Tag Archives: family

Protected: October 2015

23 Dec

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14 Dec

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Meal Planning

23 Aug
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“I’m so full!!!”

A few months back, inspired by our meal saving guru Tylynn, I decided to scour the depths of Pinterest and try to make freezer meals so that I could save time and…well….brain power every evening when it was time to make dinner.

Typically, I very much dislike COOKING the same thing more than once. I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again, and leftovers and I are EXTREMELY well acquainted, but for whatever reason I dislike prepping and preparing the same meal more than once. So…freezer meals. Tylynn showed me a few she was looking at and eventually I came across a relatively Whole 30 Freezer Meal Plan from Stuff I Make My Husband based on the Whole 30. (To be clear, I don’t really prescribe to any particular diet. We’ve eaten Paleo, Vegetarian, Whole 30, and everything else under the sun. It really just depends on what I feel like touching that week and what cookbooks were available at the library. Ha!)

I didn’t document my endeavour very well but got a prompt from a friend to blog about it! So here I am! We are down to 2 or 3 freezer meals left from that first go round. (Each bag lasts about 3 months.) So it was time to tackle it again. A friend of mine conveniently posted exactly what I was looking for on Facebook and I saved it for an opportune time…which was today!

These recipes came from the website New Leaf Wellness and is called 31 Crockpot Freezer Meals for Back to School. I like to feed people, and by people I of course mean small armies, but don’t necessarily like to cook. It’s an odd pairing. I liked that the Whole 30 Freezer Meal Plan let me buy AND use in it’s entirety a can/bottle/vegetable, etc. This meal plan was more of a 1 freezer bag per recipe sort of deal while the previous one gave me 4 freezer bags per recipe. Since I’m relatively lazy when it comes to chopping and can opening I modified it a little so that I was making one recipe and putting it into several bags.

At the end of the day I have 36 freezer bags full of delicious dinners that will feed anywhere from 2-8 people. There is a lot of variety, which I like. Our side dishes will always be fresh and usually some sort of fruit/vegetable because nothing beats fresh produce, but for about $350 we will be able to feed ourselves for an entire month. A far cry from our usual budget of anywhere from $600-800/month on groceries ALONE. So it’s pretty significant savings, I get to take a break from constant meal planning and the torture of pouring through cookbook after cookbook because heaven forbid I make anything more than once or without a recipe to follow. (I do not improvise. I might alter, add, subtract, or substitute…but I never “wing it”. Some have attempted to force me into a position where I have to “see what we have and whip something up” and let’s just say…it doesn’t end well for anyone.)

Aaaaanyway…this time around I made 9 recipes from the 31 that were available. Most of them were chicken but I made sure to throw in some of the turkey and pork recipes as well, and occasionally substituted ground chicken/turkey for ground beef to keep the man in my life happy. (He’s pretty impressed.)

We hit up Costco for the things we could buy in bulk (most of our ingredients) and Sobeys to polish off the list.

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Our total grocery bill came to approximately $350 just for these recipes/dinners. Not too shabby!!!

I’m sure there is a way to efficiently prep everything and if you follow the handy instruction guide included in the link to the recipes she lays out the best way to prep everything for all 31 meals efficiently and expertly. Since I didn’t make every recipe I went off book a little and worked through them one at a time, although there were certain things I would pop into the freezer bags as I got to them, like the 20 pounds of chicken that I went through! Ha. All in all the prep took me about 3.5 hours from start to finish.

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I followed the directions and labelled each bag with the date, recipe name, how long they take to cook in the crockpot, and the suggested sides. (They mostly suggest rice sides…or maybe that was just the nature of the recipes I choose, so there will definitely be more variety worked in that way. Neither Cale or I are big rice fans.)

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For the especially curious, I made the following recipes:

Honey Dijon Chicken
Cranberry Pork Roast
Turkey/Beef and Black Bean Chili
Chicken Teriyaki
Thai Peanut Chicken
Turkey/Beef, White Bean and Kale Soup
Salsa Verde Chicken
Ginger-Peach Chicken
Hawaiian Pork Chops

They will be excellent on the days when we are rushing from work to activities for the girls and need to eat at 5pm ON THE DOT or starve for 3 hours. Shoutout to Vicky for posting the link in the first place and a pat on the back for me for cooking for almost 4 hours so that I can be lazy for the next almost 40 days. (Excluding special events or when company is coming because…come on.)

My Crock Pot is excited to get a workout.

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Protected: Lux – 2 Years Old

12 Mar

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Summer 2013 Round-up

4 Sep


We have/are having a phenomenal summer. A bulleted recap for you, faithful readers:

  • Nova had a birthday party
  • She got some belated gifts
  • Tamara’s bridesmaids and I threw her a terrific nautical themed Stagette
  • Cale celebrated another year as a stellar Dad
  • Nova’s actual birthday rolled around and my Mom came to help us celebrate
  • Lux’s boyfriend Beckett came for a visit
  • Anthony and Jen had a beautiful baby named Hannah
  • Emery and Ashlyn started coming over for playdates
  • Tamara and Jerred got married
  • My sister came for a visit with her boyfriend Ross
  • I had a sleepover and went shopping in the Unites States with my BFF
  • Emery came over on her birthday and we had a pool party
  • Nova and Lux’s cousin CJ came to visit from Ontario
  • We watched a lot of movies
  • We went to the library
  • We spent a lot of time at the park
  • My family from Lloydminster came to Penticton and we went to hang out with them
  • Our family friends bought a house!

We also went camping and learned a lot of new skills, but those are posts for another day. For now…Summer-time collages.

Summer 2013 1



Summer 2013 2


Summer 2013 3


Summer 2013 4

Summer 2013 5


Summer 2013 6



24 Jul

“There is family you are born into, and family you choose. Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family…”

On July 13th my best friend married my brother in law. In some ways, my life is like a fairy tale. I fell in love and married a man I’d been secretly in love with since high school, and now my best friend, whom I’ve known and loved for 15 years, shares my last name and I get to call her “sister”. Does life get any better than this?


Tamara and Jerred were married at Gatzke Orchards in Oyama, BC. It was an incredible wedding with thousands of personal, beautiful DIY details.


The groom, my handsome brother.

Tamara has been a part of my life for so long that my family has amalgamated her into their lives like an honorary Kushniruk (yeah…my maiden name is a doozy.) and it was amazing to see them there on such a momentous occasion.


My younger brother.


The day before the wedding was vibrating with the excitement of the day to come and we were treated to an incredible feast by Tamara’s other bridesmaid Liz and her husband/chef. Just thinking about the food and set-up makes me drool. It was amazing.



This wedding deserves its own Pinterest board.


The day of!




Tamara looked so beautiful. I felt such pride and love being a part of such a huge moment for her. Getting to watch her transform from my gorgeous friend into a stunning bride. Yes…when she slipped into her dress and turned around, I cried…a lot.

There are so many things about the day that made me smile. The guests and the decor (that I knew first hand contained all of our blood, sweat and tears), Tamara’s excitement seeing everything come together, Jerred’s very obvious adoration for the woman he was marrying, being maid of honor and having my girls be flower girls, getting to spend time in the gorgeous Okanagan. So, so, so many delightful and memorable moments.


Bridesmaids and two flower girls. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Mom and Girls

My mom and my two girls! (Thanks for the photo Mom!)

4 Sisters and Nova

My younger sister and I, with Nova.

Flower Girls

Flower girls! (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Crazy Nova

Crazy looking Nova at the end of the night. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

This wedding and Jerred and Tamara’s marriage is so close to my heart. I’m so looking forward to family holidays and get-togethers and for our children to be cousins. I can’t wait to see where their lives are headed and how much happier they are going to make one another. I cannot believe my good luck. I get a sister, my children get to have my friend in their lives in an entirely new capacity, and my FAMILY has gotten so much bigger and better. The things I have to say are so overwhelming, but I think it’s safe to say that when I think about my life, I feel more than blessed, I feel incredibly full of love. Both love received, and love given. And there’s a whole lot more to go around.

For the photos of Jerred and Tamara’s incredible day, stay tuned on their AMAZING photographer’s page: Blush Photography by Angela Waterberg. You DEFINITELY want to see these.

Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family, but I am so happy that on July 13th, she joined my “you have no choice” family.

Walking with Tamara

Blush Photography