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to die for guacamole

guacamole

Confession: I did not love avocados until this summer.  I would eat very little guacamole with tacos or nachos, but it wasn’t love.

Not sure if I would now call it love or obsession!  I might have had guacamole everyday this summer!  And I’m not even ashamed of it!

So I’m sharing my favorite recipe with you! Summer is still here and I’m planning on eating more of this green stuff!

What you need:

5 ripened avocados

10 cherry tomatoes

1 half of a small red onion

1\4 cup of lime juice

1 teaspoon of sea salt

Cilantro to taste (I use about half a cup)

How to make it:

Its fairly easy, I mash half of the avocados in a bowl and cut in cubes the rest.

Chop the onions and place in another bowl with hot water, leave it for 5 minutes, drain the water.  Add the onions to the avocados

Chop the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.

Add the lime juice, sea salt and the chopped cilantro.

Mix and eat it NOW!  Or refrigerate and eat later, I dare you!

 

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mother’s day

So they say better late than sorry, right? Well here comes my Mother’s Day weekend blog post! I know it’s well past us now, but it was just too good of a weekend not to share it; as it had what every great weekend should have: great food, family, flowers and lots of love!

We had decided to switch it up a little bit this year and do something different than our annual Mother’s Day dinner at my mom’s since my brother was working all day long, and it turned out great.

So let’s start at on the Friday… I was invited by Logan’s teacher Mme Janie and Mme Manon to attend a Mother’s Day brunch. The kids had decorated the classroom, prepared breakfast for all the mom’s and learned some cute songs. Logan was super excited to give me the card he had made for me, and I was lucky enough to come back from school with some nice potted flowers for me to take home. It was my last time at a MD brunch in this classroom, and let’s just say my heart broke a little bit as I was walking down the hallway. My babies are growing up so fast and I’m not sure I’m ready to face it… oh well, that’s another story for another time I guess!

So back to the weekend… we had a fun and relaxing Saturday, and then on Sunday morning, the boys woke me up pretty early, and not even to wish me Happy Mother’s Day, but to ask me to charge their freaking Nintendo DS. Yeah, I was kind of upset! But not long after (I reminded them), they remembered what we had talked about the day before and then showered me with love over and over again all morning long. Liam had made the best Mother’s Day card EVER. So simple, with beautiful words and with a Disney castle on the top that he had drew just for me, ‘because it’s your favourite place in the world’ he said, and with another drawing of us in our backyard pool ‘because it’s our favourite place at home’ he added. I also received an awesome recipe book, a beautiful avocado candle (hello guacamole!) and some pink reading socks, of course! Thank you family!

Later on Sunday, my mom and Frank joined us for lunch at Joey Rideau in the Ottawa market. It’s now definitely one of my favourite restaurant in the city, and I wanted to bring my mom there since her and Frank had never been and I thought it was about time for them try it. And they were not disappointed! It was just sooo good, as always! Like best dumplings in town! Frank had the fish tacos and they looked delicious, my mom had a nice warm roast beef sandwich and Brian had a spicy shrimp flatbread… Miam for everyone! We then took a stroll down to Major’s Hill Park for the Tulip Festival. We do try to go every year to watch and enjoy the thousands of flowers scattered across the city. We always talk about going to see different spots, but it seems like we always end up in the ByWard Market, and that’s ok, because it is just so beautiful there! So we took lots of pictures, had a Beaver Tail and some ice cream, and enjoy some time outside. The weather was pretty amazing on that day and being together was the best gift of all. It’s corny, but it’s true!

After a couple of hours walking up and down the Market, the boys were pretty beat up and we decided it was time to leave. Since we didn’t have our usual dinner plans at my mom’s, we decided to drive down to Hawkesbury and crash my mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day dinner with Brian’s siblings. Yep, the boys slept a full hour all the way down from Ottawa to Hawkesbury, but when they woke up, they were pretty happy that they were going to spend some time with their cousins. With both Jay-Jay (Jeremy) and Nini (Noémie) in High School now, they’re super busy and we don’t see enough of them, so the boys were really excited to see them. They all played ball outside for a little while, then had some fun taking some SnapChat pictures, while also (of course) taking advantage of their cousins’ iPads and electronic devices! We had a great BBQ diner: burgers and hot dogs with all the fixings and the best whipped cream and strawberry dessert! I was so glad we made the decision to drive down to see everyone!

So that was my Mother’s Day weekend; now here’s a little piece about me. You know what? Not being a mom was never an option for me. I feel like it’s the ONLY thing I wanted to be while growing up. Well, I won’t lie (and people close to me know all about this), the only thing I ever wanted while growing up was to be the mom of many cute little brown hair girls, but it didn’t happened; and now, I actually feel like I got all I ever wanted, and have all I’ll ever need to be happy, cause I have them. Let’s just say that being the mom of two boys had brought me joy beyond anything I could have imagined. Being their mom is amazing. I now know the names of all the cars from the Cars’ movie, I have watched endless YouTube videos on how to finish Nintendo games and on how to access various Mario Bros’ secret exits, I now own a baseball glove so I can play catch with them, and I have even mastered some wrestling techniques so I play fight with them when they feel like it. I may not braid hair daily, or buy cute dresses or have dance parties, but I have discovered so many new things I now love and couldn’t live without. Well, the one thing I for sure couldn’t live without is them, and I am so grateful to be their mom.

When you’re a mom, you need help from all the other moms in your life. The saying “It takes a village” is so true. My friends help me every day by sharing their fears, joy and triumphs, and by being there for me, at any time of the day. My family and in-laws are always willing to lend a hand and to be there for us. And then there’s my Mom. I could have never done any of this without her. She drops everything the minute I need help with the boys of with anything else. She has played countless games of bingos and memory cards with them. She knits everything their heart desires and also rocks them every chances she gets. I had such an awesome Mimi growing up that I often wondered if my mom would be able to fill her shoes! And she did. She’s just the best. The best thing my Mom gives us is time and lots of love. When I tell the boys that their Mimi is coming over, they’re just so genuinely happy. And I understand this feeling completely, because I feel the same way when she’s coming over. We’ve always been very close, shared the same interests and passion for baking, shopping and going to Disney! The only thing we don’t share is the love for gardening! And luckily for me, she loves it so much that she does most of mine every year! She might OVER SHARE videos on my Messenger account, but if it’s the price I have to pay for having the best Mom, well then I’ll keep on watching all of her funny videos!

I hope you celebrated all of the amazing women in your life on this Mother’s Day; I know I did. Spending the day with my Mom and my boys on that day meant so much. My mother is simply amazing and she takes on so much to make us happy. I’m so proud of her and love her so much. I won’t say she’s my best friend, because she’s so much more: she my mother.

 

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dos cinco de mayo

I think I’ve heard or said the word taco a thousand times this weekend, as it was ALL ‘bout taco in our house all weekend long. And of course I don’t mind this at all! We had not one but two Cinco de Mayo parties and we loved every minute of it…

So, where should I start… I guess I’ll start by saying that we all just love tacos here. Liam is basically obsessed with anything tacos; he owns multiple tacos shirts, tacos underwear, Shopkins’ tacos, and he also often makes tacos’ drawings and crafts. I had brought the ‘Dragons loves Tacos’ book from my school library and I think we read it something like 10 times since Friday. You should all get it if you have kids who love tacos, as it’s a really cute and fun book (and also available in French!). For Logan, it’s totally different, as tacos need to be eaten separately! Corn chips on the side, chicken on the other side, guacamole here, cheese there, with a LOT of sour cream on everything!

So on Friday night, my school’s social committee had organised a get together after work, and since it was ‘Cuatro’ de Mayo, of course I had to start the weekend with nachos to celebrate! It was actually a lot of fun to see my coworkers outside of the workplace, as it seems like we never have enough time to chat about our lives and about everything not work related while at work, so evening like this are simply awesome. Probably because I have awesome coworkers too. Two of my friends from work had planned on coming over for a Mexican fiesta later on, so once we were done with the work happy hour, we headed home and fired some tequila shots. Literally.

Yep, I really did this! And I made sure that someone would get it on video as proof because there’s no way I’m doing it again any time soon. Last time I had shots, I must have been something like 18 y.o., and partying in Grenville, in Brian’s hometown, at a bar most of my friends know pretty well, where there’s a locally infamous dancing cage with a floor that goes up and down!!! Oh God I don’t miss those years. And yep, tequila tastes exactly the same as I remember from back then!

Okay, I’ll be honest here… I do not enjoy alcohol, I’m more the type to have an iced tea when people drink, but I had to give tequila a shot now that the love of my life, George Clooney, is a successful owner of a tequila company! So thanks babe for trying to impress me with your nice tequila, but it’s just not for me. Seriously, I don’t know how my friends and husband were able to drink tequila the way they did on Friday; I only had one shot, and all that was left from my everlasting cough that I was carrying around for the last three weeks magically disappeared right after swallowing the thing!

So, back to Friday night, we had chips and homemade guac, as well as some delicious charcoal pork tacos. I had also made a Frida Khalo cake, which turned out to be amazingly pretty, but unfortunately, we were way too full to eat any desert… so I saved it for our next day Cinco de Mayo party. So while my three amigos were getting drunk, we played games and laughed a lot until the wee hours of the night and then went to bed way too late. Of course, next morning came way to fast as Logan showed up in my room at 5:50 am! I did manage to keep him quiet for a while, but still, we were all up pretty early, and then I was all ready to go on with my day… So once my guests left, the boys and I had breakfast and then headed outside to play and work on the house. I was super lazy in the fall and didn’t cleaned the flower beds, so that was my first task of the day! And then it suddenly became my only one… and yes, I do blame the tequila shot I had the night before for all my laziness!

Later on, we all sat outside in the sun for most of the afternoon with my mom and Frank who were joining us for dinner. The kids kept on jumping in the bouncy castle with the neighbors for hours while we were having summer drinks as well as some more chips & guac (yes, I am addicted to guac!). On the menu for dinner: more delicious tacos, my chipotle corn (last year recipe here) and some lime and cilantro rice. And then this time I made sure we were all having dessert! Yummy! I couldn’t part with Frida after dessert so she’s still lying in a plate on the counter 4 days later. Maybe she’ll be joining the fondant creation museum in Liam’s room… I know it’s gross, but we still have a fondant crocodile from his 5th birthday and the BB-8 droid from his 6th. I’ve tried to get rid of them but he didn’t let me. So Frida might get a shelf as well!!!

And finally, on Sunday, on another perfect sunny day, I made some breakfast tacos and it was a hit: bananas, strawberries, whipped cream and Nutella wrapped in soft and warm pancakes! Liam already ordered another round for next weekend! Then I got my work out done, we got ready and left for the Ottawa ByWard Market. The boys wanted to go see Canada’s Castle (Parliament!), then we got some ice cream and walked through the market. Feels so nice to wear light clothing and be outside. We later came back home and did manage to work outside, start the pool, bring out all of the patio stuff and clean up the backyard. Can’t wait to jump in the pool and enjoy some patio time!

It was a quite busy weekend but such an awesome one! Great food/tacos, perfect spring weather and good friends and family, which always make everything better! Hope you had a great one as well, and if you’re in need of a few Mexican recipes, check out last year post for an awesome menu… one can never have too much guacamole!

It’s finally May, so grab your sunglasses, find the nearest patio and have yourself some margaritas with a lot of TEQUILA!!!

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the game, the hearts and the food

Hello February! It feels like I’ve been longing for you for a full month now, or even more. For the first time since Christmas Eve, (touching wood) nobody’s sick. FINALLY! Still, we opted to stay home most of the weekend to catch up on some household chores, and for some cooking and baking. Early Saturday we decorated the house for Valentine’s Day and then made a cute little buffet in the living room. Like most of you, we’re also getting ready for the big game tonight! Go Brady! So today, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes –which I’ve posted over the last year– that you could do for your Super Bowl party or in the next few weeks as sweet treats for V-Day!

Love, love, love to decorate for Valentine’s Day. You know, with all the pink colored stuff, the hearts, the love; what’s not to love! The boys keep on telling me it’s my month because of my birthday coming later this month, because I’m all hearts and holidays, and because pink is my favorite color! I guess they’re right, so I’ll take it. So after we took out all the cute stuff from our V-Day’s decoration box, we decided that baking some heart shaped pop-tarts would be an awesome idea. We made some dough, mixed some berries with sugar and flour and within an hour we had ourselves a little buffet in the living room.  So fun to mix it up once in a while. The boys really enjoyed brunch outside the kitchen for once… I, on the other hand, had multiple panic attacks making sure none of the chocolate glaze would end up on the cream colored couch. Oh well, we all survived… and the couch too! Here’s the link to my pop-tarts recipe from when I shared it on the blog the first time. The recipe was for traditional shaped pop-tarts, but you can have fun with it and make pop-tarts of any shapes or sizes. This time, we went for some mini-heart-shaped-pop-tarts-pop; and they were delicious, and so much fun to eat! And if you add chocolate glaze and sprinkles, you’ve got a winner!

So for tonight’s game, you absolutely NEED our spicy chili, my to-die for guacamole and these heavenly pretzels. You still have time to do all of this before the game, but hurry! This house is rooting for Brady and the Patriots, but the house where we’ll be watching the game from isn’t… so this could be interesting; I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these awesome pretzels end up flying around when the other team score a touchdown! Still, we should all be pretty cheerful for the amazing food we’ll have!

One of the things we’re also super excited about is the Olympics! So starting next Friday, we will be glued to the TV watching reruns of sporting events (damn you different time-zone) while cheering for our country. The boys are already running around the house waving their flags and playing medals ceremony! More on that in my next blog post!

Hope your team wins tonight… I know mine will. And hope you are decorating your house for V-Day, just because it’s so much fun to do so! February is MY month and I plan on enjoying it as much as possible. Can’t wait to go out skating, and skiing, and snowshoeing, or even simply to take a walk; it’s so beautiful outside –once you look beyond the driveway you still have to shovel! Happy Super Bowl Sunday my friends!

 

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bry’s sangria

Heeeello long weekend!  Well you know what? Although I’m off work for the next two months, summer long weekends are still simply the best!!!  So who’s ready to celebrate Canada 150th anniversary?  Got any plans this weekend?  Well if you do, you should definitely add this recipe to your drink diet on Canada Day.  And if you don’t, well don’t worry, any day of the summer months is a perfect day for my sangria.  Well, I should say Bry’s sangria!  It’s one for the books, apparently!  You will be making this every summer weekend, I swear.

It’s great anywhere, as long as it’s served on ice; but it’s definitely better when drank by the beach, in the pool or sitting on the patio!  For myself, I prefer it with a lots of ice and a side of fresh guacamole.

So it all started two years ago while on a road trip to Toronto and the Niagara region.  Can’t remember the restaurant we stopped at, but we stayed awhile ’cause the sangria was sooo good, according to my sister-in-law and Brian.  The waitress was the best and after many pitchers, she wrote down their sangria recipe for us on our bill (which Brian then modified to his taste, obviously adding more booze to it!)…

On any given summer weekend, you can surely find a double pitcher of this, waiting to be served to our guests.  Brian has been working on the recipe for a while, and he now thinks we have a winner.  So, stock up on the ingredients and make this on the next sunny day… hopefully sooner than later!

Bry’s Sangria

What you need:

1 bottle of white wine (we use Bodacious White for the high level of sugar)

4 oz. of Malibu Rum

3 oz. of Triple Sec or Cointreau

2 oz. of your favorite Rum

1 cup of pineapple juice

3 cups of raspberry lemonade

top with sprite

1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on the amount of sugar in the white wine)

fruits: lemon, lime, orange, raspberry and strawberry

How to:

Slice your fruits and squeeze some of the juice in the pitcher.  Add the sugar with the fruits in the pitcher.  Add all the liqueur and juices.  Stir.  Leave in the fridge for about an hour or two before serving.  Once cooled and ready to be served, add the ice, the sprite and mix well.  Serve over ice with some of the fruits.

Beware, two can EASILY get tipsy with only one pitcher.  So enjoy responsibly and have fun on this special day.  Happy Canada Day all!!!

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cinco de mayo

To end my Mexican recipe week, I decided to invite a few friends over to try out some of my favorite dishes!  It ended up being quite the feast; a Cinco de Mayo kinda feast!

I spent a few days making paper flowers, a piñata and some more recipes.  Made a raglan taco shirt for Liam and found a watermelon tank top for Logan… although I am clearly not a fan of tank tops for my boys!  The best part: fake mustaches.  The boys looked hilarious wearing them… although, once again, I’m not a fan of mustaches, and I hope they never get a real one when they grow up!!!

So we drank Corona’s, ate tacos, quesadillas and some tortillas.  And just before we ate way to much guacamole and homemade salsa my friend Eric had made.  For dessert we had some delicious churros with dulce de leche dip.  Let’s just say that by the time we were done with the churros we looked like six full fake Mexicans.  But there was still a surprise for the kids : a candy filled piñata.

I should have bought the damn thing… I made it at 11 pm the day before, with box/carton and about 20$ worth of duct tape; which made it indestructible!  The kids got tired of hitting my cow/donkey with the plastic baseball bat, so Brian had some fun breaking it open with a golf club!  Then the kids had a few tears because of who got what, but I guess it’s all part of the fun of having a piñata, and in the end they were all pretty happy to eat some candy although they were already so full!

I think I will celebrate Cinco de Mayo for years to come.  All the colors and the amazing food are perfect to get me in the summer spirit!  Let’s just hope that next year we’ll get to do it outside, with a bit more sun and wayyy less rain/water!

Te quiero!

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pineapple salsa fit for a fiesta

 

Finally, May is here. That means I’m getting ready for Cinco de Mayo!  I love, love, love Mexican food, and finally (and hopefully), the boys do too!

It took a while but we now have Taco Tuesdays at our house.  And this next Friday we’re hosting a little Cinco de Mayo get-together where I’ll be cooking some of my favorite Mexican recipes.  So this week, my blog will be all about delicious, flavorful and spicy food!

At the top of my list: GUACAMOLE! This was the first recipe posted on my blog, which you can find here.  Always a crowed pleaser, so you should double the recipe if you ever try it for a small group of people. Try it, you’ll know what I mean!  Awesome with nachos, but also great with chicken, tacos, fajitas, toast and more!

So this week’s first recipe is a Pineapple Salsa.  It tastes so ‘fresh’, it will make you think of summer.  And I bet you’ll want to eat it all summer long as well.  Great with nachos, baked tortillas, or on top of some grilled chicken.  Great for pool parties, diners or just for a snack.  It’s really healthy, well, until you add the chips!!!

This recipe calls for an entire pineapple; you may think it’s a lot, but once you’ll start to eat it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t used two!

Pineapple Salsa

What you need:

1 pineapple, cut into small cubes

1\4 cup of fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno

1 small red onion

2 tbs. lime juice

1 small tomato

salt and pepper

How to:

Really easy.  Cut everything into small cubes.  Place in a bowl.  Add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Place in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  You can keep it in the fridge for at least 4-5 days in an airtight container.  Serve with nacho chips, or on top of anything really!

This week’s recipes are really spicy.  I will be using a lot of jalapenos, but if you’re not a fan of the heat, use less jalapeno or just leave them out of the recipe. My kids are not fans of the spiciness, maybe because I’ve had a bit too much of Frank’s Hot Sauce while pregnant (but I was craving for it), who knows!  So all these recipes can be kids friendly without the peppers/jalapenos.

So, if you are into Mexican food like myself, you should really try this recipe.  It’ll make you feel like you’re in Mexico enjoying the beautiful Mexican sun, while here in Ottawa it’s freezing and pouring rain outside all day long.

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know what you think of this awesome pineapple salsa me amigo.

Salud!

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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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cheers to long weekends

God I LOVE long weekends!!!

Finally, we had a long weekend!  Although it feels like Christmas was just around the corner, it also feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had a long weekend to relax and spend time with friends and family!  Last weekend was just perfect; and the weather was AMAZING!

After what felt like the longest week of my life, it was finally Friday night!  With no plans, one of my friend suggested we make dumplings!  So we gathered all our ingredients and started stuffing the wrappers.  We made 120!  Yep, 120!   Pretty sure they’re all gone now, with her 2 teenagers!  So long to prepare, but so worth it.  Of course we had some for dinner that night, like come on, we had to reward ourselves!

Saturday was gorgeous, plus 8 degrees for February felt like we had won the lottery!  Took out our spring jackets an left the house early as we had a full day planned.  We dropped the boys at my Mom’s and then drove to Vankleek Hill for some Beau’s All Natural shopping and tastings!  They had the best snacks selections this weekend: creamy Bacon Carbonara Mac’n Cheese… it was sooo good!  Brian had the Vodka Salmon and their new brew Triceratops.  He loaded up on beers, then had a chance to spin their FeBREWary promotion wheel, and luckily for him, he won a nice Beau’s t-shirt that he wanted!

We had planned a nice day out to Montréal with our friends Mel and Pat.  We love Montreal and don’t go often enough.  We hadn’t seen them since our road trip to Fenway/Boston in October, so we had a lot of catching up to do!

We made it to Montréal, shopped at a local market, found delicious macarons and then we went to play Trapped.  Trapped is a real life room escape.  A one hour game, locked in a room and you have to get out.  A modern clue game!  I love it!  We were so close to get out, like almost there!!!  But we didn’t.  We would have needed another 5 minutes.  We had a lot of fun though.  You all need to try it!

We then went out for drinks at Santos Tapas Bar.  If you’re in Old Montreal, you have to try Santos.  An electric atmosphere, unique décor, gorgeous drinks and delicious tapas.  Pat was obsessed with the number of raspberry in his pink drink!  (Hi Pat!).  It was our second time at Santos and we will be back next time we’re in Montréal for sure!

We then made our way to MangiaFoco as we had reservations at 8:45: a pizzeria and mozzarella bar restaurant.  Our friends had tried it in the fall and they thought we would love it too.  And they were right, we loved it!

What’s not to love… awesome cheese, delicious pizza and wine (for the others!).  We had a charcuterie plate: burrata and bufala affumicata, smoked tomatoes, truffles peaches, pancetta, capicollo and salami, all served with fresh bread.  The cheeses were soft and creamy.  I wish I could hide in their fridge for a night!  We then shared the margherita and uomo pizza.  So good!

The restaurant was awesome; love the decor and atmosphere, and we ended up with the best seat in the house!  From our booth, we could see all the food coming from the kitchen on a white belt… it doesn’t sound like much, but we were so excited to see our cheese plate coming that Mel and I started screaming.  Well, just a little!  I can’t wait to go back!

Sunday was gorgeous again.  We had our first chip stand snack for lunch in the car.  Then we had to burn those calories by snowshoeing.  It was so hot!  We had to take off our coats.  We then went back home and pretended to be in Mexico with the rest of our family by having homemade guacamole and drinks on our deck (surrounded by 5 feet of snow!).

The boys were exhausted from their weekend and went to bed early, so we decided to watch some Sherlock’s episodes.  We both became huge fans of Sherlock Holmes when Guy Ritchie’s movie first came out couple years ago; then the second movie came out, which was even better.  Bry loves to think he’s as clever as Sherlock… not so sure about that one!  So since then, we started to watch the series Sherlock on Netflix with Benedict Cumberbach; so far we had watched the first 3 seasons, which consist of 3 episodes of 90 minutes each.  And we loved it.

This time, for the 4th season, well, it was really good at first (and this won’t be a spoiler), but became more and more disturbing as we were watching.  We watched the first 2 episodes on Sunday night, and I ended up dreaming I was a detective in some sort of crazy thriller all night long.  Then on Monday night we watched the Finale, and oh boy, that was just too much for me, so I ended up not sleeping too well for a second night in a row!  (But still, you got to watch this!).

Monday was family day and unfortunately, I was exhausted and Brian had to work.  So we lounged in our pj’s all day, watched Moana, went for a walk and played all sorts of fun games.

Wish 3 days weekend would happen more often.  Can’t wait for the next one to see what our next adventure will be like!

Hope you had the best of time last weekend, and happy family day to all of you!

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liam turns bb-6

Our weekend shenanigans are over!  2 days, 3 birthday parties and 67 guests later…we are done!  Our  little man turned six on Friday.  How did this happened?  Six???  Maybe 3 or 4 but 6…bye bye baby.  It’s hard to see your first child growing up and it does go by so fast.  He’s changed so much in the last few months, he’s less clingy, talks with lots of new words and ask for our help much less than
before and the worst, he gives less kisses.  My heart is torn.  So I will stop with the drama of having a 6 years old and talk about our weekend festivities!

So I like a good party and my boys too!  A few months before their birthday, we talk about what they like, what they want and who they want to be there.  Star Wars was an easy theme, the boys still haven’t seen the movies but that’s about to change because we received them for his birthday.  Guest list, we have a big close family, we want everybody, so we had our friends come over for pizza on Friday night, a few of his school friends came yesterday morning and our families came over for some roasted hot dogs and cake last night!

Cakes, it’s always about the cakes!  I love making my babies their cakes.   It makes me so happy to create the things they love in sugar!  I made 6 cakes.  Baked  and decorated them all after school this week.  Star Wars decoration were really easy to find, lots from the $store, lots free on Pinterest and I bought the invitations and photo booth accessories from Etsy.  I made my t-shirt, another idea from Pinterest and Brian and the boys attire came from Gap Kids and Old Navy.  Bought some cheap wrapping paper before Christmas for the photo booth wall (new found favorite of Logan, taking photo booth pictures…we have at least 100!)

When we went to Boston in the fall, we visited one of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn Kids.  I love this place!  They have a Star Wars line that is to die for.  I want the Star Wars sleeping bags sooo badly.  I fell in loving with their marquee lit up sign.  I decided I (well I mean Frank) could do this way cheaper, like for less than 25$.  Found some Christmas string lights in clearance, painted a piece of wood, Frank drilled the sign and added the frame.  Put in the light and bingo, I had the most awesome marquee sign EVER.  I will put it up in their playroom, the light bulbs are in plastic, so unbreakable!  Win-win!

Of course we had a few games.  Our favorite, donuts-on-a-string, always a hit!  We decorated Star Wars cookies.  Also played, place the lightsaber on Yoda.  A BB-8 pinata was a must.  And we had the NOT so brilliant idea of buying lightsabers for all kids…do NOT attempt this when you are outnumbered!  I made little Jedi costumes for all the kids and took lots of photo booth pictures.

Food, we had soooo much.  Pizza, fries and poutine, wings, cookies, Princess Leia’s Buns, candy, chips, hot dogs, cupcakes, Edible Ewoks, Liam’s favorite raspberry pie, Yoda’s guacamole and CAKE!  I’m no eating until the next birthday…well maybe not but I do need to recover from this weekend!

So today we took down the decorations, played with toys and looked at all the pictures we took.  We love parties, we love our family and friends and most of all, we love our babies.  Happy Birthday Liam.  You deserve all the time we spent for your parties and more!  You’ve been one amazing little boy since the moment you were born.

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