31 Jul

Canadian BBQ Chicken

We’re in the thick of summer.  I love it – that’s actually an understatement, I LOVE IT! There, that’s much better.  There’s so much to love about summer, not just the warm weather, sundresses and flip flops, but it’s also BBQ season.  There’s also so much to love about the BBQ, everything just seems to taste better on the grill, plus it’s mostly hubster that does that cooking (ok, we all secretly know that’s why the BBQ rocks – someone else is doing the cooking).

While it is generally hubster that does all the BBQing in our home, I cracked open the propane tank and made an amazing supper tonight on the grill.  I searched the Chicken.ca website for BBQ recipes, but there were a few important things that needed to be met:

1. I had to have the ingredients in my home

2. It had to be easy – because I’m all about easy – when it comes to cooking (I had to add that in just in case anyone was getting the wrong idea, I’m sure you all have the wrong idea now…. well, that went over well now, didn’t it?).

After sifting through a few drool worthy recipes, I came across the Canadian BBQ Chicken – this was it!

Here’s the recipe:

Canadian BBQ Chicken

 

Turns out, I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce, so I substituted Soya Sauce, it was fine.  So much for my must have list, but I was in too deep to stop.

The Canadian BBQ Chicken was super easy to make, it took about 20 minutes total and nearly everyone enjoyed it – even the kids (I had a few extra children over tonight).  My daughter, Princess Picky Eater only ate a bun with ketchup on it, but well, she’s a picky eater.

Canadian BBQ Chicken Prepare

Canadian BBQ Chicken

The sauce is like a sweet & sour sauce, and was so so so simple – promise.  I paired it with some broccoli drizzled with a cheese sauce – which I also made.  It’s super easy too, shredded cheese, milk, butter, flour and salt (I have all those ingredients in my house too, and I’m sure you do as well).

So, cheers to great summer BBQ’s and making some very easy yet yummy chicken dishes.  This one was a hit, I will be making it again, I’m sure hubster wont mind sharing the grill once in a while.

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

 

 

30 Jul

Beach Babe

I grew up at the beach.  Living in Nova Scotia we are nearly completely surrounded by water, weekends and even weekdays during the summer (and sometimes spring and fall) my parents brought me to the beach.  I was well trained at a young age about the rules of the ocean.   One day while at the beach just as quick as a blink I was gone out of sight.  I remember calmly looking around and realizing, I didn’t see anyone I knew around me.  I didn’t panic, I went to the lifeguard station and waited until I was found.  I can only imagine the horror my dad was going through, my parents never stopped talking about the undertoe and strangers on the beach, I’m sure he was planning his “how am I going to explain this” speech to my Mom.  Thankfully, they taught me enough to know if I was lost to find a trust worthy person.  I was found, safe and sound but was never allowed to venture more than a foot away from my parents on any future beach trips.

beach babe

The beach feels like home to me, so much so that nearly all our holidays are planned around it.  A month in Florida, 2 weeks in Cuba, the sand between my toes (and my bathing suit) and the sun shining on my face brings me comfort.  Even with 2 small children (I brought the baby to Florida at only 3 months old), I see myself following in my parents footsteps.  To really enjoy the sunny days of summer, the kids get packed up and we head for the beach.

The baby is still too young to really enjoy herself, but Princess Sunshine reminds me of myself nearly 30 years ago.  In and out of the water, sandcastles, mermaids, sand angels and of course just relaxing.  To me, a day at the beach is the perfect way to spend the quickly passing summer days.

 loving-family-beach-vacation-mobile-home-d-1

Since we can’t make it to the beach everyday (especially on those unwelcome rainy days), we have to find ways to have fun inside.  In searching the Fisher Price website, I came across some toys that can help bring those summery beach days, inside.  My top pick (and something I would actually love in real life) is the Loving Family Beach Vacation Mobile Home.  How fun would it be to take this thing on a vacation across the country and stopping at all the hot spots along the way?  I also like the Minnie Mouse Bowtique Minnie’s Beach Pack.  With these miniature toys, the little ones can imagine they are swimming in the water, complete with a little dolphin and innertube and even enjoying the sandy beaches under the shade of a palm tree.  There’s even a lifeguard stand (in case anyone gets lost, or hurt of course).

minnies-beach-pack-d-1

Summer is short (way too short in my opinion), we try to make the best of each day and for this family, the beach is where it’s at.

*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.
  

24 Jul

Royally Over Joyed

Fisher-Price-Royally-OverJoyed logo

It’s all over the news, the royal baby has finally been born.  While you and I may not get the exposure that Prince William and Kate receive with the birth of our children, our families and loved ones are just as Royally Over Joyed when a new baby enters the world.  For my husband and I, both pregnancies were a long time coming.  We actually never thought we would have children naturally.  From the day we found out we were pregnant to the day our little princesses were born, we were Royally Over Joyed.  Not only did we get to experience this excitement once, but we were blessed for it to happen twice.

Every baby born is a special gift, royalty or not. While Prince George is currently on the front and center stage, he has the same needs as any other “prince or princess” born into this world.  Right now, he is completely clueless as to who he is or who his parents are – just like any other baby all he needs is love, care, milk and diaper changes.

While we may all be caught up in the exciting news of the king to be, I am royally enjoying my own precious baby princess which is already almost 8 months old.  Just like I enjoyed my first, which will be turning 5 in just a few short weeks.  Time goes by way too fast.

Royal Babies

So congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their new bundle of joy. But I also want to congratulate all the Moms and Dads out there, there are nearly 400 000 other babies that share the Princes birthday, because they are incredibly special people too.

*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.
  

16 Jul

Countdown ’till Tub Time

Tub time is one of my favourite times of the day.

We tried our best to have a routine for our first baby, Princess Crier.  Right after tub time, it was time for bed, and we couldn’t wait to get some reprieve from the bundle of crying we called baby.  Some days when she would wake up at quarter to something ridiculous in the morning the “count down till tub time” would be begin.  “Only 14 hours till tub time ” ugh, on those days, I didn’t think I’d make it through breakfast.  Tub time was usually set at 7pm, but I contemplated pushing it up by an hour or two (ok, sometimes I was wising for tub time 15 minutes after she woke up).  Tub time was my absolute favourite time of the day.

With Baby 2, I also anxiously wait for tub time, but there’s never a count down.  Baby 2 is a pleasant treat that is mostly always happy (as long as she’s fed and not sleep deprived). So, why do I love tub time so much with Baby 2?  Because SHE loves tub time.  She kicks, splashes, laughs and smiles the entire time she’s in the tub.  It’s such a joy to watch her enjoy herself.  We had to switch her from a baby tub to the big tub recently because she was making such a mess.  I spent more time cleaning up after tub time than actually cleaning her in the tub – there was something wrong with that picture.

Tub

To help with the transition to the normal tub, I like to put a hand towel in the bottom of the hard surface so baby isn’t slip sliding away or banging her head on the fiberglass.  I also put only about an inch or two of water in the bottom.  She does however still manage to make a bit of a mess, but the tall walls for the soaker tub catches most of it.  I think we all laugh just watching her having the time of her life in there – it’s a beautiful spectacle to watch.

Johnsons has recently launched a new Natural line of bath products which are paraben-free, dye-free and phthalate- free.   I’ve tested these out on the baby, and she giggles while I later her up and get in all those creases (especially the neck creases – there’s a whole meal that can hide under there sometimes).  The products were soft on her skin and just have a slight scent.  Since she is still nearly bald (at 7 months) I like to use the Johnsons Head-To-Toe.  It lathers up nicely and there’s no need to use a different soap for her body, when you’re this small “all in one” is the way to go.  The lotion is also silky smooth and I’ve used it on the baby and even my own body with no problems what-so-ever.

Bath

With every passing day, I’m amazed more and more at how different two children can be.  I myself also enjoy a nice tub, especially when it doesn’t involve the door being opened and closed the entire time, with a 4 year old audience.  So, I suppose in a way, I’m still counting down till tub time, so I can then get both kids asleep and then enjoy a few peaceful minutes to myself in a nice warm bath without someone screaming “Mommy, Mommy, I need to pee” “Mommy, what are you doing?” “Mommy, wipe my bum”.

The joys of motherhood – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Disclosure: Product provided as promotional consideration to My Wee View by Johnson & Johnson Inc.

13 Jul

Get Outside and Play

Have I mentioned summer is my favourite time of year (just a few times right?)  There isn’t a day that goes by in Fall, Winter and Spring that I am wishing for summer (on a personal note, I should move to Mexico where it’s nice all year round).  I love the sunshine beating down on my face, I love  the sound of flip flops as I walk along, I love summer dresses, I love sand in my bathing suit – ok that’s a bit much, but you get the idea.  Princess Outside is a summer lover too!  She always wants to be in the front cul-de-sac playing with her friends or on her own, it doesn’t seem to matter.

outside fun

Here are some of our favourite outdoor/summer activities:

  • bikes
  • scooters
  • baseball
  • soccer
  • chalk
  • swimming
  • playground
  • water balloons

There’s a large bike gang that hangs outside of front door nearly every evening.  It consists of 3-6 year old riding around the street.  They come in all shapes and sizes, trikes, balance bikes, training wheels and two wheel bikes.  It’s an amazing phenomenon to watch the kids graduate to the next level of bike and all of a sudden they are riding a two wheeler.  The parents cheer and the kids are incredibly proud of themselves.  The kids help each other and yell “Car” when someone makes they way to the end of this kid friendly street.  The kids love it, the parents love it, it’s great to be outside for the summer.

Seeing as it’s summer time, you may notice that I am not online quite as much or posting as often.  That’s because we are busy doing outdoor things, enjoying the warm weather, swimming, hanging with friends or just riding bikes outside.  (We also have a number of weddings and events happening this summer).

Hillcrest Clubhouse

I hope you too are spending some time outside.  If you need some inspiration on toys, Sears has you covered!  They have everything from playsets, to John Deer Tractors to trampolines (how I miss my neighbours trampoline).

To get you excited about outdoor play, Sears has a 20% discount code on all regular priced toys:  941612912 

Valid until July 18th. 

Enjoy your summer everyone.  It only comes but once a year and in my personal opinion – it’s WAY too short!

DISCLOSURE: I AM PART OF THE SEARS CANADA THE BABY’S ROOM AMBASSADOR PROGRAM WITH MOM CENTRAL CANADA AND I RECEIVE SPECIAL PERKS AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.

10 Jul

Playa Cayo Santa Maria

My family and I visited Playa Cayo Santa Maria for 2 weeks in April.  This was our 5th trip to Cuba so we thought we knew exactly what to expect, but once again Cuba surprised us.

Cuba

The most surprising, was the food.  While Cuba is known for it’s terribly boring food, it was GREAT!  There were freshly made Cuban panini’s at the pool and beach and free ice cream bars by the main pool (a highlight for the afternoon).  The buffet had something different everyday, our plates were always full and we went back for seconds.  My favourite part was breakfast and dessert, flambéed crapes made right before my eyes!  If anyone complains about the food at this place, I have to eat at their house to see what they are having for supper every night.  There were line ups to wait for personal omelets, pizzas, pasta, steaks and kabob’s but no longer than you would wait at a restaurant.  If you didn’t want to wait, there are plenty of chafers with hot meals.

I was also surprised with the beach, but not good surprised.  I had heard that Santa Maria had the most beautiful beaches in Cuba.  While the water is turquoise, and the sand is golden (not bright white), the beach was on a hill.  There were large sand dunes, making it difficult  for even able bodied people to walk from the boardwalk to the water.  The water was incredibly beautiful and warm.  There were a number of days with red flags and the lifeguards were very diligent about making sure swimmers were not in the water on those days (it turns out a man died in the water at another hotel while we were there) hence the strictness of the lifeguards.  Since we were disappointed with the beach we spent most of our time at the pool.

Playa Santa Maria

The pools were amazing!  They were extremely modern square pools.  If you were up early enough you could grab a cabana with a mattress.  We got one nearly everyday which only enhanced our experience.  The main activity pool has a swim up bar and an extremely shallow end for young swimmers (there are also 2 kiddie pools, one is in the mini club and the other is next to the activity pool).   There are also 2 extremely long pools which have a very shallow end and a deep end.  We spent hours and hours and hours in the pool.  There were a lot of kids around so my little social butterfly was able to make new friends every day.  There were a lot of French guests so it forced her to practice French (bonus).

cabana

Playa Santa Maria1

Our rooms were very clean (we had 2 adjoining rooms on the main floor) and are very modern compared to every other resort we have been to in Cuba.   We did however have a few  “Cucarachas”.  The patio door had a bit of a hole next to the door, making it the perfect space for these suckers to get inside.  We let the staff members know and they wanted to spray but with a small baby and child in the room we refused.  We just stuffed tissue into the hole and the buggers never came back.

I was also surprised by the service.  Cuba is known for its amazing service, but here it didn’t matter if you tipped or not at the restaurants, the service stank.  Usually $2 left on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner is a guarantee that orange juice and coffee would be waiting for us when we arrived to eat.  This time however, it didn’t matter.  After a few days, it occurred to me what the reason was… they are way under staffed!  Servers sections were extremely large making it impossible to give that special attention we are used to.  I spoke to the head server and I hope the hotel will make a change as service is important to most people and this hotel has a lot going for it!

With small kids, we didn’t make it to the night shows, but we did go to the mini disco.  This was an evening highlight for my little one and to enhance her experience, I picked up some neon braclets and gave them out to excited kids.  The animation team does a great job with the kids, dancing and playing games.

Overall, for the price we had an amazing two week vacation.  There were a few minor hiccups, but nothing we weren’t able to over look. Cuba is a socialist, developing country, the reality of what the people there are living like vs the vacation paradise is just as much as opposite as night and day.  A 5 star hotel in Hollywood isn’t going to be the same as a 5 star in Cuba.  This hotel is a solid 4 – 4.5 star for Cuba!

Go ahead and book it, unless you’re a super posh traveller or the beach is the number 1 reason you pick a resort you will enjoy this place.

PS. I have a whole memory card missing from my trip, if you happen to find a black Cannon camera (with a label Lynette on it) and pictures of this hotel  – it’s mine.  Thanks!  (Hence the limited amount of photos 🙁 boo)

**Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  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.

08 Jul

Movie Date with a Turtle’s Tale 2

A Turtles Tale 2 DVD

This summer has been an absolute hit or miss.  The days have either been raining or above 30 °C.  Today was a rainy day and while Princess spent the morning at camp we had a play date lined up for the afternoon.  What to do with a few preschoolers stuck in a house for a few hours?  A movie date was at the top of my list.  The movie, A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy Escapes From Paradise arrived a few days ago and was just waiting for a review.

Here’s a Synopsis:

When Sammy & Ray find themselves trapped in The Tank, an underwater restaurant/aquarium, they must hatch a plan to escape and reunite with their grandkids Ricky & Ella.  But they’ll have to get past Big D and his dopey thugs first.  With the help of some unlikely friends, Sammy & Ray find that when you work together anything is possible!

I wanted to make a Turtle themed “party” (without going over board).  I printed a few turtle colouring pages and a few pictures of Sammy and also picked up a few turtle treats (turtle gummy candies for the kids and Turtle chocolates for the adults).  I noticed how much Princess has picked up the hosting gene from me.  She also wanted a tea party for her friends and served up chocolate milk in a tea pot and placed each cup on the turtle coasters I had printed off earlier.  (the printouts were just suppose to be decoration, but she made them into coasters – is she a genius or what?).

A Turtles Tale 2

So, myself and my little hostess were ready to put on the best Turtle party ever!  Once the guests arrived she rushed everyone upstairs where all the magic was to begin.  So, we put the movie on….

Have things ever not worked out just as you imagined?  I’m sure you know what I mean.  You have amazing ideas of how things are going to be so perfect, but they turn out completely different than your scenario?  I think this could have happened to Princess today.  She sat and watched the film, as her friends were busy playing with all her toys.  She kept on saying “Guys, let’s watch the turtle movie”, but they kept on playing kitchen just catching a glimpse of the film here are there.  So the movie played, and they watched out of the corner of their eyes.

TurtleTale-5

Now normally, this would be a major disappointment (to me).  I would want the kids to sit in front of the TV, quietly watch the film, laugh at the silly jokes (the movie has some cute adult jokes too), eat their turtle themed treats and colour their printables and rave about how much they loved the movie, dream about turtles and beg their parents for a pet turtle in the morning.  Thankfully I was ok to get my rose coloured glasses dirty.

The main point, the kids had fun, lots of fun they may not have sat down to catch every single moment of the film, but they enjoyed each others company and played for hours afterwards.  It was an awesome playdate.  When I asked what they thought of the movie they said “It was good”.  I asked if it was scary and they said “No”.  It was a bit suspenseful in some places.

I learned a valuable lesson today.  You can’t force kids to have fun the way you see fun, if they are having fun (and everyone is safe and the couch isn’t in flames) then it’s all good.  Princess wasn’t disappointed at all, even though she set up an adorable little turtle themed party, she just went with the flow and can’t wait to see her friends again – BEST. PLAYDATE. EVER!

A Turtle’s Tale 2 – Sammy Escapes From Paradise comes out on DVD July 9th.

“Disclosure: I am participating in A Turtle’s Tale 2 – Sammy Escapes From Paradise Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.”