i love lavender

Ever since I visited Maison Lavande last year (you may read about that hilarious post right here), I knew I was going to go back this year! So last week I decided to plan a road trip there with my Mom and the boys, and also with my aunt Lise-Ann who decided to join us as well, so early Saturday morning, we all piled up into my car and left for beautiful Maison Lavande. I’m pretty sure that everyone who visits Maison Lavande immediately falls in love with the place… and wants to go back after that… well I know did, and I know I will never skip a year from now on.

The moment I arrived I felt the same way I felt the first time I visited the place, just so quaint and peaceful. And as soon as they walked in, my Mom and my aunt both understood my obsession for the place! The lavender field is breathtaking. We took hundreds of pictures, just like everyone else in the field, as it’s just so pretty, so of course you want to bring those shots back home with you. Some professional photographers also offer sessions, and it’s something I may look into for next year!

So we slowly made our way across the field, walked into the forest trail, visited the chicken coop, had a picnic underneath an apple tree and ended our lunch with a delicious Lavender Frozen Yogurt! We also spent a lot of time in the quiet area at the back of the field where a couple of dozens of hammock chairs and some large bean bags are right there for you to use and relax. I wish we weren’t as tight on time so the boys could have taken a nap on the bags. They wanted too and so did I! Next time boys, for sure, like come on, a nap in a lavender heaven; count me IN!

Maison Lavande have two gorgeous boutiques where you can buy everything your lavender heart desires! Liam got a lavender essential oil roll-on (that I will re-create next week with my girlfriends at our first Essential Oils Make & Take) while I got a bubbly lavender and apple drink and a oatmeal and lavender cookie. The cookie was sooo good that I decided to attempt my own version on Sunday and it turned out AMAZING! I will be sharing my recipe later on this week.

So for now, here’s a few of the pictures I took trying to make you fall in love with the place. If you’re in the Montreal/Ottawa region, you HAVE to make the drive and visit. I wish I owned shares but I don’t so this is purely from my point of view… not sponsored or anything! Just for my love for lavender and for Maison Lavande! But you have to do it quick, because due to the massive heat wave last week, the flowers have exploded and the lavender season will be shorter than it usually is. So make plans to visit anytime in the next 2 weeks… as they’re opened every day. We might just see each other somewhere in the hammocks section!

 

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diy straw hat

Wow! What a nice long weekend that was: record breaking temperature, Canada Day festivities and three pool parties in three days. Yeah, right now I’m totally beat, but still, I’m ready to go and looking forward to start this second week of summer vacation with lots of outdoor time, including four playdates with friends and lots of swimming in between. We just love to be out in the summer time, but right now, with this heat wave, the sun can be so warm that it will wear you down in no time. My favorite way to stay cool is off course to never leave the pool, but my second preferred option is to simply wear a nice and fancy hat to create myself some shade! Yep, I have another addiction: HATS!

I’ve seen so many awesome and pretty hats just about everywhere over the years, but obviously, had to control myself a little, as I would have bought them all!!! But about a few years ago, I just told myself: ‘ENOUGH! You can probably make those hats for way less; so just do it yourself’. And I did. And so far I have made 3 different ones and I just can’t stop, and won’t stop! You can do a fancy one for yourself or have a fun little afternoon project for yourself and the kids. It’s cheap… like the lobster hat was about 78$ at Anthropology… and made mine for the price of a Starbucks Latte! Like really, I love Anthropology, it’s one of my favorite store ever, but who would pay that for a lobster hat? Well certainly not me! I usually find my hats at Walmart, Michael’s and even at second hand store (found my now lobster hat at Value Village for a mere 3$) and then embellished them, which is quite cheap to do too. Any crafts shops or even dollar stores have many options of things to use for your hats… All you need is an idea!

Here’s a few hats that have caught my eye and are on my future hats list! Let your kids be involved in this process and I’m telling you, they’ll be as excited as you to go shop for hats and to find treasures to create their one of a kind masterpiece!

Next, with a pencil, either sketch on a paper or directly on the hat the design and location of your design. I’ve used acrylic paint, glue gun, sequins, yarn, etc. for the creation for the various hats I have done, and they held up pretty nicely. And even if they don’t last forever, well you will have paid less than 15$ for a one in a kind crafted hat that you can now fix yourself! Not bad right?

Once all designed, don’t be scared… you can do it! Even if it doesn’t end up perfectly as planned, you will have fun and that’s what matters! And I’m sure that the next one will be better.

So go ahead and start creating. I can tell you that I have a few more I want to try out before the end of the summer and I can’t wait to show them all to you! So, be creative and have fun! And just like that, you’ll have your very own pretty or fancy hat ready for your next outdoor gathering where the sun won’t burn that pretty face of yours! For me, this summer it’s all about my new favorite lobster hat!

Happy crafting my lemon drop life friends! Stay cool, and wear a hat.

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summer list 2018

And just like that, school is over, work is over, it’s summer time, and the best of all: NO MORE LUNCHES to prepare every morning!

Coming up with this list was so much fun. The boys came up with such great ideas of their own: having our own puppet theatre, play Uno, make ice cream, etc. Some of the ideas didn’t make the cut: iPad marathon, eat McDonalds every day (to get all of the Mario Bros’ toys) and stay in pj’s every day! Overall, I’m so excited about our summer 2018, and hopefully we’ll have time to do everything on the list, and much more. We already have a Boston getaway planned for late July, Logan’s 6th birthday celebrations in a few weeks, some day trips planned here and there and of course lots and lots of pool time.

Within a few hours of being on vacation we had already crossed off a few items on the list! Is there ANYTHING more satisfying than to check off a list? I don’t think so! Even if it’s just a chore. So just a few hours after our vacation started we visited a strawberry field, then made 4 batches of jam, played Uno (all weekend long) and watched fireworks on Saturday night. Not bad for our first weekend of summer fun!

Here’s a few more items on our to do list for this summer:

SUMMER 2018

-have a pool party

-go to the drive-in

-go to a water park

-play mini-golf

-go boating

-buy a Slip N’ Slide and play all day long!

-go fishing

-make popsicles

-visit an aquarium

-fly kites

-movie marathon

-eat at a Taco Truck

-start a book club

-watch a baseball game (at Fenway)

-play outside in the rain

I would like to know about your favourite summer activities as I am always looking for ideas and things to do with the boys. Please share them with me! It so much fun to incorporate new activities in our usual routine. Even if I like to be a little lazy during the summer and spend as much time as possible at home by the pool, I’m always willing when it comes to seeing new places or doing new things!

Hope you have the best summer ever filled with many of your favorite drinks (hint hint, here’s my Sangria recipe)! I know I sure plan to. I have so many things I want to do and so many activities already planned… I’m really looking forward to doing them all! But you know what, although I have really high expectations for some of the things I plan to do, I know that not all of them will turned out being a success or as I had imagined it to be, but I do not worry about it as summer time is meant to be messy, chaotic, unexpected and crazy, with absolutely no routine, as this is what makes it so much fun! Happy summer 2018 to all of you!

 

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incredible weekend

What a weekend!  So much crammed into 2 and half days, you’d think we were crazy! But no, we’re just trying to get to the finish line. Next Friday, when school and work come to an end, we’ll be off for 2 months!  Soccer, swim lessons, school BBQ, field trips, birthday party, staff party, movies and piano recitals are just a few of the things we’ve done in the last couple of days. I can’t wait to lounge in my pj’s next week, no alarm (besides my kids), no routines, just enjoying each others company and all that summer has to offer!

On Friday night I had my end of school year party and we had so much fun. We had Escape Manor come to our school and set up a classroom with the game. We didn’t get out but we had a blast, working with each other trying to solve clues.  Losing didn’t dampen our spirits so we headed out to a local pub for dinner. We were also celebrating one of my friend’s retirement. Since the boys we’re at my Mom’s, I had planned to meet up with Brian for a date after my party but it ran a bit longer than anticipated so I had him join us. We stayed out past midnight, chatting with a few of my coworkers and closing the place down!

The boys came home the next morning, bursting to jump into the pool. It was a picture perfect summer day, splashing away and giggling until they fell asleep for a much needed afternoon nap…for all of us.

We’ve been awaiting the new Incredibles movie for a while now and the boys had a countdown going on to the big day. We made shirts on Wednesday (that they have been wearing, EVERY SINGLE DAY, SINCE) and I bought felt masks for them to complete the outfit. I made Incredibles donuts, Incredibles popcorn and downloaded and printed lots of fun Incredibles activities. I had tickets for the evening show and it was so much fun.  It was the first time Logan didn’t ask to go to the bathroom a million times and sat watching the entire movie. What a relief! I think we’ll have to go back. They’ve only asked me 54 times since we came out of the theatre!

Today is Father’s Day and Brian has a round of golf planned with his dad, brother and uncle. That means we will only see him around supper time. The boys have prepared a few gifts at school for him and he’ll be joining Logan’s class tomorrow for a Father’s Day lunch. Last week, I prepared a few questions for the boys to answer about their Papa. Their answers are so funny, I just have to share them with you.  Enjoy!

Mon Papa

1-The thing my dad loves to do most:

Logan: Play Mario Odyssey

Liam: Play Nintendo

2-I love when my dad:

Logan: Helps me.

Liam: Plays with me.

3-My dad is good at:

Logan: Play Plant’s vs. Zombies 2

Liam: Baseball

4-I think my dad is funny because:

Logan: He’s “Tannant” (meaning he acts crazy)

Liam: He’s ” Très tannant” (very crazy!!!!)

5-I know my dad loves me because:

Logan: He gives me kisses

Liam: He says “I love you”

6-The thing I love to do most with my dad:

Logan: Play in the pool

Liam: Play Wii (the gaming ‘theme’ always comes back!!!)

7-My dad’s favourite store:

Logan: Wine and beer store

Liam: I’m going to quote this one, ” A la bière”

8-The thing my dad says often:

Logan: “Let’s make a sandwich”(meaning the boys make ‘layers’ on top of him to make a sandwich)

Liam: A bad word.

9-My dad’s favourite meal:

Logan: Spaghetti

Liam: Spaghetti

10-I love my dad because:

Logan: He’s beautiful

Liam: He’s funny

Happy Father’s Day to all the “Incredibles” fathers we know and love! Hope you get to spend the day with the people you cherish the most. A very special HFD to Brian, who keeps up with all our crazyness, who watches endless Youtube tutorials on “how to play Plant’s vs. Zombies” and “how to build a shelving unit to store all of my wife’s crap”, who let’s me paint flowers on our bathroom wall only to paint over it because I don’t love it, who coaches soccer, who cuts our own Christmas tree, who hangs picture frames in dangerous places, who cooks the best BBQ ribs, who buys me reading socks, who prepares the essential oil diffuser every night, who encourages me with my blog, who works hard, who plans the best trips, who loves baseball, beer, spaghetti, and us!  You’re OUR Mr. Incredible! We love you!  xox

 

 

 

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best summer reads 2018

So today I haven’t seen the sun yet and it’s been pouring rain all day, but seriously, prior to that, it’s been kind of an awesome stretch here in beautiful Ottawa, and it finally feels like summer has arrived! I have so many activities planned, places I want to visit, things I want to do around (and not around) the house, etc. that I will try to come up with a fun summer bucket list in the next few days. And yes, of course I will be posting it here! Oh, and while thinking about my summer bucket list, that got me thinking that there was another list I had to come up with: a summer book list! One of my New Years’ resolutions was to read more… and we’re in May now, and I have been reading a lot; so I am happy to say that this resolution is still on!

I’ve made a list of my current and upcoming reading material for the summer… and those books are just too good that I got to share: here it goes:

1- All we ever wanted by Emily Giffin. Emily is probably my favorite writer ever (tied with JK Rowling, of course). I’ve been reading her books since my second year at university. Back then, I did end up ditching many classes to keep on reading Something Borrowed and then Something Blue. Now, her latest book will be out late June and I will be one of the first in line to get a copy of it on its release date for sure!

2- I’m a huge fan of books made into movies, I know, I know, I’m one of those, but you know, I do read the book first, I don’t just go and watch the movie… and I agree that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, easily, always (and sometimes the book is okay or just good and then the movie is a complete disaster, like thanks a lot Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan for totally ruining this for me! So, back to my list… I was at the movie theatre two weeks ago and a preview came on and I was immediately hooked! My friend Eve told me it was a book series… and I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. Anyway, since then I have read the first book of the series, Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m already halfway through the second one, China Rich Girlfriend. And of course I will read the third one, Rich People Problems, as soon as I’m off work for the summer! (They don’t know it yet, but the boys will get to enjoy the Ipad a little bit more during their first week of summer vacation while Mommy is reading her book!!!)

3- Another book that has been sitting on my nightstand is I am Malala. I’ve been wanting to read this forever and just haven’t got around to it yet. That girl has been through so much and still finds the strength to empower girls and women. Way to go Malala. So I will read her book sometime this summer.

4- Emma by Jane Austen. I’ve never read Emma and I want to. It’s actually on a bucket list of its own!

5- Bloom: Finding beauty in the unexpected-A Memoir by Kelle Hampton. I’ve been following Kelle’s blog and Instagram feed (THE BEST) forever and I love the way she writes and shares the story of her daughter Nella. Nella was born with Down Syndrome and Kelle wrote about her family’s journey. Be prepared to cry, cause I often do while reading her blog post, which mean I can just imagine what her book will do to me.

6- Of course, once again, Harry Potter. Liam is really into it and it makes me so happy to share this with him. I’ve bought the first book of the series in French and I plan on reading it with him sometime this summer while lounging in the backyard. He loves the movies, so as I’ve said earlier, of course he’ll prefer the book!

So, have you read anything interesting lately? What’s your favourite book. Please share… as I’m reading about a book a week lately and I intend on keeping the streak alive all summer long! Also, please recommend books for kids… Liam is almost done with grade 1 and he (finally) loves to read. Also, with Logan following closely and going into grade 1 next year, we’ll probably spend a lot of time at the library this summer looking for interesting books!

Hope you liked this list and that is gave you the inspiration to read more or some ideas as to what to read next! Once you’ll start one of these books, you won’t be able to stop! Also, since I’m talking about book, I am so happy that a new Indigo book store just opened near my workplace… and if I was a Crazy Rich Girlfriend, I would have definitely bought some shares, as this is easily one of my favorite store ever!

Thanks for reading mylemondroplife readers!

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mother’s day

So they say better late than sorry, right? Well here comes my Mother’s Day weekend blog post! I know it’s well past us now, but it was just too good of a weekend not to share it; as it had what every great weekend should have: great food, family, flowers and lots of love!

We had decided to switch it up a little bit this year and do something different than our annual Mother’s Day dinner at my mom’s since my brother was working all day long, and it turned out great.

So let’s start at on the Friday… I was invited by Logan’s teacher Mme Janie and Mme Manon to attend a Mother’s Day brunch. The kids had decorated the classroom, prepared breakfast for all the mom’s and learned some cute songs. Logan was super excited to give me the card he had made for me, and I was lucky enough to come back from school with some nice potted flowers for me to take home. It was my last time at a MD brunch in this classroom, and let’s just say my heart broke a little bit as I was walking down the hallway. My babies are growing up so fast and I’m not sure I’m ready to face it… oh well, that’s another story for another time I guess!

So back to the weekend… we had a fun and relaxing Saturday, and then on Sunday morning, the boys woke me up pretty early, and not even to wish me Happy Mother’s Day, but to ask me to charge their freaking Nintendo DS. Yeah, I was kind of upset! But not long after (I reminded them), they remembered what we had talked about the day before and then showered me with love over and over again all morning long. Liam had made the best Mother’s Day card EVER. So simple, with beautiful words and with a Disney castle on the top that he had drew just for me, ‘because it’s your favourite place in the world’ he said, and with another drawing of us in our backyard pool ‘because it’s our favourite place at home’ he added. I also received an awesome recipe book, a beautiful avocado candle (hello guacamole!) and some pink reading socks, of course! Thank you family!

Later on Sunday, my mom and Frank joined us for lunch at Joey Rideau in the Ottawa market. It’s now definitely one of my favourite restaurant in the city, and I wanted to bring my mom there since her and Frank had never been and I thought it was about time for them try it. And they were not disappointed! It was just sooo good, as always! Like best dumplings in town! Frank had the fish tacos and they looked delicious, my mom had a nice warm roast beef sandwich and Brian had a spicy shrimp flatbread… Miam for everyone! We then took a stroll down to Major’s Hill Park for the Tulip Festival. We do try to go every year to watch and enjoy the thousands of flowers scattered across the city. We always talk about going to see different spots, but it seems like we always end up in the ByWard Market, and that’s ok, because it is just so beautiful there! So we took lots of pictures, had a Beaver Tail and some ice cream, and enjoy some time outside. The weather was pretty amazing on that day and being together was the best gift of all. It’s corny, but it’s true!

After a couple of hours walking up and down the Market, the boys were pretty beat up and we decided it was time to leave. Since we didn’t have our usual dinner plans at my mom’s, we decided to drive down to Hawkesbury and crash my mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day dinner with Brian’s siblings. Yep, the boys slept a full hour all the way down from Ottawa to Hawkesbury, but when they woke up, they were pretty happy that they were going to spend some time with their cousins. With both Jay-Jay (Jeremy) and Nini (Noémie) in High School now, they’re super busy and we don’t see enough of them, so the boys were really excited to see them. They all played ball outside for a little while, then had some fun taking some SnapChat pictures, while also (of course) taking advantage of their cousins’ iPads and electronic devices! We had a great BBQ diner: burgers and hot dogs with all the fixings and the best whipped cream and strawberry dessert! I was so glad we made the decision to drive down to see everyone!

So that was my Mother’s Day weekend; now here’s a little piece about me. You know what? Not being a mom was never an option for me. I feel like it’s the ONLY thing I wanted to be while growing up. Well, I won’t lie (and people close to me know all about this), the only thing I ever wanted while growing up was to be the mom of many cute little brown hair girls, but it didn’t happened; and now, I actually feel like I got all I ever wanted, and have all I’ll ever need to be happy, cause I have them. Let’s just say that being the mom of two boys had brought me joy beyond anything I could have imagined. Being their mom is amazing. I now know the names of all the cars from the Cars’ movie, I have watched endless YouTube videos on how to finish Nintendo games and on how to access various Mario Bros’ secret exits, I now own a baseball glove so I can play catch with them, and I have even mastered some wrestling techniques so I play fight with them when they feel like it. I may not braid hair daily, or buy cute dresses or have dance parties, but I have discovered so many new things I now love and couldn’t live without. Well, the one thing I for sure couldn’t live without is them, and I am so grateful to be their mom.

When you’re a mom, you need help from all the other moms in your life. The saying “It takes a village” is so true. My friends help me every day by sharing their fears, joy and triumphs, and by being there for me, at any time of the day. My family and in-laws are always willing to lend a hand and to be there for us. And then there’s my Mom. I could have never done any of this without her. She drops everything the minute I need help with the boys of with anything else. She has played countless games of bingos and memory cards with them. She knits everything their heart desires and also rocks them every chances she gets. I had such an awesome Mimi growing up that I often wondered if my mom would be able to fill her shoes! And she did. She’s just the best. The best thing my Mom gives us is time and lots of love. When I tell the boys that their Mimi is coming over, they’re just so genuinely happy. And I understand this feeling completely, because I feel the same way when she’s coming over. We’ve always been very close, shared the same interests and passion for baking, shopping and going to Disney! The only thing we don’t share is the love for gardening! And luckily for me, she loves it so much that she does most of mine every year! She might OVER SHARE videos on my Messenger account, but if it’s the price I have to pay for having the best Mom, well then I’ll keep on watching all of her funny videos!

I hope you celebrated all of the amazing women in your life on this Mother’s Day; I know I did. Spending the day with my Mom and my boys on that day meant so much. My mother is simply amazing and she takes on so much to make us happy. I’m so proud of her and love her so much. I won’t say she’s my best friend, because she’s so much more: she my mother.

 

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and the boxes go to…

I do love to share things on social media and also to enter all sort of contests, but boy oh boy am I bad at my own giveaways!!! But I finally got around picking out the 3 winners of the Good Food boxes (two weeks later than I had originally promise!). So here they are:

Box #1 goes to Melanie Lecompte. Such a great friend and one of my favorite traveling partner! Wish we would see more of each other and I can’t wait for our next road trip!

Box #2 goes to Jo-Anne Poirier, my mom’s cousin from Sault Sainte Marie. I had severe hair envy growing up because she had the most amazing, waist long, hair. I wanted my frizzy hair to look just like hers!

Box #3: goes to Mireille Ladouceur, Liam’s school friend’s mom that I met last year. She sells Norwex, so if you need awesome environment friendly cleaning product, she’s your girl!

So I hope you all get to enjoy your free meals soon! Let me know how it goes. And thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway! You are all so amazing helping me promote my blog. Keep on sharing my lemon drop life friends!

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dos cinco de mayo

I think I’ve heard or said the word taco a thousand times this weekend, as it was ALL ‘bout taco in our house all weekend long. And of course I don’t mind this at all! We had not one but two Cinco de Mayo parties and we loved every minute of it…

So, where should I start… I guess I’ll start by saying that we all just love tacos here. Liam is basically obsessed with anything tacos; he owns multiple tacos shirts, tacos underwear, Shopkins’ tacos, and he also often makes tacos’ drawings and crafts. I had brought the ‘Dragons loves Tacos’ book from my school library and I think we read it something like 10 times since Friday. You should all get it if you have kids who love tacos, as it’s a really cute and fun book (and also available in French!). For Logan, it’s totally different, as tacos need to be eaten separately! Corn chips on the side, chicken on the other side, guacamole here, cheese there, with a LOT of sour cream on everything!

So on Friday night, my school’s social committee had organised a get together after work, and since it was ‘Cuatro’ de Mayo, of course I had to start the weekend with nachos to celebrate! It was actually a lot of fun to see my coworkers outside of the workplace, as it seems like we never have enough time to chat about our lives and about everything not work related while at work, so evening like this are simply awesome. Probably because I have awesome coworkers too. Two of my friends from work had planned on coming over for a Mexican fiesta later on, so once we were done with the work happy hour, we headed home and fired some tequila shots. Literally.

Yep, I really did this! And I made sure that someone would get it on video as proof because there’s no way I’m doing it again any time soon. Last time I had shots, I must have been something like 18 y.o., and partying in Grenville, in Brian’s hometown, at a bar most of my friends know pretty well, where there’s a locally infamous dancing cage with a floor that goes up and down!!! Oh God I don’t miss those years. And yep, tequila tastes exactly the same as I remember from back then!

Okay, I’ll be honest here… I do not enjoy alcohol, I’m more the type to have an iced tea when people drink, but I had to give tequila a shot now that the love of my life, George Clooney, is a successful owner of a tequila company! So thanks babe for trying to impress me with your nice tequila, but it’s just not for me. Seriously, I don’t know how my friends and husband were able to drink tequila the way they did on Friday; I only had one shot, and all that was left from my everlasting cough that I was carrying around for the last three weeks magically disappeared right after swallowing the thing!

So, back to Friday night, we had chips and homemade guac, as well as some delicious charcoal pork tacos. I had also made a Frida Khalo cake, which turned out to be amazingly pretty, but unfortunately, we were way too full to eat any desert… so I saved it for our next day Cinco de Mayo party. So while my three amigos were getting drunk, we played games and laughed a lot until the wee hours of the night and then went to bed way too late. Of course, next morning came way to fast as Logan showed up in my room at 5:50 am! I did manage to keep him quiet for a while, but still, we were all up pretty early, and then I was all ready to go on with my day… So once my guests left, the boys and I had breakfast and then headed outside to play and work on the house. I was super lazy in the fall and didn’t cleaned the flower beds, so that was my first task of the day! And then it suddenly became my only one… and yes, I do blame the tequila shot I had the night before for all my laziness!

Later on, we all sat outside in the sun for most of the afternoon with my mom and Frank who were joining us for dinner. The kids kept on jumping in the bouncy castle with the neighbors for hours while we were having summer drinks as well as some more chips & guac (yes, I am addicted to guac!). On the menu for dinner: more delicious tacos, my chipotle corn (last year recipe here) and some lime and cilantro rice. And then this time I made sure we were all having dessert! Yummy! I couldn’t part with Frida after dessert so she’s still lying in a plate on the counter 4 days later. Maybe she’ll be joining the fondant creation museum in Liam’s room… I know it’s gross, but we still have a fondant crocodile from his 5th birthday and the BB-8 droid from his 6th. I’ve tried to get rid of them but he didn’t let me. So Frida might get a shelf as well!!!

And finally, on Sunday, on another perfect sunny day, I made some breakfast tacos and it was a hit: bananas, strawberries, whipped cream and Nutella wrapped in soft and warm pancakes! Liam already ordered another round for next weekend! Then I got my work out done, we got ready and left for the Ottawa ByWard Market. The boys wanted to go see Canada’s Castle (Parliament!), then we got some ice cream and walked through the market. Feels so nice to wear light clothing and be outside. We later came back home and did manage to work outside, start the pool, bring out all of the patio stuff and clean up the backyard. Can’t wait to jump in the pool and enjoy some patio time!

It was a quite busy weekend but such an awesome one! Great food/tacos, perfect spring weather and good friends and family, which always make everything better! Hope you had a great one as well, and if you’re in need of a few Mexican recipes, check out last year post for an awesome menu… one can never have too much guacamole!

It’s finally May, so grab your sunglasses, find the nearest patio and have yourself some margaritas with a lot of TEQUILA!!!

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annual girls weekend

A couple of weekends ago it was my yearly-girls-weekend-getaway with my girlfriends; ohhh yes, easily one of my favorite and most anticipated weekends of the year. So after prepping all week long for it, including packing lunches in advance, placing all the boys clothes on their bed for the next couple of days, making sure they had their pirate costume ready for a special pirate day at school, putting a dollar each in their agenda for popcorn day, and making sure they both had their electronic device charged for ANOTHER special day at school, well I finally had time to get my OWN bag ready!!!

For the sixth year in a row now, my girlfriends and I are leaving the husbands and kids behind for a full weekend away from home. So far, we’ve been to Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Montreal, Saint-Sauveur, and Fiddler’s Lake. You can read more about last year’s getaway to Fiddler’s Lake here. So this year, the five of us rented a cottage on Air-B-N-B (first time using this service) and it was simply awesome!

Amelie, Vero and I left Thursday after work, then got manicures and pedicures, then got some Mexican food for diner and then headed out to Wakefield QC. It was pouring rain outside and we got stuck in some kind of traffic jam in Ottawa, like what are the odds of that happening at 8 pm on a Thursday night? But other than that, it was a smooth ride in to Wakefield. And then all that was left was to find the cottage. In what seemed like in forever, we finally found it. Not easy to find, somewhere hidden in the woods, all alone, on the side of the mountain, in what seemed like zero civilization, there it was, one of the cutest log cabin ever. One of my friend, the not-very-brave-one, got a bit scared when we pulled into the driveway, but once we were inside, all fears went away as we were just sooo happy to be there.

We unpacked, had a few drinks and then putted on our bathing suits for a trip outside to the hot tub. Heaven! It was pitch black, no kids, no husbands, no noise, except for our favourite tunes and our great convos! We then went to bed right away and slept like babies. Next morning was extremely lazy. We then met the other two girls, Julie and Lysane, at the Nordik Spa at 11 am.

Last time I went to the Nordik was in like 2008. Yep! That long ago. And I must say that it will now probably be a matter of weeks before I go back. I’ve visited many thermotherapy spas in the last 15 years and this one was simply one of the best. I had heard so many good things about it, like about all the new lounge areas, restaurants and bars and so much more. I am truly impressed about all the did to the place since the last time I went. To say we had the best of time is an understatement. We ended up spending 10 hours straight at the spa. The forecast was for a lot of rain, but it held off until about 9pm, so we ended up having a full day of sunshine, which made it even better. One of my favorite spot was the infinity pool, where lounge music fills the air and where you could bring drinks into the heated pool. Let’s just say that we spent a good portion of our day there while making up scenarios on how we would improve the Nordik Spa if we’d own it. I’d say we came to a consensus that it was almost perfect as it is, only missing some floating nachos plates! Well, what? Us girls love snacks!

I later had a hour long massage and it felt so good. The therapist used lavender essential oil, of course my fav, so the smell was just perfect and the massage felt like heaven. So thanks a lot stranger, you were the best!

We then came back to the cottage pretty late, got in bed not too long after and I was immediately out! Next morning we woke up and then even managed to go out for a run. We always bring our running shoes but never use them; well this time we did! We went for a run in the village because the hills near the cottage were way too steep! It was really cold and windy, but running by the river was great. We then treated ourselves to chocolate croissants on the way back to the cabin! Seriously, a well-deserved threat girls.

Every year, we have to bring and share some of the things we’ve discovered since our last getaway. This year I had brought the movie The Greatest Showman; and it was a HIT! We watched it while eating chili, trying not to sing along so the ones that had not seen it could actually listened to it! After the movie, we all shared about our favorite finds of the year over drinks and snacks. We also talked about our goals for the next year (that’s where I mentioned, 2 years ago, that I would like to start a blog!). I absolutely love these talks with my girlfriends, so fun to share about our lives, and about our hopes… it’s a like a new year resolution, but just better, just between us. I think it’s now my favourite part of the weekend.

So later, we decided to get some food delivered to the cabin, which mean we didn’t even get dressed up at all on Saturday. Yeah, that’s what I call a lazy girls vacation, and it felt good, and I think I needed it. It was actually fun to stay in and just continue to chat about everything and anything. I was really looking forward to bringing the girls to The Chelsea Pub, as I had eyed a few items on the menu, but I guess I’ll just have to go back soon as I’m still craving for it!

But like all good things, our weekend had to come to an end. With a freezing rain storm closing in on us, we decided to pack our stuff early, then lounged on the couch as long as we could, and then locked up the cottage and headed home. We did stop for brunch at Biscotti & Co. And OMG, hello, can I live there? The decor, the food and the ambiance was just too cool. Vero and I shared a goat cheese and orange salad and a warm ham & cheese sandwich (on like the best bread ever), leaving us just enough space to try their delicious Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Again, OMG! I just love everything Dulce de Leche!

So, even after spending an amazing and relaxing weekend with my girlfriends, coming back home after being away for a few day is always great. I truly love my home and I always terribly miss my family when I’m gone. I do need some time with my girlfriends, it is so important, but home is home. Like they say, home is where the heart is, and it really is! And I loved that both of my boys jumped in my arms as soon as I got through the doors.

Well, now that my 2018 girls getaway weekend is thing of the past, we now have to start thinking about next year’s getaway; and since the second year I’ve been trying to convince them all to do this in NYC. And I’ll do the same now! Come on girls, SATC style, let’s go have breakfast at Tiffany’s!

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good food, awesome food

Well, this is not my first time talking about the Good Food company and it probably won’t be my last. As I am writing this blog, it’s Monday night, which is swim lessons night for the boys, which is usually a real complicated and busy evening for us, and although today I was too sick to make it to work, and too sick to go to the grocery store, making diner ended up being as simple and as delicious as possible! (Which is the usual feeling at home on Good Food dinner day).

So, are you feeling like you’re often eating the same meals, over and over again? Stuck in a dinner rut, with the same pasta dish every week, or with your go-to chicken-veggies-rice (the boys hate this so much!)? Well, if you haven’t tried the Good Food box deliveries yet, I’ve got what you need… so you should continue reading!

We’ve been ordering from Good Food for the last 5 months now, about 2 or 3 times a month, you know, depending on the meals selections and our schedule. We have boring eaters at home, who would be more than happy to live on pizza, spaghetti, chicken nuggets and Kraft Diner. As much I love all of these, we started to do the Good Food thing months ago when I started to feel like our weekly meal rotation wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Since I’ve been back to work, it seemed like my grocery list was becoming more and more the same week after week, while never having the time and energy to cook after a day of work or always missing an ingredient to cook that special meal. Well, no more!

The Good Food website is super easy to use. You can select your meals a few weeks in advance or skip the weeks you don’t want any delivery. We have chosen to receive our boxes on Mondays, and we try to cook from the box on that night, and then on the Tuesdays and Thursday. We try to have a pasta night on Wednesday and then on Fridays we usually have plans, so it works out perfectly! Like I said, we’ve been using this food service for a while now and we still get excited every time we get a box. I still find that the packaging is just the best! I was talking to my girlfriend last weekend (she’s using Good Food too!) and we both talked about how we felt like we were on a cooking show while making dinner! Our childhood dream!!! Maybe one day Vero. Either that or our very own bakery!

So far, we have tried about 30 Good Food recipes, and to be honest, I can only recall 3 that I didn’t like. And in those cases, it was either not our taste, or texture or whatever… but I’m okay with that since of course that’s bound to happen when you’re trying out new recipes. It’s actually happening way more often when trying new recipes on my own.

So I’ve kept all of the recipe cards we’ve tried (and liked) and we’ve added some of them to our go-to list. I had never had a pork burger before, but since trying them out from one of our Good Food recipe, I can now probably say that I prefer pork burgers to regular beef burgers! All the meat is fresh, never frozen and so so good! We’ve tried so many dishes we had never heard of before, I’m talking about you Daikon! It’s been quite the learning experience for my entire family. Brian is good trying out anything, but for the boys it was harder at first, but now, they rarely complain. Another great point is that everything can be recycled: the box, bags, ice packs… ALL OF IT! Good for you, good for the Earth!

By the way, I’m NOT getting paid for talking about this. I genuinely write about Good Food because I love it and because I couldn’t live without it! And I just want to share all of this with you one more time! Everybody needs a little help sometimes, and for those of you already using the Good Food services, you probably know what I’m talking about; but for those of you who don’t, I got the thing right for you: a FREE Good Food boxes GIVEAWAY!

I have 3 FREE Good Food boxes to give out! All you have to do is subscribe to mylemondroplife.com, follow my Facebook page and tag a friend in comment! Easy, isn’t it! I can’t guarantee they’ll deliver where you live, so please don’t be mad at me if you win and they don’t, but if that happens, I will give the box away to someone else and send you something else, I swear! Also, after winning the box, you won’t have to commit to another box or anything, you can just try it out and then decide if you want to continue after, or not. You can easily cancel your account if you wish to terminate your subscription. And if you’re not one of the contest winners, you can always sign up using this link GOODFOOD40$ and you will get 40$ off your first box! Now that’s a bargain! Contest ends in a week on May 2nd, 2018.

So what do you have to lose? Your grocery bill will be lower and you will try some amazing new recipes. So go ahead and register to this amazing contest! Seriously, only good things can come out of this. Bon appetit mylemondroplife’s foodies!

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