Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. I hope your holidays have been joyful. The Christmas season around here is probably what you'd imagine... excitement, chaos, busy, and my favourite time of the year! I've had very close to no time at all to get the numerous blog posts out that I've been composing in my mind. Alas, making the memories is always more fun and takes precedence over chronicling them!

I do hope to get more posts out about our Christmas happenings, but if not, at least I can say I got one done now!

Wishing you all the best of this great season! Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.

Friday, 14 December 2012

40th Anniversary Cake

This was a little bit more than an anniversary cake, it was more like a wedding cake. Three tiers, two flavours, tons of awesomeness. Big enough to feed the 120 or so guests at the afternoon tea, and have leftovers that just won't quit! Mom and Dad chose the flavours, Dad wanted lemon, Mom asked for banana.
The bottom tier was the banana cake with a chocolate ganache filling and white chocolate buttercream icing, the top two layers were lemon cake with lemon curd filling and vanilla buttercream icing. And if I must say so myself, both flavours were amazing!!!!
In addition to the HUGE cake for the afternoon tea, I also made cupcakes for the dinner we had that same evening for family with 42 people attending. The cupcakes were red velvet with creamcheese icing, also quite yummy!
I began baking and freezing the cakes over a week in advance, making icings and fillings for the fridge. I had everything ready to go for cake construction the day before the event, and then, I got sick. And not just a little sick, where I could suck it up and get on with cake making. The kind of sick where I only had enough energy to lay in bed or on the couch, with the occasional trip to the bathroom to get sick. ( I know, lovely to think about when we are talking yummy food here)
I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to things like this, so it was really hard for me to give up some control, but it had to be done. My mother-in-law helped put together the bottom layer when she arrived, after a whole day of driving!! What a life saver. I managed to finish the two smaller layers the morning of the event.
No important cake is complete without some drama, you would think the sickness would be enough. But no, the real drama came when loading the completed cake into the car. Mikayla managed to put her new little black high heel shoe right into the bottom layer of the cake (luckily there was saran over it, so it was all cosmetic).
The large damage spot was mostly covered by the fresh roses we put onto the cake after it arrived to the church. Maybe no one noticed? Wishful thinking.
All in all, a successful cake despite the twists thrown at me!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

40th Anniversary: Sneak Peek

Okay, it has definitely been awhile forever since I've written a post. My time has been all consumed by planning and executing my parents wedding they never had 40th Anniversary party.
We (meaning my siblings and I) have been planning this event since forever ago, but the couple weeks leading up to the big day were the most hectic - obviously.

It was time well spent I would say.

And SO worth it, Mom and Dad had a great day...

More to follow about the party, and the cake, in future posts.

With work, and Christmas preparations, and life all stealing bits of my time, I have to squeeze blog writing into the 30 minutes between putting the kids to bed and passing out cold from exhaustion each night! Just trying to get at least a little something out has taken me over a week!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


I suppose even winter can be beautiful. Might as well enjoy it, because it's here to stay for the next 4 or 5 months.

I took these pictures last week when we were getting crazy thick fog, resulting in beautiful frost on everything! Today there's about 15cm of fresh snowfall with more to come! I've shovelled twice today and it doesn't even look like it now. Yes, you read that right... I... Shovelled!!! First time in a decade or so, usually the hubby is right on that, but today he's smiling to himself about my luck: massive snowfall on a day he's been ordered by the doctor to take it easy! Lucky guy! At least I had my two boys "helping" me with the shovelling. They had fun, but definitely seemed to enjoy the hot chocolate afterwards a little bit more than the shovelling.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Well I'm a few days behind to post about Halloween, but better late than never they say.
This year the obvious costume choice for the boys was the dynamic duo: Batman and Robin. They were so cute when they got their costumes on in the morning: running around the kitchen island, chasing each other and fighting crime together.

The boys and I went to the mall in the morning to trick-or-treat with friends of ours. I wanted them to get some warm Halloween fun in, it was freaking cold outside, and I thought we might not do much trick-or-treating outside in the evening. Every other mother with young children in our fair city must have had this same thought, it was so busy.

Mikayla was a little upset that she didn't get to go to the mall. This is the first year she has had all-day school and had to miss mall trick-or-treating. She cheered up quickly when I reminded her that she got to dress up for the Halloween parade at her school in the afternoon. Mikayla chose to dress up as Draculaura (from Monster High), she was so cute!

Despite the weather we still made it out to trick-or-treat around the neighbourhood in the evening. We were joined by friends for this outing as well, it's always great to have other kids around to hype up the excitement. The kids bundled up with snowpants under their costumes, toques and mitts and big ole smiles! They had fun, and stayed out a lot longer than I thought they would.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

sick days

Our household has been in semi-quarantine this week. A lovely, nasty flu bug is making it's rounds. It started with Gavin on Saturday, Mikayla and Levi succumbed to it on Monday and last night it hit mom and dad. We've been having lots of chicken noodle soup, movies, gingerale, naps and snuggles. I suppose the snuggles are probably why the adults are now infected, but hey, what do you do?

Who can resist a snuggle with a sick little kiddo? Just look how sweet they are when they don't have the energy to bounce off the walls!

What to do when you're "bored" (her words) of being home from school?

Mikayla read a 65 page "chapter book" while she was home sick from school. She has really taken off in her reading skills this past year. She has gone from reading each word out loud, following with her finger - to reading silently only to stop and ask how to pronounce a word on rare occasion  She is now able to read on her own AND follow the story, instead of reading word-by-word and loosing track of the bigger story. I'm a proud mama!

Slowly this bug is making it's way out of our house, Gavin has been fine for a few days, Mikayla actually went to school today (mostly because I didn't want to hear all day about how being at home is boring and she misses school), and the rest of us are, well, y'know... give us another day or so.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Big Boy Bed

We've moved Levi into a big-boy bed!! Can you believe my little baby boy is one step closer to being a big boy. Jan and the kids set up the big boy bed while I was at work one day. It was so sweet when I came home, Levi was so excited to show me his room. He grabbed my hand before I could even get my shoes off "mommy, I show you my new bed". He's so proud of himself!
This move was about 2 weeks ago now, and things are going quite well. The first few nights we had no problems at all, then he spent a couple nights coming to his door after he had been put to bed, knocking on the door, calling out "mommy, daddy open the door". He still is not able to open his bedroom door himself, that's a bit of a saving grace. He got over this quickly enough, and bed time has been relatively painless ever since. Unfortunately, Levi has always been an early riser (always before 7:00), and the change to a new bed has pushed his wake time even a smidge earlier, I'm hoping this just slowly moves back to normal.
Our biggest  issue with the new bed has been at nap time. Levi figures he doesn't need to nap now, I'm praying we get him past this, because I'm just not ready for him to give up his nap yet. Mikayla stopped napping shortly after she turned 2, Gavin kept napping until after he turned 3, and we had to force Gavin to give up naps because they fell at the same time as preschool. I was really hoping Levi would follow his big brother's lead on this one. Either way, we'll just have to see how it plays out.
I've gotta admit, I'm feeling a little bit sad to see the "baby phase" of our family coming to a close. Just a little though. Luckily my friends are having lots of babies right now, so I still get my share of baby snuggles.

Next step to being a full-fledged big boy: potty training!!! I can't wait for the day I no longer have to change diapers!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Fall Photos

We got our first smattering of snow last night. So in celebration of that, may I present some fall pictures of the kids from a week ago - when the weather was MUCH nicer.


I love birthdays! I love planning birthday parties. I love spoiling my children on their birthday. And I especially love MY birthday. I'm pretty sure it should be a national holiday, but apparently it's not such a huge priority for the rest of our country.

When we went over to mom and dad's for my birthday dinner last Thursday I thought I should get the story of my birth-day straight from the source(s). The parents say mine was the most "civilized" of their 4 children's entrance to this world. Mom says labour started while she was making dinner - apparently a great new recipe she was trying out - mustard chicken with white wine. Mom tells me she didn't want to waste such a good supper so she had to finish making it before she would go to the hospital. I'm a third child, the older two (ages 4 and 3 at the time) were sent to our aunt and uncle's. They say things went quite quickly (of course, I'm the third), and mom says she didn't have an epidural. I had heard this before - mom likes to recount how the delivery was special because she got to actually pull me out herself!

I had been going through old photos this week, and so I thought in keeping with the trip down memory lane I would scan in some old photos of me as a birthday girl. What a cute kid!

I love my parents. One thing I always remember my mom saying when I was a kid was "Oh no, I forgot the camera". So, there aren't tons of photos of my younger years. But, I suppose this just makes each picture I do have a little more special.

...and a few from more recent birthdays.

Last but not least, this year! A great big 33 years old.

Friday, 28 September 2012

It's My Birthday!

It was my 33rd birthday yesterday, so I baked myself a cake. Don't feel too sorry for me, I wanted to make my own cake. The hubby offered to make me a cake and I said "well, you could help me..."!

I wasn't exactly sure what the cake was going to be when I started out, but I wanted to create something that pulls from the fantastic colours and flavours of this most amazing season. I wanted to make something different, not just the regular chocolate or vanilla cake - but I didn't know what. So what do I do when I need inspiration? Google of course. I found a great pumpkin spice cake recipe with maple cream-cheese icing (original recipe here). Oh my gawd!!!!!! It was amazing. So freaking delicious.

To go with the fall deliciousness I decorated the cake in fall-coloured leaves. As a present to myself I had bought myself a neat cake decorating gadget, a mold to make the leaves and branches - it worked really well. I'm quite sure I could have come up with leaves on my own without the mold, but it would have taken a lot longer! Of course cake decorating around here never goes exactly as it is pictured in my head. I didn't love the colours of the fondant at first, I find it hard sometimes to colour the fondant just right. I wanted really deep colours, but adding too much food colouring makes the fondant sticky and impossible to work with. So I brushed a little bit of red food colour onto the red leaves after they were made to deepen the colour. I think it turned out quite nicely.

Starting to decorate. Notice I didn't do fondant over the whole cake, just for the detailed decorations. The icing was way too delicious to cover with fondant. And I wanted a slightly less polished look to this one.

More branches going on.

Leaves and branches finished. Now to add some final touches.

Finished product. I really like how it turned out. The husband tells me he "Loves it, with a capital L!"

...and a little note on the back.

Check out my cakes page I've recently put together to see other cakes I've attempted to make.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Back To School

Summer holidays are great and all, but I love back-to-school! I really like fall in general, the leaves turning, the cool mornings, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course my birthday (countdown is on, 13 more days). Oops, I digress. Back-to-school is what I'm actually writing about.
The kids were excited this year about getting back to school, Mikayla especially. She was begging to go to school for a week before it even started, and she was especially excited for buying and wearing new school clothes. A little fashion diva I'm raising, I don't know how, I'm very unfashionable at the best of times. Anyway, she loves the social aspect of school, she loves learning, she loves making things and being creative, she is at that age where everything about school is fun. I hope she never looses that enjoyment of school, a mother can dream can't she?

I was so happy that Gavin was anticipating the start of junior kindergarten with excitement rather than dread. He had an awful time adjusting to pre-school last year. He cried every time when we dropped him off, for months. I'm sure that comes from him having either Mommy or Daddy around all the time, never having been to daycare or the like. Well, this year he did AWESOME!!!!!! His first day was short and the parents stayed to ease kids into it, so no problem there. His second day I left without a single tear from him. Speaking of tears, not a single one from me either this year. I'm not the super-emotional-cries-at-the-drop-of-a-hat kind of girl, but I admit I've had wet eyes taking my kids to their first day of school in previous years.

Happy back-to-school!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Summer 2012: Photo Dump

Is it September already?!?! It would appear I had too much fun this summer to get many blog posts written. And we all know the insanity of early September. So in lieu of quantity, I give you quality (I hope).

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the summer.

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