Simple and Easy Melt in your Mouth Shortbread cookie recipe :

I can’t believe it’s one week to Christmas! I have a lot to do as I am hosting Christmas dinner this year after a hiatus since Zara was born. That means I have to cook and clean! All you mommas out there know my dilemma. I love hosting, but it can be a little daunting with an almost 2.5 year old who is always on the go.

One thing I also have started doing is baking cookies! I found the easiest and simplest recipe for melt in your mouth shortbread. Here is a link to the recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10856/melt—in—your—mouth-shortbread/

I followed the recipe but took others suggestion and reduced the cooking time to 8 to 10 min. I also don’t take them off the parchment paper, as they can be pretty crumbly. I cool them on the counter on the parchment paper. The longer they cool for the less crumbly they are. These cookies are easy to make even if you are not a baker, and a hit with everyone!

Enjoy the holidays mommas! Happy baking! Let me know how they turned out.

Please note that I found this recipe on All recipes.

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The Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) : Educating the Minds of Tomorrow

When Rj and I found out we were having a girl, I was ecstatic. Rj was happy, but he was worried that he wouldn’t have anything in common with her. Fast forward 2 years and some months and Zara is a daddy’s girl through and through. They are two peas in a pod and their bond is amazing. Zara loves anything with wheels and prefers to play with cars rather than with dolls. In fact we have one doll and A LOT of cars in her toy box.

So, when I received the invitation to visit the Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC), to join them for their Christmas celebration, ‘Fishmas a Winter wonderland’, I was excited. Rj is an avid fly fisherman and his dad was a fisherman, so the Fraser River was a part of his life growing up. This was a chance to introduce my daughter to a part of British Columbia’s history, educate her on its impact on our province and get her interested in fishing.

The Fraser River Discovery Centre did not disappoint.

The space is large and beautifully laid out. It is two floors, and had lots of room for little ones to run around and explore.

The exhibits, are informative and made learning fun. Zara’s favorite to my husband’s delight was Sturgeon George. It is a replica of a Sturgeon and the exhibit walks you through their life cycle.

For Fishmas, they had an array of interactive displays set up run by volunteers, like ‘ice fishing’, making mini snow-globes, coloring, etc. They also had an interactive puppet show written by one of the employees, Julie!

Downstairs, to our amazement is a large toddler playroom, with a projector screen cinema. There are a choice of educational and fun shows that you can request the staff to play for you. The Toddler room, also has tons of room to sit for parents while the kids play with toys or watch the show.

Verdict: We spent almost 2 hours in here and Zara had a lot of fun and when she is entertained, I can let my hair down and enjoy myself! I found the staff and volunteers, to be super friendly and accommodating. In my opinion it was worth the drive down from Vancouver, and a great respite from the rain and cold temperatures outside. The Fraser River Discovery Centre is a not for profit society and supporting a cause, whose goal is to educate the minds of tomorrow, is close to my heart. At the same time, watching my husband and daughter bond over common passions is priceless.

Check out the The Fraser River Discovery Centre for a list of events.

Please note that I was invited to visit The Fraser River Discovery Centre and write about it. In return, I was compensated with free entry. All opinions in this post are my own.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips to keep you on track during the Holidays

Christmas is right around the corner and that means adding activities to your already busy life. Between christmas parties, christmas shopping and visits to Santa, the one thing that can easily fall off the band wagon is MEAL PLANNING.

At 5 pm when you get home from a long day at work and your kid is chasing the dog who is chasing the cat, your husband, turns around and asks you the dreaded question: What’s for dinner?! Your brain is tired, overwhelmed and does not want to think at this point. As a mom my brain is full and in overdrive all the time. Meal planning sounds like another thing I have to add to my never ending to do list. Today I am going to share a couple of tips that have worked for me to make meal planning simpler.

1. Buy pre cut Veggies: Every time I think of meal planning, I also think of meal prepping. I am a big fan of meal prepping and I know it can make life easier during the week. But, what I am not a fan of is spending two to three hours on a Sunday cooking or cutting veggies. So here is my first tip! Buy pre cut, pre washed veggies. Or frozen veggies. Just do it and you will thank me for the time you save. Yes it is more money but to me that time saving is worth every penny.

2. Slow cooker meals. I do this atleast once a week. I have a 4.5 quart slow cooker so makes a big portion and I can use leftovers for lunches during the week. My go to website for slow cooker recipes is Delish.

3. Theme days: During the week I like to have ‘theme days. Thursday’s in our house are ‘breakfast for dinner night’ and Fridays are ‘Pizza night’. No more brain power used, deciding ‘What to make for dinner’!

4. 2 meals in one: If I am going to do any meal prep cooking I need it to last more than one meal!! So if I am making chicken fajita mix, I am going to make Fajitas on Monday and on Tuesday I am going to add it to pasta with sauce or have it over rice with guacamole and yogurt.

5. Precooked meals– I like to keep these on hand for those days when life hits you like a brick and you just want to put something in the oven. I try to have a couple of frozen lasagnas, meatballs, chicken pot pies on hand. Costco has a great selection at reasonable prices. It will be cheaper than takeout!

Do you meal plan or meal prep? What are your go to tips? I would love to hear how you make meal planning easier. Also if you incorporate any of these tips, please let me know if this worked for you! Happy meal planning mommas!

Pumpkin, Fruit medley Oatmeal muffin

Hello November! It’s chilly and snowy out there which is perfect  weather for baking. I find breakfast options in the morning during the week can be hard to find. I am always in a hurry to get out the door and don’t have time to sit down for breakfast. So I have being experimenting with a couple of different muffin recipes that I found online. The muffins always looked great but sometimes they would be a tad bit on the dry side. This last batch that I made though was super moist and delicious. Here is my recipe: 

Prep time 15 min

Cook time : 30 to 35 min

Yield : 12 mini muffins 

Ingredients 

Dry ingredients 

1.5 cup flour

3/4 cup oats 

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wet ingredients 

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 cups frozen fruit- thawed ( I used blueberry, cherry mango mix)

  • Mix the dry and wet ingredients (except the frozen fruit) in separate bowls. 
  • Combine wet and dry mix into one bowl and fold in the thawed fruit.
  • Line muffin tray with muffin cup liners and brush with coconut oil.
  • Pour batter into lined muffin cups.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 to 35 min. Cook till the middle of the muffin is no longer wet.
  • Cool and serve!

I kept these muffins in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days. I warmed them up prior to eating and they were moist and delicious. My picky 2 year old daughter loved them!

This is going to be my go to #breakfastonthego recipe. What is your go to recipe?  

Happy Baking! 

What I am thankful for this Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday to me. I did not grow up with it and was introduced to it when I moved to Canada. Younger me never really paid much attention to it especially as my family did not celebrate it. As I got older, Thanksgiving was all about turkey and pumpkin pie with friends. 


Now that I am a mother and in my late 30s, I am intrigued by what the real significance of this holiday is. I find the concept of ‘giving thanks’ and ‘counting your blessings’ so very important now. I want to teach my daughter the meaning behind this holiday. So I have compiled a list of what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1.  I am thankful for this country I live in. 
My parents could have moved anywhere in the world. I was a child so I did not have a say in where we were going to live. I am thankful that we came to Canada. With everything happening in the world recently, natural disasters and shooting rampages, I am thankful that I live in a country where this is not the norm. Canada is far from perfect, but I feel safe here. I don’t worry about being shot at while I am at concert or being stranded during a natural disaster. 

I am thankful I get to raise my daughter in this country.


2. My family

Families are not perfect. Every family has its ups and downs. I may not have a great relationship with my parents, but I am thankful for the strong relationships I do have with other members of my family: my brothers, my sister in laws and my friends.

I never thought I would meet and marry a man like my husband. We have had our ups and downs but in the end it has strengthened our relationship. 

I never thought I would become a mother. But I am so very thankful for the baby girl that has given me the privilege of being her momma. I get to wake up everyday to this beautiful smiling face, who thinks I am her whole world. I am thankful for the awe in my daughter’s eyes.

3. Roof over my head and food in my belly

I usually take this for granted. But there are so many people in this world that don’t have this. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I am grateful that my family and I have a place to call home. I am grateful that we have the ability to buy the food we want, without thinking too much about it. 

So this thanksgiving, as we are drinking our wine, eating our turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, take some time to reflect, and be grateful. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

Easy Slow Cooker Meal : Creamy Chicken, Corn and Peas soup

It’s officially soup season and it is time to pull out the slow cooker. My daughter is a pretty picky eater but she LOVES soup. This soup is easy to put together and makes a lot of left overs for lunches for the family. This recipe will make about 4.5 QT of soup. So if you have a smaller or larger slow cooker you will have to adjust the recipe. 

Disclaimer: I am not a chef. I focus on simple recipes that are quick and my family will love. 

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 6.5 hours

Ingredients 

700 grams chicken thighs boneless and skinless

1 can cream of Chicken 

 1 can cream of Broccoli 

1 Chicken bouillon 

4 cups of water

300 gm of frozen corn

150 gm of peas ( you can more if you like)

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

3 cloves of fresh garlic (halved)

1 tablespoon dried parsley 

1 tablespoon Ginger powder

Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for about 6 or 6.5 hours. 

Start with chicken first and top with garlic, pepper, parsley, ginger powder, boullion and both cans of soup. Top with corn, peas and water. Cook till chicken is shredded, which is about 6 or 6.5 hours on high. Add salt to taste and stir when it done. 

This was the most delish soup I have had. It was a hit with my hubby and picky eater 2 year old daughter. This will be my go to slow cooker soup recipe. 

What is your go to slow cooker soup recipe?  Please feel free to comment and share. 

Bambini’s’ Playroom: The new kids on the block

The rain is back in Vancouver and it looks like it is hear to stay. My daughter is very high energy and on our days off together, I am always looking for places we can go, where she can explore, play and learn. In the summer there are a lot of options outside. In the fall/winter I am on the hunt for indoor play areas, preferably one near a coffee shop!

There is a new indoor play room that has recently opened its doors on Main Street called Bambini’s Playroom. This is there opening week and right now admission is free. Zara and I visited Bambini’s Playroom today and here is our review. 

First Impressions: We were greeted at the door by one of the owners, Amy. Amy is a mom of two, with 10 years of childcare experience. She took time to talk to every parent and child walking in the door.  She has a positive energy about her and you can tell that this is her passion project. 

The space: The space is fairly spacious and very welcoming. There is an arts table set up with paint and paper for kids to use. There is another table set up with alphabets  and a train/track set. The current theme of the room is ‘Camping’ and they have a tent with felt campfire logs set up for the kids to explore. Amy explained to me that the theme will change based on seasons. They are working on a fall season set up next. The space is also available for rent for birthday parties. 

How it works: The Playroom is designed for ages 0 to 5 years. Kids are welcome to explore, play and learn with parent/adult participation.  Amy, the owner engages with kids and helps them play and learn. Amy also runs a circle time for the last 20 mins before closing. 

Hours: Currently the hours are Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 4 pm. Sat 9am to 11 am( this Sat, Sept 30 is 10 am to 12pm)

Fees: As this is their opening week, all admissions are at no charge. Tomorrow is the last day. Generally fees are $12 per drop in. Or you can get a pass for 10 sessions for $90. Birthday rental prices are available on their Facebook page. 

Verdict: I love supporting local businesses. Bambini’s is a one of a kind play room for this area. It is a good respite from the rainy weather and I felt that my daughter was fairly interested in the toys and activities. She actually did not want to leave. I also like the fact that there is a caregiver on the floor, engaging with the children. The circle time was awesome and had the children pretty focused. 

I like that there is a age restriction. I have found some of other play areas that I have been to, that I always have to watch out for Zara to not be rail roaded by an older child.

My favorite thing about Bambini’s Playroom is Amy, the owner. She has a way with kids and the parents. She makes you feel right at home. I will definitely be back! 

And yes there is a Matchstick coffee pretty close by for us mommas who need the caffeine fix. 🙂

The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty rainy. So go ahead and visit Bambini’s Playroom on 4879 Main St. And don’t forget to take advantage of tomorrow, Saturday Sept 30th’s, free admission. Have a fun weekend!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. I am not paid by or affiliated with Bambini’s Playroom. All opinions in this post are based on my personal experience. However, Amy is aware that I will be writing this piece, so feel free to comment and share your experience, suggestions and I will pass them along to her.