My Costco Conundrum

 

Costco Vs Farm

I went to Costco yesterday, and for the first time ever I didn’t feel dirty when I left.  I actually came away from there with some good things.

Now, this is a shocker for me, because usually when I go there, there is nothing good.  Mostly because I really really try to shop ethically- and the contrast between costco and ethical is huge. That, and I like quality food.  Usually I find the stuff there -ummm- shall we say, it’s un-quality.

I also really make an effort to give my money to local business who are trying to support their family’s.  I try to buy local produce whenever possible- this because our farmers need our support and it just tastes so much better, plus then it’s not shipped across the country.

Of course I am not perfect and I fall off the local/ethical wagon all the time.  Coffee, avocado’s/banana’s…and so forth.  But if something is coming to me on a plane, I try hard to draw the line.

This way of buying takes constant effort.  There are so many temptations out there.  The rosy strawberries stacked up so pretty in December, or the tomato’s when you haven’t had a tomato in months.  When I do cave to these temptress’ it never ends well.  The strawberry will be crisp and flavorless, ditto for the tomato.

But yesterday at Costco.  A GIANT bag of pre-washed baby kale, $3.99.  We eat a lot of kale ’round these parts.  Kale in our smoothies, kale in our salad, kale in our sandwiches…you get the idea.  That $3.99 is a GREAT price.  And the convenience of pre-washed is pretty amazing.

We actually have a small garden and grow kale, so usually I have to get on my coat and boots, and walk out to the back yard and pick it, come back in, put away my coat and boots, wash and cut Kale and then I am good to go.  But thanks to Costco- I just reach my hand into the fridge, and open a convenient resealable bag, and voila.

They also had a giant thing of organic spinach, all ready to go.  Raspberries, $3.99.  Cheese- not expensive.  Frozen berries- not pricy!

How can I keep up my resolve when these deals are in my face (I know, don’t go there, right)??

Now Costco is in my mind…it has crept in, planted it’s dirty little seed their.  Maybe this is the beginning of the end.  Next will I be feeding my family McDonald’s in front of the tv???

PS:  Giant tin of Almond Rocha- $9.99.

 

What The Heck Is For Dinner- 5 – Muffin Tin Pizza

Another day, another dinner…right? When will it end? What if you could just take a ‘dinner’ pill. End of story…no more dinner!!

OK- I take that back, I like food too much.

On the menu:

Muffin Tin Pizza and Salad (see, I am obsessed with anything muffin tin).

This is a fun way to do Pizza- kind of like really good cheese buns. I got the idea from pinterest, but of course I just made it up as I went (after the pizza dough part).

Here is what I did:

I had a bunch of frozen cherry tomato’s left over from our garden, so I sautéed some garlic and onions, and then just tossed those little summer tomatoes in and cooked everything down. I would recommend adding basil, but I didn’t have any.

While this was going on I rolled out the dough (recipe for dough at the end)  and cut it into squares (I eyeballed it) which I then lined the muffin tin with. I brushed the tin with olive oil prior to this. I wish I had then sprinkled corn meal over the oil…but I forgot.

Once tin is lined with dough, add your tomato sauce (you could obviously use jarred pasta or pizza sauce), then add your toppings and cheese. I used only cheese. But I think putting some broccoli, or bacon, or whatever would be great!  Just use what you like.  Pesto, sundered tomato’s…

Then bake for around 15 minutes at 400 and your whole family will think you are amazing!!

I hope this gave you some inperation for your next meal.

Now…tell me…what did you have for dinner last night??

PS: Here is the dough recipe from The Food Network.

Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting
Directions
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky, add more flour – 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Baby Hank’s Formula Story

 

Here is our story- a human side to an age old debate.  Breast Feeding Vs Formula Feeding.

My view on this is Breast is Best, until it’s not.

Of course I’mnot saying that breast feeding isn’t good. I breast fed Hudson for a year, and then he weened himself one day.  I was so sad!  We all know it is.  It has deliver’s more bang for the buck, is cheaper and  whipping out a boob is miles easier then mixing a bottle (and quicker).  The benefits are undeniable!

But sometimesit just doesn’t work. Here is our story:

Hank came into the world after over 36 hours of labour-  I was attempting a VBAC.  It ended up in another cesarean, but oh well.  On a side note, Hudson, my first, was a scheduled C-Section, as he was breach.  Funnily, if I had even laboured for even just 5 minutes with him, I would not have been so insistent on a VBAC.  Labour is NOT FUN! Right???

Anyway, Hank came along, a lovey sweet sweet baby.  I started off breast feeding with him, as I had with Hudson, thinking I would be a pro.  First came the colostrum, and then waiting for the milk. This time I was more relaxed though as I had been through the wait with Hudson. I was sure my body knew what to do.  And it did- my milk came in quickly.

I was expecting a bit of pain to go along with the beginning of  nursing- with Hudson I had the gross scabby nipples for a while…so that happened with Hank and I was not surprised.  I had my nipple cream and I thought I would suffer through it like a champ.

But then, Hank stopped gaining weight.  My midwives helped us with the latch. My nipples were still REALLY SORE!  I even got those weird nipple shields as the pain of my bra touching my boobs was agonizing.

After a few day’s of watching him, he still wasn’t gaining weight, so they prescribed me domperidone to increase my supply.  I guess that worked because then I got mastitis, as I guess his latch wasn’t the best still (he had the teeniest mouth ever).  Then I had to feed, pump, feed pump, all with bleeding sore boobs.

Every time he latched it was the worst pain…I was crying and covered in cabbage leaves. I smelt like a Ukranian grand mother.

Even after this Hank STILL wasn’t gaining weight at this point, so my team suggested supplementing him with formula, which I did.

So now I breast fed (crying through the pain every time)- topped him up, spent another half hour or so pumping to increase supply and reduce the mastitis…then repeated 1/2 an hour later.

I was sooooo exhausted.  And of course I still had my number 1 man Hudson to mother.  It was not like I could just sit on the couch reeking like cabbage all day!

Anyway, long story made shorter, I finally gave up and put Hank on all formula. It was such a hard hard decision.  I mean, here I am giving Nestle exclusive rights to feed my sweet child- WTF!  Not to mention the pressure I felt from the outside world.  What would people think?  Was I a monster?  Did I not try hard enough?  What a bad mother?

Really, formula has a whole basket of damning qualities that go with it.  It is terrifying.

But once I won the battle with myself, and accepted that people have been feeding their babe’s formula for a long time and it was ok to make this choice everything fell into place.

It was such a relief to not feel that pain for my body to heal.  To start to enjoy my new baby, to watch him grow and flourish.  My husband could now help out in the nights (and in the days).  I slept more.  Jeff bonded with Hank more.  Hudson and I could go do things together and have special time together.

I even became a bit of pro-formula activist (not that I had anyone to tell).  I dared people to judge me. I wanted someone to confront me when I pulled out my powder and mixed a bottle in public.  Of course no one ever did…because I think most people get it. You have to do what is best for you and your family- and truly you are the only judge of what that may be.  People who think otherwise are just plain ignorant.

Now Hank is totally weened off of the formula and that period of our lives is over.  I’m so glad I made the decision I did- as hard as it was at the time.

The attached are of our first year with with Hank (don’t worry, no bleedy nipple pictures)!

 

Cute Printable ABC Colouring Sheets!

penguinHudson is really into learning to write his ABC’s. He has pretty much got the capitals nailed and is working on the little letters.

I searched free printable ABC , but of course, as my attention span is the as big as a flea, I couldn’t find any that I loved within the first 5 seconds of my search.

What’s a girl to do you ask?  Make her own!

First I made funny sentences that amused me, like ‘do what i say’, and ‘eat your damn vegetables’, but Hudson didn’t think that was funny or fun.  So then I did the names of his favorite animals (with pictures)- and now he can write penguin!

Here is the file, you can download it for your kids (click the link and you should be able to get it)!!

Free ABC Printable

 

xoxo- lhasa

Lovely things I am in Love With (this week)

Here we are, another Friday- let’s talk about lovely things!

This week I have been really enjoying a few things, and so I’ll share them with you- maybe you will love them too!!

aldo booties

I have been visiting these Booties at Aldo. They are ankle high and they look like the perfect everyday boot to cruise around it!  Maybe I’ll just go seal the deal.  Don’t tell my Husband!

 

kensie robe

This robe by Kensie- it’s so fun and flirty- but still cozy. A definite upgrade from my beat up mom robe that add’s at least 15lbs!

 

marian keyes

I just finished Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. This book was so good! I thought it was just going to be another easy chic lit bok- but it really had some substance and pulled at my heart strings A LOT!

 

mini muffin tin

Obsessed with my mini muffin tin. I have been churning out lot’s of good little suckers in this thing. Cornbread, blueberry, and then the brownies. Next week I’m going to try for some savory goodies.

 

 

nespresso

Nespresso and I took a little break- and I thought we may have parted ways forever. This week however, we got back together. I am loving the 10am latte. While wearing my kensie robe and eating a mini something!

 

bloglovin

Do you use bloglovin‘? I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and LOVE it! Sign up and then add your favorite blogs to your feed (hey- add mine while you’re at it!)…then you can get all your blog love right in one place. It is super!

 

foggy fall days

 

 

 

foggy days

I am LOVING fall walks in my hood. The leaves are turning, it’s crisp and cool, and it has been so foggy here- LOVE IT (wouldn’t my Aldo boots go nice with this weather!).

What are your favorite things this week???

 

 

Chocolate Brownies in a Mini Muffin Tin!

I won’t go on too much here, because what really can you say about mini muffin tin brownies…EXCEPT YUM!!!!

Really, I LOVE brownies, and this recipe killed it. These are moist, chewy, easy to make, and sadly a perfect little two-bite size- so they go down the hatch with ease.

And…I couldn’t find a good easy recipe for my mini muffin tin (which I am currently obsessed with). Most had you melt chocolate. I don’t have any chocolate on hand. I have Cocoa darn it all!

So here is the long and short of it:

Measure butter, sugar, cocoa into big heat resistant bowl, plop on a bot of high simmering water…stir a bit, it will melt, you will want to drink it. Don’t.

Take it off the heat, let it cool to warm-, beat in vanilla beat in two cold eggs, then beat in 1/2 a cup of flour.

Put in your mini muffin tin- bake for 15 minutes.

And yes, Martha, I have included the recipe right here, as I am not expert.

I just adapted it for my mini muffin tin. BAKE FOR 15 minutes if using one.

Oh- and I came up with a butter trick that everyone probably know’s already. I weighed my butter- way easier then measuring 10 tablespoons. Here is a handy butter conversion site (yes, a butter conversion website is a real thing).

Your Welcome!

What the Heck is for Dinner- IV

Last night was a bit of cheat- we did half take away and half homemade. Do you ever do that?

The menu:

  • Ribs (that’s right, ribs, on a Tuesday)- these were the take away part. From PIG BBQ JOINT
  • Broccoli
  • Squash (from our garden)

But we only did take-away to speed things up as I had to go to a FURNITURE REFINISHING CLASS!!!! Talk about exciting!

To read more about my class and all the cool things I learned, check back later.

Here are some pic’s of din-din. I wish I could tell you how to make these ribs, because they were so good…but alas, I don’t know how they did it.

And check out Hudson prepping the broccoli.  He is really so helpful.  You can imagine how I feel about him using a knife though!  Yikes!

OK- Have a great day!

xoxo

Fisherman’s Wharf- An extremely lovely day

 

Fisherman's Wharf with Kids

It has been such nice weather lately, which is a real treat because we can all get outside with our little ones.  And not just ‘tolerating’ it outside, but really enjoying the great outside.

This, and I haven’t done a ‘lovely day’ in so long- which is why I started this blog in the first place.  Now all I do is rant!  So, here is a recent Lovely Day…

Hank I went to Fisherman’s Wharf in James Bay with my lovely Niece (Hi Niece!) and her little man  Teddy.  This is a really great thing to do in Victoria with kids!

This place has it all.  Playground, coffee, food, entertainment, a cool wharf to walk on, sometimes seals to feed, boats, seaplanes, water taxi’s and more!

We started at the playground.  Woodchip, big climby rope thing (for older kids), a steep slide, and a couple of those boingy car things.  Really it’s a park for older kids, but our kids are so little it doesn’t matter.  They just sat around and ate woodchips and were perfectly happy.

There is also a massive field with rolling hills (perfect for rolling down) around this park, so there is plenty of space to run (or crawl).

After this we went to Mocha House for a coffee.  If you go from the park, walk down towards the water to the left- Mocha House is down there in the bottom of the glass condo building, not on the wharf.  The staff there were cracking our kids up plus they have some really funny things for you to read while you wait for your coffee.

From here head down to the wharf.  It is totally stroller friendly.  However, if you have a toddler who is not buggy bound you will have a heart attack as they will run willy nilly and probably almost fall into the ocean a thousand times.

There is plenty of places to eat.  The taco place is really good!  Barb’s is ok. Touristy, but if you want fish and chips on the wharf that is where you will go (if you go back up past the park look for FAS, they have THE BEST fish and chips).  You can get ice cream at Jacksons.

Sometimes there are a couple of big black and white seals that people feed (they hang out by the taco place- however, people do not feed them taco’s).  It’s fun to watch them appear out of the depths of the water.

Amelia the boys and I sat in the sun and watched some buskers making music and tried to resist the salty vinegary french fries that we could smell.

If you want, and this is cool for a longer day, you can catch a water taxi.  They take you a few different places.  Downtown, the Songhee’s, I think even on a little tour.  The kids usually love it (but if they don’t, you are stuck on a boat)!

There is a nice walkway that snakes along the water to get you downtown.  It’s also fun to go look at the funky houseboats on the wharf.

And that’s it.  The only thing it’s missing is a place to shop!!!

Hey- don’t poke your eye out- and other fears

I can’t watch Hudson play without my mind seeing danger. It has really been amplified since Hudson drove his bike into a canal in Northern Holland and had to go the hospital and get stitches, and it was horrifying and heartbreaking.

You can read about that fun event right here.

Here are some things I am constantly on edge about:

  • I see him running = I picture him falling
  • I see him climbing = I picture him falling from a high distance
  • Riding his bike fast = road rash
  • Sliding down the slide with his pirate sword (really a stick) in his hand = I see him poking his little sweet eye out
  • Brambling around the mossy bluff’s near our house = I see him slipping and falling all the way down the hillside, breaking bones along the way
  • He runs through the house = clearly he’s going to bonk his head on the door/table/floor

This is not a good way for me to live. Always on edge and expecting the worse. I feel like my crappy thoughts will manifest these injuries of my mind on my child.

And, how many times can I say, ‘be careful’, and ‘watch out’. I really don’t want to be that parent. And mostly he is a really sensible kid, so this stuff is NOT going to happen (repeat to self- not going to happen)!

Not only this, but children have been playing with sticks probably since there ever were children…and 99.9% of them are alive to tell the tale.

I am really not sure how to deal with this anxiety. Deep Breaths? Positive Visualization? Therapy?

Attached is a picture of that poor little muffin after his accident!

How do you deal with your mind when it gets away from you??

 

Fart TOOT

Some of you with five year old children MUST feel this way sometimes. Like your kid is a maniac and you just can’t connect. Hudson is insane. He just sing yell’s Fart in your Face, Poo in your Face, Underwear Head…over and over and over and over and over and over and ov…you get the idea.

He pulls down his pants and air guitars his you know what.  What??? I thought this only happened in movies, but it is happening.  In my kitchen!

He is disagreeable for most of the day.

Me: Huds, can you get your coat on.

Huds: NO!

Me: Come on Buddy.  It is cold in the mornings.

Huds: NO, I won’t get cold.  Fart Face.

 

I know it’s just a faze, and every once and a while we have a really nice moment where we connect and have a nice little conversation or cuddle. But mostly it’s all Fart TOOT.

I like to look at THIS picture (from Houzz) and imagine that I am laying in this bed with a stack of books and magazines, my iPad beside me.  I can almost hear the sound of the surf crashing into the rocks.  In my dream I am there indefinitely, until I feel rested and ready to return to the real world. All I would do is nap eat, read, walk, nap some more, eat some more, maybe watch some movies!  Oh, and maybe there would be a masseuse that would come and work on my tired mama muscles.  HEAVEN!

Have a great Friday, enjoy the view!

fart toot