best summer reads 2018

So today I haven’t seen the sun yet and it’s been pouring rain all day, but seriously, prior to that, it’s been kind of an awesome stretch here in beautiful Ottawa, and it finally feels like summer has arrived! I have so many activities planned, places I want to visit, things I want to do around (and not around) the house, etc. that I will try to come up with a fun summer bucket list in the next few days. And yes, of course I will be posting it here! Oh, and while thinking about my summer bucket list, that got me thinking that there was another list I had to come up with: a summer book list! One of my New Years’ resolutions was to read more… and we’re in May now, and I have been reading a lot; so I am happy to say that this resolution is still on!

I’ve made a list of my current and upcoming reading material for the summer… and those books are just too good that I got to share: here it goes:

1- All we ever wanted by Emily Giffin. Emily is probably my favorite writer ever (tied with JK Rowling, of course). I’ve been reading her books since my second year at university. Back then, I did end up ditching many classes to keep on reading Something Borrowed and then Something Blue. Now, her latest book will be out late June and I will be one of the first in line to get a copy of it on its release date for sure!

2- I’m a huge fan of books made into movies, I know, I know, I’m one of those, but you know, I do read the book first, I don’t just go and watch the movie… and I agree that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, easily, always (and sometimes the book is okay or just good and then the movie is a complete disaster, like thanks a lot Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan for totally ruining this for me! So, back to my list… I was at the movie theatre two weeks ago and a preview came on and I was immediately hooked! My friend Eve told me it was a book series… and I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. Anyway, since then I have read the first book of the series, Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m already halfway through the second one, China Rich Girlfriend. And of course I will read the third one, Rich People Problems, as soon as I’m off work for the summer! (They don’t know it yet, but the boys will get to enjoy the Ipad a little bit more during their first week of summer vacation while Mommy is reading her book!!!)

3- Another book that has been sitting on my nightstand is I am Malala. I’ve been wanting to read this forever and just haven’t got around to it yet. That girl has been through so much and still finds the strength to empower girls and women. Way to go Malala. So I will read her book sometime this summer.

4- Emma by Jane Austen. I’ve never read Emma and I want to. It’s actually on a bucket list of its own!

5- Bloom: Finding beauty in the unexpected-A Memoir by Kelle Hampton. I’ve been following Kelle’s blog and Instagram feed (THE BEST) forever and I love the way she writes and shares the story of her daughter Nella. Nella was born with Down Syndrome and Kelle wrote about her family’s journey. Be prepared to cry, cause I often do while reading her blog post, which mean I can just imagine what her book will do to me.

6- Of course, once again, Harry Potter. Liam is really into it and it makes me so happy to share this with him. I’ve bought the first book of the series in French and I plan on reading it with him sometime this summer while lounging in the backyard. He loves the movies, so as I’ve said earlier, of course he’ll prefer the book!

So, have you read anything interesting lately? What’s your favourite book. Please share… as I’m reading about a book a week lately and I intend on keeping the streak alive all summer long! Also, please recommend books for kids… Liam is almost done with grade 1 and he (finally) loves to read. Also, with Logan following closely and going into grade 1 next year, we’ll probably spend a lot of time at the library this summer looking for interesting books!

Hope you liked this list and that is gave you the inspiration to read more or some ideas as to what to read next! Once you’ll start one of these books, you won’t be able to stop! Also, since I’m talking about book, I am so happy that a new Indigo book store just opened near my workplace… and if I was a Crazy Rich Girlfriend, I would have definitely bought some shares, as this is easily one of my favorite store ever!

Thanks for reading mylemondroplife readers!

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annual girls weekend

A couple of weekends ago it was my yearly-girls-weekend-getaway with my girlfriends; ohhh yes, easily one of my favorite and most anticipated weekends of the year. So after prepping all week long for it, including packing lunches in advance, placing all the boys clothes on their bed for the next couple of days, making sure they had their pirate costume ready for a special pirate day at school, putting a dollar each in their agenda for popcorn day, and making sure they both had their electronic device charged for ANOTHER special day at school, well I finally had time to get my OWN bag ready!!!

For the sixth year in a row now, my girlfriends and I are leaving the husbands and kids behind for a full weekend away from home. So far, we’ve been to Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Montreal, Saint-Sauveur, and Fiddler’s Lake. You can read more about last year’s getaway to Fiddler’s Lake here. So this year, the five of us rented a cottage on Air-B-N-B (first time using this service) and it was simply awesome!

Amelie, Vero and I left Thursday after work, then got manicures and pedicures, then got some Mexican food for diner and then headed out to Wakefield QC. It was pouring rain outside and we got stuck in some kind of traffic jam in Ottawa, like what are the odds of that happening at 8 pm on a Thursday night? But other than that, it was a smooth ride in to Wakefield. And then all that was left was to find the cottage. In what seemed like in forever, we finally found it. Not easy to find, somewhere hidden in the woods, all alone, on the side of the mountain, in what seemed like zero civilization, there it was, one of the cutest log cabin ever. One of my friend, the not-very-brave-one, got a bit scared when we pulled into the driveway, but once we were inside, all fears went away as we were just sooo happy to be there.

We unpacked, had a few drinks and then putted on our bathing suits for a trip outside to the hot tub. Heaven! It was pitch black, no kids, no husbands, no noise, except for our favourite tunes and our great convos! We then went to bed right away and slept like babies. Next morning was extremely lazy. We then met the other two girls, Julie and Lysane, at the Nordik Spa at 11 am.

Last time I went to the Nordik was in like 2008. Yep! That long ago. And I must say that it will now probably be a matter of weeks before I go back. I’ve visited many thermotherapy spas in the last 15 years and this one was simply one of the best. I had heard so many good things about it, like about all the new lounge areas, restaurants and bars and so much more. I am truly impressed about all the did to the place since the last time I went. To say we had the best of time is an understatement. We ended up spending 10 hours straight at the spa. The forecast was for a lot of rain, but it held off until about 9pm, so we ended up having a full day of sunshine, which made it even better. One of my favorite spot was the infinity pool, where lounge music fills the air and where you could bring drinks into the heated pool. Let’s just say that we spent a good portion of our day there while making up scenarios on how we would improve the Nordik Spa if we’d own it. I’d say we came to a consensus that it was almost perfect as it is, only missing some floating nachos plates! Well, what? Us girls love snacks!

I later had a hour long massage and it felt so good. The therapist used lavender essential oil, of course my fav, so the smell was just perfect and the massage felt like heaven. So thanks a lot stranger, you were the best!

We then came back to the cottage pretty late, got in bed not too long after and I was immediately out! Next morning we woke up and then even managed to go out for a run. We always bring our running shoes but never use them; well this time we did! We went for a run in the village because the hills near the cottage were way too steep! It was really cold and windy, but running by the river was great. We then treated ourselves to chocolate croissants on the way back to the cabin! Seriously, a well-deserved threat girls.

Every year, we have to bring and share some of the things we’ve discovered since our last getaway. This year I had brought the movie The Greatest Showman; and it was a HIT! We watched it while eating chili, trying not to sing along so the ones that had not seen it could actually listened to it! After the movie, we all shared about our favorite finds of the year over drinks and snacks. We also talked about our goals for the next year (that’s where I mentioned, 2 years ago, that I would like to start a blog!). I absolutely love these talks with my girlfriends, so fun to share about our lives, and about our hopes… it’s a like a new year resolution, but just better, just between us. I think it’s now my favourite part of the weekend.

So later, we decided to get some food delivered to the cabin, which mean we didn’t even get dressed up at all on Saturday. Yeah, that’s what I call a lazy girls vacation, and it felt good, and I think I needed it. It was actually fun to stay in and just continue to chat about everything and anything. I was really looking forward to bringing the girls to The Chelsea Pub, as I had eyed a few items on the menu, but I guess I’ll just have to go back soon as I’m still craving for it!

But like all good things, our weekend had to come to an end. With a freezing rain storm closing in on us, we decided to pack our stuff early, then lounged on the couch as long as we could, and then locked up the cottage and headed home. We did stop for brunch at Biscotti & Co. And OMG, hello, can I live there? The decor, the food and the ambiance was just too cool. Vero and I shared a goat cheese and orange salad and a warm ham & cheese sandwich (on like the best bread ever), leaving us just enough space to try their delicious Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Again, OMG! I just love everything Dulce de Leche!

So, even after spending an amazing and relaxing weekend with my girlfriends, coming back home after being away for a few day is always great. I truly love my home and I always terribly miss my family when I’m gone. I do need some time with my girlfriends, it is so important, but home is home. Like they say, home is where the heart is, and it really is! And I loved that both of my boys jumped in my arms as soon as I got through the doors.

Well, now that my 2018 girls getaway weekend is thing of the past, we now have to start thinking about next year’s getaway; and since the second year I’ve been trying to convince them all to do this in NYC. And I’ll do the same now! Come on girls, SATC style, let’s go have breakfast at Tiffany’s!

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good food, awesome food

Well, this is not my first time talking about the Good Food company and it probably won’t be my last. As I am writing this blog, it’s Monday night, which is swim lessons night for the boys, which is usually a real complicated and busy evening for us, and although today I was too sick to make it to work, and too sick to go to the grocery store, making diner ended up being as simple and as delicious as possible! (Which is the usual feeling at home on Good Food dinner day).

So, are you feeling like you’re often eating the same meals, over and over again? Stuck in a dinner rut, with the same pasta dish every week, or with your go-to chicken-veggies-rice (the boys hate this so much!)? Well, if you haven’t tried the Good Food box deliveries yet, I’ve got what you need… so you should continue reading!

We’ve been ordering from Good Food for the last 5 months now, about 2 or 3 times a month, you know, depending on the meals selections and our schedule. We have boring eaters at home, who would be more than happy to live on pizza, spaghetti, chicken nuggets and Kraft Diner. As much I love all of these, we started to do the Good Food thing months ago when I started to feel like our weekly meal rotation wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Since I’ve been back to work, it seemed like my grocery list was becoming more and more the same week after week, while never having the time and energy to cook after a day of work or always missing an ingredient to cook that special meal. Well, no more!

The Good Food website is super easy to use. You can select your meals a few weeks in advance or skip the weeks you don’t want any delivery. We have chosen to receive our boxes on Mondays, and we try to cook from the box on that night, and then on the Tuesdays and Thursday. We try to have a pasta night on Wednesday and then on Fridays we usually have plans, so it works out perfectly! Like I said, we’ve been using this food service for a while now and we still get excited every time we get a box. I still find that the packaging is just the best! I was talking to my girlfriend last weekend (she’s using Good Food too!) and we both talked about how we felt like we were on a cooking show while making dinner! Our childhood dream!!! Maybe one day Vero. Either that or our very own bakery!

So far, we have tried about 30 Good Food recipes, and to be honest, I can only recall 3 that I didn’t like. And in those cases, it was either not our taste, or texture or whatever… but I’m okay with that since of course that’s bound to happen when you’re trying out new recipes. It’s actually happening way more often when trying new recipes on my own.

So I’ve kept all of the recipe cards we’ve tried (and liked) and we’ve added some of them to our go-to list. I had never had a pork burger before, but since trying them out from one of our Good Food recipe, I can now probably say that I prefer pork burgers to regular beef burgers! All the meat is fresh, never frozen and so so good! We’ve tried so many dishes we had never heard of before, I’m talking about you Daikon! It’s been quite the learning experience for my entire family. Brian is good trying out anything, but for the boys it was harder at first, but now, they rarely complain. Another great point is that everything can be recycled: the box, bags, ice packs… ALL OF IT! Good for you, good for the Earth!

By the way, I’m NOT getting paid for talking about this. I genuinely write about Good Food because I love it and because I couldn’t live without it! And I just want to share all of this with you one more time! Everybody needs a little help sometimes, and for those of you already using the Good Food services, you probably know what I’m talking about; but for those of you who don’t, I got the thing right for you: a FREE Good Food boxes GIVEAWAY!

I have 3 FREE Good Food boxes to give out! All you have to do is subscribe to mylemondroplife.com, follow my Facebook page and tag a friend in comment! Easy, isn’t it! I can’t guarantee they’ll deliver where you live, so please don’t be mad at me if you win and they don’t, but if that happens, I will give the box away to someone else and send you something else, I swear! Also, after winning the box, you won’t have to commit to another box or anything, you can just try it out and then decide if you want to continue after, or not. You can easily cancel your account if you wish to terminate your subscription. And if you’re not one of the contest winners, you can always sign up using this link GOODFOOD40$ and you will get 40$ off your first box! Now that’s a bargain! Contest ends in a week on May 2nd, 2018.

So what do you have to lose? Your grocery bill will be lower and you will try some amazing new recipes. So go ahead and register to this amazing contest! Seriously, only good things can come out of this. Bon appetit mylemondroplife’s foodies!

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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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somebunny is ready for easter

If you’re like me, you probably have tons of activities and brunches and dinners scheduled this weekend! Traditions, traditions and some more traditions for Easter weekend!

It will all start with our annual shopping day in Montreal with Jojo, followed by a fish filled dinner at Brian’s aunt Lulu (no fish for me but extra poutine please!) for Good Friday. Then we have our Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning… like most of you with kids! We will then have brunch at my Mom’s on Sunday followed by our usual and traditional Chicken n’ Ribs dinner at my mother-in-law’s… yummy, like simply delicious! It’s always such a great weekend for us, filled with family time and good food. If you ever find some spare time this weekend, I’ve got one more thing for you to add to your list: go see a movie! Yes, the Peter Rabbit movie!

We went to see Peter Rabbit at the movies back in February and we’ll definitely try to squeeze another viewing this weekend. I can’t remember when was the last time we all laugh this much! This movie is hilarious, emotional, fun and adorable. If you’d ask Liam about the movie, he’d tell you right away that this is the funniest movie ever. Of course we had to find the stuffed animal version of Peter Rabbit after we saw the movie… and guess what, it wasn’t too hard to find as they NOW sell these right there at the theatre… so we got out of the movie and a minute later my stuffed-animal-obsessed kids saw the Peter Rabbit stuffed animal display… yep, they both got one! But they were so cute, I didn’t mind, and I almost got one for myself!

So of course when we came back home we had to celebrate our love for rabbits, so just like any normal family, we had a Peter Rabbit Day the following day! My kids REALLY love when we have themed days, and so do I. Like last weekend, we had a McQueen Sunday; you know, they woke up and decided that today was all about McQueen. So I went along and organized a Cars day; nothing fancy, but we wore our Cars’ t-shirts all day, played with our Cars’ toys, watched the last movies with Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm (once more!!!), made some crafts with Cars stickers and had a lot of fun!

So for our PR Day we made carrot soup, carrot muffins, individual veggies and dips, and then we ate mini chocolate bunnies! I’ve also tried to make -for the first time- some bunny shaped cream puffed filled with ice cream and drizzled with milk chocolate! Hummmm… hello delicious rabbit, I could easily eat ten of you! You can find the recipe in Ricardo’s latest magazine and on his website. Much easier to do than I thought it would be, and so so good! I will be making this recipe again and again from now on! You should really try to make some this weekend. One recipe and endless possibilities; but the bunny shape stole my heart!

So I hope you get to spend time with your loved ones this weekend. Whatever you do, make time to enjoy life and each other. Eat lots of chocolate and go see the Peter Rabbit movie! Hoppy Easter my lemon drop life disciples (hope I didn’t offend anyone with that one!).

 

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fill up those easter baskets

It’s FINALLY Spring and Easter is just around the corner! So bring me all the floral, pastel and cute bunny stuff you can find. I’ve got a bunny-obsessed little boy over here and he’s been waiting for our annual Easter egg hunt in what seems like forever. I’ve never pretended there was actually a real Easter Bunny, they perfectly know I’m the one who hides the goodies, and I am okay with that, and I am pretty sure they are okay as well! So we never had that crazy picture of our kids crying while sitting on an plush costume covered person for Easter (yet, I took many many pictures of everything else Easter related, though!).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been searching for the perfect treats to give the boys for Easter, and I can’t help but to share with you what I’ve found. I also found some stuff for the men in your life, and of course, for yourself as well! So let’s start with the shop hunt!

1. Snuggle Bunny Wrap: If you have a baby, PLEASE buy this and send me all the pictures… Wish I had this when the boys were babies… my ovaries are crying over this!

2. Kids Bunny Reading Socks: So I’m still obsessed with reading socks… I only have a pair myself and now I totally have to get these for the boys basket. They are the softest and comfiest reading socks in the world. I promise.

3. Flower Hair Pins: For the little girls in your life, these are the prettiest! Pretty sure some adults could pull them off too!

4. Starbucks Stanley Mug: This would be a great find for any coffee lover in your life. You could also add a small gift card or make a coffee related basket. Coffee beans, dollar store hand painted mugs by the kids, special raw sugar and a cute Lindt Gold Chocolate Bunny!

5. Sweet Bake Shop: This one, well I really hope it ends up in my basket! I’ve been following Tessa’s journey on Instagram and I’m in love with everything she does. Hope I could recreate 5% of what she does! She’s amazing.

6. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker: I might have to by myself this item. First of all, the colour is fabulous, and how cute would it be to cook eggs in this thing? I go through like 18 eggs a week for egg salad sandwiches for the lunches, so this would probably be the smartest investment of the year! Plus, the kids could also decorate some warm eggs with wax crayons I’ve been eyeing on Pinterest and then eat them. Food and craft, perfect mix for keeping them entertained for a while and then feeding them!

7. Pom Pom Throw: So now that the eggs are cooking in my new Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, I now have more time to wrap myself in this gorgeous blush coloured throw blanket, sit on the couch and possibly take a nap. Honestly, can one have too many blankets? Just need to have a pretty large Easter basket to fit this gift into!

8. Bunnies by the Bay: My fav bunny. My Logan’s bunny. Logan received his first Bunnies by the Bay bunny on his first Easter. We now have 3 (bought five, lost two). Not sure how he could survive even one day without his Bunnies. Love everything from this company. Go check them out, all their stuff is pretty amazing!

Another must for all the Easter baskets I will be making is some delicious chocolate from Chocolats Favoris. I am not sure if you still remember our artsy Easter chocolate decorating afternoon we had last year; well the boys do, and they still talk about how fun it was. So I will get them some more chocolate as well as a few paint brushes so they can decorate their own treat again! You still have time to buy yours from their website, but hurry!

Let’s hope the weather warms up soon so we can get to play outside during Easter weekend; as egg hunting is so much more fun outside! Hope you found a bit of eggspiration with my list; so happy shopping and happy springtime my friends!

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#thisis37andaminnieparty

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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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our beautiful christmas home

Can you believe it???  (I actually say that every year around this time…).  But it’s like mind-blowing, yet so exciting, that in two weeks it will already be Christmas time!  Exciting… but, probably like some or most of you, I still have sooo much stuff to do before I can say that I’m ready, with absolutely no idea when I am going to do it or where should I start.  And now, on top of that, well I won’t be getting ahead with any of my baking, cooking, cleaning or shopping this weekend as we are going away on a little family vacation to the States… well, you know, I guess I’ll probably be doing a little shopping after all!!!

Okay, seriously, I haven’t been this excited about a road trip in a very, very, long time; so Christmas preparations will have to wait a little!  I am so thrilled and excited to tell you all that we are travelling to Lake Placid as we have been invited (or should I say my lemon drop life was invited…) for a weekend stay at the Mirror Lake Inn for the Holiday Village Stroll!  Like OMG, woohoo!!!  So, you know, that in itself should be so exciting… and it is… but here’s why all the EXTRA excitement… well this place looks exactly like the kind of place the Gilmore Girls and I have always dreamed of!  I just can’t describe it… yet… but stay tuned, as I will be posting some pictures on my blog’s social media accounts throughout the weekend and will share all about our upcoming stay sometime next week!

I was so excited about our MLI stay that I had to tell you, but for today, I actually wanted to share some of our Christmas decorations, which is the one thing I do have nailed down so far.  I’ve actually started to decorate 3 weeks ago, and bit by bit every single room of the house went through its own Christmas transformation.  Man oh man do we have Christmas stuff.  Like we have been buying new ornaments for our tree each places we’ve traveled to over the past 10 years… so basically, we get new –and often not necessarily matching– ornaments every year… and while every year we tell ourselves that our tree is kind of full and that we got to stop buying more ornaments, well we still do.  And we still find a place for them to hang in our beautiful tree!  Other than ornaments, I’ve actually stopped buying new Christmas’ decorations since we already have way too much.  You know, my Godfather really loved Christmas and really loved to over decorate… and when he passed, well I got a lot of his stuff (actually got his passion for decoration way before that!), so now it’s my turn to overdo it with all his beloved Christmas decoration pieces.

So today I’m giving you a little tour of our home, Christmas decorated version.  I’ve always said that our home was made for Christmas, cause I just love the look of it and the warmth feeling it brings to our family when decorated.  The tree is the first thing that is lite up in the morning (Logan’s duty at 6:30) and the last thing to go out at night.  Like, I could be making this stuff up just to make my blog seems more interesting, but I’m not… so, literally, every day, the boys gather in front of the tree to play board games, or to read, or to have fun with their gazillion stuffed animals (more like 50!).  We actually all love our living room a little more in December with a Christmas tree in it; it’s where Bry sits at night with a glass of wine and where I dunk my chocolate cookie in a cup of milk –you should definitely try that– when I get a little hungry past 8!

We are now all impatiently waiting for Santa to arrive, and our home is like the best place for it.  Close second is hopefully the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid where Santa is scheduled to knock on our hotel room door at 6pm on Saturday to meet the boys!  Just can’t wait!!!  This is so exciting!

So, hope you all have a great weekend while enjoying your beautiful and decorated Christmas home!  Cheers.  And don’t forget that ‘the best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is signing loud for all to hear’.

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it’s advent calendar time

So it’s December 1st; do you have your advent calendar ready?  We do and I love it!  Growing up, I have never been into the chocolate advent calendar that you could buy at every big store, I don’t know, just wasn’t a fan of it or its waxy chocolate… the little doors were fun to open though, for the first few mornings, but I remember not eating the chocolate by mid-December… while now you would have to pay me to eat it on December 1st!  When the boys were younger, we didn’t do the chocolate thing for them either, but for the last 3 years, we sure went all out with the 25-days leading to Christmas!!!  So here’s how this all started…

As a kid, my family never did the Christmas morning stocking tradition.  I guess my Mom thought we had received enough gifts for one day and wanted us to wait until New Year’s day to open our stockings.  She actually never pretended they we from Santa, and I remember my brother and I being so excited on January 1st while opening -some more- fun little gadgets and surprises, cause it kinda made the gift giving (or back then more like gift receiving) period last a bit longer!  Once we got a bit older, or like old enough to fill/buy/pay for a Christmas stocking by ourselves, we started to draw names and organize a stocking exchange, so we would each have a stocking to open; still on New Year’s Day.  I tried to do the same with my Brian before we had the boys, but my stockings was always empty comes January 1st.  When I would say on December 31st that I was super excited for the stocking exchange in the morning because of all the cool stuff I had found for him, I could immediately see with the look on his face that he didn’t get me anything, yet.  But guess what, nothing’s open on NYD; SO I would end up with like a jar of ice cream and a DVD from the drug store.  Yep… I was SUPER excited.  So after a few years of being disappointed (I know I sound like a spoiled child; especially since it was actually chocolate Haagen-Dazs he would get me every year), I decided to call it quit.  Hence, the advent calendar!

There are so many Christmas traditions nowadays that I decided to combined some of them together!  So now our advent calendars, Christmas stocking and Elf on the Shelf Willy are all part of the same scheme!  My mom knitted tiny little mittens, we glued numbers 1 to 24 on it and placed them on a string (most adorable advent calendar EVER).  So like any other elf, Willy, who’s there to watch on the boys and report on their behavior to Santa throughout the month of December, really likes to hide!  And he does it every night!  But what Willy also do every night, is that he brings a small treat or toys to the boys and leave it for them to find in their mittens.  So when they wake up, they have to find Willy in the house and then look into their mittens for some fun little gifts.  Well, only if they were good the day before, at home and at school, cause Willy sees everything.  Best decision ever!  December is clearly their best behaved month of the year!  And it really doesn’t cost more than the stockings would, and at least, they have fun for 24 straight days instead of 5 minutes on New Year’s.  So throughout the month they will be receiving underwear, socks, some Mario’s figurine, lollipops, and even possibly a Poop Christmas ornaments!  Oh yeah, they still find the Poop Emoji sooo funny!  But don’t worry, that thing will be hidden somewhere at the back of our beautiful tree along with Brian’s Red Sox player and mini Fenway Park ornaments!

As for me, well last year I bought myself a HUGE wooden calendar with little boxes to be filled.  I received some cute messages on some days and junk the boys had putted in there on some other days.  Hopefully, this year it will be filled with some awesome stuff!  I’m pretty sure it will once he sees what’s inside the MEGA advent calendar I’ve prepared and left on the kitchen table since last weekend.  He’s been really anxious to start opening the doors.  I really wanted to keep this a surprise, but I’m pretty sure he has already figured it out by now… so it’s 24 different craft beers, of course including some of his favorite Beau’s!  Maybe not THAT original, but I know he’ll love it and will enjoy opening all the little doors every day after work!

So there you have it, our very own Elf tradition.  And you know, I don’t go crazy about the Willy/mittens thing if I forget about it… when it happens, I just tell the boys that Willy probably didn’t like something he saw the day before and that they should really watch themselves and behave from now on.  Honestly, who can keep up will all the craziness and not drop the ball once in a while!  And when it happens, well they have the best of days after that… so, not too bad!  Thinking of it, may start skipping some days on purpose!!!

May the December craziness be awesome my friends.  Good luck with all the shopping, food prep, wrapping, decorating, and more, and more, and more!  You know what, in the end, it is truly the best time of the year… so enjoy yourselves, and all the parties, and have fun with family and friends.  Cheers, with a bit of eggnog!

 

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