California Dreamin’

intro psSo we’ve been back into routine for about 4 days.  Feels like we had what I can say is one of the most memorable and jam packed trips to date.  Between our fill of Palm Springs and a drive into Anaheim for some Disneyland fun, I’m so happy with the week we had together.  Of course throw in an outlet shopping day – seriously, it had to happen.

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We did our annual trip to The Living Desert to feed the giraffe and ride the camel.  We swam in the pool at “the villa”, drove around in the golf cart, and were simply happy walking out the door without a winter jacket on or boots! We were up early and in bed early.  For the first time I came home refreshed and not needing a vacation from my vacation.  I don’t think that’s EVER happened!

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I always arrive back home excited and start writing down ideas for the next trip and planning where we can go.  There’s something about thinking of the next go around that’s exciting. We’ll see what next year has in store, but my heart will always be in Palm Springs – the speed there for a vacation is pretty fun…but so is an all inclusive!  Until next year Cali.  PS Stay tuned for 2 posts with a run down of Disneyland – sooooo much to cover.  Make sure to make some popcorn.

IG Roundup : February

February 2015 igI feel like we’ve packed a lot into a month that only holds 28 days.  28 days of family weekend fun, a love day, plenty of bath time shenanigans, and of course our annual family vacation lands during this month.  If you asked me what I did yesterday, odds are I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.  But if you ask me what I did for the month of February, I can tell you in detail, every activity and every excursion that took place.  I think it was the adrenaline of knowing we were going away somewhere warm and getting our fill of fun in before we left.

We’re back to snowy prairies and have sadly said our goodbyes to palm trees, sun and sand.  A detailed post on the vacay to come.  But for now, there is a lot to look forward to.  Before we know it, it’ll be lake season.  There are birthdays galore ahead, and lots of celebrations for friends and family.  Cheers to a fun short month, and to another 9 ahead!

Good News Thursday: 3

Intro good news1So I’m pretty sure you can guess what my good news is this week…we’re on VACATION!  So it’s a nice recharge and the best part is being together for the ENTIRE day.  Not to mention it’s at the happiest place on earth.  The Raisin is the funniest lil guy we know…I’m sure I’m not the only parent who thinks this.  But the bonding time we get to experience on vacation is like no other.  Here’s cheers-ing to another day closer to the weekend for everyone!  Happy Thursday, folks!

M-I-C-K-E-Y MOUSE

intro dinsney
Well if you follow me on instagram, you already know we’re on our annual vacation to Palm Springs.   But get this, we decided to branch out and head over to Disneyland!  I can’t tell you enough how much FUN this all is, it’s beyond!

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I love seeing how the Raisin reacts to the wack of rides and characters, but also enjoying the sights and getting excited just waiting to get on the ferris wheel, or crusing around Radiator Springs.  It’s crazy fun.  I’ll update more later, but just a hello from sunny Anaheim!

Blueberry and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Intro Oatmeal

Hey snooze button, I have a love hate relationship with you.  Love hitting you knowing I get that extra 10 minute rest, hate hearing you when you go off after said 10 minutes.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to get everything I’d like done.  Especially when I’ve hit that snooze button one too many times.  So, how do I make sure we have easy no fuss a.m.’s?  Well, it pretty much means my evenings consist of prepping what I need for the next day, which includes everyones breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Oatmeal2

In total, it means about an hour of my night.  Thank goodness for a t.v in the kitchen – don’t judge, it helps the time go by.  Lunches are easy, so is dinner…thinking them up is the hard part.  Breakfast is my all time favourite meal of the day.  I wake up knowing that I get to eat something pretty fabulous to kick start my day, that is after my epic long shower.  Side note:  we just got a water proof radio for the shower, get one, it’s an instant perk up.

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There’s something about warm oatmeal that brings you to a place of comfort.  I’m not talking instant quaker stuff here people.  I’m talking full meal deal, the works.  It’s the baked in an oven, warm your heart and insides kinda oatmeal.  Don’t get me wrong though, I do love yogurt which has been sitting overnight with oats and honey – that’s an even sub in my breakfast meal mind.

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This recipe is a staple around here.  I usually double the batch to make enough for the week.  Nice thing about it is it reheats nicely and keeps you full and energized for a busy morning.  You can also switch up what you’d like to bake in it too.  Some weeks I bake it with blueberries, other weeks shredded carrots with walnuts and raisins.  The options are endless.

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Having this on hand makes the mornings easy.  And bonus, if I decide I don’t want it for breakfast, I take it to work for a quick snack – and it sorta tastes like dessert.  Convinced yet?  It’s so easy to make too, so no excuses – try it out!

Recipe  from: Garnish with Lemon
Yields: 6 Ramkins

Ingredients

2 Cups old fashioned oats (I used gluten certified, regular works too)
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1 Tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 Cups almond milk (You can use regular milk)
1/2 Cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 Large egg
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1-3/4 Cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

1 –  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2 – Spray 6 individual ramekins with cooking spray and place on baking sheet.  Set aside.

3 – In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.  Stir to combine.

4 –  In a small bowl, combine butter, milk, egg, applesauce and lemon zest.  Whisk together thoroughly.

5 – Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir well to combine.

6 – Sprinkle 1/4 cup blueberries into prepared ramekin bowls.  Add 1/2 cup oatmeal mixture on top of blueberries, and place remaining blueberries on top of each ramekin.

7 – Place ramekins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until oatmeal is just set.

8 – Serve immediately with desired toppings.  Or store in refrigerator and reheat.  Stores well for a week.

Extro Oatmeal

Blue.Berries.

Raisin Report: No.10

Rasin Report -edition 10

I remember the days of travelling when I’d literally pack the night before right before going to bed. Time was on my side, and if there was a delay or a ruffle in the feathers, it was no sweat.  That was when I packed for one. Now, it’s a WHOLE new ball game.  Packing for a toddler and planning what time to travel, where to go, if there are layovers, or just plain spending time in the air are all factors now.  Gone are the days of getting on board and being able to read a book I’ve packed in my carry on.  Now my carry on is packed with an arsenal of toddler activities, snacks and of course children’s tylenol, wipes, bandaids and gravol.

Just because my travel itinerary has changed (and I kinda love it) that doesn’t mean I can’t travel with some style.  I still like to wear something nice.  I was instilled at a young age that you got dressed up to get on a plane.  It was an occasion and it was special.  That still something I follow to this day.  You won’t catch me in sweats, but certainly something comfy yet stylish.  FYI I consider leggings comfy – but stylish because you can always dress that up!

Another point of style is a great travel bag.  It can pump up your travel look a few notches without even trying. The bigger the carry on bag (that obviously can be brought on board) the better for me these days.  With everything I have to carry, it’s a give in I’ll need all the space I can get.

There are great finds on Etsy, Stella and Dot, and of course at any mall.  You just have to keep your eye out and choose one that suits your needs.  Hopefully the above inspires you in some way.  In the end for me if it can carry all of The Raisins’ stuff, plus some of my own, and it has the look I want, then I’m set.  Happy shopping, and happy travelling…in style no doubt!

FRANK CLEGG / STELLA AND DOT / ETSY / BROWN LEATHER HANDBAG / TAN LEATHER TOTE  / SOLE SOCIETY

Good News Thursday: 2

Intro good news1

By the time you read this, I’m either on a plane in the air, or safely landed and enjoying palm trees….or stuck in the airport because of a flight delay.  Let’s hope it’s not that one!  We are on our annual trip to Palm Springs and it couldn’t have come by at a better time.  No winter coats, boots or mitts for at least a week.

No packing lunches will be the good news for this week – it’s a simple happy break.  Hope you’re all enjoying your Thursdays’!  Soon enough I hope to have a little glass of Pino Grigio in my hands while watching a beautiful sunset behind mountains.

HeHo, Family Day Weekend!

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I wish 3 day weekends were the norm.  There’s so many fun things to do and just plain ol’ spend time with each other.  The weeks seem to be such a blur and at times a little groundhog day-ish.   Soooooo when Friday rolls around, I’m high kicking my way like Chuck Norris into the start of Saturday.  On the weekends, Chris and I take turns sleeping in.  It’s a good gig, you should try it if you can.  One of us wakes up early with the Raisin and does whatever we decide to until the other wakes up from their extra glorious hour or two of sleep.  That said, we usually lounge in the house wearing our pyjama’s.  Major chilling out morning session unless we have something planned for a specific time.

This weekend was extremely cold, but extremely fun.  No complaints, just frost bitten toes, full bellies, full hearts, time with friends, lots of laughter, and tired bodies by the end of the day.  Between baking with the Raisin, shopping and hitting up an outdoor festival, we had our share of good times.

We kicked the weekend off by making some muffins, celebrating Valentine’s Day with a few cards, a puzzle for Raisin, making dinner at home capped off with a cocktail (of course), and a little toddler smooch.

2

For 10 days in February, there’s this amazing event called Festival du Voyageur.  It’s held in St.Boniface, the heart of our french community, and it’s all about celebrating the history of French Canadian culture.  The festival is filled with amazing artists, great food, history, and snow sculptures.  But there are also cheeky events like a beard growing contest, or the voyageur games where you can compete at leg wrestling, tug of war or log sawing.  We held our own outside bearing the freezing outdoor temps with the kiddies, and experienced what we could considering how chilly it was.  The guys indulged in the 3 p’s: poutine, pizza, and perogies.  I’d say they were pretty happy.

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Aside from all our outdoor fun, I made a new recipe out of a new cookbook I picked up. Plenty More is a MUST!  I have Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty, and after hearing great reviews via M.P. about this edition, I decided I had to have it.  And FYI, I’m not regretting it one bit.

4

We hit up our favourite bakery as per usual since we discovered it a few weeks ago. The Store Next Door – do it if you live here. Another you won’t regret it recommendation. Take home the mac and cheese lobster or the meatballs, and then for dessert an imperial cookie. 2 words: Homemade Jam.

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To cap off a fun and busy week, The Raisin accidentally got marker on the living room wall. I totally witnessed it go down too. Pure excitement in the moment kinda accident. He was happily scribbling away when his speed got the best of him and woosh…marker from left to right of the white board and then continued onto the wall. Raisin knew it was a no-no and said uh-oh! We made it fun and got him to touch up his accident with left over paint. But then we used it as an opportunity to touch up areas with little knicks on the wall, so it was a blessing in disguise. AND he loved doing it. He was so happy to have his own little roller paint brush.

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And how to cap off a full three day weekend? With a warm bath, snuggles and books of course. Looking forward to Friday already!

7

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

Intro Orange cake

Can I let you in on a little something?  I had my butt handed to me on a platter this past week.  Not in a bad way, but more like: I just in learned a heck of a lot in one week kinda way.  Ever had one of those?

Orange cake1

The best thing about it though is that those moments in life always become something to learn from.  And the next best thing is it also doubles as a reason to reflect upon afterwards with a glass wine, and of course cake, and maybe lounging on the couch in sweats.  That’s kinda my favourite way to cap off a loooong day. Don’t judge.  Just try and stop me: couch, sweats, wine, cake….ya I’m sold.

Orange cake2

I’m just going to lay all my cards out on the table here and tell you that I love oranges.  Like, obsessed.  We call mandarines around here orange candy and it’s not uncommon to eat three in one sitting.  I feel like I should have an iron clad immunity to colds – fyi so not the case.

Orange cake3

In the past week I probably ate five oranges – ball parking that one, and at least six mandarines which really only make up two oranges if that.  Wait a second though, realize that they make their way into salads, yogurt bowls with mint and honey, baked with fish, and of course just plain ol’ peeled for a snack.

Orange cake_5

Hear me out though.  I found an even better way to enjoy oranges this weekend, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long.  Oranges in the form of CAKE!  Kinda mind blowing delicious. I’ve baked with plenty of citrus before, but boom – now with oranges.  Pretty much life changing.

Orange cake6

Call me crazy, but I’ve never boiled an orange before, let alone left one simmering for 2 hours.  The thought of it had me wondering how good this would taste and if the time would be worth it.  Answer: yes, worth it.  This part of the cake process takes the most time, but it’s also something you can leave and putter around doing a bunch of other home-y things.

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The great thing about having your butt handed to you on a platter is that usually a positive is the end result. A learning experience, some enlightenment, and in this case learning that you can boil an orange for an extremely tasty cake.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Recipe  from: Food on Paper
Yields: 1 Cake

Ingredients

2 Medium size oranges
6 Eggs
1 – 1/4 Cup superfine sugar*
1 – 1/4 Cup almond flour
1 Tsp baking power
2 Handfuls of flaked almonds
1 Pinch salt

Directions:

1 –  Wash the oranges well, and place them in a medium saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and leave them be for two hours.  Remove from water and allow to cool.

2 – Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9 inch baking tin with parchment paper.

3 – Cut out the ends of the oranges, and place them in a food processor.  Blend until you have a smooth consistency

4 – In a large bowl, add the eggs and sugar.  Whisk until the sugar has dissolved into the egg mixture. Add the orange puree and whisk again.  Add the almond flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

5 – Pour batter into prepared tin, then scatter over the almond flakes.

6 – Place in oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Time will depend on the size pan you use.  The cake should be golden on top.

6 – Cool cake on wire rack.  Serve as is or dust with icing sugar or with a dollop of whipped cream.

*If you only have granulated sugar on hand you can make superfine sugar simply by running it through a food processor, or a coffee grinder. Be aware of the volume and ensure after you grind the sugar down you will yield 1-1/4 cups sugar.

Orange cake8

Citrus Rules.

Raisin Report: No. 9

Rasin Report - edition 9

I almost lost a necklace to the jewellery graveyard.  I have a few staple trinkets that I wear day to day.  My anchor necklace being one of them.  It’s a gift my mom gave to me two Christmas’ ago as a momento from when I took care of her when she got extremely ill.  I rarely take it off, but I did last week and I put it in my jewellery box with all my other items.  When I went to put it on the next day, it was in a terrible mess of knots.  I left it so I could deal with untangling it by the end of the day, but what I expected to take 10 minutes lasted a full hour.  Using a magnifying glass and the thinnest needle I could find I FINALLY was able to wear it again.  It wasn’t without a few aggravating moments, or wanting to throw in the towel.  At one point I reasoned to myself that buying a new chain wouldn’t be such a bad idea, but then it happened.  The LAST and final knot – TADAAAA back on my neck and there to stay.

This whole fiasco made me realize I need a better system to organize my jewellery.  I’m still searching for the right look and items that will help, but I’ve found a few ideas on Pinterest that are steering me in the right direction.  I’m digging the reclaimed wooden look with the anthropologie knobs.  But, any suggestions are totally welcome!

VINTAGE MEDICINE CABINET / RECLAIMED WOODEN HANGER / CAKE DISPLAY / SHADOW BOX / SILVER JEWELLERY TREE  / ANTLERS WITH RECLAIMED WOOD 
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