If you intend to breastfeed and these are your first children or if you have not attempted breastfeeding before, be prepared
Simplifying isn’t my strong suit. And yet it’s weird that I always felt organized in so many areas of life. I guess my life has always been so full that even if parts were cluttered, the rest made up for it. Until they didn’t. I found out that I had to move the family across the country the day after my Mom died. The past 9 months have been like an Edvard Munch painting. (Yes, sometimes I scream.) I pride myself on not being negative, but the ‘glass half full’ mentality has been exceptionally difficult.
The past couple of years I have worked hard in my studio to create painted pumpkins for Halloween to feature on morning TV. And I never compiled them all into one post! There are so many ways to paint, and new products in art and dollar stores make the job pretty simple, albeit sometimes messy! (You can just be a painter as a costume). Whether you are going for stylish painted pumpkins or using the activity to help your toddler express their creativity, I like painting pumpkins much better than carving. (Though you don’t get to roast the seeds afterwards). Be careful, also, not to throw your painted pumpkins into the compost or recycling bin, depending on what products you use on them.
You remember when you were young. Ok, younger. Trick or treating was the highlight of your year and during all of the other seasons you walked by certain neighbourhood houses and smiled. The man in the tudor house made you tell a story before being given candy. And there was the dentist who handed out toothbrushes. You were certain the yellow house was haunted. Why your dad always wanted to linger at that place that gave him a hot drink is still a mystery… As a child you build relationships and memories with neighbours, and when you make your house memorable on Halloween it creates a perfect opportunity to reach out to your community.
When planning a baby shower, the menu is a top consideration, as we all know how the quality of food can make or break a party! There are many factors that should go into your consideration of baby shower menu ideas, such as the venue, the time of day and year, cost, and, especially, the mom-to-be’s preferences!
I remember as a little girl – saving all of the ‘used-almost-to-the-bottom’ candles for the whole year to use for Hallowe’en. Our jack o’ lanterns would house a cornucopia of bright red and gold Christmas candles and a few yellow Easter ones. I would be a bit rattled that my beautiful pumpkin was getting red wax dripped all over, and then completely dejected that whenever I passed my own house (as I was doing the neighborhood candy marathon) the pumpkin would be dark. A gust of wind had just spoiled a child’s excitement at boasting artistic achievements to her friends. I’d quickly apologize and run up to grab a lighter or matches. And I can’t remember being anything other than a princess in chiffon so that + matches was clearly a bad idea…
Nothing embodies the earthy flavors of autumn more that mushrooms.
This spinach salad was a party favourite growing up. We always dried the spinach in a pillowcase after washing it for big parties. As a little girl I got to do the shaking. Now, I’m more of a salad spinner person, but this brings back some fun memories that make me smile when I’m getting a big salad ready for a party.
One of the most glorious childhood memories has to be sitting in front of the oven, watching cookies bake. And who can forget that smell? It smells like love. The warm, gooey taste that follows is decadent. I love breaking out my trusty stand mixer and making batches of cookies with my sweet boys. Working the dough to form the cookies is such a fun sensory experience; letting them feel the squishy sensations between their fingers is so fun. It’s like play dough with culinary potential. Who says you can’t play with your food? As long as it’s not at the table, it’s fine with me. This one is Hudson’s favourite.
When the kids were tiny, we hired a live-in caregiver from Baguio in the Philippines and she has graced our life with love and kindness ever since. Before every special birthday party or event, I would come home from work to find a freezer full of amazing filipino spring rolls, and the kids and I would devour them early in any party! The rolling of these gems always eluded me, so I sat down with her and we all learned proper spring roll rolling technique together.