The City Critters Family Series at the Toronto Botanical Garden continued with its third session - the Buzz on Bees. As their guests, our family enjoyed a honey tasting and learned all sorts of interesting facts about bees. For example, a caste of bees consists of three types of bees: the queen bee, which can be identified by her torpedo-style abdomen; the worker bees, which are smaller and have pollen sacks; and the drones, which have big eyes. The sole task of the queen bee is to emit a reassuring smell to the other bees while mating and laying eggs every 30 seconds. (I don't know about you but that sure sounds like a heck of a lot of work!) The worker bee lives for about five or six weeks during which time she will keep her room clean and take care of her baby sisters, checking in on them about 1300 times each day. Drones are male bees with the singular job of mating with the queen bee, after which he is evicted from the Big Bee Hive and dies shortly afterwards. Hmm, it kind of sucks to be a drone...
While one of the TBG beekeepers demonstrated the protective gear that must be worn, her sidekick Trish was preparing to give us a close look at the bees who were busily at work making honey.
We enjoyed a really neat view from the other side of the screen doors. You could hear the buzzing and smell the smoke which is used to calm the bees whenever they are about to be disturbed.
This past weekend, our family took to the outdoors as we dove into a new season of recreational soccer. Colour me less than thrilled. You see, I'm not the most enthusiastic soccer mom you'll ever meet. The truth is I would much rather avoid having to spend a few hours sitting around on the field either be it in the cold wind or on a relentlessly hot day. But I am starting to believe that my children are developing a passion for the sport much to
my dismay their father's content. And so, this big buttercup is going to suck it up and take one for the team. Time to return to our regular routine of loading the Jeep with lawn chairs, packing healthy snacks and filling up bottles with fresh, filtered water.
Last summer, Brita sent us a pair of reusable water bottles with built-in filters. I thought it was such a great idea because both the kids and I could enjoy filtered tap water no matter where we went. On hot days out on the field with no water fountain in sight, however, I opt for a much larger jug to keep thirst at bay. With the new Brita Stainless Steel Pitcher, I can fill up the water jug with tap water that tastes great. The Brita filter is designed to reduce the taste and odour of chlorine as well as the amount of copper, mercury and cadmium that may be in our water. The pitcher is also BPA free and can hold eight glasses of water.
If you like the look of stainless steel, this sleek and shiny pitcher with brushed stainless steel has a fingerprint-resistant coating (unlike my refrigerator) so that makes mommy happy. Its slender shape also makes it easy to squeeze it in between the jug of milk and the carton of orange juice. The electronic filter change indicator is a handy reminder to replace the filter every two months or 151L. What I found to be a bit of a nuisance, however, is the problem that arises when filling the reservoir with too much water. The excess water will spill in the handle part and leak out at the bottom. This is easily rectified by taking care not to fill it with too much water at once. Unless your my husband. In which case you will completely forget to heed said warning.
Looking for an online interactive site that helps to reinforce thematic vocabulary? Poissonrouge.com has a page dedicated to French vocabulary along with additional pages in Greek, Chinese, and English. These pages can be found by hovering over the purple castle and then by selecting the flag representing the language you wish to practise. Each page covers ten main themes:
- les jouets (toys)
- le corps humain (the human body)
- la cuisine (in the kitchen)
- les animaux (animals)
- l'atelier (in the workshop)
- la salle de bains (in the bathroom)
- les chiffres (numbers and shapes)
- les vêtements (clothing)
- la musique (musical intruments)
- les transports (transportation)
Everyday when I wake up, I check my Facebook notifications to see if I have a message from you. I know it's only been a couple of months since we've first met but our 'relationship' has become a bit of an addiction. I think it first started with the chocolates. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the random brightly-coloured candy you kept dropping off but chocolate is definitely the way to this girl's heart. But now, my heart is breaking.
You see, we've had so much fun over the last little while and I will never regret all those 146 times we've spent together. But I feel like we are now stuck in an explosive relationship. I try to give you what you want over and over again but you just blow up in my face. And I'm not sure I can handle it anymore. I feel like a constant failure and it's just not fair.
I know many of my friends are doing it, so many of whom are married and have kids just like me. And I see them spending time with you as well, when we all know we should be spending time with the kids or tending to some chore or other. I have even seen a number of my friends who have managed to get past the explosive stage of their relationship with you and have invested much time and dedication into making it work. I'm just not sure I'm that type of person. I really don't think I will ever get past level 147 and a part of me is truly saddened by it.
Perhaps one day things will just click and we can bring back some of that momentum we once enjoyed. Until then, I feel it's best if we part ways and take a little break.
Update (June 11, 2013):
Mother's Day has come and gone but mothers are still mothers 365 days of the year. And then some, it seems. As May is the Month of Mom, P&G recognizes that it is the perfect time to celebrate moms and the women in our lives that make simple moments special. And so I would like to take the time to recognize my own mother for all of the many sacrifices she has made and continues to make for us.
One of my mother's most admirable qualities, aside from her selflessness and grace, is her wisdom. I will forever be in awe of her ability to take what little she had when she came to Canada with my father, learn a new language, secure jobs that involved manual labour, raise three children and pay off two mortgages, take us on a number of vacations for Christmas and New Year's and put food on the table. It strikes me as remarkable because she didn't make very much money, even though she worked day and night, and neither she or my dad had any insurance benefits. How on earth did she manage to save so much of her hard-earned dollars?
Today, as a teacher and mother of two, who makes double maybe even triple her annual income, I can only wish that some of her wisdom and sense of frugality has rubbed off on me and that I'll be able to save and make sacrifices as she did. Like my mother, I am always clipping coupons such as the P&G Brandsaver coupons, and I constantly have my eyes peeled for sales on everyday essentials. It isn't always easy to keep track of spending when you work full-time and have kids, er... a son who manages to tear holes in his uniform pants on a regular basis. But I can always aspire to be more like mom and make saving more of a priority. Because at the end of the day, I don't want to spend most of my life working to pay the bills. I would much rather enjoy the everyday moments and maybe even treat myself to a day at the spa every once in a blue moon.
Since the weight of the family can get heavy, every mom deserves the chance to repair, relax and refresh. P&G is offering one of my readers a chance to win a Mother's Day Spa bundle that includes one of my favourite hair products - the Pantene Pro-V collection. It will give your hair the beauty sleep it deserves with a new three-step process by repairing six months of visible signs of damage in just one use. Treat your hair while you sleep using the Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Overnight Miracle Repair Serum, a weightless, non-sticky serum that resurfaces hair at its weakest points and helps to restore hair while you sleep for a healthy looking start each morning. Then style your hair and finish off your look with Pantene Pro-Stylers Flexible Hold Hairspray to provide flexible, touchable hold that lasts up to 24 hours.
|CBC launches its large-scale, open house event featuring|
"The Canada Lives Here Experience" open to the public May 16 to 19.
Register for tours at canadaliveshere.ca
CBC's The Canada Lives Here Experience exhibit is now open and I look forward to possibly attending this weekend. The exhibit provides a larger-than-life look at the Canadian experience through the lens of the CBC. The public is invited to the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto from May 16 –19 for tours, fun-filled activities and events, and the opportunity to meet their favourite CBC personalities. I am personally looking forward to meeting Allan Hawco again and learning how he got his start.
|Photo courtesy of Racheal McCaig Photography|
Admission to The Canada Lives Here Experiences is FREE for all visitors. To register for tours and special events, visit www.canadaliveshere.ca.
This weekend, the weather was so cold that we had to turn the heat back on. While Mother Nature may have a hard time understanding that it is spring, Stampin' Up! knows full well that it's the perfect time to celebrate the season of May flowers with their Spring Surprise Bundle, coordinating inks and card stock in bright colours. Stampin' Up! sent me a sample of the bundle that features the Round Array stamp set (available in clear-mount only) and the coordinating Scallop Circle 7/8" punch featured above. The stamp set includes five stamps with sentiments and three generic stamps that are perfect for everyday embellishments.
The Stampin' Up! Spring Surprise Bundle is a perfect set for those looking to incorporate stamping into their crafts as it includes all the elements required to complete a project. With these stamps and coordinating punch, you can easily embellish a variety of projects, like cards, notes, jars of homemade goodies, and more!
Since I love to make greeting cards, I chose to use some Stampin' Up! card stock in Primrose Petal and Raspberry Ripple with coordinating water-based dye ink to create a couple of birthday cards which measure at 5.5" by 4.25". I stamped and punched two of the same images and attached them using a dimensional to add some pop.
I loved using the stamps and coordinating punch so much that I decided to embellish the inside of the cards as well. I seriously need to look into getting more coordinating stamp and punch sets...
What's red, blue, purple and yellow, and comes from Australia? Why, it's the Wiggles, of course! In case you haven't heard, there are some new faces amongst the beloved group of children's entertainers. Last year, we said good-bye to the lovable Greg, Murray and Jeff who retired their purple, red and yellow skivvies in 2012 to make way for a new generation of performers. Welcome to Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie and Simon Pryce!
|Photo courtesy of Corus Entertainment|
For those who have been following my blog for a while now, it will come as no surprise how relieved I was to learn that my favourite Wiggle Anthony would be staying on as the blue Wiggle. It goes without saying that I could not pass up on the chance to meet the new Wiggles here in Toronto. Earlier today, my son and I headed to the Corus Quay for a special meet and greet. They performed snippets of some of the old favourites as well as songs from their newly released album Taking Off! Today's event also doubled as a fundraiser to benefit Corus Feeds Kids.
The new generation of Wiggles, who will never be able to 'replace' the original cast, brings nonetheless a fresh and upbeat twist to the stage while still staying true to all that makes the Wiggles fun and enjoyable.
Want to pamper mom this Mother's Day? Check out Bath & Body Works Fragrance Trio Gift Sets. Hand-picked by their gift specialists, these gift sets include their exclusive 3-step fragrance ritual from their Signature Collection. Cleanse, moisturize and mist for the ultimate fragrance experience.
- Rome Honeysuckle Amore - a head-over-heels surprise with pink honeysuckle, golden peach and cyprus woods
- Capri Seaside Citrus - a sunny seaside escape of fresh citrus, juicy nectarine and orange flower
- Venice Dolce Berry - a playfully sweet treat with plumberry, frosted magnolia and sandalwood sugar
Personally, I love citrus so the Capri Seaside Citrus collection suits me just find. But I also love the smell of sandalwood as well. The fact of the matter is I would rather enjoy these fragrances while actually in bell'Italia but I'm not entirely sure that will happen anytime soon. The Bath & Body Works gift set will have to tie me over until then.
Each set includes Body Lotion (8 fl oz.), Shower Gel (10 fl oz.), Fragrance Mist (8 fl oz.), Cello, Ribbon and Hang Tag.
Disclosure: I was sent product to help facilitate this review. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Here is this week's Wordless Wednesday linky:
|For my son's 5th birthday, |
I made a monkey card for my little monkey.
|My husband and I bought him a brand new two-wheeler|
and he loves it!
|To my little man: I love you more and more each day!|
Here is this week's Wordless Wednesday linky:
As guests of the Toronto Botanical Garden, my family and I attended the second in the City Critter Series called "Great Birds of Prey" last month. We learned about the fascinating world of predatory birds and got to meet a few of them, with a return visit from Hibou who we first met at the Hoot n' Howl Owl Prowl back in January. Let's just say the kids were super excited for part two in the City Critters Family Series.
The presentation was very interesting and I learned a lot about hawks, falcons and vultures. I think I fell in love with the peregrine falcon. It must have something to do with his Elvis sideburns... I also learned that the turkey vulture loves to eat carrion, which is a fancy word for... yep, you guessed it. Roadkill!
Did you know...
...the falcon is the fastest animal on earth? It can dive at speeds of over 320 km/h!