last summer roadtrip

So one more last minute summer road trip before going back-to-school seemed like an excellent idea…  And it was! Late last week, in the mist of what seemed to be one of the most hectic week of the summer so far with Brian selling his truck, buying a new car, while getting everything ready for school, we decided to book 2 rooms at The Great Escape Lodge in Lake George, along with my sister-in-law Annick and her kids, as well as my father-in-law Joe, who all needed a getaway as much as us; so the more the merrier!

All packed up and excited, we left at 8am and made the 4-hour drive to the lake.  Once there, it was sunny, and hot, perfect weather… so we spotted a terrace by the water and had lunch.  We all wanted to take a boat ride to explore the lake, but since Brian and I had already taken our kids on the steamboat Minnie Ha Ha three years ago, we wanted to see if there were any other options to go on the lake.  So Joe told Brian ‘just go see how much it would be to rent a boat’.  Half an hour later we were on the lake in our pontoon!!!  Oh yes, we rented a nice pontoon for an hour on the lake and it was the best decision of the trip.  It was so much fun.  The boys were a bit afraid but once we were on board, they had a blast.  Cruising at our own pace, alone, with the kids waving at the huge steamboats, it was just awesome.  All that was missing were the drinks and nachos!  So we stopped in the middle of the lake where my nephew did an awesome back-flip from the side of the boat.  He was then joined by Liam for a quick swim, and then by Logan for a one second dip!  The boys fell asleep not long after while we were all enjoying being on the water.  It was such a blast that now the idea of owing a pontoon is roaming my husband’s mind ALL THE TIME since we came back from that boat ride.

We then explored the beach, the main street, made a few wished in the pond and bought a few souvenirs.

The boys were really anxious to see their ‘Maison de vacance’ (vacation house as they call it) so we then made our way to our hotel.  It was AMAZING.  It was huge, with an awesome indoor water-park, an arcade, multi levels treasure hunts and more.  I volunteered for the Target trip to get us drinks and snacks while the rest of the crew tried out the water-park.  Apparently they were having way too much fun, because although I spent over an hour going aisle by aisle with a Starbucks in my hand, when I came back to the hotel they were still at the pool and riding the slides.  Oh well, Target or water-slides, I guess it was a perfect way to end this great day for all of us.  We then all headed out for a late diner and came back full, ready for our next day adventures.

I really need to invest in hotel-rooms-black-out-drapes.  Not sure if it’s the exhaustion or if it’s the dark room but we sure slept late on vacation!  The Six Flags Great Escape amusement park was literally of the other side of the road to our hotel, connected with walkway for pedestrian.  No driving or parking fuss, just wake up, get ready and enjoy the park.  With almost no wait time at every rides, we were able to complete our to-do ride list and even do the water ones twice (it was over 30 degrees outside!).  Best part about the barrel water ride?  For 25 cents you can blast the boats with water cannons.  Hilarious!  We spent way too much time there but it was for sure the best money we spent on that trip!  Joe couldn’t stop laughing every time we would get someone soaking wet while feeding us with quarters to keep on going: 8 cannons shooting all in different directions with one of us at each of them waiting for a boat to come!!!  Yeah, hilarious!

We were done with the park at around 4:30, so instead of doing their favorite rides a second time, it was unanimous, and the kids all opted to go back to the hotel to spend more time at the water-park before diner.  This time I went.  Oh boy, not sure when was the last time I enjoyed water-slides that much.  My goal was not to get my hair wet, but that lasted for about 15 minutes until a giant water bucket dropped hundreds of liters of water directly on me.  Thanks Bry for telling me to stand ‘right there’ if I wanted to stay dry as the bucket was about to empty itself.  Well, my fav will always be the lazy river, and Logan’s too.  Liam went out of his comfort zone and tried to surf, and he was sooo good!  He’s not too keen on trying new things but he warmed up to the idea and went on his own to try it.  He loved and did it 6 times.  I was so proud!  My nephew did it like 50 times and was so natural on it at the end.  One more day and he would have been able to surf like they do in the movies!

I’m pretty sure Lake George is the capital of the mini putt.  Within couple KMs on each side of our hotel, I saw at least 6.  We chose to go at the Pirate’s Cove one.  Kind of ashamed to admit it but it was the boys first time… but it won’t be the last.  They loved it and were way better at the end.  Of course Liam got attached to his golf ball and then cried when he lost it in the 18th hole!!!  Well I didn’t cried because of my golf ball, but I almost did when we arrived at Martha’s Ice Cream and it was closed.  It was Dole Whip day after all and I was so looking forward to it!

Next morning we packed our stuff, and made a stop at the downstairs’ arcade.  These arcades should be illegal, it’s basically casinos for kids (or adults in Brian’s case).  We always leave discouraged… like we spend 50$ and then the kids get a 1$ gift for the thousands of tickets they won.  Go figure!  At least they had fun.

I knew a quick trip to Target would cheer them up.  And it did!  We then stopped at some outlets store and had lunch at an old school A&W where they still have car service.  We rode Go-Karts and THEN it was time to whip.  Dole Whip at Martha’s Ice Cream.  That place is a must if you’re in the region.  My father in law had the biggest ice cream come I’ve ever seen in my life… and he finished it!  Hopped back into the cars and made our way back.

We’re already planning where we’re going to go next year, and it will for sure be longer; as two nights is clearly not enough.  You have to visit Lake George.  It’s our 3rd time with the boys and we always find new stuff to do.  Hope you’re ready for back to school; I know I’m not!  Can’t believe summer is already over.  I still have 4 days left of vacay and I plan on making the most of it.  Summer 2017 went by so quickly, but still, I enjoyed being off work and at home with the boys so much.

Have a great last weekend before back-to-school everyone!

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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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take me out to the blueberry field

With an already jam packed weekend ahead, I decided that blueberry picking was in order on this beautiful Friday morning.

We used to live on the outskirt of our city, where we literally lived 3 minutes walking-distance away from a blueberry farm. It’s called Canaan Blueberries.  About 25 minutes from Ottawa. It’s a family operated berry farm on a few acre of beautiful land.  Once you enter the fields, you feel secluded from the world.  It’s quiet, and so delicious!

When we lived there, I use to take the boys in the stroller, park them in the field, and give them berries while I did the picking.  This year, they were ready to have own basket to fill, which they both dropped on the ground at one point; hence a small meltdown, oh well, we lived.

It was such a gorgeous day for berry picking.  We filled a basket for us and one for their Papi (AKA Frank!).  It took us just a little less than an hour, but you can easily fill yours in 20 minutes, if you can avoid distractions and meltdowns!!!  We will for sure go back next week.

Once we got home, we made some blueberry muffins and LEMONADE!  Oh, yes… blueberry lemonade.  And I have the recipe for you.

What you need:

SYRUP:

1 cup blueberries (fresh is best)

1\2 cup sugar

1\2 cup water

DRINK:

3 TBS lemon juice

3 TBS blueberry syrup

1 cup sprite or 7up

ice

How to:

Place water, sugar and blueberries in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the stove and let it cool for 5 minutes.

I made this drink by the glass, but you could easily adjust the quantities for a pitcher.

In a large glass, place ice, lemon juice, blueberry syrup and top off with sprite.  Add a lemon slice, fresh blueberries and fresh mint to garnish.  This version is non-alcoholic, but add gin and you’ve got a party!

You will have plenty of the blueberry syrup… for about 10 drinks.  Store the leftover in the fridge and you can warm it up the next morning for your toast.  You’re welcome!

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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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camp woods-part 1

Well, it took a while for the summer to start, but now it seems like it’s flying by so quickly; with half of it already gone by.  Camp Woods is something I started 3 years ago… being at home for the summer months with the boys, I didn’t want them to get bored -or to get bored myself!!!- doing the same old things every day.  So when spring time comes I always start looking online for some fun crafts and activities to do with them; you know, things that might interest us, movies we will want to see and stuff we will have fun to do at home.  I always consider their ‘flavor of the week’, and the things they love at the moment, and then I start planning ahead for my homemade summer camp!  Every week has its own little special twist including a few fun activities and surprises!  I’m not a strict camp monitor, so we go with the flow and add or remove stuff as the weeks go by.  This year the boys are still into Disney, Mario Bros, Cars and Minions.  We will also have a Minecraft week soon -although I hate everything about Minecraft- since the boys are really into it!

So here’s a few things we did the last few weeks:

-went for ice cream cone on Monday morning

-made popsicles sticks painted with Cars characters

-baked Minions cookies, then sneaked them into the theater to watch the movie

-made Minions sundaes

-had a last minute sleep over with our cousins

-built Cars Land in my kitchen and dining room, using basically everything we own

-made mini-pizza and had a pic-nic in our basement when it rained

-watch way to many movies (cause it just keeps on raining)

-made Mickey Mouse shaped avocado and egg sandwiches (all sandwiches should be eaten like that)

-built outside forts

-made some Mickey hats

-went to the cottage for paddle board and sea-doo

-made a Mickey Mouse ice cream cone (and nope, I didn’t share that one with the boys… made one and ate it while they were playing downstairs!!!)

-played at the park

-took the bouncer out of the garage every week to play outside with our neighbors

-tried to learn swimming with swimmers

-and much much more

Honestly, this year is a little bit harder… they aren’t as excited about all of this like they were before.  And we find ourselves with -probably- the same problem other parents face as well: the iPad thing.  Well, electronics in general in our case, with the iPad being the worst one, or their favorite one.  We don’t have cable or satellite so they don’t asked for TV much; but every day is a struggle to keep them away from the iPad.  So we had to set limits that we try to respect, but still, it seems like all they want to do as soon as they have a minute without anything planned is to play on the DS, or iPad, or Wii.  So that’s why I got to start planning my summer activities in the spring to keep them entertained!!!

So two weeks ago, we left the boys with my mom and then had a night out in Montreal.  We had bought tickets a while ago to go see Cirque du Soleil.  And it was awesome!!!  We can’t wait to bring the boys to see one, probably this one later this summer!  After the show we took a stroll on the docks of the Vieux Port and it was the best.  It had been a while since we’ve been there, and it was so nice.  With so many activities for both adults and kids.  As always, there were nice patios, but also zip lines, and shows and some shopping on a boardwalk.  For the kids, there was a bouncy pirate castle land, some ropes courses (not for kids, but for teens, or close-to-be teens), IMAX and so much more.  We plan to visit with my sister-in-law later this summer.  It was nice to be out just the two of us; we need to make more time for date nights like that.  And Cirque du Soleil is always a winner for us as we both love it so much.

So this week is all about Logan.  Baby Loggy is turning 5 on Friday and I want to savor and bottle up his last days of being 4.  He’s so excited about his ‘music’ birthday, it’s all he talks about, he doesn’t even realise how distressed I am that my baby is turning 5.  I will share some pictures of his birthday party next week… but let’s just say that I made some of the most fun and hilarious kids Beatles costumes ever!  I’m sure birthday number five will also be one to remember!

With 4 weeks left before going back to work, I want to spend more one on one time with the boys, I want to put the electronics aside a little and plan together what we want to do!  Let me know what are your summer plans, the fun things your family do, and your tricks for getting them off the freakin iPad!!!

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canada day and a quick getaway

So last weekend was Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations across the nation.  We were not planning on going downtown Ottawa for all the big festivities, but I was very excited and really looking forward to our own celebrations, and BBQ’s, and friends, and local fireworks and Canada Day cake… but by Saturday afternoon, most of our plans had fell through, mainly due the crappy weather, so I was just miserable, at home, with nothing to do on this long weekend.  So I decided to take a nap.  Even then, I was so bored I couldn’t even fall asleep.  So I sent a text message to Brian, who was playing Mario Kart with the boys downstairs, asking him if we could go somewhere; like anywhere!!!

Of course, I knew he wouldn’t say no to that!

So I sent him the text at 3:30 pm… by 3:45 we had agreed on a destination, and by 4:00 we were out the door, and on our way to the USA on Canada Day!  Well, that doesn’t sound too much patriotic, but I got to say that we did look at some destination in Canada first; Brian wanted to go see his beloved Red Sox in Toronto, but it just didn’t work out.

I love Canada!  I truly love everything there is to love about our awesome and unique country, and I am so proud to be Canadian, but seriously, if there’s one thing the American got right is that they didn’t let Target go bankrupt!!!  So while Brian was booking the hotel online, I was figuring out the shortest route to get to my beloved Target!

We left at around 4pm and didn’t stopped until we made it to Watertown’s Target.  I promise Brian before the trip I’d be good and reasonable and wouldn’t spend too much as this was last minute and clearly not planned in our summer budget!  Well I kept that promise for about two hours.  Still can’t believe that store didn’t worked out in Canada.  Obviously not because of me, as I visited the Orleans store at least once a week while it was open!  Even the boys were excited to see the giant red balls outside.  So within one hour in the store I had already found so many things I didn’t even know I absolutely needed!  It felt so good, and I was so happy, with my Starbuck in one hand and a red shopping cart in the other.

We then got back on the road.  Brian had book a nice hotel in an awesome neighborhood of Syracuse, NY.  We stayed at the Marriott in Armory Square; surrounded by old buildings, beautiful flowers lining streets and string lights everywhere.  We loved it as soon as we saw the location of the hotel.  We arrived shortly before 9, check ourselves in, unpacked and then headed down to the lobby for some drinks and snacks while waiting for my mom and Frank.  They too, had decided to join us on our crazy last minute getaway.

I don’t know a lot about Syracuse, but I’m pretty sure we had the best location in town.  At 10 pm, we ventured out to find a place to eat.  Right by the hotel there was a great place, Pastabilities, only to find out that the kitchen had just closed minutes ago.  It’s definitely on the list for our next trip.  So Brian then walked into a cute little alley and found a place called Modern Malt.  He came back to get us, and as soon as I walked in, I was in love with the place.  Retro style Diner with a pretty glass dessert display, a colorful aqua and orange decor and some delicious looking chocolate milkshakes on the menu!  We shared a fig jam and caramelized onion burger on a brioche, and it was sooo good!!!   Wish we would have had more time in Syracuse in order to go back for breakfast.  They had some waffles-with-everything meal and it looked just delish!  I honestly would have tasted everything on the menu.

Sunday morning was slow and relax.  We enjoyed breakfast in the lobby while planning out our day.  We drove to a few stores my mom wanted to go to and then it was Destiny shopping!  Spent a few hours browsing the stores.  Found a few things.  Then the boys did a rope course that they loved.  Unfortunately, they were just a few inches shy of making it to the big course.  Next time.  We shared some awesome nachos at Margaritaville for lunch.  Then played arcade games where Liam won the roulette tickets jackpot and where Brian wanted to spend the rest of the day!  By late afternoon we were all tired and decided to head back to our rooms for a nap and swimming.  Swimming for Brian and the boys, and yep, a nap for me!  Not sure what it is about hotel pools, but they’re always the best according to my boys.  They ended up meeting some other kids, and their mom had floating balls that they were all throwing in the pool, and they raced, and it was just so much fun apparently… oh well, nothing beats a nap in a comfy hotel bed!!!

For diner, of course we had to go to The Cheesecake Factory.  It was, as usual, so good!!!  And bonus, I ate my cheesecake for breakfast the next morning!

Next day came by way too quickly and it was already the end of our short and unplanned but so much fun summer vacation.  So we packed our stuff, got in the car and started our journey back.  We made another stop at Target (upon my kids request, I swear), then Cracker Barrel and then home.

I love these last minute getaway road trips.  Luckily, I have people who love crazy ideas and always want to tag along.  We’re all sad that it went by so quick.  But we had a lot of fun spending time together, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we go back!

For now, at least, it seems like we brought back the sun with us; so let’s enjoy our backyard pool a little and let’s hope summer is here for good!!!

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float like a cadillac, sting like a beemer

It’s already June, the summer is here, it’s the end of the school year, the days keep on going by so quickly, there’s so much to do at work, but you know what… by the end of the week, no matter what, I’ll be on VACATION for two full months.

It seems like our minds have been on over-drive for Lighting McQueen, Mater and their friends for the last couple of weeks.  We’ve known about Cars 3, the new Disney/Pixar movie, coming out for almost a year now and the boys have been counting the days for at least the last 30 of them.

We had planned on seeing the movie on Saturday night at the drive-in, cause watching Cars in a car is a must!  We actually saw Cars 2 in Lake George 6 years ago at the drive-in with 6 month old Liam sitting/sleeping on my lap, and we loved it!  But on Thursday night, after a long day at work I decided to surprise the boys with a last minute trip to the theater to watch the movie premiere.  They were ecstatic.  And we all fell in love with the movie, all over again.

Two weeks ago, at 1 am, while not sleeping and scrolling on Facebook, I found a meet-Lightning-McQueen-event at the Kanata Canadian Tire.  The next morning, we had breakfast, packed our toy cars, drove to Kanata and got in line.  We arrived early, so by 10:05 we had already had our picture taken.  We then played with remote controlled Cars for a little while before driving back home.  So happy we had decided to go early… we did NOT end up waiting an hour and a half like some of the other moms did.

After meeting McQueen, the boys started to watch the two Cars movies and play with their little cars non-stop.  So let’s just say that my summer Camp Woods tradition is back and last week was Cars week!  The boys bought cars from the new movie with their chore money, we played games, they wore matching pj’s (of course my fav!) and then it was drive-in time!

We spent Saturday morning buying treats and fun drinks, baking a cake and making McQueen eyes for our car (a must for watching Cars at the drive-in, right?).  Brian was really not impressed with my suggestion (more like me begging to do it!!!) to install the McQueen eyes right before entering the drive-in lot.  Well, I think he may have considered doing it for a second, but then said no!  That did not stopped me… cause that’s the first thing I did right after he had stopped the car!

It was really hot and humid, but thankfully the rain and storm held off.  So while I was installing my McQueen eyes, Brian was installing something almost as essential as popcorn at the Gatineau drive-in: nets on our windows!  At our local drive-in there are two large movie screens, hundreds of cars and a lot of mosquitos… or billions of mosquitos as Brian kept complaining about before, during and after the movie.  So we ate tons of crap and sweets with the saltiest popcorn ever!  It was just great.  The boys and myself seated in the front while Brian and Jojo watched the movie on the back seat with their own wine mini-bar!  We had to crank up the air conditioner once in a while, but beside that, it was pretty quiet other than the casual KA-CHOW the boys made every time they saw McQueen doing something funny!

I didn’t expect crying during Cars 3, but boy I did.  I was so nostalgic… and, you know what, it was not only because of how much I love McQueen… but more because things are changing so much, the boys are growing up so fast, and the world seems so messed up sometimes, all around us, while all we’re actually trying to do is to find our place and be healthy and keep on enjoying small things that make us happy.

Well, there are no better things in life than spending a Saturday night, all snuggling in our car, making memories and laughing all together.  I hope the boys will remember these summer nights for as long as I will.  ‘Forever could never be long enough for me; together could never be close enough for me’ as long as I have them both sitting on my lap for an entire movie at the drive-in! (BTW, lyrics from the group Train).

So, for all Cars Movie lovers, this new movie is a must. We will probably end up seeing it again in the theater in the next few weeks.  And so should you!  But until then, we will continue to have fun, to enjoy life and summer, while keep on racing to the finish line… KA-CHOW!!!

 

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a few pictures in the orchard

I love pictures… I think you already know that by now!  So, I’ve been attempting to take some family pictures for a while, but without any success with all the parties, activities, golf, work, etc… it seems like we always end up having a reason to push back our photo session.

So last Wednesday, we finally had 30 minutes without anything to do after work/school and before a diner in Orleans we were all attending, so I’ve gathered all of our clothes, picked up the boys at school and drove back to Orleans for a photo shoot!

At first I wanted to go the Lincoln Park in Ottawa where there’s hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees, but no time for that this year, so we’ve ended up at the Orleans Fruit Farm where we usually go apple picking.  And it was gorgeous.

I had called earlier in the day to see if they would let us take some pictures, and they did!  So we had the orchard to ourselves; hundreds of beautiful apple trees all in delicate white flowers waiting for us!  We only had about 20 minutes to change clothes, find a nice spot and take some pictures… so it was rush rush rush.  I convinced one of my friend to tag along so she could take some pictures of the four of us.  I have to say, I trained the boys incredibly well!  They knew exactly how to pose and what to do… she would just say ‘Hey, Liam’, and he would get close to a tree, strike a pose and look at the camera with a nice, happy and proud smile… they were both so funny!  They always find ways to crack me up and take silly pictures.

Of course I wish we would have had more time for the photoshoot and had more time to prep ourselves, but these will have to do for this year.  Maybe next year I’ll splurge and hire a photographer for an official family photoshoot!  You should definitely think of going to the Orleans Fruit Farm, for pictures, but also for their amazing products.  I can’t wait for their tasty strawberries, but with this weather I guess I’ll eat some in September or something.

Hope you have a great weekend, I know we will, cause it’s Bry’s birthday tomorrow!

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a mess, a pool and a pic nic

For the first time this year the sun came out for an entire weekend, and what did we ended up doing?  Striping off the paint from our deck, oh yeah, almost all weekend long.  BORING!

We’ve been pushing back this tedious task for weeks now, but we’ve finally started.  When I start something, I like to finish it as soon as possible, but I don’t see this one being finished anytime soon… and that’s so discouraging!

Friday night we attended the Confirmation of my niece Nini and nephew Jay-Jay.  So right after work, we drove down to our hometown, ordered pizza from our favorite pizza place, and then headed to church for the celebration.

Saturday morning, I slept in!  Not sure when was the last time I slept until 8:24; which is when my phone rang!  Oh well, we had a lot of work to do, so I had to get up eventually anyway.  Let just say that we’re not the best at doing renovation.  We have no clue what we’re doing.  Give me crafts any day of the week, but renovations, well it seems like it often ends up as fail.  And we did fail.   We had borrowed my father-in-law water pressure machine to clean the deck and get it ready for painting.  Brian thought there was not enough pressure, so he texted our friend Mat to borrow his gas pressure washer.  Well that one had a lot of pressure, like way too much as it literally stripped the wood from the deck!  When wet, while Brian was doing it, I couldn’t really see the damaged he was doing, but as soon as it dried up a little, I couldn’t believe it, it was a disaster!  At least we didn’t ruined all of it, since I’ve noticed he wasn’t doing it right after about 30 minutes… but still, we now have to sand 1/4 of the deck before we can paint it.  Brian’s response when I came out to see how he was doing with the deck and realized he was ruining it was: ‘well, the guy on YouTube said…’; oh boy, don’t quit your day job honey!  We spent the entire day on Saturday working on this task.  So long, and boring.  At least we had friends over for BBQ and drinks to make it a fun day!

Sunday morning, back to cleaning the deck.  I would say we are now 3/4 done with the stripping and cleaning part.  Then sanding and painting.  Brian left for golf and the boys and I had our first swim of the season.  Yay!  I have no clue what was the water temperature, and I don’t want to know, but let me tell you it was really cold.  The boys didn’t care either… and Logan jumped in it without even touching it first and stayed there for at least 40 minutes.  We had a blast, jumping, splashing and swimming around.  I bought the most awesome pool float, a TACO!  Not sure who gets all these ideas for amazing pool float, but I’m obsessed with them and I keep on buying some more!!!

After our swim, we took a nap.  Nothing better than a nap after spending time in the sun and the pool.  We then packed a lunch and headed to the park for our first pic-nic of the summer.  Perfect weather, with lots of mosquitos and lots of rocks to throw in the water.  We found a table near the water to eat our snacks and then played in the structures and slides.  When I asked the boys what they liked the most about our day, Logan said jumping in the pool while Liam preferred throwing rocks in the water.  He just loves to throw rocks in the water!

So for the first nice weekend of the summer, let say we worked hard and played hard!  Can’t wait to do it all over again next week… minus the mess we made on the deck… hopefully, by then, my backyard patio will be nice again!  Hope your weekend was great as well and that this week goes by fast!

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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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