Friday, March 24, 2017

Five cheers for Friday!

 
Happy Friday, friends! Here's the happy around here these days.

1- St Patty's Day last week was spent with our friends Jenn, Alex and their kiddos. Wings, green wine and clover cupcakes.... oh yeah!





2 - If you are any sort of org junkie like I am, you are going to LOVE packing cubes for trips. They are basically soft square bags that you stuff your items in. TO me you can stuff more items in than in your suitcase alone. I have a small set of three and a big set of four . So much easier to pack and unpack both on your trip and back home when the items are separate. Highly, highly recommend. 




3 - Ohhh I was so proud when my soon to be eight year old asked me to teach her scrabble. And guys, she was pretty good at it. As a scrabble lover myself, I could NOT be happier. 

 She took this to remember her first scrabble game ever :-)


4- Fresh Cream by Philosophy- I was a huge fan of the Milk scent from The Body Shop about 10 years ago... but apparently I was one of the only ones as they discontinued it.  For years after I would haunt The Body Shop asking about it. Enter Fresh Cream.... I bought their shampoo/bubble bath/body wash (a three in one combo) on sale over the holidays and I was sold! The scent is reminiscent to whipping cream, sugar and vanilla... So mild and so comforting. Nordstrom had a price match and philosophy gift with purchase so you can be sure I stocked up on the lotion, body spray and more body wash! #winning


Speaking of showers, on my massage therapists advice, I've been putting on my lotion while still wet standing in the shower. I then blot my skin instead of the vigorous towel drying I usually do. It totally locks in the moisture! I've even begun doing it to the girls and so far so good.

5 -And finally, in case you wanted to see one of the cutest boys ever. My nephew Dhilan cracks me up. 

Yes bud, you certainly are awesome! 

Linking up with 
AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday
Amanda for Friday Favourites


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creme Anglaise with Fresh Berries and Candied Nuts


Our cousin made this for Thanksgiving a few years ago and it was a winner. Especially after a heavy meal, this lighter dessert is the perfect balance of cream, sweetness and a wee bit of healthy-- it does have fruit after all. #smallgoals

 I thought since it's 'spring' and all, getting to swimsuit season (and some of us have two upcoming weddings)  this would be the perfect time to share this little bit of heaven. 

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

Candied Pistachios
1 cup of hulled pistachios
2 tablespoons of sugar 

Creme Anglaise:
1 cup heavy cream or half and half (I use half and half and I really can't tell the difference)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 vanilla bean halved (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla)
4 egg yolks

four cups of any combination of berries- I use a combination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, chopped strawberries.

Method:


For the candied nuts, in a non stick pan over medium high heat, pour two tablespoons of sugar. When the sugar begins to caramelize, add the nuts and stir well to combine. Remove from the pan onto some foil. Chop nuts when cool.

For the Creme Anglaise:
1-  In a heavy saucepan, combine cream,  half the sugar and the vanilla bean. 
2- In a bowl, whisk the yolks together with the remaining sugar
3- When the mixture in the saucepan just comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot mixture into the egg mixture and stir.
4- Combine both mixtures back together into the saucepan and return to low/medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. 
5- I usually strain my cream to ensure there are no clumps.

You can serve the creme anglaise either warm or cold over the berries and sprinkle a few (tablespoons of) nuts over it. You can't really see my berries as I may have gone to town with the creme and nuts. #sorrynotsorry

I've made this many times to rave reviews. It is such  delicious (somewhat lighter) fare for the warmer months.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, March 20, 2017

NYC Trip- A blizzard, a brother and more.

Happy first day of Spring. Winter is going out like a lion this time around!

We are back from our NYC trip. This one did not go as planned but it was so special. First off my brother and my nephew from Trinidad- the one who likes me to call him 'sugar plum'- decided to surprise us with a visit. And then Mother Nature decided that it was the perfect time for a blizzard. So scratch our carefully laid plans to go shopping and head to the American Girl store in the city but a good time ensued nonetheless. 

We flew out of Buffalo this time around and headed to Target first off because #priorities

Our flight was delayed so we hit up a little PF Changs before heading to the airport for a little warmth on a ridiculously cold day.
 The girls were wonderful on the flight-- remember they're used to long 5 hour flights so an hour was nothing.

We were so surprised to see my brother and my nephew. We meaning me. A was half asleep and C was oblivious. C said that I acted like a saw a celebrity.

The next morning we headed to breakfast and my other brother and other nephew, my sweet Dhilan joined us. 

I always forget how large American diner portions are. We could have gotten away with ordering 2/3 of the food. 

We had lots of sleepovers, family visits , ice cream (my mom bought no less than 5 different types) and freshly made bread.

Ice cream on blizzard day no less.

 

My cousin and C did tie dye for all the kids and here they are sporting their spoils.



Ice covered the snow but we headed out anyways to have a snow ice ball fight.


We headed out after to the mall and build a bear to cure our cabin fever and to purchase a few unnecessary items


A couple aunts and cousins came to visit us the night before we left. We enjoyed takeout, adult beverages and conversations that only family can have. I went to bed at 5 am. 
(A took this wonderful shot).


My kids did not have their fruit and veggie intake for the week so smoothies for lunch.

Oh and this was my car when I came back to Buffalo.

Back to school tomorrow. Mama got an awful flu from her sugar plum nephew and a bad neck pain-- not from her nephew but what a wonderful time we had. 

Linking up with Biana for weekending.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Little Letters in March

It's time to write those little letters again.....

Dear Amazon Deals of the Day,
I need to stop clicking on you. I've made a couple impulse purchases that were too good a price to resist.

Dear Colleen Hoover,
So I read It Ends With Us last weekend and to this day it haunts me. I loved the good of Colleen and Ryle's relationship so, so much and the bad was just awful. I couldn't sleep the night after I read it. Now I feel like I have to read all your books!

Dear US/Cdn Currency Exchange,
Any chance you could go back to being on par before I head to NYC? This 1 to 1.3 isn't ideal especially for some impending shopping.

Dear full fat vanilla yogurt,
You have been a little 1/2 cup of joy since I've been clean eating. If only I could have three of you in rapid succession, life would be perfect.
 

Dear Target,
 You can bet your sweet self I'll be seeing you  sometime soon when I cross the border.... lagging Canadian currency and all.

Dear Offspring,
Please cooperate on our cross border trip. This is the first time mom is roadtripping with two littles and crossing the border at the same time. Please limit any whining, fussing or crying.  Only sweet smiles, kind words and lovely conversations please. 
(the main culprit)

Happy weekending, friends! Off for March Break! 

Linking up with Taz



Thursday, March 9, 2017

The kids behind the blog--- all about mama

I saw this on FB and knew I had to try it with my kiddos. Here's what they had to say...

1. What is something I say a lot: 
C- No- both kinds of no... I know and no. (hahah)
A-Goodbye  (those school drops are tougher than I thought)

2. What makes me happy? 
C- Going out to dinner with family and reading magazines and typing on your blog
A- Giving Mommy a hug

3. What makes me sad? 
C-Having to do your work
A- When I cry

4. How tall am I? 
C- 5 feet
A- This tall (pointing to the top of my head)

5. How old am I? 
C- 38
A- 37- 8

6. What's my favorite thing to do?
C- Spent time with us
A- Clean up

7. What makes me proud of you?
C- When I do something good
A- When I do something by myself

8. What is my favourite food?
C- Oysters because when we go to the Mill you eat LOTS.
A- Onions (!?)

9. Do I have a favourite child? 
C- No
A- Both

10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? 
C- Italy... or Trinidad
A- Trinidad--- no, no, no New York

11. Do you think you could live without me? 
C- No (an unequivocal no I might add)
A-NO!

12. What's my favourite song?
C- Morning has broken (in the morning)
A- I doesn't have any word it just hums (she's talking about the instrumentals we listen to in the car)

13. How do you annoy me? 
C- By not doing what I tell you to do the first time I say it.
A- I don't know

(it was at this point that A was done)

14. What is my favorite movie? 
C- Downton Abbey
A- I don't know

15. Who do I have a crush on? 
C- Daddy
A- I want jammy toast now

16. Where was I born? 
C- Trinidad in Uncle Nil's house
A- No

17. What's my favorite show I watch? 
C- I don't know what it's called.
A- Downton Abbey

18. Who's my best friend? 
C- Daddy
A- Miss Jenn
 
19. What scares me?
C- Scary movies
A- I don't know---- a tarantula (Random but so true)

20. How do you describe me to your friends? 
C- That you're nice.
A- I told my friends that I moved last year... nothing about you.


Because I'm a bit of a rebel and though I didn't answer the questions, still linking up with Beth and some other lovelies for the kids behind the blog!

Happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Favourite Kid's Parties

On Show & Tell Tuesday with Andrea today, we're talking kids' parties.... Here are just of few of my favourites over the years....


Cassia's Carnival has to be up there as one of the most fun ones in recent years. A face painter, some party games, mini hot dogs and lots of sunshine made for a fun one!
Read all about it here.

A's fourth flamingo birthday party last year was the first ever kids' pool birthday party we had--- the first of many I think. And on the hottest day of the year. Lots of swimming, sliding, flamingos and sugar.... yes please!

Read all about it here.

Oh and one of my very favourites also was A's 2nd super simple birthday in our backyard. We had a bouncy house, lots of balloons, some face painting and an ice cream cake. So.much.fun.


And here are my top 10 party planning tips!
Can't wait to sanction snoop around just a bit and maybe steal some ideas for future parties!

Monday, March 6, 2017

March Weekending

This weekend:


- On the way to dinner at Moxies, I got rear-ended but thankfully the car escaped with minimal damage and we are all okay. 

- It didn't stop us from enjoying our time together and some amazing food. I had a mushroom bisque and sushi cones. Now Moxie's has started putting the calorie content on everything and when I saw that my very favourite ahi tuna salad was 800 calories, I was sufficiently deterred from ordering it ;-s

- The girls and D went out for breakfast on Saturday while I had a nice sleep in, slowly made my way up, had breakfast and read  It Ends With Us. Such a good book but my heart broke a bit for one of the main characters who is flawed but such a good soul.

- C had her last ski class and is now at the intermediate level! So proud of you, C and so proud of us for not missing one single expensive ski lesson LOL.

-  I did laundry like I do every weekend and then went for a hair cut before we headed to TO to meet some friends.

- Our girls hung out with their girls (similar ages) and their nanny while we went to dinner at George- a five course dinner with wine pairings. I left my phone in my bag as D would have death stared me but the food was divine. We came back home and watched random music videos before calling it a night at Petal's house in Toronto. 

- Totally random but A ate so many olives that night that were on the counter when we went out and she was with the other kids. She was so thirsty and actually woke up a bit puffy in the am. I should have known my olive addicted child and hidden them before we left.

- On Sunday morning, we woke up to delicious crepes  and we vegged out while the girls got just a bit of fresh air in the backyard.

- We made our way to Mississauga for a late lunch for our uncle's 65th birthday and ending up spending the afternoon into evening there chatting and playing with the growing family. 

- A fell asleep at 630 in the car on the way home :-).

And now it's Monday! 

Have a wonderful week. 



Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Five

This week just flew by. Between work, kiddos, doctor's visits, a suspected (but not) case of pink eye and an awful dry cough, I'm looking forward to a strong cough suppressant and some time with my family and friends! 

Here are my smiles from this week.
1- When I was working on Sunday, D took the girls for a long walk. A in her funny snowsuit was quite the showstopper and made us all giggle.





2- Monopoly has been a favourite around here these days.... although the seven year old has some questionable die rolling techniques ;-s

3- A really wanted to eat with chopsticks and did a great job-- only thing is that girlfriend didn't break them apart. 
FYI, seaweed salad on a four year old's little lap in the gymnastics waiting room, not the smartest idea I've ever had.

4- I had been craving this risotto for weeks now so we finally made it for some of our friends last weekend. Shrimp, scallops and calamari? Yes, please!



5- I'm narrowing down some choices for a cousin's wedding and I've ordered these two so far. Though I'm leaning towards #2, I have a feeling that #1 will suit my body type better and want to try them both on before I made a final choice. Thoughts?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Linking up with 
Amy for Hey Friday
  and Amanda for Friday Favourites


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