Canuck Place Adventure Race (Giveaway)

When I was working for the Vancouver Canucks, we had a special day each year that was dedicated to giving back to the community called Live 2 Give day. On this day, the office staff would select a charity from a list of options and spend the day working with that organization. For my first Live 2 Give day, I chose to work with the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and it was an experience that I will never forget.

About Canuck Place Children’s Hospice

Canuck Place, the first free-standing children’s hospice in North America, opened its doors in 1995. The program offers 24/7 world-class health services for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, in a home-like setting. Canuck Place has become a global leader in pediatric palliative care, and has helped over 400 children and their families throughout BC.

Canuck Place relies on the donations and fundraising efforts of individuals and organizations to keep their programs running. In September, they will be hosting the Canuck Place Adventure Race – a great way to enjoy the outdoors while supporting this important cause.

Canuck Place

How You Can Help – The Canuck Place Adventure Race

The Canuck Place Adventure Race is a fun, family-friendly event held to raise funds to provide children and their families with the respite care they need. Support Canuck Place by participating in the multi-sporting event which includes kayaking, mountain biking and trail running in a beautiful setting, and enjoy a community BBQ lunch. Unable to participate? Bring your family and friends and cheer on the race participants!

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Event Details

When: September 7, 2014

Registration begins at 8:00am and the event concludes at 3:00pm.

Event includes a community BBQ, beginning at 11:30am.

Where: Jericho Beach, Vancouver

Who: Both youth and adult participants are encouraged to participate and there are 3 course options to suit all abilities:

    • Long Course: 6km Kayak, 30km mountain bike, 8km trail run
    • Short Course: 3km Kayak, 15km mountain bike, 6km trail run
    • Kids Course: 500m assisted sail, 2km bike, 1km run

Race participants can sign up as individuals or as a team to a max of 4 people.

Registration costs: Adults $50 / Youth (17 and under) $25

Fundraising goals: Adults $1,000 / Youth $150

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WIN A Canuck Place Adventure Race Prize Package

Enter for a chance to win a prize package which includes 4 entries in the Canuck Place Adventure Race, and two 8 X 10 autographed photos – one of Daniel Sedin and one of Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks (total prize package valued at $350).

Fundraising Note:

The Canuck Place Adventure Race is a fundraising event. Funds raised support Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in providing critical clinical care and programs for BC’s children with life-threatening illnesses and their families who love them. Therefore, Canuck Place asks all participants to do their best in reaching the fundraising goals, and Canuck Place supports all participants in doing so through tips and tricks, and helpful newsletters (examples here: http://bit.ly/1rL418L). However, if the goal is not met, no penalty applies.

Enter to Win!
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#CPCHAdventureRace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why My Kids Are Allowed To Watch TV #KidoodleMom

I grew up with a TV in my bedroom – a necessity for my single mom who was juggling two jobs and an active little girl on her own. I was raised in a household where TV viewing was considered a positive activity for children (in moderation of course, and when balanced with reading and physical activity).  I didn’t have adult supervision when watching TV, and was free to watch whatever I chose – opting not only for The Muppets, The Smurfs and Jem, but more mature shows like The Love Boat and Three’s Company. I was oblivious to the mature jokes and connotations that arose in those grown-up shows, and it wasn’t something that the parents of my generation ever worried about.

Many things have evolved since my early childhood days. Children now have their own iPads, iPhones and iPods. Content has become more easily accessible, and parents have become more concerned about the affects of TV on their children.  TV channels have been created dedicated solely to younger audiences, and parental controls have been enabled in devices to ensure children’s viewing habits are within their suitable age range. But with all the new technology in place, children are still finding ways to access mature content. And parents who were raised in my generation are starting to worry about the content that their children are exposed to in their early years, and how it may affect their development.

With all of the concerns in the media about TV and children, I feel completely comfortable with my children watching TV. I monitor what they watch, when they watch it, and how much they watch, and I make sure that they have a healthy balance of down time, versus outdoor activity, imaginative play, and educational exercises. When it comes to electronic devices I set time limits, and for my school-aged child, I ask her to read a book for 15 minutes in order to earn 15 minutes of game time on a device.

But there are still some difficulties that we face around our house. We only have one TV, so my children are often frustrated about having to compromise and watch each other’s favourite shows. My husband has introduced them to some of our childhood favourite cartoons, but the only channel that plays those shows, also plays inappropriately mature commercials (my kids really don’t need to watch an Axe commercial or a commercial for lubricants thankyouverymuch). When we record movies, many of our favourite family-friendly animated movies are aired on channels that also run adult-focused commercials (is a commercial with a woman scantily clad in lingerie, rolling around in the sheets with a shirtless gent really suitable for children who are watching Over The Hedge?).

Cue Kidoodle.TV. When I heard about the Netfix-like video service focused on content for kids, I was intrigued. An ad-free streaming service that offers many of my kids’ favourite shows (Super Why!, My Little Pony, Inspector Gadget, National Geographic animal shows, and so many more), available on any device that has access to the web? Yes please! My kids love being able to watch the shows of their choice on separate devices, and us adults love that we don’t have to watch kid’s shows or deal with the bickering that comes with it. We can set time limits on the device, and can select from a menu of age-appropriate shows for the kids to access. Built for kids, and loved by parents. Ain’t that the truth.

Read below to learn more about Kidoodle.TV and how you can try it out for FREE!

Benefits of Kidoodle.TV include:

  • Kidoodle.TV is a safe, ad-free streaming video service that youKidoodle.TV can customize for your kids according to your preferencesand theirs.
  •  Create up to 5 custom profiles for your kids.  Choose content based on your child’s age or on a show-by-show basis.
  • The secure Parents Room includes a setting where you can set viewing time limits, allowing families to balance the time spent on Kidoodle.TV with other important activities.
  • Kids can watch Kidoodle.TV on the go – all that is needed is web access.
  • Kidoodle.TV has a wide range of safe, kids-only content, including retro content from your childhood like Jem and the Holograms and Inspector Gadget.

Special Promo Code & Giveaway:

Try it out for yourselves! A subscription to Kidoodle.TV costs only $4.99/month, but you can receive a special 25% off discount on a one-year Kidoodle.TV subscription when you register using the code MCC25. Offer expires on June 30th, 2014.

You can also enter for a chance to win a ONE-YEAR KIDOODLE.TV SUBSCRIPTION FOR FREE below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please Note: Although you may enter to win through multiple blogs, you may only win on a single blog.  Entrants must be a resident of Canada, however those in Quebec are unfortunately unable to enter the giveaway.  Winners will need to provide their email addresses to you to be provided to Kidoodle.TV.

Kidoodle.TV is also giving away 3 iPad Minis in March and April! Enter to win one on the Kidoodle.TV Facebook Page.

To learn more about Kidoodle.TV, check out their website.

Disclosure: I am part of the Kidoodle.TV blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Holiday Traditions: The Nutcracker (Giveaway)

I remember going to my very first professional production of The Nutcracker when I was 6 years old. I had been dancing for 3 years by then, and dreamed of one day dancing the lead role of Clara in the beautiful holiday classic. I wore a poofy party dress over a crinoline, shiny black shoes, and a long petticoat, and my hair was curled in ringlets that twirled down my back. It had been a dream of my mother’s to take her little girl to The Nutcracker, and now, many years later, I will be living out the same dream with my own 6-year-old little girl.

Since my first time, I’ve been to The Nutcracker over 20 times – each performance equally as magical and memorable as the last. It has become a mother-daughter tradition, and a special holiday treat that I look forward to each year. For the last 3 years my daughter has performed in her dance school’s production of The Nutcracker, but this year, she will have the opportunity to experience the  famous Christmas ballet as a spectator, performed by professional ballerinas from the renowned Alberta Ballet.

Ballet BC - Alberta Ballet The Nutcracker

Photo by Darren Makoivichuk

With a million dollar selection of stunning set and costume designs by Emmy award winning designer Zack Brown, and choreography by Edmund Stripe, I know this year’s production will not disappoint. Not only will the performance be visually pleasing, but the dancers will be accompanied by musical scores performed live by the enchanting Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Ballet BC - Alberta Ballet The Nutcracker

Photo by Darren Makoivichuk

My daughter has always loved dance, but I know her eyes will widen in awe when she sees the talented professional dancers of Alberta Ballet as they pirouette and arabesque en pointe across the stage before her eyes. I am so excited for my mother-daughter night, and hope that this will be the start of our own holiday tradition that will carry on for years to come.

WIN TICKETS TO THE NUTCRACKER!

In true holiday spirit, I’m happy to announce that I will be giving away a pair of tickets to the magical production of The Nutcracker to one of my readers, valued at $200! Enter below for your chance to win!

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Ballet BC Presents Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker

QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE
Vancouver, BC

Performances:
December 28/29/30 • 7:30pm
December 29/31 • 2pm

Family packs and child prices available.

Buy Tickets

And The Winner Is…

I’m so excited to be announcing the winner of my Family Photos Giveaway! Having Bethany from Images by Bethany take photos of my family was such a fun experience – I know the winner will have a blast, and will enjoy the beautiful results as much as I did!

Alright, without further ado*…

The winner** is:


Photo by Bethany of Images by Bethany



Aysha – I’m so excited for you! Stay tuned, I’ll follow up with an email outlining all the details. Congratulations, and enjoy your fabulous prize!

To those of you who didn’t win – there will be another chance to win this fabulous prize soon! Head over to the lovely northshore mama‘s blog at the end of the week for details on how you can enter to win again. Good luck!

* Confession: I looked this up, and much to my dismay, it’s ‘ado’, not ‘adieu’ – just an FYI for the crazy word nuts out there like myself….

** Winner was randomly selected through Rafflecopter

Family Photos {Giveaway}

If you read my blog, you know that I love taking pictures – especially of my family and the time we spend together outdoors, so I was thrilled when I was contacted by Bethany of Images by Bethany with an offer to do a free family photo session!

Bethany and I first met at the Top 30 Vancouver Mom Blogger event, where she took headshots of the top 30 honorees. A fellow mama, Bethany knows how to capture those special family moments, and I love her signature style where she captures the unique features of your littles ones – the chubby baby cheeks, the wispy baby hairs that sweep over their foreheads, and the long curling lashes of curious toddlers.

Our family photo shoot was a personalized experience, where Bethany came into our home and to the river nearby to capture our family where we felt the most comfortable.

When the pictures were ready, my hubby and I had a little date night. We went for dinner and then to Bethany’s quaint little photo studio where she greeted us with delicious treats, hot tea and a comfy seating area. We sat down and she played the most beautiful slide show for us, complete with the most lovely song, to showcase the family photos she had captured. The presentation was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes!

Here are just a few samples of her beautiful work:

And last but not least – the photo I’ve used for my new blog header and my Facebook cover image because I just love it so much:

Let’s just say we spent a little more than planned, we couldn’t help ourselves! She’s a talented photographer, and we enjoyed the experience so much that I’m honoured to announce that I will be offering a fabulous giveaway to you, my beloved readers!

WIN an all-inclusive family photo session with Images by Bethany by following the details below. This is a big prize people, you will want this. Contest closes on Monday, October 22, and there are multiple ways to win. Good luck!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Tree Was Hugged On Earth Day

Sunday was Earth Day, a day to increase awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment, so I thought it would be the perfect day to take the family on an adventure where we could do just that – enjoy our planet in all its natural beauty.
A short 30 minute drive from our house is a beautiful destination called Lighthouse Park. Not only is it a park full of skyscraping trees and nicely carved dirt paths, but it also serves as an outdoor classroom for nature studies. Tucked alongside the winding paths are information boards describing the natural surroundings – 500-year old fir and hemlock trees, and a wide variety of birds and bugs.
My kids loved learning all about the environment, and it was a great way to introduce the importance of caring for our planet, so that parks like these will be around when they have children too.
At home, we do our best to recycle, and to use products that are gentle on our planet. We read The Lorax, which teaches our children about the importance of monitoring our levels of consumption to ensure that we don’t overuse our natural resources, and we keep the conversation light and understandable so that their developing minds can understand the important message behind the story:
‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’
– The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
Haven’t you heard that orange is the new green? Seventh Generation and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax have joined forces to inspire families to conserve the earth’s resources with conscious consumption. Seventh Generation is the natural choice for high-quality and effective products that preserve the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people in your home–as well as the world outside. Make a difference by choosing Seventh Generation products, now offering free shipping for orders over $50.
How do you live like the Lorax? Tell Seventh Generation below and be entered to win a Green Your Home prize pack!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Seventh Generation. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Finding My Inner Lorax

My 4 year old daughter has a passion for animals, and a special love for the nature that surrounds us, so when I read her The Lorax for the first time, she seemed awed and inspired. I hadn’t read the story myself before, and hadn’t realized the importance of the moral to be learned from the cute little tale. As I read the words, I thought to myself, “How clever, what a great way to explain such a huge problem we face, in words that make sense to my little girl.”

I took my time reading the last sentence, “You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.” My daughter paused, and then looked at me wide-eyed. “So, if we don’t take care of our trees, then where we live will look like this (points at a dark and gloomy image earlier on in the book), but if we take care of our trees, then it will look pretty like this picture (points at a bright and colourful page full of Truffula trees). I like the pretty picture much better mommy.”

Message received loud and clear.

I thought this would be a great time to explain to her the importance of limiting our use of the products that we use that were made from our precious trees. I reminded her how I always ask her to use both sides of the paper when colouring. How we should try to use towels to dry our hands instead of paper, and why we put all of our paper products in the blue and yellow bags that are picked up by a special garbage man each week. The book was a great lead in to an important life lesson for my little ones.

I had received the Dr. Seuss classic, along with some other special goodies, from a company called Seventh Generation. With a desire to extend the important message of environmental truth and ecological hope to a whole new generation of children and parents, the partnership between this earth-friendly brand and Universal’s The Lorax are the perfect fit.

Among the package of goodies was a pack of diapers. I had never before tried a “green” diaper product, as I had been dedicated to the brands I had grown to trust. These diapers are strong, absorbant, and most importantly, so much better for the environment. Not to mention the adorable images of the Lorax that decorate the front. They are made from chlorine-free, fragrance-free products that are actually safe for our precious planet.

What really sold me on this diaper brand? The Did You Know blurb displayed on the side of the packaging. “If every household with babies in the US replaced just one package of diapers processed with chemicals containing chlorine with Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers, we could prevent approximately 1,000 lbs of chlorinated hybocarbons from polluting our air, lakes and streams.”

With this small switch in diaper brands, I feel like a local Lorax, doing my part to save the planet.
Want to win a fabulous prize pack that will help you to live earth-friendly? Tell me how you live like the Lorax, and you could WIN a Green Your Home pack of goodies provided by Seventh Generation.

One of my readers who comments on this post will WIN!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Seventh Generation. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Make a difference by choosing Seventh Generation, now offering free shipping for orders over $50. As the Lorax says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”