Januaury 1, 2017 - Cooking Up Ideas for a Healthy 2017

 

 

November 23 - Kid's Week on CTV

 

September 6 - CTV Morning Live

Fresh Ideas from Foodland

September 23 - CTV Morning Live

Grilling with Rob Rainford

 

September 21 - CTV Morning Live

Fall Home Decorating and Hacks

 

September 6 - CTV Morning Live

Get Cracking #wakeupyellow


August 15 - City Montreal

Back to School

 

August 12 - Rogers TV - Daytime


August 10 - Rogers TV - Daytime

 

August 9 - CTV Morning Live

Twists on Breakfast

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday
May162017

Hacks to Prevent Bugs

 

The Basics

With the onset of the warm weather comes bug season.  Little pests of all kinds wreak havoc on our early summer outings, play dates and get togethers.  Don’t distress.  A few quick tips will help you to keep the bugs and bay and get you on your way to enjoying a glorious start to the summer season. 

Mosquitos love dark clothing and they love yoga style, tight pants.  To deter the bugs, wear long, light baggy clothing in light or white colours.  Choose long pants and long sleeves when you can. 

Did you know that blackflies gravitate to the highest point of your body – behind your ears and neck?  If you get caught in an area where there are quite a few blackflies buzzing around, put your hand in the air.  The flies will go to your hand where they are not likely to bite.

In the Yard

The best way to keep the inset population in check is to plant an organic garden and flowers to attract birds and other insects that will eat the bugs.  Songbirds feed loads of insects to their young and to themselves.  Woodpeckers and other cavity nesters such as nuthatches, and chickadees also eat insects.  Remember the  Basicstoads, snakes, bats, dragonflies and spiders and you have a great defense against the summertime bugs. 

*The best bloom to attract songbirds in cornflower.   Hummingbirds love coral bells.   Along with the organic garden, you may want to consider planting insect repelling herbs such as lavender, thyme, mint and citronella near the patios and use fresh plants as bug repellent in a pinch.    

Here are a couple of great recipes for natural bug repellents.

MOSQUITO YARD SPRAY

Big bottle Blue cheap mouthwash

3 cups of Epsom salts

3 stale 12 oz cheap beer

 

Mix those three ingredients together until salt is dissolved and spray anywhere you sit outside. It will not harm plants or flowers.

NATURAL BUG REPELLENT CANDLE

2 lemon wedges

2 lime wedges

Mason jar with water

fresh rosemary

7-10 drops of lavender essential oils

floating candle

Ticks have emerged as a real problem lately.  Kids love playing in the leaves and grasses that can be heavily populated with ticks which can cause Lyme disease.  Make sure your kids are covered up if they are out playing or walking in wooded areas.  If you think you have been exposed to ticks, be sure to check for tick bites on your scalp, ankles, armpits, , l and behind your ears and knees.  Wash yourself right away and launder your clothing including drying in a hot dryer.  Don’t forget to check your pets. 

Here's the recipe from Dr. Marie Matheson (Lyme Literate Naturopathic Doctor):

  http://hamptonwellnesscentre.com/dr-marie-matheson/

100ml spray bottle

30 drops Solvarome essential oil blend by Seroyal

10 drops Bergamot essential oil

Top up the rest of the bottle with water

Optional: 4 citronella essential oil for mosquitoes

To remove an attached tick use fine-tipped tweezers or tick remover (can be purchased at most pet stores) at the surface of the skin as soon as you notice it.  Pull upward with steady, even pressure.  If tweezers are not available use a tissue to protect your fingers as exposure to tick fluids may lead to transmission of disease.  Try not to twist the tick because you do not want to break it and leave any parts in the skin.  Do NOT burn the tick off with a match or lighter.  Do NOT try to suffocate the tick with petroleum jelly or oil – this will cause the tick to regurgitate its infected guts and saliva into your body increasing your chance of getting the disease

Let’s not forget the fruit flies.  The best way to avoid the flies or course is to keep fresh produce covered and sealed.  If you do happen to get a few in your kitchen, try this quick and easy recipe and can be left on the counter to collect the flies.

 ·         red wine vinegar or red wine

·         sugar

·         drop of dish soap

Add water to create bubbles. That is what traps the fruit flies.

Using pesticides is tempting to get rid of nasty bugs but you could also be killing the useful bugs.  Here are some planting tips from Canadian Wildlife Federation. http://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore-our-work/connecting-with-nature/in-the-garden/cwf-day.html

Monday
May082017

Mother's Day Gift of Time with Her Kids

The one thing every mom wants for Mother’s Day is more time with her kids. Whether that means going for a family hike, planting flowers or baking a cake, the experiences you share create lasting memories. Include a thoughtful gift to remind her of the day and you have the perfect Mother’s Day plan. 


Plant a Garden

Does your mom have a green thumb? Indulge her love for gardening with a day spent in the dirt. Come prepared with a thoughtful selection of seeds and bulbs.

After you’ve tended the flowers, take a break to drink some lemonade and present Mom with some beautiful Gardenering Hand Cream from Terra 20.                                                                                                            

Have a Picnic

Recapture old traditions with a picnic in the park. Good food and  some fun games are all you need for a wonderful afternoon with mom.  Need some help with a few goodies or a perfect gift?  Thyme and Again has a beautiful selection of gift baskets, napkins and scrumptious treats for you Mom. 
 
 
Go for a Hike
 
The mom who loves the great outdoors won’t say no to a hike, so go ahead and hit the trail.  Explore the Gatineau Hills or stick to your own neighbourhood. Is Mom and avid hiker?  She will love one of these beautiful daypacks from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

 
Take a Bike Ride

There’s nothing like a leisurely bike ride on Mother’s Day. Our city is full of lovely bike paths and green spaces for you to enjoy together. Gather the family for a ride and don’t forget the bike-friendly gifts, like this sweet bike basket from Bushtukah.

 

Bake Something Together

For moms who love to bake, a date in the kitchen (with help from her family sous chefs) will be an experience to treasure. Pick up all the ingredients in advance, and don’t forget to take notes on her techniques for making the greatest treats of all time.  For the perfect gift, consider a delightful new apron from Kitchenalia

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Apr222017

Kitchen Experiments with Mom in the Know

Making Super Soapy Play dough

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour
½ cup salt
1 tbsp of liquid soap
8-10 drops food colouring
Water

Directions:

1. Mix flour, salt, and food colouring together in a bowl
2. Slowly add water until a workable dough is formed. You are adding the water to work towards a well combined consistency. If the dough becomes too sticky, add a little more flour.
Idea! This recipe makes a little less than three cups. Make more colours and give to your friends.

Magic Messaging

Send your friends an invisible message or picture using this Magic paint.

Ingredients:

1Tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp water
6-8 drops food colouring

Directions:

1. Mix 1tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of baking soda together.
2. Dip your paintbrush into the mixture and write your message or create your picture on a sheet of paper.
3. Let the message completely dry
4. To divulge your message, mix together the remaining 1tbsp water and food colouring in a bowl. Using a brush and the coloured mixture, paint over the Magic message. Your message will be revealed.

Idea

Use the Magic Messages and make cards for special occasions.

 

Water Colours

Create your own water colours using water and food colouring. You can adjust the lightness and darkness of the colours by experimenting how many drops to add

Magic Milk

Fill the bottom of a bowl with milk. Spread a few drops of food colouring around the bowl. Be sure it remains on top. Use different colours if you would like. Add a drop of dish detergent and watch the laws of emulsification at work. The dish water breaks down the fat in the milk just like it breaks down the grease on our dishes.

Erupting volcano and blowing up a balloon

Items you will need

Vinegar
Baking Soda
Food colouring if you choose
Balloon
Funnel
Plate

Directions

Errupting Volcano

Place vinegar in the in the bottom of your jar/glass or vase add 8-10 drops of food colouring. Put your chosen vessel on a plate to catch the volcano. Add up to two tablespoons of baking soda depending on the vessel you choose to experiment with and watch your volcano erupt.

Blowing up a Balloon

Choose an old plastic soda bottle. Fill the bottom with a cup of vinegar. 
Using a funnel add a tablespoon of baking soda into the balloon. Put the mouth of the balloon over the soda bottle making sure the soda does not spill into the vinegar. When you are ready, put the balloon upwards and let the baking soda fall into the bottle. Enjoy the results.

Making Crystal Creations

Items You will Need

Large Jar (take a look through your recycle bin)
Borax 
Pipe Cleaners
Pencil
String
Water
Food colouring

Directions

1. Fill the jar with boiling water. 
2. Pour Borax into the jar one spoonful at a time until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom of the jar.
3. Stir in 10-12 drops of food colouring
4. Use a pipe cleaner and create shapes or forms.
5. Tie one end of the string around the pipe cleaner creation and the other around the pencil.
6. Place the pencil on the jar lid so the pipe cleaner is suspended in the middle of the Borax solution.
7. Let stand overnight. Remove the crystal covered sculpture and let it dry.

Ideas

Create several crystal sculptures and make a mobile.

Greenhouse in a Bag

A great way to learn how plants grow. 

Items You will Need

Small plastic zip bag
4 wet cotton balls
3-4 large seeds (beans work best)
Clear tape

Directions

1. Place the wet cotton balls in the zip bag with the seeds placed against them.
2. Seal the zip bag and tape it to a window where it will collect plenty of sunlight. You will see growth from the seeds within 3-5 days!
3. After your sprouts grow at least 1 inch, you can transfer into soil and the plant will continue to grow.

Idea

Make several Greenhouses in a bag using different types of seeds. You can compare how different seeds sprout and get ready for your summer garden. 

Spaghetti Art

A great way to transform leftover spaghetti into works of art. 

Items You Will Need

White glue
Cold cooked spaghetti
Wax paper
Assorted colours of glitter

Directions

1. Pour some glue into a small bowl.
2. Dip a few strands of spaghetti at a time into the glue
3. Create different designs by arranging the glue covered spaghetti strands on a sheet of wax paper. It is important to make sure that the strands of spaghetti are connected and touching each other.
4. Cover the glue covered spaghetti with glitter.
5. Let your designs completely dry.
6. Carefully peel the wax paper away from the spaghetti art.

Idea

Use your spaghetti designs to create a mobile or window decorations.

Bean Mosaics

This creative mosaic could be used to create greeting cards, picture frames and small boxes.

What You Will Need

White glue
Dried beans (pinto, kidney, lima bean, etc.)
Heavy paper or cardboard.
Pencil

Directions

1. Use a pencil and draw a picture on a heavy sheet of paper or cardboard.
2. Use white glue to dill in a small area of the picture.
3. Immediately cover the glue with the beans of your choice. Repeat the process until the entire picture is complete.

Idea

Light coloured beans can be stained by painting them. Combine 1 tbsp. of water and 4-6 drops food colouring.

Hand-Made Bubbles

What You Will Need

1 cup of warm water
2 tbsp of dishwashing liquid

Directions

Pour the warm water into the bowl. Gently stir the dishwashing liquid.

Silly Putty

There are many ways to make silly putty. This is the site I used www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/silly/putty.html
A special thanks to ideas inspired by John E. Thomas and Tracey Gunnlaugson.
What experiments or concoctions do you like to do with your family? Please share.

 

Tuesday
Apr112017

Step Outside of the Basket

Scrambling around for something new to delight your kids on Easter Morning?  It may be time to put your basket aside and create some excitement with these alternatives to the traditional basket.

April Showers

What kids does not love an umbrella?  Fill these colourful bubble umbrellas with springtime treats.  Layer the base with a little Easter grass and add books, DVDs, kids gardening tools, Lego, a little candy and a few dollar store toys. 

Pick a Theme


Every kid goes through stages. From Superheros to Barbie, Bubble Guppies to Shopkins there are times when our little ones just can’t get enough of a certain show, book  or character.  Easter is the perfect time to take advantage of a trend and wow them. This cute Shopkins basket incorporates a colourful tutu and matching hot pink accessories.  Super sweet without a lot of candy. 

Rainboots – Easter’s Answer to the Christmas Stocking

If you can fill a Christmas Stocking, you can fill a pair of little rubber boots to delight your bunnies on Easter morning.  Stuff the toes with colourful socks and spring gloves.  Add some silly sunglasses, a few treats, colouring books and pencils.  After breakfast, be sure to take a walk outside looking out for springtime puddles. 

Pool Party

Here’s a clever idea?  Use a pool towel and googles to create a cute little summer bunny.  Fill the rest of the towel with lip balm, sun screen, flip flops and a few Easter surprises. 

Baker’s Delight

Older kids love to bake and create in the kitchen.  This bright mixing bowl is filled baking supplies and equipment for hours of fun.  Include different pastel cupcake liners, spatulas, measuring cups, an apron and boxed mixes to try.  You never know, you may find an extra treat on your Easter dinner table. 

Movie Night

Don’t forget the bigger kids.  You can find these reusable popcorn containers at any dollar store or Walmart.  Fill them with movie tickets, candy, popcorn and gift cards.  

Thursday
Feb232017

The Book of Mormon Pre-Sale Starts Today

April 25 – 30, 2017

National Arts Centre

The New York Times calls it "the best musical of this century." The Washington Post says, "It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals." And Entertainment Weekly says, "Grade A: the funniest musical of all time." Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show calls it "Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal." It's THE BOOK OF MORMON, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical.

This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, THE BOOK OF MORMON has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.

GET YOUR PRESALE TICKETS TODAY!

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