Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our New Fish - Wordless Wednesday

Getting ready to go under.
She did it!

And again! Mom is so proud. It was worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crafting Some Birthday Memories

Here are my young bakers whipping up a couple of bowls of cake batter.

Crumb coat finished and chilling in the fridge.
My daughter hopes to be a pastry chef when she grows up. I would say she is well on her way to living that dream.
Our finished creation. A beautiful Barbie cake.

Wordless Wednesday - My New Computer Buddy

Friday, July 15, 2011

Frugal Friday

So I am 5 for 5 this week. I have managed to bring dinner to work all five days this week. That is a big deal for me. I often get lazy, forget to pack a lunch even though there are leftovers in the fridge. When I forget to pack leftovers it is a double whammy really, not only do I have to buy dinner when I get to work but I also fail to eat food that is in my fridge and that can contribute to the amount of food that has to go to the garbage because it goes bad.

I need to be doing more of this for a couple of reasons. Bringing dinner helps to control what goes into my mouth. When I have to buy dinner I am more likely to buy bad food. There isn't too many choices in our neighbourhood, McDonalds, Subway, a pizza place and a pita place are about the only things around open late and that is when bad choices are made. The other reason is a budget one, I can save a lot more money when I bring dinner. It is much cheaper to buy groceries and make food then going out and buying dinner from a restaurant near my work. It feels good to be eating home cooked food too!

What do you do to stick to a budget? Do you bring your meal to work? I would love to hear what you do to save a little money every week, month, year?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer On the Cheap

School is out and the kids are home. Now what?

Keeping kids busy can get expensive if you start looking at camps, play groups, movies and activities. I have two kids and so everything we do has to be multiply by two and that can get really costly. So, I am challenging myself to have summer time fun with the kids on a budget. I think it can be done. I sent out a call for help to my twitter peeps and got some great ideas.

@psmom offered up this list of great free things to do with kids over the summer:  park, arboretum, library story time, water scape, gardening, firefly catching, sprinkler.

@MumsnChums Sara Hodge had this great list for me:  Splash pads, picnics, beach visits, camping in backyard, picking fruit, hiking, crafts, scavenger hunts.
@JenPinarski  says she turns to library programs and farmers markets as a great budget friendly source of fun for kids.

 I took my girls strawberry picking a few weeks ago and because I was short on time I just washed and froze the berries. One summer time activity I am hoping to do with my girls is make strawberry freezer jam. It is fun, the kids love to mash the berries and this jam recipe is no cook so easy kitchen fun for kids. And we will be able to taste test at the end of the job.

We are lucky to have a free splash pad nearby and a beach too so both of those will be on the summer agenda. We are going to plan a few library trips and there is a couple church camps in our neighbourhood that are a nominal price, one is $20 a kid. Not bad for a week of half day camp.

A few gardening projects might be fun too. Kids love to weed, heck who doesn't. Pulling stuff up is always a good time. And of course, turning on the sprinkler is a great afternoon of fun. Oh, I forgot all about the disco party in the basement. My oldest daughter got a disco ball for her birthday (it lights up) so the kids love to go down to the cool basement, blast the music and dance their hearts out.

What do you do with the kids during the summer that is fun and free ( or at least budget friendly). I would love to hear your ideas.... I need all the help I can get.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Motivation Monday

I have often written under this header before - Motivation Monday. The idea when I first started was to write about it when I needed a good kick in the behind. Right now I could use a good kick when it comes to freelance writing.

I have let some things slip over the past few weeks. I am not sure if you are like this but sometimes I find that I just have to take a step back from all the EXTRA work I do outside of my full time job. I do love to write but sometimes I just lose steam when I am writing for work, writing to deadline and just writing a lot. I write for a living, so to speak, in my full time job and so sometimes when I do a lot of freelance writing I think I get burnt out. I just lose the inspiration. Often, life just takes over all the extra time that I have. I think that happens when Moms work outside the house, work in the house and just generally manage a family and life.

So writing a post can put a fire under me. Part of that comes from putting it out there to all of you. It makes me responsible.

I am working ahead with some house getting house paperwork in order, getting the kids play areas sorted out and working on the upkeep of the outside spaces of the house. I have some unfinished freelance work. I think a schedule might help to keep me on track. Posting that schedule somewhere is also important. I did work to get the back room organized and set up a desk so that I finally have a main floor work area. I need to stop working at the dining table. (picture to come)

What do you do to keep you on track with freelance work? What about blog posts? Do you schedule your posts? I would love to hear how you manage your work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Tasty Little Treat

Getting ready to toss them on the grill. They were tossed with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

Then they get wrapped with Swiss cheese and some Schneiders Country Naturals Turkey. I got a coupon for a free package thanks to Schneiders and Maple Leaf  and this is what I turned it into. It was delish!

Great Food, Great Family

I just wanted to post a picture of the spread that we put together Friday night for dinner. It took me 5 hours to get to the cottage so what is better for a low stress meal than burgers and some grilled chicken and avocados. Yummy. Naturally we also toasted up our WONDER+ SimplyFree buns. I wrote about my meal plans Friday morning, and while we made some adjustments, it was a great meal!

Disclosure – I am participating in the WONDER+ SimplyFree program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Weston Bakeries.  I received a gift card, BBQ kit and free product coupons as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, July 1, 2011


 So another Canadian long weekend - Happy Canada Day - and another reason to light up the BBQ. 

This time around I am planning to step away from the unusual hamburger and hot dogs and pop on some chicken on the barby. The plan is to do something with some boneless chicken, maybe some BBQ sauce or a nice light lemon and herb marinade. I have some avocados that really need to be used up. Add some tomatoes, lettuce and some mayo, or some garlic mayo on some toasted Wonder + Simply Free hot dog buns. 

I am also thinking about maybe brushing the buns with a little olive oil and garlic... hmmm... might be too much?  Oh, add a nice Caesar salad and some cold lemonade ( maybe with a little Vodka for the adults) and I would say that lunch is served. (pictures to come when the feast is completed)

I am trying to be a bit more creative this time around. Think I can impress the family? I am hoping to impress the pickiest eaters in the bunch, the kids. Kids can be hard to please, especially when you venture away from the standard fare of hamburger and hot dogs but I think I might have a winner with chicken and avocados

There is no shortage of recipes at    Canadian Living  featuring WONDER+ SimplyFree hamburger and hot dog buns
WONDER+ SimplyFree is the 1st Canadian National branded line of hamburger & hot dog buns FREE OF artificial preservatives, artificial flavours and artificial colours. They are also made with NO high fructose corn syrup, and like all products from WONDER, made with unbleached wheat flour.

Disclosure – I am participating in the WONDER+ SimplyFree program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Weston Bakeries.  I received a gift card, BBQ kit and free product coupons as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.