Christmas decorating happened late this year - with Matt travelling and the new floors being put in (!!!!! - post to come), we didn't get a tree until Friday the 19th and decorating didn't happen until Saturday. Now it's Monday and I'm starting to put stuff away (I like a fresh house for New Years). So here are a few little things we did this year:
Kitchen & Stairs to Basement
Christmas Eve & Morning
This year Thanksgiving was split between the farm in the afternoon with my family and the evening with Matt's family. Matt went to Indiana to see a Notre Dame game with his brother, dad, and uncle, so I met him at his families in the evening.
Ahh the farm - nice big open space in the country.
Aunt Yvonne with the newest addition, little Blake, my cousin's son.
Nice enough to stand around outside. Everyone pay attention to Jessica, haha.
Mom and I in navy (OMG I look huge here!)
Adam and mom
He's so photogenic.
Mom and Ashlin (aka my cousin Melissa's clone # 1)
Now to Oakville - teeny tiny Notre Dame jersey for little baby boy or girl.
PS - Matt and I match, haha, not planned.
Beautiful table setting and yummy 3-squash soup!
20 weeks - half way done!
A few pictures from the boys weekend in Indiana
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know that I had so much to be thankful for.
Matt and I don't really do a lot usually for Valentine's Day. We don't do cards or gifts. In the past we've gone to Leaf games, but mostly we just cook a good meal and enjoy each other's company. That's exactly what we did this year. I did a bit of prep work this time - I made a chocolate terrine for dessert (since I failed on New Years) on Thursday evening - it has to set 12-24 hours. I also made one for my work wife, Marta! Other than that, I just set the table when I got home on Friday, made a little garland (honestly took me 10 minutes) and Matt cooked dinner (pomegranate balsamic glazed sirloin steak with kale and tricolour quinoa).
Cut strips of scrapbook paper, staple 2 ends together, pinch top of one and staple.
Connect by the bottom staple of one heart with the top pinch of the other. Simple and quick!
Heart napkin fold link HERE (there's is better than mine...)
Final delicious product, along with a pinot noir!
Chocolate terrine! Recipe from HERE.
Added some toasted almond slices around the edges, plus a dash of icing sugar and a pinch of sea salt. Served with fresh whipped cream. Let to cool in my grandmother's heart shaped baking pan.
I cut the recipe in half as it served 12, and this did serve us 3 times, but with big pieces. It should be served in small doses - probably could have lasted 4-5 nights, haha, but it was just so good! Just as good as the one at our favourite restaurant, Goods and Provisions.
Every year we go to my uncle Sean's house (on my dad's side) for dinner and to see all the extended family. Didn't take a lot of pictures, but here are a few:
Ice storm beauty
I made a friend...
His name is Lucky!
Cousins and uncle singing?
Most of my pics are of other people taking pictures...that is bound to happen with such a large family!
In early December, we went to the Distillery Christmas Market to see the sights and then went out to dinner with Matt's family. Since Jamie and Hope usually go to England for Christmas, we wanted to see them before they left and exchange gifts.
Wine tasting - yes.
Too many families taking over the gingerbread for me to pose...so here are some random people instead...
It was REALLY busy this year! Despite being SO COLD!
Christmas at the Distillery is beautiful.
Mulled wine - not for me. Warm apple cider? Yes.
After the Market we went to dinner at Osteria del Ganzi on Jarvis. It was pretty good, though very empty.
Girls picture on the stairs.
Please understand that there were multiple families staring at us while they at their dinner just below. Awkward.
HERE are the Christmas Market pictures from last year.
Since we didn't have people over for Christmas Eve or Day, but we had decorated and cleaned, we were feeling a bit let down without playing host. We debated doing a New Year's Eve dinner, but we know that it's tricky. Most of our friends and family lay low, were out of town, or already had plans. These kind of things need to be planned well in advance. I also know, personally, that I like to have an easy way home, but be able to drink, and not be freezing cold taking TTC with a party dress. So home is best for us.
Last year's meal - braised duck poutine (leftover duck from Christmas Eve)
This year, just like the past few, we make a great dinner and cuddle up together to watch movies. A few years ago we were hooked on Dexter. Last year we watched the first two Godfather movies (how had we not seen them before?), and this year we just watched the movie "Don Jon" - directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt - it was pretty funny and well done. Not to be taken seriously but still really good. We made sea bass with creme fraiche, fingerling potatoes, and artichoke. I attempted to make a chocolate terrine, but timing was off. I started it before I realized I didn't have whipped cream, and by the time I got it, the chocolate had hardened (couldn't reheat as it had eggwhites in it), so it was pretty much a fail. Since it needs 12-24 hours in the fridge, we were out of luck. Matt went to the rescue and got some delicious mousse tarts from Bobbette & Belle, a bakery near us.
So anyway, back to the lack of hosting. We decided to invite our siblings over for a New Year's Day brunch. Jamie and Hope got back from England the day before so knew they wouldn't want to do Eve, but would come the next day if we could watch the Winter Classic. Adam and Jessica were up for it, and Meg was AT the Winter Classic so didn't come. We made easy food - tried and true which are cozy brunch foods. French toast souflee made with brioche (I made the day before and just cooked it that morning), the bacon, cheddar, potato bake we did on Christmas morning (easy and delicious), did a fruit salad with winter fruits - citrus, apple, pear, pomegranate (made this for a brunch last year), plus some prosciutto and melon. We also did a hot chocolate station, had coffee and tea, and the hangover cures of mimosas, Caesars, and beer.
The setup was fun - I was going to leave all the Christmas stuff, but Matt and I always clean it up on New Year's Eve day to start the year fresh and clean, so I cleaned up and just left a few silver and gold sparkly pieces to keep it festive but not Christmas-y. Here are the decor pictures:
Painting from Home Sense, LOVE Print from Madebygirl
Okay, I just mean the type of hot chocolate...nothing else (talking to you, Jamie).
Runner is from West Elm
Silver chargers are from The Bay, gold are from Dollar Tree (score!)
This candle from Bath & Body Works is both festive and smells delicious!
My grandma's neighbour was throwing this mirror away, can you believe it?
She asked for it and kept it for us - I love it!
Pineapples mean welcome!
Matt is smiling but probably saying on the inside "please put down the camera and help me!"
To prove to my brother that my fridge isn't just full of beer and butter
(we were going away one summer after I had made a lot of buttercream icing and bought too much butter, haha)
Mimosa & Caesar station
All in all it was fun decorating and hosting. We had some good food, some great company, and watched the longest hockey game ever, haha. Maybe we'll make this an annual tradition! Plus it gave us an excuse to clean the house top to bottom and it was a nice clean start to 2014! Happy New Year everyone!
We didn't host a Christmas dinner this year, but we did decorate, and a bit earlier than usual - right at the beginning of December! Here are a few pictures from around the main floor:
Our Christmas tree was a bit taller than normal (but still tabletop to fit in our little living space), and I decorated in silver and white, with some fuzzy soft touches.
Most of the ornaments are from West Elm and Pottery Barn from the past few years
Matt wrapped the ones with red ornaments, I did the grey and white. He is better than me.
Spoiled. Next year we are going to save our Christmas present money for a trip together.
Rosemary chipotle mixed nuts - a favourite every holiday.
After seeing so many Christmas mantles and not having a fireplace, I made my own on the sideboard.
It's real greenery!
The scotch still has a home in the decor
I liked the Chalk Pens this year!
Ohhh pretty tree bokeh in the background!
I wish I could post pictures from Christmas Eve, but I actually did not take any. We had a lovely evening at Matt's parents' place with family. Delicious salad, tortiere pies and baked Alaska, plus the obligatory sweet and cookie trays. Exchanged gifts - my highlight was a LABEL MAKER! Yes, my in-laws know me extremely well.
Christmas Day we went to my parents' house with my family. First up, decor. These pictures are a mix of ones I took and Adam - once he got a handle of the 50mm lens he took some great shots!
My cabbage patch moon ornament - my favourite.
From my year in teacher's college
Precious moments are featured heavily on the tree
I love this one - Adam took it!
Next up is the family shots - my mom got us all Sochi Olympic gear, and wanted to take a family picture. Actually it was my idea. My uncle Brian was completely against it. After a while I was annoyed that people weren't cooperating - yes, I can be very demanding, I know - and didn't want to do it anymore, but we got through it.
We started on the stairs but my dad's tripod doesn't go portrait so it wasn't framed well. This was a test.
There we go.
My cousin Andrew is such a ham (as seen as above and below)
My pretty mom
Adam, the professional photog.
Adam starts off with his serious face (above), then mocks Jessica (below)
Christmas cracker crowns
This past Thanksgiving weekend Matt and I headed up to the cottage as usual, but this time it was just us kids. Specifically, us plus Jamie and Hope and their friend Jordan. So we had to cook all of Thanksgiving dinner without any parental advice, but it was really fun!
Fall salad - arugula, apple, craisin, toasted pecans and toasted pumpkin seeds, cranberry relish vinagrette
Jamie did the turkey
Stuffing (and bacon from the turkey)
There was also root mash - potatoes, parsnips, celeriac pureed instead of just potatoes
Daily dose of Moose
Oh yeah, I also have a post of just pretty leaves coming up...
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...