Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Everyday Life

Happy Wednesday and Happy Thankgiving Eve to all my American friends and family.  Because of my trip tomorrow, I'm getting busy with a lot of organising, prepping and packing--- I don't want my family to eat takeout every single day--- and with D in charge and working long hours then having to do pick up and drop off that's what may happen if I don't prep a meal or two…. so I shall cook-- at least for a couple meals--- and then my family won't eat pizza all weekend. Just half of the weekend… 

Onto our everyday life pics--- 1 pic a day, everyday in 2014.

Day #318
I was flat out sick but this chick made me laugh, hijacking a soother (this was Cassia's soother when she was a baby) and refusing to let it go. Sidenote, she does not usually use one but took a fancy to this one. #sistergerms

Day #319
Took my girls out for Swiss Chalet-- a massive undertaking when you're getting over a bug. There was juice spilling, tears because the pasta didn't taste right and lots of fries being eaten

Day #320
We went to a very cool science party--- our friends Alex and Jenn had one for their five year old son.  You know, Jenn & Alex from the Frozen Party fame? The kids were captivated by all the cool experiments Alex did and the Trash Pack cake he baked. Now C can't decide what she wants to do for her birthday! I'm thinking a grocery store sheet cake and a pat on the back but she has other plans---  and her birthday is about 5 months away, in case you were wondering. 

Day #321
It was freezing but my kids bundled up and headed out into the back yard.

Day #322
Monday nights are DWTS nights

DAy #323
I had to take my E Shakti shots and D of course took a few candids. Needless to say, this one did not make the cut

Day #324
I tell A smile and this is what I get! #noflashmama

Day #325
Snow is so pretty but shovelling is not! #freezinginnovember

Also know as the day A went to town on the peppers!

Day #326
Because Friday mornings are made for dancing!

Hope my American friends have a wonderful Thankgiving!
Linking up with Jess and Ashley for It's The Little Things.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thick & Creamy Hot Chocolate!

I was going to post a lovely quinoa mexican recipe that I adapted last week but let's face it, it's the US Thankgiving weekend! Who wants to think healthy this week? Not me, I may not be American but I have dreams of stuffing and a turkey drumstick! So instead, I tried this recipe for 'Thick and Creamy Hot Chocolate.'

I've never been a hot chocolate fan--- even as a kid…. So weird, I may or may not have a serious chocolate addiction obession fancy but hot chocolate has no appeal to me in any which way. One day however, my girlfriends and I went to Marrakesh, this amazing chocolate shop in Toronto and I had their dark sipping chocolate… It seriously tasted like the inside of a Lindt chocolate… and I could not stop drinking it--- I couldn't sleep that night from all the caffeine but I digress.

Google to the rescue and I got the idea from Eating Well but adapted it just a bit for me and my crew:

Makes: 3 servings, more than 1/3 cup each


         1 and 1/8 cups milk-  I used 2% as that’s what I had
         1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
         3 tbsp sugar
         3/4 tbsp cornstarch
              ¼ spoon vanilla extract
              1 dusting of cinnamon


Combine milk, cocoa, sugar , vanilla and cinnamon in a large saucepan.
Take a bit of the milk mixture and whisk it into the corn starch
Add slowly back to the saucepan
Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until steaming.
Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil, then remove from the heat.

Note, it's not exactly like hot chocolate… It is way more chocolately and much thicker… It does have that melty consistency of the Lindor Truffle.

It was very decadent and a perfect chocoholic's fix! I would recommend a highquality cocoa though like Ghiradelli although my Carmino Fair Trade cocoa was pretty great too. And wait for it. according to Eating Well, it's less than 100 calories (with skim milk), low carb and contains 1 gram of saturated fat. 

So as the weather goes to sub zero cools down, I highly recommend this for a perfect warm, easy after dinner treat!

Linking up with 
 Kate and Emily for Tasty Tuesday
 Kristen for Handmade TuesdaySusan for Love From the Kitchen
Stay warm! 
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Monday, November 24, 2014

'Girls' Weekend!

First off, thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes for my mom's double knee replacement surgery. She's doing really well, still in rehab and in some discomfort and pain as is expected but she's a fighter and she's chugging along… improving day by day!

This weekend, D was at a conference so it was just us girls. Pretty low key but tons of fun…

Friday night was filled with fried chicken and Full House-- we love it because Michelle reminds us of A.

Showered, some sugar and bed...

Saturday morning was sausages and skating… C doesn't like much meat but really is into sausages for some reason… I rarely find the all turkey ones but when I do, it's her absolute fave'

Target had a Frozen photo opp which I thought would be a bigger deal than it really was so we dressed up and out the door we headed into the crazy busy mall.

Elsa, Sophia and some very red runners.

It was just after nap so A would not part with her milk

Elsa… we have really gotten our money's worth out of this costume

My friend Sukhi and the girls' friend Nadia came over for chai and a playdate

C is pretty tall compared to the other two.

Another low key night with the girls going to bed at 7:30 and mama with some candy, red wine and a visit to Shondaland.

On Sunday, my friend Jenn (who's husband also happened to be at a conference) brought her kids over for some lunch and a quick playdate--- us mamas are a bit of a slave to the nappers!

D came home in the evening with takeout and we began our decorating.

You'll just have to wait to see the finished product :-)

I love low key weekends like this where I really get to catch up on my time with my favourite girls, my laundry and my shows… especially with the craziness of the upcoming season and my trip on Thursday. Next weekend is D's turn as I head to NYC to visit my mom. As a bonus I get to visit my American family for Thanksgiving weekend as well… and maybe partake of a lil' Black Friday shopping!

Hope you had also great weekend, friends!

Linking up on this fine day with:
Biana for weekending
 The Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hosting overnight guests

 As we head into the holiday season, I thought this would be the perfect time of year to do a post on hosting overnight guests. D and I don't have any of our immediate family in Canada so we have an influx of visitors throughout the year... mostly our parents, but also siblings, aunts, cousins and friends. 2014 is the first time in years that we don't have any guests over the holiday season. 

I've been enough of a guest both at other people's homes and in my travels in the corporate world to know what I find to be comfortable so I put a lot of thought into our guest bedroom.  It's pretty simple  but very functional as my guests  are not usually from Canada so they  stay longer than a couple nights. I want to make sure that they are very comfortable.

So here you go, my favourite tips I've amasses through the years for hosting overnight guests.

Sleep Stuff

+ I read somewhere that guests consider the most comfortable hotel beds to be ones like the Marriott where the bedding is light coloured, white really. So my duvet cover is off white and very easy to clean. The room is also a light taupe colour.
+Before kids, we spent lots of weekends by D's aunt and she had a feather bed cover on her guest bed-- such a comfy sleep-- so I purchased one of those as well. 
+Soft, smooth sheets are a must
+ I always stack a few extra blankets in the closet and also a few pillows of varying firmness just in case my guests prefer them.

To tell you the truth, when either D or I get sick, the other one really doesn't mind the guest room, it's a pretty good sleep.


+ I ensure that I leave a few drawers free so that guests can unpack their clothes and fold them

+ Lots of hangers for them to hang their clothes
+A small folding hamper tucked into the closet for dirty laundry
+A tiny jewelry box (below) for their jewelry
+ A  luggage rack (to the left below) to put their suitcases on... so they don't have to bend to get their stuff from the floor.... and so my carpet doesn't get dirty! 
+ I also leave my iron and ironing board in the closet.

The jewelry box is below- I also like light coloured accents in the room.

Hooks for robes, towels and whatever else

Night Stand

Our nightstand holds an alarm clock, a lamp for bed time reading, a box of tissues and bottles of water. 

A little inspirational reading


+I leave lots of magazines in the room for my guests. I love reading other people's magazine. 
+ I haven't done this yet , but I want to get a small simple frame which has our wifi name and password on it. So many people walk with their devices now.
+I also leave a phone in the room. 

Other Must Haves

+My guests are usually responsible adults so I give them a key to the house. That way, they're not ringing the doorbell at odd hours and waking up my kids.
+I leave a basket of toiletries in the bathroom. Includes nice lotions, washes, shower caps, fresh razors, nice perfumes and (spray) deodorant). Also, I tell my guests to help themselves to anything from my linen/supply closet located right outside their room. 

+ A hair dryer and flat iron as well as some hair product in the bathroom.
+ Plush towels (one bath and one hand per guest) in the room. Also, I use darker colours for the ladies- so any makeup stains don't show. 
+ A waste paper basket in the room. I know I'm stating the obvious here but some people don't do it. 
+ A large mirror
+ A lot of people have food in their guest rooms but I refrain from having anyone (myself included) eating upstairs so I just make sure to have lots of their favourite snacks on hand... in my kitchen! I also take requests!
+ To me, it's very important that the room is clean and uncluttered. Sure I have stuff in some of the drawers but it is totally out of sight :-)
+ And finally, when my guests are leaving, I pack them up with some snacks for their trip home. Maybe a sandwich. Some bottled water for the road. 

What about you guys? Any other tips to add? What's your favourite thing to do for your guest?

And there you have it.... Happy hosting everyone!

Super busy weekend ahead where I'm flying solo with the little misses so I'm linking up early today with my Friday peeps:

AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday
Amanda for Friday Favourites
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

eShakti review

eShakti is making it's way to Canada!! I've been seeing (and coveting) some of these amazing eShakti pieces on some of my favourite bloggers so I was thrilled when eShakti invited me to review one of their products. I love a good bandwagon....  and I mean, who doesn't love clothes custom made to suit your preferences?

A bit about eShakti- it's the only online women's fashion apparel company offering sizes 0-36W and custom clothing. They customise your clothes to your body and liking. The process was super easy from start to finish. You chose your selection from a huge assortment on their very user friendly website. Then you customise the length, sleeve type, neckline and if you want pockets. They can also fully customise an outfit for you from start to finish! I was torn between a peplum jacket and a dress-- beause I thought the dress had more of a late summery feel, I went with it thinking I could dress it up or down as I wanted.  And I thought the black on the sides was slimming. 

When I got the dress however, the fabric was heavier making it a perfect piece to wear in the fall as well or even as a fun party dress for the holiday season. I loved the print, the stitching and the quality, structure and sturdiness of fabric. However, I'm usually an XS or S in tops and an S sometimes M in bottoms. I botched the sizing a bit,  as I chose a size 4 dress based on my upper body, thinking the fabric had a bit more give. I should have sized up one but ask them to use the size 4 measurement for the top. Also, I didn't love the pockets as they pucker out a bit at my waist--- but then again that's because I messed up on the sizing.  

I should NOT have had dinner right before trying my dress on

But that aside: the dress is awesome and I think there are many ways it can be styled:
a moto jacket and booties for this time of year 
 nude pumps with a shawl for a cool summer night
even with some cool flats if you're going on a day trip somewhere

I just threw on some bangles and my black cage pumps

So for you my fantastic readers, you can use the code "itsmygirlsworld" to get 10% OFF  at eShakti  valid until 12/12/2014. You should know that it can also be doubled with the $30 off you get when you register with them. Also, right now they have a 40% site wide sale, so  you won't even need my 10%- but you can still use the $30 off. Confusing I know, but so worth it to check out eShakti now! 

Linking up today with 
Linking up with Morgan for Mid Week Muse.
 Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday
 The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore
 Get your Pretty On for I feel Pretty
Sarah for WIWW

Total sidebar: 'Shakti' is hindi for empowerment. Get it? Empowering women to choose and create their own design and style.  As a former brand marketer, I totally dig the brand name and what it stands for! 

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[Disclaimer: This weekend I was supposed to take pics but I was still feeling the awfulness from my stomach bug and nothing sounded less appealing than getting dressed up for a photoshoot. So of course  I could only do it the night before the post was scheduled- in between waiting for D to come home and C's violin lesson... ironically on the coldest night of the season! And then our DSLR wasn't charged so it was the iPhone to the rescue. So I sincerely apologize for the quality of my pics. ]

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Easy Mac and Cheese

I was going to name this dish Easy Peasy Mac and Cheesy- can you tell that I've been spending a lot of time with the five and under crowd?!

So  snow has come to Canada.... a bit early in my opinion. But it is perfect weather for comfort food! I wanted to make a warm, stick to your bones cheesy plate of goodness for my kids-- but I never give them the KD- just to avoid getting too much processed stuff into their little bodies. I got this recipe from Spend with Pennies but totally amended it to add some nicer cheese and some vegetables. #eatthoseveggieskids 


3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used Catelli Smart with fibre)
4 cups milk and more to add--- I used 2% but you can use skimmed
½ onion chopped
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup mushrooms
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup baby spinach
1 ¼ cup shredded cheese- I used a combination of cheddar and asiago
2 tablespoons cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

(I really suck at taking ingredient pics and forget more than half the time)


1.  In a saucepan combine milk, onion and butter. Bring to a slow boil.
2.  Add macaroni and corn, reduce heat to low.
3.  Continue to simmer stirring frequently until noodles are cooked (about 15 minutes).
4. Watch to make sure the liquid doesn't completely evaporate. You can add extra milk 1/4 cup at a time if the liquid is low.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, ensure the noodles are not dry. Add more milk or even a touch of water.
6. Stir in remaining ingredients and cover for 3 minutes.

Taking a pic and a little hand couldn't wait....

Take 2  (I garnished with some tomatoes

So there you have it-- the goodness of KD, without the 'goodness' of KD. Enjoy. 
PS> You could totally add chopped chicken or bacon into this recipe. 

Linking up with 
 Kate and Emily for Tasty Tuesday
 Kristen for Handmade Tuesday Susan for Love From the Kitchen

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