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PlanetBox Lunch Ideas


Back in August, I had taken a little trip out to Terra20 with my girlfriend and our kids and we checked out a TON of litterless lunch options. She and her grade-two daughter simply could not resist the PlanetBox lunch kit with the rainbows and unicorns. I can't really blame them, can you? But both mom and daughter are still very happy with how the PlanetBox is working out for them. So much so, that I thought I'd share some of the pics … [Read more...]

A Long Weekend at Long Point Eco-Adventures

Look at me, mom! I'm flying at Long Point Eco-Adventures!

We've been hosting Thanksgiving dinners at our home since we moved in, but this year, my parents were travelling and we will be fortunate enough to have an aunt from overseas visiting next weekend. So, we pushed out our big family gathering until next weekend and instead decided to take advantage of the additional day off of work to squeeze in a roadtrip. With an invite in hand from Attractions Ontario, we jumped in our car as soon as we could … [Read more...]

Manitoulin Island: Highlights from our Roadtrip


If you live in Ontario, there's a good chance that you've heard of Manitoulin Island and said to yourself: "Oh, I must visit there one day!" That's exactly how our family felt, so we were sure to include it in our list of places to stop for our family's summer roadtrip 2015. To say we enjoyed our stay on the Island is an understatement. We only had three nights on the island, but could have easily spent far more time exploring, hiking, and … [Read more...]

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Header Image

Have you heard of a "capsule wardrobe"? My friend Trish shared that she'd jumped into the capsule world and never planned to return. So, I needed to know more. I'm thrilled she agreed to write here so we can all take a peek! Take one capsule and call me in the morning I blame Pinterest. “Easy and stylish, it said. “A few key pieces”, it promised. A “capsule” wardrobe. Style left my wardrobe around the time the Bee Gees had their … [Read more...]

Summer Road Trip 2015: Northwest Ontario

road trip 2015

After last year's epic adventure to Australia, this year's summer holiday needed to be a bit more subdued. My husband suggested a road trip across Canada -- from Ottawa to Vancouver. Um, how is that scaling back exactly? He then countered with a camping road trip in Northern Ontario. I was not excited: is there anything but mosquitoes in Northern Ontario? I was wrong. So very, very wrong. For our 10-day trip, here is the route we took: 1. … [Read more...]

Six Recipes for Peanut-Free, Make-Ahead School Snacks

6 Recipes for Make-Ahead Lunch Snacks

Okay, now that I've shared my picks for litterless lunch containers and kits, I think I need to share some recipes for what to put in them! So I've rounded-up recipes from my blogging friends for items that are peanut-free and freezable for school lunches. Enjoy! (And come back and let me know which ones you tried!) Granola Bars We all know granola bars are one of the handiest and easiest things to grab for a lunch ... but what about the … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: Top Picks for Teens


It's no surprise that teens are going to have different lunch needs than a younger child. For one, they need a lot more food! But interestingly enough, I am finding that my own teen, despite a voracious appetite, tends to graze throughout the day when she's at school. When I asked her why, she explained that they weren't given a lot of time to eat and that snacks must be grabbed quickly from a locker in between classes (where they have only 3 … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: Top Picks for Elementary School Kids

Bento Lunch Box

Our family is finding that my son's litterless lunch needs as a elementary school kid are vastly different than what my daughter, in grade 8, prefers. In my introductory post, I listed a slew of factors that play into what works or doesn't work for any particular family's litterless lunch needs. For elementary school kids, my experience with both my son and daughter has been that: Kids love "kits" with fun images, shapes, sizes, and bright … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: What Works Best?

Options for litterless lunches

Since most elementary schools are moving to "boomerang" lunches (where any remaining garbage from a lunch is "boomeranged" back home for disposal) or "litterless" lunches (where the focus is on environmental care), it's no surprise that parents are in need of solutions that work. But what is a solution that works? Well, I've found that there are a number of factors to consider, depending on your family's particular needs. These … [Read more...]

Minecraft Lootbags (for less than $8 each!)

Minecraft Lootbags

As per usual around here, it was the night before the birthday party and I needed to get lootbags ready for 8 boys. I have a major love/hate thing with lootbags. On the one hand: kids love them and it's so fun to see how excited they get at the end of the party when they receive one. On the other hand: they can get really expensive (and time consuming!) and seem to be an unnecessary distraction away from celebrating the birthday boy … [Read more...]

Driftwood Provincial Park: A First Trip


Upon the invite from friends of the family, we strayed from our usual mainstay camping fave of Achray in Algonquin Park over to Driftwood Provincial Park for a weekend stay. The pros of this camping spot: short drive from Ottawa (just over 2 hours) waterfront camp sites are available all sites are well-treed and offer space and privacy the vibe was friendly and there were a lot of families the waterfront is sandy and shallow -- … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Ottawa: Prose in the Park

Photo of table at Ottawa's Prose in the Park

I was flipping through an old newspaper before throwing it into the recycle bin when I came across an article about an upcoming event called "Prose in the Park." Since the paper happened to be old, the event happened to be taking place on that very day. Well, Stella and I were certainly going to need to visit this inaugural event! We drove down from our quiet suburb into the hustle and bustle of Ottawa's Westboro area, where the Parkdale … [Read more...]

All Kids Shine at Starr Gymnastics (Psst! This post includes an amazing giveaway!)

Birthday party at Starr Gymnastics

Our family loves Ottawa's Starr Gymnastics. Both Stella and Max have taken classes there and I'll tell you why: because it's fun and it's positive. For Stella, she appreciated the friendly environment and that she could wear shorts and a t-shirt, since a bodysuit is not required. For Max, we initially enrolled him to help strengthen his core and increase his gross motor coordination, but we stayed on because he was really enjoying the music … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Ottawa: The Governor General’s Arts Awards 2015

Ottawa Fashion Blogger Marilou Moles Never Fails to Impress

Last weekend, the Hubby and I dusted off some fancy-pants clothes and headed out to Canada's National Arts Centre to attend the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. I had been invited as a member of the media last year, and was thrilled to be invited again this year because this event is just spec-tac-u-lar. In addition to the actual show, there are some pre- and post-show activities to book-end the experience. Before the show … [Read more...]

Coffee Service is Stalled

Photo of WTF note left for Julie

I don't know if I should admit this publicly, for fear of being perceived (exposed?) as the biggest princess on earth, but every morning, Hubby brings me up a cup of coffee to my bedside table. He gets up earlier than I do for his work schedule, and this little "coffee service" ensures that I will never, ever let this marriage falter. You might recall that for our 15-year wedding anniversary, he gave me a special gift. So I thought it might be … [Read more...]

Nordik Spa-Nature: Walk in, Float out

Kalla treatment, Nordik Spa-Nature

I wasn't hot. I wasn't cold. I couldn't feel the tension in my shoulders. Nor the nagging, ever-present weight of my head on a weak neck. The room was dim, with candles lit. But I had my eyes closed, blocking out yet another sensory distraction. Only one sense was in action -- under the water, there was sound. A music without words. So primal, it almost felt like it was simply coming from my mind, not entering through my ears. My body … [Read more...]

First Camping Trip of the 2015 Season!

Arriving and setting up.

It will come as no surprise to some of you that we chose Achray campground in Algonquin Park for the location of this season's first outing with the pop-up tent trailer. (If you've never heard of Achray and want to learn more, click here and here for details.) Nature was so kind to us! We had beautiful weather, with beautiful people and left with beautiful memories. So, I'd thought I'd share some of this beautiful with you ... … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: Being Connected Matters #BConnectedConf

Speaking at the BConnected Conference in Ottawa-Gatineau

Attending blogging conferences has been one of the smartest things I've done as a blogger. They allow me to feel connected with people who "get" this crazy need to blog, to learn about a craft that is anything but traditional, and to keep up with technology that moves at break-neck speed. The very first blogging conference I attended was a biggie: BlogHer in 2010. When I'd heard about it, I emailed a local Ottawa blogger I didn't really know … [Read more...]

Mothering & Milestones

mothering and milestones

It's been a while since a new milestone was hit around here. Or, at least, it sort of seemed that way with kids that are almost seven and thirteen. No new words, no first steps, no bedtime rituals to master ... . But I realized this past Mother's Day though that Stella is pushing forward into new milestones. She often stays up past her mom's bedtime (lame as it might be), she now listens to the news, and she makes her own lunches and does her … [Read more...]

Sharing the Magic


Someone's big sister taught him the magic of climbing trees. On Saturday morning, he was confident enough to climb on his own. Once reaching a top branch, he looked out and proclaimed, "I think it would be amazing to read a book in this tree." We couldn't help but shrug and nod in agreement. Later that same day, his two special friends came out to play. One had a Minecraft book with him. Next thing I know, Max is tearing through the house … [Read more...]

It’s Monday after a long weekend. You’re overdue for a night with your bestie! #Ottawa #Giveaway

The Age of Adaline - giveaway

  Yes, it's been a long hard winter. You may even feel that it's aged you a bit along the way. But did winter actually feel any easier when you were 29? Well, duh. Everything's easier when you're 29, right?!! A new movie hitting the screens soon is taking that concept to a whole new -- and thought-provoking -- level. (Granted, I think it could make a great comedy too.) Despite joking with our girlfriends that we're 29 years … [Read more...]

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