Wordless Wednesday (October 26th)

My reading tonight courtesy of my darling husband !

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How Time Flies....

It's so hard to believe that 6 years ago this week we left Fort McMurray the city we called  home for so many years to embark on a new life in Calgary.

We would miss our cute little home and all of our very special friends & neighbors.

Hayden was so tiny when we left and has grown so much over the last 6 years.

While we were happy about the new adventure it was very scary to leave the 
known for the unknown.  But we embraced the move and knew it would bring great things.

We were excited about our beautiful new home and discovering what Calgary held for us.

The most joyous events for us were the two additions to our little family. 

Laila in Dec'08 and Sophie in Dec'10

So much has changed in 6 years but in a good way.  Faurq is working now for an amazing new company which offers rewards he has deserved for a very long time.  Hayden is now in grade 3 and Laila has just started preschool.

The Suleman's
Sept '11

The last 6 years have been some of the best we have had.  We only look towards the future with excitement and hope.

We are proud to call Calgary home and hope to have many, many wonderful years here.

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Weekend Fun

We had a wonderful weekend with not a lot on our agenda.  Faruq was scheduled to be off on Friday but because he took most of Thursday off he went into work so it was just the girls and I home.  Saturday morning I had a very relaxing massage and afterwards met a friend for lunch.  The family and I headed out to Costco on Saturday afternoon to pick up a few groceries.

Because Costco is usually so busy and most times I have a few kids with me I never get a chance to just browse the aisles but dad took the kids to the food court so I got a little free time.  Of course, this added at least another $100 to my final tally but that's okay because I got some great stuff.

I was introduced to the Cleaning Eating magazine a few months ago and have throughly enjoyed trying some of the recipes. So when I spotted these lovelies at Costco I was thrilled.

I have already tried one recipe and we loved it.  I have a dozen more bookmarked to try. I would highly recommend either book if you see it.

In keeping with the "get healthy" theme I decided to purchase "Just Dance 3" for the Wii.

I was a little skeptical to be honest.  I don't mind exercising but dance never really was my thing.   But let me tell you we had so much fun yesterday playing with it and don't be fooled because it is a workout if you do it right.  I was sweating after just the first few songs.  Anyone who wants to shake up their exercise routine might want to try this for a change.

We spent yesterday working on homework, napping and playing with the Wii.  Just a perfect way to end the weekend.  We have a busy week planned with something almost every evening and next weekend we start the preparations for Halloween next Monday.

And for those counting we are just two months away from Christmas eve !!   Have you started your shopping yet ?

Have a wonderful Monday !!

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Halloween Popcorn Treat

Remember this picture

Well this is the final product in all of it's yumminess !

Now before reading this post be warned that this Halloween treat is highly addictive and you may not be able to stop with just a small helping.

I found the recipe here on a lovely blog called "Our Best Bites" and just knew I had to try it.  I have been making something very similar at Christmas for the last 10 years so figured I would like it and yup  I was right.

Here's what you will need:

12 cups of popped popcorn (I used 1 1/2 regular bags of microwave popcorn)
1 lb White chocolate wafers (original recipe said Almond Bark which I don't think we can get in Canada).
1 cup of candy corn
1 cup of dry roasted peanuts
1 cup of Reeces Pieces. (Next time I'm sub in peanut M&M's as we aren't fans of Reeces Pieces).

How it's made:

  • Mix together in a large bowl (the bigger the bowl the better) the popped popcorn, candy corn, peanuts and Reeces Pieces.
  • Over low-med heat melt the chocolate wafers on the stovetop.  Stir frequently as it will melt quickly and possibly burn.
  • Pour completely melted chocolate over the popcorn mixture and stir mixture until everything is completely coated
  • Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
  • Break into small pieces and store in a sealed container

My family throughly enjoyed this treat but it is very sweet so most will only want a little piece.  I can't wait to package some up for the kid's teachers and our friends. for Halloween.

Enjoy !!

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Wordless Wednesday (October 19th)

~ Halloween '04 ~

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Since becoming a mama eight years ago I have alway tried to keep the "bragging" in check when it comes to my kids.  Sure I praise them and speak proudly of their accomplishments but I have never been comfortable with going on and on about them.  But tonight I need to break my own rule just for a moment.

I have been very forthcoming with challenges that my lovely little Laila has been facing and as I type this tonight I'm having a very hard time not tearing up.  I'm nothing but simply amazed at what this little girl has accomplished in the last few months.  

Since starting school just over 6 weeks ago she has just exploded.  Everyday her first words to me are "Mommy do I go to school today" and when I answer yes I'm always greeted with a hug and a "Thank you".  Her teachers say that each day she is so eager to learn and her enthusiasm is contagious.  

She is kind to her classmates and always helps the ones that need that little extra assistance.  I actually think that her being at this school is one of her first valuable "life lessons".  The majority of kids in her class are facing challenges that are far bigger than hers and I think she senses that.  She has made two little friends and is already asking for "playdates" with them and of course, the birthday party list is being formulated.

As far as her development is concerned her speech is growing in leaps and bounds.   Everyday she comes out with something new and it just amazes me.  Her comprehension is improving as fast as her speech.   She is recognizing over half the alphabet and can count to 10.  She has started to print her name  as well as drawing and identifying shapes.  She is properly holding her pencil and cutting with scissors.

She knows all the primary colors and quite a few more.   She tackles 15 to 24 pieces puzzles, constantly has books in her hands and wants to play "school" at home all the time.  To put it into perspective she knew none of that before starting school.

I feel my heart bursting everyday with this child and I can honestly say this was not always the case.  When Laila turned 2 she had no speech and the tantrums started.  We went through a very hard time with her and I didn't know what we were going to do.  But now the tantrums are just the normal 3.5 year old stuff which seems so easy to deal with.

One thing I will say to any parent who has a child diagnosed with speech delay don't be afraid to get them the help they need.  I had people advise us against sending her to Providence House because she would be "labelled" with a disability.  My response to them and anyone would be "Who cares? "  She is in the best place she can possibly be and this has given her the best opportunity to have the ability reenter the normal school system in a few years without being behind her peers.

So I will get off my soapbox now but beware as I may bring it out in a few months again to brag just a little bit more.

Laila is very simply my hero !

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Birthday Weekend

Faruq celebrated his birthday last Thursday but we didn't have his party until this past weekend.  It's a tradition in our house that the person having the birthday gets to pick their favorite meal.  So of course,  Faruq picked Filet Mignon.

We feasted on Filet, roasted potatoes & carrots, green bean and beets.
 It was so yummy !!

Then we enjoyed a deliciously sweet chocolate cake.

Faruq and the kids.

Of course, Sophie giving Daddy a taste !

Look who is digging in. 
 (We paid for this with a very late bedtime last night.)

Someone had a little too much sweetness !

The cake was a gluten free chocolate cake mix with an Oreo cookie cream cheese filling. 
It was covered in chocolate buttercream and decorated with Skor bites.

I also made a test batch of a new Halloween treat that I had found on Pinterest.  It was a huge success so I will share the recipe in another blog post.

We also managed to get a few things checked off of our never ending "To Do" list this weekend so it was also very productive.

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Let's get real (part 2)

I'm not sure why I have been avoiding writing this post because I feel like I have triumphed.  As I said here I was really looking for any excuse to pack it in.   I had the injury to contend with but instead of packing it I chose to go to Physio and get this rehabbed.  I was told it would be an easy 4 to 6 weeks possibly longer.

In my earlier post I said I would talk about why I  feel a personal trainer is so valuable.  In my case,  Stevie was there to offer support and guidance when I was ready to accept it.  She said from the beginning we could work through the injury and that routines could be modified.  Without her I know I would have packed it in at that time saying I would start again when the injury had healed.  Sure I would have started again.  LOL

So great I had made the decision to continue working out and everything should have been great.  Yeah no, for a few weeks we worked out but I was still struggling with my commitment level.  I was beginning to feel like I was wasting everyone's time and seriously had to decide what I wanted to do.

Cue the wick head cold I got and it was just another excuse to stop.  But what I have realized is that life happens and there will always be things thrown at us.  It is up to us how we chose to react.  For one of the first times in my life I am choosing to fight.

I chatted with Stevie about my thoughts and decisions.  We have refocussed and I am committed to doing this.  I know it will not be easy and I'm sure I will complain and maybe even falter again along the way but I will succeed.

This is a journey not a race for me and I know I have a long way to travel but the most important thing is I'm still on the journey.

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Mama's Wrap-up (October 14th)

I for one am glad this week is over.  Even though we had Monday off it just seemed very long to me.  Nothing really out of the ordinary for us just lots of running around with the kids.  I fear what our calendar will look like in a few years when all the kids are in school and we have extra curriculum activities for each of them.

We had a very low key Thanksgiving this year.  No company just the 5 of us.  I didn't even cook a turkey but opted for a lovely organic chicken.  I still made all the trimmings and we gave thanks for all we are fortunate to have.  Of course, every special meals needs to end with a pumpkin pie from Costco.    If you haven't tried it you really must.  It's a tradition in our house now.


My wonderful hubby had another birthday on Thursday.  As we have gotten older we tend not to make a really big deal out of our birthday's but we will have filet mignon's and cake tomorrow evening in his honor. In lieu of the gifts I haven't gotten him I gave up my massage tomorrow so he can have a little relaxation.   We love you and hope that you have an incredible coming year.

This picture is blurry but I love it anyway.  
 Happy Birthday Faruq !! 

 I just read this post I wrote last year and it is still holds true today !


I'm always on the lookout for new "food" blogs and I found a great one this week.  This girl is just too cute and she has great recipes on her blog.  You can find Holly here !

I have already tried two recipes and both will be added to regular recipe rotation.  The first was this stew and the second was this Chocolate Cake which was made in the crockpot.

I found one of her recipes posted on Pinterest and can't wait to try even more.  If you have never heard of Pinterest you really need to know about it.  I have found so many wonderful things on there and it has become slightly addictive. Let me know and I can send you invite if you want to check it out.


Now that Thanksgiving is over we are in full "Halloween" mode.  Costumes are being made this weekend and the house is being decorated for the occasion.  I found some great pumpkins at Walmart tonight and Hayden is already planning what will be his masterpieces this year.

I'm excited to try a few new recipes tomorrow for Halloween treats.  I will definitely share them if they are yummy !!

Snow is predicated for Calgary tomorrow which I'm hoping is wrong.  I'm so not ready for that yet.

Have a great weekend everyone !

Lovely Treat

Tuesday we had a lovely warm afternoon in Calgary !  What a nice treat.  The girls and I took advantage of the sunny day and spent some time in our backyard after school.

Of course, we must rest after all that playtime !

Here is hoping for at least a few more warm days to enjoy the outside before the snow arrives.

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A few finds...

I did a little shopping on Sunday morning and found a few neat things along the way.

I usually make my cakes from scratch but when I spotted these in London Drugs I knew I had to give them a try.    Kudos to Betty Crocker for making a "Gluten Free" cake mix. They came in Golden and Devil Foods Chocolate flavors.  Of course, they are a little pricier then regular mixes at $5.99 but for special occasions I don't mind paying the extra if it tastes good.  Faruq's birthday is tomorrow so I will be using one for that.  I will let you know how it tastes.

Approx. 6 months ago Dollarama opened up not far from our place and I have to say it is one of my favorite places to shop.  It has become my "go to" store for most things around the house.  I had never been in one before then but I'm a convert now for sure.

 I found these cute skins for laptops.  When I was in Vegas I picked up an M&M's one but it was promptly confiscated by Hayden when we got home.  I thought these were so cute and at a $1.25 you can't go wrong.  They had 4 different styles and I had to buy two sets to cover my laptop.

Hayden wasn't so sure when he seen them and said they looked like something from the "olden days" but he then made it even better by saying "but your old so it's okay for you".  The mind of an 8 year old.

I picked up a few boxes of Pumpkin Peeps to use as toppers on cupcakes I'm making for Hayden's class at school.  Who doesn't love a peep or two.  Got them for a buck a box.

Lastly, since Laila has started school she has become obsessed with the alphabet and numbers so when I spotted these workbooks I figured she would love them.  Max and Ruby is still one of her favorite shows and at a $1 each it was a steal.  She loved them and we worked most yesterday morning on them before going to preschool.  They had lots of different character themed books so check out the Dollarama before getting them from Walmart. Chapters or Scholars Choice where you will definitely pay more.

Those are just a few of the things I got there this weekend.  There is is just too many to list.  Maybe this should be a weekly post on my blog "Dollarama Deals". 

I bought three bags full of stuff with the grand total being $18.17.  I love taking the kids there because with a few bucks they can usually get a 2 or 3 things each.

Do you shop at the Dollarmam?  What have been some of your great finds ?

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Wordless Wednesday (October 12th)

~ Has been brought to you this week by Laila ~
I think she has talent but I'm her Mama !

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