Sparkler Fun

And with that summer break is over, so fast I have hardly even had time to think (hence the lack of blog posts). Today the kids all head off to school, each one beginning a new journey. This momma is a little apprehensive, but also rather excited that I might just be able to run out for a coffee, or maybe, just maybe get back to the gym (don’t hold me to that one though ;) ) As a send off to summer I wanted to share with you some pictures I took of the kids playing with sparklers.

LeviSparklerSparklersChloeSparklerJasper1SparklersBoysSparklersChloe1SparklersLeviSparklersJasperSo goodbye summer & hello autumn

Pumpkins(here is a little sneak peak of the pumpkins growing our garden)

A perfect find!

Here is the beauty of social media, it makes the world so much smaller. Let me explain.

I had been looking for the perfect box for my husbands essentials that always seemed to stay on the window ledge of the bathroom.  I “met” Julia on Instagram and her blog Life on Churchill, as an added bonus she even sells on Etsy! I was so excited when I saw this little box on her Instagram feed, and even more excited when she told me that it was the perfect fit for where I needed it!

LandBox1

LandBox2It is the perfect amount of distressed.

LandBox3I had these small ceramic white pots that I had picked up at The Gourmet Warehouse simply because I thought they were cute ;) (sometimes those impulse buys are a good thing!)

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LandBox5Although not the best picture, here is my perfect find ~ thank you Julia!

Happy Friday & have a great weekend!

And we’ve got Garlic!

Wooo Hooo…nine months after I planted my garlic, in the very cold ground (which you can read about here) we harvested it this weekend, in the blazing sun!

Garlic1You’ll have to pardon my excitement, but this was our first time planting garlic and so we were kind of winging it, not really sure what to expect.

GarlicFinalWhen I bought the garlic to plant back in the fall, the grower I bought them from told me three specific details

  • 1) plant October the 15th
  • 2) Once you plant, do not water – this may be specific to us on the West Coast since those that live here know…we get a lot of rain! If you are thinking of planting garlic somewhere that does not get a lot of rain, I would check with an expert on wether to water or not 
  • 3) You will know when the garlic is ready to harvest once the lower shoots start to dry.

Pretty simple, which is perfect for me, because I don’t have the  patience for things that are complicated or take a lot of attention!ChloeGarlic

GarlicScapesI love the scapes that pop up. There seems to be a couple trains of thought with these. Some recommend cutting them off a couple weeks before harvesting so all the energy goes into the garlic, or leaving them on. I left them on, mostly because life got super busy and I didn’t get around to cutting them off, the garlic is huge so it didn’t seem to effect it’s growth. I was given a recipe for scape pesto, which I am looking forward to trying.

GarlicAlAfter garlic is pulled it needs to dry for 3 – 4 weeks. Here is where I made at least one rookie mistake, I found out after I had already cut the stalks that garlic dries best with the stalks uncut….oops. I will know for next year! I will trim the roots once the garlic is dried. GarlicShedWe now have a garden shed full of drying garlic. You can smell the garlic from a mile away, let’s just say no vampires will be visiting us! I planted 34 cloves of garlic back in October and ended up harvesting 31 full garlic. It would have been more except I got impatient and pulled out a few early, just to see what was happening ;)Garlicfinal2Over all garlic was very easy to grow. I will save the biggest garlic to plant again in October and the rest….I hope my friends like garlic!

I hope you are all enjoying the weekend!

Comic Cupcakes

ComicCupcakesIf you follow me on Instagram then you have already seen these, and know that June has been an insanely busy month! Between preschool “grad”, multiple field trips, throw in one wet sports day and one very hot sports day and a grade 7 “grad”……..whew I am ready for summer break! (that novelty will wear off ;) !)

The grade 7 class each year gets to pick the theme of their celebration and this year it was comic themed. I thought I would share this easy way to dress up a cupcake. Again, my go-to gal for anything cake or cupcake related is Patty’s Patisserie, add a few old comics, some quickly designed labels with toothpicks and your set.

ComicCupcakes2

  • Cut strips of old comics and heavy card stock 1 1/4″ wide & 9″ long. In this case the comic was a bit shorter, which is no big deal, just make sure the card stock is facing the back of the cupcake. 
  • Attach the comic to the card stock with double side tape then staple with approx 3/4″ overlap.

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  • I created a sheet of comic bubbles with my trusty Avery Labels, cut them out and stuck them onto toothpicks.

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  • Once the cupcake is baked it just sits inside this collar. Voila! Easy – Peasy!

A huge thank you to Patty, for not only making the cupcakes, but for supplying the old comics and helping put everything together. It is always more fun with a friend!

If you are on Instagram pop on over and say hi!

A Touch of Colour

On my last trip down to the States I found these fun patterned adhesive shelf liners at Marshalls. Shelfliner

ShelvesBeforeThis poor shelf had been neglected for a long time, because I was not really sure what to do with it. (the paint was even peeling off!) So you can imagine how happy I was to find these liners from The Macbeth Collection

Shelfliner1Shelfliner2Shelfliner3The liner was surprisingly easy to use and I love the quick pop of colour.

Bacon Cheddar & Hot Dogs

Oh yes we did…….ok so this post is not going to win any “healthy” awards, but every now and then you have to just say “to heck with it.” When Traeger posted this recipe on their blog there was a unanimous chorus of “we have to try that!” Wow, everyone in agreement on what to eat – I guess bacon has that effect on people ;)

Hotdogs3These are very easy to make, you will need -

  • Jumbo all beef wieners
  • Marble cheese sliced in long strips
  • Thin strips of bacon
  • Hot dog buns

Hotdogs1

  • Slice the wieners lengthwise about 3/4″ through
  • Add strips of cheese (don’t be skimpy because it does melt down)

Hotdogs4

  • Wrap a single piece of bacon around the whole length of the wiener
  • Insert a toothpick into each end to hold the bacon in place
  • Place on warmed up Traeger at 325 deg for 30 mins

Hotdogs6

  • Serve on toasted hot dog buns

Hotdogs7I was expecting these to possibly be greasy, however we were all pleasantly surprised they weren’t.  The bacon was nice and crispy, the cheese was melted to perfection, still if you are counting calories this recipe is probably not for you ;)

Have a great weekend!

*this recipe is from the Traeger Blog, with the only tiny tweak by me being I used marbled cheese

Homemade Montreal Style Bagels

BagelsFinalBagels had never remotely entered my thought process as far as making them went. I mean they just got bought at the store.

However, I should have figured that with bagels being just about, if not as big, as smoked meat in Montreal making them would at some point come up. After all, we finally nailed the Smoked Meat on about the 6th try, so we needed a new challenge right ;)

After some searching for a Montreal style bagel recipe on the internet Al found one from The Fresh Loaf, and with a few minor tweaks we decided to give it a try. They are actually pretty straightforward to make, there are just a lot of little steps. I will try to show you with as many pictures as I can.

Ingredients

7 1/2 cups of bread flour

2/3 tsp yeast

4tbsp sugar

4 1/2 tsp malt flour

(after calling every health food store and grocer we finally found the malt flour at Gourmet Warehouse)

1 large egg

2 cups water

2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

Bagel11: Mix the dry ingredients

2: Add egg, water, oil

3: Mix until the dough starts to come together

4: At this point you will want to continue mixing with your hands to give your mixer a break ~ trust me by now you will hear your mixer complaining!

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5: Turn dough onto and un-floured counter & knead the dough ball for approx 8 minutes ~ and whew, it is a work out, I handed the job over to Al after about 3 minutes ;)

6: Let dough sit, covered for 45 minutes.

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7 : Weigh 4 oz pieces

8: Spray the counter with a tiny bit of water (this just helps with rolling the dough and since bagel dough is already dense you don’t want to add any flour) and roll dough. I alternated between rolling on the counter and in between my hands.

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9: Bring each end of the dough together and attach (I sprayed a bit of water to each end to help them stick). Lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover while you are working on the other ones.

Bagels510: Now here is the weird part for me – Place prepared bagels in a large stock pot of boiling water.

11: They will float to the surface once they are done. Approx 7 – 10 minutes

12: Scoop out with a strainer

Bagels613: Dip in whatever topping you wish

Bagels7Bake on a Traeger at high, or in a conventional oven @ 400 deg for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ahhh yes, blogging………

Am I the only one who blogs, that sometimes wonders why am I doing this, really what do I have to offer that is new? It is true, I really have nothing new that is earth shattering, but for me blogging has given me my own little place to be creative, every now and then ;) So thank you all who keep popping over to visit my little space, I really appreciate it!

This past while has been rather busy, a prelude to summer I guess. Chloé had her first ballet performance.Ballet2

BalletWe also just enjoyed a long weekend here in Canada. We packed up the family and enjoyed a day walking around Capilano Regional Park and the Cleveland Dam. As usual I got a little distracted by the small details.

Ferns1LadybugFern2WildRoseFern3DaisiesSometimes it is just the little things…..have a great week!

My new Little Friend

Oh Target Canada I sense you are going to become a problem!

Target opened it’s doors only yesterday, and I have already been both days. I am sure the novelty will wear off a bit, but so far I am super impressed. It is great to finally have items available here that I used to have to go to the States for. Today I found something I have been on the look out for…..the perfect garden gnome.

GardenGnome3Who doesn’t love a touch of quirky….

GardenGnome

and really what is more quirky than a garden gnome?

GardenGnome2

Here is my only problem….

GardenGnome4I am torn between putting him in the garden or keeping him inside. I sense a new collection coming on ;)

White

This spring I am all over white.

We recently painted our dining room & kitchen white (once I get it just how I want it to look I will do a post – that may take awhile ;) ) I am loving the crisp, bright airy feeling a white room gives. So it is very fitting that my white Snowdrop Anemone’s ~ Anemone Sylvestris are blooming with great vigour this year!

White4White1I love their delicate, papery blooms and sweet scent. An added bonus, they make great long lasting cut flowers and are easy to grow.White6As we head into a new week, which promises to be a warm one here on the West Coast, I thought I would share some white rooms that have inspired me….whew I have a lot of tweaking to do until I get my white rooms even close to these, but hey I guess that is half the fun…dreaming ;)

White5Old House Online

White2Style Me Pretty

White3Sea Cottage

White3Piazzan

Have a fabulous week!