It's Maple Season, Let's Cook - March 13, 2018
CTV 

 

Kids in the Kitchen - March 8, 2018
Rogers TV

March Break Ideas for Kids - February 21, 2018
CTV

 

Honey Oat Apple Muffins & Slow Cooker Lasagna - January 2018

Keeping Kids Warm and Dry - January 2018

 

A Little Goes a Long Way - Decemeber 8, 2017

 

Leek Apple and Brie Tarts - December 7, 2017

 

Game Day - November 15, 2017

 

Recipes for Leftover Halloween Candy -  November 3, 2017

Thanksgiving Desserts - October 8, 2017

Muffin Tin Fritattas - September 13, 2017

First Time Back to School - August 25, 2017

Back to School Must Haves - August 14, 2017

Back to School Snacks - August 14, 2017


Long Weekend Games - August 1, 2017

Packing 101 - August 1, 2017

Camping Treats - July 13, 2017

Cooking with Kids - July 5, 2017


Maple Mustard Turkey Burgers  - June 6, 2017

Butter Tart Maple Apple Squares - March 14, 2017


 

Januaury 1, 2017 - Cooking Up Ideas for a Healthy 2017

 

 

November 23 - Kid's Week on CTV

 

September 6 - CTV Morning Live

Fresh Ideas from Foodland

September 23 - CTV Morning Live

Grilling with Rob Rainford

 

September 21 - CTV Morning Live

Fall Home Decorating and Hacks

 

September 6 - CTV Morning Live

Get Cracking #wakeupyellow


August 15 - City Montreal

Back to School

 

August 12 - Rogers TV - Daytime


August 10 - Rogers TV - Daytime

 

August 9 - CTV Morning Live

Twists on Breakfast

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday
Oct032018

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

 

 

The nights are getting cooler and the leaves will soon begin to change.  Fall is here and with it comes sweater weather, baking, colourful leaves, warm soups and harvest stews.  I can almost feel the seasons changing when I step outside and that’s my cue to make some seasonal changes indoors too. 

Inspiration is Right Outside Your Door

Take a walk outdoors with the kids to find things to bring inside. This is such a fun family activity.  Small branches can be brought inside and bundled together, tied up with pretty ribbon in autumnal colours and placed around your home.

Short, thin twigs can be glued onto clear glass jars to create seasonal votives. Pinecones can be collected and placed in large glass bowls or onto plates and platters. Children can glue pinecones to a paper plate to create a decorative wreath.  Add a little English Ivy to your displays. They are not only beautiful, but they are also a natural air purifier.

Bring your hydrangea inside and let them dry naturally.  The beautiful fall hues will add warmth to your home. 

 

Take a Trip to the Farmer’s Market

Stop by your local farmers market and pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables to decorate your home.  The rich colours and textures of apples, pears, clementines, squash, gourdes and pumpkins really stand our when clustered together in your kitchen or family room. 

Throughout the month, swap out fruit with fresher varieties and use your ripened pieces in your fall baking. Nothing says fall like an apple pie or cobbler fresh out of the oven. 

Simmer Some Stovetop Potpourri for Natural Warmth 

Bring the scents of fall indoors with a simmering stovetop potpourri.   Add any combination of your favourite fall fruits and spices to a large pot of boiling water.  Reduce the water to a simmer.  This will not only make your home smell like fall, but the steam from the pot will add moisture back into the dry air caused by the heat.

  • Apple slices
  • Orange slices 
  • Whole nuts with shells
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Vanilla 
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Star of anise
  • Berries
  • Essential oils 

Create a Cozy Corner

Create a cozy corner in your home that invites your family to relax and unwind. Add inviting blankets and scatter some soft cushions in fall colours.  Set out puzzles, games and some great fall reads.  Here are my suggestions.   

Kids

  • Apple Farmer Annie – Monica Wellington
  • Time to Sleep - Denise Fleming 
  • Halloween Day – Anne Rockwell
  • Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf – Lois Ehlert
  • Giving Thanks – Jonathan London 
  • Leaf Jumpers – Carole Gerber 
  • Applesauce Season – Eden Ross
  • Pumpkin Circle – Shmuel Thaler

Adults

  • The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
  • The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall
  • Commonwealth – Ann Patchette
  • Wenjack – Joseph Boyden 
  • The Wonder – Emma Donoghue
  • Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
  • Two by Two – Nicholas Sparks 
  • Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult 

Pumpkin Spice is Always Nice

Stock up on fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, mulling spice, thyme and vanilla.  Fill your pantry with new, fresh ingredients so you are ready on a whim to whip up your favourite fall recipes.

Make and Entrance

From Thanksgiving guests to trick-or-treaters, your front door is a busy place in the fall.  Carry your fall decorating right out the door by adding a few potted mums to add an instant pop of autumn colour. Welcome your guests with a cheerful fall doormat and pile on the pumpkins.  Don’t be shy to experiment with containers.  An old wagon makes a perfect display for hay bales, flowers and gourds. 

Freshen up for Fall

Fall cleaning is not as common a phrase as “spring cleaning,” but preparing your nest for the long winter is just as wonderful as cleaning out the cobwebs after a cold season spent indoors. 

  1. Clean your blinds with 50-50 vinegar and water mixture and an old sock. 
  2. Use a razor to remove paint and lint from clothing.  Bring out your favourite cozy sweater.  It will get you excited for cool weather. 
  3. Freshen your dresser drawers with a sachet of fall spices.  
  4. Remove tough carpet stains using an iron and a damp washcloth. 
  5. Scrub your cutting boards with half of a lemon and some kosher salt.   Rinse off with warm water and dish soap.
  6. Get your cookie sheets ready for holiday baking.  Scrub with a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Rub the paste all over your sheets in small circles. Let sit for 2-3 hours and rinse. 
  7. Freshen your mattress by first vacuuming the surface. Follow by sprinkling with baking soda.  Let the soda sit for 2 hours before vacuuming off.
  8. Clean your microwave by filling a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. This will steam clean the microwave from the inside allowing you to simply wipe the walls clean. 
  9. Wash plastic toys in the dishwasher using the short cycle.  
  10. Rub a half bagel over a dusty painting to remove particles from the surface.  

A special thanks to  Flowers by Maggie, who inspired me with her expertise in bringing "the outside in.

Friday
Sep072018

Back to School - Back to Routines

 Back to School tips and tricks for familites - It takes a village.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv0jweiaBWo

 

 

Tuesday
Jul242018

A Summer Picnic

 

Summer is in full swing and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Summer is the perfect time for a picnic.  Whether you are dining on the sidelines of an evening soccer game, feasting alfresco in your own back yard or lounging by a lake, I have some healthy go to recipes, games and packing tips to help you fill your basket. 

Fresh and in season strawberries are the taste of summer.  My kids love smoothies -- portable, fruity and fun.  I really enjoy this sweet recipe from Foodland Ontario.  It’s not too late to pick your own berries, a fun day out in itself.  Be creative and add new recipes when you have the time.  Teach your kids what foods are in season and promote them eating local.   This Wheat Berry Salad with Bacon and Peas can be made up the night before. 

MITK TIP  - freeze juice boxes or water bottles the night before to use as cold packs in your basket.  Use Thermos bottles to keep smoothie cold. 

Where to go, where to go?  Do you have a summer to do list of places you would like to see or things that you would like to do with your kids.  Why not set out on an adventure and pack up some healthy, locally sourced food for picnic fun.  

Still stuck for the perfect picnic spot?  Ottawa Magazine has compiled a list of the top 10 picnic spots in the city. 

Keeping the adventure alive is easy when you incorporate outdoor games and activities.  We often pack in Frisbee, hacky sacks, skipping ropes and bubbles.  We also play charades and compass games.  Scavenger hunts are fun too.

Wherever you land and whatever you pack, have a wonderful and fun-filled summer picnic. 

Thursday
Mar292018

Easter Tips - Hop to It! 

 

Monday
Jan152018

Make Every Day Family Fun Day!

Family Days are a great way to create family traditions. It is a day set aside for your family to be together; a day to avoid the hustle and bustle of our daily routines and enjoy the people who matter most, our families.

 

With so many fun things to do together at home or around the city, the possibilities are vast.  You can fill the day with some interesting Science Experiments or Step outside for some outdoor fun.

For our Family Day I put together some heart healthy challenges, In fact we have turned our Family Day into the Findlay Family Fun Challenge. 

 

We picked six categories, some of the sports you will recognize as those that are showcased in the Summer Olympics. Under each sport we have devised challenges to complete. Having been a Physed teacher for a few years and a coach throughout out my teaching career, I did have some resources stashed away. No worries once you see a few of the challenges your memory will come back!

 

What you will need:

  • Waste Baskets
  • Pots and Pans
  • Balloons
  • Racquets
  • Skipping Rope
  • Sock

 

1.  Volleyball

Towel Catch

Practices getting under the ball

Each player gets a towel. Hold the towel loosely between your hands at waist height. Ask your partner to place the rolled up sock in the middle of the towel. Pull your hand apart quickly and watch your sock ball shoot through the air to the other player. 

 

2. Tennis

Sock Toss

Practices the throw before the serve.

Roll your sock up and try the following challenges beginning with easy.

1. Toss to yourself

2. Toss and catch after 1 clap 2 (3,4) times 3. Toss and touch the floor

4. Toss to the left and then to the right, forcing you to move to catch.

 

Play the game

Get two racquets. We us badminton racquets. Use a balloon and start your own tennis game. Learning to score is half the challenge.  http://mitk.squarespace.com/storage/february-2012/Tennis%20Scoring%20Made%20Easy.docx

3. Track and Field

Long Jump

Using tape, measure each family member from head to toe. Challenge each other to jump as long as the smallest to the tallest person’s body. 

Skipping

Many challenges can be created here.

Jump only on your left foot, then only on your right, click your heels, Jump side to side. How many skips can you do in min/40sec/30 sec? Challenge yourself to more. Can you skip while walking?

 

4. Basketball

Hit the Target

Practices passing.

The target can be ‘X’’s on t-shirts or shapes made out of your skipping rope. Throw first from 10 giant steps away then from 20 giant steps away and so on. 

Sink it in the Basket

Get as many rolled up socks as you can find.  Set up your key.  Create a three point line with a rope and practice shooting  your socks from different points beyond the three point line.

Defense

Have a game of player in the middle using your sock ball or balloon.  Remember, when you receive the ball your feet can’t move.

 

5. Baseball

Practices all throws

Stair Toss

Start at the bottom of each stair and throw to each stair. Award points to certain stairs. Throw underhand or overhand.

S.P.U.D. 

Place a small bouncy ball in a sock.  Have each family member group closely tothere.  The person who is it, will throw the ball up in the air and shout the name of another player.  As the ball is tossed, each family member scatters to move away from the thrower.  After the catcher catches the ball, he is allowed to take five giant steps toward another player.  If they are able to touch that player that the other, the non-ball catcher player becomes it and gets the first letter of the word S.P.U.D.  If they are not, they take the first letter of the word S.P.U.D.  The loser of the game is the one who receives all of the letters of the word. 

 

6 Bowling

Set up recyclables in a pin configuration.  Plastic cups or 2 litre bottles make a good set of pins.

 

7. Golf

Use pots and pans to create an indoor course. Par three seems to work well.

You could also get outside for a game of frisbee golf.

 

Twist. The least scoring family or team members are in charge of the Heart Healthy Snack or Dinner. 

It’s amazing how easily you can add on to the challenge and create new challenges under each sport. For example;  you can manipulate sock golf into hit the target by collecting your mixing bowls from the kitchen and making them the basket. You can now go for the slam dunk or cross court dunk.

You can challenge your family members or you can invite other families for the challenge.

Give it a try and I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions. A special thanks to Heart Healthy Kids and theHeart and Stroke Foundation

If the day is too nice to stay inside. Have your bag packed for the day ready for the adventure. A thermos with a hot beverage will keep the family going.