What's for supper - soup edition

I’m on a quest to make soup once a week through this fall/winter. Ambitious? Probably. But my kids love soup, any kind it seems. It feels good to pack a whole bunch of healthy yummy goodness in there that I know they will eat without complaint (humble brag they are actually pretty good eaters). But any homemade meal they devour and ask for more of is a good one in my opinion!

 Chef Du jour

Last week I made turkey soup for the first time - broth and all. Matt made his first turkey for thanksgiving at his parents place and turkey-fest ensued. For the rest of the week we had leftover turkey dinner, turkey sandwiches, and the turkey soup.

I prepared the broth using the turkey carcass on Tuesday and made the soup on Wednesday. Threw in some onions, carrots, celery, thyme - whatever we had on hand, and some shredded turkey of course. Added some tri-coloured animal shaped pasta just for fun and it was a hit. I didn’t take any pictures while I cooked, except for the final product.

It dawned on me on the drive home from a trip to the apple orchard on Sunday that we’d planned our meals for the week and bought the groceries but didn’t plan for a soup. I was failing my challenge already! I thought about the groceries we had and remembered one I made last fall, curried carrot and apple. With plenty of apples in the trunk and a bag of carrots and chicken broth (leftover and unused from thanksgiving) in the pantry at home, I knew I’d be able to prepare this one without an extra trip to the store. So curried carrot and apple soup will accompany the buddha bowls we are eating tonight.  

 Voila!

Daunted by the thought of making homemade soup? Don’t be - it’s so easy. It requires a little forethought so you have time to allow the soup to simmer, that’s the only time-consuming aspect. Once it’s on the stove you’re handsfree! If you’re pressed for time when making dinner, prepare your soup on the weekend or an evening and save it in the fridge for a couple days or freeze it for later.  You won’t regret it!

Let’s see how well I do on my weekly soup challenge!



Update

Welcome to my new website! I’m building something more current, more clean and more my own. I’m switching from wordpress to my own site using SquareSpace. Construction is slow as I am learning to build this website as I go but I hope with a little perseverance everything will be in its place in no time, and I’ll soon be smoothly up and running with a functional website and lots of current content. 

I am still plugging away at bringing over all my past blog posts from the old blog site (https://heatherfegan.wordpress.com/). I had no idea how many posts I wrote in two years! Often two a week for many months until I slowed down in the spring of 2015 and then stopped altogether in the summer of 2015. Probably around the time I went into early labour 11 weeks before Rosie was due (held on 9 more weeks before she made her debut!). And from there life raced on. Be sure to scroll down for all the posts from the early days. I still can't believe I started posting content four years ago! 

I’ll continue to bring the posts over until everything is here. I don’t want any of my work to go to waste. Lots of the blog posts are timeless and relevant and I can share those fun “from the archives” posts on social media! I'm sad past comments and discussions will be lost but looking forward to the future and where this website takes me. Of course, my portfolio section of the site is up-to-date with all my freelance work, if you want to check out my articles and book reviews (with more coming very soon!). At the same time, I’ll be adding new, regular posts and updates as I rev this website back to life.

Thanks for dropping by and come back soon! 

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A whirlwind weekend away

Last weekend Matt and I popped up to Ottawa for a quick weekend away to join in the festivities celebrating my brother’s retirement from the military. No, I am not old enough to have a brother who is retired but he is the oldest sibling and I am by far the youngest, with 15 years (and two sisters) between us (surprise!). He served 33 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and will now transition to new adventures as a civilian.  

My mom and dad drove via the outlets in the states with my sisters in the backseat. I opted out of the middle seat (though an old school family road trip would have been… interesting) and enjoyed a luxurious kid-free flight complete with wine (yay, Porter!). We absolutely love travelling with our kids. Between the two, they’ve been down south, to Toronto multiple times, Ottawa, California, Florida and as far as Italy and it’s all gone well so we plan to keep going. But travelling sans kids is really a treat. Suddenly I don’t mind the lines and the wait times, especially with a hot coffee (or glass of wine) and a magazine or good book in hand. Or some uninterrupted conversations with my husband. Can you imagine?!  But still. It is so much work to get away.

I had to felt the need to make sure the house was tidy and organized for my in-laws to stay a night with the kids (which included having all the laundry not just washed but also put away), pack a bag for the kids to then spend the weekend chez the in-laws, pack ourselves, and also coordinate the dog for a weekend of being boarded out of town. Phew. Long gone are the days of throwing my stuff in a bag and being ready to go. With kids in tow or not, all of the things still need to be done.

Of course it was worth it. A lot of drinks, late nights and fun. We missed the girls the entire time and came home exhausted. I thought I was coming home for a rest, ha ha! We are a bit slow on the uptake this week but the bags have all been unpacked. The laundry's been redone. The dog is home. Without a blink we’re back in the thick of our new weekly school routines.

Maybe our next kid-free weekend away should be spent at a spa...but of course there are still all of those things to be done. For now, the wheels keep on churning and the coffee keeps on brewing!


A Monday musing

 An amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!

An amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!

I will always eat the damn cupcake. Indulge in a glass of wine. Scream for ice cream. I also love green smoothies, roasted veggies and avocado-anything. Life for me is really all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation. Life is short. No one’s getting out alive and yes while we should all strive to be our best selves and manage a balanced healthy lifestyle and live our best life it also has to be a life that we enjoy. That’s the key here. Our own best life. Not the best life. Not a life of comparisons. My best life happens to be one that includes cupcakes, wine and ice cream, among other indulgences. If cupcakes, wine and ice cream aren’t your jam, that’s fine! But if treating yourself makes you happy, don’t deprive yourself. Be sensible, know when to rein it in, balance it out but say yes to the things that makes you happy.

If steering clear of all of life’s wonderful temptations brings you joy, I don’t believe you. If you’re over-indulging all the time without that moderation, it’s safe to say you probably aren’t going to feel very well.

You see, for me it’s entirely plausible that at any given moment I can wind up really sick. In a hospital bed attached to IV’s and nasal gastric bypass tubes and doctor mandated ‘No solid food or fluids by mouth’ orders for days on end and that is entirely out of my control, whether I’ve over-indulged, under-indulged or nailed the moderation just right. I live my life with this notion at the back of my mind. This very day two years ago I was in the midst of a hospital admission with a bowel obstruction. I genuinely thought it was just the same stomach flu my husband had, which it probably was and spun into a full blown Crohn’s flare. I missed my daughter’s third birthday (still feel extreme mom-guilt) and an extended family vacation to New England for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary (after I made their own exclusive newsletter and everything. We had personalized t-shirts. Train ride tickets. A hotel we couldn’t get refunded, jerks. I’m not bitter. Nope. Not at all.)  Those who know me well know I suffer from strong FOMO. That was a hard one to handle, that round. It’s why I rarely decline an invite. Because who knows, maybe next time it won’t be my choice to decline, but my health’s.

All this to say you just never know how it’s all going to play out. No needless suffering over here. If I want it, Imma gonna have it. Live for the moment, just do it, enjoy it, no regrets, insert all the cliches.

And it’s totally how I am justifying this amazing plain-old-for-no-good-reason Monday Margarita!


A tale of time, part 2

I came across this meme the other day and it really spoke to me. Because it is SO true.

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What did I do with all of my time pre-kids? No, seriously. I should have been accomplishing a lot of really grand and really great things. I was working a lot more I suppose. Volunteering. Fundraising. Television-watching. Drinking. Well, I still do the television and drinking things (less TV, more drinking).  

But this saying also goes to pre-two-kids me. Based on my last, oh-so-long-ago post, I thought I was so busy with one kid and an older dog and baking cupcakes and party planning and writing. ‘Oh, I have NO time’ was my complaint. But when I look at life now, and the speed it’s been hurtling the last two years, and compare it to back then, I had SO much time.

Or so I think now. Perspective is a funny thing. I thought I had no time at all and yet I’ve added so much more to my plate. While what I want to say is “ok, now I really have no time…”  Guess what. No more “no time” excuses. It’s become clear to me that I will make time for what I want to make time for. Things will shift, space will expand and shrink to naturally make room for what we need or want (or don’t need or want) to accomplish. In a couple years I bet I will take stock of what I’m doing, look back and think, “Why did I think I was so busy? I had TONS of time back then!” And so it goes.

My commitment now is to make productive use of what time I do have. And to make an effort to make time for all I want to achieve, and I have few things up my sleeves. The fact it’s been two years since my last post is terrifying, but to be fair, I have been very busy! I’ll give myself credit for that.  But I do feel like I’m coming out of the other side of a very busy season of my life. A hands-on, don’t-have-time-to-sit-down-and-can’t-get-away kind of busy. Now it’s time to refocus and accomplish some goals. Hope you’ll join me for the ride!

Life update! Since my last post we... 

  • -had another baby!
  • -staged our home & put it on the market
  • -moved out for three months
  • -sold our house and bought a new one
  • -moved to the new house 
  • -embarked on a complete kitchen reno and installed a second bathroom
  • -traveled to California, Italy, Toronto (twice!), Florida, NYC (twice!), North Conway, Ottawa, Quebec City
  • -endured 3 (!) week-long hospital admissions (not counting the c-section for baby #2)
  • -the epic summer of 2017
  • -got a new puppy