Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wholly Guacamole

Did you know Canada.. we've mentioned before how much we love Wholly Guacamole and are so excited their products are available to Canadians. In fact they are popping up every where! Before if I needed my guac hit I needed to hit up a store in the big city near us, but was so excited to find them in my local Walmart a few weeks ago! If you're on the hunt, I found them in the fresh fruit and veggie section.

This nutritious and preservative free product is so popular and perfect for our coming spring and summer weather! I just got a great pack in the mail from Wholly Guacamole that included a cooler bag, avocado green pencil, 5 free product coupons and a fun squishy avocado. Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of all the cool swag, the boys took off with it haha.. but it's fun, trust me! And FIVE Free Product Coupons - how awesome is that! Heading to a friends for a BBQ? Use the cooler bag to bring all your guac and salsa in!!

This week I tried something new with guacamole I had seen on a restaurant menu - a burger with guac on top - oh my gosh, it was SO GOOD and just screamed summer time, I loved it. Do you have any new ways you would try Wholly Guacamole guac and salsa? If so enter the giveaway below, comment with your idea and you may win an awesome prize pack from Wholly Guacamole!!!


Juno Awards 2012

Did you know Canada..  tomorrow (Sunday April 1st) will be a night of music during the Juno Awards, taking place at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa ON - hosted by none other than William Shatner this year!

The Juno Awards are presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music. New members of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame are also inducted as part of the awards ceremonies.

Amazing Canadian stars and bands are nominated like Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, Hedley, Michael Bublé, Drake, and Deadmau5 (hubbys fav!) to just name a few. Will you be watching?? Who are you cheering for??

Be sure to follow CTV's live chat during the show! (starting at 8pm ET featuring Bell Media personalities and your fellow Canadian music fans!)

And look for entertainment Bloggers like @Trina_Stewart for all the details! Use hashtag #JUNOAwards to join the conversation.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vaughan Mompreneur Showcase

Did you know Canada.. Toronto Representative Faniya headed to the Vaughan Mompreneur Showcase last weekend, find out how it went..

Last week-end we (me and my family) attended Vaughan Mompreneur showcase at luxury Paradise Banquet & Convention Centre.  It featured more than 75 vendors across Vaughan and the GTA just to name a few: Cakes by Adriana, Polkadot Creations, Monkeynastix, Lisa Sinopoli and many more.

The showcase presented the vast variety of products and services ranging from children’s clothes, kids cooking to Nannies on Call and Rock music lessons. There was something for everyone in the family: for kids, for dads, for moms and grandparents. We also received a nice swag bag.

The event included free activities for kids: PTPA Kids Zone, Mums’n Chums Birthday Bash, a bouncy castle, a red-fruit character from Tutor Doctor, a Magician to show the tricks and a really cute kangaroo and a turtle at Lisa Sinopoli’s booth.

I was so excited when parenting expert Robbina Uddin (also known as Nanny Robina) started her workshop on how to get the little babies and toddlers to sleep as this topic is one of my first interests right now. Another speaker I anticipated to listen to was PTPA founder Sharon Vinderine who explained the importance of toy safety. One thing I also liked is that the stage for speakers was set up behind the vendors’ lines in the middle of the banquet hall so everyone could hear the speeches and shop or walk at the same time.

We were treated with delicious food from Novita, decorated a cupcake with Oh So Sweet and as kids cooking became a new trend, have to mention Petits Chefs Academy and Oh So Sweet offering children’s cooking classes and workshops.

Overall the showcase was a really great event, there were lots of mom-owned businesses to shop and learn about. We are also very happy that 100% of the admission and proceeds from the silent auction donated to Zack's Dream Room, York Central Hospital. 

Thank you Vaughan Mompreneurs for organizing this amazing event. It was a huge success and we are looking forward to attending again next year!

Teddy Out-Ready

Thursday, March 29, 2012

No more penny!

Did you know Canada..  annouced in today's Budget, Canada will no long be minting the penny!

$1.02 will become $1 and $1.03 will be $1.05.

If you have them in your pocket they will still be legal tender and you will be able to use them, but there will not be any more introduced into circulation by this fall.

We've mentioned before that it actually costs more to make the penny than it's worth! Other countries including Australia and New Zealand have already gotten rid of their penny.

Kind of exciting, a new age! What do you think about kicking the penny to the curb??

Edited to clarify this is for CASH transactions, Canadians who use credit or debit cards to make purchases won’t have to worry about rounding-off.

Earth Hour

Did you know Canada.. this Saturday, March 31st, is Earth HourTM from 8:30PM – 9:30 PM local time.

Earth Hour is a time when we turn off the lights and consider climate change. According to the WWF, climate change is the biggest environmental threat to our planet and the number one concern for Canadians.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. The next year more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. By 2010, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and every continent.

Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year yet, many world landmarks switched off their lights including the Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House.

Unfortunately, one the least co-operative areas traditionally has been Alberta! In 2008 Calgary's power consumption actually went up during Earth Hour. just last year in 2011 Edmonton's power usage also increased during Earth Hour. So let's get the word out to Canadians, flick off the lights this Saturday night from 8:30 - 9:30PM and stand up for climate change!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Made by Hand Show - Vendors

Did you know Canada.. we are so excited about the upcoming Made by Hand Show! Remember it is April 21st at the International Centre in Mississauga.

The Made By Hand show features 30,000 square feet and over 150 handmade exhibitors in all catagories: Art, Baby/Toys, Body, Candles, Clothing/Accessories, Home/Décor, Fabric/Leather, Food, Glass/Ceremic, Jewellery, Knitting, Paper Goods, Photography, Stain Glass, Pottery, Wood and more.

Here's a look at a few of the vendors you'll see at the Made by Hand Show this April 21st!

Thunderpeep Designs - Paper Crafting - with a Design Philosophy of clean, simple and functional and Inspiration of snow, Scandinavian Design ethic, bright colourful patterns, scary movies, quirky folk tales... and more snow, Thunderpeep Designs has some really cool stuff! Greeting cards, stationary, really cool pocket mirrors, journals and more.

Warm Fuzzies - Adorable Plush Creations - making Heating Pads and Felted Critters that are SO CUTE, these fuzzy friends would be gorgeous in any child's room (and maybe mine!).

LM Creation - Handmade Bags, Purses, Wristlets, Bridal, Bridesmaids, Clutches - Oh my goodness, I want ALL of the MOO Business, Credit Card Holder, Small Purse's..haha.. they are perfect for the summer! What awesome selection and beautiful work.

I need a Cake - Custom made cakes and cupcakes, baked fresh for your special event - with amazing cake flavours and fillings (peanut butter!!!), they are sure to have some tasty treats!

Ashka Collection - Hand Crafted jewellery - this mother-daughter duo creates gorgeous handcrafted beaded jewelry. Beautiful, chunky, fashionable and great colours, I want them all!

These are just a FEW of the amazing vendors you will see at the Made by Hand Show this April, mark the date, bring the entire family, be ready for a great day and support local businesses!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Loose Button Meet up

Did you know Canada..  Toronto Representative Faniya had the opportunity to meet with our friends from Loose Button, as you know we are huge fans of Loose Button and their amazing Luxe Box - check out how it went..

As Did you know Canada? Toronto Representative I was invited to meet the amazing Loose Button Team on March 21. It was a Social media networking and appreciation event and I want to confess that I could not imagine better event than that warm spring evening one filled with beauty and fun.

(A little bit about Luxe Box, it is a monthly subscription service that delivers 4-5 deluxe beauty samples to your doorstep in a chic box. The samples are from skincare and makeup to fragrance, body, and hair care.)

Our first stop was Sephora at Bloor where after a little introduction everyone received a personalized gift bag with Sephora gift card in a pretty, black, dual-mirrored compact (I can scream here love it) and a Loose Button card (this one is my favorite piece).

Then two make-up artists presented us the hottest spring trends and products (, treating us with mini make-overs after the presentation making our beautiful looks even more beautiful highlighting the best we have.

Everyone was offered to choose her preferences from these four looks, so I liked the first one.

Then we walked over to the Loose Button’s head office where sweet treats waited us and I had a chance to talk to other members of the Loose Button’s team as well as other bloggers.

My impression of Loose Button exceeded my expectations; behind the successfully growing business there are a dedicated team, the best suppliers in the Beauty Industry and what I can add in particular that all women’s beauty dreams and wishes are Loose Button’s business, study and passion.

At the end of the event I gave our Did you know Canada? swag, Mabel’s Labels teeny tags, for Loose Button team as a reminder of this unforgettable evening.

We are also very happy to congratulate Loose Button on turning one year this March.

Happy First Birthday Loose Button the Luxe Box!!!

Teddy Out-Ready

Monday, March 26, 2012

BABIES“R”US Vendor Fair

Did you know Canada.. Toronto Representative Faniya has been all over Toronto lately! See where she is going next..

On Tuesday, March 27th, I am heading to Babies“R”Us Vendor Fair in Markham. Babies“R”Us is Canada’s one stop baby shop (my favorite one) is offering media the chance to check out this season‘s hottest, most anticipated new products from top brands such as Peg-Pérego, Quinny, Mamas & Papas, Summer Infant, Baby Cache, Medela, Graco and Tommee Tippee.

I am looking forward to speaking to the fair vendors, learning more about this year must-have items and new innovative products that help moms in their busy everyday life.

Teddy Out-Ready

Mastermind Toys - Win Your Dream Playroom

Did you know Canada.. Mastermind Toys is running an amazing promotion right now, one lucky winner will receive CDN $1000 gift card to spend at Mastermind Toys to create their Dream Playroom!

You know how much we love Mastermind Toys, this Canadian company provides educational, imaginative toys that are perfect for our kiddos.

It’s easy to enter, simply go to their Facebook page and look for the “Dream Playroom” tab and follow the instructions to enter. If you’re not on Facebook but still want to enter you can go to their blog and write a comment there. This contest runs until April 27th, 2012.

Not only do they have the huge grand prize, but for every two-hundred entries they receive, they’ll give a $20 gift card to spend at Mastermind to a random entrant! *fingers crossed*

What's most important, Mastermind is also donating toys and games to two charities that operate 14 after school programs in the Greater Toronto Area and London, Ontario. In Toronto, "Beyond 3:30" provides quality after-school programming for middle-school aged kids and includes homework help in addition to activities such as drama, art, music, cooking, sports activities and health and wellness classes. Learning it Together is a volunteer program run by students from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, to help children in grades 1 and 2 in lower income areas to focus on improving literacy early on.

I am so proud to be such a huge fan of Mastermind, this is a company that cares about their customers, their fans and most importantly, kids.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#CircleSquare - Summer Camp

Did you know Canada.. I have an awesome contest to share with you today!! Circle Square Ranch is running a Share and Win contest with a grand prize of a trip for two to Punta Cana, one camp session for your child and a Mabel's Labels prize pack!!

There's also fantastic discounts and saving just for entering - like 20% off camp registration fees!! And $5 off your next Mabel's Labels order over $50.

This giveaway is open to legal residents of Canada other than Quebec who are at least thirteen (13) years of age at the time of entry. The Promotion began on March 21, 2012 and ends on June 15, 2012.

Growing up in Brantford, I had a close friend that went to Circle Square Ranch every year. There are Circle Square Ranch locations all across Canada - including Brantford, Ontario. At the one in Brantford, my friend's brother worked with horses there, so we were able to visit often and it's a fantastic place. Circle Square Ranch is a Christian Camp, non-denominational, non-profit organization, welcoming youth of any faith and race. They encourage young lives to grow spiritually, mentally, socially and physically in an exciting, fun-filled and safe “adventure experience”. This is the type of camp where life long friendships are made and everyone is truly made to feel welcome.

I know the one in Brantford offers awesome activities like horseback riding, wall climbing, zip line and archery. I think these type of activities promote independence, confidence and memories to last a life time.

Make sure you enter the Share and Win contest today so that you have plenty of time to share the contest with your friends and gain even more entries, there's also upcoming spot prizes over the next few months!!

Disclaimer: This post has been compensated, all opinions are my own, I am only sharing the contest details with you, I am not running the contest.

Friday, March 23, 2012

#TheHealthyShopperPicks - Natracare

Did you know Canada.. it's Day Five of our look at the The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring and the last product we have to share with you is Natracare.

Natracare - Natracare’s organic and natural pads are recommended by gynecologists, and it was the first feminine hygiene brand to receive an International Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)! Natracare organic cotton tampons and organic and natural pads were developed as a direct response to health and environmental concerns about dioxin pollution caused by chlorine bleaching, the extensive use of pesticide spraying on conventionally grown cotton, and the use of rayon and other synthetics in feminine hygiene.

The pads and liners are made from 87% renewable materials and are chlorine-free, bio-degradable and compostable.

A fantastic set of products available in a huge range of sizes and styles, this is a fantastic product line that you can feel safe using.

Enter below for your chance to win a Natracare product. We have had a great time sharing The Healthy Shopper Picks with you this week, be sure to check out their website for more information and savings!


Vaughan Mompreneur Showcase This Weekend

Did you know Canada.. Toronto Representative Faniya is heading to another event this weekend!! Check out what she has to say..

Three more days till the Vaughan Mompreneur Showcase and I am very excited to attend this event to represent “Did you know Canada?” and see what amazing mom owned businesses located in Vaughan and the GTA.

Also I am very interested to learn more about Mom Entrepreneurs who bring their talents, passion and experience to serve the community and balance their duties as moms at the same time. The show case will feature famous guest speakers, Mums’n Chums Birthday Bash with a jumping castle and many other family-friendly activities to enjoy this week-end.

The event will be held on March 25th from 10 am to 4pm at Paradise Banquet Hall located at 7601 Jane St. in Vaughan. The admission is only $2 and 100% of the proceeds from the event will go to Zack's Dream Room in support of York Central Hospital.

For more information about the event:     

Teddy Out Ready

Thursday, March 22, 2012

#TheHealthyShopperPicks - Kiju 100% Organic Juice

Did you know Canada.. It's Day Four as we look at the The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring and I have got to tell you about Kiju 100% Organic Juice.

Kiju 100% Organic Juice is a Canadian company started by Mike Kelly and Kevin Schultz, who say they are dedicated to giving kids and adults on the go a healthy choice.

An awesome selection of flavours and an absolutely new favourite in our house, we have been drinking these non-stop. Kiju juices are certified 100% organic from fruit grown and processed naturally. Kiju contains no added sugar, colour, flavours or preservatives, and provides a full day’s supply of vitamin C.

I love the shape of their juice boxes, perfect for little hands, and their 1 Litre Tetras are perfect for the fridge. Their five amazing flavours include mango orange, lemonade, grape apple, apple and pomegranate cherry. I can't even say what our favourite is, they all taste so good. Their glass bottle flavoured iced teas are so refreshing as well, I highly recommend trying them all!

This has been a great introduction to a product from The Healthy Shopper Picks and one that has a permanent place in our house. Enter for your chance to try them too!


World Water Day

Did you know Canada.. today, March 22nd is World Water Day! It was 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as World Day for Water. For 2012 the International Committee of the Red Cross is calling attention to the water-related challenges faced by civilians caught up in fighting. "Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry".

It's also Water Week in Canada, March 19-25. Individuals, organizations and governments across Canada are encouraged to get involved by organizing or participating in events to help raise the profile and understanding of water.

From the Canadian Water Network.. The theme of this year’s Canada Water Week is Discover your Water Footprint. Learn more about your water footprint and what you can do to lower it.

From the Canada Water Week website we find out.. the average Canadian consumes nearly 6,400 litres of water every day? Much of that water – over 90% – is embedded in the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the products you use every day. There is events happening across the nation to celebrate and bring focus on water week, check out the Canada Water Week website to find an event near you and learn more!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

E. Coli update

Did you know Canada.. I wanted to let you know the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a page with Q & A information on the frozen beef recall, check it out here.

And it is VERY important that you visit this page, check your freezer and make sure you do not have the affected products.

E. Coli is very dangerous, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency stats..

Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria my cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Please let friends, seniors, young couples, students living on the own, EVERYONE know about this.

#TheHealthyShopperPicks - Simply Natural Organic Pasta Sauces

Did you know Canada.. for Day Three of our The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring we're looking at Simply Natural Organic Pasta Sauces.

Simply Natural Organic Pasta Sauces come in a huge range..

* Marinara Pasta Sauce
* Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
* Tomato & Mushroom Pasta Sauce
* Tomato with Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
* Tomato with Roasted Peppers Pasta Sauce
* Fra Diavolo Spicy Pasta Sauce
* Red Wine Marinara Sauce
* Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce

It was just last night that we tried the Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce, I wasn't sure how the boys would react, they are very picky creatures, but it was a huge hit!! Tasted very fresh, flavourful, was a great consistency for our spaghetti, perfect!

Manufactured in a plant that is Certified Organic, and is part of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) program of manufacturing quality assurance - you know you are getting the best.

Enter below for your chance to win a Simply Natural Organic Pasta Sauce! Thanks to The Healthy Shopper Picks for sharing another great selection with us.


Videotron Smart find directory

Did you know Canada.. I've been thinking *travel* today and learned about a really useful business directory if you're planning a visit to Quebec - Videotron Smart find directory.

I love that they have star reviews, and this was really cool, I searched for "pizza" in "Montreal" and I see Coronel Restaurant & Pizzeria not only got 5 stars but also has a deal I can print out! They even tell you what's most popular near you, perfect for the traveller.

You can see all the locations on a handy map, find the location you want, click on the name for even more details. Hours, address, directions, phone number (with an option to call for free!), photos, videos and written reviews. What handy information - not only for travellers but also for locals! You can also share your find with your Social Media, which I love of course.

Want to see what's around your hotel or home? Enter your location and see all the businesses surrounding you, along with all those great features like reviews, phone numbers, images and more.

This is a fantastic service for business owners, be able to showcase, upload images, share deals. I live in a small town and you'd be surprised by how often I hear about a location that I had no clue was there!! Or doesn't look it's best on the outside but has the most amazing food. By having folks share reviews everyone will be able to learn about the local gems, what a great service.

So if you live in Quebec, or are heading there this year, I highly recommend book marking Videotron Smart find directory. Make sure you share your finds as well!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A to Z Illusions

Did you know Canada.. Canadian company A to Z Illusions was created by award winning freelance photographer David Matthews. He photographs natural occurrences of letters in the alphabet and sells a wide range of products including framed words, posters, cards, magnets and more.

Not only are the framed words gorgeous additions to any home but I love that he has expanded to the cards and magnets. What great gifts for special occasions, teacher gifts, anniversary and birthdays, the possibilities are endless. The magnets make a perfect little something extra to add to a card and they can be cherished and admired for years to come. I was very impressed with the quality of the cards and magnets. I absolutely loved the way they came packaged, check out this cool bag - as always, you know I so appreciate it when businesses pack their products with care and make you feel like you've received something really special. I felt that way with my package from A to Z Illusions.

You have to check out the Create Your Word section of A to Z Illusions. You can make your own word - say a family name, business name, team name, words and messages special to your family. Then, my favourite part, click on the letters to see all the choices for each letter! I can't believe how large David's library of letters are. So not only are you creating a word special to your family but it will be unique with the letters you choose. Maybe the A in your son's name is more meaningful as finding an A on a swingset, but for your Grandfather with an A in his name, an A in the Eiffel Tower would be perfect for him. What a fun, fantastic and unique service.

Find A to Z Illusions online, Facebook and in person at many local craft shows. We are so excited to share a giveaway with our readers as well! Enter below for your chance to win a framed copy of the word Love or Home. Stay tuned as we will have more giveaways with A to Z Illusions to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day!


Generic Drugs in Canada

Did you know Canada.. you may have noticed that generic drugs are being used to fill prescriptions more often than ever before. I was on a name brand birth control pill that was covered under insurance until they released the generic version, then I had to switch to the generic version or cover the cost of the name brand! Not that I have to worry about that any more, as I mentioned before we are hoping to have a baby on the way some time this year, but I imagine this has happened to many people.

I wanted to look into generic drugs in Canada and here's what I found out..

* generic drug is the term used for products that contain the same medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price

* the standards are the same for manufactures making both brand name and generic drugs

* both generic and brand name drugs must have the same amounts of good quality medicinal ingredients but the non-medicinal ingredients may differ

* Health Canada is responsible for evaluating generic drugs

* generic drugs are produced once the patent of a brand name drug expires

If you have to pay for your medications ask if a generic version of the drug is available to save money. You can also look into online Canadian pharmacy's to save even more such as Canada drug pharmacy that offers up to a 90% savings!

#TheHealthyShopperPicks - Ecover

Did you know Canada.. it's Day Two of The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring and we're checking out Ecover products.

Ecover makes plant and mineral-based cleaning products for every part of your home. Their products are phosphate-free, not tested on animals and their products are very effective. I love this as well - Ecover’s dishwashing soap and laundry detergent are packaged in 100% PlantPlastic, an innovative new PolyEthylene, or green plastic made from sugar cane so it’s 100% renewable, reusable and recyclable - that is the wave of the future!

I recently tried a few of their products..

The laundry detergent worked great, on both the adult and the kid clothes, I think this would be perfect for baby clothes, knowing you are using the safest possible soap on you little ones clothes.

The dishwashing tabs worked great, no residue and if you can believe it, no water spots! It was a nice light scent that is great too. I personally do not like any strong odours coming out of my dishwasher, no matter how pleasant they are suppose to be.

The dishwashing liquid worked great as well, so easy on the hands, it's actually dermatologically tested for sensitive skin - I should have had this when I was washing the millions of bottles when the boys were babies. What I thought was really cool is that it doesn't make a lot of bubbles, it just works - imagine that!

Another great Healthy Shopper Pick and we're going to share an Ecover product with one lucky winner as well! Enter below for your chance to win.


Monday, March 19, 2012

#TheHealthyShopperPicks - Earth Balance

Did you know Canada.. it's Day One and the first product we are featuring from The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring is Earth Balance.

Earth Balance has some great products including buttery and coconut spreads. We recently picked up their original natural buttery spread. I am a HUGE bread fan and I admit I wasn't to sure - I've never had Earth Balance spreads before, but I was pleasantly surprised! It had a great taste, good consistency the kids enjoyed it as well and I think it's truly a product I could switch to.

Earth Balance is 100% natural, rich in Omegea 3's, free of GMO's, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and artificial ingredients - how awesome is that. Something you can feel good about giving to your family. Earth Balance products are also free of gluten, lactose and eggs - making this vegan product perfect for just about everyone.

I like that you can cook with Earth Balance just as you would use butter or margarine as well, great to not have to keep so many things in the fridge. Very impressed with the first of The Healthy Shopper Picks and am so excited we get to share one with one lucky reader. Enter below for your chance to win an Earth Balance product!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Made by Hand‘s Networking & Create Night

Did you know Canada.. Toronto Rep Faniya has some great info to share with us about the Made by Hand‘s Networking & Create Night. Remember Did you know Canada? is a proud media sponsor of the Made by Hand Show that is coming up on April 21st at the International Centre in Mississauga.

On March 15, I attended Made by Hand‘s Networking & Create Night. The spacious and friendly Simply Creative Studio located in Milton opened its doors and welcomed crafty hands that day.

Simply Creative is a family - operated paint your own pottery studio. They offer a vast variety of bisqueware, ready to be painted over. And you can use all your creativity and imagination to paint on mugs, vases, plates and pots. Toys are ready for painting too for little creative hands there.

Jacqueline (Made by Hand Manager) and Lynn (Simply Creative Studio owner) greeted everyone and showed the beautiful studio. And when all the attendees were ready Lynn explained us the process of creating a pottery, what tools to use and showed some samples of work. There also were two other studio girls who helped us with paints, brushes, samples and creative tricks to use in our projects.

Two tables were set up in the studio, one for Glass and another one for Pottery projects, so I joined the Pottery and I had chosen to work on a contemporary vase; the pattern for my piece I got from the magazine I found there.

So we were busy for a while working on our pieces, exchanging the ideas with each other, suggesting the colours, asking questions and looking how purely white bisqueware becoming an amazing piece of art made by our own hands.

During the event were draws for the prizes, donated by Upper Canada Carvings, Swag Barn, Creative Strokes by MJ and others. I also had a chance to talk to other attendees, some of them are business owners, and saw the amazing products they make. I was impressed with FAYE’S JEWELERY & CRAFTS handmade necklace and a bracelet made from little tiny beads, so beautiful, a fashionable feather fascinator from Swag Barn, touched a cute plush animal from WARM FUZZIES, and tried the yummy Alfajores with Dulce de Leche from Cest-ci-bon.

Also Big Thanks to Pamela Bielak from Crafting for a Cure who presented the attendees and supported our networking communication.

After painting the pottery must be coated with a clear glaze and fired at the studio, in two days it is ready to take home. So next week I am going to show you my completed, ready to use, piece of art.

Teddy Out Ready

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Did you know Canada.. Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's a great chance to look into some St. Paddy's Day facts across Canada..

According to the 2006 census by Stats Canada, the Irish are the 4th largest ethnic group with 4,354,155 Canadians with full or partial Irish descent, which is 14% of the population.

It is estimated that about 80% of Newfoundlanders have Irish ancestry on at least one side of their family tree.

Some famous Irish-Canadians include..
Paul Kane - painter
Maureen Forrester - an operatic contralto
Thomas D'Arcy McGee - "Canada's most eloquent Father of Confederation"
Robert Samuel Mc Laughlin - founded the Mc Laughlin Carriage Company
John McDermott - best known for his rendering of the song "Danny Boy", he was born in Scotland but is of Irish decent as well

The 188th Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, 2012 - this is the oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade in Canada.

Montreal's Griffintown is often described as the Irish gateway to North America. Up to half a million Irish immigrants came through Griffintown from early to mid 19th century in the midst of the industrial revolution and Ireland's devastating famine.

Approximately 5,400 establishments serving green beer in celebration of "St. Paddy's Day". If you're making it at home I've read some beer works better with blue food colouring, mixing with the yellow of the beer to get a nice green colour. Make sure you toast your drinks with the Irish saying "Sláinte!" which means health, the equivalent of saying "Cheers!".

How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year?

Friday, March 16, 2012


Did you know Canada.. Toronto Rep Pam headed to another runway show during World Mastercard Fashion Week on Thursday night. She saw Canadian designer RUDSAK, find out what she had to say about this Montreal designer..

The atmosphere in the stands at Rudsak's show is electric with anticipation. Everyone is dishing about the wonderful bags and footwear made by one of Canada's leading leather fashion brands, even before the lights go down and the music begins. Rudsak's catwalk was bold and brilliant - not shying away from luscious fur collars mixed with buttery leather. A woman behind me described it as "urban animal" and I see her point but to me, there was a real feeling of Tolstoy's Russian winter in the dramatic hoods and luxurious leather details. At the same time, black leather cropped jackets spoke of biker chic and slick urban fashionista's will love the trend-setting styles of this collection.

The catwalk was high energy and edgy. There isn't a lot of colour in this collection, just super-cool black and neutrals. This is statement clothing and the crowd loved it!

Leaving the show, the talk of the attendees is which pieces they'll purchase. Especially popular were the arm bands and demi-gloves - so fresh and funky though not particularly practical for Canadian winters. The fragrance of leather and springtime lingers in the lobby. I've got my eye on one of those Rudsak totebags and I'm wondering if maybe ... one of those stunning jackets.


The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring 2012

Did you know Canada.. The Healthy Shopper Picks for Spring 2012 are a selection of products chosen to provide Canadian women and their families with healthier alternatives for their diet, lives and environment. Randy Boyer and Andrea Donsky are the co-founders of The Healthy Shopper, a coupon book that makes healthy shopping more reasonable, and authors of the newly released book “Unjunk Your Junk food”.

Randy and Andrea are sharing their picks for Spring with us and we'll be featuring a product each day next week with a chance for you to win the product too! So stay tuned for Monday!

Lala Soap & Natural Body Care - Easter

Did you know Canada.. we've mentioned before how much we love Lala Soap & Natural Body Care. They have a fantastic range of products for your body. Their natural ingredients are free of harsh chemical and toxins; yet still provide a luxurious cleansing experience, they look beautiful and smell fantastic.

I was so excited to try their Easter Creamsicle Bath Bomb and Body Bar Soap. Scented with blood orange & vanilla this fresh fun scent was perfect. The Blood Orange scent is very uplifting, tangy and fresh, known to have anti-depressant effects.

The Bath Bomb was such a treat to use after a long day. I'm still using the Body Bar every morning in the shower, a great scent to wake up to. I appreciate that Lala Soap's products are 100% biodegradable and they use only recycled materials, minimal packaging and of course, the finest ingredients.

A great gift this Easter for Mom, Aunts, Sisters, Daughters and friends, very thoughtful as well. Be sure to visit LaLa Soap today! Enter below for your chance to win one of these decadent products!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Learning Money with Leo

Did you know Canada.. RBC Royal Bank has released a fabulous new app for the iPad that's just for Canadians, Learning Money with Leo, that provides parents with a practical and fun way to help teach their children (3 to 6 years old) about the concepts and value of money.

My boys, at age 4, are just learning about the concept of money. Unfortunately every time we go to the store they think we should buy treats and toys, they've also started an embarrassing new habit of screaming "debt" whenever a cashier gives us a total. I only use debt when we are at the store, only using cash at cash only places like an outdoor event.

I see now that this is a hindrance to my children's learning, they think this little card I pull out is unlimited, instead they should see me counting out money, handing over a big pile, or Mom's wallet running on empty. In the Learning Money with Leo game there is a Sort the Coins game that is perfect for this. There are coins that need to be sorted in their own piggy bank, this has been helpful for learning the value too, as previously my guys have been thinking the bigger the coin the better and haven't been impressed with dimes..haha..

We've really been enjoying the Learning Money with Leo game, it not only teaches the value of money, but also earning, saving, and spending. This is building a foundation that I want my boys to carry on with. As you play the games you earn coins that can be used to buy stickers which is very exciting and a great lesson showing you have to earn your coins. I also appreciated that you can make up to 4 accounts on one game, so each child can earn their own stickers.

The most important thing I want to teach my boys is that we have to work for our money and we need to spend it wisely. As they get older and we start allowances the boys will see money needs to be earned and we'll be learning about saving up for something special, not just using that "magic" debt card. :-)

I highly recommend every Canadian family with young children check out this app in the iTunes Store. Check out and for more information!

We are so excited to let you know we have a $50 Visa gift card to giveaway to one lucky Canadian reader as well, thanks to RBC Royal Bank! Enter below for your chance to win.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soia & Kyo

Did you know Canada.. Toronto Representative Pam was at the Soia & Kyo runaway show at the World Mastercard Fashion Week in Toronto last night. Check out the highlight video from the show and read how it went for Pam!

I was full of nervous excitement attending the Soia & Kyo fashion show at Toronto's Fashion Week on March 13th. The venue was filled with beautiful people, fantastic and fantastical outfits and a pack of Fashion-Week t-shirt-wearing guides who made it all work. We sat on metal bleachers at either side of the catwalk. I was in Section E (Guests of the Designer)! I sat with other bloggers, fashion lovers and self-described "brand-groupies". When the lights went down and the loud rythmic music started, the stage buzzed with excitement.

Soia & Kyo's Winter 2012 line is gorgeous - lush jackets with stunning details, a subtle but inviting palate of colours and fashionable but very wearable! The menswear was edgy, urban and fun. The women's jackets and coats were both warm (good for Canadian Winters) but still so chic! I especially loved the sumptuous hats and fur-lined hoods paired with trendy sunglasses. This line is hip, young and accessible. The crowd buzzed with approval as model after model paraded down the runway. They moved with the beat of the music, obviously enjoying the mood in the room. One of my seatmates leaned over to me and told me that she owns 3 Soia & Kyo pieces already and was planning on buying at least two items from this collection. "The hard part", she said "will be picking which ones!" Heavy sigh... I know exactly what she means.

I've added some pictures I took of the show. I didn't have the best seats for photography and I've learned that I need a better zoom lens for this type of work... but I hope they'll give you all a sense of what the show was like.

As the weather is getting warmer, it's hard to think about buying a Winter coat but seeing this collection makes me wish I had my own Soia & Kyo jacket... and a few more days of cold weather in which to enjoy it.

Thanks so much to Did You Know Canada? for this incredible opportunity.

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