Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

It's Pink Shirt Day today to take a stand against bullying.  I thought it would be appropriate to post some (paraphrased) lyrics from Lady Gaga's Born This Way:

"There's nothing wrong with loving who you are

Hold your head up girl and you'll go far

I'm beautiful in my way

Don't hold yourself in regret, just love yourself and you're set"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood: Happy.  I woke up to some great feedback and comments on the video I posted yesterday evening.  (It's just below this post if you scroll down.)
2.) Do you have a subscription to any magazines?  Woman's Day and Today's Parent
3.) Name one thing you are looking forward to in the near future. Tomorrow I am going shopping in a nearby city all day and I can't wait!
4.) Current nail polish: This is getting so boring; I just can't get enough of Orly's Oui!  Maybe I will have to find some fresh colours for spring while shopping tomorrow;) 
5.) Do you know how to identify any constellations? I think there is one that looks like a W? Or a shopping cart?
6.) Do you like the idea of electronic reading (Kindle, iPad, etc.) or prefer an old-fashioned book? I took a while to come around, but I absolutely love my Kobo!  It is so small and easy to use.  Being able to read while nursing has saved some sanity these past nine months:)  A few months ago I filmed a review so I thought I'd insert it here:
7.) Current outfit:  Pjs:)  It's a bit of a slow morning today.  
8.) Are you a Mac or a PC? Mac all the way!  My MacBook (Mackenzie) continues to impress me after having it for a year and a half.  It came with so many useful programs and is so user-friendly.  I will never go back to a PC.   
9.) What was your favorite cereal as a kid?  We never ever had sugary cereal growing up and I still don't enjoy it.  I liked (and still do) Cheerios and Shreddies. 
10.) Weekly goals: Film my February Favourites and a haul from tomorrow's shopping trip!  Get ready for a lot of youtube:)  Oh, and find some steal of a deals tomorrow!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!  Thanks for all the positive feedback on my Weight Watchers Week 1 video.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Here We Go...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meal Schedule

I thought I would post a little teaser tonight.  Here is the list of meals I have planned for the week to come.  Sounds delicious right?  It does.  Does it sound unhealthy?  Guess what, it's not!  My husband and I have started Weight Watchers and this is our meal plan for week two.
Tomorrow morning I will be weighing in to see how the first week fared.  Then I will do a post to let you know what's up.  I'm pretty excited about it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You've Been Warned

This may be too much information, (or TMI as the kids say) but all you mums out there will know exactly what I'm talking about.  I just have to share and be a bit miserable for a second:

If this biting continues, the pump is coming out. 

If in the near future you see a review video or a Mama Mare Must Have on my pump, you will know I have given up nursing.  I am thisclose to switching to full-time pumping and bottles.  Thisclose.  You've been warned son. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oscar Picks

We are just a couple of days away from the Academy Awards and so I thought I would post my humble predictions.  I love the Oscars just as much as the Grammys; like I said I am a sucker for an awards show.  I haven't seen all the movies but am going to predict anyway!  Usually I try hard to see all the nominated films before the night of the awards but this year I just couldn't get to the theatre enough.  I cannot wait for the glamour, the dresses, the speeches and the upsets.  Billy Crystal never disappoints when hosting awards shows so that is also a plus.
Away we go!  I am going to star which nominee I predict wins:

The ArTisT***
Thomas Langmann, Producer
The DescenDAnTs
Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
exTremely louD & increDibly close
Scott Rudin, Producer
The help
Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
miDnighT in pAris
Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
The Tree of life
Nominees to be determined
WAr horse
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Demián bichir
A BeTTeR Life
george clooney***
Jean Dujardin
gary oldman
brad pitt

glenn close
Viola Davis
rooney mara
meryl streep
michelle Williams***

Kenneth branagh***
Jonah hill
nick nolte
christopher plummer
max von sydow
exTReMeLy LouD & iNCReDiBLy CLoSe

bérénice bejo
Jessica chastain
melissa mccarthy
Janet mcTeer
octavia spencer***

The ArTisT
Michel Hazanavicius
The DescenDAnTs
Alexander Payne
Martin Scorsese
miDnighT in pAris
Woody Allen
The Tree of life
Terrence Malick

A cAT in pAris
Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup felicioli
chico & riTA
fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
Kung fu pAnDA 2
Jennifer yuh Nelson
puss in booTs
Chris Miller
Gore Verbinski

The ArTisT
Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
mArgin cAll
Written by J.C. Chandor
miDnighT in pAris***
Written by Woody Allen
A sepArATion
Written by Asghar farhadi

The DescenDAnTs***
Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat faxon & Jim Rash
Screenplay by John Logan
The iDes of mArch
Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
TinKer TAilor solDier spy
Screenplay by Bridget o’Connor & Peter Straughan

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mama Mare Must Have

Ugh teething.  There is definitely a reason why we don't remember getting our teeth.  It is such a trying time for any lil one.  My son only got his first tooth a couple weeks ago, right before nine months.  He's been teething though for months.  The frozen teething toys work but I must say his absolute fave is his Sophie. (Check her out here) She's a teething giraffe, apparently from France!  Now there is some controversy about Sophie as some say she can be a choking hazard.  I can only speak from personal experience and personally, Sophie has been T's absolute saviour on many occasions. She's the perfect size for him to hold and chew on.  Plus she has a scent he seems to love.  Sophie is also T's most stolen toy!  Whenever we are at a baby group she's the first toy of his that is swiped.  
Now you may balk at the price of Sophie but she's worth the money!  Also a great gift if you know someone with a baby or expecting.  We love her!  
Now, if only she would cure teething;) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"As long as somebody attacks you from behind, it means you're ahead of them. So keep them there and don't let them take you down." - Unknown 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood: I am pretty tired today.  Is that a mood? 
2.) What is your favorite flower?  I'm such a boring girl when it comes to flowers.  I love to receive the classic red rose.  But when I buy myself flowers I like a mixture of natural flowers like daisies. 
3.) What sound is the alarm you wake up to in the morning? The radio station I work for:) 
4.) Current nail polish: Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in Ivy League on my fingers and Nicole by OPI's Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam on my toes (it's from the Kardashian Kollection)
5.) Would you rather have a huge closet or a spacious bathroom (implying that the other would be tiny)?  Huge closet for sure.  The closet I am using was designed for kid's clothes by our house's previous owners and it's not ideal for me!  I'd love a redesigned one.  

6.) If you could relive one year of your life, which would it be? Hmmm either my first year at my first job as a reporter because I was young, living on my own and had such a fun time.  Or, a year when I was kid with no worries, just playing all the time:) 
7.) Current outfit: Dark-wash jeans from Old Navy (shocker!) with a floral/hippie looking top from Suzy Shier. I have no idea how to accurately describe it, so here's a picture:

8.) What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? One year I was the chef from the movie The Little Mermaid.  
9.) Have you ever been able to talk your way out of a speeding ticket? Proud to say I've never been pulled over! 
10.) Weekly goals:  Move my body with some sort of exercise at least 30 minutes a day.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mare Reads

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Rice Bake

Happy Saturday!  I wanted to celebrate the weekend by sharing a recipe we are loving in our house.  We had a portion I'd frozen last night for dinner and Jeremy loved it.  He usually hates leftovers, so this says something! 
This is a recipe a friend of mine made me the first day we were home from the hospital after my son was born.  It's delicious, easy to make and kind of a comfort food.  It made six portions so lots of leftovers to freeze!  Hope you enjoy:) 
1 lg. Onion chopped
2 cups of whatever cheese you like, grated
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (or cream of celery, or broccoli, or whatever “cream of” soup you have)
2/3 C. milk
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 C. cut up broccoli
3 C. cooked rice
1 C. bread crumbs (about 1 ½ slices of bread)
2 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine, melted
(I also add 2 cooked chicken breasts sliced into 1 inch chunks)
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease baking dish 
2. Cook onion in large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and tender, reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheese, soup, milk, garlic and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until cheese is melted.
3. Stir in broccoli, rice & chicken. Spoon into baking dish. Mix bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp melted butter; sprinkle over rice mixture.
4. Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until light brown on top and bubbly around edges.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nail of the Day

This is a bit of a twist on my usual Nail of the Day.  I decided to show how well this colour lasted.  In fact, this is a WEEK after I painted my nails!  This is Essie's Merino Cool.  It's a pretty mauve colour that I absolutely love.  
Usually on average my polish lasts about three days.  One chip and I am annoyed, instantly re-doing them.  But I can't get over the longevity of this Essie polish.  I used it with OPI's Nail Envy which I chatted about in my January Favourites video.  I have been using this nail hardener for about seven weeks now and am really noticing a difference.  I give a big credit to my polish lasting so long to Nail Envy.  I use it as a base coat and then put on a coat about every two or three days.  As you can see, I am actually going to have to redo my nails because they are growing out of the polish! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood: Happy!  I love Valentine's Day and am excited for dinner with my Valentine.  He's bringing home a surprise.  I am just happy to not be cooking:) Yesterday I brought home lunch for us.  Because who doesn't love a heart made of sushi? ;)

2.) When was the last time you bought an actual CD (not downloaded off of iTunes, but a physical disc)? I used to be obsessed with buying albums but in the last year have definitely been buying more music off iTunes.  The last actual album I was given was Rihanna's latest which is Talk that Talk.  The last one I bought?  I think was Britney Spears' Femme Fatale. 
3.) What sounds do you hear right at this very moment? The beautiful hum of silence while my son naps.  Heaven.  Sometimes I like to zone out while he's napping and watch tv or youtube videos.  But most often I just enjoy the quiet.
4.) Current nail polish: On my toes I have Nicole by OPI's Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam from the Kardashian Kollection.  On my fingers I have Essie's Merino Cool. 
5.) Do you sleep with socks on? Only when I am freezing cold or camping.  I am not a socks fan in general and am itching for the weather to warm up so I can go bare foot. 
6.) I never go a day without ___________. Listening to music. 
7.) Current outfit: Old Navy blue skinny jeans and a three quarter length sleeved sweatshirt that goes to about mid-thigh.  It's blue with hearts and birds on it.  Perfect for Valentine's Day. 
8.) What is your all time favorite flower to receive? I love flowers that are a mixed bouquet and will last a long time, which are usually the least expensive.  Having fresh flowers in the house brightens my mood instantly. 
9.)Where do you keep your cell phone at night? Usually on the main floor, far away.  But that will change when I return to work in May as it will be my alarm clock. 
10.) Weekly goals: Dust. Ew. ;)  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Last Minute Valentine's Ideas

Tomorrow is the annual day of love.  Yes, it is happening again this year, despite my husband's surprise. (We were in Wal-Mart about a week ago and he saw all the red and pink lovey-dovey items, turned to me and said, "Oh I guess it's happening again?  Didn't we just do Valentine's?"  So romantic;)  

I think Valentine's Day is aimed at couples who are either just starting out or, who are in trouble and one person needs to redeem themselves.  I like to acknowledge the day with a little somethin' somethin' but have long ago stopped going all out.  The recycling being returned, coming down to a cleaned kitchen or having one less diaper to change;  these all say 'I Love You' to me way more than a cheap box of chocolates.  

That being said, it's fun to celebrate love in a simple way.  If you are looking for some last minute, cheap and easy ways to show affection to your Valentine, here are some ideas I have: 

Coupons:  Now, this can go one of two ways.  One, go with the love theme and use your imagination;)  Or two, make a coupon book to do nice things for your partner, like a free pass to get out of doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, walking the dog etc.  

First Date:  Most first dates are low key and simple, so why no re-create the first time you went out?  Make sure to spend the night reminiscing about the start of your relationship, how nervous you were etc.  It's so fun to look back and see how far the two of you have come. 

CD/Playlist:  I love a good playlist on my iPod so why not sneak into your love's account and make a playlist of songs that when you hear them, you think of her.  Or songs that define different experiences throughout your time together.  My husband still has the pages I gave him early in our relationship that correspond with a cd I made.  I listed each song and then wrote out a funny story or memory to go with each. 

Picture:  So many people love taking photos but hardly ever get them developed.  This is super easy and very inexpensive.  Choose a nice frame or if you are crafty, make one.  

I hope these ideas help if you are scrambling for tomorrow.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure to take a little time to tell your love how much they mean to you. 

If you are single and dreading tomorrow, get together with your friends and go for drinks or to the movies or for dinner and just celebrate your friendships.  Who says Valentine's Day is only for people in relationships?  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Watch the Brits

I am such an awards show junkie, with the Grammys and Oscars being my two favourites.  Tomorrow is the Grammys and I can't wait!  I thought I would celebrate Grammy's Eve with a list of the top categories and give you my predictions.  

I really think whichever category Adele and Amy Winehouse are in, they will win.  The Grammys loves to award posthumous trophies and when Winehouse was alive, she cleaned up in 2008.  That was a crazy year as she wasn't allowed to travel to the ceremony and performed overseas for the telecast.  

As for Adele, she's reigned over the music world in 2011, hands down.  Her album 21 was released at the beginning of the year and hasn't left the charts since.  It's an incredible feat.  She won Best New Artist in 2009 and is up for six awards tomorrow.  It will be a massive upset if she doesn't take home at least four.  

Here is how I think the following six categories will turn out tomorrow, with my predicted winners starred.  (These aren't necessarily my favourites, just how I think the judges will choose):

1. Record Of The Year

Rolling In The Deep  Adele****
Holocene  Bon Iver
Grenade  Bruno Mars
The Cave  Mumford & Sons
Firework  Katy Perry
2. Album Of The Year
21  Adele****
Wasting Light  Foo Fighters
Born This Way  Lady Gaga
Doo-Wops & Hooligans  Bruno Mars
Loud  Rihanna

3. Song Of The Year
All Of The Lights  Kanye West
Grenade  Bruno Mars 
Holocene  Bon Iver
Rolling In The Deep  Adele****
The Cave  Mumford & Sons
4. Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Bon Iver****
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
5. Best Pop Solo Performance
Someone Like You  Adele***

Yoü And I  Lady Gaga
Grenade  Bruno Mars
Firework  Katy Perry
F***in’ Perfect  Pink

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Body And Soul  Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse****
Dearest  The Black Keys
Paradise  Coldplay
Pumped Up Kicks  Foster The People
Moves Like Jagger  Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera

Friday, February 10, 2012

Nail of the Day

I've been talking about this polish I swear everywhere and here it finally is in all its glory.  This is Orly's Oui.  I don't know if the picture does it justice, but this is one of my favourite new finds.  It lasted for about five days without a single chip and just looks so beautiful.  It's purple with gold flecks in it.  I got so many compliments on this colour.  Very pretty!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deals Deals Deals!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"Oh yes, the past can hurt.  
But, you can either run from it, 
or learn from it."

Rafiki, from The Lion King

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

Essence Photography
1.) Mood:  Focussed.  I feel like this past week and this week are super full with appointments and visits and tasks so I am just trying to make sure I don't lose track of anything!
2.) Do you write in cursive?  I'd say my writing is a hybrid of cursive and printing.  I have very large writing and actually do love to write.  It makes me sad that it's a bit of a dying art. 
3.) When was the last time you at Sour Patch Kids?  Oddly enough I cannot think of the last time I had them, which is weird because I am such a candy lover.  I think the last candy I ate was jujubes a few weeks ago. 
4.) Current nail polish: I have Orly's Oui on my fingers and OPI's Chatters Me Up on my toes.  I have to say I am so impressed with Orly.  I did my nails Friday and they haven't chipped yet!
5.) What is your favorite makeup removing product? I use Mary Kay's oil free eye make up remover and love it.  
6.) Do you prefer to shower at night or in the morning? I have to shower in the morning to wake up and feel ready for the day.  I really think that there is nothing better than a good shower.  Lots of people have called me crazy for showering in the morning before going to work at 5am, but I have tried to shower at night and just feel gross. 
7.) Current outfit: Black leggings from Old Navy and a black short-sleeved sweater dress by Style&Co 
8.) Halter tops-- yay or nay? Oohhh I loved halter tops when I was in my early twenties and in high school.  My wedding dress was also a halter as you can see in the photo and I loved it.  Strapless dresses were all the rage when I got married in 2009 and I had a really tough time finding a halter.  I think it's a very flattering look for me.  After nursing for a year though I feel like those days are behind me;) 

9.) What is your favorite scary movie? I am so not a fan of scary movies but I did really like the original Scream movie.  I didn't answer the phone for weeks after!  
10.) Weekly goals: Come up with a special Valentine's idea for the husband that won't break my maternity leave bank;)  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Zesty Beef Casserole

I don't know about you, but I can't believe I'm actually hungry for breakfast this morning!  The Super Bowl party we went to had the biggest spread I've seen and I thought for sure I would be full for days;)  But, if you are like me and feeling a bit sluggish after over-indulging last night, here's a great recipe.

I got this from a Company's Coming cookbook.  Don't let the term 'casserole' turn you off if it makes you think of a gross, gooey mess.  This is a delicious, super easy dinner.  It also freezes very well so I now have two more dinners waiting in the deep freeze.  My kinda meal!  

Cooking oil1 tsp.5 mL
Lean ground beef1 lb.454 g
Chopped onion1 cup250 mL
Chopped green pepper1/2 cup125 mL
Chopped red pepper1/2 cup125 mL
Can of stewed tomatoes (with juice),14 oz.398 mL
Medium egg noodles2 cups500 mL
Can of kernel corn (with liquid)12 oz.341 mL
Water1 1/4 cups300 mL
Can of diced green chilies4 oz.113 g
Envelope of taco seasoning mix1 1/4 oz.35 g
Salt1/2 tsp.2 mL
Pepper1/4 tsp.1 mL
Grated jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese1 cup250 mL
Sliced black olives, for garnish
Heat cooking oil in large frying pan on medium. Add next 4 ingredients. Scramble-fry for about 10 minutes until beef is no longer pink. Drain.

Add tomatoes with juice. Stir. Transfer to ungreased 3 quart (3 L) casserole.

Add next 7 ingredients. Stir. Bake, covered, in 350°F (175°C) oven for about 1 hour, stirring once at halftime, until noodles are tender but firm.

Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. 

Garnish with olives. Serves 6.

(I used frozen corn instead of canned, mozza cheese and when I make it again, would probably omit the added water.  Seemed a bit runny when I was plating it.  Hope you enjoy!)
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