Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vancouver's Best Day Ever Blanket Fort

On Saturday, May 13, Canuck Place will transform the corner of Seymour and Georgia with the construction of Vancouver’s biggest blanket fort that will span almost 2,000 square feet.

Event attendees will enjoy interactive musical performances, childhood culinary delights (like Earnest Ice Cream and Mom’s Grilled Cheese), and family-friendly games and activities. There will also be special appearances by Vancouver Canucks player, Daniel Sedin, and beloved Vancouver Canucks mascot, Fin.

Best Day Ever celebrates the favourite ways that Canuck Place families spend time together, from quieter moments spent in the Canuck Place Hospice gardens to exciting adventures on recreation therapy outings. Join us on Saturday to reflect on and share how you would spend your best day ever.

Event: Best Day Ever Blanket Fort
Date:  Saturday, May 13, 2017
Time: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Location: Outside TELUS Garden 510 West Georgia Street (corner of Seymour and Georgia)
Vancouver, BC
Hashtags: #BestDayEver #CanuckPlace

Daniel Sedin will be on-site at the fort and available for photos between 11:00am- 12:00pm to launch the event. Vancouver Canucks mascot Fin will be there from 12:00-1:00pm and available for photos.

•11:00am – 11:05am: Ribbon cutting with Canuck Place child Charlie-Anne
•11:10am – 11:20am: Candid photos inside the blanket fort and time
•11:20am – 12:00pm: Photos and autographs with fort attendees


About Canuck Place Children’s Hospice: Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is British Columbia’s pediatric palliative care provider. Over 713 children living with life-threatening illnesses and families receive care from CPCH through outreach programs and two provincial hospice locations: Vancouver and Abbotsford. Services include medical respite and family support, pain and symptom management, 24-hour phone consultation support and in-house clinical care, music, art and recreation therapy, education, grief and loss counselling and end-of-life care. Through the investment of the community, our talented team, and over 300 energetic volunteers we make a lasting difference in the lives of children and the families who love them.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Product Review: EarZings

My daughter came home from school the other day and announced that “a whole bunch of kids in my class are getting their ears pierced”. She then lamented that, although she, too wanted to get hers pierced, she wasn’t quite comfortable with the method around it (in her own words, she didn’t want to get poked with a needle).

I had a major lightbulb moment as I realized something new and wonderful that I had been given to try from my Editor – a new and innovative product called EARZINGS!!! Founded by mom and entrepreneur Laura Pfaff, EarZings are super cool, pierce free earrings with a patented spring design that allows you to wear cute earrings without the use of holes, clunky clips or magnets! It's unique coil design construction applies gradual tension to gently, but firmly, affix the earring to the earlobe.

I was skeptical at first as I thought they wouldn’t stay on very well, but I sent my daughter off to school and told her that if they became uncomfortable or bothersome, to take them off and put them in her backpack. To my surprise and delight, when she got home at 3:00 the EarZings were still on her ears!

Overall, it is a super cute product that works very well. They also sell box sets complete with a pair of earrings and a necklace, as well as dangly attachments that can add some bling to the earrings.
My daughter has two super cute pairs – a puppy dog and cupcakes – and we will definitely be purchasing more!

EarZings are hypoallergenic and made in the USA. They are also free of lead, cadmium, nickel and all other heavy metals.

You can buy the EarZings at www.earzings.com or shop at various retailers around the USA and Canada www.earzings.com/retailers/ for more information.



Melissa Collins is a freelance writing mother of two girls. When she’s not cleaning up cheerios and play dough, she can likely be found curled up n her hammock with a good book. Check her out at www.mellysmommymanual.com.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Interview of LEGO Master Builder and LEGO City of Tomorrow

Do you remember that feeling you got as a youngster when you did something all by yourself? And now as a parent seeing the unmistakable pride that your child exhibits when they achieve something completely on their own? It’s pretty awesome. And it seems that no matter what your background, gender or culture, LEGO gives kids an amazing platform to create, to foster their young imaginations and ultimately to feel proud of what they are able to build. 

We had the opportunity to speak with Canada’s only LEGO Certified Professional (LCP), BC’s very own Robin Sather, to find out more about LEGO, the new program recently launched called “City of Tomorrow” and to find out how he managed to land every kid’s dream gig. 



UB&T: Hello Robin! First up, can you tell us first how you scored the best big kid gig ever in becoming a LEGO Certified Professional?

RS: I actually helped LEGO set up the "LEGO Certified Professional" (LCP) program in 2005. Essentially, talented entrepreneur builders can apply to the company to become a licensed LCP. There is a program which includes training, and a certification process, after which LCPs are sent out to do LEGO-based events, live builds, commissions, custom kits, and more. I was one of the first four, and am still the only Canadian LCP.

UB&T: Can you tell us a bit more about LEGO City of Tomorrow and why you are so excited about it?

RS: The City of Tomorrow campaign is underway right now and aims to inspire young Canadian builders to use their imaginations and build their own vision for future Canadian cities with LEGO. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect with Canada’s 150 fast approaching, giving us the perfect opportunity to think about the past and inspire the next generation to think ahead to what will make Canadian cities better, brighter and even more fun!

UB&T: How can young Canadians get involved?

RS: It’s easy! First they create their own LEGO City of Tomorrow build expressing their vision for the future. Then they capture and submit online at www.legoplay.ca/city-of-tomorrow from now until June 4. They can also share on social media using #LEGOCityofTomorrow and on Facebook and Instagram using @LEGO or on Twitter using @LEGO_group.

UB&T: We hear one lucky family will win a trip for 4 to Ottawa to celebrate Canada’s 150! That’s awesome.

RS: It is awesome. Parents can enter a photo or video of their children’s builds to www.legoplay.ca/city-of-tomorrow and one lucky family will win a trip for 4 to Ottawa to celebrate Canada’s 150. You can even enter multiple times for multiple creations.

UB&T: And what kinds of exciting builds have you seen young builders create so far?

RS: It's been interesting to see how some kids focus on technology, and futuristic gadgets, while others look to nature, ecology, and green spaces, and still others focus on what people will be working and playing at in their City of Tomorrow. In my work as a LEGO Certified Professional, I get to see hundreds of kids build cool stuff, and I'm constantly amazed at what they come up with.

UB&T: Any professional tips and tricks you can share with young builders looking to create an awesome City of Tomorrow build?

RS: I usually tell kids to learn patience. Everyone always wants to create something amazing right out of the gate, on their first try! In truth, almost no one builds like that. Most builders, myself included, have to build, and rebuild - refining parts of a model each time, and gradually creating a build that they are happy with. With each change, you often learn something that you can incorporate future builds as well. It's like writing. Very few writers put pen to paper, and produce a final, finished story on their first draft. It takes many versions, and much editing, to come up with a great story. That one tip will enable a young builder to go from a good builder, to a great builder.                    
UB&T: Any other amazing LEGO action that you are excited to share with us?

RS: Well, I am most excited about the LEGO House - due to open this September in Billund, Denmark, the home of LEGO. It's going to be the ultimate LEGO museum, and interactive experience. I have the privilege of being invited to the grand opening, and I can't wait.

Check out the LEGO of Tommorrow video - Click here

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Four Easy Spring Fashion for Moms

Spring has arrived (or at least according to the calendar it has!), and it’s time to put away those heavy layers and try out some fun Spring trends. A visit into most stores these days will have you seeing visions of pastel colours, off the shoulder tops and floral prints, to name but a few. However, as moms we don’t have a lot of time to invest in figuring out the trends and seeing which ones work for us.

The trick to getting it right is to keep it simple and avoid getting overwhelmed. Sonia our fashion style expert from Styleiish breaks down the trends so you can make easy decisions, know what is wearable, and what fits in with your #momlife!

Florals
“Florals?  For Spring?  Ground-breaking”— said Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. Although it may not be “ground-breaking”, it’s the truth…florals are BIG this season! Although they’ve been around for several seasons now, there’s just something new and fresh about the spring florals. The lighter colour palettes, the softer prints…they just scream Spring!

Any easy way to incorporate florals into your wardrobe is choosing one piece and building your outfit around it. For instance, start with a dress in an easy, flattering cut and add some ballet flats or sneakers and a denim jacket, and you have the ideal Spring outfit.  Or choose an accessory, like a scarf or hat and wear it with basics like a white T and jeans.

Here's a a fun and flattering maxi dress from Forever 21. - Add a denim jacket and you're good to go!  Shop it Here
- The cutest scarf from H&M!
Shop it Here








Off the Shoulder/Cold Shoulder

The off-the-shoulder/cold shoulder trend is also one that has carried over from previous seasons. There’s something women love about showing off their shoulders that has provided this trend some strong staying power!

There’s an abundance of ways to show a little shoulder, my favorite being the flowy OTS dresses that are everywhere right now.  All you need is a nice sandal, and maybe a necklace to really make those collarbones pop, and you have a fun and easy spring outfit. If you want something other than a dress, the cold-shoulder tops are definitely having their moment. Pair one with jeans for a casual look or a skirt for something dressier.

Look for dresses that combines the floral trend in an Off the Shoulder
Shop it Here

Statement Sleeves
You are going to see sleeves in many different types of cuts and lengths this season, some being a little too over-the-top for the typical closet. The bell sleeve however, is a subtle nod to this trend and is very wearable. Just be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simpler, and make the top (or rather, the sleeves!) the focus!

Check out this fun bell sleeved top from Zara!
Shop it Here

Pink
Some love it, and some love to hate it, but Pink, in all its glory, is a resident colour of Spring. The great thing is that there are so many shades of it, ranging from a blush to fuchsia, that anyone can find a pink they like. Try a light pink coloured jean with a chambray denim top to ease into it. Or go all out with something bright and cheery… either way, you’ll look ready for Spring!



- Pair these bold pants with a subtle print to stand out, or black and white for a classic look!
Shop it Here
- Or try these if bright pink is not your thing!
Shop it Here

We hope this helps ease some of that shopping anxiety that many moms can feel. If you have any specific questions about the trends mentioned, or would just like some more advice, contact Sonia as she's always happy to help. You can reach her at styleiishss@gmail.com, or visit our website www.styleiish.com for more information.
Be sure to visit the blog again for next month’s style post!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Book Ideas for Your Little Readers

Bunnies and baskets and chocolate, oh my! Easter is coming, and what better way to celebrate than with beautiful picture books? Picture books are always the perfect gift - much healthier, and longer lasting, than chocolate, that’s for sure!




Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz
Experience the fun and excitement of an Easter egg hunt again and again with this colourful lift-the-flap book.

Spot’s First Easter by Eric Hill
Toddlers will love helping Spot find his hidden Easter eggs in this sweet lift-the-flap book.

That’s Not My Bunny by Fiona Watt
This Easter-themed entry in the popular “That’s Not My….” series offers bright colours, adorable illustrations, and textured patches for babies and toddlers to touch and feel.

The Itsy Bitsy Bunny by Jeffery Burton
The classic children’s song The Itsy Bitsy Spider gets a charming Easter make-over with this singable story about an Itsy Bitsy Easter Bunny!

Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney
Introduce the youngest readers to Llama Llama, the beloved hero of Anna Dewndey’s series of picture books, in this simple, rhyming board book adventure.

Biscuit’s Pet and Play Easter by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Everyone’s favourite puppy is back in this toddler-friendly touch and feel Easter board book filled with different textures and colours to explore.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Easter Delights Inside: Charlie's Chocolate Factory

Tucked on a side street in Burnaby is a delicious hidden jem. From the second, you walk into Charlie's Chocolate Factory you feel in awe; it's like a child's dream. Since 1970, Charlie's Chocolate Factory has been satisfying every sweet tooth with their chocolates, candies and more. You'll truly feel like a kid in a candy shop!



Charlie's Chocolate Factory is home to the flowing chocolate river made with real chocolate. Kids of all ages (adults too!) will be amazed at the assortment of chocolates. You'll find virtually every kind of chocolate mold you can think of - cars, flowers, animals, tools, trains, sports items, computers, cellphones and more...all made out of chocolate. Stop by and show the kids how chocolate is made.



Looking for that perfect Easter treat? Charlie's Chocolate Factory has lots to choose from - marshmallow, peanut butter, raisin, almond easter eggs to wrapped chocolate bunnies in various sizes. Once you've tasted the yummy chocolate, you'll be wishing Easter came more than once a year. If your child is diabetic don't worry, they got lots for them too - chocolates and candies sweetened without sugar.


For those Moms (and Dads too) who love making homemade goods - they offer a do-it-yourself supplies to make your own chocolates at home.



Be sure to stop by throughout the year and don't be surprise if you end up walking out with a little somethig just for yourself! Check them out at www.charlieschocolatefactory.com


Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's Day Pranks For the Kids

It's April 1st tomorrow, and have you prepared anything for the occasion? Share with your kids the joy of April 1st with some of these fun pranks.

Wormy Apple
Put an gummy worm in an apple in your child's lunch or in one of the apples out on the table and you're sure to get a giggly reaction.

Leaky Bottle
Poke tiny holes in a plastic water bottle, leave it where one of your little ones will grab it and see what happens when the water starts to squirt out!






Who Broke the Remote?
Put a small piece over the remote sensor and watch your kids try to change the channel.

Pillow Prank
Replace your child's pillow with balloons and watch them giggle at nap time!

Growth Spurt!
Put a bit of toilet paper or paper towel in the toe of your child's shoes. When he or she tries to put them on, you can say: "You're feet must have grown over night!"

Drink Up!
Make jell-o in a glass with a straw and tell your kids their juice is on the table. Imagine their confusion when nothing comes out of the glass.





Trick or Treat!
Take a candy box, remove the candies, replace them with carrots, tell your kids they can have a special treat... April Fool's! (Just be sure to have a bit of candy on the side to avoid tears of disappointment.)

Googly-Eyed
Stick googly eyes on everything in the fridge. So much fun! Then have them help you remove the eyes by playing who can collect the most eyes wins. 

Topsy Turvy
When your child goes to sleep on March 31, turn as many things as possible int he house upside down. Their reaction to a topsy turvy house on April 1 will be great!

For more ideas check out www.parentdish.ca