Easy Chicken Fajitas

This Chicken Fajita recipe is one of our family favourites and makes the menu at least twice a month.  This recipe was taken from a collection of Mini Canadian Living Cookbooks that I got “free with a fill” at a local gas station when I was in university. When I look back now, I realize how lucky I was to have managed to collect the whole set ~ LOL!  I tried to search for it on the Canadian Living archives, but couldn’t find it.

Chicken Fajitas

Serves 4.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tablespoons lime juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 – 8 flour tortillas (depending on how much you stuff each)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small sweet red pepper, cut in thin strips
1 hot banana pepper, cut in thin strips


Chopped tomatoes
Sour Cream
Lettuce (optional)


  • Slice chicken crosswise into strips.  In a bowl, combine the stock, lime juice, garlic, cumin, coriander and pepper. Add chicken and stir to coat; set aside. (The recipe doesn’t really indicate how long to marinate, but I like to let mine sit a minimum of 10 minutes, but up to an hour).
  • The recipe suggests warming the tortillas by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until heated through. (I always skip this step.)
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over high heat. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. Pat the chicken dry (I often skip this as well) and add it to the hot skillet. Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until it is no longer pink inside. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to skillet.  Stir-fry onion, red peppers and banana peppers for 1 minute. Pour in reserved marinade; cook, stirring for about 30 seconds or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Return the chicken to skillet and heat through.  Season with salt to taste.
  • Garnish: Spoon salsa and tomatoes over the tortilla. Top with the chicken mixture, sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream.  Fold and serve.

This recipe has great flavour and is a pretty healthy meal. It is often included in our weekly menu plan because it is easy to make and liked by the whole family. Enjoy!

If you are interested in learning to blog, do not miss this opportunity to learn how the pros blog with a revolutionary new blogging platform.  Click here to learn more.

Common Cold Busters

Vicks VapoRubI have been dodging the “cold” bullet for weeks now, with symptoms surfacing and then disappearing before they ever really amount too much. However, this afternoon, I could feel that impending blanket of congestion settling in as the afternoon progressed. I am one of those people who can go from feeling healthy and fine to full-blown cold within 20 minutes. So, as I sit here forcing myself to get something posted for tomorrow, I have tissue shoved-up my nostrils to prevent my nose from dripping on my laptop.  Ugh!!

So, I needed a quick post without having to put too much effort into figuring out what to write about. It only took me a moment to think about this fabulous cold busting tip. When I was growing up, my mom used to do one of two things to help fight the cold symptoms. We didn’t have cold medicine in our house. We would occasionally take cough syrup for a very sore throat, but never for stuffy nose, cough or congestion. When the symptoms struck, my mom did one of two things:

  1. Made her famous “Mustard Plaster” ~ a homemade mustard paste that was spread on a paper bag and then set on your chest. This always helped, but you had to be careful because it could cause blistering if not watched closely.
  2. Vicks VapoRub ~ when it wasn’t a mustard plaster, my mom would rub Vicks on our chest to help alleviate the symptoms

I am not saying these remedies didn’t work, but recently, a friend shared that her mom always applied the Vicks to the soles of their feet and then had them put socks on over the Vicks before bed.  She said it worked like a charm. Of course, when she told me this I was in the midst of fighting off a nasty cold. I went home that night and tried it and could not believe how effective it was. Since then, we use this simple remedy all the time. Most often, we don’t have to take any night-time cold medication as this seems to relieve all of the symptoms without the need of drugs. I am already dreaming of a cozy sleep with my trusty Vicks remedy.

I decided to do a bit of research to see if I could find out any info about this cold remedy and I found this post on about.com. Check it out if you are interested in reading more about it. I love that this can effectively help to relieve congestion and help you to have a good night sleep without loading up with cold medicine.

Upcycled Piano Update

My husband finished dismantling most of the piano a few weeks ago and it was at this point that we decided to move it to our kitchen. Initially I had no idea what I was going to do with our old piano, but eventually I formulated what seemed like a grand plan. I thought it would be very cool to replace the table in our kitchen with the piano and use it like a “bar” type table. I had ideas for how I might incorporate some built-in cubbies and was deciding on a colour scheme. My only concern was the actual size of our kitchen and how this piece might impact the general flow of the kitchen. Although we already had a table there, it was considerably smaller and I didn’t want to go to a bunch of work and then hate it. When we initially moved it in, I was immediately disappointed as it seemed to over power our long narrow space. We decided to leave it be and live with it for a while before making any final decisions. After about a week or so, I was getting used to it and I felt myself once again getting excited about the idea of finishing this unique piece for our kitchen. I am still in a mid winter “February Funk” and hardly have enough energy to do the menial tasks like cleaning my house, let alone refinishing a piano. So, fortunately I haven’t done a thing with it yet….why is this fortunate you might ask?  Well, evidently it takes more than a week to really get a feel for something. Lately, I find myself walking through my kitchen and feeling an almost uncontrollable urge to kick the stool that seems to constantly be jutting out into the “path” because someone hasn’t pushed it under the piano properly. It seems as though someone or something is always in the way. Yikes! This piano is absolutely not staying in my kitchen, but now I need to get back to the drawing  board to figure out what I am going to do with it and where it is going to go. You can see that the iron harp is still inside the piano. It is what makes the piano so crazy heavy. I still want to remove the harp, but we haven’t had a chance and thought we would leave it until we made a final decision on what to do with it. I actually love the iron and hope to somehow use it as well.

I must say, having the piano “under foot” everyday has been good for something.  First and foremost, my mind is constantly thinking of how I could use it and where I might put it. I don’t have all of the answers yet, but my creative juices are definitely flowing and that’s a start. I really do love the structure and it will be a fabulous addition to our home, I’m just not sure how yet. Secondly, the piano helped me to realize how much I didn’t like the table that sat in the kitchen prior to the piano. It was actually too small. I now know what I want. We need a table that is longer than the old table and perhaps even slightly longer than the piano, but the depth needs to be more consistent to that of the old table for functionality.  I am already busy thinking about how I might build a custom table and/or counter to fit in the space. Here we go again….it seems like there is always a new idea and therefore a new project!

Have you ever considered working from home? A revolutionary blogging system has hit the market.  If you are interested in learning how to blog and earn money from home, you need to click this link.

Spicy Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I grew-up on a very limited menu. My mom was a good cook and a great baker, but we always seemed to have the same things.  Some of you 70’s kids might have had a similar menu:

Lunches often consisted of:

  • soup from a can or box ~ the choices included chicken noodle, mushroom or tomato soup with crackers
  • sandwiches ~ one slice of processed meat and butter, peanut butter and honey or jam, cheese whiz or egg salad
  • hot dogs
  • grilled cheese sandwiches ~ with processed cheese slices, of course
  • “black” buns ~ this was actually one of my favourites…open faced buns with Cheese Whiz smeared on top and then broiled until they turned all black and bubbly on top
  • Kraft Dinner
  •  Alphaghetti (and toast)

I won’t go into our dinner menu, but I am sure many of you also ate things such as liver and onions, fried bologna and pork chops that were cooked in such a manner that you had to use a chain saw to cut through the suckers!

Although I don’t consume a ton of grains, I do still like the odd burger or sandwich. I stick with whole wheat bread as it seems to agree with my body the best. Generally speaking, I stick to one or two slices of bread per day. Over the past year, I have been doing lots of experimenting with food. I discovered many of my “friendly” foods by following a book called The Plan. However, in doing so, I eventually found that I became bored with some of the foods I was eating on a regular basis and was looking for alternative ways to consume them. One day, I decided to combine a few of my very favourite foods to make my own version of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Spicy Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

  • 2 slices of bread, buttered on the outside for grilling
  • hot peppers (from a jar ~ I always have a jar of Bick’s Banana Pepper Rings in my fridge.)
  • cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 an avocado, mashed with a fork
  • Bacon (optional)

Place the cheese and peppers inside the sandwich and grill as you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich. (I find that the cheese melts more effectively, if you cover it.) Once the bread has browned on the outside, and the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich from the pan.  Open the sandwich and add the mashed avocado. Close the sandwich back-up. You can either eat it right away or return it to the pan on low heat to heat the avocado slightly. Either way, it is super delicious. This is hands-down one of my absolute favourite sandwiches.  Although I rarely have the time or energy to cook up bacon to go with this sandwich, I have tried it and it is a fabulous addition.

If you have a chance to give this a try, please let me know if you like it as much as my husband and I do. (My children have never tried it as they will only eat “Fake Grilled Cheese Sandwiches” and yes that is exactly how they request them….”Fake cheese, please!”  (They aren’t fans of avocado either…..at least not yet!)

If you are interested in learning to blog, do not miss this opportunity to learn how the pros blog with a revolutionary new blogging platform.  Click here to learn more.

T-shirt Flower Embellishment


Do you have one of those scarves that is either too short and too long for it to hang properly around your neck? Or maybe, the length isn’t the problem, you just can’t get your scarf to sit nicely. This is a simple solution and so cute!  When I found this great tutorial on “A Bit of Sunshine” demonstrating how to make a simple fabric flower to dress-up a scarf, I just had to make one. I wanted mine to be very versatile, so I made the flower white and the button in the middle is white as well. I have worn mine lots and love this shabby chic wardrobe upcycle!!

T-shirt Flower Tutorial:

  • Draw and cut-out a 6 petal flower from card stock (about 4″ in diameter). This will become your tracer/template for the other flowers.
  • Using your template, trace and cut-out 8 flowers on an old t-shirt.
  • Fold each flower in half and then quarters and secure the corner with glue (or a stitch) so it maintains the fold.
  • Cut-out a 1″ circle from felt and lay down four of the folded flowers on the base, so that they meet in the middle of the felt and extend over the edges. This bottom layer will essentially form a “circle” and cover the surface of the felt. You will need to secure each of the folded flowers in place with glue or by stitching each one. I sewed mine in place.
  • Take three of the remaining four flowers and create a second layer that is staggered across the joins of the bottom layer. Secure them in place.
  • The last flower/petal will need to be pinched a bit more than the others and glued or stitched right in the center of the flower.
  • Finally, attach a button to the center of your flower using either glue or needle and thread.
  • Cut a long strip of fabric and secure it to the felt backing on the flower. This will be your tie to attach it to a scarf.

*I did not use glue. I sewed everything together, but the original tutorial does suggest glue, so either should be fine. The original tutorial is complete with photos. I did not take pictures of the steps when I made mine because at that time, I wasn’t blogging.

*You could easily attach a hair clip to this instead of the fabric strip and it could become a really cute flower for your hair.


Boston Bruins Birthday Card

My son is certainly a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, but if truth be told, the Bruins would always be his first choice. He loves Boston! He has made a new friend this year and one of the things they have in common is their love for the Boston Bruins. It is his birthday tomorrow, so Shay wanted to get him a Bruins hat or t-shirt. There isn’t much selection here, so I picked him up a Bruins hat and made a card to go with it. It turned out quite well and hopefully he’ll like it.

Most of this card was really simple to do with lots of straight cuts and minimal measurements. I used a blank white card and added a black mat to the surface, leaving a very small white border around the outer edge. I then cut out strips of yellow, black and white and layered them across the middle of the card. I cut out a yellow circle and a white one that was slightly smaller. I then cut-out out 4 long narrow strips of yellow paper for the “spokes” around the “B”. I inked the edges of the yellow strips and then cut them in half to equal the 8 I needed in total. I placed the first strip horizontally across the white circle and it fit directly beneath the middle part of the B. For the other strips, I glued the ends, but did not put any adhesive under the center of the strip so that I could trim out the middle so that it wouldn’t be seen under the B. This also allowed me to line up the opposite sides of the strip perfectly using one long strip as opposed to two smaller ones. It was easy to mark the strips and then snip the center out. I did this for all of the remaining yellow “spokes” and then finally glued the B in the middle. I have to admit the B was the hardest part. I ended up pretty much making it by hand as I couldn’t figure out any other way to get the squared off style of B. I didn’t have a matching font on my Cricut, so I cut out a B that was similar in style, but much more rounded and then squared it off with scissors. I then cut a black ring with my Cricut and set the open black circle over the ends of the “spokes” and just inside the yellow circle.  At first, I wasn’t sure how to make this Boston Bruins’ logo into a birthday card, but eventually decided to go with the term “B” day instead of birthday to tie the two together. I did a combination of stamping and hand printing to make the little tag for the top corner and attached it with a yellow brad. Boston Bruins Card

For the inside, I made up a little birthday greeting using a bit of a play on words with the Boston Bruins theme. I used a free font called Varsity to get that outline on the letters, similar to the font the Bruins use. Of course, I had to pick-up a yellow gift bag to pull it all together. I didn’t use any fancy ribbon or anything, but I think the yellow and black looks really sharp. I would have preferred to have either black tissue with the yellow bag or yellow tissue with a black bag, but I the dollar store didn’t have exactly what I wanted and I didn’t have time to go elsewhere.

Hopefully, they’ll have lots of fun and he’ll have a great birthday.Boston Bruins Card

Have you ever considered working from home? A revolutionary blogging system has hit the market.  If you are interested in learning how to blog and earn money from home, you need to click this link.

Sleepover Birthday Party Invitations

When planning any kind of theme party, I love to try to make a really cool invitation. Eden has had two different sleepover parties that really didn’t have a more specific theme. I thought I would share two completely different ideas for how to make a fun and unique party invitation.

Sleepover Party Invitation #1:

For this invitation, I made a postcard style card. When making this style of a card, I create a full-page document and then duplicate the page four times. When I go to print the invitation I select “print 4 pages per page” so that all four postcards will print on a quarter of a sheet of card stock. To see a full tutorial on how to do this, check-out my Snowflake Birthday Invitation.  The computer portion of the invitation just contained the standard information: date, time, location, what to wear, what to bring, etc.

On the back of the postcard, I began by adding a layer of black that was slightly smaller than the white card stock and then followed that by a slightly smaller piece of patterned paper. Because this party theme was really just a “sleepover”, I chose to stick to a specific colour scheme for the party. I decided on pink and orange. Once the printed invitation and base were created, the invitation really began to come together with the embellishments. For this invitation, I googled clip art of both pillows and slippers.  From those ideas, I actually drew my own version of both. For the slippers, I made one, then scanned the image and copied it to get multiple copies of the slippers on one page. I printed the image on orange card stock and then used markers to colour it in and add the details. The pillow was a very simple drawing, so I made a tracer and simply traced and cut out enough for each invitation. I inked the edges of the pillow and drew a little “slit” at the end of the pillow case. For the font on the pillow, I used a combination of stamps and Cricut cut-out letters. The P, J and R were made on my Cricut, but the other letters were stamped on the pillow. I adhered the slippers to the bottom corner of the invitation, so that they overlapped the pillow slightly. The final step was to attach the pillow/slippers to the base. I wanted to create a three-dimensional effect, so I only attached the pillow at the ends, so that I could easily slide stretched out cotton balls beneath the pillow to add dimension. I actually found that I didn’t even need to glue or tape the cotton, as the pressure from the pillow seemed to hold it in place. The photo really doesn’t show the 3D aspect of the invitation, but the pillow does have some dimension in real life.

Sleepover party invitation

The P in the top corner is actually part of my scrapbook layout from the party, not party of the invitation. I always make an extra invitation that is added to their birthday scrapbook layout.

Sleepover Party Invitation #2:

For her second (9th) sleepover party invitation, I wanted to do something completely different. This invitation consisted of many components and was a bit complex and time-consuming to make, but the finished project was pretty cool.

The back of the invitation contained a timeline of the events we had planned and a checklist of what they should bring. Here is the pdf for the Sleepover Party BrochureSleepover Party Brochure

On the opposite side, I used various printed papers to build a sleeping bag and pillow. The slipping bag was basically made with a layer of polka dot paper and a scalloped edge border for the top of the “bag”. I ran my sewing machine all the way around the outside edge of the invitation using white thread and a large zig zag stitch to hold the paper layers in place. This left both the top and bottom of the sleeping bag open.sleepover party invitation

I used white cotton fabric scraps to sew and stuff an actual pillow for each invitation. I basically made a rectangle by placing right sides of the fabric together and sewing all the way around. I cut a small slit in the middle of the back of the pillow and turned the little pillow right side out. I then ran my machine down both ends and made a zig zag top-stitch down each side. I used the slit in the back for stuffing the pillow with cotton batting as well. I didn’t even close the slit as I would be gluing the pillow onto the invitation and it wouldn’t be seen.

I made the actual invitation portion of the card on the computer (date, time, location, etc.). I printed it on white card stock and then mounted it on orange. I added a short tab made from ribbon and secured with an orange brad. This slid under the “foot” end of the sleeping bag, with the tab sticking out so it could be seen and pulled out.

Finally, I made paper dolls for each of the girls. I honestly can’t exactly remember how I did this, but I think I found one (or maybe a few different ones on-line??) and printed them onto card stock. I then used watercolour pencil crayons to colour their skin, hair and features. Finally, I made each one a “nighty” out of patterned paper. I stamped a little white fringe at the bottom of the nighty and added a few button brads on the front. The nighties were secured in traditional paper doll style by folding the tabs over the back of the dolls. The paper dolls slid inside the top of the sleeping bag.

The brochure indicated they should bring their dolls to the party. One of the activities the girls did at the party was design and make clothes for their dolls. I had some templates, writing/colouring tools, scissors, patterned paper and other embellishments for them to use.sleepover party invitation

Have you ever considered working from home? A revolutionary blogging system has hit the market.  If you are interested in learning how to blog and earn money from home, you need to click this link.

Great Idea for Giving a Coffee Gift Card

So, with all of the components of the gift basket made, it was finally time to pull this gift basket together. The mug in this basket is really not so much part of the gift as a great way to hide the real gift. I saw this idea on Pinterest (can’t find it now) and I loved the concept, but just changed it a bit to make it my own. Here is what I did:

  • bought a “coffee” themed mug
  • taped a Starbucks stopper/stir stick to coffee gift card.
  • slid the card in the mug
  • poured coffee beans over the card to fill the mug

I loved this idea because it not only looks good, but smells delicious too.

Have you ever considered working from home? A revolutionary blogging system has hit the market.  If you are interested in learning how to blog and earn money from home, you need to click this link.

Coffee Themed Homemade Card

What homemade gift is complete without a homemade card to go with it. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought the idea would work perfectly for this coffee themed gift basket I was making for my children’s teacher. I downloaded to free fonts for the greeting: KG Skinny Latte and SF Espresso Shack.

Coffee Cup Card

Coffee Cup Homemade CardThis card was super easy to make and I kept it very simple because I wanted it to look like a coffee cup. I made it postcard style, so the greeting is on the back.

  • I cut out embossed white paper that I had on hand in a mostly rectangular shape, with the slightest angle extending from the top of the cup/card to the bottom so that there was a bit of tapering towards the bottom.
  • I then used brown ink to darken the edges.
  • I used a woven textured white paper for the lid of the cup. I basically cut out a long rectangle to fit on the top and extend slightly over the sides. I then carefully cut the sides of the top to create a lid like look. I inked the edges of the lid as well. The card is quite plain, so the ink just helped to give it a bit dimension.
  • I took a piece of brown card stock and ran it through my crimping tool. I made it long enough that I could wrap it around the cup and slide it under the “greeting” on the back of the card.
  • I cut-out a circle charm on my Cricut (has slits in it) and slid some brown ribbon that I had on hand through the slits. This ribbon actually had an adhesive backing, so it was as simple as peeling and sticking it to the corrugated card stock. I then used some Weld Bond glue (my favourite crafting glue) to stick the little button heart on the top corner.
  • For the greeting, I wanted something to fit with the coffee theme. I am a total sucker for word plays, so I wrote a cheesy little “coffee greeting”. I downloaded two free fonts for the greeting:  KG Skinny Latte and SF Espresso Shack.Coffee Cup Homemade Card

Want to learn how the pro’s blog? If you’re interested in earning money from home, it makes sense to learn blogging and internet marketing techniques from the best on the web. If you’d like to receive the same training that’s helped me to launch my blog, you should click to find out how I did it.


Coffee Themed Bookmark

Paint ChipsPaint chip projects are all over the web and like so many others, I absolutely love the cool things that are being made with them. I have wanted to do something with paint chips for a long time, but have never really gotten around to committing to anything quite yet. I guess a part of me is a little uncomfortable with going and taking an entire stash of paint chips. I know they are free for the taking, but it still makes me feel uncomfortable. For this project I did select a few panels as I was on a very specific mission. I don’t know my children’s teacher very well, but I do know she likes coffee. For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make her a little coffee themed goody bag. I thought that a coffee themed bookmark would be a cool idea and then I could finally say I have done a paint chip project.

Coffee Themed Bookmark

I went to the paint store and found a small selection of colours that actually have “coffee terminology” in their title. I was able to find the following:  light mocha, cappuccino, café mocha, and espresso. Of course, they weren’t on the same panel, so I had to cut three of the squares out and cover the existing squares on the “espresso” panel. I then double mounted the paint chip card on white card stock, followed by brown on the base. I found some coffee clip art online and just printed the little coffee logo off on my computer and then cut it out with my circle cutter. For the reverse side, I found this cute little poem type verse on-line called Coffeeology.* I basically just retyped the words on my computer using various fonts to create the final look. When typing, I created a text box that worked with the long and narrow dimensions of the bookmark.  Finally, I punched a hole in the top and added an eyelet to prevent the paper from tearing. I added a ribbon and a little wire with beads at the end (both were salvaged from the Christmas Crackers handed out at Christmas dinner). I also added a little button to the Coffeeology side of the bookmark.

*Coffeeology is all over the web and therefore I don’t know who the original source or author is. I tried to research it, but came up empty. There is a coffee shop called Coffeeology in North Carolina, but I can’t seem to connect the two. So just to be very clear, I did not write this, but would love to give credit to the author, so if you know something I don’t, please let me know and I will update this post.

If you are interested in learning to blog, do not miss this opportunity to learn how the pros blog with a revolutionary new blogging platform.  Click here to learn more.