Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy new year!

I wish all of you out there a very happy and prosperous 2013 with much success and love!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish anyone reading this a very Merry Christmas! May you spend it with the ones you love the most!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crochet slippers

I recently received a local custom order for slippers....a matching set of slippers for Mommy and daughter.  How cute is that?

Here are the slippers in the colours she chose.  I like how they turned out and I hope she likes them!

I also have other slippers available in my Etsy shop in case anyone is interested in their own custom pair.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Autumn!

I know this is a couple of days late but I thought I would post anyways.

Autumn has arrived!  We have been lucky that it has been warm every day during the day since autumn has arrived.  The farmers are starting to get close to the end of harvest which always means autumn is here.  We are hearing and seeing lots of geese too which to me is also a sound of autumn.

It has froze here a couple of nights and the leaves are starting to change to their lovely fall colours.  Here are a couple photos I captured this morning of a vine I have in my yard.  It turns this lovely shade of red once fall comes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tomato harvest and homemade spagetti sauce

The tomatoes in the garden have produced a fair number of tomatoes this summer. I have been harvesting them and they have been ripening like crazy.

Today's project is homemade tomato sauce. I will freeze it and store it for winter pasta dishes.

First off, I scalded the tomatoes so I could peel and seed them.

Then I added the tomatoes to onions (also from my garden) and garlic that had been sautéed. I also added some sweet peppers to the mix.

I let the tomatoes cook down until they broke down completely. Then I added tomato paste and spices (oregano and basil). I cooked it a while longer until it thickened.

After it cooled a bit, I puréed it in my blender. This is so the kiddos can't tell that I added onions and peppers to the mix.

Here it is all puréed and cooling. I can't wait to use it over pasta this winter!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Baking.....muffins!

September is back to school time.  It is usually at this time of the year I contemplate what sort of baked goods I am going to make for lunches.  I scour the internet and my recipe books in search of new recipes.

A few weeks ago I bought some great B.C. peaches (for those of you not knowing....B.C. is British Columbia - another Canadian province.).  These peaches are so sweet and tasty.  I have made a few peach pies with them.  We also have enjoyed them fresh....cut up and served on ice cream.

I still have some peaches left over and wanted to try to make some muffins out of them.  I am always trying to get my kids to eat fruits and veggies and I have found muffins are a great way to do this.  I have never made peach muffins before so I was up to the challenge.

I came across a recipe here at  I always am modifying recipes and thought I could tweak this one a bit to suit our tastes.

Here is what I came up with:

Peach Muffins

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. chopped peaches

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tins lightly.

Combine dry ingredients.  Mix well and add the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla.

Stir in the chopped peaches.

Distribute batter into your greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (this depends on your own oven of course!) until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Here are my muffins.  I think I might up the cinnamon to 1 tsp. next time...we like cinnamon here!  I sprinkled a little sugar on the top of each before baking but think maybe next time I will make a cinnamon streusel topping to go on top of each muffin....YUM!

Update:  After DD got home from school she tried one and they are a hit!  I definately will be making these again!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer produce!

I love early summer when the garden starts producing all sorts of great things from veggies to fruit and flowers. Yesterday the kids and I picked strawberries and lettuce and some lovely smelling peonies.

Now if I can only find a way to keep the birds from getting into the berry patch!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another great cleaning product.....hydrogen peroxide

I have been sharing a few of my cleaning tips. Check them out here and here.

I have recently discovered a great new cleaning product.....Hydrogen peroxide. Yes it is usually used to clean wounds but it makes a great cleaning product too! It is a great disinfectant.

Here is how I have been using hydrogen peroxide around the house.
- cleaning countertops and the bathroom sink
- cleaning mirrors....I cannot believe how streak free and clean it gets the mirrors!
- spraying down the toilet an wiping it clean...again it makes it sparkle!
- stain removal in the similarly to oxygen bleach

Why do I love using hydrogen peroxide in my everyday cleaning?
- its inexpensive! As opposed to all the cleaners in the cleaning aisle that can be very expensive!
- it is scent-free and doesn't leave any strong scents or fumes
- it is safe to use around children and pets (did you know hydrogen peroxide breaks down into hydrogen and water an leaves no residues behind like commercial cleaning solutions)....why didn't I know this when my kids were babies?

I added a sprayer to my bottle. Please note that it needs to stay in its dark bottle...exposure to light causes it to break down.

Other uses of hydrogen peroxide in your cleaning....
- works great on all types of stains and is particularly good to remove blood stains
- tub and tile cleaning. It works great on mold and mildew in the bath and shower.
- disinfecting tooth brushes. Soak bristles in peroxide and then rinse well with water after.

Why don't you try it out in your cleaning regime?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My take on the Rainbow cake.....thanks Pinterest!

This year I told my daughter she could pick out any cake she wanted for her birthday cake.  One day, while she was peeking over my shoulder while I was surfing around on Pinterest she spied the cake she wanted.  A  rainbow cake!

I thought it looked easy enough and was eager to try it out.  Here are some photos of our rainbow cake.  Thanks Pinterest!

If you want to follow me on Pinterest I am found here:

Bowls and cake pans all ready to go
Food colouring is added to the cake batter.....surprisingly it took more than I thought to get the proper colours

Food colouring all mixed into the cake batter

All ready to bake

Our rainbow birthday layer cake

The rainbow cake was such a hit that I decided to make another batch (using a little less colouring) and make rainbow cupcakes.
Rainbow cupcakes

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My new cookie recipe!

I was recently going brought the cupboards (spring cleaning) and I came across some boxes of Smarties I had been saving to make cookies with.

I looked through my recipe books and couldn't seem to find a recipe I loved. So, I thought I would try to draft up my own recipe combining some of my favorites but changing it up a bit.

Here are the results. I even managed to sneak some whole wheat flour into these cookies. The addition of smarties makes for a yummy colorful cookie that the kids (and adults) would love.

Here is my recipe:

1/2 c butter or margarine
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c Smarties or other candies

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream margarine and brown sugar well. Add egg and vanilla.

Slowly add flour and baking soda.

Stir in candy reserving a few to add to the tops of the cookies.

Drop by small scoop onto cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Press a few candies into the top of cookies.

Bake approximately 12 - 14 minutes depending on your oven. Cool slightly on pan and transfer to racks to cool.


Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All finished! The playhouse deck.

A little while ago I blogged about the deck that my husband and I built for the girls and their playhouse.

Today, we finally finished the railing.

I am so happy with how it turned out.  The kids can't wait to spend their summer playing outdoors in the playhouse.

Here it is:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My afghan.....finally finished!

I love making things for others and rarely have the time to make something for myself.

This spring, I thought I would make an afghan for our bed. It took a while and ALOT of yarn but this week, I finally finished it.

Here it is! I love the texture of it and it is soooo warm and cuddly.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The new playhouse!

When I was a little girl I always wanted a playhouse. Unfortunately, I never had one.

Now that I have my own girls, I wanted them to have a playhouse of their very own. So for the girls Easter present DH and I decided to get the girls a playhouse. We also decided to build a small deck for the playhouse. There are a few finishing touches left (like railing on the deck) but all in all the girls are very happy which means I am happy too!

I can't wait to see them enjoying this house all summer long.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring cleaning tips....get that oven sparkling clean!

The oven.

One of the LAST things in my kitchen that I want to clean. Luckily, my oven has a self-cleaning feature. It beats the days of scrubbing the oven with those icky smelly chemicals but it's still a bit of a challenge. And it still smells so I have to be able to have the windows open when I do clean the oven.

The racks in my oven are not to be left in the oven during the self cleaning feature. So once they are removed they still need scrubbing and scrubbing to remove all of the grime on them.

I have found a little trick that helps to clean them without all that scrubbing. Various cleaning sites have mentioned this method so I thought I would give it a little whirl.

Here it is:

Line the bathtub with an old towel and place oven racks inside (the towel prevents the racks scratching the tub).

Fill bath with enough hot water (in my experience the hotter the better) to cover the racks.

Sprinkle the racks with powdered dishwasher detergent. Yes that's right, dishwasher detergent.

Now just walk away and let them soak. Easy!

I usually let them soak around 20 minutes or so and then I take a rag or sponge and wipe them off. The grease seems to just "melt" off the racks leaving them nice and shiny.

Rinse, let dry and put them back in your clean oven.

Hope this helps make cleaning the oven a little easier. Let me know how it works for you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring cleaning with vinegar.

Spring has sprung! Today the sun is shining and the snow from the storm the other day is melting....yeah!

Today I have decided to start with a bit of spring cleaning. Light fixtures and the windows inside my kitchen, dining room and living room are what I am tackling today.

My regular cleaning regimen involves a microfiber cloth or two and my spray bottle filled with a 50/50 solution of vinegar/water. I started using this to clean with when my kids were babies as I didn't want to use a cleaner that leaves residue that could harm them.

Vinegar works so well to clean anything from my countertops to my appliances to windows. So today I used it on the windows and to polish the metal on my light fixtures. The glass shades were removed and washed in warm soapy water and left to air dry. The curtains were machine washed and hung to dry. I vacuumed the blinds on the windows as well.

I cannot say enough how much I love to use vinegar to clean. Yes it does smell a bit at first but it dissipates soon after. My littlest always says, mom what's that smell? Are you cleaning?

Some other ways I use vinegar in my everyday cleaning:

- Put it in the rinse cycle in the washing machine to get rid of smells. Works great for towels. I use this all the time and it works!

- To deodorize a room leave a cup of vinegar out overnight and it absorbs odors.

Do you use vinegar in your cleaning regimen? Feel free to post your tips here too!
Happy cleaning!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is here?????

Well it seems spring has arrived with an bang this year.  Last night we had a mixture of snow/rain.  It made roads slick but the trees and such looked really pretty and interesting this morning.  I went for a little walk and took a few photos that I would like to share with you.  Here they are:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chili.....with a healthy twist

In the winter, one of my go-to meals is chili.  It is hearty and warm and I can make it relatively quickly, stick it in the slow cooker for the afternoon and supper is ready.

I decided to try to give my chili a little variety so I used ground turkey in it instead of ground beef.  I do usually use extra lean ground beef and drain off the fat but sometimes I do find it a tad greasy.  I did not find this a problem with the ground turkey.  The chili was excellent!  The kids even had seconds....which to me is a success!

I honestly don't have a recipe per se for chili so I can't share that with you.  It usually involves ground beef (or in this case turkey) tomatoes, beans, kidney beans, onions, celery....sometimes mushrooms and spices.  Here is a picture of our turkey chili.  I will definately be making this again for my family!

Pair it with a good slice of bread and serve.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Something strange in the sky

Two nights ago, my husband and I were sitting on our couch watching television.  The kids were in bed and we were enjoying some quiet.  I noticed that there was a bright flash in the sky and asked hubby if he saw it too.  He said yes he did see the flash.  I asked if he thought maybe it was lightning and he said he wasn't sure.  Neither of us thought there could be lightning in February.  We both passed it off and laughed and continued to watch our show thinking nothing of it at all.

The next morning DH's alarm goes off (it plays the radio when it goes off) and the news was on.  The announcer says that there was a bright light in the sky the previous night and that a meteor had landed somewhere in Saskatchewan.  Though sleepy,  it clicked.  DH and I had seen the flash in the sky from the meteor.  Cool!!!

It turns out that this was the brightest and biggest meteor seen in Saskatchewan in five years.  Here is a link to the CTV news story on this meteor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you get to spend the day with the ones you love.  Let them know how special they are today and every day!

To my husband.....I love you with all my heart.  You are truly my soulmate and best friend.  You have given me all that I have ever wanted including our beautiful family.

To my are my miracles.  I cannot believe how smart, funny and kind you are.  You make me smile each and every day.  I love you.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Orange pull-apart bread....yummy!

Last week I mentioned that I was baking a pull-apart orange bread.  It turned out a matter of fact, the kids had devoured almost half a loaf by the time I got to tasting it.  So in my books, if its a fav of the kids, its a "keeper" recipe.

I found this recipe online and am sure glad I did!  There are lots of great colourful photos and the instructions are so easy to follow.  I must say that I got  two loaves out of this recipe....not sure if my loaf pans are really small but the dough rose so lovely considering it was -30 C something outside!

Here is the recipe I used found here.
Pull-Apart Orange Bread

2 envelopes active yeast (2 scant tablespoons)
1/4 cup warm water mixed with a pinch of sugar
1 cup scalded milk, cooled slightly
2 large eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Vegetable oil cooking spray, for bowl and tins


1. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over sugar water; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, eggs, granulated sugar, salt, half the zest, and shortening. Slowly add flour, mixing until combined. Knead until shiny and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.
2. If you’re making the dough the night before, like I did, so it is all set to roll and bake in the morning, this is the part where you can cover your dough and let it rise in the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make filling: In a small bowl, mix remaining zest, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and butter. On a well-floured work surface, gently knead dough 3 to 4 times to release air pockets. Roll out dough to an 18-by-14-inch rectangle, dusting with flour as needed. Brush some of the filling over bottom half; fold to enclose. Brush half with filling, and fold again to enclose. Let rest about 5 minutes.
4. Lightly roll out dough again to a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Brush half with remaining filling, and fold. Cut into squares. Place squares in coated pan with layers facing up. Let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 12 to 15 minutes.
5. Bake until golden, about 30–35 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest 5 minutes in pan, then transfer loaf to a cooling rack.
6. Make a thick icing by whisking together remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and the juice. Drizzle over loaf. Pull apart and taste pure heaven.

Here are a couple photos from my own breadmaking session.

In the oven....smells yummy!

Ready to eat.....its still warm!

After the kids had some.

My two loaves drizzled with the glaze

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter has officially arrived!

Winter has officially come with a vengence here in Saskatchewan.  Why just a week ago it was in the plus temperatures (plus 3 Celcius) to be exact.  Well this is what my thermometer read this morning.....

This is what winter temperatures can reach here in SK.  It is always a bit of a shock to the system when this happens.  School buses don't run and when that happens DD gets to stay home from school which is always a treat.  It is not the normal temperature for this time of year though.  I think the normal daytime high is -16 Celcius which to me right now would be kinda balmy.

Needless to say we are staying indoors and keeping busy with movies, crafts and baking.  Today I am making a yummy looking orange bread that if it turns out to be a keeper recipe I will post it next week.

Hope everyone is warm and comfortable wherever they are!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of my readers a very Happy New Year!  May you all be happy and healthy in 2012!