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Monday, September 1, 2014

Head Back To School with Canada's Own: Mabel's Labels #Back2School

This year school is back in session on September 2nd, in our area of Ontario.  All of a sudden it seems that the summer is over and school is about to begin.  Yikes!  We have so much to do, including most of our back to school shopping.  For all that new school gear we are about to purchase, we have Mabel's Labels at the ready.

Mabel's Labels creates awesome personalized waterproof labels for kids and adults alike.  Just in time for back to school I recently ordered an Ultimate Back to School Combo.  

We've been using Mabel's Labels in our home for many years and they have never let us down.  My youngest daughter was just at camp two weeks ago and I used Mabel to label everything she owns.  I've got to say that this is the only way to go.  I've used markers in the past and it is hard to get a name written neatly and legibly on a clothing label with a marker.  Mabel's Labels stick firmly and don't peel off, even after washing.

The Ultimate Back to School Combo comes with plenty of labels for everything Jillian will be taking to school with her.

The combo includes the following:
  • 40 skinny minis
  • 50 tag mates
  • 16 shoe labels
  • 2 teeny tags
We personalized Jillian's back to school labels with her favourite icon - an owl.  And, they turned out super cute, she absolutely loves her new labels (and so do I).   Mabel's Labels has lots of cute icons to pick from.   You can easily build your labels and see what your finished labels will look like, it's rather fun to play around with different icons.

With the Ultimate Back to School Combo came two two teeny tags which are perfect for affixing to the lunch bag and backpack.  The peel and stick labels are perfect for everything else she will be taking to school.  Kids loose their stuff and if they have Mabel's Labels on them you'll have a much greater chance of getting that stuff back.   Personally, I think that all kids should have labels on their gear, it would make things so much easier and it helps to eliminate problems and mix ups between children.

Check out the Ultimate Back to School Combo before September 30th, when it will be gone again for another  year.  The Ultimate Back to School Combo is $42.00 and probably the smartest investment a parent can make.    (If you think you've ran out of time to order your labels before school, there is another option - look for Write Away labels at your local WalMart.)

See more from Mabel's Labels by connecting with them on facebook and on twitter.  Also, check out more photos of my labels by visiting my facebook page.  Thank you to Mabel's Labels for providing the labels that are featured in this post.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Comfort Food: Ham and Noodle Quick Casserole Dinner #Dinnerin15

This week while out grocery shopping I kept in mind that school is about to begin.    It's hard to believe that the summer is over and it's time to get back to the routines of the school year and that busy evenings  are about to begin again.  As I was shopping, I looked for items to stock the pantry - items that help to make evening  meal preparation as painless as possible.   Some of the pantry staples I stocked up on are dry pasta, rice, canned beans, sauces and soups.  For the refrigerator, I make sure I always have milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, butter,  and protein such as  bacon chicken, ham & ground beef.  In the freezer I try to always keep frozen veggies, fruit, waffles and a couple of loaves of bread  Next up is shopping for school lunch supplies, but in terms of dinner items I feel I am pretty well set for getting back into the (school) groove.

Ham and Noodle Quick Casserole Dinner is perfect for an evening when you have to take one child to karate and another to guitar lessons.  When time is limited, you are going to love this meal.  And, it is made mostly from kitchen staples.

6 cups dry noodles/pasta (egg noodles would be the quickest)
2 cups Maple Leaf Cooked Ham, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water to cook pasta/noodles, while water is boiling dice the Maple Leaf Cooked Ham.
2. Once the water boils add your choice of pasta/noodles and cook according to package direction - for the last five minutes of cook time, add one cup of frozen peas.
3. Place butter in a heavy saucepan or skillet and let melt.
4. Gradually add cream to the melted butter and whisk.
5. Drain pasta/noodles and peas and add to the butter & cream mixture - toss to coat.
6. Add diced ham - toss to coat and heat through and salt & pepper as desired.
7. Top with Parmesan and serve.

Serves 6

For this recipe I used Maple Leaf Country Kitchen Smoked HamYou will find it readily available at your favourite grocery store in the meat department.   I love having Maple Leaf smoked hams on hand, as they are fully cooked and can be easily heated and served, or use in a casserole dish such as the one I made.

This recipe will be added to my collection at Appehtite.  Have you
checked out Appehtite yet?  It is a great community of food enthusiasts like you and I who are looking for new recipes to try using some of our favourite Maple Leaf products.   

This Ham and Noodle Quick Casserole is creamy, buttery and tasty.  It is a good comfort family meal and can be on the table in about 15 minutes.  I hope your family loves it just as much as we do!

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 Disclosure:  I am a member of the Maple Leaf Foods Connects program.  As part of my participation, I have been compensated monetarily, however, all opinions and ideas shared on this blog remain my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hexbug Aquabot 2.0 is my kind of Pet Fish

I grew up with an aquarium in our home and have always loved to watch fish and find them calming.  Now that I have my own family, we've had various fish friends over the years.   The thing about fish is that they are (usually) a heartbreak waiting to happen.  Fish don't seem to have a long life span.  Now there's a new fish in town - Hexbug Aquabot 2.0. 

This is my kind of pet fish!

The Aquabot 2.0 swimmers are equipped with hi-tech sensors that can wake a sleeping fish in three different ways.  This patent-pending technology enables users to wake a sleeping fish by simply running their fingers through the water, touching the fish or even tapping on the outside of the fish bowl, which will cause the once-dormant sea creature to come to life and take off swimming.  These underwater dwellers also exhibit an inner pulsating LED glow that illuminates the Angelfish and Hammerhead Shark and brings them to life in a fresh-new way.
Powered by electro-magnetic propulsion and an automatic on and off sensor that activates when submerged in water, these aquatic fish propel around to explore their environment, swimming, diving and changed directions.  After five minutes without activity, the Aquabots will go into sleep mode to conserve battery life. All of these design elements were carefully chosen by our engineers to get children to think about the science behind the robot.  Now, kids can truly experience the fun of having a pet fish collection, yet, without all the messy clean up. 

My son has had a great time watching the Hexbug Aquabot swim around it's bowl.  I think it is pretty darned cute, too.  We especially like that it lights up and swishes about.  The automatic shut off feature is smart and a good way to save the battery life.  When we had real fish our cat was constantly harassing the poor thing and it made us laugh to see the cat doing the same thing with the Hexbug fish.

Hexbug Aquabot is an affordable fun toy for kids of all ages.  It comes with the plastic fish bowl and one robotic fish for only $14.99.

 HEXBUG Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hexbug
 HEXBUG Twitter page: https://twitter.com/hexbug