this lemon is turning one

So I guess I should pop some champagne now?  After 82 posts, 33 recipes, 1079 pictures and many new friends and followers, mylemondroplife is 1!!!

What a year it’s been.  Never could I have imagined, even in my wildest dream, the kind of success mylemondroplife.com got in its first year.  To be honest, at first I thought that my closest friends and my mom would probably be the only one following me… but with the thousands of hits I get now, I got to say THANK YOU not only to my closest friends (you girls rock!) and to my mom (love you mom!), but to all of my followers and readers, and to anyone and everyone who browsed through my blog in the last year.  You’re the best and you make me all so happy!!!

It’s been fun, it’s been hard, it takes time, it takes organization, it take patience (not my best suit and sorry Bry), it takes love.  And I just love to do it.  My boys don’t even know what blogging is, but hopefully one day they’ll read some of my posts and remember how much fun life was in 2017.  My life hasn’t changed since a year ago; I’ve always treasured the time we spend together, I’ve always loved to take some pictures (even pictures of my food at restaurant); now I just share it with everyone!

It makes me so happy when someone tries a recipe they found on my blog or when they do an activity I have talked about.  I love when people share everyday stuff with me, and I try do to the same.  It makes all the time I spend creating this blog so worthwhile.

So I’ve decided to celebrate by having my childhood friend Jen over, to take some pictures of us…  Jen recently started her own photography business and she’s awesome.  I’m usually 98% of the time behind my camera or iPhone, capturing photos, but this time I was in front of it and it was a bit nerve-racking!  Jen was great.  She took a few pictures of our family and then we ventured into my kitchen.  So I baked with the boys, like we do every week, but this time with my own professional photograph capturing shots of us while whisking cake batter.  We then blew mylemondroplife first candle and dove right into the cake.

I’m in love with the shots she took.  Jen knew exactly what I wanted and made it happen.  You should check out her PhilanthroPics Facebook page and book a session with her!  Like she wasn’t awesome enough already, she also gives out 10% of all her profits to charity.  I call that a win-win!  Yeah, she’s just great!

So in order to celebrate (or mostly to thank you), I’ve teamed up with PhilanthroPics and offering you 100$ towards a photoshoot.  All you have to do is subscribe to mylemondroplife.com AND follow PhilanthroPics on Facebook and make sure you’re available to travel to the Ottawa or Whitby region for the shoot.

So let’s celebrate year one and make plans for new adventures, more fun, more family time and more laughs.  A special thanks to my number one cheerleader my Mom, who one year ago had no clue what a blog was… and now she’s addicted!  To my colleague Rachel who taught me EVERYTHING about blogging.  And to my closest friends for pushing me to do this in the first place and for being so awesome… thanks for letting me take pictures of your food, of your drinks, of your rubber boots, and of you!  You girls are the best… like who buys you everything if it’s made of lemons? (Like my awesome Kate Spade apron, thanks Cath!)!  Thanks to my boys, and to my husband Brian, and to all of you who had to go along with a crazy idea I might have had this past year just to make a blog post a bit more interesting!

To everyone who reads this blog and follows me. THANK YOU.  I love you all.  Year 2 starts now, and it’s going to be a great one!

Sincerely, Andréanne

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robots, diner parties, birthday parties and a wedding

Well, it’s already Thursday and we’re still trying to recuperate from our crazy weekend!  Let’s just say that sometimes, I may over estimate how much time we actually have!

It all started on Friday morning when we went blueberry picking as I explained in last week’s post.  We got back home, baked a little bit, had lunch, and then decided to leave for downtown Ottawa to watch La Machine.

La Machine was a 4-day event for the celebration of Canada 150th.  A dragon and a spider, chasing each other around the city.  They were huge, and so spectacular.  To get there, we took the bus from Orleans, and it wasn’t that bad, as it took us only 50 minutes to get there.  We then started to run around the By Ward Market to find them.  We were spellbound by these robots the second we saw them.  The boys couldn’t get enough.  After an hour in the scorching heat, in was time to leave for the bus station and make our way back home.  Well THAT my friend was an adventure of its own… the three of us stuck on the bridge for almost an hour, waiting for our bus along with 5000 other people.  When our bus finally got there, we hoped on, glued to other passengers for a very long 80 minutes!  Boy oh boy was I glad to see my car and my A\C when I got off that bus!

We all took showers, changed, and then were on our way for diner at my Mom’s.  We had relatives that came down from Kitchener for the weekend, so we wanted to spend time with them, but by 11pm it was time to leave, and finally, by midnight, we were back home and ready for bed.  I was done… and needed some sleep as the next day was somewhat over planned as well!

On Saturday morning, we got ready and drove to our friends’ camping site for a kid’s birthday party.  Spent a few hours there with our friends and then had to change camping lots for another 2 birthday parties.  Brian’s sister’s kids are now so big… 12 and 13 already!  So I spent some time with Brian’s family while the boys rode the golf carts and played with their cousins.  Then, we had to go back home to get all dressed up cause at 6pm it was wedding time, as my little brother was getting married!

So went back home, the kids took a nap, we changed and got ready.  Yeah, my brother got married… still can’t actually believe it, but he did!  Congrats Alex and Crystal!  We had a great time with some family members we clearly don’t see enough.  They had a clown for the kids and they had so much fun.  Our house is still full of balloon swords, and balloon microphones, one octopus, as well as some other stuff I don’t really know what is it and probably don’t want to know!

Sunday morning, let’s say it was hard to get out of bed.  We all slept in till 9.  Don’t think it has ever happened… but I loved it!  We then ran errands, prepare diner and waited for our guests.  The weather was gorgeous and we spent the afternoon in the pool.  Made some Cubano pork sandwiches and had fluffy cheesecake for dessert.  Another late night!  But its summer, so who cares!?!

Well, Brian did, since he was working on Monday morning… but as for us, we crashed on the couch for most of the day!  Way too lazy to do anything or to tackle any chores or errands we needed done.  I made the boys watch Harry Potter for the first time since it was Harry’s birthday.  We also made a Hagrid style cake!  I really hope my love for Potter will be passed on to them!  They may not want to fly a broom like I do, but later this week we’ll be making our own wands.  And they’re the one who asked for it, so I guess that’s good a start!

Finally, on Tuesday it was our 8th wedding anniversary.  Not sure when we’ll have time for a date night, but I surely can’t wait.  For now, we celebrated with soccer night and then a visit to Brian’s dad to see more relatives from Chicoutimi that were visiting for the weekend.

Hope you also had a great -but less crowded- weekend like we did!  If not, well it’s not too late to start planning for the long weekend since tomorrow’s already Friday!

Happy Thursday and happy long weekend!!!

 

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all you need is…logan

Every mom must say this once a year; every year: ‘I can’t believe my baby is now 1’, then 2, then 3…!  Well, I must have said it like a 1000 times over the last few weeks… and then, on Friday, it happened… and my baby Logan turned 5.  And just like that, it seemed like it was all over and I didn’t have babies anymore.  Hopefully, as I was about to cry, Logan told me that he’d be a baby until he’s 9.  I’ll take that Loggy!  And maybe a few more months after that if that’s okay with you!

I’ve never seen anyone being this excited about a birthday… EVER.  Not even I as a kid, and God knows how I loved my birthday celebrations!!!  Since he turned 4 he’s been wanting to be 5, just like Liam.  And for the last 40 days, first thing in the morning, he’s been sneaking into our bedroom to give us the countdown.

He didn’t ask for a specific birthday-theme.  So I tried to influence him with Cars, then Tsum Tsum, then Minions, etc.  But nothing got him excited… until a few months ago when I mentioned maybe a music birthday party!

Fun theme, but after looking through stores and online, a music party is well, meh!  Nothing for kids…  So along the way, I added my own twist to it: a Beatles music birthday party!  He was all for it… and boy did I had fun with this one!

Everything was from scratch.  After all, where can you find Beatles stuff for a 5 year old!?!  He wanted lots of colors, so it all started with a picture of the band from the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club… oh yeah, the one with the satin suits!  And then came the birthday theme title: All you need is Lo…gan!!!  Brian says it’s corny; but I think it’s clever!  I’m so proud of that one, and it made such a great poster!

We already had a turntable and some Beatles records to go with the theme.  My friend Rachel designed the poster for the cake table that I got printed at Walmart for less than 15$.  Then went to a consignment store and found some cheap women satin blouse and drape ropes to make some nice Beatles’ outfits for the boys so they would have their own satin suits.  It’s one of my favorite projects ever for sure… my sewing machine didn’t cooperate, so I glue gunned everything!  They went crazy when they putted the shirts on… brought my Fender pink guitar out as well as a kid’s microphone to take some pictures.  That’s when they both started to scream ‘Rock & Roll’!!!  I’ve never said those words in my life so no clue where this came from, but it gave me a hilarious photo-shoot!

I had some help from my friend Catherine who ran errands for me and then took our Abbey Road family picture.  We blew what seems like hundreds of balloons… wanted more, but had to stop cause my fingers had blisters.  Made a few Beatles cakes and lots of food: “I am the Eggman” devil eggs, “Yellow Submarine” twinkies, salads, sausage in a bun, beans and nachos and guac.  I found an old box full of records in the garage that Brian’s uncle Bobby (famous family musician himself) had given him years ago, and used it for decorations, and garlands and cake stands.  Spent 90 minutes making a Beatles mural in the parking lot.  Then it was finally time for Logan’s Beatles birthday party to begin!

But a few hours earlier… on Friday morning, the birthday boy was ready to rock and roll at something like 6 am when he came running in our bedroom to tell us it was his birthday!  Not sure how many times he asked when his guests were coming after that, as he was just so excited.

Finally, friends and family arrived.  He played with his cousins, gave kisses to everyone coming through the door, putted all the gifts on the birthday gifts table, had a blast in the pool, played in the backyard, and then by 6pm or so, he decided to take a nap on the couch!  He was done!  Not sure if it was all the stress and the excitement or just fatigue, but he was out.  So we all had diner without the birthday boy. Then, I woke him up for gifts opening and cake.  Poor baby, he was so lost, but also so happy that it was still his birthday!

He was so spoiled, and then thanked everyone for all the birthday presents, one by one.  He then wanted to blow his candles.  I asked him to put on his satin suit for the birthday cake picture… and he was okay with it… which secretly made me so happy!  So we all sang and cheered, and he was so happy.

Oh yeah, right before Loggy’s nap, all the kids (as well as a few grown-ups) played an intense baseball game in the backyard, with some pretty excited spectators on the deck, all with their favorite drink in their hand.  That was Brian’s favorite part of the evening.  Later, once everyone had enjoy their Beatles piece of cake, just as it started to get dark outside, I threw a few dozen glow sticks in the pool and jumped in with all the kids… a few dozen glow sticks and a million mosquitos… still, that was one of my favorite part of the evening!  It was so much fun!

Once the party was over, kids left with sweets from the Piñata while our adult guests left with some “Strawberry Jam Forever” jars, as thank you gift.  It went all too fast.  He cried when I sang ‘All you need is Logan’ in his bed.  He wanted his birthday to last forever… well, he is my son after all, and he loves a good party as much as I do!

Logan, you’re the funniest person I know.  You are an emotional roller-coaster and you are proud of it, and that’s okay, because what you love, you love it passionately, and I love this about you.  You love your brother to pieces, your family, your bunny, McQueen, French Fries with vinegar, singing, dancing, playing board games, going to school, hiding stuff everywhere that we won’t find until later, as well as giving me millions of kisses every day.  We adore you baby Loggy.  You may grow old, but as you do, please don’t ever stop being who you are.  ‘Love is all, Love is you’.

 

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tbt super mario bash

I can’t believe this was over 2 years ago already.  I will say this again and again, but time flies, and sometimes I don’t like it because I love them so much, just the way they are now!

I’m actually the one who introduced Mario Bros to Liam.  One rainy morning, about 3 years ago, I dusted the Wii and pressed start.  They rest is history.  He was hooked, like instantly.  And then Logan followed.  At that time, for a while, all Liam wanted to do was to play with his Mario and friends stuffed animals.  So it was only natural that his fourth birthday would be Mario Bros-themed.

Honestly, I had so much fun planning it!  It reminded me of all the hours I spent watching my brother play as a kid!

Bought some white canvas and painted his favorite characters; bought stars balloons and painted eyes, just like in Mario Kart; and then used some wrapping paper for all the mountains and vines.  My mom had made some cut-outs of Princess Peach and Mario, and they were a hit!  She also made some crochet mushroom hats that the boys still wear daily!

The cake was big, but what can I say, we have huge parties!  It was fairly easy to make… I used some vinyl characters and made warp zones with toilet paper carton rolls!  Cupcakes are always a must for kids party; easy to make and easy to eat!

I honestly can’t remember what we had to eat… probably pizza!  Liam’s favorite food back then; Liam’s favorite food now!

We still have the art work of all the characters in the boys playroom… they just love Mario Bros’ toys, especially stuffed animals… they play with them almost every day.  I would say we have around 40 of them in the house!!!  Various Marios, Luigis, Yoshis, Toads and Peaches, and then a Bowser, a ghost, a fish, a turtle, etc., as well as many other less popular ones like Ludwig Von Koopa and Larry!  They seem to have them all, but still, they always find a new one they don’t have!  They both know which one they want next (well, only if they get great report cards!).

They love to play the Mario games on the Wii… it’s so funny, they know how to complete most of the levels before they even try it for the first time!  Since they’ve discovered Mario 3 years ago, one of their favorite things to do is to watch someone else play Mario’s on YouTube.  They only like watching the Wii games… I’ve tried to make them watch the old Nintendo Mario games, but they didn’t find it too exciting!  REALLY???  I could have spent hours playing Duck Hunt back then!!!  So they often play on the Wii with Brian on the weekends,  mostly on Saturday morning, as we have to try to limit screen time during the week… cause once they start, they could play all day!

This week, Minecraft is the new thing in our house!  It’s all they talk about, so they won’t play with their Mario’s… but you know what, just like all the other games and toys they fell in love with over the last 2 years (Lego, plants vs zombies, Shopkins, etc.), Mario will always come back on top eventually… well I hope so, because I got to admit that I secretly love seeing them play a game I used to love myself when I was their age.  Crazy how some things don’t change!

Mario Time!

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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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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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throwback thursday: a peter pan birthday

It’s a little throwback Thursday birthday post!

The day my Logan turned 2 with an outdoor Peter Pan bash!  And it was one of my favorite parties of them all.

The Pan story has always been a favorite of mine.  Magic, pirates, mermaids and children that don’t want to grow up.  I loved the story as a kid, but I see another side of it as a mom… as one of the most difficult thing with children, is time.  I never have enough, their presence is like pixie dust and being with them is magic!

My Logy baby is not one that want many things, he’s very content with whatever he can find, doesn’t ask for much and he loves his family.  So, this time I chose the theme (like always, but I pretend it’s their idea, like inception!!!) and made it extra special for my little lost boy!

Summer parties are so much easier.  We used to live outside the city.  It had a huge backyard.  And the parties were amazing!

This time around, I created a space similar to the movie; we had a pirates and foam swords section, mermaids/pool, a tee-pee, and of course and outdoor movie theater!  That was the most fun to create.  Found some really cheap fabric to drape over the wooden frame my husband had built.  Stapled an old sheet for the backdrop and voilà!

I had made some Peter Pan hats for all the boys and the girls had Tinker Bell’s wings.  It was awesome to see all the kids dressed up and ready to celebrate our baby boy!

I had made a huge 5 story cake.  One of my best looking cake ever!  But the instant we brought is outside, it started to melt due to all the humidity, so it became 2 cakes!

A few days prior to my boys birthday, I usually do a photo shoot.  It’s less stressful for them to take some great pictures without wanting to play with all the friends and it gives me great décor, as everything is already there.  Pictures are the best.  Also, I find that my kids love to look back on their birthdays and reminisce.  I’ve created small birthday booklet for each of their birthdays.  Chatbooks is the best for that.  Each book are about 8$ each, so even if they ruin one, I don’t get upset. For the Pan photo shoot, I probably used all the frames in our house for the occasion, and I was able to capture one of my favorite picture ever.

We had hot dogs and salads, and then popcorn for the movie!  And as always, too much cake!  We also had Brian’s cousin do some face painting and balloon animals.  It was a hit.

Birthday parties are always too short if you ask me!  Wish they’d last forever, so my boys could still be babies!  It’s so hard to see them grow up like that, but they have to, so at least we celebrate every year with style and fun!  I love to plan it all out and then see it come to life.  This one was for the books… I will never forget the day my baby turned 2: ‘second star to the right and straight on till morning’.

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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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new year’s eve sleigh ride

I am usually not a fan of NYE.  You know, I never seem to know what to do, years after years wishing for a big elaborate and elegant party like they have in the movies… but always ending up half asleep before midnight wearing my pajamas!  I remember that my parents had fabulous parties when I was younger, sequins party dress, suits and an amazing time.  We did have those types of NYE parties at the Golf and Curling Club in Hawkesbury in the early 2000s, but after a few years of hearing Jive Bunny as first song of the party, we decided to call it quit!  And to be honest, I love to be with Liam and Logan on New Year’s Eve, so it’s kinda hard to go somewhere fancy and hope to party like a Rock Star while having them there with me.  So this year, we’ve tried something different, trying to create a new family and friends tradition… and we did, and it was the best NYE in a very long time!

We’ve been living in a suburb of Ottawa for 9 years, and every day on my way to work I drive across a Sleigh Ride sign maybe 10 minutes from home.  I always loved sleigh rides, and I thought it would be a fun family thing to do this winter, so I called to book a NYE sleigh ride a couple weeks ago, but they were already full for that day.  Which made me want to go (on that day) even more!  So I called again on the 29th, just to see, and guess what… they finally had an opening for the 31st at 3pm; so I booked it right away.  I’ve been on a few sleigh rides when I was a kid, but this one…it was just MAGICAL.

The sleigh can hold 15 people, so the first thing I did was to call my friends to inform them that they now had plans on the 31st… cause I already knew that just like us, they probably had nothing to do on NYE but spending the day in their pajamas with their kids… and I was right, so we now had exciting plans for NYE.  YES!

So there was a huge snow storm in Ottawa on the 31st… and when we got to the Beckett’s Creek Farms in Cumberland, it was just gorgeous with the snow falling, the huge old barns and the two big beautiful horses and wooden sleigh waiting for us.  We were ready for our ride, with, of course, some hot chocolate for our crew.  The kids were happy, but I was ecstatic!  Once we got on the sleigh it was breathtaking.  We rode in the most gorgeous forest.  I know I just said that it was breathtaking and now I am going to say that it took my breath away, but the scenery really did took our breath away.  Sometimes it was silent, with just the sound of horses pulling the old sleigh, sometimes we were singing along with the kids or just taking about how gorgeous it was. Middle of nowhere, huge snowflakes slowly falling on us, signing and laughing all the way through.

Half way, we stopped in a clearing of trees for 10 minutes; nobody but us.  We took some pictures, the kids made snow angels and threw a few snowballs.  Brian poured some hot cocoa for everyone and then took out his Beau’s New Lang Syne beer; we then got back on the sleigh and made our way back to the farm while enjoying our favorite drinks!

One hour sleigh ride full of smiles and laughs and pictures and memories; it was just priceless.  We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to spend our day together in this wonderful place.  As a side note, this year will be the last year of the Lalonde family Beckett’s Creek Sleigh Rides after doing this for many years, even going back the early 1900’s I believe.  So you can’t understand how that saddened me when I learned about it after 15 minutes in the trails while I had already made plans in my mind to do this again next year on NYE, and every other years after that.

So after the sleigh ride, everyone came back to our place, now finally all wearing our pajamas… we sat in front of the fireplace, had some drinks, some amazing snack food and my go to spaghetti and meatballs for diner, then made too many plans to count, which helped celebrate this new year and enter a new one.  The kids put on a show where they danced and sang for us; they were so proud!  But then we showed them how it was done Rock Star Style (or maybe more Celine Dion wanna be style!).  Found the craziest costumes and hats in my wardrobe, picked up a few hairbrush for microphones and before you knew it: the show must go on!  Let’s just say it was literally jaw dropping for our kids to see us perform and act crazy like we did!!!

Okay, well, I’ll talk about our singing and dancing group another time in another blog, but for now, just so you understand, we take ourselves pretty seriously when we perform!!!  And we think we’re pretty great at this, so when I say ‘act crazy’, it was more like a pretty spectacular NYE performance by The Whiskettes (even minus 2 key members and without any type of rehearsal)… Nothing like the Mariah Carey disaster in Times Square happening at the same time!

So we made it till midnight, cheered to the new year and wished each other only the best!  You know, I get why 2016 was a bad year for many, but 2016 was great to me and to our family.  We traveled, celebrated, spent times with the ones we love, made new friends, smiled a lot, and finally I got to create this blog!  So 2017, you’ve got big shoes to fill and I am ready for you.

Happy New Year everyone.  Santé, Bonheur et Succès.

 

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christmas cake…everyday cake

Are you full?  I bet you are… I know I still am!  But there’s always a spot left for my all-time favorite chocolate cake!

We had a really good Christmas this year.  We visited family, had fabulous meals with the ones we love, exchange presents and waited for Santa to come visit us -way past our bedtime- at the Woodbury Christmas Eve réveillon.  I can’t believe it’s already gone, makes me so sad having to take away our tree and decorations; but I think I’ll keep them for another week (or two)!

Since I’m not ready to say goodbye yet, I’m sharing this amazing chocolate cake recipe with you.  You can make it year round and you will not be disappointed, it really is a crowd pleaser!  It was our Christmas Day dessert this year (and probably will for the next 50).  I melted some Wilton White Chocolate Candy Melts in the microwave and spread it on a large parchment paper.  Let it cool at room temperature, melted a few chocolate chipits and then brushed the ‘bark’ with a small paintbrush.  Takes less than 15 minutes….very easy.

For the cake and icing, I’ve adapted a recipe from Marilou 3 fois par jour: Mon gâteau au chocolat préféré.  I took out the chipits from the cake and changed the icing for it to be a little more buttery.  The original is amazing -just like everything else she does-, but I really love the changes I made… suits my liking!

what you need for the cake:

butter to grease the cake pans

2 cups of flour

3\4 cups of cocoa

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1\2 teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

3 eggs

1 3\4 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s Olive Oil)

1 1\3 cups of water

what you need for the icing:

1 lbs of unsalted butter (oh yes, one pound!)

1\2 lbs of salted butter (I guess one pound was not enough; but like I said, it is buttery!!!)

3\4 cup of cocoa

3 cups of icing sugar

how to:

Heat up the oven at 350.  Grease the 2 cake molds (9 in.) with butter.

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Put aside.

In the mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but you may use a hand held mixer) add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Mix for about 3 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

In another separate bowl, mix the mayo and water.  Add to the mixer, alternating with the dry ingredients.

Pour into the cake pans, place in oven for about 30 minutes.  Let the cake cool down completely before icing.  I also suggest to freeze the cakes.  It’s easier to frost when it’s frozen, plus you can make your cakes in advance and unfreeze them the day your serving it.

For the icing, using your mixer again, mix the room temperature butter until fluffy.  Add the cocoa and icing sugar.  Mix on low setting until the icing is smooth and delicious!  Place your cakes on a nice cake stand, adding some icing between the layers.  Frost any way you like.  This frosting will be the best one you’ve ever tasted, I swear.  If you don’t like it, call me and I’ll come eat the entire cake!

I added the white chocolate bark all around the cake and placed a few decorations.  Theses were my great-grandma vinyl cake decorations… probably the only thing we have of hers… yet, we use them every year!  This cake needs no decoration at all, but it’s fun to dress it up for the occasion!

This IS simply the best cake EVER!  ENJOY!

 

 

 

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