Happy Birthday Housewarming


This year we celebrated my birthday with a barbecue and a sleep over called ‘Pitch a Tent, It’s My Birthday!’. Two years ago we had a similar party at our Niagara house, but there were no children and babies. In fact, there were a lot of drinks and a lot less sleeping. Truthfully, I thought this year’s party was just as much fun, and I felt much better the next morning! 

Priority accommodation went to our friends with wee ones. Ashton, who is just about two months old, took my room with his mommy and daddy. Henry, fourteen months, took Mama S’ room with his folks. We all bunked with the girls in their room, which turned out to be hilarious.

We served beef mishkake (remember that delicious marinade I shared here?), bean salad, a corn and coconut milk dish called makai paka and this incredible curried potato salad from Allrecipes. My darling girlfriend Jackie, who is one of the greatest bakers I know, made these incredible gluten-free desserts. These brownie cupcakes were a serious investment in chocolaty goodness. We ate the leftovers the next day with a roasted marshmallow on top. This apple crumble cake was sublime. She’s since made it even more delicious by cutting some of the sugar. Maybe if we’re lucky she’ll share her modifications with us?

Here’s a photo journal of the event, courtesy of Mama S. I think our good-looking friends are even sexier with babies. It was so nice to be surrounded by my peeps in my new home. I feel a little bit more like myself. Perhaps you should host an event so you can see some of your favourite faces again? It’s always worth the work, and there are always helping hands!













Hannah and Ayla sing Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” for guests.


Noah amuses us all with his hula hooping lessons.

Chocolate Fuelled Work Day

This morning Noah and I got up very early and ran away to Grandmere’s so I could have a working day. I’m hoping to be extra productive because I won’t have this opportunity next week. I’m pleased to tell you that I’ll be taking a 20-hour in-class crash course in driver’s ed.

Country life is beautiful, but I had a little city girl meltdown at the beginning of the week when I started to feel a little housebound and stir crazy. I’ve been studying the driver’s handbook, and will have my G1 in a week. We have a graduated licensing system here, and by my calculations this means I’ll be able to get my full license by next spring. Finally!

My mother’s house is so comfortable, and something about being here always makes me want to eat! Maybe it’s that cozy feeling of being in the house I grew up in? Today I’m craving a warm tray of Betty Crocker brownies and a cold glass of milk. Instead, I think I’ll make a high-fiber, sugar-free, gluten-free alternative that I think you’ll love.

Playboy Mommy’s Reform School Brownies

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or the equivalent of dried beans, pre-soaked and pre-cooked)
4 eggs
3 Tbsp coconut oil (vegetable oil will also work)
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup white sugar, Splenda or other sucralose sweetener or 1 Tbsp powdered stevia
1 tsp instant coffee (optional, but highly recommended)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×8 square baking dish.
Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.