life lately

Thursday, 17 April 2014

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I am so totally impatiently waiting for summer. It seems like winter has been longer and more depressing this year. Was that just me? Anyway, just seeing these pretty flowers from last year makes me happy. Bring it on spring! :)

Trying to make recipes from scratch doesn't always turn out the way you'd think. These mini cupcakes look pretty delicious, but they weren't that good. Lol. They were supposed to be coconut/pineapple flavored, but they were dry and tasted bland. Next try maybe. :)

Lately... we bought our 21 month old son his very first violin. Crazy? You might think so. His concentration span might not be very long, but his learning capacity is insane (much like any child of that age). He may not yet be able to play, but after a month he can hold the violin and the bow correctly, as well as move the bow across the strings almost in the right spot. All this with only about 10 minutes of practice a week (randomly).

Lately... I started playing World of Warcraft again; when my little one is sleeping. I don't have a lot of time, but I try to enjoy it as much as I can amidst everything else I want/need to do.

Lately... we visited IKEA to buy a bed side desk for our son. We chose a single, white EXPEDIT shelving unit with a 2-drawer insertion. It's the perfect size. We're trying to do a gradual transition to a twin bed before the new baby comes. So far so good! We just put the twin bed mattress on the floor so he doesn't get hurt if he falls. He just loves it because he can easily climb up or down on his own, and he can do running belly flaps. Lol.

Lately... I bought some cool paper straws in preparation for our son's second birthday. I want to make it extra special.

Lately... I may or may not have eaten all the marshmallows out of a Lucky Charms box.

Lately... we spent some time in downtown Montreal and ate at Schwartz. It's this tiny little smoked meat restaurant in the heart of the city. It looks like nothing on the outside, and the inside is very plain, but the food... OH-EM-GEE. Seriously, the best smoked meat you have ever had in your life.

Lately... my skin has been clearing up and looking oh-so good. I love what pregnancy hormones do to your body (not counting the first trimester).

Lately... we finally found our fancy dinner set. It took us forever to agree on dishes, yes, dishes. Then one day, out of the blue, my husband spotted these gorgeous mint patterned plates and said: "I like those!" My first thought was; "Really?!?! Oh my goodness, me too!" So we bought the whole set at Home Sense. Such an awesome store for random things.

Lately... I've been catching up on projects which have been on standby. Home decorating, recipe trials and lots of snuggle time with my baby.

Recent favorites:
1. These fox flats from Modcloth.
2. These perfect ringlets hair tutorial by Freckled Fox. So bouncy and cute!
3. The "Spring-Time to Shine" contest by Modcloth. You can win a $50 gift certificate by sharing your Spring Style by 1 p.m. PT on 4/28.

Inspired by:
1. This art by Chibird. Seriously the cutest, most inspirational art you'll ever see.
2. This nail art by Pshiiit. Definitely something I want to try.
3. This video. This girl has such an amazing voice.

Random facts about me:
1. I love to kiss attack my son. It makes him laugh uncontrollably.
2. I have way too much white hair for my age.
3. I wish I could stop time.

5 minute homemade chocolate pudding

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

instant chocolate pudding

My son has a severe allergy to eggs, so I've been trying to make as many delicious homemade recipes as possible. It's been quite the adventure, especially with desserts, but I've managed to come up with a few recipes that he can safely eat, like this egg free chocolate pudding.

I've been making this recipe for a while but I usually just kind of randomly put ingredients together. I thought it would be nice to actually figure out the portions I'm using so that others can benefit from this deliciously quick and simple homemade chocolate pudding treat. Quick as in, made and ready in under 5 minutes. 'Cause you know, sometimes you just have to indulge in a quick chocolate fix right now.

chocolate pudding mix

Preparation time: about 2 minutes

1 cup of Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
1 cup of Corn Starch
1 1/2 cup of Sugar
homemade instant chocolate pudding mix

chocolate pudding

Preparation time: about 2 minutes
Cook time: about 1 minute
Cool time: about 15 minutes (but you can eat it right away if you want)
Portions: 4

1/2 cup of Chocolate Pudding Mix (above)
1 1/2 cup of Milk
spoon of homemade chocolate pudding mix

1/2 tsp of Vanilla essence
1 tbsp of Butter
2 tbsp of Chocolate chips

First, put milk and chocolate pudding mix in saucepan.
Second, heat on medium-high, whisking constantly until it boils and starts to thicken.
Third, remove from heat as soon as it starts to thicken (it will continue thickening as it cools), stir in optional ingredients if you desire.
Fourth, let cool.

There shouldn't be any lumps, but just in case, you can pass the pudding through a fine mesh before cooling.

As the pudding cools, a film will form on top. When you're ready to eat it, simply stir it back into the pudding. If you don't want the film to form, put a piece of plastic wrap directly on it's surface (it has to touch the pudding). When you're ready to eat it, simply remove the wrap and serve.

homemade chocolate pudding recipe

I'm so very satisfied with how quick, easy and delicious this recipe is. Plus... it's egg free. Yay!

If you want to mix it up I suggest trying different types of sugars (brown sugar, white sugar, cane sugar...) and different types of milk too (whole milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk)! The possibilities are endless! You could even add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or maybe some peppermint... Deeeelicious!

mango banana milkshake

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I absolutely love milkshakes. I wouldn't go as far as using them as meal replacements but I will definitely say yes to a nutrient boost. They're great as a refreshment, or as a healthy dessert alternative. I usually just grab whatever juicy fruits are in my fridge and blend them with random kinds of milk. My inspiration for this one was a mix of my craving for summer (oh-summer-how-I-long-for-you), and some of this delicious maple syrup our maple trees have been giving us this season.

1 cup of Mango (frozen)
1 banana
1 cup of Milk (I use soy)

1 tbsp of Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice)

First, gather the ingredients.

Second, blend and enjoy!

What kind of drinks do you enjoy?

I'm really excited that spring has finally sprung! Snow is melting, the sun is coming out, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing some pretty new flowers popping out soon. I miss the gorgeous colors of summer; green grass, blue skies, multicolored flowers... I'm ready for you!!!

diy: circular cupcake toppers

Friday, 28 March 2014

These are the cupcake toppers I made for my son's first birthday last year. I was looking for something easy to start with in terms of cake decorations. I didn't have any special cutters or punches so I decided to go with circles. Anyone can find a circular shape in their home to use as a tracing model right? I actually used a couple of shooter glasses (gasp! - I have no idea where they came from, seriously).

Even though my little munchkin didn't end up eating any of the cake I made (good thing too because he ended up being allergic to eggs... !), I originally thought cupcakes would be a better option for a baby because they can destroy their portion (yep, that's pretty much what babies do to cakes) without touching everyone else's (an option I will choose again this year - egg free of course).

2-3 pieces of 12x12 card-stock (of different style/color)

Modpodge & Paint brush (glue works too)
Pencil & Eraser
Models (I used two shot glasses)

First, trace your models on the cardboard using the pencil. I did 3 different sizes each on a different color of card-stock to add depth.

Second, cut all the circles. Yes, it would be much faster if you had punches, but I didn't, so it took me longer but was cheaper! :P

Third, assemble all the circles as shown below.

Fourth, with your marker, add the text to the toppers (I wrote "1" for 1 year old - obviously).

Fifth, glue the assembled circles to the toothpicks.

Sixth, rinse and repeat.

...and here's the assembled product! Totally cute right? Took forever but I had so much fun! Plus it gave my husband and I a chance to talk without being distracted by our computers and phones. Lol. Life before technology!

a weekend into the past; ice house

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ice what? Ice house! What's an ice house you say? It's man's ingenious idea before refrigeration. Have you ever wondered how people kept their food cold before fridges existed?

My parents own a century-old cabin between two major regions in Quebec. It was the "hotel" where people slept for the night before continuing on their horse-led trip between the two regions. The cabin directly next to ours was the "kitchen". Naturally, the "ice house" is with the kitchen.

Every year, our neighbors invite us to help them with "the ice". This means cutting giant blocks of ice from the frozen lake and bringing them into the insulated "ice house".

The modern way to do this is with an electric chain saw, an axe, ice pliers and a skidoo with sled. Obviously that's not exactly how they did it a hundred years ago. It was probably just with an axe, the pliers and a horse sleigh.

First you saw the ice into a grid (making squares). Then you use the axe and slam it into a cut to detach the bottom part. Using the pliers you pick them up and place them on the sled (it's actually more of a side throw, lol).

The skidoo brings them up to the cabin and using another pair of pliers, someone stacks them into the ice house.

It usually takes about 4-5 hours depending on how many people join in to help. Once all is done, we enjoy a nice warm meal together and spend the rest of the weekend chill-axing. :P

You're probably wondering how the ice doesn't melt during the summer. The ice house is insulated. Simple as that... and all the ice piled up together creates this kind of "cold effect" which minimizes the melting time. As well, when we use the fridge, there is a separate door to where the ice is kept, so you aren't constantly letting warm air into the ice room.

I really enjoy these little escapes into the past. We may not have the opportunity to do this forever, but for now, I'm taking it all in. :)

Do you take part in any activities of the past?

Yup, selfie au natural. Lol.

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