Thanksgiving… It’s just around the corner

Bonnie’s Thanksgiving Plans

This past weekend marked an official month until Canadian thanksgiving. And this means I am excited. I have to say I think this is my favourite fall holiday and time of year. (I hate the Winter.)

Where I live it’s already gotten cooler, so fall is in the air, making me think about thanksgiving a lot earlier than I normally would.
This year unlike most, my boyfriend and I are hosting a friends-giving. We normally travel to his side of the family’s annual dinner, but as circumstances have it this year we cannot. I have not been this excited to throw a dinner party in a long time. The weekend is shaping up to be a good one as well. While the boys attend a concert on the Saturday, the girls are having a girls night, hosted by my BFF. Sunday were going to have an early dinner I am making Turkey, stuffing and the potatoes and lord knows what else. Everyone who is invited is to bring a side or can appetizer. And the Monday the official holiday were going to have a Movie Afternoon and a bunch of us are going to watch “Thankskilling 1 and 3. The movie so good it didn’t need a second movie.. ..” Think Jim Henson and killer turkeys.

So now the official planning begins on what to make and do, as well as decorate. I want to make my house a fall wonderland, therefore Pintrest has become my best friend as of late for recipes and decoration ideas.

This year I want to do something different as well, I want to make invitations to go along with the dinner….as something different, and a little more formal.

So as I move along with this planning process, I will post some ideas, and recipes that I am going to try out before the big day!

I LOVE FALL!!!

Sarah’s Thanksgiving Plans

Our Thanksgiving is pretty low key. The whole family gets together (generally at my brother-in-laws place because they have the most room) for a big dinner. My brother-in-law takes care of the turkey and a ham, and it’s everyone else’s responsibility to cover the sides and dessert.  I usually make a potato dish, some sort of appetizer dip, and a dessert.  At this point there’s usually about 21 people there (this includes my brother-in-law’s in-laws), so there’s always a ton of food.

The other thing that happens, at least over the past few years, is that my mother-in-law buys each of the siblings their own little turkeys.  So a couple weeks after Thanksgiving we have some friends over for dinner and have another big turkey dinner.  Which is definitely nice, lots of left overs means work dinners are covered for a couple days.

We’ll have a few things going on this year, shortly after Thanksgiving (once November hits) it will be our one year wedding anniversary (and 5 year anniversary), the hubby will be taking a couple weeks of holidays to get some hunting time in, then a couple weeks after that we’ll be making the trip to Ottawa to meet our new niece once she arrives.

Recipe Alert! One Pan Goulash

I went back through my Pinterest board of main meals to find some dinner for this week.  I came across this one again from the blog My Life of Travels and Adventures.  There’s nothing better than a one pot meal, all the flavours stay together, and there’s only one dish to clean afterwards… win-win in my books.

I just made a half batch, which still gave me more food than I know what to do with, and it was delicious.

Ingredients:

2lb ground beef.
2 tsp garlic salt
4 tbsp oregano
4 tbsp italian seasoning
4 (15oz) cans of tomato sauce (I used a Hot & Spicy tomato sauce to give it a bit of kick)
3 cups of water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion chopped, optional (I omitted the onion because the hubby isn’t a fan, but if you use a plain tomato sauce I would add it for a bit of zing)
1 box elbow macaroni (I used penne, but next time I’ll definitely use macaroni, penne took a bit longer to cook, so the sauce got reduced just a bit too much)

Directions:

1. Brown the ground beef (and onion) in a large pot or deep pan.
2. Add the garlic cloves to the browning beef.
3. Once the beef is fully cooked, add all the other ingredients to the pot.
4.  Stir well and cook over medium heat until boiling.
5. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1 hour.
6. Enjoy.

 

It was a great dish, easy to make, and little to clean up. I can see a few different ways to change it up too (my hubby suggested adding some Italian sausage), even using different pasta sauces to throw in some different flavours would be great too.

FanExpo 2014

Over the long weekend, my Boyfriend and I, and one of my best friend traveled to Toronto, Ontario to go to FanExpo 2014.

While I think this is going to be our last year for a few years, we had fun, and I got to meet some of the most prominent men in television today. Here are some pictures of our trip, and the fun that we had.

 

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So our first stop was to meet the famous Matt Smith, who played the 11th Doctor in Dr. Who. This was more for my friend than it was me, but it was nice to hear his dreamy British accent in person.

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Next up was the HOTTEST MAN ON TV, if you ask both Sarah and I. He is JUST as pretty in person, as he is on TV’s Arrow, Mr. Stephen Amell. One of the nicest people I have ever met! He wanted to talk to all of his fans. I told him how much Sarah had wanted to be there for his autograph, but couldn’t, and he told me to tell her thank you for being a fan, and send her my love. Such a nice man, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with a star.

That night we met up with my brother who was in Toronto on training, we went to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

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It was really cool, but I honestly, don’t think it was worth the $25.00 price tag. We got a $5.00 discount for going after 7pm, but I found it rather expensive for what was there. This little guy above, was the kicker for me, and I enjoyed him very much. He followed my finger, and would come up against the glass flat when I walked away. I came back to him a couple of times, and he swam right back up to me, and if you look closely in this picture, I swear he is smiling!

The aquarium is right behind the CN Tower, so I got this awesome shot when we were leaving.

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On Saturday, I got to meet Norman Reedus

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That was fun, as I had been attempting to get his autograph for more than 4 years now. It was close to impossible, but this year, we stuck it out, and had a nice little chat. He gave us a spoiler for those who love The Walking Dead I quote “We eat Glen and Maggie while in the shipping container.” He then gave us a coy smile and told us to stay cool!

Saturday was a wash, I hate going on Saturday’s as it is just a mad house, I didn’t do much, and just walked around the merch room.

Sunday, I got to meet Ray Wise, and got his autograph, he signed the picture: To Bonnie, Leland loves you. Which I loved, if anyone is a fan of his show Twin Peaks, you will understand.

I also was able to go to the Bitten panel on Sunday, for the second year in a row. The cast was amazing, and this will be one of the things that I miss, not going next year.

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So, that was my weekend, in a nutshell, with a bunch more pictures, and shopping in between. I leave you with a picture of the Bat-mobile, and a Lego Rocket and Groot.

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Back to School Shopping

It’s that time of year again when the stores are full of paper, binders and different supplies for going back to school. I myself have registered for a class at our local college this year, and am very excited to continue my education. And on that note we’ve decided to put a list of supplies together for the different age groups going back to School in September.

Elementary School

For the early years (kindergarten to grade 2) there isn’t much you need to supply yourself. My nephew is going in to grade 1, and my niece starts her first year in kindergarten so they don’t need much.  They really only need indoor shoes, a backpack, and a lunch bag.

By the time you hit grade 3 you have to start bringing in a few things.

- Pencil case with pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, pencil sharpener, glue stick
– Small 3 ring binder with loose leaf paper
– Notebook with graph paper
– Calculator (this makes me a little sad, by the time kids reach grade 2 they are allowed to bring a calculator to help with multiplication and division)

When I got to grade 7 and we started having separate teachers for each class, each teacher had their own list of things. Like for gym we had to bring a set of gym clothes to change in to. I liked to keep everything extra organized and had a small 1″ binder fill with paper for each class, it made my bag a little heavy some days when I add in textbooks, but it helped me stay organized.

 

High School and College/University

Paper Supplies

  • Binders or a notebook
    • Depending on if it’s high school or secondary school it might depend on what it is that you want to carry. I have always been a fan of binders, as it’s a lot easier to put things like handouts, and course outlines in a binder than it is in a notebook.
  • Post-it Notes, and tabs
    • Be it page marking, or notes, and reminders you can never go wrong with post-its.
  • Pens, pencils and highlighters
    • Both Sarah and I are pen fanatics, this is up to the individual person going to school. But I recommend the FriXion Pens, as they are erasable, and have a wide range of types. OH and there are erasable highlighters too!
  • A small notebook
    • If you are like me, I like to take notes for different things. If there is a test, and I don’t have my agenda with me, the small notebook can act as a catch all for small notes. Or if I am a bonehead and forget my binder, or am coming from work and going to school, I still have something to write in.
  • Agenda
    • I would be LOST without my agenda! I have a Filofax Personal Malden in Grey, which I guess makes me a bit of a snob when it comes to agenda’s, but I promise you I got it for WAY cheaper than retail price. I use this for work, and will be using it for school to keep track of assignments, and testings, and exams.
  • Index Cards
    •  I personally use these for studying, and memorization.
  • Sharpies – or Any kind of Markers
    • For writing on the index cards, as I find pen isn’t bold enough.

Other Supplies

  • USB drive or a portable hard-drive
    • For transporting papers and assignments without having to lug around your laptop.
  • Headphones
    • To study on campus
  • Laptop or Tablet
    • To write assignments
  • Book-bag, backpack, or a satchel
    • To carry all of the above mentioned

The pain in the butt supplies

  • Textbooks
    • For college students, this is the worst part of school in my opinion. I still cannot believe that they charge you $160.00 for a 400 page textbook. And the e-books are getting just as expensive. Unfortunately it’s is a necessary evil in the secondary school world.

Ottawa, Ontario to Beresford, New Brunswick

Over the August long weekend my boyfriend and I, as well as his brother, wife and three children, as well as my mother in law took it upon ourselves to go visit family in New Brunswick. We decided to drive, as flying was economically a bad idea with the size of our group.

So the boy and I would drive from Ottawa to Cornwall, Ontario and meet up with the others in our party, and from there drive to Edmonston, New Brunswick; our first stop.

Day 1This was the view from our hotel.

We got in at about 1am, and left again around 10am, drove the next 4 hours to get to Bathurst where our next next hotel was. It was a Best Western, and let me tell you it was a phenomenal hotel. It being brand new it was nice to stay in a room that had never been stayed in before. The beds and pillows were AMAZING.

Later that day we were invited to the family cottage for dinner with everyone. The cottage is in Beresford, New Brunswick

Right on the beach, and a little piece of heaven if you ask me!

the cottage

This is the front of the cottage!

 

Day 2

This is the back!

For the next few days, we relaxed at the beach, and had fun in the sun and sand. On Sunday we went to visit my boyfriend’s Aunt and Uncle’s house so the kids could go pick raspberries, and so my mother in law could see their beautiful garden. Which, I did not get a picture of, but let me tell you, it was amazing! I wish I had a green thumb instead of a black one, when it comes to gardening.

The Monday was New Brunswick Day, a holiday in the province, and Saturday night, while we had a bonfire on the beach, we got to enjoy the other cottages setting off Chinese Lanterns, and fireworks. I love bonfires, but I have to say having one on a beach was always an experience I wanted to have. Being able to enjoy the ocean air, and a fire all at once was an amazing. Too bad the mosquito’s wanted to join the party too! Family

The boys fishing, picking raspberries, and just enjoying the sun.

We’ve decided next year, that a 4 day trip is not ideal, and we will most likely stay a week. (7 days) We are going to look into renting a cottage on the beach, which makes me extremely excited for next summer.

So, that was our New Brunswick adventure for 2014, and I leave you with pictures of the beautiful sunset, that I was able to catch on the Saturday night, before the bonfire on the beach.

Day 3

I hope everyone else is enjoying their vacations in the summer of 2014.

Bonnie

Sarah’s Niagara Falls Adventure

So for the long weekend the family and I (and my in-laws) went to Niagara Falls.  It was fantastic!  When we first got there we just relaxed, we took the walk down to Clifton Hill just to see what we wanted to do over the following few days.  When we got there my son was instantly attracted to the Great Canadian Midway with the bright lights and sounds.  We ended up spending 2 hours there without even realizing that much time had gone by.

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Day Two was when we really got in to the sightseeing. We purchased the Fun Pass which gives you access to 5 different attractions for one low price ($25 for adults, and my son was free because he’s under 3).  We spent even more time in the Midway because it was too fun not to, our son loved it and even us adults had a blast trying to win tickets so we could get Clark an awesome prize.  After the Midway we went to the Movieland Wax Museum (which was included in the Fun Pass). It was really neat to see all the different exhibits.  I personally found that there was only maybe a handful that actually looked like the people, but they were all still really neat. Best part of it, my husband didn’t realize there were alarms on all the pieces, so when he asked me to take a picture of him punching Iron Man and he reached across the barrier he set off the alarm, luckily I already had my camera ready so I got his reaction, it was priceless.

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After the wax museum my mother-in-law and I went up on the SkyWheel. That was an amazing experience we saw everything. The next time we do the trip I plan on doing that ride at night to see the falls all lite up.

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Then it was off to Dinosaur Adventure Golf! We thought our son would love it, because he loves dinosaurs.  For some reason we were wrong. They had “dinosaur” sounds playing over speakers and that seemed to really scare him.  It also didn’t help that we had to wait at least 10 minutes at each hole because it was so busy.  Needless to say….we skipped half the course and left.  All the dinosaur statues were really cool and the volcano was amazing. But it was  just too busy and loud for my son’s liking.  It also didn’t help that he wasn’t feeling 100% that day either.
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Day Three we walked a different route down to the falls, which got us closer to them.  It wasn’t the greatest of days weather wise, it had rained the night before and was still really overcast.  We were able to get right close to them, to the point where as we were walking to the big gift shop we got pretty much soaked by the mist rising up.  I didn’t mind it, but everyone else seemed annoyed by it.

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After that we hopped on the bus (the WeGo system is actually pretty neat it’s $7 for 24 hour pass and there’s 5 different route that get you around to all the different attractions) back up to Clifton Hill, we had one last round in the Midway and cashed in our over 3500 tickets and got Clark some really cool prizes.  After that it was lunch time. We tried to go to the Rainforest Cafe, thinking once again my son would love it.  He loved waiting in the gift shop and looking in the big fish tank.  However as we were being seated they had one of their simulated thunder storms, where the lights flash, and there’s thunder and the animals all come to life.  It was really cool, but it terrified my son. He actually grabbed my hand and started pulling me to the door asking to leave because it was too scary.  Which in the end, was a good thing because of how ridiculously over priced the food is there.

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After that we headed to Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Now that one was amazing. They all looked a lot like the people they were portraying, and even better you were able to get close to them, pose and take pictures with them.  So of course we had to get lots of goofy pictures with all of them.  My favourite part was when we came across the Secretariat figure, my son is addicted to horses, and he was genuinely upset that the horse wasn’t real. He was petting it and kept asking if he could go for a ride.

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After a few hours back at the hotel getting some rest in (and my son having a nap) we headed back out at night to watch the fireworks over the falls.  They were fantastic, and a great way to end our vacation.

Overall it was an amazing trip and we can’t wait to go back.  My husband and I would definitely like to do a short weekend there by ourselves so we can do some of the attractions that you can’t really take kids to, like the Journey Behind The FallsHornblower Niagara Cruises.  Either way we’re beyond excited to go back.

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