Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday- Day trip to Niagara

Last week, we took our visitors from Trinidad, our friends Roshni and Johann, to Niagara Falls for the day. We live just about an hour and a half  from Niagara but we haven't been there in over six years... Yes, we've stopped on our way to NY and I had to do some work trips there but we haven't really visited in a while. 

It was an adults only trip- my friend Dani took care of the girls for the day. I should also point out that Dani is very pregnant and she has a one year old and my girls are a handful sometimes and it was her day off before she went back to work--- talk about a good friend and a sweet soul! 

So anyways, after dropping the kids off, we headed first to Niagara on the Lake. This quaint old style town is  about a half an hour away from Niagara and it's filled with wineries, quaint restaurants, fun shops and lots of beautiful gardens.

This was on the main street in the town. 

We first had lunch in the Gate House Hotel. 

We always have our lunches/dinners there when we are in Niagara on the Lake. A friend of a friend of mine used to manage the restaurant and we are huge fans of the food. 

Afterwards, we walked through the town, window shopped and admired the flower beds.

Of course, we stopped for some fudge. 

See all the inviting showcases?

Such a beautiful town

I even did an olive oil tasting. 

And we got some very, very good homemade ice-cream. It finished too fast for me to take pics :-)

After that, we headed to Inniskillin winery and did some tasting. 


And then explored the vineyard

And apparently did a photoshoot of yours truly!

It was then time for Niagara. 

We headed to downtown Niagara first.

And then to the Falls... it was so, so beautiful... and it was such a hot day, perfect Niagara weather as you get sprayed from the falls and you always feel slightly cold. 

There is this area in the corner right where the falls begin. The picture doesn't do it justice but you can see the falls and the water's edge. So magical!!! And there was a rainbow too--- God's perfection!

It was fun to get out for a bit and summer is so short, we had a wonderful time.  We used to do easy day trips like this before the kids all the time but now life has certainly changed. Darin and I couldn't wait to get home to our babies. We enjoyed our grown up day out but the most happy we are is with our sweeties.... but it will be a looong time before I take them to a winery and/or window shopping :-)

Linking up with Nat and Annie for 

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More birthday fun

On Anjali's actual birthday last Tuesday, as a family, we just wanted to spend the day with her doing things that she would enjoy. D took the day off and we spent all day celebrating Anjali.

We started off the day with  chocolate chip pancakes and fruit for breakfast-- the special occasion breakfast in our house. 

Afterwards it was nap and then we got ready for a little lunch. 

Happy Meals = Happy Kids

Then we took her to an indoor playground to run around and play on the slides a bit.

(I was so sick that day but ploughed through it for my peeps)

This picture captures such joy!

I love these next three pics!! She loooves these big girl slides but still gets scared sometimes.

When they had enough, we headed out to do some blueberry picking. That was quite the adventure! I called a farm in the morning as I couldn't get the directions online.  They gave me very detailed directions. It was about half an hour away from our house so off we went. When we got to the town, we say signs 'PYO Blueberries'. It was still a ways away from the farm but we decided to give it a try and just followed all the signs which finally leaded us off road.... 

And then not to a farm but to a blueberry patch like you read about in the books... it was very cool--- no one there, just the honour system, some repellent in case there were bugs, some water to wash the berries, empty containers and a jar for the money! 

Im glad I busted out the good camera for these shots.

Our spoils-- we ate lots, made smoothies and I froze the rest for muffins. 

Afterwards we went home and chilled for a bit. I let her have a birthday treat and watch the iPad. Doesn't she look big here?

In the afternoon we headed to Milestones for some birthday food and fun. 
I usually like to get a small cake but I didn't get time but Milestones did give her a cronut as a birthday treat.

Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl!!! Welcome to the terrific twos. 

Linking up with Ashley once more 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Black bean burritos

I love burritos…. Seriously, it’s one of my foodie weaknesses. I found this recipe last year  and use it at least once a month. It's one of my 'my cupboard is bare and I don't feel like spending a long time in the kitchen '  recipes. Besides beans are so good for you: chockfull of protein, fibre and phytonutrients. Quick and nutritious, win-win for me. 

Black Bean Burritos- (Adapted from this All Recipes recipe)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion or half large, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons of salsa
4 ounces cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste
½ packet of taco seasoning (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms chopped(optional)
1 cup of frozen corn (optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro – I use lots but you can just add a couple tablespoons or completely omit it--- as I know some people absolutely detest cilantro
4-6 flour tortillas

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Place onion and garlic in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3-5  minutes stirring.
Add peppers, mushrooms and corn. Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir cilantro into mixture.
(You can also make this recipe spicier by added chopped jalapeƱos- I don't because of my kids but I do add hot sauce after. )

Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla, add chopped lettuce, tomato and  cilantro and roll tortillas up. If you're taking up a notch, add sour cream and salsa. Serve immediately.

As a side note, this black bean mixture is great with tortilla chips! I've made it for two parties to rave reviews.... and it's vegetarian and healthy too-- Win, win!!

Image courtesy All Recipes.

And there you have it, as Cassia would say "Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!"

Linking up with Emily and Kate for 

And also, Handmade Tuesdays with Kristen.

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