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Planting Dandelions
So, you have (Yes, I realize that sounds bossy. No, that doesn't mean you can or should ignore this .... suggestion!!) to check out this post on the blog Planting Dandelions. It is the Ten steps to perfect happiness, according to Kyran Pittman, a blogger and author originally from Newfoundland, who now lives in the States and is a Contributing Editor of Good Housekeeping magazine (did you know that a Newfoundlander was on the editing team of GH? I didn't until a few months ago!! I think it's kinda cool ;-).

I suppose, you might think, why click? If she really wanted to show it to me, she could have copied and pasted.... well, maybe, but I don't think it would do it justice - her pictures are part of the show. Check her out, and say hi for me :-)

PS: Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life is Kyran Pittman's first book and is available here at Chapters. People magazine called it "fearless"!

Small Changes Challenge - 16/50

Easter Week... well, what, for the love of heck, was I to challenge myself with this week? Something that would be a challenge, but not automatically destined to fail with all the chocolate around, the kids home, the family gatherings?

Does even considering that mean this whole thing is rigged? Perhaps, but let's say no. Goals must be attainable after all :-)

Well, the only thing I thought I could possibly stand a chance at this week was "mindful eating"....

Mindful eating?? What the....

Now, now, no need for expletives....

Mindful eating - as in: eating more slowly, savouring the taste, feel and smell of the food. Recent studies indicate that when we eat like this, we take in 67% less calories per meal and feel more satisfied than when we woof down our food. I heard this on Dr. Oz a while back and was not convinced. But, everywhere I turn lately - CTV, magazines, ivillage, etc. - I keep hearing the same thing. So, I thought I would give it a try.

And, guess what? I managed to get by on just 2-3 small pieces of chocolate most days, which believe me, is way, way, WAY less than my usual in the days after the bunny comes! I would most often choose either a creamy (Lindor) egg, or a peanut butter one and just let it melt completely away in my mouth. And, a few times I picked out the biggest chocolate covered almond or Brazil nut I could find, just for that extra crunch. Yummy.

So, despite my initial skepticism, I think this worked! I'd give myself a 5/5, since I was consistent in the savouring (oh, yeah, that was hard, lol)! And, given that it resulted in fewer treats overall, I'd say it is definitely one to keep on the roster :-).

Have a great weekend!

Recall - Topco Kidz Zone Shape Sorter

The following recall notice is from HSW:

Event Highlights
Health Canada reports of a recall involving Topco Kidz Zone Shape Sorter - a shape sorter toy that includes a pink plastic circular disk with six cut-outs and five plastic shapes of various colours. The ball shape and the cube shape are small pieces that pose a choking hazard to young children.

See HSW Product Details tab for specifics on the affected items.

Health Canada is aware of one complaint related to the shape sorter.

Recalled toys were sold at various dollar stores in Canada from December 2008 to February 2011.

Corrective Action:The shape sorter toy should be kept safely out of the reach of children under three years of age, and older children if they still tend to put toys in their mouths. Alternatively, consumers can remove the ball shape and cube shape from the recalled toy set, and safely dispose of them in regular household garbage.


Gymboree Sale

The next Local Gymboree/Naomi's Little Nook Sale is Wednesday, May 4th at the Lions Park Chalet, Mayor Ave from 11am-6pm. There will be clothing from all "seasons" of the Gymboree line available. Contact Kim O'brien @ for more information.

What To Do This Weekend

I am having such a fun week! Easter vacation rocks :-). Here are our picks for the remaining few days - time flies!

Tomorrow, we are planning to watch the Royal Wedding. Yes, I said that, I know its not cool. But it brings back memories of watching Charles & Diana marry during a camping trip when I was a kid - Mom actually brought a black & white TV and got us up in the middle of the night. The boys are all excited to experience it too. Check out these ideas to add to the atmosphere. 

If you'll be out in Eastern NL over the weekend, icebergs have been spotted! The first "hunt" of the Season is not too far off now! To keep an eye on locations, click here

Mother's Day is just around the corner - bring the kids to Michael's on Saturday morning to make a Mother's Day T-shirt (10AM-12 noon). It's not selfish - it can be for your Mom ;-)

The Rooms is participating in an international "Planet in Focus" Film Festival all this week. There are showings throughout the weekend, both in the afternoons and evenings. Visit their site at to view the schedule. 

And finally, Sunday's Family Fun at the Rooms will feature Lief the Leather back Turtle who will be explaining how the species is at risk and how you can help protect his habitat. There will also be a craft (making a turtle fridge magnet).

Have a good one :-)

For details on events in & around town, check my calendar regularly! It is on the bottom of every page, or click Events Calendar in the navigation bar :-) The Tely Go Guide is also a good source. 

Window Safety for Children

Window Safety....hmmmmm......Seems like a very basic topic, doesn't it? But many, many accidents every year involving children happen to be falls through windows - some with tragic consequences. Here's a little reminder tip sheet from, you guessed it ;-), HSW:

Event Highlights
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) together with the U.S. National Safety Council recently urged parents and caregivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving windows open when young children are present. Provided below is information adapted from the U.S. CPSC and Safe Kids Canada websites. JA
As temperatures go up, so do windows in many homes. Opening windows in your home to enjoy the warmer temperatures may seem harmless, but open windows have proven to be sources of injury and death for young children.

Young children can easily fall from open windows and off balconies. They are curious and don't understand the risks of falling from heights. Falls from windows have caused serious injuries and death.  Window screens are not designed to prevent falls. Screens can easily give way under the weight of a small child.
According to CPSC data, falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths yearly to children five years or younger in the U.S., while an estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger are treated each year in hospital emergency departments. On average, one of every three children, about 34 percent, required hospitalization after falling from a window.
These deaths and injuries frequently occur when kids push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window. These incidents increase dramatically during the spring and summer months.
“We want parents and caregivers to think ‘safety first’ before opening windows where young children are present. The deaths and life-altering injuries are heartbreaking and in many cases preventable,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Here are some safety tips to help prevent window and balcony falls:

Install window guards and/or window stops.•Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. Window guards are a barrier in front of the window. They are available with both horizontal and vertical bars. Make sure to purchase window guards that have a release mechanism so that they can be fully opened in case of an emergency. Window guards have bars spaced no more than 10 cm (four in) apart.

•Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches (10 cm). Window stops are small devices that prevent a window from opening more than 10 cm (four in), so that a child cannot fall out.

•Check your local hardware or home renovation store for window guards and stops. An internet search will also find on-line stores that can ship the products to you.

•If you live in an apartment, landlords may be required to provide window stops or guards. Tenants living in apartment building should check with their municipality to see if there is a window safety by-law. This may mean that a landlord must provide window stops or guards for you.

Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
•Do not lean on screens or rely on them to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.

Whenever possible, open windows from the top - instead of the bottom.
Keep your young child away from open windows and balcony railings. 
•Always place cribs, beds and other furniture away from windows. Make sure that doors to balconies are kept locked. Furniture or other objects on balconies should be arranged away from railings.
•Supervise children to prevent them from playing near windows, balconies or patio doors.


What I Found Online - Shopping Spree:-)

OK, OK... it's been a long time since I went on a little online shopping spree! Here are some interesting things I came across:

Pretty little glass bird plant minders:

Brilliant! A round yoga mat.... so much space!

I have to get these wedge shoes from Adidas: 

Star Wars Cookie Cutters, Pancake Shapers, Spatulas.... not sure who will like these more, me or the boys :-)

Another thing they'll have to fight me for - Star Wars USB flash drives!

Wireless Kids Collection - Fun, funky items like this shark bathrobe :-)

These are worth a look as well - Check out these links for some cool items from Wireless:
Happy Shopping :-)


Tasty Tuesday - Easy Orange Chicken, Veg & Rice

I don't know about you, but anytime a recipe is listed as easy, and involves food I know the boys will eat (i.e.: chicken - check; rice - check), I am all-over-it! Here is the plan for tonight: -

1-1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup cornstarch, divided
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots
1 cup chopped green pepper (I'll probably use broccoli or snap peas)
1/2 cup chopped onion

  • Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper; set aside.
  • Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons oil for 7-9 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
  • In the same skillet, heat carrots in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add green pepper and onion; saute 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; heat through. Serve with rice. Yield: 4 servings.
Taste of Home

How the Kids can Help: Measure & pour ingredients; chop veggies (older kids - be careful!); shake chicken in the ziploc baggie; plate rice.


Recall - Kirkland Children's Pyjama Sets

The following recall notice is from HSW:

Event Highlights
Costco Wholesale  Canada reports of a recall involving Kirkland Signature Children's Two-piece Short Sleeve Top and Shorts Summer Pyjama Sets. Recalled items to not meet Canadian flammability requirements guidelines and thus pose a burn hazard.

See HSW Product Details tab for specifics on the affected items.

Recalled items were sold at Costco Wholesale warehouses between June  11, 2010 and April  19, 2011 inclusively.

Corrective Action:If you are in possession of these summer pyjamas please stop using them and  return them to your Costco Wholesale warehouse for a full refund.

For additional information about this recall, please contact Costco Wholesale  Canada customer service department at 1-800-463-3783, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.


All I Need To Know

I received this in an email this morning. Not sure of the author....

All I need to know I learned from the Easter Bunny! 
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 
  • Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. 
  • There's no such thing as too much candy. 
  • All work and no play can make you a basket case. 
  • A cute tail attracts a lot of attention. 
  • Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day. 
  • Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits. 
  • Some body parts should be floppy. 
  • Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans. 
  • Good things come in small, sugar coated packages. 
  • The grass is always greener in someone else's basket. 
  • To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell. 
  • The best things in life are still sweet and gooey. 
May the joy of the season fill your heart. Happy Easter!


Easter Sunday Tidbits

Easter tidbits found here & there this week :-)

  • Easter, of course, corresponds with the Jewish Passover. How did we get from the name "Pasch" or "Passover" to "Easter" though? Apparently, the Anglo-saxons' goddess of Spring was named Eostre, and the since the Christian Holiday usually occurred during "Eostremonat," or "Eostre's month", Easter became associated with the festival.
  • In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent, and any eggs laid during that time were preserved until the fasting period was over. Because of this, boiled eggs became a prized treat come Easter Sunday, and were often included in Easter meals. 
  • Eggs have long been associated with Spring and renewal, as they are the ultimate symbol of new life. The Egyptians, Persians, and Romans all used eggs during their spring festivals. Orthodox Christians painted them red to symbolize the blood of Christ. And, some may think the concept of an Easter Tree is "new", but it is a long standing tradition in Germany to hang painted eggs in trees before Good Friday!
  • Another symbol of new life, particularly in some pagan religions, was a rabbit, and like many pagan aspects, it became adopted by Christians throughout the ages. The bunny is not an entirely modern phenomenon though.... as far back as the 1500's he was hopping through Germany, delivering eggs to children! 
Modern Concerns :-)
  • Ever wonder which Easter treats are the least healthy (i.e: a Cadbury Cream Egg vs a Reese's PB Egg)? iVillage has done the math for you: click here for 10 side-by-side comparisons. 
  • If the kids are on sugar overload and you are looking for a way to get veggies to compete with chocolate over the next day or two, whip up this easy cauliflower bunny - fun & healthy :-)
  • If your hunt this AM involved real, cooked, dyed eggs, remember that you should not eat a hard-boiled egg that has been left out at room temp longer than 2 hours. (For other "real" egg safety tips, click here)

HoPpY EaStEr!

Now go eat some chocolate - before 
the kids have it all gone :-)

PS: The cream egg is worse ;-) Whew!

PPS: Speaking of Passover, I LOVE the blog Creative Jewish Mom - a cool, colourful blog with a ton of decorative crafts for the home (you name it, she can do it!), fun activities for the kids, and a slew of ideas to enhance just about everything (cooking, parties, gardening, art, parenting, etc.)! She is located in Israel and includes projects and ideas pertaining to Jewish festivals as well as those "just for fun"! Check her out!


Earth Day - Pause and Think

Its Earth Day - woot!

I was thinking the other day how one of the best things we can do for the environment is to simply pause before we toss something out. Pause, and think - what else can I use this for?

Now, I have very intelligent, Earth-respecting Readers, so I know you know this, but, it does bear repeating:   Each time we get a second use out of an item, we are reducing the overall impact to the environment. That second use prevents us from using another item right away (like when you wash the windows with newspaper instead of using a brand new sheet of paper towel) and that you reduce the need for the packaging associated with the newer item (which in turn reduces paper garbage and saves trees, or avoids emitting plastic chemical into the environment). It might even mean that there is no need for a receipt - or that the one that is printed is one line item shorter - or that you don't have to go to the store - saving on gas, etc... The impact of each "re-use" might be small, but they add up when done consistently. Especially if everyone participates!

That, of course, was just a reminder from your friendly-neighbourhood-blogging-Mom.

Here are some thoughts to ensure every day items don't get wasted:
  • The Weekend comics make great wrapping paper for kids' presents.
  • Keep the newspaper - it can absorb odors in a lunch box; can be rolled up and put inside boots to help them maintain their shape/reduce odors when you put them away for the summer, can be taken camping as starter for campfires, and as mentioned above, can be used in lieu of paper towel to clean windows....
  • Keep clear plastic take-out or strawberry containers as mini-green houses for seeds you start indoors.
  • Use a mesh veggie bag (the kind onions come in) as a pot scrubber - just bunch it up and scrub!
  • Speaking of scrubbing - I keep used dryer sheets and use them to clean the bath and shower - they work wonders on soap scum!
  • Plastic berry baskets can be used as a colander to rinse a lunch-size portion of fruit or berries. Or weave ribbon/yarn through them and use to corral the kids' eraser or bottle cap collections (kids love to do this!).
  • Keep used envelopes as scrap paper for shopping lists, and make sure the "back" of paper/bills gets used too!
  • Hold on to the silica gel packets that come in bags and shoes (keep well out of reach of children as they would be harmful if swallowed) - they can help keep items from tarnishing if kept in your jewelry box or cutlery chest.
  • Donate used magazines to the doctor's office, school, or a nursing home where they will get many more reads and a greatly extended life before finally becoming recycled!
  • Paper towel tubes can make great storage for nylons - put the nylons inside and write the colour on the outside with a good marker - they won't get torn or tangled in your drawer. Or keep a paper tube in the bathroom drawer and put hair elastics around it so they don't go missing. Stick a few bobby pins on the sides too:-)
  • Use shoe boxes to organise small items (socks/underwear) inside your drawers. Or label with your child's name/school year and use to stash the year's mementos.
  •  Hold onto used wrapping paper as cushioning for care packages you ship to friends & family - ball it up and use in place of Styrofoam bits.
  • Use cracked mugs to store pencils/markers, etc. (Sand down a sharp edge). 
  • When you toss a worn-out or torn sock, don't automatically toss its partner - keep it in the kids craft stash, and make a sock puppet the next time you have a sick critter. 
This list could go on-and-on! Brainstorm ways to reuse your trash with yourself, or as a family - I haven't met a kid yet who can't think of a few good things to do with the most obscure piece of garbage ;-).

And, if you want to take it a step further - sign up for a "Give it Up for Earth Day" Challenge and put your reduce & reuse plans to the ultimate test (or give up meat/toxic cleaners/electronic use.... there's sure to be a challenge there to suit you ;-)

I'd love to hear what you and your family have come up with!!

Happy Earth Day!

Small Changes Challenge - 15/50

For my Small Changes Challenge this week, I wanted to go back to something a little simpler - a true "small change".

I've been struggling with my desire to nibble on crunchy sweet treats throughout the day: I have a nasty habit of craving - and eating - nuts. This is fine, and quite healthy, if you have the willpower to limit yourself to a serving (i.e.: 23 almonds) throughout the day. I do not. I have even tried to measure out one serving of almonds and keep the rest of the bag well out of sight (in an inconvenient-to-grab-while-passing-through-the-kitchen-location).... but the almonds are usually gone by mid-morning, lunchtime at best, and then ..... well, I know I have more.....

In the evenings (if not before), this crunchy-sweet obsession usually translates to chocolate - i.e.: chocolate covered almonds or a "sweet & salty" bar (with nuts of course - I think you get the idea ;-).

All this to say that this week's challenge was truly small - eat baby carrots when the munchies strike - but took an IMMENSE amount of will power!

It didn't require going out in the wind and rain though ;-)

How did I do? Well, I did have to remind myself frequently that eating too much fat/sweets would catch up with me in a bad way eventually, and to go for the carrots instead. I even wrote notes to myself and left them on the fridge and the range (because I often decide to have a little munch while waiting for the kettle to boil).

I didn't want to deprive myself completely (I figure that wouldn't be healthy either), so, after a full day of "following through" I would let myself have a treat (a truffle, a bite-size cookies & cream bar, a dozen almonds) in the evening about an hour before bed (less time to get off track if it triggered cravings!!).

I did do it though, (Perhaps too well, she says, one 2-lb bag of carrots later, I hope I don't turn orange.)... 

I digress: I did eat the carrots, every single day, a very good 5/5! My challenge next week of course will be to keep this up with all that Easter chocolate around :-)

Now, I know what you're thinking: substituting carrots for chocolate??? The girl is really on the Easter theme this week ;-)

Happy Good Friday and Easter!!!!


Recall/Allergy Alert: Compliments Balance Spinach Honey Dijon Salad Kit

The following recall/allergy warning is from HSW:

Event Highlights
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies/sensitivities to tree nuts not to consume the products described here. The affected products may contain allergens not declared on the label.
Product: COMPLIMENTS BALANCE SPINACH HONEY DIJON SALAD KIT. See Product Details tab for specifics on the affected items.

Recalling Firm: SOBEYS INC.
Distribution: National
Extent of the Product Distribution: Retail

Consumption of the product(s) described here may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies/sensitivities to the above mentioned allergen(s). See HSW Hazard Details tab for more information.
For more information, consumers and industry can call CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

Note: This is a CFIA Class III recall (Low and no risk): The CFIA will request a Class III recall when eating or drinking that product will not likely result in any undesirable health effects. Class III recalls can include food products that pose no health and safety risk, but do not follow federal food regulations.

Recall - Disney® Princess Racing Trikes

The following recall notice is from HSW:

Event Highlights
Health Canada,and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report of a recall involving Disney® Princess racing trikes. The plastic castle display and the princess figures protruding from the top of the handle bar pose a laceration hazard if a child is thrown forward and hits the display with his/her head when the trike is stopped suddenly.

See HSW Product Details tab for specifics on the affected items.

In the United States, the US CPSC and Kiddieland have received three reports of children that suffered facial lacerations.

Recalled trikes were sold at Zellers retail stores across Canada and direct from the JCPenny website to Canada from January 2009 to May 2010.

Corrective Action:Consumers should immediately take the trikes away from children and contact Kiddieland for a free replacement handlebar with an enclosed rotating display.
For more information, consumers may contact Kiddieland toll-free at 1-800-430-5307 or visit the Kiddieland website.

What To Do This Weekend - And During Easter Vacation :-)

Let the Easter Fun Begin! As of 3PM today, school is out for 10 whole days! The excitement! The fun! The chocolate! The merriement! The noise... the mess....

Oh yeah, they can be loud, messy little critters can't they? 

Well, have NO FEAR - there is plenty to do in this beautiful city during the break to keep your peeps occupied, even if they aren't in one of the many Easter Camps! And, because I like you (I really, really do!), I'm gonna let you know exactly what is on this weekend - and beyond ;-)

  • How about fish on Good Friday that you don't have to cook? (Bonus: No fish smell in the house!) - Pop over to the Annual Fish and Brewis Breakfast, Friday Am from 8-11 AM (First United Church in Mt. Pearl - on Park Ave which is off Topsail Rd). It is supposed to be rain/flurries that day, so of course, you'll visit Wednesday's post to pick and choose crafts & activities for the day, before finally heading over to Family Fun: Traditional Egg Decorating with a Twist at Clay Cafe that evening ;-). It's Earth Day too - challenge yourself to decorate and craft with recycables as much as possible!
  • Then, on Saturday, no need to face the crowds at the pharmacy for a card to give the 'Rents. Instead, head over to Michael's bright and early (well, by 10AM), and let the little ones participate in their Easter Card Make & Take while you pick up a last minute treat or two :-). Once home, bake a special Easter Treat to enjoy on Sunday. 
  • Sunday - Just sit back, relax, enjoy your peeps eatin' their Peeps....oh, yeah - you might wanna cook or turkey or something....
  • During the week -  Take your pick! Seriously, there are so many fun things on to take the children to:
    • Everyday this week, Chapter's has a fun activity planned - free - at 11AM. The many themes include Science, Crafts, Games, Reading and - I think this is the biggie for my boys - a Lego Challenge! 
    • Likewise, The Rooms has a theme-a-day activity planned each afternoon at 2PM (now, how convenient is that! We've got your AM and PM covered ;-). Themes there include Robert Bateman's painting, Recycling, Time Capsules and Birds! 
    • As well, the Michael Donovan Library (Topsail Rd, across from New World) is holding a Music & Fun program at 3:30 on both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. 

Of course, there is a slew of activities you can do "when the mood strikes", and not rely on a program schedule! Every year the boys and I make an Easter-To-Do list with many of the following options - when we are bored we just take our pick ;-)

Take-your-pick Easter Fun List
  • Visit the Geo Centre.
  • Go to Clay Cafe.
  • Head to the Dollar Store.
  • See some Movies (they usually have Toonie Matinees, but I don't see it online this year. Keep checking though!).
  • Eat out at a restaurant downtown. (Try The Sprout - yummy & nutritious.)
  • Feed the ducks at Bowring Park, walk by the River to look for signs of Spring.
  • Walk around the neighbourhood; stop by the neighbourhood playground.
  • Have a school friend over for the afternoon.
  • Sleep-over at the grandparents (this is the night you go out - or stay in, wink, wink - with hubby!).
  • Bake a treat - click here for ideas.
  • Make a craft - click here for ideas.
  • Head to a Recreation Centre or Gym (the Y; the Reid Centre, etc) & shoot hoops.
  • Browse The Rooms.
  • Hang out at the closest Library and read book, after book, after book.
  • Go to Chapter's (you knew I was gonna put that in there, right??).
  • Take a walk on Topsail Beach, or Middle Cove Beach. Find the rock that looks most like an Easter Egg, then take a picture of it (because you shouldn't take rocks from the beach, remember ;-).
  • Head to Signal Hill - any icebergs or whales? No? Enjoy the wind, take a walk on the wild side, look out over the City - can you see your house? Where Mommy works? Where Daddy went to School?
  • Visit the Fluvarium, then walk through Pippy Park. 


For details on events in & around town, check my calendar regularly! It is on the bottom of every page, or click Events Calendar in the navigation bar :-) The Tely Go Guide is also a good source. 


Crafty Fun for Easter (OR: What To Make With Your Peeps When They Are Home Driving You Crazy :-)

So.... the kids are home for a whole week starting on Good Friday! Worried about keeping them busy? Don't fret, dear Reader...remember -  I've got your back! This round up of fun ideas will keep everyone occupied and happy when the weather prevents outdoor fun ;-)

Amanda over at Craft Gossip made these as part of an auction fundraiser for Japan:

They are SO adorable.... and what a great craft for you & your youngsters! Why not give it a try - uses punches and/or scissors to cut out shapes, and use the picture above as a placement guide to make a flock of your very own.... keep a multitude of small knick-knacks safe in the critters: crayons, bakugans, doll combs/mirrors/shoes, DS games, erasers, stickers....etc.

I'm sure you made popsicle stick & yarn stars for your tree growing up? Well, check out this Spring/summer variation from Gummylump (I'm ashamed to have never thought of it! Oh, well, I guess there really are folks more brilliant than I ;-):

Another idea that is brilliant in its simplicity: make a hot air balloon out of a paper-strip ball ornament (full tutorial here):

Visit Kaboose for the how-tos on making these cute little bugs - I think I would use the whole egg carton to make a dozen lady bugs, bees, spiders, etc., then hang them all in a window... wouldn't that be pretty?

Ohhhhh... Some people are just so smart!! Follow the directions in this tutorial, and not only will your rainbow be darn-near perfect: you'll also have a cute mobile!

Amazing Moms has some amazing bunny & chick crafts: click here to see how to make them from cups, googlies and other knick-knacks!

Wait!!!!  just one more......(promise)...

....Before you eat the ears off that bunny, trace it!!! That way, you can create one of these cuties with your peeps, just like Katydid.:

After all, what's Easter vacation without bunnies? 


Health Canada Reminder on Risks of Some OTC Topical Pain Relievers (for teething, burns, bites, etc.)

I had no clue the side effects of a topical pain reliever - benzocaine - could be so serious, or that it was under review by Health Canada. Perhaps you didn't either.

Food for thought (from HSW) next time you reach for medication to treat the pain associated with sore throats, teething, toothache, burns, and insect bites.

Event Highlights
Health Canada is reminding Canadians, including parents and caregivers, about health risks associated with the use of topical benzocaine products, including a rare but potentially serious blood condition known as methemoglobinemia (MetHb). Health Canada continues to receive reports of benzocaine-related adverse reactions, including MetHb. Health Canada reports that it will continue to evaluate the safety of benzocaine products in light of these reports and will take appropriate regulatory actions as warranted.
Topical benzocaine products are available over-the-counter in various concentrations and formulations, including sprays, gels, liquids and creams, and are used to relieve pain from a variety of conditions such as sore throats, teething, toothache, canker sores, irritation of the mouth and gums, burns, insect bites, itching, and hemorrhoids. They are also used by healthcare practitioners during surgical, dental and other medical procedures to numb the mouth and throat.
Health Canada first communicated the risk of MetHb in a Public Advisory and Notice to Hospitals in November 2006. Since that time, Health Canada has received seven reports of serious adverse reactions involving topical benzocaine, four of which were reports of benzocaine-induced MetHb in adults.
MetHb reduces the ability of red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Signs and symptoms of MetHb include pale, grey or blue-coloured skin, lips, or nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; confusion; headache; lightheadedness; nausea; and change in heart rate. These symptoms can appear within minutes or one to two hours after benzocaine use, and can occur after the first or several uses. In rare severe cases, MetHb can progress to stupor, coma and possibly death.
Other reported side effects associated with topical benzocaine products include breathing or swallowing difficulties, a swollen tongue or mouth, irregular heartbeat, malaise, body twitching, hypersensitivity, burning, redness, itching, rash, and irritation at the site of administration. These effects can occur with any topical benzocaine product, regardless of product type or benzocaine concentration, in sensitive individuals.
Recommended Action:As with any health product, Canadians are reminded to carefully read and follow the instructions for product use. If you think you or your child may be experiencing a side effect, including signs or symptoms of methemoglobinemia, seek medical attention. If you have questions or concerns about a topical benzocaine product, speak to a healthcare practitioner.
For a list of Health Canada-licensed benzocaine products, including topical over-the-counter products, visit Health Canada's Licensed Natural Health Products Database (search by the ingredient name "benzocaine") and Drug Product Database (search by the active ingredient "benzocaine").
To report suspected adverse reaction to these or other health products, please contact Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program toll-free at 1-866-234-2345, or complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form .

Tasty Tuesday - Fun Easter Food Ideas

So, people, for obvious reasons, how about we go for an Easter Theme this week? Deal? Deal.

Now, I am not one to give you a great recipe for a fabulous ham, or the most amazing turkey for your Sunday Dinner, but, I am pretty good (pat on the back) at finding some links to fun-fun!-FUN! Easter treats :-)

Here are some ideas the kids will drool over, courtesy of the beauty of the Internet :-)

Taste of Home is brilliant - BRILLIANT, I say! - whip up these bunny rolls following their simple directions. Of course, you could use just about any roll recipe, and turn the dough into bunnies like they did - I think cinnamon rolls would be A-MAZING! Just sayin'.

From: Taste of Home

This breakfast-snack-dessert combo has all the kids' favourites: a pancake-like taco shell (yes, I just said that), ice-cream, jelly beans, chocolate and your own choosing of whatever other Easter treats you'd like to get rid of.... errrrr, cook up:
Ohhhh, you were looking for something not quite so... out there. Got it. Here's a cute Easter twist on a rice crispie cookie:


Or, visit the Food Network to turn just about any cake recipe (or a store-bought pound cake) into a fun, jelly-bean covered carrot:
From: Food Network

I have to say, I noticed, in my hunt, that when it come to Easter, cupcake manipulations abound (especially on the Food Network, I might add). Here are my faves:

Chick and Egg Cupcake
From: Food Network
Little Lamb Cupcake
From: Food Network
Bunny Face Cupcakes:
From: Food Network
Oh, you're not really into cake decorating per say? Sorry, I forgot...

Here's one for you then: this recipe is uber simple, and the bunny is made from paper (I admit, this one is my kind of recipe ;-). All ya gotta do is follow the directions for the bunny holder on amazingmoms, then pop a cupcake right inside:

No time for even minimal baking? No worries! Just fill these bunny boxes with any Easter treats on hand:

From: Pams party and practical tips

And last, but not least, I think this is going to be THE ONE for my Peeps: all four of us have a weakness for PB, and just go to heaven when it is combined with chocolate! Remember those peanut-butter mice cookies you can get at the bakeries around the Bay? Well, imagine - Peanut Butter Easter Eggs (WOOT!!):

From: Taste of Home
Are you drooling? I am! Too much information, I know....

Now, I know I said I didn't have any Easter Dinner recipes for you, but, seriously, it would pain me to see you hanging, so, here are two handy links to a great stash of all kinds of Easter Recipes:

  • Taste of Home - well organized; scroll down for different categories to choose from (Appetizers, Entrees, Main, Desserts, Breakfast, etc!)
  • Food Network - almost 60 recipes - everything from a light brunch to a decadent Easter Ham! The Asparagus Bruschetta looks amazing:-)

Who's got your back? Say it with me.... St. John's Mom ;-)


Marvelous Monday - Variations On A Theme Two

As promised, here is the second "collection" of cards I stamped last weekend:

These are the "Chocolate Bunny" series and, they make me hungry :-)

All card-stock, stamps and inks are Stampin' Up. As you can tell, I like bright, bold combinations for this time of year - makes everything feel so alive!

I think the top and bottom ones are my favourites - how about you?

Here's to another marvelous week, people!


Reminder - Gymboree Sale is Tomorrow (Monday, April 18th)

Reminder - Gymboree Sale is Tomorrow (Monday, April 18th):
Monday, April 18thSt.John's Lions Park Chalet

Lions Club Building
(behind ReMax Centre/Curling Club)
Time: 11am-6pm

For more information, visit Naomi's Little Nook online: FacebookBlog or contact Kim O'brien via email at

Sunday Snippets

Tidbits of information I picked up this week:

Got a household problem? Chances are, you do have the solution on hand :-) All of these great hints are from! Poking around their site is time well-spent!
  • Problem - Finding the Tape End
    • Solution - When you’ve finished using tape, wrap the end around a toothpick so you can easily locate it the next time. 
  • Problem - Buttons fall off easily
    • Solution - Secure them with a thin layer of clear nail polish to the center of the button to keep the thread from coming loose. 
  • Problem - Disinfecting Chopping Block
    • Solution - A slice of lemon rubbed over the surface of a chopping block will sanitize & disinfect it. 
  • Problem - lunch box odors
    • Solution - Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box, Tupperware or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight to deodorize it (going to try this one right away!).
  • Problem - Need non-breakable dishware for playdates/not enough snack bowls
    • Solution - Serve popcorn or other small snacks in coffee filters - they act as disposable bowls, so there’s no dish-washing ! Great idea for parties & play-dates!
  • Problem - Rug won't stay put
    • Solution - Keep a rug in place by sticking pieces of Velcro to the floor and to the bottom of the rug (another one I am trying pronto - I have a rug in the hall that never stays still!). 
  • Problem - Weeds - Spring IS coming!
    • Solution - Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks by spraying them with straight vinegar multiple times. (love this idea as it is pesticide free and obviously environmentally friendly!)


Recall - Tealight (Everyday Essentials Unscented 100pk)

The following recall notice is from HSW.

Please note that Loblaws operates Dominion Stores  and No Frills Stores here in NL. 

Event Highlights
Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) reports that it is voluntarily recalling Everyday Essentials™ Tea Lights Unscented 100 Pack because they may pose a safety hazard.  The flame from the tea lights can become very high, posing a fire and burn hazard.

See Product Details tab for specifics on the affected item. (unofficial product diagram)

The products are sold nationally at Loblaw corporate, franchise and affiliated independent stores. All potentially affected products have been removed from store shelves across the country.
Customers can return the product to any Loblaw retail store and its affiliated stores where the customer service desk will provide a full refund (including without receipt) or contact customer service at 1-800-296-2332 or


Small Changes Challenge - 14/50

Last weekend was simply glorious, wasn't it? So beautiful, and warm! A real promise of Spring! I was at the Park with my boys, and got it in my head that it was time to start walking outside regularly: a Small Changes Challenge! (Always thinking, see?:-)

So, Monday morning, I dutifully, and delightfully, took a 3 Km walk around my neighbourhood. The air was cool and crisp at first, but I quickly warmed up in the sun. I had a lovely walk - I was invigorated! This will be fantastic!, I thought, Easy-Peasy! Beautiful, beautiful Spring, here I am. I will walk every day! I'll add a 1/2 Km every day & be at 5 Km by the end of the week. Life is grand!

.... ummmmm, Rewind...

Yeah, that didn't last. Not on Tuesday anyways.... Rain! Wind! They were even threatening to forecast SNOW!

Then, Wednesday, well, heck, yeah, I walked - it was gorgeous out! And, 3.5 Km too - this would work after all!!!

Thursday - Toad has been home sick this week, and by the time DH arrived home, it was raining. I do NOT like Rain. Anything but Rain. The only thing worse than rain is Cold Rain. But tell myself it will be OK -  it will be sunny again tomorrow, at least for a bit....

And today....same deal as yesterday: I have a boy home sick and well, we live in Newfoundland - the weather gods be fickle here! At least I match the weather in temperament ;-) I will walk this evening if it is clear but since they are again forecasting a snow/rain mix, I probably will not.... making my score this week a  measly 2/5 (pathetic, yes).

And one final thought: if I complain my children are fickle, you now know where they get it ;-)

Have a good weekend!

Recall - Monkeez and Friends Rattles and Booties

The following recall notice is from HSW:

Event Highlights
Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report of a recall involving Monkeez and Friends Wrist Rattle and Baby Booties by Midwest-CBK Inc. The pom-pom on the top of the monkey head on both items can detach, when applying adequate tension on the pom-pom, and release small parts. This poses a choking hazard to children.

See HSW Product Details tab for specifics on the affected items.

Midwest-CBK Inc. received one report in the United States that a pom-pom from a wrist rattle detached into the mouth of a 6 month old.

Monkey Wrist rattles and booties were sold in Canada at various retail stores from June 2009 to March 2011.

Corrective Action:Consumers should immediately take the affected toys away from young children and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For more information, consumers may contact Midwest-CBK Inc. at 1-800-394-4225 extension 2771


What To Do This Weekend - Get in a Festive Easter Mood & Be Charitable

There are lots of fun, Easter-themed activities on the go this weekend, as well as at least two charitable events - take your pick :-)

Get into a Festive Easter mood:
  • take the kids to an Easter Story-Time Session at Michael Donovan Library tomorrow (Friday) at 3:30 pm - sit back and watch the awe on their faces as they listen. Don't forget to borrow a book or two before you leave!
  • Nothing beats a Spring Tea, Craft & Bake Sale! Visit the one at St. James United, 2-4 PM Saturday.
  • On Sunday, head over to the Geo Centre for their Environmentally Friendly Easter Celebration, and participate in Origami Workshops, Face Painting, and make Recycled Paper Seeded Bookmarks. From 2-4PM. Also, for that afternoon (12 to 5PM) there will be free admission to the main exhibits!

Events in support of great causes:

  • tonight, at 6:30, there is a Japan Fundraiser at the A.C. Hunter Library - contact information is in the calendar, or see post here for more details. 
  • Saturday (April 16th), visit Reach Out for Rylee, an online Facebook auction in support of this little boy with a rare medical condition. Proceeds will go towards expenses related to his treatment in the U.S. There are many wonderful items up for bids: here's a sneak-peek:

Gift certificate from My Chauffeur for a one hour drive ...
in a vintage 1938 Chevy!
A set of 12 birthday cards, plus a $10 gift certificate 
from Melissa's Regal

Easter Basket from Delicious Delights
Includes:a Bugs Bunny, 5 chocolate lolli's, a chocolate cup with jelly 
beans, 4 plastic eggs filled with chocolate/jelly beans/candies, AND 
2 pretzels dipped in caramel,chocolate & Easter candies!

One month's music lessons with Canadian Idol 
contestant Mark Day (4 lessons)

Have a great weekend!

For details on events in & around town, check my calendar regularly! It is on the bottom of every page, or click Events Calendar in the navigation bar :-) The Tely Go Guide is also a good source.