Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sorta Salisbury Steak

One of Ryan's favorite meals when we go out to eat at a restaurant is Salisbury steak. It was never a dish that I had ever tried before. It was never a regular dish at my house and I never wanted to give up my restaurant favorites to try something new.

On a dinner date with Ryan one day he ordered his Salisbury steak and I took a bite. Although it is still not one of my favorite dishes I incorporated it into our meal plan for him. Plus, it is SUPER inexpensive to make.


- Hamburger Meat
- Dried Onion Flakes
- Stovetop Dressing (1/4 box)
- Garlic Powder
- 1/2 onion
- Gravy Pack
- Potatoes
- Butter
- Corn

1. Mix together hamburger meat, onion flakes, garlic powder and stovetop dressing in a bowl. Form into patties.

2. Meanwhile, chop potatoes (skin on) and place in baking dish. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

3. Begin frying your hamburger patties. Add sliced onions when patties are half done.

4. Prepare corn and gravy pack according to the package.

5. Serve altogether and enjoy! :-)

This recipe is so simple. The 2 lbs of hamburger usually makes about 4 patties. Being that it is just Ryan and I we only have 1 each and then freeze the rest for cheeseburgers later on! Waste not, want not!

Hamburger (1/2 used) - $ 2.87
Onion Flakes- $ 0.20
Garlic Powder- $ 0.20
Stove Top Dressing (1/4 of the package)- $ 1.25
Onion (1/2)- $ 0.57
Gravy Pack- $ 1.54
Potatoes (4 or 5 used) - $ 0.50
Frozen Corn- $ 0.30

Total: $ 7.43

Now that's what I call a cheap restaurant style meal!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Dare # 26

This morning is a rainy, cold morning. One of those days where you feel like crawling right back into bed and staying there all day. Today I feel very sluggish. I have a cold and I didn't get much sleep over the coarse of the weekend. I keep wondering to myself, when does the weekend start?

Anyways, onto this week dare.

Dare # 26

Get a yearbook, your or someone else' s (someone else's might be more fun, like a parents) and look through the old comments from friends, pictures and activities. See who you or the other person was friends with. Are they still a friend? Have fun looking back on memory lane.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moist Banana Chip Bread

Instead of buying prepackaged cakes for Ryan's lunches I have been making treats to save money. I usually have the ingredients on hand. I always double my recipes and put half in the freezer for future use. One of Ryan's favorite treats is Banana Chip bread. He always requests it now. When we first started dating he would never eat it because he said "don't like banana's". One day I won a bet and he had to try some homemade banana bread and he has been hooked since!

Now, Ryan gets a banana on his lunch everyday but at the end of the week sometimes I have a very riped banana left. Being that I HATE wasting food I collect these bananas, and freeze them until I have enough to make a go of Banana Chip Bread.

Frozen banana's


- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip (I know, weird but makes it so moist!)
- 3 to 4 ripe bananas
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat egg, miracle whip, banana's and vanilla in a large bowl.

3. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just moist.

5. Pour into 9 x 5 greases bread pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

6. Enjoy! :-)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Dare #25

Have you ever felt like life was passing you by? That is seems that everything is going too fast. Winters fly by and the next thing you know you're getting ready for bikini time yet again. Do you have all these great ideas of things you want to do in your head but you never get to execute half of them? Well this is my inspiration for this week's dare.

Dare #25

Make a list of 101 things you want to do in 1001 days. (I used dayzeroproject.com)

Here is my list:

1. Build a snowman
2. See a drive-in movie
3. Run a marathon
4. Get married
5. Go on a road trip
6. Go on a shopping spree
7. Host a dinner party
8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
9. Take a cake decorating class
10. Make my own ice cream
11. Create a new list after 1001 days once this one is done.
12. Give blood
13. Go skiing
14. Donate hair to Locks of Love
15. Fly in a hot air balloon
16. Make a new friend
17. Visit New York
18. See the Grand Canyon
19. Catch a fish
20. Meet someone famous
21. Go camping for a weekend
22. Floss every day for a month
23. Have a movie marathon
24. See Niagara Falls
25. Make my own jam
26. Go to a movie by myself
27. Swim with a dolphin
28. Get a facial
29. Release a message in a bottle
30. Take piano lessons
31. Win a poker game
32. Build something out of wood
33. Be in a parade
34.Organize all my recipes
35. Do a wine tasting
36. Start composting
37. Build a sand castle
38. Make a quilt
39. Shoot a gun
40. Make a speech
41. Visit Vegas
42. Have a slumber party
43. Grow a garden and eat something from it
44. Curl on a team
45. Sing on stage
46. Be happy with my weight
47. Dance with my Dad
48. Can my own tomatoes (sauce and salsa)
49. Build my own Library
50. Re-do bathroom upstairs
51. Be in the audience of a talk show
52. Get professional picture done
53. Take Ryan to Disney
54. Pay off D loan
55. Buy fresh butchered meat
56. Have a pool party
57. Go to Washington with Dad
58. Meet the Primer Minister
59. Lay in bed for one whole day
60. Start a new journal
61. Organize a craft area just for me
62. Move the laundry room downstairs
63. Finish renovating the basement
64. Have my house on the Christmas house tour
65. Re-do walk way with interlock
66. Plant a tree
67. Try yoga
68. Get Pedometer
69. After pedometer do an average of 10k steps a day for 1 week
70. Go a whole week without eating meat
71. Make and use cloth napkins
72. Make my own Christmas cards
73. Get electrical work finished in the upstairs of the house
74. Pick up litter on 5th concession
75. Throw a penny into a wishing well and make a wish
76 .Do a sponsored walk for charity
77. Get something judged at the shawville fair
78. Grow a giant pumpkin
79. Make a homemade baby shower gift
80. Have a "girls day" with my niece Faith
81. Visit eastern Canada (PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick)
82.Be in the murder mystery
83. Make homemade soup from scratch
84. Print out digital pictures and make photo albums
85. Save for/buy a safe
86. Host a super bowl party
87.Spend a whole day at a beach
88. Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry
89.Get a set of pearls
90. Try driving a tractor trailer
91. Have emergency fund of at least 2 months pay
92.Let Ryan organize a weekend vacation (every detail!!)
93. Visit Hershey Pennsylvania
94. Go church every Sunday for at least a month
95. Go to a hockey game in Toronto
96. Learn how to make Ryan's Aunt Lynn's sticky buns
97. Watch a thunder and lightning storm
98. Win a bingo game
99. Surprise someone with a random, generous gift
100. Go down south with a group of friends
101. Donate $5 for each goal I don't complete

Good luck with making your list. It will take some time. Put some ambitious things on there that you would like to see happen. Either way think ahead to things you want to see in the next 1001 days of your life. Let me know what your list is!

Have a great week!


Friday, March 19, 2010

New Found Engery....

I will be the first to admit that there are times where I am down right lazy. There are weekends where there is so much to do, yet I can't seem to get my bum off of the couch. The most ridiculous shows seem appealing. I did some serious thinking about this and I have come up with a formula to explain this behaviour, cold weather + snow = increased bum on couch time.

I know, you are amazed with my genius abilities but really it was very easy to figure out. It all happened this Saturday....
Friday nights Ryan and I have a tradition that we have pizza and usually if I am not working we will also watch a movie. It is a tradition that we have had since we started dating and we consider it kind of a "date night". This past Friday after our movie was over I was in bed by 9 PM...party animal!!!

I woke up early Saturday morning to this.....

A beautiful day! I had to rub my eyes a few times just to make sure I really was awake. It had been so long since I had encountered this phenomenon. The sun shining through my window instantly made my demeanor brighter and I didn't want to waste the day by laying on the couch!

I plugged my Ipod in the kitchen and cranked the tunes.

Took out some baking supplies to make a couple of dozen cookies.

And danced around the kitchen while doing so! Notice Tucker in the bottom left corner looking at me like I am crazy. Ryan had the same reaction. The stranger my dance moves the more giggles I got out of Ryan.

I felt great. In some way the sunshine made me feel better, happier and more energetic. Maybe it was my excitement for the snow that had melted away, or the anticipation of all the fun summer activities that I know are fast approaching.

Either way;
I'm walking on sunshine, wooah

I'm walking on sunshine, woooah

I'm walking on sunshine, woooah

and don't it feel good!!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St.Patty's Day and Happy Birthday Ryan!

Today is the day of green and I have to say I am excited like a 5 year old at Christmas. I love St.Patty's day. For me it's not about the beer, it's not about the leprechaun's or even wearing green, for me it's about my family history.

During the potato famine my "whole bunch of greats" Grandpa Hamilton settled to Canada from Ireland. His brother had arrived across the River in Dunrobin before him but once he arrived the story goes that he couldn't settle near there and opted for the Quebec side.

That 50 acre lot that he built a sod shanty on and married on is still in the family today. The original house that they built after the sod shanty is now inhabited by my brother. After they had children they passed that house down to the oldest son and built a retirement home right across the road, which is now my home.

Years after my Grandpa (Hillis) Hamilton was born on March 17, 1919. When he was born he had so much hair that the nurses tied a green ribbon in it. To keep that tradition alive every year I tie a green ribbon in my hair.

My green ribbon this year.

Grandpa passed away before I ever met Ryan. When Ryan and I started dating and I found out that his birthday landed on the same day I was excited. As silly as it sounds, I thought in a way that Grandpa was smiling down on me by introducing me to such a wonderful man, guiding me to him.

Ryan on his birthday last year.

Happy Birthday Ryan and Happy St.Patricks Day to everyone!

Wishing you a rainbow

For sunlight after showers—

Miles and miles of Irish smiles

For golden happy hours—

Shamrocks at your doorway

For luck and laughter too,

And a host of friends that never ends

Each day your whole life through!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Dare #24

Welcome back to the beginning of the week. It is the week of green. This Wednesday is St.Patty's day! It is always a very important event in my family. Way back when, my great-great grandfather came to Canada from Ireland during the potato famine. Years later, my grandpa Hamilton was born on St.Patty's day. The story goes that when he was born he had so much hair that the nurses tired a green ribbon in it to keep it out of his eyes. Now, another St.Patty's day baby is with my life, Ryan. I always find it neat that he had the same birthday as my grandpa and is born on a festivity of that means so much to my family.

Now, onto this week's dare:

Dare #24

Part 1: Wear something green this week

Part 2: Pinch someone on Wednesday who doesn't wear any green!

Have a great week!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Faith!

Dear Faith,

Today is your first birthday. I can't believe that it has been a year ago today that we heard the wonderful news that you were born. You took your time in coming into this world. I think everybody was wondering if you were ever going to arrive.

You were the first baby in both sides of the family and everybody was so excited to meet you, especially your Auntie! I even guessed your name when everyone was keeping it a secret.

You were such a happy baby, even from the beginning. You didn't like to sleep much but that's o.k because Auntie knows you don't want to close your eyes in case you miss anything!

Today, you are trying to take your first steps and making more and more noise. You are a little ball of energy! You love books, bears and anything that makes lots of noise!

Faith, you have been lighting up all of our lives ever since you were born. We are all so blessed to have such a special little girl in our family. When you are around everything in the world seems o.k. Your smile can make the saddest person happy again. I thank the Lord everyday for blessing us with such a joy (you).

Happy 1st Birthday Faith!

Love Auntie Linds


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Income Tax God....You Suck!

It is that time of year again, when we have to file our income tax into the government. When the accountants are busy filling out the paperwork we all wait with hope for a big tax return. However, sometimes you aren't so lucky and the Income Tax God asks you to open up your purse strings!

This year Ryan and I have the unfortunate pleasure of owing the Government a lot of tax dollars. In light of this event we have had to change our tight budget yet again! Here's how we're doing it:

The days of only $100.00 a week on groceries is over, for a little while. Now we've cut down to only $50.00. I know, you all think I'm nuts and their is no way I can only spend $50.00 a week on groceries... but I can! Once a week we have eggs for supper (did I mention my brother owns a chicken farm?) which is a free meal. We buy a big bag of potatoes and make lots of side dishes out of the spuds. We use to always buy pre-grated cheese. Now for 1/3 of the cost we just grate our own, and have learnt to like it better! Cheap cuts of meat and getting creative with sauces is a must. Everything is homemade. Cookies, buns, pizza dough, etc. I'm digging deep into the back of my pantry to find items that I had previously purchased. No stocking up on things with a $50.00 budget.

Managing food has become important for us too. Always eating leftovers and never (EVER!) having bad food to be thrown away. If we know that we have leftovers that will go bad in a day or so they are eaten up right away. Waste not, want not.

Another way we are cutting funds is to do more things at home. Instead of renting movies at the store we're going to a friends house and borrowing a movie that neither of us has ever seen (thanks Jill!). We pop some popcorn (thank you full pantry) then sit back and watch an old movie that is actually new to us. We're cooking all meals at home and inviting friends over to eat with us instead of going out.

Within our budgets I always made some wiggle room so that we would have a little money to do with as we please. That has been cut down dramatically. We always put $20.00 a week away in an emergency fund. Now, that has doubled to $40.00 a week per person that is going directly into "paying of the *beeping* government" fund.

We always had a change jar but we never fussed over it. Now, every single penny we find goes into that change jar. You would be amazed how much all those pennies have added up so quickly! One full piggy bank of rolled change got us $300.00.

Saving pennies here and there may not seem like much. Believe me I had to be convinced. With the saving that Ryan and I are doing and our weekend jobs we are able to save about $700.00 extra every month right now. Crazy I know! Hopefully by the time the government sends us our bill we will have the money to pay it off in one big payment. Then we can go back to living our normal lives again!

Dear Tax God,

Please be kinder to us next year!

Lindsay and Ryan


Monday, March 8, 2010

Dare # 23

I hope everyone had a great weekend. For the first time since I got back from Hawaii I didn't work. I enjoyed relaxing days/nights at home. I got so much accomplished! Cleaning, organizing, cooking, crafting and all important sitting on the couch. It was wonderful. Yesterday afternoon I opened every window in the house for an hour to let the breeze freshen up the house. Now that's what I can inexpensive Febreze! With all the warm weather that we have been getting lately it sure feels like spring is around the corner. I hope it isn't a tease...

Now on to this week's dare:

Dare #23

Take an old picture out of a picture frame and replace it with one that is new. Keep your old picture in a photo album. I always find it is good to replace pictures once in a while to give a new look to part of your house.

Have a great week!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Pillowcase or a purse?

I had these really pretty pillowcases that I had saved to be used for a future project together. I just didn't know what to make. But then I found a pattern for a bag. It was really intimidating and I wasn't sure if I could make something that complicated.

Here are the two pillowcases laid out. The solid one would be the lining and the flowered one is the exterior.

Take the exterior pillow case and remove the side seams.

Cut out two pieces of fabric that will be used for the exterior of the bag. Match them as close as possible.

With the same fabric cut out two more pieces that will be used for inside pockets.

Cut out two more pieces the length of your pillowcase to be used as handles. They are about 1 inch in width.

Cut out ten pieces of fabric in the shape of a petal. You will match up two pieces to make up one petal.

On to the next pillow case. The above two strips of fabric that I cut out are used for the outside, top part of the bag. It acts as a closer as well as an accent color. If you notice it is slightly arched at the top so that when it is sew it has a nicer shape.

That is the lining. 4 pieces need to be cut out of the solid colored pillowcase. I just measured against the exterior of the bag to get an approximate size. The tops needs to be slim for the opening and then wider at the bottom.

And those are all the pieces that make up the bag. Now onto the fun part, putting it altogether.

Now, back to the exterior of the bag. Take your pins and make three pleats on each side of the bag. Sew them in place. It makes the bag have a more finished look.

Attach and sew on the two pieces of solid fabric to the top of the exterior fabrics. Then sew the bag altogether. Line each piece of exterior so that the wrong side is out. Sew all around leaving the top open.

While the bag is inside out take the bottom corners of the bag and fold them in. Sew a diagonal line to secure it in place. This makes the bag look more rounded instead of having sharp corners. Turn the bag right side out.

Sew all the pieces of the lining together. Once all four are together sew on the pockets BEFORE you place it in the bag.

Put the lining in the bag and sew around the top edge to secure.

Sew on the handles.

Sew each petal inside out then turn it the right side out. Attach all 5 petals to the bag on whichever side you choose. Add a decorative button in the middle to hide your stitches.

And VOILA a brand new summer bag. It is great for throwing some snacks in, an extra shoe bag, purse, or....

As a beach bag like I did when I was in Hawaii.

I was kinda of shy about using something I had made out in public when I was in Hawaii but when Ryan and I were standing in line waiting for breakfast one morning someone approached me about it. She was wondering where I had purchased my bag and when I told her that I made it she was shocked! After that I was proud to carry around the bag that I had worked many hours on and even more proud that it looked so cute! :-)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Canadian Pride

This weekend I happened to be on a business trip to Toronto. I have had this trip planned for a while and knew that I was going to be there around the Olympics. What I did forget was that the gold medal game would be during the trade show.

Most of the people that I happened to be around that night were watching the game in the hotel pub and so I joined them. I thought that it was pretty crowded but not nearly as many people as I expected.

Of course, the game ended WONDERFULLY with Canada winning in overtime.

After the game, myself, our sales rep. and about 14 guys went out to The Keg for supper. After a few drinks and a delicious meal some people headed back to the hotel and the other half decided to go out for another drink.

We began walking to Young and Dundas in search of a good bar. The closer we got to the intersection the more and more people began to show.

All the sudden we had to stop. The street was plugged with people. It was a sea of red and white. Their were body surfers, streaking people and police in full swat gear. At a distance it would look like a scary riot but once you got closer to the party everyone was so happy.

In a crowd that big there is big potential of things getting out of hand and getting dangerous. Everyone was so united though. Random people hugging, giving high fives and celebrating altogether.

It was at this moment that I realized how fortune we are to live in a country where we can all be united and celebrate a victory, like a gold medal. Being in Toronto on that night and seeing the happy chaos will always be a fond memory and will remind me of how proud I am to be Canadian.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dare #22

I am in my hotel room in downtown Toronto right now. It has been a crazy night! I feel very proud to be Canadian right now. Don't worry I have pictures to share with you of all the gold medal celebrations that are happening here. I'm certainly not in a small town anymore.

Dare #22

Learn a new joke and share it with 5 different people through out the week. Make some smiles! :-)

Have a great week!