Raising Memories: September 2015
  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cheesy Tortilla Chip After School Snack

My family is made up of cheese-monsters! We all love a good cheesy snack or meal.  Last month I shared a favourite after school snack from my childhood (these chocolate chip cookies) that could be made ahead and frozen. This month I want to share another after school snack from my childhood. This one is really quick and easy to prepare right before you eat it!

We made this snack with Ivanhoe's high quality aged cheddar cheese and it was delicious! 

Here's what you'll need:


- Tortilla Chips (or Crackers)
- Shredded Ivanhoe Old Cheese
- Sour Cream (we used the extra thick Gay Lea Gold Sour Cream)
- Salsa

And the preparation is ridiculously easy:

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 2015 Sharing Time - Week 4

I have a bit of news about the link party!!!

You can find the link party at the bottom of this post,but first, there are a few things I want to tell you!

Link Party News

I will continue to run monthly link parties that you are welcome to add to weekly or whenever you think of it throughout the month. However, I will only be posting them once per month for a while. So, if you show up here on the weekend and Sharing Time is not the post at the top, that doesn't mean there's no link party!  
Just click on the "Visit This Month's Sharing Time Link Party" button near the top of the sidebar! ---->


Since I last posted a Link Party:





Since the last Sharing Time post, I wanted to ask you some questions!  So, if you're here right now, I would love for you to fill out my little survey!  It's right here.





I also wrote about visiting the FireFit competition to see my brother-in-law race and what a meaningful experience that was for me (and hopefully for the girls, too!)

Giveaway



There's also a giveaway going on for a planner! 
(open worldwide & until the end of the month)


Now, on to the September link party!  I love to see what fun things you've been up to!



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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Have Some Questions for You!

Hello, I don't think we've been formally introduced...

I've seen you around here (in the form of a statistic... I know there are "unique visitors" coming to my blog each day, viewing my posts... because I can see the "unique pageviews" in my stats). But I don't hear from very many of you very often at all.

I don't have a recent photo of myself because I'm the photographer around here,
so here you go.. I grabbed this from my "About" page.  Picture me, waving hello ;)

Sometimes someone will tell me that they read my blog & I'm always so surprised because I've never received a comment from them. But the fact is that people rarely take the time to leave comments on blogs these days, unless they're entering a contest or something.. have you noticed that? Tell me it's not just my blog ;) I know I do it when I read blogs- stop in, read the post, then move on. I get it. We've all got lots to do.

It's nice to hear from you every now and then, though! And I've had several questions on my mind lately about you and this blog that I cannot answer without your help, so I'm really hoping you have a couple of moments to answer them for me. You don't even have to leave a comment! Just fill out this handy little anonymous form! (You can tell me your name if you want- there's a spot at the end of the survey form where you can tell me whatever you want!.. or you can leave it blank if you want ;)

So, here goes nothing... I'm really hoping that if you're reading this right now, you'll take a moment to fill this in! So, just Click Here to Fill Out the Form, or fill it out below (but I think you'll have to do some scrolling in the middle of the blog post which might be annoying, so it might be easier to just click the link.

Thank you SOOOO MUCH if you do this- I reeeeeaally appreciate it!! :)


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Monday, September 21, 2015

When Missing School Is Worth It: FireFit 2015

At first I struggled with whether it was the right choice to pull the girls out of school to attend the competition. But I couldn't stay settled on the decision to miss it. So, I pulled the girls out of school Friday morning to attend the Firefit Championships (a national fire fighting skills competition) that their uncle competes in with a relay team of men he volunteers with.

I've always thought it was pretty cool that my brother-in-law chose to be a volunteer fire-fighter. A few years ago, I took the girls on this trip to see him and to get an idea of what fire fighters do, or at least what they use (man, the girls look tiny in those photos!).

His team is really good at what they do, and the championships were not too far from home this year, so I thought it would be fun to watch them race in person. I made the plan to attend months ago, before I knew that our only time to go would be during school.

The girls with Uncle Russ right after one of his races

A Bit About FireFit:

Here's what the course looks like:


The relay races are made up of 7 tasks: a stair climb while carrying a 42 pound bundle, then hoisting 42 pounds of hose, descending the tower (touching every stair & using handrails), then "forcible entry" (hitting and moving a beam with a 9-pound mallet), running, then dragging a hose 75 feet and hitting a target with a stream of water, then the "Victim Rescue" which requires dragging a 165 pound dummy backwards 100 feet.

Here's a 1 minute video of what the races look like:


When we arrived, we said hello to Uncle Russ, found a place in the stands, and looked around at all of the fire fighters preparing to race. There were men with skipping ropes, men doing chin-ups and the girls were excited to spot several women, too.  We were excited to watch the races!

But it was during the opening ceremony that we were all reminded of what this is all for.  Yes, it's an impressive competition and these fire-fighters' skills are pretty impressive.  They've trained for this. They're strong. They work great together as teams. As each team came out onto the course, we clapped and cheered for them.


...but then we all stood while one of them read the Firefighter's prayer and I found myself tearing up.  This was the reason for it all. This is what these men and women do. They are each heroes.  They are amazing.


Firefighter's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor,
and protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I must answer death's call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my family one and all.


We watched a bunch of races, saw Russ' team get their best time up until that date(!) and then grabbed lunch and the girls returned to school with the excitement of the day's events. We were so proud of Uncle Russ & his team!

On Sunday at the finals, their team won an award for being the Top Volunteer Team in Canada!

The team  with their loved ones at a competition earlier this year that they won Gold at.

As I write this entry and as I see the words of the Firefighter's Prayer once again, I am almost brought to tears again as I think about how my girls have a hero for an uncle.  Each of the men on that relay team is a hero because of what they do- win or lose, place in the competition or not.  Each of those men and women who serve others in this way, willing to face danger with courage, bravery, and self-sacrifice, are heroes and I am SO proud of them!

...and yes, I do feel that it was worth it for the girls to miss school for our own little field trip on Friday.  I'm happy that they could see it all in person and have this memory of something special and important that their uncle does. Sometimes "real life" events are worth missing school for!



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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Limelife Planner Review & Giveaway

I like to write things down. I make lists and I plan and I calendar, but I can't always remember where I wrote a particular list!  In an effort to figure out the best planning method for myself, I'm trying out a new planner. I've also found another day-planning tool that I LOVE, and today I want to share them both with you!

Both products were ordered from Limelife Planners.  This is how they arrived- wrapped up in cute tissue paper and inside of a padded mailing envelope.


I ordered the "Mary" Weekly Planner. If you visit their site, you'll see that each planner is named with a woman's name.



Hourly Paper Pad

I also ordered the Hourly Paper Pad. First I tried printing a couple of pages of this (you can get it for free as a printable from their site), to try it out.  I found that it worked really well for me, to plan each day out.  I use the left side list as a check-list "To Do List" where I write down all the things I'm hoping to accomplish in a day.  Then on the right side, I start to plan my day out by time. I don't use the "Quote of the Day" part (or if I do, it's for random notes, along with the Notes section at the bottom of the page).

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 2015 Sharing Time - Week 1

Welcome to September's Sharing Time Linky!

You can find the link party at the bottom of this post,but first, here's a quick review of our week!

Since the last Sharing Time post, I shared our Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and how we've been freezing them for future use in lunches or for after school snacks!



I also wrote about how we've been de-cluttering and trying out VarageSale in the process!


Now, on to the September link party!  I love to see what fun things you've been up to!



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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall Cleaning & Decluttering with VarageSale

Ever since I started Kindergarten, Fall has brought feelings of newness and fresh starts. I started a new year of school every year of my life from age 5 to 23. Since then, Fall has been the start of a new school year for my husband or children each year, so those feelings continue. Fall feels like the perfect time for an organization and de-cluttering overhaul!

I heard about VarageSale (a virtual garage sale that never ends!) just as I was beginning to go through my things and decide what we could give away or sell. We always sort through the girls' clothes as the seasons change and that's when we realize how many things they have outgrown and are ready to pass on. I've also been going through my clothes and I have a whole basement full of other things that I really need to pare down!


So we downloaded the app through facebok and got to work taking pictures of items that we were ready to pass on.  It was very easy to list an item- upload the photo, pick a category, enter a price, and a little description.  Submit the item and it's listed!  You can do this on the computer, or you can download an app for your phone.

My First (Failed) Attempt to Sell & How VarageSale Helped

It's easy to search for items you're looking for, and very easy to message people about purchasing items and arranging for pick-up. If you follow me on social media, you know that I sold something and had arranged for pick-up. Shortly before pick-up, I went to get the item ready and realized it was missing an important piece. We looked everywhere and couldn't find it! So, my advice to you is to make sure you have all pieces before listing an item! (oops)... but what I loved about VarageSale in this case was that I was able to send a quick message to the woman who was going to pick it up, and she could get that message and change her plans, rather than drive all the way to meet me, only to find that I couldn't sell her the item!  She was just leaving when she got the message on her phone, pulled over to look at it, and was able to message me back to let me know she got the message and it was fine.


Here's a 40 second video clip that gives you a glimpse of what VarageSale is like, if you're a visual person and want to get an idea before you join:



After my failed attempt to sell that first item, I've had interest in two other items that I listed (one of which, I have arranged pick up for tomorrow), so I'm really impressed with how well VarageSale is working in my area- and it's new in this area, so I'm really excited to see what happens as more people hear about it and join in!

The newest area to open up in Ontario was Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. It's very easy to visit their site (www.VarageSale.com) and see if there's a VarageSale community in your area. If there isn't yet, you can easily sign up to receive a notification when one opens up in your community!

I'm very excited to de-clutter and make some more space while making some extra money in the process!

Using VarageSale is completely free and very convenient.  If you'd like more information on how to use it, here's a 4 minute video tutorial that gives you more details:


I'm keeping my eye on VarageSale for a couple of furniture items that I'm hoping to find a deal on. It's so much more convenient to "VarageSale" than it is to "Garage Sale"!

Have you tried buying or selling items online? What has your experience been?
I'd love to hear what your best find has been :)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions, experiences, etc. shared in this post are my own (as usual!)

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