Oshawa Centre Media Preview Event

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the Media Preview Event for the Grand Opening (happening September 29) of the newly renovated Oshawa Centre. The $230 million expansion brings 60 new stores, a new 1000 – seat food court, two brand new full service restaurants: Kelsey’s (which is already open) and Baxter’s Landing (opening December of this year), 250 underground parking spaces and so much more!

Some of the new stores include: Adidas, Forever 21 (which is 20,000 sq ft!), Starbucks (in the brand new food court), Skechers, and an H&M flagship store (YES!) Also, just announced yesterday…a Zara and Browns Shoes, both opening Spring 2017! I cannot wait for the Zara to open. This is going to be very dangerous for me as the mall is only a five minute drive from my work…

Overall I was very impressed with the layout of the new addition to the mall and it’s hard to believe it will be done and ready to open in a week!

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Stay tuned for my post next week on the official Grand Opening!

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A Look Back: A Gold and Pink Party for Everly

So this post is beyond late. Like 6 months late. Everly will be 2.5 years old on January 30th, so I figured it was time I share her 2nd birthday party with you. It’s so late on account of all the things that had been going on that kept me from blogging. Better late than never right?

For her second birthday, I decided to do a gold and pink theme, with a little bit of sparkle. She is such a little girly girl I thought it would be a perfect fit for her. I had so much fun planning all of the little details. It’s easy to say that now that I can look back on it and smile; but maybe if you had asked me at 1:30am the morning of, I may have said something else as I iced 60 cupcakes in my kitchen…

We decided to rent a hall for her party because we were expecting quite a few guests, I didn’t want to chance it incase it rained which would leave us cramming people into our house. (It’s a good thing we did, because it was pouring rain the day of her party.)

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Her birthday banner I made myself (I purchased the card stock from Michaels, as well as the gold polka-dot wallpaper.) The tassels I made myself. Each one is a single sheet of tissue paper. They were a little time-consuming to make (only because I needed quite a few of them), but they turned out great.

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The cake pops I purchased from Starbucks – they are a little pricey but the kids LOVED them. The pink cotton candy jelly beans I purchased from bulk barn. The cotton candy I purchased from a local business owner, it came in the containers and was around $1.50 per tub. Again, these were a huge hit with the kids. I added the gold sparkle tape around the tubs, which I purchased on clearance from Michaels. The chalk board easel I also purchased from Michaels, and the carnations were a pretty touch. The cupcakes I made myself, and dusted them all with some edible gold sparkles. I am really happy with how they turned out (well worth the effort – again, easy to say now).

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The loot bags and tags I purchased on clearance at Michaels and filled them with little trinkets from Dollarama. The sand buckets were for the littlest ones. The princess rendition of “pin the tail on the donkey” was also purchased from the dollar store.

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I tried to buzz around as much as possible to take pictures of all of the guests and kids playing together – it’s times like that I could really use a clone…

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How sweet is she?! I think my little cupcake had a great party.

Mini Cheesecakes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe for a delicious dessert for a party or get together, this recipe is for you!

I absolutely love cheesecake and have a few different recipes for it, from cherry to blueberry to lemon to chocolate swirl, but this is by far the easiest.

I like to use this recipe for mini cheesecakes, but you can tweak it and use it for a large one.

These were a huge hit at our New Year’s Eve party a few weeks ago.

Mini Cheesecake Recipe

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

5 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp of butter or margarine, melted

6 8oz packages of cream cheese (don’t try to save calories and use light cream cheese, you will lose the rich flavour)

1.5 cups of sugar

2 1/2 tsp of vanilla

6 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 5 tbsp of sugar and the butter or margarine in a bowl. Press the mixture into the paper liners (approximately one heaping tbsp – depends how thick of a cookie base you would like).

Beat the cream cheese, remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time at low-speed.

Scoop the mixture over the graham cracker crust (until muffin cup is almost full).

Bake 25 min or until the cheesecake centers are almost set. Cool completely and refrigerate for several hours.

This makes approximately 36 mini cheesecakes. You can half the recipe for less.

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Now when it comes to cheesecake, you have many topping options. You can leave them plain or top them with whipped cream, fresh fruit, a dollop of cherry filling, lemon zest or a combination of things.

I chose to top mine with some whipped cream (so easy to do, 35% whipping cream and a little sugar) and some fresh blueberries. I really wanted to use raspberries but they are costing a fortune these days.

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I didn’t have a chance to snap the best picture of them, I did a quick one with my iPhone before the party but they turned out great and tasted even better!

Enjoy!

A Bushel of Apples

On Saturday we took the kids apple picking. Our mission was Honey Crisp, and the pickings were slim. We went a week after they were ready last year and it was the same story. They sure are a popular pick!

Maxton loved it of course – and was content walking from tree to tree as he chomped on a crispy apple. Everly also wanted to be in on the apple action, but kept choking on the skin, so I had to take it away. I am sure you can imagine how happy she was about that…CRANKY BABY.

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It’s amazing how quickly you move when you have cranky kids at your heels. We gathered MORE than enough apples for $24 for the bag. I have a lot of baking to do and Pinterest will be a big help with that!

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Happy picking to you all!

Maxton’s Bubble Guppies Party

On Saturday we celebrated Maxton’s third birthday, with a Bubble Guppies themed party (he doesn’t actually turn three until the 24th). Bubble Guppies is probably his favourite TV show, and has been for a while so I figured it would be something he would enjoy.

I see this TV show multiple times a day, so I had a pretty good idea on what I wanted to do and the colours I wanted to stick with.

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You will have to excuse the picture quality. I was racing around minutes before all the little guppies arrived, and wasn’t paying much attention to the settings nor did I do a great job at centering the photos.

The party was supposed to be outside, but just like last year for his party, it poured rain. It had been threatening rain all week, and it literally started to pour five minutes before his party started.

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The Bubble Guppies characters I purchased from Party City. They actually came in six, 6ft strands, but I thought I would get creative and tape them through the streamers to make it look like they were swimming in water.

The sign I made myself from scrapbook paper from Michaels. I love making the signs, it is so much more fun than just buying one.

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The plates, napkins and orange paper straws I purchased from Dollarama, with the exception of the Bubble Guppies plates; they were from Party City.

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It was fun coming up with funny little names for the food – makes it that much more fun.

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The cupcakes I made myself, and the cupcake toppers I also did myself. I printed them off of the Nickelodeon Junior website, cut them out, and taped them to the back of toothpicks.

The cake I had made by “Not A Cupcake“. She did an amazing job and only charged $35. Most importantly, Maxton loved it, and it tasted delicious!

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He was so excited to blow out the candle!

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So serious – he loved his piece of cake though!

Overall, despite the fact that we had to cram 40+ adults and kids into our house, it turned out great and Maxton had a blast.

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I hope my little guy enjoyed his Bubble Guppies party. I still can’t believe he’s almost three…