Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You'd Think We Like Food Around Here

Maybe it was the gloomy weather.  Maybe it was my toddler who refused to nap for several days.  Maybe it was the aftermath of a wonderful holiday season (I hope you all had a great one and are enjoying the start of this new year).  Whatever it was, over the past few days (ok, let's be honest... the past week), I haven't had the motivation to do... well, anything.

Do you ever have days (or weeks) like that too?

So this post has been sitting here all written up, waiting for me to take and upload the photos to go along with it.  Today, the sun is shining brightly, the baby monitor is actually quiet right now (thank goodness!  I am REALLY not ready to give up nap time and I don't think Oliver is either), and I've finally gotten these pictures together...

We really did have a fabulous time visiting with family and friends in December and we're getting back to our regular routines (with lots of great new toys thrown into the mix).  Let me introduce a few of them...

First up is the little set of table and chairs from Oliver's Grandparents.  Ollie is infatuated with cars and trucks, so this sturdy wooden set featuring the Disney Cars movie is a real hit!  It's the perfect spot for colouring with crayons and he loves to have breakfast and snack time here (with his Cars dishes and sippy cups, of course).

Photo courtesy of Gary Gleason

Right now, it sits between the couch and the window.  I'm not sure if it will stay in this spot, but having it here allows Ollie to access his table whether we're on the living room side or the kitchen side of our open concept home.  He enjoys being able to look out the window at the backyard while eating and colouring.  Also, when he has gone to bed, it can be a side table for us grown ups and our drinks, books, and gadgets.

The little chairs get moved around throughout the day.  They're perfect for sitting at the stools that act as our "coffee table"...

...and for some reason he likes to lay the chair down on its back and sit in between the legs.  It's actually quite comical, so of course he stops doing this as soon as I reach for the camera!

Another exciting addition is the Red Vintage Kitchen made by KidKraft.  This gift is from Oliver's Grandparents (he's lucky to have 2 "amas" and 2 "ampas"... and he'll usually let you know this several times a day) and it's definitely one of the nicest play kitchens that I've come across.

If you're going to have a giant toy in the living room, it might as well be pleasing to the eye, right?!  It is mostly wooden and really well made.  Oliver also received tons of food and little cooking accessories to go with it.

At the end of the day, I think that I enjoy tidying it up and "staging" all of the accessories as much as Oliver enjoys playing with it!

Over in my own kitchen, there are some lovely new things as well.  Thanks to my wonderful Mother-In-Law, we now have a fabulous new coffee maker.

Our old one kicked the bucket back in November, so we've been drinking a whole lot of Chai tea and using a little coffee press to get our daily dose of caffeine.

While the coffee press was charming for awhile, waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee (by setting the machine the night before) is one of the nicest luxuries.

Lately, other enticing aromas have been filling our kitchen as well.  I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with the recipes from my new cookbook, My Father's Daughter, by Gwenyth Paltrow.
Gorgeous photography and stories of her family tie in with the recipes beautifully.

With the excitement of experimenting with some great new recipes from the book, I've also tried my hand at planning out our dinner menu over the past week or so.  Menu planning is one thing that I've never been particularly good at or given too much thought to, really.  Up until now, I've just been making whatever happens to come to mind using whatever happens to be in the fridge and pantry.  So, with a dry erase marker, the good ol' Jute Calendar has once again been transformed.

I love the dry erase format.  Throughout the week, I can easily tinker and tweak things, incorporating newly discovered recipes or inspirations as we go along.  So far, I really like knowing what I'll be cooking in advance... that way I can make sure ingredients such as meat are used before the expiration date or removed from the freezer and thawed ahead of time.  Although, only time will tell if this becomes a permanent part of our routine or not.

Well, I think that's enough new "toys" to feature for one post... and come to think of it, they seem to all have a similar theme... hmm... you'd think we like food around here or something!

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I love that cookbook, too! I actually read it front to back before making anything, because it was such a good read. I love the way she relates food to her relationship with her father.

    Your little one is so precious! He's just sooo cute! Love his new little kitchen! That's a kitchen to be proudly showcased in a main living area(not like the hideous plastic one tucked into our rec room.) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad you had a good Christmas. I can relate to the not wanting to do anything statement, but slowly we are getting into the swing of things around here. Fabulous play kitchen!
    Happy 2012!

  3. Looks like it was a great Christmas! My son loves the movie Cars as well. He got some matchbox-style cars from the movie has to take them with him everywhere he goes!


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