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Archive for December, 2010

Chocolate fudge recipe, even easy enough for me to make!

Over the Christmas holidays, the boys made chocolate fudge. Delicious. You won’t believe how easy, or delicious it is.


12 Squares of semi sweet bakers chocolate

1 tin of condensed milk

vanilla extract

square tin lined with foil


melt ingredients in a microwavable bowl…stir.

pour into lined tin

refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

use foil to lift fudge out of container, flip it over, cut into squares, or eat whole… 🙂




Christmas festivities are almost coming to a close. One more celebration with my mom and all of the Brown family, and then we will all say goodbye to another year…it feels as though the older you get, the faster time moves….

Sitting here in silence, and enjoying the sound of nothing…the only thing I hear is the sound of my keys clicking as I type, and taking time to reflect upon the past year. A year full of all kinds of learning experiences.

My wish for this next year is to stay healthy, and love every minute of living life, time with family, and time with friends.

I plan to take time to smell the roses more, and to rush less.

…to kiss and hug more…

…to listen more…

…to find beauty in the ordinary…

…to laugh, no matter what.

…to do more acts of random kindness…(even if that means picking up stinky soccer stuff)

…to read more…

…to see things through the eyes of another, and to be slower to judge…

…to play more…

…to live every day to the FULLEST and to do my BEST at whatever I choose to do…every…single…day.

Anyone out there have any plans for making 2011 the best year ever??

What to do….what to do!!

Well, the Christmas holidays have officially arrived. For me, that means, no packing lunches, no waking kids, LOTS of relaxation, and an extra 30 minutes of gym time in the morning. All very blissful….however….

What to do with 5 boys??? Yes, 5 boys. I have thought about this, and coming up with ideas close to home is a little bit challenging, but I am DETERMINED to keep television and video games to 30 minutes/day this week. My own personal challenge.

Every so often, we implement a ‘no tv or electronics’ policy, and it slowly fizzles, to the point where it seems the kids are watching the tv till their eyes dry out of their heads…I have also found that the more tv my guys watch, the more their imagination fades…and who wants that?!?

So, for the next 4 days, I am going to try to fill our days with tons of activity, and productive ‘down’ time.

This morning, the boys made their own crafts:

They used their imaginations to make all sorts of neat things…

While the kids were crafting, I thought I would take the time to do some Christmas wrapping, and found that I had run out of those little gift tags..so I decided to reuse some of my pretty Christmas cards from last year. By cutting out the image on the front of the card, you can make some really pretty gift tags….

After lunch, the boys headed out for some winter fun…

….and now, are playing quietly…it’s only 1:45!!!! Yikes!! LOL….stay tuned for our adventures this week!!

Roasted Chicken…

Made this roasted chicken dinner last night. Very easy, and really tasty!


1 medium whole chicken

1 apple, diced

1 red onion, diced

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup butter

4 large potatoes chopped, skin on

1 large sweet potato, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

salt, pepper,

1/4 cup red wine

2 tbsps honey

2 tbsps apple juice

Sautee apples, red onions in butter, add breadcrumbs

Separate the skin from the breast and thigh, and place stuffing mix underneath the skin.

Season chicken with salt, and pepper, add 1/2 red onion inside the chicken for added flavour

Add chopped veggies, drizzle honey or maple syrup over veggies and chicken. Pour red wine and apple juice over the veggies. Bake at 400 for one hour.

Finished Bird! Delish, and easy..

Holiday cookies…

Having some girls together tomorrow night for some Christmas Cheer…in years past, we used to do a cookie exchange, but now that our group has gotten so large, I decided to change it to a vintage wine exchange/cookie binge…lol…should be a great time, catching up with friends….it’s so hard to see everyone during the year, so I am really looking forward a good old-fashioned chin wag.

It’s really easy to organize. Everyone brings a vintage bottle of wine, between $15-$18. and a dozen cookies. We eat, chat, laugh, drink, and then everyone leaves with a new vintage bottle of wine that is new to them, and some tasty cookies to start off the Christmas season. Always nice to try something new!

Looking forward to continuing this tradition!

Cookie Recipe

2 cups of butter

1 cup of sugar

4 cups of flour

1 cup of white chocolate chips

1.5 cups of dried cranberries


Cream butter and sugar, add flour, stir in cranberries, and white chocolate chips. Spoon (roll) together cookies, and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes until they are golden brown.

Cool…or eat warm!! Absolutely delicious! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

These cookies…are ABSOLUTELY DIVINE!!

Claudius Brown…A Christmas memory…and a Christmas wish…

I have so many close friends that come to mind as I write this…

While I have my wonderful and loving family, I miss my dad terribly this time of year…his jokes, his laughter, his heartfelt prayers around the dinner table, just the way he could always talk to the youngest child, teenager, or grownup. His ability to really listen, hear, and CARE about whoever he would speak to or meet. He would always seek out the person in a crowd who was alone, and engage them in conversation. So many of these people usually ended up around our dinner table, and went on to become his closest friends.

My dad, Claudius Brown II is one of the greatest men I have EVER known.

As I write this, I can’t help but get a little teary. This time of year makes me remember so many great things…

I remember as a child, my dad teaching me how to ride my first two-wheeler..

I remember as a teenager, the countless nights that my dad would wait up for me at night,  (who am I kidding…early morning) with a cup of hot chocolate…

I remember fondly as a young adult our countless discussions or heated debates about religion…

I remember the love in my father’s eyes as he walked me down the aisle…

I remember the pride in his eyes as he held Kai, Isaiah, and finally Kaeden in his arms for the first time, and prayed for their health and happiness.

And so, today, I am taking a minute, through my tears, to remember my wonderful and fearless, now Angel Papa, who I know looks down on me…and I wish…

I wish…to heed the lessons that I learned from him…

I wish…to pass on his legacy of strength, laughter, positivity, creativity and love….

I wish…to be as kind in my daily life, as he was to every life he touched…

I wish…to raise my 3 beautiful boys to be as fearless, and strong as their father, and wonderful grandfather…

I pray, for everyone who has lost someone, that you may feel comforted today, every day, and through this holiday season.

While today, I cry, I also smile, for my dad, was a great man.  So many wonderful memories to cherish. May all your holiday wishes come true!

Potty Training

I am currently toilet training Kaeden, my youngest, and have had a couple of people ask about my potty training routine, so here goes. I am sure there are more than a dozen ways to potty train, but here is what has worked for me so far. I have potty trained a ‘few’ kids, having a home daycare…still always a daunting task. Months before I started training Kaeden, I had the date circled on the calendar. Not for Kaeden, for me. It took months to get used to the idea of potty training him…

Things you will need:

A whole lot of track pants…they are easier to get on and off


a whole lot of undies…


plastic pants (hard to find but great if you can find them)

and oh, did I mention, PATIENCE?? (I’m not kidding)

a potty seat (I like the ones that go straight on the toilet, especially since you can bring it with you in a diaper bag for outings)

…and yah, that thing again… PATIENCE!

Week 1

Put your kiddie on the toilet every 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes. Have them sit on the toilet for a minimum of 5 minutes, unless they release quickly. Do not restrict liquid. In fact, in week one, it is handy to pump your child FULL of liquid, so that they pee A LOT! The goal of week one is to have your baby release in the toilet. It’s a strange feeling, and can be kind of scary.

I do not believe in smarties, etc., as a reward for potty training, instead, we celebrate the victory with lots of ‘hurrays’ , hugs, dancing and singing. The reward for Kaeden peeing on the potty, is that he gets to flush the toilet. Which, you would be surprised, is such a joyous occasion for him. Especially when typically, toddlers aren’t  allowed to hang out in the bathroom. God knows I’ve found all sorts of things in my toilets, thanks to my little men.

When I toilet, I also teach baby to take off, and put on their own clothes. Toiletting is the whole experience of undressing, peeing, cleaning, dressing, washing up. So make sure you are ready for all of this. I know some parents who are still wiping bums and their kids are 8. I’m not judging, whatever floats your boat, but I’ll be all done with that by 2.5.

Using the toilet at our house, is a ‘singular’ event. Meaning, there is no company. Kaeden gets to bring a book with him, but that’s it! No mom.

Week 2

Increase the length of time that you bring your child to the toilet. I never ask either, I just say ” time to go pee”. If you give your two year old a choice, the choice will more than often be a resounding “NO”. So to alleviate this scenario, I don’t ever ask. (LOL…harsh, I know!)

This week, if your child has accidents, which they will…try not to freak out. Remember? PATIENCE. I did say you would need lots of it, and I wasn’t kidding. Instead, just explain that everyone pees in the toilet, and not in their clothes. At this point, allow your child to undress, and then have them sit on the toilet, UNTIL THEY RELEASE. This is important. If you skip this step, your child will keep wetting their clothes, and will not use the toilet, because they may think that peeing in their clothes is the alternative to the toilet. In order to encourage your child to release in the toilet after an accident, offer them a big drink!

Week 3

By this week, your child should be telling you when they have peed. Kaeden, (currently in week 2) yells and says ‘mommy!!!! I all done!!’.

There will be setbacks, and that’s okay. Keep the faith. We all end up peeing in the toilet!

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