Thursday, January 27, 2011


Our closet doors are still the original 1950s wood sliding doors in brown. In the master bedroom I made this work by integrating more browns and blacks to our palette and I find it warms up our room and goes well with our floors.

However, in M's pink room the brown is an eye soar and painting them white has been on the 'to do' list since we moved in. A couple of weeks ago I tackled this while the kids were out for a while. It took a good three coats of high quality Benjamin Moore paint to get ideal coverage. I probably could have reduced it by one coat if I sanded the doors, but that would have made a total mess of M's room or we would have had to carry the heavy doors down to the basement. So - three coats it was.

Kids were back and I had to wait a couple of days to start the actual project of adding silhouette's to the doors. I wanted something playful and had bought these templates that you trace onto the surface, then outline with paint and fill completely.

This wasn't hard, but a lot more time consuming than transfers or decals that I've normally used for my kids rooms. Off I went with a tiny artists brush and traced that pencil mark - you need a bit of a steady hand. Next up a first coat of Martha Stewart paint in seal. I like the colour but I was not pleased with the coverage. One coat did not cut it, so I had to complete this project on a third day with more detailed tracing of the edges and a final filling of the characters. Tataaaaaaa - three little girls playing outside.

M. thought these were images of herself and sat in front of her closet for minutes just looking at them. I like how they add a bit of whimsy to the closet, but the colour won't keep me from changing wall colour, curtains, etc. if we want later on. M's got her heart set on purple, but I think that will just have to wait a while.

Was it worth it? Yes...with some hesitation....if you can find decals, go for that instead.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One photo a week - 4/52

We have a wood burning fireplace and when those minus temperature hit us, it's the most beautiful thing to lite a fire. The crackling and smell of real wood burning along with the radiating heat just go hand in hand with a Canadian winter. Today we are at -25C (-39C with wind chill)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking a stand

No, this is not some strong opinion that I want to state, but literally about my cake stands. My hubby wonders how many I need, I sometimes wonder how many more I could fit?

I like cake stands - different shapes, different sizes and different materials. I started getting them for my wedding about five years ago. At the time I used them to hold our favours. I am by no means a collector but rather a gatherer. I do use them on a regular basis - instead of a fruit bowl, for candy, to layer food at a buffet and for cakes and cup cakes. I have silver ones, glass ones, ceramic and wood.

Cake stands come in different price ranges, but the really cheap glass or ceramic ones tend to be stuck together with visible glue and won't stand up to a dishwasher. I got mine at different retail stores, at garage sales and my wooden one is from Herriott Grace and these are handmade in Canada by her father. Her store has amazing things and she sells out in minutes of updating her site. You can see a close-up of it in my New Year's post.

So, I'm still looking for a vintage milk glass cake stand in blue or green and I'm sure I'll come across some others that will catch my eye. I am also planning on making a couple myself this year, I'll post about that at a later time.

I guess as long as we actually use them for cake once in a while, my hubby won't be too opposed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One photo a week - 3/52

One thing I have noticed with my kids getting a little older, I am back to reading a lot more. In the past the nightly feedings and general lack of sleep just made me want to turn out the lights at 9 pm. Now, I am still lacking in sleep, but I am back to reading books on my beloved Kindle or the many magazines I subscribe to - it's become just a little easier to stay up longer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Leftover bubbly

Ok, I know that many of you are saying...what's this? Leftover bubbly? How can it be? There is no excuse for not finishing a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine!

Well, I don't drink a lot and I hardly ever drink - but at New Years I wanted to have a glass of bubbly to ring in 2011. We never finished the bottle that night. In the morning it no longer seems appealing, especially as some of the fizz has dissipated.

I did not want to waste it, so I froze the leftovers and will now use the frozen bubbly to flavour future recipes. You can do this with wine, leftover juice or broth. I am using our old 'baby food freezer trays' that have a lid, but you can use your regular ice cube trays, pop out the cubes once frozen and store them in a large ziploc for future use.

So, I might be chastised for not finishing the bottle, but at least I did not pour it down the drain!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hello Kitty is a big step

I had my ears pierced as a baby - way back when I did not even realize what was happening and I probably spent a lot of my time crying anyway. Well, we did not do that with M., her father had very strong opinions on when and if she should have her ears pierced. No big deal I thought, quick shot of pain and we are done with it. The less she can figure out what's going to happen the better in my opinion.

Well, the other week we were at the mall without hubby. I asked at one point if she wanted to have her ears pierced - instead of her usual tentative 'no', I got a 'yes'. Mhhh, ok, we can get it done after we have lunch. 'No, I want it done now.' Ok, here we go.

I fill out all the paper work (North America!) and she is sitting on her chair. I am expecting her to bail at any moment, but she sits patiently. The girls get her ready and I can see a bit of trepidation flaring up in her eyes, but she is still ready to go. Ear lobes cleaned, marker dots applied, instructed to look at sparkly bag, I'm holding her hands, one girl on each side and.....DONE! Some initial tears until they show her reflection in the mirror.

There we go - Hello Kitty on both ears, tears running down her cheeks and a smile on her face! Big step indeed and her father loved it once she got home and displayed her lobes full of pride.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

One photo a week - 2/52

Winter came back to Ottawa this week. We spent some time outside clearing the snow and enjoying the not too cold temperature.
In two weeks or so I'll want the snow to go away, but now I'm still enjoying the beautiful sites, such as the one in the picture.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three Kings Day

On Wednesday I read Kathleen's blog and she had posted her recipe for her mini Rosca de Reyes. It reminded me of celebrating three kings day in Europe and I was missing the fact that we don't do it here in Canada. If you are lucky enough to find the little baby Jesus figurine in your cake, you get to be king all day. Besides the fact that my sister continuously won that honour, the cake/bread itself is really good and that's what I was missing.

So,I went home and made our recipe for three kings cake. It's not as sweet as I imagine Kathleen's being, but it is a great breakfast bread and my family enjoyed it very much. Due to my time limitations I also did not have the little figurine and I did not have ingredients to try a new recipe - so the old standby it was.

I normally use this recipe for Zopf (or Challa). If you need tips on achieving a braid, let me know.

Zopf recipe (adapted for three kings day)

500 g flour
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
60 g soft butter
15 g yeast
300 ml milk
raisins (for three kings cake)

Add salt and sugar to flour in bowl. Add butter in flakes to flour mixture.
Dissolve yeast in milk, stir into milk from the middle. Knead dough well until it's smooth.
Cover and let rise to double its size at room temperature. Shape to braid or other shape wanted.
Brush with egg
Put in COLD oven and bake at 220 C (430F) for 40 to 45 minutes.
Knock the bottom of the bread, if it sounds hollow it's done.

Serve for breakfast or brunch

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One photo a week - 1/52

Welcome to 2011.

I am attempting to post one photo a week this year to reflect something that happened in that particular time frame. I hope I'll be able to capture moments that speak through the image, especially as we seem to be taking pictures ALL the time.

I was inspired by Benita's 365 photos project - knowing that I won't be able to take a picture every day, I'll go for the weekly option. I also don't want to force myself to take some random photo that won't speak to me.

This first photo is M eating chocolate mousse at a family dinner - uninhibited happiness - what a way to start 2011.