Friday, November 18, 2011



When they've finished reading, Olivia's mother gives her a kiss and says, 
"You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway."
And Olivia gives her a kiss back and says, 
"I love you anyway too."

Olivia by Ian Falconer

(My current favorite children's book, actually we ALL love it. Jared and I laugh our way through the clever words and illustrations. Kilmeny loves it because, well, perhaps she identifies with Olivia? Great book, definitely recommended!)

lately we've been busy...

... doing a little winter decorating

.... a little snuggling on the couch, enjoying the (sometimes!) quieter pace of winter 

....a lot of coffee drinking

....because someone's been doing a lot of growing and changing (and because we can't stop talking or creating at night....)

...a little crocheting and lots of 'helping' mummy while mummy learns patience and grace

What have you been doing lately? =)

Monday, November 14, 2011

capturing the moments

I took my girlies to the park the other day. It had been one of those days filled with all sorts of lovely moments that make me feel so glad to be a mum and to be able to spend all my days at home with my girls but then it escalated into one of those other days. You know, the ones filled with all sorts of un-lovely moments where everything happens at once and you feel like you
I must get out before anything else happens and once Kilmeny is in the stroller and Khaira is in the Ergo, I walk and I walk and my prayers begin to be more of a conversation rather then short bursts of frustration. 

I walked around the block and through the park, over the bridge and along the water. It was at the gloaming, the magical hour of the day where it isn't still day and isn't quite night. There was a nip in the air and a slight mist as if the clouds were deciding to dump a deluge of water and chose a sprinkle instead. 

We walked past the playground and I decided to go in. Yes, it was getting dark. Yes, it was chilly. Yes, I could have gone home and prepared supper. But I knew that we would only have a few such evenings left before the snow fell and I wanted to have that moment at the playground. 

Kilmeny was in her element. She ran all over the play structures, even the 'big kid' ones that she normally isn't allowed on. I felt like the best mum in the world when I saw her smiles and heard her absolute delight. And oh, that day became so much more then just the mundane 'mum at home'. I snuggled my Khaira-baby close and I snapped some moments, trying to capture everything.

And I remember why I love being a mum. It's the hardest and the most rewarding thing I have ever undertaken. 
Every day there is beauty and moments that beg to captured. And so I count the gifts, I snap the moments, and I write the words. But mostly I just live. And I write the stories on my girls' hearts.

When  Kilmeny kisses Khaira and says 'wuv you'. 
And  Khaira smiles and smiles at Kilmeny singing. 
 And Kilmeny dances to new Christmas music.
Khaira talks and laughs and oh, what a happy, content baby she is. 

 And when both girls are crying and the kitchen is a mess and if I could just have a few minutes of quiet and no one needing me....and I can't. 
When I get frustrated and impatient and they don't know what to do with mummy and I hug my girls close to quiet myself. 
When it's almost bedtime and there are jammies to be worn and diapers to be changed and isn't it time yet?
When I snuggle on the couch with my jammie-clad babies and we read stories about Pooh and Peter Rabbit and I realize that nothing is as important as where I am right now. 

 This is my life. And it is beautiful.

What beauty are you embracing today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 on 10 - the first edition


Ten on ten: a picture every hour for ten (non-consecutive in my case) hours on the tenth of each month. Inspired by Rebekah, at  A bit of Sunshine

Yes, it is the eleventh but that's how I'm rolling this month. Uploading and publishing the post wasn't going to happen last night so it's happening today instead. 

:: goodbye kisses for Daddy
:: good morning, beautiful baby....yes, indeed it was an hour later giving me a little bit of time to get my day organized before launching full out into it with both girlies
:: the remainder of blanket time
:: Kilmo's slightly obsessed with the camera, preferring to 'help' me then pose for me
:: Kilmeny enjoying some music while the vacuuming gets down
:: tummy time with Pooh Bear books
:: roasting the pumpkin
:: playground time in the gloaming
:: Khaira-baby all snuggy and sleepy during supper prep
:: pumpkin soup for supper

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 easy (and somewhat healthy) lunches

It's a common dilemma. Mealtime is fast approaching and you're trying to figure out what to make for lunch while keeping the toddler out of mischief as well as interacting with the baby. The dishes are still piled from breakfast and after cutting, coring and simmering apples all morning, you don't feel all that creative or motivated to make lunch. 

Or maybe that's just me.

We had leftovers for lunch. It was quick, healthy and simple to prepare. 
I try to have to a menu plan for suppers and a general plan for breakfast but lunches often escape me. 

Here's my list of ten lunches that work well if you're feeding a toddler, yourself or anyone else. 

Hummus and corn chips. 
This is the best recipe I have come across and it's super easy. My Kilmo-girl loves it and it's one of the few meals that she can eat completely with her hands. Add some carrot sticks or cucumber slices for further dipping and eating fun. Buy red, blue or white corn chips. Que Pasa is the brand I always buy and love because the corn is not genetically modified and the oil is cold-pressed. I feel great about feeding it to my family as well as making the conscious choice with my food. 

Whole wheat pancakes with homemade fruit compote
Pancake batter lasts for awhile in the fridge so you can make up a batch and serve it up several times. The whole wheat flour gives a nutty flavor to the pancakes as well as having fiber so you are full and have energy for the rest of the day. I love to top the pancakes with a fruit compote, the natural sugars of the fruit really shine and give a sweet taste without having too much sugar. Compotes keep in the fridge really well and can also be used to flavor yoghurt or top oatmeal.

I love soup. It is one of my favorite meals to prepare and eat during the autumn and winter months. Minestone, chicken noodle, clam chowder and hamburger vegetable are a few of my favorites. They all freeze well and can be warmed up for lunch after a busy morning. 

Boiled eggs and muffins
 Making a big batch of muffins along with a pot of soup has been added to my weekly routine. I love the flexibility muffins offer, they can be served up for breakfast, lunch, supper or snacks. I make mine with whole wheat flour and skimp on the sugar so they're more of a whole food then a dessert. This time of year I love pumpkin and apple muffins. Kilmeny loves this kind of lunch since it is eaten with her hands and whatever she doesn't eat at lunch gets served up for a snack. 

Bean and rice dip with corn chips

This is one of those meals that just came together on a whim and I've continued making it. Each time it's a little different and that's part of the beauty of cooking. Basically it's equal parts cooked kidney or black (or both) beans (I cook the beans  until they are quite soft and start to get mushy) and rice, enough salsa to give it a good dipping consistency, fresh cilantro (this is what makes it pop), and some cheese. I've used both cheddar and feta with great taste results. It's also yummy without the cheese making it a good non-dairy lunch. Add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve with corn chips. This also freezes well and thaws quickly making it a great quick meal or snack or oh-my-goodness-I-forgot-to-make-you-a-lunch option for your husband.  Who, me? 

 And my favorite option. Quick and simple. We often have little bits left over from the night before that satisfy both Kilmeny and I and my fridge doesn't have (too) many containers of random food.  

What would you add to the list?

Monday, November 7, 2011


I started this little tradition last year when I turned twenty-five. I shared 25 things about me. It was fun and also illuminating to me as I actually sat down and listed some of my dreams, opinions and just fun trivia. I thought it would be a fun little tradition to continue, if for no one else's sake but my own. To see how I've changed and what new things I list. 

Birthdays have always been an interesting time of year for me. For quite a long time I have written a journal entry on the eve of my birthday reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new year. Sometimes I set goals, sometimes I don't. And so last night, I grabbed a few minutes while Jared put Khaira to sleep to write about my 25th year; all the experiences and twists our journey has taken, the struggling and the fighting for joy, the sheer beauty of each day. There was so much beauty. It colored everything, even the hard bits and there were a lot of hard bits last year. 

So here you go, ten things about Breanne.
( I decided that I would make it an even ten each year else it could grow to be quite the list over time!)

1. I adore children's books and love that I now have an excuse to linger long in the children's library.

2. I try to see the beauty in each day, even when the day seems like a royal mess.

3. I have a wanderlust. International destinations make me giddy inside even though I resist change when it comes.

4. I love to decorate and set the atmosphere in our home through decorating. 

5. I love shopping at farmers' markets and locally owned, unique shops.

6. My two girls bring me more joy and delight then I could have ever imagined. 

7. My husband is my best friend; he watches chick flicks with me, listens to me talk on and on, lets me cry and encourages me to dream. And buys me the most incredible birthday gifts...but that's another story for another time. ;-)

8. I love long, one-on-one talks

9. Someday I would love to own and run a children's bookstore, just like in You've Got Mail

10. I am delighted by the simplest of things....leaves falling, a flower, watching my girls, time with family and delicious food.

And, because I'm all about lists these days, what are some things about you that not many people know?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

surviving the crunch

My house is quiet and reasonably tidy. It's the first time since 7:00 this morning it's been like this and it's the last time until about 8:00pm that it will be like this.

Quiet. And somewhat tidy.

I love it. It's a little re-charge time for me as I have made it through what I call the first crunch time of the day. 
I give myself three cheers as I close the door on Khaira, sleeping away, all snuggled up and looking adorable. 

(I cheer internally, of course. I just got both girlies to sleep, I'm not waking them again!)

It's that last hour of the morning where Khaira needs to be fed and Kilmeny's reaching the end of her happy limit and there's lunch to be made and the weekend plans to be firmed up and my brother texts me a question and I try to finish up going through the girls' clothes before Khaira wakes up. 

 I have to have a plan. Some days it's more elaborate then others and other days, I feel great if I just make all three meals or at least have a game plan for supper. 

Here's part of my plan.

Simple lunches

 It's basically almost always leftovers. At least once a week I make a big pot of soup. Especially in the cooler weather. We eat it for dinner one night, I freeze a meal's worth for another night and I serve up the rest for lunches throughout the week. 

And my other little thing that helps during this busy time. 

I eat lunch after my girls are in bed. 

I serve up a bowl of chicken noodle soup, grab a muffin from last night's dinner and head to the computer. I browse facebook for a few minutes, maybe read a few blogs, browse a little on Pinterest and occassionly write a little on here. A friend shared how she did that and I was like 'brilliant'. It works for me during this season and I'm actually able to enjoy my food and savor it rather then having it lukewarm as I put the binky back in Khaira's mouth and help Kilmeny finish up eating. 

I try to limit my screen time so that I can get a rest (ideally, of course. After all this is real life)  in before the girls wake up so that we can all be happy when Jared gets home. 

I know we all have crunch times, its not just a mum thing, it's part of this dance called life.

So, tell me how do you handle crunch time?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Embracing the Imperfection

because sometimes life is just beautiful in spite of all the busyness and clutter 

Also known as 'embracing my life'

I just read an inspiring blog post by one of my (current) favorite bloggers,Tsh Oxenrider. It was titled Imperfection. Instead of filing it away to read when I had some free quiet time, I read it right away. And oh, how I could identify. Seriously, who can't identify with imperfection. 

We all I strive for perfection. In almost every area of my life. And I don't ever make really make it to perfection. I simply can't. If I could learn this instead of using so much energy trying to be perfect, I would be happy. 

Imperfection = real life

I talk a lot about enjoying and living in the moment mostly because I need the constant reminder. Actually a lot of what I write about is because I need the reminder. That life is happening, this is the moment to be embracing. Even if I don't feel like it.

In her post, Tsh made a list of things she doesn't do and then she invited people to chime in with things they don't do. 
I loved it. In a rare moment, I actually read all the comments. And that was refreshing. 

So I thought I would do the same type of thing. Not in a-how-long-is-your-list sort of way or trying to compare in some weird way, but just to be real. And, hey, it's refreshing to do so. To realize that perfection really doesn't exist. Not at all. No one's house or family or life is perfect. 

And that sometimes you need to forgo the vacuuming and lie on the floor with both your girlies, read them books and tickle their little tummies until you are all laughing. 

Here's my list:

I don't dust. I just forget about it until I'm decorating/ putting papers away etc. And I notice how bad it actually is. 
I don't bathe my girls every night. 
My floors often only get cleaned when we're having company. Or my husband does it. 
I don't like eating breakfast. I only do it because I'm nursing. I much prefer to nosh on something around 10am. Something bread-ish and sweet-ish with coffee. 
I don't like talking on the phone. I put it off till I have to do it. Unless it's one of my sibs or my Mum, then I like it. 

There's my list, what's yours?


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