Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Surgery...not that fun

Still recovering.....I'll keep you all posted once I'm back to my old self.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Table

ornamental grasses
I don't think you need to break the bank to create a beautiful and put together fall table.  
Here are a few of my tricks...

felt leafs (original use = arts + crafts, savvy use = placemats)
  • Purchase flowers from a grocery store.  You'll pay a fraction of what your florist will charge.  I picked up 2 mixed bouquets from Costco for 15.99 each.  With a little imagination and creativity you can design a centerpiece like a pro!
  • I used vases I already had, and added some ornamental grasses from my outdoor urns.  The grasses added a little pizazz to the simple mixed grocery store bouquet.
  • I picked up some gourds at Sobey's for 1.99 each.  This adds great colour and texture to any table.
  • Think outside of the box.  I bought oversized felt leaf shapes, used primarily for arts + crafts, but instead I used these as placemats.  
  • Gourds pictured center
  • With a tablecloth, table runner and napkins you'll be set to entertain!

If you have any questions or comments please let me know.

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 Steps to Successful Dating....or Play Dating

My beloved sister called me yesterday, and unfortunately I had to end our conversation short as we were on our way to a play date.  She then proceeded to question with humour, "why does a 4 year old have more dates than I do?" It made me there a correlation between dating and play dating?  What must one do to have a successful dating strategy- whether it be play dates, or your conventional date.  Here are my thoughts...

1) First Impressions:  Stats show that we form judgments in the time it takes to "Blink" your eye-so make it count !!! (Malcolm Gladwell)
singles:  Go out and buy a new outfit.  If you are fashionably challenged-ask the experts!  Hit some of my favourites. Holt Renfrew,  Anthropologie, or Purr in Calgary.
toddlers:  You guys have it easy...don't show up with breakfast on your shirt, or a dirty diaper.

2) Share: For those of you who need a reminder I've included the definition: To participate in, use, enjoy or experience jointly in turns.
singles:  Don't talk about yourself the whole night.  Ask questions about the other person.
toddlers:  Don't grab, push or shove if you want something.  For the love of God- we have six other dolls that look exactly the same.  Why must you play with that one?

3) It's a numbers game so play!
singles: Dating is about sales and sales is a numbers game.  Multiply your dating success.  The more people you meet, the greater your chances of meeting someone who is good for you.
toddlers: Learn to count...ok well at least to 3 because that's when time out begins.

4) Social Networking.  Like it or not, technology is as much a part of our daily lives as brushing our teeth.  Embrace the change and get on these social websites.
singles: Lava Life,, or eHarmony just to name a few.
toddlers:  I researched and yes - there is an official website devoted to play dates!  Check it out at  Playdates for Kids Meetup Group.

5) Don't be Late for the Date!
singles: It's just rude.  If you have to change your plans give as much notice as possible and please apologize.
toddlers:  Don't worry- your Mom is in trouble for this one.  Let her handle it!

Lastly, I asked Simon (my 4 year old son) his thoughts on play dates and he simply stated: "just go and have fun". 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the perfect pie crust....

Those of you who know me best - may chuckle when you read this.  I once was a so called "non foodie", who married the biggest food aficionado.  Nonetheless, my domestic duties improved  because of my husband (the food hobbyist), and the desire to feed my two little V.I.P's nothing but the best!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold lard
1/4 cup ice water
3 tbsp sour cream (a must)

In a bowl whisk flour with salt.  With a pastry blender, cut in butter and lard until mixture develops fine crumbs with a few larger pieces.

In a separate bowl, whisk water with sour cream and pour gently over dry ingredients.  Stir briskly with a fork to form ragged dough and adding more water if too dry.  Divide in half and press into discs.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, approximately 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out half of the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness; fit into 9 inch pie plate.  Trim to leave 3/4 inch (2 cm) overhang.  *Fill with desired filling.

*Simon's favourite filling (one of my little V.I.P's) is blueberry.

Blueberry Filling:
5 cups blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg yolk

In large bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon rind, lemon juice and cinnamon. 

Roll out the rest of the pastry.  Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water; brush over pastry rim.  Fit pastry over filling; trim to leave 3/4 inch overhang.  Fold overhang under bottom pastry rim.  Seal + pinch edge.

Bake in bottom third at 425°F for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350°F; until golden and filling has thickened (35 - 45 minutes)