February 2012

Fabulous Londoners – David Redding: The Real London


David Redding

Photo Credit - Nova Markina

One of my favourite features on City Mom was the Fabulous Female Friday series. I love to highlight the skills and talents of the people I respect most. The FFF feature limited me to focusing on only females.

Hence Fabulous Londoners was born. This feature allows me to include males and allows me to get back to my roots of promoting London and all it has to offer.

Today I’m featuring the talented David Redding.

You’ve likely noticed that City Mom has been revamped and that is in large part thanks to David. He’s the man behind the camera of the amazing photos I feature on City Mom and social media profile photos.

Please join me in getting to know David and his work.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Why is it that talking about yourself is always the hardest thing to do? I guess the two things that truly define who I am are my family and my photography, outside of that there really isn’t much to me.

What is The Real London Project?

The Real London is a personal portrait project I have started to help introduce Londoners to the local art community.

I was always under the impression that if you wanted to find great artists you had to look to Toronto or further. Boy was I wrong.

What motivated you to begin the project?

I would like to say that I had a grand design at the beginning of this project, but really it started over coffee with a friend.

I originally had the intention of The Real London being a street portrait project, but when I set out to find subjects I just didn’t feel “it”. Later on I got together with a friend and fellow photographer Echo Gardiner and it was she who first suggested that I focus on the artist community in London.

At first I was hesitant because like a lot of Londoners, I didn’t think there was an artist community in London. I knew of a few photographers, the London Art Museum and the Grand Theatre, but I was always under the impression that if you wanted to find great artists you had to look to Toronto or further. Boy was I wrong.

What do you hope to accomplish with The Real London project?

Like I was saying, I was under the impression that London was void of any real artistic talent. Just like the movie industry, there are a lot of Canadian actors but to find the well-known ones you have to head to Hollywood. After starting this project and meeting so many great creative’s, I wanted to help spread the word to the rest of the Londoners who are under the same impressions I was.

On every post on the project page I make sure to include links to all the artists websites or social media outlets. I want people to click away from my page and learn more about our community’s artists.

How do you select the artists that you feature?

Sometimes people will recommend an artist to me. Other times I’ll hear about a person through Twitter, Facebook or news channels. I’m generally always on the lookout for a new artist to feature.

When this project started I would feature anyone with an artistic talent. Now I’m trying to focus more on the professional creative or those that are trying to go full-time. I’m not trying to take anything away from those that do their art as a hobby, there are some amazing amateur photographers, painters, singers and so on, but there is just something about those that choose to make their whole life about their art. It takes love, commitment and a lot of hard work. I think that hard work deserves to be highlighted.

When did you begin working with cameras?

Roughly six or seven years ago; I bought my first camera a little after my oldest son was born, a little Canon point and shoot camera. It was basically a gateway drug into my number one obsession in life.

What other types of photography do you do?

I’m a wedding photographer. Not too long ago that carried a stigma of being the bottom of the barrel in the photography industry, but I wear the badge proudly.

Thanks to some amazing photographers like Jeff Ascough, Jose Villa, Ben Chrisman, Eric Clausen and many others, wedding photography is getting the respect of the industry. Really though, wedding photography suits me very well. I love shooting a lot of different things. Street photography, creative portraits, fashion, I shoot all of this on my off time personally for fun and wedding photography has aspects of all those styles wrapped into one emotionally charged day.

What advice would you give to those wanting to take up photography as a hobby or profession?

My advice would be to not ask me for advice (lol). However one of my favorite photographers is Chase Jarvis and he recently posted 10 Things Every Creative Person (That’s YOU) Must Learn. If you are an aspiring photographer I believe this is a MUST read.

What is the last song you listened to on your iPod?

Olive Hearts by Bowerbirds

What is the last book you read?

I can’t remember the last book that I finished, but I’m in the middle of Beyond
Exile: Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne…yes, I’m obsessed with zombies.

Thank you to David for the inspiration behind the new City Mom look  and for the snapshot (no pun intended) into his life.

Find David at the following locations:


Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove Review

What do Mickey Mouse, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Snow White, The Mad Hatter and Tinkerbell all have in common? If you guessed that they’re all loved Disney characters you’re right, but they’re also the stars of the latest Disney On Ice cast.

Little S and I, along with my two nephews, attended Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove last night at the JLC in London. It was a fantastic performance that all four of us loved from the ages of 4 to 30-something.

Right from the start with the Disney warm-up clan to the ending featuring all the Disney princesses and other favourite Disney characters, we were captivated! The show is very interactive with getting you of your seat and on your feet. Fireworks, giant crocodiles and classic tales are all a part of this fun family friendly event.


There are still four great performances available for viewing at the John Labatt Centre in London:

  • Saturday February 25th 3pm, 7pm
  • Sunday February 26th 12pm, 4pm


Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove are available at John Labatt Centre Box Office, John Labatt Centre Outlets, Online or by calling 1-866-455-2849. Ticket Prices are $60 (Front Row), $50 (Rink side), $40 (VIP), $30, $20, and $15.

Visit Disney On Ice to learn of other great shows taking place throughout Canada.

Enjoy the show!

It All Starts With Yes {Giveaway}


What do you think is the most common word that comes from most parents’ mouths? If you guessed the word ‘No’, you’re right! Over 60% of Canadian moms regularly say no to their children’s requests for family time, citing lack of time as the major barrier. This is not really that surprising as we’re all busy moms.

After a long day at work, the afterschool routine, dinner and cleanup, there is little time and energy left for quality family time. I must admit that we often ‘veg’ out in front of the TV to unwind after a hectic day. That is why I decided to take the pledge! So that I can make a positive effort to spend more quality time with my family.

It’s time to say yes! Procter & Gamble’s Family Care brands – Bounty®, Charmin®, and Puffs® – along with Tide® and Mr. Clean®, invite you to take the It All Starts with Yes Challenge, and share the wonderful memories you create.


Count the number of times you say ‘no’ in any given week or weekend, and then turn them into “Yes” opportunities. The result: more fun activities together such as baking, games, and arts and crafts!


The pledge provides you with a way to join your kids in experiencing all of life’s little adventures.


Download your Discovery Guide and get great ideas for activities with your kids to help you start saying YES!


Create your YES! Pass and make up for all the activities you’ve had to say “no” to. That way, they’ll know there’s a great big YES! right around the corner.


Every time you create a YES! Pass you’ll be entered into a monthly draw for amazing prizes from the mentioned brands. You can then upload a photo of your YES! adventure for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 for your own family adventure.


P&G brands are coming together to help you say YES! more often to your kids. This package is valued at $50.00 and includes:

  • Tide® original liquid laundry detergent
  • Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser
  • Box of Puffs® facial tissue
  • Charmin® Freshmates
  • Bounty® paper towel
  • Adult and child-size aprons
  • Ideas to create more fun-filled family moments

Start saying yes more often and enter this fun giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below!

Good luck and enjoy some extra time with your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family Day Weekend 2012 in #LdnOnt

One London Place

If you’re visiting City Mom for the first time through this Family Day post, be sure to sign up for your Free City Mom Updates and Like City Mom on Facebook  to stay up to date on the latest special events, deals and contests taking place in London!

Family Day is celebrated in some Canadian provinces (Alberta, Ontario & Saskatchewan) on the third Monday in February. This day is set aside to celebrate the family. It’s meant for us to take time out of our busy lives to focus on our families and loved ones.  And there’s lots of fun to be had here in London.


Snowsnake & Winter Festival

What: Traditional First Nations winter sports like snowshoeing, the traditional Iroquoian sport of Snowsnake and dogsled rides. Children’s games, crafts and inuksuk making. Taste some soup in the Three Sisters Soup Cafe, observe artists at work in the gallery and keep warm with the fire in the longhouse while enjoying some bannock cooking.

When: February 18 & 19, 2012

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Cost: $3 per person or $10 per family (Children 5 & under free)

For More Info: Visit The Museum of Ontario Archaeology

Storybook Gardens Family Day Activities

What:  Skate on the 250 metre, triple loop skate trail, horse-drawn wagon rides, stories, crafts and activities inspired by the winter, feed the Storybook ducks, seal feeding and walk through the Enchanted Forest and down to the barn to say ‘hello’ to the animals.

When: February 20, 2012

Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: Adults $4.25, Children $3.25, Family $13.00 (2 adults, 2 children)

For More Info:  Visit Storybook Gardens

Black History Month at the Children’s Museum on Family Day

What: Black History Month on Family Day. Enjoy cultural dances, songs and storytelling. Play traditional games and work with tie-dye.  Participate in demonstrations on hair braiding, henna tattoos and more.

When:  February 20, 2012

Time:  11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Cost: Adults $7.00, Children (2 – 12) $2.00

For More Info:  Visit the Children’s Museum

Family Day Skating

What: Public and parent & tots public skating at various arenas with a $2.00 donation and a non-perishable food item for the London Food Bank.

When: February 20, 2012

Time:  (see below)

  •  Medway Arena 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • Kinsmen Arena 1:00 pm – 2:45 pm
  • Nichols Arena – Parent & Tots 1:00 pm – 2:45 pm, Seniors Skate 1:00 pm – 2:45 pm , Public Skate 3:00 pm – 4:45 pm
  • Stronach Arena – Parent & Tots 1:00 pm – 2:45 pm, Public Skate 3:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Cost: Public skate cost $2.00 with proceeds going towards the London Food Bank or bring a non-perishable food item and you’ll get in for free. Parent & Tots Skate is Free Admission but non-perishable food item donations are appreciated

For More Info: Visit London.ca


What: Family Day Tubing at Boler Mountain

When: February 20, 2012 (weather permitting)

Time: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Cost:  Adults $15, Children (12 & under) $14 – Must be 42 inches tall

For More Info: Visit Boler Mountain

Victoria Park Public Skating

What: Public skating on Victoria Park’s outdoor rink

Time: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (closed from 5:30 – 6:30 for ice cleaning)

Cost: Free

For More Info: Call 519-661-4529 to check ice conditions.

However you choose to celebrate Family Day , I hope that you enjoy the time with your family! Thanks for stopping by.


Get in shape with Stroller Personal Training {Discount Offer}

Access a 10% discount for City Mom readers at the bottom of this post.

I can’t believe it’s almost mid-February. This winter has flown by and I think it’s in large part due to the fantastic weather we’ve had here in London. It doesn’t really feel like we’ve had much of a winter, and now we’re already talking spring.

Spring means that summer is just around the corner and summer means swimsuit season. Are you ready? Do you have some winter hibernation pounds to shed?

Now is the perfect time to get in shape and I’m happy to share a fun and calorie smashing class with you that will help you do just that. I’ve been working with a wonderful personal trainer over the winter, Bernice Robinson, and I’ve got exciting news.

Bernice, who was formerly part of reBirth Wellness Centre, has recently opened a new studio called Bernice Robinson Personal Training. Bernice specializes in pre and postnatal fitness and has been teaching a Stroller Personal Training Program for seven years. This program is unique in that you can include your child(ren) in your exercise routine. So no more excuses that you don’t have a sitter or that you don’t have the time. This class has been designed specifically for moms.

I was really interested in learning more about this class so I did a quick Q & A with Bernice and wanted to share the details with you.

What is the Stroller Personal Training Program?

B: It’s a fantastic way to shed that extra baby weight, build muscle, increase endurance and overall strength. While you are improving your physical strength you are also bonding with other mother’s and building lasting friendships. The babies love it also and the best part is you get to clear your head while challenging yourself. 

How is the class performed?

B: The class is performed in an interval, progressive training style stopping along the way to perform cardio and strength circuits. The intensity of the classes increases as we get further into the program. By the end you will be amazed at how great you feel, how good you look and how strong you become physically and mentally. Most moms boast it’s the best shape they have ever been in. No two classes are ever the same so you’re constantly surprising your muscles and yourself.

If you want to lose weight, feel fabulous and change your life completely, join Stroller Personal Training. Work with Bernice and hang on her every word. She knows what she is talking about and I am living proof! I am at a weight that I have not been since high school. I couldn’t be happier and I have Bernice to thank for it!!!!! – Jennifer Phillips

Do you need a special kind of stroller to participate in the program?

B: No, you can use any type of Stroller.

What if I’m not at the same fitness level as the other class members?

B: You can go at your own pace and you will never be left behind. We stop and start along the way performing various exercises.

I have a four-year-old, is she too old to participate?

B: This program is suitable for children of all ages. Toddlers are welcome too! My 3-year-old comes out and she loves it.

Q: When does the program begin and when are the classes?

B: Spring Stroller will be held Wednesdays and Fridays beginning April 4, 2012. Departure time will be 9:30 a.m. and you should arrive a bit earlier to get set up and nurse if you have to. Note: Nursing Mammas may want to double up on the support. Stroller classes will run until November 2, 2012.

Due to the program’s popularity and our mild temperatures it has been requested to start a winter prep program to get us geared up for the spring. We will meet Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. at Gibbon’s Park. If it is snowing we will forfeit the class due to slippery conditions. Your classes will be carried over into the spring sessions if need be.

Classes will begin next Tuesday Feb 7th (happy Valentine’s Day) and run for 8 weeks right up until spring Stroller so no one will lose their momentum.

What else can we expect from this program?

B: Throughout the course of the program we will discuss nutrition plans, supplements and share clean eating recipes that you can use to accompany your exercise program.

Q: How can we register and what are the costs?

B: Classes are 90 minutes in length, twice a week and sessions run 8 weeks in length. The cost is 160.00 + H.S.T. City Mom readers will receive a 10% discount.

To register contact Bernice at bernicerobinson@yahoo.com and mention City Mom*.

*Note: Please note the change of location for Bernice. She is no longer affiliated with reBirth Wellness Centre and can not be contacted at that address.

Thank you to Bernice for sharing this wonderful program and the exciting discount with City Mom readers. Here’s to a fit spring and summer!

10 March Break Staycation Tips {Contest}

Kinder Surprise 2012

In a matter of days I will be laying on a beach, drinking something with rum in it and watching my daughter having the time of her life.

No, it’s not quite March Break yet but we’ve taken our vacation early because we just couldn’t wait! And because vacation packages tend to be a little cheaper before the hustle and bustle of the spring break sets in.

This will be our first trip south with our little one and it’s a big one. We are spending the week in the Caribbean with 25 friends and family members. It really will be the trip of a lifetime, not only for Little S, but also for us. It’s the perfect combination of adult and family fun.

Like most children, Little S loves the water. I’m so looking forward to playing with her in the huge swimming pool and the salty ocean. This will be her first time setting foot in the ocean and I’m excited to see what she thinks. Something about spending the week at the beach says family fun. From sandcastle making to snorkeling, to water fights, it’s going to be a magical week of priceless family time.


March Break doesn’t necessarily have to be spent away from home. With some planning you can have a lot of fun with your kids on a family ‘Staycation’. Changing up your routine, discovering new things in your own city and planning fun activities at home can make staying home over the holidays a fun and exciting option.

I have a lot of experience with the Staycation so I’m going to share  ten easy tips to make your at-home-adventure the best one yet:

1. Set a budget: a Staycation is definitely more budget-friendly than an extravagant vacation but you should still set a budget and keep in mind what you’re able to spend on local activities and outings.

2. Research: take some time to check out what’s going on in your city or nearby locations. Visit your local tourism site to find out what events are taking place.

3. Have a backup plan: do your plans rely on the weather? Have a plan in place should the weather affect your activities.

4. Trash your routine: one of the most alluring things about leaving home is leaving your schedule and routine behind. Staying local can offer too many temptations to accomplish things like chores and work. Consider a ‘no electronics’ policy and complete your chores before your time off.

5. Do something you’ve never done before: we’re all guilty of not taking advantage of the great things our city or town has to offer. Make a point of visiting that one place you’ve been meaning to visit. Think like a tourist; if an out-of-towner asked you for advice on activities to do in your city, where would you send him or her? The museum? The art gallery? Your favourite restaurant? Add those places to your list.

6. Think outside the box: just because you won’t be staying in a hotel overnight doesn’t mean you have to sleep in your own bed. Consider blowing up an air mattress on the living room floor and having a slumber party.

7. Schedule your days: yes I mentioned you should trash your routine but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan ahead. Children can get bored quickly so wake up each morning with an action plan.

8. Go for a walk: we all too often jump in the car to get around town. The most neglected part of your city or town can be what is virtually just beyond your doorstep. Spend a day walking around your neighbourhood; visit local shops; snack at a local bakery; grab a hot chocolate at your neighbourhood cafe.

9. Document it: capture your Staycation on film just as you would at Disneyland! Take your camera and camcorder with you everywhere you go. Consider creating a fun photo book or collage at the end of your Staycation to create lasting memories.

10. Enjoy it: approach your Staycation with enthusiasm and excitement just as you would if you were leaving the country. Build anticipation; involve the kids in planning; check days off your calendar leading up to it.


This month (February) on the Kinder Canada Facebook page you can enter to win $500 towards planning your own family Staycation. Every time you frame a shared moment of joy you’ll also be entered for a chance to win this month’s contest. And while you’re there check out the new Kinder Surprise 2012 toy collection. Lots of fun to be had! Good luck and enjoy!

Disclosure: 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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