Month: January 2014

Step By Step Bread #DKCanada #Review

This year I have set severals goals for myself in the areas of cooking and baking. I am determined to eat healthier and purchase less processed foods. One of my goals is to provide my family with more home baked pastries and breads (I want to be able to control what goes in my food and choose healthier options). I have tried on several occasions to make bread loafs and have failed each time (sigh!).
I jumped at the chance to review Step By Step Bread as part of DK Canada’s Start Something New promotion. I was determined to finally make THE perfect bread loaf!
Step By Step Bread has over 125 recipes to suit any bread lover needs as well as for any occasion. Recipes range from classic breads, artisan breads, flat breads, crisps, quick breads to sweet breads (the complete set of recipes!). It was hard to even know where to start! The author Caroline Bretherton has worked in the food industry for the last fifteen years. She then opened up her own catering company and now owns and operates her own eatery in the USA.
One of the best features of this book has to be the photographs. Each recipe has a page or two dedicated to itself with large and clear photographs. She breaks each recipe down step by step making it much harder to make a mistake (especially for this newbie in the world of baking bread!). The ingredients were simple and included items that I always have stocked in my pantry. Caroline covers every possible question that I could possibly have had in this book! Not to mention the fantastic variety of recipes that were included. It covers such a large variety of recipes which eliminates the need to have multiple recipe books laying around the house.
For my first trial, I made a simple ciabatta bread. This is a family favourite in our home and we have it with dinner quite frequently and is delicious when topped with cheese. I have attempted to google recipes on four separate occasions and each time my loaf either did not rise, was rock hard or uncooked on the inside. The instructions for this recipe were simple and easy to follow. I was actually able to start this recipe while getting the boys ready to head out for school/daycare and continue it while working from home. Which is the perfect fit for me!
The final verdict from my family? They loved my ciabatta loaf! This was the first loaf that I have ever made that came out perfect – have to admit I was quite proud of myself.
I love this book and it has made the perfect addition to my recipe book collection. It is incredibly easy to follow, a great variety of recipes as well as a variety of easy and harder skill level baking. A definite must have for families! I am excited to be starting my new year providing great home baked breads for my family!
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Fun Valentine’s Day Gifts for Kids

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and although we show our loved ones we care everyday, we are given a special day to go a little above and beyond the normal.

Growing up my parents always included us in Valentine’s Day surprises. We would always get a small gift as a token of their love. We have continued this tradition for our children.

Every year is a new challenge to come up with a unique gift for each of my boys and their presentation. I love wrapping gifts! We set a total limit of ten dollars per a boy each year for all items. Our youngest son is a HUGE Superman fan and the eldest loves Pokemon and YuGi Oh. Walmart had a great sale on Superman toys and I was able to pick one up for $5.00 and the cards are around the same price. I like to include Dollar Store notebooks (they both love writing so it is perfect for them). A couple of days before Valentine’s Day I head over to the Bulk Barn and pick up Valentine’s Day theme gummies (they are not big chocolate fans unless it is a Kinder Surprise!) and place those in heart Ziploc baggies. This year I am including the Watch Me Grow craft as well!

The best frugal gifts to add in to their little packages do double duty as well for school: erasers, pens, notebooks. It can also be fun to with bubbles, Kinder Surprise, candies and so much  more!
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children?
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Say “I Love You” – $500 VISA gift card and 10 Canvas Print Giveaway

Say “I Love You” In-Canvas Sweepstakes

Sponsored by: PrintSmart.Co ~ Organized by: Mom Powered Media
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Turnaround time is 3 weeks.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card and 10 additional winners will each receive 16×20″ Canvas Prints from

Giveaway ends February 12th at 11:59pm, open to US residents only, ages 18+. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. To enter please use the giveaway form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

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Snow Snow Everywhere! #WW w/linky

We have had so much snow falling this past week! At one point it was about two feet off the ground (the wind whipping it across the field was not helping!). I managed to capture some shots from this past week. The kids have been enjoying it but I am telling you my poor back is so tired from shovelling!

Link up your Wordless Wednesday post below!
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“Watch My Love Grow” Children’s Craft with Cathy Thinking Out Loud

Have you met Cathy from Cathy Thinking Out Loud? She is a fantastic blogger, friend and parent! Her blog is full of parenting tricks and tips, travel advice, reviews and so much more! Cathy created this super fun craft to do with our kids! I made mine Valentine’s Day themed so that I could add it to their Valentine’s Day gifts but we will be making a whole bunch more!

To make this craft you will need:

snack sized Ziploc bags (bags needed will depend on the number of crafts you are making) or you can use the small baggies from the dollar store to create ‘pouches’ to tie on a necklace
bean seeds (these sprout the fastest and this will also depend on the number of crafts you are making)
cotton balls or pads (we used cotton pads)
coloured ribbon (if you are going to make the craft into a necklace make sure to have enough ribbon to make the necklace long enough)
1. Soak a cotton swab and fold in half. Wet one bean seed and place directly on the swab.
2. Place the bean on the swab inside the snack sized Ziploc bag in the middle of the bag.
3. Seal the baggie ensuring there is no air left in it.
4. Poke a hole above the seal on the baggie with scissors.
5. Thread the ribbon through and tie.
6. Watch the bean grow!
When it starts to grow you can always transplant it to a pot or to your garden. I hope you enjoy this craft from Cathy! Simple, fun and frugal craft to do with your kids. To find more ideas from Cathy head over to her blog Cathy Thinking Out Loud.
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