A kids treat that even grown ups like to eat! {Giveaway} #Qoola

This Summer has been amazing in the weather department!

Weeks of gorgeous sunshine. Perfect for taking the littles to the local playgrounds and spray parks. Running around with their little friends and me spending hours chatting with my fellow Mums while the mites burn off their over abundance of energy.

Keeping cool in the Summer heat.

Not only does this amount of activity ensure an epic naptime in the afternoon for the wee kidlets, but it also gets them a wee bit peckish.

When you think of hot Summer days, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

It’s a no-brainer…ICE CREAM!

What kid, young or old doesn’t enjoy some ice cream when the mercury rises?

Instead of buying the sugar-filled, artificially coloured or flavoured novelty treats from the ice cream truck or the neighbourhood convenience store, be sure to check out a Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar.

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar

Qoola’s frozen yogurt is GMO-Free, organic, and made with pure cane sugar and Canadian milk. It’s got all the good stuff in it that regular ice creams and frozen treats don’t.

And if you still want to add some extra treats to your refreshing froyo snack, Qoola has an assortment of toppings that you can choose from to make your own personalized treat!

Qoola is a Canadian company who proudly supports Canadian suppliers and vendors. They also strive to reduce their carbon footprint by uses recyclable products in their stores.

Click here to find a Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar near you.

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar has generously provided Raincity Parent a $10 Qcard to giveaway to one lucky reader! This giveaway is open to BC, Alberta and Ontario residents only and runs September 11th-19th, 2014. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

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Reunion…20 years in the making. #YMCCommunity

Press play.

20year reunion 20 years ago, I finally broke free from the prison that was high school.

Those five years of secondary education were probably the most uncomfortable years of my life. I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

I spent a good chunk of those years trying to fly below the radar only to surface on occasion where I was the target of ridicule from a few of my peers. Most of us veered off into cliques where we made new friends and turned on our old ones. Unfortunate, but that’s how the teenage mind works and it’s a form of survival to make it through until the end of high school.

classof94

I was fortunate enough to get out of Dodge early. I had enough credits to graduate early, so there was no reason for me to hang around any longer. But because I did, I missed out on all of the graduation events that occurred from then until the end of the school year. It wasn’t likely that I would partake in any of the festivities, but to be completely unaware of what events were happening, goes to show how little I was missed.

Fast forward 10 years. Not much had changed for me. I was in a newish relationship, but not married, no kids and no career to brag about. I was aware of a 10 year reunion being put on, but when I saw the RSVP list, I decided against going. In my eyes, 10 years wasn’t long enough for people to either have an established career, get married, have kids or better yet “grow up”.

No one revealed their secret crush on me from high school.

No one revealed their secret crush on me from high school.

Between those last 10 years up until now, I have come to terms with the memories that haunted me. I forgave those who treated me poorly. I now know why they did and said what they did and hope that the things that made them feel the need to be cruel to others back then, have gone away or improved and made them stronger people on the inside.

Facebook has allowed me to connect with people that I would have never considered a friend back then. I have seen snippits of their lives and allowed them to see mine. Maybe creating a better understanding of how each other gets along in this world. I have even connected with people who I knew from my first elementary school (which I only attended for 2 years), but was reacquainted with when our schools merged in grade 11. They had no idea who I was, but I remembered them.

Browns Socialhouse

Browns Socialhouse

Browns Socialhouse in Lynn Valley was the venue for our event, where we were treated to an array of delicious nibblies that would make your mouth water. The atmosphere was great and I would definitely come back for lunch, dinner or just drinks and appies with some friends. The extra bonus is, I went to school with the owners, so supporting some old school mates is definitely on my “Pay It Forward” list. Browns Socialhouse has 29 locations in Canada and Scotty Browns can be found in 3 locations in Washington State.

ScottyB

Seeing the faces at our 20 year reunion, was a flashback indeed. Some people were a little unrecognizable, some looked the same, but everyone looked older. Some of the guys acted like their younger selves when they got together, old flames chatted about the past, former school chums reconnected and had a laugh, but more importantly, those of us who were intimidated by our past, were able to actually converse with people they would never have dreamed of talking to.

Imagecube

Throughout the night, we ate, drank and were merry. I arranged for imageCube Photobooth and Videobooth to set up a photobooth so that we could capture some great memories of the night. This was such an awesome idea! They brought along props for us to wear and we had so much fun taking pictures! I highly suggest that for your next event you hire imageCube Photbooth and Videobooth. You and your guests will have so much fun and it saves you from having to spend the night as the event photographer.

Clowning around with a few friends...and maybe an old boyfriend ;)

Clowning around with a few friends…and maybe an old boyfriend 😉

I also worked my way around snapping shots of the alumni, so that we could share the evening with the grads that were unable to attend. I’m hoping for another reunion in 5-10 years, so that those that couldn’t attend or were unaware of the reunion, can come out and reconnect and relive the old days.

A roaming photographer to capture more candid pics of the alumni and a group shot for prosperity, are definitely on my list of “Must Haves” for the next one. And just to bring us back in time, we need to have the top tunes from 1994 playing in the background.

Me and my dearest, oldest friend.

Me and my dearest, oldest friend.

Have you attended or will you attend your high school reunion?

Could your subconscious be altered to help your lifestyle? #NoahsArkHypnotherapy #YMCCommunity

Since having our two littles, my memory has been shot.

I used to have the memory like a steel trap! I could recall anything and even things for my family, friends, and work collegues. Now, as soon as I think of something and get up to do it, I’ve already forgotten what it was.

Frustrating, as many a Mom can relate to.

Recently I tried a hypnotherapy session with Noah’s Ark Hypnotherapy, hoping that this would help with my “Mommy Brain”.

Hypnotherapy
What is hypnosis, you ask? It is a natural, relaxed state of mind. Daydreaming is considered a light form of hypnosis. Kind of like when you’re taking part in a seminar that doesn’t interest you or you get nabbed by that super gabby person at the play date or water cooler and you just seem to drift off into outer space. Yeah, that!

Hypnotherapy can help with issues like addictions, anxiety, depression, fertility, grief, sleep issues, weight loss and more. It usually takes about 6 sessions to start seeing results. Check with you health plan to see if this is a claimable expense.

During my session, I experienced a deep sense of relaxation. I could still hear what was going on around me, but the distant sounds became muffled and less distracting.

My mind has a tendency to start thinking of a million things at the same time, so as I was trying to relax, I was thinking of how our daughter was doing at my girlfriend’s house while she watched her for me, if our 18 month old son was behaving for my husband, what I was going to make for dinner and how I was going to write a blog post about this experience.

See I didn’t lie, my mind has a way of taking over and running amok!

Relaxed state

Once I gave my brain a mental slap for veering away from what it should be concentrating on, I was able to relax.

Since my session, I have been remembering things a bit better, but I think a few more sessions would improve my results. Now that I know what’s involved in a session, I’d probably be able to seriously relax and potentially fall asleep, being the sleep-deprived Mommy that I am, but the chances of me waking up without protest at the end of my session would have been slim to none.

Noah's Ark Hypnotherapy

The #VancouverChristmasMarket {Giveaway}

The Vancouver Christmas Market is an annual can’t-miss Vancouver Christmas event running from November 22 to December 24, 2013.

The Vancouver Christmas Market

The Vancouver Christmas Market

This authentic German Christmas Market has the perfect atmosphere to hang out with friends and family. There are rows of little wooden huts decorated with pine branches and white Christmas lights.

They have a variety of different German food vendors that feature German Bratwurst, suckling pig and Swiss Raclette, traditional Christmas cookies, Lebkuchen, roasted chestnuts, baked apples and spiced Christmas Cake (Stollen). Beverages will include the famous German Christmas Drink (Feuerzangenbowle) and authentic hot spiced red wine (Glühwein) and a selection of German beers (Weissbier).

Mmmm, sausages! photo credit: Vancity Buzz

Mmmm, sausages!
photo credit: Vancity Buzz

The merchandise will include authentic wood carvings and wooden toys, knitted clothes and scarves, Christmas pyramids and tree balls, tin toys, stain glass, nutcrackers in various sizes as well as advent wreaths. You can find unique gifts such as glass jewelry, Polish pottery, organic baby clothes or German beer steins.

Some of the crafts.

Some of the crafts.

Performances will include traditional European choirs and dance performances, world class string ensembles, worldly gospel choirs and festive carol singers. The Pavilion Stage will also host daily feature kid’s activities and a variety of school choirs and bands will show off their talent during their performances on stage.

A special children’s area known as the Kids’ Market will give youngsters the chance to make their own Christmas gifts and ride downtown Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel.

The Carousel.

The Carousel.

The market’s hours are:  November 22nd – December 23rd, 2013, 11am-9pm & December 24th, 2013, 11am-6pm

Admission Rates (including tax) – Includes Season’s Pass!
Adult (13 + years) $6 Mon – Fri 4pm-9pm & 11am-9pm weekends
Adult (13 + years) $3 Special! Mon – Fri 11am-4pm
Youth (7 – 12 years) $3
Child (0 – 6 years) FREE
Carousel Rides $3 per ticket; $10 per package of 5 tickets

The Vancouver Christmas Market has generously provided us with 2 tickets for admission to giveaway to one of our lucky readers!! The giveaway runs from December 4th – December 8th, 2013. Please enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway link below.
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Van Xmas Market

#TheFoamShop

If you have kids, chances are that at some point you had or have a playard.

The playard.

The playard.

You use it for naps, staying at a relatives or traveling. We have used ours for two kids now. Our daughter slept like a dream in it, but when our wee lad reached the 25lb mark, he decided that it was too uncomfortable to sleep in. The lightly foam covered hardboard was not going to fly for Captain Comfortable any longer.

This past week we went away on a family holiday and little man had to sleep in the playard. I had corresponded with some Mom friends a few months back about places that had reasonably priced foam for a project that I am working on. One of them suggested The Foam Shop, as they had purchased a piece of foam for their playard.

Ding, ding, ding!

The Foam Shop

The Foam Shop

What a fabulous idea! I had never considered get a piece of foam for our playard to make our son’s sleep more enjoyable for him and us. I measured the “mat” and took the dimensions to the nearest The Foam Shop and the gal there said that they have had several requests for foam mats for playards.

It only took 10 minutes for the mat to be cut to size and it cost me under $40.

We used it this past week on our trip and we all slept like kings!

Thank you Mommy Friend for the suggestion, and thank you The Foam Shop for the new playard mat.

#HauntedVancouverTrolleyTour 2013 {Giveaway}

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Vancouver Trolley Tours

Have you ever wanted to know more about the ghostly history of Vancouver?

Vancouver Trolley Tours is having their Haunted Tour again this year from October 18th until the 31st.

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Your hosts.

During the 2-1/2 hour tour, your host will tell the gruesome tales of troubled spirits, how they met their end, and where they now occupy their time.  You will drive through eerie locations such as Stanley Park and the winding roads of Shaughnessy and stop to visit Mountain View Cemetery and the autopsy room of the Vancouver Police Museum where over 15,000 autopsies have been performed.

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Vancouver Police Museum Autopsy Room

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Mountainview Cemetery.

This is something that the grownups will enjoy (13+yrs). The cost is $40/ person including tax and reservations are required.

Call : 604-801-5515 or 1-888-451-5581

The Vancouver Trolley Company has generously donated a pass for 2 people to get spooked out on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour!

The giveaway is running October 9th to the 16th. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.
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