Category: Photography

MYO Pizza: KISS Edition

We have had a lot of event filled weekends this Fall and, as a result, have fallen out of our Friday Family Fun Night rituals.

Last weekend we were away from home (again!) and when we arrived home on Monday after an exhausting drive on a very foggy, driving snowy, blowing snowy, swirling snowy, rainy snowy, SNOWY snowy, Cobequid Pass, we decided that we would reinstate the Friday Family Fun Night tradition and have a weekend of very nearly zero obligations.

We are trying to keep it simple, remember?

In keeping with the manifesto, I made a very simple plan.

MYO Pizza – which everyone loves!

To make it even simpler, I made all the pizzas using ready made pizza crusts.

 

The Things shared this happy-making Pepperoni & Cheese pizza.

 

 

Daddy-O chose a more classic Pepperoni & Cheese with veggies (red pepper, red onion, mushroom).

 

I was very excited to try the Kinnikinnick ready made gluten free crusts that friends in the know suggested.

 

I am thrilled to report that the pizzas turned out great and that the crusts themselves are quite delicious.

 

It’s really nice to know that I have a viable option for those nights when I just need to keep it simple.

 

Doesn’t that look delightful?

 

Yummy!

Mine had the Kinnikinnick crust, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, red pepper, red onion, mushroom, pickled jalapeño slices, and gluten free turkey sausage.

It was glorious!

 

 

After everyone had full tummies it was time for us to settle in with the evening’s planned entertainment. We opted to skip a movie in lieu of the excellent Bullying Awareness schedule on the Family Channel.

The cast of “The Next Step” hosted the evening and introduced some of our favourite shows – “Austin & Ally”, “Girl Meets World”, and “The Next Step” – all of which were featuring bullying storylines tonight as a part of their Stand UP to Bullying campaign. All three shows led to much discussion about friendship and bullying and how important it is to stand up and speak up and to never, ever be a bystander.

We especially loved “Girl Meets World“. It is so well written and I love how they keep managing to tie “Boy Meets World” storylines and characters into the show. It’s just so well done!

The Popcorn Pix feature presentation was another trip into bullying territory, with “Contest”. It was very good, but pretty harsh in many ways, as well. Very serious subject matter, obviously, and they hinted at some very heavy elements of being the bullied one. Overall it was very good. Definitely not for the younger ones. Thing 2 is 8 and she was snuggled up pretty close the whole time. Still though it’s such an important topic and we really cannot talk about it enough. No one can. Keep talking!

 

So, how was your week?

Busy?

Did you have a good one?

What will be on your agenda this weekend?

What about your plate?

Did you take in any Bullying Awareness Week programs or events?

Do you have an open dialogue with your kiddos and the young people in your life about bullying and mental health and how to get help if the need arises?

 

 

 

They Love Me Anyway

For as long as I have been making school lunches, I have been leaving little notes in the Things’ lunch boxes.

Long before they were the avid readers they are now, I would print simple messages of love and encouragement on sticky notes. I am a believer in environmental print*. Kids are smart. They don’t need all the rules memorized before they put theory into practice. A little heart shaped slip of paper speaks volumes. A speedily scrawled smiley face on a paper napkin can make a kid’s day – especially a day that is in dire need of levity. You remember those days, right? We all have them.

Sometimes it’s a silly doodle. Sometimes it’s a riddle. Sometimes it’s a hint about a special after school activity.

Other times it’s a reminder, cleverly disguised in witty prose.

 

Here are today’s notes.

 

 

 

 

And they love me anyway.

 

Do you write notes?

Do you leave notes in your children’s (or partner’s) lunch boxes?

Are you a poet (and totally know it!)?

Are you a writer or a printer?

When is the last time you wrote a letter or a note on actual paper for someone else to read?

Do you value the skill of cursive writing?

Or are you all g2g lol and ttyl 24/7?

Why not leave me a note in the comments! *wink*

 

 

*Don’t believe me about the environmental print? Try this experiment with a teeny kiddo** who is not yet reading in the traditional sense: Show them a favourite item (National Brand cookies or the cover of a familiar book, for example.) with writing or a logo on it and see if they recognize it. They will. That’s *reading* when you are not yet a reader in the traditional sense. Kids are awesome!

 

**Umm… not just any kiddo, to be clear. Make sure the kiddo is yours or you might totally freak the kid and his/her parent/guardian out!

***The Things don’t call me “Ma”, but I called my Ma, “Ma”, when I was little. Also, we are still working our way through the entire “Little House on the Prairie” series and well, it’s just fun to sign some notes that way!

 

Totally Terrific Taco Tuesday

 

Were there tacos?

Was it Tuesday?

Of course there were tacos!

We really do have tacos a lot at Chez Peady. It’s okay though because everyone loves them.

We have tacos every week. Typically on Taco Tuesday, but if we miss a Tuesday we have been known to have a Taco Wednesday or Friday. See also, Sunday through Saturday. I mean really, is there a day when tacos are not a good idea? No. I don’t think so.

I have pretty patient people in my family, especially when it comes to food, so they are on board with my plan to never grow bored with Taco Tuesdays!

That’s why I often change up the topping ingredients and even the kind of tacos we have.

We’ve had fish tacos, beef tacos, turkey tacos, chicken tacos and vegetarian tacos and each of those can have a variety of toppings and healthy additions, such as chickpeas or black beans. Every time I change something up they eat it up. No complaints. I love these people. Seriously.

 

Today, I was very busy* trying to play catch up with life (and Twitter, foolishly!) after a weekend away, the added stress of Parent-Teacher interviews last night, grocery shopping had to get done, and I also knew I would have an extra Thing after school today, which was great, but I had to get stuff done, you know? So I was not feeling fancy. Not at all.

I was feeling all apologetic as supper was being prepared because it was going to be a pretty plain Taco Tuesday. (I mean, sometimes Taco Tuesday gets pretty awesome, ’round here!)

Thing 2 was sitting at the table (Doing a science experiment. As one does.) and I mentioned that it wasn’t going to be a very fancy meal.

She said, “You mean we are just having plain tacos?”

“Yes.” I replied as I popped the taco shells into the oven.

“Like, just beef and nothing else?”

“Yeppers**.”

 

She sounded more than okay with that, so I turned to confirm and she had the biggest, happiest, smile on her face.

She was positively giddy at the idea of simple tacos.

Then Thing 1 joined in with, “I love plain tacos! You mean there’s no beans in there?”

Nope. No beans.

“Yay!”

They were so happy to have plain tacos.

Simple.

Kids really get it.

I hope someday I will be as wise as they are.

 

I try so hard to keep things simple, I really do, but every now and then I am so thankful to be reminded why.

 

Why do adults complicate things?

Do you ever find yourself in a situation – that by it’s very nature is simple – and you somehow have to make it more complex?

Do grown ups all have some odd Rube Goldberg syndrome?

 

 

 

 

 

*Uh oh! The B word!

**Yeppers, I actually say that word.

And In The Morning, We Will Remember Them.

 

Today, November 11th, is Remembrance Day in Canada.

In Nova Scotia it was a day off from school, for all children, and work, for many adults, so they could reflect on the many sacrifices that have been made by soldiers of the Canadian Military so that we can enjoy our many freedoms.

It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning.

One of the ways we chose to reflect, pay our respects, and express our thanks, was to attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony at our local cenotaph.

So that is exactly what we did.

 

It was a gorgeous Autumn morning, so we decided to park a fair distance away and walk along the Bedford Highway and Shore Drive to the cenotaph in Fish Hatchery Park. We were not alone. Many people chose to walk and it was so moving to enter the park from Shore Drive and see a sea of people already there. People were even lining Sunnyside Bridge above the park. It really made me feel so proud.

The ceremony was beautiful and I shed many tears thinking of all the Daddies and Mummies who were lost and the ones who are still offering up their lives to go on dangerous Military missions. Then I thought of all the little children who were without those Mummies and Daddies. It was too much. When “The Last Post” was played I could no longer hold back tears. It’s just such a sad and meaningful piece of music.

I very conscientiously did not touch my iThing for the entire ceremony out of respect for those we were honouring. I chose to remember the ceremony for myself. There were many families present and the children were so respectful and extremely well behaved. It was another proud moment.

After the Act of Remembrance was complete and the many wreaths were placed at the base of the cenotaph and the ceremony was complete we removed our poppies and, along with many of the other attendants, added them to the wreaths.

I felt this was an acceptable time to take a photo (once all the people had gone). I just wanted to capture how lovely the cenotaph looked with all the bright poppies in front of it.

Thing 2 can point out where her poppy is in this photo. It was important to her to choose the right spot. It was sweet to watch the Things taking all of this in this morning. It’s important for children to learn their history and why we do the things we do when it comes to historical events. I am glad our kids are curious and interested. It makes talking about tough topics a lot easier for the parents.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 after removing their poppies and placing them at the cenotaph. They insisted on dressing up this morning. Thing 1 wore dress clothes and, to me, Thing 2 was like a poppy personified.

It was a wonderful morning. We walked back to our car and I noticed these huge poppies on the Mosque on the Bedford Highway and had to take a picture. Isn’t that nice?

We were trying to think of something nice we could do with the remainder of Remembrance Day and we decided to visit Video Difference to see if there was something we could watch as a family. How nice is this “Feature” section for Remembrance Day?

We had a hard time finding something. I mean, let’s face it, war isn’t exactly a topic we want our children exposed to in movies, so it makes sense there are not a lot of selections, but then I spotted “From Up On Poppy Hill”. We have enjoyed many of the Miyazaki films, so we thought we’d judge a book by it’s cover – just this once – and give it a go.

We are just about to watch it, actually.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

It has been a nice day, all-in-all.

Even though it is sad to think about war (and all that goes with it), it is very important to stop and remember all of the people who sacrificed so much, so that we could have the freedom to enjoy a sunny day in November with our families and communities sharing expressions of those very freedoms.

So, how did you spend today? Did you visit a local cenotaph? Did you attend a Remembrance Day ceremony?

Was this Remembrance Day different than last year?

 

 

 

 

The Act of Remembrance is generally performed by a solo reading of the poem extract, with a response by all assembled. The exact wording of the Act of Remembrance is:

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kcmjRlmg-BE/UJi-5g4KxPI/AAAAAAAACrM/7eygWHEQsIc/s1600/for+everything+there+is+a+season.jpg

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Remembrance

MYO Pizza: Low Carb & Gluten Free Edition (aka The Pizza-Alike)

Make Your Own Pizza Night is a long standing tradition at Chez Peady and I will not be the reason it stops.

Not being able to eat delicious, chewy, crispy, fluffy, flavourful pizza crust (without feeling horrible) has put a serious dent in MYO Pizza night for the last little while and, quite frankly, we’ve had a lot fewer MYO Pizza Nights as a result.

I have had rather hit or miss experiences with making gluten free crusts. I’ve made this cauliflower crust and had it turn out great, but I have also made this exact recipe and had it turn out terrible. There are myriads of cauliflower crust recipes now – most are still just a variation on the same theme – and I have yet to find a sure thing.

So this week when I knew we were going to reinstate MYO Pizza Night, I knew I needed to approach it from a more creative place.

First, I prepped the pizzas for my family using pre-baked pizza stone crusts and the toppings they enjoy most which we, pretty much, always have on hand. Everyone has favourites and MYO Pizza Night is a great time to get what you want!

Daddy-O likes lots of veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and fresh jalapeño slices. Muy caliente!

Thing 1 is a carnivore and if the entire pizza could be fashioned out of meats and cheeses he would be praising cheeses!

Thing 2 likes a variety of flavours just as long as it isn’t too spicy.

The easiest way for me to deal with this, usually, is to have everyone make their own, but in the interest of saving time (there was a movie in our FFFN* plans) I just used the pre-made crusts and whipped up two pies! One for Daddy-O (leftovers were today’s lunch!) and one for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to share (again, leftovers for lunch today!).

They turned out great** and everyone was happy with a very simple MYO Pizza Night to ease back in.

So, yay!

BUT!

Now what the heck was I going to do?

The trouble with needing a gluten free option is that it does take a bit of planning and extra preparation. Oh look! Two things I almost never do for myself! Shocker, eh?

You know what I almost always do for myself though? Think. So, I thought about what I needed and wanted and came up with a simple idea.

I would make a Pizza-Alike. It would have a tonne of veggies and jalapeños and it would not have a crust at all. Weird? Yup. Delicious? You bet your sweet bell peppers, it was!

Here is what it looked like.

This is what I did.

I used a glass pie plate and lined it with pepperoni slices (you could use another meat as a base).

I added my cheese (mozzarella & cheddar).

I added sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, some sliced jalapeño and a teensy sprinkle of parmesan.

I popped it into a 400 degree oven until it looked all melty, golden, yummy, and the pepperoni was crisp.

When it was ready, I removed it from the oven to let it cool a bit.

I sliced it into six wedges and placed them onto some paper towel and let them sit for a minute so some of the fat would be absorbed. (If you had a fat free or low fat pepperoni, based on this experiment, I’d say use that!)

Then I served up a few slices on a little plate with about a tablespoon of pizza sauce for dipping.

MYO Pizza Night Victory!

 

So tell me, are you gluten free? Do you eat low carb? Are there dietary restrictions *you* need to adhere to so you can be at your healthiest and happiest?

What alterations have you come up with so you can still enjoy your favourite foods?

Leave a comment and share with the whole class!

 

 

*Friday Family Fun Night. It’s a thing!

**The pizza crusts came from Costco and were an experiment. I was so happy they liked them. KISS! Simplicity rules!

Source: http://www.thenakednaturopath.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/gluten-free-cartoon1.jpg

NaBloPoMo. Go ahead and say it! (Your Guess Is As Good As Mine!)

Two posts in one day! Inconceivable!

This is a testament to what good friends and positive peer pressure can do.

As it turns out, I am far from alone in giving this NaBloPoMo the old college try. Apparently, there are a LOT of determined Bloggers who are revving up their keyboards for the month of November.

I am really happy that I found that out because I *might* have chickened out if I was the only one.

Luckily for me, I have a lot of very nice blogger buddies who are participating and because they all are very kind, encouraging people and excellent writers, to boot, I am 100% certain I will follow through, in an attempt to produce a fraction of the bloggy goodness that they share on a regular basis.

I am also fairly certain that I can count on the aforementioned bloggers and friends to provide their ever effective *ahem* butt-kicking services, should I find myself slacking off during this month-long challenge. Amirite? (I’ll just hope for some comments to confirm.)

 

So… today marked the end of Daylight Savings Time, but it also marked a new beginning* with this NaBloPoMo challenge.

It just goes to show you,  Jobs never makes it dark at 5 PM, without brightening a window.**

 

Today was also day two of my November #PeadyPhotoADay challenge and the prompt was #FallBack.

Here is my photo, taken at 10:30 pm AST.

 

 

There’s alway one, isn’t there?

 

 

 

*Remember? ‘Cause everyone was so nice to pretend the date on my last post was November 1? See? Brand new!

**Sorry. I couldn’t help myself! Did I mention it was DARK at 5 pm?!

November Nonsense: A Peady Photo A Day Challenge

 

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
February has twenty eight alone
All the rest have thirty-one
Except in Leap Year, that’s the time
When February’s Days are twenty-nine

 

Are you as shocked as I am that it’s November?

I mean, really!

Just yesterday it was September and we were celebrating the memory of Terry Fox. Remember that? School had just started and we were lamenting summer’s end?

What happened between then and now? (Well, a LOT, actually.)

Why does time continue to elude me?

Meh.

I’ll figure it out someday… maybe… probably not… it’s unlikely, really.

 

Incidentally, would you mind, terribly, pretending that the date on this post is November 1 and not November 2?  I really did intend to have it posted on the first. Especially since this is a month long challenge. Then again, what’s one day? I mean really? In the grand scheme of things it’s nada … bupkis … nothing.

Best intentions. You know? Road to H-E-double hockey sticks … and all that jazz.

 

So, without further ado, I give you November’s Peady Photo A Day Challenge. Ta daa!

 

If you have never participated in a Photo a Day challenge here’s all you need to know:

a) Read the prompt each day and take a photo that represents the day’s word.

b) Post the photo to Instagram (or your chosen SM platform) with the #PeadyPhotoADay hashtag. (You can also hashtag the prompt. For example, the prompt for November 1 (that’s today, remember?) is #LazySaturday.

c) That’s it, really. You’re done! Yay!

Simple, right?

Cool.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

I look forward to seeing your photos and I will be sharing my own, as well. You can see them by searching the hashtags or by following @PeadyPics on Instagram.

 

I have an ulterior motive as well. It’s nothing too sinister, I assure you.

I am hoping to use my photo a day challenge in conjunction with another challenge for the month of November called NaBloPoMo. Mostly, I am just really wanting to focus more on writing and I am committing to post something here everyday. Maybe I will share some of my photos here and write a short post. Maybe I will write about what I had for lunch. Maybe something great will come up. Who knows? It’s a mystery, really.

All I know is that I am feeling determined, I want to write more and between the photo a day and the NaBloPoMo I have enough fuel to keep the fire burning – at least for the month of November!

So…

Do you think I can do it?

I guess we’ll just have to wait … er … *write* and see!

 

 

 

*Source: http://www.rhymes.org.uk/thirty_days_hath_september.htm

**I “utter” it on the regular, if I’m being honest. True story.

***This post about NaBloPoMo made me laugh out loud.

****Photo A Day challenges are so fun, it’s easy to do more than one. Check out this one and this one, too!