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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Elf on the Shelf

Last year Alfie our Elf on the Shelf underwent a little surgery in order to be able to perform a few more tricks around the house!  We found a great website that lays our how to modify your elf to make him or her a little more user friendly for the parents! 

Basically we put wire in his arms and legs to make them bendy and sewed in magnets to his hands so that he could attach to things like the fridge, clasp his hands together, climb the curtains you name it!  

All you need is 
  • 16 gauge wire
  • Magnets
  • Needle & white/red thread
  • Scissors
  • Pliers/wire cutter
  • Stitch ripper (you could also use a pin to pull out the stitches, then a scissors to cut them free)
Check out Lifesolovely blog for the details!

Alfie is making his appearance tomorrow morning again and I'm already trying to think of new ways to arrange this little fellow!  

Here are a few of the places Asher found him last year!

Alfie is an adventurous Elf, climbing the curtains
with the help of magnets!
Alfie likes John Deer too!
The bad train from one of Asher's Thomas
Movies caught Alfie in a jar!
Alfie hanging from our keys at the front door.
Asher hadn't been listening well last year
so Alfie wrote him a note!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls

Homemade Taco Pizza rolls with Whole wheat pizza dough
I found this yummy looking recipe on the old del paso website and knew right away that I had to try making these cute little Taco Pizza Rolls!  Gord and the Boys would all love them AND they would make a great appetizer idea for potlucks and Christmas gatherings this year! 

But the recipe called for store bought Taco seasoning and pillsbury pizza dough.... Ummm NO!  I think I'll use my own Homemade Taco Seasoning and Homemade Pizza dough too! 

Much healthier that way.  

I know what your thinking.... Pizza dough, I don't have time to make my own pizza dough!  But I ask you.... do you have a pillsbury pizza dough in your fridge right now?  If the answer is no then you are better off making your own than driving to the store to get one.  PLUS it will be way healthier for you and you will know what's in it!

You will need a bread machine for my recipe, but if you don't have a bread machine you may need to do a little kneading and let it rise in a warm spot.  You can Find my Bread Machine Pizza dough Recipe here!

Taco Pizza Rolls with homemade pizza dough

Taco Pizza Rolls Recipe


1/2 lb Ground beef
1 Pizza dough recipe
2 TBSP Taco Seasoning
3 TBSP water
2 Cups White Cheddar Cheese

*Optional Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, sour cream, onion, guacamole.


  • Preheat oven to 400 ° and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
  • In a medium skillet, cook and brown beef until no longer pink. Drain. Add taco seasoning and water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Take Pizza dough out of the machine or package and place onto a flat surface. Slightly roll or press the pizza dough out into a rectangle.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread machine Pizza doughHomemade Whole Wheat Bread machine Pizza dough
  • Sprinkle the cheese evenly onto the pizza dough. Add the taco meat evenly on top of the cheese.
Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls
Add the cheese
Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls
Add your ground meat
Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls
Pinch the ends to ensure the
roll stays together.
  • Starting with the long edge of the pizza dough, roll dough tightly up into a roll.
    Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls
    Ready for the Oven!
  • Using a serrated knife, make about 1-inch slices along the roll, making about 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
    Homemade Taco Pizza rolls with Whole wheat pizza dough
    All done!  Don't they look good!?
  • Serve Immediately and top with desired toppings!

Homemade Taco Pizza rolls with Whole wheat pizza dough
I topped mine with a little sour cream,
tomato and green onion!  YUM

Additional Recipes

Taco seasoning recipe

1/2 cup Chili Powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup cumin
1 TBSP Garlic powder
1 TBSP paprika
1TBSP sea salt

Add all spices into a mason jar, screw lid on tight and give it a shake!  Done.

Homemade Taco Pizza Rolls

Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe

Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe


1 Cup Water or Beer
1 TBSP Coconut oil or Butter
1 Tsp Sea salt
2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tsp Dry Yeast

Note: Water or beer can be used in this recipe, using water will result in a  crispier crust


  • Place water, coconut oil and salt into bread machine pan
  • Add flour and sprinkle yeast into the center of the flour
  • insert pan securely into machine and close the lid
  • select "dough" bread setting
  • Push Start.

My bread machine takes about an hour and a half to make the dough.  I will often set my bread machine up and delay the start time of the dough setting for several hours while I'm at work so that when I arrive home the dough is ready to use for dinner time.  

I find that the best temperature for pizza is 400 degrees F.

This dough yields about two 12 inch thin crust pizzas or 1 12 inch thick crust pizza.  You can also use it to make Pizza rolls, pizza pockets or pretzels.  

Easiest Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Healthy and Easy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins using Honey and Coconut Oil

Breakfast this morning was these yummy and easy to make Banana Muffins.  

I have passed this recipe on to many many people over the years and I finally decided to share it here too.  I love these muffins because I don't need to use the mixer to make them just mash up the bananas with the egg, coconut oil and honey and then add the dry mixture to that!  So simple, but these muffins also turn out moist and delicious every single time!  

Healthy and Easy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins using Honey and Coconut Oil

Whole Wheat Banana Muffin Recipe

Wet mixture

1 Egg
3 Large ripe bananas
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey

Dry mixture

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Healthy and Easy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins using Honey and Coconut Oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • In a large bowl add egg and 3 very ripe bananas, mash together. 
  • To that add coconut oil and honey, stirring or mashing into the egg and banana mixture. 
  • In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and add that to the banana mixture, stirring until just combined .
  • Spoon batter into lined muffin pan, filling to the brim.  
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes or until you start to smell them (that's how I always know when muffins are ready).  

What I really love about this recipe aside from it being so easy to make is that there is no added sugar besides a small amount on honey.  So for me this is truly a healthy muffin recipe I can feel great about serving to my boys!  

Healthy and Easy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins using Honey and Coconut Oil

Friday, 28 November 2014

21 Day Fix Approved Breakfast Burrito

21 day fix approved Breakfast Burrito

Happy Sunday!  I hope you are having a productive and also relaxing Sunday today!  I was out of cream this morning for my coffee *sadface!  Milk just isn't the same!  And now that I think of it, I should have just did a coconut oil blend up in the magic bullet!  Bullet proof coffee is so good and a dairy free way to enjoy your morning cup of coffee!

I also raided the fridge and put together some breakfast for the boys and myself.  What I came up with was a Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Breakfast wrap topped with tomatoes!  It was packed with egg and probably could have been split into two tortillas but I didn't want to use my two carbs for the day all in one meal so no way!!!

I took a few photos and wrote down the recipe to share with you too.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

21 day fix approved Breakfast Burrito
A little onion and Mushroom in the pan with
some olive oil

21 day fix approved Breakfast Burrito
Then the spinach
21 day fix approved Breakfast Burrito
Egg and Feta cheese

21 day fix approved Breakfast Burrito
Top the tortilla with the egg mixture and fresh tomatoes!
Mushroom Spinach and Feta Breakfast Burrito recipe
21 Day Fix: 1 Green 1 Yellow 1 Red 1 Blue
This burrito is loaded with eggs, onion, Mushrooms, Spinach, tomato and Feta Cheese to create a delicious, high-protien breakfast.

Total Time: 17 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 7 min.
Yield: 1 serving
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped Onion
1 Tbsp. chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup Spinach
1 Tbsp. Feta Cheese
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. chopped tomato
1 (8-inch) whole wheat flour tortilla, warm
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.
3. Add in spinach cook until wilted and eggs; cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs are set.
4. Top tortilla with egg mixture, tomatoes, and pepper (if desired).
5. Roll tortilla burrito-style.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

I haven't purchased taco seasoning from a package in years.  It all started when Gord and I wanted to make nachos one night and we had no seasoing mix in the cupboard. So he googled the recipe for Taco Seasoing and we made a batch of it.  For a while after that we still purchased the seasoning packets here and there but if we ran out we would just make up another batch. 

Once I started really started reading ingredients labels and becoing more concerned with what was in our food I switched us over to our home made seasoing and we haven't looked back.

Because there are some ingredience in a package of Old Del Paso Taco Seasoning that I can't pronounce and there are preservatives and anti Caking agents so it's not something that will be going into my body or my families bodies either!

Ingredients in Old Del Paso Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
Maltodextrin, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Corn Starch, Garlic Powder, Spice. Contains less than 2% of: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Yeast Extract, Silicon Dioxide (anticaking agent), Sunflower and/or Cottonseed Oil, Spice Extractive, Ethoxyquin (preservative)

My Taco seasoning recipe

1/2 cup Chili Powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup cumin
1 TBSP Garlic powder
1 TBSP paprika
1TBSP sea salt

With my Taco Seasoning recipe, we just put all the spices into a mason jar and give it a shake. The recipe is taped to the outside of the jar so I can refer to it easily when we need to remake it.

Our family loves most any tex mex type recipe so we go through a lot of Taco Seasoning that's for sure!  On the menu this week was a  Yummy One Pan Burrito Bowl and Oh my gosh was it yummy and made great left overs for lunches too!!! 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beachbody Black Friday Sale

Yikes it's been a busy day for me and I haven't fully shared these amazing DEALS with you!!!  Beachbody is having their BLACK FRIDAY SALE today!  

Some incredible deals that you can't miss out on!  Especially if you are someone who has a tight budget but you want to get your health and fitness back on track.  This might be the way to go!!  

Combat is on for a ridiculous price right now and it is seriously one of my personal favourite workouts!!!  

So to check out the sales you can GO HERE and scope them all out!

Monday, 24 November 2014

November Weekly Plan #2

Weekly Meal plan, recipes, daily to do lists, meal prep, grocery list and more!

The Weekly Plan is a little late this week but I've been doing most of my meal planning on Monday's as I have Monday's off right now!  But here it is...

Every Week I edit my 'Weekly Plan' which is saved as a note in my iPhone.  I go through each day and change the meals, include any prep tasks the day before and add any obligations we have for the week.  I know many people try hard to meal plan but it can be difficult and time consuming so I thought I would share with you my method that has worked for me for years!

Below you will find my Sunday to Saturday list.  Each day I include the 'Must Do's' for the day including what's for dinner, what prep is to be done for the next days dinner, if we need to do any errands or have any obligations that day etc.  

Following that I have included a general grocery list of the items I will need that may not be in my pantry already.  If you are going to follow this plan please make sure you scan all the recipes to ensure you have everything you need as this list doesn't include EVERYTHING.

I have also included one Cleaning item to do each night so that on Saturday I have fewer chores to do!

In addition I have included links to the recipes and a few of the recipes I have included below.

I do hope this helps you plan for your week too :)  

Weekly Plan


- Chicken for Dinner with potatoes, veggies
- make Whole wheat Apricot ginger Scones (Recipes found here on the blog)
- do meal planning for the week
- grocery shopping
- clothes out for school
- lunches made
- school backpack packed
- change all bedding and do laundry
- Take out chicken for Monday's Dinner


- Chicken burrito Bowl for dinner (Recipe found on the number 2 pencil blog here or posted below) 
- Clean bathroom
- School Backpack Packed
- clothes out for work and school
- pack lunches - Left over Stirfry for lunch
- take out Chicken for dinner tomorrow to defrost


-  Crockpot Butter Chicken for Dinner (recipe found on the damndelicious Blog here or posted below)
- swimming 7pm
- clothes out for work and school/Workout clothes
- make lunches 
- pack diaper bag 
- take out chicken to defrost for tomorrow
- Sweep floors


- Beef and Broccoli Stirfry for Dinner (Recipe Below)
- clothes out for work
- make lunches
- pack diaper bag
PiYo at work
- make rice ahead for Thursday dinner and take out a chicken breast if needing defrosted
- Dust Living room


- Crunchy Spicy Pork Tacos for Dinner (Recipe listed below)
P90 at work
- clothes out for work
- make lunches (leftover burritos)
- pack diaper bag
- General main living space tidy up


- Margherita Pizza for Dinner (Recipe found at Beachbody Blog or posted below)
- Combat at lunch time
- No school or work tomorrow!


- Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage Citrus Slaw for Dinner (Recipe below)
- Soccer at 1:30pm
- Laundry Day
- Clean floors
- Clean Bathrooms

Grocery list

(not including spices and items not usually in pantry already, check recipes for quantity)

Chicken Breast
Black beans
Chicken Broth
Green Onion
Sour Cream
Coconut Milk
Tomato paste
Garam Masala
Curry Powder
Chicken Breast
1 Lb Pork Loin
1 (7-oz.) can sliced jalapeños (optional)
Tomatillo salsa (or salsa verde)
Fresh pineapple
2 medium shallots
Lime juice
6-inch whole wheat tortillas

Whole wheat pizza dough
Tomato sauce, no sugar added
Mozzarella cheese
Fresh Basil

6 oz raw cod( or other white fish)
Raw cabbage
Cayenne pepper


One Pan Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe

  • Ingredients

    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
    • 3 tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion
    • 1 cup of uncooked extra-long grain rice
    • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
    • 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin
    • 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 cups of colby jack, monterey jack or cheddar cheese
    • kosher salt and pepper
    • freshly diced tomatoes
    • diced green onions
    • sour cream
    • guacamole
    • Instructions

      1. Start by sautéing onions in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until they start to soften.
      2. Season diced chicken with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
      3. Add chicken to pan and cook over medium high heat until chicken has started to brown.
      4. Move chicken to one side of pan, in the other side of the pan add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and sauté uncooked rice for about 2 minutes or just until some grains start to turn golden brown.
      5. Stir in black beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.
      6. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.
      7. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
      8. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
      9. Sprinkle with cheese, recover and let set for 2-3 off heat to melt cheese.
      10. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and guacamole.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger powder until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place chicken into a slow cooker. Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry


1TBSP soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 TBSP water
1 tsp corn starch
½ teaspoon raw honey
1 tsp olive oil
4 ounces top sirloin
1-cup broccoli florets
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup cooked brown rice


  • Combine soy sauce, water, corn starch, and honey in a small bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook until cooked through. Remove beef.
  • Add broccoli, garlic, and ginger to the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove broccoli and add to bowl with beef. Keep warm
  • Add soy sauce mixture to the skillet and heat for 30 seconds. Return beef and broccoli to skillet with sauce and stir to coat. Remove and serve over rice.

Crunchy Shredded Pork Tacos

Total Time: 4 hrs. 30 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 4 hours.
Yield: 4 servings, 2 tacos each

1 lb. raw pork loin, boneless, visible fat removed, cut into 4 large pieces
1 (7-oz.) can sliced jalapeños (optional)
1½ cups tomatillo salsa (or salsa verde)
½ cup finely cubed fresh pineapple
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. ground cumin
8 corn tortillas (or 6-inch whole wheat tortillas), warm
½ cup thinly sliced radishes


1. Place pork loin, jalapenos, and tomatillo salsa in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until pork is no longer pink and shreds easily.
2. Remove pork from liquid. Cool for 20 minutes. Shred pork, discarding any visible fat.
3. Combine pineapple, shallots, lime juice, and cumin; mix well. Set aside.
4. Top each tortilla evenly with pork, salsa, and radishes.

Margherita Pizza Recipe

Total Time: 33 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 18 min.
Yield: 6 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
1 (16-oz.) package whole wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup tomato sauce, no sugar added
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 medium tomato, sliced
¼ cup whole basil leaves, torn in small pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
2. Lightly coat 12-inch pizza pan with spray. Starting at the center, and moving outward, use your fingertips to press dough to ½-inch thick. Stretch dough until it won’t stretch any further. Let dough relax for 5 minutes; continue to stretch to desired diameter.
3. Drizzle oil over dough; spread with a pastry brush to the edges.
4. Spread tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a quarter-inch border.
5. Layer with cheese, tomato, and basil.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage Citrus Slaw

6 oz raw cod( or other white fish) washed, patted dry
¼ tp sea salt
3(4 inch) corn or whole wheat tortillas
¾ cup shredded raw cabbage
6 fresh cilantro sprigs
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 dash cayenne pepper( to taste, optional)
¼ medium avocado, cut into 6 slices
Preheat grill or broiler to high.
Grill or broil fish for 3-5 minutes on each side or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork. Set aside.
Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
Place tortillas on a serving plate. Top each tortilla, with one third fish, cabbage and cilantro.
Season with lime juice and cayenne( if desired). Also with the citrus vinaigrette and it is delish!)
Top each tortilla with two avocado slices; fold and serve.

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