Monday, March 31, 2014

Homemade Taco Salad

I love taco salad. 
If it is on the menu when we go out to a restaurant you bet I am ordering it. 
I knew there had to be a way to make a yummy taco salad at home that did not have the high price tag of a restaurant salad. 

~ Taco Ground Beef
~ Romaine Lettuce
~ Iceberg Lettuce 
~ Pico De Gallo
~ Sour cream 

Other Reccomendations;
~ Cheese
~ Corn 
~ Blackbeans
~ Olives
~ Avocado 
What I did; 
Use tortillas and place in mold and pop into oven to make taco bowls. 
Cook ground beef and season with taco seasoning.
Cut up lettuces and combine in large bowl. 
Make pico de gallo. 
When shells are ready, place lettuce, beef, pico, and sour cream into bowl. 
Serve and enjoy! 
Easy, delicious, and healthy!

* I found my taco bowl molds in a 4 pack at our local dollar store. It is a 'seen on TV' product. I have also seen them at Walmart! *

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Birthday Gifts

This years birthday was different than the rest. 
Since Miss Molly decided to give birth to her adorable little babes on my actual birthday, we decided to post-pone the festivities for a week. No big deal. It was easy to reschedule as all we were planning was dinner at a local restaurant and then back to our place for cake and puppy viewings. 
This year, when asked what I wanted as gifts I seriously had no ideas to give people. 
There wasn't anything specific that I wanted. 
J had let me order some lovely bracelets online for a gift. 
My sister pre-ordered me a book she knew I would love. 
My other sister gave me some great bath products from Lush. 
And my other sister said she was going to treat me to a pedicure when the weather is nicer so we could spend some time together. 
And I asked my parents to give me some cash (like I do every year!) 

I decided to use my birthday money for some art work for the living room. 
We have lived in this apartment for almost 3 years and I have never found anything I liked for above our couch. 
It was really starting to get to me. 
Every time I walked into the living room it was like a giant canvas waiting for something to be placed on it. 
I went to a local store, Homesense to wonder one day and say this awesome art combination that I could not take my eyes off. It was 5 photos in one. They are all similar but not the same, which I loved and as luck would have it, in my purse I had my couch fabric swatches and they matched. 
It was only $10 more than my birthday money, but for how much I loved it I had to have it. 

The end result; 
I love it. 
It looks amazing and was affordable (even before using my birthday money). 
My eyes are always drawn to it when I walk in the room. 

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

this week...

This weeks mantra is one I try to remind myself of daily .. 

enough said. 
I need to look at myself more positively.
I feel as though if I see myself in a more positive light that I will see life in a more positive light. 
 If I love myself, I'll love my life more.
That is what I am going to work on this week.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Homemade Doggie Treats!

With the silly amount of puppies currently inhabiting our life, I figure now was as good of a time to try to make my own dog treats. 
I immediately began googling and pinteresting for recipes. 
There are a lot of recipe options!!
After looking at approximately 15 recipes and noticing the similarities between them all, I figured I could just create a recipe and see how it turned out. 

1/3 cup of Peanut Butter
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour 
1 tbl Vegetable Oil 
1 cup of Oatmeal 
1 cup of Water 

Combine water, peanut butter, and oil together. 
Slowly add flour to wet mixture one cup at a time with your mixture on low speed. 
Kneed in Oatmeal (I did this by hand!). 
 Roll and cut into various shapes for your fur babies! 
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 
*these treats don't expand so they will hold the shape of your cookie cutter!*

My fur babies loved these treats! 
Store in an airtight container for optimal texture. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

It may technically be spring, but it sure doesn't feel like it! 
I had purchased a pork roast on sale without a specific idea in mind for it. 
I wanted something simple, easy, and delicious. 
I decided to use my crock pot to make pulled pork for sandwiches. 
Best. Idea. Ever.

- Pork Roast (any size - just make sure it fits in your crock pot!)
- White onion 
- Water
- Favorite BBQ sauce 
- Buns 

*make sure your pork roast is completely thawed, if previously frozen before putting it in the crock pot*

Start by slicing your onion. 
Place half of the sliced onion in the bottom of your crock pot. 
Cover the onions with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. 
Place Pork roast on top of onions. 
Salt and pepper to taste. 
Place remaining onions on top of roast. 
Place lid on crock pot and turn on. 

Low - 5-6 hours 
high - 3-4 hours 

Remember to flip your roast half way through the cooking time. 

When cooking time is finished, use two forks to shred the meat into strips. Completely shred whole roast. 
Add BBQ sauce (enough to cover the meat and make it good a saucy!)
Stir to combine meat, sauce and onions.

Serve on fresh baked buns with sides

finished product. yummy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Woof Woof!

6 weeks old. 
4 more weeks with us. 
Every day it gets harder to know we wont get to play with them forever. 

We've begun looking for new homes for them.
Definitely bitter sweet. 

They are off mommys milk (much to her relief!)
Eating kibble and drinking water. 
Trained to go to the bathroom on the pee pads (90% of the time they make it there). 
Playing with toys, mommy, daddy and us (grandma and grandpa!) 
Adorable snuggles, kisses and the occasional bite (love bite!)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wonton Soup

We had a hankering for chinese food this week but, did not want to spend a fortune on take out. It's nearing the end of the month, and very close to the end of our food budget. 
So, I figured I could make sweet and sour chicken, vegetable fried rice and wonton soup for a fraction of the price of delivery. 
~recipe for sweet and sour chicken & vegetable fried rice here~

Ground Pork 
White Onion 
Portabello Mushrooms 
Chicken Broth 
Soya Sauce 
Green Onions 

First, get the filling ready for your wontons. In a food processor place your ground pork (I used about half a pound), half of a medium sized white onion cut into chunks, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse mixture until it becomes a smooth paste. 

Take your wontons (I used small wontons for this) place a small amount of mix in the middle and wrap tightly. Use water as a paste on the sides of the wonton. Place to the side. 
*I made half of a package, about 25 filled wontons*

Next, in a large pot bring 2 cups of chicken broth, 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of soy sauce to a gentle boil. 
While waiting chop your vegetables. Slice carrots thinly, as well as mushrooms and shallots. 
Once broth is boiling add all vegetables and continue on a gentle boil for 5 minutes. Add wontons. Continue to boil for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Hello there spring. 
I've been waiting for you!

This has been the worlds longest winter, I swear! 
Every time we seemed to get some relief from the cold and snow we would get hit again. 
That's winter in Canada right ?

I'm sooo looking forward to spring that it's not even funny! 
Spring is my second favorite season. (Autumn is my first)
I love opening all the windows and letting in fresh air. 
There is something about the fresh spring air flowing through my house that makes me feel so zen. 

I am looking forward to spending more time outside with our puppies who have been cooped up for majority of the insanely cold winter. They are going to love getting into a routine again! Walks and playing outside are their favorites. 

I'm excited to see green grass again, and flowers. 
Heck I don't even care if we get spring showers. 
Anything is better then looking outside at the miserable snow covered ground. 

I'm even looking forward to spring cleaning (and may have already started it!) 

So welcome spring with open arms and try to look at all the bright positive things that are going to happen this season! 


Friday, March 14, 2014


I recently purchased a 4lb bag of apples from my local grocery store. They were regularly $4.99 but were reduced 50% because some of them were a little soft and bruised. 
These apples were perfect for applesauce!
All You Need; 
- Crockpot 
- Apples (peeled, cored, & diced)
- 1 tbl of cinnamon 
- 2 tbl of brown sugar 
- 1/2 cup of water 

Peel, core, and dice all your apples to approximately the same size. 
Place all apples into your crock pot and pour half a cup of water on top. 
Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top of apples and stir to combine. 
Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours stirring occasionally. 
I highly recommend leaving the applesauce on your counter to cool some before placing into fridge safe containers. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Freezing Herbs

I had some leftover rosemary from a recipe and before it went bad I decided to freeze it in olive oil. 
All you need to do is put rosemary into empty ice cube trays and cover it with olive oil. Pop the trays into the freezer and wait for them to completely freeze. Pop them out of the ice cube trays and put them in a freezer safe bag for future use in recipes. 
This can be done with any herb you have on hand! 

Super simple. Super frugal. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bread Maker Pizza Dough

This is seriously the best pizza dough recipe ever. 
Once we tried this one we haven't turned back. 
It is so simple, and so delicious. 
Even my 6 year old nephew complimented in when he was over once! 
Place all the ingredients in the drum of your bread maker recipe in the order shown; 
yield; 1 large or two medium pizzas
(I usually do one medium pizza and have enough dough left over for bread sticks!)
1 cup of water 
1 tbl butter or margarine 
1 tbl sugar 
1 tsp salt 
3 cups of white flour 
1 1/4 tsp of yeast 

Load the drum into the bread maker and select the dough/pasta setting and let it run. Mine takes 2 hours. 
When dough is finished, place on lightly floured surface and knead a few times. 
Roll out dough to desired shape and thickness.
I have made traditional round pizzas and also done large square pizzas. 
Top your pizzas with your desired toppings and place in a preheated, 425 degree oven. 
Bake for about 15 - 25 minutes depending on the shape and size of your pizzas. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Today's Mantra

This has been a hard couple of weeks since we got home from Toronto. 
Getting back into the swing of things, setting up appointments, follow ups, and everything medical here at home for Josh has been difficult. And to add to everything lets throw 3 more dogs on top of the previous 2 just makes everything that much harder.
With a large helping of life on my plate I have to truly remember to take time to breathe. 
To take time to myself. To do things for myself. 
 I can't just think of others, I have to remember myself as well.
 So it has become a balancing act in my life. 
On one hand I have J and all his medical needs, the dogs, and general life. 
On the other hand, myself and my needs. 
 The trick is making sure everyone's needs are covered. 
So, this week I will be working on a balancing act and remembering to breathe and take time to myself. 

Think I can do it??

Do you have a weekly mantra?
Let me know!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hamburger Buns

These buns are perfect not just for hamburgers, but other meals that require buns as well. 
These buns are my go-to for grill season and I wanted to share them with you. 
Once you make these I guarantee you won't want to buy store bought buns again! 

Place the following ingredients into the drum of your bread maker in the order listed; 
 yield; 8 buns 

2 cups of flour 
2 tbl sugar 
1 tsp salt 
1 tbl oil 
1 egg
1/2 cup of water 
1 tsp yeast 

Place bread maker on the dough/pasta setting and wait for the dough to be finished. 
My bread maker takes 2 hours to complete this setting. 

Place dough on lightly floured surface. 
Divide and shape dough into 8 bun shapes. 
Place on a greased baking sheet, brush the tops with a little bit of oil. 
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. 
Brush tops with oil again if desired. 
Bake in preheated, 400 degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes until lightly browned.  

The best hamburger buns EVER! 

Revamped Spare Room Guest Bed

Our spare room has been a challenge since we moved in almost 3 years ago. 
It has been a struggle to;
a) Find appropriate Storage & Organization
b)  Create a Guest Space while having a play area for my niece and nephews
c) Re-do the room for an affordable price 

While spring cleaning we've been sorting, organizing, and donating items in that spare room. We recently took 2 car trips worth of donations to goodwill. It both felt good and helped in the de-cluttering process.

The same day we took the loads to goodwill, we stopped by Jysk because it was right by the donation center. 
Isn't there a saying - something about donating stuff and buying new stuff the same day? haha

We got lucky and there were having a bedding clearance. 
We were able to find some that was both gender neutral, but pretty and something both of us actually agree on. 

We previously purchased the bed mat at Walmart for $10. 
Deuvet Cover $12.99
Striped Throw Pillow $6.00
Total; $28.99

This price is great considering the one duevet cover we were looking at first was $40.00 on its own!

There is still much, much more to be accomplished in that room, but we've made tremendous progress the last couple of weeks and hope to continue to do so in the upcoming future. 
I will keep you updated with photos :D

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Welcome March

Dear March, 

Oh hey there. 
You snuck up on me. 

I feel like it was just yesterday I was ringing in 2014. 
This year is already going so fast! 

So I say, 
bring on March! 
Bring on Spring! 

Happiness to all! 
<3 K.