September 15, 2014

If age is "just a number" why do 9 out of 10 women hide it? Proud to be 42! #DoveBeautifulAge

A few months ago, under a shroud of secrecy, a car and driver showed up for me early in the morning. When we pulled up beside a plain looking warehouse building with a white tent set up over the front and door, I didn't know what to expect.

I was suddenly surrounded by a bunch of really pretty, really young people with clipboards and walkie-talkies (are they still called that?). I must admit, I was fighting that twinge of hesitation which hits when I don't exactly know what I'm getting myself into. 

Those really pretty, really young people were also really friendly. Any jitters I had were quickly put at ease as we ate lunch together and I got the low down of what the day would look like. It would be a long day of waiting around for my turn in the make-up chair, the wardrobe department, hair and nails. A day of pampering... I could get used to this!


I'm proud to be part of the #dovebeautifulage campaign which launched last week!! I was one of 50 women invited to celebrate their age, and to celebrate Dove’s 50th Birthday, by proudly posing for a portrait. It was such a FUN day!

Did you know that only 1 in 10 women are proud to reveal their age?!

Not me. Not anymore!

I'll fill you in on the rest later, it's almost midnight - which means... it's Happy Birthday to ME! I will wake up 42 tomorrow. :) In the meantime, feel free to read the interview I had over in GLOW magazine.


Fab 40s
“I was really, really scared to turn 40. When I turned 39, it wasn’t, ‘I’m 39,’ it was, ‘Next year I’m 40.’ Now that I’m 42, I love telling people my age. Now I’m more confident. I laugh more. There was a serious side to me when I was in my 30s. I was raising these tiny little people. Now I can enjoy my children [aged 15, 14, 11 and 8].” 

Beauty genes
“My mom was a model in the ’60s. When I was young, she would take me to the beauty counters to make sure I had a proper beauty routine. She made sure I drank water and washed my make up off at night. My daughter, who’s 14 now, gets the same treatment. My mom is now 72 and she looks like my sister. It’s unbelievable. It’s not just everything you put on your body but everything you put in your body.” 

Mom lessons
“I’ve read so many parenting books that say: “Don’t self-loathe in front of your children.” I’m really honest with my daughter. Right now, I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last two years because of stress. I’m okay with that. I’m not going to focus on it. It’s not going to become the sole focus of my entire being. So for her, she’s starting to develop and grow. She’s starting to develop a more feminine shape. It’s nothing we specifically take moments to talk about it – it’s everything that we do. When we go shopping, I make sure that she has the right cut for her body. I don’t say yes to everything that she asks for, either.” 

Age pride
“I’m 42 and wrinkles come with age. I’ve earned them and I’m ok with them.”

August 25, 2014

It's Back to School Time! #WhatsCooking in their Lunch Boxes?

GAH!!! Where did the summer go??!

No seriously! They say time goes by faster the older you get but come on, get real, this year was redonculous!!  Maybe it was the mild weather and the feeling of being short changed on sweaty hot summer days but this summer flew by.

We just spent two weeks in Gatlinburg, Tennessee which meant a tad bit on the warmer side. That was our saving grace. We pushed our normal vacation time up by two weeks, to the beginning of August instead of the end. We did that because our kids are getting older (two in high school!) and are starting to panic when it come to "Back-to-School" time. They are a little more high maintenance than they were in elementary school.

My daughter who is entering Grade 9 this year is super organized and throwing her lunch into a paper bag no longer works. She wants a box with different compartments and an ice pack. You know the kind, with enough room for snacks. The shelves at the local big box store are filled with them.

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Salad Kit
We settled on a couple other different models of "bento" style boxes for the youngest two boys. My Grade 11 kid thinks he's far too cool for a Lunch Box... 

Now... what to add to their lunch list?

My youngest two apparently no longer like sandwiches. If I'm out of wraps then they'll take an old-fashioned meat between white bread sandwich, but they prefer I not run out of wraps.

Wraps are actually wonderful and you can be as creative as you want to be. You know those fancy "Pinwheels" you eat at those parties your friends throw? Your kids will LOVE them too. Mine seem to gobble up anything bite-sized!

Here's a great recipe (which I make the night before) for Baked Mexican Pinwheels


What you'll Need:

1 tub (250 g) Philadelphia cream cheese product
1 cup Kraft Tex Mex shredded cheese
1 cup of chopped cooked chicken (I use canned chicken)
1 plum tomato, seeded, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (a family favourite)
2 green onions, finely chopped (optional and not used in our case)
6 large tortillas

How to Make it:

Mix cream cheese product and shredded cheese in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in next 4 ingredients.

Spread onto tortillas; roll up. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours. 

Heat oven to 375F. Unwrap roll-ups. Trim and discard ends (or not, I snack on them!). Cut each roll-ups into 10 diagonal slices. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 10 mins. turning after 5 minutes. 

Now to get them all back on normal sleep schedules!!! That may take some work...

I am part of Kraft Canada What's Cooking Ambassadorship. I receive compensation in return for bringing you some delicious recipes. Ones I make often in my home for my family.

July 29, 2014

BBQ Burgers & Greek Quinoa Salad | #WhatsCooking for your summer table?!

 
King George Burger
Summer has got to be my favourite season for cooking, hands down. Among a ton of reasons... grilling is my husband's ultimate skill. He tends to take over the supper meals during the summer months and that's OK by me.

There's nothing like a homemade hamburger sizzling on the grill on a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Dave makes these super juicy, super delicious burgers... the neighbours all lean over their decks to get a whiff! (It's a very similar recipe to my meatloaf - sans the ground pork & milk. It's my kid's number one request for a winter food.)

I learned from the best. My parents have been serving up the best burgers in BC for well over a decade!

I can't wait to get back there for a King George Burger in October!

Would you like the recipe for the best BBQ burgers this side of the Great Lakes?


What you'll need: makes 4 burgers


1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 package of Stove Top Stuffing (instead of crackers or plain bread crumbs)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

What you'll do:

Mix ground beef, egg, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, stuffing mix, & cheese into a bowl; shape into 4 patties about 6 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

Cook burgers on preheated grill until completely browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Top each burger how you like it. Add more cheese, bacon, mushrooms, BBQ sauce, grilled pineapple on top... the sky is the limit!

YUM!

A great side-dish to go along with this burger is a Greek Quinoa Salad. We love Quinoa, it's packed with nutrition and takes on the flavour of whatever spices you're using.

What you'll need: 
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kraft EVOO Greek Feta Dressing
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
 What you'll do:

Bring water & quinoa to boil in saucepan on high heat; cover. Simmer on med-low heat 15 mins or until liquid is absorbed. Cool slightly; fluff with fork. Spoon quinoa into medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly.

Enjoy!


I am part of Kraft Canada What's Cooking Ambassadorship. I receive compensation in return for bringing you some delicious recipes. Ones I make often in my home for my family.

July 18, 2014

Help raise awareness for the Childrens Safe Drinking Water program - join the #cleanwater photo challenge!

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom. As part of my affiliation with this group, I have been offered compensation to participate in the #cleanwater photo challenge. The views, opinions and photographs expressed on this blog and in my social networks are my own.

We turn on the tap and the water is just there. It's something we never have to think twice about. We are extremely blessed to live in Canada with an endless supply of #cleanwater. A vast portion of this world is not so lucky...

Some FACTS about the Children's Safe Drinking Water program: 
  • More then 7 billion litres of clean drinking water have been provided by humanitarian organizations across the world using P&G purification packets. 
  • This has helped to save an estimated 39,000 lives in more then 75countries. 
TORONTO --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- It can be said that nearly all Canadians enjoy an unlimited supply of clean water, so it’s no surprise that a recent survey by P&G and Walmart Canada found that 80 per cent of Canadians take clean drinking water for granted. Yet approximately one billion people in the developing world* do not have the same luxury, and diseases from contaminated water are killing more children every day than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.*Read more here.
Other survey findings include:
  • Eighty-seven per cent believe it is important for Canadian children to grow up caring about children in other countries; 
  • Half (56 per cent) of Canadians do not fully understand the daily challenges those in the developing world face.
So now that we know... what can WE do to help?

This past spring, P&G and Walmart Canada teamed up to bring one day of clean water for every P&G product purchased during the month of April. At that time I participated in a Twitter Party with Jason Priestly to help bring awareness to the Clean Water Initiative. At the end of the month, P&G donated 8.6 million days worth of #cleanwater to the Children's Safe Water Drinking fund.

P&G and Walmart want to continue their commitment to reach their goal of more then 25 million litres of #cleanwater in a 12 month period. They've opened up the program to include every P&G product from July 16-31, 2014.

I am once again participating in the #cleanwater program. This time I'll be doing a photo-a-day challenge. Over the next 2 weeks, I'll be sharing a photo via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on how #cleanwater makes such a huge difference in our every day lives. Let's not take #cleanwater for granted, let's celebrate water in our lives.

The challenge begins today and goes until July 31. I invite all of you to participate with me.


Make sure you include: the hashtag #cleanwater and the prompt for the day i.e. Day 1 Thirst, keep the above photo handy so you don't forget a day. When you share your photos with your social networks, you'll be entered into a draw for an amazing P&G Prize Pack plus $250 Wal-Mart gift card!


 Good Luck!