Sunday, June 11, 2017

Father's Day & Soccer - Whitecaps Ticket Giveaway

This father's day coming up, I have been contemplating what to get hubby, on behalf of the kids.  Caiden and Rayna are only 2 and 3, so it's hard to think of something outside of painted spiderman pictures, play-doh figurines and crayon-engraved cards.


The Love For Soccer


We love those, but now that Caiden has started playing soccer, for fun, and hubs is, well to really understate it, a soccer fanatic, I thought maybe we should tie something together to do with soccer.

Those of you who know Vick, know his love for the game. How he played as a youth, excelled as one of the top players in BC at his time in his teenage years, but then went on to play at a professional level in Greece for most of his 20s. He has consistently been a part of the VMSL, through playing and assisting in coaching. Although he is retired, soccer is something that has shaped him, showed him the world, and even if our kids do not grow up to play it, it will be always be a something we want to share with them. Something we want them to learn about, be exposed to...the lesson of trying, the beauty and the discipline any passion takes, and the fun of a sport.

Father's Day Whitecaps Game


What better way to say Happy Father's Day than to take him to a soccer game here. Although the kids and us have gone to many games before, I learned that on June 17th, Whitecaps vs. Dallas FC, there is a special Father's Day game. On this day, lucky fans can get a chance to get out on the field and actually take a picture on the field.

As Caiden just started kicking the ball around and discovering how fun soccer can be, I think this is the perfect opportunity to have them go and enjoy, not only the game, but have a unique experience of standing in a field of a stadium together. Something that Caiden will hear about but hasn't seen with his dad yet.

Cute huh?  Nostalgic and precious...and will make a great gift for Father's Day.

If you want to go to this game, and I suggest you do, please visit the link here for tickets.

whitecaps soccer father's day

Ticket Giveaway


I'm so excited to be offering a pair of tickets, and a photo opportunity out on the field for this game!!!  To enter, please click here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Father's Day to all you soccer fans!!!







*I was provided tickets in exchange for this post, however, as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mom's Homemade Turkey Burger Meatballs

Meatballs can be a quick meal option. Other than them just being a cool kid food. 

I make meatballs, because, frankly, I know my kids will eat them. It's easy enough, homemade so I am controlling what goes in, and...oh yeah that's right, tastes freaking awesome.

Thanks Mom!

Before I give you my meatballs recipe, I have to admit...it's not really my own. I may have borrowed it from my mom. You see, my mom always has, and still does, makes the best turkey and/or chicken burgers. Hands down, the best...for real (moms are the best home cooks, so it's ok for me to say that). Soooo, who am I to play with perfection?

Therefore, I simply took her recipe, remixed it just a tad, into meatball form, and stuffed it with cheese...oh yes. Meatballs with cheese, that tastes like moms burgers, and my kids eat! 

Eat Sprout

Now, as you may have known by now, I recently started getting my meat products farm fresh from Sprout Farm Fresh. The reason being:
  • They have organic meat products available
  • The meat is butcher-quality and coming from the farm straight to your door - yes delivered!!
  • Fresh the day of delivery, so higher nutritional profile than those that have been in the freezer
  • Their selection and prices are awesome, and an easy to shop process

I really encourage you all to try this option. Shop or browse by clicking here.

Turkey for the Win!

Ok my meatballs...I chose to make them out of turkey. Turkey is a lean meat, meaning it has less fat than other meats, so generally better for you in that sense. 

Oh I should mention, when I got the meat, 2kg of it, it was delivered neatly packed into 0.5kg bags.  Sealed and ready for storage, or the freezer if needed. Such nicely packed, portioned amounts is ideal for me! It's so easy to store, and defrost, and just saves me having to do it (which, if you have ever packed/portioned ground meat yourself, is far from enjoyable). 

Ok yes, cheese-stuffed turkey meatballs...here we go.

Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs

Ingredients

    Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs
  • 0.5 kg ground turkey meat
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 minced garlic gloves
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 2-3 tsp minced fresh ginger (or grated)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 tsp garlic powder
  • a dash of oregano
  • salt and pepper as desired
  • 3-4 oz. cubed cheddar cheese 
  • breadcrumbs (optional)
  • olive oil, baking spray or parchment paper to line baking tray

Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven at 325°
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs (it's best to just mix with your hands, I think). 
    Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs
  3. Once all combined, test rolling out some in your hand, if you find that the meat is too sticky, add breadcrumbs. Add enough, slowly, to not be very visible, but making the mixture more workable. 
  4. Taking an amount no larger than 1 tablespoon, work into a half dome. 
  5. Add a piece of the cheddar cheese in the middle of the dome.
    Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs
  6. Now roll into a ball, about 1/2 inch size small meatballs, and cover the cheese completely.
    Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs
  7. Place on the baking sheet and back for about 20min. (You will need to check if meatballs are browning, as cooking time will vary depending on the size of the meatballs).
  8. Let cool, serve with salad, pasta, in sauce, or have as a snack (I sometimes serve this simply with some greek style potatoes and veggies). 
Turning Mommy - Turkey Burger Meatballs



*I was provided with product to write this post, however, all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

12 Rice Dishes You Will Flip Your Lid For

Rice. Simple in nature, popular internationally, completely understated rice. 

Rice is so amazing. It is a versatile grain that goes with any protein and vegetables to be made into a perfect meal. Although, I definitely do not, nor recommend to have it daily (I do believe in a versatile diet), I honestly could!

My kids love rice, I think most do. So, it is an easy go to for dinner once in a while. It allows me to mix in key nutrition while filling them up.

I personally opt for parboiled and brown rice. But to make it more interesting, I am always looking to make inventive rice dishes. Typically, being Fijian/Indian, we have rice plain but mixed with daal or curries or chutneys.  Even still, I love one pot meals, and to kick it up a notch with rice. Given, I don't want to just always have it there as a compliment often.

So...

I took to my South Asian Blogger Network friends because they were sure to have some awesome ideas (no I'm not being stereotypical, it's knowing what library to look in), and, BAM!!! They did not disappoint, that's for sure.

Turning Mommy - Rice Dishes One Pot Meals


I rounded some of the, I kid you not friends, best rice dishes...ever!

If you love rice, and need to change it up and make meal ideas, then bookmark or pin this post and try these recipes.

Mom's Homemade Chicken Biryani

Photo Credit: The Write Balance

Photo Credit: Flour and Spice










Bibimbap

Photo Credit: Food Mamma











Roasted Acorn Squash with Goat Cheese, Mushrooms and Rice


Cheesy Chicken and Rice

cheesy chicken rice













Lemon Rice

Photo Credit: Super Urdu Mom










Photo Credit: Flour and Spice














Yum yum yum...which one are you going to try first?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I Finally Decided to Breathe

When I became a mom, I fell so deep in love with this phase of my life that all else didn't matter. Not my relationships with others, not my career, not even my own self. The only thing that mattered was my connection with my child, my child's health (of course) and me being the best mom I could possibly be.

I would read about every recommendation and was on top of all the suggestions (both medical and familial). I was that new mom that rolled into each doctor's appointment with a note with a list of questions.

I was in charge of a rigurous schedule that worked well for my child (because I knew exactly how many hours of sleep they needed and when and why). I counted each hour, with each nap, each day, and if it fell below that minimum, I freaked.

I breastfed exclusively, and mastered every obstacle that came with that (because it was not easy at first for me). I watched the clock and timed every feed and every ounce I would have to leave behind, if I had to leave, and ensured I was back before that amount of ounce per hour saved was up. I took no chances.

Afterall, I was responsible for human life. Fricking HUGE responsibility right?

Yes...but what I failed to realize, what that you know what, I was a good mom regardless. I was a good mom for trying, but that didn't mean I had to be perfect.

Enter child #2. Wow. It's like she was my Ativan. She was the vapourizer, and my realization that I needed to breathe.

While, yes I still monitored her closely, she clusterfed. So, keeping track of how much was nearly impossible, and I didn't even bother to pump...I just took a wrap and her and out the door I went. I did mind her sleep, but I didnt agonize, because I knew she needed x amount and she was getting it, because I listened to her cues vs. A chart only. I didn't always have questions now, but that didn't mean I always had the answers either.

But that was alright.

When Rayna was born, I also had Caiden as  young dependent toddler. They were different in so many ways, that not one set of methods seemed to make sense anymore. I trusted myself, because I felt like a good mom. My babies loved me, and me asking for help, me taking breaks, and me sometimes going with the flow, didn't alter that.

Of course, I have my ways of parenting, and that works for me. But having two different personalities in my kids taught me that you have to do what works for you.

You can listen to a world of advice, but breathing and taking it in, and being true to yourself is key.

All new moms go through a learning curve and some paranoia. But it is perfectly ok. Once you got it...that's just it, you got it.

So breathe moms.

Because you are doing great, no matter how you are doing it.

Sigh.

Monday, April 3, 2017

2 Toddlers, 2 To Watch Grow, 2 That I Cherish

This toddler phase is so amazing. It really truly is.

I mean, well...ok, it is tough. They are at an independence seeking stage, where they want to have their way, throw tantrums occasionally, always on the go, become selective eaters, make you late by not wanting to get dresses, and pretty much stop hearing you call their name or tuning you saying, "please stop that," repeatedly to the point you want to scream...and then you sometimes do. SIGH.

Yes toddlerism is all those things. No doubt.

I have 2 of them. Being 23 months apart, while they love and play with eachother, I do go through 2 sets of little people acting like big people, and wanting their way.

Sometimes I catch myself even pleading with them for 5 minutes of quiet time...and hand them crayons and paper, only to get them to be hush hush for a small fraction of time. Then of course, someone wants the blue crayon and only that one specific blue crayon that the other is using, while the other is trying to eat it. BIG SIGH.

Here is the irony.

As annoying and exhausting as it can be, at times, I catch myself being in total awe.

Yes, I mean that.

I am constantly trying to soak up all this goodness due to my anxiety of just how fast time is going. They won't be this age ever again...they won't always want to sing and dance in their pjs, and they won't always speak in these cute voices totally mispronouncing words like "delicious" or "ok" (which are currently "dishus" and "otay").

I am actually okay with the occasional tantrum or meltdown in the restaurant, or them not wanting to get dressed (notice I say occasional). This is because, frankly they are kids. They are kind of supposed to do all this and go through all this...and hopefully come out half decent. There is no need to stress about why they are being crazy, because they won't always be this little...and I fear I will long for those days again.

So grab your toddlers and go play hide and seek and colour with them, leave the chores once in a while, and just cherish moments when you can.

After all, these critters are not that bad...they are pretty darn fun and we could all use a little fun.

Thank you my babies for reminding me to just stop and "come play me momma."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Easy No-Bake Energy Bites


You know I am always making snacks, ones that are healthy and the kids would love.
With any snack, fibre is a major goal.

Recently, Rayna was bouting some tummy issues. For me, this was super traumatizing watching her be uncomfortable, as well as the fact that I try so hard to give them healthful foods at least 80% of the time. It kind of concerned me that on the odd occasions she may eat something that would send her gut off on this painful course. 

Of course, I may be being a bit dramatic (but food and nutrition are kind of something that I feel I got a handle on, so for me, yeah it's a big deal). 

Anywho, it got me thinking that I want to have home-made snacks on hand for times we have to be on the go, or if I have a meeting to run to and must leave with a sitter, or whatever. Just something trustworthy and healthful yet filling. 

Now, as a bonus, I wanted to create something I would love to eat too...given I'm kind of on the go most of the time. 

I have been seeing the concept of these "energy balls" or "bites" being pretty popular. So, I set off to the kitchen to play with some ingredients I had on hand and test out a few recipes. This was was pretty "rock on" (sorry, Caiden has been saying that lately), and was so stoked I handed them out!

Not only is is fricking jam-packed with goodness and nutrition, it is a fulfilling snack, and gives a little bit of needed energy if you are feeling sluggish.

So give it a go...the kids ate them up, I did, and a few other adults. I think this will be in rotation at my place.

Turning mommy ingredients for energy bites,chia, flax, coconut, nut butter


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp seedibles cinnawow (if you don't have this use ground flax mixed with cinnamon)
2 tbsp desiccated unsweetened coconut
1tsp honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter)
2 to 3 tbsp peach & pear puree (preferably homemade)
1 tsp vanilla

What to do:
Mix everything well, in a medium-sized bowl, by hand is easiest. At this point you can add in additional items you wish to (see the notes for some ideas). 

Cover and chill in your refrigerator, for 20 minutes.

Take out and roll into small balls (about 1/2 inch balls).

Chill again for 15 to 20 minutes, just to set shape.

Enjoy.
Energy Bites a healthy snack



Notes:
  • To make puree at home: Peel and cut 1 Bartlett Pear, 1 peach, add about 2 tablespoons of water and blend away. 
  • Optional add-ins: dried cranberries, crushed nuts, yogurt chips, dark chocolate bits, raisins, pumpkin seeds, chopped up dates...
  • It's up to you what vanilla you use, I couldn't wait to use the vanilla I got from Mexico...honestly it was delicious!
    Turning Mommy - Mexican vanilla

Monday, March 13, 2017

I love the way you talk.

Isn't it amazing how quickly kids pick up language, words, and even emotions?

It's dope.

Turning Mommy: Babies Talking


The process of learning how to talk is so fascinating to me, not to mention it is so beyond cute to hear baby-voiced words.

Rayna is such a talker these days. She has mastered the art of stringing together sentences and it is so adorable. The best is when I ask her to do something her reply is "otay momma." Or if she is looking for her dad or brother she says, "hey, where dadda tho" (tho is baby talk for go, FYI). And if she is in her diva, bossy, queen bee mode, we hear, "Caiden, come here right NOW," signaling her brother to come play with her.

Whatever she is saying, I honestly melt inside. Either it's cracking me up, or it is soooooooooo cute.
Sometimes, I cannot believe I have two communicating toddlers. The beauty of it really is watching them interact and tell each other what they want to do...I have to step back and allow myself to fall deeper in love with every moment like these.

The other day, Caiden said to me let's plag hide and seek. So we did. Rayna and I went to look for him and he hid in a small opening between his 2 wardrobes. When Rayna yelled, "I see you Caiden" his response was a cool, "no you cannot, I am camouflaged."

What!! CAMOUFLAGED YOU SAID??? You are 3! Floored me. I think I was in elementary when I learned to talk like that. Never mind he tells me my food is delicious and that somethings are ridiculous...yes my 3-year old's vocab is killing me. 

All of their talk is something I want to remember. I try to record things, but the truth is...they are growing. Growing daily is a beautiful yet scary thing for me. One day both will lose this baby voice, cute way of speaking...and I will probably ask them to shut-up.

So my friends, if you, like me, are at this stage with your kiddos. Do cherish it. I love it. Love it so much, I can cry.

It's things like this that solidify why I choose to spend as much time as I can, when I can, with breaks of course, with these 2 chatterboxes.

I love the way they talk...the crying, let's be honest, I could do without. ;)