Monday, December 19, 2011

How'd you like them apples.........I mean plums!

I have to share this website will all my thrifty ladies out there, please for your own shopping benefit you simply must go check out Pick Your Plum.... the tag line says it all "get it before your neighbor does".
Its kind of like but with way cool craft supplies, the clock is always ticking and they only ever have limited supplies. You do have to sign up to get the deals but they post to facebook or directly to your email whenever there is a new deal available.

To days deal is a little late for your Christmas gift wrapping but the El cheapo in me could not resist the price of the colored butchers twine. By the time I got to the checkout there was only yellow, orange and purple but I'll take what I can get at 65% off, and shipping was the same whether you ordered 1 or 18 so I put the call out and split the delivery fee with another thrifty momma.
You can expect that next time you get a gift from me it will be gorgeously wrapped in this cute stuff. Yellow twine for spring, orange for Halloween and fall and purple for the fun.
Not sure what you would do with twine? Check out this blog for some cute ideas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bad Blogger............that's what I am.

You'd think that this blogging thing would get easier the longer you stick with it. I has it's therapeutic rewards don't get me wrong.
I'm beginning to understand that just like everything else in life, there's the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows, the why am I doing this again moments???

Well that's where I'm at these days. I'm feeling a bit blah ever since returning from my trip to Nova Scotia.

You see, I lost a dear friend on that trip. He was very special to me, never left my side, was right there with me when all the special moments were taking place. And now, he's camera heaven.
I how I miss powershot SX200.

For some reason it's just not the same without pictures. How can I share my beet ravioli recipe with you when there are no proof that I really did rock that ravioli?
Or the Xmas garland step by step I keep putting off because my camera phone just won't do it justice.
Or the pretty snowfall that took place this week?

Santa...if you're reading this.....I promise I've been a good girl this year and I'll be on my best behavior until New years ( but then I can't promise anything). I will be in Alberta...I think you know what I want, lets make a deal!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glimpse into Motherhood.

I was so excited today to find that my post on Marley's birthday was featured on one of my favourite blogs Simply Modern Mom, what a nice surprise.
Tiffany's blog has helped me through some parenting nightmarish moments, especially her Project 52, glimpse into motherhood.
It provides an opportunity for parents to share moments, both good and bad, giving readers a "glimpse" into others documented parental experiences that otherwise may have been quickly forgotten.
It's a pleasant reminder that we are all on the same team, working through this thing we call motherhood, cherishing the good times and boosting each other up during the bad.

I had one of those mummy moments a couple of nights ago, a good one. Here....see for yourself, I'm sure Marley will love me for this when she is a few years older.

After almost peeing my pants from giggling so hard, I managed to catch my breath, find the camera and take a couple of snaps of sleeping beauty. I'm not sure what possessed my child to go to sleep with her helmet on, I may never know but I do have the photographic evidence to prove it.
 I don't know what the dealio is with Marley, she seems to have this ability to sleep in the most bizarre positions and locations. I know I have more photos of her sleeping in weird scenarios, I think I will prepare a montage for her wedding day...I'm sure there will be more late night photo shoots between now and then.

If you have a moment of two go check out SMM.

Project 52 Glimpse Into Motherhood

For all my garlic customers

I was checking out Design Mom today and noticed an interesting link that she shared from, I could not resist taking a peek myself.
I thought this idea was interesting, I've seen and tried a lot of different techniques for dealing with garlic in the past. I don't own a garlic press *gasp*, that's right you  heard me....I use a knife, old school baby.
But I have fallen for the seductive promises of several gadgets that just end up taking up space and making a big old mess.

This technique would be great if you're needing a lot of garlic all at once, otherwise I can tell you there is no way on earth I would dirty two large bowls just to peel some garlic.
If any of you try it out let me know if it works with my garlic. It looks as though in the video they are peeling soft stem garlic....which is not the same as the variety that I grow.

I do believe that could be dangerous to my health and that I could have easily lost my whole day watching their short video tips and ogling their recipes. So simple, yet things that I never think to do, like how to make a lemongrass knot to add to recipes. I'm already thinking of ways to incorporate that idea into my jamming.

I would also like to share my favourite kitchen tip for dealing with stinky garlicky, oniony hands.

You know the smell. You've just chopped a tonne of onions for french onion soup, maybe you're caramelising some onions for pizza. That onion smell gets right under you skin and takes forever to go away no matter how much soap you lather on you hands!
If you have a stainless steel faucet or sink simply turn on you water, get your hands wet and rub them all over your kitchen sink or faucet, making sure that the surface touches every part of your hands, between your fingers, tops and palms. The steel neutralises the smell, try it out and let me know if it works for you too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


A little late night googling last night revealed some interesting and exciting info for the closet tea drinker in me. I have a new addiction to a certain specialty drink...mmmmm London Fog how I covet thee... from Suzie's Bluenose Deli, it's my guilty pleasure every once in a while.

 The thing that makes this yummy, hot, sunshine in a mug drink so special is the variety of tea that Suzie uses, the Organic Earl Grey tea with rose by Moteas.

So imagine my surprise when I searched for a little more info on this tea to find that the product is produced right here in the sunny Okanagan.
Pierre and Amber Piché are based in Kelowna and sell their teas in a select few stores throughout BC, including our local deli......doesn't that make us feel so special.

With tea flavours such as Hibiscus Berry, Chocolate Mint Rooibos, Lemongrass green tea and Okanagan White Orchard, one could easily have a different tea for every day of the week. I have tried the Chocolate Mint Rooibos and it is divine.....and remember I am a coffee whore, so this is HUGE for me to like a tea this much.

 My friend Nancy, who by the way is the ultimate gift giver, gave to me for my birthday some gorgeous new tea mugs with a stash of my favourite Earl Grey from Moteas. I've been making my London Fogs at home as Suzie does have to go home at some point and my tea craving is usually a late night thang. 

But alas, I am down to my last tea bag, hence the late night googling. Moteas takes online orders, although the shipping is steep at $10, but worth every penny if you live far away. I suggest if you are a local to purchase from your nearest local supplier like Suzie. There is a store locator on their website.....but in the meantime if you pop on over to Suzie's deli and ask for a London Fog I guarantee you will be smitten.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How 'bout them apples!

A friend posted this little pearl of wisdom on facebook today (thanks Corinne), the timing could not have been more perfect.

My beautiful, smart and funny daughter Zoe just celebrated her 11th birthday this past weekend and after a very fun and loud party (with boys invited), a late night girly (no boys) sleepover, too much junk food and sugar...came the crash! In the aftermath of the following day there quickly ensued a rush of emotion and questions regarding this very topic.
I wish I had this little piece of advice in my back pocket when it happened.

Now, when these questions come flying at me again.....and we all know they will, she is only 11 after all...I will be prepared. 

 Actually I probably won't, nothing can prepare you for the sight of your daughter with a broken heart, no self help parenting book can give you all the answers, just tools to help ease the worry of being a parent to a teenager in these crazy times.

Not that being a teenager was easy in my time either but boy, is it me or are our kids putting way to much pressure on themselves to grow up way too fast?
We all feel the need to stay home with our children when they are infants and toddlers to teach and nourish them, watching them grow into little people before sending them off to kindergarten.

It has struck me recently how much more I feel the need to be here for my 11 year old, after school, right before bed, driving to karate. These are the moments when the conversation flows and the guards are down. I wish I could be there for her every moment of everyday, but we all know how absurd that would be....stalker mom!!!!!

Watching my daughter go through the trials and tribulation of adolescence has shot me back in time like a rocket to my youth. Stirring up emotions and memories long buried, both good and bad. Now more than ever I see the importance for me to harness those emotions and use them as tools to try to steer my daughter in the right direction, to show her the value of self and to never, ever, ever undervalue the importance of being a good apple!

Monday, October 17, 2011

2191 days

That's how many days my Marley has celebrated on this earth to reach her 6th birthday. Puts things into perspective.....2191 nights of soothing my child to sleep, 2191 mornings worth of smiles when I walk into her bedroom to wake her, 2191 " I love you mommy's" because she tells me every day.

To celebrate we threw Marley a rainbow theme party this year. Luckily for me there are so many fabulous ideas on line, including tutorials and inspirational ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Streamers and balloons are a no brainer, love the local dollarama store, I seriously don't know what I would do without it.
No party is complete without goody bags, so we had a DIY goody bag table for the kids to pick from an assortment of treats. Homemade pinwheels, rainbow twizzlers, gold chocolate coins ( because that's what's at the end of a rainbow) and smarties.

There a lots of great tutorials online to show how to make these super cute pin wheels, I whipped mine up between episodes of "Game of Thrones" ( our new favourite series). 
The fun colored wool is from dollarama, the kids used it to tie their bags after filling.

The crafter in me could not resist having the kids do a little DIY at the party for their goody bags. One bag of fruit loops + some elastic thread = rainbow necklace!

My first attempt at homemade playdoh was not too shabby. I used koolaid to color and scent it and then added some co-ordinating glitter from the dollar store. There are tonnes of tutorials online for homemade playdoh, it's one of those quick easy things I never think to do but always have the supplies on hand.
It kept the kids busy and was also a fun treat for the kids to take home at the end of the party. We simply divided up the playdoh and popped it into a ziploc bag. I'm even happier that I don't have 10 pounds of playdoh hanging around my house to clean up. It's a win/win situation

A rainbow banner for the party goers to color was a quick, last minute activity which turned out to be super fun for the kids. I had planned to hang it on the wall and take a photo of everyone for thank you cards but you know how time accelerates to warp speed when you're busy, between playing twister, playdoh, crafting and coloring it just didn't end up on the agenda.

Now my favourite part of every party.....the FOOD!!!
In keeping with the rainbow theme there was rainbow veggies with blue corn chips, salsa and veggie dip.

Rainbow layered jello and fairy bread (an australian party must have). Fairy bread is simply fresh white bread, buttered and covered in sprinkles....I nutritional value but sooooo pretty.

Milk was served in cute little jam jars with rims covered in sprinkles. I am so doing this whenever I have a mug of hot chocolate.

The cake was a definate show stopper, looks can be decieving though. The kids were obviously underimpressed at the sight of Marley's cake, that is until the first piece was revealed.

Ta daaaaa!!! So fun, but holy sugar overload. I apologize to all parents for whatever havoc this cake wreaked on their children's blood sugar levels.

 So here's to you Marley. I would not trade a single second of any of the days we've had you in our lives. You are my sunshine, my little pot of gold.

For my sisters...

We are three sisters

Three sisters are we

I love each of you,

And I know you love me

We’re not always together,

Life sometimes keeps us apart.

But we're never separated

We’re in each other's heart.

Now I know we've had our troubles,

But we always get thru.

The real message is you love me,

And I also love you.

We have had lots of good times

That we'll never forget

Sometimes we worry

And sometimes we fret

But if God ever gave me

Something special you see,

It might have been the blessing of,

Three sisters are we.

The Lord above has gave me lots

Of happiness and glee

But the most special thing he did was

Make us sisters, all three.

© Francis I. Gillespie

Monday, October 3, 2011

N.S. images

It was a busy couple of weeks but we made it back to B.C intact and believe it or not we are still talking to each other.
The girls spent two weeks sharing an old twin sized bed, spending every waking minute with the family, meeting LOTS of "new to them" family and countless hours driving the coast of Nova Scotia exploring and enjoying the amazing weather.

I just wanted to do a quick post and share a couple of my favourite snap shots from our time out east.

I broke my camera half way through the trip so ended up having to use my camera phone for the remainder of the time. Hint hint to the hubby for a christmas present!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seem familiar Ladies????

A friend posted this ditty on facebook this morning and I wanted to share it with all my friends and readers.
It's called " Just a little heart attack".

Take a moment to watch it, scary but funny at the same time!!

We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daliy routines, so busy taking care of our loved ones that some times we need to take a breath and remember to take a moment to take care of ourselves.

So, take care you hear??

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodies from the greenhouse

The hubby worked his butt off this spring to build us the cutest little greenhouse on the block, complete with glass french doors and little glass windows. I was also the recipient of some cedar raised beds for mother's day this year, just in time for planting the beets and carrots. I am now a greenhouse/hot house LOVER.
Check out this pic from orderly and cute!!!

And this pic from's like a jungle in there.

We have a small deer and bear issue in our neck of the woods which can make veggie gardening a bit frustrating, I don't mind sharing the fruits of our labour with the wild life, I just don't appreciate the mass destruction that follows after they have had a snack.
So the greenhouse has not only sped up the growing process but kept our precious tomatoes safe from harm.

Last night I whipped up a quick side dish with some of our delish tomatoes.

I call it tomato pie, it's not really a pie but I remember my mom making something similar when I was a kid.
This is my take on her dish using lots of yummy seasonal stuff from our garden.

In a baking dish; roughly chop fresh tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic and toss in olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, salt and pepper.
Check out this bad boy from our garden, I just sliced him into little garlic discs...soooo good.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Then in a bowl cube some day old or crusty bread (I used plain old ancient grain sliced bread), toss with some olive oil and spread onto veggies. Grate some more cheese on top and bake in 350c oven until bread is toasty crunchy and tomatoes are mushy!! (like my vast knowledge of cooking terminology???)

I forgot to take a post oven pic but in reality it looks a lot like the pic above just steamier and crunchy browned!! K, I need to stop talking!!

Happy harvesting y'all!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Usually at this time of year offers are coming in from all directions in the form of free zucchini. Overzealous gardeners like myself who think that just one plant is not going to be we plant three and then end up with enough veg to feed a small nation of vegetarians.
I am not one to turn away free food so I have gotten into the habit of freezing and preserving food in abundance for later use, almost to the point of excess (just take a look at my pantry!!)
One of my favourite uses for zucchini is grating it and freezing for later use. I never feel like baking in the summer however with the kids back in school this week it is definitely time to dust off the apron and the mixing bowls.
I managed to bake this morning in between painting window frames and mowing the grass, froze a large Chocolate zucchini loaf, however I soon realised that I would need a little something to take to the PAC meet and greet with our new principal. Ain't that just perfect!!!
Meeting went great, sold some jam to a fabulous customer and got requests for the loaf recipe, what a great start to the school here it is ladies

Chocolate Zucchini loaf.

3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350c
Grease and flour two loaf pans or one 15 x 10 Pyrex baking dish.(I prefer the Pyrex and the cake cooks quicker and more evenly)

Cream the eggs, sugar, apple sauce, oil and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
Add zucchini.
Sift the dry ingredients and add.
Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 50 minutes in loaf pans or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Baking time varies depending on the size of your baking dish. So check after 20 minutes with a tooth pick.

This loafs freezes very well and I actually prefer the moisture of the cake after it has been defrosted.
The applesauce helps to cut down on the fat and oil don't feel too guilty when you have your second or third piece with your morning cuppa.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello September

Just wanted to take a minute to share an image my friend Dana snapped on her visit to Canada. She really captured a precious moment with my girls, in my favourite place..our garden.

Summer is whizzing by at an alarming rate and today was the girls first day back at school, I feel like I didn't take enough pictures or cherish enough moments these last few months.

Zoe is all little lady like, heading into grade 6 *eek* and my baby Marley is now in grade 1 with her new teacher Mrs Pol, it seems like just yesterday that same lady was teaching my Zoe to ride her little heart out for the big bike rodeo at the May Day celebrations.

I'm so excited for them both, it's going to be a great year full of new adventures and challenges. I can't wait to hold their hands when they are scared, wipe away their anxiety with some cookies and milk and tuck them into bed at the end of the night after every little milestone.

I wandered across this piccie today and a big smile spread across my face, so thank you Dana for taking the time to freeze frame this moment for me.

I'm feeling like a bad little blogger lately..please excuse my tardiness. I'll try to be better next week......or maybe the week after that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Zoe

This will forever be in my mind a moment where my heart swells with pride and pure adoration of my child.

A moment where a mother realises that her little baby is growing up and fluffing her feathers, resembling what will soon be a young adult preparing to take the leap from the nest.

A moment where I realised that creating moments to allow my child to leap head first into life will give her the confidence and strength to soar!!!!

A moment that will be remembered forever.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dana Banana Week


Yesterday we welcomed "Auntie" Dana to Canada and the Okanagan, after 10 years of me asking her to come visit she has finally made it to my side of the world. It's always so exciting for me to do the drive to Kelowna and pick up new visitors, I do miss Australia very, very much but I'm also proud to live in the Okanagan and show it's great qualities and beauty to everyone.

My kids were just as excited as me, making signs and banners for banana's arrival.

We're planning to do some fun stuff this week, zip lining in Oyama, paragliding in Lavington, lying on the beach at Mara Lake (if it ever stops raining) and water slides in Vernon.
The time always goes by so fast and before you know it banana's trip will be just a memory. Squeezing lots of fun stuff in is always a priority but sitting up last night just chatting and having some Dana time all to myself was lovely, catching up and reminiscing about the good old days.

I just love it when my ozzies come visit, there's not a whole lot of culture shock, it's just the little things that make me giggle and remind me of my impressions the first time here.

We snuck out last night to the neighbours house and grabbed a few cherries for munching, right now the fruit is spectacular, so I guess I should be grateful for the rain!!!

Zoe is making crepes with fresh raspberries, drizzled with real maple syrup for our aussie, now all we need is for the aussie to get out of bed and go pick those raspberries!!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Someone was thinking.

You know when you see an idea that's so simple, so necessary and just plain using you're noggin that you why didn't I think of that? Check this out...freezie sleeves!!
I have the jumbo box of freezies chilling in my freezer just waiting for the warm weather to kick in. The problem is with kids and freezies 1. Brain freeze and 2. cold fingers.

The brilliant creator and domestic goddess of Delia creates shared this fabulous craft she did with her kids on her blog. Here are her boys enjoying the fruits of their labour.
My 10 year old was given a sewing machine by her gramma for Xmas last year and this is a perfect intro craft for her.
I was at a ladies gathering last night and the birthday girl received a sewing machine also, Kerry I'm thinking this could be a good place to start. I know you're savvy with a hot glue gun so you're already part way there!!!!
I had a great night out last night with friends, good food and lots of laughs. Will share my new simple appy recipe later today over at Coolabah tree.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This one's for you Stacy

So, it's a busy week here at the Simpson Ponderosa.
My wonderful friend Dana Banana from Australia is coming to visit on Sunday so my house needs to be gutted and put back together all sparkly and clean, I really need to go to the dump, the raspberries are almost ripe which means jammin is in my near future.
But priorities my friends, I have a ladies night to attend tonight and an appy that needs to be made in order for me to put my feet up, wine glass in hand and get some time with my lady friends.
I happened across a website, I made that,  the other day and I'm yet to take the time to look the whole thing over, but on page heart skipped a beat when I saw this.................. you see this????? PORK BUNS!!!!
I have already rushed out and purchased a pork shoulder, but did not take into consideration the marinating, chilling, mixing, roasting, rising, re roasting, glazing time factor.
So sorry ladies...NO PORK BUNS FOR YOU!

Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering just looking at them. OK, back to work, I will let you know how they tasted when I get around to making them, or if you're lucky you might get an invite to come eat them with me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's day.

It always sneaks up on me.

With the end of the school year looming, yard work in full swing. It never fails.........Father's Day. Hmmmmm, what to get the big fella???

This year I'm pleasantly amazed and somewhat stunned that I'm organised, even working two new jobs and struggling to keep up with domestic life I managed to not stress out over Father's Day. I'm just going to give myself a big pat on the back.....don't mind if I do.

Want to see what he's getting??????

It's a bamboo tea box with hand selected tea and customised labels.
I got the labels here. So quick and easy to print to jazz up a pressie for dad.
Now whenever he has a cuppa he gets reminded that he has wee little admirers that love him so.

If I won the lottery show hubby how much we appreciate all his hard work, I'd much rather be giving him one of these...maybe next year daddy'o.


Wishing all the special daddy's out there a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


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