MAY 1 – #anas31

I suppose technically it is May 2nd today, but what counts is the day I wrote this and that is the first.

About 5 weeks ago I started a new workout routine, at lunchtime at work.  1 hour of Barre 2-3 times a week, healthier eating and meal plans.  It worked.  I got off my butt and moved more.  The planned lunches and dinners were great not just for avoiding the stress of meal-times, but also for keeping me in check with what I was consuming.  But I feel I need more.

I didn’t weigh myself, or take any measurements, and I don’t think I really lost any weight doing what I did so this month I’m upping the anti a bit more and really tightening both the workout and the meals and challenging myself to 31 days of good healthy eating and daily workouts, with a rest day on Sundays.

On the food side, I’m cutting sugar completely.  Yep, I want to cry just writing this.  But it has to be done. No sugar, that means wine too…no wine (gulp).

On the workout side, I downloaded the Kayla Itsines SWEAT app on my iphone, and plan to commit to 31 days of her ass-kicking workouts.  They’re only 28minute-ish in duration but apparently they’re incredibly hard to do.  There are 3-4 of her workouts a week mixed in with LISS workouts, which is fancy speak for cardio…I love this part since I can start mixing in my own cardio loves like running and spinning or just even walking the dog!

So that’s it, I’m going to do this.  31 days. I may die in the end but I’m going to do it.  Lets see what happens.  Oh and I’ll likely tag some of my posts with #anas31

So We Got a Dog

It wasn’t planned at all.  Michael and I had been talking about maybe getting a dog later on this summer, but nothing was set in stone, and we definitely hadn’t made solid plans. But then we came face to face with a super special puppy through a couple of local rescues, T.E.A.M. Dog Rescue and Paws Above, and we tossed all our plans out the window and brought Maddie into our home late last Friday night.

A little bit about Maddie and her story you can find here.  She came to join us through three different organizations starting with Helpaws in St. Lucia, lots of amazing people and though she had a bit of a rough start at first, she is home now.

Michael and I didn’t tell the boys that Maddie, formerly known as Clover, was joining our family.  Johannes especially had been begging us to get a dog for some time.  We put the kids to bed as usual that Friday night and Michael drove out to bring her home.  She was a perfect house guest, minus a few pee accidents, but she didn’t cry once and slept through the night.  At 6 am when the boys woke up, I quickly took Maddie for a pee and as the boys made their sleepy way down the stairs to breakfast, I let her out of the kitchen to greet them.  Johannes was over the moon excited, and ultimately he picked her new name “Maddie”.

Since then Maddie has been with us just a little over a week.  She’s never had more than one accident per day, and for the past two days hasn’t had even that.  She’s come out of her shell a bit, playing and being more vocal with the cats and neighbourhood dogs.  We’re estimating she may be about 12-13 weeks based on her foster story on the rescue website.  She is still due for her next round of shots so until then she cannot run at the dog park.

Aside from a few logistical issues, figuring out when its best to feed her so I can take her to pee in the yard while having two boys to look after on my own Monday-Friday, and working hard to housetrain Maddie, I really can’t say she’s hard work.

I realize we probably got lucky a little bit, with a puppy who sleeps through the night, holds her pee all night too, and doesn’t cry.  She is a dream in the sleep department.  She’s playful when she needs to be but quiets down quickly especially when she senses the boys aren’t enjoying the puppy nipping. We crate train her, so at night she sleep in her crate, and if we have to leave the house for anything she rests in her crate as well.  We turned it into a little bit of a den, with a large blanket strewn over top and lots of soft fleecy blankets inside to keep her cozy and warm.

Its work to watch her at all times and anticipate when she needs to go out, but then again so is taking care of a toddler and 5 year old.  Walking and getting outside is no problem, since we do a lot of it as it is.  So I would say she has folded into our family life quite nicely, and even the cats have come around to at least accepting her presence, with my hopes of them being best of friends one day soon.

And to those people who say having a puppy is like having a baby, I would say that they either don’t have a baby, or have since forgotten just how dang hard babies are!  Puppies are way WAY easier! If potty training Magnus will be as easy as pee training Maddie, I will be one happy mama.

Rufus & Murdog Spring 2016: behind the scenes

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Playing photographer is my all-time favourite hobby, and when I get to do it for my shop or kids, well, its even better.

A few weeks ago Nicole and I shot our Spring Summer look book for Rufus & Murdog, you can see the final edits here but one of my favourite parts is all the behind the scenes photos!  We wanted to photograph real kiddos, not models.  Real deal followers, fans and customers.  So we opened up the “casting” to everyone on Instagram and picked 6 kiddos to shoot.

We think the behind the scenes might be even cuter than the final look book shots!

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Mushroom Ragout Fettuccine with Goat Cheese

When you only have 30min to prep and make dinner I guess you kind of improvise right?  After 5 days of gastro for myself and the boys, and five days of eating nothing but toast and rice it was time to finally get back in the kitchen and cook something this week.

So here’s how I made this:

3 crushed garlic cloves (plus 1 more fresh crushed at the very end)

3 pints of brown mushrooms washed and halved (quartered for the bigger ones)..I bet a mix of mushrooms would also be super yummy

3 tsp fresh thyme leaves (plus a little extra at the end)

1 package of fettuccine cooked el dente in salted water

1.5 cups of beef (or veggie) organic broth

2-3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

sliced goat cheese (to taste)

fresh cracked pepper

Melt the butter in a pan on high, throw in the garlic and thyme and sautée for a few seconds until both let off a fragrant aroma. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until well browned on all sides.  Add the broth and simmer until soft.  You can cook the pasta at the same time.  Once pasta is cooked el dente, drain, put back in the large pot and toss with a little olive oil.  Once mushrooms and broth are cooked pour over the top of the pasta.  Top with the extra thyme and crush a fresh garlic on top, toss and serve with sliced goat cheese and fresh cracked pepper.

**for the kids, who don’t like mushrooms, I served the pasta with a bit of broth, goat cheese and no mushrooms.

How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs – Recipe

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It wouldn’t be Easter without colourful eggs, but every year when I peel the eggs and see the dye stains on the white of the egg i cringe a little bit knowing it’s all chemicals. So we jumped on the natural dye this year. Not only because it’s so much prettier than neon colours, or that it’s way cheaper to use things I already have at home, but because when my boys bite into that egg today I won’t secretly cringe and worry. We made 5 colours: blueberry, turmeric, black tea, cinnamon tea + cayenne pepper, and carrot tops + shallot skin (didn’t have yellow onion).  I found a few recipes online but the processes seemed so long and daunting and not at all fun.  So I adapted it with what I knew I could do and what I thought would work.  First I boiled the eggs and let them cool in cold water. Then I boiled each spice/item with 1cup of water for about 10min, strained into labeled mason jars, added 2tbsp white vinegar and placed the eggs inside (about 2 per jar). I did this with the liquid hot and let the eggs stand for two hours. Took them out when cool, wiped with paper towel and olive oil. Done. I think tea and blueberry are my fave though!  What about you?!

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Easy Dutch Oven Turmeric Chicken

Before I get into the specifics of this dish, which by the way happened kind of by accident thanks to an insanely busy work-work and shop-work day, but before all that we have had some issues with Magnus and his eating.  If you follow me on social media you’ll know that Magnus, WAS a good eater, and has suddenly turned picky.  His refusal to try anything  at all that might contain something other than carbohydrates has been causing us, me, many a sleep less nights and wine binges.

So I did what any good mom would do, and tried to outsource the problem to an occupational therapist.  The appointment was today and the goal was for her to observe meal times.  Let me explain to you how a normal dinner would go:  me put food on Magnus’ plate.  Magnus sits down at the table.  I set plate in front of him.  Screaming. Done.

Now let me explain how tonight’s dinner went:  I make Magnus a tortilla with the much detested chicken.  I set the plate in front of Magnus.  Magnus eats set ENTIRE tortilla and asks for seconds…. (can you see my eye roll).

So apparently he eats chicken again.  And now I inevitably look foolish and the therapist thinks I’m bloody nuts.

Ok so back to the recipe.  It was a busy day and I had intended on making a one pot turmeric chicken dish complete with veggies.  But I didn’t have a chance to prep all the veggies the night before and work got really busy really fast, and I found myself with an hour and a half until dinner and time and zero prep time.  So I threw together what I could and tossed it in the oven….et voila….delicious moist, insanely flavourful chicken that practically cooks itself.

• 1/2 fennel bulb chopped in big pieces

• 1 chicken butchered into 4 pieces

• 1/2 red onion chopped

• 1/2 yellow onion chopped (it’s all I had ooops)

• 2 garlic cloves crushed

• 2 tbsp turmeric

• salt and pepper

• 1 cup chicken broth

I preheated oven to 375. In the Dutch oven on the stove I heated the oil, tossed in the garlic and onion for about a minute (until glossy), tossed in turmeric and fennel for about 20seconds. Tossed in the chicken until white on all sides. Poured in chicken broth and salt and pepper. Covered and put in the oven. After one hour I removed the cover and baked another 20min until brown and the thermometer said it was done. 

You’re welcome.