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Three Fun Games for Pre-Schoolers (and their Parents!)

Go Fish! Card game by Imperial Kids

First things first, I don't enjoy games. I think it's because I'm too impatient ... I don't like the time involved in reading through all the rules, nor do I like it when a game drags on and never ends (I've been known to lose on purpose just so a game would end!). My daughter, who is almost 11 years old now, has a mild interest in games. And since this interest is mild, I only feel mildly like a bad mother for not engaging her more in … [Read more...]

In Honour of Earth Day

arctic_vir_2012147

Today is Earth Day. I remember first getting involved in Earth Day events when I was in high school. My girlfriend Penny was keen to go downtown and check it all out and asked me to come with her. This was met with eye ball rolls by the adults around us -- "You are DRIVING downtown to a save-the-earth event?" Okay, so we weren't really up on our research. But our hearts were in the right place. Now, though, as an adult whose time is … [Read more...]

Apres-Ski Green Beaver Boreal Face Cream and My Cosmetics Quest

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Sure, snow looks pretty. But that doesn't mean my skin likes it. Dry, winter skin is sort of a fact of life from December through to April in this area of the world. So I was definitely intrigued when I came across a Green Beaver line of lotion called "Apres-ski." I needed some new cream since I'd run out of my other stuff and our family has had a good experience with the Green Beaver Shampoo and Conditioner, so I thought I'd give this line a … [Read more...]

My Cosmetics Quest: Favourite Shampoo & Conditioner Brands

Green Beaver Mint Shampoo

My quest to use safer cosmetics is progressing slowly (but surely). In contrast, changing over the family's shampoos and conditioners can be done in one quick and easy swoop. Since day one, I've been more careful to read ingredients on the products I used with the kids, so I've had some years to try quite a few brands. … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer: Homemade Wooden Ornaments for the Christmas Tree

Wood Christmas Tree Ornaments

Hubby picked up a lathe from one of the local second-hand sites and turned these wooden ornaments. I hope the recipients find them as charming as I do. … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do A Giveaway, Shall We? How About a Delicious Gift Basket from Nature’s Path!

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One of the things I am most looking forward to over the  holiday break is being able to skip the morning madness. Instead, breakfasts can be long and lazy. And hey, maybe even a little decadent -- like this Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Red Berries cereal from Nature's Path Organic Foods? Mmmm .... chocolate covered raspberries and strawberries! Perhaps even better than the decadence is that Nature's Path foods are USDA Certified Organic … [Read more...]

Get Your Memories Off Your Hard Drive!

This is a photo album. You're welcome.

This post is to encourage you ... motivate you ... and gosh, darn it, INSPIRE you to get your memories off of that computer hard drive and out in the open where you and your family can enjoy them! Printed Books Creating a printed book with your memories is actually easier these days than printed out your photos and putting them into a photo album. Oh sorry ... do you forget what a photo album is? (Is this like a rotary dial phone and I'll … [Read more...]

Makeup Primer, Arbonne, and my Cosmetics Quest (Part 2 of 2)

deacon book

This post is a continuation. To read Part 1, click here.   As I was telling you in my post yesterday, I went to an Arbonne party. I had fun. I tried stuff. I bought stuff. Arbonne is different from a number of other products on the shelves of my drugstore because they are formulated without: Parabens Formaldehyde donating preservatives The following petroleum-based ingredients: Benzene Mineral … [Read more...]

Makeup Primer, Arbonne, and my Cosmetics Quest (Part 1 of 2)

Book inscription by Gillian Deacon

This post is part of a personal quest to find and use face and body products with fewer toxins. To catch up on this series, you can start here.  So have you heard of ARBONNE? I hadn't heard of this company until just recently, and now it seems all my girlfriends are mentioning it of late. Like Tupperware, Stella & Dot, and other direct-to-consumer businesses, Arbonne is sold at parties in people's homes. I'm sure you've been to similar … [Read more...]

Terra20 Gift Certificate Winners!

terra20 gift cards

Last Monday, I announced a giveaway for Ottawa's new eco-store Terra20. And today, I'm happy to share the names of the lucky winners! The winner of the $50 gift certificate is Jacquie Baillie who that she was most surprised to read about the parabens in tumors. The winner of the $100 gift certificate is Sarah McCormack who wasn't surprised by the article but "i have just had my head in the sand on this topic.  i have made big changes in the … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Enjoy a Visit to Ottawa’s Terra20!

Daniel Thompson Beauty at Terra20

So, yesterday, I started to tell you about my visit to the Ottawa store Terra20. My goal was to go in to the store and learn a bit more about commonly used chemicals in cosmetics, try out some of Terra20's safer cosmetic brands, and then share it all with you. At the Terra20 store, like most other large department stores, you are welcome to come in and receive a complimentary makeover. I've done this before at other makeup counters ... … [Read more...]

Terra20, Gillian Deacon, and My Cosmetics Quest

Gillian Deacon and Julie Harrison

In my quest to learn more about what chemicals are in my cosmetics, I took a second visit to Ottawa's new eco-store Terra20 this past weekend. Gillian Deacon, who wrote Green for Life and There's Lead in Your Lipstick, was scheduled to be in the store to autograph books and to chat with store visitors. As soon as I walked in, I thought: Where have I seen her before? Take a look at this photo and see if you have the same reaction: So, it … [Read more...]

Thinking about Breast Cancer Awareness: The Good, the Bad, and the Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And all around us and in my in-box are generous corporations looking to help raise awareness about breast cancer by promoting their pink-coloured products. But wait. Were you not aware that breast cancer existed? Of course you are -- gone are the days, thankfully, when we couldn't speak aloud about "breast" cancer. Were you not aware that corporations were generous? Of course you are -- … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Win a “My Pretty Playhouse” by Cascades!

Boite_H1000-H-300

A few months ago, our neighbour had a large appliance delivered. The big cardboard box that it came in was brought out for all the kids on the street to play with. Despite having a garage full of fancy ride-on toys and other delights of suburbia, the kids just never tired of the cardboard box! I suppose then that it's no surprise that my kids were so intrigued when the "My Pretty Playhouse" arrived to our house. This playhouse is produced by … [Read more...]

Ecoholic Body: What Chemicals Are in My Makeup?

olay

I've been making my way through Adria Vasil's book Ecoholic Body. In it, she quickly identifies what she refers to as 'Ecoholic's Mean 15: Top Body Care Ingredients to Shelve for Good." This is fine and dandy as a list, but as I noted in my post last week, I simply don't want to have to spend the time reading all the ingredients and cross-checking them against Ecoholic's Mean 15. That's why a store like Terra20 is very appealing to me. You … [Read more...]

The Terra20 Store: My Personal Assistant for Avoiding Greenwashing

@ecoholicnation and @coffeewithjulie

On Friday night, I watched a very interesting episode of CBC's Marketplace. In this season premiere, the show examined products that purported to be "green." You know the kind ... you see them everywhere nowadays -- the label includes something green or has been re-branded with a beige colour and includes words such as "natural," "non-toxic," and "biodegradable." I'm sure I've been duped countless times by these products because I want to do my … [Read more...]

50 Shades of Customer Service Awesomeness (Yes, still milking the “50 Shades” and yes, still talking about Fluevog Shoes)

Here is the email I received this morning from Fluevog Shoes. Tell me it doesn't make you want to squeal in delight! (Especially #3!) Your Fluevogs can't wait to meet you... We wanted to let you know about a change to the status of your Fluevog order, placed on 2012-Jul-22. Your order is now complete! 1. Your order was carefully taken from our Dot Matrix and passed to our Fluevogian Elves, who started searching for your exact … [Read more...]

50 Shades of Fluevog Shoes*

A fashionable guy at work told me that Fluevog Shoes was having a sale. So, this past weekend while I was procrastinating getting some important work done in my home office, I couldn't resist taking a peek. Oh boy, oh boy! I really shouldn't have done that ... it's like going into a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavour Ice Cream store to "just take a look." Using the advanced search option on the Fluevog site, I wanted to see how many of the sale shoes … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: UNBORED by Joshua Glenn & Elizabeth Foy Larsen

A major highlight for me when it comes to attending BlogWorld (now called NMX, short for New Media Expo) in New York City is that Book Expo America takes place at the same time, in the same building AND your pass for NMX also grants you access to Book Expo. Books and Blogging, all day, for three days -- How can I NOT attend?! This year, I took only one carry-on bag and it was half-full to allow space for books on the way home. So, although … [Read more...]

Garage Sale Finds for Entertaining

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Yesterday morning I awoke to the sound of cars pulling up outside and chatter. All of my bedroom windows were closed, but I could still hear that something was going on. I took a peek and it turned out that two houses on our street were having garage sales. I don't normally do garage sales. I lived in a very petite home that had virtually no storage space for a long time and grew accustomed to the notion of keeping "things" at a minimum. And … [Read more...]

My Top 5 Product Picks for Road Tripping!

This post is sponsored by Snuggle Bugz. Starting today, Snuggle Bugz is celebrating Canada Day by offering 5 days of Daily Deals. These deals won't last -- each day there will be one amazing deal – but just for that day!   Our family is heading out on a road trip to spend Canada Day up at a cottage. We’ve got our share of travelling under our belts, but I always find I can use a few extra things to keep things rolling smoothly. So I took … [Read more...]

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