Never Said It Would Be Easy

I've been weighing my options of what I want to do a year from now, when my youngest starts school full-time. As I start coming up with ideas, I have noticed a trend; I like a road that is guaranteed. I favor where I know 100% that I can succeed. But that limits me to where I can go and what I can do. What if the thing that is truly my passion could also be where I could possibly come up short? What if I have to fall a million times before a small success? Do I play it safe, avoid the risks? But what is a risk? And as I go back and forth between all the possibilities, I start to realize the only risk I'd be taking is hurting my pride.  That is where my hesitation lies.

My heart has been set on attending Carleton University for Journalism for quite some time now. I have looked into other schools and programs, oddly enough I keep coming back to this one. But it is not just that easy to apply because I don't have the grades to get into the program. There is no worse feeling then feeling like you come up short. It is almost easier to brutally fail than to not be enough. To avoid the heartache, I've done everything to take myself away from that dream. It finally hit me the other day, what would happen if I tried?

So I have enrolled myself back in high school to get my marks up to be competitive enough to get into the program. I think the hard reality is even after I go do all this work to get in, there is still no guarantee I will get accepted. There is still a huge possibility I could come up short again. But life will move on if that happens. I've got other options in place if it doesn't work out. But I am trying! I'm going to admit and say it is a little embarrassing having to go backwards. Nine years go by and I am back. But it is time to remove the stigma around bettering ourselves. Whether it be school or counselling, I have had a lot of discouragement sent my way over these decisions I am making. I just wanted to get on here and talk to those that have been on the fence about making choices like these. Never put down an opportunity to better yourself. I feel like I am giving it 100% not choosing a 100%. So win or lose, I know I have won with a better version of myself. I think that is something worth striving for.

Survival Meal With Walmart

There never seems to be enough hours in a day to achieve everything we set out to do. I say job well done if everyone is fed, clothed and bathed by the end of the day. And as of lately I can't even promise those are going to get done the way they should at my place. It's in these overwhelming places of "I don't know if I can get it all done" that we have to cut ourselves some much needed slack. First thing I think of when I'm looking to cut corners is food! Take-out is not always in the budget. Don't get me wrong I do get that frozen pizza in my grocery cart week after week. But today I am going to share with you my one step up from that go to frozen dish that makes me feel like an absolute culinary queen of the year in my kitchen. 

Thanks to Walmart Canada and the Buzzagent Team I was gifted Great Value pasta sauce and a package of Great Value rotini noodles to give you my opinion on the products. Truthfully I am no stranger to Great Value products in my home. Their price points keep me on budget and most times I prefer their product over some of the other competing brands for the price bracket. So with these two in my hands I thought it would be a fun opportunity to share with you my go to versatile chili. How is chili versatile? First and foremost I can make this dish in bulk and freeze whatever we don't eat, so that's a plus. We use it as a sauce on noodles, sometimes as sloppy joes on buns or even just eat it as regular chili and add some corn nibblets and cheese to give it a little something extra. The other thing that makes chili so versatile is the ingredients you put in it. I will be giving my recipe go to's but feel free to have fun with your own. Swap out for ingredients you enjoy or have on hand, spice to your taste. 



  • Lean Ground Beef (Could substitute for chicken or turkey or go meatless)
  • 1 jar of Great Value pasta sauce
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of black beans (Strained)
  • 1 can of chick peas (Strained)
  • 1 can of lentils (Strained)
  • 1/2 a bag of chopped spinach nuggets
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 package of Great Value rotini noodles (optional)


  1. Heat up your stock pot. Throw in meat and onions. Salt and Pepper to season. Brown meat and soften onions. (This is optional could throw in raw. Just a preference of mine to brown the meat.)
  2. Add pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, carrot, zucchini, and any extra seasonings or beans of your choice. (Could hold off straining a can if you prefer a more running consistency)
  3. Set heat to a simmer.
  4. The longer you leave it the better it tastes. I normally will throw it together at noon ready to eat by 5 or 6. (Also crockpot friendly throw everything in set on low for 8 hrs.)
  5. (Optional) Boil water and cook noodles as per package instructions. Strain and serve with Chilli on top.

So there you have it! My super easy chilli that looks like I put a lot more work into it then I did. My family stays fed and full and I look like I care ALOT! My kids love noodles so this works perfectly as a sauce especially for my picky eaters that won't eat straight up chilli. It's a trick that is working for us. So let me know what your survival meal is in your kitchen. Thank you Walmart Canada and the Buzzagent team for letting me try a couple of the Great Value products. They were loved and long gone. Definitely going to be back for more to #MakeItGreat.

Ripley's Aquarium

What has it been a month since I got on here!? Truly, you haven't missed much around here! Same jeans, t-shirt and messy bun for days running. I have finally retired my air cast and am slowly getting my mobility back in my ankle thanks to the instructions at physio. So that has been a plus! My in-laws were down for a week around Easter. They left almost two weeks ago now. Hard to say good-bye but we can't wait to see them again this summer.

If you don't know my in-laws Dan & Monika, they are probably the biggest go getters you will ever meet. To say I don't think we could have squeezed one more thing into our week with them if we tried is an understatement. On our way to visit extended family for Easter we decided to break up the drive by making a pit stop in Toronto. My sister had been raving to me about the Ripley's Aquarium. So I took up this opportunity to go check it out.

It really was everything she cracked it up to be. The aquarium is so well laid out. Even the areas that you would normally think must get pretty congested due to enthusiastic picture takers had moving belts on the floor to keep traffic going at a decent pace. The belts weren't moving fast enough to get nervous going on and off them. They also had so many interactive stations for the girls. Which as every parent knows is absolute survival in places like these. So much amazing water life. The jelly fish were probably my personal favourite with the black light. Pictures just can not do it justice.

Nothing beats bringing along grandparents to run after the kids while you get to actually enjoy the exhibits. Monika got the girls these bedazzled turtle necklaces from the gift shop, which they are still crazy for. Grandma sure knows the way to my girls hearts aka anything that sparkles!

Our only mistake was when we went to leave, we were joined by a mob of people leaving the Blue Jay's baseball game. Like we could have predicted first game of the season. Traffic was nuts, poor planning on our part! But definitely worth it! We will be back again I'm sure. Just maybe not on game day...