Nov 30, 2010

Rainy Day Dinners

So I finally get better after almost 5 weeks of cold bugs and now my poor hubby is sick. On top of that, it's a cold rainy day and we had to trek out for immunizations and my flu shot. Boo hoo.

Luckily, I have lots of Turkey leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving. Tonight I'm going to try this super yummy looking recipe for Chicken PotPie (but with Turkey) from my friend Jessica's blog:

Since J's post was for a recipe exchange, I thought I'd mention one of my favorite rainy day go-to's in return.

Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie from Rachel Ray

I usually make the following changes to the recipe to make it my own:

- Skip the bacon part (too messy to clean up)
- Add diced mushrooms to onions & carrots
- Substitute Curry & Chili Powder for Poultry Seasoning
- Substitute Milk for Cream in the Mashed Potatos (but make sure to add the egg)
- Create three layers in a baking dish:
1. Onions/Ground Turkey
2. Canned Corn & Frozen Peas
3. Mashed Potatos

Bon Appetit!

Nov 29, 2010

Giving Thanks US Style

Oh, how I love the holidays!!! 

After living in CT for 3 years we have decided to keep up with the southern tradition of Thanksgiving in November. For one, that's when Mr. B gets his Thanksgiving vacay days, but more importantly, it's a great excuse to get the tree up as early as possible.

This is our first Christmas in our new house. I swear I had goose bumps of excitement the entire time we trimmed the tree. It's 10x bigger than our old fake one, and 10x more joyful. However, I'm not sure who is more confused by the new focal point: Mason or Madelyn. Hopefully neither of them knock it down or pee on it!

But back to US Thanksgiving. We had a WONDERFUL 5 day weekend together as a family and finished it off with a 20lb Turkey dinner on Saturday. I have to thank the Kouba's for brining "Things the game" to our Pot Luck. What a FUN game...highly recommended as a fab Christmas present for anyone (see fb for pictures). And Thanks to everyone for bringing such delicious food. We were all stuffed like Turkeys by the end of the night :)

Emily, Preston, Hils & Maddy
Madelyn also thoroughly enjoyed herself as 3 suitors came to profess their love: Tristan, Preston and Hunter (they all have such cutie pie names). She's quite the little flirt so I'm sure she'll keep them on their toes for a few years to come :)

Happy Holiday season to all!


Madelyn & Hunter

Nov 24, 2010

Late for Christmas?

Wait...isn't it November 24th? Aren't we exactly 1 month away from Christmas Eve? And we haven't even had US Thanksgiving yet? ...Then how the heck am I late for Christmas?

1. Went to the mall Tuesday to inquire about photos with Santa. Too Late. Had to sign up by first week in October. Crazy!

2. Went to Pottery Barn to ask about getting stockings engraved. Too Late. Needed to get them in 4 weeks ago. WEIRD? I went first week of October and it was too early, now they're telling me I'm too late. UGH!

3. Went to HomeSense to buy Stocking holders and was told they're all sold out, I should have come at the beginning of the season. Wait? Didn't the Canadian season just start after Halloween was over? Insanity.

At least I'm hoping I'm not too late to send my wish list to Santa. Hopefully he'll have time to read my blog during his Thanksgiving holidays. (I think he's on a US schedule?)

Nov 23, 2010

Alderwood Wives Book Club Review: Sarah's Key

The book club is on a roll!!! We just finished another amazing read in November with Sarah's Key: A Novel, by Tatiana De Rosnay.  19 readers on Amazon gave it 4.5 stars; our club definitely agrees with this rating.  Maybe there is something wrong with us, but we all seem to crave heart-wrenching stories of love and separation.

Sarah's Key is based in Paris, France over two time periods: 1942 (during the Nazi Occupation) and 2002. I don't think I want to write anymore because I don't want to spoil this good read. However, I will say you should carefully choose when/where you are going to get lost in this novel. I wrongfully chose my Cuba vacation and it cast a bit of a sad cloud over two days on my trip. But don't worry, it was the good kind of sad cloud, and I was back to feeling fine right after when I started indulging in Sophie Kinsella's latest Mini Shopaholic (thanks Katie!).

Here are the picks for Dec & Jan if you want to follow along with our book club:

Nov 22, 2010

100 Apples and 100 Pears

Back in October I thought it would be fun to cash in on some local harvest and make my own baby food. Two bushels of apples and pears sounded like a good idea. I didn't realize it would become a full time job to move all that produce into my freezer in little ice cube trays. Now that the task is complete, and it's been a few weeks since smelling an apple or pear, I am ready to *happily* share these pictures with you. We are 6 foods away from introducing to Madelyn...I really hope she likes them.

ps. Baby food is SUPER easy to make and WAY cheaper than the little jars of store stuff. If you have a baby you should really try making your own food.

Nov 19, 2010

Cuba Family Vacay 2010

It feels like a dream, but we were in Cuba a week ago, and it was WONDERFUL! We took Madelyn on a family trip for her 6 month birthday and our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. It was our first week long trip away from home with baby so I wanted to make sure we had everything we could potentially need. Three suitcases and too many carry on's later... here's a brief summary of my experience packing.

Would take again: 
- Stroller seat & wheels:  this was ESSENTIAL. Madelyn took 2 day time naps in her stroller every day, and slept in it covered up while we dined each evening. We were even able to sneak into the "Romantico" adults only restaurant since she was so well hidden in it :)
- Infant seat:  it was nice to have this by the pool and on the beach so Maddy didn't spend all of her time in her stroller.
- Toys:  we took 5 of her favorite toys, all of which could be 'toy strapped' to the stroller so we didn't lose them. At 6 months, she's really into toys.
- 3 baby bathing suits:  Madelyn likes to switch up her outfits and I couldn't tell her to put any back when we were packing.
- Organic Infant sun block:  We took Badgers SPF 30 and applied 20 min before the sun, under her various sun hats and clothing. Better safe than sorry.
- Our own crib sheets:  You just can't trust sheet washing at a 4 1/2 star Cuban resort. Again, better safe (and familiar) than sorry.
- Mini containers of my own laundry detergent, dish washing detergent and baby soap. I didn't use them all, but it seemed like it would be hard to find this stuff at our remote resort on Cayo Santa Maria.
- Boppy breastfeeding pillow:  We used this on the plane and it was great to help Madelyn sleep on the way there and sit up in our extra 3rd seat on the way home.
- Probiotics

- Infant Car seat:  this was just annoying to carry around with us. Plus there really wasn't room to use it on the tour bus that took us from the airport to the hotel.
- Fully stocked first aid kit with everything you could ever need for a year in captivity
- 10 changes of clothes for Madelyn
- Breastfeeding cover:  too hot for plane and no one cares in Cuba
- Bjorn: used 1x
- Sling: used 0x
- 70 Diapers: used 1/2
- 120 wipes: used 1/2
- Breast feeding Pump and bottles
- Sippy Cup
- Bug tent for baby to sleep in
- Snorkeling kit: what were we thinking?

Nov 15, 2010

First Bites

Madelyn celebrated her 6 month birthday while we were on a family vacation in Cuba (I'll post more on that later). As soon as we got home we promised her she could try her first bites of big people food. We started with buttercup squash and she loved it!

Excited to try some real food...
...first taking a big sip of mommy's milk from her big girl cup...
...Mommy getting the puree ready in the kitchen...
...a little look and smell...
...taking her first bite...
...and presto - she loved it :)

Nov 3, 2010

Being grounded sucks

Story by: Mason Borndahl
"Woof woof...SQUIR-R-R-R-R-R-E-L...woof woof woof".

"Mason, please STOP barking!"

Why does my mom always say that? Doesn't she see that squirrel out there? That is not safe; I really need to protect our home....wait - look, there is that stupid cat, Percy, from next door crossing our backyard. "Woof woof woof...STUPID CAT...woof woof woof".

"Mason, honestly, STOP barking!"

Ugh, I've been stuck inside behind this invisible wall for hours. Maybe if I follow mom around the house for a while she'll put me outside. Maybe if I sit under her stool in the kitchen, or follow her up and down the stairs, or fart next to her...that stuff really bugs her.  

"Wah, Wah, Wah, bluuu, bluuu, bluuu."

Looks like mini-mom is making noises again. How come she doesn't get in trouble when she barks?

"Mason, stop following me up and down the stairs. You're waking Maddy and she's only part way through her afternoon nap. Come be a good boy for a while and I'll give you a treat".

TREAT? Really, a TREAT? Yum, I LOVE treats!!! I better show mom I want a treat. Maybe if I wag my tail that will show her I'm good and deserve a treat. Oh, I'll try sitting too, she really likes that. Maybe she'll also scratch my head. That would be so nice. I love mom.

"Oh, you're being such a good boy. Come here and get your treat." 

Yum, a milk bone, my favorite. Now let me find my favorite spot to eat this yummy thing. Here we go, my favorite tile in the kitchen. 1, 2, 3 turns, now I can sit down and enjoy. I'll put it right between my paws and take little bites to make it last longer. Now, I'll lick up all of the crumbs - wait - what's that noise? Better run to the invisible wall. "Woof woof woof...STUPID neighbour dog, you're not as cool as you think...woof woof woof". 

"Fine, I'm putting you outside, but PLEASE no barking."

Ahh...what a beautiful day in the sun. I think I'll sit here on the deck - wait - SQUIRREL! "Woof woof woof". Good, chased him up the tree. Hmm, I should go check if there are any cats next door. Nope, we're in the clear. Now, I better go check if there are any dogs walking out front. I see one! "Woof woof woof...stupid yellow dog, I hate you...woof woof woof...stay away from us...woof woof woof!"

"[Whistle Noise] Mason, No barking!"

Jeeze, I'm only protecting us from that stupid old yellow dog who doesn't have a leash. I guess I'll just sit here in my favorite dirt pile. Ahh...nice and cold and dirty. Wait - it's that squirrel again! Where is he running to...under the fence? Hey, I think I can fit under there too. I'm gonna get you squirrel, I just need to squeeze my head through, now my body... Ya that's right, you better run up that tree stupid squirrel! Oh no, now I'm on the other side of the fence. How am I gonna get back in?

Wait - who is that running down there in the ravine? It looks like mom, I better go see....Wow, this feels amazing, I love running through the woods. "Woof woof, wait for me...woof woof woof". Hey, you're not my mom. "Woof woof you know where my mom is...woof woof woof...where are you going...woof woof woof?" 

Wow, we have been running for a really long time. This is so fun. I like this new lady even though she's ignoring me. Hey, where is she taking me now? I'm not supposed to run on the road, or cross the street without sitting first. I guess this is what freedom is like...F-U-N!

Wait - why are we stopping? Who's that guy talking to the running lady?

"Excuse me lady, what type of dog do you have there?" said the guy.

"Oh, he's just some strange dirty dog that's been following me for the last kilometer or so." said the lady.

"Well, that's no good. Let me see if he has a Toronto pet tag. Yep. How about I take him from here and get a hold of his owner." said the guy.

"Sounds good to me." said the lady.

Hey, this guy is cool. I'm getting my head scratched. Nice. Oh look - he has a dog that looks like me! Fun! Maybe we can play. "Woof woof woof...hi nice looking dog...woof woof woof." Wow, so much fun to play with this dog that looks like me.


"Hello, is this Mason's mommy? This is Toronto Animal Services. Do you know where your pet is? Actually, he's over at a neighbours about a kilometer from your house."


Ugh, what a bummer. It's been 5 days of staring out the invisible wall and I just want to go chase squirrels. I love spending all day with mom and mini-mom, but being grounded really sucks. 
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