July 1, 2016

Yay for Canada Day!

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Seri and I have officially moved out East for the summer with the boys, which means so much summer inspiration and different places to shoot.  In other words, this will be the summer of snapchatting, so be sure to stay tuned!

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In addition to this weekend being the 4th of July AND Luke’s 4th Birthday Party, today happens to be Canada Day! We knew that we had to make something in honor of Seri’s home country, and we have been talking about making our own snow cones for ages now.  Why not make them red?  Genius!!

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Snow cones are enjoyed by people of all ages, so we made an adult version and a kids version of these babies, both using homemade simple syrup.  Cherry Thyme Simple Syrup, to be exact.  Ya ready?

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Here’s what you need:

-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup water
-20 fresh cherries
-a few sprigs of thyme
-ice
-bottle of rosé wine
-blender
-snow cone cups

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Here’s what to do:

1) Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil.
2) Add 15 cherries and a few sprigs of thyme to mixture in pan and stir to combine.
3) Reduce heat to simmer.  Take spoon or mallet and muddle cherries.
4) Let simmer for 10 minutes, until all sugar is dissolved and mixture has thickened.

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5) Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer into a heat safe pitcher to strain out cherries and thyme.
6) Cover and refrigerate syrup until cool, about 30 minutes.
7) Meanwhile, take your blender and make about 6 cups of crushed ice.
8) Once simple syrup is cooled, take out of fridge and have ready to go next to you.
9) Use ice cream scoop to scoop crushed ice into each paper snow cone cup.  If you can’t get the cone to form a perfect dome, use your hands to melt the ice into a dome.

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10) Take pitcher with simple syrup and slowly pour onto the top of each snow cone.

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11) If you’d like to make an adult version, pour some rosé over the top of your cone in addition to the simple syrup.

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12) Garnish with a fresh cherry, and you’re done!

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Enjoy, and Happy Canada Day!

xx, Abby
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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.

To end off on a sweet note, we knew to ask Aunt Debi to make dessert because well….she’s taking things to a whole new level these days. 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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Party conversation
  1. Marissa

    It was the most wonderful dinner! Thank you so much. I loved my card and will always treasure the memories of a wonderful evening spent with people that I care about!!

    Love you,

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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.

abby

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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