Monday, September 29, 2014

Wanted: a Vacation

Maybe it's because I'm currently working a night shift and I'm pooped.
Maybe it's because I've been trying to work as much as I can without making myself exhausted.
Maybe it's knowing I've got about 11 more weeks of work and then I'll be on maternity leave.
Maybe it's because once I go on mat leave it'll be years before I take a vacation without having to think about a little one.
I want to relax and be pampered, eat good food, spend hours reading, and generally just enjoy the last little bit of my free time - while it's still my time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly excited to be a mom. I've wanted to be a mom for pretty much my entire life and I'm beyond ready to turn my time into baby's time.
I'm just being realistic because, from what I know and what I've heard, while being a parent is incredibly amazing, it can also be incredibly tough.
I just want to end 29 years of selfish existence with a bang.
And maybe a beach.
Then bring on the diapers, the smiles, the moments spent just staring at the perfect little life we created, and the every-2-hour-feedings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dear Daughter

Dear daughter,

You don't know it, but you went on your first camping trip this past weekend. 
You should be proud, we hiked about 5 km in to Algonquin park to set up our camp in the rain. 
And your mom only cried once. 

*Your mom has never cried while camping before. She blames the hormones, being somewhat out of shape, and how uncomfortable backpacks are when you can't do up the waist strap and the weight is fully on your shoulders. 

What I thought about a lot while my body worked out the aches was this: why did I ever give my body a hard time for not being "perfect"?
Why was I ever hung up on how flat my stomach was?
Now my belly is round and full and and I catch myself smiling at my profile in mirrors.
It has never felt more perfect to me - and that's because I know you're warm and safe in there. 

Why did I ever size up my hips and wish them to be smaller?
They are as wide as they need to be to make your entry into the world as easy as possible (hopefully!). 

Why did I ever wish for my body to be anything but what it is?

It is 50% responsible for creating your tiny heartbeat and is 100% responsible for making sure you grow healthy and strong until we get to meet you.

I hope that, throughout your long, healthy, and happy life, I am able to instil in you a sense of respect for your body and that you never look in a mirror and hate what you see. 
I hope you feel beautiful everyday for all the things that you are, inside and out. 

And while I hope I can teach you these things, I hope that you remember that you taught me this as well. 

How could I ever think ill of the body that is giving me you?
I hope I can remember to always look past the sags, wrinkles, and extra weight here and there and remember that my body did what I wanted it to perfectly: created you.

So, thank you, body,
You're perfect.
And thank you, dear daughter, for teaching me this. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peach Cake

If there's been a lack of posts lately it's because I've been going to bed by 9 pm most nights. 
I was working quite a bit and also battling a gross cold. 
Sinus congestion and throat pain - oh my!
I'm starting to feel better, finally, but still tired. 
Something tells me I'll be tired almost constantly now for the next few years...

Inspired by a basket of peaches and a jar of amazing peach jam courtesy of a friend, I decided to put a fruity spin on a coffee cake recipe and make a peach cake. 

It's a good one. 
And a good way to use up those last-of-summer peaches. 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • For the crumble: In a bowl, mix together 1 3/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp cinnamon. Cut in 6 tbsp butter using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture is the size of peas. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add in 2 eggs and 1 tbsp vanilla. Mix in 1 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • Stir in 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda and a pinch of salt
  • Pour 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of a lightly greased loaf pan.  
  • Cut 3-4 peaches into slices and layer on top of the batter. Sprinkle with the crumble mixture. 
  • Top with the remainder of the batter. Spread on a layer of peach jam then top with the remainder of the crumble mixture. 
  • Bake for about an hour or until cooked through. 

Let cool, then slice, share with friends, and enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Let's Go To (the food building at) The Ex!

Summer, for me, always wraps up with the opening and closing of The CNE - The Canadian National Exhibition, or The Ex. 

Even though we'll still have summer weather (and technically summer since fall doesn't start til later this month) for awhile longer, it always just feels like a summer full of long days and warm nights has wrapped up. 
This is extra ridiculous because the weather this summer hasn't been particularly hot. 

But today was a hot one. 

John and I made our way down once I finished work to take in the sights and sounds (and tastes, more importantly) of the Ex before it closed its doors for another year. 

I haven't been big on the rides since I was little - also cause as I get older the voice saying 'hey, this event runs for two weeks every year. How safe do you think these rides are?' gets a little louder - but this year I had a definitely excuse to stay off the rides. We did splurge on tickets for the ferris wheel though. I've always enjoyed it and it's  great way to see the entire grounds and the masses of people. 
Plus Baby E seemed to enjoy it, as she gave me a few good kicks as we made our way down from the top. 

Then we walked around, watched some people play games at the midway. 
We saved our money for food. 

As always, I was excited to see what the new additions would be to the food building. 
The big ticket items were the Thanksgiving waffle, the chocolate fried chicken, the chunky Elvis grilled cheese & the spicy peanut butter sriracha rolls (both were no-goes on my list), the far east taco (like an Asian spin on the classic beaver tail), the butter coffee, and the crowbar. 

I had two of those things. 

I had to make a decision between the cocoa-infused chicken and the Thanksgiving waffle. I went with the chicken.
It was divine. 
The batter they use has - you guessed it - cocoa infused into it and then it's deep fried. It's amazing. 
We had an option of two dipping sauces. I forget what the other option was but I went all in and opted for the chocolate ketchup. 
If this comes back next year GO FIND IT.
And save me some.

John went a different route (in hindsight he refers to it as the gut rot route) and got the colossal onion. It's a massive onion that they deep fry. Then you pull the pieces apart and dunk them in dipping sauce. 
It was like a big helping of onion rings but we only finished about a third of it before we had to say our goodbyes. 
This is a staple at The Ex so if you want one of your own, never fear. It'll be back again next year.

The Crowbar. I tried to talk John into getting the butter coffee also being sold at this location but he was full with the onion. The crowbar is the beautiful love child of a chocolate bar baked into a croissant-like pastry. I went with the Mars bar (Caramilk, and Reese's Peanut Butter cup were also options) and was not disappointed. The cronut was the big hit last year and I missed it so I didn't want to pass up the chance to try the crowbar. 
I still have half sitting on the counter to be picked at and savoured over the next few days.

So while my food samplings didn't quite rival that of other years, I'm pleased with my decisions.

And even happier about an afternoon well spent with my main guy.