Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day

Today we donned our red and white and headed up the coast to celebrate Canada's 145 birthday. We are so fortunate to live in a spectacular corner of such a great country.

 As I may have mentioned before, I'm a sucker for our small town community celebrations. The crowds aren't overwhelming and everywhere you turn is a face you know, a friend to play with.

A parade combined with sugar makes for some happy littles. We spent the rest of the afternoon running it off at the park.

This was my favourite float. A quilted car cosy, how wonderful!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I joined a new club last week and it involved many, many candles.
And yet I question my membership. Forty. Really? Is this what it feels like?
I still feel twenty-eight. Am I supposed to be a grown-up now? Do I need to develop a taste for wine?

I still get "Miss" far more than "Ma'am" by the cute boys at the grocery store. Although, it has been a long time since I was carded and I do have this one hair that insists on growing under my chin. So perhaps I'm showing my years after all.

This birthday required a special cake. Chocolate seemed too moody and dark. Nothing shouts I'm happy to be forty quite like a six layer rainbow cake with sprinkles.  :)

The last decade was a blur of marriage and babies. Losing the person you thought you were only to find a stronger one emerging from sleepless nights, fueled by the unconditional love of my littles.

So bring on the next decade, mammograms and reading glasses don't scare me. More time for my interests, clothes without stains and the possibility of a clean, organized house. Yeah I know, dare to dream but dream I will. My forties are going to be great!
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Power Shift

It's not easy being five, being the little brother and having pretty much no say in what you do.
I'm trying to accumulate the 500 hours needed to renew my ECE licence, there are errands to run, groceries to buy and the constant to and fro of school drop offs, pick ups and activities.
And while I'm just about his favourite person to hang out with (not including Daddy, of course) the frustration of being dragged everywhere has been getting to him lately.
So today I shifted the balance of power to him and my little man glowed.
(The exasperated look when I forgot that this particular creation was the "Temple of the Bad Guys with the poisonous Kraken tentacle". Silly me.)
In no particular order we:
  • built several cool Lego creations
  • explored the Lego website in depth
  • baked chocolate Star Wars cookies
  • snuck about the house like ninjas
  • discussed the subtle differences between his Han Solo minifigures
  • had a contest to see who could launch a Playmobil cannon the farthest
  • ate French toast for lunch
  • and attempted to condense the Lord of the Rings trilogy into a story for the five year old brain
He was one happy camper.
September and all day kindergarten will be here in no time and I'm going to miss my constant companion. But for now we can add excitement to our errands by sneaking around the IGA like a couple of ninjas.
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Saturday, March 17, 2012


Anna and I have been getting our Irish on today.
She's been really keen on celebrating St. Patrick's Day, even after I explained that it doesn't involve candy or presents.
So we did what we do best and baked cookies. I found these fun shamrock icebox cookies on Pinterest and followed the link back to Bakingdom. Wow, she has got some great ideas!
I'm proud to say we used all the rainbow sprinkles in the house. (Must remember to add them to the grocery list!)
Anna decked herself out in all the green apparel she could find.....
.....while my other little leprechaun was more the colour of green due to the cold/flu bug he's fighting.
Anna figured some lucky shamrocks taped to the bed should help him feel better.
I'm thinking the Shamrock Shakes we make later might do the trick.
Enjoy the day, drink green beer and kiss someone!
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancake Tuesday

Pancake Tuesday, my favourite little known holiday.
I mean, who doesn't love to have an official reason for eating breakfast at dinner. It gives us licence to enjoy every syrup soaked bite of warm, fluffy goodness. It's just not possible to be anything but happy while consuming pancakes.
It was a given while growing up that there would be pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. No more likely to be missed than birthdays or Christmas. A special family tradition that seemed our own, unknown by everyone else I knew. I wish I could say that we were pious through Lent, but truthfully it was really just about the pancakes.
Over the years of working with children, I would always make pancakes with them on the eve of Lent. Little fingers cracking eggs, flour everywhere, passing the bowl so everyone had their turn to stir.
Today Jack and I whipped up a batch at play group to share. I've been referred to as the "pancake lady" by more than one child over the years.

And, of course, more for dinner tonight. I doctored them up with some hemp hearts for a nutrition boost. Anna was rather suspicious of the "weird dots" in her pancakes. Jack was deep in his happy carb place and noticed nothing. Deliciously deceiving, I call it.
But this year a tinge of sadness in the sweet for me. Eighteen years ago my dad, or "Grandpa Edward" as we call him now, left us to eat his pancakes in a better place. You are still greatly missed Dad, this post is for you.
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nutella Creme Brulee

Did you know that today is World Nutella Day?
I kid you not, February 5th is all about the deliciousness that is Nutella.
Growing up, we never had Nutella. Never heard of the stuff until I was in my twenties. Personally, I think this borders on child neglect of some sort. It is now a staple in our pantry, enjoyed by all on toast, waffles, graham crackers (ever had a Nutella s'more? Swoon!) and by the spoon full. Thank goodness Costco sells it!
Earlier this week I had grand plans for a triple layer Chocolate Nutella Mousse Cake. I also had a nasty cold, foggy brain and an epic cake fail. So I decided to step back from the flour bin and take a different approach.
Nutella Creme Brulee.
Rich, creamy and deceptively simple. Throw it together in the morning, let it set up in the fridge for the day and then show off your mad torch skills after dinner. You'll be a rock star.

And is there anything quite so satisfying as cracking the top of creme brulee? I think not.
Nutella Creme Brulee
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp melted Nutella
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Place five ramekins or custard cups in a larger baking pan and fill with hot water until the water level is about half way up the ramekins.
Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to simmer, take off the heat and add the vanilla. Let cool.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. When the cream has cooled a bit, slowly whisk it into the egg mixture being careful not to "cook" your eggs. Then mix in the melted Nutella. Pour through a fine sieve to strain out any weird eggy bits and then divide evenly between the ramekins.
Bake for approx. 45 minutes until the edges are set and the centre in slightly wobbly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.
Sprinkle with sugar and slide under broiler, watch VERY carefully or torch until sugar melts.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

I love Boxing Day.

As a child it seemed a bit sad, that post-Christmas let down. But since the littles came along we happily host the Christmas festivities. I enjoy the planning, the baking, the decorating. It gets my creative juices flowing. Christmas, however, is not a holiday.

And that is why I love Boxing Day. On Boxing Day I do as little as possible.

It is a free-for-all, fending for yourself sort of a day. We graze and lounge. We play with new toys and stay in our pajamas for as long as we want.
There is no cleaning or cooking on Boxing Day.

I slept in and read half a book over cafe au lait this morning, played dolls and painted a t-shirt with Anna, assembled a small portion of Jack's mountain of new Lego. We made popcorn and watched the Food Network (I've been deprived of it for several months now, due to our odd TV set up. So T fixing it for me on Christmas Eve, was indeed a Christmas miracle.).

So while it's back to reality tomorrow, tonight I enjoy a few more hours of post-Christmas bliss.

(The aftermath.)
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