Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Late again!!  I know.  This week was my son's birthday party and we figured there would be leftovers so didn't want to go too crazy on the meal planning.  I also wanted to use up some of what I have since last week I got some great deals on stuff such as chicken breasts (No Frills) and pasta sauce. Here's the plan:

Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole - rather than ground beef though I'll be using ground chicken that I found a great deal on! 

Again both recipes are from the Kraft Canada website.  I love that their recipes are generally quick and easy.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Not So Tricky Halloween" Blog Tour

In the past Halloween was all about relaxing at home while handing out (and eating) candy and watching scary movies.  Once in a while I'd go to a Halloween party and I've even thrown a couple myself.  Fast forward to 2009 when kids started coming into the picture.  My son was only 1 week old that first Halloween as a family so we just took pictures of him around pumpkins.  2010 was a little more exciting as we dressed him up as a lion (courtesy of grandma) and took him for his first trick-or-treat adventure!

This year is even better as now there's 2 kids!!  My daughter will only be 4 months old though so she won't be doing much trick-or-treating but I'm really looking forward to taking my son out since he wasn't walking or talking last year and now he is!  He's going to be an alien from Toy Story 3 (again courtesy of grandma).  My daughter will just be wearing a Winnie The Pooh fleece set.  

Since we're fairly new to the whole Halloween as a family thing we're just starting to come up with traditions and how to prepare for Halloween.  Every year will definitely include on, if not several, trips to a local pumpkin patch as there's so many to choose from where we live.  The kids can pick out a pumpkin and when they're older we can have a carving night.  For now that's my job.  Both grandmas love to sew and volunteered to make their costumes every year and until they can pick for themselves I just leave it up to grandma(s) to decide what they want the kids to be.  

My favourite part of Halloween is the candy because I LOVE candy!  Luckily my 2 year old won't be asking questions when his candy disappears though we will offer him bits of whatever is age appropriate!  I have to take advantage of this while they're young.  The Allan Candy Company graciously set me a variety of their individually wrapped candies just in time for Halloween.  I received the Allan Intense Jubes and Jellies, the Allan Chewy Rascals and the Allan Fruit Buddies.  The Jubes and Jellies are soft, chewy and have a nice sour taste. The Chewy Rascals include favourites such as Big Foot, Hot Lips, Sour Big Foot and Sour Green Thumb. Fruit Buddies are fruit flavoured and include Peach Slices, Sour Cherry, Sour Watermelon, Sour Grape and Tangy Wild Strawberry.  Although I enjoyed all varieties and flavours of the candy my favourite would have to be Chewy Rascals as they give me fond memories of my childhood and begging my mom for change to buy candy.  At lot have already made their way to my stomach and the rest will be handed out on Halloween!

The Allan Candy Company is a Canadian company and all the candy is made in Canada.  They are celebrating their 77th year in business!  The Allan Candy Halloween treats, such as the ones I was sent, are peanut free and can be found at major retailers such as Walmart and the Loblaws company of stores.   

Disclosure - I am participating in the Allan Candy Company program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation for my participation in this campaign.  The opinions on the blog are my own.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!!

Leftovers from the week
Savoury sausage and rice skillet - we double this sometimes since it's yummy
Tortellini from the freezer and pasta sauce
Cheesy chili pasta - not sure where this recipe came from and I couldn't find it 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Make A Pledge With Energizer

Energizer Canada is committed to pledging $100,000 to Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization committed to making cities greener and more liveable, in their "Do Something Little, Help Something Big" initiative.  With each additional pledge made by people at the Positive Energy website Energizer will donate an additional $1 to Evergreen up to a maximum $10,000.

Since having children I've been wanting to live a "greener" life and reduce my carbon footprint on the planet.  I guess it became more important to me when the kids came along because I'd like them (and hopefully their kids) to be able to enjoy the environment around them for many years to come.   I've decided to "Make a Pledge With Energizer" and the Five Kind Acts I'll be doing are:

  • Use as little tap water as possible such as not letting it run while brushing my teeth or doing dishes.  I usually let the water run while washing one dish at a time and now I'll fill the sink and wash them all so unnecessary water isn't wasted.
  • Turn off the TV when no one is watching.  We have a bad habit in the house of leaving the TV on most of the day for background noise so I'll make sure it's turned off now when my son isn't actively watching.
  • Pass on my baby stuff.  With 2 kids we've accumulated a LOT of baby stuff and I'm making sure it gets passed on to others that can make use of it and I myself received a lot of the baby stuff  "previously loved".  Just doesn't make sense to buy new when they use it for such a short period of time.
  • Run all my errands at one time.  I have a bad habit of not planning ahead of time for what errands need to be taken care of therefore wasting a lot of gas driving all over the place.  I'll plan ahead and do things that can be taken care of in the same vicinity and save gas, time and money!
  • Smile at strangers.  We can all use a friendly smile once in a while and I might just make somebody's day!
Visit the Positive Energy website today and submit your own positive acts and help make a more sustainable future for all of us!  

Disclosure - I am participating in the Energizer Canada and Evergreen "Do Something Little, Help Something Big" program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Energizer Canada and Evergreen.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seventh Generation 2011 Diaper Donation program.

I am very proud to be part of the Seventh Generation 2011 Diaper Donation program!  For every package of Seventh Generation diapers bought the company will give a package of diapers to one of 40 shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.  Their goal is to donate 240,000 diapers!  I was sent 4 packages of diapers to donate to a charity of my choice.  I did some research to find somewhere in my area that needed the size 5 diapers I was sent and found out that my local food bank has a program called Tiny Bundles and they were in desperate need of that size.  I just dropped them off this morning and what a great feeling! It was disheartening to see all the people in need but felt great to be able to help out.  It also made me feel very thankful to be able to provide diapers for my own 2 children.

I encourage all my readers to visit your local store and buy a package of Seventh Generation diapers as part of the buy one give one program and help support families in your community.  Join the 7th Gen Nation today and have access to coupons, special offers and tips for green living.

 Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium review.

I LOVE the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders aquarium!  I never had one for my son who is now almost 2 but upon the recommendation of a friend I bought one used for my daughter from a fellow mom.  There's bubbles and music, soft lighting and the fish move.  What I love about it is I don't always have the time to rock my daughter to sleep for naps or bedtime so I'll lay her down when she's sleepy yet awake, turn the aquarium on and walk away.  Usually within 5 minutes the aquarium has lulled her to sleep!  I definitely don't use it to replace parenting but it's great for those times I'm stuck and can't spend that time cuddling her.  It's also wonderful at 3am when she doesn't easily go back to sleep!  I use it in the morning too to buy an extra 30 min in bed as long as she isn't hungry.

The aquarium is available at most major retailers and it comes with a remote control so you don't even have to enter the baby's room to turn the aquarium on or off.  It plays for 20 minutes and you can adjust the volume of the music  and change the settings for the lights and bubbles.  I recommend it to any mom!

Disclosure - I was not compensated in any way for this post.  Product was purchased on my own and all opinions are mine.

Menu Plan Monday!

A day late but here's the plan for this week!

Turkey dinner - we had this on the Thanksgiving Monday of course
Honey dijon chicken - been on the menu plan for 2 weeks now but haven't made it yet
Tacos - soft and hard shelled
Tortellinis and sauce - from Costco
No cream creamy broccoli soup  - I love this soup and it uses rice to thicken it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Empire Reel Babies Blog Tour

I think one of the hardest things about having a baby is finding baby friendly places to take them to.  You're always worried about them crying or needing to be breastfed (if you breastfeed) or needing a diaper change and somewhere safe and clean to do that.

Empire Reel babies provides a baby friendly environment where you can feed, change and cuddle your baby and watch the latest movie!  It doesn't matter if your little one is crying either as the movie theatre is just for moms and babies so there'll probably be lots of crying!  It's a great outing for new parents!  The theatres are equipped with a change table, bottler warmer, exersaucer, play mat and swing.  Everything you might need to care for your little one and watch a movie.  The lighting is kept dim (not as dark as a regular movie) and the sound is at a lower volume for the babies.  Showings are every 2 weeks and you can go to the website and vote for which movie you'd like to see.  What a great place to meet up with your mom friends or for dad to enjoy some time with baby.

I've been to Empire Reel babies about 18 months ago when my now 2 year old was a baby and there was no change table, exersaucer or any of the amenities stated above.  It was still nice to get out and see a movie with friends though.  Empire Theatres has graciously provided me with free passes that I plan on sharing with my mommy group.  I have a 3 month old too now and haven't taken her to the movies yet so I'm looking forward to joining my mom friends and checking out Reel Babies again and the amenities that are provided.  My daughter, who isn't as laid back as my son, probably will scream and cry but I won't have to worry about getting dirty looks from people as other moms will be used to it!

I will be posting a follow up post with my Empire Reel Babies experience!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Empire Reel Babies program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Baked Macaroni - a favorite for the toddler!
Mardi Gras Pilaf - from one of my Company's coming cookbooks
Honey Dijon Chicken- from last week
Cottage Meat Loaf - a really easy and tasty meatloaf but I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs

That's it because we will be eating out one night and eating leftovers the rest.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seventh Generation Diaper Review

I couldn't find any Seventh Generation diapers available in my area when I did my review here but Seventh Generation graciously sent me a package of size 1s to try with my daughter.  Upon first glance the diapers look dirty but that's just because they're unbleached and after using diapers for years I guess I got used to the bright white colour of the bleached ones.  I don't understand really why they started bleaching paper products in the first place because had they not no one would know any better anyway.  I found that they had a lot of stretch to them and they fit my daughter very nicely.  They are also really soft like cloth and absorbed the urine very well.

Seventh Generation diapers are free of chlorine, free of fragrances and latex, free of petroleum based lotions and they're hypoallergenic making them a great choice for babies sensitive skin.  They are available in sizes newborn to size six.

Become a Seventh Generation Nation member here  for great tips to green and healthy living as well as coupons and special offers.

Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.