Pool Days are Here

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Sunday was one of the hottest days of the year thus far, and it felt so right to fill up the back yard pool and let the kids play for hours and hours.  I bought a little plastic slide thinking that perhaps they’d like to turn it into a water slide of sorts and it definitely filled its role.  Its the easiest way to give them endless hours of fun in your back yard…blow up pool (we got ours at Walmart for pretty cheap), a plastic kiddie slide and a hose full of water! done.

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I realized right then and there that we were due for a warm vacation in the sun shine.  The boys love water, slides and building sand castles so instead of planning a summer road trip like we’d imagined, we decided to head down to Mexico next month instead.  I cannot wait to spend un interrupted time with these nuggets!!

Home Made Lavender Ice Cream Recipe

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With Father’s Day approaching and two boys who ask me constantly for ice cream I suppose it was bound to happen. I was away from home for three days last week so I wanted to make something quick and easy and spend the rest of my time with the kids and Michael.

Inspired by my three ingredient ice cream recipe Johannes and I made with Today’s Parent Magazine, and my friends at Crown Flora’s dried lavender from Provence, I thought maybe mixing the two would be yummy.

I decided to boil the lavender into a concentrated liquid and mix it along with a couple of springs of lavender into the ice cream mixture.  To add a little extra flavour I also grated a little bit of lemon rind, and used 10 thawed wild blueberries to give the ice cream colour.  I am not exaggerating when I say the combination was to die for! You guys HAVE to make this ice cream.  Its quick and easy but so tasty. It will blow your  family or guests away.

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Here’s what you need to make it too:

1 cup 35% whipping cream

1/2 small can of condensed milk

6 tbps lavender water (to get it I brought 1/4 cup of water with 12 springs of dried lavender to a boil, turned off the heat and set aside for 15min) add more to taste

1 tbsp dried lavender flowers crumbled with your fingers (ground with mortar and pestle would work also)

1 tbsp lemon rind

juice of 10 thawed wild blueberries (previously frozen) – for color only

 

Whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form with a hand or stand mixer on medium/high. Mix in condensed milk until just incorporated.  Add in the lavender flowers, lavender water and lemon rind.  Mix well.  Pour into a resealable container. Add in the blueberry juice and swirl around with a spoon. Seal and freeze at least 6 hours, I prefer overnight.

Serve and enjoy!

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24 Hours in Wine Country

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Michael’s 33rd birthday was last week and I decided that rather than a traditional birthday gift I would  surprise him with a night away in Niagara on the Lake.  Wine, food and lots of rest.

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We packed up the boys and Maddie early Saturday morning, not a hard task when Magnus wakes everyone up at 5am, and took them to grandma and grandpa’s.  By 11am Michael and I were checked into our hotel, and on our way to lunch! I should add, that I didn’t realize how hot it was going to be that day so we only packed long jeans and spent most of the day diving into shady spots along our adventures.

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We had an amazing meal on the patio of Treadwell’s.  The mussels and fries were to die for, as was our lobster club sandwich…mmmm.  We needed a nap after our decadent meal, and so we did, uninterrupted in the cool air conditioned room.  We barely woke up in time to make our first wine tour at 4pm.

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After an hour at Peller Estates, sipping sparkling wine and eating dark chocolate we headed to Trius Winery for what was by far our favourite tour, tasting and one of the most amazing meals we’ve had to date.  Trius makes over 95% of the world’s ice wine! and its so tasty, we bought two bottles to bring home.  It was lovely.

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I really cannot say enough good things about our weekend.  Spending time together as husband and wife, best friends and partners was much MUCH needed.  We couldn’t wait to do it again, so we booked a second weekend in August just to quench our sadness that the time was done.

Easy to Make Three Ingredient Ice Cream Video

On the cover of Today’s Parent – summer edition, the boys and I are eating a delicious vanilla ice cream (their favourite!) and its only made using THREE easy ingredients. So when the team at Today’s Parent asked if we’d want to shoot a video showing you how to make this easy ice cream recipe I jumped at the idea.

Now I admit, I was incredibly nervous! I do much better behind the lens of the camera than in front, but getting to shoot this little fun video in my kitchen with Johannes, was also super fun.  Check it out below!

 

A Hummus Recipe & Crossing Something off the Bucket List

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I was a teenager when I poured myself over countless magazines and wished and daydreamed that one day I’d be on the cover of say, Seventeen.

Well it may not be Seventeen magazine, but it is probably one of the coolest experiences of my life, getting to be on the cover of Today’s Parent with my two boys for their Summer issue.  We had the best time shooting the cover and the team behind it was anything short of amazing to work with.  They accommodated everything from nap schedules, to washing some of the dishes after our ice cream shoot (coming up later this morning).  This will forever be one of those experiences that I cherish.  For those of you who want to get it the digital edition is out today and the printed version is sure to follow when it hits news stands on Thursday…my mom is already making plans to ambush her closest book store in search of every copy.

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Next week, from June 20-24, I will also be taking over the Today’s Parent Instagram page featuring some of my favourite quotes, shots of our life and also a few of your photos tagged “TPPhotooftheday, so be sure to use this week to tag your adventures!

Ok now on to something I whipped up quickly after work yesterday after having a major craving for hummus.

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3 roasted garlic cloves

1 large can of chickpeas, rinsed and with skins removed

2 tbps tahini

juice of 1.5 lemons

1 cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

pinch of pink Himalayan salt

I used my vitamix to make this.  I put all the ingredients in the blender, and with the setting on 1, I slowly began to mix and increase the speed until the mixture was nice and creamy.  If you want it to be a bit runnier, add a little more olive oil.  When done pour into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and paprika and serve!

At Home: A Mini Home Tour

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When your baby wakes up all night long, every night, and decides 4:30am is the time the whole house should be awake.

When your so sleep deprived that simple math and remembering to put milk back in the fridge, is more like a dream of the past.

When you try your best to find that last ounce of energy remaining and you pour it into workouts.

When the boys are at their cutest, despite too little sleep.

When your food meal preparations and consumption have been on point 90% of the week.

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Its been a good week after all.  So this is us at home.  The boys are obsessed with my running ear plugs and want to wear them although they’re not connected to any music or iPod.  Magnus and Maddie are the best of friends and completely inseparable, especially when Magnus is sick and all he wants to do is be on the couch.  My corner store peonies mixed perfectly with my garden peonies to make a pretty centrepiece for our table.

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custom made walnut table from Junction Wood, vintage credenza, Lighting from Morba, Couch from Gus, cow hide from IKEA, coffee table from West Elm

Cheers to the weekend and a new week ahead.