Sheryl Jesin


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Recipe – Quick and easy lentil dahl

Yummy

So let’s say it’s about 4:30 pm and you want to eat dinner in an hour and you are not sure what to cook. Let’s also say your two kids are running around at your feet and you need to make something quick and easy. How about a lentil dahl?

What is dahl you ask? Dahl is a stew typically made with lentils, peas or beans, and is a great source of vegetarian protein.

While doing my grocery shopping at my local Sobey’s last week, I came across two amazing Indian spice blends that really transformed my lentil dahl into an amazing, fragrant and flavourful dish. They are made by a local Toronto company called Arvinda and they are truly delicious!

Spice blends

I served the lentil dahl on top of brown rice, with a side of roasted broccoli. It was a great, fast, hearty vegan meal!

Recipe – Lentil Dahl

Prep time – 10 mins, Cook time – 40 mins, Servings – 3-4 for a main, 6-8 for a side

Ingredients:

1 cup dried red lentils

3 cups water

1 medium or large onion, chopped

1 tsp grapeseed or coconut oil

1/2 tsp – 1 tsp Arvinda’s Curry Masala

1/2 tsp – 1 tsp Arvinda’s Garam Masala

1/4 tsp salt (to taste)

Method:

In a medium sized pot on medium heat, saute onion with oil until onions are translucent and tender.

Add lentils and water to the pot, turn heat to high, and bring water to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20-30 mins until lentils are soft. Add more water if necessary.

Add 1/2 tsp Curry Masala, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala and 1/4 tsp salt. Taste, and add more spices if needed.

Serve over rice and ENJOY!


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WordPress app

I just downloaded the WordPress for Blackberry app to my phone so I can blog without being in front of my computer. Genius! Can’t believe it took me this long to get it.

Sadly, it is sometimes very hard to get to my computer. As soon as I open up my laptop, Ben wants to sit on my lap and press all the keys. Last week he managed to remove one of the keys – I was able to put it back, but we don’t want that to happen again.

I seem to be spending a lot of time these days cuddling with either Ben or Dylan as they fall asleep. I love this special time with them. Now I can multitask – blog and put them to sleep at the same time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing…


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Lazy days

Today was a lazy day spent mostly at home, but it was wonderful too.

Ben and I napped together this morning for over 2 hours.  It was cozy and snuggly and really just a perfect way to start off the day.  Usually I use his nap times to cook or do laundry or something around the house, but today I decided those things would wait.  I know that I will miss these naps when I am back at work, so I’m determined to enjoy them now while I can.

In the afternoon, I thought we should get out for a bit, since it was a relatively warm November’s day.   So I tucked him into my wrap and off we went.  It had been a while since I’d carried all 27lbs of him in a carrier.  I’d forgotten how much I love babywearing.   There is nothing better than holding your baby close to you – it basically is like an extended hug.   We were out for over an hour, and Ben had a little snooze on the go.   As an added bonus – my legs and back got an amazing workout!

I should add that I also did a few loads of laundry, made and cleaned up 3 delicious meals and also baked some yummy muffins.   So perhaps it wasn’t such a lazy day after all…


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Lost and Found

If you happened to be driving down Yonge St. yesterday around 2 pm you might have seen a crazy person running down the street wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans, pushing a black stroller.   Yes, that crazy person was me.

Let me back track a bit.  Benjamin and I were out for a lovely afternoon stroll.   The sun was out, the temperature was mild.   We picked out some presents for friends at a bookstore.   I even tried on a few sweaters at a little boutique, and decided that I didn’t need them as my closet is full!   On our way home, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things.   A few things turned into many things.  We waited in line to pay, and the cashier rang up our order.   When she was almost done, I felt a wave of panic.   My purse was gone!  It wasn’t on me and it wasn’t in the basket of the stroller.  My mind raced and I realized I left it hanging on the hook in the changeroom in the lovely little boutique where I tried on sweaters.

The cashier was so sweet and told me she’d hold my order for me until I came back with my wallet.  The boutique was a few blocks away, and Benjamin was just starting to get antsy and cranky as he needed a feeding and also needed a nap.   So what did I do?  I literally ran to the boutique, retrieved my purse, and ran back to the grocery store to retrieve my groceries!   Then I literally ran home.   I was quite thankful that I had decided to wear running shoes that day.

As I was running, I got to thinking – I have lost my wallet, credit card, and keys many times.   Each time I have gotten them back.   Let me recount:

  • I once dropped my keys at Costco and didn’t realize until I was back home.   Amazingly, someone found them and brought them to the customer service desk.  I got them back!
  • I dropped my credit card on the street a couple years ago.   Someone found it, called VISA, VISA then called me and I arranged with the person to get it back.
  • I left my credit card at a grocery store.   I realized later that night once the store had closed.  I went in the next morning and they had it waiting for me.
  • I dropped the clicker for the gate to my house once at a coffee shop.   My husband went back the next day to look for it, and they had it waiting behind the counter.
I’m not sure what the meaning is behind all of this.   I think it shows an amazing streak of good luck, since each time I’ve lost something important, I’ve gotten it back.   Or is it bad luck that I keep losing things?
Have you lost and found something recently?  Write a comment and tell me about it!


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Sunday Surf

I’ve been inspired by the wonderful blogger Hobo Mama to start a Sunday Surf. Basically, this means that each Sunday I will provide links to interesting things I have read online during the previous week.   I’ve been meaning to blog more often, so I figured this would be a good way to start.   So here we go – my first Sunday Surf!

Below are links to some great things I’ve read this week:

  • “Asher and Boston: A Birth Story” from Baby Dust Diaries – I’ve been following along Paige’s twin pregnancy at Baby Dust Diaries.  It was wonderful to read her birth story to see pics of her two beautiful boys.   So glad to hear that everyone is doing well and I wish the whole family lots and lots of good health!
  • “Weaning is a Total Pain” from Strocel.com – Not often do you hear stories of how moms wean their older toddlers.   I love Amber’s honesty in this post!
  • “They Call Us Extreme Parents” from A Mother World – Alexandria writes about on co-sleeping with 2 kids in the bed, something that we are currently doing too.  She says that “Our kids are little for such a short amount of time, I just can’t fathom not taking every possible chance to snuggle up to them.”   I wholeheartedly agree!
  • “From Sha Sha with Love” from Fully Nourished.  Marni writes about Sha Sha Bread Co., an awesome Canadian bakery that makes many nutritious and delicious products, including a variety of different sprouted breads and heart shaped cookies.   Read about what makes this company so special, and try out some of their products the next time you are at the grocery store.  I love their ginger cookies! And while you are on Marni’s site, check out some of her amazing vegan recipes!

What are some great things you’ve read this week?


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He has arrived!

Jake and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our baby boy!   He is healthy and just perfect and Dylan is a very proud and happy big brother.

I hope to post a pic or two and share the name soon.    I had an absolutely wonderful birth experience.   My labour and delivery were fast and drug free in the hospital and I owe a big thanks to my wonderful midwives and doula.

We are all resting at home now  and enjoying the new addition to our family!  I will update you all with the birth story and other details soon!


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Waiting…

So here I am 39 wks +5 days pregant with baby number two.  I’m trying to wait patiently for his/her arrival.  I finished work a few weeks ago and I’ve managed to keep myself busy with various things – cleaning closets, organizing drawers, folding newborn clothes, cooking and freezing food, packing hospital bags…etc.   I feel like I’ve done everything I want to do and need to do.  I know it’s only a matter of days before my baby is born and I’m sleep deprived and feeling sore, overwhelmed and tired, yet I feel ready for that!  It’s irrational really!

Dylan has been off school this week so it’s been nice to get some extra time in with him while I can still give him my full attention.  We haven’t even done anything that exciting – a lot of time playing at home, doing arts and crafts, reading books, etc.   I haven’t felt like going out much – don’t want to be too far from home in case labour comes on quickly and we all just got over terrible colds/flus/ear infections and I don’t want to catch anything new and be sick again!!

So for now I wait patiently…hope to update you all soon with some baby news!


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A balancing act

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Centered, Finding Balance

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they stay centered and find balance. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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As a working mom of a two and a half year old son who strongly believes in attachment parenting, it’s not always easy to achieve balance in my life.   Throw my pregnancy into the mix (currently at 29.5 wks!), and there is not much time left for ME at the end of the day.   However, there are some things that I do that help me stay centered and calm.  They are as follows:

  1. Exercising – I’ve been trying very hard to carve out time to exercise lately.  It’s important always, but especially important now that I’m pregnant.   Going for a walk outside for 30 min is restorative to both my mind and body.  I try to go every other day.  I’ve also been trying to be more disciplined about yoga – I try to practice yoga for 20 mins a day at home and then attend one group class a week.    I should add that I don’t always meet my exercising goals, since life (and my desire to sleep) can get in the way.   Part of balancing for me is not beating myself up when I don’t exercise!
  2. Honoring my interests – One of my passions is helping breastfeeding moms.  I became involved with La Leche League about two years ago, and have since become a leader.  Becoming accredited as a leader and now being a leader has been a great way for me to pursue my interests in parenting and breastfeeding issues.    Leading meetings has been a great way to meet other moms and to learn from them, in addition to helping them.
  3. Adopting an early bedtime – In the last month or so we have dropped Dylan’s nap, which leads to a wonderful, heavenly, struggle-free bedtime.   This early bedtime leaves time for me to enjoy a few hours of quiet time in the evenings before I go to sleep.   I have spent this time watching movies on the couch with Jake, going for a walk, going out for dinner, cooking and doing laundry.   Now the cooking and doing laundry don’t sound so exciting, but I actually enjoy doing both in peace and quiet in the evening without a toddler hanging on to my leg, making everything take 3 times as long.  Plus, when I get these things out of the way, I have more quality time to spend with Dylan when he is awake!
  4. Asking for help – I truly believe that we are not meant to raise children alone.   Every mom needs help from others in order to stay sane, as demands from children can be extremely overwhelming.   I could probably be better at asking for help from others, especially since I love spending time and taking care of Dylan.   Some ways that I ask for help include the following:  asking Jake to wake up in the morning and play with Dylan while I catch an extra hour or two of sleep, asking my mom to watch Dylan for a couple of hours while Jake and I go out for dinner, going over to my parents’ house and having Dylan play with my mom and dad while I read the newspaper or just watch TV.  The wonderful thing is that when I actually let other people help me with Dylan, they nurture their own relationship with him, which is truly enriching to Dylan!
  5. Sharing household and child-related work – Jake and I both work, so it’s only fair that we share household and child-related work.   I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband who helps me with the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, amongst other tasks.   I should add that Jake also is a wonderful father who takes and picks up Dylan from school most days, plays with Dylan, gives him a bath each night and much much more.  I definitely wouldn’t be sane without his help!

 

Dylan exhausted after a busy nap free-day...I love early bedtimes!

 

All in all, I believe that I retain some semblance of balance in my life, despite our sometimes crazy and hectic work and life schedules.   There is always room for improvement in any of the above mentioned ideas, and I’m sure when baby #2 enters our lives my balance will be thrown out of whack for a while.   However, an integral part of my personal mental balance is enjoying the time I spend with Dylan, rather than seeing it as a chore.   I know now how fast the first few years can go by, and I hope to enjoy each (or maybe most!) moment with the new baby, knowing that the time when my kids are little and needy is both precious and fleeting.

 

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated October 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Balance — Sheila at A Gift Universe has put her baby first — and has no regrets. (@agiftuniverse)
  • A Moment for Mama — Starr at Earth Mama has learned how to recharge on the run, so she doesn’t miss a moment with her children.
  • Take a 30-Minute or 5-Minute Me-Break — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses the merits of taking small daily breaks to maintain balance. (@DebChitwood)
  • Achieving Balance — In a guest post at the new Natural Parents Network, Heather explains how yoga has helped her find balance in her personal and family life. (@NatParNet)
  • TITLE — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma didn’t realize she needed “me” time — until she got it and had no idea what to do with herself. (@kitchenwitch)
  • Attachment Parenting and Balance — Michelle at The Parent Vortex believes that the last item on the “attachment parenting” list is both the most important and the most overlooked. (@TheParentVortex)
  • Little Breaks Bring a Little Balance — Jen at Grow with Graces finds balance – some days! (@growwithgraces)
  • Finding Balance — Are you a Type A mama? Dionna at Code Name: Mama is, and she needs your help to find balance. (@CodeNameMama)
  • (high)Centered — Stefanie at Very, Very Fine has had a spa gift certificate sitting on her nightstand since last year, a symbol of her inability to take time for herself.
  • Taking Time for Me — Marita at Stuff With Thing takes refuge in the world of books, with her daughters immersed in reading beside her. (@leechbabe)
  • Writing as a parent: October Carnival of Natural Parenting — Lauren at Hobo Mama didn’t let parenting put her passions on hold. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • The Dance of Balance — Balance isn’t static. It is dynamic, it is a dance, it is about keeping in touch with you. Read this wonderful bit of wisdom from Seonaid at the Practical Dilettante. (@seonaid_lee)
  • Rest Hour – a Primer — Do you get 15 minutes to yourself each day? How about an hour?! Mrs. H. at Fleeting Moments shares her tips on how to incorporate a “rest hour” for adults and kids.
  • Separation Is Critical — Only through enforced separation with the end of her marriage did Jessica at This is Worthwhile realize she should have taken time apart all along. (@tisworthwhile)
  • Bread, Roses, and a Side of Guilt. — Betsy at Honest 2 Betsy isn’t ashamed to admit that she enjoys a pint once in awhile, or that her daughter recreates it during pretend play.
  • The World from Within My Arms — Rachael at The Variegated Life finds balance despite her work and her husband’s commitment to art through attachment parenting. (@RachaelNevins)
  • Balancing the Teeter-Totter — Rebecca is rediscovering balance by exploring her interests and passions in several different categories. She shares in this guest post at The Connected Mom. (@theconnectedmom)
  • TITLE — Danielle at born.in.japan is slowly learning the little tricks that make her family life more balanced. (@borninjp)
  • Uninterrupted Parenting — Amy at Innate Wholeness has learned that she does not need to interrupt parenting in order to find balance.
  • Knitting for My Family — Knitting is more than just a hobby for Kellie at Our Mindful Life, it is her creative and mental outlet, it has blessed her with friendships she might not otherwise have had, and it provides her with much-needed balance.
  • Taking the Time — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker has all the time she needs, now her girls are just a bit older.
  • Please, Teach Me How — Amy at Anktangle needs your help: please share how you find time for yourself, because she is struggling. (@anktangle)
  • A Pendulum Swings Both Ways — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment found herself snapping with too little time for herself, and then veered toward too much.
  • TITLE — It took a season of big changes and added responsibility, but Melodie of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! now feels more balanced and organized as a mama than ever before. (@bfmom)
  • At Home with Three Young Children: The Search for Balance, Staying Sane — With three young kids, Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings knows parents sometimes have to adjust their expectations of how much downtime they can reasonably have. (@sunfrog)
  • Attachment Parenting? And finding some “Me Time” — As a mother who works full time, Momma Jorje wants “me” time that includes her daughter.
  • A Balancing Act — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes has concrete ways to help keep centered with a little one and a new baby on the way, from exercise to early bedtimes to asking for help. (@sheryljesin)
  • Aspiring Towards Libra — Are your soul-filling activities the first to be pushed aside when life gets hectic? Kelly of KellyNaturally.com aspires to make time for those “non-necessities” this year. (@kellynaturally)
  • SARKisms for Sanity — Erica at ChildOrganics has found renewed inspiration to take baths and laugh often from a book she had on the shelf. (@childorganics)