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Grace Riley

The Moment of Tooth

FAM, kids By January 14, 2015 Tags: , , , 1 Comment

The Moment of Tooth

The Moment of Tooth

Have you ever wondered how much money an average Canadian child receives from the Tooth Fairy? According to a new Visa Canada survey released today, Canadian children under the age of 13 receive an average of $2.80 per tooth and 62% are left at least a loonie under their pillow, while only one per cent of children can expect less than a dollar under their pillow, 20 per cent of Canadian children can expect to find $5 or more for one tooth. This means that a Canadian child can expect an average of $56 for a full set of baby teeth. South of the border, the American Tooth Fairy leaves 24% more, around $3.69 CAD per tooth.

Notable regional findings include:

  • Children in the Atlantic provinces receive a generous average of $3.46 per tooth
  • The Tooth Fairy is the least likely to pay Quebec a visit – 13 per cent of children receive no money for their lost teeth and of those who do, $2.06 is the average amount left per tooth.
  • Children in Ontario will receive an average of $3.21 per tooth
  • Alberta has an average of $3.12 per tooth
  • British Columbian children receive an average of $2.47 per tooth.
  • In the Prairies, 55 percent of children can expect to receive between $1 and $5 per tooth from the Tooth Fairy with a provincial average of $2.43 per tooth.

To help the Tooth Fairy tally an appropriate gift in return for that special lost tooth, Visa Canada has launched a free Tooth Fairy calculator which uses survey and demographic data to advise how much money the Tooth Fairy is leaving in comparable households.

“Every child looks forward to receiving a visit from the Tooth Fairy and is especially excited to find a financial present under their pillow,” said Michelle Michalak, Visa Canada’s Head of Financial Literacy. “Our Tooth Fairy calculator enables parents to learn what the Tooth Fairy is leaving children in similar households, and following the Tooth Fairy’s visit, parents can also take the opportunity to teach children how to save and wisely spend their earnings.”

The Tooth Fairy calculator is part of Visa’s ongoing mandate to promote financial literacy in Canada. Practical Money Skills is a free financial literacy program that helps Canadians understand the fundamentals of money management. The program features free online tools including various budget calculators, games, and information. To learn more please visit:


flourless sugar free brownies

Flourless Sugar Free Chocolate Brownies

eat, EAT, family meals By January 11, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

You’ll have no dessert guilt after indulging in these flourless sugar free chocolate brownies!

· 1 (14 oz) can of
black beans, rinsed and drained
· 2 large eggs
· ½ cup cocoa powder
· ¾ cup Xyla
· ½ teaspoon oil
· 1 tablespoon milk
· 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
· ½ teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
· ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (xylitol chocolate to make them completely sugar free, or omit chocolate and use all walnuts)
· ½ cup walnuts (or any nuts of your choice

– Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
– Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, Xyla ® xylitol, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. You can also do this all by hand if you don’t have a blender. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts at the end. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. You can also sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top.
– Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.


Clek’s Tips For Safe, Fun, Family Travel This Summer!

FAM, kids By August 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

Clek’s Tips For Safe, Fun, Family Travel This Summer!Clek’s Tips For Safe, Fun, Family Travel This Summer!

Summer travel means quality time with family. New places, new experiences, and spending time with each other. Clek, the award-winning car seat company, offers the following tips for a fun and safe vacation:

1.       Ensure your destination is child friendly.

Find out if your destination will accommodate infants and toddlers to ensure you have a relaxing vacation. Check online reviews to find out if it is family-friendly.

2.      Travel safely.

“Whether you’re traveling by air or ground, ensure you have access to a car seat for each child. Best practice is to bring your own child seat because you know it’s history and you’re familiar with how to use and install it,” says Trudy Slaght, Clek’s Child Passenger Safety Technician.  “Beyond safety, bringing your own car seat gives your child a familiar place to sit, making for an easier trip.”

Transport Canada highly recommends the use of an approved child restraint for all phases of flight. It will provide the greatest degree of protection for the infant or child and its use during flight will help in case of turbulence. By using the child restraint on the aircraft, it will also ensure that you will have it available for use in the car at your destination.

Don’t worry about going over the carry-on limit for air travel, you’re allowed the extra item when it is a car seat. Plus, Clek’s weelee is a universal travel bag that makes bringing your own car seat a breeze!

3.       Give yourself extra time.

Everything takes longer with kids so arrive early. For air or bus travel this means you can have your seats pre-assigned to save you from any last minute hassle. For road trips, be sure to get a good night’s sleep, it’s imperative to be alert for the long drive. Don’t over pack your vehicle so as to impede visibility.  Plan pit stops along the way: playgrounds, parks, landmark attractions, etc. Buckle up and have fun!

4.       Plan what to bring.

You won’t have access to all your preferred comforts on the road. Beyond your packed items, bring these essentials with you that should be easily accessible:

For baby: Diapers, wipes, change pads, bottles, extra clothes, formula, etc.

First Aid Kit: Band aids, hand sanitizer, antiseptic cream, gauze pads, plastic bag (for car sickness), medicine, etc.

Snacks: water, drink boxes, easy-to-eat snacks (i.e. sandwiches, cheese, apple slices, granola bars, cookies, cereal raisins, crackers, etc.)

Favourite toy: A familiar object will make your child more comfortable on the road (i.e. teddy bear, blanky, pillow, book, etc.). Keep in mind it could get lost. Something special and new for the trip can make it extra fun too.

Other: sunblock, bug spray, flashlight, phone charger, gps/road side assistance plan, maps, disposable toilet seat covers, etc.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a safe, fun, family adventure!


Camp Must-Haves

EAT, fitness, GEAR, kids, LIVE, play, snacks By August 13, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Going to camp is an exciting summer activity for kids. Meeting new people, learning new games and going on adventures are some camp memories that are never forgotten. We have compiled a list of camp must-haves that will make your kids experience at camp even better…

1.  Pop Clocky. As most of us know, being at camp doesn’t mean sleeping in. Early wake up calls are inevitable. With Pop Clocky you can wake up the whole cabin with a fun start to the day. Pop Clocky resembles a Jack-in-a-box and makes early mornings fun. Sunny, Rosy, Gilbert and Charlie will make sure everyone up with the birds.

2. Allergy alerts from Mabel’s Labels will ensure that the peanut butter doesn’t pass the lips when the kids come back from canoeing a wee bit dazed and sunburned.

3. A few healthy snacks. Hippie Foods coconut snacks arrived at our office and I’m now hoarding them in my desk…. .

4. A Flashlight. For those long walks back to the cabin, in the woods, a flashlight is useful for avoiding injuries. We found one that’s also a portable music player – the Hipstreet bluetooth speaker/radio with flashlight will keep them dancing around the campfire!

5. A Journal. You can’t experience your child’s week at camp with them, so, by getting them to keep a journal they can keep up their writing skills and share every bit of their experience with you when they get home. We love this robot illustrated Mudpuppy journal/sketchbook.

6. A water bottle. Though you won’t be there to tell them to drink water and stay hydrated every minute, getting them to bring a water bottle will encourage them to drink more water and I’m sure they will be thanking you later. Having one of these adorable SIGG animals will make them want to keep it close.

7. An Eco Lunchbox. For those days when they’ll be going on an adventure and will be needing to carry around some snacks with them.

8. A backpack. A a similar idea to the eco lunchbox, when your kid is going on an adventure they will have a lot to carry. Whether it be sunscreen, a water bottle or a flashlight, your kid will be glad to have a backpack to put it all in. Companies like Land’s End allow for easy personalization.

9. Their own pillow case. She won’t have a chance to miss home when dozing off on this festive Mum pillowcase from Pottery Barn Kids. Better yet – you’ll avoid having a child return home with lice. It will be a reminder of home and be a lice blocker at the same time!


Bauer Launches Star Wars™ Themed Goal Masks

fitness, GEAR By August 13, 2014 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment


Bauer Hockey has announced that it has launched a series of five Star Warsthemed goal masks that are now available at select global retail locations.

 “For as long as goal masks have been worn in hockey, there has been an evolution of incredible artwork that showcases the goalie and the team’s heritage and provides inspiration in preparation for battle on the ice,” said Greg Goyer, Category General Manager for Goalie Product at Bauer Hockey.  “Given the film’s unique and global following, we’re excited to offer the series of Star Wars themed goal masks as the next chapter in the history of goal mask battle paint.”

Each BAUER goal mask features iconic characters and worlds from the classic film series, including Luke Skywalker, Shock Troopers, Yoda, Boba Fett and Darth Vader.

Below are some brief descriptions of the artwork, scenes and characters featured on the goal masks:

  1. LUKE SKYWALKER Goal Mask: With designs from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, this goal mask features X-Wing pilot Luke Skywalker equipped for battle on the ice planet of Hoth, the location of the Rebel Alliance base.
  2. SHOCK TROOPERS Goal Mask: This goal mask features designs of the Galactic Empire ground force, the Shock Troopers, and brings to life the fiery volcanic world of Mustafar, the location of the legendary battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  3. YODA Goal Mask: Yoda, one of the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in Galactic history, is featured on this goal mask poised to duel, armed with his lightsaber while channeling the Force.
  4. BOBA FETT Goal Mask: The notorious bounty hunter, Boba Fett, is featured on this goal mask in battle in his customized Mandalorian armor firing his blaster rifle and in-flight with his Z-6 jetpack engaged.  The Mandalorian symbol is displayed on the center of the mask, just above the wire facial cage.
  5. DARTH VADER Goal Mask: The Emperor’s dark enforcer, Darth Vader, is featured on this goal mask in his infamous black armor and in battle with his lightsaber in hand.  The Galactic Empire Imperial symbol is displayed on the center of the mask, just above the wire facial cage.

 The series is available on the BAUER NME3 goal mask.  This high performance mask includes a LEXAN EXL polycarbonate shell, a dual density liner and a carbon steel round wire cage.  The Star Wars series BAUER goal mask is available in a variety of sizes, including senior, junior, and youth.


Le Creuset Introduces Palm Fresh

EAT, family meals By July 31, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Le Creuset Introduces Palm FreshLe Creuset Introduces Palm Fresh, this new hue will bring a coastal vibe to every kitchen

Le Creuset is  introducing a brand new crisp shade of green to the culinary world, Palm. This new addition to the classic palette of hues from Le Creuset’s cookware is fun and fresh. The premium French cookware line says Palm is inspired by the fringe of green that divides land and sea.

Palm evokes the feeling of tropical relaxation by the sea. It is the perfect accompaniment for coastal-inspired recipes and fresh summer dishes for entertaining. As Le Creuset’s newest colour, Palm is available this summer across the brand’s complete collection of quality enamelled cookware, bakeware, tableware, tools and accessories.

“Le Creuset was founded by a casting expert and a colouring expert. The company remains true to that foundation and is known to this day for its rich, trendsetting kitchen hues and its ability to offer them in the widest array of product types and materials in a variety of categories.” says Sarin Keusseyan, Marketing Manager of Le Creuset Canada.

The modern coastal inspired hue of Palm is now available across Le Creuset’s collection of quality cast iron, stoneware and accessories priced from $12 to over $600. It is available at Le Creuset boutiques and select kitchen stores across the country.  Please visit for more details.



Xyla Toothpaste and Mouthwash for Kids

FAM, health By July 31, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments
Xyla Toothpaste and MouthwashThe world just got a bit sweeter – but our toothpaste didn’t! Xyla has introduced both child and adult toothpaste and mouthwash in their new oral care line. It’s got the same xylitol we love for our morning coffee and strawberry jam, but it is light years better for our teeth than our typical sugar-filled pastes. Cavities are the world’s most common chronic illness and nearly 4 billion people suffer from untreated oral disease globally. The Xyla REFRESH Oral Care line has the ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria, plaque and dental cavities by 80%.

I don’t often enjoy writing about bacteria that cause both tooth decay and ear infections. Eewww. So hopeful that the kids would make the switch easy for me, I slipped the new products onto their bathroom counter and waited. They carried on. And on. And they loved it! I’ve been attempting to reduce sugar in every possible place and oral care was a sneaky one I hadn’t considered. I’m a happy mom and they are happy kids.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that helps reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and aid in the re-mineralization of tooth enamel. There are several different xylitol brands but Xyla, a Canadian brand, produces xylitol from North American hardwood trees and is non-GMO and completely natural.




Cunard Embraces Solo Travellers

cruises, ROAM By July 25, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Single Staterooms on CunardSingle staterooms are now available on Cunard Line cruises as Cunard embraces solo travellers with special amenities.

Cunard is recognizing the increasing popularity of solo travel, they are pleased to announce the addition of single staterooms on board Queen Elizabeth.  There will be eight outside staterooms and one inside, available for booking beginning with the 16 December 2014 sailing (voyage number Q422).

The addition of these staterooms is not the only thing being done by Cunard to cater to this growing audience.  Passengers travelling on their own can look forward to special activities organized by the ships’ social hostesses, including a welcome reception on embarkation day, coffee and cookies every sea day morning, and specially organized meeting points and excursions on port days.

Single ladies who enjoy dancing will love Queen Elizabeth’s Gentlemen Dance Hosts, who know all the formal ballroom dances and are available during evening balls held in the Queens Room.

These expansions are merely additions to Queen Elizabeth’s myriad of activities for all guests, including Cunard’s signature afternoon tea service, Cunard Insights speakers and enrichment programmes, world class retail shopping and fine dining, on board casino, spa, library and many more.

Single stateroom features include:

Ideal mid-ship location in close proximity to the social areas of the Empire Casino, the Royal Court Theater and the Queens Room
Single bed with generous width of over 47”
Large windows (outside staterooms only)

For more information about Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit

Protecting Dogs from Lyme Disease

Protecting Dogs from Ticks and Lyme Disease

FAM, pets By July 7, 2014 3 Comments

The Canadian family is getting a whole lot furrier with 95 % of Canadian dog owners considering their dogs’ part of their family unit. I certainly love mine! (And we also just adopted a kitten from the SPCA). With summer finally here, our precious dogs face a threat that most owners don’t know enough about – ticks and lyme disease. Only a third (30%) of dog owners protect their dogs from this serious but easily preventable illness. Pout.