Fresh, local strawberries are a must this time of year! We love strawberries in all forms. From shortcakes to salads, cobblers and cakes, you really can't go wrong with this superfood. But our favourite way to enjoy these beautiful little morsels might just be as part of a glorious Eton Mess.
1 quart fresh strawberries
500 mL 35% cream
2 plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 package meringue nests (6 per pack)
Optional Ingredients (add to taste)
Hull and quarter the strawberries, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar (reserve 6 whole berries for garnish). Allow to macerate for at least one hour, if possible.
Add the cream, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the vanilla extract in a mixing bowl,
Using either an electric mixer or a hand whisk, whisk the cream until firm peaks form.
Break the meringues into small pieces.
Fold the berries, whipped cream, meringue pieces, and any of the optional ingredients together in a bowl, then divide the mixture into 6 coupe bowls or glasses. Garnish with a whole strawberry on top.
Eton Mess is one of the easiest desserts you can make and always impresses. Serve this at the end of your next BBQ and be prepared for the praise that will follow. It's light, refreshing and tastes like summer!
How do you enjoy your strawberries?
After the snow, sleet and rain, we are bursting with excitement to see the summer sun shining! This time last year we were (slowly) approaching the final few weeks of pregnancy and getting ready to meet our little ones. Now that we can walk without waddling and don’t feel nauseous at the sight of a roast chicken (anyone else have this issue?), we’re excited to spend our lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with our babes. Check out a few summer activities that are absolutely perfect for children one or younger.
Pitch a tent
What is it about a small child crawling in and out of a tent that is absolutely adorable? Before the temps were on the rise, Lindsay placed an infant tent indoors so her baby girl could get comfortable with her little dwelling. She instantly fell in love with it and it’s been a staple on the patio ever since. Many child-focused tents consist of UV-protected materials and bug-free closures to ensure your littles ones are safe and sound.
If you’re not able to take a full blown vacay, consider a road trip! Some of our favourite family trips this year have been driving an hour out of town and taking in the small town charm of rural Nova Scotia. Walks through the main street, small cafes and book shops, and discovering home-grown boutiques and restaurants is the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday.
Climb every mountain
In Nova Scotia, there are so many beautiful trails to explore by bike or on foot. Besides getting in your steps, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Baby boutiques offer several carriers (front and/or back facing) to support your baby’s height and weight and fit your frame.
After a long hike, it may be time to cool off with some icy goodness made with love. Homemade popsicles are a great way to offer your wee ones something refreshing without loading them up on sugar. Yogourt and fruit or just straight up cucumber water makes a delicious summer treat. (Parent hack: we’ve found these also come in handy to help our teething babies when unpleasant pain sets in.)
We’re excited for our first trip to the beach, but we’re pulling out all the stops when it comes to sun safety. Beach tents and parasols, sunscreen, sun hats, UV-protected swimwear and slick mini shades are all on our “bring to the beach” list. Our cute wicker beach totes may not cut it anymore!
Mommy and me exercise groups
Break a sweat and make a few new friends by joining a local ‘mommy and me’ exercise group. From walks around town to yoga in the park, check out what programs are offered in your ‘hood.
Music in the park
We recently discovered our local Public Gardens offers music for children during the summer months. Our little ones are just starting to show some rhythm with hand-clapping and bum-bouncing so we know they’ll absolutely love this!
A glass of vino on a patio downtown used to be one of the first signs of summer when we were footloose and fancy-free. And while a glass of goodness al fresca doesn’t present itself as often as it used to, we’re still not ruling out a few trips to our favourite outdoor eateries.
What summer activities top your list with little ones? Happy summer!
Jacqueline and Lindsay xo
Three cheers for the amazing men in our lives! Father’s Day is this weekend and we’ve got some fun things planned to celebrate their special day. In need of a bit of inspiration? We’ve got you covered.
A work of art
We’re obsessed with this thoughtful and adorable gift! Get your little ones involved in creating a priceless work of art which can be framed for the home or office. Chris gifted Lindsay this sweet gift for Mother’s Day and let’s just say the tears started flowing!
Dad’s favourite dinner
Harness your inner Barefoot Contessa and create a menu featuring all of his favourite dishes.
Round of golf
It’s now become a tradition for our father and husbands to hit the greens together on Father’s Day. Give him a little peace and quiet with a day on the links.
Breakfast in bed
A hot cup of java and flapjacks drizzled with maple syrup taste even yummier when served with fluffed pillows and a cozy comforter.
Picnic in the park
This is such a cute idea. If the weather cooperates, grab a blanket, pack some of his favourite goodies and head to the park for a picnic.
Prolong the festivities with a fun scavenger hunt. Each clue can lead to a token of your appreciation. Keep it contained by staying home, or broaden the search with a hunt through your neighbourhood.
Personalized photo book
If you’re like us, you have a million-and-one photos of your little ones on your phone. Put those images to good use by creating a photo book full of sweet moments. Add text to create a little story you can read together.
Who doesn’t love a good graphic tee? From ‘Papa Bear’ to straight up ‘Dad’, give the gift of fresh threads this Father’s Day. Chris loves this T-shirt and wore it proudly the day his baby girl was born.
How do you plan to celebrate this weekend?
Jacqueline and Lindsay xo
This past winter, Lindsay's family moved into a new home. Lindsay and Chris came from living in a flip home (fix it up to sell) and then an apartment, so they were excited to put their own unique mark on a dwelling that was all theirs. A favourite décor feature was the addition of floating shelves. Floating shelves add visual interest to any space and are perfect for displaying knick-knacks, books, flowers or any other random décor that needs a home. This industrial look was loved so much that it was used in three areas: the living room, laundry area and the bar in the dining room. If you're looking for a chic way to update a tired or bland space, check out this DIY for floating shelves.
What you'll need
Wood of your choice (we used bass wood)
Threaded plumbing pipes
Flanges (these are used to anchor the plumbing pipe to the wall)
Clear coat semi-gloss water-based urethane
Measure twice, cut once
Measure the space where you'd like to install the shelves and determine the length for each shelf. The depth of the shelf is also a personal choice. We thought about what we wanted to place on each shelf to determine its dimensions. Once you have all your measurements, the wood can be cut. Many home stores will offer to make the cuts for you.
Paint plumbing pipes, flanges and caps
We opted for black spray paint to create a strong contrast against the wood.
Select your preferred hue and stain the shelves. This will take multiple coats. Sand the wood between each coat to ensure a smooth, clean finish.
Use a clear coat semi-gloss water-based urethane to cover the shelves once they've completely dried from the stain. This is a finishing coat that will seal the stain and protect the shelves from wear and tear.
Anchor to the wall
To assemble to the wall, find an area where there are. no studs and drill the plumbing pipe in place. Once you have your pipe installed, your shelves can be placed on top. You can also buy brackets to secure the shelf to the pipe.
Hello sunshine! To usher in a new month, we’re sharing our June checklist. Check out how we plan to prep, primp and play this month.
Create a summer essential checklist for your little one
This is our first summer with our babies and we are all about the checklist. From sunscreen and hats, to sunglasses and constant hydration, we want to make sure we don’t forget a thing during our fun in the sun.
Purge, purge, purge
No matter the month, a good purge always makes our to-do list. Get rid of unwanted clutter in the cabinets and closets. If it’s collecting dust and taking up space, then it’s time to kick it to the curb! Creating room in your closet means you can welcome one (or five) new favourite threads into the mix! Consider donating lightly-used items to a local charity drop-off.
We’ll be taking advantage of the sunshine whenever we can. Trips to the beach, walks in the park, dining al fresca and just enjoying good company on the patio will all top our to-do lists this month.
During the summer months, we tend to eat lighter and have little desire to hover over a hot stove. Enter the all-important meal plan! With a plan in place you can enjoy more time outside with loved ones and less time figuring out what on earth you’re feeding your family once 5 o’clock hits. Save favourite recipes and prep dishes in advance so you can grab and go throughout the week.
Thinking of taking a trip or planning a little staycation? Get ahead of the game and nail down those summer travel plans now. Things book up quickly this time of the year so claim your temporary piece of paradise before someone else does!
Father’s Day game plan
We’re so excited to raise a glass to the amazing men in our lives this Father’s Day! While we’re thankful for them every day of the year, we’re looking forward to making this particular day extra special.
What tasks top your checklist this month? Happy June!
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Jacqueline and Lindsay are sisters and new moms living on the East Coast of Canada.