Monday, November 24, 2014

Review - Silk Creamy Cashew Milk #SilkCreamyCashew

The last couple months we have been very busy renovating the family homestead. I've been behind on my workouts and the entire house has been a chaotic mess. Now that the dust has settled and much of the mess has been cleaned up. I'm eager to get a little more order in my life.

This morning my brand new 15 piece compact blender set arrived. Very eager to try out my newest contraption and the delightful Creamy Cashew Milk from Silk Canada. I grabbed a banana, Greek yogurt, kale, carrots, blackberries, pineapple, fresh ginger, cashew milk and ice. The cashew milk was a very welcomed addition to my smoothie and I will certainly keep some on hand.

Silk's new creamy cashew milk is delicious on its own. It is only 60 calories per serving, much less than skim milk. It is a little thicker than almond milk, which makes it a better milk substitute for coffee and tea. The taste is slightly nuttier and not quite as sweet tasting when compared to almond milk.

Stop by and visit Silk Canada on Facebook and show them some love! You can also find them on Twitter and at their website.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review - Avery Index Maker Dividers

I received some Avery Index Maker Dividers from the Home Tester Club to review and wasn't I ever grateful to receive them. I had a couple binders at home filled with cover songs. It comes in handy when I play long sets at restaurants and Farmer's Markets. Lately though, I had found searching for songs in the binder painstaking. 

First of all, Avery's labels are printable! You can find templates for each of their products on their website, which works best with Internet Explorer.  The template can be searched for using the product number at the top of the package. In the case of the Clear Label Dividers, I was looking for number 11436. The template software is very easy to use. You can customize the labels with your own image with is great if you are working with your own brand.

I created a divider for every letter of the alphabet. I think they turned out fantastic. I was able to affix the labels to 5 at a time quickly and without having to use the practice sheet. I should mention that I think it is a fantastic idea to include a practice sheet. There are also lots of extra labels included in each package.

My binder is neat and organized and I can find everything with ease. I can't wait to see it in action when I play at Ye Olde Argyler Lodge this weekend. I would definitely recommend Avery Index Maker Dividers to others. They look so much sharper and neater than traditional dividers.

Disclaimer: I received this product free to try out and review on behalf of Avery and the Home Tester Club.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review - Grandiose Mascara by Lancome

I am so thrilled that I get to be one of the first to try Lancome Canada's new mascara, Grandiose! I received it as part of my Lancome Influenster Voxbox. First of all, I love the package design. It is beautiful and sleek. It is probably the first mascara tube that I have considered to be 'pretty'. The unique design doesn't end there. The applicator wand is designed for maximum comfort and ease of application. The shape of the wand is so unusual that I was a little hesitant to use it. I was surprised with how well it functioned.

Look at the volume and definition that I get wearing Grandiose mascara! I've never had this much volume with any mascara! It defines the smallest lashes. I didn't realize my lashes were so long! The mascara retails for $36 and while it is a little outside of my budget, it is certainly worth the price. This high end mascara delivers!

Disclaimer: I received this product on behalf of Lancome and Influenster as a gift. My opinions are my own and are based upon my personal experience with the product. Interested in Influenster? I still have a few email invites left.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Silk Summer of Smoothies [Sponsored]

Smoothies are simple and delicious. I make them everyday and add my Shakeology supplement to my smoothie, this is how I begin my morning. The key to making a good smoothie is 2 parts veggies, 3 parts fruit and ice. I don't own a blender so I'm often making them with my food processor and you can't grind ice in a food processor, nor can I add liquids.

How do I get around these problems?

I add my almond milk (or coconut milk) and any additional juices or water afterwards and simply stir it in. That works wonderfully, but you generally need ice to make a smoothie thick. I freeze my bananas and Greek yogurt instead. Sometimes, I add homemade frozen pumpkin puree and I defrost it halfway and then throw that in with the mix. As long as it isn't frozen solid you should be able to break it up with the food processor.

I love gardening and I frequently harvest spinach, kale and carrots for smoothies throughout the week. Spinach grows easily in small spaces so consider growing a few small plants on your windowsill, somewhere out of direct sunlight. Spinach doesn't like the hot summer heat, so providing your spinach plant with a cool, shaded location will be your key to fresh spinach all summer long.

I've made this smoothie a couple of this week! I call it my Summer Garden Banana Berry Shake. Would you like to make it? Here's how:

3/4 cup of Kale
1/2 cup of Strawberries
1 Banana
1 small Carrot
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
3/4 Almond Milk & 1/2 cup Coffee OR 1 1/4 Almond Milk

Of course, if you are not a Shakeology drinker, you can add your favorite supplemental powder or protein powder and adjust the recipe as necessary. You can even omit it completely! I know for a fact this tastes great with the chocolate Shakeology though. Not sweet enough for you? Add a couple drops of liquid Stevia or honey to sweeten your shake.

Have you entered the Silk Summer of Smoothies Sweepstakes on Facebook? The giveaway ends July 27th and you can win a Vitamix Blender, a $350 Visa gift card, a Silk Tumbler, 8 Silk Coupons and a 5 recipe card. The giveaway is open to Canadians only!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Silk Canada and I received this opportunity via Tap Influence. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review - Organic Collection from Steeped Tea

I LOVE TEA!! There I said it. I have a tea cupboard in my kitchen. I try to keep it stocked. By stocked, I mean the entire cupboard should be stuffed with a large variety of tea. I start to panic when I get low on supply. Low on supply for me is probably way more tea than a normal person has in their cupboard. I like to an assortment of organic teas on hand to offer company and really, there is a tea for every person, for every mood, for every season.

Christa Jones is an independent consultant for Steeped Tea. She sent me her Organic Tea Collection, which comes with 6 different teas, a tiny spoon and small round tea infuser. Each package is marked with brewing instructions and steep times.

Steeped Tea Product Review

Tropical Mango Sensation - White Tea: This was the first one I tried, I love tropical fruit. I enjoyed the banana and mango pieces. The tea was sweet on its own so I didn't need any sweetener. The tea was very pleasant.

Bergamot Sencha - Green Tea, Organic: This green tea had the full bodied flavor of green tea tips with a light dash of Bergamot for a nice uplifting aroma. This is a perfect afternoon tea. Green tea is an antioxidant and it can help boost your metabolism. I never used to like it growing up because the taste of the leaves can be strong and acquired. I find I'm enjoying it more as I age, the last couple years especially. I love this blend and the essence of bergamot, this tea would be perfect for winter or a rainy day when you need your spirits raised.

Nettle Greek Mountain - Herbal Tea, Organic: This is a perfect afternoon tea. It smells so good. My friend Steffie and I had some out in the garden yesterday. It strongly appealed to both of us. I really enjoy the blend and it is definitely a tea I could see myself drinking regularly when I need a nice moment of me time.

Ginger Chai - Black Tea, Organic: This tea smells and tastes amazing, I'm a fan of Ginger and I love Chai Tea so I was quite excited when I pulled this tea out of the box, the ginger intermingles with the Chai beautifully.

Orange Marmalade - Black Tea, Organic: This tea is divine. It is the perfect breakfast tea with a hint of citrus. I really enjoy this blend. In fact, as I write this I'm drinking a cup.

Pink Hibiscus - Rooibos Tea, Organic: Rooibos tea isn't generally my favorite type of tea. It is very earthy, I love the smell of the Pink Hibiscus a great deal, in fact, its scent currently dominates a body wash I am currently using. Rooibos still isn't my favorite but this blend is more enjoyable than previous blends.

LOVE TEA?? Interested in becoming an Independent Steeped Tea Consultant? Perhaps you would like to host an online tea party as well? Please get in contact with Christa at

Feel free to browse through the tea collection and order something, This IS a tea party after all. There are nearly 100 varieties. If you are having problems making a selection, Christa often recommends the teas on page 30. If you make a purchase, you are eligible for another 10 entries in the giveaway. Make sure that you UNCHECK "Ship to Host" so that you can enter your own shipping address. If you place an order it will not be shipping until the Online Party has closed,  which will be in approximately 3 weeks. 

You may also join our Facebook Online Tea Party event and invite your friends.

Christa has offered the same Organic Tea Collection that I have reviewed to one lucky Canadian reader. The value is approximately $35. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received this organic tea product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and I based upon my personal experience with the product. Your experience will differ! Depending on how many orders are received during this tea party, I may receive a discount towards my next purchase. Perhaps, you could host a party too and invite all of your friends! Or invite them to mine :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Jamberry Nails

I received some Jamberry nail wraps from Jenna Urban, Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant and fellow blogger at Bucktown Bargains. I really love the variety of gorgeous nail wraps from Jamberry and you can mix and match them or keep a consistent look, it is entirely up to you. They are 5 free, that means they are free from the following 5 toxic substances that are commonly found in nail lacquers: Toluene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Camphor and Formaldehyde Resin! Jenna sent me a couple different styles of nail wraps to try out.  

How to apply nail wraps

I started off by cleaning off the smudged nail polish that I botched repeated the previous weekend. I then followed the instructions that I was sent with my nail wraps and cleaned up my nails with alcohol wipes and pushed back my cuticles. This is what my nails looked like when I was done applying the Jamberry nail wraps. I mixed and matched a little bit, afterwards, I wished that I had went entirely with the plaid print or the yellow. They are still pretty cute though. 

Jamberry Product Demo

I love the nail wrap product selection. The catalog is filled with an overwhelming amount of wraps that are perfect for every occasion. I love that there is no drying times because I am terrible at messing up my nails. I also like that there is no chipping, some brands of nail polish chips far too easily. I did find the wraps awkward to apply.

During the week, I noticed that occasionally tiny air bubbles would surface underneath the wraps close to the edges. I'm not sure if this is my fault or not. This was my first time applying them and I'm not skilled. I'm going to try heating them up a little to see if I can work out the air.

A couple days later, I weeded the garden. When I came inside and washed my hands, I noticed I had a difficult time removing the dirt from around the edges of the nail wrap. I managed to get most of it off but there was one nail that was a little bit stubborn. I don't think these wraps are practical for a gardener. Also, Saturday night I was warming my feet at the campfire and lost the nail wraps off my little toes. That is my own fault though. Having said all of that, I think that they are perfect for special occasions. They do last a while. I've been wearing them for 8 days now and they only started to lift last night. Order your Jamberry nails here.

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free for the purpose of this review. My opinion is my own and is based on my personal experience with the product. Your experience will vary. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Strolling through the Garden

It's that time of year. Things are growing quite rapidly and you will begin to see photo diaries of some of the things I'm growing. I may even snap occasional photos of things I see in nature or other people's gardens. The blossoms are opening and I am amazed at how much abundance there is this year. This season brings the promise of bountiful harvests.

Nova Scotia Blackberry Blossoms

We have a lot of Blackberries that grow around the property. This blossom was the first that I've encountered this year. Lots of them are just about ready to blossom though. Soon there will be berries.

Growing Lettuce Raised Bed

Not many of my lettuce seeds sprouted this year via direct sowing. I ended up successfully sprouting some seeds at the house and then planting them in trays. The little guy was one of the two plants that actually grow from those that were directly sown.  

Regrow celery easy

Whenever I pick up celery I try to regrow it. I stick it in water for a few days and then when it starts to grow I plant it. I also have another celery plant that is growing on my window sill. I hate to waste them when I know that they will grow. I can't wait to harvest homegrown veggies!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#imPressManicure VoxBox from Influenster and Broadway Nails

I've been a member of Influenster for about 5 months now and I was very excited to receive my first VoxBox on behalf of Influenster and Broadway Nails. I'm not sure what I found the most exciting: being selected to receive a box, or not knowing what the box contained. I did know that it was nail related and that was all.

I think the VoxBox looks kind of cute, don't you? I nearly bubbled over with excitement pausing to take pictures and videos of the unvieling. When I opened the box, I found two full sized press-on manicure kits from Broadway nails. The line is called ImPress. I was certainly impressed by the styles. 

Now, I've never been a big fan of pink. Although I must say that this pattern isn't bad at all. I love the colour accents. My favourite is the black and silver with glitter. They just look so classy. Every time I look at my nails I want to go put on a little black dress and hit the town. 

Application is easy. You clean your nails with the enclosed prep pad, lay out 10 proper sized nails in a row. Remove the backing from the press on nail, apply and press down. Super easy! The are very light weight. I adapted to them quite quickly and I don't even feel them now. You can also cut them if you are used to shorter nails. I am a guitar player and find it impossible to play with long nails. I was ecstatic to find out I could clip them with the nail clippers. The downside to doing so is that the adhesive sometimes balls up at the top throughout the day and I have to clean it up often. That is most likely my fault for not taking care of it well when I first cut them. 

I wish that they enclosed two prep pads so you don't have to use the same one during the second application. Otherwise, I'm completely happy with this product.

Feel free to follow Broadway nails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and/or Youtube.

Disclaimer: I received this product from Influenster and Broadway nails for free for the purpose of this review. It does not effect my opinion of the product, which are based upon my personal experience. All opinions are my own. If you would like an invite to Influenster let me know, I have a few left.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Back in the Garden ♥

I got so many things done today. I started off my morning by raking up the rocks in our yard where we dug up the well a couple months back. This way the grass can grown and we don't have to worry about running over rocks with the lawn mower.

Afterwards I dug a hole near my garden for my oregano. I added composted manure and then transplanted the oregano. It can freely grow and take over in it's new home. I also added a new oregano to this patch along with the rooting system from the old transplant.

Then I dug two holes for a couple high bush blueberry plants and I also composted it well. I planted a bunch of seeds as well. My first round of peas is in the ground. I will add another round of seeds in about 2 weeks and I will plant continually until the end of June. I also a bunch of cold weather crops like Kale, Lettuce and Chards.

I picked up some beet seeds when I was in town today as well as some Red onion shallots. They will be a couple weeks behind the yellow onion shallot that I have growing in the larger garden area. Every time I find myself at the garden center, I feel like I'm home. I just wander around, dreaming up all kinds of garden ideas.

The yellow shallots, potato onions/multipliers and garlic that I planted a couple weeks ago, have begun to grow. It is so exciting to see new life growing in the garden again. I love to see everything wake up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#KashiCanada - New Organic Promise and Chia Products (Ends 04/11 - Canada only)

Many of us are choosing to eat gluten free, organic and gmo-free these days. To honor our ever-growing lifestyles, Kashi created the Organic Promise line. These products are Non-GMO, Gluten Free and Certified Organic. Kashi Organic Promise offers two cereals: Simply Maize and Indigo Morning.

Kashi Organic Promise Simply Maize impressed me with its sheer simplicity. It only has 4 ingredients and it tastes perfectly sweet without seeming sugar loaded. It is made with Organic Corn, Organic Molasses, Organic Cane Syrup and Salt. I think some fresh fruit and some chia seeds would make compliment this cereal nicely.

The Organic Promise Indigo Morning cereal is the dehydrated fruit version of Simply Maize. It has a few more ingredients then the Simply Maize and has a slight berry flavor. I enjoy eating it right out of the box. I do wish that there were more berries. Both Organic Promise cereals taste good independently and are sinfully delicious with Vanilla Almond Milk, just saying. I am very happy to see a couple Kashi products that carry products that carry both the Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Certified Seal.

Kashi Canada also launched a few products that contain Chia seeds. Chia are a nutritional powerhouse and these products, while not Certified Organic or Non-GMO project certified are very high in Fiber and satisfying. The Kashi Chia Granola bars are available in Cranberry Lemon and Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt. They contain 4 grams of Fiber per 35 gram bar and 0.2 grams of Omega3. The Cranberry Lemon is very sweet, lemon flavored and loaded with Cranberry. The Dark Chocolate is the perfect combination of sweet, bitter and salt. I loved it. 

The Multigrain Chia Flax cereal, I must say, it is quite delicious. My 11 year old regularly has cheerios for breakfast and he was so impressed by this cereal that he specifically asked me if he could be a part of this review. He wanted to tell everyone how much he enjoyed the taste and the crunchiness of the cereal. It is a much healthier alternative to many of the sugar laden cereals on the market today. It is low in sodium and contains 5 grams of Fiber per serving. If you have food allergies though, I would be certain to read the box as the potential allergen warning was quite lengthy.

Kashi Canada has generously donated 3 full products each to 3 winners. Two of these winners will be selected via the Rafflecopter form below. The third winner will be a randomly selected follower who RT's this tweet. It is mandatory to RT to enter the contest. Giveaway open only to Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to try on behalf of Kashi Canada. My opinions are my own and are based upon my own experiences with the product.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review - Percy Jackson Series

A few weeks ago, I watched 'Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters' with my oldest boy. I watched the first movie with him when it came out a few years ago and there were a few things in the movie that bothered me. Firstly, everything being centered around the United States instead of Greece. This was explained way better in the books than in the movie and it was something that left me feeling a little sour the first couple times I watched the Lightning Thief.

After watching the Titan's Curse, I found myself a little hungry for Greek Mythology. So, I decided to read the series. This is a big deal for me to read a series before I have watched the movie. If I wait until the movie has been presented, the book becomes the "Director's Cut" and I feel far less disappointment than if I had read the book first.

I thought that my oldest boy would appreciate having the series around the home. He really enjoys Rick Riordan's writing style and is already a fan. He isn't a strong reader and the books are an easy read for a tween/early teen. This has made reading more enjoyable for him and I love seeing him with a book in his hands.

It's clear that the movies are based very loosely on the books. While the first book and movie are similar to one another, the second was quite dissimilar from its visual counterpart. I did however, grow to love the characters immensely and I enjoyed the plot of the books. It definitely propelled me to rekindle my love of Greek Mythology. Whether you are an adult looking for an easy read or a child looking for an adventure, I recommend the Percy Jackson Series.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. No money or products exchanged hands.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review - Just'a Drop

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Aside from our bathroom window, we don't have a proper means of ventilation in our bathroom. When the kids are in school and we are at home by ourselves, my husband tends to go to the bathroom with the door wide open. I usually end up smelling his business in other parts of the house and casually walk by and shut the door. Naturally, when I was offered the opportunity to review Just'a Drop, I jumped at the chance. I was very hopeful that this product would work.

I received a Trail package of Just'a Drop. Enclosed in the box is 2 - 15 ml bottles, 1- 6 ml container and a bottle holder with a sticky side. Just'a Drop comes in 3 scents: Eucalyptus, Refreshing Spring and Floral Oasis. The product lays its claim as a personal bathroom odour eliminator and I was a little curious about how well it worked. One 15 ml bottle of Just'a Drop can last for months and is equivalent to 3 cans of spray. The product is biodegradable and safe for septic.

What are my first impressions? The bottles are the perfect size to keep in your jacket or purse. I know lots of people who absolutely detest using a public or office washroom on account of the odor. I smelled each product, Eucalyptus, Refreshing Spring and Floral Oasis. All of the products smell nice without being overbearing. So, how does it work? One or two drops of this natural plant extract, before you go, forms a film on the waters surface that traps and eliminates odours before they escape in the air.

I decided to use Refreshing Spring on my bathroom adventure today. I placed a drop in the toilet and went about my business. When I was finished I flushed, washed my hands and made a mental note that I couldn't really smell anything, not even the drops themselves. I left the room and entered again a few moments later, allowing my nose the opportunity to adjust to other smells in the house. I smelled the faint aroma of the Refreshing Spring scent and nothing else. Good.

I waited patiently for the hubby to awaken and begin his bathroom routine. I should mention that he was very excited to receive the product and to test it out. He placed one drop in the toilet and proceeded to go about his business with the door wide open, as per usual. The majority of the smell was Just'a Drop and not him. I do mean majority, I questioned whether smelling anything at all was my imagination. It really did take away the odour. According to the product website, they claim to rid about 98% of personal bathroom odour. That sounds about right!

I have an All in One Assortment to give away to one Canadian Reader. This package includes 3 - 15 ml bottles of Just'a Drop (Eucalyptus, Refreshing Spring and Floral Oasis), 10 Singles (Individual Pouches) and a 6 ml bottle of Eucalyptus.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fuzzers and Her Cat Box

Over the holidays, we discovered that our cat really enjoyed boxes. She adopted us a few years back and we've tried to place her in boxes before but only larger boxes that we thought she would like. We hadn't tried smaller boxes.

Fuzzers is very temperamental, her moods flicker frequently and quickly. She is often growling at people and will swat and hiss at us as we walk by her. She has a disdain for other animals, especially other cats. I don't think she socialized much as a kitten and this might account for some of her complete inability to play with other cats. She tolerates our other cat Mange, barely.

Just before New Years, she was having a particularly terrible day. We usually end up trying various things to lift her spirits before granting her time alone. Mat had enough of her being sour and put her in a box. He figured that she would just hop out, hiss and go on her not-so-merry way. Much to his surprise, she began to nestle inside the box.

We brought the box downstairs and placed it on top of one of our chairs. She would stay in this box for lengthy periods of time. She eventually became drowsy and tried to nap but Fuzzers isn't very good at napping sitting up. The box was so small that she couldn't lay down. She tried on various occasions, but she would always give up and go back to napping whilst sitting.

We eventually upgraded her to a children's shoe box. It is large enough that she can lay down and small enough that she still feels safe and secure. We even wrote her name on the box. Mat drew a "happy cat" face on it. I giggle whenever I look at it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays - Phoenix the Gift Guardian

On Christmas Eve, while the children were nestled all snug in their beds, our little frisky and ever so moody calico kitty hopped up on top of their gifts. I like to think that she is protecting the gifts from all things that go bump in the night. Most likely however, she is plotting how to open the package of kitty treats under the tree.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Homemade Christmas Decorations - Puzzle Ornaments

Looking for a way to reuse old puzzle pieces? Looking for a new DIY craft idea? What about a holiday DIY craft idea? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, read on because today I am going to teach you how to make Christmas decorations. Puzzle Ornaments. 

This is a great way to reuse jigsaw puzzles that are missing pieces,  We painted most of the pieces white and a few pieces red. We needed to make the majority of peices white for the snowflakes and half of the candy canes. We painted a couple edge pieces but not many, I really only wanted the edge pieces for the very tips of the candy canes. 

Afterwards, we glued the pieces together to form snowflakes and candy canes. I recommend glue that dries clear, do not be afraid to use copious amounts of it. In fact, I encourage it. The final step will be to tie ribbon around each of the ornaments after they are dry.

The children and I really had a good time making these together. This is a great activity to do with kids. What kid doesn't like to make things? What are your favorite holiday DIY craft ideas?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Homemade Christmas Decorations - Cinnamon Ornaments

A couple days ago my youngest boy arrived home from school and he was feeling a little bit upset. The grade 6 students at his school got to make Christmas ornaments and he wished that he could make some. Tyler is in grade 5 and he is a very heartfelt boy. To be honest, with Mat on a road trip to the city, I was looking for and activity to do with him.

I started browsing through Pinterest for some holiday craft ideas and that led me to a post written by Melissa at the Chocolate Muffin Tree with a recipe for Cinnamon Ornaments. I should mention my oven doesn't work well so I'm not entirely sure how well this will work.

Now, Melissa's recipe calls for:
1 cup of ground cinnamon, 
1 Tablespoon of ground cloves, 
1 Tablespoon of Nutmeg,
3/4 cups of Applesauce
2 Tablespoons of White Glue

First of all, I don't have nutmeg so I will use All Spice instead. I don't think it will make a difference, they aren't for eating and it will still smell delicious. I also don't have a cup of cinnamon on hand. I do have enough to split the recipe in half though. No biggie, we will make a smaller batch and it will certainly cheer up the little one's spirits.

Melissa said that you could leave them out to try for a few days but she was impatient and instead cooked them at 200F for 2 hours. I followed suit and cooked mine in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours they were almost done except they were a little gummy on the bottom. I flipped them over and cooked them for another 45 minutes.

When they were finished Tyler was in bed so I painted a few of them with some leftover Easter egg paint and saved the rest for him to paint the next day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

To Halifax and Back Again

It has been snowing for the last couple days. We have been using the time to get the house ready for the approaching holiday season.  We've been planning for a few months to replace the large projector screen television in the living room with a nice slim LED screen this Christmas. We pretty much ran the projector screen to the ground and no one was watching TV in the living room anymore because we all had nicer televisions in our bedrooms. I am also in need of a new stove. It is an archaic monster. I'm scared to think how much additional power we have been consuming because of these old appliances.

When we moved in a few years back we renovated the top half of our house because the bathrooms and bedrooms needed it the most. Our plans were to save some money and then renovated the downstairs. Since the plans to renovate the kitchen were in the near future we had planned on replacing the kitchen appliances after the renovations were complete. Unfortunately the stove never made it that far.

The hubby managed to find a Samsung LED 60 inch television for $700 on Kijiji. It was only a year old and it comes from a family who took really good care of it. The plastic was still on the television, my husband keeps the plastic on everything so it looks new longer, he was ecstatic when he found out. He also managed to find me a nice second hand flat top stove for $100. These purchases are going towards the "house" presents.

He is on route to the city today. It was too windy for him to be on the water, he decided to brave the weather and drive carefully to Halifax so he can pick up these goodies. I'm spending today making Christmas decorations with the youngest boy. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

They Dream of Snow Days

In the last couple hours we've had a light dusting of snow and the children are convinced that they are going to have the day off of school. I remember being that young and wishing that mom would pop her head into my room in the morning to tell me that school was cancelled today. There is nothing more exciting to a child then the possibility of a snow day. In fact, a snow day to a child is much like a severely windy day for the hubby right now. The possibility of spending the day at home instead of putting in a rough day on the ocean can be wondrous. Unfortunately, the down side to all of the excitement is the disappointment when school/work is still on for the day. 

On another note, the hubby is very pleased that he mowed the lawn so late in the year. He loves how the snow lays upon it when the grass is short and well kept. He has already been caught gazing out the window in admiration and further commenting on how nice it looks on the well trimmed lawn.

The youngest boy wanted to run outside to make snow angels but the snow is still too wet. Perhaps he will have a chance later in the week when it gets colder. Instead, the kettle is on and mugs of hot cocoa we are sharing while the snow covers the land; and the blue jay's peck the paint off my house.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review - Salba Chia Seeds

If you aren't regularly consuming Chia seeds as part of your daily routine, you may want to consider it. Chia seeds are loaded with Omega-3 and fiber as well as calcium, magnesium and many other useful minerals. They also very easy to consume. Toss some in a salad or in some yogurt and you've just given yourself a nutritional boost. Heck, you can throw some in your next batch of cookies.

Salba has sent me two bags of their Chia seeds to sample: Whole Seed and Premium Ground. It is difficult to decide which I prefer. The Premium Ground Chia is very easy to get past fussy eaters. I like to add some ground chia seeds to flour and batter fish with it. I like to add the whole chia seeds to smoothies, homemade juice, almond milk and even water so it can absorb the liquid.

Salba's Chia seeds are Non Gmo and it makes me very happy and the product is packaged at an allergen free factory.

Disclaimer: I received this product for the purpose of this review. This post is based on my personal product experience, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Expression is an Art

Everyone has a story. How often do we tell it? Whether we are the hero, the observer, the victim or just a pawn; we all have a story to tell. Our role in that story can change at any time. We are players in each other's story too.

We all need to tell our story. Expression is so vitally important. We can learn from each other; deeper yet, we can heal each other by listening. I'm not talking about a miracle cure for life. Simply that, we are at times like a kettle needing to let out steam. Expression is our way of doing that. It isn't good to keep things bottled up, we often feel better and less stressed out when we get to express ourselves. Lowering our stress levels is good for the body. Expression isn't limited to just negative release though, it helps to share our joys and all other emotions and events in between. It bonds us to each other and helps us feel less alone.

It helps when we are able to express ourselves in a manner that is well received. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we open our hearts to one another. At times it may be difficult, we may take things personally; ego, pride and fear can all hinder respectful listening. That dampens expression. It can create stress in all people involved, as well as distance and even pain.