June 2013

London Celebrates Canada Day 2013

Local Events Listing London Ontario

Happy 146th Birthday Canada!

It’s time to celebrate Canada! Summer is officially here and London is celebrating in style. Check out the great, family friendly events taking place in the city.

 

Don’t forget to Like City Mom on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the latest activities taking place in London this summer!

City Mom 

 

Canada Day Events in London

LONDON CELEBRATES CANADA AT HARRIS PARK

  • When: Monday July 1, 2013
  • Where: Harris Park/Fork of the Thames
  • Time: 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Fireworks begin at 10 pm)
  • What: A giant Canada birthday cake, dancing, music and of course the spectacular fireworks display at 10:00 pm
  • Cost: Free admission!
  • For more info: Visit celebratecanada.info

Canada Day Events in London

NORTHWEST LONDON CELEBRATES CANADA

  • When: Saturday June 29, 2013 (rain date June 30)
  • Where: West Park Church
  • Time: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Fireworks at 10pm)
  • What: A BBQ, games for the kids, fire engines and fireworks to celebrate Canada!
  • Cost: Family pass: 15 food tickets and two wristbands for $15
  • For more info: Visit westpark.on.ca

Canada Day Events in London

CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS IN SUMMERSIDE

  • When: Saturday June 29, 2013 (rain date June 30)
  • Where: Medowgate Park
  • Time: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm with Fireworks taking place after dusk
  • What: Kids Dash (200m), inflatable bouncers, face painting, games, maze, BBQ by M&M
  • Cost: Free with additional costs for BBQ etc.
  • For more info: Visit summersideoptimistclub.com

Canada Day Events in London

THE CANADA DAY CELEBRATION

  • When:  Monday July 1, 2013
  • Where: White Oaks Park – 1119 Jalna Blvd.
  • Time: 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm (fireworks at 10 pm)
  • What:  Live entertainment, inflatable rides, local & international foods, movies and fireworks to end it all
  • Cost: Various costs see more information
  • For more info: Visit southlondoncanadaday.com

Canada Day Events in London

DOMINION DAY

  • When: Monday July 1, 2013
  • Where: Fanshawe Pioneer Village
  • Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • What: Historical debates, vintage baseball, cake and lemonade and a buffet in the café
  • Cost: $7.00. Children under 3  free. Additional fees for buffet lunch: $13.50 adults, children 12 and under $6.00.
  •  For more info: Visit fanshawepioneervillage.ca

Canada Day Events in LondonPORT STANLEY CANFEST

  • When: June 28 to July 1, 2013 (Fireworks on June 30)
  •  Where: Port Stanley Beach and surrounding area
  • Time: Various times. See Event Schedule
  • What: A beach side festival featuring live entertainment, BBQ, movies on the beach, treasure hunts and more!
  • Cost:  Free. Other costs may apply.
  • For more info: Visit portstanleycanfest.ca

Canada Day Events in LondonGRAND BEND CANADA DAY

  • When: July 1, 2013
  •  Where: Grand Bend, ON –  Main Beach
  • Time: Various times. See Event Listing. Fireworks to start promptly at 10 pm
  • What: A beach side festival featuring live music, parade and a giant mural! Fireworks the end it all.
  • Cost:  Free. Other costs may apply.
  • For more info: Visit canadadaygrandbend.ca

Canada Day Events in LondonFAMILY FUN AT ELDON HOUSE

  • When: Monday July 1, 2013
  • Where: Eldon House
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • What: Live music, art, craft and croquet. Enjoy cake at 3pm.
  • Cost: Free!
  • For more info: Visit eldonhouse.ca

Canada Day Events in LondonCANADA DAY AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

  • When: Monday July 1, 2013
  • Where: Children’s Museum
  • Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • What: Celebrate Canada’s birthday at the children’s museum. Bring a canned good for the London Food Bank.
  • Cost: Free admission all day!
  • For more info: Visit childrensmuseum.ca

However you choose to celebrate this holiday weekend, here’s to a fun and safe weekend!

If  you know of other local, Canada Day events, feel free to share  in a comment below!

City Mom

Meeting Limba at the Bowmanville Zoo!

Bowmanville Zoo

After this past weekend, here’s a few things I know:

  • Baby giraffes are extremely tall
  • Elephant poop is really stinky
  • and The Bowmanville Zoo is a very special place

My family has visited many zoos, aquariums, and attractions over the last couple of years.

All of them were shiny and new, but none of them had that comfortable ‘homey’ feeling you’ll find at the Bowmanville Zoo.

For movie buffs, this feeling can be best described as if you had walked onto the real life setting of “We Bought a Zoo”, you can just tell that the zoo is a labour of love.

The Bowmanville Zoo is a place where the staff always great you with a smile, where the curator of the zoo can be found walking among the Saturday afternoon visitors and where elephants always have the right of way.

limba on path

MEETING LIMBA

In fact, Limba the Elephant was exactly the animal we were there to meet – the star of the Bowmanville Zoo!

Limba is a 50 year old, female Asian elephant and a sweet gentle old girl, she is!

With Kelly busy back in London, my family had the distinct pleasure of visiting the zoo on her behalf and meeting Limba for little playdate at her favourite watering hole.

It’s not every day you get to hand feed an elephant and watch her splash in the river, this was a special day indeed.

me and Limba

Now that we were properly acquainted, we followed Limba over to the ANIMATHEATRE, where the show was about to start. Limba was the star of the show! She worked her magic, charming the audience with her artistic talents of dancing and even painting!

Limba painting

Our day with Limba did not stop there. Next, Limba treated the guests to rides on her back, a truly amazing experience and so fun to share with the boys!

momboys on limba

After a delicious lunch at the Zoo Cafe (yes really! I recommend the chicken wrap!) we had the exciting opportunity to be the first to take a peek at the brand new additions to the Bowmanville Zoo. Just that week, two baby giraffe arrived to their new home and were taking some time to get used to their new surroundings. They were quite shy, but would come to peek out at us from time to time.

NAME THE BABY GIRAFFES

giraffe

The baby boys don’t yet have a name, but you can help! Visit the Bowmanville Zoo Facebook Page and suggest a name for the new giraffes! Your family could win a pass to the zoo and the honour of naming a little…um…big baby, if you win!! Not yet a year old and they are already over 7 feet tall!

Thanks to Kelly for the chance to experience the wonders of the Bowmanville Zoo!

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Thank you Jennifer for sharing your wonderful experience with us at City Mom!

City Mom

LittleEcoFootprint: Look Inside the May Box

LittleEcoFootprint Logo

LittleEcoFootprint’s May delivery of eco-friendly, non-toxic mama and baby items once again has been exceptional. May’s box was filled with items that are safe and healthy for both me and my baby.

A LOOK INSIDE

LittleEcoFootprint May Box

  1. Bare Organics, 140 grams of herbal bath salts: As us busy moms know, it’s not always easy to find time to take a bath, so when you do get the chance, you want it to be as relaxing and de-stressing as possible! Bare Organics herbal bath salts have detoxifying properties and are pure, organic and safe. Retail: $6 + $5 Shipping Discount Code. www.bareorganics.ca
  2. Elabloom Nourishing Facial Oil: Elabloom’s products are made from 100% pure plant extracts, which make them safe for me to use even while snuggling my baby. Retail: $12 (4 ml) + 20% Discount Code. www.elabloom.com
  3. Jaydancin All Natural Moisturizing Soap: Jaydancin offers a line of organic and all natural skin care products and makeup. City Mom featured this company on her TV show and blog! This soap leaves you feeling clean but not dry like other soaps and is actually great for people with sensitive skin, acne or roseacea. It’s safe for breastfeeding moms as well! Retail: $6 www.jaydancin.com
  4. Kosuma Pure Food Energy Bar: This company is based right here in London! They make convenience energy bars healthy to eat, while remaining convenient. I had this bar after a workout when I really needed a boost of energy but had my little one with me so I didn’t have time to stop and grab anything to eat. It was delicious and had full chunks of nuts and berries in it. These bars will be available to buy through the LittleEco Shop as well as www.kosuma.com Retail: $3.25
  5. My Mother Gave Me the Moon: In this month’s box we got a full children’s book! My daughter has recently discovered books and is loving having them read to her. She looks at the pictures and looks up at us while reading them to listen to our voices. She will love looking at this book as it is beautifully illustrated by watercolour artist Becky Kelly and has such a sweet, heartfelt story that she will enjoy hearing us read. Retail: $9.99
  6. Peachwik Mother’s Day Handprint Tree: What a cute idea! This is Handprint Tree Artwork that reads: Happy Mother’s Day 2013 and is a craft that allows kids to create a beautiful handprint keepsake for their moms! Retail: $8.50 + Save $5 coupon www.peachwik.com
  7. We Can Too Baby Tempura Paints: These plant, fruit and vegetable based paints are safe for babies 12 months and up, as well as toddlers. They are gluten and dairy free and work well on the above mentioned Peachwik Handprint Tree Artwork! Retail: $8 (for 2 colour samples) www.wecantooart.com

Once again, May’s box did not disappoint and continued to introduce me to high-quality, eco-friendly products for myself and my baby; I can’t wait to see June’s box!

Village Mom

Tech Timeout: I’m Taking the Pledge!

Tech TimeoutIf you know me well, you’ll know that the pledge I am about to take is going to be a stretch for me! It’s going to be something that will challenge me to my very core, but something so worthwhile!

TECH TIMEOUT CHALLENGE BY FORESTERS

Tech Timeout by ForestersTech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider, Foresters is an initiative with the goal of promoting families to put their electronic devices down and spend more quality time together. It is said that the average American household has 24 electronic devices within their home. This means that often each family member is plugged in at once.

Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all their electronic devices for one hour a day to help spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.

This video really sums it up! 

THE PLEDGE

The Tech Timeout Pledge challenges you and your family to turn off all the technology in your home (yes, even your cell phone), for at least ONE HOUR a day this summer and get to know your family better.

You can download the Tech Timeout™ challenge Pledge form and ask every member of your family to sign it. Then put it up in a place where everyone can see it, so that it becomes a constant reminder of your commitment to family time.

MY PLEDGE

Tech Timeout Pledge

I will be the first to admit that I am way too addicted to my electronics; particularly my iPhone. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that it’s glued to my hand.

But more than that, we all seem to be reliant on some form of electronics.  Whether it’s our TV, smart phones or iPods, there is usually something plugged in at our house. That is why I was eager to participate in this challenge; I know it will be so good for us.

I plan to approach this pledge by scheduling one hour a day from now until September at the same time each weekday and an hour at the same time each weekend. For example, Monday to Friday we will “unplug” from 6 pm to 7 pm and from 9 am to 10 am on weekends.  This way it will become a habit and we’ll be scheduled to unplug which will increase our chances of success!

MAKING THE HOUR COUNT

Look at this hour as an extra hour in the day, because really, that’s what it is. When you’re plugged in time flies at an astronomical rate, but when you take the time to savour the finer things in life, like love, laughter and togetherness, you’re able to slow time down and take it all in.

So what to do with this extra hour? There are so many fun options like playing board games, going for ice cream, going to the park etc. And for more inspiration, check out Tech Timeout’s list of 50 things to do as a family without technology.

MY PREDICTION

In my family, I believe it is going to be me who has the hardest time with this project. Habits are hard to break, and picking up my phone for a quick check on things is definitely ingrained in me. I plan to keep my phone out of reach during this hour so that I am not inclined to grab for it.

Another piece of technology that I predict we will all struggle with is the television. After a long day at work, dinner prep and clean up, it’s all too easy to plop down in front of the TV to unwind. Though I know that we will all enjoy this hour together, at first I think it’s going to seem like work compared the passive-state that watching TV can create.

WILL YOU TAKE THE PLEDGE?

Now that you’ve learned about the Tech Timeout™ Challenge, is this something that you think you can start with your family this summer? Or is this something that you are already doing? What kinds of challenges to do you face or foresee facing?

For more information about the Tech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider, Foresters visit:

Tech Timeout Challenge: techtimeout.com

Facebookfacebook.com/TechTimeOut

Pinterest: pinterest.com/techtimeout/

This post was generously sponsored by life insurance provider Foresters, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.techtimeout.com.

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

City Mom

Happy Anniversary to the Man I Love!

Wedding

It was six years ago today that I said “I do” to my very best friend, my partner in crime, my biggest supporter and the father of my child.

I’ve talked a lot about Little S, our life in the city and of course myself here on City Mom, but I haven’t shared all that much about City Dad, a.k.a. my husband. And there is no better time to do so than today since it’s our anniversary!

OUR STORY

Rob and I shared a whirlwind romance; within weeks of dating we decided that I would move from London to downtown Toronto (into his condo) because we just couldn’t bare the distance.  Almost nine months later we learned our twosome was going to be three so we decided to get married, transfer jobs, sell our condo and buy a house in London.

It wasn’t an easy decision as we absolutely loved our city life in T.O. but with both our families residing mostly in London we wanted to be closer to home to raise our family.

SHOTGUN WEDDING

We knew that marriage was something we wanted to do in the near future so when we learned that we were expecting a baby we decided not to wait any longer. So on my 30th birthday weekend, Rob asked me to marry him right in our little condo. It was the last amazing thing to happen within those walls.

Since we were short on time we decided that we were going to combine our wedding, honeymoon and ‘babymoon’ into one trip. We flew to Negril, Jamaica and got married on the beach at Sandals Negril, just the two of us.

That was another tough decision because both of our families mean so much to us and we wanted them to be there to celebrate with us, but we knew that we wanted to spend this week alone together.

Short on time also meant short on money. Most couples spend months and months saving for their big day, but we made our wedding plans in just two months. After receiving a gorgeous engagement ring and paying for our trip and wedding in Jamaica, we didn’t have much left over so we came up with a clever plan.

THE RING CEREMONY

Ring Ceremony

We opted to buy “fake” wedding bands from the Eaton Centre. Honestly no one would have ever noticed the difference if we didn’t tell anyone. We spent $40 combined and they looked like the real deal. Mine even matched my engagement ring; we were set.

The plan was to marry in a private oasis and celebrate with family and friends at some point in the near future back at home.

As our one year anniversary approached we decided that we wanted to gift each other with proper wedding bands. There was one problem though; I am not an overly religious person, however there was great meaning to me in the fact that our “fake” rings had been blessed by the pastor in Jamaica. I didn’t want to throw that away. So we created an amazing celebration to take place on our one year anniversary at Elsie Perrin Williams Estate.

Here we had our new rings blessed by a different pastor and performed this blessing in the form of a ring ceremony. It was completely original as the pastor said she had been performing weddings for years, but had never done a ring blessing before.

We picked to celebrate with a Jamaican theme and asked all of our guests to dress in white and/or khaki to mimic our attire the day of our wedding in Negril.  It was a night I will never forget and our guest shared that they felt like they got to witness our marriage. It was a perfect combination!

Ring Ceremony

SIX YEARS LATER

And today marks the completion of six wonderful, trying, amazing, challenging, exciting years of marriage to the best guy I know! I’d be lying if I said it was all a breeze. We’ve dealt with a lot in our relatively short relationship from the death of a parent to Postpartum Depression to life with baby and everything in between. And I mean a lot of everything in between! But we always seem to come out stronger for it.

We have a beautiful daughter together whom is growing to be a wonderful little girl and we navigate the bumps in the road together. And I still get butterflies in my stomach when I think of him.

Rob, I know you’re pretty busy these days and you don’t always get to read my posts (how great is he that he totally tries to?) but if you are reading this one, I want to tell you how much I love you. And that almost doesn’t do it justice.

I admire you, respect you and think the world of you. I think you’re the sexiest man on this planet, especially when you’re dressed in your bike gear and you ride past me on the street. I still can’t believe that I’m the girl who got you! I truly am the luckiest women in the world!

Thank you for all the that you do for us and for loving me unconditionally!

Happy anniversary!

City Mom

It’s Summer Festival Season in London

 Local Events Listing London Ontario

My favourite time of year is here; Festival Season at Victoria Park!

Living so close to this 18-acre oasis in the heart of the city affords us the opportunity to visit all the great summer festivals with ease. You can often find us at each of the festivals multiple times in one weekend. It’s just so much fun!

The first summer festival at Victoria Park is taking place this weekend. Here are the details for the Kids Expo, as well as a list of the other festival taking place.

Happy summer!

VICTORIA PARK KIDS EXPO

When: June 14 to 16, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm (each day)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Food, crafts, games, rides, music, all for the kids!
Cost: Free admission, cost for rides per ticket, or $20 All Day Ride Bracelet (parents ride free)
For more info: canadasbiggestparty.com

LONDON INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL

When: June 21 to 23, 2013
Time: 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm (each day except Friday which starts at 6:00 pm)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Many international food choices including Portuguese, Mexican, Italian and Polish, carnival rides, beer, wine, coolers, music and dance.
Cost: Free entry, cost for rides per ticket, or $20 All Day Ride Bracelet (parents ride free)
For more info: canadasbiggestparty.com

SUNFEST

When: July 4 to 7, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm (each day, Thursday starts at 6:00 pm)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Sunfest is a non-profit community arts group dedicated to promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the arts across a range of disciplines, such as music, dance and the visual arts. There will be over 275 food, craft and art exhibitors as well as many international and local music performances.
Cost: Free admission
For more info: sunfest.on.ca

HOME COUNTY MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL

When: July 19 to 21, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm (each day)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Some of Canada’s finest songwriters will perform and provide three afternoon workshops sharing the stories behind their songs, juried crafts showcase and 30 different food vendors
Cost: Admission by donation
For more info: homecounty.ca

RIBFEST

When: August 1 to 5, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm (each day)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Ribs, ribs and more ribs…you be the judge, who serves the best ribs. There will also be carnival rides, 75 bands and 250 exhibitors.
Cost: Free entry, cost for rides per ticket, or $20 All Day Ride Bracelet (parents ride free)
For more info: canadasbiggestparty.com

FALLFEST

When: August 30 to Sept. 2, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm (each day)
Where: Victoria Park, London
What: Lasso a steer, carve a pumpkin, navigate a hay maze and enjoy a saloon style bar and 75 food and retail vendors.
Cost: Free entry, cost for rides per ticket, or $15 All Day Ride Bracelet (parents ride free)
For more info: canadasbiggestparty.com

AND THERE’S MORE

Though I am partial to the Victoria Park festivals (it’s my hood ya’ll) there are a plethora of great summer festivals and shows throughout the rest of the city.

Check out The Beer & BBQ Show at the Western Fair Agriplex, The Pride London Festival, and the Festa Italiana at the Covent Garden Market.

As always, please feel free to share any local festival-type events in a comment below.

Have a fun and safe summer!

City Mom

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