Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Canada Day Celebrations

July 1: Canada Day Celebrations
Canada Place
10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Van stage performance, workshops, circus performers, giant board games, face painting, water park and fireworks.

July 1: Canada Day at Granville Island
Granville Island
9:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Take in some live jazz, watch the parade pass by, or indulge in some delicious food. 

July 1: Canada Day at Sunset
Sunset Community Centre, Vancouver
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Come to Sunset for an afternoon of family fun. There will be a petting zoo, a bouncy castle, face painting, food trucks, live music, and cupcakes for everyone.

July 1: North Shore Canada Day Parade 
10:00 AM
East 13th Street, Lonsdale Avenue and West 17th Street, North Vancouver
There will be bands, community organizations, dancers, members of the RCMP and the Legion, and many others.

July 1: Canada Day Celebrations
Willoughby Community Park, Langley
11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Family activities, rides, main-stage entertainment, a car show, an assortment of ethnic foods, dog show, fireworks, pony rides and much more are all on the menu for this fun-filled and exciting event.

July 1: Surrey Canada Day
Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey
10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Celebrate Canada Day with multi-platinum award-winning Canadian musician Matthew Good.

July 1: Canada Day Celebrations
Burnaby Village Museum
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
A 1920 backdrop for multi-cultural family entertainment including a musician, displays, and demonstrations.

July 1: Pitt Meadows Canada Day
Spirit Square, Pitt Meadows
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Get up early, and head over for a pancake breakfast. Join the 8K charity run (or the shorter Kids Run), then continue the festivities at the square.

July 1: Another All Day Canada Day
Queens Park, New Westminster
11:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Come to Queen’s Park for a fun day of celebrations. There will be family entertainment and fun activities for everyone.

July 1: Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day
Town Centre Park, Coquitlam
11:30 AM – 11:00 PM
A fun-filled day of festival favourites including entertainment, food, cultural village, artisans and a spectacular fireworks display.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

UBT Top 10 Toys for the Summer

At UBT we’ve teamed up with The Granville Island Toy Company and picked our top 10 summer toys. Keep your kids happy, active and engaged all summer long. Happy Summer! 

  1. Mini Ogo Disc ($28.99) – For kids 3 and up the
    Mini Ogo Disc is an intuitive, fun game of “keep up” that uses rubberized pads where players are expected keep a ball in the air.

  2. Jump Rockets ($21.99) – Blast off with the GeoSpace Jump Rocket! Down at Mission Control we prep the Foam Rockets for their Airborne voyage and then JUMP on the launch pad, sending our rockets soaring as high as 300ft in the air!

  3. Waboba Ball  ($9.99) – Are you Beach bound? Well you better pack your Waboba Ball because this hot little number is going to turn heads as it bounces along the waves.

  4. Frog Game ($8.99) – Is capturing Amphibians in a bucket your idea of a great summer? This Italian-made game, reminiscent of Tiddlywinks, is captivating the imagination of kids worldwide.  How far can you flick your frog?

  5. Super Soaker Freeze Fire ($14.99) – Make sure you and your friends chill out this summer with this twist on the classic Super Soaker water pistol. A compartment for ice cubes guarantees this water will be as cool as you look as you blast away the summer heat!
  6. Kikbo ($9.99) – This re-imagining of a hacky sack uses feathers and small weighted plates to achieve better balance and stability than the traditional footbag. Perfect for the park or for prepping your foot/eye co-ordination for soccer season.

  7. Squap ($27.99) – It’s like playing a game of catch, but throwing the ball is as easy as opening your hand. Just place the little orange ball inside the launching mitt and push out with your arm as you open your hand to launch the ball towards your friends. The Squap is easy to use and a great addition to any summertime park going adventure.

  8. Pocket Disc ($15.99) – These fair-trade, hand-knitted Frisbees fly nearly as good as regular Frisbees and boast the added convenience of being comfortably folded into your pocket! Plus, they’re soft enough that they won’t cause any damage -- even to little fingers learning how to play.  It’s great for indoors too on a rainy day.

  9. Turbo Bubble Blower ($9.99) – Automate your bubbles with the Turbo Bubble Blower! This simple hand-held bubble blower makes bubble blowing easier than ever. Dual-wield for double the bubbles and double the fun!

  10. Dino Mundi ($59.99) – Need some respite from the summer heat?  Well welcome to the world of DINO MUNDI.  Set up the track, download the app and watch as Dinosaurs come to life and attempt to destroy you.  Can your battery-powered vehicle outrun these savage Jurassic beasts? 
The Granville Island Toy Company is the best and most loved independent toy store in Vancouver and all of Western Canada! LIKE us to enter fun competitions and prize draws to win AWESOME toys!
Find these and more toys at www.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Movie Review: Inside Out

Do you ever wonder where those voices inside your head come from?

Well, Pixar wondered the same thing – and decided to make a movie about it. Following in the footsteps of critically acclaimed successes such as “Up”, “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story”, you’d think it would be hard to recreate such success….? Apparently not.

Once again, the creative minds behind this animation giant have outdone themselves with a wonderful, hilarious and incredibly imaginative personification of the emotions that live inside our heads!

Meet Joy: a blue haired, yellow dressed bundle of spunk and positivity that is responsible for all those happy emotions.

There’s Anger: appropriately, a red, stout character that blows fire from the top of his head when he gets mad!

Don’t forget Fear: a wiry, jumpy guy of light purple that has paranoia and fright written all over his face!

And we’ve got Disgust: a green gal that loves to roll her eyes and pronounce her repulsion of anything yucky, icky or stinky

And last of all, Sadness: a small blue gal whose sad little eyes and slumped shoulders show she’s had better days.

All of these emotions live inside of 11 year old Riley’s head, or “Headquarters” where the emotions control, via a large star-trek like computer, all of Riley’s feelings and reactions in life. Through these experiences, memories are formed – ingeniously represented as small colored marbles called “memory orbs”, each colored in correspondence to the emotion that is associated with it (for example, a joyful memory would be yellow, like Joy).

Riley also has “core memories” which are the main events in her life that form her personality and main values in life. These personality traits are inventively represented in the movie as Islands that are extensions of the headquarters! There’s Family Island, Hockey Island, Goofball Island, Friendship Island, and Honesty Island. Whenever an aspect of Riley’s personality comes to life, that Island, too, comes to life.

Unfortunately, things start to go awry when Riley’s parents uproot her from her home of Minnesota to move to San Francisco. Suddenly, Riley is not feeling as much happiness as she used to, and Joy is scrambling to correct things by prompting Riley to remember some good core memories. Sadness wants to help, but instead, she ends up damaging the core memories by touching them and turning them blue. A kafuffle ensues, and Joy and Sadness end up knocking the core memories out of their storage, resulting in all the memoires, as well as Joy and Sadness, being sucked up a memory tube and end up in the far away reaches of Riley’s mind.

Thus a journey ensues to return to Headquarters to restore Riley’s joy and her core memories. Along the way Pixar doesn’t fail to disappoint with amazing renditions of her dreams, her train of thought (yes – it’s an actual train!) and even her subconscious mind, a deep, dark cavernous space where all her deepest fears reside!

Overall, the stunning animation, bright characters and warmth of the story will appeal to all ages. However, it’s the underlying message that really got me while I was laughing along to this movie: to experience Joy, you must also experience sadness in life. All our emotions work together to shape who we are. My four year old daughter loved this movie, but really, it was me that walked away with an overwhelming sense of the warm and fuzzies. So much so that I would have walked right back in and watched it all over again.

Move over, “Frozen”….there’s a new kid in town. I predict “Inside Out” will go down in history as one of Pixar’s best movies ever.

Melissa Collins is a coffee loving, lipgloss collecting, mommy blogging mother of 2 little ladies. When she's not busy cleaning up Cheerios and writing about the honest humor in parenting, she can most likely be found curled up in her hammock with a good book. Check out her adventures at

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Company Review: Jump Gymnastics

If you're looking for an amazing gymnastic class for your child, Jump Gymnastics is the place to be. With a bright, playful, and fun environment, Jump Gymnastics North Vancouver has set the stage for a wonderful playtime for your kids to gain confidence in their play, get the heart pumping, learn something new and have fun! 

We attended the grand opening of their new location just off of Dollarton Highway in North Vancovuer this past Friday, June 5th, where they had plenty of fun activities outside with incredibly friendly staff with popcorn and cold Johnny Pops to await us when our class was finished.

The gym has several balance bars at different heights, a few trampolines to bounce on and the softest of floors that are incredibly gentle on the feet, muscles, little bellies.

Most kids seemed to be really drawn to the ball pit and rings, but all in all, every single one of these kids had wonderful smile on their face and sweat on their foreheads from bouncing around doing free play for 30 minutes.

From ages 6 months to 8 years old, they have 7 different programs to choose from.  Classes are 45 minutes long, which is the perfect length of time to enjoy the neighborhood amenities in a new and upcoming North Vancouver neighborhood or view from the cozy parent lounge!

To finish off this lovely afternoon with our new friends at Jump Gymnastics, we got to do some lovely crafts upstairs, enjoy a Johnny Pop and have our face painted by the most talented fairy with Belle's Party Parade. It was a was a lovely afternoon, full with a lot of bouncing, fun and many new little friends! If you're looking for a fun way to bounce the energy out of the kids, come rain or shine, Jump Gymnastics promises to deliver many happy memories and new friendships!

Janette Shearer is  a Mommy Blogger  for Vancity Mommy D, wife and mother to two little girls 6 year old Ava and 7 month old Zoe. All Photos Copyright  Janette Shearer.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Congrats to Our Photo Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our 2015 Cover Model Contest! Special thanks to our fantastic sponsors: Bopomo Pictures, Gymboree, WHEAT clothing, Bobs & Lolo.

Look for Audrey's cover photo in the Fall 2015 magazine online, in-store and on shelves August 15th, 2015. Congrats!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

An Interactive and Fun Morning with Dot and Ziggy

I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Saturday in June than to head down to Granville Island. This time, we weren’t there for the fantastic market, the kids’ waterpark or the Kites and Puppets Shop (a huge hit in our house); rather, we had tickets for the Carousel Theatre’s performance of Dot and Ziggy! I showed my oldest daughter a snippet of Dot and Ziggy on YouTube before we went, so she was super excited the whole way there!

Dot and Ziggy is an interactive live action play that takes place in the intimate Bee Stage – the entire space is only about 400 square feet - so it creates an up close and personal environment. You sit on colorful mats and interact directly with the performers and the language and dialogue is simple, rhythmic and perfect for those under 3 years of age. 

Right from the beginning, the performance was engaging for both parents and toddlers alike. We lined up outside the theatre before the performance, and when it was time to begin, Dot – an adorable ladybug played by Kayla Dunbar– and Ziggy, a playful skunk played by Dustin Freeland – came outside and welcomed us to follow them inside, all while playing a playful tune on a ukulele. It felt like they were the pied pipers and we were their following!

From there, all the guests were invited to interact and roam freely throughout the theatre – although most kids were so engrossed in the pace of the  performance that they sat as still as statues! Dot and Ziggy danced around, sang songs, and interacted with each other - eventually discovering that sharing makes friendship extra fun!

The highlight of the show for my two daughters was definitely when Dot and Ziggy debate over Dot and Ziggy’s differences. Dot prefers to have things “inside” and Ziggy prefers everything “outside”. Dot steps inside a hula hoop; Ziggy steps out of the hula hoop. Dot steps inside a box; Ziggy steps outside the box; all while they repeat “I like things IN” and “I like things OUT”. Suddenly, a puppet spider pops up and reminds Dot and Ziggy gently to “share”….all while the pianist plays a joyful melody to accommodate the scene.

Overall, Dot and Ziggy was engaging, enjoyable and a wonderful way to spent time with my littles. If they come back to town again, I will definitely take another trip to see them!

Dot and Ziggy can be seen at The BEE Stage at the Carousel Theatre for Young People (1411 Cartwright Street) from June 2-14, 2015.
For more information, or to book tickets, please call the Box Office: 604-685-6217 or

Melissa Collins is a mother of 2 girls, lover of coffee and self-proclaimed lip-gloss junkie. While she’s not working in Recreation at the City of Surrey, she’s blogging about the realities and the humour in parenting. She’s a glamping-aholic and loves to unwind at her trailer at Mount Baker, cozied up on the hammock with a good book. Check her out at  

Photo by Faye Campbell 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Product Review: 2Fish Kids My Week Magnetic Calendar

Of all the products that I’ve had the pleasure reviewing, this was probably one of the best. My daughter absolutely loves it! And the premise is quite simple – it’s a magnetic one week calendar, equipped with a dry erase marker and a variety of smaller magnets that your child can place on the weekdays to reflect what they’re up to during that week. For example, there’s a magnet for a playdate, for swimming, for the dentist, and all the major holidays – plus much more.

I couldn’t believe how positively my daughter responded to this chart. She dove right into it, eagerly asking what magnets meant what, where they belonged and how it worked.

The best part was her budding interest about the days of the week. She now asks me every night before bed “what day is it tomorrow, mommy?” and we pull out the chart and look.

When she wakes up in the morning, she heads right for it, enthusiastically selecting and placing the appropriate magnets on the day of the week.

I love this magnetic chart for its bright colors, it’s variety of activities and its ability to personalize. But I love it most of all for the amazing way that it sparked my daughter’s concepts and interest of “time”, and the way it relate4s to days, weeks and months. She now will tell me “Mommmy, we have soccer on Wendesday. Today is Monday. So that’s in 2 days, right?” and she will be so incredibly pleased with herself and her newly acquired knowledge. I highly recommend this chart for anyone with preschoolers.

Melissa Collins is a coffee loving, lipgloss collecting, mommy blogging mother of 2 little ladies. When she's not busy cleaning up Cheerios and writing about the honest humor in parenting, she can most likely be found curled up in her hammock with a good book. Check out her adventures at