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Kitchen Organization Idea – Cereal Bags

Does your family still eat cereal? 

(Based on current trends, less families are for some reason. I’m guessing it’s because we have too many drive thru options!)

Well we do! 

And we also use it as a crunchy snack that is healthier than chips. 

But with Costco bringing bigger boxes and taking up space, I got a little frustrated. One night before garbage/recycling day, I was getting out as much “trash” and “disorganization” as I could to the curb. There was a tiny bit of cereal left in a huge box. I thought in one more day, I’m going to have to keep this recycling around the house for another 7-9 days?! No thank you!

So I came up with this:


Cereal box/bag hack.
Take the bag out. Tear off one side of the boxes top labels. Then fold down bag (to keep fresh of course), and clip the label onto the bag. 

This way things are still labelled and there’s no extra work: I don’t need to make labels off Pinterest – this works and is recognizable just as well as the box itself. 

The kids even find what they are looking for. Plus I never discover an empty cereal box that’s been taking up space in the cupboard for the last month (darn kids…. or roommate…. Or spouse!). 

I hope it is a practical solution for you to use and share. The better things are at home, the better life seems to get. 


The Practical “Martha” 

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Quick Camping Hack

Lots of blog post ideas came out of my two camping trips in July.  I will spend time penning them later but wanted to share one of my frugal tips for YOUR next camping trip. 

Ever go to a hotel and not use their coffee pods? They look a bit like tea bags but fit into those mini coffees makers that barely make two mini cups. 

Well, you paid for the room AND the conveniently packaged coffee. So save the ones you didn’t use for a quick cup while camping!

Boil water, brew a bit longer than you would tea, stir around to make sure it’s strong enough and voila!

Way better than the instant coffee crystals or trucking tons of camping gear with you (parents: I know your struggles. We have enough to carry and only two hands and a bit of sanity left. )

Next camping post will be on my attempt to make French toast while camping. It definitely will make you laugh! Recipe AND a food product on trial!

But the scenery was great! 

Happy Camping in the Great Outdoors to you!

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Maple Flakes 

Simple post for a simple but amazing product. 

Maple Flakes 

  • Organic, vegan and gluten free
  • Made of one ingredient – maple syrup
  • Crunchy but can “melt” into things like yogurt and marinades 
  • Natural sweetener
  • Keeps great maple taste

Perfect as a yogurt or oatmeal topping. 

Desserts like cheesecakes would do well with a sprinkle of this as well. 

Then my mind goes to glazes or even adding maple-y sweetness to homemade burgers (beef or salmon). 

I love experimenting with new products (this one was on the clearance rack at the Superstore!). 

The crunchy texture with the maple flavour was the perfect sweet pairing with Greek yogurt and blueberries. 

Do you like experimenting with new ingredients? Ever made something fabulous you keep making it? Ever have an epic fail? Share in the comments below. 

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Adelaide’s Cookies

A great throw back today to Adelaide Hoodless. One of the pioneers in food safety and from Ontario! And to help announce the CFIA’s (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) announcement today for strengthening food safety training! (

The Federation of Women's Institutes of Canada

By special request! Visitors to the homestead today asked for Addie’s cookie recipe. I am happy to oblige, but must warm you: the recipe does not indicate an oven temperature. Compared to other recipes, I’d say about 350 degrees. But watch the first batch to make sure the oven is not too hot.

Cookies (plain).

1/2 cup butter.
1/4 cup milk.
2 even tsps. baking powder.
1 cup sugar.
1 egg.
Flour to roll out thin. (at least two cups)

Cream the butter, add the sugar, milk, egg beaten lightly, and the baking powder mixed with two cups of flour, then enough more flour to roll out. Roll a little at a time. Cut out. Bake about 10 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from




President School of Domestic Science, Hamilton.
This Book may be used as a Text-Book in any High or Public School, if…

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I’m a single mom and I cheated; here’s why I continue to…

Did I catch your attention? Ha ha! I knew I would.  ME? CHEAT? How could that be true my friends and family would say???!!!

Ok…. the truth is I cheated on my values of whole foods, four food groups, cook everything from scratch, and to minimize pre-packaged food and processed foods.

And I still do!

Why this confession you might be asking?

Because it’s the truth!  And I think that even though my professional life and personal life is almost one in the same based on values, I am a human living in the year 2014.  And honestly being a stay at home mom is just as difficult as being a single mom. Even when the kids are gone.  I am shocked that two years after separation (hmmmm interesting coming up on the anniversary in 4 days actually), I am still not always reaching my daily healthy living goals.

My values and daily goals towards holistic health (mind, body, soul) are just that.  Goals.  Sometimes I reach them, and other days I fail miserably.  Most days are somewhere on that continuum.

But really what I want in this confession is to tell you that even though I am a Professional Home Economist with a degree in Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences as well as re-certifying to be a Registered Dietitian, I can only do my best.  And sometimes it is this:

Single mom dinner / linner.
Single mom dinner / linner.

And even in my idea of confessing my “sin” I realize now I forgot to show the bag of pre-prepared shredded carrots that I had swiftly shoved back into my fridge (future post I’m going to do about my fridge!). So also please forgive me for not even getting the picture “right”.

But yes, three acute illnesses (none of them the flu or a virus by the way….yet… knock on wood!) in my family within 5 days sent my home into the “bare minimum”.  Have you ever had that — just hanging on for dear life and honestly just getting through the days.

So please notice the pre-cooked protein chicken (meant as a treat for my daughter’s lunch this week) and the pre-packaged lettuce field mix.  I did end up cutting up a cucumber and putting some in (guilt had set in) and I, with a bit of exhaustion, cut up the rest and put it into a lock’n’lock container (hoping that it would not turn to mush before I can get to it later).

The salad dressing (poured directly on top and then a pour from the EVOO bottle on top to make it improperly) and cheese (leftover – used it up after I took the pic) and ta dah!  GOOD ENOUGH!

In this world, we are all busy.  All of us – including us: the people that are supposed to be these more “perfect” people at doing it.

But really, I forgive myself for doing it. If you truly knew all the happenings in my life, you would too.  What do you expect of me – single mom, student, home owner (leaves today!), charity worker (managing the Ontario portion) teaching, volunteering at community kitchens and writing a local column, a basement flood recently, a broken car, a great dane and a crazy cat….. oh wait…. fun… yes please – I fit that in too as well as being a daughter who lives 2 hours away from her parents and tries her best to visit.

So list all of the things you do in a day…. but list all the good stuff.

So I looked at my meal and saw the good stuff:

Single mom dinner / linner.
Single mom dinner / linner.
  • I had a complete meal – veggies (dark green & orange is recommended EACH day!!), meat/protein (chicken), milk food group (cheese), and a healthy fat/oil – EVOO
  • I fed my recovering body
  • I tried my best
  • I stuck with my values
  • I took care of myself (many moms and dads don’t!)
  • I ate a real meal when my kids were gone (single adults – young or old can relate to this!) and no one to share a meal with
  • I gave myself a pat on the back instead of “should”ing on myself (say that out loud…. 😉
  • I used my personal life in my professional life to teach/lead/inspire (hopefully) even in a little way
  • I had fun having this idea and making an instant project
  • I promote and honor single parents

So with that, my “linner” (lunch/dinner in the afternoon) is done, the insurance construction crew is gone, and I am about to go run errands and attend an orientation meeting for another volunteer position 😉

But just so that we can be clear, the guilt can always set in…. and so I thought I’d leave you with the fact that balance is necessary – even in our judgement of each other and our own lives.  Whether you are the newest expert in nutrition and health, or the person who doesn’t know where to start.  The best thing is to keep trying your best and know NO ONE is perfect and everyone cheats!

Balance is everything…. so I finished my meal off with dessert: carrot muffins me and my daughter made this week for “family night”.

Homemade carrot muffins.
Homemade carrot muffins.

I think that was the “guilt” setting in…. 😉 Kidding – just proud of the times I can do it.  And it’s better because I was baking in the kitchen with my younger daughter.  That’s the life I want…. family in the kitchen – just loving the basics and enjoy the messiness of it all!

Signed without apologies,

The Nutrition “Cheater”