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Back to School & Chicken Pasta with Tomato Basil Butter Sauce

In many ways, September feels like the busiest time of the year: The kids go back to school, work piles up after the summer's dog days, and Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us. 

Brent Brown

Click. Clank. Whoosh. 

That is the sound of Penticton closing up shop. LOL

On Tuesday, the day after the September long weekend, our City turned into a ghost town. The beach restaurants brought in their patio tables and turned their signs to closed. The paddleboard shop boarded up there tiki hut and the Wibit was deflated.

The whole city takes a collective sigh, we did it! We got through another tourist season!

It just ended a week ago but we already start preparing for next year. Our Main Street and Gyro Park are now under construction. Last fall/winter/spring they did the two blocks before it. They finished a week before "the season" started. Now, they pick up where they left off. I get to spend the next 8 months not being able to get to my bank... Again. I'm not complaining though. Tourism is a major economy booster here and I for one respect it. 

Make it beautiful! 

Make more people come here, move here! 

That means more money going into our business and my friend's businesses! Or even, their businesses make more and now they can afford to get their windows cleaned! Win-win! 

But, and there's always a but LOL I wish LocoLanding, the 4 seater rental bikes, and the ice cream stores 😳 would stay open at least halfway through September for all of us locals that didn't get a chance to take advantage of all the summer fun things while the tourists were here. For most of us, summer is the busy time. The time we are all working. People come here to vacation but the locals have to vacation after the traditional season. This week and next week the weather forecast is calling for the high 20s! But, nothing is open! There has to be a happy medium. 😊

On Tuesday it was our last day of summer holidays. I called the girls into my bedroom and we cuddled and played sandwich. I try to memorize every squeeze, every nuzzle, and even every screech. Those are the moments I will remember forever. I still remember cuddling in my Mom and Dad's bed. They are some of my favourite memories, I hope that my girls remember those times too.

All of the lovefest ended at 8 PM Tuesday evening. I said it was time for bed and HBear went ape shit.

Every time she has a meltdown I say it is the worst I've ever seen… This truly was the worst I have ever seen! 

She was uncontrollable. We pulled out every book and her flashlight and notebooks from her bedroom. She freaked out so bat shit crazy, a half an hour into it she came out of her bedroom holding her tooth. She had screamed her freaking tooth out of her mouth!

At the end of it when she finally passed out, Ninja and I looked like we had been through a battle. We had!!

The next morning she was very sorry. I know her. I know what happened. She was nervous about 1st day of school the next day and that's how she displayed it. I explained to her that that is SO not going to fly. It is OK to feel anxious, scared, and worried but it is absolutely 100% not OK to behave that way! I told her we needed to brainstorm some better ways of expressing our feelings. I asked her if the tooth fairy came?

She said, "yes."

I asked her what the tooth fairy left her?

She showed me her container and the tooth was gone. Then, she showed me the letter that she received instead of money. It was a letter from the Tooth Fairy's best friend Santa Claus. Santa Claus explained to her that as of right now she is on the naughty list. 

She did not like that one bit. She was very quiet. She realized things had to change... quickly! She didn't like the feeling of being on the naughty list.

We explained to her what her punishment would be. We told her that bedtime can be easy or it can be hard. Until she shows us that she can go to bed like a big girl she is not allowed to have her flashlight or her books in her bed. At 8 PM it would be bedtime and that was it. There would be no play dates, no screen time and no more tolerating her terrible behavior. She was allowed to do chores, practice guitar, read, or do her math workbook. On Saturday night Ninja took SBean to a movie, and HBear was specifically told she could not go because of her behavior.

Hopefully things get back to normal! Since then, I'd have to say she's been pretty great! In fact last night she got her flashlight back!

I am seriously fucking dreading puberty πŸ‘Ή.

So, we started school! It was a total shit show because we got something like 8 new teachers, including a new secretary and a new principal! HBear is very excited about her teacher and the friends that she got put with this year. Hey, when she's happy… We're all happy. 😜

SBean had orientation and then yesterday she had her very first day of preschool! She was so freaking excited! She was vibrating πŸ˜‚ she was a bit nervous about 2 things, 1. She was going to miss me very much and 2. She doesn't like to wipe her bottom after she Poops LOL she said she would not be going Poop at school. πŸ’© hahahaha. 

We are getting back into the swing of things as we started Musical Theatre, Acro Jazz, KISU, Bowling and Swimming Lessons. 
Next week we add Brownies into the mix. I haven't quite got back into the groove of things… The laundry is done but the bathrooms haven't been touched in over a week and my poor family has been eating quite a bit of take out 😬. 

I did manage to throw together a pasta dish for us to enjoy this week though. This was really easy. I know it always seems daunting to make your own sauce, but it is so worth it! This pasta dish came together in less than 30 minutes! We have an abundance of fresh basil in the garden that I wanted to use and this dish is super basil yumminess! The butter helps smooth the acidity of the tomatoes and everybody licked their plates clean!

Chicken Pasta with Tomato Basil Butter Sauce
Adapted from A Pinch of Yum

4 chicken breasts, thin or pounded thin
¼ cup olive oil
6 roma tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
one handful fresh basil, cut into ribbons
¼ cup butter
8 ounces pasta

Season each piece of chicken generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Prep the tomatoes, garlic, and basil and set aside.

Make the pasta according to package directions.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the chicken and pan-fry for several minutes on each side - you want to cook it at the same time as browning it, hence the thin breasts. Mine could have been thinner but we got home late and I was short on time. 

When the chicken is done, set aside.

Give the oil a few minutes to cool, add the tomatoes, and return to heat. Simmer to cook the tomatoes down into a chunky-sauce-like-mixture. 

Add the garlic and butter and stir to combine until the butter is melted. 

Stir in the basil and add the chicken back in to soak in the sauce for a few minutes.

Top pasta with the chicken and the sauce.


We started our week by filling out our annual back to school interviews. This was the first year SBean had one and she felt very grown-up πŸ’›


SBean and HBear are both in dance class this year! It is awesome to watch SBean dancing with HBear's favourite dance teacher. After class I joked with her how they were nothing alike but she insisted that they're very much alike! πŸ€” Interesting how everybody sees it differently. 

Once HBear got to school all of her fears and insecurities were instantly erased!


SBean got to go to Preschool for a 1 hour orientation. After that we had a Board Meeting, I'm the new Secretary... πŸ˜¬ It is actually pretty great to meet a whole new set of women and to be able to get involved with SBean's schooling as well. After the meeting I took her to McDonald's for a treat!

Every year HBear's school does a tug-of-fun at the beginning and the end of the year. It is a lot of fun to come out and watch and SBean got to play with all the younger siblings! They are a tight group and I have a feeling even though she is the only girl & the youngest, she is going to lead them into temptation and deliver them to evil. πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚

This past weekend I had a Ladies Wine Tour! My SBesty planned it and it was amazing! I cannot believe I've lived here for 7 years and I have not done that sooner! I am always the organizer. I am always the driver. It was great to just sit back and let the details be taken care of by someone else. All I had to do was show up, get into a limo and laugh with 11 other women for the day. None of us knew each other very well but by the end of the day we were all enjoying each other's company. We went to Poplar Grove, Monster, we had a potluck lunch at Thornhaven, Dirty Laundry, Silk Scarf and then we had a private barrel tasting and tour with the owner of Painted Rock. It was a pretty phenomenal day! 


While Mommy was out playing, Daddy took the Girls for a bike ride to watch the Dragon Boat races. After the ride and the park, Ninja took them to Boston Pizza for lunch. He doesn't get a day with them on his own very often so he took FULL advantage of it!

That evening Ninja took SBean to see The Wild Life! We really wanted to do something that would show HBear there was a consequence to her actions. She doesn't really have a lot of play dates and she got to see her friends all week at school, we wanted to make sure that she felt the full effect of a punishment.

Meanest. Parents. Ever. πŸ˜‚

She handled it well. Like, super well! So well that after bathtime I sat and played cards with her instead of reading or workbook. We played 7 games of Crazy 8s and a very, very long game of War. She was very loving throughout the game. Until I won a double war and took 2 of her aces and then she turned to me and said, "now that I think about it maybe my heart is getting a bit smaller." πŸ˜‚

To end our weekend we did some geocaching. We picked up our 100 find! Woot woot! We absolutely love exploring our beautiful community.

Yesterday SBean had her 1st day of preschool! She did great! So did I 😊 after I dropped her off, I had to go do a deposit at the bank, go home and switch over laundry, go up to the school for a meeting with the Principal about Hot Lunch, drop by The Bay to exchange some pants that Dad had bought for SBean for back to school, come home and get SBean's lunch ready, activate the Hot Lunch schedule, finish the Hot Lunch newsletter, get it back up to the school for distribution and then it was time to pick her up!

I would say I barely had time to miss her but the whole time I kept on thinking I had forgotten something, or someone LOL. I have never really been on my own in the past almost 8 years! This is going to take some getting used to, but I think I'll be just fine πŸ˜‰ 



Were there tears? To be honest, a few. It wasn't until later when she was down for a nap that I had time to process. 

My Baby is growing up. 

She managed for a whole 2.5 hours, without me! How, when... why??? 


The days are long but the years are shorter.

Gretchen Rubin


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