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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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Silent Night

"Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright."

As usual the hustle and bustle of the season got away on us. So many ways to make merry, and the urge to try them all.
But this night is my favourite. Nothing more to be done, the day is upon us. So I curl up and watch my favourite holiday movie, "Miracle on 34th St." and have a nibble of Santa's snack (shhhh....don't tell the littles). A quiet evening before the explosion of joy that the morning will bring.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Holly Jolly

Oh good golly, the littles are jolly. December was welcomed with wide open arms and even bigger smiles at a very early hour.

Who doesn't love having chocolate at breakfast? And this year, a new tradition. North Pole pancakes, as we have coined them. A short stack of fluffy buttermilk goodness topped off with a candy cane.

A frothy mug of vanilla steamed milk and we were ready to bring on a month of festive festivities. This past weekend did not disappoint and I will share soon. Until then, have a little chocolate and enjoy the ride.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Little Bird

This is my best girl.
She left us this past weekend for the first time. A whole twenty-four hours at Sparks camp.

OK, so it wasn't the totally first time. We had a lovely weekend away from the kids once. And the other time, we gave her a brother. Lovely as well, but most definitely not a holiday.

But this time it was her choice. Anna decided to test her wings and she flew. A bit wobbly at moments, but she did it, and now she can't wait to fly again.

Bittersweet for her mama who knows that, for while her best girl is growing in confidence, the trips away from the nest will grow too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time Flies

You know, I blog everyday in my head. Somehow, though, all those thoughts never seem to quite make it from mind to keyboard. Life speeds up, other things are more pressing, my thoughts no longer seem relevant. 

( I *heart* this pic of Anna mid-leap)

But you know what? I've decided that my thoughts are relevant. What could be more important than documenting our life?

So you're going to have to bear with me because I plan to put random musings to blog far more often from now on.

We've been having an excellent autumn. Brimming with apples, pumpkins and corn mazes.

We've celebrated fall fairs, crunching leaves, the first snowflakes and the return of peppermint mocha's (ok, perhaps that last one is more just me).

There is so much to look forward to, as we head into December. Anna's first school Christmas concert, trips to the theatre, advent calendars and a sweet project I hope to share with you soon.

Soak it all up. That's my pre-New Year's resolution. It really doesn't get better than this.

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Monday, October 31, 2011


Weeks ago, literally between finishing the turkey and turning our thoughts towards the pumpkin tiramisu, Jack announced it was time to get the Halloween decorations out.
The excitement has been building ever since.

So the house is festooned with black bats taped to every available surface, the pumpkin lights glow merrily (or should that be eerily?) in the littles bedroom, and there have been several practice rounds of trick or treat.

Jack went retro, opting to be a Ghostbuster. I should really figure out how to post recordings on here because that boy can really belt out the Ghostbuster theme song.

I love how his proton pack is almost the size of him.

Anna went with a couple of options. A mermaid for indoor affairs and a witch for warmth on Halloween night.

I've always been partial to witches and am glad to see she's carrying on the tradition. This is her third witch in six years.

The littles carved their own jack-o-lantern's this year. We were pretty impressed with the outcomes.
Anna's was mischievous looking and Jack's had a cool two-sided, two-faced Dr. Jykell and Mr. Hyde vibe about it.

Trick or treating couldn't have been more fun. A clear chilly starry night, a group of friends, bags brimming with treats. We soaked up every spooky moment.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Harvest Bounty: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We celebrated Thanksgiving today, an opportunity to spend time with those we see far less often than we'd like. After a mad day of prep work yesterday, I was soaking it all in.
Until that is, my oven died. A small flame on the heating element and it was done. Luckily for us the turkey already was.
So we warmed the side dishes in the microwave, ate until we popped and enjoyed a gorgeous autumn afternoon.
But the dark cloud remains over my head.
 I can't bake.
This is very unsettling. I have plans and a new doughnut cutter that is begging for a trial run.

So I'll trade kitchen for computer and write up posts for the yumminess I've been making lately.

Starting with a chocolate zucchini cake.

My lovely friend Marnie gifted us with an enormous zucchini after a recent playdate.

 I immediately thought of the chocolate zucchini cake my mom used to make. Sprinkled with chocolate chips, it was moist and very un-vegetable like.

After some searching I found this recipe and added my own glaze. The espresso adds a great depth of flavour to an already fantastic chocolate cake. It was especially good slightly warm with a glass of milk. Jack completely agreed and he had no idea that the vegetable he played strong man with had found it's way inside.

Chocolate Espresso Glaze

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp instant espresso
6 tbsp milk

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Grade One

Anna started grade one last week.
Grade One.
And for the first time, a full day of school.
Anna, of course, jumped right in with both feet. Happy to be back in her social element, full of stories to share with her friends. Excited over her new lunchbox.

I, on the other hand, was slightly wrought with anxiety. What class will she be in? Will she be with her friends? Is she sleeping enough at night to be well rested for school? What do you pack a vegetarian kid for lunch when the school has a no nuts policy?

But, of course, I worry too much. She's in the straight grade one class (no split class to deal with). Her teacher seems lovely and she's with quite a few of her friends. The over tired meltdowns have been minimal. I'm taking suggestions for lunch ideas, though.

The house is quiet without her imagination running rampant through the rooms. The games Jack and I play are all boy now, no more tea parties on Rainbow Island.

There were many days in the past when I dreamt of full day school and now I find myself being early for pick up, anticipating her smile and hug and all the news of her day.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Who knew that the wild west included neo classical architecture? Or perhaps Woody was holidaying in Greece. I should have asked.

I love Jack's imagination, you should have seen the tiny lego proton pack he made for a mini figure this morning.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baked Doughnuts

I have resisted the urge to buy a deep fryer for a very long time, because well, I'd just want to fry everything. So when I came across this recipe for baked doughnuts on Pinterest, my curiosity was piqued. Then when I realized it was a recipe from Helene at Tartelette, it bumped everything off my to-do list this morning.

Helene does the most beautiful food photography and styling, I can't wait to get my hands on her new book "Plate to Pixel".
These raised yeast doughnuts are like a cross between cinnamon bread and doughnut. A bit more substantial with a hint of nutmeg under the cinnamon and, oh so good when warm.

The littles loved the doughnut holes and proclaimed them to be "even better than Timbits".
Give them a whirl, you won't regret it, especially since they're baked. That makes them practically healthy, right?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011


I was reminded this morning, while rummaging through the freezer, of the kids fishing day at the fish hatchery.

The kids could catch two a piece, but that afternoon was warm and those trout were perfectly content to snooze in the depths of the pool.

In the end we finally caught one. Anna has named her Violet.

Violet now resides in the freezer, and startles me now and then when I'm searching for jam.

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