Summer Adjustments

At the start of the summer I came in with all these expectations of late nights, warm days, camp fires, fun and lots of day trips. No more school for Olive and I for these couple months. A chance to do all the things we didn't get a chance to do during the school year. But like most expectations in life, my summer dreams were not even close to the reality. I have found it to be a bit of a process and adjustment these first few weeks of summer to put it lightly.

First week I thought my girls would never get along. First day Maeve punched Olive in the face 3 times. What is happening here!? Finally we got over the hump of them wanting to kill each other and we were hit with the biggest heat wave ever! Now I think I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. A summer both the girls and I can finally get on board with. Lots of swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool, trips to the splash pad, crafts and painting. I'm starting to realize that day trips and museums might actually not be a good fit for my kids after all. They are a nice treat every now and then but they are truly their happiest long term with lower key days. 

Parenting always seems to have a weird way of slapping you across the face and yelling YOU'RE WRONG! I really just have to laugh at this whole adjustment period because it has been something else. So here is to laughing at myself, taking a step back, and just seeing where this summer heat takes us. Oh and lots of ice cream! I hope you're having an easier time transitioning into this wonderful season. What do you fill your summer days with?

Never Said It Would Be Easy

I've been weighing my options of what I want to do a year from now, when my youngest starts school full-time. As I start coming up with ideas, I have noticed a trend; I like a road that is guaranteed. I favor where I know 100% that I can succeed. But that limits me to where I can go and what I can do. What if the thing that is truly my passion could also be where I could possibly come up short? What if I have to fall a million times before a small success? Do I play it safe, avoid the risks? But what is a risk? And as I go back and forth between all the possibilities, I start to realize the only risk I'd be taking is hurting my pride.  That is where my hesitation lies.

My heart has been set on attending Carleton University for Journalism for quite some time now. I have looked into other schools and programs, oddly enough I keep coming back to this one. But it is not just that easy to apply because I don't have the grades to get into the program. There is no worse feeling then feeling like you come up short. It is almost easier to brutally fail than to not be enough. To avoid the heartache, I've done everything to take myself away from that dream. It finally hit me the other day, what would happen if I tried?

So I have enrolled myself back in high school to get my marks up to be competitive enough to get into the program. I think the hard reality is even after I go do all this work to get in, there is still no guarantee I will get accepted. There is still a huge possibility I could come up short again. But life will move on if that happens. I've got other options in place if it doesn't work out. But I am trying! I'm going to admit and say it is a little embarrassing having to go backwards. Nine years go by and I am back. But it is time to remove the stigma around bettering ourselves. Whether it be school or counselling, I have had a lot of discouragement sent my way over these decisions I am making. I just wanted to get on here and talk to those that have been on the fence about making choices like these. Never put down an opportunity to better yourself. I feel like I am giving it 100% not choosing a 100%. So win or lose, I know I have won with a better version of myself. I think that is something worth striving for.

Survival Meal With Walmart

There never seems to be enough hours in a day to achieve everything we set out to do. I say job well done if everyone is fed, clothed and bathed by the end of the day. And as of lately I can't even promise those are going to get done the way they should at my place. It's in these overwhelming places of "I don't know if I can get it all done" that we have to cut ourselves some much needed slack. First thing I think of when I'm looking to cut corners is food! Take-out is not always in the budget. Don't get me wrong I do get that frozen pizza in my grocery cart week after week. But today I am going to share with you my one step up from that go to frozen dish that makes me feel like an absolute culinary queen of the year in my kitchen. 

Thanks to Walmart Canada and the Buzzagent Team I was gifted Great Value pasta sauce and a package of Great Value rotini noodles to give you my opinion on the products. Truthfully I am no stranger to Great Value products in my home. Their price points keep me on budget and most times I prefer their product over some of the other competing brands for the price bracket. So with these two in my hands I thought it would be a fun opportunity to share with you my go to versatile chili. How is chili versatile? First and foremost I can make this dish in bulk and freeze whatever we don't eat, so that's a plus. We use it as a sauce on noodles, sometimes as sloppy joes on buns or even just eat it as regular chili and add some corn nibblets and cheese to give it a little something extra. The other thing that makes chili so versatile is the ingredients you put in it. I will be giving my recipe go to's but feel free to have fun with your own. Swap out for ingredients you enjoy or have on hand, spice to your taste. 

VERSITALE CHILLI

INGREDIANTS LIST

  • Lean Ground Beef (Could substitute for chicken or turkey or go meatless)
  • 1 jar of Great Value pasta sauce
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of black beans (Strained)
  • 1 can of chick peas (Strained)
  • 1 can of lentils (Strained)
  • 1/2 a bag of chopped spinach nuggets
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 package of Great Value rotini noodles (optional)

METHOD

  1. Heat up your stock pot. Throw in meat and onions. Salt and Pepper to season. Brown meat and soften onions. (This is optional could throw in raw. Just a preference of mine to brown the meat.)
  2. Add pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, carrot, zucchini, and any extra seasonings or beans of your choice. (Could hold off straining a can if you prefer a more running consistency)
  3. Set heat to a simmer.
  4. The longer you leave it the better it tastes. I normally will throw it together at noon ready to eat by 5 or 6. (Also crockpot friendly throw everything in set on low for 8 hrs.)
  5. (Optional) Boil water and cook noodles as per package instructions. Strain and serve with Chilli on top.

So there you have it! My super easy chilli that looks like I put a lot more work into it then I did. My family stays fed and full and I look like I care ALOT! My kids love noodles so this works perfectly as a sauce especially for my picky eaters that won't eat straight up chilli. It's a trick that is working for us. So let me know what your survival meal is in your kitchen. Thank you Walmart Canada and the Buzzagent team for letting me try a couple of the Great Value products. They were loved and long gone. Definitely going to be back for more to #MakeItGreat.