Friday, July 31, 2015

10 Free Things To Do

Whether you are strapped for cash or saving for that perfect vacation it doesn't mean that you can not have fun and enjoy time together with your family and friends. We are trying to teach our daughter that fun doesn't always cost money. A few weeks ago I shared some ideas on how to do a money free weekend

There are so many things you can do without spending money it is crazy. Seriously put your thinking cap on and just pull out your pen and paper and think of things you can do that do not cost money. Think out of the box. Pick up your local free paper and see what is happening in your area. You don't even have to pick up your local paper if you are reading this just google your area and find out what is happening this week or summer.
  1. Go Sightseeing
  2. Take you pet for a walk
  3. Use YouTube videos to sing karaoke
  4. Grab your camera and live life through a lens for the day
  5. Volunteer for a local organization
  6. Window shop
  7. Throw a potluck
  8. Watch your favourite movies with your friends
  9. Go for a drive
  10. Play tennis or throw some hoops

If the weather isn't nice for doing some things outdoors be sure to check out my 10 Boredom Busters ideas. Please share with me some of the free activities you do when you are with your friends and family.

Friday, July 31, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Thursday, July 30, 2015

the essential guide to Women's Herbal Medicine

Disclosure: ItsJustMyLifeCA received products for this review. All opinions, however, are honest and my own.

The minute I received the essential guide to Women's Herbal Medicine I just knew that I would spend hours going through the pages and gleaning as much information as I possibly could from it. I have never been one to run to the doctors for medication to treat myself. I have always preferred a more natural approach. 

The essential guide to Women's Herbal Medicine has a quick reference guide at the front of the book with health conditions listed as well as herb you can use with a page number to read more information on the condition. The quick reference guide is a great feature it allows you to look up things very quickly. 

There are three parts to the book:
  1. Introduction to herbal medicine - history, how to use the herbs, etc.
  2. Women's health conditions
  3. Women's medicinal herbs
I highly recommend this book as a great reference guide for Herbal Medicine. 

Disclosure: It's just my life... did not receive compensation but did receive products for review purposes. It's just my life... may, however, receive compensation through purchases from affiliate links in this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

Thursday, July 30, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, July 27, 2015

Menu Planning Monday - July 27, 2015

Last weekend we celebrated my husband's 50th birthday. I feel partied out this morning and I am trying to plan a menu for this heat wave we are having this week. 

~ Monday ~

~ Tuesday ~

~ Wednesday ~
Grilled Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes

~Thursday ~

~ Friday ~
Scalloped Potatoes

~ Saturday ~
Chicken Burgers
Potato Salad
Corn on the Cob

~ Sunday ~
Something on the grill
Taco Salad

~ Baking this week ~
Lemon Loaf

What is on your menu this week?

Monday, July 27, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Thursday, July 23, 2015

HOME (#Giveaway)

I will be receiving a copy of this Blu-ray for my review. All opinions are my own.

Home is so much more than where you park your car and hang you hat. The structure that you live in doesn't make it your home the people you share your life with while living there makes it your home. Home can be any where as long as you are with the people you love.

Celebrate family, friendship and fun in the surprise smash comedy hit of the year from the creators of How To Train Your Dragon and Shrek! In DreamWorks Animation’s HOME, Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet meets a girl named Tip. The two unlikely friends embark on the greatest journey of all time...the journey HOME.

On BLU-RAY 3D, BLU-RAY & DVD July 28, 2015!
“HOME” Synopsis

Directed by Tim Johnson (Over The Hedge, Antz), HOME features the voice talents of Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Jim Parsons* (“The Big Bang Theory,” The Muppets), Grammy® winner Rihanna** (Battleship), Oscar® and Emmy® winner Steve Martin*** (The Pink Panther, Father of the Bride) and Golden Globe® nominee Jennifer Lopez (“American Idol,” Maid In Manhattan).

“HOME is smart, fun and funny” proclaims Bill Bergoli of CBS Radio. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore®.

Here are some fun printable activity sheets to enjoy with your family.

Win DreamWorks HOME

My Rating: 4.25/5

** Disclosure: Posted by It's just my life... I was provided promotional material by the manufacturer or a representing PR agency. Images, information and prize provided by PR agency. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. **

Thursday, July 23, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 11

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chicken Quesadillas (Video Included) | What's Cooking Wednesday?

After a long day of errands and a hospital visit for my daughter we needed something quick and easy to make for dinner. We were all exhausted and just wanted to eat so this fit the bill perfectly. 

Chicken Quesadillas

Diced Cooked Chicken
Tortilla Wraps

Sometimes we add-

  • Place all your ingredients on a tortilla wrap and then top with another wrap so that you can warm them up on a grill or frypan.
  • I find it easiest to cut them with the pizza cutter but you could use a knife as well. 
  • Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole or your other favourite dips. 

Happy Cooking,                                            

*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, July 20, 2015

Menu Planning Monday - July 20, 2015

After making a big chicken in the slow cooker on Sunday because it was just to hot out we didn't want to heat up the house cooking at all or stand at the bbq and cook anything so the slow cooker seemed to be the perfect answer. The chicken left us with about three or four meals of chicken leftover. This week I am going to use some of it up in my meal plan. 

Do you ever cook one meal and have so much left over it spills over into many different meals for the rest of the week?

~ Monday ~
Chicken Stew
served in Bread Bowls

~ Tuesday ~
Pork Chops
Cheesy Ranch Potatoes

~ Wednesday ~
Chicken & Bacon Quesadillas 
Celery and Carrot Sticks

~Thursday ~
Pasta Bake

~ Friday ~
BBQ Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes

~ Saturday ~
(Tonight meal was from last Sunday)
Scalloped Potatoes

~ Sunday ~
Turkey Burgers
Broccoli Salad
Potato Salad

~ Baking this week ~

What is on your menu this week?

Monday, July 20, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Friday, July 17, 2015


The weather has been really unpredictable lately - raining one day and then a heat wave the next day. Even with a pool in our backyard sometimes it is to hot to be outside. We always have a variety of indoor activities we like to do because you never know when you will get stuck inside.

I thought I would share some of our favourite indoor activities with you to help you beat boredom on those indoor days.
  1. Board Games - We love to play board games some of our favourites are Blokus, Headbands and Simon Swipe. 
  2. Grab a blanket and my a fort to feel like you are camping indoor. 
  3. Have an indoor Treasure Hunt. 
  4. Electronic Games - some of our favourite ones are Heads Up, Speech Jammer
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles - pull out a jigsaw puzzle and see how fast you can put it together. 
  6. Bake - why not whip up something for dessert to eat that night. 
  7. Crafting - if you have crafters in your house why not pull out your supplies and see what you can create. 
  8. Learn to Draw - do a search on YouTube and learn to draw or practice your handwriting. 
  9. Karaoke - hit YouTube again for some singing with your family we do this one often.
  10. Read - pick up that book that has been sitting on your self forever. 
What do you do when you are stuck indoors? Please share your ideas with me I would love to have some more in my back pocket for the days when we are stuck indoors.

Friday, July 17, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Preservation Society Home Preserves

I have fond memories of sitting in the kitchen of both my grandmothers kitchens and watching them can pickles, jams, fruits, jellies, relishes and so much more. I remember the taste testing that happened making sure their recipes were just perfect for their families. 

My grandmothers passed on their love for canning to many of their children and grandchildren. There is nothing better than in the middle of winter reaching into your pantry and pulling out a can of tomatoes that were canned with love during the fall for your family to enjoy. 

Preservation Society Home Preserves 
100 Modern Recipes 
By Camilla Wynne 
Paperback, 192 pages

Camilla Wynne doesn't disappoint with her Preservation Society Home Preserves cookbook. The recipes are wonderful but I really enjoyed reading about the canning basics and science behind it which helped me put my own spin on some of my canning recipes. This book is great for beginners and experienced canners a like. 

Contents Include:

Canning Basics

Jellies and Butters
Canned Fruits
Chutneys, Relishes and Savory Jams
For the Fridge
Cooking with Preserves

Here is a great recipe for you to try from Preservation Society Home Preserves for you to try. 

Pina Colada Jam, page 34, jams
THIS DELICIOUS JAM SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. It’s got all the flavors of the classic cocktail, but is socially acceptable to eat for breakfast. The chunky texture, full of chewy coconut, also makes it a pretty choice for a dessert component — on ice cream, between cake layers, stirred into mascarpone … the list goes on.
2.9 lbs           pineapple flesh (from 2 pineapples)    1.3 kg
21⁄2 cups       jam (gelling) sugar                           500 g
12⁄3 cups       unsweetened flaked coconut              100 g
                     Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
6 tbsp            dark rum, divided                              90 mL
Chop the pineapple into fairly small dice.
In a large pot or preserving pan, combine the pineapple, sugar, coconut, lime zest and juice and about half the rum. Cover and let stand to macerate for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the jars and lids.
Bring the pineapple mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Boil hard, stirring often, until the setting point is reached (see page 17). Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining rum.
Ladle jam into the hot jars to within 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of the rim. Remove any air bubbles and wipe rims. Place the lids on the jars and screw the bands on until fingertip-tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Courtesy of Preservation Society Home Preserves by Camilla Wynne, 2015 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

Happy Canning,                  

Disclosure: It's just my life... did not receive compensation but did receive products for review purposes. It's just my life... may, however, receive compensation through purchases from affiliate links in this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

Thursday, July 16, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bruschetta Chicken (Video Included) | What's Cooking Wednesday?

Cooking a healthy meal does not need to be time consuming. Most of this recipe can be prepped a head of time so that means once you get home for the day you just have to pre-heat the oven and pop it in. Okay there is a little more to it then that but it is definitely not time consuming. 

Bruschetta Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts (mine were thick so I filleted them)
1/3 cup Flour
1 Large Egg

1/4 cup Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 TBSP Butter, melted

1 Large Tomato, chopped
2 TBSP Basil (fresh is preferred)
1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Pre-heat over to 375*
  • Dip chicken breasts flour and then egg and place in 10x13 baking pan. 
  • Mix up bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and butter. Place mixture on top of chicken breasts in the pan. 
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Prepare Bruschetta mixture of tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pull off tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  • During the last 5 minutes of baking add bruschetta mixture to the top of the chicken. 

Happy Cooking,                                            

*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

I love to entertain and host dinner parties in the summer but I don't like the mess it creates because I want to spend as much time as I can with my guests. 

Thankfully, Food Network Chef Michael Smith teamed up with Cascade Platinum to share tips on how to make your dinner party sparkle, while cutting down your clean up time! 

Want your dinner party to sparkle? Follow these tips from Chef Michael Smith and your guests will be blown away:
  1. Spend time to save time: Prep as much as you can in advance – from food to your table. Smart preparation will allow you to spend more time with your guests.
  2. Make your guests feel special: Thoughtful details tell your guests they are special. Set the mood with music, place cards, flowers and sparkling dishes and glasses. I use Cascade Platinum in every cycle to make sure everything is ready for a big event.cascade
  3. Start with a bang! Do something collectively right away. A group activity subtly reminds everyone “We’re in this together!”
  4. Give your guests something fun to do: At some point, engage your guests in an interactive activity, something hands on, that’s not work.
  5. Clean as you go: Get the mess out of the way, and load the dishwasher as you prepare dinner. With Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing – it will clean stuck-on food in one wash.
  6. Share the work: Many hands make light work. After the main meal and before dessert, encourage everybody to pitch in with clean up.dinner setting
  7. Grand finale: End the evening with something spectacular, something memorable, or my favourite—something flammable!

But you don’t have to host a party to have a Sparkling Clean dinner. Sitting down to family dinner is a special occasion in itself as it brings people together. Why not give your family an extra special night by putting Michael’s tips to action? And with Cascade Platinum, you’re sure to have sparkling clean dishes every day. 

~ WIN ~ 

One of It's Just My Life readers have a chance to host their own dinner parties that sparkle, with a #SparklingClean giveaway of Cascade Platinum, valued at, $57.*

  • Cascade Platinum: $18.99/tub (3 tub giveaway!) 

Visit for more tips and recipes from Chef Michael Smith and Cascade Platinum.

Begins: NOW         Ends: July 29, 2015 at 9 pmEST 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Disclosure: P&G has only provided me with the product that I am using as the prizes for this contest. The contest is not otherwise endorsed, designed and/or administered by or associated with P&G.By entering the following contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.

This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom/#mamanPG program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your name is chosen more than once, another winner will be selected. All winners must be from within Canada.

*Pricing at discretion of the retailer

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Monday, July 13, 2015

Menu Planning Monday - July 13, 2015

We are still on track for a no eating out month this month. I was talking to my oldest daughter earlier today and we were discussing eating out. I came to the realization that I really don't like to eat out. I would rather eat a home cooked meal then eat out for a restaurant because then I know what is in my food.  

~ Monday ~
Bruschetta Chicken 
California Veggies

~ Tuesday ~
Shepherd's Pie

~ Wednesday ~

~Thursday ~
Homemade Mac & Cheese

~ Friday ~
BBQ Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes

~ Saturday ~
BBQ Pork Loin
Potato Wedges
Grilled Aspargus

~ Sunday ~
Scaloped Potatoes

~ Baking this week ~

What is on your menu this week?

Monday, July 13, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Konmari Method to Declutter Our Home

We are using the to declutter our home for the last time. I love organizing my home but it seems to be the never ending task in my life. Every day I would find a new area to organize until I found Konmari. Konmari has transformed my life and the life of my family.

What is Konmari?

Konmari is a decluttering technique designed by best selling author Marie Kondo. Her book is called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”  The idea of konmari is that you tackle one category at a time and you only keep what sparks joy. If the item sparks joy then you keep it if it doesn't then you get rid of it. Simple as that. It sounds simple but sometimes it is really hard to part with things that you felt meant a lot to you for one reason or another. I have never been one to keep things for sentimental reason so the idea of keeping only what sparks joy in my life should be an easy task.

I started with clothes and I didn't think I had a lot of clothing to go through was I ever surprised once we pulled everything out from the closet and dresser drawers. I am not sure where all the clothes were hiding but trust me there was a lot. I ended up donating two bags full of clothes.

Once the clothing purge is done it comes down to folding you clothes the konmari way so that they can stand up in your drawers and not get creased. I will also add that it is a lot easier to find the item you are searching for when you are getting dressed in the morning. Choosing what to wear every day used to be a task I dreaded every morning and now it is so much easier to do since all the clothing I kept definitely sparks joy in me.

Because I put my clothes away vertically it allows me to see what I have at all times by just opening my drawer. By arranging my clothes vertically it allows for more room not that I need more room since I did purge my clothing via the konmari way. Besides it looks so pretty when I open my drawers now.

Next up is my craft stuff. I plan on sharing this journey with you on my blog and vlog. Hopefully you will see the transformation in my home along the way. In the mean time have a look at the video of my using the konmari methond on my Masterbedroom.

Have you tried the Konmari Method? Has it transformed your life and if so how? If  you didn't enjoy your experience I would love to hear about that also.

Thursday, July 09, 2015 by AnnMarie Brown · 0