitness quotation

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

roast me a grape

It's been a while since I posted anything to do with food...or pretty much anything for that matter.
With Pintrest, and all the amazing food blogs I figured why bother?
But I had to share this one.

We had some friends down to our new place a few weeks ago and we had a nice late lunch/early dinner on a Sunday afternoon.
Love doing that.
Anyhow being in wine country I tried to use as many local ingredients as possible.
So we started out with this delicious roasted grape and ricotta crostini.
I had something similar once on a trip to California and wanted to try to make my own version.
so tasty.

Roasted Grape & Ricotta Crostini   

1 good quality baguette, cut into 12 half-inch pieces
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese 
a bunch of red grapes - you want about 48 grapes total.  Keep the grapes as clusters.
5 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and pepper
10 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast on a bake sheet until golden - about 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn heat up to 450*F. 
In a large bowl, toss the grapes with 3 tbsp olive oil, good grindings of pepper and salt and 6 sprigs of thyme.  Place on a parchment lined bake sheet and roast until skins pucker - about 8-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, spread the ricotta on the cooled baguette slices.  When the grapes have puckered, remove them from oven, let them cool until you are able to comfortably handle them but are still quite warm.  Remove them from their stems and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil.
Place 4or 5 roasted grapes on top of the ricotta, garnish with some fresh thyme sprigs and serve immediately.  Makes 12 crostini.   

You could also add a few crushed roasted walnuts on top or substitute a creamy goat cheese for  the ricotta.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This year Thanksgiving was kind of bitter sweet.

On one hand, it was amazing to be able to spend four days at our new country home and soak in the beauty of the area.
The weather was near perfect and I couldn't seem to get enough of the fresh air and gorgeous trees and vineyards everywhere.
I actually didn't want to leave.
It was so peaceful and relaxing.
All I kept think all weekend was "I could so see myself living here full time."

I also had a great visit with my brother and his family and kind of bonded a bit with him for the first time in a long time.
We've never really been close, or at least not since we were kids, but now that he has a young family, things are slowly changing.
We actually had some meaningful conversations this weekend and found ourselves reminiscing and sharing stories about our relatives.
We are pretty opposite in many ways, but the bottom line is that we are family and it's just the two of us.
And family is everything.

Speaking of family, there was a strong absence from our Thanksgiving weekend this year.
Unfortunately my parents were not with us.
They were with my grandmother out East.
Who, after a long fight trying to hang on and keep a foot in this world, finally gave in and took her last breath surrounded by her family on Thanksgiving Sunday.
I am so thankful for all that she's done throughout the years.
Without her, there would be no me.

She was an amazing woman and I was always so in awe of the fact that she had eight children!
To me this is so incredible.
But not only did she have a big family and married the love of her life, she also worked full time.
She was the head nurse at the hospital for years.
I remember my mom telling me that she worked the 4pm- 12 am shift Monday-Friday.
All the kids would sit down for a hot lunch everyday at home though, so they could all have "supper" as a family.
That is also amazing.
I have one child, work a little here and there 1-2 days a week and there are still times I feel like I can't keep up.
But she just got on with things.
"No fuss- no muss" was her motto.

She also had a great sense of humour and a real zest for life.
She loved a good party and never left the house without her lipstick on and her perfectly pressed coordinating outfits with a simple strand of pearls or her gold bangles.
I can still picture them on her wrist making a gentle clinking sound as she moved around.
She was smart as a whip and was always in the know about pretty much everything and everyone on the island.
She loved to read and could pretty much strike up a conversation on any subject.
She was a fantastic story teller and I think passed the gift of gab on to several generations.
Not mentioning any names or anything.....

Exactly 50 years older than I am today.

I'm sad that she is no longer with us, yet I'm happy that she is no longer suffering and was with all of her children who looked after her with great care and compassion.
She was lucky woman to be surrounded by so much love and devotion.

One of my favourite quotes (and there were many....) was  "enjoy every day dear...'cause there's no getting out of this world alive..."

So true.

R.I.P. nan
you will be missed.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

fall is in the air

I really love this time of year.
The humidity is for the most part, a thing of the past.
It's just chilly enough for cozy sweaters and fall fashion.
I love cooking inside again.
Nothing against my barbecue, but nothing beats the smell of something delicious baking in the oven.
And what's not to love about all the amazing produce at this time of year?
Bring on the squash, apples, pears, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and pumpkin. (just to name a few)

I also love the return to routine.
Having a regular schedule always makes me feel more balanced and together.
It's still a busy time of year, yet things also feel like they are slowing down a little bit after the whirlwind of summer.
I've actually found a few seconds minutes here and there to reflect and actually think about my life.

I was compiling a bunch of photos to be printed for a school project that lulu is working on and it made me realize how fast it all goes by.
The beginning of each season tends to reiterate that even more.
The older I get, the faster the days tend to disappear.
It's as though it was yesterday and Lulu was in grade one and then I blinked and now she's in grade three.
How the heck did that happen so quickly?
Even scarier is that the pre-teen days are right around the corner...shudder...

So I'm going to try to savour every moment this fall.
Get outside as much as possible, breathe in the fresh crisp air, pause long enough on the walks home from school to let Lulu stop to collect the colourful fallen leaves.
Hold her hand tightly while I still can.
Curl up with a good book in front of the fire, watch less t.v. (that's what winter is for...not to mention only one more week left of Breaking Bad!!...sniff sniff)
But most of all just be in the moment.
Because before I know it all the leaves will have fallen and I'll wonder where did the autumn go..

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
Elizabeth Lawrence

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Shana Tovah

Because I'm a bit  lazy  busy today, I just read this and it kind of sums up exactly how I'm feeling at the moment.
Minus the part about me being Jewish (even though, according to big daddy, I'm kind of an honorary member of the tribe- by association.)

And even if you don't celebrate Rosh hashanah (I have to look up the correct spelling year after year..argh) isn't the beginning of September the perfect time to start fresh and make resolutions?
I know I am.
how about you?
Are you doing anything different this season and making any new commitments or modifications in your life?
Fall is the season for change after all.

Jill Kargman, Ready for the New Year

Each December 31st, as millions of drunk, cavorting revelers smooch and screech in Times Square as the dropping ball demarcates a new year, I'm usually asnooze and wake up no more invigorated than the chilly night before. That’s because my fresh start has always been September: the feeling of turning a corner, pressing the reset button, and walking with a renewed spring in my newly-booted step. And not just because I'm Jewy Jewstein and I’m going the eat crisp granny smiths and honey to ring in a sweet annum ahead, but because (open door, enter confession booth, lower voice to a whisper...) I loathe summer.

"That's right, you heard me over your blaring Robin Thicke."

I hate strangers' flip-flopped feet. I hate midriffs, chipped blue pedicures, tanorexia. I hate sweating my balls off, slathering sunblock on squirmy children and eating like a bulimic without the purge part. I miss routine. I miss discipline and work. But also I miss jackets and scarfs and new packets of opaque tights. I worship fall. I truly believe I have RSAD: Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. This may be because I'm the Addams Family relative who doesn't appear on their Halloween card. I choose black over teal. Charcoal over coral.
As a die-hard New Yorker, I subscribe to the blustery cinematic version of a grey October day out of a Woody Allen movie - cozy layers on the way to an exhibition or walk in the park - watching a season's colors morph as the mercury drops with the fluttering orange and red leaves. Fall is exhilarating, inspiring, and also sexy: July always yields a birth boom in most city hospitals (I was pushing my first out in a supply closet as a result) because peeps get chilly then bizzay come the wind-whipped months.

"Fall is exhilarating, inspiring, and also sexy..."

But long before an interest in the new stylish threads emerged, I always loved that back-to-school feeling. Fresh school supplies, a new book bag, grade level and classroom are not a distant memory to me - they’re all a lovely hangover from the ghost of student past, in sync with my Jewish New Year experience as well. I'm not entirely great at sitting still in temple (in fact I am so into my Soulcycle class, I call it Spinagogue). That said, I crack out new duds, sit with my family and basically listen and think. My mind often obviously drifts to other places but in this insanely tumultuous chaotic world it's nice to press the pause button and feel that momentary beat between seasons. Rosh Hashanah is like the top of the roller coaster after slowly inching my way up through an interminable August. And then (deep breath!) we go speeding gleefully into fall, hitting the ground running in heels to meetings, dismissals, activities and parties. And I love it all. Maybe when winter’s sniffles start and I'm blizzard-weary I'll have a fleeting pang for summer's snail's pace. But knowing my ants-in-my-pants, sun-loathing vampire self, I highly doubt it. So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 5774.

"...a lovely hangover from the ghost of student past..."

Jill Kargman is a writer based in New York City. Besides contributing to major publications such as Vogue, Elle and Travel + Leisure, she has also published several books. Her memoirSometimes I Feel Like a Nut was a National Bestseller and her latest is The Rock Star in Seat 3A.

Monday, August 26, 2013

my summer behind the lense (and in front of it)

This has to have been one of the fastest summers ever. I still feel like it just started, and now in a mere week it's back to school! Crazy...
Anyhow as short as it seems, we managed to pack a lot in.

 Canada day spent with family was a really great way to kick things off.

yes another gratutious photo of my pooch

Speaking of family, we spent most of it with my 4 year old niece who is now moving back to Canada from Taiwan.



She's super cute. Though I forgot how much work a 4 year old is...

But it was sweet watching Lulu bond with her little cousin.

she was smitten with her Uncle "Monkey"

 Lulu did a 2 week horse camp, along with a week of nature camp plus another 2 weeks of an art & music camp.
Lucky girl!


We took a trip out west. To visit family and also take in the sights. We had such a fantastic time.


 We had so much fun at Heritage Park and travelled back in time. We learned how to make butter. Fun!

 Lulu also got to spend some quality time with her grandma & grandpa. Very sweet to watch..

We went to Lake Louise as well. It was so beautiful. I so needed a dose of nature.





But staying in a swanky suite at the Chateau Lake Louise with the best view in the hotel didn't hurt either....


Did lots of hiking.
Breath taking views.

We made it out to Drumheller with Lulu's grandma & Grandpa and saw all the dinosaur bones.


 Squeezed in a few dates here & there.

Sat by the lake to watch the sunset.

BBQ pancakes...why not?

Plenty of time was spent swimming and splashing around.


 A few nice picnics at the park....

 a new bike for the little miss...
now we can all go cycling together.

Hawaiian day at camp.

Good old fashioned fun.

 Lots of play dates and catching up with Lulu's bff.

A day at the farm...

Some carnival rides. I almost threw up on the Caterpillar. The things I do for my 8 year old...

 Not to mention what big daddy does....

And no Lulu is not wearing my shirt. She's growing fast, but not that fast! 

We still managed to get out to eat at restaurants a fair bit, which is always fun and a treat.

But the highlight is our new purchase.
A new weekend home in the country.
So exciting and I've been consumed all summer with choosing furniture and decor.
It's like a dream come true. 
We are here for the last week of summer and I'm in heaven.

                                        (and yes I'll be changing the door colour asap...)

So all in all it has been a wonderful (albeit busy) summer but I've loved every minute of it. 
I'm so blessed and fortunate to have such an amazing partner that helps to make all of our dreams come true....

Hope you have had a wonderful summer as well....and enjoy the last bit of it.