Sunday, May 30, 2010

Well, what a week it's been.  A very good week actually.  Especially, the latter part of the week.  My oldest son had a hockey tournament with got the weekend off to a cracking start.   They won the first two games, and lost the last two, resulting in a 5th place finish.

Then, I decided to take full advantage of my mom being here, and ran off for a weekend escapade with my husband.  He is away on tour for the summer, but of the his stops was just outside of Montreal.  So I throw what I could in my purse and drove.   Okay, so I will just pause for a moment and advise, that anyone who knows me will find this most unusual.  I am not good at "winging it", I, my friends, am a "planner".    I felt 17 again.  It was especially good the following day when I had an excuse to go shopping because I  decided to stay 2 nights instead of one!

My husband rides horses for a living.   Well, there's a little more to it than that, but lets just leave it at that for now.  Anyway, his show was performing at an Equestrian event to raise money for Breast Cancer.  Well, this couldn't have been more perfect for me.    I must say, it was perfectly pink!   I had a great time.....but because I didn't plan this trip, I forgot my camera!  

Hubby and I had a great weekend together.  Oh, did I kids!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's hot, damn hot, so hot I think I am melting.  I love it though...not the melting part, but the heat.   I really should be living in California!  

Are you looking for a great tasting way to keep hydrated during this heat wave?  Here's a recipe for Sassy Water.   It's from the Flat Belly Diet.  Not sure if it will help you lose weight, but it does taste great and will remind you of being at the Spa.

Sassy Water

2 quarts of water
Half of an English cucumber
Freshly grated ginger
6-12 leaves of fresh mint
Lemon (optional)

All of the above quantities can be altered to your taste.

Fill a large pitcher with water, add cucumber, mint and ginger.  Let it sit over night and enjoy throughout the following day.

It's so refreshing, you'll love it!  Let me know if you end up with a Flat Belly because of it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Okay, one last post before I head to work.  As promised here is a link that I found interesting about my new best friend.


Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

P!nk - Glitter In The Air (GRAMMYs on CBS)

Nothing more needs to be said.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Skin Care

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for that skincare product that will erase the lines, turn back the clock and make me look 10 years younger....well over the years I have spent a fortune I am sure.  All I have to show for it are more wrinkles and a bunch of half used bottles upstairs in my bathroom.  So, I have been on the hunt for less expensive ways of cleaning and moisturizing my face.

Here's whats been working for me lately.

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Lemons are supposedly very good for your skin, curing many ailments such as acne, age/sun spots, and blackheads.  They contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids....mmmm so do $50 face creams!

I am not expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know how important exfoliated skin is to having a great,  glowing, healthy looking skin.

First, rinse your face with warm water,  squeeze lemon juice on a cotton pad and sprinkle with sugar.   Then using small circles I rub the cotton pad all of my face and neck.  Be gentle around the eyes, it's delicate around there...and also don't ever forget your's gonna wrinkle too!

Rinse with water, keeping eyes closed....lemon stings!

Pat dry with a towel.

Repeat 1-2 times per week.  Lemon may be too intense for people with sensitive skin, so dilute with water first.

Try to use organic lemons and organic sugar...whatever you use on your skin, will be absorbed by your skin and we are trying to avoid nasty chemicals, so Organic all the way baby!

Next, moisturize.

Pure Organic Coconut Oil

I have been using Organic Coconut Oil.  I bought a jar from Bulk Barn for $8.99.   The jar is about the size of spaghetti sauce.  So it's much larger than any beauty products and much cheaper.  I am sure you can buy it at any Health Food Store too.  Make sure it's pure.....nothing nasty remember.   It's solid and has no scent (I was disappointed, I was hoping for that wonderful coconut scent), but melts to a liquid very quickly in your hot little hands.

I use it all over my face, body and the ends of my hair.  It's awesome.

But please, remember to use sunscreen....because it is oil....and you will fry like an egg in the sun.    Oh and speaking of eggs,  yes,  you can also cook with it.   There are also many benefit to using Coconut Oil in cooking, but I will save that for another day.    If you buy a jar, separate some for cooking and some for your skin care.  Coconut Oil does not go rancid and does not need to be kept in the fridge.

Coconut Oil is also a great make up remover and hair conditioner (applied to dry hair, maybe the night before, then wash as usual the next morning).     So,  do yourself a favour, go out and buy a jar of Coconut Oil's really is a miracle in a jar.  You can thank me later!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Favorite!

Sex and the City Cosmopolitan Cupcake Recipe

These make me really, really HAPPY! 

I did not make them, obviously....but just might!

I can't wait to see this movie!!!!!!!!

So today I confirmed something I have been wondering about for quite some son Ciaran is colour blind.   My mum was the first to notice it about a year ago, as well as his teacher.    Today I spoke with the doctor who told me of an online colour blind test that can be performed for young children.  It's  the Ishihara's Test for Colour Deficiency.  But instead of numbers, it has shapes or lines that children and trace with their finger.   Poor little Ciaran could not see any of the shapes or lines within the red/green colour palette.  

If anyone would like to test their children for colour blindness, here's the link.

Another quick note, the diet is going well.  I am currently working on a recipe for a great tasting low carb, high protein, low fat bar, cookie or CUPCAKE!!!   You will see what I come up with....perhaps this weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I just want to say how happy I am to have my mom here.   We went for our first walk in preparation for the 3 day walk for breast cancer.  We walked and talked for 6 miles, which also included a stop at Starbucks!  It was a great afternoon.

Okay, so as promised LOBSTER.  It has to be on of my favorite foods.  Lucky for me Farm Boy grocery store has 1 lb Lobster on sale right now for $4.98 each.  That is pretty much half price, so who am I to question, or resist.

These lobsters are cooked already so,
grab a large pot, put an inch of water in the bottom and plenty of salt.  (It should taste like ocean water).  Bring to a boil and place the lobsters in the pot.  
Boil only for 5 minutes just to warm through....and you're ready for a feast.
Follow the above steps for live lobster too, be sure to place them head first in your pot.
Get the lid on fast to prevent losing all your steam and in case any of the lobsters try to make a run for it!
Steam for approximately 15 minutes.

Now,  let's talk butter.  Oyes, let's!

You have to have butter!  Drawn or clarified butter preferably.
In order to get this delectable butter, you must first bring the butter to a boil, but take your time, do this slowly,  you don't want to brown the butter.
You will notice foam forming on top, you can skim that off with a spoon.
After about 15 minutes the milk solids from the butter will sink to the bottom and what you are left with is a beautiful golden oil.  You can use a cheesecloth or strainer to strain the oil from the milk solids.  Prior to straining I put a teaspoon of crashed garlic in my butter.  This will get strained out with the milk solids, but the flavor will remain.

I pour the drawn (or clarified) butter in individual dishes ready for dipping.  This way you can double dip til your hearts content.

Crack open using kitchen shears or a nutcrackers.

Make sure to save all the shells and boil them to make stock.    I made Lobster Bisque and put it in the freezer for later.

Going back to Farm Boy tomorrow to buy some more, perhaps I will see you there!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good morning Cupcakes!  Well what a week it's been.    We've had school, hockey, doctors, dentist, homework, work work, very little sleep.  Which I am sure all of you busy moms out there can relate to weeks like this.  We also said goodbye to hubby as he begins his tour,  but said hello to Nana!

My mom arrived last night to lend a hand for the next few weeks.   Thank goodness for some girl time.  This also means the diet begins, as well as the training for our 3 Day walk!  I am excited to get back on track with the diet and looking forward to hitting the pavement (hopefully feet first).

So no matter how busy, and how crazy my week is...I just have to bake.  It transports me to another world,  the land of butter and sugar!   (So much for the diet)  I just can't help myself though.  It truly is therapy for me.   One of my favorite websites, Bakerella had a recipe for Blondies, aka Congo Bars.  So here's my version.

Blondes Really Do Have More Fun!

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb light brown sugar (okay, that sounds like a lot....but really it only 2 1/3 cups...and remember this is's all about making you feel good!)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (but remember I don't measure chocolate....I am a rebel that way!)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional if you want to make them school friendly)

I mixed everything by hand because it supposedly makes the texture better, if using a mixer, just don't over mix when adding the flour.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside
Stir brown sugar into softened butter in another large bowl until butter disappears.
Add eggs one at a time and stir well after each egg.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.  Mix well.
Add flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Spray a 13x9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Don't over bake.

Cool completely in pan before cutting into 2x2 squares.

Be a rebel too and enjoy with your morning coffee.  It's a great way to start your day!

Tomorrow, Lobster 101!

Enjoy this gorgeous sunny Sunday people!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

13 year old lady gaga paparazzi cover by Lady Gaga - Greyson Michael Cha...

Heading to work, but wanted to leave you a little something to entertain you. This guy is amazing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Well my Canucks are finished! Even though he's a huge Canucks fan, my husband is actually relieved. He no longer has to put up with me talking about Shane O'Brien.

Now that my chances in the hockey pool are also finished, I have lost a little interest in sitting through all these games. That means one thing, I can now get back to some serious "me" time activities. Starting with some baking.

So, as promised here is my recipe for Starbucks Oat Fudge bars.

Oat Fudge Bars

2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup butter, plus 2 Tbsp
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick cook rolled oats
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsps vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pan slowly melt chocolate, 2 tbsp butter, condensed milk. Stir occasionally. Watch it carefully. (Do not go outside to yell at your kids and forget that you are melting chocolate and sugary will probably burn to the bottom of your pan....don't ask how I know that....I'm just guessing)

In a mixer cream butter and sugar until well mixed.

Add eggs one at a time, and then vanilla

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda and oats.

Combine flour/oat mixture with the butter mixture.

Press 2/3 of oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

Spread chocolate mixture over oat mixture.

Dot remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Chocolate will still look moist.

Cool on a wire rack

Cut into 2 inch squares.

Next time I may add a bit more butter.....I mean it's butter, so more is always better. They didn't turn out quite as moist as Starbucks bars, but still very yummy and absolutely will satisfy any chocolate craving you may have. Oh, and they are full of that means they are actually you can eat lots!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I don't have long to chat. The Canucks are playing what could be their final game of the season. I am feeling optimistic though, and will be hoping for game 7.

I did want to pass on a little bit of information regarding 2 movies we saw this past weekend. I will call this post, "Before You Waste Your Money".

Saturday night Merv and I went to see Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It did have a few funny moments, not as many as you would think....but the story is very far fetched and really reminded me of that 90's movie Adventures in Babysitting. I would say it is a rental. Sorry for those of you who think Tina Fey is hot (you know who you are!!!). Anyway, I would give this movie about 6 out of 10...because I did have a few laughs and the out takes at the end are worth sticking around for.

For Mother's Day we took the kids to see Furry Vengeance. I wouldn't even say this is rental. Since it was the only "G" rated movie playing, we had no choice. It stars Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields. This consists of about 3 or 4 minutes of laughs, and lots of cute furry animals. The story is thought provoking regarding the environment, etc, etc...which my kids liked. My 5 year old really liked it, because of the animals. My 9 year old seemed bored.. All I was thinking was..."I can't believe I have spent $160 on 2 movie outings this weekend.....and all I have to show for it is this bag of dry popcorn"! My kids gave this a 5 out of 10.

So there you have it folks!

Tomorrow I will post my version of Starbucks Oat Fudge Bars....because nothing says "bliss" like an Oat Fudge Bar and tall non-fat latte!

Ok, back to the game.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I actually managed to hit the craft room a little today. It was Mother's Day after all. Here are the cards I made for my friend for her fundraiser. Traci, they're headed your way!

Also as promised, the pork loin rib roast.

Pork Loin Rib Roast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Buy a pork loin rib roast with 6 or 7 ribs.
Cover roast with mustard, salt, pepper and I usually sprinkle with crushed garlic too.
Put in a roasting pan with a little water or stock in the bottom of the pan.
Cook for one hour at 350 degrees.
After the hour, turn oven down to 250 degrees and cook for 4 to 5 hours.
It smells so good, it's hard to wait....but it's worth the wait!


Happy Mother's Day

My day started with Ciaran waking me up by yelling "surprise" about 2 inches from my face. Does he not realize I am older now?? The old ticker can't take that kinda thing anymore! It was followed by breakfast in all was forgiven.

Here's hoping all you yummy mummies out there get some extra special treatment today! All you boys out there, treat your momma's well.

We are headed to a movie, since the weather is so horrible. Yes, there is actually a windchill today of minus 6. Does Mother Nature not know that it's May????

I have a pork loin rib roast, slowly roasting in the oven. It should be ready by the time we get home. It smells great already! It's the perfect day for comfort food.

I will post photos and the recipe a little later.

Have a great day mummies!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A big thank you to everyone who made my day a special one yesterday. I actually had a really great day. Lots of birthday wishes from old friends, a telephone chat with my gorgeous brother, a bottle of Prosecco and a chocolate cake. Life is good!

I have spent that last few years wondering if there is more to life than the one I have been living. I have been feeling very unsettled in my career and in the rest of my life. Yesterday I woke up and thought, this is it! This is the life! The life I am responsible for. The life that I must start living. I have to stop "what if" ing....every part of it. I have to stop waiting around for something great to happen and just realize that everyday something great does happens. It maybe small things like the sound of rain on my window, being handed a bunch of dandelions out of my garden, or having my morning coffee. These are the things that truly make life great. Oh and waffles! They were on the menu this morning, with strawberries and whipped cream, of course!

What makes your life great?

Here's the recipe for super easy, especially yummy Waffles. Enjoy!


Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 Waffles

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbps baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients. Set aside

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add the egg mixture.

Stir only until moistened. Do not over mix, it should be lumpy.

Pre heat a waffle iron and pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter onto the grid of the waffle iron.

Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Well today is the big day. Yes, it's my birthday and it's a milestone birthday at that! I am not happy about it. I suppose I should be really thankful for what I have achieved and the friends and family that I have. Don't get me wrong I truly am blessed. But, today I just feel OLD! So, I am having a bit of a pity party today, wanna come?

As I laid in bed this morning I began reading some of my emails I received. One in particular from my friend Denise in Calgary. She reminded me of our 28 year friendship with great photos and great stories. She also included this link from YouTube,

The memories came flooding back, along with a whole lot of tears. So, I have spent my morning crying into my coffee. Tears of happiness though I promise. Unless, it's my hormones already!!!

I was thinking about going to get a facial or perhaps a pedicure, but I have decided to spend my birthday in my happy place.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Well, my day yesterday didn't quite turn out as planned. I didn't make it to the craft room, but instead did have a great telephone conversation with my mom and dad. I am off work for a couple of days now, so hopefully I will make it down there. My friend Traci has asked me to make some cards for her as a fundraiser, so I really need to get busy.

Today has been one of the days in which I run around like a crazy woman, and probably won't get a chance to sit down until about 10pm tonight. Here is the run down so far: rushed to the mall to meet a buyer for some of my stamp sets, then had a massage (so I guess I was relaxing a bit then), then went for groceries. You know, I really wish I could find one grocery store that stocked everything I like. I spend most of my time driving from one place to another. I am home now to make dinner, only to find that my oldest son has hockey in an hour. Rush rush rush!

Just thought I would mention a couple of my friends need a little support. One of which is having surgery tomorrow, so I want her to know I am thinking of her and wish I was there to hold her hand. My other friend received some sad news today. He's been training for a marathon, but has developed an injury. It appears he will not be able to run the marathon after all. I am sad for him, because he was so dedicated. I just want them to know that I am thinking of them. In both cases, I am hoping for a speedy recovery!

I think Grey's Anatomy is a new one tonight. Are you as excited as I am?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Firstly, I want to give a shout out to my very first mom! It
was really exciting to sign in this morning and see you there. Thanks Mom!

I had decided last night that I was going to get "crafty" today. But now that I am up, I have had one cup of coffee only...and a slice or two of banana bread. I am just not feeling it, yet! I do have other things I could do. Like, organize my closets, make our menu for the week or go for groceries. It is payday too, so a trip to Homesense could come into play. But surely, digging through old photos and making a scrapbook page would be more fun, AND, I can stay in my PJ's.

Since it's leftover night tonight, I can afford some of that "me" time, before heading to work. So here I go, down to the craft room to see what I can come up with. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm baking!

Once you get to know me, you will realize I don't like to sit around doing nothing. I know, I know, while the kids are at school I should be resting up for work tonight BUT....I can't help myself...I have got to bake! Even though it's hot already in my kitchen, why not have the oven on and bake up a loaf of the best banana bread, EVER...and I mean, EVER. It's easy and fool proof! To make it even better, I add chocolate. I mean, why wouldn't I??? Chocolate just makes everything better.

Anyway, this will make my hubby's day a little bit brighter I think.

Here's the recipe if you would like to brighten someone's day...especially your own! Enjoy!

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 1 Loaf

Banana Bread
1 cup of granulated sugar
8 Tbsp (1/2cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips (but whose measuring)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash bananas with cinnamon and milk.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add banana mixture to creamed butter and sugar mixture.

Use a spatula and stir flour mixture and chocolate chips (if using) only until combined. Don't over mix.

Bake in prepared pan for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan, invert on a rack and cool completely before slicing.

Slather with butter if you wish, but not necessary. It's yummy on it's own!

Thank you Food Network for this's a hit!

After working last night, I woke up way too early, but wanted to spend time with Ciaran (my 5 year old). We did some colouring in his Handy Manny colouring book, and had a relaxing morning, before getting ready for school. This is where the battle began. For some unknown reason the school bus is no longer his friend. He pouted, punched and shouted his way to the bus stop. Once there he turned his back to me and wouldn't even look at me. As the bus pulled up at the stop, my little angel bent down and picked a 3 leaf clover from the ground and handed it to me.

It's the little things that make all the bad stuff disappear. Don't you agree?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Well, here it is! I have been talking about starting a blog for quite some time now. As I sit here today, with coffee in hand, I begin my journey. Already a bit of a hiccup, I am not sure how to start. Is it writer's block or nerves? I must say this does seem more difficult than I originally thought.

My name is Carla, and this is about sharing with you my life as it happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly of a shiftworking mom. Trying to keep my marriage afloat, raise 2 boys into great men, plus have a little "me" time.....all at the same time!

Stay tuned for great craft projects, recipes and the fun filled adventures that each new day brings my way.

Hold on, and fasten your could be a bumpy ride!