Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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

I have posted this before, but felt inspired to do it again tonight.


Monday, March 14, 2011

I love this!!!

Get yours today.  

It's a free download at Becky Higgins

3 colours to choose from and several sizes.

Too cute!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thinking of my West Coast friends today, and of course the people of Japan.

The images that we all woke up to this morning are so heartbreaking and terrifying.

I am not one for praying, but this just may call for a prayer or two today.

Stay safe,  xoxo

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Belated Pancake Tuesday!!!

I couldn't let the day go by without a little taste from my childhood.

Crepes with orange juice and sugar.....life is good (even on Weight Watchers)

"Nut-Free" Granola Bars

It's been a while since I shared a recipe with you.

Things around here have been a little out of whack, to say the least.

I did want to share a recipe with you all today though.

My apologies in advance for not knowing where I found this recipe, so I am unable to give credit where credit is due.

This recipe is for a "nut-free" granola bar.

I would like to dedicate this to Patrik.     

Patrik is the son of my new friend Gabi, who spent time in the hospital yesterday due to an allergic reaction to peanuts.  

Someone in his class at school had a nut product in their lunch and it caused poor little Patrik a lot of grief.

So here is a really easy, great tasting, economical, "nut-free" granola bar that your kids will love!

They also make a great "sport" bar.  

I made them in the height of hockey season, kept a bag of them in the freezer and my kids just grabbed one on their way to the rink.....perfect little energy bars!

Add chocolate chips if you like too for extra "energy".

Don't be a Nut Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup mashed banana
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease 9 x 13 pan

Combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, flax seeds, cinnamon, flour, raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds,  and salt.   Mix and form a well in the middle.

In a medium bowl, whisk honey, egg, melted butter, banana and vanilla.

Pour honey mixture into the well, and mix well.

Pat granola dough into greased pan.  You may need to grease your fingers a little, so you don't end up wearing most of it!

Bake for 24 mintues for chewy bars

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and cut into bars while still warm.

Makes 16, granola bar sized bars


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I told you last week I have become a book addict.

Well, I have read 3 books in the past 2 weeks, and just about to finish my fourth.

As my little guy has been laid up on the couch, I have been right beside him with book (ereader) in hand.

I have loved snuggling up with him and it's been a great chance for me to try to relax during this very stressful time.

The books:

Sarah's Key 

This book is really well written, considering the difficult subject matter.

It takes place in Paris in 1942 during the German occupation.

It is an amazing, moving, and at times horrific and very disturbing, story about the strength of a young Jewish girl.

It is so touching, however I did have to put the book down, wipe the tears and try to find the courage to begin again.

It is so well written that you just have to find that courage to keep reading because you just have to know what happens next.

Even though it was hard to read at times, I really loved this book.


The Memory Keeper's Daughter

This one didn't pull me in as much as Sarah's Key, but nonetheless it was another good read.


Never Let Me Go

This one was a weird one for me, because it had a bit of a Sci-Fi type twist.  I saw the trailer on TV for the movie.  It left me wondering what it was all about, so I decided to read the book.  It was another good one, but a strange concept.

Currently, I am reading

Secret Daughter

I am loving this book.

I can honestly say, for this month anyway, reading has become my passion.

Anyone want to do an online Book Club???

We can't meet at each others houses and discuss the monthly read over wine and cheese, but we could do it by email.

Let me know if you're interested.

All this reading has unfortunately, taken me away from scrapbooking and photography my other passions, but I am beginning to feel the urge for something crafty...perhaps recover that old chair in my hallway that begging for a new look.

Or perhaps I should just try to tidy up this house since my mom is arriving tomorrow.

She changed her flight to come here 2 weeks earlier to give me a hand.

See, we are never too old to need our mamas!

She's coming to look after her baby, so her baby (me) can look after mine.

Better get cracking....happy Tuesday (which feels like a Monday) everyone!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Project: Simplify

I thought this looked like something I need.  

Check out Simplemom.net,  an new project that starts March 7.

It's all about simplifying and decluttering.

Since those two words describe my world to a T....I am jumping on board.

Each week a Hot Spot in your house will be posted and its your job throughout the week to declutter, simplify, in other words, tidy up the joint!

You can post your before and after photos on the link that is provided over at Simplemom.net.

You can click on the button on the side of my blog to learn more.

But since I might be moving in a few months, and will no doubt be down sizing, the time has come for me to get rid of some junk treasures!

I can't wait for this project to begin!

Now if only I could motivate myself just a little to get a head start....or is that cheating?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's been a long 2 weeks since my little guy was diagnosed with HSP.

But, today he woke up and jumped all over me.  A far cry from each morning before when he woke up crying in pain.

He even walked to the bathroom on his own this morning.

Things are finally turning around I think.  I hope!

It's still a long road ahead, but I think I can see the light!

As promised last week...The Beaver Tail.

This one has Nutella and powdered sugar.  

However, my favorite is cinnamon and sugar with a squeeze of lemon.   Heaven!!

Here's the recipe:

Beaver Tails

1/2 cup warm water
5 tsp active dry yeast
1 pinch of sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 vegetable oil
5 cups whole wheat flour
oil for frying

Toppings of your choice


In a large bowl, stir yeast, warm water and the pinch of sugar.

Let it stand until the yeast is nice and bubbly and happy!

Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt.

Stir until smooth

Mix half of the flour, stir.

Gradually mix the rest of the flour.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.  Add a bit of flour if too sticky.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover.

Dough should double in size in approximately 35 minutes.

Lightly deflate the dough and pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough.

Roll the dough into an oval shape on a floured surface.  

Cover with a tea towel and continue with the rest of the dough.

You can freeze the beaver tails at this stage if you wish, or use the dough to make something else (like Monkey Bread).

Heat approximately 4 inches of oil in a heavy pan.   A good temperature is 375 degrees.

Stretch the dough and flatten before placing in hot oil.

Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Fry one at a time to prevent the oil from dropping in temperature, which would result in soggy, greasy beaver tails, rather than crisp and tender.

Carefully, remove beaver tails from oil and place on a paper towel before topping with your favorite flavours.

I made about 6 beaver tails.  3 of which are still in the freezer ready to fry up for a quick treat.

With the left over dough, I made Monkey Bread....for my house full of monkeys!!

For the monkey bread, divide the remaining dough into small balls.

Roll each ball in melted butter, and then into a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Place randomly in a greased bundt pan.

Let it raise again until the dough balls double in size.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Invert on a cooling rack and enjoy!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Saturday and my big boys have gone skating on the canal.

For those of you that don't know, we live in Ottawa, home of the world's largest skating rink, The Rideau Canal.

Ottawa is also famous for the "Beaver Tail".

Not the Whale Tail, that's probably a whole other city!

The Beaver Tail!!!

What is a Beaver Tail you ask.

It's like a huge, flat doughnut that resembles the shape of a beaver tail.

It's a flattened piece of dough that is fried and then topped with all things wonderful, like cinnamon and sugar or nutella.

It's a "must" for anyone visiting Ottawa.

Since I am house bound with my sick little lamb, I feel the need to bake or make something.

Anything to avoid having to clean the house or do laundry!

My little lamb is heartbroken that he can't go skating, but I know, really it all about the Beaver Tail.

So, I have decided to make him a Beaver Tail (or 10),  right here at home.

A whole batch just for him.

They are sure to make him feel better!

I will be sure to post photos and recipe later today.

Warning:  this will not be a Weight Watchers recipe!

Here I go, wish me luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh what a night!

I can honestly say there is no worse feeling in the world, than when a loved one is sick.

Especially, when that loved one is your 6 year old child.

Last night my little lamb was taken to hospital and diagnosed with HSP.

I know, I had never heard of it either.

HSP stands for Henoch-Schoenlein Purpura

Essentially, it's an inflammation in the blood vessels and/or capillaries.

It usually happens in children ages 2 to 11 and is more common in boys.

The cause is unknown and it's not contagious.

It is believed it's an abnormal response of the immune system.

On Tuesday evening after a lively game of mini-sticks (in my living room I might add), my little lamb complained of a sore foot.   After my careful examination I noticed a small bruise and slight swelling on the arch of his foot.

After a little rest and some ice he seemed okay.  Although limped a bit as he walked.

He then started saying his arm hurt and his wrist hurt, etc.

I just chalked it all up to the good old hockey game.

He woke up around 4am complaining of a sore throat and said his arms and legs hurt and he couldn't sleep because of the pain.

A dose of Advil did the trick, and we were all back to the land of nod.

The next morning he said  "remember I am not going to school today".  I then started to think something was a little fishy and honestly, sad to say, thought he was making everything up.

He stayed home and we cuddled on the couch all day.

He seemed fine, no fever, and ate normally.

This brings me to last night.

His brother had his final game of the season last night and we took him to the rink.   My little guy was all set to play mini sticks with his buddies.

In the car on the way home, he began to cry, complaining how much his arms and legs hurt.

Once home my husband looked him over, said he was fine and we both, once again chalked it up to being tired after a grueling game of mini-sticks.

Then it was my turn, I went over to my little lamb as he lay on the couch and I looked at his legs.  He had bright red bumpy dots all over the lower part of his legs.   Then I noticed lumps protruding from under his skin.

I asked hubby if he had noticed this minutes earlier, but he hadn't.

Almost before my eyes lumps started appearing under his skin, the size of golf balls.

It was terrifying.

I began to panic, we all began to panic.   I was crying, he was crying, we were all crying.

He was whisked away to hospital where he stayed until 130am.   After a battery of blood and urine work he was able to come home, with nothing more than Advil.

He was so brave!

There is no treatment for this strange unheard of virus.   It's a matter of waiting for the swelling of the joints to go down, so he can walk comfortably.  We were told, as well, that once the symptoms disappear, it will likely reoccur within 3 months.

He will have to be closely monitored, with weekly visits to the doctor because the danger here is, that it affects the kidneys and bowels.  It can actually cause kidney failure, intestinal bleeding or obstruction, and in rare cases, death if it attacks the central nervous system.

When I tucked him into bed last night,  I leaned over to kiss him goodnight.  My hair fell down over my face and his.

He looked up at and said "mom you look like Lady Ga Ga with your hair like that".

As I walked back to my bedroom I was left wondering if that was a good thing or bad.

At the end of a terrifying night I was nice to end it with a little giggle.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today was weigh in day.

The good news is, I lost 2 lbs this week.

This even included a piece of KFC on Superbowl Sunday, thanks to hubby (who likes me chubby),  and a sliver of homemade apple pie with ice cream.  

All in all, I think I did pretty well.

I think the key has been drinking lots of herbal tea.

I had read somewhere once that to curb your cravings, drink a cup of green tea and the cravings will subside.

It worked for me, this week anyway.

I have to share a wonderful website I found completely by accident.

I haven't tried the recipes yet, but they look delish!

You can find it here at www.skinnytaste.com

It's grocery day today so I do plan on making one or two of the recipes this week.

Perhaps the Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry.

I will be sure to let you know how it looks and tastes.

Have a great day everyone, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just back from Physio and I must say I am finally seeing an improvement.

I have good days and bad, which they assure me is perfectly normal.

You see, I am nursing an injury from a car accident that occurred in 1993.

This chronic pain in my neck (literally) has been 18 years in the making.

Recently, this pain has pretty much consumed me in every way possible, so it was time to deal with it, again

Today we ventured into the world of Acupuncture.

Acupuncture rocks!

I am not afraid of needles, so that's the first hurdle over with.

However there is something a tad "off putting" about someone sticking them in your head.

Plus a "not" so great experience with this ancient technique has left me a little apprehensive.

However,  desperate times called for desperate measures, and today was the day to suck it up!

Let me back track for a moment and tell you a little story from my past, because I know you're dying to know about my not so great experience right?

One weekend, while visiting my parents in Vancouver, back in 1998, I decided that it was time again to address this little issue of mine.

Me and my dad got in the car and drove to Vancouver's downtown east side (East Hastings to be exact).

He had heard from a friend of a highly recommended Acupuncturist, known to cure just about anything, even Cancer.

We arrived at the location and found the tiniest little store front.

It was like we had stepped back in time and found ourselves in ancient China.

We stepped in and were surrounded by bottles and jars from floor to ceiling containing leaves and roots and strange looking plants.

It was dark, and had a strange medicinal smell.

We slowly walked to the center of the store and were greeted by a little man wearing a white lab coat.

He pointed for me to enter a room at the back of the store which was separated by a curtain hanging in the doorway.

When I went into the room it was like I was back in 1998 again.

Everything was white and clean and sterile.   Completely different from the other room.

My dad waited in the other room for me,  I often wondered what he did in the there as he waited.

Before I knew it I had needles in my hands, my head, my neck and my shoulders.

Hundred's of them, thousands maybe.

Things were good, until the little man in the white lab coat decided to wiggle each needle, making sure they were hitting each trigger point just so.

I began to howl, and whine and just couldn't take it anymore.

My dad barged through the curtain to see what the little man was doing to me and told him to stop.

Before I knew it, the needles were out and I was laying on my back, eyes closed and feeling dizzy.

I opened my eyes to find the little man hands were hovering about a foot over my body, in circular motions.

The faster he moved,  the dizzier I became.

This went on for several minutes and then he stopped.

He nodded and pointed me to the door.

My treatment was finished.

No more dizziness, no more neck, head or shoulder pain.

Like a miracle, I was cured.

I guess it really wasn't a bad experience, because the end result was relief and comfort.

Lets just call it a strange experience.

Anyway, I am back at it, since, in all my years, it really is the only thing that worked!

So there you have it, my long winded story of why I think Acupuncture rocks!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Black Heel to Tractor Wheels 
by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman)

I finished the book.  It was so great!!!

I highly recommend it to anyone who believes in true love.

It just so happens that I am married to a guy who's childhood dreams were to play in the NHL or be a bullrider.

So I kinda have a cowboy of my own.

Although he never quite did either one of those things.

Perhaps I should write a book of my own!

For those of you who don't believe in true love, read it anyway.

I laughed out loud.  I mean it, I really I did.

Out loud!

I cried.

I laughed again

I did not want this book to end, ever.

Please please please Ree, write another!

I have also just read that the book is being made into a movie....woohoo, with Reese Witherspoon cast as Ree.

Please don't tell me I was the last to know this.

Can't wait to see who gets to play the Marlboro Man!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So, I am back on the coffee band wagon.

I blame my husband.

He keeps walking by me with a Starbucks and I just can no longer resist.  

That sweet aroma drove me to the breaking point.   From the coffee, not hubby!

The good news is, I can only handle one cup vs. the 4-5 that I was used to.

So tea is still my friend.

One other note, I joined Weight Watchers, again.  I think this will be my 5th time over the course of  20 years.

This time I am doing it online and it's awesome.

They have a new program which allows you to eat way more than before and still lose weight.

One week in and I am down 4lbs. and really not minding the program at all.

My battle with the bulge has always been just that....a battle.

I always have that extra 10lbs just hanging around causing me grief.

Anyway, a couple of summers ago my mom introduced me to a great diet program, which we followed and I lost 34lbs.  My mom did great too!

I felt so amazing.  I could have conquered the world.  

It still amazes me how I have always allowed my weight to restrict me.  It's prevented me from living my life.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't because of physical restrictions, but rather, mental restrictions.  

I had no confidence.

Losing the weight gave me a sense of freedom and the ability to do anything I wanted to do.

Silly really that we, as woman or society in general,  place these types of restrictions upon ourselves, based on how we look.

Obviously, back then I had more that just the 10lbs to lose.

I was still carrying baby weight.

Well that's what I told everyone anyway, even though my baby was 4.

Long story short I kept most of the weight off for almost 2 years.   Slowly, it crept back on....ever so slowly my jeans got tighter and my muffin tops got bigger.

I blame this on being home and not working, baking, cooking, Christmas and lots of chocolate.

After complaining so much that my clothes were too tight, I had to go shopping.

At the mall, I wondered around and hated every minute.  

It was so frustrating.  

I went in there with a size 6-8 mentality, only to find my a size 10-12 reality.

Where?  How?

What the $#@%????

Not a happy experience for me, but it was the kick in the big butt that I needed.

So my friends, this brings me to today.

Weight Watchers is my new reality, but it's not so bad.

It's actually, quite painless!

4 down, 10 to go!!!

Size 8 here I come!!!


Friday, February 4, 2011

You will have to excuse me.  I have been suffering from a major case of writers block.

I feel that days go by so fast, with little time to sit and write.

Today,  it was my number one priority to sit and see what words spilled out.

I decided to share with you a couple of things that I am really loving right now.

The first one is my Sony eReader http://sonystyle.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=100803&storeId=20153&langId=200&productId=8198552921666257815  

This is what Santa brought me for Christmas, I am such a lucky girl, sometimes!

I have all of a sudden I have become a bookworm.

The dangerous thing about this little beauty is that you don't even have to leave your house.  You want a new book, you just download one.

It's very dangerous....be warned.

I suppose the downside is, that I am missing out on one of my favorite things to do, and that is wander around Chapters.

Suppose I could still do that, after all, there's still plenty of cookbooks to be had (wouldn't want those on the eReader).

The second thing is, after having the flu last week (keep reading, that's not the thing I love) I am totally "off" coffee.

It's not that coffee made me sick in the first place, it's just usually that's the first sign that I am not well.

I love my coffee....I would marry Starbucks if I could.....if I wasn't all ready spoken for that is....

But lately, my love for coffee has fallen by the wayside.

Instead, it's all about tea.

I found this great tasting tea at Winners.

It's Saffron Tea by Taja Tea.

Saffron Tea with Mango actually, and it's tastes really good.

Here's a link so you can see what it looks like.   http://steepster.com/teas/taja-tea/12142-saffron-fusion-tea

Okay so here's the part that I get all preachy, but for the record, I am not a doctor or nutritionist (shocking, I know).

I am simply passing on what I have come to learn from doing a little surfing the web, oh and reading the box it came in.

Saffron is an all natural ancient herbal remedy and the most expensive spice in the world.

Saffron offers a variety of health benefits and has been used in ancient medicine over four millennia.

Saffron can be used for:

Anti-depressant and relaxant
Promotes happiness
Better mood
Treat acne and skin diseases
Anti cancer and tumor agent
Curing respiratory problems such as asthma
Reduce inflammation
Stimulate circulation
Reduce cholesterol
Aphrodisiac for Impotency


As I said before, I am not a doctor, so as like anything else, use at your own risk.

Maybe in a year from now I will start grow an extra arm or leg from all this Saffron Tea that I am drinking.

Who knows,  but for now I am enjoying it's great taste and soothing quality.

Now, if you will excuse me it's back to my couch and my book.

I am just starting The Pioneer Woman's book "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels"

If you don't know who The Pioneer Woman is, you should check out her blog.  Her link is just over there to the right, on my blog.

She's fabulous.  Great giveaways, great recipes, funny stories.  Just wonderful!!  I love P-Dub!!!

One other note:  Gabi.....can you hurry up and get moved in already....I am missing you!!!  Hope it's all going well!!  xoxo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good morning Winter......nice of you to join us.....now please go away!!!

Current Weather Updated: Sun, Jan. 23, 2011, 8:00 EST - Ottawa Airport


Yours truly,

Wondering why I don't live in California

Friday, January 21, 2011

So, Christmas is over, the New Year has begun, and all of my resolutions have already been forgotten.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

We wait for the New Year to start fresh.

We have great hopes, dreams and expectations for a new beginning.

And then BAM!

We set ourselves up for failure, adding a ton of pressure to our already hectic lives.

Then we punish ourselves for failing and we eat lots and lots of chocolate!

Perhaps I am just talking about myself here, this is probably why I haven't written in awhile.

I have been in a bit of a New Year slump.

I had great ideas of how I wanted to look and feel,  and how I think my household will run smoother if I do this or that.

But the reality is, I feel exhausted from all this planning and life is passing me by.  

3 weeks into the new year and I haven't done a thing.

So this morning I woke up and decided not to stress about my resolutions, but to enjoy the moments of each day.  

Don't worry if your $200 Lulu Lemon outfit still has the tags on.  

Don't worry if you have piles of clutter on your dining room table.

Don't worry that there's hockey equipment drying on your living floor.

Don't worry that your house smells like a locker room.

Don't worry if you haven't swept the floor, put the laundry away, emptied the dishwasher, or made the beds yet.

Stop, take a deep breath, and think about all the great, amazing moments that have happened today.

Here's are a few of those great, amazing moments of my day, so far:

Loving that I set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier so we weren't so rushed this morning.

Loving that I woke up with my 2 babies in my bed.

Loving that I watched them both sleep and took in every detail of their beautiful faces.

Loving that the extra 10 minutes allowed for lots of kisses and cuddles.

Loving that Connor pretended he was sleeping so I would kiss him more.

Loving that it snowed last night and everything looks sparkly and clean outside.

Loving that I have a steaming, hot, cup of Starbucks coffee, made from the beans I bought yesterday, and it tastes great and literally soothes my soul.

Loving that it's Friday and that means homemade pizza and a movie tonight.

Loving that the task for the first day of our Advent Calendar was to plant bulbs and that they have turned into this:

and this:

Enjoy the great, amazing moments of your day.

I am sure you will find it's full of them!