• How to: travel with your parents as an adult

    • June 30, 2015
    • Sandra Barbera
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Family

    I’m plagued with wanderlust. I have the infinite want to travel no matter what my situation – I love being on the road (or in the sky depending on the destination). As such, a couple years back I had the opportunity, last minute albeit, to take a trip to Europe. I had 2 weeks off work and my paychecks were burning a hole in my pocket. I looked into flights, talked it over with my family, and decided there’s no time like the present… my parents had the same thought. Now, I’m not opposed to traveling with my parents, but at the time I was 24 all I wanted was independence. After a little more planning and a new stop added onto the trip we were on a plane to Rome. We spent one week walking ...

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  • #AskAlyson: Teen Cottage Weekend

    • June 23, 2015
    • Alyson Schafer
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Family

    Dear Alyson, I need some help finding a good balance of freedom and independence with my seventeen year-old son.  We have a family cottage and he is asking for a weekend where he and his buddies can go up to the cottage on their own this summer.  He is a pretty responsible kid and has given me no reason to not trust that he can handle this freedom but of course I am worrying about the trouble they could get into… mainly drinking as there would be no adult supervision.  Is 17 too young to handle this type of responsibility and am I just asking for trouble? Hello Darlene, You are wise to be concerned that a cottage with no adult supervision can lead to risky behaviours. Prohibiting your ...

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  • Summer fun alert! Win a $2000 Springfree Trampoline!

    • June 21, 2015
    • Julie Cole
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Julie Cole

    This post was sponsored by Springfree Trampoline. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I recently wrote about some amazing things going on in my family this spring and included the fun my kiddos (and all the neighbourhood children) are having bouncing on our Springfree Trampoline. Our history with trampolines has not been a good one. I’m not talking about injuries. We’ve never had a trampoline injury in my 10 years of ownership. Each kid has encountered more than their fair share of broken bones, but none have been the result of some rogue bouncing. Our issue with trampolines is that we go through them at record speed. The first trampoline lasted a year, and then it ...

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  • 10 things to bring to camp. 10 things to leave at home.

    • June 19, 2015
    • Julie Cole
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Julie Cole

    There are tons of camp packing lists out there – but do they include all of these useful things that you may not have thought about? 10 Things to Bring: 1. Toiletries. Kids will need soap (body wash avoids gloopy bar soap syndrome), shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, hairbrush/comb and a suitable bag to keep them in. Check if your camp requires biodegradable/earth-friendly products or be an eco-mama and buy them anyway. And don’t forget the little things, like lots of bands to tie hair back for swimming or running laps. 2. Protection. Sunscreen; bug repellent and after-bite balm (as natural as possible); water bottle; sunglasses; SPF lip balm; hats (sun and rain proof); ...

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  • Helping Your Child Adjust to Camp

    • June 19, 2015
    • Julie Cole
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Julie Cole

    Being homesick is not that unusual for first-time campers. Here’s how you can help your children deal with nerves before they leave to ensure they’ll have the best time while they’re away. Talk to your kids about how they’re feeling. As the time approaches, talk about camp in a casual way and get answers to any questions that may arise. Don’t remind them of what they’ll be missing or say you’ll be lonely without them. Let them know you trust they’re ready for this new experience. Tell them you can’t wait to hear about it all. If your child has a hard time establishing friendships, have them go with a friend, sibling or cousin and arrange for them to bunk together. This can ...

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  • 5 Tips for Dealing with Camp Withdrawal

    • June 19, 2015
    • Julie Cole
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Julie Cole

    When kids get home from camp, they often miss their camp friends and routines. They’ve also just experienced a new level of independence and coming home may feel a bit suffocating. Here’s how to help transition your kid from camp life back to reality. Throw a welcome home party. When our kids returned home from camp for the first time, they were greeted with “Welcome Home” signs, giddy siblings, neighbors, cousins and friends. We had favorite meals ready for them and a special and fun evening pool party. Coming home felt pretty darn great. Plan activities. Don’t let them come home and wallow in boredom. Remind them that being home is fun too and plan some family outings. Did your ...

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  • Dad’s Tell Us Their Ideal Father’s Day Feast

    • June 16, 2015
    • Theresa Albert
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Food

    I asked a few men what their best “gourmet food day” would be and, while this is anything but scientific, there were enough similarities in the answers for me to spot a few trends. I learned that “boy food” may be different from “girl food” but I have to say, this type of day wouldn’t disappoint me one bit. Here are a few ideas for a Father’s Day feast – inspired by Dads: Breakfast A kick-butt cup of coffee delivered to bed in a giant mug. French toast piled high with a big side of bacon. More butter and syrup than strawberries. Lunch Burger cooked over fire. The consensus was that even a takeout lunch with fries beats brunch line ups hands down. If you can arrange to have ...

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  • Talking to children about Autism + CONTEST

    • June 15, 2015
    • Guest Blogger
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Family

    Our son, Carter, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2010. A year after his diagnosis, he was attending preschool. Naturally curious, his classmates started asking questions about his behaviours. Autism Awareness month was near, so I used their interest as an opportunity to educate about the disorder. I wrote a poem. I explained the complexity of Autism, in a simple way. I used words the kids would understand and I wrote it in rhyme, as a way to keep them engaged. (Okay, maybe more so because rhyming poems are my personal favourite.) The children loved the poem and so did the grownups!  With a little bit of encouragement, illustrations were added, and the poem evolved into a picture ...

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  • Who’s with my kids at camp?

    • June 11, 2015
    • Sandra Barbera
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Family

    If you’ve ever sent your kids to camp, or want to in the future, I’m sure you’ve thought about the people who will be with them 24 hours a day. It’s a legitimate question and concern! Who are these people that will wipe away the tears, put a band aid on a cut, and laugh with them until their bellies hurt? Summer camp has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I went as a child and worked at various camps throughout my adulthood. Camp directors don’t just pluck random names out of a hat and make them counsellors. There’s a rigorous interview process (usually about 3 interviews to get the gig) and training involves at least a week of full-day courses, including water ...

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  • How I learned to let the Mom guilt go.

    • June 10, 2015
    • Heather Dixon
    • 0 Comments
    • Posted in: Family

    My third child was born on an uncharacteristically hot day in May one year ago. Everything about her and that period of time was as sweet and amazing to me as when I experienced motherhood the first and second time. With only one great difference: I haven’t written anything down about her. With my first child, I blogged endlessly during pregnancy. Everything I was feeling. Everything I ate. Every new experience. Then I had her and I eventually blogged about my birth story. How amazing she was. Every milestone she reached. I wrote everything down in her baby book. I wrote notes and blogs and kept track of her feedings and diaper changes. Then my second came along. I blogged only a little bit. ...

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