April 2013

Week in Review & April 2013 Sharing Time

Here's April's Sharing Time Linky & a review of this week's posts:


Only a couple of days left for the $100 Lululemon & Free Greek Yogurt Giveaway!

This week I shared some of our favourite Spring Posts

& shared some photos from Jinelle & Jon's Engagement Session.

I tried a new Quinoa Recipe.

and I shared my plan for being a great Auntie this year! ;)

Long Distance Auntie- How to Remember Their Birthdays!

I want to be a good aunt to my nieces and nephews.
I have 15 right now, and only 2 of them live in the same country as me!
I want those other 13 to know how much I love & care about them!

I have tried doing things like sending cards for special events (like Easter and Valentines Day), but let's be honest- that has only happened a couple of times! I've also tried sending birthday cards but inevitably, I have great plans to be organized and send cards to every niece & nephew on his/her birthday throughout the year and after the first few months of the year (or whatever time of year I begin),
life gets busy and I forget to continue!

but, no more!

2013 will be the year of the successful birthday card-sending aunt! I'm committed!

And I'm on the right track, too.
I think I've figured out a way to get the bulk of the work out of the way early so that I can actually get those cards out and into the hands of those cute kids, so they can feel the love from afar! ;)

Here's what I've done:

I've already made a card for each of them- signed by each member of our family. I've even addressed the envelopes (some of which will have to be re-addressed because we've had some unexpected moves ;) I had some cute address labels that I got to use, too!

If you're not into making your own cards (or you just don't have the time to pull it off), you can get some really cute, personalized cards online! I've seen people make adorable cards or postcards with their photos on them or a cute note already printed on the card. You can also order address labels or stamps to add your return address to the envelopes easily. You don't have to spend a lot either, you can always find Great Deals on Vistaprint Products on their website. (at the time of writing this the return address labels are 80% off!)

I've made notes on my calendar for 2013 with when to send each of the cards so that they'll get there at the right time- I'll send them at the beginning of each month (or half way through the month, depending on the date of the birthday). I think this method is going to work!

I had to share it with you in hopes that it will help some of you to conquer your list of birthdays successfully!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Vistaprint.

Quinoa and Corn Salad #LMDConnector

Have you heard me mention Spring enough lately? ;)

So, I wanted to make something Spring-y, light and vegetable-y for my Life Made Delicious post this month.
I had purchased some Quinoa that I wanted to use, so I looked up some recipes on the Life Made Delicious webpage and was excited when I found this Quinoa and Corn Salad Recipe.

photo from lifemadedelicious.com

I had tried cooking with Quinoa once before- like... 3 or 4 years ago ;) It was not a good experience- the rinsing of the quinoa was not fun, and I don't think it worked properly. This time around, I found this Quinoa that was already rinsed, so I was ready to try again!

product photo from truRoots.com

I made the recipe without the red pepper (I'm just not a fan of it), and I didn't have the vinegar that the recipe called for, so I added a little extra lime juice. I really liked it!

My girls gave it a good effort. I don't think Talia (my 7 year old) minded it- she was willing to eat it in exchange for dessert (a bowl of strawberries). Katrina (my 4 year old) on the other hand, had a rough time with it. She ate quite a few bites, but in the end she couldn't finish hers. I think it was too "spicey" (her words) for my kids. (Translation: too lime-y, and onion-y)

I think my husband & I would enjoy it- though he wasn't home for dinner tonight, so I'll have to try the leftovers out on him tomorrow ;)

I hope he likes it because, let me let you in on this: I am not the cooking type. I really stink at it. I just have no desire to cook anything fancy or that takes very long to make. (I love to bake, hate to cook). I told Ken I felt like a "real wife" when I made this! There was a fair bit of chopping involved, and some ingredients we don't always use (but we do really like), so it made me feel successful to make it ;) haha

I hope you'll give it a try- but beware that your kids may not love it ;) But if they do, that's pretty sweet, because there's a lot of goodness in this recipe- love all of the vegetables, and so happy to finally be using quinoa!

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Jinelle & Jon (Engagement Photos)

I recently got out with Jinelle and Jon for some engagement photos. They had scouted out some great locations and we had a good weather day despite all of the crazy early Spring weather we have had!

It just so happened that Jinelle's brother was arriving home from his mission in Mexico that afternoon, so a bunch of family members (us included- Dayne & Jinelle are Ken's cousins) were gathering at the airport to welcome him home after 2 years away! His family brought a great bunch of balloons, so we snagged them for a few quick photos, and were happily surprised by their colourful shadows!

One of our locations was a downtown area that had this great navy wall (and navy happens to be one of their wedding colours, so we got a few shots there). Jinelle & Jon were troopers at this point- we didn't have as much sunlight in this area, and the wind had picked up, so it was rather chilly! I hope it was worth it for the beautiful sun rays that were peaking over the building :)

I got playing in photoshop & wanted to include this one. The colouring is a little different than what I would normally do, but it was fun to play with the sun that was captured!

I hope you liked this preview of your photos, Jinelle & Jon! Thanks for having me do them- it was fun. :)
We're looking forward to your wedding in June! :)

5 Spring Favourites

It's Springtime! For REAL, finally!

I am so happy about it!! :)

Today I'm sharing 5 of our Favourite Springtime Posts :)

Paper Butterfly Display with Template

DIY Parachute out of an Umbrella

10 Ways to Include Kids in Spring Cleaning

Fingerprint Flower Greeting Card

Mug Flower Pot Gift

Week in Review & April 2013 Sharing Time

Here's April's Sharing Time Linky & a review of this week's posts:


Don't miss the $100 Lululemon & Free Greek Yogurt Giveaway!

This week I featured your fun food ideas for kids!

& shared a new book about Eliza R. Snow.

Now, on to the link party- can't wait to see the new ideas you'll add!

Dairy Queen Memories #LMDConnector

My absolute favourite place to go for an ice cream treat is Dairy Queen®. 90% of the time, I will order a strawberry cheesecake Blizzard®. My husband will choose a Skore Blizzard® most of the time, and the girls go for the Smarties Blizzard®.

My love of Dairy Queen® goes back to when I was a little girl and my parents would take me and my siblings to the local DQ for a treat- and it was a big deal when we went there! Back then and still to this day, my dad likes to buy a box of Dilly Bars to share around.

I can remember having “special days” with my mom- just the two of us out for an afternoon- that would end with a trip to DQ. It's a place that we both love- I totally associate a treat at DQ with “special”. :)


Ok, so why am I writing about ice cream memories today?

Because I want to tell you that for a limited time, in specially-marked boxes of General Mills cereal, you will find coupons for a FREE Dairy Queen® Blizzard® and a FREE Orange Julius® Smoothie!

Who doesn't love free Smoothies & Ice Cream?!
Go get yourself a few boxes of cereal & then enjoy some delicious, FREE treats! :)

You can redeem your Blizzard coupons at any participating Dairy Queen during the month of May and you can redeem your Orange Julius coupon at any participating Dairy Queen from April 1 - July 31, 2013.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Life Made Delicious Ambassador program and receive special perks as part of my affiliation.

Fun Food For Kids - Featuring You

There were a few of you who have shared some fabulous, fun food ideas in our April Sharing Time Link-Up!

Today I'm sharing 10 Fun Foods to Make With/For your Kids :)

Yogurt/Blackberry Panda from Kiddie Foodie

Pull-A-Part Bread from Life is Fantasmic

Ultimate Rice Krispee Treats from We Like to Learn As We Go

Frog Princess Sandwich from Kiddie Foodie

Skinny Funfetti Cake Dip from A Peek Into My Paradise

T is For Tiger Lunch from Life is Fantasmic

Mini Mouse Lunch from Kiddie Foodie

Mini Doughnut Muffins from A Peek Into My Paradise

DIY Candy Necklaces from The Chirping Moms

Snickers Brownie Trifle from Making Memories

Thanks for linking up at Sharing Time and sharing your fabulous ideas!
(If you've been featured, please feel free to grab a featured button from the bottom of the sidebar!)

Eliza, The Life & Faith of Eliza R. Snow

I recently read a book called Eliza (The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow), published by Deseret Book.

I think it's interesting to learn of details from the lives of people from the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The things that people want through are amazing and the strength of the people who went through those things and stayed strong is impressive.

I knew a little about Eliza R. Snow- her connection to the Hymns mostly. Reading about her life really opened my eyes to how much of church history she was a part of (having a strong role in the beginnings of the Relief Society, Young Women program, and Primary as well as having written some of our hymns). She was such a strong woman with her own strong convictions and determination. Her education and ability to express things in writing is great. I loved reading many of the things she had written throughout her life- whether letters, poems, or songs. These and the stories in the book were like windows into the events of history. She was there for so much! From Nauvoo to Utah, she lived at Winter Quarters, she was a part of Joseph Smith's family and later, Brigham Young's.

One that stood out to me was written to a mother whose baby had died. I think it hit me that although I think of Eliza as having lived so long ago, many of the deepest emotional experiences that they faced are the same today. Here is the poem she wrote:

Your sweet little rose bud has left you
To bloom in a holier sphere:
He that gave it, in wisdom bereft you;
Then why should you cherish a tear?

Your babe in the grave is not sleeping,
She has joined her dear sisters above;
Bright beings now have them in keeping
In a mansion of beaty and love.

As you can see in the image below, the inside of the book is beautiful- it's full of artwork, photographs, and scans of Eliza's writing and drawings. The pages are full colour with beautiful, antique lace designs in the borders.

I learned something from Eliza's commitment to work throughout and right up until the end of her life. Hearing of her strong desire to be allowed health so that she could remain useful, I felt I could relate on some level as I have felt the frustration of not being able to do the things I want to do because of the physical limitations placed on me with the pain in my hands throughout the last several months. I, too, pray that I will be allowed good health enough that I may remain useful!

Disclosure: Deseret Book sent me a copy of this book to review.

Greek Yogurt & Lululemon Gift Card Giveaway! #LMDConnector

It is so beautiful outside today!
It's supposed to get up close to 20 degrees today & I'm so happy about it-
especially after the crazy end to our week last week!
We had an ice storm & it felt like Winter again- so now, we've got hope for
real Spring :)

Sometimes with Spring comes the desire to get back to your active routine to prepare for the summer!
Are you in that boat? I have been looking for healthy snacks to have around the house for my kids and for me. The other day, my dad was telling me about the benefits of Greek Yogurt- the protein, the creaminess, etc. :)

Well, my interest was peaked when I heard that Yoplait has Greek Yogurt now. So far we've tried Peach & Strawberry & both the kids and I (and Ken) really like it! It sure is creamy, and the individually packed ones are only 50 calories each! I'm looking forward to trying the vanilla (I love adding granola on top of vanilla yogurt!) and I hear they've got a zesty lemon flavour that I'll be watching for!

If you're interested in trying Yoplait's new Greek yogurt, you might want to enter today's giveaway!

One of you will win 4 coupons for free Yoplait Source Greek Yogurt
AND a $100 Gift Card for Lululemon yoga wear!

Just fill out the form below to enter! (There are lots of ways to enter and you're welcome to do one or more of them- the more you do, the more entries you get!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am participating in the Life Made Delicious Ambassador program and receive special perks as part of my affiliation.

April 2013 Sharing Time

Here's April's Sharing Time Linky- I can't wait to see what you link up!


Our Fisher Price Favourites & A Discount Code! #FPFavourites

Fisher Price is a name that needs no introduction. When I hear the name, it takes me right back to my childhood with visions of Little People and Toy Phones and FUN! :) As a mom, I also think of the great products that I have used that have been not only fun for my kids, but helpful to me as a mom.

Fisher Price has come out with a Top 12 List of Fisher-Price Items that have been tried & tested through the years and have continuously been shown to be favourites of moms, the world over!

...and I'm not at all surprised to find the Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set on the list!

My parents gave this set to Katrina on her first birthday and she LOVED it! The girls still play with it. In fact when we decided to get rid of our kitchen set and the dishes and plastic food that went with it, the Laugh & Learn Tea Set was the one thing that stayed! It makes noises, but I don't find them annoying at all- and it's so cute! Love this toy- love that it gets them started on manners, numbers, and shapes.

Katrina, one year old, with her new tea set- she's so little!

As far as gear goes, when our girls were babies, we used the Ocean Wonders cradle swing (and loved it), so I am not surprised to see the My Little Snugabunny Cradle N Swing on the list of favourites- it looks gorgeous! I love that the fabric colours are so calm- and that they're unisex. A feature that I liked about our cradle swing (that the Snugabunny swing also has) is that it could be turned so that your baby could swing head-to-toe or side-to-side. I love the calm, soothing sounds and songs that you can play, and how adorable is the little bunny that comes with it?! The ears above the baby are hilariously cute, too :)

Here's the full list of 12 Fisher-Price Favourites:

1. Ocean Wonders Aquarium
2. My Little Snugabunny Cradle N Swing
3. Infant to Toddler Rocker
4. SpaceSaver High Chair
5. Discover’n Grow Jumperoo
6. Brilliant Basics Rock a Stack
7. Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy
8. Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set
9. Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote
10. Brilliant Basics Stroll-Along Walker
11. Little People Wheelies Stand ‘ n Play Rampway
12. Little People Animal Sounds Farm

You can check out the website to find out more about what makes a Fisher-Price favourite.

I'm sharing this with you as a blogger for Mom Central and Fisher-Price who have teamed up to offer a discount code to you! With the code FISHERPRICE20 you will be able to receive 20% off Fisher-Price favourites at Toys ‘R Us! This PIN is effective March 29 to April 30. Visit the website to use the exclusive PIN code!

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Blogger Campaign with Mom Central 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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