Sunday, January 31, 2010

Small Token of Thanks!

small token of thanks

Two Sunday's ago we finally had our Christmas gift exchange with our friends...yes, I know its a month too late, but with all of us having children and families and obligations; it just didn't happen until now. We have decided that since we all have children, and we are all in our thirties and pretty much have everything we need we would only do gift exchanges for the children. We all pick a child and then buy one present for them for $20. Seems like a good idea...and the kids love it. This year as a small thank you for our friends I also made some mini loafs of Banana and Cranberry/Mandarin bread.
They turned out great, even though I was frazzled in the kitchen and forgot to put the butter in the Banana bread... D'oh! After I was finished I packaged them all up in brown paper bags with a touch of ribbon. They looked very simple but pretty. I think my friends enjoyed them (only one got back to me to say they enjoyed the bread) and I enjoyed making them which I guess is the best part. It seems these days baking is the one thing that Sophia and I can agree on doing together... we'll see what we come up with next.

Here are the recipes in case any of you would like to try them.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Canadian Living Magazine 2002
2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) chocolate chips
2 cups (500 mL) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter , melted
1/4 cup (50 mL) milk
2 eggs
In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; add chocolate chips. In separate bowl, whisk together bananas, butter, milk and eggs; pour over flour mixture and stir just until blended. Spread in greased 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)


Cranberry Mandarin Bread
Lennie's Cranberry Mandarin Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (if using frozen, no need to thaw)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 (10 ounce) can mandarin segments , 1/4 cup juice reserved

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt); add cranberries to flour mixture and stir so berries are somewhat coated in flour-- this helps prevent the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the loaves when baking.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk (I used lowfat milk) with a mixer on low, then beat in 1/4 cup juice reserved from tinned oranges, the oil, the extract and the orange zest.
  4. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened; do not overmix.
  5. Make sure tinned oranges are well drained, then stir into batter.
  6. Divide batter between 4 mini loaf pans (you'll find they'll be about 3/4 full)
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes; a tester will come out clean.
  8. Cool on rack in tins for about 15 minutes, then remove from tins and let sit on rack until completely cool.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 4 - “Texture” Photo Challenge!

week 4: i heart faces - texture

This is my entry for week 4 of iheartfaces photo challenge. I liked the way the texture of the sidewalk came through. Please take a look at some of the other entries or submit your own photo at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Flashback Friday - My BFF


This flashback Friday takes us all the way back to 1995... when I spent most of my waking hours with my now husband Kevin. We met back in Grade 10 computer class, but didn't start hanging out until the next year during Grade 11 art class. From then on, it seemed as though we just clicked and understood all of each others weird qwerks... best friends forever! This picture was taken in our local park when myself, Kevin and another friend went out one Saturday and took funny photo's... this was the most tasteful one. Kevin and I didn't actually get together as a couple until 1998.

Everyday I wake up and I am thankful that I am one of those lucky people that was fortunate enough to marry their best friend. Corny... yes I know - but it really is true. Kevin and I have always had an understanding of how to love and respect each other. We pretty much know everything about each other, the good and the bad (although I'm sure there are some things we don't know about... everyone needs some secrets). We have traveled together, spent weeks alone with each other... and somehow we hardly ever get on each others nerves (although sometimes we do..that's just normal). We have spent the last 17 years (wow it's been that long) as friends, husband and wife, parents and the journey is still continuing.... I hope to have another 40+ years ahead of us.

Thank you Kevin for being my best friend!

If you have a Flashback Friday to share or if you'd like to read others... stop over at Christopher and Tia's blog and add your name.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Week 2: Photo Challenge - “Best Face Photo”

Our Pamplemousse.


Here is my entry for best face photo challenge for the I heart Faces weekly photo challenge. Come and submit your best face photo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flashback Friday- 2002 Last visit with Granny


This picture was taken in August 2002... it was my last time in Switzerland (I won't be back till the girls are much older, and can at least hike one mountain with me) and also my last visit with my Granny. This was one hectic trip, and a sad one. I went over with my family to celebrate my Granny's 90th birthday and it was filled with so many day trips and time with Granny that I barely got to see some of my friends and visit with the family that I was an AuPair for. For some background info... from August 1996-1998 I lived in Switzerland and was an AuPair (nanny)... the first 3 months of my stay in Switzerland was spent living with my Granny and trying to learn German (which I was never very good at)

My Granny was born Beryl Betty Warburg on August 10th, 1912 in England. She spent much of her privileged life being taken care of by nannies and servants. She never went to conventional school but was extremely well read (still reading French books to keep her mind sharp well into her late 80s). Growing up, I never knew my Granny that well because she lived so far away. I was always jealous of my friends who got to visit their grandparents every weekend. I never realized until I was much older that this was a plus for me because I got to travel lots when I was young. She lived in Switzerland (she married my Grandfather who was Swiss and moved there before she was married to teach gymnastics) Anyhoo... living with my granny was difficult at times because I was young and she was old... our lives and goals were different, but she tried her best and in the end I learned a lot from her. The picture above was taken on one of the last mornings I was in Switzerland. I had painted and given her the plate she was holding for her 90th birthday (what do you give an old lady that has everything?) I still remember when I left Switzerland... I remember standing in the train station in Basel with my granny, dad and Kevin... I hugged my granny, kissed her and said goodbye for the last time. I remember getting on the train with Kevin to start the rest of our vacation off to Germany and Amsterdam... I cried like a little baby knowing that it was the last time I would see her. To this day, it breaks my heart... its really hard to say goodbye to someone when you know its literally the last time you would see them. A little over one year later my granny passed away on December 12th 2003 from heart failure after she had an operation on an intestinal blockage.

Here are 10 things I remember about my Granny
  1. Her favorite colour was purple (she said it was a spiritual colour)
  2. She loved chocolate as much as I do!
  3. She was fluent in french, German, English
  4. She hated when I wore jeans (ladies don't wear jeans)
  5. She loved Switzerland, Basel was her true home
  6. She met with her British friends on the first Monday of every month at a restaurant (she had lots of friends young and old)
  7. She was proud of climbing the Matterhorn
  8. She had 4 siblings
  9. She always sent us money for new shoes when we were growing up
  10. She had meditation meetings every week at her home up until shortly before she passed away
I miss you and love you Granny... you will always hold a special place in my heart! May I grow up to be as loving and kind as you were.

If you would like to see more Flashback Friday's or would like to add one of your own. Visit Christopher and Tia to see more or add your link.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My baby turns 1 today!

happy birthday baby girl

On January 5th, 2009 the Kennedy family welcomed a new addition to our family... making us a family of four. At 2:14am in the morning baby Charlotte Juniper was born at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. And to all started with a meal at Taco Bell..yes, being pregnant makes you crave gross things :) In short... this is how it went.
  • 5pm... eating Taco Bell with Kevin and Sophia... first contractions started.
  • 7pm... sent Sophia off to Grandma & Grandpa's house for the night cause we new baby K was coming. (contractions 7min apart)
  • 10pm... called midwife because contractions were 3min apart
  • 11:30... midwife arrived at home... contractions were 1-2min apart
  • 12am...arrived at hospital
  • 12:30am...had a jacuzzi bath to help contractions and waiting for second midwife to come.
  • 1:45am...water broke
  • 2:14am... after what seemed like an eternity of pushes and labor pains... Charlotte Juniper came relatively quickly into this world... and we were thrilled. The midwife was impressed, because within 30min we were already talking about having another baby :)
Jan 5th 2009

At 12pm the next day... Kevin, Charlotte and myself went home to rest and wait for Sophia to come home. When Sophia met Charlotte for the first time... she looked at us all perplexed and said " Mommy... she doesn't talk!" we giggled and told her that she would help teach Charlotte how to talk and walk... Sophia has been a great help over the last year. Other then snitching her toys and sometimes being a little rough, she's been an A+ sister.

Here are a few pictures taken one for each month showing the growth of my little girls adventure to becoming One!

12 months at a glance

We Love You Charlotte!
Happy First Birthday!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodmorning 2010


Goodbye 2009... Hello 2010!
Wishing everyone a wonderful happy and healthy 2010. 2010 brings new and exciting things for the Kennedy family this year. Little Charlotte will be one years old in a few days... Sophia will be starting school this year and I am on an adventure to find a new job or to re-invent myself so that I may be lucky enough to stay home with my children. We aren't sure of where our lives will bring us in the next year...but I'm hoping it will be great and that I can share it all with you.

I welcome 2010 in with open arms.... Happy January 1st!