fall season 2019

Pumpkin Patch 2019

So I swore to myself that I would be better at blogging this fall. Well that was a total fail. Last time I posted something was after our Boston trip which already seems to have happened so long ago, sometime last summer. Well fall isn’t over, so let’s do this.

Fall is usually my favorite season, yet, this year, it feels like it’s simply slipping by while I didn’t get a chance to do all the things I wanted to do. So here’s what happened in the last few months:

SCHOOL: A month and a half later, it feels like we are finally getting our groove back! I won’t lie, last year was HARD. Like really, really hard. Long story short, second grade was terrible for Liam. His anxiety went from being a subtle on and off thing to being at an all-time high and all over the place. He was in such a bad place at some point we hardly recognized him. But summer was great, and he got to recharge fully (and so did I), and he was so ready to tackle 3rd grade. Things are way better for him now, and we finally feel like we can all breathe again. He’s got an amazing teacher and some great support at school, as well as some great friends, and we are so thankful that he seems happy again. Keep up the good work! And our Logan… well it’s like Loggy being Loggy, days in, days out! He loves school, he loved finally having some homework to do like his big brother (this new found love actually lasted for about 5 minutes), he’s friend with everyone and he’s just a happy go getter. Crossing my fingers that things keep on looking up for him the way it has so far.

BEAU’S OKTOBERFEST: What a great time we had. Another EPIC weekend in Vankleek Hill for us. Probably one of the best one ever, yet! We partied hard with our best friends Mathieu and Vero on Friday night, which means we stayed way past my pre-set curfew for the Friday night, but in the end, it was all worth it! We shared so much food… it’s crazy how much food we end up eating every year during that weekend. I only go for the food, and boy oh boy did Oktoberfest delivered this year again! Just writing about it makes me hungry. Let’s just say walking back to the car wasn’t easy with two drunks while I felt completely stuffed. On Saturday, we were joined by Karine and Catherine, our Oktoberfest annual and forever buddies… We should actually write a book of ALL the things that happened through the years at Oktoberfest. We had the craziest time this year again. So much I want to share, yet, some of it probably un-sharable! So, as for the food, this year’s first place definitely goes to the Cheshire Cat Pub’s Reuben Sandwich and the Malted Milk Chocolate Peanut Dip Bar from Pascale’s Ice Cream. If you were at Beau’s Oktoberfest and didn’t try any of these two items, then what’s the point of even going? Seriously, you need to go to Beau’s Oktoberfest and try both of these next year!!!

KITCHEN: Nervous breakdowns happened on every Sunday for the last month. Why? Because we’re in the midst of our kitchen renos. Yep! And it’s been quite the challenge to say the least. Patience being one of my strong suits… NOT, definitely made this a more challenging project than I thought it would be. We had the backsplash removed, the wall prepped, the counter removed and then a new one installed and the new backsplash installed by Granstone, and until then, the project was going smoothly and the results were simply amazing. Then, it was our turn to take our wooden cabinets and paint them white. Sounds like a simple task, right? Well no, it isn’t! So we removed our 50 doors and drawers, washed and primed them as per the sales lady had told me when I bought the primer. FAIL… such an EPIC FAIL. The paint was peeling off and so was my sanity. We asked our friends who had re-done their kitchen and they confirmed that NO, it’s probably impossible to do this without sanding first. Pretty sure they thought I was stupid when I told them I had bought this primer who would do the job without even sanding first. Ugghhh!!! So we had to scrape the primer off of every door, sand everything, and then start all over again. Let’s just say I’ve literally painted and swore at my cabinet doors every single day over the past month. Now, finally, for the last few days we’ve been installing them back on, and it looks sooo good! My new kitchen is AMAZING, and just how I had imagined it would be: so white and so bright, and I am in love with it! Definitely more to follow on that as soon as we’re completely done!

HP TRAIN: You all know how Harry Potter obsessed we are. So when I found out about a HP train ride in the Ottawa region, I signed us up. For five bucks each… let’s say I was not expecting much. Boy was I wrong. Of course we showed up wearing our finest HP gear and we were so happy we did. The Smith Falls Train Museum was totally transformed by magic and to say we had a blast is an understatement. Local vendors, photo booth, a Quidditch game with brooms, a cupcake vendor that was simply amazing as well as a short but awesome train ride. We didn’t wanted to leave. It was the best 5$ I’ve spent this fall for sure. I can hardly wait for next year to visit again. Zero expectation turned out to be the best Saturday for all of us. And a quick shout-out to the Black Lory who sold us the cutest handmade HP dolls. Liam got a snitch while Logan got the hippogriff. I didn’t get any, but kind of regretted not buying the Luna doll, so that same night I placed an order online for one, and then decided to get the Sirius Black as well while I was at it! This will make great Halloween gifts for the boys. They will be so excited when they see them. So two thumbs up for the Smith Falls Train Museum, we will definitely be back next year. Check out for the Christmas train as well, you just might see us there!

PUMPKIN PATCH: It’s mid-October and until a few days ago, there were still no pumpkin in front of my house. This is sooo not me! So on Saturday morning, first thing, I told the boys we were going to the Pumpkin Patch to get ourselves some pumpkins, which is something they actually love doing as much as I do. Since I’ve heard about this place in Gatineau about 3 years ago, I don’t think I could ever go anywhere else to get our pumpkins, even if it’s like close to an hour from home. Courges & Cie is simply the best, with the most beautiful pumpkins and squash, the best pumpkins donuts and pumpkins poutine, with some play structures for the kids, and everything you need to entertain the whole family for a few hours while picking up your pumpkins directly from the pumpkin patch. 

So now that the leaves have turned, the nights are a bit colder and the day a bit crispier, it’s time to relax and enjoy the moment, and light up my new favorite pumpkin pecan waffles candle, drink some PSL while wearing my new favorite reading socks and start cooking some tasty fall meals in my new favorite kitchen. Enjoy fall everyone, I know I will.    

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camp woods 2019

Camp Woods 2019 is in full swing! This home based summer camp tradition has started about 4 years ago, back when Liam started to go to school and I started to spend every summer with them. They don’t get to go to regular summer camp, so I decided to bring summer camp to our place as a way to keep them busy. It’s a lot of fun for them, it’s sometimes a lot of groundwork for me, but they love it, so I play along. (If you’ve been following me or know me, then you know that I actually love it probably as much as they do!) 

They both love to have some sort of organized schedule as part of their regular day to day, so I do the same for the summer camp, where every week has a different theme that they choose (that I choose!), with various activities that they really want to do (mostly that I really want to do!). 

My kids love the fact that this camp doesn’t require a backpack, which makes it different than a regular school day, but what they love the most about it is that they have to stay home for a full week and still be entertained! They really like spending time together at home… and for the first few weeks of summer, after a long school year, I’m definitely okay with that as well, but later this summer, I will for sure force them to get out and go for some other type of activities, like museum, mini-putt, water slides, movies, etc. 

Oh, guess what, it’s been a long school year for me as well, so at some point I will need a break from having them running around the house all day as  well and will send them on sleepovers for a few days at my mom’s or will tell them to call their Gra-Gra (Brian’s mom) to ask if they can go camping with her. She will for sure say yes! But for now, the activities are non-stop and we can’t get enough of it.

We LOVE themes and we usually decide them on weekly basis. And then we do everything possible around that theme, like crafts, outings, recipes and activities. We are never short on what to do next!

Week 1 was obviously Toy Story. We’ve been hard core fans since forever and whether we like it or not, Toy Story always seems to find us! Like Woody was Liam’s first favorite toy, then it became their favorite movie, then we found a mint Buzz for like 2$ at a garage sale, etc. But my favorite Toy Story memory will always be the one where Logan was chosen as the honorary Sheriff of the Park in Disneyland back when we visited Disney California in 2016. Still can’t believe he was chosen on that day. I still remember asking them ‘’so how many kids get picked like that every day?’’ thinking that they would say 50 or 100… but no, one, only one gets picked and Logan got to be the one! We were so happy for him, and for us as well as we got fast passes to every ride and had reserved seating (like the best seats in the house) for the nightly show. This made our Disney trip truly magical as we had the best day ever, all that while Logan was proudly wearing his golden sheriff star! No wonder he likes that cowboy so much now! 

So for our first week of Camp Woods, we had to go see TS4 at the drive-in on the very first day of our summer vacation, and God, will I ever regret that decision. I don’t think I would have had been able to not go see the TS4 movie, but I kind of wish I hadn’t. I wasn’t expecting my vacation to start with such a meltdown. The boys loved it while I’m still unsure about how I feel about it. I don’t think I will ever come close to crying for a kid movie like I did at the end of TS3, but man, that goodbye scene in TS4 was gut wrenching. SPOILER ALERT: Like, I knew Woody loved Bo, I could see that in the first movie, but for Christ’s sake, did he really love her that much? What about your family, man??? Not sure when I’ll be ready to see the movie again… I kind of wish they would have ended it with TS3 where they made me bawl like a cow just before they made my heart so happy. I know you will still watch it, but all you adults have been warned, you may regret not leaving it at movie number 3! 

Of course we had a great time at the Drive-In with my sister in law and their cousin Nini. I can’t actually recall the last time the boys laughed that loudly at a movie, but again, the ending… well, my cousin Isabelle said it best in Instagram after she saw the movie: come on Woody, #brosbeforehoes!!! The only thing I would change about that hashtag is #brosbeforeboes!

So we decided to make a few TS inspired craft the following week. We made some slinky dogs, a few aliens’ plates, we crafted a Forky, the new TS4 friend, as well as some Ducky and Bunny cupcakes. All while watching the first 3 movies at home all week long. 

On week 1 we’ve also spent a lot of time in the pool, played a few round of Chutes and Ladders, as well as many games of our family favorite, Bingo!!! It was a great week filled with great memories as well as some random thought of ‘’y tho Woody, why?’’. FYI – I should get over it eventually, probably about right after I go see Frozen 2.

Week 2 and 3 is/will be all about Harry Potter. I won’t lie to you, HP and Disney are pretty much sending me straight to bankruptcy. I mean, come on… 7 new HP Lego sets are coming out this summer. You’ve got to be kidding me. Like, are they expecting me not to buy them all??? Duh! So I’m pretending they’re for my kids and I feel less guilty when I buy them!

We have a tradition where we have to watch all of the movies every summer, and I just can’t wait to go through movie 1 to 8 in only a few days with them! Liam loves it as much as I do. He loves Harry and Sirius Black so much, while Logan, of course, loves Malfoy and Nagini! Liam has started reading the first book and I’m so proud of him. A big change for him, no pictures and a million tiny words, but he’s pretty excited and I am too.

We’ve crafted some washcloth owls and made some wands out of pens, I’ve got some games lined up for them; so I’d say we’re definitely ready to watch the movies now. I’ve got a great idea for a movie tent to build for our movie marathon, so we’re probably going to be very busy the next few days – all that while being dressed up in our Hogwarts robes, of course!

I will keep on sharing our Camp Woods activities on my Insta Stories, so follow along. Hope you will have a blast this summer, I know we will!

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mother’s day gift guide

I’ve always knew I would love to be a Mom, but what I didn’t anticipated is how much I would. Maybe except for the lack of sleep here and there, the regular crawling into my bed at 3am and all the worrying about school, friends, and what’s going to happen at the teenage years! But overall, it’s so much more than what I could have ever hoped for! Which makes me appreciate my mom even more!

You know how I love celebration, and thinking about my mom and my boys, I have to say that for me it doesn’t really get any better than celebrating motherhood! So here’s my Mother’s Day Gift Guide, for all the amazing moms in your life!

1-Ciao Bella shoes: I’m totally in love with the Soludos brand. Their shoes are so cute and fun. These would be a great Mother’s Day gift for sure!

2-Straw purse: Got this purse for our Disney vacation and I can’t believe how many people asked me where I got it! I lied a few time, but the truth is that it’s from Wish! You can wear it with everything. I will be using it all summer long. And you and your Mom should too!

3-Anthro Latte Matte Bowls: These are my favorite bowls and they are now available in matte colours. Mixed them up, colour coordinate your kitchen and get ready for upcoming holidays! I guarantee you that your cereals will taste better with these.h

4-Kate Spade Mom bracelet: This delicate bracelet is giving me all the feels. Isn’t it perfect? Wish my two babies had enough money in their piggy bank to get me this for Mother’s Day.

5-Aqua Tote: A mom can NEVER have too many bags. Men, if there’s one thing you absolutely need to know about women, it’s this! Love this Indigo Tote for everyday use. Big enough to store everything y1ou need plus a bag of wipes, a baggies of fishies, an iPad, some stickers and an extra sweater just in case

6-Instax: You know you want one. And this Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to ask for one. Retro, cute and so much fun! If only the films weren’t so expensive. But YOLO!

7-SMEG Espresso Machine: “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it!” Well, Arianna, it really doesn’t work like that in my world… but I’m still putting it on the list as the ultimate Mother’s Day Gift! Would love to get this one so bad. This may even be the next impulsive purchase I make!!!

8-Every Mother Counts shirt: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this t-shirt. We all need one!

9-Essential Oils: Every Mama needs essential oils. Get her a Young Living Starter Kit and she will thank you for ever. I swear. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. Everyone wants a healthier and safer lifestyle. Why not give it to her. Let me know if you want to know more about essential oils or if you would like to order a kit for the world’s best mom in your life!

10-Rings: My favorite items on this list! I already have these and you should too. I’m a sucker for monograms, and when I saw these rings, I just knew they were meant for me. I got the boys’ name stamped on 1mm rings and I can’t take them off. Super delicate and discreet, yet I can’t stop looking at them. 

This is the best Mother’s Day gift list you will find, but the very best way to celebrate your mom is by spending time with her and never stop finding ways to make new memories. The rest is just a cherry on top! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms.

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fun, easy and quick ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away and I’ve got a few quick and easy ideas to celebrate your love ones!

This year, V-Day falls on a Thursday, so who’s got time for super fancy breakfast before school or 5 course meals after work? I’ve pulled up a few ideas for you. Perfect to spread the love in just a few minutes!

1- Grab a few pieces of coloured paper and leave some heart shaped love notes throughout the house or at work. It takes a few moments and can brighten up anyone’s day. Your husband, your kids, your coworkers and your Galantines!

2- My boys go crazy for fun and festive breakfast, but I ain’t gonna wake up at 5am to bake some waffles or anything like that. You know what? Buy the grocery store kind and warm them up in the toaster. Served with warmed up Nutella or maple syrup and some fresh strawberries. Why not add some strait from the bottle whipped cream. I’m telling you, it will take less than 5 minutes and you’ll have a love-ly breakfast they’ll definitely enjoy!

3- For lunch, prepare some heart shaped cheese quesadilla the night before and pack it up in the kid’s lunch box. It will be another fun and cute reminder of this special day. Guess what, I might just make myself one too!

4- Last year, we made a super fun and quick snack right after school. Store bought wafers cookies, we melted chocolate and dipped them in it. We then sprinkled some sprinkles! Done in 5, and delicious until the last crumb!

5- Lots of restaurants offer some delivery special for VDAY. So order up a heart shaped pizza for the kids. Easy, fast, with little to none clean-up after diner. Put them to bed early and enjoy a chick flick movie at home with your husband. Babysitters are difficult to find on Valentine’s Day, so reserve one for the weekend and stay home on the 14.

6- In the same easy mind frame, if you’re not into heart shaped pizza, just wait until the kids are in bed, take out the fondue set, open up a box of cheese fondue from the grocery store and voilà! It’s actually our favorite date-night at-home-diner. Baguette, pears, pecans, olives and some salami. You’ll be ready to eat within minutes and again, almost no clean-up!

7- Make some home-made sugar body scrub for your Galentines, mom or daughters. One cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 5-10 drops of Young Living essential oil (Peppermint and Grapefruit are amazing) and a few drop of pink food colouring. Mix it up, split between small mason jar and write a little note. Super easy and fast. And great for the skin.

No matter what you do, being together is the only thing that matters. Whether you are meeting some girlfriends for drinks, skating on the canal, going out for diner, ordering heart shaped pizza, watching a movie at home, or looking at all the Valentine’s the kids brought back from school; Love is love, and it’s all you need! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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holidays and everything in between

So are you out of your food coma yet? Have you taken all your decorations down? Does your house suddenly feels empty? Are you still in that daze where you don’t even know what day it is? Yep, that’s all signs of the end of another great holiday season.

We’ve had sooo many parties, so many dinners, so much time spent on the roads, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just a few hours after I was officially on holidays, we had a cousins family reunion diner. My younger cousin now lives in Lake Louise and was back home for Christmas, so he got most of us to show up for a rare and fun family reunion. I don’t think I had seen him in like over 5 years. It was great catching up with him, meeting his girlfriend Kimmy, seeing everyone, as well as having the boys spending times with their second cousins from the Lamoureux family.

Then, off course, we had to hit the malls on December 22nd, running around like crazy people, just for fun, on what was probably the busiest Saturday morning of the year. I had made care packages for homeless people and got to deliver them. So hard to witness the situation in which they are, and although it wasn’t much, I could clearly see their gratitude. It does put everything in perspective. Next year, the boys will come along. They do their parts, a few times a year, I get them to select some of the toys they no longer use and we donate them, but I want them to do more. We all should. Then, later that night, we had dinner with my sister-in-law’s family at our place.

Sunday was lazy, prepping for Christmas, wrapping the leftover gifts and having way to many lattes while listening to Christmas vinyl records. Then, finally, it was Christmas Eve, and as usual, Brian took the boys to work in the morning and came back just in time for a much needed Christmas Eve nap! One of the best tradition EVER! We then drove 45 minutes to my mother-in-law’s for the most delicious Christmas fondue dinner of the year. Then, around 10pm, we headed to Brian’s dad for the Woodbury family’s ‘Réveillon’. We had a visit from Santa, live music and dancing from Brian’s aunt Lulu and uncle Bobby, then some more food and overall a lot of fun! We called it a night at 2am, drove back home and got to sleep only for a few hours before we got woken up by the boys, telling us Santa had come to our place during the night.

The boys were so excited to open their Santa’s gift, so we had a hard time finishing opening the other presents as they only wanted to play with it! Christmas morning should last forever. It’s definitely my favorite part of Christmas. The excitement, the anticipation and the hope. I wish I could bottle it up somehow. Hopefully they’ll believe in all the Christmas magic for many more years. I believed in it until I was 12, so if I’m lucky, I may get a few more years of this. I hope so.

My mom and Frank came for brunch and then the rest of our family arrived for Christmas dinner. We played some hilarious games, some less flattering than others, like how many marshmallow can you fit in your mouth! You should try it out. And let me know if you can beat 12!

The 26 was spent in our pj’s, building Legos and eating leftovers. There was the prettiest snowfall in the afternoon so we all bundled up and went for a walk. It was magical. I love lazy days like this, where we have no agendas, no places to be, and not having to dress up!

The rest of the week was spend watching movies, trying to find some boxing week sales, seeing friends and family and trying to sleep in. We also brought Liam to play his first Escape game in Montreal, an Harry Potter inspired one! He loved it! On NYE we got together with our friends and went to the Fairmont Chateau Montebello for an afternoon sleigh ride. We got lucky with the weather, not too cold, not too windy, it was simply perfect. I just love myself some sleigh rides, I find they’re the ultimate Holiday season activity. There’s something about the horses, the carriage and the sleigh bells; it gives me all the feels.

Fairmont Chateau Montebello

On the 1st, we got a brunch at my mom’s, then turkey dinner at Lulu’s, then on the 2nd it was another relaxing day where I went to Starbucks and then shopping while Brian and the boys spent the full day playing their new Nintendo Switch game.

And now, with just a few hours left to our holidays, we’re just trying to hang on and relax some more before it’s back to school. It was a great Holiday Season, with a few days packed with family dinners, and gatherings, and other things to do, but mostly filled with days with no plans at all, just taking naps, cooking, catching up on Netflix series, playing in the snow and sneaking in a few movies at the theatre. Hope the holidays were good to you as well and that you feel refresh for this New Years that has just begun!

Wishing you all the best for 2019 mylemondroplife friends!

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almost christmas eve

In exactly one week it’s going to be Christmas Eve. How is that even possible? I’m so behind on my usual pre-Christmas blog posts; I had planned to share a Christmas recipe, some Christmas wish lists, some Christmas activities, but with one week to go, I know I won’t have time to do any of this, so I’ll combine a bit of everything in this one. I truly wish I had more time, but between our school and the boys’ school events, the Christmas shows, all the baking, gifts wrapping, sneaking a movie night to watch Mary Poppins, a family cousins reunion AND the actual Christmas festivities, not sure how I will ever survive this next week! But even with all that, I’m still the most excited one in this household! I just LOVE Christmas! And here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Picking our Christmas Tree: The official opening of the holiday season always starts with the cutting of our tree at Ian’s Christmas Tree Farm. I’ve already shared with you how big of a deal our tree is, and you can read more about our magical tree tradition here. Let’s just say this year didn’t go according to plan. It had snowed a few days before, it was beautiful outside, the weather was great, we were 11 of us crammed into 3 cars, but once out there in the field, we couldn’t find a tree we would agree on. We walked and walked and walked some more, but nothing, nada, zero. All of them too small, or too big. After searching for the perfect one for over an hour and a half, we finally placed the bag under the magic tree, the boys found it, they were happy, we pretended to cut it and hitched a ride on the wagon to go back (actually without a tree). So while we were having hot dogs, maple fudge and brownies by the outside fire pit, Brian picked up a pre-cut one! Only once we had already paid and wrapped up the tree we were told we were actually in the wrong field. Well, you just watch me next year, Clark Griswold will eat his heart out when he sees my perfect tree. After that, we all came back home for some drinks, pasta diner and to decorate the tree. All in all, we didn’t cut it ourselves, but our tree still looks beautiful and smells wonderful, which is all that matters. 

Christmas Party number 1:

We’ve had our annual friends Christmas party ever since I can remember, and for the last 5 or 6 years, we’ve been hiring a chef to cook for us, at home, and it’s been amazing. But this year, our chef double-booked the date and we were left with no one with about two weeks’ notice. So at the last minute, we all decided that each couple would be responsible to take care of one service. And it turned out to be amazing! Saved us a ton of money and the food was delicious. Vero and Mat have the greatest basement for parties like this, with mirrors and lights and loud speakers and a dancing floor, so let’s just say that the next morning was rough for a few of us who drank and danced too much! I just think there may be a little less Tequila involved next year, or so I’ve heard. But we had so much fun, as always, and I can’t wait for next year’s party already.

Nutcracker:

I love the Nutcracker. We saw the new movie a few weeks ago and Liam loved it so much that when a young girl from my school was chosen to take part in the ballet, I knew we had to go. So last week, Liam and I added the Nutcracker Ballet to our list of Christmas things to do. On Thursday night, we skipped the school homework and went to see the show. It truly puts you in the Christmas spirit and I was so proud to cheer on Victoria. She was wonderful to watch, and Liam and I just loved the entire thing, as it was beautiful and so well done.

Christmas Parties 2, 3 and 4:

Last weekend was filled to the brim with activities. First, Friday night was my workplace party at my co-worker’s new house. Well, now I have severe house envy. Well, how could I not? She has a dream kitchen, PLUS a stage (well, an open staircase that looks like a stage) where I came up with a singing/lipsing performance! The games were hilarious, I will definitely plan games like these for Christmas Day at our house. Family, beware and be ready! After my work thing, I drove back-and-forth to the other side of Ottawa to pick up Brian who was at another Christmas party at his friend’s house… so by the time I went to bed it was pretty late! And then Saturday morning I was up early to get everything ready in time as I was hosting family members for diner. We don’t see each other enough, but we do this every year now and we always have a great time. I really love this new tradition of ours. This year was no different. My aunt, uncle and the boys all played a few songs on the piano. We shared old and new stories. The boys saw their baby cousin Evely, who is definitely one of the best dressed toddler ever! And then, on Sunday morning, we drove to Brian’s dad to get the house ready for the Christmas Eve Woodbury family ‘Réveillon’. So while Brian, his brother and his sister were picking up and decorating the tree and the house, I decided to cook my Christmas ‘boulettes’ for the 24th midnight lunch; at least one thing to check off my list, finally!

It’s going to be a busy week, but it’s one of the best week of the year, as this is what it’s all about: gatherings, reminiscing, spending time with the people that matters, with all the love, the bickering and the dirty dishes in between! Christmas would definitely not be the same without all the craziness that comes with it. So, no more complaining about everything I have left to do before December 24th, and I will enjoy each day to the fullest and I’ll catch up on sleep sometime in the new year! Cheers my friends, and have fun, and be safe, hoping the next few weeks are filled with Christmas magic for all of you, as we all deserve some of it this time of year. I wish you all the best Holiday Season possible. Merry Christmas.

 

         


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2018 beau’s oktoberfest: great food, great beers, and a lot of mud

Life has been crazy lately, and I still haven’t had the chance to share this year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest yet. It may seem a bit late to talk about it, given that October is already over and Beau’s Oktoberfest was actually in September, but since we loved it so much this year again, I really wanted to share our weekend in beautiful Vankleek Hill with all of you. And the good news is that we only have to wait another 11 months until the next one, instead of the usual 12!

We were sooo excited about Beau’s Oktoberfest’s 10th edition: we had bought our tickets at the brewery earlier this summer, scheduled our babysitters months ago, had made plans to meet with friends and family throughout the weekend, had prepared outfits in advance for both Friday and Saturday, and considering that in the last few years we had sunny days over 40 degree Celsius as well as rainy days closer to zero degree Celsius, we had prepared outfit options for all possible weather conditions… but NOPE, we did not! My beautiful Hunter Boots and my lovely rain jacket could not take on what stormed through our region on that Friday evening.

Never in my wildest dreams I would have thought a tornado would hit so close to home. So I left work at 4 on that Friday afternoon and I remember the sky in my rear mirror being somewhat scary. Driving home was weird, sunny in front, purple and gray on top, and pitch black in the back. Picked up the boys at school, met Brian at home, packed up the car and left, still not knowing what was about to happen in Ottawa and surrounding areas that night. Nearly minutes after we left, we got a weather warning on our iPhones and at the same time a tornado was touching down in a few towns and villages close to us. We were so lucky, some, not as much. The pictures we saw from places close to us just made me cry; and still makes me.

So we arrived safely to my Mom’s and hid there for a while hoping the wind and rain would calm down. Once we thought the storm had passed, we decided to venture to Vankleek Hill to attend our beloved Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, as we arrived, the rain had picked up again, and they had to close it down for the night due to another approaching storm. Clad in our rain boots and ponchos, a bunch of us gathered at a local restaurant and spent the evening there having a few Beau’s beers while talking about what had just hit our region, thanking our lucky star we had been spared, hoping no one had been hurt.

By next morning, we were in top shape and ready to party! So we dressed up in our best rubber boots and out of the door we were. Pretzels, craft beers and live music here we come!

I was still hungry from the night before, which I guess was a good thing, cause I had carefully planned ahead my menu for the weekend, and I still wanted to try all of it, so having to squeeze a two-day menu into a one-day event was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it! When we got there, the fairground was a mess… like, a muddy mess. Thank God we were both wearing our rubber boots. Some areas were okay, but most of it was covered with mud. If I wouldn’t have worn my Hunter boots, I wouldn’t have made it out of there alive. And by that I mean I wouldn’t have been able to get to the pretzel vendor, which was surrounded by a foot deep of mud and water… but I made it there, twice actually!

Sadly, one of my favourite vendors had to cancel due to the storm. But don’t worry, I will satisfy my raclette craving very soon as we got reservations at Meule & Caquelon next weekend! So as we were walking around the fairground, we met with friends everywhere, at every corner we turned and every tap bar we stopped at. We shared drinks, tried amazing food and listened to music I’m not used to listen to. Brian had told me there was one show he absolutely didn’t wanted to miss, so he dragged me to the small stage just in time for the show; what I didn’t know was that he was about to turn into a real groupie in front of the stage, listening to this local singer songwriter I had never really heard of. Well, Rory Taillon, you have a fan for life! And I agree with my husband, yours was the best show at this year’s Oktoberfest.

We then visited the Midway Games, definitely one of our favorite things at Beau’s Oktoberfest. After all, who can pass on a game of Plinko? Not me! Can’t remember who won but it was so much fun. We also played a game of sling shots, which we sucked at and didn’t win anything. Then played a few rounds of ring toss on the beer bottles. Then ended it with Brian’s new found favorite, Roll In Zie Hay, a balance and precision game where he won three times in a row and then wouldn’t shut up about it! Overall, we basically spent 40 bucks to win a Beau’s pin, but what the heck, Brian really wanted it, he was happy about it, so it was totally worth it!

This year’s awards for best food go to the Reuben Egg Rolls from Moose McGuire’s… those were simply AMAZING, and also to the 3 frozen ice cream treats I had from Pascale’s Ice Cream! Please don’t judge, I do not drink alcohol, but I can definitely hold my ice cream!

I may not have been able to try everything, but I definitely try many things… so I’d like to give a shout out to the Smoque Shack for their Brisket Mac and Cheese Cone, for our local favorite Vert Fourchette for their delicious Beer Battered Fish-on-a-stick, and to Hintonburg Public House for their out-of-my-mind Seed to Sausage Jalapeño & Cheese Curd Smoke Corn Dog.

We were once again in awe from all the keg toss competitions, the stein holding competitions (that Brian still didn’t do but once again said he would try ‘next’ year), and this year’s most fun to watch: the team-pulling-truck competition. Boy, I would never sign up for this, but it was truly awesome to watch! And once again, that guy on the mic is worth alone the entrance fee, as he’s just so clever and funny in congratulating and insulting the participants. Can’t wait to hear him make fun of my husband if he ever decides to do the stein holding competition!

As the tradition goes, we once again ended up at good ol’ Miss Hawkesbury, and once again, ended up doing Tequila shots… yep, they were all drunk already but found a way to convince me they had to do shots to keep the tradition alive! When the place doesn’t have enough shot glasses for 7 people, you know it’s time to go home! But they do have the best pizza and poutine in town, so I watched them doing shots while I enjoyed the last item on my previously planned Beau’s Oktoberfest weekend menu. And I agree, you don’t mess with traditions… so we’ll be back next year!!!

It was definitely another great Oktoberfest! I wouldn’t imagine an end-of-summer or beginning-of-fall season without it. It is definitely one of my favorite outside activities of the year, year after year (probably Brian’s favorite!). Finally, I’d like to add that you guys did an amazing job dealing with all the unexpected and unforeseen turn of events that happened on Friday evening. I am really proud to be a Beau’s fan, and we can’t wait for next year’s; let’s all just hope the next one will be less eventful, weather wise. Prost my friends.

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halloween kids friendly movie night

Well finally, let the fall decorations season begin!!! I’ve actually been quite good so far, it’s almost October and I’ve only started decorating for fall earlier this week; but boy has this got me in like a full-blown Halloween mood! I’m pretty sure I have more Halloween decorations than I have for Christmas’ or anything else, and I am not done. I know I will buy more, it’s just a question of when I’ll have time to go to Home Sense or Target next! So this week the boys have been going crazy pulling out everything from our Halloween boxes, trying on some old costumes and decorating every crooks and cranny they can find; but of course I’m okay with this. I actually love it! I always feel like my house loses weight when I see stuff going out of the house instead of in! So since I got my eyes on some new things to come in, I decided I needed to have some sort of purging week… and I did… and it feels so good to sell and give stuff away. You know, to make room for new stuff!

 I’ve got a few festive outings planned for next weekend. I want to hit Courges & Cie, a gorgeous pumpkin patch I’ve blogged about last year, and I also want to visit our local farmer’s market to go see my friend Pascal Ice Cream. One other thing on the list for the weekend is a Halloween movie marathon! But not the gory type… no wayyyy. I can’t handle scary movies very well and neither does my husband (if you know him, you know what I mean), so instead, I will watch some fun and good and cute and almost scary movies from our own collection; well, family movies! Since we don’t have cable here, the only thing the boys watch are movies, so I always keep a small basket filled with their current favorites close to the TV, but around this time of year, it is filled with Halloween themed and festive movies. So I decided to round up our favs and maybe you could have a fun movie night at home yourself!

1- Harry Potter: Of course this had to be number one. It couldn’t be anything else. My boys are NOT scared, at all, of all the HP movies. We are all addicts and we’re not ashamed of it! The entire collection can be seen over and over again, so if you haven’t watch Harry in a while, this Halloween season is the perfect time! 

2- Mickey Mouse Monster Musical: I can’t tell you how many time my kids have watched this DVD. I think I know every single lines of the shows. Yet, I’m excited to sing “Monster Boogie” every single time. With only 22 minutes per episodes, these are fun to watch in the morning while the kids eat breakfast or while you need keep them quiet while you are getting ready for work… or not so quiet with all the singing! 

3- Adams Family: My brother and I watched this on and on when we were kids. I just LOVE that movie. I’ve watched it last year and it still holds up even 30 years later. I’m sure you’ve seen this before… but you need to see it again! 

4- Ghostbuster: No, no, no, no, no… not the new one, even if I’m all for “Girl Power” and stuff, nooo, not the new one; but the very first one! I still think it is way more funny than scary, and that’s probably why I love it. We usually all get a good laugh watching this. And now, I bet the song is stuck in your head… right? Well you’re welcome! I ain’t afraid of no ghost!

5- Hocus Pocus: Okay, so this one is mostly for me! My boys think it’s freaking boring, my husband judges me for watching it in loops year after year, but I get such a thrill out of watching it 20 times per season, they just don’t understand, and I just can’t explain it. Also, there’s a book sequel out that I’m currently reading, so I’m really into it right now, and can’t wait to watch it for the first time in 2018. This is clearly a must… every… single… year! It is fun, light and so amusing to watch Bette sing; and what can I say, I just can’t get enough of it!

6- Monsters Inc. & University: These two movies are simply AMAZING! Make a marathon out of it. Order pizza, wear festive pj’s, have a bowl of popcorn with candy, and just sit back and enjoy. You will have the best of time, guaranteed. Can they make a 3rd one? Please.

7- Hotel Transylvania: HEY kids’ movie lovers, you got to watch these ones. Adam Sandler is to die for. Great for the kids, yet so many clever lines for adults; and the music is amazing! The third movie will be out on DVD or Blu-ray in the next few weeks, so you can have a three movies marathon in the comfort of your couch… which I know we will.

8- E.T.: Kind of afraid to say this, but I’ve never seen ET. I know I’ve seen part of it, and I know was afraid while seeing it, but this year is the year. I’m doing this for you, my beautiful Drew. I’ve bought the illustrated ET book and I intend on reading it to the boys and then watch the movie with them. We’ll see how it goes. At least I know that if I’m scared, we’re all going to be scared together!

9- The Nightmare Before Christmas: For me it’s a Halloween movie, for some, Christmas (although it is clearly NOT!). I was not a fan of it growing up, but I’ve been for the last couple of years. Best part for me: the music. And last year, Liam learned it on the piano… so we will keep on watching it, and then get him to practice. It’s Tim Burton… so, like always… NOT for everyone!

10- Casper: Can I keep you? Oh, Devon Sawa… I was so in love with the teenage version of you. I still remember the summer the movie came out, I went to see it twice in one weekend with my friend Jannick. My Mimi had bought me a Casper pajama and the soundtrack, and I was so obsess… and I think it is STILL amazing! Right? We will watch this for sure a few times before October 31st!

So many other movies could have made the cut, but I tried to keep the list somewhat kids friendly. After all, Halloween is for kids, right? Well, for kids and for adults like ME!!! Hope you have fun watching some of these movies; I have to run now, the boys are waiting for me to see if ET goes back home or what. Enjoy fall my friends, this is the best time of the year!

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and the lemon goes to?

And the winner is…

Well first, I would like to thank everyone who entered this free giveaway. Your support means the world to me and I’m so glad you keep on coming back for more lemon drop every week! You guys are simply awesome and you are the reason why I keep on doing this.

So now, congrats to Janik Pichette, the winner of a bottle of Young Living LEMON essential oil and a bottle of wine! Thank you Janik for sharing my blog with your friends!

And to all of you who didn’t win this time, I swear I’ll have some more giveaways in the near future! Thanks for sharing the love my lemon friends! Every like, every share and every comment means a lot to me.  

Hope you all had a great weekend. And you know what, you should all want to come back in a few days for this great pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe I’m going to share!  

 

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favorite fall finds

Well, you know what? According to me, Fall starts tomorrow… I actually don’t care about the real date, but the boys are back to school, I’m back at work after a summer off, Halloween decorations are hitting the stores, Beau’s Oktoberfest is just a few weeks away and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are back at Starbucks. But guess what? I love Fall, so no complaining here!

Back to school usually means lots of time spent shopping in store and online… and I’m not the one to complain about that either, but this year, I spent way more time browsing than shopping, since beside a few pair of jeans and shoes, most of the boys clothes seemed to still fit perfectly. So here’s some of my Favorite Fall Finds from all this shopping and browsing I’ve done this past few weeks.

1- I actually bought this for Logan because as soon as I spotted it in store, I thought of him. Gymboree Wild One sweater is super soft and light but still cozy and warm. Can’t wait to pair this with rusty coloured pants.

2- Every girl, young and old, need a Chambray dress. I mean come on! You can wear it year round, paired up with flip flops, cute flats or awesome Hunter boots. I love the style of this dress with the original collar style. And this one won’t break the bank. So, way to go Joe Fresh!

3- Okay… I’m not getting these because they cost like an arm and a leg and I couldn’t just buy one and would end up ordering a pair for each of us… BUT, if I would have the budget, we would all be wearing Blundstone. I LOVE these boots, and imagining them on my boys… with a chunky sweater… be still my heart!

4- Do they make these in my size? I’m actually not joking. Pompoms, gold and pink… eh, hello! These shoes have my 8-years-old-self singing! For all of you with girls, please get your daughter a pair at Gymboree!

5- Here’s the perfect pair of Hunter Boots to go with that new Chambray dress of yours! I got my Hunters about 5 years ago and I think I’m due for a new pair. I never thought I would wear them as much as I did. Expensive but so worth it.

6- My mom makes most of my hats but I got my sight on this one. I must have been a Kate Spade handbag or something in my previous life because I’m attracted to EVERYTHING this company does. Cute and warm hat for crisp Fall days.

7- Talking about gorgeous handbag, I’ve got my sight on this one. The color is AMAZING… and again, just gorgeous with the Chambray dress or paired down with comfy jeans and a soft knit! And yes, from Kate Spade. Like, I could totally see this color as a lipstick, right?!

8- I’m all about Pompoms, I just can’t get enough. And when I spotted this JCrew girl sweater, I immediately imagined my fictional daughter wearing this!

9- In my opinion, pink is and will ALWAYS be in… and this dusty pink and cream combo screams “Let’s take a walk”. Well you know what, enough with the browsing, this time I’m buying! I really need this one since my workplace is always freezing cold. So why not be warm, comfy and cute at the same time with this RW&Co pink cardigan with suede patches.

I’m kind of in a crimson/plum/dusty rose mood palette this season and I can’t wait to start wearing my new vest to work. So, now that back to school shopping is done… it’s time to think about Fall activities and Halloween costumes! I just love Fall and this weather and the colder nights, and I think September will be a great one. Happy early Fall my fellow lemon friends!

 

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