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Welcome to the Journey

Hi, I’m Paige. This is all about me, my house, my family, my life.

I’m just starting, just learning, so bear with me as I work out what works…and what just doesn’t! Any helpful, and friendly, suggestions are welcome and I’ll do what I can to accommodate them!

I’ve never properly blogged before, and who knows, I may be absolutely terrible at it. But we’ll see where it goes!

My guess is that it will soon be filled with recipes, as I love to cook! Most of them will probably be from other sites/sources, but I will always link back to them so they get the credit, and you know where to look for the original.
I also quite like a little DIY and home projects, so I may post a few of those on here as we go along.  Although if you’re looking for “Shabby Chic” you will find no traces of that here!!! And DEFINITELY no bunting!

Have a look around (it won’t take you very long at the moment, there isn’t much to see), and check back, I promise to keep updating and keeping it new.

If you like what you see, why not share it around. The more followers the better!

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Sugar Free

So I have set another 2 week challenge! Sugar Free for 2 weeks! By sugar-free, I am defining that as processed sugars. So natural occurring sugars such as in fruit, honey or maple syrup are okay.  The hard bit about this is that sugar is in EVERYTHING! Just read a couple food labels and you’ll see what I mean! Often it’s mixed right in there with the daily staples, like bread, cereal, yoghurt, candy (ok, so that one maybe shouldn’t be daily).

So for 2 weeks I’ll be scrutinizing food labels, and making from scratch if need be! Usually the first week just sucks as the body goes into craving overdrive for some cookies, and cakes and sweets oh my. But after that, it starts to realize “hey, I don’t need that stuff. Wow look at all this energy I’ve got.” And that’s exactly what I’ll need leading up to Kids Camp!

Kids Camp is an awesome 4 days away with about 40 kids – but you can’t really over-estimate just how exhausting it is! So, the more energy I have, and the more my body is functioning healthily, the better!

So 2 weeks…here we go! And yummy suggestions of sugar free food (either to buy or make) are more than welcome! Just post a comment below with your thoughts!

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Getting Crafty

Well I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here – but now that I’ve started posting on facebook, best make sure this is at least marginally updated!

So I was thinking the other, as I think many people do, “wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of extra cash.” But I didn’t really know how to make that happen. I have a job, I’m out a lot of evenings with work or work related things.  I don’t really want to get back into wedding photography – at least not full time – as I like having weekends with my man. Then I was just browsing Pinterest, as you do, and saw a picture of a painted pallet sign and thought “I could do that.” And thanks to having a husband who works in the timber industry, we had a few scrap pieces in the shed from other projects. I did a quick search on how to make these signs, got what I needed…and made a sign!

Sign Family

And it turned out great! I was so impressed with a few time go! So I found some more wood, and got a bit creative.

Signs 1

I’ve now made these 4, and just (almost) finished another 5 today. And get this – I like doing it! So, if all goes well, I could make a few extra pounds/bucks/cash by doing something I enjoy! I’ve already sold one, been asked to make at least one more – so let’s see where this goes!

If you are interested, check on my facebook photos for ones that I have available and am selling (if you’re in the UK anyway).  Or if you want one made – send me a message and I’ll see what I can do for you!

Now off to scrub this paint out from under my nails!

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Summer Challenge

In case you hadn’t noticed…summer is almost upon us! Which means it’s almost time for shorts and t-shirts and possibly swim suits!

In just over 4 weeks time James and I will be flying cross the Atlantic and back to my home in Southern Ontario.  I know Canada is stereotypically known for being covered in 8 feet of snow all year round (which is actually closer to the truth this year apparently), however we also get some incredibly hot summers! And not just the nice dry heat where you don’t really realize you’re all that hot, but humidity which makes it feel like you’re swimming in the air!

That said I’m hoping to spend a good few days at a beach or in a pool! So it’s time to shape up! Now please don’t read this as  me having a “fat day” and just complaining and wanting sympathy from friends and readers.  I have full understanding that I’m not fat, and I’m not looking for “oh you don’t need to do anything” (but not mean “fatty” posts either! hehe). What I am looking to do is just take these 4 weeks to eat healthily, and do some exercise so that by the end of it I’m feeling healthy and perhaps a little more toned up!

I also find it much easier to consistently post on here when I’m in the midst of a challenge! So what I’ll try to do it post any exercise routines, and specifically healthy meals.  Note – I don’t really like exercising, so it’s not going to be “Insanity” style routines. On the other hand, I know that there isn’t such a thing as a quick fix.

So, let the 4 weeks of fitness begin!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I have a confession – I suck at making cookies!! I have had some curse over my life when it comes to making cookies! Whenever I make them, they come out flat flat flat flat – like see-through-the-cookie-onto-the-pan type of flat! I’ve heard all the “solutions”; “use more butter,” “use less butter,” “use more flour,” “use different sugar,” “chill it” and so on! Believe me, I’ve tried! I even experimented with some friends where 3 of us made the dough, 3 of use made the cookie balls and divided them among 2 pans, I put one pan in the oven and my friend put the other in the over…her’s came out perfect Betty Crocker cookies…mine – FLAT!

So, I tend to just avoid the baking step now! Cookie dough is delicious anyway!  And I figure one day when I have kids, they will think I’m the best mom ever because I give them cookie dough instead of cookies!

Well I gave it another go tonight, I was craving some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I looked on Pinterest (as you do!), and found a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. And you aren’t going to believe this…BUT MY COOKIES LOOK NORMAL!! It is literally a miracle!

I am so excited! So I am going to share this recipe with everyone and use it over and over and over again! Apparently, this is the miracle recipe! So here you go, enjoy some delicious cookies!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
-1 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
-2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (porridge oats do the trick)
-2 cups chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugars together
2. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat everything together until it’s light and fluffy
3. Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix
4. Add the flour and oats. Mix together.
5. Mix in the chocolate chips,
6. Drop balls of dough (approx 2 Tbsp of dough) onto a greased baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on your oven and desired “done-ness”)
7. Let cool slightly on tray so they don’t fall apart, then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here is the awaited post!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yummy and Delicious Banana Cake topped with an even yummier Cream Cheese Frosting! If you haven’t picked up on it by now…I LOVE cream cheese frosting!!

The Recipe was very simple. I made the two round cakes one day, then frosted them the next day when I intended to use/eat them.  It didn’t take very long and made a delicious dessert. I will definitely pull this one out again! If you’re interested, you can find the original recipe here.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 eggs, beaten
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 large ripe bananas, mashed
-1 cup pecans, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
-1 lb powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Cake
1. Grease 2 round cake pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C
2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the beaten eggs and oil. Stire until the dry ingredients are just moistened – don’t go crazy here, less is more.  Stir in the banana, and pecans and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
3. Divide up the batter between the two pans and back for approximately 25 minutes – until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
4. Cool the cake layers in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out on the rack to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Frosting
1.  Blend together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until it’s all light and fluffy. Beat in 1 tsp of vanilla.
2. Put a layer of frosting on top of one layer of cake, then put the next cake on top. Then frost the top and sides!
3. Top with nothing or anything (more pecans, sprinkles, chocolate, etc)

Notes
-If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute for any other type of nut, or nothing if you prefer.

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Recipe Promise

Since I started blogging I’ve been trying to make sure I’ve posted at least once a week…this week I have failed you (depending on how to you look at it). It has been a whole 8 days since I last posted – shock, horror! (Although, I did post last week, and I am posting this week…does that count?).

Easter was super busy this year…and I don’t even have kids! But with planning for our Easter Service, and attending rehearsals, and planning for our Easter Egg Hunt, on top of work and family…well I just lost track of time!

That being said, I did get some time in there to do some delicious baking – and thankfully I was smart enough to take a photo of some of it.

So I promise that within the next few days you will see more lovely recipes that you can try at home! :)

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Weekend

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1 Foot Vegetable Garden

3x3 Vegetable Garden

3×3 Vegetable Garden

Well…it’s slightly more than a foot…but the idea is that you grow one vegetable within 1 foot square.
My garden is 3×3 by 1 foot deep. My handsome husband deserves a pat on the back for constructing this little garden!!

So we sealed all the wood up, built it and filled it all up with soil/compost. Then I planted in the seedlings of my growing veggies. Some of the seedlings are a bit young I think, so I’m hoping I haven’t moved them too soon, but some of them were definitely ready for a bigger growing space! I also planted the lettuce and carrots which instructed to sow directly.

Also, the pepper seeds didn’t germinate with the other ones…don’t know why, they were in the exact same conditions, but oh well. So I have attempted to just plant straight pepper seeds. I didn’t read up on this or anything, I just grabbed the seeds from a pepper I was using for dinner and planted them in the soil…so we’ll see what happens there!

So there are 9 vegetables planted in my 3×3 foot garden, and I can’t wait for them to start growing to eat them hopefully in a few months!!

Can’t wait to see how my little Garden Experiment turns out!