Monday, July 30, 2012

Official Date on the Penny

Did you know Canada..  it's official that Canada's mint will stop circulating pennies on Feb. 4, 2013.

As has previously been announced, cash transactions to be rounded to nearest 5-cent increment, debt and credit card will remain the same.

Now that we have a set date, how do you feel about having to round every cash transaction??


Friday, July 27, 2012

So Good

Did you know Canada..  So Good is Canada’s leading soy beverage brand.  100% lactose free and a perfect alternative to milk, it's also 100% free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat!



Coming in a wide range of flavours, we picked up a couple to try this week.  We held a taste test with the boys, Offering both Vanilla and Chocolate.  They had lots of fun with this and I'm happy to report BOTH are a huge hit here, though, as with most little boys, chocolate is the #1 favourite. :-)



As a Mom, I think this is great for my boys, as not are they getting all the nutrients they need, each serving also contains 6 grams of soy protein. For my picky eater this is a great way to get some protein and fill him up so we're not always looking for snack food.

Not only does the So Good beverage come in yummy flavours like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, they now also have a selection of frozen desserts!!



A fantastic dairy alternative to ice cream, and coming in 3 delicious flavours: Chocolate Supreme, Creamy Vanilla and what I think would be my fav, Butterscotch Swirl.

We are so happy to support this Canadian company and we have a new favourite in the house for sure.  I'll be checking out their recipe section too, I honestly wasn't sure if Soy beverages could be easily used in recipes, now I know, yes, they can!

Follow So Good on Facebook to keep up to date on products and promotions.

We are really excited to share a giveaway with our Canadian readers as well!  Enter below for your chance to win $50 in So Good vouchers!!

Giveaway

Thursday, July 26, 2012

UNICEF Greeting Cards

Did you know Canada..  we are huge fans of Hallmark Canada, and we are so excited to let you know that they have teamed up with UNICEF.  Now you can show your support of underprivileged children by purchasing one of their everyday greeting cards.  In fact, there are more than 116 unique designs in the new UNICEF collection, so you are sure to find something for everyone and every occasion.



A portion of every UNICEF greeting card will support the organization's work ensuring child survival wherever children's lives are at risk.

Sadly every day 21,000 children under the age of 5 die - most of these deaths are preventable - can you believe it?

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization.  For any and every occasion pick up one of these cards and not only celebrate something special in your life, also celebrate the children you are helping.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LOWEST Crime Reporting Rate In History

Did you know Canada.. I read a surprising article in the National Post saying Statistics Canada is reporting the rate of crimes reported to Canadian police forces reached its lowest level in 40 years in 2011.

Another surprising quote was that this marked the eighth consecutive decrease in Canada’s crime rate.

Some other interesting facts included that Nunavut, N.W.T., the Yukon have highest province/territory crime rate, and Ontario, N.B. and P.E.I. have lowest crime rates by province/territory.  I personally would have thought Ontario would have a high crime rate with big cities like Toronto.

When you turn on the TV it seems like all types of crimes are on the rise, but it looks like we are getting tougher on crime - I hope this is the case, but I'm honestly not sure if I feel any safer.

What do you think?


Winx Club Fairy Dolls

Did you know Canada..  a series new to Canada - WinxClub - is  a modern fantasy adventure series following six fashion forward best friends - Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, Aisha - who attend the finest fairy school in all the realms, Alfea College.



You will be able to catch these fairies fighting evil villains on  YTV and Nickelodeon Canada this year.

As part of the launch we received a preview of the show and a complete set of the WinxClub 11.5” Deluxe Believix Dolls.  Even though I have boys they are at the perfect age to enjoy toys and shows directed at boys or girls.  Even little boys can learn something about self-expression, friendship, adventure, magic and yes, even fashion.



The boys have had lots of fun checking out the dolls, each fairy has her own personality traits and hobbies which is perfect for everyone to find a friend they relate to.  My guys love Musa the Fairy of Music and Aisha the Fairy of Waves best right now - they love brushing their hair, playing with their wings and acting out the stories we've seen in the preview and online.

Each doll also come with a beautiful membership card that unlocks exclusive content on www.nick.com/winx which is perfect for our techy kids!  Check out www.toysrus.ca/winx to see the dolls available this fall!



I think these will be a fantastic new hero for little girls everywhere.  We are excited to share the show and dolls with one of the boys female friends that hang out with us often.  I love that the dolls look realistic instead of too cartoon-y, wear cool clothes, have beautiful, sparkly wings and really amazing hair!  They will lead to great roll playing - all their parts move, they can sit, their wings flutter when you move the them and the wings are even removable.

Visit www.nick.com/winx to learn more about the WinxClub show and characters - trust me, you'll love it!

We are so excited to share a complete set of WinxClub 11.5” Deluxe Believix Dolls!!  Your little one can play with Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, & Aisha.

Enter below for your chance to win!

Giveaway

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farmers Feed Cities

Did you know Canada..  our Toronto Rep Faniya is heading to another fantastic event for us!



Did you know almost 60% of Ontario kids are unaware where their food comes from?  Next week we have a chance to attend Fresh from the Fields event at Riverdale Farm organized by Farmers Feed Cities. They invite us to experience a real farm life in the city, visit Ontario grown pigs, goat, cows, horses and baby chicks, speak with farmers and enjoy interactive games. It is a great opportunity to learn about local food we love and enjoy.

Faniya
Teddy Out-Ready


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day Out With Thomas 2012

Did you know Canada..  last weekend we attended Day Out With Thomas Mystery On The Rails Tour 2012 in St. Thomas Ontario.

We have attended this event for a few years now and I have to say, hands-down, this year is the best one yet!  With more activities, better layout, friendly volunteers and more, we had a fantastic day!

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen how much fun we were having, let me show you some great pictures we snapped.

We were so excited to see the entrance and knew it was going to be a great day..




First stop was the bubble truck, where they have tons of bubble stations set up, it's really fun..



Sir Topham Hat was outside taking pictures with everyone, there was also a haymaze, "Misty Island" misting station, and a fun clown making a free animal balloon of your choice!



Inside there was stories, hourly shows and movies in the a/c, a nice break on a hot day, there was also free Thomas tattoos and facepainting, Thomas tables set out to play trains, we also hit up the crafting area to make hats..



We took silly pictures..



Jumped in the awesome Thomas bouncy house and slide (free as well)..



Stopped in the store, we got a really cool Thomas light and a Thomas kite..



Then it was time to see the big guy!



The scenic ride was fun, more involved this year as Thomas made a stop to pick up a secret package, you could also get your picture taken on the train and chat with the conductor.

A fantastic day, and a great event for St. Thomas.  Thomas is there again this weekend and I highly recommend getting tickets and heading for a special day!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Disney Baby Review Opportunity

Did you know Canada..  Disney Baby brand is coming to Canada!!




Disney Baby is dedicated to helping parents enjoy  every little magical moment with their baby, so when the Disney “Momgineers” discovered that babies go through more than 35 bodysuits in their first year, they listened and created a perfect mom-inspired bodysuit! The extra stitching on all seams provides the Disney Cuddly Bodysuit with added strength to withstand repeated washes. This cuddly bodysuit is not only great for the babies, but for the moms too!

The Disney Cuddly Bodysuit is made from 100 per cent huggable soft cotton so moms can welcome their little one with a cuddle. It is also the first infant bodysuit to feature a patented grow-with-me design, with two rows of snaps to ensure extended use as baby grows. The label free design helps protect baby’s delicate skin and the envelope neck makes it easy to go over baby’s head.


If you have a blog and live in Canada, contact me today if you would like to review a Disney Baby cuddly bodysuit - outfits go up to 9 months.

Can't wait to see some cute babies!!


Canadian Club Mixed & Ready Cover Challenge

Did you know Canada..  Toronto Rep Teena has some awesome info for us..

Have you heard about the Canadian Club Mixed & Ready Cover Challenge?

I was invited to give you the scoop and received this cool kit of goodies (the cans are in the fridge getting a chill ... I can't wait to try 'em!).


Canadian Club Mixed & Ready is reinventing their classic whisky with a mix of Cola and Ginger Ale to create a new refreshing experience.

Now they want bands to do the same by reinventing an original Canadian song by adding their unique sound and style to create something new!

What's at stake ...
  • Three demo songs recorded, mixed and mastered in Toronto 
  • $3000 for transit to Toronto or gear
Are you ready for the challenge??
  1. 1. Choose one of the songs below and make it your own. 
  2. 2. Enter your band’s cover here
  3. 3. Share your entries with friends to collect votes (voters have the chance of winning one of two  Ticketmaster gift cards ~ valued at $3000)
The eligible songs are ...













The key dates ...
  • * Submission deadline: August 27, 2012 
  • *  Judging phase: August 27 - September 10, 2012 (by both Facebook votes and the Canadian Club Mixed & Ready judging panel)
  • *  Winner contacted: September 13, 2012
Good luck!

Teena
Teena in Toronto

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Harvest from Home

Did you know Canada..   from June through October, Metro stores have Ontarians covered with their annual Harvest from Home program!  During Harvest from Home, Metro purchases food from more than 100 farms across Ontario, providing its customers with a wide variety of the freshest most delicious produce.  Proudly supporting local farmers and the economy, Metro brings a new meaning to eating close to home!

This is AWESOME!  We've talked many times about the importance of supporting your local farmers, hitting up the farmers markets, and now you can make one trip to the grocery store and know you are indeed supporting Ontario's farmers and eating fresh food.  To celebrate we've cooked up one of metro's fantastic recipes, picking up all our fresh ingredients at our local Metro.

My little helper and I tried out the Lemon Blueberry California Walnut Bread, which the kids loved, I loved, Gramma loved, it's delicious!  Fresh blueberries and lemons make all the difference too.


Recipe ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) chopped California walnuts
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup (175 mL) buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

Preparation
In dry skillet, toast walnuts over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

In large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and oil. Whisk just to combine.

Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and mix gently just to combine; do not over-mix. Gently fold in walnuts and blueberries. Pour batter into a greased and floured 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan. Bake at 350F (180C) for 55 to 60 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on rack for 20 minutes; remove from pan, cool to room temperature.

Combine 3 Tbsp. sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat then cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Brush glaze over cake while still warm.

See how it went for us..

Good thing I picked up extra blueberries as my little helped was eating them all!





We got all our ingredients together..




stirred everything up..



ended up with some yummy smelling batter..



drooled over it as it came out of the oven..



and finished it off with a tasty, lemon glaze..



it looks amazing..



and as you can see, everyone thought it tasted pretty darn good too..



Be sure to check out Metro's website for more fresh tasting recipes!

We are SO EXCITED to share this recipe with one of our readers too!!  One lucky reader will win a basket full of the dry goods to make this recipe, plus a Metro giftcard to pick up the fresh ingredients.  Open to Ontario Only.



Giveaway

Monday, July 16, 2012

Made By Hand Show

Did you Know Canada.. we are so excited to once again join Made by Hand as a media sponsor!



Be sure to save the date the FALL MADE BY HAND SHOW on Saturday October 27, 2012. The show will be held at the International Centre in Hall 6 in Mississauga, Ontario.



You'll remember, earlier this year we attended the Spring Made by Hand where they showcased over 150 handmade artists, artisans and designers and welcomed close to 1800 visitors. Almost $3500 was raised for their charity of choice as well - Crafting for a Cure.

This year they’re bigger and better. What a great place to support local handmade artists, artisians and designers. Bring the kids for entertainment. A perfect event to start that holiday shopping. Free parking and $2 admission (children free) makes for a fun family outing.

Interested in being a vendor? Vendor Applications are presently being accepted, don’t miss your opportunity to showcase your handmade creations! The deadline to apply as a vendor is August 1, 2012. Click here to download a vendor application or visit www.madebyhandshow.com

We look forward to showcasing some of the vendors in the coming months, and hope to see you there!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is our money melting?

Did you know Canada.. there was a surprising article in The Toronto Star - apparently our money is melting away!

The new $50 and $100 polymer bills are melting under extreme heat, like when set next to a heater or locked in a glove box in a car.

Check out the article and let us know what you think, is this a big problem for the Bank of Canada?


Friday, July 13, 2012

New Mom Study

Did you know Canada.. I'm a work at home Mom. Not only do I run Did you know Canada?, co-author Canadian Moms Cook, and write a weekly article for BuyCanadianFirst.ca, I'm also a developer, otherwise known as a computer programmer. I work for a local company, but do my work at home, mostly at night and on the weekend. It's a busy life with twin boys, especially in the summer, but I love it.

Our friends at Citizen Optimum have been working on a really amazing mom study and they just launched the first phase results.

The goal of the study was to look at the mom market by uncovering new, unusually revealing insights about Canadian moms that go beyond the conventional wisdom of purchasing power. This was done through looking at working versus stay-at-home moms and how they self identify, the kind of experiences that characterize their lives, why they make the choices they do and what they value when it comes to indulging themselves.



Recipe Round Up - 07/13

Did you know Canada.. it's been another great week over at Canadian Moms Cook. We love to share the recipes we have been working on. Remember to chat with me and co-author Muli-Testing Mommy on Twitter and Facebook about meal ideas, fun recipes and more!

This weekend we are heading to a family pool party, what's your favourite dish to bring to a party?



Canadian Moms Cook


Potato Gratin Cups - a great find online, they make for a fantastic side dish the whole family loved!

BBQ Turkey Drumsticks - turkey is amazing on the bbq, you have to try these drumsticks! Plus, enter to win a BBQ Prize Pack from Turkey Farmers of Canada!

Rice and Cheese Balls from Everyday EASY 30 Minute Dinners ~ these are the best rice sidedish we've ever tried! Easy, fun and delicious!

Homemade Mac & Cheese ~ traditional comfort food! Yum!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Canada's Olympic Flag-Bearer

Did you know Canada, it's Simon Whitfield who has been named Canada's Olympic Flag-Bearer.

37 year-old Simon, from Kingston Ontario, won the gold medal in the triathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics (the first year the triathlon was in the Olympics).  In Athens he placed 11, but brought us home a silver in Beijing.


Simon's glory is not all in the Olympics, he's also won 10 consecutive Canadian Triathlon Championships titles.


Known as a friendly and likeable person, we will be so proud to cheer Simon on as he carries our flag at the Opening of the Games, congratulations Simon!!




Image source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Royal Birthday Adventure

Did you know Canada..  we've mentioned before how much we love I See Me personalized story books.  With my boys birthday coming up, this was the perfect time to check out their new "My Royal Birthday Adventure" book.



The boys version we received had the boys as knights in their story going to their royal party.  I LOVED how often their name was used, their name was even spelled out in special places like in the castle's garden and flags, there was a party guest list mentioning friends and family, just fantastic.



I can't speak enough about the quality either, the cover is beautiful and glossy, the pages are perfect, nothing stuck together, a beautiful intro about celebrating the birthday boy.

We have read this again and again nightly, I can't even begin to tell you how special it is to see my boys faces light up when they see their name in the book.  It is a great resource for helping the boys with their reading as well, as they are following the words waiting to spot their name again.



I highly recommend this book for every special boy in your life, for that special girl there is also a Royal Birthday Adventure, I spy a unicorn on the front too, every little girls dream!

Great news, we have a discount code to share with our readers!!  Use code royal at check out to receive a 15% discount off My Royal Birthday Adventure at I See Me!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BBQ Turkey Drumsticks

Did you know Canada.. over at Canadian Moms Cook, we have shared an awesome recipe for doing Turkey Drumsticks on the BBQ!!

You would not believe how easy it is to work with turkey, so delicious too!


Thanks to Turkey Farmers of Canada, we have an awesome giveaway to share with you too. Enter for your chance to win a BBQ Prize Pack from Turkey Farmers of Canada to get you grilling some turkey cuts of your own!

Giveaway

Burt's Bees partners with Canadian accessories designer Jenny Bird

Did you know Canada..  A favourite of ours, Burt's Bees, just announced a partnership with Canadian accessories designer Jenny Bird!

Jenny has created a custom, Limited-Edition friendship bracelet commissioned by Burt's Bees to help raise awareness and funds to help work to save Canada's depleting bee populations!



How is great it that 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of this Limited-Edition bracelet will go to the Pollinator Partnership, a not-for-profit organization whose mission it is to protect and restore populations of pollinator species, bees in particular.

Bees of course are a critical part of our ecosystem and they pollinate our crops!

Did you know - 43 types of Canada's bumblebees are currently threatened, and 99% of the Rusty Patched bumblebee populations has already been lost!

The bees are in trouble because of pesticide use, diseases, pollution and loss of habitat.

For the Bees bracelet is available nation wide at The Bay locations and the web at www.burtsbees.ca/forthebees and http://jenny-bird.com


Monday, July 9, 2012

LEGO SpongeBob Bikini Bottom Undersea Party

Did you know Canada..  I am SO happy to be a Nickelondeon Mom so I can share some of their awesome promotions with you!



This past week we started summer off with a bang by cracking open the LEGO SpongeBob Bikini Bottom Undersea Party Playset!  Recommended for children ages 6 to 11 and at 471 pieces, this gives you an awesome part of Bikini Bottom.  You get a big assortment of characters: SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mrs. Puff, and our favourite, Gary.  Plus SpongeBob's house, Squidward's house, play sets, a juice bar and a D.J. stand.



We had a fantastic time as a family building this at our kitchen table, the boys have a blast making SpongeBob and all his Bikini Bottom friends come to life.  We are HUGE SpongeBob fans, not only do we watch the show, we also read SpongeBob books at bed time, the boys re-enact their favourite parts, work on their SpongeBob laugh - it's a fun part of our life.



I was so impressed with the quality of the pieces, the houses are still standing, even after some rough play!  It really amazes me how lego pieces can turn into these amazing shapes like SpongeBob's pineapple, and Squidward's house. The attention to detail for us die hard fans is so appreciated, like including Gary's bowl in SpongeBob's house.



A fantastic indoor activity for this summer, especially with the crazy hot days we have had!  We are so excited to share a set with our readers as well!  Enter below for your chance to win a  LEGO SpongeBob Bikini Bottom Undersea Party!!

Giveaway

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wrap Trap

Did you know Canada.. last week on Canadian Moms Cook we shared some fun Summer Wrap recipes and shared an awesome new product - Wrap Trap! 






Designed by a Canadian Mom, this awesome tool keeps the ends of a wrap closed so the yummy stuff doesn't fall out on to the floor or kiddos laps.  So all you do is fill your wrap like normal, roll it, clip the ends and cut the wrap in half!  Lunch for everyone and I found my boys managed to eat right to the end of the wrap instead of it falling apart halfway through.







We loved the funny faces on the wraps and everyone has their favourite colour.  Perfect way to get the boys excited about a lunch like healthy wraps!





Visit Canadian Company ONS GEAR to purchase the Wrap Trap and many more innovative solutions!  Great news: use coupon code: WrapMom (case sensitive) for 10% off, valid until July 31st 2012.

Be sure to check out our post on Canadian Moms Cook for some yummy wrap recipes!!


National Fishing Week

Did you know Canada..  National Fishing Week starting tomorrow!  Running July 7 - 15, this week is to encourage more Canadians to experience recreational fishing.

In Ontario you don't even need a licence to fish this week, check the National Fishing Week website for info on licence free days in other provinces.



We love fishing here, have gone many times during camping and cottage trips.  I fabulous way to spend time together as a family, learning some new skills, and enjoy some of Canada's natural beauty!

According to the National Fishing Week website: Outdoor organizations, government resource agencies, tackle retailers and volunteers are preparing to host hundreds of events in almost every province and territory. Clinics, seminars, tournaments, interpretive classes, retail sales and derbies are being held in over 100 communities across the country.


Who's getting out to fish this week??

Recipe Round Up 07/06

Did you know Canada.. it's been some crazy hot days this week!  What are your favourite meals in the heat, cool wraps and salads?  Straight for the BBQ to keep the heat outside? Remember to chat with me and co-author Muli-Testing Mommy on Twitter and Facebook about meal ideas, fun recipes and more!




Canadian Moms Cook


Hidden Valley Ranch Potato Salad - we tried a new twist on potato salad that was a huge hit!

No More Composter or Green Bin Stink! ~ a new product has hit the shelves that will help keep the stink down in your kitchen, garage and backyard!

Ants on a Log ~ a classic fun snack for children (and adults too!).

Look forward to sharing more recipes next week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

ZAMOOF!

Did you know Canada..  I have found an amazing Canadian magazine for children - ZAMOOF!



ZAMOOF! is, well it's just awesome!  I think the best way to tell you about it is to tell you about the amazing features that were included in just one magazine..

* comics
* puzzles
* stories
* posters
* quizzes
* recipes
* colouring
* pet horoscopes
* submitted art
* an interview

This is all in ONE magazine!  And there was only a couple of kid friendly ads at the back, that's it.



This was awesome, perfect for my boys to practice their letters and us reading as a family, it was funny to look up the pet's horoscopes, the boys loved looking at the comics, the funny pet pictures and reeeeally loved the Madagascar 3 take-out posters.

They accept all kinds of submissions for youths, including recipes, pet photos, drawings, puzzles, jokes and more.

A subscription would make a fabulous birthday or back to school gift this year, a magazine the entire family can enjoy!  Yes - I was giggling at the pet horoscopes and the "Mutant Cat Swallows Van" story.

Check out their website for some great articles on their blog as well, the cupcake recipe sounds fantastic!  I hope they update the blog more often to get some more great info.  I loved their article about The Little League Canadian Championships last year, my own boys play T-Ball, so we're going to be looking up info about this years Campionship!

I really recommend picking up a copy or subscribing to ZAMOOF!  This is fantastic for all Canadian families!  We are SO excited to share not one, but TWO one year subscriptions with our readers.  Enter below for your chance to win!!

Giveaway

Twistos

Did you know Canada..  it's time to put a Twist in your snack routine!

We've been trying the new Twistos by PepsiCo Canada and they are awesome!  Coming in 3 flavours..

* Parmesan & Garlic
* Bruschetta
* Asiago



I thought the flavours were very adult, but the kids love these too!  The family favourite is the Asiago, I think both the Asiago and Parmesan & Garlic would go great with salads and dips, the Brushchetta is yummy on it's own.  I bet they would also be fantastic in soups this coming fall, the possibilities are endless!



These are the perfect treat to have our at all your BBQs this summer, a yummy snack to take to work and more.  Available across the country, I've already seen people picking them up at our local grocery store, you gotta try them!

Have you had them yet?  What's your favourite flavour??


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