For several years, I have always been on the lookout for cleaning products that were non-toxic and did not smell of harsh chemicals. It became much more important once I became a mother and began to worry about the dangers of allowing my children to come into contact with potentially harmful cleaning products. One of the first brands I had ever tried was Seventh Generation. Since many of their products cost more than conventional products, I would often restrict their use to washing baby bottles, dishes, baby clothes and the like. Over the last year or so, I have not been nearly so diligent, even though it's always been in the back of my mind that I should work more towards living like the Lorax and being greener. This is why I agreed to work with Seventh Generation and participate in their Green Your Routine challenge.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about A Working Mom's Fashion Woes and how I wasn't looking forward to going back to work simply because I was bored with my plain ol' wardrobe. As a French teacher, I would love to wear smart-looking clothes that me look all professional but sometimes I would much rather wear my Lululemon gear and runners. You see, on any given day, I walk up and down a flight of stairs dozens of times and back and forth between ten different classrooms, my office, the staff room... you get the picture. I spend most of my work day on my feet so by the time I get home from work, they are crying for some TLC. This, my friends, is the very reason why I want to climb to a rooftop and scream, "Mama's got a new pair of shoes!"
At a recent "lunch and learn" event hosted by Reebok, parents and their kids gathered at School Restaurant in Toronto to try out the newest ZigTech and RealFlex kids' collections by Reebok. With fitness expert Jason Martin on hand, we learned some of the main reasons why kids should be physically active, most of which I am sure we have all heard before. He did, however, mention something that caught my attention. I am not too sure of the scientific reasoning behind it, but he claims that, if you engage in intellectual activity shortly after physical activity, the synapses in your brain are more apt to work together. So, exercise of the physical kind followed by exercise of the mental variety makes your brain work better? Hmm, I'm beginning to rethink the way I begin my French classes...
Next weekend, I will be attending my cousin's wedding in Hamilton. It will be a nice occasion to spend with family and friends I don't get to see as often as I would like. Weddings are always a special time that often bring tears of joy to my eyes, especially when I watch couples dancing. They remind me of when I got married and how honoured I was to have a banquet hall filled with those nearest and dearest to help celebrate a momentous occasion. Last month marked my eight-year wedding anniversary and I was compelled to pull out our wedding video. I would have taken out our wedding album but alas, I never put one together. That's the problem with digital photography. You end up with literally hundreds of pictures to choose from which makes it next to impossible to narrow down your favourites. Although, I did create a couple of photo books to give to my parents and in-laws. Still, there is something to be said for looking at actual processed photos in a beautifully bound wedding album, such as the Embroidered Post Bound Wedding Album from Hallmark.
My daughter started piano lessons this summer with one of the neighbours as her teacher. His mother had held on to various children's books that she has cherished from her kids' childhood and recently shared a bunch of Peter and Jane Ladybird books for my kids to read. Don't they bring back memories?
Feel free to link up your Wordless Wednesday post below:
On September 17th, 2012, Green Living Enterprises is putting together a Green Jobs Forum to raise awareness about environmental career opportunities among youth. Students, recent graduates and anyone looking for a career change are invited to gather at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to learn all about jobs in the New Green Economy. This will be Canada’s first comprehensive, multi-sector platform for business leaders, visionaries and teachers to connect and exchange their knowledge with the next generation. The goal of the Green Jobs Forum is to foster a greater understanding of real-life career opportunities and give you the opportunity to seize them.
And admission is free!
More Details on the Green Jobs Forum:
When it comes to studying math skills and building reading comprehension skills, there is little that engages my daughter as much as a computer program that is animated, interactive and easy to use. With K5 Learning, an online reading and math program for kids from kindergarten to grade five, that is exactly what you get. The program has been designed for home use and can be used after-school, on the weekend, over the summertime to help bridge the learning gap or even as a complement to a homeschooling program. In a world where children yearn to investigate, interact and ingest information through the use of technology, K5 Learning can help kids learn and build on essential reading and math skills while developing good study habits and independence.
A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were visiting with my parents. Most of the time, we will stay for dinner or even come by early enough to enjoy lunch with them as well. On this particular day, though, I did not want my mother to worry about what to make for us to eat. I decided it was a perfect opportunity to try out something different but that was also easy to prepare. Since I was recently approached by Butterball Canada to try out their new Lean Turkey Burger, I headed into a nearby Sobeys to pick up a box. But I didn't stop there. With barbecue on the brain, I looked around and found some Butterball Turkey Franks that I knew the kids would love. So I threw some in my cart just before I spotted... yes, you guessed it. Bacon Style Turkey! I also noticed that there was a 2-for deal so I got two packs. Now, all I had to do was fire up the BBQ and prep some veggies for my BLT as well as a side salad to pair with the kids' franks.
Heavens to Betsy, it's almost back-to-school? I know there are still a few weeks remaining of summer vacation. And I've had a wonderful break so far. But there's a part of me that doesn't want to go back to work in September. It's not that I don't love my job. I do. I think it has more to do with giving up my comfy Lululemon yoga wear and trading it in for plain old boring business attire.
Okay, so maybe it's not so boring as much as limited. I don't have a lot of items in my closet that are suitable for work so what I do have ends up being recycled over and over and over again. By the time June arrives, I am utterly sick of my work clothes. Usually, before September comes rolling in, I have found a couple of new pieces that bring some excitement and new life to my wardrobe. I did buy a couple of simple tops and a skirt to take with me to BlogHer in New York but I'm not overly thrilled about them. I just can't seem to shake this icky feeling towards the inanimate objects hanging in my closet.
This September, I will be sending off not one but two kids to school. My four-year-old son is starting kindergarten and I am still having a hard time believing that the day will soon be near. I know it's not much different than dropping him off at daycare and I am confident that he will be ready for this new adventure. But it will still be a huge adjustment. For all of us. I am excited for him to be able to take the school bus with his older sister, since he only has eyes for things with wheels these days. And I can't wait for him to make new friends and further develop his love of learning. I am, however, dreading the very idea of having to prepare an additional lunch bag this year. It is true that I need only prepare a snack and a water bottle for his half-day of kindergarten. And luckily, he will be among the first to use the brand new Brita® Kids’ Bottle.
Here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer. Ah, yes! Summer! By simple association, the season evokes images of sunny days, blue skies and sandy beaches. Granted I do not live in the tropics, I will, however further add palm trees, fruity drinks, and dare I say... cabana boys? As I shake myself back to reality, I call upon fond memories of my travels to the Caribbean. Among the endless nights of Latin dancing and jumbo shrimp, I also recall the distinct flavour of coconut water from a freshly picked coconut. This, my friends, is the latest and tastiest essence of Earth's Own Almond Fresh - Coconut.
Almond Fresh Anywhere
There are so many ways to enjoy the delicious taste of Almond Fresh. Mix it in a smoothie, add it to your cereal, or even bake with it. From pancakes and waffles, to pudding and trifle, Almond-Fresh.com has a myriad of recipes to try. And now you have five flavours to experiment with: Vanilla, Original, Unsweetened, Chocolate and the new Almond Fresh Coconut. In addition, Almond Fresh has also launched two new product formats: a shelf stable 946ml and a single serve size they call "Almond on the go." It's the perfect size to fit in your lunchbox or to take with you as you head out to the gym, hiking, skiing - virtually anywhere!
Did you know that you can enjoy delicious Butterball Turkey all year round? From turkey burgers and franks to bacon-style turkey and luncheon meats, every day is a good day to indulge in low-fat, flavourful food. And, with so many scrumptious options to choose from, Butterball Canada makes it as easy as turkey pot pie.
This month, Butterball Canada has joined the world of social media, which means you can now follow @Butterball_CA on Twitter and Butterball Canada on Facebook.
To celebrate, we are throwing a #SchoolLunchIdeas Twitter Party on Tuesday, August 21 from 8:00-9:30pm EST. There'll be lots of turkey talk, sharing your favourite back-to-school lunch tips and, of course, tons of prizes! Come join us with your best advice for healthy, well-balanced lunches or tweet out your questions about Butterball's delicious and convenient products.
Good news: The Wiggles are returning to Canada (and select U.S. cities) with their new show CELEBRATION, which will reunite Original Yellow Wiggle Greg, Anthony, Jeff, and Murray.
Good news: Although the original Wiggles will be retiring after 21 years, a new generation of Wiggles will be taking their place starting in 2013.
Better news: My not-so-secret crush Anthony will continue sporting his blue jersey alongside the new Wiggles.
Even better news: The Wiggles are partnering up with Canadian charity UNICEF for October 2012, donating 50 cents from every ticket sold.
Best news: Tickets go on sale on Monday, but starting today, you can save 50% off of select tickets for the Wiggles show at the Ricoh Coliseum on October 5 and 6, 2012! (Subject to availability.) Use code "FITNESS" between August 9-12 and pay only $17 ($12.50 + fees) for select reserved seating in the stands. Head on over to Ticketmaster.ca to take advantage of this presale pricing.
Have you heard about the Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario? It offers a rare insight into the life and work of Picasso and features pieces from his private collection. These masterpieces are temporarily being housed here in Toronto while the Musée National Picasso in Paris undergoes renovations. This is the last stop of the international tour which has included venues in Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Seattle, Richmond, San Francisco and Sydney. The exhibition is on now until August 26, 2012.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Portrait de Dora Maar (Portrait of Dora Maar), 1937
Oil on canvas
92 x 65 cm
Pablo Picasso gift-in-lieu, 1979, MP158
Musée National Picasso, Paris
© Picasso Estate SODRAC (2012)
© RMN/Jean-Gilles Berizzi