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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Saturday
Dec312016

Stay Up Late and Celebrate!

 

Five – Four – Three – Two – One!

The countdown is on to make plans to ring in the New Year!  Dancing? Dining Out?  House Party? Family Gathering?  There is no shortage of fun events and outings going on around town this year.  For me, a cozy New Year’s Eve at home with my family beats all. 

Kids love to create, celebrate and stay up late.  So I am giving them lots of options this year.  We are going to have a party in our own living room and whoop it up until the ball drops to ring in 2014. 

Create

Let kids decorate and personalize their own party hats and noisemakers with markers, glitter, and tissue.  Use plain paper cones or wide headbands for the hats.

Make a Memory Book or Time Capsule.  Give each child a photos of some their favourite 2013 memories.  Gather fun keepsakes and use an old jar or scrap book put them together.  Encourage kids to comment on photos and tag items with their memories. 

Create a special kids table.  Set up a fun kids table giving them a fun place to sit.  Decorate it with garland and other Christmas stuff you already have around.  

Decorate.  Add a little sparkle to your table by lighting a couple of sparklers as the countdown starts.

Celebrate

Bake a Wish Cake. This is a fun Greek tradition in which you bake a cake with a lucky coin or other trinket hidden inside.  The recipient of the coin is said to have good luck for the upcoming year.

Watch home movies and reminisce. Cuddle up with some popcorn and look over your favourite moments from the past year together. 

Dress up and have a dance party.  Kids love to dress up, so let them put on their best clothes, push the furniture back and have a dance party.  Make it even more fun by wearing boas, tutus, silly hats and glasses. 

Make Memory Books.  Provide each child with a small notebook and have them write and draw their memories from the year.

Talk about resolutions and what they mean.  Have kids write down what theirs are for 2013

Stay up Late

Celebrate Midnight in Another Country.  Let’s face it, some of our kids are just too young to make it until midnight.  Why not celebrate the New Year earlier in the day alongside another country in another part of the world.  If you are in CAnada for example, you could celebrate alongside Paris which would be 6:00 p.m  Oh La La.

Ring it In. Set all the clocks, alarms, and cell phones to go off at midnight.

Keep them Busy. Do hourly activities to help kids count down the time.   Write them on a slip of paper and put them inside of a balloon or envelope.  

Midnight Milk and Cookies Toast

Have a balloon drop at midnight.  You can make your own balloon drop using a drawstring garbage bag.  Till it with balloons and hang it upside down.  Then undo the drawstring at midnight and let the balloons shower down.

If you want to go out and about! Ignite a year of clebration at City Hall or Parliment #Canadas150 http://www.ottawa2017.ca/events/signature-events/new-years-eve-celebration/

Wednesday
Dec072016

MITKs Ultimate List of Christmas Things to Do

2016 Edition

It’s that time of year again.  This city is alight with twinkling lights.  Festivals and craft sales are under way and Santa’s helpers are stationed in their ornate mall displays waiting for the enthusiastic children to visit, lists in hand.  It’s Christmas Time in the City. 

There is so much to do and see this time of year.  It’s hard to take it all in.  Once again, I have complied my annual list of Christmas Things to Do.  I hope you will enjoy the 2016 edition. 

Cumberland Museum Vintage Christmas Village of Lights

December 18 – 15  

$5.15 - $7.50 family rates available

Make a keepsake ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men and take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through the illuminated village.

More information

 

Stanley's Christmas Village 
Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm 
November 26 – December 18

$12.50

Stanley’s Christmas Elves take you on a magical ride through the beautiful Christmas village farm with many magical Christmas themed stops along the way.

Families pick the time they'd like to depart and are whisked away by horse drawn ride to Ottawa's only Elf Village 
Stanley's Christmas Village

 

Alight at Night 
Upper Canada Village 
December 3 – January 2 

$10 children $14 adults


Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting!Close to one million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for the annual Alight at Night Festival…a true winter wonderland!

Upper Canada Village website 

 

Christmas Adventure Park 
Ian's Christmas Tree Farm 

$10 per person (free if you are purchasing a tree)

November 24 – December 24

Lots of holiday fun for kids of all ages.  Cut your own Christmas tree, take a hayride, visit real reindeer or toboggan down a snow-covered hill.  There is just so much to do.  It is best to check the website to plan your trip.
Website

Christmas Tea at the Billings Estate National Historic Site 
2100 Cabot Sreet 
December 11 and 18, 2016  

$20 per person

Take some time to sit down and catch up with friends and family during this busy holiday season by enjoying a hot cup of tea and our popular scones and sandwiches.  Learn about the history of Christmas literary classics like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol while taking in the sounds of Victorian carolers in our traditionally decorated historic house.

website

 

Christmas Lights Across Canada 
December 7 – January 7

Ottawa sparkles and shines during the Christmas season with Christmas Lights Across Canada. From early December to early January, thousands of colourful lights illuminate the National Capital Region’s winter landscape. The radiant event, which began nearly three decades ago, became such a hit that cities across Canada now participate in what’s become a national tradition.

website

Friday
Nov182016

25 Days of Giving

This is one of my favourite advent activities.  Over the years, we have brightened the lives of others during the Christmas season by putting the focus on giving, sharing, caring and love.  I know that , we have made the season of giving special for those around us.  There are families in our community in need, there are people who are lonely and there are friends who could use some cheer.  Plan you 25 days and show someone the love of a kind gesture this holiday season.  Here are a few ideas. 


1.  Make your Christmas countdown meaningful. Shop your neighbourhood #shoplocal
2.   Give Blood
3.  Sing Christmas Carols, play board games, or just visit with senior citizens at a nursing home.

4. Support the snowsuit Fund - some locations are accepting gently used and new snow gear - http://snowsuitfund.com/support-us/

5. Do a wagon food drive in your neighbourhood for your local foodbank
6. Particpate in the shoebox project - http://www.shoeboxproject.com/home.html
7. Bake some cookies for your neighbour, a friend, or a family who could use some home made holiday baking!

8. Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless, or leave them on park benches.

9. Donate a new toy to Toy Mountain - http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/toy-mountain
10. Give yourself a treat -  go for a run or walk in the good outdoors, go to a yoga class,
11. Make some soup for your soul and share it with a friend. Great recipes using local produce at FoodlandOntario.ca
12. Put some change in the Salvation Army kettle.
13. Shovel your neighbours driveway.
14. Volunteer to wrap presents for someone who could use the help and company.
15. Help a furry friend.  Donate to the local animal shelter.
16. Make a call.  Reach out to someone that you have not heard from in a while. 
17. Make Christmas cards and bring them to the hospital to be handed out.
18. Give away your parking spot at the mall.
19. Wrap up some new Christmas pjs for a child in need.
20. Carry candy canes and give them out randomly.  Wish people a merry Christmas.
21. Offer to help an elderly neighbour put up Christmas lights.
22. Buy some new colouring books and crayons and leave in a hospital waiting room.
23. Bring hot chocolate to your bus driver.
24.Make someone smile.  Tell them a Chrismtas joke.  ?  Where do snowmen keep their money?
-  Beats me -  In a snow bank.

25. Give a teacher a bag of school supplies.


Smile at everyone you meet.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday
Oct242016

Happy Halloween

  Halloween is one of my absolute favourite holidays of the year.  I just love the costumes, the parties, the decorating and pumpkin carving and best of all the little trick or treaters.   Over the years, I have written countless blogs and appeared on various shows sharing some of my best ideas and inspiration with you.  This year, I have assembled some of my favourite blogs and updated my annual lists of pumpkin patches and events.  Look for me on this year on CTV Morning Live and Rogers TV for this year’s latest Halloween tips and tricks.              

plan a party spooky events Mountain View Mountain View
Tuesday
Sep202016

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.