Today, my mom and I took our very first painting class! We’re halfway through our painting and I’m super excited to share progress photos. I was a tad nervous heading in, considering I’m not a top notch drawer, but it was awesome to see that that skill isn’t a requirement. Many of the great masters used tracing techniques and photograph inspiration before letting their creative juices flow!
Even this work surface was inspiring!
I’d assumed that the base colour would be a sky blue and was intrigued to learn that we would be using this red-orange, as it’s barely noticeable in the final image. In fact, the sky is the last part that we will be adding! I’m not complaining though; this sunset orange is just beautiful!
This is our final product from Saturday! I can’t wait to finish it next week.
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” – Pablo Picasso
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun New Years Eve and an awesome start to 2016. It’s crazy how the leap from 2015 to 2016 has inspired so much change and brilliant resolutions that I hope to see come true. Due to the abundance of festivities, it’s an excellent time of year to show how grateful we are and to contribute to a beautiful world to the best of our ability. I encourage you to make S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals that will help you become your happiest self! Mine include: cooking dinner for my family once a week, completing the Kayla Itsines guide and taking my dog for a walk three times a week.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
On another note, I’ve been up at Whistler for the past few days and have had a great time with my family. I’ve been to Whistler many times, but I’ve never seen the weather as perfect as it was this past week. The sky was crystal clear and flooded with sunlight, with no breeze. I’m not allowed to ski for a while because of my history of four concussions but we had a wonderful time snowshoeing in the Callaghan Valley at the Whistler Olympic Park
The first day, we did a green trail – Stadium Explorer – that took us around the ski jump, where the national team happened to be practicing (it was unreal and terrifying) and around the biathlon track used in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It was tons of fun!
Back at the village, the lights were magnificent in the trees. We stopped at the Mongolie Grill one night for dinner. It’s so cool to watch your meal be cooked – and to see the cooks play toss with a tomato!
Stay tuned for our adventure on the breathtaking Lookout Explorer trail!
This year was our second annual cousin baking day , and yet again we made enough sweets to last a very long time… well, we’ll see about that.
These oreo truffles are delicious and unbelievably simple to make. And we’ve been making the shortbread snowmen since I was little.
These ginger cookies stay chewy for days and are vibrant with flavour! We also made turtle chocolates – caramel and pecans dipped in chocolate!
We bought the cutest gift boxes at Target that are perfect for gifting our sweets.
Here are the recipes we used:
Turtles – The Best of Bridge
50 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons half & half cream
1 1/2 lbs. milk chocolate
3/4 lbs. pecan halves
Melt caramels over low heat and add cream. To make each turtle, place three pecans on the cookie sheet, laying two pecans beside each other and the other on top. Dip a spoon into the melted caramel and dip the bottom of the top pecan into it, then place it on top of the other two. Spoon more caramel over the other pecans. Place in the freezer until the caramel is set. In a double boiler, melt chocolate to a smooth consistency. Dip frozen turtles into chocolate and place back on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until the turtles are completely set.
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, icing sugar, vanilla and salt together until fluffy. Stir in flour until combined, kneading dough if necessary. Roll into balls and gently press together to form a snowman. Bake for 10-12 mins and immediately decorate with chocolate chips to make eyes and buttons. Once cooled, tie liquorice piece around neck to make a scarf.
Bon Appetit, and Merry Christmas!
Today, we went to the Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas tree! This is an annual tradition with my family – one that we look forward to each year.
We picked the tallest and bushiest tree!
The rain couldn’t stop us from picking out our perfect tree! In fact, it made puddles, which my Hunter boots and I just couldn’t resist jumping in!
I tried to assist in sawing down the tree, but my hood kept getting in the way and I couldn’t find the trunk…
So my job transformed into holding the tree… Which didn’t last long.
Let’s have Lauren hold the tree that we cut upright while we take a nice photo. *Cue Lauren dropping the tree*. Tomorrow’s going to be an arm day at the gym.
Oh well, it made for good photos. So can we say I meant to drop it?
Shout out to my madre who was the amazing photographer and videographer throughout the tree sawing process. She captured all the right moments! Also notice I am holding the tree… I told you I meant for it to fall!
Up on the SUV! We counted 37 trees on vehicles today. 38 including ours! And of course my mom and I stressed the entire ride home that it was going to fall off… I should never question my dad’s intricate tree-tying.
A trip to Fort Langley for the Christmas tree is never complete without lunch at Wendel’s. We all warmed up inside with our favourite French onion soup! And for dessert, a coconut nanaimo bar!
The tree’s drying out tonight in the garage, but our stockings are up and the decorations are ready for tomorrow!
What are your favourite Christmas traditions?
Happy December!!! Did anyone else run down the stairs this morning to open their advent calendar? It was pure joy this morning to open both my David’s Tea and Lindt calendars, not to mention delicious :). December is a beautiful month full of holiday cheer, cozy clothes, random acts of kindness, family time and of course yummy baking. I must admit that I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past month, and I have already watched Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a movie about a man who is engaged to one of his student’s mothers and whose father is Santa Claus – I’m completely blanking on the name right now! So you could say that I’m up-to-date with Christmas festivities.
As far as baking goes, I haven’t had the chance to make much yet but I did bake some tasty Two-tone Gingerbread and Shortbread Cookies from the Canadian Living Holiday Baking magazine. Normally, I find that shortbread can be pretty dry but this recipe is amazing and the cookies stay fresh and chewy for days!
I’ve been so into messier braids recently! They’re so versatile – you can twist pieces of hair together at random and it almost always looks good!
In the past week it has gotten so cold outside that honestly looking at these photos is making me shiver… How did I take my jacket off?!
Wearing: American Eagle Ripped Boyfriend Jeans (similar) // Le Chateau Sweater (similar) // Steve Madden Booties (similar) // Hudson’s Bay Noisy May Parka (similar)
I’m so excited to go get my christmas tree on Saturday! And of course there’s the VS Fashion Show next Tuesday!
How are you celebrating December?
Deliciously Ella is one of my favourite clean-eating food bloggers. Her recipes are vibrant, unique and ultimately, delicious. And have you heard that Ella and her hubby, Matthew, are soon opening The Mae Deli in England? Yet another reason to travel to the UK. Another go-to dish is her Creamy Coconut Porridge (featured on Aimé By Aimé here), which is literally perfection in a bowl. My recent find though is her Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew, which I came across in my hunt for vegan dishes last month. Rich with coconut milk, spinach, chickpeas, eggplant and sweet potatoes this hearty meal is absolutely amazing. Feel free to add whatever fun finds you have in your fridge at the time, like red peppers or mushrooms, and serve on quinoa or brown rice, or with dumplings.
To get this recipe: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew
What are you currently craving?
Happy Thanksgiving to all!