Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sunflower Blogger Award

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was nominated for the Sunflower Blogger Award by Grace from Every day in Grace today! Grace has a wonderful blog that is filled with great reads, movies, fashion, quotes, inspirations and yummy treats too.

It really is an honor to be nominated for such an award. It must mean I am doing something right in this crazy blog world (wink).

Here are my questions from Grace!
11 Questions for my nominees:
1. What are your plans for summer vacation this year (Or what did you already do?)?
Camping, beach, visits from family and Cape Breton in the Fall. 
2. What are your most used apps?
Ha, believe it or not I am a dinosaur when it comes to technology. I still only own a pay -as- you- go, flip phone.  
3. What is your favorite tourist attraction in your country?
Niagara Falls is pretty cool, although the rocky mountains of Alberta will always have a place in my heart.
4. How many siblings do you have (Tell me their names and age if you do- I'm a very curious person!)? 
6 altogether (5 step siblings)
5. What is your guilty pleasure (Come on, I know we all have one!)
Watching Bachelorette/Batchelor and chips and dip!
6. What are your top three movie recommendations?
Almost Famous, True Romance and August Rush!
7. What do you do when you are stressed out?
CLEAN! (not kidding in the least)
8. What is your proudest moment (Don't be shy!)?
When my babies were born. (amazing moments)
9. Which do you prefer- cookies or cupcakes?
Chocolate chip cookies for sure, yum! (just made some last night)
10. What is your go-to breakfast?
Smoothie, although I do like the occasional greasy bacon and eggs, hash-brown special.
11. Advice for new bloggers?
Be yourself!  Write about things that you like and that interest you.  Make your blog an extension of your personality.  

I am now suppose to nominate 11 others but unfortunately I am a bit stretched for time this evening.  :(  Sorry
Another big huge thanks again to Grace for the nomination.  Be sure to check out her sweet little blog too.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

DIY Pedicures fit for a Queen!

My daughters and I picked up some really cute stickers to use on our toes. I believe I paid $1.97 at Walmart for these two sheets of stickers with jewels. Not a bad price at all if you ask me. I do love a good professional pedicure but when trying to save money improvisation and creativity come in real handy.

Here is what my youngest daughter and I came up with:

You simply paint your nails like you normally would.  Then you gently peel off the sticker and place it on the nail where you want it. (this is the tricky part) Once the sticker is where you want it you apply a clear coat of nail polish to seal the deal!

These were so much fun to do! Who needs a professional anyways (wink)?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Brownie Strawberry Trifle

When I was young I can remember going strawberry picking with my Mom and Dad.  My Dad would joke and say, they should have weighed me before going in as I would eat more than I picked. To carry on the memory of strawberry picking, I take my daughters picking every year. We don't pick a lot, just enough to eat and make a few recipes.

My in-laws were coming up this weekend to visit so I knew I wanted to make something special for dessert. I had a bunch of strawberries to use up so I started looking on the internet for a new strawberry recipe and this is what I found, Brownie Strawberry Trifle.

I have to tell you this was super easy to make and incredibly delish to eat. We all agreed that this recipe would be a keeper.

Next time you have a bunch of strawberry's and need of quick dessert, this could be your winner.

I found this recipe on  Here it is:


    • 1 (20 ounce) boxes brownie mix ( I use Betty Crocker)
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 quart strawberry, thinly sliced, save one whole for decoration
    • 2 (3 1/4 ounce) packages French vanilla instant pudding
    • 8 ounces Cool Whip
    • hershey's shell chocolate syrup, as needed


  1. To make brownies:.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Grease bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.
  4. Stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended.
  5. Spread in pan.
  6. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean; let cool.
  7. While brownies are cooling slice the berries and set aside.
  8. Mix pudding with 2 cups of milk and whisk until thickened.
  9. Fold in Cool Whip.
  10. To layer, put brownie for first layer, add strawberries for second layer, drizzle with chocolate shell and the pudding mixture layer.
  11. Repeat layers ending with the pudding mixture.
  12. Decorate with the whole strawberry, cool whip and drizzle with the chocolate shell.
  13. Chill until serving about 3 hours at least.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Stay Home Days

My daughters and I have got into the habit of calling weekends "stay home days". When the  girls were younger they would have trouble with the names and days of the week so,"stay home days" just stuck.

The girls and I have enjoyed a week long stretch of "stay home days" as I am taking some vacation time. We have been having fun going to the beach and enjoying  lots of ice cream. I can't believe the week is almost over though. Time sure flies when your having fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed staying super casual this week with minimal makeup and with what my daughter called this morning "messy hair". Little does she know I am actually attempting the beach kissed hair look, ha ha.

I have been achieving this "messy" look by washing my hair at night and letting it air dry a bit. Once it is just a bit damp I put it into a french braid and sleep on it all night. In the morning, I take out the braid and run my fingers through it. I then use a comb to tease my roots a bit to add a  little volume at the base. I then distribute a few sprays of Lush Sea Spray throughout my hair.  I kind of scrunch it in with my hands and this is what I get, fuss-free easy hair that only gets better as the day goes on (wink).

Wishing you all many lovely "stay home days"!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Say Hello to My New Friends

Part of my winnings from the tarte summer contest was a pair of Tieks. I had not heard of these prior to this contest. For those of you like me, Tieks are a high-end "reinvented" ballet flat that can collapse to be the size of a wallet to fit in your purse.  Many of the styles are made from the finest Italian leather and vegan fabrics. Tieks are a favorite of Oprah's as well as many other celebrities.

So... as you imagine these are not cheapy cheapy. Tieks range anywhere from $175 to $300+ for a pair.  This is definitely way out of my price range, so as you imagine, I was thrilled to be receiving a pair.

Here is how they came packaged! Absolutely gorgeous!

Pretty fancy eh? 
So I was really excited and opened them up immediately only to find that they are too small.  I now have to send them back and try a larger size.  

Here they are with my toes squished and all, ha ha!

My mission to see what $175.00 shoes feels like continues. Please stay tuned........


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Weekend Camping Getaway

My family and I unplugged from our busy lives and ventured out into the wilderness to enjoy a few days of camping and spending time at the beach. Camping is something we all look forward to each and every summer. There is just something so peaceful and relaxing about forcing yourself to rough it!

So we arrived after work on Friday evening and by the time we got everything set up it was beginning to get dark which meant campfire time. The kids and I dug out the marshmallows and got the sticks ready as my talented husband built us a fire. We also brought some graham crackers and chocolate which made for some yummy smores. It doesn't get much better than this! I could stare at the fire for hours and this trip my daughter says to me, I just like looking at the fire mommy. Yay, I guess I must be doing something right for a change ha, ha.

We all slept great and woke up to a bright sun shiny day!  We ate our pancakes, fruit and bacon and packed up our things and headed to the beach. We like to hit the beach nice and early so we avoid over crowding and also the suns high intensity in the afternoon.

My youngest was so fascinated with the sea gulls.  She dropped a chip (chips are a must for our beach days) and realized that the birds would eat them. Yes,we were the annoying people on the beach feeding the birds, but she had a ball.

There is nothing more relaxing than being on the beach and watching the boats go by (unless of course you are on the boat, wink).

It's great how fast and easy the kids all make friends. They found some great "beach" friends that they would play with on the beach and had camp friends at the campground. Two little social butterflies they were.
Here is a picture of me and my husband. We were totally photo bombed by my hilarious daughter. She cracks me up! Love it!

I actually don't have many more pics from our weekend. I guess we were having to much fun to remember to even take photos. We made some great memories though, memories we can reminiscence about all Winter long (yuck, can't believe I just said the word). We hope to embrace the wilderness a few more times before the summer is over.

Do you and your family enjoy camping?

Friday, 18 July 2014

A Hard (but short) Goodbye

My oldest daughter has become really good friends with a neighbor of ours. She jumps at any and all opportunities to play with her. When they are not playing she is busy making her pictures and telling me stories about what the two of them did and what they plan on doing next. My daughter has become slightly obsessed and totally engrossed with that fact that she has a BFF.
Now that it is summer, the two of them have been playing outside lots. They spend most days running back and forth from house to house. It's pretty sweet!
The other day, my daughters friend told us that she was going away for a few days. Although she was excited, she was still sad to leave my daughter. Before coming back into the house for the night the two of them exchanged sobs and hugs and said they would miss each other. I then brought my daughter into the house to comfort her and to help talk her though these emotions. She started to feel better when I suggested we make her a "surprise" craft while she was away.

I can remember when I was young how difficult it was to say goodbye to someone you cared a lot about, even if it was only for a few days.  Even now I often have a hard time saying goodbye to friends and family whom I won't see for a while. Like mother, like daughter I guess.

It is so rewarding  (and maybe a little selfishly sad) )to see my little "big" girl spreading her wings and forming relationships and becoming the sensitive, loving, caring and kind girl I hope and pray for.

I will never ever forget my first real BFF. It was my first day of kindergarten and the bus driver encouraged me to sit with her. I remember looking over at her sitting alone, her feet dangling back and forth as she waved me over. We were like two peas in a pod from then on. When I look at my daughter and her friend I am reminded of that friendship. It was a pretty special time in my life, and I can see the same in my daughters too.

Love my best friend quotes tumblr
Aren't BFF's the greatest?
Sending lots of love to all my Best'ies!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

First Time Winner!

A few weeks ago I entered the tarte summer contest and crossed my fingers that I would win all the wonderful, amazing products.

Well.... you'll never believe it but last week tarte informed me that I won! I am still in disbelief and need to be pinched though. I can't remember ever winning anything in my life. I am so excited!  I have not received any of the prizes as of yet, although they have sent me my tarte gift certificate to purchase some tarte cosmetics.

I spent some time tonight looking through tarte's website. I can honestly tell you that I want everything.  I love the idea of putting natural products onto my skin. Tart's products are free from all the nasty stuff found in a lot of cosmetics! I have no idea how I am going to narrow it down!

 I am leaning towards these tarte products below.  Have you tried any of these?

All these products and images can be found on tarts's website:

1.   Rainforest After Dark Limited-Edition Colored Clay Eye and Cheek Palette.
2.   Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel
3.   Maracuja Rainforest Glow Instant Matte Water Proof Body Perfecter
4.   Amazionian Butter Lipstick - In Coral Blossom
5.   LipSurgence Lipgloss - In Park Avenue Princess or True Love
6.   Amazionian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation
7.   Clean Slate Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting Primer

A huge thank you again to tarte for everything! It means the world to me!


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Montana's Knows Pulled Pork!

My husband and I are big fans of Montana's. We love their pulled pork sandwich. It's just the perfect amount of sweet, salty, porky, goodness.

We decided we would take the kids and go out for lunch this past weekend. It had been a while since we have been to Montana's, so we decided we were due. As I was reading the menu I noticed they had a new pulled pork option on their menu, called the "Pulled Pork Quesadilla".

Yup,you read that right. How exciting! Geniuses I tell you! It is all the goodness of the sandwich packed between two tortilla's stuffed with two types of cheese and then baked to perfection. So yummy.  Seriously, if you are any kind of a pulled pork fan you must try this. I am sure you won't regret it. I am warning you though, you might find yourself wanting and needing this again and again and again!

All in all it was a delicious meal with great service.

It's kind of funny but between dinners out my husband and I somehow seem to forget how challenging it can be with kids. Small children + take out = less  stress.

 What's your favorite restaurant?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

More Light in my Life.

On the weekend my husband and I took the kids out shopping.  We stopped into Target to exchange his Fathers Day gift and guess what we found......?

I seriously don't think I have ever walked out of Target without purchasing something completely off my radar. The key is that I never pay full price (that is my justification, wink). If I really like something I wait because most times it will eventually go on sale.

So I spied with my little eye.... the perfect floor lamp for our living room.  I have a spot next to my love seat that was begging for something. I was not sure if I should get a little end table or plant, but in the end I decided a new lamp would look great. You know me and lights, moth to the fire!

I am really happy with it and I love the design. It also has a dimmer so I can control the amount of light I want. I ended up paying just under $50 for it ($32 off, woohoo).

I also ran into Bouclair for a minute as I knew most of there summer stuff would be on sale by now.  I found this really cool vase that was marked down by 50%. It is made of pressed bamboo so even if it gets bumped off by the kids it should not break into a million pieces. Kid proof! I think it looks great with my chairs.

What do you think?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

While on our trip to PEI my Best'ie (as Oprah would say) cooked this chicken recipe for us and it was so good when we come home I had to make it again. It is originally found on "The Girl that Ate Everything's" blog, that I love by the way. If you enjoy cooking check out her blog!

My recommendation is that you should absolutely use the chicken thighs for this, do not substitute for breast meat. Fear not the thigh, I promise you will love! This turns out so moist and delicious and the flavor is amazing, it's a definite keeper!  I half'ed the recipe and it worked great for about twelve thighs.

Here it is:

  • 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce (See Note; the soy sauce and water just needs to be a 1:1 ratio)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped (reserve the other half for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (not essential but add it if you have it)
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of coconut milk
  1. Trim chicken thighs of any visible fat. Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Marinade chicken for at least 8 hours or overnight to make sure the flavor gets infused.
  2. Grill chicken at a low heat so that the marinade does not burn for 5-7 minutes per side or until done. If you do not have a grill you can use a indoor grill pan.
  3. Serve over a platter of coconut rice and garnish with green onions and a drizzle of additional soy sauce.
  4. *Coconut rice can be made by just replacing half of the water in your rice recipe with coconut milk. A trick my SIL told me! So good with just the right amount of coconut flavor.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

An At Home Facial

About once a week I like to take an hour for myself and give my skin some much needed TLC.

 I first thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Lately I have been using Philosophy's Microdelivery Exfoliating wash. I cannot say enough good things about this product, it leaves my skin feeling smooth, fresh and revived. Although it is very effective it is also very gentle.

Philosophy - The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash

After a good clean I usually apply a hot facecloth to the skin to help open up the pores. I do this several times by getting the cloth nice and hot each time. After this, I then proceed with the mask of my choice. My go to lately has been Origins Clear Improvement- Active Charcoal Mask, this helps to clear the pores and decongest the skin. It leaves the skin feeling really soft and smooth.
Origins - Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores

Another great mask I like to use and sometimes will use after the origins is Aveda's Intensive Hydrating Masque.This is a nice soothing gel like formula that helps put moisture back into your skin. Before my days of daily sunscreen I would apply this to my face when it received too much sun and it helped to heal some of the redness. It really is a great product that does not feel heavy at all. It leaves the skin feeling extremely soft and hydrated. It is perfect for combo skin.
Intensive Hydrating Masque
After the masks I always like to put something really good back into the skin. I picked up Tarte's Pure Maracuja Oil a while back and really like what it does to my skin. Maracuja Oil is 100% pure and rich in essential fatty acids that helps to rebuild and repair skin. It also contains a high dose of vitamin C that aids in brightening the skin. I love this face oil. You must try!
Tarte - Pure Maracuja Oil
What do you do to treat your skin?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Six Days With No Electricity

Tropical storm Arthur has definitely left its mark in Eastern Canada. Thousands of people have been without electricity since last Saturday and many are not expected to have it restored until early next week.  High winds and heavy rain caused thousands of trees to fall, bringing down with them power lines and poles causing sever damage and massive power outages. 

At our house several huge branches fell from our trees engulfing our home in greenery. Neighbors of ours had a whole tree uprooted that sadly fall onto their camper.  The rest of the tree was left held up by the power lines. The highest voltage line snapped and fell onto my shed and camper.(see photos below)

This is beside my house. So many branches down you can barely see my house.
Huge branches broke right off by the wind.
Front of the house
Neighbors lost their camper
Line up for gas. People waited for hours at one of two stations that had electricity.

Thankfully no one was hurt and also that we are not in the middle of winter. We did have access to a generator so our fridge was staying cold (huge bonus) and we were able to cook food on our BBQ and camp stove.  Luckily the weather has been fine so the kids just continued to play lots outside in the absence of electricity (obviously away from the dangling power lines). 

I have to say, I am really amazed at how much support and help has been offered. These types of situations really do bring people together.  I have seen people sharing access to generators, food and whatever else they have to offer.  Those that do have electricity are offering hot showers to those that do not.  Local churches are putting on dinners and several electronic charging stations have been set up.  It really is heartwarming to see and hear of so many acts of kindness.  I know Maritimers are known for there warm hospitality and with the amount of  generosity  I have seen  I can confirm that this is absolutely TRUE!

The people working to get the electricity back on and the trees cut have been working day and night and many have come from other provinces to help out. They are doing a fantastic job and all deserve to be thanked for their time, commitment and dedication.

So what do you do with two kids for six days with no power/hot water??  You get pretty creative! Lots of stories, outdoor play, board games, glow sticks, tea parties, painting, flashlight parties etc.  I know it could be so much worse but wow you really learn to appreciate electricity when it has been gone for several days. A cold shower just does not seem to cut it. 

In the absence of no electricity I was forced to abandon my blog which was shear mental torture. This is something I really look forward to everyday. Since our electricity was restored  last night (woohoo) I am back in blog action so be sure to stay tuned! 

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those that have been affected by this terrible storm and also to those 25,000 homes that still remain in the dark. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Summer Dress -peration

Now that Summer is here and in full force you will find me wearing dresses quite frequently. Our summer season in Eastern Canada is so short that I basically jump at any opportunity to wear one.

Here are few sweet summer dresses I found online.

1.   Stripe Cami Maxi Dress - GAP - $49.99
2.   Lace Trim Gauze Sundress - Old Navy -$42.94
3.   Striped Twist Strap Dress- Banana Republic- $134.00
4.   Gemma Geo-Print Wrap Dress-Banana Republic-$124.00
5.   Button Down Flare Dress - Dynamite-$34.90
6.   Embroidered Fit & Flare Dress - Forever 21-$27.80
7.   Minimalist Muse Dress-Forever 21-$23.80
8.   Boho Drop Waist Dress- Forever 21-$18.80
9.   Printed Tube Dress-RW&CO-$129.99
10.  Tropical Print Dress-Bootlegger-$59.99
11.  Printed butterfly dress -Smart Set- $39.00
12.  Black Romper with Spaghetti Straps- Smart Set-$45.00

Most of the websites I pulled these from are now offering great deals on summer wear at 25-40% off. Now is the time to buy summer wear as most stores are getting ready to put fall wear out. (Yuck)

Which dress do you like?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Banana Bread Cake

Well I really dislike throwing any food away. I am always coming up with creative ways to use up food before it spoils. Today I had three over ripe banana's and half a tub of vanilla frosting and a bit of a sweet tooth so I decided to make a banana bread cake.
It is basically banana bread although I used a 8 x 8 pan and slathered some frosting on top after it was cooled and called it cake! It turned out super yummy and was very easy to make!

Here is how you can make it too:


2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe banana's mashed.
1/2 container of frosting - your choice (chocolate, cream cheese, vanilla etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 F, and line a 8 x 8 pan with tin foil. (this makes it easy to lift out of the pan after)

In a large bowl combine the flour, soda and salt.  In another bowl cream the butter with the sugar. Add the mashed banana and eggs to the butter mixture. Once combined slowly mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingrediants. Stir until all mixed together. Pour batter into lined pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Once cooled  hang onto the sides of the tinfoil and slowly lift out and transfer to a cake plate. Top with your favorite frosting. Voila!

Last but not least, ENJOY!

You actually can have your cake and eat it too this time!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

A Trip to the Little Red Island aka PEI

My family and I decided to embark on a much needed mini vacation last weekend. Close friends of ours live in Prince Edward Island and with the projection of sunny skies we thought it would be the perfect weekend to visit. The weather was sunny and warm and the beach was stunning.  I don't think we could have picked a more perfect weekend if we tried!

Here are some pictures from our PEI adventure. It truly is a magical place set among red fields, rolling hills, wild flowers and some of the best red sandy beaches encompassed by the beautiful Atlantic ocean.

Going across confederation bridge to the Island.

PEI potato fields

Love these red dirt roads lined with wild flowers.

My handsome husband/chauffeur! (ha)

Our home away from home (wink)

This is the walkway to the Beach (Lakeside). The kids had a ball building sandcastles and playing in the waves.  At one point we looked out into the distance and saw two porpoises (aka dolphins) swimming. Super cool!

 One evening we drove out to Brackley beach to indulge in some gourmet seafood take-out. The take- out is called Richards and people line for 30-40 minutes (at times) to indulge in the Atlantic Ocean's finest catch of the day. My husband got the Lobster roll and I got the Fish.  Both were very good and served with a side of fancy coleslaw, gourmet dill tarter sauce and fresh cut fries. YUM! 

Another fantastic place to eat is the "Water's Edge" in Charlottetown. It has a newly designed patio by the harbor front with fantastic food, staff and management.

Our days were spent on the red sandy banks of Lakeside beach and our nights roasting marshmallows with the picturesque view of the water in the background. 
One word "breathtaking"!
I don't think I could ever tire of these gorgeous sunsets. A huge special thanks to our dear friends for being so hospitable and for welcoming us all into your home.

We miss you and that stunning view already!

P.S.  We will be back for sure!