Monday, December 26, 2011


We have been members of the Science Centre for 2 years now and well our membership is up for renewal on Feb 2, 2012.  I think it took us a total of 10 minutes to decide that it was once again worth shelling out the big bucks for the membership.  This year we will probably get a gold membership as it is only a little more then a family membership and as of March 1 the C Monster no longer gets in for free. It takes about 4 visits to make up the membership cost and well I am pretty certain we went at least 12 times if not more in the past year.  I am pretty certain if I would bring the C Monster there every day he still would never get bored of it...

Sunday, December 25, 2011


This is not only C Monster's first Christmas in our new house but it's the first Christmas that we spend all together in Toronto as we typically go home to New Brunswick.  Here is our morning in video and pictures...

The C Monster got us up at 7am after a good night sleep....

The C Monster giving Papa his Tardis Cookie Jar.  He selected this all by himself for papa.

The aftermath...

Hot chocolate; pancakes; egg and sausage for breakfast.

Breakfast for the squirrels; they need Christmas presents too.

Thank you everyone...

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Thursday, December 22, 2011


I posted a little while back a picture of our tree here are a few more shots of our holiday decorations...

Our kitchen table all dressed up.  I have to say I love this table cloth I found at Loblaws...

The C Monster's Tree.  We were at Canadian Tire a few weeks back and C wanted this tree I was not going to spend 100$ on a tree for his bedroom.  On the weekend we stopped in at Canadian Tire for something else and the tree was marked down to $29.99; this made for a happy little boy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I have to say I am blessed to have found some amazing moms in my hood.

I love the fact that on almost any given day I have a group of great friends that I can text and there will pretty much always be someone available for a play-date.  It really helps past the long days that can get very lonely for a SAHM.

On Monday we were at Sallyanne's house ( a close friend) and I took this picture of her daughter that I just had to share as it is way too cute...

The Baby G Monster Rocking her uncles hat.

On Tuesday that same group of friends came over for a Holiday Party.  I really loved hosting a party for them and their children; I do not want to even imagine life as a SAHM without all these wonderful people in it.

This post is dedicated to all our friends HAPPY HOLIDAYS.


We knew when we moved in that we would have to re-do the caulking in the upstairs bathroom as it looked pretty bad. However we were hoping that it could wait a month or so.  We were wrong!  On Sunday morning Geoff noticed a puddle on the kitchen floor; well it was coming from the recessed light in the ceiling and last time I checked pot lights did not come with a fountain feature.  Since I had just finished taking my shower and the light is pretty much located directly underneath the bathroom it did not take a long time to put 2 and 2 together.  Now I need to re-paint the ceiling in the kitchen too but that is not a rush will get to it in maybe 10 years ;-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Just the other day I was asked by another stay at home mom (much newer to the gig then me; she had a 14 month old) don't you find the days long.  My immediate answer was NO, I wish I had more time.  She then asked me what do you do all day with him?

I decided it would be fun to do a blog post about just that what did we do this week...

Morning play date with friends at our house 
Lunch with Papa
Afternoon trip at Canadian Tire to buy ice skates

Played with his toys while I unpacked 
Lunch with Papa
Decorated our gingerbread train
Played with trains; the train tracks is still out as I am writing this...

Spent the morning at Roden Parenting Centre, since our playgroup got canceled due to the mom hosting being sick (I hate this cold that is going around plaguing our neighbourhood)
Home for lunch with Papa
Played with his toys for a bit and watched a Christmas movie

Doctors in the morning C monster got his men. vaccine
Lunch at Papa work with his coworkers.  C Monster just loves going there I think it all the attention he gets.
Afternoon out at the Movies.  We saw Happy Feet 2 in 3D.

Morning play date with friends at our house
Pizza Pizza Lunch with friends
Afternoon library trip
Bough a Christmas gift for the cat, was C monster idea
Afternoon snack at Lazy Daisy Cafe
Wrapped papa's present
Then home to make supper


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Now that the C monster has a play room we decided that we should get him a nice play table that he can make puzzles on or play games at.  I wanted something on larger size as the room he has is pretty big and this way he could have friends join him at the table.  Below are a few of my favourite choices...

Rectangular Activity Table from Kapland:

Caspar from Perludi:

However we have decided to retrofit a desk my dad made for me when I was about 16 into a kids table stay tuned for some pictures of the transformation.


Last Sunday, after realizing we did not have all the pieces of our artificial Christmas tree, Geoff rushed out to Home Depot to pick up a real tree.  This is the first real tree I have bought since I live in Toronto (I have been here over 10 years now).  I forgot how nice they smell and how messy they are; but it's worth it.

I also found my lovely advent calendar that Geoff got me from Etsy a few years back; it's a little late but the C Monster still enjoys his daily chocolate covered almond...

Saturday, December 10, 2011


The EWG has recently reviewed 84 popular brands of cereal in the United States and found out that many of them have more than 25% sugar per weight and some reaching 50% of weight being sugar.  I mentioned the United States because sometimes a product sold in Canada does not have the same ingredients as the one sold in the United States. That being said I am pretty certain that this list is still worrisome for Canadians and Fruits Loops are a dessert not breakfast.

Since the C Monster only eats Rice Crispies and Cheerios on a regular basis, I decided to look up the cereals I grew up on...
(Keep in mind a Twinkies has aprox. 42% sugar per weight and 4 chip ahoy cookies have aprox. 32% of sugar per weight.)

Fruit Loops - sugar per weight 41.4%
Honey Combs - sugar per weight 31.3%
Shreddies - sugar per weight 16%
Rice Crispies - sugar per weight 12.1%
Cheerios - sugar per weight 3.6%
Count Chocula - sugar per weight 37%

I have to say I was surprised by Rice Crispies I thought they would have been similar to Cheerios; I guess I need to read labels a bit more carefully.

If you want to do the math yourself it's easy : 
g of sugar in serving  / g of serving x 100 = %

Friday, December 9, 2011


Main - Living Room

Main - Playroom
Main - Breakfast Nook
Main - Kitchen

2nd Floor - Master Bed
2nd Floor - C Monster's Bedroom
2nd Floor - C Monster's Bedroom
2nd Floor - Hall & Guest Bedroom
3rd Floor - Library/Art Studio
3rd Floor - Office
Basement - Laundry Room 
Basement - Entertainment Room


To convince C Monster to select the room we wanted for him we told him he could chose the colour we would painted it.  I went to the hardware store and selected a dozen colours for him to chose from; that way it would not end up black.  He selected a colour called "mac n cheese" and the name says it all. 

I ended up needing a little over a gallon to paint his room; bigger house, bigger rooms = more paint required then I estimated.  We picked up the paint at Paint Depot on Queen Street East, I highly recommend them.  As always we used Sico paints; they have a no VOC latex base paint. However the tinting colour added to the base is not VOC free. I will post pictures of his room after the room has all been set up.

A sneak peek at C Monster's Room... 

A pre-schooler description of sugar

"when I eat it it smells like candy"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

1st Snow...

On wednesday this week Toronto had it's first snow.  The weather has been incredible this fall I think I have only worn my winter coat maybe a dozen times if that; most days I still only put my fall coat on my way out.  The snow did not stay as we saw some days since then with plus 4; a few more of those to go and winter is here on Monday, I think this time to stay as all the above zero days seem to be gone after that.

Since we have all our snow gear in storage so I could not entertain Christophe wish to go rolling around in the snow I convinced him that play-doh would be an acceptable alternative.

Readers out there if you have home made play-doh recipes that you like please share...

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The deal closed and the new house is ours.  We have been over twice now to check the house and move a few things.  Geoff is happy that he now has a garage to store his bike each winter.  However the drive there this AM must have been chilly for him.

When we opened our front door yesterday there was a big red box waiting in the entrance for us.  With FATBOY written in an unmissable font on all sides.  It was Geoff's xmas present.  I ordered it on the 29th at midnight and it arrived in the afternoon on the 30th - that is quick service.  That being said it only took Geoff about 30 mins to remember what a Fatboy is.  No big surprise for Geoff this year...  well he was surprised but 3 weeks early.

All in all the house looked as we expected minus a few things; the sellers took the hooks in the front hall with them.  They were not our style so it's really not a big deal the only issue is I now have to buy something soon instead of waiting.  I also have to paint the front hall now as the paint got ripped up when they took off the hooks; once again I really disliked the colour they had chosen for the front hall.  So I guess it will all work itself out.  Stay tuned for more picture of our front hall reno.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Afternoon Art

The C Monster received some PlayMais in a grab bag from a birthday party recently. This afternoon we took them out and started making things: a hammer (see video) and 2 rings. We spent the next 30 mins tossing the rings back and forth in the kitchen.

Boxes Boxes Boxes

I am slowly drowning in boxes here are some pics of the various stacks in our home; tomorrow the new house is all ours...

Old to you; new to us

On the weekend we made a trip to the annual Alpha School Bazar.  The C monster bought himself a marble run from Discovery Toys for $5.  This was definitely worth the $5 as he has played with it every day.  The only thing that annoys me about this toy is that their is only one distinctive start; so we made little flags out of toothpicks, paper and scotch tap to mark all of our starts.

Can you find the C Monster?

A really nice wine

I opened a bottle of Strut Well-Heeled White Wine year 2010 today that I picked up at the local Wine Rack when we were staging our home.  My real estate agent mentioned the wine rack would look better full instead of empty; now that the house is sold it's time to empty it again. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised; this is a really nice fruity wine. (most of the other bottles that we opened were a bit bellow average) I think I will have to pick up a few more bottles next time I am doing my groceries.

Monday, November 28, 2011


The day is approaching and as everything else in a mother's life a curve ball is tossed your way - the C Monster is sick, fever of above 100, since last night.  As long as the grown ups can avoid getting sick we just might successfully get ourselves moved from one house to the other.

Geoff and I spend just a little over 3 months looking for our new home, we really felt we had outgrown our cute little 2 bedroom house however the past 10 years we had grown extremely attached to it and we knew it would take the right house in the right location to get us to move.
We did find the right house (we hope) and I think I may feel lost in it at the beginning as we are more then doubling our square footage.  Geoff will now have a great office on the 3rd floor and until our family grows I will also have a project/office room.  We will have a playroom until the C monster get a bit older and after that a formal dinning room.  My TV will no longer be in my living room; did I mention my TV will no longer be in my living room. 

The house is not perfect as is it does have some work and we are happy to take our time to renovate the parts we want to change; however it is beautiful the way it is and is 100% livable so we can take our time to the work.

I wanted to say a great shout out at our real estate agent  Josee Couture who has now helped us with the purchase of 2 homes and the sale of one.  It did not take her very long to understand exactly what we were looking for and find our new home. I say find because I had written off the home we bought before we saw it and told myself it was not the one for us; and since we were looking at one near by Josee said why don't we go see it anyways.  I fell in love with it the second I walked in.

Pictures of the new house after we take possession on Nov 30th.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Portrait of Papa with a Movember

I guess since I've been working on a Mo for Movember, C decided to add it to his latest drawing of me (with some encouragement from Mama).

Interesting that the mo appears below the mouth.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grow It Like ...

For more than six months now, C has been growing out his hair, a decision he made for himself. At first, he wanted to grow it like "H", a friend, then like "S", his cousin.

His hair is getting pretty long, although the fact that the hair is curly keeps it up in an Afro-like ball rather than down and dangling in his eyes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Canning Weekend

Pierrette and my mother have been canning tomatoes, salsa and ketchup all weekend with occasional support from Lisa and I (I've mostly been handling the child care end of things.)

We started with 7 bushels of tomatoes. Maybe Pierrette will post a photo of the entire stack of finish product.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Maple Crete just redid many of the sidewalks on our street, and lots of parents decided to engrave their children's names semi-permanently in the street.

Anxious Ranger

C is having a hard time waiting for 31-Oct to wear his space ranger outfit.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Until I tried this smoothy mix I could not get the monster to even touch a kiwi...


- 1 cup strawberries frozen, partly thawed
- 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup Vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. honey


Place all ingredients in your emmersion blender cup and mix with immersion blender until smooth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Face to Face

Face to Face by diathesis
Face to Face, a photo by diathesis on Flickr.

Back in December, we lured a black squirrel onto the porch railing by placing a line of nuts there for him to eat so that Christophe could watch.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home-Made Yogurt

One of the thing I've been doing in the Excalibur dehydrator is home-made yogurt. It's pretty simple, tasty (when I don't make a mistake), easy to make with limited ingredients, and I know what's in it.

I start with a pot and 1L of milk (usually one bag of whole milk), and most of the time I add some milk powder (1/4 cup or more, optional), which results in firmer yogurt. Whisk thoroughly, then heat:

Heat that up to 180ºF and either let it start cooling immediately or hold it at that temperature for a little while, say twenty minutes. Some recipes seem to feel this helps convert the milk proteins to make them suitable for yogurt, although I don't find it makes a huge difference.

Let it cool down to 115ºF. Take a ladle-full out, mix in one of these:

  • a package of yogurt bacterial culture

  • a few tablespoons of commercial yogurt with active culture

  • a few tablespoons of your previous batch of homemade yogurt

I usually start with the bacterial culture, do three or four batches in a row using one batch of yogurt to start the next, and then go back to the commercial culture. Some recipes recommend that you avoid using your own culture too many times in a row in case you end up accidentally culturing something else along the way, something that you don't want to be eating in quantity. I'm not convinced that's totally necessary, but commercial cultures aren't terribly expensive, so I don't mind going this route.

Whisk the mixture thoroughly, then return it to the pot and whisk the mixture into the milk thoroughly, then distribute into jars:

This is a reasonable time to add a little sugar, honey, maple, vanilla, if you like. Don't go overboard, you can always add more sweetener later if you like. Put the jars in the dehydrator at 115ºF for four hours to let the culture do its work:

Check on them, if they don't seem firm enough, or you decide you want a very tangy yogurt, you can let it sit another couple of hours in the dehydrator. It won't be at its firmest yet, and there may be some whey at the top. That's ok:

Cap and chill the cans in the fridge, for a while, perhaps overnight. It'll firm up further, as well as cool down:

At this point it's at it's firmest, and is "set" yogurt. If you want to mix in some additional sweetener here you can. If there's whey, you can pour it off or stir it in. If you mix it at this stage it becomes "stirred" yogurt, which many people prefer:

If you want, you can put your yogurt in a cheesecloth or coffee filter overnight to drain some of the whey out, at which point it will become Greek-style yogurt.

Finally, eat, or feed to your children: