Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Today is the may have tiny monsters, ghosts, super hero's and princesses ringing your doorbell looking for treats - Halloween is always a lot of fun around our house - my super hero's wanted to wish you a safe and happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have mentioned before how much I love baking with pumpkin - but I think I have found my all time favorite recipe.  This recipe is for Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - and they are DELICIOUS - with the oats and pumpkin, they are full of fibre too!

The first time I made them - I made exactly as the recipe says - and they were delicious. This time, I decided to cut the sugar down - I used 1.5 cups brown sugar, and 3/4 cup white sugar - and they are still great - but less sweet.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just a few days away - and while we want our children to have fun, we also want to make sure that they are safe.

A few safety tips to ensure everyone has a great time:

1) make sure that costumes are not too long (tripping hazard)
2) make sure that if the costume has a mask - the eye holes are large enough to allow your child a large field of vision
3) stay together (if your kids are going trick or treating with friends, make sure they know to stick together)
4) make sure your kids know not to go inside a house if they don't know the owners
5) don't zig zag - do one side of the street at a time
6) attach a glow bracelet/necklace to their costume or have a brightly coloured costume
7) no eating the treats until an adult has checked it over
8) if your walking on the street, be VERY watchful for cars - as a driver, it can be overwhelming looking out for all the people on the road - it helps if the trick or treaters are extra diligent and not running around the roads

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin carving and Halloween Fun!

Halloween is a big thing around our house - growing up my father got really into it, and I remember having so much fun carving pumpkins with him. We would scoop out the guts and my mom would roast the pumpkin seeds for us - delicious.

one of my very favorite photo's of my dad and I together

Once I moved out, hubby really had no interest in halloween - so I used to have my younger cousins come over and help me carve the pumpkins, then they would help me get all the treats ready and we would normally bake something special too. It was a lot of fun.

Once Mr. J was born, hubby started to get into the spirit of halloween - and now he goes all out (blow up lawn decorations and what not). Most years, he takes Mr. J to pick out our pumpkins, however this year it didn't happen and I wanted to get them carved.

This morning, I took the boys to Abby Hill Farms - about 20 minutes from our house. We walked around and checked out the pumpkins - the boys picked the ones we like and we paid for them and loaded them into the jeep. Then, we headed over to the petting farm they have set up and the boys got to watch and feed the goats/llamas/sheep etc.

After that, Julien had his first ever pony ride - he had a lot of fun. I knew Mr. K wouldn't hold on, but I tried to just sit him on a pony to take a picture - didn't happen, he was a little afraid.

When we came home Mr. K went down for his nap and Mr. J and I set to work scooping out the guts and carving....we only carved 2 (his and mine) Mr. K can "help" with his when he gets up and hubby's will be done tonight after he decides what he wants done.

How to roast pumpkin seeds

When your finished scooping out your pumpkin - don't throw all the guts away! Save the seeds and roast them for tasty treat.

Separate the seeds from the gunk; give them a "bath" in the sink to rinse all the guts off; dry them as best you can with a paper towel.

Place in a bowl - pour melted butter over them (2-4 tbsp depending on the amount of seeds you have) and sprinkle with salt - toss it all together to coat the seeds

Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes. Stir the seeds 2 or 3 times during cooking

Seeds should be lightly toasted when done

Thursday, October 25, 2012

women purchasing vehicles

I was reading a blog post earlier today from a fellow blogger - it's about mommy bloggers and car reviews - and it got me thinking about my vehicle purchases.

When I was 19, I bought my first car - it was a 1996 Mercury Mystique - 4 years old, and in awesome condition.  When I was 24 - I traded it in and bought a 2004 Toyota Corolla - I loved that drove well, great on gas and it was just "me". However, I have always dreamed of owning a jeep - when I was pregnant with Mr. K - hubby and I talked about trading in the Corolla for an SUV - but nothing seemed right. We couldn't afford NEW - so we would keep our eyes peeled on used ones we saw advertised.

One day, hubby found a good price on a Chrysler Pacifica - when we got to the dealer, we found out it had been sold. We toured the lot and saw 2 Jeep Grand Cherokees - a 2005 and a 2007. There was obviously a price difference between the 2, and we ended up deciding on the 2005.

What I find funny, the whole time we were looking around the sales man kept talking to my hubby. He talked to me to - but when he was talking about the vehicles etc, he was talking to hubby. Hubby kept telling him that it was my vehicle, and would ask me what I thought.

After I test drove it - I was happy - and I knew I wanted it. BUT - I also knew that there was a minimum value I would take as a trade in for the Corolla. When we went inside to talk - the finance guy automatically spoke to my hubby - who turned to me. He asked what I was looking for (so I obviously said higher than my minimum) he said no way - and I said ok. I thanked the sales man for his help, and we left.

The next morning, I got a phone call from the sales man. He apologized for the curtness of the finance guy the day before, and asked if I would come in and have the car appraised. I said sure. Hubby had a golf tourney that day - and I went with Mr. J. The first thing that they asked when I got there was if my husband was coming. I said no, it's my car - I would be the one making the decision.

They looked at the car and came back with a number - still not high enough for me. I told him flat out that I had this much to spend - if they wanted the sale they either had to come up in the trade in value, or lower the sale price. Otherwise, I would be going home.  He agreed, and we signed all the papers.

My husband has never bought a car. We are VERY fortunate and his vehicle is provided by his employer. I am a woman, and have bought 3. Yet, when I was with my hubby - the car people automatically assumed he would be the one making the decision and haggling over the price.

What has your experience been? Who does the negotiating on price in your family?

halloween themed cupcakes

Double Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always a big hit around our house - and I like to theme them with holidays if I can. Last year I came across a blog post about spooky spiderweb cupcakes (Definitely Not Martha - one of my favorite blogs to read - I won't try 98% of her meal ideas because I am nowhere near as talented - but I like reading about them. My favorite chocolate cake recipe I got from one of her posts)

I absolutely fell in love with the chocolate cake recipe she is talking about in her post - however, I was short on time so I used a box. I attempted the icing recipe she used, and it was a big fail; instead I used the standard buttercream recipe that I generally make (from the pillsbury cookbook - 3/4 softened butter, 4 cups of icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 2-4tbsp milk)

I made one pan of mini cupcakes and one pan of regular sized cupcakes. For the spider webs, I used a piping bag with the finest round tip that I had - once they were piped, I put them in the fridge to set - I did have trouble with some of them breaking - but I am still happy with how they turned out, and the kids loved them!

mini halloween cupcakes

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Millstone Coffee Company the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Growing up I watched my parents make coffee everyday - I even "helped" by getting the coffee maker ready for when my mom came home from work...(that meant putting 1 scoop of coffee in the filter, and 8 cups of mother didn't even need to taste it to know how awful it would be)  It wasn't until a few years ago that I discovered a liking to coffee - although I am NOT an everyday drinker.

The Millstone Coffee Company uses premium Arabica beans to bring you a delicious cup of coffee - check out this link to watch a video and Discover the origins of a perfect cup of Millstone Coffee

delicious soft pretzels

Nothing tastes better than a fresh baked soft pretzel! Back in Jr. High - we had a unit on home economics - there were a few recipes that we made, and although I wasn't at school on the day these were covered - my best friend brought home a copy of the recipe and we made them together.

I quickly became obsessed, as did my brother and all of his was a regular request and a recipe that was frequently made.

The original recipe only makes 8 pretzels - so I used to triple it - even by doing that, they often only lasted 2 days.

I don't make them near as often as I should - but my brother has been bugging me for MANY months to bake them - so yesterday I set to work

I am not sure where the recipe came from as I have long since lost the paper it came on - but here it is

1 cup luke warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg (15 ml) dry yeast
0.5 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups of flour (you may need to add a little more if the dough is too sticky)
1 egg white
coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees; grease baking sheet

In a small bowl - dissolve the sugar and yeast in water (mix with a fork and let sit approx 5 minutes)

In a large bowl - combine flour and salt; add the yeast mixture and combine using your hands. Mixture will be sticky - combine and knead approx 5 minutes - dough should be slightly elasticky (if it sticks to your hands, add a small amount of flour)

Break into 8 pieces - roll out on a floured surface and then shape into a pretzel (or any shape you like); place on your baking sheet and continue until all pieces are done.

Brush each pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt

Bake approx 10 minutes (tops should be slightly golden)

Serve warm (I like mine with butter, but my brother and hubby eat theirs with mustard)

Men’s Diesel Watch Giveaway

Do you have a hard time picking out gifts for the men in your life? With Christmas around the corner - it is time to start your hunt again - but, your in luck! Read on for your chance to enter to win a men's watch!

We have the joy of participating in an awesome giveaway hosted by First Class Watches to help get our men the perfect gift! Check out some information on the Diesel watch being given away! This magnificent Diesel watch shows a transitional design coupled with superb functionality and a masculine accent, all combined to make this an impressive choice for any guy. The polished stainless steel band and case gives a rugged quality that will last for years. Perfect for anyone who needs to look good whilst competing in a busy world where usefulness is important, this watch is reliable and stunning. Features include:
  • Oversize case
  • Quality stainless steel case and band
  • Date function
  • Water resistant
  • Stopwatch
  • 24 hour movement
This watch comes with a two year guarantee for your peace of mind. You can learn more about the watch and all the specifications here - Diesel watch

Giveaway Details

Winning is very easy! Simply fill out the following form and complete all the entries, and you’ll be entered into this marvelous men’s watch giveaway. The giveaway is open to US, Canada and the UK! Enter Now!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide Submissions

I am now putting together the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Tales of Mommyhood - if you would like your product/company to be featured - please send me an email!

Raspberry Pie

My hubby's favorite type of pie is Raspberry......For many years, I would buy it if I came across it - but I never attempted making it as I thought it would be too complicated.

One day last year, I had a bunch of raspberries to go through (it had been a great sale, and the kids were on a berry kick) so I decided to just check out a recipe.  I was surprised at how easy it seemed to be, so I looked at a few more and decided to go for it!

This is a recipe I came up with after looking at many - you can add more sugar if you want a sweeter pie

What you will need

4.5 cups of fresh/frozen raspberries
1 cup of white sugar
4 tbsp of corn starch
1 frozen pie crust (or fresh, if you make your own)
whipped cream for topping

On the stove, over medium heat, combine the berries, sugar and cornstarch. Cook, while stirring frequently, for approx 15 minutes (mixture should be bubbling and thick)

Remove from heat, transfer mixture to a container and place in the fridge to cool and set, approx 60 minutes.

Once mixture is set, pour into a pie crust

Bake at 325 for approx 30 - 40 minutes (crust should be a golden brown)

Let sit for 5 minutes, then slice and plate - top with a spoonful of whipped topping (we like cool whip) and serve!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Online shopping and coupon codees

Having the kids at home with me makes shopping for them slightly difficult at Christmas time, and I find myself turning online more and more. However, if you have read my posts in the past, you will know that I am big on not paying full price for items that I buy.

Whenever I am going to make an online purchase, I google the name of the store and coupon  - to try and get the best deal possible. If your an amazon shopper, then look no further - check out the Amazon Coupons Finder and you can search through all the codes they have for great deals!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tips for using the Green Bin

We just recently started using our cities Green Bin - I was a little skeptical, and REALLY worried about smells and bugs etc....Before I started using it I asked a LOT of questions of people that were using them already, so I thought I would share some tips.

  • use yard waste bags to line the green bin, instead of the liners that are meant for it (the yard wasted bags are slightly larger and don't fit as well - but it is manageable and MUCH cheaper - of course, you don't need to line it - but I do)
  • make use of your empty cracker and cereal boxes - use them to hold dry food waste (toast scraps, cereal, etc) when they are full you can put that right into your green bin
  • if you want to line your kitchen catcher, you can buy paper lunch bags for WAY WAY cheaper than the liners - 2 will fit in the bin, and once they are full throw it into your green bin
I have only been using it for about 6 weeks, but haven't run into any issues yet. We have been keeping it in the garage, and as long as my vehicle fits it will stay there over the winter. If not, then it will be kept outside of our garage.

We haven't had any issues with smells in the garage - really, it isn't any different than having the waste in the garbage. 

Our city is going to bi-weekly garbage collection in a few weeks - which makes using the green bin much more appealing.....we won't have waste sitting in the garage for 2 full weeks.

Do you have tips for using the green bin? I would love to hear them - leave me a comment!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guys and Dolls

As the title says, this post is about and guys and dolls - but not the musical. It's about little boys playing with dolls.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Christmas baking 2012

Every year I do a lot of baking in preparation for the Christmas season. It's always nice to have something tasty to offer guests that may stop in and to serve at our annual party.

I didn't get near as much made as I normally do this year, but here is the list/links to the recipes I DID make!

Roto Rooter Fall Plumbing Tips

Are you a believer in the para-normal? or a skeptic? Check out the video below: Roto Rooter explains how some plumbing issues may be mistaken for ghostly noises!

Kids in the kitchen

Mr. J decorating cupcakes

My kids love to help me in the kitchen, so I thought I would put together some tips for those of you that don't know how to have your kids help - or not sure where to start.

First off - safety is key. Make sure they are not using the stove/oven and are away from sharp instruments

  • have everything ready to go; I can't tell you how frustrating it is trying to get everything ready and measured properly with kids pulling on your legs, grabbing ingredients from the cupboard or asking a million and 1 questions. Get all your ingredients together, measured and put away before bringing the kids in (of course, this is dependent on their ages)
  • let them be messy; it's a pain for you, but fun for them and as they get older they will learn
  • let them do it their way (for the most part, you need to follow the directions but if they don't do it EXACTLY how you would, that's ok)
  • give them age appropriate tasks*
  • let them experiment - it gives them a feeling of confidence to be allowed to make their own creations (we have had some very interesting ones around here)
  • teach them - explain why your doing what your doing and how you hope it will turn out
  • if it doesn't turn out - let them know that it is OK - and you will try again another day
  • make it fun - turn on some music, have a dance party while the cookies are baking or cupcakes are cooling off
Some ideas for jobs kids can do that are age appropriate

2-3 year olds 
  • pour in pre-measured ingredients
  • stir with a spoon
  • line muffin tins with paper liners
  • use cookie cutters to help cut out shapes
  • set their place at the table
  • help decorate cakes/cookies/cupcakes etc
3-5 year olds
  • help to set table/clear table after eating
  • help with dishes
  • scoop cookie dough or cupcake batter
  • try and create their own recipe/ideas
  • peel potatos/apples (under parental supervision using a peeler)

Whiskas Dry - sponsored video

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Days of our Lives - Nicole

I am a huge Days fan - always have been...I don't have a chance to watch it daily, so I PVR it and watch it after everyone goes to bed!  I am a little behind in my DOOL watching - about a week to be exact. If you haven't seen it lately and don't want spoilers - then don't read on.

I was so happy for Nicole with the pregnancy - everything was going so smoothly and now they have the baby die in utero. I think I knew somewhere they wouldn't let the story line play out happily, but I was still surprised with this ending to it....and then to continue watching and have her start lying again....ahh - enough with the lies - but, I will give it Arianne Zucker with her terrific acting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

learning colours

Kyle and Julien working on colours
Mr. K (26 mths) is just starting to learn his colours. For the past few months, he knew the names of the colours, but he didn't associate the name with the ACTUAL colour. If you asked him for the purple block, he would grab a red one and say purple.

Last night, I was sitting on the couch while the boys played with their cars (which is pretty much our most time consuming past time in this household) and I heard them talking. While they were playing, Mr. J was telling Mr. K what colour the cars were - and Mr. K was actually repeating the proper ones. Later on, after Mr. J was in bed Mr. K and I were playing with his cash register - which has yellow, orange and purple coins - and he was getting them right.

It was so wonderful, and to know that Mr. J was a part of the teaching process made my heart melt just a little bit!

Sophia the First - Disney Junior




Toronto, October 17, 2012 – Enter a new and enchanted land created by the magic of Disney Junior with Disney’s first little girl princess, Sofia, in the animated television movie Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess debuting on Saturday, November 24 at 7 p.m. ET. This delightful music-filled presentation, with a special appearance by Disney Princess Cinderella, will be available on Disney Junior OnDemand beginning November 30. Following the television movie event, a new Sofia the First series will premiere in early 2013.

Set in the storybook world of Enchancia, the movie introduces Sofia, an average girl whose life suddenly transforms when her mother marries the king and she becomes a princess: Sofia the First. Sofia must learn to navigate the extraordinary life of royalty while holding on to her own hopes and dreams. Disney’s Cinderella makes an appearance in the movie to offer Sofia some words of wisdom on her journey to become the best person she can be – princess to princess.

Sofia’s royal adventure begins as she prepares to move into the castle with her mom, starting a new family with her step-father, King Roland II, and step-siblings, Amber and James. Helping Sofia in her journey are the three headmistresses of Royal Prep Academy – Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (the beloved fairies from Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty) – and royal steward, Baileywick. She is also accompanied by a group of woodland creatures led by wise-talking rabbit, Clover. Sofia soon discovers that looking like a princess isn’t all that difficult, but displaying honesty, loyalty, courage, compassion and grace is what makes one truly royal.

Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories of Sofia the First communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children. While she lives in a captivating world of castles, wizards and flying horses, Sofia remains a relatable peer-to-peer princess who is experiencing many of the same social situations as young viewers at home including learning how to fit in, making new friends and mastering new skills.
Leading into the premiere of Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess is an exclusive episode of Doc McStuffins at 6:30 p.m. ET, titled “Chilly Gets Chilly/Through the Reading Glasses.” In this new episode, which makes its international debut in Canada, Doc teaches Chilly and the rest of the toys about the importance of staying warm when playing outside in the snow and Doc helps Professor Hootsborough find a new pair of glasses.

Viewers who can’t wait for Sofia’s magical experience to begin can visit now to learn more about Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess prior to the premiere. On November 15, a dedicated supersite will launch featuring colouring pages, new games and a special Sofia-themed contest.

Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess stars the voices of Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Sofia; Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy) as Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal) as Clover; Tim Gunn (Project Runway) as Baileywick; Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives) as Amber; Zach Callison (Land of the Lost) as James; Travis Willingham (Ultimate Spider-Man) as King Roland II; Jess Harnell (Doc McStuffins) as Cedric, Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Mia the Bluebird and Meghan Strange (Special Agent Oso) as Robin. Disney Legend Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse), Barbara Dirickson and Tress MacNeille (Daisy Duck) bring Fauna, Flora and Merryweather, respectively, to life. Jennifer Hale provides the voice of Cinderella. 

This imaginative television movie is developed by Craig Gerber (Pixie Hollow Games), who also wrote the movie and serves as co-executive producer.  Jamie Mitchell (Special Agent Oso) is executive producer and director. John Kavanaugh (Winnie The Pooh: Springtime with Roo) severs as songwriter/music director while Kevin Kliesch (Tangled Ever After) is the composer. Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess is a production of Disney Television Animation.
Disney Junior is a commercial-free channel available in English and French to subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering the best in engaging and development-based programming for younger children, Disney Junior showcases series with a focus on magical, musical and heartfelt stories that feature beloved classic and contemporary characters. Presenting exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series, Disney Junior is also available through Disney Junior OnDemand and Disney Junior OnLine.

Disney Junior is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. (TSX : ACM.A/ACM.B) is one of Canada’s largest media companies. It operates several of the country’s most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WW - my shadow

Holiday traditions

Growing up, we always celebrated holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas) at one of my aunts houses. We have a large family (my mom has 4 siblings - 2 brothers and 2 sisters). Every family get together was guaranteed to have American Pie playing in the background, the sisters dancing in the kitchen while cooking, and the nieces and nephews singing. As we got older, the song changed to Itty Bitty Pretty One, and it was the first song played at my wedding once the dance floor opened

only a small part of my family

To this day, anytime I hear either of those songs, it takes me back to family gatherings and terrific memories.

One year in High school, I missed Thanksgiving dinner because I was working - it wasn't a huge deal, but one of my best friends also missed Thanksgiving that year. One night, during one of our many lengthy phone calls, we came up with a plan.

It was coming close to American Thanksgiving, so we decided we were going to host a turkey dinner for our friends (we did it on a Sunday as we had school on the ACTUAL American Thanksgiving) - somehow, Krys came up with the name "Shaboom" and we started inviting everyone. Now, since we were in high school and low on money, we asked everyone to contribute a small amount to the meal - but we took care of getting the groceries, cooking the food and cleaning up (well, actually - I think my mom did most of the cleaning!)

It was my first time ever cooking a turkey, but Krys had a little experience and my mom was around too...we managed (with a few mishaps) to get everything cooked and served  - and had a great evening. It was such a success, that we did it again the following year. Unfortunately, everyone scattered after high school and we never got to have another one, but we still have the memories of those nights.

A few weeks ago, one of those dear friends in attendance got married - and it was such a wonderful day/evening - and brought back lots of high school memories!

Do you have any holiday traditions? I would love to hear them!

Starbucks - Pumpkin Spice

I have already shared my love of pumpkin with you - but the other day I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season from was just as good as I remembered from last year!  I only started drinking them last year - up until then the gingerbread was my favorite (well, it probably still is but I wanted to embrace the season - gingerbread can wait until after Halloween!)

Are you a Starbucks lover? prefer Timmies? or do you have an independent shop that you like? what's your favorite drink?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog hop - recipes

One Sleepy Mom is hosting a blog hop - link up your recipe and hop around to find some delicious new ones! Sides, mains and desserts - what more could you want?

random facts about me

Eeyore is my favorite disney character

  • I am 5'2"
  •  I have blue eyes
  •  I can ACTUALLY touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my nose
  •  Harrison Ford is my favorite actor
  •  Julia Roberts is my favorite actress (as well as pretty woman being right up there in the film category)
  •  Charlie Major and Randy Travis are my favorite country singers
  •  dirty dancing is one of my favorite movies, and as much as it bugs my hubby, I can recite the lines of the entire film while we watch it
  •  there goes my baby is another favorite of mine. My cousin and I discovered it in high school and it was one of the ones that got rented more times than I care to count
  •  I had a winter wedding
  •  we honeymooned at Walt Disney World - just like I always wanted
  •  I have 1 sibling
  • I had a mishap with my finger that led to 7 years of pain (gross, pictures - not for those weak in the stomach)
  •  I worked at a video store for 7 years (started in high school and worked my way up to management)
  •  one of my favorite places to go is my fathers grave - it is right on the water, and makes me feel relaxed to be there
  • I love to bake and have a passion for decorating cakes

NFL reporter takes football to face

It isn't often that I post sports stuff here - but when I came across this I thought I would share.

Ian Rapoport was live on air when a football smacked him right in the it for yourself...ouch, I think I would have cried.....poor guy

WIN $50.00 to Tiny Prints!!!!

I remember growing up, my family always received a ton of Christmas cards every year, and my mom sent out quite a few also.  As an adult, hubby and I started sending Christmas cards the first year we owned our home - and continued for several years. I have cut down on the amount we send, as it got to be difficult getting them done with 2 kids hanging around.

Do you send out Christmas cards? Do you send Photo Christmas Cards? Now is your chance to win a $50.00 gift code to Tiny Prints - entering is easy, just use the rafflecopter form below - and good luck! Giveaway is open from October 15-October 29th.

Thanks to Creating Comfort for letting me take part!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

delicious smoothie

I like to treat the kids to smoothies every now and then, but I can't bare to pay the price at restaurants/coffee shops or smoothie bars. SO - we make them at home. They are so simple to make, and EASY to customize to individual tastes.

Below you will find my base recipe:

1 banana
1/4 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup yogurt *
1/2 cup orange juice**

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. If it is too thick for your liking, add in more oj. Not thick enough, add in more banana or yogurt.

*any flavour of yogurt can be used, I generally use vanilla because that is what we normally have on hand
**any flavour of juice can be used, I use OJ because I like the flavour


- pineapple (gives a somewhat exotic taste, but not enough for a picky eater to know the difference)
- omit juice altogether
- crushed ice will give it a slushier texture
- any type of fruit will do - we love the taste combination of banana, orange and berries
- spinach (yes, a great way to get their greens into them - BUT some people do not tolerate the spinach/dairy combination - I learned the hard way with my son)
- protein powder can be added, or a carnation instant breakfast
- for a less healthier option, you could use real frozen yogurt (the dessert kind) instead of regular yogurt

As you can see, you can pretty much turn anything into a smoothie - healthier than a milkshake but still a sweet treat!

Mr. J gets "attacked" by Pluto at DisneyWorld

During our trip to Walt Disney World we went to "the Character Spot" - it is an indoor location where you can meet the main Disney Characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto). While we were there, Mr. J was super excited to see them all. You can take photo's with your own camera, or give the PhotoPass Photographer your card and have professional photos done.

We chose the latter - and we have a few family pics with the characters. We were fairly lucky as the wait was minimal the day we went - there were only a few people in line ahead of us. The longest wait we had was after Mr. J saw Pluto - but Pluto decided to make the best of it - and he attacked Mr. J - with tickles.

He held him tight and started tickling him, then started to roll around on the floor with him - it was so spontaneous, Mr. J LOVED it and the PhotoPass photographer captured it ALL on camera! How lucky we were....Check below for the sequence - it's quite priceless

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Local business spotlight - Brinkeetos

A few months ago, I discovered a local business – Brinkeetos. A friend of mine was working there, and when they started opening for daytime drop-ins, we went to check it out. My children had a ton of fun, and kept asking to go back.  Over the summer, we tried to make weekly trips to play – and Mr. J was actually one of the first kids to attend their pd day “camp”.  It isn't your usual play center for kids – adults can enjoy the activities just as much (I had forgotten how good of a workout hula-hooping could be!).  Below you will find a Q&A with Brinkeetos owner, Tairy!

1) Tell us a little about YOU!
I arrived to Canada in 2003 from Venezuela. I graduated in Computer Science and Management while feeling compelled to work with children. I decided to study Child Development and have taken courses on Infant Massage, Yoga for Children, as well as many other children’s programs. I am constantly seeking knowledge to apply it to Brinkeetos where I use the basics of psychomotricity on every program I design and in every interaction I have with kids.

2) How did you come up with the idea for Brinkeetos?
That’s a tough question, it wasn't something that one day I woke up, shouted “eureka!”, and Brinkeetos was born. It was a more gradual idea. I wanted children to have fun, to have a clean environment where they would be free to explore, play, and keep active. I wanted something child-centered instead of created for adults and then adapted to children. I wanted them to have a healthy lifestyle. Thus, Brinkeetos was born.

3) What is the purpose of Brinkeetos?
It’s a holistic approach to children’s development, setting up children’s path to a healthy lifestyle. All our activities are meant to keep children active while having fun and learning. For example, when children climb our climbing wall, they are not only working on their upper body, they are also working on having a better hand writing, working on problem solving, body awareness, and even math!

4) What ages are the classes geared for?
There is something for everybody! From infant massage for babies that are not crawling yet, to Date Night where we have an older crowd, it was originally created 0 to 9 years old but I've had 10 year olds having lots of fun at a Date Night. All the equipment adapts pretty well through the ages, it always depends on the crowd we have at any specific moment.

5) What programs/services are offered?
·        Infant Massage
·        Sensory classes
·        Brink Yoga
·        Brink Dance
·        Circuit classes
·        Drop-in & Play
·        Brink Care (1.5h Drop-off)
·        Date Night
·        PD Day Fun
·        Birthday Parties

6) What benefit is there to the kids?
There are so many benefits! There are some that are physical, such as:
·        Coordination & Balance
·        Cardio
·        Endurance
·        Strength
·        Gross Motor Development
·        Fine Motor Development
·        Upper & lower body training

And so many more benefits, such as:
·        Listening skills
·        Problem solving skills
·        Challenging oneself
·        Encouragement of imagination
·        Body awareness
·        Hand-eye coordination
·        Math skills
·        And so much more!

If your in Ottawa, I highly urge you to check it out - there are so many options for activities - or even just a rainy/cold day activity at the drop in. Mr. J had so much fun at the PD Day Fun, he will be going back again! Check out a few of the pictures I have taken of the boys during our visits.

Kyle attempting the climbing wall

the boys playing in the ball pit

Rice Krispies Squares variations

As I mentioned in this post, I am a Rice Krispies square lover. Over the years, I have tried many different variations of them - and I thought I would post some of them here.  The first one is one I made up when I wanted something different one day (although I am sure others have thought of the same thing - this isn't a "recipe" per say, but the measurements that I use)

Peanut Butter/Chocolate Rice Krispies Squares (the one I make, I don't follow any particular recipe)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 (250g) bag of marshmallows
5 cups of rice krispies cereal
chocolate chips for drizzling (approx 1/4 cup)

1) Melt the butter and PB in a large pot over low heat
2) Once the butters are melted, stir in marshmallows and continue stirring until they are all melted
3) Add in the cereal and mix until completely combined
4) Remove from heat and spread in a greased 8*8 pan
5) Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle over top of the squares
6) Let set and then cut into squares

Mars Bar Rice Krispies Squares (this recipe comes from

4 regular-size Mars bars
1/2 cup butter
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup milk chocolate chips
chopped nuts (optional)


1)Melt butter and Mars bars over med-low heat in a large saucepan until smooth.
2)Remove from heat; stir in Rice Krispies cereal, and nuts, (if using).
3)Press into a greased 8x8 pan.
4)Top with chocolate chips, and place under broiler for 30 seconds Remove from oven and spread chocolate evenly over squares.
5)Store in fridge.
6)Cut into squares, and serve.

Read more at:

Do you have a favorite variation of Rice Krispies Squares? I would love to hear it!

Family Movie Night

We try and have a family movie night 1x week - generally it is Friday nights, but the odd time it happens to be a Saturday.

We normally let Mr. J pick the movie, so we often end up with Cars, Cars 2, Ratatouille, or Ghostbusters. Tonight, we decided to that we would pick the movie. While we were searching Netflix - we came across The Great Outdoors (John Candy). Neither hubby or I had seen it in years, so we decided to give it a try. The boys absolutely loved it - the giggles coming out of Mr. J and Mr. K during the bear/candy bar scene were priceless.
Here is a list of movies that we will try and watch over the next few months:

- ET
- Harry and the Hendersons
- Flight of the Navigator
- Mac and Me
- Jumanji (not sure if it would be too scary or not...)

Do you have family movie nights? What movies do you like to watch? Check out Moms & Munchkins great post on Family Movie Nights!

Halloween is coming

Halloween is BIG fun in our household. My hubby gets really into it - we have a few large blow up decorations that find a home on our lawn! He does a pretty good set up - we constantly get comments on it from the parents of the trick or treaters!

Hubby and Mr. J pick out our pumpkins, and then I do most of the carving (we all choose our own designs, but for some reason it's me that gets the job done).

Halloween day I normally take the kids to our local mall for the "safe" trick or treating - it is really meant for the wee ones, a chance for them to get in on the candy action and wearing their costumes! This year - we will be heading to Brinkeetos for their Halloween party!  Mr. J has school in the afternoon and then we will go trick or treating after supper!

We go as a family to the houses that we know, and then I will bring Mr. K back to the house to finish handing out candy, while hubby and my FIL take Mr. J around the neighbourhood. Next year Mr.K will be able to join them, but this year it would be too much.

What are some of your halloween traditions?

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's going to be a rice krispie halloween!

I have very fond memories of my mom making Rice Krispie Squares in our kitchen - I loved to help her make them as I got old enough; they really are one of the easiest treats to make - with few ingredients and little work.

As a part of the Kellogger's network, I am pleased to show you our latest package!  Included was a box of Rice Krispies, a 250g bag of marshmallows, pumpkin and bat cookie cutters and lots of candy to decorate with. For all sorts of shapes and decorating ideas head over to the Rice Krispies website!

What you will need (the recipe can be found on the Rice Krispies box also)
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1 (250g) bag of marshmallows
6 cups of rice krispies
vanilla extract (optional)

the contents of the latest package

To make things easier, we waited until Mr. K went to bed - and then Mr. J and I got to work in the kitchen. We melted 1/4 cup of butter in a large pot, then added in the 250g bag of marshmallows. We melted the marshmallows over low heat, and then we poured in 6cups of rice krispies. I used a wooden spoon to combine everything.

yummy marshmallowy goodness!

he loves to help his mama!

Once combined, I used a spoon to scoop out the warm mixture onto a cookie sheet (I lined it with foil and sprayed with cooking spray). I patted the mixture down (using a ziplock bag with the outside coated with a small amount of butter to avoid sticking)

working away!

We then set to work - we moulded the monster heads into balls; shaped the snake and we let the rest of the mixture firm up a little to use the cookie cutters.

some of our finished treats
I would like to extend my thanks to the Kellogger's network for sending me this package of goodies! Mr. J and I certainly had fun putting it all together!

New post on the CHEO Moms and Dads site

Head on over to CHEO Moms & Dads and read about how I get my kids involved in giving back to the community. They are never to young to learn about being kind and giving!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

TELUS Health - Emergency Profile Tool

Do you have a medical condition and worry that, if you are unable to communicate with medical personnel in an emergency, they may not know?  TELUS Health is offering a new service: Emergency Profile.

What is it?

 - it is a new service where you can sign up online and organize all of your medical information (health conditions, prescription medication, allergies etc) in one place. They have partnered with the Medic-alert foundation to bring this amazing service FREE!  It is easy to access - and even gives you the option to print out a card to carry in your wallet.

Who can use it?

- anyone with online access. It is a great tool that can be shared electronically or could even be printed out and left for babysitters or caregivers.  Should something happen to your children or loved ones and your unreachable, their current medical info would be at their fingertips.

How do I sign up?

Individuals can create their free Emergency Profile in a few easy steps:
1. Visit
2. Click on “Get started”
3. Enter basic information
4. Enter health information and emergency contacts
5. Save information
6. View, print and share information

I think it is an awesome new service - it would definitely be a tool that would come in handy. Should something happen to me, my hubby doesn't really know my medical history - so if I were unconscious, and my mom not reachable - they would not know about my medicinal allergies; my mom had her aortic valve replaced a few years ago, but I don't know what type of meds she is again, this would be really handy to have. It only took me a few minutes to sign myself up -what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Emergency Profileand check it out for yourself!

*I received compensation for this post – all opinions expressed belong to Tales of Mommyhood; your opinion/experience may vary

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Brain Tumour Awareness Month

October is Brain Tumour awareness month. A friend and fellow blogger has asked me to help spread the word as it is a cause very near to her - as she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2009. I would love it if you could head on over to Shannons View from Here to read about Brain Tumour awareness month, and you can also read her story.

Fall crafts

I love to do crafts with my kids - especially when they are not messy ones.  When I was growing up (not sure exactly where I got the idea from - maybe from a kids show called Take Part?) I would do this activity with waxed paper and involved shaving the crayons (using a Popsicle stick or your nail) - then you would take the shavings and put it between waxed paper; then you would iron the top of the waxed paper and the crayon shavings, being wax, would melt from the heat making neat designs. You could then hang them in the window, or put them on the wall etc.

I remember doing this, but adding in leaves and with Mr. J being 5, I thought it would be a great time to do this craft. One of the things I love about it: it gets you outside! Take the kids on a nature walk and find the best leaves you can (it doesn't matter how many you have) You can spend lots of time outdoors, hiking the trails or even just going in your own backyard.

Mr. J organizing his craft

Another great thing, you can do it in 2 parts if you want. Young kids love to hunt for things, so hunting for leaves and then saving the craft for a rainy day works well too!

While the kids are at the table organizing their "pictures" the way they want it, you can set the iron up in a safe spot. Once the leaves are organized the way they want them, add in the crayon shavings (don't put too many in one spot, and not close to the edges or they will leak out).

Once they have everything how they like it, carefully place another sheet of wax paper (or fold the one your using in half if you want) and take it to your ironing surface.  I like to start out with a tea towel over top to help smooth it out a little, and once I have made 2 or 3 passes around the surface, I remove it and iron directly on the top sheet of waxed paper. The heat from the iron seals the waxed paper, and melts the crayons...

The boys finished products 

We now have lots of leaves left to make more (we gave some to their grandparents at Thanksgiving, and I have one hanging in my front window)

I am a Kellogger

Growing up, my favorite cereals were Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies (especially as a young child, I loved to hear the snap, crackle, pop!)  My boys both love Rice Krispies too (even more so when we make rice krispies squares!)  I was so excited when I found out that Kelloggs had a blogger program - and even more thrilled when I found out that I was accepted into the Kelloggers program.

My first package arrived yesterday - when I got home from errands with Kyle, it was waiting for me on my front step. Kyle happily joined me in opening it up - and I was amazed at what I found. The box contents are in the below picture:

The boys are pretty happy to have Chocolate Cereal in the house (something bought VERY rarely) and Julien was very co-operative when I asked if he would be a taste tester - I think you will agree that by the smile on his face he LOVES it!

I am really looking forward to bringing you the latest information and tidbits from Kellogg's! Did you know that Kellogg's was founded in 1906 as the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, by W.K Kellogg?  The Kellogg logo, to this day, remains his signature.  Tony the Tiger was born in 1951; Eggo waffles are also part of the Kellogg's brand and they recently celebrated their 75th birthday.  Kellogg's was one of the first to print detailed nutrition information on the packaging, and continue to this day - you can visit  to get all the information.

Kellogg's is committed to the environment also - the very first box of Kellogg's cereal was made from entirely recycled material. Today, almost all of their cereal boxes are made from recycled paperboard.

October 10 WW

they play together - a rare moment of happiness

Help reduce your carbon imprint with Silk Canada and Tree Canada

In the last few months I have really started to think about how the products we use in our daily life (cleaning, eating, garbage, etc) impact the environment. As most of my readers know - I have started using Norwex products to clean my home, eliminating most of the chemicals used on a daily basis,  and I have started to use the green bin program that our city has.  I am excited to tell you about a new opportunity for YOU to help - so read on!

Did you know that using a 1.89L carton of Silk instead of Milk produces 49% fewer greenhouse gas emissions* and uses 76% less water** than dairy milk - not only does it have wonderful nutritional benefits, but its great tasting.

Silk Canada wants to do more to help the environment, and has teamed up with Tree Canada to help plant more trees***. They want Canadians to join in and help as well, by reducing our own carbon footprints - and have created an online carbon calculator; this calculator asks Canadians to choose 1 of 7 options in which to reduce their footprint, and then calculates the environmental impact the pledge will make. For every pledge made, Silk Canada will donate $1.00**** to Tree Canada to plant more trees.

I headed on over to the carbon calculator and pledged to eat less meat in my diet and to increase my recycling - by doing so, the calculator tells me that I will take 55 cars off the road for 1 day. What will you pledge? I would love to hear what environmental impact you will have - so once you take the pledge, please leave a comment telling me!

*Based on a U.S. study comparing one carton (1.89L) of U.S. dairy milk and Original Silk soy and almond beverages and applied to Canadian Silk sales. U.S. study: Life Cycle Assessment conducted in 2011 by WhiteWave Foods Company and certified using the ISO 14040/44 framework for comparative declarations by an independent panel of LCA experts. 
**Based on a 2010 water footprint assessment conducted by Silk using the Water Footprint Network methodology. 
****Up to a maximum of $25k

This post was sponsored - all opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood and your opinion/experience may vary

Monday, October 8, 2012

our beautiful weekend!

We spent this glorious Thanksgiving Day afternoon in the backyard - and I was able to capture this AMAZING picture - while I would love to use it for a wordless wednesday post, it is just to precious to wait - so here it is

and to be fair to Kyle - a great picture of him also

How did you spend your Thanksgiving weekend?

The Princess Bride celebrates 25 years!

The Princess Bride is celebrating it's 25th anniversary by being released on Blu ray - with special features (including voice commentary by both director Rob Reiner and Screenplay writer William Goldman) as well as a reunion between director and stars! To help commemorate the anniversary,  a new picture was chosen for the cover (which was voted on by fans)

I was so happy when I had the opportunity to review the DVD - it was one that I fell in love with the first time I saw it, many years ago. I STILL remember the first time I saw it - one of my girlfriends brought it over to watch at my house, on VHS (yes, this was way back in 1994 - VHS was still cool back then). We watched it in my parents family room and I felt immediately transported into the fairy tale.

While it wasn't a huge hit at the box-office, it is a great movie. I love the type of humour that is used, it has action and romance - everything a true fairy tale would include.

Watching it again as an adult was great - it has been MANY years since I have seen it (probably the last time I came across it on the television); I think my favorite character would have to be Max (Billy Crystal) and Fezzik (Andre the giant) - and of course, I love the theme song also (side note - my aunt and uncle had that song played at their wedding!)

If you haven't seen the movie - check it out. If you have seen it, but it's been a long time - watch it again!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year at Thanksgiving, the kids around here have a 4 day weekend. The Friday is a PD day, and then Monday is Thanksgiving day. We have a big Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night at my in-laws - Turkey, stuffing, potato's and apple crisp for desert...yummy!

I hope that all of my fellow Canadians have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for - we are healthy, have clothes to wear, a house to live in and food to eat. Great family and friends - take care and enjoy your holiday weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Aviva Community Fund

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aviva Community Fund for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you heard of the Aviva Community Fund? The fund has $1,000,000 that they allocate to a yearly competition - the competition gets people to submit their ideas with ways they are trying to better their community.
Why a Competition?
At Aviva, we pride ourselves on being experts in the insurance world. When it comes to protecting your car, home, or business, or helping you deal with a claim, we've got you covered. But when it comes to knowing what it takes to improve your community, we recognize that you know best.
I think this competition is such a great way to get things moving. Even if your idea is not chosen as a winner, it still brings attention to the cause at hand - and might get the ball rolling for funding from other places.  The community I live in is awesome. We have terrific parks for the kids to play at; great schools - but our local food cupboard is always in demand. There are people in need of food, clothing, school supplies. It's wonderful that we have the services - but truly heartbreaking that they are needed - and that demand is so high.
Aviva 1
Since they want to hear YOUR ideas - what are they? Have you ever had the desire to help out your community, but didn't know where to start? Is there a school playground that could use a facelift?  an animal shelter in need of funds?
To submit YOUR idea, register with the Aviva Community Fund website - and follow the instructions from there. There are certain criteria that must be met to be eligible to win, one of them being that wherever the funds go - it must be Canadian.
Aviva 2
The competition is now open for idea submission (from September 24th until November 26th). Voting will be taking place in rounds (to vote you must be a Canadian resident and registered on the Aviva Community Fund website).
For more information, you can Like Aviva Community Fund and Follow @Aviva.
I would love to hear your thoughts - are you active in your community? Do you volunteer?

Visit Sponsor's Site