November 2011

I Can’t Believe She Wore That!

Today I’m taking the opportunity to use City Mom as a place to vent and I hope that you’ll join me!

The other day I was talking with a friend and she told me about this article she read in a new London publication. Unfortunately she couldn’t remember the name of the magazine so this post will be completely unofficial and based solely on hearsay.

I should also note that I haven’t read the article myself and I can’t even direct you to it so that you can read it yourself. Regardless, the message is the same.

My friend shared the gist of the article which caused me to think on the topic. And it  made me want to write about it so I could a) vent about it a bit and b) query you, my readers to see what your thoughts are.

Now that I’ve made my disclaimer, I can tell you more…

The article was apparently written by a fashion stylist or a similar job title. The main body of the piece was discussing a woman’s appearance when she travels to and from her child’s school. You know, for drop-off and pickup.

My friend explained that the author recommended that lululemons should be left at home and used only for actual exercise and that even jeans should be left in the drawer. The suggested, ideal ensemble for picking up one’s child was a pair of black skinny pants, a blazer and a scarf.

For real?

I will admit that my wardrobe is suffering. My sense of style has taken a backseat to all the other things I’m managing in my life, but I do try. I get the whole concept of dressing the way you feel on the inside, and that you should dress the way you want to be seen etc.

But as a mom who works from home a lot, I often find myself dressed in lululemons or dare I say regular jogging pants? Sometimes, just sometimes, I may choose not to wash my hair that day, throw it in a pony tail and stroll on over to my daughter’s school. And yes, those are the same days I choose to not wear makeup, but I still look like a young (wishful thinking?) mom on-the-go. Should I take time out of my workday to get showered, dressed and made up just to go out for the 10 minutes it takes me to go to and from my daughter’s school?

Do I look my best those days? My husband would say yes. He loves me dressed down with no makeup. He says I look prettiest that way. But I guess the fashion police would say otherwise.

So is it true? Am I shorting myself by not dressing up when I make an appearance in the schoolyard? Am I giving off an image that isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of who I really am? 

Furthermore, does it even matter? I mean, of course I care about what I look like. I do take pride in my appearance most days. But I believe there’s a time and a place. If Johnny’s mom thinks I’m any less of a parent because I’m not super-stylish then that’s okay with me because I know otherwise. Johnny’s mom should see me when I go out on a Saturday night. Then I’d show her!

So what are your thoughts? How do you dress to pick up your children from school? If you’ve been working from home, do you change into something more stylish to pick up the kids?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Signed,

 Sloppy Mom

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2011 Holiday Events in London {#LdnOnt}

There are so many fun and exciting things happening in London for the holidays. I love this time of year as do most people, and our city makes sure we enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Read on to see all that’s going on.

PRINCE & PRINCESS PHOTO CONTEST

The much-anticipated Cinderella production is now playing at The Grand Theater (Nov. 23 – Dec. 31). The Grand is running a contest for a chance to win reserved seating in the Royal Box Seats on December 21, 2011 at 7:30pm for a family of four.

To enter visit grandtheatre.com and upload a picture of your prince or princess dressed in their ‘royal best’.

Contest closes December 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm and the winner will be drawn randomly on December 12, 2011.

WINTER WONDERLAND AT VICTORIA PARK

 

 Lighting of the Lights

Next to the summer festivals in Victoria Park, this is my favourite time of year. There will be 75,000 lights coming to life in the park on Friday, November 25, 2011 (today).

Event starts at 6:15 pm with lights coming on at 6:50 pm. Note that last year they turned the lights on early, before the time they said, so make sure to get there early.

You’ll also be able to help name the newest holiday display at the par.  Enter your suggestion in the “Name the Festive Train” contest for a chance to win a $50 in Spectrum gift certificates.

Panoramic Bird’s Eye View at City Hall

Beginning on November 25, the promenade deck at City Hall (12th floor) will be open to the public on from 7:00 – 11:00 pm for spectacular view of the lights at Victoria Park. Note that the following dates City Hall will not be open for viewing: December 5, 6, 12, 19, 20, 25, 26, 31 and January 1, 2012.

Skating at Victoria Park

The city’s favourite skating rink will be available this winter daily for free public skating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  – with a one-hour closing for ice resurfacing from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Celebrate London: Rockin’ New Year’s Eve!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the best spot in London. Events will start-up at 5:00 pm with family skating and will end at midnight with a fireworks display. Children’s fireworks will take place at 9:00 pm.

Visit london.ca for more information.

CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAIN

Whoot whoot…the holiday train is coming to London and will make its stop at the Richmond Road tracks (between Oxford St. and Central Ave.) on Wednesday November 30 at 8:05 pm.

The Holiday Train Program began in 1999 with a handful of communities and a few lights on a freight train. Today, with its hundreds of thousands of festive lights and a live show featuring well-known performers, it’s one of Canadian Pacific’s main ambassadors in working with communities in Canada and the United States and is the only fundraiser of its kind for food banks in North America. Since the program’s inception, more than $5.6 million and over 2.45 million pounds of food have been collected in Canada and the United States.

Be sure to bring non-perishable food items with you for donation.

Visit cpr.ca for other Canadian stops.

 However you choose to celebrate the holidays this year, I hope you enjoy every moment of it!

Holiday Gift Giving: Empire Theatre Holiday Gift Cards

Empire Theatres

The holidays are here, there’s no denying that. Though here in London we haven’t even received our first snowfall, Christmas is evident everywhere you turn; decorations on city streets, holiday music in stores and commercials on TV, ‘tis the season.

This year I’m really looking forward to Christmas because we’ve chosen to simplify things in my family. Instead of buying a gift for each member of my extended family, we’ve decided to draw names and buy only one gift for that special person. This is going to help both financially and with the ease of shopping. I can put my entire focus and energy on finding one perfect gift, for one perfect person.

I can’t say too much about the gift(s) I’m planning to buy as my family does read City Mom from time to time, but here’s something that may be on my list…shh!

EMPIRE THEATER HOLIDAY GIFT CARDS – BUY $30 GET $30

The Empire Theatre Holiday Gift Card program for 2011 began on November 1 and will be available until December 24* (good news for last-minute shoppers).  And the perks with the program are fantastic.

When you spend $30 on Empire Theatre Holiday Gift Cards you get $30 in coupons.

Empire Theatres

Coupon Bundles include:

  •  Buy One Get One Admission (January 9 to January 31, 2012)
  • $2.00 off any combo – excluding Kid’s Pack (January 9 to January 31, 2012)
  •  $9.99 (admission, regular drink, small popcorn) (February 1st to February 29th, 2012)
  • Buy a large popcorn, get a large drink free (March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
  • $6.99 General Admission (March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
  •  $4.00 off a General Admission Ticket (April 1st to April 30th, 2012)

Add a special Empire Theatre gift tin to package your gift in for $1.oo + tax. An added bonus is that net proceeds from the sales of the tins will go to the Kids Help Phone. And you don’t need to spend $30 to buy a gift tin, anyone may buy one.

Kids Help Phone

*The last day for online orders is December 18 in order to receive them in time for Christmas.

WHERE TO BUY

You can get the gift cards and gift tins at any Empire Theatre in Canada. You can also make your purchase online at empiretheatres.com.

For London readers, our local Empire Theatre is the Empire Wellington 8 Cinemas at 983 Wellington Road, South.

So now that you know of the perfect gift to buy your loved ones, you can sit back, relax and enjoy all the season has to offer. The only question that exists is whether you will give the bonus coupon bundle to your special someone or keep it for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Empire Theatre Gift Card Holiday Campaign by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation for my participation in this campaign.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

8 Weeks to Cultivating a Fertile Landscape – #LdnOnt

Something that I will always be thankful for is the ease my husband and I experienced in conceiving our daughter. I often hear conversations between women about the difficulties they are having with fertility; following and monitoring ovulation cycles, supplements, doctors etc. My heart goes out to couples dealing with these difficulties.

That is why I wanted to share this unique program that is being offered in the new year by Life With Baby. Yes, you’ve seen me reference Life With Baby in many City Mom posts. That is because it’s a fantastic resource for all types of moms in London; new moms, seasoned moms and soon-to-be moms. We are extremely lucky to have this facility in London.

BIRTHING A CREATIVE SOUL – 8 WEEKS TO CULTIVATING A FERTILE LANDSCAPE

Here is a summary of the program information that is being offered at Life With Baby:

Are you feeling stressed and challenged with getting pregnant? Do you want to improve your body’s innate fertility? Do you want a more enjoyable fertility experience?

Whether you’re looking to better cope with the stress of fertility treatments or to create optimal conditions for conception, this mind-body fertility program can help.

The journey of creating another life is filled with many opportunities for growth. Fertility and creativity is everyone’s natural birthright; however, some of us experience struggles that have us wondering ‘why me?’ and ‘what now?’

When it comes to fertility, we know stress compromises reproductive health and when trying to conceive, finding that inner peace and balance our mind and body craves becomes even more important…and yet, even more elusive. This mind-body program can help you find the inner peace and balance you need.

Facilitated by Michele Barnes, Women’s Empowerment Coach & Yoga Therapist and Dr. Andrea Clarke, Naturopathic Doctor.

During this 8-week program, you will:

  • benefit from connecting with others who are experiencing difficulties with fertility
  • practice fertility-based yoga poses that energize & balance your reproductive system
  • learn tools to manage the negative effects of stress & take control of your life!
  • learn how nutrition and natural health can optimize your fertility
  • have the opportunity to release painful emotions related to infertility such as anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness, and fear
  • create life-affirming changes that support your desire to conceive

Partners are invited to join on weeks 2 and 8 for discussion and Partner Yoga.

This 16-hour program meets for 8 consecutive, 2-hour group sessions.

Dates: Sundays from Jan 8th – Feb. 26th, 2012

Times: 6:30 – 8:30pm each week

Cost: $395 + hst

To Register: Visit www.lifewithbaby.ca or call 226-663-3243

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If this program applies to you then that means you may be having trouble conceiving a child. If that is the case I hope that you will find the tools and resources helpful with this program.

Image: maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sending healthy & fertile thoughts your way,

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – DVD {Giveaway}

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has just been released on DVD and today you can enter to win a DVD copy of your own. Watch the final battle between good and evil!

Entering is super easy and can be done so using the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Take The Harry Potter Trivia Quiz!

Are you an expert in all things Potter? Test your knowledge in the trivia quiz! Discover if you are an expert or a novice by challenging your skills! The results might surprise you! You can post your score on the City Mom Facebook page for your chance to win a DVD copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Discover The Harry Potter Buzz Portal!

Are you hungry for the latest in all things Potter? The Harry Potter Buzz Portal will give you real time updates on the trending Harry Potter topics from Facebook and Twitter. Plus, you can share your top three tips to having the ultimate Harry Potter party!


Christmas Wishlist Must Have – BATTLESHIP LIVE {Giveaway}

Were you a fan of the game Battleship growing up? I sure was…even though I had no real interest in ships or strategy, something about the game really excited me. I loved finding the perfect hiding spot for my ships; one that my opponent would never find. I created a signature move, one that was pure stealth. I would connect two ships to throw my adversary off. It worked every time!

Well Battleship has undergone a makeover and it’s more exciting than ever. With BATTLESHIP LIVE, the classic game has been taken to a whole new level.

ABOUT BATTLESHIP LIVE

In BATTLESHIP LIVE, players will be challenged to keep up with random events during game play. The hourglass-shaped LIVE tower powers game play and speaks to players, directing game play and adding unexpected events throughout the game. Whether it’s an ill-timed typhoon abruptly wreaking havoc on ships or a weapons surplus that adds ammunition for the next turn, players will be on the edges of their seats to find out what happens next. 

The magic of LIVE games is housed in the LIVE tower, which works with the specially designed board, ships and battle pegs to track players’ decisions throughout the game. It also tracks sinking ships and keeps score.

MY EXPERIENCE

I played BATTLESHIP LIVE with my 6 year-old nephew who is a huge fan of board games. At first I felt overwhelmed with setup and instructions and worried that the game would be too complicated for him. But I was happily proven wrong.

Set up is actually quite easy and once you’re done you just flip the switch and start playing. There’s no need to read a long list of instructions as the game begins with a tutorial that allows each player to become familiar with the board and game play in a hands-on manner.

The rest of the game play is just pure strategy and fun with the voice-guided instructions. I particularly liked the feature that allows you to ask the ‘talking tower’ to repeat that last set of instructions in case you missed something. And the tower uses motion vision to see all your moves. It’s really cool!

MY RECOMMENDATION

Since I was already a fan of Battleship I was eager to start playing right away. And even though BATTLESHIP LIVE is suggested for players 8 years old and up, my 6 year-old nephew was able to enjoy it and follow along fully.

I would recommend this game for adults for sure, and for children 6+. You have to try it out to see what I mean. It’s a HIT! (No pun intended)

BUY IT

BATTLESHIP LIVE retails for approximately $49.99. Visit Hasbro Games to learn more about BATTLESHIP LIVE  and to find out where to buy.

WIN IT

Today on City Mom you can enter to win your own BATTLESHIP LIVE game. Follow the Rafflecopter giveaway instructions below. Good luck and happy holidays!


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