mother’s day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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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our christmas

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright. Ours was, and as always we had a jam-packed schedule; but that is clearly how we love it!

The boys were super excited on Christmas Eve, so I decided to put my long to-do list on the side and go snowshoeing with them to burn off some of that energy. It was kind of cold outside, but not enough to prevent us from enjoying our nice walk by the river. Definitely something I would like do every Christmas Eve from now on. After that we had a light lunch and it was already time for the kids Christmas Eve’s nap. They didn’t like the idea that they had to take a nap, but knowing that they would go to bed past midnight, we knew they had to. After the nap, they got dressed up, we packed the car with food and gifts and we were on our way.

We have had this amazing fondue dinner at my mother-in-law on Christmas Eve for years, and this year was no different. It’s just so nice to start the Holiday Season with a nice dinner that does not involve turkey! So after dinner we all opened some gifts and then had a lot of fun with our yearly gift exchanged thing. I’m so happy that Brian and I ended up with the two things I really wanted!!! Since my kids are the youngest on both sides of Brian’s family, well they were the only ones that kept on asking for more gifts, literally ALL-NIGHT-LONG! But what’s Christmas without a little excitement, right?

We then made our way to our second family gathering of the night at my father-in-law’s for the Woodbury ‘Réveillon de Noel’. Just before midnight, Liam, who was kind of quiet so far, told me he had a headache, so I gave him a bit of medicine as he looked like he was starting a fever and wasn’t really himself. Logan on the other hand had a blast. He danced, he sang Christmas song with uncle Bobby, and he was super excited to see Santa. The boys finally went to bed at around 1:30 am. Yep! We then kept on partying until something like 2:30, then decided it was time to head back home.

Home is about 45 minutes away, but it nearly took us 2 hours to get there. We had looked at the weather forecast in the afternoon in order to decide if we should sleep over or come back home, and as expected (and forecasted), there was like a beautiful Christmas Eve light snowstorm going on when we left; but then, 15 minutes later, we were driving in a pure blizzard… and I wanted to cry as I couldn’t see a thing 15 feet in front of me! It was white everywhere, and I couldn’t see the road, or the shoulder lane, or the ditch, or like anything, but luckily, Brian didn’t fell asleep and did his best to keep me calm so we would make it home safely. I will NEVER drive in a snow storm like that one again. Let’s just say that by the end of that ‘beautiful’ Christmas Eve snowstorm, there was at least foot of snow in our driveway, which was way more than expected. We should have clearly stayed there and continue to party instead of driving back home!

So, we got to bed at around 4:30 am only to be woken up at 8 by an excited and joyful Logan. By that time, Santa had come, had eaten the cookies, drank the milk, and had left each of the boys the toy they had asked him. Liam woke up with a severe sore throat and a headache, so gifts opening was quieter than usual for him. The boys got the new Nintendo Switch console as a surprise, and they were really happy about it, but with Liam not having as much energy, the reaction was kind of mellow, or not as loud as expected! For months now, Liam has been talking about the Nintendo Switch… so when he told us 3 weeks ago that his best friend from school was probably having one for Christmas, we told him that he was still too young for it and would have to wait a few more years before he’d get one… his response was ‘I will never get the Switch; I will only get the Switch when I’ll be 30 years old’… so dramatic, I wonder where he gets this from… so anyway, we were expecting him to jump all over the place, but poor little thing, he was clearly not feeling too well. My favorite gifts the boys got are clearly their new Mario and Luigi pajamas; and I guess it was Logan’s favorite as well, as he did not take it off yet since he opened it! They look so funny in them, so I couldn’t care less if he’s spent the last 3 days wearing it!

We were hosting Christmas dinner at our house. And I just love this new tradition: my Mom and Frank bring all the food and I provide the house! My brother and his family came over as well as my aunt Lise-Ann and her family. We opened more gifts and then ate too much food. The kids were all playing downstairs, and at some point my nephew came up and I asked him what were they all doing and he told me that they were all playing Mario Kart, except for Liam who was watching them from the couch under his blanket. Well that’s clearly not Liam, as he’s a Mario Kart pro (and addict!). So I went downstairs to get him, and poor little thing, he was having a fever. He was shivering and in really bad shape. So yeah, I put him to bed at 6 on Christmas Day. He was so sad he couldn’t enjoy Christmas Day with his cousins, but the only thing he wanted was to go to bed. He woke up 14 hours later. I guess he needed to rest. Dinner was delicious; dessert too. Everyone was gone by 10, and then I just sat by myself in the living room, listening to Christmas music on the record turntable while watching the tree lights. It never last long enough. I was so sad it was already over. But still, it was a great Christmas season, and I enjoyed every moments of it.

Boxing Day was pretty boring at our house. The day started with Liam throwing up in our bed. So I did some laundry, then cleaned up the house a little while staying in our jammies all day. By the end of the day, Liam was back to his usual self and started to play the new console like a pro. The best part of my day was when I started a 1000 pieces puzzle. Woot woot. Party animal over here!

We’re still in la-la-land over here, enjoying our two weeks holiday, not caring what we’ll do today, when we’ll get dressed up or what to eat next. So far it feels like all we’ve eaten this week is leftovers from Christmas. Hello leftovers! I will share the Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich later this week, so don’t miss this one, as I’m pretty sure all of you will have everything you need in your fridge to do this on January 2nd!

Even if Christmas was not picture perfect, it was still great, and of course the best time of the year. We spent lots of time cuddling and being together and that’s the best part of it. Right now it’s minus 40 degrees Celsius over here, so were staying inside, playing with our new games and living on leftovers and hot chocolate. Not too bad, right? Well, I hope Santa was good to all of you and that you’ve spent time with the people you love. Now, let’s get ready for NYE!

 

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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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vegas with kids? oh yes we did

Never say never.  Yes, we are those parents who brought their kids to Las Vegas!

I’ve been to Vegas a few times prior to our last trip and I’ve always said I would never bring my kids there.  But, well, surprise, surprise, our boys came to Vegas with us for 4 days last summer!

We love Las Vegas.  We had such an incredible time at our Honeymoon in 2009, and then again in 2013, both times staying at the gorgeous Wynn Encore… every time we go to Vegas it seems different yet always so much fun!

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to bring our kids to the city of sins, but luckily we had our double stroller (that stroller saved our lives multiple times) and many siblings to help us entertain the boys.

If you’ve read my posts on on our California trip, you know we had the time of our lives over there.  So Vegas is the second part of that 10 days trip.  We left Anaheim on the Tuesday morning, in our rented super nice minivan and drove off to the desert.  It was a really smooth ride, sometime too smooth going 100 mile per hour without even feeling it!  The boys were great, and within less than 4 hours we were at The Mirage checking-in.  We had 2 great connecting rooms with the best Jojo in the world!  Thanks Jojo for the room!!!  My Mom and Frank had arrived the day before and Brian’s family had arrived earlier that day.

We all met at the gorgeous pool for a swim as the HEAT was just crazy.  Wow!  I’ve always been to Vegas in the summer, but I had never seen a Vegas heat wave.  We couldn’t touch the pavement as it would have burned our feet instantly.  It was so hot we even saw an orange construction cone melting on the street.  It went up to 47 degrees at some point.  The air felt non-existent, like it was difficult to breath in.  So we had a few icy margaritas at the pool while enjoying a swim, and then went back inside to cool down and for a nap.

Later that day, we all met at the Forum Shops at Cesar’s Palace to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, yep second time in a week having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory… it was that good and we knew our family would enjoy it.  We had an awesome dinner and the best server.  We then took a walk down the Strip at about 11:30 at night and it was still above 35 degrees…

So the week before we were at Disneyland, and it was magical to see the boys’ reaction when meeting all of the characters… well Vegas was different… as they were scandalized and so confused to see Olaf and some Minions on the sidewalks without their costume’s HEAD while taking a break… so not like Disney!!!

Wednesday was wedding day!  Since the last time we had been there, the restaurant Giada had opened at the new hotel The Cromwell, so we decided to have brunch over there.  The restaurant is simply beautiful.  We had a great booth overlooking the Strip and Bellagio.  We shared a brick oven pizza and ceasar salad while the boys had the fanciest chicken strips and some amazing gelato ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Then, we went back to our room and got ready for the wedding.  Drove over to The Little Church of the West and met up with our family and friends that had made the trip to see my mom getting married.  Took lots of pictures and then it was wedding time, or wedding minutes!  My Mom was gorgeous, and I was the one walking her down the aisle; both of us giggling all the way down.  It probably took less than 5 minutes for her and Frank to get married.  It was quick and beautiful.  We then headed out to one of our favorite restaurant, Maggiano’s.  It was really nice to be all together and celebrating this special day.  We had a wonderful time and the food was delicious, as always.

My Mom and Frank wanted to go to the Paris hotel where a band was playing in a little casino side cabaret.  And that’s when having kids in Vegas started to be a pain.  Until then, we didn’t really had any trouble with the kids, as we were able to go through all of the casinos in all of the hotels, as long as we wouldn’t stop, like NEVER.  You have to be in constant movement in the casinos or someone will come and warn you.  So thanks to our awesome stroller, it was easy for us to keep the kids seated (with the iPad or a toy to play with) for sometime an hour or so.  But that night it became a bit more difficult after we were told we weren’t allowed inside the cabaret with the kids… It was kind of sad for Brian to miss my mom’s wedding ‘reception’, but I understand their rules… so I stayed at the cabaret while Brian was circling around the casino.  Eventually, he left with the boys to bring them back to the room; a 15-minute walk took 1:30 with the stroller due to some of the elevators being broken, escalators too small for the stroller, and some closed walkway.  Basically, it was a pain.  So I stayed a little longer to listen to the band and dance with my mom on this special night.  There was an hilarious couple who were clearly out dancing us; kind of pretending they were on Dancing with the Stars!  It was hilarious!  Right before it was time to go, Jojo caught the bouquet, and then we said our goodbyes to the newly married couple!

On Thursday we took a quick trip to the Premium Outlets, met up with my friends Anik and Jannick who flew to Vegas for the wedding.  Came back for a swim and a nap, and THEN, got dressed up for the big event: LOVE by Cirque du Soleil.  We saw LOVE 7 years ago, but we wanted to see it again.  At first, when we booked our trip, the show was on hiatus.  But 3 weeks prior to our departure, a 10th Anniversary LOVE show was announced.  So we jump at the occasion and bought some tickets for us, Jojo and Brian’s dad.  Red carpet and all for Ringo Star, Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s son and Sir Paul McCartney.  We could see them from our seats; and it was just a unique experience to watch that show and listen to the Beatles’ music with Sir Paul sitting next to us in the crowd.  Fantastic show; we’ll see it again one day that’s for sure.  At the end, Sir Paul came on the stage and sang with us.  It was such a beautiful moment that I will never forget.

Matante Lulu babysat the boys in our room while we attended the show. Merci Matante!!!  By 10:30 the show was over but we weren’t ready to call it a night, so we all left for Fremont Street.  At 11:00 at night, parents of the year award goes to us!  And it was so inappropriate; the boys saw things they should have not seen for another 15 years!  The naked nuns being one of those!!!  I’ll just say it’s the last time for a while that I will venture out to Fremont Street!

So Friday was our last day of our 10 day California/Vegas trip.  We explored a few more hotels, gambled a little, took a few pictures and met up again with Jannick.  We had drinks at Serendipity on the strip side patio and did a bit of shopping.  Rounded up the gang and had one last dinner at the Mirage buffet.  Our flight was delayed and the boys were amazing staying up late once again.  We got lucky though, as the four of us were upgraded to first class seats for our red-eyed flight back to Montreal.  Let’s just say the boys looked really jet-set in first class with their drinks and provided iPad!  I could really get used to travelling like this!

So, in the end, it was not that bad bringing the kids to Vegas, but I wouldn’t recommend it (although they seemed to have enjoyed their trip and the night life!).  Logan really enjoyed Las Vegas as he sang ‘Viva Las Vegas’ so many times during the week, he was so cute!  Vegas or anywhere else, we just love to travel with people we love; it’s the best.

We will be back in Vegas for sure… next time at our beloved Wynn Encore… but without our boys by our side!  We love traveling with them, and of course I’m already planning on bringing them back to see Mickey soon, but Vegas is our own Disneyland, and we can’t wait to go back by ourselves!!!

Viva Las Vegas!

 

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all you need is…ice cream

All you need is love… and a few sweet snacks!

I had a few things planned for this weekend but with yesterday’s blizzard, some of our plans fell through.

On Saturday, we finished our valentine’s day cards and made some Red Velvet Whoopie Pie.  FAIL.  Not everything we do is a success.  They looked sooo good, but the taste was very disappointing.  The texture was actually like baked play-doh, and it tasted as bad as it could have been with a LOT of sugar!

So we tried another new recipe while watching the snow storm yesterday.  Homemade ice cream sandwich… and we’ve got a WINNER!  This one will be hard to beat.  And it was easy to make, quick, and delicious.  I’m a big fan of ice cream sandwich, but these were something else, and homemade, which obviously add to the fun!  Light, moist and delicious cookie with strawberry ice cream… AMAZING!

I can foresee myself doing this recipe many times next summer for everyone to enjoy at our pool parties, and of course for myself as well!  I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter… perfect snack size… and perfect for the occasion!

I used my guru Martha Stewart recipe for the cookie.

what you need:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

how to:

Preheat oven at 350.  Butter a jelly-roll pan and cover with parchment paper.

Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla and salt and mix.  Add the flour and coco powder and mix well.  Spread the mix on the parchment paper.  The mixture is thick, you will need to spread it out evenly.

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.  Once it’s baked, let it cool for 5 minutes, then cut hearts with the cookie cutter.  Take out the ice cream. Let the cookies cool for another 5 minutes.  Then add a dollop of your favorite ice cream and add another cookie on top.  Press gently.  Once they’re all done, place the baking sheet with the sandwiches in the freezer for one hour.

It won’t take an hour to eat, so grab one as fast as you can and ENJOY!

This recipe gave me 12 sandwiches.  I guess you can have more if you don’t use the cookie cutters and do square ones; less waste.  But they are so much more fun to eat when they’re made of your favorite shapes!

Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

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14 days of love

Last year, I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day for 14 days.  Why not… it’s love, and isn’t all about love?

We don’t have family that lives in our city, so date nights are pretty rare.  They used to happen all the time, we would go out one day to the restaurant, then the next day to the movies, then again to the restaurant, and on a good week we’d finish it by going to Royal Thai for dinner on Friday!  But since we’ve had kids, it’s been different!  We sometime sneak in a date when we visit our family on the weekend, as we tell them we’re coming down for the day when we’re actually only passing by to drop the kids… (thanks Mom, thanks Annick, thanks Brian’s mom) but to be honest, it doesn’t happen that often!

So my 14 days of love was for our entire family.  It’s doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing.  Here’s a few things we did last year:

-heart shaped pancakes

-wrote valentine cards for our friends and family

-made some strawberry pop-tarts for my coworkers

-bought myself new red nail polish… it counts!

-had a stay-at-home movie night with v-day popcorn

-went through all the Valentine’s Day cards that we received through the years… (yes, I kept all the cards… since I was a baby… I love these type of souvenirs!)

 This year, I still want to do the 14-day Valentine thing, and here’s a few idea I’ve added on my list:

-go skate on the Rideau canal

-try a new restaurant

-make pink pancakes… this should happen every weekend!

-have the boys answer a little questionnaire about what they love and read it with them one day, like in 10 years…

-make more v-day popcorn… you can never have too much popcorn!

-heart shaped pizza TODAY

-wear fancy rain boots

 So what’s your favorite V-Day tradition?

I hope you’ll try the 14 days of love this year!  Or at least try to treat yourself and your lover a couple times!

Happy Valentine month!

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pink cinnamon buns…of course

Bring me all the pink stuff!!!  Valentine’s Day is around the corner and everywhere I look… pink heart-shaped everything are calling my name!

Of course I’ve already decorated my house for Valentine’s Day.  Well, I like to decorate for every occasion.  So for the next few weeks, my house and my blog will be flooded with pink!

Last weekend I made pink cinnamon buns, and like he always do when he loves something, Logan said ‘dell-licious’ after his first bite.

I’m sharing the recipe from www.sprinklesomesugar.com but you can use your own favorite recipe and just add some pink food coloring!

What you need:

Dough

-1 packet of active dry yeast

-1 cup of warm milk

-2/3 cup of sugar

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

-2 eggs lightly beaten

-1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

-4 1/2 cups of flour

Filling

-1/2 cup unsalted butter

-1 1/4 cups brown sugar

-2 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting

-4oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1 cup icing sugar

How to:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add yeast, warm milk and 1 tbs of sugar.  Stir and set aside for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of sugar, melted butter and beaten eggs until combined.  Add 3 cups of flour and then add one tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough.  The dough should be sticky, do not add to much flour.  Mix for 5 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl in a dry place to rise.  For about one hour.

While the dough is rising, mix the ingredients for the filling.  Once the dough is ready, place it on a floured counter and roll it out to form a rectangle.  Smear the butter mixture on the dough, and then roll the dough.  I made heart shaped buns by rolling both side until they meet in the middle.  Cut and place in a baking pan, creating hearts.  Allow the dough to rise again for 30 minutes.

In a 350 degree oven, bake the cinnamon buns for 25 minutes or until golden brown… or in this case, golden pink!

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth with no lumps.  Add the icing sugar.

Spread the icing onto the warm buns!  Dell-licious!

Enjoy with your loved ones.

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our first trip to disneyland- part one

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Needless to say, I’m a Disney fan!  Or Disney addict!

Theme parks, movies, shows and everything in between.  The moment I knew my due date for Liam, we had a trip planned, 3rd birthday at Disney World in 2014.  It never occurred to me to visit Disneyland in California, until my mother decided to get married in Vegas.  Wanting another Disney vacation, wheels in my head started turning NON-STOP about going to DISNEYLAND.  It was meant to be, Disneyland 60th Anniversary, a wedding in California and one in Vegas within one week, my decision was made.  For the first time, we would visit the park where the magic started!  The four of us and Josée, Logan’s godmother, cousin, friend and best travel company anybody could have, we traveled to California for a once in a lifetime trip!

We only had two day to visit two parks.  Many hours were spent researching what rides to do, what show to see, what food to eat and where that special Mouse would be!  I knew the maps of the parks by heart, we needed a bathroom, I knew where to find one!  The best places for the parades, we got them!  I had dreams and dreams about the parks and how it would all play out!  My bucket list was long, my expectations high and my wish list a mile long!  Like magic, our two days in Disneyland were better than imagined…they were perfect!

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We got there for the opening, Mickey ears in place, ready to explore!  The boys were ready.  I created two mini-Disney addict within 5 years!  They could not wait to meet their favorite characters.  And so was I!  We go to meet Tinker Bell, and it will probably be one of my favorite memory ever.  Liam has a stuff crocodile from the movie Pirate Fairy, he’s been carrying that thing for almost 2 years.  When we got to meet Tink, she immediately recognized Crocky and was all over the boys.  The love she showed them was above and beyond.  Hugging them, talking with them and trying french words was awesome!  We spent 5 minutes alone with her and that’s 5 of the best minutes of my life!

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The lines for the rides were short, some non-existent!  Logan did Splash Mountain, something Brian will regret his entire life!  We rode the classic Perter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Dumbo and Mad Tea Party!  We did a few of the grown-up rides during the boys nap.  The afternoon parade was awesome!  Logan could not stop screaming at what was coming, he would grab our wrist and try to push us on the street to see what he was seeing!  Peter Pan found us, or rather Crocky!  He tried to have Crocky eat Hook!  I had my first Dole Whip!  I should dedicate an entire post on this fabulous snack!!!  It was as awesome as everybody says!  All the food was amazing!  Weather was crazy hot!  We bought balloons, light up glow swords, Ariel’s bubble maker for Lulu and the little peas from Toy Story!  Liam found out about Star Wars and now wants everything BB8!  Logan found out he doesn’t like rides as much as he though!  I found out I loved Disney even more than I though!  My husband found out that it would not be our last Disney trip!!!

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The new Paint the Night Electrical Parade was beautiful and the fireworks after made me cry like a baby.  Magical fireworks, Frozen song and snow falling on our head was more than our hearts could handle!

We opened and closed the parks and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I wasn’t gonna miss a minute!  The boys were awesome, they should get a medal!  We were lucky; no crying, no wining and didn’t ask for too much stuff!  I spent an enormous of time telling them how lucky they were to be there, to eat Mickey shaped ice cream and to view those beautiful parades.  I think they got it.   I would often ear “Nous on est vraiment chanceux hein Maman, hein?”  I made my heart explode!

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Oh Disney, why do you have to be so far!  We’ve been back a month and everyday the boys are asking if we can go back!  So for now, we look at pictures and video, we watch our favorite movies and pretend plan our next trip!

Advice:  Don’t wait!  It’s my best advice!  Don’t wait until they’re older, don’t wait until they’ll remember it and just don’t wait!  Magic as no age, but younger kids see magic differently, it’s alive!  A life size mouse is only real for some time.  Snow falling on our head is only real in Disneyland on sizzling summer days!  Flying elephant might never get old for me, but for them, it might!  Our boys will never be this age again and they will grow out of wanting to meet the Princesses, but we will never regret taking the time to feel this magic and to live it through their eyes!

Disneyland, you exceeded our expectations.  You created magic, joy and love.  You gave us memories to last a lifetime.  Not sure we’ll have the chance to visit you again.

But until then, “if you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there’s some way to do it.”  -Walt Disney

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