week 2. done.

A wise woman once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – Kelly Clarkson

Here we are, day 15 of #whole30november and I’m bringing in the halftime report:

Good news, I am still alive!

Here are 10 Things I learned/feel this week:

  1. Eating out sucks. I ate out for the first time and after frantically scanning the menu, I realized 2 poached eggs and the fruit bowl were the only things I could confidently eat (no cooking oil or weird sauces in my body). *Remember, I don’t eat meat and most fish is grilled or battered at restaurants.
  2. I shifted from thinking less about what I can’t eat and more about what I can. It’s not so bad.
  3. It’s easier to stick with basics. The fancier I get and the more time I put into cooking, the more disappointed I am.
  4. I keep panicking that I am going to forget and accidentally eat something on the no-list.
  5. I have been night-dreaming about failure.
  6. My body feels/looks the same. What does this mean?
  7. Still missing carbs the most but I am also thinking a lot about how I want to shift habits in the new year… Run fast. Eat Slow?
  8. I feel less grumpy and less like a victim than I did during week 1 however, I am also feeling anti-social and lonely. The good news is, I am taking this time to be super-productive at home.
  9. I’d KILL for a day of no cooking, planning or prepping.
  10. 1/2 done. That’s legit.

Unless you find me unresponsive, I will likely make it to the end because I am a very stubborn.

That being said, I think this weekend will be a big challenge. On Saturday, we are all running in the Movember Run, David has a lifesaving competition, and I am going to a DANCE Party and then on Sunday, it’s the year-end pizza party for the Youth Running Series… I will need to pack food and avoid temptation! Wish me luck.

Here is the week 1 report. Let me know how you’re doing.

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week 1. done.

It’s day 8 of #whole30november. One week done!

F**k yes! 

Oh wait, I have 3 more weeks to go…

Here are 10 things I learned so far:

  1. Obviously, I miss sugar and the mountain of Halloween candy in the kitchen is very tempting but what I miss most is convenience. Everything I eat is an effort. Prep, prep, prep.
  2. And almost everything tastes bland, watery… unexciting.
  3. I feel like it’d be more enjoyable if I ate meat. I suck at cooking fish.
  4. According to the Whole30 website, Paleo baking is “like having sex with your pants on” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!? It means it’s cheating.
  5. Dates + eggs  🙌
  6. My body feels the same. Not better. Not less bloated. I can’t say if I lost weight (because I don’t own a scale).
  7. My mental state is worse but I also blame November and the time change for this.
  8. Cauliflower rice and homemade mayo are gross. Spiralizing a sweet potato is hard. And despite what the website says, I am going to drink (and survive on) kale smoothies.
  9. I have a good support team. Sophie and Theresa are way more optimistic.
  10. I was able to go to the movie theatre without popcorn and a group breakfast without a breakfast sandwich.

Although it’s yet to be amazing, there are some good things I’ve already gained from this experience like, I am now excited to snack on clementines and veggies. La Croix fills the wine void, my spiralizer and blender are back in the rotation and I am stronger than I imagined at avoiding temptation. I am also stronger in the arms thanks to the spiralizer.

One final thought… I think this Whole30 thing is a bit of a hoax but I am not quitting yet.

Onward.

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coddled

I spotted these online and could not wait until Friday to show you : Beautiful glass egg coddlers in 4 sizes! 4d134a2d-5309-46b6-9f9a-7e196f5588f0-2016-0119_fortessa_egg-coddler_family_rocky-luten_013I love a good soft poached but the coddled egg is my favourite – my collection of coddlers are the Royal Worcester porcelain cups and I use them frequently when I am feeling particularly fancy.dsc_0394 You can toss anything you want in the coddler but I am a fan of just eggs + a few shavings of a sharp cheddar + dollop of butter + salt and pepper. Make sure you have some slices of dipping bread and do not overcook! Nothing… absolutely nothing, is sadder than a hard coddled egg (except hard eggs benny). dsc_0398 dsc_0401 I suggest bringing a pot to of water (deep enough to cover up to the rim of your coddler) to a boil and plunk them in for about 7-10 minutes. I find it helps to take one out a check after 7 minutes, and even stir things around so the egg cooks evenly.dsc_0402 dsc_0405 dsc_0408

What’s your favourite way to eat eggs?

I will never understand people who put ketchup on their eggs so don’t talk to me about that.

Where’s your favourite breakfast joint?

My all time favourite breakfast ever was at Cheeky’s in Palms Spring (it was so good that we went two days in a row).

Second place goes to the former Jane’s On The Commons – their vegetarian eggs benny was amazing. I’m still grieving the loss however, her daughter’s restaurant Edna, makes a benny so I really shouldn’t whine.

Third place goes to The Coastal Cafe and their Los Huevos Rancheros

And finally, what’s your favourite breakfast?

I will always pick an egg over something sweet like pancakes or waffles at breakfast time.

psst. The first photo is from Food 52 and all other photos are by me.
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baby, baby, baby oooh

Last weekend my sister Erin and I (+ mom) hosted a baby shower for our little sister, Jill.

Newsflash: Jill and Alex are having a baby and I am finally getting a local niece or nephew!!! Thanks guys.

As you may know, I love planning a party so I got to it early on… so early, that I may of leaked the big news to some of her friends accidentally. Busted.

* * *

First up, the invite: And because I truly believe in mailing out invites – I am including a sample of the envelope too. The invitees has custom address labels. Tip: I like to purchase somewhat-related stamps when sending invites! 
Argyle-Baby-Shower Invite Argyle-Baby-Shower Invite2 Argyle-Baby-Shower Invite3Decor: I made a few banners for the party room and the front window. I bought some flowers and pulled out that springy table clothes. Easy! We also had some balloons and raindrop banners outside but again, I forgot to take a pictures. Tip: Buy a cute crib sheet (last photo) and use as a table covering – then give it to the mom when the party is over!Argyle-Baby-Shower BannersArgyle-Baby-Shower3Argyle-Baby-Shower6Argyle-Baby-Shower11Argyle-Baby-Shower13Argyle-Baby-Shower15Favours: This is when Pinterest makes you do things you don’t need to do… like favours for a baby shower. Simple but cute although Mike’s comment was that the popcorn has already popped and I should of filled the bags with kernels. Um, no – not pretty. Tip: Avoid Pinterest and ignore your husband. Argyle-Baby-Shower4 Argyle-Baby-Shower POPcardGames: Erin planned a few games – one being Trivia because Jill is a trivia nut. It’s a fun addition to a party and no one in my house was forced to smell diapers with random brown stuff in them. Tip: Have paper and pens ready to go so your games look legit.

Erin’s Ten Trivia Questions

Q: How many children did Queen Victoria have? Bonus point if you can name one.
A: Nine – Victoria, Edward, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold, Beatrice

Q: Name one of the top three baby girls name in 1916?
A: Mary, Helen, Dorothy

Q: Originally Pampers diapers used pins. In what decade was the pin replaced with Tape?
A: 1970s

Q: What percentage of babies are born on their due date?
A: 5%

Q: In 1928 the Gerber company introduced its first line of strained foods. Name one the first varieties.
A: peas, prunes, carrots, spinach and beef vegetable soup

Q: How much did the heaviest baby born on record weigh?
A: 22 pounds, 8 ounces (Italy, 1955) (Somebody sure  carb loaded!)

Q: In what year did Uncle Jessie and Aunt Becky (from Full House) give birth to twins. Bonus points if you can name them.
A: 1991 – Nicky and Alex

Q: What is a baby owl called?
A: Owlet of Fledging

Q: What Michael Jackson song topped the charts the month Jill was born (May 1983)?
A: Beat It! 

Q: Jill’s baby is due in July. What is the birthstone of this month?
A: Ruby

Food: We had 32 guests from the age of 7 months to 91 years-young! All female, except the dog. We served mimosas, perrier, tea and juice packs for drinks and all of the food was utensil-free. The spread included chocolate and carrot cupcakes made by mom, lemon poppy seed loaf, homemade sprinkle fortune cookies, cheese and charcuterie boards, traditional devilled eggs, beet-pickled devilled eggs, a cheese ball with maple syrup, guacamole, artichoke dip, veggies, a baguette and skewers (feta + watermelon + mint) (bocconcini + tomato + basil) (an idea I got from another baby shower I attended). Tip: If you decided to make homemade sprinkle fortune cookies, be sure to let your guests know you put fortunes in them!Argyle-Baby-Shower1 Argyle-Baby-Shower2 Argyle-Baby-Shower7 Argyle-Baby-Shower8 Argyle-Baby-Shower9 Argyle-Baby-Shower10 Argyle-Baby-Shower14 Argyle-Baby-Shower16So that’s it. Another party over. I said I’d host 12 parties in 2016 and this is party #3. I have to step it up!

My apologies – I got so caught up in serving mimosas and catching up with all the lovely ladies that I didn’t take any pictures at the event BUT as a dedicated blogger / designer / party planner – I got lots of detail shots! Hah. 

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uuni fan

My sister Jill bought a Uuni wood-fire pizza oven. I am pretty sure it was one of those impulsive online purchases but, after Saturday night, I am sure glad she did.

This thing can cook pizza!

Here are the specs from the website – Note: Jill has the first generation Uuni but below is for the Uuni 2S… similar but with a few upgrades including a stone base. Also, Jill ordered her’s from the States and our other sister sherpa’d it across the border:

Extreme 900°F heat
Uuni 2S gets up to 900°F which enables you to cook things really fast. You can make a stone-baked, wood-fired pizza in just 90 seconds! It’s also not just for pizza; you can cook flatbreads, fish, vegetables, steaks or really anything that enjoys short cooking times.

Wood-fired
Uuni is powered by wood pellets which are very energy-dense and inexpensive; they’re like regular wood except compressed. No additives, no hidden extras, just wood. The pellets ignite easily & Uuni 2S takes just 10 minutes to heat up, from cold up to 900°F.

Lasts a lifetime
Uuni 2S is made of beautiful brushed stainless steel. It weathers and ages as you use it, but it doesn’t rust and it just keeps on performing. It’ll make for a key feature in your outdoor kitchen or barbecue area.

Entertainment
Because of the ease and speed of use, Uuni 2S is fantastic for entertaining friends or family. Get the gang together to make their own pizzas and then wood-fire them to perfection in front of their eyes.

We spent the weekend in Pugwash – perfect spring weather and a great opportunity to finally test the Uuni out. It’s easy, fast, portable and fun. The pizzas are amazing – especially the crust.

Here are some pics. It made me want one. How about you?IMG_5319 IMG_5325 Above: Prepping caramelized onions and roasted medallion cut potatoesIMG_5326 Above: The Uuni is table-top friendlyIMG_5328 IMG_5329 IMG_5330 IMG_5331Above: Pierogi Pizza! Sour cream base, thinly sliced roasted potatoes, cheese, chives and a dollop more sour cream on top. IMG_5332 IMG_5333
Above: Nanny came over for pizza too!
IMG_5335
IMG_5337 IMG_5338Above: Simply slide in, close the door, count to 30, open and rotate, count to 30, open and rotate, count to 30 and remove!
IMG_5343 IMG_5350 IMG_5351 IMG_5352IMG_5353

Feedback from the toughest critic, 7-year-old David, who has a very specific pizza palate: “This is better than Salvatores… Next time I want pizza, I am ordering from Jill!”

Oh, and I this is not a sponsor post. I don’t even own a Uuni but it sure is on my wish list! #fangirl

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