Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Wonder Land Weekend!

This weekend was one of those wonderful cozy weekends that we never really plan for but just end up turning out fantastic!  It started out Saturday morning with a wonderful acupuncture session, and then a trip to the Farmer's Market.  I absolutely love starting out my weekends with a trip to the market, even if it's just to get a loaf of my favorite fougasse bread!  We were hoping to have some friends who stood for us during our wedding over Saturday night to open a few bottles of wine, watch our wedding videos, and see the master photo album since we finally brought them back over the holidays.  However, we ended up having to reschedule since there were a few last minute issues that came up.  We figured it was for the best since we were expecting Jon to go to sea at 3am on Sunday morning.  So, instead I decided to make my famous 7 layer dip {which Jon jokes is part of the reason he married me! hehe}.  So we spent the evening cuddled up on the sofa, eating our dip, and caught a hockey game on t.v. - Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers. {The Canadiens won!!}  To top it off the boat Jon was scheduled for at 3am ended up not sailing, so I have him home for a few more days!! 

Guac for the dip <3

The cherry on top of this wonderful weekend is that I bought a new toy for myself!!  I've been wanting a sewing machine for ages, and between chatting with a friend about sewing patterns and getting some sewing time in over the holidays on my mom's machine I was so ready to get my hands on my own!!  I ended up getting this beauty for $40 on Kijiji!  Not too shabby!  Can't wait to sew up some cute things to save for our little one.  Right now I'm also planning on making a matching pj set for Nalini and Nilesh!  :)  

Thanks for reading!  Hope you all had a wonderfully blissful weekend as well!   xoxo

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday Travels

Things have been so busy with Up, Down & Natural picking up and then the holidays I feel like I've been completely neglecting this blog!  Now that we're back home and settled in, it's time to get back to the blogging!  The holidays were absolutely blissful... full of family, rejuvenation, and just plain old fun... not to mention a quick romantic getaway to Quebec City!  Here are some pics from our holiday!  Hope you all enjoyed yours!  


Christmas in Lockeport

 New Years in Jersey

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Born Banana Bread

A few weeks back while I was in Toronto for the birth of my nephew (a.k.a.: The cutest little munchkin on the planet!)  there were some bananas on the counter that clearly no one was going to get to in time so I decided to make a Banana Bread.  I didn't have my regular recipe handy so I made it a little different and actually thought it was so much better!  It's a super simple recipe so I wanted to share with you!  My sister and fam are chocoholics so I did put chocolate chips in theirs but when I make it for Jon and I, I'll skip the chocolate chips and either make it plain or with frozen blueberries.  So yummy for breakfast with the blue berries in it!

1) 3 ripe or over ripe bananas, smashed
2) 1/3 cup melted butter
3) 1 cup sugar (use 3/4 cup only if using chocolate chips too)
4) 1 egg, beaten
5) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6) 1 teaspoon baking soda
7) Pinch of salt
8) 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
9) Optional : Blueberries or chocolate chips - 1 cup of either.

It's your choice on if to use a mixer or not.  At home I do throw it in my Kitchenaid but in TO I did it by hand and they turn out pretty much the same.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix.  Fold in blueberries or chocolate chips gently.  Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Yummo!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Official!

It's official.  I am all set up on Up, Down & Natural!  This is the blog I plan on using out in the world for marketing.  The other thing you'll notice is that Up, Down & Natural is on TypePad which will allow me some more flexible formatting and marketing options that aren't necessarily available on blogger.  However because of this change at the moment it's a bit drab as I'm still playing with layouts and figuring out how to use TypePad.  But it's there!   

This blog, The Monahan's will still be in existence and I'll be blogging about family things that don't necessarily need to be broadcast to the whole world ie: Holiday Travel Plans, Baby News, Baby Pics etc.  (No... this isn't my way of saying we have baby news or pics.  This is just anticipatory!)  But in preparation for "going live" with the other site I did want to protect this one a little bit.  

I hope you'll also follow me on the other site and "Like" my facebook page. 
Thanks all for your support!  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Cheer For A Greener Year

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is sending out Christmas cards.  In the busyness of every day life, and amidst the technology crazy world of blackberries, iPhones and constantly accessible email it's pretty rare to actually receive something in the mail from a loved one.  This is perhaps why I love sending Christmas Cards.  It's almost like bringing back the lost art of writing letters.  I love that little rush of happiness when I see an envelope in the mail that can't be anything but a Christmas card! 

What I don't love about sending out Christmas cards is only one thing...  It's SO much wastage of paper!  Every New Year I can't help but feeling guilty about what to do with the pile of Christmas Cards I receive, and wondering what has happen to the ones I sent out.  I prefer picture cards, which can't always be recycled very easily... or so I thought!  In the past year I've gotten much more committed to really thinking about my actions and how they're affecting me, my overall health and the environment.  So this year, when I started my search for Christmas cards I was so pleased with what I found!!

There are so many options for recycled cards, and they're just as festive (and around the same price) as the store bought or special order cards I've gotten in the past.  Paper Culture is the company that I've decided to go with this year, and I have to say I think our cards are pretty darn cute.  I love the philosophy of this company.  Not only do they use recycled paper for their cards and envelopes, I was also able to choose from loads of templates and different picture cards.  In addition, for the cost of postage they will mail all your cards to your recipients for you.  Of course, for an additional charge, you can have the cards shipped to you and then mail them out yourself.  However, Paper Culture strongly urges against this as it's more costly to you, and it increases the carbon footprint of your cards as they are then being shipped twice.  Once to you, and then once to your recipient.

The icing on the cake for me is that Paper Culture has joined forces with the Arbour Day Foundation, and for every order placed will plant a tree in the US National Forest.  Now, I do wish they had a Canadian site, and a Canadian National Forest, but this is a step in the right direction I feel.

Paper Culture is by no means the only company that offers a great selection on recycled and environmentally friendly card choices.  Here's a list of other great resources and companies that I came across through my research!

My Good Greetings

Gallery Collection

Pear Tree Greetings

Sierra Club

Green Field Paper   - This company also has recycled gift wrap for all those presents under the tree!

Mostly all of these also do cards for every occasion from birthday parties, to wedding invitations, engagement and baby announcements... you name it!!  I wish I had known about these when I was getting married!!

Enjoy your holiday preparations!