Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy 2015 Everyone!!

Hello my friends!! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas holiday with your families! I know I have been enjoying every minute with my family, even when they drive me bananas.
Sorry, don't have a photo credit, it was on facebook :)

As I tuck my littles into bed after watching the ball drop for New Year's Eve in New York (which is 9pm our time), and settle in for a relaxing Homeland marathon binge watching session, I'm reflecting on the amazing year that I've had. Now, not much of that year was chronicled on this blog, but that's something I'm hoping to correct in the future.

Like many of you I am making some resolutions, but hopefully ones that I can keep! Last year our family had one main resolution, and we stuck to it most of the year!! We made a plan for the girls to try new foods, specifically try a little of whatever the hubs and I were having for dinner. For the most part, the girls were brave and tried, and I'm happy to report that our family dinners are much more peaceful and include many more options and even - gasp! vegetables!!

For 2015, our family is going to try another new plan together. Where up until now, this mama packed the lunches, packed the bags, put most things away, made all the plans, picked all the outfits, did the hair and generally organized all our lives. This year, our hope is to instill a sense of pride and responsibility in my girls and get their help to have our home run smoothly.
Here are the littles, after completing one of their Christmas Lego presents!
I found a list of age-appropriate tasks and we are going to put them into place this week, so hopefully we'll have some things under control by the time school starts on the 5th. Wish me luck!!!

I'm hoping to get a few blogs posts put together this week before I go back to work.  I have some organizing projects on the go, another household purge in the works and a couple of recipes to share with you all.  Please check in again soon!

Wishing you and your family a happy new year!


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Morning Sanity Saver!

Hello once again my friends!! Can you believe it?? Two posts, two days in a row, and right before Christmas!! It’s a Christmas miracle! Truthfully, I have about ten posts that I could have done this month, but life is crazy, so I’m happy that I managed to get two done!!

One of my biggest pet peeves on Christmas morning…. Scratch that…. One of my biggest pet peeves when I scrapbook/post to Facebook our Christmas morning photos is the big black garbage bag sitting right in the middle of the room, to corral the gift wrap that has been quickly ripped from our Christmas morning presents.

My solution? One of my ugly blue recycling bins and a roll of wrapping paper! Rather than a big old ugly black garbage bag cluttering up my photos, I’ve wrapped a blue recycling bin with my holiday gift wrap, and then, when the girls (and the hubs and I) unwrap all of our treasures, the paper can go straight into the recycling bin! Bonus, the bin being covered in gift wrap makes it pretty. And that makes me happy.

Another few pet peeves? Presents that are impossible to get into, and gifts that need a little something extra.

To keep my sanity (and mild OCD) in check, I found a basket and put some Christmas morning necessities in there!
  • Scissors for opening crazy-wrapped gifts
  • Pliers to open the toys out of the boxes with the insane amount of zap straps manufacturers use to make sure dolls don’t slouch in their boxes
  • My favorite pic-quic screwdriver – you never know what needs to be put together, or to take off battery pack covers
  • Batteries for those gifts that require them, but that are not included in the box
  • My spare camera battery (because knowing my luck, the Christmas eve photos would drain the battery and I’d be using an Iphone to capture my girls’ joy)
  • Scotch tape (in case we accidentally unwrap a gift that we need to re-wrap!!
All of these Christmas morning necessities fit nicely into this little white container from the dollar store, and can be tucked away until we need what's inside.

I hope this post has inspired you to help keep your Christmas morning organized! This season is total chaos, so a few bits of calm and preparedness are like gold!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Eve Gift Box

I know we’re cutting it close to Christmas, only a few days left, but I’m back with a quick post with one of our Christmas traditions.

Ever since I was little, Christmas Eve always meant new pajamas for my sister, brother and I. When my girls came along, I always made sure that we had new jammies all wrapped up and ready to go for Christmas Eve.

This year, I decided to go one better and put together a Christmas Eve box filled with fun things for my girls and their little cousins to do after Christmas Eve mass. 

I found a box in the house and wrapped it in Christmas wrapping paper and then got to work filling it up! 

I hit up my new favorite place – the Dollar Spot at Target!! There, I found some adorable little craft fun packs and some new pencils for the girls.

Also into the box went some packets of hot chocolate and a bag of marshmallows (we use marshmallows as a hot chocolate topper and as a bribery tool for good behavior!!),

and a few Christmas mandarin oranges. I'm sure the girls are going to love having an extra present to unwrap at Baba's this Christmas Eve!!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet today!! Merry Christmas!!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 8, 2014

Hello all my lovely internet friends! Long time no chat! This has been a crazy year so far, and I have to admit that this little blog definitely fell by the wayside. But, it’s the time of year that I get all excited – I got a new mommy planner (yippee!), a schedule full of activities for the girls, and once the strike is settled, back to school! My older gingerbaby is going into grade three and my little one is going into kindergarten (sniff sniff, not sure I’m ready for that!).

We spent our summer mapping out all of the parks and water parks in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Our goal was a new park each week, sometimes two! We also spent a lot of time at our cabin at Black Mountain Ranch. The girls rode horses all summer long and swam, and played and played and played!

The kids lessons all start this week, so I know that if I don’t menu plan, I’ll be heading straight to the drive thru! We have two nights during the week that we have only an hour between activities, so we are going to try some new make-ahead and freeze recipes and some crock pot cooking too! I’ll be sharing my crock pot recipes along the way. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Recipe for this cheesy concoction

On the menu this week:

Monday: Chicken strips, fries and salad

Tuesday: Crockpot Kung Pao Chicken and chow mein noodles

Wednesday: Tex Mex Lasagne

Thursday: Beef tacos and cheese quesadillas

Friday: Heading down to the cabin – pasta and hot dogs for dinner!

Saturday: Perogies, steak and corn on the cob

Sunday: Miss A’s request – Chicken wings, french fries and salad

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Hello friends! I hope you all enjoyed my last post, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Oats. I certainly had a great time baking them and the girls had a great time eating them! We went through a whole loaf the first day!!

This summer we are trying to do something new each week. We are trying to hit up a new park each and every week, try some new recipes when we can and go on new adventures together. So far we have gone to two new water parks, hit up our local night market for street fare and baked some new goodies together.

I asked Miss A what she would like to bake that we haven't baked before. She was quick to come up with an answer - White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies, just like the ones from Subway! So off to my best friend (google!!) to see if I could find someone claiming to make a cookie just like the ones from Subway. I came across the Orgasmic Chef and knew that I needed to try her recipe for no other reason than her website name is amazing!!

This recipe makes a ton of cookies - Miss A had plenty and I brought a whole bunch to work too!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Adapted from The Orgasmic Chef

3¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1½ cups salted butter, softened
1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chip
1¼ cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts gently.

Using a medium cookie scoop, drop cookie batter onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you like this recipe!!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Freezer Cooking: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Oats

Hello world!! I can't believe it's been seven months since my last post! Life is just so busy and between my two crazy girls and work and my husband I haven't had a spare minute to post!

I did try out a bunch of new recipes, and took photos along the way, so hopefully I'll find some time to get my fingers to type out the recipes for you guys!!

The recipe for today's banana bread is beyond simple! I found it in a book filled with great recipes, specifically for big batch cooking. The book is called "Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook" by Jessica Fisher. I doubled the recipe and made it twice (so four times the original recipe) and it made EIGHT glorious loaves of goodness. For the recipe below I am putting the original recipe amounts from the cookbook, so it'll make two loaves. I also use foil loaf pans from the dollar store (3 for $1) when baking these, so they are easy to freeze, transport and gift to others.

Today was rainy and the girls and I spent the day cleaning the house and baking and just chilling out. It was a great way to spend the day!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Oats

(Recipe from Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook)

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup mashed banana
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus another handful to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour the batter evenly between two pans. Sprinkle another handful of chocolate chips on the top, just because chocolate makes me happy.

Bake for about an hour or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

A clear plastic treat bag (like the kind you use for goody bags) fits one of these loaves perfectly. You can seal one up and freeze them this way. It's also perfect for when you are making a bunch of banana loaves for a bake sale or some other fun event.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you like this recipe!!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Jan 20, 2014

What a weekend!! Our Seahawks are going to the Superbowl!! We watched an amazing game yesterday, complete with a new dinner recipe that I can’t wait to share with you all.
Photo by Alana Joy Photography
This morning was a tough one for this mama. I signed my last gingerbaby up for kindergarten this morning. I can’t believe our bean is going to be five next month! I was pretty proud of myself. I may have gotten a little misty, but I didn’t cry when I signed her up…

This week’s menu doesn’t have any fancy new recipes on it, but it has some meals that I’m hoping I can have the girls incorporate into their menu plans. Miss A has never has Thai chicken, or stir fried veggies, or salmon, or lasagne, or turkey burgers… so basically all of this week’s dinners, when they have previously appeared on my menu plan have been for the hubs and I only – the girls likely had mac and cheese or chicken nuggets and fries those days! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

On the menu this week:

Monday: Thai chicken with stir fried noodles and veggies
Tuesday: Salmon with brown rice and veggies
Wednesday: Lasagne
Thursday: Turkey burgers and fries
Friday: Movie night at the school - pizza for dinner
Saturday: Dinner out!
Sunday: Baked Ziti

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Homemade Shake and Bake Mix

Hello my friends! I’m back with another super easy, healthy recipe to share today. I used to buy store-bought Shake and Bake for breading chicken and fish but one day I looked at the contents on the side of the package. When I found that there were a ton of ingredients that I either couldn't pronounce or couldn't identify, it was time for this mama to find a recipe of my own!

My girls are starting to branch out in the food department (finally!) and since Costco chicken nuggets are a staple in my house, I thought I’d try making my own version of chicken nuggets with chicken breast and a homemade shake and bake mixture. It worked! Both girls gobbled up dinner and I was over the moon!

I always make a big batch of this mix and store it in the fridge so I can whip up dinner quickly without having to measure out the ingredients each time. I served the girls these chicken strips with baked French fries, but I made a beautiful salad with mine. I’ll share that recipe with you next week!

Homemade Shake and Bake


1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder (I use this Garlic Aioli dip mix)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I use this Herb and Garlic mix)


Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container (like an old salsa jar) and add a nifty label so you know what is inside.

To make the shake and bake chicken:

Preheat oven to 400F. Put ½ cup creamy salad dressing in a shallow bowl (Caesar, ranch, whatever you like…) and put ½ cup (at a time) of the shake and bake mixture in a separate shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut chicken into strips or nugget sized pieces. Dredge the chicken through the salad dressing, tapping any excess off. Then dip the chicken into the breadcrumbs mixture, making sure to coat it on all sides.

Place chicken on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad - recipe to come!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed this recipe.

I will hopefully be linking this recipe up to A Bowl Full of Lemonsand Joyful Homemaking.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Jan 13, 2014

Good morning my friends! It’s the beginning of a new, and crazy busy week! We have plans ALL SEVEN DAYS this week! Between the girls dance and swimming lessons, mama going to a concert (JT!!) and some parties and some football this weekend, plus the usual school and work, it’s going to be a gong show week in our household!
Miss A and her Mango!!
Thankfully I have this blog to plan out our week a bit! Honestly, without the menu planning, I don’t know if we would eat a proper meal at all. Miss A’s New Year’s resolution is still going strong – she has tried turkey meatloaf, mango, perogies, sausage, honeydew, peas and carrots! I’m so proud of her, and I’m even more excited that we made a list of about 50 things she wants to give a try. We looked on a kid-friendly website for recipes and she found a whole bunch of things to try!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

On the menu this week:

Monday: Turkey pot pie and Rachel Salad– I’m not sure how much of this Miss A will eat, I better make a backup plan for this one…

Tuesday: Homemade shake and bake chicken (recipe to come!), rice and carrots 
Wednesday: Baked Ziti

Thursday: Dinner out! 
Friday: Brinner – breakfast for dinner! Crack potatoes (recipe to come!!), eggs and bacon
Saturday: Pizza and salad

Sunday: Turkey Burgers and fries

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Yummy Mummy Oatmeal (Homemade Oatmeal Packets)

Hi Everyone! Look at this – two posts in a week! Yippee! Good start to 2014!

I have lamented the pickiness of my older daughter’s eating habits many times here on this blog, but there is one food that she absolutely LOVES and will eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner if you let her. What, pray tell, is this amazing wonder-food that will fill her up and make her happy all the live-long day? O-A-T-M-E-A-L!

I used to buy the pre-packaged oatmeal packets (hopefully on sale!) but I found them to be quite expensive. When your child wants to eat 2 packages at a time, this can be an expensive breakfast option!

I remember seeing a post on one of the money-saving blogs I follow ( for homemade oatmeal packets. I have been making the oatmeal this way for over a year now, and my girls just love it. I love that I know exactly what is in the bowl, and that it costs less than the pre-packaged oatmeal – win-win!

You could add absolutely any toppings to this oatmeal to personalize it and make it your own- blueberries, apples, bananas, anything really. My girls don’t like “chunks” in their oatmeal, so we drizzle a little sugar-free maple syrup in the bowl for a maple/brown sugar oatmeal. The possibilities are endless – enjoy!!

Yummy Mummy Oatmeal
Recipe from


5 cups Quick Oats
1/3 cup Skim Milk Powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
This recipe is so easy, Miss A can mix it up herself!!


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, and break up any little balls of brown sugar. When all ingredients are well combined, transfer to an airtight storage container.

At breakfast time, place about ¾ cup Yummy Mummy Oatmeal mixture in a bowl and pour approx. ½ cup boiling water over top. Stir to combine. You could also add water and heat in the microwave for 40-60 seconds.

Add any extras! We drizzle ours with a swirl of sugar-free maple syrup. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by to read today! I hope you enjoyed this recipe!

I will hopefully be linking this recipe up to A Bowl Full of Lemonsand Joyful Homemaking.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Jan 6, 2014

Good morning my friends! I know it’s been a long time since you have heard from me, but today is Monday, and it’s a new year, and I’m going to try to be a better blogger this year! We will see how it goes…
This is our family on Christmas morning, celebrating with our presents!!
Happy New Year!!
I have plans to post some fun recipes and craft ideas, and some of those recipes I have already tested and photographed – now it’s just a matter of actually writing the posts and sharing them with you guys!

For now, let’s start small – with this week’s menu plan! After the craziness of Christmas (and all of the turkey, wine, chocolate, more chocolate and still more chocolate) it’s definitely time to get back into planning healthy meals for my family – and to take for lunch to work.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? This year I am just making one, fairly easy (I hope) plan for 2014 – to NOT go out for lunch every day that I am at work. It’s a matter of time management and planning meals to bring food to work. It also helps that I have some great friends at work who have the same plan!

Our family is also trying to make a resolution together. We are going to TRY to get the girls to eat more of the dinners that I actually cook on the menu plan. Right now, I would make the girls one dinner (chicken strips, pasta, grilled cheese) while the hubs and I would have the dinner from the menu plan. I have one very picky eater on my hands, and one who is starting to get picky with her meals. Hopefully 2014 will be the year that I can cook ONE DINNER for everyone to eat! I’m not getting my hopes up, but you never know!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

On the menu this week:

Monday: Turkey Meat Loaf, mashed potatoes and steamed veggies

Tuesday: Butter chicken and brown rice

Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday

Thursday: Maui ribs, roasted potatoes and corn on the cob

Friday: BBQ chicken breasts, Mexican rice and salad

Saturday: Date night! Dinner and a movie while the girls are at a slumber party

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti in Boursin cream sauce

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!


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