All I have to say is OMG I LOVE THE NEW STOVE!!!

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Check out the centre griddle action!

I had decided to celebrate the new stove by making a big breakfast for everyone vs the usual easy oatmeal or toast options that we gravitate towards.

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Bacon, eggs & blueberry pancakes it was! (Coffee too of course ;) )

Our 17 year old gas stove finally let us know that it was ready to move on to greener pastures via having two of the four burners not ignite anymore. At first the hubster & I suggested to dad that we shop around for parts to repair it but he refused and mumbled something about growing up in China and having to manually light the stove each time he wanted to use it. Then he told us he’d make due. So for about a month or so, we’d catch a whiff of natural gas each time he used the stove because he seemed to wait too long before lighting the burner.

Finally he asked me about looking up the repair parts & a serviceman. We looked into it ourselves figuring the hubster could fix it himself but what we learned, the parts are no longer available but if they were they’d cost about the same as a new stove.

Wanting to be practical & frugal, I started comparing different models, features and prices online for a new stove. DEFINITELY worth it to buy a new stove. The big bonus: The Home Depot was having a “no tax” sale on all major appliances ending that day. We hurried our butts down there to confirm our decision before purchasing.

Wanna see what we got? :)

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There’s a third rack that pulls out but not just once but TWICE so you don’t have to lean into the oven over the door.

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Look at that – FIVE burners! I love how the middle burner is for a cast iron skillet grille plate. Makes my heart skip a beat.

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There she is, all shiny, purdy and new!

Is it so wrong that I got super excited about a new stove? I can’t wait to use it!

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The other night I was craving something sweet but not overly indulgent. As I rifled through the cupboards, I stumbled upon a box of After Eight hot chocolate mix and decided to give it a whirl. I added whipped cream to make it that much more indulgent (and to prevent me from wanting a ‘do-over’ the following day shelling out $5)

Totally did the trick. :). What’s your fave way to enjoy hot chocolate?

FoodWasteFriday By putting off the grocery shopping last week and only picking up the minimum this week there has been no waste! :D   I know I keep saying this but I’ve proven this to myself time and time again: the less I shop and stock the fridge, the less waste I find. Yet I keep going through lapses and shopping and stocking. Ugh.

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

FoodWasteFriday We have waste again this week:

* 1 lonely triangle Chiabatta bun (from Costco)

* 1/3 of a french baguette

* 1/8th of the tub of prepared salad  (I guess we weren’t feeling ‘salad’ this week.)

Can’t win them all right?

I did salvage fruit by hacking off the unsightly bits and making a huge fruit salad *thumbs up* That was a huge hit here :D

Also, I have put off grocery shopping this week forcing us to only go out and pick up the essentials vs stocking up. I hope this produces a no waste week for next Friday.

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

FoodWasteFriday Gah – have waste this week:  remnants (1-2 servings) of the weekly prepared salad &  2 pints blueberries (shoved to the back of death pit)

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

As you know, we’re not ones to celebrate/observe all the holidays however we do enjoy corned beef with cabbage.   And to be honest, we did have our ‘festive meal’ (though sometimes routine in our menu rotation) on Friday. We were ahead of the game ;)

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Wishing those that celebrate a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

FoodWasteFriday No waste again this week! :D

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

FoodWasteFriday No waste this week! :D

How’d you do?

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

The hubster and I decided to take my dad out to celebrate his 83rd birthday last Sunday. I mean, c’mon now – 83 years is totally worth celebrating right? We invited my sister and brother in law to join us (which he declined) for a dinner down at Fallsview Casino Resort this way dad could get his ‘slot machines on’ and then enjoy a decadent dinner that neither of us had to prep, cook nor clean after.  The best part, it had everything that all of us would want to eat that wasn’t necessarily the same meal. None of this ‘This is it, take it or leave it’ type meals that one would normally get when cooking at home family style.

It was a beautiful sunny day, warm temps (hovering around the freezing mark) vs our usual arctic deep freeze and scary windchills we’d been having.  Kinda of like a spring thaw. Our drive down to Niagara Falls was plenty eventful – all four of us were nestled cozily in the car driving in the carpool lane when a Niagara Air Bus shuttle bus was chasing us down (damn right I’m calling them out for this episode), trying to signal us to move over so he could pass. Um…last time I checked, the speed limit was 100km/h. Unless they were going to pay for our insurance increases and fines for illegally exiting the carpool lane and then some, nope. Not moving. Sorry about your luck dude. Its called a ‘carpool’ lane or ‘high occupancy vehicle’ lane not ‘autobahn’ lane. So we kept plodding along at the posted speed limit. Then came a few rounds of rapid honking, headlights flashing, severe bumper riding and vicious  swerving by the bus behind us trying to get out attention. Can you imagine being on that bus?! I wonder how loud the driver was shouting?  I’d be fearing for my life. Us knowing we were not doing anything wrong, kept on driving on.  Eventually the bus driver got so fed up, he swerved into the right hand lane – illegally I might add – and then gunned it passed us to cut us off to get back in front of us in the lane, pausing long enough beside us to give us royal hand gestures and flipping us the bird. The look of the passengers faces were of fear. :(  Once that lil episode finished and the actual carpool lane ended, we were still en route only to have a semi tractor-trailer ride our bumper again honking.  We were wondering what on earth was going on today.  He had pulled out from the right hand lane behind us into the centre lane. He could’ve passed us in the left hand passing lane but chose to ride our bumping honking his big truck horn. Oooh. Big man, hiding behind his 18 wheeler.  Again – we keep puttering along at the posted speed limit.   I’m wondering if it was a case of everyone having suffered through enough ‘winter’ for this season that were glad to be out in the sunshine trying to rid themselves of cabin fever?

Needless to say, when we finally arrived at Fallsview Casino, we parted ways. The hubster and I wanted to walk the mall area to see the changes. Apparently there were new stores added while some removed. My sister was kind enough to escort dad into the casino immediately so he could get his gaming on. Hubster and I eventually made our way into the casino area and started playing a few interesting looking machines but overall, we weren’t feeling it.  It was close to dinner so we began the search for my dad and sister.  Upon meeting up both my sister and the hubster revealed the same scenario’s though they experienced them separately.

Turns out that my brother and sister in law were at the casino as well. We’d normally have invited them to join us but they’re always *busy* when asked to join in on family events. The last time we did see them was for Chinese New Year’s Feast in which they sat huddled apart from the rest of us at the table only whispering to one another and rarely interacting with the rest of us. Before that, there was no phone calls to wish us a Merry Christmas nor Happy New Years etc. with their last visit with dad being sometime in early November 2013. Not even a phone call on the Friday prior to this day wishing dad a Happy Birthday.

What had happened: the Hubster and my sister had ‘ran into’ my sister in law at different area’s of the casino.  Both of them were barely acknowledged with an insincere “Oh, hi”  and then blown off as my sister in law ran away in the opposite direction from them. Um. WTF?  We didn’t look for my brother though we knew where to find him. We just continued along our merry way to get our grub on but seriously, HOW RUDE WAS THAT?! This coming from the first person to marry into our family and has been a part of our family for more then 20+ yrs now and THIS is how she treats us?  Knowing we were there with dad (the only time we usually go to the casino) she could’ve at least stopped to ask where he was and wish him a Happy Birthday and then taken off but instead, she flew the coop.  I guess two run in’s within minutes of each other put too much heat on her?

Regardless of the day’s bizarre events, we all ended up having a great time getting our ‘slots on’ and dining out. (Hubster and I did manage to sneak some shopping in as  well at the Pepper Palace and Swiss Fudge)  We chose to eat at The Golden Lotus - their Chinese style resort restaurant (located in the mall area).  My brother had taken my dad there previously and he had told us the food was tasty.  Normally we’d have dined at the Grand Buffet *inside* the casino but the lines were beyond ridiculous. Even if we had gotten a table, we’d have had to fight everyone in the buffet lines for food.  All of us found the dinner to be ‘alright’ with my sister, hubster and myself agreeing that the food was lacking in flavour. I mean, how does one screw up fried rice??

Here’s a few pics of our view that were very enjoyable as we dined.

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BTW: In case you were wondering, the drive home was uneventful and peaceful. Just the way we like it ;)

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