Snack Time!

What’s your favourite snack? I have too many to count and ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve just been into food lately. Why not blog about it?

I love cheese, so much so that I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a lactose problem! Anywho, remember the lunchables your mom packed you as a kid? How about those with a twist.

I’ve tried to give up bread in hopes of a snatched waist so I eat crackers from time to time (aren’t those high in carbs too?!). Lol I’ve tried to give up carbs and fail every time.

So, my snack is:

  • Take any slice of sandwich meat (I used turkey) tear it into 4 pieces
  • 4 crackers
  • 4 pieces of cheese
  • 4 extremely thin cut pieces of tomato
  • A dap of Dijon mustard on each cracker

So you get the drift, piece of meat on each cracker, add cheese, tomato and the mustard and voila! Simple and easy snack, tastes so good!

Snack time! Yum!

THANKFUL

I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! But, I’m not ignorant to the ties of Thanksgiving and the colonization of Indigenous peoples here in Canada and the US. However, every Thanksgiving weekend my family and I prepare a big feast normally on the Sunday (Monday is the actual holiday) and exchange with each other why we’re thankful. We should and do give thanks everyday but this one day in particular there’s a lot more food and my mom has decorative pumpkin and fall leaves over the house.

Each family member is responsible for a dish or two. This year I had the pleasure of making a vegetarian lasagna, the most moist cornbread and cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake. My first time, and it turned out delicious. I love cheesecake so now that I know I can make my own? Tuh!! It’s over. So this post will include recipes and photos of our delicious spread. Let’s begin with the healthy vegetarian lasagna.

I’m not vegetarian but I do like balance. We had a turkey, roast beef and shepherd’s pie, shrimp and salmon. So a meat lasagna? I thought it was too much. So, for this recipe you’ll need:

  • bunch of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of kale
  • 3 cups of mozza cheddar
  • 3 cups of Italiano
  • 1 tin of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box of lasagna
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 tbsp of vegetal oil
Fresh spinach that I chopped and froze about 3 days before making the actual lasagna.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Boil water for lasagna and cook lasagna to your liking

In a medium sized pot, heat oil and fry red onion and and bell pepper *feel free to add or subtract ingredients*

Here I have my diced peppers, red onion and some seasoning.
  • Add seasoning and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium to low heat
  • Add 2 jars of pasta sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes
  • In a bowl mix 2 eggs and ricotta cheese and 2 cups of mozza cheddar cheese
  • In a greased pan, layer pasta sauce, lasagna, ricotta mix and 1 cup of mozza cheddar. End layering with pasta sauce and the 3 cups of Italiano
  • Bake for about an hour, let cool bon Appetit!

My finished product looked like:

For my cornbread, I follow this All Recipes recipe. It’s really moist and everyone in my family loves it.

Add on the carbs. I love bread.

And finally my most prized creation this Thanksgiving was this delicious New York style cheesecake. This recipe is also from All Recipes. This was my first time making cheesecake and I’m happy to say it was a success! I love cheesecake so I’m so happy I can make it now, it’s soo good.

Nice and fluffy, deli like cheesecake!

What are you and your family traditions for Thanksgiving?

The Good Bad Friend

So today I did something I don’t normally do. I met up with a friend who I thought was no longer my friend. Why did I think this? Well, following my marriage and birth of my son, I really didn’t hear from this person. And let me just clarify that we were friends friends. People have different groups of friends, your best friends, co-worker friends, friends who used to be close with but you no longer are, the friends you party with etc. This was a co-worker friend who turned into a friend friend. We would go out to events together, drinks and we talked a lot of our families and relationships etc. I had this friend at my house for Christmas!

Anyway, to be honest, I hadn’t heard from quite a few people, family members even. I just thought that as I was going through this transitional period (marriage + baby) in my life I would lose many friends.

But anyway, this one friend in particular, I thought we were done. I didn’t want anyone to badmind me or my family. Badmind – have negative thoughts or ill will towards you. So I literally blocked this friend on social media, like no you will not have access to me or my family via social media or any other means for that matter. So yup, block.

But then, I remembered that I am a Christian and I’m to be more like Christ. Christ came to save those who are lost and literally be a listening ear to those who needed to talk or help with things – little or big. So anywho, I reached out to this friend. Like yeah yeah, how are you, we should meet up etc. etc. Okay cool, we’re moving in the right direction.

Literally 4 weeks had passed and I don’t hear from this person. This person was supposed to let me know they’re schedule for us to meet as I had already told her mine. So now I’m like okay? What did I do wrong? Did she just blow me off?

At the age that I’m at, I’ve obviously seen friends’ come and go. So, I know who my friends are and TBH I’m not to keen on making new friends because I just feel like I have my circle and that’s all I need. So for me to be vulnerable enough and let this new friend into my bubble and them blow me off… It’s like see? This is why I don’t make new friends *sings DJ Khaled’s no new friends*

Okay so anyway, I’m in my feelings about this situation. One day, I’m doing my devotion. The scripture was: “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” –Titus 3:1. The devotion peace that really spoke to me was: “Is there unresolved conflict between me and someone else that is like a shade pulled over the light of Christ in me?” –Oswald Chambers. UMM HELLO? This devotion was speaking right to me, no, the Holy Spirit was. I had to make myself vulnerable and reach out to my friend again, had to put my pride aside.

So, I did just that. A response was received, we set up a date. The date came, we met up and we talked. So why did she ghost me?? So I learned that my friend was actually not okay (this is what I was afraid of) and she was literally going through a rough time at the same time that I was going through my happy times. She told me that she didn’t know how to be happy for me because of all that was happening in her world. And I felt that. Like okay this makes sense. And we continued to talk and the line of communication was opened.

What I learned from this conversation was that mentally, not everyone is where you are. Everyone is going through life at their own pace, and their own ups and downs. And they’re going through life the way they know how. But what I tried to convey here is that in any friendship, I feel like we just have to be honest with each other. I know this can be hard, but, keeping it real is the best way so we know where we’re at. If you’re going through something, and you’re my friend, I’m going through it too. I don’t know how to be genuine friends with someone and not be there for them when shit hits the fan. That’s just me. So, there’s no real bad friend here, just 2 people who got lost in the communication and life’s obstacles.

What I really learned was that as a Jesus follower, I really have to not take things so personal. Because honestly, I was hurt and I could have just held onto the hurt and not forgive the person and just be done with the whole friendship altogether because of the hurt and hold a grudge. But honestly, so many of the women in my family do this – hold grudges and I honestly believe it leads to sickness later on in life. I’m learning to forgive and let it go.

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Do you have someone you need to forgive? Let’s chat!

My Positive Labour and Delivery Story

Okay so how many of us have watched YouTube videos about women and their labour + delivery stories? They’ve honestly been my guilty pleasure. I always watched them and thought.. wow anything can happen and how I so do not want to experience that pain! Menstrual cramps are more than enough. Low and behold, on May 7th 2019 at 8:56pm, I gave birth to my handsome beautiful baby boy..

So let me just say that my pregnancy was 10 months, yes I went the full 40 weeks. I had no morning sickness, very little nausea, gained 30-40 lbs and it wasn’t until the very end that I started to break out with acne on my face, but I had horrible bacne throughout my pregnancy and got stretch marks at the end as well. Over all, my pregnancy was good, I was very tired at the beginning (towards the end too!). I experienced pelvic pain 4 weeks prior to giving birth, I honestly felt like I was going to be split in half, that was so painful. But I embraced this as I knew it needed to happen to get my baby boy in the right position for me to push him out.

Okay so I was literally about to embark on the curse – you know the curse that God gave Eve for eating the forbidden fruit??

“To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and conception; In pain you shall bring forth children;…”

Genesis 3:16 NKJV

We ain’t even gonna talk about the rest of that verse – “Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” *eye roll* Can I roll my eyes at God? Not God, Eve? Honestly, while having contractions I told my best friend I can’t wait to meet Eve, but we’ll get to that.

Right, so I honestly prepared for this by doing research, praying and embracing the fact that although I had this curse on me, my body was created to do this and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). I also should add that I did have painful periods so I was a little used to what was coming, emphasize on little.

Okay so I titled this my positive labour and delivery story because as a pregnant woman (S/O to you if you’re pregnant!) we read so many things – sometimes negative things about pregnancy. I remember being 18 weeks pregnant and typing this into YouTube to see if my progress was the same as other women and it was not.. Some women who had their pregnancy unfortunately end early literally posted these details online and it would just pop up in your face, on Instagram too. This was so horrible for me to see. Also, I would click on a YouTube video of a labour + delivery story and it be horrible! The woman is in labour forever, she’s induced, emergency c-section, the list goes on. My advice is, if you’re pregnant and preparing to give birth, know that everything may not go as planned and stay positive – read positive stories/videos and don’t let people’s horror stories scare you! With that said, my labour was positive, my delivery was positive so this is a good read.

They say to do a lot of walking to bring the baby down, I started maternity leave in the middle of April, weather was nice so I did a lot of walking. My best friend got married on May 4th – I was a bridesmaid. I was literally huge, of course it was a whole day event, walking, photos, longgg day to say the least.

It honestly took a lot to post this, my beautiful best friend on her wedding day and me literally about to POP.

The wedding was on a Saturday, Sunday was just restful I guess and Monday morning.. they started. What is they? THEY were my contractions! Felt like regular period cramps, sommin light, NBD. As nighttime came, I told my husband, “babe, I bet you, I won’t sleep tonight.” Ok, bet, I didn’t. All night I tossed and turned, in anguish, my stomach continued to cramp, contractions got longer and closer together. I got tired of guessing, I thought it’s 2019, there must be an app to time my contractions. There was, downloaded that. On Tuesday, before my husband left for work, I told him I think today’s the day, he shrugged, SMH.

As the day progressed, my contractions got more intense, my mom said if I could manage, I should drive myself to the hospital. (My husband works for public transportation and would not be accessible right away if I called, I also did not want him missing work for false labour as he is a new hire). So I got myself together, ordered my hot cakes from McDonalds via UberEats and had a bath. By the time I was ready to go, my contractions were far too painful to drive. I ordered an Uber, I got to the hospital (Humber River) at 2pm. (My Uber driver was really nice, helped me with my bags but was talking too much during the drive and took the long way to the hospital, smh.) I went straight to the maternity ward, signed in, had some nurses hook me up to the machines, baby’s heart rate was good.

So finally the OBGYN comes, (not mine, it was her day off BOO!) and it’s a man, double boo! Anyway, he checks me “OH MY GOODNESS.” Umm sir? Mi know sey mi good but dat ah fi mi husband, not you! Okok, jokes aside, this man is like, “You’re 6cm, you need to be admitted, you’re in labour” OKKKKKKK, so gyal dem are really giving birth? I called my husband, he’s like so there’s a chance you can have the baby while I’m at work? I kindly said yes, and requested his presence immediately. I tried to stay positive and light because I knew I’d need my strength for later.

I was sent to my labour room, a big fancy room, bed, couch for the fam, TV (Raptors played that day and won – 2019 WORLD CHAMPS!!). Contractions intensified, anesthesiologist came by, informing me that I can take my epidural. Here’s how my birth plan came into play – all natural, no epidural please! Side note: all my nurses were Jamaican, they told me di pain only ah go get woss. Okay? I can manage.

It’s 6 something, at this point all of my family arrives, my other best friend and of course my husband. I’m still allowed to drink water and ginger ale so I’m peeing frequently. My contractions have continuously gotten worse and the little bit of time I have in between them, I use the restroom. On 2 occasions I need my husband to help, after using the bathroom, I nearly fall to the ground from the pain of the contractions. Epidural time? Nope, not me. I was gonna champion through it. I could hear my grandmother and her stories of back pain from the epidural, my mother was also encouraging me not to do it. But my best friend was like “Vee, seriously? This pain, I couldn’t.” This is when I tell my best friend that I can’t wait to meet Eve, I was literally half dead going through my contractions. Mind you I’m still stuck at 6cm dilated.

I’m literally in agony, squirming and turning in the bed from the pain, I start to make loud noises, and my Jamaican nurse comes and basically tells me to: top di naise! (Stop the noise). Stop the noise? Am I not a woman in labour? If I can’t make noise now, when? Ok so I had enough now, nurse, what are my options for pain relief aside from the epidural? Morphine. “It naw go work” The nurse was telling the morphine shot that I would get in my ass wasn’t going to ease the pain. Did I care? No. Gimme the drugs. I got it at 6:30. I asked how long it takes to work. 15 minutes. I watched the clock. Felt every contraction. It’s now 6:45, I felt the exact same. WTF? Ok forget this. EPIDURAL NOW. There’s no way I’m going to go through all this pain and still have strength to push this baby out.

At some point they had to break my water (this is what triggered me to take the epidural as my contractions would intensify once this was done). I was also encouraged by my Jamaican nurse to take the epidural because every time my uterus contracted, I would tense up and the baby’s heart rate would drop – big no no.

I was terrified of this needle, but my best friend’s cousin told me that the pain I’d be enduring would be worse than the needle going in my back. Mind you the anesthesiologist had been by several times annoyingly inquiring as to when I would take the epidural because women allllways say they’re going natural and then cop out. Yes that was me! So I lean forward on the edge of the hospital bed and they prepare me to put the epidural in my back.

SIGH, about 20 minutes later, I feel the contractions but they’re not painful. It’s after 7pm, my Jamaican nurse has gone home and another younger Jamaican nurse comes in. This nurse is fresh, fresh as in she just immigrated here not too long ago, her accent is heavy but she is much more pleasant than my earlier nurse.

“Okay Venita, it’s time to push” What?? Already? I had honestly been in and out of sleep after the epidural. Thank God! This part went by fast. But was kind of difficult at first. Difficult because I had to re-learn how to push lol. I’ve seen too many movies about pushing and it’s nothing like that. You basically have to push as if you’re doing a bowel movement, but you’re on your back and you can’t get up, and you can’t feel anything waist down due to the epidural.

So yeah, I pushed for 30 minutes. My mom on my right, my husband on my left. My mom was coaching me, “you’re doing good Venita, come on use those muscles.” Okay, then there was: “I see his head Vee! He’s coming!” My husband said this with glee, there was talk of how my baby has so much hair. One final push, and he was out! My beautiful baby boy came into the world weighing 7lbs and 5 oz. The end! Lol nottt, life has clearly just begun, I’m a mommy now. Glory to God.

My handsome baby boy at just 2 days old. I’ll cherish this moment forevaaaa.

My First Blog Post

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’ve been thinking about creating one for some time now and since I’m currently on maternity leave, I thought I would use the time to finally start! Of course my world has been turned upside down since becoming a new mama, so my first actual post will be about my son. Not juicy enough for you? Trust me, it is! Also, I’m of Jamaican descent so my posts will contain content with patois lingo in them, I will try my best to include translations. With that said, what does pourqoui pree mean? Well, I’m from Toronto, Canada – a bilingual nation (English and French). So I know a little French, pourquoi is why in English. Remember the part about me being Jamaican? So, pree is to be nosey in patois. In Jamaica, we’d say ‘ah pree yuh ah pree mi?’; this could mean so many things: stop watching what I’m doing, mind your business, etc. Anyway, in Toronto, we say why pree, as in, why watch one so closely via social media or in person etc., why pay attention to someone with negative intentions basically – WHY PREE?!! Lol, welcome to my crazy Jamaican/Toronto influences! Enjoy!