Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 10)

We are fast approaching the middle of August which means the CNE is starting up and summer is winding down.  This summer as a family of 4 and mom of 2 has been probably the best one yet.  Although I can’t believe I’ve probably only had a handful of cocktails (#NormalizeBreastFeeding)

I know I am a week late with my weekend wrap up but honestly never late then never.  Because let’s be real here – when I do these types of posts, it’s mainly for myself (or my future self I should say)

And I think it goes without saying, I like to document things.  So without further ado, here is a quick recap of our Civic long weekend :)

Friday evening we braved the long weekend crowd and had dinner at our go-to family date night restaurant.  It’s always a little hairy because by the time we get there it’s the start of bed time routine.  Buuuutt we do it anyway, mostly because the Hubz and I are completed clueless about dinner by fridays (that’s a lie, we have the “what should we have for dinner” convo at least 5 times a day) and the change in scenery is a must for all of us.

Saturday, we had lunch with my in laws.  We went to a steak place, but thankfully I was able to find a veggie option that tasted pretty good!

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Sunday we met my family for lunch at my sisters.  Followed by some fun in the sun at a local park.
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Monday, we hung out with friends.  Pretty chill afternoon hanging out in the backyard with all of kids running around us lol.

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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.

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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Dear tomato “plant”

I am sad to report that my tomato plant called it quits over the weekend.  I came home on Saturday afternoon to see that the plant stalks had fallen over.  To be honest I knew that maybe the plant was not doing so well as it started looking more like weeds than the large leaves I was hoping to see.

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I didn’t bother stalking it as the instructions didn’t say to but I do regret not moving it to a larger pot and updating the soil.  I’ll definitely needed some more love and planning.  And I probably should’ve have watered it more often #BadPlantMom

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I’ve definitely picked up a few tricks for next year, such as spacing the seeds, using more than one planter, starting from a seedling and maybe trying a few varieties.

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My gardening goals are on hold until next year – time to start pinning and planning for next spring!

Toronto Trippin’ with Miss El

When we left our downtown condo I was about 4 months pregnant with Miss S and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Living in the city has it’s perks (everything was walking distance) but I was so over the congestion and car pollution I was really looking forward to more green-space and less concrete jungle.

For me, taking a solo-mama-babe-in-the-stroller visit to the city is a real accomplishment.  It’s like a #RookieMom rite of passage!  I mean with Miss S I did it when she was closer to one year old.  But with our Ellie Bell it happened at 3 months.

We ended up driving down (wasn’t too keen on nursing on the Go Transit during the commuter rush) and seeing my co-workers, introducing Miss El to my mentor and then having lunch with the Mister after visiting his office.  Later in the afternoon, I wandered around Eaton Centre, broke my no-buy-challenge after 27 days (although disappointing it did make an impact on my spending habits – more on that in another post).

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Love the vines growing on buildings near Forest Hill

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In the super glam elevator at H&M – which was obviously made for selfies!

Although do-able with a double stroller, the Eaton Centre is not as stroller friendly as I thought.  I was walking from either ends of the mall to get to the elevators,which were always heavily in use (had to miss two rides because they were crowded with people).  I got over 13,000 steps throughout the entire day in my comfy #AthletiLeasure sneaks.

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Made my option a little more vegan friendly by saying no meat please and getting tofu instead.

For our lunch date, we went to Spring Rolls.  I had the tofu chowmein noodles and Hubz had the chicken pad thai.  We chit chatted and made goggly eyes at each other – it’s been a long time.  I almost always take a part of my dish home but it was so good I ended up finishing it (even when Miss El needed to be held).

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Overall it was nice trip into the city (despite the rain which I was fully prepared for).  Planning another trip later this year.