Sunday, August 31, 2014

It ain't no Picnic

But it was definitely inspired by one...

I do love me my Picnics.  Wafer with cream, covered in caramel, surrounded by peanuts and smothered in chocolate.  Oooh, baby!

I have no problems with buying these deliciousness, but I can't bring it home or share them with my girls due to the peanuts.  (Ironically, we do have PB in the house... but we're talking about Picnics here, not my sense of logic!)

Here's my breakdown of this love affair.  Cream wafers - always a good start.  Caramel, yes please.  Peanuts... hmmm, I like the bite and the salty counterpart it offers to the rest of the confection.  Chocolate, which *gasp* can be a bit too much, but still a necessity.

So... this is what I came up with.  My homemade deliciousness (although the wafers are store-bought)...

Store bought wafers - I haven't found a recipe for these babies.  So, store bought for now.

Buttercream - simple American Buttercream, but I get to control the sugar to butter ratio (yeah - butter always wins).  A thin layer between three wafers.

Salted Caramel sauce - homemade is sooooo good.  Again, I get to control the sugar to butter ratio (and butter is still winning).  The sauce is layered on top.

Rice Bubbles - for extra crunch and vision.

Chocolate dribblings - fancy (!) and necessary.

For my taste buds, this is a perfect combination of crunch and silky smoothness (wafer and rice bubbles vs buttercream), sweet and salt (buttercream and caramel vs caramel), all balanced on the perfect carriers (wafer and rice bubbles) with the chocolate being the icing on the top.  It's homemade; it's divine; it's dangerous.

To save our hearts and waistlines, I have the ingredients on hand but only put it together when we're going to eat it.  Otherwise, it's a constant stopover at the pantry as I sneak in another bite.

Thanks Cadbury.  You're an inspiration :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Splash of Colour

I love our little set up at home.  Cozy.  Tiny.  I'm currently in love with small-space living and I'm constantly thinking of how we can make our set up work better and better for us.

One of things about our small space is that it can feel a bit dark.  I'm not entirely sure why.  The place is not constantly flooded with light, but the lighting is usually quite pleasant.  I suspect it's the flooring and possibly the walls.  And our furniture...

So I thought I would do something about our furniture.

And I turned this, our table and chairs...

Into this...

Hmmm... Looking at this photo, I think I might paint the sides of the table top a brighter white.  I was going for a rustic look, but this might be a bit too unfinished for me.

Originally (as in pre-kids), I wanted sleek and dark and elegant.  And then I moved onto sleek and white with chrome.  And then, skipping the whole white and natural wood (although that still appeals), I went for COLOUR!!

And so I introduce you to my latest obsession... Milk Paint.

Besides loving the colours available from this particular brand, I just love the paint.  It's very forgiving, quick to dry and pretty odourless.  For this project, in a small apartment as well, my first draft started one afternoon and finished that night (after feeding the family and putting the kids to bed).  This piece of painted furniture was sitting in the middle of our living room through all the family evening chaos, not bothering anyone.

The timeline (and one of the reasons why I'm loving this paint)..

I received this on Thursday afternoon (around lunch).  And I made a start.

I got to this point and then left it to pick up Little Miss M from school.  It was dry by the time we got back.

It was picnic dinner Thursday night.  And then back to work after the girls were in bed - another layer of paint (grey/white) to distress.  Quality control test on Friday morning.  It did not pass.

With the little ones around (!), I managed to repaint and add texture on Friday.  I also started on the chair legs.

One coat of furniture wax that evening (Friday evening) and we were ready to go - breakfast Saturday morning!

So far... I'm loving the colour.  The paint has so far survived milk spills, oily food droppings and oily fingers, table banging, intense pen colouring-in and general abuse.  I'm still a bit precious about having a scratch-free finish, and it has maintained that status so far, but I'm sure that it will not remain that way.  Unless I decide to apply multiple coats of some sort of varnish.  But, so far, the products that I've applied from the Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint range, is all natural and I'm loathe to change that.

Oh yeah - and the cushion covers were drummed up while Ms A was tugging at my elbows practising her new words.  It was a rush job - I wanted something in time for finishing the table.  Not a bad accomplishment in less than one week, eh?

I've got a couple more colours of paint and a few more pieces of furniture waiting for a new look.  Yeah!  Bring on Spring because I'm getting the home ready for it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LCMs - Legendary Cool Moms

Apparently, this is what you are if you serve these snacks to your kids...

So, I'm not because I don't.  However...

In a bid to get more ideas, and to make sure that Little Miss M enjoys her school lunches, I asked her to look out for foods that her friends are eating that she might like to try.  And she described this to me.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my junk food.  But if I can (and it's cost effective), I try to make our food and snacks.  So, I came up with this...

See... I give my kids junk food.  I just make it myself.  And this is junk.  Melted marshmallows and butter is the glue that holds this snack together.  Yum!

Melted marshmallows and butter.  Stir in Rice Bubbles until all is evenly coated and not too much glue to spare.  Stuff it into a muffin tray, sprinkle with other toppings if you so desire, and leave it to harden a bit before taking out and storing in an air-tight container.

It's a "once-in-a-while" treat and definitely not a lunch box regular.  Just often enough for this mom to maintain her cool factor.  Hahaha!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A week in review : Happy Birthday!

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Dear Husband.  This Is Your Life!!

Clockwise: Rare time of girls playing happily together.
Your twins - A Ram Sam Sam
Climbing out of reach, Little Miss M
Three in the Bed and the little one said...
Face stuffing - a not so rare occasion
Rumball cake!