parents kissing! ewwwww!


A little while ago during a long family outing the kids ended up with my phone. It happens! Especially when long days are drawing to a close. Usually it's 30 pictures of Lily's arm or ultra close ups of Oli's Rainbow Monkey, but I really loved what they captured this time. Especially the picture in the middle ;)

I remember as kids, friends talking about walking in on their parents kissing and how traumatizing it was and another friend chiming in with wisdom beyond her teenage years. I'd rather walk in on that than them fighting. True words. Long live the public makeout!


YUL EAT Food Festival

Last Monday we packed up the kids and headed to Old Port for the YUL EAT food festival. Any time Brad is off we aim to do something as a family, and we always try to find events with free admission. This was an awesome combination of both. We took the metro - an event in itself as our kids love the subway - and set out to have a fun, hot day.

Champ de Mars is such a beautiful metro station. Go figure, it's the entry to one of the most beautiful parts of Montreal!

There were some incredible food trucks at YUL EAT. They even had one with a wood burning oven for pizzas inside! We got fried duck legs from Au Pied du Cochon's truck (only $4!) and Grumman tacos. So delicious. We fed the kids before we left and gave them tastes of ours and then treated them to a $1 baby cone at Noble Cafe on the way home.

The lines weren't too bad at all for a food truck festival, though the heat was probably the reason. But they had these incredible stations with fans blowing cold mist all over the place so we survived happily!

This September has been outrageously hot for Montreal standards and I'm not complaining. We've loved the extra taste of summer and long weekends. Now that I have a kid in school I really see the weekends as a precious time whereas before it was just like any other day.

To quote Bridget Hunt, "men in uniform? pshhhhh. men pushing a stroller! ". Yep. Hubba hubba.

I used to worry about lighting and making sure everyone was looking, but now I'm just thankful for a picture with all five of us in it. Before long it will be winter and we'll look back on this hot hot month with smiles.


a morning in Verdun

Last weekend the kids and I trekked out to Verdun and spent the morning with friends. Since I've lived in Montreal I've always had at least one friend in Verdun and so have been my fair share of times, but I was amazed at how much it's changed even in the last year or two.

Thanks to the Indie Coffee Passport I had double motivation. We played with friends at the awesome park, Parc Arthur-Therrien (3750 Boulevard Gaétan Laberge) and then headed over to Station W (3852 Rue Wellington) for my free iced latte and their amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. On the way home we stumbled on this beautiful sculpture equipped with climbing pieces for kids. Nicely played, Verdun.

Also, I can't get over Chloé lately. Smiling at the camera, at last! How is she turning two THIS MONTH?


sweet potato chocolate muffins

I'm a huge fan of sweet potatoes in all forms. Roasted, mashed, fried, I'm in. And they're incredibly affordable as far as nutritious, filling vegetables go, so we buy them weekly. But sneaking them into baked goods might be my favourite way to eat sweet potatoes. Aside from this amazing pie, I love adding them to muffins. 

Here's a recipe I tried recently, altered from this one

1 large sweet potato; half grated with a cheese grater, half dices in small cubes
4 large eggs
1 C brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C unsweetened apple sauce
2.5-3 C of flour (depends on what flour you use; whole wheat flour is heavier so use less)
2 ts baking powder

optional add-ins:
  • a couple table spoons nutella (only if you're halving the brown sugar!) 
  • large handful of sunflower seeds
  • large handful of chocolate chips
  • chia seeds
Like all muffin recipes, whisk the flour and baking powder together them add to the mixed wet ingredients. Then follow up by stirring in the optional add-ins. 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The grated sweet potatoes disappear into the muffins, which is why I like having the cubes of sweet potato too, but if you have a picky eater who doesn't like textured foods, grate the whole sweet potato!

I love finding recipes that use olive oil instead of butter, and muffins almost always do. Butter is way better for us than margarine (chemicals!) but it is more fattening than olive oil, and more expensive, so I save it for cookies!


Champ des Possibles

Raising kids in the city has been such a rewarding and beautiful experience, of which we have no regrets. One thing I wish our kids has more of though, is wild green space. We are blessed with many, sometimes huge, parks in the Plateau, but they're controlled green spaces. I grew up near a forest (which has no been developed into a suburb) and have fond memories of climbing trees, getting lost in the tall grass, and picking wild flowers. While my kids wouldn't have this experience in almost any living situation (thanks to urban sprawl, developments, and general loss of wild life everywhere), I still wish it for my kids.

This is why I love the Champ des Possibles! It's a protected wild green space in the heart of the city. Every city kid's dream come true! I can get a coffee from Café Gaspé and then head into the wild minutes later. We were first introduced to the Champ from our kid's pre-school who use it regularly, and now it's a favourite activity in any season. It's south of the CP train tracks between Henri-Julien and de Gaspé in the Mile-End. Check it out!

read more: http://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/blogues/le-blogue-urbain/378865/petite-revolution-urbaine-a-montreal-le-champs-des-possibles-un-non-parc