30 Dec

The Day I Nearly Died

A few years ago when I lived in Winnipeg, I had a near death experience.  Here’s the story:

My husband and I were at one of the very first concerts at the new MTS Centre – hubsters Favourite band was playing, The Tragically Hip.  I had missed supper that evening and so ordered a smokie (think big hotdog/sausage for those of you unfamiliar with the term).  While eating it, I made a remark to hubster that something didn’t seem right – but continued eating cause I was absolutely famished!  We enjoyed the show and went home.

In the middle of the night, I started to feel sick to my stomach, and was vomiting everywhere.  And then you guessed it, it started out the other way too.  I seriously thought I was going to die.  As I laid on the bathroom floor, I remember praying and saying something like “well, this is what death feels like, let’s get it over with, there’s nothing I can do, I surrender”.  I told my husband to let me family know I love them.  He told me to take a few Tums and go back to sleep.

I woke up In the morning (alive) and drug myself to the phone to call the MTS Centre to see if anyone else had been ill.  They suggested calling the Department of Health.  They quickly came over, dropped off some sterile containers and I provided the samples .

A few hours (or days, I can’t remember now) I got the news, which I will never forget… I had clostridium perfringens!  Please go search the term, it makes me want to vomit all over again just thinking of the bacteria I had digested!  Are you back? Are you sick too?  I guess I should have put a disclaimer at the top of this post shouldn’t I?  “Not for those with weak stomachs”.

So, needless to say, I never want to get food positioning again, and I’m sure you don’t either.  Here are a few tips to ensuring your cooking area is germ free from the Hygiene Council :

 Tips

  • Use disposable cloths or soak reusable ones in disinfectant overnight to clean them.
  • Store food in the fridge at 5°Cdon’t overfill and make sure cold air can circulate.
  • Disinfect the inside of your fridge regularly to remove microbes where food has dripped.
  • Foot-operated bins are more hygienic because they reduce the risk of hands picking up germs touching the bin lid.
  • Try using a quality antibacterial product that’s safe to use on food areas to remove harmful bacteria and viruses from your chopping board.
  • Use different knives and boards for meat and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Soak, scrape, brush, scald, or wash all fruit, salad and vegetables.
  • Always cook all meat products thoroughly at 70°C.
  • Don’t leave cooked food sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours.
  • Remember to reheat at (at 70°C or above) and re-serve leftovers only once.
And here’s my number 1 tip – wash your hands often while preparing food, especially after using the bathroom.

On another note, if you ever get food poisoning, please don’t take my husbands advice (who obviously isn’t a dr.) Tums is not suggested for Food poisoning.

Have you ever had a near death experience or food poisoning?  What are your food prep tips?

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

30 Dec

A New Year, A New Baby – Bundles of Joy Program

Anyone going into labour in the next few hours?  If you are, you’re in for a treat with Fisher Price.  The first babies born in 2013 (and their families) are going to receive baby gear appropriate for the first year of life for their learning and developmental needs.  And for the next 4 years, the families can receive gifts for their growing Bundle of Joy!

Being a new Mom (again), I have been quickly reminded of how many things I need for my precious gift.  I’m fortunate to be a Fisher Price Mom, as they have sent us a few special things to help keep our new baby content.  How amazing is it to have this incredible opportunity?  Being just an average family, I feel incredible lucky.  So, I’m extra excited that other Canadian families, just like you and I will have a chance to experience how great Fisher Price is just because they were “lucky” enough to have a birthday on Jaunary 1st.

I thought I might be spending New Years in the hospital, but it turns out baby had other plans!

For all you Mom’s to be out there, drink raspberry tea this evening and who knows, you might just give birth to the first babies of 2012.

30 Dec

Enjoying Treats this Holiday!

Now that I’m no longer pregnant, I am able to enjoy food once again.  Heartburn isn’t 100% gone, but it’s minimal compared to the previous 7 months.   One thing I’ve been enjoying over the holidays are cookies!!  And my favourite so far are Thumbprint cookies (believe me I’ve tried a lot of different varieties this season).  I’m not sure if I ever had the desire to try these cookies as it seemed like only “old” people would enjoy them (terrible to say, I know).  But there is something to be said about “old people”, they have experience and they know what’s good and what’s not good.  So, I’m glad that I tried one… well, I’m mildly glad, because after I tried one, I really liked them and then I tried a lot more until they were pretty much all gone.

What is a Thumbprint Cookie? I’m sure you will recognize them, here’s a Thumbprint cookie recipe from Life Made Delicious. The raspberry jam (or strawberry, whichever you prefer) is what really helps to make these cookies sweet and tasty.  However, we ditched the chocolate drizzle and added something to make them a little crunchy – chopped almonds.  I highly recommend adding this to the recipe, you will love it.  A few dozen of these were made in my home this holiday season, some as gifts (that never made it to their destination, just because they were accidentally forgotten) and others for a cookie exchange and even more were made for us to enjoy.  None have gone to waste.  Serisously, if you haven’t had these before, give them a try, they are very yummy.

I have also been enjoying a great classic shortbread cookie this season.  These cookies are delish, and you can dress them  up as you please, using cookie cutters, sprinkles, chocolate, the possibilities are endless.

Here’s a super easy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In large bowl, beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons more butter, softened.)
  • Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into small shapes by hand or use cookie cutters. Place 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet
  • Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until set and bottoms are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

These shortbread cookies were made today (with pink sprinkles – guess who helped…), I might bring them to a New Years Eve party tomorrow night, otherwise, I will most likely be the one eating them all!

What are some cookies you enjoyed this holiday season?

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.

27 Dec

What to do with Leftovers?

Christmas may be over, but the abundance of food sure isn’t.   One thing that is guaranteed over the holidays is lots and lots of food.  So what do you do with all those leftovers?  Here’s what we do – make sandwiches.   Whatever it may be, chicken, turkey, or even seafood, I find that the next day left overs are so much more tasty – they have had the entire night to develop more flavours after all.

Here are some of my favourite ways to Sandwich-it:

Lobster!  Yes, I said lobster – it’s a family tradition and there’s lots of it.  I love… wait I should say “I LOVE” (in capitals) lobster.   Creamed lobster to be exact and there is nothing better than turning it into an open faced warm lobster sandwich the next day – and don’t forget to toast the bread.  This is probably my favourite way to eat lobster, crab, or any other seafood.

 

Next on the list, turkey.   Turkey is a traditional Christmas meal, how large was yours this year?  Are there enough leftovers to last into the New Year?  Cold turkey sandwiches are very popular for days after Christmas, but I once again prefer the warm open faced turkey sandwiches – complete with gravy.  And as an extra treat also add a bit of cranberry sauce on top.  Unfortunately, there was no cranberry sauce left over for me this time, maybe I should open a new can?  And once again, I also toast the bread for a bit of crunch.

Making warm sandwiches with leftovers has been something my family and I have been doing since I can remember.  It’s a super tasty way to take yesterdays supper and make it into something new for today.

How do you Sandwich-it?

Giveaway:

  • 2 lucky readers are going to receive 5 coupons for Ben’s Bread so you can Sandwich-it

To Enter:

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**DISCLAIMER: THE PRODUCT/S MENTIONED ABOVE HAVE BEEN GIVEN FREE OF CHARGE FROM THE COMPANY OR PR FIRM IN EXCHANGE FOR BEING FEATURED ON MY WEE VIEW. THE PRODUCT FEATURES EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE THOSE OF MY WEE VIEW AND HAVE NOT BEEN INFLUENCED IN ANY OTHER WAY. PLEASE SEE THE FULL TERMS OF USE.

23 Dec

Emergency with Princess Early Bird & a Merry Christmas

This month has been a bit hectic.  My water broke early December, I was medivaced to Halifax, spent 10 days in hospital, had a baby with jaundice that spent some time under the lights, but eventually we made it home – for a whole week.   We then had a LTE (Life Threatening Event) just 1 week later.  Princess Mucus vomited so hard it came up through her nose and caused her to stop breathing as she was chocking on phlegm which was stuck in the back of her throat.  She eventually started to turn purple and we called 911.

We were admitted to hospital in the NICU for observation, she was hooked up to machines and monitored 24/7.  Thankfully after 2 days all was ok and we were released.   Needless to say, it’s been very stressful and scary and as such, I’ve been spending as much time as I can holding my little Christmas Angel.  There’s been lots of time spent snuggling and cuddling.

With that said, I’m signing off till after Christmas to spend time with my family, making memories and celebrating the little life that has entered into our home.  She may be small, but she has filled our home and hearts with so much love and warmth.  It’s simply amazing how such a tiny human can have such a huge impact.

From our Wee family to yours, I wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas.

22 Dec

Fisher Price Top Picks

Earlier this year, I became a Fisher Price Play Panel Ambassador!  It was quite an honour to be asked to join the group of amazing moms.  What does it mean to be an ambassador? My family and I have had the chance to test out some of the top toys on your children’s Christmas list.

Without any hesitation, I can say my daughters (and mine) favourite toy of the year is the Dora Fantastic Gymnastic Doll.  When friends come over, this toy always get pulled out right away so she can show off Dora’s talents.  Handstands, leg kicks and a full gymnastics “routine”. Dora even impresses the adults when she stands on 2 hands all by herself.  Dora has also encouraged Princess Gymnastics to try her own routine.  It’s great to watch her try and do flips in the house and thankfully she hasn’t broken anything.  When it comes to Fisher Price Toys, this is on the top of my list as a suggestion for a young girl.

We also loved the Doctor’s Kit.  Dr. Princess can check her patients over and over again with the kit including a thermometer, blood pressure cuff, vaccine needle, bandaid and a “working” stethoscope.  She has played Doc with her sickly dolls and her dad and I have also been “very ill” on the couch and been checked over many times.  It’s wonderful to watch her use each of the different products and amazing that she instinctively knew what each one did.  I guess she does pay attention when we visit the doctors office.

 This year, Fisher Price has given me the opportunity to give back to my community as well.   The Eagle Talon Castle is sure to bring a smile on a child face on Christmas morning.  In the past, I have picked names from the angle tree and given gifts to local charities.  There is not too much that feels better than to give to those who otherwise may not have anything under the tree.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am more about the REAL meaning of Christmas than presents, however I still appreciate the warmth a tree with presents brings during the holidays.  The smiles, laughter and excitement children have when opening gifts will put a smile on even the meanest Grinch.  I’m very thankful to be able to grant children (and parents) smiles on Christmas Day thanks to Fisher Price.

This year, our family received the very best Christmas gift of all, a new baby girl.  She came early, she didn’t want to miss out on all the festivities during the holidays, and Fisher Price has already sent her a gift – the Little Snugabunny Bouncer.  She’s just a touch too small for it yet – just over 5 pounds and her head isn’t very stable, but we have it all set up and ready to go.  The bouncer is made with super soft material, plays music and vibrates.  I’m sure it’s going to get lots of use in a few months time.

If you’re having a hard time shopping for little ones this year, use the Fisher Price website to help you look for age appropriate toys which will stimulate their minds and allow them the ability to learn at the stage they are at.  It makes shopping for the wee ones easy.

Disclosure:  I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

18 Dec

Chicken and Brie Crostini

It’s already December 18th, Christmas will be here in 1 week – eekkk!  I’ve been entertaining family the past few nights and have 1 more engagement planned before we head “south” for Christmas (my family lives in the most southern county in Nova Scotia… don’t get too excited).

I was surfing the Chicken.ca website for an easy dish that would still fit my “fancy” taste while entertaining, and I came across this little gem, Chicken and Brie Crostini.  This is actually suppose to be an appetizer, but there is an alternative recipe to also make it as a main course (just put it on bigger bread).

Here’s the Recipe:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 baguette, multigrain
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • brie cheese, extra creamy
  • 2 cups arugula (rocket), washed and dried
  • tart fruit preserve, such as lingonberry, blackcurrent or cranberry (or mango chutney)
  • thyme, fresh, for garnish

This was EASY – SUPER EASY to make, the hardest part of the entire dish was finding the ingredients at the grocery store.  Rather than using a baguette, I used a French brad making each individual serving bigger than the intended appetizer (brilliant, but I can’t take credit for it).

Everyone loved these, I had made a few extra and those were all snatched up quickly as well.  I have to say it made me feel good to get all the compliments over supper (it doesn’t happen too often).  With company coming over later this week, I think this is what I’m going to make.  It nearly seems like a gourmet with out the fuss – how often does dinner include chutney, brie and arugula?  I’m all about easy, and I love it even more when it’s easy and delicious.

I’m sure you are all going to have company drop over and be spending time with loved ones.  If you are looking for some more chicken recipes, here are a few more I’m hoping to try out myself.

Whatever you plan on making for your company, check out the Chicken.ca website.  There are hundreds of recipes  many of them are simple (like the one I made), yet impressive!  I need all the help I can get in the kitchen, and thanks to Chicken.ca I really blew my family away.
Giveaway:
  • 1 lucky Canadian reader is going to receive a a silicone oven mitt and a stainless steel thermos.
To Enter:
  • Complete the Rafflecopter form below

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**DISCLOSURE – “I AM PARTICIPATING IN THE CHICKEN FARMERS OF CANADA PROGRAM BY SHESCONNECTED.  I RECEIVED COMPENSATION IN EXCHANGE FOR MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS CAMPAIGN.  THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.