So 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!
Archives for February 2015
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And how to cap off a full three day weekend? With a warm bath, snuggles and books of course. Looking forward to Friday already!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recipe from: Food on Paper
Yields: 1 Cake
2 Medium size oranges
1 – 1/4 Cup superfine sugar*
1 – 1/4 Cup almond flour
1 Tsp baking power
2 Handfuls of flaked almonds
1 Pinch salt
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.
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!
It’s Thursday – and it’s time to kick off the weekend. Cause you know, Thursday is the new Friday, just like 40 is the new 30, and kale is the new bacon, that kinda gig. So it’s time to bring it back. Good News.
Every night around here we ask the Raisin what happened in the day that made him really happy, or what made him laugh, or if anything made him sad. We replay the event and talk about what was great, or how we can make things better. At dinner Chris and I ask each other what was the peak and pit of the day. There usually aren’t many pits, but it’s always a good place to vent.
At work we do something similar. Each morning we have a huddle (meeting), and every Thursday we share good news, personally and professionally. It gives us the chance to hear what’s going on in our co workers lives and what they’ve accomplished at work over the week. So here we go. Saddle up and get ready for a weekly update – not that the blog doesn’t do that as is in some ways, right!?
This week has FLOWN by, kind of a blur. But, if I were to pick a highlight of the week (as silly as it sounds) it would be that I actually got 2 workouts in, and that I’m going to get this mop on my head pampered this weekend! Work wise, I’ve been working in a new role along with another co-worker and we’re finding a groove which is great. It’s always nice to be in sync with people around you.
If ya wanna share, I’m happy to hear. Always nice to know little tid bits about your life you wouldn’t normally chat about. The little things are sometimes the BEST things.
Seriously – look at those two. No words except two: Freaking Adorable. There’s nothing like a beautiful snow day, and it’s even better when you share it with friends. A couple of weeks ago these two played down the river trail at the forks. They needed another fun day stat, and sledding was the winner. By the looks of it they had a great time, and so did we!
Of course after all the fun, we needed to head to grab a little snack. Chris and I have been obsessed with this little place near by our place called The Store Next Door. Try not to buy a few hundred things when you walk in there.
It was the perfect start to a great Sunday – sledding, fun, friends, laughs, fresh air, all capped off with baked goods and delicious coffee. Couldn’t have asked for a better day.