Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Secret pregnancy confessions #1: Diet and Exercise

When I first saw the pre-natal nurse after I peed on a stick and realized I was pregnant, she told me to eat healthy, continue exercising if I was already doing so, and what foods to avoid.  Well, after eating super healthy and trying to work out a few times a week, and trying desperately to lose some weight what I actually heard was "You are pregnant, you don't have to lose weight anymore, you can do it after the baby comes".  That first weekend I binged on take out.  Pizza, McDonalds, poutine.  (For my American readers, Poutine is a delicious Canadian dish in which one takes french fries, smothers it in cheese, and then pours on gravy, try it sometime, it is delicious!)  Anyhow, the 8 lbs I worked so hard to take off in the first place are back!!!

My first secret pregnancy confession?  I can't wait for this nausea to change to actual puking so I can lose some of this weight!  My pants are tight and I am not even at that point yet!!!  It's kind of ridiculous.  I am going to ask the prenatal nurse about my diet.  Do I need carbs?  Or do I get enough from vegetables?  If I go back on my low carb diet is that ok?  Is artificial sweeteners ok or should I be sticking to real sugar?

As for the exercise... my husband is getting me some pregnancy safe exercise videos and I am planning to walk more.  It's just so hard when at the beginning of the pregnancy you are so exhausted all you want to do is eat and sleep!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

2nd Ultrasound today!

My husband got to come in at the end and we got to see the blob that is our baby.  Mostly it was just a blob on the screen that had one spot flickering.  That was the heart beating.  It was pretty cool!  We are measuring at 6 weeks and 4 days so my due date will probably get bumped up to May 12th. 

On the way home I bought a pants extender :)  It's called a Belly Belt and it helps you stay in your own clothes longer.  Because I was eating a low carb diet before, as soon as I added carbs back in I gained a few pounds and with the huge scar on my stomach from my surgery in the spring I am finding that the buttons on all my pants really dig in when I sit down for a long time, so this should relieve that!!!

I also started a baby registry so that I could keep track of all the stuff I have picked out.  It's a little early for that so sshhhh don't tell anyone!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A special announcement

I wanted to post this separately since this is just so exciting!  On Thursday, September 2 we found out we are having a baby!!!!  My 8 and 9 year old are so excited!!!  My husband seems to be too, maybe a little less than I am though.  :)  I am on the pill, so this is a total shock!  We were thinking about having one in a couple years possibly, but this is much sooner than planned!!!!  Looks like I am due May 8th.  I went for a dating ultrasound on Tuesday but it was too soon to see much so I am going back on the 20th. 

I am so excited!!!!  BABIES!!!

Wow, has it really been 4 months?

I guess I am not very good at this blog thing.  LOL.

Let's see, a quick review of the last couple of months:

  • continued recovering from surgery
  • mother's day BBQ at my mom's
  • Had a really good friend come up for a week and stay with us.  Hosted a BBQ with some other friends while she was here!
  • Took a trip to Vegas for my husband's job.  Ate well, slept well.  It was too hot.  LOL.  Gambled too much money!  But that's ok since it was mostly a free trip.
  • Celebrated my birthday!  My husband bought me a margaritaville mixer and strawberry daquiri and pina colada mix.  YUM! 
  • Celebrated my son's birthday on Father's day, BBQ at my parent's house.
  • My son chose to go on a family trip instead of having a party, so the following weekend we went on a day trip to another city to go to the zoo, then took the long way back through the mountains.  It was a long day!  We left at 6:30 am and returned at 1:30 am that night!
  • Started my new job!
  • Fairly quiet month.  My husband took some time off and finished our deck, we have a railing now!  And privacy lattice wrapped around one end so that the nosy neighbors can't watch us enjoy our deck!
  • Spent a weekend at my parent's lake lot.  Did some swimming, relaxed, played some badminton, roasted marshmallows, and had fun!
  • Celebrated my daughter's birthday with dinner out.
  • Happy Anniversary!  We celebrated our 1 year anniversary by taking the kids to the mountains.  We went for a hike up a mountain and found a gorgeous lake.  It was a very nice vacation.  We only took a long weekend for it, but it was perfect!
  • Refinished a dresser for my daughter and rearranged the kid's bedrooms.
  • Went on a day trip with my mom and sister to get lost in a corn maze! 
  • Back to school preparations!!!  School started on August 30th.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Books, books and more books

I love reading. I love books.  I love cracking open a new book.  But I hate paying $10 for something I am going to read once.  Why would I read it again when there are MILLIONS of books out there that I haven't read? 

So I am super happy it is garage sale season again!  I picked up an old Nora Roberts novel (that actually contained 3 novels) for a whole $0.50 the other day.  Incredible!  Some of the second hand stores have a really good selection too, then I just donate it all back for the next frugal book worm!

I also love checking out my local library, but I am terrified of forgetting my due date or not having enough time to finish a book and I always take out more than I can read in a three week period.

The other place I love to get books is costco.  My son has been begging me for this book out of a series he is reading.  They wanted $17.99 for it at chapters!  And of course it is new so no luck finding it at the second hand stores and there is a waiting list for the 1 copy the library ordered.  I found it at costco for half the price! 

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Random Friday thoughts

Sitting on my tush for the last few weeks, watching daytime television, has taught me a few things...
  • If you watch the same talkshows all week long, you can see the same interview several times.  On Monday you will see Hilary Duff on Regis and Kelly, on Tuesday she will be on the view, on Wednesday she will be on Rachel Ray, on Thursday she will be on Ellen.  I am sure she is on someone else on Friday, but by this point I have changed the channel.
  • Americans must sue people A LOT.  Every 3rd commercial is a law firm.  One lawyer specializes in accident law, three commercials later you can get a lawyer for suing the hospital for giving you the wrong meds when you were in labor, 3 commerials later and there is one specializing in suing your insurance company for denying your disability claims.
  • Americans also spend a lot of money on their homes.  Plumbers, flooring, bathtubs, granite counter tops, and they all have catchy little jingles that get stuck in your head and you find yourself singing while making dinner later that night.
  • I am going to die really soon.  I am either going to get some awful disease from the hospital and die several weeks after surgery because of it, leave my purse on the floor and get a disease from that, have some undiagnosed heart issue, get cancer from plastics, have undiagnosed diabetes, get brain cancer from my cell phone, have my appendix blow up because of my standard american diet (oh wait, I don't have an appendix, phew!) or be allergic to my house and die of mould poisoning.  I really need to stop watching Dr. Oz and the Doctors.  (But the main guy on the Doctor's is sooo cute and he takes his shirt off A LOT, so maybe I can just watch it on mute?)
  • I need to get out more.
I have also learnt:
  • When you are home all day and don't get out much you spend much less money on gas and eating out.
  • You CAN get bored of eating Mr. Noodles
  • It's ok if you forget to take the meat out in the morning.  You have all day to thaw those steaks!
  • I can only watch 5 continuous hours of tv before I am ready to find any reason at all to go out.  We might run out of milk in 3 days?  ON IT!
  • I am actually excited to get a job soon.  I have pretty much been sitting around for 2 months now.  It sounds fun... it's not.
  • The internet isn't as interesting when you have all day every day to surf it.  It's much more interesting when you are sneaking onto your favorite site from work.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WFMW: Allowance

I try really hard to teach my children the value of a dollar.  This is done through many teaching moments such as explaining why they can't have a $60 toy at Walmart "just because", making them earn a slurpee after school, asking if they are going to pay for dinner when they want to go out, that sort of thing!

The one thing I find really works is having an allowance system.  My kids get $5 per week for helping out with chores.  If they don't help out that week, they don't get allowance.  Chores range from empyting the dishwasher, taking the recycling to the curb, wiping down a bathroom, cleaning their rooms, putting away their own laundry, helping with supper, or setting the table. 

Generally I let them decide how to spend their allowance.  At christmas time they had about $30 each saved up and spent a lot of it on me!!!  Sometimes I will save up the allowance and just give them a $20 bill every four weeks.  I find they recognize the value of money this way.  They are only 7 and 8 years old, but if we are shopping and they want something I make them tell me how much it is and then I ask "is that something you want to spend your allowance on?" and they will often say "no, I was hoping you would buy it".  I will tell them that it is not in my budget either, but if they really want it that bad then they can pay for it.  My daughter recently wanted to get a third remote for the wii so that I can play mario with them when they play.  My husband and I agreed to pay for half of it since it will likely be by more than just her, but she handed over her $20 to pay for half of the remote!  Now that she has payed for part of the wii system, I think she appreciates it more and is more careful when she plays it.

Having an allowance system works for us!  It teaches the value of money, the value of hard work, and responsibility!

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips visit here!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meeting People Online

My mother used to think it was crazy.  I remember the first time I started on an online dating site and was going to meet a guy for dinner that I had met online she was all "meet in a public place, have your own ride, call me when you get home!"  And admittedly I was nervous.  You hear horror stories about people meeting psychopath's on internet dating sites (or craig's list) and it's creepy!  That first time around I met 4 or 5 guys, never got past one date, but they were all nice guys, just not for me. 

A few years later I found myself lonely and wanting to meet Mr. Right again.  I had just spent a year and a half dating a great guy that was a lot of fun, but just not THE guy.  So I went back to an online dating site.   After going through 7 pages of mini-bio's with about 12 bios on a page I was thinking that the site had been taken over by a bunch of losers with no sense of humor and big egos.  Then I came across one that made me laugh so hard!  I sent him a note telling him I thought he was funny and he sent me a message back.  We started chatting until 3 am every night, and emailing all day long.  This lasted for 3 days.  By this time I thought like I knew him so well that I loved him and didn't care what he looked like in person!  We decided to meet for dinner.  It was pouring rain and we met in front of a movie theatre.  By the time I found parking and walked to the entrance I looked like a drowned rat.  But it was love at first site despite my lack of attractive hair.  That first date lasted until 5 am.  The rest is history.

4 years later we were married. 

But this post isn't about my fantastic Husband!

While planning my dream wedding I came across a bridal site that had talkboards where brides could exchange ideas and offer support about all the wedding stress we were going through.  (Unless you have planned a wedding, you have no idea how hard it is to come up with an guest list that matches your budget, and then making a seating plan where all the guests get to sit with people they like!)

On this site I met a wonderful group of women.  There are 20 of us that regularily chat with each other and are invested in each other's lives.  I have only met 5 or 6 of them in person, but they are the most loving, caring women you will ever know.  They have become my closest friends.  They are supportive and funny and everything you want in a friend!  We have been known to snap pictures of outfits so we can vote on what one should wear out, we talk each other down when one of us is ready to smother our spouse, we blog on another site and challenge each other to be better people, and we are fiercely protective of each other.

As you can tell from my last post, I have not had a good spring so far.  My girls were there for me through it all.  They were texting me, emailing me, sending me messages on facebook, calling me, etc.  I really meant a lot to know they cared so much.  Some of me IRL friend's weren't nearly that attentive!  One of they came to the hospital the night before my surgery and gave me a manicure.  A few other local ones visited.  And the non-local ones were in constant communication with each other and me to find out updates on how I was doing.  Then they did something that really blew me away!  They all chipped in and got me a gift certificate for a housekeeper!  I get two 5 hour sessions with a house keeper to come over and clean my house from top to bottom, because I CAN'T!  It is the most amazing gift.  Much better than flowers!  I am so excited about it!  My husband is very busy and works hard, my kids can only do so much, and I can't do anything!  It will be such a relief to have a clean house.  She will probably even clean the things I skip!  (Like dusting on top of the shelves in the kitchen!)

I am thankful for the internet.  I not only met my wonderful husband, but I have met some wonderful friends along the way too.  :)  Thanks Ladies!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Missing March

I missed March this year.  Let me tell you about it!

On March 1st I went in for a colonoscopy.  It was scheduled and due to me not feeling so well off and on through out January and February.  The appointment was for 8 am, I thought I would be home in time for lunch!  It's a pretty routine procedure, right?  WRONG!  As some of you may recall, last April I was admitted to the hospital with a partial intestinal blockage.  I was treated with drugs and released, and continued drug therapy.  Prednisone for 8 weeks and imuran for as long as my doctor kept me on it.  Well, it caused scar tissue in my intestine and a narrowing as a result.  The doctor was attempting to stretch the narrowed areas with a balloon and one area kind of shredded.  He kept telling me it look like ground beef.  I am not sure I want to know what he means by that.  Anyhow, due to this shredding I had a small perferation and they admitted me to the hospital for observation and pumped me full of antibiotics to ensure I didn't get an infection.  I spent the next 11 days under observation, undergoing a million tests (2 CT scans, numerous x-rays, and an upper GI follow through, as well as constant blood work)  They took me off food at first and just had me on IV's then slowly started reintroducing foods, starting with clear fluids.  I was scheduled for surgery on March 12, but the surgeon decided it would be better to delay it 8 weeks and try more drug therapy.  The drug is called remicade and it is a serious drug for seriously sick people.  It can cause lymphoma, but the risk of that happening was much less than the risk of me getting worse.  I was released from the hospital on March 11th with promises of surgery.  

So I went home on Thursday, March 11.  On Sunday, March 14th I started to have abdominal pain again.  By Monday it was worse and I made my husband take me back to the hospital.  They diagnosed me with constipation caused by the barium from the upper GI follow through, put me on IV fluids, stopped letting me eat, and gave me laxatives.  Once everything was moving I was sent home again.  So, Wednesday, March 17th I was home and hoping it would be the last time I saw the hospital until my surgery, now 7 weeks away.

In order to go for a remicade infusion (which costs $4000 per shot by the way! Thank god for health insurance!) they needed to make sure I didn't have tuberculosis. This meant more tests! I passed though! If you have never had one, it is very interesting how they test for it. They take a needle and insert it between the layers of skin, then inject you with a serum that bubbles up like a blister. Then 48 hours later you go back to get your test "read" and if you have red spots or a rash around the injection site then you have to go for a chest xray to confirm you have it. I had nothing. Just a small bruise from the injection. I went in on Monday, March 22 nd for the injection. 

On Tuesday, March 23rd, I started to feel like crap again.  Which was just perfect since my husband left that morning to go to Vegas for 4 days for a trade show.  So there I was alone with 2 kids and feeling like absolute crap.  I worked most of the day and hoped I would feel better so I could work again on Wednesday.  I had to cancel on helping out my daughter's brownie group that night and everything.  Wednesday I had to go get my TB test read, then I planned to go in to work but I was just in so much pain I went home and called in sick.  On Thursday I was so sick I kept the kids home from school and popped percocets and went back to bed.  They were such good little nurses!  I thought I just had constipation again, so I had been taking mild laxatives hoping things would pass.  Thursday afternoon I started to feel better for a bit, then around dinner time took a turn for the worse and was in so much pain I was delirious.  I called my husband crying, not sure what to do.  He called around and finally was able to get his boss to come and drive me to the hospital.  My parents met us in emergency and my dad took the kids to their house while my mom stayed with me.  They admitted me, sent me for xrays and blood work, etc.  There were no beds, so I ended up spending the first 7 hours in the OR in the emergency department, then they needed it for some idiot with a knife wound, so they wheeled me out to the hall.  At this point they were shooting me up with morphine so I didn't really care where I was laying! 

The next day they found a bed for me (in maternity of all places) and my GI specialist came to see me and told me that he was sending me for a CT Scan and I would likely be having emergency surgery, as they were pretty sure I had a blockage.  The CT Scan results agreed and I was booked for surgery on Sunday morning at 8 am.  I was scared by this point.  Other than my wisdom teeth I have never had any kind of procedure.

I hardly slept Saturday night and was very relieved to see my aunt and my husband at 6:30 am the next morning.  They took me to the OR prep room and at 8:00 am on Sunday, March 28th I underwent major abdominal surgery.  They ended up taking out 8-10 inches of small bowel, my appendix (I had a fistula going right through it!) and a hernia that seems to have been caused by the blockage.  I remember going to sleep, then I remember them waking me up and me panicking because I couldn't breath.  I kept trying to point at my mouth to tell them I couldn't breath and they kept pulling my hands away.  I know now that I had a breathing tube down my throat, but at the time I was terrified.  I woke up again back in my hospital room with my husband, aunt, and sister looking down on me.  The rest of Sunday is pretty much a blur.  I remember bits and pieces, like blowing my IV, ordering my family around as to who was feeding me ice chips and who was scratching my back, that kind of silly thing.  Oh and my morphine drip button not working.  It was on a 10 minute delay, so I could only push the button every ten minutes, but I kept pushing it and then telling everyone it was broken.

I now have a 6 or so inch long incision down the center of my stomach that I will always carry with me as a reminder of what I have been through.  I got released from the hospital on April 3rd and managed to be able to spend some time with my family for Easter.  When I left the hospital I was on solid food again and everything seems to be working fine.  I go back on Friday to get my staples out.  Time will tell if the surgery was successful.  Crohn's patients fall into three categories after surgery.  1)  Never have a problem ever again.  Basically cured.  2)  End up back in surgery in 10 to 15 years due to a flare up.  3) End up with a flare up in a year.

I would be happy with option 2 at this point.

When things like this happen you realize who cares about you.  I am forever thankful for my husband who was by my side holding my hand through this whole thing.  He came straight from the airport to the hospital on the Friday afternoon.  My sister and my aunt that visited me every day.  My other family that visited me often as well.  My friends that were texting or emailing to see if I was alright, one even stopped in and gave me a mini manicure the night before surgery!  My mom, for taking care of my kids when I couldn't so that my husband could be with me. 

In 4 - 6 weeks I should be as good as new!  For now I am taking it easy and just relaxing and doing things slowly.  It feels like I am going to split in two when I cough or sneeze or laugh, so I cannot wait for that feeling to go away!

And the best part?  My very generous husband took my wedding rings in to get soldered together since I couldn't wear them anyhow, and as a get well soon gift he got them to add my anniversary band to the set!  I will take diamonds over flowers any day!!!  He is so thoughtful!  I am so very lucky to have him.

And that is how I missed March.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Quick Smoothie Recipe

I love this recipe for several reasons: 
  1. It hits most of the food groups
  2. My kids love it
  3. it comes together so fast!
  4. It is filling enough it can be a breakfast substitute on "one of those days"!
  • 1 cup of milk or vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit of your choice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 TBSP honey
Throw everything in the blender.  Blend until smooth.
Serves 2.  (or me and my two kids for a snack!)

For more Tasty Tuesday Recipes go HERE!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WFMW - Having a Library Card

This week's tip has saved my marriage.  Ok, maybe we weren't quite at THAT point!  My husband hates it that I have an addiction to cookbooks.  He once made me give 20 cookbooks to goodwill and you could not see a difference.  He had to build me shelves in my pantry for all my cookbooks because they were taking over!!!  I love cookbooks.  I get a new one and read them front to back and mark the recipes I might like to try.  I also have a lot of cookbooks that I have never ever used though.  I will read them, put them on my shelf, and never look at them again.  It drives my husband nuts.

The solution?  A library card!!!  Now I go to my local library, which has a HUGE cookbook section with literally every subject you could imagine, and I take out whatever my heart desires.  Then if a recipe catches my eye I will write it down and I keep the collection of recipes I have written down in a 3 ring binder.  I also print recipes from the internet and keep it in the binder. 

My kids come with me to the library and they love to take out books on every subject imaginable.  We spend far too much time there somedays!  They have learned magic tricks, string games, how to take care of animals I will never let them have for pets, and everything else under the sun!

Check out your local library, most places have a year's membership for very little money and if you are an avid reader like me it might save you quite a bit of money in books!

Check out Works for Me Wednesday here for more tricks and tips!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reason #8426 why my life is a gong show.

Wow!  What a busy day!

We started out with a nice breakfast, then we got rolling. 

The kids and I went and delivered our paper route.  Then we came home and E went and changed into her full brownie uniform for an event later in the day.  Then it was off to the library where we dropped off the books due today.  I meant to have time to get new books out but I looked at my watch and realized we had to choose between that and eating lunch, so we ducked into the mall on the other side of the library and grabbed some food.  Then it was off to drop E off at a play where she was meeting her brownie group.  The Children's Theatre was putting on 101 dalmations and a couple of her brownie mates were playing puppies!  T and I headed to Walmart to pick up a Birthday present for a friend of his and managed to get a Valentine's present for Hubby, a few groceries, 2 bar stools for my kitchen, and a few other random things.  I hate Walmart.  I always spend at least twice what I intend to when I walk in.  LOL!  We wrapped the birthday present in the car and went and picked up E, then Terry got dropped off at the local rec center for the birthday party and E and I came home. 

My darling husband had supper going and did dishes while we were gone!  I was so amazed!  :)  I made sure to tell him how much I appreciated it.  I practically gushed.  Ok, actually I told him I loved him just a little bit more for it.  I was telling my sister and she said "Oh, he got pizza?"  LOL.  That's what it usually means when he "makes" supper.  But he actually got frozen cabbage rolls made by real local Babas and made homemade tomato sauce to go over them and had them baking in the oven AND did dishes!!!  I really do love this man.  Then he built the two new stools I bought!  I tidied up the house a bit and went to get T from the party.  Then we had supper. 

After supper I decided I needed to sit down!  What a busy day after being sick for the 4 days previous!  But everything was perfectly timed and executed and nobody was late for anything (which MAY be a first for me!) 

We watched the movie Aliens in the Attic.  It was hilarious!  I highly recommend it.  I think it's PG13 though, so if you have kids that scare easily I don't recommend it.  We all enjoyed it though, so it was a great family movie!

Phew, another day done at the gong show.

Good thing Sunday is a day of rest!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WFMW - The Perfect Boiled Egg

I know most people find making a hard boiled egg pretty easy, but I have gone through dozens of eggs trying to get perfect eggs for devilled eggs.  Then I finally figured it out, based on methods from several people!
  1. Put the eggs in a pot.
  2. Put enough water in the pot to just cover the tops of the eggs.
  3. Put it on the stove and turn the burner on to high.
  4. When the water starts a rolling boil, time for 5 minutes and let boil the whole time.
  5. Take the eggs out and rinse quickly under ice water
  6. Crack the egg gently on the counter and take a teaspoon and slide it under the shell, if you slide the teaspoon around the shell it should come off really easily while keeping the egg in tact! 
Want to know my other devilled egg tip?  Use dijon mustard instead of regular mustard when you are making the filling!  It makes a huge difference!

For more household tips check out Works For Me Wednesday here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday - Cheap Chicken & other deals

Today I am going to share with you some of my tips for spending less money.

First, let me tell you about the all the meat I bought on Monday when I went grocery shopping.  I went to costco first and bought a $12 roast and a $13 tray of pork tenderloins.  When I got home I cut 3 good sized steaks off the end of the roast and put them in marinade then froze them.  The roast is still big enough that I will get a pot roast out of it on Sunday night, and beef dip out of it for leftovers.  3 meals for 4 people out of a $12 roast?  Sounds like a deal to me!  I always buy my meat at costco. It is cheaper, and they hang their meat longer, so it is more tender and tastes better.  The $13 pork tenderloins got cut into 5 meals worth of meat.  12 pork chops, 5 good sized chunks for stuffing, and 2 baggies full of sliced pork for stir fry.  I made one last night... there was tons of meat left over.  Then I was at superstore and they had 4 kg boxes of Chicken on for $32.  Boneless, skinless, frozen chicken breasts.  Yes, that works out to be $8/kg.  Yes, you probably pay $18 per kg at you local Safeway for boneless skinless chicken breast.  Seriously, check out the per kg price you pay next time you are there.

Second, let me tell you about the deal I got last week on Winter boots for my kids.  I bought them a size too big so they will wear them next year.  I paid $9 a pair for Sorel boots regularily priced at $50.  Isn't that ridiculous?

Where do you go for deals?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I was raised in the TV generation.  I love TV!  And unfortunately I have no preference in programming either.  I like it all!  Game Shows, Reality TV, Drama's, Talk Shows, Comedy, etc.

Before my PVR TV ruled my life.  I would have to be home to watch certain shows, I would have to decide what to watch at a certain time if two shows were on at the same time, I couldn't watch a movie with my boyfriend, family, husband (whatever the case my be at whatever time in my life). Etc.  My PVR has changed all that.  Now I can set reminders for shows I want to watch and it will pop up for me while I am doing other things (I hate missing the first 10 minutes of something because I was doing laundry or dishes and wasn't watching the clock). Now I can record one show and watch another.  Now I can quickly set the timer to record a show with one button!  (Find show on guide, click record.  Done.)  Remember how painful it used to be to set a VCR?

I know it sounds really silly.  But I only just recently realized how much my PVR can actually do for me.  Before I just used it for the guide and that was about it.  Gone are the days of running out of tape and missing the last 10 minutes of a movie. 

Do you have any technology in your life that has made your life easier?

For more Works for me Wednesday tips, this week's blog carnival is being held here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie

**Please excuse my unmatching header.  I am working on a blog reno!  New improved blog header coming soon!  The new background is a keeper I think though.**

Today for Tasty Tuesday I would like to share a recipe I made last week that my whole family devoured!  There were hardly any leftovers at all!

The original recipe is from "Life's On Fire" cookbook by Sandi Richards, whoever I did modify it quite a bit.

Chicken Pot Pie


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion

10 mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
1-1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine

1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
Biscuits (see recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick wok or stove-top pot on med-high.
  3. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and gradually add to pan as you chop.Toss until meat is no longer pink.
  4. Chop onion (finely) and add to pan. Wash and slice mushrooms, adding to meat pan as you cut. Add spices and stir.
  5. Add to pan in this order: butter, flour and gradually add milk. Stir until thickened.
  6. Stir in broth.
  7. Rinse vegetables under cold water in a colander. Add vegetables to meat pan, stirring until mixed. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Make biscuits.  Pour this entire mixture into a rectangular oven-safe baking dish or pan.

1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar, if desired
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk plus 1 TBSP


  1. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk until dough leaves side of bowl (dough will be soft and sticky).
  2. On lightly floured surface, gently roll dough in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter.
Place biscuits on top of pie filling.  Bake for 18 minutes or until biscuits are browned.

For more great Tasty Tuesday Recipes check THIS out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


For a limited time only the Body Shop is bringing back some retro scents!!! Whooop!

Ok, I must warn you... When they say a little goes a long way, they mean it! 

I showered with the body wash.  Then I lotioned up with the lotion.  And now I cannot even stand the smell of myself and I am pretty sure when I go to bed that my husband is going to kick me out.  He has a very sensitive sniffer.

I still love the scent, but HOLY OVERLOAD batman!  Layering scents = bad idea.

But really, why do companies discontinue products then bring them back 15 years later and call them "retro".  I very clearly remember being in junior high, probably later junior high because I was old enough to go shopping at the mall by myself, and being absolutely devastated that they discontinued my favorite scent!

So I stocked up. And now that I know how much to use, it should last me until next time they bring it back!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Right Side Up Stuffed Pork Chops

I got this recipe out of a great cookbook by Sandy Richards.  It's part of the "Cooking for the Rushed" series and it is fabulous!  It's called Right Side Up Stuffed Pork Chops and it was a huge hit in my family and will definitely be getting put into the mix more often!

1 package (120 g) Uncle Ben’s Stuff ‘N Such Traditional Sage dressing mix (4 oz)

1 tablespoon brown sugar (5 mL)

8 half inch thick boneless pork chops, trimmed (680 g or 1 1/2 lb)

1 can cream of mushroom soup (284 mL or 10 oz)

1/3 soup can of water

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (30 mL)

1.Preheat oven to broil.

2.Prepare stuffing in a pot following package directions and add brown sugar.


Place chops in a large oven-safe cake pan and broil at close range about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4.Remove chops from pan and drain excess grease. Reset oven to 350 F (175 C).

5.Return chops to pan. Mound stuffing on top of each pork chop.

6.Combine in this order in the used stuffing pot (no heat): soup, gradually stir in water and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well blended and spoon equally over stuffed chops. Bake in hot oven. Set timer for 25 minutes.
I served it with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.  I just cubed my potatoes, tossed them with a little olive oil and some Mrs. Dash seasoning mix (original) and put them in the oven next to the pork!  It would go great with rice too though.
For more Tasty Tuesday recipes, check this out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Blog!

A few girlfriends I met while planning my wedding have started a blog and I am joining in!  Every Sunday a new challenge will be posted and throughout the week we will all blog about how we met the challenge at hand.  The purpose is to better ourselves and we will be focusing on random things such as budgetting, cleaning, taking time for ourselves, and whatever else we can think of!

Please check in once in awhile to see how a bunch of Canadians across the country (And one American!) with completely different backgrounds, problems, and values tackle each week's challenge from their point of view!



Saturday, January 23, 2010

No Love...

Some days, as a mom and a wife, I just want to run away from home.  I know I am not the only mom and wife that has felt this way!

Let me explain...

My darling husband has been working his butt off lately to finish a job that is about to get turned over and is behind schedule.  He has been onsite working 12 hour days then coming home and doing 4 hours of paperwork, then he goes to bed and does it all over again the next day.  This means: No family time, no couple time, just a grumpy, tired, sore, hubby that just wants to be left alone.  NO LOVE!

My darling son did something so revolting and disgusting yesterday that he is lucky he is on planet earth today.  He tricked me into giving him a hug and wiped boogers in my hair.  Yes you heard me right.  BOOGERS!  My daughter told on him, but I was so grossed out I went for a shower and he is grounded for the weekend.  Here is my dilemma... Now I don't want to hug him because I am afraid he will wipe boogers in my hair.  I think he learnt his lesson though.  I explained to him that it hurt my feelings that he would trick me like that and that it was not funny at all and I asked him if he likes it when I hug him.  He said yes.  I told him that by doing that he makes me afraid to hug him.  He has apologized profusely.  I let him out of his room but he is still grounded from video games and the computer.  NO LOVE!

My darling daughter decided that it sounded fun to have mom afraid to hug you.  (probably not really, but that's how it feels!) She gave me a hug today and pulled my hair.  She says it was to show me how it felt after I accidently pulled her hair.  NO LOVE!

So.... Mexico anyone?  I hear the beach is really nice at this time of the year!

Friday, January 15, 2010

RIP Skeeter

Our family dog passed away today. We adopted her when I was a teenager, so it was surprising she has lasted this long (14 years I think? And she was not a puppy when we got her). She was rescued from an abused home and was dirty, skinny, and stinky when we got her. She was a cockapoo. We named her Skeeter after the muppet.
She was a pretty good dog. My kids are devastated. E says she won't go to grandma and papa's house until they get a new dog named Skeeter that looks exactly the same.
My parents are pretty upset too. I guess she had a seizure this morning and her heart stopped and by the time they got to the emergency vets their was nothing that could be done.
RIP Skeeter. I am glad you aren't in pain anymore.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday - Cleaning away a grounding

Every Wednesday I go here to read a blog carnival called "Works for Me Wednesday" during which a bunch of bloggers log in and write down tips that keep their lives working! Everything from stopping temper tantrums to cooking tips! I have found many new ideas over there for many aspects of my life! I suggest you check it out.

I usually join when I think I have something to say.

This week my tip is: Use cleaning as a form of punishment! Yep, you heard me! I will ground my kids for a weekend, then when they whine and cry and tell me all the wonderful things they are missing out on by being grounded (usually "but my webkinz will die if I can't feed them!!!"), I let them work off a day of their grounding by giving me 2 hours of service. I get mean too! They have scrubbed dust off baseboards, swept and mopped kitchen floors, cleaned out closets, etc. Plus this is on top of their regular chores like putting away their own laundry and emptying the dishwasher! Working off groundings works for me!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Ultrasound and blood tests confirm it is crohn's related. My doctor is talking to the gastroenterologist tomorrow to discuss the next steps. Sigh...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Something is wrong...

I don't know what yet. But I have an emergency ultrasound booked for tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers it is nothing serious, but living with crohn's means you can't take anything at face value. Excruciating Cramps + mid cycle bleeding = something not right. Especially when you are on birth control.

I am trying to distract myself by reading other blogs, surfing the internet, watching "Hoarder's" etc.

How do you distract yourself from stress? Do you have any links you to share with me to help distract me? :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Checking in with my resolutions!

Well, I managed to go to the gym on Wednesday, worked out with my wii on Friday, and went and played in the snow today! So far so good! I am definitely trying to eat less and better. I really need to lose a couple of pounds!

As for the cleaning... The tree came down yesterday and I rearranged the living room and vaccuumed under all the furniture and I have been keeping up on laundry pretty well, so hopefully my hubby is noticing the efforts! In the meantime, I have not been as good at keeping up on the dishes. I have been baking a lot lately and it seems to dirty a lot of dishes! In my attempts to keep the junk out of the house I have been baking a lot from scratch. Bread, buns, stuffed breadsticks for lunches, etc! It is a lot cheaper than buying bread products and healthier because there isn't any preservatives to give them a longer shelf life.

I am still working on the job situation. I applied for a bunch more the other day. Hopefully I will get some interviews and get something good! I just want something that makes me happy, where I enjoy going to work everyday, and that will be the type of job that stays at work. Where I am not bringing my stress home with me. Know what I mean?

Saturday, January 2, 2010


2010 is here!!! It sure seems like it was just yesterday when we were all panicking about Y2K. The last 10 years has certainly flown by!

I made a couple of resolutions:
  1. Lose 30-40 lbs by this time next year. That works out to be only 3-4 lbs a month. Very do-able!
  2. Be a better housekeeper.
  3. Get a job I love that will take me through until we are ready to start trying to conceive #3. (about 2-3 years away)
  4. Be more patient with my kids.
  5. Save enough money to finally go on my honeymoon.
  6. Either sell or get a long term renter for my townhouse.

We started working on number 2 already. Today my kids were told to clean their rooms. They told me when they were "done" and I had to go up to inspect. All they had done was clean a bare spot on the floor. So I spent most of my day helping the kids sort and purge in their rooms and it is amazing how nice my daughter's room looks! My son's still has about an hour's worth of work left in it tomorrow. I need to get the house to a manageable level of cleanliness so that it isn't such a big chore to clean it! It is amazing how much 4 people can accumulate in six months! That's about the last time I did a good deep purge, cleaning out cupboards and reorganizing. I had to make room for wedding stuff!

I think the Christmas stuff will hang out for a few more days then it will all get packed away too so that I can rearrange the living room again and hang up my new pictures!

What are your resolutions? Do you ever manage to keep to them? I don't really, and they tend to be the same every year, but for at least 4 weeks I do really well!!!