Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Victoria Day!

Today we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday!  This day has been celebrated in Canada since 1845.  After Queen Victoria's death in 1901, May 24th became known as Victoria Day!  And we've been celebrating it ever since!

I made this victoria sponge cake to commemorate the holiday.
Did you know Victoria sponge was named after Queen Victoria?
It was the queen's favourite cake for afternoon tea!

I saved a slice, just for you!

Early Saturday morning, we went garage sale hunting!  The weather was perfect for it.
There were so many yard sales.  It was lots of fun!

Nuno and the girls took advantage of the hot, summer-like weather to wash our car.

Do you remember the last snow we had in early April? The one after all the warm temperatures in March? Well, just as the magnolias were getting ready to open, the snow and frost killed them.  But a miracle happened!  This weekend, one of the magnolias actually bloomed!  Isn't it beautiful?

Yesterday, we had breakfast at one of my favourite places - Mariposa bakery in Orillia!

The weather this weekend was glorious.  It is feeling more like Summer, than Spring.  We spent the day with my in-laws yesterday at their summer trailer home.  It got so hot that Nuno and the girls actually went swimming in the lake, in MAY, for goodness sake!  Today, I woke up to more sunshine and the promise of continued heat.  I am not complaining; not one bit.

I'll leave you with this video of my Henrietta.  She too, is enjoying the warm weather and the long weekend holiday!  Watch...

Happy Victoria Day!  No matter where you are or what you are doing, I hope you are smiling!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Week in Pictures (May 6-13)

A picture is worth a thousand words...

How adorable is this little guy?  He's a little camera-shy though!

Fiddlehead picking in the forest on a drizzly Tuesday

Perfect for the picking!

Fiddlehead season is over, but not at our house!  We trimmed,washed, boiled and froze
the fiddleheads for yummy meals to come!

Do you know what these are?

The white trillium  - the emblem and official flower of the province of Ontario
I was overjoyed to find an entire field of them alongside the highway

Our crabapple tree in full bloom

Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe for baked eggplant

My first attempt at Victoria Sponge

Saturday, getting ready for a Mother's day celebratory lunch

Lunch at Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant

Sunday - Mother's Day - in my parents' pretty yard with my Mom and my girls

I hope everyone enjoyed this past week as much as I did.  Here, in Barrie, it looks like yet another beautiful weather week to come.  I feel blessed and thankful.  How was your week? 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Eleven Candles! Where did the time go?

My daughter, Anita, turned eleven last Friday.  Eleven!!  I can hardly believe it.  She is at the age where she's still a child, yet almost a teenager.  Yikes!  I wish there was a pause button I could press, so I could hold on to her for just a while longer.  I want her to be a child for as long as she can.  I want to protect her and keep her safe at all times.  But, of course, I am slowly letting her go, allowing her to grow, and mature into the wonderful young woman I imagine she'll be. 

Until then, I am going to cherish and savour these last few childhood years.  I won't take for granted tucking her in bed every night, kissing her goodnight, and hearing her tell me she loves me (at least three times) before she falls asleep. 

Anita asked if I could bake her a lemon layer cake with lemon curd
filling, so of course, I did.  Really, is there anything better than a
home-made birthday cake?  To me, a store bought cake, no matter how
beautiful it may look, cannot compare to a home-baked cake, as it is made
with so much love and care for that special person in mind.

I can tell she's getting older when she says no to chocolate and
 asks for lemon, instead!

I baked these rainbow chip cupcakes for her girlfriends party the next day!

Can you see the rainbow chips?  I frosted the cupcakes with vanilla
butter cream and decorated them with tiny synthetic roses

The birthday room at Creative Cafe where all the girls got to pick their own
pottery to paint 

Anita picked a donut shaped piggy bank

Annabel chose a bird to paint

And my niece, Emily, chose to paint a flower shaped jewelery box

After the girls painted, we had pizza, sang happy birthday, and
had cupcakes!

The pieces the girls (and Nuno and I) painted, had to stay at the cafe to
be glazed and fired.  I will be picking them up as soon as they're ready and
delivering them to their creative artists.  I can't wait to see what they look like!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Enchanting & Glorious Spring!

I consider myself to be a happy and optimistic person.  Much of what makes me "happy" comes from my love and admiration for nature and the changing seasons.  I have a deep appreciation for birds, flowers, trees, sun, sky, and nature overall.  I don't let my surroundings, their constance and ever-after, allow me to take them for granted.

Here are some photos I've captured so far this Spring.  They all make me smile...

The robin enjoying a cool bath


The American Goldfinches eating at the feeder

The goldfinch with a sunflower seed in his beak

A black-capped chickadee sharing the feeder with goldfinches

A black-capped chickadee cracking a seed open on our lilac tree

The following photos were all taken this morning...

The beautiful tulips blooming in my backyard

Our crabapple tree bursting with blossoms, preparing to bloom

Our purple leaf sand cherry tree blooming as I type this

One of our peony bushes, growing tall and beautiful. 
I can't wait for the flowers to bloom; I love filling teapots with them! 
I can almost smell their heavenly scent...ahhh!

Our lilac tree; soon to bloom and release its sweet scent!

The blue sky and warm sunshine peeking through the pergola
and lilac tree on the side of our deck.

Last night's full moon - the flower moon!  It was so big and bright in the sky!  
Did you get to see it?  I hope so!

Wishing you all a happy new week filled with sunshine, blue skies, birdsong, pretty flowers, and all the  beauty of Spring!  xoxo