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Monday, 20 October 2014

50 Easy Weeknight Meals & Easy Turkey Soup

Hey all!  I've partnered up with some great bloggers to make your weeknight meals a little easier this Fall.  We've put together collection of family meals that are quick and easy to get on the table at the dinner witching hour.  You will find the link at the very bottom to all the meals. Be sure to check each one out.  I'm salivating just looking at the pictures.  I know that my family will be enjoying some variety over the next little while! 

I'm also sharing with you a meal that is a staple at our house after Thanksgiving.

Easy Weeknight Meals, Turkey Soup

Monday, 13 October 2014

And... we're moving again!

I can hardly believe it's been over a month since I last posted... yeap I'm a blogging slacker!  I have good reason though.

After our vacation to Florida in August, I happened to be daydreaming one day, so I started looking around at homes for sale in our area that were out of our price range. I mean WAY-OUT-OF-OUR-PRICE-RANGE! You know, just for fun.  Well, I looked at one house, and I showed it to hubby, who says, "we should look at it". What?!?!?  Huh??!!  "No we are not moving, I'm just bored and just looking around, I said.  Anyways, it didn't end there and we called our realtor Matt and off we went to look at this beautiful home which was way too expensive for us.  It was a beautiful house, but it was looking a little tired, and needed to be freshened up.  Oh and did  I mention it was way out of our price range? Yes, so we came home and laughed at ourselves that we even wasted our realtor's time to go look at it. And we both said to each other "it's only been a year at this house, we're not moving until the girls are done high school." Famous last words!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

{DIY} - Fall Sign

Well the FALLification (is that a word?) of our entry continues. And once again I didn't spend a penny.

One thing you may not know about me is that I hoard wood remnants. I have all sorts of pieces of wood in our basement waiting to be dealt with. So when I got the itch to craft and I wenr downstairs and grabbed a random piece of wood.

So this project was FREE! I love Free, don't you?






Monday, 8 September 2014

DIY- Fall Wreath

Hey! How was your weekend? We had a wicked storm here on Friday night, and the weather really cooled off for the weekend. Kind of like a reminder that Fall is coming... although, here in Southwestern Ontario we've been reminded that Fall was coming all summer long. But enough about that.

With the cooler weather this weekend I decided it was time to accept it and start my Fall crafting.

Fall wreath using twine balls and hydrangeas

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Summer 2014 - Seaside, Florida Vacation

Hi everyone!

It's been awhile since I posted on here.  After my Biggest Loser competition came to an end, I need to take a breather.  Honestly I felt kind of lost afterwards, not having something scheduled every single minute of my day! But I needed a break. And so I... actually "we" took one!

We drove down to Seaside, Florida (17 hours over 2 days) for a few days of fun and sun and a whole lot of relaxation.  I hope you don't mind but I took a couple of pictures to share with you all.  Fair warning there are alot of pictures.  Actually consider yourself lucky I only uploaded these because I took 550 pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Losing it and Winning - So did I win?

Hey all!

Sorry I've been MIA for the last couple of weeks, but it couldn't be helped.  First I was working my bootie off trying to finish off strong in the Biggest Loser challenge and then I needed to recover.

If you are new to this series, I wrote a little bit about my 12 week challenge in this post.  Here are the recaps for week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7week 8week 9 and week 10.


So where do I start? The last I left you, my percentage weight loss was 13.87% and I was sitting at 148.4 lbs after binging nasty encounter with a bag Honey Teddy Graham cookies one night.  Up until that point my average weight loss per week was about 2.5 lbs. I was irritable and miserable and just plain irritated with the whole thing and ready to give up.  But I'm a fighter so I put on my big girl workout clothes and really kicked it up a notch.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

{RECIPE} Easy Tin Foil Potato Packets

We love to camp in the summertime, at least once. We've been doing it since the girls were babies.  But before we head out I like to test out recipes at home to make sure they will work for us when were out there without my bare necessities (back-up food).

Recently I tasted tested these at home and they turned out amazing. Kids loved them too!



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Monday, 14 July 2014

Losing it and Winning - Week 10

If you are new to this series, I wrote a little bit about my 12 week challenge in this post.  Here are the recaps for week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7week 8 and week 9.




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I have had a few people ask me about an update pic so, I managed to take one yesterday after my group session.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this already. Thanks to all for your kind comments, it gets me through the tough parts of my day, knowing that someone is rooting for me.

Friday, 11 July 2014

{RECIPE} - Best Ever BBQ Sauce

This has become my go-to home made BBQ sauce  and my kids love it. I've used it on chicken wings, as a hamburger topping and even with these holiday meatballs. It is so easy to make and you can control how much heat you want. I love the sweet and spicy flavour.

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Best Ever BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp steak sauce
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • a couple shakes of hot pepper sauce (depends on how spicy you want it)
Directions:
  1. In sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in oil, until slightly browned.
  2. Stir in remainder of ingredients except for hot pepper sauce.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add a couple of shakes of hot pepper sauce to desired spiciness. Enjoy!

* Refrigerate the leftovers.
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Some other Summer Recipes you may like:



Let's Connect!





linking up at: Be Awesome

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

{RECIPE} - Grilled Vegetable Salad

I love grilling in the summer time! I love to eat salads in the summer time! I have found a way to combine my two faves into one big bowl of yummy goodness. I'll even call it healthy yummy goodness... mmmkay? You can use whatever vegetables are in season or whatever you have in your crisper. 

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Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:
  • Fresh Summer Vegetables (not frozen)- red and yellow peppers, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Dressing ( i used my favourite)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Prepare your vegetables for the BBQ (see pic below, to see how I did it)
  2. In a bowl, pour olive oil over vegetables and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  3. Place on grill until you have your desired doneness. We like ours on the softer side.
  4. Once vegetables are grilled, carefully chop them up into bite-sized pieces.
  5. In a bowl add chopped tomatoes, chopped grilled vegetables and pour balsamic dressing over top. Mix together. 
  6.  Sprinkle feta cheese over top. Enjoy!
Grilled Vegetable Salad

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TIP: Skewer your mushrooms so you can easily turn them.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

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Are you a summer griller or a year round griller? Do eat like to eat salads in the summer?


Let's Connect!




Tuesday, 8 July 2014

{RECIPE} - Pound cake with Ice-cream and Strawberry Sauce

Do you have one of those recipes that is so crazy simple you almost feel silly writing up a post about it?

This is one of those for me, but I figure if I can help just one person with a quick after dinner dessert I've done my job as a blogger! lol

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Pound Cake with Ice-Cream & Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 store bought pound cake (I used Chocolate marble loaf cake in this recipe)
  • Vanilla Ice-cream
  • Strawberry Sauce (see below)

Strawberry Sauce:

2 cups of Strawberries - cut in in small pieces
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar

Mix all three ingredients in a small pot and let it come to a boil and stir for 2-3 minutes. If you want a thicker sauce add 1 -2 tbsp of cornstarch before adding the pot to the heat.

Slice pound cake and place a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top.  Serve hot strawberry sauce over ice-cream. Enjoy!

The combination of cold ice-cream and hot sauce is amazing! You can refrigerate left over sauce for a a couple of days (if it lasts that long).



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There is very minimal cooking involved with this recipe people! And I have yet to find one person who did not like it! The hot sauce makes it look like you have spent hours in the kitchen. Your guests will be impressed. ;)

Here is another easy no bake summer dessert you may enjoy!



Let's Connect!




Linking up at these awesome parties!  Be Awesome, Tutorials & Tips, July Before & After, Inspire Me Tuesday

Losing it and Winning - Week 9

Welcome back for another week of my Biggest Loser Challenge!



If you are new to this series, I wrote a little bit about my 12 week challenge in this post.  Here are the recaps for week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7 and week 8.

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WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE

Here are my measurements as of  Sunday, July 6, 2014:


Weight:  148.1 lbs
Bust:       38" 
Waist:     31 1/2" 
Butt:       37.5"

I lost 2lbs this week!!  The measurements were exactly the same as last week.

Here is my original starting weight and the measurements as of Sunday, May 4, 2014:

Weight:  172.3 lbs
Bust: 41 1/2"
Waist: 39 1/4"
Butt:  40"

I ran alot this week. And I mean alot. I did alot of sprinting on the treadmill and incline running and sprinting. I did outside running, with a group from my gym. I ran on my own. I JUST RAN. I also did 4 HIIT classes and few other personal workouts.  So I was really surprised that I didn't lose more than I did. I think I should just face the facts, that my body does not really like to lose more than 2-3 pounds at a time. I guess, that's healthy right? The good news is that my 2 little pounds puts at 14.05% which is currently first place in the challenge.  The next person is at 13.71% and she has her weigh-in on Thursday. So until Thursday, I am in first place. ;)

PHYSICAL CHALLENGE

This week, my hip that I injured a few weeks ago, was not an issue and my hamstrings are slowly feeling better.  I'm really trying to focus on stretching really well after each work out and also through out my day.

I managed to get 4 HIIT (Hight Intensity Interval Training) classes in this week, and a whole lot of running. I'm all about the running right now. Thank goodness for nice weather.

MENTAL CHALLENGE

The one thing I am struggling with right now, is seeing my new body for what it is instead of what it used to be. It's difficult to explain, but when I picture myself in my head I don't picture the leaner body that I have, but I still see the bigger girl I used to me.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't recognize the face staring back at me. Maybe it will take some time.  I was talking to someone else who recently lost 80lbs and she understood exactly what I was talking about.  I used to have a hard time accepting the bigger girl I had become the past 14 years and now I have a hard time believing that I am the smaller girl I see in the mirror.  

Although my body has toned up and lost so many inches everywhere, sometimes when I'm feeling 'blech' I look down and see the last remain rolls on my arms, stomach and legs and start feeling yucky about myself.  I have work on this and I try to pick out the things I like about myself.

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I only have three weeks left in this competition, and I am really ready for it to be over.  


Let's Connect!




Thursday, 3 July 2014

{RECIPE} - Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

For some reason in my house, when bananas get a few spots on the them, my kids won't eat them. Of course, I toss them in the freezer and after awhile, my freezer gets over loaded with frozen bananas.

Usually I make either Banana Pancakes, Banana Chocolate Chip muffins  or Chocolate Banana Bread, but this time I thought I would try something different.  If you follow on Instagram you would have seen that I made these just before school let out last week.  One of my kids commented that it tasted just like a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich without the jelly part.  All three kids enjoyed their muffin with a glass of milk and I also managed to freeze a few for a quick snack another time.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup oil (I use canola oil)
  • 3 very ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350C
  2. In a large bowl mix egg, oil and bananas.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and add to wet mixture. Mix together.
  4. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin cups add 1/4 cup mixture to each muffin cup.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!


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Are your kids like mine? They see a spot on a banana and automatically label "the banana has gone bad, time to freeze it"?


Let's Connect!




Wednesday, 2 July 2014

{RECIPE} - Balsamic Salad Vinaigrette

Due to my Weight Loss Challenge, I have eaten my fair share of salads over the last few months. This is my go to salad dressing, because it is low in sugar and sodium. 

Did I mention it is very flavourful too?

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balsamic salad vinaigrette

Balsamic Salad Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil, and oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp honey mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to an airtight container (mason jar, works well) and shake to mix well. (I keep my jar in the refrigerator.)


balsamic salad vinaigrette, house vingraitte


balsamic salad vinaigrette,  garlic lemon chicken kabobs

Here is the recipe for the Garlic - Lemon Chicken Kabobs.

Other recipes you might like:

{recipe link}
{recipe link}


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Do you eat a lot of salads in your house like we do? Do you prefer to make your own or do you have a favourite store-bought one you can't live without?


Let's Connect!




Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Happy Canada Day and some Red and White Desserts

Happy Canada day to all my Canadian readers!

Hubby is home today from work, so we will having some family fun and enjoy our day together.  I've rounded up some red and white desserts that are perfect for celebrating Canada day.   Please click on each link to the original source and pin from there. I want to give credit where credit is due. I have also created a Pinterest board if you wanted to check it out and you can repin all the recipes below (and more) from that board.


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(please pin from original source, thanks)

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Taste and Tell



No Bake Cherry Cheesecake  from Somerset Lane



Canada Day Cupcakes from Echoes of Laughter


Cheesecake Bars from Once Upon a Cutting Board



Watermelon Cake  from Sober Julie.


Strawberry Clouds  from Somerset Lane

(here is a Instagram pic of myattempt at a Canada flag 


Cupids Cloud (Raspberry & Cream dessert) from Pretty Life in Suburbs



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I hope you all have a sweet Canada Day with friends and family!

Let's Connect!






Monday, 30 June 2014

Losing it and Winning - Week 8

Hey all, welcome back to another weekly recap of my weight loss challenge.  Don't worry you only have another 4 weeks left of hearing about it.  ;) 




If you are new to this series, I wrote a little bit about my 12 week challenge in this post.  Here are the recaps for week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6 and week 7.


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WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE

Here are my measurements as of  Sunday, June 29, 2014:

Weight:  150.3 lbs
Bust:       38" 
Waist:     31 1/2" 
Butt:       37.5"

I lost almost 3lbs this week!!  Some of my weight measurements have also gone down a little bit.

Here is my original starting weight and the measurements as of Sunday, May 4, 2014:

Weight:  172.3 lbs
Bust: 41 1/2"
Waist: 39 1/4"
Butt:  40"

Overall since May 4, 2014, I'm down 22lbs which works out to about 12.77%.  This challenge is based on the % of original weight lost. I'm in third place as of right now (the girl in first place is at 12.81%). Our names and percentages of weight lost is posted on a board in the main gym after each weekly weigh-in for all to see.  It's sad to see the names on the boards dwindling down as some people drop out of the competition.  There are two other groups (a Tuesday and Thursday evening class, I'm on the Sunday morning group), and there are only 2-3 names whose % go up every week from each group because either they don't show up that week for weigh in or they have dropped out of competition.  In our group, I think 3-4 people out 8 originals have completely dropped out of the group. I feel really bad for them, because I know how hard it is to even show up the first time or even sign up for the challenge, I've been there.  And to see them give up when the going got tough, is really sad. For some of these ladies it was their second, maybe even third time, trying to loose the weight with this challenge.  It just goes to show you how tough this challenge is, not just physically but mentally as well. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it and pushing through all the mental and physical fatigue every single day.

PHYSICAL CHALLENGE

This week, my hip that I injured a few weeks ago, was feeling so much better, although my hamstrings are still very very tight.  I'm trying my very best to loosen them by stretching and rolling them out but it's still a struggle. I doubt they will heal completely until I stop the workouts/running.

I managed to get 6 HIIT (Hight Intensity Interval Training) classes in this week, some tread running and about 3 personal workouts. I was a very busy this week since it was last week of school for all three of my kiddos.  Sydney had exams and had to be picked up from school everyday, since the buses were only running in the morning.  I also volunteered to help out at Anthony's school for a few of their end-of-year trips, and Haley had her graduation from grade 8. Here is a pic I shared on Facebook of her and some of her friends on graduation day.  She is the one with silver and pink dress. Aren't their dresses pretty? You can also see how she had her hair done on Instagram. 
I know the pic has nothing to do with my weight loss but I needed a pretty pic for the  post. :)


I know I haven't been showing you any progress pics of the body lately, but I will as I get to the end of this challenge. Although I don't seem to be seeing alot of progress, everyone else is commenting on how much more fit and lean I look. I do know that my clothes are looser and that I've had to go buy some new shorts to wear.  My hubby told me to wear a belt, but they were just looking like baggy clothes with a belt, so I went a bought a few pairs of shorts from Old Navy (huge sale this past weekend) to make me feel better.  I still have another 20-25lbs I would like to loose which will roughly translate to 2-3 smaller pant sizes, so I can't go crazy on buying clothes... yet. 

For the last 4 weeks of the challenge, it's getting really competitive at the gym.  I'm sure the other competitors (or at least the top 5) will be upping their workouts to shed bit of weight to win the competition. The last season of Biggest Loser competition, the winner ended up loosing 27% of her original weight (I think it was 55lbs), so I still have a ways to go yet to get to that number. I know that I will be increasing my cardio substantially this week.  My trainer has advised to start running on the tread on an incline at a faster speed.  I've signed up to do HIIT classes all week long as well as I will have to fit in my personal workouts too. I still haven't gone to the hot yoga class that I talked about last week, so I might do that as well to keep my muscles to loose.

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I think I have rambled on long enough this week, but I'm feeling chatty. I hope you don't mind.

Let's Connect!






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