Thursday, 30 May 2013

My Favourite Things - Summer Edition

Very excited for Summer so I thought I would share some of my favourite things that I love about the season.

  1. Ability to Hang out Laundry Outdoors - There is nothing better than the smell of freshly dried laundry outside.                                                          
  2. Beautiful Colours- Everyone talks about beautiful Fall colours and it is but my favourite colours are  Summer ones. Purples against vibrant greens, fushia, chartreuse, and the bright blue sky.
  3. Reading Outside - Sitting in my lounge chair or swing reading a great book. {On my To-Do list is find a good read}
  4. Summer Drinks- Some of my favourites are Margaritas, Sangria, and Coronas with Lime.
  5. Going to the Beach & Camping. - This one is a tie. And if you are really lucky you can do both at the same time.  

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Breezeway Reveal: Organaztion Sneak Peak

So I am working on my breezeway makeover and thought I would share some of my organization solutions that I am using in this room. This room connects my garage with my house so it needs to have lots of storage so it is not interfering with all the foot traffic.

Dilemma #1 : Shoe Storage
I was at a yard sale last weekend and came across these vintage wooden crates from fruit orchards. At first, I wasn't sure what to do with them but when I got home I thought they would be a great place to store our shoes. I stacked the crates and it works awesome. We have lots of places to put our shoes and my bucket of clothes pins and it looks cool.

Shoe Storage - Vintage Wooden Crates 

Dilemma #2 - Toddler Safe Storage
For this storage dilemma, I decided to hang baskets up vertically on the wall to eliminate too much stuff on the floor and to save everything from my toddler constantly dumping things out. I already had the baskets and they weren't working where they were before (in an old bookcase I decide to remove from the room). 

I love how both these storage solutions turned out. Check back for the big Breezeway Reveal. :)

Vertical Storage - Woven Basket

Thursday, 16 May 2013

DIY Art - Home Sweet Home

So my spring makeover project is our breezeway/porch. The finished project is almost ready for the big reveal but it still needs a few more finishing touches.

I have a very tight budget for this makeover so I had to get creative. One of the ways I found that I could be creative and not spend much money was to create my own artwork. I found some inspiration on Pinterest, where people had made different pieces of art with a neat phrase in a cool font. For this project, I selected to do "Home Sweet Home" as my phrase as it is the entrance to our house that we use every day. The colour scheme is yellow and a soft grey. It didn't turn out exactly as I had invisioned but still really nice.

DIY Art - Home Sweet Home


  1. I took a canvas board from the art store and painted it the yellow.
  2. Traced out letters (any font style) and cut them out of cardstock.
  3. I laid out my letter stencils for the 2 "Home" words. I stuck them down with painters tape. Then painted over the letters in a stripe with the grey paint. {In hindsight, I should have used a light spray adhesive because the letters moved on me so I had to go back and free hand a little with a small artist brush.}
  4. Then for the word "sweet", I freehand wrote it in with the small artist brush.
  5. The background seemed too plain, so I added some polka dots with the tip of the brush in grey. 
  6. To add depth to the piece, I traced the outline of everything with a silver marker (which will shimmer in the light).
  7. Lastly, I attached a wall hanging hook to the back with some hot glue. 

Wall Hanging Hook

Ta Da - The finished product. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mexican Calzones with Pretzel Crust

This week's recipe is Mexican Calzones with Pretzel Crust . I was watching The Pioneer Woman cooking show and she was making Easy Calzones which look so yummy. It also happened to be Cinco de Mayo inspired me to make my own recipe but with a Mexican twist.

Mexican Calzones with Pretzel Crust

1 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. quick rising yeast
3 c. all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten for egg wash on crust
Kosher Salt, for the pretzel crust

1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp. chipolte chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can tomato paste
1 c. water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add sugar and yeast to the warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. In a bowl, add the yeast mixture to the flour. Stir together until it forms a ball. Next, knead the dough for 10 minutes and then let rest, covered, in a warm area for 30-60 minutes. 

While you dough is resting, you can start to make the filling. First, brown the ground beef and then add the onions and peppers. Sauté the mixture until the onions and peppers have softened. Next add the chipotle chili powder, cumin, worcestershire and salt. Stir the seasoning into the meat mixture and add the tomato paste. Cook for a minute {allowing the spices and tomato paste to deepen the flavour and then add the beans and water. Bring to a bubble and turn off heat to let cool.

Once the dough has doubled in size, divide into about 6-8 balls depending on the size of the calzones you want. Roll the dough out until it is a 1/4 inch thick round disc. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the filling onto half of the rounnd disc making but making sure to leave a 1/2 inch free for crimping the edges of the dough together. Fold the other half of the dough  over the filling and crimp with a fork. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt and cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown. Serve with a little sour cream. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

How to Make Toddler Approved Homemade Chicken Nuggets

So I thought I didn't have a picky eater, until a few months ago when my son started to refuse to eat some kinds of vegetables. I know this is something most parents experience. It got to the point where if I knew he doesn't like something I would avoid giving it to him so I wouldn't end up with the vegetable on my face or on the floor. But as someone who tries to eat healthfully and I want my son to eat healthy too I knew I had to figure out a way to sneak in those veggies he is not particularly fond of.

Today's recipe is one that I wanted to create to see if  could hide spinach in some homemade chicken nuggets. I have to say that they turned out awesome! He loved them and so did I. 

Chicken Nuggets

1 lb   extra lean ground chicken
1/2 box frozen spinach, thawed and excess water strained out
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. pepper

Coating Mixture
1/3 c. ground flax seed
2/3 c. rice cereal, crushed
2/3 c. bran flake cereal, crushed
1/4 c. parmesan, grated
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toddler's Helping Hands

For the coating mixture:
To crush the rice and bran cereals, I put it in a zipper, freezer bag along with the flax seed and let my toddler help me crush it. He thought it was great that I was letting him crush his food. Next add to the crushed cereal  the grated parmesan and the crushed red pepper flakes. 

In a bowl, add spinach, egg, salt and pepper to the lean ground chicken. Mix until well incorporated.

Once this is done, form into whatever shape you want whether it be meatball shape, disc, animals, or fingers.  Then  roll the chicken nugget into the coating mixture and place in a baking dish.

The two shapes I tried. A finger like shape on the left and a more traditional nugget shape on the right. 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.

Ta Da ! Yummy Toddler Approved Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Let me know how yours turned out!
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