happee birthdae

Yesterday was one of the most magical days ever.

I’d like to start by saying that I do know this one was a little over the top, and that I ended up spending probably too much time organizing it; but this is the type of things that makes Liam and I truly happy, and seeing how joyful he was yesterday, I am so happy I did it just the way I did. We created this party together, from picking the cakes, the decorations, the candy, the food and designing it all. It probably took me over 50 hours to make it all happen, but every minute was worth the happiness in Liam’s eyes when everything was taking shape.

You already know our profound love for Harry Potter, right? If you don’t, you’ll know about it in a few minutes! Sometime last summer, after watching the 3th Harry Potter movie one more time (his favorite movie), Liam came to me and officially declared that his 8th birthday would be all about magic and HP. So I immediately jumped in with both feet, being on the lookout for stuff for the party ever since. I found many decorations after Halloween with everything being on clearance, while also scoring some free stuff on Marketplace and Kijiji in the last few weeks. Oh, and we also found many things at our place, you know, stuff lying around the basement or buried in boxes we actually had forgotten about.

Just after Christmas, we took all the decorations away and started putting HP stuff EVERYWHERE. This party was probably the biggest one I’ve ever organized, with Logan’s Peter Pan 2nd birthday coming in at a close second. I’ve been dreaming about this party for months. Finally, yesterday, it was time, and it was just like I had imagined it.

Everything was covered, from the trunk and spell books on the porch, to the flying acceptance letters emerging from the fireplace, to the Owlery (a store where you can adopt a stuff owl to bring home) and the Honeydukes confectionary store, to the talking painting staircase, with the HP soundtrack blazing through the house, it was just like the real thing. Once you were done with the first room, next was the Great Hall, which you could only access by storming through the Platform 9 3/4 brick wall, where you’d find floating candles, a sorting hat cake, more candy and chocolates, twinkling lights, House colours banner, an handmaid giant map of Hogwarts ground, chocolate cake, vanilla cake and of course, a Butterbeer cake that brought dessert to the next level!

We had wands for our friends, we ate some chocolate frogs and chocolate Snitches; played Owl tag, took some Instax pictures and we feasted until we could pass out! All signs of a perfect birthday. Liam loved every second of it. For a rare occasion he actually enjoyed getting all the attention. He was so excited to show our own version of the Wizarding World to his friends and family. He was spoiled by everyone, as always. We are so lucky to have the best family and friends who loves our babies just the way they do.

This party will definitely go down in history as one of the most magical party I’ve ever thrown! It was so much fun to bring this thing to life and to celebrate our boy. We are the lucky ones to have you in our lives. Liam, you are the chosen one, just like Harry.

Hope this year will be full of health, fun filled days, new adventures, and so much love. I know you want to be a Griffindor, just like Harry, but you are so much more. You have the intelligence of a Ravenclaw; the dedication of an Hufflepuff; the ambitious of a Slytherin; and you can be BRAVE just like a true Gryffindor. And I love you just the way you are.

Today, on your actual birthday, all you wanted to do was to watch some YouTube videos, go skating and eat spaghetti for dinner. It was simple and it was a great day. I love you baby boy. Eight years old, not so baby anymore, but still, and always, my baby.  

Happee Birthdae Liam! We love you so much. ALWAYS.


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almost christmas eve

In exactly one week it’s going to be Christmas Eve. How is that even possible? I’m so behind on my usual pre-Christmas blog posts; I had planned to share a Christmas recipe, some Christmas wish lists, some Christmas activities, but with one week to go, I know I won’t have time to do any of this, so I’ll combine a bit of everything in this one. I truly wish I had more time, but between our school and the boys’ school events, the Christmas shows, all the baking, gifts wrapping, sneaking a movie night to watch Mary Poppins, a family cousins reunion AND the actual Christmas festivities, not sure how I will ever survive this next week! But even with all that, I’m still the most excited one in this household! I just LOVE Christmas! And here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Picking our Christmas Tree: The official opening of the holiday season always starts with the cutting of our tree at Ian’s Christmas Tree Farm. I’ve already shared with you how big of a deal our tree is, and you can read more about our magical tree tradition here. Let’s just say this year didn’t go according to plan. It had snowed a few days before, it was beautiful outside, the weather was great, we were 11 of us crammed into 3 cars, but once out there in the field, we couldn’t find a tree we would agree on. We walked and walked and walked some more, but nothing, nada, zero. All of them too small, or too big. After searching for the perfect one for over an hour and a half, we finally placed the bag under the magic tree, the boys found it, they were happy, we pretended to cut it and hitched a ride on the wagon to go back (actually without a tree). So while we were having hot dogs, maple fudge and brownies by the outside fire pit, Brian picked up a pre-cut one! Only once we had already paid and wrapped up the tree we were told we were actually in the wrong field. Well, you just watch me next year, Clark Griswold will eat his heart out when he sees my perfect tree. After that, we all came back home for some drinks, pasta diner and to decorate the tree. All in all, we didn’t cut it ourselves, but our tree still looks beautiful and smells wonderful, which is all that matters. 

Christmas Party number 1:

We’ve had our annual friends Christmas party ever since I can remember, and for the last 5 or 6 years, we’ve been hiring a chef to cook for us, at home, and it’s been amazing. But this year, our chef double-booked the date and we were left with no one with about two weeks’ notice. So at the last minute, we all decided that each couple would be responsible to take care of one service. And it turned out to be amazing! Saved us a ton of money and the food was delicious. Vero and Mat have the greatest basement for parties like this, with mirrors and lights and loud speakers and a dancing floor, so let’s just say that the next morning was rough for a few of us who drank and danced too much! I just think there may be a little less Tequila involved next year, or so I’ve heard. But we had so much fun, as always, and I can’t wait for next year’s party already.

Nutcracker:

I love the Nutcracker. We saw the new movie a few weeks ago and Liam loved it so much that when a young girl from my school was chosen to take part in the ballet, I knew we had to go. So last week, Liam and I added the Nutcracker Ballet to our list of Christmas things to do. On Thursday night, we skipped the school homework and went to see the show. It truly puts you in the Christmas spirit and I was so proud to cheer on Victoria. She was wonderful to watch, and Liam and I just loved the entire thing, as it was beautiful and so well done.

Christmas Parties 2, 3 and 4:

Last weekend was filled to the brim with activities. First, Friday night was my workplace party at my co-worker’s new house. Well, now I have severe house envy. Well, how could I not? She has a dream kitchen, PLUS a stage (well, an open staircase that looks like a stage) where I came up with a singing/lipsing performance! The games were hilarious, I will definitely plan games like these for Christmas Day at our house. Family, beware and be ready! After my work thing, I drove back-and-forth to the other side of Ottawa to pick up Brian who was at another Christmas party at his friend’s house… so by the time I went to bed it was pretty late! And then Saturday morning I was up early to get everything ready in time as I was hosting family members for diner. We don’t see each other enough, but we do this every year now and we always have a great time. I really love this new tradition of ours. This year was no different. My aunt, uncle and the boys all played a few songs on the piano. We shared old and new stories. The boys saw their baby cousin Evely, who is definitely one of the best dressed toddler ever! And then, on Sunday morning, we drove to Brian’s dad to get the house ready for the Christmas Eve Woodbury family ‘Réveillon’. So while Brian, his brother and his sister were picking up and decorating the tree and the house, I decided to cook my Christmas ‘boulettes’ for the 24th midnight lunch; at least one thing to check off my list, finally!

It’s going to be a busy week, but it’s one of the best week of the year, as this is what it’s all about: gatherings, reminiscing, spending time with the people that matters, with all the love, the bickering and the dirty dishes in between! Christmas would definitely not be the same without all the craziness that comes with it. So, no more complaining about everything I have left to do before December 24th, and I will enjoy each day to the fullest and I’ll catch up on sleep sometime in the new year! Cheers my friends, and have fun, and be safe, hoping the next few weeks are filled with Christmas magic for all of you, as we all deserve some of it this time of year. I wish you all the best Holiday Season possible. Merry Christmas.

 

         


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super mario odyssey themed birthday party

Finally, he’s 6. And when I say finally, it’s because it seems like he’s been waiting forever for this birthday. He even created a calendar countdown in his bedroom where he would colour the date each morning when he got up… yep, he truly is my child, as I am pretty sure I did the same thing from age 4 to, eh, like age 25!?!

So since our very first day of summer vacation, he’s been constantly asking about when were we going to start decorating for his birthday and baking his cake. Well, finally, a week prior to his birthday, I was ready to decorate and bake with him. The theme (once again) was Mario… but this time not the regular Mario Bros theme, the Super Mario Odyssey theme! At least, of course I already knew the differences between Mario Bros and Mario Odyssey, after all I have two boys, a Nintendo switch console, and I am married to Brian *eye rolling*!!! So off we went to the Michaels and Party City to get some stuff to get ready for the big celebrations.

First thing we did was a “Cappy” chalkboard, which is Mario’s new hat and the key thing to this whole Mario Odyssey theme apparently! Then I built the odyssey from wrapping paper and construction paper we already had at home, practiced my face painting Mario skills, baked a few cakes and Rice Krispies ‘?’ blocks, prepped the goodie bags and waited for our friends and family to arrive!

He is going into Grade 1, and now that he has made many friends at school in senior kindergarten, we had decided to hold his first “friends from school” party in the morning of his actual birthday, followed by a family diner/gathering. I’m surprised he actually slept the previous night, as he was soo excited and couldn’t talk or think about anything else!

We also had planned a pretty big surprise to reveal for when he would wake up. So on the Friday night, once they were both in bed, we prepared a treasure hunt with clues and places they had to find in the house that would lead them to a giant Mickey Mouse air balloon. Cause, yes, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY!!!

See, right there with the caps lock on, that was me being ecstatic about the idea of going to Disney. But you know what, things do not always go as planned or as you’ve imagined it! And this time it didn’t. I really wanted to film the treasure hunt… so when the boys woke up, they came into our room and we started filming them from there, and we did until they found the Mickey, which ended up being like the most boring and most disappointing video ever. Nothing like the cute surprise videos they have in the Disney commercials or on YouTube… nope, but mine could probably make it in the fail videos of the month.

So the second they opened the first envelope, Logan said in the most boring voice ‘we’re going to Disney’… with ZERO expression or cheerfulness! I just looked at Brian and I wanted to cry… So I pretended I hadn’t heard him. Then, I have to say they really enjoyed the treasure hunt portion of the surprise, which I guess it’s good. But when they got to the living room, where we had our big surprise, the Mickey, nothing, nada, zip…. crickets. Nobody was jumping or screaming in joy… they just looked at the balloons and said “are we going to Disney?”. Like it was an everyday occurrence. I was NOT impressed.

I had been keeping that secret for over a month now, and spent countless hours trying to plan the perfect trip and they gave me nothing. All Logan asked for after they realized we were going to Disney was if he would still get a stuffed animal for his birthday. Then, I was pissed! Oh well, this will go down as one of the worst surprise ever. But I know they will be excited once we leave for Florida. I still don’t understand why I didn’t get the classic surprised kid reaction… you know, for the last 2 years, Logan has been asking almost EVERY SINGLE DAY when we’d go back. And the moment I give it to him… blank! Oh well, I’m excited for both of them, that’s for sure!!!

So after the surprise fiasco, my 25$ Mario balloon popped. Then Brian went to have it replaced and came back with something completely different, which is when I nearly had a breakdown over a stupid balloon (also my cake had just fell down 3 times, plus the Disney thing, you know!).

But finally, Logan’s friends arrived and having 7 kids running around the house got me distracted enough to forget about all my morning disasters (like by then I knew I may have had overreacted a little about a few things that morning!). Overall, this was a great party, the kids had a blast, we played pin the mustache on Mario, Mario bingo, made a Luigi and Mario puppet thingy, played don’t break Yoshi’s egg and did face paintings. We got some Happy Meals from McDonald’s for lunch (turned out it was Mario Bros boxes and surprises inside!), which was the best decision ever as it was so simple to serve and clean up, and you know, what kid doesn’t like McDonald’s! Logan loved all the handmaid cards and presents he got from his friends, and also had so much fun playing with all of them in the basement. He was so happy his friends came to party with him!

Once the kids were gone, we put the boys down for a quick nap while we cleaned up the house and prep for the second party of the day, the family birthday party. Logan had requested his favourite meal for diner: Spaghetti. Another win, so easy to make and serve… especially when your hosting 25 people and using plastic dishes!

It was a gorgeous day and we swam and played baseball outside all afternoon and evening long. We then all sang loudly for the birthday boy who enjoyed every single minute of his special day. The day was not over that he was already talking about his 7th birthday. But sorry Loggy, this is far far away, and I am not ready to think about it yet… as I have another countdown I’m planning on following closely: my Disney one… 221 days, and counting!

Happy birthday to our baby boy Logan. Loggy, you are the sun, full of light and happiness, your mood is sometime a little too hot to handle, but everybody that knows you, loves you! Don’t ever change; you were born to stand out.

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incredible weekend

What a weekend!  So much crammed into 2 and half days, you’d think we were crazy! But no, we’re just trying to get to the finish line. Next Friday, when school and work come to an end, we’ll be off for 2 months!  Soccer, swim lessons, school BBQ, field trips, birthday party, staff party, movies and piano recitals are just a few of the things we’ve done in the last couple of days. I can’t wait to lounge in my pj’s next week, no alarm (besides my kids), no routines, just enjoying each others company and all that summer has to offer!

On Friday night I had my end of school year party and we had so much fun. We had Escape Manor come to our school and set up a classroom with the game. We didn’t get out but we had a blast, working with each other trying to solve clues.  Losing didn’t dampen our spirits so we headed out to a local pub for dinner. We were also celebrating one of my friend’s retirement. Since the boys we’re at my Mom’s, I had planned to meet up with Brian for a date after my party but it ran a bit longer than anticipated so I had him join us. We stayed out past midnight, chatting with a few of my coworkers and closing the place down!

The boys came home the next morning, bursting to jump into the pool. It was a picture perfect summer day, splashing away and giggling until they fell asleep for a much needed afternoon nap…for all of us.

We’ve been awaiting the new Incredibles movie for a while now and the boys had a countdown going on to the big day. We made shirts on Wednesday (that they have been wearing, EVERY SINGLE DAY, SINCE) and I bought felt masks for them to complete the outfit. I made Incredibles donuts, Incredibles popcorn and downloaded and printed lots of fun Incredibles activities. I had tickets for the evening show and it was so much fun.  It was the first time Logan didn’t ask to go to the bathroom a million times and sat watching the entire movie. What a relief! I think we’ll have to go back. They’ve only asked me 54 times since we came out of the theatre!

Today is Father’s Day and Brian has a round of golf planned with his dad, brother and uncle. That means we will only see him around supper time. The boys have prepared a few gifts at school for him and he’ll be joining Logan’s class tomorrow for a Father’s Day lunch. Last week, I prepared a few questions for the boys to answer about their Papa. Their answers are so funny, I just have to share them with you.  Enjoy!

Mon Papa

1-The thing my dad loves to do most:

Logan: Play Mario Odyssey

Liam: Play Nintendo

2-I love when my dad:

Logan: Helps me.

Liam: Plays with me.

3-My dad is good at:

Logan: Play Plant’s vs. Zombies 2

Liam: Baseball

4-I think my dad is funny because:

Logan: He’s “Tannant” (meaning he acts crazy)

Liam: He’s ” Très tannant” (very crazy!!!!)

5-I know my dad loves me because:

Logan: He gives me kisses

Liam: He says “I love you”

6-The thing I love to do most with my dad:

Logan: Play in the pool

Liam: Play Wii (the gaming ‘theme’ always comes back!!!)

7-My dad’s favourite store:

Logan: Wine and beer store

Liam: I’m going to quote this one, ” A la bière”

8-The thing my dad says often:

Logan: “Let’s make a sandwich”(meaning the boys make ‘layers’ on top of him to make a sandwich)

Liam: A bad word.

9-My dad’s favourite meal:

Logan: Spaghetti

Liam: Spaghetti

10-I love my dad because:

Logan: He’s beautiful

Liam: He’s funny

Happy Father’s Day to all the “Incredibles” fathers we know and love! Hope you get to spend the day with the people you cherish the most. A very special HFD to Brian, who keeps up with all our crazyness, who watches endless Youtube tutorials on “how to play Plant’s vs. Zombies” and “how to build a shelving unit to store all of my wife’s crap”, who let’s me paint flowers on our bathroom wall only to paint over it because I don’t love it, who coaches soccer, who cuts our own Christmas tree, who hangs picture frames in dangerous places, who cooks the best BBQ ribs, who buys me reading socks, who prepares the essential oil diffuser every night, who encourages me with my blog, who works hard, who plans the best trips, who loves baseball, beer, spaghetti, and us!  You’re OUR Mr. Incredible! We love you!  xox

 

 

 

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#thisis37andaminnieparty

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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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zombies are coming

I’m now officially the mom of a 7 year old. Not sure how we got here, but for sure it did happen WAY too fast! Mind-blowing how time flies; like even if you take the time to enjoy every day and every little thing they do, you always end up not knowing how they grew up so quick. He was a baby a minute ago and now he’s a little boy who loves to argue with me, sometimes even questioning my motherhood’s decision making skills. Yeah, mind-blowing isn’t it?

So, a few weeks ago I was chatting with Liam about what theme he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. He smiled, and then answered, pretty sure of himself, with one word: ZOMBIES!!! Yep… cute birthday themes (that I choose and then make him believe he’s the one who got the idea in the first place) are officially over. I really tried to make him change his mind, but he was having none of it. So I caved… then started to look for Plants VS Zombies stuff… and found next to nothing. So printing images and cutting them became my main activities during the last few days prior to the B-day party.

One of the best thing about this year’s birthday party preparations is that we mostly did it all together. The boys were really into it, and I got to say that their cutting and scotch taping skills are much better now! They really worked hard on setting up the game wall; and they did an awesome job at it! They also helped me bake the cake and then watched me very closely as I was making the fondant plants and zombies cake decorations. My heart is full every time I bake with them, even with Zombies everywhere!

The first party was Friday night; and on Thursday morning I called my mom requesting some help and some zombie hats. By the end of the day she had picked up the boys from school, cleaned my floors, made diner and knitted two cute zombie hats for the boys. They were ecstatic when they saw it! Liam’s been wearing his non-stop this week. Thanks Mom, you are truly the best! Friday night was really laid back, pizza night with our friends, no agenda, with the kids playing downstairs, putting on shows and playing hockey and stuff while we were all chatting in the kitchen. There was no meltdown during cake time this year… unlike 2 years ago when the boys lost it as soon as the girls started to eat the fondant on the back of the crocodile cake while we were singing happy birthday… made pretty funny pictures, though! So Liam made some 7th year old birthday wishes and then the kids shared ‘brain’ and ‘plants’ cupcakes. And that was it for party number one.

Next day, on Liam’s actual birthday, we started the celebrations with birthday French toasts and gifts. Well, no, gifts then French toasts, as he had already asked for some b-day gifts before I was even out of bed! After that we played games all day long while waiting for our family to arrive. On the menu: spaghetti and pizza (both Liam’s favorite food) and then some more cake. We love having our family over for birthdays and I hope it will never stop… the house might be full but that’s what it’s for, and that’s how we like it!

Then on Sunday, we had invited Liam’s best friend to join us for a fun day full of activities. First, we went to play a game of laser-tag… where I finished in first place, out of 9 players! I got to say that my laser-tag skills are pretty amazing! Then, lunch at McDonald’s, because when you ask 3 boys where they want to eat, that’s what you get. And then we finished our day at Flying Squirrel, an indoor trampoline park. They all really loved it. It’s actually rare that Liam gets crazy excited about a activity (beside playing games on the Nintendo or Ipad), so I really enjoyed watching him having fun while running and jumping everywhere with his friend Gab and Logan. He had the best of time and we can’t wait to be back.

It was a pretty amazing birthday for our boy. He’s so special, and kind. Not sure how I got so lucky to be his mom, but I’ll take it. When he woke up, I wished him Happy Birthday, and he just looked at me and told me Happy Birthday right back… I asked him why and he said it was my birthday too, because 7 years ago I became a Mom. This one sure knows how to make me cry. So it was my birthday too, I guess. So, even if I couldn’t choose the birthday theme this year, it was still an awesome weekend as we had to celebrate our baby. Like it says in my favorite song from when I was pregnant with him seven years ago: ‘There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do, Go to the ends of this Earth for you, To make you feel my love’.

Bonne fête Crocky d’amour!

Love you so much,

Mom xox

 

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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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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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this lemon is turning one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, Andréanne

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