May 2, 2016

Picking the perfect card for Mom

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This year, the kids had the last week of April off school for spring break. So we took a trip to Toronto to spend quality time with my family just in time for Mother’s Day.

My sister, first time Mom, and I thought it would be really nice to co-host a little Mother’s Day dinner with a few of the special ladies in our family. We gathered Mom, Aunti Marissa, Aunti Debi and our cousin Bailey who is so good with our children she may as well be a second mother to them. Abby also came with us on the trip as she’s a part of the family and I wanted her to finally see Toronto and meet my Boobie (grandmother).

Before I left on the trip, I took the boys with me to our local Walgreens to choose a Mother’s Day card for everyone.

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They chose the most beautiful cards. Naturally each was a Hallmark because let’s face it, those guys know what they are doing. And some were actually the Hallmark Signature cards which were a step above with some pretty beautiful designs.

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I sent a photo of all of the cards to my sister for inspiration for our dinner. We immediately agreed on the following:

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1. An ombre of pink flowers would be our centerpiece down the dinner table.

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2. We don’t want to cook. We are MOMS TOO! And we needed a break. So we called Mandy’s amazing friend Elyse of Elyse Leanna Catering to put together a fabulous menu and take care of it all for us.

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3. Let’s skip the dishes. We’re always slaving over the sink after a big meal so this time we opted for the new Little Miss Party in a Box to set the table and boy was that a game changer. Clean up was a cinch!  So we got to enjoy each other for longer.

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One of the nicest things about hosting this dinner was putting it together with my family. My sister and I drank wine and laughed over flower arranging, my son helped set the table and we used the cards for each Mom as a place card so there was no problem finding seats when our guests arrived. Oh and obviously we topped each with a tulip. Duh.

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Before dinner was served everyone opened their card. I included recent school photos of the boys which everyone loved. And the best was watching everyone read our notes and the pictures that the kids took the time to draw.

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EVERYONE was so appreciative knowing the time it took to choose those cards, draw a note and print out photos.

 

We knew to ask Aunt Debi because well….she’s taking things to a whole new level. These rosettes?  I mean, c’mon.

STUNNING!

Simply Beautiful Eating, you never cease to amaze me.

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One very important woman missing was Frieda. Boobie. AKA our grandmother and Queen B.

Boobie Frieda doesn’t do dinner at 3pm anymore. So when we want to see Frieda, we go to Frieda.

It was a pleasure to see her, and she loved the card and photos from the boys.

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Happy mothers day to all of the aunts, cousins, grandmother’s and sisters of the world. As you know, it takes a village. Without you us mom’s would be lost. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was asked to participate in the #HallmarkAtWalgreens #CareWithACard campaign, sponsored by Hallmark at Walgreens but the love for these woman is all on my own.

Photos by Abby Copleston

xx, Seri
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April 29, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Over my years as a home cook and baker I have never been able to master two things:

1. An avocado rose

2. The elusive Macaron

I’m just going to forget about that rose…..BECAUSE the macaron is where it’s AT.

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Notice that I’m referring to this cookie as just a Macaron and not a French Macaron? That’s because there’s a difference between a French Macaron and an Italian Macaron. I learned to tell the two apart this past weekend at a Macaron Making Workshop at Le Dolci Bake Shop in downtown Toronto where we were invited to attend their 2 hour class.

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We couldn’t have been more excited. My Director of Sponsorships (Daniella Visconti) was even more pumped to try her hand at this delicate task because she is set on making a “macaron tower” for her upcoming bridal shower. A tower? I’m was just aiming for a few cookies that didn’t fall apart or look like BOOBS.

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When we arrived at Le Dolci (and found a stellar parking spot) we were greeted by two lovely ladies – Lindsey (the instructor and pastry chef extraordinaire) and Stephanie (who is the “I do everything” gal).

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We donned our aprons, which in my opinion were super cute. Thank you for hooking us up with these Kitchen Stuff Plus! Then we washed our hands in preparation for us getting all “Mac’d up” and settled into our seats. Other “macaron” students filed in one by one until the table was full.

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You can definitely tell that my partner is a school teacher. She sat with her pen poised, taking oodles of notes and actually paid attention to the instructor. Unlike me who used to talk in class when I was little, got in loads of trouble for yapping AND still haven’t changed since Grade 3.

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And then…..

It began.

The instructor/chef – Lindsey started the tutorial by explaining the difference between French and Italian Macaron recipes. What I absorbed out of that was …..we were not going to Paris but instead to Rome for these Macs. If you want to know the difference I found this blog that explains it perfectly – CLICK HERE

Here were the next steps in condensed form along with a pictorial:

THE WHIPPING

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THE RAIN (of sugar)

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THE BLOWING

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THE COLORING

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I THINK THERE WAS WHIPPING AGAIN ( I can’t remember because I was too busy snap chatting, shooting, eating my sample macaron and most likely TALKING)

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THE FOLDING

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THE PIPING

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THE SLAPPING (too violent to photograph so I’m going to jump to the next pic)

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THE BAKING (again no photo because this is what we did while they were in the oven – SMILING AND PRAYING

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THE COOLING

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THE LICKING – (ya, you heard me….this was the best part)

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THE FROSTING

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THE TOUCHING…..OF THE DISPLAYS? (Oh Daniella)

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THE GILDING (with gold by the way…..uh ya….like real gold)

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And finally….

THE PACKING

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When all was said and done, we each had a load of macs to take home with us AND the recipe for these delicate little beauties.

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The one thing I do remember the instructor saying was “you will try this recipe at least 3 times before you get the hang of it”.

3 TIMES???!!!!

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Oh and the weather needs to be good AND you can’t make macaron if you’re stressed. I’m convinced the perfect place for making these would be in Arizona at a Spa.

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But seriously? If you want to spend a wonderful, fun afternoon by yourself or with friends, head down to Le Dolci for this class or others that they offer (I want to do donuts next) or to purchase one of their beautiful custom baked products.

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Thank you so much for having us Le Dolci ! We loved the lesson and hope to try it at home soon.

RECIPE:

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Mine even survived the ride home!

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Want to watch the whole shebang on You Tube? Grab your macarons by the feet and let’s go!

debi, @simplybeautifuleating
www.simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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January 14, 2016

A special kind of sixty

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There are no words to describe how I feel about my Aunt Marissa. Growing up she was like a second mother to me. We would go out on special dates together with my younger cousins, her two daughters, for Lime Rickeys and Chuckie Cheese. When she would drop me back off at home, I would cry. Cry because I loved being with her and never wanted to leave. It’s pretty incredible having a person you love this much in your life.

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With that said, when my Aunti Marrisa (who looks 35) turned sixty, I told my cousin that I wanted to do everything in my power to help.

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Luckily, my super hero powers include party planning.

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My sister and I spent some time brainstorming with our cousin Bailey. Aunti Marissa will be forever young, loves her family and has a boho style. We envisioned wild flowers, bubbly cocktails and metallic gold details.

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We decided on brunch for the party. Aunti Marissa loves good coffee, bagels and cake. So we got it all.

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We loved how the table runner turned out for our Mom’s 70th birthday last year, so we went with the same type of table design, but with seasonal greenery and flowers. Since the party was just after Thanksgiving there was a lot of fern, pine and wild berries happening. It was beautiful.

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Lunch was made by my cousin Bailey and yours truly. We stayed up into the wee hours the day before the party making chopped egg salad, crudite, mini quiche, deviled eggs, maple bacon and a fruit platter.

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Of course we set a mimosa bar with a variety of juices and fruit to garnish. And we set a large pot of coffee up in the kitchen.

The final detail was in the photos. Aunti Marissa cherishes her memories and keeps everything! We pulled out some of our favorite shots with her family and best friends, all who were at the party, and tied these to the bottom of our balloon strings.

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Then there was the cake…

For some reason when cake came to my mind for this party, all I could think about was caramel. I designed this cake with Truffle Toronto with a salted caramel flavor on the inside. It was out.of.this.world. Everyone at the party was raving!

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Needless to say, Aunti Marissa was speechless and more then touched by this bash. We love you Marissa. And wish you nothing but happiness for the next 60 years.

Thank you to the amazing Toronto talents who helped us put this all together:
Flowers: Sweet Woodruff
Cake: Truffle Toronto
Balloons: Balloon Queen
Photography: Sandra Brzezinski

xx, Seri
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December 31, 2015

Best of LMP in 2015

Looking back on our year it was almost impossible to choose the highlights. There were SO MANY! Wow. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished and what we have in store for the future. From the bottom of our hearts we thank YOU for following along and supporting us in this “Mompreneur” world. It’s not easy but we are doing our best to have FUN!

Without further ado…here is a recap of our favorite moments from the year 2015…

Party

LMP 2015 v2

Host a shower in your home + A Vanity Fair Breakfast supporting Dress for Success + A Lil King turns one + Dining under the stars for Baby Dick

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LMP Box 2015 v2

See what our customers are saying + Little Miss Party in a Box is now sold on Brit & Co + MEN set up our party in a box + A New Years Eve stunner.

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SBE 2015

Pretty in Cheesecake Pink + Crostini makes the best party food + Simply Salad + Dye me Devilved eggs

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Mandy's Meals & More 2015

Mandy’s Asparagus salad + The YAY in our LMP in a Box + DIY bath salts for Mom + Holiday party snacks that you can doll up for your guests to take home.

LMP Kids v2

It’s sorta hard to believe how fast these lil ones are growing up…and how amazing it is to see our family grow!

LMP Kids 2015

Gavin went on a lot of “dates” + Lukey ate his way through 2015 + Alexandra made for the cutest reindeer on this planet + We welcomed our newest team member, Baby Dylan.

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Cocktails 2015

It’s Cocktail Time: Cranberry Mojitos + Spiced Mulled Wine + Classic Lemonade with CB2 + Bar Essentials

We hope you’re year was just as fabulous as ours was. We wish you a healthy and happy new year. Be safe, friends. Our love, LMP.

xx, Seri
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November 30, 2015

Mandy’s Meals & More featuring Daniella of All that Glitters

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I have a confession to make. From the day we moved into our condo which was over a year ago, I have been dreaming about hosting our engagement party in our building’s party room. Well before the proposal. That’s normal right? When my fiancé Cory popped the question about two months ago, I got right to work to put all my ideas into action. This weekend we celebrated with our family and close friends, and if I do say so myself it was one fabulous party!

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When planning I tried to keep things simple since the room itself has so much character and so many great details. I kept a palette of white, mint, and pale pink with accents of copper and marble. We stocked the bar and hired a The Food Dudes to do passed appetizers. The drinks were flowing and the food was out of this world.

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Now onto the details.

Because it was an engagement party I felt that a bubbly bar cart would be perfect. Because really, when you’re engaged all you want to do is pop champagne and celebrate! I put out juices and fruits for mimosas which were such a hit! And to switch it up a bit I stocked the bar with elderflower liquor and aperol so guests could make Elderflower Fizzes and Aperol Spritzes – so yummy! Using a bar cart as a mini drink station is great since it’s interactive and also takes a bit of pressure off the bar. I added a confetti balloon and a SIP SIP HOORAY glittery banner and voila – a chic bubbly bar!

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The sweet table was really out of control and probably my favourite part of the party! My fabulous mother in law to be Debi, who you all know as Simply Beautiful Eating, brought with her a stunning petal layer cake, vanilla and chocolate mini cupcakes, and the cutest sugar cookies ever. All from the amazing ladies at Baked With Joy. My wonderful mother made mini panna cottas to add to the table as well. I loved that everything on the sweet table was mini and very easy for guests to grab at any point in the night.

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Let’s talk about the favor table. I knew I wanted to give out mini champagne bottles so I designed a thank you tag that fit our theme to tie around the bottles. We also tied straws around some for those guests who wanted to pop their bottle right away and keep the party going! I printed black and white square photos of my fiancé Cory and I to use as wall decor behind the table. I punched holes in two of the corners and strung them onto three strands to put up on the wall. It was the easiest thing and a non-cheesy way to incorporate photos of the bride and groom to be. Seeing photos of us from the past four years was so much fun for all our family and friends, and made us so happy to look back on all the wonderful things we’ve done and amazing places we’ve been to together throughout our relationship.

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This party was so much fun and it was amazing to celebrate with so many of the people we love. We couldn’t be happier! Until next time…

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Vendors
Photography – Simply Beautiful Eating
Caterer and Bartender – The Food Dudes
Flowers – Coriander Girl
Desserts – Baked with Joy
Banner, Cake Topper, Cupcake Toppers – All That Glitters

 

xx, Seri
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Party conversation
  1. Debi @simplybeautifuleating

    This was one of the most beautiful engagement parties I’ve ever been too! Daniella you’re amazing and we love you! I’m so happy to have you as my future daughter! Xoxo Mama D

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