Merry Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

All the best this season from our family to yours.

Christmas dinner menu

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo sources from top left to bottom right: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /

Christmas dinner at our house is going to be a smaller than usual affair this year: only seven people versus the 19 or so we've hosted in the past three years. I loved the big get togethers, but I'm looking forward to having a smaller dinner this year.

I started to think about what we'd serve and since I'm not eating too much meat these days and one of my sisters is a vegetarian, I've opted to order a turkey breast roll instead of a full turkey from our local butcher. Then I went to Pinterest of course and started pinning recipes for everything else. 

We're going to make these yummy looking Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry-Pear Sauce from Oh She Glows and I thought this Candied Pecan Craisin and Feta salad sounded delish. Match these with some sides like this Roasted Cauliflower with apple and mashed sweet potatoes and we've got a pretty fine meal. My mom will round it all out with her pumpkin pie. 

I can't wait! You can find these recipes on my Christmas Dinner Ideas board here

Happy Eating!

Steam Whistle Winter Farmers' Market in Toronto

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I got a note this week that the Steam Whistle Winter Farmers' Market is going to start this weekend and I wanted to share the news. I love that we can still get local fruit and veggies in the winter and what a great way to spend a Sunday downtown!

The indoor market will feature Ontario farmers selling apples, baked goods, root vegetables, organic meat and cheese, beauty products, maple and honey products. Steam Whistle Pilsner will be available for sampling and purchase as well--yum!

The Winter Market starts this Sunday, December 22, from 10am to 2pm and runs until February 23rd. Make sure to check it out!

Some yummy things I found around the web this week

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Image via Oh She Glows
I've been thinking of these vegan peppermint patties non-stop since Angela blogged about them this week. The best part is that they're good for you! Can't beat that. Yummy.

I can't wait to try these yummy quinoa pancakes with blueberry maple syrup.

My friend Carol sent me the recipe for these Cosmic Cookies from Planet Organic that will make the perfect snack for the kids.

These Caramel Apple Cider Cocktails just might make my Christmas menu.

My mouth is kind of watering just thinking of this Overnight Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast Casserole.

I hope I didn't make you too hungry - Happy Thursday!

Christmas Wish List: The Kids

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last, but certainly not least, I made a little Christmas wish list for the kidlets. My faves in this group are the headband (can I have one?) and the race car 'garage' which I think would be perfect for those long plane trips to Florida. Find these and more in my Christmas Wish List: Kids Etsy faves folder

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Christmas wish list: Mommy

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Well we couldn't have a wish list for daddies without having one for mommies! Here are my etsy faves for the gals (including me - hint hint!) this season.

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Annual Christmas ornaments

Monday, December 02, 2013

Like many kids, when I was growing up my mom gave us an annual Christmas ornament with our name and the current year. I started doing this last year for my kids, picking up a couple from the One of a Kind Show. This year I was browsing around Etsy and saw these ornaments from Graphic Spaces and my jaw dropped. I fell in love with the owl instantly and got it for Mila and purchased the airplane for Leo. Aren't they so sweet? I can't wait to add them to the tree.

Do you have this tradition with your family?

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Christmas wish list: Daddy

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I started to collect gift ideas for Mark on my Etsy favourites page and the first thing that caught my eye was this super cozy sweat shirt from kupukupu apparel (they have them for women too!). I added some accessories to go with it. Ok I know the bow tie doesn't match, but it was too cute not to include.

Find these items and more in my Christmas Wish List for Daddy on Etsy here (affiliate link).

Have you started shopping yet?

Mini Adventure: Roundhouse Park

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

After we left the aquarium on Friday, we skipped over across the street to Roundhouse Park: a dream for any three-year-old. The foggy skyline was the perfect back drop for the old steam engines. Next time though I think we'll stick around for a beer.


Monday, November 25, 2013

So all of a sudden this boy is three. Although, I have to be honest it's felt like he's been three for quite some time. But there it is. A whole three years have gone by since that very long day (and night!) I spent in the hospital.

Friday we spent the morning downtown at the new aquarium. It was pretty nice and Leo loved seeing everything. There's a play area in the centre and I think he was most interested in making his way there the whole time. He said his favourite were the jellyfish which I have to agree with (although the shark tank was a very close second). Super cool.

On Saturday we had a small family birthday party. Leo was very specific that he wanted a John Deere party so I got to work. All week he would talk about the tractors he was going to get and he was not disappointed. Now he has two really cool big tractors to call his own, plus two I added to the cake. Oh and his grandmother got him a zamboni which he is equally excited about. 

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few of the party themed pics, but here's a photo little recap:

We spent Sunday doing nothing (I think I was in my PJs until 3) which was the perfect ending to the weekend in my books.

Well that's it! I hope you had a great weekend too wherever you are! xo

Let's be adventurers

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today my best friend Carol and I met at Union Station in Toronto to bring the kids on the GO Train and have some fun in the PATH. It was Carol's idea: she wanted to bring Leo out for a cookie for his birthday (he's going to be three on Friday yowsers!). I thought it was a great idea because Leo loves trains and I knew he'd love the ride.

It was my first solo trip with the kids like this though and I was a bit nervous. I couldn't bring the stroller because our GO station doesn't have an elevator - at least I haven't seen one - and I had to be smart about what I packed since I'd be bringing a small bag. Oh and Leo doesn't wear a diaper now. Where were the washrooms?!

It's easy to ask yourself all of these questions and more and say SCREW IT. I'm not going. It's easier to stay home, which I'm sure I've done before more than a few times.

But I'm trying to be more adventurous. And Carol is the gal to be adventurous with.

Ok I have to be honest, Carol wasn't always the super adventurous type. I remember traveling with her in Europe years ago and taking forever to find a place to eat because she didn't like what was on any menu and she wasn't really interested in trying something new.

But then she had kids.

Carol is one of the most adventurous people I know now. She'll take her kids anywhere and make it work. That's the key here folks: she'll make it work. It's not always easy (she's got three young kids!). It's not always fun. But she'll never look back and regret not doing something because it was easier just to stay home.

Carol's inspiring me to be more like this. I have a long way to go. I'm up-tight sometimes. I like things a certain way. I don't do particularly well with change. I don't like mess.

But I don't want all of these things to stop me from experiencing things with my kids whether or not they remember them. These are our experiences too as parents.

They make us stronger.

You know what? Today was crazy. The kids ran all over the place. They zipped in and out of stores. They ran around bankers on their cell phones. They pushed buttons that stopped escalators.

But they were smiling and laughing the whole time they were doing it. Isn't that part of being a kid?

So let's collectively get off our asses and GO. By ourselves (bring your kids of course!). Let's Do It.

We'll all be better for it.

Latest Etsy Loves: Style Faves

Monday, November 18, 2013

I have a Style favourites board* on Etsy for all the things I would love to add to my wardrobe. With the exception of the colour beads up front, it seems I'm all about warm, gold and caramel tones right now.

Here are a some of my favourites lately.

via Back Bay Pottery

via amarilo

via ArtemisLeatherware 

via ShopClementine

via bookhouathome

via Mmim
Check 'em all out on my Style favourites board here.

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Get to know your neighbours by starting a book club

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm over at the YummyMummyClub this week talking about getting to know your neighbours by joining or starting a book club. Have a read and start a book club (there's wine and treats!).

The Lucy Top (by Shwin Designs)

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm sure I wrote somewhere that I wanted to get sewing again and when I found this sweet top pattern from Shwin Designs I bought it right away. I was going to use it for the Tonic Living fabric contest but I realized I didn't have enough fabric so I put a hold on it until last week. I'm not really sure how or why I got started, but I soon found myself upstairs going through my fabric trying to decide what I could use. 

I have a tonne of denim so I chose some of that for one side of the top and some Joel Dewberry antler damask in Celadon I had for the other side.

I love how this turned out. I love the damask with the giant antlers and bits of read and the denim helps to ground it a bit if I want Mila to wear something toned-down*.

Some notes: Over all this pattern was super easy to follow but I didn't love the photos that came with it. I'm a super visual person and I found myself lost on the sleeves. In fact I totally messed them up and I had to hand-stitch the bottom of the arm holes to make it work. Oh well. I'll have to look at it again or contact the Shwins to see where I went wrong for the next one.

Also I was going to put buttons on the front like the pattern photo, but I really love how clean it looks without them so I'll be putting a little snap on the inside of each side.

*I laugh when I say "toned-down" in the same sentence as "Mila" because she's developing quite the active personality. There's a reason why I chose to photograph this on my bench instead of Mila modelling it. She rarely sits still and when I did try to put it on her she started flailing this way and that and started crying :).

Hope y'all have a great week!

Easy and delicious immune boosting blueberry muffins (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Friday, November 08, 2013

I remember in high school my best friend Carol worked in the bakery in the local grocery store. She was always making muffins. Big yummy muffins. The muffins she made back then were, I'm sure, not very good for us.

Fast-forward 20 years (ack has it been that long?) and she's still making muffins. But this time they're good for us and they taste damn good too.

Carol put this recipe for muffins on Facebook the other day and I decided to make them with Leo. When I asked where the recipe came from, she said: "It's mine!"I had a feeling it was. So with her permission, I give you her Easy and delicious immune-boosting* blueberry muffins.

Make them. They rock.


Makes 12

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tbsp psyllium husk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups almond milk

Mix dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients, mix and bake in a muffin pan for 20-25 minutes. (See easy!)

Notes: Use the coconut oil if you have it. If you don't, go get some. It really brings these muffins up a notch and is a huge part of the immune-booster. I didn't have enough maple syrup so I used a combo 
of syrup, honey and brown rice syrup and they were equally delicious.

*So what makes these muffins immune-boosting anyway?
Coconut oil and blueberries have been said to boost immunes and help fight against cold and flu. Read more here and here.

That's it! Happy Friday and have a great weekend eating these up!

Mila's photobook

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A while back I bought another groupon for a photobook and this time I used it for Mila's first year. I love having these around the house and to have for years to come, especially because I rarely print photos anymore. This book is smaller than Leo's which I didn't know until I got it in the mail, but the quality over all is still great and I'm pretty happy with it.

The front and back covers (as well as the photos below) are from our photo shoot with Nataal. I was so happy to have these photos in time for the book.

Hope you're having a great week so far!

Quick and dirty: step stool cover

Monday, November 04, 2013

This isn't the prettiest post, but it made me happy so I thought I'd share it. Leo needed a step stool for his potty training adventures (he's fully trained during the day - underwear and all yay!) and I was going to get this one from Ikea but the colour I wanted wasn't in stock when I was there. Mark brought this really nice one in from the garage and we made do with that until we got the Ikea one.

Well guess what? I'm cheap and the practical side of me said why bother spending money on a stool when I have this one. I'll just recover it. So that's what I did.

I picked something out of my fabric stash and got to work. 

Honestly this is not my best work. There are puckers and folds, but it's a huge improvement from the paint stained blue stool we had before and I saved a few bucks. And now Leo can go potty and wash his hands all by his lonesome. Win-win I say!

The Junction Flea

Monday, October 28, 2013

We took a little drive over to Bayview Ave. here in Toronto to check out The Junction Flea which was being held at The Evergreen Brickworks this year. Yesterday was the last day and it was a beautiful day for the visit. Not a whole lot caught my eye, but I did love the laser cut wood trivets and coasters from The National Design Collective (they also have the coolest piece called a ubagaan which is a bench and a toboggan!), as well as the sweet framed photos from Elephant in the Attic. Leo loved the red truck, and we lunched on ramen noodles and dumplings from FeastTO, along with the most delicious fries from Jamie Kennedy.

Hope your weekend was a great one!

Happy weekend

Friday, October 25, 2013

1| Pretty leaves 2| My favourite house on our street 3| Checking out the street hardware 4| Quiet snack
We had a cold walk yesterday afternoon and it made me realize that I really need to break out the winter gear. I think it bothered me more than the kids - they didn't seem to notice.

Hope you all have a great weekend! We're off to a second birthday party for one of the sweetest boys I know. Happy Birthday Carson!

Happy weekend!

Stratford weekend

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mark and I were fortunate to get another weekend away this past weekend, this time to Stratford, Ontario. Every year, Mark's company has a dinner and theatre night; this year we had dinner at The Parlour and went to see Fiddler on the Roof at the Festival Theatre. It was amazing.

Usually dinner and the show are on the same night, but our plans were changed up a bit when we couldn't find Fiddler tickets for Saturday. It was a bit of a blessing however because we were able to enjoy our dinner instead of being rushed out to catch the show. Fiddler wasn't playing until the next day at 2pm so we were able to sleep in (Ok we slept until 8am, but that was sleeping in for us!), have breakfast and wander around town before the show. It a cold weekend, but nice nonetheless and it was so nice to get away once again.

Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof? What did you think? I have been apparently living under a rock because although I knew the name, I didn't know anything about the story.

My Mom Uniform

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm really enjoying Lauren's posts about "My Every Day" and this week she's talking about her Mom Uniform - or as some say "Momiform." I don't take myself too seriously when it comes to dressing every day, mostly because whatever I'm wearing is going to get something on it whether it's crumbs or paint or saliva or snot or a mixture of all of these, but I do think it's important to put a bit of thought into what we're wearing as moms who work at home because I think it helps us stay sane.

For example, I'm not big on yoga pants. I used to have a pair of lululemons, but I lost them and I don't miss them. I always found them frumpy and too wide at the bottom of my legs and I would constantly trip over them. I think you can get the same type of comfort with a pair of stretchy jeans.

I also like to have on a comfortable top, but something that's semi in style so I feel like I haven't fallen off the face of the earth when I leave the house (which happens most times anyway - especially when I venture off downtown or when I'm talking to Leo and he thinks I'm wearing pyjamas). Like Lauren, I love to wear flats in the spring and fall. I'm typically living in flip flops in the summer and my tall boots in the winter.

Anyway I'm certainly no fashionista by any stretch of the imagination; my point here is that the clothes you put on in the morning can be comfortable and semi-stylish and will help you get through the day.

How about you - what are you wearing these days while you're hanging out at home?
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