Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chocolate FX , Canada

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We were recently in Canada for a short getaway. I ordered our trip through Groupon and scored a tour plus treats at a local Chocolate Factory. Chocolate FX was a short jaunt from Niagara falls and something we had never done before. I must say if you are using a GPS to get there I suggest asking a friendly Canadian because our GPS kept loosing signal and a 10 minute trip turned into a hour ride. We just pulled over looked at some scenery and regrouped! Sometimes getting there is half the fun!
The Chocolate FX has won a Trip Advisor Award which I am proud to say is well deserved. The staff is VERY hospitable and not because they get paid! They were so very nice to Mac are youngest member of the tour that day. Each worker showed him their task and really made him feel special. Nothing melts my heart like Chocolate and treating kids properly! 
The nice ladies explained how chocolate comes in the factory. How they make certain items they sell. McLachlan even got to help aid in the tour story line which had all of us tourEEs laughing and carrying on. I will say a nice "French" lady even made him his own Sugar free lollipop!
In turn he impressed her by saying "Merci"! 
I also wanted to chat about this Dutch goddess! She comes in because she wants too! Helping with kid parties and all sorts of chocolate makings. I have to say I wish when I turn 30 something, like her I have as much wit and energy to fly around my work area like that! 
Overall we gave this tour and samplings a solid 4 out of 5 stars! I took off one star because it would have been nice to actually go in the factory BUT I understand for Health reasons why we shouldn't. 
Our FREE "treats", the BEST chocolate cover strawberries you ever tasted.
They really do MELT in your mouth!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Food Pantry

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A few weeks ago My four year old & I had the pleasure of helping a local Food bank out. Nothing to special really just helping set up, unload, hand out food. If you watched the video it was really touching and heart warming. I would someday love to do such an act of kindness like that! However, I think every little bit helps.
Donating our time, resources, helping hands or smile really helps others. Reminding people who used the food bank that day they could also take seeds and start a garden for instance. Which hey, FREE seeds, come on now that's pretty darn cool! 
 I was the lucky gal in charge of the "meat" section. Helping people grab something for the week and restocking. I really wish some of these folks had access to free cooking lessons. I think if we all took some time to really prepare and cook our meals we could cut down the food waste. And we would ALL be a little less heavy in the middle section of our bodies ;)
Then once the big Food Bank truck came I helped unload pallets of food to be given out to a line of people waiting. This was such a big task. It is not only physically demanding (353 bags of 3 pounds of potatoes) but people are literally watching and waiting for this food. They stand in line all morning waiting. Talk about humbling! 
Once everything has been handed out and there are not more "customers" it was time to pack down.
Mac had especially fun at this stage which required rides in a tiny elevator. 
I mean look at him... He was so helpful and so STINKING cute! Well-behaved little man was right along side us as we helped others carry, load and give out food. I know we all see others who take advantage of others. We see people who have no homes and think "they brought this on themselves". We may not see a hungry person. Maybe you are starring at one, at work, your friends yet may not even know it. I encourage you to help out in a small way. If you have children I encourage you to bring them along. They need to see it only takes a few bad choices to have nothing BUT there is always someone around who is willing to lift you back up. Everyone deserves food.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April Netflix Update #StreamTeam

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netflix as a part of my participation on the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are always my own.
I was lucky to be apart of Netflix Stream Team this year! April on Netflix has been SUPER exciting in our home. Can you say "HOUSE"? I absolutely LOVE this show and they uploaded 100 episodes. If you have never watched this show I will give you a little background. Dr. Gregory House (Actor Hugh Laurie), a paradoxical physician who loathes his patients but is a genius at treating mysterious ailments. It is witty, funny, scary and just overall entertaining. I think after not feeling so well from surgery I literally have been loathing on my couch. 
I saw this on Pinterest and felt it suited me this past few weeks!
Another exciting show we enjoy watching is Gold Rush.
They added Season 3 this month which is also rather exciting.
Six victims of the economic downturn decide they have a better chance of striking gold than finding new jobs, mining Gold in Alaska.  They suffer weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns, personal issues, breaking of the banks, you name it all to try and strike it rich.
Those our what has been on our TV this month. My 4 year old has really gotten into the Gold Rush Season too! Nothing beats a bunch of big YELLOW machines digging in the dirt, according to him!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Honey Sirloin Recipe

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Honey Sirloin Recipe
Boneless Sirloin
2 tablespoon Honey
2 tablespoon Soy sauce
1/4 cup beer or wine 
Add sauces to pan.
Cook meat in sauces until done.  
Drizzle sauce from pan on meat and serve! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Soy Milk Smoothie Recipe

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Soy Milk Smoothie Recipe
1/2 cup Soy Chocolate Milk
2-3 Strawberries
1 spoon of Peanut butter
1 banana
Ice
Blender 
Put everything into a blender...... blend....BLEND.
Serve & Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buffalo Museum of Science, NY

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Review of Buffalo Museum of Science~ We had a chance to check out this place and wanted to give you our thoughts and feelings. We started off in the Vertebrate evolution wing.
 You can trace the lineages of vertebrate evolution from the earliest animals. These are all housed in glass cases and are preserved extremely well.

The 10-foot tall Mastodon, Seymour and Stanley the 16-foot long Albertosaurus!
These bad boys were HUGE!! 
New Artifacts wing.
 I have to say this for us was the least appealing... 
The dinosaur bones where amazing I love seeing these kinds of displays.
You just get a feeling of how big they really were. 
Health Science area : An interactive approach to health.
 You can explore the most recent advances in medical technology. 
Mac decided to put a Skeleton together. 
They had several interactive, kid oriented stations to stop and play around with. 
Bug Works features all kind of bugs that creep, crawl and fly and their place and purpose in our ecosystem.
We enjoyed the Bees and butterflies!! 
We even build cars and then raced them on tracks.
 I have to say it is a great place to take children!
Over all I loved how clean and airy the Museum was. I could have eating of the floor clean! I will say it was a bit disappointing the Mummy exhibit was not in yet because we were unaware of that before we purchased our tickets. That was a bummer! This is great for kids 2 and up! The price of the tickets would be my only complaint. I enjoyed myself and would probably bring Mac again but the price was rather steep. 
My rating overall was 4out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to: Take a small child to an Aquarium

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There are a few tips and tricks I would like to share on
How to: Take a small child to an Aquarium:
1. Before you look around (and after your purchase tickets) use the restroom. Often times children get so excited they will go in their pants. Not such a nice time for us parents who have to clean that mess up so use the bathroom first!
2. Grab a schedule of feeding & show times. These are a great educational & entertaining treat for kiddos. I try to hit up as many as we can. Sometimes they will even post daily schedule on their website you can go ahead of time and plan.
3. Take time for photos both "staged" and natural. These are what they will see if they don't remember trips when they are older. 
Ok, I just threw these photos in here because they are so darn cute!
I suppose I could also mention you can sometimes score ticket deals on Groupon or Livingsocial.
We purchased our One year Family pass for the cost of one visit!! 
4. Try to schedule a time in between naps and keep them well fed and hydrated. Aquariums get busy and you don't want a cranky little one. I suggest packing a picnic bag with snacks and drinks. Often times they have places for you to sit and eat. They sell food of course but it usually is on the expensive side. I hope these will help you on your toddler travels! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Almond Pastry Recipe

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Almond Pastry Recipe
What you will need: 
For Pastry Base:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, chilled
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt

For Pastry Top:1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, room temperature

For Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons warm milk (2% or more)
1 teaspoon real almond extract
sliced almonds to garnish, optional
For the Base: Place flour, melted butter and salt into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with water and mix with fork. With your hands press the four mixture into a ball and then divide into two equal halves.
Lightly pat each half into two long oblong rectangles on an ungreased baking pan.
 I used parchment paper for easy clean up!
To make the Pastry Top: Place 1 cup of flour in to the bowl, set aside. Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork, set aside. In a medium sauce pan combine butter and water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour into flour and stir on low until combined.
Add almond extract and salt. Increase speed to medium low.
Very slowly begin to drizzle the eggs into the flour butter mixture. Beat until completely combined.
Spread an equal amount of the mixture over each pastry base with a rubber spatula.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
While pastry is baking combine all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Glaze immediately after removing from oven. 
Slice and serve.
I just love this pastry and it really is easy to make. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Trip to Canada

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We decided to just get up and GO on an adventure this week. Well, we did plan ahead of course because I am a savvy saver!! I scored a great deal on Groupon at the Best Western, Canada Side of the Falls. Our package included:
Overnight stay
Indoor pool, play area & arcade
Dine in credit
Tours & Chocolate Samples
Free Wine tour, we did not se on this trip 
I have to say though seeing the Falls never gets old. It is just one of those sights you really need to see in person and it gets better at different seasons. Mac was hoping for a rainbow and at the end of our stay we finally found one, no pot of gold though! 
We had fun just walking around, Clifton Hill with him.
He was a little unsure at first but got more comfortable as the trip went on.
I'm not sure why he would be scared, the dinosaurs where fenced in? 
He needed a little reassurance here and there.
Especially, when they turned the sound effects on! 
We purchased a combo ride pass. I have to say the combos really save you money! Check out local brochures and ask because they don't always advertise the BEST deals. 
I was very proud of him on this trip. He packed his suitcase by himself, his stufies, lugged his suitcase in and out of places. He is growing up so fast I just love little trips to really remind us how big he has gotten. Ahh to be Four years old again. Nice trip sorry I didn't post much this week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

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Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
What you will need:
 2 cans or 28 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
4 cups chicken broth
1 small diced onion
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half, warmed
salt and pepper to taste
** I also used a slow cooker liner for easy clean up, highly recommended!
To the Crockpot, add tomatoes (with juice),
carrots, celery, chicken broth, onion and basil.
My trusty little chef in training helped with this step.
Cook on low for 5 hours, test carrots and celery to make sure they're tender.
Then, in a bowl, melt butter and whisk in flour. Then add mixture in Crockpot along with the parmesan cheese and warmed half and half.
Cover and continue cooking on low for another hour.
Serve and enjoy..!