Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Enjoy & Shop A Canadian Handmade Christmas with My Urbanware

Can you believe that tomorrow is November 1st? 
For me, that means it's time! Time to get organized for Christmas as I like to have most of my Christmas shopping done by December 1. Yes! Really! Why you ask? Well...when the shopping and wrapping are done in November, I find the month of December and Christmas much more enjoyable!
For many years now, it has been a goal of mine to buy handmade and Canadian-made for Christmas as much as possible. Coming from a family where my Dad supported our family as a small business owner, I grew up believing in and knowing the value of supporting small business and purchasing handmade/quality items as much as possible to support families just like ours.
As a shopper, I love seeking out beautiful and unique items to give as gifts to family & friends. 
To me, there is nothing quite so special as the gift that is handmade and that someone has taken the time to choose just for you!
That is why I am so excited to share with you a new online shop, My Urbanware,  which sells Canadian HANDMADE items for men, women and children. 
My Urbanware features items from a collection of Canadian artists who are skilled in their craft and who produce items that are fun, trendy and affordably-priced.
Here are just a few of the amazing handmade items that caught my eye:

As I mentioned, these are just a few of the items that My Urbanware offers, but you will need to go visit My Urbanware to see all of the pretty, unique and Canadian handmade items for yourself!
And of course, how easy is online shopping at My Urbanware when you can shop anytime 24/7 and have items delivered anywhere in North America?

To celebrate the opening of their new online space, My Urbanware is having a Twitter party on November 6th and YOU are invited to attend! It will be lots of fun!
Please click the image below to RSVP to the party! {It's really easy!}

And to celebrate their opening, My Urbanware is hosting a
giveaway from now until Dec. 10th and will be giving away this beautiful leather clutch worth over $150.
You can enter the giveaway below. Good Luck!

I hope you have fun looking at everything that My Urbanware has to offer. To me, supporting Canadian business and Canadian artisans is always a good thing!

Disclosure-I received compensation for sharing the information with you. However, as always, I only share my honest opinions and only work with products/services that I love and believe my readers would be interested in as well. 

Chicken Fajita Pizza Dip

Lately, our family has been all about dips! It`has become one of favourite ways to connect together while hanging out watching a movie or just talking. It seems that as soon as people smell the aroma of  Mexican spice and cheese wafting through the house, I am suddenly tripping over people in the kitchen. You might remember that I had the fun job of being a part of a program with Old El Paso, and this month`s challenge was to come up with a creative twist on a Mexican I chose our favourite, chicken fajitas, and with a few toppings pizza-style, created a warm and delicious cheesy dip.

In creating a dip, you can never go wrong with spicy ingredients and cream cheese. 
Here are just some of the ingredients in our Chicken Fajita Dip, but you could add some of your own favorites as well.
This dip can easily serve 4-6 people as a snack, and a few more if serving as an appetizer.

 Chicken Fajita Pizza Dip

1 block of cream cheese
half package of fajita seasoning
1 cup chopped chicken
half cup of finely diced onion or green onion
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
1  and half cups salsa
half cup diced red pepper
half cup diced tomatoes

1. In bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, fajita seasoning, chopped chicken, half cup of salsa, onion and sour cream until smooth.

2. Spread cream cheese on the bottom of a large plate or casserole dish. Spread remaining salsa over cream cheese mixture. 
3. Sprinkle with red pepper, tomatoes and shredded cheese.
4. Bake dip in 375 oven until hot & bubbly.
5. Serve with tortilla chips and veggies.
If you love fajitas and pizza, this dip is so good and perfect for some casual fun with family or friends. You could even make it earlier in the day and refrigerate until ready to go in the oven.
We love any kind of Mexican at our house, so any time spicy smells are coming from the kitchen that say `Mexican`, I know that the food will disappear and there will be happy tummies!

You may also want to check out the fun we had last month when we had a `Fabulous Fajita Friday` which featured two kinds of homemade salsa.
With winter just around the corner, a Mexican food night is such a great way to warm up after a busy, cold day!
For more great Mexican meal ideas, don't forget to check out the Old El Paso Facebook page where you will find more delicious inspiration!

You can also join the conversation on Twitter for more delicious Mexican recipes & ideas at #YouMexiCan.

Wishing you a happy and delicious day!

Disclosure-I am participating in the Old El Paso Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills, and received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Linked up with: Workin It Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style, StoneGable, The Inspiration Gallery, Party Palooza, I'm Lovin It, The Party Bunch, Tuesday Talent Show,

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

DIY Headboard For Under $40

 As summer ended, our family embarked on two room makeovers for each of our kids and one of our PROJECTS was this DIY headboard that we put together for just under $40 for our son's room. Previously, our son had no headboard for his double bed because, despite a year and a half of searching, I found nothing that we loved AND fit our budget. So I started thinking of making our own headboard with 1 x 6 pine boards. Being from a family that owned a lumber mill for over 50 years, this was not a long stretch for me. What was a stretch for me was having to buy the 1 x 6 boards at a local store, but that's a whole other story!
Our kids are of an age now where they are interested in helping with a room makeover, so I had them both busy helping either painting themselves {my daughter} or helping {my son}. Here, Tyler is getting a lesson in rolling before Mom gets up on the ladder to cut in. I think painting a room is a life skill, don't you?
Here is the finished headboard, and it turned out better than I expected and I am somewhat a teensy-weensy proud of this DIY project.
Let me take you through the entire steps so that you can make your own!

Step 1. 56 inches wide. The first thing I did was measure the width of the bed....which for a double bed is 54 inches.I added 2 inches to this because I wanted the headboard to be wider that a puffy comforter, so the total width of the headboard is 56 inches.

Step 2. 50 inches high. I measured how high I wanted the headboard to be. I measured the bed made up with the usual pillows so I could judge how high I wanted the headboard to be above the pillows, how high it should be if someone were going to read in bed, and how I wanted it to look. I decided on 50 inches high.

Step 3. Then I measured how much the headboard needed to go below the mattress for a good fit. 
I could see that the headboard needed to be around 28-32 inches to go from the top and to cover behind the mattress.
I decided to stagger 1x6 pieces with 1x4 pieces just to add interest to the headboard, and here is the final design I came up with. {And really, any home handyman could have designed's that easy.} And it's designed so that everything is screwed from the back of the headboard so the front shows nice and clean. And if you have access to old, weathered boards to use instead, go for it!
Here's the final design: {This is the back.}
Step 4. And then I went off to the local lumberyard with my supply list, and to make things super easy, I had the lumber yard cut everything for me! Yay me!

Supply List: {Boards are pine boards.}
2-1x6x50 inches {legs}
3-1x6x56 inches {headboard}
3-1x4-56 inches {headboard}
1-1x6-26 inches-{brace for headboard}
1 1/2 inch wood screws
Cost: Under $40 {$38.42}

Step 5. Lay everything out as shown, making sure everything is square before fastening together. If the pine boards have some knots or imperfections, they can go either on the front or back of the headboard...depending on how rustic you would like it to look.
Step 6. Fasten everything together on the back of the headboard with a drill and wood screws...being careful that the wood screws don't show on the front side.{Pictured below is the back.}
Step 7. Paint or Stain. Here's where you can have all sorts of fun and paint, stain or stencil the headboard to make it your own. I stained this headboard with some dark walnut that we had leftover from another project.
And here's the final product waiting to dry. I also think this headboard would look fabulous in a distressed wood colour or a myriad of other colours.
 When dry, deliver to the bedroom and screw the legs into the bed frame with bolts that fit the bed frame.
I absolutely love this headboard in my son's room. It simple and rustic and looks amazing with the new wall colour and bedding. And I am so pleased that it only cost around $40 to make!
This is one of my favourite DIY projects ever!
And if you would like to see how we designed a new study space for our son, you can read about it HERE.
And to take a look at our daughter's bedroom makeover, visit HERE.

And for more ideas, you can visit these boards on Pinterest:

Thank you so much for visiting me and wishing you an amazing day!

Linked up with: The DIY DreamerOur Sunday BestShow Me What You Got, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Chef-In-Training, The DIY Dreamer, Gingersnap Crafts,The Inspirations Exchange, Workin It Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style, StoneGable, The Inspiration Gallery, Party Palooza, I'm Lovin' It, The Party Bunch, Show Me What Ya Got,  Tuesday Talent Show, Metamorphosis Monday, Monday Funday, 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Spiced Apple Pie Bread

I never tire of apple-inspired creations, and this spiced apple pie bread is perfect for anytime....snack, dessert or a lunchbox treat. It delivers fresh apple taste in the form of a moist bread that smells like apple pie and is perfectly delicious when spread with butter and served with a cup of tea or a glass of milk. This is my mother's recipe and she makes it often on Sunday mornings as a batch of muffins, so anyone who happens to stop by on Sundays is always rewarded with this lovely treat fresh from the oven. There is nothing better than love from the oven!

 The recipe for this is so can be made as muffins, a loaf or 2 mini-loaves....whatever you need!
And you can easily add more apples or nuts, or leave the nuts out if you prefer. Anything goes!

Spiced Apple Pie Bread
{makes 12 muffins, 1 loaf or 2 mini-loaves}

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups diced apples
1/2 cup-1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon apple pie spice or 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cloves

2 Tbs. melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.
1. In bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spice. Set aside.
2. In small bowl, mix together buttermilk, egg, melted butter and vanilla.
3. Make a 'well' in dry ingredients and add buttermilk mixture. Stir gently until just combined, then add diced apples and walnuts and just stir until combined. Batter will still be lumpy.
4. Pour batter into paper-lined muffins tin or loaf pan.
5. Bake about 18-20 minutes for muffins and mini-loaves, 30-35 minutes for large loaf, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

For Topping:
Stir together sugar, butter and cinnamon, and brush on warm muffins or loaves.
Serve and enjoy!
You might remember recently that I was chosen to be a part of the Life Made Delicious program this year  where I am able to share delicious recipes and news about the latest products from General Mills. Here are some amazing APPLE-inspired recipes from Life Made Delicious:
Gluten Free Apple Pie
Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars
Apple Cinnamon Cobbler
All of these recipes look so delicious and I am not sure which I am going to try first!

Wishing you a wonderful week and thank you so much for visiting!

Disclosure: I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Linked up with: Time To Sparkle, Homestories A to Z, Show Me What You Got, A Bowl Full of Lemons,  Chef-In-Training,The DIY Dreamer, Gingersnap Crafts, The Inspiration Exchange, Workin It Wednesday,  Savvy Southern Style, StoneGable, Party Palooza, I'm Lovin' It, The Party Bunch, Show Me What You Got,  Tuesday Talent Show,

Friday, 25 October 2013

My Dream Kitchen & The Ultimate Kitchen Makeover #FinishYourKitchen

This is my dream kitchen....white cabinets with a lovely white subway tile backsplash and sleek white countertops.
Like so many families, the kitchen is the heart of our home and I spend hours in the kitchen creating meals and treats fro my family, so it is natural that I often dream of the ways that I might change my kitchen.
Perfectly Paired Appliances

{Source BH&G}
This is my real kitchen. And although it is small, I have done my best to make it cozy and comfortable.
I love how the wall colour sets off the white cabinets.
And I love how I have our kitchen organized into zones so that if functions perfectly for us on a daily basis.
However, there are few small changes that I would installing some subway tile and pretty white countertops. 
Tile Kitchen Backsplash
{Source: BH&G}
And I would love an old-fashioned pantry door just like this one.
Stylish & Functional Food Storage
{Source: BH&G}
I have noticed that my "Kitchens To Love Board' on Pinterest has almost entirely white cabinets and white countertops, so I know that it is a look that I consistently love!

How about you? What is your dream kitchen?
What colour of cabinets and countertops do you dream about? 
Do you dream of an entirely new kitchen , or just a few changes to your current kitchen?

One thing that I do know that everyone loves to have in their kitchen is sparkling clean dishes!
That's why I have used used Finish® Quantum, Powerball and Gelpacs for years.
When I empty the dishwasher, I want my dishes and glasses to be sparkling clean!

And now for some great news! Finish®, in partnership with Bosch, have come together for a great contest where 
Can you imagine having $10,000 to make some of your kitchen dreams come true?
That would be fabulous!

To enter for your chance to WIN, here's what you do:
Finish® is offering a special Buy One Get One offer with mail in rebate.
  • Purchase any 2 participating products in store, mail in the official refund form and receive refund by mail.
  • When you mail in the rebate form, you can also enter for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 Bosch Kitchen Makeovers! 

That's it! That's all you do for your change to win!

Disclosure-I am participating in the Ultimate Kitchen Makeover Blogger Campaign on behalf of Finish®. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on the blog are my own.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Halloween Pencils

 I can't help it...I have a weekness for Pom-pom crafts. I am a child of the 1970's  and I clearly remember making pom-poms crafts at school and an Owl pom-pom pencil Brownies. So soft and cute! I couldn't help but to create this fun pom-pom look for Halloween. And do these not remind you just a teeny-tiny bit of the muppets? Loved that show!

 The beauty of this craft is that it can be made across a range of different ages and they can be as elaborate or as simple as you like!

Halloween theme pencils
Assorted pom-poms in different colours and sizes
Googly eyes in different colours and sizes
Small candy bones (I found mine at the dollar store)
White school glue or glue gun

Let your imagination run wild! Make as many funny-looking pencils as you dare! I used pom-poms for hair and tiny bone candies for a bow tie on mine. Have fun!
I loved that when my 12 year old son saw these, he laughed! 
So this craft is little kid AND big kid approved!
If you would like to see some of my other crazy pom-pom creations~

And for other fun ideas, don't forget to visit these fun boards on Pinterest:

And please visit some of my other Halloween Projects:

Thank you so much for visiting and have a happy Halloweenie day!

Linkin' up with: Inspire Me Please, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Chic & Crafty Party, Tidy Mom, The Inspiration Gallery,  Party Palooza, Inspirational Monday, Craft-O-Maniac, Make The Scene Monday, Block Party, Monday Funday, The Sunday Showcase, Time To Sparkle, Homestories A to Z, Show Me What You Got, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Chef-in-Training, The DIY Dreamer, Gingersnap Crafts, The Inspiration Exchange, Multi-Testing Mommy,
that give mcdonalds coupons and 
breakfast coupons you also can find recipe from