March 2015

You know I love Ottawa, and you know I love family fun, and you know I love to give stuff away to my awesome bloggy peeps. I really love it when all three of those things come together! How would you like to win a set of four tickets to see the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS at the Canadian Tire Centre on April 12?

Harlem Globetrotters Ottawa giveaway

I know, right?! Amazing!

My boys are going to LOVE this show. I remember seeing the Globetrotters live when I was a kid back in London Ontario, and the fun of their show always stayed with me. Plus Simon has been patiently waiting all year for the time to come for tryouts for his school basketball team, which should be any week now. The timing couldn’t be better! (I have to say, I gave a little extra squee when I saw that one of the Globetrotters who will be visiting is the awesome Big Easy Lofton who also starred in the Amazing Race 15!)

Here’s the official description of the event: The world famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, will bring their unrivaled family show to Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 12, at 3 p.m. during the Harlem Globetrotters 2015 Washington Generals’ Revenge Tour.

The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year, as the infamous Washington Generals are more determined than ever to match the franchise’s historic last victory over the Globetrotters nearly half a century ago. It has been five years since the Globetrotters and Generals have faced off, as the Generals have been searching far and wide for the best players to retool their roster and have been preparing for one thing, a victory over the Globetrotters.

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes – plus female stars TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu* – the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. With incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

Harlem Globetrotters Ottawa giveaway

Are you ready? Here’s the fine print: this giveaway is for a set of four tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Sunday April 12 at 3 pm. The retail value of this prize is $260. In order to enter this giveaway, you must use the rafflecopter giveaway widget below to leave a comment on this blog post to earn one entry (mandatory), and you may earn additional entries (optional) by posting a tweet via the widget or by visiting my bloggy Facebook page (optional) and I would be grateful if you liked the page while you were there! This giveaway will run from Sunday March 29 through Sunday April 5. One winner will be chosen via rafflecopter’s random draw option and the winner will be contacted. Please ensure you leave a valid email address and that you are able to see the show on Sunday April 12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tickets start as low as $16 for this one-of-a-kind show that continues to thrill fans of all ages. If you don’t want to take your chances with the giveaway and want to buy your tickets right away, I’m happy to be able to share a 25% discount promo code with you. Click here to buy your Globetrotters in Ottawa tickets and enter promo code MOMS. To purchase courtside or VIP seats, please visit, call 613-599-FANS (3267) or visit the Canadian Tire Centre box office.

Want a little preview?

Pffft. I can totally do that full-court no-looking one-hand over-the-shoulder nothing-but-net shot. How hard could it be? 😉

Good luck to everyone who enters, and thank you to the fine folks at the Canadian Tire Centre for making this giveaway possible!

Disclosure: We were offered a set of tickets to the show as compensation for this promotion. I take full responsibility for my admiration of the Globetrotters and any blatant lies about my athletic prowess. All multi-media courtesy of and copyright Harlem Globetrotters.


I posted a rant on Facebook the other day in response to one of those quotey photo card things that basically said “I’m happy my childhood was filled with imagination and bruises instead of apps and how many likes you get on a picture.” The whole sentiment behind it infuriated me – the idea that somehow this generation of tweens and teens are having a lesser childhood because of technology.

My ranty reply said, in part, that the kids I know are far more worldly, empathetic and socially conscious than my generation ever was – and there is no better example of that than sentiment in action than We Day.

National We Day in Ottawa 2014

We Day, in case you haven’t heard of it, is an amazing series of events held across Canada and around the world to inspire youth to create change in their communities and around the world. It’s the love child of a stadium concert and a social activism conference. You can’t buy a ticket to get in, though – admission is free of charge to those students who earn their way in through service. Students commit to take action on at least one global and one local initiative of their choice as a part of the year-long educational intiative called We Act.

I think what most irks me about the patronizing “kids these days” quote I mentioned above is the insinuation that technology is making kids more shallow and somehow lesser people. In fact, kids today are incredibly creative and resourceful and they simply use technology as an extension of that creativity. TELUS, a a proud sponsor of Free the Children and We Day, believes that technology can empower people to make a real difference in the world. That’s why, together with Free The Children, they created We365, a free mobile app that enables youth to use their phones for good and propel social change through the power of technology, every day of the year.

National We Day in Ottawa 2014

The We365 app will help youth do even more to help their communities. Using the app, tweens and teens can rally friends around causes they support, share their accomplishments, and earn badges and points. Parents will also be happy to hear that the app tracks volunteer hours, which can be shared electronically and remove the need to keep track of all that pesky paperwork.

I’m deeply honoured that TELUS has invited me and a guest to attend National We Day in Ottawa next week. There will be inspirational appearances from heroes big and small, global and local: among many others, there will be Marlee Matlin, Kardinal Offishal, Amanda Lindhout, Mia Farrow, Spencer West, Neverest, and Ashley Rose Murphy, whose appearance last year so touched my heart. Born HIV positive and not expected to live more than a few days, then adopted into family of 10 children (eight of whom are disabled or have special needs), Ashley is today an active member of both her school council and a rock band. She’s also a talented speaker and wise beyond her years. One thing she said resonated with me all year: “These are the facts of my life. I can’t change them, I can only control how I live with them.”

Of all the attendees this year, though, I do believe the one I am most looking forward to is one just announced today. I first saw the story of “Butterfly child” Jonathan Pitre last year when the Ottawa Citizen ran a feature with haunting photos of Jonathan by photographer Julie Oliver. Jonathan suffers from an extreme form of Epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin disorder that causes his skin to blister and tear at the slightest friction. Julie’s photographs were haunting and compelling, and Jonathan’s inner strength and spirit touched my heart. It was wonderful to then see the community reacting to his story, with thousands of dollars being raised for research and support to help those with Epidermolysis bullosa. Even the Sens got into the action, offering Jonathan a one-day ceremonial contract as a scout for the team. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say, and I’m so happy to see him being honoured by the We Day organizers.

National We Day in Ottawa 2014

I’ll be live-tweeting from Canada’s National We Day next Wednesday, April 1. Follow along at #WeDay, and watch the live stream at And don’t forget to download the We365 app so you can learn from ‘kids these days’ how YOU can make a difference in YOUR community!


Isn’t it funny when the random bits of your life come together in a cohesive way?

Toward the end of February, my friend Yvonne mentioned she was doing something called Hot Power Yoga Basics, and I was intrigued. I’d done yoga classes at the local community centre on and off way back in the day, but I liked the idea of something more physically challenging and strength building like power yoga. I’ve been going to the class every Thursday evening since the beginning of March and I’ve been really enjoying it – when I am not cursing it. The cursing usually comes about 40 hours after the class when my muscles lock up from the exertion, but even that is a good sort of pain. I’m hoping to be leaner and stronger and a little less unbalanced [insert your own joke here] in a couple of months if I keep it up.

By sheer coincidence, within days of my return to yoga I happened to receive an e-mail from Glenda at Ottawa Corporate Yoga. She was looking to commission a photographer to help her develop a set of cards to accompany bedtime yoga workshop that Glenda offers with a special focus on kids who have sleep disorders or anxiety issues. I loved the idea of the project from the start, and the fact that designer on the project would be the fabulous Lynn Jatania was the icing on the cake.

Here’s one of my favourite poses from the session. It’s called Lizard on a Rock, and it’s being demonstrated by Glenda and her adorable daughter.

Lizard on a rock

I can’t wait to see how the final project turns out!

Hey Yvonne, you want to try this one out at yoga class tonight? I get dibs on the top position!


Of all the creatures great and small we saw on our Parc Omega adventure, it was the wolves that most enchanted all of us.

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

We arrived just a few minutes before the thrice daily feeding show. They don’t actually feed the wolves a full meal, the “animator” host explained. For meal time, they actually drag a full animal carcass into the enclosure and let the wolves feast on that, but then when their bellies are full they laze around and digest for hours. Instead, during the feeding show the host tosses fist-size clumps of meat to the wolves, who are waiting patiently for their treat.

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

Or in some cases, not so patiently. (This one reminded us of Bella. She sprang up and jumped over and over and over, just like Bella does when she’s impatient.) See how her paws are clear off the snow?

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

I found the host’s patter fascinating. He told us about wolf society, and how to read their body language to tell the more dominant from the more submissive wolves. He explained what everyone knows, that the alpha is the leader of the pack, but he also talked about the omega, the least dominant member of the pack, and how the omega often takes on the roll of nurturing the pups. He also told us about how they had quite a surprise show on the March Break, and how they were able to count ahead from the March break to the week in May when a new litter of wolf pups should be born!

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

He also told us to watch carefully after he finished giving the wolves their snack. Once the wolves understood that all the food had been dispensed, there was a ritualistic greeting that went on, where the more submissive dogs licked the faces of the more dominant ones, while the more dominant once often snapped and snarled. It made me wonder if Bella’s almost compulsive need to lick people in the face is an instinctual throwback to that. (Although I’m not sure it will help build the confidence of the many people she’s startled when they lean down to say hi to her and she leaps up to kiss them on the lips in return.)

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

Even though we were frozen half to death after the 45 minute show, we all agreed that the wolves alone were worth the price of admission AND the time spent in the frigid and un-spring-like cold weather. The host mentioned that in the summer, they’ll be offering a new program with overnight accommodations and a lantern-lit moonlight walk to listen to the wolves howling at night. How awesome would THAT be?

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

Aren’t they spectacular? Stand by for more photos from the warmer portion of our Parc Omega adventure!

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We’d been planning to go to Parc Omega for the last day of March Break for a while, but we almost chickened out when the weather crapped out (again!) and the temperature was -20C (again!) early this morning. We sucked it up, dressed warmly and had an AMAZING time!

Lots more to come, but this family portrait was an early favourite.

Family portrait

And look, all five of us are in the portrait! 😉


The calendar says it’s spring at 6:45 pm today, but it still looks a little too much like winter for my tastes outside so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I thought I’d celebrate the first day of spring with a glimpse of things to come, and a remembrance of a perfect summer day: lupines at the seashore in Prince Edward Island.

Happy first day of spring

It’s not lost on me that these poor lupines are currently buried under an astonishing five METERS of snow. However much I might be yearning for spring, I’m pretty sure the residents of PEI are yearning for it more!

Four months from right now, we’ll be there!!

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Photo of the day: Cat and rat are friends. Sort of.

18 March 2015 Photo of the Day

We are the family you need to be friends with, the one that chooses a March Break staycation just so we can stay behind and take care of all of our vacationing friends’ pets! Tristan is taking care of one friend’s cat at home, and Moose the Rat is staying with us for a week. […]

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Celebrating the Eggiest holiday of them all with Kinder Surprise

18 March 2015 Reviews, promotions and giveaways

It has been a long, late winter, hasn’t it? Relentless cold, snow still piled high – at least that’s what it’s been like in my end of Canada. Have faith, though, my bloggy friends, because spring is coming and Easter is a scant two and a half weeks away. And what says Easter treats better […]

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Ottawa Family Fun: Artissimo and MC Escher at the National Gallery

16 March 2015 Ottawa Family Fun

When I heard that there would be an MC Escher exhibit at the National Gallery during March Break, I knew I wanted to bring the boys. Two love art and one loves math – how could we go wrong with an exhibit about a “Mathemagician”? We added an extra kid for good measure – in […]

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Photo(s) of the day: A lesson on Manotick School of Music’s grand piano

15 March 2015 Photo of the Day

Simon had the opportunity to take his weekly music lesson on the grand piano at the Manotick School of Music yesterday, and I thought it would be fun to get a photo or two. I’d just picked up a second-hand fish-eye lens and thought it would be a fun place to take it for a […]

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