Get in the Game! #DHLRugby Twitter Party

January 31, 2015

Before I had two boys, I didn’t really get it.

Sports.

The competition, the fierce rivalries, the whole 5am-in-the-morning drop off thing. I just didn’t understand why any parent would want to be subjected to it.

Then, at my husband’s suggestion, we put both boys in soccer. And swimming. And once summer arrives, we’re thinking about rugby, too. And you know what? I get it.

Youth sports are about so much more than game play. Being part of a team is a great way to improve health, learn self-discipline, and truly comprehend the meaning of leadership by example. Team sports help young people connect with role models and help them develop healthy life-long habits. In the case of rugby, values learned are integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.

Want to learn more? You won’t want to miss the #DHLRugby Twitter Party!
DHL-Twitter-chat-graphicHosted by a industry experts @Brian_Spanton@RugbyCanada and @DHLExpressCan, we’ll discuss youth sports, the tangible benefits they bring, and share key information about the DHL Youth Leadership Scrum contest - a unique, money-can’t-buy experience for one lucky child in Canada.

(One exceptional Canadian youth will be awarded a never-to-be-forgotten experience of delivering the Match Ball at the 2015 Rugby World Cup match between Ireland and Canada at The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, courtesy of DHL Express Canada. Click here for full contest details.(more…)

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Your Next Kitchen!

January 29, 2015

It’s the heart of the home; the place everyone naturally gravitates towards to connect with one another. It reflects your personality and your flavour for life, and does much more than offer a place to create nourishing food – it nourishes your soul.

It’s your kitchen, of course.

For generations, kitchens have replaced living rooms as the nucleus of the home. Whether amongst family or entertaining for a crowd, people assemble in the kitchen to create lasting memories. Like stirring brownie batter with your mom… or watching your dad make Sunday morning pancakes. I can honestly attribute some of my happiest moments to time spent in this very special place.
panasonic_kitchen-whiteAnd today, kitchens need to be both functional and fashionable. They should reflect your personal style, take advantage of your space and incorporate appliances that fit your lifestyle. However, planning a kitchen renovation (or building a new kitchen) can be overwhelming.

What defines your style? How should you plan your layout? And most importantly, what are the top in-store appliance decision considerations?

Introducing Your Next Kitchen, developed by Panasonic in collaboration with industry experts to provide Canadians with the resources they need to create their best kitchen. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything from design inspiration to expert advice and product facts, and is a wonderful resource to guide you through your renovation journey.

CC132A04-650x450Designer Janette Ewen and Chef Craig Harding lend their expertise to assist Canadians with all their kitchen reno questions. From tips on How to Design to Ultimate Entertaining Kitchen to Designer Insights from Chef Craig Harding’s Home Kitchen, this is a website you’ll return to again and again for fresh inspiration and advice.  (more…)

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Travel Tips: Make the Most of Your Family Vacation

January 28, 2015

Canadians, it’s the most depressing time of the year.

The streets are grey and slushy. The wind is cold and biting. And as I dress in 17 layers – just short of preparing for nuclear winter – I dream of my tropical vacation down south. The humid air; the smell of sunscreen, that first sip from a Pina Colada.

If there’s ever a time to get away with your family, it’s now.

Readers of my blog will know that I’ve been collaborating with Transat Holidays for the past several months as their Family Travel Expert. And if you’ve seen me on a morning show or caught the #ExperienceTransat Twitter Party, you’ll have been privy to some of my best tips for planning the perfect family vacation. However, for all of my readers who may have missed the segments, I’d love to share the information with you today.

So, thinking of escaping to a warm climate this winter? Here’s what you need to know.

Tip #1: The perfect family vacation is planned with your family.

I know, it’s often easier to just take the reigns and do it yourself. However, the excitement over getting away is amplified when you involve your entire family in the planning. Get the kids involved in selecting the resort with their favourite pool. Look for places that offer a Kids Club or babysitting services so mom and dad can have some time off. Find out what water sports your teens are most interested in. When you plan the trip as a family, you’re more likely to settle on a destination that has a little something for everyone.
DSC_1600Tip #2: Explore your options for booking your family vacation.

Sometimes, you’ll want to bring in a professional – like a travel agent – to help you narrow down your selection. However, more than ever, Canadians are booking their own vacations online, and it couldn’t be easier! You’ll find a wide variety of vacation providers who offer an online concierge, live chat options, or a speedy response on contact form questions. So, the days of feeling utterly alone when booking online are totally over. Go forth and find that perfect vacay!  (more…)

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Get the Look: Gingham

January 26, 2015

For years, I detested the decision of retailers to feature the next season’s fashions about 5 minutes after the current season began. I mean really, do I want to be looking at t-shirts and jean jackets in January – while temperatures are still in the minus digits?

But then I realized yes, yes I do.

For two reasons: one, I like shopping “end of season” clearance sales while I still have many months left to enjoy the discount fashions. Case in point: both my boys own GAP winter coats, purchased in January, for 60% off the regular price. And they’ll wear those new coats for the next three months!

Two, I like having a preview of the styles and trends to come, so I can take a tally of my closet and decide what can stay, and what needs to be refreshed. And while I rarely invest in multiple pieces of a key trend, I always ensure that I have at least one or two items to show off the season’s hottest look.

For Spring 2015, it’s all about gingham, baby.

“We’re calling it now: Gingham is the print of spring 2015. Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Altuzarra all agree.” - elle.com

“Gingham is by no means a novel print, but for spring/summer 2015, a handful of New York designers have gravitated toward the classic picnic-friendly textile, fashioning it in a way that felt fresh, new, and unexpected.” - instyle.com

“After making a brief appearance last season at Céline, gingham has infiltrated the spring/summer 2015 New York runways. While the traditional colored checks seen at several shows reflect spring’s flora and fauna, we’re partial to these graphic black-and-white offerings.” – NY Times

“The message from the New York Fashion Week runways was loud and clear. Give your neo-grungy buffalo checks a break this spring and try out light and feminine gingham instead.” – glamour.com

Are you giddy for gingham?
gingham
1. Gingham Blouse, Zara: $59.90 2. Cell Phone Case, Isaac Mizrahi: $25.00 3. Gold Cuff, Tory Burch: TBD* 4. MOTO Gingham Pants, Top Shop: $70.00 5. Gingham Scarf, American Eagle, $30.00 6. Jamaica Espadrilles, ASOS: $12.00 7. Mid-Length Check Trench, Coach: $575.00  (more…)

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Get Ready for the Big Game with #GameDayFood!

January 24, 2015

My husband loves the Super Bowl. I love Super Bowl food.

Cheesy Bacon Tater Bites. Double Nugget Sliders. Sausage and Pepper Mini Grilled Cheese. Sweet Chili Chicken Wonton Nachos. ALL of these mouthwatering game day recipes can be found on Appehtite.ca, including more easy-to-make, crowd pleasing favourites. From classics like Buffalo Wings to new and exciting twists like Spicy Sweet Potato Chicken Poutine, your Super Bowl party will be the place to be on Sunday night.

This year, Maple Leaf Prime and Schneiders have paired  with Frank’s RedHot. The recipes are guaranteed to get your taste buds doing their own touchdown dance! And no matter what team you’re rooting for, great appetizers are something we can all get behind cheering for.

Of course, what better way to celebrate than a pre-Super Bowl #GameDayFood Twitter Party! Join @MapleLeafPrime and @Schneiders, with special guest @FranksRedHot, as we share all the best game day appetizers and munchies.
#GameDayFood Twitter Party (2)Now, wondering who will be taking charge of the @FranksRedHot Twitter handle? None other than the charming, little old lady you’ve come to love from their hilarious commercials! (You know, the one who puts that sh*t on everything.) She’ll be sure to provide the half-time entertainment for our party!

Of course, *you know* we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs, including 9 prize packs featuring a stainless steel cooler with Maple Leaf Prime and Franks RedHot products, valued at $200 each. But our pièce de resistance? Our GRAND PRIZE: a Smart LED TV with sound bar, valued at $1500! Yes, one lucky participant will have the most epic Super Bowl party, ever.  (more…)

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An Adorable Start to the New Year: Disney Baby Giveaway!

January 22, 2015

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

It’s January, which means the days are shorter… and colder… and always, always seem to have something attached to them called “windchill”.

Now wouldn’t you LOVE to win something that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

From my friends at Disney Baby, I have *quite* the giveaway for lucky parents or parents-to-be. Included in this amazing prize bundle, valued at more than $250, are a wealth of baby and toddler essentials from bibs to night lights, sippy cups to stuffies, and more. (Of course, my favourite items have to be the Disney Baby outfits!) The prize bundle includes treats for both little boys and little girls, making it the perfect gift to share!
FullSizeRender (4)To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Stay warm, friends!  (more…)

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A Super New Way to Make the Most of Your Disney Vacation

January 20, 2015

(I wish I could take the credit for that awesome title, alas, I found it right on the Walt Disney World website. Which means even they know it’s super, and are totally owning it. You go, Disney.)

Here’s the thing. My mother taught me to always measure twice, cut once. Which I’m sure was her fancy way of saying Why don’t you try planning a little, Lena. But come on, mom, where’s the fun in that? It’s much cooler to leap in with both feet.

Except, then I became a mother, and I realized what she was trying to tell me all along – life’s a lot easier when you plan ahead. And this notion can be applied to almost anything, whether it’s planning dinner for the week, planning the car pool rotation, or planning your family vacation.

Especially when planning your family vacation. 

You may have heard that a Walt Disney World family getaway requires planning skills akin to Martha Stewart circa 1990. And yes, while it’s important to make the most of your time together – especially when you’re visiting somewhere as magical as Disney Parks – the feedback I’ve received time and time again is that it can be *slightly* overwhelming.

The resort. The theme parks. The meal plan. The extras.

So, where do you begin? With MyMagic+.

MyMagic+ gives you unprecedented control of your vacation and makes it easier than ever to enjoy time with the people who you care about the most. Listen up folks, because I’m about to change the way you think about planning a Walt Disney World vacay. Consider this your magical tutorial.
magic-kingdom-00-fullFirst, go on and book your trip! Figure out your travel dates, the resort hotel you’d like to stay at (check out my review of the Art of Animation if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option) and buy your park tickets. You know, the standard stuff that makes up a Disney vacay. Then, take your Walt Disney World vacation to an all-new level, making it uniquely yours.  (more…)

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Help with the Hard Part

January 19, 2015

I don’t normally make excuses for my behaviour, choosing to own my actions rather than deflect my choices by trying to provide justification.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

(Oh, Master Yoda, is there anyone wiser than you?)

And for the most part, I’ve been successful; pushing beyond my limits and into unfamiliar territory with gusto. Recognizing my mistakes and apologizing when appropriate. Trying to do the right thing.

However, when it comes to making healthy dietary choices, that’s when I have a ton of “reasons” – not excuses, right? – for my lack of motivation. I’ll be honest: I have a complex and emotional relationship with food. Because…

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

Those are my hard parts. What’s your hard part?
WW_Image_1In 2015, I’m done making excuses. I’ve realized that making healthy food and life choices only seems insurmountable when I focus on the change as a whole. Eliminate sugar? I can’t! It’s too much a part of my life. Lose 15 pounds? Impossible! I’m not cut out to go on a diet. Exercise? When! I have no time.

And when I’m happy, sad, bored, tired, stressed, multi-tasking, shopping, reading, talking on the phone, working… among a slew of other triggers… I eat.  (more…)

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Holiday Memories, and Moments.

January 18, 2015

One of the best things in life is when you can connect a moment to a memory. Like, the smell of coconuts and thoughts of your favourite beach vacation. Or, biting into the sweetest strawberry in the dead of winter, making you long for lazy summer days. The sounds of children giggling at the same jokes you laughed at as a child.

The moments and memories you bring together over and over again because it’s food for the soul.

Yesterday, I picked up my new glasses, which happened to be a Christmas gift from my husband (they cost him an arm and a leg, but I’m worth it). Do you love them as much as I do? It’s my first foray in handmade frames… and these happen to be handmade in Paris by Caroline Abram. Worth. every. penny. I wear glasses 90% of the time, so it’s nice to feel fabulous!
DSC_0359aAs I put them on, I thought about this past holiday season, and how it always seems to fly by. Do you feel the same way? I feel like there is such a momentous build up lasting all of December (or, according to retail stores, 10 seconds after Remembrance Day ends) and then poof! December 25th happens, and it’s gone.

One of the best things about being a Nikon MOMents blogger is the reminder to capture those moments, which of course, helps to preserve the memories. And so yesterday, as I had a chance to enjoy my Christmas gift for the very first time, I once again thought about the holidays, and the food, family and love that made it special. Today, I’d love to share some of those moments with you.  (more…)

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Do You Work Smart?

January 18, 2015

Breaking News: Canadian workers are in pain.

Think I’m referring to the trades, like construction or carpentry? Nope. I’m talking about office workers. You know, the people who were once referred to as having “cushy” jobs.

FACT: Almost 7 out of 10 people experience back pain while working at their desks. On average, we spend 7 hours a day in front of a computer screen, and computer use causes 1 in 3 people to experience sore wrists, hands and/or arms. Even more alarming, 50% of people suffer from neck strain, eye strain and/or headaches while working at their desks.

And, I could go on.

Folks, what we have here is a hazard of our lifestyle, which left uncorrected, almost always develops into conditions that majorly impact the quality of our lives. That’s why I’m pleased to invite you to the @FellowesCanada #WorkSmart Twitter Party, where we’ll share valuable information on how to correct bad habits, and introduce you to a range of Fellowes wellness products that can help take the pressure off and ensure your work space is a healthier environment.
WorkSmart GraphicTo thank you for participating, we have the most amazing prizes to give away. Seriously! This could completely change your work space.  (more…)

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Having a Baby? Let’s Talk.

January 15, 2015

If you participated in our super fun @WalmartCanada Twitter Party earlier this week, you may:

a) have baby on the brain
b) want a baby registry re-do
c) be super envious of pregnant women

Yeah, me too.

Because these lucky duck moms-to-be have a chance to register for their baby, with the convenience of an online registry and access to literally thousands of trusted products, at Walmart or Walmart.ca/Registry. That’s right – ANY product at Walmart can be added to a baby registry, making it the most epic way to prepare for baby, like, ever.

Want to learn more? If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, please join us for a Walmart Baby Shower on Saturday at their Square One store in Mississauga!
Walmart Baby Shower Evite (2)You’ll have a chance to preview some of the hottest baby products and gear for parents-to-be, learn about how easy it is to register for your child at Walmart, and of course, be eligible to win some sweet giveaways! And, if you have questions about baby, parenting expert Alyson Schafer will be there to share her best tips and techniques.  (more…)

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New Year, New YOU: Shift a Shade!

January 14, 2015

*Fabulous Giveaway for GTA Readers Below*

Hey, hey friends… it’s 2015! You know, the year we were *supposed* to have power laces, self-drying jackets and flying cars (at least according to Back to the Future).

And, futuristic fashion? Hah! Quite the letdown.

Alas, it is nevertheless a new year, which means you now have 353 352 351 days to make this the BEST year ever! (It took me a few days to publish this post.) And of course, that begins with YOU. Love what you see? High five! You’re ready to seize the season and take charge. However, if you’re looking at your reflection in the mirror and thinking:

1) “New year… same hairdo.”
2) “Can someone get the February blahs in January?”
3) “Changing up my look is a definite maybe.”
4) “I want a subtle change that everyone notices.”

Then YOU are the perfect candidate to #shiftashade!
Picture1Listen Up! Readers in the Greater Toronto Area (or GTA-adjacent who don’t mind travelling into the city)… I’ve got a fabulous giveaway just for you!

There’s nothing better looking than being yourself. That’s why I’m loving Clairol Nice ‘n Easy at-home hair colour — the expert blend of highlights and lowlights enhances the natural dimensions of your hair. And, with a broader spectrum of natural-looking shades than ever before (44 to choose from!), you can use Nice ‘n Easy to shift a shade in one simple step, and still look like your most amazing you. Go warmer. Go bolder. Go deeper. Go golder. With this many salon-quality options to choose from, the only thing you can’t do is go wrong!

NNE 7G.Nat.Dark Golden Brown (2)The Goods at a Glance:
Permanent hair colour with Precision Applicator
Exclusive Colour Blend Technology
Lasts up to 8 weeks
Up to 100% grey coverage
Includes CC Cream to help seal in beautiful colour
Available in 44 shades

Okay, so you’re excited to make a change. And I couldn’t agree with you more! From my friends at Clairol, please enjoy this coupon to save $1.00 when you buy any one Clairol hair colour product.

However, if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, I’ve got a very special giveaway that’s guaranteed to start your year off right.

Ready to be polished and pampered?

Hair on the Avenue Salon, in partnership with Clairol, is offering FIVE of my readers the opportunity to shift a shade with Clairol Consulting Colourist Luis Pacheco.  (more…)

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Get the Look: Positively Radiant

January 13, 2015

Happy Tuesday! Today I’m obsessed with perfect skin… most notably, Jennifer Aniston’s at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Now, I’ve made it no secret that I adore everything she’s got going on; from her shiny tresses and glowing skin to her perfectly toned body, she is a walking goddess.

(Fitting, since her ancestors are Greek.)

Well, I just happen to have the inside scoop on how to get her look! Jen’s make-up artist, Angela Levin, dished on exactly what she used to create her glowing skin, dramatic eyes and pretty, neutral lips. Below, find a step-by-step guide!

jennider aniston“One of the most important parts of make-up application on a day like the Golden Globes is longevity – it has to last all the way from the red carpet to the event and throughout the after parties. I started by hydrating Jennifer’s face and neck with AVEENO POSITIVELY RADIANT Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, and to accentuate her glowing arms and shoulders, I used AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Lotion.”

Okay ladies, this is Beauty 101. Finding a quality moisturizer is an essential part of healthy-looking skin, and I love that Jennifer keeps it simple with Aveeno’s daily moisturizers.

(If you skip down a few posts, you’ll see that Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion is my go-to for dry, winter skin.)

Alright, Angela, what’s next?

“I proceeded by applying 3 CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Velvet colors – 40 Beige as the foundation, 70 Beige for shading and 22 Beige Rose as a highlight. With the darkest color I framed her face blending it onto the neck, then also painting the low jaw line. I applied a thin layer of 40 Beige all over, fading it into the 70 Beige while using the 22 Beige Rose on and around the eyes, bridge of the nose, chin and cheek bone with a minimal amount of powder to set.”

Er, I appreciate the tutorial, Angela – especially since I’ve long wondered about the secret to Jennifer’s ultra glowing complexion – but an application of three different foundations is slightly out of my comfort zone. Not to mention, I have exactly 16 seconds to apply foundation on any given morning. Sigh.  (more…)

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Let’s Talk Baby at the #WalmartBaby Twitter Party!

January 11, 2015

It’s official: I want a registry re-do.

I mean, of course I want to do it all over again, because if I could register for my baby-to-be now, I’d be registering at Walmart Canada!

With a large baby assortment, including online only products, and the only registry that meets the needs of price conscious registrants, friends and family, it’s quite possibly the perfect place to create and/or shop for a baby registry.

Did I mention that you can do it all from the comfort of your home?

But would you like to know my major reason for wanting a registry re-do with Walmart Canada? Hmmm…. you’ll just have to join the #WalmartBaby Twitter Party to find out!
WalmartBaby Graphic v3Join us as we chat about must-have registry items, reminisce over our own pre-baby days and share the latest news from Walmart Canada. To thank you for participating, there will be a total of $800 in Walmart gift cards up for grabs, including TWO $200 grand prizes! (See official rules.) (more…)

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Escape Winter at the #ExperienceTransat Twitter Party!

January 9, 2015

So, I have  funny little story to share. On our recent family vacation to the Mayan Riviera, Mexico with Transat Holidays, I made a pen pal. It’s true! My husband befriended one of the serving staff at Azul Fives Hotel, and they established a bromance for the remainder of our stay (likely fueled by the fact that Ezequiel repeatedly brought over my husband’s favourite drink… multiple times per day). And then, before I knew it, we had exchanged Facebook details.

(Hola to my new friend from Playa del Carmen!)

Here’s the funny thing: trying to explain to Ezequiel the concept of minus temperatures.

You know, the cold, frigid wind chills we experience in the north, coupled with the arctic freeze and snowy whiteouts. Canadian winter, if you will. And when attempting to describe just exactly how cold it gets (in my broken Spanish, of course), he stated, rather bemusedly,

“Why not come back to Mexico. No snow here.” Why not indeed, Ezequiel!

Do you need to escape winter? If you’re longing for hot sand, sunny skies and crisp ocean water, I have an amazing Twitter Party invite for you and prizes guaranteed to put a huge smile on your face (and hopefully some sand between your toes!). Join us at @AirTransat’s #ExperienceTransat Twitter Party, where we’ll dish on the best sun-filled vacay spots to visit this season!
Transat Holidays Twitter Party (2)Join us on Wednesday January 14th at 8pm EST to chat about your favorite sunny destination and travel favorites! To celebrate, there will be an ocean of prizes including:

– Two (2) Transat Sun Travel kits (value $75) consisting of: One Coola mineral facial sunscreen, One Transat comfort kit, One Transat box of chocolates and One Air Transat Kids Club Members Kit
– One (1) $250 travel voucher
– One (1) $500 travel voucher

And, the GRAND PRIZE: One (1) SUN PACKAGE for two (2) from the Transat Holidays Sun Savvy Collection at the Catalonia Playa Maroma Hotel for 7 days. (Approx value $3400, taxes and fees included!) How’s that for escaping the winter blues?  (more…)

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Spinach Pappardelle with Duck Ragu

January 9, 2015

I’m not the most adventurous in the kitchen. Preferring to rely on tried-and-true recipes to, you know, get the hell out of the kitchen, I seldom venture out of my comfort zone. And while, in theory, I love trying new cuisines and foods, I just don’t want to be the one to make them.

Thank goodness for my husband.

Ever-ready to don an apron and whip out a cookbook, he has been instrumental in expanding our entire family’s palette. From chicken chow mein to kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs) to chicken adobo, he’s cooked it, and we’ve enjoyed it. But the thing that makes him a great home cook is that he’s fearless; as long as he has a recipe, a grocery list and a sous chef who can provide a little counselling from time to time (that’s my role), he’s good to go.

So when he said he wanted to make Mario Batali’s Pappardelle with Duck Ragu, I scoffed. I mean, who makes these things? Duck ragu – seriously? That’s the kind of meal you order at a restaurant, not try to recreate at home.

Except, he showed me the recipe and insisted that aside from the homemade pappardelle, which we opted to swap with a quality store made, the rest of it was actually a cinch. And, with duck meat readily available at most supermarkets, it was actually (to quote him) “no big deal”.
DSC_1566(In fact, we used duck breast instead of two legs, because that’s what we found at our local Loblaws.)

So, my husband made us Spinach Pappardelle with Duck Ragu. Melt-in-the-mouth duck meat, a rich, earthy flavoured sauce, and spindly pappardelle just waiting to be gobbled up. He followed Mario’s sauce recipe to a tee with one exception: instead of adding shredded duck meat back into the sauce, he diced the cooked breast finely to make it kid-friendly and give it a less rustic appearance.

Happy Friday All! Whats for dinner?

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See You Later, Alligator

January 7, 2015

To say I have dry skin is an understatement.

It occurred to me years ago that during winter, the skin on my arms and legs is chalky white, while my remaining epidermis is a tanned, olive hue. So what gives?

I scratch my skin until it resembles a flour bin. And, my husband has dubbed my dermal problem Alligator Skin Syndrome (ASS). Lovely, right?

Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free LotionI know, I know, I KNOW there’s an easy fix – it’s the “L” word. Lotion.

And I have found relief. My go-to remedy – when I force myself to use it – is Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion. It revives extra-dry skin with extra-soothing moisture, and contains a triple oat formula (renowned for itch) and shea butter to help soothe winter-wrecked skin. Best of all, it’s 100% fragrance free, so my sensitive skin gets the 24-hour relief it deserves.

Until the scratch – flake – lotion Lena!! – ahhh cycle begins all over again.

Do you suffer from Alligator Skin Syndrome? Shoppers Drug Mart has you covered. You’ll find a wide selection of new skin care products to keep you and your family’s skin healthy this winter – plus, you can earn Shoppers Optimum Points on participating products.

(That’s what I like to call a Skin-Win! See what I did there?)

Of course, finding the right lotion can be daunting, especially with so many brands to choose from. So how do you find the perfect match for your winter-wrecked skin? Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Experts offer in-store complimentary skin care consultations using the beautyRx tool. The Skin Analysis consists of:

1. Moisture Checker – measures you skins hydration levels
2. Video Microscope – magnifies your skin’s surface by 30 times to help diagnose your skin type

Based on your readings, the Beauty Expert will recommend skin care products accordingly. In addition to Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion, I’ve also dabbled in Jergens Vitamin E Replenishing Moisturizer, Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk, and Vaseline Total Moisture Dry Skin Lotion – all with great results.  (more…)

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What Are Your #WishesforBaby?

January 7, 2015

Whether we vocalize them, internalize them… shout them from the rooftops or quietly share with loved ones… we all have our wishes for baby.

To be healthy. To be happy. To be loved. To be cherished.

To have all ten fingers and toes.

What are your #WishesforBaby? Created in just 24 hours, Fisher-Price’s “Wishes for Baby” short film captures the hopes and dreams of new parents around the world. The film, directed by documentarian Patrick Creadon, is himself a father of three, and features some of the first children born in 2015.

“Parents are universally connected by the same wish for our children, built upon the same foundation of love. It transcends what we think divides us,” Creadon says.

Makes you feel warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? We welcome you to continue the conversation with us at the #WishesforBaby Twitter Party. Join us on Monday, January 12th at 8:00pm EST as we share our wishes for our children this year. (more…)

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2015: Great Expectations

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year! 2015 is officially underway, and I am officially stoked! I have only one goal this year – make it the BEST year ever! (But no pressure, right?)
Great-Expectations_png_630x529_q85This January feels a *teeny* bit different from the past few years, in that my normal ramp-up time has poofed! into thin air. Whereas I usually have a month or two to get my bearings, send out pitches, sign contracts and line up work, I feel as though I’m already off to the races. And trust me, I’m not complaining! I’m incredibly grateful and so fortunate to know that my year is already shaping out to be a success. It’s a wonderful feeling!

So, what can you expect from me in 2015? As always, I’ll be multi-tasking to the extreme, and will be holding down a variety of “jobs”. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

1. Mother: Employed since 2008, I will always have this role. It brings me the most joy, the most stress, and certainly the most fulfillment. (Although, I would never want to be subjected to a performance evaluation.)

2. Spouse: Employed since 2007, one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever had – but that may have something to do with the fact that I married my perfect match.

3. Writer: Oh blog, I just can’t quit you. Writing stories – right here on Listen to Lena, my favourite online space in the world – is something I can’t see myself giving up any time soon. Of course, this blog would be nothing without my readers. And to all those who take the time to stop by each day, I have nothing but love for you. Thank you.

4. Social Outreach: I belong to two amazing ambassador programs – #WalmartMomCA and #HBSocialKitchen. But, I’ll let you in on a not-so-little secret – I also manage both programs behind the scenes. Yes, they’re my babies! I conceptualized, presented and successfully negotiated the terms of both ambassador programs. And, working closely with amazing PR professionals and a talented group of online influencers, I’ll continue to lead the discussion and execute the monthly campaigns.  (more…)

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New Year, New Rituals.

January 4, 2015

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

I can’t believe I pulled it off. I did it! I actually unplugged for almost two whole weeks. No blogging, no social (okay, a little social) and most of all, no obsessive email checking. I was officially off the grid for 10 days! Did you miss me?

At first, it felt a bit strange… especially if you consider that it’s been almost six years since I’ve had a real holiday. No seriously! The trips I take – they’re press trips, which means that I’m actually working non-stop. Even when my workplace is the Caribbean or a Disney park. But this… this was a bona fide staycation that I needed oh so much!

So what did I do? I shopped online. I shopped in-store. I re-organized my closet. I decluttered and purged. I slept in, read chick lit and mystery novels, and ate a lot of food. I joined Weight Watchers. I took time every single day to savour a few moments for myself. I made posh coffee house drinks in my Hamilton Beach Cappuccino & Espresso Maker.
DSC_0319And most importantly, I made a promise to myself to continue these rituals in 2015. Because a few uninterrupted moments of bliss, every day, does a mind, body and spirit good. Love the way I think? Then we need to get a Hamilton Beach Cappuccino & Espresso Maker in your home, too.  (more…)

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