Friday, March 20, 2015

The Harlem Globetrotters in Ottawa!


This epic basketball battle has been five years in the making. The Washington Generals have been recruiting the best players from around the world in an attempt to field a team that can beat the famous Harlem Globetrotters. My family and I have never seen an Harlem Globetrotter's spectacular in person, we are all very excited to attend! This family friendly show is coming to Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday April 12, 2015.

Having fun with the fans! 



'With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes – plus female stars TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu* – the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. With incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.'






This highly interactive event is a crowd-pleaser for any age group. What a perfect addition these Harlem Globetrotters tickets would make to Easter Baskets across Ottawa! 



Sparkle-tastic! 

If you are looking for tickets click  here and refer to promo code MOMS or visit the Canadian Tire Centre box office to save 25% on tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters on Sunday, April 12. 






Tickets start as low as $16 for this one-of-a-kind show that continues to thrill fans of all ages. To purchase courtside or VIP seats, please visit www.CapitalTickets.ca, call 613-599-FANS (3267) or visit the Canadian Tire Centre box office. 



Here is a special message for Ottawa fans:





Better yet, you can enter to win a family four pack of tickets to this amazing show. The winner will be contacted on Monday, April 6th, 2015. Remember to come back and enter everyday!


It is that easy to win!








Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eye See Eye Learn in Eastern Ontario

If a child is having difficulty in school one of the first questions I ask parents/guardians is if they have recently had the student's eyes check by a medical professional. Now imagine if before the student was struggling in school there was a program to help identify optical issues.  This past January, Eastern Ontario welcomed Eye See...Eye Learn for junior kindergarten students.



Eye See…Eye Learn® provides comprehensive eye exams by local Doctors of Optometry to junior kindergarten students in participating school regions. The eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance (or OHIP) when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam.


If the child requires a pair of glasses, they will receive a FREE pair donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI and your participating Doctor of Optometry. The value of the glasses is estimated over $250.

The Eye See...Eye Learn® program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children's eyes checked upon starting school. Each year thousands of children start school without ever having an eye exam.




Children, who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential. Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development. In fact, 80 percent of learning comes directly through vision.


The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) recognizes the important link between eye health and learning, and recommends comprehensive eye examinations for all children entering kindergarten. The Eye See...Eye Learn® program will help make sure our kindergarten students get the best start to learning. This  program is funded in part by the Government Ontario.

Below is a handy checklist, including appearances and symptoms, that may alert parents to potential optical issues for their child:

Checklist for your child’s eye health

Children’s eye health is a fundamental part of their growth and development. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for parents and teachers to recognize vision problems in children, as they often don’t know what to look for, or how to recognize behaviours that may be connected to a visual impairment. It can be equally difficult for children to communicate or recognize issues, as they may think that they see the world the way everyone does.

Despite having 20/20 vision, children can still suffer from various eye health problems, such as eye focusing, which can create frustration and lead to permanent learning consequences. According to the Ontario Association of Optometrists, one in four school-aged children has some form of vision problem.

Look out for these eye appearances and symptoms as an indication of your child having a vision problem:

Appearances:
  • One eye that looks turned in or out
  • Bumps, styes, redness, swelling, or crusting of eyelids
  • Haziness or whitish appearance inside the pupil
  • Frequently watery eyes 
  • Excessive blinking or squinting

Symptoms:
  • Closing or covering an eye when looking at objects 
  • Losing place or using a finger to maintain place when reading 
  • Exhibiting a reading or learning problem
  • Complaining of headaches, nausea and dizziness 
  • Avoiding reading, colouring, or activities up close
  • Poor hand-eye coordination


No one can see through children’s eyes, except the children themselves. The best way to ensure your children have a bright future is by booking their eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry. 

For more information please visit  Eye See...Eye Learn. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Egg-Citing Easter Crafts & Winning with Kinder Canada!



Can you believe Easter is only 18 days away? Are you ready for the all the Egg-tastic fun? Last year the kids and I had a fabulous time with Kinder Canada and our DIY outdoor Easter Egg Hunt

To celebrate Easter, Kinder Canada developed a fun and EGG-staordinary online contest: Unwrap the KINDER SURPRISE to Win! 


From March 16th, 2015 until March 31st 2015 open the new Kinder Easter app tab on the Kinder Canada Facebook page. 




Then digitally unwrap the 100g Kinder egg. Once "unwrapped" the egg will reveal and instant prize of the option to try again. You will automatically entered for the Kinder $3,000 "do-something-fun-with-the-family" grand prize gift card. 

There will be two daily Kinder Easter gift baskets valued at $50.00 to be won and of course the $3,000 gift card in the grand prize draw. 



In true Kinder fashion, there are links to all the best Kinder goodies, Easter Word Scrambles, DIY Easter Bunny door decor and my personal favourite ....


finger painting! 

Remember you can enter daily! 
Hoppy Easter from my family to yours!

The Ottawa Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show!

Our family cottage is a three season property. Each year we build, re-build or add on to the existing property. This year we are looking at a new Bowrider, I would prefer a pontoon to carry the kids/friends/pets/family members from the dock to the cottage. However, the consensus seems to be leaning toward having a faster boat to pull the kids around the lake.

This year, the Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show promises to bring interesting guest speakers, the best paddling, camping and pedalling gear and up the most to date adventure travel information to Ottawa. The show takes place this weekend, March 21st & March 22nd  at the EY Centre on Uplands Drive. 

I personally love the pool demos. The kids and I love to kayak around our quiet bay, but when cottage guests are feeling more adventurous we paddle around Sand Lake. We constantly look for unique cottage toys that the kids and adults can enjoy. This weekend the Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show, will be the place to find our new cottage toys for the spring and summer of 2015. 

As a family we love travel, that is why our family hashtag is #GuthrieFamilyAdventure. I am looking forward to hear the guest speakers Corina Mansfield & Craig Bowker on the Adventure Stage. Mansfield and Bowker are adventure travel experts, they will be focusing on the Top 10 Halliburton Adventures during their session. 

New this year at the the Ottawa Outdoor and Adventure Travel Show are various family activities including:
  • Inflatable planetarium with 15 minutes mini-sessions about the nighttime sky
  • 100’ inflatable obstacle course
  • 24’ rock climbing wall
  • Scavenger hunt with great prizes to be won from Funhaven
  • Animal encounters with Zoo Crew
  • Selfie-booth
  • Guess the pack weight
  • Sleeping bag stuffing contest
  • And much more…
I am giving away 2 passes to the Ottawa Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show. The winner will be emailed on Friday March, 20th.

I also have a discount code for anyone who wants to purchase tickets to the show. You can save money buy pre-buying your ticket using this Eventbrite link.

You can also follow along with the conversation all weekend long using the hashtag #AdventureOttawa and @AdventureOttawa on Twitter

Beavertails, Braces, Buicks and Barf

I want to write about the fun we had with our latest guinea pig, I mean vehicle from Buick Canada. I want to write that we drove the Verano to Winterlude, skated all day and the kids nestled up in the large backseat with Beavertails in hand for the long drive home. I want to write that my my family and I had the perfect Ottawa weekend. But I can't, that would be a lie. 

Our backyard squirrel did not seem to mind all the snow

The weather was atrocious; snow storms, ice storms, white outs. There really was nothing that winter did not throw at us. I felt safe driving my Buick Verano the 110 kms each day back and forth on the 416 each dark winter morning and equally dark winter afternoon. Not once during the snail's pace race home did I worry that the Verano would veer off the single lane, snow covered, black ice ridden highway.

This is what the #Verano looks like in summer, only 15 weeks till summer vacation 

I stopped for a roll over on the 416. I put the driver of the rolled over vehicle in my Verano as we waited for paramedics to arrive. The driver was comforted, in the back seat, by another by-standard and was appreciative of the hands free capabilities of the car, as the drivers hands shook to greatly to hold the phone steady to speak to their anxious spouse.

My #buickdrive Verano Day #1 

The next day I received the call, mid morning, that all parents dread. One of the mini-me's was vomiting at school. I made the trek back to our little town in time to hear my child retching in the school's office while the OA comforted my child. Later that afternoon, I placed my mini-me in the back of the Verano, as her fever spiked to 104, for the slippery drive back into Ottawa to CHEO. Not once did I worry she would be unsafe in the back of that car.

Plenty of trunk space!  

The next day, bleary eyed from the previously vomit filled day, I took my DD11 to have her spacer fitted as a precursor to her braces. She wore a brave face in the office, full of smiles and nodding with compliance. It was only later that evening after swim team,  during the ride home, that she cried at how her voice sounded funny and her breathing was 'off' at swimming. DD11 was unsure of the decision we had made, and fell asleep in the back of the Verano as we made our way home from swim team practice.

DD's spacer



Each morning as the temperature dipped and cars did not start, I can tell you I never worried about pushing the ignition button in the Verano, this car never let me down even in -36 wintery weather. 

Driver side view

This was absolutely not the picture perfect test drive. I don't have smiling pictures with Ice Hogs from this adventure or panoramic views of the Rideau canal. What I can tell you from this experience is that the Verano held up to everything I needed it to be from both safety and comfort standpoints. 

Excellent music each morning courtesy of  #XM 

The two areas that my family and I decided were the highlights of our test drive were:

1. Technology: The latest updates make the Verano a travelling hotspot. The 4G LTE and next generation On Star, give passengers more virtual power than ever before. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the seamless connectivity between my iPhone and Itellilink system. It truly made my job, staying connected with sick children and coordinating with my spouse effortless and stress-free.

2. Comfort: From the warming leather seats, to the outstanding QuietTuning technologies there was little left to want in the Verano. All three children at one point fell asleep in the back seat of the Verano. As a parent this precious gift of silence was very much appreciated during a very windy wintery drive home. A close second to this was the ability to start and warm my vehicle up from the comfort of my kitchen and school office. That my friend, was a priceless perk during the frigid weeks of February.

This is a fine family vehicle with enough panache to be considered a luxury vehicle. It was difficult, as it is with all of our test driven vehicles, to give back.

Interior of the Buick Verano 
Thank you to Myers on Baseline for all of the information and their courteous staff. I'm looking forward to my next #buickdrive this spring! Click the link to find out more about the Buick Verano.

 

Barbie in Princess Power!



It is no secret that we are huge fans of Barbie. Last year we were over the moon to attend the launch of Entrepreneurial Barbie in Toronto with Eric Diamond of Women On The Fence fame and Erica Ehm of Yummy Mummy Club and the recently launched #YMCWorks.



We are doubly excited to announce the launch of the new Barbie #BeSuper campaign along with her new film Princess Power in Ottawa!




It’s Barbie™ like you’ve never seen her before! For the first time ever, the iconic doll is pulling out a cape and mask and transforming into a modern-day superhero. With the launch of the #BeSuper campaign, Barbie™ is inviting Canadian girls to tap into their inner superheroes and celebrate their own ways of “being super” every day. This new empowering theme is the basis for the all-new, action-adventure DVD movie: Barbie™ in Princess Power:


A modern-day princess story, the movie’s superhero storyline focuses on strength of character and teamwork. It will inspire and empower girls to discover their own inner superpowers, and teaches that there’s no greater power than that of friendship.





I have one family four pack of tickets to give away and two sets of tickets for two lucky families! You can join the in the fun and learn more about the empowering #BeSuper campaign, and the supporting line of first-ever superhero-themed Barbie toys, accessories and DVD.


The Barbie Princess Power event will take place on Saturday, March 21st at Coliseum Ottawa on Carling Ave. You can walk the pink carpet starting at 9:30 am and the movie starts at 10:00 am. 

You can prep for the pink carpet event and photo opportunity by downloading your very own superhero mask here and dress up in your best superhero outfit.


Everyone is encouraged to bring along a canned good for our local food bank. 


You can learn how to sign up for the Super Squad and win exciting prizes. 


You can also create your own Barbie Princess Power comic strip


Enter below, winners will be contacted on Thursday, March 19th via email. We cannot wait to see you there! 


Check out the movie trailer: 



March Break at Mont Tremblant

Ottawa is a beautiful city to live in, besides being the capital of Canada we are also distinguished by our love of the outdoors. Being the the parent ambassador for Active for Life means that I search for fun and free form activities that lend themselves to be appropriate for active families like mine. 





One such adventure my family and I are looking forward to experiencing is Mount Tremblant. In the winter, Mont Tremblant is packed with snow lovers from all over the world. Nestled deep in the wilderness of Quebec, Mont Tremblant has been dubbed #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America for 20 consecutive years. Once you learn more about the resort, it's easy to see why.









The ski resort offers over 600 acres of ski and snowboarding trails in 4 unique areas: North Side (Versant Nord), South Side (Versant Sud), Sunny Side (Versant Soleil) and The Edge (Versant Edge). As well, you can savour 94 marked downhill trails and 13 ski lifts to send you soaring up the slopes. You're practically guaranteed the opportunity to ski or snowboard until you've had your fill of snow-brimmed euphoria.





The hub of Mont Tremblant resort, the Pedestrian Village is situated at the base of the mountain. The village offers all the features you'd expect from a world-class ski resort, including all the usual suspects: a myriad of shopping outlets, a bustling nightlife scene, apres-ski venues, and plenty of other activities.






If shopping is one of your passions -unfortunately it is one of mine- you won't be disappointed either.  From clothing to toys for all children along with souvenirs and plenty of snow boarding and skiing accessories, a stroll down the main pedestrian walkway or the hotel lobbies is sure to offer something you just have to have.

Mont Tremblant is also home to numerous other winter sports including tubing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, ice climbing and snowmobiling among many others. Helicopter tours as well as an excellent snow park and water park are awaiting tourists in this part of Canada.

A highlight is  Le Spa Scandinave, the watchwords are Silence and No Cell Phones. Once you don your bathing suit and robe, go outside. Choose a "hot" experience first -- two hot pools, a Norwegian steam room, a Finnish sauna. Then quickly cool off, either in a cold pool of 59-degree water from the adjacent Diable River, by dousing yourself with a pull-handle shower of river water, or by plunging into the river itself.

Locals recommend that you ski or snowboard on the North Side in the morning.  We assumed that this was because most visitors ski the south side first so the North Side is not as busy in the morning and subsequently the South Side is not as busy in the afternoon.

The North Side also features the Gravity Park.  Designed for Experts, this area combines a Super Halfpipe, Quarter Pipe, Rollers, Tabletops, Spines, Backturns and Two Rail sections.  The Mini Gravity Park nearby is where beginners get a chance to practice their skills.

If you are planning to bring along a non-skier aged 1 to 6 years, Mother Nature Daycare Camp offers a safe, supervised facility.   Pagers are available for added peace of mind while parents are on the slopes or partaking a lesson.

When it comes time to satisfy a hungry family here are but a few of the many choices.

•        The buffet dinner served at Windigos in The Fairmont Tremblant provided plenty of choices to suit even my three fussy mini me's  tastes.

•        Pizzateria for lunch gave us a variety of choices for some interesting pizza combinations.  Mozzarella Pizza or Spaghettini is offered as children's menu items.

•        Casey's, in the Marriott Residence Inn has typical roadhouse fare.  We plan to have many family favorites by choosing a few appetizers and sharing them.

With all the outdoor space to play in, you're going to need quality Mont Tremblant lodging to act as your home base. Make sure you chose spacious accommodation for your stay – check out Tremblant Lodging  to choose the Mont Tremblant accommodation that's right for your vacation.

This is just what is offered in the winter! I look forward to researching what the other three seasons at Mount Tremblant have to offer!