We’re Ready for School Nights with Cardinal Ready!

September 7, 2015

Back-to-school. Oh, it’s happening. And while I struggle to make lists, check them twice, and stay on top of the chaos, I’ve realized that I spend a disproportionate amount of time stressing about the kids while they’re in school, and not enough time planning ways to connect and bond with them while they’re at home. And the perfect time to create family moments? At the dinner table, of course.

This year, I’m looking for nutritious and delicious meal ideas that are ready when I am. And that’s why I’m once again stocking my refrigerator with Cardinal Ready products. They allow me to create perfect meals that are ready in 10 minutes or less, which means that great meals can happen any weeknight. Simply start with a Ready selection, add some veggies and a simple side and you’re all set for a complete family meal in a fraction of the time!

I also love that Cardinal Ready, available at select Sobeys locations across Ontario, has something for everybody. Looking for recipe inspiration this fall? Check out Helene’s Sausages with Peppers and Onions, or Sheri’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice. And I know you won’t be able to resist my Ready Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Horseradish Coleslaw.
Ever wonder how to make pulled pork? It’s simple. Toss out the recipe card and toss Ready Pulled Pork in Chipotle Sauce into your grocery cart. With Ready, you can heat and serve a classic family meal in minutes. Ready Pulled Pork is fully cooked and full of flavour; the chipotle in the BBQ sauce adds just the right kick to this classic meal.  (more…)

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Rock & Roll Preschool is Open!

September 6, 2015

Without a word of lie, I have hummed The Wiggles’ theme song in my head – at least once per day – for about, oh, three years straight.

Wiggle, and learn… Dance to the rhythm of mu-u-sic!

It’s just one of those insanely catchy jingles that transcends generations and often, common sense. I’ll admit to thinking on more than one occasion: “WHY am I singing along to this song instead of paying my tax bill?”

Wiggle, and learn… Let’s have some fun.

Alas, even though my boys are no longer Treehouse enthusiasts, my little (almost 2-year old) niece represents the newest generation of The Wiggles fanatics. And on Saturday, September 12th, 2015 – she’ll be wiggling in her seat to The Wiggles Rock & Roll Preschool Tour!

Website Image_3Coming off a smash hit Australian tour of more than 145 sell-out shows and 100,000 tickets sold, the world’s most popular children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, are returning to North America for their Rock & Roll Preschool tour.

Joined on stage by their lovable friends Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, founding member Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle), Emma Watkins (Yellow Wiggle), Simon Pryce (Red Wiggle) and Lachlan Gillespie (Purple Wiggle) deliver a rocking good time for their audiences.

Inside scoop: the Rock & Roll Preschool tour will include new music from the Rock & Roll Preschool album. Kids can dance to That’s the Sound of Rock & Roll, Wake Up! and I Want a Leather Jacket.

(Psst! If your little ones can’t get enough, this fall, a new season of their hit TV series will be airing on Treehouse in Canada. Set your PVRs and get ready to dance.)  (more…)

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Last Minute Back-to-School Shopping? Make the Most It.

September 5, 2015

If you’re ready to brave the crowds this Labour Day weekend, congrats! You’re just as crazy as I am.

After some unscheduled time off, I haven’t had the time to do all those last-minute errands for the boys. And so, here it is, the last weekend before school begins, and I’m set to hit the mall, the grocery store, and most likely, the bottle.

A girl’s gotta unwind, yes?

There is a silver lining to this 11th-hour chaos: the AIR MILES Better Bonus Event, which gives Collectors like me the opportunity to support children’s causes across Canada. Check it out: for every Bonus Mile I receive using my Better Bonus Event coupons, AIR MILES will match that Mile – up to 10 million Miles! – to donate to children’s causes nationwide.
main-wk4Here are my picks for this weekend!

Sobeys: Shop for all your school lunch necessities and support their partners such as Free The Children and the Home Cook Heroes program.

Shell: Driving to the dorm? Fuel up with Shell, and receive 7x the AIR MILES Reward Miles with a $10 in-store purchase. Minimum 25 L fuel purchase required per transaction.  (more…)

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Unscheduled Time Off.

September 4, 2015

I’m not really good with ambiguity.

I have a strong Type-A personality and like things to follow the invisible manuscript that hovers above my head. Order is good; change is tolerated… the unknown is downright suffocating.

And this summer, I’ve been thrown for a loop.

Our family has had family illnesses and emergencies; property theft and damage, cancelled vacations, new jobs and new roles, and through it all, I’ve had the ever-challenging tasks of raising two boys, managing a household and running a business.

(I’m not complaining, I swear. Just an average day in the life of every mom, everywhere.)

Of course, *just* when I thought we were smooth sailing into September, I had some more unscheduled time off. This time, it started with a little boy’s tummy ache in the wee hours of morning… which escalated to emergency surgery in the late hours of night. Oh, my heart.
insta2I am so happy to report that Reid is healing and recuperating well after his bout of acute appendicitis. In fact, he’s doing more than well – he has refused all pain medication and we actually have to caution him not to run and jump!

Kids: Overcoming obstacles like a boss since the dawn of time.

I’ll do my best to catch up! In the meantime, wishing all my readers a healthy, happy and productive September! Make it a great one!

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A New Way to Pay it Forward with #AIRMILES4Change

September 1, 2015

It’s the week before the new school year begins. Also known as, one of the most chaotic weeks of my life! If I’m not taking a mental inventory of the boys’ wardrobe and rummaging through the closet for shoes that fit, I’m making grocery lists on the fly while trying to figure out back-to-school lunches and snacks. And then, of course, there’s that little matter of school supplies – paper, pencils and everything in between.

It’s exhausting! Of course, what keeps me going is the knowledge that at this time next week, they’ll be settled behind their desks instead of shadowing my every action. Seven more days, Lena!

And while I’m running around purchasing clothing, food and supplies, I’m also helping to make a difference in the lives of children around the world. Here’s how you can too.

Just in time for back-to-school, the AIR MILES Reward Program is teaming up with its Partners – some of Canada’s most trusted and beloved brands – to launch a new initiative that celebrates and gives back to children’s causes.
better bonusOn August 6, 2015, AIR MILES launched the Better Bonus Event, which gives Collectors like me the opportunity to support children’s causes across Canada, just by doing my everyday shopping – including my back-to-school shopping. For every Bonus Mile I receive using my Better Bonus Event coupons, AIR MILES will match that Mile – up to 10 million Miles! – to donate to children’s causes nationwide.

Rewarding Yourself + Giving Back = Perfect Promotion. Way to go, AIR MILES!

And there’s more – not only can I collect a substantial number of Bonus Miles, but I’ll also have the opportunity to win one of four prizes, including 50,000 Miles plus an additional 50,000 Miles that goes towards the charity of my choice!  (more…)

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Getting Back to Sleep, Naturally.

August 30, 2015

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to prioritize, especially when it comes to my health. A clean(ish) diet, eight glasses of water a day, and a good night’s sleep. In fact, I once stated that I couldn’t function on less than 7 hours of shuteye, and I meant it.

Now *I know* you’re waiting for me to insert some anecdote about being a mom, and how I rarely have a restful night, but the truth is, I can’t blame this one on the kids. It’s all me, and it’s all terrible.

It’s the iPhone on the night table – one of the most detrimental habits known to mankind.

A stronger person wouldn’t be lured at all hours of night, but admittedly, I am weak. Because if I wake up for any reason at all, I simply must check my e-mail. And Twitter. And Instagram and Facebook and sometimes even Periscope even though I’m following 6 people and really have no interest in it whatsoever.

Do you know what happens when you succumb to the lure of the iPhone on the night table? You stay awake for much longer than you should. Multiply this by two, three times per night, and all of a sudden, I’m robbing myself of a good night’s sleep. In fact, it’s fair to say that I haven’t slept uninterrupted for over 2 years now.

I need to get back to me.

So, I’m trying two things. The first is that I’ve made a conscious effort to leave my phone in another room. On another floor. And from a standpoint of not checking my phone, it’s working. However, I honestly thought that by simply removing access to the offensive object, I’d gain a proper night’s sleep. It’s not that easy – after years of waking up multiple times per night, I’m now conditioned to awaken every 2 hours or so. It’s horrible!  (more…)

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Dig In! It’s the Appehtite Back-to-School Recipe Challenge!

August 28, 2015

Ah, school lunches. Experts predict that by the time a mom sees her kids through high school, she will have prepared, on average, 10,350 school lunches. Let’s just take a moment to absorb that number (and perhaps have a little cry). Okay, so we can’t get out of making lunches, but we can make it more fun! Ladies and Gentlemen: It’s the contest that keeps giving back. Introducing the Appehtite Back-to-School Recipe Challenge!

Why it’s Awesome: You could win $5,000 in groceries for a year!
25117_Banner4_engThe Ask: Your appehtask is to create a delicious back to school dish every kid will want to dig into. All recipes must include a participating product from Maple Leaf, Maple Leaf Prime, Schneiders, Hygrade, Sunrise, and/or Larsen. To be entered into the contest, you must:

– Create a fully developed recipe, complete with ingredients and directions
– Provide a brief description of your recipe
– Include a quality recipe photo with your post
– The recipe must be an original creation, made by the Entrant
– The photograph submitted must be an original photograph taken by the Entrant
– No third party logos, trade-marks or other material

How to Enter: All the details right here.

Why it keeps giving back: In addition to having a chance to win a cool $5K in groceries, you’ll also find a ton of inspiring back-to-school food ideas! Like An Apple a Day Ham Sandwich Lunch or Soup and Turkey Grilled Cheese Lunch. In fact, you could build an entire week’s meal plan on some of the recipes featured in this fun challenge. And if your little one is in JK this year, that means you’ve only got 10,343 lunches left to worry about. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Enter the challenge today! Good luck all, and have a happy back-to-school!

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Just a Little Patience.

August 26, 2015

I’ve been losing my cool lately, and it’s all because of a 7-year old. THIS is the monster that’s been pushing my buttons, making me scream and driving me to drink.
DSC_1193I know. A complete terror, isn’t he?

Sigh. It’s so easy to have perspective when I’m not in the moment. But as Ryder gains independence, he has also become inquisitive, defiant and often, aggressive and uncooperative. It’s all part of growing up, I know, and he’s no different than any other 7-year old I see. Yet it’s very difficult to think with a level head and keep my cool, especially when he asks “why?” for the hundredth time or says “I don’t want to” just as often.

Why don’t kids come with a manual? Better yet, why don’t they have a “pause” button?

Parenting. The hardest (and most rewarding) job in the world. Tell me it gets easier, friends.

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Ready for a Change? Join the #TDAeroplan Twitter Chat!

August 24, 2015

There is it. That moment when you look at the calendar and realize that summer is on its way out the door, ushering in the brisk, fresh fall weather. Yes, the days will get shorter and the nights will be cooler, but fall happens to be my favourite season for travelling; you can appreciate the beauty of the Canadian landscape without fighting the opposing elements of summer and winter.

To answer the questions of where to go and what to do, join the #TDAeroplan Twitter Chat. We’ll share some of our favourite Canadian destinations that are perfect for weekend getaways (with or without kids). From a classic mountain retreat in the Rockies to a scenic stay in a European-inspired village, these laid-back escapes promise relaxation and offer a unique appreciation of the season!
TD AeroplanTo thank you for participating, we’ll be giving away some pretty amazing prizes! RSVP below for a chance to win, and see you on Thursday night.  (more…)

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Spoiler Alert: Life’s Milestones Typically Happen Out of Order

August 23, 2015

First comes love…. then comes marriage…. then comes Lena with a baby carriage.

Okay, so I managed to stick to the script. But for a large percentage of the Canadian population, life’s milestones typically happen out of order. Think about it: the once traditional sequence of life events used to read like a “to-do” list – finish school, get married, buy a house and have kids. However, this sequence is far less common now than it was for past generations. In fact, a recent TD survey found nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) Canadians have completed or are on track to complete their life’s milestones in a different order than they originally expected.
kissMore specifically, Gen X Canadians are more likely to complete or be on track to complete them in a different order (64 per cent) than Millennials (52 per cent).

I can attest to this. I have girlfriends who have purchased their own home, returned to school, and had a baby – all before getting married. And to tell the truth, I am in awe! I took great pains to plan, budget and save accordingly based on my life’s own milestones, and for the most part, they followed a predictable timeline that I was equipped to handle. Therefore, I salute those who are able to swim against the current to achieve their own life goals, especially they happen out of the typical order.

Of course, while the order of life’s milestones may vary, thinking ahead about your goals and putting a financial plan in place can help manage the financial impact of these significant life moments, whenever they occur. We know that preparing for life’s big moments requires planning and saving, and regardless of your age, it’s never too early to build a financial plan and set goals for your future.  (more…)

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Back to School with Grand & Toy!

August 21, 2015

Back. to. School. If you’re a parent, those three words rule your world right now! And with the kiddos set to enter the classroom for another year, the crunch is on to get ready, get prepped, and go!

This year, there are three things you absolutely need to know:

1) Camo is *always* in style. This year, rock the trend in a subtle way with a camo hat, cell phone case or book bag. For the girls, pair it with metallic solids for street-style perfection.

2) Put an end to bullying. Make it part of your back-to-school “to do” list to talk to your children about behavioural expectations throughout the school year. Remember, no one likes a bully.

3) Grand & Toy has an online shop, where you can find some of the hottest back-to-school products and prices. YES, Grand & Toy!

Grand & Toy offers Canadians a complete selection of office supplies, furniture, the latest tech and of course, back-to-school products for kids, teens and the college crowd! It’s all available through their online shop, where you can take advantage of fabulous sales, discounts and promos you won’t find anywhere else (like this Starbucks gift card offer or this bonus China Glaze nail polish set).

Want to learn more? We thought so! Join the #grandandtoyB2S Twitter Party on Tuesday, August 25th at 8pm EDT! We’ll have all the scoop on the hottest back-to-school products that you can order online in time for the first day of school.
To thank you for joining, we’ll have some AMAZING prizes up for grabs – you won’t want to miss it! RSVP below for a chance to win (Canadians only), and we’ll see you on Tuesday night.  (more…)

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Celebrate #SagtoSwag with the NEW Pampers Cruisers at Walmart!

August 21, 2015

That moment when you realize one the world’s best products just got better.

It’s no secret that Pampers is the 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, Pampers also happens to be the brand that I’ve used on the two individuals who matter most to me in life – my two boys.

First, they were swaddled. Then, they were kept dry. And finally, they achieved cruiser status… exploring the world with gusto and glee. And then came the day when we no longer saw the familiar box in the corner of our room; we no longer felt the soft, padded bottom of our toddlers. It was a bittersweet moment for us, and often, if I think about sweet-smelling babies, cooing little mouths and Pampers-clad bottoms a little too much… my ovaries start to stir.

Down, ovaries, down. This shop is closed for business.

Even though my boys are well past the toddler stage, I’ll never stop being interested and invested in the Pampers brand. It is the only brand of diapers that I recommend to new moms, and I follow the updates and innovation rather closely. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a media event in New York City, which celebrated the unveiling of the NEW Pampers Cruisers! There, I joined celebrity mom Jane Krakowski and mompreneurs from across North America.
IMG_0185I’ll be back to share all the details about the day – and, of course, the new and improved Pampers Cruisers – but in the meantime, I’d love to invite parents in the Greater Toronto Area to a very special event! (more…)

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How Do You Love Wildlife?

August 20, 2015

Products with a dual purpose. Like Pampers baby wipes, which are safe and gentle for your baby’s bottom, but also double as a makeup remover towelette for mom. Or Bounty paper towels, which both clean up the messiest spills, and stand in as coffee filter in a pinch.

And Dawn dishwashing liquid. With its unparalleled grease cutting power, it cleans my dishes in a hurry, using less product than competitive brands. And, for over 30 years, Dawn dish soap has been an important part of rescuing and releasing more than 75,000 wild animals affected by oil pollution.

I love products with a dual purpose.

How do you love wildlife? This summer, Dawn is celebrating its rich history of loving and supporting wildlife with the debut of its We All Love Wildlife video series. Since 1978, Dawn has been the only dishwashing brand trusted by wildlife rescue experts, praised for its “soft on feathers, tough on grease benefits”.

The touching video series showcases the profound, positive influence that wildlife has had on rescue volunteers from Dawn’s long standing wildlife partners, International Bird Rescue (IBR) and The Marine Mammal Center. The videos feature four volunteers – a college student, a mom, a surfer and a veteran volunteer – all dedicated to helping save and rehabilitate marine animals in need.

Of course, when you enlist animal advocate and actor Ian Somerhalder to join the cause, you know it will get the media attention it deserves. Because, Ian Somerhalder.
Dawn Wildlife Press EventThe Ian Somerhalder foundation lends support to campaigns that focus on everything from pollution to animal cruelty. To date, the foundation has awarded $50M in Animal Medical Emergency Grants – of which IBR has been a recipient. To celebrate their collaboration, Ian recently joined Dawn at International Bird Rescue’s San Pedro, California facility. There, guests and media personnel were given a behind-the-scenes look by IBR’s veteran volunteers.  (more…)

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This Dried Fruit is Anything But Dry.

August 16, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

I’ll admit it; I don’t think a food dehydrator has ever been on my culinary wishlist.

I mean, I’ve never sat around on a Saturday afternoon thinking, I wish I could dry some fruit. I mean, who does… right? Except now that I have spent a Saturday afternoon drying fruit, it’s a process I’d definitely like to repeat again… and again… thanks to the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator.
DSC_1246Back-to-school is around the corner. The opportunity to load up my boys’ lunchbox with healthy snacks – without preservatives or additives – is very attractive to me. And since my little guys love fruit, why not concentrate the flavours, make it completely portable, and have it available for them when they want it? Friends, I’ve seen the light: I totally need a food dehydrator.  (more…)

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Get Ready for Back-to-School with #HeritageB2S

August 15, 2015

Sitting here, gathering my thoughts to write this post, I have only one question: Where did summer go? It’s like I snapped my fingers and poof! It’s gone!

Which means September is around the corner. And the kids will be going back to school. And I’ll have my sanity back.

Hello! Summer is sooo overrated, isn’t it?

Back-to-school season is upon us; shopping for school supplies, setting new routines and more. Heritage Education Funds wants to help start the school year off right, so they’re hosting the second annual #HeritageB2S Twitter Party on Wednesday!
Heritage B2S Twitter Party RevisedTo thank you for joining us, they’ve teamed up with Save.ca and DK Canada to offer over $1300 in prizes that you – and your kids – will love! Up for grabs:

3 x $100 Visa gift cards
2 x Book Prize Packs (valued at over $100 each)
2 x HP Chromebooks (valued at $399 each)

RSVP below to be eligible for prizes (Canadians only). Good luck, and see you on Wednesday!  (more…)

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Can You Experience the World… Without Leaving the Country?

August 14, 2015

Disclosure: I received IHG Rewards Club points towards a hotel stay and this post. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.

Okay, so maybe you’ll never be able to effectively recreate eating pizza in Italy or taking in a safari expedition in Tanzania. However, for a large portion of Canadians, worldly adventures are often out of reach financially. In fact, one of the key responses from readers of my blog is that they’d like to duplicate family travel adventures – but on a smaller scale, and at a lower cost.
ihg8According to a recent survey of Canadians conducted by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG):

1. The majority (78%) of respondents don’t consider two days long enough to unwind, and suggest their ideal holiday should be longer than three days. However, it’s often difficult to plan a trip abroad for extended periods due to cost constraints. Finding an equivalent destination in Canada means your money (and vacation) is stretched farther.

2. 38% of respondents suggested they would most like to vacation with their partner – time to focus on each other. In order to compound “us time”, it’s beneficial to stay within Canada, as flights to destinations are often shorter. Therefore, you spend less time getting to your vacation spot, and more time enjoying your vacation.

3. The survey results suggest that the top three ultimate summer vacation destinations in Canada according to Canadians are British Columbia (33%), Ontario (18%) and Quebec (15%). Are you ready to start planning your adventure?

Today, I’d love to share coast-to-coast travel destinations that will allow you to experience the world without leaving the country.  (more…)

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Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?

August 12, 2015

Having just celebrated eight years in our “new” home, my husband and I have been taking a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the experience. When we first purchased the house in 2006, it was a heady combination of excitement, apprehension, hope and frustration – all rolled into one! From securing a mortgage to purchasing brand new furniture, saying goodbye to the city and hello to the suburbs, it’s so easy to recall the feelings and emotions. (And the arguments… usually centered on his eclectic taste in coffee tables.)

Because our first home was a new build, we had the opportunity to add custom touches to reflect our tastes and personalities. There’s nothing quite like visiting the design and décor centre to select finishes for your brand new home. I fondly remember pouring over the samples of foyer tiles – at the time, the decision to go with either gray or white grout seemed insurmountable. Because everyone notices your grout colour, right?

(One of our favourite past times: visiting the property week by week to see the progress. Here’s my husband in 2006, standing in our “foyer”!)
IMG_0348When the house was finally ready to take possession in summer 2007, we had some pretty big decisions to make.

First, how would we fill the home with furniture? Having come from a one-bedroom loft in Toronto, we now had about ten extra rooms to decorate. Bedrooms… a living/ dining area, a great room… the basement? There seemed to be a lot of “space” and we had enough furniture to fill about 1/5th of it.  (more…)

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Less Bun. More Flavour! Easy Breezy Back-to-School Breakfast

August 10, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Normally, when I tell people that my kids don’t like breakfast, their reaction is quite predictable.

Really? But breakfasts for kids are so yummy!
I’ve never heard of a kid not liking breakfast!
OMG, my kids are starving in the morning! Aren’t yours?

And so on and so forth.

Thing is, my boys just aren’t interested in eating at all when they wake up. If I sit them at the breakfast table, they’ll play with their food. If I let them camp out in front of the TV, they’ll ignore their breakfasts completely. I’ve tried bribing, begging and everything in between… and still, they don’t eat.

So, I decided if I can’t beat ’em, I’d join ’em. I started thinking about foods they do love to eat – and how they love to eat them. And I realized that my boys really are finger food people; they like to select, dip, repeat. I made it my mission to create a well-balanced, dippable meal that they’d enjoy.
DSC_1243First, it had to be loaded with protein. Breakfast meats like bacon and sausage are great… in small doses. I simply don’t want to create an environment where high-sodium foods are a dietary staple. So I turned to my old stand-by: Greek yogurt. Loaded with protein and calcium, it’s the perfect breakfast food! I selected an Oikos Banana Greek Yogurt as I figured it would be pleasing to young palettes. Then, to up the protein content even more, I added a tablespoon of smooth peanut butter. Could there be a better combination? I think not.  (more…)

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Making the Right Decisions when they Matter Most.

August 9, 2015

“You don’t draw blood every day without developing a thicker skin.”

I admit that the above quote gave me chills, especially after hearing Max Domi steadfastly utter those words.

Max, a World Junior Ice Hockey Champion and son of famed Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi, has Type 1 Diabetes. He regulates his blood sugar levels using an insulin pump attached to his hip. During games, he excuses himself every 15 minutes to test his blood glucose level. And, he wears number 16 in homage to Bobby Clarke, a famed hockey player who also suffered with the disease. (Source)

So, how’s your day going? Got any excuses for why you’re not on top of your game?

In Canada, there were 3.3 million people living with diabetes in 2014, of whom between 5 and 10 per cent would have Type 1, which for Max and others will be a lifelong concern. Chances are, you know someone afflicted with the disease. And even though there is no cure – only ways to manage symptoms and prevent complications – more and more Canadians diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes have achieved extraordinary professional milestones despite living with the disease. Like Dessi Zaharieva, MMA Artist and International Tae Kwon Do Bronze Medalist. Or James Coones, a Fire Captain with the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. And my personal favourite, Max Domi, captain of the London Knights.

I’m no stranger to diabetes. My paternal grandmother was diagnosed at a young age, and I had two high school friends who either regularly tested their blood glucose levels or injected insulin on a daily basis. But it didn’t let it stop them.  (more…)

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How to Train Your Toddler

August 7, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

It’s one of those things that you really have to experience in order to join the conversation. And even then, since every child is different, your advice should be considered, but not necessarily followed. And sometimes, despite your solid preparations and best intentions, everything gets thrown for a loop. And if you’re really unlucky, something will happen and you’ll have to start all over again.

I’m talking about potty training, of course.

I probably potty trained my first son later than I should have, simply because it was easier to change his diaper than go through the motions of getting him on the toilet seat (he’s resistant to change; I’m resistant to accidents on my Berber carpet). The truth is, I didn’t stress about it – I had never heard of a 16-year old wearing diapers, so I was fairly certain that eventually, he would get there.

That’s why I’m not here to offer foolproof potty training tips… there’s no such thing! However, I would like to share a few helpful suggestions from Kandoo Kids, my favourite brand for keeping kids clean.
kandoo1. The Basics: Each child is different but the general age range to start potty training is 18-24 months. Start by making positive associations with the toilet early on, such as showing your child how you sit on the toilet to go “potty”.

2. Routine: Establish a routine that encourages your child to use the potty throughout the day.

3. Patience: Since potty training takes time and every child is different, an abundance of patience is necessary… and a little laughter is helpful too.

4. Stay Positive: Even if nothing happens, help your child feel good about the process with positive reinforcements such as singing songs, clapping hands or give them stickers.

5. Washing Hands: Encourage healthy habits from the start by teaching kids how to wash their hands.

Earlier this month, I shared my best tips for keeping kids clean over the summer months.  I trust Kandoo Flushable Wipes and Personal Care Products and Boogie Wipes for the task. Well, now it’s your turn to share – for a chance to win a Kandoo prize package valued at $150!  (more…)

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