Raising Memories

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 2015 Sharing Time - Week 1

Welcome to July's Sharing Time Linky!

Did you catch this week's post about how to make Frozen Hot Chocolate?

It was SO GOOD!

We have had such a nice week this week, celebrating Canada Day and having a visitor at our house!
Maybe I'll post about it next week if I can carve out some blogging time! :)

But for now, on with July's Link Party!
I'm excited to see what fun activities and recipes you have been coming up with!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe

Summer Holidays are officially here & we are HAPPY about it!!! :) This morning I told the girls that I wanted to make a special treat with them today at snack time and right away they started guessing. One of their first guesses was hot chocolate! It's funny because they will often ask for it, even when it's hot out. So, when that guess came up, I said, "Nope! It's too hot out for that! But we're going to make FROZEN hot chocolate!" and that prompted some wide-eyed faces!

I am SO glad that we decided to give this a try because my goodness, it was good!!! I have seen a few variations of this around the internet and after reading a few different recipes, I made a few little changes and combinations from different recipes and here's what we came up with:

Here's What You'll Need:


1/2 cup Milk chocolate (we used milk chocolate chips)
1/2 cup Nutella (this doesn't taste strongly of hazelnut- my husband didn't even realize I had added it!)
5 tbsp Hot Chocolate Mix
1 & 1/2 cups Milk
5 cups Ice
Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream


1. Start by melting the chocolate chips. I just did this on a very low setting, in a saucepan.

2. Add the Nutella, melt. (it'll look like the picture on the left, below)

3. Add the Hot Chocolate mix, melt. (it'll look like the picture in the middle, below)

4. Add the milk and stir until there are no hot chocolate mix clumps left. (like the picture on the right, below)

5. Put some of the ice in your blender and start to blend (if you have a super powerful blender, you may not need this step, but we do with ours).  Add some of the chocolate mix to it (be sure that it's not hot or it'll melt your ice!) and blend some more.

6. I added a bit more ice and a bit more liquid, working on blending the ice as I went, until it was all combined.

7. Pour into a glass, top with Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream (which I love because it's made with REAL cream), and garnish with chocolate chips...

8. ... and enjoy!!
(this made 5.5 cups, which was enough for 5 or 6 servings for us!)

This will not be the last time we make this recipe- it was a big hit!  I was actually surprised by how delicious it was!


Tomorrow is the last day for the Nordi-Cows game on Gay Lea's Facebook page, so don't miss it! Go to the page, pick your favourite cow, and milk her twice a day (in the morning and in the evening).

You can check out the Gay Lea Website for great recipes and more information on their products. They also send out monthly newsletters featuring great tips and coupons!

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign with Influence Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 2015 Sharing Time - Week 4

Welcome to June's Sharing Time Linky!

Did you catch this week's post about choosing love & happiness?
I'd love to hear what you think in the comments over there!

Our Summer Holidays have officially started here, so this round-up of over 25 Snacks & Treats for Summer Break will be coming in handy for us- be sure to check it out & pin it for reference if you haven't already!

There are some great ones on there & the post is featuring many of you who linked up to the Sharing Time Link Party last month!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Choose Love, Choose Happiness

So much of this life is about choices.  Choosing to love, to forgive, to be patient, to be kind, to be happy, and the list goes on and on!

Today I want to tell you a little about where my thoughts have been lately.

Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been blogging as frequently as usual. I went through a few rough weeks which led me to spending a lot of time thinking about things and life in general. Just over a year ago, I published a post on this blog about happiness and being happy where you are. I wrote about how we had expected Ken to be finished his PhD and started on something new in time for the girls to start school in the Fall of 2013. When I wrote that post (a year ago), I said that things took longer than expected and we were then hoping for a finish date for his PhD in July (of 2014).

In that post, I wrote about how focusing on the future can make the present feel like "not enough". It's interesting that I was dealing with those feelings a year ago, because now, a year later, I have been dealing with them again and struggling to remind myself of what I felt I had figured out a year ago.

Last week, Ken & I drove to Toronto together to hand in his thesis. I am so excited that we have hit that milestone! We are still at least a couple of months away from his defence and are hoping for a finish date by the end of this summer, but little things keep happening to make things take a little longer and a little longer. It can be difficult not to focus on that end date when it has slipped away from us and been postponed so many times over the last 2 years.

I tell you all of this, to give you some background before explaining some things that I have taken away from a book I've been reading.

When I agreed to review a new book called Love is a Choice by Lynn G. Robbins, published by Deseret Book, I was expecting a good book that would put things in perspective and give me ideas for how to strengthen my family. That's exactly what I got, but I also got a lot of encouragement for dealing with this stage in my life where I am finding it a challenge not to be dragged down by circumstances that are not what I expected or hoped for.

There is a chapter in the book called, "Choosing Happily Ever After" that talks about the power of choice. It uses an example of three brothers who face the same situation in life.  Two of the brothers are constantly complaining about their less than desirable circumstances. They are so cynical and pessimistic that their misery becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In contrast, the other brother chooses to recognize the blessings in the same circumstances. (If you've read the Book of Mormon, you'll recognize the brothers in this story as Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi).

I have heard a lot of people say that happiness is a choice.  It's one of those clich├ęs that is completely accurate. We cannot avoid challenges and pain in life. We just can't. But we CAN choose how we will handle them. There was a quote in the book that said something about how there is no circumstance in life that cannot be made worse by complaining/whining about it. I think I used to have this idea that patience meant that you could wait for something, or keep at something even when it was hard. I didn't think much about how you waited or continued, as long as you did it.  But it's right there in the definition:
"Patience: the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
These little things make a lot of sense, and I'm sure they're not new ideas to me or to you, but sometimes just hearing them at the right time, or thinking of them from a slightly different angle can make for an epiphany.


The book has a section at the end with resources for making the choices discussed in the first half of the book. This includes a section of FHE (Family Home Evening- or Family Night) helps with a ton of ideas for how to teach your family.  I really liked it, and it also has a section with a list of 100 Christlike Virtues and then tells you how you can make them into subjects for a Family Night lesson or use them as a jumping-off point for your own study.

Regardless of the stage of life you're in - whether you're engaged to be married, have children, or are single, this is a great book to read. It applies to so many different areas of life.  I found great ideas for how to teach my children, how to approach disagreements as a couple, and how to deal with personal struggles.


So, now I'm curious about your thoughts on the topic: 

Have you ever thought about happiness or love as a choice?

Is there something that helps you to be happy when things aren't ideal?

What about patience?

Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided for review purposes, but this is not a sponsored post and all opinions shared are, as always, my own.

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