December 3, 2014

Join our #KraftEdibleGifts Twitter Party on Dec 10 @ 9pm ET

'Tis the Season... for baking!! My house has never smelled better!

For me nothing says Christmas like colourful holiday tins filled with yummy goodness. We've made and distributed small tins of edible gifts to each of our neighbours surrounding our house. It was so fun and filled our hearts to be a blessing to those around us, it was even more fun to make them with my kids.

We made....

Peanut Butter Snowballs




Join Kraft Canada and myself, and my friends Tammi, Becky and Nicole for a delicious Twitter Party on December 10th. 

We will be giving away ten {10} prizes throughout the party, each prize consists of one {1} Kraft Edible Gifts Inspired Gift Basket. The approximate value of each prize is $100.

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Time: 9-10pm EST
Follow Host: @KraftCanada
Follow Co-Hosts: @MyChaos @bitofmomsense @adomesticmomma & myself @ShashersLife
Hashtag: #KraftEdibleGifts

You must RSVP in order to qualify for one of the prizes. See the linky below...



**INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your Twitter handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field. By entering your Twitter handle, you've agreed you've read and will comply with the Rules and Regulations. The link may take time to appear, please only enter it once. Refresh the page to see it's been listed if you are uncertain. All duplicate entries will be removed prior to the 9pm EST start time.

November 27, 2014

#WhatsCooking in your House for the Holidays?! Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese is HERE! For a limited time only...

I regularly write for Kraft Canada (and have done so for 4 years) - I love to include and create delish #WhatsCooking recipes for my readers to test and try out for themselves.  And so when a shipment of Chocolate Cream Cheese arrives at your door, you can't help but kiss the delivery driver!

I'm @ShashersLife on Instagram :)

As soon as my daughter came home from school and saw the Chocolate Cream Cheese in the fridge, she looked online for EVERY.SINGLE.RECIPE for yummy desserts to make! My entire family has grown to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen and I can't wait to see what she will create. In the meantime... my youngest is eating it straight up, one finger scoop at a time, and spreading the chocolate yummy goodness on his morning toast.

Kraft only puts out this Philly Chocolate Brick for the holidays, so you should get it while you can.  'Tis the season for baking!

Until my daughter makes her pick for the holidays, this recipe caught my attention and really... how can it not... Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake. Enough said!



What you'll need:
  • 1 pkg. (150 g) round shortbread cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. water
What you'll do:
  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan.
  • Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended; pour over crust.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes or until centre is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, cook raspberries and remaining sugar in saucepan on medium-high heat 12-14 mins. or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Mix cornstarch and water until blended. Add to raspberry mix; cook and sire 1 min. or until thickened. Pour through fine-mesh strainger into bowl; refridgerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve cheesecake topped with raspberry sauce.

It's hard to believe Christmas is less than a month away! I have so much to get ready for. For the first time in 5 years, my parents are flying in for the holidays and I'm SOOOOO excited to play host!!! :)

Do you bake up a storm for Christmas or do your guests bring over their traditional holiday desserts?

You can access a “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” coupon for Philly Chocolate Brick until November 30th (or while quantities last.) 
Coupons and Rewards

November 21, 2014

When you're being pulled in all directions, remember what's important...

This past week I had the privilege of listening to Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and author of 14 books, speak in person at The Art Of Leadership conference in Toronto, thanks to the fabulous Yummy Mummy Club.


Arianna said a few things which resonated with me and some which pierced my heart.

Success is normally measured by two things; money and power. Arianna laid out why we should change that definition before we crash and burn. I plan to learn from her mistakes...

Why is it, as an entrepreneur, we've believed the lies that if we're not working 24/7, we're not doing it right?! Why do we use BUSY as the measuring stick for success? When did phrases such as, "I'm exhausted" - "I've been burning the candle at both ends" - "I'm up to my eyeballs!" - "Sleep... who needs that?!" ... become badges of honour we're proud of?
"Down-time is mandatory otherwise burnout is eminent. Even God rested..." ~ Arianna Huffington

I'm guilty of that. Justifying with my husband and my kids as to why I've been on the computer or phone for the last 14 hours straight. Justifying why I had to take a business call during our family vacation. Justifying working on projects which don't bring me joy because they bring in a paycheque. Justifying why I haven't mopped the floors in the last 2 months... Justifying building a business at the expense of my family. That's not the definition of success in my books.
"Often times we make life more difficult than it needs to be. Take time to be joyous." ~ Arianna Huffington

Those were just some of the arrows which went deep as Arianna spoke.

It's not just the time we give to our businesses, it's the extra things which get in the way of living. I have scaled back but there was a time where I couldn't leave the house without my phone, I couldn't go to the bathroom without it... I would refresh my Facebook screen every few minutes. Refreshing my twitter stream. Refreshing Pinterest. Refreshing Instagram. Refresh - Refresh - Refresh. The only thing feeling refreshed were my social networks. Constantly connected. Constantly distracted. Constantly available. Constantly on....

Human beings were not designed to have 99% up-time. We were designed for downtime. Take a day off. A real day off. ~ Arianna Huffington

In her chat at BlogHer this past summer, she spoke the same message, but there she ended it with this quote by Iain Thomas.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” 
 Iain Thomas

This is what's most important to me.


When you're being pulled in all directions, the stress is mounting, you aren't sleeping well, you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed... take a time-out, close your eyes, breathe deep and ask yourself, "what is most important?"
"Eulogies have to do life accomplishments, rarely with the accomplishments you achieved at work." ~ Arianna Huffington

I want everything I do to thrive, not just survive, including raising these beautiful children. A life lived for oneself, is a life not lived. I will be a successful entrepreneur with my family and not just for them. To me, there is a difference.

November 17, 2014

It's National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child! #LoveGives

It's National Collection Week, November 17-23, for Operation Christmas Child. Time to bring in your shoe boxes for kids in need around the world. You can also pack shoeboxes year round at www.packabox.ca 

Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on project of Samaritan's Purse that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas - Jesus Christ - God's greatest gift.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Chantelle after the service at church. We were talking about the upcoming Christmas season and about Operation Christmas Child. When Chantelle lived in Belize she remembers receiving her own shoe box at Christmas time. It was a time in her life when money was more than tight and her daughter, who was little at the time (she's now 16), had needs the family could not meet. Chantelle happened upon a church for a Christmas service and unbeknownst to her, they were handing out shoe boxes, packed by families in Canada.


The shoe box not only filled a physical need for her daughter but also filled Chantelle's heart, a gift she's never forgotten and now that they live in Canada, we have the opportunity to participate with them in packing boxes for kids around the world.

When our missions team to Romania returned home this year, they told us about the different homes they visited, the orphanages they worked at and the villages where they played games with the kids. In one of the homes, on the shelf above the table, was a green and red Operation Christmas Child shoe box. It was quite the moment for the team, knowing that possible one of the boxes they've packed in the past, was that box for that family.

Read more stories from the field here.

This year our church filled 41 boxes and I have 3 more to drop off this week.


As a family we filled 3 boxes; one for an older girl (10-14), one for an older boy (10-14) and one for a younger boy (2-4), to match the ages of my kids. I took the kids shopping with me and together we picked out items they felt these children would like. I'm very proud of my kids for wanting to use their allowance, their time and even a few of their unopened gifts from our gift box, to give to others.



There is still time for you to fill a shoe box or two! In each box include $7 for shipping overseas.

FILL YOUR SHOEBOX
  • Fill your shoebox with a well-balanced variety of items from the following categories:
  • School Supplies - Items such as pens, pencils, pencil crayons, note pads, and picture books
  • Hygiene Items  - Items such as: facecloth, toothbrush, comb, and soap. Please place soap in a sealable bag
  • Toys & Other Gifts - Items such as: stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewelry, t-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
  • Personal Note  - Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoebox (not inside the donation envelope)
 
DO NOT INCLUDE: 
  • Decks of standard playing cards (other card games such as UNO are allowed)
  • Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
  • Used items (due to customs regulations)
  • Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
  • Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break - Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoebox).
  • Items that can scare or harm a child - War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.
  • Using a backpack instead of a shoe box is problematic because it creates unfair circumstances at distribution events.  Backpacks can also cause problems when cartons are being packed, and when shipments are going through Customs.
 Find a Collection Centre near you.

Love gives. Give today.