the BEST whole wheat bread (foodie fridays)

well, me & ollie are visiting the cahoonies in medicine hat. we are having way too much fun...

ollies face! ha!
...so, i don't really want to sit down and write a whole blog post.

today, i'll just send you to our favourite whole wheat bread recipe. we've been through a couple recipes, trying to find the best one. this one makes a delicious, surprisingly fluffy loaf of whole wheat bread. i usually add in some ground flax, wheat bran and a little bit of quick oats. i double the recipe and make three loaves. it freezes great, too!

have an awesome weekend! (i know we will!)


maple dijon chicken & brussel sprouts (foodie fridays)

this is, by far, one of the easiest & most delicious chicken recipes. with just a couple of ingredients and almost no hands on time, you can make this yummy maple dijon chicken. just look at that beautiful, golden chicken.

here is the list of ingredients and you can find the directions here.
  • Chicken thighs- 1 package (5 or 6)
  • Dijon mustard- 1/2 cup
  • Maple syrup- 1/4 cup
  • Rice/rice wine vinegar- 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh rosemary (i used dried and it was fine)
  • Salt and pepper
 easy peasy. go make it, now!

something else that i have been loving lately is olive oil & balsamic vinegar seared brussel sprouts. i've never made them with the chicken, but i think they would be good together for dinner. there isn't really a recipe, just make them to taste. chop the bottoms off the brussel sprouts and then cut them in half and peel off the first layer or so. rinse them and shake them dry. heat olive oil in a frying pan and toss the sprouts in. keep it at a pretty high heat so they get a little bit browned. you want them to be cooked but not too mushy. sprinkle with sea salt. when they are almost done, pour some balsamic vinegar over them and let them sit for a minute or so. put onto a plate and top with sunflower seeds and crumbled feta. you can drizzle a little extra balsamic on too, if you want. these are savoury and oh, so good! i ate an entire plate for lunch the other day.

 bon appetit!


bike rides!

brian went and picked up a seat for ollie for my bike today. he spent the afternoon putting it together and securing it to my bike. ollie fought me a bit when i put him in for the first time and hated the helmet, but as soon as we started moving he was so happy! he smiled and laughed and pointed. we went on a long family bike ride tonight before he went to bed and it was awesome. the fresh air felt great and he just squealed when i rode down a hill. i missed biking so much last summer and i'm so glad ollie can come along for the ride now! (and i've decided to look for a new bike...kijiji searching, here we come!)


foodie fridays

i love cooking & baking. it is, absolutely, one of my favourite things to do. (i am running a baking business out of my home, so i must like it!) we enjoy trying new recipes often and re-playing the ones that have been the best. if you look on my pinterest profile, you will learn that food is the main reason i use it. what can i say? we love food. a lot.

we try to eat as healthy as possible, and lately that has meant cutting down on our meat consumption. we are "weekday vegetarians" or "flexitarians" and that was brought on when we watched this ted talk. (it's only four minutes long, so go watch it!) we've found that not eating meat during the week (though we are not super strict about it) has made us feel better, save money and be more creative with our meals. protein is important, but eating meat is definitely not the only way to get it. in fact, there are healthier and way cheaper ways to get it. we eat a lot of beans, lentils, quinoa & other whole grains, nuts & nut butters and some delicious veggie burgers that i always keep stocked up in the freezer. (recipe here, if you're interested. and you should be! we love them.)

anyways, i'm rambling. for the sake of documenting the new recipes we try and sharing them with those who are interested, i'm starting my new post of "foodie fridays!" i promise to share only the yummiest things i've made in the week previous. no duds! vegetarian, meat, side dish, salad or baking, you'll find it here on fridays. (every friday, i hope.)

this week the recipe is "greek style quinoa burgers." packed full of protein with quinoa & white beans and topped with a greek yogurt sauce, this is an easy, quick summer-time meal.


  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 pitas (each 6 inches)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; add quiona, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
  3. Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and yogurt sauce.

my notes: i read the comments at the bottom of the post and decided to add a bit of dried oregano to the "burgers". i might cut out a tiny bit of cumin next time, as it can be a little overpowering. also, great northern beans are just a white bean. i used white navy beans but i'm sure whatever you have would work. i also subbed out the bread crumbs and put in ground flax seed instead. i cooked the burgers in smaller patties instead of the four the recipe suggests, which was good because they were a little crumbly. i added cilantro to the greek yogurt sauce and didn't put all the green onions in. we put feta cheese into the prepared pitas because who doesn't love a little cheese? i ate leftovers the next day with spinach instead of cucumbers; just as good! the burgers taste a lot like falafel to me. delicious! leave any questions in the comments below!


my eyelashes catch my sweat

regina spektor is fantastic. this song is delightful & we love to dance to it in our living room. give it a listen! that is all. enjoy!


my mothers day

the day was lovely. i enjoyed going to church with my boys, taking a nap, reading les mis, playing with ollie while brian made an amazing dinner (lime coconut salmon, rice pilaf & asparagus with garlic), a raw chocolate tart for dessert and finishing the day off with almost two hours at the park. (we took our camera to the park and it was a beautiful evening, so....there's A LOT of pictures.)

walking with daddy & pointing, probably at a dog. 

he loves throwing sand on the slide...
and then playing with it!
those eyelashes! so dreamy. 

i'm in love with these boys.
that is the face of a dirty, happy little boy. 
i am so thankful for the many women in my life who have been such amazing examples of motherhood. my sweet mother, my dear mother in law and my loving grandmothers. my incredible sisters, each of whom have taught me something different about motherhood as i have learned from their examples. my cherished friends, many of whom i have come much closer to through this journey of motherhood. i am so grateful for you all. but most of all, i feel an overwhelming love for my husband and my son, the boys who have made me a mother. my heart has grown more than i can express. i cherish being a mother, though it is not always the easiest. it is the greatest blessing in my life. that sweet little boy with the mischievous grin, the twinkly eyes and the sweetest body is mine and i get to keep him. i'm so happy to be a mama.


my choice

this morning, ollie crawled & played around me while i lay on the living room floor, trying to wake myself up after a night of sleeping not sleeping. (we had a "party" from 1:00-3:30. you should've been there. it was wild.) i'm pretty sure i drifted in & out of sleep while ollie happily investigated his toys and books. then he started crawling over to me, giving me a big, sloppy kiss on the mouth and crawling back over to his toys. he did this over & over, proving that he was happier to see me so early in the morning than i was to see him. a light turned on in my head and i knew this day would be what i made it. so i laughed, hugged him & kissed him back. i got up, got dressed and laced up my shoes (literally & figuratively) and we went on a walk. a long, brisk morning walk, full of twists & turns, construction vehicles and some hills that almost killed me. ollie took his socks off three times and spotted at least seven birds and one BIG dog. the fresh air was exactly what i needed to start today off on the right foot. (and those slobbery baby kisses helped, too.)

my day is always better when i choose to be happy.


what we do

we have been busy enjoying the sunshine at the park and baking cinnamon buns to keep up with my orders, but i need to sit down and record some things about my sweet boy and the things he is up to these days. he is changing from a baby to a kid and his emerging personality is awesome. i love seeing him learn & grow.

like i said, we spend lots of time at the park. we've been meeting friends there during the day or going just before bed with daddy. ollie rides the ducky, goes down the slide and crawls everywhere. if there are other kids, he sits and watches them, pointing and whispering in his little voice, trying to tell me all about them. he finds all the best sticks and eats the sand & dirt. he is such a boy. 

encouraged by our walks and time spent at the park, ollie has realized that being outside is the best place to be. he is happiest and most peaceful when we are outside! one of his favourite activities is sitting on the front lawn of our apartment and watching all the cars go by. he loves cars! he points (always! he is always pointing) and jabbers excitedly. he is quite the celebrity on 99th street and gets smiles & waves from so many passersby.

for a baby who used to be quite shy and very cautious, ollie is starting to come out of his shell. he will reach out to be held by some of our friends and he does better than he used to without me around. he is becoming more outgoing with other kids as well, which is always fun to watch.

we've been trying to get to the library every thursday afternoon for "sing sign laugh & learn", a fun program for littles around ollies age. there is a man who plays guitar and sings with a girl who tells stories and teaches some baby sign language. i love that we live so close to the library! we go on other days too, just to play, read books, work on puzzles and visit the fishies.

this boy loves to eat. if it is not finger food, then i usually help him eat, but he insists that he hold a spoon and play in the bowl too. it's gets pretty messy. ha! he is definitely becoming more independent; he wants to hold his food and not just have me hand him little pieces. i can't help but think how grown up he looks when he's doing that! (he got his first free cookie from the kids club at superstore. it was adorable.)

ollie is getting to be quite the talker. he "answers" every question we ask him and carries on long conversations if we continue to respond. it is so fun to hear his little voice; he sounds so earnest in the way he talks, like what he is saying is really important and we need to listen up. just recently he's started singing, too. he talks, but in a sweet little sing-songy way whenever there is music on. he did it at church on sunday and i almost died. so cute.

he is still a good little sleeper and i love it. although this is a rare case, this morning he slept until almost 9:00! i only wished i had known and had slept later myself. also, he looks massive in his crib. he is getting so tall!

ollie, it makes me so happy to be your mama and to be able to share all these new & exciting adventures with you! it is a whole new world through the eyes of a toddler.