Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Slow Cooker Sweet + Spicy Drumsticks



I got a fancy new digital slow cooker after christmas and I love using it.  The problem is I am  not a very good slow cooker cook.  I can make a good roast thanks to the club house pot roast slow cooker packet and really good asian chicken lettuce wraps (Finley’s favourite meal ever).  I need to make better ones.  Most days when I try a new recipe, we end up out for sushi or vietnamese.  I found this recipe on pinterest and so i tried it one day and it was amazing.  The girls LOVED it and Penelope said it was the best ever.  Greg also loved it.  Woohoo! Another good slow cooker recipe to add to my very tiny collection!  I am making it tonight for supper so I thought I would share it for y’all to try.  If you have any favourites of your own that don’t involve the following: cheese, creamy and curry, then hit me up with your recipe!!
Sticky Chicken Drumsticks – Slow Cooker
Sticky Chicken Drumsticks – Slow Cooker
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (or other hot pepper sauce)
  • black pepper
  • 10 chicken drumsticks, skin removed and discarded
  • cilantro
  • toasted sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan add the honey, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha and season to taste with black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugars have dissolved and the sauce is beginning to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a slow cooker, add the skinned chicken drumsticks and pour the sauce over. Move the chicken around a bit with tongs to coat completely. Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours, flipping chicken a couple of times during the cooking process. Just before serving, sprinkle with torn cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.
  3. Serve with steamed white rice and your favorite veggie and devour!
Notes
Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef

Monday, 26 January 2015

17.2



That is how warm we got today. Breaking a record from 2007 when we hit 13 degrees. Fun fact: we haven’t been below zero since January 13th. I suspect that this is not gonna last and we are going to be punished for this. 
Finley + Penelope played on the trampoline for hours this morning while i painted + then we went outside to play together.  
It was so warm i just had to do this again. I did it yesterday too. It was so nice to be able to wear something other than uggs + hunters. 
Drawing her campfire. Someone is eagerly anticipating camping season. 
Penelope was having so much fun. Her rain boots are too small so she wore her uggs. I am hoping finley’s are too small so I can pass those down to Penelope + just buy Finley a pair instead of buying 2 new pairs. 
Then the bikes came out. Finley is seriously in her element on her bike. She could ride all day if we let her. 
I think she momentarily forgot how to ride a bike. She glided with it until Greg came home and worked with her.  Soon all 3 were headed off for a bike ride while I went back inside to finish up the paint, clean up + start laundry. 
It was shocking how dirty they both got from being outside.  As soon as supper was done they had a bath and were out as soon as their head hit the pillow. 
What a truly fabulous weekend in Calgary. I hope y’all got to head outside and take it all in.  I still can’t believe it’s January 25th!! 

Friday, 23 January 2015

NYE




NYE is never too exciting in our house and this years was no different. As is tradition for the last 4 years, we headed to Li Ao Sushi here in Bridlewood. Coincidentally, this was also the 4th one they have been open for. We love it there and one might say we are regulars. The staff know us pretty well. In fact, we ran into the owner at Sobeys and we chatted with him.
One of their specials that night was soft crab shell sushi that was toasted. It was pretty good. As always, we left with our bellies full. Oh and both girls can officially use chopsticks better then myself.

Once we got home, we got all of our festive beverages ready. Cheers!

Wishing everyone a happy new year

We couldn’t decide on a movie to watch so I randomly picked Jem + The Holograms. They loved it. I couldn’t believe how terrible the quality of the video was and how mean + violent it is. Hopefully they don’t pick up on any of it.

Netflix announced that there would be a kid friendly countdown. Not only was it mostly lame but it was impossible to find. After spending forever searching Netflix on our tv I gave up. Greg searched it on his iPad and found a link and added it to our list on there + then we were able to watch it on the tv. I thought maybe it was just us but there were TONS of the same complaints throughout social media. Hopefully if they do it next year they make it easier to find.
The girls were in bed around 830 and Greg + I spent the rest of the evening watching Community on Netflix. I did not stay awake until midnight which really is not that surprising but tragically I fell asleep at 11:55. So lame. I think that’s worse then going to bed at 9pm

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bow Glacier Falls





The day after Goat Creek we were supposed to do Wilcox Pass.  This has been on Greg’s to hike list for years and this year he thought for sure it was his year.  However, when we woke up on Friday morning, we were both sore from the biking plus I ran 8K the morning before and then did 90 mins of hiking waiting for them the day before so I was so done.  So Greg looked into some easier hikes for us to do and decided that Bow Glacier Falls would be a great hike for us to do.
Bow Lake is so stunning.  We canoed here last summer but it was windy and gloomy and not nearly (or at all) as magical as it was on this beautiful clear morning.  The large white section on the right is Bow Glacier and is the beginning of our water source – Bow River. This hike is really busy at the shoreline but it was perfect on the way out to the glacier. 
Hiking away.  For the most part, it was nice and flat.
Such a beautiful  hike with so much scenery.  There is little I love more then a background of mountains with a glistening mountain lake in front of it.  
Another great photo.  I could have posted a 100 of these.  I just love it.  Something so relaxing about this.  I get why people travel from all around the world to my backyard.  
Getting to the beginnings of the river.  Finley and Penelope have been obsessed with rivers since our flood 2 years ago.  Their knowledge regarding everything is quite extraordinary.
Probably the worst part of the hike.  All the stairs.  There were big gapes between them and you really had to extend to get up them.  Going down was even worse.
It’s hard to tell in this photo but this is a ledge we had to walk along to get to where we were going.  Greg is terrified of heights and the girls are seemingly inheriting it.  I have no fear of heights and this stresses Greg out to the max. 
The beginning of Bow River
Time for lunch.  The lunch was great but the mosquitos were so bad.  It was a quick lunch needless to say.
You can see Bow Glacier Falls in the distance where we were going to walk but we decided to stop here instead where we had lunch.  This photo shows the glacier, the falls and the beginnings of the river.  The hike was a bit more treacherous leading to the falls which isn’t always ideal with the girls.
This is probably one of my most favourite photos – possibly ever.  I think I need to print this out and find a place to hang it.  Something so incredibly peaceful about it.  It was a great, family friendly hike  and I hope to do it again – this time without getting stung by a bee which is still hampering me more then 2 weeks later!!!

Snowshoeing Lake Louise





On the morning of NYE it was so balmy in Calgary that we called up Brad to see if he wanted to go snow shoeing in Banff and off we went.
It was much colder in Lake Louise then in Calgary. That wind was fierce. Thankfully the view was nothing short of spectacular. Not that you would expect anything less in the Rockies. 
Unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lot of snow on the lake so Greg took the snowshoes back to the vehicle and we walked to the end of the lake.  
Penelope looking happy which is rare because unless she is sledding down a hill, she hates snow, ski pants, winter boots and the cold. 
Finley making a snow angel in the little snow that was there. She is the opposite of Penelope in terms of the winter. 
Finley ran far ahead most of the way. Eventually she slowed down and we caught up to her. 
She was tired out and hopped on the sled so daddy could pull her and Penelope the rest of the way. 
I think this was the absolute best thing about the whole hike across the lake. A frozen waterfall amongst the frosted pines? Mother Natures blows me away with all that she does. 
Finley insisted that daddy also do a snow angel once we encountered some deeper snow. 
Penelope did an upside down snow angel which she thought was hilarious. 
Me! A rare photo of me. Those awesome prada sunglasses were a Christmas gift from my sister and I love them!! 
The waterfall at the end of the lake all frozen in a circle. The water was quite warm hence the reason it wasn’t frozen over. 
Finley outside the ice castle on the skating rink. 
I think the iPhone needs a warm up screen because this was clearly not accurate. 
A rare family photo of us in the mountains. Penelope wanted no part in this. 
And the beautiful sunset as we drove home to close out the year 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Finley's Speech Therapy Update



Today was to be a post (Finally) about Christmas in SK but that has been pushed back until tomorrow. Instead this post is about Finley.
In the fall, Finley was sent home a letter from Renfrew saying she had been assessed and they recommended that she have full assessment from the SLP in January.  She struggled they said with a L lisp or something, I don’t remember at the moment.  Not a huge surprise to us.  I kinda expected it.
Yesterday she came home with her assessment.  Because I never check her agenda until 4 minutes before we rush out the door I only saw it this morning.  I always have this fear opening these envelopes, expecting the worst but I thought at worst she has to see a SLP a few times to work on the lisp sound.  Much to my surprise, we were met with Age Appropriate Skills and that she does not require additional support!

If you follow me on social media then you already know this.  What you didn’t see were all the great comments on her assessment:
**Finley is friendly and co-operative and always gives her best effort (not a surprise, she is a keener)
** Her teacher Mrs M said that is able to understand Finley’s utterances well within the classroom 95-100% of the time.  (when we met with Mrs. M for parent teacher interviews in November, she had no idea that Finley was even speech delayed)
** Mrs M also said that Finley is a strong student and has demonstrated skills in reading and writing. She also reported that Finley appears to have developed positive peer relationships within the classroom.
There are some sounds that we can work on but the “th” is normal for her age group and that should come in the next year or so.  And sometimes her “ch” signs are slushy but they said that Finley demonstrated the ability to produce the ‘s’ and ‘ch’ sounds correctly in various words, it suggests that the correct production of the ‘s’ and ‘ch’ sounds in all words is developing. 
When we started this journey 3 years ago this week, I wondered if this would ever happen.  Would she ever be on the same level as her peers? Or would she need to go to the special school in the NE for other kids with developmental delays?  I didn’t know for sure one way or another.  But Greg and I were determined to whatever we could to ensure that no matter where she ended up, it wouldn’t be for a lack of trying on our part.  When she was initially assessed, they told me to find a special school and I did.  She was enrolled that day and started a week later.  The commute sucked and pretty ruined opportunities for play dates and we ended up spending a lot of time in traffic but I would do it again in a heartbeat.  What Barrie and all the great staff did for her those 18 months at Pacekids is immeasurable.  And Finley, what a rock star.  She has been going to school 5 days a week since she was 3.  Phenomenal.  And she has loved every single minute of it. She was always eager to please and always working on her speech sounds everywhere she went.  I am beyond thankful that Alberta has the PUF program to help kids like Finley and my only wish is that the other provinces did the same.  It’s such a glorious resource. 
To all of our friends and families who have listened to me vent, praise, whatever on our journey, I thank you for allowing me to do that.  When it first happens, it is so overwhelming and you are given so much information that your world just kinda stops.  It has been good for me to be so open about our struggles.  I know I tend to be an open book sometimes, but my theory for living my life the way that I do, the way that my family does, is that if our story helps even one person and/or family, then I have done my job.  And this applies to every single aspect of my life.  And I thank you for sticking around for it. 
PS. If you are looking to read more about our speech development journey, just click on the speech development label.  It will take you to all of my posts on speech.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015.



If the first few hours of 2015 are any indication of what the rest of the year is going to be like then I am in serious trouble! I tried to fix the toilet on the main floor but broke something and water sprayed everywhere and my bathroom was flooded.  It was a huge mess.  Greg was not happy that I woke him up so early to deal with that mess.  He thinks he can fix it without us having to buy a new toilet so we shall see.
Anyhow, I am trying to be optimistic and hopeful that this year will be another stellar year.  I am not really one to set resolutions but I am hoping to continue and/or improve in the following areas:
1.  Run more.  I haven’t ran a whole lot since my last half marathon in October.  I hate that it’s dark by 5pm and not light out until 9am.  It doesn’t give me a whole lot of options for running outside and I don’t like running in the dark by myself.  There is an indoor track at the Y but I have yet to find myself there on a weekend morning.  I must start soon though.
2.  I need to work out more on my own.  I push myself hard at bootcamp 2x per week but slack off after that.  Occasionally I will put in a half assed workout in my basement, but who am  I kidding, I barely sweat.
3.  Drink more water.  I really need to do this.  I am not one who is dehydrated easily but really it’s just better for you.  I recently read an article about a lady who started drinking 6 gallons of water per day and photographed herself everyday for 2 weeks.  It was astonishing to see the differences from day to day.  Not sure how accurate said article is, but it was interesting none the less.
4.  I would like to be more creative.  And with that comes patience.  Most of my stuff looks messy or like a toddler did it because I lack patience.  I need to improve on this.  I have a few ideas up my sleeve to make this work.  I will keep you posted on that.
5.  Purge the unnecessary and decrease clutter.  I have actually already started on this.  The amount of stuff I have purged since we returned home from SK is unreal.  Why have I kept some of this stuff for so long?  It was ridiculous.  I am hoping by getting get rid of so much clutter will help in the next few improvements as shown below.
6.  Be more organized.  I would like to be especially more organized in relation to my blog and get it going in a more better way.  I am not sure what that is but hopefully I get there.  I could also be organized within my house.  Less stuff should help with that.
7.  Clean less but have a cleaner house.  This is also in relation to #5.  If we have no stuff there should be no mess.  I am hopeful but realistic.  My kids are not neat by nature. I bug Greg that they take after him..haha.  Even a slight improvement would be considered a victory.
8.  I would like to shop less and drink even less Starbucks.  It sounds really tough but I have to.  At least for the month of January (more on that tomorrow).
9.  Learn a new skill.  Not sure what yet.  Maybe sewing?  I always think that would be a good skill to have.  Think of all the things you could do!  I would also like to refinish furniture a lot better. 
10.  Read more.  I get lots of books from the library but they tend to stay in my bag until they are due.  I need to quit this and read more.  A lot more.  I like reading so I am not sure why I don’t.  Although ever since I dropped my iPad and iPhone in my bathtub and electronics are now banned from being anywhere near that area, I find myself reading more while bathing.  Not as fun as watching tv on my iPad but I will take it.
11.  Finally I would like to work on me more.  This sounds kinda funny considering the first 10 posts are essentially about me anyways but more then that.  It’s hard to explain really.  Finley and Penelope ask me all the time what I want to be when I grow up and the answer used to just be a laugh but now it’s more of a “I have no idea”.  Penelope will be in grade 1 in 2 years and then I will probably want to go back to work since nobody will be home.  But do I want to do?  I don’t want just a job, I want something that I love, that I am passionate about.  But what?  That will be the big test of 2015.