Saturday, October 14, 2017

Quick and Easy Family Halloween Costumes

They say that the couple that plays together stays together – and I think that the same can be said for families as well! What better way to engage in creative play than to plan, create and implement a family Halloween costume together! No matter what your age, here are some fun and fabulous and EASY ideas that you can create with your little ones for some spooky fun this Halloween.

Pac Man Family
For this fun retro arcade game costume, you and your spouse will just need a black outfit, yellow poster board cut out into the shape of Pac Man, string to hang it over your shoulders, and a blue and orange t-shirt with eyes on it for your little ones. Check out this photo courtesy of Domestic Imperfection

Monster Family
Got some gauze? Check. Some white face paint and fake blood? Check. A witch hat? Check! You can easily adorn your brood with some simple witch attire, a mummy with gauze, some fake blood and a vampire cloak, and even a little werewolf with a plaid shirt, some fuzzy ears and a tail. Use your imagination – there’s Frankenstein, a skeleton, a zombie and more that can be made with some old household clothing and some simple Halloween makeup.

Crayon Family
Can you spot a theme here? I’m a big fan of primary color group costumes. Once again, get a bunch of colored t-shirts and some black duct tape or electrical tape to create the Crayola logo on your shirt. You can also use felt or construction paper for the logo. I also like to buy a basic pointy party hat and cover it with like-colored paper or felt. Easy, right? If you’re feeling creative, make Dad dress up as the box?

The Price is Right Contestant’s Row
Here’s another one that just needs some simple colored t-shirts and a bit of arts and crafts! To make this costume, you just need to go to the dollar store and buy some Bristol board, some colored poster paper (make sure you get yellow) and some string. Check out the instructions here, courtesy of Corasaurus Rex from

Emoji Family
The emoji costume is likely one of the easiest costumes to create, as it only requires a yellow t-shirt, some black and multi colored felt, and a glue gun. Copy those emoji faces below, or create your own! Photo courtesy of

Some “Punny” Options
I love puns so much. They’re clever. They make me giggle. Why not make a punny costume? If you have a baby, why not dress up yourself and your significant other as ice? You’ll be ‘Ice Ice baby”!! Or hang a Life cereal box panel around your neck, sport a party hat and stick a noise blower in your mouth – The Life of the Party! Decorate your kid’s umbrella and raincoat with stuffed cats and dogs – Raining Cats and Dogs! Or even wear a piggy nose and ears, and wrap yourself with a blanket – Pigs in a Blanket! I could go on for hours...but I’m onto my next project – figuring out why the skeleton didn’t have the GUTS to cross the road 

Happy Halloween everyone! Have fun and be safe!

Friday, October 13, 2017

UBT Guide to Pumpkin Patches

Here is a list of some of the greatest pumpkin patches that you and your family can visit in the Lower Mainland. Take advantage of this beautiful BC Fall weather (besides this weekend), throw on some gumboots, and get ready to pick out the best pumpkin in the patch!

Taves Family Farm Apple Barn Pumpkin Patch

At the Applebarn Pumpkin Patch in Abbotsford, you can spend the day with family, ride the Tractor Trail, jump on the Pumpkin Pillow, and even ride a zip line! Don’t forget to pick your pumpkin, pet the animals at the petting zoo, and even check out the bee hive through the bee viewing window. The Applebarn truly has something for everyone!
Address: 333 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford BC
Hours: 7 days a week 9am – 5pm until October 30th
Phone: 604-853-3108
Special Event: Pumpkin Festival October 14th

Aldor Acres Pumpkin Patch
When you visit this wonderful Langley pumpkin patch, you can take a hayride and check out the farm animals. Be sure to stop by on November 1st where all the leftover and unused pumpkins are given to the cows for the annual pumpkin patch stomp!
Address: 24990 – 84th. Avenue, Langley
Hours: open daily from September 19 – October 31st 9am – 5pm
Phone: 604-888-0788

Petey’s Pumpkin Patch
When you head out to Chilliwack to visit Petey’s Pumpkin Patch, you’ll find over 5000 sq. of indoor activities, including a train and a wagon that operate rain or shine! A new addition this year is the Guerilla Q authentic Southern style BBQ Ribs, brisket, pulled pork and more, so come hungry!  Admission is $8 per person or $25 for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids).
Address: 9423 Gibson Rd, Chilliwack
Hours:  open daily starting October 1st 11am – 4pm(week days); 11am – 5pm (weekends)

Laity Pumpkin Patch
The Laity Pumpkin Patch is a family-run patch for 25 years, and their 18 acres is full of  magical fairies, gnomes and even dinosaurs! You can even visit Frontier Town and try your luck panning for gold. A petting zoo, corn maze and a tractor wagon ride are a few of many attractions at this wonderful pumpkin patch.
Address: North21145 128th Avenue, Maple Ridge
New for 2017! South - 12725 Laity Street, Maple Ridge
Hours: opening October 1st M-F 1:30 – 5pm; weekends & holidays 9:30am – 5pm
Phone: 604-467-4302

Richmond Country Farms
Not only a pumpkin patch, but a working farm that grows and sells a variety of fruits and vegetables. Get ready for some sing-along hayrides, a corn maze and don’t forget to pick out a pumpkin to take home! Parents – there is also a winery on-site if you’re so inclined to try a tasting!
Address: 12900 Steveston Hwy, Richmond BC
Hours: 7 days a week; 9am – 1:30pm (Mon – Fri) & 10am – 4:30pm (Sat & Sun)
Phone: 604-274-0522

More Pumpkin Patches in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland 
Click links to websites for nore information





North Vancouver 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mall-o-Ween: Trick-or-Treating at your Local Shopping Centre

Many shopping centres offer children the opportunity to trick-or-treat in a fun, safe and warm environment. Here's a list of shopping centres from Vancouver to Victoria offering trick-or-treating. Word of advice arrive there early!

Coquitlam Centre – Coquitlam 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam
Hours:  4pm-5pm

Central City – Surrey
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 2153 Central City, 10153 King George Boulevard, Surrey
Hours:  4pm-6pm
Event Details: Kids ages 12 and under dressed in costume can take part in centre-wide trick-or-treating at participating stores (while limited treats last).Plus, families can enjoy Halloween craft activities, face-painting, balloon artists, entertainment, story-time, and more (near Winners)

Haney Place Mall – Maple Ridge
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  11900 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
Hours:  3pm-5pm

Willowbrook Shopping Centre - Langley
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 19705 Fraser Highway, Langley
Hours: 5pm-6pm
Event Details: Join us for this popular and lively Halloween event! Entry is by donation and includes a ‘trick or treat’ bag and goodies*. Please enter at the following Willowbrook entrances: Sport Chek, Swimco, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks to collect your goodie bag and treats. Proceeds from the event will go to the Langley School District Foundation to support innovative and essential school programs for Langley students. Greeting stations open at 4:30pm.

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre - Abbotsford 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 32900 S Fraser Way, Abbotsford
Hours:  3pm-4pm

Cottonwood Mall - Chillliwack

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  45585 Luckakuck Way, Chilliwack
Hours: 4pm-5pm

Lougheed Town Centre - Burnaby
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 9855 Austin Avenue, Burnaby
Hours:  4pm-5pm
Event Special: Halloween photobooth will be open from 4-6pm to capture your perfect costume. Trick or treating at Lougheed is in support of Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Suggested donation of $1 per child.

Brentwood Mall - Burnaby
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  4567 Lougheed Hwy. Burnaby
Hours: 4pm-5pm
Event Details: Join our Trick or Treat bash; Live DJ, Stilt Walkers, Balloon Artists, Free Candy and more....Fun for the whole family!

Richmond Centre - Richmond 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  6551 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Hours: 5pm-6pm

City Square Shopping Centre - Vancouver
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Address: Suite 168 – 555 West 12th Avenue
Hours: 12pm-3pm
Event Details: Enjoy Trick-or-Treating, cookie decorating, face painting, a Magic Show and Enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize a Nintendo Switch with Legends of Zelda game. Check website link for more details.

Mayfair Shopping Centre – Victoria
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  3147 Douglas St, Victoria
Hours: 3:30pm-5pm

Uptown Shopping Centre – Victoria
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  3440 Saanich Rd
Hours: 3pm-6pm
Event Details: Meet and greet with the princesses and Spiderman! Belle, Cinderella and Spiderman will all be available for Halloween photos and don’t forget to Trick-or-Treat at our participating retailers.

Orchard Park - Victoria 
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address:  180- 2271 Harvey Avenue
Hours: 3pm-5pm

Aberdeen Mall – Kamloops
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Address: 275-1320 Trans Canada Highway West
Hours: 2pm-4pm
Event Details: Join us in full dress up with your little one's this Halloween for a warm, dry and safe trick or treat event!  Please bring a non perishable food item for the Kamloops Food Bank in exchange for an event wristband. Kamloops Princess Parties will be on site to meet and greet your littles

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Back-to-School Wellness: Introducing New HALLS Kids

Between school supplies, new clothes and the latest gadgets, the back to school list is never ending. One overlooked back to school necessity is everyday wellness, keeping kids feeling their best so they can perform their best.

New lozenge in lollipop format in kid-friendly flavours, for ages 4 and up. The fruit-flavoured pops are available in two varieties and three kid-friendly flavors.

HALLS KIDS (10 pops per package at MRSP $4.99) Cough & Sore Throat Pops available in Cherry and Strawberry flavours and HALLS KIDS Vitamin C Pops in Orange. HALLS KIDS Pops are a new product that parents can feel good about giving their little ones.

HALLS KIDS Cough & Sore Throat Pops 

  • Available in Cherry and Strawberry Flavours
  • Each pop contains 5 mg of menthol, an active ingredient that temporarily relieves cough, sore throat and nasal congestion.
  • FIRST kids cough lozenge in pop format with menthol as the active ingredient.
  • Each pop contains 60 mg of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin for children ages 4 and up.
  • FIRST nationally available Vitamin C Supplement Pop in the pediatric set.

HALLS KIDS are available just in time for the busy school year at the following retailers London Drugs, Shoppers and Rexall.

Contest: We want to get you ready for Back-to-School. Win a HALL Kids Prize Package. Enter to win at Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Health Canada Warns Canadians Safety Risks of Baby Nests

Health Canada is informing consumers of the suffocation risk associated with baby nests, also called baby pods.

A baby nest is a small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides. Many baby nests are advertised as multi-functional products that can be used as a sleep surface, changing mat and tummy time mat. Some baby nests are also promoted as being suitable for bed sharing, which involves placing the product in the caregiver's bed. A baby nest's soft, padded sides pose a suffocation risk.

What You Should Do
Babies should never be left unattended in baby nests, nor should the nests be placed inside another product, such as a crib, cradle, bassinet or playpen.

Baby nests should never be placed on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches, futons or armchairs. Placing a baby nest on these soft and uneven surfaces can further increase the suffocation risk.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, alone in a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets current Canadian regulations.

When buying a product for a baby to sleep in, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • A baby's sleep surface should be firm and flat.
  • Products with soft surfaces or padding should be avoided.
  • Products with attached cords, strings or ribbons pose a strangulation risk.
  • Large openings or gaps in a baby's crib or other sleep environment are unsafe.

Health Canada does not recommend bed sharing or products that are intended to be placed in the adult bed, or attached to the adult bed, because of the risk of suffocation and entrapment. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend room sharing, using a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed, as a safe alternative to bed sharing. Research has shown that it is beneficial for babies to share a room with one or more caregivers, as it may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Report Health or Safety Concerns
If you experience a health or safety problem with any product that you use, report it to Health Canada and to the manufacturer or the retailer where it was bought.

Media enquiries
Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

What Health Canada is Doing
In Canada, products that are intended to provide sleeping accommodation for a baby are regulated by the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations issued under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. This includes baby nests. If a crib, cradle or bassinet is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, Health Canada will take the necessary enforcement action.

Health Canada is reviewing the safety of baby nests and taking appropriate enforcement action with responsible companies. Health Canada is continuing to monitor new and emerging hazards with products related to a baby's sleeping environment.

Monday, August 28, 2017

UBT Book Review: They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

For today’s review I chose a title that reminds me of the arrival of one of our furry family members.

“They all saw a cat” by Brendan Wenzel is a funny, thoughtful and smart story about how perspective shapes what we see. Beautifully illustrated and imaginative, this picture book shows kids and adults that even when things stay the same, they can look very different depending on your point of view or the circumstances surrounding it.

In the story the cat arrives, just like ours did:

“The cat walked through the world with its whiskers, ears, and paws...”, a familiar sentence that is repeated throughout the book, designed to keep kids engaged.

Our cat “Marvelo” came to us unexpectedly and under very funny circumstances. Nobody really expected him, nobody was prepared to have a cat in our house.

Each family member perceived and welcomed him in their own unique way.

My daughter showed her disappointment right away. She had dreamed of having a tiny kitten and not a giant four year old Maine Coon who reminded her of a raccoon more than her cherished vision of a playful and adorable fluff ball.

My son was in a state of shock and awe, continuously shaking his head in disbelief that I had spontaneously decided to open my heart to another furry friend in the house.

Then their was my husband. The cat took note of his territorial stance and classic male competitive streak and promptly hid from him.

Our dog was...

Questioning my loyalty?

“They all saw a cat" is thought provoking and a great conversation starter to talk to kids about their feelings but even more than that, it opens up a conversation about how they feel they are seen by others.

In this book many animals perceive the cat and in the end, the reader is left with an open ended question, a self reflection of the cat. It’s just a cat. Perceived differently by each animal in the story.

For older children I would go as far as using the book as a conflict resolution idea. Haven’t we all heard from a teary eyed kid: "X...said, she/he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.” We’ve probably all asked our kids, “What happened?” and then learned about the different perspectives in their story.

If you want to dive even a little deeper then you’ll find that this story is also about science. You can discuss animals’ living environments, a bee’s eye sight, the food chain, senses…or train your memory by matching the animals and their feelings according to the story (listening skills!).

This story is a celebration of observation, self reflection, curiosity, empathy and imagination. It’s an appreciation of everyone and their contribution to a community.

Here are four conversation sparking questions that can create greater awareness around the concept of perception for your child:

How does your mom see you?
What about your teacher?
Has your behavior changed the way your friends look at you?
Why do you think this person acted a certain way?

Title: “They all saw a cat”
Author: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 30, 2016)
Recommended for children ages 3 to 9
Hardcover: $23.99, available at
Categories: self awareness, perception, animal lover, science, listening skills, communication

Anne Uebbing is an Early Childhood Educator and a Kids’ Yoga Teacher living in Port Moody with her husband, two kids ages 9 and 11, a big black dog and one green eyed cat named Marvolo.
In 2011, Anne founded Kinder Books, a traveling children’s book store specializing in stories that reflect people's lives, fostering connection and empowerment. Anne supports authors and artists who create beautiful, challenging and encouraging messages with their work. Aside from her online store, you can find her at various community events where she likes to share her passion for unique children’s books with everyone.

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's the Coming: Fun at the PNE

The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) kicks off August 19th, 2017. The Fair is a fun way to spend your fleeting summer days. This event has always been a family must for as long as I can remember, and I am so excited to once again be able to share it with my ever-growing kiddo!

Dates & Times
The PNE runs from Saturday, August 19th through to Monday, September 4th, 2017
Open daily from 11:00 a.m. -11:00 p.m. Click here for the daily schedule and times

Lots of Ways to SaveThe price of enjoyment can quickly rise. Between, gate entrance, ride passes, and the ever delicious carnival food that, let’s be honest, is the real reason why we attend, it’s inevitable that you will leave with a lighter wallet. Click here for PNE promotions

Here are some ways to save at this year’s fair:

  • August 19th-20th:Show up between 11:00 – 1:00 showing some Canada 150 pride and enter the park for just $1.50! Proudly wear red, or a maple leaf to take advantage of this discounted admission. (Must be visible). The PNE is thanking our RCMP, Police Officers, Paramedics, Firefighters, and Military Personnel by offering free admission to them and a guest. Must present a valid First Responders service card at the gates.
  • August 22nd-29th: Gain free admission to the fair between 11:00 - 1:00. Please be advised, guests are allowed a hand stamp for later day re-entry after 1:00.
  • August 23rd: Receive $5 off admission with a valid BC library card
  • August 23rd & 30th: Love rides? Take advantage of Wild Ride Wednesdays with a ride pass BOGO. Promotion is only available on site on the applicable day.  

Planning on going after work? Get in for just $5 every night after 9:00. After 5:00, save on ride passes Tuesday-Thursday. As always, save on admission and ride passes by purchasing online or in select stores.

In addition to existing rides like the Coaster, Atmosphere, and the Musical Express, Playland has added three new rides: Flutterbye, Dizzy Drop, and Bug Whirled.

There are very few rides your child can go on if they are below 36 inches. To each their own to decide whether a ride pass or tickets will be worth it, I was recently at Playland with my 2 year old (37 inches) and although we were limited to the same ten or so rides, she absolutely LOVED it! She rode the Cool Cruzer at least 10 times, and loved the Honeybee Express as well as the new Flutterbye ride.

To simplify your experience, first head over to Guest Services to have your child measured. They will receive a colored wristband to know which rides they are able to go on, and will save time having to get measured at each one. Click here for listing of rides

What is the PNE without obnoxiously amazing carnival food! This year looks like the vendors have stepped up their game to bring some truly delicious looking creations. Of course there will be classics from Mini Donuts to Hunky Bill’s Pirogues to Poutine galore. As always there will be deep-fried everything, but the biggest trend difference from last year is the addition of BUGS! Why not tickle your taste buds with a Roasted BBQ Cricket Burger, or a Cricket Fries? Click here for listing of food vendors

One thing I am looking forward to tasting is a Prague Cone! It’s a delicious pastry that is served on the streets of Prague with some yummy looking ice cream. A rule when we go is that no one is allowed to order the same thing as someone else. That way we get to try a little bit of everything!

For the Kids 
In addition to the rides, the PNE offers fun activities and entertainment to enjoy with your family. Over in Rollerland, experience Toytopia! This interactive exhibit is home to some of the world’s favorite toys and arcade games. In addition to multiple play zones, you’ll get to see the world’s largest Etch A Sketch; however, if that’s not enough to grab your attention, I have one word for you: LEGO. Yup, Toytopia in addition to multiple play zones there will be displays, trains, and a LEGO building wall.

The 4H club will once again be hosting events inside the barn, as well as the always enjoyable farm life and animal interactions. In addition, kids will get to experience farm life at the Kids Discovery Farm exhibit.

Keeping in time with the bug theme is the Xtreme Bugs exhibit. Similar to last year’s Dinosaurs Alive, this interactive and educational experience will entice you with 19 animatronic models and 110 static bugs!

A Show for Everyone

Pacific Coliseum

My favorite Fair tradition is watching the President’s Choice Super Dogs. This year they are hosting Canada’s birthday celebration with Canadogs performing Canamazing tricks to some iCanic music! Daily show times at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.

Be sure to also step into a world of magic and illusions at the UNBELIEVABLE Marquee Show. Admission is free, but if you want a seat closer to the magic, you are welcome to purchase a premium seat online or in person through the Pacific Coliseum box office. Nightly shows at 7:30 p.m. Click here for listing of live shows

Festival Park
In celebration of Canada 150 there will be a daily Kaleidoscope Parade beginning at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. & 6 p.m. Nightly at 10:15 p.m., watch as the skies above the Park are illuminated in a Northern Lights display. This one is especially intriguing, as the sky will be lit using innovative drone technology.

Witness a royal Coronation first hand at this fun, musical family show. Come one, come all to the Princess Jubilation with shows beginning daily at 12:00 p.m.m, 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

For the little adventurer, be sure to join Safari Adventure with Action Austin as he searches the safari to find the missing pink star diamond. This musical show begins at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. daily.

Summer Night Concerts
While I’ll admit I am more into the Super Dogs, there are some pretty great acts scheduled this year.
Acts begin at 8:30 every night and there is a $20 option to purchase tickets. Click here for concert info.

August 19th – Mother Mother
August 20th – Billy Currington
August 22nd – The Pointer Sisters
August 23rd – High Valley
August 24th – ZZ Top
August 25th - Chicago
August 26th – Colin James
August 27th – Huey Lewis and the News
August 29th – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider
August 30th – The B-52s
August 31st – The Doobie Brothers
September 1st – Rick Springfield

September 2nd The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo. iHeartRadio Beach Ball begins at 2:00 p.m. on September 3rd and 4th. Check online for ticket prices and to order.

Celebrate the end of summer with the Fair at the PNE. Win a house or a car, indulge in some amazing food, experience the thrill of the rides, dance under the stars, and have some good ole family fun!

Andrea, is teacher turned stay-at-home mom to a sassy, tiny tyrant. She resides in Port Moody and shares on her blog her passion for motherhood, marriage, food, health, kids and her home through humor, love and empowerment.