Saturday, June 23, 2012

Humility in Motherhood | Reflections

I remember a time when the thought of a fellow driver seeing me singing in my car was means for great embarrassment.  Clearly, that was in my life before children, because these days not only do I sing as I drive, at red lights I appease the boys' request that I 'sing Boom Boom Pow and dance with my elbows' and I don't care who sees it.

Motherhood naturally changes us; it makes us humble and it teaches us humility.

In some ways, I wish that I could have learned these lessons earlier in life; that I could have found a way to release myself of the constraint of potential embarrassment in my early twenties.  It seems ironic that the portion of my life that was solely devoted to my happiness, my joy and my goals was also the time when I spent too much time and energy worrying what other people thought.

Now that I'm a mother, I don't think twice about heading to the grocery store with greasy unwashed hair, spit-up on my shirt or dinner on my pants.  Instinctively, this feels like it might be a bad thing, but in actuality I believe it truly a reconnection with the innocence of childhood.  I knew that motherhood would change me and yet like so much else, this self-acceptance is a pleasant surprise.

Motherhood changes us all, how has it changed you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your stroller wants 'The Mommy Hook' | Review

If you have a stroller, you could benefit from a Mommy Hook. Seriously.

Quite simply its a large aluminium carabener with a rubber for easy carrying and to keep it from sliding when clipped onto a stroller, grocery cart, luggage or just about anything else you can think of.

Have you ever been out on a walk, realized that you needed to grab a few things at the grocery store only to realize too late that you had bought more than you could effectively stash in the stroller?  Sadly this has happened to me more than once, I've tried all sorts of methods to carry the extra groceries.  The top of the stroller canopy isn't strong enough, groceries draped over the handlebars require extra attention when starting, stopping, turning or when uncooperative children are the soup d'jour. The default option is worst of all; carrying the extra bag(s) while pushing a stroller chock full of groceries (and in my case 50lbs of children) back home. The only way I've found to conveniently carry the extra bags is to hang them on the Mommy Hook.

The Mommy Hook is also great for small jobs like holding my clutch and keeping my wallet, phone and keys within eyesight and reach at all times, or carrying multiple grocery bags at one time.

With a $10 price point this simple yet ingenious product is well worth the investment.  I've used mine on a regular basis for the last eight months and its shown literally no signs of wear. The packaging says 'The Must-Have Mommy Accessory' and over the past three years I have tried a lot of products; The Mommy Hook truly belongs in every Momma's tool kit.

I received The Mommy Hook for the purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Looneyspoons Collection | Cookbook Review & Giveaway

The Looneyspoons Collection (TLC) by Janet and Greta Podleski is hands down, my new favourite cookbook.  The first week I had it, I used it four days in a row, each time trying a new recipe.  After a few short months I have at least six new recipes in rotation to be cooked on a regular basis and tons more I can't wait to try.  If Janet and Greta look familiar, you may have seen them on their super fun TV show, Eat, Shrink and Be Merry.

Janet and Greta's recipes are flavourful, healthy and easy to make; many of them are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free or easily adapted with simple substitutions. More importantly, my kids seem to genuinely enjoy the recipes we've tried from TLC; if the kids are eating healthy food, I'm happy.

Although this book would surely knock any family out of a dinnertime rut, its equally suitable for a recent graduate learning to cook on their own.  In fact I used to run a community cooking program for youths on Friday nights using recipes from Janet and Greta's previous books Crazy Plates and Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, which they generously donated to the program.  Cooking tasty, healthy food brought those kids, and myself, such immense pride and I hope that many of them have carried the skills and confidence they learned in that kitchen, into the rest of their lives.

But I digress, TLC is truly a collection, it combines old favourites, like the 'Must Bake Carrot Cake: two-tiered spiced carrot cake', 'Burger, She Wrote: Teriyaki seasoned burgers for the barbeque', 'A Lotta Enchilada: Flavor-packed chicken, black bean and corn enchiladas', 'The Ladle in Red: Everyone's favourite classic beef chili' and more with a ton of new recipes that are just as tasty.

Some of my new favourites include 'Mulligatawnski: Southern Indian soup with curried chicken, apples and quinoa', 'Bananaberry Bombs: Moist banana-blueberry muffins with oats and flaxseed', 'The Sound of Muesli: A high-fibre breakfast blend of oats, yogurt and fresh fruit', 'Sticky Chicky: Baked chicken thighs in a sticky-sweet barbeque sauce" and of course the 'GRAINola Bars: chewy homemade granola bars with oats, flax pumpkins, cranberries, nuts and mini chocolate chips', the base recipe for my gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cranberry granola bars.

My mouth is watering just thinking about all that delicious food. There are recipes in this book are for everyone and I would buy it for anyone.

Want to win your own copy of The Looneyspoons Collection, signed by Janet and Greta? Enter to win using the Rafflecopter after the jump.

And if you're looking for some instant gratification, Janet and Greta have some free recipes on their website and if you sign up for their newsletter you will get new recipes in your inbox.

a Rafflecopter giveaway