camp woods part II

Since this week will probably be one of the nicest we’ve had all summer, I think it’s a perfect timing for sharing the last few weeks of Camp Woods Summer 2017! In all honesty, and we probably all feel the same way here, even if I go back in memories, as far as I can remember, summer 2017 was definitely one of the worst summer ever. It feels like it rained basically every day, with everything outside being wet all the time, making it so difficult to plan ahead for a full day of activities, and apparently making it even more difficult for Brian to cut the grass weekly! Oh well.  Still, I got to say that I did enjoy my time off, but it feels like there were no memorable pool days or parties, and only a few bouncy-castle-day-out in the backyard, with everything depending on my weather network app while always waiting for the next sunny day to come by; and like I said, there was not a lot of them (but that didn’t stop us from having fun!!!).

Like I’ve explain before in Camp Woods 2016 and Camp Woods part 1 of 2017, I try to find activities that will interest the boys, as well as myself, with a theme, an outings or with meals. Early during my last week before I went back to work, Liam decided to join me in watching Harry Potter. I always knew he would love it but I wasn’t sure it was aged appropriate. But as I was watching the first movie, one morning while cooking, he joined me in the kitchen and sat on the counter and he was immediately glued right there. I changed the language to French for him (outch! so funny in French!) and explained that it was just a story, that everybody were friends in real life by showing him some pictures of the actors from the net, while making sure he understood as the story unfolded. So our last theme week was Harry Potter and just like that, a new addict was born!  Probably one of my favorite week ever, well, right behind the countdown-to-Disneyland-week we had last year, as nothing won’t probably ever beat that!

Since that last week off at home watching the movies coincided with the Harry Potter 20th anniversary, well, of course we made a cake! Just like the one Hagrid brings to Harry. Also made notebooks themed after every houses, of course I’m Gryffindor!  Oh, AND wands!  We had a blast making them; with chopsticks, glue gun and paint! Done within minutes and hours of fun. Of course, there is the occasional eye poke, but mostly, I was turned into a frog by one and then into a flower by the other!

We also had to have a Moana week. That movie, let me tell you, AMAZING, both for adults and kids. If you haven’t seen it with your kids yet, do it now! The soundtrack is just awesome, and it’s still is even after you’ve listened to it a 1000 times. We made Kakamora from real coconuts. They’ve learned how to open coconuts to release the water; and they do NOT like coconut water!!! So once empty, we painted faces on them and glued arms and legs. So fun to make. We found the cutest free Pinterest Moana Bingo and played so many games. And then we got dress up… I had to be Moana! Liam Pua and Loggy was Hey-Hey! Made leis out of ferns and flowers from our backyard. It was awesome… all that was missing was the ocean!

We had another Nemo week this year; but what can I say, we just love the movies so much! I was lucky enough to find the cheapest and best craft at my local dollar store: Felt Sew Kits of Dory and Nemo. Perfect for their first sewing experience. Made my mama’s (and lifetime sewer’s) heart so proud. Painted fishies with our hands and played for hours in the pool, all pretending to be lost fishes, just like Dory.

Star Wars week was cut short because we decided to go on a road trip last minute; but we still managed to make pool noodles lightsabers. Had a Star Wars pic nic, and played with our Tsum Tsum making stop motion animation. The boys love to do that; they could spend hours making them and watching them. I love when they can’t stop laughing at their own little short films!  So cute.

So, now that it’s mid-September already, I’m just like everyone else, wondering where the summer went. But all that will be shortly forgotten if this week’s perfect weather lasts for a while… cause with the next 6 weekends being jam packed with some of our favorite activities, it would make it so much more enjoyable with some great fall weather. And after the shitty summer we just got, come on, we deserve it!!!

Well, sunny or not, I’ve spotted my first pumpkin this morning, and it made me happy, cause Halloween is coming and everything is good in the world (well for me!) when it’s Halloween!!!

 

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a little diy

Ever since we moved  into our new house, almost 3 years ago, I’ve been wanting larger than life prints of the boys.  I think I’ve pinned over 100 frames on Pinterest the last 2 years, and they were all very nice, almost looking like what I wanted, but just not quite… so I knew this frame project would have to be a DIY type of thing to get me pleased!  So this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and called my step dad for help!  Without having a Pinterest account himself, just by listening to me, he knew right away what I wanted.  I gave him the dimension of the pictures and the next thing I knew, the two frames were built.  And they were just perfect!!!

I already had my pictures picked out, so I sent them right away at Walmart to be printed… and for 14.97 each, I’d say it’s very reasonable for a 24×36 print!  Frank made the frames from old reclaimed wood with a 45 degree angle cut; and he also made a groove inside for the pictures to sit in.  So using a spray adhesive that I already had from a previous craft project (Liam’s baby baseball room with a full wall covered with old Red Sox Baseball cards; clearly not my idea!), I sprayed the back of the pictures, glued it to a thin Luan board that I used as the back of the frames, putted the picture/board in its spot and nailed it in place using mini finishing nails.  You can buy these boards at Home Depot and have them cut out the right size for you for a small fee. Then I’ve installed a wire at the back for hanging, and just like that I had some awesome frames ready to be installed!

Even though I didn’t cut any of the wood and don’t know how difficult of a task this represents, I’m pretty sure the hardest part of all this was hanging the frames.  We have 9 foots ceiling and I wanted the frames to be hung in the stairwell. Brian was not impress with me that morning. But with our ladder and some planks we were able to build some type of homemade but not-to-steady and clearly not-so-safe scaffold that did the job!  I wish I had taken a picture of Bry while he was standing on his wobbly 10 foot long 2 X 8 over the staircase, but I guess holding his back was more important than taking a shot of him at that time!

So now it’s up there, and it’s now one of my favorite walls in the house. The frames turned out even more awesome than expected.  I love doing some DIY projects, and I got some more already in mind as my to-do list is long, but I can finally check this one off. You know, large pieces of art are expensive to buy, but these two frames costed me less than 35$ each to make, so you can’t go wrong with that. So give it a try, and if you encounter a problem, call Frank, he’ll know what to do!

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weekend and bars… breakfast bars

Our house has been hit by a few viruses the last couple of days and it sucks. Liam has a fever since Friday, I’m congested and Logan is starting a cold. Nothing says back to school like a sick household. Nevertheless, this long weekend we spent plenty of time snuggling, played board games, watched Fails on the iPad, had some people over for diner and then went out to the track with the boys and family to watch some horse racing. On this rainy Monday morning I decided to bake my favorite breakfast bars to start the week on a good note! Then, not long after lunch, since it was kinda the perfect weather for a nap, the four of us ended up napping at the same time all over the house!

So now that I am fully rested, I’m back to my new laptop ready to write a new post. My favorite fruit is definitely raspberry. Nothing bring me more joy than going to my mom’s and being greeted by the sweet smell of raspberry pie baking in the oven (lucky me she brought us one last night!). Since I can’t eat pie for breakfast every morning (like I did today), once in a while I bake these amazing raspberry breakfast bars. I think it might be the first recipe I saved on Pinterest way back when. So today I’m sharing Smitten Kitchen’s recipe and it’s so good!

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

What you need:

For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup pack brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsps flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhanging slightly on both ends. Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan.  Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter. Mix well.

Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days.

I’ve made them today with gluten free flour and it worked and tasted delicious. These are so good for lunchbox snacks and late night sugar cravings! Liam has named them “ma deuxieme meilleure chose du monde” his second best thing in the world, his first being his Mimi’s pies! I totally agree… but maybe after poutine, and tacos, and guac… my list of favs is long, but these breakfast bars are up there for sure! Another of my favs are these Starbucks Here You Are mugs that we collect everywhere we go. We’re starting to have lots and they’re so much fun to look at and remember where you were and when you were there. Best one so far is definitely Disneyland! Can’t wait to see what the next one will be!

Anyway, hope we get better soon. It’s back to work time tomorrow morning, so we better have a good night sleep and be ready to go, rested and healthy for this short week! Hope you all had a slow, fun, relaxing and lazy labor day my friends! Smells like Fall and I just love it. Talk to you soon!

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my kind of day

What a crazy week it was with all the back to school thing both for me and for the boys and the back to old (and many new) routines.  Friday night isn’t coming fast enough this week for me.  At least it’s all starting with a long weekend; I’ll take that, thank you!

Here’s a little recap of our last weekend.  Hopefully it will inspire you for this next one!

So there’s this small village, about 45 minutes from Ottawa called Vankleek Hill.  Small place, old charming houses, cute little boutiques, with an awesome friendly community where it seems like every weekend is being celebrated.  My kind of place!  So I was having lunch with the boys in Brian’s hometown as we had planned to visit the local fair when my nephew burst out of nowhere saying they were going to the maze in Vankleek Hill; a giant corn maze!  Right there and then, we changed our plans and made our way to Ouimet Farm Adventure.

I had seen their FB page, heard a lot about it, seen ads and drove in front of it a few times, while never taking the time so stop.  I was impressed the minute I got out of the car.  There was a project in Prescott Russell to paint masterpieces into farm silos.  Ouimet has one and it’s awesome; it’s so beautiful.  I now want to check them all out.  Fall bucket list I guess.  So once we got inside the gates, the boys went crazy with the gigantic bouncer.  So much fun.  They just love bouncers.  Then they pumped water to race rubber duckies.  Another win.

Once it was time for the maze, we teamed up with my sister-in-law and her family, got a few maps and got ready, or kinda ready, cause we were not!  We had no clue what to do, where to go and how to find stuff.  Finally, we managed (or were lucky enough) to find the first clue within minutes, so that helped us.  But man, this maze was hard.  You can choose to do the easy route, medium or hard.  We did the hard route, and it’s really hard… but, after a mere 1 hour and 2 minutes, we finally made it out!  Now I can’t wait to do it again this fall with other people, and do a race, and win because I’ve already did it!  They boys LOVED it, I thought they would be bored but they couldn’t wait to find the next clue and they loved to fill out their maps.  It’s really a great family activity.

We will for sure be going back.  We had a family diner to attend that day so we had to cut our trip short, but we will make sure to spend more time next time we visit.  I think maybe we should buy a house and move there… we were there last weekend for the maze, we’re going back next weekend for the Festival of Flavours, and then two weeks later we’re spending the entire weekend there as there’s no way Brian would miss a minute of Beau’s Oktoberfest!

Yeah, if there was a place I’d move to, I’d say it would be in Vankleek Hill, it’s just so pretty.  But for now, as a tourist visiting this cute little town many times a year, I got to say ‘keep up the good work VKH people, and Ouimet Farm, and other businesses, we will see you soon!’.

 

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mozza pesto chicken…with tomatoes

 

So have you tried my bruschetta recipe?  If you haven’t, you should really try it out… it’s a must for your life!  It’s literally mind-blowingly good.  But make sure you keep some tomatoes for this next recipe… definitely one of my new favorite summer dishes: Mozza Pesto Chicken with tomatoes; something I started to make this summer, but will be making forever.  Again, easy and fast, which is perfect for those dreaded weeknights diner, while still full of flavors.

Mozza Pesto Chicken…with Tomatoes

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 fresh tomatoes

1\2 cup of pesto (click here for recipe)

few slices of mozzarella

salt and pepper

How to:

Butterfly the chicken breast and marinate it in 1\4 cup of pesto (can be store bought but homemade tastes so much better) for at least an hour.  Advice:  when you buy large quantity of chicken, always butterfly the breast and freeze them in large Ziploc bag.  When you need them, they takes less time to thaw, you get more marinade on your meat and it takes less time to cook.  In the morning, I take out the meat and throw in the marinade in the Ziploc bag and leave in the fridge.  When I get back from work, the chicken is ready to be cooked.  Heat oven at 400 and place chicken in a Pyrex dish.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and cheese.  Remove the dish from the oven, place 2-3 slices of tomatoes on top.  Season with salt and pepper and add the leftover pesto on top.  Place the cheese on top.  Return to oven for 10 minutes then broil the cheese until golden.  Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes

Serve with your favorite veggies and a side of rice.  Delish!  Enjoy!

Mozza Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes
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you say tomato, i say bruschetta

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

It’s tomato season… and if you’re like me, well you have plenty from your garden by now!!!  I’m not one for tomato sandwiches or sliced tomatoes, but I do have a few recipes I’d like to share with you this week, all of them using fresh tomatoes!

On a side note, my two-months summer vacation is now over, and this week has been kind of tough on me being back at work, having to wake up early, going back to my routine of making lunches for the boys, while also prepping them for their back-to-school next week.  But you know what, I’m still hanging on to summer like my life depends on it!!!  So I’ll take all the fresh produces and warm sunny days August and September have to offer!

My first recipe is for sure my favorite way to eat tomatoes: Goat Cheese Bruschetta.  I think I first tasted this at my aunt Pat’s place in Kitchener while visiting for Oktoberfest years ago.  It was the best bruschetta ever; and still is.  I now make my own version of it, I have no clue if it tastes like hers, but I think it’s pretty awesome.  So here it goes.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

What you need:
3 fresh tomatoes or 2 cups of cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup of goat cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

How to:

Chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl.  Crumble the goat cheese on top, add the chopped basil, olive oil, and the salt and pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

I serve this bruschetta mix with roasted naan bread.  Just brush a bit of olive oil on top the bread, sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and warm up in the oven.  Also good with a fresh baguette or on top of grilled chicken.

Simple, easy to make, takes no time and it will blow your mind.  Perfect for pot-luck, for snacks or for last minute gatherings.  It’s a great recipe to try all year long but definitely my favorite on any sunny day!  So make it now before summer ends and then let me know what you think!  Hope you’re all having a great week.  Next tomato recipe coming in a few days!

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

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last summer roadtrip

So one more last minute summer road trip before going back-to-school seemed like an excellent idea…  And it was! Late last week, in the mist of what seemed to be one of the most hectic week of the summer so far with Brian selling his truck, buying a new car, while getting everything ready for school, we decided to book 2 rooms at The Great Escape Lodge in Lake George, along with my sister-in-law Annick and her kids, as well as my father-in-law Joe, who all needed a getaway as much as us; so the more the merrier!

All packed up and excited, we left at 8am and made the 4-hour drive to the lake.  Once there, it was sunny, and hot, perfect weather… so we spotted a terrace by the water and had lunch.  We all wanted to take a boat ride to explore the lake, but since Brian and I had already taken our kids on the steamboat Minnie Ha Ha three years ago, we wanted to see if there were any other options to go on the lake.  So Joe told Brian ‘just go see how much it would be to rent a boat’.  Half an hour later we were on the lake in our pontoon!!!  Oh yes, we rented a nice pontoon for an hour on the lake and it was the best decision of the trip.  It was so much fun.  The boys were a bit afraid but once we were on board, they had a blast.  Cruising at our own pace, alone, with the kids waving at the huge steamboats, it was just awesome.  All that was missing were the drinks and nachos!  So we stopped in the middle of the lake where my nephew did an awesome back-flip from the side of the boat.  He was then joined by Liam for a quick swim, and then by Logan for a one second dip!  The boys fell asleep not long after while we were all enjoying being on the water.  It was such a blast that now the idea of owing a pontoon is roaming my husband’s mind ALL THE TIME since we came back from that boat ride.

We then explored the beach, the main street, made a few wished in the pond and bought a few souvenirs.

The boys were really anxious to see their ‘Maison de vacance’ (vacation house as they call it) so we then made our way to our hotel.  It was AMAZING.  It was huge, with an awesome indoor water-park, an arcade, multi levels treasure hunts and more.  I volunteered for the Target trip to get us drinks and snacks while the rest of the crew tried out the water-park.  Apparently they were having way too much fun, because although I spent over an hour going aisle by aisle with a Starbucks in my hand, when I came back to the hotel they were still at the pool and riding the slides.  Oh well, Target or water-slides, I guess it was a perfect way to end this great day for all of us.  We then all headed out for a late diner and came back full, ready for our next day adventures.

I really need to invest in hotel-rooms-black-out-drapes.  Not sure if it’s the exhaustion or if it’s the dark room but we sure slept late on vacation!  The Six Flags Great Escape amusement park was literally of the other side of the road to our hotel, connected with walkway for pedestrian.  No driving or parking fuss, just wake up, get ready and enjoy the park.  With almost no wait time at every rides, we were able to complete our to-do ride list and even do the water ones twice (it was over 30 degrees outside!).  Best part about the barrel water ride?  For 25 cents you can blast the boats with water cannons.  Hilarious!  We spent way too much time there but it was for sure the best money we spent on that trip!  Joe couldn’t stop laughing every time we would get someone soaking wet while feeding us with quarters to keep on going: 8 cannons shooting all in different directions with one of us at each of them waiting for a boat to come!!!  Yeah, hilarious!

We were done with the park at around 4:30, so instead of doing their favorite rides a second time, it was unanimous, and the kids all opted to go back to the hotel to spend more time at the water-park before diner.  This time I went.  Oh boy, not sure when was the last time I enjoyed water-slides that much.  My goal was not to get my hair wet, but that lasted for about 15 minutes until a giant water bucket dropped hundreds of liters of water directly on me.  Thanks Bry for telling me to stand ‘right there’ if I wanted to stay dry as the bucket was about to empty itself.  Well, my fav will always be the lazy river, and Logan’s too.  Liam went out of his comfort zone and tried to surf, and he was sooo good!  He’s not too keen on trying new things but he warmed up to the idea and went on his own to try it.  He loved and did it 6 times.  I was so proud!  My nephew did it like 50 times and was so natural on it at the end.  One more day and he would have been able to surf like they do in the movies!

I’m pretty sure Lake George is the capital of the mini putt.  Within couple KMs on each side of our hotel, I saw at least 6.  We chose to go at the Pirate’s Cove one.  Kind of ashamed to admit it but it was the boys first time… but it won’t be the last.  They loved it and were way better at the end.  Of course Liam got attached to his golf ball and then cried when he lost it in the 18th hole!!!  Well I didn’t cried because of my golf ball, but I almost did when we arrived at Martha’s Ice Cream and it was closed.  It was Dole Whip day after all and I was so looking forward to it!

Next morning we packed our stuff, and made a stop at the downstairs’ arcade.  These arcades should be illegal, it’s basically casinos for kids (or adults in Brian’s case).  We always leave discouraged… like we spend 50$ and then the kids get a 1$ gift for the thousands of tickets they won.  Go figure!  At least they had fun.

I knew a quick trip to Target would cheer them up.  And it did!  We then stopped at some outlets store and had lunch at an old school A&W where they still have car service.  We rode Go-Karts and THEN it was time to whip.  Dole Whip at Martha’s Ice Cream.  That place is a must if you’re in the region.  My father in law had the biggest ice cream come I’ve ever seen in my life… and he finished it!  Hopped back into the cars and made our way back.

We’re already planning where we’re going to go next year, and it will for sure be longer; as two nights is clearly not enough.  You have to visit Lake George.  It’s our 3rd time with the boys and we always find new stuff to do.  Hope you’re ready for back to school; I know I’m not!  Can’t believe summer is already over.  I still have 4 days left of vacay and I plan on making the most of it.  Summer 2017 went by so quickly, but still, I enjoyed being off work and at home with the boys so much.

Have a great last weekend before back-to-school everyone!

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this lemon is turning one

So I guess I should pop some champagne now?  After 82 posts, 33 recipes, 1079 pictures and many new friends and followers, mylemondroplife is 1!!!

What a year it’s been.  Never could I have imagined, even in my wildest dream, the kind of success mylemondroplife.com got in its first year.  To be honest, at first I thought that my closest friends and my mom would probably be the only one following me… but with the thousands of hits I get now, I got to say THANK YOU not only to my closest friends (you girls rock!) and to my mom (love you mom!), but to all of my followers and readers, and to anyone and everyone who browsed through my blog in the last year.  You’re the best and you make me all so happy!!!

It’s been fun, it’s been hard, it takes time, it takes organization, it take patience (not my best suit and sorry Bry), it takes love.  And I just love to do it.  My boys don’t even know what blogging is, but hopefully one day they’ll read some of my posts and remember how much fun life was in 2017.  My life hasn’t changed since a year ago; I’ve always treasured the time we spend together, I’ve always loved to take some pictures (even pictures of my food at restaurant); now I just share it with everyone!

It makes me so happy when someone tries a recipe they found on my blog or when they do an activity I have talked about.  I love when people share everyday stuff with me, and I try do to the same.  It makes all the time I spend creating this blog so worthwhile.

So I’ve decided to celebrate by having my childhood friend Jen over, to take some pictures of us…  Jen recently started her own photography business and she’s awesome.  I’m usually 98% of the time behind my camera or iPhone, capturing photos, but this time I was in front of it and it was a bit nerve-racking!  Jen was great.  She took a few pictures of our family and then we ventured into my kitchen.  So I baked with the boys, like we do every week, but this time with my own professional photograph capturing shots of us while whisking cake batter.  We then blew mylemondroplife first candle and dove right into the cake.

I’m in love with the shots she took.  Jen knew exactly what I wanted and made it happen.  You should check out her PhilanthroPics Facebook page and book a session with her!  Like she wasn’t awesome enough already, she also gives out 10% of all her profits to charity.  I call that a win-win!  Yeah, she’s just great!

So in order to celebrate (or mostly to thank you), I’ve teamed up with PhilanthroPics and offering you 100$ towards a photoshoot.  All you have to do is subscribe to mylemondroplife.com AND follow PhilanthroPics on Facebook and make sure you’re available to travel to the Ottawa or Whitby region for the shoot.

So let’s celebrate year one and make plans for new adventures, more fun, more family time and more laughs.  A special thanks to my number one cheerleader my Mom, who one year ago had no clue what a blog was… and now she’s addicted!  To my colleague Rachel who taught me EVERYTHING about blogging.  And to my closest friends for pushing me to do this in the first place and for being so awesome… thanks for letting me take pictures of your food, of your drinks, of your rubber boots, and of you!  You girls are the best… like who buys you everything if it’s made of lemons? (Like my awesome Kate Spade apron, thanks Cath!)!  Thanks to my boys, and to my husband Brian, and to all of you who had to go along with a crazy idea I might have had this past year just to make a blog post a bit more interesting!

To everyone who reads this blog and follows me. THANK YOU.  I love you all.  Year 2 starts now, and it’s going to be a great one!

Sincerely, Andréanne

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be still my cheesecake

Hello long weekend, we’ve been waiting for you!  Although we pretty much stayed home -to relax- all weekend long, long weekends are just the best!  The boys just love spending an extra day with Brian at home.  We went for ice cream with our neighbors, had Thai food take-out, lounged in our pj’s for hours and then had diner at my in-law’s camping site.  On Saturday I bake some cakes and then made a CHEESECAKE… my favorite dessert EVER!  Beside my kids, who doesn’t love a good cheesecake?  If you don’t, well I’m sorry, but we just can’t be friends!!!  I’m sharing my go-to, no bake, easy, to die for cheesecake recipe.

A few years ago, I visited Quebec City with my mom for a few days and during a stroll near Chateau Frontenac, we found the most charming bistro.  And then I saw the most gorgeous looking cheesecake of my life.  And it was the best too!  Fluffy, airy, soft, just like how I imagine eating a cloud would feel like.  Since then, I’ve been on a mission to recreate that said cake.  Pretty sure I’m close now.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Here it goes!

What you need:

2 pkg cream cheese light, room temperature

1\2 cup sugar + 3 TBS

1 1/2 tub Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cup graham cookie crumbs

How to:

Using a 9 inches spring form pan, place the graham crumbs, 3 TBS of sugar and the melted butter.  Mix until all the crumbs are wet.  Spread evenly the mixture on the bottom of the pan to create and even layer.

With your electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and sugar, until soft and creamy, with no lumps.  Scrape the side of the bowl and mix again for a minute on high.  This will fluff the cheese mixture.  Add the Cool Whip, mix on MED speed for 2 minutes.  Spread the fluffy mix onto the crumbs crust.  Fill the pan and you’re almost done.  Put plastic wrap to cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.  Remove the side of the spring form pan.  Ready, set, eat!

This cake is amazing with any toppings.  I’ve used our freshly picked blueberries, made a coulis and served it warm on top of the cheesecake.  Also great with homemade warm caramel or with maple syrup and crumble maple leaf cookies.  My favorite topping is obviously raspberries, but any topping on this cheesecake will give you an awesome desert and will make you a happy; well it works for me!

Make it now and enjoy!

 

 

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robots, diner parties, birthday parties and a wedding

Well, it’s already Thursday and we’re still trying to recuperate from our crazy weekend!  Let’s just say that sometimes, I may over estimate how much time we actually have!

It all started on Friday morning when we went blueberry picking as I explained in last week’s post.  We got back home, baked a little bit, had lunch, and then decided to leave for downtown Ottawa to watch La Machine.

La Machine was a 4-day event for the celebration of Canada 150th.  A dragon and a spider, chasing each other around the city.  They were huge, and so spectacular.  To get there, we took the bus from Orleans, and it wasn’t that bad, as it took us only 50 minutes to get there.  We then started to run around the By Ward Market to find them.  We were spellbound by these robots the second we saw them.  The boys couldn’t get enough.  After an hour in the scorching heat, in was time to leave for the bus station and make our way back home.  Well THAT my friend was an adventure of its own… the three of us stuck on the bridge for almost an hour, waiting for our bus along with 5000 other people.  When our bus finally got there, we hoped on, glued to other passengers for a very long 80 minutes!  Boy oh boy was I glad to see my car and my A\C when I got off that bus!

We all took showers, changed, and then were on our way for diner at my Mom’s.  We had relatives that came down from Kitchener for the weekend, so we wanted to spend time with them, but by 11pm it was time to leave, and finally, by midnight, we were back home and ready for bed.  I was done… and needed some sleep as the next day was somewhat over planned as well!

On Saturday morning, we got ready and drove to our friends’ camping site for a kid’s birthday party.  Spent a few hours there with our friends and then had to change camping lots for another 2 birthday parties.  Brian’s sister’s kids are now so big… 12 and 13 already!  So I spent some time with Brian’s family while the boys rode the golf carts and played with their cousins.  Then, we had to go back home to get all dressed up cause at 6pm it was wedding time, as my little brother was getting married!

So went back home, the kids took a nap, we changed and got ready.  Yeah, my brother got married… still can’t actually believe it, but he did!  Congrats Alex and Crystal!  We had a great time with some family members we clearly don’t see enough.  They had a clown for the kids and they had so much fun.  Our house is still full of balloon swords, and balloon microphones, one octopus, as well as some other stuff I don’t really know what is it and probably don’t want to know!

Sunday morning, let’s say it was hard to get out of bed.  We all slept in till 9.  Don’t think it has ever happened… but I loved it!  We then ran errands, prepare diner and waited for our guests.  The weather was gorgeous and we spent the afternoon in the pool.  Made some Cubano pork sandwiches and had fluffy cheesecake for dessert.  Another late night!  But its summer, so who cares!?!

Well, Brian did, since he was working on Monday morning… but as for us, we crashed on the couch for most of the day!  Way too lazy to do anything or to tackle any chores or errands we needed done.  I made the boys watch Harry Potter for the first time since it was Harry’s birthday.  We also made a Hagrid style cake!  I really hope my love for Potter will be passed on to them!  They may not want to fly a broom like I do, but later this week we’ll be making our own wands.  And they’re the one who asked for it, so I guess that’s good a start!

Finally, on Tuesday it was our 8th wedding anniversary.  Not sure when we’ll have time for a date night, but I surely can’t wait.  For now, we celebrated with soccer night and then a visit to Brian’s dad to see more relatives from Chicoutimi that were visiting for the weekend.

Hope you also had a great -but less crowded- weekend like we did!  If not, well it’s not too late to start planning for the long weekend since tomorrow’s already Friday!

Happy Thursday and happy long weekend!!!

 

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