Quiet-ish

IMG_7737 IMG_7776

No weekend is really truly quiet for us.  “Quiet” has taken on a new meaning for me now that I’m a parent of two energetic boys. Although I shouldn’t blame Johannes and Magnus I suppose. I myself don’t love quiet time, I tend to get anxious and irritable, and so I look for ways to keep busy with cooking or baking or re-arranging rooms around our home.

So this weekend was quiet for us.  Hockey Saturday morning meant Magnus and I got to spend a few hours alone, while Johannes and Michael were at the arena.  I dusted off my DSLR and snapped a few photos of Magnus playing in the crib after his nap.  It’s a rare occasion when Magnus wakes up from a nap in anything but a crabby mood, so it had to be documented.

IMG_7723

soggy diapers for the win

IMG_7755 IMG_7756 IMG_7763 IMG_7734

We all reconvened for lunch after which the boys napped and I ran out to finalize plans for our new custom dining table that Jay from Junction Wood and Metal is making for us.  We realized over the holidays that we desperately need a family table in the dining room. It has to be a specific size in order to fit our little space so Jay is making us a walnut table with beautiful pin needle legs.

A fun birthday celebrating baby Avery capped off our Saturday in the best way possible and Sunday we all headed out to Mississauga and Milton for family time with my mom and dad, and Johannes’ first snowboard lesson of the season.  It’s been almost a year since he last hit the slopes and this time he gets to do it with his best friend which is equal parts cute and hilarious to watch. Side note, our kids decided they needed matching Burton x Marvel jackets in order to actually snowboard (insert small eye roll) and we as suckers obliged only to end up calling over 20 stores across Canada respectively before we found the one piece and jacket in remote stores.  The things we do for these kids!

IMG_7775 IMG_7772 IMG_7782 IMG_7815 IMG_7809 IMG_7811 IMG_7791

What did you guys get up to?! And did anyone try making my granola recipe yet?

Maple Granola with Blueberries and Cocoa

IMG_5779

I’m a little bit obsessed with granola, ok maybe its a deep rooted love, but its just so darned good and goes with everything! Currently on my daily breakfast rooster or as a quick snack mid day, my maple blueberry granola is so so good and satisfying and so much better for you than the sugar packed store bought kind.  I use it as a topper on plain greek yogurt and fresh berries, with a big ol’cup of joe.

IMG_5778 IMG_5777

Here’s how I make it:

ingredients

3 cups whole rolled organic oats

1 cup organic whole raw almonds

1 cup organic whole raw cashews

1 cup organic whole raw pecans

1 cup organic chia seeds

1 cup organic raw sunflower seeds

1 cup organic hemp seeds

1 cup organic raw unsweetened shredded coconut

3 cups dried wild blueberries (or dried cherries…equally tasty)

1/2 cup raw powdered cocoa

1 cup maple syrup

3 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the oats, almonds, cashews, pecans, chia seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan on low heat the coconut oil, once melted pour in the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir, remove from heat and pour into the oat mixture.  Mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated and no longer dry.  Pour mixture in two batches onto the baking sheets and pop into the oven.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes, taking the trays out every 5 and mixing the granola around so it roasts evenly and doesn’t burn.  5 minutes before you’re ready to take the trays out, pour cocoa on top and shredded coconut and mix again. You’ll know when everything is done because it will be beautifully golden brown and crisp.

Take granola out, pour into a bowl and add the hemp seeds and blueberries.  Mix, let cool and store in an air tight container  (I get ours from IKEA, they’re great and cheap and giant).

Enjoy!

 

2 0 1 6

IMG_5361

I’m sure you noticed the quiet time around these parts, or maybe you didn’t at all and that’s ok too.  But here we are in 2016, a new year yet again full of twists and turns and surprises ahead. Taking some time off of blogging and work was lovely.  Near the end of December I started feeling depressed.  I felt quite tired and not at all excited about anything around me.  I tried my best to look at the little positives but after a while those thoughts were silenced and replaced by negativity.  It wasn’t an intentional break from blogging or work, but it happened and it came at the right time.

We kicked off New Year’s celebrations with close friends and Johannes.  Magnus spent his evening cozy in his bed under the watchful eyes of my mom, dad and grandmother.  We had one of the nicest and most fun New Year parties I can remember.  Good food, great company and two out of my three boys by my side.  It was exactly where everyone should be to celebrate new beginnings.

On January 1, bright and early since no late celebration is any match for an 4 year old, the three of us packed into our car and drove south of the border to spend a few days in a forested paradise.  We made an obligatory pit stop at McDonalds for breakfast, got caught in a lake-effect white out and realized that Pennsylvania doesn’t have sales tax!!!!

We spent two days at The Lodge at Glendorn, in the Roost Cabin, surrounded by history and nature.  Nourished by some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted, the dinners at Glendorn are incredible.  And entertained by the nicest group of people I’ve ever come across.  I can’t remember the last time I took a trip, short or long, where I couldn’t think of a single complaint, but yet here we are!  The only argument I heard from Johannes was that he didn’t have a chance to pet a baby black bear (which he heard about from our guide during the Jeep tour on day one), and when the staff at Glendorn heard he really really wanted to see a baby bear, they gifted him a stuffed version just before we checked out.

The accommodations were lovely and comfortable.  The food was delicious and satisfying.  The grounds of Glendorn were magical and refreshing.  But for us it was the people we met along the way that made our stay that much more special. Stephanie, Damon and many many more!

Taking a short trip just Michael, Johannes and I, was so needed as well.  With him being the oldest, and Magnus demanding so much of our time and attention daily, we sometimes forget how little Johannes is.  So being able to give him two, almost three, uninterrupted days where we could focus on him and him alone was really important.  I want to try my hardest from time to time to take these little trips with either boy, and Michael too.  Spending time as a family is critically important, but there is definitely value in spending alone time with one another also.

I also think starting the New Year with a little trip might have to become a new tradition.  It dulls the sting of the end of Holiday Season just a little bit. Now hang tight for a plethora of iPhone photos…in typical fashion I forgot the camera at home.

IMG_5137 IMG_5647

the Roost Cabin where we stayed

IMG_5326 IMG_5226

a delicious welcome platter full of tasty cheeses! (yum)

IMG_5229 IMG_5227

Johannes feeding the baby trout on our Jeep tour

IMG_5239 IMG_5325 IMG_5366 IMG_5351-2 IMG_5650

IMG_5230

the main lodge
IMG_5231

IMG_5520 IMG_5574

family hike time!

IMG_5460-2 IMG_5465

I told him a bear was coming … he he

IMG_5468 IMG_5463-2 IMG_5365 IMG_5371 IMG_5563

sleep time in the coolest room ever, as designated so by Johannes

IMG_5560 IMG_5530 IMG_5648 IMG_5364 IMG_5234 IMG_5457 IMG_5629

Barry the Bear coming home with us

P.S. Yes I dyed my hair back to brown…and I cut bangs.

P.P.S.  Barry the baby bear was named so because apparently black bears love to eat berries! Johannes told us all this on the drive home and he was clearly paying very close attention during our Jeep tour.

Gift Guide: For Little Humans

I love love love putting together gift guides.  It helps me decide what Santa may bring us, and organize our thoughts and plans.  So I’ve created a gift guide for every person in your life.  First up, the little humans…ages 0-6!

gift-guide-01

bunnyraccoon socksstones dressstripe harem pantslittle titans tightsblack leather mocksstackable wooden toybaby bunting

I’m super proud of what Nicole and I have done with our little shop, Rufus and Murdog, in under a year.  We’ve expanded our inventory, brands and products without needing to invest any more money into the business, and we started the year with the tiniest little budget.  So shop small this holiday season!

week 1 commuter logs

IMG_3049

Tomorrow is Monday again and how a whole week and two days at home passed by so quickly, I do not know. I started off last week feeling sad and deflated leaving the kids all day and heading to a new job, but by the end of the week I was actually starting to enjoy it.  The commuter logs help, and although I post them real-time on my Instagram feed, I’m going to do a summary on here weekly too.

IMG_3061

Traveller’s Log / day 1: things I learned while commuting for my first day of work – (1)don’t run to catch a bus, there is likely one more right behind it, or five. (2)check where the subway is going BEFORE getting on, there’s more than one. (3)don’t wear heels, it’s not conducive to running after buses. (4)there’s no wifi underground? I guess most people would figure this but I was grossly angered at this bullshit revelation…I guess I’ll buy a book. (5)I need to take yoga … Standing on a bus or subway takes balance and coordination l, both of which I do not have. And lastly (6)my kiddo would love this. Ok. Off to work now, or figure out what I’m even doing

Commuter’s Log / day 2: (1)the “rat race” saying has come into its own and I now understand it fully. (2)there is no proper way to dress for outside, bus and subway…always too hot or too cold. (3)headphones are great unless you don’t have the volume turned down enough to hear the stops being called out. (4)I didn’t get the memo that I was to only wear black or grey…my bright yellow coat made me stand out like a pylon (previously misspelled as autocorrect failed me). (5)I am no longer a hipster student going to an interesting university class. Wtf!? (6)i am severely motion sick so that means I cannot read a book…which unfortunately for all of you means I have only TIME on my hands during my commute and this #bbkcommuterslog is now going to be a THING, unless I learn to nap like those other people on the #TTC…teach me your ways people! (7)Adele’s new album isn’t appropriate travelling music of choice because it’s depressing…and I miss my kids like bloody crazy and yesterday I cried twice on the bus and once on the subway and everyone around me thought I was insane. Evident by the fact that I had NO-ONE sitting near me on either side on a packed car.

Commuter’s Log / day 3: as “I’m a Gummy Bear” came blaring through my headphones, on a completely packed subway car, and unable to reach into my pocket to fast forward to the next tune, I realized 30minutes would be well spent creating an actual commuter playlist. On another level I have become more self aware of the fact that I am a “glass half emptyl” kind of person. A really terrible way to navigate through life! This probably will cost me at least a few years off my life so I’m going to try and identify ONE positive thing a day…here goes – “I am happy to have a super awesome job to go to, during a rally crappy economic time when many others are not as fortunate.” How’s that for negativity squashed!? Alright…and I did blog a little more in depth late LATE last night on these

Commuter’s log / day 4: “the sweet spot” – leaving the house 10minutes early paid off today, empty seats on every car. Beethoven is also a solid choice of commuting music, it keeps me levelheaded, calm and it’s silent enough to allow me to hear the stops being called out, so for the first time this week I haven’t gotten lost. Real commuting time without losing my way – 28minutes door to desk. When I came off be subway today the first thing I saw were crowds of people rushing to their office. Some walking some running, some doing a version of the Olympic speed walk. Everyone except this man sleeping on the ground. On the vents of the subway actually to try and keep warm. I wonder why he’s not in a shelter, is it unsafe? Why is he in this position in the first place? How many people will walk past him and not notice he’s there? How many more will pretend they don’t see him? Today I am grateful for the warm bed I woke up in, and the screaming baby who woke me at 5am. As a side note* I’ve seen so many negative comments lately about how Instagram is no longer “authentic” how it’s not “real enough”…here’s a bit of REALITY. It’s not pretty is it? I think it’s really easy to criticize someone’s beautiful feed, but the happy moments are the ones that uplift people.

Commuter’s log / day 5: I’m late to the game. It was a long day, but the impact of my commute this morning is still quite vivid in my mind. I left late, stepped onto a packed car and watched the faces of everyone around me as the minutes went by. I wish I could have thought of something happy, but unfortunately the same thought I’ve ran through all week came back again. What if, someone who wanted to hurt people, who didn’t value life, or sorrow, wanted to make an impact and really hurt a lot of people. What if that person existed here, would they come on a full subway car and do something unimaginable to us? This would be the place. Helpless, unassuming humans of all nationalities, races, genders, ages. We would be in it together. I hate that these thoughts are even real. That our kids have “lockdown drills” at school. That cowards take away freedom of safety. At my next stop a Muslim mom got on the train with her little girl (no older than Johannes) and infant son in a stroller. She sat beside me and held on tight to her daughter’s hand while trying her hardest to keep her little boy from crying. The people around me were so sweet. Two women got up to let the family sit, one woman from another seat in the back came over to play peek-a-boo with the little boy. The mom smiled, the kids laughed. I realized I was unintentionally smiling too. It was by far the nicest moment I’ve experienced this week commuting to and from work. I’m grateful to be home with my boys, and I wish everyone would show love and not hate so we could all live with peace of mind instead of fear. So what do I do? Smile, get on, and keep living.

to follow along this week head here

IMG_3124 IMG_3187

Commuter’s Log

IMG_3122

#bbkcommuterslog

There are a million things I would like to write about, the health scare with Magnus, the exciting weekend we had at our shop PopUp, the really stellar cyber deals going on this week.  Instead I’ll focus on one thing and one thing only.  Work.

I’ve been pretty open about what I do and how I feel about it.  The struggles between career mom and just plain mom.  Its nothing new.

At this time our family is a double income family, its what we need to survive, not so much a decision of desires or ambition.  Though all that sort of plays into all this too.  My contract with my old work ended and I accepted a new position, closer to home.  My new role is that of a Project Manager in Cyber Security at a bank.  It sounds exciting and hopefully the projects match up.  I get to work with some great people, old and new, and use a part of my brain that I don’t typically use on the home front, which is always a bonus.

Monday was my first day and the new commute goes something like this.

7:45am rush out of the house to catch a bus.

7:50am switch to the subway line.

8:05am switch onto the second subway line.

8:15am arrive at the office.

Its a really sweet quick commute, except that I am in a whole new world with the commuter crowd.  I’m used to blasting the heat and tunes in my car and driving monotonously to an office far outside the city we actually live it.  So my commute with hundreds of other worker bees is anything but natural to me. I find myself sitting (or standing) on my rides into work and thinking a million miles a minute.  Thoughts sweep over me like tidal waves.  Some funny, some sad, no rhyme or reason.  I discovered I cannot read on my commute or motion sickness takes hold of me rather violently, so as such I’ve started, kind of organically, a “commuter’s log” on Instagram.  I’m not home to take cute photos of the kids so I take photos of the concrete and subways instead. And all those thoughts I thought of on the ride in, come surging out onto the world wide web.

I’ll figure my way around this new world, but it might be a bumpy ride.

IMG_3116