o gwennenbaum


bw tree

advent house

business baby


lighted birds

Gwen has a new obsession with lip balm, only she pronounces it like “baum.” Last week I gave her a zerbert and she christened it a bart(fart)-kiss and now she gives us bart-kisses all the time. Only she doesn’t know how to do it so they are just loud smacky kisses.

We put all the decorations on our tree and so far it hasn’t been a disaster. Last year Gwen spent the month of December undecorating the tree & breaking ornaments; this year she has mostly ignored it. Except for the lights! Turning them on every day is her job exclusively. She has been kind of reckless with our holiday Legos, but they are new this year and also toys so what else did we expect?

Since I’ve been taking a semi-blogging hiatus I obviously haven’t been posting my meal plans, but I’ve been keeping up with them… sort of. Maybe I don’t plan the whole week at once but I have been making some good meals. The other week I made some ameezing sweet & sour pork with using fresh meat (instead of frozen pre-battered bits) (just never mind that I used sauce from a jar, haha).

I’ve instituted a new rule that on Wednesdays Symphony cooks dinner, which is kind of perilous and also tedious. The point is that her cooking means less work for me, but she makes such a fuss it’s kind of the same amount of work IF NOT MORE. Last night I taught/helped her to make macaroni & cheese from scratch and she nailed it, the sauce was literal perfection. She also got to experience some very real frustration when Gwen, who loves cheese and loves macaroni and loves macaroni & cheese just straight up REFUSED to eat it, for no reason. I would say Sym now has a deeper appreciation for some of what I do around here but like… teens.

I think I am mostly finished with my holiday gift shopping, although I am VERY behind on my gift-making, oops. I am pretty caught up on etsy orders but I thought it would be a good idea to do some last-minute gift & ornament exchanges which was not my brightest move ever. Today I am going to get started on painting some things, partly because painting is easier on my wrists and my carpal tunnel has been pretty terrible lately. I got new wrist braces and I am being more diligent about wearing them, especially during the day, but ughhhh it’s sooooooooo annoyinggggggggggggggggg. First though, I made a new set of stickers! As in, I’m making them right now: I designed & printed the first sheet but haven’t cut them out yet. You can get them here.

watercolour crystal stickers small watermark

family dinner


I don’t think I posted last week’s meal plan but I did actually do one. I’m not 100% sure what all the meals I made were now (WEIRD) but I did make a chicken & rice soup using the previous week’s leftovers, and a meal with steelhead trout and baked potatoes that was pretty good. Can you believe I’d never made baked potatoes before? It’s because historically I’ve been such a disorganized scatterbrain that I would be running to the store for dinner ingredients at 5:30 and lord knows you can’t start baking a potato that late if you are trying to give your kids dinner at a reasonable time.

Sunday potato soup with green onions and emperor ham
Monday chicken tacos
Tuesday chili in sourdough bread bowls
Wednesday spaghetti & meatballs
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas on naan bread
Saturday n/a

The potato soup I made yesterday was SO GOOD. I don’t like it when it’s too textureless so I cut a potato and a half into 1cm cubes that I cooked separately and added to the main soup after it had been blended. I used a total of six large potatoes so I have a FRICKING TON of this soup in my freezer now, which actually sucks because Gwen refuses to eat it. I’m like “THIS IS MADE OF ALL THINGS YOU LIKE” but she was like NOPE. She would only eat around the ham, onion and little potato pieces so I guess she prefers a textureless soup.

The chicken tacos were supposed to be dinner last Friday but I was too tired/lazy/suffering-from-flu-shot-dead-arm to cook that night so it was postponed until tonight // I’m attempting to make my own meatballs for Wednesday using ground turkey, please pray for me // Saturday night is Taylor’s office holiday party so I only have to make dinner for the girls, maybe they can have some leftover potato soup? KIDDING.

family dinner

onion garlic red pepper

What’s up blog, long time no post. Last week I was just really into working on banners and I had both girls’ birthday to plan so I said fuck it to blogging. I also said fuck it to meal planning and GUESS WHAT it was a disaster. On Sunday I defrosted some soup from my soup stash (that’s what it’s there for!) and on Monday I planned, shopped for and made white cheddar mac & cheese with bacon and campari tomatoes (so good), but after that… let’s just say we had a lot of take out. So this week I am BOUND AND DETERMINED to get my act together and be an adult about food.

Sunday tomato soup
Monday tortellini with cheese sauce
Tuesday club sandwiches
Wednesday pecan crusted chicken with broccoli & rice
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday TBD
Saturday TBD

As you can see this plan kind of falls apart at the end of the week BUT a half-week plan is better than no plan, right? Right.

family dinner


Sunday beef stew with chorizo & pearl onions
Monday spaghetti with roasted red peppers
Tuesday quiche lorraine
Wednesday brown sugar bourbon glazed salmon & baked potatoes
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday tacos maybe?
Saturday TBD ofc

I never made beef stew last week because I forgot to go tot he grocery store, but I feel it’s more of a Sunday soup meal anyway. I did not make it with dumplings because I forgot to buy flour, but it turned out pretty frigging good, and I have a lot leftover to freeze. The picture above is of the pearl onions; they were red and tinted the water when I boiled them. The trick to pearl onions (so you don’t have to spend fifty years peeling a billion tiny onions) is to boil them whole for ten minutes, drain & rinse them with cold water, the slice the top (the stem end, not the root end) off and squeeze from the root so they pop out of their little skins. It’s very gross but also very satisfying.

I’m trying to get back into meal planning & cooking still. I’ve been feeling dang cruddy lately and I think it’s because I just haven’t been taking very good care of myself. I’m tired and sickly feeling all the time, and it’s gross. I definitely need to eat more fruit & vegetables, and it’s funny that even though I buy them I don’t eat them because in my head I think “these are for Sym & Gwen!” I guess my sagging old carcass is ready to leave this world to its offspring, lol.

family dinner


I’ve been feeling a little low (like sick, not depressed) so I slacked like mad on this week’s meal planning… in fact I’m doing it RIGHT NOW and I type up this post.

Sunday cinnamon raison toast with honey & apples
Monday BFD: scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
Tuesday chili & blue corn muffins
Wednesday beef stew with dumplings
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas prob
Saturday TBD ofc

Dinner on Sunday was SUPPOSED to be pasta. Taylor and I were out shopping that afternoon and I found these BLACK penne noodles I wanted to try. I served them with a white sauce & some little red tomatoes for ~visual impact~ but it was SO GROSS. The noodles were made from black beans and like… maybe you can make pasta out of black beans, but SHOULD you? The answer is no, because the result is nasty and gluey. Gwen refused to try it, I had two bites before noping away from the table and Taylor had one mouthful that he spat into the toilet. LESSON LEARNED igss // The same day I got the black penne I also got some blue cornmeal, which I’m going to use tonight to make cornbread muffins. Blue corn is still corn though, so I’m not worried about it // I was at the grocery store this morning with Gwen buying fruit, cereal and eggs and I suddenly had a craving for beef stew. I didn’t know which ingredients I had at home already though, so I decided to hold off on getting anything for it. I really want to make it tomorrow though // I forgot that Taylor’s mom was in town last week and was taking us all out for dinner on Friday night, so I postponed the little pizzas. We’ve been making them on this lil naan breads, mini naans for Taylor, Sym and myself and micro-mini naans for Gwen.

family dinner


Sunday fried chicken & waffles with white cheddar bacon mac & cheese
Monday leftover fried chicken with leftover mac & cheese
Tuesday salad???
Wednesday grilled cheese with tomato soup
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas prob
Saturday TBD ofc

This meal plan is totally half-assed and I’ll prob change most of it around. I usually do the planning on Sunday morning/afternoon, but I put it off because we were supposed to go to my SIL’s for Thanksgiving dinner tonight. Unfortunately we all got sick today so NO DICE. At first only Gwen and Taylor were sick so I decided to start a new Thanksgiving tradition and make chicken & waffles for dinner, but then as I was battering the chicken I started sneezing everywhere, yikes. Can I talk about the chicken and waffles tho? I have never made fried chicken before and I was a little apprehensive. It turned out kind of weird looking but it tasted pretty good, and I’m sure next time it will be even better.

family dinner


Sunday roasted potato, carrot & butternut squash soup
Monday sweet & sour chicken and vegetable stirfry with rice
Tuesday breakfast for dinner
Wednesday cheesy baked tortellini and salad
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday honey & soy glazed salmon with broccoli & rice
Saturday TBD ofc

Can I talk for a minute about last week’s lasagne? IT WAS SO GOOD. In the end I didn’t really follow a recipe (do I ever?), partly because I didn’t want to deal with cooking ground beef (I’m still having that problem where I get grossed out by raw meat), and also I wanted to use up some leftovers. I made the meat filling with leftover chicken, chorizo, tomato sauce, roasted garlic and roasted peppers (I think that’s everything). It turned out really delicious, even Sym liked it and she’s super picky. The only thing I would change is I tried to make my life easier by using those oven-ready noodles that don’t need to be boiled, and I feel like they didn’t cook fully, especially on the top layer. Next time I will use regular noodles.

I planned this week’s menu on my own after Taylor went to bed and tbh I am feeling like I’m in a rut already, like rn I have rice on there twice? Is that lazy of me? Maybe, but I cannot think of anything else haha.

family dinner


Sunday potato & corn chowder with bacon
Monday chicken with white wine garlic sauce; roasted potatoes, carrots and butternut squash; butter lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes
Tuesday lasagne
Wednesday chili with cornbread muffins
Thursday POUTINE NIGHT/leftovers for Gwen
Friday mini pizzas
Saturday TBD ofc

Sunday’s soup was made to use up a bunch of leftovers/things about to go bad, and tbh I didn’t love it. Too much corn, not enough potatoes. // About once a year I decide to make something with squash and I guess today is the day. I’ve been trying to branch out with some of these meals, and make something different from scratch each week. This week it is Tuesday’s lasagne, so if anyone has a good recipe for one please send me a link so I don’t have to try and fudge my way through it! // Friday we are having mini pizzas since we never had them last week- I never even bought the ingredients! Last week’s meals were a total disarray; as it turned out there wasn’t enough tortellini so I made mac & cheese again (and redeemed myself but not fucking it up this time, haha), so we had leftovers of that on Tuesday and did breakfast for dinner on Wednesday, thus postponing the sliders YET AGAIN until Friday. The onions were still good, the buttermilk was NOT. Those baked onion rings were kind of a bust anyway. Only about 1/3 of them were good, and even the good ones were a little dry.