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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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.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Sep072016

Back to School Breakfasts 

Get Cracking in the Morning with these Large Batch Egg Recipes

Watch as Julie demonstrates three fresh egg recipes to get kids going in the morning.  Large batch recipes make it easy to provide your kids with delicious breakfast options packed with protein and fresh ingredients. Recipe links below:

 

>Julie Findlay on CTV

photo of Julie on Rogers TV

 

Baked Oatmeal Cups

Egg Baskets

Veggie Cheese Muffin Frittatas

Tuesday
Aug302016

Get your kids excited for Back-to-School

 

Back to school is just around the corner and it is never too early to get your kids geared up for going back.  In fact, with a little enthusiasm and persuasion, you can generate a little excitement.

 Here’s how:

Get the class supply list early and look it over with your kids.  Compare the needs to the items you may have at home.  If you have extra, consider donating it to your child’s class.  Teacher’s are always in need of extras.   Hit the stores and shop the sales.  My kids love the picking up bright new pencil crayons, sharp new pencils and crisp paper and binders.

Set up a study box for each child.  Make sure that everything is in one place so that they will have the tools to complete homework tasks.  A study box allows kids to set up and do assignments anywhere they like, at the kitchen table, in their room or sitting outside.  Creating the box is a fun way to get everyone involved.  We used Pom-Pow Wow   to decorate our back to school gear. 

Keep it fresh all summer long.  Math and reading are fun and can sometimes be disguised as games.  A deck of cards or a set of dice are amazing tools to make up math drills, times table review or simple addition and subtraction. 

Use technology and apps to engage children in reading.  I love the  Ooka Island app on my ipad.  Kids log in as if playing a game and using their reading skill to unlock a world of fun. 

Back to school is an exciting time of year for children.  It’s a new adventure every year.  By mirroring their excitement and establishing year-round study habits, you are adding to their success.