Leave the haircuts to the professionals

We've let our guard down a little around our house lately. It's been ages since we've had to worry about accidents with scissors, so we started to get careless about where we left them. Surely my kids were past the stage of playing hairdresser, right? Wrong! Earlier this week our little ginger-haired moppet got a hold of a misplaced pair of scissors and thought it would be great fun to cut a chunk out of the front of his hair. He actually came to me with said chunk of hair and asked if I would add it to the small baggy of hair we have from his first haircut. Yes, my heart melted at such cuteness, but this needed to be fixed immediately! So instead of taking him to a hairdresser to fix it properly and professionally, I thought I could fix it myself!! One wiggly four-year-old + one inexperienced mama = one ginger-haired mess! Now he is fighting going to the hairdresser and picture day at school is next week!! Yikes! Would love to hear your bad haircut stories!


It's been a slow weekend around here! I'm afraid the first colds of the season have befallen us - well Finn and I anyway! I wonder, how is it that a four-year-old can bounce back so quickly!!?? I've been dragging myself around all weekend sniffling and aching and just all-around miserable! So it was pretty timely that my good friend Nelda posted on her blog Staying Healthy in the Autumn Season. There are some yummy recipes that I can't wait to try to strengthen my system - for I know this is only the beginning for snotty-nosed kindergartners swapping their germs! Brace yourselves!!

By Sunday, I was ready to drag myself off the couch to soak up the last hours of summer, and the few remaining weekends of flea marketing!

The above vendor is one of the boys' favourites! Too many fun things to look through - so hard to choose just one!

But it was the wide variety of books that caught Nate's attention - and what better than a book about drawing dinosaurs? We did leave with a few good reads that we will tuck away for a rainy day when we want to remember warm summer days of treasure hunting up on the Square!


What's for dinner?

Dinner time is a pretty important time of day in our house. Mornings are so hectic as we run around trying to get ourselves ready and out the door on time while trying to maintain our sanity! But it is at supper time that we can reconnect and share our day's experiences over a nutritious meal. It is our family time and enjoying it over wholesome food, well, what could be better? 

I'm sure for most of us out there, cooking at the end of a long work day is a dreaded task. It is easier to grab for the pre-packaged convenience food, and there are many nights when I wish I could go this route. But, as I've mentioned before, with the food allergies in our house, this just isn't possible. So I have a rotation of quick and easy meals that I thought I would regularly share through this space - hopefully to inspire homecooking on a weeknight! The following recipe came together as a mix of the fresh peppers and onions we had in the garden, the homemade salsa that I just can't seem to get enough of, and the bags of tortillas we found stuck to the bottom of our freezer. This dish was made pretty quickly and was perfect served with a garden salad. In no time at all, you will have a nutritious and delicious dinner that I hope your family will love! 

So here's the recipe for this yet-unnamed-dish:

1 chicken breast
1 can of black beans
1 onion
1 green or red pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic
cilantro to taste
18-20 tortillas (corn or flour)
1-2 cups of salsa
Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut chicken into strips and fry in a little olive oil until no longer pink. Add sliced onions and peppers, and minced garlic. Fry until soft and add rinsed black beans. Line baking dish with a thin layer of salsa and one layer of tortillas. Top with half of the chicken and veggie mixture, and enough salsa to cover. Add another layer of tortillas and top with remaining chicken and veggie mixture and salsa. Add one more layer of tortillas and top with salsa to cover and cheese if allowed. Bake about 15 mins. If baking without cheese, cheese can be added individually afterwards for those in your family who are able to eat dairy. Top with yogurt, if allowed.


Before & After

This, believe it or not, was once a curtain. Pretty funky, non? I can only imagine its brightness led to a few sleepless nights for the child who had this hanging in his or her bedroom, thereby leading his or her parents to dump it at their local Salvation Army. As a regular visitor to my local Salvation Army, I was overjoyed when I found this vibrant swath of canvasy-type material, and I knew that one day it would serve a greater purpose in our lives. Well, this unfortunate curtain has been reborn...
...into this lunchbag that Finny has been toting to SK for the past week. What I love about it, besides the lack of the nasty (and I'm quite sure, toxic) smell of new vinyl, is that it is completely washable. One of my least favourite chores was opening my kids' lunchboxes at the end of a school day to get a whiff of vinyl and spilled apple juice that has soaked through to the foam insulator - that smell lasts the entire school year! So I wanted to make an easy-to-wash, good-for-the-environment, healthy-for-kids alternative. The dimensions I used can be found here, and to this pattern I added a mesh water bottle holder to the side, and easy-to-carry handles to the top. Don't worry, there is plenty of curtain left - hmm, lunchbags for all??


School is back in session!!

Flashback to back-to-school 2008 - Nate and Finny both look so bright-eyed and eager to learn!! And so much younger! Really, where has the time gone?

Flash forward to back-to-school 2009! Notice anything missing? It seems that adolescent body snatchers snuck in over night, took my 8-year-old and left us with teenage attitude that refused to be photographed before heading off to Grade 3. You pick your battles, right?  But Finny was eager to pose for a photo before he headed off to join his friends in the kindergarten sandbox! Thankfully our day ended better than it began as it seems the attitude was left behind on the school playground! Happy back-to-school everyone!