When Elsa Came to Tea, Part 1

Happy…wait the holidays are over. Oh wait! Its Epiphany today, Happy Epiphany! Not quite as shiny as the holidays but just as magical (IMO). Hope your holiday was super magical. Ours had its ups and downs, but not in a devestating way. Mostly it was characterized by lots of baking, some great pretends at our playground and X-Men…that last one came out of nowhere. Anyway there was a lot of running around and it left me pretty drained and wondering did I do enough? Did I spend enough time with her? Could I have spent my time better? Maybe if I hadn’t spent so much time cooking and baking I would feel better about this?

But actually the best day we had was when we walked to the playground and she turned me into an elephant. I got stuck on the playset because I’m not sure if elephants can go downstairs, I know cows can’t and I still haven’t looked it up so maybe my elephant was just super dim. When she finally turned me back to a person I was a evil sorcerer and I changed her into a genie and imprisoned her in a bottle for 400 years (give or take). When she finally was summoned she refused to grant my other character’s first wish (to go to space) and ultimatly choose to become dust instead (willfull little sprite). She changed me to a genie and after 500 years I was much more helpfull and all would have been well had she not turned the trees alive and bad. We nearly got crushed!

We ended the day with some homemade potato and herb soup and some soda bread baked with bacon on top (apparently Irish Pizza) while we watched “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (the basis of another pretend we play in the up-upstairs).

Christmas itself was rather tedious. We made all the usual treats: toffee, treacle fudge, mince pies, christmas pudding (which I still haven’t lit on fire) and a ton of cinnamon rolls. We also made the cake of cakes:

It was delicious…but royal icing is a a royal pain (I have come to find out). We put a bunch of her toys on top as this is our first and we don’t have any traditional toppers and it wasn’t in our budget.

We did break with tradition…for better or worse. I tried my hand at Cork Spiced Beef and it was pretty salty.

Pretty sure thats not really the way it was suppose to come out and time will tell if I decide to try it again next year…might use a different recipe. As it would happen Baby Bat didn’t feel that great New Years Eve Morning and I called off the get together we had planned so no one else was subjected to that catastrophe.

Not even close! At school we found a loophole in our cooking regulations and we are super excited about “traveling” with our kids this upcoming year. I’ve also been feeling a bit of gastronomical wanderlust and decided to take Baby Bat to Scandinavia. Since Elsa is forever in this house and there is a Frozen 2 coming out in November this year it seems a natural choice…although I have a bit of a budding interest in Scottish Cuisine (it was bound to happen sometime).

Elsa is from Norway, or so they say, and it would be super fun to focus on Norwegian food but we decided to open it up to Scandinavian food in general as the Frozen world opens with Arendell’s partners in trade come to see the new Queen crowned.

I did a bit of recipe hunting and I’ve got a cookbook coming in from the library. What I’ve discovered is that this part of the world is really connected tradewise (we will be discussing cardemom at some point in the near future) and also seems to favor sour cream and dill in a bunch of recipes as well as this sauce:

Lingonberries are apparently a big deal, and why not? They are some kind of relation to the cranberry, so yay! Tasty antioxidents and if you can’t get the sauce specifically get the whole berry cranberry sauce as a subtitute.

I wanted to start with something easy and kid friendly that everyone associates with that part of the world and what better dish to start with than Swedish Meatballs. Check out the pinterest boards these guys are often listed as Elsa Balls…

I chose a Donal Skehan recipe because I felt like it bridged my current cooking location with the new one, also his wife is from Sweden and I noticed he blends their two cultures a lot (#relationship goals).

I started off chopping up and cracking some of the ingredients so she could just do the mixing but she really wanted to help with measuring the meat and later she tried peeling the Potatoes as well. Funny story: when we decided to do this recipe she was super excited, but her enthusiasm waned a bit when it became a revelation that we were making Swedish Meatballs from Sweden the country…not Sweet-ish Meatballs.

All went well for a first attempt, I might look to see if anyone makes the sauce differently as it seems a bit bland but she ate it up (to be honest mostly the lingonberry sauce, I’ve had to cut her off). We also tried some different cheeses.

This cheese is really out of left field, completly didn’t expect this flavor. Its sweet and sort of like treacle fudge…if by fudge we mean cheese…really really dense claylike cheese, best way I can describe it. I love sweet but this I can’t eat to much of and that is saying something.


We have been walking this “Elsa cheese” since the fall. Its a type of swiss and Baby Bat would way this all day long.

Harvati Dill Cheese

Is great, was a bit disconcerted because it tastes like you should also be crunching into a rye cracker and the crunch never comes (until you add the cracker of course).

Well, that is a good start to this adventure. Stay Magical and stay cool!


Yes it would kill a man twice after eating a slice Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake…

The last few days have been a bit of a series of unfortunate events. Tuesday was Babybat’s school Thanksgiving to-do. It was so cute to see my little bug up there dancing and singing with the other little kids in her year. Work was super hectic as there was so much to do for the center Thanksgiving. Everything pretty much went well and Babybat didn’t have school so she was at the center with me which made my day. When we got home we prepped the cinnamon rolls for the morning and went to bed. The morning was everything I planned for: warm cinnamon rolls with homemade icing and Irish Coffee made from scratch while watching the parade. Unfortunately while rummaging in the pantry for our food coloring (Babybat wanted the icing to be colored) a glass bottle of rubbing sage fell from one of the shelf smack onto my phone cracking the screen in such a way that it was impossible to do anything even turn it off to stop my alarms from going off and snoozing every 5 minutes. As it was a holiday there was very little I could do to remedy the situation right away. However despite my resolve to not go out t I’ll the mall on Friday (there by avoiding any insanity) there I went. I got a brand new phone and it wasn’t as expensive as I was expecting…but now I have a new number. That’s what made it cheap I guess and it’s been a bit of a to-do changing everything over. Not only have I had to change my phone over but I’ve been locked out of my Yahoo email account for awhile and the only place I had access to it was my phone so…I have other emails but again everything is in there. So I lost a lot these last few days pictures, emails, videos of Babybat’s Thanksgiving performance. Not everything though, just from this last year; I switched all of my earlier pictures over to a teeny tiny card.

It sounds dreadful but we’ve been keeping it magical all the same. Babybat took a couple rides on a train at the mall:

We made the first batch of Treacle Fudge (we usually find a reason to make a second)!

This afternoon we embarked on mixing up “The Cake of Cakes” or the Christmas Cake:

I’d flirted with the idea of doing this all year and what it really boiled down to was having the ingrediants on hand.

It was very similar to the Simnel Cake I made for Easter…except the Simnel Cake didn’t break 2 of my wooden spoons during the stirring. After it drinks for a few weeks the week before the big day it will have to be wrapped in marzipan and then let to dry a couple days than coated in royal icing. So exciting!!! I might still make the pudding but we’ll see. It seems as though this year we are breaking with tradition a bit.

While we haven’t completely dismissed the goose we might just stay in County Cork and make Spiced Beef instead. Its mentioned in Dubliners (The Dead) and it takes like two weeks to marinate in the spices and its juices (complicated time consuming food adventures!!!)

Next week Babybat is going to have her piano recital and I’m a tad nervous for her. I don’t really care if she performs I’m just super scared that she will be scared and cry as there are going to be a lot of people there. She won’t be up there alone, her teacher will be with her but still it’s a lot.

Well, it will all work out, we might just watch everyone else perform and that is okay. At any rate the snow is coming and we can cuddle up with a steamy mug of either hot cocoa or whiskey punch:

1/2 cup boiling water

3 cloves

1 shotglass of whiskey

1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 slice of lemon

– dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and stud the lemon with the cloves. Add the whiskey and enjoy. I didn’t have fresh lemon so I put a few teaspoons of lemon juice in the mix and drank it that way, still yummy but a bit problematic when you hit a clove.

Stay magical and have a great holiday season!

When you feel less than magical…

Everyone has that moment, or that day, or that week, that month…God forbid you have that year, when you don’t feel on top of your game, you don’t feel like you have anything under control, nothing is going right, maybe it feels cloudy and dark in your head and even though you know the sun will eventually come out…but seriously if it could come out like right now, that would be great thanks!

I was so on top of things today,  I nailed everything and with a smile even though it felt a bit like everyone else was in the opposite mood.  I am waiting for my next paycheck and while there are things that would be nice to have paid or get done, we’ll live, we’ll make it.  I was feeling like I had this week in the bag and then I got off the phone with my mum only to see a reminder on my phone that Babybat had a flu shot appointment that I forgot about.  “why did you just now see it at 5pm?” you ask.  Because I bloody well forgot my phone on the couch when I left in the morning, had I had it with me I would have seen it all day, annoyingly on my screen anytime I went to check the time (as our most prominent time piece in the classroom is almost literally 2 days slow).this-clock-is-exactly-two-days-slow

I feel so stupid.  Now there is going to be consequences since I didn’t call to cancel in enough time.  I have to make yet another appointment and I really can’t stand calling the doctor’s office, it pretty much takes up my whole break, god forbid they have to call me back because then that will be 2 days to make a bloody appointment.


In all seriousness it’s going to be fine.  Things are going to work out.  I have just been feeling overly stressed these days.  Some days it is harder for me then others to stay magical. So what do you do when you feel less than magical?

Sometime I….

  1. bake cinnamon rolls.
  2. take a bath
  3. talk to a friend
  4. watch a funny movie
  5. listen to my favorite music of the moment
  6. cry about it…seriously nothing gets the waterworks started faster then “Lego House”
  7. go for a walk
  8. make a pinterest board (not on what I’m upset about but things that make me happy like “things that are yellow” or “things that are cozy”.
  9. hug and snuggling Babybat
  10. Have a cup of tea…”or something stronger if yeh’ve got it, mind”untitledThese are mostly good coping strategies but sometimes you just can’t stop because its only Monday and dinner needs to happen soon and we’ve gotta be up again early in the morning and, and, and….Would love to hear some other ideas for getting back to feeling magical even and especially if it is something simple.    Have a great week and…


I know I’ve grown, but I can’t wait to go home…

I feel like we didn’t do a lot this past weekend. Somehow that made it feel longer, or maybe it didn’t. The highlight: getting together with some old friends for a picnic. What isn’t fun about good food, good company and good conversation? I felt a bit alienated for a moment when someone asks me “so what adulty things have you been up to?”

…uh, what constitutes adulty? I asked thinking about how I just spurned my history books in exchange for starting The Chronicles of Narnia and how my great weekday plans revolve around Circle Time in my classroom.

Is this just me? Or do people in my profession feel this way or is it a parent thing?

Do I like to be informed about real life? Yes. Do I actively seek it out? Not as much as I should. Is that what defines us as adults? I feel good about myself when I have my bills paid, grocery shopping done, a good book on the night stand that Baby Bat and I are reading at bedtime and my kitchen counter mostly cleared.

The highlight may have been the picnic but the best time this weekend was when Baby Bat and I painted our nails orange

and I almost mastered Elsa braids!

I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with work lately and that is a big reason why I retreated to the fantasy world (pruning my imaginary world garden or something like that). As it would happen there was also a Harry Potter Marathon on SyFy on Sunday. I wasn’t going to watch it but then I did, and then Baby Bat fell asleep on me so I could do absolutely nothing but watch the first 2 movies. It was strangely liberating as I haven’t sat down to really engage and watch anything in what feels like years. I’m usually multitasking with cooking or work, knitting etc. So to sit there and just enjoy was nice.

Somewhere I got the Ed Sheeran song Castle on the Hill (which was a revelation in itself as I’ve been hearing the words wrong all this time) stuck in my head and found the corresponding video…well, we’re going back to Hogwarts-I mean Ithaca, we’re going back to Ithaca in a couple weeks for Wizarding Weekend…Take that reality😜

too much?

Anyway soo excited! This week however, not so excited. I feel like I just need to get through tomorrow and it will be fine. It will probably be fine anyways. I massively over think…well, a lot of things. But there will be magic and felt board songs, slime and very busy spiders!

Part of you pours out of me in these lines from time to time…

Domestic Goddess might be too strong a title for me this weekend. Friday marked the end of a very frustrating week, or at least it felt like that and for more than just me and my room. Monday through Wednesday just felt like, for lack of a better term, hell. Waking up Wednesday morning I already felt stressed about the day. Thursday came around and something seemed to lift. Maybe it was just the rain or maybe it’s because we were more then half way done. Friday I totally felt more relaxed and reflective while I fried up the potatoes for our fish and chips.

I had a long think in my head about the things that frustrate me throughout the week and also about being open to them. Are these things that are truly unbearable? or do I need to change how I do things? Should I be trying to see these things as a blessing rather than a curse?

Saturday the usual song and dance of pancakes and piano. After we got groceries done then jetted back out to pick apples again and this time to make some yummy treats!

We picked a bunch of honeycrisp (the only apple worth picking IMO). Then we decided to bop on over to the Cidery that was in association association with the orchard. Never has there ever been a better a better idea. My friend and I shared a cider tasting flight.

Rosé Cider has seemed to be in vogue recently and now I know why, they are down right delicious! We also tried something called a steampunk…yes we did choose it for the name but also because it was like a traditional English Cider. That was also very good and I could totally see Patrick Stewart being the spokes person. The third was a champagne bubbly like one (I will always enjoy anything that bubbles it’s so refreshing). The last was a heavily spiced version meant to be like cinnamon sugar donuts. Was it fantastic? Urm, can’t say I would like it on a regular basis but I would like it while waiting on trick-or-treaters or slicing into some barmbrack.

Out adventures didn’t end there. My center has received a ton of good recently and we aren’t allowed to turn it away anymore (?). So we have been giving away things like milk, oranges and apples that will either expire or go to waste. I therefore took a bag of oranges home and got to work Saturday night making a ton of candied peel.

Next week if I have time and the offer still stands I might make some marmalade!

Sunday I woke up earlier than usual to finish the peel. We went to church as usual but we went to a different one this time. I’ve been feeling less than enthused about the one we had been going to despite the old aesthetic and my nostalgia. I just didn’t feel moved by the experience as I wanted to. The one we went to this past week we went to back during lent and I had a great experience with them (I just didn’t realise it until some months later when I was thinking back on it. Despite the lack of music (could be just an 8am thing) I really like this other place and I think we continue to go.

Saturday night Baby Bat and I also premade a pan of cinnamon rolls

and when we got back from mass we popped those bad boys in the oven and set some coffee on and in no time: instant gratification.

We also made toffee apples. Yes, yes it’s a bit early but it was that frustrating of a week. This time we bought popsicle sticks instead of making due with skewers we found at our grocery store. Last year toffee apples were kind of like this:

So, I baked a lot but outside of that I wasn’t really domestic in any other way. I desperately need to clean out Baby Bat’s toy room as well as a couple…erm few rooms in the rest of the abode.

Will see what I can get done during the week since we have a picnic to go to Saturday. All that moping I did a couple weeks ago fueled me to organize a fall picnic with some friends I haven’t seen in a bit. Funny enough each and everyone said that they had been thinking of me too! Coincidence? or A simple matter of being a human among other humans?

This week I’m a bit excited to be stuck indoors as we are dry running some circle time techniques that will come in handy when we are snowed in for the winter.

Hope you have a magical week

That time of year thou mayst in me behold…

I know it is almost the end of September and yet I feel like we’ve rushed all the way to the middle of October, especially this week.

We started off with the excitement of starting something new. Ballet class! Right now it’s just like a circle time class next year they will be expecting more memorization and technique. I really love that I found this school. A lot of classes in the area only offer a combination of tap/jazz/ballet and I’m told there is a good reason for that but I don’t like the idea of bombarding children with so much at once. At least that is my perception. Anyway this place offers classes for her age bracket that are only Ballet and what is more they are very pointed about using age appropriate music.

Of course this was all a very last minute decision, and we spent only a few days hunting for a sufficient leotard. We eventually found one and there was great debate over the color and sleeves but it was her first and I was feeling (and could be) indulgent. We ended up with an “Elsa” blue one which of course she loves!

The first class seemed to go well. We got there and entered the lobby early and she waltzed in with her arms out stretched “I’m here!” she announced to the room of not but a few mothers waiting for the class before us to let out.

The class went well I should think, we came home and she insisted on showing me her dance which was a lovely melange of ballet, Irish dance (from the weekend) and her own flavour.

The rest of the week seemed overly hectic. But thankfully Friday came soon enough. The weekends usually have a fairly regular smell of fish and chips with mushy peas on Friday’s, pancakes Saturday mornings, bread and tea on the afternoons and a full (or close to full) breakfast Sundays after mass.

Its therapeutic for me, the baking and cooking and good alone time in my head. This September it seems like the weekends have become just as hectic as the weeks. Yesterday we made pancakes as usual. Baby Bat insisted on spreading honey over her’s this time. This ended up being a good thing as I usually have to coax her to finish in the small minutes before leaving for piano and this time she nearly polished off two!

After piano we went off to the library and to get a last minute birthday present. We also had enough time to do her grocery shopping (strawberries, broccoli, hummus and vanilla yogurt this week) before heading out to the apple orchard to do some apple picking with my class.

It was fun and I can’t wait to go again and make some toffee apples or apple and potato cake!

After all of that we embarked on another trip to B-lo for a Unicorn Birthday Party.

We capped off the day with a visit to my folks local pub for some irish nachos and later a game of go-fish.

After mass this morning we lingered in Clarence at their pumpkin festival. I’ve passed by the place many a time growing up but never realised what a big deal it was. It has a slew of barbecue trucks, rides, fresh made pumpkin donuts and cider, face painting, a haunted house etc. etc.

Well, I’m beat. I need a weekend from my weekend so to speak. Hoping for a good week. We’ll be having the kids try the different apples we picked and making applesauce with them as well. Moonsand is on the schedule too. We’ve been trying some new things that we’ve only heard about The theory of how this child care practice is suppose to work. Sometimes the things sound pretty out there. For example we have short sinks for the kids to wash their hands in. What happened the last time I first came to our present room was mayhem (IMO) water everywhere children pushing each other to get at the water. So Much Water! It was dreadful to me, understanding that for some people in the world clean, fresh water is not always accessible. We eventually acquired a key to turn the water on and off. Things like this make me feel like we are giving way, way too much power to children/toddlers. On the other hand, this week I attempted teaching 1 year olds how to ladle out their own food at lunch and it went really well. In fact lunch time seemed rather harmonious those two days. So I am humbled by the experience and continue to be a student of life and experience I suppose.

I hope your week/end was both magical and meaningful and that your upcoming week will be the same.

What’s Lost is Lost and Gone Forever…

Good Morning! Dia Dhuit ar Maidin! I have the strangest nightmares lately so I’m really glad to be awake so early. Friday morning, It was Christmas Eve and I realized that I forgot to make the mince pies and couldn’t get ahold of my father to have him pick up brandy…also didn’t put almonds in the pudding but that would have worked out as one of my cousin’s has a nut allergy. This morning a mixture of LARPing games…but I was using some of my classroom’s cardboard blocks as throwing weapons (definitely not regulation) with a side of not being prepared for college exams (I have a lot of those recently I wonder what that’s suppose to mean. Anyways. It was a good week. Baby Bat did well her first week. We set to tackling her lunch box together most nights. Lunches are different from when I was growing up. Back then I feel like all we did was slap together a PBJ and throw in some prepackaged lunch box treats and you were done. Now with all the allergies and the push for healthy living it takes some time and effort. When we go to the store now I let Baby Bat pick out 1 fruit and 1 vegetable for the week, anything she likes. Yogurt is one of her favorite things too but I put restrictions on sugar, which gives us rather limited options. Frozen peas are a great easy go to and hard boiled eggs are the best thing since sliced bread.


Her first day went well. No sad faces or crying…from her anyway (it was a rough morning for mommy). Our only somber moment was when she woke up and we were getting ready and she voiced that she would miss one of her friends at the center. I felt wretched, even though this rift would have happened in another year anyway I still didn’t want to rip her away from any friends. Its been intimated that well “she’s 4 , she’ll make new friends”. While I can see the truth in the statement I still wonder should we be so flippant with friendship? A thought that has been echoing in my mind lately too. Along with “am I a good friend?” I think about saying things or calling people more then I actually do it. Sometimes I feel like I go through a grieving process If I haven’t spoken to someone in awhile “that was another great friendship that I let slip away”. I feel that I’m so very cold these days and I leave people standing alone wondering if I’m really there or care at all…

And so, work went on as ever with all the ups and downs, we have new faces coming in. Which is pretty nerve wrecking for me. Yes, everyone is a stranger until you meet them, but I’d rather slip to the knowing them part of the relationship.

Homemade slime, crayons, packing lunch boxes soon every night and that Dino Lingo DVD set (which has been pretty good. A little trippy and definitely geared toward the YouTube crowd but good all the same).

Pretty soon the week was over and we could have some fun!

Last year we went out to the Niagara Celtic Festival on a whim and to meet up with my folks. It was shocking how huge it was and how many different kinds of people and costumes were there. The music was great, there was tea! etc. etc. So we made a commitment to go back this year for the whole weekend.

It was a hot day and my car has no AC. As we approached the site there was this dense dark smoke that seemed to be coming from the festival? Also the local fire department was out collecting (I think) so we drove into it, as there were other cars going to and from and no one else seemed to be acting as though there was cause to panic. As it turns out it was a massive amount of fog coming off of Lake Ontario so it was literally like walking through the fairy veil what for all the costumes and music that was buzzing around the place. It was real and it was fun but it was missing something this year, quite possibly my friend who went there with us last year. The highlight of the weekend was my Aunt’s dancing group that performed and one of the guys sang a beautiful rendition of “The Town I Loved So Well” originally done by the master Luke Kelly, I’ve a bit of an obsession with that song for a few months (which is where my entry title comes from).

Anyways have a wonderful and magical week. Baby Bar starts ballet this week and we go apple picking this weekend with my center, fun times!