Sunday, October 24, 2010

MPM # 24

It is Sunday afternoon and our supper is in the oven cooking (I made up a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie - I'll let you know next week how it tasted) and I'm stealing a few minutes to post my menu tonight.

Our menu was simple this past week but I have to rave about our date night - it was AMAZING and fun and totally what we needed! We double dated with our next door neighbours (whose son is three months older than TroubleMaker) and had a fantastic evening out together. We always do when we get together - except we end up staying up way too late and having a beer or two too many... But since having the kids, we haven't gotten together (like that - kid free) so it was worth it!

This week's menu is good. I'm trying a couple of new recipes and this coming weekend is Halloween so it should be interesting. My Mother in Law is making his costume so I hope to have pictures of him next Sunday!

I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to catching up with you again next week!

October 25 to October 31

Monday Crockpot Egg Casserole
TuesdayBeef Stroganoff
Wednesday Southwestern Soup & Cheese quesadillas
Thursday Weeknight Lasagne Toss
Friday Beef & Bean Burritos
Saturday Veggies & Dip, Easy Hot Wings & Coyote Fritters
Sunday Chicken Burgers

Cereal, toast, bagels, muffins, Quiche, Bacon & Eggs

For more great ideas, recipes and lots of links, check out the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Have a super week and see you next week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's your life path (number)?

I admit fairly readily that I’m a little lost in this life sometimes. I have all the things I thought I wanted - a nice home, a loving and devoted husband, an amazing, beautiful, healthy, perfect son, a good job with decent hours good pay and excellent benefits. We get a good vacation each summer in our great little motor home and we have lots of cars. We live in a good neighbourhood with great neighbours and all the check boxes for summing up a successful and full life are checked. I’m (mostly) healthy and we do OK with the things we want.

But I very often feel like something is missing… Naturally, like every mother, I want more time with my son and more time at home. I have a creative streak that is left untapped recently but I know that it is deeper than that.

During a recent lunch break, I randomly typed into the Google something like “the meaning of life” or “how to find your life path” and it came up with a bunch of different sites – the one that caught my eye was "your life path number"... Now, years ago, I was “into” astrology and palmistry and all the things that go with the occult. I don’t really know what I thought of all of it, but I suppose I must have decided there was a fair amount of truth behind it all as I kept reading and “believing”. But with time and most fads, my interest waned and I moved on to different things.

But I decided today to calculate my life path number and read what it had to say about me. As it turns out, I’m a “5” and honestly, it is me to a “T”… Or at least it is in my own eyes! I don’t think I’m quite as adventurous as it describes but I don’t like to be bored and I like to live life well. It says I’m always questioning life and the answers so I thought “Holy cow – the accuracy is frightening, let’s see what the rest of family is like…”

My husband is an “8” and couldn’t be farther from the truth… Save for his being a fun sucker (OK- that’s not fair – he’s not and it’s not really what it said). What it did say was that the negative “8”’s were often suppressive of the enthusiasm and effort of other members of the environment. This sentence does aptly, again in my mind, describe how I sometimes see my husband. He is a practical person who doesn’t dwell in the make believe. I am very much a dweller and a make-believer and I do know that this does tend to drive my husband a little crazy.

TroubleMaker is a “4” and although he is two and one half, there are parts that I do see developing that accurately match the description of his ‘life path number’. It said he is “strong willed” (often mistaken for being stubborn) and he is very set in his ways and he is determined to handle things his own way. These describe him perfectly – however, he is two and one half and I believe that description likely describes just about any toddler!

So I suppose, like horoscopes, you can bend anything to fit, if you try! What is your life path number – does it describe you?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There are a few things in life that really get me worked up and upset. One of the major ones is politics. Now I’m not talking about bad policies versus good policies or right versus left, Conservatives versus Liberals or Democrats versus Republicans or even the fact that many of those elected to public office have very little idea how the ‘real people’ live. My issue (today, anyway) is completely based on Voter Turnout.

I live in the capital city of Alberta (and no, it isn’t Calgary). I have lived in Alberta my entire life. Alberta became a province in 1905 and Edmonton was named the capital immediately. Edmonton was incorporated as a city a year before in 1904 and it is speculated that people have been living in Edmonton since 3000 BC.

And perhaps those first inhabitants had more sense than those living here today.

Ok, I’ll get to my point.

Yesterday marked the day of the Civic Election – the day when all (of age, eligible) Edmontonians have the right to vote. The right to vote.

I was asked if I supported the Public of Separate school board, if I was of eligible age, a citizen of Canada and that I’d lived in Alberta for the six months prior to Election Day. I handed them my Driver’s license and signed my form. I was then handed the ballot and sent on my way to the voting both.

From the time we parked our car until we returned to it about eight minutes had passed.

Eight minutes of my life. I spent longer waiting in line for a coffee earlier that afternoon.

Oh right my point.

The turnout for this election was a dismal 34.3%. Edmonton had a total of 573,104 eligible voters but only 196,661 of them cast ballots. Granted this was an increase over the 27.26% turnout in the 2007 election but it is still pathetic.

And I don’t understand why. I don’t – I can’t get it. I’ve voted in every election I’ve been eligible to vote in. I voted when I was 9 months pregnant, I voted a few days after surgery, I voted in Advanced Poles because I was going to be away on vacation. It’s easy, it’s simple and it is a right – a privilege. People (speaking generally) always express shock and dismay when non-democratic nations have coupes and militant groups rise to power and commit heinous acts and genocide but when given the chance to have their say, they’d rather stay home and watch TV. I know many who hide behind “Oh I don’t know who to vote for…” or the “I don’t care” position but rest assured they will certainly complain when their sidewalks crumble and the property taxes are increased. I’ve heard the “it’s only a Civic election” argument and how their one vote doesn’t make a difference.

But every vote makes a difference – even if the Nominee you support doesn’t “win”. It’s about taking advantage of the choice, the option and the possibility to make change. It’s standing up and being counted and it’s about having your say. It is about taking advantage of the path forged forward by many who came before us so we all have the same rights and freedoms.

I’m saddened by the turnout. Disappointed beyond belief (although not quite as disappointed as I was after the last Provincial election but that’s because of the 41% turnout and the ability of 52% of the 41% being about to elect a majority government). Even a little bit disgusted with my fellow citizens.

I don’t always love the democratic process but I love that I have the choice. Don’t you?

Statistics provided by the City of Edmonton

Monday, October 18, 2010

MPM # 23

Photo Courtesy of Blackstone Images

It's Monday and I'm sitting at my desk - it's hard to be here after such a fantastic weekend! I'd rather be cuddled in bed with TroubleMaker planning another day together! I wonder how I can launch a campaign to change the work week to Saturday and Sunday and our new 'weekend' would be Monday to Friday. Sounds logical, doesn't it?

This is week three of individual week planning and I'm not sure what I think. A month in advance is how I generally plan but October snuck up on me this year and I'm all behind! It doesn't help that Summer has finally decided to visit my humble Prairie province (albeit two months too late) so we are spending a enormous amount of time outside and that doesn't leave many hours in the house on the weekends so my menu is usually tossed together at breakfast Saturday morning before I head out to do the weeks' shopping.

There is a distinct theme to my menu this week - SANDWICHES! I just checked and World Sandwich Day is still two weeks away! I asked my Husband for a couple of ideas this week and he inevitably requests Chicken Salad Sandwiches and we had Mom's Crockpot Ham for Sunday dinner and we've got a ton of ham leftover so we're making (at my Husband's request) Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches too!

I asked my super fantastic Step Mom if they'd be interested in taking TroubleMaker for the night as my husband and I have a distinct craving and need for a dinner out and some couple time and they agreed so Friday night is DATE NIGHT! Our first, I think, since my birthday in July... I can't WAIT!

I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to catching up with you again next week!

October 18 to October 24

Monday Chicken Breast Club Sandwiches
Tuesday Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Wednesday KD & Fish sticks
Thursday Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Saturday Chicken Pot Pie Anyone have a recipe to share?
Sunday Sloppy Joes

Toast, Apple Strudel Muffins, Bagels, Cereal, French Toast, Bacon & eggs

Chicken Salad Sandwiches
3 chicken breasts, seasoned and pan fried
1/4 cup Miracle whip
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 to 2 green onions chopped

Dice the chicken and add Miracle whip and diced veggies. Blend well and chill (if desired). Butter bread and add Chicken salad. Yield: 7 to 8 generously filled sandwiches

For more meal planning ideals and inspirations, check out the Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How being creative led me here...

I love to create. I have since I was a little girl. Whether it was fashioning new furniture for my dolls from scrap pieces of wood in my Dad’s garage or sewing clothes (without patterns) from my Mom’s fabric stash, I was always putting things together to make new things or cooking up ideas for different things.

Sweater Set handmade by Brennan's Mom

I remember re-purposing the foot rest from my kid sister’s high chair to make a table I could use while sitting in bed and turning a first crochet project into a wall hanging (as I’d dropped enough stitches it could no longer be used as the intended pot holder it was supposed to be). I taught myself guitar when I was 13 and even began writing and playing my own songs a year or so later.

Baby blanket & card handmade by Brennan's Mom

I learned to sew, crochet, create with clay, make cards, scrapbook, arrange flowers and a whole host of other ‘crafty’ things because it’s just who I am. And today, when I started questioning my entire career choice, I began to remember all these things about me and perhaps why I chose to go into interior design ten years ago. Because honestly, three hours ago, I had no idea why I’d chosen this field.

PhotobucketBrennan's Nursery designed & all items in room handmade by Brennan's Mom

But what I did realize over these few hours was that I have not created a thing lately. And my job is of minimal creative value and other than my writing; I haven’t made time to do anything. I have a mother/son apron project half cut out on the sewing table and I owe my friend at See Spot Run a final crate cover! I was supposed to sew my niece pajama pants two years ago and then decided to make her gym bag from the fabric because she’d outgrown the pattern I’d purchased. I have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 metres of fabric waiting to be sewn into something… Anything… But it sits and collects dust instead. And the yarn – I tease my Mom about the thousands of balls of yarn but I’m just as bad – I’m just better at hiding it!

Photobucket PhotobucketWedding decorations handmade by Brennan's Mom before she was Brennan's Mom

So although I don’t know how to fix my current dilemma, I know that reading this on The Organic Sister's blog made me think perhaps I should try to apply myself more and find some time soon to get back to the things I know bring me joy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

MPM # 22

Sunday evening, I’m usually eager to post my menu and start the new week but with TroubleMaker sick with another cold, having a house full for dinner to celebrate my Husband's birthday and another (long) week of work ahead of me, I was perfectly content to sit in my chair with my son in my lap reflecting on our week.

This week’s menu is easy and really kind of a cheater menu because we’re heading to my Mom’s for the Thanksgiving Weekend – so that means two nights that I don’t have to worry about cooking… I normally plan my menus a month in advance but I didn’t this month so I’ve been doing them Saturday morning while we have breakfast. TroubleMaker and I then do the shop for the week and although it’s only been two weeks, I really enjoy those trips with my son to the store. It doesn’t go as quickly as it would if I were by myself but his insights and sense of silly delight me (and occasionally frustrate me) enormously!

I’ll keep this short and just get into the meals. I hope you have a fantastic week, and awesome Thanksgiving (if you’re Canadian, of course) and for more meal planning ideals and inspirations, check out the Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

October 4 to October 10

Monday Chicken Nuggets and fries
Tuesday Left over pasta & Caesar Salad
Wednesday Fried Egg Sandwiches
Thursday Tacos
Friday KD & Fish sticks
Saturday At Mom’s
Sunday At Mom’s

Toast, Apple Strudel Muffins, Bagels, Cereal

A comment about the muffins – they are good however, they are dry. I just chopped my apples but I ended up added about a ½ cup of the juice I used to keep the apples from browning (a few squirts of lemon juice with some water). I also added 1 tsp of cinnamon and ½ tsp of nutmeg to the batter but next time, I’d add more of both. It is a good recipe but oh-so-thick and just a little plain.

This picture is from TroubleMaker's 2010 Calendar - it was a beautiful October day in 2009 that we did the shoot in field behind my former place of work. I love this picture and think it is one of the best shots my Husband has ever taken... But I'm a little biased I suppose!


Photo Courtesy of Blackstone Images


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