My love of Jamie Oliver – Recipe Alert

Ok, so you know how some people love certain famous chef’s and love to mimic or attempt to make things that they do? Well with me, that is Jamie Oliver.

And today, I wanted to share a few of my tried and tested appetizer recipes:

PIZZA BOMBA’S

So, awesome! Especially for a large party or pot luck. And an even better cheat! Buy the Pillsbury Pizza dough, makes it even faster. And a jar of your favorite pizza sauce.

Beautiful baked Camembert

I love this recipe, for parties, or even small gatherings. We usually do something like this at Christmas, or a baked Bree with red pepper jelly and crostini.

Antipasti of mozzarella, chilli, & lemon crostini

Antipasti, is one of my all time favorite appetizers. I could do this year round, and this recipe is great for beginners, or something small, for a dinner for two.

The next two recipes I am personally going to try…

 

Chicken Kebabs, and The Sexiest Salad in the World. This is going to make for an interesting date night combination!!

 

 

 

Our Lives in a Nutshell

So. We’ve decided to start something new every month. We realized we haven’t really shared all too much about our lives, just small things that go on, like how we plan for things. So from now on, the last post of the month (or first post of the new month will be a summary of what’s been going on in our lives lately. Hope you guys enjoy the brief glimpse into our lives!

Sarah’s September
So this month has been a little hectic in my house. On the long weekend we started a small renovation, turning our big basement bedroom in to two rooms by adding a wall, so that our new addition that arrives in February will have a room. So the framing for that is up now. Shortly after that we had a big morning, it was the ultrasound where we were able to find out if Clark would have a little brother or little sister. (I’ll reveal that little tid bit at the end).
Then it was big days for the who clan, my nephew started grade 1, my niece started JK, and I started babysitting my youngest niece while her siblings were at school. That’s been quite the change to get adjusted to (mostly for Clark, but he loves having a play mate).
Overall it’s been a fairly uneventful month in our house. Just trying to get more things ready for the new little, my hubby working overtime (to afford everything for the little one, goodness babies can be expensive). But we’re all looking forward to getting more things done around the house next month. Once the babies room is all done (or we’ve at least made more progress) I’ll do a post all about it and why we chose to do it the way we did.

Hope everyone had a great month!

So I said I’d reveal the big secret of whether we’re having another little boy or a new little girl. Well …. Here’s the answer!

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Bonnie’s September

So, as I told everyone earlier, I was at Fan Expo 2014, over my labor day weekend. And as much as I love the weekend, I don’t think we will be going back for a few years. Due to it’s popularity, and expense, the weekend is just too much. Don’t get me wrong we had a blast, but taking a few years off might be a good idea. BUT! I will have to say, if Joss Whedon comes back, all bets are off!!!! Right Sarah?

The first week of September was vacation, we had a few contractors in for renovations we want to do in the future, and crunched some numbers. We went home for a few hours one day, took my Mom and Grandmother out to dinner. But over all it was a great stay-cation.

The second week, well that turned everything upside down for me. I started my second college degree. Now, I am only taking one course this semester, but honestly it’s taking it’s toll. A full time job, and a a detailed course where something is due each week, and if something isn’t due there is a test. I will admit I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Work is gearing up to be crazy now too, with certain projects coming to a close, and into play before our busy season starts. January also marks my fiscal year’s end, so I am gathering all that info now, so not to be scrambling over the Christmas holidays. I am proud to say, that so far, I have an A+ in the class, but I am sure that is going to change a bit over the semester.

We started a new tradition in my boyfriend’s family in September, we usually try and get together once a month, for dinner or something, but we have decided that it is now going to be on a Friday evening from now on. We went up the third week in September, and we picked our date for October when we were there. I am hoping that this will make for a consistent visit schedule, and we wont always be changing plans to be able to make it to family events.

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On a sad note, my in-laws had to put the beloved family dog down. At 13 King or as I like to call him Kingdom, had a great life with us. He had a stroke, and his quality of life was just not 100% any more. We all got a great good last night with him when we went home for the family night.

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But on a happier note, I LOVE October, one of my all time favorite months. With Canadian Thanksgiving, and Halloween (my all time non-favorite holiday.) I am sure I will have some stories to tell in November.

 

 

 

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.