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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Peanut Butter Fudge

This one is not one of my recipes I found it on allrecepies.com and it was perfect just the way it was. It's originally by Angieh and it's called Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge. Instead of using brown sugar we use panela in ours. Panela is slightly healthier then brown sugar (i.e. not processed as much) and it comes out tasting divine.

Image from allrecepies.com


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Cranberry Raisin Loaf

Just like everything else at the Wiseman's we make our own bread. I was trying to think how many loaves of bread we actually buy in a year -- I think it might be 5 or 10, if you count packages of hot-dog and hamburger buns.

We make our own bread for more then one reason: cost, taste, it's easy and, well, I enjoy it.

This recipe is for a bread machine; we probably use ours twice a week at minimum.

Ingredients:

● 1 1/4 cups water
● 1 egg
● 1/3 cup skim milk powder
● 1 1/4 tsp salt
● 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
● 2 tbsp butter
● 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
● 1 cup whole wheat flour
● 2 tsp cardamon, ground
● 1/2 cup cranberries, dried
● 1/2 cup raisins, dried
● 1 1/4 tsb bread machine yeast

Directions:

Add ingredients in order listed to bread machine. Select sweet cycle; dark crust.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Trim

Last weekend we took Christophe to Melonhead to get his first haircut. We budgeted 1 hour of time because I anticipated Christophe would flip out and it would take us a half hour or so to calm him down before he let a stranger touch his head. However our wonderful son surprised us and made friends with his stylist in no time.


Melonhead was great, we are definitely going to return for his next cut. All the staff were extra-friendly. They have these great chairs in the shape of cars, trains and animals for the kids to sit in; Christophe got to sit in a car, however, he seemed to like the horse the best. (he is still too little for the horse, maybe when he is older). After his cut was done, they took a picture of him and gave us a certificate with a little bag full of his hair.

Oh one more thing: they had this great coin operated ride (2 horses) that Christophe seemed to really enjoy, the staff gives you the money for the ride, so it's all part of the experience.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lets go visit the reptiles

A few weeks back, we took Christophe to Reptilia with his cousins. Reptilia is an indoor reptile zoo located in Vaughn. Christophe seemed interested in the animals as long as they were moving. There was these cute little baby lizards in one aquarium that would chase Christophe's hands along the glass, Christophe got a kick out of this. Christophe also got to touch an alligator. After the trip to Reptillia we went over to our cousins for a few hours of play before supper and the trip back home.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Green Cricket

Today Eco Friendly Friday is a review of Green Cricket, an online store that offers green lifestyle and home products in the Toronto Area.

A few weeks back we made our first order with them, it was delivered to our home by Green Cricket itself in a reusable box that we are to give back at our next order. There was no shipping cost because our order was over $75 and local. The site is extra easy to use and our service was great.

We have decided to start using them regularly for a variety of items we purchase on a semi-regular basis but used to have to visit 2 or 3 store to find them all. Such as organic coffee, diapers, wipes, parchment paper, beauty products, muffin cup liners...

During our next order we plan on also picking up this extra cute car for Christophe:


Toy Thursday - Easter Presents for baby

We decided that since Christophe will be 13 months at easter we are going to let him try chocolate for the first time on that day. One tiny organic chocolate egg from Kakayo. If you live in Toronto and have not tried Kakayo you must, once you go there no other chocolate will ever compare.

We also want to do an easter egg hunt with him. Instead of using the traditional plastic eggs we ordered these beautiful fabric eggs (Jelly Bean Easter Eggs) from thepolkadottotspot on Etsy. She can make them with or without bells. I figured after easter these are going to be a great addition to his play food collection.

Image by the polkadottotspot.

Shots

Today Christophe had his first shot, we had been delaying all his vaccines until now.
I felt guilty so I bought him a book:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

So I decided from now on I would pick my favorite image taken during the previous week for Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

cupcake madness

Christophe party came and went...

A few days before his party I started baking vegan cupcakes I think I made around 60 in total. I needed some for our house, at Bizzy Bee and for a Wee Hands Party we were going to.


We ended up just dropping off the cupcakes to WeeHands because Christophe had been feeling under the weather for a few days and we figured it was best to rest before his big day; the last thing we wanted was to have to cancel his party because he was sick.

March 1, 2009 came and Christophe had a bit of a runny nose (but what child does not it was cold season in Toronto) but was feeling well otherwise - so we were a go for the party.

We had so many friends join us at Bizzy Bee, for the festivities; then at our home with our family.

We wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the great presents; Christophe had a blast opening them all at the house.

I plan on writing a few reviews about some of them and posting to the blog.

We also took some picture, one day when life is less crazy I will post some.

Tasty Tuesdays - Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Puddings is a great way to pretend to show off your massively talented baking skills, because most people think they are extra hard to make but in reality these are some of the easiest bread product out there to make.

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
● 4 eggs
● 1 cup all-purpose flour
● 1 cup whole wheat flour
● 2 cups milk

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well blended. Whisk in the flour one cup at a time until frothy and well blended. Set aside.
3. Spray muffin pan with oil. Divide batter equally between the 12 muffin cups.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve immediately.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Toy Thursday - BPA

This week toxin is BPA.

Many of you already have swapped out all your plastic baby bottles for BPA free ones; but did you know many toys also contain BPA.

Lets first look at what is BPA. BPA is short for Bisphenol A; Bisphenol A is "a difunctional building block of several important polymers and polymer additives ... Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s."1

"More than 200 animal studies show that BPA is toxic at very low doses, while the Centers for Disease Control has found BPA in 95 percent of people tested at levels that raise health concerns. The peer—reviewed science suggests that BPA may be contributing to increases in many adverse health conditions in the human population including breast cancer, prostate cancer and insulin resistance."2

In Canada it's very hard to find a baby bottle made of BPA these days, but 1000's of toys that are made from plastics containing BPA line the shelves in our our toy stores. Most people think that you can only get BPA from food but that is not the case. "While most exposure is through diet, exposure can also occur through air and through skin absorption."1 And that would be whi I classify BPA toys as toxic.

Before you start betting yourself over for letting your child play with plastic, I will admit even Christophe has a few plastic toys, we have legos and this ball and tower thing that is made from plastic (they were both hand me downs); however the majority of his toys are BPA free.

How do you avoid BPA in toys:
  1. Don't buy plastic toys
  2. If you buy plastic make sure they are labeled BPA free
  3. If no label exits, take the time to contact the manufacturer and ask them what kind of plastics are used in the manufacturing of the toy. You would be surprised how quick you are will get an answer.
  4. Stay away from toys made from polycarbonate usually labeled as number 7.
BPA is not the only type of plastic that is toxic in future weeks we will look at phatale and PVC.

I think it is also worth mentioning other areas that you or your child can be exposed to BPA: Infant formula, canned food, fillings at the dentist, plastic dishes, glasses and cutlery, lunch boxes, water bottles, baby bottles, coffee mugs and bottles lined with plastic, food storage containers, and virtually anything made from plastic could be made from polycarbonate.

My recommendation from one mom to another is to avoid as much as possible BPA but if you can not afford to change everthing in your life the main items I would start with are: baby bottles, sippy cups, your childs dishes and bath toys.

If anyone needs ideas on BPA free items ask me I have tones of products I could recomend but that will be for another post.

1- Wikipidia
2- EWG

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday






















Looking back at the cold days now gone...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Potty Time

I am sure this was more timing then anything else, but Christophe went pipi in the potty today. We got him a potty for his birthday (last Sunday) and since then we sit him on the potty with a book before each bath, tonight something happened.

Tasty Tuesdays - Oven baked potato wedges

We had more bread crumbs that I knew what to do with, so I searched for easy recipes that would use them up. This is a variation of a recipe I found on allRecipes.com.
The recipe was a hit so it is now part of my YummySoup recipe book.

Ingredients:

● 4 tbsp olive oil
● 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
● 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray baking sheet with oil.

2. Toss potato wedges in oil, and roll in bread crumbs. Place wedges on prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn wedges; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

SaHM

SaHM - that is me.

Today should have been my first day back at KML (my former employer). I should have been busy coming up with new office concepts and designs to impress clients; (on top of being a mom I am an Interior Designer) instead my day was scheduled as follows:


in the morning:
  • dishes
  • made the beds
  • prepped supper
  • played with blocks
  • read board books
  • made a few puzzles
  • sung my ABC's and many other songs
  • made lunch

in the afternoon:
  • watched the mom show while Christophe slept on me
  • did laundry while Christophe slept on the living room floor (on his mat)
  • went to Toys r us
  • went to Treasure Island
  • played with our new toys
  • finished making supper
I would not trade my new job as a SaHM for anything in the whole world.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A mother's reflection

One year ago today my life changed forever, I became a mother. This is something that can never be undone; once someone becomes a parent they are one for the remainder of time. With this new rite of passage that I took one year ago, like so many other women before me, comes knowledge and wisdom. You would think that this is knowledge and wisdom passed on by other mothers (well yes, don't get me wrong, us moms share a lot between us) but the knowledge I am talking about is the never ending lessons your child teaches you. During the last year I have learned more special and key life lessons then I have in my 28 1/2 previous years of life.
  • I now know from the bottom of my heart that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. There is something about pushing a baby out of you with no assistance or drugs that will do that to a woman.
  • I understand and feel the pain my parents felt when for me as I grew up. The time I fell and cut my head; all the times I hid on my mother when we were out and about; the time they found out I was using; the time they found out I was suicidal; when I dropped out of school; when I moved away to Toronto for university; when I told them I was staying in Toronto. (I am sorry)
  • I understand the joy my parents felt for me. When I learned how to walk; my first day of school; when I won art competitions; when I told them I was returning to school; the day I graduated; when I became clean; the day I got married; when we announced I was with child.
  • I understand how someone would give their life for another no questions asked.
  • I understand true love. Yes I love my parents; I love my friends; I love sister; I love my husband; but there is something about a mother's love for her children that breaks all boundaries that you have come to understand that defines love and re-defines the meaning of love all over again in a way that you believed was impossible.
  • Christophe has also taught me other kinds of lessons; such as to respect the planet even more then I already did. I now understand that we really do borrow the earth from our children.
  • I have also learned how to laugh all over again. I really think that I had become a monotonous person that did not "stop to smell the roses", as one would say. We live life in the slow lane now and take time to laugh everyday.
  • Indirectly, by trying to install good habits in Christophe, he has taught me: to walk more often and not use the car; to eat less fried food; to exercise once a week (yoga); to keep a clean house; not to eat and blog a the same time; to take my shoes off when I am home; to not talk with my mouth full; to think before I buy.
I am sure that these are not the last lessons I will learn from my son and hopefully my other future kids. Yes, one day, I want more kids. This is another lesson my son has taught me: I am a mother and was meant to be a mother. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I wanted to be a mother I would have said that's not for me and I don't want kids. If you would have asked me the same question 15 months ago, I would have said one is enough. If you would have asked me 12 months ago, I would have said I can do this again. If you ask me today I would say I want 2 more brothers for Christophe.

Thank you Christophe for your wisdom, you are only 1 year old and have changed my life in a more meaningful way then any other person or event.

Earth Hour 2009 reminder

This is just a reminder to my readers that earth hour 2009 is approaching set your calendars for March 28, 2009. How will you be celebrating?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHE