Month: October 2015

Halloween Has Arrived!

Well it’s here! Yesterday, being the Eve of Halloween, I always find to be a bit more exciting but nothing beats the actual day of Halloween either. The weather is extra spooky today too, blustery with leaves blowing all over the place. Really adds to the effect of it all!

We got our pumpkins all carved up last night and much like every other year, mine were shockingly bad and hubby’s pumpkin’s resembled the work of Picasso. Carving is not my forte. Nonetheless they are out on the front steps ready to be lit up this evening. I had a few plans for today including heading to the library for spooky story time however my precious little baby is pretty much not down with ANYTHING. Guess she spent all of her good behaviour yesterday. Yesterday went perfectly. Happy baby, easy and long nap time allowing momma to bake cookies and get ready for our halloween party downtown, great participation from a happy baby at the party and then top it all off with a very smooth bedtime. Today nothing is cheering this kid up and naps certainly are not happy. Full moon perhaps? So for now we are just playing and puttering around the house, praying for naps and departing cold and windy walks. Is it time for a Halloween cocktail yet? Nope. It is only 11:30… come on!

Since today is presenting no peace and quiet, I am going to share some fun Halloween photos with you rather than a lengthy post. I hope you all have a wonderfully festive and safe Halloween, full of treats and smiles from your little ones. Hopefully I get a smile out of mine today too! Happy Halloween!

Here are some shots of our Halloween decor during the daytime:
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We added a lot more to it all but it’s too cold outside right now for me to take any updated photos. Sorry!
Here are some nighttime shots – much spookier!
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Yesterday at our Halloween Party at Lizzie Bits Baby Boutique in Downtown Kamloops
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(I am Bambi! Can’t believe I achieved this during a single nap time)

Adorned in our festive gear in the spirit of the season. Thanks you to Sa Sea Boutique, loving my ‘Put A Spell On You’ Top.
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(THAT is the face I am dealing with today!)

(And WHY I am eating many of these today!)
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Enjoy your Halloween everyone!
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Halloween Festivities All Weekend Long

We have a cold and rainy day on our hands here. I intended to write a post as soon as Hallie went down for her nap however I passed out HARD on the sofa for the last hour. Somehow, she is still sleeping despite all the hammering and drilling going on downstairs so we will see how long I get before she wakes up and wonders what the heck all that noise is coming through her nursery floor!

Halloween is this weekend! I cannot believe that it is so close and that it also will mark the end of October. Despite how ready we were for Fall, it blows my mind that we are in the thick of it already and November is around the corner. I am not going to lie but thoughts of sugar plums are already dancing in my head. Yes, it’s true. I am one of those people you hate. The one who is singing Christmas songs before her carved pumpkins have rotted. I am going to raise my daughter to do the same too. Of course we will TRY to take our time on the Christmas decor, for hubby’s sake, but I can’t make too many promises.

Back to the present… our weekend was awesome and filled with Halloween fun! The renovations were at a stand still downstairs so we were lucky to get Daddy all weekend long. Saturday we decided we were totally overdue on getting the final decorations up outside. Now that we live in an actual house with front porch and driveway, we had the opportunity to go all out with cheesy Halloween decor. From covering the entire front hedge in cobwebs, to hanging heads from the gutters, not a space out there went bare. We are even making a spooky scene for the garage! I need to get some nighttime pictures but will definitely be posting some to show you. We also finally made a trip to the pumpkin patch! Though the sun was shining, it was a very cold day! Something tells me we will be breaking out the parkas pretty damn soon. The pumpkin path here in Kamloops is crazy! It’s at Tranquille Farms which also resides on the same land that the old asylum is. VERY SPOOKY! There are all these older, dilapidated buildings that seriously look haunted. There are also tunnels underground connecting all of the buildings. Back in the day they used to transport bodies in these tunnels after conducting (rumor has it) very unethical experiments. It was friggin creepy! We obviously did not enter the buildings but had a good drive around the back roads. Hallie had conveniently fallen asleep as soon as we pulled up so this gave us an opportunity to do some four wheel exploring. Once she woke up we carried on to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. Good ol’ Halloween fun! She loved it and we managed to snap some great photos. Sunday we headed out to the Wildlife Park. With the cooler weather, many of the animals had been tucked away where it was warm. We did manage to see some sleepy bears, a variety of birds and owls, and some elk. The park was decorated for Halloween with ghosts and goblins all over. We were there when it was still light out so thankfully Hallie did not get too scared. The mini train ride was not her favourite activity though so if she does have nightmares, I may blame that. All in all it was a great experience and I hope to go back when it is decorated for Christmas (!!!!!!!).

Now we are only days away from the spookiest night of the year. Time to break out the candy, more scary movies because we have had them on non-stop, and carve some pumpkins! Oh and not to mention having Hocus Pocus on repeat during the day- our favourite. Hope you are all having a great time getting in the ‘spirit’!

Halloween festivities

Halloween festivities

Halloween festivities

Halloween festivities

Halloween festivities

Life With A One Year Old

We are now in the ‘life with a one year old’ stage. It’s an exciting time, that is also nerve racking and exhausting and though life is speeding by at a mile a minute,  I am loving every moment. We got over the chaos of a trip back to Vancouver for the birthday party and all of the unpacking that went with it. This week has been filled with busy ‘mommy and me’ dates to Mother Goose at the library, crisp Fall walks along the river, trying to get errands done, and a bit of housework here and there. Amidst all the usual day to day activities, I am in awe of how much baby development has occured. It really was just last week that Hallie was taking her very first steps in an uncoordinated fashion. Over the course of two days she has been cruisin all over the house. A bit wobbly here and there of course but man can that girl get around! Speech has really sped up as well. Before we were getting a lot of ma-ma-ma-ma and da-da-da-da and for a good week or so, everything was ‘baby’. Now she is spitting out long convoluted sentences that are jam-packed full of baby words. I know that it’s only a matter of time before her sounds make actual words! I pray to God that her first word isn’t f#ck! With the baseball playoffs on in our house full-time and a husband who gets very INTO the game, I would not be a bit surprised if it was her first word. I have gently been reminding him to curb his language so that we can prevent this. Two other areas where we seem to have leaped bounds are eating and sleeping. My girl is a picky eater. She takes after her father and seems to have this thing with texture. If it’s slimy then there is a good chance it’s taking a flying leap off of the highchair tray and into the dog’s mouth. How obliging of her. But the last few days she has been  quite the hungry hippo and taking down whatever comes her way. My doctor jokingly said that Hallie could be the kid at daycare who shares all of her snacks. Her size indicates she could miss a few meals! Bless her… and her thighs! Sleeping has been good as well; though I don’t like to say it too loudly or even think about it as I fear doing this will jinx everything. Lets just say I feel slightly rested and that is a win in any momma’s book.

So that was a recap about all of the good. With the good always comes the bad my friends!  TANTRUMS! WTF. I thought tantrums came when your child could communicate. Apparently they happen because they can’t. It could be closing a door so that she can’t get into the bathroom and play with the toilet bowl water. It could be trying to sneakily hide my brand new iPhone 6 so that she can’t slobber all over it like my last phone and destroy it. It could be time for stroller or her carseat, and god forbid a strap-in harness keep this girl down. She will let the whole world know vocally that she is not down with whatever I am doing.  I am learning, episode by loud episode, not to let it get to me and to carry on with the task at hand. But holy crap, girlfriend needs to settle down.  Oh and then there is the teeth. How many teeth can naturally be cut at once, I wonder. Even my doctor was like ‘whoa that is quite a few teeth at once for her age!’. Every baby teethes in their own way and every parent ‘parents’ in their own way. We are advocates of the amber necklace and occasional use of baby Advil and Oragel when things get very bad. Many parents, some that I know as friends or family even, are against medicine for babies and it is totally cool, for them. We are a bit wussy in this house with pain though so that is the solution that has been working for us. I also know these days are numbered so I am not too worried!

That about sums up where we are at these days in the life of ‘One’. I am quickly learning that every single day is full of new challenges, new defeats and of course, new accomplishments. This crazy world of parenting just keeps going and flipping each day sideways and all we can do is hope we are doing a decent enough job that keeps our babies happy (and alive!).  Time to enjoy a Saturday night because who knows what Sunday will bring. =)

First Birthday For My Baby Girl

It feels like forever since I have written a post; it has just been too busy lately! Between Thanksgiving, ongoing home renovations, a teething baby who doesn’t sleep anymore, and a trip back to Vancouver, free time has been non-existent. I keep waiting for things to quiet down but really that is just not this family’s style. We thrive on the chaos I suppose….
Like I said we just came back from visiting family in friends in Vancouver. The trip to the Coast was for two main reasons. First reason is that I refuse to let go of my relationship with my doctor and Hallie was due for her one year appointment. I know that one day soon I will need to find a doctor in Kamloops but really, my doctor in North Vancouver is just so awesome. I love her and Hallie loves her so we are having a difficult time moving on. With that being said, we had to get Hallie’s one year immunizations done and it made sense to tie it into the trip! I am such a mean mommy though; I scheduled them for her actual birthday! Needless to say it was a bit of an emotional day. Considering it was four needles, my kid took it like a champ! I probably cried more than her. She had been teething badly all week long too so Friday quickly turned into a bit of an Advil day for my sweet girl. The second reason for our trip was to celebrate her FIRST BIRTHDAY! How is it possible my baby is one already? The year went by so quickly. Now my little baby is a toddler! Even Hubs can’t believe it so it’s not just a mom-thing.

So the birthday party….. man did I get a shock on this one! I have had my share of parties and many of them a little overwhelming. I have planned parties and events through work for many years and usually have a steady head on my shoulders. (meaning I can handle all of the stress!) Even at nine months pregnant I threw my own baby shower which was very busy and long and energetic… still, I kept calm hah! I did remain calm yesterday but it was a challenge! My mom’s house is on the tiny side. Many people didn’t RSVP either so as people poured into her little living room, with ALL of their kids, things got squishy very quickly. Hyper children everywhere. Plus a couple round Hallie’s age who are not solid walkers yet still want to play with the big kids so basically they are just tripping hazards. Throw in a couple of newborns and maybe 20 adults – then we have a party! (Insert moment to chug white wine here!). Luckily, most of the adults were those that have kids and didn’t seem to be too concerned. I THINK everyone had a good time but they could just be polite and secretly avoid all calls, texts and future party invitations from me. I am sure most of them are cursing me for hosting such a zoo of a birthday party but oh well. That is what happens when you don’t live here and have to host the party at your mother’s! =) In  the end, it was all worth it to see my baby smile!

About that baby!…. Hallie skipped napping entirely before the party. She did sleep in until 10 AM so I figured it would be okay. I was very wrong. Really, the only thing she was content doing was crawling outside to the yard where the big kids were playing. Her highlight of the day was sitting in the dirt. MY CHILD WAS FILTHY!!!! I salvaged the tutu and cream fur vest but the gold and white leggings were disgusting. Every time I tried to redirect her attention inside to people or other shiny objects, she would scream bloody murder. So back out in the dirt she went. If you can’t get dirty on your birthday when can you?! We also decided quickly that cake would happen outside. That was the best damn idea of the day! From then on, things relaxed a bit, or at least I did (perhaps the wine?) and I finally got to catch up with some friends. All in all, despite the chaos and stress of entertaining, it was a great day.

Happy birthday my sweet Hallie Marie! You are a wild child and I would not have that any other way. We love you to the moon and back and can’t wait to see how you grow this year! Love Mom & Dad! XOXOXO

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Oh yes AFTER haha… The poor baby fells asleep when I was trying to feed her dinner. Out cold. I like the comparison of the two pictures!

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble…

Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating today, on Sunday, though many people I have talked to had an early Saturday celebration. Then there are the lucky ones who have multiple turkey dinners to attend and will likely be enjoying more deliciousness tomorrow! In my opinion, the more celebrating you do with food, the better.

We were in full swing today with our inappropriately sized turkey. I plan on freezing a lot of it so hopefully we get to enjoy many meals from my expensive birdie here. This year I decided to try a meat injector that my mom sent me. Never having done this before, I turned to Google. There have been years when we have brined the turkey and years where we have just seasoned and roasted. This year, I felt like the mad scientist with my giant syringe. I found a great recipe that included beer (thank you Old Milwaukee), butter, Worcestershire, tabasco, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. A few shots into each breast and under the skin and we were ready to go. I slathered the remaining sauce on top and sprinkled rosemary to keep in time with tradition. Into the oven she went for five hot and sweaty hours. Accompanying our bird was homemade stuffing, green friends including sprouts, beans and broccoli, roasted potatoes and just to keep things saucy, gravy and cheese sauce. It might sound complicated but it was a very low maintenance meal when it is spread out over that amount of time.

Now that the food has all been eaten (and frozen), the sangria is drained and our bellies are full, it is time to relax and watch Blue Jays hopefully kick some butt. I am so thankful for my family and that we have a warm and cozy house to call home. I hope all of you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoy this very special holiday weekend. Time to hit the gym now . . .

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Thanksgiving Meal Prep

I can’t believe we are already well into October and it is Thanksgiving weekend! Seriously, where does the fricken time go? Hallie will also be ONE on Friday! I am baffled at how the last year passed by so quickly. When you watch a tiny baby grow into a toddler it really puts time into perspective. But enough time of reflect because it’s high time we cooked a turkey. Or at least prepped for cooking it tomorrow.

It’s our first holiday in our new home and new life in Kamloops. Even though there is only going to be three of us in attendance, I still felt the need to go all out with the usual Thanksgiving meal. I found a great local butcher and though I probably shouldn’t have, ordered a fresh local  bird. I requested the tiniest turkey possible, falling in the 11-15 pound category. I had a mild heart attack this afternoon when I went and picked up (and paid a ridiculous price for) my NINETEEN POUND birdie! WTF. May as well invite the entire Food Bank over now. I have not told hubby how much I paid for this chubby chickadee either. I will drown my broke ass sorrows in wine tonight though!

Since the real cooking action does not take place until tomorrow, I had a full afternoon of preparation on my hands. Now either I have done this meal too many times, or the shiraz has numbed all nerves, but I found it relatively stress-free and enjoyable. Or maybe it’s because no one is coming over. That sure relieves the usual holiday tension as well. I have decided to share some of my prep pictures and recipes, just in case you are in a last minute scramble looking for some tasty ideas.

Fall Inspired Sangria:

This was inspired by my new neighbours. I went to a shopping party the other night (yes, a shopping party) fuelled with this sangria and boy was it tasty. I am also never one to flow recipes exactly so feel free to toy around with the ingredients. I have a feeling though that this particular concoction will result in a very happy Thanksgiving afternoon.

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1 bottle chardonnay, 2 cups club soda, 2 cups white grapefruit juice, 2 cups rum (I used spiced rum for an extra kick), 1 cup sugar, half a bag of cranberries, chopped apples (I used Honey Crisp and Granny Smith). Let it sit and simmer for 24 hours, add ice and get tanked! I will let you know how it goes…

Homemade Stuffing For The Bird:

I am known to cook up some stove top stuffing on a normal day but the holiday calls for the homemade goods. There are countless recipes out there and sometimes it is fun to try variations that include sausage and apple and nuts. This year we are sticking with the traditional flavours. Three days ago I ripped up a bag of white sliced bread and let it go stale. I combined 2 cups of celery, 2 cups of onions, butter and the usual spice suspects in a sauce pan and let those babies sizzle. My kitchen smelt amazing! In a large mixing bowl mix together 2.5 cups of chicken stock, the stale bread, 2 eggs beaten, the celery/onion combo and salt and pepper. Go easy on your salt though because once you cross that sodium line, you can’t go back. That’s it. Refrigerate the mixture overnight and stuff that birdie with it in the morning. (On a side note here, if the turkey is done and your stuffing is still a bit soggy, bake it under the grill and it will crisp right up. Most importantly those turkey juices have become one with your stuffing, all getting ready for a party in your grateful mouth.)

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Cranberry Sauce:

Every time I make cranberry sauce I miss one of my best girl friends so so much. Maria, this batch is for you. We have a tradition of making cranberry sauce (while drinking) and I feel super nostalgic whenever I have to complete this task on my own. Much like stuffing, there are a TON of recipes out there. My favourite includes orange zest but since it is a sparsely attended meal this year, I am keeping it simple. I even followed the directions on the packet so that just shows you my imagination is limited right now. I did add a splash of whiskey and a sprinkle of nutmeg because it is tradition and really adds a punch of flavour. I highly recommend you take a peak in your liquor cabinet and see what secret sauce you can add to your own recipe! Untitled

My last tip is don’t forget to keep that little one busy. Here is my attempt while my husband turned our living room in to a construction zone and I prepped for our MASSIVE meal that shall go down tomorrow. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving prep to you!

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Decorating The Front Porch For Fall

If you read my last post, well then you know we have been in full force around the house with decorating for fall. I am a little worried as we have yet to make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. This means more pumpkins are coming! I will need to do some strategic rearranging no doubt of the already existing decor! We have completed the finishing touches on our front porch though and that is what I am sharing with you today! I have always wanted a porch. We had a small one in our townhouse last year however it was tucked around the side of the house and it was rare that anyone saw the display. My house now has a stately front porch which is the first thing you see when you look at the house. Naturally I had to put together some fun ideas in honour of having that space. When we got married, I invested in four vintage crates as our wedding theme was quite rustic. These crates are perfect for repurposing during the fall and winter season. I started with those and a few fall mums. I am not sure if I was luckily to pick the bad bunch or I simply killed them but my  mums have died. A sad, dry and lonely looking death. So I moved on to gourds (big surprise), a couple of craft pumpkins from Michaels and small cooking pumpkins from the grocery store. Like I said, we still need to visit the pumpkin patch. We will absolutely be getting some larger, warty and witchy looking pumpkins to join in on this space. The sign was built by my husband and with some spray paint, stencilled letters and your standard burlap garland, it added the perfect touch to a very lonely looking corner. Lastly was the wreath. It is not my usual style when it comes to wreathes but it adds some festive color to the door and seems to work well with everything else.

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No holiday decor is complete without a little chalkboard art either. I can’t wait to come up with some spooky sketches in honour of Halloween as well. It’s also time to break out Hocus Pocus and watch it on repeat!

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I couldn’t resist sharing this picture. My tiny baby was a week old and we squeezed in a pumpkin patch visit with her. It will be so fun to compare this to this year’s pics and see how much she has grown. I also might cry a little!

Hope you are enjoying the start to this festive time of year!