There’s no way to sugar coat it: pumping sucks. Literally. It’s time consuming, finicky, and can be extremely frustrating. There’s no way to make pumping enjoyable but there are ways to make it suck less. Hacking your pumping routine can save you time, energy, and even breast milk.
We’re finally getting some warm weather and the farmers market is stocked with beautiful local produce. It’s salad season is what I’m saying.
I like to make this salad the night before I plan on eating it (when the house is cool) so I don’t overheat the kitchen and so the flavours can really meld. It’s a big, hearty salad that can definitely pass as a meal.
As a little girl growing up in East Coast Halifax, I used to glorify the United States. Why couldn’t Canada have outlet malls and Dr. Pepper? It never seemed fair, and Americans openly expressed the notion that we lived in igloos. Many didn’t realize that we shared the longest unprotected border in the world. I couldn’t find many Canadians who ‘made it’ on Broadway or in Hollywood. Was there a future for the little girl who wanted to be a musical theatre actor more than anything? I was as embarrassed as I was insecure.
Literacy is as much a parenting priority as ensuring our prodigy are well fed. Some lessons, like teaching them not to bully or washing behind their ears are simpler parenting goals than others. While instilling compassion can be done on a tight budget, not every child has access to the plethora books that are required in order to develop a passion for reading.
We may have mommy-brain about almost everything else, but the one thing we all know is how we like our coffee.
My personal go-to has been a K-cup of an insanely dark roast cut with half and half. There is something to be said for fast, easy, eye-opening caffeine consumption that even my kid can make. (Yes, I’ve taught my oldest how to set the coffee maker and how many splashes of cream to add for it to get to just the color mommy likes.) That convenience comes at a high cost however, with a large amount of waste I’ve never felt great about.
I really don’t like cold food. Hence, I’m a soup girl, but sometimes I force myself to eat salads. Lately I’ve discovered excellent dressings and stunning salad presentation, so it’s more of a game. Challenge accepted! I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to the Carribean and the flavours of this salad help bring a taste of the islands back home with me. I have so many great memories there, supporting the Sandals Foundation, having a blast at Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos, and going off the beaten path in Montego Bay, It’s like a culinary souvenir, of sorts. It also reminded me of our contributor, Grace Riley, who was ticking things off her bucket list in Jamaica, For me, this dish embodies the taste of adventure.
Our family gets giddy for holidays. Knowing me as you do, it shouldn’t be a shock that I have an entire storage room dedicated to wreaths, décor and cookie cutters divided meticulously into seasons. Yes.. I do. And I gently rotate them throughout the year so that the next holiday’s treasures are easily accessible. Beloved traditions have permeated every Hallowe’en, Christmas and Easter in order to make memories and bond as a family. We have special recipes and songs, outfits and stories handed down through generations. While all of this adds sparkle to life, sometimes these traditions aren’t entirely selfless. At times, I focus more on the spectacle than actually spending real time with my kids. My heart races as I just admitted that.
I’m starting to share with you some of the recipes from my self-published cookbook which was really a labour of love. I assembled our family recipes for my mother and I’m making them available on Urbanmommies moving forward. I made the banana bread from my cookbook on the first instalment of my new Facebook Live feature “Let’s Be Honest” which will be running on Mondays at 12 p.m. Pacific time. It won’t always be me cooking, it’s just a chance to chat about what’s been going on while I do things in my mom life.
Raise your hand if you’ve watched a weather report and gone back to bed. Or abandoned plans to leave the house when snow began to fall. Canadian winters can be brutal and many of us fall into the trap of staying inside to avoid the elements. Unfortunately, this can result in more screen time and less memory-making family moments.
As a little girl I used to have hot chocolate in a china cocoa set from 1860. The ritual and care required so as not to chip the cups etched the experience on my memory. The hot chocolate was the powder kind and on special occasions, it would contain dehydrated mini marshmallows. You could watch the sugar crystals in the powder as they dissolved. Back then a product was a product and nutritional ‘truths’ were a given. Soup, salad and milk were good for you. Candy was bad, and unless potatoes accompanied your meat, it wasn’t a proper dinner. Eating from the four food groups detailed in Canada’s Food Guide and doing some school ‘particip-action’ would keep you fit.