Recipe HERE (with croissant substituted in - best to make the night before so the egg really soaks into the bread)
I'm starting to look like an Easter egg...
|The Science of Married||
Here are just a few pictures from last weekend. Good Friday was spent at home with Matt, and we ordered sushi (it's fish!), and I got to drink wine (I gave it up for Lent)! Saturday we wandered around Leslieville and the Beach (pictures can be seen HERE), and Sunday we spent all day with family. The morning with my family for brunch, and the evening with Matt's family. I only have pictures of the morning, so here they are! I also had Monday off, where I did a ton of marking and prep while Matt was at work.
I love Easter colours...also mini eggs and pretty much anything with peanut butter in it.
Brunch mimosas - yum! My mom looks so happy - love it!
Cheers to a happy Easter
More mini eggs in a martini glass
Family picture time - uncle Brian, Adam & Jessica, and grandpa!
Matt and I
French toast casserole, made with croissant - oh wow it was soooo good!
Recipe HERE (with croissant substituted in - best to make the night before so the egg really soaks into the bread)
"Homemade" fruit dip my brother made (from Epicure, haha)
Love this picture of my mom and I - all minted out for Easter!
Brunch is served
Great host & hostess
Guess who made brownie bottom cheesecake and M&M Easter cookies?
I'm starting to look like an Easter egg...
Once Christmas was over, I pretty much went into hibernation mode - I caught up on sleep, ate way too much food, and just lounged around like a sloth. It was bad. I am slowly coming back to life, haha, but here's what did happen the past few months.
Started off 2013 with a Harry Potter marathon - thoroughly enjoyed by both Matt and I!
This happened. Ugh snow.
Mmm delicious meal of shell pasta, white beans, sausage, and kale with lemon and parmesan.
Morning stroll and shop in St. Lawrence Market
Just one of the few flower selections from The January Cure (plus the weekly flowers are still going strong!)
This is when I hate Canada and want to move to South America.
Matt's speaker mounting plans
7 Year anniversary dinner at Fare Bistro
Family dinner with both sets of parents - drinks in the Shangri La hotel, dinner at Reds Wine Tavern
Moms and vintage barbie collection - including Midge!
Found a bourbon chicken recipe..without bourbon...so we fixed that!
Big hunk of pork shoulder covered in chipotle-coffee dry rub
And the finished product with some coleslaw and Mill Street Coffee Porter
One lazy Sunday of catching up with some home decor friends
Day of closet-cleaning
Dress shopping with Hope at Sash & Bustle
Matt got an iPhone and I lost him to a world of distraction
Delicious breakfast quiche in the making
Brunch with my work wives Marta and Dawn
Matt re-painting our pretty story board
Me showing the world what an in love geek I am...
From today - starting the kitchen prep - tore apart some bubbling plaster and patched the resulting spots
Coming Up this Month: birthday celebrations in a week, kitchen painting and re-grouting of backsplash tile, March Break fun, World Skating Championships with my mom, and Easter! Should be a great month!
Day 3 Recap - Weekend Chores and Buy Flowers
Uhhhh....yeah. I was supposed to hardcore clean every floor. I did vacuum and swiffer wetjet every floor, but I did not scrub. I bought hardwood cleaner this past weekend though, and I'm going to tackle each room as I go through the cure this month. I know there is a day for bathrooms and bedrooms for sure. Matt bought me some flowers, though!
Pretty and feels like Spring (let's just skip Winter!)
Day 4 - Get a Fresh Perspective
This pretty much means pick a room or spot in your house that seems to be problematic, sit where you can clearly see that area and think (for 10 minutes) about the issues - could be clutter, flow, etc.), and think about how you want it to be, and ways to perhaps get it that way.
I chose my kitchen, because honestly I am pretty happy with most spots in my house that we've done. So I sat by the chalkboard on the floor in the kitchen and looked around. Honestly it is an issue of size and layout. The only way to fix this is maybe tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living room, so we could do a bigger counter and a breakfast bar, but would sacrifice an entire wall of cabinetry. The other way would be actually extending our house back, but that would require huge structural changes (expensive) and a permit (which we may be rejected for). So I've been going back and forth between updating the counters and cabinet doors, or completely changing the layout, getting new appliances, floors, etc. Obviously is cost was no issue I would go with the latter, but in the end I didn't really have any concrete answer. So yeah...fresh perspective fail.
Kitchen as you walk in from the living room.
View from the back door of the kitchen.
Day 5: Pick a Project from the List to Complete this Month
So I first wanted to complete the little gallery wall in my living room, but then Day 6 is frame something, so I changed it organizing the basement shelving. So that's my big plan - organize, toss, clean, even pour all those 1/4 filled paint cans into mason jars and even figure out a tool cork-board. Remember these pictures from my Day 1?
Under the stairs storage
Random kitchen extras
Winter stuff and extras
Ohhh the paint cupboard.
The tool area of the laundry room...
Day 6: Choose a Piece of Artwork to Frame
So I twisted this - I have the frames already from the gallery wall, but no pictures, so this week I picked pictures and got them printed. On the weekend I framed them. Turns out later in the month I am supposed to hang it, so really I got two days done in one - yay! I haven't taken photos of them yet (except for one instagram one), so I'll post them later this week.
Here with Christmas wrapping paper for the holiday
Day 7: Get Your Get-Together Together
I'm supposed to have an end-of-cure celebration near the beginning of February. I have not figured this one out at all - who to have, what to serve, when exactly to have it, etc. Fail. I will think about it more this week I promise!
Who wants to come eat and my pretty new dining room table?
Day 8: Weekend Chores, Cook a Meal & Buy Flowers
Specifically, the kitchen - inside and out of everything!
I went hardcore on this one - took everything out of each cupboard, cleaned it from top to bottom, tossed some stuff, threw some stuff in the outbox, and then organized it back onto the shelves. This went for kitchenware, food, under the sink (it was gross), and even the fridge and freezer. Plus I pulled out the oven and cleaned behind it (more gross), and even scrubbed the floor (our tiles are actually just gray...not gray and black. Who knew?)
Updated the little storage cupboard (formerly housed dish towels and napkins).
Chalk jars from Anthropologie (thanks Hope - now I want wide ones for tea and coffee!)
Took my last weekend flowers and added them to the kitchen decor
This all somehow fit in a tiny corner cabinet.
Oh, and the red silicon bakeware is in the outbox - does anyone want it before it is donated?
It works really well, especially when you want muffins without wrappers - I just stick to my metal when baking - just out of routine. There's a bundt, 6 cupcakes, a 12x8 pan, and a cookie sheet.
Behind the oven...before...(so gross)
After - MUCH better!
Freezer before - actually not that bad but yes, those are paintbrushes in the side part at the top...
You can never have too much edamame. You just can't.
After - I don't know why we have so many pizzas...I don't eat them very often.
Oh and that container is duck fat. It's like semi-liquid gold.
Mmm fresh bread.
So although cleaning is not a crazy transformation and so many pretty pictures post, it feels nice that things are so squeaky clean!
Once my kitchen was clean, I messed it up making this - Rosemary Chicken Lasagna. I got the recipe via Pinterest from Feasting at Home. It was delicious - I've also eaten it twice this week at school for lunch. Yum. Also felt nice to make dinner for Matt for a change! Going to do this much more often!
This weekend's flowers - I picked up two bunches of yellow and red mixed tulips at St. Lawrence Market
(also where we got a lot of the fresh ingredients for the lasagna!)
Here they are today - turned out a nice peachy colour
What? Am I a photographer? Haha...just for a moment.
Day 9 - (Monday) Create a landing strip (yeah....I had to look that one up too. It means organize your foyer).
Day 10 - (Today) Work on your goal project (so I need to stop blogging and start tidying the basement...*sigh*)
Since Matt has a huge hand in our home projects, I thought I would give him a voice (whether he wanted one or not) to talk about our house and life in general. I did this as an interview, as there is no way he would just ramble on the way I do about stuff. So one New Year's Eve day while he watched a hockey game, I asked him questions on commercials and intermissions about our home.
Matt last June
1. How do you feel about being interviewed for the blog? Be honest.
Ummmm, it’s not how I intended to spend my morning (he’s watching the world junior game versus Russia). You have 20 minutes for intermission time.
2. What was the first home project you remember? Doesn’t have to be for our house. *Reminder that my husband has a bad memory so this may not actually be the first one*
I did the bunkie at the cottage when I graduated university.
What did you do?
That one was pretty easy – everything was pre-bought – the carpet was torn out of another room, the plumbing was done, and the fixtures for the bathroom were already bought, so for that was mostly just tearing out an old laminate floor, putting down a new subfloor (I didn’t know you did that much), painting – painted over the wood panel walls, tore out the wood covered doors, and replaced the trim. Painted all the windows (old fashioned window panes – ranch style), and then it was all the finishes – put in the padding and the carpet, put in new baseboards, new light fixtures, and blinds.
How did you know how to do all that?
Ummmmmmm….most of it was just instructions, my dad told me what he wanted done and I went and did it.
Yeah but how did you tear it out without damaging?
Ohhh I damaged a lot. The floor needed to be chiselled out, and it was rotted so I had to replace some of the subfloor. There’s probably a bit still there…but it’s all finished over…so you can’t tell, haha.
Any more recent projects in your own place?
Trying to hang a shelf in my first condo. Unlike the bunkie, I had access to very little in the way of tools and had no idea the difference between drilling into drywall versus the concrete fire walls in a condo. So I started by using the drill that I had (probably from 1960 given to me by my dad and shocked you every 30 seconds or so), but it only made it about a ¼ inch through the plaster before it stopped and started smoking. So my first idea was trying to hang it with short screws into the plaster, and after the shelf fell down once I learned you can buy special drill bits and screws that go into concrete. Problem solved!
Bunkie on the outside
Bunkie on the inside from the bed- the only picture I have of the inside when I was trying to take pictures with my phone for the first time last summer...it didn't turn out so well.
3. You moved around a lot as a kid, and your mom is very crafty and your dad is pretty handy too – do you think you get all this home project desire from them?
Maybe, my dad was a lot like me in that he has no real experience in any of this, just figured it out as he went. He did work a few odd jobs in landscaping and contracting stuff when he was in high school, so probably knew more than I do. He’s also a better electrician because my grandfather was one.
So what do you get from your mom?
I believe the phrase “queer eye” comes up. I think just a sense of style, and knowing what I like in a house.
4. We lived in a condo before we bought our first house – did you know that you wanted to buy a fixer-upper then?
I think this place is pretty live-in ready – we just had to do little things. Remember that one place on Coxwell I wanted? That one was detached, triplex, that could have easily been opened up but would have required some professionals to remove 2 of the 3 kitchens and the place needed a complete gut from top to bottom.
And the basement was scary.
Then there was that other place that had the cheap kitchen reno.
The one that smelled like mothballs?
But it had a lot of potential – it was pretty big for a semi, but needed a lot of work.
Our first condo together
5. What made you want to buy our current house?
The more we thought about it, the idea of a COMPLETE reno seemed a bit daunting, so we wanted something not necessarily finished, but liveable. This one had a finished bathroom, the kitchen worked (although tiny). It had a lot of character – the original wood floors, the beautiful backyard, and it was a good size (3 bedrooms, in the city, finished basement).
Our current house on the left way back in November 2010
6. What are some challenges with working in an older home (90 years this year!)
Lath and plaster walls – it pre-dates drywall – it’s hard to drill into and secure things too. You have to be careful not to crack them – one crack and there goes a big chunk of your wall. Almost every fastener at Home Depot is for drywall, so you have to get special hollow wall plugs that aren’t exactly easy to work with.
Nothing is square. It looks it, but there are no 90 degree angles anywhere – either on the floor or the walls or anything.
So what do you do?
Most cuts are trial and error with wood – to get the right fit. Filler and shims to fill gaps - you just have to work with it.
Troubles with lath and plaster walls...
7. We’ve done a lot of projects over the past few years – which one was your favourite and why?
I think the guest bedroom.
Yeah, getting that rounded moulding around the corner was a lot of work and I like the way it turned out.
I also like stair guard, because it was the most structural work I’ve ever done. It went from a rickety not-to-code post to a strong solid rail. (Pause) Oh wait, I forgot about the side board (in the dining room). I really like the way that turned out.
Do you want to develop on that at all?
Oh, well, even though most of it was from Ikea, finding a good solid piece of wood that big, and staining it and polishing it to what it looks like now really makes the room come together – it looks good. Wiring the light into the staircase was good – I don’t know about electrical work, and it hasn’t burnt down the house yet, so it’s pretty good.
Curved chair rail on the left
Stair guard project
Wiring this little light to turn on with the regular basement lighting
8. Which project drove you crazy the most and why?
Stripping the stairs was a terrible task. It was monotonous, physically exhausting, and very dirty. Plus, after about an hour of those fumes you developed a pretty bad headache. (Pause) The shelving unit in the basement made out of plywood was pretty difficult – it had to be built into a wall where nothing was square, so every cut was custom, and made it very difficult. In hindsight, I would have purchased a unit that was close to the size, and made it look like it was built into the wall. Live and learn. But we did do it for a quarter of the cost if we had bought one, so there was one benefit to it!
Refinishing the stairs
Working on the office shelving unit
9. There are never any pictures of me doing things. Can you please explain how I contribute to home renos around here?
You…..ummmmmm….what do you do? You paint. Because I hate it. You are generally the chief designer….and you’re also the, haha, chief photographer and documentarian, hence you are always behind the camera and not in front of it. Documentarian’s a word right?
I don’t know. You’re generally opposed to anything Ikea or anything that involves an allen key. Seems to get the better of you.
I helped with the Pax wardrobe.
You did, you assembled two drawers, one of which was backwards, so you had to do that again.
I’m trying to think of other things I did.
You’re a level when I’m trying to hold things – like hanging a painting or mirror.
So you don’t really need me?
No, I need you. (Pause) Yeah you do a lot of the painting. I don’t know if you’ve ever picked up a power tool.
I stripped the first stairs.
You did – you stripped the first four stairs. You came up with this wall thing (points).
That would be called a gallery wall.
Yes, that thing. You’ve selected all the paints and painted most of the rooms.
I did the entire basement without you at all.
How would you want me to help in the house?
That’s a good question. I actually prefer doing a lot of these things. Because I typically learn by doing, it’s hard to give instructions. I’m also…selfish, and I don’t like giving up control on projects.
That’s funny, most people would say that about me.
The little evidence I have of me doing work...
10. What are some projects that you are looking forward to for 2013 (short-term)?
What’s on the list?
No, I have my own post for that. What do you want to do?
This summer I want to build a big table and bench for the backyard to custom fit the deck. I’ll purchase chairs – I won’t try to build those, haha. With my new compound mitre saw!!! And a big chunk of cedar.
Anything in the house you want done?
I want to sand down the floors in the middle (unmentionable name - *cough* - baby) room.
Well right now it is a construction area and it needs to be well cleaned up. I may have also put a hole in wall when I was doing the railing.
Yeah…there’s a hole. When the saw piece broke it shot a piece of wood next to the dresser right into the wall. A perfect little square. Haha.
It’s also parquet flooring.
Yeah, but I still think I can strip/sand it down. Rent a big floor sander for that. Make it a lighter colour to match the floors. Won’t change the floor completely. I still don’t know why it’s parquet though. So do you think it’s worth redoing it with hardwood?
I’m more worried about how it will be to pull out the parquet.
It’s glued down – you’ll have to chisel it down piece by piece.
Something to think about.
Current backyard furniture
The "baby" room
11. What are some longer-term projects you want to tackle?
I think we eventually want to do the kitchen. Knock out the wall between the living room and kitchen to open it up a bit.
My mom’s worried that we’re going to put a lot of money and time into the kitchen and then move.
That’s something to consider, although they say that the kitchen is the place where you get your money back on the investment, if we do sell. You always have to consider in any project if you’re doing it for yourself or for resale. I don’t know about you, but I’m not planning to pack up and leave in the next year or so.
Yes, but we won’t get around in the kitchen in the next year either. Any other projects?
There’s talk about expanding the bathroom downstairs and refinishing the wood floors throughout the house.
How long do you think we’ll be in this house before you get the itch to move again and start all over?
I don’t know, haha. It’s hard to put a date on that. 5 years maybe? 10?
Well you’d be surprised at how quickly 5 years will go by!
Current tiny kitchen
Basement bathroom (well before we moved in)
12. What things would you be looking for in our next house that you may not have considered in this one?
A bigger kitchen for sure – this one is quite small. Less creaky floors? One of the things I love about this house is the character of the old floors, but one thing I hate is how creaky they are. I don’t think there’s a way to fix that, though, without tearing them up.
I can think of a million things I would change.
Really? I don’t know. A fireplace – preferably wood, but gas would be okay too.
I want a mantle – so many décor magazines decorate mantles.
Does the fireplace matter at all?
I can put in a mantle for you if you really want.
What about detached?
Ummm, I don’t mind the semi-detached because we’ve always had quiet neighbours. But detached would be better for more natural light in the house.
Agreed. Would you consider getting a house that needs more work next time?
You mean, like, gut the main floor?
I don’t know.
I don’t know if I’d want to do something with more work, I think we would need help – hire someone to tear out walls and major structural stuff requiring a contractor.
You don’t think you could tear a wall out on your own?
I think I could tear out a wall on my own, I don’t know if I could put back a wall on my own. There’s very little room for trial and error – it’s not something you want to get wrong.
My brother has a mantle...
13. So you also have a pretty good eye for décor. How does it make you feel when I call you Martha Stewart?
Laughs. I think I get a little smug satisfaction because I know you’re just saying it because you’re jealous.
Why am I jealous?
You wish you had the same eye.
Matt painted that...
14. You’re also a really good cook – what’s your favourite thing to make?
I really like doing pulled pork or slow-cooked lamb. The dutch oven makes cooking easy and delicious. Add beer/wine/some sort of alcoholic beverage to meat, and cook for hours.
What’s for dinner tonight (New Year’s Eve)?
It will be a beer-braised duck, pulled, served over homemade duck-fat fries with cheese. A pulled-duck poutine if you will. Not exactly healthy, but New Year’s Resolutions start tomorrow.
We’re having salad too.
Although the salad contains goat cheese – pomegranate and apple and goat cheese baby arugula salad.
Frozen chocolate mousse trifle.
Which I made.
There you go.
Lamb + veggies + wine = awesome
15. Are you sick of answering questions yet?
I was sick about 20 minutes ago.
16. How do you feel about the blog? About being on the blog?
It’s always weird when friends and family are so familiar with stuff I’ve done around the house, even if I haven’t talked to them in months.
How do you feel about me writing a blog?
It’s kind of like your diary – I don’t have a problem with you writing it, but publishing it is odd.
I don’t put anything too personal on it.
No you don’t. I find the whole blogging, facebook, and everything else - the whole concept, way too much information about people.
17. Do you love me?
Of course. Always.
I have to quantify this? Like on a scale from 1-10? I feel it's unquantifiable.
18. Anything else you want to say to our 10 readers out there (9 of them being my family)?
Laughs. Whose the 1 who’s not your family? Some lonely guy in Russia?
My coworker, Mike. Tell him you’re not a slave in your own house.
Can I go back to watching the hockey game now?
This Christmas had the lovely added feature that I had bronchitis, and Christmas Eve was touch and go (seriously thought about cancelling at various parts of the day - the morning when I was trying to whip non-heavy cream into stiff peaks - it will not work - you need more than 18%, and when I had to dry my hair sitting on the floor in my bedroom amidst sweating and crying because I was so weak), but we pulled through! My parents, Adam and Jessica came over on Christmas Eve. Matt really did all the work because I was trying to sleep and recover for most of the days leading up to it, and if not I was cleaning the house. We made some delicious brie, cranberry, pecan crostini for appetizers, along with the chili-sweet nut mix we did last year, for dinner we had roasted duck with a maple bourbon glaze with root mash, and for dessert I made a chocolate mousse trifle (hence the whipping of cream earlier on in the day). It went pretty well - opened presents, ate good food, and enjoyed entertaining my family.
Our little tree - all owled up (there are now 3 owls on the tree thanks to my family)
Playing with my new 50 mm lens - West Elm Hedwig owl
Table ready for dinner
Runner and log votives from West Elm, Star napkin holder from Ikea!
These cranberries have now been rehydrated...I do not look forward to cleaning this out...
I added some sparkly branches and a bow to make this spring-branch arrangement a bit more festive
Planned to do a gallery wall in this room but didn't have pictures yet - so I improvised with wrapping paper
I will post more on this when I change the frames to real pictures!
The table before dinner - votives filled with candles and lots of light
Time to eat and open presents!
Taking mom to see the World Figure Skating Championships in London (Ontario) in March
Dad opening our gift (Cycling Store Gift Card)
Adam looking very scary with tinsel on his head
Lego Empire State Building - Classic present for Adam
Sisters pose just before dinner
Mmmm festive salads and cranberry juice
Mom and Dad
Ohhh those two are photogenic!
Must have been awkward lighting for me to make this B&W
Crowns from the Christmas Crackers!
Matt opened a present that night - "I Am A Pole" by Stephen Colbert (looks like a Children's book...but not so much)
Christmas morning is Matt and I time. We don't have anyone else over - we open our presents, we made a delicious breakfast, and we just relax. This year we made a french toast casserole with a brown sugar strudel glaze and apple and craisins. It was so good. The antibiotics prevented the typical ice wine drinking, but I'll make that up on New Year's Eve!
I guessed most of my presents before I opened them (and there was only 2 I didn't get - this table is a lie!)
One of my gifts - Paloma Picasso hammered ring - looks like a girly version of Matt's iron ring, but needs to be resized. I wanted this because I used to wear his iron ring when he first got it if he was wakeboarding at the cottage or any other time he may have lost it. Just a cute little reminder of those days.
Delicious baked french toast - and so easy (we prepped it the night before)
I gave George the gift of all the acorns I collected in the fall that never ended up dip-dying (I'll try again next year)
Christmas Day was spent with Matt's family, both at his parents' house in Oakville to open gifts, and then to his aunt and uncle's place in Ancaster for dinner. We only had to make a vegetable dish, so it was an easy day, and I was starting to feel better luckily! It was nice seeing the whole family (we see his dad's side far less often), and all the food was incredible! His cousin's wife is starting her own catering company and she made all the appetizers - wow! Look out Peterborough!!!
Christmas afternoon at the in-laws - what a beautiful tree!
I look like I'm in pain...I was probably about to cough...
Pete with his kids - all grown up!
In Ancaster with Buppa - great face Jamie!
Kisses from the granddaughters
Matt probably being a smart-ass
Boxing Day we always go to my aunt and uncle's place in Bowmanville. My dad has a huge family so it is always a fun gathering. On the way home we went to see Les Miserables with Adam and Jess - it was SOOO good (although Russell Crowe really shouldn't sing). Highly recommended Christmas break movie, although very sad (hence the title). Bring Kleenex - you will cry at 3 different spots!
If you think I wouldn't post this Adam, you were wrong.
Singing Christmas carols to get gifts (although it turns out that now that I'm married Santa can't find me anymore)
Pretty much sat here the entire time
Came home to this. Merry and bright.
A few days later some of the same family ladies meet at Marche downtown for lunch.
Hope's first wedding shower - we did it early because her mom was visiting from England!
Ohhh Canadian bridal traditions
Cozy September weekend at the cottage
One of the last summer sunsets
Butters and I hanging out
Matt had a course in Niagara so I went with him for the weekend for a little getaway
Reading my uncle's books and drinking the first salted caramel hot chocolate of the season in Niagara
By the way - the books are awesome! Buy them on Amazon HERE
Butters trying to get in
He loves me more than the squirrel a few feet away
Hope and Meg out for a rainy day adventure at the cottage on Thanksgiving weekend
Rainbow landed in the lake - quick - dive in and get the pot o' gold!
Bye bye cottage! See you at Easter at the end of March!
Matt about to cross the finish line for his second marathon. So proud of him!
Mmmm fajitas and guacamole!
Trying out a new recipe!
Using the herbs from France (from Adam and Jessica's honeymoon)
The finished (delicious) product!
Butters blending into the foliage
*By the way I found out his real name is Bib...I don't like it. I'm going to keep calling him Butters.*
My sister in law's birthday is on October 30th, so every year they have a Halloween-themed birthday celebration, and this is the second year they have done the party at their house. She is so crafty and I was blown away by all the decor and planning that went into this party - she went Pinterest crazy! It was such a fun night!
I helped a bit - owl peanut butter cup/oreo/pieces treats
These two Devil's food chocolate bundts turned into...
...this! Complete with orange buttercream icing and chocolate spider webs and a read pumpkin stem
I was going to be Alice, so decided to use the hair extensions from my wedding
Here they are after washing, drying overnight, and styling with a curling iron the next day
And it begins!
My brother surprised me with his costume - haha. It was great.
The birthday was Katy Perry - she made the top herself!
My cousin was Venom...complete with dyed morph suit (meaning he could not sit on the furniture...)
His friend Christian was Dexter - a great likeness!
Here we are - Mad Hatter and Alice
Plus I got to live out my dream of putting makeup on my husband...although he was NOT pretty...
Cute orange ghost Jello shots
She bloodied the tablecloth and candles herself
Haha, this supposedly freaked her out every time she came downstairs
More Dexter decor
Those are doll heads in that green liquid...creepy...
I like these skulls...next year I will spray paint some silver...
Some not so scary fall decor - we have the same owl!
He eventually took the stuffing out and became "skinny penguin"
Tablescape...taken by either Andrew or Christian (both far better photographers than I...)
Humouring Andrew by posing - look how much more hair I have!!!
Alice and Venom - what a pair!
The birthday girl cutting her cake
Here are the pictures from late July to Labour Day weekend that I took on my phone:
First Row: 1 - Matt's birthday and anniversary presents wrapped up (he got a coffee grinder and gravity filter for his birthday). 2- Out for dinner at Pachuco - a great Mexican place at Danforth & Broadview. 3 - Meg's baby shower with the pool girls - such a lovely afternoon!
Second Row: 1 - Anniversary dinner - we intended to go out but after being in Vancouver for a few days, we were exhausted! 2 - Our anniversary gifts - year 2 is cotton, so we went to Banana and picked out something for each other. 3 - Rainy weekend at the cottage meant torturing Tabby a bit...put him under a laundry basket...he just stared at me pleading, so I let him out, and he just ran away. Stupid uncuddly cat.
Third Row: 1 - Figures the sun comes out just as we leave the cottage. 2- Matt ran 21 km as part of his training program for the marathon next month. It was rough on him. So of course I photographed him while weakened. 3 - More painting begins while we were in NYC!
Fourth Row: 1 - Prepping at school - beautiful quiet school. 2 - Teaching Marta how to use Instagram. 3 - Labour Day cottage weekend - this is barbequed caesar salad Matt made!
Last night we had both our parents over plus our siblings (minus Meg, she had to work and we missed her!). Just wanted to have a simple barbeque with everyone, and celebrate Matt's birthday last week, our anniversary, and here all about Adam and Jessica's honeymoon and Jamie's wedding planning and house hunting. Lots of things going on with both of our families, and it was nice to catch up. I didn't really take any family pictures (I was busy playing hostess I suppose), but took a few pictures of the decor - had a little Olympic theme going on.
Medal count as of yesterday (although today's soccer bronze puts us at 15!)
Olympic Ring M&Ms...I ate all the orange ones that were left over...
Canada loves hummus
Flag of flags
Even the condiments were in the Olympic spirit (there is really very few blue foods...)
I also cleaned the house (except for the basement)...
Two year anniversary cards
Olympic fruit (kind of sad rings, haha)
Dessert table, including the stout cupcakes
(pretty much basic spice cupcakes with Guinness used instead of water, and the glaze is icing sugar and beer)
Dining room shot with the anniversary flowers Matt got me (love the late summer sunflowers)
1. Grilled Peaches:
I wanted to make this dessert this weekend, so I did! They turned out great, and it's really easy. Hollow out peach halves, and fill them with ground biscotti (they use amaretto macarons but the biscotti was more readily available) and a bit of amaretto blended together. Note that they say to grind the cookie using a mortar and pestle (which as a chemistry teacher I own more for geeky science decor's sake), but found it easier to just bundle the cookies in a towel, place on a cutting board, and smash to pieces with a hammer - also very therapeutic! Bake for about 25 minutes at 325 F or until the tops of the peaches are golden. Top with whipped cream (they used sour cream) and garnish with cocoa powder. Nice summer treat! It was delicious, but don't use too much amaretto as I did...you'll feel a bit tipsy if you added the leftover unbaked cookie mush to the surrounding treat.
Pinspiration pic - via (it's in Polish but Google Chrome will translate it)
My version - pretty good I think!
2. Caprese Skewers:
For Joni's shower I wanted to make a bite-size version of a caprese salad. I found the Caprese Pop on PInterest, and thought it was a bit too complicated (there's an actual mix of things within the pop). Instead I used toothpicks and skewered a piece of basil between a grape tomato and boccacini. Matt's mom has a great balsamic glaze, so I added that too. A week later, I saw a post for pretty much the exact version of it that I had made the week before - weird! They went really fast and were a big hit.
Original Pinspiration via
After the fact Pinspiration via
My version at the cottage
3. Caprese Panini
Do you see a theme? I was missing Italy I guess and had a craving for pesto, so grilled panini with tomato, mozzarella, pesto and chicken it was!
Original Pinterest post via
Also just found this grilled cheese version via
My version (although Matt helped grill after I prepped)
What cooking Pinspiration have YOU wanted to try lately?
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