Thursday, 15 March 2012

Easter M&M/Oreo cookie bark

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      I love spring. I love that it's the beginning of everything wonderful and everything that I love. Flowers bloom and our little mama robin comes back to her favourite nesting spot on our deck and lays her perfect blue eggs that we get to watch hatch into cute little baby birds. I love how the rain washes away the last of the dirty snow on our street, everything smells fresh and impromptu street hockey games start popping up throughout our neighbourhood. It's like a message is sent out to everyone that springtime means a fresh start and people come out of their homes where they've been hibernating all winter long. Spring wreaths hang on people's front doors, the sun comes out almost every day and the excitement (for me) of another holiday--Easter--coming up makes me smile until my cheeks hurt. I'm thinking Mya is already realizing that this season is just as awesome as I think it is. Her cute little smile and giggle has filled our house all week long. I just love this little girl more than I can even explain.

And I can't even tell you how excited I was to see THIS when Mya and I were playing outside the other day.

I brought her over and (with more excitement than I'd like to admit) I explained to her that these were my tulips popping up and that they'd soon turn into beautiful flowers. I encouraged her to touch them (and although her tiny little fingers almost smushed them completely), I love that she fed off of my excitement. She looked at those little green leaves as if they were the most amazing thing she had ever seen.
   This little vision of spring made me instantly get excited about Easter and all of the crafts, baking. decorating to come. So...introducing delicious M&M/Oreo cookie bark (recipe to follow below).

     It's March break this week and we spent most of this past weekend outside enjoying the sun and warmth. Terry, Mya and I started our weekend by walking to our local market and buying all sorts of delicious fruit and veggies from all of the vendors. I love how close the market is to our house and love the hustle and bustle of squeezing by people to try to get to each stand.

We then took Mya and our dog for a nice long walk and ended up at the park where we pushed Mya on the swings, ran through the sand and I watched, waving like a proud mama, beaming, as Terry took Mya down the big red twisty slide over and over again. She absolutely loved it, and I loved watching her enjoy it all.

It's not even the end of the week yet, but it feels like we've packed so much fun into only a few days so far. And the best part is that most of our fun has been pretty spontaneous.

Tuesday we went to look after Val and I took Mya outside when her physiotherapist arrived. We ran through the grass (yes, my little munchkin can RUN)..cutest thing ever. We breathed in the wind and warm air that blew through the fields and threw sticks for our dog (Meika). It felt good. It felt like spring was here.

This picture just makes me smile. Mya and her best bud running off together to find more adventure.

Then yesterday Jen, Oliver and our friend Kim and her sweet little boy Everett and I went for a morning walk to the park and watched as Mya ran through the field chasing the dog.
I love this picture. She just reached over as we were walking and grabbed hold of the leash and held onto it until we got to the park. I'm sure it makes her feel all grown up.

 And you see...lesson here: If you hand a dog a stick, she WILL run away with it and you WILL have to chase her.

We then headed home for a quick lunch together before the babies went down for an afternoon nap.

The day ended with a trip to Victoria park where we met up with our friend Jen and her 3 adorable boys. You want to see a super mom, Jen is it. I look at her and see what I want to be one day. A mom with lots of kids (all close in age), lots of love to give and a magical way of handling three little people wanting every ounce of her attention. AND they all have beautiful red hair..cutest kids ever.

    We sat on blankets, ate snacks, watched the boys go down the big slide and finished our afternoon at the park with a walk/bike ride around the paths. It was absolutely beautiful out--we were in our t-shirts for most of the afternoon. I love how this kind of weather makes you feel so alive.

I think Oliver is trying to tell us that he's almost ready for solids.

One of the things that I love most about our little Mya is that she absolutely LOVES her cousin Oliver. She just can't give him enough hugs and kisses. He handles it pretty well too--good guy. And his mom (another super mama) lovingly lets this little munchkin get all up in her son's face and smother him with goobery kisses all day long.
With another visit today from our friends Alex and Ayva, then a dinner from my wonderful mother-in law (Judy) which awaited us tonight, I'd say this March break has been pretty stellar. The funny thing is that I had nothing planned for the week originally. Everything that we've done was planned last minute, decided with a quick phone call or email. I was a bit upset thinking that we weren`t going on any kind of fabulous vacation this break. But what I`ve learned now is that some of the most wonderful moments can come from having no plans at all, staying home with the ones you love and enjoying spontanious adventures and moments with friends and family. It's these little moments in life that make me smile. Mya and Ayva sharing tea time together, sitting at Mya's little table like big girls and actually understanding what tea cups are supposed to be used for. I love watching their minds work through life as they figure things out.

Talk about knowing a lot of amazing moms. Alex is one stellar mama too. So loving, so caring and amazingly able to still manage to care so gently and amazingly for her young daughter as she works through the incredible nausea that pregnancy brings. I love seeing great moms have more kids. Only a few more months until we get to meet Ayva's little sister!

 So anyways, back to my original point of loving spring...with spring time and Easter just around the corner, I thought it'd be fun for Mya and I to make up some yummy treats and give them to some of our friends as early Easter gifts. These are so incredibly easy to make and SO delicious. All you need are some M&M's (preferably the expensive Easter coloured ones that are out in stores now), Oreos, pretzels and chocolate.

Here is how we made them:

1) Place parchment paper over a cookie tray and lay out a layer of broken pretzels, M&M's.

2) Cut up some Oreos and place them down on the cookie sheet as well.

3) Melt your chocolate in the microwave or on a double broiler (you can use the chocolate wafers, or just buy those 1lb chocolate bunnies that are out now in stores and you'll save a bunch of money--chocolate is expensive!). I chose to do both milk chocolate and white chocolate (one whole bunny per batch), but choose whatever you'd like.

4) Pour the melted chocolate over your cookie tray then add more cut up Oreos and M&M's on top.

5) Put in fridge until chocolate is hard, then break into pieces.

6) Put in cute little Easter baskets (these are just from Dollarama) and you're ready to give away (or eat all yourself!).

     Here's hoping for more sunny days and spontaneous adventures to come before the week is up. I hope you're able to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and feel alive with whatever makes you happy this week as well. And if you have no plans at all but want to feel a moment of joy...just go outside and find all of the little tulips popping up all over your neighbourhood or your own garden. You just can't help but feel happy seeing that!

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