Monday, November 18, 2013

HEALTHier Eating - Yogurt vs. Syrup

Quick tip...try yogurt instead of sweet sticky syrup on your waffles and pancakes!!  It's a healthier choice for both you and your little ones...and it's absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MONEY$AVER DIY Christmas Gifts

This year we decided to do DIY Christmas gifts and the more time passes, the happier I am with that decision.  We are doing canvas paintings for those near and dear to us.

>> It's a great way to get the kids involved and to nurture the spirit of giving for Christmas as we spend time preparing and creating.

>> It's personal and memorable.  Imagine going to a friend or family's home over the next few years and seeing an art piece that I created with my little ones...with all the love and time we put into it.

>> It gets me away from the hustle and bustle and gives me more time with the kids during the Christmas season.  

>> It creates memories with them and for them and they will take a lot of pride in presenting their piece.  We are NOT artists so this is a whole new experience for us.  We're learning together.

>> As a homeschooler this also becomes our art sessions for the next two months.  We have 10 or more canvases to complete.

>> It's low-budget.

Here is the 'Under the Sea' canvas we're working on.  Remember it's a work in progress so please don't judge our artistic skills yet.  LOL. I can't show you the finished product until after Christmas when everyone receives their canvas.   Some recipients read this blog and we still want the element of surprise.  LOL.

Under The Sea

UPDATE: You can find the completed paintings here on MONEY$AVER DIY CHRISTMAS GIFTS PART 2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bridging The Gap

Had an experience today that put me smack in the middle of two generations.  It was such an odd place to be.  I had my mom on one end and my daughter on another.

We are raising our girls to let their voices be heard.  To speak up if there is an issue and to do their best to find a resolve especially if it's someone you care deeply about.  My daughter found it difficult to express her feelings of frustration to Grandma without crossing the line of being disrespectful.  So here I was, the mediator between the two, helping my mom understand my daughter's frustrations and helping my daughter understand that Grandma always has her best interest at heart.  Though Grandma's delivery can be somewhat firm at times, she shouldn't walk away in frustration and hold things in especially when Grandma does not realize she's upset.  I had to explain to my mom that she should hear her out regardless of how wrong she thinks her grand-baby is.  Give her a chance to explain her logic then show her.

Photo from

Initially I thought my daughter just had a thing about being right, but she explained that she's okay being wrong as long as her side is heard.  She wanted a voice. It then dawned on me that this is how relationships can be silently destroyed from a young age.  This is how some adults grow up to become poor communicators.  Kids are not 'just kids', especially if we want them to become effective communicators and thinkers.  It's so important to give them a voice and to support them as they try to find their way.  Let's also continue to seize each moment and find the lesson in everything.  It changes our outlook on life and in return affects the lives around us....those before us AND those after us!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hope For Spotted Bananas

I don't know about you but in my house spotted bananas can be treated like the plague.  Maybe I'm late on this train but you can peel and freeze them according to size depending on how you will use it later.  Freeze them individually using plastic wrap.  I saw a friend do this a few days ago.  Brilliant!  The frozen bananas are perfect for smoothies and milkshakes, eliminating the need for ice.  You can defrost and blend or mash them for baking.  Great tip.

She said she also freezes her tomatoes and adds it to her pot as needed.  Haven't tried that one yet.  Nevertheless, I no longer have to try to eat all the spotted bananas myself, nor do I have to continually make banana bread so my bananas don't go to waste.  Thanks for the tip Nadine!  My banana bread is amazing by the way.  Moist and yummy...stay tuned for the "no blend" recipe.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Puberty Now?!?!

Mom Why Is This Happening?

Let's face it, we have mixed feelings when it comes to our kids growing up.  We love the milestones and the independence.  On the other hand some of us dread PUBERTY!  It's even harder when puberty starts early.  Ugh. Lol.

To be honest as a parent, I freaked out at first.  It took time to gather my thoughts and accept that this was happening to my baby.  Ugh.  Lol.  Then it occurred to me that this is one of those milestones that can make or break my future relationship with my daughter.  Do I always want her to come to mommy no matter what it is?  Absolutely.  So it starts here.  My reaction and the way I introduced her to this new world would affect her perception of it.  Get it together Nat!  I swear sometimes I'm Pablo's twin sister (Backyardigan watchers will get it lol).  

A friend once told me that books work best.  Get a book on puberty and read it together or have him/her read it, then discuss.  Well it worked!  This made it so easy on my head.  Lol. Thanks Lisa.  I found a book series I was comfortable with and incorporated it into our daily reading.  We read it together and it opened a fantastic dialog that made it enjoyable for us both.  This series was perfect as it broke down the info by age.  I also used it as a guide so I didn't have to worry about how much info I needed to cover.  We are still reading it.  It's a good idea to read ahead so you can have the heads up on what's coming and so you can take a break if you think your child is not ready for the info. Puberty has since become an enjoyable experience for us and I no longer feel unprepared or overwhelmed. Thank God for good books!! 

Below is the book series we used.  There is a series for boys as well and they are both available on Amazon. There are tons of books out there, find one that works for you and your child.  Leave your comments and tell me how you handled or are handling puberty at your house. I'd love to get some more pointers.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Ever started your laundry and run out of fabric softener or dryer sheets?

Here 's my tip...add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of white vinegar at the start of your rinse cycle and you'll be good to go.  If you miss the rinse cycle, set it back and add your vinegar.  How do I know?  Tried it.  Still doing it.  Found this tip on Pinterest (follow me at NATALIE P).  

My husband was apprehensive about this because he likes his clothes nice and soft and smelling like fresh laundry.  Little did he know I hadn't used dryer sheets for a few weeks and he couldn't tell the difference...which is why I tried it before I told him lol.   I no longer spend money on dryer sheets.  I spend $2 for a bottle of vinegar and I'm good for a very long time...and I've got laundry for my family of six!  Lol.    

Don't go spending more than $2 on vinegar people!  It's the same vinegar, the brand does not make a difference.

No your clothes will not smell like vinegar.  It actually smells like the laundry detergent.

Yes it will be fluffy.

No it will not be full of static after the dryer.  Look out for my tip on DRYER BALLS...this helps with static too.

Quick Note:  I find it most effective when I add the vinegar while the water is filling up.  I pour it in right under the stream of water.  I think it mixes in much better.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Conduct of Medical Professionals

My family was seeing a doctor for over 20 years.  Been through childhood, marriage and two of my daughters with this doctor.  He was amazing at what he did.  He was honest, genuine, helpful and basically everything one would want in a doctor.  Over the last few years, he started slipping.  Long wait times, continuous cancelled appointments and the like.  It became unbearable and ridiculous.  Patients hoped things would improve as everyone recognized the treasure in the way he practiced medicine.  To make a long story short, it turned out he had some kind of mental breakdown and gradually lost control of his practice.  I showed up at his office one day to find a letter on the door indicating how patients could retrieve medical records.  As I took my family records to a new physician, it was uncovered that his notes were also incomplete and in some cases non-existent.  Could things get any worse?  Tons of missing information.  I was directed to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario where I filed a formal complaint.  Uncovered there were many complaints before me and he had already received the maximum disciplinary action: he was stripped of his license.  Due to confidentiality they could not give further details.

Lesson Learned:  If you sense something is off with a medical professional, despite how great they are, the faster you alert the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario the better off you'll be in the event things turn out for the worse.  The Administrator at the College indicated that if patients filed complaints earlier, they could have done much more.  Complaints need to be submitted in writing and all doctors must follow a specific code of ethics.  Patients are now trying to recoup and move on with bits and pieces and in some cases NO RECORD, of years of their medical history.  Lives were placed in jeopardy...Lesson Learned.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
80 College Street
Toronto, Ontario  M5G 2E2
Fax: 416-961-3330

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Journal: Why Not Blog?!?

Today I decided to finally take a leap of faith and start a blog.  I've wanted to do it for so long but always found a reason to put it off. No more of that.  In this day and age with social media being the main outlet for most, what better way to do what you love from the comfort of your own home.  Why not?!?  So many times I learn something, come across a great find or just have an 'Aha Moment' as Oprah would call it. I literally say EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW!!  I share it with my closest girlfriends and it ends there.  Well, I want to share it with anyone and everyone.  I'm talking anything and everything!!  So WHY NOT start a blog!  Lol. Since I made the step ideas are just flowing.  I hope I can type fast enough. Lol.  Stay tuned.  It will not disappoint. Welcome to ALL THINGS GIRLY ME!!! :-)