YGK Craft Beer Fest 2017

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YGK Craft Beer Fest has become the teaser of summer for me. I have been lucky enough to have experienced this amazing event for the past three years and have watched it expand through both vendors and the number of people who attend.

Located on the hill at Fort Henry, YGK Craft Beer Fest boasts a number of local (and not so local) craft breweries, great local food trucks, and a fabulous line up of live music. Top it off with a beautiful sunny day (which have been few and far between this year!), that Fort Henry view of Kingston and Lake Ontario and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The turnout this year was the best I have seen; but more people involves lines, lines … and more lines, so just be patient!

Here are some helpful hints for next year:

  • Purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid the ticket line.
  • Look around for the Beer Fest people in orange shirts – they have the beer tokens and will save you time from standing in yet another line!
  • Most vendors have debit/credit machines, so cash is not necessary, but it’s always good to have a little on hand, just in case.
  • Bring a blanket to get a spot on the hill. Beer, food and live music are much more enjoyable when you are sitting.
  • HYDRATE! Bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up. The Utilities Kingston Water Buggy is onsite and definitely came in handy this year!
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat! I know, I know, how many times do you have to be reminded, right? But the only tents that are available are the beer tents. I don’t mind sitting in the sun, but wear sunscreen and re-apply it often!
  • Try something new! With so many breweries to choose from, you might as well! I tried the new Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead (a new brewery in Kingston) and a delicious Stadium Island Peach cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse (Toronto).

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!

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The BEST Rhubarb Muffins

Spring is my absolute favourite season. Warmer weather, green grass, fresh lilacs … and RHUBARB! For as long as I can remember, there have been rhubarb plants at my parents house. I remember eating it raw, dipped in a little bit of sugar. The BEST! Walking around various local farmers markets, rhubarb is definitely in abundance this time of year. I like to stick with classic rhubarb recipes – compote, strawberry rhubarb jam, rhubarb crumble and rhubarb muffins!

Continue reading “The BEST Rhubarb Muffins”

Update!

[Well, if you’re still sticking around my blog, I apologize for the radio silence as I adjust to this new and crazy and wonderful chapter of my life!]

Our sweet baby BOY arrived on February 24th, 2018 at 12:40pm weighing 7lbs and 13oz. It’s been over 2 months but I still remember every detail like it was yesterday. The whole experience was just surreal and I’m still in the process of writing out my birth story (as I find the time to do so!)! Motherhood is the most difficult, yet most rewarding job I have ever had. Every day is a different adventure and I find him growing up much too fast for my liking.

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Oh how I miss those sweet tiny fingers already!

I will try my hardest to be more consistent in posting – I feel like I’ve said that a lot these past few months, but it’s something that I truly enjoy and I just have so much to share … and since I’m off on mat leave, it will definitely give me something to do!

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39 Week Bumpdate!

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How far along: 39 weeks … aka I am a ticking TIME BOMB.
Gender: SOON.
Weight gain: Over 30lbs.
Maternity clothes: Jeans have become the most uncomfortable thing that I can possibly wear right now. So it’s all the leggings and soft GAP tees and drapey sweaters when I need to wear clothes (aka, when I have to go out) and it’s giant sweatpants, hubs’ tees, pajama bottoms and a housecoat when I’m at home.
Rings on or off: Non-existent. I really can’t wait until I can wear them again!
Labour signs: None, but I think that (hopefully) the pelvic pressure that I’ve been feeling this week is baby making its way down!
Belly button in or out: It’s decided to go about as far out as it can get!
Sleep: From what I’ve heard from other Mamas, I’ve really lucked out in the sleep department this pregnancy. I’ve only been having to get up once throughout the night to go to the bathroom. I’ve also figured out a wicked pillow set up, that basically doesn’t allow me to move AT ALL and is fairly comfortable (as in my head I can usually get to sleep quickly!). Now, if this babe could give me a few days to recoup from the wild few weeks I’ve had from finishing up work and let me sleep a bit more, that would be GREAT!!
Best moment this week: I kind of hate to say it, but my best moment (and most bittersweet moment) this week was definitely finishing up work on Friday! As thankful as I am to have been so blessed with the opportunity to have my own classroom, my body was definitely starting to slow down and it was becoming much more difficult to find the energy and patience for my sweet little kiddos.

Worst moment this week: Well, my BP was a little bit above normal my last appointment, so then I had to go back and get it checked again the next day, as well as test urine (although they never said in particular what they were monitoring for until after the second BP check, I knew it was for pre-eclampsia). Luckily, everything was relatively okay and we can proceed as normal.

Miss anything: Not taking 10+ minutes to get out the door in the morning. Socks AND boots AND a coat have just become such a hassle these days, especially when I have to get them on all by myself. 😦 Seriously, I’d say the only downfall to being pregnant during the winter months would be the ice, and having to put winter boots on (ANY KIND OF WINTER BOOTS!)
Movement: Strong little kicks and jabs and punches everywhere! I’m seriously going to miss this part.
Cravings: None.
Looking forward to: Having some time off to myself, to just relax (sleep in!) and do some last minute cleaning (like getting on top of this laundry situation!).
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38 Week Bumpdate!

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How far along: 38 weeks.

Gender: We will soon find out!

Weight gain: I think about 30lbs … yeeks.

Maternity clothes: PLEASE. At this point, I assume everyone knows that maternity clothes only only work while out and about, and as soon as I get home, I am just in all the comfies.

Rings on or off: Non-existent.

Labour signs: None.

Belly button in or out: I think it’s trying to push its way out … and almost succeeding.

Sleep: Good. However, the relaxin is totally taking over my body and the pelvic/hip soreness is becoming a thing. I’ve been trying to figure out way to unstack my hips while sleeping at night because that relieves some of the pain. I have a few more weeks to master the art of pregnancy pillow placement. Might be needing some extra pillows for back support.

Best moment this week: Well it was a 4 day week for the kids which was nice. Meant a Friday to just work on report cards. Although these might just be the death of me! However, I will get through it, because next week is my last week of work!

Miss anything: I miss being able to walk normally … both in terms of speed and without a waddle. Yes I guess I miss going places fast and not in pain.

Movement: No need to be counting kicks here. Seriously. This kid moves ALL THE TIME. Possibly even when I’m sleeping but my body just enjoys sleep so much that movement definitely doesn’t wake me up at night.

Cravings: Nothing that I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. I’ve been indulging in some sweet treats (like all the ice cream!)… but I guess my days of this are numbered. sigh.

Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to getting some rest before this tiny human arrives. Whose bright idea was it to work until 39 weeks anyways!? oh right. MINE.

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35+36 Week Bumpdate!

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How far along: 35 weeks.

 

Gender: Unknown, the guesses are still 100% boy, but don’t worry, we have a girl name picked out in case everyone is wrong! 😉

 

Weight gain: 24lbs+

 

Maternity clothes: During the day, yes. When I get home, it’s pajamas, oversized tees and a housecoat.

 

Rings on or off: Wearing my silicone ones when I feel like wearing rings, which isn’t too often these days. My fingers are just so swollen and stiff and semi-painful when I wake up that I don’t feel like shoving them on.

 

Belly button in or out: Legit. FLAT.

 

Sleep: Pretty decent. I’m thankful I was able to do some catching up on sleep during the holidays, but everyone who said that coming back to work after the break is even more exhausting were definitely telling the truth. I’ve started getting up in the middle of the night to go to the washroom, or flop over to the other side, but usually I can get back to sleep quite easily. My goal from now until I got on mat leave is to go to sleep earlier!

 

Best moment this week: Getting back to work! I would rather be working at this point than going off. It’s been keeping my busy throughout the week. We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks time! Also, going to the Kingston Fronts hockey game with a bunch of friends on Friday!
Miss anything: Getting out of bed in a more … delicate manner? Like not having to roll or slide myself to the edge of the bed and then get up!

 

Movement: Uh YES! We recently discovered the tapping back thing, where you can press on belly and baby will push back! It’s SO COOL. I also think this tiny human is running out of room in there. The feet or leg jabs up into the ribs are just slightly uncomfortable and baby seems to be favouring the right side of my belly (or the left if you’re looking at me!). It usually makes for slight discomfort until he/she decides to move (or moves as a result of me pushing ever so gently).

 

Cravings: I’m back on the cinnamon kick. Cinnamon toast all the things! Oh and chocolate covered digestive cookies!

 

Looking forward to: Actually … I’m really looking forward to making it to full term. Like how did this even go by so quickly!?
AND 36 WEEKS!
How far along: 36 weeks (That is OFFICIALLY MONTH 9 PEOPLE!!!)

 

Gender: Unknown, the guesses are still 100% boy, but don’t worry, we have a girl name picked out in case everyone is wrong! 😉

 

Weight gain: 24lbs+

 

Maternity clothes: Yup. I’m actually pretty impressed with the limited wardrobe that I currently have that is wearable. I can still manage, although I suppose it’s time to start looking into postpartum clothes. Leggings, nursing bras/tanks and oversized sweatshirts anyone? Not like that really is any different from what I usually wear, although no work clothes for over a year will be wonderful!

 

Rings on or off: I’ve given up on all hope of wearing anything on my swollen sausage fingers for the time being.
Labour signs: Diddly squat.

 

Belly button in or out: I think it’s trying to escape outwards, but also not having any of it!

 

Sleep: GOOD. I’ve only had a few nights where I’ve had to get up to go to the washroom … and then I’m thirsty … and then hungry, but too tired to go get something to eat so I just take a sip of water and fall back to sleep. I have found that my hips are starting to get just a little bit more sore when sleeping, probably because I’m stacking them on top of each other, so the pillow fortress has been helping and letting me lean back a little bit more, which relieves the weight off my hips. Also having to turn over in the middle of the night is just SO FUN. NOT.

 

Best moment this week: I had a work email about an impromptu meeting to be held after school on Wednesday of this week. Little did I know when I walked into the staff room (with the other pregnant staff who is due a week before me!), that it was a surprise baby celebration! It was so wonderful (and slightly embarrassing; if you know me, I am not one to bask in the limelight of all the attention!). I actually feel so blessed to be a part of a school community for these last few weeks before I go off on mat leave. OH AND I submitted my maternity leave paperwork to HR. I will officially be off on February 9th (as long as this tiny human stays in there until then!)!
Miss anything: Putting on my socks/boots/coat without having to struggle. Or be out of breath when I do things …. like talk on the phone. HA!

 

Movement: CONSTANTLY. Does this kid ever sleep?! Possibly … since I don’t really feel movement when I’m asleep. Is this an indication of how it’s going to be when this baby comes earthside?! One can only dream …

 

Cravings: CAKE. Because I obviously didn’t eat cake 3 days in a row this week! Apple Cinnamon Cheerios … with milk. Everything with milk.

 

Looking forward to: Finishing up the last few things we have to do before babe arrives  – installing the car seat, getting bags packed and ready at the door, and probably one nice big clean of the whole house! (We’ll see how much gets done considering I am the slowest packer EVER.)

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A Loss to Our Family

I don’t have a 34 week update for you guys. In all truth, my 34th week of pregnancy was just a blur of emotion as we suddenly lost my beautiful Grandmother on New Year’s Day and laid her to rest the following Friday. It was a rough week. I woke up every morning thinking it was a terrible dream and the reality sunk in and most of my days were spent getting overwhelmed and so terribly upset. I think it was more difficult because the visitations were held in the evening during the week and although we were still on Christmas holidays, it would have been difficult for us to drive there for the evening (about 2.5 hrs away).

2018 was going to be one of the best years for my Grandma. She was so excited for this. It will be her first Grandchild and she wanted us to call her GG (for Great Grandma) after he/she was born. My Mom told me that when she went to visit a few days before my Grandma passed away, she kept asking if my Mom knew if it was a boy or a girl. I know she totally knows who this baby is now and I have no doubt in my mind that she is keeping us safe and adding the finishing touches to baby from the other side. My cousin is also getting married this year and I have heard that she was planning on what she was going to wear for her wedding a few days before she left us. A pantsuit. I think she wanted it to be sparkly. She would have looked absolutely stunning. 

My Grandma was laid to rest in the beautiful gown she had worn to my wedding. She had everything planned for her funeral – right down to the music selection for the mass (which absolutely devastated me while we walked behind her casket; I am thankful for my sister and cousin who walked beside me). 

Grandma, 2018 will not be the same without you. I still can’t believe you’re gone. I will miss celebrating these wonderful life events coming up this year and my heart will forever long to have a picture of you holding our baby. I know you are watching over us always and you have the greatest view of this year from where you are. 

Forever in our hearts. Love you GG. 

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33 Week Bumpdate!

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How far along: 33 weeks!

 

Gender: Unknown, but in all truth, I would be happy with either!

 

Weight gain: 24lbs! Also, according to all these pregnancy apps, the baby is 4-5 lbs at this point?! HOW?!

 

Maternity clothes: Yes’m. Although, since we are off on Christmas holidays I have been mostly lounging in pajama bottoms and hubs huge hockey t-shirts because comfort over fashion at this point.

 

Rings on or off: What rings? My wedding bands have been retired, but I picked up a few of these enso rings, which are made out of silicone and have some stretch to them. I still feel like my giant fingers are still pretty darn swollen, so I only use these when I have to/feel like it! My joints have also started feeling super stiff when I wake up in the morning and sometimes in the evening; it’s such a terrible feeling.

 

Belly button in or out: Uhhh, I’d say my belly button has become more of a pancake. It is on the verge of being neither in nor out, but just FLAT.

 

Sleep: Still getting fabulous amounts of sleep and extremely thankful for it! I’ve definitely enjoyed these days off though.

 

Best moment this week: Celebrating Christmas of course! Hanging with our families and taking in what was our last Christmas as just a married couple.

 

Miss anything: STILL beer … and kombucha … and Toblerone bars. And let’s just say that Toblerone bars are definitely hard to come by only a few days before Christmas and definitely hard to find after Christmas. I’m thankful for my Dad and hubs who managed to find some … and to hubs’ students who also contributed to the Toblerone stash! I also miss not having to go to the washroom every two minutes!

 

Movement: We are head down folks as confirmed today! Midwife couldn’t tell which was baby’s butt or head so she brought out the handy dandy hand-held ultrasound machine (who knew those were a thing! technology these days I tell ya!) and BOOM we got a nice beautiful view of a head … right where it should be. Which is also scary AF.

 

Cravings: French toast. I was so excited to have french toast when we went out for breakfast a few days ago. But I’m pretty darn sure it was bread soaked in beaten eggs. Disappointing. So I’ve made it my mission to make SO. MUCH. FRENCH. TOAST. before I go back to work!

 

Looking forward to: Definitely looking forward to being home and sleeping in my own bed after a few days away. The month of January just seems to be so open and relaxing for us at last! We have a few finishing touches to add to the nursery. I’m kind of excited to get back to my class and spending some time with them before I have to go off on mat leave!
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31 + 32 Week Bumpdates!

You guys. I am sucking horribly at these bumpdates! It sure is difficult staying on top of life with the chaos of the holidays that’s for sure! And my sweet little primary class was definitely no help in keeping me on track. So, I am skipping the 31 week bumpdate and will just do 32 weeks (I’m assuming they would both be very similar anyways as the weeks just keep melting into each other!).

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How far along: 32 weeks!

 

Gender: Unknown … the general consensus at this point is a boy … I am not convinced.

 

Weight gain: I would guess somewhere around 23lbs. I forgot to weigh myself at my last appointment, but there is another one coming up soon!

 

Maternity clothes: are everything. Hopefully I will be getting some more at Christmas!

 

Rings on or off: They are off. The sausage fingers have become an actual thing these days and oh my goodness my fingers are just so stiff and sore, especially in the morning when I guess they haven’t moved much. It’s a terrible feeling. I knew that the swelling might be a thing, but definitely wasn’t ready for the stiffness/soreness.

 

Belly button in or out: Innie … on its way into an outtie I think. Or a nothing.

 

Sleep: Pretty good. I can’t wait to catch up on all my sleep during the holidays! Hopefully my body (and this tiny human) let me sleep in some!

 

Best moment this week: Well, I have discovered through conversations and some reading that the 1 hr GTT is definitely not accurate. Anyways, I did the two hour one and everything was fiiiiiine! So give me all the delicious Christmas treats and cookies and chocolate and gingerbread.

 

Worst moment this week: Turns out my blood is going to have to be monitored every few weeks. Which means more needles for this Mama. Sigh.

 

Miss anything: Beer. Again. Especially with the holidays creeping up, I know there will be beer and wine everywhere!

 

Movement: Yup! This little bubs is moving around lots and it is the most amazing (and kind of strange) thing I’ve ever seen and felt.

 

Cravings: Cinnamon rolls. I think I have to make some over the holidays!

 

Looking forward to: TWO WEEKS OFF. Except I am told that two weeks off and then going back to work after having the chance to relax and sleep is actually even more exhausting. Celebrating our last Christmas together as just a couple (and our puppa!), spending time with our families. I’m super excited at the fact that Christmas falls early this year so we have a whole week after Christmas/New Years to just do nothing. Okay, we probably will do SOME things. Like wash/put away baby clothes and start packing hospital bags. WHAT.
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Top 5 Holiday Baking Recipes

Well friends, the holidays are officially upon us! I am certain that I have all my Christmas shopping done (and if for some reason I done, I’m sorry for whoever I’ve missed because I am NOT going out again!). Today will be spent wrapping gifts, watching endless Christmas movies and finishing up some holiday baking!

I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 holiday treats! I wasn’t as adventurous as I have been in previous years, so I only made a few of these this year, and opted for the easier ones (but they are equally delicious!).

  1. Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies): for some reason, I have always found myself trying to find the perfect recipe for Puppy Chow all over Pinterest. That is until I realized that the recipe is INSIDE the Chex Mix box. So this year I cut it out and shoved it into my recipe book!
  2. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: these are basically brownies in cookie form and are absolutely delicious! They are super quick and easy to make and just look so beautiful when they are done!
  3. Ginger Molasses Cookies: I stumbled upon this recipe earlier this week and OH MY GOSH they are literally the best ginger cookies I have EVER made! I was initially looking for a good gingerbread recipe (if anyone has one, send it my way please!), but these will most definitely do for this year!
  4. Mincemeat Pies: I don’t have a recipe for mincemeat because in all truth, I have never made mincemeat filling from scratch. Perhaps I will attempt it at some Christmas in the future. For now, I stick with the President’s Choice Mincemeat filling and my Grandma’s good ole dough recipe! These are the only dried fruit treats that I really enjoy during the holidays (no fruitcake for me thanks!) Plum pudding comes in second, but I usually only get that AFTER Christmas (you know, when everything Christmas goes on sale!)
  5. Church Windows: apparently THESE cookies are super old school, as in people remember their Grandma whipping these up during the holidays! I discovered these last year while shopping downtown. Card’s Bakery in Kingston had some, I tried it and it was magical! These cookies are no bake, and the only part I found to be difficult was rolling them up in the plastic wrap! I left out the walnuts because nuts just don’t belong in desserts!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with delicious food, and surrounded by family!

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30 Week Bumpdate!

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How far along: 30 weeks!

Gender: Unknown

Weight gain: Officially 21lbs!

Maternity clothes: All day, every day.  I put on one of my mat shirts for work the other day and man did I just feel superbly LARGE. Still haven’t bought anything else I said I would buy since the hoodie, but I wouldn’t mind a few more comfy pieces to wear once baby gets here. I suppose I should also start looking into investing in decent nursing bras and tanks. So if anyone has any recommendations on either, I would most definitely appreciate it!

Rings on or off: They are off. I refused to attempt to shove them on. I don’t think my fingers look THAT swollen, but they have been a bit of a struggled to get on and off so I’ll just go without. MY FINGER FEELS SO NAKED.

Belly button in or out: In but shallow AF.

Sleep: Sleep has been generally good. I’ve had a few strange nights where I just wake up, go to the washroom and BOOM I can only just lay there and stare into the dark for an hour or so. Then I manage to get back to sleep. I’m hoping that nights like this just stay away, but only time will tell I suppose! Still trying to get to sleep earlier that’s for sure!

Best moment this week: My midwife appointment as always! I really didn’t mind the Glucose Tolerance Test. The drink definitely tasted similar to the McDonald’s Orange Drink and they give you five minutes to drink it, which I though was a ton of time. Turns out it isn’t and I found myself chugging back the last bit, which burned just a little and left an unpleasant aftertaste.
We also took our prenatal/childbirth classes over the weekend and I feel a little more prepared and informed as to what to expect. I’ll continue doing some reading though. Current reads include Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for myself and The Birth Partner for hubs (although I think I will be reading this book too!).

Worst moment this week: Discovering that my GTT levels were just a little too high. Which means I have to do the 2 hour GTT, which includes THREE blood draws. I am less than fond of getting blood taken. So we’ll see how that goes.

Miss anything: The raw fish kind of sushi!

Movement: Very distinct movement this week! Rolls and turns, kicks and punches. Baby is still just chilling out and laying whichever way he/she feels comfortable for now. The absolute weirdest feeling is when I find myself resting my arm or hand on my belly and can literally FEEL an arm or leg just run itself across my own arm or hand. I’ve also discovered that I can figure out whereabouts baby is sitting, again only sometimes because it’s only a super strange feeling, but I’m sure I can feel baby’s head or body if I’m adventurous enough and he/she’s in the right place.

Cravings: Poutine. Gingerbread cookies.

Looking forward to: Going to see the newest Star Wars movie this weekend! Although it comes out today, hubs was thinking ahead when he purchased tickets two months ago and got an early showing on Friday evening because sleep for a pregnant lady trumps everything (bonus points for him!).
A weekend to ourselves (aka a weekend of doing absolutely nothing!)! I’m sure we’ll have to do some last minute Christmas shopping for people though. But no other commitments!
The last week of school before we are off for Christmas holidays!

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