Autumn Life Update

It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.

Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.

We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.bulletjournal

Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.

Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.

So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo

Equinox

I swear time is doing funny things to us here. I feel like it is both flying by and crawling forward. Perhaps that’s just life with a toddler.

Week one of the 21 day fix wraps up today. It’s been an interesting week! It has been a challenge to work out daily, but not as much as I thought it would be. I also thought it would be harder to follow the meal plan, but it’s amazing how easy it is once you wrap your head around it. A week ago, it took me nearly 4 hours to plan for the week. Now I can replan and day in 10 minutes, tops. (Which we had to do yesterday due to grocery limitations and other pain in the butt issues, such as my car being a total piece of crap). I have really enjoyed sharing this experience with Pat. He has been a massive motivator to me. No major change on the scale yet, but I’m not going to do an official End of Week 1 weigh in until tomorrow morning.

Other observations:

  • I hate cardio. I am screwed when the apocalypse happens.
  • I have very little in the way of work-out attire. In the process of remedying that.
  • It’s amazing how quickly your body adapts. I went from drinking almost no water a day, and 3+ cups of coffee (full of milk and sugar), to a TONNE of water and almost no coffee in a day (only a quick glug of milk and stevia now).
  • I freaking love balsamic vinegar. On everything. EVERYTHING.

For those that are into this, this is my meal plan for this coming week. I know it doesn’t look like much, but the portions are HUGE.

21daywk2

Aside from this massive lifestyle change, we got out to see some more houses and have a renewed hope. We are returning to getting our place done and will hopefully have it on the market by next week. We are moving our target area a bit and have fallen in love with a small town further south. We have FOUR places that we are really interested in now, so I am very excited.

Hopefully we get our acts together and get going so that it isn’t freaking February when we are moving. Ugh.

It seems fitting that all of this change is going on now, at Mabon time.

1f76137280f3ffe036863d048b01df0d

I have to say, I love this time of year. I never feel more like myself than I do now. I live for sweater weather, apples and spice, fallen acorns, changing leaves and tea. Seriously, my heart is set to burst with how much I adore it. I hate how short lived it is.

mabon

I don’t have any major plans for Mabon this year. Maybe a few crafts with my boy, a walk in the woods and a cleansing of the home (also a good idea for getting some welcoming vibes for the house hunters). I have some yard work to do, to both enhance the curb appeal and prep for the coming winter. That feels like it should round out the day perfectly :)

What are you doing for the equinox?

Giving Thanks

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. Life has been so very busy lately and I’ve been out living it.

Wagon ride, out at the orchard

Wagon ride, out at the orchard

Autumn is in full swing here in Ottawa. We have had some incredibly beautiful weather, which has facilitated a lot of outdoor time for little man and I. Weekends have been spent in the yard, at local farms, orchards and parks. I think we all feel a little bit desperate to make the most of the nice weather before the cold comes. photo

We had a lovely Canadian thanksgiving this past weekend. On Saturday we joined Liam’s Nanny and Grammy for dinner, followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch, a visit with DH’s cousin on Sunday and our own dinner at home (my first time roasting anything and it turned out great!) with my BIL. Monday was the great big family dinner at my SILs. The kiddos played, the men played guitars and sang, and the ladies caught up on life events. It was perfect.

I’ve been loving bringing small touches of the outdoors in for autumn. This is our dining room table right now. I love it!

Orchard apples, patch pumpkins, pretty flowers.

Orchard apples, patch pumpkins, pretty flowers.

I am so thankful for all of the incredible blessings of my life. I have such a beautiful, brilliant son who teaches me something new every day. I have a best friend who is my husband, who has my back no matter what. My sister, the other half of my heart, is thriving and making me so proud. I have some of the most incredible people as my closest friends, and my family is supporting one another and becoming a part of my son’s life. We have a roof over our head, a full kitchen and the time and ability to create art and share our experiences. I am happy.

Thank you, friends, for being a part of making my life as sweet as it is.

Soup Day

I’ve been fighting a nasty cold for a couple of days now. It’s mostly just a sinus thing, but I feel like my whole body is 80 years older. My mind is foggy, my body is sore and my head feels so full of crap. I’ve managed to get out and play with L despite feeling like ass, but I knew I needed a day to center myself after getting only 3 hours of sleep last night. Poor Liam is more than a little bored, but in the end it’ll be worth it. The fall weather has inspired me. I want a tasty way to get all the veggies from our CSA into my belleh. What’s a good way of doing that while hunkering down at home? Soup of course!

 

My first batch today is from this recipe: Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup. 

 

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes

 

So many pretty carrots

So many pretty carrots

Ready to simmer

Ready to simmer

I made a few changes to the recipe. Firstly, I Carnivore-d it Up by using chicken stock (instead of half of the water) and chicken bouillon cubes (instead of veggie bouillon). This is partially for the flavour, and partially because I firmly believe that chicken stock is mandatory in fighting illness (At least in my home). Also, I didn’t have fancy basil oil (Tracy, I can feel your sad head-shake from here.), so I just used olive oil with dried basil sprinkled over the tomatoes instead. I was pretty generous with my veg, so I may have ended up with a thicker soup than normal. I’m ok with that.

So good!

So good!

My second batch is Grandma J’s Borscht Recipe.

My mother’s recipe book was pretty vague, so I did the best I could. My understanding of Borscht is that it is a soup to use whatever veg you have at the time. For me, this included green beans, instead of yellow, and a variety of beets, rather than just one basic kind.  Pat doesn’t like peas, so I nixed those. Again, I used chicken stock instead of water. My poor grandmother would be grumbling disapprovingly, I’m sure. I kept all my chopping chunky and rough. I took half of the soup and blended it smooth, then mixed in the chunks. I think fall soups are yummy thick beasts, so I went with that.

The recipe:

Grandma J’s Borscht

grandmajsborscht

  • 1 2/3 cups yellow beans
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3/4 cup carrots
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 pint tomatoes
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 5-6 small potatoes
  • 3 cups beets
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 8-9 cups water

Put all together and simmer until tender.

Getting started

Getting started

So pretty!

So pretty!

Tasty!

Tasty!

I have one more planned for tonight, but we’ll see if I burn out before then. I’m freezing half of all of this, and only keeping half of that. The rest of the frozen portions are going to my bestie, S, and her family. Baby Bobby just joined the family, so I want to treat them to some tasty meals. The rest is for dinner tonight :D

 

Exactly

Just a fly-by post to share another amazing article by my friend Laura Marjorie Miller: The Beautiful Sadness of Autumn.