08 February 2016

Kids' Valentines Roundup: Printable. Cool. Free.

by Robin

My kids have a tough choice ahead of them.  There are so many inventive bloggers out there who have created fabulous, creative Valentines (no Spiderman, Tinkerbell or Transformer in sight).  And they are sharing them for free!  My plan was to collect a couple of links and let the kiddos choose the Valentine they'd like to take to give to their classmates.   Well,  I went a bit overboard.  My last count was 20 sets! (There's something addictive to searching for them, so I may very well add a few more before this post is published.)

Of course, I am sharing the collection with you, too!  Just click on the blog name and it will take you right to their Free Valentine Printable. 

31 January 2016

A Super Bowl Party Game That's Fun for Everyone: 2016 Edition

By Ed

Football NON-fans - rejoice.  We've made a game that will make everyone enjoy watching the Super Bowl.

And, Football fans - rejoice. For the first time in what seems like decades, the Super Bowl will not feature either the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks. I'm sure Patriots and Seahawks fans are sad about this, but the rest of us who follow the NFL are pretty OK with it. Combine this with the fact that this is Super Bowl 50 - extra exciting according to my TV - and the Big Game has become something to look forward to even more.

But not everyone loves, likes or even tolerates football. For them Super Bowl Sunday is a tedious affair with little excitement other than eating greasy food, looking for a cool commercial or hoping the game will end in time for a good night's sleep.

If this sounds like you, read on - we publish our Annual Super Fish Bowl game with people like you in mind (and it doesn't involve a matrix of gambling squares or any real football knowledge at all).

We update it every year, and because of the extra special 50th anniversary pageantry, we've added a whole extra page of things to watch for - from Cam Newton Dabbing to potential Jay-Z surprise halftime guest appearances, we've tried to come up with ways to keep it interesting even if (when) it becomes a blow-out.

The game itself is loosely credited to my friend, Andy, who shared an updated copy every year for a while. He doesn't claim ownership - a friend of his apparently concocted it - but I couldn't find a single reference to a similar game anywhere online.  So they get credit till we hear otherwise.

I have included a variation in printable form for you and your guests to enjoy for 2016. And if you're planning a party, check out this other post for more Frugal Bowl Sunday ideas.

How to play:

24 January 2016

Bringing Out Buried Photos and Smiles with Canvas N'Decor

by Robin

"Oh!  I think I will sit here all day and just stare at this picture!  It's so beautiful!"

Today, we surprised my mom with a very special gift. She positively beamed at her new photo.  My mom's face doesn't often show such pure joy, but today she sat smiling, laughing and chatting about her gift.  (I'm so thankful to Canvas N'Decor for inviting us to try their service - I don't think this lovely idea would have occurred to me on my own.)

Are you like me?  Are your photos buried in your digital files?  Is there one that makes your heart swell with joy buried on your hard drive?  That's where this photo was languishing.

This photo is one of those special moments that is a treat to remember.  Our son was 5, our daughter 7.  With them and the twin girls next door we visited the zoo.  It was one of those rare summer days that was sunny and hot, but not oppressively.  Also, a day where the laughs far outnumbered the tears or raised voices.  In the children's play area, there was a turtle shell perfect for little ones to climb inside.

My little boy is wearing his precious Hawaiian surfer outfit.  He's holding the sailor hat that he refuses to wear now but was the kind of adorable that brought smiles to strangers.  That boy could steal an old lady's purse in that hat and no one would mind - that level of cuteness.

My girlie wears that kind of smile that beams into your heart and makes it swell three sizes.

My mom needs those little smiles.  She doesn't like to leave her house - so the smiles need to come to her.  Blowing it up to a great size and honouring it with a beautiful canvas makes it feel even more special.  Each week we take her her groceries and visit.  Now, it's also a little treat for me to visit with my favourite photo each week, too.

Do you have a treasured photo that needs to fill your home with love?  Or to spread some happiness to someone you care about?  A canvas print might be just what you need.  Now is a great time. Currently, you can save 50% on your Canvas N'Decor order and plus save an extra 10% when you order two or more.  Free ground shipping in Canada (express in Yukon, NWT and Nunavut).  

50% off all gallery wrapped single panel and  panoramic canvas photo prints at Canvas n Decor Canada

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Canvas N'Decor. They gave us some perks, but as always, we only talk about products we actually use and all opinions are 100% our own.

17 January 2016

Ivanhoe Old Sharpe Cheddar Cheese Bread Recipe (made with 5-Minute Dough) #BornOnTheFarm

by Ed

Making bread with cheese is always a hit. When was the last time you were at a dinner party and the host put a loaf of cheese bread or cheddar biscuits on the table and you didn't immediately reach to dig in?  Or at Red Lobster, don't you always end up arm wrestling your family for the last cheese bun?  No...just me then..

But seriously, if you want your recipe to be a real winner, ingredients matter!

Take this dough recipe.  It's based on our 5-Minute Bread starter. The bread ingredients themselves cost way under a dollar - you're covered there budget-wise. But, the cheese needs to be firm and flavourful - don't scrimp on it! Go to the section of the store where they sell the 'real cheese' and spend a little extra getting an ingredient that will take this recipe from good to GREAT!

We had been just waiting for the right opportunity to expand our 5 Minute Dough repertoire, and when Gay Lea asked us to create something with their Ivanhoe Old Sharpe Cheddar we knew this was the time!  Ivanhoe cheese is made in a hamlet we drive by often when visiting family, from milk produced by Ontario farmers.  It's the oldest cheese factory of it's kind.  They know what they're doing.

Even when using this award winning artisan cheddar, your cheese bread will still only cost around $2.00 a loaf and you will taste the difference good quality ingredients make.  Ivanhoe also makes Naturally Smoked Gouda and Monterey Jacks (- excuse me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard...)

This Recipe uses the 5-minute Bread dough starter recipe we love to adapt: