4 Things To Do For Family Day in Vancouver


Family Day is coming soon and that means we have another awesome reason to enjoy quality time together. Below you'll find a roundup of four all-age activities that every family member will enjoy. The biggest city around here in B.C. is Vancouver so I thought I could highlight a few fun activities that will be happening on February 8 in the city.

  1. Snow Adventure: Take a ride 885 metres above the Howe Sound to a winter playground where families can connect with the great outdoors. Enjoy snowshoeing or tubing and finish with a fondue chocolate treat at The Summit Lodge restaurant. www.seatoskygondola.com

  1. Ice Skating: Pickup a pair of free skate rentals, lace up and take a spin around the Robson Square Ice Rink with the family, then warm up with a complimentary hot chocolate. www.robsonsquare.com

  1. Make Art: Get creative at the Vancouver Art Gallery offering unique activities geared towards children 12 and under, including live exhibitions and art-making activities.  www.vanartgallery.ca

  1. Take A Swim: Dive into the Britannia Community Service Centre offering free public swimming from 1:00pm to 5:00pm for the whole family. www.britanniacentre.org

    What is Family Day?
    Here is a full page of information about Family Day in Canada!

Wally Wuzzlemore Makes New Friends



Children are oftentimes hesitant to fully embrace new experiences for fear that no one will like them. As soon as a child makes just one new friend though, they typically begin to thrive and enjoy the new experience that they were once apprehensive about. 
“Wally Wuzzlemoore Makes New Friends” is a children’s book with an imaginative story line and illustrations designed and written by professional artist Tom Schinderling. 
Written to resonate with both children and adults, “Wally Wuzzlemoore Makes New Friends” tells the story of a friendly monster’s quest to meet new people and decide who his friends should be after moving away from his old home in the country to a new home in the city. 
“Kids are just like adults in that they are afraid to make new friends,” Schinderling said. “When I wrote ‘Wally Wuzzlemoore Makes New Friends,’ I did so with the goal that parents could read it with their children to ease their worries, prepare them for change and help them make new friends.”  

My overall review: This book has a great message and fun pictures for the kids. My kids enjoyed discussing what they would do if they were in Wally's position. Kids can have a hard time adjusting to new people, places and more and it is beneficial to show them that good things can happen when you give new things a try, this is what Wally Wuzzlemore invites kids to learn.
 
Schinderling wrote and illustrated the book to teach children that if they are kind, polite, optimistic and open to getting to know new people like Wally was, then their journey to make new friends won’t be scary.  
“Making new friends doesn’t have to be scary,” Schinderling says. “Every child needs to be reminded of that.”

Wally Wuzzlemoore Makes New Friends
By Tom Schinderling
ISBN: 1504957687
Available in softcover ($19.79) and e-book ($3.99)
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AuthorHouse 


About the author:
Tom Schinderling is a professional artist with a passion for producing children’s books. In addition to “Wally Wuzzlemoore Makes New Friends,” Schinderling has also published another children’s story book “Wuzzlemoore Meets Little Miss Hate-It,” as well as a children’s poem book “Whimsical Rascals: A Book of Monster Poems.” Schinderling graduated from Northern State University with his bachelor’s degree in fine arts and multi-media graphic design. He also produces sculptures, paintings and short films including “Against All Odds,” which received the Best Writing Award at the Fischgaard Short Film Project.

Easy Tips for Affordable Kids’ Room Décor




 
The design of a room speaks volumes about who you are, right? Well, the same goes for your kids’ room. It’s 
their own little space inside the family home that represents their personality. But unless you have piles of 
money lying around, you want to make the most out of what you can afford when designing your kids’ room. 
Luckily, there are easy ways of bringing out the best look of your kids’ room. By choosing to cut corners, a bit of 
DIY, and some smart investing, you will have created the perfect indoor playground for your kids, with that all 
important personal touch.



Color is Everything
All kids’ rooms design should be playful, and adding color does just that. The time of the pink and blue room is 
over, so get in touch with your artistic side. Painting the walls yourself will not only save money, but you can 
personalize the room to match your child’s character. The base color can also be a canvas. You can paint fun and
interesting images, and make a themed room for your kids. Another great idea is to make a chalkboard wall
Kids can play pretend-school, and always have a place to draw, even when they run out of paper.


DIY Storage
Clutter is an issue in any kid’s room. Get creative with storage and keep the kids’ room neat and tidy. The 
little things make up the room, so DIY some shelves and display your kid’s toys and books. It will be something 
your kids will be proud of, and will add a personal touch to their room. Also, you can refurbish some old crates 
and trunks, to make play boxes to go under the bed. These can house everything from toys to clothes, keeping 
the room always clean. As an added bonus they can help you with the projects and get creative themselves.


Go for Quality
When it comes to essential furniture, paying good money pays off in the long run. Buying quality, durable 
furniture is a great investment, and can also influence a positive development. A good kid’s bed may set you 
back, so go for an adult version instead. It will be spacious at first, but they will grow into it. The extra room will 
make for a good night’s sleep every time, and sleepover’s will be more comfortable. An ergonomic chair might 
also be a good investment. With all that back support, it will be great for their posture. While, the overall feel of 
the room can be well rounded with playful kids rugs. Besides adding color to the room, quality kids’ rugs can 
have an educational effect by having maps, letters, and numbers printed over them.


Kid’s Design
Kids adore getting creative themselves, so include them in the design process. Since, they love drawing on walls 
paint a white wall, and give them paint and stickers, take a step back, and watch what happens. They can also 
decorate their room by hanging posters and drawings of their favorite cartoons, films and games. Moreover, 
with magic markers they can customize their sheets, for a new design every week. And as for the sealing, with 
fluorescent stickers they can create a galaxy of their own, watching over them each night before bed time.

In the end, all you need to make the best designed kids’ room is to be creative. Think outside the box, and in 
any case always consult your kids before. Just remember to include them on the projects, so both of you will 
have fun and enjoy decorating their room. After all, they are the ones who will be spending most of their time 
in it, and a room that represents you child will make for a happy childhood.  


About author:
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with 
her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: 
“Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

Valentines Day With Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Giveaway)


Valentine's day is closing in and I think it is a great opportunity to show someone how much you care. Everyday is a chance to show love and affection but you might as well take advantage of the specific day and endulge in the pinks and reds, hearts and flowers of the holiday.

Everyone loves chocolate and candy especially high quality treats that melt in your mouth. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory makes your Valentine's day shopping easy for everyone on your list. They have all kinds of assorted treats to please all tastes and diets. I especially love their candy apples they sell in store. And their ice cream is to die for.


A box of chocolates is good for a whole family or just one chocolate lover to hoard it all and chocolate suckers put huge grins on tiny faces. The truffles are a unique treat that is truly indulgently sinful. So whichever you choose know that it all tastes fantastic and shows how much you care.


Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and I want to give you a chance at winning some tasty treats or at least a gift card to buy your own. Enter below for your chance to win 1 of 2 $25.00 gift cards to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!

Canada Blooms Plant Of The Year



Canada Blooms announces the 'Garvinea Sweet' series of gerberas as plant of the year

TORONTO, Ont. — With a bloom that will last for the entire Canadian summer, the ‘Garvinea Sweet’ series of gerberas has been chosen by Canada Blooms as its 2016 plant of the year.

Canada Blooms — the country’s largest garden and flower festival — has been connecting people to the joys and benefits of gardens and flowers for 20 years now, and its pick for "plant of the year" is always a highly anticipated announcement that sets the stage for flower trends and colours for the upcoming spring.

“The 'Garvinea Sweet' series of gerberas is a great plant for people with all different levels of gardening know-how,” said Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “The 'Garvinea Sweet' is a reliable garden performer in the spring, summer and fall with increased disease tolerance, cold tolerance and an excellent re-bloom habit that makes it the perfect plant for everyone and the perfect plant to be named Canada Blooms 2016 plant of the year.”

During the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons at the University of Guelph trial garden program, 'Garvinea Sweets' were found to thrive in well-drained soil and continued to bloom from the time it was planted until winter arrived.

Gerberas are now available in the outdoors-friendly ‘Garvinea Sweet’ series from Florist Holland, especially suited for outdoor use in both containers and the gardens. They can also be purchased at Canada Blooms in March 2016 in the following selections: Sweet Glow (orange), Sweet Heart (pink), Sweet Honey (golden yellow), Sweet Smile (yellow), and Sweet Surprise (pink-violet).

Canada Blooms will be held from March 11 to 20, 2016, at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. For more information or for tickets, please visit canadablooms.com. Follow Canada Blooms on Twitter @CanadaBlooms and Like it on Facebook.


About Canada Blooms
Canada Blooms is an annual world-class festival that connects people to the joys and benefits of nature through experiences with gardens and flowers by promoting, educating, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horticulture. Co-locating with the National Home show to create North America's Largest Home and Garden event, Canada Blooms is a not-for-profit organization that gives back to the community throughout the year by funding community garden projects around Ontario, Canada Blooms is also dedicated to providing the community with horticulture expertise, education and resources on an ongoing basis.
Now in its 20th year, Canada Blooms was founded by Landscape Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto. Each year it is supported by a committed group of partners, sponsors and volunteers.

Baby Care Basics Book Review


 I have had the pleasure of raising three adorable children, it has been a learning experience for sure and I have found that when beginning your journey it is nice to have a book to look into and discover answers to questions you never knew you had. Baby Care Basics is one of the best books I have read regarding everything you need to know about having a baby. It covers every topic from planning, to medical conditions, and everything in between. An excellent book for any new parent.

Baby Care Basics
The perfect parent guide — all the essential information you need about babies, from birth to 12 months old.
Despite all the planning in the world, nothing can quite prepare you for the big step from pregnancy to parenting. What can make it even more challenging is all the well-intentioned but often confusing advice offered by family and friends.
Written by leading pediatric experts in a friendly, easy-to-understand style, Baby Care Basics offers a concise yet comprehensive wealth of reliable information that will help you make the right choices for your baby. And, its full-color pages are hugely engaging and extremely user-friendly.
The topics are broken down chronologically to help you access the information you need quickly and easily, whether you’ve just given birth, have just arrived home from the hospital, are learning the ropes with your newborn or are gaining experience as your baby grows and develops.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about breast- and formula-feeding, introducing solid food, treating your baby’s illnesses, sleep habits, playing with your baby and much more. This is the perfect book for busy parents who need the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. And, it's low price point makes it an affordable 'must-have' resource for all new parents. $19.95 CAN/USA, £14.95 UK
DR. JEREMY FRIEDMAN, MB.ChB, FR CPC, FAAP, is the Chief of Paediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He resides in Toronto, Ontario.
DR. NATASHA SAUNDERS, MD, MSc, FR CPC, is a pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, ON and the mother of two small children. She understands the issues of being a busy parent more than you know!
 

Of Note
  • The Hospital for Sick Children is one of the foremost children’s hospitals in the world 
    • Since 1875 it has been providing specialized care for infants, toddlers and all children up to 18 years of age
  • Taking care of your baby is one of life’s biggest and most important challenges, there is so much conflicting information available on the Internet, how can one be sure whom to trust?
    • This book is based on the most current research and recommendations, it answers the questions every new parent has on a daily basis
    • This book provides practical, expert advice on everything you need to know from pregnancy through your baby’s first year 
    • This book was created by expert paediatricians with children of their own + a world renowned children's hospital
    • Baby Care Basics replaces uncertainty with knowledge and insecurity with confidence - something every new parent wants and will appreciate
  For more amazing books visit http://www.robertrose.ca/

Ham and Potato Soup With Lentils and Dumplings


There is nothing better then a warm bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter day. I made a delicious variation of ham and potato soup that includes dumplings and lentils. I included lentils as part of the Pulse Pledge. You can find out more about that at www.pulsepledge.com .

Ham and Potato Soup

  • 2 carrots 
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 5 large potatoes or 5 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cups cooked, diced ham
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can of corn niblets
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
1. Start by melting butter in a stock pot and then add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ham. Cook until onions are translucent. 

2. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock to the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn niblets.

3. Prepare lentils by adding 1 cup of lentils to 3 cups water. Cook for 15 minutes on a gentle simmer. 

4. While the lentils cook peel and add potatoes to the soup and let cook for 15 minutes. Add cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add strained, cooked lentils. 

Dumplings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and combine. Mix in margarine to a crumble consistency.

2. Mix in milk to form a soft dough. Drop by spoonful I to boiling soup and cover for 15 minutes. 

Enjoy this fantastic soup any day it is hearty and healthy making it a perfect meal. 

International Year Of Pulses


Chef Michael Smith takes the Pulse Pledge and challenges Canadians to eat more beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas

International Year of Pulses recognizes pulses as one of the world’s most important foods

January 1, 2016 (Winnipeg)—Canadian pulses—dry beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas—are stepping into the spotlight in 2016 as the world celebrates International Year of Pulses (IYP).  Chef Michael Smith is the first Canadian to take the pledge to eat more pulses in 2016.

“Many Canadians are familiar with lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans, even if they don’t know the term pulses, which are edible seeds of plants in the legume family,” says Chef Michael Smith, Canada’s International Year of Pulses (IYP) Ambassador. “Canada can be proud of the pulses we grow here. They are nutritional superstars, affordable and easy to prepare, and they are sustainably grown, meaning they are good for the planet, too.”

In conjunction with the kick-off of IYP, a Pulse Pledge campaign is being launched, aiming to get North Americans eating more homegrown pulses. The Pulse Pledge is a 10-week commitment to eat pulses each week. “I took the Pulse Pledge because it is an easy way to boost nutrition in almost any meal from tacos to burgers to desserts. And, my family loves them,” says Chef Michael.

Canadians can take the Pulse Pledge at pulsepledge.com and share their ideas on how they eat pulses through social media (hashtags #pulsepledge and #lovepulses).

“We’re asking Canadians to make a commitment to eating pulses more frequently because just a half-cup can make a big difference,” explains Smith.  

Pulses are a low-fat source of protein, fibre and many vitamins and minerals.  They support a healthy diet and can even help in the management of diet-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

In celebration of IYP, Chef Michael Smith created a new signature dish, the Pulse Taco featuring green lentils and chickpeas. “My Pulse Tacos are packed with fibre, protein, nutrients, and flavour. They’re a great way for your family to join families around the world in a global celebration of flavour and nutrition!”

Canadians can also help the environment and contribute to the future of sustainable food production simply by eating pulses – they’re a low carbon, water-efficient source of protein that enriches the soil where they are grown.

Pulses are a remarkable Canadian success story. Canada’s pulse industry, which only began to see significant growth beginning in the 1970’s, is now contributing over $3 billion to Canada’s economy. Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of dry peas and lentils and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the world. Canada’s biggest export markets are India, China and Turkey. Pulses are Canada’s fifth largest crop, after wheat, canola, corn and barley.

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to celebrate pulses’ contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability and to demonstrate the contribution pulses can make toward global food security and helping the UN implement its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to eliminate global poverty and hunger.

More information about pulses can be found at www.pulses.org.

Ten Reasons To Take The Pledge

1. Pulses are a fantastic source of protein and fibre
2. Pulses have a low fat content and contain zero cholesterol. They are also gluten-free.
3. Pulses are rich in minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc) and B-vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate)
4. Pulses have a low carbon footprint and use just one-tenth to half of the water of other proteins.
5. Pulses are affordable, drought tolerant and contribute to food security at all levels
6. Pulses are a versatile, easy to-prepare ingredient that can be used in entrees, salads, breads and desserts.
7. Pulses taste great: They can be prepared savoury or sweet and are like little flavour sponges. Try Chef Michael Smith’s new Pulse Taco recipe.
8. Eating Canadian pulses supports our farmers and the economy: Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of dry peas and lentils and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the world.
9. Pulses have been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol and help control blood sugar levels, which help in the fight against heart disease and diabetes.
10. Pulses enrich the soil where they grow reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Nouwee Product Reviews!




PARTY ON! NOUWEE MAKES THE HOLIDAYS EVEN MORE MAGICAL
Santa Lanterns, Snow Rainbows, Piñata Balloons will liven up 
festivities worthy of lasting photographic memories!

If you could take a happy memory, a milestone event or a family get together and make it even more special, would you?
This Holiday Season, imaginative Quebec-based NOUWEE is asking Canadians to create the magic of memories through unforgettable party accessories. In time for the holidays, the brand has expanded into Ontario with three newly developed, family-friendly party favours. 

My kids and I had a blast with all these products and shared them with friends and family as well. What a terrific way to bring more magic to the holidays!

DEAR SANTA: 
This year, children can send their letters directly to the North Pole with theNOUWEE Dear Santa Lantern - a mini hot air balloon with a letter attached for Santa that kids can customize with their wish list and personal messages.


THROW A RAINBOW:
 Although the saying says “not to eat yellow snow,” no one said you can’t throw it. This winter, your kids can create a technicoloured Frosty with the help of NOUWEE Snow Colour– vibrant, kid-safe pigment perfect for snowmen and snowballs.




A PINTEREST-WORTHY NEW YEAR: 
Create a New Year’s party that is share-worthy, with the help of a transparent confetti filled NOUWEE Piñata Balloon. Regardless of your guest’s age, no one will be able to resist it, pop it or photograph it!




There’s no limit to creativity,” says NOUWEE founder Alexandre Goupil-Lévesque,.“Using inspiration from around the world, NOUWEE is rooted in the desire to help people create lifelong memories through creativity and play. The goal, especially during the holidays is to offer families a chance to engage in a fun and creative way and reinvent or create something magical and unpredictable.”
Besides their holiday lineup, NOUWEE offers lanterns that hail from ancient Asian tradition that will illuminate the night sky as you send them off; colour powders, inspired by the Holi Festival in India - a perfect way to add a splash of colour and fun to any conventional gathering; and luminous LED balloons to add a pop of character to any party.

For a complete list of products, pricing and where to purchase, visit www.nouwee.com



About Nouwee
NOUWEE is an imaginative company from Quebec, dedicated to creating unforgettable moments through party accessories. Their mission is to create unique and magical moments to share with your friends and family. After the death of a close friend, owner Alexandre Goupil-Lévesque realized the time he spent with people he loved is what made him happiest. It is with this idea that sparked NOUWEE. At 25, he launched the company with play, accessibility and creativity at the heart of it. You may have seen NOUWEE on CBC’s Dans l’oeil du dragon, the Quebec version of Dragon’s Den, where he was offered mentoring sessions by Dragons: Mitch Garber, Daniele Henkel and Serge Beauchemin

Sip and Savour Niagara’s Finest Icewine this Winter


The Niagara Icewine Festival returns to the Scotiabank Convention Centre January 29-31
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. (January 4, 2015) – It may be an unseasonably warm December, but snow or no snow, the Niagara Icewine Festival will turn the Scotiabank Convention Centre into a winter wonderland.
In just its second year in Niagara Falls, the Niagara Icewine Event in Niagara Falls has quickly become the largest Icewine Festival Event in Canada.  Organizers are expecting over 10,000 visitors over the weekend events to sip, sample and savour seasonal vintages of the uniquely Canadian icewine from Niagara vineyards and delicious culinary creations from some of Niagara’s top chefs while taking in the grandeur of amazing ice sculptures. The Niagara Icewine Festival takes place from January 29th to 31st, 2016.
"The Niagara Icewine Festival in Niagara Falls has become a must see event” says Festival organizer Anthony Annunziata, “This is an authentic Niagara wine and culinary event that we are very proud of.”
Visitors will be able to enjoy more than 20 of Niagara’s best wineries award-winning Wine, icewines and sparkling wines that will be paired perfectly with savoury dishes created by 10 of Niagara’s best restaurants & culinary masters.   The entertainment is Headline Friday by local favourites Jonesy, Saturday night headliners are U2 Tribute band Desire and the Beatles tribute band, the Caverners, and concludes Sunday with Soul Jam.
Advance purchase tickets start at $8 and can be purchased at www.IcewineFestivals.com
For more information please visitwww.IcewineFestivals.com and follow it on Twitter@NFFestivals.

 About the Niagara Icewine Festival
The Scotiabank Convention Centre transforms into a winter wonderland for the 2016 Niagara Falls Icewine Festival from January 29th through 31st. Cozy up to loved ones as you sip your way through premium VQA wines and icewines from over 20 of Niagara's exceptional wineries.


Snow Ice Cream & Snow Cones


We have no shortage of snow here in BC which is nice if you like the cold, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, etc. Sadly it can create terrible driving conditions and a lot of people can't stand it.

The snow can be a very joyful family event if you let it, especially around here where there is tons of hills for sledding which is my favorite since its free family entertainment. Another excellent way to enjoy the snow is to eat it. Snow is safe to eat as long as you stay away from contaminated areas.

Snow Ice Cream

  • 10 cups snow
  • 1 1/2 cups milk 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and adjust to suit your needs. If you want it thicker add more snow, sweeter add more sugar, and so on. You can also make different flavors by adding chocolate or strawberry syrup, just use your imagination. 

Snow Cones
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pack koolaid
Boil water and sugar together to form a simple syrup than mix in koolaid mix. Let syrup cool and then pour it on top of your snow cones. You can make numerous flavors and have a snow cone station. 

Children And Screens Encourages Children To “LOOK UP” As They Enter The New School Year

Summer break is almost over, and children around the country are getting ready to go back to school. It’s an exciting time, but it can also ...