Sunday, October 26, 2014

My 21 Months of Health & Fitness Update!

AFTER: 135 lbs - 80 Pounds Lighter!
(July 2014)
It's hard to believe that over 21 months has passed already, since I first pledged that my family and I would exercise daily and eat in a nutritious fashion.  Here is the first blog post I wrote about family health and fitness.  It was January 1st, 2013 when I had made that New Year's resolution, and I've not veered from that path since.  The result has been looking and feeling better, maintaining a healthy weight, and feeling pride in my accomplishment.  Yes, my children and husband have also been along for this fantastic journey, and they're all doing great too!

To date, I've maintained a weightloss of 80 lbs (was: 215 lbs, now: 135 lbs), maintained a 4-5 size loss (was: size 14, now: size 4-6), and I'm back to my old highschool size.  And this achievement comes from a mother of 5 young children with back-to-back pregnancies, so if I did it, so can you!  Oh, and did I mention that I embarked on my journey in my early 40s?

My approach has been simple: 1+ hour of exercise daily, regardless of which kind, regardless of the weather.  Moderation in food portion, cutting out all fast foods, making better choices at each and every meal, and extreme caution in regards to junk food.
BEFORE: 215 lbs
(December 2012)
Above is a photo of myself at 215lbs, my very heaviest.  It's hard to explain, but when I look at photos of my former self it's still hard for me to notice the extra 80 lbs somehow--I just was so used to my old body image.  It's strange how the extra pounds just sneak up on you, and they just go unnoticed.

Have you ever struggled with a weakness, like weight loss?  Did you ever overcome it, and were you successful?  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich Skewers on White Bread

Enjoying PB&J Sandwich Skewers
As the parent to 5 children, ages 9 and under, my life is in the kitchen.  Whether it's preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner, or making multiple snacks per day, the kitchen is my "headquarters" and it's where all the action happens.
I've found recently that my older kids have become fussy, and I must rethink everything that I prepare for them.  My eldest son has gotten so fussy, that he often returns home with an uneaten lunch. Boo!  However, my youngest boys are lunch champions, and come home with just crumbs in their lunch bags.  It does a mother proud.
A Quick & Fun Snack!
One easy snack that I've been making are peanut butter and jam skewers on Dempster's white bread.  As the bread has a soft crust, it's easy for the kids to eat and I don't have to remove the crust.  These are super easy to make, my fussy kids will eat these because they are bite-sized and kind of a novelty.
EASY Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich Skewers Recipe: 
Preparation Time: 2-3 minutes | Serves: 1-2 Children (for snack)
2 slices Dempter's White Bread (makes 3 skewers)
Peanut Butter
3 Skewer/Kabob Sticks
1.Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, and spread jam on the slice.
2.Put both bread slices together to make a sandwich.
3.Slice the sandwich 3 times lengthwise, and 3 times crosswise so you've created a grid of 9.
4.Carefully slide 3 pieces of sandwich onto each skewer stick, and serve!
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What easy snacks do you serve to your kids or grandkids?  Do you have a fussy eater in your household?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EASY: Make For Dinner TONIGHT - Breaded Chicken & Honey Mustard!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Maple Leaf Prime Chicken Strips, French's Honey Mustard & a Salad
I love Thanksgiving because it always makes me reflect upon all the wonderful things I have to be thankful for.  However, there's no denying that it's busy preparing a Thanksgiving turkey from scratch, and the labour of love it is to host such a Thanksgiving celebration.  So, for the days leading up to Thanksgiving and special holidays, I prefer quick and easy meal options.
Just this last weekend, I attended Fall Marketplace demos at my local Walmart Canada store.  As I had a big Thanksgiving shopping to do, I thought I'd rest my weary heels and enjoy some tasty samples at the same time. 
The demo was of Maple Leaf Prime frozen chicken strips, and French's Honey Mustard.  I find the strips a very convenient choice for our busy family of 7, especially because our kids often bring over friends after school for play dates.  I also like serving a hot dinner on a cool fall day.  My kids (and husband) are big "dippers", and love dipping their chicken strips into sauces like French's Honey Mustard.  
Walmart #FallMarketPlace Demo:
Maple Leaf Prime Chicken & French's Mustard
Where to Find Maple Leaf Prime Strips & French's Honey Mustard
The Maple Leaf Prime chicken strips are easy to find at Walmart, just locate the Fresh Food & Grocery section, and look in the frozen meats case.  The French's Honey Mustard is simple to find too, located in the "condiments" aisle with the ketchup, mustard and relish.
French's Honey Mustard is sweet like honey, but also tangy because of the finest grade mustard seeds that they use.  It's also fat-free and cholesterol-free, which is always important.
They Go Well Together!
The chicken strips with a honey mustard dipping sauce make for a very easy and tasty meal, especially when I add a side salad with wholesome veggies.  The meal is very fast and easy to prepare, and none of my kids are fussy when I serve this for lunch or dinner.
Happy for His Meal
What fast and tasty meal does your family enjoy the most?  How long does it take to prepare your quickest meal?

Monday, October 13, 2014

10 Great Reasons to Start an RESP for Your Child (~OVER~)

Help Their Dreams Come True

10 Great Reasons to Start an RESP for Your Child
Saving for your child’s future is a labour of love that you will never regret down the road.  As a mother who has saved for all five of her children’s educations in the form of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), it has filled me with immense peace of mind.  Read below for 10 Great Reasons to Start an RESP for Your Child.

1.      Affordability – If you can afford the cost of five extra cups of coffee each month, then you will be able to put away the minimum amount required for your child’s RESP.  Although the minimum monthly RESP investment is $25, you may contribute more if finances permit.

2.      Simplicity – Once you decide on an amount to contribute to the RESP, it can simply be withdrawn from your bank account automatically each month, if you so choose.  

3.      Money Matching – The basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) will match 20% of your annual RESP contribution, up to a maximum of $500 each year for each child. The lifetime limit for the grant is $7,200.  Additional CESG grants may be available, depending on your income.

4.      Peace of Mind – As mentioned above, knowing that money has been put aside for your child’s post-secondary education affords tremendous peace of mind.  By planning ahead, the uncertainty is removed from the equation and all that is left are knowns: my child will have money for school, the amount of money is certain, and the money will be used for post-secondary education.

5.      No Lump Sums - By starting your child’s RESP at birth, the amount is spread out quite comfortably over 17 years—and you will never have to produce a large lump sum for tuition.

6.      No Regrets – Investing in your child’s future by putting away for their education is a prospect you will never regret—and you can be assured that the money is being spent wisely.

7.      No Hardship - Your child will not have to experience the financial hardship that often goes hand-in-hand with student loans.

8.      Follow Their Dreams – With an RESP in place, your child will be able to follow his or her dreams—without being limited by funds.  Sadly, some dreams do cost more than others: like the dream of being a doctor, lawyer, or scientist.

9.      So Little Goes So Far – As the minimum monthly RESP amount only adds up to a week’s worth of coffees, it is doubtful that you will miss the money.  However, add those coffees up for 17 years, collect 20% from the CESG, and that’s $6120 already—without adding any annual compound interest!

10.  Your Child Will Thank You – Setting up an RESP is one profound way you can positively influence your child’s life and future.  And your child will thank you for it.

Heritage Education Funds is available on:  Facebook  |  Twitter
Visit the Heritage

WINNER: James R.

WIN a $25 Tim Horton’s gift card from – sponsored by Heritage Education Funds. Contest open to Canada - excluding Quebec, and ends on Tuesday November 11th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating something that you have saved up for before (a car, a present, a toy, etc). OR, tell me one benefit of an RESP . Then use the form below to enter the contest. BEST OF LUCK!

Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-ray and DVD Now! (~OVER~)

Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season Now on Blu-Ray & DVD!
Hooray!  Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season is now on Blu-ray and DVD, featuring all 26 episodes from the Emmy Award-winning series’ fourth season, plus added bonus material.   In this fourth season, highlights include Finn becoming infatuated with the Flame Princess in “Hot to the Touch,” Finn and Jake escaping from the clutches of Marceline’s demon father, in “They Went to the Nightosphere,” and following along with BMO on its journey to recover Finn’s missing sock in “BMO Noire.”
Would You Buy a Car From This Dealership?
Adventure Time is currently in its sixth season on Cartoon Network and already preparing for a seventh.  The show has been lauded by critics, received multiple industry awards and has emerged as a fan-favorite brand for fans of all ages since its April 2010 debut.  The total run time of The Complete Fourth Season is 286 minutes, or just under 5 hours of "Adventure Time"!

The show is humorous, witty and very well-written, so its perfect to watch with your kids (or even on your own if you like cartoons).
How About A Little Snack?
Watch this VIDEO clip, below, of Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season!


WINNER to be announced shortly...

WIN Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season from!  Contest open to Canada & USA, and ends on Monday November 10th, 2014.

How to Enter:
Leave a COMMENT below stating if you, your kids or grandkids have ever watched Adventure Time before OR who you'd like to WIN this for.  Then, use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

You're Invited! Fall Marketplace Demos at Walmart Oct 10-11!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

What did the tree say to autumn? "Leaf" me alone!

And on that note, you're invited to attend the Fall Marketplace Demos at Walmart Canada, taking place on October 10th and 11th, from 12-6pm, at these Walmart Locations.

There, take part in 1 of 4 different demo offerings, while supplies last:

1.Fall Meals - with Maple Leaf Prime & Reckitt.
Featured items: Prime Frozen Chicken Breasts & French’s Honey Mustard.

2.Thanksgiving Entertaining & Leftovers - with "Our Finest", "Your French Market" & Hamburger Helper.
Featured items: Our Finest Bacon Wrapped Sweet Chicken, Our Finest Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Smokies, Your Fresh Market 6” Pumpkin Pie, Your Fresh Market 6” Strawberry Rhubard Pie & Hamburger Helper 3 Cheese Manicotti.

3.Fall Snacking - with Mondelez & Walmart Fresh.

Featured items: Wheat Thins Popped & Baby Carrots.

4.Fall Cleaning - with SC Johnson

Featured items: Scrubbing Bubbles T-Gels Citrus with Hydrogen Peroxide, T-Gels Fresh Mountain Morning, & T-Gels Glade Rainshower.
I'm looking forward to attend the Fall Marketplace Demos at Walmart, and I encourage you to follow the #FallMarketplace hashtag on Twitter.  Do note: the demos will be running only while supplies last, so get there early!

On October 14th, do check back on, where I’ll feature a recap of the event and include a recipe from the items featured.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Twitter Party! RSVP for the Walmart #FallMarketplace Party!

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc, and its advertiser.
RSVP for the Walmart #FallMarketplace Twitter Party!

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party for Canadians about how to make Thanksgiving snacking and entertaining easy! On Thursday, October 9th at 8pm ET, please join us for the #FallMarketplace Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing simple ways to make your Thanksgiving celebration easy and giving you a chance to win prizes!

Are you ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on October 11th? Before your guests arrive and you being your celebration, be sure to head to Walmart to stock up on all the essentials! From chicken and pumpkin pie to help make your celebrations complete, to Wheat Thins and carrots for snacking success, Walmart has all the items you need to make your get together memorable! And once it’s over? Why Walmart makes clean-up a breeze! Be sure to join us for this fun party to learn all about how your celebration can be simplified with the right items! Plus we’ll be sharing information on in-store demos to help you find the perfect items for all your Thanksgiving needs!
Join me and RSVP for the #FallMarketplace Twitter Party on SoFabChats!
DATE: Thursday, October 9th

TIME: 8:00 - 9:00pm EST

PRIZES: 5 x CAN $110 Walmart Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 x CAN $55 Walmart Gift Card

RSVP & PARTY GRID: #FallMarketplace Twitter Party Page (automatically adds hashtag in for you!)
How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP: How to join a Twitter Party - sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that option checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns - they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!
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