Pages

December 30, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 30, 2013


The weather...
-11C today with snow.  Warming up towards the end of the week, but with more snow.  We've already had 30 inches of snow over the last couple of months.  I am ready for winter to be over already! 

Right now I am...
Eating a mince pie! 

Thinking...

That I'm feeling quite tired and could do with a nap.    

On my reading pile...

Maeve's Times by Maeve Binchy

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Chicken wings and salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti bolognaise with salad
Wednesday: Roast lamb, roast potatoes, asparagus and broccoli
Thursday: Baked chicken, salad and mac and cheese
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Nibbles (mozzarella sticks, sausage rolls, mini quiches, pickles, salad)
Sunday: Homemade pizza

On my to do list...today

Swimming with the girls
Make mince pies
Change bed linens
Write grocery list
Clip children's nails

On my to do list...this week
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Clean Marlin
Take down the Christmas decorations

What I am creating ...
Mince pies.  Not sure what else yet.  

Looking forward to this week...
Taking the girls bowling.  It's Miss C's first time, so I'm excited to see how she likes it.  

Looking around the house...
Toys, toys everywhere.  The girls have been enjoying all the gifts Santa left, but it's time to put some order back into the house.      

From the camera...

If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  Hope you have a happy, fun holiday season!

December 20, 2013

Christmas Joy

source


Ingredients: 
½ cup Hugs
4 tsp Kisses
2 cups Smiles
4 cups Love
1 cup Special Holiday Cheer
½ cup Peace on Earth
tsp Christmas Spirit
2 cups Goodwill
1 sprig of Mistletoe
1 bag of Christmas Snowflakes

Method:   

1. Mix Hugs, Kisses, Smiles and Love until consistent.

2. Blend in Special Holiday Cheer, Peace on Earth, Christmas Spirit and Goodwill.  

3. Use the mixture to fill a large, warm heart where it can be stored for a lifetime.   

4. Serve as desired under Mistletoe, sprinkled liberally with special Christmas Snowflakes. 



December 18, 2013

Magic Reindeer Food


We always leave out cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve.  The girls love to come down in the morning and see the crumbs that Santa has left.  Last year Miss S left the reindeer some carrots to munch on.  I think this year we will leave out magic reindeer food as well.   

This is such an easy craft for children to do.  What a fun activity for a Christmas party! 

To make the reindeer food, just mix together oatmeal and edible sprinkles to fill up treat bags or jars, depending on what you have to hand.  I used 4" x 6" treat bags which held 1/2 cup oatmeal and 2 tablespoons each of white sparkling sugar sprinkles and rainbow round cake sprinkles.  



 

December 16, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 16, 2013


The weather...
A mixture this week.  Mild with a high of 4C.  Cold nights with a low of -21C. 

Right now I am...
Enjoying the quiet.  The girls are in bed and I'm having a cup of tea and a gingerbread cookie.  

Thinking...

About what still needs to be done for Christmas.  

On my reading pile...

Christmas cookbooks and The Bancroft Strategy by Robert Ludlum

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Chicken strips with peas and salad
Tuesday: Salmon with rice and salad
Wednesday: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes
Thursday: Spaghetti bolognaise with salad
Friday: Dinner out
Saturday: Pork chops with homemade mac and cheese
Sunday: Roast beef and trimmings

On my to do list...today

Laundry
Make granola bar
Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list
Ironing
Watch Miss C's Christmas concert

On my to do list...this week
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Wrapping gifts
Clean Marlin
Hand deliver local Christmas cards and gifts

What I am creating ...
Final Christmas gifts, mince pies

Looking forward to this week...
Watching the girls' Christmas concerts.

Looking around the house...
My kitchen needs some help!  I have been doing a lot of Christmas baking and it needs a thorough clean.    

From the camera...


If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.

December 13, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Gingerbread Trees

Gingerbread Trees

Miss C and I had fun baking and decorating these gingerbread trees for her classmates. 

Gingerbread

Ingredients:

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses

Directions:

1.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.  

2.  Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

3.  Add egg to the cream mixture and stir until combined.

4.  Add molasses to the cream mixture and stir until combined.

5.  Gradually add in the flour mixture.  You may not need all of the flour depending on the humidity of your kitchen.  I usually add 4 cups and then slowly add a 1/4 cup at a time.  Mix until a dough forms.  

6.  Divide the dough into four.  Shape each piece into a flattened disc.

7.  Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  

8.  Preheat oven to 350C.

9.  Roll out each disc to approximately 1/4" thick between parchment paper or cling wrap.  

10.  Cut out shapes and transfer to a lined cookie sheet.

11.  Bake for 8 - 9 minutes.  

12.  Leave to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.  

13.  Decorate as desired. 

Icing Recipe:

Mix 4 cups confectioner's sugar, 4 tablespoons meringue powder and 4 tablespoons water.  If too thick, add more water.  If too dry, add more confectioner's sugar.  Colour as needed. 

Miss C and I tinted the icing green and, while still wet, placed on the Smarties.

Enjoy!

All packaged up ready for gifting

 

December 11, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Snowman Chocolate Bar

Snowman Chocolate Bar


Miss C and I made these fun snowmen for her preschool teachers.  

Here's how to do it.

1.  Buy flat chocolate bars.  We used boxes of Smarties.  

2.  Wrap them in white paper, just like a gift.

3.  Punch out small circles with black cardstock.  These will be the eyes and buttons. 

4.  Cut carrot noses from orange cardstock.

5.  Cut a hat from black cardstock.  I cut a piece of card the same width as the chocolate bar and approximately 1" tall.  Then I cut a strip 3/4" wide by 1/2" wider than the chocolate bar.   

6.  Glue all the pieces to the front of the chocolate bar.

7.  Measure out a piece of ribbon approximately 4 to 5 times the width of the chocolate bar and tie in a knot around the chocolate.  Trim the scarf ends.  

8.  Draw on a smile using a black pen.  

Miss C loved helping me make these adorable gifts. 

 

December 09, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 9, 2013


Hello everyone!  How was your week?  

The weather...
We had a blizzard come through last week.  There was approximately 15 inches of snow with very frigid temperatures (-40C).  We're expecting more snow today, but thankfully it will be warmer this week.  

Right now I am...

Having a snack (apple with a handful of almonds) and planning out my week.  

Thinking...

About a dear friend who is going through some difficulties in her marriage and how her life is going to change in the new year.    

On my reading pile...

The Vicar of Dibley by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Cheeseburger Pie
Tuesday: Roast chicken with trimmings
Wednesday: Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
Thursday: Chicken fajitas
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Not sure yet!
Sunday: Shepherd's Pie

On my to do list...today

Laundry / Ironing
Bake gingerbread cookies
Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list

On my to do list...this week

Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Wrapping Christmas gifts

What I am creating this week...
Mince pies, gingerbread cookies.

Looking forward to this week...

Making gifts with the girls for their teachers.  

Looking around the house...

We finished putting up the Christmas decorations this weekend, so the house looks lovely!

From the camera...

The girls' Christmas tree that they decorated themselves.  

The top is bare as they could not reach that high!

If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.


December 06, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Cakey Brownie

Cakey Brownie Mix

These brownies are great for gifting.  Be sure to make one for yourself too.

Cakey Brownie

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1/4 cup water

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  

2.  Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

3.  Add the vanilla, oil, eggs and water.

4.  Mix with a wooden spoon for about 15 - 20 strokes.  Be careful to not over-mix.

5.  Spoon into a greased 8" x 8" pan.

6.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7.  Cool and cut into pieces. 

Directions for gift jar:

Layer all the dry ingredients, in the order given, into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Makes about 4 cups (1L) of mixture.  Don't forget to include a recipe card so the recipient can make the brownies.


Enjoy!


December 04, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Citrus Body Scrub

Citrus Body Scrub

I love making my own spa treatments.  Sugar scrubs are extremely simple and fun to make and are great for gifts.  Dress the container up with ribbon and you have a luxury treat for a friend.    

Citrus Body Scrub

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup oil of your choice (olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil)
5 - 10 drops lemon, sweet orange, lime or grapefruit essential oil

Directions:

Mix the sugar and oil together in a glass bowl.  Once it is to the consistency that you like, add the essential oil(s).  If the mixture is too dry, add more oil.  If it's too wet, add more sugar.  

Store in a container (such as a mason jar) and use in the shower once a week. Massage a small amount over wet skin (avoiding your face and other sensitive areas).  Rinse off and pat dry.   

Have you made your own sugar scrub before?  What is your favourite flavour combination?

December 02, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - December 2, 2013


The weather...
We're in the middle of a blizzard right now.  Temperatures are around -13C (but with the wind chill it feels like -26C) with 15 - 30 cm of snow expected.      

Right now I am...

Enjoying a quick sit down and a cup of tea.  

Thinking...

that I hope Miss S's school bus is able to make it through the snow safely.  

On my reading pile...

The Rainmaker by John Grisham

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Chicken caesar salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti bolognaise with salad
Wednesday: Chicken teriyaki with rice
Thursday: Shepherd's Pie
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Cheesy Pasta Bake
Sunday: Chilli with rice

On my to do list...today

Laundry
Make granola bar
Clean my kitchen floor
Clean fridge
Write grocery list
Ironing
Work on shop orders

On my to do list...this week

Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Clean Marlin
Doctor appointment
Mail Christmas cards

What I am creating this week...
Christmas gifts for friends and neighbours (vanilla sugar and cookies). 

Looking forward to this week...

Making gingerbread houses with the girls.

Looking around the house...

Need to clean the main floor - sweeping, wash the floors, picking up toys.  

From the camera...

If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.

November 29, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Marzipan Balls


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt

Directions:

1.  Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  

2.  Take approximately a tablespoon of mixture into your hands and squish together.

3.  Roll into a ball and drizzle with chocolate.  

4.  Store in an airtight container for up to a month or freeze for up to three months. 

Enjoy!


November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

source

Just popping in to wish all my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family.  


November 26, 2013

eBook Bundle of the Week - Cyber Monday Flash Sale


On Cyber Monday, 12/2, we’re bringing back our Christmas bundles for a special 24-hour flash sale! If you missed them the first time around, now’s your chance to get either — or both! — of these bundles at 75% off.
Christmas Planning

This bundle includes everything you need to simplify your plans and get organized so that you can avoid the stress of the holidays. You’ll find daily planning tips and printables, recipes, handmade gift tutorials and more!
30 Days to Christmas by Jennifer Tankersley
A daily dose of inspiration & motivation for a meaningful holiday season, 30 Days to Christmas includes a daily task, activity, or reminder, plus a daily checklist to help you stay on track with your Christmas planning.  It also includes 15 lists and worksheets from ListPlanIt.com to get you through the holiday season.
A Simpler Season by Jessica Fisher
A Simpler Season is your guide to planning the winter holidays, with creative ideas, time-saving tips, and budget-minded inspiration for making the most of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With the busy family in mind, Jessica offers recipes, to-do lists, children’s activity sheets, planning pages, gift ideas, and step-by-step tutorials for creating homemade gifts to help you get from Thanksgiving to New Years in a calm, cool, collected manner.
Christmas Recipes: From My Table to Yours by Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
In Christmas Recipes: From My Table to Yours, Lynn offers quick, easy, and inexpensive holiday recipes from Blueberry Baked French Toast for a special family breakfast to Chocolate Bread Pudding for a scrumptious holiday dessert. Don’t stress this holiday season about what to do for parties, family gatherings and even gifts. Tis the season to show the love because food is the best gift of all!
While Christmas can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Planning ahead is the best way to embrace all that the season has to offer without the stress we associate with the holidays! This printable Christmas planner will help you simplify your holiday with planning calendars, checklists and a variety of worksheet.
Charlie & Noel is an advent story for children ages 4-10. Through 25 short chapters, you get to know Charlie, a little boy who wishes he could just skip the whole waiting part and jump right into the presents. But Charlie doesn’t realize what he would miss or just how many magical moments the season has waiting for him. Each day’s reading includes discussion starters and ideas for additional activities to help you enjoy precious time with the people you love most and travel thoughtfully through the holiday season together.

Celebrating Christmas


Rediscover and focus on the true meaning of Christmas with this collection of ebooks, which is packed full of traditional activities, homemade gifts, healthy recipes and a devotional for the advent season.

In Pioneering Today: A Homemade Christmas, Melissa offers inspiration for getting back to the true meaning of Christmas, tips for homemade baked goods when you’re stretched for time, tutorials for homemade, affordable gifts people will use and like, and ideas for giving the gift of yourself to your loved ones with special planned activities. With over 36 recipes, homemade gift and decor ideas, she shows you how to experience a simple Christmas with the joy it was meant to have.
Are you looking for thoughtful yet inexpensive gift ideas? Holiday Quick Mixes & Gifts in a Jar includes 19 of Kristy’s favorite healthy, frugal and simple Christmas gift recipes, such as Candy Cane Cocoa, Snickerdoodle Cookies Mix, Winter Morning Mocha and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Mix. Discover the fun of gifts in a jar to give as individual gifts or add to your Christmas goodie baskets this year!
Festive Traditions is a wonderful collection of 31 real food holiday favorites that are perfect for all of your holiday activities — from Christmas morning brunch to caroling with the kids. You’ll find appetizers (perfect to pass at a party), main dishes, drinks, and even desserts with plenty of gluten- and allergen-free options for those on special diets. With Festive Traditions, you can enjoy your holidays without the junk!
When God Draws Near by Teri Lynn Underwood
In When God Draws Near, Teri Lynn offers 28 advent devotions to share the story of God’s plan for redemption from Genesis through Revelation. This devotional isn’t simply the Christmas story found in Luke. It’s a journey to grasp the wonder when God draws near, to know the fullness of the story of redemption. This story didn’t begin on Christmas Eve in a manger in Bethlehem and didn’t end with the Magi’s visit, and Teri Lynne starts at the beginning of the story in Eden and walks you through to the end of this story…eternity with Christ.
Discover the origins of Christmas traditions like the Yuletide Log, Christmas cards, stockings and more in Kerry’s Christmas Celebrations. With ideas for celebrating Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, including a devotional calendar with Bible reading schedule, traditional Christmas carols, activities for the Twelve Days of Christmas and more, this ebook is packed full of ideas for a meaningful, traditional Christmas celebration!
The Celebrating Christmas bundle is only available through 8am EST on Tuesday, 12/3. Get yours today.


November 25, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - November 25, 2013

Hello everyone.  How was your weekend?

I had a wonderful birthday.  Hubby surprised me with a trip to Banff.  I thought we were staying in Canmore and would go cross country skiing, but he surprised me with a stay at the Banff Springs Hotel and a couples spa package.  It was wonderfully relaxing.

View on our drive

Mid-morning snack - hot chocolate and marzipan wrapped cake
Deborah Nyack performing at one of the stores in Banff
Some of the lovely items at The Spirit of Christmas
View from our room
Birthday Breakfast

Bow Falls

Now on to Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather...
Beautiful.  Sun and cloud forecast all week with lows of -18C and highs of 7C. 

Right now I am...

Typing this in between taking Miss C to school and collecting Miss S from the bus stop.     

Thinking...

About putting up the Christmas decorations this week.  I have to pull all the boxes out of the basement first and then inventory what we have.    

On my reading pile...

The Last Juror by John Grisham

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Baked chicken with asparagus and salad
Tuesday: Pasta Bake
Wednesday: Barbecue pork chops with butter and herb pasta and green beans
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Leftovers / buffet night
Saturday: Shepherd's Pie
Sunday: Sweet and sour chicken with rice

On my to do list...today

Put away the laundry
Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list
Ironing

On my to do list...this week

Grocery shopping
Clean up computer hard drive
House cleaning
Discard expired condiments in refrigerator
Paperwork/filing

What I am creating this week...
Christmas cards

My simple pleasure...

Homemade hot chocolate

Looking around the house...

Not too bad as I cleaned up before going away on the weekend. 



If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.