Gift-Giving Event- Week 3: Mobile Massage Therapy with RMT for *Small Wonders Familiies*

29.11.16 5 comments
Firstly, I would like to apologize for the late post. We have been under the weather. 
I must say that I was tempted to enter my name into this week's draw because I so need a relaxing massage. However, this is for the families, and I hope that  it will be useful for the winner.
So, without further adieu, let's get on to this week's draw.  
This week's draw is all about relaxation and de-stressing; something every parent needs, especially around this time of the year. I have partnered with Shannon Huisman, a lovely human-being, and one of Small Wonders' mommies for this give-away.

About Shannon Huisman
Shannon is a wife and mom of a 3 year old daughter. She has been a massage therapist for the past 5 years. She works at the Holistic Institute of Health & Fertility in Calgary, Alberta; specializing in prenatal, fertility, relaxation, Swedish, sports, and post natal massage.
Shannon is passionate about her work, and continues to build her strengths and broaden her expertise wherever the training takes her. Last year, she spent a lovely time in the United States, upgrading her skills.

When asked what she loves most about her work, Shannon says there are so many things that she cannot choose just one. From what I know of Shannon personally, she is very well-rounded, respectful and enthusiastic to help in any way that she can - whenever she can. Her clients are very lucky to have her.
This holiday season, Shannon Huisman RMT is generously offering a 60 minute relaxing mobile massage to one lucky winner.
This means 2 things: first, you will get a massage valued at $115 for FREE. Secondly, and this may be the best part, Shannon will come to you. No need to think about childcare. No need to hop in the car and drive through traffic- she will come to your door.  You can't really ask for more.
To enter this week's giveaway, please tell me why you need a massage (or who you will gift it to?) 
Comments will close at 12 am Mountain time on Sunday December 4th.
Winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced on December 23rd, at the holiday event.

Good luck! 

****************************Contest Closed************************************

Weekending November 25th (2016)

A slow fast week. Have you ever had one of those? You know, the kind that's slow when you need it to be fast, and vice versa? Yes, it was one of those weeks. The children (who weren't under the weather) had a good week. I think the only drawback was that they missed their friends.

Me? How was my week? Well, I overcooked the quinoa. Our meal looked like something out of a Tim Burton's movie, and the pot didn't look any better...yuck!
I also dropped a pot of pasta, and couldn't find ingredients to bake - although in the end I made do...(see below). This was all after planning to make plantain chips with the kids, only to find the plantain hadn't ripen!! Good riddance to last week!

One of the drawbacks of not having baking day in our regular schedule for the autumn/winter session is that little planning goes into ensuring we have all the right ingredients. Looking around the kitchen, I decided to make cream of wheat muffins...that's what I had in my cupboard ha ha ;). 

Problem is I had no baking powder, no vanilla, or sugar...seriously, no sugar. If you must know, I don't really do sugar, but that one just stumped me. I had honey though...about a teaspoon...ahh, life. So, making muffins was quite interesting last week.

I found a good recipe online. I was happy with the outcome.
The muffins reminded me of corn muffins. We will make them again.
We ate the muffins with our black bean carrot pasta soup, on soup day.
We also made this rice pilaf last week. 
1/ sorting it out
2/ she brings new meaning to the words "chicken dance"
3/ scoop, pour, share ...repeat
4/ options
5/ cars & things...
6/ dressing up baby
7/ soup...ready to go
8/ cream of wheat muffins
9/ soup day bounty

On a serious note, happenings in the past few weeks have made me revisit this post. It really brought me back and grounded me. Anyone who follows these beautiful blogs and social media platforms, know that we share the beauty. I believe in sharing the beauty. But I also believe in NOT lying about the not so beautiful...the not so nice parts of our days. 

Thankfully, children are so much better than adults, and you never judge them, or take it personal when they don't listen, or when they defy, or scream at you, lol. For me, it's the opposite. I just want to keep trying to make it better. To make it work. It's not always easy. I have my days. My patience is measured at times...sometimes soooo limited. Sometimes I know I have to do whatever needs to be done. I have to bring calm to the chaos. That's when I give myself a time-out. And no one is allowed in my time-out space.

A new week has arrived. Here's to playing and learning.

Recipe: Curried Rice Pilaf

23.11.16 0 comments
It has been too long since I've shared a recipe here. I will tell you that it doesn't mean that we aren't mixing it up in the kitchen, or trying new foods - we do a lot of that.
This week we tried a variation of a meal that (for now) has the wow factor going on -  rice pilaf. How do I know this? Because they ate it all up, and asked for more.

Generally, rice pilaf is on our menu- well, it's not technically - but it falls under rice and chicken :). Because, seriously, how many ways can you prepare rice and chicken?!
When I found this recipe I was up for the challenge, and ready to try something different. I guess I should say I was doubly challenged; because trying a new recipe is hard enough, but introducing it to a group of little people, and getting 2 thumbs up, is priceless. 

Note: I made my own modifications from the host site. I didn't use Thai red curry paste, instead I made a paste from turmeric. I also didn't have any cilantro, and I didn't use onion. Also, please note the original poster's comment about not adding the salt until the end.
...and because I tend to over -speak, I will simply share the recipe now :)

Curried Rice Pilaf


    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup diced onion
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 cup uncooked basmati rice
    1 cup uncooked red lentils
    1½ cup fresh diced tomatoes
    1½ teaspoons Garam Masala
    2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
    ¼ cup diced fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
    ½ cup canned coconut milk
    3 cups water
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    Few grinds freshly cracked black pepper

    In a medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, heat oil over medium high heat.
    Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for three minutes.
    Add dry rice and dry lentils and sauté for two minutes.
    Reduce heat to medium and add fresh tomato, garam masala and curry paste and stir and cook for one minute.
    Add cilantro, coconut milk and water and raise heat to high.
    Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to low.
    Cook covered for 20 minutes.
    Remove from heat and add salt and pepper, stir and let sit covered for five minutes.
    Serve with additional chopped cilantro.

Happy eating! 

Linking with A little Bird Told Me link party.

Gift-Giving Event- Week 2: GoGo Quinoa Gift basket

21.11.16 12 comments
Have you ever tried something that was so good that you had to tell someone about it? Well, that's what happened when I discovered GoGo Quinoa in a local store. After I tried this amazing brand, I actually contacted the owners and told them how much I loved it I had no idea that months later I would consider their products a staple in my kitchen and dayhome.  
Anyone who eats vegan, gluten-free, knows how expensive, and confusing it can get. The mission of the GoGo Quinoa company is to contribute to the nutritional well-being of all by offering nutritious, innovative and flavorful products, ethically and responsibly.  

When it comes to food allergies and intolerance, GoGo Quinoa has got you (and your family) covered. Prepared in Quebec, I am amazed at the variety and nutritional goodness of the GoGo Quinoa products that I have tried. This, dear friends is a one-stop shop for all things healthy and hearty.
This holiday season, Go Go Quinoa is generously offering 7 items from their store, to ONE lucky Small Wonders family.
I had a great time making up this "yumalicious" (our very own dayhome word :)) package of goodies for you! One lucky family will get a colorful assortment of products (quinoa, cereal, pastas, breakfast & snacking goodness). I am sure you will enjoy it.
To enter this week's giveaway, go over to the GoGo Quinoa website and tell me which 2 items you would love to have in your kitchen...leave a comment here (under the post title).
Comments will close at 12 am Mountain time on Sunday November 27th.
Winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced on December 23rd, at the holiday event.

If you simply cannot wait until December, then you can purchase GoGo Quinoa products online. Right now (through the end of November) GoGo Quinoa is offering 20% off selected baking and breakfast items in their e-store.   
This gluten free gingerbread cookies recipe would be great for the holidays.
Disclosure: I contacted GoGo Quinoa because I love and use their products. All opinions are my own.

**Shannon has received an extra 5 bonus entry points from last week's draw. Good luck to all**

Photo credit: GoGo Quinoa 

******************CONTEST CLOSED ****************

Weekending November 18 (2016)

 "As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees."
                    ~ V. Andrews
 sometimes it snows unexpectedly...
The best part of our week was being cosy inside, when it wasn't so nice outside...
  We ate a yummy capellini chicken soup...
Don't forget to enter our weekly giveaways.
We have been blessed with some awesome gifts from these lovely sponsors.
PZA Parlour
Shannon Huisman (RMT) - Shannon is one of our parents & is a massage therapist :)
Small Wonders

Have a great week everyone!

Gift-Giving Event- Week 1: Merry Christmas Purple Dinosaur !

16.11.16 8 comments
Hello dear parents & friends of Small Wonders. Welcome to our first blog post for our Holiday Gift-Giving Event. The event is being hosted by Small Wonders Dayhome & Playschool and our wonderful, generous sponsors. 
Each week (until the week of December 18th) we will be giving away a lovely gift. All you have to do is read the entry rules and follow the directions.

Good luck everyone!
About the Book & Author
Written by Shelancia Daniel, a textile artist, designer, creative director and owner of EZ Kids and The Creativity Shell.  Shelancia began writing and sewing books for her own children and is grateful to share her first book with children everywhere!

Merry Christmas purple Dinosaur! is about a dinosaur who wants to make  Christmas special by visiting all her friends. Her friends live all over the world and speak many different languages, and celebrate Christmas in their own way. Purple Dinosaur brings gifts for her friends to enjoy, and is delighted when she gets an unexpected gift in return.

Merry Christmas Purple Dinosaur! is beautiful to look at. With stunningly-crafted illustrations and an introduction to various languages, the book is sprinkled with a tribute to different countries and cultures. The book draws each reader into the story, as if he or she were on a magical Christmas journey. This book is a keepsake!

This holiday season, EZ Kids will generously offer copy of Merry Christmas Purple Dinosaur! to ONE lucky Small Wonders family & (or) family members.

There are the 2 ways to enter this giveaway:
 You can receive up to 4 entries:

1/ Leave a comment in the "comment section" below, telling me what you love about the holidays  = 1 point.
Want Extra Points?    
2/ Visit and follow the Creativity Shell on FB, or Twitter or Instagram...or all 3. Come back and tell me where you've done so (in comment section - 1 comment per each) = 3 points.

The giveaway is open to Small Wonders families, any family member attending the Christmas party, and other SW friends (ie. helpers etc). 
Rules were outlined in the latest Weekending Report.

The giveaway begins on Wednesday, November 16th and closes on Sunday, November 21st at midnight- Mountain Time.

A winner will be chosen using a random number generator. The winner will be announced on Friday December 23rd, at the Christmas party. 
This book is also available in Kindle edition.

******************CONTEST CLOSED ****************

Weekending November 10 (2016)

14.11.16 0 comments
"And they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised."
~ C. McCarthy
Happy Monday everyone. How was your Remembrance day & weekend? 
Today is technically Day 1 of our Holiday Give-away. Please stay tuned for details/rules and etc!
Our first gift will be on the blog tomorrow. 
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