Do you look forward or back? It's not a trick question, I really want to know! I'm not super nostalgic by nature. If anything, I err on the side of impatience, always anxious to get to the next… milestone, job, project, weekend. It's why I don't feel sad the way some people do about my kids' birthdays — there's always so many things to look forward to. How can I feel sad about Esme not being a baby anymore when we just took the training wheels off of her bike this weekend?
Of course the major — MAJOR — downside to my habit of looking ahead is that I can miss out on what's actually going on. I spent the last low-temped week we had in Toronto talking about how it felt like summer is over. Something about the coolness of the morning air just felt like September to me. Esme had had enough one day. "Mom, there is a month — that's four weeks! — left of summer. It is not over." And she's right. I need to stop looking at the back-to-school articles crowding my twitter feed and get my head back into the game. So, I'm planning some picnics, barbecues and even just dinners out on our deck to get the most out of the second half of summer. You with me?
Here's a little something to help you and your family celebrate the long summer ahead of us. Don't worry, I know pie can be intimidating but this one is as easy as they get. It looks gorgeous when it comes out of the oven and tastes like heaven. Peach and blueberry is one of my all-time favourite summer combination. But I've got another one coming up for you that's amazing, too. I can't wait… Read more
I'm going to be honest, I buy berries all year long. We eat them almost every morning, whether they're on top of granola or porridge or rolled up into a nut butter breakfast wrap, I pack them in lunches and dole them out as after school snacks. Do I love the berries we eat in January. Meh. They'll do. But now. Now is the time for amazing local berries. The small-ish, red-all-the-way-through gems that populate the stores now are the ticket. They're sweet and taste like — wait for it! — strawberries. So, do not miss the window. There are a million ways to enjoy them — here are just a few of our faves. Read more
Do you remember what summer used to feel like? It was so, very looooooooong. And sometimes a little boring. Well, at least when I was a kid that was what summer felt like–endless days with lots fun things to do, or hours with nothing. Nowadays summer feels like a lightening sprint. It's a dash through commitments, every day as jammed packed as the last. I guess that's what happens when you grow up. However, I'd like to get back to what summer used to be. I'm going to slow it down for my daughter and, hopefully, me too. Instead of enrolling her in every camp there is, we'll just spend our weeks up at our little lake cottage. We've actually done it for the past two summers and it's been just like, well, summer. We paint rocks, pick blueberries and get bored sometimes. However, it's a glorious we've got nothing to do kind of boredom. Obviously, because I'm a writer, this works for me. However, you can turn any day into a long, lazy summer day. One of the best ways to do this is to commit to doing something that keeps you close to home, maybe it means you don't even have to leave your jammies, like crafting and baking. Read more
Do you like traditions? I really do, particularly when it comes to holidays. I think our kids look forward to Halloween because they want the candy they'll score Trick or Treating but even more because we always spend it with their buds Maude and Ford. Laura and I take all of the kids to Casa Loma each December to make gingerbread houses and it wouldn't be Christmas without the trip. But Canada Day? I got nothing.
On SPC we always celebrate July 1st and July 4th as I'm Canadian and Laura is American. And this year, I'm actually doing both holidays as well. American friends of ours will be in town from L.A. over the long weekend and we're going to throw a big cookout on one of the beaches in Toronto. It will be a big group of friends and everybody's kids. There will definitely be burgers and hotdogs but I'm thinking my contribution is going to be these awesome maple leaf cookies. You can really taste the maple syrup in them and Esme and Julian will love helping me cut them out. This recipe makes a lot of cookies but that works out since our crowd will be giant. Read more
I have to admit I'm a teeny bit disappointed writing this post. Normally, every June, I happily skip through our Strawberry Week post chatting about our adventures picking fresh, Ontario strawberries at the local farm by our cottage. However, over at the farm, there's nothing! Yup, that's right. Zippo. After a long and cruel winter, the strawberries weren't available until later this week. So instead of my hand-picked goodies, I picked up a local variety at our grocery store. The upside of that? No one whined about picking them. Read more