December 27, 2014

One Bowl Brownies

Hello everyone, today I want to share another recipe that is always a hit. I have no idea where this is from, I wrote it in my recipe book years and years ago. That was before I even thought I might need to reference it (if anyone recognizes it or knows where it's from, please let me know so I can site it). 

It's a great recipe for brownies from scratch, without the headache of tons of dishes to clean afterwards.

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday filled with love, laughter and family.

I will be taking a few days to spend some much needed family time together. See you in the new year.


December 22, 2014

My First a Month as a Stay at Home Mom

I cannot believe that a month had past since my first day of work was supposed to start. This amazing life with my little man is just racing by, and some days I wish I could stop time and snuggle with him all day. I have to admit, I never thought I would be this lucky. To have the opportunity to stay at home with my child as he grows up. 

It's no secret that I have wanted to for a very long time. Luis must have been just sick of my little comments about how many cookies I would bake him, or amazing dinners I could cook. It's funny to look back and realize how silly I was to think that I would have so much free time. Everyone thinks that as their child gets older, they will get more free time. In a way that's true, but it's not what you think. At least it is not what I thought. Braxton is great at entertaining himself as long as you are in the room with him. That doesn't allow for a lot to get done when I am confined to a room or two. I've started getting creative and finding things for him to do in different rooms. Creativity is a wonderful thing when you want to make dinner or put laundry away.

That being said, I've learned a few things over the last 30 days about Braxton, myself and this house:

1. Toddlers have bad days too. And holy crap does Braxton ever have bad days. I'm not sure if it's because he didn't sleep enough the previous night, or because he's been teething on and off for a few weeks. Maybe he woke up on the wrong side of the crib? But some days my goal is to survive until bedtime. 

2. Animals and babies are not always a great mix. We have two dogs and two cats. Worst.idea.ever. I spend about half of my time cleaning up after and feeding Braxton, and the other half doing the same for the animals. The amount of hair I clean up ever day is mind boggling. Seriously, I cannot believe that my animals are not bald from hair loss with the amount that gets vacuumed up every morning.

3. You are never done baby proofing your house. Just when you think you're done, they decide that they can reach things higher up now. Braxton has started grabbing things off the counter if they are too close to the edge. Or they decide that things they have never even looked at before might be fun to play with now. Shoes, pillows, dog toys, none are safe.

4. Temper tantrums happen earlier than you think they do. Braxton has started having them when we take something away or stop him from getting into things. The first time he did this I just stared at him and thought, "really?". I try my best not to laugh honestly, hopefully that doesn't make me a horrible person. He's quickly learning that getting mad and throwing a fit isn't going to get him very far.

5. It's amazing how quickly you can adapt to change. I was always a morning person before and always had trouble falling asleep. Now, not so much. I loved mornings because they were my quiet time, where I got things done. Mornings around here can be the craziest part of the day with animals that need their potty break/breakfast and a cranky baby. I am starting to love my quiet evenings. And as soon as my head hits the pillow I am out like a light, sleep when you can right?. 

Anyone else learn new things everyday while taking care of their kids, or watching other peoples? Learn things about yourself? Feel free to share.


December 20, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the late post, but the holiday bustle is upon us. Christmas is coming...(sorry, couldn't help myself).

I get regular emails from Kraft Canada that send anything from coupons, to baking tips to recipes. They sent me one last week just went I was searching for something to bake. Once I read the recipe and realized that I had all of the ingredients, I knew that I just had to bake them.

December 19, 2014

Turkey Pie

Happy Friday everyone! It's t-minus 5 days and counting until Christmas, and I am still in disbelief that the year is almost over! Hopefully everyone has a lot of family time planned over the next few weeks.

If your Christmas gatherings are going to include turkey and lot of it, do I have a recipe for your leftovers. I found this recipe for turkey pot pie here and adapted it to what I can eat. This is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey, and can be frozen to enjoy once you are no longer sick of turkey.

December 17, 2014

Easy Winter Tablescape

Hello there! Today I want to share an easy winter themed tablescape I have in my dining room right now. I used a lot of the party decorations for it, but they work so beautifully together.

December 15, 2014

Braxton's Playroom

Hello there everyone, I know I shared a few posts about our basement renovation. If you're new here, you can catch up here (Half Bath), here (Office), here (Stairs) and here (Built-In's). But I haven't shared the main reason for our renovation. 

One day Luis and I were talking about how cluttered our house was going to get once Braxton started playing with toys. We don't have a small house, but it's not big either. So this was a concern. We have a huge crawlspace under our main floor; it's about 40 feet by 40 feet and only 4 feet tall. So tons on space, but not really livable. We joked that we should take a portion of the crawlspace and make it into a playroom since Braxton will be short for awhile and won't care. That's when the joking stopped and the planning began, it was actually a great idea.

So that's how the whole renovation started, by wanting to build a small playroom for Braxton. Funny how talking about something so "out there" can actually lead to a great use of space.

This was the crawlspace before:

December 14, 2014

Chocolate Everything

Hey everyone!

Hope you guys are having a great weekend and are not too busy with Christmas preparations. It's getting down to crunch time, so hopefully you are getting too bogged down.

Today I want to share a few easy chocolate crafts with you guys. I thought I would lump a few together into a bigger post, instead of a few small filler posts. Hence, the chocolate everything.

First up, chocolate spoons. These are great for gifts or just to use for yourself at home. And they go great with coffee and hot chocolate.

Supplies (This will make about 25 spoons)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate (bakers chocolate or chips)
20-30 plastic spoons 
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

First, melt about a cup of semi sweet milk chocolate in a bowl over low boiling water:

Next, dip your spoons in the chocolate making sure to cover the back of the spoon as well. Let the excess chocolate drip off, or tap the spoon on the edge of the bowl:

Place on wax paper and add chocolate sprinkles:

You could switch out the chocolate sprinkles with crushed peppermints or any other small topping. Next, pick up some treat bags and wrap the spoons up:

I found these bags at my local Micheals for $3 I think. They were the perfect size for these spoons. That's it. Pretty easy.

But what to do with all the extra chocolate? I ran out of spoons long before I ran out of chocolate. I decided to make chocolate dipped marshmallows.

You can use any extra sprinkles or toppings from the spoons with these as well. They are pretty good, but they would have been better with milk or white chocolate. Again, another great addition to hot chocolate (sensing a theme?).

The last thing I want to share are the chocolate snowflakes that were the cupcake toppers for Braxton's birthday. These are so easy to make that I can't believe that I haven't done them before.

You will want to melt your chocolate either in the microwave or over boiling water on the stove (I used the microwave because I was using multiple colours):

Next, you will want to print out the design you want to make and place it under wax paper:

I like to use Ziploc bags for piping because they are cheaper than actual piping bags and I always have them on hand. I find the easiest way to fill up your bag for piping is to place it in a cup and folding the edges over the cup:

After you put the chocolate in the bag and seal it, cut the very tip of one corner off and follow your design. Place the chocolate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until solid. Then transfer into a container until you are ready to place then on your baked goods:

That's all for today folks. Just a ton of chocolate ideas, all of which are so easy to do. Hopefully you guys can give these a try. Let me know if you do and how they turn out.


Linking to:
A Night Owl - Monday Funday 12/15/14

December 10, 2014

A Winter-One-derland First Birthday Party

Hello there all! Today I am sharing some more details about Braxton's party with you guys, since almost ever post in the last few weeks has been getting ready for it. Hopefully you guys can sit through one more post about these decorations and such.

The theme was a Winter One-derland theme, which I know isn't the most original, but I thought was adorable. I found this invitation at Shutterfly:

It pretty much sealed the deal. The card was too cute, and Braxton's two favourite colours are red and orange. I could make this work. I used the invitation as an inspiration for the decorations:

December 8, 2014

Braxton's First Year

Well, it's official. My baby is no longer a baby. Braxton had his first birthday on Saturday and we had a party for him. My little guy did so well! He is usually pretty shy and sticks close to me, but he had no problem running around and flirting with all of the guests.

I'll share the details of his party later this week, but today I wanted to share some pictures of my little guy. You see on Pinterest all the super cute pictures people have taken each month of their babies and I knew that was something I wanted to do. So I had Luis take his picture each month while I held him, and added some details about what he was doing that month.

I'm not going to add too much more, hopefully you can just enjoy the pictures and stare at my baby for a little bit.

It's amazing how fast a year can go by, and how much Braxton changed in that year. I can't wait to see what happens in the next year.


December 5, 2014

Meat & Cheese Lasagna

Happy Friday one and all, hopefully your week hasn't been too crazy. We are currently t-minus 23 days and counting until Christmas, you guys ready? Yeah, me neither.

Today I am sharing my recipe for Meat & Cheese Lasagna. We like lasagna over here, and we like it a certain way. Simple. Not too many crazy ingredients or spices. Hopefully you guys like it too.

December 3, 2014

Paper Ornaments

Hi everyone, hopefully you guys aren't sick of crafts yet. I have been busy as a bee (is that even a saying?) trying to get everything ready for Braxton's birthday as well as getting ready for Christmas. Lots of crafts going on over here (and panicked cleaning and paint touch-ups).

Today I want to share another easy craft you can do in a short amount of time, that would be a great addition to any Christmas tree. It doesn't hurt either that it is fairly inexpensive if you already have a paper puncher. If you do not have a decorative puncher, you can get them with a coupon to Micheals or Hobby Lobby for roughly $15. 

I made some paper ornaments:

December 1, 2014

Glitter String Snowballs

Happy Monday to you all! I want to take a minute here for my "holy smokes my baby is almost a year old!" moment this week. Seriously, where has the last twelve months gone?

Today I want to share another fun craft that I did for Braxton's upcoming first birthday. But this could easily be a fun craft you could do for Christmas decorations or even just because it's winter. They are pretty snowballs that don't melt!

November 29, 2014

Easy Taco Dip

Hello there, hope you guys are having a great weekend so far! With the holiday season upon us (can you believe it's almost December now?), I thought I would share a favourite party food of ours. You can't go to a gathering around here without at least one, sometimes two of these bad boys. It's taco dip, and it's probably the best party food out there.

November 28, 2014

Christmas Cookie Jar Gifts

Hi everyone, today I want to share a great and easy gift idea for the upcoming holiday season. I'm sure you have seen these everywhere, but they are such an easy gift! 

They are cookie gift jars. I know, I know, but just hear me out. Who doesn't love getting goodies? And around the holidays everyone is baking, so there is an overabundance of goodies everywhere. So this is a way to give baked goods, but allowing the recipient to choose when they will have the goodies. Pretty sweet deal.

November 26, 2014

Fun Christmas Recipe Cards

Hi everyone, can you believe that there are only 37 days until Christmas! Crazy, I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. 

Today I want to share with you a quick and fun way to dress up the goodies that you give to people around the holidays. I have found that it is always nice to have recipe cards either included or ready to hand out in case people ask for them. It is also a great way for the giftee's (is that even a word?) to know what they are receiving. It doesn't hurt to be ready, and why not make them really cute and fun?

I found these recipe cards at Micheals last year in the dollar bin (I looked again this year, no luck):

November 24, 2014

wax paper pom-pom's

Morning everyone, today I want to share another craft I have for Braxton's upcoming birthday. I found the idea on Whipperberry . They used them on Christmas presents as part of the wrapping and decorations. But I thought they looked really cute as snowballs.

(Please ignore the baby toy in the background, I can't help it)

November 22, 2014

Chicken Lentil & Rice Soup

Hey everyone, 

Today I am sharing another soup recipe (I know!) that I started making a few years ago. Luis loves this soup, and as soon as the weather starts to get colder, he starts to ask for it. It's a very hearty soup with ingredients that you won't mind feeding yourself or your kids.

November 21, 2014

Basement Built-In's

Happy Friday everyone, can you believe how cold it's gotten in just a few days? The white stuff finally made an appearance a few days ago and I am in denial that winter is almost here.

The biggest change we have made in the current basement renovation has been in our rec room. Here is a quick picture of how it looked just a few months ago:

November 19, 2014

3D snowflakes

Hey everyone, hope you all are staying warm! 

Today I want to share a fun craft that I did as a decoration for Braxton's upcoming (first) birthday. It is a great craft to do in front of the TV or with older kids. And it's also great as a winter or Christmas decoration! First you need to gather your supplies:

November 17, 2014

Braxton's story

Hey everyone, today I thought I would get a little more personal with you guys and share a bit about Braxton's birth story. Since it is a little late to get into any crazy detail, a little recap will do nicely.

Braxton was originally due on December 12, 2013, but after our first ultrasound they moved the due date to December 3, 2013. The whole pregnancy it seemed like he was going to come early, the doctor kept saying that he was always on the big side of where he should be.So when December 3rd came and went, I was a little surprised. I think the delay was a blessing as it helped me mentally prepare for the fact that I was about to have a little person come out of my body. I remembered being told that walks could help induce labour, so I took our dogs for a long walk on December 4th.

That night on our walk, about halfway through I felt a little leaking (sorry, TMI!). Thinking I just had to go to the bathroom, I hurried home and thought nothing of it. But by the morning of December 6th I thought that it was possible that I had a slow leak happening. We called the doctor and he told us we needed to go have a test done at the hospital.

So off we went to the hospital, and I decided at the last minute that we should bring our hospital bag with us - just in case (you see where this is going?). We got to the hospital around 9am and got right into a room where they started doing a stress test on the baby and checked to see if my water had actually broke, or if I had a small leak.After completing the test, the nurse said she had to call my doctor. Not good. So after waiting about 20 minutes for the doctor to arrive, he came right it and confirmed that I did in fact have a slow leak. And then he informed us that he was about to break my water and induce me. We were having a baby!

Let me just say I hope that I never have to have my water broken or be induced again. That was not fun. But, I got the greatest gift from it. After 9 hours of labour, our baby, Braxton was born.

Hope you don't mind me sharing a little bit about the (other) love of my life. But, I mean, who doesn't like looking at babies? Here are a few more to brighten your day (and make up for the reading you had to do to get to this point):


November 15, 2014

pumpkin sour cream muffins

Hello again,

Today I want to share a recipe that I found at A Beautiful Mess for Pumpkin Sour Cream Muffins. They has some great stuff all the time, you should go check their blog out here.

I recently found a can of pumpkin puree in my pantry that was about expire so I went in search of a recipe that could use up a few things that I had on hand. When I came across this recipe, it was like kismet. I just so happened to have some sour cream that I needed to use up too!

These muffins are so yummy! Just the right amount of sweetness, without feeling like you are eating a cupcake for breakfast.

November 14, 2014

basement hallway & stairs - before & after

Happy Friday wonderful people! The weekend is almost here, so sit back with a nice coffee (or tea) and enjoy another basement update from yours truly.

Today I want to share the rest of the hallway and stairs. This update is mostly cosmetic as it was just a little drywall, a new light fixture, some paint and new trim, along with an update to the stairs I refinished here

But first, a look back to how this area looked when we bought the house:

November 12, 2014

slower cooker baked apples

Hey everyone, today I want to share an easy dessert idea that I found. I would consider this a healthier version of apple crisp, and it is pretty tasty. I found the recipe at Sidetracked Sarah. It's an easy and yummy recipe, that younger kids can help with if they want!

November 10, 2014

nursery before and after

Happy Monday everyone! (Please don't throw things at me) 

Today I want to share a transformation that happened last year, but I never shared with you guys. Last spring we converted our old computer room into Braxton's nursery. And what a transformation it was!

Here is the before picture; a little history to the colour of this room. When I lived at home, I always swore that my "office" was going to be red. So, once we bought this house the very first thing I decided, the computer room was to be red. Not sure if Luis even knew what was going on until he was fully committed. 

November 8, 2014

italian wedding soup

Hey there, today I wanted to share a new recipe I tried that I found on Pinterest. The Hubby loves Italian Wedding soup, but it's really hard for me to order because it has onions and/or garlic in it. So I thought I would give it a try, that way maybe we both could have some.

I found a recipe at Just a Pinch Recipes that seemed easy enough for a novice soup maker to handle. But of course, I had to change it up a little to account for the missing ingredients. 

It didn't turn out quite as pretty as the original soup did, but it tasted pretty darn good.