Twinkle, Twinkle

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Well they are certainly not “little” stars, but they are not exactly fully grown, so they get to be called ‘Tween Stars, for now.

Make no mistake about it though, these actors who appear in Disney and Nickelodeon television productions – despite their ages – are pros.

That is why I am very happy to tell you I am taking my very own ‘tweens to see ‘Tween Stars Live and I have a promo code so you can take your ‘tweens, too.

Here are some more details.

A Non-Stop, Fun, Family, Star-Studded Variety Show and Concert
Featuring the Biggest Stars on Disney & Nickelodeon LIVE!

This highly interactive, ‘Up Close and Personal’, family variety show features Improvisation, Comedy, Tween Star Musical Performances, Games, Totally Tween Trivia, and an always unpredictable, in-audience, Q & A Session with The Stars!

There are prizes, surprises, secrets, and Tween Stars interaction both on-stage, and in the audience, throughout the show. You might have a chance
to act out scenes on-stage with the Tween Stars too!

Get Up Close and Personal with the Tween Stars. Following The Show, hang out with the stars, get their autographs and take pictures with each one of them! A limited number of VIP tickets will be available and a show ticket is required in order to purchase a VIP Autograph & Photo Session ticket. Parents do not need a ticket to attend the VIP Autograph & Photo Session. This event always sells out!

Tween Stars Live now in Canada! 10% off TICKETS!!!! Promo code TSLCan15 http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11988&dealid=1931 @usfg

We have very high expectations. My Things are really looking forward to seeing “Dez” and when I told them about this opportunity they both had the exact same reaction upon seeing a photo of the featured Tween Stars. Can you guess what they exclaimed?

“GIBBYYYY!”

Yup. Noah Munck will probably hear that a lot on this tour.

There are four shows left in Atlantic Canada.

I hope you go and I hope it’s great. Calum Worthy makes me laugh every single time I see him. I am sure he’ll be great.

I’ll be writing about our experience after we see the show this weekend in Halifax at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

*Promo code is good for all remaining shows in Atlantic** Canada

**St. John’s, NL (May 16) – Halifax, NS (May 17)

Moncton, NB (May 30) – Fredericton, NB (May 31)

***As you know, I don’t typically promote specific events, but this seemed a very good fit for my Things, so I am once again stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new.

Image source.

Luke and Leia and Blogs – Oh My!

As promised, here are this year’s May the 4th (Be With You) treats!

What do you think?

Did you celebrate Star Wars Day?

Tell me all about it!

Now … umm … not to worry you or anything … but …

Beware the “Revenge of the 5th”!

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*Source.

** Happy Cinco de Mayo, too! Imagine Cinco de Mayo falling on Taco Tuesday – so fun!

This Is Not The Post You Are Looking for.

Don’t worry, though, I know how to get you there.

I am helpful, like that.

First though, I need to say something and I really hope you can hear me, because I mean it from the bottom of my, ever loving, geeky, little heart.

Okay?

Ready?

Here it is.

I never find your lack of faith disturbing.

You are all such an amazing support.

Thank you!

Now quick, before the “Revenge of the 5th” (Or is it “Revenge of the Sixth”? I’m still undecided.*) head over to Life in Pleasantville and read my very first post.

*But I do have this handy funny ha-ha so let’s just go with “Revenge of the 5th”.

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**Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see what’s new at Chez Peady, though, because of course we celebrated today!

Earth Day Play Dates Require Dirt.

It has been a rainy 24 hours or so, but fortunately the sun really seems like it is trying to shine. No actual sunshine, as of yet, of course, but the grey skies overhead are nice and bright.

I am sitting here silently cheering it on.

Inside my head? Oh, inside I am full on “Rah! Rah! Siss boom bah!”ing, but Thing 2 has a friend over and I don’t want to appear any quirkier (which, if I’m being honest, is *pretty* quirky) than usual, so I am giving them some space right now.

Kids need time to just be. They are making their own plans as they go along and there were murmurings of “fort” not too long ago, so frankly, I am curious to see what they come up with.

I’m risky like that.

In a little while I’ll offer snacks and drinks and they’ll happily chat while they eat together. It’s really sweet to hear their breathless giggles (So much giggling!) and to see the way they enjoy each others company. It’s a rare treat to have a playdate all afternoon on a Wednesday. What luck to have a PD Day smack-dab in the middle of the week!

These are the days I cherish. I am so thankful I get to be here today.

You know what else I am thankful for?

Dirt!

Yes. Dirt.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.  Margaret Atwood

So, after the kiddos have a snack, we are going to plant some seeds. Yay!

Now, I just have to find the old fashioned flower mix seeds I have had hanging around this place forever.

Where did I put them to keep them safe?

(Well isn’t that the best phrase to hear when you need something immediately? “Somewhere safe” loosely translates into, “You will never see again. Muah ha ha ha!”)

Maybe my items are a tad more sinister than yours, but yeah, that’s pretty accurate, I’d say.

Found ’em!

I’ll be back. *pfft* As if you’d know I ever left! *winks*

❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀•❁•❀

I’m back!

Did you miss me?

Silly!

The girls had so much fun today and they were very enthusiastic to plant some seeds.

First, though, they had to decorate their little flowerpots. So we dug out the Sharpies and the petit artistes had fun coming up with design ideas.

Is there anything more wonderful than an enthusiastic kid? I think not. I just love ’em!

Instead of me listing everything they did, let me show you.

So that was my Earth Day.

How was yours?

Oooh! Just one more thing. I am pretty sure that these little giggling girls made the sun come out. Yes. By the end of the playdate the sky was turning blue and the sun was indeed shining.

Happy Earth Day!

 

The Night Before The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Nachos (Or How New Traditions Begin)

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Enthusiasm. Don’t you just love it?

One of the best things about being an enthusiastic person is that when you have offspring they often take on this trait.

I know because I have two kids and even though, individually, they’re as unique as little snowflakes, they share my* enthusiasm.

It’s a lot more fun to be enthusiastic when you have other enthusiastic people around you. Wouldn’t you agree?

 

I was in a mall today.

I don’t generally go to malls, ever, actually, but Thing 2 made a special request to go to the mall to buy Christmas gifts for her family, this morning, and well, when a little enthusiastic elf asks for help in elf matters, you just smile and say, “Sure!”, with enthusiasm**.

So, after the grown-ups were caffeinated, we headed out to our local mall to help the Things do a bit of shopping. We went for the divide and conquer approach, whereby the parents each take a Thing and help him or her to find what he or she needs and then meet up to trade Things and do it all over again. It works well for us. It was fun. The mall wasn’t very crowded and the kids were in great I-don’t-care-what-we-do-we’re-not-in-school moods.

We took our time and helped each Thing find the gifts that fit the bill. This was easy for one and difficult for the other. Thing 2 is decisive and goal oriented and was seriously like an elf on a very enthusiastic mission. Thing 1 had a hard time, but mostly because he really wanted to get something special and he wanted to stick to his reasonable budget.

Even though there were no fewer than three fancy schmancy easy-just-buy-whatever-sparkly-diamond-places, he just wouldn’t stray from his logical path. Go figure! Personalities come out in the most interesting ways, sometimes, don’t they?

Anyway, eventually, everyone got what they needed and I was even able to do a bit of secret elfing with Thing 2 and her enthusiasm in tow.

We ended our mall adventure with a teensy stop into the Apple Store (to ogle things we would not buy) and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (just to inhale). We enjoyed the seasonal red shirts the staff were wearing at the Apple Store – though the expendable joke was not lost on us.

Then we all hopped back into the car, which was parked in the same spot*** we always seem to get at this mall, and took ourselves out to a late lunch. We had worked up quite an appetite walking in circles and trying to dodge each other in the mall. It’s a great place to play super-spy, by the way, in case any of you were wondering.

Lunch was delicious. Burgers and fries and root beer****. Hot and fresh and yum! A real treat!

We arrived home just in time for the carb coma to hit, so the kiddos went to their separate corners and Daddy-O and I crashed into a delightful nap. I am a terrible napper, generally speaking, but with fighting the plague and all the running around, I guess I was due for a good one. Oh so dreamy! I guess Daddy-O is the Ross to my Joey, because I seriously can’t ever nap. Thing 2 can even recount stories of my escaping naps when she was teeny. I’m just no good at napping.

I awoke refreshed and with a newfound mission in mind. I simply had to get something into the mail and nothing was going to stop me.

(You should know I have a stockpile of very thoughtful gifts sitting neatly on a chair in my bedroom. I buy these things with every intention to get them sent out to their intended recipients asap, but alas, life happens and there they sit. Am I the only one? Tell me I am not the only one!)

So, I snipped school photos of the Things, wrote out a speedy holiday greeting, located the item and channelled my inner Grammy***** and packaged that baby into a teeny size that really should have been impossible to fit into a standard 8×10 Canada Post parcel envelope, but lo and behold it fit! (Dude at the post office was impressed. I know he was. He just expresses himself differently than I do.) Into the mail it went and we will have a new tradition to add to our already diverse Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, ChrismukkahLa Befana, 12th Night mix because when that parcel arrives it will be a kind of miracle. Plus I know the recipient will laugh and be happy and that’s all that matters really.

When I arrived home, my Things had the TV paused for me (there was a brand new Austin & Ally episode) and were waiting (and waiting and waiting) while I was out making miracles happen and grabbing a few ingredients at the grocery store (Chipits were on sale. W00t!). The plan was to make a simple snacky supper, since we had had a late lunch.

We decided on nachos, but not just any old nachos would do. No sir-ee!

We had to have nachos worthy of a new tradition.

I give you, “The Night Before The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Nachos”.

They were delicious and I can guarantee my little enthusiastic, creature of habit, elf-y, Things will be reminding me next December 22 that we have to make them again.

We are only two sleeps away from Christmas and we still have plenty to do, but you know what? We are all being very chill about the whole thing. There really is no need to panic.

What traditions have emerged in your family over the years that seem so logical, but may be completely unique to you?

What’s your go-to dinner when the hour is getting late?

How are your Holidays going?

 

 

 

 

 

*Daddy-O is enthusiastic too, but he can claim them on his own blog!

**See how well that works out?

***Of course when you go the mall only a handful of times all year, selective recall is strong.

****Guess where we had lunch!

*****Grammy is my Mummy. She could pack an elephant in a matchbox and ship it to Istanbul and it would never escape because the sheer amount of tape used would stand up to anything the world might throw at it.

Source: http://ca.eonline.com/news/605724/weird-holiday-traditions-you-thought-were-normal-but-prove-your-family-is-totally-nuts

MYO Pizza: KISS Edition

We have had a lot of event filled weekends this Fall and, as a result, have fallen out of our Friday Family Fun Night rituals.

Last weekend we were away from home (again!) and when we arrived home on Monday after an exhausting drive on a very foggy, driving snowy, blowing snowy, swirling snowy, rainy snowy, SNOWY snowy, Cobequid Pass, we decided that we would reinstate the Friday Family Fun Night tradition and have a weekend of very nearly zero obligations.

We are trying to keep it simple, remember?

In keeping with the manifesto, I made a very simple plan.

MYO Pizza – which everyone loves!

To make it even simpler, I made all the pizzas using ready made pizza crusts.

 

The Things shared this happy-making Pepperoni & Cheese pizza.

 

Smiley Pizza

 

Daddy-O chose a more classic Pepperoni & Cheese with veggies (red pepper, red onion, mushroom).

Lots of veggies for Daddy-O!

 

I was very excited to try the Kinnikinnick ready made gluten free crusts that friends in the know suggested.

GF Pizza for Me!

 

I am thrilled to report that the pizzas turned out great and that the crusts themselves are quite delicious.

Yum!

 

It’s really nice to know that I have a viable option for those nights when I just need to keep it simple.

Fourths!

 

Doesn’t that look delightful?

Two thumbs up!

 

Yummy!

Mine had the Kinnikinnick crust, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, red pepper, red onion, mushroom, pickled jalapeño slices, and gluten free turkey sausage.

It was glorious!

 

 

After everyone had full tummies it was time for us to settle in with the evening’s planned entertainment. We opted to skip a movie in lieu of the excellent Bullying Awareness schedule on the Family Channel.

The cast of “The Next Step” hosted the evening and introduced some of our favourite shows – “Austin & Ally”, “Girl Meets World”, and “The Next Step” – all of which were featuring bullying storylines tonight as a part of their Stand UP to Bullying campaign. All three shows led to much discussion about friendship and bullying and how important it is to stand up and speak up and to never, ever be a bystander.

We especially loved “Girl Meets World“. It is so well written and I love how they keep managing to tie “Boy Meets World” storylines and characters into the show. It’s just so well done!

The Popcorn Pix feature presentation was another trip into bullying territory, with “Contest”. It was very good, but pretty harsh in many ways, as well. Very serious subject matter, obviously, and they hinted at some very heavy elements of being the bullied one. Overall it was very good. Definitely not for the younger ones. Thing 2 is 8 and she was snuggled up pretty close the whole time. Still though it’s such an important topic and we really cannot talk about it enough. No one can. Keep talking!

 

So, how was your week?

Busy?

Did you have a good one?

What will be on your agenda this weekend?

What about your plate?

Did you take in any Bullying Awareness Week programs or events?

Do you have an open dialogue with your kiddos and the young people in your life about bullying and mental health and how to get help if the need arises?

 

 

 

Panda Hugs and Electric Cars or Why I Love WWF Canada

The PandaI love charities.

I am a fan of fundraising.

I have this cockamamie dream that one day I’ll reach the pinnacle of my career as a volunteer and become a philanthropist extraordinaire and spend the remainder of my days making people’s lives better.

It’s a lofty goal. I admit it.

Oh, but what a great story that would be.

I’ll keep dreaming and doing my part to make the world a better place one little act of kindness at a time.

 

In the meantime I am so glad there are organizations like WWF Canada making steps towards reversing climate change and keeping our planet, our one true home, safe, so that my children (and yours!) will have a home for a very, very, very long time.

Clearly, I am a fan. Yes, of the planet, of course, but also of WWF Canada. I’ve written about it here before. I’ve also written about it there.

 

On Monday, I received the latest “Panda Mail” from WWF Canada and one of the featured pieces was called “First Dates with David Miller”. This is a three part video series wherein Canadian celebrities go on a first date with former Mayor of Toronto and current WWF Canada President & CEO David Miller and chat while riding around Toronto in an EV (Electric Vehicle).

You could go ahead and let your imaginations run wild, but I think it would be best if you checked out the silliness for yourself.

But I will share one.

Enjoy!

Yes, that is Kid In The Hall, Mark McKinney.

I wonder if he tried to crush David Miller’s head.

 

So that was fun, wasn’t it?

I thought so.

But…

Now I can’t get this out of my head!

 

How *can* you deny an electric car?

 

Thursday Thought Explosion (or Please Excuse Me While I Tidy Up My Brain)

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Achievement unlocked. Thing 2’s very first ride on an actual roller coaster. Pure joy!

Let me start by saying that I know it is no longer Thursday.

My brain was messier than imagined and so Thursday turned into Friday (as it does) and July turned into August, too. Where on Earth is summer going and why must it go so quickly? Can’t it just learn to linger longer? I really wish it would just learn to chill out and laze around, so that we all could follow suit.

Oh well, since that’s not happening anytime soon, I better just keep on moving forward, right? I mean it beats the heck out of the alternative.

Onward, we go!

This summer has been a bit of a roller coaster. We have had a lot of ups and downs and so far, thankfully, the ups are out numbering the downs (Although, to be fair, the downs have been doozies!). Is there an actual roller coaster in the world that ends on an up? I’d like that! Most of them end on downs, don’t they? Is life like that? I am not sure, but I suspect it’s very likely. It seems inevitable to have a down just when you do not want one.

I like this roller coaster as life metaphor, so before I go and ruin it for myself forever with all this waxing philosophical about ending with a down, I’m moving on.

Suffice it to say, life is like a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride or freak out and be paralyzed with fear. It matters not. The ride isn’t over until your time is up, but I can guarantee that you will be a lot happier – and maybe even have some fun – if you at least open yourself up to the concept of sitting back and taking those ups and downs as they come and learning to enjoy the ride. Life is short. So, too, are the ups and downs. We just don’t always see that clearly as we are being flung around the curves in the track.

I have a lot more to say. I have some terrific adventures to share and some wonderful photos from those adventures, but I think for right now, I’ll just leave this here.

I have a big surprise for Thing 1 & Thing 2 this morning. It’s time to go get ourselves a wonderful up!

 

 

This is Planet Earth

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

 

We have one home. Really.

We are connected to it in more ways than we know and certainly in more ways than many of us care to acknowledge, but make no mistake about it. We are one.

Have you ever looked at a leaf? I mean really looked at one. Closely? Carefully? Following the lines and creases from stem to edges?

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Have you ever looked at your hand? I mean really looked at it? Closely? Carefully? Following the lines and creases from wrist to fingertips?

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Have you ever watched a stream of water flow across dry land or sand? Or taken the time to stop and look at a tree in in the sunlight?

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What did you see? Did you see similarities? Patterns? Something that made you stop and think, “Wait a second… that looks an awful lot like this…”

If you never have done any of these things I encourage you to do so someday soon. You might be surprised by what you see. Maybe you will start to notice something new.

Try to see things in a new light.

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Maybe through the eyes of a child.

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I believe we are connected with all my heart. My children know what I believe. They hear me talk about it. They see how I live. They will come to their own conclusions in time. Until then I encourage the observation of special days and events that reflect what I believe in. That’s the power of parenthood, isn’t it?

Earth Hour is one of these events. I like it. I know to some it falls into the category of “slacktivism”, but not for me. I observe it. Nay! I celebrate it!

We anticipate the day. We plan something special each year. Yes. Really.

We have gone out on freezing cold nights in Ottawa to the Museum of Science and Technology to celebrate and catch a glimpse of “the” Panda.

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We have stayed in and made shadow puppets. We have made crafts and signs and posters leading up to the day. There was even a time when I convinced the “Panda” to visit Thing 1’s and Thing 2’s school! Oh yes! I fully embrace it!

Isn’t that what life is all about? I think so.

Tonight was no different. We had our Earth Hour dinner by candlelight. It’s remarkable how relaxed everything becomes when you turn off all the lights, shut off the computers and devices, and light a candle (or three). It was so calm and nice.

After dinner we planned to read by candlelight. Since Daddy-O has been reading the “Little House” series to the Things at bedtime, it was very fitting. They were just about to start “Farmer Boy” (one of my personal favourites), so I decided to read* for the remainder of Earth Hour! Time flew!

 

So, we put another Earth Hour to bed and hope maybe a few more people decided to turn out the lights. If so, great! If not, well, there’s always next year. I know we’ll be celebrating. I hope you’ll join us.

If you don’t that’s okay, too. Just know this..

On the land…

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in the air…

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and in the water…

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on this planet we are all connected.

 

 

Let’s take care of the only true home we have.

For the love of our planet and our children.

 

 

 

*FYI. It’s not so easy for aging eyes to read by candlelight. How did “Ma” do it!?

 

 

 

Fin.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end ~Semisonic

Though some of us would like it to last a little longer and some of us would like it to last forever, today is the “official” last day of March Break. That’s it! That’s all she wrote. It’s over. Fin. Finito. This is the end. Roll the credits. Curtains! (You catch my drift? You buying’ what I’m sellin’? Okay, somebody stop me!)

Clearly, I have a problem with goodbyes.

So, before I let go of March Break 2014 for good (Hah! As if I could. Forever is a long time.), allow me to fill you in on the rest of our week.

From Monday to Wednesday the Things were pretty busy with all kinds of fun, frugal, or free activities and just enough downtime at home to maintain a bit of balance while still having fun.

We had a tentative plan to take in a Toonie Matinee with friends on Thursday, but as luck would have it Mother Nature had a different plan. (Has anyone else noticed how completely horrible many of Mother Nature’s plans have been this winter?) We were in for some nasty weather. There were big snow storms all around us and we had snow, followed by a lot of rain with the threat of a flash freeze, so we decided to kick “downtime” up a notch. While the storm raged on – or “rained on” in our particular case – we spent the day, safe and warm, inside. A nice sleep-in in the morning with extra Thing snuggles. A leisurely lunch. Lots of LEGO! A bit of CPU time. A DVD from the library. We spent the whole day jammified! It was glorious.

In retrospect, we needed it. That was the *exact* Thursday we required. Thanks, Mother Nature*!

On Friday (Oh no! It’s already Friday!!) we decided we’d definitely take in a movie at the theatres and figured it was our last chance for a Toonie Matinee, so that was what we were going to do in the afternoon. On a whim, I decided to check out what was happening at Chapters that morning and I was very happy I did because Thing 1 & Thing 2 were really happy to attend a KLUTZ event where they learned to make cootie catchers and paper airplanes. Each Thing even won a prize for a test flight with their planes. (Eventually, all the children were given a prize for their efforts – it was nice.) Kudos to Chapters Indigo for its daily events during March Break. It’s very nice when a retailer has a free event and does a great job executing it.

Thing 1 & Thing 2 were ready for lunch after their fun activity, so we headed home to make lunch and relax for a little while before heading out to the movies.

That’s when Daddy-O and I came up with a little surprise for the Things.  We would take them to see a *new* movie and we’d make it our Friday Family Fun Night. They were really excited to see “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” – in 3D no less – and we all enjoyed going to the the movies together. I enjoyed having movie popcorn for dinner. I’m not gonna lie.

On Saturday I went for a big walk with my NS BFF and it was great! The weather was perfect and we had as much time as we needed to solve the problems of the world while getting a bit of exercise. There is nothing like a nice long walk ‘n’ talk with your best friend to elevate your mood and erase any exhausted-from-a-week-of-March-Break-fun feelings.

This brings us to Sunday. Sunday, can be a sad or stressful day at the best of times, but after a break from school it can be really difficult to face the reality of back to school. Thanks to some friendly** friends, we had early morning plans to go outside and play. I love going outside to play and so do Thing 1 & Thing 2. Isn’t that convenient? Even though it was cold and a bit snowy and had rained all night, we were outside by 10:30 in the morning meeting new friends and playing. It was really wonderful! A great way to start the day and a nice, positive way to end the March Break. Yay, for smart friends!

Our final fling with fun for the March Break was to try out Ol’ School Donuts. If you have not had a chance to try these delightful, hot, morsels of pure joy, I highly recommend that you find out where this fun red school bus will be parked next weekend and go! Scrumptious!

What better way to end a great week than with a last hurrah!

*But seriously, enough already with the snow!

**Do you see what I did there?