The darkness is coming. And I don’t mean anything Death Star related (for once). Canadian winters mean extreme temperatures and less than 9 hours of light on the solstice. While snuggling up by a fire is perfectly acceptable adult entertainment, our kids tend to want to do more extreme activity – even when it’s dark. A lack of light can cause more problems than dips in mood. When we can’t see kids crossing the street in the rain or chasing a wayward basketball at dusk, parents worry sick about their safety. Thankfully, mother and awesome designer Scarlet Kux-Kardos founded Zapped. The Zapped Outfitters collection of edgy and rugged waterproof clothing, reflective shoes and hats features custom-designed fully reflective fabric that is embedded with glass beads that reflect light at night!
There’s nothing quite as thorough as when you test a vehicle you are actually considering purchasing. And having an off-road track too. That’s always helpful. In need of a new Mom car that doesn’t make me feel unsexy, old or timid, I flew off to California to see how the 2019 Honda Pilot could fit into the life of an active family.
Though tech, styling and storage are usually at the top of my list, in the drive portion of the evaluation I was really looking for pep in the transmission. My current vehicle is having trouble shifting, and these lags make me immediately nervous. In my post-40 years, challenges like this don’t induce anger but heightened insecurity, and a jumpy driver is an unsafe driver. (It’s easier to get a good car than a good therapist).
Ostrich. That’s what I can be when it comes to anything mechanical. Planes, trains and automobiles are amazing, as long as they work. Lately, I’ve had a boat engine not start, my Vespa not engaging into gear and the brakes on my son’s bike falling off. I need to do better. I need to understand maintenance on a much higher level – or at the very least be diligent about getting my vehicles serviced regularly.
When you are choosing a vehicle for your family, you tend to think rationally. Value and reliability tend to top the list of checkboxes. But isn’t family life hard enough? Adulting can get pretty boring, so we need to balance it out with some passion. Spontanaity. Vigour. Where is the dream sports car of your youth that spikes adrenaline and has you feeling proud to slip behind the wheel? The one you drove down the shoreline that looked prestigious, sleek and fast. You actually wanted to dress up a bit to go for a spin. The brilliant minds at Acura realized that their previous best-selling RDX was constantly chosen as a family vehicle for all the right rational reasons, but even when you ‘grow up’, fun and passion must still play a part. Adding expensive details and high performance into the new first in a generation 2019 Acura RDX, they have created a sport sedan utility vehicle that elicits a gutteral, emotional response just to look at it. But wait until you get behind the wheel. Or in the back seat. In my view, the 2019 Acura RDX as a family vehicle hits all the highs for both the brain and the soul.
Kids don’t play outside like they used to, and there are, unfortunately, many reasons for that. Among them include the many fun technological devices that kids can use to level up their skills and entertainment. Kids spend on average of 60 hours a week on devices, and just 60 minutes a week playing outside. So sad! It’s time to restore some balance to that equation. There is much critical enrichment for kids who get to enjoy the simple pleasure of playing outside. Below are a few photos of special outdoor play with my own boys, including a special treasure ‘chest’ collected a few years back. The memories were so positive and powerful, I haven’t been allowed to throw it away!
Keeping a clean house when you have pets can be a challenge. Having a cat or dog is such an amazing part of childhood for our kids, but cleaning up after them can be a pain, especially if you entertain regularly like we do. We try to keep the house ready for unexpected guests and that means being proactive to stop messes before they start. Here are our best tips:
We’ve all handed our phones over to quiet down an antsy child in line. Sometimes the easiest answer is the right answer in the moment and a little Candy Crush never hurt anyone. The ends justify the means, no judgement here. We totally get it. While a little bit of screen time isn’t the end of the world, kids often fall in love with their parents’ mobile devices and it can spell (humorous) trouble. Here are five hilarious signs your kid might be using your phone just a little bit too much:
I love to read and I love to watch Netflix. A lot of shows and movies on Netflix were based on really great books. It’s hard to know whether it’s better to read a book first or see the movie adaptation, or if one ruins the other or makes it better. Are you excited to find more details in the book, or disappointed they were left out of the movie? Whichever your preference, this is a list of movie and TV adaptations of books that you can find on Netflix:
‘Tis the season for holiday parties and holiday makeup. Whether you’re heading out to a fancy soiree or hosting a potluck for neighbours, putting your best face forward is essential. The face that maybe hasn’t had a good night sleep since forever. The face that is stressed by all the holiday obligations but still secretly enjoys every second of the merry madness.
I love taking photos of my family and of all the exciting things we do throughout the year. I love sharing them with my friends and family on social media, but for really special photos, I love the idea of sending the best holiday photo gifts to share our memories in a lasting way. Some moments are just too good not share and having something tangible to hang onto is special. These are some great ways to “think outside the screens” this holiday season and turn your digital images into the best holiday photo gifts.