Friday, May 31, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

The weekend is upon us again only this time we seem to be in for some hot, hot heat. Bring. it. on. I am so ready for a little shvitzing! There may also be some rain in the forecast, but when the temperatures are in the high twenties (thirties even), I'm okay with a few showers. We have a jam packed weekend full of dance recitals, play dates and our first trek to the PEI ferry. My sweet mum is taking Vi on a girls only sojourn to Anne's Land. I'm trying to be happy for them, but mostly I am just jealous. (You can send my mother of the year award to Roome Street, the previous sentence sealed the deal, didn't it...). 

Jeff also has his big test this weekend which means as of Saturday at 5:00 pm we are back to being a party of three. I'm pretty excited and I'll admit it, Jeff's honey-do list is the length of my arm. I blame the move, his four month hiatus from household duties and my two x chromosomes. 

Oh, and we have hot water again. Hot water, hot sunny days, hot husband back to myself tomorrow. Things are certainly looking up! Have a lovely weekend friends. Meet you back here Monday, okay?



(don't forget to scroll down if you want some reading material in the form of random links I've enjoyed this week!)

^^^bend it like Beckham, the smiling edition

^^we garden in the rain around here

^^^by we, of course I mean my mum and Violet

^^rainy days make the best curls

^^^love notes look like this these days

According to the Internet:

You should eat less meat

Newborn babies are not conscious...weird 

Guerilla public policy is the best

How The Coast came to be -- love this Halifax story

If you are around the city tomorrow check out Inkwell Boutique's open house. I love that little shop!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a conundrum

^^^this is how you do ballet in Halifax
So I haven't been blogging as much lately (just in case you hadn't noticed/ just in case you hadn't rearranged your whole calendar because of all your newly freed up time). I just haven't been feeling it. I don't know if it is the move, or the time of year, or the fact Jeff is in major study mode, but I haven't felt like firing up the laptop at the end of the day as of late. Sometimes I feel really guilty when I spend time thinking about what to share with you beautiful people instead of focusing on the beautiful people right in front of me.

I love writing and I like taking pictures of things -- I also really appreciate all the kind things you've said to me over the last year or so (year and a half? Time flies, no?). It is just that sometimes I fret over what to blog about instead of just enjoying time with my family, my husband or even just myself. Anyway, I'm not giving up on this here blog, I'm just trying to make room for her in my life. These things can be done, but not without effort, and lately I just haven't had the "get up and go" to "get down and do it". That isn't me. I am a doer. I'm hoping I'm just in a rut and that I will snap back to my energetic, positive, try to do too much in a day self.

In other less melodramatic news, soccer started last night. Violet had a blast. I'm not sure you recall last year, but soccer was basically a disaster. There were tears. Tears upon tears, in fact. This year it was all smiles and giggles. It goes to show that a year can make a huge difference, and also that you should not beg people to let your child into an activity they are too young for (opps! But she was such a mature three year old....ha!)

In more annoying news, we're already experiencing homeowners strife. We've had hot water issues of the no hot water variety. A cold bath is not like the Canada Games Centre -- just ask Violet. (Yes, that is how I tried to pitch it to her. The approach failed miserably). Hopefully we get some warm water soon, but in the meantime I have never been happier my parents live only a few blocks away!

And finally and more positively,Violet's end of the year dance recital is this weekend. We're making a family affair of it and despite the fact the tickets ran me over $100 I am pretty pumped about it. (You read that right. Is that not absolutely shocking?)

Sunny days, ballet, soccer, lots to write about, lots to be thankful for. Thank you for reminding me of that tonight.



^^^^same pose, different sport. When it works for you, it works for you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose



It's raining, it's pouring -- well, not this second it isn't, but it will all weekend.

I'm trying to remember, it could be worse

Maybe all this rain will force me to unpack the last few boxes in my basement, or tackle a few of the unfinished projects that I need to do before I can officially say we are moved in. That doesn't sound like very much fun though.

Making homemade ice cream, now that on the other hand, that sounds fun. Violet gave her daddy an ice cream maker for his birthday (totally a gift she benefits from too, I've taught her well). We are going to try cereal milk ice cream from my mother's day Milkbar cookbook. Trying to find freeze-dried corn might pose a problem and if it does my vote is that we try this yummy sounding mint-basil ice cream. I don't think that will fly with the youngest member of my family who has already requested Moon mist!

This is Jeff's last full weekend of studying, the big test is just over a week away. I can't say I'll be sad to have it over with. If you have a moment to whisper a prayer or send him some good finance vibes, they would be totally appreciated -- although he is pretty smart all on his own ;)

Have a lovely weekend friends, despite the rain.



According to the Internet:

Cats make sushi even cuter (and I don't even like cats)

Lunenburg is getting the exposure it deserves. I love that place.

It's the Saltwater time of year again...

Men are no longer charming (no spoiler alert needed ;)

...the previous link does not apply to my very charming husband

This weekend sounds perfect for transplanting perennials. Take the Globe's word for it, not mine!

This one is according to me, not the Internet: Eat these cupcakes (seen above), they are so so good. The icing is at once rich, but so so light. What do you think her secret is? Egg whites? Meringue? Whipping the icing within an inch of its life? Dang, I wish cupcakes were a vegetable.

Monday, May 20, 2013

May Long 2013

We celebrated a birthday, ran a race, made pancakes, hung some pictures and made our house feel more like home, froze our buns off at the playground, talked with Lou in China, planted tomatoes in our yard, hit some golf balls, walked in the rain, organized Violet's closet (total highlight of the weekend), went to the market and ran on the roof, watched numerous episodes of the Magic School Bus on youtube and generally enjoyed ourselves this weekend.

Good times were had by all. Correction, good times were had by most the majority of the time. (Just being honest.)

Ready for a good old fashioned photo dump?

I thought so.



{cutest golfer, possibly of all time}

{Jeff is literally in heaven}

{multiple cookbooks -- almost too much for this girl}

{Jeff's birthday gift -- he plans to unite his two loves (meat and alcohol) by hanging the print above our "bar"}

{this happened}
{making pancakes}

{I love this face}

{Vi and Nana picked these for me from our own garden. Note: I use the word garden loosely}

{walking with Ruby Tuesday}

{Violet racing a kid who was also on a stationary animal -- so competitive it is scary}

{her face froze that way}

{grown up kiddo on the swings}

{action shot}

Friday, May 17, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{these were for sale at the market last week, that can't be allowed....}
Is it really Friday? Do we really have a long weekend ahead of us? Is that sun I see in the forecast?

Pinch me.

This weekend we will celebrate the fact that I will once again be only two years older than my beloved husband. Yup, Jeffy turns the big 2-8 tomorrow. We plan to celebrate by eating our favourite Jamie Oliver pasta and our go to birthday cake.

Here are a few things warming the cockles of my heart this fine May evening:
{picnics indoors}
I thought April was supposed to be shower month? I guess whoever made up that nursery rhyme did not live in Halifax. Despite the rain this week we managed to sneak in an indoor picnic in my favourite, but most under-utilized room in our house: the sunroom! Even simple sandwiches and veggies are fun when you are sitting on the floor. What is it about stadium blankets that makes food come to life?

{fresh herbs}
I love the beginning of growing season when my plants are still thriving from the care they received prior to my purchasing them. I intend to move these herbs outside in a few weeks but I couldn't resist planting them in an old wine box. I almost wish they would stay tiny enough to thrive this way forever. 

{stripes on stripes}
This girl, oh this girl. You know I have a penchent for stripes. My love is taken to a whole new level when the stripes are bright colours for Spring. How cute is she by the way?

Violet woke me up by crying. I asked her what was the matter and she told me she had a terrible dream. I asked her to tell me about it. It turns out she dreampt I wouldn't let her have a cinnamon bun at the farmer's market, instead I made her have trail mix. Sounds about right for any other day of the week, but on Saturday mornings I would never do such a thing.

Also, who cries about a cinnamon bun?!

Have a lovely weekend, friends. See you back here on Monday!



According to the internet:

Canadians do stripes proud

There are absolutely disgusting ingredients in processed food, sadly chocolate is not exempt from these atrocities

There are rules for hosting a dinner party (I like 3, 10, 17 and 19 best)

Kids are funny...and pretty mean, which is the best kind of funny sometimes (Thanks for the link Keira/ mindtwin)

Sophia Coppola's new movie looks intriguing

you can make fish and chips at home? kinda wish I didn't know that

You can also make your own energy bars, are you with me Bluenose runners?

Pinterest ruined bananas

Monday, May 13, 2013

gluten-free Nutella cake

Blogger (the content management system I use to create this blog) lets me see how many people read each post I write. Without fail, the blog posts I write about food and/or recipes are the least popular...I know, shocking. I'm actually okay with this, I just assume the recipes are too intimidating and my execution of said recipes too precise for the lay person to try at home -- Ha! Yeah right. I actually have no idea why people aren't as into my posts about food -- people just really like stories about Violet making fun of my breasts I guess. I'll try to stick to those, but this cake, oh this cake, it is really too good not to share. So for my faithful friends who stuck with me past the title, I won't disappoint you. 

As you know it was mother's day on Sunday, and as you may recall my dear mother cannot tolerate gluten. What is a daughter to do when she is charged with making a gluten free dessert? Turn to Nigella of course. She really is a domestic goddess. Her torta alla gianduia (or as it is known around these parts "Nutella Cake") is absolute heaven in nine inch pan. 

This cake is not for the faint of heart -- you use an entire jar of Nutella, and not a small jar. To that entire jar of Nutella you add more hazelnuts (crush your own, come on, go get the food processor, you paid a lot for it, use it) and of course more chocolate...oh, and six eggs. Light this cake is not, but it was mother's day. My mother didn't birth three children to be treated to anything less than the most decadent cake known to man. The woman can't eat flour for goodness sake, she deserves two whole jars of Nutella to make up for all the bread she can't eat. Am I right?

Nigella waxes poetic about how easy this cake is, and though it is pretty straightforward, any recipe that requires you to crush your own nuts, temper chocolate, and do anything with egg yolks and egg white separately is not the same as a cake mix (unless you are Nigella). This is, however, a cake anyone can make and happily it is a cake many people can eat, even the gluten free among us.

If you have ever eaten Nutella by the spoonful, which is to say, if you are a woman, you will love this cake. It tastes like a richer, more substantial spoonful of Nutella. Despite the decadence of eating an entire jar of the brown stuff in one sitting, do recall Nutella is a breakfast food, which means it is totally acceptable to eat this cake before lunch. In fact, it is preferable to do so.

Here is the recipe for Nigella's Nutella Cake in all its chocolatey, gluten free glory:

You're welcome.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013


{busy girl, moving, making lunch for her babes, fitting in a dance class}
{making quiche}
{feeding her baby -- mouth open like a real mum}

Moving, even if it is only across the city, brings with it change. Change is not my favourite. We've heard it before: "be the change"; "change is the law of life"; "change is gonna come". Okay already, I get it, change is hard but good. I'm in the mood for something easy and anything like that kicking around?

We are slowly settling in on Roome. We've devised some temporary solutions to our storage crises and, with the help of my friend, we've thought of some more medium term options. When we bought our house I thought it was pretty move-in ready, and for the most part it is, there isn't anything we absolutely have to do to be able to live comfortably. There are, however, a few more projects that I really, really want to do, as soon as, if possible. (Not possible.) I guess that is what you get when you buy an 80 year old house.

Violet is handling all of this change like an absolute champion. How cute is she playing in her dancing uniform. Cutest buns east of Duffus ;) She loves the new house (her room is the biggest and we have a "fort" in the yard) and she doesn't seem to miss Newton Ave. at all. My mum, the perennial teacher, wanted to buy Vi a book about moving, but when she surveyed the options all the kids in the books were angry about moving. She thought she better not let Violet know that anger is an option is situations such as these.

I don't think I can go as far as to say that I am liking all the changes our house has brought, but I am getting used to them and there are some awesome things about it that totally outweigh the new challenges. As you are well aware I love a good routine so I am sure once I get in the groove over here on Roome I'll be loving leaving for work at 6:45....




Friday, May 3, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{things that remind me of some of my favourite people/the only organized space in my house}
I am so glad it is Friday. Last weekend, being moving weekend, wasn't very relaxing. (It was actually the opposite.) Even though we have lots to do to get settled in I plan on taking things slowly for the next two days. Violet and I have two birthday parties to attend, plus a visit from my friend who will hopefully inspire me to get this old place prettied up, other than that the name of the game will be unpacking at a leisurely pace. Unpack a box, play in the sun, unpack another box, make some granola bars...this will take awhile, but I need a little sanity back in my life!

Have a lovely weekend, friends. See you back here on Monday!



According to the internet:

This tool will help you choose better snacks (I still choose chocolate nine out of ten times)

We need to start using teasmades in North America. Amazing.

No one likes making lunches, period. 

Here's how to plan the perfect picnic.

Here's a clip of my favourite on-screen picnic. Beer, chicken, salt, Cary Grant...yes please. 

You can follow simple instructions and become a bonafide hipster.

Family traditions are important, so shut up and eat that plum pudding.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

hello again

{we've been busy...and a little stressed, can you tell?}
{yes, that is a blender. I was right there. obviously}
{putting Violet to work, I can't believe I am showing you my dirty dishes}
{she makes doing dishes look so dang cute}
Greetings from Roome St! Remember how I said I wasn't too worried about the move...ah, ignorance is bliss. Holy, what a lot of work. We are still living amongst boxes, I expect that will last a few more weeks at least, but I am trying to roll with it (not my forte). You see, I've unpacked almost everything we have room for, but there are still pesky boxes full of our things littering almost every room (which begs the question, do we really need all this stuff. This is post-purge by the way.) Anyway, storage is not our sweet new home's strong suit so until I come up with some creative solutions, the boxes are the easiest way to minimize the chaos. Well, enough about that. (See why I haven't been blogging, no one wants to hear about the boxes in my living room!)

I actually started to write this post last night but I stopped. I was in quite the mood. My afternoon had gone from bad to worse and I couldn't figure out how to get pictures off Violet's ipad. I watched two episodes of The Mindy Project and went to bed angry. What happened yesterday afternoon you ask? Well, with 24 hours between us, she isn't looking quite so bad but the highlights included: accidentally calling 911 on my walk home from work and then having to repeatedly reassure the operator that I was fine, just out of breath from busting it home; a fender bender in the rotary that made me late to pick up little lady Vi (and I wasn't even involved in the accident); a late arrival home that made rice & lentils out of the question if we wanted to eat before bedtime; a last minute decision to make breakfast for supper foiled by the seventh of seven farm fresh eggs I cracked into a bowl being full of blood (sorry to spring that on you, it was absolutely shocking for me too, I almost vomited) and finally a very pathetic back-up to my back-up supper: toasted peanut butter sandwiches.

Wow, that sentence has a lot going on in it -- please focus on the content, not the grammar.

Today was much less eventful and for that I am grateful. Maybe we need terrible afternoons to remind us that the normal chaos of the work week is actually not that bad. It could be worse. There could be blood in your eggs (Blech!).

I'll leave you with that image.

Aren't you glad I'm back?