christmas eve eve

Excitement is in the air, stores are full and we are ready to party!  It’s Christmas Eve eve and our household could not be more excited about the next couple of days!

We got our Christmas cards done in time, the cake is ready, all the presents are wrapped up and we are listening non-stop to Christmas music!

The boys got to go to Brian’s workplace this morning while I slept in, tidy up the place and went for some last minute errands.  Once we all got back home, it was time to decorate our store bought gingerbread cookies (no time for the real deal this year)… but so what… as long as we got sugar and candies, right?  And boy we did!  I think that more icing sugar went into the boys than on the cookies!  I gave them little paintbrushes for helping spread the icing… by then end, they were painting themselves… fail!

I found some of the cutest Rudolph’s gingerbread at Bulk Barn… and I had high hopes for these pretty cookies… but no, it seems like we have no future in cookie decorating!  At least they’re delicious!

So tonight for Christmas Eve eve, we are staying in, watching Home Alone and Elf for probably the 500 times this month (but for the last time this Holiday season, I swear), while finding one last thing for our Elf Willy to do before he leaves for the North Pole tomorrow, until next December.

Wishing you all a great Christmas week, with all the food, the drinks and the signing that makes the Holidays so special.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is signing loud for all to hear

Continue Reading

elf problems

I love traditions, old and new.  Especially when it comes to special occasions and holidays.  And one thing I love about Christmas or about the time leading to Christmas is our Elf on the Shelf.  I really do.  Our boys are really into it, trying to be nice and all because the elf is watching them on behalf of Santa…

But this year, Willy –yeah, our elf’s name is Willy after the elf that falls in love with Elizabeth Bank in the movie Fred Claus– is causing me more trouble than I can manage!  (That little f*cker!)

I bought our Willy in the States before the elf craziness on Facebook when I was pregnant with Liam.  I loved the story behind it, loved the thousand ways you can plan for his next move and I really wanted one in my house for his first Christmas.  My kids are in the middle of all the magical things that surrounds Christmas and I couldn’t love it more… except that because of this freaking little Elf, our house can’t sleep anymore!

I’ve never had any problems putting the boys to bed or keeping them there.  But since December 1st, boy oh boy, I’m lacking sleep.  Logan is either stressed or super excited, but he wakes up at night saying he saw Willy the Elf playing in his room, flying around or putting something in is advent calendar mitten…

Yep, we have a advent calendar mitten ‘tradition’; I know, another one… but this is such a great one that the boys just love!  I’ve never really been a fan of the chocolate calendar, and I guess Brian figured that one out as he didn’t get me the Chocolat Favoris advent calendar I specifically told him I really wanted… oh well!  So for the boys, instead of the usual advent chocolate calendar, my mom made them a string of mini mittens with number 1 to 24 on them that I’ve attached to the headboard of their bed –they are GORGEOUS– and every night, Willy brings them a treat if they’ve been good… just a tiny little treat, a toy, candy or thingy.  It’s a hit!  So in the morning, the first thing they do is look in their mitten for their treat, then they run through the house to go find Willy, and then they eat their little chocolate from their chocolate calendar that my mom got them… Yes, we now have 3 morning rituals and it’s killing me!

So half the time, somewhere between 11pm and 4 am, one of them is either looking for a treat in the next day mitten, or looking for the elf, or coming to our room asking us why there’s still nothing in their mitten as they’re pretty sure they were nice the day before…. SHUT UP and go to bed!!!!!!! Well I don’t say that, I actually tell them that I don’t know when Willy’s going to come, but that if they don’t sleep when he comes to their room, then he won’t go and there’ll be no treat in the morning!  So they happily go back to sleep…until couple hours later when the other one comes swearing he just saw the elf flying over his bed!!!

So we’re at day-14 now and here’s what we’ve learn so far:

1- Logan lies about seeing the elf flying in his room

2- 5am chocolate feeding = meltdown before 7

3- Next year, no chocolate calendar OR chocolate treats in the mittens due to the now almost-daily-morning-meltdown

4- You can bribe them and get pretty much ANYTHING you want with an Elf

5- Elf nightmares are real: ‘no Liam, your brother didn’t kidnapped Willy and TOUCHED him during the night to kill its magic’… yeah, that wonderful crisis happened 2 nights ago when Liam started crying at 3am saying Willy was gone for good because Logan had just touched him!

I like I said, I LOVE our Elf Willy and I hope the boys will continue to believe in its magic and laugh every morning while trying to find him for many more years to come, but man… this year, Willy brought way more trouble than I wished-for when I got him 6 years ago!!!

Do you have an Elf?  What’s the worst thing your Elf did?  As I am fishing for some inspiration!!!

Continue Reading

christmas spirit giveaway

To all my-lemon-drop-life followers, it’s time for my first giveaway!  YAY!

Some of you know that I’ve been using and preaching for Young Living essential oil for almost 2 years now. I just love it! I will soon post a blog on my favorite oils, on how I use them and why I love them so much.  I have two diffusers in my home that I use daily, and I can’t wait to add more. I need one per room!

I want to share my love for essential oils and why not start with the best one of the season: ‘Christmas Spirit’. It’s a hard one to get, as it gets sold out in just a few hours every time it becomes available, but I got one for you! So this awesome festive essential oil can be yours! All you have to do is subscribe to my blog (if you haven’t already) and share one of my Christmas blog posts on Facebook (Ian Christmas Adventure Park, Snowman Lasagna or Hot Cocoa Recipe). The more you share, the best are your chances to win!

The winner will be picked on December 15th and I will send you the prize so you can enjoy it by Christmas time!

If you want more information about essential oils, let me know; I can also order some for you if you are interested in trying it.

Thanks for your support and constant encouragements. And thank you for looking at my blog, I’m having so much fun doing this so far!

Continue Reading

o christmas tree

a16

Christmas tree, hot cocoa and reindeer’s… all favorites of mine!  All found at one of my favorite places: Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park.

I always wanted to see real reindeer’s, you know like the one Mariah Carey pets in her Christmas album… well I found them at this beautiful Christmas Tree Farm!

When Liam was one and Logan only a few months old, I started to search for Christmas Tree Farms in our region. We always had real Christmas Trees that we bought from a local merchant, but that year I wanted to go out and cut our own tree and take pictures with the kids. So I found many places where you could cut your own tree, but the most interesting one of them all was definitely that cute place I found in Beckwith, ‘just outside of Ottawa’ I told Brian.

a6

I remember Brian not being really enthusiastic about going there the first time.  He did complain for most of the drive there, saying he couldn’t believe we were driving 2 hours to get a tree… but last weekend marked the 5th year in a row that we go there on the first Saturday of December to get our Christmas Tree, and now it has become a family tradition that he wouldn’t miss. Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park is not that far, it’s about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa, so one hour from home.  But I would easily drive 3 hours to get there, I just love this place!

a3

The family that owns the farm is the best.  They make you feel like old friends. Remembering you, remembering your kids, and remembering that you want the biggest tree you can find!

The farm is huge, you can visit Santa workshop, you can skate, go through candy cane lane or a hay maze, tubing, warm up in a cabin or by the outside bonfire, all while sipping your hot cocoa.  Tractor wagon rides take you to one of the trees lots, where you will find your perfect tree, cut it, and then bring it home.  It’s never an easy job, these things are sturdy… and it’s quite a workout… well that’s what Brian tells me!

a9

We have a corny tradition… we look for the tree we want, and once we found it, we put little surprises under it for the boys to find.  We walk away for a minute or two, and then we bring them back closer to it so they can find the surprises and our tree by themselves… and that’s how they pick our tree every year!  They love it!  One year they found Rudolph and Clarice stuffed animals, then some Elf on the shelf ornaments.  They know they’ll find something for them when they spot our magic tree!  Last year, the magic even brought me some chocolate… I just loved it! (Thanks Mom)a4

The first couple times, we went with the boys, then the 3rd time we brought my Mom and Frank, last year Mom and Frank and Jojo and Lulu came; and this year Brian’s dad Joe was added to the group.  Just like Brian the first year, he couldn’t believe we were driving that far to get our tree, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be back next year!  We love to have our family with us.  It’s the perfect early December/holiday activity.

The best part for me are the reindeers.  They are gorgeous.  I could spend hours just looking at them.  The horns are spectacular.  We even got to bring 3 horns home in the last few years… perfect Christmas decorations!  We take a LOTS of picture, we laugh and we smile all day long!a23

a14

a22

Once we get home, we put the tree up, then Brian spends at least 20 minutes making sure it’s going to stay up (something we forgot do the first couple year!!!), and then while I prepare a big pasta diner for everyone, they all decorate our beautiful tree. Family is the best, Christmas is the best and Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park helps make the perfect memories.

You should definitely visit… the holidays aren’t even started yet and I can’t wait to go back to that place next year!

a13

a1

a8

a10

a12

a11

a17

a15

 

Continue Reading

snow, pj’s and an awesome hot cocoa recipe

Christmas PJ'SWell we got our first beautiful snow storm today, so I guess I can start with my holiday posts!

There’s nothing better than watching snow falling, listening to Christmas music, in your pj’s, close to a fire with awesome hot cocoa!

You already know I have a thing for matching pajamas, and this time, as a bonus, I even found the most awesome hats to go with them! I have to control myself, if not they’d be wearing them  everyday until Christmas!  Festive pj’s are a SERIOUS addiction of mine!

christmas pj's

I’ve got an amazing hot chocolate recipe for tonight, tomorrow or anytime during this great season that is upon us!  I even got the cutest little snowman marshmallow from Chapters!  This hot cocoa recipe is a rich, thick and delicious one. You may add some whipped cream and crushed candy cane for added deliciousness!

15078592_10154493716936293_8356752953268536180_n

What you need:

6 oz. of Chocolats Favoris milk chocolate (or Lindt or you favorite chocolate)

1 1\2 cups of 2% milk

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of corn starch

How to:

Melt chocolate with 3 tbs of milk on medium heat.

Once melted, add the rest of the milk, cocoa powder, sugar and warm up without boiling.

Mix the corn starch with 2 tbs of the milk in a small bowl until all the lumps have disappeared.  If you don’t like thick hot chocolate, skip this step.  It will still taste amazing!

Add the corn starch mix to the melted milk/chocolate concoction on the stove and keep on simmering until thick.

Once its coating a wooden spoon, it is ready!

Pour in your favorite Christmas cups, garnish and enjoy with the people you love most in your pj’s!

Christmas PJ'S

15042247_10154490169781293_3837113734367401368_o

img_4407

Hot cocoa

Christmas pj's

Christmas PJ'S

 

 

Continue Reading

brunch, harry potter style

hp13

When I read; I dream!  So when I read Harry Potter, I was really into it, like as if I lived the Hogwarts life…  I imagined myself with them, the 4 of us, going through all of these adventures together, living the sorcerer’s life, while being Hermione’s BFF!  I was flying on my broom in Quidditch match, sleeping in the Griffindor dorm, while, of course, using as much as possible my very own wand… I just love those dreams.

Well last Sunday, it was kind of one of my dream come true!

I’ve heard 3 weeks ago about some sort of Harry Potter Brunch in Montréal.  Googled it, saw how cool it looked, and knew right away I had to attend.

But of course, I’m not the only Harry fan, and the tickets were sold out; I was devastated.  Finally, they added a few more brunch date options, and, oh yeah, guess who got her 2 tickets!!!

Brian was nice enough to attend with me… he’s not into Harry at all… so, well, let say we were at the complete opposite end of the excitement chart going into that event.  So I didn’t asked him if we was dressing up, but I would have loved to!!!

We made it to the Old Montreal, and as soon as I saw a red-vintage-English-style phone booth outside a restaurant, I knew we found the place.  From outside, le restaurant Les Intraitables is just so beautiful and elegant, but as soon as we made it inside, that’s when the fun began.  The place was turned into the Great Hall, with floating candles, long black tables, house flags and overflowing food!

hp1

Some people were dress like Hogwart students, some like certain characters, and then there was Lord Voldermort.  Once we were all seated, ready for our brunch, he came down the stairs with a HUGE snake.  A real snake.  From afar I was okay, but then he came closer, and closer, until he was standing right over my head… that when my knees started shaking.  Lord Voldermort was a VERY good actor.  He never cracked, and played the role to the perfection.  He could see that I was not enjoying this, yet he came inches from my face, so I close my eyes, but as soon as I opened them, he was right there and HISSED loudly right at me.  He surprised me, he scared the shit out of me, and of course I screamed as loud as I could have!

hp10

Then we enjoyed a delicious brunch, waffles, sausages, ham, quiche, meat pies, squash potatoes with bacon, croissant, chocolate croissant and for dessert, donuts, pumpkin bites and the best chocolate frogs ever!  Always eating while looking out for him as he was going up and down the stairs.

So the second time he came back, I was not looking at him, at all, I didn’t move, hoping he’d just ignore me, but no, that evil piece of sh*t stayed right behind me for a very long time, waiting for me to turn around, which I didn’t do, but which I should have done, cause I can honestly say that I thought I was going to die when he started petting my hair…

hp8

I do NOT like my hair to be touched by anybody,  Especially not by him.  Brian was laughing at first, but that’s when I saw in his eyes that he was becoming less and less comfortable and that he started to move away from me that it was not Voldermort hand playing in my hair anymore, but that fuckin python right on my head.  I had chills, I screamed, I was just terrified.  I still can’t believe that happened to me.

But then, I rewarded myself with a Butter Beer (the one for students of course!!!).  I was excited about it as I didn’t get the chance to have one when we visited Hogsmade in Orlando 2 years ago… It was delicious!

Overall, it was such a fun and very well organized activity.  I heard they may have a Harry Potter Christmas ball!!!  If they do, I know I’ll be there, with Voldermort present or not.  Until then, I’ll continue flying and playing wizard in my dreams… Wingardium Leviosa!

hp11

hp14

hp12

hp9

hp7

hp4

hp6

hp3

hp2

Continue Reading

the one with the thanksgiving

14695588_10154399511696293_823517830764520947_n

When I was younger, I remember patiently waiting for Thanksgiving to watch the series Friends special-themed episode; they were just the best.  From The one with the Thanksgiving, to my ultimate favorite Friends episode, The one with the rumor when Brad made a guest-star appearance as a member of the I-hate-Rachel-Club.  Friends… best series ever.  I need to do a marathon and watch them all over again!

So, this year for Thanksgiving, there was no Friends themed episode, Brad and Angelina got divorced, which is really sad, even for a Team Rachel gal, but it didn’t stopped me from having a really great time!

We had a beautiful weekend ahead of us and so much to do; which started with a Friday night Pizza-night.  We would watch movies and eat pizza every Friday if we could!  On Saturday we had lots of errands to run and then 2 birthday parties to attend, as matante Lulu turned 67 and Brian’s goddaughter Méliane turned 7.  It’s always great to see friends and family!

Sunday morning rolled in and we were out the door by 8:30.  The boys had their first race, the Cumberland Fall Colours 1K Turkey Trot.  They were so happy to finally get a medal.  They were smiling, sprinting and reaching for that finish line both wearing their turkey hats!  They were surely the cutest there!!!  I think they’ll remember their bib numbers forever!  I met up with my friend Jannick for the 5km race, boy oh boy I was NOT ready.  The weather was perfect, beautiful country setting, leaves all kinds of colors, but those hills were killing me.  Well, the first hill killed me, then I walked through the other ones!  I wasn’t done my first mile that I wanted to quit.  Jannick was chatty, smiling and having a blast while I could hardly walk, let alone run!  We finally did it, in a time frame that I’m not too proud of, but we had fun, and we weren’t the last!

14705709_10154399511621293_2359739302309833351_n

14657285_10154399511136293_5948739667238115559_n

14671330_10154399511426293_9137862130896196274_n

14671359_10154399509721293_2142690994961464293_n

We went home for a quick nap and then it was Turkey Time, so we drove to my mom’s place, ready to spend time with my siblings.  The boys and their cousins played outside, hide and seek with flashlights, watched movies and sang happy birthday to the turkey!  We shared a delicious meal with the most amazing cake for dessert.  Played a few games of cards, had a few laughs, and then called it a night.

14729173_10154399510856293_7642637560466332948_n

14666247_10154399510641293_7137179086018623802_n

Monday was for lounging, decorating the house, watching Halloween movies and picking up our pumpkins, where we went in our festive pj’s and danced our way through the aisles full of pumpkins.  We picked our favorite ones and brought them home.  I’m sharing this video of Liam dancing while shopping for our pumpkins, it’s hilarious!  If you know my son, you know it’s out of his character to do this, but thanks to the Boomerang app, he’s dancing non-stop now!

14705762_10154399510511293_4817082106964846902_n

14563414_10154399510396293_7879195382228091944_n

CLICK HERE TO SEE LIAM DANCING

Hope you had a great time and that your pants still fits after all that food.  That’s why you need some Joey’s Thanksgiving pants on Thanksgiving!

14717096_10154399509696293_5607610732560034521_n

Continue Reading

beau’s oktoberfest

ok19

2016 Beau’s Oktoberfest: what a weekend!

Where to begin, or where to stop?  There’s so much I’d like to say.  I’d like to go on and on and tell you every little detail about our so much fun first weekend of Fall… but let’s not talk too much about the I-had-too-much-to-drink stories from my friends and husband, and let me go through my very own experience!

ok12

So, for the second year in a row, Brian and I attended Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill.  Definitely one of our favorite weekend of the year; last year in a cold weekend of October, and this year in a great September/Fall weekend.  We met lots and lots of people, friends and family over the 2 day-Craft beer festival.  It amazes me how many people attended; the Vankleek Hill Fairground seemed to be at full capacity by Saturday afternoon, filled with interesting people, so many wearing Lederhosen or fun costumes, thousands wearing green feathered hat, with all of them holding their Beer Steins, well of course, all of them except me!

ok20

For those who don’t know, I don’t drink beer, not at all, nor any other types of booze, so some people may be wondering why I was so excited to spend my weekend with drunk people, and what was I looking forward to at this all-you-can-drink-fest?  Well let me tell you one thing, there are plenty of reasons why I just love Beau’s Oktoberfest!!!

ok24

First, the atmosphere is amazing.  You just can’t understand until you’ve actually been there.  It’s a tiny-little-cute-and-old village hosting a really big event, it’s amazing.  We had gorgeous weather for being outside all weekend long.  But what makes this a truly unique experience, it’s that every details seem to be just perfectly thought of.  Beau’s goes above and beyond for this event: orange flags everywhere, lights, great live music’s, School of Bock, keg tossing and tug of war competitions, beautifully designed signs for everything, an awesome Midway Game tent for hours of fun (where Brian won 60$ at an illegal pichenotte game some stranger had organized on Friday night), great merchandise to buy, including Beau’s very own Beer Steins, as well as way too many different craft beers to count… but for me, my fun started with the AMAZINGLY AWESOME FOOD!

ok25ok10ok23

Let me start by saying that I did not eat all that food, but I pretty much tasted everything!!!

In first place: The Hintonburg Public House seed-to-sausages-jalapeno-and-cheese-curds-smokie-corn-dog with Beau’s beer mustard!!!  I had it last year and it’s still my favorite.  I want one NOW.

Second place goes to my friend Pascale from Pascale’s All Natural Ice cream.  Everything she does is magic.  From the best hot chocolate that I drank all weekend long in my very own vintage Beer Stein to the tastiest Beer nuts ice cream on a stick.  I would love to be trap in one of her freezers!

And third place goes to Vert Fourchette.  Always decadent food, their Bavarian smoked grilled cheese with caramelized beer onions is simply crazy.  I also had their Pulled pork poutine with German ice box slaw.  So so good!

ok29

We also shared all these next items and they are so worth mentioning: Belmont should’ve probably been in the top 3, but since I only had a bite, it’s hard to say, so let’s say we got a tie in third place!  But next year I’ll make sure to have a full one: It was called The Hot Mess.  And it was… Deep fried mac and cheese with Lug Tread gravy, crispy chicken skins and cheese curds.  I can still feel my arteries clogging after one bite, but what a great bite that was!  Urban Tandoor Indian Cuisine had great butter chicken with rice.  We also had a few Chez Piggy sausages and hot dogs.  Miam!  And Brian had the Vittoria Trattoria Fish croquette drizzled with spicy mustard sauce.  Of course no beer fest is complete without pretzels.  Two Bite Sweet, I’m not sure how you guys managed to bake so many pretzels in 2 days, but Oh Boy these are good!

ok17ok27ok13

As for the Craft Beer, well I can’t say much, but let say that people around me drank PLENTY and they just LOVED it.  There’s some for everybody’s taste buds and wildest dreams.  Sometimes I wish I drank beer so I could drink Beau’s craft beer, as I love everything about this local brewery.  They have the best label art ever, a great terrace and weekend menu for everyone to enjoy, they care about our community, and of course: ‘they make the best beer ever’ Brian says.

ok30

This weekend was the best.  Cutest hats, great people, many many cheers, and even more laughs.  We can’t wait for the 2017 Beau’s Oktoberfest.

Cheers followers!

ok18

ok28

ok22

ok21

14520561_10154332918171293_4580302627270336368_n

ok26

ok3

ok2

14462765_10154332918311293_1724621394714701226_n

ok11

ok16

ok5

Continue Reading

i heart fall…and a bucket list

14344719_10154315537831293_7321127485979552617_n

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me: Fall is my favorite season of all!!!  I love every season for different little things…but Fall, oh how I just love you.

I don’t particularly like orange or black or brown, but to mix these colors together, to put a sweater on, and to turn the calendar page to October; makes my heart swoon!

Pumpkin waffle candles, pumpkin spice lattes, leaves changing color, and my new hat knitted by my mom: I’m ready for you Fall!

The boys have definitely inherited my love for anything Fall.  Their list of costumes is already a mile long and they’re longing for the day the first leave will fall.  Picking out pumpkin is always a blast.  I could spend hours carving them, actually, I DO spend hours carving pumpkins!!!  Our Halloween movies are all lined up, and I have to admit, we already watched all of our favorite one at least once (I may or may not have watched Hocus Pocus 8 times since the beginning of September).

14370007_10154313030946293_5640237555251960537_n

This year, I made a bucket list.  We have so many things we want to do this fall, so this chalkboard is keeping us on track!

What is your favorite Fall activity?  Or do you have something great for Fall in your region that we should check out.  Our costumes are almost ready…are you?  Just kidding, I know you’re not crazy like me; it’s not even October yet!

14432983_10154313031371293_5545313835183872730_n

14344119_10154313031076293_7965174152607706357_n

 

DISCLAIMER:  Matching pajamas are a MUST for all HOLIDAYS.

Continue Reading

apples

ap2

Wet grass, crisp air, sunshine, another beautiful day picking delicious apples.  It’s a tradition I love and will never grow old of.

I just love the early morning, apple picking session.  Not too crowded, peaceful and plenty of space to take way too many pictures, of course!

ap5

Ap4

The kids loved the fact that they could pick their own apples.  They were looking to find branches with the most apples on them.  And they were not too delicate; sanpping some branches, throwing the apples in the bag, and then running off to find the next big one and do it again!  Let’s just say I have lots of bruised apples to make pies with!

For the second year in a row, we went to the Orleans Fruit Farm.  I love it!  Not too far from home, beautiful place, a cute playground and acres to run free.

They have fresh fruits and vegetables, amazing apple cider and some local honey.  We went home with lots of goodies!  Orleans Fruit Farm have the best location, and a gorgeous scenery, old buildings and the perfect barn to take amazing pictures.

We can’t wait to go back, hopefully before the season ends.    If you’re from the National Capital Region, you should definitly go!

Here’s a few pictures from last weekend.

ap8

ap7

ap12

ap1

ap13

ap9

ap6

 

 

 

Continue Reading