November 29, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Marzipan Balls


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


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. 


November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


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 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.     


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

Put away the laundry
Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list

On my to do list...this week

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

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.

November 22, 2013

Frozen Mango Dessert

I know it's a little strange writing about frozen desserts when it's winter, but this is just the thing to eat after a hot curry or chilli.  


1/2 bag (250g / 8oz) frozen mango chunks
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
small ice cream cornets


1.  Blend the mango, honey and yogurt in a food processor until smooth.

2.  Place into a freezer proof container and freeze until firm.  

3.  Serve in small ice cream cornets.  


November 20, 2013

Homemade Holiday: Gingerbread Play Dough Recipe

This makes a quick and easy Christmas gift for little ones.  


1 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup table salt
1 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground cinnamon


1.  Put the flour, cream of tartar and salt in a medium saucepan and stir together.  

2.  Add the spices.  Feel free to add more or less depending upon your preferred colour and fragrance.  

3.  Add the water and vegetable oil.  

4.  Heat and stir over a medium low heat.  The mixture will start to thicken and be lumpy.  

5.  Continue to heat for a couple of minutes until the dough clumps together and comes away from the sides of the pan.  

6.  Turn out onto wax or parchment paper and leave to cool for about 10 - 15 minutes.  

7.  Knead until smooth and package in an airtight container.  

November 18, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - November 17, 2013

The weather...
Chilly this week.  Today it's -11C but feels like -21C with the wind chill.        

Right now I am...

Drinking a mango smoothie and typing this post while the oven preheats for dinner.   


About my upcoming birthday weekend, Christmas and various chores I have to do.  

On my reading pile...

Pastures Nouveaux by Wendy Holden

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Chicken pie with salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti bolognaise with salad
Wednesday: Chicken curry with rice
Thursday: Baked salmon with asparagus and salad
Friday: Homemade ham and mushroom pizza
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Birthday meal (roast lamb with trimmings - yum!)

On my to do

Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list
List items on Kijiji   

On my to do list...this week

Grocery shopping
Clean inside windows/blinds
House cleaning
Clean out/recycle magazines
Clean Marlin
Restock gift wrapping supplies

What I am creating this week...
Granola bars and cookies to go into the freezer.

Looking forward to this week...

Going away for the weekend, just hubby and I, while the girls stay with their grandparents.  

Looking around the house...

Papers that need filing, toys spread around, cookbooks piled on the dining room table.   

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 15, 2013

Easy Healthy Granola Bars

Very easy, one bowl granola bars.  Perfect for the children to help with. These taste great and the girls always ask for more than one slice! 


2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (chocolate chips, cranberries or other dried fruits or nuts)


1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  

2.  Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.

3.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  

4.  Add the liquid ingredients.  Mix well.  

5.  Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.  I use a metal spoon dipped into water to smooth the granola mixture out.  

6.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the bars begin to brown at the edges.  

7.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cut into bars and let cool completely.  


November 13, 2013

Homemade Cough Syrup

Tis the season for coughs and colds!  

Today I'm sharing a great homemade cough syrup made, in only a few minutes, using natural ingredients from your pantry.  


1 1/2 cups raw honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 - 5 lemons, juiced (approx. 2 tbsp - 1 cup bottled lemon juice)


1.  Add honey, olive oil and lemon juice to a small saucepan.  

2.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring, until steaming hot (not boiling).  

3.  Remove from heat and transfer to a clean glass jar with a lid.  

4.  Let cool and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 months.  

Do not give to children under 1 year old due to the risk of botulism.  

Dosage size will depend on the person.  If you prefer, this can be warmed before serving.  Pour a little of the mixture into a cup and heat in the microwave for a few seconds.  Little ones should take 1 - 2 tsp and adults 1 tbsp as needed (every time you cough, in the morning, before bed, as soon as you feel a sniffle or tickly throat).  This can also be added to hot tea and taken daily.  


Add ground ginger or cayenne pepper to taste.  

Honey is naturally antimicrobial and acts as a demulcent, relaxing the cough reflux and soothing the throat.

Lemons boost the immune system, have antiviral and antibacterial properties and help to cut through congestion.

Olive oil can help reduce your symptoms by coating your throat and reducing your urge to cough.    

Hopefully, this will help you through the cold and cough season.  

November 12, 2013

Introducing the eBook Bundle of the Week - Christian Parenting, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

This week’s bundle includes encouragement for the weary mom, practical parenting tips and devotions to help you focus your heart even from the trenches of parenthood. And all at a discount of more than 70% off!
Parenting from the Overflow by Teri Lynne Underwood
In Parenting from the Overflow, Teri Lynne offers a biblically-based framework for living in the abundance God has for each of us…and modeling that life for our children.Rather than focusing on tips and techniques, she explores how our lives can overflow with qualities such as love, patience, grace, and courage — all rooted in God’s work in us, not our efforts or abilities. This is a practical and encouraging ebook, filled with honest stories from her own journey of learning to lean into God so the overflow of Him pours onto those around her.

Motherhood is hard. That’s a fact. It’s labor-intensive, requiring the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of women who know much of their labor will not receive earthly accolades. Mothers are the “wind beneath the wings” of the next generation. If a group of people needs encouragement and help, it’s the mothers of our day! Kelly’s Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard is a book you will want to read over and over, written in small snippets for daily renewal. It is refreshing and inspiring, casting a vision for motherhood you may have never known and offering practical “survival tips” for the overwhelmed mom.

The Heart of Simplicity by various authors
Today’s typical lifestyle is marked by busyness, consumerism, and stress. We, as women, often complain that there’s not enough time to “do it all.” Do we suffer from a lack of time?  No.  We suffer from a lack of eternal perspective. How we invest our time on earth will impact eternity in a million ways. In The Heart of Simplicity, more than a dozen Christian women share their experience simplifying their lives from the inside out to build homemaking foundations focused on Christ. When we are faithful to focus on what is truly essential in our homemaking, we can build an eternal legacy…one simple day at a time.

Refuel Your Inner SuperMom by Rosann Cunningham
Refuel Your Inner SuperMom offers practical advice and encouragement for the mom who strives to do and be her best but who, due to the often overwhelming chaos of life, has simply lost her focus, her motivation and her groove. Take the journey with Rosann as she shares the depths of her heart and her own failures in motherhood, marriage and life, while taking positive, intentionally focused steps to getting her SuperMom groove back. This isn’t your average “How to become SuperMom” book; it’s written and designed in a way that allows it to be more of a journey of self-discovery and intentionally focused lifestyle change — for the better. And all for the glory of God.

The Family Table by Arabah Joy
The Family Table is a beautifully designed ebook packed with over 50 ideas, activities, games, and recipes to spark intimacy, connection, laughter, service, hospitality, and making memories as a family. Arabah gives you a sneak peek into what other families are doing to revolutionize their time around the family table as well as the tools you need to approach your mealtimes intentionally as well.

The Christian Parenting bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 11/18.  Get yours today.

November 11, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday - November 11, 2013

The weather...
-3C, sunshine and snow.    

Right now I am...

Typing this post up while Miss C has her nap/rest time.   


about some of the Christmas gifts I have to start making.

On my reading pile...

Stand By Me by Sheila O'Flanagan

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Sweet and sour chicken with rice
Tuesday: Maple salmon with rice and broccoli
Wednesday: Baked tortellini with salad
Thursday: Barbecue pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and salad
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Dinner out
Sunday: Roast beef with trimmings

On my to do

Clean my kitchen floor
Write grocery list
Work on shop orders

On my to do list...this week

Grocery shopping
Clean kitchen small appliances
House cleaning
Clean/defrost freezer
Clean Marlin

What I am creating this week...
Cranberry scones, Christmas cards, birthday card and gift for a close friend

Looking forward to this week...

Sledding with the girls

Looking around the house...

Toys all over the living room floor, lovely sunshine coming through the windows, the girls' playdough creations proudly displayed on the dining room table.

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 07, 2013

November 06, 2013

31 Days of Autumn {Day 30}: Homemade Soup Recipe

Homemade Soup Recipe


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes, pureed
1 tsp sugar
1 small bunch fresh basil or a good few shakes of dried basil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1.  In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat, until melted.  

2.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (approximately 8 minutes).

3.  Add the flour and stir.  

4.  Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, basil and salt and pepper.  

5.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.

6.  Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend.  

7.  Return to the pot and season to taste.  

8.  Serve with homemade croutons and a swirl of cream, if desired.  


{This is day 30 in a 31 day series celebrating autumn. Click here for more autumn ideas.} 

November 05, 2013

31 Days of Autumn {Day 29}: Pumpkin Carving

Miss C's happy face pumpkin

Miss S's wiggly smile pumpkin

{This is day 29 in a 31 day series celebrating autumn. Click here for more autumn ideas.}