Friday, December 19, 2008


Our artistic endeavours of late consist of seasonally festive fare. We've decked out the tree, the cards are accumulating and construction paper chains abound. Today was the perfect day for baking - snowy and minus 6C. We donned our aprons (thanks to the creative talents of "Foon" at http://www.pip/ ) and dug out the cookie cutters.

Quinn coined the gingerbread men and ladies we were going to bake - gingermen. I love it and the name will remain a holiday tradition.

Elizabeth and Quinn did exceptionally well rolling out the dough and stamping their own cookies - roosters, "pizzas" and traditional old gingerbread boys. We had leftover icing from our gingerbread house and smarties made the perfect buttons. Next we had fun eating their heads and legs and arms. Thanks guys for a nice day...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So today we made our first family gingerbread house. My husband assembled it and then the kids had free range to decorate. Well. It's a Picasso for sure. The fun they had sticking all of the little candy bits onto the gooey icing was priceless. I love how it turned out in all of its beautiful imperfection. Now we get to pick away at it and enjoy.

I did get the Sushi today and it was nummy! We had a feast of Pad Thai, tempura, Happy Tuna rolls and Spicy Saigon roll along with a steaming pot of Chai tea. We nearly forfeited our outing since there was a blizzard taking place all day. Being an Eastern girl for my formative years, I still find it amusing that snow brings life to a halt on the West Coast. People get out their wellies and brollies and clod hop through snow. Driving is a not at all desirable - it's hilly and the snow removal budget is bleak. Anyhow, we ventured out and enjoyed every minute of it.

I had lots of nice phone calls from friends with well wishes. During dinner we noticed a car pulled over in front of our house. We thought it was someone stuck in the snow, however, it was a dedicated florist delivering the most beautiful and humongous flower bouquet I have ever received - stunningly perfect winter red gerberas and liatris and alstrolomeria and 'mums and coniferous foliage. Thank you BB. A huge surprise, so thoughtful and kind. I love them.

The Day was good and to quote my Mum as she left our house today..."Life Begins".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So we went to get our Christmas tree the other day. We usually cut our own at the House of Breads little tree farm, however, this year we stopped at a locally owned garden centre boasting Vancouver Island cultivated trees. We found the perfect, bushy, soft needled tree with the most delicious woodsy, piney scent.

Now, decorating with a two and four year old does present somewhat of a challenge. While I had ideals of listening to my new Loreena McKinnett Christmas cd and decorating the tree in perfect harmony, that simply did not happen. To abridge our decorating story, we had screaming for Bob the Builder and running off with the decorations from the two year old. Elizabeth loved sorting through the throngs of mix matched ornaments that have more sentimental value than beauty. She was happily existing in her own world and did a fine job of putting them on a concentrated area of the tree - front and centre and approximately three feet high.

We had to sneak water into the trees base since any open water equals free range for fishing and experimenting with swimming toys. The overall effect of the tree is.... good. It is ours with white twinkly lights and golden beads of garland (no tinsel in this house thanks), a hand crafted tree skirt from Grandma and now its stands ready for Santa.

I used to always decorate the tree when I was a teenager at home in Oakville just around my birthday. Yes, that is soon approaching and it is THAT birthday, the one I've been silently dreading for the last six months. Well, it is finally near and it's okay. I take solice that Monika and Rachael are That age. As are Julia, Halley and Celine. That age is the new 30 after all!! For months too I have been dreaming about how to celebrate. I've toyed with the idea of Vegas with all of my highschool friends and copious amounts of cocktails. Also fancied the idea of being in my Happy Place in Mexico. I am, most likely, going for a sushi feast and matinee with my husband and delicious meal of my choice at home with my fave Black Forest gateau. It will be perfect, of course.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Holiday Eating Tips 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single- malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas! 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the centre of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labour Day? 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" Have a great holiday season!