I Thought Gluten Free Was a Load Of Crap!


So I will admit it I seriously thought all this talk about gluten free was just a bunch of crap for people to buy these new crazy expensive products. I mean there is always a new fad popping up amongst the rich and famous that spreads and people end up really getting into it, so what made this any different? My mind was changed when my dear grandma began getting really sick all this year. She was constantly getting stomach flu type sicknesses with no logical explanation as to why, if she wasn't at work she was in the bathroom it was that bad. After a good 8-10 months of sickness and doctors visits we find out Gluten is the suspect. So what is Gluten?

Gluten is a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. 

Is Gluten Free healthier? No. Gluten free is not a healthier lifestyle. It is essential for those with celiac disease to be Gluten Free but for the rest of us we need a lot of the nutrients and vitamins that are also in foods with gluten. There are people who are also gluten sensitive or have gluten intolerance which means they need to try to eat less gluten, but cutting gluten out of your life for no good reason is just silly. 

So now that I found out the truth behind this big Gluten Free charade I now can share it with you, Gluten Free is only essential and necessary if you in fact have a medical condition keeping you from eating gluten!

Here are some articles I have found that may peek your interest or help you to learn more:

12 Days of Christmas Swap Reveal!

http://www.cgswaps.blogspot.ca/

 Another wonderful Christmas has come and gone and I begin to plan and prepare for the New Year as well as the next Christmas. This year my swap partner for the 12 Days Of Christmas Swap was Kristen over at The Book Monsters! She has a wonderful blog and was a terrific swap partner. All my gifts came beautifully wrapped and labelled. 













My kids enjoyed everything we got in our swap. And I look forward to the next one!

Water Beads Review & Sensory Bucket Game!


Water Beads are one of the neatest creations I have come across. They start off as these tiny little dots and expand when water is added into these amazing little beads. Water Beads have so many uses and are absolutely safe for the environment. They are odorless and non toxic creating the perfect filler for things like our amazing sensory bucket pictured above.

Our sensory game:

When we play with our sensory bucket which we have filled with lots of Water Beads as well as different items that begin with different letters of the alphabet we play a little game. One child dips their hand into the Water Beads and pulls out an item, the child that pulls out the item sounds it out and tells everyone what letter the item starts with and what it ends with. The older kids are challenged to try and spell the whole word. The game continues until all the items are named a couple of times. 

I also have used Water Beads all around my house as decor in vases and I have one little glass jar full that is growing a bean sprout. 


Check out all of the amazing uses for Water Beads by visiting their website. They also have beautiful submersible lights that look absolutely amazing inside a vase or any decorative vessel filled with Water Beads.


Lovable Labels Boxing Week Blowout!


Lovable Labels is having an excellent sale on all of their top products this week. If your going to do any Boxing Week shopping be sure to buy some of these awesome labels. 

These super labels are:
  • dishwasher safe
  • microwave safe
  • peel and stick
  • washer and dryer safe
  • and come in many varieties!
I have been using these labels for almost two years now and some of the labels I put on back then are still on our items and look brand new. I was very thankful I had my labels when school came to a close this holiday season. As all the kids were getting geared up for the holidays the staff had placed all of the lost and found items in the hall for kids to claim and it was shocking to see the hundreds of dollars in clothing, shoes, and lunch accessories that were unclaimed by children. My sons items are clearly labelled so we will be able to claim anything that happens to go missing. 

So join me in the battle against lost children's belongings and buy some personalized labels this Boxing Week! As a bonus the first 100 customers to spend $50 will receive $10 off of their order. Just use code WEBCRASH14 at checkout. Sale tuns from Dec. 26-31 so hurry and head over to http://www.lovablelabels.ca/!

Easy Bake Oven Cookie Recipe


I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! I ended up getting a few super special gifts like my beautiful Nikon Coolpix camera (absolutely love it). My daughter received an Easy Bake Oven from her lovely Aunt Wendy! So we decided to test it out and make some cookies, we started with the package that came with the oven but they didn't turn out very well. So I did some research and tried this awesome recipe:

Easy Bake Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • chocolate chips 

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix butter, sugars, and salt together.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and vanilla.
  4. Stir to form batter.
  5. 1/2 teaspoon filled with dough will make one cookie. Drop dough balls onto greased EASY-BAKE pan; allow room to spread. Press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie.
  6. Bake each batch 5-7 minutes.
  7. Let cool, and ENJOY!
  8. Makes 12 to 15 cookies.

I am excited to see what other creations we can make in the Easy Bake! There is no need to spend an arm and a leg on mixes when you can make them at home for a fraction of the price!

Chocolate Pecan Bars



These are some of my favorite holiday treats! They are so delicious I made a batch and forced myself to freeze half before I ate them all. They are very easy to make and will please anyone who loves chocolate and nuts. Here is the recipe:


Ingredients



1 cup  butter or margarine, softened


2 cups  flour


2 cups  sugar, divided


1/4 tsp.  salt


1-1/2 cups  light corn syrup


2 pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided


4 eggs, beaten


1-1/2 tsp.  vanilla
2-1/2 cups chopped Pecans

Instructions




HEAT oven to 350ºF.
BEAT butter, flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt with mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto bottom of 15x10x1-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 min. or until lightly browned.
MEANWHILE, microwave corn syrup and 6 oz. chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1-1/2 min.; stir until completely melted. Add remaining sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts.
POUR chocolate mixture over warm crust; spread to evenly cover crust. Bake 35 min. or until filling is firm around edges but still slightly soft in center. Cool completely.
MELT remaining chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over dessert. Let stand until chocolate is firm. 

Recipe courtesy of Kraft 

Swagbucks Holiday Shopping Promotions


Swagbucks has announced a lot of special promotions for those of you looking for deals this Holiday season!So if your still shopping here is a great way to get back while you give!

First, from 12/1 through 12/26 if your a new user and you spend $50 or more in Shop, you earn a 250 SB bonus! 

If you want an even more rewarding Shop experience, Swagbucks is running a series of Double Swag Bucks Days and throughout the holiday season! Plus a special contest where you can win even more! If you're not a member of Swagbucks yet, there's still time to earn free gift cards towards your holiday spending! Just click here to sign up.

Here's the schedule:


Halfway to Christmas – December 12th – 15th, 2014
  • Double Swag Bucks in ALL Shop & Earn stores!
  • Spend at least $1 in Shop & Earn between December 12th – 15th and you’ll receive an entry into a drawing for one of 51 prizes!
  • Grand Prize (1)- 50,000 SB
  • Runner Up Prizes (50) – 1,000 SB
Free Shipping Day – December 18th, 2014
  • Double Swag Bucks in ALL Shop & Earn stores!
Last Day to Order Online (for Christmas delivery) – December 21st, 2014
  • Double Swag Bucks in ALL Shop & Earn stores!
Shop & Earn Spotlight – December 1st – 30th, 2014
  • Be on the lookout for super-special deals at featured Shop & Earn stores

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review and Giveaway


Freshly Picked baby moccasins are some of the most beautiful moccasins available. They are very stylish and fit so perfectly on your babies feet they are like wearing a pair of socks. Freshly Picked moccasins come in a wide variety of styles for boys and girls in many sizes. 



These are the beautiful moccasins I got for my smallest son. They are soft and comfy and are the perfect style for my rough and tumble little man. Camo is very popular these days and his mocs are loved by all that see them. He looks adorable running around the house in his cute little mocs.


Freshly Picked have other amazing products made with the same love and attention to detail, making them the highest quality for their customers. 


Everything from shirts, carryall bags, onesies, and more. All of their products are very stylish and match many pairs of mocs available from Freshly Picked.



Now how would you like to have a pair of baby mocs from Freshly Picked? They have partnered with me to bring you this fantastic giveaway! The giveaway is open to residents of  U.S. only, sorry Canada.

Pasta Ornaments


Kids love pitching in making ornaments for the tree. Add glue and some glitter alongside cool looking pasta and you have an afternoon of crafting fun. First thing you need to do is get a piece of paper and draw a snowflake outline. Like this:


And then begin gluing your choice of pasta to the outline. Glue pasta on until the entire outline is covered. 


I used my glue gun for the placement of the pasta so the kids could get on with the fun stuff. Then once the outline is complete I let the kids go crazy with school glue and glitter. 


And there you have it. Cut the snowflake out but leave it attached to the paper so it doesn't fall apart. Hang them on the tree or wherever you like. These make great gifts for grandparents.



Beat The Cold!


It is very cold and wet here in B.C. it is raining on top of all our fresh snow turning everything into a slushy nightmare. So here I sit thinking about the things that make me feel warm and cozy when the weather gets me down. 

First on my list is a nice warm drink like this Hot Cocoa from One Good Thing By Jillee she also has an ipad giveaway on right now for you to check out. Or you can try any of these 50 holiday drinks!

I love sitting with my warm drink with a soft fuzzy blanket watching Christmas movies like:


  • Frosty The Snowman
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Jack Frost
  • Christmas With The Kranks
  • Elf
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3
  • Home Alone
  • Fred Clause 
  • 4 Christmases
  • and any other Christmas special that comes on.
Baking delicious Christmas cookies is an excellent way to spread the cheer and warm some hearts. I love making sugar cookies with my little ones because they get to decorate them and have a good time. Here is my sugar cookie recipe:

Roll Out Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
 You can ice these cookies with any icing you like but when I have my kids do them we use a mixture of evaporated milk and icing sugar thin enough for the kids to spread on easily. Add drops of food coloring and have fun!

Simple & Free Bathroom Holiday Decor


The bathroom is sometimes forgotten when it comes to decorating, but I feel every room of the house should be festive. With this simple trick you can create bathroom toilet paper trees. If your like me and buy toilet paper in bulk then you already have what you need just snag a few extra decorations and that's that. If you want to go all out you can wrap them in garland but for now I'm sticking with the simple look. 

If you have two bathrooms you can easily make mini trees as well. 



Easy and free holiday decor is always a winner in my eyes!

Jam Jam Holiday Cookies


I'm sure we all have recipes that just scream Christmas, well this cookies is one of them. You know the kind of cookie that you see or taste and it brings back all of those wonderful Christmas memories. These cookies have been in my family for generations and now I want to share it with you. 

Jam Jams

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp baking soda
3-4 cups flour
Strawberry jam or any flavor you like.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin dough by combining shortening, brown sugar, and corn syrup until the mixture is well combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

2. Add in the baking soda and flour one cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands and will roll out easily you may need more or less. 

3. Cover your rolling surface in flour and dust your rolling pin. Roll into 1/4 inch thickness and cut in any desired shape. Be sure to cut two of every shape because these are sandwich cookies.

4. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the cookies look firm or begin to get golden around the edges. Be careful not to cook too long because then they become very brittle cookies, your looking for a firm but soft cookie. 

5. Let cookies completely cool before smearing them with jam and pressing together for a complete Jam Jam!

These cookies freeze beautifully and the recipe can be doubled and tripled easily! Happy Baking!

Children And Screens Encourages Children To “LOOK UP” As They Enter The New School Year

Summer break is almost over, and children around the country are getting ready to go back to school. It’s an exciting time, but it can also ...