Greek inspired lentil salad

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I am Indian, a desi, a first generation Indo-Canadian and I very rarely cook daal.

Why?

I just find indian food to be very mushy or overcooked.  Well some of it I love: Saag or Panner but all my life, I’ve always loved salad (I can see everything, it’s crunchy and healthy obvi :P) so eating indian food that has been cooked to an oblivion isn’t really appetizing to me.

But, I had no idea that the base of a salad could be something other than lettuce, kale or spinach.  I mean I’ve made quinoa salads but never a daal based salad.

Until I found this recipe.

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What you need:

Lentils:

  • 2 cups of brown green lentils
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic

Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 6 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tbls vinegar (I didn’t have cherry so I used white)
  • Pepper to taste

Everything else:

  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Soft cheese to top (I used feta)

What you’ll do:

  1. Cook the lentils by first rinsing them a few times in cold water, then adding them to a pot with the garlic and bay leaves and filling the pot with water 2 inches over the lentils.  Let the lentils boil on high heat for 20 minutes and then on medium-low for another 15 minutes until they are tender.  Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and garlic and strain.  Place lentils in the fridge to cool
  2. Add the salt, mustard seeds, olive oil and vinegar to a bowl and whisk until the mix emulsifies
  3. Chop up the cucumber, Avo and slice the olives and cheese as required.
  4. Mix everything (except the cheese) until everything is fully coated in the dressing.
  5. Plate your salad and top with cheese.  Serve as a side or as a main :)

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Inspiring creativity in my kids

You know as a parent you are doing something creatively right (especially when it literally feels like chaos in the house 24/7) when you kid asks you to put the photograph you just captured on your camera in their room. But what exactly am I doing:  I am taking time to do something creative everyday.  Luckily my kiddos see what I do.

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We went on a stroller walk, which I turned into a photography walk because it ended up being the only chance I had all week to use my camera.  I’ve kept my 50MM lens on my DSLR for about a month now to create a constraint in hopes that it would allow my creativity to flourish within a restriction.  It has – and I am loving it.

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We had a great weekend, family dinners, breakfasts out, soccer practice, lots of coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and even a McD’s run (because we are so used to daycare taking care of lunches :P)

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My to-do list is long and already in play.  I even got started on some of my planning.

Yesterday’s OOTD and brain dump

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Shoes | Skirt | T-shirt | Specs

  1. Some nights…dinners include veggies like bok choy and mushrooms other days it’s the 4th bowl of cheerios that day 😶 #ToddlersRule
  2. I can’t be the only one who feels unkempt when my nails are bare of lacquer.
  3. For the remainder of the month of July my goals are to 1) finish #The100dayproject and 2) create my Return to Work strategy which will be executed in a few months.  These are both huge goals and complete opposite spectrums of my life (creativity and career – really wish they were more aligned).  I am planning on deciding on 3 main tasks for each goal and then breaking up those tasks into small action items for the coming weeks.
  4. Started using MyFitnessPal to track my food intake because I realized portion control  was not happening and volume eating potentially does not work for me.
  5. I need a new photobook creating site (Shutterfly isn’t my jam at the moment) – send me your suggestions or leave a comment below!

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Everything I am wearing is vintage aka already in my closet and has been for a few years (minus the shoes).  Although I want to buy so many cute summer things I am not (I am not perfect but I am doing my best).   You can read more about that here.

A day in the life: 3 months of Mat Leave

I have reached 3 months (ok almost 5 months now) of mat leave and I am pretty stoked at some of the cool things I’ve accomplished.  The first time I went on Mat Leave – the unstructured day left me feeling confused and flailing.

This time around I’ve been reading more, listening to more music/podcasts, blogging regularly, taking lots of pictures (+ making more attempts to print photos), writing / bullet journaling, working out and generally being more present as a mom to a baby (the first time around, I was surrounded by a lot of help which didn’t allow me to experience what I am experiencing now).

Along with all of this, I / we have been way more busy.  Adding a second kiddo doesn’t just double the amount of work in your home, career and personal life; it literally feels like our effort in all of these areas has increase exponentially!

Thankfully, I haven’t been consumed with all of that “busyness” I’ve set some goals for myself (like getting my steps in, reduce unnecessary spending and baking bread – ok hasn’t happened yet but it will) and I am happy at how productive I’ve been and feel like I’ve been really living up to my #onelittleword for the year.

So for #MemoriesSake I wanted to document a day in the life.

4:45am – Miss El gets a little restless and immediately hear her (I am the lightest sleeper).  I  hopped out of bed and see that she’s wrangled her arms out of the swaddle (we are currently co sleeping with her in the same room).  I pick her up and bring her to our bed for a feed.

5:30am – I’ve swaddled her back up and put her in the nursery crib for her early morning nap.  I jump into bed for another 15-20min of sleep as the Mister gets up.

6:20am – I get a kiss on my forehead from the Hubz and he tells me the time.  We usually go wake up Miss S together at her request the night before.  I quickly change into my workout clothes, grab my water bottle, glasses, phone and fitbit (nope haven’t even brushed my teeth yet #MatLeaveLife).  If we are lucky she is still sleeping and we watch her for a few moments curled up with her blankie – if not we are met with a threenager :P

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6:35am – After our good mornings/wrangling Miss S out of bed, I usually help her in the bathroom (brush, potty, change her clothes) while the Hubz gets downstairs to start their breakfast.  I tell her about the fun things coming up this week/weekend, we say some daily affirmations, we talk about her baby sis etc.  Afterwards we head downstairs for breakfast.

6:50am – They are eating breakfast and I pull out the Mister’s lunch.  I brush my teeth in the downstairs bathroom and/or walk circles around our mainfloor while brushing #GottaGetMyStepsIn and then down a bottle of water with my vitamins (this one and then this one)

7:20am – I give them both kisses goodbye and then check on Miss El using our baby monitor.  Fingers crossed she stays asleep while I workout.

8:00am – After the treadmill I did some resistance training and the 7 minute workout (current challenge I have going with some friends).  I come upstairs to finish up with stretches and foam rolling.  I might have anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes left of #MeTime before Miss El gets up.  I try and fit in a quick bite to eat.

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8:20am – Annndd she’s up!  She so happy to see me and me to see her!  She does some stretches in her crib then I pick her up, changer her diaper, giver her a D drop and put her on her tummy for some tummy time.  This is usually when I write in my Five Minute Journal.

9:30am – By now I’ve given her another feed, we’ve cuddled, giggled and played on the bed so we head downstairs.  I put Miss El down to play on her mat and I tidy up the table from breakfast (which ususally means dumping the dishes in the sink and leaving them there all day – ha!).  Once I can tell she’s getting restless, I either hold her facing forward with one hand and use the other to do somethings around the house (maybe laundry or maybe check social media) or put her in the sling.

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10:20am – She’s in her crib for another nap.  This is usually when I try doing something creative, or write or take pictures for the blog.  If it’s an errand day, I’ll usually try to get things done while she takes a car seat nap (groceries or some shopping etc).

11:15am – And she’s up again.  Change her diaper and some more tummy time (which is happens on this nursing pillow).  I give her another feed and we head downstairs again.

11:30am – I start prepping my lunch or make a cup of coffee or tea. I water the plants and pick up the house.  Miss El is either playing on her tummy or sitting in the jumper looking out the window :)

12:30pm – She seemed a little drowsy so I put her down again. I eat my lunch with either my computer (so I can write), my book or the TV.  I’ve been watching waaaayyy too many Netflix documentaries.  So today it’s my book.  If I wasn’t able to get in a workout in the morning (as in Miss El woke up as soon as the Mister and Miss S left the house) I’ll fit in a quick workout here.

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2:00pm –  It’s another diaper change and then playtime on her tummy.   I give her a feed then put her in her little crib and pull it into the bathroom so I can take a shower. If I am lucky she’ll let me half straighten my hair :)

2:35pm – She wants to be held a bit by this time so it’s either than one hander (facing forward) or into the sling.

3:45pm – Another nap! I take stalk of what needs to be done to make the house presentable.  This nap also means time to prep dinner.

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4:45pm – She’s up and gets her diaper changed then I give her another feed. We will chit chat a bit, have a mini photoshoot then head downstairs.

5:30pm – One last feed before the witching hour begins.

6:02pm – The mister and big sis are home, we eat dinner, play and start bedtime routines. What a day!

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All images are from pinterest!

Miss El’s four month update

Our Ellie-belly is 4 months. She’s found her voice and uses it to make a hilarious throat gurgle or a high pitched shriek (just in time for witching hour).

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She’s also realized she has hair and two ears. She’s found her knees and is trying to understand how they attach to her feet and toes. She is very ticklish, loves to kick us in the face (or kick anything really, bath water, parts of her play gym and even the air) and her fingers are her favourite snack (much to big sissy’s dismay “Elowa we don’t put our fingers in our moups”).  She also loves to stare at her sister, especially in the car after preschool pick up.

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Her favorite toys are the classic o-ball, o-ball cricket turn toy, as well as this bear because it’s perfect to practice her BLW skills.  On that note, she’s started following us as we eat (food from plate to hand, hand to mouth and then it disappears).  I think she may have figured out her name (or at least recognize it in the sing song way we say it).

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I am having a hard time keeping her finger nails trimmed and not exactly sure what to do with her hair (head bands just don’t stay on!)

Miss El has already visited three work place offices, been to Canada’s Wonderland, several playgyms and a few birthday parties.  Can’t believe that she’ll be starting solids in a few months and then I’ll be halfway into my Mat Leave :O

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5 daily pick me ups

Mat leave is wonderful and hard.  The second time around it’s definitely more work. The first time around, I don’t remember ever making/preparing dinner before 5pm or doing dishes for that matter.  These days I am constantly multitasking and with that I fight for my personal time.  I need it for myself and for my family.

On the hard days, I want to remind myself on ways to pick myself up.  So here goes:

1. Consume something positive or uplifting: My go-tos are an inspiring Ted Talk, Pod Cast or listening to my summer play list.  I know I’ve been discussing and trying to understand #CreateMoreThanYouConsume but when the thing you are consuming is positive and uplifting I really believe it pushes you to create something.  You’ll have a smile on your face, you’ll be filled with inspiration or you’ll actually create something to deliver what you’ve learned.  Here, here and here are somethings I’ve consumed worth sharing.

TLY_WRWW12. Drink water: and lots of it.  When I am feeling blah, a light goes off in my head “drink more water, drink water now, finish that entire bottle and then refill it”.  So without thinking I do just that.  On some level I think it’s my brain or unconscious self saying, get rid of the toxins and you’ll start to feel more content.

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3.  Exercise: Whether it’s a stroller walk in the mall or run on the treadmill while the baby sleeps, stop procrastinating and do it.  The endorphins will kick in and you’ll have an automatic smile on your face.

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4. Journal: Right now, I have two journals of choice.  One for gratitude/intention/affirmations/positive thinking and another for day planning/bullet journaling. I use them to both start and end my day as well as keep me focused on things I want to accomplish.

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5.  Get Outside:  Fresh air does wonders.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes of sitting in the warmth of the sun.  The babe will be mesmerized by something in nature which will give you a few minutes to yourself :)

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