Friday, 29 August 2014

Heavenly Morsels

Here is a recipe that I stumbled across today. These"Heavenly Morsels" look exactly how they are described, "Heavenly".  The other great thing about this recipe is that there is only four ingredients needed to make them. My initial thoughts were that the girls would love these because they love smores, but the more I think about it I bet grownups would like them just as much.(wink)

I found this recipe from "The Girl That Ate Everything's" Blog. This is a food blog that is constantly pumping out wicked recipes. I love this girls taste! Check it out!
  • 16 whole graham crackers (about 3 1/4 cups crumbs)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • For S'mores version:
  • mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. This is a must! Otherwise they will stick.
  2. In a food processor, crush the crumbs into fine crumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, add the crumbs, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir well to combine making sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop even tablespoon sized balls onto the parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet.
  5. For the S'mores version: After scooping the cookies onto the parchment paper, push 2-3 mini marshmallows onto the top of each cookie. Bake and cool according to the directions.
Source: Jam Hands

We are going to be spending some quality time with the kids this weekend (enjoying our Heavenly Delights).  We are unplugging so that means I will be stepping away from the blog for a few days.

Hope you all enjoy the long weekend. Be safe and have fun!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Three Summer Delights

Yes I have said it before and I will say it again, I love summer!  I never take it for granted and my family and I try to enjoy every second of it!

For the last few days we have been experiencing a bit of a heat wave here on the East Coast. No complaints from me though. To beat the heat I decided to take the girls out for ice cream. We pulled into the local Dairy Queen and ordered up some sundaes for the girls (with smarties of course) and for moi, my all time favorite, the Mint Oreo Blizzard.  I know this is not the healthiest of things, but it sure tastes good!

I try and make a point to treat the girls to DQ a couple times in the summer, only for them though, my Mint Orea Blizzard obsession has nothing to do with it at all (wink).

I have great memories of my parents taking me to DQ in when I was a kid. It was only a take-out back then. When the Peanut Buster Parfaits and Banana Splits would go on sale we always made a point to go. My favorite as a kid was the banana split. It was as big as I was.
Another more guilty summer delight for me has been the Bachelorette (Go Andi) and now the Bachelor in Paradise. I know what your thinking, WHY???? Well.......since I have watched the last few seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette I am familiar with most of the cast of the new show, so why not?  I know the concept is so morally wrong but yet it's so entertaining.  I really don't watch much TV at all,  but I do look forward to my Monday night in paradise (wink).
Clothes line
My last summer delight for today is hanging clothes on the line. Yes this is a delight, not a chore. Sliding into sun kissed sheets in the summer ranks on my top 10 for sure.  I dare you to come up with a fresher, natural, more amazing smell. Not only is hanging clothes on the line eco-friendly but it saves money and it's actually very relaxing. Another bonus is you get to be OUTSIDE. Woohoo!

 I take every chance I have to hang my clothes out. My "power hours" often consist of coming home and hanging out a line.  I am thinking I might just do a complete post on this someday. I feel a "confessions of a neat freak" brewing. (wink)

Hope you are all enjoying your favorite Summer delights as much as I am.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Charity Pot by Lush!

I love lush products. I do not live near a lush store so I always look forward to finding one when traveling.  As I mentioned before, I am really trying to choose more natural products like Lush that are formulated without all the nasty "chemical stuff".

Lush Charity Pot

My wonderful in-laws came down for a visit a few weeks ago and my mother in law knows I have a special place in my heart for Lush. She surprised me with a little gift, my new favorite lotion.

Lush Charity Pot

The lotion is called "Charity Pot- hand and body lotion".  The reason it is called Charity Pot is because most of the profit goes to charity. This particular pot has dedicated the proceeds to Foundation Jasmin Roy,which works to fight against discrimination, bullying and violence in our schools.

Lush states that "with every penny you spend on charity pot, minus the taxes, you will be donating to carefully selected grassroots causes for people, animals and environment".

So not only is this a great cause but the lotion feels so luxurious on your skin. It is nice and thick. It also absorbs very quickly into the skin leaving you with silky softness. It has very nice light floral scent that lingers as the day goes on.

It is a very nice product I must say. I am also looking forward to the "Melting Pot" being released in September.

Have you tried any of the charity pots?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My Special Veggie Chili

I am lucky enough most work days to be able to come home for lunch. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I rely on this hour "aka the power hour" to get lots of stuff done around the house.  One thing I find that  makes lunch preparation quick is to either have a pot of chili or soup in the fridge that I can heat up in  a matter of minutes.  No only does this make things easier, but it helps me stay on the healthy train, if you know what I mean.

Here is my veggie chili recipe that I make for my work lunches.  I have made this with meat (ground beef, and cubes) before but in an effort to cut back on red meat I now opt for the meat-less version.

The secret to the chili is the spice combination.  You can basically add anything you want in terms of veggies.  I add what ever I have on hand.


1 Tbs olive oil
1 large white onion (or red) diced
1 red or green pepper (or both) diced
1-2 cups of sliced mushrooms
3 peeled and cut carrots
4 celery stalks cut
1 half zucchini cut
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of cinnamon and dried oregano
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp of salt 
1 can diced tomatoes
3/4 of a carton of either chicken, beef or vegetable broth
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs red wine or apple cider vinegar
1 can of drained black or kidney beans.
(frozen corn can be added at the very end if you wish)

In dutch oven on medium heat add olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes then add the rest of the veggies, cook for five or so minutes, stirring frequently.  Then add chili powder, cumin,cinnamon, oregano, sugar and salt, cook for additional five minutes. Then add tomatoes, broth, vinegar,  tomato paste and beans. Bring to a boil reduce heat to low and cover, simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally

Uncover and simmer until thickened for an additional hour.

One of the keys for me for me to eat healthier is having healthy choices at my fingertips.  A batch of this chili will usually last me a week.  The next week I will alternate and make a veggie coconut curry soup. I will share this recipe with you in the next couple of weeks.


Friday, 22 August 2014

The Healthy Deodorant

I have been on a bit of a mission for the last year. My mission has been to find a healthier more natural deodorant to use. Well I think I found it! Lavanila - The Healthy  Deodorant. I have been using this quite religiously and really love this product.

I had originally purchased a travel size in the original vanilla scent (which is heavenly) and just a few weeks ago while at Sephora I picked up a regular size in fresh vanilla lemon. The vanilla lemon is the nicest soft vanilla scent with just a hint of fresh lemon. I think this might be my favorite out of the two.

So not only do I love the scent of these, but I love that they are all natural and contain no harsh chemicals. They also contain no phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sillicone, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or parabens. What does all this equal? Healthy skin folks!

For those of you that are not familiar with this company you should check out their website.  They also sell many other "healthy" products including sunscreens, natural fragrances and much more. This deodorant also comes in many other fragrances as well. ( lavender vanilla is coming home with me next)

Just so you know, with natural deodorants you will still sweat, (we are meant to sweat, it is how our bodies excrete toxins from our bodies) this deodorant helps with odor protection.

If you are looking for a natural deodorant this is the one you should try. I believe the travel sells for $12 and the larger is $17, you can find these at Sephora. I know it may seem a bit pricey but it is a solid stick so it should last a long time.

Have you tried any natural deodorants?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Joey's Nachos

I am a big fan of the Cake Boss and thoroughly enjoy watching him whip up amazing meals (not just cakes) on the show Kitchen Boss.  In season one, Buddie invites cousin Joey on the show to make his "famous" nachos.

After watching this creation of deliciousness (word?) I had to make it. I have since made this close to 6-7 times now.  My husband loves it, and it usually gets gobbled up wherever I take it. I kid you not, Joey's nachos will make you famous!

Here is the recipe: (source)

1 8 ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, minced
¼ cup Heinz chili sauce
1 Tablespoon good-quality chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Serve with tortilla chips (Joey likes the scoop-able type)
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:                                         
sliced scallion
chopped tomato
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro


1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and the onions, sautéing med-low with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add the garlic and serrano, sauté until fragrant. Add ground beef, another pinch of salt and cook beef until crumbled and no longer pink. Add the chili sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and simmer, stirring a few minutes until juices begin to reduce. Add the kidney beans and stir to combine, cooking another few minutes until thickened. Remove pan from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread cream cheese evenly over the bottom of a 10” ceramic or glass pie plate. Spread all of the beef/bean mixture evenly over the cream cheese. Sprinkle cheddar over all. Bake until cheese has melted and mixture is hot through, 20-30 minutes.
3. Serve with any/all optional toppings and chips.

This recipe was copied from Key

As you can see in the picture above, I turned this recipe into two separate 8 x 8 pans. We ate one and froze the other for an event a few days later.

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the final cooked product. All I could think about at this point was getting this delicious dip into my mouth. (wink)

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

School Lunch Inspiration

Well  I think it's fair to say summer is beginning to wind down. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting a wee bit cooler. Am I ready for this? Not in the least, ha!

The count down to the first day of school is well on it's way. I am already racking my brain trying to come up with lunch ideas for school. You may wonder why the worry, well this is because I have a peanut butter sandwich only kind of girl.

I have been hearing about these " bento" lunch containers that keep the food all separated yet still all together. I am thinking this might just solve my worries about lunch. Here is what I found:
This kit is from  and comes with everything you see including a stainless steal fork and spoon.  It is made in the USA and does not contain BPA's, phthalates, or PVC. This kits sells for $38.99 which is quite pricey although I would consider this an investment piece as it should last till university (wink).

The kits have a place to put a small ice pack in so the food stays cool. They also sell accessories to make funky vegetable and fruit shapes, not the mention a teddy bear sandwich shaper (how awesome is that?)

Here are some lunch options for using the boxes I also found on their website.
Quesadilla, Bed of Pea Shoots, Pineapple and Strawberries, Baby Carrots, Honey Mustard Dressing, Fruit and Nut Bar
Whole Wheat, Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Broccoli, Carrots and Red Pepper, Ranch Dip, Banana and Strawberry Hearts, Mango Covered Almonds
Pizza, Carrots, Ranch Dressing, Raspberries, Chocolate Macaroon

Don't these look delish!  

Here is another company called, they have an eco-friendly design that eliminates the use of lids as well. 
Yumbox Framboise Pink Packed Lunch with Yogurt

Wish I had these when I was a kid. I think the days of squished sandwiches and boring lunches are over.

Have you heard or used any of these?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Arbonne Primer

As you know from my previous posts we had family from Ontario come and stay with us for a few days. Along with awesome memories, lots of laughs and many miles on the road they gave me a wonderful gift that I have been using on a regular basis now. MAKE-UP! The key to my heart(wink).

My sister-in-law introduced to me the Arbonne world and boy am I ever happy she did.  

They gave me the Country Garden Palette that includes a great blush/bronzer duo (summerset meadow blush is a nice light shimmery pink) and four eye-shadows (accent, lid, crease and highlight).

The palette also comes with the cutest most amazing buttery lipstick ever. The color is called rosebud and it's a nice light nude pink. The kit also comes with a great duel ended eye-shadow brush. The colors are all very nice to work with. It will be a great addition to my little collection (wink).

My second gift was the Arbonne Primer. This is a primer I have been wanting to try for a while now after following the "Small Things Blog" by Kate. She speaks very highly of this product so of course I became very interested in this.

I can honestly say now that I own it I see why she likes it so much. This is the nicest, lightest formula and it makes your skin feel like silk. It helps create the perfect canvas for your makeup, helping it last all day. Love, love, love this!

A big huge thanks again for all the wonderful gifts and for also introducing me to this brand. I did not realize they are formulated without all the bad stuff and stride to provide pure, safe and beneficial products. All these factors are becoming increasingly important to me as I learn more and more about health and wellness.

Did you know that 70% of what we put on our skin goes directly into our bodies?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Chocolate Zuccini Brownies

We are lucky enough to live next to people that grow a huge garden every year.  What makes us lucky is that they often will share the fruits of their labor with us. This past week we were given the hugest zucchini I have ever seen so I thought, why not make some brownies.  Confused??? I know, it sounds weird and your probably thinking why on earth would you want to add zucchini to brownies anyways? Well..... trust me, these make the most delicious brownies ever. They are so moist, soft, and chewy. What more could you want?

I discovered this recipe on the Sweet Happy Life blog and have decided this is a keeper.

Here is the recipe copied from the blog.


For the brownies:
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
For the frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with PAM or your preferred baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, ½ cup cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just to combine. Fold in the zucchini and mix well. The batter will be very dry and you'll think you should add eggs or milk, but don't do it!
  5. Spread into the prepared pan, gently tapping the mixture down.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.
  7. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa, the butter and the milk in the microwave for about 40-60 seconds. Mix well with a spatula or metal spoon. Allow to cool slightly, then add the vanilla and the confectioners sugar ½ cup at a time, mixing well between additions.
  8. Spread the frosting over the brownies once the brownies have cooled. Allow to set for an hour before digging in. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Since they technically contain a vegetable that means you should enjoy at least two (wink)!
Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 15 August 2014

A Fun Day in FUN-DY!

The next day we woke up and hit the trail yet again. This time we were Fundy National Park bound!
For those of you that are not familiar with the area, Fundy showcases a rugged coastline with hiking trails, camping and more than 25 waterfalls and is most famous for having the highest tides in the world. It's a beautiful natural gem located in Southern New Brunswick, Canada.
With five children in total, three under the age of six  we had to choose some hikes that would best suite the little ones.  We choose Dickson falls and Wolf point to discover.

After hiking up an appetite we headed into the town of Alma and settled upon a great little seafood restaurant called Fundy take out. My husband ordered the fish and chips and said it was the best he has had. We finished off our seafood feast with some famous Alma sticky buns from kelly's bakery. One word, YUM!   
Here is a shirt my nephew picked  out at the local gift shop in Fundy. Love it!

Another day the Maritime way!

We had a wonderful time with our family from Ontario and are so grateful for the memories we shared. We look forward to spending more time with you guys in the future. Big hugs to you all!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Home Away From Home

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, we drove down to St. Andrews on our vacation to go whale watching in the Bay of Fundy.  After our sea adventure we retreated to a two unit cottage that was minutes from the waters edge where we spent the night.  The Seaside Beach Resort is a stones throw from downtown which makes it the perfect central location to stay.
We grabbed a bag of charcoal and fired up the iron grill. I had forgotten how much I love the smell and taste of a charcoal grill. Super yummy BBQ!
St. Andrews is one of those places I must visit in the summer. A summer is not a summer until I have strolled the main streets of St. Andrews and smelled the sea salt in the air.  The smell takes me to a very comfortable place. I can remember when I was a child spending lots of time exploring the ocean floors. Being by the ocean just make me feel at home.
While exploring the beautiful ocean front of our cottage we came upon a jelly fish that did not go out with the tide. We tried many things to get the slimy creature back to it's ocean home.  Finally after many attempts with several branches he/she was rescued. We watch the sun go down knowing we had saved the life of one little jelly fish.
The next morning we headed to the awesome park beside the St. Andrews elementary school. The kids loved it, it is amazing.  You could easily spend a whole afternoon there.We would have stayed longer although we hurried along on the happy trail to Comeau's which is a restaurant famous for it's local seafood.

Following a delicious deep fried seafood feast we headed to New River Beach, aka seaweed beach.  I am not sure why but the beach was covered in seaweed. I don't remember this from my past visits although maybe it was left overs from tropical storm Arthur.

Another great day with such a wonderful family. 
Stay tuned to see where we headed next on our East Coast adventure.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Whale Tale!

Well vacation is over and I am slowly starting to get back into the groove of things around here again. My plan is to devote the next couple of posts to share with you some of the highlights of our great East Coast vacation.

Earlier in the summer we were thrilled to learn that our family from Ontario was planning on flying out to spend some time with us. They are not so familiar  to the Maritimes so I really wanted to share some authentic Maritime experiences with them. We decided to book a trip on the Jolly Breeze. Seriously, what's more Maritime than heading out to sea on a sail boat?
Our first morning together as a family of nine we headed down some windy, less-traveled roads (wink) to the seaside village of St. Andrews to embark on our Atlantic sea journey. The skies were foggy and the air was cool. We thought it might be a rather damp and chilly adventure although twenty minutes into the trip the skies opened and the sun shone. This wonderful change in weather made it the perfect day to be at sea.
After a forty-five minute gorgeous scenic boat ride out into the Bay of Fundy we were thrilled to see three whales, along with lots of porpoises and seals all along the way.  It really is amazing to see these giant sea creatures in there natural habitat with your own eyes.  The anticipation of  the whales cresting onto the surface of the water is extremely thrilling. They are incredibly majestic to watch. The beauty of it all almost takes your breath away.
The Jolly Breeze is a fantastic tour filled with great activities for the young and the young at heart. The kids began their whale journey by dressing up in pirate costumes.  They also get up close and personal with some sea creatures with an on-board touch tank. The captain gets volunteers to help raise the mass and the kids get their faces painted in the cabin below. We were all served a hot bowl of delicious chowder and the kids even got to steer the ship all by themselves (icing on the cake).
This was a great experience. The kids had a ball. This is my third trip to see the whales and I would guess it will not be my last. The Jolly Breeze has not seen the last of our family, we hope to make this a tradition and share this experience with more friends and family that come to visit, any takers?

Stay tuned to see more of our East Coast adventure.


Friday, 1 August 2014

Signing off for a few!

I just love Summer! I think I may have mentioned that a few times in the last month or so (wink). I am not a huge fan of the cold weather so I enjoy every second of the warmth and sunshine while it's here.  I am taking a few days off from the blog to spend some quality time with family we have not seen in far too long!  They flew in last night and I cannot tell you how excited we all are!

I wanted to leave you with a little Summer inspiration.  

With the weather being a bit humid  I like to get my hair out my face and off my neck. I have attempted this double bun twice now. It's easier then it looks. Just separate your hair into two sections (top and bottom). Make two pony tails, one on top of the other.  Take each ponytail and wrap it around the base using several bobby pins to keep it in place. Repeat these steps with the second ponytail and VOILA! Give it a good spray and your good to go.

My other favorite is my hat. Nothing says summer and beach like this puppie!

Fashionable yet functional!