December 28, 2019

The Best Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe

Looking for the perfect comfort food in a bowl? Check out this hearty recipe for the best Chicken Dumpling Soup, loaded with chicken, vegetables and tasty dumplings. 

The Best Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe

I recently discovered cooking chicken in the slow cooker. I don't know why I wasn't cooking it this way before - boy, was I really missing out. And it's so easy! Just add twskin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (usually breast and thigh combos) to the slow cooker, season with a bit of salt and pepper and then cover with approximately 2 cups of water. I then allow it to cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until no longer pink, and voila! Delicious, juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken. 

Not only does it create tender, delicious chicken, you will also be left with a flavourful broth that can be used in your next recipe, or in this delicious soup recipe.

During the cold months, soups are my go to. I usually pay them with a side salad or a sandwich. This soup, however, is a complete meal in a bowl. Loaded with that tender chicken, hearty vegetables and tasty dumplings, this Chicken Dumpling Soup is sure to win over your family's stomachs this chilly winter.

Chicken Dumpling Soup


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (3/4 stick)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 tbsp white vinegar and 3/4 cup milk, combined)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced


  1. Add the olive oil to a large stock pot and bring to a medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add chicken pieces and garlic powder to the pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Add chicken stock and water to the pot. If you like your soup salty, feel free to use 8 cups of stock, instead of half water, half stock.
  4. Bring mixture to a simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  5. While soup is simmering, make your dumplings. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, buttermilk and parsley until just combined. At this point, should be a nice dough. Set aside.
  6. Ladle 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a large bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of flour until smooth. Add flour mixture back into the soup by continuously whisking until combined. Simmer until slightly thickened, occasionally whisking, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Once soup has thickened, add dumplings. Form balls of dough about the size of half of your thumb. Gently drop dumplings one at a time into simmering soup. Simmer, covered, until dumplings are firm, about 12-15 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional minced fresh parsley for garnish (optional).
Home Chef Tip 1: If you do not end up using all of the dumpling dough (I only used about half), store the remainder in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. It will keep for a few weeks.

Home Chef Tip 2: If you do not want to cook the chicken from scratch, you can also use leftover chicken or turkey and premixed stock.

Voila, comfort food at its finest!

If you like this recipe, you may also like this recipe for Fall Harvest Root Vegetable Soup.

What is your favourite soup recipe? Any fall or winter favourites? I'd love to hear!


December 19, 2019

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

The holidays are just around the corner, which for many families (including ours), means go go go. At the end of the day, all you want to do is rest your head on something comfy and enjoy a long winter’s nap. Am I right?

It’s been 100 nights since Morley got her very own, Canadian-made Endy mattress. And as promised on Instagram back in September, here is HER 100 night Endy mattress review.

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

When we moved into our new house at the end of August, the transition was a bit tough on the girls. New surroundings for a toddler and preschooler take a bit of time getting used to. 

Our oldest, Morley, had a hard time settling into her new room. She would always end up in our bed because, according to her, our bed was comfier.

We knew we needed our bed back. And we knew just the way to do that - to get her her own Canadian-made Endy mattress, so she didn’t have any excuses to stay in her own bed.

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

It’s been 100 nights since her new mattress arrived, and well she hasn’t had a perfect track record of staying in her own bed, we’re working on it.

And because it’s HER mattress, I thought she would be the best to give a 100 night review. Because while she may not be the best sleeper, she’s pretty damn honest.

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

Mom: What do you think of your new room?
Morley: I like it.

Mom: What about that big, special delivery did you get a few months ago?
Morley: [Thinks about it for a minute…] A new mattress?

Mom: Why did you get a new mattress?
Morley: Mine wasn’t comfy.

Mom: Is this one comfier?
Morley: Yep.

Mom: So comfy that you’ll stay in your own bed from now on?
Morley: No, cuz some nights I’m scared.

 Mom: Why are you scared?
Morley: Because I think there’s a monster.

Mom: Where does the monster come from?
Morley: I don't know...??? 

Moving on...

Mom: Do you think your sister likes your new mattress?
Morley: Ya, she always climbs up on it.

Mom: Do you think she’d like a new mattress one day?
Morley: Ya, I can share it with her one day!

Mom: So, I’m guessing you’re happy with your new mattress?
Morley: [the sister love continues…] Ya, I can cuddle with her. And we can share stuffies.

Mom: That’s such a great idea!

Mom: Do you wake up feeling refreshed?
Morley: Ummm…. ya.

Mom: Are you going to sleep in your own bed tonight?
Morley: [long dramatic pause] Ummm…. No.

Mom: Well, at least you’re honest.

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

And if that honest testimonial doesn’t make you want to get one for yourself, maybe my thoughts will…

The Pros:

  • Endy products are made right here in Canada. That, I can support.
  • Your order is delivered right to your door, absolutely FREE. (If you don’t own a car, this is key!)
  • The mattress comes tightly packaged in a box, saving space in your home while you wait to set it up (or remove your old mattress).
  • As an added bonus, the Endy box makes the perfect toddler and preschooler “play house”.
  • The set up itself is impressively easy. You take the mattress out the box, lay it on your box spring or bed base, remove the plastic covering and voila - within minutes your mattress is ready to be tested!
  • The Endy Pillows are incredible, and depending on what type of sleeper you are, you can even customize them by removing or adding some of the foam. They are also hypoallergenic and come with a 60-night risk-free trial and a 3 year manufacturer warranty in case something goes wrong.
  • The Endy Pillows are also super easy to wash (speaking from experience, and a recent round of the stomach flu that hit our house. Sorry, TMI.)
  • The Endy Sheets are 480 thread count, 100% sateen weave cotton and feel like hotel sheets. They also come with a 60-night risk-free trial and are also protected by a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
  • The mattress has very little motion transfer. (I’m sure my husband appreciates this when I get up to comfort a sad kiddo in the middle or the night.)
  • Their return policy is pretty key. If you don’t like it, you can return it within 100 nights. No questions asked. (I honestly don’t know who would though.) Also to note, Endy works with 124 local charity partners across the country to pick up and donate your mattress if it doesn’t make it past the 100 Night Trial.

The (Not So Conny) Cons:

  • While the Endy Mattress is packaged in a box for easy transport, the box is pretty heavy. You may need assistance to move it to its final resting spot.
  • When we first opened the mattress, it did have a bit of a chemically smell, but that dissipated fairly quickly.
  • It does take a few nights getting used to. Definitely not a bad thing considering what we were feeling was the support our old mattress lacked.
  • Starting at $675 for a Twin, it is a bit on the pricier side if you’re on a budget. BUT then again, what is a better night’s sleep and your overall health worth to you?
  • Our biggest dislike is that we didn’t get one for little sister. Despite still sleeping in a crib, she seems to enjoy it just as much as the rest of us! I can see many nights her trying to sneak in with big sissy.


I know what you’re probably thinking - “They got it for free. If they had to spend the money on an Endy, would they?”. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, we did get this sleep set in exchange for an honest review, BUT if we had to do it all over again, we absolutely would still choose Endy. And once our youngest is out of her crib and into a “big girl bed”, we probably will buy one! In our honest opinion, it is worth every single penny. Your sleep and well being is worth every single penny.

100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler

The Endy Mattress is incredibly comfortable, providing support in all the right places. I wake up feeling refreshed - no kinks in my neck, no sore back, nothing but refreshed. Well, refreshed as a mom of a near 4 year old and 16 month old can feel…

Stay tuned for Endy’s BIG Boxing Day deals! To learn more about this Canadian-made mattress, visit

Do you have an Endy mattress? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thinking about buying one, but have questions first? Ask away!

*Disclosure:  I received this ENDY sleep set in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% that of To & Fro.


100 Night Endy Mattress Review, From an Honest Preschooler


December 17, 2019

Holiday Giving: Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

As the holidays approach, we naturally shift our attention to finding the perfect gifts for our families and friends. But, they aren’t the only ones who need our care this time of year.

In the Greater Toronto Area, there are many organizations accepting donations for those in need during the holiday season, and beyond. Read on to discover five local organizations that support a demographic near and dear to my heart - moms and young children!

Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

Last year, we adopted a “24 Days of Kindness” challenge with our preschooler - a way to teach her how to be kind (not just around the holidays), and the importance of giving back.

One of her challenges was to select a charity to donate to. As an animal lover, she naturally chose the local animal shelter, where we donated a bag of dog and cat food to animals in need.

This year, we’ve opted to give to a cause close to our hearts - new moms and young children in need.

Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

Even in the best circumstances, parenting can be quite the challenge. But for some, even affording the basic necessities is a struggle. It’s no secret that babies need a ton of stuff, but all of that stuff comes at a hefty cost. That’s why so many shelters and charities that serve women accept donations of baby gear, maternity gear and beyond. 

In the Greater Toronto Area, there are so many fabulous organizations accepting donations this holiday season (and beyond) - in the form of money, time or gifts.

Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

So what will we be donating this year? When donating to organizations, we choose brands that our family knows and loves, and uses every day! Philips Avent is one of those brands.

From the very beginning, we have been a Philips Avent family. Some of our favourites? 

Philips Avent Natural Bottles - These BPA-free bottles have an ergonomic shape for maximum comfort, making them easy to hold and grip in any direction. The ultra soft nipple more closely resembles the breast, making an easier transition from breast to bottle.

Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottles with Airfree Vent - These bottles are designed to reduce colic, gas and reflux. The shape of the nipple allows a secure latch and stays full even when the bottle is horizontal, allowing baby to drink in an upright position so that they swallow less air as they drink.

Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle - The same great Soothie that many families and medical professionals know and trust, but with a soft, lightweight snuggly toy to help make babies feel secure.

Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

If you have gently used baby gear that you’d like to donate, or if you’d like to give the gift of brand-new items, money or even time, here are five fabulous organizations in the Greater Toronto Area that are in need.

The New Mom Project

The New Mom Project was started to provide marginalized families with basic baby necessities to get them off to a great and loving start. Since 2014 they have helped over 1000 families!

What they accept: Donations of gently used or new items and distribute them to families in need. 

The Birthday Candle Project

The Birthday Candle Project believes that every child deserves to be celebrated. Their mission is to bring joyful birthday celebrations to children living in women’s shelters in Toronto. They partner with organizations and individual families to collect unused (or gently used) party supplies, and then through a little creativity and magic, build parties for children who deserve to be celebrated!

What they accept: New or gently-used party supplies, birthday gifts and gift cards. They also have an option of building a Pack-a-Party. 

Toronto Diaper Bank 

The Diaper Bank of Toronto helps fill a critical and otherwise unmet need for diapers among the most vulnerable in our community. They believe that clean diapers are a basic need for babies and their caregivers, yet 1 in 4 children in Toronto live in poverty and these families are at risk or have experienced diaper need.

What they accept: The Diaper Bank accepts financial support, but also loose, opened and new packages of diapers. They will also accept wipes and formula. 

Jessie’s Centre

This organization helps young mothers with kids and those expecting by providing them with resources. Their mission is to nurture the healthy development of pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children.

What they accept: The centre is always on the lookout for baby clothes, clothes for young women, and maternity wear.

Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough

The Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough provides services to 5,000 low-income children and youth from the surrounding area. Services include licensed childcare, early-years programs, before- and after-school programs, sports and recreation clubs, and leadership development. 

What they accept: This holiday season they are looking for donations for The Holiday Box (a program that gives families small items they need for day-to-day life), Sponsor a Child (a program where you purchase gifts, clothing and groceries for a child) and their Toy Drive (where you can drop off an unwrapped toy that will be gifted to a child).

Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area

This holiday season, celebrate motherhood by giving a little bit of yourself to the mothers who don’t know you but need your help!

How do you give back? Do you have a charity that you donate to around the holiday season, or beyond? I’d love to hear!

*Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Philips Avent. I received products and/or compensation in exchange for this post. All opinions and advice shares are 100% that of To & Fro.


Five Organizations That Support Young Families in the Greater Toronto Area


December 14, 2019

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Christmas is just "12 sleeps" away! You better believe my toddler and preschooler have made their lists, and have checked them (more than) twice...

If you're looking for some Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Toddler and Preschooler, look no further! Keep scrolling to see the round up some of our favourite gift ideas for the littlest ones in your life.
Last Minute Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

For the Toddler

To see more of our list for toddlers, hop on over to To & Fro's Amazon page, found HERE

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Toddlers


Books are a BIG hit in our house with our 16 month old. She especially like books with flaps and movable parts, like "I Thought I Saw a Bear". This series also has an elephant, dinosaur and monkey.


Some of our favourite products for toddler and preschooler feeding come from Munchkin Canada. Specifically these Silicone Mats (also good for playdoh, other messy activities and airplane travel) and the Colour Me Hungry eating set, which comes with a plate, bowl, cup, utensils AND a box that they can colour. 

Fun & Games

This list could go on and on, but I've just narrowed it down to a few favourite toys. We like toys they are fun, but that also encourage problem solving, using imagination and independence, to name a few.

Some of our favourite includes - Duplo blocks, these magnetic building tiles, play-doh (don't forget to use the Munchkin Silicone Mats with this), Mr Potato Head, anything from Leapfrog (including this Step and Learn Scout), Melissa & Doug puzzles and these no-mess colouring pads


Again, Munchkin has some great bath time fun for little ones, including these bath numbers and letters that stick to the side when they are wet. 

Check out the rest of our list, HERE

For the Preschooler

To see more of our list for preschoolers, hop on over to To & Fro's Amazon page, found HERE.

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Preschoolers


Right now, we're all about talking about emotions with our preschooler and find that books really help - In My Heart and The Color Monster are two great examples.

Some of our other favourites include The Wonky Donkey, The Big Bed, Disney Collection of Stories, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and anything Fancy Nancy.

Fun & Games

Play-doh is a great gift idea because it's not age specific and can be used by both toddlers and preschoolers (and maybe even mom and dad).

At the age of four, Morley is also starting to get into games including Classic Jenga (she's quite the pro), Guess Who and Connect Four, to name a few.

Arts & Crafts

Our preschool is just starting to get into arts and crafts where you must follow instructions, including this friendship bracelet making kit. They're still a little difficult for her to do on her own, but with a little bit of help she's able to design her own fancy jewellery.


If you're like us, Frozen fever is running through the house. It's Frozen all day, every day. Our preschooler also LOVE playing with dolls, so we combine the best of both with these Anna and Elsa dolls. And don't forget the dress up gear to turn your preschooler into Anna or Elsa themselves!

Barbie has so many options and play sets. We love the dream house because it creates hours of endless fun, and encourages our preschooler to make believe. In honour of Barbie's 60th, Mattel released a line of career dolls, including the Barbie firefighter.

Check out the rest of our list, HERE

*It is important to note, this is a list of the things our girls (age 16 months and almost 4 years) love and play with on a regular basis. Please ensure they are age appropriate before purchasing. 

What's on your kids' Christmas lists this year? I'd love to hear!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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