Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Ripen Tomatoes In A Box

My tomato plants did really well this summer, but having planted them so late we were stuck at the beginning of September with a ton of green tomatoes.  They were the size they should be, but had not ripened yet.

I was really sad that I wasn't going to get to enjoy the rest of them, and then someone mentioned that you can ripen them off the vine.

To do so - they need to be fully grown.

You will need a box and a banana (one that has started to get spots on it)

Place the tomatoes in the cardboard box in a single layer, add the banana and close the box.  As the banana ripens, it lets off gas which helps to ripen the green tomatoes.

I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but figured it was worth a try.  I added my tomatoes and banana to the box and closed it (it had a small slit open where the flaps came together on top) and waited a few days.

I opened the box and found that the tomatoes were starting to ripen.  I closed it and checked the next day and 1 was ready.  A few days later I had 2 more ready and now I am waiting on 4, which I think should be ready around Monday or Tuesday.

Challenges With Sugared Beverages Being Ignored

Staying hydrated is super important for a healthy, active lifestyle. For our bodies to function properly, we need exercise, rest,  food and water.  A recent study of Canadian moms* shows that on average, moms reach for pop 3-4 times a week - and 39% of them don't plan on changing this habit.

The average pop contains 10 tsps of sugar, while juice is only *slightly* better with around 8 tsps in a 355ml glass.  The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the average adult consume 6tsps of sugar DAILY.  That's a lot less than just one serving of soda.

The current sugar intake of Canadians is alarming. Excessive sugar consumption is linked to many serious health conditions including obesity, diabetes and dental cavities.
Reducing your consumption of sugared beverages will help reduce your overall daily
sugar intake. For a healthy alternative, try swapping soft drinks or juice with sparkling
water. Sparking water is free of both sugar and calories, making it an easy way to cut
back on your sugar consumption so you can enjoy a healthier life.
- Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
Live Healthy.  Live Bubbly.

Nestle is committed to helping families live healthier lives.  They are challenging Canadians to take the Live Healthy. Live Bubbly. 7 day challenge.  Nestle wants you to swap one sugared beverage for a Pure Life Sparkling Spring Water (Original, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin or Raspberry Lime flavours). Visit Nestle to learn more about hydration and to take the pledge to reduce the sugar in your diet.

I cut out pop and juice a few months ago, and am amazed at how much better I feel.  I still have the odd iced tea if I am out to eat, but that is a rare treat.  I stopped buying juice and pop, and the kids now drink only water at school and home, with a glass of milk a day.  Juice is reserved as a special treat for birthday parties or restaurants.

Will you take the pledge to reduce your sugar intake?

*survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Nestle Waters Canada

This post contains sponsored content.  All opinions belong to Tales of Mommyhood, your experience/opinion may vary.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

How Many Strollers Is Too Many?

the original travel system we had
When my oldest was born, we were kind of overwhelmed when we went to look at baby strollers. We ended up purchasing a stroller/travel system.  It was a larger stroller with one handed fold, a storage basket underneath, cup holders for him AND the person pushing the stroller; it had a 5 point harness and came with a car seat that would attach as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple Picking 2014

This years apple picking trip almost didn't happen.  We were originally going to go 2 weeks ago, but the mac's weren't ready and decided to wait until today.  It was raining, but we decided to chance it.

I am so glad we did.  It cleared up a bit as we got closer to the orchard; the rain didn't stop, but it wasn't too heavy and we still managed to have a great time and get a whole lot of apples (and picked up a dozen apple cider donuts while we were there)

I didn't get too many pictures because of the rain, but here are the few I did get

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Smashing Pumpkins Time At Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

Located just east of the City of Ottawa you will find Cumberland Heritage Village Museum.  A place where you can step back in time to the 1920's and 1930's.  Not only can you see items from this time, but you can also immerse yourself in the way of life by taking part in the many activities that are offered.

The CHVM offers many special events throughout the year; coming up on October 5, Smashing Pumpkins!  Visit the museum between 10am and 4pm and you can take part in one of the most popular events offered!

Smashing Pumpkins allows you to learn about flight technology in the 1920's and 1930's.  You will have a chance to make a modern airship, see and play with model trebuchets, paint a pumpkin and then, using a trebuchet, launch your pumpkin across a field towards a giant target.

Cost: included with regular admission
Adults: $7.00
Seniors/Students $5.00
Families: $18.00 (2 adults and all children under 18 yrs old)
Annual Family Membership: $35.00
From OttawaTake highway 417 east to highway 174 (Orléans/Rockland turn off).
At Trim Road the highway becomes two lanes. Keep following it until you arrive at the set of traffic lights at the Village of Cumberland.
Turn right at the lights on to Cameron Street.
Turn left at the stop sign on to Old Montreal Road.
Follow Old Montreal for 1.5 km. The museum is on the right hand side of the road.
From GatineauFrom Gatineau, Quebec, take the Masson-Cumberland ferry operating all day.
Follow Cameron Street to Old Montreal Road. Turn Left.
Follow Old Montreal through village for 1.5 km. The museum is on the right.
From RocklandTake Highway 174 W towards Ottawa.
Turn left on Old Montreal Road.
Follow Old Montreal Road until you reach the museum on the left.

Have you ever gone to the Smashing Pumpkins event before? Let me know what it was like!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The BEST Apple Crisp

I am a huge fan of apple crisp.  I have been making it for many years, and tried many different recipes.  I finally fused a few together to come up with my favourite, and it's always devoured by my hubby and any guests we have over.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Planning Next Summer's Mini Getaway

Every summer I take the boys to visit my aunt and uncle at their cottage. It’s approximately 90 minutes from our house, so it makes a very easy day trip, and sometimes we do it two or three times in a summer. We pack the car with everything we need for the day (puddle jumpers, snacks, swim suits, sunscreen and pj’s for when it’s time to come home).

September 22 Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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This weekend was great, but now it's time to get back to the routines of the week!  The boys are looking forward to seeing their friends at school, and I am looking forward to getting some more work done in the kitchen (updating the walls!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Walking Down Memory Lane

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I had a chance to sit down with a longtime friend yesterday.  We went to elementary school together, but became friends in 7th grade (1992). This is the friend that sat next to me on my bed many times, for many hours planning our future.  We would live next to each other, and marry best friends, our children would arrive around the same time so that they could grow up best friends.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Saving For Your Child's Future With Heritage Education Funds Inc.

It's Back to School Time! Now is the Time To Start Saving For Your Child’s Future With Heritage Education Funds Inc.

I remember when my oldest started school - it was such an exciting time for him, and very emotional for me. My mom came over, we walked him to the bus stop and watched him get on. It wasn't a super sunny day, but I was wearing sunglasses to make sure he didn't see my tears; I didn't want my emotions to affect how his first day of school started off.

Mr. J's very first day of kindergarten

With back-to-school season almost upon us and my youngest starting kindergarten this fall, I am again met with many mixed emotions: I am happy for this change in his life; I think he is going to LOVE school and having friends to play with every day. However, I am sad that he is growing up. I can only imagine the emotions when my children graduate high school and start post-secondary education.

With that come thoughts about finances and wondering what the cost of college or university is going to be 10 years from now when Mr. J graduates high school. We put money aside every month so that we will hopefully be able to help him with his continued education; we may not be able to cover all of the expenses while he’s in school, but we certainly hope that we will be able to help as much as possible.

There are many ways you can save for your child’s future education — a separate bank account, a shoe box under your bed, or an RESP. The "bonus" with RESPs is that there are certain grants from the government that can add money to the RESP, should you qualify. One of these is the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). The CESG equals 20% of the first $2,500 of your annual contributions per beneficiary. If your child is eligible for the CESG, you will receive a maximum of $500 to $600 until your child reaches the age of 17, to a lifetime amount of $7,200. Very handy!

Heritage Education Funds has been helping families save for their children’s post-secondary education since as far back as 1965. They also have representatives nationwide. You can check this link to find someone in your area.

Have you started saving for your kids’ post-secondary education?

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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We are really starting to hit our school year groove; the kids have adjusted well and are getting used to our new routines.  Mr. K still isn't too happy to be taking the bus without his big brother - hopefully this week will be a little better.  Have a look through the giveaways listed and enter any that catch your eye - good lucki!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

14 Mouth Watering Apple Recipes {round-up}

Apple season is upon us, and my mouth is watering researching great recipes to try out!  Every year our family goes apple picking with another family, and I can't wait to get those apples turned into delicious treats!  My favourite is my apple crisp recipe, but I can't wait to try out the rest!

best apple crisp, apple, streusel, cinnamon, apple picking, apple season, fall recipes
Tales of Mommyhood

Monday, September 8, 2014

MAJESTA e-z Flush Shake Test {giveaway}

Tammy Buchanan is the founder of Small Jobs Plumbing - the very first woman owned and operated plumbing company in Nova Scotia.  One of her top tips is recommending that people use a toilet paper that breaks down quickly in water - helping to keep your toilets clog free.  This is especially important if you have a septic system, or low flush toilets.

September 8th Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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I really hope that all of the kids and school workers had a wonderful first week back at school! My children seemed to enjoy it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Win With Superpoints

A few years ago I was a member of Superpoints.  I cashed out for paypal rewards quite often, and then they closed the website.  I found out last week that it is back!!!

They have changed things up a bit, but there are still many (free) options to earn Superpoints - and you can cash out for different rewards (no more paypal unfortunately).

If you are someone that likes to earn points for things, then you will want to check it out.  You can use my referral link to sign up (it's an invite only site)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harvest Day at Billings Estate National Historic Museum

Photo taken from the Billings Estate National Historic Site Facebook Page
Have you had the chance to visit the Billings Estate National Historic Site?  I have not, although I have driven past a few times over the years.  I often think I should stop in, but just have not had the chance. I definitely need to change that after seeing all the great things they have to offer.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mr. K's First Day of Junior Kindergarten

The day has finally come.  My baby has gone to school for the first time.

I was a little worried the last few days - he kept saying he didn't want to go to school or take the bus.   I had no idea what I was in for this morning.

He woke up happy and excited, and when it came time to get to the bus he was out the door faster than I could be.  He walked up to the stop, played for a few minutes and then when the bus came he stood at the curb and waited until I told him he could go.

He let me give him a kiss, and he walked on and didn't plan on looking back.  The bus driver had him turn around so I could take a picture.

I held myself together until the bus pulled away, and then I had a mini cry on my moms shoulder.  I was not as emotional as I thought (which probably has to do with sending a kid off to school happy as can be).

Hubby had walked Mr. J to school, and Mr. K ran over to his dad when he spotted him on the other side of the yard.  No tears, just happy to go and play!

After some running around in the morning I came home and made a welcome home cake for him (I did a welcome home cake for Mr. J's first day of JK as well)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

End of Summer Trip To Upper Canada Village

I always like to plan a fun day trip for the last week of summer.  Whether it is to my aunts cottage, valley view farm or a museum, something fun that the kids will enjoy and allows us to spend time together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mr. J's First Day of Grade 2

Mr. J wasn't too happy the last few days with school approaching.  He was really sad to be going back - apparently he loved being home with me as much as I loved having him home!  I was a little worried that I would have to drag him kicking and screaming to school this morning, but when he woke up he was really excited.

He couldn't wait to check out his lunch and add a few things I had not put in.  He gathered his beyblades and stadium and had me spike up his mohawk.

It was 7am and he was ready to go.....I had to break the news that we had another 90 minutes before we left.

When we arrived at school he found a few friends and wanted me to leave :(
Mr. K and I go to school this afternoon to meet his teacher, and then he has his first day on Thursday!

I hope all your kids had a great start to the year, and to all the school workers enjoy the year!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mr. K's Batman Birthday

Mr. K requested a Batman and Superman birthday party this year.  I made a tie dyed cake (vanilla cake separated into 4 bowls and tinted with food colouring) then mixed up drop by drop into the pan.

When it came to decorating, he wanted the bat signal and the superman symbol.  I decided to try working with fondant for this (it was the first time I have ever done it).  I made the marshmallow fondant then tinted and made the symbols.

I iced the cake a light blue, added the fondant symbols and used a chocolate border with chocolate writing.

When it came to decorations, hubby couldn't find any Superman party stuff.  I found some printable colouring pages online and printed out a few of the bat signal and a few Superman pages.  Set up a colouring station at the kitchen table.

When hubby was out, he found lots of Batman party stuff (plates, cups, loot bags, pinata, and hanging decorations)

I bought a batman poster and we used it to pin the bat signal on Joker (whoever got their signal over Jokers nose was the winner).
some of the stuff I printed for the party

In terms of drinks and snacks, I made a snack mix (cheerios, gold fish crackers, pretzel sticks, plain popcorn, special k granola and rice krispies multi-grain multi-shapes cereals) and well as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.

We had "Joker Juice" (a mix of cranberry juice and orange juice) and "Invisible Water" to drink. When we were finished with snacks and cake, the kids headed outside for the pinata and then played on the play structure for a while.
Invisible Water and Joker Juice for the kids to drink

Mr. K really seemed to enjoy himself and was glad to have his friends over to celebrate with him! Mr. J had a superhero party for his 5th birthday - have your kids had a superhero party?

Labour Day Monday Madness Giveaway Linky

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Welcome to September - start off the month by entering some awesome giveaways.  My kids both start school this week (JK and Grade 2) so it's going to be very busy for us! Good luck