Tag Archive: March Break



May All Your Travels be #HealthyTravels

January 30, 2017

FACT: It is estimated that 30% to 70% of travellers who go to a tropical or subtropical region will have at least one episode of diarrhea, which may last three to five days.

Well, hello to you too! I normally don’t start my posts with such an attention-grabbing headline, unless of course I’m trying to grab your attention. So let’s try that again –

FACT: 98% of travellers will make a dietary or beverage mistake within the FIRST THREE DAYS of their vacation, increasing their risk of contracting enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC).

(Be smart! You should be spending your vacation on the beach, not in bed.)

If you’re thinking, “Okay Lena, you have my attention. Tell me more!” – you’re in luck! On Tuesday, January 31st, join the #HealthyTravels Twitter Chat at 8PM EST. We’ll share smart tips and information to help ensure all your travels in 2017 are healthy.
Healthy Travels GraphicTo thank you for joining us, we’ll give away 5 x $75 Shoppers Drug Mart Gift Cards – perfect for stocking up on everything you need before you head down south!

To all those travelling this March Break, wishing you #HealthyTravels!

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I Survived March Break.

March 21, 2016

I survived two spilled milks (one on my bedroom rug). I survived twenty-two temper tantrums. I survived one lost remote control, four late night arguments, forty-six rounds of “he called me ____” or “____” or “____” and six broken boxes. I survived another March Break.
DSC_0150Sure, kid, you’re cute. Now get out of your box house, rip off those sunglasses and go to school. Yes, I know you’re sad that the holiday is over. No, you can’t stay home with mommy for one. more. second.

K BYEEE!

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Vacationing in Paradise? Watch Out for Unwanted Travel Companions.

February 22, 2016

The countdown is on! We’re just three weeks away from March Break, and for Canadians, that means a large percentage of us will be travelling down south to sunny destinations. If you’re one of the lucky ones who is getting away, have a fruity drink for me, mmmkay?
fruityNow, you know I want you to have the BEST vacation ever, which means that *of course* you should be prepared with the information you need for #HealthyTravels. If you missed our Twitter Party last week, fear not! I’m here to share some of the most important takeaways with you today.  (more…)

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Flying this March Break? Tips to Breeze through Security.

March 1, 2015

My family is no stranger to airports. In fact, I think of myself as somewhat of an expert on the subject of family travel. Yes, we’ve survived plane delays. Yes, I’ve prepared for mid-flight meltdowns. No, I haven’t figured out how to ditch the kids for a glass of champagne in business class *still working on it*.

If you’re like me, and the thousands of Canadians who will take to the air for a vacation this March break, the Canadian Air Transport Security (CATSA) has advice that will help you go through security in no time.

Family Friendly Tips: Good news! When you’re travelling with children under the age of two, you can bring liquids such as milk, breast milk and juice that exceed the 100ml restrictions in carry-on baggage. Just have the containers ready to present to screening officers for a quick inspection. For older kids, solid foods such as apples, granola bars and sandwiches can go in your carry-on without restrictions.
CATSA 1Before you leave for the airport, make sure everyone is wearing easy-to-remove outerwear and avoid clothes with metal clasps or snaps that may trigger the metal detector.

At the airport, get boarding passes ready and check for a Family/Special Needs lane. They offer extra space to accommodate larger items like strollers and car seats.  (more…)

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Dear March Break…

March 12, 2014

While it’s bad enough that I’m not on a beach right now (I can deal), and those games that I ordered for the boys got held up at the border (I can work around this)… I simply cannot… and WILL NOT… stand for 10-15cm of snow after we have “sprung forward”.

*Shakes fist at Mother Nature*

Blizzard-like conditions could make for dangerous travel in Ontario! screams the headline on The Weather Network.

“The snow will become heavy at times and continue east into the Kingston to Cornwall region through the day with total snowfall amounts of 15 to 25 cm expected by tonight,” warns Environment Canada in the statement.

Snowfall will be somewhat less from southern Lake Huron across the Greater Toronto Area to Ottawa, where up to 15 cm is possible. In addition, strong northeasterly winds with gusts up to 70 to 80 km/h could result in near blizzard conditions in some places.

“The heaviest snow is expected to fall late morning through the afternoon hours, with the strongest winds likely around 2 pm,” says Soderholm. “That means the snow will be blowing around, which could be a huge hazard for commuters.”

In a funk too? S’okay. The day can be saved, as long as you have a few staple ingredients on hand, Martha Stewart’s recipe for Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a deliciously cute kid who can strike an angelic pose. Though I’m still giving Mother Nature the stink eye.

If you need me, I’ll be under a pile of warm cookies. Send milk.

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Your March Break Destination: The Grocery Store

March 12, 2013

Picture it: It’s Day 3 of March Break, and you’ve exhausted your staycation ideas (and patience). You consider the usual suspects: the movies, the museum, etc, etc… but the thought of fighting crowds and wading through a sea of highly excitable children makes you slightly less enthusiastic. And, with the kids at home now, you realize that you already need groceries mid-week.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Greater Toronto Area – or if you’re a short drive away – here’s how to kill two birds with one stone. Presenting the perfect staycation idea plus a wonderful way to complete your grocery shopping…

It’s Toronto’s crown jewel of food stores – Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Now you may be thinking, seriously Lena? What could my kids possibly get out of visiting a grocery store? Well, simply put, Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is not just any grocery store.

Says Loblaws: “Witness the amazing 18-foot high wall of cheese. Revel in the bounteous takeaway options of the Fresh Food Hall. Buy chocolate chiselled by the chunk, explore a variety of tea from around the world and see sushi creations made to order before your eyes. Breathe in the smell of good things baking. Peruse a huge selection of sustainable seafood, ogle meat options beyond compare, and choose from our freshest produce.”

I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the store yesterday with Chef Mark Russell, Executive Chef at Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens, and Nema McGlynn, In-Store Dietitian. (Yes, being a blogger is a really cool gig.) The purpose of the tour was to identify food superstars and ways to make new and exciting healthy choices – and trust me, I’ve got more than enough products and tips from Chef Mark to share in another post – but during the tour, it suddenly became apparent that shopping at Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon with your kiddos during March Break.

How so? Let me count the ways….

1. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Browse through sugary concoctions that are sure to please the child in all of us. (Just don’t touch the 3-ft Easter Egg – it’s kind of a big deal!) The Patisserie also features a mouthwatering selection of cakes and cupcakes, ice cream cakes, cheesecakes, donuts, muffins, Bruce County Fudge, chocolate pops and so much more – including their famous handcrafted chocolate, lovingly made with natural ingredients. Choosing a sweet treat is the perfect reward for well-behaved shoppers, so admire the goodies as you come in, but save the prize for the end. My pick? The delectable macarons ($2.60) or a luscious maple bacon donut ($1.29).

(more…)

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March Break Munching with Orville #Giveaway

March 7, 2013

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Raise your hand if you think this year is flying by much too quickly! I woke up this morning and realized that winter is almost behind us; spring is around the corner, and March Break is NEXT WEEK!

So, who’s got amazing plans? I must admit to being a little disorganized – this is actually the very first March Break in our household, and after doing a lot of travelling in the preceding months, did not really have it in me to plan a vacation. Still, with so many amazing events happening in and around the city, we’re actually booked every day next week! From indoor playgrounds to craft parties, matinee movies and more, Ryder’s “break” will involve me darting around like a mad woman. Splendid.

Of course, our first stop will be the grocery store, where I’ll load up on fresh fruit and snacks – including Ready-to-Eat Popcorn from Orville Redenbacher’s. My boys are addicted to the Sharp White Cheddar flavour; with a classic cheesy taste and a hint of butter, they’re a huge hit at snack time. (From Orville: Each tasty nugget is 30% larger and fluffier than the leading ready-to-eat savory popcorn. Diagnosis: Delicious.) They’re also great if you’re travelling, because sometimes you just don’t have a microwave handy – especially on road trips!

And so whether you’re about to pack the kids into the car for the drive down to Florida (gutsy!) or planning to spend the time in staycation mode like us, Orville has March Break covered. In order to occupy the family on the road, in the air or on the couch, they’ve offered my readers a variety of fun solutions to help answer age-old March Break questions like “Are we there yet?” and “Now what are we doing?”.

Worth $200, the Orville March Break Prize Pack contains fun distractions like kid-friendly travel games, DVDs and audio books, as well as board games the whole family can enjoy together. And of course, this prize pack has the snacks covered too, so Mom and Dad can just focus on the fun. Pop up some of Orville’s new Pop Up Bowl for the staycation or take Orville’s ready to eat gourmet flavours on the road.

Included:

– 2x Orville Redenbacher’s NEW Pop Up Bowl in Buttery flavour and 2x Orville Redenbacher’s NEW Pop Up Bowl Smart Pop!

– One (1) of each of Orville Redenbacher’s new ready to eat gourmet popping corn; Salty and Sweet Kettle corn, Dill Pickle, White Cheddar and Chipotle Whit Cheddar

– Three (3) colouring books and markers, a travel mug and water bottle, a back pack, three (3) family friendly DVDs and three (3) family friendly games (more…)

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March Break: Off the Beaten Path

February 29, 2012

As a parent, it’s impossible not to notice the perceptible buzz in the air – let’s call it, oh, March Break.

Even though both my boys are not in school yet, we’ve been “celebrating” March Break thanks to the plethora of activities that spring up during the illustrious week off.

Matinees. Indoor Playgrounds. Museum, Science Center and Art Gallery events… it appears that the entire city is hopping with excitement in an effort to soothe those who didn’t make it down south. And there are a lot of us; although it seems like EVERYONE is getting away, the truth is, most of us are still here :)

But for parents of pre-school children, March Break can also be overwhelming. Suddenly our favourite spots are crowded with school aged party crashers (boo!). Who wants to elbow for room on the “magic story carpet” at the local community centre? Or be demoted to the front of an overcrowded movie theatre? As a mom who relishes in anti-mob surroundings, I actually find it unnerving to suddenly be in the throngs of children.

So we’ve learned to make the most of March Break festivities by finding events off the beaten path: special engagements that aren’t necessarily standing room only. Consider visiting an independent bookstore or children’s art store; chances are they’ll have something special planned (crafts, story time, puppets shows and more). Skip the indoor playground and arrange a playdate at a local park or arcade. Do an “urban wildlife” tour; visit a pet store or aquarium – but only if you’re prepared to come home with a pug or tetra fish. Find free concerts featuring local talent. If you live in (or close to) the same city you grew up in, take the kids to your favourite burger joint for lunch, and your favourite ice cream parlour for dessert.

I like to enjoy my community without sticking to the usual tried-and-true March Break events. No matter what you decide, make fun your first priority… and have TONS of treats on hand :)

Speaking of treats, as a proud Kinder® Mom, I’ll definitely be well stocked for March Break! Check out KINDER® Canada on Facebook for a peek at the 2012 toy collection, great conversation, and exclusive monthly contests through the My Kinder Moments application!

Do you have any suggestions for unique ways to enjoy March Break? What are your plans? 

I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. 

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