Friday, 28 September 2012

Simple Living Giveaway Winners!

Hello everyone!
Thanks so much to everyone who visited the blog and entered to win a copy of Lorilee Lippincott’s book Simple Living: Thirty Days to Less Stuff and More Life. It’s a great book with tons of fantastic ideas, really something for everyone!

I’m super excited to let Fiona, Erin and Mandeep know that I will be sending them copies of this awesome book! Ready to join in with the minimalish lifestyle?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 24, 2012

Hello everyone! I hope you all have had a chance to check out Simple Living: Thirty Days to Less Stuff and More Life. The giveaway is on! Leave a comment on the book review post to be eligible to win a copy of this amazing book. Great news! Lorilee sent me an email this morning, and I'm actually allowed to give away THREE copies of her book!
This is the last week I have to train for the Surrey World Music Half Marathon – the race is on Sunday. 
An hour or so after we cross the finish line, we have to head to the airport for our week long, kid free vacation in HAWAII! YAY! We have never been to Hawaii before, and have never left the kids behind on a vacation, so it’s a B-I-G deal for us!
I’m hoping to have a few posts pre-written for the week while we are away, but the way this week is shaping up, I might be taking a blog vacation too!
On the Menu This Week:
Monday: Vegetarian Tacos
Tuesday: Tex Mex Pasta with garlic bread (using the leftover taco meat and veggies)
Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli stirfry with quinoa
Thursday: Butter Chicken and Rice
Friday: Pizza and Salad
Saturday: Pasta with Chicken
Sunday: Run 21.1 km, rush home, shower and Leave for Hawaii!!! I’ll grab what I can on the way!
I'll be linking up to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday, if you are looking for menu ideas, recipes and organization tips, you should check it out!

Simple Living - Book Review and Giveaway!!

Happy Monday Everyone!
I am lucky enough to have been able to review a fantastic new ebook called Simple Living: Thirty Days to Less Stuff and More Life by Lorilee Lippincott. Lorilee also wrote the amazing 321-Stop, which I was lucky enough to review back in March.
Lorilee Lippincott is a full-fledged miminalist. She and her family live in an apartment with just enough stuff to live their lives every day - not bogged down with extra stuff to clean and care for. Lorilee and her kids get to experience LIFE every day.
If you have ever thought about minimalism (or my version - minimalish!) or feel over whelmed by the stuff in your life, this ebook is perfect for you! This crash course of 30 steps has small assignments for each step.
Each step will propel you on your journey to live with what you need for an intentional life. This allows you to make the space in your life to do the things you truly love to do!
Over the next eight weeks I plan on following along with the challenges in Simple Living: Thirty Days to Less Stuff and More Life. I will wait until after the half marathon and trip to Hawaii of course!! I have been on my own Minimalish journey for a while now, but I feel like this book has given me a new focus and resolve to clear the clutter and enjoy life with my husband and kids.
For this week, Lorilee is offering this fantastic ebook, available on Amazon for the awesome price of $0.99! Grab a copy and tell your friends! It's a great book, and the challenges are easy to do (who thought of decluttering your underwear drawer?? It's one of the first challenges on the list!) and will make a big impact!
Who is ready to come on this journey with me? I ill be giving away a copy of this awesome book to one lucky reader - Leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered. The winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, Sept 26. Good luck everyone!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 17, 2012

This is the lovely view I have on my 10km morning route,
at the halfway point, from a little bridge, so lovely!!
The countdown is ON! In less than two weeks I will be on the run in a half marathon, and then jetting off to Hawaii for our very first kid-free vacation! I’m trying my very very best to NOT go grocery shopping until after we get back from our vacation. I think with the exception of milk and bread, I should be ok!
To eat from the freezer and pantry this week may take a little creativity, and a lot of planning, but I think we can do it!
On the Menu This Week:
Monday: Take out! Baba is coming over with dinner for the girls, the hubs and I are going out
Tuesday: Dinner out – we have to run down to the trailer tomorrow, so we’ll be grabbing food on the way
Wednesday: Shake n Bake chicken breasts, pasta with veggies, garlic bread

Thursday: Vegetarian taco enchilada bake (made with ground round)
Friday: Brinner (this keeps going on the menu plan and then something comes up and we don’t have it!!
Saturday: Down at the trailer – Steak, potatoes and corn on the cob!
Sunday: Dinner party at our place! Bacon wrapped turkey breast, cheesy potatoes, stuffing, veggies and garlic bread. Pie for dessert!
I will be linking back to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday - check it out!!

Friday, 14 September 2012


Totally gratutious photo of my cutie pies
Hey guys, I’m sorry I’ve been kind of MIA for the past few weeks! Time has just flown by and between the start of school and the continuing great weather (read-kids playing outside, mommy not inside organizing or baking!) I feel like the blog has been left behind a little!

I was hoping that with back to school, the kids would fall back into our school time routine (get it, FALL back in? Haha... no?) but no such luck. The kids have been fighting to stay awake and yet refusing to go to bed because the other kids are still outside playing!

I have a ton of organizing projects all ready to start up and a bunch of new recipes and freezer meals to start, but until we get a few days of crappy weather keeping us inside, I just don’t know if it’s going to happen!

I’m also getting ready for the half marathon in SIXTEEN days, a trip to Hawaii that night, Thanksgiving when we get back and a wedding the following weekend! Not that I’m complaining – I’m so blessed to have all of these wonderful things happening, and be surrounded by amazing family and friends throughout. I just haven’t been able to get anything else done in the meantime!

I hope your back to school and back to fall and back to real life after the summer has been going well! Hopefully you’ll be able to join me for some fall organizing projects!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Back to School - Check!

YAY! We all know how much I love to tick things off on my to do lists!
Label – One night last week I spent the evening with my labels and the school supplies and watched one of my fave movies ever – OFFICE SPACE! It made the time fly by while I labelled every pencil, marker, crayon, pair of scissors, back pack and shoe!
Shoes - All the shoes had the price tags and connector cables removed, shoe labels added, and were placed neatly by the front door, all ready for school on Tuesday.
Backpacks - The backpacks were labelled and filled with the appropriate school supplies for each little one.
Lunches - Miss E only needs snacks for her stint at preschool, and she’ll eat anything and everything. Miss A however is a different story - during dinner this week, we brainstormed ideas for her school lunches. We didn’t come up with many options, but we have a few go-to’s – bagel with cream cheese, mac n cheese in a thermos, tortilla filled with cheese, plus the usual snacks: yogurt tubes, Babybel cheese wheels, cheese strings, crackers. We’ll have to see how it goes!
Haircuts - Miss E didn’t need a haircut – her crazy curls are perfectly crazy all on their own! Miss A however needed her hair cut, so she got new bangs a trim at the back – and she loved it!
School Clothes - After clearing out the summer clothes that they have worn or grown out of from the drawers, and added the newly acquired birthday clothes, the girls are all ready for the first day of school. I love all of the pick-the-clothes-for-the-week organizing ideas on blogs or Pinterest, but the weather in my neck of the woods is unpredictable, so we usually just wake up and decide what to wear based on what Mother Nature is giving us that day!

YAY! Everything was checked off and ready for the first day of school! I even made it through the first day without tears!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Menu Plan Monday -Sept 10 2012

Back from another camping weekend away! We had a blast taking the girls horseback riding (no tears this time!!), swimming and mini-golfing. Sorry for the Iphone pics, I forgot my camera this weekend!! 
Got to spend my day on Sunday with an old friend and celebrate her little bundle of gorgeous joy, Isabella.
Look, Miss A's Famous!! She's on a bus stop!!
This week is already in full swing – Miss A is back to her Irish dancing classes starting tonight, so the menu planning for this week started last night.

I found a delicious new recipe on my favourite time-sucker that I am trying out tonight. All of the ingredients were simple, I had them all in my pantry. I’ll post the recipe and a review later this week if it’s a hit!

On the menu this week:
Monday: Crock Pot Honey Chicken with quinoa and stir fried veggies
Tuesday: Perogies, Turkey Meatloaf and steamed veggies
Wednesday: Beef in black bean sauce, rice and roasted peppers
Thursday: Turkey ham, scalloped potatoes, stuffing and beans
Friday: Baking Night! Easy dinner! Chicken and cheese quesadillas
Saturday: Dinner out!
Sunday: Going to the ZOO! Dinner out again!

I’ll be linking up to Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday, come by and check it out!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Back to Reality Menu Plan

Can you believe summer is over? I can't!! The weather today is looking a little fall-like, so I guess back to school really is happening tomorrow!
Today we have spent the day finishing off the last of the back to school checklist, and now the outfits are laid out, the boots and backpacks are at the front door, and the snacks are sorted and ready to fill the girls lunch bags!
Now that we are back to some semblance of normal, it's time to get the menu back to normal too.
On the menu this week:
Monday: Butter Chicken and Rice
Tuesday: Homemade fish and chips
Wednesday: Calzones with fries
Thursday: Brinner! Pancakes for the kids, bacon and eggs for us!
Friday: Back down to the Ranch! Dinner out on the drive down
Saturday: Turkey burgers, corn and potatoes
Sunday: Dinner out on the way home!!
I'll be linking up at Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday - check it out! Lots of great ideas and recipes!

Organized School-time Snacks!

In our kitchen we have a large wooden pantry that contains most of the dry foods we use in our kitchen, like our pasta, jarred sauces, cereal, and of course, our snacks!
I try to keep all of the snacks that we use for school lunches and after school snacks corralled together in one big bin that everyone can access. The girls know what snacks are “freebies” (as opposed to the snacks they need permission to eat, like cookies or candy!), and Daddy and I have healthy, easy snacks at our fingertips.
With summer coming to an end, it’s definitely time to clear out the less-healthy snacks and replenish the healthy lunchtime, school approved snacks! I’ll put the treat snacks into the “candy” container.
Here’s the “before” for this part of the pantry... lollipops??  Jolly Ranchers?? Reese Peanut Butter Cups?? Definitely not preschool and grade one approved snacks!!
And the “After”! All tidied up and ready to pack lunches.

I also grabbed a plastic container to make a lunch stations inside the fridge filled with yogurt tubes, cheese strings, Babybel cheeses and baby carrots (for Miss E’s preschool snack – we all know Miss A won’t go near a vegetable!).
Phew! A couple more things have been marked off my list, too bad the list is still L-O-N-G!!
Thanks for taking the time to read along with me! If you don’t already, I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tex Mex Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Meal)

Earlier this year I made a big batch of tex-mex style breakfast burritos, and they turned out fantastic. I decided to make another batch this week and put them in the freezer for quick and easy breakfasts on the go.
I enlisted my friend, and once the kids were snug in their beds got to work making a month’s worth of breakfast wraps! I found a great recipe for these on Once A Month Mom (an awesome site devoted to big batch cooking) and made a few changes to the ingredients to suit our taste.
This recipe made 35 regular tortillas filled with breakfast wrapped goodness, but would have made about 40 (too bad I ran out of tortillas!!). We had the leftovers the next morning over English muffins, so delicious!
Tex Mex Breakfast Burritos
1 – 1kg package hash brown potatoes
36 eggs (or the equivalent in Egg Beaters – a 16 ounce package of Egg Beaters = 8 eggs)
1/2 cup butter, divided
36 -40 flour tortillas
2 - 15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups onion, chopped
6 cups bell pepper, chopped
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups Jalapeno Jack cheese, shredded
2 tsp garlic powder (I use this, it's awesome)
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
In one pan, melt ¼ cup butter and cook package of hash brown potatoes until desired consistency is reached (for me, that’s golden and crispy).
In another pan, combine the eggs, onion, peppers, salt and pepper. If using whole eggs, gently whisk the eggs before cooking. When the eggs are cooked to your satisfaction, remove from heat.
At this stage, when making big batch meals, I break out my massive turkey roasting pan. It’s a great size for mixing big batches of ingredients together without filling multiple bowls and trying to mix everything evenly.
In your big bowl or turkey roasting pan, mix together the eggs & peppers mixture, the hash browns and the two cans of black beans (drained and rinsed) Mix well.
This time when I made the burritos, I added the cheese at this stage. I won’t be doing that next time; it made it a little gloopy when scooping the egg mixture into the tortillas.
Lay out your tortillas in a big line, or all over your countertop, or table or whatever works for you. 
Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of filling onto each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and start wrapping!
Wrap the completed burritos individually in wax paper, and place in a large freezer bag. 
When it’s time to eat them, remove from the wax paper, place on a piece of paper towel and microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Serve with salsa or ketchup, and enjoy!


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