Thursday, November 20, 2014

.grilled asparagus, zucchini, and haloumi.

one of the things i miss most about my old life now that i'm in this new busy time with the twins and my toddler is the ease of being able to whip up some new recipes for dinner. lately i'm lucky if i can throw in one of the previously cooked meals i made before the babes arrived, so getting a meal actually cooked from scratch is a rarity. however! on one of those rare perfect days where all kids are sleeping, i attempted a couple new recipes and both were absolutely amazing! so much so, that i am going to post them both on here back to back so you can try them at home too.

first one up took a little prep time but was super easy to make. just give yourself some time to get each step done and you won't feel stressed at all. trust me - it is worth the wait and such a crowd pleaser. also! those tomatoes are flipping' to die for!
grilled asparagus, zucchini, and haloumi
[adapted from the ottolenghi cookbook]
12 oz/350g cheery tomatoes, halved
9 tbsp olive oil
24 asparagus spears
2 zucchini
7 oz/200g haloumi cheese, sliced 3/4-inch or 2 cm thick [original recipe called for manouri cheese, but any grilling cheese would work well. i personally love haloumi cheese]
1 1/4 cups arugula
coarse sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
**basil oil [see recipe below]
1] preheat the oven to 325F. mix the tomatoes with 3 tbsp of the olive oil and season with some salt + pepper. spread them out on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper, skin side down. roast in the oven for 50 minutes, until semi-dried. remove from the oven and leave to cool.
2] trim the woody bases of the asparagus and blanch in plenty of boiling water for 4 minutes. drain and refresh under cold water, making sure the spears are completely cold. drain well again, then transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt + pepper.
3] slice the zucchini very thinly lengthwise, using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler. mix with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt + pepper.
4] place a ridged grill pan over high heat and leave there for a few minutes. it should be very hot. grill the zucchini and asparagus, turning them over after about a minute. you want to get nice char-marks on all side. remove and leave to cool.
5] heat the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan. fry the haloumi cheese for 3 minutes on each side, until it is golden. place on paper towels to soak up the excess oil. alternatively, grill the cheese on the hot grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side. 
6] make the basil oil [recipe below].
7] to assemble, arrange the arugula, vegetables, and cheese in layers on a flat serving plate. try to build the salad up while showing all the individual components. drizzle with a much basil oil as you like and serve.
basil oil: 
5 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup basil leaves
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1] mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. keep any leftover oil in the fridge for future salads.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

.they're here.

my boys. 
my sweet twin boys. 
my middle and my youngest children. 

they have arrived and we are enjoying them so damn much.

please let me introduce you to our theodore edward + axel arthur. born on october 5th, 2014, they are truly amazing.
photography || pinksugarphotography

Friday, October 3, 2014

.teaching a toddler.

one of my initial greatest fears while we spoke of adding to our family was making sure jack understood that he was always going to be as loved as he is now [if not more!] and just how special he was always going to be to us. that adding more kids to our family was not going to change our feelings for him in the slightest, but in fact add to our happiness. but how do you teach and explain that to a toddler just learning to talk himself?!

i have no direct answers to this question, but with jack's ever increasing interest in some of my friends newborn babies during playdates, i can't help but feel as though we must be doing something right for our family and in raising him. 

he is loving. he softly strokes their hair and chubby soft cheeks without being prompted. 
he is thoughtful. he brings books to the babies to read and tries to share his cheerios by putting them directly in their mouths [we obviously watch him closely, not too worry!]. 
he is kind. and sits by the babies as though he doesn't want them to be alone.
he is helpful. he brings blankets to cover them and tries to rock them in their bassinets.
and he is playful. sharing his toys and playing peek-a-boo constantly with them.

[note: all of these things above are true. i've witnessed them personally and it amazes me how a 23 month old child can be so loving and so perceptive to a smaller 'mini'. it just blows my mind]

so while it's an ongoing process with a toddler, explaining that very shortly we'll have two babies of our own to love and play with, we're actually having quite a fun time with it. so in case anyone is going through this situation as well, here are some books and activities we play on a regular basis in preparation for our little twins arrival this coming week.

-following in the beautiful andrea's footsteps, i jumped on her weekly book club train and decided to share a few of our favourites to read surprise that with all the baby talk going on in this house, his fav's have all been these 'baby's' books.
rocker babies wear jeans by michelle sinclair colman
the boss baby by marla frazee
everywhere babies by susan meyers
snuggle the baby by sara gillingham [jack's fav!]
babies, babies, babies! by catherine and laurence anholt

games / activities:
-we took jack to ikea one weekend and discovered a large bin of babies for $9! we allowed him to pick out any two babies he wanted to love and take home. he of course choose, two identical boys that look exactly like himself which i found quite amusing and perhaps a sign for what's to come?! jack has loved those two babies immensely the past few weeks and it's been fun watching him put them to bed [in his crib], share his soothers and juice with them, and kiss them 'night night'.
-playdates with other babies! and lots of them! totally helps.
-where's momma's babies? jack loves to peek up my shirt at my ever growing belly and we alway make a fun game of it. it usually ends in plenty of belly kisses for his babies.
-before bed each night, pete and i will throw out a bunch of names and ask jack if he can repeat them and if he likes them. it's always cute hearing him muster through the different names in his little voice and then tell us he likes every single name we say!

and please share! what are you doing with your oldest in preparation for another?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

.so incredibly loved.

dear my two youngest,

yes, it's true. i already love you both more than i knew i could. more than i knew was possible.

and i didn't want you to potentially look back and figure that the lack of posts about you both has anything to do with loving you less than the first time i went through this with your precious big brother.

yes, the majority of my time is spent playing and chasing after jack, and boy does he keep me busy, but i want you both to know that you two are always on my mind as well. it has truly surprised me in so many ways to discover how the same feelings i had the first time around have circled back completely.  and they have felt just as precious and just as special as they did then. all the little kicks and twirls and love jabs you both give me daily is a constant reminder that i have been given this amazing gift...the two of you.

to be honest, at first i was so worried that i couldn't love anyone as much as the love i have for your brother, but boy was i wrong. i feel inertly protective already. i feel that momma bear fierceness for you both. i feel blessed. i feel pleasure in knowing you both are mine. i feel so full of love that i fear i might burst some days.

so while i don't get to spend as much time counting the weeks & days left or verbally sharing the milestones of your growth, i did want you to know that i am privately getting to know you both intimately and quietly and it has been an absolute pleasure. i hope you can feel that, within the roundness of my belly and in the roundness of my full full heart. i hope you both know how much joy you've already brought your new family. your dada, your mama, and your older brother. seriously so much joy.

so there you have it. being the middle and youngest [wow! so neat to be able to say that] of my children, i sincerely don't want you to think you are any less loved or important. because kids, you are   so both.

so important and so damn loved.


Monday, September 29, 2014

.at 33 weeks, with the treb twins.

.at thirty three weeks.
::i officially look like i have two babies in there. sure, i am a little small for twins, but i take my shirt off and - whoa!
::the babies are lying in the worst possible positioning, breach + transverse. which basically means i'll be delivering via c-section if twin a doesn't turn around for me. not ideal.
::the heartburn, people! seriously, i've been put on a prescription for it. lying down, sitting up, walking, talking,'s always present.
:the twiners are chubby little monkeys. 3 weeks ago, they weighed in at 4lbs and 4.3 lbs [70th/80th weight percentile at the time!].
::i hardly wear pants anymore. be warned if you come to my house unexpectedly.
::i am craving caffeine of any sort. probably because i'm hardly sleeping at night, however.
::we bought an extra car seat, crib mattresses, cleaned out the bookshelf in the nursery and filled it with baby trinkets and have washed all of jack's newborn clothes. hurray!
::we also bought jack a "hello, brother" gift from the twins. it's this beautiful wooden pirate fort and i think he'll love it. everything is "piiir" [aka. jack's version of pirate] right now.
::my back feels like it's about to break in half some days. it's not great.
::and twin b loves to continually grind and roll into my ribs, which is something i never felt with jack. and....not great.
::my partner and i officially opened up our online children's boutique and it is going so awesome! such a happy and exciting time for us and i can't wait to see what the future holds!
::we just celebrated my sister and new brother-in-law wed. and it was beautiful. i even stayed till closing time!
::my pantry is about to get a cleaning.
::i basically only have 1 month left to go. whoo hoo!!
::i was lucky enough to spend one rainy & stormy night with the beautiful jessica from out at the lake. she's the one who captured all these gorgeous images [it's all her! i just showed up!] of me and my twin babies and i seriously have a little cry every time i look at them. i will cherish them forever. thank you so much, jessica xx

for those of you who don't think in terms of weeks...this means i'm now about 8.5 months pregnant!