Saturday, November 03, 2012


In the spring, we were at the mall in Buffalo, I got to visit my favourite store!

I was first introduced to it by my bosses from the little, white, home decor shop I use to work at. I was visiting NYC for the 1st time, and it was on my list of 'must do's' while there. It is a really eclectic shop...trendy yet still kinda 'earthy' in some ways too...unique items and defienitely the BEST hardware (knobs, drawer pulls) for your furniture.

The first two pictures below were from my first visit to an NYC Anthropologie back in November of 2007.

Hundreds of snowflakes hand cut
from NYC subway maps!

Igloo made from milk or water cool

All I have to say must also visit when when you are near!!

This picture is from this past spring...can you tell what they used to create the window?? It's an ocean theme....

Anthropologie store window

I see mop heads, coffee filters, straws, coloured paper and melted plastic spoons...

What do you see???

Mop heads, coffee filters and plastic cutlery

If you are close by to an Anthropologie, snap a pic and send it my way!!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner!

Last year when I was visiting The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, I visited the Ontario Egg Farmers booth. On their table were all sorts of interesting facts about eggs. They also had these recipe cards with a small package of seasonings attached to it, I grabbed a couple of them to try, they were for Mini Frittatas.


Once home, I unpacked the recipe card and put it in the cupboard...well, that's where it stayed until recently.

I was searching for something quick and easy to make for dinner and came across this recipe card. Perfect.

The recipe is super simple and it even included the ingredients and measurements for the seasoning so you can make more for another time after using their sample!

Mini Frittatas

2 tsp olive oil
2 cups of 1/4 in diced zucchini
1 cup of 1/4in diced red onion
1 cup of diced sweet red pepper
seasoning mix-followed below
4 oz (125 g) sliced prosciutto or thinly sliced ham
3/4 cup shredded cheese
8 eggs

Seasoning mix

2 1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch cayenne pepper


1. Heat oil in a pan and saute  zucchini, onion and peppers. Stir often and cook until slightly softened, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in seasoning.
2. Oil a muffin pan (of 12) and line bottoms and cups with prosciutto or ham.
3. Divide sautéed veggies evenly into muffin cups and sprinkle 1tbsp of shredded cheese over each cup.
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl and pour eggs evenly into muffin cups.
5. Bake in oven at 350 until frittatas are puffed and set in the center, approx 20-25 mins.
6. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. Run a knife around the edge to help release them.

Makes 12

 When I made them I did not have the ham...they still tasted great and turned out fine!

I also refrigerated the left overs and reheated them in a frying pan on a med-low heat.

You can also add any other of your favourite veggies in there!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Peach Pie Bars

This post is a little late..but it was a yummy recipe, so I thought I'd still share it!  Plus, you could probably use frozen peaches?? Let me know if you try it!!

Here in the Niagara Region, peach season is sadly coming to an end. We have been enjoying them for about 5-6 weeks yummy. We usually just have them as a snack or with some vanilla yogurt and homemade granola.


With this last basket (probably going to run out tonight and grab another basket) I decided to make this recipe: Peach Pie Bars  I saw it on Pinterest a while back, but since the baby arrived I'm lucky to get a shower by 3pm and eat lunch before dinner time!! :)

Today was the day!  I had all the ingredients needed and just went for it! (since new Little Miss is a short napper I don't get to complete things that often).

It's a super easy recipe and tastes delicious!!


Peach Pie Bars

Crust and topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

Fruit Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I doubled it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 lbs peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped (I used 6 med. peaches)
To make the crust and topping, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. 

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to mix.  Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add to the flour mixture.  Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly, 30-60 seconds.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to use as the topping.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 12-15 minutes.  Cool for at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.  Gently fold in the peaches and spoon the mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling, and bake 45 to 55 minutes.

Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars, or scoop out of the pan to serve cobbler-style.

*** The  adjustment I'd make is a bit less sugar in the base...I'd probably adjust it to 1cup. Try it the way the recipe suggests then adjust it to your liking!***

I had my 1st taste with some natural vanilla ice cream on the side. YUMMY!!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Chocolate peanut butter crispy bars

Back in the spring I had made a batch of rice crispy squares using a generic brand of cereal for the bars. On the box was this recipe!

I have changed it a bit from the original...they were too yummy not to share!!


1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal (ie. Rice Krispies)


2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
*I added a blob of butter to it to make it a little smoother/creamier


1. Add corn syrup and sugar to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and begins to boil. Make sure to stir frequently!
2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Mix well.
3. Have rice cereal in a large bowl and add corn syrup mixture to it, stirring enough to coat.
4. Press mixture into a 13x9 buttered dish and set aside
5. Melt chocolate chips on a saucepan over low heat, add blob of butter if you would like...stir constantly so it doesn't burn.
6. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let it sit until cooled and cut into squares.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lauryn's Photo Shoot

We had always wanted to have Little Miss photographed as an infant by a Baby Photographer, but never got around to it. So this time with Lauryn, we were fortunate enough for the following story to have come together.

A good friend had seen on her Facebook that a local photographer was looking for newborn models for a photo workshop that she was hosting. She passed the information to me, I contacted them and we were selected!!  Lauryn would be 2 weeks old on the photo shoot day.

Hubby and I really didn't know anything about the photographers and were just excited to be involved in the experience.  I figured they were local photographers from the Toronto area, holding a workshop.  Boy were we wrong!!

We arrived that Wednesday morning at the studio, a beautiful one at that, that overlooked a beautifully landscaped backyard onto the Welland River.


Beautiful Backyard

Looking down to the Welland River

Brittany (one of the main photographers~which I didn't know at the time who she was) took Lauryn, stripped her down to her diaper, swaddled her up and started to put her to sleep. We made our way out to the studio to find it full with 12 eager students waiting to learn 'the baby ways' from Carrie and Britt.  Again, we figured all these students were local Niagara/Toronto photographers there to learn.  WRONG AGAIN!!

Looking into the studio

They set up their spot to photograph Lauryn and started to teach about lighting and position and all the 'techy' stuff to do with cameras. Hubby and I stood there amazed as Lauryn was moved and positioned and still sleeping!  We were saying to ourselves...'hurry up and take the pictures before she wakes up!!'  :D We just had no clue how good these ladies were!

Brittany teaching 

Hubby is chatting away with students about where they are from, how did they hear about the workshop etc. Turns out they were from Texas, Florida, Tennessee and someone was even coming from Japan or China for the next workshop!! They proceeded to tell us that these ladies were 'kinda a big deal', kinda like the 'Anne Geddes' of today!!

Turns out their company is called Baby as Art, they are from San Diego and are quite well known! We were completely shocked!! And excited!! They hold a few workshops a year, usually locally for them and then chose another destination and find a site to host one. This year, Daniela Berkhout, from Welland, Ontarion was chosen to host the workshop!

Carrie and Brittany working with Lauryn

We were completely impressed with the professionalism and caring nature of Brittany and Carrie as then worked with Lauryn. We could plainly see that they care about each baby, their demeanour and what their specific needs were. If Lauryn was hungry, they had me feed her, if her diaper needed changing, THEY DID IT!!  And without waking her I might add!  In our opinion they are like 'baby whisperers'! They were fantastic with her.

Shot #1

3 hours later and a sleeping baby, we made our way home!  In return for Lauryn being their model, we received Brittany's photographs of Lauryn in her poses.  We are super excited to have them and to have been apart of this experience!

Below are the professional pictures!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Celebrating the 4th of July!

We missed the big fireworks on Canada Day because of my due date and the baby didn't come. On we went with our lives and enjoyed our family of 3 with what little time we had left.


Tuesday evening everything started to change...Brackston Hicks got stronger, water broke and we started making phone calls!  We were off to the hospital at about 11:45pm and the newest family member arrived at 2am, July 4th!!

Mommy and baby girl

My Mom had about a 2 1/2 hr drive to get to the hospital and wouldn't you know it, she missed her birth by 5 minutes!!  5 minutes!!  Our newest little girl came SO fast compared to Little Misses 22hr arrival!!

Grammie and baby girl

I have to say we were elated when the Doctor said, 'It's a girl!' We had prayed for a girl and when I had my one and only ultrasound at 20 weeks, the technicians were 80% sure it was a girl!  So all along there were people asking, 'what if it isn't a girl?' I went and bought all girl items anyway...however I did keep all the receipts and didn't wash everything until we got home :D

Daddy and Lauryn

Miss Lauryn Mackenzie was a healthy 7.5lbs and 20 inches long...a little less and a little longer than her big sister when she was born.

Big Sister Emma holding the
long awaited Lauryn

We have been home now for 6 weeks and we are adjusting well.  Could use a little more sleep, but who couldn't with kids??  Little Miss is elated to have her little sister finally here and is always ready to help...that is, as long as it doesn't involve changing diapers!

Emma and Lauryn ~ 1 week old

When Lauyrn is upset, she rushes in to sing to her, grabs a diaper when we need one, gets me a glass of water, helps pick out an outfit, watches over her in the backseat, just to name a few...I think this 5 1/2 yr. age difference is working out great!

3 days old with Big Sister

Even Bailey welcomed Lauryn!

Now before I start getting letters about this picture...I'd like to say that this was a completely supervised visit from Bailey. We were there when he snuggled in and he didn't even stay. He hasn't been in there since and actually hardly gives her the time of day!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

I figured since I mentioned this dessert in a prior post, I had better share it for all you who love the peanut butter/chocolate combination!!

This was acutally a recipe by Kraft Peanut Butter from a magazine some time was shared with me by the owner of the Cafe I worked at in highschool. I searched both the Canadian and American 'Kraft' websites, but neither of them have this is from scratch...all of theirs suggest a cake mix as your base.  Blech...(don't get me wrong, I do use mixes as well, but it seems that with 'them', you are always using their prepared products-which I get, promoting their products...I guess I like the idea of I know what I'm putting in!)

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
3 squares, unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cold water

Peanut Butter Glaze
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
5-6 tbsp milk

For Cake
1. Generously grease a 12 cup bundt pan.
2. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together, flour, soda and salt. Add this to wet mixture alternately with water, make sure to mix well.
5. Pour into bundt pan.
6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 10mins. Cool 5 mins then remove from pan. Cool thoroughly.

For Glaze
1. Cream butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt.
2. Add sugar alternately with milk, beating until light and creamy.
3. Drizzle over cake when it is completely cooled.

I'm sorry I didn't think about taking a picture of it when I made it...and haven't had an opportunity to make another one yet.

I did however find this picture when I googled a chocolate bundt cake...I did not use this recipe though. Mine had more glaze over it!!  Mmmmmm.....



Monday, July 09, 2012

Teacher Gift

The school year has ended and this is the gift we gave early to Little Misses teacher in case the baby decided to arrive before her date!

I got this idea from another blog I enjoy and after 2 years with the same teacher, I really liked this idea as a present.  I changed it up slightly, as you'll see below.

The biggest thing I liked was the Berry Cobbler!!  Maybe it's being pregnant, but I thought what a great idea to add to a gift!!  Plus I get to try it myself!!  hee, hee

Dish on the left is for the gift

Here is the basket that I put together with items I picked up along the way the last month.

Teacher gift

Biscotti - By Nonni's, haven't tried them, but was told they are yummy by a friend...found them at Christmas Tree Shops, but I did also see them at Wegmans grocery store too.
Coffee - Sarabeth's French Roast, got this at Christmas Tree Shops as well.
S Mug - a favourite to give as a gifts, for sale at Anthropologie
Cobbler Dish - from HomeSense, which is like a TJ MAXX, Marshalls or HomeGoods for my American friends
Flip-flop napkins - from Christmas Tree Shops
Lemonade Mix - TJ MAXX
Clear Acrilic glasses - from TJ MAXX, perfect for by her pool this summer
Strawberry Jam - Homemade by moi!
Basket - an extra that I had in the house

I have to say, the Cobbler recipe was super easy!!  5-10 min prep time and easy instructions that even my husband could follow and make!!

When I made it in this smaller dish for the gift, I still went by the recipe and kinda split it between the dishes (I used a glass loaf pan for the extra so we could taste too!)

With summer berries coming into season, I highly recommend trying out this recipe!!


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Canada Day!!

Today is Canada Day!!  

From Pinterest

I'm sure many of you are planning get togethers and preparing food for your day...we on the other hand, are laying kinda low.  Today is my due date!!  My Doctor is away covering somewhere else this weekend and so I'm taking it easy hoping that baby girl will stay comfy a few more days till he's back during the week!!    I think it's a bit of a comfort to have the Doctor you've come to know and trust over these past nine have them present for that important time.

So, no big BBQ for us today...and maybe no fireworks?!  We usually head to Niagara Falls for their big fireworks, but we usually park way at the top of a hill, grab Little Miss's wagon, fill it with everything and trek down to the grassy area for the show. Well, I can barely get down to the floor, let alone get back up at this point!!  So we'll see if there is something a little closer to home, or maybe Hubby will take her to something close by.  We'll see how the day goes!!

From Pinterest

As you make your way around your towns, cities and down the highways, please take care...enjoy your family and friends!

From our family to yours, Happy Canada Day!!  

From Pinterest

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Easy summer meal

I don't know about the rest of you, but yummy, easy meals are becoming more and more popular in this household...especially with the a new little one arriving VERY soon!

We had some friends over for dinner one night this weekend and with the heat I wasn't feeling like being in the kitchen much.  So I planned an easy meal that I could also do some of the prep ahead!

Dinner Menu

* Pulled Pork on a bun
* Creamy Potato Salad
* Veggie Shish kabobs
* Aloha Cake - I was most excited about this!!

I actually went and made the Pulled Pork the afternoon before, shredded it and added the sauce and left it right in the crock pot insert and into the fridge after it cooled down. Then 1 1/2 hrs before company's arrival, I had hubby put it on 'warm' and warmed it up!  It was plenty hot by dinner time.

The recipe is the same I have posted before. You can find it here. Super easy!

The Creamy Potato Salad is a combo of Martha Stewart and my own. I used the baby white potatoes (pre-bagged), green and red pepper, green onions, celery and fresh parsley. The dressing consisted of:
~  1 1/2 cups Hellmans Mayo - one day I'll make my own like Martha
~ 3 tbsp cider vinegar
~ 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
~ sprinkle of sugar

I usually mix mine all together then give it a little taste test and see what it needs more of or if it's enough to cover the potatoes.

Pulled Pork and Creamy Potato Salad

I actually cooked the baby potatoes the day before as well, while the heat from the crock pot was going.

The Veggie Shish kabobs were probably the least amount of prep. I chose white button mushrooms, green and red pepper chunks, cooking onions and grape tomatoes. I just wiped the mushrooms with a damp cloth (they say you are not suppose to wash them, they absorb the moisture), chopped the peppers into chunks and then cut up the onion in larger pieces (the stronger the onion when raw, the sweeter it is when cooked).

I threw them into a bowl, poured a maple garlic marinade over it (I had been saving this one) and into the fridge it went. ** It helps to soak your skewers in water for about 10mins before loading them up, especially if they are bamboo ones**

The Aloha Cake, I found this recipe on Pinterest and had been wanting to making it for a while. So this was my perfect opportunity!!


~ 1 box yellow cake mix
~ 3/4 c. oil
~ 3 eggs
~ 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, with juice
~ 1/2 t. vanilla

*So use these ingredients and don't worry about what the box says! As you mix all the ingredients together, the oranges will break up. Grease your 9x13 pan, pour into pan and bake 30-35 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

**I used one circular pan that was tall so I could make it a layered circular cake. If you chose to do this, your baking time will increase, about another 10-15 mins. you just have to keep your eye on it. When I cooked mine, at the 35min mark, it was still wet and jiggly in the middle. I kinda watched it every 5-8 mins checking on it. The top started to brown too much, so I put tinfoil tented over it loosely to prevent it from burning.**

Aloha Cake


~ 1 box, regular size (4-servings) instant coconut pudding

~ 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, with juice
~ 8 oz. carton Cool Whip

*Mix the pudding (do not follow the box instructions) with the pineapple and juice. Then mix it with the Cool Whip. It makes quite a bit of icing, you will have extra to enjoy!

** Jello does make coconut pudding, I couldn't find it in the one store I was in and bought Dr.Oetker cooked pudding...MISTAKE!!!  It was a mistake only because with it not being cooked first, it had a slight powdery/granular consistency to the frosting and may not have been as thick. The taste was fine though!!  So make sure to buy INSTANT!**

Aloha cake

Once the cake is completely cooled, ice it and keep it in the fridge. Serve cold.

Overall the meal was a success!  It was about 95 degrees with the humidity and we didn't have to heat up the house cooking all day!!

Hope you enjoy!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bailey and his Friend....

Our latest adventure took place last week around 1:25am....

Let me back up a moment....our cat, Bailey, is the most talkative cat I know...He is a Blue Point Siamese (I've had Siamese all of my life and he is the loudest  most communicative one, hands down). During the warm weather, he becomes an outdoor cat. We rarely have to even change the little box in the summer because he's outside so much!!  Anyway, he is a hunter through and through as our old house, it was almost a daily occurrence to have some kind of small creature sacrificed on our doorstep. Proud as a peach of what he had brought home to show us....(thanks Bailey).

The cute Kitty ~ Bailey the other night at 1:25am, he is howling, meowing outside our bedroom window (clever kitty) and I get up to let him in. In he comes and as I make my way to the bathroom (one of my middle of the night trips) this strong odour hits my nose....UGH....skunk. I'm thinking to myself,'you have to be kidding right?'  No, no...not just something my senses are making up at this hour.

Our chatty Kitty

So I call out to Hubby and he just already knows from my voice that he will be involved....hee, hee.  Up Hubby gets out of bed and we start to gather our ingredients for our concoction.

Now, Bailey hasn't tangoed with a skunk since he was a kitten (he will be 9 this fall)!!  We were living in our 1st apartment when we got him and his first summer he was sprayed 5 (yes FIVE) times in 3 weeks!!!  Our neighbour had a remedy that worked wonders for us...(I don't claim that it is 100%, but we have had great success with it).


~ Hydrogen peroxide - just from the grocery/drug store
~ Baking Soda - the kind I bake with
~ Liquid dish detergent
~ Mixing bowl
~ Jug - to put warm water in
~ Old face cloth/rag
~ Beach towels

** I think that's it, oh and maybe a camera to catch the humour at whatever hour you are doing this??!! **

1.  In your mixing bowl, add equal parts of the peroxide and baking soda, it kinda will be paste like (I usually just eye it).

2.  Add a couple of drops of the dish detergent and mix around.

3.  At this point you can add a bit more peroxide or a bit of water so it's more sloppy than paste like so you can scrub down kitty well.

4.  Put an old towel on the bottom of the tub, have others ready for drying off the cat after.

5.  Take your facecloth or rag and start rubbing this mixture all over the cat like it's the *****

6.  After you've cleaned all parts of your happy cat, take the jug with warm water and rinse all the mixture off (this was Hubby's job to keep refilling it with warm water - cold water might send the cat leaping and clawing at you and a wet, smelly disaster around your house if they break free!! Plus the sound of running the water from the tub could catch kitty off guard - no need to upset kitty any more than I'm sure they already are!!)

7. Make sure kitty is well rinsed and dried well, give them a nice brushing and maybe some treats.  ;)

When I first put Bailey into the tub, his legs and paws kinda got spread out and he hissed at the situation. Then his meowing started, no actually it was more like screaming. He was NOT happy to be wet and being scrubbed down, but he really didn't fight me or it...he just voiced his opinion instead.  Hubby was my right hand man through all of this while I rubbed Bailey down and rinsed him.

Bath time!!

***Ok stop for a mental picture for a moment as well...almost 9 month pregnant lady hanging over tub, scrubbing screaming kitty, in her jammies, in the middle of the night = FUN  Now, Hubby would have definitely done the scrubbing if I had asked him, but I was actually fine doing it and probably the more experienced one with this kinda thing anyway...sometimes a helper is the best part anyway. ***

So Bailey is all rinsed and out of the tub on the old towels getting dried off.  I pick him up in my arms and snuggle him in the towel a bit while drying his face...I finally get a softer look from him and the purring starts. I think he knew we were helping him, as much as he despised the whole process...he got a nice brushing and some catnip. Bailey proceeded to clean himself at this point, while Hubby put beach towels covering his favourite sleeping spots so we didn't have damp furniture in the morning.

Bath time over ~ Getting dried off

It's after 2am by this point, we are cleaning up and thinking about our nice, cozy bed waiting for us. By 2:30am we are in bed and ready to go back to sleep. But now, we are both wide awake and watch the clock for another hour and a half to two hours... sigh ... I guess our bodies are getting prepared for the baby coming?

Clean up time

And who shows up at my bedside about 45 mins later??? Bailey. He wants under the blankets and to sleep with me. He circles around until he finds the best spot on the king size pillow I sleep with between my knees. He's right up against the baby bump and happy as a clam to spend the rest of the night there.

All for the love of a pet.  ;)  On a positive note...he does have the softest fur since his bath!

AND we never heard a peep out of Little Miss during this whole process!!

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