Girl’s Night Out – Bistro 67

Every now and then, this mama needs a little break!

Time away from the kids is definitely necessary for me to recharge. It really doesn’t happen often, but when it does you can bet great food and amazing company make the night even better!

I was lucky enough to get to spend a night at Bistro 67 with some amazing local bloggers, to experience their new wine and cheese Thursday nights! On that night you can enjoy a delicious cheese board and two glasses of local feature wine for $25 plus tax!

Bistro 67 is an amazing and unique local hidden gem.

The meals are prepared by the Durham College Culinary students and guests are served by the hospitality students. Their menu is based on their Field to fork philosophy, using the over one acre of land located beside the facility to grow amazing produce. The restaurant is open year round and the menu reflects the changing seasons and flavors !

We were served a delicious Creekside white wine and I cant even begin to tell you about the cheese board!

A delicious mix of cheeses including Parmesan, bocconcini and spicy feta cheese.  The pickled veggies, raspberry compote and zucchini relish were amazing! Can we talk about the bread!!! OMG! The freshly made bread was so good, we couldn’t get enough! (Serioulsy, we asked for seconds… and thirds…)

After dinner we were even treated to a tour of the kitchen, where we got to see our food being made first hand! It was awesome to see the students at work, mastering their craft!

A night filled with great company, many laughs and a belly food of delicious food. Could anyone ask for more?

Thank you Bistro 67 for an amazing  night!

Local friends, checking this restaurant out is a must!

you can thank me later!

xo,

Fran

 

A Night To Remember, With Arriba Restaurant and Renaissance Toronto!

Being a Maid of honor is a pretty stressful job!

In all honesty, it’s been pretty smooth sailing so far. My sister is far from a BRIDEZILLA and has really asked very little!

I knew that her bachelorette party was on me to plan. I also knew I wanted something that she and everyone else would remember and love! My sister is not one to party hard and considering my mom and her future mother in law would be in attendance…. no “adult entertainment” would be involved…. Seriously I think I would die from awkwardness!

If you know my sister, you know there are a few things she holds dear to her heart. Two Of those being : Good food and The Toronto Blue Jays!

After a visit to Arriba Restaurant and Lounge located in the Renaissance Hotel Toronto  last year. I knew it would be the place to give us the best of both worlds!

The Hotel is the only one in North America, connected to a stadium that gives you field views from the comfort of your own room! How amazing would it be to watch your favorite team or band play live, right from the comfort of your own room!

The Hotel is located in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district. Steps to the historical C.N Tower,the amazing Ripley’s Aquarium and so much more fun!

It’s also part of the Marriot Family, So you know you’ll get the best service while you’re there! It’s pet friendly, has a beautiful pool, fitness center and high speed internet! They’ll make your event, (including weddings, meetings or conferences) The best! While wowing your guests!

Located just off the hotel’s beautiful lobby, you’ll Find Aribba Restaurant ! This beautiful venue has floor to ceiling walls of windows! Providing diners with amazing views of the Rogers Centre fields, while eating world class food!

We were given the whole back section of the restaurant to host our event and provided options off their Summerlicious menu available from July 7th-21st.

 

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The bar mixed us up some sangria, both red and white wine, to greet our guests as they arrived! I also set up a small album for people. I thought it would be a cute idea for friends and family, to bring a photo with a one of their favorite memories with the bride. So she can look back at special moments she had with the people she loves most as she starts this new chapter in her life!

I also added a special treat for everyone! It’s not fair for the bride to be, to be the only one with some flashy bling! So ring pops for everyone!

We Started our meal with The restaurant’s signature chips and dip! First of all this dip is AMAZING and highly addictive! It’s loaded with smoked maple bacon and caramelized onions and served with house made chips! It’s so obvious why its a customer favorite!

We then enjoyed some delicious appetizers including: Baby spinach and quinoa salad, spicy beef bites and fried calamari !

 

My dinner was a delicious papperdelle with shrimp and chorizo ! Honestly this dish speaks for it’s self!

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So, now we come to my favorite part of any meal…… DESSERT!!!

Can we just take a moment to admire the beauty that is this cheese cake and this bread pudding!! I’ll give you a minute……. and yes they tasted as good as they looked!

The night was full of fun and laughs, even though her beloved Blue Jays lost the game…. I think it’s safe to say the bride to be had a great time!

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I want to thank Aribba and Renaissance Toronto For hosting us and for their amazing food and service!

It’s been a few days since the party, and all our friends are still talking about how amazing everything was! Most planning another visit soon! This lady included!

I couldn’t think of a better way to give my little sister a special night! It’s everything i had hoped for her and more! Well maybe the Jays winning would have been better but…… Some things just can’t be controlled! ha!

If you’re in the Toronto are or traveling there soon, book your stay and make your reservation!

Tell them Fran sent you!

xo, Fran

Stand Up For Clean Water With Brita

March 22nd is World Water Day.

Being blessed to be living in a country like Canada, it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and not think about others who are less fortunate than we are.


Mike and I have always tried to instill in our children, even at this young age to appreciate the things we are so lucky to have. Explaining to them that so many people all over the world have no food or water. There’s no stocked fridge for them to open whenever they want a snack. Or Water cooler filled with crystal clear ice cold water to fill your cup with.

We try to lead by example and help out with important causes as much as possible. We’re showing our kids that big changes can start by small everyday choices. That’s why I’m so happy to be teaming up with Brita Canada For this project!


Brita Canada launched a program in September 2016 in partnership with WE on a sustainable change initiative. This campaign supports a borehole in Irkaat, Kenya that provides a community of 1800 with clean water.

So, What can you do to help?

Brita Canada has released their new Me to We  statement bottle along with specially marked products. With every purchase of any of these products, you’ll be supplying a year of clean water to someone in Irkaat, Kenya.

With every Me to We purchase you’ll also receive a  Track Your Impact code,  which you can enter online. This helps you see exactly where and how your purchase has made an impact!


When you buy a Brita water bottle you’ll also see huge benefits for yourself as well! These water bottles reduce contaminants that appear in our tap water, and save people more than $500 a year compared to buying bottled water! Just one Brita filter can replace up to 300 plastic water bottles, helping to reduce the huge volume of plastic bottles that end up in our landfills.

Its definitely time we take a stand and help those in need!

You can find these specially marked products at Walmart, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Atlantic Superstore, Loblaws and Zehrs locations!

Show us how you’re taking a stand for clean water!

Share pictures of your Me to We products on social media using the hashtag #worldwaterday and tag @BritaCA and @wemovement.

Make a difference today in someones life, with one small choice!

xo,

Fran

 

 

 

Hello Fresh Review + Giveaway !

After a busy day, the last thing you want to hear is “what’s for dinner mom??”

Ya, good question! Is my answer most of the time.

Can I just say that on days like that, Hello Fresh is a Godsend!

Hello Fresh is a weekly dinner delivery service. It brings ingredients for quick, nutritious and delicious meals right to your door! Not to mention, all the ingredients are pre cut and pre measured! Each meal comes with it’s own step by step recipe card to help you create amazing meals your whole family will love!!


Your subscription includes free delivery and with a menu changing every week, you’ll never get a boring meal!

you Can choose between 3 plan options;

  • Pronto Plan : Gives you meals that are quick and convenient, that only take 30 mins to make!
  •  Family Plan : Gives you meals that even the pickiest eaters will love! Kid friendly recipes that encourage the whole family to get in the kitchen and cook together.
  • Veggie Plan : Gives you delicious vegetarian meals that are hearty and ready in 30 mins!

 

Our family got to enjoy 3 delicious recipes!

  • Beef and yellow zucchini stirfry with ginger and snow peas
  • Chicken meatball gnocchi with sage, apple and spinach
  • Pan-seared pork chops with onion gravy, broccolini and buttery mashed potatoes

All 3 recipes were easy to prepare, and so delicious! The recipe cards laid every step out perfectly. I will definitely be trying to recreate this meals soon!

I know you’re  ready to order your own box!

Good news!

You can get 50% off your first box by using the code: FRANCESCA50

More good news!!

Hello Fresh  and I, have teamed up to give a Pronto Box to one lucky follower! Head over to my Instagram page for all the details!

Good luck!

xo, Fran

 

 

Start The School Year Off Smart With The Hungry Buddha + Giveaway


It’s time for back to school!!

Do I seem a little bit excited?

Well that’s because I am! Frankie and I are both equally excited to get back to our normal routine! Him because he’s looking forward to friends, fun and recess. Me, because I cant wait for Emilia to get back to her normal nap times and also some quiet “mommy time” during the day!

With back to school also comes the dilemma of the snack time rut!

It’s hard to come up with new healthy ideas that Frankie will actually eat and not end up making the return trip home after school!

With Hungry Buddha coconut chips you can add a healthy treat to your child’s lunch that they’ll love and you’ll love knowing it’s a healthy alternative to regular chips.

These Chips come in 4 delicious flavors:

  • Classic Coconut
  • Smokin’ Sriracha
  • Heavenly Honey
  • Cheeky Chocolate

These snacks are gluten and dairy free, with no cholesterol or trans fats.Hungry Buddha is certified GMO -Free. The company also donates 1% of their revenue to worldwide environmental organizations!

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when we first tried these chips. I can honestly say they are delicious!

The kids love the Honey and Chocolate flavors (surprise, surprise!) While I loved the Sriracha!!

They’re crunchy, healthy and delicious. You wont feel bad about treating yourself to these chips while binge watching some Stranger Things on NETFLIX (Who else loves that show? Feel free to message me to chat about it!!)

These snacks are a new family favorite that will be making many appearances in Frankie’s lunches through this upcoming school year!


I’ve teamed up with Buddha Brand to offer my followers an amazing giveaway just in time for back to school!

One lucky winner will receive a Hungry Buddha Snack Pack featuring one bag of each coconut chip flavor along with a SkipHop lunch Bag!

To enter, head over to my Instagram page !

Good luck!

xo, Fran

I was provided these products at no cost of my own, for the purpose of review. As always these opinions are my own and true!

 

 

 

 

 

Jord Wood Watch Review + Giveaway

*This post was sponsored by Jord Watches, as always these opinions are true and my own!*

So I have to admit,

I have an obsession…… I loooooove watches!

Look on my dresser an you’ll find my large and still growing collection. I cant help it, and I can never resist one when it catches my eye.

For me the more unique the better! Its the finishing touch to any outfit.

Also now that I live that #momlife, I need something versatile. Something that I can wear on the daily school run but also dress up when one of our date nights rolls around!

That why I’ve fallen in love with Jord Wood watches

jord watch, wooden watch

Could you ever get more unique than a watch made out of wood?

These watches are high quality, stylish and beautifully hand crafted! They have so many designs that you’re sure to find one (or maybe two….) to suit your own personal style!

I cant even tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten on my Fieldcrest Zebrawood and Maple watch! (Find out more about this beauty here

Can I tell you what else I love?

These watches can come specially sized to fit perfectly right out of the box! If you’re like me and have super skinny (like annoyingly skinny!) wrists. You know how annoying it is to buy a brand new watch and be soooo excited to wear it, only to have to wait until it’s sized…

My watch came to me fitting perfectly right out of the package, ready to head out with me on my daily errands! Me and this watch were a perfect match from day one!

jord watch, wooden watch

With fall quickly approaching, who wouldn’t want to add an amazing accessory to their wardrobe?

I’ve teamed up with Jord to offer you an amzing giveaway!

The best part is everyone is a winner! Seriously EVERYONE!!

One Lucky winner will receive a $75 e gift card to put towards the watch of their choice. Here’s the thing… Everyone who enters automatically gets a $20 e gift card emailed to them!

How amazing is that?

Enter this amazing giveaway HERE !

Giveaway closes Sept 6th at 11:59 pm

Good luck to everyone that enters! (be sure to let me know which watch you pick! I might just have to pick up another one….or two..)


Cool Watches
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/thehungryhomemakerblog

xo, Fran

My first steps into the world of essential oils.

  What are essential oils?

Essential oils are super-concentrated. These oils are important active ingredients and flavor additives in many kinds of familiar, everyday products:

  • Candy
  • Syrups
  • Toothpastes and mouthwashes 
  • Cleaning products
  • Beauty products 
  • Essential oils even give flavor and scent to the spices that you use to add zest to your cooking.

(Although some of these oils are often of the synthetic kind.)

I had heard so many people talking about essential oils. Having two little ones I’m always looking for ways to calm their cough and colds, ease their aches and pains and even help them to relax and unwind before bed. 
Unfortunately with most of these issues, my only option would have included a trip to the medicine cabinet. 

Any naural remedy was more than welcomed!

 Through the magic of Instagram I connected with Jessica from Midwest Essentials  We chatted a bit and she asked me what I knew about oils and what I was looking to use them for?

My answers were NOTHING and EVERYTHING!! 

In all seriousness, the kids had been battling colds all winter. Emilia especially suffered from a stuffy nose and cough for weeks. She couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to eat and was just plain miserable. (Which meant we were all sleepless and miserable!) 

She quickly sent me some information on oils along with two rollers. 

  1. Wellness roller 

Containing: 

  • Thieves 
  • Frankinscence 
  • Copaiba 
  • Lemon
  • Fractionated Coconut oil 
  1. Sleep roller 

Containing:

  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender 
  • Fractionated Coconut oil

I got right to trying them out.

  
Let me start by saying I’m a VERY  light sleeper since having kids. Every little noise wakes me up, then I wake Mike up to go,see what it was!  I rolled the sleep roller on the soles of my feet as instructed. I went to sleep, not expecting a miracle. Mike laughed at me… saying I’m so gullible. 

The next morning he wasn’t so skeptical….

I woke up feeling refreshed and without waking up once (or waking him up!) throught the night! That morning Mike also let me know I had started talking in my sleep that night, something I only do when I’m out cold! Again something that hasn’t happened in years!

People….. I felt great!! 

Immediately I was sold! (So was Mike!)

Emilia’s nose had just stopped running. It had been running for weeks! after a few days of relief, it started all over again! I grabbed the wellness roller and rolled the oil onto the bottoms of her feet in the morning and before bed. Her leaky nose was gone within a week! Honestly I was shocked! 

Upon my research I discovered essential oils can be used in many ways:

  • Topical
  • Aromatic 
  • Internal

With so many uses!

To help relieve: 

  • Coughs/ colds
  • Acne
  • Headache
  • Digestive discomfort 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Stress
  • Eczema 
  • Burns, cuts and other skin irritations.

Jessica has been so sweet, answering my MANY questions about the rollers and all oils in general. I still have a long way to go In my journey through the land of essential oils but I’m so excited to learn more and glad I have such a kind and patient teacher to help me out! 

If you want to join me on my journey to discover more of what essential oils can do for you EVERY DAY! 

You can contact Jessica and sign up Here!

She will answer any and all questions you have. 

I can’t wait to learn more! 

I’m definitely a believer in the power of these oils. 

xo, Fran 

(I was given these oils at not cost of my own, for the purpose of review. As always these opinions are my own and the truth.) 

Friendly Rooster Shoe Boutique

Spring is in the air!

It’s finally time to put away the winter coats and boots and break out the cute stuff!

Unfortunately for me, Frankie has become super picky about the things he wears. Gone are the days of just setting out his clothes and getting him dressed no questions asked! These days I have to ask 20 questions, have a 10 minute debate and make 3 woredrobe changes before he even agrees to put on his underwear!

But Emilia, she’s still easy. I love shopping for all of the adorable baby girl clothes. theres so much to choose from its VERY easy for a mama to get carried away!

A little girl can NEVER have too many pairs of shoes (neither can a girl in her thirties….)

When I discovered  Friendly Rooster I fell in love! They have hundreds of pairs of shoes. Their sizes range from infant all the way up to children’s size 10. Formal, casual, little boys or little girls no matter what you’re looking for you will definitely find it and then some!

I was lucky enough to receive a pair of Tip Toey Joey suede Swoopy sandals to review. First of all how cute are they?

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The color and style scream for warm weather!

After I finished dying with envy over these little shoes, I noticed something else!

 

The friendly rooster children's shoes

These Tip Toey Joey shoes are made for new walkers.They are specially designed to allow your child’s feet to develop properly.This thin rubber sole gives your little one sole and heel support that also helps them balance.

Whats even better?

Every time you purchase a pair of Tip Toey Joey shoes, The Friendly Rooster will donate a pair to a beginner walker in need in the U.S ! Your little one gets an adorable, high quality pair of shoes and you help out a child in need at the same time!

Needless to say we LOVE them! They were the perfect finishing touch to Emilia’s Easter outfit!

  
Friendly Rooster also offers a variety of different shoe brands along with tights, hats and other accessories! ( also MANY new styles arriving at the end of March!!)

In honor of Friendly Rooster’s birthday celebration, and the fact that they recently started shipping to Canada and Australia, they are offering my readers 15% off their orders! Use the code: FRAN15  and receive this awesome discount!

Now, lets hope this beautiful weather sticks around!

Happy Shopping!!

xo, Fran

(I was given this product for the purpose of review at no cost of my own. As always these opinions are my own and true)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Maddox Review + Giveaway

 teething

Teething  is in full force over here! 

Anything and everything is going into the moody toddler, we now refer to as Emilia the barbarian’s mouth!

Let me tell you, hell hath no fury like this miserable little lady, when you take something out of her mouth and tell her NO! 

I’ve known Sam from Command and Pamper for a while now. I’ve loved following along with her on her blog and Instagram! She’s the sweetest mama to her handsome little guy Maddox.

  
Not to long ago she started up Modern Maddox, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! 

She makes teething necklaces for Mamas that you’ll actually want to wear, even if you’re out without your babe. I loved the idea of having something with me that Emilia could easily nibble on, without me having to be worried about it being thrown on the floor or getting lost along the way! 

She has so many designs and colour combinations, I dare you to only fall in love with one! (She also just released her newest designs for spring…. Swoon!) 

Her newest design idea made my eyes light up! 

She’s created a teething bracelet for both mamas and minis that also doubles as a teething ring! (Hello, another opportunity to match!)

Emilia is forever stealing my bracelets and trying to wear them. She puts one on, smiles and does her signature “oooooh woooooow!” Let’s just say when she received the bracelet Sam sent us to review, she was pretty excited to have the first addition to her accessories collection! ( if she’s like her mama, it will be a pretty big collection… Sorry Mike !)

  

The soft silicone beads are perfect to sooth her little gums (and save my jewellery collection from little teeth marks!)  for some extra relief we put it in the freezer for a while, the cool beads helped to calm her even more! 

The bracelet is created around a thick sturdy cord. I have no fear of it snapping causing the beads to come loose. The quality is great and the colour combinations make it so easy to find one to match every little outfit for your fashionista! 

To see all of the other gorgeous designs Sam has created visit her at her etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/modernmaddox

Follow along with the latest shop news, giveaways and designs on her shop instagram page :https://www.instagram.com/modernmaddox/

Sam has been awesome to work with and she’s extended her generosity to all of you! 

For your chance to win one of these bracelets head over to my Instagram page! (https://www.instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/)

Another amazing mama, with another amazing small shop I’m so honoured to share with you all! 

xo, Fran

(I was provided this product for the purpose of review at no cost of my own. As always these opinions are true and my own.) 


Junebugs reusable snack bag review+Giveaway! 

  
Supporting small shops is very important to me. 

I love discovering new and unique products, when they also make my life easier that’s a huge bonus! 

I came into contact with Josée through Instagram. She is a gorgeous mommy to three adorable little ones. 

She founded Junebugs in 2011. Why the name Junebugs? That was inspired by her 3 children all of which were born in the month of June! As a mother Josée understands the value of quality handmade items. This is obvious by just looking at all of her handcrafted items and attention to detail. 

Wether you’re looking for

  • Bibs
  • Burp clothes
  • Crayon wallets (such a cute idea!)
  • Hooded towels
  • Nursing covers, or
  • Reusable snack bags

Junebugs has you covered. With so many amazing patterns and designs, it will be hard to pick just one!

Josée was so kind to send two snack bags for us to review, one large sports patterned and one small adorable princess patterned. Frankie loved his bag. He was so excited to bring it to school and came home with many stories about how cool his friends thought his bag was! 

As for Emilia’s bag…. here’s the best part!  

 reusuable snack 
On our daily after school pick up run, I try to keep Emilia in the car as long as possible. (It’s freezing out there !)  She used to fuss and cry until I gave in and let her out of the car. I kid you not, from day one of using her little snack bag. She sits contently snacking away in her seat until it’s time to get out! 

Why? I have no idea. 

Maybe it’s the princess pattern, or maybe it’s the feeling of independence. Having a “big kid” bag like her brother? Whatever it is, it’s made me love these bags even more! 

We used to use countless ziplock bags. These bags have definitely replaced those and cut down on the amount of waste in our house.(Bonus!)

Both kids love using them at home too. Watching a movie or just hanging out they always request their snack in their “cool bags”

Clean up and care for these bags is a breeze! (Yet another bonus!)

They can go right into the wash and even into the dryer! 

We’ve had ours for a few weeks and use them daily. They’ve been washed, dried, crumpled and trampled. I can honestly say they still look as good as the day we received them! The great quality and care put into these bags is undeniable.

I would definitely recommend these bags to every parent. Cut down on waste, save money by cutting back on disposable bags and snack in style! 

Who could ask for more! 

You can see all of the products Junebugs has to offer by visiting: http://junebugs.ca

Keep up to date with all of the newest designs, products and news by following along on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Junebugsfashions/?ref=ts&fref=ts

And instagram:https://www.instagram.com/3junebugs/

Josée and I have teamed up for an amazing giveaway! 

For your chance to win 2 Reusuable snack bags

  • 1 Large 
  • 1 Small

Head over to The Hungry Homemaker Instagram page for all of the details! 

https://www.instagram.com/thehungryhomemakerblog/

Thanks again to Josée for her generosity! 

These bags are definitely one of my new favourite things! 

xo, Fran

(I was sent these products at no cost of my own, for the purpose of review. As always these opinions are my own and true.)