Organics Live Box

Darling and I recently discovered Organics Live, a company that works with farmers who grow organic produce. You determine what size box your family needs, have the liberty to customize it as you wish, and once a week, they deliver a box of fresh goodness right at your doorstep.
Honestly, best decision ever!
Our family is quite used to living without a vehicle, making due when running errands, but it has been an honest challenge since our little man's arrival. 
It's one thing in the summer, when our oldest can help, and the littles are in the stroller, but I quickly realized that this would be near impossible during the quickly approaching winter months. 

So I've been looking for ways to save both time, and money. And when we discovered this service, we couldn't wait to try them out.
Once a week, I get a reminder email to customize our box. I go online, look through the list, make changes if needed, and away we go! All from the comfort of my living room! Not too shabby if you ask me... 

Our first box, customized to our liking.

Here were the contents of our large box.
Now, in all sincerity, I can tell you that this is not enough for our family. Specifically the fruit content - as you can see, little hands were already reaching for the mini melon ;)
 Between my husband, our daughters, and myself, the apples were gone on the first day. But the vegetables were plentiful, and we still have some left over the second week. 

I thought I'd share some quick and easy meals I put together with this lovely produce. For today's post, I made a quick lunch, sauté vegetable frittata. 

Chop! Chop! I put my trusty Breville All-In-One food processor. I swear I use that thing daily. 
Shredded sweet potatoes, chopped baby spinach, sliced cremini mushrooms,  and I threw in some garlic in there just for good measure. 
Preheat your oven at 350C

You'll want an all metal pan for this. Sweet potatoes are tricky to sauté, they hold so much moisture, they must be cooked quickly, over high heat. But once browned, add your mushrooms, sauté a bit longer, then add spinach til wilted. I had some lovely ham left over, so I cubed it, and tossed it in there as well. Add crushed garlic, salt & pepper to taste, stir well, and spread evenly on the pan, then add your whisked eggs (I used 8, which comes to 2 eggs per person)

Spreading the sautéed ingredients evenly just a bit up the sides helps create a sort of crust for your egg. 
Just pop it all in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then add a little shredded cheese in you like, and pop it back in for about 5-6 minutes, until it's all melted. Havarti was a delicious choice this time :)

It was so delicious, everyone had seconds! The flavours blended so well, even our finicky teen forgot to pick the mushrooms out! 

I already look forward to our next box!

TTFN Darlings!


Blessed Samhain Weekend

We (... I...) kept things really quiet this year for Halloween. 
Mimi wasn't sure she even wanted to Trick Or Treat, and Didi couldn't figure out what she'd be. (She was a Superhero Princess all afternoon, then switched to a Lion about ten minutes before leaving)

I didn't decorate at all, to avoid tempting any kids from knocking on the door. I knew they'd start right around the time our little man would be going to bed. 

What we did do the day of though, was have a little fun with some homemade sugar cookies. 

Moons and Cats! 

To make things a bit easier for the girls, I decided to let them use these little "Scribblers" icing tubes. Much neater 😉

My Moon!

Rainy Day Play

What parent has not fielded the woeful refrain of the un-entertained child "I'm boooooooooored!!!!" 

It's raining here today. Our teen is home with a bad cold, the baby is finally sleeping without me (nursing moms will understand what I mean by this...), and our poor darling preschooler, who has had less than desired amounts of one-on-one time with her Mama lately, just announced that she is bored. 

Well, have I got some fun lined up for HER! As luck would have it, I just happen to have some less than perfect mini pumpkins and some pine cones kicking around. (What? You don't collect pine cones for a rainy day? LOL!)

We raided the craft cabinet, and pulled out those fancy shmancy new paintbrushes I just got at the Dollar Store last week.
This kid's face lit up like a Christmas tree! She was so excited, I barely had time to lay everything out for her.
The fun part is showing her that yes, she IS allowed to paint those pumpkins and pine cones. And since we're set up on her art table, well, go ahead darling, make a mess all you want! I wish you could hear her giggle right now, ha! ha! She sounds like one of those evil scientists in a scary movie!

She's so cautious, trying to keep her mess to a minimum.

Oh look! I had some branches kicking around too, so lets add some colour to them.

What are your favourite rainy day activities to do with your littles?

TTFN Darlings


It's A Me Day!

It's beginning to dawn on me that most of my posts revolve around our weekends. This is likely due to us being so busy during the week and hitting the sack completely exhausted, that we have no energy to spare, so we try to pack as much into our weekends as we can.

This weekend was a bit different. You see, it involved a certain Mama getting herself some much needed TLC, in the form of a Spa Day!
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link to a special local event called "It's a Me Day!", and when I read about it, and all the wonderful treatments being offered, I just had to jump at the chance for a little pampering.
And let me tell you, I regret not doing this after the birth of ALL our kids!

Darling got himself some fishing action first thing Sunday morning, and made sure to be back on time for my departure. Meanwhile, I made sure he had all the supplies necessary for the baby, since, well, they're attached to me and I couldn't leave them behind ;) But I had absolutely no worries about the kids, I know they're in incredibly capable hands with Daddy.

The day started out very cold, having frost warnings from the night before, and the possibility of snow. SNOW! Oh my goodness, it's not even Halloween yet! And this is Niagara Falls for Pete's sake, not Ottawa! LOL! I remember as a kid, it was a fun night if we could go Trick Or Treating without having to squeeze our costumes over our snow suits. Granted, back then we all made our own costumes, so we usually could find something in our parent's closets to turn into a costume.

But I wasn't going to let a little cold weather keep me from a good time. The moment I saw the event advertised, I put my plan into action. I contacted the organizer, and explained my situation as a nursing mother. That I really wanted to participate in the day, but would it be possible to have all of the treatments consecutively, in order for me to not be gone from my nursling too long. And 'lo and behold, they all communicated amongst themselves, and my day was planned without a hitch!

The event was held at a local Bed and Breakfast on River Road, called Greystone Manor, a beautiful character home that faces Niagara River. And what a view. Funny thing is, Darling had just left this same spot, and here I was, looking at the his fishing spot, but from a very different angle.

How gorgeous is this? Fall has to be my favourite season. I could do without the impending hellish cold we're preparing ourselves for, but watching Mother Nature change into her colorful cloak is breathtaking.

The elegant Greystone Manor

 Gorgeous seasonal floral arrangements to greet visitors

A pretty sign at the entrance, telling me to "Relax, Refresh, Renew', why, don't mind if I do!

My first treatment was an Essential Touch massage, where Stacey used Dotera essential oil blends that incited relaxation and detoxification. Goodness, it felt so good, when she was done, I was positively euphoric! No really, my head was a little spinny, like I'd just had a bit too much champagne. I was so relaxed, I had a hard time getting my stuff in order for my next treatment with Tracy: An Intuitive Chakra Balancing

Tracy Kennedy is an Intuitive Empath, Medium, Energy Healer, Reiki Master, Certified Angel Card Reader, Certified Crystal Healer, Certified Trance Channeller, Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Teacher.

"Intuitive Chakra Balance is wonderful for overall relaxation and revived energy level. Take some time for yourself to just tune-out and reboot. Session includes Energetic Cleanse of the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual body, Chakra Balance with Tuning Forks, and Intuitive Feedback on Chakras and Energy Systems."

This was a completely new experience for me. Tracy's room had ambient lighting, and lovely relaxing music playing. On a small table was an array of tuning forks, crystals, and a drum tucked behind the table, because "It wanted to come along with me" Tracy said :)
I reclined in one of those anti-gravity chaises, closed my eyes, and went to my happy place while Tracy worked her magic. At first I wasn't sure of what I was supposed to feel, but I just relaxed deeper (not too hard after a therapeutic massage), and tuned in. I left the room feeling energized and grounded, and ready for my Reflexology treatment with Karen.

I'd never had Reflexology performed, so wasn't sure what it entailed, besides applying pressure to specific points on my feet. It was so much more than that. Karen started at my head, and applied gentle, yet firm pressure to my scalp, face, and ears. My ears have never gotten that much attention, but oh lordy, did it feel good. Then my hands and feet got some special attention of their own. 
As I said, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I did mention when certain areas responded to her pressure, and when she explained which organ or system they corresponded to, it completely made sense. For example, when she applied pressure to the padding of my right heel, it felt tender, like it was bruised, and it certainly doesn't feel bruised when I'm walking. She explained that this area pertained to my uterus, which is still healing from my pregnancy, and birth 11 weeks ago. 

Karen finished my treatment with the recommendation that I drink lots of water for the rest of the day, in order to replenish from all the cleansing treatments I had received. 

I carefully went downstairs to the dining room, where Barbara, our lovely hostess, had laid out an array of delicious vegetarian foods. I chose a delicious garden salad, topped with avocado dressing, a little quinoa and cranberry cake, and a nice piping hot mug of back coffee.

I sat in the large living room to enjoy my delicious food, and the company of other ladies there to take part in the day.
And then I was pulled back to reality when my phone rang, and it was Darling, reminding me that I really should be heading back home. So I did ;)

And now I've decided that I will be indulging in self-care much more often. It's one thing to be my family's caregiver, but us Mamas really need to remember to take care of ourselves, and to replenish our own depleted energies.

What have YOU done for yourself lately?

TTFN Darlings!


First Post: Thanksgiving 2015

What a wonderful weekend we've had. It started out a tad gloomy, but the weather changed to balmy sunlight, and stayed that way for the duration of our last long weekend as a family before Winter's cold turns the corner. 
As some of you know, this was Canadian Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays! For how it gathers family of course, but mainly, FOOD! ;) I love me some turkey with all the fixings. And I love our tradition. Both Darling and I's families live far away, so it's always been just Us, save for once or twice, where we were invited to someone else's place, or family was visiting. Truth be told, we are generally homebodies, and to prefer a quieter gathering to a loud, free-for-all bash. I always wind up eating wayyyyyy too much at those! LOL!

I spent all day Saturday cooking and prepping the yummy goodies, while Darling caught up on outside gardening and laundry. (He is a GEM!)

Saturday was this little nugget's 10th Weekversary.
I don't know if it's just me, but I swear, the hours, days, weeks, are all a blur. I am doing my best to soak up every moment with these littles of ours, but frankly, there just aren't enough hours in one day to drink it all in.
Oh but look at this wee man, isn't he a gem? He's at such a fun stage right now, discovering his hands, and his voice. So much coo'ing and smiling. It is mind-boggling to see these little ones come into their personalities.

Ah, yes, my homemade stuffing. I refuse to use that MSG laden prepared stuff. So a few years ago, I bit the bullet, and searched out stuffing recipes, tweaked it a bit here and there, and came up with the perfect combination that pleased my family's taste buds.

Me and my babies. Such a warm, raw moment captured by Darling. 
I do complain on occasion that I'd love a bit more Me time, alone, where I don't feel responsible for anyone else's stomach or needs, just for a short while... But the moment I get it, all I do is think of them. I miss them and wonder what they're up to? Wondering if they need anything, because it always seems that when I'm around, nobody can find what they're looking for! Ha! Ha!

We kept it really simple. Wait, "I" kept it really simple! LOL! It's one thing to be busy in the kitchen all day, and being able to get it all done. But I am surrounded by tiny assistants, whom we affectionately refer to as "Insistants", a term coined by Mimi when she was a tiny thing trying to help me, and declared "But I want to be your INSISTANT!!! I love it when kids come up with their own expressions.

Turkey, stuffing, corn, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, and loads of cranberry sauce (berries IN, thank you!) A perfect late lunch/early dinner meal. 
Which we ate two days in a row! Thanksgiving leftovers ROCK!

Our meal was accompanied with a delicious glass of Fontana Vidal from Riverview Winery , a deliciously sweet, fruity wine. Dangerously delicious in my opinion. This Mama is NOT a habitual drinker, but this was going down way too nicely for someone who hadn't had wine in, wow, about 4 years? I'm a cheap date! LOL!

Good to the very last crumb!!!

And what Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a piece of pumpkin pie, loaded with coconut whipped cream? 
Or as Didi likes to call it "Porcupie"
Add that one to the list of favourite kids' expressions! 

Seriously, we had to hide the pie!

Sunday Pancake Breakfast. Weekday mornings are always such a blur here. Darling rushing around getting ready for work. Mimi in a complete haze, trying her best to remember everything she needs for school. And me, with a needy Didi who wants everything right and now, and a tiny little man who just wants his boobie breakfast, well... Sometimes I don't even get to sit down to my first sip of coffee until 10:00am!
But on weekend mornings, nobody's rushing around. Music is playing, and Mama's in the kitchen, doing what she loves the most: Cooking! My Buttermilk Pancakes are always a hit, and I've had to learn to triple my batch in order to have some left over to freeze as toaster pancakes on those rushed weekday mornings. This has sort of backfired, because then the family eats WAY more than their fair share, seeing as there's a big pile in front of them.

It was an absolutely wonderful long holiday weekend. Lots of activity, lots of work, and lots of LOVE!
And now? Well now we prepare for Halloween!!! 

TTFN Darlings!