Tuesday, 26 June 2012

"The Places You'll Go!"

Today I'd like to share with you some of the books that are favourites amoung the toddlers in our house.   The twins recently celebrate thier 3rd birthday and recieved this book as a gift:

This is a nice book and I renjoy reading it to the kids:)   It is a beautifully-illustrated story of how children see the world around them.  All of us highly recommend this book.

Another big favourite in our house is this one:

If you are looking for a book to teach your children the alphabet in a fun way or if you just a want a great book to entertain your little one, then this is the book for you:)  The ryhmes and illustrations are excellent.    
Want to share some of the books that your kids are reading or how about sharing a review on a book that you've read recently?  Then, be sure to link up to the Ready, Set....READ!  book party.  Click below for details!


"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss

Monday, 25 June 2012

READY, SET......READ!!!!

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to the first month of Ready, Set....READ!  Kadie from Seven Alive and I are so excited to be launching this new monthly link party.
On the first of each month Kadie and I are going to post the book that we are going to read for the month. You may read the same book as us, or pick your own - it's up to you. On the last Monday of the month we will have our link party where you can post a review of your book (was it hard to get into, could you not put it down, did you make a craft based on something by the book - we want to know about it...link it up!!!)

This month, I read "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Sarah's Key is a historical novel that tells the story of the 1942 roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested by the French police, held at the Velodrome d'Hiver and then transported to Auschwitz. 

The novel is told from two perspectives - 60 years apart.  The first is that of  ten year old Sarah, whose family is brutally rounded up during 1942.  In order to save her brother, Sarah locks him into a cupboard of her families apartment thinking that she will be back within a few hours to let him out. 

The second story is that of Julia, an American journalist who currently lives in Paris and is asked to write a story about this terrible day in France.  Through her investigating she stumbles upon her personal connection to the Roundup.  The more research she does, the more she starts to question her place in France.

I LOVED this book.  It is incredibly well-written and the story will stay with you long after you finish it. I could hardly put it down and honestly finished it within a day.  It will make you sad, it will make you cry - but most importantly....it will make you remember.  This should be a must read on everyone's list.

So how did you like your book this month...link it up!  Have you read Sarah's Key and want to share your review...link it up!  Did you read a book and then do a craft about it...link it up! 

Only a few housekeeping rules before we get started:

1.  PLEASE....No spoilers!!!
2.  Keep it family friendly
3.  Link back to our party in your post
4.  Following us would be nice (but not mandatory!)

And as if reading a good book isn't reward enough....when you link up, you are automatically eligible to win this awesome prize package that Kadie and I created!!  A beautiful handstamped necklace that the lovely and talented Kadie made and a super cute glass case made by yours truly:)  WHOO HOO!! 

So, let's get this party started.....can't wait to see what you have been reading this month:)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Nothing beats Homemade Strawberry Jam:)

One of my favourite things to make and give to people is Homemade Strawberry Jam!  Mmmmm, I could have a piece of toast and jam just thinking about it;)  I made a batch of jam on Monday - I froze some of the jars already and gave the rest away as hostess gifts and teacher gifts.  This year, I decorated the the tops of the jars with red and white gingham fabric and twine...such an easy thing to do that makes it look even more special.

I thought that I would share the recipe that I use to make my jam - there's nothing to it, I just follow the recipe that's on the CERTO box...why mess with a good thing, right?!?!  They give you different options to make the jam (Cooked Jams, No-Cook Jams, Cooked Jellies) I always do the no-cook, freezer jam and it is by far the easiest method that I have ever used and it honestly took me less than an hour to make a batch.  Enjoy!

No-Cook Homemade Strawberry Jam

1 3/4 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups of granulated sugar
1 pouch CERTO Liquid Pectin
2 tbsp lemon juice

In a large mising bowl stir together strawberries and sugar.
Let stand for 10 minutes
Add CERTO and lemon juice.  Stir for three minutes
Pour into clear containers.  Cover with lid and let stand for 24 hours.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope that you all had a terrific weekend...we celebrated my daughters third birthdays this past weekend, lots of presents, tons of food and great company made for a super fun weekend...but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't exhausted!!!  Yikes, I had hoped to get this post up last night, but as you can see, I'm a bit late;)  So, let's get on to the post shall we?!?!

One thing that I like to do every Sunday morning is plan my meals for the week (Monday to Friday).  I like doing this for a number of reasons a)  You only buy what you need (cost savings) b)  You KNOW what you need to make on that particular night (no more staring in the pantry at 4pm hoping that I can pull together something nutrious for dinner!)  c)  All the ingredients will be on hand....no last minute, end of the day runs to the grocery store with three kids in tow!

Weekly Meal Planning has made a complete difference in my life and saved me time and money.  I'd like to share with you some of the meals that we will be enjoying this week.  Also, be sure to check out my Recipe Board on Pinterest...many of these recipes are from Pinterest and are now on a regular rotation in our house.

Here's what we're eating this week....

Monday:  Cilantro Lime Chicken with Rice and Asparagus
This is one of my husband's favourite dishes and is on regular rotation at our house.

Tuesday:  Grilled Ham and Pineapple Skewers and a Green Salad
This is YUMMMMMMYYYY!!  I love grilled pineapple and this is such an easy recipe to throw together - you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday: Black Bean, Quinoa and Lime Salad
I've mentioned before that I've been trying to eat more quinoa and even shared the link to this recipe before....I love this and it makes a TON so my husband and I get to enjoy it the next day for lunch too!  Unfortunately, the kids aren't as fond of this dish so they will be enjoying grill cheese and sweet potato fries!!

Thursday: Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
I think that this may be our whole family favourite right now!!  We LOVE this dish.

Friday: Pizza and a Movie night! 
This is a weekly tradition in our house....the grocery store by our house has a sale on their fresh store-made pizza's every Thursday, so I always pick one up after the kids go to bed to eat the next day.

So there you have it.....what we'll be eating this week!  Have you tried any of these recipes?  What did you think?  I'd love to know.

Also, don't forget to pick your book for the "Ready, Set....READ" book challenge for June!  I'm just about done mine:)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Calling all Book Worms!!

I am so exicted to announce a NEW monthly link up party that Kadie from Seven Alive and I are hosting (drum roll, please!) Behold, the  Ready, Set.......READ link up party!

On the first of each month Kadie and I are going to post the book that we are going to read for the month.  You may read the same book as us, or pick your own - it's up to you.  On the last Monday of the month we will have our link party where you can post a review of your book (was it hard to get into, could you not put it down, did you make a craft based on something by the book - we want to know about it...link it up!!!)

Also, for everyone that enters the Ready, Set....READ link party you automatically become eligible for a small giveaway:)  Sounds like fun doesn't it!  I am always on the hunt for new books to read and I can't wait to see what everyone is reading!

This month I'll be reading "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay.  There is also a movie out about this book, so once I finish the book, I'll watch that and compare.  Of course, we all know the book is always better!!! 

I hope that you will join us for this linky party at the end of the month.  Feel free to grab a button...Happy Reading!