Chicken Pesto Pizza

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Before moving into our new house, Aaron and I talked about the traditions we would like to create in our new space. Hosting Christmas for our families, having Harry Potter movie marathons and home pizza night were just a few of the options we discussed. Since December 25th is not around the corner and Rowan is currently consumed by Dora, pizza night seemed like the easiest tradition to implement first. A few weeks ago, we made Chicken Pesto Pizza!

Beer

…and the grown ups drank this awesome local craft beer. Warning, drinking beer while making said pizza will increase the your enjoyment of the whole pizza making process.

dough

If the past is any indication of our future, you will know that I did not make the dough by hand, but in fact bought it from the Brick street bakery. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Pesto

The pesto for this pizza, is from a jar. You know, cause I’m fancy like that.

Chicken

I then cut up pre-bought chicken. Ooohhhh!

Asparagus

And then used leftover asparagus. Really, I did grill that a couple days before and then I placed it on the pizza.

Cheese

Next I added some mozzarella that I shredded myself! For reals, Foodie, for reals!

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And then I baked for 12 – 15 minutes at 400 F.

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And the kitchen smelled awesome. There really is nothing like simple somewhat “homemade” pizza.

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Although Rowan only ate the crust, the grown ups consumed this entire this in seconds flat. Nothing like ending a week, by sitting down at the table and enjoying a meal together. Pizza and the weekend just go together, you know?  Besides travelling the past couple of weeks, we have kept this tradition up for the most part. For me , the fun is planning what beer to pair with our pizza. Here’s too more “homemade” pizzas and expanding my beer repertoire!

Rowan’s Room: Starting from scratch

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The first room I want to focus my efforts on is Rowan’s room. Besides minimizing the impact of the transition, there are so many reasons why I want to start fresh in my girlie’s space. On Lee Avenue, Rowan’s room was decorated like a nursery and full disclosure: it wasn’t my favourite. It had moss coloured walls and felt totally uninspired. I am also trying to embracing “the big girl stage”.  In April, Rowan climbed out of her crib,  giving herself a huge goose-egg on her head and her mama a heart attack to boot.  Until we moved, Rowan slept with us in our bed. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t fun! Although I loved lying beside my girlie, I didn’t enjoy her trashing limbs or feet in my face. A space to call her very own is just what the doctor ordered for everyone.

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During the open house, I immediately imagined Rowan growing up in this space.  I loved the wall colour and decided to keep it the same until she tells me otherwise. Does this make me the laziest home owner on the face of the earth? Sure, but I prefer to keep things simple. I spied these cute amethyst sheets at target and thought they would be great for the space.

RowanBooks

Right now, R’s clothes are hung in the closet, her big girl bed is assembled and decor ideas are swirling around in my head. We need to unpack more of her books and toys as well as hang some art.  For now this room is functional and put together. Oh and as for the transition, as I mentioned Monday. Rowan’s been a champ. She’s slept in her own room since we moved in. Fingers crossed, it stays that way. This mama needs all the beauty sleep she can get! Haha!

Project Life 2014: Week 25

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Vacation week – otherwise known as the week I photographed wearing a bathing suit! Hooray !?!

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During the last week of June, we travelled to Cape Hatteras and rented a house on the beach. Simply put, we had an awesome time. Really, there is nothing like waking up having breakfast and spending the day by the ocean. Rowan loved running into the water and watching the waves crash into the shore. Seriously, I don’t know how many times she yelled, “It’s coming, it’s coming” and pointing to the waves. A fun story like that deserves it’s own journaling card. For this layout, I use cards from the Coral Edition. The blue, green and coral colours seem to coordinate nicely with our photos, especially my 12 x 12 “statement photo” of Aaron and Rowan.

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On a sad note, the week after our vacation, Hatteras was hit by Hurricane Arthur right before the July 4th long weekend. We hope that OBX, Outerbanks will recover from this storm and that people continue to visit. It really is a beautiful place. Page protectors on this layout include: a 12 x 12 and Design V.

On moving with a toddler & dog

photo-109One word to describe the process: exhausting!

I mentioned briefly last week, I am attempting to keep my head above water as we balancing living with half unpacked boxes, working and generally living life. OMG, I don’t know what is worse: not finishing what I started or not even getting to what I had planned to do. Yes, I forgot, mentally, how tiring a move can be. Although we moved one street over, just 5 minutes away from Lee Avenue, it is still an adjustment. But it is an awesome adjustment at that. I love our new space and every time I walk through the door, I feel that I am at home.

My lovely parents took Rowan for three days the weekend we moved. They feed and entertained my busy 2.5 year old girlie for 72 whole straight hours! It was just enough time to get Rowan’s room set up and ready. It’s far from being “done, done” but it’s functional and has all the important things like her clothes, toys and her “big girl” bed. When Rowan came back to the new house, she was a champ. Seriously, this kid is pretty easy-going. I didn’t fully appreciate how resilient kids can be until we made this major life transition. Rowan rolled with the punches with a happy upbeat attitude. Now the dog on the other hand…

Charlie Pup did not do as well as his younger human sister. He knew something was up around June 3oth when Aaron brought home empty cardboard boxes and masking tape. Every time we packed a box, he looked us with a hint of disdain in his eyes. On the day of moving we kept him by our side and took him for lots of walks . He is better now, three weeks in the new house, but still looks relieved when we come home. He always looks relieved when we come home but more so lately.

Aaron and I did well the day of the move. We were a real team, dividing up chores and responsibilities. We unpacked 22 boxes in one day! We also took advantage of the bebe free time and went out for dinner two nights in a row! Seriously, who are we?  All the excitement has worn off as we settle into our new space and routines. I still have to remind myself that our new home a work in process and should be a labour of love. I love thinking and planning how to personalize our space, but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, in full on panic mode, thinking that I everything should be unpacked and neatly put away. Seriously, I could always win gold at the worry Olympics.

So to sum it up: we love our new place; we are exhausted and navigating our new reality!

Blueberry Lemon Scones

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Family baking rocks! That is, if you don’t mind having fingers in your scones…

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I use the term, “baking” loosely because most of these ingredients for these scones came from a box. Yes, you read that right. I like to bake things that come from a box. Sometimes, half way homemade can be simple and delicious!

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Recipe

For these scones, I used:

1 box of PC President’s Choice Scone Mix

1 cup of fresh blueberries

1/2 cup of lemon juice

zest from 1 lemon

blueberries

grater

PreBake

I prepared the scones according to box. I folded in the blueberries carefully, as to not burst them. Next, I added the lemon juice and zest and mix the ingredients with a fork. From there I placed 12 handcut portions on a baking sheet.

RowanLick

Rowan “helped by licking the microplane grater. What can I say? It’s not one of her finest moments. Don’t worry, this kid was totally ok!

Eat

Light and fluffy, tasting warm blueberries burst in your mouth is kinda awesome! Also great? Feeling a little like Martha Stewart.

mediumfinishedEh viola! Half way homemade blueberry scones! I have enjoy a few plain scones for breakfast with a cup of coffee. I think I will  warm the rest of this batch up and serve with jam and a cuppa tea in the afternoons. Box baking never tasted so good! Ha!

Project Life 2014: Week 17

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Who doesn’t love an Easter spread in August?

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Yes, here is another two page spread completely devoted to easter bonnets, egg hunts and my girlie. All cards are from the Strawberry edition, which, FYI, may be my favourite Project Life edition so far! I love the bold patterns and bright colour palette.

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When I look back at this spread, I am reminded that, in addition to celebrating all things spring, we were in the middle of house hunting. When life gets busy, my Project Life spreads switch from weekly documenting to event capturing.  For me, I don’t care if I switch things up, or miss a week here or there. I love to create and my motto is something is better than nothing!

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I added a 5×7 insert with an egg craft Rowan completed at daycare. In the above photo, you can see that I attached a title card with some information and the date. In the future, as the number of crafts coming home increases, I plan to photograph Rowan’s art as oppose to including it directly in my album. This egg is a “masterpiece” and matches the colours in the spread so into the album it goes.

Rowan’s outfit: Hat, jacket and boots from Joe Fresh; Jeans from osh gosh.

How do you handle the busy periods? Do switch up weekly documenting to themed based pages?

The new (empty) house tour

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Cue “jazz hands” – I am that excited to show you our new space. It is beautiful and stylish and I am so very proud to call it home. LivingRoom

The Livingroom:  Tiles on the fireplace. Swoon!

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The Dining Area: I love me that light fixture! And booth seating is pretty awesome too.

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The Pantry / Kitchen / Storage Area: High fives all around for extra kitchen storage! And is that a wine fridge, I spy? Why yes, yes it is! Perhaps the best things about this space is that counter is just high enough that Charlie can’t reach it. Fingers cross there won’t be anymore turkey licking incidents like what happened during Thanksgiving 2012…

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The Kitchen: It has my heart. Considering that our kitchen on Lee Avenue was incredibly small for one person, not to mention two people! This space had me at hello!

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I love everything about this space:  the industrial look, the storage and the open concept. I don’t mind slaving over this hot stove!

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This is the back of the kitchen that looks on to our backyard. This will be prep area, so more than one person can cook. Hooray! It’s a Christmas miracle.

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The Master Bedroom:  Great light. Feels so open and airy.

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BlueRoom

The Second Bedroom: Aka the blue room aka the nursery. You know if we have another child. No announcements people – just thinking / hoping for the future!

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The third bedroom: Aka the purple room aka Rowan’s room. Love that light and the colour too. Can’t wait to make this a big girl room for my big girl.

Shower

The bathroom. Not too shabby eh? My mom has mentioned, on more than one occasion, that she would like to move into the upstairs bathroom. If it means free childcare, so Aaron and I can see a movie now and then, I say the more the merrier!

Tub

And there you go. Thanks for touring our empty, humble abode. You can see why my “jazz hands” are in full swing. We  are so incredibly lucky that the previous owners had great style and taste. I can’t wait to personalize this space and show you snapshots of our progress. I know I am going to enjoy making our house a home.

So it begins…

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Howdy! Welcome to my new blog home! I’m so excited for a fresh start.

So you wrote another blog?

You betcha! My first blog, Life on Lee Avenue, was a family and memory keeping blog that I sporadically wrote over the last four years. When I started it back in May 2010, all the cool kids were “doing it”. I had recently discovered scrapbooking and thought, I spend enough time reading other people’s blogs, why not start one myself? I’m just that kinda gal. It wasn’t daunting or scary. In fact, it seemed like a really, really fun thing to do. And it was. I quickly realized that it allowed me to share my creative work and house an online diary for my daughter’s development. Some of my most popular posts include: Day in the Life Meets Project Life; Layout: You Should Know; 2012 Week in the Life Completed Album; and Scrapbook on the Road Using Project Life.

Fast forward to May 2014 – a decision to sell our first family home and purchase a new one meant that the name of “the blog” was no longer relevant in my eyes. Ugh. Given the existential crisis I faced (read: created myself),  I seriously questioned / agonized over the direction I should take. So staying true to Jess fashion, I decided to create a new blog / website. I mean, why not try something new on top of moving? Not the smartest decision I have ever made, I know, but I am totally up for a new challenge!

Why the name, Cheers, Jess?

First, Jess Forster.com seemed a little plain – too plain, for my liking. If you’ve meet me in person, you know that for the most part I am a upbeat, “the glass is half full kinda person”. I am have a sarcastic side and have been know to drink a few *ahem* glasses of wine.  The name Cheers, Jess seemed to fit with who I am and what I want to blog about. I want this space to reflect life’s celebrations, both big and small.

What can you expect from Cheers, Jess?

Monday to Thursday, you can expect more of my “winning personality”.  At the heart, this space will continue to be  focused on family life, memory keeping and decorating our dream home. I may even throw in some of my adventures / disasters from my kitchen. I have an editorial calendar ready to go and I hope to inspire and entertain you, so that you will come back to visit again and again (and again).

Dude, where are your archives? 

Dude, I am so glad you asked! I am in the awesome (read: not awesome) process of transferring all my popular post from Lee Avenue over. It takes time and I am getting there. Look for more content to show up over the course of the next couple weeks + months.

Bottom line: Thanks for sticking around and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been up to!