Kids toys…almost like Fort Knox!

Have you ever been frustrated when it comes to opening up a new toy that your little one has received as a gift?

Excessive Toy Packaging

Excessive Toy Packaging

Our daughter just celebrated her birthday, and she received several new toys. My husband and I had the pleasure of freeing said toys from the safety of their plastic and cardboard homes.

Toys should come with a label like the furniture that you have to assemble yourself. “Tools required : knife or scissors, tweezers, nail file, bandages.” I think toys would survive like cockroaches if something happened to our world. There is so much waste from these items, that it sickens me to throw out the packaging. I try to do my best at recycling the separate components into the correct recycling bins.

Tools required.

Tools required.

So why do they use so much packaging?

Theft. It keeps people from stealing the product or parts of it.

Shipping. It protects the item(s) from getting wrecked during shipping.

Display purposes. Doesn’t Barbie’s dress and hair look nicer when it’s splayed out?

I get it, but it’s still annoying to get them out and when you have a 3 year old waiting “patiently” to play with their new toy, you can’t seem to open it fast enough.

4 year old Birthday Party, Halloween Style!

Happy 4th Birthday!

Happy 4th Birthday!

This past weekend, we celebrated our daughter’s 4th Birthday! And she decided this year that she wanted a Halloween themed party.

Just like her Mommy, she is a HUGE fan of all things Halloween, so when we asked her what she wanted to do, it was obvious.

As soon as  the Halloween decorations hit the store shelves, she started giving me her list of the decorations, food, treats, sounds, lights, etc. I had to stop her when she asked to have the “spooky baby in the walker” at her party. We wanted to have fun with our friends, not frighten them away.

Cruisin Candace

Cruisin Candace

This year I decided that I would make all the food, so I went with Mummy Wieners, Mummy Pizzas, a big ‘ol batch of Mac & Cheese, and for dessert, I made Oreo Ghosts and Franken Krispies (with my own twist). For the healthy aspect, there was fruit and veggies, of course. And what kind of party would it be without Party Mix and Veggie Straws?!

Oreo Ghosts.

Oreo Ghosts.

Franken Krispies.

Franken Krispies.

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter

Veggie Platter

Veggie Platter

Hubby organized the tunes for the party. An I made a few crafts for the kiddos to do, picture props and a witch hat ring toss.

Frankenstein Picture Prop

Frankenstein Picture Prop

Lollipop Spider

Lollipop Spider

Q Tip Skeleton

Q Tip Skeleton

Witch Hat Ring Toss

Witch Hat Ring Toss

Witch Photo Prop

Witch Photo Prop

Ghost Plate

Ghost Plate

Unfortunately we were cakeless due to the demise of our cake makers oven, but it wasn’t missed and now we can use the idea next year.

It was maddness, but as long as there was food and stuff for the kids to do, that was all I was worried about. The kiddos seemed like they were having a good time, the food was being gobbled up and there were no meltdowns had by anyone (parents included).

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

Now my only worry is, how will I one-up myself next year?

30 Minutes, just for me. {Series} Week 7

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

This week was a pretty good week!

Even though it was a short week, my Birthday AND my Anniversary, I managed to get in twice. Both times, I was last to go through the circuit, which made me a pretty good target for getting my butt pushed by the trainer to work my hardest.

Some days just get away from me, where the kids aren’t co-operating, they won’t eat their dinner in a timely manner, which runs into bath time, which runs into bedtime, which runs into Mommy’s exercise time. Those days do suck, but if I can’t make it into the gym, I tend to get a run in.

Trying to stay committed to a schedule is a great way to keep my sanity. The kids will hopefully get used to this and as long as we’re having dinner earlier than later, I should be able to make it in for a workout.

Hubby will be traveling a lot over the next little while, so I think I need to try getting Little Dude to hang out in the “kiddie corral” again. This may mean, “hopping” into the Port Moody location, as the kiddie area’s proximity is a bit closer to the actual workout area so maybe he won’t feel like I’m abandoning him;) Did I mention that you can “hop” between the different locations?

Strong man.

Strong man.

Bosu balancing.

Bosu balancing.

Taking a break.

Taking a break.

 

 

 

 

Turkey…straight from the garbage can!

Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner

Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are a tradition in my family. We have all the fixin’s too! Potatoes, veggies, gravy, buns and of course DESSERT!

But, for my husband and I, we like to try new recipes and variations on these dishes to keep them exciting and to open up our palettes to the wonderful tastes that these foods can bring.

This past Thanksgiving, we were responsible for providing the potatoes and the veg, so this is what we made.

I borrowed a recipe from Eating Well for the potatoes. Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes. They were a hit not only to the grown-ups, but there were two 3yo’s, a 1 yo and a 10 month old who gobbled them up too! I wanted to do something different from the boring mashed potatoes and add a healthy option.

Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes from Eatingwell.com

Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes from Eatingwell.com

Hubby chose to make brussel sprouts. But not the cooked to death, grey bits of grossness that some people relate to. These were sliced and sautéed with butter and pancetta to turn these mundane morsels into scrumptous and savoury bites of heaven. Again, well received by all!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

On occasion, we’ve been know to cook the turkey in an untraditional way. A la garbage can. What!? Are you kidding me? GROSS!

The prepped bird.

The prepped bird.

 

Well, you start with a BRAND NEW, CLEAN metal garbage can! Grab a big ‘ol bag of PLAIN briquettes, not the ones that have fuel on them. Prepare your turkey as you normally would if you were going to cook it in the oven. Place it on a wire roasting rack and put that into a roasting pan big enough for the rack, but not bigger than the circumference of the garbage can.

Yeah, that's a garbage can.

Yeah, that’s a garbage can.

Take 2 sheets of aluminum foil and lay them side by side, lengthwise and fold the edge together to create a sheet larger than the opening of the garbage can. Lay the foil sheet on the ground OUTSIDE in an area that is dry and not going to get damaged or catch fire from the heat of the briquettes. Place the roasting pan with the turkey on the centre of the foil sheet and place the garbage can, upside down, over top of the turkey until it sits on the ground. Take your briquettes and line them around the can creating a ring around it. Then put a bunch of them on top of the can. Take several briquettes and place them in a small foil pan and light them. Once they’re lit, using tongs, place the hot briquettes onto the ones lining, and on top of the can. The other briquettes will gradually ignite and as they start to ash, add fresh ones. The ash will create a seal and help keep the heat inside the can.

Here's cookin' at you!

Here’s cookin’ at you!

The men can sit outside having some boy time drinking beers while they tend to the can. Maybe pick up a couple Skuuzi’s to keep their hands warm while they freeze their buns off;)

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Keep your hands warm and your beer on hand;)

Cooking Times:

10 lbs 50 mins
12 lbs 1hr
14 lbs 1hr 25mins
16 lbs 1hr 40mins
18 lbs 2hrs 5 mins
20 lbs 2hrs 15mins
22 lbs 2hrs 25 mins

Once you’ve reached the desired cooking time, put on some heavy duty gloves and lift the can carefully off of the turkey. The can will be VERY HOT!!!! You may want to remove some briquettes from the top of the can and around the bottom so as not to accidentally have them fall onto your arms when you remove the can.

All done!

All done!

Voila! A gorgeously browned, juicy turkey. Take the turkey off of the roasting pan and tent it with foil to allow the juices to remain inside the bird while you’re making the finishing touches on the rest of your meal.
Carve as normal and enjoy!
Your turkey will have a smoked taste to it rather than what it normally tastes like when it’s cooked in the oven.

Try it out sometime, it’s a great conversation piece and it’s a new way to liven up an old dish.

Next time we’re gonna try a “Garbage Can Roast”! Oooooh, the possibilities:)

30 Minutes, just for me. {Series} Week 6

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

This week was a pretty good week. I used the new techniques that Brett showed me and I am already feeling that different muscles have been used and my arms aren’t so tired. My speed has increased and my endurance has improved. I asked Brett how long you should work at each level before proceding onto the next and he said that it’s a good idea to stick to one level for a few months, just change your technique.

I feel so comfortable going to workout at 30 Minute Hit, not only are the trainers are so friendly and motivating, but the ladies that workout there are as well. They are there for a great workout, but they’ll also chat with you. Sure you’re tired when you finish, but it’s a good tired. And these ladies are always smiling when they are done. Nothing makes me happier than taking out the days frustration out on “Bob”. I can push myself hard, hit hard, and when I’m done, I feel refreshed and my mind has cleared. And only took 30 minutes out of my day, so I can get back home in time to tuck the wee lass and lad into bed.

You're gonna get it, Bob!

You’re gonna get it, Bob!

Have you signed up for your FREE Trial Session yet?

Don’t forget, 30 Minute Hit is raising funds for the moth of October with “Kick the *&%! Out of Cancer“! Please make a donation and help them reach there goal of $130,000.

Kick the *&%! out of Cancer

Kick the *&%! out of Cancer

 

30 Minutes, just for me. {Series} Week 5

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

30 Minute Hit New Westminster

Great start to the week, managed to get 2 workouts in in a row!

Hubby had to go away for work again for a few days, so that was it for the week.

But I did manage to get a run in at the end of the week, so that kept my motivation up.

30 Minute Hit has a new “gear down” section for the upcoming rainy season. Take your wet stuff off here ’cause if you step on the mats with your “outside shoes” Bob’s gonna kick your butt!!!

Take your outside shoes off!!

Take your outside shoes off!!

There is a bulletin board that’ll keep you motivated too. Stretching tips to keep you from hurting the next day, or as I find, day 1-1/2. Find them on Facebook for updates and motivation from the trainers. They have yummy, healthy recipes on Pinterest. And every month they have a “Member of the Month”.

Facebook & Pinterest

Facebook & Pinterest

If you have a wee ninja en route, you can still workout too! Just talk to one of the trainers and they’ll help you modify your workout so that you’re still doing a great job while staying safe and comfortable.

Lil' Ninja In Your Belly?

Lil’ Ninja In Your Belly?

Right beside the door, on your way out, there is a sign that reads: “10 Reasons Why You Should Do the 30 Minute Hit”

Here’s what it says:

10 Reasons why YOU should do the “30 Minute Hit!”

1. The “30 Minute Hit” is a non-intimidating and friendly program.

2. Women of all fitness levels will find it very challenging.

3. It is an intense cardiovascular workout designed to burn fat!

4. It will help to tone your body and strengthen your core.

5. The circuit will teach you valuable self defence skills.

6. Hitting and kicking the bags is a great stress relief.

7. It is entirely possible to burn 500 plus calories in the half hour.

8. With no set start times it is a very convenient workout.

9. Certified personal trainers will be on the training floor at all times.

10. The “30 Minute Hit” will leave you feeling empowered and energized.

What a great message to send out!

If you are too intimidated to go at it alone, grab your best girlfriend and do it together. You’ll motivate each other, maybe challenge each other, and if you’re bringing your babies along, you can trade off on the child minding so each of you can get a good workout in without worrying about how your little one is doing.

photo credit: Tenth to the Fraser

photo credit: Tenth to the Fraser

I was finally able to sit down with Brett and Stacey this weekend too to go over my game plan. Brett showed me some techniques to try out that will help my workout be the best that it can be. I think this will help my arms from falling off my body by the end of my workout.

Brett & Stacey Firth

Brett & Stacey Firth

Why not try out 30 Minute Hit for yourself? Sign up for a FREE Trial Session.

Don’t forget, 30 Minute Hit is raising funds for the moth of October with “Kick the *&%! Out of Cancer“! Please make a donation and help them reach there goal of $130,000.

Kick the *&%! out of Cancer

Kick the *&%! out of Cancer

#HauntedVancouverTrolleyTour 2013 {Giveaway}

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Vancouver Trolley Tours

Have you ever wanted to know more about the ghostly history of Vancouver?

Vancouver Trolley Tours is having their Haunted Tour again this year from October 18th until the 31st.

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Your hosts.

During the 2-1/2 hour tour, your host will tell the gruesome tales of troubled spirits, how they met their end, and where they now occupy their time.  You will drive through eerie locations such as Stanley Park and the winding roads of Shaughnessy and stop to visit Mountain View Cemetery and the autopsy room of the Vancouver Police Museum where over 15,000 autopsies have been performed.

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Vancouver Police Museum Autopsy Room

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Mountainview Cemetery.

This is something that the grownups will enjoy (13+yrs). The cost is $40/ person including tax and reservations are required.

Call : 604-801-5515 or 1-888-451-5581

The Vancouver Trolley Company has generously donated a pass for 2 people to get spooked out on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour!

The giveaway is running October 9th to the 16th. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway