New Year's Eve 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well, haven't been doing too much today. We've had it very cold around here- can't seem to get out of the cold snap. With the windchill, alot of days have been in the -40's. Who feels like going anywhere? But yet, we do live in the North so we still have to get out- do our errands- whether cold or snowy.
I spent a few moments going through my coupons and getting rid of those with the December 31st expiry...and as you can see, I didn't have too many to recycle.
Won't be doing much today: reading, maybe some sorting throughout the house, wash the floors, a bit of time on the exercise bike, and of course time on the computer.
Gerry is getting off work early this afternoon so will be nice for both of us. 
We're content as well to stay home tonight. We're both quiet people.
From our house to yours though, we wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year's Eve evening!

Good To Know Laundry Tips

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cheap Febreeze

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday- December 28th

Got some more photos from Ria in Roatan. These are of more insects in the housing building she is staying at. She said : "They seem to sweep through the whole house and then move onto the next. These ones missed our place and went I ran upstairs to tell the guy staying there, and he was out on the balcony watching them. Here also shows them eating cockroaches in the kitchen! "
Although we've been in a very deep freeze for weeks, and I do love the heat, I wouldn't want to be dealing with ants to that degree! She's had her share of insects there. Boyfriend also lost his ring that she gave him for their engagement, and lost while diving. They are offering a $100 reward as she said most people there earn an equivalent to $2.00 an hour.

We took down out Christmas decorations today- inside and out. Usually they are left till after January 1st but I figured Christmas was over, and we had the time to spend to take them down, so down they came. Packed away for another year. Has anyone else taken down their decorations yet?

I'm sure I've gained at least 5 lbs over the holidays as well. Too many chocolates and not enough exercise!

Watching "The Prisoners" on PPV soon so am off for now.

Baking For The Holidays

Nothing makes a house smell quite as wonderful as freshly baked goodies in the oven. Add to that the festive holiday spirit and you have yourself a merry little holiday. Do not forget to get the kids involved in the baking, as it will create memories that will last a lifetime. We found some great products/sites to help get you started with thinking about baking for the holidays-

Crofter's Organic

Crofter’s Almond Linzer Cookies


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup Nuts To You Organic Almond Butter
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla flavor
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
Crofter’s Organic Raspberry Premium Spread or Just Fruit spread for filling

Preheat oven to about 325°F.
Cream butter.
Add sugar and egg yolks to butter gradually, continuing to cream. Mix in Nuts to You Organic Almond Butter and vanilla flavor.
In separate bowl mix baking powder into all-purpose flour. Add to the creamy mixture.
With your hands knead into a smooth dough.
Shape dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make sure there is enough space between the dough balls. With the end of a wooden cooking spoon, poke a hole into the center of each ball and fill with Crofter’s Organic Raspberry Spread. Using a reusable piping bag is recommended.
Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Put on a metal rack to cool off before storing them in a cookie tin.

Note: Nuts to You Organic Almond Butter can be replaced with any Nuts to You Nut Butter.

Try using other Crofter’s Organic Spread flavors like Four Fruit, Blackberry, or Black Currant.

Crofter's Organic Premium Spreads are the perfect way to add amazing fresh fruit flavor to your favorite holiday recipes. Anywhere you would use a jam, you can use Crofter's fruit spreads; and the best part - they are a more nutritious choice. Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and 30 calories per serving means you get a great tasting, safe, organic spread that is tested for the absence of pesticides with 1/3 less sugar than a jam. Crofter's Organic Premium Spreads are also perfectly sweetened with fair trade cane sugar, and that supports environmental and social responsibility. Established in 1989, family owned Crofter's Organic is proudly Canadian and the choice for nutritious baking this holiday season.

Visit them on facebook @ and  twitter  @croftersorganic

Reynolds Kitchens-

Helping you to bake your way through the holidays...

Use Reynolds Parchment Paper to:
·         Make a few pastry bags, perfect for more intricate frosting decorations
·         Line cookie sheets for non-stick baking
·         Ensure that cookies bake evenly and release from the paper easily
·         Minimize mess - just toss the paper when you’re done!
·         Cover the counter or table space so all mixing, measuring, and decorating are stress-free!

For cupcakes or muffins, Reynolds StayBrite baking cups are a no-brainer:
·         Vibrant designs don’t fade after baking
·         Liners go directly into tray, making cooking and cleanup quick and easy
·         Festive  holiday designs brighten your batch of sweet treats – choose from adorable snowmen, colored swirls, or penguins, and make the other cupcakes at the holiday party literally pale in comparison.

And with disposable bakeware:
·         Dishes are easily served via non-stick surface
·         Sturdy frame eliminates juice spillage
·         Easy to transport from one kitchen to another

Fabio Viviani's Comfort Mats by Smart Step Home-

Fabio Viviani's Comfort Mats by Smart Step Home  use the latest ergonomic anti-fatigue technology for maximum comfort using a puncture, heat, stain, and spill resistant one-piece construction – so the mat will never curl, delaminate, tear, or decompress. Comfort Mats are unmatched in comfort (hence their name…) and reap many health benefits as they suspend body weight and relieve muscle tension.

Comfort Mats make a great gift for the Holidays and are perfect for food (and Fabio…) lovers, new moms + dads, and professionals who spend the bulk of their time standing. And for all us who love to bake during the Holidays, and spend alot of time in the kitchen! began cheesecake delivery in 2002 by offering a wide assortment of cheesecake varieties that could be delivered to virtually any home or business in the United States. As they grew, they were asked for cheesecake recipes for those who wish to bake their own cheesecakes. The site includes helpful and interesting cheesecake articles as diverse as the history of cheesecake and cheesecake topping suggestions.
We've included one of their yummy recipes here for:

Turtle Cheesecake:

  • 6 Tbs. melted butter
  • 5 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 8-oz. pkgs. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. melted chocolate chips
  • 1 lb. caramels
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs

Mix vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter. Press into bottom of 9" spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Melt caramels together with milk over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the caramel mixture over the crust and top with the chopped pecans.

Blend sugar, vanilla and cream cheese at medium speed until fully blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Blend in chocolate, mix well, and pour over pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Loosen rim of the spring form pan as soon as you remove cake from oven. Cool totally before removing rim from pan and chill thoroughly. 


CoverMate is a must have for holiday baking and holiday entertaining. No matter if you are storing or transporting those holiday goodies, CoverMate is a one-step stretch-to-fit solution to covering any size or shape plate, platter or dish. Whether you are hosting a cookie exchange or just covering the left over dough from the batch of your famous homemade cookies- CoverMate is both quick and economical. Reusable, washable and microwave safe material lends itself to the convenience and efficiency of these covers. 

The Best Dessert Recipes-

                              Pictured: Best Ever Gingerbread Cookies

Make Santa proud with these fun Christmas dessert recipes. In addition to the many easy Christmas dessert recipes, there are quite a few Christmas dessert recipes for kids to help you whip up.

This site has a huge collection of recipes, and namely Christmas dessert recipes that we are all looking for now as we start on out holiday baking. I've personally bookmarked this site and going to refer back to it soon, as I've already begun my holiday baking. 

Scratch & Grain Baking Co-

Simplify baking this holiday season by picking up some All Natural Cookie Kits by Scratch & Grain Baking Co. These kits individually package and label each ingredient separately, replicating homemade baking but eliminating the mess, hassle, inconvenience and cost of it. Each kit contains all natural, mostly organic ingredients, and come with healthier products such as ground flax seed and whole wheat or gluten-free flour. With easy to read instructions that include color coded numbers and icons, Cookie Kits are not only a  time-saver, but a fun family friendly activity as well! 

Heilala Vanilla-  Recipe: Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies

  • 3/4 C Butter (softened)
  • 2C Firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Heilala Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3C All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 C Macadamia nuts chopped
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy, add the eggs on at a time mixing after each one. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the macadamia nuts and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F, spray or line 2 baking trays

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the prepared baking tray, bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown, cool on a wire rack.

Makes approx 3 dozen


Ziploc's special holiday packing solutions are great for storing holiday treats and saving time and money during the busy holiday season. Their holiday packing solutions also make for fantastically chic gift boxes. Just check out what their guest Creative Director Joanna Hawley created for gift-giving inspiration!

Every good baking kit should include fashionable and functional storage. 

* Watch this spot for more great ideas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

                               Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas!

(I don't know about you but we're already getting our "overfill" of holiday food, chocolate and the like! ) 

Ria won't be with us this Christmas,( as she is in Roatan) but Erika and her boyfriend Jon will be making it over for supper tomorrow. Other than that, it will be nice to have Gerry home a few extra days and he as well is looking to the time off work.

We wish to wish everyone and their families a very safe and peaceful holiday.

Jakey with some of his Christmas gifts from his gramma:

Another DIY Project

Erika brought back a canvas print from Paris when she was there this year and asked Gerry to make a frame for her. They could not find a frame in town to fit the size she needed, so he had to make one.
Turned out quite nice!

Sunday- December 22nd

The fox in this picture comes around daily to my sister's. Yes, she feeds it. My sister lives about 4 houses from me. Jake has seen him running down the road by our place and always gets all wound up. He's very nice looking though and not scary skinny.

On another note, it's been so, so cold here. Most days in the minus 40's with the wind chill. Because of my Raynauds, my fingers have gotten chilblains on a few of them. I even have to wear finger less gloves in the house, and sometimes even the mini gloves with fingers. Plus  we keep it warmer in here. I'd like to cut back the heat but have to think more of my health. Am always cold too because of being anemic as well. And yes, I already am wearing a sweater and slippers in the house.

Just did up my 2014 calendar as well today, moving all the birth dates and anniversaries from 2013 over the the 2014. 

Did you send out many Christmas cards? I feel this may be a dying thing- anyone else? I remember as a kid living at home, and mom used to get cards every day in the mail during the holidays, and she would let me open them. Some contained short letters and notes, and it was always nice to open the ones that had photos in them. Gerry and I only sent about a total of 5 out but gave to all the family in town.

We won't have Ria in town this year for Christmas. Her boyfriend, Chris and her are in Roatan for a few months taking a diving course, and she isn't set to come back till May.We may consider a Spring cruise to the area before she returns. Not 100% sure yet. I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has been to this area before.
Sharing some photos below from her.


Stocking Stuffer Guide For : Teens

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sometimes it is the smallest things that make the biggest impression. When looking for holiday stocking stuffers for the teen in your life, make sure to remember that it is the thought that counts. Luckily, all the small things are in and popular, so you will be sure to please with your selection.


Adios Cardigan-

Knit Wool Cardigan with Intarsia.  MSRP $41.00 (special price)

Donutella Plush -

At 9" tall and constructed from carefully selected super duper soft tokidoki fleece, this Donutella plush is crazy cuddly! MSRP $14.00 (special price)

Cactus Rocker Vinyl

Do Christmas, Cactus style!  This must have 6” vinyl figure is a must-have for the tokidoki collector!  MSRP $24.95

K. Bell-

From fashionable solids to novelty prints, K. Bell has great socks for stuffing your teen's stocking this holiday season.  A warm and cozy holiday gift, socks make THE perfect stocking stuffer.  K. Bell  is where fun is always in fashion! Some great ideas for gals or guys include:

Fleece lined leggings – the warmest legging around.  Super soft poly blend leggings are available in black, dark brown, and charcoal.  MSRP $19.00.

Kozy Sole Slippers – are the perfect winter wrap for your feet!  Fluffy insole with a warm and cozy outsole available in fuchsia/black, red/black, and blue/black.  MSRP $14.00

Relaxed Top Crew – deliciously soft relaxed crews available in white, dark fuchsia, red, khaki, brown, olive, purple, navy, charcoal, black, denim, and gray heather.  MSRP is $5.00 or 3 for $12.00

Men’s Gearhead sock – A graphic novelty cotton blend – perfect for the ‘gearhead’ in your life!  MSRP $9.00

Men’s Xtremely Soft sock – EXTREMELY SOFT!  Poly blend available in black, navy, and khaki.  MSRP $9.00

Rapid Ramen-

Rapid Ramen is the world’s fastest and easiest way to cook ramen. All you need is the ramen and this microwavable bowl to cook your delicious noodles in only 4 minutes or less! Now you don't need to worry about which pan or bowl of water you're going to boil on the stove, simply place the ramen noodles in the Rapid Ramen Cooker, add water to fill to the line, and place in the microwave. Rapid Ramen is not only safe but it will cook a significantly better meal for you within minutes. Give it to your kids for the ultimate stocking stuff this holiday season! 
insta: @Rapid_Ramen
twitter: @RapidRamen

Overthrow Clothing-

Overthrow's “Greyscale” Beanie is designed for comfort and for everyday wear. It is light enough to wear around town, but still warm enough for those cold days on the mountain. The “Greyscale” Beanie makes the perfect gift for the active and adventurous teen. One hundred percent acrylic knit beanie with leather embossed patch. Unisex fit, one size fits all.


ChapStick has launched limited-edition holiday-inspired varieties and collector's edition ornament and holiday tins at retailers nationwide. The varieties include new seasonal flavor Gingerbread Kiss and holiday favorite. Candy Cane. In addition, ChapStick Holiday Tins and ornaments contain sticks that will moisturize lips all year long. ChapStick Holiday Tins come in eight colorful and fashionable designs and ChapStick Collector's Edition Ornament Tins are available in three festive designs. These seasonal treats make great stocking stuffers for prepping lips through the winter and the tins are great for carrying ChapStick year-round. 

M Jewels

These are simply beautiful embellishments, that add  pizzazz  (as shown here). They’re  interchangeable and your teen can have fun with changing them around and making new necklaces for Monday - Friday when you buy the complete collection! Added score - they are also great adornments for ponytail holders, headbands, shoes, and more. Look great  and change’M up with M*Jewels. 

Today's Quick Tip

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My daughter usually tells me that when I bake muffins they aren't very high. If not from a mix, I have to question if it is how high I am filling them or the effectiveness of my baking soda or baking powder.

Today's quick tip:  To check to see if your baking soda is still active,you can mix it with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. If the baking soda fizzles upon contact with an acid, then it's still fresh.I checked my baking soda by putting about a tbsp in the kitchen sink with an equal amount of vinegar, and it fizzled. 

This is also a great way to keep drains from clogging or to help unclog a drain that isn't too clogged! Although you will need to use more vinegar and more baking soda, and run hot water in the sick as well till the clogged up sink unclogs itself.

To test the freshness of  baking powder:
  • Pour a teaspoonful into a bowl 
  • Fill the bowl with hot water to cover the baking powder (about 1/4 cup should do it).
If it begins to bubble , it’s good to use!

Checked both of mine today while making bran muffins and seem to be good.

Our Home

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Had Gerry snap this photo of the front of our place tonight- once we had the lights on.. brrrrr! Cold day/cold night!

Updated picture- with our light up snowman !

Our Smart Alternative

Well, I wanted to show you all another Before and After, but LOL, I forgot to take the Before, so you'll have to bare with me.

Since we are slowly changing some colors around in our kitchen, one of things we wanted to change was our lights above the kitchen table. After paying almost $75 for the one above our kitchen sink-( which included special bulbs,) our one over the dining room table, looked a bit out of place.

We knew the cost of a new one would be alot, so I told Gerry why don't we just spray paint it an antique bronze like the one above the sink? So he said that would work. He bought a can of spray paint for about $7 and here are the results. Originally the top part of it was silver and the cords were silver as well.

Good ole spray paint!

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts From Gift Card Mall

Friday, December 20, 2013

Did you know that most people prefer receiving gift cards - to actual gifts? This holiday season, Gift Card Mall is reminding consumers to take the stress out of shopping and give gifts that people really want (while receiving some special benefits for yourself as well!) While you may not have heard the name, you've certainly seen Gift Card Mall end-caps and kiosks in your local Safeway, Kroger and other grocery and convenience stores. They offer a huge array of gift cards to choose from, and when purchased from a grocery retailer, consumers can receive special deals, including money off a gift card, and gas savings. 

Holiday Gift Ideas For Gamers

Christmas slowly approaching and you find yourself clueless on what to get for the game-lover in your life, look no further, we've rounded up a collection of "gamer" gift ideas!

The Top Tech Gift Under $100 this holiday season!

•Accessible and affordable: OUYA is less expensive than most consoles out there 
•Supporting both the downloading and streaming of entertainment content in 
beautiful 1080p HD, OUYA users aren’t sacrificing quality for cost 
•More than 500 games available to try for free prior to purchasing 
•Built as a love-letter to console gaming, OUYA provides a true gamer’s 
controller with two analog sticks, D-Pad, eight action buttons, a system button 
and touchpad 
•Boasting an open OS with custom interface, OUYA was designed for televisions 
from the ground up for a truly entertaining gaming experience 
•For those who want to try their luck at creating their own games, OUYA offers a 
development kit (ODK) for up-and-coming developers (available at no charge at 
•Available now for just $99.99 
•Genres range from shorts and action adventures to role playing games, trivia 
games and puzzles 

•Available now for just $99.99 


The goal of is to add comfort to gaming. Their signature product the Play-Maker Grips are currently available for X-Box 360 and PlayStation3 controllers. They are simply silicon molds that fit snuggly on both handles of a controller in order to modify it to more ergonomically suit the human hand. Play-Maker Grips also feature a unique texture that improves comfort, grip, and reduces hand perspiration.  This can alleviate hand and wrist pain associated with extensive gaming sessions, and improves overall performance and comfort. The grips work especially well for people with large hands and come in a variety of colors!

** Last minute Christmas shoppers please order before Dec 20th.

Pelican ProGear-

Know a gamer looking to take their PC gaming portable ? Then you'll want to give them the latest gear.

From the veterans of protection, Pelican ProGear has cases and backpacks that allow the gamer on your list to take their gaming gear with them anywhere without fear of damaging or scuffing 'em up. A great suggestion is the Pelican ProGear™ U105 Urban Laptop Backpack, which also comes with a protective laptop frame!

PureSounds Headphones are ideal for the teen on the go and gamers too! These wireless headphones are Bluetooth and NFC enabled – perfect for listening to music, talking on the phone and gaming. They are only $39.95 on 

– making them the perfect holiday gift.  

Skylanders Swap Force is the No. 1 video game and action figure line, and the fun keeps going with Swap Force where you can "swap" out the characters tops and bottoms to create new creatures with new abilities. Be sure to check out this great gamer gift idea!

And I hear  Skylanders is on for $37 - almost half off - at a Black Friday sale!

** watch this spot for more gamer gift ideas!

Today's Winner
Winner of today's giveaway:

** Thank you to all who entered! Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.

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