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February 13, 2009

Canada Blooms Giveaway

Canada Blooms will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) from March 18 to 22, 2009. Canada Blooms 2009 will feature six acres of feature gardens in full bloom, more than 100,000 square feet of green-thumb shopping, over 200 hours of seminars, workshops and demonstrations, a special children’s garden and more.

The kids will love;
The Bienenstock Natural Playground – Experience a fully accessible natural playground that will transport children to a world of imagination. See a water flute shoot water into a living pond and sand sculptures by Canada’s world champion Karen Fralich. Travel through the Living Willow Tunnel to a tree fort and play music on the xylophones and whale drums. Climb stone and wood sculptures and create your own sand play area. The Toronto Botanical Garden engages children in activities and McMaster Child Health Research Institute shares insights on the benefits of nature on children.

Applause please. This event has The Family Rest Area brought to you by Barbie Presents Thumbelina on DVD – (Every day from 10am – 5pm). Not every event has a family rest area -- and it is much appreciated when they do!

Of course, parents will love it too. There is a speaker series, judged flower show, wine garden, feature gardens and more!


Canada Blooms 2009
Dates: Wednesday, March 18 to Sunday, March 22, 2009
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Wednesday to Saturday); 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday)
Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Centre – South Building
Tickets: Available in advance: Online at and Sobeys Ontario locations $16 At the door: $18; Seniors $16; Students $16; Children 12 and under are free

Canada Blooms wants you to WIN. We have two general admission tickets to give away to Canada Blooms.

TO ENTER: Share with the club why you want to go (for ideas surf over to Comment to this post or e-mail Parent Club.

Contest will end March 1, 2009. Winner will be posted here on Parent Club. The winner will have 72 hrs to respond or a new name will be drawn.

Contest open to Toronto area residents only. Sorry!

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February 12, 2009

More Family Day stuff

All right if you are actually interesting in venturing out on family day -- here are a few events

  • Family Day at Colborn Lodge
  • Family Day at Fort York
  • Drop-in at Gibson House
  • Sleepover at the Science Centre (Feb.14/15 actually - not the 16th)
  • Family Day at Riverwood (Mississauga)
  • Family Day at Earl Bales
  • Family Day at Casa Loma
  • Family Day at the Toronto Zoo
  • Family Day at the Bata Shoe Museum
  • Leafs Skate for Easter Seals
  • Family Day weekend at the Royal Ontario Museum
  • Famiy Day at Campbell House
  • Family Day festival at Kew Beach
All of the above have special activities, events. Some admission deals too - Toronto Zoo is half price, Earl Bales nighttime skiing is free for kids (adults pay of course).


Family Day Activities

Family Day is Monday (if you don't know this - well then - surprise). I don't love Family Day because my prince has to take a floater day for it -- and we'd much prefer to have that day for some other eventful flying to Mexico day or returning from Mexico day.

Last year, we put on our SuperParent Costumes and actually planned a family centred day. "Let's go the museum!" Stupid us. The line up was along Bloor and winded down Queens Park. In February. Stupid us. So we lined up of course (heaven forbid we bail - that wouldn't be a teachable moment would it?!).

It was crowded, busy and unpleasant. There is no point in spending a day together if you are going to be miserable.

So if you are headed out to a touristic destination:
  1. Take snacks
  2. Dress in layers
  3. Expect crowds
  4. Leave before anyone (including you) melts down

Here are some alternative Family Day Activities

  1. Host a playdate
  2. Be a playdate
  3. Go for a family walk to a local restaurant
  4. Stay in your pj's all-day-long-and-watch-movies-and-eat-popcorn

We'd love to hear your plans for Family Day. Share with Parent Club!

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February 11, 2009

Barbie Turns 50

Barbie is turning 50. Not bad ol' girl. I, for one, still have my childhood Barbie...I also have a Donny Osmond doll (sorry Ken). (Fact: Barbie was designed by Ruth Handler in 1959 to be a doll through which girls could live out their dreams).

A survey by Harris/Decima discovered seven-in-10 (69%) Canadian women played with Barbie when they were young. Barbie was more than a toy...she was a model, a fashionista, a mom, a teacher, a vet, a nurse...she's actually had over 100 careers (she must be tired).

To celebrate Barbies birthday;
  • You are invited to share a Barbie memory at (where you can also see retro ads and archived ads)
  • Barbie mySpace and Facebook pages and a downloadable Barbie iTunes list
    (she's tech savvy that Barbie!)
  • Mattel will host Barbie’s Ultimate Birthday Party in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on
    Saturday, March 7, 2009
  • Barbie celebrations will be at major retailers across Canada

I never thought much about Barbie nor June Cleaver (who I watched in re-runs). Yet, both obviously impacted by growing years in classic ways.

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February 10, 2009

Throw back to June Cleaver

What the friggin' heck is wrong with us MOMs?! Seriously, this is a cry for help - take me out for a cup of tea and talk some sense into me...and I'll do the same for you.

What I'm bloggin' about here is our insane shame over things-not-home-made. Damn you media-marketing-health-sport-industries. Given, childhood obesity rates are on the increase. Given, trans fats aren't good (though I am completely sure I grew up eating trans fats and I don't have a third nipple). Given, that homemade tastes better. Darn-it-all-I-GIVE!

We are a community of "outside the box". My kids have only ever eaten Kraft Dinner at Grandma's house (and she also gave me the trans fats...and still she's not in jail for these crimes - go figure). I spent hours last week making homemade spinach and cheese triangles. (Spanakopeta if you're Greek - I'm not - so it's spinach and cheese chez nous). I also made-from-scratch mushroom onion cigars. Add in 3 home-made (no, wait 4) desserts for various events. And that's what I call Friday.

What am I thinking? I could have easily bought something out of a box and popped it in the oven. But oh...the guilt! I was at another Mom's house over the weekend, and she home-made everything too (plus froze a few things home-made for later in the week). God love us all.

Would June Cleaver be proud? Shamed? Did Beaver and Wally even care that every friggin' apple pie was home-made? I resent home-made yet am dedicated to it. And I feel guilty when - once every other week - when - I pull out "boxed"-all-white-meat-chicken-nuggets for dinner for Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Are we throwing it back to June Cleaver - eating outside the box but boxing ourselves in the kitchen? What exactly are we doing?

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February 09, 2009

BlogHers ACT Canada - Green Valentine

Check out my new article at BlogHers ACT Canada; Green Valentine

I am, admittedly, a curmudgeon when it comes to Valentine's Day. My thinking is that it is a holiday created by card companies and marketing firms to take advantage of February blahs and boost sales. Valentine's Day - Bah Humbug! That confessed; I am also a hypocrite who partakes in Valentine's Day projects with my kids (damn you Valentine!). The saving grace is that I have some great tips for a Green Valentine...

Continue reading (and you really should at BlogHers ACT Canada

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