Wednesday, December 26, 2018

And so..just like that 2019 is at our door~♥

The last preps were made for Christmas~Look how cute..

Look how not cute..

I purposely did not Photoshop the birch bark for this cake.
I could have made it look flawless..
But that would have been..false.

I made The North Pole Cake..found here..
In small pans:)  I added espresson powder to the buttercream for color..a BIT..
Because I knew how I was GOING TO DECORATE MY CAKE.
Like this beauty!
Think again before making this..
I was so disappointed.
I did everything they said..almost..but when I started breaking the broke..
Plus the chocolate cools too quickly to get it thin ..if you live in the Northern hemisphere...QC ..Canada.
Anyway all this to say.
Fail the bark.
Fail the cake for me.

My Bonne Maman Advent Calendar? Thumbs up..Look what was in number 24~

I did make empty Bonne Maman  jam jar ornaments but this one takes the cake..better than the above cake;)

Meri Meri NEVER disappoints..I made these cupcakes for sleepovers..
I used an idea from Terry..who was responsible for that adorb truck and tea towel and silicone choco mold:) She makes these cupcakes too..and used a Red Velvet cake mix~
I used a container of premade frosting because it pipes beautifully:)

The boys loved them and left w/ the rest..Poor Noah was sick..(he is never did not make it the next night..
still hope for the 28th;)

 Noah and his mom made birdseed feeders and bought me some:)

Guess who got a stocking?:)

Our boys..Oli..Noah ..Max and Lucas in his new hoodie..Thay are all going to see The Harlem Globetrotters:)Cell phone pic!!

So our sweet neighbour Vanessa..with her son and mom(Oma..who taught 2 of my Littles in pre~school)....built a skating rink ...the kids skated Christmas eve and after the fireworks~There is something about a skating rink and Christmas lights that excite me .

Boxing day snowed late afternoon..This is the real Photoshop snow.Vanessa 's rink~♥

One of my daughters got a new cell phone.Unbelievable clics!!

I indulge my Girlie fantasies with Meri Meri:)

So..for 2019..

I don't make resolutions..

I never made GOAL lists even when I worked.

I just wanted to do the best I could.

But I do get ideas and go through clean up

I tidied up some recipes and moved my faves of 2018 into regular folders..
I'll start 2019.

I threw lost of odds and ends away and should do more..and I will..

I will stop and say..:"Yes let's do drive- though because I do want a skinny moka latte"~!I do want a Starbucks.

Forget Miss Polite that're $$ cares!!!?
I want one.

No more bought calendars..
Maybe next year.
I want to skip a year..
I want to look at my Shutterfly ones ONLY.
Our family..what matters..

My desktop will be sleeker..and honestly ..I need more space less stuff.

I so want to leave great reviews on Google and I do.
I do on Amazon too.It literally kills Jacques when I rave about an Intelcom delivery person..

Or that DEAR Suraj/Adobe CC/that spent 2 hours on the phone with me fixing my Photoshop subscription.♥I was having glitches..Unglitched.Thanks to him.
Could not wait for Adobe to send me a survey.Yes.5 plus stars.

But in my heart..there's this dark cave that wants to leave terrible reviews..not products..
professionals..because I want people to be aware.
But I don't.
Because every time I have actually spoken my mind.I was the one that ended up feeling bad.

Yrs ago..I had to be interviewed ..sort of.. by someone..and that so called professional..said:"Tell come you often say Thank you..etc..I said.."Well that's the way I was brought up".
If I had to be in her presence again..I would say:"(*(*&^*())and leave.
And I would.
My husband cracked up when I said this..he knew I was going to;)
So yes..I want to leave some bad reviews.
One day I might.
I might.
Can they find us?

Food was indulgence..Fred made a Turducken and it was ...

soo good..we had sweet potato mash..delish..brussel sprouts..lots of appetizers..we love to sit around her kitchen munching before dinner..fires lovely..
I made this..

From Recipe Tins:)

Let me tell you it feeds a crowd..we were 12..and I thik we ate 1/ there were other apps..It's much in it..not your usual cheeseball;)Loaf..Nope..filled w/ goodies.

I served it on a huge wood tray Fred made us one yr..look at the little house I found to put on the presentation platter..
It means..Fred's Butcher Shop:)

But one of my daughters made this..

Ricotta Jam Jar from Nordstrom's

I give it 5 stars.

My daughter left the ricotta as it was and used store bought pesto.That tomato the MONEY:) All together BRAVA!

Lots of treats for desserts..the fireworks are really the icing on the cake..hope to set up a stand next yr..w/ hot choco.

Breakfast.the next day..I had quiche and muffins(Marie's Nutmeg muffins),Hot Bean Pot..Jacques' AMAZIN Pecan Praline Bacon..he bakes it all the ay before takes him 3 hrs..It's the highlight.
You just reheat Christmas morn.Divine.
I made a new breakfast casserole and I should have listened to my instinct and bake it way longer:(I did and it still was runny..can't eat a runny egg.I am like one of my daughters..The idea and recipe were both's me and my timing:(

Mylène's family....Adamo 19 is to the right..and Giu 17 to the left.We could not ask for nicer sweeter additions to our family♥Mylène..and Alain..( my chicken guy;);))and Noah in the middle:)Both Adamo and Giu had had 4 wisdom teeth pulled out not 48 hrs before..Their little cheeks were puffy..

Caroline's family Frédérick,Max in front,Oli and Caro to the right and Lucas on top:)

Look at Little Katie:)I hope we always live close all the ones that are here.
I love her outfit:)♥
And all our boys looked handsome too.Noah even had
a tie;)

I've said I hate having my photo taken and I do.But her new cell takes great pics..hides flaws etc..I just can't even look at a camera;) 

Healthy healthy peaceful sweet New Year,for all~

Until next year~


  1. Dearest Monique,
    What a blessing to have such a big family of three generations sharing the joys of Christmas!
    Like you and your daughter, I never liked runny eggs...
    But despite the looks of the special birch bark cake, no doubt its taste was delicious!
    Sweet photos and fond memories being captured.
    Love to read the word 'Oma' so familiar to me.
    Sending you hugs and enjoy the final days of 2018 and wishing all of your loved ones and yourself a Happy New Year!

    1. Yes OMa and Opa..I think you may remember my childhood friend Gwen..I learned so many Dutch words with her.THis girls' Oma..Max loved her so much..
      Her daughter is so's a pretty great neighbourhood:)
      Bonne et Heureuse Année to you and your husband!!Santé avant tout.

  2. I’m so glad most things went right but I know how frustrating it is when something you were counting on looking so nice does not work out. Was your runny egg dish the French toast bake recipe? Sorry if it was that one and it didn’t work for you. I made it last night and it sat overnight and was baked today when we had Beth, Chris and the girls come for brunch. It was sweeter than what I remembered, I would cut down the amount of butter and brown. sugar. So you even have used a ready made frosting! I’ll have to try it. I love all the photos of the family. You look fantasticwith the girls of your family! Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. BTW Frankie told his mom on Christmas morning before coming to celebrate “this actually feels like Christmas because we are going to Grandma’s and Jerry’s”. What could be better right?

    1. The birch bark..I really don't think I am a piper..or a barker;) The ake itself was very's just all that bark.Uglier in person;)
      I made Monte Christo mahe reading the recipe..I knew it was for us..and they oohed and aahed and as soon as I saw one being served..I knew..and then my transparent daughter said..I'll just have the I put it back in the oven..but that never goes over well does it.
      I love a Monte Christo have not had one in 20 yrs at least..
      It needs tweaking..but..
      the other thing is we eat so much Christmas eve..I think I will go back to smoked salmon..bagels..a lighetr fare..the bacon for sure though;)
      The ready made frosting in cans pipes out to PERFECTION with that tip..never too stiff never too runny.
      I LOVE what Frankie said.I love it.
      So true..I know how much you love your family and do everything to please them:) So evident!:)And I love that too.So fun when you send me a pic of your creations and share ideas.

  3. I think your bark looks great, but then you set a high bar for baked goods. Once the cake is cut, the decorations are shot anyway.
    I have never left an Amazon review but I do read them before buying things. If you're disappointed, it's only right to say so. At the same time, good service deserves praise. I once witnessed a young shop clerk helping an older, somewhat flustered customer. She was so patient and helpful and respectful. I went back to the store a few days later and told the manager how impressed I was.
    Your Christmas looks straight out of an Andy Williams Christmas special. Congratulations on all your work and on raising such a lovely family.

    1. So true..once you cut in bye bye..I just like bring something pretty enough for all the work they go too..It's magic there Christmas eve.Lights fiire....Just right..
      I am just like you! I will often tell someone in charge how wonderful their staff is..and will write notes..I am glad you did that.La vie..nous devons prendre le temps de démontrer de l'appréciation l'un envers l'autre.
      and if I see someone being badly treated..I sometimes speak up too..
      The products I will be truthful too..
      The are of concern I have re public reviews is the health care system.
      Professionals in that filed.
      I love leaving glowing reviews..but let's face it some should not hold a license or degree.
      That is what I am afreaid of leaving.
      Once the children grow up..they are the best friends we are ever lucky enough to have♥Happy New Year:)

  4. You'll have to tell me more, I see that Fred made a Turducken and I have always wondered how they taste.
    I know your holidays were Merry Merry, and it is wonderful that you are already getting organized for 2019.
    Always love seeing your family photos, I have followed since your grandchildren were born :-)
    And you ladies are gorgeous, and the love in your heart shines through.
    Happy New Year! Wishing you all the good, joy, family, happiness, health and peace.

    1. Monique, my comment went through as's me Deb at Mountain Breaths.

    2. Hi DEB:):)
      I hope you don't have this problem often here?
      The turducken was perfect.He had made it a few yrs back..and it was very good but we loved it even more this time..fully cooked throughout..moist..He followed a you Tube video w/ a sous vide cooking method for certain steps..The Bid was goregous..there are no bones excelt the legs of the slices beautifully..stuffing.. gravy.
      You have to know Fred to know that this is a talent he has.
      He is such a pro in the kitchen.Meats and soups and things are his tours de force..escargots..I am but naming a few..His French Onion Soups..Any cut of meat..
      A pro.
      His mom is fabulous in the kitchen too..The apple did not fall far from the tree:)
      Iknow we have followed each other for yrs.I love seeing yours too..and when I think about it..still sorry re the lull♥
      Bonne Année!!

    3. We caught up nicely after the lull...don't you worry about a thing. xo

  5. It sounds like your Christmas was wonderful. Wishing you an amazing 2019.

  6. Everything looks so beautiful! And what a beautiful family! We hosted Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning brunch. Now I am exhausted! Next year - will be different I think, as I am feeling my age! Time to pass the torch! Happy New Year! We are off to enjoy a little solitude - just the two of us.

    1. Oh Ry..we used to do both also..So glad when my daughter offered to take the torch..:)It lets us prepare the day before..Don't know how I stripped dinner table and set for brunch after midnight every year..
      I bet everything was so beautiful at your home.I just know it.
      And yes after all..just two feels so relaxing...:)
      Bonne Année to you and yours.♥

  7. Everything you do is perfection.
    You dont need photoshop IMHO !!
    Is that REAL gingerbread..?? Wow
    Very sweet family ❤️

  8. LOL, what would the holidays be without an 'oopsie' here and there! I'm so sorry that the Monte Cristo casserole was runny :( I made my usual strata. When I pulled it out of the oven on Christmas morning, I knew something didn't look right. I forgot to put the cheese on top the night before! So I sprinkled the cheese over the already baked casserole and popped it under the broiler for a few minutes to melt it. OY. Christmas Day, Lindsay was serving dessert. Her usual, delicious Momofuku's Crack Pie. It was runny too - not supposed to be. Lauren made my strawberry salad, burned the almonds - LOL! Oh my gosh, now I know where our friends got the recipe for the cake that I made for gourmet! It's from HBH! Now I can add a credit to her to the recipe. It's exactly the same cake although her buttercream recipe is different. Love seeing ALL of the photos of your family and especially you and your girls ♥ Fred looks like a chef! He could have his own show :) We are lucky we have SILs who love to cook and are so good at it. Your boys are getting so big! Seriously, it seems like overnight. I need to declutter too. My desk, my computer, my life :) January will be the perfect time. Happy New Year, Dear Friend!

    1. After a little more research, I think the cake isn't from HBH after all, it's from allrecipes and called Black Magic Cake. HBH's doesn't have the cup of strong brewed coffee in it. Glad I finally found it :) Your post started the research ♥

    2. I can't believe how big everyone is getting..♥I love that they are growing up to be nice:)
      A few choco cakes have that strong brewed coffee..:) It was dense and moist..some cakes fall short right?
      Sounds like you girls had a few mishaps too..The MC run had nothing to do with you:) All my fault lol..
      Fred does look like a chef and yes we are so lucky the kitchen is their friend!
      Have a beautiful's sunny and cold out..Bonne journée pea:)

    3. Forgot to mention your 'bark' cake. I see the broken pieces of bark but I'll bet it still tasted great! When I read the directions on how to make the bark in her post I wondered how she got such even sheets without them shattering ;)

    4. She din't lol..if she did I would be shocked.Plus to get bark thin long enough to spread.I would warm my baking sheet next time..;)

  9. Oh thank you Monique - for sharing your beautiful Christmas with us. Just loved each and every picture. I got one of those new iPhones with two cameras and still don't know how to use it. It doesn't come with instructions. What a way to end the year with all your loved ones. Reminds me of a Norman Rockwell family celebration. I am looking forward to a new year. Not too far ahead, but I have many plastic containers to unpack that I brought to the city house and am running out of room. Need to purge I guess. I guess I need to look at it differently and embrace the letting go of stuff. Hope your new year is wonderful. Donna@gather

    1. I hope yours is too Donna! Having two places..I would collect more:) I know me..I say no more and then something cathches my eye.65 this yr..a senior citizen here in QC..I don't need more stuff:)
      I bet you had a ball..would love to see your Littles again soon:)

  10. Love the beautiful ladies in black xo
    I like to leave good survey comments as well. Too many only like to leave complaints. The world needs more GOOD in it! Happy New Year Monique!

    1. Yes it does! I agree!!Happy Happy Healthy New Year to you!!

  11. Love, love, love your photos. Great post, dearest Nana. Wish you Happy new year.
    Lots of hugs.

  12. what lovely pictures of all,.love all the pictures, but my favorite is ..Noah he really warm my heart.
    Nice time.
    You looks beautiful. Im bad to take pictures of myself I dont know why.
    Happy new year with all your lovely family!! huga and love

    1. I totally understand soon as someone takes a photo I don't smile and don't look at the camera.I am better at taking a photo of myself LOL..not self conscious as much..Bonne Année Gloria!!

    2. Happy New year Monique for you and all your family!xoxo

  13. Soon after Christmas, Japanese people start preparing for the year-end and New Year’s events.
    Compared to Christmas, many of these events are based on Japanese tradition and are deeply related to religion.
    The end-of-year party is called “bonenkai” in Japanese. “Bonen” means to forget (the worries of) the past year.
    People are busy with events on New Year’s Eve.

  14. Beautiful girls...handsome boys....perfection!
    Happiest New Year to you and your family Monique❤️
    Where is Jacques pic?��
    Your food looks lucky you are to have such a loving tight knit group...precious��
    Cheers ��

    1. The pic we had of Jacques was with Oli..and the light shone badly..I don't like seeing really unflattering pics of people..Jacques looks far beetr in many other pics..he said he didn't mind..but he aslo said he wasn't photogenic anymore and that's not the photo was bad:( I couldn't do that to him..:)
      Call me nuts..took all I had to post the one that includes me.I like living with my fantasies thinking we look better in person lol.
      Something happened to me about 9 yrs ago..changed me..changed my face:( Not over it.

      Best to you!!!!
      WE are both so very fortunate with our families.:)

    2. Well...I think you are beautiful!
      My face suddenly became wrinkly....hardly any more selfies for me...
      HATE getting old....🙁

  15. Even your failed cake looks fabulous! I am sure you are too hard on yourself. Your family just shines. How wonderful to be together and enjoy the holidays.
    Monique, I do not understand why you don't like being photographed. You are beautiful as your girls are too. The new phones are great! My husband surprised me with a new phone as well. Cheers to a happy and healthy New year!

    1. are sweet..I just mentioned above..something happened to me 9 yrs change me and my face..and I am not used to either yet..I am hoping that the Bonen described above will happen one day:) But thank you so much for your kind kind words.:)♥A happy new yr to you and your family..:)

  16. Looooove it alllll...❤️❤️❤️ Happy familly !! Ria x ❤️❤️❤️

  17. I am glad to see your smiling face, a smile like the sun. I am glad you shared yourself with us, along with the rest of the family, for you are truly beautiful. Oh, Monique -- every single image is exquisite and knowing what those images represent -- creativity, time in the kitchen, celebrating the joy of a loving and beautiful family, making things beautiful. Oh, that's what really makes me smile.

    Turducken -- I've always wanted to try it and you had it at your own home! I loved the Fred's shop on the serving table. Perfect. And as for your bark, well, I know you are a perfectionist in the kitchen but do you realize how many of us would look at that and go, "WOW! I could NEVER do something so gorgeous as that!"? Good tip, though on cooling chocolate in the north! And the cookie cutter and ice rink and oh! Those sweet birdseed "ornaments" made with love. Everything about this makes me smile with all happiness. Here's to more joy and friendship in the new year!

    1. It will be my pleasure:)
      When I look on Bloglovin' I always scroll further because that's where you are and I don't want to miss a post of real life:)
      I would do a lot of things for your smile;)♥
      Turducken is so Fred..the magician of meats;)
      Bonne Année!!

  18. What a wonderful Christmas. Ther is so much to love here! Where do I start. First of all, I enjoyed all of your photos. I can feel your dissappointment about the cake. I have been there, done that, nevertheless, your cake still looks very pretty to me, and probably much better than what I could do. I have no patience for these things. I was so disappointed, my Bonne Maman ornament was broken. So no ornament for me, just delicious jams I should not eat. For me the prize was all the tiny jars! (I am so predictable!) I loved seeing all of your family photos. What a sweet, sweet family you have. Christmas is this. Love and family and you have it in abundance! So lovely! Loving your stocking. The rink. The cookies . . . cheese log. I could go on and on, but I won't. Thank you so much for all that you have shared with us in 2018, your sweet and gentle spirit. You are a treasure. In all truth I get as excited when you post as I do when SB does! TRUE! I wish you hope, love, light and many blessings in 2019. Happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing what it and you bring to my table! Love you! xoxo

    1. You're a TREAT!!
      I can't believe your BM orament was broken..can you write to them?There must be a UK affiliate to give you one! That is too bad.
      I know it's not the end of the world..but I hate hate NEW broken..
      We had a nice time..I am lucky they live so close and if I had one wish for you it would be to transport all your loved ones to you:)
      Thank YOU for all YOU share..Amitié always:) Moniquex
      Happy New Year..only good..only good.

  19. Hi Monique,
    I just loved reading about your Christmas and seeing your beautiful family. That last picture of you with your girls is just stunning.
    It seems everyone in your family is so creative. That SIL and his turducken must be a God send. I’ve never had the privilege of tasting one but it must be marvellous.
    All the blessings, health and wellbeing for 2019. I look so forward to seeing what you’ll come up with this year.
    By the way, one of my annual Christmas cookies is your aunt Bernice shortbreads. Always winners.
    Happy new year
    Diana Dalla Costa Rich

    1. Diana:) happy New Year..may your fondest wish come true!(I think I know what it is;):)
      That Frédérick is a Godsend.
      You know..Jacques and I often say to each other that we lucked out with our son-in-laws.
      We really did..they're nice to us:)
      The turducken was so good..and I was so impressed how it all sliced so beautifully.
      No one makes steak like Fred:)
      I am not even a big meat eater but just thinking about hs BBQ steaks.So good.
      I wish you.... Everything good:)And happy for 2019.

  20. Everyone, so lovely...happy...creative...blessed! If I were you, I would enjoy seeing myself in photos!!
    I too amd clearing and simplifying here...trying too. I like this end of the year and start of a new one...

  21. You are so beautiful! You need to take lots of photos. The family is so fun to see all at once. What a joy and blessing.
    If you hadn’t commented on the birch bark I would have thought it was a great success - isn’t that funny?
    What a marvelous Christmas with so much fun and good food and family.

    1. I'd love all matching pjs:) are an amazing nana.You and your husband create magic for your big beautiful family.Happy New Year..Health and Happiness to all!

  22. I just adored reading this one and seeing YOU (finally) and your family.

    as for this"But in my heart..there's this dark cave that wants to leave terrible reviews..not products..
    professionals..because I want people to be aware.
    But I don't." you should!

    Happy New Year to someone I am proud to call a friend.

    1. Aww A!And you've seen me plenty!
      Here's to July;)
      Happy New Year Thelma!

  23. What a wonderful family you have! Many blessings to you and your family Monique. We hope you have a very happy New Year!

    1. I love them all so much..Just told one of my daughters yet again how much I love my family....Oh I am a sentimental girl;)
      Thank you and of course my best wishes to you and your beautiful family!

  24. What a wonderful family celebration...your Christmas sounds like it was perfect. Well maybe everything except the chocolate bark. Even though you were disappointed, I'm sure it was delicious. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us, I love seeing how the children have grown over the years. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.

    1. Happy New Year to you and yours Karen:) QC is having a very different winter..a frozen landscape with very little snow..Being in the country we have some..but as if a carpet had been laid and ice is patterning it all.

  25. Amazing family photos, thanks for sharing!!! xo And that skating, so lovely.

  26. test comment ya boss

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. kingroot download
    root apk
    kingroot for android
    Being in the country we have some..but as if a carpet had been laid and ice is patterning it all.

  30. Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. It's a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us on