Thursday, December 11, 2014

The most embarassing recipe ever

So recently I was watching the Food Network and noticed that a show I'd seen in the States before, Southern at Heart with Damarias Philips, is now airing here. Which is great because sometimes it seems like the US line up is way better than the Canadian. The host was describing a "pot de creme" recipe using common household ingredients and it sounded awesome. So I memorized it, made it, ate it, and loved it. And I absolutely couldn't wait to share with you! Except... it's the most embarassing recipe ever. It is neither healthy, nor classy, nor culinarily accurate, nor the type of thing you want anyone to know that you made. That being said, it looks and tastes like perfection. So make it! Make it over and over. But never let anyone catch you!

TOTALLY EMBARASSING CHOCOLATE POT DE CREME

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
3 T sugar
1 T vanilla
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 cup chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, warm up the first 7 ingredients, whisking til smooth. Keep the mix on medium to medium-low until small "simmering" bubbles appear, then turn off the heat. Whisk in the chocolate chips. When it has cooled just enough to not instantly heat-smash the glasses you want to serve it in, pour each serving into its own glass and let cool for a few hours. Top with whipped cream and berries if desired.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Returning to Work for the Second Time

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Well, it’s official, for the second time around I am a working mama. I returned to my job at the hospital a couple weeks ago and it’s actually been a smooth transition.
The first time I returned to work after being off for Oliver’s maternity leave I scheduled myself back after 10 months of leave so that Calvin would stay home for our final 2 months of leave. Having him at home with Oliver was such a load off of my mind and was also very convenient to drive to and from work without worrying about a babysitter. I always knew that Ollie was safe at home with his dad and could even keep specific foods ready for them, crafts planned, etc. It made going back so easy. Also, at the time I was only working 4 hour shifts, 5 days a week, so I could nurse him once in the morning before work, then immediately upon getting home, and not miss a nursing session. He was a decent solids eater and did pretty well with the transition of not seeing me 24/7. When Calvin returned to work, when Oliver turned 1, we scheduled “fun with Grandma” days when Calvin and I were both working. We also had a number of amazing women/friends from church help with watching him.
Having two children now it really is a different ball game. Whoever agrees to watch the children is now taking on an energy-filled three year old and a spirited 10 month old: not an easy task. It also ups the expense greatly if day care is considered. This time, Calvin and I have again gone with the 10-month-2-month split for maternity leave, so he is currently home until the end of January when Dakota turns 1. (Well, I’ll let him leave the house sometimes…)
Now I am working 10 – 12 hour shifts, a few days a week, on an inconsistent pattern. It definitely has pros and cons. On one hand, there can be many days in the week that I’m home with the family and we can spend time, get little house tasks done, go on fun road trips, etc. However, 6am to 6pm is a long time for kids to be away from their moms (especially breast fed!) and it’s a long time for me to be away from them too. Calvin will periodically send me emails to reassure me that everyone is doing great and it makes all the difference. I feel confident that they are being well taken care of.
As far as breastfeeding, on days that I work I typically still nurse Dakota once through the night and then I leave the bed at 5am. Around 9:30am and again around 2:30pm I find a spare office with no windows and pump a bottle for her. I store it in my lunch bag in the staff fridge. This becomes her primary bottle for tomorrow (and I try to leave another in the freezer at all times – just in case.) She actually likes her milk room temp or colder so Cal just offers it to her with lunch and if she doesn’t finish it she will have the rest later in the afternoon. We throw milk away on the 3rd day in the fridge. She also drinks water. As soon as I get home and settled I nurse her again. It’s a good system for us. Dakota is eating at least 3 meals a day, plus snacks: she loves food. She will eat a piece of buttered whole grain toast and a full scrambled egg by herself, and then still polish off whatever chopped fruit I offer to her. At lunch she loves pasta, carrots, cheese and meat. The only thing she spits out is cucumbers. She does quite well with not whining about missing me, and she actually naps better for Calvin than myself.
I see all of the benefits of being a stay at home mom, and with Calvin’s great job I think it could be a possibility for me, but I love my job and I’m a better mom when I’m not a 24/7 mom. The adult interaction, the varying pace, the intellectual (vs physical or emotional) challenge of the job recharges me and gives me more energy to do the mom-job the rest of the time. I love that I still have tons of time with my babies and I know our family will always find a way to make it work

Sunday, November 30, 2014

10 month / 40 month update

I am sad to say the photos will be at a minimum this time around, for a few reasons. First of all, between unpacking the house, decorating it for the holidays, Oliver having a bad accident involving much blood, and me going back to work, the number of non-Gorey photos is quite low. The main reason though is that I had to have Apple replace my phone and any photos I would like to post are in my backup, which I am too lazy to access. Also we have a big day planned with our friends Jordan and Jill including a Marlies game and tacos at a restaurant that I'm hoping to spot Drake at, so I have limited time to post this!

The update is: all is well. The kids are growing and eating and having a blast. Dakota can crawl and is working on tooth #4, 5 and 6. Ollie is healing his face gash and working on his invention and talking about Santa a lot. We are going to record a house tour soon and I can post it here.

So all I have to leave you with is this:

Instagram: @@amyjoyharrison 

Come back soon for a better update. 

And I will post about returning to work also. 

Thanks!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas tea


For my birthday, which was a couple weeks ago (27! What!) my husband decided to go the Victoria Secret route in the present department. Which I was so hoping for. Because of this, he felt the kids should buy me something separate. You know just in case someone asked Ollie what he bought his mommy and he said lingerie? Ha ha. So they the kids got me...

12 TEAS OF CHRISTMAS by DavidsTea. 

It's a tree shaped package of holiday inspired teas and it is amazing so far!

I have tried:
Organic super ginger. This one stood out to me right away from the smell. It really is SUPER ginger and your nose will agree. It contains green roiboos (caffeine free) as well as black, white and pink peppercorns for spice and stevia for sweetness. Great for when you're under the weathe r 

Eggnog. This one is also green roiboos which is great because it's more of an evening tea. It contains white chocolate and meringues as well as the yummy taste of nutmeg. At first I thought it was not very strongly flavoured but by the end of my mug I was like: wow is this tea or real eggnog? Yum. 


And lastly, sleigh ride. It's a blend of apple, hibiscus, pineapple, papaya, beers, cinnamon, raisin, almond, coconut, almonds and popped rice. I brewed a pot and my entire house smelled like the world's best cinnamon apple cider. Sleigh ride is currently in the lead for best holiday tea but I'm only a quarter way through. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun questions for a day off

I've worked 21 hours in 2 days so having today off is a big pile of I WANNA DO THIIIIIS! Laundry. Hugging my children. Not wearing a bra. Breakfast over the course of 25 minutes. Yes, I said laundry. But also: social media! Today is a delicate balance between I wanna eat my little children right up (and my husband too) aaaand, I gotta read all the blogs! Here's some fun questions going around the blogosphere. (And PS after the kids went to bed and Cal was out with friends [recovering from being a stay at home dad? ha ha] I was totally on Reddit for like 2 hours: so relaxing.)

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. James
  2. Bugsie
  3. Haimer haimer
  4. Soy duck

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Christmas wrapper
  2. Barista
  3. Freelance writer 
  4. Food service technician 

Four movies you’ve watched more than once:

  1. Fletch
  2. Bruce Almighty
  3. A Walk to Remember
  4. Into the Wild
(Most other movies I have fallen asleep before they ended.)

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. How to Raise a Spirited Child
  2. Sacred Marriage 
  3. Haunted 
  4. How to be Parisian Anywhere
This is just what I'm reading now; they're all quite good. 

Four places I’ve lived

  1. Pond Mills backing on to the Environmentally Sensitive Area
  2. The Harriston downtown
  3. Marigold St
  4. Now, Cedar Hollow

Four Places you have visited:

  1. Curitiba, Brazil
  2. Riviera Maya, Mexico
  3. Chicago, US
  4. Huntsville, Canada

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. So
  2. Happy
  3. At
  4. Home

Four things I don’t eat:

  1. Gummy candy
  2. Coke
  3. Overly dry desserts 
  4. Poor cut/improperly cooked beef steak that's super chewy and I'm scared I'll choke on it

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Black cod, rare
  2. Buttered toast
  3. Instant mashed potatoes
  4. Costco's quinoa salad

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Survivor
  2. 19 kids and counting
  3. Saturday Night Live
  4. Brooklyn Nine Nine

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Family vacation
  2. Ballet class
  3. Making friends in our new neighbourhood
  4. Ollie starting JK

Four things I'm always saying:

  1. Is there coffee on?
  2. Have you seen Dakota's soother?
  3. Don't unplug that, the battery is almost dead.
  4. Go back to bed: It's still sleeping time. 

Four people I tag to answer these questions:

  1. Bethany
  2. Britt
  3. Kelly
  4. Steph
Off the top of my head some folks who blog or keep group pages. Cheers!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh, You should see MY diaper bag

I just read an adorable post by my friends over at threelittlecrowns highlighting what's in Britt's toddler diaper bag. As with everything they do, I loved it. And what's more, despite all of the over-stylized, picture perfect bloggers out there who try to make their life seem one way when really it's another, I actually believe Britt. On every item. Those two at threelittlecrowns are a rare combo of beautiful and honest.

But I had to laugh. Because my current "diaper bag" is not even worthy of being seen by me.

I mean if you could only see what's insi....

YOU CAN.

Here's the really-not-beautiful truth of my mother-of-two diaper bag:

- The bag: a black "I don't know what this style is called, you could cart a bowling ball around in it?" purse that I bought at Forever 21 with a giftcard from my brother Curt, who I've recently just started calling "my brother" instead of "my brother in law" because he gave me work out tips (he's a body builder type) on how to make my butt bigger and I feel like that makes us close. The bag is both a diaper bag and a purse because my kids are pretty important to me, but not important enough to make me carry two bags.

- The wallet: it came inside of a Nine West purse that my best friend (in Amsterdam!) bought me years ago and despite the fact that it was free inside, I still feel like an elitist designer snob when I pull it out (to get my coupon for a free coffee at Tim Horton's)

- Diapers, on diapers, on diapers: the thing is, days when we leave the house at 7am and return at midnight happen more often than I'd care to admit. Like, my best friend on my street thought we had already moved away because our car is never home. So when I have a little lady who still pees in her pants, the purse is getting filled to the brim with diapers.

- A broken travel wipes dispenser: which I have notified Huggies about because things I paid $2 for should not break.

- A pair of sunglasses but only one eye has a lens and I'm unsure why I haven't thrown them away. Like maybe if I really need them I could just squint one eye closed and give up depth perception while I'm driving for a minute?

- Usually my phone, well like 75% of the time, the other 25% it's still on the charger or laying on the kitchen table (Crap!)

- Usually my keys, well like 98% of the time, there was that time last week that I drove 40 minutes home then realized I left them with Calvin, so I drove all the way back to where he was got them and drove home. Just kidding I stopped at Starbucks midway through and poured hot espresso in my mouth to make the situation bearable

- Between 1 and 28 socks that don't belong to me, same goes for mittens and hats

- Enough wrappers from straws, Halloween candy and granola bars, coupled with receipts I don't need and parking tickets (like the kind you pay for, not the kind a cop gives you), to fuel a small fire for 24 hours

- A panic button for my job because I work in high security, I have never pushed it in jest, but I have accidentally broken it by storing it in the fridge with my lunch

- Eco-friendly organic alcohol-free hand sanitizer in "grapefruit & oil of oregano", for the kids; Bath & Body Works all-in alcohol-bonanza hand sanitizer in "harvest peach" for me

- 1 sole packet of stevia in case I become a diabetic who likes sweetened coffee one day soon

- A diva cup, because we all know lightening doesn't strike twice and my first round of motherhood I was blessed with a break from lady-cycles from October 2010 to Spring 2013. It's only fair that this time around, despite my passion for extended breastfeeding freakshow, my shark week's a-coming.

- A handful of stale granola, I've had plenty of opportunity to dispose of it but you never know when you'll be stuck in the car for a few hours.

- A few lip colours that don't look good on me, but never a plain lip balm when I need it

- Enough loose change to buy a muffin, minus ten cents usually, when I'm in the drive thru with 8 cars behind me

- Enough restaurants crayons to keep Oliver busy for 90 seconds

- 3 travel sunscreens that surely expired in 2001, why I'm unable to finish a 0.75 ounce sunscreen is beyond me


So there you have it! I think you can gather why this post hasn't been enhanced with photos. I need not prove this information. This information is real as it gets.

What do you keep in your bag of tricks?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kylie Jenner big lips Halloween costume

I adore playing with my Fullips lip enhancing tool. It's like an all natural lip injection surgery. 

Knowing Halloween is tomorrow and I have nooooo costume (such is the life of a mom) I played around with makeup for 30 seconds, cut an old t shirt into a headband and plumped my lips to be KYLIE JENNER. So fun!

Here's the look and instructions below:

So before the lips even come into play, a dark wig and some turquoise pieces will be perfect. Plus a headband and some circle sunglasses. She typically wears fashionable but goth type clothes. You'll want a clean light look for skin with lots of contouring and highlighting. Then dramatic angled brows and winged liner. Use false lashes if you have them. Then for the lips:

I simply added a balm to begin. My lips were light and dried out from sloppily applying Bb cream. I prefer the round Fullips enhancer but other people like the ovals. Hold it over your lips and suck in a few breaths to create auction. Some people like to leave it on for a few minutes others like to take it on and off a number of times for short periods. You can also place it in different locations for different looks. Here I wanted big all around. I could have gone much bigger (like botched plastic surgery big) but stopped here. Then I applied Make up Forever nude lipstick and gloss over. 

Don't forget selfies. 

Here's a video to show you:

Have fun!