Monday, February 28, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

...there were 5 children who lived in London with their Mom and Dad.
One day, their Aunt and Uncle came to visit. They brought along 5 of their own children (2 were missing...).
Much excitement and playing and mess making ensued. After a while, the Mom and Dad and Aunt and Uncle were wishing for a little peace and quiet.
So.. all the cousins were kicked outside convinced to play outside. They wanted to build a snow fort.
Uncle showed them how to use recycling boxes to make building blocks. Uncle later cleaned up all the recycling from his sister's basement... oh wait, no he didn't!

Can you spy.... a Little with a water gun?
Cousins played happily outside for some time.

Adults had quality time inside. Everyone lived happily ever after.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

YES, we have NO Bananas...

Do you have bananas attracting fruit flies on your counter? Or turning black and slimy in your freezer? Go get them. Go get them right now and make these muffins:

Here's the link to the recipe:

And here's the actual recipe in case the link doesn't work. I doubled the recipe and made 24, because 12 just won't last long enough in this house.

The Best Crumb Top Banana Muffins
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 375*. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and oil. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. (I did the banana mix in my KitchenAid mixer , and added the flour mix to it. Worked fine.) Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients, cutting in butter until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins (don't be skimpy)
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Makes 12 good sized muffins. DELICIOUS!!!!!!
TRY to wait until they cool somewhat before taste testing. It will not be easy. They smell yummalicious!

Monday, February 21, 2011

MORE February Festivities!!

The Birthday event was followed two days later by the Birthday Party Event. This year we planned a Spa party! Mani/pedis, facials, treats, movie, sleepover!!! What more could you want?
Four friends:
"Eww... this stuff feels so gross... it's sooo disgusting... giggle, giggle..."
It was kind of freaky - like peeling a sunburn, I guess!
I was too busy painting nails to take pictures of the mani/pedis. I also didn't get pictures of the SLEEPover, as I'm not sure any sleeping actually happened...
But these are what we made for goody bags:
We stuffed them with lip balm, lip gloss, shower gel, and (of course!) chocolate! It was fun!

February Festivities

February is kind of a dull, drab, depressing month, isn't it? Good thing we have some events to liven things up! First comes Valentines Day. OK, hokey Hallmark commercialized holiday, but still, a good excuse to brighten up the house with flowers, right? And make a totally decadent dessert:

Valentine's Day is followed two sleeps later by:
This year she turned 12.
Luckily, she blew out all the candles. She's too young for boyfriends anyway. Dad says she has to be at LEAST 40.

What with all the flowers and cakes and birthday presents and such, the other kids got shortchanged, I guess. They were forced to make do with what they could find for toys. Like cardboard boxes....

This was a space ship, originally. I think it's now a computer/autograph book/graffiti wall... they've been playing with it for a week. At least.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Love Kijiji!

Deanna's been taking piano lessons for a couple of years now. She started with a piano teacher in our neighbourhood, who then moved to Petawawa! A bit too far too commute, so piano lessons were put on hold for a while. This year, she started again with a student from our church who is studying for a music degree at Western University.
We picked up an electric keyboard off Kijiji when she first started lessons, which was okay for beginner stuff and learning notes... and the little girls loved the autoplay feature. They would put on some music and dance around the house.
However, it is not the same as playing a "real" piano, and it did not have 88 keys like a piano. As Deanna is progressing, she was really outgrowing it.
I'd been watching Kijiji for a while for a good deal on a decent piano. Last week I found it:

Art and some good (strong!) guys picked it up last night. Deanna is very happy:

It sounds lovely, and I'm sure it will be put to good use making beautiful music for a long time!