July 18, 2014

Help raise awareness for the Childrens Safe Drinking Water program - join the #cleanwater photo challenge!

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom. As part of my affiliation with this group, I have been offered compensation to participate in the #cleanwater photo challenge. The views, opinions and photographs expressed on this blog and in my social networks are my own.

We turn on the tap and the water is just there. It's something we never have to think twice about. We are extremely blessed to live in Canada with an endless supply of #cleanwater. A vast portion of this world is not so lucky...

Some FACTS about the Children's Safe Drinking Water program: 
  • More then 7 billion litres of clean drinking water have been provided by humanitarian organizations across the world using P&G purification packets. 
  • This has helped to save an estimated 39,000 lives in more then 75countries. 
TORONTO --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- It can be said that nearly all Canadians enjoy an unlimited supply of clean water, so it’s no surprise that a recent survey by P&G and Walmart Canada found that 80 per cent of Canadians take clean drinking water for granted. Yet approximately one billion people in the developing world* do not have the same luxury, and diseases from contaminated water are killing more children every day than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.*Read more here.
Other survey findings include:
  • Eighty-seven per cent believe it is important for Canadian children to grow up caring about children in other countries; 
  • Half (56 per cent) of Canadians do not fully understand the daily challenges those in the developing world face.
So now that we know... what can WE do to help?

This past spring, P&G and Walmart Canada teamed up to bring one day of clean water for every P&G product purchased during the month of April. At that time I participated in a Twitter Party with Jason Priestly to help bring awareness to the Clean Water Initiative. At the end of the month, P&G donated 8.6 million days worth of #cleanwater to the Children's Safe Water Drinking fund.

P&G and Walmart want to continue their commitment to reach their goal of more then 25 million litres of #cleanwater in a 12 month period. They've opened up the program to include every P&G product from July 16-31, 2014.

I am once again participating in the #cleanwater program. This time I'll be doing a photo-a-day challenge. Over the next 2 weeks, I'll be sharing a photo via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on how #cleanwater makes such a huge difference in our every day lives. Let's not take #cleanwater for granted, let's celebrate water in our lives.

The challenge begins today and goes until July 31. I invite all of you to participate with me.

Make sure you include: the hashtag #cleanwater and the prompt for the day i.e. Day 1 Thirst, keep the above photo handy so you don't forget a day. When you share your photos with your social networks, you'll be entered into a draw for an amazing P&G Prize Pack plus $250 Wal-Mart gift card!

 Good Luck!

July 7, 2014

When a Boy is Seen for His Awesomeness | #Pioneer14

When a child experiences genuine recognition and appreciation (outside of getting it from their primary caregiver) for the first time, it is a priceless moment in time. One I wish I could have captured on video so I could press repeat until it no longer plays.

Yesterday was one of those moments for Liam.

Have you met my little Li Li?

Ever since he entered school at the age of 4, he has not had it easy. He doesn't fit the mold of our typical Canadian educational system. Year after year, he has been that square peg trying to be squeezed into that round hole. More often than not he's heard from his teachers - his leaders - his mentors - he doesn't compare to his older siblings, he needs to focus more, he needs to try harder, he needs stop moving, he needs to pay attention, he needs to change. He'll be going into grade 7 in the fall. Eight years of hearing (at school) he isn't enough...

When I dropped Liam off at Ontario Pioneer Camp yesterday, he made his way to the Camp Activities Director, "Nanook" and the first words out of his mouth... "Remember me?!" with a coy smile on his face.

1st year at Ontario Pioneer Boys Camp with Nanook - July 2013
I was expecting the usual pat answer, "Oh ya kid, of course I do! How are you this year?" or something along those generic lines. It's not like we've seen these people since July 2013. Plus, Liam is one of several hundred kids who came through Boys' Camp last year.

Nanook made me tear up.

He quickly, without hesitance said, "How could I forget you Liam? The kid who talks more than any other kid I know," with a chuckle and a head rub. "You've grown since last summer, no more standing up and reaching over the dining table this year, K?!" When Nanook read the activities Liam registered for, Boys' Camp Radio was one of his 3 choices, he said with enthusiasm, "Out of all the boys at camp, you are perfect for this Liam."

Liam grinned from ear to ear. 

My heart melt.

If that's the only reason to keep returning to Ontario Pioneer Camp every summer, that's enough for me!

Liam deserves to be recognized and appreciated. He is an awesome kid who has so much to offer! Thank you OPC for seeing how special he is. He will remember these summers for the rest of his life and the impact you're making on him will help him as he grows into manhood. His self-esteem got a booster shot yesterday afternoon.

OPC is worth every penny!

Ontario Pioneer Camp is a Christian Summer Camp, established in 1929 near Port Sydney, Ontario in the heart of Muskoka. Over the past 85 years, OPC has had more than 250,000 campers, between the ages of 5 and 17, pass through their 1200 acres and 5 sites. 

Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Boys' Camp - ages 11 to 17

June 19, 2014

Best Commercial of 2014 - now let's Bob for Ovaries!

I can't stop watching this commercial. Each time I do, I laugh hysterically, it doesn't matter if I'm watching it alone or sharing it with the next person I come across. I even made my husband and my kids watch it. It makes me laugh out loud.

I don't know why it resonates so much with me. Maybe it was all the time spent in the back corner of the public library, sneaking a peek at the Judy Blume books my mom wouldn't let me read. Or the years watching my much older sisters and cousins go through their "Lady Days".  Or the fact that I obsessed with getting my period starting around 11 years of age. My cousin who is a year older, got it, and so by all DNA rights, I should also have it. I would go to the store with her as she bought the pads with the straps and the belt... remember those ancient things?! And as she'd talk about her period, I'd find myself getting jealous. Why couldn't I be as grown up as her?!!

After we moved to our last house on the North Shore, I turned 12, I met a group of girls who lived on my new street. They all seemed so much more mature and had it all together and going on. I wanted to be like them. The only difference between us... they had their periods and I didn't.

What happens in this commercial as the girl tries to feel a little more grown up than she is, is absolutely hilarious. The mom has become my idol in all things parenting - I'm totally looking for a uterus pinata now... who's up for bobbing for ovaries?!

June 16, 2014

S'Mores... Shash Style! Summer Camping #FoodHacks

Summer is here and camping season is upon us!! 

I love to camp.

Ok... I like to camp, but it must be on my terms.

I am not a tent in the woods, sleeping on the floor, cooking with one pot and one flipper over an open fire, kind of camper. I've been there, done that, have the burn marks and mosquito bites to prove it.

My husband may be able to survive canoeing and portaging for over 100 kilometers easy peasy, not having showered in a week, but that's why I birthed him some children. They can join him in the woods... with the bears and the bugs.

I will stick to my trailer in the heart of Muskoka. That's camping glamping my way. To make that even easier on me, I've come up with a few #FoodHacks to help make it as relaxing a time away as possible. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen on their summer holidays?! That was rhetorical... not me!!

Speaking of Camping!

Who can go camping without making the Canadian camping food staple... S'MORES?!

What You'll need:
  • 1 large bag of Marshmallows
  • Boxes of Christie's Chips Ahoy Middles
  • Marshmallow roasting sticks 
  • Campfire

Kid Tested - Kid Approved! :)

Here's another recipe worth bookmarking for this summer.

Who can resist FRESH Canadian Corn-on-the-Cob?!

What You'll Need:

1/4 cup Kraft Rancher's Choice dressing
2 TBSP. finely chopped chives
4 ears of corn on the cob, husks and silk removed

What You'll Do:

Heat barbecue to medium-high heat. Mix dressing and chives. Rinse corn; gently shake off excess water. Grill 12 to 15 min. or until tender, turning occasionally and brushing with dressing mixture for the last 3 min.


p.s. Check out Kraft's newest site... Kraft Food Hacks for fast and easy recipes. They'll help you spend more time where you want to this summer. :) Be sure to follow them on Twitter "Food Hacks" too!

I am part of Kraft Canada What's Cooking Ambassadorship. I receive compensation in return for bringing you some delicious recipes. Ones I make often in my home for my family.