Where Has November Gone?!ย 

December is here!! November…came and left – FAST! Didn’t it? I feel like I merely blinked and it was gone. And now the most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching! 

I have a lot of good stuff to share these days as a lot has been happening and I’ve been making more of an effort to document these happenings and whipping out my iPhone at a moments notice! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think being a mom has helped me learn to have super quick reflexes! 

Speaking of being a mom – Levi is now a ONE YEAR OLD! Can you believe it?! They certainly don’t stay little for long. It seems as though almost overnight he’s full of sass at times and has all these opinions about things. Not even kidding! He now shakes his head ‘no’ all.the.time. And he’s suddenly become a picky eater! And super independent with things now too. Where did my snuggly little baby go? He’s always itching to go explore ๐Ÿ™‚ .

To celebrate his first birthday we drove back down to Matt’s parents. They let us have his party there – which worked out super well because that way he could be with family and close friends. It was a lumberjack themed party – which I thought was pretty perfect for the time of year, Movember and all that good stuff  ๐Ÿ˜‰ . It was a full house – I think there was about 26 adults and 12 little ones running everywhere! My in laws are pretty awesome for opening up their house to that many guests!!

 It was so much fun planning this party. It definitely helped me to be more excited about the fact that my baby is now one year old! Pinterest is always a great inspiration and got my creative juices flowing. When I think about my theme “lumberjack” I think about flannel, outdoorsy, camping, roughing it, that type of rustic feel. So I incorporated a lot of natural, outdoorsy elements in my decor and tried to keep it as simple as possible. With this theme, I was able to utilize a lot of our camping gear as well as my winter/Christmas decor, so that helped us to stay on a budget! I had leaves, acorns, and pinecones scattered around, and used more rustic party supplies like birch “ribbon”, twine and burlap.

 

I printed off some fun lumberjack photos from Pinterest as well as some of Levi’s first few months…

Aww, look how little โค

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The key things I wanted to have at the party was a hot chocolate bar and trail mix favours, so those were fun to have and were enjoyed by both the kids and adult alike ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  

  

My awesome sister took all the photos for me as I was busy prepping food/welcoming guests, etc… But sadly there wasn’t a picture taken of the hot cocoa table! I can tell you that it was fully stocked with many goodies! We had out both a vanilla syrup and a peppermint syrup (that I made myself). Then for the toppings there was both chocolate and butterscotch chips, whipped cream, caramel sauce and cinnamon, mini marshmallows and even salt! So people could have a salted caramel hot chocolate or even a peppermint one! There were many flavour options and it was thoroughly enjoyed. This is something I’ll definitely do again at another party ๐Ÿ™‚ .

For the trail mix we put out salted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana chips and raisins. I had some “sweet timber” out on that table too which was Kit Kat bars stacked like logs and scattered some tootsie rolls to add a little sweetness to all that salty. 

I made everything myself. I wanted a fabric banner and considered buying one on Etsy, but it was cheaper to make it (and was super simple!) I baked “pancake” sugar cookies, and also made both red velvet and chocolate cupcakes (black and red – lumberjack flannel, anyone?!) 

  

    
 I had picked up both the lantern (similar) and the wooden server (acacia) from Chapters/Indigo. The candle was Bath and BodyWorks “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles”! Mmm…it was especially fitting as lumberjacks are known for their big breakfasts! 

We took our own cakesmash/ one year photos of Levi at a conservation area and then had those pictures framed an on display at the party! I was so pleased with how well they turned out. Little bottle brush trees were found at the Dollarstore.

 

Everyone came over for lunch and we served pulled pork on a bun with a side of brown beans and broccoli salad (which I nicknamed “forest of trees” – everything is on theme, of course!) with apple cider punch. There was other little finger foods/ snacks (s’mores kabobs AND s’mores dip!) and by the time we brought out the cupcakes everyone was either stuffed or had indulged in too many sweets already!

 

 

The birch paper straws I ordered on Amazon as well as the wooden utensils! The plates and napkins were from the dollar store.

   

  

  

 

 “Sharp” cheddar and Pepper “Jack” cheeses ๐Ÿ˜‰ . To keep things cohesive, food was placed on either white or wooden serveware. Some things were left to keep warm (pork in slow cooker, beans in a soup pot and S’mores dip in a cast iron skillet). 

 
 

The cute little “log” place card holders are Kate Aspen and fit the party theme perfectly! 

 
    

The cute “Don’t Feed the Bear” printable can be found on Etsy. The bear glass jar that I had filled with Teddy Graham’s was actually Matt’s that he had kept from his childhood! My sister let me borrow the brown teddy bear ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  

    
 

I love how hard dad is laughing in that picture above! 

  

He thoroughly enjoyed that cupcake ๐Ÿ˜€ !

 

You can kind of see the hot chocolate table set up behind us under the window and photo banner.

   
 

Levi was gifted some really cute clothes, a few toys and lots of great books!

   

Levi and I got a few cute pictures with my younger brother and sister. I loved that a few people dressed up in the lumberjack flannel shirts to fit the theme! 

  
 

   
 

Poor Levi had so much fun but was so hopped up on that cupcake and was in dire need of his afternoon nap! He was super tired after all the party festivities came to an end.
It was awesome to be back around family to celebrate the blessing this kid is! Matt and I feel so fortunate that he’s ours and that he has such a wonderful extended family who loves him and  prays for him regularly. We are truly blessed. โค๏ธ

  
  

    

  

  

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You’re a Peach!

Happy long weekend to my Canadian friends and family! It’s been a loooooong time since I posted two blog posts in the same week, let alone a couple days from each other. I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I actually have another recipe that I’m sure you’ll enjoy – Peach Pie!! โคย Turnsย out it’s now Matt’s new favourite. Itย actually pushed his beloved strawberry rhubarb pie aside to second place,ย and that says a lot!ย To be honest when I told him I hoped to bake a peach pie with all of the peaches we bought, he eagerly washed, peeled and sliced each one to give me a head start on making it! This pie is SO yummy! I even made the crust (yay me!), which always seems like such a process (ugh!). I was more partial to Tenderflake crust, but after asking around I discovered that a homemade pie shell isn’t actually all that hard. And all this recipe called for is 4 ingredients! You can handle 4 ingredients, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll walk you through it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Streusel Topped Peach Pie

  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
Peach pie

Ingredients

    Filling:
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (approx. 4 cups of Peaches – halved, pitted, cut into 1/2″ slices & cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pie Shell:
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, cold
  • 4 Tbsp. water, ice cold
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 3/4 c. flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. butter, cold

Directions

Filling:
1. Make filling by whisking sugar & cornstarch in a large bowl.
2. Add peaches & lemon juice; toss to combine. Set aside.

Crust:
1. Mix together flour and salt in medium sized bowl.
2. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or forks) until mixture is pebble sized crumbs.
3. Add water and blend until mixture pulls together.
4. Roll into ball and place on lightly floured surface.
5. Roll out dough to about 13โ€ณ circle.
6. Gently roll dough around rolling pin and unroll over pie pan.
7. Gently press into pan and turn edge under (I didn’t have time to makeย it pretty, but you can if you wish!)
8. Spoon peach filling into your pie crust.

Streusel Topping:
1. In medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or fork or pulling 2 table knives through mixture in opposite directions), until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
3. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over pie filling.
4. Place pie onto a baking sheet (to prevent bubbling mess in oven), and bake at 375f for 35-45 minutes.
5. Pie will be done when filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
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Mmm – this pie is so good! Juicy peaches in a flaky crust…It’s the perfect thing to bring along to your next potluck or BBQ. Enjoy!

Try my keylime pie recipe!

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Do You Know the Muffin Man?ย 

Hello friends! Today I hope to change your life. Your breakfast life, that is! I mean, just look at these delicious blueberry almond coffee cake muffins ๐Ÿ˜€ .

Now, I love coffee cake. And coffee cake filled with fresh fruit is even better. Give me coffee cake in muffin form and JACKPOT! These muffins are perfect for brunch, with coffee, without, or as an on-the-go snack. Make a batch of these warm, comforting muffins for the weekend, for a gift to share and whoever is lucky enough to taste these, well, they’ll justย be begging you for more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like to bake on the weekend and enjoy the leftovers during the week. This recipe should only take you about 25 minutes to make, so I encourage you to try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy and delicious these are. These are the perfect thing to make after a picking up some blueberries from your local farmer’s market!

 

Blueberry Muffins recipe

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Key Lime

Happy first day of Summer friends and followers! June 20th and what a beautiful first day of Summer it was. The sun was shining and I was just craaaaving a key lime treat! Seems to me that tangy sweet lime accompanies warm, Summer days well and so I decided to whip upย somethin’ to embrace the change of seasons ๐Ÿ˜€ .

I love citrus flavours, but I’m admittedly not much of a pie person (cue the gasp!). But hubby loves ’em and I can dig a slice once in awhile. Now,ย I have never attempted to bake a lime pie before. But why not try? The recipe I found was super easy and I was able to successfully bake it while Levi was nappingย – which is definitely a plus. It took about 30 minutes, and it is SO addicting. You won’t be able to stop at just one slice โค .

Key Lime Pie

Confession time: So I did NOT use actual key limes. They are just waaay too small to be bothered with and too hard to find (gave up searching after 2 stores :P! ) So I used plain, ol’ limes and it really made no difference on the taste factor in my opinion.

Key Lime Recipe

So, if the mood strikes ya, try out this recipe! The crust is simple for being homemade, and I love the whipped topping. I’m sure if you were in a REAL hurry, you could just use a store bought pie crust and a can of whipping cream. The pie would still be delightful, no doubt! ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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Pumpkin Scones – Starbucks Copycat

PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! Ok, maybe not pumpkin everything, but I’ve been wanting to whip up pumpkin recipes left, right and center, in anticipation for the Fall season!

Pumpkin scones

This recipe is pretty easy, and it can save you loads of moolah if you’re one of the many who frequent your local Starbucks and wait in their long lineups for their undoubtedly tasty (but overpriced) treats! These Pumpkin Scones are irresistibly delicious with their fluffy and moist (due to the pumpkin) scone base and their not one – BUT TWO kinds of glazes! Once you mix up your batter (which doesn’t require a mixer), knead the dough and cut them into triangles you’re golden! Also, let it be known that you’re saving yourself 90 calories choosing to eat one of these homemade versions rather than picking one up at Starbucks!

Pumpkin Scones


Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

Makes 8 Scones

Pumpkin Scones Recipe

I had fun making this “recipe card”, however there is one small typo. Just to reiterate, you’re **cutting each rectangle into TWO triangles, making 8 triangles.** This is the step before placing the scones onto the baking sheet.

Let it be known that the dough CAN be fairly tacky, so you can lightly flour your hands when kneading, and flour the knife/cutter before making into triangles.

**Also, if you’ve made my Pumpkin Pie Spice then 4 tsps. of THAT will substitute the ingredient additions of the ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.**


Pumpkin sconePumpkin Scone pic

Let me know if you decide to try them! They’re too good to pass up ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Happy Monday, all! 


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“P – A – R – T – WHY?! ‘Cause I Gotta!”

Jim Carrey, anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!

I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware  that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:

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The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!

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The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!

“Burning Embers” were Reece’s Pieces (beside the ‘burning apartment building). “Water buckets” were filled nearby with blue Carribean and blueberry jelly beans.

Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.



I did a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” with Gobstoppers, Gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls. Most of these candies are Matt’s favourite!


Nib Licorice was “Rescue Rope”…

…and Cheesies were “Flames” at this party ๐Ÿ˜‰ !

My sister helped me dip pretzels in red chocolate to make “matches”.

  

Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party ๐Ÿ™‚ .





I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).

Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).

The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.

About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!

 

Lemon Poppyseed Loaf (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)

The other day I was at the mall with a friend and we stopped in at Starbucks for a coffee latte. I saw the lemon poppyseed loaf slices, and I couldn’t resist. It’s always so good! It was the perfect midday indulgence…
I figured there HAD TO BE a way to replicate this at home! Of course, Pinterest has a bunch of Starbucks Copycat recipes, including their drinks and baked goods. Are you even the slightest bit surprised?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, I know that most bakers would prefer to use butter in their baking for the flavour factor, and most times I would agree. But the fact that this recipe calls for oil instead caught my eye. There are certain instances in which oil can really help to deliver the moistness that so many loaves lack. And then there was the fact that this recipe yields 2 loaves instead of 1. Well, it seemed to me that it was about perfect and I decided I just HAD to give it a go!

The verdict? This recipe is ahhh-mazing. The loaves had just the right amount of lemon I was craving. They were moist and delicious, similar to a pound cake. And easy too! You really can’t go wrong here. Perfect recipe for a weeknight dessert, or an afternoon snack. ๐Ÿ™‚


Lemon PoppySeed Loaf (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)

Adapted from: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Yield: 2 loaves

 For the Lemon Loaf:

3 cups AP flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. canola oil

3 lg. eggs

3 tsp. lemon extract (or you can use vanilla an add lemon zest)

For the Glaze: 

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. butter (melted)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350’f. Generously grease (or spray with cooking spray) two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf pans.

2). In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and poppy seeds. Mix on lowest speed until combined.

3.) In a separate medium sized bowl, combine milk, oil, eggs, and lemon extract (or vanilla and lemon zest, if using). Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry with mixer on lowest setting. Mix until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

4). Pour into prepared pans and bake for approximately 1 hour; or until a toothpick has been inserted into the loaves and comes out clean.

5.) While the loaves are baking, make the glaze. In a small mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

6.) Once loaves are finished baking, remove from oven and spread icing glaze over both. Allow loaves to cool for 15 minutes in the pans. Run a knife along the sides of the pans, to loosen the loaves. Turn upside down onto a cooling rack and allow to completely, and for the glaze to harden.

Lemon Poppyseed Loaf


You’re welcome ;). Lemon desserts are so delightful and remind me of Spring. Which, of course, is right around the corner :). Ahh, yes – the power of positive thinking! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!