Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Friday!

It's Friday - time to celebrate the weekend! I hope you had a great week. It's actually been pretty busy this week, but luckily for me I am off today! I have an late morning appointment then am hoping to go get a manicure. Doug will be at work and Eric in daycare so it will be nice to get a little me time.

So, thanks for joining me as I link up with Lauren and round up my top five moments of the week.

1. I had a coffee meet up with one of the local mom groups in town. There were four of us in total and it was my first time meeting everyone. It was so nice to meet new people and we ended up staying for two hours chatting away about work, life, weddings, and of course, our kids! It was a great night out and I'm looking forward to a lot more meet-ups and play dates.
2. I'm counting down the days to my work's Christmas party. We're just over a week away and things are going pretty smoothly. I love planning events so this will always be high on my list. The vase in the picture is our centrepiece prototype. We're doing that concept, but with more blue. The photo just does not do it justice.
3. We went to one of our favourite places last weekend, Springridge Farms. They have a huge play area, a cafe and bakery, and such a wonderful gift shop. Eric had a blast, plus I was able to pick up a few Christmas decorations from their shop. It was a win-win situation.
4. I got to sleep in today! Doesn't happy very often, folks.
5. This red cup. Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken and Cauliflower Chili

Do you need an alternate to your regular chili? Well, then I found a recipe for you!

I'm a big ole' chili fan myself, but just the name of this chili was very intriguing to me so I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you - it did not disappoint! It is so good and has a nice little kick to it. I also found it to be a much lighter meal then regular chili, which is also a plus for me.

The recipe itself comes from Foodland Ontario. Foodland Ontario helps Ontarians (and others!) chose fresh, local grown produce, all while supporting local farmers and businesses. There website provides recipes, tips, food facts, and more.

The recipe itself was found in a small recipe booklet that I picked up in the produce section of my local grocery store. Free recipe books are the best, aren't they?

Let's get started.

Prep Time: 15 Mins, Cooking Time: 40 Minutes, Serves: 4 - 5

2 tbsp          Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 lb               
Boneless Skinless Chicken, cut in 1-inch cubes
Onions, chopped
Gloves Garlic, minced
Sweet Green Pepper, coarsely chopped
3 cups        
Cauliflower Flourets
4 tsp            
Chili Powder (or to taste) - I used 3
1 tsp             
each ground cumin, dried oregano leaves and salt
can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, onions and garlic until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add green pepper, cauliflower, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt; cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2. Add tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. I actually made this later in the evening, so I packed a lunch for Doug and I, and then freezed the rest (I will post about freezer cooking a bit later).

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas is in the Air

Well, we're having our first light snow fall of the season - even if it's just a very light dusting. I'm not a big snow person in general to be honest, but I always appreciate the first snow fall. It's just so pretty. Snow on Christmas day is okay in my books too :)

This weather has been something else though. We hit 18 degrees Celsius on the weekend! It was the perfect weather for Doug to hang out Christmas lights and they look so nice. A simple classic line of white lights. Not the first Christmas decorations to go up though. In fact, I wanted to provide a sneak peek of my Holiday decorations.

All candles and the deer are from Costco.

Once I have the house fully decorated, within the next couple of weeks, I plan on giving a 'Holiday House Tour' on what I've done. 

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year and I am so excited to share it with you!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Family Photo's

Every year my family gets Fall photo's done and my husband Doug and I are so happy with the way they turned out this year. I think it's important to keep the family's profile up to date so we can pass on the pictures to future generations. Plus, I think it will be good for Eric to have lots of memories for when he's older. 

This was our second year using our fabulous photographer, Charlotte. You can view here website here. I would truly recommend her to anyone. She really knows her stuff and is super good (and patient) with children.

The photo's were taken at Paletta Mansion in Burlington, Ontario back in October. I can't wait to get them framed and use one for our Christmas cards this year.

Hope you enjoy!

*I am in no way affiliated with Charlotte and am not being compensated for this post.

Friday, November 15, 2013

High Five for Friday

Wow, this week has been a lot busier then usual. However, it's still been a good week. Here's my top five for the week.

1. Last Sunday my sister and I did a craft day with my son Eric and nephew Logan ('the boys'). It was so much fun. You can read about our day here.

2. I just bought Michael Buble concert tickets for his show in June in Toronto. I can't wait! There are four of us ladies going so it is sure to be a fun night (even though it's so far away!).

3. I have been attending the Canadian Society of Training & Development (CSTD) Conference since Wednesday. I work as an HR Specialist in Training & Development full-time, and the conference has been very informative and engaging. I'm really learning a lot and am looking forward to putting some of my new knowledge to use and my workplace. I am also connecting with some great people, and that's always a plus.

The only downside is, of course, the commuting from Hamilton to Toronto. I am been taking the training, but it just means I have to be up by 5 am. Not fun, folks.

4. Going along with the above, tomorrow is Saturday and that means I get to sleep in! The weekends are actually really good in that regard. My husband and I each have a sleep in day on the weekend. A little give-and-take does a family good.

5. Last but not least, I bought my dress for my works Christmas party at the end of the month. It's so pretty! I will post a picture soon!

Hope you enjoyed your week!

Don't forget to link up with Lauren!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas Craft Day

I know what you're thinking; it's too early to think of Christmas. But to be honest, I start to think about it right after Halloween is done and over with. It's my absolute favourite time of the year; the music, lights, festivities and family events, I just can never get enough. And I've already started my Christmas shopping!

It is November 12th after all, and we're almost half way through the month. My sister Shannon and I decided it was the perfect time to do some Christmas crafts with the boys (my son Eric and my nephew Logan). Oh, we also baked some cookies too.

We did some painting, we made ornaments and reindeer and all around had a good half hour. Short and sweet I always say. Not to mention the boys' attention span was a little short that day. To be honest all they wanted to do was play with their toys, but at least we got some craft time in. I guess my post should be called Christmas Craft Half-Hour, but Christmas Craft Day just sounds so much better. 

Anyway, I wanted to share how are day went. 

This is only part of our supplies. Shannon brought over a bag full of things too.
We started with our popsicle stick Christmas tree's. Eric and Logan were very precise when colouring their popsicle sticks.

 Then we moved onto decorating felt Christmas tree ornaments. 
We also did some painting, made hand print reindeer and then made snowman ornaments from their thumb prints. These are Eric's finished crafts.
These are Logan's finished crafts.
After the crafts, we had the boys' layout cookie dough on the cookie sheet so we can bake some cookies. We just used the Pillsbury Reindeer Shaped cookies. 
After we had finished everything and as Logan was getting ready to go home, I think they were both ready for a nap. Just look at these cute, tired eyes. 

Needless to say, Eric slept for two hours that afternoon.

By the way, did I mention we also listened to Christmas music?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest We Forget

Today marks the day we remember those who fought for the freedom that we have today.

To those men and women who made great sacrifices for our great country and to those that still are; today is the one of many that I say, thank you

Let's take this time to remember those who lost their life for everything we have today. Today at 11:00 am, let us give a moment of silence to reflect on our great country's history; all those it involved, and let us always remember how our freedom came to be.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

Lest we forget.

This is my late grandfather, Robert Green. Although he was not a a war time veteran, he served in the navy on the aircraft carrier, Bonaventure.

* The above quote is an excerpt of 'For the Fallen', written by Robert Laurence Binyon. You can read it in it's entirety here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

High Five For Friday!

Happy Friday, friends! 

After the week I've had, I am so happy that today is Friday!

I say this of course because my husband has been travelling all week so it has just been Eric and I. I absolutely love him to pieces, but this week has been way more challenging than I expected! Having said that, this week has had it's highs. Let's get started with my top five.

1. My first one is a two-in-one for me. Since Doug was away this week, Eric and I really have been spending some awesome quality time together. This includes reading stories, cuddling on the cough, colouring and crafting together, and playing with his toys, among other things. I absolutely love spending time with him. 

On the other hand, bedtime has been a nightmare lately so I am so glad Doug is coming home tonight!

2. My cat Inca has been extra cuddly with me this week. I'm so happy he takes Doug's spot on the bed at night; for some reason it makes me feel safer than if nothing was there at all. He's just so cute, soft, and cuddly. 

This is him on Doug's office chair while I was working on the computer. He likes being in the same room as me. I'm definitely his favourite :)
3. I am planning my works Holiday Party for 500 employees and last Friday we had our food tasting event for our sub-committee. It was amazing. We were treated to the full meal of Wild Mushroom Bisque, Apple Pancetta Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables, and Hazelnut Chocolate Crème Brulè. Simply Delicious. I cannot wait for the party at the end of the month.

You might not know this, but I love to organize and plan events. This will be my second year in a row planning the Holiday Party and I'm actually currently taking a course on Wedding and Event Planning. My dream job is to be an Event Planner so I am working to make that happen.

4. I organized my utensil drawer. I know, not really that exciting but I am just so happy with it. I have a problem I know, but you can read about what I did here.

5. Tonight my sister and I are going for pedicure's and appetizer's. A much needed break for me and not to mention much needed quality sister time. I just love nights like that.

Hope you had a good week too! 

Linking up with Lauren!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Organizing Your Utensil Drawer

Thanks to Alejandra from, I have discovered an awesome new way to organize my utensil drawer! I probably shouldn't be so happy about organizing utensils, but it has been fabulous not having to search for the items I need. It's all at my fingertips - literally.

The product is DrawerDecor by KMN Home and retails for about $29.99. I picked mine up at Solutions.
The DrawerDecor system is actually a relatively new product of theirs, only launched about a year ago. The kit itself contains a silicone base with small dividers that all work together to keep your utensils in place. Even as you open and close the drawer, they just wont budge. They are also very easy to clean with only a damp cloth.
They have a few colours to chose from, but as soon as I seen it in blue, I knew I had to have it given that it's my favourite colour.

One of the great things about this product is that you can cut the mat down to size to fit your drawer, which is what I had to do. And although you can absolutely fit more utensils in your drawer without this, you don't have to fight to get the drawer open or have to move several things around to get to what you need. Once I bought the DrawerDecor it actually made me realize that I had way too many utensils in my drawer, a lot of which I didn't use or that I barely used, so I was able to purge a lot of the items.

Here's my before and after.

I really can't believe the difference. It just looks so pretty that I could almost stare at it all day. I just love the pop of blue.

I would really recommend this product to anyone. If you happen to pick it up or are currently using it, let me know what you think.

Oh, and be sure to check out Alejandra's website for some awesome organizing tips and video's!

Happy organizing!

*This post is of my own opinion and I am in no way affiliated with KMN Home or

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My toddler frustrates me, and yes it's OK

The last week has been a really tough one for me in terms of my three year old. I don't think I've ever been so frustrated with him before and I'm finding it harder and harder to remain calm.

Let's start with potty training, shall we. Potty training is a daunting task on it's own and while Eric was doing so well and using the potty pretty much on a full-time basis (except at bedtime), this past week he has almost refused to go on the potty which is resulting in numerous accidents throughout the day, both at daycare and at home. I honestly can't count how many times we've thrown out poopy underwear because they just weren't worth saving. I am so saddened he has regressed with this. I really wanted to buy him that shiny new Thomas the Train bike like we said we would once he started using the potty full-time; we were so close.

I suspect this regression is partially caused by the new little boy at Eric's daycare who is not potty trained as of yet. I actually spoke to his mom today, which doesn't happen often because she usually picks him up earlier than I pick up Eric. Her son is 20 months old; still young I know, but part of me really wanted to ask her to "speed up her potty training so my son would start using the potty again". Wrong? Maybe. But I bet I would have felt so much better saying it. I'll call it venting my frustration. Not her fault though, I get it. Not her son's fault either. We just have to keep plugging away with Eric to make sure he gets back on track. Which I hope is soon - I really can't take pre-rinsing anymore poopy underwear. That is frustrating within itself.

Not a mom yet? This is something you'll have to look forward to.

Even more frustrating at the moment is the ole' dragging out the bedtime routine. It's like clockwork really. You have cuddles and a snack before bed as we watch Special Agent OSO, then we go upstairs and try to use the potty, wash our hands, brush our teeth, read two to three bedtime stories, and then just when you tuck him in and say goodnight, BAM! he has to go to the bathroom; he's hungry; and/or he wants some milk, among other things.

Could you say no to a potty-training toddler when he says he has to go to the bathroom? Of course not, and he knows this; he knows that you will let him go every time, which is why he says he has to go three to four times. This is the most frustrating part, and even though I know he doesn't have to go and you try to explain that lying is wrong, you still can't say no because there is always that slight chance that he actually has to go!

It takes a lot of restraint to not raise my voice at him, but sometimes I do. I try to count in my head to five and take deep breaths but that really doesn't work. I just go back downstairs and have a really strong drink. Kidding. Really, I am. I typically just tuck him back in and threaten to turn his night light off if I have to go back upstairs. I know this sounds harsh, but I never really have the guts to turn the lights off on him since I knows he's afraid of the dark. Maybe he calls my bluff on purpose - smart kid.

But no matter how frustrated I actually get with him I've come to the conclusion that getting frustrated with your toddler is a normal part of life, for every parent. They are smarter than we give them credit for and they will push us to our limits. We just can't forget that they are learning, just like we are. As a parent we will never stop learning from our kids and vice versa. Even if I go up and down the stairs three, four, nine times because Eric says he has to use the potty, when I tuck him back in I ALWAYS tell him I love him and give him a kiss. It's my reminder to him that I really do love him even though I may raise my voice to him.

He's only three years old and it's OK for me be get frustrated sometimes - I just enjoy the drink that much more.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Organizing Under Your Bathroom Sink

I've had my bathroom sink organized for several months now, but I wanted to show you how easily and cheap creating a nice, organized space can really be. It's nice to see everyone in the family making use of the space, and when your items are organized, it's easy to put things back where they belong each and every time. It's very refreshing when you can find things without having to sort or search high and low for them. Plus, it saves so much time.

For this project you only need two things; stackable bins and a label maker.

The stackable bins I used are from the dollar store and they were only $1.25 each. I used 8 in total.

Then all I did was label each bin and sort my items into each bin before putting them under my sink.

For my bins, I have one side for my feminine products and the other side for hair tools, hair products, razors and cotton swabs, and travel and sample sizes.

I left a couple of items in the centre of my sink, like the extra hand soap and extra box of cotton swabs.
I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. But the best part - it cost less than $10 to do.

Now if only I could figure out a way to hide the piping.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Friday!

Well, it's Friday. Time to link up with Lauren!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. With all the Halloween activities we've been doing, time just hasn't been on my side. But here's my top five for this week.

1. Halloween Storey Time. Now, we're not all that huge on Halloween, but we do have a lot of fun with it. Eric absolutely loves it and that's what does make it great for us. Aside from our pumpkin carving, my sister and I took Eric and my nephew Logan to a Halloween themed storey time at our favourite library. The boys absolutely loved it and they were able to wear their costumes. Eric was Thomas the Train and Logan was a Witch Doctor. At the storey time they sang, danced, read stories and did some small crafts. It was so fun to watch them participate.
2. I have a serious thing for cupcakes - and baking in general. Baking is a very good stress reliever for me and I really enjoy doing it; and to be honest a holiday isn't a holiday unless I bring in cupcakes to work - it's a tradition really. So I ended up baking chocolate cupcakes. They were very 'bewitching'; and oh so delicious.

3. Trick-or-Treating. Eric was beyond excited for trick-or-treating this year. I absolutely love watching his face light up every time we walked up to someone's front door. It's very cute to watch him inspect every piece of candy that gets put into his pumpkin basket. Aside from the wind and rain, it was a great night. 

4. This past weekend we had a babysitter on both Friday and Saturday Night. We typically don't do that, but it was lovely! I love Eric to pieces, but sometimes you just need a break, right? We tried a local restaurant on Friday night, which I mentioned in last weeks HF4F post, and it was pretty good. On Saturday night, we went bowling. I can't remember the last time I went bowling, but we had such a blast. It's so nice to go out every once in a while with no kids. I loved having the adult time.

5. I got my car detailed and it is fantastic! I took it to AutoHub, a local shop here in Hamilton. My car is absolutely spotless and I am trying really hard to keep it that way. They cleaned my entire interior; shampooed the seat, cleaned and vacuumed my trunk, wiped down the doors, dashboard, knobs, everything - it is wonderful. They were even able to get the milk stains out of my back seat! I honestly don't remember my car ever being this clean. Let's just hope I can keep it that way!

Enjoy your weekend!