Wordless Wednesday - Happy 6th Birthday!

Today is my son's 6th Birthday! I can't believe how fast the time has passed and my little baby has grown so tall. Six years ago I was sitting in the hospital looking at this amazingly cute little baby, not really knowing what was ahead of us. You have conquered a lot at such a young age and I will be with you every step of the way to reaching a the man you will become when the time is right.

Marvelous Menu Week of May 23-June 3, 2012

I am on a hunt for quick and easy meals, slow cooker meals as summer is here and we spend a lot of it outside and on the run. Do you have any favorite quick and easy meals? Would you like to share them on Marvelous Mommy Meals? Send them to marvelousmommymeals @ gmail.com and it will be featured on Fabulous Friday Meals.
Monday - Homemade Hamburger Helper (if you haven't tried it you really should! Very quick and easy)

Tuesday  - Chicken Stir-fry with homemade Stir-fry sauce (recipe coming....)

Wednesday - Still looking for something for this day.

Thursday - Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Friday - Cabbage Roll Casserole (Found on Yummly)

Saturday - Pizza (Crust recipe will share also)

Sunday - Sausages on the BBQ with Coleslaw (My son's request as it is his Birthday Party day)

What are you eating this week? 

~*Jennifer 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Beat the Heat with Nerf Super Soakers!


With this beautiful weather we had over the last couple weeks, we have spent most of the time outside either at the park, out with our puppy or playing with our new Nerf water guns. My son was super excited when I pulled out a couple water guns to play with over the holiday weekend.

Our friends at Hasbro Canada sent us three Nerf water guns to try out and we want to share our thoughts. We pulled out the hose and guns, even a friend of my sons stopped by to play. All the kids had lots of fun and enjoyed spraying each other on such a hot day.

Father's Day Gift Idea: BOSS BOTTLED. SPORT.

Father's Day is fast approaching, on June 17th,2012. We have already start thinking about what to get Dad this year. I think we are going to give Dad a nice bottle of fragrance, a shirt and maybe we will throw in some fishing tackle, since Dad loves to fish.
Hugo Boss has launched a new fragrance for men called BOSS BOTTLED. SPORT. It is a unique fragrance that celebrates athletes of the world for the attitude and hard work that carries them through their day. It is a fresh, sporty, invigorating scent and is excellent to wear when working out or being active.

Marvelous Menu Monday - Week of May 13-20, 2012

I have done it again. I fell off the Menu planning wagon. As this week is pretty much over I will let you know what we have had this past week and what is in store for the last few days.
Monday - Chicken Stir-fry with homemade stir-fry sauce (recipe to follow)

Tuesday - Tacos with veggies

Wednesday - Homemade Waffles, fruit and yogurt

Thursday - Tuna Casserole

Friday - Lazy man's cabbage rolls

Saturday - Sausages and salad

Sunday - Hubby cooking :)

I will work hard to get next weeks up over the weekend. I am hoping to plan more quick 30 minute meals or slow cooker meals for the summer as we are out a lot at the beach or park. Soccer will be starting the first week of June also. Games are either at 6 or 7 pm and since both kids are in soccer this summer we will be spending 4 nights a week at the soccer field.

~*Jennifer 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Are you a Battleship fan?

Looking for a movie to go see this weekend? Why not check out the new Battleship movie that is based on the original Hasbro board game. I have seen the trailer and can't wait to get some time to head out to see it.
If you have children like us that are not quite at the age to see the movie but love ships and navy type things you will want to check out the new toy line from Hasbro!

Wordless Wednesday May 23, 2012


 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Canadian Coupon Mom. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Summer is here!

It is finally here! The nice warm weather that I have longed for! I am not a winter fan at all. I hate to feel cold, I love the warmth of the sun and being outdoors. I feel so cooped up all winter long as I do not enjoy the bitterness. I don't mind the days that are warm with nice layer of snow but not the dead middle of winter.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day! Yesterday was also the opening of our towns new Splash Pad! Yay, another fun thing to do with the kids while at the park. We spent a good portion of our day at the splash pad with the kids loving every minute. My friend D and I met up at the park to have our kids play together. They get along very well and always seem to enjoy themselves.

How to Enter a Rafflecopter Glveaway

Lately I have noticed, actually I am not the only blogger noticing that people are having a difficult time entering Rafflecopter giveaways on blogs. I love Rafflecopter forms for both hosting giveaways and entering as I find them quick and simple.

I want to do a quick a run down on how to enter a giveaway on Canadian Coupon Mom. I am sure some of you are thinking, “I know how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway”, then that is fine. I am writing this out of frustration as I have had to redraw names for winners in some of the recent giveaways. I don’t know if it is because people don’t know how to enter or maybe people are cheating. If you are cheating then you will not win. I do check each and every entry. It is very time consuming but I want to make sure that the person winning has done what was asked and is making it fair for everyone. If this continues to happen, the giveaways on Canadian Coupon Mom may stop as I invest a lot of time in setting up and running giveaways.

I enjoy being able to offer my readers a chance to try out great products but it isn’t fair to other people who honestly would love to win and have entered the giveaway as asked.

How to Enter a Giveaway

Sloppy Joe Skillet

The other night was one of those nights where I kept asking myself "What's for supper?" Of course I am asking this as I didn't do my weekly meal plan. Why haven't I done this plan? I really do not know. I just got really busy after returning home from the conference and didn't plan last week or this week. I will have to get back into the routine for next week.

I had ground beef on hand and thought I would love something with it. I was looking for quick, easy and something the kids would enjoy. I headed over to Kraft Canada and entered that the ingredients I had on hand. I found Sloppy Joe Skillet. It was simple and quick to make. I put it on a bed of rice and everyone enjoyed.
Sloppy Joe Skillet (adapted from Kraft Canada)
  • 1 pkg. (120 g) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup garlic BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 2 tsp. chili powder 
1. Mix stuffing mix and hot water just until moistened; set aside. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet; drain.

2. Add peppers, tomatoes with their liquid, ketchup, dressing and chili powder to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 5 min. or until peppers are crisp-tender.
3. TOP with prepared stuffing. Cover; simmer 3 min.

While I was making this I boiled 2 cups of water and added one cup of long grain rice; reduce heat to simmer medium-low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

This is a quick and easy meal to make especially if you are in a hurry. It is my kids approved also :)

~*Jennifer 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Wordless Wednesday - Eggs

~*Jennifer 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Gaining Confidence

Just over a week ago I traveled to Washington,DC for a food blog conference called Eat, Write, Retreat. This conference did more than give me tons of great information, networking with great food bloggers, writers and brands but gave me more independence and confidence.

I had never been on a plane before and very rarely would I travel alone. I have never went to a different place that I have never been to before by myself. I was a nervous wreck leading up to the flight. I don't really even know what I was so afraid of besides the unknown.

Recap: Eat, Write, Retreat Conference

I want to start this post off with a great big thank you to Canadian Beef for sponsoring three lucky Canadians to attend the Eat, Write,Retreat conference in Washington, DC! I can’t even explain how excited I was to have been chosen to take part in this great food conference.

I would also like to Thank Casey, Robyn, all the pros and the volunteers for such a great conference. Everyone did a great job organizing and teaching!  
photo by Daphne Domingo
The conference was a great food experience which started off with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Welcome dinner and ............. Square dancing as an ice breaker! It differently was something different but a lot of fun.


Throughout the conference I meet some fantastic bloggers and pros, really enjoying the time to network with everything at Eat, Write, Retreat.

Monica Bhide's session about food writing was not what I was expecting but enjoyed it immensely. I have been thinking about it a lot since the conference. Monica asked us why we blog and what one word describes our blog, and what we want to accomplish with our blogs. My word I feel would be "Simplicity". I am hoping to help mother's and families get tasty, easy meals on the table quickly.

The OXO Kitchen Challenge was a great success and it looked like everyone had a great time making fun and tasty creations with OXO tools, mushrooms, Jarlsberg cheese and watermelons! My team was made up of a great group of ladies, Beth and Betty Anne and Kathy!
photo by Daphne Domingo
Team 6 photo by Daphne Doming
We did get spoiled with great products from all the wonderful sponsors! I am super excited to start using all the OXO products and also my new Calphalon frying pan and Panini grill! (I won the Panini grill through the raffles- watch for posts to come).  

I am already thinking about next year’s conference and how I hope to make a family trip out of it as there are tons of things my family could do while I am participating in the conference.

~*Jennifer
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals, this post is part of a sponsored scholarship with Canadian Beef. I also wanted to share my experience at Eat, Write, Retreat. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Book G!veaway - What to Expect When You're Expecting

With the anticipation of the new movie What to Expect When You're Expecting releasing this week in theaters, I have another great giveaway to offer five lucky Canadian Coupon Mom readers Thanks to our great friends at Thomas Allen & Son.
Are you expecting, planning or know someone expecting? The fourth edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff would make the prefect gift or addition to your baby needs. I remember when I was expecting my son, I had a couple books for pregnancy and this was one of them. I used my copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting religiously. It was a great resource for a first time mom. I would also recommend it even for a second time mom as I pulled my copy out when I was pregnant with my daughter.

Recap of Eat, Write, Retreat 2012

I want to start this post off with a great big thank you to Canadian Beef for sponsoring three lucky Canadians to attend the Eat, Write, Retreat conference in Washington, DC! I can’t even explain how excited I was to have been chosen to take part in this great food conference.

I would also like to Thank Casey, Robyn, all the pros and the volunteers for such a great conference. Everyone did a great job organizing and teaching!  

The weekend started off well, my flight left on time and the passenger next to was great and very supportive. He was also heading to the same hotel but for a different conference.  The weather was great and we found our way to the hotel easily. I was able to get early check in and explore the city.

I met up with another food blogger, Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures and we took a walking tour all around the museums and then headed back for our conference check in.

I was really excited as this was a smaller conference, only 100 attendees or less.  This made it very easy to connect with more people over the weekend then it does when it is a bigger conference. Friday night started off with a sponsor meet & greet reception. We mingled and introduced ourselves to pros and bloggers that we would be seeing over the weekend. A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Welcome dinner was next on the schedule and included all kinds of great Mexican inspired eats. I tried some foods I have never had and I really loved the fried plantains. I am excited to make some at home and introduce them to my children.

Friday night after the welcome dinner our schedule said entertainment but nothing else about it. Guess what our entertainment was? Square dancing! It was meant to be an icebreaker and it sure did help. I am sure we all thought the same thing at first – Square Dancing!?! But it turned out to be a lot of fun and a great way to feel at ease with our fellow bloggers and the pros. I love that the pros jumped into everything with us at the conference. There really wasn’t that definition between writers/bloggers and pros at this conference.

I realize I am rambling on and I will try to keep the rest of this post short. I really enjoyed all the sessions and do not have a favorite one as they were all very different. I did learn a lot at the Food Styling & Photography session with Lisa Cherkasky and Renee Comet on how to take photographs of food you would want to eat. I will be working on that more with my upcoming food posts.

I could have listened to Monica Bhide speak all day. She is a fantastic speaker and really got me thinking about myself as a writer, and what my one word would be to describe my writing as a blogger. I have found the word in my mind would be “Simplicity”. That is what I am hoping to accomplish with my posts for parent’s to find simple, tasty recipes and reviews.  

We did get spoiled with great products from all the sponsors! I am super excited to start using all the OXO products and also my new Calphalon frying pan and Panini grill! (I won the Panini grill through the raffles- watch for posts to come).  

I am already thinking about next year’s conference and how I hope to make a family trip out of it as there are tons of things my family could do while I am participating in the conference.

The OXO Kitchen Challenge was a great success and it looked like everyone had a great time making fun and tasty creations with OXO tools, mushrooms, Jarlsberg cheese and watermelons!

I have met tons of great people and will be working on keeping in touch with everyone through emails, twitter and reading their blogs.

Along with all the great products we also got some great new cookbooks that I look forward to trying out very soon. 

~*Jennifer 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals, this post is part of a sponsored scholarship with Canadian Beef. I also wanted to share my experience at Eat, Write, Retreat. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Happy Mother's Day 2012!

Happy Mother's Day! A day to relax and be pampered, maybe even a day to sleep in and have breakfast in bed. I am working all weekend (overnights) and I wont be able to enjoy sleeping in but I will be heading home after work for a nice brunch with my family and then head to bed for the day.

What to Expect When You're Expecting - The Movie! {G!veaway}

With Mother's Day on Sunday I have a fun quick giveaway for one lucky Canadian Coupon Mom reader. This week a new movie will be hitting theaters called What to Expect When You're Expecting. You may have read the book when you were pregnant, now you will get to see the movie!
What to Expect When You're Expecting features some really great names like Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks and more! It is said to be a hilarious, and heartfelt comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.

Share the Joy with Johnson's {G!veaway}

With Mother's Day just days away Johnson's is asking Canadian's to Share the Joy. Mother's Day is the day we get to sit back, relax and enjoy being pampered by our families. Motherhood has been one of the best joys in my life, there is just something special about holding baby for the first time. The first bath and all the great milestones.

My son will be turning 6 at the end of the month and he and I took a trip down memory lane. We pulled out some of his baby photos and had a great time sharing that joy together. I just can't believe how fast the time has went.

As you may know Johnson's recently asked Canadians to take notice and celebrate all the special moments and joys of Motherhood and share their photos and videos through the Johnson's Canada Facebook page. They have narrowed down the entries to be featured on Today's Parent, City Line and more!

Tweet with Kathy Buckworth about Money

Tomorrow at 12 noon eastern until 1pm, head over to twitter to chat with Kathy Buckworth (@KathyBuckworth) as she will be talking about navigating our everyday financial needs.

Recently there was a survey conducted by President's Choice Financial shows that while a majority of Canadians (56%) identify a male figure as "head of the household," 41% say that it is a woman who is responsible for managing day-to-day household expenses and bills. That compares with only 33% of respondents who cited a man and 22% who said family-finance duties are evenly split.

The survey also stated that many respondents said that when they were growing up their mother took responsibility for managing the household expenses and bills (42.8%), as opposed to their father (29.3%) or an equal split between the two (24.2%).

Wordless Wednesday - Washington, DC

Eat, Write, Retreat Food Conference in Washington, DC May 4th-6th,2012
 
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Canadian Coupon Mom. This post is not sponsored. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Wordless Wednesday - Puppy Love

We have a new addition to our family! Her name is Molly and she is a beagle/basset hound mix. Molly will be nine weeks old tomorrow!

I am looking forward to trying my hand at homemade dog treats. I remember making some when I was young for a family dog we had and she loved them. I would like to make different kinds and play around with recipes.

~*Jennifer
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Eat, Write, Retreat Preview Post

Last weekend I attended a food conference called Eat, Write, Retreat. This conference took place in Washington, DC and was held over 3 days.

As a scholarship winner with Canadian Beef, I will be writing a post about the fantastic weekend I had and sharing as many pictures as I can. I hope you will check it out when it is posted.

If you are new to my blog please check out my post about Eat, Write, Retreat and Canadian Beef. I was a lucky winner in their contest to win a conference ticket sponsored by Canadian Beef. I entered a few beef recipes and was chosen as one of three!

I want to also say this was a super huge step for me as I have never been on a plane and haven’t really traveled alone before. The plane made me extremely nervous and it wasn’t because I am afraid of it crashes. It was everything else about planes – ears popping, the turbulence, landing, being air sick.

As a new food blogger I was very excited to learn all about photography and food styling, writing, tasting new and different foods and the biggest for me – meeting other food bloggers and the pros. I love to network and pick peoples brains. I learn best by talking with people and believe me I learned a ton of new things. One thing that was included in our conference package was a critique of our blogs and where we can improve, what we are doing well on. I knew there would be a lot to learn as I have only been working on my blog for a few months. I hope to improve it much more between now and next year’s conference.

I was super excited when I heard we would get to use great OXO products and Calphalon was there with some great items to raffle off! I have been dying to try their products. This conference was a lot smaller than the other conferences I attended last fall for social media which made it easier to network with bloggers and the pros all weekend. Also if this is your first food conference it is a great size to not feel totally intimidated.

As I am writing this post my mind is all over the place. I know I want to break everything down into smaller posts so that I wont have you here all day. I will leave you today with some photos as a sort of preview for posts to come.
 
Michael Natkin - Herbivoracious

 ~*Jennifer
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Are You a Julep Maven? Intro Box for 1cent

With the weather getting warm here in Canada, I have been reaching for Spring/Summer nail colors. I even pulled out my sandals today! Just before heading to Washington, DC last weekend, I received my May Julep Maven box and this is what was inside:
Sarah - A Peachy Sparkly polish
May Julep Maven Box - Pedi Heaven!
Do you like monthly beauty subscriptions? Julep Maven is very similar to all the other "sample" subscriptions but you get FULL sized products worth $40 + in each box.

Zellers Wants Your Memories {Sponsored Video}

I wrote recently a post called Zellers Memory ShowcaseZellers wants your funniest, fondest memory of Zellers. Head over to the Zellers Canada Facebook page and click on the Zellers Memory Showcase tab to share your memory.
The Executive Managing Director of Zellers will be choosing 8 of his favorites to reenact. If your memory is one of the lucky anecdotes brought to life EMD-style, you'll also receive a $250 Zellers gift card! How fabulous would that be?

Last Minute Prep for Eat, Write, Retreat with Mabel's Labels

Today is the day before heading to Eat, Write, Retreat and I am running around getting everything done last minute. Each time I have a conference I tell myself everything that needs to be done before leaving and for some reason I always wait until the very last minute to get it done.

Even with this post, I wanted it done before today but I put it off because of nerves I think. I am very nervous for the plane and now I have found myself in DC at 9am and no check in until 3pm. I haven't even planned what to do in the meantime. I guess I will be a big girl and look around DC - this is a very first trip on my own to somewhere I have never been before.


Today I am tagging a lot of my valuables and packing everything so I am ready to walk out my front door no later than 4:30 am tomorrow morning! I am very exciting to be using my new labels from Mabel's Labels! They were special order and include my websites and twitter handle. Yes I am a huge social media geek!
Mabel's Labels was founded by a group of moms who were tired of having their kids take things out of the house and never return with them. I totally understand the frustration since my daughter seems to be the girl who can misplace everything. They tried many different methods and came up with Mabel's Labels signature labels. They can be customized with any name you want on them. They are bright and have fun designs and you can buy big/small combo packs etc.
Gadgets all labelled!
sorry for the horrible picture but was having a hard time to get a good one.
They go on items and stay on! I have had some items labelled for a year and the labels still are in new condition and don't show signs of coming off anytime soon.

I am going to go get some running around done and pack before the kids get home from school. It is an early to bed night for sure as we will be up very early. I will also be making a list of places to head to.

If you are attending the conference, I will see you soon! Stay tuned for after conference posts next week!

~*Jennifer 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Marvelous Mommy Meals. I did receive the above labels in exchange for a mention on my blog. I do love them and only give my honest opinions.*~

Our New Family Addition is Here

Yesterday we welcomed our newest addition to our family, no not a baby but she is a big suck and I think she is going to be just like a baby. Her name is Molly and she will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. Molly is a beagle/basset hound mix and just too cute for words.
Meet Molly :)
Now comes all the fun and joys of training a new puppy! I am a little worried that we have already turned her into a big baby, as she needs to be always with someone and on their lap. I am looking for any advice and tips on crate training, potty training or any puppy tips. I am also looking for any tried and true dog treat recipes.

Hasbro & Marvel's The Avengers Review

Both my son and husband love Super Heroes, so of course they are very excited about the new Marvel movie The Avengers that is coming to theaters May 4th, 2012.

In the newest Marvel film Marvel's The Avengers - the Super Hero team, featuring iconic Marvel Super Hero Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. A quick synopsis - When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and sercurity, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

With the movie opening at the end of the week Hasbro has launched a line of new toys The Avengers and we had a chance to check out a bunch of the neat Super Hero's and accessories. We were very excited to open the big box that arrived to find a very neat looking case inside. It was like the kids very own mission case, right down to the seal - which read Break Seal in case of Global Emergency - S.H.I.E.D.
 
We carefully opened the case because remember we have no idea what could happen or what is waiting in this black box.

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