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10 Activities You Can Do With Your Kids That Are Good For The World

September 6th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
Teach your children about helping those around them! Create more positive energy in the world and help good go round with Cheerios.

1. Plant some wildflowers!

Get outside, get dirty, and create some beauty! In the process, you'll be doing important work for the bee population. Check here for tips on gardening with the bees in mind.

Get outside, get dirty, and create some beauty! In the process, you’ll be doing important work for the bee population. Check here for tips on gardening with the bees in mind.

2. Learn about national parks online and help your child become a web ranger.

Your child will become an advocate for the earth's beauty.

Your child will become an advocate for the earth’s beauty.

3. Find a local 5K or marathon and make some encouraging signs; then head over and cheer on the runners!

Load up on poster board and glitter pens for a day of sign-making, then put them to use making people feel good!

Load up on poster board and glitter pens for a day of sign-making, then put them to use making people feel good!

4. Have your child help you go through their closet to find clothes to donate.

You could even stage a mini fashion show! Together, you'll quickly realize which outfits they've outgrown, and your child can choose where to take them. Check here for some places that will take your donations.

You could even stage a mini fashion show! Together, you’ll quickly realize which outfits they’ve outgrown, and your child can choose where to take them. Check here for some places that will take your donations.

5. Donate used books to the local library.

As your kids get bigger each year and outgrow picture books, make it a tradition to gather your books and donate them. You'll be helping support the library and making some lucky other children very happy!

As your kids get bigger each year and outgrow picture books, make it a tradition to gather your books and donate them. You’ll be helping support the library and making some lucky other children very happy!

6. Bake cookies for the neighbors.

Teach baking skills while you make a sweet treat that will brighten someone's day.

Teach baking skills while you make a sweet treat that will brighten someone’s day.

7. Create a lemonade stand and donate all the proceeds to a charity you choose together.

Take this classic activity and give it a good spin — picking a charity will help your child learn about important causes, and giving the money they earn to something they care about will feel great.

Take this classic activity and give it a good spin — picking a charity will help your child learn about important causes, and giving the money they earn to something they care about will feel great.

8. Create handmade thank-you notes and deliver them to your local service people.

It will make your mail carrier's day!

It will make your mail carrier’s day!

9. Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter.

Shelters need all the help they can get, and your kids will have the time of their lives. Plus, a love for animals is best cultivated early.

Shelters need all the help they can get, and your kids will have the time of their lives. Plus, a love for animals is best cultivated early.

10. Visit a local nursing home together.

You'll bring great joy to the nursing home residents and also help your kids develop empathy and understanding.

You’ll bring great joy to the nursing home residents and also help your kids develop empathy and understanding.

Animation by Marjan Farsad / BuzzFeed © 2017

One last easy way to make good go round is to gather round, literally. Make a circle with your family and take a picture. Share it on social media using #GOODGOESROUND, and Cheerios will help secure meals for families in need. Go to to learn more.

Cheerios exists to create more positive energy in the world. Make the world a better place, with Cheerios!


Pray for These 5 Areas of Your Child’s Life That Satan Wants to Attack

July 31st, 2017 | 2 Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
Alicia Michelle is an author, speaker and blogger. But first and foremost, she’s a mom of four. And here, she shares 5 powerful ways to pray for the areas of your child’s life that Satan will surely try to attack.

There’s a reason why so many of us begin praying for our children while they’re still in the womb. We understand that we’re in a war.God’s Word describes it this way in Ephesians 6:12“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

And while we’re all targets for the enemy’s schemes, Satan is smart enough to recognize that attacks on our kids are especially powerful.

He understands that if he can grab their hearts and establish false teachings in their mind from the earliest age, all he has to do is sit back and watch the dominos fall. 

Yes, it’s a terrifying thought to know that our children have an enemy that actively plots to hurt them.

But here’s the great news:
The Bible promises that nothing, nothing can thwart God’s good plans for our children.

No plan from the enemy can snatch our kids out of God’s awesome covering. And speaking of that enemy, we read in Revelation 20 that he has already lost the war. Amen!

As Christians, our job now is to fight! And as Christian parents, these great battles for our kids’ hearts are fought in prayer as we use God’s Truth to claim victory, break down half-truths and ask for divine guidance (2 Corinthian 10:3-5).

However, as a parent, it’s incredibly easy to be overwhelmed by this task! We know that we’re supposed to be praying for our kids. But what specific areas are our kids most susceptible to satanic attack?

Truly, there’s no one answer to that question! Every child is unique.

Yet, I believe there are 5 general areas where our enemy tends to attack this generation of kids. Let’s take a look at each of them and discover how we can best pray against the enemy’s evil schemes.

Area #1: Self-Worth

We want our children’s inner thoughts and self-worth to reflect the thoughts that God has about them.

Instead of being filled with puffed up pride or mere “self-love,” we desire that they believe the truth. They are beautifully handmade by a Creator who loves them so much that He gave His son’s life to have a relationship with them.

We want them to understand how much God values them, and that nothing or no one can change who they are in Christ.

How Satan Attacks: 

He teaches them that life is all about them and their pleasure.

He tells them that they need to ignore that voice of conviction that tells them things are right or wrong.

At the same time, he is quick to condemn them for their mistakes. He likes to “rub their noses in it” and tell them they aren’t worthy.

How We Can Pray: 

Dear Jesus, help our kids know that we are all born as sinners and separated from God because of our wicked hearts. However, at an early age, help our children grasp the life-transforming concept that they don’t have to live as a sinner under that condemnation. 

Teach our children that they have the opportunity to accept a new, beautiful identity that is called “good,” not because of what they have done or what they look like, but because they are secure in who YOU say they are: treasured, delightful, known and protected. Let them not place their self-worth in accomplishments they may or may not achieve. Instead, let them discover these deeper truths about who You believe they are and build every decision they make on that sure foundation. 

Area #2: Body Image

We want our kids to have a deep reverence for the intricate way their unique body is formed. And because of this respect, we want our kids to grow up honoring their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

We want our kids to treat their bodies with respect by honoring the boundaries God suggests, such as sexual exchange only between a man and a woman within the confines of a marital relationship.

While we want our kids to take care of their bodies through healthy food choices and regular exercise, we also want them to understand their physical appearance does not define them.

How Satan Attacks:

The enemy is hard at work in this area today! First, he tells our kids they’re not uniquely made. Rather, he suggests they’re simply a result of a random combination of genes that’s taken millions of years to create.

Then he convinces our kids that they are mere animals with physical desires that should be fulfilled at any cost. He wants them to believe that physical pleasure (such as sexuality outside of marriage) is normal and right and that anyone who tells them differently is being judgmental.

In terms of health, he uses television and the media to oh-so-subtly promote certain body shapes as ideal over others. Tweens and teens are especially weak in this area since their bodies are rapidly changing on the outside and they are asking pivotal questions about self-identity on the inside. He convinces them that every measure must be taken to achieve these ideal body images, including those that lead to eating disorders and drug abuse.

How We Can Pray:

Dear Jesus, we weep with you over the number of our kids who are buying into the lie that sexual pleasure is something to experiment with. We pray that our kids would treasure their sexuality as a true gift from You. That they would honor that gift by saving it as a precious treasure to give their future spouse. We ask that you would help them to be strong in the face of their own desires. That they would choose purity in the face of temptation. 

Lord we also ask that you’d protect our kids from the idea that they must do anything and everything (including abusing their bodies through eating disorders, drug abuse, or other harmful behaviors) in order to attaining a “preferred” shape or figure. We pray you’d protect our kids from that kind of destructive thinking. And that if they’re tempted to take these kind of drastic measures, that you’d send someone in their lives to stop them. Help them to remember over and over that their identity is not in how they look on the outside but what you see as their potential and worth on the inside.

We pray that our children would treasure their health as a gift from God. That they would have a passion to eat nutritious food and to stay active in order to do their part to take care of this treasure.

Area #3: Influences

We want our kids to be surrounded by those who can influence them toward God’s great purpose for their lives. We also want our kids to grow to become those people who influence others in powerful ways for the greater good.

How Satan Attacks:

Satan’s easiest way to attack here would be, of course, to simply surround our kids with bad influences. But he’s a little trickier than that.

While he still does try to place negative influences in our children’s lives, he knows that we are good parents who do our best to protect our kids from the bad influences.

So he often attempts the opposite: He does everything in his power to (subtly) keep the good influences out.

He keeps our kids away from God’s word. He keeps our children’s parents (that’s us!) too busy and distracted to influence our kids as needed. He strengthens our children’s natural tendency to laziness and complacency.

Using books, television, news reports and social media, he slowly simmers our kids in the false thinking that truth is relative and not absolute. Through this process, he affirms the falsehood that an individual’s godly influence is irrelevant and can even be considered offensive and judgmental against others’ beliefs.

Slowly, he convinces them that they can’t make a difference. That they really don’t have the power the change things anyway, so why even try?

How We Can Pray:

First, oh Lord, forgive us for the times when we have misplaced our priorities so that we haven’t been available to model a strong relationship with You in front of our kids. Help us to understand the power of our influence in our children’s lives and to reorder our schedule so that we can be available to both directly and indirectly offer the godly influence that our kids desperately need. 

Second, while we do pray our kids be protected from negative influences, we also pray you surround them with friendships and mentor-type relationships that portray what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ. In turn, we pray that you would raise our kids up to be the influencers of the next generation. We pray that you would allow godliness and righteousness to dwell in their hearts so richly that these evidences of your truth spill out of them and to every person they encounter. 

Through it all, we pray that they would not be prone to laziness or complacency. Rather, we pray they would believe that even a single candle burning in the dark makes a difference and would boldly stand up for truth, even when it’s unpopular.

Area #4: Passions

We want our kids to live purposefully and passionately, always seeking God’s direction. We want them to grow up with a willingness to persevere, a deep understanding of the cost (and joys) of commitment, and to be unwilling to settle for complacency and comfort.

How Satan Attacks: 

He distracts and confuses them. He encourages them to use emotion to guide their decision-making instead of seeking to align their passions with what God is already doing.

In addition, he doesn’t want our kids to understand or appreciate their unique personality and talents that God has divinely given them.

Instead, he encourages them toward laziness. He convinces them to be content with seeking self-pleasure and the easy way out. Through mindless pursuits, he keeps them numb to the better life of magnificent beauty that comes from following God’s wild and wonderful best path.

How We Can Pray:

God, help us to know how to guide our kids in their passions by blessing us with the divine wisdom to know when to joyfully open up the gates toward new freedoms and desires, and when to curtail our children’s passions because they’re not able to accept the responsibilities yet in full. Help us model to our kids what it means to live passionately for You by boldly following the dreams you’ve placed in our heart, never settling for complacency.  

Help us to direct our kids with both cautiousness and courage, not allowing our own fears about “what if…?” get in the way of how You want to use them in the world. We pray that our children would continuously seek your ways and your wisdom, regardless of what life brings. We pray that they would understand their importance in the world. That you’d make clear to them at a very early age how they can use their God-given talents to play a role in Your passion to show both truth and love to the nations.

We want our children to have a healthy relationship with money. They should understand that possessions are not equated to a person’s worth nor do they bring ultimate happiness. We want them to understand the things of this world can bring us enjoyment, but lasting joy is found only in God.

Area #5: Money, Possessions and Work

We want our children to have a healthy relationship with money. They should understand that possessions are not equated to a person’s worth nor do they bring ultimate happiness. We want them to understand the things of this world can bring us enjoyment, but lasting joy is found only in God.

How Satan Attacks:

Like Eve in the Garden, the enemy teases and tempts our kids with good looking “fruit” (worldly possessions) that he promises will solve their problems and bring fulfillment.

He convinces them that they need to do everything they can to get ahead (including compromising their values, if need be). Because having lots of money and possessions is the ultimate goal.

Through a spirit of ingratitude, he keeps them insecure, empty and preoccupied with thoughts of what they do not have so that they’re always looking for more.

How We Can Pray:

Heavenly Father, help us to model a healthy example of how to handle possessions and money. Help us to work hard, but to not wear ourselves out in order to get rich so that our children can witness a positive, godly view of hard work and the pursuit of success. 

We pray that our kids would persevere in whatever vocation you give them. That they would work with cheerful hearts as if they were serving you directly. 

We pray our kids would see at an early age that money and possessions are a gift from You and thus must be always held with an open hand so that You can use those gifts to bless others. 

We ask that our kids would find their value in their true identity as a child of You, not in the possessions they do or do not have. We pray for contentment and gratefulness in whatever situation they’re given—rich or poor. We pray they would have a steadfast commitment to work hard with the talents you’ve given them so that they could support themselves, their families and use their money as a way to bless others in need. 

Ultimately, we pray that they would discover that the greatest “wealth” they could possess would be in relationships, especially in a relationship with You.

Brothers and sisters, let’s commit anew today. Let’s begin regularly fighting against the enemy’s schemes by powerfully praying for our child’s life in these areas!

We Were in Marital Hell

July 31st, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips

Struggle and Victory and How to Build a Strong Marriage Foundation

Through God’s work in our lives, we’ve beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.

by KAY WARREN // @KayWarren1

I’ve always been a church girl. Most of my earliest memories are tied to the people and the small churches my dad pastored in San Diego, California. I remember feeling the pressure to be the perfect pastor’s kid who knew all the right answers to Bible trivia questions. I recall the heavy pressure to be a model for other people and especially the pressure not to embarrass or cause shame to my parents by exposing our family flaws.

Many of my experiences are probably common to others who grew up in a pastor’s home, but a few incidents weren’t related to my dad’s job, and they marked me in ways that have taken me years to overcome. I was molested by the son of the church janitor when I was four or five. I remember not telling my parents because it was “bad” and because as a young child I didn’t have the language to express what had happened.

The deepest place of confusion and internal struggle for me as a teenager was finding pornography at the home of neighbors where I babysat. I was both fascinated and repelled by this forbidden material. It was clearly taboo for a Christian young woman who sincerely wanted to live a pure and holy life for Jesus, but somehow one night I picked it up and looked at it. Instant self-loathing, guilt, and remorse. How can I look at pornography? I love Jesus! I want to be a missionary! I’ll never look at it again, I told myself. And I didn’t. Until the next time I babysat. And the time after that. And the time after that. And before long, I was hooked. The good girl who loved Jesus with all her heart had a secret fascination with pornography, and the shame about killed me. I couldn’t reconcile my temptations and my faith; I was torn apart on the inside. Worst of all, I couldn’t tell anyone about it.

Love and marriage

I continued in this state of internal conflict and failure, all the while knowing I was in deep trouble. I wanted out but didn’t have a clue how to change. Then I met Rick Warren when I was 17 at a training to be part of a summer youth evangelism team that would travel to Baptist churches in the cities and towns of California. We reconnected a year later as freshmen at California Baptist College, a small liberal arts college in Riverside, California, and became casual friends.

He asked me out to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in the fall of 1973, and I grudgingly went. A week later—eight days to be precise—he accompanied me to a revival. When we got back to campus, we prayed together to close out the evening. Sitting in the dark, I heard him say, “Will you marry me?” I recall instantly praying and asking the Lord what I should do. I heard God respond, Say yes. I’ll bring the feelings. And so with my 19-year-old understanding of life, romance, God, his will, faith, and my desire to be obedient to him, I said yes. Kay Lewis and Rick Warren got engaged.

Not “the perfect couple”

As I walked down the aisle and stared into the shining eyes of the earnest, kind young man who had asked me to marry him, I knew I was loved. The way he looked at me on our wedding day became an anchor I would hold on to during the darker times when I wasn’t sure we were going to survive the mess our marriage had become.

Our brand-new marriage took an instant nosedive. We didn’t even make it to the end of our two-week honeymoon to British Columbia before we knew our relationship was in serious trouble. We had been warned about five areas of potential conflict all couples have to deal with, and we immediately jumped into all five of them: sex, communication, money, children, and in-laws. We were so young—barely 21—and inexperienced, and when sex didn’t work and we argued about sex, and then argued about our arguments and began to layer resentment on top of resentment, it was a perfect setup for misery and disenchantment.

What made it worse was that everyone considered us the perfect couple. When we returned from the honeymoon, already miserable and shocked at the depth of our unhappiness, we felt like we had nowhere to go with our wretched pain and marital failures. I had told Rick about being molested as a little girl—he was the first person I ever told—but because I was so unemotional about it, he figured it wasn’t that significant an incident to me and basically forgot about it. I kept my occasional ventures into pornography a complete secret. Between the effects of the unaddressed molestation, the resulting brokenness in my sexuality, and the off-and-on pornography fascination, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that sex didn’t work.

The weight of misery

Rick and I managed to limp our way through our first year of marriage, all the while he was a youth pastor to a vibrant group of kids who filled our small apartment at all hours of the day and night. We were young enough and naïve enough—and thoroughly conditioned by our strict upbringing—to not recognize the damage we were causing to ourselves by hiding and pretending everything was okay.

On our second wedding anniversary, we moved for Rick to pursue a master’s degree in theology so that he could become a senior pastor. We still had massive problems with sex, communication, and money, and we were in marital hell. The common understanding of the day was if you love Jesus enough, your marriage will be happy. What was so confusing was that we loved Jesus with all our hearts and were committed to the local church. How could things be so bad?

The fact that we were miserable weighed on both of us like a giant boulder, but we didn’t see any way out. I think we hoped that one morning we would just wake up and find it was all a bad dream and that somehow all our problems would simply vanish. We wanted to honor the sacred wedding vows we had made before God and our loved ones, so divorce wasn’t on our radar. But neither could we visualize living in such pain for the rest of our lives. We just didn’t know what to do or how to create a healthy marriage out of the shattered pieces of conflict, disappointment, dysfunction, and resentment.

Sticking it out

Over time, as we both grew as individuals and as we sought counseling together, we began to experience healing in our marriage. Yes, we faced many rough patches over the decades of our marriage, but I’m so glad we stuck it out through our painful first few years. God has worked in our life together—and he’s used our marriage struggles and failures to draw us closer to him and to each other.

Through my decades of ministry, I’ve talked to hundreds of women and couples who were in lonely, unfulfilling marriages—marriages in which their dreams had turned to dust. Where the passion had long since been buried under the daily grind of careers, children, pressure, stress, and unfulfilled longings. Some of these marriages ended with a loud bang as anger and bitterness corroded any sense of decency and humanity and compassion for the other. Some ended with shock, soul-shattering pain, and disillusionment as betrayal made a mockery of the vows of faithfulness. Some ended with a quiet whisper—silence—as boredom, illness, financial struggles, or any other of myriad issues made even dry, brown grass on the other side of the fence look so much greener than the barren wasteland on their side of the fence.

From the trenches

I don’t approach this subject from the Hallmark-card version of marriage but from the blood, sweat, and tears of the trenches where our marriage was forged and is sustained. I know what it’s like to choose to build our relationship; to seek marriage counseling again and again; to allow our small group and our family into the struggle; to determine one more time to say, “Let’s start over” and “Please forgive me, I was wrong” and “I forgive you.” I know what it’s like to admit that my way isn’t the only way to see the world and to try to imagine what it’s like to be on the other side of me; to choose to focus on what is good and right and honorable in my husband instead of what drives me crazy; to turn attraction to another man into attraction to my husband.

I know what it’s like to have vastly opposing opinions on how to handle and cope with a mentally ill child; to have fear and anxiety and panic threaten to swallow up normal life; to become consumed with the needs of one member of the family. I know what it’s like to be cracked open by catastrophic grief and to share it with your spouse when you’re so different; to figure out how to grieve and mourn together when your mentally ill child takes his life in a violent way and your grief is public because you’re in ministry and your glass-house, fishbowl existence is fodder for scrolling headlines on CNN.

We’ve beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union. We’ve weathered my breast cancer and melanoma. We’ve survived the mental illness and suicide of our son Matthew. And now we know. We know we are the best thing that has ever happened to each other. I am in love with the man God brought into my life so many years ago. Each of us is not who the other was looking for, but each of us is who the other desperately needed to become the person we each are today. Yet, it’s also been the very best thing that has ever happened to either of us. We wouldn’t be who we are today without each other. I’m a better Christian, a better woman, a better mother, a better friend, and a better minister because of Rick. He says he’s a better Christian, a better man, a better father, a better friend, and a better minister because of me. The shrieks of iron sharpening iron have often sounded like gears grinding on bare metal, but the result has been profound personal growth in both of us.

Because Laughter Is Good for the Soul…And Your Marriage #goodwilldatenight

July 31st, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
Well since our facebook post has gone viral I figured now was an appropriate time to detail our date night a little more.

Shane and I try very hard to be intentional with date nights.  We have a baby girl and it is so easy to get wrapped up in her and her cuteness.  So, in an effort to keep our marriage first, we try to go on a date night one night a week.  And we try to make them fun!

Shane heard of another couple who went to Goodwill and picked outfits for their date nights and so we just had to do it.  To most people’s surprise, the whole date night was Shane’s idea.  But, we are very competitive so we had to add some rules to it.

Rule One: You each get $10 in Goodwill to shop for the other person and they have to wear what you pick.  This was so much fun.  We found some crazy stuff in Goodwill and made each other try on outfits until we found the perfect one.  This cued the insane laughter from the start of the date night.  My husband is absolutely goofy so as you can imagine I tried on some CRAZY outfits.  We ended up only spending $13 for both masterpieces.

Rule Two: Once you leave Goodwill, it’s like fight club, no one talks about it.  We had to resume date night as normal and pretend like we had no idea our outfits were off the wall.  We went to Longhorn for dinner so of course we had to wait for a table.  The minute we got out of the car we had to put on our game faces.  People were snickering as they walked by and we got a lot of side eye from the hostess.  Again, to most people’s surprise, NO ONE said a word to us about our outfits.  Everyone just looked and laughed behind our backs I’m sure.

Rule Three: You have to pick fake names and go by them all evening.  This didn’t start as a rule but after we saw the outfits we knew it had to happen.  When I walked out of the dressing room Shane said “Ethel get your choir book and come on” and from that point on I was stuck with Ethel.  And really, who wears more plaid than a “Roger” which I affectionately shortened to “Rog” in front of our waiter.

Y’all I don’t think we have laughed this hard in a long time.  Marriage is tough, parenting is tough, and honestly life is tough.  But everything is better when you’re doing it with your best friend.  So, have fun and make sure you hashtag all of your pictures with #goodwilldatenight so we can laugh at your pictures too!

***Disclaimer- to all of the people posting that Shane and I are “goals”, thanks.  But, we are both very off the wall, sinful people.  We only have a great marriage because we put our relationship with Jesus Christ first and let Him tell us how to live and love.  Without Him loving us and showing us how to love each other we would be nothing!

10 Things to Do with Kids in Ottawa This Summer

July 5th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips

There is so much going on in Ottawa this summer that it is difficult to see and do everything, but we narrowed down our to-do list to ten things: traditional activities like summer fairs and drive-in movies, and a few of the special Canada 150 activities, including MosaiCanada 150. What’s on your summer bucket list?

Summer vacation is rolling out the welcome mat for kids all across the Nation’s Capital. And if your kids are like mine, then they are ready to run off some energy and have some fun! Every summer my family and I make a “bucket list” of things we must see and do as a family to make summer awesome! This year our list is a little longer than 10, but here are our top 10 things to do as a family in Ottawa this summer:

1) Visit the new Canada-themed park at Mooney’s Bay
If you haven’t been to the new Canada-themed park at Mooney’s Bay with the family yet, pack a picnic lunch and plan a day or even a few hours to take in the play structures, slides and swings that each represent a different province or territory. The park is located next to Mooney’s Bay Beach—a great spot to cool off on a hot summer’s day!

2) Check out the new Canada Goose Arctic Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature
The Arctic Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature just opened June 21st and is filled with interactive activities, games, interesting facts and educational fun for the entire family. This new permanent gallery is full of unique ways to celebrate Canada’s Arctic!

3) See the Northern Lights Sound and Light bilingual show on Parliament Hill
The Sounds and Lights show is always impressive, but with Canada 150 it’s a must-see summer event this year! Grab some snacks and a picnic blanket and head down to Parliament Hill in the late evening from July 11th to September 16th to enjoy Northern Lights, a show about the foundations of our nation and so much more. For tips on how to make the evening a memorable one, check out our tips here.

4) Check out MosaiCanada 150
MosaiCanada 150 is a FREE horticultural event featuring paintings, sculptures, artistic works, as well as 40 impressive horticulture arrangements (some larger than life!). MosaiCanada 150 is held at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau from June 30th to October 15th and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. This unique horticultural event is a part of the ongoing activities celebrating Canada 150.

5) Watch an outdoor movie
Every year we try to watch an outdoor movie and this year we not only plan on returning to the Port Elmsley Drive-In, but also grabbing a lawn chair and going to one of the more urban outdoor movies. Capital Pop-Up Cinema runs local outdoor movies that look like a lot of fun– here’s their schedule:

6) Be wowed by La Machine at the end of July
I keep seeing the La Machine event pop up in my Facebook newsfeed and every time I see it, I can’t get over how impressive it looks. From July 27 to the 30th these big machines – including the dragon, LongMa, which according to the event website, stands 12 metres high, 5 metres high and weighs 45 tons, will be roaming the downtown streets of Ottawa. This incredible weekend is a part of the ongoing celebrations for Canada 150.

7) Visit a summer fair
Cotton candy, demolition derbies, carousels, concerts, live entertainment, and more, Ottawa offers many local summer fairs including these:
July 14-16: Almonte Fair
July 28-30: Beachburg Fair
August 10-13: Navan Fair
August 17-20: Arnprior Fair
August 18-27: The Capital Fair
August 25-27: Chesterville Fair
September 7-10: Russell Fair
September 14-17: Richmond Fair
September 21-24: Carp Fair
September 28-October 1: Metcalfe Fair

8) Pretend we’re pirates at Pirate Adventures Ottawa
If you have ever wanted to bring out your inner Jack Sparrow or Jake the Neverland Pirate then this 75-minute interactive pirate-theatre cruise may be for you! Located at Mooney’s Bay this pirate ship adventure includes costumes, face painting, treasure maps, and much more!

9) Actually make it through the Mile Maze at Saunders Farm
Jumping pillows, an amazing play structure, and of courses mazes! Saunders Farm is a lot of fun and one of these days I WILL make it through the mile maze without having to ask complete strangers if they can help me find my way out. ;)

10) Connect with nature at Eco-Odysee
Beautiful scenery, water maze adventures, exploring and puzzle solving – Eco Odysee in the Outaouais is a great way to spend a summer’s day outside and in nature.

10 Things Your Teen Loves to Hear

June 7th, 2017 | 1 Comment | Posted in Advice and Tips
Some parents might grit their teeth and bemoan the drama of the adolescent years, but I can’t think of anything more fun than hanging out with teens. I liken the teen years to a roller coaster. Once you’re on it, there’s no getting off until the ride’s over, so you might as well stay positive and enjoy it. After all, having teens at home probably means you can have kitchen karaoke parties, or someone who pretends your home is an Indian takeout restaurant when he answers the phone.

Of course surging hormones and adolescent angst can sometimes cause your teen to explode. He might know how to push your buttons better than anyone else, but positive communication that affirms your teen can improve your relationship and help lessen conflict.

Here are 10 things our teens love and need to hear from us:

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/zdenkam

Ashley’s Secret to an Easy, Healthy Weekday Breakfast!

May 1st, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
Egg Muffins have changed my life. Not Egg McMuffins, Egg Muffins :)  Homemade, little frittatas that you whip together Sunday afternoon & you have an amazing healthy, grab-and-go breakfast for the whole week! The best part about these little muffins is that all you need is a carton of eggs, which costs you around $3 and whatever veggies you have left over. You can add meat or cheese but only if you want! This is the cheapest, healthiest breakfast you’ll find anywhere.


  • 1 tbs oil
  • 10 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of diced pepper (you pick the colour)
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • grated cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 12-slot muffin pan with muffin liners – makes clean up SO easy!!
  3. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once hot, add in 1 tbs oil, pepper, mushroom and onion.
  5. Saute 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
  6. Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk together
  7. Stir in cooked veggies
  8. Stir in spinach
  9. Add hot sauce &/or cheese, if using
  10. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked.
  12. Let cool
  13. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for the week. (These may also be frozen.)
  14. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.
These will revolutionize your morning routine. Enjoy!