Set Your Current Location: Paradise

October 20, 2014

Well, technically it’s *my* current location, and that’s why I’ve been offline for a few days.

HOLA AMIGOS! Greetings from the Azul Fives Hotel, by Karisma in the beautiful Mayan Riviera, Mexico. My new role as Family Travel Expert for Transat Holidays demands that I travel for work… life is tough, eh?
Azul FivesFeaturing the renowned Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Experience concept, the Azul Fives Hotel, by Karisma features oversized, luxurious, tastefully designed 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites, private rooftop lounge decks in penthouse suites as well as an upscale, all-service spa. The hotel is strategically located in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya, Mexico, just 35 minutes south of Cancun International Airport.  (more…)

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Shop The Neighbourhood

October 16, 2014

Thinking about it, I spend a lot of time talking about the big guys: popular retail, grocery and restaurant chains, both national and international. New products, sales, promos… I’m all over it, like a shopaholic with a platinum credit card. (Or me, with my platinum credit card.)

However, it’s come to my attention that I simply don’t spend enough time tooting the horns of local businesses – and the owners who dedicate a large part of their lives to creating quality, unique (and often delicious) products.

It’s time to change that.

Home grown businesses not only offer local character and prosperity; they build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbours in economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. And the distinctiveness! Small businesses produce products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their customers – which guarantees a much broader range of product choices. In fact, some of my most unique purchases have been from gift shops, clothing boutiques and cafés in my very own neighbourhood.

Do you shop your neighbourhood?

I’m so pleased to announce my collaboration with Yellow Pages, a company with a century-long legacy of working with Canada’s small businesses. This year, I was one of five writers from across Canada selected to create authentic and original local stories coming from real neighbourhoods and real residents. Introducing Shop The Neighbourhood.
blogger_post-torontoOn my feature list? How about Elm Hill Cookies, chock full of sweet treats baked fresh every morning in the heart of downtown Oakville. Or Sienna Boutique, an upscale women’s clothing store serving a community of fashion lovers for almost three years. And I can’t forget about Cagneys, a gastronomic fixture in Streetsville for the last 40 years.  (more…)

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Let’s Go Streaking Canada!

October 16, 2014

Years ago, if you told me that in 2014, I’d be tweeting with the hashtag #StreakWeek – to encourage a man to DROP HIS PANTS – I would have thought you were crazy.
StreakWeekBut humour me for a moment, will you? Because I actually have an incredibly important message to share – one which happens to be the driving force behind the onslaught of boxer briefs that are about to invade our social space.

Yes, folks – it’s #StreakWeek – and it’s all for a great cause.

Truth be told, I stared at a blank screen for almost half an hour, trying to figure out an “angle” for this story. Should I be funny? Or should I try to tug at heartstrings? Should I lay down the facts in a cold, clinical fashion… or should I ease into the subject matter with tenderness? In the end, I decided the no-bullsh*t way is simply to best way to tackle it.

Let’s talk about testicular cancer.

While not the most comfortable topic to talk about, testicular cancer is actually the number one form of cancer found in young men, having affected an estimated 1,000 Canadian guys in 2014 alone. Perhaps I should have italicized young men, because this particular cancer preys on men in the prime of their lives.  (more…)

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Takeout? Pfft. It’s Taco Night!

October 15, 2014

I get it, I really do.

Takeout is easy. It’s a quick and painless solution for a weeknight meal, when patience is low and hunger is high. And for the most part, dialing-a-dinner allows you to partake in a variety of cuisines – ones you may not normally have the know-how to cook at home.

Tick tock tick tock.

The thing is, dinnertime is inevitable. There’s just this informal social custom that you have to feed your family every night (rolls eyes). Also inevitable? Those nights when you know you *could* whip up something fantastic, but dammit, you just don’t want to. And the second your will starts to waver, you begin your path to the dark side… which often ends with, “Would you like fries with that?”

NOT TONIGHT.

Because with Old El Paso Restaurante, you can have fun, vibrant, restaurant-style tacos right in the comfort of your own home! This exciting new product is available in three delicious flavours –Baja Fish, Steak Carne Asada and Chicken Tinga (pictured below). Restaurante products are packed with authentic taste – the perfect way to fix your craving for Mexican cuisine.
Chicken TingaBut most importantly – the tacos are EASY to make! Honestly, in and out in under 30 minutes…. which is about as long as it takes for your delivery order to make it to your door. The Restaurante dinner kits, complete with soft tortillas, sauces and spices, take the guesswork out of dinner. All you need on hand is your desired protein and a few veggies… and OLÉ! A food fiesta like no other.  (more…)

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Ain’t No Party Like a #PampersParty!

October 14, 2014

It’s such a pleasure to partner with brands that I’ve had a long-standing relationship with. Loyal readers of my blog will know that there is only ONE product that I’ve never dared to cheat on. Through thick and thin – lured by coupons, sales, or manufacturer claims of superiority – I simply haven’t wavered in my loyalty or trust. And, it happens to be a brand that I’ve used on the two individuals who matter most to me in life – my two boys.

The product is Pampers, of course.

And there’s no better time to grab a box or two: from October 10 –24, participating Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores stores will offer fabulous promotions during their Baby Event! To celebrate the savings, gather your best shopping tips, grab your latest shopping list and come join us at the #PampersParty Twitter Party on Thursday, October 16 at 8:00pm EDT!
PampersParty Graphic v4To make things more exciting – Canadians will have a chance to win fabulous prizes:

2 x Pampers Family Prize Pack – $500 in Pampers products from Swaddlers to Easy Ups
1 x Savvy Mom Style Prize – $100 Gift Card
5 x Baby Needs Prize Packs – $150 Pampers Package

Do you know someone who can use $500 in Pampers products? Sure, we all do! Be a great friend and RSVP for a chance to win BIG! Looking forward to partying with you!  (more…)

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This is Southern California Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

October 14, 2014

As a family travel contributor, I’m often asked about what I look for in a perfect family vacation. For the most part, my formula for making memories is pretty straightforward: take one part luxury travel, one part kid-friendly activities and add a stunning locale as the backdrop. The recipe is steadfast and undeniable; you’ll have created holiday magic.

Hence, it’s no surprise that The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Southern California is just my ticket.

A celebrated icon along the California coast, today The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel boasts a newly re-imagined and modern vibe. Perched timelessly atop a 150 foot bluff, against cascading views of the Pacific Ocean, the hotel is tailor-made for travellers who desire a playful approach to luxury.
Ritz Carlon Laguna NiguelI snapped the above photo during a tour of the hotel, one of the highlights of our recent #DisneyVacayCA adventure. Standing on a balcony, perilously hanging over the edge, I gasped in awe at the view from this celebrated Dana Point landmark. Squinting against the glare of the sun, I tried to decipher the figures below, wondering where my husband and boys could be. Were they squatting on the beach, building castles in the sand? Or dipping their feet in the cool Pacific Ocean? Our tour moved on, and I reluctantly tore my eyes away from the breathtaking scenery.  (more…)

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Old El Paso Goes Gourmet with Restaurante

October 10, 2014

‘Round here, you could call me an enthusiastic #MexicanChef.

Tacos. Burritos. Enchiladas. Fajitas. Quesadillas. Nachos. Empanadas.

(Honestly, someone stop me. Step away from the thoughts of food! Because I could literally go on, and on, and on… and then I’ll fantasize about eating all this delicious food, and start to get hungry. Mmmm… taquitos.)

I’m no stranger to experimenting in the kitchen, and I do love dusting off the cookbooks and finding an exciting, authentic new recipe to try. However, on weekday nights, I don’t always have the luxury of making a dish from scratch… yet I don’t want to sacrifice quality or flavour.

The game-changer? Old El Paso Restaurante.

Old El Paso has brought fun, vibrant, modern Mexican food to Canadians with the launch of their new premium Restaurante product line. It allows Canadians to enjoy restaurant-style tacos right in the comfort of your own home! This new product has just hit store shelves across Canada in three delicious flavours that are sure to impress –Baja Fish, Steak Carne Asada and Chicken Tinga. Restaurante products are easy to make and are packed with taste – the perfect way to fix your craving for Mexican cuisine.

Last night was a Chicken Tinga kind of night. The verdict: TO DIE FOR. The flavours were authentic, complex and perfectly balanced… but most importantly, it was a cinch to make! I can see Old El Paso Restaurante becoming a weekly tradition.

Want to learn more? You simply must join our #MexicanChef Twitter Party!
Mexican Chef Twitter Party Graphic
We’ll be chatting up a storm about your favourite Mexican meals, providing tips and tricks for bringing authentic Mexican flavours to your dinner table, and introducing you to the new premium Restaurante product line. And you know we’ll have some AH-mazing prizes up for grabs – in addition to free Restaurante dinner kits, we’ll also be giving away hundreds in Visa Gift Cards!

(¡Ay, caramba!)

BUT WAIT – that’s not all – find a picture of your favourite Mexican inspired meal, and have it ready to tweet out during the party. The picture can be a photograph of a meal you’ve created or had in a restaurant, a recipe you want to try, or simply a drool-worthy photo that you’ve found on social media. Look for your favourite appetizer, main course, or dessert – or all three! Then, bring your pictures to the Twitter Party, and get ready for a visual Mexican feast like no other.  (more…)

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A Not-So-Scary Throwback

October 10, 2014

If you’re a parent who grew up in the 80’s, have a darling little girl, and are looking for a fun and (quasi) unique Halloween costume, may I present to you… The Cabbage Patch Kid.
Halloween Cabbage Patch
Meet the owner of TheLilliePad, Amanda Lillie.

“In 2010, while visiting Spain with my husband, a missionary taught me how to crochet. Crochet had always baffled me, but I had always been drawn to the beautiful stitches you could do with crochet. In fact, my grandparents and great-grandparents were amazing crocheters.

After coming back from Spain with a better understanding of crochet I dropped my knitting needles and picked up a set of crochet hooks and took off! After a few weeks of work I showed my grandmother some of my first works. She quietly smiled and left the room to pull something from her bedroom closet. She returned with a cup full of crochet hooks, all of which had been passed down from my great-grandparents. She handed them all to me and told me to keep making pretty things with them.”  (more…)

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Walmart Celebrates its Newest Arrival… Aww.

October 10, 2014

There are very few times I wish I could rewind the clock and be a new mom again. Truth is, I’m quite happy to be the mother of school aged children, thank you very much! Main reason? The fact that they go away for seven hours each weekday, duh.

However, this is one of those times that I really wish I could experience it all over again – and of course you know it has something to do with shopping!

Walmart Canada, Canada’s number one retail banner for infant care, announced on Thursday the official launch of its new baby registry on walmart.ca to help Canadians get ready for a new baby on the way. The registry features a broad assortment of baby products from diapers and bottles to cribs and strollers as well as more than 1,500 online exclusives at Walmart’s everyday low prices.
Walmart Baby RegistryYE GODS! *Why* was this not around when I had my two little guys? As you all know (or should know)… I practically live at Walmart. No joke, some of the cute stock boys know me when they see me. And thinking back to my boys’ infant years, I was constantly buying products from Walmart’s baby department, whether it be diapers or formula, play yards or toys.  (more…)

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We’re Brewing Up a Good Time!

October 10, 2014

It’s safe to say that coffee isn’t a beverage for me… it’s a culture.

A morning cup with my husband. An afternoon break with my mom. An evening cup of coffee with friends. Coffee signifies so much more to me than a simple shot of caffeine. (Though on some days, that particular pick-me-up is not only appreciated  – it’s downright necessary.)

And now, with the wealth of quality, deliciously aromatic options that you can brew at home, it’s never been easier to enjoy your favourite cup of java. I am an equal opportunity coffee lover: I look for bold, rich flavours, a well-bodied coffee, and a smooth, velvety finish. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with at-home coffee blends, and now I have three more products to add to my “must try” list.

My friends at Kraft Canada are celebrating their NEW line of Keurig Compatible Pods, and of course I’m on board to help spread the word! The Keurig Compatible Pods are available in Kraft’s top coffee brands including Maxwell House, Gevalia, and Nabob…the perfect fit for your morning.
Kraft_Keurig_Invite_Post4Maxwell House Keurig® Compatible Pods contain 100% Arabica coffee and are individually wrapped to seal in the freshness. Simply peel back the outer freshness seal, remove the inner filter cup and insert into the brewer to enjoy your favourite cup of Maxwell House. Are you a Nabob lover? Try the lively, rich and citrusy flavour of 100% Colombian medium roast coffee. Or perhaps you’re seeking a dark-roasted, full-bodied selection made with premium 100% Arabica Beans – in which case, Gevalia is for you.

I’ll be honest – while I am an aficionado of both Maxwell House and Gevalia ground coffees, I haven’t had a chance to try the coffee pods. But something tells me that Kraft has it down to a science, and the new Keurig® Compatible Pods will pack all the robust flavour… in a convenient, single-serve option. I am open to new possibilities!  (more…)

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The Cindy Crawford.

October 9, 2014

“What’s this?” Reid asks, pointing to his upper lip.

“It’s just some dirt,” I reply, licking my finger and wiping it across his face.

The speck of dirt does not vanish.

“Huh.” I frown, bending my face close to his for a more in-depth inspection.

“Oh!” I exclaim, smiling at him. “I think you have a little birthmark!”

He looks at me, thoughtfully, digesting this strange new word. Turning toward the mirror, he once again rubs at his face, trying to remove the mark.

“Leave it,” I admonish. “It’s not going to go away. It’s a tiny little mark and now it’s part of your face. It’s beautiful! It’s a Cindy Crawford!”

He looks at me like I just told him that Santa Claus eats reindeer kabobs for dinner.

“I DON’T WANT THE CINDY CRAWFORD!” he yells, horrified.
The CindyOh Reid, you don’t know how beautiful you are.

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Enjoy McCafé at Home

October 9, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

It is day 10 of McCafé at Home. Three cups per day, taken as my usual double milk, one sugar. The cups are all consumed within 17 minutes of being brewed. And, I have a very unusual side effect to report.

I’m happy all the time.

Why? Because I am drinking McCafé at Home! McCafé Premium Roast ground coffee, as well as on-demand single-serve formats compatible with both the TASSIMO and Keurig brewing systems, are now available in major grocery retailers across the country. This means that the consistently rich, smooth and delicious taste of McCafé coffee can be enjoyed in the comfort of my home – and that’s enough to put a smile on this girl’s face!

Think I’m overly enthusiastic about coffee? I’m not alone. Consider this: 65% of Canadians aged 18-79 drank coffee yesterday, and coffee drinkers consume on average 3.2 cups of coffee per day. (Look at that! I’m completely normal.) In fact, coffee and tap water are the most commonly consumed beverages in Canada.

But there’s also an emerging trend in coffee consumption – the single cup brewer. Single-cup machines are now in a strong second place (25% of past-day coffee users drank a coffee prepared using a single-cup machine). And single-cup brewer ownership is markedly higher in Canada than in the United States (20% vs. 12%).

Of course, McCafé has got you covered, offering both formats for your enjoyment. We generally brew a pot of McCafé Premium Roast ground coffee in the morning, and then switch to single-cup brewing in the afternoon. It’s convenient, it’s delicious, and it’s a huge win for coffee lovers everywhere.
McCafe at Home(Also: this Songza playlist, developed by McCafé, is what I like to call fabulous “brewing music.”)

What are your coffee habits? Do you fit nicely into the survey averages, or do you drink more/less coffee every day? Do let us know in the comments! And there’s definitely something in it for you… the chance win a McCafé Premium Roast Coffee Prize Pack, valued at $145! (more…)

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Peek-A-Boo! Spooky Activities for You and Baby

October 8, 2014

I’ll never forget Ryder’s second Halloween.

(What happened to his first Halloween? Meh – he was a mere 5-months old, and barely sitting upright. It was very anticlimactic. Pretty sure we dressed him up like a cow. Moooo.)

Ryder’s second Halloween was the one we were waiting for. At 17-months old, he was the perfect age to be introduced to spooky scenes, creepy costumes and eerie eats… in small doses, of course. We did our best to ease him into the Halloween spirit, beginning with Jack-o-Lanterns, followed by ghosts, and finally, witches and goblins. And he took it all in stride, like good little toddlers do.

We were ready. Dressed in an oh-so-cute lion costume, he crouched and gave us his best ROAR!
RoarOf course, we wanted to take him around, show him off! An unseasonably warm October night provided just the right conditions.

Except… the doorbell rang. And the first set of trick-or-treaters happened to be older kids, all dressed as zombies. That’s right – a pack of rowdy pre-teen zombies, complete with blood, guts and mangled brains, rang my freaking doorbell and scared the living bejesus out of my kid.

After that, he refused to leave the house. Ah well, so much for our second Halloween.  (more…)

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The #MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat

October 5, 2014

I am a female, in Canada, in the year 2014.

The above statement requires thanksgiving, praise, and sheer reverence for my complete and utter fortune. Because I am very aware that not every woman is as lucky as I.

Are you a female, in Canada, in the year 2014?

Changing the world for women has to start with helping them live through the realities they face today. But in order to make real progress, we must also find ways to change those very realities. That’s why The MATCH Fund is committed to helping women hold the ground they’ve gained, while they look for new ways to break ground in securing the basic human rights they seek.

The MATCH International Women’s Fund works to increase the resources available to women’s organizations striving for change in their communities.This approach means that they are not a traditional charity. Direct-grant making ensures that money and resources reach the hands of women working for change in their communities. They support projects that dismantle barriers, challenge perceptions, change behaviours and, ultimately, transform society for a more equal world. From supporting education-based initiatives that also generate income to aiding survivors of violence by building capacity with midwives; the Fund is working to strengthen the ability of grassroots women’s rights organization to plan, respond and track their actions.

The rights of women around the world is an integral issue that warrants more discussion. As such, I’d like to invite you to the #MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm EDT. We’ll share ways to get informed and get involved. And to thank you for your participation, we’ll have hundreds in gift cards up for grabs.
MATCHGirlTalk Twitter Chat GraphicPlease, join us for a compelling and comprehensive discussion, because transforming society is not easy. Stopping the cultural, societal and physical oppression of women requires new thinking and novel solutions – innovations which harness new ways to bring about social change. RSVP below to indicate your attendance and to be eligible for prizing (Canadians only).  (more…)

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Shopbake.com: Your Online Bakery Marketplace

October 5, 2014

My thighs clearly aren’t looking for me to indulge in baked confectioneries… especially the type that are delivered right to my front door… but when I heard about Shopbake.com, I simply had to share the news about this sweet little online retailer. Without further ado, introducing Canada’s first and only online bakery marketplace.

For buyers:

Shopbake.com is your destination for the very best sellers of baked goods in Canada. Shop for cupcakes, cookies, cakes, bread, and more. Aside from regular baked goods, find nut-free, Kosher, gluten-free, vegan and other specialty bakeries close to your location.

For sellers:

Sell your baked goods on shopbake.com! Build your own shop quickly and easily, and list your products for Canadians all across Canada to purchase. It’s free to open a shop!
Short and Sweet CupcakesI happily sampled goodies from Short & Sweet Cupcakes, Dollop Bakery and more. But come on, I expected deliciousness – so what’s unique about Shopbake.com? Quite simply, it’s a convenient way to send gifts of  love, congratulations or well wishes – from the comfort of your home or office. (And with the cold air settling in, a very welcome option indeed!) You’ve sent flowers to your loved ones. And maybe even a basket of fruit or cookies. Now it’s time to give the gift of macarons.   (more…)

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Halloween: Dig Right In!

October 5, 2014

It was bound to happen, at one point or another. And friends, the time has come.

Halloween is literally the most important thing to my boys, like, ever.

They talk about it incessantly. They watch You Tube videos of everything spooky and scary and creepy crawly. They discuss at length the merits of a Captain America costume vs. a Grim Reaper costume. Often, the discussions escalate to full-blown brawls as they defend the honour of the bestest costume ever.

(Truthfully, the “bestest costume ever” will be the one that is $39.99 or less.)

Hence, it dawned on me just a few short weeks ago: this Halloween, I will have to make a frightfully good effort. Because in addition to wearing a sick costume (my husband’s words, not mine) they’re at that age where they can describe cool decorations, tricked out bags, spooktacular treats.

Yes folks, it’s time to channel my inner Martha Stewart, and kick things up a notch.

We’ve already purchased an entire set of graveyard decorations, complete with the ghoulish sounds and menacing cackles. Fluorescent treat bags lie in wait. And I’ve found the perfect spooky recipes to try for Halloween night!
COFFIN CRISP MummiesIn case you’re wondering, those are COFFIN CRISP Mummies. Ha ha ha! Clever, right?  (more…)

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Fall in Love with Puerto Vallarta

October 4, 2014

The truth is, I want to tell you all about Puerto Vallarta… alas, I’ve never been. Instead, my husband spent a bachelor-style week there (appropriately so, since it was before we met), and I’ve had to hear stories about his absolutely amazing time ever since.

“The parties,” he says. “Out of control.”

Of course, I take perverse pleasure in knowing that his parties now include several controls, including two boys, Zip Loc bags of goldfish crackers, and the odd toddler toilet seat.

So there.

And we have every intention of exploring beautiful Puerto Vallarta as a family! Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican Beach resort city of discovery and exploration. There’s something for everyone in the family to experience and enjoy, and the tours and adventures are almost limitless:

– Zip Line and Canopy Tours
– Sea Turtle Release Program
– Sea Lion Encounters
– Beautiful Beaches
– Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
– Volunteer Opportunities with the SPCA of Puerto Vallarta

Friends who have recently vacationed there (including our sassy host, @SassyModernMom) have assured me that Puerto Vallarta is a safe, friendly, adventure-filled destination and is perfect for families, fun, and an educational adventure. I can’t wait to vacation there!

Want to learn more? Join our #VisitPV Twitter Party, with special guest @PVvisit!
VisitPVTwitterPartyImage3BONUS: We’ve got *quite* the incentive for you to spend the hour with us… (I feel like this needs a drum roll)… Our grand prize is a three (3) night stay for a family of four (4) at one of Puerto Vallarta’s all-inclusive properties! Folks, this is a $3,000 value!*

RSVP below to be sure to follow @PVvisit and your hosts to be eligible for prizes and your chance to win. See you on Tuesday afternoon!  (more…)

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Giveaway: $200 Minute Maid Prize

October 3, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

Earlier this week, I shared my views on childhood independence, and how it inspires individuality, confidence and competence.

(I also shared a kid-friendly recipe for Creamy Orange Fruit Dip, which is a big hit chez Lena!)
Minute Maid Creamy Orange DipNow, we want to hear from you –

How do you encourage independence in your children? Please take our short survey, found in the contest form below, to share your views. To thank you for participating, one lucky reader who answers the survey in full will have a chance to win a Minute Maid Prize Pack.

The Minute Maid Prize Pack, valued at $200, features everything needed to help nurture independence – especially as kids settle into school mode! The prize pack includes: a pitcher and wooden mixing spoon, two Minute Maid aprons and chef’s hats to get into the role of head chef, a large mixing bowl, a kitchen accessories kit, and a food processor (to use with a parent!) to create Minute Maid’s scrumptious recipes.  (more…)

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Oh, Those McCafé Moments

October 2, 2014

As I stir under the covers, I mentally calculate how long I’ve likely slept. Four hours? Six hours? I suppose it doesn’t matter; as the fogginess from sleep clears, I know my body is beginning to awaken.

For about ten seconds, I convince myself that it’s the middle of the night; I can turn over and snuggle deep into my warm, comfortable bed. Alas, my eyes betray me as they flit open and glance at the alarm clock, acknowledging with resignation that it is indeed 5:56AM, and I indeed need to rise from slumber.

What happens next is a ritual that has been taking place for as long as I’ve known my husband – almost ten years, to be honest. It is a habit that developed in our early days together, and one that I refuse to break, because frankly, it’s to my advantage.

I’ll tap my husband, and whisper good morning.

He will grunt, and turn his back to me.

I’ll give him a playful shove, which is meant to convey, Come on, soldier! Up and at ‘em! – but which we both know actually means…

COFFEE. NOW.

And my wonderful, adoring, not-such-a-morning-person husband, will amble out of bed and make his way down to the kitchen, where he will fulfil his marital duties and put on a pot of coffee.

Upstairs, I’ll wait in bed, already propped up by pillows and attacking the keys on my laptop. From time to time, I’ll inhale deeply – attempting to sense the exact stage in brewing so I can anticipate the arrival of a steaming cup of rich, dark roast coffee.

Moments later, my husband will return to the bedroom, handing me a cup as he sits on the edge of the bed with his own. This is our time; we’ll talk about our day ahead, dinner plans, meetings, school drop-offs, conference calls, life.

And at least once a week, I’ll say, I wish this was McCa coffee. And at least once a week, he’ll drop off the boys at school, and return with two cups of McCafé Premium Roast Coffee for us to enjoy.

Until recently, combining both – our morning ritual and good coffee – was just out of reach. However, I’m so pleased to share that McCafé coffee is now available in grocery stores! It’s true!
McCafeMcDonald’s Canada is expanding its coffee portfolio with the launch of McCafé Premium Roast ground coffee, as well as on-demand single-serve formats compatible with both the TASSIMO and Keurig brewing systems. Available in major grocery retailers across the country, the consistently rich, smooth and delicious taste of McCafé coffee will be more accessible to diehard fanatics (like me) than ever before.  (more…)

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Transat Holidays: Introducing the Family Travel Expert (Me!)

October 2, 2014

The best partnerships are the ones that you have to initially keep hush about. Think about it: there’s just something so incredibly satisfying about having to wait to make the big announcement… and then BOOM! The time comes to share the news with family and friends, and perhaps even do a little dance of joy. (My dance of choice is The Robot.)

Well folks, today is the day that I can let y’all in on a not-so-little secret….
Transat HolidaysI’m so pleased to announce my partnership with Transat Holidays as their Family Travel Expert. Over the fall and winter months, I’ll be your point of inspiration for seeking out the sun, with kids in tow. Looking for a resort for families of five or more? Got you covered. Need to find a place that’s cool for teens and fun for wee ones? Come chat with me – I’ll give you scoop on finding the best resort, at an incredible price, with Transat Holidays.

Go on! Plan a vacation that’s memorable for the whole family. Transat Holidays knows how important family vacations are, and they’ve put everything in place so you can enjoy your trip from A to Z… which includes a go-to Family Travel Expert, ME!  (more…)

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