December 23, 2014

I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.

Today we pulled up to a stop light. A young man, dressed in tattered jeans and black leather jacket, shaved head, and multiple piercings, paced the boulevard with a little sign which said, Merry Christmas, and something about needing money...

Dave was in the driver's seat, I rolled down his window and called the boy over, "Merry Christmas, I don't have much, but here you go."

I apologized profusely for not having more, I usually do. My secret stash of cash seems to have been found by the little hands in my family.

His words are still ringing in my ears...  he kindly replied, "It's OK... but Thank You for ACKNOWLEDGING me." 



ACKNOWLEDGE ME!


I AM HERE!


DO YOU SEE ME?!

How many times do we fail to SEE others? Acknowledge their existence? Or do we look the other way, pretending to grab something, like our phones, and keep busy so we don't have to make eye contact?

I'm guilty. 

In the past, I have rationalized why not to open my window with thoughts like; maybe he should just move home, get a job, or that he'll use the money for drugs or alcohol.

The truth of the matter is... he appreciated being seen more than the amount I could muster in the 10 seconds it took to empty my pockets.

During this time of year we are more apt to be mindful and gracious to others than any other time. It's amazing what a simple smile, head nod, or even a whispered hello will do for someone else.

It's not just for those on the streets or in the shadows of society. Take the time to notice those in your neighbourhood, your church, your workplace, the grocery store, or the pick up lane at school. I'd like to challenge you to bring some of this Holiday Cheer forward into 2015! No one deserves to feel invisible.

Kindness wins every time! 

December 22, 2014

A Christmas High Tea Party is #WhatsCooking in my House this Week

It's been a couple years since I hosted a party in my home. I was overdue to have some friends over and what better time than the Sunday before Christmas?!

From the time I had the idea, to the time I could pull it off... I only had a week. I often do stuff like this, all last minute like. A Christmas High Tea Party it would be!

The inspiration for the theme?!

My sister-in-law dropped off two boxes of gorgeous fine china tea cups a couple of months ago. They've been staring at me ever since, begging to be used. (She works at a senior's home, they've switched to less breakable tea sets.)


At 2pm my guests began to arrive. Soon my house was filled with the sound of tea cups clinking, 20 ladies chatting and laughter all around. And food of course. You can't have a party without delicious food.


With getting work projects complete, cleaning, Christmas decorating, Christmas dinner at the church, and my Christmas shopping yet to do... I contacted a friend of mine who has a local catering company, Little Mushroom Catering, to help take some of the pressure of me but mostly so I wouldn't have an excuse to cancel out. Remember, it's been a couple years since I last entertained people in my home.

The High Tea affair consisted of:
  • Assorted Scones, 
  • High Tea Sandwiches,
    • Cucumber & Artichoke Cream Cheese
    • Open faced Smoked Salmon with Dill & Caper Cream Cheese
    • Bacon, Red Pepper Cream Cheese Pinwheels
    • Avocado Cream Cheese Pinwheels
  • Assorted Holiday Desserts


Opening your doors at this time of the year will not only fill your home with fun and laughter, but it will fill your heart with joy. Giving of ourselves, opening our hearts and our homes, is as appreciated as a gift wrapped in paper.


Whether or not I was thanked was not the point of having the ladies over, but it was awfully nice to see the gratitude of some of those who came. #FilledMyHeartEvenMore

Now to make some Vanilla Shortbread Poppers as edible gifts for the neighbours... Shortbread Cookies are my favourite!!!

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year!

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