March 2012

Easter Weekend 2012 in #LdnOnt

 

Easter in the City at Citi Plaza

Spring has sprung, the grass is green and Easter is on its way! There’s a lot to do in London this Easter weekend so get reading!

EASTER HUNT IN THE CITY

  • Where: Citi Plaza
  • When: Saturday April 7, 2012
  • Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Cost: Free!
  • What:  Instead of a traditional Easter egg hunt, there will be a “scavenger hunt.” Each child will receive an Easter bookmark to take to 9 different stores around Citi Plaza to collect a special Easter stamp – when they receive all the stamps they get an Easter goody bag and can keep their bookmark.
  • BX 93 will be on location with a DJ, music and giveaways. There will also be Easter crafts, colouring and bunny ears for the kids. The Easter Bunny will be on-site to pose for pictures with the kids.
  • For More Information: Visit the Easter Hunt in the City Facebook page

EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA WEEKEND

  • Where: The London Children’s Museum
  • When:  April 7, 8 & 9, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (each day)
  • Cost: Regular Children’s Museum admission
  • What: The Easter Bunny has hidden eggs in galleries all over the museum!  It’s you and your family’s job to locate them all and receive a special chocolate treat! Enjoy special “Egg-citing” science experiments, Easter crafts, and fun activities! The Easter Bunny will be stopping by at different times throughout each day too!
  • For More Information: Visit the Children’s Museum website

NATIONAL SERVICE DOG EASTER EGG HUNT FOR DOGS AND THEIR FAMILIES

  • Where: Middlesex Agility Club – Fleetwood Farms, 9282 Elviage Drive, London
  • When: Friday April 6, 2012
  • Time: Registration 10:00 am Hunt 11:00 am
  • Cost: $20 per family – Proceeds go to National Service dogs to enrich the quality of life and enhance the independence of children and individuals living with autism and special needs.
  • What: Thousands of plastic eggs are filled with dog treats and hidden on the grounds. Each egg also contains a coloured sticker, representing a chance to win one of hundreds of great prizes.
  • For More Information:  Visit the National Service Dog website or contact lindsay@nsd.on.ca Online registration can be done via the registration form.

KIDSCAPE EGG HUNT

    • Where: Kidscape
    • When: Friday April 6, 2012
    • Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    • Cost: Regular Kidscape admission
    • What: Kidscape is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt. Collect 5 of the same coloured eggs and receive a fun prize.
    • For more information: Visit the Kidscape website

STORYBOOK GARDENS EASTER EGG HUNT

  • Where: Storybook Gardens
  • When: Friday April 6, 2012                           
  • Time: 9:30 am – 10:00 am
  • Cost:  $6 – $10 (see Spectrum for details)
  • What:  A traditional Easter Egg Hunt at Storybook Gardens! Children are challenged to collect 10 Easter Eggs while winding their way through Storybook Gardens.
  • For more information: Note registration required. Visit Storybook Gardens  for more information.

EASTER BRUNCH AT THE TOP OF THE FAIR

  • Where: Top of the Fair Restaurant          
  • When: Sunday April 8, 2012
  • Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Cost:  Adults – $21.95 Children 5 – 12 – $10.95 Children 4 & under – Free
  • What:  Breakfast station with omelets made to order, fresh salads and soups, carved roast sirloin & oven roasted ham, pasta station, dessert selection and fresh fruit.
  • For more information: Visit westernfairdisctrict.com

No matter how you choose to celebrate Easter this year, we wish you all the best!

Kettle Cuisine Gluten Free Frozen Soups Arrive in Canada! {Giveaway}

 

Finally an end to the dilemma of what to pack for lunch, something healthy or something convenient? Personally if I don’t make my lunch the night before I’m in trouble. I run out of time in the morning to make a healthy lunch and I usually end up straying from my healthy eating plan while at work.

That’s why I am really happy to share the information and a giveaway opportunity from Kettle Cuisine. This Massachusetts-based company is ‘dipping its spoon into the Canadian market’ with five gluten-free soup varieties.

Not only are the Kettle Cuisine soups gluten-free (which we love at City Mom) but they’re also considered clean with only natural ingredients.  This is such a relief as clean and convenient don’t always belong in the same sentence.

CANADIAN VARIETIES

The five varieties of Kettle Cuisine soups that have arrived in Canada are:

  • Angus Beef Steak Chili
  • Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles
  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Three Bean Chili
  • Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables

All the soups are gluten-free and made with only natural ingredients. I was able to try all five soups and though they were all very tasty and delicious, my favourite was the Three Bean Chili. It is so hearty and has the perfect amount of spice.

Kettle Cuisine Gluten Free soups

KETTLE CUISINE THREE BEAN CHILI

Slow simmered pinto beans, black beans and chili beans with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, green chilies and a blend of Southwestern spices. It’s a good source of fibre, vitamin A and protein.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (tomatoes, salt, citric acid), onions, red chili beans, pinto beans, black beans, water, sweet corn, green peppers, red peppers, green chilies (green Chile peppers, salt, citric acid), yellow peppers, spices, garlic, cilantro, corn oil, paprika, sea salt, pepper sauce (vinegar, red pepper, salt).

Nutritional Values:

With only 220 calories, a whopping 13 grams of fibre (52% of your daily requirement) 11 grams of protein and only 3.5 grams of fat, it’s easy to see that this is a nutritional and weight-smart meal choice. Pair it with a leafy green salad and you’re all set for lunch or dinner.

WHERE TO BUY

You can find the Kettle Cuisine gluten-free frozen soups at some of your favourite retailers like Loblaws, Zehrs and Fortinos.  Check here to see if they are sold in your city. Most varieties sell for $4.99.

WIN THEM

Today on City Mom one lucky reader will win a Kettle Cuisine prize pack that includes a handy insulated cooler lunch bag, some branded goodies and a grocery store gift voucher for use towards purchasing the Kettle Cuisine soups.

HOW TO ENTER

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fleming Drive is just one street in London {#LdnOnt}

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS FOUL LANGUAGE IN SOME OF THE IMAGES AND VIDEOS

We’re a small city of under 400,000 residents, yet national and international news stations were focused on London, Ontario this weekend.

It’s not because we did something heroic like discovered a cure for cancer or achieved greatness in the world of sports. Sadly we made headlines because we were home to the Fleming Riot.  This is not something we are proud of. Nor is it something we wish to be associated with.

News coverage of the devastating events that took place on St. Patrick’s Day coined the Fleming Riot (after the name of the street where the chaos took place) is aplenty so I won’t bother recapping in this post. You can get caught up here and here.

I do want to focus on the reputation that this event has given to London. The number of suspects involved in the rioting is estimated to be from 700 offenders to a couple of thousand. Guess what, that’s only 0.25% of our population. And chances are that most of the accused are not natives of London but students from different cities that attend Fanshawe College.

WE MADE GLOBAL NEWS BUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS

Now Londoners are angry and want to see justice served. The #LdnOnt hashtag on Twitter was ablaze on Sunday with many tweeters speculating on what the outcome should be for those involved in the disturbance. With over $100,000 estimated in damages and our reputation dragged through the mud, it’s evident that we want to see redemption.

From a petition on Change.org put in place to suggest that the guilty Fanshawe rioters should be expelled to a Facebook group set up to help identify the participants through video footage and photos, London is coming together to try to right this wrong.

With the use of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, it’s easier than ever to identify those involved in criminal activity like the Fleming Riot. Facebook users are being urged to update their status to display the following:

Fanshawe students that care; show the city of London (and the world) how great you really are. Help undo what your colleagues have so harmfully done. Head over to Fleming Drive tomorrow with garbage bags, shovels and whatever else you can think of-and pitch in. Help clean up the area and restore Fanshawe’s great reputation. You, and London, deserve it.

And ‘friends’ of the accused and sharing screen captures of those who are silly enough to share their involvement in the riot on Facebook & Twitter. See images below. Note that last names have been removed.

 

NOT GOOD TO BE A FANSHAWE GRAD

Many current and past students are upset at the thought of the good Fanshawe name being tainted by the riots on Saturday. A campaign has been mentioned to ban the hiring of Fanshawe College graduates to send a message to the school. But who does that hurt? And what purpose does this serve? Again, the number of students involved is a small fraction in comparison to the overall number of enrolled students.

But what can be done to send a message to students that this behaviour will not be tolerated? And what can we do to show all those with eyes on London that Fleming Drive is just ONE street in London? That we are in fact a great city with a strong culture and good people and good families?

THE CHILDREN OF THE FUTURE

If you visit the open Facebook Group, Fleming Riots St. Pat’s Day 2012 and scroll through the disturbing images, it becomes clear that there is a serious problem with some of today’s youth. Not only was their behaviour ridiculous and unspeakable, but by viewing their tweets and FB updates it’s obvious that there is no remorse but pride and boastfulness instead.

How can we be sure our own children won’t turn out this way and even more upsetting, how can we protect our children from people like this?

If you have any information on the Fleming Riot or recognize anyone from the videos or photos, please contact the London Police.

KINDER Canada & the ‘A Joy To Share’ Campaign {#KinderMom}

A Joy To Share

Easter is on its way…or should I say the Easter Bunny is on his way? I love the Easter holiday because it always comes around the same time as springtime and that’s the most exciting time of year. From the sound of birds chirping in the morning to seeing tiny buds forming on tree branches to flowers popping up in neighbour’s gardens, spring represents new beginnings.

This Easter is going to be a little different. Of course we’re going to celebrate Easter Bunny style with baskets, bunny ears and some Kinder Eggs, but we’re also going to be focusing on helping others this holiday.

A JOY TO SHARE CAMPAIGN

Sadly, not everyone has the good fortune to have a happy and healthy family and that is why I’m happy to share the news of KINDER®’s partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network through their ‘A Joy to Share’ campaign! As a brand, KINDER® and their ‘A Joy To Share’ campaign, values the time and experiences shared between mother and child – not just around the holidays but all year-long.

As you and your family celebrate this Easter, take some time to reflect and learn with your kids about what it means to help others. This isn’t just a donation request but a call to action for Canadian moms and children to help support those less fortunate this cheerful season.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Head on over to the Kinder Canada Facebook page and find the A Joy To Share link on the right side of the page.  From here you’ll be able to access the make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network link.

You can also help to support Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals by purchasing KINDER® Seasonal Easter Products like the new KINDER MIX, which comes with an adorable plush toy, or the KINDER® Easter Egg Hunt Kit.

MIRACLE KIDS

While you’re over visiting the Kinder Canada Facebook page, be sure to check out Miracle Kids where mothers who have been affected by and benefited from the work of the Children’s Miracle Network will be sharing their inspiring stories about their amazing kid. Today you can read about Dominique, her son Liam and London’s own Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre.  Feel free to get involved in the conversation by sharing your own stories of ‘hero-momness’ and/or your own amazing children.

WHY I’M CONTRIBUTING

I’m contributing to the A Joy To Share campaign because I care. And I care because though we’ve been very lucky with Little S’ health, we have had to make use of the wonderful hospital services at Children’s here in London on a few different occasions. Thankfully nothing ever required an overnight stay but we’ve dealt with some fantastic medical staff members there who made our experience less stressful and a bit easier. I can’t imagine what I’d do without the care and support offered by the Children’s Miracle Network should we ever need to use it long-term or for something more serious.

As a mom, it’s hard not to put yourself in the shoes of these courageous women and their kids when you read stories like Liam’s. If my small provision can help to improve the life of someone suffering than it’s more than worth it to me to!

Here’s wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Easter holiday!

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.

 

Join the FINISH Revolution {#FINISHRevolution}

 

 

I’m really excited to share the news that I’ve joined the FINISH Revolution! If you’re not sure what that means then here is the gist…

Quite simply put, joining the FINISH Revolution means putting an end to rinsing your dishes before they go in to the dishwasher.  FINISH® is continuously innovating and testing their products to ensure excellent results every time. And FINISH® is the number one recommended brand by dishwasher brands.

What I’m most excited about by joining the FINISH Revolution is surprising my husband. You see I’ve always assumed that if you own a dishwasher, it’ll do the work for you. It just doesn’t make sense to me that you should have to wash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Doesn’t that just say “time waster”?

So I don’t do it. I put them in as is and I hope for the best. Time and time again they come out unclean. This has become a bone of contention between me and my husband.  He argues that dishes need to be rinsed for all types of dishwashers, except for maybe restaurant grade varieties. Call it stubbornness on my part but I can’t seem to get myself to rinse first. What’s the point of owning a dishwasher if it doesn’t do its job?

The Diamond Standard

So here I was spending all this time blaming the dishwasher for my dish cleaning woes but it turns out that it’s not the appliance but the product I’ve been using with the appliance. That’s why I’m so excited to switch to FINISH; to save time and energy and to prove my husband wrong!

FINISH® has a number of innovative products to compliment your hardworking dishwasher. Check out the FINISH Dishwashing website to learn more about all the products they offer and how they work as well as tips to keeping your dishwasher working its best.

  • FINISH® Quantum®
  • FINISH® All in 1 Powerball® Tabs
  • FINISH® All in 1 Gelpacs
  • FINISH® Gel
  • FINISH® Powder
  • FINISH® Jet Dry® Rinse Agent
  • FINISH® Jet Dry® Turbo Dry®
  • FINISH® Dishwasher Cleaner

FINISH ON FACEBOOK – GET FREE SAMPLES

FINISH has just launched their new Facebook page and they are giving away 50,000 Free Quantum samples starting today (March 12), while supplies last, to Facebook users who “Like” the FINISH page. The sample will include 3 units of FINISH Quantum and a coupon for $2 off the retail price.

TOP CHEF CANADA – WIN A CATERED DINNER

And even more exciting is that FINISH is the sponsor of the popular Food Network TV show, Top Chef Canada! The new season starts tonight (March 12) and to celebrate this sponsorship, moms (and dads) can visit the FINISH Facebook page to enter to win a catered dinner for up to 6 by one of the Top Chef Canada competitors! Check out the Top Chef Canada tab on the site for more details!

And stay tuned for next month’s post where I’ll share the results of our FINISH Revolution and how my husband took the news! What are your dishwashing habits? Do you rinse before you put?

Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Happy cleaning!

Easy Easter Decor For Less

 

Easter wreath 

 City Mom grants permission to Pin this post and photos.

With Easter just a month away and spring right around the corner, I was feeling inspired to add some festive decorations to our condo. I’m not usually a big Easter decorator but this year I wanted to spruce things up. I decided to head out  in search of some cute, inexpensive decorations but what I found both shocked me and motivated me.

I fell in love with a super cute yet stylish Easter wreath decked out with Easter pastels, cute bunny ears and fancy ribbons. Wreaths are perfect for any occasion so I picked it up, checked the price tag and put it right back down.  When I saw $49.99 for something that I was sure I could make for at least a third of the cost, I went to work.

I wanted to make sure to use the ‘expensive’ wreath as an inspiration and not copy it altogether. My crafty skills are not that great and my creative desire far outweighs my abilities. But Easter is one of those holidays where you can get away with being cute and less emphasis is put on elegance and class unlike Christmas, so I decided to give it a go.

My version of the Easter wreath cost roughly $16. This is approximately a third of the cost of the original wreath. And though I don’t have a photo of the wreath in store for you to compare my design to, you can trust me when I say there really isn’t much difference in the quality of the two decorations.

Easter wreath

 

*Note: I already had the bottle of spray paint so I did not factor this into the cost. This wreath could just as easily been made without the paint; in fact the item in store was not painted.

 Easter wreath supplies

Supplies

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Satin ribbon (various colours)
  • White spray paint (optional)
  • Easter decorations (e.g. eggs, bunnies etc.)
  • Glue gun

Directions

  1. In a well ventilated area, spray the wreath all over covering all exposed parts. Let dry for a couple of hours
  2. Set up work area with scissors, glue gun and Easter decorations
  3. Start by gluing one end of the ribbon to the back of the wreath and weave around the wreath. Secure the end in the starting position with the glue gun. Repeat with other ribbon colours
  4. Glue Easter decorations in various spots on the wreath’s surface
  5. Let glue dry and hang

 So there you have it, an easy Easter wreath for under $20. Are you an Easter decorator? How do you celebrate the holiday?

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