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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This is where I live...

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I adore this video of our home right now...the province of Alberta.
If you have never been to the Rocky Mountains of Canada...enjoy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Featured at 'Style At Home' Magazine's website today...

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I am being featured at Style At Home magazine's website today as part of their series on budget- friendly decorating ideas.



This is my third feature on their website.....the two others were Halloween decorating in October, and Christmas cookies in December.
With all the time I put into this hobby, it is just a teensy bit thrilling to be asked to contribute to this magazine.

You can see today's feature here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Kitchen Recipe Board...

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I have wanted to create this project in my baking area for a long time.
This is an idea I have seen on other blogs and I just love the practicality of it...using the inside of a cupboard door to create a bulletin board.

This project requires:
12in x 12in cork tiles
{I used 2 tiles for this project.I got mine at Zellers, but have since found tiles at Dollarama}
white school glue
masking tape
scrapbook papers & embellishments
recipe cards
push pins
~all of these supplies can be found at a dollar store~

The first step is to decide where it would be practical to place the tiles in your kitchen.
I chose my baking area.
Then attach your tiles with white school glue....it's cheap and it works!
Do not use the double-sided tape that come with the tiles...I tested it already and it won't hold.
You will wake up in the morning and open the cupboard door and the tiles will fall out!
And jeepers that is frustrating...so avoid it and go straight to the glue.
I chose white school glue because it holds, but it can also be easily peeled off if you later decide to remove the tiles.
I placed glue along the outside perimeter of the tiles and then I pressed to the surface of the cabinet.
I then anchored the tiles with masking tape on the four corners and let it dry overnight.

The next day I had a nice cork bulletin board on the inside of my cabinet door.
Then I treated my bulletin board like a giant scrapbook page...and decorated it.

The whole purpose of this project was to create a place for our most used recipes....the ones that we make all the time!
But of course....I had to make it pretty.
I used my scrapbooking supplies and creativity to add a fun touch to this display of our family favourites.

I included on this board our most often made sweets....chocolate chip cookies, brownies & peach cobbler....as well as our very fav pancakes & waffle recipes.
And because I used push pins, they can easily be switched out or added to at any time.

I wrote out the recipes on standard recipe cards because I love that homey look.
And 2 of these recipes are my mother's recipes.
Although I have the recipes....I sure can't make them like she does!

The kids can easily find these recipes to make cookies or pancakes if they like too.


I just love opening the cupboard door and finding our most cherished recipes in such a convenient place.
I wish I had done this a long time ago.




This post is linked to these terrific parties:


 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our Birthday Boy...

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A few weeks ago, my youngest celebrated his 11th birthday.
Although my husband was going to be away on an 8 day business trip on his birthday, I decided to go ahead with the birthday party plans on my  own.
Our guy requested just a  few friends to help celebrate his birthday....which was totally fine by me.
Our days of themes and treat bags and perfectly themed-out everything are over because, to be honest, he doesn't care about any of that stuff.
He just wants fun.
Real fun.
He doesn't want "Mommy-the-Party-Planner" birthday.
He just wants to have a  good time with his friends.
 We started off with going to the movies.
The boys wanted to see the new movie "The Journey".
So off we went....that's the great thing about a small party....they can all fit in your car!
And after I got them all settled in with popcorn and drinks and the movie started....I snuck across the hall to watch "The Vow" with Hunter.
And made it back before the boys were finished their movie.
Next on the birthday boy's list.....laser tag.
The laser tag gallery wasn't far from the movie theatre, so we skipped over and managed to get in right away for a game.
The boys came out half an hour later,  hot and tired and ready for supper.
{I love 11 year old boys...they are so easy to please and so happy all the time!}
At the birthday boy's request, we stopped at A & W on the way home for  teenburgers and root beers to take home.
Then it was pyjama time and hang out time.
And a giant pillow fight ensued.....with lots of giggling.
Then I had to play  ' mean mommy' and make everyone head to bed.
They all had hockey games the next day, so bedtime was 9:30 pm.
I put them all in sleeping bags on the floor in my bedroom so I could keep a close eye on them and play 'jail warden'...shushing them every 5 minutes to go to sleep.
Everyone was sound asleep by 10:20 pm.
And I didn't hear a peep from anyone until after 8 am the next morning.
I made them a hearty hockey breakfast of wholewheat blueberry pancakes, sausages & fruit.
 And since everyone was too full from the teenburgers the night before, the birthday boy had his birthday cupcake the next morning after breakfast.
And after everyone was picked up and the house was quiet again.....he came to me and said,
"Thank you Mommy".

{You bet buddy! But can you do Mom a favour and STOP growing up so fast!}


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finding Space In Our Kitchen...

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I have been playing around in our kitchen...looking at our space and trying to puzzle how we can get more use out of our present counter space.
At issue is our old microwave..... which is on it's last legs.
It currently sits in this little nook by the pantry.
It was my husband's suggestion to replace it with an over the oven model.
It would free up the counter space here.
Brilliant!
I don`t know why we didn`t think of this before!
Here is our present hot beverege set up....in a teeny, tiny space of counter by the fridge.
The only problem is that this space often becomes the 'drop off' space for my husband's wallet, sunglasses and blackberry.
It would be nice to make this area strictly his 'drop zone' if that is the area he insists on using.
And if the new microwave was located about the stove....
The area freed up by the moved microwave could become the new coffee/tea/hot chocolate area.
There would even be room for the mug tree and our new milk frother.
I played around a bit, and re-styled things with a silver tray holding everything, while re-locating the coffee and tea pods in the drawer below.
Which look do you like?
The one with the coffee pod carousel, or with the silver tray?
Now I am on the search for the right size of microwave to fit above the stove.
It's funny how sometimes that little extra space you are looking for is often staring you straight in the face if you just allow yourself to think of the possibilities and make small changes!
***
I have begun spring cleaning this past week.
Every day I am trying to pay extra attention to one small area....wiping baseboards and washing walls and tackling those tiny bits of clutter that have tended to loiter a bit after winter.
I have 2 bags of clothes in the back of my car to go to Goodwill tomorrow.
It feels so good!



Monday, February 20, 2012

6 Week Bran Muffins....with Chia Seeds

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Have you read about or tried chia seeds?
They are the latest super food... an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.
They look like small, greyish seeds...bigger than poppy seeds.
I picked up a bag at Costco and I have been adding them to our muffins and oatmeal.
I even adapted my 6 week bran muffin to include some chia seeds.
I have been making this bran muffin recipe for many years...it's my favourite bran muffin recipe....moist & tasty.
{I am always so disappointed when I buy a bran muffin and it's dry and tastes like sawdust. Yuck!}
 This recipe makes between 5 and 6 dozen muffins and can be kept in the fridge for up to 6 weeks and used as needed.
{It has never been around my house for 6 weeks...more like 3 weeks!}
Sometimes I bake 6 muffins. Sometimes 12.
It works great for packed lunches and snacks, as well as breakfast and bedtime snacks.
One of my favourite breakfasts is a bran muffin fresh from the oven, a soft boiled egg and some fresh fruit.
So if you are looking for a high fiber muffin with nutritious ingredients...this may work for your family.
And don't worry...no one will taste the chia seeds and say, "Eww! Mom! What is in these?"
The chia seeds blend in perfectly with all the other ingredients.
It takes only 15 minutes to mix up and put in the fridge.
And it is so nice to have this in the fridge so a quick batch of muffins can be baked at any time!

6 Week Bran Muffins with Chia Seeds
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup wheat germ {optional}
3/4 cup chia seeds
5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir dry ingredients together in large bowl
.{I have a large tupperware bowl with a cover that I love for this recipe} 
Set aside.
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup shortening
{ I use 100% lard, and not hydrogenated vegetable shortening, although next time I will try coconut oil as my readers have suggested!}
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs.
1 quart buttermilk.
{If you don't have buttermilk on hand, add a few tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to equal amount of milk and use as a substitute. I have done this many times!}
In mixer or with hand mixer, cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs...one at a time.
Mix well.
Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to wet ingredients.
Your mixture will look like this:
Pour mixture into large bowl.
Add 6 cups of all-bran cereal and pour 2 cups hot water over top.
Mix well.
Cover tightly.
Label and put in the fridge.
After the mix sits in the fridge for a day or so...it will thicken and look like this:
And after the mix is scooped and baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, the result will be these:
I hope you enjoy these wonderful muffins!
They are so good with a little fruit.
They are a favourite of mine.
And the convenience of having a large quantity of the batter around to bake at anytime is awesome!



This post is linked to these terrific parties:

Skip To My Lou


Positively SplendidIt's Overflowing



UndertheTableandDreaming I'm Lovin' It at TidyMom

Design DazzleWhipperberry



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