Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cleaning the fridge: My new outlook on throwing out food

Hello Internet,

Yesterday I had a new string of thoughts. Something my husband will be happy about as he is often nagging me about the amount of food I bring home, put in the fridge, wait and then throw out because it has gone bad.

My most popular item to throw out: veggies. And chicken. Yes, lettuce, mushrooms, courgettes/zucchini and peppers. Them and chicken - I'm not very good at that either.

Sometimes Derek will open the fridge and line it up on the counter with a judging expression of - look what you bought and you didn't eat - he does this because god forbid he eat a veggie now or then!

I have always just rolled my eyes and dropped it in the bin, just thinking it didn't cost me much - veggies are so inexpensive these days - so no big deal.

Until yesterday.

I read this article about food waste and the documentary 'Just Eat In' and I started to think about the steps involved to get that food to my fridge - and later the bin.

Throwing out the chicken breasts that went off the day before it's just a waste of a meal it's also the complete and total waste of a Chicken - an actual Chicken! and the lettuce that I buy is pre-washed and in a nice bag so I started to think of the effort it took to put my lettuce in that bag, the seed, the plant, the water, the sunlight (or light at least) and then the picking, shredding, bagging and delivery.

I don;t think I'm stupid when it comes to food, or naive, I just wasn't thinking. So I'm going to make an effort. I will freeze early when I buy too much chicken, I will add an extra salad when I can to my meal and I will keep eating my veggies!!!

I shared these thought with Derek last night, he rolled his eyes and judged me (I think he missed the point) and then this morning told me that 6 of his yogurts went off 4 days ago. I was tempted to try and work out all the steps from cow to bin in this case but knew it just wasn't worth it....


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

And away we go...

The countdown is on for our vacation, something we can now call our Family Vacation. Last year and this year our holidays have been trips to Canada, home to see my parents and family and for the boy to see and meet them. The holiday is less about the boy as he won’t remember them the next time we see them at Christmas but for my family and in particular my sister to see how he changes and to watch him grow.

As for my mother, she doesn't really need to see him that often; her day can sometimes revolve around the boy as she gets a Facetime call every day from us, although neither my husband or I am in the picture, normally just the boy.

Traveling with a 3 month old or a 7 month old or now a 13 month old completely changes how you travel. You start packing light because they need so much, you have to think and plan about how to get from point A (the Car) to point B (the airport) with everything in tow. And there’s the crazy amount of things you bring on board for a 7 hour flight.

Thankfully in the summer the flight is direct, no messing around in Paris or Amsterdam and transferring planes, we just have to board once, get settled and enjoy the flight.

Long gone are the days of magazines, games and movies on the iPad, we've learnt that the best way to keep a kid happy on a plane is to give them your undivided attention, a few of the favourite toys that you've hidden for a week and a couple of new ones.

The kid has been a good traveler, he’s been happy and well behaved and we can only hope for the same this time. We’re as prepared as we can be, prepared to give him our undivided attention and have all kids of toys and a change of clothes so we’ll get there no problem.

If I ever start packing….. we leave in two day.

Monday, 1 July 2013

My how life changes…

How in the world did I think when pregnant that I would have more time free to update a blog? Honestly I can barely remember the first few weeks when Andrew was born and pretty much slept through the last few months of my pregnancy.

Since then things have certainly changed. It really wasn't easy at the beginning. It was hard honestly and lonely and I remember trying to get everything done and try and do it right and spending so much time on my own. Then my mom arrived and it was a bit better, at least I had the company during the day and someone to help with the bits so I could catch up on sleep.

Looking back now I can see it all a lot more clearly and I know I was probably asking too much of myself and the pressure wasn't making things better.

But now life is better, the little boy is a joy. This all changed just after Christmas when the clock was ticking on my return to work and I wanted him to be sleeping well, in a strict routine and I figured he would handle day care better and I could handle the return to work better.

No one can ever explain what it’s like to have a kid and how life changes. I can hardly remember the days before he was here – where did we spend all that money each month and what did we do with all that free time?!! God knows because now, it’s all about him – as it should be.

And we love it that way.

Friday, 9 December 2011

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

Hello Internet,

How are things with you? I imagine you’re awfully busy this time of year with all the uses buying their Christmas presents online and booking shipping on the different sites! Whatever did we do without you!

I must admit that this year is much less like Christmas around Ireland compared to last year, this year there is still no snow and this is a great thing!

As much as it’s nice to have snow at home in Canada for Christmas, it’s expected there and they are prepared and they have the necessary equipment and expertise so as to deal well with snow and ice and slippery surfaces. Ireland…. Not so much!

We only just made it home for Christmas last year, with Paris, Amsterdam and London airports all closed we only just made it on a flight to New York and so this year we’re going direct to North America and heading to Montreal via Philadelphia. Hopefully this route will me much less eventful than last year. Although I have to say, Air France has excellent customer service in the Airport in Dublin!

Anyhow, there is that feeling in the air – not just a feeling of cold but a festive feeling and as of lunch time today my shopping is complete so I can think about relaxing a little bit.

With only 5 working days left until we leave it’s certainly feeling like holiday season!

Hope you’re not on the naughty list!


Friday, 18 November 2011

Where the H-E-double hockey sticks have you been?

Dear Internet,

I’ve been finding it difficult to write here for the last 10 weeks – yes 10 weeks pretty much exactly!

Shortly after we returned home from the cruise holiday in early September I knew something just wasn’t right with me. Actually I had figured that something was ‘off’ while we were away. I was just hoping that whatever it was would stay away long enough for us to return to Ireland. There was one night when I was in the bathroom of our cabin praying that whatever it was it wouldn’t get any worse.

I can’t explain how I felt other than to say I just wasn’t myself, in some ways I was sure I was sick and it wasn’t going to be good news. The whole trip all I wanted to do was sit by the pool and go to sleep at 8pm. Derek was annoyed, he wanted to have fun, to say out late, to drink lots. I just wanted to go to bed. Something wasn’t right.

When we returned home I went back to work on the Monday – again feeling sure that I just wasn’t me. On Tuesday morning I took a pregnancy test and then I felt even worse.

I really don’t want to go into too much personal detail here but just know that I wasn’t sure what to believe anymore and there was no movie like moment of yeah – we’re pregnant!!

Instead on Tuesday there was a day at the Hospital, another on Thursday and a few scans since then.

Looking back now it’s been a long road but we’re still on it. Just shy of 15 weeks we’ll be expecting a new addition to the family in mid-May – the cat has no idea what’s going to happen.

It’s going to be brilliant!

Hope that helps you understand where I’ve been hiding. I’ll be around more now. :)


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Poppy: my symbol of remembrance

Every year, for as long as I can remember I have proudly wore a poppy on my coat from Halloween to November 11th. For me, the poppy is a symbol of what so many young men and women gave up for the life that I have today.

When I was little and in elementary school I can remember lining up in the main hallway at 11:11 on the 11th of November, proudly wearing my poppy on my clothes and observing a minute of silence. It really didn’t mean very much at that age.

In High School it got a little more formal, there was a assembly in the auditorium and there would be a sole trumpeter and a line of Veterans, I’m sure lead by Mr. McLean one of the most senior teachers in the school.

I think the fact that by the time I graduated from High School I was the same age of many of the men who had given their lives at war – whether they wanted to or not was starting to make me appreciate our veterans and develop a new respect for the date as well.

After High School, through University and working in the hospital I continued to purchase my poppy from the Veteran on the corner, at the grocery store or in the shop – normally several times a season because I often lost them or left it on another coat. The opportunity to look into the eyes of someone who had witnessed horror that I couldn’t imagine and say thank you – whether for simply the poppy or what they had given up to stand there that day, it was important enough to keep buying them.

And then the depictions of the various war situations started to become popular in the cinema, Saving Private Ryan and the opening sequence which left me nauseous and in tears was hard to fathom, television series like Band of Brothers brought you inside the lives of the young men and their experiences. It was hard from then to think of Remembrance Day and not see a few of those images and imagine what they had witnessed.

To this day, I wear my poppy, even here in Ireland. Granted I don’t have the same yearly experience of buying my poppy over and over, instead I keep it safe and pull it out at Halloween every year. I have a spare – somewhere and have added a small Canadian flag as the pin to make it that little more secure. This way I have less chance of losing it as it would be much harder to replace.

I wear my poppy with pride, with the memory of the very young men – now younger than myself –who stepped up when they may not have wanted to, did not understand what they were to experience and gave so very much for the people of today. My pride is not political, it’s neither pro-war or propaganda, it’s a recognition to men and women, young and old that what they went through means something to me every day, but especially on November 11th.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

                                            -John McCrae

Thursday, 6 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs - it's time for our turn to take up the fight.

Dear Internet,

It’s not easy to understand when someone dies. Someone young, who transformed the world that we know today, a true visionary.

You lost a friend yesterday.

When I think about Steve Job’s death I cannot help but think that this man died of Pancreatic Cancer, a man worth over 5.5 billion still could not beat this terrible disease.

Alwyn, my lovely, kind, funny and unique brother in law died just over a year ago, he too of Pancreatic Cancer and when you do a bit of research – or as you do in this day and age Googling – you find a shocking number of tremendous people who have also died of this disease… Patrick Swayze, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Landon, and the list goes on and on.

The real shame is that very little has changed in the scope of diagnosis and treatment, even someone like Steve Jobs and his immense wealth and links to technology couldn’t beat the disease.

Again it makes me wonder - when will something be done to start fighting against this disease rather than letting it win?

It’s a terrible, aggressive, unknown, late diagnosed disease and often kills within a short time, you’re lucky to get the kind of time that Steve did, Alwyn didn’t.

I knew very little about the disease until mostly after Alwyn’s death and by reading information, and connecting with the Canadian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation (

Perhaps now is the time for people to stand up and start fighting, putting more money, time and effort into researching, learning about and seeing what can be done to bring awareness to the disease, push for early diagnosis and perhaps improve the lives of people diagnosed. I have done what I can to donate, support and encourage this cause, with statistic like this who can afford not to?

According to the American Cancer Society’s website (

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States are for 2011:

• About 44,030 people (22,050 men and 21,980 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

• About 37,660 people (19,360 men and 18,300 women) will die of pancreatic cancer

Over the past 15 to 25 years, rates of pancreatic cancer have dropped slightly in men and women. Still, pancreatic cancer remains the fourth leading cause of cancer death overall.

The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 71 (1.41%). This is about the same for both men and women.

Let this be the time to stand up and fight back!