A simple place to capture the moments of my crazy life

Changes

Whew!!!! What a week!!

Starting with my littlest peanut heading off to school for the first time to Junior Kindergarten, leaving me at home with an empty nest. It was a big week for Keisha, she had 3 days of school, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I have to say she handled it like a champ. Monday night she did fall asleep early on the couch after dinner, while watching a movie and snuggling with me, she had about a 40 minute power-snooze, and then it was up for stories, bathtime and back to bed – best part she slept all night in her own bed!! Ha!! Small miracles, I will take them!! Tuesday morning was a little “tense” because she was NONE to happy about not going back to school, this was a constant battle with Mya, last year as well, wanting to go everyday!! Mya has been doing very well this year, I think she is really enjoying being the “big” sister with Keisha in her class!! I love that they are in the same class together!!

Danielle and Olivia have survived their 2nd week of school, and I’m happy to report that the homework was kept to a dull roar this week 🙂 Danielle (Grade 8) typically has about 20-30 minutes of Math every day, and she was thrilled to report tonight at dinner that her first quiz mark was 85%!!! SO very proud of how hard my girly works!! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the girls change, and grow up. Gone is the girl that lost her own head from the upstairs of the house to the downstairs, today she’s actually starting to “get it” together!! I wasn’t sure I would ever see the day!! LOL!! And what a tremendous help she is, from watching her sisters, to drying the endless supply of dishes, to helping with lunch packing!! The fun part for me, is getting to do it with her and teach her while we are doing these little everyday jobs!! This morning, the plan was to pack leftover garlic noodles for everyone for lunch, however, when it came time to find them … HA … key word there, FIND them!!! Well, we couldn’t find them in the fridge!! ACK!!! 8:15am – 4 lunches to pack – can’t find the planned meal!!! DANG!!! But together we managed to get all 4 lunches packed quickly and efficiently in about 5 minutes!!! Everyone was happy and out the door on time!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

Some of the other changes have to do with me, and my personal habits and some of my mini goals!! However, as much as I wanted to write about all of that tonight… it has come to the time that I must submit to my defeat and wander off to bed!! Another day will dawn before I know it and simply I need more sleep!!! But before I wander away to la-la-land, I will leave you with a couple of pictures from this week!!

Local Food

Another super yummy dinner of local foods, pork chops (not local), topped with homemade apple sauce, garlic pasta with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli! Veggies all from Your Local Market Co-Op, along with the garlic!! So yummlicious!!

Danielle's Thursday Night Pre-Championship Dinner

Coach Mike, said eat pasta Thursday night, we ate PASTA!! With lots of other yummy’s to go along with it!!

Friday Date Night Mocha Latte at Revel Caffe

Peter and I have been trying to have a regular “date” night, on Fridays!! What a great way to end the week, to spend an hour or two with my bestfriend and re-connect after a crazy week. Some people go out for elaborate dinners, drinks, dancing, movies, plays, we typically keep it simple, with a bit of free time spent together at Revel Caffe. Simple fits in our crazy busy lives, movies and all that would be fun too I guess, but what we enjoy is just being together and chatting, uninterrupted by kiddies!! 🙂 The atmosphere at Revel is absolutely PERFECT for exact thing!! Thank you Anne and Dave for keeping the REVOLUTION alive!! 🙂

Revel's Savour Stratford WIndow Display

Here is a picture of Anne’s handiwork on the Revel window display for next weekends incredible Culinary Festival, Savour Stratford!!

Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival
awarded Ontario’s Best Culinary Experience
September 24 – 25

Celebrate Stratford’s creative food culture as culinary artists, international award-winning chefs and local artisan food producers at the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival.

Spend the weekend roaming the heritage garden and Market Square district surrounded by outdoor farmers and artisan markets, free music in the park and illuminating tastings, talks and fun cooking for the kids – our festival is renowned as one of Ontario’s best!

We have lots for food lovers – from the gourmand to the gourmet with “Ribs in the Square” presented byBoss Hogs, the best Canadian BBQ Team, a rockin’ Saturday night “BBQ, Blues and Brews” party and our unique tented culinary garden party on Sunday afternoon, “Savour Stratford Tasting”, pairing 30 chefs and local producers with the finest VQA wines, craft brews and jazz.

Meet Chuck Hughes, Canadian winner of 2011 America’s Iron Chef; Connie DeSousa, Top Chef Canada finalist; Denis Cotter, award winning Irish celebrity Chef and Jennifer McLagan, author ofBones and Fat, as well as other culinary experts in over twenty events.

Check out our festival map and schedule.

Ahhhhhh – come sip, sample and savour Stratford.

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Labour Day Weekend 2011 – Final Chapter

Let’s do a quick recap – Friday – worked a split shift. Saturday – spent the day in Toronto with Peter’s brother and wife and our darling little niece, Zara!!! Swimming, birthday presents, and alot of food!! 🙂 Really that is what every day should be like 😉 Oh yeah and dealing with thunderstorms and wicked rain!! EEKS!!

Traditionally, the Sunday of the long weekend, we take the girls to the Drive In, as our end of the summer family night, however, Mother Nature had other plans for us this year, and it rained and was miserable all day! Here is a picture of last years drive-in, Cats & Dogs : The Revenge of Kitty Galore is what we saw. Yeah bit of a freak like that I actually remember the movie!! LOL!!

Labour Day Weekend 2010 Drive In

It’s kind of neat to see the changes in the girls in this picture compared to now 😉 Here is a picture of our first trip to the drive in this summer, which was quite early in the season, before school was out, we went to see RIO, and DIARY of a Wimpy Kid 2!! Both great movies!! 🙂

1st Drive In Night of 2011 Season!!

Since Mother Nature decided it wasn’t our time to go to the Drive In, we stayed home and rented movies instead!! Scooby Do, and Marley & Me, the Puppy Years (the second movie), the girls watched them both repeatedly Sunday and Monday lol, so they must have been good !! As my previous blog entry said, I spent the better part of Sunday scrappin’ which was great, because I haven’t actually done it in a long time … too long actually. Dinner Sunday night was BBQ’d Steak, baked potatoes, green beans, zucchini with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes!! Everything but the steak was purchased locally at the Slow Food Market on Sunday. It’s INCREDIBLE, the difference local fresh food makes in the taste!! Mmm mmm good!!

Sunday Dinner

Sunday I was able to have my “ME” time, starting with a trip to Market, and then onto Revel Caffe, for a little alone time, and LOTS of coffee!! LOL!! 🙂 I spent some time there editing pictures for scrapping with, writing on my blog, and reading the twitter feed. It’s incredible really, in the past month all of the interesting piece of information that I have learned because of twitter!! LOL!! Some people say it’s useless, I think it’s worth the time I spend on it each day. It’s definitely opened my eyes up to the world around me, and on different issues. I am actually starting to feel as though I am using my brain again, instead of just existing, learning a little, growing a little, changing a little all good things. While I go to market on Sunday’s, Peter still goes and does the grocery shopping, God Bless him, and then once they are all put away, he comes to meet me for a coffee as well, and then we head home for lunch with the girls.

Monday – was a sad day, the LAST day of summer vacation and the weather was HORRIBLE!!! Ugh, definitely gave us all a little insight that fall is definitely on our doorstep that’s for sure. To brighten everyone’s morning though I made some super yummy french toast with  Alan Mailloux’s incredible Sour Cherry Chocolate Sour Dough bread …. OMGOODNESSSSSS!!!!! Alan, owns and operates Downie Street Bake House in Stratford, and I may literally have to put a restraining order on MYSELF, from going there and buying bread, because it’s just toooo good!! 🙂 The girls are in love with the fancy french toast(s) I am serving these days with Alan’s bread! Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I do have a picture of the loaf before I cut it up!!

Sour Cherry Chocolate Sour Dough

Is that not the MOST delightful sight you have ever seen??? Then it was onto Danielle and Olivia preparing their school supplies for the first day of school, while Mya and Keisha spent the better part of the day, playing LaLaLoopsy — which is some sort of little doll type things!! All in all it was a great day, a great summer, a wonderful last holiday weekend!! We also had soccer on Monday, but it’s too late to get into that post right now ….

Until next time!!
Ciao,

Krista 

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Shoes & Food

It’s done, complete, finished, back to school shopping 2011, is officially OVER, and I have to say I couldn’t be happier. I braved the mall today with all 4 of my lovelies in tow alone, slightly afraid, but we all survived. My girls, spend the majority of the summer in crocs, barefeet or soccer cleats so today’s shopping adventure was desperately needed. Keisha was down to one pair of crocs – however they are two different colors, one is pink and the other is red. HA, yeah that’s how we roll at the Moore House **rolling eyes now**. Now I don’t know about other families, but back to school shoe shopping for us is a major undertaking, because it means bringing 8 new pairs of shoes into the house. I think we could honestly set up a small shoe store, if it wasn’t for the fact that most would be mismatched and or slightly chewed by one of the two furbabies. So, at this point in the girls life, most of them don’t get expensive shoes. Summer shoes, are bought at the dollar store or Giant Tiger for the little ones, because they are just too hard on stuff right now, to spend any real money on shoes. Ok, seriously, enough shoe-babble! Here is a picture of the newest members of the collection though 😉

Newest Additions to the Ever-Growing Shoe Collection at the Moore House

Actually we made our well, everyone was even happy with their selections. Which is a minor miracle in and of itself!! LOL!! 🙂 Everyone now has indoor and outdoor shoes for the year. Some light up, some slip on, there is velcro and pink, brown and sparkles and laces, a shoe lovers dream. The cool part, all 8 pairs only cost $168 and change, at least 4 pairs were on sale, and then because Payless has my email address on file, we received an additional 15% off. SAWEET!!!!

Other than shoe shopping it was a pretty low key day!! 🙂 I made my daily visits to Revel and Your Local Market Co-Op, for fuel in the form of Americano’s and a treat of a Coconut Latte!! OMGOODNESS SOOOO YUMMY!!! And then to market for havarti, mushrooms, red onion, and bread. Tonight’s dinner for the girls was a mixture of shapes and sizes all cut up on a platter for them to eat at will what they wanted!! They LOVE dinners like this and typically eat a whole lot more because of it 😉 A little food-ography of tonight’s dinner selection!!

Sept 1, 2011 Dinner

We have boneless skinless chicken breast sliced, cucumbers, Havarti cheese flowers, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, hummus, apple slices, green grape quarters, raisin bread flower and whole wheat toast flowers!! Now if I could only get some baking done …. things would actually be on track!! HA!!

Ciao,

Krista 

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Food-ograhy and some babble

As I mentioned earlier this week in my post Loves Small Town Living, we have started to make some changes at home, due to one little trip to the Slow Food Market in Market Square. Changes that I hinted at were quite scary and intimidating for me at first. Stepping outside of the box, putting myself into new and different situations. Things I typically don’t like to do, things I have a hard time doing. I’m actually intimidated while I’m at market, still am to be 100% honest, heck downtown anything intimidates me. The things that run through my head as I head downtown are along the lines of … what will people think, what am I doing here, they are all far better at this than I am, what if they don’t like me, what if I annoy them, will they think I’m stupid, will they think I’m a phony and wonder what I’m doing here?? Because really let’s be honest, I surely don’t measure up to any of the influential people down there, with their training, degrees, chef school creditably, farms, shops, businesses, lifestyles, heck I’m just a short-order cook and waitress struggling to get by with 5 kids, 2 dogs and a husband. So, really what am I doing shopping in downtown stores, markets and bakery’s?? “My kind”, is better suited for Food Basics, Wal-Mart and Giant Tiger.

However, somehow I have managed to push passed my insecurities, by looking at the smiling faces of my little ladies, and knowing in my heart that what I am doing is trying to teach them a better way of living and eating. My goal is simple, to nourish my family with healthy food choices, teach them that local is better, and hopefully NOT pass on my slew of insecurities to them.

Every day I start my day with a coffee from Revel Caffe, well almost every day provided they are open before I go to work, and I have my “stuff” together in time to get there before work. Then after work I head back downtown to Revel again for another coffee. Why is this significant?? For a couple of different reasons actually, 1) it continues to force me outside of my comfort zone, really, Tim Horton’s is faster and has a drive-thru, I wouldn’t even have to get out of the van, however the coffee at Revel is MUCH better and healthier too, 2) I absolutely ADORE, the owner, Anne Campion, there is just something simply lovely about her that makes me want to smile a little brighter each day, to be a better person, and 3) I really do enjoy the atmosphere when I have time to “stay” and hang around at Revel. (*note on the insecurity list – Revel offers free WiFi, so I decided one Monday to take my laptop down for a little “me” time, but I was too afraid to ask for the password, because I didn’t want anyone to think I was too stupid not to know it). I have since asked for the password — it’s all about Baby Steps.

Next step of pushing outside the box, if we aren’t too busy in the evening (like no trip to Waterloo for soccer), then I decide what to make for dinner when I am done work, I go to the Butcher & Baker, on Wellington Street, to pick up some form of meat to throw on the BBQ, again, something 3 weeks ago I had never done, now this is a place that I knew about, but I never had been there. Again, one of those strange insecurities, about shopping downtown, it’s a little more expensive then buying meat at one of the local grocery stores (chains), however, it’s better quality meat, I buy just enough for dinner, and guess what …. it’s actually being EATEN!!! WOW!!! The girls notice a difference with the meat too. Next stop, Your Local Market Co-Op, to get some fresh produce to go with dinner, along with likely more Natural Yogurt from Hewitt’s Dairy for smoothies, possibly some cheese as well. I love YLMC, the staff is friendly and very helpful, but again, somedays, depending on where my head is at, it’s a stretch to go in, because all those insecurities creep up and reek havoc on my brain. The girls love coming to YLMC as well, mainly because they always manage to talk me into a chocolate milk lol, however, they also like being “a-part” of the grocery shopping and meal planning process. When we are able to have “family” dinners (which means everyone is home and no TV), which I have to admit is happily starting to happen more and more these days, the discussion around the table has been turning more and more to the quality of the foods they are eating and why they are better. Small things make me very happy!! Now, if the shopping excursion is on Friday, the final stop is to Downie Street Bake House, to pick up our standing order of Raisin Cinnamon Bread, along with whatever else we might be out of at home.  DSBH, is owned and operated by Alan Mailloux and his wife  Barb McMahon, they have to be some of the most nicest people I have met in a VERY long time. They are both extremely soft-spoken, friendly, and extremely inviting to be around. Yes, these observations have been made by stopping in to pick up bread, it’s not like we are all dinner friends, but sometimes, when the atmosphere is right, you just know. I follow both of them on Twitter as well as Barb’s blog, both linked above, and they are just interesting people.

All in all, this is the course of my week, add in work, soccer, and dealing with kids and that’s me in a nutshell. The changes are starting to become habits at home now, which is awesome, I’m loving the differences I’m seeing. The insecurities, well I’m still working on them, I think they will likely be around for alot longer than I want them to be, but today, right now, I’m not going to let them stop me. With all the babble out of the way, let’s get on to the couple of “food” pictures I have for you tonight!!

Raisin Cinnamon French Toast with Peaches

Raisin Cinnamon French Toast with Raspberries

Raisin Cinnamon Bread – from Downie Street Bake House, Raspberries and Peaches from Your Local Market Co-Op, with a dopple of Whip Cream and some icing sugar. The girls LOVED this!! The french toast mix was a little bit of an adventure this time for me though, because we had run out of milk, which of course I didn’t realize until it was too late, so I had about 2 oz of  chocolate milk to add to the egg mixture, and then I ad lib’d a little, added a bit of sugar, some vanilla, and some Natural Yogurt. The girls didn’t notice that it wasn’t “quite” the same as it normally is!!

100% Local Dinner

This was tonight’s dinner, and OH MY was it tasty!! Butterfly Pork Chops (boneless WOOT), from The Butcher & Baker, marinaded with some greek seasoning, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Fresh Green Beans, bought at the Slow Food Market on Sunday, cooked al dente and tossed with a little butter. Zucchini and mushrooms, from Your Local Market Co-Op, sauteed in Roasted Garlic Puree (also YLMC) and olive oil. Bread – multi-grain from Downie Street Bake House. Cold Veggie & Fruit Salad which has cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, onions, and feta cheese tossed in a Balsamic Vinegar and Pomegranate & Blueberry Vinegar with Roasted Garlic Puree, each of these ingredients purchased at Your Local Market Co-Op.

I honestly don’t know if life gets any better than this?? I mean yes, there is still laundry, taxes, insecurities, work, all the “nasty” pieces of life, but if I can sit down to a meal like tonight’s once or twice a week, knowing exactly where it all came from … well simply put I AM HAPPY!!!

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