Archive for January, 2012

Dollar Store

Over the years I’ve bought many things at dollar stores, weither it’s the “Dollarama” or the “Buck or Two”, etc.  I have found over the last couple years the items found at dollar stores have improved a LOT.  You can get some really nice and useful things there now.  Depending on what you are looking for, sometimes you do have to go when the shipment first gets in to get the better looking items (I don’t know when the shipments come in…I’ve just been lucky a few times).

Today I was heading to Walmart.  I took one look at the parking lot and went to the Dollarama instead to see what I could find for organization/storage options.  I’ll hit Walmart later tonight when it’s not as crazy…especially when using coupons and price matching!

I wasn’t planning on buying anything specific but I found some really cute items.  As I was checking out the cashier said, “I didn’t even know we carried things like this”.  I thought I’d post a few pics of what I have found at dollar stores over the past few months, in case you didn’t realize either that dollar stores can be pretty amazing sometimes…for CHEAP!

Here goes!  Today I found:

Are these not the cutest bins!  The big ones are $2, small ones are $1.50.

Perfect for storing O’s snacks.

Adhesive chalkboard paper…not sure where I’ll use this yet…but I will!

I have a small colander and a big one…really I need a med. size one.  $1.25 for what I needed!

Or it can be a hat…

I really need to start and finish O’s 1-2 year scrapbook.  Our Dollarama has TONS of scrapbooking supplies!  And decent stuff too!

Wall decals for kids.  I’ve picked up several of these type of decals over the last year.  O presently has frog ones on the back of his door.  The beauty is that if he wrecks them, they were only $1 for a sheet and I can always get more.  I want to give these to him now because he loves cars/trucks, but I’m trying to hold off since he has the frogs up.  It’s really hard.  This is why I don’t buy Christmas gifts too early…for anyone.  I want to give people their gifts right away, so if I buy too early I end up giving the gifts and then buying more when the holiday gets closer!  Not a good habit!

The following pics are a few things I’ve picked up over the last year:

Things for O’s room…now and for the future.

Decals I have around my place.  The last one is over my bed and it looks really cute.

There you have it!  Now go visit the dollar store nearest you!

Seriously though, before you throw away a bunch of money on something expensive, check out your local dollar store and see what’s there.  You never know what you will find!

Windows of Opportunity

Image“The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.(http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/03/)

“Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life. They need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow.”  (http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/03/)

After reading those quotes I think it goes without saying that the first 5 years of your child’s life provide the most open, moldable moments you will ever have with them.  It’s in these first 5 years that they learn the most about life; how it works, how to react to it, how to recover in it.

This is why parents play such a crucial role in their child’s life, especially during those early years.  They are learning from you.  How the world works for you, how you react to things life throws at you, and how you recover…or don’t recover when life throws you something unexpected.

And while they discover things for themselves, watching you and hearing you will put a specific perspective on what they see and how they see it.  We’ve all witnessed it.  A child who is praised for their discoveries, encouraged to discover things on their own, praised for who they are as a person on the inside, grows with confidence.  When things go wrong they pick up and try again.  They’ve seen you do it.

A child who is verbally trashed on, told they’re not good enough and told they can’t do anything right, will carry that with them for the rest of their lives.  There’s always that nagging lie that they just can’t escape no matter how much praise they get as an adult.  When things go wrong this child says “they” were right…I can’t do it.  They’ve seen you give up…on them and probably on yourself.

What you do and say as a parent makes a HUGE difference straight from birth.

I want to take this to another level though.  Did you ever stop to think that during those first 5 years it’s not just your view of the world and how it works that they are learning.  They are watching your view of God, and who he is.  They are soaking up who God is in your life.  Is He your strength, an Ever Present Help?  Or is He someone you only talk about on Sundays.  Is He your victory, that no matter what comes your way, you know He is there?  What about during the times when you don’t “feel” Him?  Is He still someone you know you can stand on, depend on, trust in?

You have these few, fleeting impressionable moments.  What they see is what they will take with them.  When they struggle, they won’t go back to what they learned in college.  They will go back to what they learned as a child.

I strongly believe the moments my parents took with me as a child affect who I am today and how I react to what life hands me.  My parents showered me with who God is.  I knew from an early age that God was someone I could trust and rely on.  I knew from an early age that even when I felt that God wasn’t there, He was.  That’s what faith is.  Believing in someone who I may not see working all the time.  But I believe He IS working all things together for my good, a child who loves Him.  And someday I will see that good.

But my parents didn’t just tell me who God is.  They showed me who God is by demonstrating it with their own lives.  When life was good, I saw them give praise to God.  When life went wrong, I saw them give praise to God.  Sure, I saw the struggle, but I also saw the dependence on Him.

O is now 2 years old.  He’s discovering his world.  He’s watching me to see how it works, how I react and how I recover.  I have these 5 short years (now 3 short years!), where what I say and do will give him the most information about life.  When he’s 30 years old he will remember what he learned in these years.  Gosh, that’s scary!

I want Him to learn the same things I learned.  That when life is good, we give God praise.  When life goes wrong, we give God praise.  We can depend on Him, we can trust Him, even when it feels like He’s not working, because in faith we know He is.  I want O to see my life lived in victory, because he who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Don’t miss these moments.

If you have, all is not loss.  That window of opportunity may be closed but our God is God of miracles.  Don’t give up!

Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich

4 Years ago when I lived in Fredericton I was a nanny part-time.  I nannied two wonderful Vietnamese children who were 1 & 2 years old.  I had so much fun!  I was very lucky to have a family that also let me make my lunches at their house, with their food.

The mom didn’t work, but she wanted the opportunity to get out of the house more and get some things done, therefore they wanted a nanny.  So, when she was at home with me there, she would sometimes make my lunch when she made hers.  I discovered some yummy things when she did this 🙂  Like bite size, baked, butternut squash….delish!

Another thing she made that I fell in love with was a bacon avocado sandwich.  Oh my goodness…I don’t really like avocado (her kids LOVED it…Owen won’t touch it…), BUT in this sandwich it is absolutely delightful!  I made one today, and I added a couple extra things:  sliced turkey & green onion.  Here is what the process of making one looked like:

Putting on the mayo, avocado & green onion.  I also toasted the bread

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I find cutting an avocado can be intimidating to people sometimes.  It’s soft and it has a HUGE nut in the middle.  I cut all the way around with a sharp knife, against the nut inside.  Then I pull the two side apart and take the nut out.  After it’s cut and the nut is out, like in the picture below, I take a spoon and glide it along the inside of the skin.  The avocado just pops right out looking perfect.  Then I slice it up thinly.

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Time to add the turkey and bacon!

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Finished product

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And there you have it!  A Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich.  Sorry, it’s all gone now, and it tasted heavenly!