Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Our Fall Camping Weekend (With A Free Printable Cabin Camping Checklist)

Are you a fan of fall camping? I have always been attracted to the idea of camping when the air is crisp and the leaves have turned to red and gold, but we've never really done it. Fall is often busy with back-to-school, homework and the start-up of kids' sports and dance activities. But this fall the weather was so amazing and I felt like we best take advantage of it.

So when Kampgrounds of America (KOA) invited my family to camp at the Toronto West KOA in October, we were all for it. We went on the Thanksgiving weekend because Toronto West KOA is not far from where I grew up in Hamilton and was the perfect place to stop for a couple of nights before heading to my in-laws' house for dinner on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Carrot Coconut Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

When my son was a little guy, he loved carrot soup. Those were the days - when I could easily get his toddler self to scarf down bean stews, lentil soups and all kinds of nutrient-dense, mama-made entrees. He's 15 now and he has long been exposed to the wonders (salt, fat, sugar) of takeout food. Still, I do what I can to make sure he eats healthy at home, so I thought I'd try putting carrot soup in rotation again. Worst comes to worst, I love fresh, homemade vegan carrot soup myself.

When I last made this Carrot Coconut Soup, my son may have turned his nose up at it. In fact, he may have made himself a "hashbrown" sandwich, made up of fried hashbrown patties tucked inside a tortilla wrap with a sauce of mayonnaise mixed with sriracha. Sigh. But even if he eats a small bowl of this carrot soup alongside his other meal selections, he'll get a good serving of vegetables.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10 Simple Tips To Organize Your Home Office and Eliminate Paper Clutter

I don't know anybody who doesn't crave a little more organization in their lives. Even the most organized among us have a hidden junk drawer, a pile of papers at the edge of a desk or an overflowing sock drawer. If you have kids, well, be prepared to double or triple your organizational challenges.

I am into my third year of serious decluttering of this house. Not even kidding. And we still have a basement storage room that needs about 5.5 days of work. But we have many areas that look much better now, and it has given me hope that the whole house will be pared down, organized and run like a well-oiled machine...in about one more year. A big focus this fall has been my home office area. I have written a series of blog posts around decorating and organizing this office space. The first post was about my office decor from Wayfair - a new desk, rug and drapery. The next post was about my new Canadian Tire Canvas bookshelf, which provides (attractive) storage space for office supplies, receipts and motivational books.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Simple, Natural, 3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

Simple, Natural, 3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce (vegan, gluten-free) - just about as easy to make as opening a can, and much healthier

Is cranberry sauce a must-have on your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table? It is for me. I love the fresh, tart contrast it gives to more subdued holiday dinner fare like mashed potatoes. Canned cranberry sauce can work in a pinch, but it's so easy to make your own fresh, natural cranberry sauce that I think that's the better way to go. And you can make cranberry sauce a couple of days ahead too, to save time on meal prep once the big (busy!) Thanksgiving or Christmas meal day arrives.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Simple Thanksgiving Tablescape #YearofFeasting

Our Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up on Monday and I know I'm not alone in thinking that it came around so quickly this year. We had warm weather through most of September so it felt just like the summer we didn't get in July and August. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving is just about here and it's the perfect time to gather with family and friends to express thanks for all of our blessings. Family is the biggest blessing of all, and thanks to my wonderful in-laws, I'll be enjoying an incredible meal that I don't have to cook. However I thought I'd set a simple, pretty Thanksgiving table and have a nice pre-Thanksgiving meal with my immediate family. We like to make an easy tofu loaf or cook a store-bought Tofurky roast to have alongside mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

I'm also grateful for the wonderful women in the Year of Feasting blogging group. Today's post marks the fall edition of Year of Feasting, when the bunch of us, led by Dannyelle at Life is a Party, share our ideas for seasonal party decor. Find more decor ideas through the links at the end of this post.

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