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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Homemade Oreos


There once was a time where I'd see a super difficult or elaborate recipe and I'd want to try it out. Nowadays, give me all the easy recipes because as you know if you've visited the blog before, these kiddos LOVE to bake! And I no longer have time for candy thermometers or rolling out pastry dough. Time or patience, one of the two!

This recipe has been a family favorite for a long time. I have so many good memories of making these with my sister and eating way too many of them in the process. They are such a showy and tasty cookie, making them perfect to gift around Christmas time.

I've substituted the chocolate cake mix in the past with a rainbow bit mix to make unicorn cookies and those were AMAZING! Using different flavours of cake mix with different combinations of butter cream or the classic cream cheese icing has always turned out great when I've played around with it, meaning this recipe is so simple, you can make it your own to suit your taste buds or a party theme! 


I do have one request from you, if you chose to make this cherished and beloved recipe: make sure no one knows how easy they are to make! And make sure everyone sampling these delicious morsels believes that you slaved over them. Capiche? Alrighty, here is the recipe!

Oreo Cookie Recipe

2 boxes Chocolate Cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil (I like using coconut oil)
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix 3 ingredients well.
  3. Chill or rest dough as it will be very sticky 
  4. Roll dough into small balls or drop with a small scoop onto a pan with parchment paper. These cookies will spread out so it's best to give them lots of room
  5. Bake for 10-13 minutes
  6. After cookies have cooled, match them together by size so that the cookies are uniform
  7. Apply cream cheese frosting to the centre of a cookie. Using the matching cookie, slightly squeeze the cookies together until the frosting peeks through the sides.
Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

1. Beat until well blended.


There you have it! I hope you enjoy this recipe! And if you decide to experiment with the flavours, let me know!
 I'd love to hear what kind of combination you came up with!

Xo Megan 



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Candy Jewelry DIY- For Little Hands



Crafting AND candy? Yes please! Perfect and easy for little hands, the trickiest part is to keep your little helper from eating all the "jewels". Add some cute packaging and you have jewelry fitting royalty. 

"Mommy, this has been the best project I've ever made!"
-Sophie

What you will need:
-Candy that can be threaded (we used gummy lifesavers and licorice)
-Clean kitchen shears
-Elastic thread ( 1.5 mm worked perfectly for this project!)

Now let the fun begin! I pre-cut the licorice and the elastic for Sophie and then I sat back and let her work. It's always so fun to see how little kids take to a craft. I don't see a pattern but she was very particular as to which color of lifesaver went where. We stored our finished product in a ziplock bag so that the candy will be fresh and supple when Sophie gifts it to her auntie at Christmas. 

Has your little made any candy related crafts? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing what other families are crafting!

Megan xo




Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas Wreath DIY


Christmas Wreath DIY

I know what you are thinking...are wreaths and babies the only thing Megan knows how to make?! 
The answer is yes. Jk! 

I looove wreaths. They are my favorite way to decorate for special occasions but they are also so fun to make. This one in particular was so fun to make because it involves lots of my favorite elements; greenery, baubles and pink! 

What you will need
 -grapevine wreath
-assorted faux greenery*
-glue gun and glue sticks
-baubles and holiday decor (I used mini bottle brush trees)
-wired floral picks (these can be purchased from your local florist)
-ribbon

*I get asked all the time if this technique can be used for fresh flowers or fresh greenery. The answer unfortunately is no:(. Fresh product requires water or else it will flop very quickly. I might just have to do a fresh wreath tutorial one of these days!!

Step 1.

Arrange greenery on the grapevine wreath by poking the ends of the greenery into the vine. Continue to arrange pieces, moving down on your Wreath so that the next piece of greenery cover the ends of the previous one. 

Step 2.
Adjust any pieces that you feel need to be rearranged. *Tip* hold your wreath up so you can see how all the greenery will drape when the wreath is vertical. Doing this also will indicate any holes that need covering.

Step 3.
Glue everything into place! Up until this point, can make any changes to the wreath. But once you use the hot glue gun, the greenery won't budge and is very, very difficult to remove. Simply remove the greenery, one at a time, dab the glue onto the end and reinsert. The combination of a grapevine wreath and the hot glue will insure that your wreath stays in tact for years of use, including outdoor use!

Step 4.
Arrange baubles along the Wreath until you are happy with the composition. Once you find the right placement, thread 1-3 baubles on a wired pick and twist the wire together to secure baubles. Wrapping the wire tightly will keep baubles more upright and easier to control when you place the pick into the wreath. If you are using glas ornaments, a dab of glue might be nessary at the top portion of the ornament.

Step 5.
Glue ends of wired picks into wreath, careful to place the picks within the greenery so that the greenery covers the wooden part of the pick.

Step 6.
Add a bow if desired.


Step 7.
Hang your Wreath and step back. Make sure all the holes have been covered and that there are no gaps. Also, be sure to pluck those pesky glue threads, those things aren't pretty!

Step 8. 
Time to sit back with a favorite holiday drink and enjoy your beautigul handiwork! 

I hope you enjoy this DIY as much as I did! If you feel like showing off your lovely wreath, please tag me in your wreath photos. I'd love to see your creative genius!

Megan xo


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Magic Kingdom Memories


I can't believe it's been a year since our family trip to Disneyland! Cue the tears! 
 It really is the most magical place, especially when you have little ones! Or if you are an overgrown little like yours truly!


Even though I only have been to Disneyland once, I did so much planning, homework and what-not to make the most of our trip. We were at the parks for 5 days and it STILL wasn't enough for me! I was seriously considering asking the cast members if that little spot above the Snow White ride was available for rent! 

Sometimes I think Donald has had enough of me asking when we can start planning our next trip to the Magic Kingdom, I mean I do ask him every week. But then he will suddenly say something like "I can't wait to go back!" proving that even though we are not going any time soon, at least I know there will be a trip in our near future! And with a new little boy to take along with us. I'm already planning all those cute character outfits for him to wear!

Here are just a few of our family's highlights from the trip as well as a boatload of photos!

1.) Our built in Nanny
We were able to bring my younger sister, Rebecca, on the trip with us which was sooo awesome! Not only did it allow us to go on a ton of rides since we had someone to take turns watching the girls, but it was so nice having one of my besties along to skip down Main Street. It was such a fun thing to experience with my sister and a good chance for my girls to bond even more with her. Ah it was so fun!


2.) Going at Christmas time
We actually went smack dab in the middle of November, which I had planned for a reason! I really wanted to go to Disneyland during both slow season and while they were in "Holiday mode". The Christmas treats, decorations, parades, Navidad celebrations, everything right down to Minnie's Mrs Clause costume was PERFECTION! Plus the whole place smelled like peppermint and vanilla and well need I say more? This also brings me to my other highlight...


3.) The Entertainment 
Oh my. Oh my, oh my! So, Donald, myself and a 3 month old Sophie did Disneyworld with Donald's family on a trip to Florida. We were only there for a day and we didn't watch one single parade! How crazy were we?! 
When we got to Disneyland, I made sure there was plenty of time carved out for us to enjoy all the amazing and fun entertainment that the park offers. The parades were amazing! We all cried during the World of Color Christmas show (Sophie STILL talks about it and has to reenact a water show for us every night before bed) and the dance party for Navidid was so fun and colourful. Our favorite though was seeing Mickey and the newsies dance at California Adventure. Even though Eloise was a bitter little 13 month old, locked up in the stroller, she loved the dancers and did a little boogie from where she was sitting. 


4.) The food!
Some of my favorites were the Matterhorn Macaroons, cupcakes, dole whip and pretzel bites at the Cozy Cone Motel. If you are visiting DLR, please eat one of these treats for me because they are sooooo dang good! 

5.) Sophie experiencing Disneyland 
Before we left on our trip, people kept commenting that the girls were too little to take to Disneyland and that we were foolish to take them with us since we don't go on a big vacations all the time. 
I found the exact opposite to be true. Sophie was 2 and 10 months when we went; Eloise was 13 months.
 Sophie still talks about Disneyland and all of her little memories that she has from our vacay. At the time, she soaked in all the magic by dancing in lines, curtsying to princesses and singing along to songs that she heard on the speakers. It was magical just watching her take it in. One of both mine and Donald's favorite memories was when Donald hopped a rope with Sophie in his arms so that she could meet Rapunzel and Eugene, her absolute favorite Disney characters. She was so totally and completely enchanted, I was bawling my eyes out from the sidelines. It's those little memories like that that make me so excited to go again.


6.) One last thing
Because I was a DLR newbie, I had done a lot of research before our trip so that we got the most out of every minute. I had come across Magic Kingdom Mamas on IG and had gotten the best tips and tricks from them, since they pretty much live at the parks with their families. Since our trip, MKM launched a blog that covers every thing any family needs to know before visiting the parks. They are amazing and I recommend their amazing blog or adorable IG account to everyone!

Until we meet again Disneyland, you lovely place!


All our dreams can come true; if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Baby Sanche #3 || 32 Week Bumpdate




Due date- December 24, Christmas Eve
Size of the baby- The length of a bunch of Kale

Movement- I think this baby will be a night owl. Why? Because like clockwork, he starts wriggling around at 11pm and doesn't seem to stop until early morning. He also has the hiccups frequently which is the cutest feeling ever! He's pretty strong but very shy. Any time Donald tries to feel for the kicks, pokes or jabs, the show immediately ends. As soon as Donald takes his hand away, baby boy starts up again. 

Weight gain- I roughly feel like a baby whale. I've never felt this huge before. I am terrified that this guy is going to weigh 20 lbs. I've already reached my target weight goal for the entire pregnancy (yikes I know) and I've still got months to go! Factor in that both girls were in the 9 pound range when they were born and I'm terrified that I'll be one of those moms you hear about who gives birth to a massive baby that begins life wearing 24 month clothing! Oh boy. I'm going for another walk! K, bye. 

Belly button in or out- In! It's never "popped" with my other pregnancies so I don't think it'll go anywhere! It is so sore though...might be because Eloise is constantly poking it.

Sleep- Some nights are amazing, I'll actually wake up where I fell asleep and then other times I'll toss and turn after having to use the washroom in the middle of the night. It's the age old story when you need to pee in the middle of the night but you are so tired and you know if you get up, you'll never fall back asleep. Sigh, preggo struggles for reals.

Names- We are awful parents. I totally thought that by finding out the baby's gender, that we would have him named in no time. Not the case. Donald is pretty happy with our front runner (pretty sure his plan is to steam roll ahead with the name while I'm exhausted from labour. I can tell by the sneaky way he dances around every other name suggestion!) I still find myself checking out nameberry, just in case I happen upon a keeper! Boy names sure are tough. I blame all of my family and friends who have amazing taste in boys names who have snagged all the good ones already!

Food Cravings- I never knew how delicious orange juice could taste. Or how yummy bacon breakfast sandwiches were when one is pregnant. Basically breakfast is my jam right now! I can't wait until I can actually have a mimosa because that's what I really want right now!

Biggest Complaint- Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks. I can't do anything (evening sitting on the couch) without a constant flood of them. I shouldn't complain though, at least something about my body is over-achieving at this point!

Feeling nervous about- 
The question should be what am I NOT nervous about! Labour is really daunting, even though I've gone through it twice. I'm actualy most nervous about what will happen with the girls for the first few weeks of Little Brother's life. I remeber the tricky adjustment when Eloise arrived and quite frankly, that was a really hard and emotionally draining time for me. Hopefully because the girls have each other, it might make things easier as we begin life as a family of 5. Also, I keep having this reoccuring nightmare that I go into labour on Christmas eve and the girls wake up to no parents and no presents. It's terrifying! Of course that will not be the case but it does give me the motivation to have all their presents purchased, wrapped and ready to go! But let's be real, this baby is problaly going to be a January baby and all this worry about leaving the girls on Christmas will be a joke in a few weeks time!

What I'm most excited about- I cannot wait to see what this little man is going to look like! I've been going through the girls' baby photos and it just adds to the excitement of meeting one's baby for the first time. Will he have lots of hair? Chubby cheeks? Big eyes? Ahhh I can't wait!

What I'm wearing- I just got this Seraphine parka which is sooo dreamy! I know I'm going to get so much use out of it this winter and spring. I'm especially excited to use the baby wearing panel since that has always been such a tricky part of baby wearing during Alberta winters.



Big Sisters Update- The girls have been playing "little mamas" by filling up their doll strollers and shopping carts with all of their stuffed bunnies. It's so cute to see Eloise squat down beside her stroller and chatter to her "babies" and tell them that she's their mama. Sophie walks around in heels, carries a purse and groans while toting her babies while muttering "Ugh I've got so many kids". FYI, I did not teach her that! Haha! 

Only 50 days to go (give or take!) Sophie was exactly one week late and Eloise was 3 days late. Donald thinks that this means baby will be on time but I think this little man is going to make us wait before we get to snuggle him in our arms!



Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Zucchini Bread


Despite the lovely fatigue of the third trimester, I've been trying to plan what needs to get done before this baby arrives. There are 4 rooms in our home that definitely need some attention and love. And of course there is Christmas to prepare for, which I am so excited for! I usually hold off on Christmas fun stuff until December but I think I'll be getting the house ready for Christmas long before December 1st. And if any one questions my fully decorated, all out festive-looking home, I'll blame it on my nesting energy. But let's be real, anyone who knows me won't be too surprised. After all, Christmas is totally my jam!

Another list I've been making is of all the ready made meals I want to have done and waiting in the freezer when Donald and I are experiencing life with a newborn and two toddlers. I did lots of baking and cooking ahead of time with Eloise and it was awesome! Being able to open a freezer full of ready made, easy to heat dishes was a huge relief. I mean, who wants to be cooking and cleaning when there is a new baby to snuggle? Not this girl!

This recipe definitely made the list of things to make beforehand! Pumpkin Spice Zucchini Bread is one of my favorite recipes. It's on the sweet side, making it a yummy breakfast treat or a sweet snack to serve guests that come by to meet the new baby. Bonus? This recipe makes two loaves, one to eat now and one to share with a friend or pop in the freezer. 

Pumpkin Spice Zucchini Bread

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2  cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-2 cups grated zucchini 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar.
  2. Add pumpkin, butter and vanilla.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly pour mixture in with the pumpkin batter. Stir until just moistened.
  4. Add Zucchini and nuts.
  5. Pour into two 9-in x 5-in loaf pans lined with parchment.
  6. Bake at 350° for 1 hour 
  7. Let cool before removing from pans to a wire rack
            Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

There's so much to be thankful for...


We just got back home from the most AMAZING trip to our beloved Rockies and honestly, I am feeling all the thanksgiving, happy feels!

We hiked, relaxed in the hot tub in the rain and threw rocks into every lake, creek or river we passed. 
The girls loved being steps away from my parents' cabin and Eloise couldn't get enough of her uncles and Grandpy's attention. Seriously, we barely saw her, she was always being carried around as if she was the queen of the forest.  Of course I was jealous since hiking over hilly and rocky terrain while 29 weeks pregnant was no easy feat. But I did it, no one had to carry me and I am now happily camped on the couch while I write this post!

On our last night together as a family, my mom (whom I definitely inherited the holiday-loving gene from) planned a lovely Thanksgiving dinner despite being away from her kitchen. 
During dinner, each member of the family said something they were thankful for. I had a hard time limiting myself to just a few things, since I have been blessed with so so much! A wonderful sweetheart of a husband, two beautiful little girls, another precious baby on the way, family members that feel like friends and friends that feel like family. I'm tearing up just thinking about all God has blessed me with and that is just scratching the surface! My heart is so full!










Monday, September 18, 2017

Creativity, Inspiration and Crafty Motivation


Some people get excited about New Years and the opportunity to recreate themselves, try something new, kick a bad habit...well, my New Years enthusiasm starts in September! The school supplies, the change in weather, the return to structure after a fun but lazy summer is just what I need to pursue my interests and find inspiration to get creative. Also, with a new baby arriving around the time of NYE, I think it's safe to assume my resolutions will be put on hold at least for the first few months!

Being creative as an adult can be a challenge, at least for me! I can spend hours looking at pretty blogs or fun ideas on Pinterest, the only problem is that I forget to follow up with the inspiration and just simply CREATE! As a little girl and then as a teenager, I always had a project on the go. While I don't remember making any quality items...except maybe for that topiary made out of dried flowers, (My older siblings might say otherwise!), I was so happy to be creating and making something beautiful or interesting.

I am so fortunate to have established a passion in floral design, which my family and friends all know and are so dear to ask me to make pretty things for them. I am so thankful for that because it gives me an opportunity to do something I love while having the challenge of pushing my creative limits. It's sooo good for the soul! 

I don't always have a request for flowers every day or even every week. So I need to provide myself with the tools to keep the fires of creativity going! Here are just a few things I remind myself when I feel my hands (or heart!) need a project or just the fuel to get started!


1.) Surround yourself with creative people

I have a number of friends who are very passionate about pursuing their creative outlets and we have the best time together! We chat about our goals, we share what we are working on, we root for each other and it's just so exciting! Not to mention inspiring! How does that phrase go again? People love passionate people? Whatever the saying, it's true! Just the other day my sister had told me about her latest haul at the farmer's market and local Italian deli along with all the yummy dishes she planned on making with the groceries. I got so inspired by her culinary endeavors, I quickly tracked down a new recipe I had been eyeing and it is now simmering on my stove. Sometimes the best ideas come from a friend or a family member. Soak in their creative genius! 


2.) Think Old School

I love Instagram. I really do. I have found some amazing, crazy inspiring accounts (Monika HobbsLauren Conrad and Cotton Stem to name a few!) I can't help but want to mimic their flowing creativity. But with that being said, I find that one of the best things is to flip through my collection of older Martha Stewart magazines as well as some other favorite home design and decor magazines and books. I find that it's easier to cuddle up with a chai tea, listen to some pretty music and flip through a magazine without the online distractions I might get if l were to be looking on Pinterest (damn you Myers Briggs character charts!) Add a stack of post-it's and you're in for a good time! #imightbean80yearoldlady 

3.)Make time to be creative

Just as self care is important, I think carving out a small chunk of time that's reserved to create is so beneficial. Speaking only from personal experience, it's so easy to get sucked into watching a favorite TV show or an evening of scrolling through IG. When I consider the time I take to "put my feet up", I can see the opportunity there is to simple skip out on those kind of activities to sit down, turn up the music and make something AMAZING!!

There you have it! Just a few things that help me to keep that creative passion going and fulfill that little place in my heart that wants to use my hands to make something from nothing.
So dear reader friends, what inspires you to be creative? Have you created something exciting lately? I want to know! Let me know in the comments!





**Just a little note from me**
Right now, I'm planning on hosting a workshop for my friends and family on how to create their own Autumn Wreaths. I am having so much fun playing around and making demos to show them the different options and possibilities, as you can see by these photos!. The opportunity to make, share my love of wreaths (not kidding, I'm obsessed with wreaths!) and to spend time with a bunch of the creative pretty ladies in my life is my idea of a great evening!