Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This year I only managed to get one lonely little jack-o-lantern pumpkin from my garden. So Jon and I went to Mitchell's Farm and got a couple more. It was a little bit of a sad year for pumpkins. Because the weather was so warm the pumpkins were ready almost a month ahead of time so quite a lot of the crop was rotten by the time we got out there to pick some.
None-the-less we found a couple that would work for us and went to work carving. I'm totally happy with mine.

Jon chose to do a Star Wars inspired pumpkin. He was also very please with the results.

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all have a safe and fun day. Oh....and Happy Birthday to my little brother!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poo Guilt

So October was to be my 6th month without shampoo. I love not using shampoo. For 6 months of clean hair I paid about $6 for the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Using shampoo probably would have cost me triple. My hair was clean and my scalp was less irritated, it was great!
Now for the guilt part. I've been to the hair salon for a cut and an up-do and I let them wash my hair with their salon shampoos. I totally regret it because my scalp felt itchy and my hair had an overly perfume smell to it that I didn't like. I also just feel guilty. I'm not sure why, it's not like there are shampoo police checking if I've used any or not. I think I feel guilty because I kind of betrayed my body. My skin and senses loved my homemade baking soda and vinegar blend and I was so uncomfortable during the shampooing at the salon that I was actually grinding my teeth.
I'm back on the clean, natural path and I'm feeling better. My hair is taking a while to recover from the chemicals at the salon but I know my nose appreciates the change.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Recipe: Not-so-candied Yams

We had these for the first time this Thanksgiving and they were heavenly. I love yams but find the traditional candied yams to be too sweet. I decided to make up something that had a little sweetness but was not overwhelming and still highlighted the awesomeness of yams. These have a little more nutritional value too. The yams themselves are great for vitamin C, the dates have fiber, the cheese has calcium and the nuts have some healthy fats. This is an approximate recipe so adjust it to your taste and to the number of people you are serving. This could easily serve 10 people.

You will need:
2-3 yams, peeled and diced
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
1 package of fig goats cheese
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup pecan pieces

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add diced yams and boil until tender. Strain and mash with cream. Stir in spices and honey. Transfer mashed yams to a 8x8 baking dish. Crumble goats cheese over yams, then sprinkle chopped dates and pecan pieces over top. This dish can be stored like this in the fridge for up to one day.
When ready, in a 350 degree oven, bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is soft and the top of the yams have darkened.

Feel free to make substitutions here. I chose the fig cheese because it had a hint of sweetness that went really well with the dates and the yams but you could use plain goats cheese or a different flavor. Also feel free to try this with different nuts. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

23 weeks

I must say that the second trimester is not the fun times that everyone described. Thanks to an anterior placenta, I have a babe who loves to curl up around my spine. I'm so tired of this constant back and hip pain. Trying to get to sleep at night as been a constant challenge. Nothing feels comfortable and some positions make it worse. I need a good nights sleep so badly. Everyone keeps telling me that it just preparation for the baby. But I know that newborn sleep (wake up frequently but do sleep) and I'm totally ok with taking little naps throughout the day to catch up on sleep. Naps are tough when you are working your butt off so you can get a decent maternity leave.
The babe has been kicking a bit more. But again, because the baby is so far back it's had to feel anything really reliable or have an idea of how often I'm feeling it. Every so often I do feel little bumps against my cervix and on my left side.
I'm dealing with a little bit of maternity blues. A couple weeks ago I had a really bad cold. Being pregnant means you can't take any ColdFX, sudafed, Buckleys, etc. I was coughing so much it was keeping me up at night so the doctor said I could use a little Robitussin which did help a little. To spite frequent saline rinses and tons of garlic and vitamin C, I still ended up with a (very very bad) sinus and chest infection and had to do a week of antibiotics. So that all left me feeling a little down and now with the lack of sleep, I'm just feeling worse. I hope this all goes away soon. Maybe when Jon and I start our birthing classes and we interact with more expectant parents my mood will improve.
Well there you go...week 23. Do any mamas out there have a suggestion for dealing with the itch of stretching skin? I've tried belly butter and Aveeno cream but neither is helping much. I'm open to anything.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Festival 2010

This weekend Jon and I attended the annual Apple Festival on Saltspring Island. As usual we had an awesome time. Last year we camped at Ruckle Park but this year we decided to stay in a little cabana on St. Mary's Lake. The day we arrived was beautiful fall weather, it was almost hot! It almost made me regret not camping. We spent Saturday visiting the island. We stopped by the weekly market in Ganges Harbor.

Then we spent most of the afternoon exploring the property at our little resort we were staying out (and indulged in an afternoon nap). We did take the time to drive out to Fulford Harbour and check out the beaches there. What we found was a ton of dead jellyfish.

 I think the one above looks a little like a placenta. It was kind of neat to check them out and marvel at what a cool species jellyfish are but I was really sad to see how many were washed up on the shore. We also got to watch a few otters out in the bay just playing around.
St. Mary's Lake is actually nice quiet spot on the north part of the island. We had never bothered stopping by before this weekend. We stayed in a little cabana that was just fine for our short stay. The place was crawling with spiders though. was pretty bad.
It would be a great place to come in the summer. The lake is small and they have boats and a nice little dock.
The next day was the apple festival. The weather wasn't great but it didn't actually rain. We started at Fulford Hall and checked out all the varieties of apples grown on Saltspring Island. Then headed out on the tour. This year was a bit of a disappointment. There were half the participants of last year. Apparently most people on Saltspring didn't get enough apples this year (if they got any).We've had the same problem (we got maybe 5 apples this year) so I felt for the farmers.

We did visit Mistaken Identity vineyard again this year. Jon sampled their new desert wine made with apples grown on the property. They haven't had any apple troubles. Three thousand pounds of apples went into the making of that wine!
Again we visit Saltspring Cheese. My favorite spot! I love goats cheese. And if you look to the left you will see a picture of one of the goats that gives her milk for the making of that fine cheese. Cheese has been the one thing this entire pregnancy that I've loved. I was a little disappointed though that I couldn't try the mold-ripened cheeses.

We ended the trip with a visit to Harry Burton's fine farm. Apple Luscious is apple heaven! He has the most amazing orchard and is so dedicated to diversity and high-quality, natural product. We munched on some delicious gluten-free goodies from the Laughing Daughter Bakery while we strolled through the apple trees. It was lovely! I can't wait to go to next year's festival with my new baby! Remember the apple festival is the first weekend of October every year on Saltspring Island!