Category: Writing

Sweet Sunflower Snacks (A Pictorial Snack Tutorial)

Did you know you can cut an apple almost all the way through, pop out the core, let the flower petals fall open, then add a dollop of peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips, to make a delicious and nutritious sunflower?

You can!

See?

 

Isn’t that fun? It is a favourite around here, especially in Fall, when the Nova Scotian apples are at their absolute best. Delicious!

Easy, right?

Totally.

You can use what you like best, of course, but I tend to use a Golden Delicious Apple, Natural Peanut Butter*, and gluten free mini chocolate chips. You only need a few chocolate chips. They are chocolate chips! They seem to have a magical power over kids. If they find 2 in a mini muffin they’re thrilled, so I just go with what I have worked so hard to achieve. Happiness!

So, what do you think? Do you think your kids would like to try a Sweet Sunflower Snack?

I am willing to bet they would.

What is your favourite snack food? Do your kids have special snacks after school?

Let’s talk about it! 

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.

Oh, just one more thing! I nearly forgot!!

Look!

It’s a teeny tiny Thing 2 enjoying a Sweet Sunflower Snack a few years ago! Aww! 

This small Corelle bowl might be the ideal serving dish for this snack. Notice how it helps the apple slices keep the flower shape, while containing the Peanut Butter? That’s better than the larger plate for presentation. (Though the larger plate was best for an after school snack with extra Things!) I also like the mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate chips here. It seems more flower-like, to me.

*Of course, if you have a peanut allergy you can use another nut butter or a soy butter in its place. Still yummy!

NaBloPoMo v2.0 (Or November is NOW!)

Today is November 1st and with the groggy brain of a tired Mamma – after Halloween and a time change – I put this little bloggy woggy into the Blog Roll on BlogHer for November’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).

Some of you may recall, I did it last year. It was great, actually.

Sure, there were nights I wanted to cry because technology plotted against me or the Universe appeared to be determined to pull a prank. There were days when I felt like I was really doing something great and was exhilarated by the exercise of posting every singe day for the whole month.

I feel that in the end it really was a terrific learning experience. I wrote more than I had up to that point and I learned a lot of little things about how this whole blogging gig works. I learned to think on my feet and keep a deadline. I learned that sometimes the silliest of posts will garner the most attention. I learned that, despite the fact that living a part of my life online means every single post needs a photo or pin-able picture to be easily shared, some posts will never have a photo because intrinsically, I also know that sometimes the words need to paint the picture.

I learned a LOT. Much more than I will share here at the moment because the hour is getting late and I will be darned if I am not hitting publish on day one!

Over the next 30 days I will post every day.

Some posts will be rushed. That’s life.

Some posts will be well planned and thought out.

I plan on brushing up some really good drafts I have waiting to be set free.

NaBloPoMo is just the push I need!

I hope you will visit, read, comment, and chat when you have something to ask or say or share.

If you happen to be taking part, please let me know*. If there is one thing I am good at, it is cheering others on and supporting writers!

Let’s make this a great month, filled to the brim with learning, leaping outside our comfort zones, and personal growth!

Onward!

 

*Feel free to share your blog or NaBloPoMo Blog Roll number (I am #596!) in the comments! I love reading new (to me) blogs.

 

On The Double!

Okay, okay. I know. I know.

I promised a post every day all month, but you know what? I simply couldn’t deliver one every single day, in order, on the actual day. The actual days were jam packed with events, meetings, planning sessions, absolutely-have-to-be-present school related stuff, a fun dinner date on a Saturday night to meet new people and reconnect with special friends, a narrowly avoided parenting sit’i’ation, an awesome launch of an awesome national program, drop-offs, pickups, and mix-ups, musical instrument acquiring, a whole heck of a lot of form filling, and I even managed to somehow squeeze in a lot of extra hugs, get two gigantic yellow Fall Mums,  and have a coffee date with some of my peeps and a couple of tweeps who are now included in my #tweepstopeeps people I have met in real life (IRL).

I will however reimburse you with an equal number of posts by month’s end because, as I have said before, you just don’t show up with a problem. When you are able to do so, you show up with a solution (or two), too!

Welcome to my solution! 

My last post was Friday, September 18. It was a photo post because by then the pressure of September was already starting to squeeze me like a Boa Constrictor. Oh well. At least I know better than to stress myself out over a blog post – for Tempered With Kindness.

Oh, I totally stress out over blog posts for other people’s blogs – like, 13 revisions and a near panic attack over photographs stress out, followed by a sanity-stealing screen shot scenario that really was quite the comedy of errors (that I am still not quite sure has worked itself out – whoopsiedoodle!). Thank goodness no one is here at my desk with me as I am giving a colourful language peppered, colour commentary on just exactly why computers are the ruination of all good things in the world. 

Ha ha! Hee hee! No worries.All in good fun! I feel much better now.

You have to go through it to get through it and all that jazz …

Anyway, here I am. I am going to post this and then I will somehow post another. I am not sure the second one will be posted tonight, but by the end of September I will be all caught up. I will! I know I can do it.

I hope your September is going well! 

Let’s catch up soon!

How has your month been going?

Are you Crazy-Busy?

How are you handling it all?

 

*Never Google images of the phrase “double header”. You’re just going to have to trust me on this point. Scarred for life, I am!

**Does every single blog post really require an image? Really?! 

 

Peak Performance Day: Dance Edition

Sometimes bloggers like to talk about music (some of us a bit more than others) and when two people who happen to love the same tune find each other, well, it’s a bloggy goodness match made in heaven! 

A while back, Becky – Hi Bitsy! – over at A Little Bit of MomSense began sharing what she called “song obsessions”. Well, I was all over that because it is very happy-making to learn that a person you enjoy in the Twitterverse is really that cool/nice/kind/friendly IRL (or as close to RL as we can get – for now!) Facebook is not quite IRL, but it can be close, especially when people are themselves and not trying to make everything all shiny and perfect. Becky is one of these real people.

Her last song obsession (or two) was different. For once I wasn’t totally in agreement. I loved one and the other, well, the other I felt wasn’t the best offering from Flo and her machine. In fact, I had moved right past “What Kind of Man” (which I found … umm … yell-y) onto “Ship to Wreck” because I feel it is truly Flo at her best.

So I am here to share it … and a few others … with you and Bitsy. I hope everyone enjoys this random, Peak Performance Day, dance party. 

Florence + The Machine = Awesome

 

Said the Whale -live no less!

And here is the recorded version I dance to on the regular at Chez Peady.

Okay, I can’t really explain why I love this one so much, but I love it! It’s so groovy and melancholy and yet boppy all at once. The refrain “don’t think I could forgive you” over and over through a myriad of scenarios makes it a pretty rad “forget you”, don’t you think? Forgive me the ahem full moon in the video, but hey it’s already so odd you might never even get there. Wait. Did I just intrigue you into watching the whole thing? Tee hee hee. Please enjoy Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz “Prayer In C”.

This Jimmy Eat World song is very catchy and I really love it. I feel like I have been hearing it for many years and that’s because I have, but it seems to get fairly regular airplay, here in Halifax, on one of my favourite radio stations Radio 96.5 FM and every time I hear it I find a new reason to enjoy it. It’s happy-making. The last time I heard it I decided to dig a bit deeper and when I read more about it’s origin I liked it even more. Here’s “The Middle”.

And for awesome, if not obvious, reasons I leave you with this bonus tune from the Foo Fighters, who clearly are amazing human beings as well as musicians.

So there you have it. These are the mind worms that have invaded my brain of late.

I hope you enjoy them.

What songs are on a permanent loop in your brain or on your playlist lately?

Go ahead and share with me in the comments. You can even add a link to your favourites! 

 

 

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A Hot Tip

I have two pretty adventurous kids, where food is concerned, but as any parent can tell you each kiddo always has his and her own preferred tastes.

Thing 1 is my the-hotter-the-better guy. Need I remind you of his little adventure with Ghost Pepper salsa?

Thing 2 used to think ketchup was “tooooo thpicy!” when she was a wee thing (with an ever so slight developmental lisp).

So, in the interest of keeping “thpicy” things out of Thing 2, I always found little ways to distinguish spicy from mild foods – even if they looked remarkably similar.

Picture a food such as homemade burritos or chimichangas. How can you decipher which one is mild and which ones are sweating-from-your-eyeballs spicy?

Well, in each of the aforementioned cases I would place a hint on the outside to remind me of what was on the inside. I bake chimichangas and if there are chilis or hot peppers inside, I always place one on the outside, so it’s easy to tell. Since Thing 2 loves tomatoes, I would place a thin slice on hers, just so she still had the “Ooh! Fancy!” reaction when it was time to eat.

Tonight’s supper was oven fried rice with red peppers and Italian sausages – mild and hot – and as I was preparing to pop everything into the oven I was reminded of this little life saver of a tip. I have been meaning to share it, but it is old hat to me and easy to assume no one would really care.

Then I thought of busy Mummies with little kiddos and how sometimes one little tip can bring joy and decided to make an effort.

I am building this up way too much.

Sorry!

I’ll get to my point now.

So I know which sausages are mild and which sausages are hot I simply place the mild sausage with the curve turning up, like a smile, and I place the hot sausages with the curve turning down, like a frown.

See?

Can you tell which ones are spicy?

Mild.

Spicy!

Isn’t that helpful? 

I hope so!

 

 

 

 

Three Movies I Can’t Wait To See

I used to go see every single movie (within reason) that hit the theatres.

Then I had kids and every movie became every children’s movie or every family movie.

I still love the movies, but I haven’t gone to a grown up movie since … ummm … what year is this?

Okay, I don’t know. I really can’t remember.

I haven’t seen an Oscar nominee – save for The LEGO Movie* – in years and years and years.

BUT!

There’s hope**.

The Things are getting older and one of them is definitely old enough to babysit so that maybe, just maybe, the parents can go see a movie that doesn’t have a specially themed snack pack at the concession stand!

Although, if I am being honest, I would totally buy a specially themed snack pack if there was one for “Steve Jobs”.

I can not wait!

I am also really looking forward to seeing Matt Damon in “The Martian”. This movie was first brought to my attention as I was walking down the corridor to auditorium number 17 with Daddy-O and the Things to take in “Shaun The Sheep” (another NOT Oscar winner!). A last hurrah of sorts to say goodbye to summer break before heading back to school for good. You see the Things returned to school before Labour Day along with all the other students in Nova Scotia, but only for 2 days. Then we had labour day weekend and then back for a full … well no … short week. Where was I? Oh yes! Matt Damon, I mean, “The Martian”. The poster is excellent and I was intrigued enough to read it which is how I learned Matt Damon had a new movie coming out. (Reading! So important!) Of course, now that I know about it, I keep seeing ads for it and they have made me want to see it even more.

Look! He gardens!

I think “He Named Me Malala” is going to be really interesting. Do you know the story of Malala Yousafzai? Have you read her book, “I Am Malala”? It is wonderful (if difficult to process in parts) and very important. I think Malala is charming and smart and she has captured the hearts of many who admire her undying determination to fight for the rights of girls (and boys) to be educated in her home and anywhere else they are denied such basic human rights as education.

I seriously can’t wait!

So those are my top three at the moment. I wish I could go right this minute, actually.

I’ll be patient though. I mean, I’ve been waiting this long, what’s another few weeks?

Do you like going to movies?
What genre do you like best?
What is the last movie you saw – in the theatre – that was for grown-ups?
What coming soon movie is at the top of your list?
How do you like your popcorn?
Butter or no butter?

Just kidding. Because butter!

*”Everything Is Awesome” was nominated for Best Song.

**There’s always hope.

Dancing With The Bloggers

Do you remember the scene from “In and Out” where Kevin Kline’s character, Howard Brackett, is trying to not dance?

When you watched it were you all, pfft “Challenge accepted. No problem. Look. Here I am not dancing.” or, like me, were you physically pained by the thought of not movin’ and groovin’ to Gloria Gainer belting out “I Will Survive” to the point where you had to clench your muscles in the theatre seat so as to not jump up and dance for him?

Furthermore were you practically praying that Howard would just dance already?  

Be who you are man – it’s okay we all have a thing. Move! Dance! Embrace yourself in all your glory and for heaven’s sake DANCE!

 

*If you haven’t seen “In & Out”, I think you should. 

**This short and silly post has been sitting in my drafts since April and I am setting it free! 

***I hope it made you smile.

****I also hope it made you dance. 

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