cruising straight to halloween

It’s almost time! Halloween is upon us! And we are READY!!!

The candies have been bought, the decorations have been up for a while, we have a regular requests for Halloween pajama comes bedtime, and now we have a daily Halloween parade happening every night in our house, cause I am FINALLY done with their Cars costumes! Although I’ve spent a lot of time making some pretty amazing Halloween costumes for my friends and I over the years, especially back in our early twenty’s when we would go out all night on Halloween night and win prizes, well this year’s costumes will definitely go down as the most time consuming, space taking and glue gunning costumes EVER. If the kids complain about the weight of their costumes, I’m blaming it on the glue! And then I’m telling them to shut up and forcing them to wear it a little more! (I’d like to specify that I won’t really be doing that; got to be careful with humor nowadays).

So, I’ve always been Cars obsessed, like, ever since the first movie came out… and this was one of the first Pixar movie I’ve showed the boys… and just like me, they’ve been in love with McQueen and his friends since. But last year, our love for Cars grew to a whole new level after we visited Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. So, since going to Disney, with the last Cars movie coming up last summer, it basically was a McQueen year at our house with Cars everywhere. I knew the second I saw a boxed costume of McQueen on Pinterest that I needed to step up my glue-gunning-skills and get to work. Cause after all, I needed 2 cars.

Back in August, I loaded my house with huge cardboard boxes I was able to find, and then invaded my kitchen with fabrics and all kinds of crafty thing I knew I’d need for this project. Now that they’re done, I can say I am in LOVE with how they turned out; just not sure it was worth the 15 hours it took to make each of them. Yep, I guess I really love Cars and craft and Halloween to spend that much time on DIY kids costumes. But I mostly did it before the admiring eyes of my boys, looking at it every steps of the way (probably wondering when it would actually look like Cars!), sometimes helping me, so it was all worth it!

Liam wanted to be Cruz Ramirez, and Logan, his beloved Lightning. So after many hours of works, last Sunday morning, both cars were finally declared done and ready for a test drive. One look at them riding their new cars and I knew it was well worth the mess. They kept on running and laughing and bumping each other, and then even agreed to go out to take pictures. Liam even asked me to put a Cars song on my cell phone and put it in his car to make like a car radio… so he was cruising while listening to the Cars soundtrack… I just love when they ask for small things like that that reminds me of things I would have also asked as a kid. He’s after my heart this one! He also requested a Cars Day. I guess I’m rubbing off on him! So now we’re planning to have one of those on November 7 when the new movie will be out on Blue Ray, so they can sit in their cars and watch the movie, Drive-In style!

But for now, we’ll continue to parade in our costumes, and you might even spot us on the streets, dancing and singing ‘Life could be a dream, life could be a dream, sha-boom, sha-boom’! All that, of course, while patiently waiting for October 31st for the real Lightning and Cruz parade. Hoping the next few days go by fast so I can eat some of my kids mini chocolate bars! Ka-Chow!!!

 

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mile high meringue pumpkin pie

So, my first ever Pumpkin Pie won a contest at work. Not too shabby for a first timer, right!

In the spirit of Fall, we were all invited to prepare a dessert using apples or pumpkin at work. Let’s just say that it was a sugar high Friday! So many desserts, so hard to decide which one to try, even harder choosing a winner. One of my favorite was a pumpkin-and-chocolate-brownie type of thing my friend Anne-Marie had made… and she even gave me some to bring home!!! So right there, I guess I was already a winner!

At first I was going to make my go-to Pumpkin Pop Tarts, but then had a craving for meringue… so I went on a hunt for a pumpkin pie with meringue recipe. Didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so had to improvise and ended up with my very own Mile High Meringue Pumpkin Pie.

Don’t attempt this if you’re in a hurry, as it’s time consuming. But next time your hosting, just pretend you’re Martha Stewart and make it, because your dessert will be worthy of a magazine cover.

Mile High Meringue Pumpkin Pie

What you need:

 

Crust:

store bough pie crust or even better, homemade

 

Filling:

3 large eggs

15 oz. Pumpkin Puree

1 cup of heavy cream

2 teaspoon cornstarch

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Meringue:

2 cups sugar

8 egg whites, room temperature

 

How to:

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Roll out crust on a lightly floured surfaced. Place crust in a 9 inches pie plate. Let the dough hang a bit on the side, it will shrink a bit while baking and you want to have lots of crust for this dessert. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust starts to golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling in a large bowl. Mix together the eggs, pumpkin puree, heavy cream, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.

Lower to oven to 325. Pour the pumpkin mix into the pie crust. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes. The middle may still be wobbly, but that’s ok! Remove from oven and let cool on a wired rack. When it’s room temperature, place in fridge for a few hours.

Now, for the meringue, use a heat proof bowl, like the one on your Kitchen Aid mixer and place over a saucepan filled with boiling water on the stove. Add the egg whites and sugar. Mix with whisk or hand held mixer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and then place on the Kitchen Aid. Mix for another 3 minutes on medium speed, then for 6 on high. It will look like marshmallow frosting. Soft, fluffy and delicious: DO NOT eat it all and keep some for the pie! Stack the meringue on the pie, making swirling motion. Using a kitchen blow torch, brown the meringue to a soft gold color. And voilà!

Your guests will be impressed, and so will you! It was my first attempt with meringue and I’m now an addict! Going to have to find new recipes with meringue, but since it’s October, for now I’ll keep on enjoying this delicious Pumpkin Pie.

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you’ve been booed plus a long weekend

Well, it’s been one of those week, or I should say month… as last Sunday I was hit with a second strep throat virus in less than 3 weeks. And this time it really kicked my ass. Let’s just say that the back-to-school-thing is rough this year. I’m happy that the kids are doing great in their new classes with their new teachers, but since I’ve already been sick twice, it hasn’t been as easy as anticipated. And although they normally understand that when Maman is sick they kind of have to leave me alone to rest a while, this time I almost lost it when, in the middle of a nap, I woke up, and we were 4 in my bed with everybody talking at the same time and jumping all around… that’s when I said to myself… why aren’t the meds stronger?!!! Yeah, well, just kidding; I guess.

So finally, by Friday night, I was feeling better, and while alone with the boys for the evening, I had a great idea for us. I’ve read about ‘Being Booed’ last year and decided to find out a bit more about it. “You’ve been BOOED” is a fun, festive and friendly way of doing the old “Knock and Run”! So I explained to the boys that we we’re going to do some fun Halloween filled baskets for our friends and leave them on their doorway, ring the bell, and then run away. And they LOVED it!

So as soon as we came back from school, they unpacked their backpack and then we made our way to Wal-Mart to get some Halloween baskets and treats. They spent lots of time picking out what their friends would like and what movie they wanted to give them. We found 5$ Halloween movies… hummmm, yeah, definitely a great find for our baskets! Bags of mini-chocolate bars and candies made filling our baskets quite easy.

Back home we unpacked everything we had bought, then wrote a little note to our friends explaining the process of being booed. The best part in my opinion is that our friends now have 2 days to deliver another basket to 2 other families. So it’s like the best kind of Halloween chain, ever!

Each boy chose a family, filled their basket with a Halloween movie, popcorn, candy, mini-chocolate bars, fun straws, glow sticks and more treats. They made sure they had enough lollipops for each kids in that family, so they wouldn’t fight. I love their little big hearts!

Once the baskets were filled, we hopped in the car and drove to our friends house. We pretended we were ghost-spies delivering treats. The boys were so stressed about being seen, it was hilarious. Logan was the first to deliver his package; climbed up the steps and placed the baskets on the doorstep, rang the bell and ran away like he had just robbed a bank. I should have made a video, it was so funny. Honestly, I don’t even think our friends were home but I’m not letting him know about that! Next turn, Liam. My little shy boy, who kept on saying “they will see me, I know they will see me” and then was giggling the entire time he was delivering his basket. He was crawling, made his way along the parking lot, climbed on the porch from the side of the house and then rang the bell. Poor little thing, so scared of getting caught… never seen him run so fast. I had park the car strategically so our friends couldn’t see it; and while we were waiting by the side of their house we heard their little excited and happy voices while they were opening their surprise package. It was Priceless! We jumped in the car, screamed of happiness that we had made it and succeeded at being ghost-spies… It was so much fun, next time we will be booing our neighbours! The boys felt so special doing this for their friends. So I hope you’ll Boo your friends too! It’s so much fun, and not just for the kids!!

On Saturday, we dropped the boys with their grandma for a family Thanksgiving dinner and sleepover while we attended my cousin Lydia’s wedding. We had a great time, ate tons of food and danced until every inch of my body was aching. She looked like a mystic princess, and for the first time EVER, I assisted a bride in cutting her wedding gown so she could dance more freely! Yep, while standing up on a chair, her mom cut her gown knee-high with a pair of scissor!

On Sunday we had a wedding brunch and then the boys proceeded to play with the wedding photo booth props (Mario Bros style). They were over the moon, and lucky them, my cousin told them they could bring it all back home! Then it was nap time for myself, golf for Brian, and finally a birthday/Thanksgiving dinner at aunt Lulu.

Oh how I love long weekends… so on Monday morning we stayed in our pj’s until noon, the boys played Super Mario while I watched some more Harry Potter and worked on the kids Halloween costumes (these will be my favorite homemade costumes ever) with a Fall scented candle burning while eating candies and those mini chip bags that are so addictive! Finally got all dressed up in something else than a pj and drove to my Mom’s for a second Thanksgiving dinner, watched the Red Sox game, made fun of Brian for being a little grumpy after they had lost, ate too much pie and got home extra tired.

Hope you had a great time with your families, I’m so thankful for mine, and for the 4-day week ahead!

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the great pumpkin

One of the best thing about blogging has to be the people you meet and the friends you make through the blog. You know, I’m really just doing this just for the fun of sharing our everyday adventures with everyone, but sometimes along the way, some of my readers reach out to me with questions, or for some help with a project or just for fun stuff they want to share with me, and I just love to hear what you girls have to say and respond to each of you.

So that’s how I came up with this weekend’s activity; as Nathalie, one of mylemondroplife follower, sent me a message a week ago to tell me about that pumpkin place I had to visit. I was really excited to hear about this, so I looked it up online and as soon as I opened their website I knew I’d love it and wanted to go right away. So this immediately became my priority #1 for the weekend. Hum, hello, do I want to spend the first weekend of October in a pumpkin fields, oh yes I do!

Came Saturday morning, I was so excited, and ready fairly early, but the boys had in mind to spend the day in their pj. Sorry to disappoint you guys, but this is pumpkin day, and ready or not, you are all coming with me anyway! Sometime it’s hard with the boys to get them excited with things like that… most of the times they end up having a blast, but it often starts with a little crisis at home before we leave. So we finally got all dressed up and left for Gatineau where we we’re going to “pumpkin heaven” I told them. Even that did not get anyone excited, except for myself! It’s no surprise for anyone anymore how much I love this season; you know, give me a cozy sweater or a blanket, a hot tea and some Fall scented candle and I’m a happy girl.

We’ve visited a few pumpkin patch over the years, some maybe a little expensive, or just too big, we even visited a pumpkin patch that ended up being a farmer’s field where they had dropped pumpkin so the kids would believe they were picking their own… well not this time, this weekend I was expecting something simple, gorgeous, with no fuss, where you can have a great time while picking up your own pumpkin. And Courges & Cie was just that; and even better. From the moment I saw the place from far away I knew this was going to be my new favorite early October place. Dirt road, a beautiful barn, a field filled with the most perfect pumpkins and squash; I was in love with the place in an instant.

So we got out of the car and the boys could hardly kept still. They were so excited! Finally!!! You know this exact moment when you just want to tell them: “you see, I told you!!!”, but what’s the point. Instead I started to take some pictures while Brian went to get one of the many wheel barrels that were lined up right there for us to use. We went directly to the pumpkin patch across the road and the pumpkins were everywhere. They were all so pretty. Some huge ones, some small ones, there were some of all sizes and shapes. Honestly, I think I’ve seen the prettiest pumpkin ever, but it may have been just a little too big! But sooo pretty, with a perfect shape and the most perfect stem. Now while writing this I kinda regret not bringing it home where it belongs!!!

There were so many nice ones that we could have picked up the first couple we saw but decided to walk further down the field and let the boys find their favorite one. We didn’t know we needed cutters but found a small pocket knife in the car and it worked just fine. Logan picked a huge one while Liam found a small green pumpkin that had not ripen up, and just like that we were all very happy. The boys took turns for a short ride in the wheel barrel, I took some more pictures and then we made our way into the green house. I had never seen so many squashes. All beautifully displayed with a sign explaining where they come from, how to use them and so much more, and then I found a pink pumpkin. Hello luv, where have you been all my life!?!

We settled on picking pumpkins and buying the squashes from the green house, but you can also pick out the squashes. As well as tomatoes. Just so you know!

Once we were done, we stopped at their cute little outside kitchen where they serve French Fried Squash. So so so delicious. Honestly, you can’t go to Courges & Cie and not try the French Fried Squash. And also their donuts. The boys had 2 each. They were sooo good. Only got a bite, but next year, I’m buying one and then I’ll hide. That’s my plan!

So, for the next couple of weeks, Courges & Cie will be opened every weekend and you should definitely make the time to visit. It was clearly one of the best Fall outing I’ve had in years. I’m glad the boys loved it because we’ll be visiting again for sure, as Pumpkin Day at Courges & Cie is now an official yearly family thing.

Happy October 1st my friends, officially time to buy pumpkins!

 

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