Week One Update

We had a good and bad week last week. We ate out twice (once at a fast food restaurant that I instantly regretted) but I found that I was struggling with my husband being on evening shifts and our eldest needing to be driven to soccer try outs and preparing dinner and homework,etc!. Trying to figure out a way to organize myself better (any suggestions!!).
I did make one delicious Southwest chicken clean recipe that I found on the Gracious Pantry website and adjusted it to suit my family likes (will post the recipe and what I used in a bit). And it was a somewhat hit! My youngest and I loved it – my husband and eldest son not so much – my husband actually wanted to fry the meal up as he felt it was missing oil. Kind of frustrated me but c’est la vie!
My boys and I managed to get out every day this past week (mostly due to all the soccer tryouts!) but it was nice to spend thirty minutes with them not stressed out about work/dinner prep/housework, etc…I loved that!! And I plan on continuing this – I feel like I blinked and they have grown up so much already, I just want to hold on tight and not let them grow up anymore on me.
Hoping this week will go just as well. I froze the Southwest chicken meal (but looks like it will only be my baby and I eating that one!), figured out a meal plan for the week, purchased all necessary ingredients – feeling prepared and ready for the week! May not feel that way by Wednesday but keeping myself optimistic. I am trying to focus on all the positives and all the good that will come out of this!
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Day One of Healthy Living

Today did not start off great – our youngest child is sick and was up for the majority of the night. I could not for the life of me force myself out of bed this morning early enough to make it to the gym!! I tried and tried but it felt like my eyes were shut closed.

On a good note, both of my boys started breakfast with two scrambled Burnbrae Farms Omega Pro eggs with toast (love mornings where they eat a super healthy breakfast!) and fruit. Hoping to hear about good days from both of them when I go to pick them up!!

I let my husband do the grocery shopping today and I was a tad bit disappointed with his shop. He did not purchase pork or beef with a Canadian label (in fact it had no label on it so not sure where it is from and you can definitely tell the difference! It does not look as fresh as what we usually buy). He did purchase local fruits and veggies which I was proud of 🙂

No gym or walk for us tonight as they suckered me in for another year of Catholic School Council meetings and will be volunteering tonight at the Welcome Back BBQ!!

Anyone else establishing new healthy routines?

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Healthy Living Goals

I have finally been convinced from watching our friends do this, to start to make more positive changes in our family eating and lifestyle habits. I personally think we have pretty good eating habits and are meeting at least minimum active lifestyle requirements but I want to do more for not only myself but my children and husband. I feel that we owe ourselves to be as healthy as possible!
It has taken me a couple weeks to gather information (what a wealth of information there is out there!) and to figure out what would work best for my family.
Here is what I came up with for goals for our family:
1. Introduce one vegetarian dinner a week.
2. Introduce one ‘clean’ meal a week.
3. Introduce lentils and beans into the family diet (at least two to three meals a week).
4. Fruit smoothies every morning for my boys to compliment their breakfast meals (I am always worried they do not get enough calcium!).
5. Introduce quinoa into one dinner a week.
6. Introduce new cuts of meat and all meat be from local Canadian farmers.
7. Consume all local fruits and vegetables (if possible). 
8. Introduce an ethnic meal twice a month.
9. Daily 30 minute walk for all family members.
My own personal growth goals are:
1. Learn how to make Parisian loaf style bread.
2. Get my butt to the gym for three 45 minute workouts a week! I can sense lots of early morning wake ups for me!!
I am excited to introduce these goals for my family and hoping they will be received well (already got the ‘look’ from my eldest when I spoke about starting to make some dietary changes!!).  Not quite sure how to explain to them why we are doing this but going to take that a step at a time. Does your family sit down and make goals together? I really enjoyed this (even though it was mostly the parent’s suggestions that we could all agree on!) and wondering how often do others do this?
Will update in a month to see how well (or not so well!) we did.
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Red Pepper and Onion Tortellini Pasta!

This is one of my favourite go to recipes for my eldest who dislikes his veggies. I do my best to sneak veggies in by blending them into his sauces, smoothies, etc…but this recipe I love because he is convinced that it is a cheese sauce!!
It is a super simple and delicious recipe that takes no more then twenty minutes to complete.
You will need:
  • 1 red pepper (the darker, the better!!)
  • 1 onion
  • butter (I do not usually measure out just go by how much is needed to fry the onions and peppers!)
  • 1 small container of 10 or 18% cream
  • package of Oliveri tortellini (I love the rainbow pasta with seven cheeses!)
1. Cut up onion and peppers into small pieces – place into frying pan with enough butter that they soften (but be careful not to burn them – you want them soft but not brown)
2. Boil water for tortellini – follow instructions on the package you purchase (this usually takes about eight to ten minutes). Strain and set aside.
3. Once peppers and onions are soft enough put the mixture into a blender. Add the whole container of cream at a time – depending on the size of the peppers and onions you use you may not need the whole container. Blend until smooth (it will have an orange colour to it, which is why my son believes it is cheese!).
4. Cover pasta and voila!! Delicious pasta that even the pickiest veggie eaters will love!


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Appreciating Every Milestone

Just coming back fresh from a vacation (yup vacation after only being back for three weeks!!) and while off I spent the majority of my time trying to just soak in my two boys. And what I mean by this is that I feel like since I have been back they have grown up so much (I know sounds silly in only three weeks but I am feeling this way!) and I just want to absorb myself in every new achievement and milestone attainment.
My eight year old surprises me every day with his vocabulary (both good and bad!) and his ever astounding soccer skills. This past week I was so proud of him when he was finally able to header the ball during his soccer match – it is been one of his greatest fears since he started competing competitively. He was just looking around at the field for us and giving us thumbs up. All those weeks of learning and tears resulted in such a complete moment of joy. Made all those screaming matches of no headers in my living room worth it!
My one year old completely amazes me with every new accomplishment. Have you ever watched an infant learn new skills – it leaves me in complete awe how incredible these little people are.  I love watching his own pure and simple joy at figuring out something new. It is incredible the amount of coordination and concentration that is required for everyday things I have come to take for granted. I was completely tickled when we took him to the beach and he kept trying to figure out what the sand was – last year he was too little to play in the sand and this year I thought he would love it! Boy was I wrong. He would touch it with his hand, walk away to on the grass, walk back, walk away, etc..This went on for about ten minutes. But watching him pick up the sand and examine his hands with the sand on it was such a touching moment for me. My baby was no longer a baby but a toddler! He was trying to learn what all these new things were about and when he does boy does he want some congratulating! He looks around with this huge grin on his face waiting for his applause (which we are more then happy to give!)
Being back at work has given me such a different perspective on my children and how appreciative I truly am of every moment I was able to spend with them. I just want to soak up every moment at this stage with them and never forget how truly amazing children are in general. How do you support and appreciate the little milestones? Does it amaze you how many skills our children learn and how quickly? What are some recent milestones your little one has reached?
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