Friday, November 21, 2014

Top Reads of 2014

So this past year I made a promise to myself to start reading again, not only does it open your imagination for a world of stories, but it gets your brain working instead of just fading away.... I thought I would share my favorite books I read this year. Melissa and I recently started a book club- which only had 3 members! But it doesn't matter as long as we have someone else to discuss those glorious stories with!!!

The first 3: Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiance. Honestly these are the best books I've ever read in my entire life. The kept you intrigued the entire way through, If you've seen the Divergent movie... I must warn you it's disappointing compared to the book they left so many parts out and ended the movie differently than in the book! Veronica Roth made you want to keep reading, and when you were done a book it was like there was a void in your life and you have to immediately start the next one! If you chose to read any books this year I would suggest these- you will not be sorry!

The Help. I'm sure most have you have seen this movie and I saw it before I read the book and loved! My friend recommended the book to me and I couldn't put it down it was so good. Even though I saw the movie it was still a page turner! It goes into a lot more detail with every moment than in the movie, and there are a ton of hilarious moments! There's nothing like a story from the past, and reading about how someones world used to be... not always peaches and cream.

I read Mokingjay the beginning of this year, after seeing Catching Fire for the first time I couldn't wait for the next movie to come out I had to buy the book! I was not disappointed! It has both sad and happy moments, and moments where your like... ouch that's gotta hurt! I am so excited the movie is out in theaters now... nothings better than seeing a book come to life!

The Fault in Our Stars, I love the way John Green writes, everything just flows together and their are so many comparisons to real life- I especially loved the references to ANTM and my favorite cooking shows! It made the book more of a reality. Of course reading a book like this, you know it's going to be sad... but it's so much more than that, it's funny and heartwarming and the cutest love story.. and a sad twist in the end! If your not a reader I recommend the movie because the movie is almost identical to the book and how I imagined it would be.

Lastly we have the Delirium Trilogy. Such a unique story! It's about love being a "disease" and everyone get's a frontal lobotomy when they are 18 to remove the symptoms of "love" so they are no longer delirious. It's definitely an original story. There's a lot of sad parts, and a lot of thrilling ones too, So if your looking for a page turner this one will get you!

We would love any of our readers to recommend exciting books for our book club!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Whole Wheat Pizza

It was one of those days where my toddler was being absolutely impossible. He has a bad cold, so going outside in the snow is out of the question and he seems to be in one of those moods where he can't be entertained. So I thought, why not keep his mind busy by making his favorite food in the world... pizza! We have made pizza before, but I wanted to make it somewhat healthy since I have a very picky eater... so I thought let's find a recipe for whole wheat pizza... This recipe came from a fellow blogger Sally's Baking Addiction

What you will need:
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (105 - 115F degrees)
1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
1 Tablespoon (21g) honey
1 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/4 cups (407g) whole wheat flour
olive oil for brushing crust

In a large bowl of your standard mixer- with hook attachment, add in sugar, yeast and water- stir, and let sit for 5 minutes, this will ensure your yeast is activate, it should be fully dissolved and turn somewhat foamy, if it doesn't your yeast is no good you will need to start again with active yeast. Then add in olive oil, honey and salt, mix together low speed for 30 secs. Then add in your flour, kneed the dough either in the mixer or with your hands until the dough bounces back when you push with your finger.(If you find your dough is too wet add a bit more flour) Roll dough into a ball put back in the bowl and cover, let rise for 1-2 hours. You will know when dough is raised when it doubles in size. (Rise is warm environment 75 to 80 degrees).

2. Cut the dough into 2 balls, place in separate bowls and let rest for 20 more minutes. 

3. Preheat oven to 475. Lightly grease and flour 2 baking sheets (round for 2 pizzas or 1 rectangle). 

4. Stretch or roll dough on a lightly floured surface until you are able to stretch it on the pan, if you do a rectangle baking sheet you will probably use most of the dough for 1 pizza. 

5. Once pizza is stretched on baking sheet, lightly brush the dough with olive oil- this will keep it crunchy when you put the toppings on. Then you pizza is ready to be topped, We did half with tomato, onion, and artichoke hearts, and the other half with bacon and ham. 

6. Cook pizza 15-16 minutes for the perfect crunch! 


Find the original recipe HERE>


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

This recipe I found on pinterest. These chicken fingers are seriously addictive, they are crunchy, juicy and flavorful. It's a good thing they are baked- so I can feel less guilty eating an obscure amount! My dad makes some pretty amazing chicken fingers- but of course they are fried so eating an obscure amount is out of the question when trying to fit into a wedding dress! AND! bonus points for this one: NOAH LOVES THEM! The pickiest eater of them all. So I suggest to all the picky or overindulged eaters over there, this is a must try recipe!

What you will need: 
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (approximately 1 pound)
- 1 1/4 cup Panko (bread crumbs)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400. Cut chicken into 2 inch pieces. Spread Panko bread crumbs evenly on a baking sheet- bake for about 5 mins. (until golden brown) 

Transfer Panko into a dish, add in Parmesan cheese, salt and oil-mix well. Set out flour and eggs in separate dishes. Turn oven up to 450. Spray Pam or brush a thin layer of oil on baking sheet. 

Dip chicken pieces in flour first, then egg, then the Panko mixture- shake of excess, then place one baking sheet. Once all pieces are coated place on middle rack for about 12- 15 minutes- turning half way through. Enjoy! 

This recipe came from HERE


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas for tots


Salt Dough Ornaments

This year we are starting the Christmas crafting early! I found a recipe for salt dough, same ones I made last year and Noah made up the cutest ornaments! I am so excited to share these with my friends and family this year. So simple and inexpensive to make!

What you will need: 
1 cup salt
1 cup white flour
1 cup water (add gradually)

Mix the ingredients together and need for about 5 minutes, until you have formed a dough. Roll the dough out and cut in any shape you desire! Place on cookies sheet. Don't forget to make a little hole for the ribbon with a straw.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and let bake for 2 hrs. Wait until they are completely cooled until you decorate!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Science Experiments with CANDY!!!

As a parent myself I winder every year, what are we going to do with all of the Halloween candy!!! Noah has been bouncing off the walls for a week now... I think it's time to get rid of the stash. So browsing online I found some cool science experiments to try with toddlers! As it turns out at that very moment Noah was consuming yet another pack of M&M's, so I figured let's give this one a try and stop him from eating!

What you will need:
- cup
- water
- M&M's

All you do is put the M&M's in water- not only do the color come off and make the water beautiful, but the cool thing is the "M" will come completely off the M&M, like a tattoo, you can put it on your finger, or if you leave it long enough the "M" will come off and just float around in the water... it's actually pretty cool!

See how the "M" came right off????? PRETTY COOL!!!!

You can check out other fun experiments with candy HERE.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Paint Blowing: Autumn Trees

I found this idea floating around Pinterest, I completely remember doing this as a kid and it's a fun way to incorporate art into a child's life. When you are creating this art piece you can explain to the child how when different colors come together they create a new color!

What you will need: 
- green, red, and yellow paint
- drawing of a tree
- straws (to blow)
- water

First take your paints and mix with a small amount of water, the paint being more runny helps the paint move around the paper better.

Draw or print out a picture of a tree (with no leaves!)

splatter the paint around the page and let your little one blow through the straw, mixing the colours together and creating a fun piece of art!

We love to hear about your seasonal crafts! feel free to share with us on Facebook!