Merry Christmas

About the post below...

I wrote it because all around me I see people struggling with marriage. Myself included. I needed a way to express what I was feeling and so that was what came out of it.

The same night I bought some songs from Kendall Payne's new album Paper Skin. The song you hear when you come to the blog is her song titled "Fail". The song spoke to me in huge volumes that night, and paired so well with my writing that I wanted to put it here for you to hear.

I hope it speaks to you too.


Got Marriage?

I need to breathe
When the day gets a bit too long
And I am left shaken

Love is so fragile
Like a flower
With petals to gently protect
Yet so easily lifted away

Why is it so easy to give up?
Don’t we realize its fragility?
Don’t we value that which is most sacred anymore?

Strength is in the trying
When you have nothing left to try for
When you are empty and broken
But you hold on anyway
Because you have

In things that you cannot see
In someone bigger than yourself
In a love that is so much more than what we feel

Its not supposed to be easy
Because easy makes us lazy
And selfish
And the truest form of love is in the surrender
The giving of who we are
And sharing of what we can become

Is a man who loves a child not his own by blood
But would fight with his life to protect him
Is a woman who feels lost in her own body
But believes that at the end of the day
Her family is all that matters

Are easily made
Frequent and fleeting
But forgiven in the end
Because of the relationship
Because of the promise of unlimited beginnings
Vows spoken easily, yet also easily forgotten
Do not uphold themselves
We must remind ourselves always
Of that which is most important

That the grass on this side of the fence…..

Needs to be taken care of.







Vacation and all that good stuff...

Well, It has been a long time.

I have been in Ontario for a month. I have visited freinds, family, stores...oh ya did I mention I like to shop? Oye. Good thing we have the van for going home.

It has been a wonderful time and I am so thankful for family and renewing of friendships long past due.

I am however ready to go home. That statement seems a bit strange to me today, I think I thought that I would return here and the idea of leaving would kill a part of me the same way it does everytime. An unexpected shift has come however and I find myself longing for my prairies...and of course my family and friends there.

This is not to say that I don't want to someday be living back here in the north, I think it is just an opening of my heart to say that I will be ok for awhile to enjoy the life I have now.

Here are some pictures (only a sampling of the many I have from the trip)

Chel, I miss ya my friend. I look forward to seeing you soon. Oh and thanks so much for taking good care of my furbaby :)

Been neglectful I know...

I have been over on my weightloss blog far more often. I am pretty focused on that these days so..

Update on the Hagglund Family:

We are all ok. Drew has started soccer again, and Wesley just finished Beavers and will be moving to Cubs next year.

We are enjoying the warm weather, and all the fun sounds and smells of summer.

I have been pretty ill this past bit, and am waiting on some tests to find out whats going on. Hopefully it is nothing too serious.

We are anxiously awaiting Dave's sisters for the weekend imported from the US of A. Its always a good time to visit with them, and Dave is excited to see his neices. (not that I am not, just that he gets surprisingly gushy about it all)

Not much else is new, we went to Dave's TKD tournament last weekend, Dave got two silver medals :) Way to go Dave!

I will leave with you with some funny pictures. This is all my sons work. They took these themselves!

Time to update

For lack of a better title I will use that :)

I have had so much going on in the past few months, that it was honestly overwhelming to try to write about it all.

So, here is what I call, glimpses of spring...

Victoria '06 072

Victoria '06 026

Victoria '06 023



The first batch is photos from my trip to BC for my first Epicure Conference. In case I have not been very clear, I now am selling these products via catalogs and home parties. (Which I can by the way have shipped anywhere in Canada, hint hint)Loving to cook, this has been a no-brainer for me. Offering a wide range of healthy, low sodium, low cal and low fat, blends, spices, dressings, and more was a bandwagon I was more than willing to jump on.

I have also made some amazing friendships, and ability to develop my confidences and strengths in business.

Secondly, some highlights of my absolutely wonderful trip to my parents on the train. While the train ended up running 17 hours behind schedule, they made it up to us by giving us free chocolate cake and a lovely dinner. :) The boys seemed to enjoy this very much.

It was wonderful to spend time with my parents, and the boys had a blast.








Then it was back to home, and real life, and the simple things that make my life joyful. Fun times with good friends, the fun of Easter and the celebration of our Salvation, and the thankfulness that our home was spared from the flood. You can check out pics here at my friend Colin and Tasha's blog.

Then, here is a picture of Wes with his school project, a windchime he made himself (with a bit of help from mom and dad)

feb07 006

It is my intention to try to keep this updated a tad bit more :)

Hope you enjoyed the update!

home...for a minute.

I cannot even begin to describe how I feel. I suppose like someone woke me up from a really long time sleeping. My recent trip to the beautiful province of British Columbia has renewed and refreshed me, and left me wanting more. First of all, Jen, I am completly envious of where you live! Oh to see the flowers, and the fresh spring air before August!

But all kidding aside, I was truthfully awed by the many sites of beauty, and the wonderful company that I am so honored to be a part of. As many of you know, I am an independant Epicure consultant, and I was just down in Victoria for my first conference. I knew that the company was very generous and giving, and health concious, but I had no idea the impact of the morals and values of this company would have on me.

I have been working on a very special and dear to my heart project for some time, and to realize that the very dreams and goals I saw for my life, were so perfectly echoed in the people that work behind the scenes at Epicure was an instant affirmation that I am doing what I was meant to do.

I will talk more about this, I am being a bit vague right now because the company has not yet released some of this information yet, but when they do, you can be sure that I will be telling you all of the many reasons I am proud to be an Epicure consultant.

Here is a video of some of the highlights of my trip.

I chose this song purposefully because one of the themes of the conference was "Love is the Answer" and I can honsetly say, I saw a very large outpouring of compassion, love, and giving that I will remember always...

VIDEO REMOVED, I will email it if anyone wants to see it.


Well everyone, its been a rough bit. I have avoided all things blogger. I am tired, and a bit warn down. Those that know me well know that I am in the middle of med adjustments etc, and am just feeling generally blah. But...

Here are some of the good things:

I am off to Victoria BC, my first time ever in BC, and I get to meet a new friend well I am there. Also, I am attending the Epicure conference, and am extremely excited about that.

I then am off to Sudbury to visit with my Mom and Dad. I am so beyond excited for that, I miss them so much lately, and am just looking forward to some quality time with them.

My marriage is good, and my hubby is my best friend. Thank you Dave for being there lately, I know I am not easy right now.

I won a contest, and that makes me happy :)

Ok, so thats my update for now.

Take care

Today's FAV song!!!

Thanks to chel for pointing it out to me :)

Dancin around in my pyjamas!!!

Whats Cooking Wednesday- Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Meatballs

So, this week for WCW, I made another Rachael Ray recipe. This was super simple, VERY delicious, and highly enjoyed. Even my kids loved it! This recipe has been tweaked by me (of course)


Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Meatballs

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed with your hands or back of a wooden spoon
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp VE Margherita Seasoning
1 pound ground all-white meat chicken
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup (a couple of generous handfuls) bread crumbs
3/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 4-ounce piece mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add a generous handful of salt along with the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions.

Place a medium-size sauce pan over medium-high heat, add EVOO. Add half of the garlic and cook until it starts to get lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, cook for 8-10 minutes and season with Margherita Seasoning.

While sauce is simmering, place the ground chicken in a medium-size mixing bowl and add the egg, milk, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of grated cheese, the other half of the garlic and the parsley.

Season the chicken mixture with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together and roll into 12 medium-size meatballs, each about 2 inches round.

Place a piece of cheese into the center of each meatball and maneuver the meat around the cheese to seal it in the middle. Place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Pour meatballs and sauce over the cooked pasta, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese,and serve.

Yields 4 servings

What's Cooking Wednesday -Homemade Soba Bowls

Modified from Racheal Ray...

Soba Bowls

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 handfuls shredded carrots *I used stir fry mix (carrots broccoli and peapods)

10 mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 large zucchini or 2 small, cut into half moons and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large bok choy, cored and chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh bean sprouts, optional * I did not use these
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander *didn't have this.
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
Cayenne pepper, a pinch
Tamari (dark soy sauce) *I just used regular

I chose to add about half a pound of pork strips, thinly sliced for the carnivores in my family.

What's Cooking Wednesday- Soba Bowls

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the spaghetti. Once boiling, add some salt and the spaghetti and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and toss with a little bit of vegetable oil.

While the water is coming up to a boil to cook the spaghetti, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 turns of the pan of vegetable oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion, garlic and shredded carrots and cook until the onions start to get tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, zucchini and bok choy and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add stock, bring up to a bubble then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts the last minute.

In a small bowl, combine the toasted sesame seeds, ground coriander, chili powder and cayenne pepper and reserve for garnishing the soup.

To serve, place some of the spaghetti in a soup bowl and season it with a couple of splashes of tamari.

Ladle the veggies and soup over the noodles. Sprinkle the sesame mixture on top and serve.

This served at least 6 for us. Although the recipe says it serves four. I did not exactly measure my vegetables going in, so that could be why. I also used a whole small package of whole wheat spaghetti.

REVIEWS: We had some mixed opinions on this one. All of us enjoyed it (3 adults, no kids, lol) However my hubby wanted more meat. I am just trying to get accustomed to actually eating vegetables, so while I enjoyed it, I was not in love with it.

Over all 4/5 stars!

Happy Birthday Bud!

What's Cooking Wednesday - Mama's Cabbage Rolls

My mom makes the best cabbage rolls. I have had many rolls in my time, but I prefer my mom's hands down. They are definitley a bit finicky to prepare but worth it in my opinion.

Mama's Cabbage Roles

Cabbage Rolls

* I always freeze the cabbage prior, and soak in hot water, MUCH easier than boiling them.


1 pound lean ground beef
5 hot italian sausages (out of their skins)
3 slices of bacon (chopped fine) (I used ready cook bacon)
1 large onion (chopped fine)
2 fresh cloves of garlic
2 cups of uncooked minute rice
2 tbsp of tomato paste
salt and pepper to season
a lot of paprika (enough to cover the meat)
dash of worceshire sauce

Place all of these ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place a small amount (about 2 tbsp) into a cabbage leaf and roll. Place seam down in a Dutch Oven.

Continue until they are all rolled. Fill the Dutch Oven with water and begin simmerring. Simmer until the water is about an inch from the bottom of the pan and add tomato juice. Keep adding tomato juice as it cooks down. You will simmer it for about 5 hours total. Add extra tomato paste if needed.

Yummm! I give this recipe 5 stars but I am biased :)


One of the things that make me happiest in life are family traditions.
I have friends that laugh a bit at how many my family seems to have, and I am sure they often wonder why they are so important to me.

Our family has a few traditions, some that have come and gone over the years, and new ones that we have started recently. The longest standing one would have to be family movie night.

Every Friday in the Hagglund home, we do Family Movie Night. This consists of pizza, and a family friendly movie, and all of us camping out in the living room to watch and eat together. After that is done, the boys get into their Pj's and go downstairs for "their" movie, and Dave and I settle in for our date movie.

I am very anal about not missing it. So much so, that we have often bypassed other opportunities and activities, but it is just one of those things that make our family, the family it is.

Even when Dave and I were seperated there for awhile, we still did FMN. It is the one constant thing in my boys lives, and so it ranks as one of the highest important things for our family.

I even made it a stipulation when the boys went to visit my sister, and my parents over the summer. They had 3 FMN's with them, and my mom was very interested in how I can eat pizza EVERY friday without getting sick of it. I live with 3 boys...what do you think??? LOL.

A newer family tradition is our family walk on Sundays at the Dog Park. This is Snoopy's time to frolic and play, and socialize with other dogs, and its a time of "Who can throw each other into the snow the most"

Its great exercise, a lot of fun, and just a really feel good, happy, family time.

Michelle and Finn have been joining us a few times, and that has been wonderful!

Here are some pics:


I know, bizzare isn't it.

Who knew that Julie could feel great? I sure didn't.

Well, ok that is exagerating. Really though, I am feeling brightly optimistic about life these days.

I think it is a culmination of many things. Stress surrounding some major issues in my life have now resolved themselves, I am eating healthier, moving more, breathing more, meeting new online friends, growing friendships with older ones, and reconnecting with my family.

I suppose you could say that I see the light at the end of the ever talked about tunnel.

So...this is me stretching out my shoulders, and trying to make the tension that has lived there for years roll away....


What's Cooking Wednesday - Deanne's Taco Soup

Here is this week's recipe!
Comes together super easy, and is incredibly delicious and filling!

Servings: 8
WW Points: 3 or 5.5 with "extras"

1 pound lean ground beef (I use extra lean)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cans of tomato soup
4 cans of water
1 1/2 cups of salsa
1/8 cup reduced sodium taco seasoning

Mix these all together and bring to a boil.

Add broken tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and 2 tsp of grated cheddar cheese as extras.

YUMMM..... 5/5 stars! Thanks Deanne :)

Deanne's Taco Soup

the dust bunny...

When Lisa was home visiting...She was so kind to be understanding of the insane amounts of dust that accumulate in my house.

There was one particular "gathering" of dirt and hair and dust that had taken up permanent residence in my hallway.

I kept meaning to sweep it up, but strangely enough, I had seemed to grow quite fond of it. Kind of like a bizzare little pet.

Lisa and I joked about it, and I promised her that I would leave it there till she comes back to visit.

So, here is a pic Lisa....look, hasn't she grown since you saw her last???


Glad for the white stuff....

While I know that most of you are enjoying the "snowless" winter, I thought I would post some of the reasons why I am thankful for it :)


I love this picture!


and even the dogs get in on it!


My first edition of "What's Cooking Wednesday"

Borrowed from my friend Shannon, I thought that with the new year, I would try this out. Not guaranteeing it will last very long though, but we will try it out!

I thought that it would be a great way to get my boys involved in the kitchen, and spend some quality family time together. We had been doing something similar, but I wanted to just stick to one day a week.

So, last night we made our first attempt!

Spinach and Cheese Frittata

Spinach and Cheese Frittata

2 large egg(s)
2 large egg white(s)
1 cup spinach, fresh, baby leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp scallion(s), finely chopped ( I used 1 1/2 tbsp of Epicure's 3 onion dip mix instead)
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
cooking spray
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used cheddar and mozz)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat together eggs and egg whites in large bowl. Stir in spinach, scallion, salt and pepper.

Coat a 12-inch in ovenproof, nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook 5 minutes or until partially set.

Sprinkle cheese over eggs. Bake until cheese softens and eggs firm up, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute before cutting in 8 wedges. Yields 2 pieces per serving.

This is also 4 points per serving. (I am back on my need to lose weight kick again)

Overall, I give this recipe 4/5 stars. My boys ate it, which AMAZED me!! Served it up with some bacon and toast on the side, and it was very well received.

So Success for our first attempt! Thanks for the idea Shan!


insomnia again...

It has been awhile since the big I-Monster has shown its face for me, but when he does, it is always a tough one to overcome.

It think that truthfully, I bring it on myself when I am stressed or confused, and cannot seem to find peace enough for my head and heart to slow down and allow me to sleep.

As a Christian, I have struggled with this for years. I know that I am supposed to cast away all fears, and not worry. I know that I am supposed to be able to have peace in my heavenly Father, but truthfully, I have never quite mastered that. I can sometimes, but not nearly as often as I would like.

My heart is heavy as we begin the year 2007. I have so much hope for this year. I want to believe it will be the best yet, but so far I have been saddened by goodbyes.

I think that my heart does things to protect itself on a regular basis. I think that being such an emotional person, I have had to "shut-off" where a lot of my family and friends are concerned. I keep them at a safe distance so as to allow myself to enjoy my life where I am, and not hurt at the thought of them being so far away all the time.

Unfortunatley, sometimes when I am face to face with this reality, it truly seems too much to bare. People I love with all my heart are struggling with so many things, and I feel so helpless.

One of my dearest friends lost her child at the beginning of this year. My heart is so broken for her. How can I, someone who believes in a just God, offer her any kind of hope or answers, when I myself wonder how God could allow such a horrible thing? I know that bad things happen, I know in my heart that these things can happen at any time, but it seems so useless and cruel. I am angry. I am sad. I wish I could be there for her. I wish I could make it all better. Again, I am helpless...

I do not mean for my first post of the year to be so depressing. I am hopeful for good things to come, but I also need to allow myself and others to feel the sadness of things that have come this year.

To those of you near and far, I am sorry I am not stronger. I may seem shut off sometimes, and uncaring. The truth is, I care too much. So, in case you need to hear it again, in the passing of the old, and beginning of the new. I love you...may the new year be a happy one filled with many blessings - and may we grow stronger with our trials, and build our relationships through our losses.