Category Archives: Family

everything and anything with my lovely blood ties

Happy Birthday Smum!

To be succinct:

I can’t even scratch the surface of how lucky I have been, growing with not one but two strong, incredibly intelligent, and independent female role models.

The modern family can be a beautiful thing ladies and gentlemen, remember this.

Happy birthday Sam! You have been a part of who I am today.

Thank you and I love you.

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Happy Birthday Mom.

Maybe we all feel this way but…  really.

really.

I don’t know how I got so lucky.

When I watched the Gilmour Girls with you at age 12, little did I know we’d soon fill those shoes.

In exactly eight months I will be half your age Mom. I think that means we can be like best friends because you’re hardly older than me, eh.

These past <21 years have been the best. Ever.

You deserve more gifts than my saved scholarship money can buy. So obviously I got you a David Lebovitz Dessert cookbook and a lululemon sports bra. Also 52 X infinity hugs. Postdated.

Still… I want to give you back everything you’ve given me and more, but it might take a while.

So please stick around, and I’ll work out a deferred payment obligation. We can account for it like a pention (too many accounting references? maybe? sorry.).

Come to Paris with me.

mother daughter ice cream.

Love,

B

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Happy Shayla’s Old Day! – carrot coconut soup

So another one of my cousins is having a birthday.

Why do they keep aging you ask?

Who knows.  I know I’m not aging.  That would be gross.

See this time it’s Shayla’s birthday. The least dramatic of the cousins. I don’t know if the font conveyed the sarcasm..

Hi Shayla :-). Time to learn about you.

Shayla obviously likes to abuse animals, but it’s ok, because they like to abuse her too.  Also Shayla’s cute.  All blonde n petite n junk.  Boys were chasin’ her before I knew what a training bra was. I didn’t mind, I was busy either skiing or being a nerd.  Also, she was totally one of those girls whose hair looked like it never got tangled somehow because it was all smooth and straight.

Shay, if you weren’t super, I woulda been hatin’. Stupid tangly wavy reddish hair of mine.

BUT unlike other girls who had smooth non-tangly looking hair and never came to school without socks, Shayla was legit nice to me.  IN PUBLIC. Even would walk down the hallway with me in elementary school.  Elementary school was not  my prime.  Walking down the hallway with a non-scruffy and actually cute cousin = big deal for me.  You the bomb Shay.  Always making me feel loved.  Even if I forgot my socks, again. (Here’s when I start singing that “I wish.. that.. I knew what I know now… When I was younger..” song.  Wear socks Britt)

So, here’s to being my friend while I was at my least-cool!

So what’d I do for the girl on her birthday?

A cake right?

HA. wrong.  a vegetable-y soup.

with a sneaky hornet

You see, a couple of days ago Shayla told me that she was under the weather. Fortunately for her, I’m under the weather! Yay! Under the weather for four weeks and counting… not the point… not Brittany whine time.  Shayla time.

I love Shayla.

I text her when our grandma’s dog eats my best underwear. again. through two closed doors (WTF?!?!). She texts me when she finds creepy things with bajillions of creepy legs in her house.. in Victoria.  I try to help her.. from Ottawa. Unfortunately I can’t be the macho man that am on the inside and steal Shayla’s own shoe at her home in Victoria in order to squish her silverfish.

Plus she’s strong enough to do that herself.

She did, however, tweet me about her illness.  That I can at least attempt to sooth with my delicious pretend internet food that I share with my virtual friends.

Shayla.. I don’t know how your picky-ness is coming.. but this soup.. if you dared eat it.. would make you healthy.  SOO many good food things.  Also creamy and delicious.

Here’s to Twenty and a bowl of soup.

Carrot Coconut (and beet omg) Soup

adapted from Joy the Baker

 

  • hefty splash of olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1.5 Tbs minced fresh ginger
  • heaping 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1.5 cups diced carrots
  • half a large beet! diced. Yeah I snuck that in, it’s yummy and dyes my innards.
  • 1.5-2 cups vegetable broth (depending on desired thickness)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • S&P

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onions once oil is hot.  Once onions are translucent and the ginger until nice n smelly, then add coriander and diced beet and carrots.  Add the veggie broth, and reduce to a simmer, covered, until the carrots are completely softened (30 mins ish).  Remove from heat and cool a bit, then blend!  I did this with a hand blender, but if you have a large one, use it!  After blending, return to the pot and add coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot with delicious things that you can dip into it.  Ugh, the colour is awesome!! I love this soup. love love.

Oh and Shay, you’re not over the hill yet.

So don’t cry.

Unless it’s your party.. then you can cry if you want to.  ohi’mfunny.

Happy Shayla Day 🙂 I hope there were no spiders in your house, just for today.

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Filed under Dinner, Family, Food

Goodbye summer, we were so good together.

I told you I would have a hard time staying on top of my blogging game during the summer.

You may not have realized that I meant, “Hey guess what, we’re not talking for like… a month.”

Yeah… neither did I… my condolences. I knew it might happen, but I’d hoped I would make a few appearances.

Nope. There was much self-scolding. Personal hand-slapping. AND Feeling sorry for-one’s-elf-ing.

I finally accepted that my blog-lationship would have to rekindle in the fall.  For real.  Like, I’m back.  I have time for you now.  I promise I won’t do this to you again. (Well maybe at Christmas, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it…)

Soon I’ll have classes to use you as procrastination for, homesickness to use you as a cure for, and muffin-baking to use you as an excuse for.

In spite of my absence on the interwebs, my summer wrap-up was still totally blog worthy.  I still kept my camera handy.  I still made great memories.  AND I still made great food.

Let’s share:

 

I kept those friends that you saw me with earlier in the summer. Yeah that’s right.  They weren’t rentals.

 

I sucked up to my awesome new neighbours like freaking mad.  They have man-power that I might need one day (likely to haul un-godly quantities of oats into my pantry at some point), and I had Cherry-Chia Bars.  These were freaking fantastic. So many possible superlatives for these freaking bars.  Obviously I didn’t tell my neighbours that they were vegan until after they ate them. HA.  Best deceptive plot ever.  I hope to share this recipe with you sometime over the fall because you deserve it.

 

I went on a VACATION… err.. I mean another running competition.  It was all business.  Just racing.  You can tell.  It was in Kamloops.  It was 33°C.  Ohbaby

 

Yep.  I had two races.  They rocked.  I had to have two water bottles dumped over my head and a personal water-sptritzy-gun-man at the finish.  I would have otherwise disintegrated.  Or vomited.  But the latter was not an option.  Food is sacred.

So yea, I had two races… but I was there for a week. Most of my time was spent:

 

Perusing farmers markets.

 

Purchasing multiple flavours of artisanal honey.  I miss you, pink lemonade honey straw.

 

Savouring Okanagan peaches.  In my room.  Sharing with no one.

 

Being team-spirited.

Oh yes, very spirited.

Then needing an ice bath because all that spirit can seriously wear out the quads.

Witnessing touching mushy coupley moments… creepily.  And maybe shedding a tear… creepily.

Oooh and taking photos of not-my-children… creepily.

Shoveling this sundried tomato eggs benedict (yes it’s as life-changing as it sounds) from hello toast into my face.

I even partook in some alternative exercise to burn off the hollandaise.

Then I came home again.  The final stretch.  Disheartening.  I ate my feelings.

With these.

And then with this.

And then I needed to share my feelings… while still eating them.. so I made these.  And then ate waaaay to many cherries.  And had to take a break.  Note to self:  know that every time you say “This time it’s going to be different, this time I’ll be able to eat the whole bag without any negative repercussions.”  It’s not going to be different.  Don’t do it smart-ass.

Then I went on a hike with someone that I like to make me feel better.

 

And even more hikes with people that I like!  Yes!  You are correct!  M was home!! (he and my entire family had abandoned me for a Nova Scotia vacation for a month, no bitterness though.. obviously..)

We did Whitehorse-y wilderness-y things while we still could.

Those are cranberries.

 

Yes, I tell you I love him because he’s my brother and is amazing and intelligent and loving.  BUT… You know he’s just blog bait.  Look at that kid.

no, not really that photo..

but that family 🙂 Dang we’re good lookin’.

And well fed.

My family sent me off with a local dinner. 40 Metre diet style.  Yes, you heard me.  Even that chicken was axed in my uncle’s back yard. AWESOME.  RIP Terry.

Well done acquiring a footrest during dinner M. No, of course Jazz doesn’t mind.

(btw Uncle Steve, Best Dinner Ever.)

Whitehorse, I love you, try not to cry while I’m gone.  It’ll be Christmas before you know it.

Oh P.S. I had to do some of my own send-offs before I left. *tear*

At least they involved cupcakes. To be continued…

 

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Filed under Family, Friends, Mundane Shenanigans

Mother’s first foray into blogging

Last week, my mother made dinners, nice dinners, for multiple days in a row.  It was amazing, and as of late due to the stressful house-moving and busy chaos – unheard of.

She texted me excitedly.

Yes you can text excitedly, I could tell.

She said, “Britt, I just bought all of the ingredients to make a completely organic pesto.”

I knew it would be a good night.

No, of course M wouldn’t touch the stuff. Green.. Slimy… stuff.

Too bad for you M. TOO BAD.

So, I asked my momma to do a guest post :).  My mom everybody:

Dear Brittany….my blog (originally wrote blob, and it is likely a better title)

Sometimes when I have to deal with certain demands (read: differently aged and differently needs-oriented children, new house purchase negotiations/renovations, and general helping people to make sure the world is a better place aka work) I need to pretend that my life isn’t really happening. This ‘pretending’ takes the form of watching late night ‘light’ tv shows like ‘tell me you love me’ or ‘starter wife’ and sometimes it takes the form of cooking a real meal in the midst of a chaotic kitchen (just to ‘pretend’ it isn’t chaotic). Well, yes, unbelievable as it is, I made a real meal during a week night (I usually make something like veggies on a plate with organic macaroni and cheese to make me feel less guilty). But on this occasion I went for real. I have to first write that I LOVE Pioneer Woman’s recipes and have NEVER found a bad one (her butter chicken is to die for)…and it is this resource I used when I needed to pretend that life was not as chaotic as it was.

I could go on and pontificate about how making real meals may also keep people real & build self esteem (because I think it can) but I’ll just say that I made this yummy Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce because I needed to. I also had a glimmer of hope that M. would eat it – but that didn’t happen (the shapes weren’t ‘normal’ macaroni shape). Moving on.

I hope you check out this easy to make recipe and that you enjoy bringing it to your family dinner table the way I did…thank goodness I can always count on G. and Brittany to enjoy a good meal – that is my reward and it gave me the nice piece of normal that I needed that day.

Note dessert in the corner.

Thanks to my daughter for letting me (read: persisted until I felt like I was letting her whole blog down) post this recipe on her blog!! Thanks Brit – you’re the greatest! Love Mom xoxoxoxoxoxox (to the power of infinity and beyond).

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Originally from Pioneer Woman 

  • 3/4 cups Fresh (Organic) Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons (Organic) Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Grated Parmesan (to top)
  • 12 ounces, cavitappi pasta
  • 1.5 – 2 cups cherry/grape tomatoes cut in half

Cook Pasta to desired consistency (Al-Dente).Blend Basil, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and S&P to a blender (or food processor if you are so lucky).  Blend and pour in olive oil while mixing.  Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over med-low heat, then add pesto and stir. Add to cooked pasta and toss with tomatoes.

THANKS MOM. I LOVE YOU TOO.

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Filed under Dinner, Family, Food, Uncategorized

not so extreme makeover: new home edition

This is one of those times when you get to creep.

You get to pretend you’re living in my house, with my family, and my M.  You get to pretend you’re friends with my awesome friends.  You even get to pretend to eat the sometimes awesome food and sometimes oatmeal-for-dinner type food that I eat.

Today you’re lucky.  You get to pretend to rip up carpets.  You get to wrap up musty underlay and surround yourself in decades worth of strange stains.  Stains that weren’t yours. Stains that make you want to think about puppies.

and flowers.

and small children with smiling faces.

heck you’d even settle for small children making this face..

just to prevent your mind from dwelling on whatever it was that lead to these mystery stains.

Hey now.  Let’s look at the bright side.

You do get to pretend that your family just bought a big new house.  🙂 Yeah, that’s right, four houses down from our current house.

We take big steps here at the Smith-Frostad house.

Trust me, you should be excited.

Why should you be excited?

Before and After photos.  You see.. our new home is lovely.  The layout is super. The location is prime.  The size is perfect. The paint is distasteful. Some is bright blue.  Some is lavender.  Some is orange. Some has leaves stenciled onto it.  With stick on bird decals. Some is actually dark floral wallpaper. Terror. The carpets are mismatched.  The carpets are pink. The carpets smell.  The carpets are carpet. Carpet is gross.  Who does carpet. Come on.  I certainly won’t ever after getting so up close and personal with these beauties. My shoulders curl inward in disgust, just reflecting on my intimate moments with the carpets.  Also, the carpets are pink.  Did I mention that? I just need to make sure you understand the severity.

Everybody likes to see nasty turn in to nice.

Everybody.  I don’t care if you’re a boy.  If I gave you a before picture of someone I knew who made a revolutionary life change, healthified, and lost 200lbs… and held the after photo behind my back, you would pry it out of my large manly hands.  You would.

I’m going to equate revolutionary life changes to carpets and walls.  Roll with it for my sake.

Here is our new house. (Make note, the photos do not address the ugly nearly as well as personal interaction does)

Here is the upstairs bathroom with the plastic “marbled” countertops and floral curtains.

And the toilet from hell.

This is going to be my bedroom.

Ew. Someone with cataracts chose those colours.

Here is the kitchen.  You can’t tell, but that fire engine red? Too fire engine-y.

And on to the room that was attacked by pink carpet. Do you like the fake second countertop? It’s M height. He doesn’t need his own countertop.

You wanted to get a close look of the dining room wallpaper? Here ya go. I couldn’t help but start savagely tearing at it as soon as I saw it, without the proper tools.

Oh and I mentioned leafy decals. Yeah, no lie.

Mom looves the leafy decals. And the lavender.

Stay tuned as things get ripped up and start gaining some aesthetic appeal. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Mundane Shenanigans

It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to

You would cry too if this happened tooooooo you..

STAR WARS

traumatizing, I know… your sister toiled away in the kitchen until 1:30 AM the previous night while constructing your perfect Darth Vader  birthday cake, detailed in chocolate buttercream. Life sucks for you.  You should cry.  You should especially cry if your friend hit you in the head with a soccer ball.

Come ON M.  You of all people should know that Star Wars cures all woes.

Ah whatever, it’s your party.  You’ll appreciate me one day.

Despite the tears, the party was still off the hook.  You should all be envious.  M turned 5 (On June 9th… this post is way late).  That’s half of ten.

I don’t think I need to tell you all that half of ten is a huge deal.

When you’re half of ten, you have to play soccer in your backyard.

Or cry inside while you eat a hotdog, and your friends who have already eaten their hotdogs play outside.

It’s ok, your friends (and uncle) will still have fun.

They might even have collisions with their brothers. 

They might even cry too.  Just to make you feel better.

It’s ok though, because when you’re half of ten, you come back from tears with a vengeance.  And often with light sabers (un-photographed).

When you’re half of ten, you likely will not have noticed the delicious caprese skewers that your sister made.

Or the Avocado Citrus Salad.

Or the fruit galettes. Definitely not the raspberry one that your sister meticulously shaped into a heart.

Or the rest of the dinner really. I mean come on… you had a cocktail weiner in a mini bun.

The rest of dinner (pictured on your sister’s lap) didn’t live up to your sophistique. Regardless of how much effort it required.

You’re half of ten though, I know you enjoyed your birthday cake.

You Enjoyed blowing out the candles.

You enjoyed eating it.

You enjoyed it nearly as much as Larry did.  This is Larry.  He’s a-freaking-dorable, but this post is about M so I’ll just throw all of the Larry photos down in one go.

Anyways M, you may not have run up to me and sung me praises for being the greatest sister, who made the greatest cake, and the greatest salad, and bought you the greatest ukelele that you love, and who you will never be able to replace.

BUT, I guess that’s not really what I was looking for…. I guess.

I guess I just love you anyway… so that why I did it. I guess.

And I don’t need to worry.

One day, when you are thirty, and a famous actor, you’ll look back through the archives of my blog… realize how much I love you.. and buy me a penthouse in Santa Monica, because you love me too.

But like I said… I guess I’ll just love you anyway.

And if you really are looking back on this, and are jealous of all of the delicious food that you didn’t try on your fifth birthday, but that lovely house guests like Ziggy got to try…

I’ll tell you some of the Recipes that I used:

Avocado Citrus Salad

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Chocolate Buttercream Icing (best.)

Happy Birthday again M. I love you eh.

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food, M