Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Avelynn is older!

Avelynn is 7 and a half months old! She's a bundle of pure energetic joy. I can't believe it's been so long already. I have been a mom for half a year. Crazy. I mean, crazy.Here is a compilation of thoughts written over the past two months, written when I could convince myself to focus and write. I love to write and love to blog - and normally there's lots to say about my baby each month and yet....I was drawing a blank. 

A a sleeping baby

Too busy partying - sleep needed

Seriously, so no to this face

Friday, October 16, 2015

Post Partum Style

I read so many blogs about post partum style. Some would say post partum survival. For me it was a mix of the both. I wanted/needed to survive but for me, it's not just about that. Clothes are never just about survival. It makes a big difference to me if I feel great in my clothes. And boy, after you push a baby out of you, clothes become tricky for a period. And then it goes back to normal....pre-pregnancy normal. And so that felt like a rude awakening too. I mean I loved being pregnant...finally I didn't need to suck in! Finally I never had to worry about my fact I could even highlight it!!! But then I was back....back to worrying and sucking in :( So clothing has been an evloution. No post on my post partum style would be complete without a shout out to my sister. Basically I have stolen her style and man, am I pleased with that. It has worked out very well for me. I've also grabbed a lot of ideas from online but also much is from Jenna's wardrobe.

So without further ado....the different post partum stages of outfits for the middle class-city living mom...a specific niche, eh?

The first 6 weeks: Outfits needed to be comfortable, flattering and not tight on my tummy. I wore skinny joggers and leggings often, with maternity jeans making a regular appearance. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight but didn't want pressure on my stomach! 
1. [top] 1 week home from the hospital, skinny joggers and a t shirt [bottom] leggings & a comfy T.
2. Maternity Jeans, nursing tank top and stretchy cardigan 3. Maternity jeans, nursing tank & top.
4. Skinny joggers, nursing tank, and favorite necklace (from global mothers).

I got my maternity jeans from Motherhood Maternity and my skinny joggers from Target. I also have a pair from Old Navy that is no longer available but awesome. Speaking of Old Navy, Target and Motherhood, that seems to be where all of my clothes are from above! Both t shirts in photo 1 are from Target as well as the T in #4, the nursing tank in #2 is from Motherhood and the striped top in #3 is from Target. All easy to wear and comfy!

1. Striped top & sweatpant leggings, both from Old Navy with nursing cami from Motherhood (all of them).
2. Skinny joggers from Target, T from Target, Pullover & sandals from Superstore
3. Skinny joggers from Target, T & Denim overshirt from Old Navy.
4. Striped top from Old Navy, jeans from Motherhood & shoes from Payless.

Skinny joggers make me feel pulled together and comfortable. Nursing cami's are great for easy feeding access and a t shirt overtop means I can feel covered when feeding. Pull T shirt up, and tank down. Perfect for constant breastfeeding. 

1 & 3. Tulip Hemmed shirt from Old Navy, jeans from Motherhood, Cardi from Liz Lange maternity at Target & wedges from Payless. 
2. Maternity jeans, Blouse from Marshalls (I have it in 4 colors), necklace from Global Mothers
4. Blouse from superstore, Old Navy Rockstar jeans, necklace from Global Mothers.

And then we fade to summer. This summer I was dead set on looking pulled together in life. Also I was so so tired. Avelynn is sweet and adorable and also, I was tired. My heart not only needed Jesus (definitely) but also caffeine. Avelynn, thankfully, is very peaceful at Timmies, so steeped tea came to the rescue. Can I tell you? Taking my sister shopping for shorts was the best plan I'd made in some time. 
1. Old Navy tulip hemmed tshirt, Necklace Global Mothers, short from Old Navy.
2. Blouse from Superstore, jean shorts from H&M, necklace made by me! Bag from Pick Your Plum
3. Comfy shorts from Reitmans, blouse from Forever21 & necklace made by me!
4. Shorts (same as black in #1 from ON), T from Target, Necklace by Global Mothers.
5. T from Old Navy, shorts from H&M, Necklace by Global Mothers.

Figuring out how to pull together outfits in the summer once the heat comes is tricky! I am hot and don't want to wear much but want to feel pulled together. I copied my sister a lot this summer!

1. T shirt (lace on back) from Marshalls, Necklace Global Mothers & shorts from H&M
2. Blouse from Superstore, Necklace Global Mothers & shorts from ON
3. Tulip Hem T from ON, shorts from Reitmans, Necklace Global Mothers
4. Shorts from H&M, Blouse from Forever21, Necklace Global Mothers
5. Necklace from Forever 21, Blouse from Marshalls, Shorts from H&M. I call this my southern woman look.

You'll notice the ever present sandals in white and black, $20 from Superstore. So comfortable and so much better to pull an outfit together than flips! Also the ever present short jean shorts from H&M that Jenna talked me into buying. I love them and am so glad she convinced me to go there. I was definiely skeptical at first. 

H&M shorts in each photo, all shirts from Old Navy. These are for sure favorite easy every day looks.

1. Sweater from the Latest Scoop, Rock star jeans. 2. Soft pants from ON with ON tank, necklaces from Forever21 & sporty cardigan from J76.
3. Skinny joggers from Target, T from ON (relaxed fit), with buffalo check blouse from ON.
4. Sporty cardigan from J76, tank from ON, necklace from Global Mothers, skinny joggers from ON.

1 & 3. Rockstar skinny distressed jeans in both. Black tank & flowered tank from ON also.
2. Soft patterned pant from ON, T and necklaces from Forever21. 3. Rockstar coated skinnies & tank from ON.

Can I tell you something else? My sister is amazing. See how all the photos above are taken by me? At least mostly? Jenna has agreed to be my outfit photographer going forward. Today she took some photos of me and man, I looked good. So not only does she inspire my outfits, she captures them beautifully. I'm so thankful for a sister like this. She is the best. Also last night she babysat my  baby and when I arrived to pick Avie up she looked so peaceful and happy. Auntie did a great job. Also turns out, my fabulous 7 year old nephew Connor looked after her for most of the night. I'm so proud of that little guy. And so loved that someone I have cared for and loved, cares for and loves my baby. Connor, you make an auntie proud. 
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, October 12th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 

TuesdayShepherds Pie
Over thanksgiving weekend I combined veggies, gravy and turkey into the shepherds pie base and then topped with mashed potatoes for the topping. I froze one and made another for the fridge for Tuesday. After a holiday weekend it's great to have easy meals when I'm all vacationed out. Tuesday I have a staff meeting after going to the YMCA and then will go to Costco to buy stuff for the week.

Wednesday: Broccoli Rice Bake
I will cook rice, mix with leftover turkey and broccoli and bake. For myself I will make cauliflower rice to mix with these things. I can make this up Tuesday evening so it just needs to be baked Wednesday afternoon, which is perfect since I have a visit downtown, women at prayer, then a family an easy dinner is important!

Thursday: Butter Chicken (with Turkey)

Thursday is a family walk and packing for the weekend - food prep, clothes packed, etc. So easy butter "chicken" is helpful. 

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: YOYO
I'll be visiting with my Nana on the island! Woot woot!

Week in review: 
Monday: Indonesian Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce with Rice & Stir Fried Veggies
Monday we had great friends over - one of them is heading back to Ireland and I will miss her a lot. 

TuesdayCrockpot Chicken Taco Soup
Tuesday night we had plans at 4 to bottle beer, having crockpot soup in the crockpot was super helpful. 

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Spinach Pesto Lasagne Breakfast for dinner
Wednesday was a busy day. Time with my mom, lunch with a friend and driving another friend. Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? I made a regular breakfast for dinner for Paul and I but two of our other students were out so I mixed the rest of dinner together into a casserole dish and served a successful breakfast casserole. 

Thursday: Pumpkin Soup Tilapia Veggie Stack

Didn't buy a pumpkin or many onions. So Tilapia Veggie Stack was born. 

Friday: Nachos 
Friday night was a pre-thanksgiving dinner hangout for our friends. So much turkey over the weekend always makes me want mexican.

Saturday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with friends)
Saturday was our family and friends dinner - international students and homestay students! It went so well. New friends, great food.

Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Mitchell's)
Sunday was family brunch. I made Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups - always super popular. Then we headed out to Surrey to stay with Paul's Dad and step-mom. One of our happiest places. 

Monday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Morgan's)

Dinner with the other half of our family! We got to sleep in while the rent took care of Avelynn. Great relaxing morning and then a wonderful dinner. So full. So good. 
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tilapia Veggie Stack

Recently I picked up some Tilapia Burgers from Costco thinking they would be easy to make and eat. Then I forgot about them for a bit. One day I had no idea what to make and wanted to make something healthy and I remembered the burgers!! I decided that I didn't want to make actual burgers, that I wanted something healthy and tasty that didn't feel healthy. We had leftover Rice and lots of veggies, and so this idea was born. The Tilapia veggie stack. And oh was it good. 

I threw the burgers into the oven, and then diced a tray of vegetables and roasted those in lemon dill sauce. Peppers, Mushrooms, Zucchini & asparagus. I also steamed some broccoli and added that to the mix once it was roasted. I also diced up raw tomatoes to top the mix with. I crumbled up some Queso Fresco/Cojito cheese (feta or mozza or parmesan or anything really would also work - or goats cheese if you like that gross stuff). I also mixed some pesto with some mayonaise because why not. 

To plate each meal I laid out rice on each place (cauliflower rice for me), then topped with the veggies mix. I placed a burger in the center, spread pesto mayo on each item, added raw diced tomatoes and sprinkled the whole thing with cheese. 

The stack with regular rice

The stack with my cauliflower rice

Seriously. This dinner. So easy. So tasty. Healthy. This is going on repeat. 

  • Tilapia Burger Patties
  • Rice
  • Veggies (Mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes)
  • Cojito Cheese 
  • Pesto (two spoonfuls)
  • Mayo (one spoonful)
  • Lemon Dill seasoning to flavour

Instructions/ The Prep:
  1. Cook Tilapia Burger according to package directions
  2. Dice and roast vegetables (seasoned with oil and lemon dill seasoning)
  3. Crumble/Shred Cheese
  4. Cook Rice (I used garlic and onion seasoning with broth)
  5. Dice tomatoes
  6. Mix Pesto & Mayo
Instructions/ The Prep:
  1. Plate Rice in a circle on center of the plate.
  2. Add veggies on top of the rice.
  3. Center the pattie on the stack. 
  4. Spread pesto on pattie.
  5. Top with tomatoes
  6. Sprinkle with cheese
And voila. A wonderful, healthy, tasty, snack. 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, Oct 6

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 

Monday: Indonesian Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce with Rice & Stir Fried Veggies
Monday we were having friends over for dinner - a dear friend is heading back to Ireland and I wanted to serve her a last asian dinner...or at least as Asian as I get :)

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup
Tuesday night we had plans at 4 and 8 so a crockpot dinner was a necessity - and this dinner is not only easy but super super tasty.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Spinach Pesto Lasagne
Wednesday is a busy day - my mom was been not feeling great so I will be walking with my folks and my sister, then meeting up with a friend for coffee, and then driving a student to the airport, so another crockpot dinner is important. I will make sure to make some veggies that I can eat since Lasagne is not on my go list.  

Thursday: Pumpkin Soup

Thursday I am free most of the day so I can take some time to invest in Pumpkin Soup. Mostly it's onion soup...but good, so good. So worth the investment.

Friday: Nachos (creamy chicken taco mixture)
Friday night is a pre-thanksgiving dinner hangout for the Mitchell family. Nachos as our place! Easy and fun! 

Saturday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with friends)
Saturday is our family and friends dinner - international students and homestay students! Woot.

Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Mitchell's)
Sunday is my family dinner + church. Woot again. 

Monday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Morgan's)
Dinner with the other half of our family! Woot again indeed.

I finally have time to get dinner prepped before the final minutes. It's rewarding to spend time in the day getting dinner ready. I mean sometimes baby things pop up and it's crazy but generally I can take an hour earlier to get dinner ready, then go back to baby life. Really all it's done is moved dinner prep forward....and that's relaxing. Finally no last minute stress.

And also now it's late. So there you go. Bedtime!

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baby blogging

Seriously. How do mommy bloggers with babies do it? I want to blog and yet. Tired. Baby. Night. Day. Baby. Seriously. Right now I'm up while Paul and baby sleep. Sneaking time for blogging away from baby. And now it's a week after I wrote those first sentences and I'm sneaking in another thought or two while baby naps. And fast forward 15 is awake but she is snuggled up next to me while I keep typing. And then she just pooped...and it was everywhere. So then I went to change her and now I'm back at the computer. And here we are - not even a paragraph in!

Now that we’ve moved the bassinette out of our room we’ve moved the armchair back in – we’ve moved the Ikea Raskog Kart in next to it, which I am loving. When I bought it for the nursery Paul said it was most likely just an excuse for me to own it and given the fact that it’s found my way into our room, I can’t quite argue.

So those first two paragraphs were written two weeks ago. Oh Avie. You know, I miss blogging. I miss crafting. I miss DIY. And yet. Baby, you are totally worth it. I find my days are busy and cuddly and sweet and slighty sticky and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Today Avie and I sat at a Starbucks in Coquitlam waiting to run an errand and while I drank...wait, lets get back to that. We sat there and she cuddled on my lap and I'm so thankful. It took time to make her, it took time to get her out, but she is here and oh am I thankful. 

So back to the drink, that's obviously why I'm blogging. That's obviously why you're here. You're wondering, what's Tara drinking at Starbucks? Let me satisfy your curiosity. They say it killed the cat. Curiosity, that is. Not my starbucks drink. So a couple years ago I wrote a post about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and my confusion with the nickname and my subsequent disappointment with the drink. BUT this year, I discovered that I do like the new PSL, with it's new and improved ingredients. Quite enjoyed. I was even about to order another one! Today I went to Starbucks with Avie, planning to repeat the experiment, and then I saw a sign for the new Toasted Graham Latte. The graphics won me over, I was nervous, but I tried it. I pushed through. Can I tell you? I loved it. Honestly. I had two of them today. One this morning, one later today. Avie kept grabbing at it...but that's because she always tries to grab my things. Baby wants whats her moms :) 

This blog post might have taken almost three weeks to write but boy does it feel good to write a bit and post a bit. I sure do love this platform!
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Avelynn is 4 months!

I wrote this when our sweet baby girl was 4 months (that was like 3 weeks ago). Then we were away at camp, then we were away on family vacation and then is now. I missed posting it. But be that as it may, she still reached 4 months and woot. She is just as sweet as ever. Honestly, she's such a lovely baby. I can't quite get over how great she is. I have a fear sometimes that she's a trick that is so great that you believe you got this and start to have more kids right away only to discover that your first trick baby was actually not a normal baby but that the rest of your babies are normal and waaay harder. But I am chosing to enjoy the trick at least if that's the case :)

Avelynn has started giggling this past month and it's ADORABLE. She's good natured - always a smile when she's being played with. She'll stop breastfeeding to look up at me and smile, then go back to her eating. She often has a deep pensive or puzzled look on her face, and she does a wide eyed surprise look like no one else.

Playtime with Grandma

I offer you a foot

Mom & Baby time

She's turning a lot, but hasn't quite figured out how to roll over all the way. She can go from her back to her side to the front, but can't get out of that. She turns though, 360 in her crib all night. She's been sleeping in her own rib for almost a month now - it's great! She sleeps through the night mostly, we no longer have middle of the night feeds, though sometimes she still wakes up but a soother puts her back down.

Srsly cute

Sleeping beauty

and this one slays my heart

Avelynn finally gets to meet the rest of Paul's family in the states - his Minnesota and Oregon family! We're so excited to show this sweet little girl off. Before that Avelynn and I are heading up to Anvil Island to volunteer at teen camp and then we're off for our family vacation.

That look

I texted this photo to Paul and he texted back "Is Avelynn taking a selfie?"

We sure have been enjoying the summer - lake days, stanley park walks, olympic village walks, adventures of many types. Avelynn handles it all like a champ - she's great for travelling, great at taking bottles and great with baby sitters. She's a truly lovely kid. I realize I'm biased. But still.

Sasamat Lake with friends

Winning people over - dang that smile

Lindsey and Avie (aka Blue Steel)

Baby and babies first toy - the infant ball

"Let's go to the lake," they said. "It'll be fun," they said. Elliot and Avelynn do not agree with their mom's.

Appies with some of the Pre-Natal class ladies at the Tea House at Stanley Park

What pre-natal class hang out would be complete without spontaneous breastfeeding? Also I love that Elinor is poking out.

And in about a week you'll see a post that announces she's 5 months. So yeah. Mom for the win?
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