my kind of fest

Short and savory post!

Yesterday evening, with the most beautiful weather, we decided at the last minute to go to my new best festival EVER: PoutineFest!  Oh yeah, you read that right… a festival dedicated to my favorite food, POUTINE!

If you’re in the Ottawa region this weekend, and like poutine, then you have to visit Sparks Street.  Right in the heart of Ottawa, food trucks are lined up, waiting for you, and serving all sorts of poutine.  Brian picked me up after work and we drove downtown with the boys.  As soon as we arrived, we could smell all of that fried food!  I’m a cheap date, you know, since I don’t drink, but if you want to make me happy, buy me a poutine!

With so many choices to choose from, it was hard to decide which one to try.  Plus the boys were getting hungry, so we went for a food truck with a short line.  It turned out to be a really good decision, as it was delicious.

I had deep-fried-curds poutine… I wouldn’t say it was ‘good’, I’d describe it better as saying it was ‘life changing’!  OMG.  Brian had an onion ring poutine, which looked really good as well, but WTF… ketchup on a poutine?  Sometimes I just don’t understand him… oh well.

So we got our poutine from the Golden Fries truck.  The boys had some fries, Pogos and donuts.  Well, I might have had a few donuts as well!

Next time, I want to go with lots of people who can order all kinds of poutine and share.  Here’s some of the type of poutine you can find on Sparks Street this weekend:

-Cinco de Mayo Poutine

-Lobster Poutine

-Pad Thai Poutine

-Pulled Pork Poutine

-Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine

-Deep Fried Cauliflower Poutine

-mini donuts and more!

So if you have a bit of free time this weekend, it’s quick and fun.  Spring as arrived and finally we can spend some time outside; so why not spending it downtown Ottawa eating a poutine while sitting on the sidewalk (yeah, there’s not many option when it comes to sitting and enjoying your poutine… so we picked an open spot on the sidewalk and ate there).  Go have fun and eat an amazing poutine!  If you do, let me know which one you had and if it was worth it!

Have a great weekend!

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earth day

Earth Day was more like Earth week at our place!  And that’s a good thing!
We started to celebrate Earth Day more and more over the last couple of years, and now we’ve started to educate our babies to do the same.
With everything happening in the world, I believe that it’s up to each and everyone one of us to do our part.  And I know I still don’t do enough, but I try hard, and I know that in the end, trying is better that not doing anything.  And I encourage everyone to keep trying!
It’s fun to see the schools involved.  Last week, Liam’s classroom had to bring a flashlight to school to read.  They closed all the lights and spent some time with older students reading to them.  A few weeks ago, I was looking at Pinterest with Liam and we saw some Earth cupcakes.  He asked me if we could do some.  So last week, we whipped up 80 cupcakes that I sent to their classroom!  I remember how I loved it when my mom was baking stuff for my school friends, so I decided to do it as well; plus baking cupcakes is always fun and it makes me happy!

At my school, we had kindergarten students pick up trash in the rain.  The kids were so happy to jump in puddles all while cleaning in the community and surrounding areas.  We also had a day without trash, where no trash can were allowed and everything from their lunch bags had to be recycled or composted.  It’s a great way to teach kids about taking care of our beautiful planet.
At home, the kids love to do chores (for stickers, that later turns into treats), so lately I’ve started to let them sort out the recycling.  We did Earth hour a few weeks back where we all gathered in my bed and read books with a flashlight;  the only problem is that I found out the next day that we did it one day late!  Oh well, you know what, we still made a difference that day, I think… but even if we didn’t, the kids think they did, and they now start to understand that these things are important and make a difference, and teaching them THAT, will, one day, make a difference.  And THAT counts.

So this year for Earth day, we planted a tree.  A PINK one.  Of course I picked out a pink tree!  Brian was playing golf with some friends when I decided to go to our local greenhouse and pick out our next tree with the kids.  I paid for it and told them my husband would come and pick it up later that day.  Our front lawn maple tree was getting sick, and then last year we were told it was slowly dying.  By mid-September it had no more leaves in it, and this spring, it had absolutely no buds.  So when Brian pulled in the street with the pink tree coming out is 4Runner tailgate window, yeah, some of the neighbors made fun of him, but I bet there’ll be more pink trees on my street by the end of the week!  It is so beautiful!

We also planted some veggies, flowers and strawberries in the backyard.  The boys love to play outside, and in the dirt; they made houses for worms and caterpillars, played with chalk, and made some feeders for the birds.  We finally all helped Brian cut our maple tree and dig a hole for the new pink tree.  By the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but it was all worth it.  The best part for the boys was probably watering the plants (and themselves)!  But they still took their jobs seriously!

So did you do your part for Earth Day?  Please share if you have any tricks to help our planet!

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yearly girls getaway

It was our fifth anniversary this year… every year we plan, we book, we prepare what we need to bring and then we leave our families for an ENTIRE weekend!  Last weekend was our annual girl-only-spa-weekend-getaway!

We have one rule: never go to the same place twice… but I have to admit that this might change next year as this year’s location was almost perfect!

So back in January, we all met and started to look at the available deals online.  We previously went to St-Sauveur, Mont Tremblant, Montréal, and Québec city, but this year we all really needed/wanted to relax, so we decided to go somewhere more on the ‘country side’ where we wouldn’t be tempted to go out as much; and Fiddler’s Lake was the perfect fit for what we had in mind.

Friday morning we dropped off our kids to school, and on our way we were!  Our first stop was Ofuro spa in Morin Heights.  A Zen-like spa, with Nordic baths, relaxation zones and massages.  It was rainy/snowy, and we felt like we had the place to ourselves.  After 5 hours of total relaxation, we picked up food and drinks for the weekend out and headed to the cottage.  As soon as we got there, we were already in love with the place.  It was huge and luxurious, but with a country look to it, three bedrooms, and floor to ceiling windows with a beautiful view of the nature and trees that were surrounding us.  To make this place even more awesome, we had our very own outside sauna and spa just to ourselves.

On our first night we ended up eating comfort food, watching old music videos and singing crappy songs!  We made a gigantic nacho platter, my ‘famous’ guacamole, and some wings.  And then, as full as we already were, we still decided to heat up a Chocolats Favoris chocolate fondue can with some fruits around midnight!

Ok, so it looks like all we do is sit and eat.  But there’s more to that.  Every year, we set up some personal goals to achieve.  Anything goes.  Last year, I wanted to create a blog (check!) run half a marathon (10km is a half marathon right???) and start up playing guitar again.  So clearly, the blog part got done, the guitar, not so much but I started playing piano again with Liam.  So it’s almost the same…or so I kept telling myself.  As for the half marathon, I just added it to the 2017 list!  We also share our favorite products we discovered throughout the year.  It’s so funny, we never know what’s in store!

Saturday morning, without any kids to wake us up, we all slept in.  Which means we were up by something like 7:30!  It was nice though to spend a lazy morning in our pj’s until 10 and then go out and jump in the spa.  We stayed in there for 3 hours, then had some cheese and charcuterie for lunch.  Then, well of course, it was nap time.  It’s harder to nap when you hear your girlfriends talk and want to sit there and have fun with them, as I didn’t want to miss a thing… but my vacation-mode-laziness and crave for a nap took over… so yeah, I ended up taking a short hour nap, and then went back outside in the spa for another 2 hours or so.  God it felt good.  And it was all we needed, a lazy no rush day with nothing planned, with sunshine, a nap, and all of us lounging in our pj’s.

After a day-long of doing nothing but relaxing, we all got dressed up and ready to go for diner in Saint-Sauveur.  I had the best Goat Cheese salad ever and then some pasta.  It was nice to be out but all we wanted to do was to go back to the cottage and enjoy some more time in our spa (where we spent another 2 hours that night!!!).

You know what, as much as I love love love my spa weekend, at some point I think about my boys and wonder what they are doing and what’s happening at home.  I just love being at home.  I was a stay at home Mom for almost 4 years and not one day I wished I was elsewhere.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always so excited to leave on this little getaway, but a part of me sometime makes me miss them.  At least I know they’ll have an awesome time with my husband!  So before I left, I packed up their little suitcases for the weekend and prepared them some snacks.  This year, they had a sleepover at my mother-in-law on the Friday, and then on the next day, the 3 of them met with my girlfriends’ husband and kids for a playdate that turned into another sleepover.  Our four husbands, with our 9 kids, under one roof, with countless pillows and blankets, chips and candy, and I’m pretty sure without any curfew!  It must have been quite the evening…  Even I wouldn’t tackle such a task!  But my boys were pretty excited to tell me all about their last minute sleepover at their friends and their ‘party without Mommy’!  Apparently it’s happening again next year.  We’ll see about that!

So, back to us at the cottage!  The next morning came by way too quickly.  We packed up our things, tried to find a nice terrace for lunch, only to find hot dogs and poutine!  We did a bit of shopping, and then we were on our way…

It’s always fun to go away but there’s nothing like coming home.  I was greeted by my babies with more kisses than I could have asked for, and that was the best thing ever.

Now it’s all over, and I can’t wait to plan our next getaway.  I really hope we get to do this every year.  I just love spending some relaxing time with my girlfriends; we’ve all changed so much since University, and we sometimes don’t see each other’s enough, but in the end, we’re still the same we’ve always been: just an amazing and truly unique crew that loves spending time together, doing nothing else than alternating between our pj’s and couch and our bathing suits and spa for an entire day!

On my list of places to visit for our annual getaway: Lake Placid, Niagara on the lake, New York and Las Vegas!  Let’s see where we go next time!!!

2016
2016 Cache a Maxime
2016 Québec
2016 Québec

 

2015 Montréal
2015 Montréal
2015 Mont Tremblant

 

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easter, we’re ready for you

I am so ready for the extra-long weekend that Easter brings!  We always have a jam-packed weekend, and this year if no different.  Shopping on Good Friday with Jojo, followed by a no-meat-family-dinner at Lulu’s with fish, omelets and poutine!  On Saturday we’re celebrating Easter at my Mom’s with a nice Prime Rib, and Sunday is our annual Chicken N’ Rib feast at Brian’s mom.

The boys are ready to have a few days off, and so am I.  They’re anxious for the Egg Hunt on Saturday and all the chocolate they’re about to eat this weekend (and so am I!)

So here’s a few pictures of a few dessert options for this weekend.  Easy, fun and delicious!  My boys love to bake with me, and they love all the icing colors and sprinkle; cupcake decorating is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen!  Must be because they get to eat so much sugar while doing it!

As much as I love chocolate, I try to mix it up when it comes to the Easter Basket; and the boys already get so much chocolate from others at Easter.  I always get them summer stuff, like Crocs or shoes, pj’s, books or movies, and of course one candy.  I also try to make one for my husband, so I guess this year he knows what he’s having: Beau’s beer, t-shirt and chocolate!  Maybe I should post here what I want in my basket?!!

So, what’s your favorite Easter tradition?  And your favorite Easter treat?

Remember to have fun this weekend, to spend time with your family, and to drive safe.  Happy Easter everyone!

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keep calm and eat maple taffy

They’re a tiny little gap I enjoy every year between winter and spring; and it’s called Sugar Shack time!  So every year, since as far as I can remember, I went to the Sugar Shack, always on a Saturday night, and always with family and friends, to enjoy some of the finest maple syrup you can find!

I know most of you go yearly, but I’m pretty sure that some of mylemondroplife followers have no clue what I’m talking about!  So, at the end of winter, the maple trees release some maple sap.  You collect and boil it.  It then thicker and becomes something marvelous: Maple Syrup!  It’s basically Buddy the Elf’s dream come true from the Christmas movie ‘Elf’!

So two weeks ago we met up with my family at one of our favorite Sugar Shack and tried to eat as much as possible. Such an easy task!  Before we ate, we enjoyed a nice horse wagon ride in a maple tree forest.  The boys learned all about the syrup and they counted way too many cans.  I love wagon rides, I wish they would last longer.

This year, we got to meet my cousin’s so adorable brand new daughter Evely and had time to chat up with some relatives we hadn’t seen in a while!  We also ate copious amount of ‘bajoues’, or pork jowls!  These are definitely Brian’s favorite.  I always end up bringing some in my purse for him to eat later.  On top of that, there’s also omelet, ham, bacon, potatoes, sausages, and various pickled jars.  It doesn’t seem sooo special when you say it like that, but the difference it that at the Sugar Shack you don’t just eat all that food; you eat all that food with maple syrup poured on top of it and all over your plate!

I have a tip for you.  The Sugar Shack has so many deserts, but you should always go for the pancake AND sugar pie.  Combined them together and you’ll have the best desert ever!!!  All you need to do is scrap off some of the sugar filling from the pie and spread it on the pancakes!  To die for!

The boys had been great up until it was time to taste the maple taffy.  Then it was all downhill from there, with them doing things they would have never even thought of doing with a normal level of sugar!  So we decided to go burn off some of that energy at grandma’s!

Usually, during the March break, I do maple taffy at home.  We all love it.  The boys love to watch the sugar boiling and becoming syrup; and then we spread it on snow and enjoy.  There’s always a fight for who gets the first piece, but it’s not too long before everybody’s full of sugar and happy anyway!

Hope you’ll get a chance to visit a Sugar Shack this year.  And if you do, don’t forget what I told you about the desert!  You’ll think of me and want to thank me as soon as you take that first bite of that pancake!

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plenty of fish

So Friday night I was alone with the boys and we started talking about the month of April and that tomorrow was going to be April’s Fools day.  They didn’t really know about it and how it was about playing tricks on people and fishies!  We decided right then that we would celebrate ‘Fish Day’ on Saturday.

At 6:40 am the next day, we we’re busy tracing, cutting and drawing all kinds of fish.  We made a mural with more than 40 fishes and made special ones for the people we love.  Also found some fish t-shirt we already had and then we were ready for some food.

We made a cake and some individual fish pizza (themed pizza is my go-to food activity, I feel like we can make everything with a pizza and it’s always a hit)!

Then it was practice time, they had no clue how to stick a fish on other people’s back!  It was so much fun watching them practice for the real thing… they just seem not to get that you had to be subtle when trying to stick the fish!  After a while they got better, but once our family started to arrive, they were too shy to stick it to them!  So I guess we have a bit more practice to do for next year.

So it was a spur of the moment kind-a-day and we had so much fun!  Not everything needs to be planned ahead, make it happen and have fun.  That’s what it’s all about anyway!

Have an awesome month of April and enjoy spring time!

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