My lovely cousin Melissa is in town and as per tradition we always schedule a day to spend together. She was supposed to be moving to Vancouver after her worldly travels but she met a boy and now she is moving to London *weeps silently*. This means Melissa visits are probably going to be fewer and far between which makes me sad, BUT she is she is so happy and excited for this new adventure that it makes me so happy and excited for her!
Our plan for the day was to visit a petting zoo but September is a bit tricky as the petting zoo at Queens Park is only open for the Summer and most other petting zoos open along side pumpkin season which we aren’t quite at yet. But while doing a bit of research I remembered seeing someones photos of Maplewood Farm and when I discovered they are open every single day I knew that was the place to go!
I thought Matteo would be really keen on seeing all the different farm animals up close since we play and talk about them so much but all he really wanted to do was hang out with the ducks.
Speaking of which, I need to start planning Thanksgiving Dinner…
There are so many beautiful lakes which are full of ducks. I’m half surprised Matteo didn’t fall into any of them while casing the birds.
Matteo likes to stop and spell things along the way.
I love sheep.
Oh hey, look at that. More ducks.
Feeding chickens was also very exciting.
Mama cow on the left was very sad because the farm had just sold her calf to another farm. She was mooing like crazy.
Hey pretty ladies.
This delightful chicken stole Melissa’s lunch while we were watching her.
The whole adventure was fun but a little crazy. I spent all night thinking about the logistics of everything and it was making me loopy. I knew I had to take a stroller of some sort in which to carry the diaper bag and our lunch. In a perfect world everything would have been paved (sounds reasonable for a farm) and I could have brought my regular stroller which Mia would have gone in to. But I knew that wasn’t going to be the case so I had to bring my off road stroller, except Mia is too small to go in there so she would have to be carried around in the carrier. The off road stroller could then be used for Matteo, but lets be honest, how much time was he going to spend in the stroller? 2.5 seconds? Probably. None the less, I wasn’t going to carry everything on my back like a pack mule so I had to take the stroller regardless. So, picture this, Mia strapped to me in the carrier, me pushing an essentially empty stroller while chasing Matteo around the farm trying to take pictures of everything because Scrapbooking! I probably looked like a crazy person. Add to that Matteo thinking he is an adult that can go wherever he pleases whenever he pleases and you have my insane morning that I brought onto myself.
And after all that I fail as a Mother because I totally forgot to get a nice picture of Melissa and the kids together and a picture of myself to show I was actually there. Oh well, I guess maybe next time!?
Skin care has always been something that I have struggled with. Like most woman, I’ve tried a variety of different products to help clear, protect, and moisturize my skin without any real success. Sure I’d have moments of skin perfection, but they were always closely followed by reappearing acne.
When I was pregnant with Matteo I continued to struggle with breakouts. That sought after pregnancy glow was not something I attained while carrying my first born, but by that point I was so used to having to deal with acne, I just accepted it as the way it was. However, with Mia things changed. For the first time in years my face was clear and I was determined to keep it looking that way.
Soon after Mia was born I was introduced to the METRIN Skincare line and the way I cared for my skin completely changed.
METRIN Skincare consists of a 5 step system (Deep Cleanser + Lathering Cleanser + Vita Conditioner + Protective Lotion + Enriched Vita Conditioner) that helps keep your skin clear, healthy, and feeling amazing. In the past month while using METRIN I have noticed a complete overhaul in the way my skin looks and feels.
Your body goes through so much change while pregnant, it’s no surprise that your skin can be taken for a ride. Using METRIN is a great way to replenish your postpartum skin with essential fatty acids and nutrients that can easily be lost while your body readjust after birth. Plus, we all know how disrupted sleep can be in those last few weeks of pregnancy and those first few months with a new baby. And since sleep is so important for skin’s renewal process, using METRIN regularly can help protect and nourish your skin when sleeping in isn’t an option.
I’m a bit obsessed with having soft and moisturized skin. I think I moisturize my hands 50 times a day and I am never without some sort of chapstick. However, I’ve always been a bit unsure about moisturizing my face. Was I going to make my skin too oily therefore producing more acne? Was it really that necessary to moisturize my face? What sort of products was I supposed to use? The METRIN Skincare line took all the guess work out for me. Following their simple 5 set system my skin is cleansed, protected and conditioned in a matter of minutes. Plus you can use the Protective Lotion + Enriched Vita Conditioner on your scars and stretchmarks and it’s even safe to use on baby, especially when dealing with diaper rash (how amazing is that!).
When we went away to Manning Park a couple of weeks ago I decided not to bring METRIN with me because the reality was, all routine goes out the window when your at Manning and was it really going to matter that I didn’t use it for a handful of days? The answer was – YES. I remember looking in the mirror the morning after we arrived home and thought to myself – wow, so METRIN really does make a difference with my skin! It was in that moment I decided I would never leave home without it again.
I am so thankful that METRIN came into my life when it did. I’m sort of fixated with feeling my skin now because it just feels that amazing. I’ve finally been able to maintain clear soft skin which make me very happy!
***This post is sponsored by METRIN. All opinions are my own.***
We’ve been going for 22 years and the thought of that blows my mind. How can we have been going to Manning Park for over 20 years when I’m still only 12 years old?
I realized this year how neat it is that because we have been going for so long we have experienced Manning at so many different stages of life. First as kids thrilled with the excitement of getting to spend 4 days with cousins playing all day long. Then as young adults enjoying everything the resort had to offer. And now as parents, watching our children delight in the fact that every day is a new outdoor adventure.
Every year I get caught up in the excitement that “Manning is coming up soon!”. It’s embedded into our systems, just ask any of my cousins. And it’s not to say that Manning doesn’t live up to the excitement we create in our minds, it’s just that, we aren’t situated the same as we once were. I don’t get to hang out all day doing whatever I want (eating chocolate chip cookies in bed while making friendship bracelets of course). And I sure as heck don’t get to stay up all night playing games while enjoying beverages (although I guess I could, really, if I wanted to survive on no sleep). I have kids. I have kids who demand things from me and therefore prevent me from being the young carefree spirit I once was.
Manning has now become more work than fun, but that’s OK. It’s just the way it has to be, for the time being, until the kids are old enough to run around without constant supervision and we can go back to sitting in a circle on the lawn passing around bags of chips while getting a little too tipsy for 3 in the afternoon. We all have to get through the sleepless nights (because someone woke up someone else), and the constant running around, and the over packing for every possible situation. It’s a right of passage and right now we are smack dab in the middle of it.
because homemade ice cream + homemade chocolate chip cookies are the greatest thing ever
In our house we usually battle between my need to try new things and Chad’s love of the same foods repeated to no end. Now, while making the same meals all the time is easy and involves virtually no planning, it does leave me feeling rather bored after a while.
It’s no surprise that since Mia was born, I have not felt the need to get creative with my cooking. Should I just make meat and potatoes every day? Sure, sounds easy to me! And while I’m sure Chad is very please by this, it’s time for a change.
I have a subscription to Canadian Living which I love (I’m so Canadian) and they have so many amazing recipes each month (Canadian Living is my go to inspiration when planning Thanksgiving Dinner each year). I would love to try them all but I know my limitations when it comes to Chad’s palate. However, while sorting through all the recipes I rip out each month I decided to plan out the next two weeks worth of meals using as many of these recipes as I could (mixed in with a few Ciavarro staples to keep the old man happy).
Chad is probably going to have something to say about these since the sauce has Maple Syrup in it and the man doesn’t like sweet things (other than me).
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Thighs (stuffed with Olive Tapenade & Feta) + Rice + Steakhouse Salad
A new dish I came up with recently (see Chad, it is good to try new things) that has quickly become a staple. The steakhouse salad is not a salad with steak on it, it’s Iceberg Lettuce, Red Onion & Blue Cheese dressed in a Lemon & Oregano Vinaigrette. It’s a recreation from a salad we had at a restaurant many moons ago and we eat it ALL the time.
Dinner at Casa Ciavarro
A.K.A Chad’s parents house.
Breaded Pork Cutlets + Pancetta Potatoes + Steamed Green Beans + Green Salad
The Pancetta Potatoes are a dish that Chill Winston used to serve and we would ordered it every time we went there. When they took it off the menu I began to recreate it at home. So good!
Home Made Italian Pizza alla David Rocco
We’ll do the usual Margherita (with Chad’s homemade tomato sauce) + Proscuitto & Arugula Pizza.
Florentine Meatball Subs + Arugula Salad
I am very much looking forward to trying this recipe out. We’re having peeps over for dinner so I’ll serve something Ice Cream related for dessert.
My Brother & Sister in Law are going to try smoking salmon on my Dad’s smoker.
I’m bringing Anna Olson’s Milk Chocolate Silk Tart for dessert. NOM.
Make-Ahead Beef Enchiladas + Green Salad
It’s “supposed” to rain next Monday so this is my excuse for making a rather Fall like dish. Hopefully I will have a lot of leftovers to freeze!
Lightened-Up Chicken Parm with Garlicky Veggies + Sourdough Bread
I love me some Zucchini & Broccoli!
I’m cheating on Canadian Living with Chatelaine for this one. Also, the Smashed Potatoes recipe is excellent with any type of seasoning. I’ll probably do a garlic spiced one.
Hello Pasta fix!
BBQ Sausages + Grilled Polenta + Green Salad
My Godfather makes a mean Grilled Polenta and I’m going to try and recreate it. I might have to bribe my Godmother for the recipe. Also, my Nonna gave us a million heads of lettuce from her garden so we are going to be eating it for a while.
Leftover Flank Steak
I’m going to leave Saturday open for interpretation in case something fun comes up. If not I will either make Flank Steak Fajitas or Grilled Steak & Potato Salad. I’ll let Chad pick.
The annual Rossi Family Picnic is happening and I am in charge of bringing an appy, one that I have not yet determined (we’ll see what I’m feeling like). There is going to be so much good food I am already dreaming about it.
So there you have it. Two weeks worth of dinners planned out. I may be crazy but it makes me very happy to be this ridiculously organized. I LOVE TO PLAN if you didn’t already notice.
You can follow all this dinner time fun on Snapchat – @dciavarro – because social media was invented to share pictures of food with people.
Oh, and this post was not sponsored by Canadian Living, I just really really love their recipes.
Today is baby girls one month birthday. It’s hard to believe one month has passed already.
When Matteo was born, due to his prematurity and breathing complications, all we ever wanted was for him to grow and get older because the older he got the stronger he would be and the sooner he could come home. So there was never a part of me that would look at him and mourn the fact that he wasn’t a newborn anymore, or think “he is 4 months old already, where did the time go!?”. But with Mia, it’s totally the opposite.
Gone are the newborn days of barely fitting into sleepers. She is investigating things with her eyes more and more, and those gassy smiles are now a daily occurrence. Now when I see pictures of friends newborns I stop and think “GAH! Mia isn’t that little anymore!”. She is going to be the one I want to stay little forever.
She is so damn cute I just can’t stop staring at her. I love the way she chomps onto her soother when she is desperate for it. I love that she has one little dimple on her left cheek. And I kind of really love how much she looks like me.
As for being one month into motherhood with two children, it hasn’t been as hard as I imagined. Mia is very relaxed and only cries when she is hungry or wants her soother. Matteo is very independent so he just does his thing and checks to see what Mia is doing every so often. Being at home with both of them has it’s moments of chaos and frustration, but for the most part, it’s pretty easy. Though in saying that, things could change at any moment!
With sunny days ahead of us, I am hoping to get out of the house a bit more with both of them, though to be honest, I am totally intimidated by that thought. While I have gone grocery shopping with both in tow, going for a simple walk is another story. As you know, Matteo the wander does not make for an easy walk when the person who has to chase after him is pushing a stroller. I have to get Mia into a carrier and then we’ll see how it goes.
Matteo loves to let me know when Mia is ready to eat and he finds breastfeeding very fascinating, probably because he missed out on it. He also likes to ask me “What’s Baby Mia doing?” all the time, even though she doesn’t really do much.
I am very lucky with the way things are going so far. I hope the trend continues!
Can’t believe one month has already passed!