Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do Not Support The Circus

There is some pretty amazing info on the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website but also some disturbing material. I find it extremely difficult to watch some of these videos. I cringe as I do but we must create awareness on these issues for change to happen. See for yourself here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Everything we have, Chris and I have worked our asses off for. We have friends who were given lump-sums towards their mortgages and first homes. We worked three jobs so we could buy our first house when we were twenty-two years old. We have friends whose parents paid for their entire wedding. Chris and I took out a line of credit to make it all work. It's fair to say we have worked for what we have and I do feel a sense of pride about that. We are also good to ourselves. We're spenders. I hate to admit that I get a "kick" out of material things sometimes but once in awhile I buy or am given something so special that I feel in awe of it. In awe of a material thing.... I admit it but it doesn't sit with me very well. The truth just hurts sometimes, I guess.

We were recently put to the test of how important those material things are to us when Chris was laid off for five months. We stopped going away for weekends getaways, we ate out less often and didn't buy as much to start. As time went on, we started to have the conversation about selling the house, moving out west to where the work was and starting over. I'm all about the "less is more" attitude and keeping it simple but it caused me anxiety and stress at first thought. We talked about all the things we could do without and all the things we wouldn't need, but have now. It really puts things in perspective when you're wondering could we do this? Could we really do this and still be happy? We knew we could.... Of course we could....as long as we have what basics we need to live, our kids, our health and have the money to spend on what allows us to do good such as having the ability to still donate to charities and to have fun with our friends and family. We've already proven to ourselves that we can make it on our own. We were happy before the bigger house and all the "things" and we were equally as happy with it all. This made us realize, we're just happy together. It really has nothing to do with the things at all.

So why then, do I find myself in awe of materialistic things on occasion? Why is it my heart still flutters a little when I catch a glimpse of a turquoise box wrapped in white ribbon with the words "Tiffany & Co" on it? I've been thinking long and hard about the answer to this and I want to say that it's because I have found balance in my life. I am content with what I have. I could give it up and live without most of it as long as I had the people most important to me around me. I can appreciate the quality of beauty in people, nature and material things.... in that order. (“Everything has its beauty…”Confucius) I can honestly say I do not want what I haven't got.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vegetarian Lasagna

This is by far my favourite version of a homemade vegetarian lasagna.

Use 1 pkg of fresh but oven ready lasagna noodles
2 jars of pasta sauce (the best is the Victoria White Linen Collection)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 green zucchini
Approx 6-8 white mushrooms
1 cup of cauliflower cut into very small pieces
1 carrot
2 sweet potatoes (yams)
500g tub of smooth ricotta cheese
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of spinach cut into thin strips
2 fresh basil leaves cut into thin strips
Mozzerella cheese (I won't even put what amount... you be the judge of how cheesy you want it to be)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 cups of alfredo sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Peel and boil the sweet potato and carrot until soft, then mash together.
Saute the zucchini, mushroom, spinach and cauliflower with the garlic in the olive oil.
Take a 9x12 pan and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the bottom.
Put one layer of lasagna noodles and top it with another thin layer of tomato sauce and then the tub of ricotta cheese. Add some mozzerella cheese as well. Sprinkle with a little garlic powder, salt & pepper.
Put your next layer of noodles on top of that, add a thin layer of tomato sauce and top them with the sauteed vegetable mixture. Add more mozzerella.
Put another layer of noodles on and spread the sweet potato mixture on. Add the last layer of noodles, smother it in tomato sauce and top it with the rest of the mozzerella cheese and parmesan cheese.
Bake according to the instructions of the lasagna noodles you are using, making sure it is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown. As you serve it, ladle just a small amount of alfredo sauce over top.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Facebook Spies

I call them Facebook Spies. These are the people who go on Facebook to check things out but never appear in the "chat" section of the page and who never update their status. You know they go on because at work they will say to you "wow, your kids are getting really big... those are cute photos you posted" or "So, you had a great time at your Girls Night Out?" They are always still in the loop about everything and about everyone because they check out everyone else's pages but never comment, update or make themselves visible. It's called Social Networking, people.... if you can't be social on the biggest social networking site around then you are a Facebook Spy in my books. And if you are on my friend list then I know who you are. I know who you all are.

The Best Alfredo Sauce

The key here is to use 35% whipping cream, good white wine, good parmesan cheese and stir the sides CONSTANTLY. This recipe is SO SO SO easy and simple. When using it for pasta, I add steamed broccoli and diced roma tomatoes in it. AWESOME!

1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of white wine
500 ml of 35% whipping cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put the garlic and wine into a warm frying pan (med) and let the wine reduce. The garlic should be softened by then but not brown. Slowly add the whipping cream and nutmeg, stirring constantly. It will thinken around the edges of the pan so use a spatula to scrape it. Keep it on a slow boil until you notice it thicken to the consistency you would want to eat the sauce at and add the parmesan cheese.

Hint: I usually I put the pasta in the boiling water at the same time as add the cream and they tend to finish around the same time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grady's Gift

Sick Kids Hospital..... What an extraordinary place. We are attending Grady's Concert to benefit Sick Kids next week. As a mother, I cannot even begin to imagine.... My heart goes out to Kevin & Jen.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September Is The New July

What started out as a lazy morning turned into a fun and exciting afternoon.. Chris had the day off so we checked the weather forecast and it all looked good for a change. We have been avoiding the big water park for the last few years because our kids were always too little for the slides but with it being so close to our house, the kids are ALWAYS asking to go. I've expressed (on more than one occasion) my disappointment in the weather this summer but today surprisingly turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. It's the last and final weekend of summer and I'm feeling like it's just getting started. Guess I'd better get back out there. make the most of it and go enjoy what's left of it!

About Me

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Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)