Moving!

Hey all!!

I just wanted to post a quick update here to let you  know that I have officially moved the site to a self-hosted one 🙂 You will now see all of your updates, emails and posts from www.theoliveblogger.com .

What a process this has been…phew! I had no idea there was so much work and so little sleep involved in this virtual “move”. I hope you will continue to follow my journey and enjoy the posts and pages I have to share with you ❤

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest as well to have access to the other sites and bloggers that I share this adventure with!! You can access my profile here: Follow me on Pinterest

And remember, Everybody needs a little creativity in their lives ❤

 

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Foodie Friday (ish)~ Sparkling Unicorn

Ohh what lovely weather we are having, I am addicted to this sunshine (even though I know it won’t last…rain is in our near future). I had to share this post a day early, that way you can make sure you have everything you need to MAKE IT!

This past weekend was mothers day and I decided to host my momma and sister for an afternoon brunch, loaded with yummy food and a super tasty new drink!

Honestly is there a better way to show someone you appreciate them? I mean…food and DRINKS!?  It was such a giant hit that I brought all the stuff to make them again the next day for lunch with my in-laws…again, LOVED by everyone! Gosh I just love when a new recipe takes off with success, I cannot wait to restock some of my ingredients so I can make it again all summer (and I am already thinking of great variations!).

Sooo, let’s start with a shot of our yummy brunch…

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Yup, Eggs Benny with peameal bacon and a nice side of steamed asparagus…also notice the tasty cup of fruit to freshen our palates…mmm take me back!

Okay, okay…so what is this Sparkling Unicorn I speak of?

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I bet I know exactly what you are thinking…What on EARTH are those red things in the drink?! We will get to that…for now all you need to know is that it is a 3 ingredient drink that you can enjoy all summer! It is so incredibly light (and fizzy) and is super refreshing. We all had a second glass (or more…) that’s how yummy it is! And if you don’t like a boozy drink than this is DEFINITELY  for you! You can’t taste the alcohol in it at all! Uh-Oh!

Go ahead, click here for the recipe to make it and let me know what you think (and if you have any variations you can think of!).

Foodie Friday- Popsicle Time!!


What better way to kick of this GORGEOUS weather than with a yummy Greek Yogurt Popsicle?!

This recipe is so simple, requiring only 3 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time, that I can guarantee you will be making them this weekend to enjoy in the sunshine! I was inspired to create these yummy treats when I received the GikBay Popsicle Mold the other week. What a super fun and unique product!

The mold is made from 100% BPA Free plastic and comes with a handy tray for keeping your treat upright while it freezes!

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The sticks themselves have 3 little holes in them which allow your mix to “stick” and not fall off when you are ready to eat…YUMMM!! It also has a super neat drip tray built into the handle which prevents those messy and sticky hands we all know we get when eating a popsicle 🙂 Soooo what are you waiting for? Go check out the Strawberry Coconut Greek Yogurt Pops that I made and get making your own icy treat for the warm days ahead!

 

 

*Please note that I did receive the Popsicle Mold in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Foodie Friday~ Beef Stroganoff!

If you are looking for a delicious meal to have on the table in 20 minutes flat, this is it! First off, most people have their own version of Beef Stroganoff, and that is OK…this is mine and I hope you’ll love it as much as we do!

We made this the other week after a VERY long day of doctors appointments and driving…I was feeling pretty cruddy by the time we got home but as soon as I opened the fridge and remembered we were making our Stroganoff I felt my stress begin to melt away! Just the thought of the sour cream and onions mixing with yummy tender beef and mushrooms (drooling over here!). Anyway, it’s a super quick, and fairly healthy meal to have on the table quickly which makes it a perfect weeknight meal! Serve with a side salad and you’re all set!

Look out next week for a birthday post! Eee! I celebrated my 30th (ahh) yesterday and we are doing the friends/family party this weekend! Guess where we are starting the day off? Axe Throwing!! I know right?! Can you believe they are going to let me throw an axe at a stationary object…I sure can’t 🙂 Looking forward to some fun memories this weekend,and I surely cannot wait to share them with all of you!

Enjoy ❤

Foodie Friday- Cake Pops!!

How fun and cute are these?! I loveeee making cake pops, and have officially  crowned myself the cake-pop-queen of the family (I swear my ego is only slightly bloated) 🙂 I am often asked to make my cake pops for the events in our families, which is why I have deemed myself so!

When I first started making them I used one of those “Cake Pop Pans”…now, STOP right there! DO NOT go out and buy yourself one of these! My cake pops were huge, although uniform in size, and often quite dry…because you are restricted with the pan as far as how much batter to put in each mold I found it just wasn’t meeting my standards. So I set off on making them by hand! Sounds daunting right?? WRONG! The hardest part about making the cake pops is picking what colour chocolate you want to coat them in, I promise!

The best thing too is that you can use a boxed cake mix and store bought icing, so really all you have to do is cook em and decorate! EASY! You can get super creative with them too, if you want, or keep them simple like I tend to. On one occasion I made Toy Story themed cake pops for my nephews 5th birthday, and although super difficult to do, the look on his face was more than worth it!

I will suggest to you, if you will be making them often, to invest in a nice cake pop stand…I started out using floral foam and covering it in wrapping paper to match the occasion, but let me tell you that stuff aint cheap! My cake pop stand was around $10 and is super cute (as you’ll see in the post).

Well, happy baking! I hope you enjoy, and let me know if you make them for your next event ❤

Foodie Friday- Did Someone say MERINGUE?!

If any dessert SCREAMS Spring, I’d say it’s a simple meringue topped with a fresh fruit reduction and some yummy whipped cream!

Although is may sound like a scary dessert to attempt, it is actually pretty easy (as long as you have some patience for the cooking portion)! My hubby made these delicious Meringue Fruit Cups for our Easter dinner and they were a huge hit with everyone! They are so light and crisp and the fresh fruit reduction just adds the right amount of tart to the mix.

The fun part about this dessert is the many ways you can serve it. We chose a martini glass display, as you can see from the pictures, and did a layering technique with the meringues and fruit (and of course a little whipped cream). They are so elegant, yet so very simple to make and are sure to impress even your pickiest guest 🙂

Give em a try and let me know what you think! ❤

Using Apps to Make Money from your Shopping! (Yes REALLY)

I don’t know about you guys, but I use every option available to me to make money for the things I normally buy…Let me start off by saying that this post is NOT paid for by the companies, I just want to give you my own personal opinions about a couple of the apps and sites I use on a regular basis to earn cash for doing what I would have done regardless (i.e. groceries, gift shopping etc)!! Forgive me for the long post, but I PROMISE it is worth every word!

There are soooo many options out there that advertise “earn easy cash” or “make money fast” that have some funky loopholes to them…they may want you to spend $50 to earn $5, but the ones I am sharing are ones I have personally been using for some time now with great results and no funky terms. Let me just say quickly here that you also NEED to sign up for any points program your local grocery store has too!! The amount of free groceries we have earned from our weekly shops is insane…if they offer a program (i.e. PC Plus where I am) take advantage of it! We save our store points for our annual Christmas Party and on average get about $150-$200 worth of groceries from it!

The first one is CheckOut 51…pleassseee tell me you have heard of this one?! It’s a great app that allows you to upload your regular grocery receipts  and earn a set amount based on the items you have purchased (for example, this week my offer list includes Fruit Loops cereal…something I buy for my hubby anyway, and it’s going to give me $0.75!). You can “cash out” once you hit the $20 mark and the app will send you a cheque you can use towards those new shoes you’ve been eyeing up but your hubby thinks are a little pricey 😉 So far on this one I am at $51.75 and this is one I have been using for about a year now. If you have kids you will more than likely earn double what I have as they always have formula, cereals and snacks on there!

Along the same lines is ZWEET, another app where you upload your receipt and you earn set cash back based on the items you are buying. I really like this one, although it is much smaller scale than CheckOut51, as it has your basics on there (at least one item a week). By this I mean your milk, or any fruit or vegetable, which means you can almost guarantee that you will earn a little cash back with every grocery shop. Sometimes with CheckOut51 I find I go a week or two without matching any offers. As I said, this one is a little smaller in scale and I have earned $5.25 so far, with only being active for 5 months. You also “cash out” with this one when you have reached the $20 mark!

Another app/site that I LOVE is Ebates!! If you do online shopping at all (even if just for your Christmas shopping like me) than you NEED to be using this site! There are hundreds of partner sites (i.e. Amazon, Walmart, JoeFresh etc) and each time you go through your Ebates account to shop at the retailer you earn a percentage of your purchase back in cash…uh hello, why would you not do this? Plus, they give you $10 just for signing up! I use this mainly for my Christmas shopping as that is when I am most active with my online purchases and I have earned OVER$50 in a season! Do you know how awesome it feels to get money for the thing I was going to buy anyway? And most of the stores have promotions on (double percentage, free shipping etc) that make it more than worth it to shop online…besides the obvious reason of wanting to stay in my pjs with a hot tea on my couch rather than deal with crowds!

This next one is a site I go on (which I just discovered recently) where I can fill out surveys and earn small amounts of cash. I have always loved filling out surveys as I like my opinion to count for something, but I hated that sometimes I could spend upwards of 15 minutes and not see anything in return (some sites offer you coupons for products etc). This one, DailyRewards, literally pays you for each survey you do on the site. They range normally from about $0.50-$2.00/survey which makes it more than worth it to click through while watching your nightly news! Only being on this one for a few days now I have earned $9.95!!

I also love VarageSale, which is a virtual garage sale site where you can list items you have to sell in your area. This one requires a bit more work but is more than worth it if you have a spring clean coming up! It is also great for finding little treasures yourself, we actually bought a beautiful light for going up our staircase for $30 which was an original retail of $350! When we recently had our walk-in closet done I realized we had so much clothing that we didn’t wear or need anymore, and from that alone I was able to sell over $65 of “stuff”!! I also used it to clean out my basement in the fall, listing things from extra bowls to small appliances and even a stainless steel garbage can we no longer used and made over $150 to put towards my hubbies 30th birthday party!

So let’s add that up…this past year I have earned $116.95 for using the above apps, not including my store points which is an additional $150 (min)!!! Also, if you add in what I sold on VarageSale I made over $330! What are you waiting for?! Do you have any favourites that I missed here, let me know below!

 

 

 

Foodie Friday- Delicious Coconut Cream Pie!

Ohhh my word, THIS pie!!! I decided to make this for our family Easter dinner (both families…so I made it twice!) as I wanted to try something different than my usual chocolate desserts…and I really wanted to make it from scratch! I have made a coconut cream pie before using one of those boxed mixes for the filling, which was WAY too SWEET, and I knew that I wanted a pie with a creamy coconut filling that wasn’t artificial tasting.

So my friends, I present to you, the ultra dreamy and creamy Coconut Cream Pie!!! It was devoured by both our families (thank God as I really didn’t want any leftovers to fill my tummy!!) and was really quite simple to make. The most difficult part of this pie is not eating all the custard filling before it makes it into the pie shell 🙂

Enjoy ❤

Foodie Friday Easter Edition!

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you get to take some time to spend with your loved ones over the next couple of days and fill your tummies with delicious meals!

Today I am sharing with you a yummy dish you can prepare ahead of time to enjoy through the week, and by making simple adjustments you can get multiple meals from it! It all started with an excess of chicken thighs in the fridge and my hubby telling me he didn’t want the “usual” chicken dishes we make…oh boy! I accepted the challenge and by the time he got home that night I had a hearty, simple meal on the table (which was gobbled up quicker than clean-up)!

The nice thing about this dish is that you can change it up a bit if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, and can really customize it to your picky eaters. A nice Hearty Chicken and Dumplings (with my own little cheats for time) is exactly what you need to transition you from this cold winter weather to the freshness of Spring!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did (and by we, I not only mean me and my hubby but also my mom and a colleague who I shared the leftovers with…that’s how big this recipe is!). Nom Nom Nom!

Foodie Friday~ Creamy Carbonara

Oh here we go!! Spring in the air calls for a classic Pasta Carbonara…a yummy pasta dish with bacon, cheese, eggs, and peas (well in MY version anyway!). It is probably one of the easiest pasta dishes to make and it tastes like you spent hours making it! Sooo much flavour in only 15 minutes of time.

Many people may shy away from it because of the “raw” egg factor, but I promise you they cook once they hit the steaming pasta and hot bacon mixture! It is sure to be a yummy hit for your family this weekend, and like I said it only takes 15 minutes from START to FINISH (what could be better!).