Monday, May 31, 2010

:: michelle wells family photography ::



We had a fantastic shoot with Michelle Wells a couple of weeks ago and there are some teasers up on her blog. She captured H's personality so so perfectly! Thanks so much Michelle! We can't wait to see the rest!

:: winner of cafe press giveaway ::


Yes, this one says "I sharted". Ha! Daddy thinks it's very funny. I think it's funny cause it's true. Only a matter of time before that pristine white shirt has a little yellow spot on the back. Oxyclean is my friend.


The big winner is.....LUCKY NUMBER 3! Melissa! She had some very sassy personalized shirt ideas too. I especially liked:

"yes I'm pregnant, no we are not finding out the gender, yes I am feeling fine, no you can't touch my belly!"

Random Number Generator
3Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Friday, May 28, 2010

You inspire me to become a mom, blogger and all around pleasant person to read about. How do you find time to do it all??? (From a WB lurker!)

First, that is so so sweet! Thank you very much! You really made my day with this question :) This "ask me anything" box is fun!

I don't really find time to do all the things I want to do. I have big aspirations a lot of the time to get a million things done in one day (clean, cook, blog, go for walks, run errands, garden, etc etc etc) but I always fall short. I try and spend a bit of time updating my blog and surfing around for new ideas when H sleeps. Some weeks, I am on top of things, but most of the time I am playing catch up.

I am also struggling with limiting the time I spend on the computer, since sometimes I feel like I am sucked into an internet vortex and all of a sudden I have wasted hours! Spending time with friends and being outside rejuvenates me, and I am trying to get out and about more now that the weather is nice!

This is probably not the answer you were looking for.....but I don't know anyone that has truly found the time to do it "all". All I know is that finding time to spend with my Hubs and baby H is my top priority, which is why I don't blog on weekends anymore!

Ask me anything

:: for the girls - organizing clips & bows ::

Someone has finally come up with a stylish way to organize all those lovely bows and clips for little girls! Lil Divas Bowtique on Etsy makes lovely custom bow holders to keep all your bows beautifully displayed and out of the vacuum cleaner, ready to be matched with all your little princesses' outfits. Man, I hope I have a girl someday....the shopping! Oh! The shopping!

Mon Petit Amour Readers can get 20% off when you mention this post, and Bowtique owner Shannon is offering free shipping until June 30! If I had a baby girl, I would so be getting this owl themed holder. I don't think my owl obsession is going to stop anytime soon :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

:: sunscreen safety for your baby ::


It's cold and rainy today, so naturally I am going to write about sunscreen!

Really though, it's something that has been on my mind a lot lately, so when I found this great website from the Environmental Working Group, I knew I wanted to share the info with all of you.

Who knew that baby sunscreens would be such a hard world to navigate? I guess it's not surprising, given that we spent a lot of time researching safe baby shampoos, bum creams and body lotions before Hunter was born. He'll be 6 months old soon (waaah!) and is ready to use sunscreen when we are out in the rays.

A little bit about the sun and babes (taken from the EWG website):

Under 6 months babies are not yet protected by melanin in their skin. So, when you are outside:
  • Cover up with protective clothing, tightly woven but loose-fitting, and a sun hat.
  • Make shade with a stroller’s canopy or hood. If you can’t sit in a shady spot, put up an umbrella.
  • Avoid midday sun — take walks in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Follow product warnings for sunscreen on infants under 6 months old – Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreens on infants or urge parents and caregivers to consult a doctor first. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants as a last resort when shade can’t be found.

Once they are 6 months and can wear some sunscreen, continue to cover them up and avoid the hot midday sun, and make sure you buy a safe sunscreen. Here are some tips:
IngredientsOxybenzone
Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
Added insect repellent
Zinc
Titanium dioxide
Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX
ProductsSprays
Powders
SPF above 50+
Cream
Broad-spectrum protection
Water-resistant for beach, pool & exercise
SPF 30+ for beach & pool
Download this page to take with you to the drugstore!

Click here for a list of the best and safest sunscreens according to the EWG. For now, we are using Badger unscented SPF 30, but I would LOVE to get my hands on some California Baby!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

:: not so wordless wednesday - and a cafepress giveaway! ::

The Hubs and I are HUGE fans of The Office, so when CafePress contacted me to do a review and giveaway I jumped at the chance since I knew I could get something Office related. They have loads of fun t-shirts and gifts on their site, and you can personalize shirts as well (Hello personalized Father's Day presents!)

As you can see, Hunter is loving his new onesie. We are hoping "Thatswhatshesaid" might be his first word :p

CafePress would like to give away a personalized t-shirt or onesie to a lucky Mon Petit Amour reader! Let me know what you would write on a personalized t-shirt (for yourself, or someone else in your life) in a comment below this post. I'll announce the winner on Monday, May 31st!

You can get up to two extra entries by leaving a comment letting me know you have:
- blogged about the giveaway
- tweeted about the giveway (I'm @monpetitamour)

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

:: tasty tuesday - mac and cheese....with bacon! ::

I have been searching for the perfect mac & cheese recipe for a long time. This one is reallllly close. Still not perfect (even with a bacon topping, shocking I know!) but it is getting very close.

I used cavatappi noodles, which were great at soaking up the delicious sauce and added the cooked bacon on a whim at the last minute because we had some leftover from breakfast on Sunday. Hubs and I loved it. Hunter looked on with jealousy. Sorry dude!

Here is the recipe - from the Pioneer Woman, my hero! I think I might reduce the dry mustard next time, it was a touch too tangy for us.

Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Dried Macaroni
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • ¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
  • 1 pound Cheese, Grated
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme
Preparation Instructions

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

:: trail's end grass-fed beef ::




We spent Saturday afternoon out at Trail's End Grass Fed Beef Farm and had such a great time with the animals and the very kind ranchers. Hunter is starting solids soon and of course we want nothing but the best for the little guy.

I have been reading about the health benefits of grass-fed beef in a variety of sources for a while and wanted to find a source close to home. A google search led me to the Trail's End website and when we were invited to their open house, we knew we would love to meet the people who would be making our food.

We were treated to a tour of the farm (Hunter looooved the cows!) and then a sampling of sausages inside their beautiful home. We warmed up with some Pomegranate Cider, and we didn't want to leave!

Thank you so much Rachel, Tyler and Linda for hosting such a lovely open house on Saturday! It was a pleasure meeting you and we look forward to ordering soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

:: everything but the kitchen sink granola bars ::


I made the most delicious granola bars this morning. These are going to save us LOTS of money since the Hubby is addicted to Kashi Bars. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and made it as written last night, but found it a touch too sweet. Here is my modified version for a decidedly less sweet bar - but just as delicious!

First - raid your baking cupboard for dried fruits, nuts and other goodness you need to use up. I decided to use some ground flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, sultanas, coconut and dried apricots. Use your handy dandy kitchen scale and fill it up to about 1 pound. Have fun and try different things! You really cannot go wrong.
Next, melt 3 tbsp of butter in the microwave. Whisk it with 1/2 cup of almond butter (or any nut butter), 1/4 cup of honey and 2 tbsp of agave nectar. If you don't have agave nectar, use more honey! I also added a tsp of vanilla.
In another large bowl, mix together 2 cups of large flake, slow cooking oats, 1/3 cup oat flower (pulse some oats in the food processor to make this!), 1/2 tsp salt, and a dash of cinnamon. Decide at the last minute to add a handful of chocolate chips like I did!

If you like a sweeter granola bar, and you aren't sneaking in chocolate chips like I did, you could add a tbsp or so of brown sugar.


Mix the oats in with the nuts/dried fruits and then add the wet ingredients into the dry. It will be slightly sticky but not a soggy mix. Press into a parchment lined 9 x 13 pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 350. Enjoy the delicious smell in your house.

Don't slice them until they are cool! And if you are impatient like moi, stick them in the freezer for half an hour to speed up the process. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee. Bring them to a weekend picnic. You will be making these a lot!


p.s If you are wondering why I don't blog on weekends anymore, it is because I am trying to save my Saturdays for family outings (we are visiting a farm tomorrow!) and Sundays for relaxing. I am stealing a page from the Flylady's book and trying to get all the errands and cleaning done during the week so our weekends are reserved for fun and relaxation. Enjoy the long weekend!

Everything but the Kitchen sink Granola Bars

Ingredients:

Fillings
1 pound of fun fillings - be creative! nuts, dried fruit, flax, coconut, chocolate chips....

Dry
2 cups large flake oats
1/3 cup oat flour (oats pulsed in the food processor)
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon

Wet
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Weigh the fillings, or ensure you have 2 to 3 cups of schtuff if you don't own a kitchen scale.

Mix the fillings and dry ingredients together. Whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry. Press into a parchment lined 9x13 pan. Bake for 35 minutes until browned on the edges. Don't burn! Cool and then slice. Cheat by placing in the freezer.

Enjoy. Dream up many many variations and make them often! Save moolah and impress your friends :)



Thursday, May 20, 2010

:: multi-tasking mommy makeup ::




I am IN LOVE with this one step foundation from Stila. It goes like a primer, smooth and silky, and gives nice sheer coverage with a powdery finish. It is the peerrrrfect product for a busy mommy. I have always used mineral powders but I am finding they are too messy and time consuming these days. With this makeup, I just put it on after moisturizer, do some mascara, blush, gloss and eyebrows and I'm done!

It's a bit pricey, but I am willing to shell out for 5-second makeup.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

:: wordless wednesday ::

"I love the forest!!!!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

:: inspiring birth photography ::


Will you think I'm crazy if I tell you I actually loved giving birth? It was such an accomplishment for a wimpy girl like moi, and with the support of my amazing husband and midwives, it was everything I had hoped for.

I spent an hour last night reliving the miracle of birth while looking at the amazing birth photography blog of Lynsey Stone - DFW Birth Photographer. I love the way she captures the emotions of those beautiful first moments.

Monday, May 17, 2010

:: winner of suetables giveaway! ::


We have a winner! Lucky #10 - Jennifer. She wrote:

I'm not sure if I can enter this way... but my mother deserves this necklace because this was the roughest Mother's day. It was her first one with out her youngest daughter who passed away in November at the age of 17.

Congratulations Jennifer, what a sweet and meaningful gift for your Mom! I'll be emailing you with the details.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

:: last day to enter suetables giveaway! ::

Today is the last day to get your entry in for this gorgeous sterling silver charm necklace from Suetables. Click on this post , follow Sue's blog here, and leave a comment to be entered into the draw! Winner will be announced tomorrow!

Friday, May 14, 2010

:: family photoshoot with Michelle Wells ::




I am SO excited for our family shoot today with Michelle Wells. I love her playful style and can't wait to see a picture of the 3 of us. Can you believe we only have two family pictures from the last 5 months? I'll let you know when there are some teasers of us up on her blog!

:: sling bookshelf ::

KidKraft Sling Bookshelf in Natural

As a book addicted Mama who grew up visiting the library weekly, if not daily, my little guy needs to have lots of space for books. Unfortunately, his nursery is not all that big, so this slim little sling bookshelf would be perfect. I love that the books face out, enticing you to come and open them up. Available at AllChildrensFurniture.com. They have oodles of lovely furniture and a sister store selling cribs!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

:: tasty tuesday - torta de cielo, roasted tomatoes and an herb garden ::


My herb garden - staying inside until it gets a bit warmer. I have visions of making little lavendar sachets for my pillow - so Martha :p

Roasted Tomatoes ready to be made into sauce for our pizzas tomorrow!


Torta de Cielo - the most delish cake I have had in a long time. Soak 1/2 pound of almonds for 6 hours and then follow the recipe. You won't be disappointed. It's an almond sponge cake, perfect with a cup of tea.

Monday, May 10, 2010

:: first mother's day ruined by man cold ::

Kathryn Love Letters and Brenda birthstones necklace by Sue Tables

Ok, Ok.....it's not as dramatic as it sounds. I am getting a "do-over" Mother's Day this weekend and we did have a nice breakfast together....but it was not the first Mother's Day I had imagined in my head. Darn man colds always seem to ruin everything around our house!

If anyone else had a crap Mommy's Day and are getting (or demanding!) a do-over, you have got all week to drop hints on kiss and make-up presents.....

And in the spirit of beautiful gifts for Mommies, one of my FAVOURITE Canadian Jewelry designers is giving away a personalized necklace featuring four Kathryn and Brenda charms of your choice to one lucky Mon Petit Amour reader.

Sue Tables designs gorgeous sterling silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I especially love her personalized Mommy necklaces, so you can wear your heart on the outside. Check them out here.

To win this personalized charm necklace ($79 value) from Suetables sign up as a follower of Sue's blog at http://suetables.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment on this post telling me why you should have received this gift for Mother's Day.

Treat yourself, or drop a hint to the one you love because Suetables is offering 10% off by entering the code "petitamour" at check out at
www.suetables.com

For two extra entries you can:
a) blog about the contest and leave a comment
b) tweet about the contest and leave a comment

Good luck! Winner will be announced Monday, May 17th.


Monday, May 3, 2010

:: taking a technology vacation ::

So, I am feeling a little blah these days and I think I need to take a week off of blogging, facebooking, twittering and the like since I find I am spending a lot of time on the computer and not doing other things I love (or things I don't love - like cleaning!). I am going enjoy more reading, baking, walking outside and much more this week without the computer to distract me. I might even give up TV too. We'll see.

I hope you all will understand! I'll be back next Monday. Until then, read some of the blogs on my blogroll - there are some great ones there!

p.s I'll still get email on my blackberry if there is anything realllllly pressing you need to send me!