Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of August 12th


Photo by Josh Hind

Weekend Highlights

On Friday night, we drove nearly two and a half hours in rush hour traffic to take the kids and their 11-year-old English cousin to the Legoland Discovery Centre. In my opinion, it was a total waste of money and a ridiculous distance travelled to share the hand germs of hundreds of hyper munchkins, but the kids seemed to have fun, so I suppose that’s all that matters. We tried to have dinner with extended family at a restaurant in the mall, but construction traffic and awkward timing made it more of a staggered, drop-in affair featuring a tired and incredibly loud Noodle and we didn’t end up getting home until well past midnight, which is never great when you’ve got kids. They were troopers though, to their great credit.

This set the tone for a very lazy Saturday that included a drive to the walk-in clinic for poor Hannu who has strep throat. Thank you public pool and swimming lessons with other kids. By Wednesday we should know whether any of the rest of us will get it. She’s recovering well, so fingers are crossed that the whole family doesn’t get sick, especially the poor baby. Mama S and Daddy had a date night to celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary. Date night in St. Catharine’s is very different than date night in Toronto it seems. I think they had fun though. I got an early bed time, and woke up feeling a bit more human.

On Sunday Daddy took me to Toronto for a meeting while Mama S minded the girls and Noodle. We had dinner at Taste of the Danforth, which is an outdoor food festival held by the city’s Greek district. I’ve lived in the city for about fifteen years, and it’s the first time I’d ever been. It was fun, despite the crowds, and everything we sampled was delicious. The meeting went late into the evening, and with the long ride home this made for another late night, and a late start this morning. I’m feeling grumpy, negative and sensitive. Is it PMS, or sleep-deprivation, or strep throat onset or all of the above?

VIP Tasks this Week


I rallied Mama S and Daddy on Saturday to help me clear out more of the things that don’t belong in the classroom. This week I’d like to take down the remaining art, the curtains, and move the last few things out of there that don’t belong. Next step is priming and painting. The room is currently a deep burgundy. I’ll post before pictures.

Homeschool Prep

How did we arrive at mid August?? I need to cram now to make sure I’m ready to start homeschooling in early September. I’m taking at least one day out at Mom’s this week. Perhaps I’ll take two, just to be extra effective. I’m looking at the calendar and starting to worry a bit.

My Body

I’m not happy with myself. Since we’ve moved, I’ve been very bad at my daily exercise practice, it is basically non-existent. In Toronto I was walking for upwards of two hours every day with the baby and now I’m doing nothing. Our hiking only happened once, and I feel tired, lazy and ungainly. Looking at photos of myself is depressing me. Kicking gluten hasn’t cut it, I need to take action. I’m starting the Four Hour Body again today and I will post about that process. I hate feeling negative about my self, but I’m in a cloud that just won’t lift and I know some physical attention will improve things greatly.

Personal Goals

I’m in a funk. We all go there, don’t we? I’m feeling negative about writing, negative about my body image, sad, tired. I can feel that it’s cyclical, so that gives me hope that these yucky feelings will lift soon, but I know a good dose of gratitude will also help, so I’m going to work on shifting my mind to more positive things, and meditate on all of the things I’m thankful for.

Things to Look Forward To

Daddy has been very brave and has taken me out to drive several times now. I love it, but it’s still really kind of nerve-wracking. I have to get more comfortable when there’s lots of traffic, and I really need to improve my lane changes. I need LOTS of practice, so I really hope we can get some time in this week.

Summer Reading Club!
I finally have my act together and can start the summer reading club I wanted to create for the girls. I found these adorable printables from Pinterest and I think it will really motivate them to enjoy some more of their rather extensive library. I also think it will be great reading-out-loud practice for Ayla who is coming along so well with her reading.

On Saturday it will be four years since my partners and I decided to try to re-invent the relationship wheel. I’m hoping we can have an evening without the kidlets to go out and celebrate how far we’ve come in our relationship. They are my best friends and they make every day better because I get to share each one with them.

There’s my week for you. What does yours look like?

Moves You Can Use – The Cement Mixer

Image from the delicious website

What’s It For: A great warm-up or slow down technique for intercourse

Who’s In Charge: The Person Being Penetrated

What You Need: A high state of arousal for both parties, lube, a comfortable surface

Ideal Position: Missionary (person being penetrated is on the bottom – on their back or on their stomach)

Note of Caution: Anyone with lower back trouble should use caution with this move.

The Cement Mixer is a great move for a slow start and a slow tease. Ideal for that moment when foreplay has taken you as far as it can and everyone is ready to explode, or when you or your partner needs a break from some enthusiastic thrusting.

To begin, this move works best while penetration is happening. If the person being penetrated is on their back, they bring their feet up so their knees are bent, and the soles of their feet are flat on the play surface (bed, etc.). If the person is on their stomach, they can gain more leverage and control by propping themselves up on their elbows.

The Cement Mixer begins by engaging the core pelvic and stomach muscles. From the “on the back” position, contract the butt muscles and tilt the pelvis up slightly. Begin a slow, circular grind with your hips while imagining that you’re massaging your partner with this motion. Imagine your pelvis moving like the barrel of a cement mixer, stirring slowly in a gentle tease. If you’re on your tummy, the same applies – experiment with the position of your knees, seeing what kind of leverage they can offer. Remember to really focus on engaging your core muscles, to ensure that you are taking any undue strain off your lower back. Contracting and releasing your PC muscles or your anal sphincter while performing this move will make it even more mind-blowing.

You’ll know when to conclude the Cement Mixer because eventually it will make your partner so crazy that they will have to return to thrusting. At this point, relax completely and feel yourself envelop your partner, guiding them gently to your sweetest spots.

You’re welcome. Have a fantastic weekend!

Which Came First? – Part Two


Last time I shared some recipes, I rolled out my favourite chicken recipes from Epicurious. Today, I give you our favourite egg recipes, mostly from Daddy’s collection, and it seems he’s been holding out on me!

Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce

What the what? This sounds ridcu-awesome, and I want to eat it right now. This is definitely not gluten-free, and really heavy on the booze, New Orleans’ style.

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Here’s another one that I need to taste. I think the crust would be relatively easy to make gluten-free, and this recipe looks easy and delicious!

Lemon Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries

This is a delicious and simple crème brûlée, and you won’t be disappointed.

Ginger and Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée 

I first tasted this at the end of a painstakingly-prepared Thai meal. It is hands down the best crème brûlée I’ve ever tasted.

Quiche au Fromage

Quiche is always a crowd pleaser, and makes for a fantastic, simple week night meal. Our kids love it, and we can send it for lunch the next day.

Scrambled Eggs with Leeks and Fava Beans

We served this fresh and delicious dish at our Spring Equinox brunch, and I’m glad I kept a little dish for leftovers because it was devoured. Despite the fancy additions, the kids devoured it. I think it was because of the crusty parmesan dusting on top.

Curried Pea Frittata with Fresh Tomato Chutney

I’m so glad I found this one again because I’m totally going to make it next week using peas and tomatoes from my garden. It’s mild and simple and perfect with a few dashes of siracha sauce.

Dutch Baby

This is so simple and the variations are endless. We’ve made sweet (and you can add vanilla or cinnamon or nutmeg) and savory versions, and they are always so yum.

For a small-medium (8-10″) cast iron pan or baking dish:

4 eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C milk
2Tb butter
pinch of salt
For a 12″ pan, use 1.5 x these ingredients:
6 eggs
3/4 C flour
3/4 C milk
3Tb butter
bigger pinch of salt 
Preheat oven to 425, heat pan, melt butter, put batter in (we blend it in our Blentec first), bake for 20-25 until puffed and brown. Take to table quickly for maximum effect!
 This recipe is easy to scale up for bigger pans. Cast iron isn’t necessary but it’s best for brown even crust. 
Topping ideas are many, of course, but the traditional German version (Dutch probably comes from the word Deutsche)  is lemon and icing sugar.

I hope you like these! Do let me know if you come up with any delicious variations!

Back in Action

You may have noticed that I’ve been very negligent about posting. My schedule got a bit hectic, and I was offline for most of the week before last completing a driver’s ed crash course with a room full of teenagers. Then, last week we had swim lessons every morning. I missed my day at mom’s dedicated to work, and everything bloggy fell by the wayside.

I suppose I could have found the time to write, and I know I would have had back up from my partners for this, but I will admit that I fell into a little bit of a funk. Sometimes I get caught in this yucky head space where I feel like I really don’t have anything important to say, and I start to think that this whole blog business is masturbatory fluff. It becomes impossible to feel motivated to write, and when I try that doubtful voice in my head is louder than any ideas I might have for posts.

So, what changed? Well, I took my hump day trip to mom’s for one. I have ten hours of mostly uninterrupted writing/working time so  I can create posts for the entire week. My big motivation came from Google though. Back when I re-launched this blog under the Playboy Mommy moniker, I was a disappointing page seven with Google search. Now, I’ve shot up to page one! Thank you for visiting and helping move things to critical mass.

There are at least two hundred of you who are reading every time I post, and I hope to see that number multiply, but I’m so grateful for your interest and support. I really do mean it when I say I want to write for you, so I hope you’ll keep sending me ideas for posts you’d like to read.

Meanwhile, let’s take a quick look at some of my favourite photos from my phone since we last met. This is a little journalistic idea that I borrowed from the wonderful Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. These photos were chosen for the memories they evoke, and not necessarily for their awesome composition. That’s Mama S’ department!

waking up

We just woke up and feel as grainy as this photo looks.

An outdoor stage

The stage we created for Hannah and Ayla’s theatrical production. Stay tuned for a post about creating theatre with kids!


Uncle Kyle holds up our play structure while Mama S and Daddy secure the bolts.

Baby in a mini muskoka chair

Noodle enjoys some time outdoors relaxing in his favourite chair.

Family at the Falls

Hannah and Ayla at Niagara Falls with cousins Locke and Cache, visiting from B.C.

Noah helps us shop for my birthday party.

Noah helps us shop for my birthday party.

Playing Hair Salon

I’ve been spoiled, living in the city for so long. One of the only things I would drop some significant coin on was my hair, and I’ve been lucky to have a good friend as my hair stylist/colorist for the last several years. I was seriously fretting about this when I knew we would be moving.

I know lots of people have success with drug store hair dye, but I have never been one of those people, and as a Leo I’m fairly vain about the mane. I finally bit the bullet and bought a couple of boxes of some Garnier product, but those boxes have sat in my closet because I just couldn’t bring myself to try them.

Mama S ventured first into the self-hair-dye experimental foray, and her efforts didn’t work. She got some decent root coverage, but her grey remained untouched by the L’Oreal stuff she purchased. She later confessed that she rinsed it out early because the fumes were so strong she feared she would be left blinded, albeit with great hair.

Enter eSalon.

Our proximity to the US border here in Niagara is certainly one of the greatest things about our new address. We’ve maintained a UPS Store mailbox in Niagara Falls, NY for years now, and these days it’s a half hour trek away. Shopping is a breeze, and so is gaining access to numerous US sites that refuse to ship to Canada.

Mama S discovered eSalon and excitedly sent me a link, and I feel it is my god-given duty to share this gem with you. Sadly, they don’t ship to Canada yet, but if you’re my close friend, you can use my in box, and if you have friends Stateside, it’s worthwhile to ship to them and have them send stuff to you. Here’s why:

eSalon creates a personal profile for you based on your natural hair colour, your current hair colour and where you’d like to go with your colour. Their experienced staff custom-create a hair formula with very specific instructions and then send it off in the mail. For $20 you get salon-quality hair dye, made for you based on your profile and photo, with directions so simple my kids could follow them if we let them play with chemicals. Which we don’t.

Here’s our before photos:



And here’s our after shot:


I’ve subscribed so that every eight weeks they pop another batch of formula in the mail and I never have an excuse for roots or brassy colour. I loved the colour, and the hair dye didn’t burn my scalp or eyes, it’s not tested on animals, and it didn’t make the crazy fumes that some dyes can produce. Mama S ended up with great coverage and a very lovely ashy blonde.

Check out eSalon HERE

Let me know if you give it a shot. We were both really happy with the results. Now all I need is someone who can cut hair who lives out in this direction…

Further proof, eSalon on the Rachael Ray show: