Monday, September 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesday ( a little early)- Megs' Pilgrims Pie

This is great to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers.  I first made it a few years ago and its something we love to eat after the main meal.  Depending on how you feel after you eat your meal, you can make this right away with the leftovers but instead of baking right away, put it in the fridge and then bake it the next day in the oven for 40 mins.  

Cooked Turkey 1.5-2 cups finely diced up or ground ( I used the meat grinder attachment for my kitchenaid mixer)
Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup ( homemade if possible)^
 Mashed Potatoes- 2-3 cups or 1 box of instant
Gravy- 1/2- 1 cup*
 Stuffing - 1-3 cups ( you can use boxed or homemade.  Below I used boxed as my husband ate all the homemade)
Creamed Corn- 1 can

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease casserole dish.  Place ground turkey in botton the dish.  It should completely cover bottom. Place blobs on cranberry sauce on top.

Next place mash potatoes and smooth then cover with gravy

Put stuffing on top of that.  I didn't have too much stuffing left but I spread it out the best I could.

The cover with creamed corn and spread out.

Place completed casserole in the over for 20-40 mins depending on how warm you want it to be.  

If you like to have a crispier style of casserole with the potatoes on top then put
turkey, cranberry, stuffing, creamed corn, gravy, then mashed potatoes.

^How to make cranberry sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bag of fresh or frozen cranberries

Boil water and sugar together in a small pot.  When it comes to a boil, add the cranberries.  They will start to pop.  Allow to slowly simmer for 10-15 mins, then remove from heat and allow to cool.  For this casserole you only need 1/2 a batch of this so 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 water and 1/2 bag of cranberries

*Homemade gravy
I boiled the turkey carcass when I removed the meat for about 2 hrs.  I then strained out the chunks and had broth left over.  

2 cups of broth
2 tbsp bistro gravy mix

Mashed Potatoes

1 bag of new/ baby potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream ( low fat or fat free)
Salt and Pepper

I love how easy mashed potatoes are to make when you leave the skin on.
Quarter the potatoes and boil until you can stick a fork into them easily.  Use a masher and mash them up.  Add the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.  This makes creamy tasting mashed potatoes without a lot of added fat.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Cranberry Lemon Loaf

This is my latest thing that I have been baking.  It is so yummy.  I got the basis of the recipe from Chatelaine Magazine.

  • 1 3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest ( or add lemon extract to wet ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
For the glaze
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice   

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5-in. loaf pan. Stir flour with baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir in lemon zest. Beat butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat for 2 min. Beat in eggs, vanilla and milk. Fold in flour mixture just until combined. Add cranberries. Don’t overmix. Pour into loaf pan and smooth top.
  • Bake in centre of oven until golden and cake tester inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 65 min. Don’t worry if the tops of your loaf cracks: Because it sets before batter has fully risen, it will split as it bakes. Transfer pan to a rack. Cool loaf in pan 10 min.
  • Stir icing sugar with lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Brush glaze overtop warm loaf, letting glaze run down the sides. Let cool completely in pan

I've made it in a loaf pan which is more 8 by 3.  I also used my mini loaf pans and cooked it for about 40 mins.  The cranberries add a great flavour as they burst open as the loaf cooks.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

6 Months Old

On Friday, Johnny turned 6 months old.

He is 19lbs 12 oz.  He is getting so big.  He is able to sit up on his own now for short spurts.  He started out so small and now he is getting to be quite big.  He is growing so quickly. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Life gets busy

Since where I live the summers are short, I try to take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts. I took the kids to the park every day and lots of walks. The weather is starting to cool down now, so while we will still go to the park we won't go everyday. The Chief is also back to work so that means more work keeping the house clean for me. 

A few of our activties from the last few warm days.

As the weather gets cooler, I tend to get into the baking spirit.  I love to make breads, rolls, baked goods, and soups.  I am going to start experimenting with making soups in the crock pot so they are nice and warm when we get home from morning preschool playgroup.  Ben loves to eat soup.

I plan to share with you the ones I find to be quite yummy.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

World Breastfeeding Week

So apparently this week is world Breastfeeding week.  Everywhere I have seen pictures and stories about different people's experiences feeding their baby.  

Both my babies have been Breastfed exclusively. While Ben did get one bottle of formula as a newborn as I was sleep deprived and needed to rest. ( those 6 hours of sleep in one night after having 6 hours of sleep in 3 days was glorious), the rest of the time it has been breast milk only. 

I can say that my Breastfed kids are thriving.  I can also say that my sister's kids who were formula fed are also thriving.  They were both fed with love whether it was from the boob or the bottle.  

So why did I choose to breastfeed

1.  My body makes milk.  I wanted to use it.
2. Breast milk changes to meet the babies needs
3. I'm lazy and couldn't imagine washing bottles or getting out of bed to warm a bottle

While I know that Breastfeeding doesn't always make life easy especially when your children don't want to take a bottle of expressed milk, it was the right choice for me.  I understand that it doesn't work out for everyone or they make different choices which is your right as a parent.  In the end as along as we are feeding are children and they are thriving that is all that matters.  

Happy World Breastfeeding Week.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Johnny is 20 weeks old

While he is not officially 5 months until August 13, today he is 20 weeks. He is starting to stay sitting him up if I support him.  He has really great head control.  He loves to giggle and laugh. 

He is starting to enjoy tummy time more and more. 
Overall he is a pretty happy baby although he does have his moments of being cranky. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Camping: How it went

Sorry for the delay.  It took a few days to get back into normal routine/ catch up on sleep.  

Camping went pretty well. Nap time was a little difficult.  Ben wanted to snuggle with me or was too wound up.  Thankfully he would sleep in the stroller and a few times he was tired and put himself to sleep in the tent. 

Bedtime was another issue. In northern Ontario in July it stays very bright till late, like 10:30-11:00pm. Bedtime was pretty late with Ben going to bed around 10 and waking at 6am when the sun came up.  

During the day, we went for walks or ran around the campsite which was huge. 

Oh, and fed chipmunks

We had a lot of fun with the chipmunks. 

We even had these guy visit our campsite

Thankfully he didn't hang around too much.
We also had a red squirrel that like peanuts too
Overall camping was fun.  We went swimming, we enjoyed the outdoors.  The baby was pretty easy. The 2 year a little challenging.  The Mosquitos were unforgiving. Both kids looked like they had the chicken pox from all the bites. I'll have to get some better kid friendly bug spray for their faces.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back from camping and the cottage

It was fun.  It was tiring.  There were bugs.  But mostly it was fun. We even got our picture taken for the local paper. I'll post more lately when I have a few minutes. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Parenting: Why I try to avoid saying Never

Parenting is not as easy task.  You are pulled in many directions and bombarded by countless opinions.  Should you cloth diaper or use disposables, should you breast feed or formula feed, co-sleep or crib only, or a combination of all of those.  Plus there are always people watching you ready to criticize or compliment you.  While the compliments are usually welcome, the criticisms are usually not.  

Oftentimes I have heard parents say " I'd NEVER do that..." In one thing I've learned about being a parent for the 2 years I've had my son is that you have to be flexible.  Things are never black and white and many things come into play.  

If you had asked the Chief a few years ago if he would ever use a harness, he would have adamantly said he would never use one. Fast forward a few years and a toddler that didn't want to walk holding hands ( like literally would not walk as it ruined his balance) and harness use has its merits. It also came in quite handy when I was largely pregnant and could not run after a darting 23 month old.

I cloth diaper 75% of the time. At night I use disposables, on long trips I use disposables, and sometimes when I'm behind on laundry I use disposables.  I did try at nighttime and I had so many leaks so I stopped.  I did try on trips, but with baby changing facilities lacking at many rest stops, disposables work as they are less likely to leak even if I can't change for a bit.  And sometimes laundry just creeps up on you and there is suddenly a mountain to do.  When I first started, I wanted to be able to say I never use disposables, but I realized that was not a practical thing for me to do. I was flexible in my decision.  

While there are bad parents out there, I think most parents want what is best for their child in their opinion.  Opinions can vary among cultures and even family members. Recently on one of my mommy groups I belong to, a picture was posted of a mother putting her baby on the floor of a 7-11 while she got her older daughters' slushies. Some people reacted to the picture with outrage.  Personally I didn't think it was the end of the world. It was a split second decision to put the baby down to help her older daughters. 

So I try to never say never about many things in parenting as I might just eat those words later. Parenting is all about choices and as long as your child is healthy and happy ( with in reason) when you make those choices then they are the right choices. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013


For the next week, I'll be going camping with my parents.  I thought it was a big thing going camping with just 1 kid.  I am glad we purchased a 2nd hand van last September as I'll be taking a lot of stuff with me.  Unfortunately due to the Chief's bad allergies, he won't be joining.

We are going to a provincial campground so the campsites are nice, the bathrooms are clean, and there are nice lakes to go swimming up.  I'll be staying in the tent with the kids.  

Since I'll be do sleeping with the baby at least half the night, I didn't feel comfortable using an air mattress.  I purchased a double size 4 inch foam mattress.  I'm hoping it will be comfortable for the both of us.

This is the tent I have. 
It's not the best tent, but its roomy. The screen porch on the front is great to put the camp chairs and strollers during the night so they don't get wet from unexpected rain or morning dew.   It cost me $98 from Walmart. It requires a tarp though. Found that out the hard way last year.  So I purchased a large tarp from Canadian Tire for $20.  I'll let you know at the end of the week if we stay dry.

Camping in northern Ontario is always interesting.  It can easily go up to the high 20s during the day, but hit single digits during the night.  This requires lots of clothing for all those weather conditions especially when you have a 2 year old who never seems to stay clean and a little baby that still spits up a lot.  The pile of stuff I need to bring seems to be growing and growing. I'll update how our adventure went next week.  

Tasty Tuesday: Mini Meatloaf

This is such a quick and easy recipe.  It can easily be frozen, or used in lunches the next day.

BBQ mini meatloaf from Kraft Canada is the inspiration for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 375F.
I made a large batch as I wanted some left to freeze so the numbers are designed to make roughly 24 depending on the size of your muffin tins.

3lbs ground beef
2 eggs 
3/4-1 cup Italian bread crumbs
BBQ sauce
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

Mix up the meat, eggs, and bread crumbs in a bowl until it makes a uniform mixture.  Next grease muffin tins and fill each tin with the mixture.  Then use the back of a spoon to make a dent in the mixture.  Put a small squirt of BBQ sauce on each meatloaf.  I like PC Gourmet BBQ or PC Smokin Stampede.  Pretty much use whatever sauce you like.  

Bake in the oven for 30 mins.  Then remove from oven, put shredded cheddar on each meatloaf and return to oven for 5 mins.  

Make up some mashed potatoes and steamed veggies and you have yourself a yummy dinner, plus leftovers for lunch or the freezer.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I finally got a woven wrap.  I have only begun to experiment with using it, but I can see why they are so popular.  

I have two Ergos- a sport and a Petunia Pickle Bottom which I do like, but the baby feels so much more secure in the wrap.

Today while I was trying to cook dinner the baby was so fussy.  I put him in the wrap and turned on some music.  It didn't take him long to fall asleep. Now that he is 16lbs, stretchy wraps just don't feel secure enough.  As the baby gets bigger, I am interested in trying to wrap him on my back.  The learning curve is a bit harder as you have to wrap the baby on your back.  I'll keep you updated as I learn more.  

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Since I have been cloth diapering for over 2 years now, I am going to do update reviews on the diapers I have been using. This will let you know which ones have I kept, which ones have I gotten rid of and what are my favourites.

I also want to continue to provide tasty treats on Tuesdays. Even though I am busy, writing is an outlet which I greatly enjoy.
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Free Mother's Lounge Nursing Pillow Review

The latest "free" product available from the Mother's Lounge is nursing pillows.  Like most of their products there are coupon codes frequently available that allow you to buy the product for free, but you must pay shipping.  As I liked a few of their other products- nursing cover and carseat cover- I decided to buy one for the new baby.

Since I am in Canada, the shipping cost me $17.90.  It took about 2 weeks for it to arrive. 

I ordered the yellow minky pillow. The basic shape of the pillow is nice.  The minky fabric is comfortable .
That is about the end of the positives.  The pillow does not have a separate cover although the whole pillow can be machine washed. It is really thin and does not much structure to it.  It is also very small.  Posted below is a comparison shot between the yellow nursing pillow and my jolly jumper boomerang pillow. 
Next is Johnny hanging out on the nursing pillow. 

While it looks like a great deal, I would rather put money into buying a proper nursing pillow.  As I type this, Johnny is fast asleep on my lap in the boomerang pillow and I am able to balance him on my knees quite easily. With the ML nursing pillow, I would not be able to do that. 

Nursing pillows are supposed to help you hold the baby up and provide support for your arms. I find this pillow does neither. 

Baby is here and life has been busy

Since getting my iPad, typing things has not been the easiest so I have neglected my blog.  

My 2nd little boy is here. We named him Jonathan Patrick. He weighed 7lbs and was 18 inches long. He was born at 4:15pm March 13 via planned csection. 

I took this picture a few days ago. He is now 3.5 months old. 

Life with two boys has been very busy. Ben is now 2 and is very active. He loves his brother, but is not always gentle with him.

The boys are similar is many ways, but there are differences. Johnny is more laid back and likes to watch things, while Benjy was very demanding. It's interesting to watch them interact with each other. 

That's all for now, but I'll try to write again soon. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Baby #2 is a few weeks away.

This pregnancy is just flying by. I'm already 34 weeks 5 days. I have all the baby clothes washed up and this time I am cloth diapering from birth. My newborn stash is 5 newborn AIOs, 12 newborn prefolds, 12 infant prefolds, 3 newborn covers, 2 newborn fitteds, 4 small covers, and 10 newborn Alva pockets ( with 8 still in the mail). I am hoping to use disposables as little as possible. Then once the babe is a bit bigger, she/he will be able to fit into my one size stash.

I am getting very excited for the new little one to be here especially since we didn't find out the sex. I am thinking girl, but it could be a boy. This baby definitely moves a lot more than Benjy does and likes to reside in my ribs. It is breach, but that is not a concern since I am having a repeat c-section on March 13.

I'll try to take some pictures if my newborn stash later. For now I will leave you with a picture if Benjy in a cover I made him at 3ish months and what he looks like now.

And also eating an ice cream cone today at lunch.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dropped the ball yet again

I wanted to blog more, but it seems life gets busy. Christmas was lots of fun. Benjy got his kitchen and absolutely loved it. He also got lots of accessories and is having fun with that. Benjy also got a train set from my dad. He loves it and has been playing with it nonstop.

I am getting farther along in my pregnancy. I am 29 weeks. The baby will be coming a bit early via csection so in about 11 weeks our new little one will be here. In the meantime, I have lots to do to prepare.