Taking the Summer off

Hi all,

Were taking the summer off, due to home, and personal obligations. Have a wonderful summer and see you in September.


Mother’s Day Sun Catcher Craft

With Mother’s Day fast approaching (it’s this Sunday if anyone needs to remind their hubby’s) I was in need of a fun craft that my son could make for our favourite moms.  So off to Pinterest I went, and came across this quick, easy, and cheap craft.

A couple years go we did the hand print stepping stones, last year (I’m not going to lie) I think I completely lost track of time and forget to put anything together. This year I decided on these nice and simple sun catchers.

Clark had fun picking out what cookie cutter he wanted to use, and filling the pan with beads.  In the post I found she made her brothers arrange the beads sitting all on the flat sides, Clark wouldn’t have the patience for that, and I didn’t feel like going through the beads one by one to fix them, so we just left them the way they fell.

So if you need a quick last minute gift idea, give these a try!

Pony beads
Cake pan
Cookie cutters (optional)

– Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
– Put the beads in to your cake pan. Don’t worry about non-stick spray or anything, once it ha cooled down completely it will slide right out of the cake pan. We made 3 different sun catchers, one with a heart, one with a bear, and one with an ice cream cone.
– Back in the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on how many you’re making at a time)

– Let the plastic cool complete and remove from cake pan. The post I found said that she’s seen some people have drilled small holes to put a string or ribbon through to hang them.  But I copied her and put the cookie cutters up high enough so we could just use the shapes to hang them.



Greek Tortellini Salad and my version

Do you need a recipe for a large pot luck? Something that a ton of people will enjoy, but super simple to make? Do I ever have a recipe for you!

So allrecipes.ca is one of my all time favorite sites to visit, when I am stuck for something to make for dinner. I have never been let down, by this site, and use it at least 10 times a month.

For Easter, I made a variation of this recipe that I had always wanted to make, because it looks amazing, and hearty.

Before I give you the recipe, and my version, I wanted you to understand just how many people this will feed.

Easter weekend, we had 41 people at my In Law’s for sugaring off… and then Easter Sunday we had 21. We still had left overs… and everyone, had 1 spoonful at least. This is a recipe you can cut down, and make a smaller version of, or you can make a huge one.

Ali’s Greek Tortellini Salad’s recipe is as follows:

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings

2 (9 ounce) packages cheese tortellini
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 pound baby spinach leaves
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup slivered red onion


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add tortellini, and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, and salt. Place the cooked tortellini in the bowl, and toss to coat. Cover, and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place eggs in a saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, cool, peel, and quarter.
Gently mix the spinach, feta cheese, and onion into the bowl with the pasta. Arrange the quartered eggs around the salad to serve.

FULL CREDIT goes to: Jamie Hensley 

Bonnie’s Greek Tortellini Salad: For a Large Group

2 Double packages of Cheese Tortellini (I used Classico – fresh)

1 Jar of sun dried tomatoes

1 Jar of roasted red peppers (there was 3 in it)

1 jar of black olives (cut)

1/4 package of spinach (sliced, or shredded)

1 white onion (finely diced)

1 package of cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1 package of sliced carrots (I used the match stick ones)

6 baby cucumbers (sliced – they were tiny)

1/4 cup of Greek dressing

Crumbled feta on the side.


Set your pasta to boil, (See Jamie’s instructions above)

Cut up all your veg, and canned veg, make everything into small bite size pieces, with the exception of white onion, make that a fine dice. Put all the ingredients in one bowl and mix as you keep adding, getting the sun dried tomato oil, and the roasted red pepper, and olive juice mixed in with your fresh veg. If things are a bit dry, don’t be afraid to put the some of the sun dried tomato oil, or olive juice in.

Once the pasta is done, and cooled, mix everything together. I reserved about 1/4 of the pasta, and placed it in a plastic bag to have extra just in case – and believe me I needed it.

I actually only put about 4 table spoons of dressing on just before serving, and no one put more on. I placed the dressing on the side of the bowl with the feta. I personally believe that the cheese in the pasta was enough, but a lot of people liked having it as well.

The spinach I should note, I added last, I cut them up into ribbons and transported it to my in-laws separately, I didn’t want it to wilt too much.

This dish will work very well on a summer’s night, dining alfresco, or even for a picnic.

I hope you enjoy! And please check out allrecipes.ca for more amazing recipes!

It’s Not What It Looks Like

When my son was born things were pretty easy, we all went out to do groceries or any kind of shopping. But now that may daughter is here, grocery shopping with both kids is next to impossible. So we’ve worked out a schedule where every Saturday night my darling daughter and I head out on our own and do groceries, while my hubby stays home with our son. You’re probably wondering why I don’t send the hubby and our son… Our son can ask for things and groceries tend to be more expensive when he’s around. So when little miss and I go out it gives the boys some one on one time, and I get out pretty much by myself for a bit.

My pregnancy this time around was quite different, it was still easy with no complications, but I put on more weight, and dealt with normal symptoms like morning sickness, bloating and swelling. I found my fingers swelled up, not enough to notice but enough that I couldn’t wear my wedding rings. So I had become accustomed to not wearing my rings. Then baby arrived, the swelling went away, but I was so used to not wearing my rings that I never put them back on. Apparently that was a mistake, because when I started doing groceries with just the baby the looks and (not so) whispered remarks that I received were unbelievable.

I do my groceries at Walmart because they’re close, cheap, and they price match. But that also brings with it a certain type of customer in some cases. Our local Walmarts seem to have about 3 different type of shoppers. 1) the people that think it’s ok to wear pajamas outside the house, 2) the penny pinchers who for some reason think they’re better than everyone else, 3) the normal people that go about their business and not give a crap about what’s going on around them.

The second type of shopper are the ones that I’ve come across the most. There’s been a few different occasions where I’ve been out shopping and end up shaking my head after encountering certain people.

The first incident I had was at the end of a quick shopping trip on the way home from a midwife appointment.  An  elderly gentleman apparently felt the need to stop me in the middle of the aisle while I was heading for the door and made sure that everyone around us could hear him. I don’t remember exactly what he said to me, because quite frankly after the way he got my attention I only paid enough attention to know when he stopped talking. But the main idea of what he said was that I was a disgrace. How dare I think that’s appropriate to raise a child on my own, and to do it as a teenager was even worse. I heard enough to just respond with a simple “Actually I’ve been married for a year and a half and I’m 26.” Then I just walked away.

The next incident was actually a humorous pleasant occasion. As I was in line waiting to pay for my groceries a middle aged man joined the line behind me. Of course this was the one time my little sweetie decided to throw a complete fit, so I pulled her out of her seat and continued to unload my groceries with one hand. This delightful man not only helped me unload my groceries so they could be rung in, but then told me how wonderful a job I was doing at being a mom and that it can’t be easy to be so young and to be doing it on my own. The best part… He then offered to pay for my groceries. I filled him in on how my hubby was at home with our son, I then thanked him for the kind words and the offer but I couldn’t let him buy my groceries.

The latest incident happened only just last week. The 4 of us went for a quick shopping trip to get the final things we needed for Easter weekend. We had paid and we’re heading to the car. I had both kids in the cart, and my hubby was making a quick stop at the lottery desk to get a ticket for that night’s draw. So I headed for the car to get the kids in and put the groceries in. My hubby was the one that noticed what happened. After walking past apparently a woman gave me a very dirty look, then turned and rolled her eyes and shook her head to her husband. My hubby said he couldn’t helped but laugh and think “Yeah she’s getting into a $45,000 van…she’s clearly a single mom to 2 kids.”

I can’t decide which is the worst part of any of those encounters was, the fact they all just assumed I was a single mother, the fact that only one was polite and offered assistance, or the fact that 2 of them seemed to think that being a single parent is so terrible.  No one wants to be a single parent, it’s not something someone strives for when they decide to have children. But if that happens to be their situation it’s for a reason that is frankly none of your damn business. So maybe take a page out of the delightful man in scenario 2’s book, be nice, tell them they’re doing a great job you never know they could be in the middle of a terrible day where the kids aren’t listening and nothing is going right. When it happened to me, my day was going just fine, but that didn’t mean I needed to hear those words any less.

So just because you think something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is, and if your one of those crazy judgmental people that constantly looks down at everyone else….. I suggest you just keep your mouth shut, because not everyone will be civil in return.  Believe me, if I was a single parent and had to deal with those situations, only one of the 3 people I encountered would leave with their dignity in place.

Recipe Alert! 7Up Grilled Chicken

On the weekend Bonnie and I were lucky enough to find some time and have agree day at the same time. So Bonnie and her hubby came down to see us and meet her darling God-daughter.

We worked out he timing so they’d be down around lunch time and I had everything ready by the time they got here.  We decided to go with a nice light lunch of grilled chicken and pasta salad. We always like to try new recipes with each ther so off to Pinterest I ran! This was what caught my eye and intrigued me.

7Up Grilled Chicken

2 cups 7Up
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Oil
2 tsp garlic powder
4-6 chicken breast


1. Mix the 7Up, soy sauce, oil and garlic powder to make the marinade.

2. Place chicken breast in a deep dish (like a casserole dish). The dish should be deep enough that the chicken will be almost all (if not all) submerged in the marinade.

3. Pour marinade over chicken breast. Place in fridge and let sit for at least 10 hours.


I made it at about 9pm Friday night and it hit the grill at 12:45pm Saturday afternoon.


The blog that I found the recipe on said that this as a strictly outdoor grill recipe only, when she tried it inside but as the marinade dripped on to the pan (she used a grill pan) it ended up smoking up her house like crazy.

When I mentioned to Bonnie what I was making, we both seemed to have the same reaction “could be interesting…” Well much to our surprise, it was delicious. I got pretty lucky.

Like I said I paired it with a pasta salad but it could go with anything really, potatoes, veggies, it’d be great on a bun as a sandwich.  If you give it a try I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

“Mommy sister’s sad!”

I had been struggling to figure out a topic for my first big post back after my daughter was born for a couple days, but after the past 24 hours and reading an article on Huffington Post it all got sorted out in my head.

The article I read was called “Mommy, Somebody Needs You“. The writer talks about what it was like when they brought their newborn daughter home, and any time she made a sound their older child would yell “Mommy somebody needs you”. She said it started out really cute then started to get annoying. While I read it I couldn’t help but laughed at how true it is. My son has been amazing since his sister was born, but every little noise she makes (especially the rare occasions when she starts crying) my son jumps to pointing out “Mommy sister’s sad”. It really started out cute, he didn’t want to see her sad and would get a bit upset himself when she was upset, which never helped the situation but I would drop everything and attend to their needs. After a couple weeks of hearing “Mommy sister’s sad” followed by some whining from my son it started to wear on me, he’d get a quick “Yes Clark I can hear her” the moment the words came out his mouth.

But just like the author of the article I came to realize how nice it was the hear those words, and know that the moment I would turn around and give my son a hug, and pick up my daughter that the fussing would stop and everything would be all better. It’s not going to be like that for much longer, my kids won’t admit that they need me even though I know they will. They won’t let me know when the other is sad, and a hug won’t necessarily make everything better right away.

So just like the author, I’m going to take it while I can. No matter how many times I hear that phrase come out of my sins mouth, I’ll still do the same thing every time, drop everything and give them a hug and a kiss.

As a parent you learn early that your kids will stop needing you, they just won’t admit it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Dinner ideas

So, St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, and this holiday always baffles me. I am 1/4 Irish, and take pride in my heritage, but why have green beer? It just does not make much sense to me.

On that note, as it is on a Tuesday, this year, and lets face it as we get older, and with kids we don’t want to go out and party the whole night away, and then have to go work work the next day. So, I thought giving you come recipes to try out for the holiday might get you in more of an Irish mood, when you are stuck at home!

Guinness or Beer Stew

I’ve made this recipe more than a dozen times, and I have to say it is on my menu this weekend. I am not a huge cabbage fan, but the Colcannon, is amazing, and worth the effort.

Irish Soda Bread

This is a quick and easy companion to your stew, and fresh bread? How the hell can you go wrong with that?

Some other options, that you can find out there for the holiday are, Corned beef, Lamb or beef pie, Irish Shepard’s pie, which is made with lamb instead of beef, and peas instead of corn, with your own personal variations as well.

The dessert options, can be anywhere from cookies to cake, but if I had to chose my ultimate St. Patrick’s day dessert? It would be Guinness and Chocolate cheesecake! and OMG is all I have to say!

Whatever you do, on this upcoming Lucky Tuesday, please enjoy! And if you do indulge in a little bit of an Irish pub crawl, please be safe!