Meal Planning – BORING BUT USEFUL

Meal planning is a pain in the ass, but so is thinking about what you’re going to eat and having to stop at the grocery store on a daily basis. Especially at the end of your work day when traffic sucks, you’re tired, it’s raining, and Netflix is calling your name.

I hate grocery shopping. It definitely has everything to do with Superstore and its blindingly bright lights and the people that shop with all 15 of their children and don’t follow any kind of shopping cart etiquette, but I do like Superstore’s prices and selection, so I keep going there. And they have clothes.

I digress. Where was I? Ah right. Meal planning. I spend an hour or so once a week looking at recipes/deciding what I’m going to eat. I made this template to make sure that I’ve got all my meals covered. It’s easy to forget to plan for.

doc004Why do I do this? It saves time, it saves money, it ensures we eat a balanced diet, and we waste significantly less food because we only buy what we need.

Monday to Friday, our breakfasts stay the same, as do our lunches. I usually batch cook something on Sunday or Monday night and we take it for lunch the whole week. For snacks we take the same thing every day- cut veggies, two pieces of fruit, and 1/4 cup of some kind of nut snack mix.

I try not to cook every night and I achieve this by making recipes that will serve 4. I know how much we eat, and I’m not afraid to bulk things up with extra vegetables or a side of rice or quinoa. Not having to cook every night frees me up to do other things, or nothing at all. Unfortunately/fortunately eating fast food isn’t an option for me, but at least I know there is something ready to be heated up quickly when I get home.

I’m a little behind this week because I was lazy on the weekend and I was at a secret CBC taping of Mother Mother’s new album last night. Am I allowed to talk about it now? It was amazing, they’re new album is fucking amazing. I cannot wait. Please don’t watch the CBC videos when they come out, I am horribly worried about my awkward dancing. ANYWAY, Instead of batch cooking, I’m going to have to go grocery shopping on my lunch break today and cook each night and take leftovers for lunch. It’s not ideal, so the meal plan is really simple. I already have some of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry which is why they’re not reflected on my grocery list.

Recipes for this week*:

Red Thai curry http://cookieandkate.com/2015/thai-red-curry-recipe/

Served with pan fried prawns and brown rice

Silky cauliflower soup https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/the-fragile-cooking-ego/

served with toast

Tofu curry and mustard greens from the Afro Vegan cook book or http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/from-the-kitchen-of-the-afro-vegan-tofu-curry-with-mustard-greens-recipe/ served with quinoa or brown rice

Macaroni and cheese http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/01/3-ingredient-stovetop-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html serve with steamed broccoli OR I’ll add frozen peas and tuna

Sour cream and peach pancakes from the Smitten Kitchen cook book, or sour cream pancakes https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/edna-maes-sour-cream-pancakes/ which I’ll serve with bacon or breakfast sausages, whichever is better priced when I go grocery shopping

There you have it. This is how I stay sane and eat well without breaking the bank. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. If you’d like a copy of my meal planning template, shoot me an email at stopdropandro @ gmail dot com and I’d be more than happy to share it with you.

*everything I cook is gluten free. All pastas, flours, breads, and crackers are traded out for their gluten free counterparts.

A morning person, just not first thing

6:30am. Okay, we have 20 minutes to do this, looks at vanity, sees three empty coffee mugs, two dozen dirty makeup brushes, 15 lipsticks, blotting papers, three Q tips with eyeliner on them, four hair brushes, 8,000 bobby pins, empty tube of concealer, fuck. I should clean this up. Some other time, though. Obviously.

Okay, okay. Get it together, Rochele. Stares in mirror for 5 minutes, oh yeah, right, I’m applying makeup. Primer first. WHERE IS IT? Oh my god, where is it? It’s in a clear container with a black top… oh my god I actually put it away. Amazing. Go me. Three drops of that smoothed over my face. Okay, next.

Concealer. That one is empty. And that one is the wrong colour, why do I still own this? Oh yeah, it was expensive. Oh, but that one is good. Pat that under my eyes. And on that red spot. And that one. Okay stop, you can’t cover your face in concealer. Or can I? No, you did that once and it turned out poorly. Blend it in. Okay, too much blending, now you need more concealer. Now blend that, in, too.

Foundation. Well, two bottles of foundation because my skin doesn’t exist in regular colours, still on the vanity without caps from yesterday next to a dirty foundation brush. I guess I should wash that. Goes to washroom, turns on the sink, immediately both cats rush to the sink and get in, okay maybe I’ll wash it in the bathtub instead.

My cats are adorable. They’re so soft and cute and so happy to snuggle in the mornings.
6:45am WAIT, WHAT? Okay, okay, no need to panic, we can do this in under 5 minutes. We, as in me, myself, and I.

Highlighter. Hnnnnggghhhh which one?? Do we feel more gold or peachy today? Gold. Gold is always good. Another dirty brush, but it’s just powder so it’s not so bad. Ohhhh girl, you are glowing! More? More.

And just a dab of blush on those cheeks because we’re going for demure and not a 1900’s prostitute, which is fine, it’s just not the look we’re going for but it’s a fine line. Being pale is hard.

6:50am. AHHHHHHH OKAY, WE HAVE TO HURRY UP.

I’m looking for eye shadow primer. I just saw it. Why does everything need its own primer? Creased eye shadow is a bad look. Okay, it’s not on the vanity. And it’s not in the eye makeup drawer. Looks down, sees tube with little bite marks on it under the vanity, okay that’s not my fault. Moving on.

Just simple eyes today, we don’t have time for anything else. Ten minutes later, ten makeup brushes, five different eye shadow colours and no eyeliner YES, WE LOOK GOOD.

Oh damn it is 7:05am and I still need eyebrows. Pencils on eyebrows. Those are not even. Tries to even them out, okay now it’s 7:15am and we have crazy eyes but we have to go.

WAIT, I NEED LIPSTICK. Grabs one from the drawer, shoves it in purse. Why is my bag always so heavy? Pulls out 9 lipsticks, blotting papers, two mirrors, two roll-on perfumes, a hair brush, a lint brush, and a full bottle of digestive enzymes oh right, but I need all this stuff.

7:20am. Okay, tomorrow we will do better. Goals are good.

Looks in the mirror. I guess I should get dressed. Oh look, coffee.

I Don’t Like You and You’re Going to Die and I’m Not Okay

This post was written and published with the consent and input of the survivors referenced below.

A while ago Anne Theriault tweeted something that really struck a chord in me: It’s funny how even the deaths of people that you didn’t respect or like or ever want to think about again can still sting so hard.

It’s in regards to Rob Ford, the infamous former Mayor of Toronto, known for his addictions, scandals, and general disgrace. There is a Rob Ford in my own life, and I’m 99% sure he’ll die before we ever speak to one another ever again.

I think about how I’m going to feel when I get that phone call. My heart hurts for the people that he’ll leave behind and all the wrongs that will never be righted. I’ve accepted that an apology is never coming. I’ve also accepted that I do not have to forgive him, I do not owe that to anyone. It does nothing for me to pretend like what happened to us was okay. It wasn’t okay. To withhold forgiveness holds him responsible for his wrongdoings and trespasses. He hurt me and others and caused irreparable damage that will carry a lifetime of emotional scarring.

He’s going to die one day, and it will be really hard for me. I will be angry, and sad. I’m sad that he ruined his own life over some very selfish decisions, but more so that his pride kept him from being in a loving relationship with his family. The number of times that we tried to help him, pleaded and argued with his family to help us help him, fell on deaf ears until it was too late. They were in denial that there was a problem.

To withhold forgiveness holds him responsible for his wrongdoings and trespasses.

Misogyny played a big part in his wife not receiving the support that she needed. He wasn’t physically abusive; he merely followed her around the house from room to room calling her a cunt and telling her how useless she was for years and he wasn’t an alcoholic because he didn’t slur his words or stagger. There was never any consideration for the children that lived in that house with him.

It’s an old and toxic way of thinking, and I’d like to think that his family would do better for for her if this happened now, but I’m not so sure. I likely won’t be invited to his funeral, which is is fine but I would go to support his only child, who didn’t know her father before he succumbed to addiction and undiagnosed mental illness(es).

This is the only way she ever knew this man, and he terrified her. A trip to Disneyland will not erase the times that he was drunk and made her get in the car with him to blow through stop signs and red lights at speeds greater than 80 km on residential streets. An afternoon music festival won’t smooth over that he packed up her things without warning and left them on his porch in the rain. She will never forget that he kicked her dog in the ribs, or yanked his leash so hard that the dog cried out in pain. He will never know about the tears that she cried and the sleepless nights of anxiety before she had to go to a court appointed visit with him, and to this day he still tells her that his ex wife and her daughter ruined their relationship.

But he will die one day, and he will likely die before she ever gets the chance to tell him that he is a monster, that he scared her, that she feels abandoned. He’ll leave behind enough hurt and betrayal to last a lifetime, there will be no last minute pardon of his wrongdoings. He will never truly know, because he is blind to others suffering. For us, the suffering never ends.

Gratitude Practice

The last six months have been rough… that’s a gross understatement, but we mustn’t dwell… no, not today…

…but back in February I spent some time in the ER with severe abdominal pains, and was told that it’s probably appendicitis, and then they couldn’t find my appendix during the ultrasound to verify and my symptoms weren’t severe enough to perform a CT scan. However, they did find e-coli so they treated that and sent me home, but it’s still probably appendicitis. They didn’t give me any fun drugs (JERKS) because they want me to suffer be able to feel if something changes. I mean, COME ON! Would I really not be able to feel it? I basically laid on the couch for five days with a heating pad and avoided all pants that didn’t come with a drawstring.

But here I am, a month later, going through the same thing. Again. And I’m feeling kind of bummed, to be honest. I CAN’T WEAR PANTS, MY FRIENDS. As it is, my tights are rolled somewhere around my bum and I’m hoping that it doesn’t look stupid under my dress. Even if it does, there’s not much I can do about it because technically it’s still winter and I need to wear something on my legs for warmth. And whatever cleavage I had disappeared last week, so I don’t even need to wear a bra anymore. *cries*

So for the moment, I’m going to write about the things I am grateful for, and not in a sarcastic way, either. So here it goes:

I’m grateful for the weirdness of cats. They’re all little lions that think they own the world. They do own the world, the internet is proof.

I’m grateful for my family. I’m blessed with loving parents and a wonderful sister, and a husband who accepts all of us as we are and loves us just the same.

I’m grateful for the budding cherry blossoms and the flowers and the birds that sing in the trees.

I’m grateful for longer days and brighter afternoons.

I’m grateful for morning coffee, and that the last time I bought my favourite coffee it was on sale so I bought 7 lbs without flinching.

I’m grateful for potatoes and their ability to be turned into stamps.You were once a tuber and now you are a craft item. That’s magic, right there.

I’m grateful for hot baths and lavender soap.

I’m grateful for music and the way it transports me to a different time and place with each song.

I’m grateful for Rex Manning Day and that I have friends who willingly celebrate it.

I’m grateful for trying new things like reflexology and it not being what I thought it was at all.

I’m grateful for recipes and the pleasure that comes from cooking my own food.

I’m grateful for weird, offbeat movies.

I’m grateful for the ability to style almost any item of clothing, and the feeling of accomplishment when I pick up something particularly hideous and turn into a great outfit. It pisses my sister off, but I know this is a skill that she’ll master in her own time.

I’m grateful for spicy tuna rolls. Of course I am.

I’m grateful for the stars and the planets, and the galaxies far, far away.

I’m grateful for sundresses and floppy hats and sunglasses.

I’m grateful for bees. I’m not grateful for hornets and wasps, they are assholes. Sorry for being negative there, but it needed to be said.

I’m grateful for online booking forms.

I’m grateful for phone calls and random I love you’s/I miss you’s from friends.

I’m grateful for postcards and letters.

I’m grateful for playlists and mixed CDs and those old mixed tapes that I swear I’m going to listen to again one day.

I’m grateful for slipper boots and thick socks and onesies.

I’m grateful for Jeopardy and The Price is Right.

I’m grateful that I’ve managed to keep several plants alive and grow a successful vegetable garden twice.

I’m grateful for the ability to make friends everywhere I go, even if it’s a cat.

I’m grateful for puns and that I laugh at my own jokes.

I’m grateful for karaoke and singalongs.

I’m grateful for all the feminists, we’re changing the world and making it a better, safer, and fairer place every day for everyone.

I’m grateful for the wonderfully strange articles that my friends send me like sushi burritos, clips of cephalopods, and everything space related.

I’m grateful for hot chocolate.

I’m grateful for my beautiful book nook and the fluffy white blanket that lives in it.

I’m grateful for forgotten bags of candy that I find in my purse from time to time.

I’m grateful for the space heater under my desk.

And yeah. Things will get better, I’m sure of it. They always do. Leaving you with one of my favourites, Lovers’ Carvings

Much love and thanks for reading,

Rochele xo

 

Written to my grandma with love

Dear Grandma,

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Every time I look at my drawers of makeup and nail polish, you come to mind.

As a child, your bathroom was like a cave of wonders. You had baskets and containers of the most magical colours and powders. I would sneak a little lip colour or eye shadow from time to time, but you already know that.

You embody the sentiment that variety is the spice of life. It was so great to visit you and try a new shampoo every time I had a shower. Your lotions and potions were a constant fascination, and every wash of the hands was a new opportunity to put another lotion on.

I definitely get my love of makeup, nail polish and body products from you. Mom is starting to become this way, but I’m not sure it’s entirely her choice or because she’s Mallory’s and my mom and getting sucked in might be unavoidable. And no one else I know has delicate trays of perfumes on their bureaus. My Girl Room has become a source of entertainment to my girlfriends.

Actually, I’m a lot like you in many ways. I have a drawer full of socks that I never wear. I don’t like fitted tops or scratchy clothes. And like you and mom, I love to cook and I take pride in what I serve people.

We’re gardeners. We love animals. We’re sensitive souls. Grandma, it took me a long time to notice, but I’m a lot like you. I know I haven’t spent much time with you in my adult years, I do wish we lived closer to one another. I wanted to let you know that you’ve helped shape who I am.

You have always been incredibly generous with your time and your things, and I strive to be that way, too.

I was overwhelmed when you baked cookies and squares for my wedding. I should have known that you were going to show up with 5,000 pieces for a 150 people tea reception. But you’re like that. There is always way too much food and there is always room at your table. No one in your life will ever go hungry.

Grandma, I could go on and on. You’re a beautiful woman, from the inside out. I love you very much, and I don’t and haven’t said it nearly enough.

Also, I’m sorry for trying to steal your pyramid paper weight. That thing is a symbol of Grandma’s House and I hope you never give it away.

All my love,
Rochele xoxo

PS- I love grandpa, too, and I’ll never forget the day he took me to the Dollar Store and let me buy whatever I wanted. He’ll get his own letter one day.

 

November

More often than I care to admit, I stand in the kitchen of my office and have an overwhelming desire to drop one of the water glasses on the stone tile floor and watch it shatter. But I don’t. Mostly because my coworker’s workstation faces the kitchen and I look around and find him watching me. It’s like he knows what’s going on inside of my head. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, is what I’d like to say. I don’t drop it, instead I put the glass in the dishwasher or fill it up and go back to my desk.

And sometimes I look at my phone and I want to hurl it off the pier at Crab Park. DROWN THE PHONE! Good riddance! Digital detox here I come! That’s not rational. I need my phone to text people. I realize that I don’t know anyone’s phone number anymore and they probably wouldn’t answer my calls anyway. It’s like, “Why are you calling me? Do you hate me or something? DID YOU JUST LEAVE ME A VOICEMAIL? What is wrong with you?” Ugh people, sometimes I hate you. But also, I can’t log into anything without my phone because I have two-step verification enabled. Maybe that’s a win/win situation.

Talk to me about the time I drowned my Blackberry. Unintentional, but exactly what I needed at the time.

It’s dark, wet, cold and it will go right through you. I hate and I love it. It’s so much easier being miserable when you have wet feet and frizzy hair and mascara that’s bled all over the place. Finally, the outside matches the inside.

Daylight sadness, am I right? This too shall pass.

 

 

 

 

Fall Love

crisp mornings
balmy afternoons
crunchy, brown leaves
damp, dewy grass
hot apple cider
stew and biscuits
flannel sheets and billowy duvets
clouds of breath hanging in the night air
thick socks nestled in tall boots
hot bubble baths
porters and oatmeal stouts
early sunsets
children practicing soccer
condensation on car windows
sweaters that cover your bum
Sunday dinners
mugs of tea
soft, plush robes and slippers
setting the thermostat
watching movies under a blanket
hot chocolate
jackets with a lining
magic gloves
infinity scarves
steamed milk
spiced whiskey
hockey
Thanksgiving
oatmeal