Good News Thursday: 7

Intro good news1You know what we recently found out that we love in this house. Focaccia bread. We’ve been working on the same loaf since Tuesday and man is that stuff really freaking delicious. You know what else is amazing? Dipping it in balsamic with olive oil. I think we’ve found our new kryptonite. Move over chips there’s a new carb in town. My bloated stomach hates me an hour later, but my eyes are bigger than my brain on this one. Sorry body – I’ll do the elliptical for an extra 10 minutes to compensate.

So it’s time for some good news this week. I mean how can you top focaccia bread…really can you? Well obiously yes, but it was a pretty great highlight – we have The Store Next Door to thank for that one. The weeks tend to be pretty standard: a full day of work, evening prep of lunches and dinner, clean up, elliptical and a blog post here and there. But between all of that, there’s all this genuine, unconditional love from one little Raisin. That’s it right there. The good news. It’s me having the honour of being his mama and watching him come into his own day to day. He’s so funny, clever, curious, quizzical, adventurous yet cautious and just plain amazing. The way his eyes light up when I pick him up at mini skool make whatever has happened in the day seem like no big deal. How he asks me as soon as I hug him and bring him to grab his jacket, is it mommy and daddy time now? How everything right now revolves around the number five. Five more bites, five more minutes, five jelly beans, five books. How he imitates his dada laughing, or insists that we use our manners just like he does, or how he HAS to feed the doggies and give them an extra special treat before we leave the house. When we’re out and he sees a little boy or girl upset he tells me, they need a hug mama, and how he tells me when he’s not wearing his rubber boots we have to dodge puddles. My all time fave right now is when he’s in his playroom I hear him yell out…MAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMEEEEEEEE come play with me in my ROOOOOOOOOMMM! Not a question, a demand. One that I’m willing to overlook in the manners arena myself, even though I find myself saying from time to time, just give me a second! More hours in the day is needed people! Anyhow, the good news this week is that the world and MY world is better because Raisin is in it. Feelin pretty lucky over here.

The Big 4

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Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly the time goes by…totally another story when Monday hits though. The days to Friday seem to take forever, right? But look at those two up there! They’ve been buddies since they were infants, and I’m kinda having a hard time believing they’re turning 4 this year. When did that time go by? Seems like I remember these two figuring out tummy time, rattle toys, and trying solids for the first time.

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This birthday at My Gym was pretty spectacular. Apple was a little princess, and Raisin wouldn’t stop following her around. And if you’re a little girl around this age, your birthday wouldn’t be complete without a Frozen theme! Elsa showed up, and Apple had the best looking frosted blue cake with snowflakes decorations. There was A LOT of running around, bubbles, ball pits, slides, fun stick on tattoos, laughing and clapping. The only quiet moment was after singing happy birthday and the kiddies all had some cake. The 2 hours of running around and adrenaline rush tuckered them all out. Raisin asked to go to bed even before we did, but of course he asked if we were going to My Gym the next day to celebrate Apple’s birthday!

Raisin’s birthday is just a few months away and I’m totally in disbelief. Spoiler alert, I’ll probably shed a tear or two. One thing is for sure though, there will be a cupcake to wake him up as usual, and 4 balloons this year. After his birthday fun at My Gym, I’m sure he’ll want to go there for his own…and of course have Apple there to play with!

Apple Raisin Cinnamon Scones

scones INTRO

Oh hey Nick Jonas….I’m kinda, super, really, can’t handle it anymore annoyed at you. I’ve had THAT same song stuck in my head since first thing this morning. I blame our shower radio.  As much as I love the thing, I swear it seems like every time I turn it on, the same song is on as the last time!  Do I have some sort of magical radio, or does the station just play this song all.the.time?  In case you’re wondering which tune: Jealous.  I totally cringe whenever I hear it.  Never been a fan.  Sorry Jonas brothers.

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Are you a morning person or a night owl?  Is it possible to flip flop between the two?  If you say no, then you’re flat out lying because I totally do.  Some weeks I’m in bed by 9:30 p.m (sorry for making fun of you when I was younger mom and dad) and up at the crack of dawn ready to tackle the day.  Then there’s the other side where I can’t fall asleep at all and feel like cleaning the bathroom, or maybe bake some muffins and then re-organize the kitchen shelves.  Fun, right!?

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Either way, morning or night, I find the need to do something. Being bored is the worst.  And in todays world, seriously there’s no excuse to have nothing to do.  I don’t mind watching a t.v. show here and there, or watching a good movie, but I tap out after about an hour at best of sitting.  Sitting makes me feel sluggish. FYI I’ve been working at a make shift stand up desk at work.  Try it out, your body will thank you.

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Right now I’m on a mission.  Slight obsession if you will.  I NEED to find the perfect scone (scon if you say it that way) recipe.  I’m talking about the kind of scone that melts in your mouth without any butter.  But let’s be honest, the true secret to life is butter.  Butter really does make everything better.

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Soooo….is this the one?  Nope.  Not even close, but it is tasty.  I’d like to thank whoever came up with them.  They’re not overly sweet, and are an excuse to add whatever the heck you want.  Cranberries?  Sure! Ginger?  Why not! Chocolate, or lemon, or cheddar with chives, or pumpkin?  Do it. Sweet or savoury, scones are so easy to make and are pretty much a give-in to be hoovered down at any breakfast or brunch.  Even though this isn’t the “best scone ever” recipe, it’s a winner either way.  Warm out of the oven with butter, or some jam…..ya that’s a thumbs up in my books.

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Recipe adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
Yields: 12 scones

Ingredients

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
5 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 Cup raisins
1 Granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp nutmeg
3/4 Cup buttermilk

Directions

1 – Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2 – In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon and whisk together.

3 – Cut in butter to flour mixture by hand , or with two knives, or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps.

4 – Add diced apples and raisins.

5 – Stir in buttermilk with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

6 – Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball.  Let dough sit for 10 minutes.

7 – Pat the dough onto a lightly floured surface in a a 3/4 inch thick circle and cut pieces with a biscuit cutter.  Place remaining scrapes back into another piece and repeat until you have no more dough left to work with.  Alternately you can form the dough into one large log and cut into 8 wedges.

8 – Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool on wire rake for at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Butter it up.

Raisin Report: No.12

Rasin Report - edition 12You guuuuys, I feel rejuvenated! And I say this as I type while wearing zero make up, sitting in pj’s with 2 doggies sitting on either side of my lap. Kind of a picture perfect image of lazy and ready for bed, right? But honestly it’s hard not to feel high on life when winter ends. With the sun setting later, and the weather picking up how can you not feel ah-may-zing? I can see grass on EVERYONE’s lawn… granted it’s dead and brown, but it’s only MARCH! Seeing grass during this time of year, that’s certifiably INSANE.

With April around the corner and Easter only a couple of weeks away, it’s time to spruce up the pad. A sure fire way instantaneously: flowers. Hello colour, we’ve missed you. Tulips, ranunculus welcome back. I find Easter’s a way to incorporate colour back into the home and brighten up any room. The introduction of yellows, pinks, blues and any pastel subtly brings that pop the coffee table has been missing, or that shelf in the corner, or the fire place mantel.  A little colourful addition, plus opening up the curtains all the way allows spring to do it’s thing naturally.  Hope you’re finding it’s time to change the season inside your home as much as it’s changing outside.  I’m itching to set up our patio set when it gets a wee bit warmer, but for now spring flowers and a little extra colour indoors will have to do!

RECLAIMED WOOD PLANTER / HURRICANE VASE / TULIP WREATH / JELLY BEAN TREE / VASE / WHEAT GRASS

Good News Thursday: 6

Intro good news1
You know what this Thursday calls for? Homemade Rice Krispie treats. And you know what I just ate? A nice huge square…so big that you’d probably say it was 2 for the price of 1. Totally fine with it. And I’d say that it’s making Thursday look on the up and up already!

What’s not to celebrate this week? I mean for one is’s flown by, two the weather has kept up to staying above zero (so far), and three we’re one day away from the weekend. A.K.A lazy pj day mornings! I’ve also discovered a slight obsession this week. A little show called Love it, or List it. It’s become a little over the top. I mean I know I can PVR it, but my mind tells me to stay awake until midnight to finish watching my 2nd episode back to back. It’s my mindless tv moment at the end of the day when I can finally sit down and relax. I’d say that’s a little positive of the week, but let’s be honest that’s t.v and 1% of my week! So good news, we celebrated a baby shower over the past weekend for one of my very dear friends, we hit up Disney on Ice and had lunch with some of our close friends and kiddies, my parents celebrated 38 years of marriage, and on the weekend we’ll be celebrating a little sweet Apple Audrey turning the big 4! Can’t wait for a fun weekend ahead…and neither can Mason. He can’t stop talking about how fun this birthday party will be!

Library Love

library INTRO

Yup, we’ve been living under a rock. If you want to call under a rock going to bookstores instead of libraries. What the heck, right!? How come we’ve waited so freaking long? Honestly, no valid answer except we reallllly didn’t think of it. Weekends always consist of activities galore and although the library is only 2 blocks over, it was never on the radar.

All of a sudden a few weeks ago, a light bulb went off! Driving by our neighbourhood library for the millionth time I FINALLY thought it was time to get lil Raisin his very own card. Confetti can fall from the ceiling any moment now. Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty impressed with my idea. Yup a little late on this bandwagon, but whatever, we got there in due time!

The night before going, we mentioned it to Raisin during dinner and it’s all he would talk about for the rest of the evening. That morning as soon as he woke up he asked when we were going. A new adventure for the little man and the best part was he was getting his OWN card. He kept telling me that it was his, not mommies…riiight? So the cutest.

Raisin and I suited up and walked over, actually more like raced over. We always have mini races from fire hydrant to fire hydrant. Little guy is getting faster and faster every day! Chris drove over and met us right as we approached the doors – he’s not lazy, we just needed the car to run errands right after! Raisin marched up to the counter and handed the librarian his papers stating he would like his own library card please. It was all kinds of cute, I think we hit an all time cuteness high for on richter scale. Everyone was staring at him and smiling from ear to ear when they heard his little request.

The process to get his card ready was going to take 5 minutes so we headed over to choose some books. In case you’re wondering, the library is like a unicorn, scattered with fairy tears. There is SO much to do there, and items take out. Audio books, dvd’s, docs, books, weekly events…man, where have I been? For real!

We cruised around a bit and Mason chose 5 books. He happily checked them out and received what he was waiting for the whole time, his very own library card! We walked out and he was skipping like he won the toddler lottery. He held that card like it was made out of jelly beans and didn’t let go for a solid 2 hours. I’d say it was a success…and we’ve been back weekly so I’m pretty pumped with the idea. If you don’t have a card for your little one, do it! I’m not sure why we waited so long, but all is well now, we’re part of the club.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Crisp

Crisp INTRO

Guys, this weekend was bus-ay! Honestly though, it wasn’t the kinda busy where to get it all done I needed so much coffee that I could actually hear colours. It was more like the kind of busy I couldn’t wait to get going!

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Jam packed weekends or not, we savour our slower paced mornings like a boss. They always revolve around lounging in PJ’s (sooo the best) while eating breakfast and playing with something Raisin has chosen. This weekend it happened to be a combo of dominoes and Lego. Let me give you a liiiiittle run down how playtime went with these toys. I grab a Lego/domino, I put it down where I’d like to, Raisin takes it away and tells me it doesn’t go there. Grab another piece, and repeat process. I pretty much laugh it off and call him silly. Which he then tells me, I’m not silly, I’m Mason!

crisp2

Ever play dominoes? Answer here is a 50/50 shot, right? Anyways, it’s always been a fun go to game for Chris and I. In fact, we’ve have some pretty serious tournaments. We’re both competitive so it gets heated in a good way. FYI I’ve caught him cheating red handed! His sly hand was peeking and swapping out his own tiles for favoured ones in the boneyard, but he’s also caught me doing the same thing playing scrabble, so it evens out. We don’t let each other live those moments down anytime we play either game again. Cheeky teasing all the way.

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I remember our VERY first tournament at the lake. We couldn’t wait for the sun to go down. We sat in the screen in porch after dinner, grabbed some wine of course, and laid the tiles out for the first game over dessert. The dessert and tournament became a perfect accident. I decided to try baking berry crisps in individual mason jars – who knew? The perfectly portioned single serving was deliciously devoured while playing serious domino sessions. It became the perfect combo. What started out as one game, steam rolled into whoever scored 200 points first wins. Wine, dominoes, lake view and berry crisp. I’d call that the real-deal of summer time in the making.

crisp5

After that tournament of dominoes and baking berry crisps in mason jars, we found 3 winners! An amazing game, a delicious dessert, and ME! I made it to 200 first! You didn’t think otherwise, right? Thought so. For some reason I get better at adding tiles when I’ve had a glass of wine and some dessert. This is astounding, because a for real fun fact, I suck at math.

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Served warm, or at room temperature, berry crisp is always a winner hands down. The added bonus is if you decide to add ice cream. À la mode, all the way! I don’t dare you, I ENCOURAGE you. You know this has a crumbly streusel topping, right? A simple match made, but a dangerously delicious one. The spring temperatures had me thinking of summer desserts so I pretty much made the right decision to bake these in mason jars over the weekend. We may have eaten some while playing dominos with Raisin while he told us the tiles were in the wrong spot. He’ll experience a tournament with us one day, and hopefully not regret it! But I guarantee there will be berry crisp while we play so no one really loses here if you ask me.

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Recipe adapted from: Your Home Based Mom
Yields: 6, 250 ml Mason Jars

Ingredients

1 Cup fresh raspberries *
1 Cup fresh blueberries *
1 Cup fresh blackberries *
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 Cup rolled oats (I used gluten free certified, but not necessary)
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp nutmeg
1/4 Cup butter

Directions

1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 – In a bowl, combine berries and sugar. Mix gently and set aside.

3 – In another bowl mix together your dry ingredients: flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

4 – Add butter to dry mixture using a pastry mixer until crumbly. Or if you’re like me, use your hands and mix that all together.

5 – Pile berries into each mason jar evenly.

6 – Add crumble on top of berries.

7 – Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

8 – Serve warm from the oven, or at room temperature. Add ice cream for an extra special topping.

* The beauty of this dessert is you can mix and match berries depending on what you’d like to use. Use all raspberries if that’s your thing, or blueberries…you get the idea.

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mason.jar.love.

Raisin Report: No.11

Rasin Report - edition 11Okay, so it’s March.  So that means April and May are around the corner…call me captain obvious.  But this also means SPRING and shedding winter clothes for light breezy, and colourful options (my fave!). Honestly when winter rolls around, it’s legging and jean town for me….more legging than jean lately.  Which leads me to say it’s also time to get back into shape!

I love how spring brings great weather, but it also brings bright blues, yellows and pops of colour back into play when it comes to clothing.  Everything is brighter all around!  It’s no surprise yellow is a favourite for spring this year, and of course the every classic all white.  These fall under the “why wouldn’t you wear it” category. They’re fun, bright, crisp and classy.  There’s always a use for a trench for spring.  It’s a pretty timeless look in my opinion. And these soft obi belts are soooo beautiful.  I also am digging the shirt dress look with a thin belt. Talk about taking tailored shirts up a notch for those who love dresses in the spring.  I’m itching for wedges and light jackets, but for now I’ll settle for my boots and jacket for a bit longer while I cruise the endless pit of pinterest for a 2015 spring wardrobe I can dream of.

SHIRT DRESS / CLASSIC WHITE / YELLOW / SPRING TRENCH / GINGHAM  / OBI BELTS

Good News Thursday: 5

Intro good news1Let me tell ya a little something about this week.  Man oh man the weather was killin it!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Winnipeggers emerge out of their caves.  Seriously, when you hear about hibernating, it’s a legit thing here.  I’ll bet money some restaurants will clear their patios of all the sand and dust that’s added up from the winter season, and set up a few tables for the pure die hards that are already only sporting hoodies.  There’s something warm weather does to people, especially in Winnipeg.  Springs are in steps, smiles are plastered on faces, and parkas are being thrown off while people run into the warmth.  I realize good weather is something you may experience all year round, but here, we take what we can get and absorb it to the last drop.  So good news is pretty obvious.  It’s about enjoying the beautiful weather and taking walks outside without having to bundle up!  Raisin can’t wait to get outside even more now and I’m don’t have to wrap us up in crazy amounts of layers.  Seriously, it’s the simplest things that put a smile on my face as of late.  Cheers to warmth, sunshine, and smiles on the faces!

Spring Cleaning

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Ground breaking news here everybody!!! We’ve actually reached temps above zero. Do you know what this means!? I mean aside from some seriously looking dirty cars and of course some major puddle jumping with Raisin, which gives me yet another reason to wear my hunter wellies. What it means is I get into serious spring cleaning mode and a love of revamping the look of our house. Open windows, no more ugly carpets in the entrance way to trap all our muddy boots, and no more huge parkas taking up all the space on hooks or hangers in the closet. This is pretty much music to my ears. I love storing all winter gear away, but I won’t do it yet. As past years have proven I’ve jumped the “spring is here” gun. But there’s nothing like looking up a little inspiration to get my juice flowing and excited for warmer temps ahead. We’ve gone for walks every day with the doggie boys which is huge. They need to be shoved out of the house to do their business in the winter. I think they had excitement overload seeing the sidewalks free of snow.

Spring, I’m ready for you. Come soon so I can brighten up the house again with your fresh breezy self…and give me an excuse to go to Home Sense a zillion times.

CANDEL AND FLOWER MOTIF
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