easter

A week later, I’d say that we’re still recovering from Easter weekend and ALL the food we ate… and a new weekend just begun where we have two trips scheduled to the Sugar Shack!!! Omg, if I die this weekend, I will definitely not die hungry.

So last weekend was a rough one… and not because of over-excited kids due to chocolate cause they barely ate any! Nope, it was just an exhausting, but still fun, long weekend. I am just glad I had Monday off!

Like I mentioned in my last post, we have LOTS of traditions on Easter weekend. We always over-schedule and forget to include quiet and nap time. Well, this year was no different! It all started on Good Friday when we left the house to go shopping in Montréal. We dropped the kids at my Mom’s, pick-up Jojo and headed to Montréal for brunch and shopping. We (well I), had plan to have brunch at Café Ricardo, truly the highlight of my weekend!!! What a beautiful place. Bright, beautifully decorated and a dessert show-case to make you drool. And that, we did! I could talk about the place for hours… everything matches, the color scheme is dreamy and the food was visually perfect and so tasteful. Wish I live closer, but I`ve heard through the vines that Ottawa may get their own Café Ricardo in 2019. If that happens, I want a membership card or something. So sign me up, buttercup!

We then ventured to the shopping part of our trip. Browsed through the Ricardo boutique, bought some cute stuff while coming out with a long wish list. Then, like everyone else in town, we headed out to the shopping mall. So crowded, so loud, so many people, at that point, I regretted not sleeping in and staying home that morning! Did manage to buy a few things but we were all too tired to kept on shopping. So we drove back to our hometown, picked-up the boys and headed to the annual Good Friday fish/egg/fries/poutine but NO meat diner at Lulu’s! Not sure when was the last time we had so much fun… we played a music game and let’s just say the competition was extreme… but my team won and we had a blast, so that’s all that counts!!!! Got home so late, with my three companions sleeping most of the way back, then unloaded the car and past out for a few hours.

But for a second off day in a row, there was no sleeping in for us… a bright and early Easter Egg Hunt was waiting for the boys (that I had planned the night before at 12:30 am). There`s something sooo exciting and fun about cheap plastic colored eggs! The kids love it, and I love it… so we opted to give the boys a bit of money instead of chocolate or candy and they were quite excited about it, and didn’t lost any time to put it in their own piggy bank for our next trip! Then they received their actual Easter basket, stocked with pj’s, books, bubbles and treats. The boys spent a few hours playing Egg Hunt on their own, which was so fun to watch. I swore to them and I’ll swear to you that I had hidden the same number of eggs for both of them, yet, Logan got 9 and Liam got 10. That created a bit of chaos, but in the end, we gave him the extra loonie since it’s all going in the same pot; our Disney Cruise pot!

We later left home and drove to the Beau’s All-Natural Brewery to fill-up Brian’ own Easter basket with his own favorite treats, and then headed out to my Mom’s for dinner; which turned out to be quite the evening actually! Logan is obsessed playing bingo, and yes, we played all evening long. Let’s just say that if you combine bingo and beers, it ends up as being an extremely hilarious game! We laugh so much and in the end, we even all won prizes! My mom has bought a lots of toys from the dollar store to give out as prizes for bingo games with the kids, but this time around, knowing she’d be playing with grown-ups as well, she had bought some stuff for adults too… so we all ended up winning some oven mitts, which made up for some splendid Instagram live stories we all want to forget! Once the kids were in bed, Brit, Alyssa, Brian and I ended up in the spa for what seem to be like a good two hours, right before ordering pizza at midnight… probably not the best idea but it was for sure a delicious one! Let’s just say Easter Sunday was rough for a few of us… yeah, Brian’s Easter basket was all empty by the morning!

We did manage to have a loud and crazy brunch with all the grandkids reunited… sugar was still running high while patience was starting to run low. We all survived and then packed up the car, made another stop at Lulu’s, then at Pépère’s, and then at my mother-in-law for our annual chicken and ribs Easter dinner. Great dinner, great time, but after three days on the go, I couldn’t wait to be back home and enjoy a long night sleep in my own bed with finally a chance to sleep in.

Monday was for pajama’s, movies, naps, while also hiding all the chocolate we had brought home. Made zero attempt to get anything done beside meals and I was ok with that!

So now, we are all impatiently waiting for spring to arrive, trying not to eat the hidden chocolate… so this week, I got the boys registered for soccer and swim lessons, while waiting for the next long weekend, which for me happens to be next weekend… as I am leaving home for 4 days for our annual girls’ spa weekend getaway! But first, let’s start by enjoying this weekend. Hope it’s a good one for you too my friends!

 

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extra maple syrup please

The sun is out, weather is gorgeous, snow is melting, and the sugar shacks season is right upon us! And I just love this time of the year; you know, when the mild temperature allows me to wear my light jacket outside and to open all of the windows of the house when inside. But also because of maple syrup! I’m actually more of a salty kind of person, but in the spring, bring me all the maple flavoured food you can find, and I’ll try it all. I can’t wait to hit the sugar shack!

So, since I’ve been craving for some of that delicious seasonal sugar shack food, I’ve decided to try – with a twist – a few maple flavoured recipes. And man did I hit the jackpot. I spent a day cooking up a storm to achieve this menu, but you don’t have to do it all in one day. Here’s mylemondroplife’s take on MAPLE! Oh yeah, by the way, may I present you my brand new Apple MacBook!!! I’m sooo excited about it, and about the fact that I can now create some awesome one-page recipe with it for my blogs… I promise I will now have at least one new amazing recipe a month!

First, pea soup…yep! So now you might all think, ‘how boring could this be after she literally just said she’d come up with some amazing recipe…’, well let me tell you that with the delicious bacon and roasted ham, hello, this recipe is nothing short of AMAZING!


Now, the piece of resistance, Chicken & Waffles with Maple Hot Butter Sauce. This literally blew my mind. I had been wanting to make Chicken & Waffles forever, but this Maple Hot Butter Sauce really took this dish to the next level. I served the C&W with a light Arugula salad with maple butter dressing. I also made some Oreilles de Crisse. Not sure how to translate this to English, but anyway, so salty and so good! Next time I want to make them on the Charcoal. Salty and smokey should be an awesome combo. And last but not least, Maple Baked Donuts. But today I’ll be sharing only the pea soup and the C&W recipes. I’ll be sharing the donuts another day.


In the coming weeks, gather some friends and family and recreate some of these recipes for an homemade sugar shack experience. They’ll be a hit! And then you can have some Maple Taffy in the backyard… but do it soon… as the snow is melting quickly!

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olympic ready

We are officially ready to cheer! Cheer for the Olympic games that is! We love the Olympics and we couldn’t be more excited. For two weeks we’ll be seated at the edge of our seats waiting for results, times, scores, medals, etc. Well, maybe we will already know the results because of time difference with Pyeongchang, but still, it’s so nerve racking to watch our Canadian athletes perform!

The boys loved to watch the last summer Olympics and were in awe for every competition, but mostly for diving… as they couldn’t believe real people were doing crazy stuff like that! We then started playing in the pool, jumping around, where I would present each of them as if they were contestants. Liam surprised us and did a front flip for the first time (without anyone knowing this was coming) and we went all crazy! He was so proud of himself right after he came out of the water, not too sure of what had just happened; but I was almost as proud of myself for catching it on video! We still cheer every time we watch it. And if he makes it to the Olympics one day, well that will make an awesome feel-good story on TV, with the video of its first jump ever!

So to say we are ready for some friendly winter competition is an understatement. The boys’ stuffed animals have already been competing in acrobatic skiing and jumping, winning soccer and go-kart medals as well as some of Brian’s dad old trophies we keep in the boys’ room!

We’ve also decorated our home with flags of various countries, drew the Olympic rings on the blackboard, and gathered all our Go-Canada gear. Found the cutest Olympic long john’s at The Bay for the boys, so fun to dress them in one-piece again!

We will be watching the Opening Ceremony tomorrow night with an Olympic flag pizza (which I’ll try to re-create from Pinterest). I’ve also made this cute cake in the shape of a tuque! We had so much fun baking and decorating our mini-donuts to build the Olympic rings. There is now sprinkles everywhere in my house, though!

Competitions are already underway, as there was some curling and alpine skiing today, so Go Canada! We’ll be watching and cheering for all of our athletes; and medal or not, you guys make us proud anyway. Good luck to all.

So, even if we’re full on-cheering for Canada with our gears and everything ready in our house, we will also be – very closely – following and cheering for one of our neighbors from the United States, Andrew Weibrecht, who has a special place in our hearts. Andrew’s family owns the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, and although we weren’t able to meet with him when we visited the beautiful MLI in December, we certainly got the chance to admire his two Olympic medals at the reception desk, and would love to see a another one on the wall next time we’re visiting. He’ll now be in his 3rd games, and I have to say that I will be cheering for him in his super-G races.

So Go Canada Go! And Go Andrew Go. Make us all proud! I wish you all some great 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic games.

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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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new year and a leftover sandwich


Happy New Year My lemon drop life friends! Hope you had the best of time ringing in the new year; I know we sure did! Last year we went on this beautiful sleigh ride on the 31st which ended up being one of my all-time fav NYE ever. This year we were planning on doing the exact same thing, so we had booked a sleigh ride at Fairmont Château Montebello on Sunday afternoon with some of our best friends, but with the extreme cold weather, sadly, we had to cancel. Instead, we opted for indoor activities –virtual golf for the boys and movies for the moms and kids-, followed by take-out dinner from the best Indian restaurant, lots of board games, champagne and cupcakes, sparkles and crowns, as well as fun eats and treats for everyone!

For the last couple of years we’ve been hosting New Year’s Eve at our place with our friends and their kids; but don’t get excited here, as it is nothing fancy or complicated like the NYE parties we used to go to years ago. Nope, we’re now just a bunch of people who want to spend the last evening of the year in pure laziness wearing pyjama’s while enjoying music, drinks, but still, with a lot of fun times on the menu. Yep, that’s just the way I like it!

This year the kids actually all stayed up late enough to celebrate the NYE countdown with us. I can still remember a time when we had play pens installed in every rooms of the house for all the sleeping babies. Not anymore! They played downstairs by themselves for most of the night, building forts, playing Mario Kart, watching a movie and singing karaoke! Next year I’m bringing that karaoke system upstairs, and it will be the mom’s turn to put on a NYE show!

All the kids went to bed clearly past their bedtime, some of them falling asleep on the couch and some others asking to go to bed; but not Liam, as he was still chatting with us in the living room at like 1:30 am when he finally fell asleep on the couch. We really need to go back to our regular schedule asap, if not, next Monday’s return to school will be brutal! So next morning was pretty lazy and relax with everyone waking up later than usual. We made it a bit late to my mom’s brunch, which consisted of delicious homemade paninis (in the panini grill I got her for Christmas!), salads and potatoes. Miam! We then played card games and bingo with the boys in the afternoon where I won a flute, Logan some cut off gloves and Liam a toonie.

On New Year’s Day we always go for dinner at Lulu’s place with the Woodbury family, and this year was no exception. I’d say that Brian’s aunt served dinner for something like 40 relatives over something like five different sittings. Yeah, a full-on turkey dinner with all the fixings that was beyond amazing; all that plus a choice of five different kind of pies for dessert. I don’t know how she does it! The boys had a blast with their cousins making Snapchat videos, paper airplane contests and jumping up and down the basement walls and couches. By the end of the evening, they were exhausted and it didn’t take three minutes for them to fall asleep when we left. And that concluded the holiday season for us. I’m sad that it’s all over, but at the same time I’m glad that I can now spend a few days at home with the boys with nothing planned; PJs all day being the only thing on the schedule for now!

The Christmas decorations are down, the tree is in the garage, the house is mostly cleaned-up from our NYE party, so it’s almost back to normal, other than the fact that we’re still basically living on leftovers. So if you’re like us and have some of that delicious turkey left, you’ll enjoy this awesome recipe; which is definitely the best way to get rid of your leftovers in an amazing and delicious way; here it goes!

What you need:
-Crusty bread
-Leftover turkey
-Mayo
-Cranberry jelly
-A few Brie cheese slices
-Butter
-Granny Smith apple

How to:
Butter the crusty bread on both sides. Mix 2 tablespoons of mayo with 2 tablespoons of the cranberry jelly. Spread on one side of both pieces of bread. Add turkey, apple slices and Brie cheese. Top with the second bread slice. Using a panini maker or a cooking pan, grill the bread until golden (turning once if using a pan). Cut in half and enjoy! Such an easy way to enjoy some delicious turkey and that amazing holiday taste one last time!

Hope you’ve made some good resolutions for the new year. I’m still trying to figure out mine, but as always, trying to be a better person will surely be on top of the list. Then reading, running and travelling more! 2017 was great to me and my family… but I’m ready for more and I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring us. Happy New Year everyone, let’s hope it’s a good one!

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weekend and sticky buns

Another beautiful weekend that went by way too fast once again! All that gorgeous snow this morning really putted us all in a festive mood… while also catching us by surprise, as we didn’t have our winter tires installed yet… but thanks to my brothers-in-laws, it’s now done!

So it was a PD day on Friday and it turned out being my turn to be off work at school; called my Mom Thursday night, made some plans for the Friday morning, dropped off the boys at daycare and left on a little road trip to the States for the day. The drive was awesome and the shopping too! Of course the first stop was Target, and as expected, it was just awesome and I was able to cross off many things from my list. Got to see the new Joanna and Chip line, unfortunately, all I wanted was already gone… oh well, next time! One of my favorite lunch place is Panera’s. I know we have it here now, but it’s just not the same… I don’t know, I just love to go to Panera’s every time I’m in the States! So right after I had paid for my sandwich and soup, on my way to my table, after I had waited in line for a long time, I spotted some delicious looking Pecan Sticky Buns. I was so mad I hadn’t seen them before, and I didn’t wanted to do the line again, so I didn’t get it, but then they were on my mind all afternoon long!

So by Saturday morning, at about 7h30 am, I was on a mission as I had decided that I was finally going to have some Pecan Sticky Buns, once and for all.

I’ve used Chatelaine’s recipe and tweaked it a bit. It turned out to be quite easy to do, and oh my, sooo DELICIOUS. I will be making these on Christmas morning for sure. And you should too! Here it goes:

Pecan Sticky Buns

What you need:

Dough:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 pack quick-rise instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup hot water

1/2 cup hot milk

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg

Sauce:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup pecans

Filling:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to:

In a large bowl, mix1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the milk, hot water, butter and egg. Using a wooden spoon, add 1 3/4 cup of flour to the bowl, all while stirring until the dough comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl for 4 minutes. Preheat your oven at 160 and insert the bowl with a damp cloth over it. Turn off oven and let rise for an hour.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar, honey and vanilla in a saucepan for the sauce. Cook on medium heat until bubbly. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. I only sprinkled half of the dish with the nuts, leaving half for regular buns. But definitely better with!

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to create a paste. Then leave aside.

Remove dough from oven. Preheat the oven at 350 for baking the buns. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the dough. Using a rolling pin, spread the dough and try roll it into a square shape. It’s note easy because the dough will be stretchy, but try your best! Mine was roughly 12”x12”. Spread the brown sugar paste evenly everywhere on the dough. Then start from the bottom and roll tightly.

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces of about one inch each and lay the pieces in the baking dish. Lightly brush a bit of vegetable oil on top of the buns.

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Chatelaine recommend to cover with foil if they get golden too fast, but I didn’t have to do it. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. The sauce will be extremely hot. Using a cookie sheet and parchment paper, cover the baking dish and flip the dish over. Be careful, this is very hot! But very good!!!

Honestly, I never had any Pecan Sticky Buns before, so I can’t really compare, but these tasted amazing. The dough was easy to make, and so soft. I will be using this recipe for donuts and bread. If you don’t bake often, this recipe is super easy. One big bowl does the trick, no need for super appliances or gadgets.

The caramel sauce with pecans is kind of addictive. I’m telling you, this recipe should definitely be part of your Holidays’ baking list; as it will not disappoint! Have a great week my friends!

  

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my new very goodfood

I really love to cook, like I’ve always enjoy doing it, especially when I have a lot of time to do it, or when I try new recipes, or when I’m entertaining and having people over for dinner.  You know, as a younger couple, before Liam and Logan were part of our life, Brian and I used to cook and try so many different meals on weeknights; but as of late we’ve been kind of lazy, and I feel like it’s been getting worst and worst over the past few years… until we’ve realized, not too long ago, that we had fallen into some sort of weeknights meal rut where we would eat the same kind of boring meals, week after week.  But that was until my girlfriend Véro introduced me to a food delivery service she had been trying for the last few weeks… really, a way out from having spaghetti every Tuesday night?  Wow, thanks Véro, what a great timing!!!  So right there, while thinking of my next Tuesday night meal, I knew I had to give it a shot!

So It’s called Goodfood.  The day after she told me all about it I did a bit of research and I was hooked, like immediately.  The website was just awesome, easy friendly, with FAQ, information about the recipes, about where they get the food and how it will be delivered right to your door… so you select the package that is most convenient for your family, the best delivery dates, and then you get to select your meals… that was the best part, of course!  Well, it was, until the moment when I actually received my first meal kit.  Receiving my first box was so much fun.  From the very moment I signed up I had been eager to receive my first box.  I was so excited about that weeknight meal, you have no idea.  So excited to cook something fancy for my family on a Monday night!  And so excited to try something new.  And I was NOT disappointed, from the moment I opened the box until we sat for diner… as it was just so good!

First, the packaging was amazing.  My first delivery was on a warm day and I was a bit skeptical about it all, you know, with fresh produces waiting for me on my front porch… but once I opened it up, everything was nicely packed, cool and fresh, along with beautiful colored and easy to read recipes (that I will certainly keep for future use!).  Each meal as its own clear bags of produce with EVERYTHING you will need for the recipe!  If the recipe calls for one clove of garlic, then you get one clove of garlic, that simple!  There’s nothing I hate more than having to throw away good food because we didn’t use enough of it in a recipe or during the week.  With this food service, we use what we need and in the end there is so much less waste.

The only thing you might use from your kitchen is salt and pepper, olive oil and water.  Every bottles and jars are carefully labelled in English and French!  The packaging is sooo pretty, you’d think Martha Stewart packed it all herself!  Another plus, all the boxes, bags, jars and bottles can all be recycled, even the ice-packs, which is just awesome cause it’s environmentally friendly.  Which I try to be, you know.

As for the recipes… nothing short of AMAZING so far!  We’ve already tried food we had never had before and we all loved it, even the boys loved it too!  Everything is tasty and well portioned.  So, if you don’t know it yet, well so far, I am really impressed! And just to be clear, so you all understand, this is not pre-made or pre-cooked, like you may save some time in the end, but you really need some preparation and cooking time… it’s just easier to do, with all the right ingredients, spices, meats and produces right there for you… so don’t worry here, you won’t lose that feeling of being the real deal, cause with Goodfood, you still feel as the ‘Chef’ of your very own kitchen!

One of the biggest perks is that I can skip a week or two and place an order only for the weeks we want to get some food delivered.  And if I ever decide to stop, I can do it at any time.  But I don’t think I will!!!  Cause right now, I am just so happy I was introduced to Goodfood… as I’ve been pleased with all of our meal choices so far… and not only we now eat nice varied meals, it did bring back some fun and excitement to our weeknight dinners and cooking!!!

So, I’ve got a deal for you if you’d like to try it.  You can sign up using this link and get 40$ off your first order.  I’m telling you, this will cost you less than what you would pay for quality food at the grocery store in order to cook these fancy and delicious recipes.  So no reason not to try it, really!

Let me know if you’re considering trying it but still have some questions … I know I sure did when I first signed up.  I would be happy to try and help you deal with you’re weeknight meal rut and bring back some excitement into your kitchen!

So today is Monday, and guess what, I’ve just tried an awesome new Thai shrimp curry recipe!

Have fun cooking and bon appétit mylemondroplife friends!

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t’was the weekend before halloween

It was another crazy jam-packed week at our house.  I often/always make too many plans… at least this week there were a lot of Halloween’s related activities, which I’ll never get enough of!

So on Friday night, we visited Pumpkin Inferno at Upper Canada Village; where over 7000 beautiful pumpkins are all lighten up and displayed in different themes and sections of the village. We were joined by my sister-in-law, her family and matante Lulu for the evening. So right after work, we all changed and got ready to leave, picked up a super healthy diner at McDonald’s and then drove the 1:25 it takes from our house to get there. Just about 20 minutes before we arrived, I kind of had a flash that I may had forgotten the boys winter jackets. So we stopped on the side of the road, opened the trunk, to see nothing else than my own jacket in there. Yep, parents of the year, once again. The boys were wearing sweaters, but with a very cold October night ahead, we were in trouble. Well, the boys were in trouble, cause Brian and I were fine with our Fall jacket on! So we went through a couple of stores that were still opened, including the local Home Hardware, but nope, couldn’t find anything there. So we got to Upper Canada Village, parked the car, gave the boys our jackets while we were all waiting in line, and once we made it in, we got the boys a nice souvenir from Upper Canada Village: two –way too large- jackets that they’ll probably never wear again. Ah well, at least we had a great time and the boys didn’t freeze too much. It is such a beautiful place to visit, whether you love or not Halloween. I wish these pumpkins were all in my front yard!

So then on Saturday night there was a surprise party organized for my friend Karine, which turned out to be like an all-day event! But such a fun day where we all had a blast! First we had lunch at Fraser Café in Ottawa. I had never been there, and it was simply delicious. I want to go back like right now, and try other things from their awesome menu! We then took a walk on the parkway with the most gorgeous Fall weather. Then I went back home to finish the surprise birthday cake, and then back to another restaurant for the surprise party with friends and family. Seriously, I’m getting way too old for this, but since it was my friend’s birthday I went along with it… and we stayed at the pub until past 1:00 am… ouch!!! Let just say that Sunday was a very lazy day for me. We did the treat bags and carved out our pumpkin, all while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. We had a little theme going on with Jack Skellington pie and hand painted mugs we used for hot chocolate. With all that cold rain, we really needed it! So then, painfully, I got through Sunday without even a nap.

Monday was for last minute Halloween preps. Making sure the Cars’ costumes were secure enough to bring to school, started to crimped my hair for my own costume (newfound respect for my Mom who used to do my hair like that when I was a kid and also for all the girls who were teens in the late 80’s), and then stocked the boys Halloween owl’s chairbacker with treats.

Finally, the 31 rolled in and you would have thought it was Christmas morning in our house! So much excitement, from like every one! I love this so much… we got all dressed up, even Brian who’s not really into it normally picked up some stuff from his wardrobe and dressed up as… I’m not even gonna say what he said he was, he’d be too happy if I did!

So I got dressed up as Moana, so much fun, but so cold outside with my light outfit! Then I brought the boys at school with their huge car costume. As soon as they were in they started to drive and cruise through the school’s corridors. The school hadn’t started yet but you could clearly feel the energy from all the kids excitement! Good luck teachers!

Then finally, time for trick or treating! But it was so cold outside… so I decided to leave my costume behind and settled for my Uggs boots and mittens. After 30 minutes outside, we had done every house on our street, we all had enough and got back home to dive into candy heaven! I will say this, my children have much more control over candy than I do/did as a kid! I don’t even think Liam had one piece. He counted them all, made sure he had as many as his brother, but didn’t really ate any. He did wake up this morning with way less in his bowl. Ooops! I won’t say how many I had… I’m kind of ashamed, really! LOL.

So that’s a wrap for Halloween 2017. Decoration are coming down tonight. Clean up is underway. Now, I won’t say I’m ready for Christmas already, but I got my eyes on a festive pj’s and it shouldn’t be long before it’s mine!

Hope you all had a happy Halloween and eat some candies and chocolate bars!

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beau’s oktoberfest 2017

Well, just like that, the best-weekend-of-the-year is now gone. But luckily, we are left with tons of pictures and memories that will keep us going until next year! Yep, Beau’s Oktoberfest 2017 was just as awesome as expected (but way HOTTER than any other Fall activities I’ve ever attended to!).

When I was younger, I spent a few Thanksgivings at my mom’s cousin in Kitchener. My uncle used to volunteer at the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and got to bring us with him on many occasions. I remember watching the parades, the enormous beer tents, many dressed up old man with lederhosen and the cutest mascot. A few years ago, I decided to bring Brian to Kitchener to witness this amazing party that is spread over 2 weeks. Hello amazing! Two weeks of Oktoberfest festivities, that is just crazy, right? Well, we had so much fun back then; Brian was really into it, and bought a hat, and some pins, and wanted to go back every year to celebrate… but you know what, who needs to drive that far to have beers in huge steins with thousands of others when you can do it next to your hometown!

So, for those who weren’t there, or those who missed it, or those who didn’t know that this was happening last weekend (although this is almost impossible now, given that my social medias were just flooded with pictures from people at Oktoberfest all weekend long), here’s what you guys missed.  So for the last 9 years, Beau’s All-Natural Brewery has been hosting their own two-day Oktoberfest event in the quaint village of Vankleek Hill, with music, local restaurants vendors, over 60 type of craft beers and all sorts of friendly competition and midway games. This year there was even a Ferris Wheel on site. Although you can’t really compare Kitchener and VKH or the two festivals, this one is a special one, and I got to admit that for me, Beau’s Oktoberfest is just the best party ever!

It was our 3rd year attending the festivities and we still just love to be there as much every time. It is clearly our favorite weekend of the year. I’m thinking of doing an advent calendar or something like that for next year, it’s that exciting! I go for spending time with family and friends, for the AMAZING food we get to try and discover, and for cheering with our community. Brian goes for the beer! Oh, and also for the small stage with the skate park… as every year I lose him for like an hour only to find him back in front of the Black Forest stage listening to music and artist he has never heard of.

So this year, I’ve left work early on Friday, we dropped off the boys at my mom and then left with my step-dad for Vankleek Hill. We later met with friends and with Brian’s cousin and her niece. We tasted beers and then had the most delicious cheese raclette and the BEST chocolate frozen treat from Pascale’s Ice Cream; we’ve then cheered for our friend Carlo during the Keg Toss competition; and then closed the place down and went home for a nap before going back at it on Saturday!

My grandma Lamoureux traveled the world (lucky her) and had brought back (like 30 years ago) lederhosen for my brother. My mom kept these type of amazing souvenirs and I was so excited the day I found it stored in a box in her basement. I’ve been dressing the boys in them for the last 3 years. So, since I take full advantage of every opportunity I get to dress up the boys, we bought a second pair of lederhosen, got them some tickets and brought them over with us on Saturday morning. They were sooo adorable! They got to play at Kinderfest, eat treats and made plenty of cheers… just like their dad, well kind of, with Iced Tea filled cup instead of beer! Their favorite part had to be the Midway games. They loved the throwing-jar-lids-around-beer-bottles game, then played Bumper’s Crop Plinko (my fav), and finally won a Beau’s frisbee. We then sent them off with my sister-in-law for one last camping trip while we kept on partying! Thanks Annick, you’re the best!

So this year Oktoberfest was in September… and it was not Fall weather at all.  In fact, the heat was unbearable. We were lucky enough to find a table in the shade for our group where once in a while we would feel the breeze. We had a rotation going on where one of us would go get the beer, the other one water, and then another one the food. I won’t rate the beer as I didn’t try any, but since I love food, especially Oktoberfest kind of food, here’s my three way tie for the most delicious food at this year Beau’s Oktoberfest:

Cheshire Cat Pub for the all-time best Reuben sandwich I’ve ever tasted;

Meule et Caquelon for the raclette trio plate… cheese is ALWAYS a winner in my book, and this was simply delicious. We’ve actually had it on Friday and then again on Saturday; and

Pascale’s Ice Cream Malted Choco Beer Nut Dip Bar… and I won’t lie, just like the cheese raclette, I couldn’t stop at one for this one either… I had 3. And then when I went for a last one, well sadly for me, they were sold out!!!

I went there with a list of 10 things I wanted to try and tried them all! Overall, all the food I’ve tried or my friends Vero and Karine tried was all so delicious… yeah, they couldn’t order anything without me tasting it… but sorry girls, I have a blog (yep, that’s my excuse now!). Same for the beer, they were all very good, and the reason why I know that, well by the look of things, I’d say that Brian and his friend Mathieu have tried every beer on tap this weekend, every time coming back with a different one saying how nice and tasty it was. They actually drank a lot of water and were still presentable by the end of the day! Hats off guys, I clearly underestimated you both at some point when it was like 40 degrees outside with 5 more hours to go!

The Saturday festivities finished just before 9 for us, while all heading to good old Miss Hawkesbury for pizza, poutine and some tequila shots. Yep… while I went to the washroom, Brian and the girls had the genius idea to order Tequila shots at Miss… very classy! We also had an after party at my Mom’s with some very memorable scenes, including one where Brian showed us why he should be considered a serious contender for next year Oktoberfest Beer Stein holding competition! He did last for over 5 minutes, but hopefully he has already forgot about it by now. If not, I will laugh my ass off next year and will be posting a picture of it here for sure!!!

So this year’s Oktoberfest is over, and it was a memorable one. We took so many pictures and did so many cheers, and that’s what it’s all about! Good friends, good times, good beers, and great food! There were a lot of people celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend, but Beau’s (and Vankleek Hill) always make it feel like this is just a huge friendly gathering and I hope this will never change.

So when Brian asked me on our way back home on Sunday morning if we could go again on both days next year, I could see that he was feeling kinda blue that it was all over, but my answer cheered him up: ‘don’t worry, cause we’ll never miss one day of Oktoberfest, ever’.

Thanks to Beau’s, and to the volunteers, and to the Vankleek Hill and surrounding community for the amazing weekend… we’re already counting the days till next year! Prost!

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31 ways to celebrate fall

So by now you probably know that I’m a crazy person comes October; but even if I try, I just can’t help it! October means it’s ALMOST Halloween, and yep, that gets me sooo excited!!! And when comes Halloween, I want people around me to be excited as well.  So this year I’ve created a fun and exciting to-do list (hello checkmarks!) for the 31 days of October for you and your family.

It’s not a calendar, nor something you have to do every day (but you CAN if you’re even more into this than I am!!!); it’s just fun little ways to incorporate Fall into your daily life and spreading PSL (Pumpkin Spice Love!). So grab a pen and write these down.

31 ways to celebrate Fall

1- Buy festive PJ’s… hum hello… you should clearly do this for EVERY holiday!

2- Make scary pizza. As you know, pizza is my number one go to themed fun food.  See the pictures of the fun pizzas I’ve made over the weekend.

3- Visit a pumpkin patch.

4- Decorate your house.  And buy mini-pumpkins for the family rooms and fall garlands for the beds.

5- Buy a new cozy scarf.  Find someone who needs to spoil you… or just do it yourself!

6- Watch Hocus Pocus… kinda cheated… as I’ve been watching it since early September.

7- Make homemade costume. My husband would surely like to cross that one off that list; as it’s been costume central in the entire kitchen for the last few weeks!

8- Jump in a pile of leaves… you’re never too old.

9- Make this French Onion Soup recipe.

10- Go on a hike to enjoy the Autumn leaves color.

11- Carve pumpkins and roast pumpkin seeds.

12- Buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte for a friend.

13- Buy a Fall scented candle.

14- Visit a corn maze!

15- Make a pumpkin spice loaf.

16- Go to an Oktoberfest party… of course we have our tickets for this weekend Beau’s Oktoberfest!

17- Wear Uggs… not going to wear mine this weekend at Beau’s Oktoberfest; supposed to be something like 40 degrees out there!

18- Sit outside and read a book or magazine with a warm blanket.

19- Watch football with a bowl of chili.

20- Buy yourself some Fall flowers.

21- Visit a Farmers Market.

22- Watch Baseball playoff and sing Sweet Caroline. Yeah, I’m a Red Sox fan!  Go Sox!

23- Watch Nightmare Before Christmas.

24- Have a Fall picnic.

25- Watch Casper… still remember when I saw that movie at 12 years old… God I was in love with Devon Sawa!

26- Make pretzel… this recipe is awesome. Will probably make it on a Red Sox game day.

27- Do a Halloween craft with the kids.

28- Go horseback riding.  That is just so much fun.

29- Make candy apples.  The kids will love it!

30- Organize or go to an Halloween party!

31- Trick or Treat.

Hope this list inspires you to be festive this season. I know I’ve got plenty lined up for the next month… It’s on the list, but don’t do this just once; and enjoy as many pumpkin flavored anything as you can!!! It’s only here for a few weeks! So we may see each other at Starbucks in the coming weeks!

Happy Fall and Prost y’all.

 

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