Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favourites

It's been a while since I've done a true Friday Favourites. A few randoms from our lives listed below.

1- These fruit and veggie containers have saved so much time with lunch prep-- thanks for the tip, Jenn!! Added bonus, I  just open them before dinner and the kids have a snack before dinner when they are most hangry.



2- We had our first neighbourhood book club this past Wednesday and it was off to a great start! A good (short) read, some lovely ladies, snacks and wine--- a good time was had by all!!

Our lovely hostess



3- These target pumpkins randomly scattered around my house scream fall.


4- My new favourite leggings are on sale-- they are SO comfy and flattering at the same time! High waist for the win!!

5- And as I'm currently obsessed and missing Friday Night Lights after I just finished binge watching it this week....

When my kids 'clean' their room

When D wanted to go on a juice cleanse before the 21 day fix.#crazytalk


Bewitching hour at night when both kids are up but need to go to bed, D is at a seminar and I have a huge to do list to finish.
When I'm on the winning team in some random board-game!

This has happened on more than one occasion in our house, right D?


My house after an at home kids' birthday party!


Happy Friday, friends!

Linking up with 
AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday
Amy for Hey Friday
  and Amanda for Friday Favourites

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up, Wednesday!?

October is so very near! Here's what's been going on around here these days! 

 What we're eating this week?
So we are on Day 17 of the 21 Day Fix. So far, it's been better than I thought it would! Here's what's on the menu for this week:
Monday: Sweet potato cauliflower turkey shepherd's pie
Tuesday: Chicken Gumbo
Wednesday: turkey meatballs in Alex's amazing marinara sauce with spaghetti squash
Thursday: Tofu Stir Fry
Friday: No idea-- most likely an eat out night! 

And this is lunch LOTS of the time. 


What I'm reminiscing about
The long, lazy, decadent days of summer--- sigh!!!

What I'm loving
+The other day C picked up her violin to practise all by herself-- to be fair, we had company over and I believe she was showing off a bit ;-)
+That I've lost over 5 lbs of broken collar bone/summer weight.... the struggle is real, friends!
+That my parents are coming in just over a week
+That the house is scattered with pumpkins everywhere!
+ That there is still some sunshine and even though it's getting colder, it's been a slow transition!

What we've been up to…
Back to school, back to reality, extra curricular and clean eating. The kids just finished swimming for the season and A's trying dance this year and music most likely come January. C is still with her violin and gymnastics and possibly skiing in the fall. 

Peering into class with the other ballerinas


What I'm dreading…
That truth be told, this 21 day fix will continue for a bit after the 21 days in some measure! My waistline's got a way's to go still. 

What I'm working on
+My FS consulting will be for longer than tax season but at a part time pace. 
+ Sorting out  the house, donating, selling and dumping lots!
+ Getting A to read. 



What I'm excited about…
Some sweet Trinidad and Tobago soon hopefully.... my brother's family is expanding and I can't WAIT to head there to meet the addition!


What I'm watching/reading…
Our first neighbourhood book club meeting is today to discuss "What Remains" by Carole Radziwill so I've reread that. One of my favourite books from last year. 

I just finished all five seasons of Friday Night Lights. I watched it all summer while doing stuff around the house--- I adored it, have become slightly obsessed and now I'm in withdrawal. I'm thinking of finishing seasons of The Mindy Project, How To Get Away with Murder and Scandal one at a time before deep diving into Downton Abbey. That'll take me well into next year! 

For new fall TV, so far it's been Grey's, This is Us, Modern Family and DWTS... so far! 
 

What I'm listening to..
The Happiness Podcast

What I'm wearing…
The leggings and jeans have come out along with some thicker tops and tunics!!

What I'm doing this weekend…
A pretty quiet one with stuff around the house, a trip to  the pumpkin patch  and maybe some dinner out. With the fix and the focus on clean eating and after such a hectic summer, we've deliberately not planned too much.
 

What I'm looking forward to next month..
Canadian Thanksgiving, my parents visiting, Divali and Halloween!  

What else is new?
A has started full time school and girlfriend is just done by the time we go to get her. She is cranky, wants milk, naps sometimes and is a hot mess all around. 


What's my favourite fall recipe?
Time to bust my favourite chicken vegetable tortilla soup recipe out in repeat again. And these pumpkin poppers are always a hit!


 Linking up with the lovely Mel, Shay and Shaeffer


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pecan and pepper jelly dip


 

My friend Jenn made this pepper jelly pecan dip for A's party in July and I went a little crazy for it. It's so delicious, has great texture and is super simple to whip together. Since then, I've made it three times so far trying different variations. My guests finish it like it's their job and I've gotten tons of requests for the recipe. 


Ingredients:


1 jar of pepper jelly (the 8 oz size)
1 bunch of green onions or 1/2 cup of red onion, finely chopped
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 cups or 1 bag of Mexican shredded cheese

(Optional- 1/4 cup of cilantro, hot sauce to taste)

Method:

Mix everything together! 



I serve with either tortilla or plain crisp pita chips.  This is a great make ahead recipe from the day before. It is so, so good! It's become one of my go-to's. Try making it someday. You will NOT be disappointed.

 Thanks sweet Jenn! And Jackie. My life isn't the same since discovering this dip.

Linking up with  
Beth and some other lovelies for Tuesday Talk



Friday, September 23, 2016

9 simple tips for staging your home

It's been a few months (actually 7 to be exact) since we've staged and sold our old house. As part of our real estate agent's schtick, he hired a stager who gave us little tips and tricks but in the end it was up to us to put in the work to make it happen. In ten days, we did a major declutter and overhaul, shined and scrubbed, polished and packed and got our house ready. I went a little crazy (like I usually do when there is a time crunch) but in the end, our house sold to the very first family who saw it on the very first day that it sold at a really great price. Here are my biggest takeaways for staging a house simply.




Sidenote, that none of these were massive overhaul projects as our house wasn't very old and our taste is on the neutral side…. if you google staging, there's talk about re-painting and changing light fixtures and flooring. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

1- Clean, clean, clean

More than anything, your house should be white glove clean. Appliances wiped, baseboards spotless, surfaces dust-free. I even went a little beyond and cleaned inside the cupboards, cabinets because people are nosy and it didn't hurt to have tidy bathroom cupboards just in case individuals felt the desire to 'check out the size of the cupboards'. 



 2- Clutter free

 We aren't huge on clutter but we pared down even more for our staging. We rented some storage and stored like our life depended on it. All the huge sporting equipment, kids' outgrown clothes, half their toys (including their huge play kitchen), stuff from the basement, books and out of season clothes. All the kids' remaining toys were relegated to two baskets and a toy chest upstairs. Surfaces had maybe one or two objects/ornaments and that was it. 


3- Hide the technology

Hide the phones, alarm clocks and all unnecessary technology while showing to make your home seem like a retreat. Usually by tucking them in a drawer or under a nightstand. They're just not pretty enough apparently.


4- Bathroom care

Spotless obvs but nothing like toilet paper stands, garbage bins or toilet bowl brushes on the floor. Of course, hide those toothbrushes and your massive selection of hair products. Ain't nobody want to see those! Well they do but it's kind of none of their business and it distracts them anyway. Hand-soaps out and finger towels. Make sure that there's no mildew on any of the tiles or calcium build up in the shower door.  Hide your towels that you're using and bring out the plush white ones…. Roll a couple up in the corner for good measure.

5- Plants and fresh flowers

Wonderful to add warmth. I borrowed a couple from a friend for the occasion as I didn't buy my plants yet.

6- No personal touches. 

Remove all photos. We had some beautiful canvases and lots of picture frames sprinkled everywhere but according to the stager, they distract potential buyers who become curious about who is living here. I had a gallery wall and I put fancy scrap paper over the pictures as to remove them and patch the holes up was tedious.  And of course, religious stuff.


7- Lighting. 

Windows should be  streak free and shiny- cleaned both on the inside and out and the blinds a third of the way up. Everything is well-lit airy that way. All lighting should be on for the showing-- even lamps to add to that ambiance and candles if you're okay with leaving them on while you're not in the house (we weren't)

8- "Basketize"

Baskets are your friend. Use them often and well (not that I use my friends or anything). Even inside the cupboards. They are also great to do a quick clean up before a showing. 

9- Kitchen care

All appliances shiny and many of your everyday items stored. Sure i use my Vitamix everyday but it was quite bulky so I moved it out. No dishdrainers, tea towels or fussy tableclothes. If fruit is out, be sure those bananas aren't rotting!



10- Ambiance

Apart from lighting, put on some spa music in the background (our cable had a channel) and make sure there aren't too many over-powering smells-even nice smells like the BBW candles I'm usually a fan of. 


The little things do make a difference. We've been to many showings and the ones that showed the best followed so many of these tips...

Linking up for Friday Favourites--- though I'm aware this is a weird favourite, I'll admit. I just think with fall here, lots of houses go on the market so this post may just help you out :-) 
Oh and I like to pretend I'm living in a staged home, so I still follow a lot of these tips!


Linking up with 
AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday
  and Amanda for Friday Favourites


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