It’s Tough being a Parent

IMG_5042Let’s get real – parenting is tough.  Instagram/Facebook shows a lot of perfect family pictures but it’s not always roses. It’s often more like a big pile of poop.

IMG_4414There are some moments when I just sit on the couch/in the car and cry.

IMG_4444And you know what?  I am not alone.  I don’t know if I know of any mom that hasn’t broken down out of frustration, fatigue, or just this feeling that this is my life and I have to deal with it right now but I really don’t want to.

IMG_4478I will always love my child, but sometimes I don’t really like him.  Sometimes I just want to leave – get outside, get some air, go for a walk, go to the moon… anywhere.  But I can’t.

IMG_4577I guess it makes me stronger, but do you know what else makes me stronger?  Relying on my friends and community around me.  This whole mommy war crap where moms tear each other down for, basically anything, is so destructive.  Breastfeeding, weight gain, whether your kid plays with the right toys, reads enough, watches too much TV…  I mean, why?  In times of desperation, I look to my friends and it’s often just to listen.  To complain about my problems which they understand.  Because even if your kid is an angel there’s always days when he’s sick or something didn’t go right for you or work stress is making home life difficult.

This post was touched off by an incident this morning where I saw another mom who was obviously struggling.  Sometimes you don’t want to be intrusive and don’t really know how much someone wants you to step in, but I think at least acknowledgement that we are all in this together is so reassuring.

 

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He’s Here!

Alex at 6 Days

Just a quick note to say our little one arrived last week and we are all at home and doing well.  He’s an amazing kid and I’m so glad I finally got to meet him!

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Fancy Sweats

After reading this post in The Luxe Life I’ve decided to start wearing fancy sweats.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.33.27 PMNot me (taken from here)

OK – that’s a complete lie.  I pretty much haven’t worn jeans since I entered my second trimester back in…. oh the spring?  I’ve already professed to you my love for Skinny Sweats and now it seems that other players are entering the market.  I love love love this.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.37.13 PMJ Crew

Why?  Because let’s face it folks – I just had a baby and I’m not going to be dolling myself up any time soon. So, I might as well be fashionable in sweats.

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Melissa Nepton at Boutique Unicorn

I suppose it’s an alternative for those tired of leggings.

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Gap

My only concern is that these are all shown with shoes or high heels – thus dressing it up a little….  when the snow is on the ground here I’ll be wearing mine with boots…

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H&M

And I think that might just ruin the look…..  what do you think?

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Use up those Apples! Apple & Plum Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Apple & Plum Pudding

I’m always on the hunt for good apple recipes and this one is a winner.

First off, it uses quite a few apples.  I mean, how many times have you thought, right I’m going to make this recipe to use up apples and then you end up using say, an apple and a half.

Secondly, it’s really good.

And thirdly, it’s pretty simple.  OK it’s not dead easy – caramel sauce is always a little tricky/annoying, but I did make this with my two year old.  I think that speaks for itself.

Apple & Plum Pudding 2

If you find yourself annoyed at the steps what I often do is prep a step then leave it… especially when dealing with a two year old.  Together we prepped the spring form pan.  He was able to spread the butter and help trace the parchment paper.  Then we cut the apples.  To be honest, he ended up eating more apples than anything plus even though I gave him a butter knife I was a little nervous at the way he was shoving it through the apples.  Then we left it a while.

We came back later and measured the dry ingredients.  He then tipped half the dry ingredients onto the counter.  argh. So we left it.

We came back a little later and mixed the butter and sugar together.  He loves that bit (turning on the stand mixer) and I think it’s the most successful part of the entire operation.  Least successful is me trying to get him to stop eating the batter which contains raw eggs…

A few points:

  • The batter looks really dry.  I kept checking my ingredient list, but realized all the juices from the apples and plums would probably help it out and it did.
  • I wouldn’t skip the pecans.  I liked the added crunch and texture.
  • I had to cook this a good 20 minutes longer than suggested.  I do believe my oven is pretty accurate, but… I’ve never actually tested it.  Use your instinct.  If it looks raw I’d rather have drier sponge than raw sponge.  Plus the caramel sauce will always moisten it.
  • I would make the caramel sauce… I don’t think it would be nearly as good without it (is anything?)
  • Eat it warm!  This doesn’t mean you have to eat it all right away… microwaves are our friend.

Apple & Plum Pudding

This recipe is taken  from The Great British Book of Baking that accompanied the first BBC series of The Great British Bake Off.  I omitted the glacé ginger from the sponge and rum from the caramel sauce.  It’s just not my taste.

Regarding the cookbook, I do recommend it if you are looking for less sugary, more tea time desserts.  My only negative, and it’s personal taste, is that a lot of the recipes contain raisins as British baking tends to do.  I have gotten quite a few winners from it though including this Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Edward's Warm Apple and Plum Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: British
 
A warm apple and plum pudding with caramel sauce which is perfect for using up apples
Ingredients
  • 115g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 175g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g pecans, finely chopped
  • 4 medium apples peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 3 plums, stoned and cut into 1cm pieces
  • For the Caramel Sauce
  • 200g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 225ml whipping cream at room temp
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare a 22cm springform pan - grease with butter and line base with parchment paper
  3. Put butter into a mixing bowl and add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
  6. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and thoroughly combine.
  7. Fold in the fruit.
  8. Spoon pudding mixture into tin and spread evenly.
  9. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes (or more!) until top is golden brown and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed.
  10. Remove tin from oven and run a knife or thin spatula around the inside to loose and unmould.
  11. While sponge is cooking make the sauce
  12. Put the sugar into a heavy-based medium pan and set over low to medium heat.
  13. When sugar starts to melt gently use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently draw melted edges into the centre so that the sugar melts and turns an even dark caramel.
  14. Remove pan from heat and pour in half the cream. WARNING: It will bubble and steam so watch your hands as it will be VERY hot (you may want to cover your hands or use an oven mitt)
  15. Once bubbling is done stir in the rest of the cream and return pan to heat.
  16. Stir until sauce is smooth and lumps have melted (this took me a while)
  17. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  18. Eat warm

ps If you are looking for more winning apple recipes see links below!

 

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Friday Links I Love

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Hello All!

By the time you are reading this I will be with a little newborn and I may already be spamming my Instagram feed with photos of my cutey baby.

Here are a few links that I’ve fallen in love with over the last few weeks:

My cousin in Norway sent me this amazing time lapse video of her beautiful country.

Mandy’s in Westmount Delivers!  There’s a bit of a surcharge per item for the pleasure, but avoiding that crowd of jostling women makes it worth it.

Got a spare $23,000?  Check out what it’s like to fly Singapore Airlines Suites.

I think I may have talked about this film before.  It shows what it’s like to be a stay at home mom and makes me cry every time.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

 

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