Save Money On Utilities!

With water bills on the minds of Canadians, Adam Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager at Pfister, manufacturers of innovative and eco-friendly faucets, has helpful tips for you about ways that homeowners can cut down on their water usage and save money on their water bill.

Adam recommends the following tips to help conserve water:

Make use of rainwater - Collect rainwater and use it to water plants and wash your car. A rain barrel collecting water from your eaves trough downspout is both environmentally and financially smart. Nothing saves on a water bill like using what nature provides for free.

Don’t leave the water running - Use a touch-free faucet so you’re not caught running the tap longer than necessary. These high-tech kitchen faucets help stop the spread of germs while reducing your overall water usage by automatically shutting off with the wave of your hand. Every second of running water adds up and a touch-free faucet cuts off exactly when you need it to.

Keep drinking water in the fridge – Running the tap to get cold drinking water is both time consuming and wasteful. Consider storing drinking water in the fridge so when you go looking for a cool drink it is readily available.

Install a new toilet – You old toilet is flushing money down the drain. Go with a new model that uses less water to flush or one that has two flushing modes. Your toilet can be one of the largest water consuming items in your house so update it and go with a smaller version.

Use an eco-friendly showerhead - Installing an eco-friendly showerhead is an inexpensive way to automatically reduce the amount of water you use in the shower. Modern eco-friendly showerheads don’t compromise performance so there’s no need to fear a weak water flow. It’s also worthwhile to consider avoiding baths, as they use much more water than a typical shower.

Reconsider how you do your dishes – Wash your dishes in a half full sink and only use the dishwasher for full loads. A partial load can use the same amount of water, but you will be washing more often and wasting both energy and water.

Vancouver Charity Christmas Events

Giving back to those less fortunate is top of mind throughout the holiday season. Whether you’re in search of Santa, a tree-lit beach walk or a mountain-top view of Howe Sound, these activities boost Christmas spirit while offering an opportunity to give back.

  1. Stanley Park’s Bright Nights: Find your seat on the Christmas Train and experience three million twinkling lights. Portions of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund.
  2. Dundarave Festival of Lights: Take a walk along the beach lined with trees decorated by families and local business. Each tree raises funds for the North Shore Shelter with a goal to end Homelessness.
  3. Sea to Sky Gondola: Board the gondola for a ten-minute ride to festive forest walks, brunch with Santa, and walking trails lined with twinkling lights 800 meters above Howe Sound. For each donation made to the food bank at the base, guests will be entered into a contest to win daily prizes throughout December.
  4. Yule Duel: Enjoy live shows from twenty different choirs on Dec 3 with the launch of Yule Duel, Vancouver’s first street carolling competition. All proceeds will benefit May’s Place, a hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Soapsox Review

SoapSox is now available in Canada at all Sears locations. These adorable plush friends that kids can take from playtime…. to bath time! It’s 2-in-1 fun with SoapSox®, the cuddly companions you can actually take in the tub! Just add soap to the patent-pending pocket and scrub-a-dub clean! For ages birth+. MSRP: $14.99

Soapsox are an adorable bathtub companion that kids absolutely love. The ducky pictured above is Emma she is such a cute little addition to our family. There are multiple creatures to choose from to suit any child. And if your little one decides they dont want to leave their new friend in the tub they can be snuggled with at bedtime and their adorble little soap pocket can be used to stash fun treasures. Check out the amazing packages you can buy at

Surprise your loved ones with a fun bath time friend that they can enjoy for years to come. 

Freshly Picked Pre-Black Friday Sale

It's that time of year where all of our favorite stores have amazing deals just in time for the holidays. This year Freshly Picked is having their biggest black tuesday sale ever.

Here are all the details:

  • 25% off select styles in the shop and even bigger discounts on apparel
  • The hashtag for the sale is #fpblacktuesday, sharing is caring!
  • The Sale will start 10am November 24th
So I invite you to give the gift of amazing style for a killer deal!

Check them out at

Slammers Review

Healthy treats that taste good can sometimes be a challenge especially when your looking for something portable as well. No need to worry because Slammers have got you covered. 

Slammers are portable snacks that come in a convenient pouch. They are organic, nut free, contain fruit, veggies, and yogurt. They are an excellent source of vitamins and protein making them perfect snacks for anytime of day. Slammers make perfect road trip treats as well, just in time for those long holiday drives to family and friends. 

Slammers were created by Kids Gourmet a trusted brand that can be found at local grocery stores. They come in two fantastic flavors, mango and strawberry banana. Kids love em and parents do to. A healthy treat that's fun to eat! 

Wild Eats & Adorable Treats & Holiday Crafts Review

Cooking and crafting has to be one of the funnest parts of being around small children. There are many creative creations to be made with these two books, Holiday Crafts by Linda Reece and Wild Eats and Adorable Treats by Jill Mills. These two books make the perfect gift for that creative child on your list this year. 

The Holiday Crafts book is jam packed full of fun, easy to follow crafts for every holiday throughout the year, it is the gift that keeps on giving. 

If your trying to convince a picky eater to scarf down something healthy changing it's shape can often help to change their mind. In the Wild Eats and Adorable Treats book you can find animal creations galore and following each healthy snack comes an amazing fact about the animal you created. 

These books are some terrific finds, sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. Brought to you by SKYHORSE PUBLISHING. Get your copies today and see what other treasures they hold.

Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Herb Filled Puff Pastry Hors d'oeuvres

With the weather cooling down, fall is the perfect time to enjoy the chill of the season with cozy fall meals. The experts at Paulding & Company commercial kitchen agree that Fall is a season to be celebrated with delicious home meals, and bellow is a recipe for Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Herb Filled Puff Pastry Hors d'oeuvres that will warm up any belly this season.

Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Herb Filled Puff Pastry Hors d'oeuvres

Yield: About 24 pieces

1 butternut squash, about 3 lbs. (you can also use kabocha)
2 Tbs.  extra-virgin olive oil
1 jar or package peeled chestnuts (5-8 oz.)
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh ciilantro
1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
salt to taste
1-2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package frozen puff pastry (I suggest DuFour which is an all-butter puff)
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon water
Make the filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Top and tail the squash, halve it crosswise, put each piece flat-side down on the cutting board, and peel with a knife. Remove the seeds, then cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.  Place in a large bowl, toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and season lightly with salt & freshly ground pepper. Spread on a parchment-paper covered sheet pan. Roast 20 minutes, until the squash is tender and starting to brown. Add the chestnuts and roast an additional 2 minutes, just to warm them.

While the squash roasts, make the sauce by combining the ingredients in the food processor (start with the smaller amount of lemon juice, and half a teaspoon of salt; you can always add). Pulse to puree to a sauce consistency.

Toss the squash with the sauce, and allow to cool. If you're making these hors d'oeuvres ahead, you can finish the pastry, fill the cases and freeze. Just remove from the freezer and reheat to serve.

For the puff pastry cases, raise the oven temperature to 375°F. The pastry sheet should be well-chilled so thaw it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Unfold the sheet, use a rolling pin to even it out and thin it slightly. Use two square cutters (try a three-inch and a 2 1/4 inch) to first cut the larger squares, then the smaller square inside each one. Once you get them all cut, refrigerate for 10 minutes. Once chilled again, brush the edge of the inner square with the beaten egg, and carefully fold the large square over it, so that the corner of the large square meets the edge of the small, doing this twice so that you have a high-sided case. Where the two sides cross, the corners will be a bit thicker. Brush the whole case with a little egg wash, refrigerate again for 10 minutes, then bake until lightly brown and puffed up. As you take them from the oven, squish the centers down to form the cup for the filling. Let cool, then heap in the squash mixture. Reheat before serving. The picture below was taken at our event, and shows what the group enjoyed. I wish I had a neater version, but I was very busy at the time someone took this picture and am happy to have at least this one!

About Paulding & Company
Founded by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding, Paulding & Co. is a commercial kitchen and instructional/event space that specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises. Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, Paulding & Company inspired Disney/Pixar animators for the Ratatouille film and director Clint Eastwood for several projects.

To learn more including a schedule of upcoming classes visit

For further information contact

List of The Best Cheap And Natural Cleaning Solutions

Commercial detergents are priced and more important, in a long term, they cause allergic reactions and 
diseases such as asthma and sinusitis. Your grandparents did not cleaned their homes with commercial 
products. They used ones that they made with their own hands. So DIY products are not old-fashioned, 
but non-toxic and therefore healthier. In addition to that, natural detergents are environmental friendly.

Here is a list of products you can use in order to avoid toxic detergents. 

Baking soda cleans stains, dirty spots; removes unpleasant smells; polishes any kind of material 
(jewellery, porcelain, aluminium, stainless steel, silver); makes the water softer.

White vinegar removes grease, mildew, stains, wax, pet smells, polishes metal; you clean bricks and 

Sodium borate, Borax, is used for disinfection; removing unpleasant smells; cleans wallpapers, walls 
with paint and floors; boosts the effect of the soap. Use gloves when cleaning with Borax and wash it 

Lemon is used as a disinfectant against most bacteria in the houses; fights with stains from clothes, 
porcelain and aluminium.

Unscented soap cleans basically everything.

SAL Soda, washing soda, is a mineral that removes grease, stains, makes the water softer, cleans sinks, 
oven, grill. But do not use it on aluminium, because it can cause damage. 

Cornstarch helps cleaning windows, furniture and carpets.

Beer can also be is used to polish metal without damaging the surface and to remove stains. 

Salt is also against oily stains and can be used as a cleaner that do not scratch. 

All these products are the perfect alternative if you want to use natural products. Here are some 
variations with which you can clean your home.

Clean the oven with a paste made of soda and water. Put it on the dirty places or all over and wait from 
five to ten minutes. Then wipe it off with a towel. 

Having pets is amazing, but when it comes to the urine smells, it is not that pleasant. The white vinegar 
in a steam cleaner removes the smell and stains. If a steamer is out of the picture, you can add rubbing 
alcohol to the vinegar. Just spray the area and leave it for ten minutes, then wash it up. If needed, repeat.

You can make a cleaner for all purpose using using 1/8 borax and one quarter warm water. You can make
 another type of a cleaner, but using vinegar, 4 spoons of baking soda ans ¼ hot water. Put the selected 
recipe in a spray bottle. 

When cleaning the floors, vinegar is going to do the best job. Just put a couple of drops in the water and 
your floor will be clean ans shine. You can add  a few drops of oil and vinegar, if you have a wood floor. 

Dish washing soap is easily made of borax and washing soda, equal parts of each. 

If you want to disinfect, mix 4 spoons of vinegar with 2 spoons of borax in a 750 ml pray bottle with hot 
water. Spray and wipe off with a towel.  

A product for laundry is made of 1 cup soap, half cup of washing soda and half cup of borax. 

Spots of ink and marker from walls and other surfaces are removed by putting baking soda on the damaged
 area. Rub carefully, wipe and water. 

Of mould troubles you, put some lemon or vinegar on it. 

Oil and grease are cleaned up with baking soda. Scrub the place with a brush and water it. 

 Rust is removed with a little salt and lemon. Leave it until it soaks well for three hours and water it.

A quarter of baking soda and a cup of vinegar are put into the bawl of the toilet. Leave it for a couple of 
minutes, brush and flush the toilet. 2 parts of borax with one of lemon juice can be used, too. 

Bathroom can be rubbed with baking soda. After that wipe the surfaces with vinegar using towel.

Windows are also cleaned up with vinegar. Mix two spoons of white vinegar in a litre of hot water. Use 
cotton towel or some paper to clean the windows. 

You do not have to use chemicals to clean your house. DIY detergents are healthier, more 
environmental friendly and inexpensive. You can make a change starting with the household products.

The article is written by Kathleen Crane. She runs a small company called ProfessionalCleaners Notting Hill

12 Days Of Christmas Swap

I put up my Christmas tree yesterday. Some say it's too early but it makes me happy so I went ahead and did it anyways. I love everything about Christmas (except freezing cold snow) and I can't wait for this years 12 Days of Christmas Swap!

If you haven't had the chance to join a swap I highly suggest you give this one a go, it is by far one of the most fun. Thanks again to CGSwaps for hosting another fantastic swapping event.  

Your Swap Objective:

Get to know your partner and send them a fantastic package with goodies that meet their style/preferences/favorite things about the holiday.

Your package must:

  • Contain 12 individually-wrapped gifts (each gift can be one item, or a collection of items)
  • Cost $40-$50, before shipping (to ensure relative value)

Important Dates to Remember:

  • Sign-ups Open: Monday, November 9th.
  • Sign-ups Close: Monday, November 16th.
  • Partners Assigned by: Wednesday, November 18th.
  • Packages Ship: on or by Saturday, December 5th.
  • Show-Off Linky Opens: Monday, December 28th.
Time to bust out more decorations and get the whole family in the holiday spirit, Christmas only comes once a year.

Swapoween Reveal

Holy cow has it ever been a busy month. I apologize for the delay in posting my Swapoween goodies but I have been super busy skinning coons, canning, hunting, and taking care of all my kids and animals. Now that I gained a free moment here is my Swapoween Reveal!

 My fabulous partnet was Mickey Spencer who is the amazing writer at!

Mickey sent me a beautiful bundle of happiness with specialty candies from her wonderful home town, decorations, sweet Halloween socks, and some fantastic hand made creations.

The garlands looked great draped around my home, the socks were very comfy, and the candies were delicious. Thank you so very much Mickey for you wonderful package and I hope you enjoyed everything I sent for you as well!

8 Money Lessons to Teach Kids This Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, which means it’s a great opportunity to teach kids lessons around money. What are the best way...