Go ahead…let them get wet! #MyMayu {Giveaway}

If you have a toddler at home, especially a boy…you will understand.

We live in a rain forest! No, not like the Amazon, but along the coast of British Columbia. We lovingly call Raincouver our home and sometimes refer to it as the “Wet Coast”.

Wet grass

It’s all good! We love the rain and how it keeps our landscape lush and allows us to have the fortune of being at the beach and in the mountains all in one day. People flock from other countries to come pay us a visit and quite often, they fall in love with it as much as we do, so they decide to plant their roots here as well.

With our abundance of rain, comes…yep you guessed it, PUDDLES! A kid’s natural playground and a parents aid in accumulating laundry.

Rain boots are mandatory in our life and having an extra pair or two definitely come in handy for varying degrees of wet.

Tall rainboots that come to your knees are the best tool for splashing in big puddles and stomping around in little streams, but when you have a toddler…it can be fairly difficult sometimes to keep those bad boys on. They just seem to slip off, no matter how many layers of socks you have on.

We recently discovered MyMayu. These AMAZING boots not only keep our little Dude’s feet and pant legs dry, but the drawstrings at the tops and ankles, make it diffucult for him to pull them off in the van and when he gets carried (this won’t last much longer, he’s getting too heavy), they won’t slip off!

Standing in the grass

MyMayu boots are available in Play Boots (which we have) and also Explorer Boots.

Play Boots are light-weight and ideal for shallow puddles or urban walks. They have soft soles that are good for all seasons and are easily cleaned and dried so your little ones can get back out exploring right away. These boots are also great for playing in sand boxes! No more sand in their shoes and if something sharp is buried underneath, their little feet are protected.

Play boots

Explorer Boots are made with waterproof materials and the seams are sealed, allowing your kiddos to go all out in the biggest, deepest puddles that they can find! Also soft-soled, with drawstrings at the ankles and knees to keep from falling off and water to get in over top.

Liners are also available for the boots to add extra warmth during the colder days outside and if your child requires orthotics, these boots will accommodate them.

Yellow boots

Pair these fantastic boots with a Muddy Buddy and your kiddos will be virtually water-proof!

MyMayu is a Canadian company with products made fairly in Mexico. The materials contain no BPA or PVC and are vegan. The soles can be recycled!

MyMayu

 

Wanna WIN a pair of Play Boots for your kiddo? Of course you do!

MyMayu is giving away one pair of Muddy Munchkins or Big Kid Play Boots to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) only and runs from May 29 – June 12, 2015. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the love of pie! Coconut Cream Pie

A couple of months ago, we took the kidlets on a family trip to Hawaii! I had never been before, so this was pretty exciting for me as well.

We tried some new foods while we were there and paid a visit to Leoda’s. This little hidden treasure is well known for their amazing Mac & Cheese and pies. Of course we endulged. The coconut cream pie was to die for!

The other day, I had a hankering for some, so here’s what I made:

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

adapted from RockRecipes.com

I used a frozen Tenderflake crust to save time.

For the coconut cream filling:

3 cups whole milk

⅓ cup flour

⅔ cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup unsweetened fine coconut

3 slightly beaten extra large egg yolks

4 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp pure almond extract

For the vanilla whipped cream:

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Instructions:

Bake pie crust according to the instructions on the box and let cool completely.

For the coconut cream filling:

Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to almost boiling. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.

Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly.

As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again.

Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.

At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly.

Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.

Cook for an additional two or three until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.

Stir in the butter, vanilla and almond extract.

Cool for about 20 minutes before pouring into the baked pie shell/s.

Chill the pie/s completely for several hours or overnight before adding the vanilla whipped cream.

For the vanilla whipped cream:

Combine the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat to soft peaks. Spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.

This pie was AMAZING and definitely competition to Leoda’s

That’s my boy! #YMCCommunity

As parents, we try our best to protect our precious little ones from violence and swearing…

but on occasion, there is no avoiding exposing them to the ugliness around us.

We spell out swear words when their little ears are nearby, and fumble to change the channel when adult content, whether violent or sexual, shows up on the TV screen.

Recently, we were privileged to be witness to an argument in public where swear words were being thrown around. Ugh! No avoiding that one.

Our 5-1/2yo daughter has always been very good at not repeating “grown up” words, even when she’s angry. But our 2-1/2 yo son, OY VEY! He is the BIGGEST parrot and has the most impeccable timing when he chooses to share his new found vocabulary.

I was picking our daughter up from school the other day and I brought along the wee dude. We always stay for a little while to play with friends and chit chat with the others parents.

When it was time to go, I hollered for my munchkins to head to the van and Tyrannosaurus Toddler yelled back, “Shut the F*€% up!”

Face Palm

I nearly died!

The playground got quiet and I felt all eyes on me. I wanted to disappear. How do you react to THAT!?

I quickly went to him, advised him that these words were grown up words and not appropriate for kids to use, but the more I did this, the more he thought it was funny and shared this with the onlookers.

I scooped him up and we made tracks to the van. I’m sure a great discussion was had in my absence, but whatever.

No, I don’t teach my kids these words. Yes, I have occasionally let a few slip out. Yes, I try to correct them when they are used. No, I’m not worried that others think I’m a terrible parent.

Life happens…roll with the punches. Kids will be kids and parents will always learn as we go along.

PS- I’m sorry my kid taught yours to swear. Next up…arm pit farts!

What’s for dinner? Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole.

I don’t know what’s going on in the universe, but steadily my kids have started becoming nightmares!

As soon as they get up, until school drop off, they are at each other. Then the wee lad has started fighting his afternoon naps, which is Mommy Time to get stuff done. And between the time of us getting home after school and actually eating dinner, these two maniacs continue where they left off in the morning.

This seriously eats away at dinner prep time, especially on nights when we’ve got extra-curricular events going on!

Here’s what I made tonight:

Chicken and mushroom casserole

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole 

adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen

Ingredients for the chicken:

4 -5 large chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 -inch thick strips (I used 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup all-purpose flour to coat the chicken

6 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

Ingredients for the Sauce:

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour for the sauce

1½ cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup half and half (I used Whole milk)

Instructions:

Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and saute until golden. Work in batches if needed so you don’t crowd your pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through; it still needs to go in the oven. Transfer chicken to a 13×9 casserole baking dish.

Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 Tbsp oil along with sliced mushrooms and diced onions and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and saute another 1-2 min. Spread mixture over the chicken.

In a medium saucepan (or in the same pan you’ve been using), melt 3 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 Tbsp flour until lightly golden (1-2 min).

Add 1½ cups chicken broth, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm or hot over mashed potatoes, pasta or rice and add some of your favourite veggies along side.

FRESH VancouverMom.ca’s Top 30 Bloggers Event – June 17, 2015 #VMTop30

Last year, I was so honoured to be nominated to be one of VancouverMom.ca’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers!

Photo credit: Images by Bethany

Photo credit: Images by Bethany

From this, I have had the opportunity to work with several brands and businesses that I probably would never had the chance to before. I have also met other bloggers that were nominated along side me and prior that I have collaborated with, which has helped grow my readership.

This year, I have been invited back as an ambassador for the Top 30 Bloggers of 2015. I’m so excited to, once again, be a part of this fantastic event that recognizes Bloggers in the Vancouver area and opens up opportunities in the future.

VancouverMom.ca's Top 30 Bloggers 2015

VancouverMom.ca’s Top 30 Bloggers 2015

Voting for this year’s group is open until May 31st, so please go here and support these fantastic ladies!

Alana Pace, Parenting From the Heart

Alisha Enid, Alisha Enid

Alison Tedford, Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops

Angela Robertson, Rock ‘n Rattle

Bethany Schiedel, Images by Bethany

Bonnie Way, Koala Bear Writer

Codi Lynn, Creative Wife + Joyful Worker

Connie Peters, Modern Mama

Danielle Ciavarro, Smelly Danielly

Delza Hoeberg, Wildly Mine

Janna Denton-Howes of Growing Marriage

Jacqueline and Juliana, Two Fun Moms

Janette Shearer, Vancity Mommy D

Joelle Walker, Kid Hangover

Karen Barre, Spill it Mom

Karen Owen, Karen Mom of Three’s Craft Blog

Kate Muker, Kate Muker

Krista Ewert, One Beautiful Life

Kristyl Clark, Valley Mom

Lyndsay Sung, Coco Cake Land

Margery Healey, The Compassionate Parent Coach

Mary Kastle, Wizard Wear and Mary Kastle

Michaela Evanow, Micheala Evanow

Nina Gonzalez, Nina on the Moon

Scarlett Ballantyne, Pretty Pinteresting

Shelli Nishino-Fayle, How’s it Going Eh?

Sherri Brown, Project Bearings

Stephanie Small, Meet The Smallsens

Tara Jensen, BC Mom

Tracey Kofoed, My House of Giggles


On June 17th, these lovely ladies will be honoured at the FRESH celebration, located at Nicole Bridger’s new Gastown location.

Nicole Bridger

 

Thank you to the sponsors supporting this year’s event:

Happy Cheeks

 

Float House

 

Nitka Lake Lodge

DBOX Storage

Fawn Design

Bright Photography Tot 2 Teen Dental

Lou Lou Lollipop Dream Designs

 

What’s for dinner? Orzo with Shrimp, Asparagus and Feta

Another busy week for us, so quick dinners are ALWAYS my go-to!

I’m adding more healthy choices and I just can’t help myself in trying out new dishes. Kid-friendly is an absolute must as well as incorporating as many veggies as possible. We are introducing our kids to veggies that some may not consider “kid-approved”, but you’d be surprised at what they start enjoying!

Here’s what I made:

 

Photo credit: Serious Eats (we were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture)

 
Orzo with Shrimp, Asparagus and Feta

adapted from Serious Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the pasta
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 2 tbsp fresh juice from 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • Directions:
  • Fill the skillet 2/3rds of the way with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook according package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside, transfer to a bowl, and toss with a little vegetable or canola oil.
  • Wipe out skillet and return to medium high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and stir to coat the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is tender but retains a crisp bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the asparagus to the sides of the pan and add the shrimp. Cook, turning shrimp occasionally, until pink and opaque, about 4 minutes total.
  • Add the orzo back to the pan, stirring to combine, along with the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and feta. Toss to combine, allow orzo to heat through, season to taste with more salt and pepper as desired, and serve immediately.
  • We all enjoyed this one-pan meal and clean up was super quick and easy.

What’s for dinner? Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta

The kids were driving me crazy today…

They were both home, as our little lady had a dodgey tummy and needed to be kept close to the washroom. It was also an epic weather day consisting of rain, sun and even hail, so going out wasn’t ideal either.

It’s always a good day when you have bored kids and NONE of their toys are desirable, except the one that the other kid is currently playing with, then it’s war!

Here’s what we had for dinner:

Creamy Mushroom and spinach pasta

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta

Adapted from She Wears Many Hats

Ingredients:

8 oz pasta, uncooked (I used rigatoni)

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

8 oz sliced mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyere

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Directions:

Begin cooking pasta according to package instructions.

Whisk together flour, chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.

While pasta cooks, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil begins to ripple add sliced mushrooms, sauté for 6 minutes. Add minced garlic, sauté for 2 more minutes until garlic just begins to brown.

Whisk flour, chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper mixture into mushrooms and garlic, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add shredded cheese, stir until cheese has melted.

Mix in spinach, allow to wilt.

Add drained pasta to skillet, toss to coat.

The kids weren’t really fans of the pasta that I had chosen, so next time I might use rotini, macaroni or a long pasta.