Small changes to make a kids room more cozy and fun

IMG_3155 3.JPG

If there is a guilty pleasure that I enjoy a LOT in life is definitely decorating, doing DIY project, refurbishing furniture, giving life to secondhand items and accessories, swapping decor items from room to room etc…

I made recent changes to Liam’s room since I didn’t like the vibe of his old room because I thought it was not welcoming enough but at the same time I didn’t want it to be a major project neither or a too expensive one.

IMG_3211

The dresser is a dresser that my boyfriend’s great grandfather built when he was young. We wanted to keep it since we love vintage pieces that has life but gave it a modern touch by applying paint on it and done a ombre effect with the drawers only in 3 shades of grey and painted the top and sides with a black chalkboard paint, so he could draw on it with chalks to make it more fun.

IMG_3158

I always had a preference for warm tones and wood accents so this is why you can probably notice, in every room of our house, wood accessories or furniture, wicker plates and chest, as well as some natural materials like cotton, linen or burlap.

The reason I also like to keep from rom to room the same colour palettes or tones is that it’s easier then to swap accessories from a room to another if I need to change the decor easily and without a budget… and by having more neutrals I know it will go in time .

So here is the list of what you can find in Liam’s room and feel free to comment below if I missed something.

Advertisements

Discovering Jamaica with Transat

IMG_2134.jpg

We had the chance to discover in November the beautiful island of Jamaica with Transat, to be more exact, the region between Montego Bay and Negril, in the city of Lucea. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton hotel, where luxury meets relaxation and breath taking views. This 5 star resort is located 32 km from the Montego Bay airport, which is about 40 minutes. The shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel is amazing. The views are spectacular and the landscapes are uniques. Get your camera ready as soon as you hit the road because the discovery starts there.

IMG_1012.JPG

A MOUNTAINSIDE RESORT

This beautiful and luxurious oceanfront resort, located on the western side of Jamaica, the Grand Palladium, has 2 sections and we stayed on the Lady Hamilton part. It has a multitude of greeneries, beautiful sidewalks and little lounge areas and offers exceptional amenities. There is a continuous onsite shuttle service that we took sometimes because the kids were too tired to walk, but otherwise, we walked all the time, everything is quite close and the walk is totally worth it.

IMG_2992

SOFT TONE ROOM

We had a beautiful Junior suite of the family collection. The room was pretty nice with a contemporary style and warm wooden furnishings.

IMG_3364

We had more then enough space for the 5 of us, with a full bathroom and a bath… which is always nice to have when traveling with kids, if you ask me.

IMG_2972 2.jpg

IMG_2975

GASTRONOMY

Because the food is definitely a big concern when it comes to choose a resort or destination and I totally agree with that. One major comment I would have is that every dish was really tasty, with all it’s fresh herbs and island seasonings. Don’t be afraid to try many of their dishes, you will definitely discover new favorites, just like we did. The resort counts 10 restaurants in total + 2 huts for lunch, and here are our favorite…. because food is important when making a resort decision right? To resume, we ate well. Really, really well!!

IMG_1976

We all know that with kids, it gets sometimes tricky finding the right meal for them but you won’t be disappointed with this resort. My 3 sons found meals they loved, all from the regular menu with local flavours, even if they offered a popular kids menu choice or that we could’ve opt for the buffet.

IMG_1034.JPG

Our favorite was definitely the El DORADO – STEAKHOUSE.  Ask for a banquette, it’s really cozy, you will love it with kids. You need to try the filet mignon, it’s really good, even if you are not a meat lover just like me. The boys enjoyed the little salad bar to start, because we all know that kids loves to pick their own stuff and make their plates. You can ask for smaller portions at the restaurant for the kids too.

IMG_1819.JPG

We really enjoyed the POSEIDON – SEAFOOD restaurant, were we really enjoyed eating outside with the warm ocean breeze. Again there was a salad bar ( so popular with my sons ) and we loved, loved the tuna steak and the seafood and fish plate. Everything was so yummy and tasty again. Also, the presentations where always stunning.

IMG_1825.JPG

Finally, you need to try the XAYMAICA – JAMAICAN restaurant and be open to try yummy local dishes. We took the akee saltfish appetizer ( that is their national dish usually served as breakfast ) and the coconut shrimps that were both AMAZING. For main dish we tried the coconut sea trout, the curry goat and the escovitch snapper. So yummy again and what an EXPERIENCE! When at the beach during the day, we had lunch almost everyday at the jerk huts and honestly, it was the BEST place to have it!

IMG_1668

BREAKFAST and LUNCH

We love eating outside when we travel as much as we can so we had breakfasts at the BLUE LAGOON, an outdoor terrasse with a view on the main pool and beach with a buffet (between the Bhogali and the El Agave restaurants). We had lunch either at the jerk huts or Poseidon restaurant, which was 1 minute walk from the Sunset Cove beach… because with kids,  we’re always in a  hurry because they are always hungry right?

IMG_1014 2

LOCAL FOOD

If you ask me what are the moments and things I enjoyed the most during our Jamaïcan trip, well discovering new culinary traditions and dishes is definitely one of them. Discovering new plates is definitely a reason why I love to travel. The jamaicans knows how to cook the tastiest fruits, local vegetables, fresh fishes and locally grown herbs and spices. You will be pleased at the hotel or if you eat outside because all the food was delicious, fresh and really tasty. You need to try our favorites, the Jerk chicken, the Akee Saltfish and the plantains.

IMG_1698.JPG

SWIMMING and POOLS

The Lady Hamilton counts 6 pools, and the way they are located on the site, you never feel like being at the same spot. They are all well located and easy to access and walk to. The water is pretty warm which was a plus with the boys… because the youngest doesn’t like it if the water is too cold. We enjoyed the built-in chairs in some of them while the kids could swim around and have fun! We brought them small pool balls which they always like to play with when we travel.

IMG_2132.jpg

BEACHES

What I really enjoyed and loved about this resort is definitely the layouts of the multiple beaches. There are several beaches, all located in between big rocks which makes the view a little more natural and wild. The sand was very very soft and the water itself was very clear, with almost no sea weeds around, so we could enjoy swimming quietly.

IMG_2974

IMG_2993

WATER PARK & SLIDES

To my boys surprise, there was a nice and fun water park, perfect for all ages, with fun slides. Even Axel was able to do them, so it was the perfect setup for them. Their pool is perfect for their hight of course and the enjoyed the games and splashing seahorse in the pool. We always bring balls with us so the kids had fun for hours.

IMG_2990

IMG_2978

KIDS CLUB

The cute and fun kids club, next to the main pool, has supervised activities, indoor and outdoor areas, a splash pool as well as a craft and arts room. My youngest sons enjoyed the little pool as well as the big playset park. There was also a mini-disco during the evening to party with friends. We loved the little rides that we could borrow as we wished.

IMG_2980 2.jpgEnlight20

SPORTS and ACTIVITIES

The boys enjoyed some tennis and basketball games outside. I recommend that you go very early right after breakfast because it is really hot if you go later. We had lots of fun at the Sunset Cove beach, where all the water sports are happening. We had the chance to try the kayak, the snorkelling and catamaran! oh the fun we had! We brought our own snorkelling equipment, but if you don’t have yours, you can rent it for free at the sports hut.

IMG_3357.jpg

The boys loved to play pingpong at the beach, volleyball by the main pool and giant chest game as well, located on the site. One thing for sure is that we were never bored at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton with all the animation, festive vibe and happy and welcoming staff.

IMG_3336

KIDS MOCKTAILS

Happy kids makes happy parents right? Besides sports, activities, beach and pool, my boys lives for food… and mocktails, an a special exception they know that we will approve on vacations. So of course they were more then served with the food and buffets but let’s talk about the mocktails or the pina colada “no alcool”… even Axel ordered his own like a big boy! They even make smoothies with real fruits and coconut milk, they were really yummy. We even had them in the morning after our sports as a snack.

IMG_3391.jpg

VISTING THE COUNTRY

If there is something you really need to do is to go out of the resort, visit the country and I guarantee that you will be amazed with all the landscapes, how friendly the locals are and all the beautiful hidden gems this country has to offer. I totally think it’s the best way to learn about a country.

IMG_3429

We booked beautiful excursions and I can’t wait to share my experiences on my next blog post with lots of details, must see and do and many, many pictures.

Here’s a sneak peak at the beautiful locations we visited and that we ALL enjoyed so much, I’m telling you, it’s a MUST to do with kids, even young ones.

YS FALLS

IMG_1421.jpg

RICKS CAFE

IMG_3426 3

LUCEA

IMG_3428

NEGRIL

IMG_3427

BLACK RIVER

IMG_1360

ST-ELIZABETH

IMG_3430

MONTEGO BAY

IMG_1587.jpg

TRANSAT

Did you know that Air Transat was named World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2018?

IMG_3412.jpg

We’ve been traveling with Transat for many many years now and I need to admit that they stay my choice #1 without any hesitation. The reasons why I love this carrier so much, especially now that I have kids, is because they welcome for free, in the kids club  little ones from 2 to 11 and offer them a kit filled with cool travel goodies and many on-board surprises to make air travel fun… and to my sons greatest happiness, they tried Transat new kids menu wit a yummy Mac and cheese… and for our greatest happiness, we can benefit from a free seat selection, a dedicated family check-in counter and pre-boarding for all our family… which are a MUST when traveling with little ones if you ask me!

IMG_3409

Check out all the many more Transat kids club advantages here.

I totally recommend the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and I am sure you will be able to make beautiful family memories like we did.

Thanks for reading and feel free if you have any questions regarding our experience, Transat or the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton.

You can find all details and book your trip here with Transat.

Stephanie

 

 

 

Testing the new Extend2Fit® Graco Convertible Car Seat

IMG_0118

Choosing a car seat is tough! There are so many options, and one look at the car seat aisle or webpage can make our head swim with weight limits, positions, harness options … So how do you know what the best seat for your child is? You want to find the safest seat that fits your vehicle, child, and can be used correctly 100% of the time.

IMG_0131

After trying many, many car seats for 14 years now – on and off, of course – I can say that we have tried a lot. Liked some and hated some. I was happy when I was told I could give
the Extend2Fit ® Graco Convertible Car Seat a try for Axel!

The great thing about the Extend2Fit ®  Graco Convertible Car Seat, your little one can also ride rear-facing longer – allowing for a safer ride – up to 50 pounds! It has an extension panel that allows for 5 additional inches of leg room, so your little one can be more comfortable also! I have always been on the really careful side of things when it comes to road and car safety, so I felt secure when I found out that it was side impact tested for occupant retention, with the built-in 5-point harness system and the steel-reinforced frame that provides more strength and durability.

My favourite features about the Extend2Fit ®  Graco Convertible Car Seat are definitely the following:
 6-position recline  (I love it for long car rides and our frequent road trips)
 The seat pad is comfortable and machine-washable (Axel was sick in it the first time he
tried it and it came out like a brand new one after washing it in the machine)
 There are two integrated cup holders (one cup for Axel and one cup for his brother, of
course haha!)
 The 10-position adjustable headrest is easy to use and adjust as Axel grows

IMG_0137.jpg

I installed the car seat myself and found the entire process really easy. It comes with an
installation guide that is easy to read and understand. All the markers on the sides of the
Extend2Fit ®  Graco Convertible Car Seat made my life easier and the clear signage helped give me confidence I was doing it correctly.

Did you know that the paediatric recommendation in Canada is to keep children rear-facing as long as possible as your child meets the weight and height limits in the manufacturer’s instructions, even if they are beyond one year of age. Don’t rush to move them to the next stage! Even young toddlers are safer in the rear-facing position.  The Extend2Fit ®  Graco Convertible Car Seat didn’t exist when I had Loïc and Liam, but I wish it had so they could have been rear-facing for even longer than they were. I totally recommend this car seat. In fact, I just did to a friend who’s expecting her second baby. She bought the colour Gotham, just like ours!

Thank you for reading!

Stephanie

Asian salmon pan with potatoes, cauliflower and brussel sprouts

IMG_2888

Avec des journées vraiment remplies, un boulot à temps plein, 3 garçons et des activités quotidiennes, je dois avouer que je ne suis pas la mieux planifiée pour de ce qui est des repas. C’est pourquoi j’aime bien avoir sous la main des pommes de terres congelées, prêtes à servir et parfaitement assaisonnées @cavendish.farms que je peux servir avec du poisson ou poulet préparés les weekends, carottes et brocolis et voilà! Les enfants adorent, c’est rapide et délicieux!

IMG_2888 3

Voici donc ma recette en question, je vous le dis, ils vont adorer et c’est santé aussi.

INGRÉDIENTS

  • 1 sac de pomme de terre de 750g  de Cavendish Farms au sel et de poivre concassé
  • 2 c. à soupe de sucre brun 
  • 2 c. à soupe de sauce soja
  • 2 c. à soupe de beurre fondu
  • 1 c. à soupe de vinaigre de riz naturel
  • 1/4 c. à thé de sel
  • 4 filets de saumon avec la peau
  • 1/2 lb de fleurons de choufleur frais (environ 4 tasses)
  • 4 tasses de chou de bruxelle tranchées
  • 2 oignons verts tranchés en biais
  • graines de sésame
  • coriandre

ÉTAPES

  • Chauffer le four à 425 ° F.
  • Couvrir une plaque à pâtisserie d’un papier parchemin
  • Étaler les pommes de terre surgelées en une seule couche sur la plaque de cuisson et cuire au four pendant 16 à 18 minutes.
  • Retirer du four. Retournez les pommes de terre et faites de la place pour le choufleur, le chou de bruxelle et le saumon.
  • Dans un grand bol, mélanger la cassonade, 2 cuillères à soupe de sauce soja, le beurre, le vinaigre et 1/4 de cuillère à thé de sel.
  • Transférer 2 cuillères à soupe du mélange dans un bol moyen. Ajouter le saumon au mélange et tourner pour enduire.
  • Ajouter le choufleur et les chou de bruxelle dans un grand bol et mélanger pour bien enrober.
  • Ajouter le saumon, peau vers le bas sur la plaque avec les pommes de terre; ajoutez le chou de bruxelle et les choufleur.
  • Versez le reste du mélange des deux bols sur le saumon, les pommes de terre et les légumes.
  • Rôtir 12 à 15 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que le saumon soit bien cuit et se défasse facilement à la fourchette et que les pommes de terre soient tendres.
  • Garnir d’oignon vert, de graines de sésame et de coriandre. Bon appétit!

IMG_2888

With really busy days, a full time job, 3 boys and daily activities, I must admit that I am not the best  at planning meals. That’s why I like to have frozen potatoes ready to serve and perfectly seasoned @ cavendish.farms that I can serve with fish or chicken cooked on weekends, any veggies and that’s it! Kids love it, it’s fast and delicious!

Asian pan

1 bag of salt and cracked pepper Cavendish Farms 750g bag

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon natural rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (4 oz) salmon filets, skin on
1/2 lb fresh broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
5 big carrots, sliced
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
sesame seeds
cilantro
IMG_2656

Steps

  • Heat oven to 425°F. Cover a pan with a non-stick baking sheet
  • Spread frozen potatoes in a single layer on the non-stick baking sheet and bake for 16- 18 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Flip over Chopped Potatoes and make room for broccoli, carrots and salmon.
  • In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the butter, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to medium bowl.
  • Add salmon to mixture in medium bowl; turn to coat.
  • Add broccoli and carrots to large bowl, and toss to coat.
  • Add salmon, skin side down, to pan with potatoes; add broccoli and carrots.
  • Pour any remaining mixture from both bowls over salmon, potatoes, broccoli and carrots.
  • Roast 12 to 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, and potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Top with green onion, sesame seeds and cilantro.
  • Bon appétit!

IMG_2888 2

Creating a wicker basket gallery wall

IMG_2596If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you noticed that I am constantly redoing some rooms in our house and changing things around. I’ve been collecting lately some flat shaped baskets in order to create a wall in Liam’s room. I’m not sure on how many I will hang but I got more then less. I love how these baskets will integrate in my contemporary style home by bringing it the charm of authenticity of where they’re from.

IMG_2592

Wicker walls seems to have gained popularity in the last couple of months so did the boho themed rooms. They have something really peaceful, cozy and natural and that can usually be created without going over budget or spending too much, which I love. Lots of little gems can be found when going to thrift stores or flea markets and garage sales. I really love that fact that it also gives a second life to some items that are recycled with a different purpose. Another reason I really love about this wall is that baskets can be reused later on with other purposes around the house.

IMG_2594

Because I wanted to change some decorations in Liam’s room, who just turned 7 not a long time ago and wanted his room to me more neutral, with some pops or burnt orange, rust. Since I also always loved natural materials compared to plastic, I wanted to add a natural touch on his wall, without having to spend to much since I love to change things around in the house often.

IMG_2595

I started browsing the web, Instagram and Pinterest of course to get some tricks and get inspired with some ideas and what others has come up in different rooms. Although some seemed to cost a leg and an arm to create that kind of beautiful trendy mural with imported baskets, I started first looking in my own house what I had as wicker plates, mats and baskets. I also asked friends and family if they might had any that they didn’t want anymore. I was lucky to find beautiful one in one of my latest travel and also found a few in garage sale and local thrift store.

IMG_2597

BEST PLACES to find DECORATIVE WALL BASKETS

  • thrift stores
  • flea market
  • garage sales
  • your home
  • friends and family
  • Etsy
  • travel souvenirs
  • local decorating shops

Even if I prefer the result on a white wall, this mural can totally be created on any colour wall. Another thing is that I prefer when there is a variation in size and texture. It makes it more personal and artsy.

IMG_2598

How to HANG BASKETS on the WALL

  • use a nail driven through the center of the basket to hang them but this might damage the basket and you will see it when close enough
  • use a fishing line  and a small nail by creating a loop on the back of the basket
  • use temporary sticky wall hook

IMG_2964

How to MAKE SURE they are CLEAN and DISINFECTED

Disinfection: Leave the in a tub or sink filled with hot water and dishwashing liquid with a few drops of javel water while using an old toothbrush to clean and brush them. They will dry pretty fast and like that, you make sure that you eliminate most of the germs and dust. You can never be too careful.

IMG_2965

So I can’t wait to show you the result in Liam’s room really soon.

Stephanie

Un weekend à l’hôtel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix

Enlight14.jpg

Nous avons tout récemment passé un superbe weekend en famille à l’Hôtel & Spa Le Germain , dans la belle région de Charlevoix. J’ai eu souvent la chance dans le passé, lors de mes voyages d’affaires, de connaitre et de rester dans d’autres hôtels de la bannière, dans différentes villes canadiennes et c’est toujours agréable d’y séjourner. Par contre, c’était une première pour nous à l’hotel Germain de Charlevoix.

IMG_8302.jpg

Niché entre fleuve et montagnes, l’Hôtel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix, anciennement l’Hôtel La Ferme, est le camp de base idéal pour passer des vacances de rêve en amoureux ou en famille. Son charme campagnard, son design raffiné et sa cuisine du terroir vous feront vivre une expérience authentique, tout comme nous avons effectivement pu apprécier durant nos 3 jours d’escapade.

IMG_8766

Tout premièrement, notre chambres était vraiment accueillante et confortable ou chaque membre de la famille y a trouvé son compte. Nous avions une très belle chambre familiale douillette au design élégant et au confort moderne avec une vue à couper le souffle sur le fleuve et les nombreux animaux de l’endroit.

IMG_8275

Les déjeuners au restaurant les Labours au Germain de Charlevoix sont tout simplement délicieux, vraiment réconfortant et où  le meilleur de Charlevoix se retrouve dans notre assiette! Le déjeuner – brunch style buffet convient vraiment bien pour toute la famille ou si vous voyager en couple. Les garçons ont particulièrement apprécié la station de céréales et granolas – yogourt où ils étaient libres de composer leur propre bol. Le chocolat chaud est définitivement à essayer. Il est si riche et crémeux! Trop bon!

IMG_0029.jpg

Voici nos coups de coeur familiale du petit déjeuner:

  • chocolat chaud
  • station à céréales de la Fourmi bionique
  • le plateau de fromages locaux
  • omelette à notre goût ( blanc d’oeuf pour moi )
  • la chaudrée de patates au fromage Migneron

IMG_8289

Pour de ce qui est des diners, nous avons fait des picnics en se procurant des produits locaux, frais et plus délicieux les uns que les autres. Je vous fais une liste des incontournables si ca vous dit de faire comme nous et de grignoter et déguster tout en admirant les paysages que la région a à offrir.

IMG_8526 2

Nous avons pu tout placer tout ce dont nous avions besoin pour la journée dans la Lexus RX L, ce qui a rendu l’expérience beaucoup plus facile !

IMG_8595.jpg

Le souper maintenant…

Comme nous avions passé les journées entières à l’extérieur, quand le soir était venu, nous avons apprécié le fait d’avoir des restaurants, sur le site de l’hôtel Germain, afin de ne pas avoir à reprendre la route et d’être tout prêt pour le dodo ensuite.

IMG_8751.jpg

Nous avons donc manger les 2 soirs au restaurant le Bercail du Germain, où la formule est simple : des fauteuils autour du foyer, un comptoir, des tabourets et un menu simplifié. Si vous avez des petits, demandez pour un table avec grande banquette. C’est parfait pour le moment où ils commencent à être fatigués.

Le restaurant offre une belle sélection de plat pour les enfants avec une belle entrée de crudités. Les garçons ont mangé les pâtes et la pizza maison et ce fût un succès. Ils gâtent les enfants pour terminer avec un mini brownie, juste parfait pour ne pas les empêcher de dormir.

IMG_8782

Nous avons pour notre part gouté à plusieurs plats, car honnêtement tout nous mettait l’eau à la bouche, mais voici tout de même nos coups de coeurs pour vous tenter.

  • tartare de saumon au kimchi
  • planche du pêcheur
  • pizza forestière
  • cake de morue
  • tartine de saumon fumé

Pour couronner le tout, Le Germain de Charlevoix offre également quelques activités pour nous garder actifs.  Dans le couloir, au rez-de-chaussée, près de la réception, se trouve l’aire de jeux pour enfants où ils peuvent lire un livre, jouer aux blocs ou même dessiner. Ce petit coin est bien aménagé et a procuré beaucoup de plaisir à nos garçons. Le site comprend également une ferme, ce qui en a fait une excellente expérience familiale, car nous pourrions nous approcher assez près des animaux. Les garçons ont particulièrement aimé les coqs, les moutons et les bovins.

IMG_8879

 

Je suis persuadé que vous vous y plairai tout autant que nous avons tout simplement adoré notre séjour. Le germain est le camp de base idéal pour passer des vacances de rêve en amoureux ou en famille. Son charme campagnard, son design raffiné et sa cuisine du terroir vous feront vivre une expérience authentique.

IMG_8952

Cette publication a été payé par Lexus Canada. Tous les textes et photos sont les miennes.

Stephanie

 

 

A weekend gateway at Le Germain in Charlevoix

IMG_8952

IMG_0040.jpg

We recently had a great family weekend  at Le Germain Hotel & Spa, in the beautiful Charlevoix region. I’ve had the chance in the past, to stay at other Le Germain hotels in different cities during business trips and it is always nice to stay there. It was our time staying at le Germain de Charlevoix and we loved it.

IMG_8447

Nestled between the river and the mountains, Le Germain Hotel & Spa Charlevoix, formerly the Hotel La Ferme, is the ideal base camp for a dream holiday for couples or families. Its country charm,  refined design and regional cuisine will make you live an authentic experience, just as we did during our 3 day getaway.

IMG_0066

First and foremost, our rooms were really welcoming and comfortable and every member of the family had their own space. We had a very nice cozy family room with an elegant design and modern comfort with a breathtaking view of the river among of the area.

IMG_8760.jpg

One of the most important parts about a weekend getaway is always the food.

IMG_8872.JPG

The breakfasts at the Labours restaurant in Le Germain de Charlevoix are simply delicious and one of the best in all of Charlevoix! The buffet style brunch is really good for the whole family or if you are traveling as a couple. The boys particularly enjoyed the cereal and granola yogurt station where they were free to compose their own bowl. Hot chocolate is definitely worth trying. It is so rich and creamy! Too good!

IMG_8280.jpg

Here are our family favorites of breakfast:

  • hot chocolate
  • cereal station of la fourmi bionic
  • the local cheese platter
  • omelette to our taste (egg white for me)
  • Migneron cheese potato chowder

As for lunches, we made picnics by buying local products which were fresh and delicious. Here is a list of essentials to pick up while you’re out admiring the many landscapes the region has to offer. We were able to fit everything we needed for the day in the Lexus RX L, which made the experience so much easier!.

  • À chacun son pain for sandwiches, pizzas, fresh bread and pastries
  • fromagerie Charlevoix for its choice of cheese – so good
  • La ferme Basque  for its duck foie gras
  • smoked salmon from le fumoir St Antoine

IMG_8976

We spent the whole day outside and when the evening came, we visited restaurants, on the site of Le Germain, so we didn’t have to  hit the road again and be ready for bedtime. We had dinner every night at Le Bercail du Germain restaurant, where the formula is simple: chairs around the fireplace, a counter, stools and a simplified menu. If you have small ones, ask for a table with big bench. It’s perfect for the moment they start to get tired.

IMG_8783

The restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes for children with a nice entree of raw vegetables. The boys ate the pasta and the homemade pizza which was a success. They spoiled the kids to end with a mini brownie, which was perfect and didn’t  stop them from sleeping.

IMG_0035.jpg

We tasted several dishes and because honestly everything was mouth-watering here is a list of our favorites you if you’re ever in the area:.

  • kimchi salmon tartare
  • le pêcheur’s board
  • mushrooms pizza
  • cod fish cake
  • smoked salmon toast
IMG_8753

the mushrooms pizza at restaurant Le Bercail is definitly a must have

To top it all off, Le Germain de Charlevoix also had a few activities to keep us

In the corridor, on the ground floor, located near the reception, there is the play area for children, where they can read a book, play blocks or even draw. This little corner is well laid out and provided a lot of enjoyment for our boys.

The site also features a farm, which made for a great family experience as we could get quite close to the animals. The boys especially liked the roosters, sheep, and highland cattle.

IMG_8327

I am sure you will enjoy your stay just as much as we loved it. Le Germain Hotel & Spa Charlevoix, is the ideal base camp for a dream vacation with your partner or family. Its country charm, refined design and local cuisine will surely provide you an authentic experience of a life time.

IMG_8479

This post was paid for by Lexus Canada.

Stephanie

Axel’s big boy room

IMG_0218

Because just a little bit Axel turned 3, we decided to change his bed for a real big boys bed so he would definitly sleep better, so do we. Also, since my husband is a firman, when he comes back from work and the kids are all in my bed in the morning, he will sometimes borrow Axel’s room, and sleep much better then he would have in his toddler’s transition bed.

IMG_0195

I get tones of questions on Axel’s bed, mattress and decor so here are some details from what we bought since now and I will keep updating it on what I add or change, so stay tuned.

IMG_0214

Metal single bed: Wayfair

Mattress: Endy ( use code CHICMOM50 for 50$ off )

Duvet cover: Teeny tiny linens

Bonne Nuit pillow: Vestibule mini

Cactus wallpaper: Anewall

 

DIY winter porch decoration

IMG_0281

Because I love decoration and that you would find the exact same style inside of our house and out, I love to decorate a little bit more when it comes to fall season, with some pumpkins, squashes and chrysanthemums and the winter and christmas decoration. Because also it just adds a little more colour to our front entryway, since I always put simple tropical plants year after year, in our big plant pots. So I start with winter decor, then christmas and right after Christmas I changed out the Christmas decorations and added some winter decor.

IMG_0277

So here is what I like to do for my 3rd year in a row and some more inspirations ( that lots of were found on Pinterest.

Winter decoration

I added white pine that I found on the street left for the green residues waste collection, birch branches that I bought at the hardware store 2 years ago ( yes you can keep them in a dry space summer time ),   large pinecones to two tall black urns ( that we reuse summer time with our tropical trees.

 

IMG_0164

I used  tall black plant vases that are very light to carry and move and that I filled with styrofoam (or floral foam)that we had at home.

IMG_0163

Then I started adding, oddly the  white pine branches. You can definitly add any kind of coniferous branches and I know that usually around mid november, we start seeing stores selling it.

IMG_0167

IMG_0162

IMG_0166

IMG_0280

So as you can tell, I am not completely done with my project but with the lack of time, of course, I will probably continue within 1-2 weeks by adding big natural pinecones maybe tiny white lights.

To be continued…

Winter decor inspiration

I love getting inspired with magazines, Instagram and Pinterest

IMG_0190

You can find all my Pinterest Inspiration boards here

We really love our decorated entryway and  I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. What are you favorite style for decorating your porch or entryway for winter and Christmas?

Stephanie

visiting the beautiful region of Charlevoix

IMG_2339.jpeg

Want to visit a place where the picturesque charm is omnipresent between the period homes and the post-card sceneries and just enjoy the beauty of the world while spending most of your time outside walking and hiking?… Well this is for you.

We had the chance to visit the beautiful region of Charlevoix, aboard the luxurious Lexus RX L not too long ago and honestly, I really fell in love with the region, our ride and the priceless family time. The road to get there was superb, the scenery is breathtaking, the shops of local products are not to be missed and the charm of this region is waiting for you.

IMG_9898.JPG

With our 3 sons, lots of suitcases and luggage to bring, we enjoyed the space in the Lexus RX L and the 3rd row seating. The boys were really comfortable and the space is roomy. This car offers a truly remarkable experience that we could appreciate with the winding roads and the odds that appear one after the other in this beautiful region of Charlevoix.

We went for several walks and hikes during this weekend, beautiful activities, unforgettable visits and unique discoveries. I really wanted to share all of this with you, because it was too beautiful and with children it’s always nice to be able to plan ahead.

IMG_8470

Here is what we did during the weekend – I highly recommend reading along, if you like adventure and beautiful discoveries.

Hiking

The region offers several hiking trails both for family and more advanced. We really like to walk with the boys for many reasons but first of all, it makes us take some fresh air, it makes us move outside, it gives us good family time or and allows us to appreciate nature … and I need to admit that everyone sleeps so much better in the evening.

IMG_9892

You will find several hiking options on the Charlevoix tourism site to plan in advance the type and length of hike you want to do.

IMG_9893

Helicopter ride

The helicopter ride at Heli-Charlevoix was really a great adventure. We really enjoyed this activity. The view that the area  had to offer with all the fall colors was just gorgeous and I must admit that the boys were speechless all along. The pilot told us that each season had its charm and that in winter, it is possible to see moose and follow them from the air. It gave us the taste to go back!

IMG_9896

IMG_9538 2

Gourmet journey

Another activity that I recommend is really to plan a gourmet walk to discover all the beautiful and great products that the region has to offer. We had the chance to taste cheeses, dry sausages, smoked salmon and pâtés from local artisans. We even had 2 picnics during the weekend to take the time to enjoy everything, while enjoying the beautiful landscape of the region. The concierge service at the hotel Le Germain helped us suggest a route that was perfect for our tastes.

IMG_8976.jpg

Visiting the alpaca farm

Another necessary stop. Really. We adored. The Charlevoix alpaca farm is a great activity for all ages. Despite the very different ages of my 3 sons, I was a little apprehensive to see if they would all appreciate it but to my surprise, they all love it. The farm is educational and we found several explanatory posters which allowed us to learn a lot about this beautiful animal. The boys fed them and could also pet them too. There is a nice boutique where you can shop for alpaca fur items made from artisans.

IMG_9890

IMG_9891

A car ride to les Éboulements

We jumped in the Lexus RX L again to enjoy another charming region of Charlevoix, between Baie St-Paul and La Malbaie. If there is one place you really need to include in your course, is a visit to the beautiful iconic village of Charlevoix, while Saint-Irénée overlooks the heights and les éboulements eases its way along the Saint-Lawrence River. Then you have to drive along the river and stop at the ferry that travels up to Ile aux coudres. The view is splendid at this place, especially at low tide. This is a nice place to grab a snack and kids will enjoy a fun walk… or run.

This region is amazing to experience and we really fell in love with this beautiful part of Quebec. We will return for sure, for it’s beautiful breathtaking views, good gourmet stops, hiking trails, hospitality and good food.

IMG_8615.JPG

In addition, our 3-day getaway was very pleasant in the comfort of the Lexus RX L, which allowed us to bring all the equipment we needed with the 3 boys and our many planned activities. We had all the space expected, the comfort was more than present and the driving was beyond my expectations. The fact that this luxury SUV has 6 seats and this, in 3 rows, really help to spend long hours on the road without any kids fights or arguing… read mom and dad were very happy!

I will share with you in my next blog post about our stay at the hotel Le Germain and gourmet stops to be sure to make this trip a memorable one.

I hope it gives you the taste to visit as much as we enjoyed our experience,

Stephanie xx