A new years Life Lately post

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I say life lately – but this is more of a brain dump!  (I started writing this post on Monday and it’s now Friday and I am finally getting around to hit the publish button)

Weekend Recap
We actually had a nice weekend.  Friday we were at a first birthday/Lohri party for a dear friend of mine’s daughter.  The party was at an Indian Banquet hall and I have to say it was so well done.  A play area for the kids, candy bar, amazing decor, well planned table games, even the entertainment was something new.  Although now I am more convinced to do a small intimate celebration for our Ellie.  I do feel kind of guilty for not doing the same things with both kids but I do have keep my sanity!

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Starting Meal-Prep
I did meal prep on the weekend in an effort to practice for the real deal in a few months.  Here is what I made:  Breakfast options included 2 days of oven baked omelettes, 2 days of green smoothies (to be paired with pb on toast), 1 day of oatmeal.  For mains I made slow cooker eggplant parmesan, buffalo cauliflower and we made a huge batch of brown rice.  Also I had a coconut chickpea stew in the freezer that I pulled out for dinner and lunch!  I’ve been eyeing these meal prep containers for over a year – I should just get them!

So what have I learned from meal prepping / using my slow cooker (honestly I feel like I am the only person not using an instant pot to make rice in 4 minutes) is that:

  • Meal prep 2.5 mains for use during the week as lunches or dinners
  • Prep veggies/legumes as the 0.5 for 1) above.  So things like the roasted cauliflower, roasted chickpeas, cooked black beans or steamed broccoli or peas (which I am doing next week).  These can be added to anything to make a meal more full (or to pasta or rice for kiddo meals).
  • Make a big batch of grains for use during the week.  I like to add some to a big salad and it can obviously be used as a base.
  • Prep some healthy snacks like energy bites or protein cookies (I didn’t do it this time but I will try next time)
  • Have tons of sauces, spreads, toppings and garnishes on hand.  I made a ranch dressing out of mayo, milk, onion powder and dill – it was so good and I was quite impressed.  I hate buying store bought dressing to only use it once or twice and then have it be a complete waste.   Other things we have used this week: cilantro, hot sauce, roasted sesame seeds, almond butter, cacao nibs etc
  • Plan your grocery run and make sure you have a list
  • Do the groceries before the weekend (if you can).  I find it very tiring and impossible to do the groceries on the weekend with the kids in tow and then to some how find the time to prep the food.  I haven’t figured out when to make the food (right now it’s a little at night and little in the morning and lots in between) so having the food in the house gives me some leeway.

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Watching
I am heavy into some royal history on Netflix.  Reason being two fold – I the modern royals fascinating and I get a history lesson along the way.

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Fitness
The mister and I are trying to find out new norm for working out.  Gone are the days where we could spend upwards of an hour at the gym.  Having kids changes everything.  Do cardio, resistance training, some abs and of course stretch all in one session.   We’ve realized the best we can do is 15 minute intervals.  So we are starting again, starting small and slow.
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Reading
I just finished reading The Rushing Woman’s Syndrome.  It was actually a really great read for the point in my life where I am now.  I hope to do a review and share my favourite parts of the book in a later post.  I feel even more empowered to care for what I eat and how I treat myself #Selfcare.  I started reading Overdressed, and it’s already grabbed my attention.  And I still have to go back and finish reading Ishmael.

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PS: All images are from Tumblr (credited as found)

Happy New Year + #OneLittleWord

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Happy New Year!

This is a big year for our family.  So many things are lined up for this year.   It makes me both excited and nervous (in a good-ish way LOL)

I have given my #OneLittleWord a lot of thought.  (You can read what lasts years word is here).

This years word is MORE:

More Memories
More Experiences
More Time
More Reading
More Creating
More Exploring
More Giving
More Movement
More Water
More Plants
More Saving the Planet (lol)
More Writing
More Working on my Goals
More Intention
More Blogging
More Pictures
More deep breathing
More getting things done
More Visualization
More Journaling
More Friends
More Datenights
More Family
More Living
More Calm
More Happiness
More Success
…and definitely More Love

Sweet Proposal & Virtual Dust

The other day, the mister really wanted to take me to a spot a little up north from where we live so I could photograph it.  I asked him which lenses I would need, he said thats for me to decide.  I think he told me it was an abandoned barn / “one of those photos you really want to get”. It wasn’t an abandoned barn and it’s actually I photo I already have / drawn to capture.

But the thoughtfulness of his proposal was too sweet to just let these photos collect virtual dust on my memory card before uploading them to the google cloud.

So here they are…. Post processed and watermarked.

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Special Thanks: to #1 who quietly waited while her mother fussed with her lenses and took some pictures and to #2 who took her morning nap in the car seat.

December Intentions – Mid month check in

We are at Mid December so I figured it would be a good time for me to review my December Intentions.

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I started using a new journal for my gratitude. I found this beautiful hard cover pocket journal with marble design.  It’s like a moleskin (lined, with a bookmark and a band to keep the book closed.  It’s small enough that I can keep it in my smallest purse but I like to keep it on my night stand.  I usually write in it before I close my eyes, but in the morning it doesn’t get filled in until around 8ish (after breakfast & sending the Mister and Miss S on their way).  I try and write 4-6 reasons of gratitude.  Something as simple as “drinking lots of water”, “I got to see my friend for coffee” or “I get to fold laundry”.

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I have been visualizing a lot but I think I want to do more of it with paper to pen.  So I intend to do more writing where I see future self.

I ended November in a spirit of “give me all the cookies, chocolate and sweets”.  I kind of let myself eat whatever I wanted for 2.5 weeks.  On top of that I stopped wearing my FitBit and didn’t work out – simply because I didn’t feel like it.  Around Dec 10, I felt something was a miss.  I didn’t feel like myself and I realized it was because I wasn’t drinking enough water, not making a conscious effort to be active and that eating what ever I wanted was not giving me joy.  So I stopped!  I am doing some light workouts, drinking 3L of water a day and refraining from eating dessert.  It may look like I am restricting myself – but letting myself do whatever I want was actually more restrictive to my wellbeing.  So yes lots of steps and activity – just not measure it.

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I’ve reached out to my mentor and looking forward to her response and a phone meeting we are going to have.

I am using my camera a lot and I try to post the pictures on the blog.

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It’s been easier for me to chant “I am, I can, I will, I do” for 2 minutes than sit and meditate in the more traditional way.  I can say that I’ve been doing this at least every other days (which is a lot more than I’ve ever done for quiet meditation).

I am 1/3 done the book I’ve been reading.  It’s good but there is too much science/biology explanations happening that I end up skimming over it.  I still plan to have this book finished by the end of the month.  I’ve told the Mister I don’t want anything for Christmas.  Not even socks LOL.  I’ve asked him to upload my e-reader with TONS of books.

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Okay so as for giving.  I can honestly say I haven’t done enough.  I mean I am doing the usual teacher gifts for Miss S, participating in a few Kris Kringles and of course for my parents but I still haven’t “pay it forward” or written any Christmas Cards just because.  Something to work on for the rest of the month.

Road trip to Pittsburgh

At the beginning of November, the Hubz, the girls and I travelled to Pittsburgh for my husband’s cousins’ wedding.  I was terrified to do a 6 hour car ride with the girls. (give or take an hour or so).  I mean, Miss S literally asks for a snack as soon as I buckle her into the car seat.  And she (like any other kid, including myself when I was her age) incessently ask “are we there yet” or “how many more minutes”. I was really afraid I would lose my $#!t.  (#BadMom alert!)

I am happy to report that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Considering we’ve done a few 2 hour trips with them, this was relativity easier.  Mainly because we broke up the trip and having Miss S ride half the time with us and the other half with her grandparents (who were also attending – just driving another car).

We made sure to have lots of snacks, a bag of entertainment (crayons, letter beads/pipe cleaners, hot wheels and lots of books via this children’s e-reader), a few CDs burnt with our favourite songs of the moment (like this, this and this) and of course an iPad with some downloaded kids shows as back up (thanks to Netflix Canada’s downloadable feature)…. I felt for the most part prepared.

Not sure if we could do that type of road trip on our own but I do feel a little more aware of what to expect and a dare I say a little more confident.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped while we were away!

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Kids asleep in the mobile bunk bed (aka a double stroller) so we get to ENJOY!

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Miss S always makes our family pictures so much fun :P

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I always love seeing the “4 pillar” representations at Hindu weddings.

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Gparents babysitting meant that us two got a break and went straight to the Hotel Lobby Bar ;)

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The happy couple!

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3 EASY Festive (Non) Baking Ideas + Our Christmas Decor

It’s that time of year where all I want to do is eat all of the sweet treats and go to all the potlucks.  One day I would love the idea of being one of those mom’s that adores baking and cooking up a storm…buuuttt I already know that I am DEFINITELY one of those women who eats EVERYTHING on the dessert table so I really have to keep my sweet treat making in check!  Aaaannnd I am always nervous I’ll mess up the recipe so I love the idea of #Bakinghacks :)

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Stockings | Evergreen Garland | Floral Clip Ornaments

I do have some lunch and dinners planned with friends and family before Christmas, so I figured it would be a great option for me to flex my creative (non) baking muscle without worrying that I’ll eat everything on my own.  I found some awesome options for faux-baking/pre-made cookie decorating LOL.

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Fairy Lights | Garland | Frame

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Pom Pom Garland

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Elf on the Shelf

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Floating Shelf | Mini Wicker Baskets (Similar) | Frames | Mason Jar

Ok so on to the no-bake-treats and cookie decorating ideas.  I saw these and thought I would love to add a Christmas touch to our beloved peanut butter cookies.  We literally make these cookies all year round.  They are more or less guilt free and have no white sugar or flour. Just dip them in some melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some red, white and green sprinkles and they are a perfect holiday treat.

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The Hubz loves turtles so these would be for him (I am not a fan of caramel) these are super easy and take literally 10 minutes.  I can’t believe I’ve never made them before.  I am just not sure if I should used salted or unsalted pretzels?

Lastly I have to at least attempt to make these DIY thin mints.  I love girl guide cookies and being able to make these at Christmas (or even all year round would be brilliant).

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Check out our christmas decorations from last year!