Taco Bites

These are easy to make,
a little tedious to fill
and a huge hit at a party.

Everyone loves tacos, right? 
These are the perfect snack to bring to a girls night,
a Super Bowl party or any other gathering.

What you'll need:
- a bag of Tostitos dippers (the chips that are like little bowls)
- your favourite taco meat (or omit to make it vegetarian)
-grape tomatoes (about 15)
- 3 green onions
-shredded cheese
-sour cream
-taco seasoning

1. Cook your meat according to the taco seasoning packet directions.
(Typically, you brown your meat, add some water, add the seasoning.)

2. Take a serving platter and place unbroken chip bowls on it.

3. Let the meat cool slightly and then place just a little bit into each bowl. 
You do not want to overfill them because other toppings will be going on top.

4. Chop the grape tomatoes in half. Slice the green onions thinly, but on a sharp angle to create long pieces. 

6. Add a small dollop of sour cream, a few pieces of shredded cheese. Place a grape tomato half, a leaf of cilantro and a few pieces of the green onion on top. 

6. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can prepare it all ahead of time, however don't put it all together until you are about to serve it as the chips lose their crunch.

Bon Apetit!


Tea Party

Sweet M turned 3 last week! 
So hard to believe these girls are growing into little women.
M's birthday wish was to come to Claire's house
to wear princess dresses and have a tea party.
So of course Claire and I helped make that come true.

The next day the Cervo's came to our house
and the girls transformed into fairytale princesses and we had a tea party!

These two have been friends since the beginning of their lives.
So sweet to watch them grow up together and watch a true friendship form.
The night of M's birthday Claire prayed and thanked God for M's curly hair
and said how much she loved her.


Judge Free Parenting

In other posts, in other status updates,
I have voiced my opinion of people
who judge other parents.
There are so many avenues in which we choose to bully as adults.

Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, vaccinations, diapering, discipline, coddling, co-sleeping...
So many reasons to judge, so little time.
I am guilty of it, you are guilty of it.
And if you are sitting there thinking,
"I've never done it."
You have.

"Oh boy, if that was my kid I'd..."
"These days kids..."
"I can tell you one way to get that kid to behave."
Fill in your own blanks.

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine
who just became a mom and mentioned the stares and rude comments 
she gets when she bottle feeds her baby.
Yes, it is breast milk in that bottle.
Even if it wasn't, whose business is it but hers and her partners?
We are so quick to judge, give a dirty look and even say things that 
are so incredibly hurtful. 
Some parents are witty enough to come back with a smart comment.
But there are others, like myself, who are stopped in their tracks
 always think of the best things to say way after the fact. 

Lately it seems like other parents have been taking a stance against this bullying.
You don't have to agree but you do have to be nice.
Didn't Thumper from baby once say,
"If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."

(photo from Disney Wikia)

about a mom who said she feels the need to explain to people why she can't breastfeed.
Even the lactation consultants at the hospital when her baby was born were pushing her to try.
It exhausted her. She was sick of explaining herself.
She felt the need to give her whole story just to make people shut up about it.
Her reality was that she was a breast cancer survivor.
If she had enough breast tissue left to be able to produce any milk at all
that was a very scary reality for her as it meant there would be a chance her breast cancer could return.

Another great add I saw by Similac was this video they made
about the "Sisterhood of Motherhood".
It is so true. 
To each his/her own,
but when it comes down to it we are all parents just trying to do the right thing.
Let's bring it back to the Word, always. 
What does the Bible say?

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; 
make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer to everyone."
Colossians 4:5-6

"Do not grumble against one another, brothers"
James 5:9a


Delicious Vegetable Soup {Vegan Friendly}

This soup is nothing but beautiful vegetables.

Go to your favourite market and pick out some season vegetables.
Some of my favourites are root vegetables such as beets and carrots, a squash, 
some sweet bell peppers, hearty greens such as kale or swiss chard and something from the onion family.

To make a perfect vegetable broth
simply save all the trimmings and ends as you go about preparing your vegetables
and store them in a freezer zipper bag in your fridge's freezer.
Once the bag is full empty it into a large pot and fill it with water.
Bring it to a boil, then simmer for a long time. 
Often I just leave it on the stove all evening until I go to bed.
Separate into more labeled freezer bags and store for later use.

For this soup I peeled and roughly cut up
-one medium sized butternut squash
-two carrots
-a shallot
-some black kale (I reserved the rest for a salad)
-an apple
-a yellow pepper
-half a head of broccolli
- the whites of a leek
- 3 golden beets (red beets are fine too but will alter the colour of the soup)
- a whole head of garlic. (Lob the tips off and leave in the paper. Wrap in foil.)

Spread it all out on a pan and drizzle with a few glugs of your favourite oil.
Roast for about an hour at 400 degrees. 
They vegetables will all cook differently, but ultimately the squash should be able to be pierced with a fork.
You will have some lovely charred bits too, just adds to the flavour.

Take a large pot and add your vegetable broth.
(You can use chicken stock too, but it won't be vegan anymore.)
Add all your vegetables.
Next unwrap your garlic from the foil.
Squeeze it from the bottom and all the fragrant cloves will just pop out.
Bring this all to a boil and simmer for at least 35 minutes.
All the vegetables should be soft now.

If you have a hand held emulsion blender use this to puree the soup.
If not, transfer portions of the soup into a blender until it has all be pureed.
Keep over heat.

Next, add your flavours and aromatics.
This is where you get to be really creative and do what you please.
Explore different culinary worlds and make your soup
Moroccan, Indian, a bit bold and spicey.
Or you could leave it simple by seasoning it with some fresh ground pepper and salt.

If you wish, add a dollop of creme fresh or sour cream on the top and some fresh cut chives.

Bon Apetit! 


Kick Off!

Kick off day...
and I am in no way referring to the Super Bowl.
Football analogies come naturally to me, what can I say? 

For about 6 years I have been wanting to blog
more than just photos of my family.
It is so fun to have this space to share my random
musings and pictures to share with family and friends.
Yet I always yearned for it to be more.
The blogging world is changing so fast
and I was quickly falling behind.

Inspired by a few girls I know
who just jump right in and give it a try,
I decided to do it too.
After reflecting on why it has taken me so long
to actual make this become something more
I realized I am afraid of failing.
I am afraid of putting my dreams out there,
admitting what they are
and I am afraid of it falling on its so-called face.

In a year from now
I would hate for people to say,
"Whatever happened to that blog you were going to do?"
But I can't let that keep me from doing what I want.
I love to be creative in many ways,
and I want this blog to be an outlet for that.
Even blogging in itself is a fun creative outlet for me.
The writing, the taking pictures and sharing them
and sharing recipes I have tried and even created. 

So here it goes.
Family, friends,
here begins the transformation of this blog
into more than it has been.
It will still be a place for me to share photos of my adorable girls 
and our adventures we get up to,
but I am hoping to share more with you too.

To kick off the new blog,
I am inviting you to go to my page on Facebook and Like it.
You will find it by the same title as the blog.
Once it reaches 100 likes I am going to give away a Starbucks gift card.
I also have an Instagram account by the same name,
feel free to follow me there. 
And please, share the news (and the blog.)


4 Months

 Our  Jane turned four months old on Sunday. 
Four months! 
Where has the time gone?

Is it just me
or does time go faster with the second one?
It seems like all these milestones are just clipping by.
She has found her feet, holds her toys decently well,
puts everything in her mouth, gives a good chuckle,
talks and sings to us and can now roll over.
All of that in the past month.
She has been a bit more cranky than usual
but with all these developmental growth spurts,
plus cutting one or two teeth, 
it isn't surprising.

She is still so content, so serious,
is easy to smile and if she does cry it is generally easy to fix.
She is a solid 14 pounds and 6 ounces.
50th percentile for weight and head circumference
and 85th for height.
She has a twisted sense of humour and still finds it very amusing when someone is in trouble.
It is really funny to watch a slow smile creep across her face.

It brings us so much joy as parents
watching these two together. 
Claire is happy to perform with such a willing audience
and Jane watches intently.

There are daily reminders about 
who is actually the mother.
Who does the picking up, rocking and nursing 
(yes, nursing),
But overall she is such a helpful and willing sister
whom Jane admires and looks up to, and I pray always will.


This Is What Childhood Is Made Of

This afternoon while Jane was napping
Claire and I built a fort.
Then tonight she crawled into her bed that we made underneath
the sheets held up by the Barbie house, a rocking horse and a chair
and turned on her Dreamlite and read books with her daddy and sister.
She was in her glory.

Now, surprisingly, she is sound asleep on the floor underneath the fake stars.
This is what creates memories, this is what I want her to remember about her childhood.