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November 2018

Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Weeknight Chicken Stirfry

Once a week, usually on a Thursday before I do my weekly grocery haul the next day, I go through my fridge and stirfry everything in sight. I have a habit of buying carrots, broccoli, and peppers every single week, convincing myself that I’ll make a crudite platter to snack on or that I’ll bring fresh veggies for lunch..but inevitably,  at the end of every week they are still there in the crisper, begging to be eaten. I almost always have frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, since I like to buy them in bulk from Costco or Safeway and then freeze them in bags of 3. All you need to remember is to put some chicken breasts to defrost in the fridge the night before and you can whip up this stirfry in under 30 minutes.

You can basically use any vegetable you want in this stirfry (except for cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms or tomatoes – those have too high of a water content). I consistently use onions, peppers and carrots, and for the green vegetable I’ve used broccoli before and I used asparagus in the pictures you see in this post. You could substitute snow peas as well for the green vegetable.

Served with some hot jasmine rice, it makes for a filling and satisfying meal. My husband and I devour this stirfry and there are never any leftovers so I’m going to say that this recipe makes enough for 2 hungry people, maybe 3 people.

Give this recipe a try the next time you are looking for a quick weeknight meal!

Weeknight Chicken Stirfry

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-3 Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 2-3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (on the diagonal if you're feeling fancy)
  • small broccoli crown, chopped into small florets (or substitute any hearty green vegetable - in my pics, I used asparagus)
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 sweet pepper (any colour), sliced into strips
  • a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or mirin)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil



In a wok or a deep frying pan over high heat, add a small amount of oil and brown the chicken in batches, sprinkling with a little soy sauce as they brown. Remove each batch of brown chicken from the wok and set aside.


Add a bit more oil to the wok and saute the ginger, carrots, broccoli (or asparagus), and onion for 3 minutes. Add the pepper strips, spinach leaves and chicken (along with any chicken juices).


In a measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Pour over the vegetables.


Add the oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.


Sprinkle the sesame oil over top.


Serve over hot jasmine rice and enjoy!


Featured/ Frugal Tips/ Life & Motherhood

Christmas Shopping 2018

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I am addicted to online shopping. This addiction started during my first mat leave when it was just easier to order things online and have them delivered to my door, instead of bundling up the baby and heading out to the stores or to the mall. I started off ordering books, baby items and household items from Chapters Indigo; then I graduated to ordering household items off The Bay; and then after a few trial and errors when it came to proper sizing, I’ve now started ordering clothes and shoes off of The Bay, Banana Republic, The Gap and J.Crew.

I’ve been back at work for over a year now and I am downtown 4-5 days a week so I’ll sometimes walk to the mall during my lunch hour. However, I find that there are better deals to be found online. Also, I hate trying things on in stores. I’d rather order clothes online, and then return them if they don’t fit! Most stores (like Banana Republic or The Bay) have really easy return policies where you can just send the clothes back or even return it in person in the store.

So with the Christmas shopping season upon us, 90% of my shopping has been done online. I mean, there are always a few items that you can’t easily buy online, like wine, but for the most part, I’ve scored some amazing deals on great presents online. The majority of the purchases were made on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so if you’re on my Christmas gift list, you’re getting amazing, quality presents that I managed to get a great deal on!

Another reason why I love online shopping – Ebates!!! I mean, you guys have probably all seen Ebates commercials on TV where the actors say “get paid to shop online” or whatever, right? I know I’ve seen that commercial a million times and I’ve always just written it off and never looked into it. But then my sister told me all about it and she started getting cheques back from Ebates, so I signed up as well. I mean, you all know how I love Checkout 51 and getting cheques from that, so I thought I’d give this Ebates a try.

It’s really easy – you just sign up for an account at Ebates. And then before you shop online, go to the Ebates site first, and then click through to the online vendor that you want to shop at. Most of the online vendors that I frequent are linked on Ebates (Chapters, The Bay, Sephora, Banana Republic, etc). Then you just proceed to shop as normal, and once your order is confirmed, the vendor sends a confirmation to Ebates and you’ll get an email telling you how much cashback you’ve earned on your purchase! The cashback percentage will vary, but I’ve gotten up to 8% cashback on my purchases before. And when you spend hundreds of dollars at Sephora or Banana Republic like I do, that 8% really adds up! The cash accumulates in your Ebates account and every quarter, they’ll send you a cheque for the amount in your account! The last cheque I got was for about $35!

It is so easy. Honestly, the hardest part is to remember to go to the Ebates site first before you start shopping. I know I’ve forgotten a couple times, and I kick myself whenever I calculate the cashback that I could have earned!

If you’re ready to earn cashback on your online purchases, use my referral code below to sign up!

Click here to sign up for Ebates! 


(Cover photo: Free Stock Photo courtesy of

Featured/ Frugal Tips/ Life & Motherhood

Starting a Diaper Stockpile

Well, I’m about 21 weeks pregnant with my second child now, and I’ve already started working on my maternity leave stockpile. One of the things I implemented prior to my first mat leave was a stockpile of household items. Knowing that I would be on a reduced maternity leave income for a whole year, I spent most of my pregnancy buying household items on sale, using coupons and Checkout51, and creating a stockpile so that I wouldn’t have to spend money on these basic household items during my mat leave. It was a huge success and for the entire year, I did not spend a dime on toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, and body wash.

But the biggest cost savings that I achieved was creating a significant stockpile of diapers ahead of time. Using Checkout 51 and watching for sales, I was able to buy diapers at less than half their regular price! For example, Pampers at Safeway are usually $34 regular price, but often they go on sale for $19.99. Checkout 51 also often has cashback of $2-$3 for Pampers products. When I combined the sales with the Checkout 51 offers, I got these diapers for $17 for a big box!

My stockpile numbers were pretty on point, but there was one time where we ran out of size 3 diapers and I had to go out and buy a box at full price. Let me tell you, it really hurt to buy a box of diapers for $34+tax. I tracked what my diaper stockpile numbers were and what my daughter used and this is the guideline that I’ll use to build my stockpile for my second child. Keep in mind that these numbers are for Pampers products for a baby girl, born at 7lbs, consistently measuring in the 100th percentile for height and at the 60-70th percentile for weight.

Pampers Size Stockpile Number
N (Newborn) 336 diapers
Size 1 600 diapers
Size 2 1472 diapers
Size 3 2184 diapers
Size 4 1392 diapers
Size 5 2340 diapers
Size 6 N/A – my daughter is 2 years old now and just recently transitioned to size 6 diapers.

We used Pampers Swaddlers for the newborn size, size 1 and size 2. At size 3 and 4, we used a mix of Swaddlers during the day and Baby Dry at night. This was around the time my daughter was 4 months old and we had sleep trained her so she was sleeping 11-12 hours through the night. We found that Pampers Baby Dry with their 12 hour protection were perfect for bedtime.  At Size 5, we used a mix of Cruisers and Baby Dry, as she was more mobile and the Cruisers were designed for babies on the move.

There was one size (I think it was size 1) where I had an extra box so I just sold it on VarageSale for $10. There are always other moms on VarageSale looking to buy diapers or trade diaper sizes.

For all you moms-to-be out there, I highly recommend you start a diaper stockpile! Either use coupons and watch for sales, or start having family and friends gift you with diapers!