Mother’s Day Gifts and printable tags

Are you ready for Mother’s Day!? I collected a few blog sites that had some cute last minute free printable gift tags and gift ideas that I thought would be helpful for those who were a little behind. No, not you.

I printed cute tags from Hand Made in the Heartland and attached them to pots of rosest. I think it looks quite cute. I attached the tissue with raffia, which I have a big spool of and use all the time.
I hope all you Moms have a relaxing day on Sunday!

Mother's Day Gift Tag DSC_0457

mother's day gifts and printable tags









Natural Ear Ache Remedy

Last night I tried something I always wanted to … A natural home remedy for an ear ache. After two long stays at the hospital with pneumonia, our poor girl has been on her fair share of some serious rounds of antibiotics. I like to avoid them whenever possible now! I’m pleased to say, the natural remedy actually WORKED!?

natural ear ache remedy
Last evening, during dinner, she got a little whiny about her ear, which was red. This progressed to full screaming tears by 6pm. I researched some remedies and wanted to give something a try before we went running to the clinic. I found this one…. Here’s so site to give you the medical reasoning of why this works. Basically, it helps with the inflammation.
I chose to use the onion juice method. Poor girl, this is the last thing she wanted us to do!! But we got a few drops of juice in her ear. First, I baked an onion with its skin on at 375 for about 20-30 minutes. With oven mitts and a fork I poked and squished the onion to get a tsp of juice out. I tasted it to make sure it was cooked (the raw juice could burn their ear, ouch). I put the container of juice in a hot water bath for a little while I heat it up to body temperature. The warmth helps sooth the ear and ease inflammation. I then dropped two drops of the liquid in her ear with a teaspoon.
After the drops were in, I massaged her glands. I could feel them (hers were swollen) just below her ear lobe, then massaged them down towards her chin in the ridge behind her jaw bone. I did that for a while to help clear out the trapped fluid and relieve pain. I then put a warm compress (or you could use a wet cloth) on her ear and glands to help ease pain.
Literally three minutes later she said the pain was gone!!? She went to bed, with the heating bag for comfort and never woke the rest of the night and was chipper the following day. Yahoo, no antibiotics! The next day she did have a dirty ear. I am not sure if it was the onion juice coming out or whatever was irritating her ear. Yuck.
As always, use this with caution and talk to your doctor if you are skeptical. Please, let me know in the comments if you have had any success using natural remedies. I have heard great things about essential oils that I would like to look into!

Roasted garlic and various uses

Roasted Garlic

I’m really trying not to make this into a food blog. I swear. I just happen to love food… and taking pictures of it, and talking about it. So, it keeps showing up on here!

Roasted garlic and various uses

I’ve been away from the computer lately. Soaking up the beautiful weather. On Thursday, we went to a little lake with a few friends and their kids. What a great way to mix up the week. Weeks are so long when they are filled with, “work, home, dinner, bath, bed, repeat” This year my goal is to add activities into the middle of the week. Yeah, the kids get to bed late and routines are broken, but for me living in the present moment is also about not waiting for the weekend to enjoy. Bring on weeknights! I have also been putting a lot of thought into a few more “Zen” posts that I am looking forward to sharing. Stay tuned!

I love roasted garlic. We have been buying a lot of it lately, whole huge sleeves, and roasting 4-5 heads at a time. There is nothing I won’t put roasted garlic in. If you think garlic will work in what you are cooking, put in a whole head. Roasting it tones down the pungent flavour and really sweetens it. So good.

I fully realize this isn’t rocket science and that you likely already know how to roast garlic. I just wanted to write about something that I really love and use often and put it out there as a reminder, “Remember this little gem!”

I often serve it along with crackers and goat cheese for a simple appetizer.
Pasta salad
Spinach dip
Serve with wine and a delicious cheese for a weeknight date after the kids are in bed!

DSC_0426 Uses for roasted garlic

There are also many health benefits of eating garlic. It is widely known as a powerful antioxidant. It fights disease with vitamin C, selenium and manganese. (

To roast, I cut the top off the head, drizzle it with olive oil and top it with salt and pepper. Then, I wrap it into a foil bundle, not too tight, put it in an oven safe dish and roast it for 35-45 minutes on 375 degrees.

Get ready for a great smelling house.

roasted garlic

roasted garlicroasted garlic*Insert tooth brush picture here*

What do you add roasted garlic to? ~ Kristin

Pink Princess Party (Insert gag sound here)

Oh, how my daughter wanted a princess party. I ignored her request last year and went ahead with a ladybug party, but this year she wouldn’t get talked out of it. I sucked it up and went out and bought everything pink I could find. I told her there would be NO princess faces on napkins or cups. I had to draw the line somewhere. Here are a few pictures to get some ideas going if you are planning a girly party and want to avoid Disney.

Pink Princess Birthday Party

I like to serve reasonably healthy food for the little ones. Please note the store bought cake. Let’s get real Pinterest mom’s! It is a great IDEA to spend hours decorating your child’s cake the night before. I had just accepted a full-time position that week and was in no position to make the classic princess dress cake I had envisioned. So I sent the Little Lady out to choose her own cake, which was quite possibly more exciting than spending the day with an exhausted, cranky mom!

Pink Princess Birthday Party




Pink Princess Birthday Party

I had the pink organza left over from a bridal shower I hosted. I bought the feathers and jewels from a dollarstore. I made the cake stands from glue gunning a dollarstore candle holder and plate together. That glue gun never fails me.

Pink Princess Birthday Party

I ordered adorable crown shaped cookies from a local Mom who makes them from her house. Always great to support locals!… and decorating cookies is not my ‘thing’. yikes. The silver platter is from the dollarstore. And as you can imagine, is not genuine silver.

Pink Princess Birthday Party

Fruit kabobs are always handy and who doesn’t like fruit cut into heart shapes!?

Pink Princess Birthday Party




I thought I was going to cookie cut all the little sandwiches into hearts and crowns and then when I saw how much bread that I slaved away making (no, I used the bread maker) that was being wasted, I ditched that idea and cut off crusts. I wouldn’t really recommend making sandwiches. They were cute, but not the best use of my time 30 minutes before guests were to walk in the door. I usually stick with foods I can make the night before and just pull out of the fridge that day. (another reason cake decorating the night before doesn’t work for me… I do a lot the night before Like set the tables up and decorate with way too much pink)

Pink Princess Birthday Party

Yogurt in pretty little cups. I also got the plastic silver looking spoons from the dollarstore and put little sticker pearls on them. I have never seen so many children actually eat their food. One child claimed this was the best yogurt they have ever had. Don’t underestimate the power of a cute little spoon to get your children to eat!

Pink Princess Birthday Party

I set a table for the girls to eat at. Gave me another excuse to decorate something and gave them a place to decorate their crowns. (The chairs were lent to me from a friend who has two boys… it made me cringe that they were blue. But I’m not high maintenance when it comes to decorating…)

Pink Princess Birthday Party

We kept these tacky dollarstore flowers for her dress up bin. They are used for weddings all the time!

Pink Princess Birthday Party

We decorated the crowns with stick on jewels. Thank my husband for that idea. I was ready to break out the glue gun at the party. He suggested otherwise.

Pink Princess Birthday Party

Princess wand idea I got from

Pink Princess Birthday Party

Drinking cups are a little dangerous compared to juice boxes, but I thought they were cute and worth risking my carpet for. Idea loosely from

Pink Princess Birthday Party with No disney

My daughter also wanted a pinata. My husband paper mached a Mylar balloon that was the shape of a crown, then painted it to look like a crown. I filled it with with mostly non-food goodies like bracelets, stickers and pencils.

I hope you got some usable ideas!























7 Spring and Summer Freezer Meals Heart of a Farm Girl  Blog spring freezer meals

Spring and Summer Freezer Meals

I have never been able to decide which season is my favourite. As each new season approaches I think to myself, “Ah, now THIS is my favourite season!” Spring is definitely in my top four. Flowers are pushing through, the air is clean and crisp and the birds are out looking for snacks. What better time for a new freezer meal post that has meals that fit this spectacular season.

Spring Heart of a Farm Girl

If you are new to freezer meals check out my previous freezer meal posts:

10 Freezer meal tips
and recipes One hour, Six meals!

I chose these meals for many reasons. First, I’m done with casseroles for a few months, they were so last season, and second the meals go together well. A few need broth, onions, tomato sauce… so you can chop onions for multiple recipes at once as well as open a can of tomato sauce and have it all used up. Not half used and found mouldy in the fridge next month. Or maybe that’s just me…
7 Spring and Summer Freezer Meals Heart of a Farm Girl  Blog spring freezer meals

As a side note, we were low on time this weekend and realized this after the meat was bought. My husband said, “Just put the meat in the freezer!” I puked in my mouth a little.

For this batch of freezer meals, we will be making

  • 2 sloppy Joe meals
  • 2 meatloaves
  • 2 chicken kabob meals
  • 1 chicken fajita meal

Let’s get started! You will need a big pack of chicken breasts and ground beef, about 5 lbs of each, and 7 freezer Ziploc bags.  I had everything else on hand, but we are a little over the top with stocking our cupboards.

**First chop four onions to split between the next two recipes**

Sloppy Joes

I don’t like sweet sloppy joes, feel free to add 1 tbs of brown sugar if preferred.

  • 2.5 pounds of ground beef
  • Two chopped onions
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 diced celery stocks
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (or whatever is left after adding ½ cup to meatloaf)
  • 1/2cup ketchup
  • 1/2cup chicken/ beef broth
  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Sloppy Joe Frezzer Meal

  1. Chop onions and sauté 3 minutes. These will be divided between the sloppy joes and the meatloaf. After 3 minutes add diced garlic and continue sautéing until just tender.
  2. Add chopped celery and carrots to the pan, with half the onions and garlic. Saute them until softened.
  3. Add ground beef and sauté until browned. Drain grease.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bubble for about 45 minutes until liquid is reduced.
  5. Let cool and divide between two labeled freezer bags.

Serving day: Thaw a bag of slop (so much more delicious than it sounds…) in the fridge one day before. Heat in frying pan. Serve on buns with pickles and melted cheese.


While the sloppy joe mixture is bubbling away, start on the meatloaf. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands.

  • Two chopped onions
  • 2-4 diced garlic cloves
  • 3 lbs of ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 tbs fresh)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (add the rest of the can to the sloppy joe mixture that is simmering)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I have these on hand in the freezer. I food process the heels of my bread once in a while)

Line two loaf pans with tin foil (enough so that you can wrap it around the whole loaf) then cling wrap. Divide mixture between two tins and wrap cling wrap, then foil around the loaf. These will go in the freezer in the pan so that the loaf shape is kept. If the pan is needed, the loaf can be removed after it is frozen.

Meatloaf freezer meal

Meatloaf freezer meal

Serving day:  Remove meatloaf from freezer and thaw in fridge, on plate for 1-2 days. Flip loaf onto greased cookie sheet. Reform it into loaf if needed. Cooking it on a sheet allows the grease to flow away from loaf. Cook for 1hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until internal temperature is 70 degrees.

Chicken Fajitas

Label one freezer bag. Add all ingredients to bag and squeeze to mix.

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts cut into strips (about 2.5 large breasts)
  • Juice of two-three limes (about ¼- 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • 1tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp smoked paprika

To another freezer bag I added an onion, red pepper and green pepper chopped into strips. I will freeze these veggies to use on serving day, but no promises this will turn out, I have never done this before! May be a better idea to just slice them the day they are needed? I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Serving day: Sauté thawed chicken marinated strips in pan of heated oil, with liquid from the bag (It will cook off) for five minutes. Add thawed onion, red pepper and green peppers that have been cut into strips. Sauté until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender. Add mixture to warmed tortilla shells with favourite fajita ingredients. I like it simple and only add sour cream and hot sauce. Serve with rice of salad. Enjoy!

Soy Honey Chicken Kabobs

Label two freezer bags. Add all ingredients to EACH bag, seal and squeeze to mix.

  • 3-4 chicken breast,
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs honey
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper


Serving day: Soak wooden skewers for 10 minutes. Skewer the marinated chicken alone or with onions, mushrooms, peppers or tomato. Brush veggies with marinate from the bag. Grill kabobs 9-10 minutes a side of until chicken is 165 degrees. Or if your husband loves his Weber and it takes 45 minutes to prepare, you will likely be broiling your skewers! Broil for 2-3 minutes each side, watching very closely, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with salad.

Chicken Kabob freezer meals

Hope these freezer meals give you a little extra time this season to go outside and play before dinner! Have you tried any other freezer meals!?

~ Kristin

(To see what else I am exploring to keep my family fed and mind balanced, see my pins
 and Follow me on facebook)

Easy Make Ahead Frittata

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I find cooking a decent breakfast during the week challenging. I’m sure it is a matter of time until we eat cereal each and every day, but right now the idea of that just bores me. I love making this frittata, or egg casserole. This is the only breakfast casserole I have actually enjoyed (No, that is a lie. I make a mean french toast casserole that I will post in the near future!) I mix this up and bake it on a Sunday night so that we have a good start to the week and Monday goes as smoothly as possible.

Make ahead egg casserole

I am not a morning person. I wait until the last possible second to pull myself out of bed, with JUST enough time to get out the door to work. At that point, I don’t even have the time to eat cereal so I heat this in a frying pan (We don’t have a microwave) while I am getting ready, wrap it in a tortilla shell and run out the door.

This is also great because clean up is easy. I used to always make a similar thing in muffin tins, until I clued in that scraping the muffin tin every time was a giant waste of my time.


8 eggs
¾ cup milk
2 tbs flour
1 cup of veggies and meat (I used diced ‘Naturals’ ham, broccoli, tomato and finely diced onion)
½ cup of melting cheese (anything you have, I’ve added 1/4c feta or parmesan which were good!)

2 tsp of your favourite spice blend. Garlic, parsley, italian, smoked paprika…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk and flour and pour into a well greased pan.  Top with remaining ingredients, and give it a little stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Easy Make Ahead Frittata casserole

It should still be slightly loose in the middle and will set while it cools for five minutes. Serve after it has cooled or cover and put it in the fridge over night until breakfast. Try not to overcook it. Don’t get too fussy about the ingredients and just throw what you have in the pan.

And how great would this be to give a new mom!? A friend of mine is going to ‘pop’ any day. Perhaps I will whip one up for her!



Being Thankful: Printable

Recently, my daughter spent some time in the hospital. It’s such a negative time for children. A lot of blood work, IV’s, X-rays and ultrasounds and even more crying. Yet, my husband, daughter, and I left feeling positive!? We were so impressed with all the staff we met, from the Child Life specialist bringing her a DVD player while she went for testing (what a life saver!) and doing play therapy with her to reduce her anxiety around the IV. The Pediatrician who worked with her was so positive and kind and the RN’s spent so much time to try to make her feel  comfortable and at ease with the whole experience.

Thank you printable - Heart of a Farm Girl BlogWith all this, we wanted to show our thanks. I found a great, general, thank you printable on Jasey’s blog that worked really well. I like it because it is gender neutral, easy, and who wouldn’t want a coffee pick-me-up during their 12 hour shift!? I also liked that it is prepackaged and has a long shelf life, so it won’t be thrown out if not eaten with in a few hours.

Thanks a latte printable

I printed the thank-you’s out, attached the note to the bottles of Frappuccinos (from Costco) with some raffia and put them in a green tray from the dollar-store, easy! Thank you, Jasey from Jasey’s Crazy Daisy for sharing with us!

I will be using these again and again for my daughter’s teachers, TAs in my classroom or anyone who deserves a little thank you! We even gave one to my dear friend who coaxed my stinky patient into the bath tub during our hospital stay.

Print these cuties out and spread a little love!