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Feb
28
2013
Feb 28, 2013
Posted in: Thoughts

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

YES! It is February 28 which means tomorrow is MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARCH. I’m not excited at all, really. Don’t get me wrong. I love many things about February. February means we’re one month closer to Spring. February means a lot of different holidays depending on what your family celebrates and February also means a lot of kid’s birthday parties (for some reason, that’s how it turned out for the friends we know).

But March is something else. March means first day of Spring! March means Spring break for the kiddies but more importantly, it means warmer weather ahead. I love winter and I’m more than happy to go out and shovel snow (the idea of winter with no snow is just seriously creepy) but I do not like all the germies that are associated with the cooler weather.

I love watching the plants begin to bloom even though March also means allergy season is around the corner. Even the anticipation of March arriving is enough to get me off my chair and do a little pre-Spring wiggle. I love that the days are getting longer and it makes being an optimist so much easier.

To all our readers at ThingsThatWeDo.com, this post is dedicated to all of you for doing what you do every single day. You each carry so many different roles and let’s face it, it often feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Know that the hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Others appreciate what you do even if they don’t tell you directly. Know that you have successfully gotten yourself to February 28 and that’s quite the feat when you reflect on how much you’ve done over the past two months of 2013.

So ROCK on and let’s welcome March!

Jenna, ThingsThatWeDo.com

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Feb
27
2013
Feb 27, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Um..yes I am. What is going on with this week? Literally, I feel as though my inbox is being flooded with product and food recalls over this past week. Check out the latest recalls issued for Canada and the United States. Fingers crossed there are no more for this week!

U.S. recalls:

1. Maxiloss Weight Advanced Softgels Dietary Supplement Reason for recall – undeclared Sibutramine. Click here for more details.

2. King Arthur Flour Reason for recall – little blue polyurethane balls. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, these bright little balls are used as part of the sifting process and for whatever reason, some ended up in a select number of bags. Click here for more details.

3. Honest Kitchen – select pet food Verve, Zeal and Thrive products Reason for recall – Salmonella. Although this recall came from the FDA, note that products may also be in Canada. Click here for more details.

Canada Recalls:

1. Clic brand Sesame Paste Tahina Reason for recall – Salmonella. Are you kidding me?! In sesame paste? Click here for more details.

2. Mauri brand Gorgonzola Reason for recall – Listeria. I miss the days when this word never seemed to pop up. Now it’s everywhere. Click here for more details.

3. Spin-A-Mals—Farm and Safari playsets Reason for recall – possible choking hazard when smaller parts separate. Click here for more details.

4. Murchie’s and Co-op Gold Teas – select flavours Reason for recall – Salmonella. Honestly, since when did Salmonella start showing up in tea?? First it was that other brand, now this? Note though: this recall was only on select flavours. Click here for more details.

Stay tuned to ThingsThatWeDo.com. We’ll continue to keep you all posted of product recalls and safety tips!

Let others know about these recalls: it!

Feb
26
2013
Feb 26, 2013
Posted in: Thoughts

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

A little while ago, I posted about my poor little inspiring Calathea plant. Once a fully blooming and vibrant plant, somehow along the way, I managed to complete destroy it. Resilient as that Calathea is, it refused to give up and that was what my earlier post was all about.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my Calathea and in case anyone is wondering, I thought I’d give a little update.

Good news: the Calathea is still alive and kicking. I love seeing this Calathea thrive. Check out all the new leaves that are growing. Seriously, this is one little pot of miraculous.

Despite having such a terrible owner with no green thumb, this Calathea plant continues to grow and live.

Why not give it some fertilizer? Um, because I don’t have any. I don’t even know what fertilizer for a plant like this would even look like and if I were to give it fertilizer I’m pretty sure I’d accidentally give it too much and either really kill it or it’ll turn into the beanstalk that Jack could use. Hence, I’m just going to leave things the way they are. I still water it when the soil seems dry and let it do its own magic. But, boy oh boy am I proud of it!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Feb
25
2013
Feb 25, 2013
Posted in: Recipes

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re a regular reader of ThingsThatWeDo.com, you’ll know that my life unravels whenever I turn on the oven. Okay, I’m exaggerating but my baking life pretty much goes way down into the ‘toss into the garbage’ zone the minute I even think about baking and I know why. I don’t bake consistently so I lose my groove. When I do decide to bake, it then takes me a good 3 or 4 months to get into the swing of things and by then, I’m no longer interested in baking.

Having said that, I do like to food from scratch and then it donned on me. If I can make those lemon coconut no-bake bon bons, I’m sure I can make some other no bake goods too. Do a little search online and I learn it is possible. I talk to some pals at work and boom: no bake granola bars. Today’s post features my version of no-bake granola bars and trust me, if I can make them, you can too.


Recipe: No Bake Granola Bars – Ingredients Needed

This is a simple recipe and I love that only a few ingredients are needed:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)
1 cup Cheerios crushed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
A sprinkle of chocolate chips (optional)


Recipe: How to Make No Bake Granola Bars

First things first: in a large bowl, I crushed up enough Cheerios to make 1 cup of crushed Cheerios. They were partly broken to resemble rice cereal pieces. Then, I mixed it in with the oats and put it aside. I lined a 9 x 9 tin pan with parchment paper.

In a medium size pot, I melted the butter, honey and brown sugar together slowly mixing and left it there until it started to bubble slightly. I let it go on a low heat setting for about 2 minutes and then I poured in the vanilla and mixed it well.

I then turned off the fire and poured in the cereal and oats mixture and combined it with the buttery mixture. You have no idea how delicious the kitchen smells right about now. I continue to mix until the oats mixture looks well blended and coated.

Now, I pour the mixture into my pan. Here comes the next trick: you want your granola bars to be about 3/4 inch thick so you don’t actually need the entire pan for this. What you want to do is pour the entire mixture into the pan and then start squishing it down to one side of the pan. Press down so everything sticks together. The more compact it is, the better the granola bars will set once they’ve cooled off. Leave holes and it’ll crumble and fall apart later.

To avoid getting it all over my hand, I usually use the parchment paper that is lining the unused side of the pan to press down on the granola mix. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll end up with a roughly rectangular shape. If you want to, you could sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top while you’re pressing down. Personally, this didn’t turn out so well for me. I got grossed out by all the chocolate smearing everywhere because of course, it started to melt and honestly, the granola bars are sweet enough without them so don’t bother unless you want these bars extra sweet. You could also mix the chocolate chips in but again, totally optional.

At this point, you can just let them sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or so or until they’re set enough to cut. Cut them into whatever size works for you. You can either store them at room temperature or I prefer to keep them in the fridge. They come out of the fridge really hard but by the time I take them to work, they’re ready to enjoy! For my daughter, they go into the backpack and are ready to enjoy during recess.


No Bake Granola Bars – how do they taste?

I personally really like them with the crushed Cheerios more than any other cereal. The saltiness of the Cheerios helps to balance out the flavours. You could easily swap out some of the Cheerios for other options like slivered almonds, coconut, you name it. Next time I go to the grocery store, I’m going to let my kid pick the cereal of her choice and we’ll see how that turns out.

For now, enjoy these pics of our no bake granola bars. Trust me, if I can make them, you definitely can!

 

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

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Feb
24
2013
Feb 24, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I know it was just the other day that I posted a bunch of recalls but these came to my inbox and I felt obligated to share because you see, the more people know, the more we can all stay safe collectively. So, just hang in there, take a quick look at these product recalls, make sure you don’t have any of the listed products, and make sure you spread the news!

U.S. recalls:

1. belVita Breakfast Biscuit Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Varieties Reason for recall – because no one wants to eat pieces of metal even if it is flexible. Click here for more details.

2. Goldcoast Salads – expanded recall for Blue Crab Spread, Maine Lobster Spread, Lobster and Shrimp Spread, and Smoked Salmon Spread Reason for recall – Listeria. Click here for more details.

3. Honest Kitchen – select pet food Verve, Zeal and Thrive products Reason for recall – Salmonella. Although this recall came from the FDA, note that products may also be in Canada.Click here for more details.

4. Kasel Associates Industries – more pet treats recalled Reason for recall – Salmonella. Again.Click here for more details.

5. Kaytee Bird Treats and Greens Reason for recall – Salmonella from parsley flakes. Even though this recall came from the FDA, if you click on the link you’ll learn that the recalled products were distributed to a number of different countries including Canada, China, and Japan to name just a few. Click here for more details.

Canada Recalls:

Select identified TEGA brand Organic lemon hibiscus green rooibos herbal tea Reason for recall – SalmonellaClick here for more details.

Stay tuned to ThingsThatWeDo.com. We’ll continue to keep you all posted of product recalls and safety tips!

Let others know about these recalls: it!

Feb
23
2013
Feb 23, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

It’s always good to have a backup plan even when it comes to breakfast. Most days, my kid (now 7 years old) have a rotating list of viable breakfast options from French toast to an egg omelette to pancakes to cereal. But, there are times when for whatever reason, the parents fall short and we need to implement the Breakfast Backup Plan.

Enter Exhibit A: Earth’s Best Homestyle organic mini waffles. We recently found them in our local health food store and I’ve seen them at Loblaws before too but never picked them up until just last week. The ingredients aren’t fabulous but they’re not atrocious either (Eggo, shame on you) which meant they were worthy of a product test drive and use as a Breakfast Backup Plan. Question is: will I regret this decision to add Earth’s Best organic mini waffles into our repertoire?

- Continue Reading

Feb
22
2013
Feb 22, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

One day there are no recalls at all and the next minute, my inbox is flooded with them. Good golly, here are recent recalls in Canada and the United States

U.S. recalls:

1. Nutri-Vet and Nutripet Chicken Jerky Products Reason for recall – Salmonella. Click here for more details.

2. Arnold, Brownberry, Earthgrains, Farm, Harmons, L’oven Fresh, Stroehmann and Sara Lee Multi-grain Breads and Sara Lee Thin Style Buns Reason for recall – bits of wire that came off one of the machines. Gosh, at least it’s not salmonella or listeria!Click here for more details.

3. MKG Provisions – Atlantic Smoked Salmon Reason for recall – Listeria. Yes, Listeria. Why do I feel like a broken record?Click here for more details.

Canada Recalls:

1. Joint recall in Canada and United States for Homelite Electric Blower/Vacuum Reason for recall – imagine stuff getting sucked into the vacuum and next thing you know, they break through the plastic blower full steam ahead at you. Yeah, that’s what I call cut central! Click here for more details.

2. GOURMET MEAT SHOPPE and THE BUTCHER’S CUT brands – Frozen Beef Burgers Reason for recall – E COLI. By now, most of you would have heard about this recall but I thought I’d include it just in case you didn’t.Click here for more details.

3. PC White Corn Black Bean Mild Salsa and PC Salsa Mild Reason for recall – Would you like to eat pieces of plastic? No, I certainly wouldn’t. At least this recall doesn’t involve the E word or the S word of the L word. Gosh.Click here for more details.

Stay tuned to ThingsThatWeDo.com. We’ll continue to keep you all posted of product recalls and safety tips!

Let others know about these recalls: it!

Feb
21
2013
Feb 21, 2013
Posted in: Thoughts

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a fun little post for today and sort of ties in to yesterday’s post that featured the Lego Creationary game.

A while ago, I did a post on the beauty of Kinder Surprise Surprise eggs. My kid has a lot of Kinder Surprise Surprise egg toys, not because she likes the chocolate but because we both like the Kinder Surprise toys!

The excitement of wondering what Kinder Surprise toy might be lying inside waiting to be revealed, the brain work involved in building the toy (if you’re lucky enough to get a building toy) and the imaginative play that happens afterwards, well, equates to money well spent.

Now, I don’t buy my Kinder Surprise eggs at full price. Usually, what I like to do is wait until they go on sale and they stock up. Since my kid doesn’t really eat the chocolate (most of it ends up in the trash), the Kinder Surprise eggs can stay in storage until we decide to crack one open.

Over time, my kid has accumulated quite a number of the Kinder Surprise toys and it’s always so cool to see how she decides to play with them.

Today’s post features her Kinder toys in a full blown chess match. She only has the basics of ideas on how to play chess thanks to her awesome school teacher who provides chess as an activity option. On this particular occasion, she decided to make her own chessboard and then used her Kinder toys as the different chess pieces.

Give a child the freedom to create and innovate and the ideas will flow. Too cool!

In case you want to read my old post on Kinder Surprise eggs, click here.

 

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

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