Friday, August 28, 2015

In the City: Review of Fiona’s Playdate Café

I’m a Fraser Valley Mom, residing with my hubby and my littles in Langley. Our days are made up of visits to the local community centre tot-romps, spray parks and swing sets on sunny days, and treks up to the local bakery for a cookie. Once in a while we would embark on the long but worthwhile drive out to Port Coquitlam to visit the novel Kinder Café. Never heard of it? It was an ingenious idea from a husband and wife team to create a play space for kids that conjoined onto a coffee shop. Parents come in, drink lattes and chat with friends, while kids play safely and interactively in a fantastic space that included a bouncy castle and a bubble machine, among other fun stuff. Fun for kids and a small break for mom and dad = winning.

But then, all of a sudden, the Kinder Café closed down. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Trust me, having my toddler and preschooler run amok in a busy Tim Hortons while the elderly patrons cluck their tongues at me DOES NOT have the same appeal as the Kinder Café. And might I mention that Tim Hortons doesn’t have a bouncy castle? And might I ALSO mention that moms need coffee the way a car needs gasoline? No coffee/gasoline – NO FUNCTION. What was I going to do?

But then suddenly one day, while I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I saw a chat string on a local baby swap site saying that a new version of the Kinder Café had opened practically in my back yard! To say I was excited is an understatement – on my next day off, I packed up the littles and off we went to this new play café – called Fiona’s Playdate Cafe, located at 104 -6820 188th Street in the Clayton area of Surrey.


Let me start off by saying that this place ROCKS. Even though the facility isn’t quite as large as the Kinder Café, nor does it have as many amenities (cue my daughter asking me “Mommy, where’s the bouncy castle?”), it has anything your little one might want. Fiona’s Playdate Café was a HUGE HIT with my girls. And might I add, what an amazing location – right smack dab in the middle of a demographic where a huge portion of the residents are moms and dads with small kids.

Admission is reasonable - $5.50 per child, and crawling babies are free. The also offer the following:
a baby play area, library nook, chalk wall and climbing structures
a very reasonably priced food menu, including Panini’s, kids meals, salads and specialty coffees
Private event options for birthday parties, baby showers and other special events
Registered programs such as mom and baby yoga, stroller fit, family story time and parenting ____classes from Miss Behaviour, a local parenting coach and consultant.
Plus much more!

My littles and I spent about 2 hours at Fiona’s Playdate café, upon which I was able to have some fun with my girls in a safe and interactive environment, as well as enjoy a hot cup of coffee and read some of my book. In my mothering opinion, that is a successful day!

I’d highly recommend visiting Fiona’s Playdate Café, and I only anticipate it’s going to get busier as the colder months roll in.Visit www.fionasplaydatecafe.ca or call 604-372-3364 for more information.

Come Celebrate their Grand Opening Event September 4th, 5th, 6th, 2015

"Melissa Collins is a coffee loving, lip gloss collecting, mommy blogging mother of 2 little ladies. When she's not busy cleaning up Cheerios and writing about the honest humor in parenting, she can most likely be found curled up in her hammock with a good book. Check out her adventures at www.mellysmommymanual.com

Toy's 'R Us: Who Will the Next CPO Be?

Testing and reviewing the hottest new toys and games, participating in media appearances across the country and receiving toy deliveries…it’s all in a day’s work for Toys“R”Us, Canada’s Chief Play Officer (CPO). With the search for the next CPO kicking off today, landing this dream job with Canada’s leading dedicated toy retailer will soon become a reality for one amazing kid. 

The CPO’s responsibilities will include participating in toy training sessions, testing the most sought after toys throughout the year and serving as a Toys“R”Us, Canada spokesperson. Other duties include sharing the latest toy trends through online and promotional videos, attending charitable events and riding on the Toys“R”Us float in the Santa Claus Parades.

The search for the newest CPO comes as Toys“R”Us, Canada’s current Chief Play Officer, Alex Thorne, prepares to retire, so he can focus on high school. Thorne became the third CPO in Canada in August 2013, at the age of 11. His role will continue until December, when he will share his picks for the hot holiday toys of the season. 

“Being the Chief Play Officer has been awesome,” said Thorne. “I’ve had the chance to play with amazing toys and games, as well as travel across Canada sharing my top toy picks for every season. I’ve had so much fun over the last two years and can’t wait to show the new CPO what it’s like to have the coolest job in Canada.” 

Kids from across Canada are encouraged to apply with the help and consent of a parent or guardian, by visiting www.toysrus.ca/cposearch and submitting a short video showcasing why they should be Toys“R”Us, Canada’s next Chief Play Officer. In the video, kids are asked to talk about why they are passionate about toys and highlight their favourite toy, gadget or game. Applicants should be between the ages of 11 to 13 years old, comfortable on camera, confident, well spoken, energetic and most importantly, have fun playing with toys. All eligible videos will be evaluated based on originality, creativity and enthusiasm. To be considered, subject to the CPO search rules and regulations, entries must be submitted before 11:59pm EST on October 4, 2015 at www.toysrus.ca/cposearch. 

Finalists will be chosen to participate in an interview and audition with a panel of judges. The winner will be awarded a one‐year contract as Toys“R”Us, Canada’s Chief Play Officer. For more details and to view the official rules and regulations, please visit www.toysrus.ca/cposearch.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cineplex Canada Deals: Celebrate the Last Week of Summer


Head into your local Cineplex theatre and you can enjoy Tuesday pricing all next week between August 31 and September 4, 2015. This deal will apply to all films and all experiences including 3D, AVX, IMAX, VIP and D-BOX! The SCENE Tuesday 10% discount will also be applied on all of these days.

Cinplex website shows that all movies for next week at various theatres in BC are offering Tuesday prices all week. This is a great way to save on a normally very expensive trip to the movies and check out some of the newest releases!

This offer is valid between August 31 and September 4, 2015 at participating Cineplex Canada theatres.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LEGOLAND: Canada’s Destination for Family Fun

This summer, while visiting family in the Greater Toronto Area, I got to experience Canada’s LEGOLAND for the first time, with my two sons. Knowing my brother (a huge fan of Lego as a child) would be leading the tour, I anticipated a truly memorable day for my 18-month old toddler and 10-year old.

The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is located in the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre where much to my delight, we found convenient free parking. As every parent knows, this is a huge plus when you have a toddler in a stroller.

The sunshine-bright yellow exterior and recognizable LEGO characters immediately drew my boys into the centre. As soon as we entered the complex, we were greeted by a friendly LEGOLAND staff member who took us on a five-minute LEGO Factory Tour. At the end of the tour, we received a LEGO block as a souvenir, which was a nice surprise. 
 


At MINILAND, we saw LEGO replicas of Canada’s historic attractions including the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, the Air Canada Centre, Parliament Buildings, and Rogers Centre

We then entered an area providing numerous activity stations. My toddler had a fun time in the LEGO Construction Site - the perfect spot for active toddlers on the go! Picture squishy-soft, large LEGO blocks that can be thrown; sat on, and jumped on. What’s not to love? 

My older son gravitated towards the LEGO Racers: Build & Test. In this area, older children got to build a vehicle and test it out. Competing with other children his age, my son was all smiles as he raced down the ramp. What’s not to love?


The LEGO Master Builder Academy was the next attraction to immediately catch the attention of my older son, who is quite the expert when it comes to LEGO construction. He eagerly participated in a 30-minute class lead by an instructor, who provided detailed instruction on building a LEGO project from start to finish. Though the children ranged in age, the instructor made sure everyone was having fun, while creating their new project.

My toddler and I explored the LEGO Friends & DUPLO Village, which included a sitting area as well as sections for microphone-building (with Karaoke), and LEGO cupcake creations. While we toured the LEGO Friends area (which seemed to be a hit with little girls), my brother took my older son to LEGOLAND’S main attraction, Merlin’s Apprentice - which turned out to be an “epic” pedal ride!

We concluded our visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre with a stop at the on-site cafe where we grabbed a few much-needed snacks and drinks. I was happy to know we had food so accessible. With two growing boys, you just never know when someone is going to be hungry.

The exit from the centre led us to the LEGO store where we were all fascinated (especially my 30-something brother) to see the smorgasbord of new LEGO building kits. My older son was quick to add several kits to his birthday wish list. Knowing his birthday was coming up in a few weeks added to the excitement.  

Parents vacationing in the Greater Toronto Area would be wise to include a day or two at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Vaughn. After our incredible day, both of my sons fell asleep in the car on the way back to Uncle’s house. As a parent, that is always a sure sign how much fun they had! 




Monday, August 17, 2015

Tooth Fairy gets a Raise

The Tooth Fairy has officially revealed the going rate for a baby tooth in Canada. According to a Visa Canada survey released today*, Canadian children under the age of 13 will receive an average of $3.44 per tooth under their pillows, a 23 per cent increase from last year's Tooth Fairy payout of $2.80 per tooth. The survey, conducted separately in the United States during the same period, revealed the American Tooth Fairy will leave an average of $3.19 USD per tooth, a decrease of 6 per cent from the 2014 average.
Baby teeth are a hot commodity for Canadian kids. With a price tag of $68.80 for a full set of 20 baby teeth, piggy banks across the country are poised to profit. While some lucky kids (5 per cent) will receive more than $20 per tooth, 30 per cent of survey respondents indicate that their kids can anticipate a toonie under their pillow. Fifteen per cent of kids can expect at least five dollars, and 12 per cent of children will receive less than a loonie.

About the Survey: 
*The survey results are based on 2,003 telephone interviews conducted nationally of parents with children 13 years and younger from June 3 to June 18, 2015, in cooperation with Research House National Telephone Omnibus.

For more information, visit corporate.visa.com and @VisaNewsCA

Saturday, August 15, 2015

7 Fun Back-to-School Supplies

The back-to-school season can be exciting, stressful, and everything in between. While the kids might not be excited to go back while the weather is still nice here’s a list of seven fun, useful back-to-school supplies that may coax them back to the books. 

Herschel Settlement Backpacks 
The Settlement Backpack is a practical backpack that pairs vintage style with modern the design. Features durable plastic zippers and an internal media pocket. 100% polyester
Available at: Dandelion Kids 





Crayon Rocks 
The best coloring tool for young children. These non-toxic, natural soy wax crayons are made from USA-grown soybeans and coloured with natural mineral powders. Not for children under 3 years.





Me to We Pencil Pouch
Every purchase of a Me to We product makes a positive impact on the world by giving a gift in a Free The Children community overseas, like clean water, school supplies and healthy meals.  Two assorted pencil pouch designs available. Top zipper closure, Large capacity pencil pouch. 
Available at: Staples

Crayola Fabric Markers
Kids can get creative and bring out their inner artist when they color with Crayola Fabric Markers. With these markers, artists can personalize fabric items in 10 different colors. They can customize T-shirts, pants, hats and scarves with your own individual art and make clothes that are one of a kind.
Available at: WalmartStaples

LunchBots Uno Lunchbox 
This stainless steel food containers are great lunchtime for packing a sandwich, sushi, burrito—or their favourite meals to go. Their retro look makes food fun and appetizing, encouraging even finicky, younger eaters to finish all their lunch. 
Available at: LussobabyDandelion Kids 



Smencils 
Scented pencils that are made from 100% recycled newspapers. Each Smencil is a No.2 graphite pencil and is packaged in its own recyclable plastic freshness tube that includes a collectible character top cap! Available in 10 fun, yummy favours. 
Available at: AdvantEdge Fundraising 





Homework Organizer Pad 
Help your child keep everything organized with this handy to-do list. Organized by subject, the assignment and the day it is due. For younger kids help them by completing the checklist for them, but as they get older they can start to track their own homework assignments.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Product Review: Minimoc

I can proudly say that currently the only shoes my 11 month old son wears are the incredibly soft soled moccasins by a company called Minimoc.  I first discovered this brand over a year ago and bought my son his first pair while he was still nestled warmly within my stomach.

Moccasins historically were the footwear choice of many indigenous people of North America as it allowed them to feel the earth beneath them. The etymology of moccasins comes from the Algonquian language Powhatan word ‘makasin’ and the Proto-Algonquian word ‘maxkeseni’, meaning shoe.  Social media sites such as Pinterest along with a strong celebrity interest has brought moccasins into the spotlight in recent years as a must have staple in any child’s wardrobe.

Minimoc moccasins, owned by the power couple Amanda and Jeff, was born out of the desire to provide custom made, hand crafted gifts to the babies being born to their friends. Jeff made handmade leather wallets for his groomsmen when he and Amanda got married and with the remaining remnants Amanda made her first pair of infant moccasins. After gifting the handmade moccasins to a couple newborns she started to receive orders on the stylish fashion forward footwear and the business quickly took off from there.

Minimoc moccasins are made with durable; hand inspected ethically sourced leather in various colors. Minimoc strives to ensure that all materials purchased come from suppliers with reputable tanneries who treat their employees well so you can feel confident about supporting this company. As the moccasins are made with natural leathers, each little pair of soft soled goodness sent out is unique in its own way with varying textures, depth of color and personality. I have personally tried all variables of footwear when it comes to covering my son’s feet; hard soled, soft soled, sandal, sneaker, loafer, velcro, zipper, slip on, lace, high end, low end and anything and everything in between. When it comes to footwear nothing has quite compared to the quality, craftsmanship, comfort and variety that Minimoc moccasins offers. You slip them on and they stay on….yes these actually stay put. Every other shoe I have tried to put on my son he has some way or another found a way to get one or both off. With Minimoc moccasins he doesn’t even attempt to take them off which I personally contribute to the comfort of the moccasins and that is allows the foot to move about freely and more natural rather than with a constricted hard shoe form.
When it comes to a child’s wardrobe moccasins just mesh well with everything so easily and effortlessly whether you are dressing a boy, girl, infant or toddler.  With that being said Minimoc is without a doubt a brand you need to have in your child’s wardrobe. Pops of vibrant colors, soft suede’s, pastels, metallic’s, and neutrals; you are sure to find something for everyone. With a large variety ranging from ‘Firefly’ a bright neon green to ‘Stallion’ a must have black, to ‘Gazelle’ a beautiful gender neutral you will find yourself in love with the versatility and options of Minimoc moccasins.

Angel Fisher - Scenic photographer, professional makeup artist, writer, and lifestyle blogger. Mother of 11 month old son Valentino Ace, a rambunctious, sweet dare devil who is an enthusiast of music and art. www.angelfisherphotography.com www.ohheyitsmeagain.wordpress.com

Monday, August 10, 2015

Have the Time to Volunteer: Bully Canada







BullyingCanada is a nationally registered anti-bullying charity. Is currently seeking volunteers from across Canada to assist our organization.

We provide a 24/7 support line for youth, a national scholarship program as well as school / workplace bullying prevention programming.

BullyingCanada is currently seeking volunteers to assist with the following task:
(All to be done from home, with equipment provided by BullyingCanada)

  • Door to door fundraising in their community
  • Telemarketing to solicit for donations (to be done from home).
  • Data entry volunteers
  • Volunteers with the appropriate background to assist with the 24/7 support line.
  • Both English, French and Bilingual volunteers are welcome

If you would like more information, or to sign up please forward your resume via email: VolunteerToday@BullyingCanada.ca or the Volunteer Information Line: (866) 782-1307