Monday, April 29, 2013

Keurig Brewer ~ Top 5 Things I Love About Our Keurig

Fill in the blanks: "Coffee makes me feel _______, _______, and _______". 

For me it's happy, extremely relaxed, and warm all over.

I read in a teen magazine many moons ago, that your description of the way coffee makes you feel is reflective of the way love makes you feel. Do you see a correlation there? Not sure if I do, but that was from one of the fun quizzes in teen magazines that I used to love when I was a tween/teen.

Who doesn't love a hot cup of make-me-feel-good-all-over coffee in the morning?

Keurig Brewer ~ Top 5 Things I Love About Our Keurig

  1. I love how sleek my Keurig Brewer looks on my "coffee station"
  2. I love how quickly I can have my coffee ready
  3. I love how easy it is to use
  4. I love how each cup of coffee is perfectly brewed 
  5. I love how I don't have to make a pot of coffee for just one person!
Okay, those who know me are probably laughing because they know that I'm one of the few people in the world that coffee has an adverse effect on. 

That's right. Coffee makes me sleepy!  The stronger the coffee, the quicker it knocks me out. A shot of espresso will knock me out in a few minutes! I know it's crazy. I absolutely love a good cup of coffee too! I'm only able to enjoy a cup of coffee right before bedtime and especially if I have insomnia. 

Hubby enjoys his coffee first thing in the morning to give him that "get up and go" feeling in the morning. He is a big fan of the Keurig Brewer and uses it every morning (and afternoon). When he's on his way out the door for work, he grabs a coffee and rushes out the door.

Keurig Brewer brews the perfect cup of coffee

Staples Canada  recently sent us the Keurig Brewer for review purposes. My husband was in heaven! In just under a minute, you can brew a perfect cup of coffee, and with just a touch of a button! Presto! 

I was shocked at how easy it is to use.  To illustrate just how simple it is, my husband got our 4 year old daughter to make me a cup of coffee! Don't worry, she wasn't allowed to touch anything hot. She simply pressed a button and my coffee was made!

To use the Keurig Brewer, simply fill the water reservoir, load in your K-Cup of choice, place coffee mug under the spout, and press the brew button for the desired cup size. Easy peasy.  So easy that our 4 year old (with Daddy watching her) can make a cup of coffee!

Another thing I love is that the Keurig Elite Single Serve Brewing System has three cup size options. Depending on how much coffee you'd like, you have the choice between 6 oz, 8 oz, and 10 oz cups of coffee. Clean up is also super easy with the removable drip tray.

Variety is the spice of life.  With Keurig, the variety of flavours is impressive. I love having all my favourite coffee flavours available in my kitchen! Check out some of the the K-Cup refills here! What's your favourite?

Keurig also has the reusable My K-Cup filter. If you want to use your own gourmet coffees or teas, this is a fabulous item to get. It's great if you've run out of refills too. Simply scoop your favourite coffee into the filter to brew your own single serve coffee.

The Keurig Brewer retails for $99 at Staples.

Disclosure: provided me with these items for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions  expressed on this blog are honest and my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of Keurig Coffee Makers and Kcups online.
Saturday, April 27, 2013

Grow Mushrooms @mushroomscanada @BTTRVentures

I'm pretty sure friends and family are growing tired of my almost daily Facebook updates on my Grow Your Own Mushrooms! We can't help it! My four year old and I are so excited!  I'm so shocked at how quickly our oyster mushrooms are growing! It's amazing!

Grow Mushrooms! Your very own mushrooms!

Attendees at the Food Bloggers of Canada were all given a Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit. I've always been interested in how mushrooms grow and on our farm (in our hardwood forest), we have mushrooms like morels. Seeing the mushrooms grow each day is incredible though! In just 10 days, you can harvest the mushrooms!

Grow mushrooms with your kids in 3 steps! Open, mist, harvest! 

The kit from Back to the Roots serves as a great science experiment for kids. My four year old waters her mushrooms every day and takes not of the changes. She is looking forward to harvesting them. She's only in Junior Kindergarten, but she describes her mushrooms to friends and family as being "an incredible living organism". I love that! What I also love is that Little One gets to see the growing process and is a part of seeing her food from the beginning to on her plate. This is something I think is very important for children to realize and be familiar with.

Mmm...just thinking of all the delicious recipes to make with our mushrooms!

We're posting this photo to the Back on the Roots Facebook page.

If you post a photo of your fully grown mushrooms from the kit, Back to the Roots will donate a kit and sustainability curriculum to an elementary classroom of your choice!

Back to the Roots on Twitter and Facebook. Mushrooms Canada on Twitter and Facebook.

30-Day Photo Challenge #MonthOfMom #PGMom

P&G has created a fun 30-Day Photo Challenge inspired by the little things we do, and the products we use, that brighten each day.

This May, I'll be posting photos to celebrate my crazy life and all the little things I do each day that puts a special touch on someone else’s.

Starting on May 1st, I'll be sharing a photo inspired by the word of the day (seen below) on Instagram and Twitter!  
I am really excited about taking photos for this challenge and sharing them! Join the challenge with me by taking a photo each day (every day beginning May 1st)  and sharing on Instagram and/or Twitter. Make sure to include the #MonthOfMom hashtag so everyone can follow along!

Are you up for the 30-Day Photo Challenge?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Buy Local ~ @eggsoeufs

Like most parents, I put a lot of thought into what I feed my family.  I take a lot into consideration when I purchase the food we consume.  I have to say that though we try to grow a good portion of our food on our farm, what we don't grow ourselves, I try to get from other local farmers and food growers. 

I married a beef farmer, so I know firsthand how why buying locally is so important. Our livelihood depends on people buying local beef.  As a citizen of the Earth, buying local makes sense to me for so many reasons. I may have to save that for another post, lest this become a novel of epic proportions.

I won't lie. I do purchase items for my family that come in boxes, cans, and containers.  I'd like to think I make smart choices and am realistic.  Sure, we eat a lot of homemade food and a lot of fresh produce, but we certainly do have cereal in our pantry and frozen pizza and fish sticks in our freezer for the days I'm short on time and in need of a little help getting dinner on the table in a pinch. 

With being a Mom, our decisions are so important when it comes to what we feed our kids. There seems to be this dichotomy when it comes to food choices.  Can one be in support of products bought in stores and still a supporter of buying/growing local produce? I am a very vocal supporter of the brands whose products I buy. I'm even an ambassador for some of these brands.  This said, I am also a huge supporter of buying local and eating fresh, local produce. I have to be. This is part of my family's livelihood.

Karanmarlee (Korean Egg Roll) made with local Manitoulin eggs

Why Buy Local

The Facts
best-quality food – food that’s safe, wholesome and fresh

To provide our families with the best-quality food, overwhelmingly Canadians have said that means that their food ought to come from local farms.  In fact, a new survey commissioned by Egg Farmers of Canada reveals: 
  • Over 90% of Canadians consider food from within their province to meet their standards for freshness. 
  • Over half of Canadians believe food that is imported cannot be considered ‘fresh’.
  • 75 per cent say food/produce must get from the farm to the grocery store within seven days to be deemed fresh;
  • People from Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada place the highest value on food from within their home province, 98 per cent and 94 per cent, compared with the national average of 90 per cent;
  • Results for people preferring food produced within their province are identical regardless of income and education levels.

Egg Farmers of Canada is one of five national marketing boards that oversee the system of supply management, which ensures that every egg, chicken, turkey or dairy product that makes it to Canadians’ tables is fresh, safe, wholesome, and – in the vast majority of cases – from within the province.

The Reward 
From May 1st to May 5th 2013, Egg Farmers of Canada will be rewarding Canadian moms who in many cases do the hard graft of grocery-buying and preparing meals for their families.  Visitors to the Egg Farmers of Canada Facebook page ( during this period will be able to claim a discount voucher for eggs, and get ideas for treating their moms to the perfect Mother’s Day brunch – both the recipe, and how to prepare it.

Here's a great recipe/video for you! 


What percentage of your groceries are locally produced?

Disclosure - This is not a sponsored post. This is just a topic I am passionate about.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#WordlessWednesday Slimy Sally w/ Linky

Look what we found on the farm!  I'm guessing (and hoping) the arrival of Slimy Sally the Salamander is a sign that Spring is actually here to stay?

I also learned that she (or he?) is not really slimy, but his/her skin secretes mucus to keep her/him moist when on land and maintain salt balance when in water. Hubs also told me that they secrete poison from their glands in their skin.

I need to keep on top of all these facts since we have a four year old who asks a lot of questions about everything!

Link up your Wordless Wednesday posts! We love checking them out and commenting!

Where to Print Photos? We Love @PosterjackDotCA

The way she giggles and the way her big, bright smile lights up the room make me want to cling onto every moment I have with Little One.  I realize this may sound a bit over the top, but Little One being the miracle baby that she was makes me appreciate and value her so much more than I could have ever imagined.

She's an only child at the moment and if you visit our home, you will see that I've tried to capture many of our special moments with Little One. As a parent of a single child, I have hundreds and hundreds of photos of my four year old.

For parents, both new and experienced, with all the baby photos and family photos, you've surely asked the question "Where to print photos?"

We were introduced to almost two years ago and we have become fans for life. The quality of the products we have ordered has always been first rate. We've always been incredibly pleased with our "wall art".  

I was recently given the opportunity to see why Posterjack and the Posterjack team are Canada's photo art experts. I was able to order a product of my choice, in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is what I selected:
I got our family photo framed and we are extremely pleased with the product! The photo itself was expertly printed. It was stunning! The custom framing could not have been done any better! Plus, it came ready to hang! 

What I love about Posterjack is that it's so easy to upload your photo, choose what kind of framing and mounting you want, and then order it online. So easy and so quick! We've always had amazing service with Posterjack as well. Their customer service team is phenomenal. They make sure you are 100% happy with your product. 

Where to print photos?

As I've mentioned earlier, we are true fans of Beautiful products, efficient and timely service,  and great customer service make a winning combination.

Since Mother's Day is fast approaching, if you hurry, you may be able to order something special for your mom, grandma, or wife! Here are 5 Mother's Day Gift Ideas via @PosterjackDotCA!

Disclosure - This is a sponsored post, however all the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Memories are Made of ~ DQ & Orange Julius #LMDConnector

Remember the days when we used to make our own mixed tapes by dubbing cassettes off each other or from the radio?  I know. We totally can't do that now. Totally not keeping with copyright regulations, but that's what some of my memories are made of.

I remember listening to Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40 and taping all my favourite tunes.  Friends and I would hang out in my room with our "teased", Sun-In bleached hair and our acid wash jeans, reading Bop! Teen, and Tiger Beat magazines. We'd talk about marrying our favourite stars and take all the personality quizzes in the magazines. 

Ahhh! Those were the days! 

This year marks 20 years since I graduated from high school. Yes, Class of '93! TWENTY YEARS! Unreal!

While music videos from Much Music were also part of what memories are made of, so were trips to our local Dairy Queen.  Hanging out with friends and having a sundae or soft serve ice cream just reminded me of the Summer we wished would never end. For some, DQ was a first Summer job. 

Listening to tunes like Informer (Snow), In the Still of the Nite (Boyz II Men), Runaway Train (Soul Asylum), I'm Gonna Be/500 Miles (the Proclaimers), Two Princes (Spin Doctors) and I'd Do Anything for Love, But I Won't Do That (Meatloaf) and chilling with friends over ice cream was a fun way to pass time.  It may sound odd, but every time I pass by a DQ, I remember my high school years and more specifically, Summer of '93.

It's amazing how certain sights, scents, flavours, and sounds/songs can bring us back to a special time in our lives. Dairy Queen always does this for me. 

I love taking my daughter to DQ whenever we're off-Island. We have one not too far from where we live and Little One always gets the same thing -- a kid's cone. Not dipped. Just plain vanilla.  Why mess with perfection, right? Quite the opposite from my siblings and me when our parents used to bring us to DQ when we were kids! We were all about the Blizzards, parfaits and Banana Splits!

As a Life Made Delicious Connector, I was able to partake in a new promotion. I took my lovely friend, Sober Julie and her two girls to DQ while I was in town for a conference the other week.
This year, General Mills is making it super-easy to enjoy all our favourite treats by partnering with Dairy Queen® to offer Canadians fab coupons as a bonus on top of their much-loved cereal!

Between April 1st - July 31st, redeem the Orange Julius coupon at any Dairy Queen location for a small drink.
Between May 1st - May 31st, receem the Dairy Queen coupon for a free Blizzard!
That's 2 coupons in each box of specially marked cereal! Take your family or your friends for a fun time at DQ. That's part of what memories are made of! Good laughs, good people, good times! Create some new memories of your own.
I know when I go back to Montreal this Summer, I'll be rehashing old memories from class of '93 over at our old DQ hang out with old friends!
What's your favourite Dairy Queen experience? Do you have a favourite item on the Dairy Queen menu?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies

If there's one thing you may or may not know about me, it's that I'm addicted to Pinterest. Addicted. I can't stop "pinning" all my favourite recipes, items for the house, etc. I can't help it. I love surrounding myself with beautiful things and I love creating (or attempting to recreate) beautiful things.

My brother's girlfriend recently showed me these really pretty Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies on Pinterest. I thought they were so pretty, and just had to try making them!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that A) My family and I eat very healthy, I grow a lot of our food, we don't give our daughter too much sugar, B) My four year old daughter actually doesn't like overly sweet things, and C) Though I feed my family healthy, every now and then I give us a little treat. A package of Twistos, the occasional frozen pizza, or some homemade baked goods are treats for our family.

Despite knowing that my daughter doesn't like cookies, I still wanted to bake the really cool looking Rainbow Pinwheel cookies!

Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies

The recipe itself is basically your standard sugar cookie recipe. I'm sure you have a family favourite, but in case you don't already have a sugar cookie recipe you use all the time, here's one from Canadian Living.

The sugar cookie recipe I use is this one, but I substitute natural cane sugar for the white sugar.

Once you've mixed your sugar cookie ingredients, separate dough into five equal portions and put them in separate bowls. Here's where the fun begins! Add food colouring to each bowl. This is a great opportunity to teach kids about colours. Little One was excited to see that red and blue make her favourite colour: purple!

I chilled the dough and then Little One and I made grape-sized balls with each colour dough.

Take one small ball of dough of each colour...

Make one ball using each colour

Roll out dough or just shape with hands to create what Little One calls a "doughy worm"

Shape into what 4 year old calls a "Snail Shell"

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

The result: Really pretty Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies.

The verdict? My 4 year old daughter looked at them and said, "That's nice, Mom. Can I have an orange?"

Little One loves baking in the kitchen with Mom and she loves the idea of cookies. She just doesn't like eating cookies or sweets. I guess I can't complain! So happy she loves fruit more than cookies!

I ended up having to give all the cookies to friends and family since we baked 4 dozen cookies! Little One and I don't really like sweets and Hubby doesn't need them! It was a fun activity to do with my daughter though!

What is Earth Day About?

Image source here via Google Images

Little One is really excited that today is Earth Day!  At four years of age, she is looking forward to all the fun activities her Junior Kindergarten class will be doing today. 

"Mommy, I want to wear blue and green for Earth Day today."

That sounded reasonable (and really cute). However, I wanted to know if she knew what exactly the significance of today is. I asked her the question:

What is Earth Day About?

Little One looked at me and said something about cleaning up the Earth and how trash and pollution are no good for the environment. Actually, her exact words were "Trash and pollution will kill our environment and the planet will die." Wow. Quite an ominous statement for a four year old, don't you think?

Little One wanted to know a bit more when it comes to what Earth Day is about.

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970. It's a day when we reflect on our planet, the environment, and what we can do to keep them healthy. Though I could explain to her about environmental activism, Earth Day observances, the history of the Equinox Earth Day, and a more in depth history of Earth Day, she's only four years old. I'm thinking this year I'll keep things sweet and simple.

When it comes to what Earth Day is about, I'm just telling Little One it's about:

  • Taking care of our environment by practicing the 3 Rs (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle)
  • Being careful of the decisions we make and the impact they have on the Earth
  • Trying to do things to help our environment like planting trees
  • Being gentle and kind to living things, including all wildlife - flora and fauna

Some activities to do with kids on Earth Day

Little One's school is having school-wide earth-friendly activities for Earth Day. They're also practicing "litterless lunches" and will see which class accumulates the least garbage.

We actually practice litterless lunch every day. It's something that we as a family just made a habit of doing because we think it's so important. Every day should be Earth Day. 

Packing lunches in bento boxes or reusable lunch containers, using a Thermos filled with water instead of sending disposable juice boxes to school, and using MyFunkins instead of disposable napkins all help us make litterless lunches easy and fun.

Some things kids can do with their family or community is have a community clean-up day. Collect waste from streets and parks.

Teach children about how plants have a special role in our environment. You can teach them about ecosystems, and how living organisms interact with each other and impact one another.

Since Little One is still quite young, I have been teaching her about growing her own food. 

Some great kits to help with this are:

Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit from is a great way to introduce the concept of self-sustainability to kids. Though we do purchase food and other products at the grocery store, we also grow some of our food. 

I just returned from the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference the other weekend, and attendees were all given a Mushroom Kit from Mushrooms Canada. My four year old was so excited and eager to grow her own mushrooms! She immediately delved into the box and couldn't wait to get started! I'll be posting a separate blog post on growing our own mushrooms soon!

The Kidz Labs/Green Science Grow-A-Maze Kit is another fun way to teach kids about plants and plant growth. Kids plant a bean in the soil and watch it grow and find its way through the maze! It is a really cool green science project, as kids can observe root development. I taught my four year old what photosynthesis is!

Discovery Box by Green Kid Crafts is an exciting and engaging way to cultivate creativity and curiosity in children by offering a box full of eco-friendly, educational, hands on arts, crafts and science activities. My little girl really enjoyed her Discovery Box. Hours of fun! 

MyFunkins, Grow-A-Maze and Discovery Box are all PTPA Award Winners. They're all "Parent Tested, Parent Approved"! To find out more about PTPA, visit their website.

Whatever you and your family do to celebrate Earth Day, we hope you have fun!

Check out Little One planting trees at not even two years of age! We started her early! Wow! Can't believe that she's four years old already!

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Remember, every day should be Earth Day :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas via @PosterjackDotCa

Every year, I try to give my mom something special for Mother's Day. Mother's Day gift ideas are a struggle! What do you get for someone who has everything she needs already?

My mom is really sentimental, so I always put lots of thought into her gifts. My mother also has everything a mom can need. She doesn't need gadgets, nick knacks or dust collectors. She always says she doesn't need or want anything. This said, the one thing she loves is photos of her grandchildren.

If you're looking for Mother's Day Gift Ideas, has you covered. has 5 unique photo art Mother's Day gift ideas mom will treasure.

1.      Speak from the heart –Overlay a poem over your favourite photo with mom and bring it to life on a Canvas Print.
2.      Create a family masterpiece – Surprise grandma with a special painting from her grandkids on Posterjack’s new Photoboard Print.Simply scan the drawing or painting and save the image as a high resolution jpeg. 

3.      Traveling family portrait – Nothing makes mom happier than showing off her family and grandkids! Blow up your favourite family photo on Peel & Stick for a family portrait, which travels easily to the office or cottage. 

4.      Favourite moments with mom – Create a collage featuring your favourite photo memories with mom, which can be printed on any Posterjack  photo art product - from classic Framed Photos to modern Metal Prints.

5.      Skip the bouquet – Make your mom’s favourite flowers last year round by featuring them on an Acrylic Print. Check out the blog for great tips on capturing stunning flower photographs.

Ordering a Mother’s Day gift from Posterjack is easy! Simply upload your photo, select your product, choose your size and Posterjack delivers right to your door.

Above is a photo we had enlarged last year.  It turned out beautifully.  I love the frameless mounting too. It's a really sweet way to capture a moment.

My mom loves framed photos and sentimental gifts. This year, I think we may do the Favourite moments with mom option, with favourite photo memories of my mom and her grandchildren.

Disclosure - This is not a sponsored post. We just love and wanted to share some great Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Twistos! Snack, Dip or Add a Twist to your Salad! {Sponsored Giveaway}

At our house, we are forever hosting dinner parties and sometimes we need some snack type party foods. With all the birthday parties, baby showers, anniversary parties, and "just because" parties we host at our home, I'm always looking for items to have on the snack table before the actual meal is presented.

I was recently introduced to Twistos Baked Snack Bites and Twistos Baked Snack Crackers.

I was given the opportunity to try the Twistos Baked Snacks. We had a little get together and everyone really enjoyed both the Twistos Baked Snack Bites and the Twistos Baked Snack Crackers.

Last year, Twistos™ Baked Snack Bites launched across Canada. 

Asiago, Parmesan and Garlic, and Bruschetta were a huge hit last year.

Twistos Baked Snack Bites has a new flavour added to the Snack Bites list - Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil. 

Twistos also has a completely new brand extension with Twistos Baked Snack Crackers in two great flavours - Cheddar & Chive and Parmesan & Oregano.

I'm quite partial to the Parmesan and Oregano! Perfect on their own or with a cheese platter. 

Both Baked Snack Bites and Baked Snack Crackers can be prepared in a multitude of different ways and are less than 100 calories per 20g serving. You can dip them, add a spreadable topper, cut them up and add them to salads, or eat them on their own. To be honest, they're perfectly tasty just on their own!
My husband says they have poor keeping quality -- meaning that they don't last long when he's around. He describes them as being "rather more-ish" (as in he wants more!).
The Baked Snack Bites reminded me of croutons (only larger and very flavourful croutons). I've actually made some homemade tomato soup, sprinkled shredded cheese on top and topped it off with Twistos Parmesan and Garlic Snack Bites! So good!
Don't just take our word for it. Want to try some for yourself?

WIN 12 packages of Twistos ($50 ARV)

We were given the opportunity to give a Twistos sample box with two packages of each flavour (total of 12 packages) to one lucky reader! ($50 value)
To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Open to residents of Canada. Ends May 1, 2013 at 11:59PM.

Disclosure - This is a sponsored post, however all the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.

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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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