I believe that introducing kids to chapter books around 5 prepares preschoolers to kindergarten. The key is finding the right chapter books for their age. What I look for is the right combination of illustrations mixed with an engaging storytelling. The stories have to be easy to comprehend and bring educational values. My son and I read four books from this early chapter book series so far. The Greetings from Somewhere series by Harper Paris check all the boxes. Continue Reading
I embarked in a journey to simplify my life. One journey that is filled with what matters to my happiness and to the happiness of my family. One journey that made me reconsider the amount of stuff we buy. One journey towards getting rid of the things I don’t use or enjoy anymore. One journey surrounded by what makes my life better.
Simplify my life starts with the everyday. Like many of you, looking for stuff in our home or the mess are a source of small family disputes. They are unnecessary irritants in our life. The solution: finishing up the little things that bother us and tidying our home once and for all. Continue Reading
Whether it is for a business presentation or going on a family vacation, being organized makes your life easier and so much enjoyable. Over the years, I compiled a checklist of beach essentials filled with stuff that brings us comfort, protects from the sun and will not overload our car trunk. Whenever it is possible, I select double-duty items. I organized my checklist by purpose. Continue Reading
We sometimes forget that our little ones have a busy life. They have a lot of fun at daycare but, like you, having a break from their weekly routine is beneficial for them. Why should we confine their vacation time to summer?
My husband and I are both entrepreneurs. We need time off a few times a year, not just in summer. We use that time to recharge our body and free our mind. We usually spread our vacation time over the year. I believe that our toddler boy feels the same. Continue Reading
Inspired by the Romotow concept, I continue my search for modern looking holiday home with a small footprint. Personally, I prefer a smaller place because it requires less maintenance. Since sleeping in a tent for several days in a row is not what I have in mind when I want to relax, I like to explore how small you can get to be comfortable as a family.
I intend for a summer filled with sunny picnic at the park. So far, the weather does not collaborate with us. The sun shines during the week and the rain troubles our weekend. And then, it hits me. Why not have a picnic supper on a weekday, instead? I could pack everything in the car before I pick my husband up at work on my way to my son’s daycare. We will be ready to drive to a nice picnic spot in the city. Continue Reading
Technology touches every aspect of our life. Here is a company that makes our life better. Withings redefines how we use technology at home by creating smart products and smart phone apps to take care of yourself and your loved ones in a fun and innovative way. Because we reached swimsuit time, I taught that you might be interested by tools that can help you look and feel better on the beach.
Two years ago, my husband bought me the predecessor of the WS-50 scale because I was concerned at 9 months pregnant about how fast I would lose the pounds. Being a geek, he bought us something more than a scale. Jerome got the Wireless Scale WS-30. He bought us cutting edge technology that automatically tracks the weight, body mass index and fat-lean ratio of every member in our family. Continue Reading
It’s time to write my post-mortem. First, I shortened my weekly meal planner experiment by 2 weeks because I learned nothing new from the last two weeks. When I started this little experiment my hope was to add more recipes to my repertoire, and to start planning ahead. Let’s see how I did point by point.
Adding new recipes to my repertoire. I tried a few new recipes. But with a toddler and a busy schedule, it proved to be harder than I originally thought. For one thing, the fact that Zack is neither a fan of chicken nor steak reduced my choices. Several new recipes that inspired me where either too long or require ingredients that are normally found at the grocery store. This leads to planning ahead. Continue Reading
My meal planning was business. I wished that I could report a new recipe but it didn’t happen. So, you will see many common faces on last week’s menu:
- Monday: What was in my pantry dictated what we ate that night. I served spaghettini with a garlic, olive and tomato sauce topped with freshly ground Parmesan.
- Tuesday: I made what is comfy food in my home: my spicy Italian sausages with vegetables one pot dish.
- Wednesday: Zack’s appetite was really back. He adored my scaloppine al limone. I originally planned to serve Brussel sprouts but the ones at the grocery store had seen better days. I relied on my trusted asparagus and rice for completing my menu. Zack had chocolate one or twice before. He was delighted at his first bite of Dixies from Laura Secord. This crunchy pecan pieces and chewy caramel covered in milk chocolate is delicious!
- Thursday: A friend offered that we exchanged babysitting duties to each have a night out. Therefore, Zack had a little friend over for Valentine’s Day. For the occasion, my husband cooked a kid-pleasing meal: sloppy joe. I made for us an arugula and spinach salad.
- Friday: We were due for some spicy shrimps. We each ate a bowl of stir-fried prawns and noodles from “Off the Shelf: cooking from the pantry” by Donna Hay. For dessert, we had more Dixies, thanks Laura Secord who sent Zack a box as a Valentine’s gift after they heard that he loves them so much. A big thanks to Katia and Laura Secord!
- Saturday: My husband and I celebrated a friend’s birthday at a French restaurant while my toddler went to dinner at an Asian restaurant with my mother-in-law.
- Sunday: I craved for a simple winter meal. We ate a Chinese fondue with cauliflower and button mushrooms.
That was it!
Valentine’s Day has a special twist this year in my home. It is the first time that we made valentines for my son’s daycare classroom.
Since Zack is still too young to enjoy yet mass producing cards, we ordered classroom Valentine’s cards last month from Tiny Prints. We selected the Truckloads of Fun because Zack is really into transportation vehicles these days. We used his official daycare picture, in his uniform, for the photo. The picture was taken last October. When I look at him now, I can’t believe how much he transformed from a baby face to a little boy face. Continue Reading
My little experiment on recording what we eat for dinner continues. Last week was special because my toddler was sick for half of the week. He ate bread and chicken soup several nights in a row. I am glad that he now has regained his appetite.
Here is what we ate for dinner last week:
- Monday: After a morning of running errands and an afternoon filled with accounting duties, I welcomed the comfort of a simple healthy meal. I paired boiled green beans and Brussel sprouts — topped with butter — with the Dijon mustard steelhead trout fillets cooked by my husband.
- Tuesday: I had a craving for chicken and couscous. I cooked a her early Donna Hay cookbook titled Flavours. It a grilled lemon chicken breasts on a bed of almond, sage, lemon and caper couscous salad. If you don’t own the cookbook, have a look at Emily’s Culinary Adventures. Emily shared how she makes the recipe.
- Wednesday: We ate a cheese fondue with an assortment of charcuterie (Grison beef and prosciutto), sweet onions, sour onions and sour gherkins.
- Thursday: I went to a concert that night. Since I was in a hurry, we ate pasta with a ready-made sauce.
- Friday: It was sushi night.
- Saturday: Since we were at the ski cottage, I cooked a simple meal. We grilled steelhead trout fillets with a touch of Dijon mustard and oil live on top. Rice and grilled asparagus were our side dishes. For dessert, we ate a delicious apple and cranberry pie from a local bakery.
- Sunday: Since we arrived from the ski cottage at a time where the grocery store would be full, we ordered pizza. Our usual place is closed on Sunday. We ate it with a Greek salad.
I will continue this experiment until the end of the month.
+ sourcing: Celeste Dinnerware at Crate & Barrel