March 2015

Girl’s Night Out at the Western Fair District – #StackedDealFridays

Stacked Deal Fridays

It’s Friday night in London, wintertime and you’re a group of girlfriends who are so over the club scene; where do you go?

If that question has ever stumped you before, I have the answer for you, and it’s a good one!


Stacked Deal Fridays

This past Friday, my girlfriends and I got together for a night of fun with Stacked Deal Fridays at the Western Fair District; no kids, no husbands, just food, drinks, good company and fun.

Haven’t heard of Stacked Deal Fridays before? Well here is how it works:

You pay $45 and you get some awesome stuff for that:

  • Buffet dinner at the Top of the Fair Restaurant
  • Horse racing ($5 voucher for betting)
  • YukYuk’s comedy show
  • Gaming ($10 voucher for slots)

Top  of the Fair Restaurant

Our night started at the Top of the Fair Restaurant with a delicious buffet dinner. We were all impressed with the selection and quality of food. During dinner we learned the ins and outs of horse betting, placed our bets and watched the races from our table. It was so much fun to enjoy good conversation, a nice dinner, drinks and an activity that we don’t normally do.

We even got to make a visit all the way up to the literal top of the fair to visit Sugar and the judges calling the horse races. This was a fun and educational experience* – it was really cool to get a bird’s eye view of the horses and to learn a little more about how horse racing works.

Stacked Fridays

After dinner, we made a quick visit to the casino for some gaming. We stuck to the slot machines but you can also play Blackjack and Poker. We had a lot of fun trying our luck and sipping on some after-dinner-drinks.

Then it was on to YukYuk’s for the 10:30 comedy show. We really had a lot of fun with this. We had a booth seat with a direct view of the stage to take in all the hilarity. All the comedians were great but we had real belly laughs with Darren Frost. You can check ahead to see which comedians are headlining before you decide which Friday night you want to attend.

But, you should act fast as Stacked Deal Fridays are only available until the end of April (Apr. 24 is last Friday). You can find out all you need to know by visiting or call 519-438-7203 ex.252 to book your spot.

When I asked my friends what the highlight of the night was for them, this is what they said:

Definitely going into the judge’s box. – Mary

Spending time with the girls. I also enjoyed YukYuk’s – great place for friends to go and laugh together. Also, learning about horse racing was really fun too. – Sarah

Spending quality time with friends and YukYuk’s was hilarious! -Erika

For me, the entire night was a highlight, but I agree with my friends; YukYuk’s and horse racing are two activities that we never think of doing on a regular Friday night, let alone a girl’s night, but it was the perfect combination of events and one that I know you and your girlfriends will love too!

Have you been to the Western Fair District for the Stacked Deal? What are your thoughts?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for sharing my experience but all opinions are completely my own and that of my friends.  

*Note: visiting the judges box is not guaranteed to be included in the Stacked Deal.

City Mom

Join the Barbie Super Squad & #BeSuper {#Giveaway}

Barbie #BeSuper

This is so exciting; for the first time in her 56-year history, Barbie is putting on a cape and mask and transforming into a modern-day superhero. 2015 is the year to #BeSuper, and Barbie is inviting Canadian girls to tap into their inner superhero by celebrating their own acts of “being super”.


The #BeSuper program is an online campaign for children; it helps them to realize that anything is possible. As part of the campaign, Barbie has released superhero-themed toys, a DVD, books and role play.

When you and your child visit you can unleash your inner superhero! First, you can check out the trailer for Barbie in Princess Power; a super-cute movie that sees Barbie with superpowers. Of course, in true Barbie-style, she uses her powers for good; to make the world a better place.

We received a copy of the DVD to view ourselves and Little S says it’s not only one of her favourite Barbie movies, but one of her favourite movies overall! I love it because it teaches a great lessons and  inspires girls to discover their own inner superhero.

You can also create your own Barbie comic with the #BeSuper Comic Maker to really get your creative juices flowing. And perhaps my favourite part, your child can become part of the Super Squad. Your child will gain inspiration from the Super Squad Leaders and learn their story and how they have tapped in to their inner “sparkle”.

#BeSuper Comic Maker

Kids can complete daily missions, read and print the Super Squad Handbook and sign up to receive an Official Member Certificate. Your kids can save their Be Super Monthly Mission Badges and get free Barbie® in Princess Power movie tickets.

There is a lot to see and do on so be sure to check it out!


Barbie Princess Power Doll

Little S also received a Barbie Princess Power Super Sparkle Doll and she really loves her. Barbie comes with a mechanism, that with a click of a button, transforms her princess dress into a superhero cape; her princess crown becomes a mask and whoosh! Barbie is ready to make the world a better place.


Barbie BeSuper Prize Giveaway

I’m happy to provide a SUPER giveaway today on City Mom. One lucky winner will receive a Barbie #BeSuper Prize pack containing:

  • One Barbie Princess Power Super Sparkle Doll
  • One DVD version of Barbiein Princess Power
  • One Barbiein Princess Power key chain (not shown in image)

Contest is open to Canadian residents (excl. Quebec) and will run from March 25 to April 7, 2015.

Please read full contest rules in giveaway widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for sharing this information however the opinions expressed are completely my own.

City Mom

Manage Your Family’s Health with the Free Care4Today App

Care4Today App

When I was asked to try out the new Care4TodayTM Mobile Health Manager app, I jumped at the chance. You see, in my family, there are a couple of us who take daily medications that are vital to our health and well-being. A missed dose could be very problematic and forgetting to get a refill in time could cause a missed dose.


Care4Today Adherence


The Care4TodayTM Mobile Health Manager is a free mobile app available in the App Store and Google Play. Its purpose is to simplify the process of managing medications for individuals, families and caregivers in this fast paced, busy world.

Care4TodayTM Mobile Health Manager is designed to help Canadians manage their medications from their mobile phone and computer. It helps in the following ways:

  • Medication reminders, encouragement and incentives
  • Refill reminders
  • Progress reports that can be shared with your healthcare team
  • The app’s Care4FamilyTM and Care4CharityTM features are designed to provide an extra level of support and motivation to help people stay on schedule by connecting users to their loved ones and linking them to a bigger cause.
  • Family members who are connected via Care4FamilyTM can share their progress with one another, an additional feature that could encourage them to take their medications as prescribed.
  • Care4CharityTM allows people who take care of their own health to make a positive difference in the world by selecting a charity that will receive a donation for each day they indicate they have taken all their medications.

USING Care4TodayTM

As mentioned, I take two daily medications; both are imperative to take at the same time every day. Missing a dose could wreak havoc on my system. My biggest struggle is not necessarily remembering to take the medication daily but to take it at the same time everyday and to stay on top of refills.

Refill Alerts

I can’t tell you the number of times that I have found myself panicking that I hadn’t requested a refill in time and was at risk of missing a dose. This is perhaps my favourite feature of the Care4Today™ app.

When you enter the details for your medications you can turn on the Refill Alert feature and set it up to send you reminders when it’s time for a refill based on quantity or date. You can customize the alerts to include:

  • Your refill interval (14 to 90 days)
  • Your Remind Me interval (1 day to 1 month)
  • The message you receive when receiving your alert
  • And a cool feature where you can even include your pharmacy’s phone number via your Contacts


To keep track of the number of refills you have available for your prescription, I recommend that you enter that information in the ‘refill reminder message’ and then update it each time you use a refill. This will help you to remember to follow-up with your doctor to request more if needed.

Add Medication

Adding your medications is really easy as well. You can search for it alphabetically, search for it by entering its name or add a custom name which is great to use as a reminder for things like drinking water, taking a walk etc.


Once you find your medication, you have lots of options. You can:

  • Choose your particular dosage e.g. 25 mg, 50 mg etc.
  • Add a picture of what your medication looks like (if it’s not already included)
  • Add a nickname e.g. Diabetes
  • Enter your dose e.g. 1 tablet
  • Enter the frequency at which you take the medication e.g. Daily
  • Add the interval at which you take your medication e.g. Everyday
  • Customize the message you want to receive for alerts

Home Screen

After you have entered all your medications and set up your Refill Alerts you can view them on your Home screen. It is here where you will manage your intake of your medications. The options available to you here include:

  • Notifications of missed doses
  • Enter a dose taken
  • Edit your medications
  • The ability to view medications still to take for that day
  • Medications taken
  • Add a new medication



Care4TodayTM also provides a Reports feature that shows your progress in taking your medications. It will track doses taken and missed. You can also email your report to your family or healthcare providers.



Care4TodayTM also makes it really easy for caregivers such as those caring for aging parents or children. You can help and encourage family members to stay on schedule with their medications. Members that are connected through the app can even receive notifications of missed medications.

Imagine the peace of mind in helping a loved one who may live far away from you all from the comfort of home or work through your phone or computer?



The last feature (and perhaps my favourite) is the Care4CharityTM program. Care4TodayTM will make a donation to a charity of your choice when you reach 100% adherence for the day. How great is that?

For full program details visit: and select Charity from the top menu.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, but I think this phrase can be extended even further to say it takes a village to raise a family. With tools like Care4Today TM it makes it so much easier to keep track of the important task of managing medications for yourself and your family.

Be sure to visit to learn even more about this great, free tool! Give it a try and share your thoughts on it. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

This post was generously sponsored by Care4TodayTM but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit

City Mom

Don’t Go To See Still Alice…Yet

Still Alice

Warning: This post shares nonspecific pieces of the story/movie Still Alice by Lisa Genova that could be considered spoilers.

If you haven’t seen the movie Still Alice, playing now in theatres, I urge you to read the book first.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova, is a beautiful and touching story that explores the devastating truths about the destructive disease Alzheimer’s.

Like many a book-turned-movie, there is a certain amount of disappointment for those whom have read the book before watching the movie; it’s nearly impossible to capture and translate 300 hundred pages of events and relationships into a 90 minute movie.

Perhaps the movie skips over your favourite part of the book or the director doesn’t cast the characters the way you pictured them; there are many reasons that movies don’t always live up to their respective literary counterparts.


In the case of Still Alice, I am particularly adamant that one should read the book before watching the movie. It’s not that the movie isn’t good or that the acting isn’t top-notch; it’s that Alice Howland‘s (the main character) story is so profound and the relationships between the characters so complex that you need to absorb every single sentence to appreciate the full extent of the story.

It is my opinion that everyone should first experience Still Alice in its original form. The movie skipped over some very key pieces from the book and changed some others that are essential to the beauty and heartbreak of the story.

In order to fully appreciate the loss that Alice experiences through her struggles with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, one needs to understand that Alice’s identity is almost solely based on her mind. She is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics. I don’t feel that the movie paid enough attention to this.

One also needs to be aware of the convoluted relationship that Alice has with her youngest daughter, Lydia, to be able to appreciate how this relationship evolves throughout the story and demonstrates perhaps the only ‘upside’ to her diagnosis.

I feel that these are two key pieces from the book that aren’t depicted to their full and necessary extent in the movie version of this story.

In both the movie and the book, there is a scene where Alice, now fairly progressed in her disease, gives a moving speech to a respected audience on the topic of Alzheimer’s. I feel that this part of the story is the essence of Still Alice as it shows that Alice, despite her disease, is in fact still Alice.

The movie misses the mark on capturing this scene; it portrays Alice in a less confident and more fragile state. It does not depict this moment to be the powerful event that it is in the book.

There are a few other key pieces of Alice’s story that aren’t shown in the movie that help to paint the picture of just how frustrating this disease is. I won’t mention them here today because I don’t want to give away too much but I encourage you to make the comparison yourself.


Alzheimer's Stigma

Perhaps I’m a little biased on this topic; you see I have experience with this awful disease. I know what it is to watch someone you love and respect change for no apparent reason. I know the feeling of seeing it in their eyes; seeing that they don’t know who you are, only that they must have loved you at one time. I know how Alzheimer’s made me feel watching someone I love drift away.

Now that I have read Still Alice, I feel that I know a little more about how my loved-one must have been feeling when the first signs of Alzheimer’s started to show. It must have been terrifying, confusing and heartbreaking.

Like other mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s has a stigma attached to it and I believe this stigma is captured perfectly in the book:

And while a bald head and a looped ribbon were seen as badges of courage and hope, her reluctant vocabulary and vanishing memories advertised mental instability and impending insanity. Those with cancer could expect to be supported by their community. Alice expected to be an outcast. Even the well intentioned and educated tended to keep a fearful distance from the mentally ill. (Genova, 117, 118)

I want people to read Still Alice to help spread awareness on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease, to help end the stigma and to gain a little understanding about what those plagued with this disease might be experiencing.

I want you to be able to enjoy the whole story of Still Alice, not just a piece of it. Even if you are not an avid reader, you will find Still Alice to be an easy and rewarding read. You will put the book down after you turn the last page and be glad that you devoted the time to reading it.

Then by all means go and see the movie as it, too, is a lovely story with an excellent cast and wonderful acting.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease visit

Have you read Still Alice? Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?

City Mom

Milk Bottle Bunnies: A Fun & Easy Easter Craft

Milk Bottle Bunny

Surprise your children Easter morning by serving their juice or milk in these cute Milk Bottle Bunnies.

Super-easy and inexpensive to make, these sweet milk bottles turned Easter Bunnies are a fun way to decorate and celebrate Easter.

Below I’ll share the steps to make them; you can create them alone and surprise your kids on the big day or include your kids in creating the craft with you for a fun Easter activity.


List of Materials

Bunny  Bottles Materials

  • Glass bottles (Milk bottles from the dollar store)
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Pink Acrylic Pain
  • Pink pom poms
  • Jewelry string
  • Pink & white foam for ears
  • Pink ribbon
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue gun & glue
  • Black marker
  • Straws (optional)

Steps to Make the Bunnies

  1. Clean the bottles inside and out and let them dry
  2. Apply one coat of white pain and let dry
  3. Apply additional coats until you get a nice thick finish (I used three coats)

Add Three Coats of Paint

  1. Once the bottles are dry, plan out how you want to arrange the bunny’s face
  2. With a glue gun, apply the eyes
  3. Cut two, two pieces of jewelry string two inches each
  4. Fold each piece in half and glue at the middle on to the pink pom pom


  1. Once the glue is dry, snip the looped ends to create whiskers
  2. Add more whiskers if you would like
  3. Apply the nose under the eyes with a dot of glue
  4. Draw the bunny’s mouth under the nose with a thin black marker
  5. Add a dot of pink paint to each cheek
  6. Cut out foam ears (I used the ears from the foam masks purchased from the dollar store)
  7. Glue the ears with the glue gun just above the eyes
  8. Tie a pink bow around the top of the bottle
  9. Add your child’s favourite breakfast drink & straw (make sure that no paint or materials got inside the bottles as you were creating them)


As you can see in the photo, I made two very similar bunnies with small differences. You can add customizations to yours too – the possibilities are endless.

What is your favourite Easter Craft?

City Mom

10 Steps to Implementing Allowance


A couple of years ago my husband and I enrolled in an online parenting course called Positive Parenting Solutions by Amy McCready. We learned a lot of great tools to equip ourselves with for this crazy journey called Parenting.

One of the most valuable teachings we took from this program was the ABC’s of Allowance (for children 4 – 17). By implementing the allowance system with Little S over a year ago, we have seen so many positive changes that I knew I needed to share with other parents. With Amy’s permission, I am able to do so today.

Note: This post is a bit lengthy because there is a lot of information to share so I’ve divided it into ten steps to help you sort through the information. I suggest reading right to the end to gain the most from this technique.

By implementing allowance in this way, we have been able to:

  • Eliminate power struggles while shopping
  • Educate our child on the value of money
  • Instill the knowledge and desire for delayed gratification
  • Ignite the entrepreneur within her
  • Teach her the importance of charitable giving
  • Emphasize the importance of family contributions

10 Steps to Implementing Allowance


Think about your week in your own home; how many loads of laundry have you done? How many dishes have you cleaned? How many crumbs have you swept up?

A lot right?

And let me ask you, how much did you get paid for this? Nothing! Zip. Zilch. Nada. However you want to say it, the fact is that nobody is paying you to do the things in your house that need to be done. So why are you paying your kids to do it?

Being a part of a family, no matter its shape and size, means you contribute to the well-being of that family. You get to enjoy the benefits together like vacations, birthday parties, dinners out, etc. But you also contribute to its function.

Our goal is to motivate, but connecting an allowance to household duties does the opposite. By focusing on the payoff for the chore rather than the contribution made to the family, we create – and reinforce – a negative lesson. Rather than encouraging our child to do something for its intrinsic value, we instead teach them to ask, “What’s in it for me?” – Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions

  • Do: Ask your children to do age appropriate tasks that contribute to the household.
  • Don’t: Bribe or pay your child to contribute to the family.


The word chore just sounds like a pain in the-you-know-what! To build on Step 1, we want our children to feel significant in the family and to understand the responsibilities that come with being part of a family whether you are the parent or the child.

By using the term family contribution rather than chore, each member sees their role in the household and does not associate these contributions with payment.

  • Do: Refer to the tasks your child does as contributions and reiterate how it helps the family.
  • Don’t: Threaten to withhold their allowance if a family contribution is not completed. Remember, there is no connection between household tasks and payment.


Needs vs Wants

Depending on the age of your child, items to be considered essential to their health and well-being will vary. However, there are a few basic items that are considered essentials for all dependents such as:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Transportation

It is these essential items that parents are responsible for providing for their children. Once these items (and any others you deem essential) are covered, anything else that your child wants is considered a nonessential. For example:

  • Video games
  • Gum/Candy
  • Toys
  • Name brand items
  • Comic books

These nonessential items will be covered by your child’s allowance and, as with essential items; the list will vary based on your child’s age.

Here is an example of differentiating between essential and nonessential: Your child plays soccer and needs a new pair of soccer cleats. You find a reasonable pair that will provide everything they need for performance and safety. Your child has their eye on a fancy, name brand pair. The essential that you provide is the cost of the basic pair; if your child wants the more expensive pair, they pay anything over and above the cost of the essential pair from their allowance.

  • Do’: Create a list of age appropriate essential and nonessential items that your child will need/want on a weekly basis.  Plan to provide the essentials but not the nonessentials.
  • Don’t:  Top up your child’s nonessential purchases at the store. This negates the efforts you are making in educating your children about money smarts.


Deciding on the amount to give your child as a weekly allowance depends on many factors. To name a few:

  • Age
  • Your own financial capabilities
  • Number of children in your household (no you don’t have to give each child the same amount)

The amount you decide upon is completely up to you but be sure to set boundaries around it. Decide ahead of time what the money can be spent on and what it can’t and communicate this to your child.

Be sure that the allowance amount covers their basic costs but is not so much that it allows them to buy anything they want, whenever they want. Getting the basics today is a good thing for kids and learning to save for the coveted items helps to teach delayed gratification.

  • Do: Select an age appropriate amount and one that is not too generous.
  • Don’t: Change the amount from week-to-week; as your child ages you can adjust the amount to reflect their growing needs.


Give Save Spend

Now t hat you have decided on the allowance you are going to give your child it is time to allocate it in a way that both teaches and represents the real world.

Use three jars (or any other container) and label them the following:

  1. Give
  2. Save
  3. Spend

The ‘Give’ jar is for charitable giving of the child’s choice; the ‘Save’ jar is for long-term savings (e.g. a computer, a car etc.) and the ‘Spend’ jar is used for whatever they chose to spend on a weekly basis (nonessentials).

In our house we have allocated 5% to the ‘Give’ jar, 10% to the ‘Save’ jar and 85% to the ‘Spend’ jar. Find the percentages that work best for you.

  • Do’s: Use the different reasoning behind the jars to educate your child on how important each is.
  • Don’t: Take from the ‘Give’ and ‘Save’ jar to top up purchases for your child.


Imagine this scenario; you’re at the grocery store with a cart full of food. You get to the checkout and attempt to pay for your order and you realize that you forgot your wallet at home. You put on your best ‘feel sorry for me’ face and ask the cashier if you can take the food now, and bring the money back later.

This is not likely to happen is it? This is not the way the real world works so it can’t work that way for your child.

  • Do: Remind your child before you leave the house to bring their wallet with them; do this more when you first start the allowance system and less and less as the process becomes habit.
  • Don’t: Offer to pay for the item at the store and allow them to pay you back at home.


Take your child to the bank with you and open a bank account in their name. Don’t open an account online as the physical experience offers an educational experience.  As you child’s ‘Save’ jar fills up, take the jar along with your child to the bank to deposit the money.

  • Do: Use a paper format bank book so your child can see their transactions and watch their balance grow. Allow them to take care of the book on their own and store it in a safe place accessible to them.
  • Don’t: Make regular withdrawals from their account. Let them watch the balance grow as they work towards a goal.


Now that your child has his/her own money to spend on appropriate items, you should start to see any power struggles that may have existed in the past, start to fizzle out. They will feel more empowered now when it comes to making purchases.

Once in a while your child will want to buy an item that they don’t have enough money for, but as in Step 6, it’s not your job to top up their purchase. This is a great time to start a wish list.

It can go something like this:

Child:  “Mommy, I really want this Barbie.”

You: “I see why you’d like that. She’s an ice skater just like you. How much is it?”

Child: “It’s twenty dollars.”

You:  “How much do you have?”

Child: “Only eight dollars.”

You: “You’re short twelve dollars.”

Child: “But I really, really want it!”

You: “Let’s add it to your wish list then. I can take a picture of it with my phone and we can add it to your list of items that you’d like to save for.”

  • Do: Help your child keep track of their wish list items on paper or electronically and help them to save for those items. This list can also come in handy for gift ideas for yourself or family and friends.
  • Don’t: You guessed it…make up the difference for them with your own money!


Save For A Goal

In our home, Little S is longing for her own computer. Since she is only seven, we aren’t quite ready for her to have her own yet; thankfully her savings will take some time and she’ll be at a more appropriate age once she reaches her goal.

Rather than telling her that she’s too young to have a computer or that it’s too expensive for us to buy, we have set a goal for her to save for it on her own. She has taken to the challenge with passion and gusto and it has ignited her inner entrepreneur.

  • Do: Help your child understand the rate of savings with a fun visual like a chart. This will help to keep them motivated and illustrate how saving works.
  • Don’t: Let them ‘dip into’ their savings for other items. If they are hoping for another item on top of their long-term goal, help them to understand how saving up their ‘Spend’ jar can achieve a shorter term goal.


When we first started the allowance system, I had a very hard time with Little S’ first solo purchase. She had unintentionally saved a few weeks allowance and we were at the mall in her favourite store. She spotted a pretty pair of earrings that she wanted to buy.

When I saw the price tag at $18.99 I almost fell over. I just didn’t feel that a six-year-old needed a pair of earrings that cost that much. I also knew that she’d like them for a week and then forget about them – which is exactly what happened.

I recall battling with her in the store and trying to explain to her that $19 earrings were a ‘silly’ purchase for such a young girl. I knew that she had no idea what the value of $19 was.

I was very frustrated and I wasn’t sure that what we were doing with the allowance system was right. But as time went on and with each purchase and decision-making, she has slowly come to understand the value of money.

Bit by bit we can see her decision making process on her purchases change and she is motivated to hold out for larger ticket items rather than small trinkets that don’t hold her interest for long.

  • Do: Be patient! It is a long process that is very rewarding but can also be frustrating.
  • Don’t: Make the same mistake that I did – let your child make their own purchasing decisions (assuming the items are appropriate) and only offer guidance not influence.

So there you have it; my ten steps to help teach your children financial responsibility through implementing allowance.

This is a very in-depth topic and there is much more to say on it from the experts. I have summarized my experience for you here today. For more information on Positive Parenting Solutions you can check out the list of free seminars.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored or affiliated with Positive Parenting Solutions or Amy McCready. This information is my own personal recommendation based on my experience and learning.

Need/Want photo via by Stuart Miles.

 Do you give your child allowance? What have your experiences been with it?

City Mom

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