Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Letter To My Very Special Friends

True friendship is sacred, something to be valued among the ranks of family; it's honest, it's real and it's authentic. Friends are the only family you get to choose in life and believe me, I choose wisely. I put a lot of energy into my people, so much in fact that I've been described as coming off as snobby simply because I appear so engaged in the people around me. But the truth is, when I'm around my true friends,their presence is simply enough.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this means I have a handful of people that mean the world to me, and lately, I've been missing them. So, I offer this letter.

To my very special friends,
I confess, I haven't been very good at keeping in touch; social media is no substitute for a phone call or even a text. For that, I am sorry. 
I keep imagining myself as a little girl, shaking a snow globe just to watch the transformation from complete chaos to a peaceful, perfect moment. Our snow is finally subsiding and the calm is creeping in between the floorboards and windows. 
And as we settle, I miss you. 
It's hard to make friends as adults, though not impossible, but new friends are different; the friendships we have last years, decades, lifetimes even, if we are lucky. 
And so as we've navigated our new home, our new life, our new everything, you may have slid out of plain sight, but I promise, its just temporary. My mom taught me that the best friends are the friends that feel like you saw them yesterday, even though in reality its been ages. 
And, I really wish we could share that feeling today, or tomorrow, or at least sometime soon. 
But it seems unlikely. I didn't even call you, even though I was thinking of you.
All of you.  
I guess that's why I wrote it here. 
And you know what the very best thing is about friends like you?
I know you get it. 
I love you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Give a Cluck and Go Cage-Free!

When we first started talking about moving out of the City, the hubs and I had visions of a small acreage, a huge vegetable garden, fruit trees and so much space our boys wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

When we started looking at real estate however, we realized we needed to put some of those dreams on hold, not let them go per say, but consider whether the timing was right. Of critical note is that I’m working on a contract which means there is a very real chance we could end up moving back to the city within a few years. The market in our area isn’t booming to say the least, so the possibility of being unable to buy in the City because we can’t sell our home in the Country landed us in a more suburban part of our 2,300 person town.

Despite our location, I knew we could still have many of the experiences we desired, just on a smaller scale.

In particular, I had my heart set on Chickens, laying hens to be exact. The idea that my kids could be connected with where their food comes from and that we could have feathered friends lounging in our yard and laying us delicious eggs seemed amazing. I scouted the local bylaws, searched and researched chicken coops, chicken breeds and of course what exactly commercial egg laying facilities look like. 

Many of those poor chickens spend their lives in small cages, shared with five or six other birds.  Many never feeling the ground beneath their feet, spread their wings or experience fresh air and sunlight. These intelligent, social animals become valuable only for their ability to produce eggs.

Unfortunately, although we both had dreams of an acreage type property, it quickly became clear that the hubs and I had differing opinions when it came to the idea of keeping chickens in our backyard. I’m not giving up on the idea just yet, but I’m also not pushing it, this year we have a yard to personalize and a garden to grow but we also have eggs to eat and in truth this whole experience has made me reconsider my grocery store choices when it comes to buying eggs.

Choose Cage-Free is an initiative by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to empower individuals to commit to buying cage-free eggs and working with farmers and businesses to adopt cage-free practices.

So what’s so great about cage-free farms?

On a cage-free farm hens can live a far more natural existence.  They can walk and run, stretch their wings, turn around, give themselves  dust baths, forage and peck on the ground. Cage-free hens are happier and healthier and have a much lower risk of Samonella contamination.

In our house, eggs are a staple; we easily eat two dozen a week and Simba and I eat them for breakfast almost every day.

Currently my favourite way to start the morning is with a spinach and feta egg tortilla; this is a great recipe as you can adjust it to your tastes, uses gluten-free (like me) or flour tortillas and in less than 10 minutes you will have a hearty well balanced breakfast you can eat on the go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Spinach and Feta Egg Tortilla

  • 1 tsp (coconut) oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red (or green) onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tortilla
  1. Heat a pan that is approximately the same size as your tortilla over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together your eggs and spinach.
  3. Melt coconut oil in the pan and then saute your onions for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add your egg mixture to the pan and use your spatula to confine the mixture to half of the pan. Salt your eggs as desired.
  5. Once the egg starts to set, place your tortilla over the egg, then place a full size plate on top of the tortilla.
  6. Holding onto the plate, carefully flip over the pan so the egg and tortilla are inverted onto the plate.
  7. Carefully slide the egg and tortilla back onto the pan (and back on the element) and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  8. After about 30 seconds, your tortilla should be warm and pliable, fold it over to cover up the egg and feta.
  9. Allow to cook until lightly golden (~1 minute) then flip your tortilla over and allow the other side to brown and the feta to melt.
  10. I like to cut my tortilla in half for ease of eating, but however you eat it, ENJOY!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Outsmarted by a Three Year Old

I’m a firm believer in picking your battles and letting the little things slide so I can stand my ground on the big things. Unfortunately, in my attempts to use a more peaceful parenting method, I may have occasionally started choosing the easy road with my children and they are well aware that sometimes, Mommy just gives in.

Yesterday morning I was making smoothies for breakfast with the help of my boy Simba. He loves to blend the spinach and watch the water turn green before scooping all the yummy deliciousness into the mix. I recently purchased a new bag of goji berries and it quickly became obvious that the little handful I gave him to eat while we blended was not going to be sufficient today.

He happily took his little bowl of goji berries to the table and promptly spilled them on the ground. Simba then commanded me to pick them back up, to which I refused. 

He started to bawl and power struggle ensued. Aware that I have been giving in far too much lately (because it’s easy), I stood my ground and told him to pick up his goji berries. He continued to cry and ignored my offers to HELP him pick up his berries.

A few moments later I made a trip to the potty and upon my return three year old Simba informed me he had peed in his pants, all over the chair and onto the floor. It is worth noting here that he IS potty trained and although he occasionally has accidents, more often than not, his accidents are actually quite purposeful.

Then he looked right at me, picked a wet goji berry up off his chair and was about to eat it when I snatched it out of his hand and told him he couldn’t eat it. I proceeded to clean up the pee and the soiled goji berries, got him some new pants and finally sat down to eat my breakfast.

It wasn’t until I was sitting at work later that morning that I realized that I had in fact lost that battle; my boy wanted me to pick up his goji berries and I did.

When did he get so smart?