Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Carousel Theatre for Young People Relaxed Performance of Go, Dog. Go!

We’re pleased to announce that CTYP will be staging a special Relaxed Performance of Go, Dog. Go!on March 19 for people with autism or sensory and communication disorders. By adjusting some light and sound effects, providing flexible seating, and being more accommodating to noise and movement from the audience, a Relaxed Performance creates a more welcoming and accessible theatre environment for Metro Vancouver families.

Go, Dog. Go!
Adapted by Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz
Adapted from the book “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman
Music by Michael Koerner
Recommended for Ages 3-8 years and their families

Go, Dog. Go!
Directed by Carole Higgins
Features: Steffanie Davis, Dustin Freeland, Mike Gill, Alexandra Lainfiesta, Sereana Malani,
and Allan Zinyk.
Choreographer: Kayla Dunbar
Music Director: Clare Wyatt
Set & Props Designer: Shizuka Kai
Costume Designer: Stephanie Kong
Lighting Designer: Darren Boquist

Preview: February 27, 2016 at 11am,
Opening: February 28 at 2pm

Run: February 28-March 20, 2016
Check CTYP Website for Specific Show Times
Special All Ages Performances Available
School Group Matinees Available

Ticket prices:
                     Adults: $35
                     Seniors/Students: $29
                     Young People (Ages 3-18 years): $18

The Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island
1412 Cartwright St, Vancouver BC

Box Office: or 604-685-6217

Monday, February 1, 2016

“It’s Fancy to Be _____ ” by Jennifer Dewing

Imagine the delight and surprise when my daughter Lily discovered that I had gotten her a new book that featured HER as the star character. In “It’s Fancy to Be Lily” by Jennifer Dewing and Illustrated by Yusef Doganay, Lily is a jet setter that travels from London to Paris to Rio de Janero, modelling fashion, integrating in the culture and experiencing what it’s like to be a cultured traveller! My daughter Lily is just learning to read, and can recognize many words (including her own name) and she absolutely loved participating in reading her own personal story.

This highly entertaining book can also build self-esteem by celebrating the uniqueness of each child – in this case, the uniqueness of my Lily. After we read it together, my Lily turned the idea of the book into a game where she would dress up in an outfit that was similar to each outfit the Lily of the book wore when she visited each city. We particularly loved designing a “crown” to mimic the Egyptian portion of the book, upon where Lily visits Ancient Egypt and dresses up like Cleopatra!

The arrival of Lily’s personalized “I See Me” book came at perfect timing, as we as a family love to read and what a better time to celebrate it than in time for Family Literacy Day on January 27, 2016.

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.

It is widely known that if you read to your child on a regular basis, you will develop a child that has a love for reading as well. You too can foster a love of literacy in your family, perhaps by introducing the following ideas into your family time:

• Reading traditions, such as a special holiday book every year or a birthday book
• Forming a book club with your children, where each book that is read earns a sticker. After a certain amount of stickers are gained, perhaps there is a reward
• Introducing your child to the fantastic world of your local public library, and allowing your child to borrow books of their interests. I know my daughter loves that she has her own personal library card
• Traditional story time at the same time each day, so to not only introduce a love of reading, but a feeling of routine into your child’s life.
Visit for more information on Family Literacy Day 2016

Melissa Collins is a coffee-loving, lip gloss collecting mother of two little ladies. When she’s not cleaning up cheerios and blogging about the humour in parenting, you can find her curled up in her hammock with a good book. Check her out at

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Story Time: Family Literacy Events January 27th

Family Literacy Day in Canada is held annually on January 27, 2016 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help parents improve their skills as well. Family Literacy Day was initiated by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999.

Interested in events in your community? Check out these Family Literacy events taken place in your local library.

January 23, 2016 10am
Abbotsford Literacy Matters: 32270 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford
Literacy Matters Abbotsford is holding their 5th annual Community Literacy Challenge, “Read What You Love”. It will run from January 24 – February 13, 2015. The kick off for this event will be a free pancake breakfast January 23 hosted by Clearbrook Fire Hall. Breakfast participants are invited to the 10th Annual Family Literacy Day at the Clearbrook Library and REACH after breakfast

January 23, 2016 11am
Mission Literacy in Motion: 7466 Welton Street, Mission
Join us at our Annual Literacy Fair with entertainment, magician, face painting, dancing, stories, games, community information and food: cake, pizza, and coffee.

January 25, 2016 11am
Victoria Oak Bay Branch: 1442 Monterey Ave.Victoria
Create Your Own Felt Story For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Join us for a storytime and make a simple felt story to take home. Supplies provided. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

January 25, 2016 6pm
New Westminster Public Library: 716 6th Avenue, New Westminster
3rd Annual Family Literacy Night! Fun games and activities for all ages, as well as great prizes to be won. This is a free event with no registration required.

January 25, 2016 6pm
Port Coquitlam Public Library: 716 6th Avenue, New Westminster
3rd Annual Family Literacy Night! Fun games and activities for all ages, as well as great prizes to be won. This is a free event with no registration required.

January 27, 2016 All Day
Langley Willowbrook-Muriel Arnason: 130-20338 65 Avenue Langley
Celebrate Family Literacy day! Browse our displays, enter to win a family book basket and enjoy refreshments while quantities last.

January 27, 2016 9am
Brentwood Park: 1455 Delta Avenue, Burnaby
Participate in a readathon, literacy games throughout the day, and guest readers

January 27, 2016 9am
North Vancouver City Library: 120 14th Street West, North Vancouver
All Day Drop In Drop by the Children’s Department with your family to get inspiration for activities you can do at home. We’ll have fun activities centres set up throughout the department including a Lego Centre, and many many more!

January 27, 2016 3pm
North Vancouver District Public Library: Capilano Branch 3045 Highland Blvd, North Vancouver
Special storytime in celebration of Family Literacy Day. There will be storytelling, a puppet show, and other fun literacy-related activities to help celebrate this day. Perfect for the family and all ages are welcome!

January 27, 2016 3:45pm-4:30pm
Port Coquitlam Terry Fox: 2470 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam
Celebrate Family Day with an afternoon of family fun as we play a variety of games. Prizes will be awarded. All are welcome.

January 27, 2016 5pm
Squamish Public Library: 37907 2nd Ave, Squamish
Make and Take: Your Family Storybook Colour, write, take photos, use modeling clay to create a unique family storybook. Adults must accompany children. Check our website for more info.

January 30, 2016 11am
Surrey Guildford Town Centre, Centre Court
A fun, family-oriented event featuring stellar performers: rockin’ children’s entertainer Tony Prophet, African Stages storyteller Comfort Ero, storytelling magic by Silly Suzie — plus a special appearance from Walter & Jazzy! Join us for face-painting, prizes, and more free, family fun.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fresh, Frozen or Canned can all be Healthy Choices

With the cost of fresh vegetables and fruits on the rise there is a terrible assumption that canned and frozen are inferior to fresh fruits and veggies in both taste and nutrition.

Fresh, frozen or canned can all be healthy choices and here’s why:

We live in, arguably, the best country in the world; Canada, home to majestic landscapes, multiculturalism and the friendliest people, eh? But Canada is also known for…winter. December to March brings the coldest temperatures making it difficult to grow fresh fruits and veggies, even for the mildest parts of BC. In the middle of February, when I am longing for juicy, ripe peaches I skip the produce aisle and head straight to the canned section in the grocery store. I know the canned variety of peaches (packed in water or juice) will satisfy my craving far better than any peach flown in from a country, far, far away. Likewise, I love making stews, curries and lasagnas during the winter months and for these nothing beats canned tomatoes (low sodium). They’re cheap and easy to use so when they go on sale, I buy a case.

Canned and frozen fruits and veggies are picked at their prime, locking in their flavour and nutrients. Better yet, they are often cheaper than the fresh variety especially if the fresh variety is flown in from around the globe. Lastly, they last! When you pick up a bag of frozen blueberries you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll eat them before they go bad. Frozen and canned fruits and veggies can last up to one year (be sure to check the expiry date). So as we enter the coldest months, consider these tips and tricks to use more frozen and canned fruits and veggies; another way to help you meet Canada’s Food Guide recommended daily servings.

Shopping Tips

  • Scan your local flyers for sales to get the best price on canned and frozen fruits and veggies
  • Look on the package for “Product of Canada”
  • Buy canned vegetables that have less than 15% Daily Value(%DV)  for sodium
  • Buy canned fruit that is packed in water or juice versus syrup

How to use Canned & Frozen Veggies

  • Add frozen peas to your favourite macaroni and cheese, curry or risotto recipes
  • Keep a frozen veggie mix on hand to bump up the nutrition value of casseroles, pastas and soups
  • Add rinsed canned corn to chili, salads or burritos
  • Slice canned artichokes onto your favourite homemade pizza

How to Use Canned & Frozen Fruits

  • Make a winter fruit salad using canned peaches, pears and mandarins with frozen cherries
  • Add any of your favourite canned or frozen fruit to your morning smoothie
  • Make a batch of homemade bran muffins with frozen blueberries or strawberries
  • Making frozen and canned produce a regular part of meals and snacks is a great way to stay healthy all year long.

Natalie Laframboise. Natalie supports healthy eating policy and programs in her role at the Ministry of Health as the Senior Policy Analyst. When she is not at work, Natalie is also completing a master’s degree in foods and nutrition.

See more healthy eating tips at:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Vitamin D: What you Need to Know

The dark and dreary days of winter can make you and your children feel less than stellar at times.
You may attribute your low energy and lackluster drive to the cold, dark days; however, there is often a medical reason behind these symptoms, and it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD, in short, is a condition that affects people psychologically when they do not receive enough natural light. The short, dark winter days of the great white north makes Canadians more at risk of the disorder, and symptoms include decreased energy, sadness and anxiety, and difficulty concentrating, among other symptoms.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution that can greatly reduce the severity of these symptoms.
The simple answer is to increase your vitamin D intake. According to Dr. Samantha Kimball, Scientific Advisor for the Vitamin D Society, vitamin D levels in the body fluctuate with the seasons – they tend to be higher in Spring and Summer, and lower in Fall and Winter.  Consequently, low levels vitamin D match periods of depression in SAD patients.

And although SAD is a complex condition with many contributing factors, there is strong evidence that vitamin D can help fight the symptoms of SAD. Vitamin D is naturally generated in the body when we are exposed to sunlight and helps to reduce inflammation, which is linked to depression. When you take a Vitamin D supplement, it mimics the natural production, and thus helps to reduce SAD’s symptoms. 

Overall, a daily supplement of Vitamin D can help to maintain a healthy immune system, and positively affect mood by influencing areas of the brain where happiness and other moods are regulated. Vitamin D also helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which can mean healthier sleep patterns.

For Canadians looking to decrease their chances of developing SAD, Dr. Kimball, and the Vitamin D Society recommend a daily supplementation of 4,000 IU or more for adults. You can get your Vitamin D in capsule or liquid form.

It’s also important to remember that due to the complexity of SAD etiology, not everyone will respond to vitamin D treatment. The Vitamin D Society urges all Canadians to have their vitamin D levels checked by their physicians through a simple blood test to ensure they aren’t deficient.

To learn more about vitamin D please visit

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

UBT Product Review: Tubby Table

My oldest, Mattias, is always eager to rip open any box he finds that might contain a new toy! He was insistent to open the Tubby Table right away! We took out all of the parts, it was pretty easy to put together and got it ready for bath time! The table can be adjusted for different heights, which is great when your little ones are just getting used to sitting in the bath! We put it to the lowest setting and my boys were still able to play with it, but settled on it being a bit taller for more comfort!

My bathtub is every parent’s worst nightmare. The boys have squirting bath toys, cups and bowls, cars, action figures and plastic animals! They love nothing more than filling the cups up with water and putting them on the edge of the tub. Well you can imagine how much water ends up on the floor!

Tubby Table to the rescue! The Tubby Table fit nicely in the middle and the boys could play on either side. The cups were the biggest hit with my two-year-old, Markus, as he filled them up and put them on the space in the middle of the table, instead of the edge of the tub (phew!), He was also keen to take all four of them out and match them up to their shapes on the table! I love the fine motor-skills aspect of this!

Mattias liked the “free play” aspect of the table most. My boys love using their imagination and playing with all of their animals and action figures in the tub. There was lots of room on the table to do this, without using the edge of the tub and getting lots of water on the floor! And the

Tubby Table even has add-on activity mats to encourage free-play! We got the racecars and they were instantly zooming on the walls and across the table! Anything that encourages free-play and imagination is a hit with both of them

I love that it folds up for easier storage because big toys can often be a pain to store, but it fit under the counter nicely! But I highly doubt it will get put away anytime soon, when I say its “bathtime” there is a race up the stairs to start playing! I was a bit worried that it would not hold up to the roughness of my four year old. But I was pleasantly surprised! The suction cup on the bottom holds on quite well, just be sure to attach it to a dry tub or it will stick, but slide all over the tub!

Lindsay is a wife, a mom to two little boys, a soccer player, a lifetime traveler and a lover of learning. Lindsay resides in Langley and is currently searching out new ways to enjoy every minute she can with her family, while balancing the pressures of living in our fast-paced society. Check out Lindsay’s blog at