Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Yes OnStar! Ever since we bought the truck I have been amazed at how OnStar works. We have monthly emails with a full diagnostics report from the on board computer in the truck. No need for a $100 diagnostics from the garage because we get it monthly in an email and can log onto the OnStar site for more detailed reports also. The hands free calling is nice to have and out of the 150 minutes we have, we still have 134 left but will expire in 2 months. There is also tons of amazing features that OnStar can do. If your vehicle is stolen they can find it on GPS, tell the cops where it is and shut the engine off so the vehicle will roll to a stop. They can also unlock your vehicle if you leave your keys in it. The most important is the crash response that is something I thought wouldn't be needed because of me always having my phone with me. After thinking a bit more about this, I realized that if we were in an accident and I ended up unable to call because I was knocked out, they would send emergency personnel. I want to make sure the girls are safe and taken care of if I am unable to help them. Not only would the OnStar operator come over the speakers and talk to us but would also talk to the girls and try to keep them calm until help arrived.

I didn't care about the OnStar features when making my purchase but am I ever glad it has it now! It truly is something to see. I know other brands claim safety and reliability but how could you ever compete with OnStar.....you can't! Anyone who has never seen OnStar or looked into it should really try it out at a dealership if shopping for a new vehicle and check out all the info you can on this amazing product. I must say that I am not a one brand kinda man because I like other makes and models on the market but I may be a GM guy for life now. You just can't compare. They are in a league of their own when it comes to safety and innovation. GM has developed some pretty great safety features and has allowed other makers to have the idea to make sure we are all safe but OnStar is one thing that GM was smart to hold onto because it is amazing. Having your guardian angel with you is nice but having OnStar in addition to your angel is even better.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Simple and yummy

Now my best friend who blogs on Helpful Daddy has some great recipes that he has made for his family and he has given me some great ideas. When I cook for the girls, I like it easy and with simple ingredients that I can find in any grocery store. I love the Kraft cooking magazines we get in the mail and they are free. Just go to Kraft Canada on the web and sign up. I also like other recipe sites but found two really good ideas that I tried last week and both turned out great. One is a vegetarian dish and the other a chicken dish. I am not the person who endorses vegetarian dishes but I do have an open mind and one meal without meat a week isn't such a bad idea. So here are the basic steps I took in making them and I will also add a few comments on what I will do next time I make these meals.

Slow Cooker Country Chicken Stew

1. I took 4 boneless, skinless chicken breats out of a box we bought at M&M's. Very clean and no fat on the chicken. Cut into 1 inch cubes and toss in flour.
2. 1 can of low sodium chicken broth, 1 package sliced mushrooms, 3-4 large carrots sliced and 1 medium onion sliced into the slow cooker and add the chicken. Place on high heat for 3-4 hours or 7-8 on low.
3. With 30 minutes left to cook or just before you want to eat place 1 cup of frozen peas into slow cooker and half of a 250g tub of herb and garlic cream cheese low fat.
4. Stir together and make sure cream cheese has worked its way into the broth and over all veggies and meat.
5. Serve after everything is hot.

Now I found that potatoes would be nice in the stew and corn. You can always leave out the mushrooms and the low sodium and low fat was my choice but you could use regular chicken broth and cream cheese. Really you can add or subtract anything you want from this stew and make it your own. A friend at work that I showed my leftovers to suggest another great idea.


Once the stew has finished, place into pie shell  that has been baked and top with stuffing. Bake until stuffing crispy and serve. I might just try that next time. I would suggest using stove top, which is my favourite, and I like the low sodium one.

The other recipe I tried is a vegetarian dish but very tasty.

Eggplant Rollatini

1. Large eggplant peeled and sliced length ways or cut into round pieces. I did the round pieces and it work okay but a friend cut it length ways and said it was easier to roll. Mine looked like tacos!!
2. Place eggplant in oven at 350 for about 10 minutes to soften up so it will roll easier.
3. You will need a small container of ricotta cheese, 1 pkg mozzarella cheese shredded, 1/2 cup basil, 1/3 cup bread crumbs & 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
4. Place into bowl but save some mozzarella for topping the eggplant in the pan. Mix together.
5. Once eggplant has cooled, place mixture onto eggplant and roll. Place in 9X12 pan that has been sprayed or oil rubbed to prevent sticking.
6. Pour tomato sauce over eggplant and finish off with extra mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.

Now I would have liked a bit more flavour and garlic and onion would have been nice to add. Very delicious however and generally good for you if you don't eat the cheese!!!

This recipe can be found at: http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/recipes/eggplant-rollatini-119166.aspx

Anyway, I found both to be very good and easy to make. Not too much complicity and tastes very good. Nicole enjoyed the country stew and I ate all the eggplant rollatini!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Santa is a coming!

Well Nicole and I have been buying up gifts for the girls and others since we have found some good deals and I would rather have it finished sooner than later. We also attended 2 parades over the weekend. Saturday night was the Oshawa Santa Claus parade of lights. Everyone really enjoyed it and they had some really fun floats. They had a YMCA float and had people on the sides of the road dancing to the YMCA song. The young ones didn't get it but you could see the older crowd light up when they heard that float coming down the street blasting those familiar tunes! They had a great parade with good flow and lots of variety with bands spaced nicely throughout.

Sunday afternoon we also attended the Toronto Santa Claus parade. What a let down! I'm not kidding. This was a complete mess and looked like it was really thrown together on a last minute shuffle. They start with the police cars from the area and the celebrity clowns. They began the parade and then no one to be seen. We waited 5 minutes until the next float came around the corner. Now we were at the 3/4 mark of the parade so we were not at the end but close enough. Finally more floats and bands came around the corner but that was short lived. We saw about another 20 minutes of floats and then another break in the parade. We waited 4 times for the parade to come around the corner and each time was longer and longer. We saw 99% of the parade and once Santa failed to show up in a timely manner and packed up and left. We weren't the only ones! Lots of other people left before we did but almost everyone around us was complaining. I have never seen such a mess of a parade before and since it is the longest running parade, you expect a better showing than what was the final outcome.

We decided we won't be going back to the parade for 3 reasons.

1. You need to get a spot early or you won't be able to get the kids close to see. We got our spot at 11:40am and the parade didn't start until 12:45pm. It took until 1:53pm until the parade got to us.

2. The cold and poor parade flow. I don't want myself or me kids freezing while we wait for a break in the parade. I never thought I would pay $9.00(which is cheap compared to every other lot) at the green P lot to watch a shitty broken parade. I could have watched it at home and they could have made it look awesome but we say it for what it really was.

3. The traffic was super shitty and took us 25 minutes to go 1KM to get onto the Gardiner to hit the DVP north. I was stuck in an intersection with a bus and ambulance block me from turning left with traffic passing in front and behind us. The DVP was also shitty heading north.

So next year we will attend the Oshawa parade. Great little parade and local with a 10 minute drive home. We will watch the Toronto parade from home while drinking beer, eating chili and have the comfort of heat and a clean toilet next year!!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tis the season.....to kill!

Well tomorrow I leave to go 2 hours up north deer hunting. I am looking forward to it and have been getting all my things together. Nicole takes a week off of work also because it is just easier. She sometimes doesn't like the fact I'm gone for a week but it is the only real time I can get away and relax. It is such a laid back time up there and the forest is so amazing this time of year. Lots of animals foraging for food and of course when you are sitting quietly you can see so many new things that you can't see anywhere else. I watched a squirrel run around and gather food one day. He would go up a tree and stop to look around like he was being followed. Then go into his home or hiding spot for his food and come out 30 seconds later. He repeated this task about 6 times before he noticed I was sitting there watching the whole thing unfold.

I also stood once at a watch and saw a fisher. They look like a ferret but 5 times bigger with a head that resembles a bear. It ran around and came within about 15 feet of me before I made a noise so it wouldn't get too much closer. They are very mean little things if confronted and I didn't want to shoot it because I was looking for deer and there is no point in wasting a life.

So as Friday draws closer, I am getting more excited to go. I'm going to miss the girls and Nicole but will see them in 7 days so it isn't too much. Hopefully this will be the year I can shoot my first deer and have it hanging from the hooks. I will take my camera to take pictures and my phone since we can still get service up there. I will see you in a week!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Well this is going to be about me and my fellow men in the world. Prostate cancer is a real concern in men's health and every bit of awareness is key to having the proper things in place to help fight this disease. I have signed up and am participating in Movember for those who don't know. Movember consists of having a clean shaven face starting November 1st and growing and grooming a moustache for the entire month. The hope is that family, friends and the public will see more moustaches and this will bring to light how many people actually are in support of fighting cancer.

I have not had a clean shaven face since grade 10 at Kenner C.V.I. when I was about 16. Most people have forgotten what I look like without because I have been sporting the beard for the last 15 years. For me to shave it off is huge and hope to do it all again next year and support it every year after that. I encourage all my family and friends to support me and even join up and do it as well. Since we are only on the 2nd you can easily jump on board this worthy cause.

I hope that the fundraising I do for prostate cancer will help someone close to me if they ever need the support and I will be there for them since I am putting my face forward for the cause. I would hate to see someone close to me lose this battle with cancer when I could have done something. This is the easiest way to support cancer research because you don't have to go out for a walk or run and it takes no extra time other than grooming which most of us do anyway on a daily basis.

Check out Movember and see what good work this movement is doing for men's health.



Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween treats

This year we had some fun out with the girls and they had a blast running house to house getting candy for us!! No I won't be eating their candy but did go through it all to make sure it was safe. I know we heard it as kids and some sick people actually do try and hurt people by sticking tacks and powders on candy. How much do you really have to worry when it come to that? I know some people do make an effort to make it fun for kids by putting some candy in Halloween bags with chocolate bars and chips but also some bulk barn type Halloween candy. That is the type that we throw right in the garbage because you just can't trust people these days or at least I don't.

Why do they sell bulk Halloween candy like candy corn, jube jubes and others? I would only eat it if a friend had it out or I bought it myself because it is the only way to be safe. I'm sure 99% of loose candy is safe but I wouldn't want to make a mistake and my kids pay for it so I just toss it. Another thing is as kids we would go to a house with the outside light on and skip the ones without since we knew they had no candy or weren't home. Kids don't seem to have this knowledge or don't care. I saw 4 kids come to my door, as I stood at my neighbours having a beer outside, and knock on the door. I told them we had candy but over here where we had a bowl in plain sight with candy. My outside light was out and the main level was dark because Nicole had the girls upstairs. They still knocked and it was also 8:45pm which the street was empty except for these 4 kids. Since it was colder than previous years everyone packed it in early and no one was out after 8:25pm.

Anyway, nothing really much other than that. Kids had fun and we had fun watching them run door to door. I was very pleased and proud to hear the girls using their manners which I didn't tell them but did remind them only once to which they replied "we are using our manners dad. We are being good". They were good and made me proud yet again.

On a side note....Zoey won her 3rd....yes 3rd award for academics at her school. She needs 1 more award to keep a trophy. They give out awards for the 4 A's at her school. Academics, Athletics, Attitude and Art. She has already won each year of school so we are hoping for a 4th so she can have something to display. Hailey is also doing really well and her teacher says she is in the top percentage in her class. She is ahead of most kids because of Zoey helping her and Hailey is always excited for school so they are both doing amazing.