Follow @bretondaphne

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Run or Dye

Breton, Daphne and I are running a 5K today.  It is called Run or dye.  Photos to come later.

So much fun! Doing it again next year!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Smooth as....

So whenever I feel we haven't been eating as well as we should, I make us a smoothie. Well this isn't the only time we have our smoothie but it is a way to get a lot of fruit etc into us:)

We usually make a version of this smoothie: no measurements required

Pour milk and cranberry juice into blender.  Add frozen mixed berries plus several scoops of vanilla yogurt.  Blend until smooth.  

At times we have added other frozen fruit or use fresh fruit that needs to be used up.  My favourite is cranberry juice but any good juice can be used ( OJ, pomegranate and blueberry...)

Protein powder can be added too but we use Greek yogurt which tends to have a higher protein quantity.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Check it out!

So this summer I discovered a new app. The app is called Checkout 51.  It is free. The idea behind the app is that each week they give you a list of items that you can save on.  Anywhere from $1 up to $5! You go purchase the item and then you upload (take a picture through the app) of your receipt, then Checkout will email you telling you if your receipt has been approved.  If it has (mine all have been) then they keep a tally of how much you save.  When you get to $20 you can request your cheque.  I am up to $26 and am planning to keep going and then around Christmas I will request my cheque.  Every little bit helps right?

Another great thing you can do is upload your receipt (for groceries) if it is over $60 and you are entered into a weekly draw to win $500.  I haven't won this one yet but it doesn't hurt to try.  Yes it is a way for them to track you and what you buy but it doesn't bother me:)

In addition I have even doubled my savings by either purchasing the listed Checkout 51 items on sale and/or used a coupon.  Some of the items I have gotten for less than $1!

Saving can be such a rush!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A perfect treasure in Perth

These are my back to school shoes.  No I am not setting a new trend by wearing two different shoes, I have a new pair of black flats and a pretty pink pair.  Back to school is how I am justifying them:)

I got them here:

You can get coupons on line to get additional savings on top of the deals they already have in the store, if you go here  Awesome clearance section that changes frequently and on the May long weekend a wicked sale where everything is $29.99!  The location use to be the actual Browns shoe factory  but it is no longer.

There were boots to die for there and now that my sister Aimee lives near Perth...I am in trouble!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This hose would make good robot arms...and legs

Because I have changed the daily focus of my blog, it has really got me motivated to complete my handy dandy, house fixin up jobs!  My latest and greatest was changing the dryer tube/hose.  The one I had was not as safe as my new one is.  Again I had Breton to help me and I did google for further instructions but I got it done. It was pretty easy:)



Teaching B to say no to crack!!!! 


And it works!

Monday, August 26, 2013


The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

I am grateful for you, for reading my blog:)

Thank you

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Punch in the stomach

Dear Diary

After I became separated one of the most gut slapping moments I had was when someone asked me what do I like to do?  Meaning what do I do in my spare time?  I really had to think about it and I believe I said something like workout?!  Not a bad thing but up until that point it was arranging for the divorce, caring for the kids, cleaning my house and filling in any open time with working out.  

All that I thought I enjoyed doing was linked to the past.  Now I had a lot more time to myself.  I am still trying to figure out what I like to do.  And on the way I have done many things I have wanted to do yet never did because of lack of time, or no support.  I got a lot of both now and am continuing to look and arrange for my next adventure or bucket list item.

Keep you posted

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Never buy granola bars again!!!

This summer I have discovered these two new recipes.  One is a granola bar recipe and the other is a zucchini bread/muffin recipe.  Both times I doubled the recipes because they are that good and I would rather eat homemade "treats" than the store bought preservative filled junk.

Soft & Chewy Granola Bars

Serves Cook Time Total Time Prep Time Publisher
12 10 minutes 25 minutes 15 minutes

Ingredients ( Edit )
  • 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chips
Prepare Oven and Pan
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Toast Oats and Nuts
  1. Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
Prepare Granola Bars
  1. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
  2. Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together
  3. Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).
  4. Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12
  6. Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge
*** I used pecans and added shredded coconut so there is room to play and put in what you like:)

Read more:
Mom's Zucchini Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

1.Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cloves, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3.Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4.Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Born to be free!

Ok maybe I should say "born to love a freebe!"

This summer I have discovered/taken advantage of many free activities that lurk about our great city of Ottawa.

Here is a list:

Free museum passes from the library- during the summer they can be hard to come by but you can look them up online and see where they are available.  Be warned there are some sharks in the water when it comes to obtaining these passes.  They usually lurk just outside the library doors before it even opens and then when the doors do get unlocked, they strike!  Nearly taking you out on the way to the check out desk!

B&D @ the Agriculture Museum

Breton, Daphne & Molly at the Aviation Museum

They have passes for every museum and the Art Gallery!

Festivals:  There have been many this summer.  We are planning to take in the KIDS FEST this weekend on Sparks St.

BMX Park- This past spring a local BMX park was built in Barrhaven and Breton has been several times.  Daphne has yet to be convinced to try it.  I like it because I get a chance to catch up on stuff while chillin' in the car or I am in charge of taking video and pix of B on the track.  Located: along Strandherd Dr just past the Royal Oak

Splash Pad/wading pool events like this one: (we are going tomorrow):

At Centrepointe

A dance party in the park, combined with the fun of a splash pad, water art activities, games, demonstrations and a BBQ Lunch—it’s all a part of the Lunchtime Performing Arts Series—and the best part is, it’s FREE.
The City of Ottawa invites you to bring your family to experience this jam-packed day of arts activities at the Centrepointe Park this Thursday, August 22, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ottawa’s own Luv 2 Groove will teach you few dance moves. You can play giant board games courtesy of Centrepointe Theatres, do arts activities with the City of Ottawa’s Arts Animation Team and instructors from the Nepean Creative Arts Centre, watch science and sports demonstrations and so much more...
Bring your bathing suit and cool off at the splash pad. Centrepointe Splash is not only one of the biggest and best splash pads with its tipping bucket and spraying loop – de – loop, but this summer, it is the first splash pad to host this Citywide Major Special Event.
Check out the schedule below for details or visit the seasonal activities page on for more information and to learn about the entire series happening across the City.

Beaches:  There are many around town.  We have enjoyed Mooney's Bay more than once this year.

Nature trails/dog park:  We have been at least once a week because of Ruby but while walking the trail try GEOCACHING.  You can get an app on your phone and then you use it, along with clues, to find hidden treasure!  Geocaching is a whole other world with some hardcore participants, (booking family vacations based on good geocaches) but it is fun to tryout. (**the app does cost $10)

Ruby at the dog park

Sunday Bike Days- the city closes down Sir John A Macdonald Parkway,Colonel  By Parkway and a few others and you can bike, run or roller blade. This ends September 2nd.  We did it once so far.  We started at Hogs Back:) also fun to check out too!

The Library- Besides books and museum passes, I borrow DVDs and the kids get Wii games.

Friend's Pool: OK this one you are on your own, I am not sharing my family and friends with pools, but I am so lucky to know several people with pools and a lake:)  Hey you can always turn on your sprinkler and run through it, kinda the same eh?!


Back to school

So this is what I am wearing on the first day of school: 

Yes that is crinoline as part of the skirt!  This is one of the 3 skirts i picked up at Valu Village.  This one was $7.99.  The shirt is from Reitmans this past summer and the jean jacket is an old one from Buffalo.

Shoes TBD

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Favourite Tools

So I was left with a pair of pliers and a flat head screwdriver.  Nonetheless I needed more tools.  A HUGE thank you to Sean.  When he heard this he immediately went into his garage and gave me several tools.  Including an awesome screwdriver that holds different bits in the handle and you can switch the head based on what you need to do.  Sorry I do not know all the technical terms but see the photos.  Ok Sean you can stop laughing...I have yet to call anything a do-hickey or a thing-a-bob:)

I recently was given a hammer by my brother-in-law Jay after I tried hammering a finishing nail with a rubber mallet.  This does not work.  The nail punctures the mallet.  Yes some of us need to learn by doing.  I have also borrowed tools like my brother-in-law Tim's sander.  LOVE IT!!!  It helped me get my cupboard project started quickly and has also helped me get going on an art piece.  I may return it soon;)

But my absolute favourite tool that I borrowed from my Dad is:  a cordless drill!  I used it to take my cupboards down, install a reel for my hose, put up a new blind in Daphne's room.  I don't know if he will ever get it back!

Next tool I would like to get is a socket set.  Oh and a toolbox for the tools.  I actually do have a box that holds my tools...see photo:)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Grateful for...

I am grateful for Breton.
He is so thoughtful and hard working.  This weekend he helped me by vacuuming the whole house, I taught him how to mow the lawn and weed wack so he helped with that and he had hockey try outs.  Daphne is away so I am getting some nice one on one time with him.  Today we are biking and maybe take in a movie.
He still gives me unexpected hugs and lets me tuck him into bed:) Love him so much!

This is Breton's imitation of Sloth from the Goonies!

He is so funny and we laugh a lot together!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Dear Diary

Why do I blog?  Because...

It lets people know what I have been up to, especially people I do not see or talk to on a regular basis

It is therapeutic, at least the Sunday post.       And everyone has a choice to read it or not.  

Maybe opening up a bit too much but that would be my third reason:  that someone comes across my blog and it helps them.  Whether it is the Spartan blog (gives them a laugh)or the fix it jobs I post or these ones.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Map my run


This website/app is awesome!  You can use a map to create a route and find out the distance, then you can log your workouts and keep track of your progress.  You can also post your progress on Twitter and Facebook (which I have done accidentally, trying to figure out how to take it off)

You can also use the app and GPS to track/time you as you run.  I have not used this feature yet.

Re-post of some of my favourites

For my first post of Friday's What we're eating!  I am going to post the links to some of the previous recipes that I have used and blogged about.

You do not understand how much this oatmeal means to the kids and I.  It is so good.  Maybe one of the kids will even serve this at one of their weddings!?

Eat em' for breakfast even!!  I love adding coconut and dates oh and of course chocolate chips!

This fall I am going to try and make a batch of this pizza dough and freeze it.  I will let you know how it is after being thawed.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shoppers Drugmart Optimum Pts

I am obsessed with Shoppers Optimum points.  If it is a 20x the points Saturday, if you spend $50 or more, you can usually find me there!  I have collected so many points that I am a VIP member!!!
But that was before I read this helpful guide:

It gives you a few more tips so that you can collect even faster. 

My favourite tip is that you can collect points on Shoppers Drugmart gift cards (otherwise you can not get any pts by purchasing other gift cards and you can not use your pts to purchase gift cards at all)  Then you take that gift card and pay for your items during a 20x the pts event.
I got all these groceries for $2.65!!  The real total was $62.65 but I redeemed some of my points!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lululemon lover

Hi my name is Robyn and I am a Lululemon addict.  It has been one month since I last purchased a piece of Lululemon clothing.

It's bad!  I can wear an outfit from head to toe Lulu.  But it is such nice workout wear and it is their fault that they design pieces that can be worn everyday even to work:( 

And this is only some of my Lulu

Despite the CEO resigning (did consider briefly applying for the job) and the see through fabric controversy I still love Lulu.  My addiction is so bad that I have had to spam the weekly emails that they send to me.

To be honest I had gift cards for the last purchase.  So what if I spent more than the gift cards on the two pieces purchased.  I only buy from the "We made too much" section on the website (which to you non Lulu lovers, is the sale section:)  Well OK one piece was from the What's New section so I paid full pop...but I had gift cards!!!

They make it so easy with free shipping.  I rarely actually go into the store.  And I always get a nice reusable bag with every purchase.

But this article made me pause...

One month and no purchases,

I should get a chip or something...

Maybe a Lululemon gift card:)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sink Fix Re-do

So remember this photo?  I had fixed my sink based on a Youtube video...well it was fixed for a bit and then it started to leak again...and then drip from the tap!  I took everything apart and then put it back together again.  It worked for a bit but then the handle was super loose?!

So back to Youtube I went and found another video.   Actually it was a two part posting.  The first part explained what I had already done, then the second one showed me how to take the entire tap and spout off and install two rings (washers?)

To get the rings I went back to Home Depot and again the parts were part of a Moen warranty and therefore free.  The gentleman at Home Depot did start to speak to me as if I was...(I will be nice), a child but after I explained how I had already changed the cartridge I got some respect:) 

At the same time the bathroom sink was dripping, if it was shut off in the cold position.  AHHHHH when it rains it pours!  But it was basically the same deal, free parts and easy removal of tap and cartridge...and done by watching another Youtube video for bathroom faucets.

This time Breton was my assistant because I think it is important that he see how things are done.

As of today, two weeks later, no drips or leaks!  HOORAY!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Little Ray's Reptiles

This past week, Daphne took part in an all day camp at Little Ray's Reptiles.  She loved it!  Everyday when I picked her up she would tell me what continent the reptiles were from (each day was a different continent).  She also got to go swimming, help prepare the tortoise's food and met some new friends.

I am so grateful that Daph had a great time.  To quote her: "it's like school, but fun-ner!"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

No Match Made

So as you can see from the info below the title, Robyn's Nest, I have re-focused my blog (scroll up).  So since today is Sunday, it is Dear Diary Day.  We will see how this new schedule goes and may have to tweak it:) I will be creating a new blog for Breton and Daphne, more of a scrapbook style, so they can see photos of our adventures and activities.  I will post links to this new blog occasionally, so you have the option to see our family photos and at times I will use some of the photos in this blog.  Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing with others.

Dear Diary

This week I met with my therapist.  I made the appt after a day where I felt like I was spiraling...

She made me really think about my goals, and on that day I hadn't thought beyond that day.

She pointed out to me how fast I have done everything: getting a lawyer, organizing the mediator, the divorce, establishing MY house, talking to his new girlfriend... She asked me why am I jumping into dating again so fast?  It has been 8mths since the separation, 3mths since the finalization of the divorce.  I have dated but did not know really what I wanted.  With the, I even sabatoged a potential "match".  Too much information too fast.

So for now, I am withdrawing my profile from the website and we will see, slowly, if I meet someone the "old fashion way".


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Niagara souvenirs

The following is what we purchased in Niagara Falls:

I told each of the kids that they had $20 to get souvenirs. Daphne bought the 2 small toys. Breton found his dream store WWE store.  He is big into WWE.  He chose a Triple H t-shirt, which he got complements from the lifeguard at the waterpark.  He was so happy about this shirt that he actually kissed it when he took it off, before going sliding at the H2O park!  Too funny!

 I bought the oven mitts, the coasters, cuz there are polar bears at the Falls in the winter ;p and the underwear! If anyone goes to Niagara, please buy me another pair of these! They are awesome! I tried to find them online by Googling Canada Boxer and but neither got me anywhere.




A match?

So as you know I signed up with

Well I had my first chat and meeting (date?) from this site.

We each have a code name that we use for the site.  And each day the site gives you matches that you can say yes or no, if you are interested in.  You can also "favourite" a person or you can send a "wink" to someone.  With each of these they encourage you to send a message in order to lead to a "conversation"?  At times when you are online, so is the other person and you can also  IM (instant messaging- didn't even know what this stood for)

Originally he had emailed me and there had been a few emails back and forth, the last being him asking me what I would like to do if we met?  I suggested meet for coffee or meet at the dog park and I will bring the coffee.  I heard nothing back for awhile...which is an easy option right? for online dating.  Change your mind you do not have to respond or do anything....I have done it.

So I sarcastically emailed back after awhile "you would prefer drinks or whatever!"  Well he then messaged, he is cool with either. huh?  I guess sarcasm doesn't translate well over email.

To be honest, the whole time I am thinking the worst, he isn't even going to look like his pic, he will not show up at all, he only wants one thing....oh and when you sign up you give an age range of people you are interested in, his was 23-32yrs.  He is almost 33yrs old.  I do not fall into that age range (remember my blog This is 40:)  I called him on it but he said it did not matter.

So on a Sunday he happened to be on and we messaged back and forth and realized we do not live too far from each other.  So after a few incidents where the IM option timed out and I totally thought he was bailing and called him on it, accusing him of maybe wanting more  (remember I am thinking the worst here, very leery) then awkward moments of me trying to take back what I said, we met at Starbucks.

Let's just say I am glad to have the first "meeting" done and over with.  It was probably an hour if that (had to get home for my kids, who were finally coming home to me) and it was kinda awkward, us roaming the bookstore asking each other: what do you like... what's your favourite...  where do you...?  A couple of times I almost burst out laughing cuz it was so unusual.

I do not know if I will hear back but it was fun, interesting and I took note of maybe things I am really looking for. 

Keep ya posted...maybe;)


Thursday, August 1, 2013

My daughter and my son

I used a new app for these photo collages called Pic Collage.  It's a freebie!  

They are so cute!!!