November 2012

The Holidays Are Here in #LdnOnt: Holiday Events

Local Events Listing

I know I say this all the time but I can’t believe its December! Well in one day it’ll be December.

Though very little snow, it is winter in the city. Here are some fun ways to celebrate the holidays this month in London.

WINTER WONDERLAND – LIGHTING OF THE LIGHTS

  • When: Friday November 30, 2012
  • Where: Victoria Park
  • Time:  Entertainment starts at 6:15 pm with the actual lighting taking place at 6:50 pm (get there before that as it’s always a bit early)
  • What: View the 75,000 individual lights coming on for the first time in 2012, caroling, and a mailbox for Santa where kids can drop off their letters. Lights will be on each day from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm until January 1st
  • Cost: Free!
  • For More Information: www.london.ca

 

CityHall

BIRD’S EYE VIEW AT CITY HALL

  • When: Friday November 30, 2012 – December 30, 2012.
  • Where: City Hall – 12th Floor Observation Deck
  • Time:  6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
  • What: Catch a bird’s eye view of the lights at Victoria Park. United Way volunteers will be accepting donations and providing cookies and hot chocolate to visitors. Note the following dates that City Hall will not be open for viewing: Dec. 7, 14, 24, 25 and 26.
  • Cost: Free! Donations are welcomed to help support 40 London agencies that offer support for vulnerable Londoners.
  • For More Information: Call 519-661-4500

Christmas in the Village

CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE

  • When: Saturday December 1, 2012
  • Where: Wortley Village
  • Time:  9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • What: Get into the holiday spirit as you stroll the village surrounded by the sights and sounds of the village.
    • Breakfast with Santa (continental) is between 9:30-11:30 (tickets required at $1 each which can be purchased at the Landon Library.)
    • Horse & Buggy rides 10:30-2:00 (this starts in the parking lot of Village Autocare)
    • The Christmas Bus 1:00 – 4:00 (corner of Askin & Wortley)
    • Passport to Christmas 10:00 -4:00 (you collect stamps from the local businesses in the there is a prize to be won. Passports available at Landon Library. Prizes on display at Tuckey Hardware.)
    • Pet portraits with Father Christmas 2:00 – 4:00 (162 Wortley Rd.) (donations accepted to the London Humane Society)
    • Lighting of the Tree (Wortley & Bruce Street) at 4:30 with caroling by children of The Preschool of the Arts
    • Cost:  Most events are free or with donations unless otherwise stated.
    • For More Information: www.facebook.com/WortleyVillage

 

Cp Holiday Train + London, ON

CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAIN

  • When: Sunday December 2, 2012
  • Where: Richmond Street railway crossing between Oxford and Pall  Mall Street
  • Time:  8:15 pm
  • What: The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train has hit the rails again and will be visiting over 150 communities across our network.  Each event features a boxcar stage, a lineup of great musical talent and a contribution to the local food bank.  Everyone who attends is encouraged to donate food and/or which stays in their community.
  • Cost: Free!
  • For More Information: www.cpr.ca

 

Old World Christmas Market

OLD WORLD CHRISTMAS MARKET

  • When: Sunday December 2, 2012
  • Where: Elsie Perrin Williams Estate
  • Time:  11:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • What: Old World Christmas market with crafters and artists,
  • Cost:  General admission $5, children under 12 are free.
  • For More Information:  http://www.oldworldchristmasmarket.ca/

 

Miracle on 34th Street

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET THE MUSICAL

  • When: November 21 to December 30, 2012
  • Where: The Grand Theatre
  • Time:  Various performance times
  • What: Could the department store Santa be the real thing? Kris Kringle takes on the cynics among us in this musical adaptation of the popular holiday favourite. A white-bearded gentleman claiming to be the real Santa Claus brings about a genuine miracle, spreading a wave of love throughout New York City, fostering camaraderie between Macy’s and Gimbel’s Department Stores and convincing a divorced, cynical single mother, her sombre daughter and the entire state of New York that Santa Claus is no myth.
  • Cost: Various ticket prices
  • For More Information: www.grandtheatre.com

 

Santa In the City

SANTA IN THE CITY

  • When: Saturday December 15, 2012
  • Where: Citi Plaza – Centre Court
  • Time:  9:30 am story time, 10:30 am movie time.
  • What: Santa will read the Polar Express to the children followed by a FREE screening of All I want for Christmas. The story starts at 9:30 am followed by the movie at 10:30 a.m. Families are welcome to bring their own cameras to take photos with Santa and capture the magic of the day!
  • Cost: Free!
  • For More Information: http://www.facebook.com/citiplazalondon/events

 

AN ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS MARKET

  • When: November 10 – December 22, 2012
  • Where: Western Fair Farmer’s & Artisan’s Market
  • Time: Regular weekend market hours: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • What: Celebrate a traditional and enchanted Christmas with a market within a market. Gingerbread Decorating – Growing Chefs will coordinate the making of a Gingerbread Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market. Each week children can sign up for this event & help create the Christmas Market and decorate Gingerbread cookies. Cookbook Swap – Bring your old cookbooks up to the Market office and trade them with others. Donations will be used in the continuous support of Growing Chefs.
  • Cost: Free!
  • For More Information:  Call 519-438-5942

Rockin New Years Eve

ROCKIN’ NEW YEARS EVE

  • When: December 31, 2012
  • Where: Victoria Park
  • Time: 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • What: Ring in 2013 with skating, entertainment and fireworks!
  • Cost: Free!
  • For More Information:  www.london.ca

NEW YEARS EVE FAMILY HOOPLA

  • When: December 31, 2012
  • Where: Storybook Gardens
  • Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00pm
  • What: Ring in the New Year at Storybook Gardens with skating, campfires and a mini countdown starting at 8:30.
  • Cost: Pre-Registration is required. $12. Children under 2 are free.
  • For More Information: http://www.storybook.london.ca

However you choose to celebrate the holiday, from my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

PS. If you are aware of any other holiday themed events taking place in the city, please leave it in a comment below. Thanks!

Skillet Turkey Vegetables and Stuffing Recipe {#LMDConnector}

Life Made Delicious

Anytime you see the word ‘skillet’ in the title of a dish, you know it’s going to be a good, hearty meal. In my opinion, skillet just means mixing all the good stuff together in one pot (skillet) and enjoying all the good things in one bowl.

I love being a Life Made Delicious Connector because it prompts me to challenge myself to try to test new recipes. Then I share the best ones with you guys. Through this program I’ve found some ‘favourites’ that get a permanent spot in my recipe folder.

Today I’m sharing a classic meal that’s been ‘skilletized’. I know that’s not a proper word…don’t worry! This recipe is good for any occasion but you’ll especially love it to use up your leftover holiday dinner foods.

 Skillet Turkey Vegetables and Stuffing

This recipe and other skillet wonders can be found at lifemadedelicious.ca

SKILLET TURKEY VEGETABLES & STUFFING

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) margarine or butter
  • 1 lb (500 g) turkey breast, cut into thin bite-sized strips
  • 1 can (284 mL/10 FL oz) turkey gravy
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1 pkg Green Giant* Simply Steam* Niblets* Corn with Butter Sauce
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Green Giant* Frozen Sweetlets* Peas or SummerSweet Peas
  • 1 box stuffing mix for turkey
Method:
  1. In a large skillet, melt margarine over medium-high heat.
  2. Add turkey strips; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until no longer pink in center.
  3. Add gravy, water, corn and peas; mix well. Heat to boiling; stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 6 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare stuffing mix as directed on box, omitting margarine; mix well.
  5. Spoon stuffing into eight 1/4-cup mounds on turkey mixture.
  6. Cover; cook over medium-low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until stuffing is thoroughly heated.

EASY SUBSTITUTES

I made a couple of additions/substitutions including using mixed vegetables instead of just peas. I also used chicken instead of turkey because that is what we already had on hand. To compliment the chicken I used chicken gravy and chicken stuffing.

This was a hit with the whole family. It is so good that I can’t even really describe it. It’s similar to a chicken/turkey pot pie but more like a stew. You just have to make it and try it for yourself. If you do please come back and let me know what you thought.

What’s your favourite winter recipe or a recipe that you like to use for using up left overs?

Happy cooking!

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

Ten Gifts for Her Under $10

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

10 FUN GIFTS FOR HER UNDER $10

Secret Santa? Stocking Stuffers? Your children’s teachers? Or just because? You’ll love this list of ten suitable gifts for anyone (female) on your list.

All items cost $10.00 or less.

All Canadian shopping, in-store or online.

Gifts for $10

    1. Chocolate Heart Soaps Gift – thebodyshop.ca
    2. Fireside Rim Trimmer – epicureselections.com
    3. POLARVIDE Fleece Throw – ikea.ca
    4. Tea Light Holder – bouclair.com
    5. Twisted Peppermint Mini Candle – bathandbodyworks.com
    6. Crystal Love Necklace – tenthousandvillages.ca
    7. North American Hemp Co. Hemp Exfoliating Face Cloth – well.ca
    8. Mulling Spices by The Spice Hunter – chapters.indigo.ca
    9. Rose of Hope Stuffed Sheep – lavieenrose.com
    10. NailRock Designer Nail Wraps: Big Money – ebeuty.ca
What’s your favourite?
Happy shopping!
City Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: Ten-Minute Trainer {#Giveaway}

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

As it nears the end of November, the holiday stress is starting to set-in for some. The traffic is getting heavier, the stores busier and the lineups longer.

If you’re like me, one of the first things you neglect in times of stress is your fitness routine. With less time to cook, healthy meals get a little unhealthier and your workout routines get shorter and shorter until they’re nonexistent.

Luckily there’s a remedy for that and that is Tony Horton’s Ten-Minute Trainer by Beachbody. Whether this is what you need to make it through the holidays or the perfect gift for someone special, you’ll be impressed with this product.

Ten-Minute Trainer

TEN-MINUTE TRAINER

Beachbody’s Ten-Minute Trainer is a home workout program that guarantees results with just ten minutes a day. I was lucky to receive a Ten-Minute Trainer DVD fitness program to test out.

The Ten-Minute Trainer includes five different workouts:

  • Total Body
  • Cardio
  • Lower Body
  • Yoga Flex
  • Abs Routine

It also includes everything else you’ll need to conduct a full fitness regime:

  • Resistance Band Kit with Cardio Belt
  • Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Meals
  • Customized workout calendar
  • Rapid Results Guidebook
  • On-the-Go Workout Cards
  • 10-Day Lean Jean Plan
  • Bonus measuring tape

MY EXPERIENCE

The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for bloggers like me. The holiday season starts well before November and December as we plan our holiday features. My fitness regime has gone out the window but when I received the Ten-Minute Trainer I started back up in small doses.

I love the 10-Day Lean Jean Plan. It’s a ten-day plan to help you kick-start your commitment. Sometimes I get frustrated when I don’t see the results I expect right away. This plan is a great way to drop a size to give you that motivation you need to keep going.

The meals aren’t complicated and don’t require you to find all sorts of ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen. This whole program seems to be designed for people like me and probably you.

Here’s an example of one day’s menu (This is just a ten-day plan and not intended to continue for longer):

Breakfast

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sliced peach
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread

Snack

  • 1 cup fresh fruit

Lunch

  • Tuna Sandwich with mayonnaise

Dinner

  • Roast turkey breast
  • 1 cup spinach

Snack

  • 1 baked apple, sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar & cinnamon

The Customized workout calendar directs you on what workout programs to do and when. And it’s set up for all types of people. For example, it shows you what workout to do if you’ve really only got ten minutes. But if you have twenty minutes it tells you what other workout to do and so on.

The calendar is set up for an entire month of workouts and by combining them with the healthy 10-minute meal suggestions and Michi’s Ladder, you’ll see significant results. I have not been about to complete a full four weeks yet because I wanted to get this out in time for Christmas) but I am excited to do so and report back.

I also found the DVDs easy to follow and easy to understand with clear instruction and demonstrations.

NOT A GIMMICK

I watch late night TV. I know there are a lot of products out there that promise to shed weight in no time flat and I admit I’ve tried some of them. Sadly, the truth is that you need to burn more than you take in. The Ten-Minute Trainer is just that! And it’s all packaged up in a way that makes it impossible to come up with excuses as to why you can’t lose weight and stay fit.

If you’re looking for a fitness and nutrition plan that is realistic and easy to follow then I recommend this program. And not just for the busy holiday season but for always as a way to stay fit. I also recommend this as a good Christmas gift  for someone in your life that has a busy schedule, travels a lot, has young children or is just looking to keep fit in the comforts of their own home.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

I’m just one person so you should see what others are saying too. Like any fitness and diet routine, results and experiences vary with each person and how they are using it.

BUY IT

The Ten-Minute Trainer retails for $89.99 and can be found at Shopper’s Drug Mart, London Drugs, Sears and Target.

ENTER TO WIN THE TEN-MINUTE TRAINER

One City Mom reader will win a Ten-Minute Trainer package as described in this post. Please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 City Mom

It’s Fall: Time to bring out the indoor soccer equipment

It’s Winter Sport Season. For many parents that means getting out the hockey equipment for their children or for themselves. For me it means bringing my indoor soccer gear out of retirement. It had been a while let me tell you.

Last season I had sprained my ankle in the middle of the season so it was about January that some of the items were last used. Now, I’m a female and I know that were supposed to smell like fresh-baked cookies and roses all the time but sweat is sweat. Furthermore, sweat sitting in a bag for close to a year is sweat sitting in a bag for close to a year.

I quickly threw the items into a super-hot, super-long wash cycle. I was excited when the washing had ended so that I could reassure myself that I wouldn’t have to buy all new equipment. The odour had subsided a great deal but there was still that ‘sports equipment smell’. I was aiming for roses so I still had to figure something out.

Lysol Fabric Mist

I’ve had great success with my bottle of Lysol Fabric Mist so I gave my shin pads, shoes, ankle brace and socks a few squirts and left them to dry. I am so happy to report that they no longer smell like a men’s locker room (sorry boys); they smell like regular fabric now with a hint of Blossoms & Springtime. I was so relieved that I could maintain my feminine charm on the pitch without having to spend a lot of cash.

What are you bringing out of boxes now that the cold weather is here? What’s a horror story you have about odor issues?

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

City Mom

Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy: NIKON COOLPIX S01 {#Giveaway}

City Mom's Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy

They way I see it there are seven categories of those we give gifts to over the holiday season:

  1. The Person Who Has Everything
    • This is the hardest person to buy for because well, they already have everything!
  2. Children
    • Pretty easy to buy for; they have their list made in June, all you have to do is get the items, wrap them and sit back and relax.
  3. The Hobbyist
    • These people are so easy to buy for; grab an item in your price range that falls under their hobby category and you’re golden.
  4. The “Appreciatist”
    • I know this isn’t a real word, but the “appreciatist” is someone on your list that you want to send a gift of thanks to; for example your child’s teacher, your boss etc.
  5. The Spouse/Friend/Sibling
    • This one is a breeze. You interact with them on a daily basis and you know all their likes and dislikes, wants and needs.
  6. Your Parents
    • This one can be tricky and they can also fall into many of the other categories. You either know exactly what to get them or you have no clue.
  7. The Question Mark
    • This is a catchall category. Maybe it’s a Secret Santa at work or a gift donation or anyone that doesn’t fit into the above six categories.

THE NIKON COOLPIX S01

Nikon COOLPIX S01

Enter the Nikon COOLPIX S01 from Henry’s; this tiny gem will satisfy any person on your list this holiday season.

Henry's

The Person Who Has Everything will appreciate this gift because they don’t already have it; it just came into the market in time for the holidays.

It’s perfect for the tiny hands of Children because it measures in at 2.1 inches in height, 3.1 inches in width and less than 1 inch deep. And with a user-friendly touch screen LCD monitor they’ll have no problem using it.

And if The Hobbyist in your life is a photography nut then this is a no-brainer, but if their hobby doesn’t have anything to do with photography this is still the perfect gift. The COOLPIX S01 detects what you’re shooting and automatically selects the best mode for you making anyone using it a skilled photographer.

The “Appreciatist” could fall into any other category as well, but if you’re looking for an appropriate gift that guarantees enjoyment why not gather your coworkers or the parents of you child’s classmates and go in on this fun gift together? With this camera sitting at the lower end of digital camera price ranges, it will be possible with just a few joiners.

Whether or not your Spouse/Friend/Sibling has the latest Smartphone with a camera/video included, the COOLPIX S01 is still a good addition to their lineup of technology.

For example, the new iPhone 5 has an 8 megapixel (MP) sensor while the COOLPIX S01 has a 10.1 MP sensor. And the COOLPIX is smaller so it’s much more convenient to throw in your pocket and grab it to snap a quick photo.

If Your Parents are the type of people who have kept up with technology then they’re obviously already familiar with technology like digital cameras and Smartphones. If they haven’t kept up and don’t own the latest iPhone or something similar then this is the perfect gift for them.

The COOLPIX S01 is compact, straight forward and user-friendly; three important qualities to individuals who can get easily overwhelmed with technology. With absolutely no buttons, all functions of this camera are done through the touch-screen. It also comes with a programmed auto exposure (shutter speed and ND filter selection) and a flexible program with motion detection to make it super easy to take excellent photos without having to learn first.

And since almost everyone loves taking pictures and videos to capture special moments this makes a great gift for that Question Mark person on your list.

There are so many cool features that this camera has that I couldn’t possibly include them all so check out the video from Henry’s TV that shares a quick but thorough description of the Nikon COOLPIX S01.

ENTER TO WIN A NIKON COOLPIX S01 FROM HENRY’S

Nikon COOLPIX S01

One City Mom reader will win a NIKON COOLPIX S01 Digital Camera in red with a retail value of $149.98. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I have not used this camera. This description is based on information from the Henry’s and the Nikon website.

City Mom

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