Monday, 31 July 2017

Happy 1st Birthday Pizza!!

Today we celebrate Pizza's birthday since it was a year ago today that Jack rescued her and her siblings from under his garage and brought her to our house.  She just around 2 weeks old at this point and could barely walk.  She weighed just 250g!!  It's hard to believe that she is the cat we have today!

Pizza on her first day with us.  She looks nothing like she does today.  She was so scared and missed her siblings so much.

Finley made this for Pizza to welcome her to our family. 

Pizza's first night with us.  The girls made her a mini pizza out of paper so she wouldn't feel so sad and lonely. 

Feeding her was such a struggle.  She almost looked like a drowned rat when she got fed - especially when I did it haha. 


Playing with her pet pizza toy haha 

Trying to show the world how tiny she was.  


Because it was easiest to feed her on the table for me, she developed her bad habits early.

She was so playful.  She is still a super playful cat.  Watch  your feet when you are at our house!


Sleeping with her fur babies.  The girls were convinced that this would make her miss her siblings less.  She slept through most nights only waking at 5am to eat so it was a success.  

Feeding time.  She loved to eat and that also hasn't changed.

her favourite place to sleep and she still sleeps like this despite her size.  I wake up sweating and itchy from her on my face 

I still remember this day like it was yesterday.  Watching her drink milk herself out of a bowl is seriously one of the best moments ever.  No more needle feedings!  She also lost all of her short grey fur due to stress and lack of nutrition that you can only get from mama kitty but she was still healthy  otherwise. 


Finally she could climb the stairs and then we lost her all the time

She didn't care much for collars so listening for her bell didn't last long.  Here, she was wearing Quincy's collar.


Always basking in the sun

They still fight like crazy but mostly they ignore each other until Luci wants to bathe her

bad kitty.  I have no idea how much sugar we ended up throwing out.  Now I keep it in a glass jar unreachable by her.


She still sleeps like this and is crazy long.  she is also a patriots fan

wasn't me.

Our back screen is currently no longer attached to the door.  bad kitty.

she loves sleeping in penelope's bed and it is where you will find her for her afternoon naps. 

She wants all the attention and makes sure you know this. 

She went to the vet and got fixed.  she hated this thing like you would not believe. 



Pizza always goes to the bathroom with me.  It doesn't matter which one, she is always right behind me.  When I bathe, she jumps up and plays with the water for a little while before jumping off and sleeping on the bath mat in front.  

She loves being outside.  See how big she has gotten!

She loves sleeping in drawers so we have to make sure they are always shut.  Once, Greg and I thought she ran away and were searching the neighbourhood at midnight but turns out she was sleeping locked in Penelope's drawer the whole time. 


Trying to catch her some flies.  

Thank you Pizza for coming into our lives just when we needed you most.  I never thought I would get another kitty after Quincy ran away.  It devastated me and broke my heart so much that I couldn't bare the thought of anything like that happening again, but then there you were underneath Frunkl Jack's garage and needed to be loved.  And we needed to love you. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Recipes: Chicken Caesar Salad

Last summer, we were invited over to a friends place for dinner and they made this dressing and served it over kale fresh from their garden, it was delicious.  I got the receipe from her soon after and I now serve it every time we have guests.  I most recently brought it to Finley's year end soccer barbecue and it was a huge hit.  The hardest part of this recipe is finding the anchovy paste in the grocery store.  If you don't know where it is, it's not in the produce section like I thought at first or the canned seafood aisle like I thought second.  And don't bother asking anybody at the grocery store because I asked 3 different Sobeys staff and nobody even knew what I was talking about, let alone where to find it.  It is located in the section of the cooler where they keep the sour cream and cream cheese and stuff like that.  It was on the very top shelf, tucked into a corner.  If you look hard, you will find it.



Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Source: onceuponachef.com

Ingredients: 

2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp anchovy paste 
2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice (I have always used bottled)
1 tsp dijon mustard ( my favourite is the compliments brand whole grain dijon)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce 
1 cup mayonnaise (i use miracle whip because i don't like mayo)
½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (i use the kraft stuff in the green jar)
¼ tsp salt (i skip this)
¼ tsp pepper ( i skip this too)

Method: 

  1. In a medium bowl,  whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.  
  2. Add the mayo, cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined
**instead of regular bacon bits, I fry bacon and let it cool and then cut it up and thrown it in the salad.  It is amazing.  I also will add chicken to this and make it a meal on its own. 



Thursday, 27 July 2017

Recipes: Korean Beef Wraps

One of our favourite meals is Korean Beef.  It is super easy and can be served in a bowl, on a tortilla, on a lettuce wrap or on a plate with rice and beef on top.  I also use ground beef, chicken or turkey for this as well beef flank steak.  All is prepared the same.


Korean Beef Bowls, Wraps + Plates

Source: Adapted from Damn Delicious

Ingredients

¼ cup brown sugar, packed 
¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil 
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste 
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 pound ground beef (or chicken, or turkey or beef flank steak)
2 green onions, sliced 
¼ teaspoon seeds 
Lettuce or tortillas if making wraps. 

Method: 
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef or whatever meat you are using, and cook until browned; drain excess fat. 
  3. Stir in sauce and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.  

If I am using a flank steak, i serve it on a plate with rice and the steak over top or in a tortilla.  If I am using ground meat, I use the bowl method, the tortilla and lettuce wrap method too.  


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins 


Source: thebakingchocolatees.com

Ingredients: 
4 ripe bananas
⅓ cup butter melted and cooled
⅔ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt 
1 ½ cups flour 
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line muffin tins 
  3. Put bananas and butter in a big bowl 
  4. Mix together with a fork 
  5. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and mix until just combined
  6. Stir in salt and baking soda
  7. Add flour and mix until just combined 
  8. Fold in chocolate chips 
  9. Divide into muffin tins
  10. Bake for about 18-20 minutes (less if you make mini muffins)
These are a favourite of the girls and it's rare for them to  both like the same muffin.  Let me know if you make these!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Recipe: Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls

We have soccer most days during the work/school week so I try to aim to cook easy but healthy meals before we head out.  Sometimes we do end up eating kraft dinner or hot dogs but Pinterest is great for easy and quick meals.

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls 

Source: Cookingclassy.com



Ingredients: 
Teriyaki Sauce 

½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup water
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 ½ tbsp cornstarch

Chicken, Rice, Veggies

3 ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
1 ½ lbs skinless chicken breasts
ground black pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
2 ½ cups small diced broccoli florets
1 ½ - 2 cups white or brown rice, cooking to directions
Sesame seeds, optional

Method: 

  1. In  a small saucepan whisk together on low sodium soy sauce, ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of the water, the brown sugar, honey, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar
  2. Bring to a light boil over medium high heat.  Whisk together cornstarch with remaining 2 tbsp water, then add to sauce mixture in saucepan.  Reduce heat slightly and allow to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and set aside.  
  3. Cut up the chicken into cube sized pieces and put in a pan with some olive oil and cook until is cooked thoroughly set aside.  
  4. At the same time as cooking the chicken, start cooking the rice as per the package. 
  5. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in the same pan over medium high heat and add zucchini , broccoli and carrots and sauté 4 - 5 minutes until crisp tender.
  6. To assemble the bowls, layer rice and then top with chicken and then the veggies.  Drizzle desired amount of teriyaki sauce over tops and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Let me know if you guys make this and what you think of it!!


Monday, 24 July 2017

Recipe: Easy and Fluffy Belgian Waffles

***This week I will be sharing with you a new recipe each day that I have recently tried.  If you want to look for older recipes I have shared you can click on the recipes tag in this post or on the right, under pages, you will see a link for recipes which will also take you to them all.***

Ever since we bought the waffle iron at the end of March, I have been searching for a fantastic and delicious yet easy waffle recipe to use.  I had tried so many and most were just eh and left me wanting more from a waffle recipe.

In early June, we were having waffles for supper since it was a double soccer night which meant we had to be finished and ready by 5:15pm.  I decided instead of searching for just easy waffles or buttermilk waffles, I would try belgian waffles.

And that is when I found the Easy and Fluffy Belgian Waffle recipe from Something Swanky

It was so good and it made about 14 waffles which meant lots to freeze for breakfasts too!!

I am still working on my waffle iron skills but thankfully they taste better then they look!!

Look for the recipe down below!!


Easy + Fluffy Belgian Waffles 

Source: SomethingSwanky.com

Ingredients: 
1 ¾ cup flour 
¼ cup cornstarch 
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
pinch of nutmeg (I didn't have any so I used allspice)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups milk 
½ cup cooking oil 
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Method: 
1.  Mix together the dry ingredients
2. Add oil, eggs, milk and vanilla and stir until batter forms 
3.  Cook in waffle iron


Friday, 21 July 2017

What I Streamed In June


The first thing I streamed in June was the second season of Flaked.  The first season came out last fall and it took me forever to finish.  It was really slow and kinda dull but the last 3 episodes were so good and the finale was like what, how did i miss that?!? So this left my looking forward to season 2. It came out on Friday June 2nd, I was able to watch the entire second season the following Monday while I cleaned up from Penelope's birthday party the day before and caught up on some blogging.  This season was so much better then last season and despite the sadness and loneliness that you feel for all of the characters throughout the season but you kinda feel some optimism with the season finale.  The season finale was almost so perfect that it could end and you would be happy with it.  But I hope that is not the case, I hope there is a third instalment of this show.  My only disappointment with it was the length of the season.  There were 8 shows in Season 1 and only 6 in the second.  If you are still struggling with the first season, stick with it because it does get better and you will like it, I promise.  It is currently available to stream on Netflix + Netflix Canada. 


I have been watching to Veep for like ever and finally decided to watch it.  These shows are about 28 minutes long and they have 10 to a season which makes it easy to watch and even easier to binge watch it.   The first 5 seasons of this show were amazing.  They were dirty, and funny, and dramatic and like just so awesome that you couldn't wait to get to the next season.  I was actually grateful that I waited so long to watch it because I didn't have to deal with season ending cliff hangers. Season 6 has not been that great and I wish they would have ended Season 5 differently.  However, the season 6 finale episode was fantastic and makes me very excited for season 7 which is like forever away.   The sixth season is currently airing on HBO but you can stream the first 5 seasons on Shaw Free Range App as well as the current season.  The app has the newest episode the following day which is fantastic.  


Season 3 of The Ranch was uploaded this month too and I wasn't overly excited to watch it because I hated how Season 2 ended and I so knew that was gonna happen. This season was probably the best out of the 3 seasons and for the first time, the ending of the season made me sad instead of mad.  I think one of my favourite things about this show is that nobody is rich and everybody struggles just to make ends meet.  It is more realistic to me and easier to relate too as opposed to every other show out there where they barely work but live life large. If you haven't watched any of this yet, head over to Netflix Canada, where all 3 seasons are currently streaming. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Finley's Outdoor Soccer Season

Finley's indoor team the SWU U9 Premiers team moved from Tier B to Tier A and she evaluated well and made the A team.  We definitely were a little surprised but she has tried her hardest throughout the season. 


I remember the first outdoor game of this season and was a little terrified that this was going to be a terrible season as it was a whole different game from what we played in indoor.  But the girls worked really hard in every game, practice and tech training.  In indoor, the girls dominated their tier and finished their season undefeated and without any challenge.  I think this really hurt them and if they had been in A like they should have, they would developed a lot more then what they did.  


Finley spent her outdoor season playing the wing and got better with each game.  She scored one goal and had several good chances but she just wasn't able to capitalize on.  She made sure to stay wide and not bunch up (our team was guilty of this haha) and worked hard on corner kicks and throw ins.  She is not even close to being the top player on her team and has to work really hard to keep up with the girls and practice a lot at home if she wants to be on the same team going forward.   She knows that it is a possibility that she won't make the A team each season and is ok with this.  But she also knows that if she works hard, tries hard and doesn't give up then she has a really good shot.  She and the rest of the team need to work on their endurance (any tips to help her with this??) and she needs to work on kicking the ball harder.  She can kick it hard in warm ups and practices but not in games.  Hopefully she can improve on that.  This summer, her coach told her to do toe touches and dribbling around pine cones to get faster.  She has to do 200 of each plus suicides and kicks each day.  Penelope joins in since she lives + breathes soccer.  


They played in one tournament in Airdrie in June and they won the bronze medal.  The girls were so happy and it did a lot to boost the morale on the team.  Some players (and their parents) were unhappy that we were not winning like we did in indoor. 


The girls won 3 games, lost 10 and tied 2 this outdoor season.  Not great but the games in outdoor were so much more fun and competitive to watch.  The girls have a better grasp on what outdoor is now and that should help them moving forward.  They played so hard last weekend for the city finals and it was so hot too but they didn't give up until the last whistle blew.  I am so proud of these girls!


We had our team party the day after city finals and even though it wasn't very nice, the girls had a great time.  We had an issue with one of the parents but outside of that, we have a really good group of parents, players and siblings and we all get along very well.  Even though the girls still have tech training until July 21st (we miss the last 2), we all celebrated the end of a pretty good season overall.  

Finley normally does soccer camp each summer but we skipped out on it this year.  She has been playing soccer since mid October and it jumped from 4 days a week in Indoor to 5 days a week in Indoor.  They had no break between the indoor and outdoor seasons and she is exhausted.  So she is taking the last 2 weeks of July and all of August off except for her backyard soccer drills and will play fall soccer in September.  It will workout to 46 weeks out of 52 weeks of soccer since last fall so I think her break is well deserved.  


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Summer 17 So Far....

Back in June, I posted about our Summer 17 Bucket List and while I have dedicated blog posts to some of the items we have checked off, some don't warrant an entire post to themselves.  So here are some of the things we have completed prior to us leaving for vacation on July 15th.  So far we have checked off 19 different items from our bucket list!!


This was when we explored the Bow Valley Pathyway and walked from Mallard Point at the edge of Fish Creek to the edge of Quarry Park where the girls played at the park.  The highlight of this 6km walk was the pelicans hanging out in the river.  The girls loved that. My personal favourite was seeing a seniors bike club called the Old Spokes, I hope they exist when I get to be their age.  They even had cool tech shirts with their name on it. 


We checked out the Stampede Breakfast at the Coach + Horses in Millrise.  We go to this one every year since it is close to home. Normally, we get there late and have to wait forever but this year, Finley had a soccer game at 1:15 and we had to be there for 12:30 and had to leave at 12 to get there on time and wanted her to be sheltered from the heat prior to her game so we got there before the 9am start time and didn't have to wait for anything at all.  Finley got her face painting on her arm since she would have to wash her face before her game.  She was happy when her kitty was still on there after her game. 


The girls had their eye appointments earlier this month and both had almost no change in their prescriptions which is great news!


We headed to Lake Chaparral with a friend on Finley's soccer team who's younger sister is bff's with Penelope so it's great and we get along well with her parents too.  It was a scorching hot day so the cold lake water felt really good. 


We have made 2 trips to the library and on our first trip we joined the summer reading program and the girls have been reading machines which is really great to see!


The girls beat the heat with slurpees and sprinkler.  They also put the sprinkler onto the slide to make a water slide.  


They had a sleep over and they slept in! 

Our summer has been really busy thus far and I am sure as you guys read this, our vacation is keeping us busy too!  Hopefully August finds us some chill time!  How is your summer going so far??