Mom of two Mischievous Monkeys: 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deck Your Walls with Posterjack

 When we had family pictures  done in the Fall we knew we wanted to get a Canvas Print done. Never having had one before we were not sure where to get it printed. We wanted something affordable of course but were also looking for quality work that would last for years. Friends suggested a few possibilities from online options to printing services available at a number of big box stores in our city.

Recently though I heard about Posterjack. A Canadian Company that specializes in turning your photos into works of art. It looked like just what we were looking for with good prices, reasonable shipping rates and experience in making quality prints. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

A party to remember with the help of a Frozen Party Kit!

Three weeks ago we were supposed to be having our daughter's 6th Birthday Party. Invites had been sent, food bought and plans made. We had planned a Frozen Party, as like many other girls out there she absolutely loves the movie and dressing up as her favorite character, Elsa!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life is a journey, not a race!

These past few months have been tough, we have gone through various extended family member’s health issues and the unexpected loss of a friend. All around us it has seemed we keep hearing of one more tragic event if not in our lives, then in a friend or family member’s life.

What has this meant to me?

It has shown me that you just never know what will happen. One day someone is here, and suddenly they aren't.

We are all headed to the same end, but how we get there is a different story.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One Of The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done....

While I have been through my share of difficult times in my life, I would have to say that what happened on Monday is right up there as one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Never before have I had to be the one to notify a friend that someone close to us passed away.

As hard as it was when I found out the tragic news on Sunday, I knew I had to be there to tell my friend and her mom.

For this young man worked with her autistic son as his educational assistant at school.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back to School: Tips for getting ready

It is now the time of year when I start to prep for back to School for the kids. School supplies have been bought and now the work of going through my kids closets and drawers for outgrown clothes begins. Despite that,  I am only cautiously optimistic that they will actually be back in School in a couple weeks.

You can read a detailed timeline here of the events here  however, basically back in April the Teachers, having voted in favour of job action back in March, started Phase 1 Job action. This meant they refused to communicate with school Administrators, would arrive no more than an before and leaving an hour after school hours, and would not supervise students outside of class time. 

This last point  resulted in about a dozen school districts across BC cancelling recess. In May Phase 2 Job action started with rotating strikes. By June teachers voted again on escalating and on June 17th Phase three Job action started, meaning that a full-scale strike commenced.  So Parents who dropped their kids off at School that day quickly learned that it was actually the last day of School.

Korean Beef

I admit that Summer Meals around here sometimes consist of some more hastily thrown together meals especially during hot weather. Once Fall comes and the cooler temperatures with it, I get back into making some of our favourite meals that can be cooked indoors instead of on the grill. Given that Fall is also the start of school and activities we tend to also look for quick, nutritious meals. This one fits the bill and is loved by us all. It is also easily doubled for when we have company for dinner. I like to serve it with steamed carrots too! I originally found this recipe over at Lizzie Writes and adapted the spices used for our taste buds. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kid's Say The Darndest Things!

When it was on air I loved watching Bill Cosby on the show “Kid’s Say The Darndest Things”, it was always good for a laugh. Lucky for me now that I have kids of my own they provide in home entertainment with all the funny things they say! 

In fact, Many years ago when my son started talking I started a little journal that I keep to record those funny moments. I figure we can look back on them and laugh when they are older, either that or I will have some great stories to tell at their weddings!

Here are some recent Things that my kids have said that in some cases literally left me speechless:

 1.  Karensa and I were having a conversation recently about babies and we talked about how her and her brother had been babies in my belly. She will sometimes point at my belly and joke that I have a baby in there. This day we happened to talk about how I won’t be having any more babies. She looked at me and said “Don’t worry Mom, soon I will have babies and you can hug them”…At five years old that “soon” is a long ways away my dear!! She has also been telling people this week that she is going to grow up, have babies and then be a firefighter.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

10 ways to cool down during a heatwave

So it has been a scorcher of a weekend here and we have been trying our best to not get too frustrated with each other keep cool during this extreme heat! And being careful to not really complain about it since we know that all too soon the temperatures will be swinging in the opposite direction. It was perfect timing for me to link up at Mama Kat's for this writing prompt so here are my 10 ways to stay cool:

While it looks like it is over 45 degrees Celsius in this picture, I think that the thing must be broken since it is actually only 31 degrees right now. 

Here are some great tips to cool down during a Heatwave:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to prepare yourself to donate blood

Many years ago I tried to donate blood and ended up not being able to due to the pain involved. Sadly, due to an illness as a teenager not getting diagnosed in a timely manner my blood vessels shrunk and it takes forever to deliver IV medicines and fluids now. This also meant that when I tried to donate blood it just hurt too much. Having countless friends who donate I know that this is not the norm and is as a result of my small blood vessels. I even made sure to drink lots of water that day which obviously was not enough to help.

So when I signed up earlier this month to try and donate again I wanted to try and do everything I could to be prepared. Mentally I am good with it all, prepared that it might hurt just as much as before and I might have to walk out again without being able to donate. I am hoping though that it works so I went in search of some tips to prepare my body physically and wanted to share them.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May is National Speech and Hearing Awareness Month

We have been doing speech therapy with our daughter since she was only a few months old and was diagnosed with hearing loss. We have learned many things during this journey and I am happy to say we have worked with some great professionals and met some wonderful families along the way for support. 

The month of May is National Speech and Hearing Awareness Month and a great time to bring awareness to the risks of common sounds and the damage that can be done from them. Be sure to check out the Infographic below for information . 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Can't never did anything - Wise words from my Grandma

Can’t never did anything.

I am sure that the first time I heard this I didn't truly understand the meaning of it.

I do know that as time went on I heard this phrase many times and grew to understand it.

This was my grandmother’s standard response to my wails and whines of “I can’t”

"Can’t never did anything” She would respond.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Your vote can help: Meet Kenny and his family #NMAM14 {Plus Hair clip Giveaway}

This month was not the 1st time that I heard about National Mobility Awareness Month and the related contest they host each year to give away the gift of a Wheelchair van to one lucky {and deserving} family! This time though I thought it would be a great idea to use my blog to bring awareness to this event and highlight a family who has entered. 

Since our daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss we have met many other families facing similar challenges. Since meeting Bobbi and her family, she has always been there when I need to vent, ask questions and get advice. Not only has she supported me, I have heard from many others about the great work Bobbi does to support other families.

Read on to find out more about the this families inspiring story and how this contest could truly change their lives:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemade Fondant Easter Eggs

There are just some memories from childhood that have a way of sticking with you through time. Lots of my memories from childhood revolve around food, whether it was my grandmas shortbread cookies or something special my mom and I used to make together.

Around Easter a few years ago I took to Google searching for the fondant Easter Egg recipe that I remembered my mom making when we were little. We would each have one big egg with our name written on it and could easily make them last a week by slicing off a little sliver after dinner to eat. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Quiz #MQAM

Acting Balanced

1. Today is look up at the sky day - what does your piece of the sky look like today?

Currently sitting on my couch I can see the moon through my window. It was pretty cloudy here today and still is so won't get too much of a good view of the lunar eclipse.

Menu Plan Monday April 14/2014

This is a pretty busy week for us with all the stuff going on with school/work etc. Plus we just started taking sign language lessons again but now on both Sunday and Monday. It is also Nathan's Birthday this week so that means I will be making a cake and of course cupcakes for his class at school. So most of our meals are simple and easy to make this week.

Monday:  Chicken Salad rolls with fruit
Tuesday:  Whole chicken in crock pot with  salad and boiled mini potatoes

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday February 17/2014

Here is hoping that we are not coming down with the flu now as my stomach felt a bit off tonight. Hence the quickly thrown together dinner of Tortellini, something that the kids love!

Monday: Tortellini with Alfredo sauce. Side of cucumbers for kids and sauteed mushrooms for adults. Not gluten free but quick and easy. I didn't eat much of it anyway.
Tuesday:  Tuna Curry with rice and peas. Substituted with rice flour to make it gluten free and evaporated milk since I don't have half and half on hand. I made this recently for a friend while her baby was in the hospital and even her pickiest child loved it!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Decorating with wall decals: Vinyl Disorder Review

Living in rental units we used Wall decals to spruce up the kids bedroom walls as it was a great non-permanent solution. 

I had always wanted to put up a wall quote in our bedroom but there were so many to choose from and I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to apply something with words rather than the characters we were used to putting up in the kids room.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

Mama's Losin' It

I am linking up with Mama Kat's Writers workshop. When I saw the prompt "A time a stranger helped you"  I knew that I had to share this story from when I was pregnant with Nathan, back in 2001.

It was Friday night, right around 6pm {this fact will become important later}.

I was 16 weeks pregnant.

A co-worker offered me a ride home and I asked to be dropped off at the shopping mall.

I stopped at McDonald's for dinner {darn pregnancy cravings} and at the grocery store for something.

I started off to walk home. I approached the cross walk and the light was green. I thought I had time to make it across as I had done so many other times. So I did not wait until I could press the button and cross on the walk signal {that never lasts long enough anyway}.

Forget Me Nots Giveaway Hop - Ends 2/14 #ForgetMeNots

Happy Valentine’s Day! MamaNYC is hosting the Forget Me Nots Giveaway Hop and we’re so excited to have an amazing group of bloggers participating. Everyone has a prize to giveaway that is worth $20.00 or more. This event will run until February 14th, which means you will have plenty of time to enter all of our giveaways. Good Luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

Did you know that January is Slow Cooker Month? Neither did I until a few days ago although we use ours at least once or twice a week during the winter months. While I am dreaming of summer, sunshine, camping and barbecued foods, I still have another couple of months of cold, snowy weather to endure so I may as well embrace it.

And since nothing is better on a cold day than a nice hot meal, I have truly embraced using our slow cooker to ease the dinner time madness. I love that I can prep meals the night before and then simply place in the cooker to simmer away all day.

This week I tried a new recipe, Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup. I absolutely love lasagna but not all the prep that goes into it for a weeknight meal.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Menu Plan Monday January 27/2014

I came down with a bad sinus cold on Friday and have been cold and feeling weak ever since. This week I am making use of the slow cooker a couple times and I am looking forward to that chicken noodle soup on Wednesday. Here's hoping thought that I am feeling better by then.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Activities: If you give a moose a muffin

I have loved Laura Numeroff's books ever since I was a kid and my mom started buying them for me. If you give a mouse a cookie was a staple in our reading repertoire. And it was also one of the 1st books that I bought for Nathan when I found out I was pregnant. This month we stopped by the library and picked up some ones that we did not own. Nathan's favorite was "Would I trade my Parents" and Karensa enjoyed "10 step guide to living with your monster". I had never heard of either one of these and we had fun reading them.

As part of the Virtual Book Club for Kids we chose to focus on "If you give a moose a muffin" and had fun with some great activities.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Build your own pasta {Easy dinner for busy families} #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

It's the start of a new year, and like many people I have made some goals for the coming year. One of those is to continue to work on eating healthier. I would like to find new ideas for the kids lunches/snacks and find fun ways to encourage them to eat healthy foods.

As adults we want more sophisticated foods than the grilled cheese, pizza and french fries our kids would be more than happy to eat all the time, we also need meals that are quick to prepare to fit into our busy lifestyle. For us pasta is always something that everyone loves and is quick and easy to prepare.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cream cheese stuffed celery - {or how I got my son to eat celery}

One of my goals for this year is to try and find some new ideas for my kids lunches and at the same time encourage my kids to eat some more/different fruits/veggies than they normally do.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

1. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from the US!  Do you have a favorite MLK quote? Not of the top of my head can I think of one specific quote that is my favorite. There are too many great ones to pick from.

2. Wayne told Heather to get the questions up early because we'd be exhausted from our trip... she didn't listen to his good advice, so MQAM is late - when was the last time you didn't listen to good advice? I can't think of a specific incident although I am sure there likely was one at some point. I am sure my husband would chime in to tell you what it was if he remembers one. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

1. It's International Skeptics day - what are you skeptical about?

I am skeptical about anything that I can purchase by calling a toll free number advertised on late night television.
2. Wednesday is National Hat Day - what is your favorite hat?  Do you wear hats often?

I wear hats to protect my ears and head from the cold of winter (so for almost half the year) and I will wear a hat to protect me from the sun. I don’t necessarily have a favorite hat.
3. What one movie or two would you say should be on everyone's must see list?