A Walk Down Memory Lane + Giveaway!

When I first started using Facebook, I would just add anyone who I had ever met. “Oh hey I met you for 5 minutes, add me on Facebook!”

As I got older, I found I wanted to weed out those people I really didn’t care about. ( it sounds harsh I know!) I wanted to keep up to date with the people I actually knew, the ones I shared memories with throughout the years. 

It’s amazing to see how much people change over the years. They grow up, have kids, and sometimes they stay exactly how they’ve always been….. 

When I was in grade 6 I moved to a new town, had to start over and make new friends. (For a 12 year old this is the end of the world!!)  It was an amazing new school filled with a lot of great kids, who I became friends with. Sadly I’ve lost touch with many of those people. 

One that I never really lost touch with was Susie. All throughout high school we remained friends. Even after, we would randomly check in with each other bringing up a random memory, or funny story that had made us think of the other. 

 

That’s us! top: Our grade 8 grad bottom: Our Prom

 
(It needs to be said, we’ve both come out of our awkward stages with flying colours! Ha ha! Don’t kill me Susie!)

These days we’re both mothers, and both starting out on new endeavours and adventures. Me with my blog and Susie with her business Baby Boards And More. Check out her page here: https://www.facebook.com/BabyBoardsandMore

She creates amazing party decor, baby statboards, invitations and pretty much anything you can think of! If you have an idea she’ll make it come to life! 

I’ll let Susie tell you a little about herself:

My name is Susie and I am a single mom of a beautiful little 2 year old rascal named Mason. I live in Whitby Ontario and have my entire life. I started this little business just over a year and a half ago while on maternity leave. I wanted a creative gift to make some new moms for Christmas and this is where everything started. 

Birth Stats are an important part of any child’s life and I enjoy putting smiles on those parents faces when they see the final product. 

I also offer chalk-like birthday boards along with custom decorations, home decor boards and even a few speciality items.
 

This is a very small example of the things Susie has created!


 

I love supporting small local shops that offer new and creative products, When they are run by a friend that’s even better!!

Susie and I have teamed up to offer my readers a great giveaway! 

One lucky winner will receive an 8.5 x 11 chalk like stat board! Head over to https://www.facebook.com/Thehungryhomemakerblog for all the details! 

Winner will be announced Monday July 6th! 

(Now stop laughing at those old pictures and go enter!)

xo, Fran

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Our Four Go To Stir Fry Sauces

Around here Stir fry is a staple meal. It’s quick, easy and one of the things Frankie won’t fight us on.

We use chicken, beef, shrimp, pork and sometimes no meat at all. I often like to add noddles to it, or serve it over rice. Honestly I don’t think you can really mess a stir fry up!

I think the key to any really good stir fry is the sauce. We’ve tried many bottled sauces and they worked great. Although I prefer to make my own, you can experiment and be creative! Not to mention its way cheaper!!

These are the 4 recipes I use most often and they all also have the “Frankie stamp of approval” which if you’ve been around this picky guy at mealtimes lately, means a lot!!

 

Lemon Stir fry Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 Cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup sugar

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce 
  • 1/4 Cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Orange Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup orange juice
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 4 tsp brown sugar

Basic Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 Cup chicken broth 
  • 1/3 Cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garli
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch 

 If any of these sauces seem too thin, feel free to add cornstarch to thicken. About 1 Tbsp at a time. 

These are just a few of the recipes I usually go to when making a stir fry, I think they’re pretty versatile and good to have on hand in a pinch! 

Give them a try and let me know if your family loves them as much as mine does! 

Enjoy,

xo Fran 

 

Live Clean (baby) Colloidal Oatmeal Eczema Cream

At the age of 3 months Frankie developed severe eczema mainly on his face. He would constantly have red itchy irritated patches that would develop into weepy open sores. 

Watching my poor baby suffer through that was heart breaking! 

 

We tried every cream on the market, nothing worked. 

We finally went to see our family doctor who referred us to a dermatologist. We waited 3 long months for that appointment, which turned out to only last 5 minutes. 

He took one look at Frankie’s poor little face and wrote out a prescription for two medicated creams. Right away his face started to clear up and the eczema slowly disappeared. 

Nowadays Frankie’s face is clear. He has the occasional breakout when the seasons change usually on his face (which you can see on his cheek in the picture below) and a few tiny spots on his legs.
 

When this happens I try to treat it as soon as we spot it. I like to avoid using heavily medicated creams when I can.

We’ve used live clean many times before. With Frankie’s sensitive skin I try to keep products as natural as possible. We already loved their; shampoo, body wash and bubble bath.

After reaching out to the company they were so kind as to send me a bottle of their brand new Colloidal Eczema Cream.

  

A little about the cream:

  • It is made of 98% plant ingredients 
  • Dye, silicone, fragrance, paraben, phthalate, phosphate and petroleum free
  • Vegan
  • Pediatrician tested
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • Contains Aloe Vera and Chamomile to deeply moisturize and prevent the reoccurrence of dry skin
  • It is the product with the highest percentage of Colloidal Oatmeal available today

The cream creates a protective barrier that helps to promote healing and stop the itching. It also helps to seal in the moisture which is so important! 

I’ve been applying it to many of Frankie’s dry spots at night as soon as he gets out of the tub. This cream has helped to keep them from spreading and speed up the healing. 

There is no heavy scent which is great and it’s doesn’t leave a greasy feeling on your hands like so many other creams tend to do. After going through so many of the creams on the market today, I can honestly say I’ve found a winner!  

To any mothers that are watching their poor little ones go through the pain of eczema, I suggest you pick up this cream. 

Thank you again to live clean for introducing me to this product and for their generosity. To find out even more about their products visit: 

http://www.live-clean.com

xo, Fran 

(live clean supplied this product to me for review, but all opinions in this post are honest and my own) 

 

Mommy Time

Being a stay at home mom is hard. 

I love my children with all of my heart and I truly feel blessed to be able to stay home and care for them everyday, but as I’m sure other Mommas know its hard work! 

Our days are filled with highs and lows just like everyone else’s. 

I’m a chef, doctor, teacher, maid, laundress, therapist, entertainer and referee. Not to mention I handle bio hazardous material many times during the day! (you think 7 months is too early to start potty training?)  

I’m lucky enough to have a husband that understands the work that goes into the daily life of a “Hungry Homemaker”  ha! See what I did there….. Anyway…

Mike alway says he has no idea how I do it everyday, truthfully there’s no secret. I just do.

The same way he does what needs to be done at work everyday, I get it done at home. Only, my bosses have different expectations of me.

The President of our company requires:

  • “Heymaze”  (mayonnaise) and pickles on every sandwich 
  • His bum promptly wiped when he’s done with the potty, assuming the position of bending over and grabbing his ankles. 
  • Craft time at least 3 times a week 
  • Lunch time discussions about all of the avengers and who’s the coolest one today. (It’s always the one he says it is, never go against him you’ll never hear the end of it!) 
  • All questions asked a minimum of 5 times, even after being answered

Our Vice President is much more easy going, she requires:

  • Long hair always within reach for her pulling enjoyment! (Oh you wore it up today, good thing you have bangs!)
  • Prompt pick up of all toys thrown on the ground x1000000
  • Always being within her view. (Oh you need to pee and I’m awake? No prob I’ll just come with you!)
  • Hair brushed and styled daily

I do really love my job and my bosses are great! I’m pretty sure I’m doing a good job because I constantly get my daily “bonus” of hugs and kisses! 

Here’s the thing. Once dinner is served and Mike is home from work…… I need to get away from everyone, before the bedtime routine begins!

Days are hectic and things get stressful. 

I truly believe that if you don’t take some time for yourself, you’ll lose your mind!  It can be as little as 30 minutes, but it is a must! 

I usually use this time to workout, blog, read or just do nothing. I turn the t.v on and drown out the sounds of “that’s not how momma does it!” and “I’m telling my mudder!” 

At some point, Mike will usually bring me a tea and give me that “Help me!” look. By that time I usually hear the little stomps of feet coming up the stairs, to report back to me. Also to ask if he can stay with me “for a little wild”

The other night while speaking to my mom on the phone, she was in shock to hear me receive a tea from Mike! 

“He’s down there with the kids, and he has to make you a tea too?” 

Ummmmmm yes! 

I’m with the kids all day and his dinner is made, and his clothes and home are clean. 

Is it bad that I want someone to do something for me ? 

I don’t think so. 

Hey if all I’m expecting is a tea, I think he’s getting off pretty easy if you ask me!

Anyway, my point with this post is to say that Moms, ALL moms wether they stay at home or not, and all parents for that matter need a break! We need to stop feeling  guilty. Taking that time to yourself will let you reset and I think in all honesty it will make you a better parent. 

You wanna hide in the laundry room and eat that chocolate without being mauled for it? You wanna stand in the washroom with the door closed and pretend you’re doing something? You wanna play let’s see who can be the quietest? 

Do it! 

Take those few moments to yourself, you deserve it! 

xo, Fran 

Simple breakfast Casserole 

As many recipes as I’ve posted, or will ever post. You’ll find very few breakfast recipes. 

Why?

Simple, I can’t make breakfast food. Omelettes turn into scrambled eggs very quickly. You want a fried egg with a runny yolk? Oops sorry it’s now a mess in my frying pan… 

In our house Mike is in charge of breakfast on the weekends, and he does a great job at it! Although on certain days ( his birthday and Father’s Day) I try to be a good wife and make breakfast. In these cases I try my best to keep it as simple as possible! 

This recipe doesn’t get any easier. It was enjoyed by all of us, and I can honestly say with this recipe I might volunteer to make breakfast more often…. Maybe, I really like to sleep in so…….

 Simple Breakfast Caserole


  • 1lb sausage taken out of its casing ( I used mild Italian) 
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic ,minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 Cup of milk 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Cups of frozen hash browns thawed
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 375

  1. In a medium pan cook sausage on medium heat until browned. Remove sausage and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Drain grease from pan add olive oil, onion and red pepper, cook for 5 min until mostly cooked. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the vegetables into the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Add the hash browns and 1 1/2 cups of your cheese to the bowl and stir to combine well. 
  5. In another bowl whisk together eggs, milk and black pepper. 
  6. Add egg mixture to sausage mixture, stir to combine. 
  7. Pour your mixture into a baking dish, top with remaining cheese and green onions.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes, remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes

Voila!! Breakfast is served and I didn’t ruin it!

I think it’s the perfect thing to whip up for a special weekend breakfast, or even add it on to your brunch menu! 

Quick, easy and delicious! 

Enjoy, Fran 

 
 


 

A Father’s Day tribute

Father’s day is a few days away and I thought I would share a little bit about the “Dada” to the adorable children I was blessed with! (Crazy… But adorable children!)

Happy Father’s Day Mike!

You are: 

  • The good cop to my bad cop
  • The one that worries about every cough and sneeze
  • The one that taught them that burps and farts are hilarious 
  • The one that laughs the loudest at every silly joke
  • The one that can never say no
  • The one that loves singing frozen songs at the top of your lungs
  • The one that’s always there when we need him
  • The one that works so hard everyday to provide for us
  • The first one to jump out of bed when hearing a cry
  • The best breakfast maker
  • The one who we love more than anything
  • The one who made me a mommy
  • The calm to my crazy
  • The one who would give anyone the shirt off of his back
  • The one who we thank god for everyday

 

Also in preparation for Father’s Day, Frankie answered a few questions about his “Dada” that we’ll present to him on Sunday morning using the Father’s Day printable from Kenzie’s kreations. You can find it here: http://kinzieskreations.blogspot.ca/2012/05/fathers-day-printable.html

Here’s what he had to say:

  • My Dad’s name is :  Mike
  • He is ___ years old :  12
  • He is as big as a  : Giraffe 
  • He has ____ hair : Dark
  • And ______ eyes : Blue
  • His favourite food is : Spicy stuff
  • His favourite colour is : Purple
  • He likes to ____ : Play with me 
  • For fun he likes to : Watch Avengers 
  • My favourite thing to do with my dad: Make Star Wars sets
  • I love my dad because:  We do lots of stuff together and we make funny faces

 

Happy Father’s Day Mike! 

We love you more than we could ever say! 

xo, Fran  

The only bug you’ll ever actually want in your house + Giveaway!!

Right now we’re going through that fun time with Emilia known as teething.

It’s a glorious time for us, filled with drool, screams and literally everything within her reach going into her mouth! Much to Frankie’s dismay, we’ve discovered many an action figure covered in… as he puts it “Baby Slime!”

While on Instagram I reached out to many fellow parents for advice, and received sooo many great tips! I also browsed many teething companies in search of a new solution for this insatiable little drool princess that has taken up residence in our home!

I came across nēnu Family and their new teether bug! 

Blue+teether+bug

(Honestly is this not the cutest thing ever?)


This teether is brand new to the market and is absolutely adorable! 

I contacted nēnu Family brand and they so graciously sent me one of their bugs and a set of their spoons! 

 

First off, I loved the packaging. It’s so modern looking and sleek. It made me feel like a “cool parent” lol.

Before using the teether I read all about the company in a brochure they provided. 

The company was started by parents who wanted more options for safe well designed products for their children. With their backgrounds in product design and development they got to work creating something they could trust.

All of their products are 100% made in the U.S. 

  • They are all safety tested and certified 
  • Free of Phthalate, Vinyl and BPA
  • Made from FDA rated, Medical grade TPE material

When developing their teether they took into consideration the little hands that would be using it. The round loop of the bug is designed to encourage one and two handed grasping and encourage little ones to develop fine motor skills. While the bumps on the legs help sooth sore gums.

I gave Emilia the teether and waited for my review lol 

 

The results were in, she loved it! 

It was so easy for her to hold onto, and there was no chance of her gagging herself, (which she seems to do often).  She would take it out of her mouth every so often and play with it, waving it around and talking to her new little friend.

Something so simply designed, has easily become one of her favourite things to play with! I’m so happy we’ve found something to help ease her pain and frustration, while also helping her have fun!

I want to thank nēnu Family for being so great, their customers service is amazing! 

You can learn more about their products and company at http://www.nenufamily.com

Now it’s time for me to share their generosity with all of you! 

nēnu Family is giving away two prize packs each containing: 

  • One teether bug
  • One pack of spoons

Head over to https://instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/ and https://instagram.com/nenufamilybrand/

To find out how you can be one of the lucky winners!! 

(I was sent these products to review, but the opinions expressed in this post are truthful and my own)

xo, Fran 

  

Nutella Pull Apart Bread

As you may have learned from previous posts, Nutella is a favourite treat around here! 

It’s a staple in our house, and I’m always on the look out to find new ways to use it. 

Last week my sister graduated college after 4 years of hard work! I was so proud of her, that when she told me her only request was this dessert I really couldn’t say no! 

I’ve made cinnamon pull apart bread many times and just used the same recipe, switching out the cinnamon, butter and brown sugar for Nutella. It turned out delicious if I do say so myself! Our graduate was very pleased and that’s what was most import to me!  

 

This recipe does take a little bit of time, but the results are well worth it! 

Nutella pull apart bread

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter ( room temp) 
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 2 large eggs ( room temp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla ext

For the filling : 1 cup Nutella ( I used a bit more) use your own discretion.

  1. In a large mixing bowl mix milk, water, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside until mixture is foamy. ( about 5-10 min)
  2. Using a dough hook (or by hand) stir in flour, sugar, salt, butter and eggs. Stir until combined. Keep stirring until dough is smooth, soft and sticky.
  3. Remove dough from the bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Roll dough around in bowl to coat lightly in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and light sit in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a 12×20 rectangle. Spread the Nutella evenly over surface of dough. Then slice the dough into 6 even strips. Stack each strip on top of each other. Then cut the stack into 6 pieces and layer the stacks into a loaf pan. Cover your pan with a kitchen towel and let rise for another hour.

 

my dough before and after rising


5. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bread is dark golden on top.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving. 

  

 

Doesn’t it look sooooo good!!! 

I’d say it’s the perfect graduation present, but I may be a little biased!

Try it out, I dare you not to eat the whole thing! I was glad this wasn’t staying in my house. I don’t think it would have lasted the day! 

Enjoy,

Fran 

Spaghetti Carbonara

These days dinner time has been the time of the day I dread! Almost every night it ends with me in an argument with Frankie. He either refuses to finish his meal, or takes so long to finish that by the time it’s over I’m literally counting down the minutes until bedtime! 

The little boy who ate anything without a problem, has now turned into the kid that hates everything! 

So imagine my surprise Thursday night when we sat down to eat dinner and there was no sounds to be heard. All I could hear was the sound of his fork, then…. Out of no where came ” this is sooooo yummy momma!” 

Wait…. What? Who are you? Where is my son?  

Clean plate, no fighting, he even got a treat for dessert!  We were both happy by the end of our meal! 

Thursday nights Mike works a little later. He doesn’t get home in time for dinner, and usually eats at work. On those nights I try to make something a little quicker. I had some bacon in the fridge so I decided to make a recipe I hadn’t made for a while. (Boy am I glad I did!!) 

If you need a quick weeknight recipe that sure to please even the pickiest eater, (I speak from experience) try this one out! You’ll have a delicious dish in 30 mins or less! 

 

Spaghetti Carbonara 

  • 1lb spaghetti 
  • 1/2 large onion, diced.
  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1/4 parmesean cheese
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, cook bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until almost crispy. Add the onion and continue to cook until bacon is crispy and onion is translucent.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, parmesean cheese and pepper until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente.
  5. When pasta is ready, drain and quickly return pasta to the hot pot. While stirring pasta, pour the egg mixture into the pot and continue to mix until the egg mixture is cooked into the pasta. 
  6. Add in bacon and onion and toss until mixed well.

That’s it! 

It’s a classic dish that’s always been one of my favourites. Now that I know Frankie loves it I’ll be making it a lot more often! Anything to make dinner time a little easier! 

Enjoy!

Fran                                                                                                                                       

Family Update !

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog for the last week. Trying to get some things done around here and enjoy the beautiful weather that has FINALLY arrived! Can you believe it’s already June?  I thought I would let you know what we’ve been up to, it’s been a pretty exciting month! 

Frankie and I have been putting our “Mommy and Frankie time” to good use! We’ve been writing our letters and numbers in preparation for school in September!! (Aaaah I can’t believe it!)  

We also made a special dessert one night that he loved! We made bug cupcakes! I found the mould at The Superstore on clearance!! It was a good opportunity to use up all of the little bits of chocolate and sprinkles that I had left over. He had so much fun making his bugs and was so excited to show Mike when he got home.    

  

We also took our first trip of the year to a small local zoo with some friends! It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon and both kids had a blast….. Well Frankie did, Emilia slept through the whole visit!  (At least she looked cool!)

 

Frankie also started T Ball! I have to say, it is literally the cutest and funniest thing I’ve ever seen! The kids have a blast playing and the parents have just as much fun watching! Frankie loves it and has already made a bunch of friends. 

Although Emilia is quite the celebrity at the games as well, with all of the little girls surrounding her before and after the games. I love seeing how proud Frankie is of himself when he hits the ball or runs the bases. His coaches are great and it’s something he now looks forward to every week! 

(The cake was from my sister, she likes to go overboard! In honour of Frankie’s first game!)  

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside, enjoying the weather. We’ve done some spring cleaning and I’m hoping to get Emilia’s room completely finished in the next few weeks. Hopefully a post on that will be coming soon!

Speaking of Emilia….. This girl is learning new things everyday! She can sit up on her own, which she loves, because it’s easier to grab Frankie’s toys that way! She can also stand with very little support for pretty long periods of time. 

This girl is only a few days shy of 7 months and is desperate to get moving! It’s crazy to me since her brother was such a lazy guy! He didn’t walk until he was 14 months. 

In other BIG news! Emilia said her first word and it was ….. Drum roll please….. MAMA MAMA ! I thought I was hearing things, hoping I heard her say it, but then everyone else heard it too! She followed in her brother’s footsteps and called for me first, and has been ever since! 

 If she continues to follow him, then we’ll have another chatterbox on our hands. To make up for walking late Frankie started talking very early, making sentences by the time he was a year old. Our house has been noisey ever since haha! 

I have big plans for a lot of fun posts coming up. Also working on giving the blog a little makeover very soon! 

That’s what’s been going on around here. You can see what we’re up to and follow our day to day lives on Instagram at https://instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/

I’ll be back next week with some new posts! 

Until then, enjoy this beautiful weather!

xo, Fran