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Apple Pecan Two-Bite Trifle

REMIX//

Ok… so my last trifle was such a hit I decided to get creative and mix things up in the dessert kitchen this morning. Unfortunately I’m introducing this far too late for our Canadian thanksgiving, but perhaps our American friends can find some inspiration here just in time for their Thanksgiving festivities. Either way, it’s totally Kismet for Fall!

As with my other trifle, it serves best in a trifle dish so all those delicious layers adorn your table beautifully.

Ingredients

  • 1 full-sized angel food cake
  • 1 box Dr. Otker English Toffee pudding mix
  • 1 small package of chopped pecans
  • 10 apples
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 pkg of Two-bite brownies (approx. a dozen)

If you have your supplies on hand you are ready to get Prepping, (can be made up to 24hrs in advance)

Step 1: Peel and finely slice your apples. 10 should do.

Step 2: Blend your Dr. Otkers pudding mix, and refrigerate until your apple slices are ready

Step 3: Toss apple slices with 1/3 cup of sugar

Step 4: sautee in a frying pan drizzled with maple syrup – until golden and soft.

Step 5: (while waiting for apples to cook ) Cut all two-bite brownies into fours.

Step 6: Refrigerate apples until chilled (do not drain the liquid)

Step 7: slice angel food cake into 3 sliced rounds

Step 8: place the smallest round of angel food into the trifle bowl.

Step 9: Layer with 1/3 of the pudding

Step 10: Toss on 1/4 of the brownie chunks

Step: 11: Layer on 1/3 of the whipped cream and spread evenly

Step 12: Pour on 1/3 of the apple slices and liquid

Step 13: Sprinkle on 1/3 of the pecan bits

Step 14: Repeat steps 8-13 two more times. (Using the largest angel food round last) Be sure to top well with your apple slices and pecans, add the extra layer of brownie chunks for aesthetic appeal.

Voila! Make ahead and keep chilled until ready to serve!

So good, you might just want to skip dinner and dive right into dessert! Let’s hope my MIL is equally as delighted when we serve this for her birthday tonight!

Tight squeeze!

Ella

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Posted in Design, DIY

Hutch makeover Inspo. 

Current dining room Situation

BEFORE

It’s finally time! I’ve worked up the nerve to tackle the daunting task of refinishing my found and foraged dining room hutch. It has only been sitting hopeful on my to-do list for a good seven or eight years, patiently waiting for his number to be called. He shall be named, Henry, and while he isn’t exactly the “ruler of (our) home”, he definitely has a presence here. I can not wait to see him in all of his transformed glory…. for now, I will share a few of my Pinterest inspirations with you as I narrow in on the look I really want! 

Classic Farmhouse Via Pinterest

While, I am sort of over the whole farmhouse thing, I do quite enjoy the Light and bright look of all the white furniture pieces. They are easy to capture In a photo and would make a nice bright backdrop for a Holiday family dinner. Bonus points for it’s compatability with decor of all color schemes including those holiday specific pieces. 

Ultra Feminine via Pinterest

I’m totally having a love affair with both pinks and florals right now, and obviously this is the direction my dining room has been taking for awhile. I’m Just not certain that will last too long, and I would hate to go to all that effort just to tire of it in a year or two. 

Black Tie Affair via Pinterest

Um…. black! YES!!!! Especially perched against a white wall and a few scattered pieces of bold color decor (like my neon pink chairs the flank the head and foot of our table). But… I don’t know how I feel about a piece Of Henry’s stature in all black, it might present as a looming black cloud over our average sized dining room. 

Touch of Modern via Pinterest

Again… that whole country thing, I’m over it…. unless it’s country music, well then! 

Bold Statement via Pinterest

Bold, bright and unexpected, everything Yes! I love color, I love living in the unexpected. But for a week long project like Henry can I love it for the longterm???

What are your thoughts??? 

Tight squeeze!

Ella

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Why I will no longer say that my kids drive me to drink and other ridiculous nonsense 


Yesterday I joked to my co-workers that it isn’t so much my job that drives me to drink but that my kids sure do…

This morning, in my infinite post-slumber wisdom, I woke up full of guilt and immediately wished I could take back those ridiculous words.

I’ve heard it time-and-time again, and I’ve said it myself but I’ve suddenly become aware of the implications of that statement – and not on the alcohol front – but what this (and other equally ill-suited statements) says about my children. 

There is actually nothing painful about a three or four year old, in fact, they are by nature the windows into the soul of Mother Earth, the most organic form of humankind to exist. Pure, neutral, and loving. It’s not my kids, it’s really just motherhood as a whole that gets our panties all in a bunch. 

This totally exhausting, completely unerving stage of motherhood is filled with amazing humans and to say that THEY drive me to drink is really just implying there is some kind of fault with them as children – which thank my lucky stars – there certainly is not! They are prefect beings acting completely in tune with themselves exploring curiosity, practicing conflict, learning their physical limitations, and expanding their mindset. They are truly in harmony with themselves and their authenticity and when I think about placing blame on them because I can’t keep up with these systemic expectations of motherhood, well that is just absurd! 

The responsibility of motherhood, on the other hand, is what interferes with my ability to bask in all the glorious adventure my children bring to me. 

You know… Motherhood; the toppling laundry piles, nagging house keeping tasks, home cooked meals waiting to be made, honey do lists, daycare planning, Taxi service scheduling. It’s all those looming accessories to childhood that really get to us. Add in this new millenial motherhood where we needlessly busy ourselves sweeping dirty laundry under the area rug so we can post a perfectly curated picture of ‘real life’ on social media, Document a reality tv show via live story options, and post minute-by-minute twitter updates of the goings on of our lives.

So let us give credit where credit is due; our  preschoolers and early elementary children are just busy living their intended life, and being awesome at it! If we are struggling to stay above it all, we need to shed a thing or two from the mundane task lists and take more time quietly enjoying our kids. 

Forgive yourself mama! Motherhood is the scariest hood you will ever go through, so drink that wine (or otherwise choice of chill-out beverage) just don’t make your children the “excuse” you think you need! 

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

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The ‘Harvey Weinstein’ Talk We must have!

Today I made the mistake of spending my kid-free time trolling the internet response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. I am shocked and appaled at the outpouring of negative opinions and women to women victim shaming involved here.

Let’s make something very clear,  If we don’t stand with these women (Celebrity or not) we are standing against them, there is no middle ground. This kind of angry outcry from desensitized internet trolls is exactly the dialogue people like Harvey Weinstein are hoping for; devaluing the magnitude of his criminal behaviour, minimizing sexual assault, and aiming the spotlight away from the empire that is the Weinstein company and the hundreds of men and women who probably knew about and facilitated these ‘hotel meetings’. 

First and foremost our responsiblity as the  public should simply be to listen. Let us listen intently to their stories, feel their emotion, and provide them with a judgement-free platform for which to tell and retell their stories. Because if we do we actually open up a more powerful dialogue of resistance and unacceptace of sexually inappropriate behaviours. More women will be able break free from the bondage of their corporate corruption and speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace. But mostly, listening will help them to spread the shockingly ‘new’ expectation that we should not tolerate this behaviour anywhere and at anytime. 

Let there be no mistake, Harvey was powerful because he had a tribe of men and women for whom he assumed power and whether by fear, or ignorance, or otherwise involved in these predatory acts they sheltered him, encouraged him, and facilitated this long-time abusive business tactic. What we know about powerful empires, is that they do not topple easily. 

Mass opinion has been that these women chose not to come forward before they bank rolled millions from under his corporate wing. Why thirty years later?

Celebrities have historically been using media covered outlets to make cracks in the foundation of his power;  from Gwenyth Paltrow on Letterman, Rose McGowen on twitter, to Seth Macfarlane at the 2013 Oscars. They spoke about it amongst each other, they loathed this man that ran Hollywood, for God sakes, they called it his “Open Secret”. Don’t underestimate this ‘new’ movement for one minute, it has been a long time coming, these women have been quietly forcing momentum on these tides, until the waves could no longer be ignored. 

Our very pathetic reality is that thirty year ago corporate Hollywood would not have tolerated these accusations. We are naive to think that women’s rights were better thirty years ago, naive to think that women were as highly valued in the industry. To topple this empire, his little black book of assaulted women had to rise to alarming numbers, because we all know when one or a few come forward it is never enough. Even still, had he been convicted, he would never had been robbed of his role in Hollywood and people would still be turning a blind eye. So, yes! It had to be now, not because these women are older and established in their wealth and fame, but inspite of that. 

What we won’t hear about, Is what happened to those twenty-something aspiring actresses that forcefully resisted his advances, and refused to work with him, because without established fame he would have made damn sure they simply disappeared! Blacklisted from hollywood, and silenced by remaining nameless and unpopular in the public eye. Did it do themselves or the public any good to speak out back then? No! He continued to negotiate sexual tasks and favors for success in the industry.  

Let’s acknowledge talent where talent is due. These Celebrity women coming forward that have didn’t achieve status because they were sexual vixons, but because they are artists and believed in themselves and their talents and firmly believed these roles were meant for them, and on some level, Harvey knew he needed them too – regardless if they were sexually complacent. 

When we engage in conversation about how a woman behaved, or whether or not she accepted fame, wealth or status as a result, we minimize the fact that sexual harassment, assault or otherwise has zero place in the workplace. Period. So just stop! 

Other internet naysayers were particularly hung up on the fact that these celebrities willingly met Harvey in his hotel room. <eye roll> First of all, since when did we decide entering a hotel room was open invitation for sexual assault? Secondly, use some perspective, I would assume that a high class Hollywood movie moguls hotel room was hardly just that. He likely wined and dined in the penthouse suites which consisted not only of a bed, but of a living room, a kitchen, and <gasp of shock> an office area… you know, for conducting business. 

The most overrated public response to these accusations is, how can these women live a double standard and depict nudity whilst complaining about their trama as victims. I can hardly stand to give this one a response because it’s so obvious to me, but I will let you in on this little secret. Acting is their art form, and human bodies in the nude are the rawist most authentic form of art in existence! If this isn’t enough for you to understand, please consider also, that often times victims of sexual abuse become disinhibited in their sexuality therefore resulting in promiscuity. It doesn’t make them the target of their abuse, it is the result of it. 

I wasn’t among the millions of women who posted a #metoo hashtag on social media because I honestly can’t think of a time where I’ve felt any form of unwanted sexual advances, but #insolidarity with women across the world I will engage in healthy conversation regarding sexual assault. I don’t have to have a daughter, to want differently for the children of our future. I hope you will consider the same!

Ella

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A year after loss. 

One year ago today! 


Now a year later I headed to the lab where I donated 10 vials of blood and a urine sample, the last of a series of work-ups we have been enduring for the last few months. Still on this journey, waiting and hoping, but mostly feeling defeated. 


But then… (and I can’t even make this up) as I loaded my blood deficient body into the car to leave the lab, my Michael Franti CD instantly broke out into chanting these words…  “Don’t let it go… when the rain falls down you know the flowers gonna bloom, and when the hard times come you know the teachers in the room so have a little faith in me, have a little faith in you, don’t let it go!” 

I have never really listened to this CD before, it’s my least favourite of all my Michael Frantic CDs and just by happenstance threw it in last night, without really knowing I needed it today. 

All morning I’ve been wandering from here to there doing life while I carefully plotted the words I would write in this post because we never really know where our emotions are at through all this, but these lyrics right here is really all I have to say about it. #faithrestored

Tight squeeze!

Ella

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Elliott in Kindergarten


If we have done anything right, the only remarkable thing you will be wearing to school on this first day of kindergarten is your confidence. Even though I may have thoroughly planned your first day outfit, and carefully selected a suitable backpack it’ll only be these years of character building that will matter when you walk through your schools double doors.

As you embark on this journey that will carry you through your more impressionable years I will be cheering you on to be your best – most authentic – self. 


Never trade in your individuality for some carbon copy of your peers. 

Never feel the desire to dull your inner sparkle that is after all our favorite part about you.

Never lose your sense of curiosity and continue to ask questions to gain better understanding.

I encourage you to share your creativity with your peers! I’ve witnessed first hand the magnitude of your imagination and know your talents will be endless.

Bravery is your most cherished attribute, and I know undoubtedly that you will persist outside of your introverted comfort zone, because you are also amazingly adventures despite those limitations.


You are a social butterfly, who has never shyed away from creating new friendships, be bold and befriend even the under dogs.

Smile and face each of those tougher days with grace and persistence, for they don’t last long. 


You are a fascinating human! And we are proud of you for waking each morning with a positive outlook on life and rising to the challenge of facing another day. Everything else you accomplish is simply a bonus!

I vow to take heed to your struggles, and be sensitive to your needs this first year you adapt to this new life. 

I vow to love you and protect you on this journey.

I vow to let go of my need to be in control and allow this village to help guide and protect you. 

I vow to never underestimate how precious your mind is, and to fill it with positive thoughts and encouragement especially in these days that you are feeling vulnerable.


You are full of greatness!

You are full of potential!

You have incredible determination!

You are (mostly) equipped with the tools to do this,

You will do this!!


You are kindness, and gentleness, and intention. 

You are you, and that is perfect! 

I am going to miss you! But I am more proud of you than you will ever know, and that fills my heart with excitement these first days! 

Go now, with my heart, and relish in all the joy and learning your school days have to offer. You will do great things! 

I love you!! 

Xoxo

Mama


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Ollie a preschooler!

This bright and Witty charmer is off on his first day of preschool. I will look forward to my brief half days alone, that is, as long as I don’t get phone calls saying he is swinging from the ceiling or giving classmates swirlies. 

You all laugh, but I truly wouldn’t put it past him. 

For real though, here are all the reasons I know he won’t even flinch with this transition:

1. He’ll most definitely be the class clown 

2. He demands attention from the second he enters a room.

3. He has an infectious laugh

4. He is actually pretty brilliant already

5. He is rather thoughtful

6. He is a charmer

7. He is imaginative

8. He loves structured activities

9. He is a story teller.

….

Or I could be getting those daily phone calls that he has repainted the walls with glue, or peed on a classmate.

At least he has that infectious smile to get us all through!!

The very best to you for these preschool days, our little Ollie-pop!


Tight squeeze!!!

Ella