Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Don't Want to go to School Anymore


All Summer, Little One was anxiously awaiting the commencement of Junior Kindergarten.  She was SO excited to be going to school.

Week one, and she was really happy and loved school, her teacher, her friends, the bus ride, and being able to go off on her own like a big kid.

Week two, and everything went downhill.  She was afraid of the "big kids" and this fear of being hurt has become a big issue, as she doesn't want to go to school in the morning. Every morning, it's the same thing.  I wake her up with hugs and kisses, a Good Morning song that I came up with, and a "Ready to have a great day today?"

She pulls the cover over her head and cries, "I don't want to go to school!"  Then she pleads, "I just want to stay home with you, Mama! I won't bother you. I'll let you work."  Finally, the "But, the big kids will hurt me! I'm worried about the big kids!"

I console her and ensure her that she will be fine and that the big kids I know will watch out for her.  She is, after all, one of the youngest and tiniest kids in school, and everyone bigger than her is a "big kid" to her.

After tears and lots of pleading, she always agrees (reluctantly) to get dressed and ready for school, have breakfast and walk to the bus stop with Mom.  While at the bus stop, she always seems fine. She loves her bus driver and now she sits with one of the older girls at the back of the mini bus.  There are only eight kids on the bus when everyone is present.

When I pick her up at the bus stop after school, she's always full of big smiles and going on about how "School was SUPER FUN today! I had a really, really, really great time, Mom! We learned about butterflies and Monarchs go to MEXICO! My friend was looking for worms at recess, but she didn't find any, and..."

Help! Parents, any tips on dealing with children who don't want to go to school? The constant battle every morning, trying to convince her that all will be well every morning...it's so hard!
Friday, September 28, 2012

A Spook-tacular Halloween! #HallmarkPressPause


Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year.  I love Fall. The crisp air, the changing colours of the leaves, and the excitement of that one special night make me smile!
Little One two years ago

Even before Hubby and I became parents, we always went all out for Halloween.  We love decorating our house and making it the spookiest possible!  Come on, how fun is it to scare people?!? We love it!

Now that we have Little One in our lives, Halloween is even more special!  The excitement of dressing up in costume, visiting people in our neighbourhood, and joining in on community Halloween events is something we really enjoy doing with our daughter.

The one problem is that in the past year, Little One has been demonstrating a little fear when it comes to all things spook-tacular!

As a #HallmarkPressPause panel member, we received some great Halloween themed items.
I thought our daughter was going to love the adorable Ghostly Singing Duo. They do a Trick or Treat parody of "The Addams Family" theme song.  Despite the cuteness, my daughter is still afraid of this cute little ghost and Jack-o-Lantern! She says the music is creepy  : (  So sad, because I really love this and want to display it for our Halloween party!

{SPECIAL OFFER}
Ghostly Singing Duo is regularly $32.95, but is available for $15.95 with the purchase of 3 Hallmark cards.

My Pet Ghost - there are three adorable characters that have been happily haunting since 1602 and are ready to make an appearance.  I think these are the cutest things ever! I wanted to take a video, but my almost 4 year old was freaking out.  She is terrified of the cute little ghost and wants me to give My Pet Ghost to another family!
MSRP: $9.95.


Shadows & Shrieks Witch's Hat Door Decor - Yet another spooky decoration I love, but our little one is petrified of! As kids draw near, an evil witch's face appears and plays cackling sounds! I'm hoping when Little One is a little older, she won't be as frightened of all the ghoulish decorations. At least I know she's not a fan of goblins and scary things.  I'm just going to have fun decorating my parents' house then!
MSRP: $19.95

There was, however, one Halloween item that Little One enjoyed.
The Trick or Treats Book  of Frightfully Fun  Halloween Activities has lots of fun colouring pages, mazes, and spooky, but playful activities. This she was okay with!
MSRP: $4.95

For anyone who loves getting into the Halloween spirit, Hallmark has everything you need from cards, invitations, plates, decorations, and more!

Disclosure - As a member of the #HallmarkPressPause Panel, I received an assortment of Hallmark products for review purposes. The opinions on this blog are honest and my own.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#WordlessWednesday ~ Pet Peeve


 Courtesy of Hubby

Courtesy of Little One

I do not know why they do it.  To drive me absolutely bonkers, I suppose?  
What's your pet peeve?

Link up your Wordless Wednesday posts!  We'd love to check them out and comment!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Junior Jamie Oliver Chef Challenge


WIN A CHANCE TO COOK FOR JAMIE OLIVER!


Okay, everyone who knows me knows how addicted I am to cooking, baking, cooking shows, Food Network, and...Jamie Oliver! I mean, c'mon! Who doesn't love Jamie Oliver?!

I'm very excited about the Junior Jamie Oliver Chef Challenge! I've been telling all my friends about it!  Here's another reason I wish I still lived in Toronto! Seriously, I'd fly down for the contest if we were eligible! The contest is open to teams consisting of one adult (18 years and over) and one child (between the ages of 6 and 12 years). Team members must live in the GTA.

PRIZES:

There is one Grand Prize available to be won, consisting of:
  • 11pc set of Jamie Oliver Professional Series Cookware (approximate value $800)
  • Jamie Oliver Cookbook library (approximate value $350)
  • $500 HBC gift card
There are two Secondary Prizes available to be won, each consisting of:
  • 11pc set of Jamie Oliver Professional Series Cookware (approximate value $800)
  • Jamie Oliver Cookbook library (approximate value $350)
The prizes are not transferable. No substitutions or cash redemptions will be allowed except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
To enter, visit the T-fal Canada Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/tfal.canada and upload (a) an original 15 minute recipe (i.e. a recipe that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less), (b) an original photo showing the team with the completed dish, and (c) all information indicated at any time during the Contest Submission Period. You can also enter on: http://groupesebpromotions.ca/T-fal/JuniorJamie/en/ at any time during the Contest Submission Period and include:


  • Your name
  • The email address where you would like to be contacted
  • A detailed original 15 minute recipe
  • An original photo of the child or team with the dish
Further detailed entry criteria (the “Entry Criteria”) are set out in the link provided here.  All entries will be judged in accordance with the judging criteria ("Contest Judging") also viewable by clicking the above link..

*sniff* I cannot tell you how incredibly sad I am that A) I don't live in the GTA and B) My daughter is not old enough to enter the contest with me!  This said, YOU can enter! Oh, what I'd do to be able to win that grand prize!  Thanks to Jamie Oliver, T-fal and The Bay for an awesome cooking contest!

Spread the word! If you enter, please let me know so I can vote for you!

Disclosure - This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated for writing this blog post. I have written about this contest because I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver's and of T-fal's, and felt this was too exciting to not share with my readers :)
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nothing Says Exciting Like Fisher-Price! #FisherPriceMoms


One of the greatest things about being a parent is being able to see our children grow, hit milestones, discover new things, and develop into full on talking, walking, thinking, decision-making, joke-telling, caring, thoughtful, ever so busy and active human beings!

This past month we've seen one milestone after another with Little One. She entered Junior Kindergarten a few weeks ago, took the school bus on her own for the first time, started doing her 'bathroom routine' independently (yes, that was my polite way of saying she now knows how to wipe her bum after she goes to the bathroom), and she's gotten really chatty and into the world of make-believe!  It's such a fun and incredible age!

What's even more fun is that Fisher-Price has been with us through every milestone Little One has hit since birth.

In the past month, Fisher-Price surprised us with this!
Little One wasn't quite sure of what to think when she saw these huge boxes waiting for her.
 I'm always in awe of just how well Fisher-Price knows little ones.  The selection they sent us was PERFECT!  I'm not just talking about the toys being age appropriate, but they seemed as though they were made for Little One.  They're all the things she loves!

 The Little People® Disney® Princess Songs Palace provides endless hours of fun!  Little One is really into Disney princesses and make-believe fun.  She loves creating her own little stories and scenarios.  Our almost four year old was amazed by the songs, phrases, and the spinning dance floor!
 Little One is also a big Dora fan. Surprise, surprise. Her room is filled with Dora everything, so when she saw her new Dora doll that could *gasp* "do gymnastics like meeeeeeee!", she was so excited! Little One was doing gymnastics right along with Dora! It was so cute! "Look, Mommy! We're exercising! We're doing our balance!"
Fantastic Gymnastics Dora magically performs four complete floor routines all on her own. She can do everything from handstands, splits, backbends and more! My little one loves that Dora speaks to her in English and in Spanish!
What's even cuter was Little One saying, *gasp* "Mommy! Dora and I look like TWINS!"

The truth is, they do kind of look alike! It must be the haircut.

 I think Little One's absolute favourite thing is the Servin’ Surprises™ Kitchen & Table! She loves to make, serve, share, pretend, and sing with this toy. It is the best thing on earth, as far as I'm concerned. It keeps her occupied and having fun. I was amazed to see how into role playing she is now. The laughter and singing coming from her toy room just make me smile. It's really heart-warming to hear her say, "Mommy, I made you some cookies! Want me to make you some tea? Let's have a tea party!"
Hours of fun, I tell you!

The Kitchen & Table is a kitchen AND a table all in one! It comes with kitchen utensils, dishes, and food pieces.  My daughter and I love how it lights up when cooking and how it "dings" when her food is cooked! What Mommy loves is the fact that there's a storage compartment with a removable lid. Kids can store all the pieces in there, making clean up super easy!  Have I mentioned how much we both love this toy?

Like I said, there is no greater joy than seeing my Little One grow and learn...and have fun doing just that! The laughter and smiles are priceless! Thank you, Fisher-Price!


Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Fall Cash Giveaway! Win $120 USD via PayPal {worldwide}


With kids in school again and the Holidays coming up, a little extra money in the pocket is always a good thing.  
What would you do with a little extra cash this Fall? 

A great group of Canadian bloggers have come together to offer you a fantastic prize. Enter the Rafflecopter form below to win $120 CASH USD via paypal.
Thank you to our hosts Tales of a Ranting Ginger and This Lil' Piglet Good luck everyone!

This cash giveaway is open world wide. You must have a paypal account to receive the cash prize of $120 USD. Ends Sept 30 11:59 EST.  To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below:
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Canada's Baking & Sweets Show, #FoodNetwork, and MeMyselfandUs!


It's moments like these that I really wish I still lived in Toronto.  Many of you already know that I'm a FoodNetwork addict.  I love cooking, baking, and entertaining.  For  me, food isn't just food.  First and foremost, food is for providing us nutrients, but in my culture, food is all about celebrating and sharing with all those who are nearest and dearest to you.  Food is also for sharing with those  less fortunate and those who happen to stop by unexpectedly.

Anyway, though family genetics do not permit me to indulge in sweets, I do love coming up with sumptuous and delectable edible creations for friends and family to enjoy. When MeMyselfandUs told me about Canada's Baking & Sweets Show in Toronto, I almost cried!  If I had my own private jet and could take time away, I'd certainly be there in a heartbeat. I won't lie. The wheels are still turning and I'm still trying to figure out if it's even feasible for me to get there! Ha!

Check out this promo video!  If tickets are purchased online, you save $2!

Huge Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) and Anna Olson fan here! Other guest appearances by Food Network's Sugar Stars and DC Cupcake Girls.
The Show is September 28 -30th at International Center in Toronto, Hall 5.  Make sure to visit MeMyselfandUs! They are booth #626!

MeMyselfandUs will be in the Kids Zone selling all of their Crafty Cooking Kits. The entire line of products will be displayed only at the show. None of their retailers have the entire line of products in their stores (as they pick and choose which kits they carry).  There will be taste testing, show specials and more! The kits are perfect for family bonding and quality times together.

They'll have their Halloween Kits since Halloween is just around the corner. They'll also have their Christmas Kits and Hanukkah Kits!


What kid doesn't love baking? I know my Little One absolutely loves helping out in the kitchen and creating her own goodies to share with others!

Check out their product line here.  Aren't they adorable?! You can also follow MeMyselfandUs on Twitter and on Facebook.

Stay tuned within the next few weeks, because we'll have something very fun and exciting for my readers!
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zucchini Fritters Two Ways


This year, our garden was really prolific. We had zucchini coming out of our ears! I've already grated eight large ones and quartered six, and stored them in freezer bags for Winter use.  I've cooked eight, and have five on my kitchen counter. There are still a few that need to get picked tomorrow. With so many zucchinis, I've had to come up with many different ways to cook them. Now, this is not an issue since my absolute favourite vegetable just happens to be the zuke. Lucky for me, Little One loves zucchini too!

One of the recipes I came up with today was a zucchini fritter.  I was inspired by a former roommate's dad's amazing latkes. When I lived in Toronto, my friend Dee used to invite me to her family's Seder dinners. Dee's dad makes the best latkes on the planet! I am not kidding! I absolutely loved going to his house for Seder dinners! Mmmm! Latkes, Matzo ball soup, and Gefilte fish! Love, love, love!

How Dee's dad makes the most amazing latkes on the planet, will always remain a mystery to me.
Anyway, instead of making potato latkes, I decided to make use of the zucchini I have on hand.  I'm not sure if this recipe already exists, and I didn't have time to scour the internet to find out.

Chrissy's Zucchini Fritters {Recipe 1}
Ingredients:
1 zucchini, grated
1 onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 eggs
flour (a few Tablespoons? I didn't measure!)
pinch of salt & black pepper
oil to cook fritters in

Instructions;
Step 1 - Get your not even 4 year old to grate the zucchini, onion, and carrot for you.  Don't worry, it's not child labour. She wants to be helpful  Of course, always supervise children and never leave them unattended/on their own. Graters can be dangerous if not careful with them...Yes, even for some adults.
Note the strategically placed Iron Kids Gummy Vitamins? No, they did not get added into the fritter mixture. I actually have no idea why my daughter insisted that they be in the photo.
 Oh, also note the strategically placed Mabel's Labels in my child's hair?  Yeah. Mommy's not impressed.

Step 2 - Get not even 4 year old child to mix the grated vegetables, flour, eggs, s & p together until well combined.

Step 3 - In a heated skillet/pan, add oil for cooking.  Drop mixture onto hot pan by the tablespoon. You can flatten them a little so they're not too thick. Cook as though you are cooking mini pancakes.  You'll know they're ready when they're golden and lacy.
 I served the zucchini fritters with a roast, potatoes, and a garden salad. Everything we ate was from our farm, including our Manitoulin Beef.  I'm married to a beef farmer.  We're proud supporters of Canadian Beef.
Chrissy's Zucchini Fritters {Recipe 2}
This is actually the way I normally make my zuke fritters. As a habit, I don't normally fry any of our food. As Hubby! I made him get rid of his deep fryer when we got married!  However, every once in a blue moon, I feel like having some of these!

Ingredients:
zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 egg
flour for dredging
s & p
oil for cooking

Instructions:
Step 1 - Slice zucchini into rounds.
Step 2- In a bowl, beat egg. In a separate bowl, add flour, salt and pepper.
Step 3- Dip zucchini rounds into egg and dredge them in flour mixture.
Step 4- In heated pan with oil, cook until your fritters are golden. Enjoy!

Wait! There's more!

I'm not the only one up to my eyeballs in zucchini! My lovely friend, OrangeHeroMama shared her super moist and delicious
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
We made them, and they were delish!  Visit OrangeHeroMama here for her recipe!

They are "super yummy", according to Little One!

Got any fave zuke recipes? Please share!
Monday, September 17, 2012

Today I Ate A Rainbow - Interview & Giveaway!


As a Mom, my most important job is making sure my child is healthy and happy.  Something that has been very important to me from the beginning of Little One's existence has been feeding her nutritious foods.  From day one, I knew I wanted her to eat lots of veggies and fruits, foods like Quinoa, etc.

A few years ago, when Little One was starting to eat solid foods, I somehow crossed paths (online) with Kia Robertson and her amazing Today I Ate a Rainbow kit!

When Little One was old enough to understand that she needed to "eat a rainbow" every meal, we tried the kit.  She was (and still is) so excited to chart which colours of the rainbow she's eaten from and she reminds everyone to do the same.
(Above: Kia's lovely daughter, Hannah. The reason Today I Ate a Rainbow came to be)

I was so impressed with Kia and her Eating a Rainbow movement, that I couldn't help but spread the Eating a Rainbow love.  It really is a "movement", as Kia's goal is to help parents get children excited about eating their fruits and vegetables.  Her dedication to helping families eat healthy is amazing and inspiring.
Since "meeting" Kia online a few years ago, she's become a great friend.  I love all the wealth of advice she has to offer about feeding kids healthy food and getting them interested in making healthy food choices.
Because I believe so much in what Kia is doing for kids all over the country, I wanted to help spread the word.  Here's my interview with Kia:


1.  Tell us briefly about yourself and about Today I Ate A Rainbow.  How did the "Eating a Rainbow Movement" all come to fruition?

My name is Kia, I'm a mom of an amazing 9 year old daughter, Hannah, a children's book author and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit. When Hannah was a toddler I can across a paragraph of text saying kids need to eat a variety of colourful fruits and veggies everyday so I combined this info with our love of charts and turned it into a fun game for Hannah! It worked so well for our family that we wanted to make it into a product that other families could use to help them set healthy eating habits.  There is a real gap between parents "knowing" their kids should be eating fruits and vegetables and them actually achieving this with their children on a daily basis. We are passionate about creating tools to help parents!
2. With this being the beginning of the school year, moms and dads all over the nation are thinking of what to put in their children's lunch boxes.  What are some of your suggestions?

I've been making school lunches for 4 years now so I've got lots of ideas! My first piece of advice is to get some great lunch gear. My personal favorites are bento lunch boxes by PlanetBox and EasyLunchBoxes, Funkins cloth napkins, and reusable water bottles.  Having the right tools like those take away half the stress of making lunches.  Next I would suggest incorporating a good variety of proteins, grains, and produce for every lunch.  Keep things interesting by switching between sandwiches, pita pockets, wraps, rolls…that way you won’t get stuck in the same old rut day after day! And of course I would suggest thinking RAINBOWS when it comes to putting together lunches.  Fruits and veggies are a must have for healthy lunches! Aim for at least two colours in every lunch.


3. Some days, we all hit a lunch rut and don't know what to give our kids.  What are some of your stand-by lunch ideas for something really quick and handy?

Using leftovers is a really quick way to put together lunches! Some other ideas would be to always have on hand: dried fruit, granola bars (especially homemade ones) washed fruit and veggies ready to be sliced up, healthy crackers...things that are quick to put into a lunch kit. Hannah loves lunches that she can put together during lunch time such as Greek yogurt, berries and granola...take the Lunchables idea and make up your own healthy combinations.

4.  For parents who have picky eaters, what kinds of food would you recommend? How could parents make lunches more appealing for kids who don't like veggies or fruits?

School lunch time might not be the best time to send something new for your picky eater so still with things you know they will enjoy. Make fruits and veggies a must but let them help you decide which ones go in their lunch. Giving picky eaters an option is helpful.  If your kids don't like fruits and veggies you can spruce them up by using mini cookie cutters to turn them into cute shapes, you can send along a favorite dip, and change things up make some kale chips or send some frozen blueberries. Junk food companies spend a lot energy marketing to kids - parents can learn from them and do the same with fruits and veggies :)

5. You know we love your Rainbow Kit.  Little One is less than 4 years old and knows she needs to eat a rainbow every day. Why do you think Rainbow Kits are a must in every household.

Thank you so much Christine! You have done such an amazing job with setting your little one up with fantastic eating habits from a very early age! I think that parents benefit from knowledge AND tools to act on that knowledge and that is what our rainbow kit is all about. I know how busy parents are these days which is why our rainbow kit is so effective because it's easy to understand, quick to implement and fun for the kids!
6. Is there anything in particular you'd like to share with your fans/followers?

There are some great changes coming up for Today I Ate A Rainbow that we will be able to share very soon! It's because of the support from moms like you Christine, that we are able to take this next step!  In the mean time we hope your readers will check out our kids cooking series called In The Rainbow Kitchen for some fun and delicious recipes that will get your kids in the kitchen!  We can also be found on Facebook  Twitter  and Pinterest thanks so much for the opportunity to share our rainbow eating message on your site Christine!!!!

{GIVEAWAY}

Not only has Kia been so wonderful in letting us interview her, but she's also giving away a Today I Ate a Rainbow Kit to one lucky reader of mine!

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please make sure to complete all the tasks for each entry before you click "enter".  The giveaway is open to residents of Canada & the U.S. and ends Oct. 1, 2012.
Sunday, September 16, 2012

CLUTCH! SHIFT! HEADER! BRAKE!!!!


I am a multitasking Mama.  I can talk on the phone, tweet on my BlackBerry, close a deal with a client, cook supper, and tend to my almost 4 year old...all at the same time.  Multitasking is my middle name.

...Except when it comes to operating farm equipment.

The sad truth of the matter is that I cannot drive stick shift.  I have a mental block when it comes to driving standard.  My best friend tried to teach me when we were in high school and I stalled in the middle of a bridge and was stuck in traffic.  My anxiety over inconveniencing others has ultimately led to me not being able to drive standard. I know. Pretty crazy.

I just cannot get my brain wrapped around when to shift gears. What the heck is the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd?  Clutch? What is that?  Why do we have to do all of those things simultaneously anyway?  Why can't farm equipment companies just make all tractors automatic? Seriously!

My husband, the beef farmer, seems to forget that I was born and raised in the city and that I wasn't born knowing how to operate a tractor.  Though I do help him out on the farm, I suffer from terrible anxiety.  Those HUGE machines are expensive.  I'm worried I may wreck something.  That's my biggest worry.

Imagine this, if you will.  The transmission on our combine harvester died and Hubby got stuck in a field over the hill and in one of our far fields.  He BBM'd me (because modern day farmers have BlackBerries, you know!) and asked me to please pick him up...with the tractor.

What?! I'm supposed to pull that GIANT combine with a little tractor?! I'm supposed to go on the HIGHWAY and pull it over the hill? Oh, my goodness. What have I gotten myself into? I'm not so sure I'm meant to be a farmer's wife!

Me: Can I write cheat sheets on Post It notes and plaster them all over the tractor?
Hubs: Ummm...That's what those symbols are for.
Me: No. I need actual notes. Like "press this at this moment" or "pull this to shift at this time".
Hubs: (rubbing his head) You'll be okay.

I almost cried all the way back to the farm with this monstrous combine being lugged behind me. I was so scared I'd break something!

When we finally arrived back at the farm, Hubs said, "Honey. You did great! Umm...but, you didn't shift gears at all the entire way. You remember you were supposed to shift gears, right?"

Now, how I got the combine into the driving shed is an entirely different blog post. *sigh*

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Burnbrae Farms Lunch-Bag Love Contest


I actually contemplated not sharing this info with you because I want to win. This said, I'm a kind and generous person and couldn't withhold this information from you guys :)  Did you know that Burnbrae Farms is having a Lunch-Bag Love Contest?

Simply share your most unique egg recipe for a chance to win a grand prize of $1000 or a $250 gift card. Mention T-fal and you can win a Gift Pack valued at $1000.  Enter here!

Because I love sharing, here's my recipe!

SESAME EGG "ROLLS"
Ingredients:
4 eggs
Milk (just a splash)
S & P
Sesame oil (a generous drizzle)
* You can also add grated veg if you like. For example, grated carrots and finely chopped green onion.

Instructions:
In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, S & P, and sesame oil.  Add to heated T-fal non-stick pan and spread thinly.  When cooked, slowly and carefully "roll" the thin 'omelette' into a log shape. Remove from pan.  Cut into 2 inch pieces and arrange on plate to serve.

ZUCCHINI BAKE
Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c oil
1 c Loonsong Rye flour (or any other local organic flour of your choice)
1 c regular flour
3.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
dash black pepper
2 tbsp oregano
1 c quartered zucchini
1 small onion, chopped

Instructions:
In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, oregano. Make a well.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil and milk.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
Add zucchini quarters and chopped onion. Mix well.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 15-25 minutes or until golden.


This is one of my not quite 4 year old's favourite lunches to take to Junior Kindergarten.

  • Cucumber slices
  • Cheese
  • Fruit
  • Zucchini Bake
  • Sesame Egg "Rolls"
  • Stainless steel drinking bottle with water and a splash of lime
Friday, September 14, 2012

#SCCTO Ultimate Blogger Contest!


Almost a month to go until the ShesConnected Conference and I'm getting excited!  ShesConnected and all the SCCTO Ambassadors have been gearing up for an amazing conference for bloggers and women in business.

Last year, I really enjoyed meeting up with people I had been tweeting with and making new connections.  I learned a lot and built some great relationships with other bloggers and brands.  Since last year's conference, I've been working with fabulous brands and feel so fortunate to have this experience.  I'm very much looking forward to this year's conference.  Exciting things are in store for attendees!

One of the biggest surprises is...

ShesConnected has got an incredible package for one lucky winner!

Enter the Ultimate Blogger Contest for your chance to receive the following:
  • TWO FREE TICKETS to the 3rd Annual ShesConnected Conference
  • A NEW LAPTOP COMPUTER 
  • CUSTOM DESIGNED WORDPRESS BLOG
  • CUSTOM TWITTER BACKGROUND
  • BLOG TRAINING
  • SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING
  • PROFESSIONAL HEAD SHOT 
  • BUSINESS CARDS
  • MEDIA KIT POST CARD

Enter here.  Good luck!  Hope to see you at the conference!  If you see me at SCCTO, come say hi!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"O" How Quickly Time Flies! The 'First Cheerios' Blog Tour


Like with many tiny tots, Little One's very first 'finger food' that she was able to eat on her own was Cheerios!

With all milestones, I get weepy.  It's not that I am not excited about all the new things my child learns and all the new stages of development she enters.  It's just so bittersweet for me to see how quickly my baby is growing up!

All tears aside, what's more exciting than being able to witness first hand your child's first smile, first laugh, first time rolling over, first time sitting on their own, first time crawling, first time walking, first word? You get the picture! If you're anything like me, you've got scrapbooks upon scrapbooks documenting and chronicling every single milestone event for posterity to see.  Friends and family members think I'm a bit obsessive with the documenting, but Little One was a preemie and we weren't even sure if she was going to survive, so documenting every single special occasion (and even many every day occasions) is important to me. That, and she's an only child (for now).

One of the most exciting "firsts" was watching Little One feed herself for the very first time.  Every mom I spoke to said Cheerios was their pick for baby's first snack food/finger food.  Why? They're good for practising the pinching reflexes, therefore good for manual dexterity, motor skills, and coordination.  They're healthy and nutritious for your child.  They've been a trusted cereal for generations.  Plus, you cannot beat the look of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment your little one has when they finally figure out how to pinch and grasp those little O's and put them in their mouth!

I remember the applause and fanfare that went on when Little One figured out how to feed herself Cheerios.   To this day, Cheerios remain Little One's favourite cereal for breakfast and for snacking.  She is going to be 4 years old in November, and has just started JK this year.  She starts her day with a bowl of Cheerios and sometimes even says things like, "Remember when I was a teeny tiny baby and I was eating Cheerios?!!" followed by a crazy laugh.  She's a goofball!

I found these photos of Little One enjoying her Cheerios and just had to share!  Seems like it was just yesterday that she was fumbling for her Cheerios and learning how to grasp them between her fingers and get them into her mouth! As she got older, she got so much better at feeding herself.  Now she's in Junior Kindergarten! Crazy how quickly time flies!
I am so happy that Cheerios has been a part of that special milestone.  I am also thrilled to that General Mills wants you to join them on their Life Made Delicious page on Facebook and share a photo of your little one's first Cheerios moment!

COOL STUFF!
If you're one of the first 1000 to upload your child's photo, you will receive a coupon for a FREE box of Cheerios!  If you miss being one of the first 1000, don't worry!  You can receive a $1.00 off coupon if you weren't one of the first 1000 to upload your wee one's pic!  FYI: The offer is limited to one free box of Cheerios per household and one $1.00 off coupon per household per calendar year.

How's this for exciting?!
How would you like to see a photo of your little one on a box of Cheerios?! Check out the store shelves in 2013 when Cheerios unveils the completed mosaic on limited-edition family-sized boxes of cereal (400g boxes)!

Go to the Cheerios Mosaic and upload that photo of your baby's first Cheerios experience! I am going to be uploading Little One's special milestone moment for her to see a photo of her introduction to Cheerios!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's photos!  Please let me know if you upload yours! What fun!

Disclosure – I am participating in the First Cheerios Blog Tour by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

#WordlessWednesday - Old Navy Dog


Please tell me my child isn't the only child that does this every time we're at Old Navy!

Link up your Wordless Wednesday posts!  We'd love to check out your photos and leave a comment!


Special Occasions with Lavish Dream


Having a fabulous hairstyle is just as important as having an amazing outfit.  When your hair looks awesome, you feel awesome.  Am I right?

With all the occasions and events coming up, I've been dabbling with different styles and ways to wear my hair.  I'm really excited to be a Lavish Dream blogger so I can test out the extensions I was sent as part of the program.  I was surprised to see how popular extensions have gotten recently.  A lot of the high school students (including Little One's babysitter) wear hair extensions.  Ha! I never even knew!  They look so natural.  Here I was being super jealous of Little One's babysitter's gorgeous locks! She's got them in all sorts of funky shades too.  One time, she was sporting a few hot pink extensions interspersed among her naturally blonde hair. The look was really cool and edgy.

While I am not a teenager anymore, I've opted for a more subtle and subdued shade (as close to my natural colour as possible), but the extensions provide length and volume to my just above shoulder length hair.

I'm attending the ShesConnected social media conference in Toronto this October and I've been dabbling with hairstyles.  We're having a big party that weekend, and I want to look and feel great amongst my peers.  I love any occasion where I get to dress up and feel pretty.  I know a woman should dress up and feel pretty every day, but with a young child, hectic life, and very little sleep, I do not always feel my best. 

GETTING USED TO LAVISH DREAM HAIR EXTENSIONS
At first, the extensions took some getting used to.  I initially felt it a little awkward to insert on my own. I would love to have my own personal hairdresser do my hair every morning.  No, I'm not kidding!  However, after a few tries, I became more and more comfortable using the extensions and it became easier to create the looks I wanted. 

Thanks to the instructional videos that Lavish Dream provides, you can see how to take care of your Lavish Dream hair, how to style your hair, blend it, do different hairstyles, etc.  The following video was really helpful:
I should have watched the above video before attempting to use the extensions!  Honestly, it makes things so much easier!

FEEDBACK FROM OTHERS
One of my best friends came over and I happened to be wearing my Lavish Dream extensions.  She's an art teacher and is into fashion and loves accessories and hair styling. She even organized and put on a fashion show last year. She was very impressed (and very excited!) about the hair!  She was amazed at how natural it looked and how it totally changed the way I looked.


Just so you can see the dramatic change, this is a photo of what my hair currently looks like (below).  I've got really fine, mousy, uncooperative hair.
I am looking forward to continuing to test out my Lavish Dream extensions and experimenting a bit more with them!  My next post will include a video and some hairstyles I've tried out and worn at events! Stay tuned!

Disclosure - As a Lavish Dream blogger, I have received products from Lavish Dream.  Though affiliated with Lavish Dream, all the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.
Monday, September 10, 2012

#PresChoice Quinoa & City Mom = Pure Awesomeness!



Okay, you already know how much I love President's Choice.  I blog about their products all the time on here.  I am a vocal tweeter when it comes to all things @PresChoice.  In short, I simply adore President's Choice.  Fine...and I have a school girl crush on Galen Weston.

Anyway, what you may or may not know is that my lovely bloggy friend, City Mom has a cooking segment making none other than Mediterranean Cod and PresChoice Quinoa!  THREE of my faves in one segment? Yeppers!

Just an aside: When my less than 4 year old daughter saw City Mom's clip, she screamed "Mommy!!! We have that President's Choice Olive Oil! Hey! We make that President's Choice Quinoa!"

It often amazes our friends when they hear that ever since Little One was two years old, Quinoa has been among her favourite things to eat!

Kids are so funny!

Want to see the segment? Here's the clip! Enjoy!  Isn't Kelly fabulous? I luv her!

Follow her on her blog www.citymom.ca!  Tweet her at @_CityMom! Like her on Facebook!


Disclosure - This is not a sponsored post. I'm merely giving shout outs to some of my faves!  :) Enjoy!

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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