Today I switched all my summer clothes to my winter clothes.
It was a bit depressing….
Since having my child, my life has changed from corporate day/sweats night/fancy pants on the weekend to…. casual day/hip casual for work & events. All the corporate stuff is still in storage (it pains me to get rid of a perfectly good Ted Baker suit) and what’s left is either maternity (think tops that work for breastfeeding), a couple nice tops for when I do interviews/media events and a whole lot of stuff I bought umm… 4 years ago when we lived in London. Or cheap stuff I binge bought on the internet.
At this point my husband would say boo-hoo… you still have a ton of clothes Michelle.
But the fact of the matter is that it’s all fairly old and used and uninspiring. But it will have to do. I’m certainly not going to buy a bunch of stuff when I’m still not in my regular size and frankly I don’t really have the funds for it. This is where accessories come in.
In order to really give me some variety with my clothes I’m going to have to turn to accessorizing the best I can. This means mixing it up with scarves, necklaces, etc. In the past I’ve always tended to go on the delicate side but these days I’m feeling a bit more chunky (physically & mentally!)
I discovered Jenny Bird jewelry while I was gazing wistfully at the beautiful clothes and jewelry on offer at the gorgeous local Westmount store JoshuaDAVID. The heft and chunk of the jewelry took me out of my usual comfort zone but I loved the rebellious feel to it all.
Jenny Bird is a local Canadian gal out of Toronto. She also has a gorgeous instagram feed including a crazy photo of her before and after giving birth to her little bean…. let’s just say I think she put more into her pregnancy fitness program than I did.
I had a couple friends over the other day and we were staring at my big empty walls and pondering what should fill the space for years to come. We all wished we could head out, peruse a few galleries, and stick up some huge original art but it’s not really in the cards right now. In the meantime, my friend (who is also an interior designer) suggested getting quality posters and having them professionally framed. I think it’s a great idea and looks better than the zillion tiny Ikea frames filled with random pictures I got rid of in the move.
Focus on stuff you love, not just filling space!
Here are a few of my picks (hubby – see any you like?)
Let’s face it – halloween for me this year won’t be full of cookies and and pumpkin carving. With a baby due next week (!) I’ll be on the sidelines. The candy has been bought, the pumpkins are ready to be carved by my parents who are flying in to take care of Bastien, and I’ll be firmly on the couch the night of halloween.
But, that’s not to say I can’t make a few treats before hand!
I was recently sent the cookbook Dessert Mash-Ups by Dorothy Kern who writes the blog Crazy for Crust. The book itself is kind of insane. Dorothy mixes up two desserts to create a totally new dessert. There are things like Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cupcakes, S’morescake, and Truffle-Topped Brownies. Prior to making the blondies I treated my family to her Blueberry Muffin Waffles which were pretty good, but definitely more of a treat for once in a while. So far, the two items I’ve made were very sweet and I recommend this book only if you really have a sweet tooth. After the blueberry waffles we all passed out for a nap, with my son even requesting a nap at 11:00 – an hour earlier than his usual time.
But if you are looking for new desserts to satisfy that serious sweet tooth, this may be the book for you. Another small warning, because the desserts are a mash up of two desserts, there is often quite a few steps such as making a crust, followed by a brownie, followed by a cheesecake. These are teeny tiny steps, but nonetheless do add up time wise.
I decided to tackle these Cake Batter Blondie Bars which used rainbow sprinkles and instead substitute them for some halloween sprinkles I had bought a while back (I used these). I liked the fact that they really say halloween without going into the ghoulish territory – which is fun too but not what I wanted right now.
She uses butter extract to really make the blondies taste like cake batter. I have to admit I looked for butter extract at Loblaws, Metro and Target and didn’t find any. I know it probably does add flavour, but she uses only 1 tsp so I decided to forgo and it was still good. And it did sort of taste like cake batter. I have no idea how but it did!
Anyways – try them out and let me know what you think!
These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are from Dessert Mash-Ups by Dorothy Kern. Use Halloween sprinkles instead of rainbow sprinkles for some halloween cheer.
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter extract
½ cup sprinkles
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups powdered (icing) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk
sprinkles, for garnish
Make the Blondie Bars
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or line with foil and spray with cooking spray for easy cleanup. (I didn't use foil and it was fine)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter extract, and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the sprinkles.
Press the dough into the prepared pan. (The dough will be sticky; spray your hands with cooking spray to keep it from sticking to you.) Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. It will be slightly golden, but still have the slightest jiggle in the centre. It will set as it cools. Cool completely before frosting.
Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered (icing) sugar, and mix until crumbly. Add the vanilla, and milk and mix until smooth and fluffy. (My note: When you taste the icing it shouldn't be overly sugary and grate on your teeth - it should be light and fluffy - but it will still be sweet.) Frost the bars. Top with sprinklers and cut into bars.
Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Best eaten at room temperature within 5 days.
It seems totally surreal to me that my due date is NEXT WEEK. I mean, I know the kid is in there. He pushes so hard I can grab his little hand (or foot?!) and it’s kinda sorta creepy.
I have to admit that we didn’t buy much for this kid clothing wise. We already had a boy and already had quite a few clothes. But, I kind of feel a little bad. I mean, I know he won’t know but I mean he at least deserves something nice to go home from the hospital in, no?
I kind of fell in love with these cute clothes from the Firsts Collection from Petit Lem which is a Montreal based company.
We had a few things from Petit Lem for our first son, and I especially liked the cross over tops so you don’t have to try and pull a onesie over their fragile little heads. I also found they had more gender neutral clothes which was nice. Not everything has to be boys-only or girls-only (although knowing we are only having two boys does make me buy boy-looking stuff a little more aggressively).
I also like the fact that they have unisex ‘bundle’ kits which are such a nice baby shower gift. It’s all pretty classy and modern. Perfect for modern moms like me!
The Firsts Collection from Petit Lem is available exclusively on their newly redesigned website. Other Petit Lem products are available in-store including The Bay.
ps They have older kids stuff too!
Note: Petit Lem invited me to their media event where they gave me cake which I happily scarfed down at 11am. They have also sent me some clothes. But, all opinions are my own – and I mean isn’t the stuff cute?