Monday, April 30, 2012

Drinking buddies

I had no time to search for treasures at the thrift store this weekend. We had a full schedule of events. More about that on Friday.

In the meantime, I am preparing for a family gathering we are going to host next weekend. I am making an effort to use some of the vintage serving dishes I have acquired from my parents over the years.

They have lots of drinkware from the seventies. Good times, I guess.

I do recall crashing on a couch or spare bed next to my sister quite a few times while they partied, and I say good for them!

Here are some of the drinking aids they have given to me, including my favourite set, above.

That last one hangs around your neck so you never misplace your drink. I have four of those. Classy, huh?
Which set do you think I should break out this weekend?
What good-time tunes should we add to our party playlist?
If you get a moment, take a look at my new page about me ("The Woman," above). I finally put something together, painful as it is to do. Oh, and consider following me on Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin' if you like what you see here.
Linking up with these wonderful blogs: Hey What's For Dinner Mom? and My 1929 Charmer and Coastal Charm and Beez Rental Designs and Knick of Time and Her Library Adventures

Friday, April 27, 2012

Insta-Friday in real life, BOGO edition

Sweet, simple moments. Captured on your cell phone cam. That’s what Insta-Friday is all about.

My little girl and I went to the mall to look for shoes. We were supposed to be buying shoes for her, but who can resist a BOGO?

When I see something nice in my size (11) at a good price, I just have to get it.

We rested for a bit and she enjoyed a chocolate chip muffin.

I went for the chocolate chip and peanut butter muffin with a green tea. My daughter kept saying how great it was to be away from “the boys.”

She bought herself these rings from H&M.

This one is her favourite. Her poor little hands are battered. She leads a full and active life, as every kid should.

In honour of Earth Day, the kids decided to play a game of Planet Earth.

This is the only photo I could get before the fighting broke out. (Sister didn’t want brother in the photo.)

What did you do this week?

Have a great weekend!

Linking up to:
life rearranged

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cherry Lemonade Smoothie

I was craving a smoothie yesterday, so I whipped one together with some ingredients I had on hand.
I ended up with this sweet and delicious smoothie, perfect for those who love cherries like I do. Fresh cherries, cherry ice cream, cherry pie…I could go on.

I also included some lemonade, because lemonade reminds me of sunshine, green grass and warm beaches.
Anyway…add a little bit of your favourite protein powder if you like for a healthy boost.

Cherry Lemonade Smoothie

by Joann MacDonald

Ingredients (1 large or 2 small smoothies)
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and cut in half
  • ¼ cup lemonade
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp agave nectar

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Powered by Recipage

Linking up to: Thursday's Temptation at Two Yellow Birds Decor and Lifeologia's Potluck Party

the veggie nook

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday, featuring Chocolate Chip Date Cake

I have to say this has been a week of particularly delectable food. We have our good weeks and our bad weeks around here when it comes to food, as I’m sure most families do.

This week has been a good one, and I have discovered a few new favourites, including the amazing pancakes pictured above, a noodle recipe from a magazine and a fabulous new cake recipe.

I started my day off last Wednesday with a fruit and almond milk smoothie.

I am finding the Magic Bullet is a big help in our house, because each family member can make an individualized smoothie in his or her own cup.
On Wednesday night, I tried out a noodle recipe from Canadian Family magazine. It turned out quite well, and the children liked it (a rare bonus). I used kamut udon noodles instead of the noodles suggested, and I used a combo of Bragg’s and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Random Treasures

On Saturday, my daughter patiently accompanied me to a local thrift store, where we found some random treasures.

Truth is, we weren’t looking for anything in particular, because we don’t actually need anything. But, that doesn't often stop me.

I’m not sure what I’m going to be using this pitcher for. I already have so many vases. Any ideas?

I think my daughter was sufficiently rewarded for coming along. She came home with the game Guess Who?, a bargain at 99 cents. She also picked up an agenda book, which she checked first to ensure there was a section for phone numbers. Busy social life at seven years old, I suppose. She also chose a diary and a notebook. She is always scribbling away on one piece of paper or another.

She also snagged this pretty shawl.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I love cake

I just couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek at this chocolate chip date cake that I will be highlighting on Wednesday for What I Ate Wednesday.

It is so delicious and sweet, with chocolate chips and yummy moist dates. I am looking forward to sharing the recipe.

My little girl and I went thrift store shopping yesterday, and I have some great finds to share tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week!

Awards Season

Thank you to the sweet and generous Wendy at Salt and Wine for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger award. Check out this Florida mom’s fabulous blog to share in her creative ideas for healthy, harmonic daily living.

I used to write press releases about other people’s awards at work, and it is strange (and very nice) to write about an award you got yourself. Read on to hear some items from my "bio," such as it is.

The rules (for those bloggers who choose to accept): 

  1. Grab the Versatile Blogger button.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Include a link to their blog.
  4. Share seven things about yourself.
  5. Pass along the love! Nominate 15 of your favourite blogs.
  6. Inform each nominee with a comment on their blog.
  7. In the same post, include this set of rules.

 Seven things about moi...
  • My brother-in-law started calling me “JoKnows” because his wife would phone me so often for information. Sounds like I’m a bit obnoxious, doesn’t it? Really, I’m just a magazine addict, so I have lots of tidbits of information to offer. I’m not good at trivia though.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Life Well Lived, part two

Welcome to part two of my look at my sister-in-law's picturesque country home.

If you missed part one, you can see it here. I highlighted all of the sweet animal creatures (and some of the humans) that make up their home.

You can now meet the remaining humans, including the woman of the house herself.

This is me admiring the view and the (astonishingly large) wood pile.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Insta-Friday in real life, spring renewal

Happy Friday!
For this week’s Insta-Friday, we are looking at cell phone photos with a theme of “spring renewal.”
Hopefully at this point we can expect a steady spring here in Ontario. You never really know when you could get more snow, though.
After a long winter, the kids and I needed some good hair cuts. I took them to my favourite salon in Toronto. My son likes to keep his hair longer now, so it requires a skilled stylist. These are their finished looks, above.

As you can see from his face, he wasn’t happy though. He wanted to keep the covering-his-eyes shaggy cut. Hair grows back, buddy. 
My daughter asked them to curl her hair. At least she was pleased. I guess I didn’t get a photo of my haircut. Oh well. 

 After we got our hair done, we headed to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday party.
No, that isn’t my parents’ house. On the way, we pass one of my favourite homes. It backs onto the Grand River. So charming.
Okay, that wasn’t really about spring renewal, but I love that house. 

My tulips are trying really hard to recover from the weather fluctuations they have been exposed to. They don’t look happy, though. 

Remember those lovely urn inserts my mom and I made in winter? Probably time to get rid of them now.

Might be time to take down the Christmas lights too!

At least I finally got my snow tires taken off yesterday. Unfortunately, this week my husband's car needed all new brakes and tires. And, a strong wind on Monday blew our new barbecue over and broke the handle to bits. It also tore a bunch of shingles off our roof.
You just have to laugh.
How was your week? What are your spring projects?
Linking up to:
life rearranged

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life Well Lived, part one

I have often dreamed of having a home in the country. But, I also like city life. Right now, I am kind of stuck in between in the suburbs.

A visit to my sister-in-law’s house this past weekend further fueled my country cravings. In fact, her house is not too far from the city, so she has the best of both worlds.

She and her husband have taken a 1960s bungalow and turned it into a beautiful Cape Cod-style home. They are in the midst of renovating the interior now, as well as landscaping their ample property. In the meantime, they make the best of it by spending lots of time outdoors. They have a lovely, large front porch and beautiful front doors.

 Here is my daughter on the porch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday, I love lasagna edition

For this, my third “What I Ate Wednesday,” I am once again sharing some food highlights from the past week.

I had an amazing lunch on Sunday when we visited my sister-in-law and her family for the day. My mother-in-law joined us, bringing along her special non-dairy tofu lasagna. We all marvel at how brilliantly tasty it is, without the usual lasagna ingredients.

She also breaded some Japanese eggplant. The picture just doesn’t do it justice. Delicious.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thrifting at mom's house

I didn’t have time to visit a thrift store this weekend, however I still ended up with lovely treasures. On Saturday, we were at my parents’ house celebrating my dad’s 85th birthday. Here is grampy with my kids (on the left) and their cousin. On Sunday, we visited my lovely sister-in-law and her family—husband, four children, large dog, two cats, rabbit, turtle, rooster and chickens. I’ll have some photos of that visit to share later this week.

So, because I am enjoying my thrift store finds so much, I went “shopping” at the best possible place—my parents’ house. My mom is happy when I “adopt” items from her extensive collection of vintage dishes. And this means shopping is free for me. Isn’t that the best kind of shopping? Also, she has better stuff than many thrift stores, because her finds was hand-picked over the years at flea markets, auctions and garage sales. So, without further ado, here are some of the items I scored.

My mom was kind enough to give me this Blue Mountain Pottery Lazy Susan. It was in our house for as long as I can remember and my mom would serve special meals like Thanksgiving dinner in it, with mashed potatoes, carrots, etc. in the sections. I need to put it to use myself!

I also got a Blue Mountain Pottery tiered stand. I can’t wait to use this.

My mom had previously given me this Blue Mountain Pottery bunny in the same gold and brown tones.

How much do you love this James Kent Old Foley Staffordshire plate? It is an image of Frans Hals’s “The Laughing Cavalier.”

I also scored two of these little tin serving trays. Love the retro pattern in brown and blue.

I had admired this little pedestal dish that my mom used for her keys. Now it’s mine! These candies won't last long.

I took six of these little wine glasses. She has six more for me to take later. Not that I need another wine glass.

I went home with this lovely green serving dish.

And the same vintage glass serving dish in a golden yellow colour.

How about you? Any great finds to report?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Insta-Friday in real life, Easter fun

It’s Friday and the sun is shining. Two instant reasons to be happy today. I am continuing my routine of sharing a Friday look at our week using cell phone photos. Of course, this past week included Easter, making it lots of fun for the family.

Easter didn’t go quite as planned. We were expecting one of Nonna’s amazing Italian Easter dinners, but dear Papa (my father-in-law) was feeling quite unwell. Here’s hoping he feels better really soon!

Unrelated to Easter, my daughter decided to decorate a box from the basement. She called it “My Summer Vacation.” There’s some wishful thinking!

My daughter and I met some friends at the mall. Here she is impatiently waiting for her bff.

On Sunday, she received this basket from the Easter bunny. Chocolate, jewellery and a jewellery box. What more could a girl ask for?

My son got this basket, with a wrestling figure, some bullets for his Nerf guns and some other goodies. I know, very “boy” and hers is very “girl.” I’m not getting into nature vs. nurture and all that stuff right now!

My son wrote this sweet letter to the Easter bunny all on his own initiative.

Here is my daughter’s letter.

We were fortunate to be invited to the lovely home of some friends for Easter dinner.

Our kind hosts decorated the house beautifully with lots of candles and this tulip centrepiece.

The kids' table was just as pretty. This is my kids enjoying the food.

Here is the adorable kids’ table hostess.

Here is the host doggie, all tired out.

My niece also enjoyed the offerings.

As did my other niece. She tends to share only silly faces for photos, but we’ll keep her anyway.

I met a beloved friend for lunch one day, and had this delicious meal—two portobello mushrooms on a bun, with sundried tomatoes and roasted red peppers. And fries of course.

How was your week?

Linking up to: The Hollie Rogue and:

life rearranged

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