Friday Favourites

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Image Via DGES

Happy Friday everyone! I have the loveliest weekend planned (quite possibly the best weekend of the whole year). My sister and her family are visiting, which means joking around with her hilarious partner, snuggling with my beautiful nephew, and eating all the food with the best sister in the whole world. We plan on having a childless double date, going on a family apple picking adventure, and of course brunching it up (suggestions welcome!). What do you have planned this weekend?

Here are my favourites from around the web this week:

Have you heard of the Ontario Baby box (I love this idea!).

The problem with inspirational Paralympic videos.

This is a Canadian problem.

Sweden introduces 6 hour work day.

These Montreal postcards are brilliant.

The chemistry of emotions.

I want to clean my house with hundreds of these.

The best photo album on Facebook.

I cant wait to watch Hidden Figures.

The bicycle problem that nearly broke mathematics.

P.S. I’m listening to Sea Wolfe this weekend:

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Making Candy

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Making candy

Anyone who knows me well knows that I adore eating, cooking and baking.  I could easily spend days upon days playing in the kitchen, however budget, time and health (wanting my pants to fit) mean that I only get to play around when I have a good reason. Having said that, I will jump on any excuse to have a solo party by the oven. Birthdays? Weddings? Divorces? I’m in!

This week I had the most surreal reason to make a mess in the kitchen, my little baby is now a toddler. That’s right, Smush is officially graduating from the infant room. When I was finishing my maternity leave, the biggest stress was finding somewhere I felt comfortable leaving my Shmoop. I searched and searched with little luck, until I found our current daycare center. I knew the minute I visited that my son would be loved and nurtured and that I could go back to work worry free. I instantly adored the mess of toys, the reassurance from one of the ECEs, the way they talked to the infants, everything just felt right. Somehow against the odds, we got a spot for the month I was hoping to return to work and the rest is history. Now almost a year later, these people feel like a part of my family. Every morning my Smush can be bribed into the car with promises of playing with his caregivers and classmates. When we get there he gives me a big hug and sometimes a toothy smooch and he is one his way. Graduating from the infant room is bittersweet, I am so excited to see him grow and start this new stage of his life, but I will miss this baby stage, the care of this room and these people that have been such a big part of our lives this year. I wanted to find something to say thank you and knew right away that it had to be special. This is my long winded way of saying I made some show stopping candy for them.

There is really no way to justify this much butter, sugar and chocolate in one recipe. But if your going to make candy, you just have to commit. So here I find myself with tray upon tray of what can only be described as the thickest, richest chocolate bar chock-full of roasted almonds (think of a Skor bar that has been maxed out). My kitchen smells like caramel and nuts and my teeth hurt from taste testing. I wish I could say that it was hard to make but it is deceivingly simple, disturbingly delicious and I’m sure it will make the loveliest present. This week I say goodbye to my baby and to our infant room and say hello to toddler-hood and even more wonderful people to welcome into our family. I’m fighting back tears as I realize that I will be making another batch of this stuff when I blink and our Smush heads off to preschool.

P.S. I still listen to this song every time I think of the day we welcomed our beautiful, soulful, hilarious Smush (I had it on repeat the night before Smush was born):

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Friday Favourites

Image Via Breakfast at Yurman's
Image Via Breakfast at Yurman’s

 

Happy Friday everyone. It’s been a long week for me and I am really looking forward to some relaxing time with Shmoop and Drew. We are super excited to check out this cool festival (I’m salivating thinking about the food), take a peek at the Manotick Farmers’ Market, catch up with family and friends, and hopefully I can fit in time to finish up this great read! Are you up to anything fabulous this weekend?

P.S. Here are my favourites from around the web:

This baby had me giggling so much!

An interesting take on Canadian politics.

This teen’s car dancing is epic, EPIC.

The complexities of racism.

The art of the upstairs neighbor.

Canadiana at it’s best.

Yayoi Kusama coming to Canada (takes calming breath).

How to email your professor (without being annoying AF).

If you like feminist punk as much as I do (NSFW language).

A small step forward after a giant leap backwards, France’s burkini ban overturned by highest court.  FYI The Lottery of Indecency nails it.

P.S. A Tribe Called Red’s new collabaration is on repeat this week:

 

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Let’s Talk Romance

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Toddler Life

When you throw a toddler into the family mix, it can be easy to forget that there was once just two people with a lot of time and energy for each other. When Drew and I imagined what parenthood would look like we had planned on prioritizing intimacy and time together. I might say that we were a little naive (I was thinking weekly date nights outside the house). While that might not be realistic, we do work hard to prioritize our post-baby relationship.

Drew came up with such a game-changing date idea. We do have a few proper outdoor date nights, but were often so tired and a bit rushed in the evening. Then Drew suggested trying day dates instead. We send Smush off to daycare and spend the day together just the two of us. It usually starts with a lovely, drawn out breakfast and then a fun activity. Since becoming parents we have had beach days, a few lovely patio lunches, a lounge around the house and refuse to do chores day, a couple movie-a-thon dates, as well as other fun activities. It’s so nice to have a bit of time to ourselves to reconnect, chat, and just relax. The best part? We are both full of energy so it feels that much more fun. Do you have any favorite date tips? Recently we have been adding in stay-dates to the mix, we come up with a theme and coordinate food and music. It’s such a playful way to get some adult time in and doesn’t require a lot of coordination (or child care!).

P.S. Such Great Heights is my favourite unlikely romantic song.

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Friday Favourites

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Image Via Hike Bike Travel

Happy Friday everyone! We have had the loveliest week including dinner at a friend’s house (homemade pizza, yum!), getting our workout game on point, and playing with our epically adorable toddler (have I mentioned how brilliant and beautiful our Smush is yet? No bias here). We have fun plans this weekend including participating in a infant development study at a university (geeking out over here), time with family, hopefully a visit to the farmers market, some beach time, and of course an attempt at a date after Smush goes to bed. Do you have anything exciting planned?

Here are my favourites from around the web this week:

Talented throat singers (I had never heard of this before!).

Ukrainian crowns are breathtaking.

Canadian kidnapped Gnome returned Amelie style.

If there was ever a gadget to spend my money on.

Untranslatable words about love.

The art of map making and this beautiful Inuit cartography.

An excuse to get your (fancy) drink on.

The Science of Hangry (made me think of this adorable shirt).

An interesting theory on why babies cry at night.

P.S. I love this whimiscal collaboration between Karen O & Ezra Koenig:

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Kombucha, my newest kitchen experiment

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Years ago my sister and I lived together. Living with one’s sister as an adult is both the most amazing thing ever (hello borrowing all her stuff, all the time) and the most frustrating thing ever (having all your stuff borrowed, all the time). All jokes aside, she was the loveliest of roommates. She exposed me to so many cool and interesting things that I likely would never have ventured on my own such as hot yoga, everything GOOP, Frasier, and Alo juice cocktails just to name a few. But the star has to be kombucha. This delicious fermented drink tastes like soda had a threesome with juice and  black tea. The bonus? You get a good dose of healthy probiotics AND caffeine. Now before you get any ideas about lifesaving properties, give this a listen.

Much to Drew’s benefit and frustration, I am an avid kitchen experimenter. This essentially means that I have about a 50/50 chance of success while also making an utter mess of our house. All that aside, having acquired a taste for this delicious albeit expensive tea meant that I was destined to try making it one day. A few weeks back I stumbled across this post on how to make kombucha, and thought to myself “I could do that”. I found a perfectly healthy little scoby and some booch and started my fermenting adventure. Then late last weekend, I lovingly pulled my scoby (and her baby!) out and placed it on a plate to surprise Drew (who was unsuspectingly watching television in the living-room) with my mucus like prize. Safe to say he smiled weakly at me and said “cool”. Later he taste tested with me and agreed that kombucha IS delicious.

Here are a few pictures I took along the way:

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I decided to split my first batch in half and make one flavored with strawberries and one unflavored. They are currently finishing up a second round of fermentation and we will be taste testing the final product this evening. Would you ever make Kombucha? Do you drink it? How cool is this use for the scoby?

P.S. Another introduction from my sister was Bobby Womack:

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