Curly Carrots on Top! #VeryHealthy Spiral Slicer

In an effort to eat better and be generally healthier, we’ve been trying out some new recipes lately and have been trying a lot harder at meal planning. I’ve been getting a little lot of help from the meal planning system at Wellness Mama so if you’re looking for some help, I’d recommend it!

The other night we had a classic beef stroganoff over cauliflower which was AMAZING! Just because I wanted to jazz it up a little, I used the Very Healthy Spiral Slicer to make some “curly carrots” as Ben called them and plopped them right on top. Almost makes me look like I know what I’m doing, right?

Curly Carrots on Top! | HappyPrettyBlog.Com #veryhealthy

If you’ve never used one of these spiral slicers before, I’d highly recommend it! It was very quick and easy to use and it’s a little something different to add to a dish. There’s a finer side that I used, and a larger side if you want your spirals a bit bigger. This one that I received for review came with a little recipe book inside the box with some great suggestions. I also received an email from the company with some eBooks and video tutorials on how to use it. Excellent customer service! I’d happily shop from them again.

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Have you used a spiral slicer? What sorts of things have you made? I’d love more ideas!

People Love Dads Breastfeeding!

Hi! It’s been a while! And by “a while”, I mean a week. Our family was taken over by the man-cold from hell last week so I’m sure you’ll excuse my absence since I was knee deep in snotty tissues and crying children. I swear, I almost didn’t make it out alive! Moving on!

I’ve talked about it before, but I always get a kick out of looking into how people find my blog or my YouTube videos. The search terms people are using that bring them here never fail to give me a giggle or make me question humanity, one of the two.

Here’s my latest favorite.

People love Breastfeeding Dad's | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

So turns out that people are really interested in seeing dads breastfeeding. Who knew! And in case you’re interested, here is the video that these searches point to. Ben was so little back then!

A Lesson in Car Care at the #SailunCarClinic AND Giveaway!

I got an email this week asking me if I’d like to attend a fun event put on by Sailun Tires about car care and I jumped at the chance to learn something new! I’m slightly ashamed to admit that some of the things we were shown at the clinic are things that I really should have already known, since I have been driving for over 10 years. Things that I usually take for granted that someone else will take care of for me. I’m grateful now that I got to attend the clinic and feel more confident in my abilities and knowledge to properly care for and maintain my own vehicle.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided that it would be a good idea to take the whole family out to Coast Tire for the event. Thank God for Nick, is all I can say! While Ben sure was interested in the snacks, sandwiches and cars all around, his 2 year old self wasn’t up for listening in on the learning portion of the hour!

#SailunCarClinic | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

After having a little snack, we were brought into the garage for an up close and personal look under the hood of a vehicle where we got to see first hand where and how to check the oil, refill windshield washer fluid, check the power steering fluid and more. Like I said, I should have already known these things!

We also got to see where to find our car’s VIN number, what size tires it should have and what air pressure they should be at. I was even put to the test and had to check the air pressure right there on the spot! Another incredibly important lesson was where to put a jack and how to change a tire should I need to … and I’m sure I will some day! My first thought will be to call CAA of course, but knowing my luck it will be in the middle of nowhere without cell reception. And it’ll be pouring rain. Knowing how to change a tire is a skill that EVERY driver should know!

#SailunCarClinic | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

After our lessons, we got to find out all about Sailun Tires and their awesome line up of tires for all types of vehicles and road conditions. They offer budget friendly products that perform right at the top with the expensive brands and their focus on quality and safety is something that I really appreciate as a mom. They were happy to answer all of my questions and were kind enough to put up with a wild and crazy 2 year old the whole time we were there. They even sent us home will a little Sailun swag! A great time had by all! You can search #SailunCarClinic to see what some other people thought!

I know I got some swag, but YOU can win a set of tires! How sweet is that?!

Free Set of Sailun Tires

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Sailun Tires and I received Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Husband Hijack: Enter the Mud Boys!

I’m not sure if I should be proud that I finally did this or ashamed that I hadn’t been doing this all along: I jumped in the mud with Ben.

See, usually, that’s the sort of stuff I stay away from. I don’t really care for getting full of mud and dirt; I’d rather chase Ben up and down the road, around the house, play trains or wrestle with him on the floor. This day was no exception, I would have rather done any of those things; however, Ben wanted to go outside really, really bad. No problem, I thought to myself, I’ll take him out to play.

This day was a little different than the others though. We had got a decent amount of rain the night before, which, normally wouldn’t have been a big deal. Why was it a big deal this time? Well, my father just happens to be helping us with a little bit of landscaping with his tractor (quick shout out to my Dad for being amazing) so the yard was just a huge, huge mud pit. 

I was wearing my white sneakers (good choice, right?) and he had his rain boots on. From the moment his little feet got off the front deck, he was darting across the yard, jumping in mud puddles, flinging mud and dirt everywhere. Where was I? At a safe distance of course, far enough away not to get splashed but not far enough away that I couldn’t react in an emergency.

Every so often, he would run over to me and ask me to come play in the mud. In not my proudest parenting moment, I simply said “No” and told him to “Go have fun and play in the mud”. He would usually ask me a few times and I would always respond the same way. He’d go back to the mud and play and I would be left pacing around aimlessly watching him enjoy himself. I can’t really explain my thought process that well at this point, all I know is that at some point, I asked myself: why am I not playing with my son? I took parental leave to spend time with my family, specifically to have fun with the boys. Well, Ben was having fun, but I wasn’t having fun WITH him, I was just watching him.

I decided that that had to change, FAST. I promised myself that I would use the opportunity I had been given to spend some quality time with the boys and here I was wasting it. So, I quickly ran in the house, threw on my own rain boots and marched right back outside. Ben must have noticed that I had them on and was heading in his direction because he popped his little head up and said “Daddy, you play?” which I triumphantly replied “YUP!” and jumped in the mud puddle right in front of him, splashing mud on both Ben and I. At that moment, my day got much, much better.

Mud Boys! | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

This is what Ben had been waiting for, you could see it on his little face. Finally, Dad is playing with me in the mud! After we splashed around and made a few mud castles, Ben knew Iwas on board with the whole mud situation, so he decided he wanted to graduate and move on to bigger mud puddles. Since my Dad had the back yard dug up there were two big, deep mud puddles, which were Ben’s next target. Whoosh, in he goes. The water is deep enough that it went right over the top of his boots.

I never ended up putting my body in the mud; however, due to a few stumbles, Ben was soaked from head to toe in muddy water. After running around some more, chasing a butterfly and slightly drying off in the sun, Ben and I started heading inside. Before that though, Kim managed to get a few pictures of us yelling “Mud Boys.”

Looking back on that day, it makes me realize that I need to stop trying to “grow up faster”. I’m probably a little to concerned about trying to set a good example for how my son should be when he is older that I don’t stop to have fun with him now sometimes. Sometimes it feels like all I’m doing is trying to grow him up faster. I don’t want that. He’s a little boy and should be doing what little boys do: have lots and lots of fun. So I think it’s time to  take it easy a bit more, clean less, have more fun and yes, jump in more mud puddles. I think it’s time to start saying yes to being a little crazy, yes to having lots of fun and yes to embracing everything life has to offer. I won’t get these days back, so it’s time to make them more memorable. 

Want to Know How I’m Saving For the Future of My Children?

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
                                                                 – George Washington Carver

It was a morning unlike any morning I’ve ever experienced. As I sat, quite comfortably I might add, on the couch, sipping on my freshly made tea, I realized that the house was dead silent. Surely Ben was due to awaken from his slumber any moment and demand breakfast, I thought; however, that moment didn’t come for another hour and a half. My wife, my newborn son and even the cat were all upstairs, sound asleep!

The problem? I didn’t know what to do with this spare time! Surely I should do something useful! After all, I was experiencing something equivalent to finding a majestic unicorn! So what did I do? Nothing exciting, I checked my e-mails from the day before. What a waste eh!

While scouring through my e-mails, I spent a lot of time reflecting on an e-mail I received from Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, who provides daily mentoring through his series Darren Daily. In the e-mail, he states that “graduates are expected to earn less in the next 10-15 years than they did the past 20” and that “Statistically, they are leaving school with more debt and are less equipped for the modern marketplace than at anytime in history.”

To me, that was like a sucker punch to the gut! It was also a wake-up call. Anyone who has studied (or is currently studying) at a post-secondary institution can attest to the following fact: Tuition costs are on the rise. Some analysts believe that, in the next 20 years, tuition costs may be close to double what they are today. A quick peek at current rates: The University of New Brunswick’s undergraduate programs currently cost approximately $7000/year.

As a father to two young boys, this is what it means: $56,000 ($7,000 a year x 2 x 4 years) is what I should realistically be planning, per boy, for my children to attend a post-secondary institution. That’s no room, no board, no food; tuition only. That’s a pretty steep mountain to climb.

Just like me, I know all you parents out there want the best for your children. We want to see them grow up and be successful in everything they do in life. What we don’t want is to spend years approaching the day when our children graduate and realize afterwards: my children are being buried by debt.

HappyPrettyBlog.Com

So, what’s a parent to do? I suppose you could start by cutting costs and some extreme budgeting and tucking that money away. I, however, have a better suggestion. Why not generate some EXTRA money, enjoy the lifestyle you have AND make headway into saving for your children’s education? Tell me more!

You got it! What you need is to start harnessing the power of the compound effect. Darren defines the effect by a simple formula: Small, Smart choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE. Everyone’s probably heard of this example: If you were to choose between getting $3 million dollars today or getting a penny that doubles in value every day for 31 days, which should you choose? The answer: the penny, because at the end of the 31 days, that penny would have transformed into $10,737,418.24 on that 31st day.

Unfortunately, that magic penny probably won’t find its way into our pocket; however, you can still use the effect to your benefit! For example, say you have $100 extra dollars each month. That might not sound like much to you now; however, if your child is 2 like mine, investing that $100 consistently every month until he goes attends a post-secondary institution (16 years), you could have created a school fund of $38,179 by then in an RESP (based on a 5% rate of return using the BMO RESP calculator). It may not cover ALL the costs, but it’s a darn good chunk!

“That’s great and all but I just don’t have $100 a month to put away right now” you might be saying to yourself.

What if I told you that I can help you generate that $100? What if I told you that you could do it from the comfort of your own home? It’s possible! How do I know it’s possible? My wife does it. In fact, she’s currently bringing in more than the $100 a month I just talked about. Guess what? Business is only getting better! Kim has been working with the fantastic people at Project Dream International and Shaklee, leveraging multi-level marketing to bring an additional income into our home while being a stay at home mother of two!

What Kim and I would love for you to do is to join us and take full advantage, now, and harness the benefits of this compound effect for yourself. We would love to help you bring in that $100 a month, if that’s your goal. If your goal is more than that, aim for the stars my friends, Kim and I are! There’s no ceiling on how much you can achieve with this business! You get to set your goals and you can to determine how much time you want to put into it! What I can promise you is that Kim and I will do whatever we can to help you attain them.

The best part is, by joining Kim’s team, you get more than just Kim and I’s support. The Project Dream International team is amazing. They are a group of successful individuals who are really making this business work for them. They are also dedicated to helping others succeed. Why? It is because Shaklee is about changing lives. Sure, you get compensated for your work; but, you also get to see the products you share with people change their lives. Check this post from my wife where she talks about how the products changed her life.

“But I’m so busy with everything, I just don’t have the time” you might say.

You may not feel like you have the time though, I understand that! Although yours days may not be filled with hours upon hours of free time, you only need a little time each day to start the wave that will change your life. Remember, time is only one aspect of the compound effect; Consistency is the other. If you make, even 10 minutes a day, to share your business with someone, that would mean, over the next 16 years, you would have worked on your business for 58,400 minutes, or 973.3 hours, or 40.55 days. The best part is that by saying consistent, eventually, your business, the products and others will start doing the talking for you!

Sharing is caring and what’s the easiest way to share? In today’s world, it’s facebook! If you have time to read Facebook, you have time to share your business and make some mullah! So you don’t know everything there is to know about the business, or the products, but you don’t have to! We can get you all set up, including providing you with the posts you share with people to generate some interest and some business! That’s not the best part though! By sharing your business with others, we can also help you help others (your friends, your family, their friends, their families) grow their own business!

A choice you make today could totally change the outcome of your life, your children’s lives and the lives of everyone around you. Let’s work together today to forge a better tomorrow, if not for yourself, then for the people you love.

Feel free to get in contact with us at any time to discuss, we’d love to hear from you!

What would you do with your $100 extra dollars a month? Let us know in the comments below!