July 2013

Summer Day Trip: African Lion Safari

A few weekends ago our family ventured worlds away and set foot on an African safari. Well, it wasn’t actually worlds away, in fact it was just over a one hour drive (from London) but it felt like a whole different world.

The African Lion Safari, in Cambridge, Ontario, is the perfect spot for a fun, summer day-trip.  In the past, Little S has not been a fan of “theme parks” with large animals, but since she is approaching six years old, we thought it was the perfect time to try again, and we’re so glad we did!

SAFARI BUS TOUR

Safari Bus Tour

The highlight of our adventure was most definitely the Safari Tour Bus that travels through the big game reserve. I love the fact that you can choose to drive your own car through the seven wild animal reserves, or if you’re like my husband, you can save your car and take the organized bus tour.

There is also a third option, which allows you to drive your own car, but bypass the baboons section to prevent scratches to your car. And speaking of baboons, this was definitely Little S’ favourite part. We had a number of good belly laughs watching the four-legged animals helping themselves to the roofs and side mirrors of guest’s vehicles.

In the game reserves we got to see (close up) all sorts of animals from Zebras and lions to rhinos and ostriches. Little S has studied these animals in great detail at school but she has never seen them in real life. It was so much fun to watch her awe at seeing them close up. It was a truly fun and educational experience for all of us.

OTHER FUN ATTRACTIONS

JunglePlayground

After our safari we headed over to the “Nature Boy” scenic railway, and while this attraction isn’t designed to see a lot of wildlife, we did get a rare look at many reindeer. This was another highlight of our trip as we imaged that is what Santa’s reindeer must look like too.

We visited the African Lion Safari on a very hot day, so it was such a relief to cool off at Misumu Bay Wet Play area. There are water slides, water guns and splash pads for all ages. It was very busy but we had plenty of room to enjoy. There are also dry areas within this attraction so that those who do not want to get wet can enjoy too.

Little S also really enjoyed the Jungle Playground and I was pleasantly surprised that there were a variety of activities to participate in other than animal viewing. Some of the lines for the more popular attractions were pretty long, so it was nice to be able to just “play”.

SHOWS

Elephant Round-Up

We chose to watch the Elephant Round-Up show which was really cute and entertaining and a favourite for the kids and adult alike. There are also other shows offered including Parrot Paradise, Birds of Prey Flying Demonstration and Elephant Swim.

TIME TO EAT

It’s not just the animals that get treated to delicious meals, we too enjoyed lunch at the Mombasa Market Restaurant which is nicely air-conditioned and serves a variety of foods. We had pizza and salads but you can also choose from hotdogs, hamburgers and fresh-made wraps…and guess what? This restaurant is even licensed so if you’re in the mood to grab a “cold one” you can!

There are nine other food stops that you can make for refreshments from ice cream to coffee and everything in between!

TIME TO SAY GOOD BYE

African Lion Safari

Of course, all good things must come to an end but not without a stop at the souvenir shop. There are so many great items to choose from for your memorabilia needs and very well priced too.

The African Lion Safari is well suited for the entire family. Depending on your child’s interests my recommendation is that it is best suited for children from the ages of four to ten. But of course there is so much to do for all ages.

PIN IT TO WIN IT

African Lion Safari Promotions

Right now, until August 1, 2013, you can enter to win a family VIP pass to the African Lion Safari. Check out lionsafari.com/promotions for more details and contest rules. Note that you must have a Pinterest account to enter.

Disclosure: we received complimentary admission in exchange for sharing our experience on City Mom. All opinions are my own.

Have a wild time!

City Mom

Zerona London: My Before & After + Discount Code

Zerona Canada Review

If you asked me a few months ago if I’d be wearing a bikini this summer I would have answered ‘no’. If you asked me if I’d be posting pictures of myself in my underwear on the web, I’d shout out ‘no!’ but here I am, eating my words because I’ve done both! Zerona London Discount

MY RESULTS

If you read my last post about my Zerona London experience you will recall that I lost a total of 6.65 inches with my first six Zerona treatments. Today I am happy to share my end of treatment results after the last six treatments.

Again, there are three guaranteed areas of fat loss: waist, hips and thighs. My first total loss in these areas came in at 4.5 inches. Today, after 12 treatments, I am happy to share that I have lost a total of 7.375 inches!

Additionally there are other areas of fat lass as a positive side effect of the Zerona treatments. These areas include the neck, arms and lower legs. After 12 treatments I lost an additional 2.625 inches, for a grand total of 10 inches over my whole body. And there are more positive side effects such as the laser’s effect on lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and helping with insulin resistance.

Note:  studies show that people who have more fat to lose can achieve an even greater inch loss in 12 sessions.

I’ll write that again, I have lost a total of 10 inches with 12 Zerona treatments.

BEFORE AND AFTER

The numbers really speak for themselves, but a picture is worth a thousand words right? Though I’m not accustomed to sharing pictures of myself in very little clothing for public viewing, I have made an exception with this post because I know there are a lot of curious readers (based on feedback) that want to see a visual. And if sharing my photos helps you to eventually meet your fat loss goals then I have done my job!

I’m also really happy with the results so in this case, I’m proud to share my after photos:

 Zerona-BeforeAfter

CITY MOM ZERONA DISCOUNT EXTENDED

As I shared in my previous post, Zerona London is offering a generous discount to City Mom readers at 25% off Zerona treatments. They have decided to extend the discount period from the end of July to the end of August.

Book your complimentary consultation with Zerona London by August 31, 2013 and you’ll receive 25% off your
Zerona treatments when you quote “City Mom”. Contact Zerona London by calling 519-601-2601.

Happy losing!

Disclosure: I received complimentary treatments in exchange for my posts, but the opinions expressed here are completely my own and the pictures, well they speak for themselves!

City Mom

Back-to-School with Stuck on You!

StuckOnYouLogo

Get free shipping until the end of August with Stuck on You. Use code FRSHIP50 at checkout!

There are just thirty-four days left until the first day of school! It’s true that time flies when you’re having fun and sooner than later it will be time to send the kiddies off on their first day.

So for all your back-to-school needs, check out Stuck on You®. From clothing labels to backpacks, lunch bags to stationery, Stuck on You is your one-stop-shop this season. And keep on reading for your chance to win a $25 credit to Stuck on You and a free shipping discount code!

MY STUCK ON YOU® PRODUCTS

I was excited when I was given the opportunity to review a few items from Stuck on You. It was fun looking through their plentiful list of products and designs; at the same time it was difficult to choose just a few. I finally ended up choosing a couple of back-to-school items and one decorative item for Little S’ room.

Designer Clothing Dots

StuckOnYouDesignerClothingDots

Kids Designer Clothing Dots from Stuck on You® are a handy sized label that is easy to apply to children’s clothing. Made from the highest quality materials, the washing machine and dryer safe labels will always stay stuck and maintain their colourful appearance.

Small, stick-on labels are a must-have in our household. Everything that goes to school with Little S needs to be labeled. And these labels don’t disappoint. They are the perfect size for small and large clothing labels as well as to fit inside a small child’s shoe.

Check out more labels>

Lunch Bags

StuckOnYouLunchBag

Lunch bags get tossed around, thrown places and really show their wear by the end of the school year. We replace Little S’ each September to start her off nice and fresh. The Stuck on You lunch bags are a perfect replacement! I loved the ability to personalize the lunch bag as well.

In the past we have used a detachable tag to personalize her lunch bag which is a reasonable option but with the Stuck on You personalized lunch bags, your child’s name is permanently included on the product. That means no tags falling off and no mix-ups in the coat room.

The lunch bag is big enough to fit a sandwich container, ice pack and snacks. They are also insulated to keep perishables safe!

See more bags & lunch boxes >

Gift Ideas

Stuck on  You Canvases

Stuck on You has more than just back-to-school supplies. In fact, they have a gorgeous selection of cute gift ideas like height charts, reward charts and canvases.

I selected a medium canvas for Little S’ room. It’s so cute and she just loves it. Kids love to see their name in “professional” writing. There are so many designs to choose from for the entire Stuck on You line but I fell in love with the Sweetie Pie theme.

The canvases are made with artist quality canvas and then personalized with your child’s name and comes ready to hang. It’s lightweight so hanging was easy but still very durable. I can see these making great “new baby” gifts for your loved ones.

Browse more gift ideas >

You really have to check out stuckonyou.ca yourself to see the wide range of school supplies, gift ideas and their wonderful, designer-style themes. Check out just some of the cute themes:

StuckonYouDesigns

Connect with Stuck on You for more information:

Web: stuckonyou.ca
Facebook:  facebook.com/stuckonyouofficial
Twitter: @stuckonyoutweet
Google+:  plus.google.com
Youtube: youtube.com/StuckonYouLabels

STUCK ON YOU FREE SHIPPING CODE

Stuck on You is also offering a generous FREE SHIPPING code to City Mom readers. Come back to this post after the giveaway to get the code!

ENTER TO WIN A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE

I’m excited to bring to you a giveaway that will award TWO City Mom readers with a $25 gift certificate to be used towards Stuck on You products. Please use the Rafflecopter form below.

Contest open to Canadian residents excluding Quebec and will run from July 22 to August 12, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

City Mom

Family Vacation Time: Lakes of Wasaga

ParkbridgeThis past weekend, this city family packed it all up and moved to cottage country. We spent four sun-filled days at one of Parkbridge’s RV & Cottage resorts called Lakes of Wasaga.

We were so lucky to have an absolutely beautiful weekend weather-wise and the rest of the weekend followed suit. From the moment we set foot in our rental chalet to the moment we left, we were constantly impressed.

Check out our gorgeous chalet:

Lakes of Wasaga Chalet

ABOUT PARKBRIDGE

Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc. is Canada’s leading owner, operator and developer of residential land lease communities, recreational resorts and marinas.

If you’re like me, you’ll find the term “land lease” to be a new one. In a nutshell, land leasing means that you are able to “rent” a piece of land in one of Parkbridge’s resorts, but the “home” you put on it is yours.

The benefit of this style of ownership is that you are able to spend your money on home ownership, not the hefty price tag that often comes with owning the land.

For example, on our visit we were given a comprehensive tour of the resort including a few model units of the chalets and RV Cottages. We were taken aback by the grandeur of these units, particularly the RV Cottages.

In this case, as an owner, we would buy the RV Cottage (that comes complete with furniture, plumbing and deck and more) and lease a lot through Parkbridge to house our unit. This way, you don’t have to come up with a huge down payment or burden yourself with a big mortgage.

Unlike renting an apartment or buying into the politics of condo living, you get your own home with your own yard and rely on Parkbridge Community Managers to manage the day-to-day needs of the community.

The ultra-modern RV Cottage:

Lakes of Wasaga RV Cottage

ABOUT LAKES OF WASAGA

Even if you’re not looking for ownership now, there are great and affordable rental opportunities for a fun summer getaway with your family. Lakes of Wasaga definitely fits this bill with three swimming pools, a splash pad, mini golf course and children’s playground, there is so much for the entire family to do.

There are also daily activities planned like crafts, dances for the teens and sporting activities like basketball and tennis. There are also two paths from the resort that lead to a quiet, family oriented beach on Georgian Bay; this was one of our favourite activities.

Lakes of Wasaga Activities

THE COMMUNITY

If you enjoy the sense of community, you’ll love a Parkbridge resort. Even as a visitor you can see the friendliness and pride of ownership that comes with being part of an organized community.

The staff at Lakes of Wasaga are all very friendly and helpful. We couldn’t get the TV system in our chalet to work and we had a team of people who came in to make it right and there was always someone eagerly waiting to answer any questions we had.

With an easy drive from London (3.5 hours) this makes a great destination for a family vacation this summer. It is also easily accessible from Toronto, Barrie and other surrounding cities in South Western Ontario.

And if you haven’t been to Wasaga Beach before, you’ll love the town. There is a Walmart with grocery store, LCBO, The Beer Store and restaurants all very close by. The main beach of Wasaga is also a very vibrant and fun spot to enjoy all that our Ontario summers have to offer.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

You can find out more about Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities on the web and Facebook. You can also view the full list of rental properties and resorts.

Disclosure: My family’s stay at Lakes of Wasaga was complimentary in exchange for my post. The opinions and experience expressed here are completely my own.

City Mom

Enter to win $500 at The Children’s Place!

The Children's Place School Uniforms

I know no one likes talking about “back to school” this early in the season but let’s face it, September isn’t that far away. There’s no better time than now  to start getting prepared for the first day of school. From backpacks to new shoes to school outfits, The Children’s Place has us parents  kids covered this season!

I’m smitten with the School Uniform section at The Children’s Place. Check out this cute outfit that I’ve put together for Little S’ first day of school. Even though she is not required to wear a “uniform” I still plan to send her back to school in style!

How cute are these clothes?

The Children's Place School Uniform

ENTER TO WIN A $500 GIFT CARD

Today you can enter to win a $500 gift card to The Children’s Place! Wouldn’t that be perfect for back to school shopping? Contest begins today (July 15) at 9:00 am EST and ends July 30 at 10:00 pm EST. This contest is open to Canadian and US residents excluding Quebec & Hawaii. Please use the entry form below.

Note that you  may enter this contest on multiple blogs but there is just one $500 prize.

Good luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway has been sponsored by The Children’s Place and hosted by Kidsumers. I have not been compensated and all opinions are my own.
City Mom

City Mom’s No Bake Margarita Cheesecake

 
Margarita_Cheesecake 009

I am a huge fan of taking regular dishes and putting a spin on their traditional recipe. I also love to serve food in individual glasses that you would normally see presented on a plate. That is why I had so much fun creating this recipe.

ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA…

Nothing says summer like an ice-cold margarita but not everyone is a fan of this tequila-based cocktail…but almost everyone is a fan of the dessert course! So why not create a cheesecake margarita?

That is exactly what I did. This no-bake version is so easy to make (and saves the extra heat in the kitchen on a hot summer’s day) yet so impressive looking. Served almost right out of the freezer, this recipe satisfies both the sweet tooth and the need for a cooldown.

Enjoy this recipe  this summer and if you are a tequila fan, be sure to include a shot on the side!

NO BAKE MARGARITA CHEESECAKE

No Bake Margarita Cheesecake

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
No Bake Margarita Cheesecake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Impress your guests at your next summer BBQ with this fun, easy-to-make spin on the traditional margarita.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh juice
  • 1 cup fat-free Coolwhip
  • 1 tablespoon + more for garnish Lime zest
  • Extra sugar for glass rim
  • 1 - 2 limes sliced for garnish
Instructions
  1. Wet the rim of each margarita glass
  2. Add sugar to plate large enough to accommodate diameter of margarita glass
  3. Turn glass upside down and place into the sugar, turn glass a few times to coat the rim with sugar
  4. In a bowl, mix together graham crackers with melted butter and the 3 tablespoons of sugar
  5. Spoon & press into the bottom part of each margarita glass
  6. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, ⅓ cup of sugar and lime juice
  7. Fold Coolwhip into cream cheese mixture
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of lime zest, stir
  9. Divide mixture evenly and spoon into each glass
  10. Sprinkle with extra lime zest
  11. Freeze for 1 hour
  12. Place in refrigerator 30 minutes before serving
  13. Add 1 lime slice to rim of each glass (note, cut a small slit into lime to “hook” onto glass)
  14. Enjoy!

City Mom

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