Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mix It Up!

Beebo started Kindergarten a few weeks ago, and ever since breakfast has been rather challenging. The usual suspects: cereal, oatmeal, eggs, toast - are suddenly no longer working and every day it is a battle to get her to eat something! (Anything- i'll accept anything!) I do not want her to feel rushed while she is eating because that is not a nice feeling to have when you are eating. And they are not allowed to eat on the bus, so that means she cannot eat until snack time (about 3hrs later). I worry that she'll be hungry. I worry more that she'll be whiney.

I polled my Facebook peeps and asked them, what to do about our situation? Surely my child isn't the only one out there with this issue?? The number one response, Smoothie! Of course Smoothie was the right answer. Beebo loves smoothies and would have no issues eating this in the morning.

Problem: Little guy Xman's bedroom is not in a very good place. In fact, it is right NEXT to the kitchen. I worried how i'd make these smoothies for Beebo without waking him up (he doesn't start Preschool till 9am)?  No sense him being up if he can still sleep!

My friend Keri suggested i pre-make the smoothies and simply take them out of the freezer the night before for it to thaw. Great idea, but I wondered what to freeze these smoothies in? Ziplocs? A glass? I thought about it for a few days and then i remembered these:

I picked up a pack of the freezer jars to see if this could work for us. I love that the cap threads on instead of snapping. And at 236ml, they were just the right size! Plus, they stack on top of each other to make storage in the freezer easy peasy!


The batch above contained plain greek yogurt, strawberries, peaches, and banana. I hope to get more inventive with the contents as we go and plan to throw in some spinach or kale too!

What are your favourite smoothie recipes?? We've got lots of school ahead, so i'm going to need a lot of variations!

*Peek Thru Our Window did not receive anything for producing this post. I'm a Bernardin fan already!*

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moms Night Out 2 Donate & Dine


Last month, a friend of mine asked if i'd be willing to donate some blood? I've been poked and proded and have had lots of blood drawn in my lifetime;  however, i have never shown up prepared to donate it altruistically. Being brave, i accepted her challenge and was off for my 'first time'! (Especially once i heard that my donation will save three lives!)


We had hoped to have a larger group to donate, but 3 ladies = 9 lives... so it was still a pretty good turnout. We hope that more Ladies will be able to join us the next time the clinic is in town! (That's November 4th-- Airdrie, Alberta!)


If joining us is something you think you'd like to do, shoot me an email at sami@platinum.ca .


OR, create your own group of Moms and do the same in your city! (Click HERE to find location info.) Donate blood then go have a fabulous dinner out! How can you not want to do that?


Of course, i do understand that not all people are able to donate blood for numerous reasons. So even if you can't donate, you can certainly cheer on your Ladies and feast out too!

*Sign up online to become a stem cell donor too!  The process is easy and only requires a swabbing of your mouth. Click HERE to read more about One Match.*


Your gift is needed always.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordful Wednesday ~ A Mystery

Horseradish is an extremely invasive root. I was apprehensive about where to plant it on my property, so this year i decided to plant it in a pot and give it a trial run. It would yield me enough for a few jars of horseradish and then next year, i could actually plant it in the ground.

Shortly after i planted the horseradish root in this planter, i noticed that those little people that live here someone or something had been digging. Darn. I poked around but couldn't locate the root i had planted.


Recently, my sister-in-law was over and identified this weed. I'd been holding onto because i suspected it was something more than a weed, but had no idea what?  Thankfully, there was my horseradish!


In the freakin' ground right in front of my porch! ~Sigh~ Let's hope i can dig it out or i'll be stuck with it forever.

Horseradish anyone?

Wanna play along?  Get a little Wordful or Wordless with Merry !

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesday~ Garden Goodness

Years ago i bought a jar of Epicures Red Pepper Jelly and it was so good i just had to start making it myself. At $8 bucks a jar, i was not going to be a regular customer. So i asked hubby to build me a greenhouse for my birthday and he did! (Peppers do not always survive outdoors in Alberta.)

That summer i grew peppers and we enjoyed our first batch of homemade Red Pepper Jelly. Over cream cheese with crackers, Red Pepper Jelly is a fantastic appetizer to enjoy alone or with guests!

SamiJoe's Red Pepper Jelly

8 to 10 sweet red peppers (throw in sweet purple, yellow & green peppers too if you like!)
1 tbsp of coarse kosher salt
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pkg of liquid pectin

*This year, i had some yummy Okanagan peaches and decided to throw them in to the mix!*

1 cup diced peaches



Grind/Chop peppers and other veggies/fruits. Add salt over top. Let stand for 4 hours. Drain well.

On the stove, add sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes and boil for 1/2 hour. Add pectin during the last minutes of boiling.

Put in sterilized jars and refrigerate or place them in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.


Voila!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Smart Clothes for Everyday Living

1st location - Calgary

Did you know that Mark's began in Calgary in 1977? Mark's -who you say? Yes, they've dropped the 'Work Wearhouse'- because Canadians already know them to be the #1 place to buy outdoor work attire. A nationwide revamping of the brands you've come to love, Mark's hopes that you'll see how everyday wearable they've made themselves for the office, a night out on the town and working out. Most companies strive to make clothes that are cheaper; Mark's strives to make clothes that are better and are built to last.

Introducing- Smart Clothes for Everyday Living. If you thought Mark's was only work boots, i encourage you to check out Mark's new Fall line ! Visit for a T-Max demonstration (Really cool--Test out your Winter gear at -40C before purchasing!) and Ladies-- test out Mark's fabulous new workout wear designed to last and wear longer than LuluLemon at half the cost! I had a super time last week checking out the latest fashions and learning about Mark's technologies in the newly redesigned CHINOOK #yyc location! POP in and see what Mark's has going on today-- i promise it is NOT what you'd expect!


Like what you see in the picture above?? I picked up these kicks from Mark's to wear to Blissdom Canada in Toronto (Oct 13-15th). I never would have guessed that they were a Mark's product, let alone that they are super comfy!  I'll be stylin' !

This Thursday night, September 22 from 5pm till close, all Mark's locations across Canada hosts Ladies Night.    Get 20% off absolutely everything!  Everything!

I hope you find their fall fashions as appealing as i did.

Good luck & Happy shopping!

*Peek Thru Our Window was provided with some awesome Mark's swag for attending the media launch of new store design and products in #yyc!  As always, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Disney's The Lion King in 3D

September 16th, 2011- Disney's The Lion King is being re-released in 3D for two weeks only

This special theatrical extravaganza showcases the Oscar and Golden Globe winning film in a way not experienced before!  Only until October 4th, 2011 !

*Peek Thru Our Window helps Disney Canada get the word out! No compensation was received for this post.*

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Luxury of the Newly Redesigned -- Lincoln MKX

Driving a Lincoln has the expectation of luxuriousness and the MKX does not disappoint. Fully loaded with many extras that come standard (horsepower and torque BEST in class!), the MKX sets the bar high without sacrificing fuel efficiency. A few weeks ago, we had the chance to test drive this redesigned Lincoln MKX through a week of chores, camp runs, and a Rocky Mountain Wedding Adventure!  Suited more to a family of 4 (car seats nullified the 5th seat), we enjoyed moonroofs, sunroofs, and a fantastic sound system! 

We found the Lincoln MKX to be a very smooth, yet powerful ride. My first few times driving, i found it easier to maintain city speeds with my shoes off. The MKX had no problem reaching 100km/h - shifting through the gears quietly, often fooling your senses into thinking you are going much too slow!  Good thing the MKX was also equipped with adaptive cruise control for those with heavy laden feet.

Fuel consumption was excellent in the Lincoln MKX.  12.2L city/100km, 8.8 hwy/100km.  Great fuel economy for this AWD luxury crossover.

Second time around using the My Ford/Lincoln Touch system, i vowed to get to know the system better.  Since i already knew how to use the climate controls and stereo system, i focussed on the GPS and cell phone sync features.  My children loved watching the map of the GPS for upcoming parks and water.  I enjoyed being able to see upcoming roads without having to crinkle my map or wait for a light to recheck my route.  Syncing my cell phone was also very easy to do with the My Lincoln Touch system.  In light of new laws in Alberta regarding 'Distracted Driving', the capability to sync our phones is more useful than ever!  Using my voice, i was able to call anyone in my contacts list.  No more dialing or searching for numbers!  Of course, if you do not wish to engage the My Lincoln lady in chit chat, while stopped at a light you can still use the touch screen to make a call.

One thing i did not enjoy this time was Ford's new key fob.  Yes, i do enjoy having the doors unlock for me as i approach the car.  A VERY important feature for a Mommy with no hands!  But... for whatever reason, this time the key fob was not very reliable.  We've all had one of those moments in a vehicle where it won't start, the engine turns over and over.  We pause and give it another go in a minute.  The key fob elicited many expletives when it decided on 4 different occasions to rock my world.  I even made some new expletives up.  Hmpf. (I even changed the battery out thinking it might be dying?)  There is possibly nothing worse than your car telling you that you do not have the key in the vehicle for starting the car---- when it is right there in your hand!  Ugh.  Anyways, i got out alive- no biggie.  However, if i could change one thing about this car.... i might like to have an old fashioned key.  Just sayin' ...

Overall, the 2011 Lincoln MKX was a sturdy ride with beautiful perks. Fuel efficient in an age of expensive gas, fun to drive and fun to look at! Go test drive one today!

*Peek Thru Our Window was provided with a 2011 Lincoln MKX  by @Ford Canada for the purpose of this review. As always, the opinions expressed are our own.*

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

To My Little Girl Beebo


On this day Beebo, your first REAL day of Kindergarten- MommyO wants you to know that i am so proud of you and love the little girl you have become. I hope that school is everything you have dreamt about! You really have waited a long time for this day to come; Kindergarten has been in your sights since you were three! We did lots of preschool to fill the void, but your heart belonged to Kindergarten.

MommyO wasn't totally excited about you riding the school bus, but you were excited enough for the both of us! When Bus Driver Dave pulled up to our driveway and opened the bus doors, you were jumping up and down with glee! I hope your enthusiasm for school never ends... that you love learning lots about everything and that you meet special, new friends. (And that your school bus exuberance lasts through the -40C temperatures- Brrr!)

I secretly worried that you did not pay attention to your teacher well enough yesterday to make it from the bus to your class. But we are half way through the morning and no one has called to say they can't find you, so i guess everything went okay. Us Mom's worry about weird stuff like that, but only because we care.

So, my BIG beautiful Kindergartener-- never stop smiling and remember to always be you. I look forward to hearing about each and every day you experience, even if it causes you to chatter non-stop.

All my love. MommyO.

*Please check the link HERE to see if you have seen this boy or this man. AMBER ALERT *

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Food Adventure #3-Clamming





We later smoked these clams over our beach fire. Yum!

Good day diggin' on Pond Island, Maine.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Distracted Driving in Alberta

If you live in Alberta, today begins the new 'Distracted Driving Law'. If you're not already BlueTooth savvy, then visit my friend Merry to get all the details of what you can and cannot do while driving.

*Side Note- being distracted by your mangly little passengers is not ticket worthy. I can eat, while applying makeup, and fiddling with the GPS mid-route-- if my kids are not in the car. Kids in the car = distraction central! The whole thing is full circle; I need to distract the kids with dvd/singsongs/toys/food, but i am the one who should not be distracted?? Tough. So ditch the cell and gadgets, got it. But where do i drop off my main distractions?*


This video would get me super busted now! Major no-no!
And i don't mean the singing...