Friday, May 31, 2013

SUBWAY Canada Event

Did you know Canada..  Spring is almost over and Summer opens up with hot days, vacations, festivals and spending more time outside. 

So this last week of Spring we are invited to an exclusive lunch and roundtable talk with SUBWAY® Canada with executive chef Chris Martone. 

Such an opportunity to discuss healthy eating, menu development at SUBWAY® and can’t wait for a new, exciting announcement for the summer season from SUBWAY® Canada!

Teddy Out-Ready

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crest Whitestrips #PGmom

Did you know Canada..  now that my little man is 3 months old, I'm *trying* to take better care of myself, because Mom's need to feel good about themselves too!

I got a nice new haircut, painted my nails and for the first time ever - tried Crest Whitestrips!

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know it was a spur of the moment decision at 7pm on a week night, and I am so happy I did!

It's literally just two strips, they already have the whitening gel on them, so just peel them off, stick them on your front teeth, top and bottom and let them go!  You can keep them on for 5 minutes, 30 or 2 hours with the Intensive Professional Effects box.  I KNOW what you're saying, 2 hours, what?!  But seriously, it was fine.  You can still drink water during the 2 hours, everything stays in the strips with their Advanced Seal, so you're not foaming up or anything.

I tried to take a picture, it's hard to see, but I guess that's the point!  You can still talk normal and you're even safe to answer the door with them on, the 2 hours is no big deal.

Well worth it too!  A noticeable difference and I'm really, really happy I did it, I'll be using them again next year!  Have you tried them yet?

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Little Pony Equestria Girls

Did you know Canada..  coming June 16th, The full-length feature My Little Pony Equestria Girls will be in cinemas throughout Canada!

Information on listings and links to book tickets can be found at:

My Little Pony Equestria Girls is a brand new full-length feature introducing a whole new dimension into the My Little Pony world. When a crown is stolen from the Crystal Empire, Twilight Sparkle pursues the thief into an alternate world where she transforms into a teenage girl who must survive her biggest challenge yet…high school. With help from her new friends who remind her of Ponyville’s Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, she embarks upon a quest to find the crown and change the destiny of these two parallel worlds.

Who's excited??

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Did you know Canada..  a couple weeks ago we surprised the boys with a trip to Cambridge Ontario to visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory (I had gotten a great WagJag deal) and then to Chuck E Cheese after.

The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a small but very beautiful tropical garden with over 1000 free-flying butterflies.  There is also a couple staff members walking around to answer questions, one had a Vietnamese Walking Stick (bug) with her that creeped me out..haha.. but the boys enjoyed looking at it!

They also have a station with Chrysalides so you can see the different stages of growth as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly!

There are also some really cute birds flying around  and of course the butterflies flying around your head are the main attraction - a great atmosphere.  While not large enough for a full day it was a good hour or so, there is a gift shop and food available on site as well.  For us making a stop at Chuck E Cheese was a great way to end the day before the ride home.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo

Did you know Canada..  last weekend we headed to a favourite place about an hour away - Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo.  Not only do they have animals you can get up close to, touch and feed, they also have a really great play area for the kids and you can make it a full day for not too much money.

I thought I'd share a few pictures from our trip..

This little man really didn't like his hat and wasn't too interested to be in the windy outdoors, but he did enjoy looking around.

The boys had fun feeding some of the animals and learning all of their names.

The goats were kinda crazy!

But all the animals were really cute :-)

And we had SO MUCH FUN in the play area!

What Zoo's do you visit?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Red Sands of PEI

Did you know Canada..  we all know about the red sands of PEI (and they are beautiful, trust me, I've been there twice and would go again in a heart beat) but do you know why they are red?

First a little about PEI, it's one of our three Maritime provinces and is the smallest in the nation in land area and in population.  In September 1864, Prince Edward Island hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which was the first meeting in the process leading to the Quebec Resolutions and the creation of Canada in 1867, though PEI did not end up joining right away.  It also, as many of us know, it very popular for it's potato production.  Producing 25% of Canada's potatoes.


Basically the soil is red because it has a lot of rust in it.  The soil has a high iron oxide content, which rusts on exposure to air.  Prince Edward Island was formed a long time ago on sedimentary bedrock of soft, red sandstone, which produces rich, red soil.

It also erodes very easily and PEI often ends up with a lot of red snow from wind storms in the winter season!

Bayer 150th Anniversary and Exhibit “Science for a Better Life”

Did you know Canada..  This year Bayer celebrates its 150th anniversary, 150 years of innovation and development in health, science and agriculture and as a part of the celebration the company is bringing to Toronto a global interactive exhibit called “Science for a Better Life” that on display at MaRS Centre from today till May 29.  Bayer’s  “Science for a Better Life”  is a look back at the best company achievements and advancements in the science and healthcare.  It is great that more than 350 schools kids from the GTA district school boards scheduled to explore the exhibit.

This week we are very proud to be at the MaRS Centre exploring “Science for a Better Life” and attending the Gala event where Bayer will also honour outstanding Canadians who have made a mark on society through science and innovation.


About Bayer in Canada
Bayer Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG and the headquarters for its Canadian operations.  Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2013, Bayer AG is an international research-based group with core businesses in healthcare, crop science and innovative materials committed to creating a better life for all through science.

Teach My, Award Winning Learning kits

Did you know Canada..  we have been having fun introducing our little man to a new product - Teach My Baby Learning Kit.

Teach My, Award Winning Learning kits are developed my Canadian Christy Cook.  The kits are designed to have all your learning tools in one box.  Instead of buying a puzzle here, a flashcard there, a book somewhere else you can buy one kit, have everything together all in one box and they all match.  The box alone is a fantastic idea to keep all your teaching tools together instead of strewn about the house as they often were with my older boys.

We've been checking out the Teach My Baby Learning Kit and even at four months old we have been having lots of fun.  The kit includes...

  • 12 One Piece Puzzles
  • 6 Two Piece Puzzles
  • 6 Touch and Feel Flashcards
  • 6 Mirrored Flashcards
  • 6 Mirrored Nesting Blocks
  • 5 Finger Puppets
  • 4 Board Books
  • 1 Double-Sided Storyboard
  • Teaching Guide
  • Storage case

My little man already loves the finger puppets and touch and feel flashcards, we've been having fun reading the books too.  They've also been great tools to have my older boys work on their reading by reading to the baby - what a win-win!

Very interactive, cute, durable and stores so well, we are so happy with this kit.  I know we will be purchasing the Toddler and Preschooler kits as our little man grows.  What a fantastic gift idea for a baby shower, birth of a child, birthday or just a special present for the start of summer.

Kits are available for purchase at,, and!  We also have a fun surprise for our readers, enter below for your chance to win a Teach My Kit (a $39.99 value!).


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Canucks Rock: All Canadian Link Up 05/25

Welcome to our weekly All Canadian Link Up!  This weekend and every weekend, Canucks Rock! with our All Canadian Link Up and Candid Canuck feature interview.  Brought to you by your hosts: Did you know Canada?, Tales of a Ranting Ginger and Maple Leaf Mommy!

This week's Candid Canuck is Sara from The Travel Presse. Check out our interview with her..

Sara with her two brothers in New Zealand.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sears - The Baby's Room #SearsBabysRoom

Did you know Canada..  I am once again an Ambassador for Sears The Baby's Room, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I was an ambassador during my pregnancy with my little man, all the way up to his birth in January and so excited to be on the other side as an ambassador with a newborn.  This way I'll be able to share the whole experience with you guys, give info and advice on every stage and let you know what worked best for me!

To start off I headed back to Sears in London ON to meet a new department manager and take a fresh look at The Baby's Room.  The Masonville location has been making a few changes and there is some more rearranging happening in the next few months.  They still have my favourite part, which is the nursery displays.  I love seeing the rooms out of the box so to speak, be able to sit in the chairs and touch everything.   It's also a great way to snap a single picture and show Dad-to-be, Gramma's, sisters, etc.. what theme you are loving and they can see all the pieces in one shot.

They now have a bigger display of playards, completely set up, which is so much nicer than looking at a box and wondering what it feels like, or is it really that colour.  Same with the high chairs.

Still a great selection of cozy blankets, receiving blankets, crib sheets, and more.  All from our favourite - Carter's!  I already own all of those monkey ones..haha..  did I ever show you my son's room set up with his Carter's monkey crib sheets, and the big monkeys on the wall?

The travel systems are still very accessible, which I love, everything can be touch, tested, rolled around.  I disliked the double stroller I had for my twins so I was VERY serious about my stroller this time around and had to try so many before I was satisfied I found the one.  And this is one of my tips for you - touch, feel, and test everything!  Because some of these products will be used day  in and day out for a few years, you have to love it or you will begin to hate it very quickly, trust me.  And when you hate your stroller or car seat, etc.. you begin to dread going out and that's no fun for you or your little one.

The feeding area still has lots of options, so does that bath and accessories and gifting.  Feeding gets very important to you and you might have to go through a couple styles until you find the one that works for you and your baby, so don't over buy until you find the right product.

Great sales news!!  The Baby’s Room One Year Anniversary Sale is here! From May 24 to June 5 The Baby’s Room will be saying a big THANK YOU to all who’ve made it such a successful first year.  A great time to stock up on your favourites, try a new product, maybe get that piece of furniture you've been eyeing.  Head into Sears The Baby's Room to see what's on sale! And let us know what you get :-)

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears The Baby’s Room Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Iams SO GOOD! Doggie Jam

Did you know Canada..  mark the calender for Saturday, June 8th if you are a doggie lover in the Toronto area.  We are doggie lovers in this house, with our Boxer/Retriever Maddie and our Shih Tzu Bailey, my boys especially love having pets in the home to take care of, play with and really just love.  If you are a dog owner you know how much love dogs have to give!

On June 8, Iams is celebrating the real love between people and pets at Canada’s first ever concert for dogs by Iams. As a valued and cherished member of the family, Iams believes that dogs deserve to eat delicious and nutritious food and have a little fun, too.  The Iams SO GOOD! Doggie Jam will bring together as many as 5,000 dogs and their owners to celebrate real love at an event to remember.

The Iams SO GOOD! Doggie Jam will consist of a 43 piece classical orchestra performing classical “dog” inspired music that is sure to delight pets and owners alike!

When and where is all this happening?

Saturday, June 8, 2013
4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Echo Beach
999 Lakeshore Blvd. West.
Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3L3

For more information visit Iams on Facebook, follow Iams on Twitter @Iams

And follow the IAMS SO GOOD DOGGIE JAM hashtag on Twitter: #IAMSSoGood

Tickets for the Iams SO GOOD! Doggie Jam are available from Ticketmaster.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dine & Dish with Dawn

Did you know Canada..  this is really cool, On Wednesday, June 5th, Food Network’s John Catucci will be hosting Dine & Dish with Dawn - a pop-up poutinerie at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, where the poutine is free if you clean your own dish with Dawn Ultra. That’s right; if you eat it – you clean it!

I decided to play along at home and we went with not one, but two different poutine recipes, and they were both big hits!

Poutine - with mushroom gravy


  • Approx 2C beef broth
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • gravy thickener
  • french fries, cooked according to directions
  • shredded mozzarella cheese

Step 1:
Heat up the broth with the onion soup mix until simmering

Step 2:
Add your mushrooms and let them cook in the simmering broth

Step 3:
About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve add gravy thickener according to the package instructions

Step 4:
Layer french fries, cheese and gravy on top to melt the cheese, serve hot

Poutine - with slow cooked beef


  • french fries, cooked according to directions
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • slow cooked beef (cooked in the oven or crockpot, I used an epicure seasoning pack)
Step 1:
Cut a piece of beef and shred it with a fork

Step 2:
Layer fries, cheese and beef, top with beef drippings or make an au jus to top (beef drippings, flour, broth and salt & pepper whisked together)  serve hot

Then it was time for the clean up!  Dawn had no problem cutting through the grease of the gravy pot, a fun dinner and easy clean up!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Other Phone Line Options in Canada

Did you know Canada..  you don't need to be tied to a phone line in Canada, there's other options.

We recently switched to a VoIP (Voice over IP) service, it allowed us to keep our home phone
number, we have more options then we did before, can call anywhere and Canada and it works great - and we are paying a fraction of the cost we were before.  This means your voice communications are transported via a data network, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN).  We still use our home phone, no one can tell the difference, we just have a lot more features while paying less (kinda cool right).  One feature I really love, being a Mom on the go, is that when someone leaves me a voicemail I can have the message emailed directly to my email account.  My smartphone, probably like yours, never leaves my hand, so I love being able to listen to messages on the run and know who's called the home line.

There's another cool option too, a great business solution - Session Initiation Protocol - SIP Trunking Canada, it's voice and data traffic on a single network.  This allows for businesses to make full use of their IP backbone to connect the company not only internally but also to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This eliminate the need for separate voice and data networks and can be a real cost savings.

Say you have multiple locations for your business and each with multiple lines, with SIP you can pool you channels, instead of paying for individual services and a multitude of lines at each site.

With greater flexibility and scalability, there are now more options in Canada for your home and business voice communications, keep up with the future and you'll be surprised with the savings available for you!

What type of phone service to you use?

Nellie's Laundry Soda

Did you know Canada..  having a new babe I've being doing A LOT of laundry and I've also been concerned about using limited amount of chemicals and products safe for baby's sensitive skin.

I gave Nellie's Laundry Soda a try and I was happy with the results!  Hypoallergenic, Nellie's Laundry Soda leaves clothes soft, fresh, and residue free.  You only need a tablespoon or less, a tablespoon will definitely do even your largest loads!

I love that you can decide how much you add to your load.  Especially with baby loads I find myself running some small loads because (well besides the clothes being pretty small!) I also might do a quick load of cloths and bibs, a couple of his towels, etc.. So I like not having to add the full amount as you do with pre measured soaps for my small loads.

The Laundry Soda dissolves quickly in BOTH hot and cold water, and I like that Nellie's laundry soda is unscented and designed to penetrate the fabric as well as remove the odours, not mask them. Nellie's rinses clear and leaves no residue.

Easy to use, works great, and comes packaged pretty cool too.  Another fantastic Canadian company to support!  Find them on Facebook here.

We have a fun surprise for our readers, enter below for your chance to win your own 50 load soda bag of Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Lavender Farms in Ontario

Did you know Canada..  Lavender, this purple-hued flower with it's gorgeous scent can be found
on Lavender farms across Ontario.


Used for bath & body, culinary, medical, home fragrances like those from Lampe Berger and garden products, lavender is a popular scent!  Fun fact:  Romans used lavender to scent their linens and bath water.  It quickly became associated with hygiene and its unique fragrance was believed to hold healing powers.   Infusions are believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation.

Many of these farms across Ontario make for popular tourist destinations as well.  There's even a festival in Chatham-Kent - Great Lakes Lavender Festival will marks it's 8th annual event this year and it's their 9th year as one of Ontario's oldest lavender farms.  You can find more festivals across the province and many farms that offer shops and events.

Blooming from the beginning of June until the middle of September, Lavandula angustifolia is the most common type of lavender, originating from England. It is often referred to as true lavender, there's actually about 40 different types!

Have you visited a Lavender farm?  Visiting to enjoy the scent alone makes it worth a trip!

Don’t Sweat it. HANDLE IT!

Did you know Canada..  Lady Speed Stick* antiperspirant has you covered to stay cool when
faced with awkward situations, not sure what I mean?  Check out a couple of these clips..

Too funny right?!  Have you ever wished you could stay cool when faced with an awkward situation?  Thinking of the pregnancy one - I remember chatting with a pregnant friend and mentioning it must only be a couple more weeks until baby time, NOPE, she was only 5 months pregnant..haha.. oops!!  She was left feeling kinda big and I could feel the sweat run down my arms, eek!

Available in 4 different fragrances to keep you feeling fresh from morning to night, Lady Speed Stick* will help you not to sweat it, just handle it!! With long lasting superior protection and tough invisible 24 hour protection you are good to go all day.

Have you tried Lady Speed Stick* yet?  If you pick some up before May 25th, I have a coupon for you!  I also have another treat, enter this giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 6 Gift Baskets, and we want to know, what makes you sweat?!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Colgate, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Canucks Rock: All Canadian Link Up! 05/18

Welcome to our weekly All Canadian Link Up!  This weekend and every weekend, Canucks Rock! with our All Canadian Link Up and Candid Canuck feature interview.  Brought to you by your hosts: Did you know Canada?, Tales of a Ranting Ginger and Maple Leaf Mommy!

This week's Candid Canuck is Bonnie from The Koala Bear Writer. Check out our interview with her..

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spring Into Gardening with DK Canada!

Did you know Canada..  with 5 year old boys we have hit a phase where they need to know EVERYTHING.  What everything is called, where it's come from, why it is the way it is.  Thankfully DK Canada has me covered for nature walks now when we are discovering the plant and tree live in bloom.  We have been bringing DK Canada's What's that Tree and What's that Flower with us so we can use the proper names for what we are seeing and learn more about them.

As always, DK Canada's books have the most beautiful pictures and I love that they use real photos, no drawings or sketches.  Everything is explained in easy to understand terms, information is not long and drawn out but given in quick facts.

In What's that Tree? we get information on tree form, growing locations, leaf appearance  sizes and even what a young tree might look like vs an old one.  This has been so much fun to read with the boys and learn plenty myself!  What a fantastic resource for future school projects too!

In What's that Flower? we learn about where flowers grow and why, sizing, colours, shapes, and seasons.  I wish my Grampa was still here for me to give him this book, as an avid gardener he would have loved to read this book end to end.  The boys have enjoyed viewing all the flowers and we even had to make a stop at the store to find some of our favourites to grow in our own garden!

Perfect books to enjoy as a family this spring and an amazing gift for the gardener in your life!  Visit DK Canada's Gardening Boutique to save 30% on all their amazing gardening book!

Target Canada's Entertaining Essentials for Victoria Day Weekend

Did you know Canada..  Target has you covered for entertaining this long weekend!  Whether heading to the cottage, camping or entertaining at home, see below to ensure all bases are covered for a stress-free and fun-filled family weekend.

Canadians love to entertain outdoors and take advantage of beautiful summer-like weather. Target has everything from Bublé to bistro sets to make entertaining a breeze this season:
  • Plastic makes perfect – with kids running around in bare feet, plastic dishes and stemware make entertaining outside stress free. Target’s Threshold collection carries colourful dishes and serving trays to create a beautiful outdoor tabletop.
  • Accessorize – gardens and greenery provide a beautiful backdrop for any occasion. Add to the outdoors with seasonal accessories including bright patio rugs, umbrellas and pillows.
  • Ambiance – set the mood with outdoor lanterns and low background music (but remember, sound travels!)
  • Food - check the grocery aisle for quick and easy appetizers to pop in the oven as guests arrive. Archer Farms’ Spanakopita and Lobster and Cheese bites are crowd pleasers – just make sure you have enough on hand for seconds!
Speaking of food, I made two tasty dishes that will be perfect for entertaining this May 2-4 weekend, whether at the cottage, campground or backyard, these can be enjoyed any time!


What you need:
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper strips, divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • TRISCUIT Crackers

Here’s how:
1. Process chickpeas, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/4 cup peppers and next 4 ingredients in food processor until smooth.
2. Spoon into serving bowl; top with remaining cheese and peppers.
3. Serve with crackers.

I halved the recipe and made it in my Magic Bullet, SO EASY!

- Serve with TRISCUIT Thin Crisps or Archer Farms Tortilla Chips
- Two kinds of crunch: serve dip with cut-up fresh vegetable dippers in addition to crackers


What you need:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 4 cups Honey Graham Crunch cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups Market Pantry miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (11.5 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips

Here’s how:
1. Spray 8 or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over LOW heat; add 3 cups miniature marshmallows. Cook and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Add cereal; mix until well coated.
3. Press firmly into prepared pan with the back of a buttered spoon or waxed paper. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows in single layer over top.*
4. Heat chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Heat in additional 10 second increments until completely melted. Spread evenly over top of marshmallows. Let stand until chocolate is set.

- Makes 16 bars

- If desired, toast marshmallows by heating under broiler a few minutes until lightly browned. Then drizzle with chocolate.
- This recipe can easily be doubled and made in a 13x9-inch pan. (You will need to purchase 2 bags of miniature marshmallows.)
- Sprinkle over hot cereal.
- These make a great snack just served plain or mixed with dried fruit.
- Stir slightly crushed cereal into ice cream or frozen yogurt for a crunchy treat.

Both delish!  Even the kiddos liked both dishes and they were fun to serve with these cute napkins and tray from Target.  Enter below for your chance to win a $50 Target giftcard so our lucky winner can buy some entertaining essentials for the start of summer!!!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Put Spring in Your Skin with Cocoon Apothecary!

Did you know Canada..  it wasn't a bad winter here in South Western Ontario, but it's been a long one (frost warnings earlier this week for example!) and it is way past time to perk up my skin.  I was very excited to learn about the natural skincare line from Cocoon Apothecary.  I received their Ancient Mud Facial Mask and the Skin Care Starter Kit with cleanser, toner and cream.

Ancient Mud Facial Mask that contains Dead Sea mud, British Columbian and glacial marine clay infused with essential oils of rose and orange blossom.  This amazing mask mineralizes the skin, exfoliates, purifies pores and draws out all toxins.  I actually had a lot of fun trying the mud facial mask, I've never done one myself before.  Yes, there really is mud in that jar, but it smells wonderful! It was easy to smooth on, then I just let it dry and washed it off, easy peasy and actually really relaxing.

To continue your skin’s renewal, the Cocoon Apothecary Skin Care Starter Kit containing Petal Purity Cleanser, Rose Facial Toner, and Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream will take care of nourishing, restoring and maintaining your skin’s balance, giving it a healthy glow - which is exactly what we want this time of year right!  Again very easy to use and put on, smells wonderful.  I wouldn't say I have extremely sensitive skin, but I certainly can't use just anything, or I get red and itchy.  With the Cocoon Apothecary Skin Care Starter Kit I LOVED the feel of my skin.  Everything felt great and my skin felt conditioned, comfortable and smooth.

I also love that it's not a one time thing, there's enough product to have your own spa day at home all the time!  A great way to refresh and relax after a long week.

It's Jessica Burman who founded Cocoon Apothecary in 2004 in Kitchener, Ontario.  She wanted to create organic and eco-friendly skincare products that embrace the healing power of natural ingredients. Jessica’s background certification in aromatherapy and esthetics has given her the ability to create master formulations that embrace the healing and regenerative powers of rose, lavender and geranium essential oils that work together synergistically.  She meticulously prepares natural beauty creams that contain antioxidants, are vegan and gluten-free and free of petroleum and parabens.

All Cocoon Apothecary beauty creams have natural scents and don’t contain any synthetic fragrance often found in other beauty products.  Cocoon Apothecary’s natural beauty products are 100% biodegradable and are packaged in 100% recyclable amber glass bottles with plant-based labels. Cocoon Apothecary focuses on transparent corporate practices, educating customers on reading cosmetic labels and the importance of natural ingredients.

A great group of products and they would make a beautiful gift too!  Learn more at

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

TD Canadian Children's Book Week - Bringing the Best to Canadian Kids #TDBookWeek

Did you know Canada..  TD Canadian Children's Book Week just finished up, when over 35 authors, illustrators and storytellers are touring across Canada and visiting schools, libraries and community centres to connect with young people, present their books and talk about thrills of reading and writing. This year’ theme is quite interesting - All the Bookshelf’s a Stage: Celebrating the Performing Arts.

Just before the launch of TD Canadian Children's Book Week we were lucky to attend meet-and-greet with Canadian authors and illustrators participating in this initiative at Drake Hotel in Toronto.  The event started with presentation from TD Bank Group highlighting the importance of supporting children’s literacy and bringing the best books and materials to Canadian kids. Then authors shared their exciting stories about meeting the families and children during TD Canadian Children's Book Week. For more than 35 years, TD Canadian Children's Book Week has been emphasizing the value of reading and introducing Canadian kids to their favourite authors, poets, storytellers and illustrators.  

I think kid’s books are pure magic that gives kids opportunities to follow the exciting adventures, become a character of the stories, imagine, travel, learn and unwrap their natural talents.
During that event we were also introduced to new web resources created at where parents, kids and teachers have an opportunity to look through book lists and find any interesting book based on child age, an author or an illustrator with short introduction.
For more information, please visit


TD Canadian Children's Book Week is organized by the Canadian Children's Book Centre, in partnership with the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada and the generous support of sponsors.

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Angels Among Us

Did you know Canada..  I've been reading Chicken Soup for the Soul's Angels Among Us.  This newly released book features 101 Inspirational Stories of Miracles, Faith, and Answered Prayers.

I really enjoyed the Divine Messengers section, short stories about receiving a message or a sign from nature or a stranger, often the messages from nature bring news of a loved one passing.  I know many people that believe these to be true, and whether you do or not you can appreciate the peaceful-ness of knowing we are all connected.

The stories of Healing Touches were very powerful, often stories of those coming back from the brink of death, sometimes without explanation, nothing short of miraculous and so uplifting to read.

Celestial, otherworldly, heavenly. Whatever the term, sometimes there is no earthly explanation for what we experience, and a higher power is clearly at work. In this book of 101 inspirational stories, contributors share their personal angel experiences of faith, miracles, and answered prayers. You will be awed and inspired by these true personal stories from people, religious and non-religious, about angel guidance, miraculous intervention, and love from beyond.

This beautiful book would make a great gift for anyone, but especially those that can use a smile and a boost of faith.  Chicken Soup for the Soul books are laid out so nice in that you can pick it up even when you only have a few moments and read a story or two.

Great news for our readers, enter to you a copy for yourself!  Enter below for your chance to win Canada!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Government vs Private Auto Insurance #Canada #T2T

Did you know Canada..  I bet every time someone gets a new car at work or in the family the topic of auto insurance comes up and someone mentions that the government should operate the car insurance business.  I'd love to chat about this with you guys, what do you think?

Here's some straight up facts about Government vs Private Auto Insurance..

First of all, all insurance providers already run within a strict framework of provincial laws that are supervised by a number of government agencies, like rate review boards and both federal and provincial regulators.

The average cost to establish a government-run insurance company by province would be $300-$500 million - yikes!  Not only would there be these enormous start-up costs, but all government-run auto insurers in Canada have required taxpayer subsidies to bail them out.

With private auto insurance the rates reflect the true cost. Premiums in a competitive environment reflect the real cost of insuring a driver.

The government would offer static solutions for consumers, that would mean we lose out on multi-vehicle discounts and the like.

The private insurance industry in Canada employs almost 100,000 people, either directly or through its support of a broker workforce, that's big!

Insurance Bureau of Canada wants you to Get In the Know about Auto Insurance.  By the way, anyone ever try to tell you a red car costs more in insurance?  Well guess what, it has no impact on your car insurance premium - phew!  Visit their website to learn more about auto insurance, what it means for you, and be prepared with real facts for your next office chat.

Disclosure: Although this post has generously been sponsored by Insurance Bureau of Canada, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Xyla® Xylitol Products Review - Eating Sweet Without Guilt

Did you know Canada..  How much do you know about Xyla® xylitol? It is interesting that I used it for almost two years.  But only recently did I have an opportunity to learn much more about its background and benefits. Xyla® 100% natural xylitol is a white crystalline granule that looks and tastes like sugar.  It is made from hardwood trees exclusively in North America, great to know that Xyla® xylitol has been approved by Health Canada and produced under the highest manufacturing standards.

When I was first introduced to xylitol by a family member, the explanation was simple it is sugar just produced differently and the final convincing point mentioned was that it is used by people with diabetes. I remember how my uncle suffered from diabetes and had to follow a strict diet a long time ago. Now my mom-in-law continues to call xylitol “Healthy Sugar” and there are many reasons why.  

“Xyla® is a healthy sugar alternative,” says Julie Reid, Director of Sales, Xylitol Canada.  “It has an enormous list of benefits and can be used everywhere sugar is used: in our coffee, jams, pies and cakes and has been used in Europe and many other countries for years.”  Xyla® has 40% less calories than sugar and 75% less carbohydrates, so it’s slowly metabolized.  I learned that xylitol has multiple benefits including maintaining hormonal balance, reducing hot flashes, symptoms of PMS and depression; it also inhibits harmful yeast and prevents osteoporosis and middle-ear infections. If you love sweets, you should definitely switch to Xyla® as it contributes significantly to oral health by preventing plaque and dental cavities.  

I use Xyla® xylitol (I buy a 1lb bag) mostly for preparing hot cereal in the morning. So when I received my gift box which included 2 lb. canister, box of 100 sachets and candies, I was impressed with the varieties of Xyla® xylitol products we have right now on the Canadian market: bags, canisters, box of 100 sachets (great for tea and coffee), Xyla® gum, mints, candy, chocolate, lollipops, jam and various condiments. For my review I started using sachets for my tea and coffee (and I drink quite a lot adding spoons of sugar).  What I first noticed was that I stopped having the after taste I usually have and did not feel any bloating after eating.  I gave grape candies to my family members, and they liked them so much especially when there are so many flavours to choose from: raspberry, watermelon, grape, licorice etc.

It is amazing to find out that celebrities who want to look good, stay in a shape and just be healthy also started switching to xylitol as a healthy sugar alternative, for example Laila Ali adds 1 tablespoon of her go-to sugar substitute, xylitol to her breakfast and fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow uses xylitol in her latest cookbook, It’s All Good (by the way I like her recipe Sweet potato & five-spice muffins).

In Canada Xyla® xylitol can be purchased online; at Whole Foods (Xyla® mints); London Drugs, Bulk Barn; Choices Market; and at

For more information please check Xyla® xylitol web site:


Monday, May 13, 2013

Seventh Generation and cleaning green

Did you know Canada..  According to a recent survey, 93% of Canadians would choose green versions of household cleaning products (NMI 2012)!

Thankfully there are now products like those from Seventh Generation.  Seventh Generation is designed with the environment, and you and your family’s health in mind.  Seventh Generation’s impressive roster including diapers, plant-based cleaners for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, and plant-based baby and personal care for the whole family.

I love their products for the bathroom, especially the toilet bowl clean, so many of them are so stinky and powerful, I had one that the kids refused to use the bathroom for ours afterwards it smells so chemically.  Using the Seventh Generation clean has been so much easier, it cleans well and doesn't leave stinky chemical smells behind.

You know we are all things baby here and have enjoyed trying their line up of baby products.  Their baby wipes are free of chlorine processing, fragrances & dyes, alcohol and they are hypoallergenic.  It's great to know you are taking the best care of your baby's skin as you can.  They are also soft and do the job as you expect.

They also have a nice baby wash series with shampoo, wash, bubble bath and lotion.  It includes a nice fresh and very light scent.  It contains no parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances and is hypoallergenic.  Works great, no residue and we came out clean and sweet on the other end. :-)

Do you choose green products for your home?

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