Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Help! There's a MOUSE in My Dishwasher!

Can You Guess What I Found Inside My Dishwasher?

My dog was behaving funny, sniffing back and forth behind the fridge.  Before I could ponder why, a little grey mouse scurried out and dashed for the dining room!  “There’s a MOUSE in the house!”, I shouted to my husband.  We did a stakeout, a full lockdown, a chair barricade and a rodent raid, but could not find the offending critter.  We turned on the tv and hoped that the mouse would go away on its own.  There was a rustling in our garbage bag, but the mouse dashed off before it could be caught.

“I think I’ll call the mouse Nikolai Alexi.”, I told my husband dreamily.  It seemed a fitting name for a brave, dashing mouse.

The evening continued in the same vein, with me half-watching tv, half listening for Nikolai.  I suddenly heard the pitter patter of little mouse feet in my kitchen.  I jumped up, and the mouse darted behind the oven.  And then I saw it: little brown pieces of “rice” on my kitchen counter!  This was not rice!  My house had been violated!  “We need to buy mouse traps right away!  Humane traps so we can set Nikolai Alexi free in the wild!”  My husband had an idea that had to do with the mouse meeting a broom, but we went with my idea instead.

The humane mouse traps didn’t catch anything except the $20 we spent on them.  Nikolai Alexi was getting bolder, and he seemed to always be in two places at once.  I was finding mouse poo regularly in my kitchen.  After searching for tips on the internet, I changed my bait from Swiss cheese to peanut butter.  Nikolai was not biting.  I begged my husband to embrace the humane way of catching the mouse.

I rinsed a glass and put it into my locked dishwashing machine.  What?  Was that brown rice at the bottom of the dishwasher too?  I looked more closely, and I thought I saw a small grey tail disappear into the drain hole at the bottom of the machine!  “We’re buying new mouse traps TONIGHT!”, I shrilled, completely grossed out by a dirty rodent living in my dishwasher!  I disinfected the dishwashing machine thoroughly and ran it for 3 very long, hot cycles.

We set up one wood spring-loaded mouse trap that night, just like the ones you see in cartoons.  The two-pack was much cheaper than even one humane trap.  I put peanut butter on the trigger.  The next morning I came downstairs filled with dread, for fear that Nikolai Alexi would be dead in the trap.  There was no mouse, but the trap had been licked clean.  On advice, we set two traps against the walls where a mouse would usually run.  We hid one behind the fridge, and the second behind the oven, casting our net wide.

The next morning, I peered behind the oven and saw that the trap had been disturbed, and it was now upside down.  I took a broom handle and retrieved it.  There inside the trap was Nikolai Alexi, no longer a brave, dashing mouse.  Not usually a woman of tears, I began to cry for poor dead Nikolai, and also out of relief that the menace was now gone from my kitchen.  Nikolai looked much smaller than I had envisioned him to be.  We dropped the mouse and trap pair in the garbage and put it outside.

The mouse had been caught, so I was about to throw out the second, undisturbed trap.  What stopped me, was the sage advice I received from my Mom: “Where there’s one mouse, there’s likely to be others!”  Could it be that Nikolai Alexi had not been acting alone?

Can you guess it?  The very next morning the second mouse trap was also occupied by a mouse looking exactly like Nikolai Alexi!  Was it a brother, a sister, an auntie?  I just could not tell with the strong family resemblance.  They both had a grey back and a white tummy.  In lieu of the infestation, no more tears were shed by me.  This was war!

I unlocked my pristinely sanitized dishwasher, and there was more mouse poo at the bottom!  I removed every dish and glass from its inner sanctum, and replaced the dishware with 2 more mouse traps laced with peanut butter.  We had just tucked ourselves into bed, when I heard the SNAP! of a mousetrap.  It was surprisingly loud through the locked dishwasher door.  I felt sick to my stomach fishing out the dead mouse from my beautiful dishwasher!  Yes, you counted right, a 3rd mouse in my house, er, dishwasher!

Not 30 minutes later, there was another audible SNAP!  The 4th mouse made me sad, as it was the only baby among all the mice, and it had cute little ears, a tiny pink nose and whiskers.  We did another round of traps in the dishwasher, and also caught mouse #5 and #6.  I had one more trap, and set it up.  Days passed, and there was not so much as a nibble at the peanut butter on the trap.  Once again I followed my Mom’s advice: “No harm to keep the trap out for another week, just to be sure you’ve caught the last one.”  I was a little skeptical, as there were no more signs of mice in the house.

It was the fourteenth day and I was just about to take down the last mouse trap.  The house had been lovingly swept, there was no food or garbage within a mouse’s reach, and no more brown rice in the dishwasher.  And there it was in the trap, unlucky mouse #7!  How had all the mice gotten into a sealed dishwasher?  I guess the mystery must have died with the mice, and Nikolai Alexi took the secret to his grave.

This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the Wednesday October 30th, 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

10 Reasons Why I’d Go Back to The She’s Connected Conference!



I had the pleasure of attending the She’s Connected 2012 Conference (SCCTO) in Toronto last weekend!  Although I‘ve attended many different conferences and tradeshows over the past two decades, I had never attended a “blogging” show.  Here are 10 reasons why I would go back to SCCTO next year:

1.Online Friends Your online friends are even more awesome in person, than viewed through a computer screen!  I had the pleasure of finally meeting Brandi from Yee Wittle Things, Sandy from Zwap Canada and lots of other special online gal pals at SCCTO!

2.New Friends The amount of new friends I made at SCCTO was astronomical!  Many of these fantastic ladies I had known of from reading their blogs, and it was great to finally put a face to a name, er, blog!  In no particular order it was great to meet Common Cents Mom, Sober Julie, In R Dream, My Bits and Bleeps, Tales of a Ranting Ginger, Life on Manitoulin, Ottawa Mommy Club, Life's a Blog, Mom Vs. The Boys, Thrifty Mom Media, Our Family World, Orange Hero Mom, Althea Officinalis, Mommy Gearest, Journeys of the Zoo, Nugglemama's Handful, and so many more!
Mommy Gearest (left) and Sober Julie during a breakout session
3. Brands, Brands, Brands! The sheer number of brands that I had a chance to meet with face-to-face at SCCTO was MEGA!  I had the pleasure of speaking with Walt Disney World Company (Canada), PepsiCo, Hasbro, Environics Communications, ING Direct, CAA South Central Ontario, ING Direct, Ford Canada and The Huffington Post, just to name a few of the brands!


4. Opportunities!Wow!  The connections I made with some brands quickly opened new doors, and presented myself with immediate opportunities.  One such opportunity was with The Huffington Post Canada, and I am currently writing for them!  I also have many other opportunities in the works, that I can tie directly to the She’s Connected Conference.
One of many great panels at SCCTO, featuring Ford, Ketchum, High Road Communications,
 Hill & Knowlton, Cohn & Wolfe & Strategic Objectives
5. Great Speakers!I attended both days of the She’s Connected Conference, and during that timeframe managed to hear 14 different speakers discussing topics that were of interest to me.  Some such speakers were Keynote Brigitte Richardson from Ford Motor Company, Keynote Kate White (Former Editor-in-Chief from Cosmopolitan Magazine) and Richard Ellis from McDonald’s.  Content included Blogger Relations, Content Strategies, Monetizing a Blog, Social Media, Book Signings, Brand/Agencies and more!
      
6. Pampering!I was royally pampered at SCCTO, including a mini manicure and massage in the McDonald’s Lounge, and real mink eyelashes at the iLash.me booth.  I would have loved to have had my hair coiffed at the Blo Blow Dry Hair Bar booth, but did not get the chance.  Next year!
Julia from Nugglemama's Handful gets a massage
McDonald's Lounge at SCCTO
7. Swag!For the swag-loving crowd out there, the swag was cool and plentiful and SCCTO!  Personal favourites include a Maple Leaf Bacon “Fashionista” t-shirt, The Printing House Umbrella, Almond Fresh tetra packs of beverage and the incredible “Real” Spoon bracelet from Handmade Treasures.
 
8. Everyone “Gets” ItWorth mentioning, everyone I met at the conference “gets” it—what’s it like to be a blogger, to blog, and why it’s important.  This is not something that everyone “gets” and it was nice to be among kin.

9. The Parties! One of the disadvantages of attending a conference in my own hometown, is being called back home and not being able to attend the fab parties!  I’ll try not to make the same mistake next year, as I heard that the SCCTO parties were fabulous!  I saw the pics, and I’m so sorry I missed being a part of it.

10.   Let Me Speak! The 10th reason that I would love to attend The She’s Connected Conference next year, is so I can be a speaker and share what I have learned this year as a blogger.  I remember being an absolute newbie, and all the questions I originally had.  Wouldn’t that be great!

So, where do I sign up to attend SCCTO 2013—or better yet, SCCVAN 2013 this January or February in Vancouver!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Almond Fresh Noel Nog for the Holidays!

It is never too early to start planning your holiday menu!  Although I love family traditions, it is fun to shake things up and leave room to try new things.  For example, Almond Fresh Noel Nog!  Noel Nog is a NEW dairy-free and egg-free holiday nog.  It is also a fortified almond beverage.  And a 250ml glass is only 100 calories!     

But how do almond beverages taste?  Well, I can answer this question, as I had the opportunity to try Earth's Own Almond Fresh beverages at the recent She's Connected conference in Toronto!  I was able to pick between the Unsweetened, Chocolate, Coconut and  Vanilla Almond Fresh flavours.  Always the chocolate lover, I tried chocolate and found it quite tasty!  The best comparison I can make is that it tasted very similar to chocolate milk, but with a nuttier, less creamy texture.  I would definitely drink this on a regular basis.

The Almond Fresh Booth at the She's Connected Conference in Toronto
       
But I put Almond Fresh to the ultimate test when I had my little critic try "Almond on the Go", Original flavour, their product in a drinking box.  My son and his siblings really loved the beverage, and kept referring to it as "milk".  So, the flavour seems to also appeal to kids.

He Loved the Almond on the Go Drink!
Looking at the ingredient list, I was pleased to see that a 250g glass of Almond on the Go Original, was only 70 calories.  And I was impressed that that same serving also yielded 50% of the daily requirement of  Vitamin B12--AND 45% of the daily requirement of Vitamin D.  Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the functioning of brain and nervous system, whereas Vitamin D is essential for bone growth.  What an easy way to get both important vitamins, just by enjoying a glass of Almond Fresh!
tetraoriginal_nftprodshot
Earth's Own Almond Original is High in Vitamins B12 & D!
Have you tried Almost Fresh before?  If not, what flavour would you reach for to try first?  Would you be interested in trying Noel Nog this holiday season?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Threat: Peanut Allergies at School

It was our first child’s very first year of school.  As first-time parents often do, my husband and I eagerly attended the Junior Kindergarten orientation.  Topics for discussion were curriculum, busing, and what to pack in our child’s backpack.  We went over the checklist: change of clothing in case our child had an accident, check!  Indoor shoes so the classroom would not get muddy, check!  Two peanut-free snacks and a peanut-free lunch…wait!  Our child’s school was completely peanut-free, we learned to our surprise!
What did we know about peanut allergies at that time?  Well, we knew that our son did not have this allergy, and of that we were thankful.  We knew that it meant that we would have to find peanut-free alternatives for snacks and lunch, which would equate to no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no nutty granola bars and the likes.  This was definitely not a big deal.  We went to our local grocery store and read the ingredient list of some granola bars, many had nuts.  The very few did not.  This was at a time before peanut-free items were clearly labeled as such.
We made our son a turkey sandwich for the first day of school, and paired it with a mini applesauce and baby carrots.  Our son came home from school and said that two children in his classroom had severe peanut allergies, so the teacher had to confiscate snacks that did not adhere to the peanut-free guideline.  Apparently some of the parents had not complied with the rules.  My husband and I wondered why they had not co-operated?  Was it that they just did not know, or just did not care?
I thought about this for a long while.  What if it was their child who had a life-threatening peanut allergy?   Wouldn’t they be doing everything in their powers to keep this child safe?  Why did this same logic fail in reverse for some parents?  I concluded that they were either doing what was the easiest for themselves, or purposely flouting the system.             
One note of many arrived home in my child’s backpack, in the attempts of educating parents of this serious classroom issue.  It outlined that two children in my son’s classroom had severe peanut allergies that could result in anaphylaxis.  In case the word “anaphylaxis” was not clear, the note clarified that coming in contact with peanuts could be deadly for these students.  The next day, my son told me that one parent had packed shelled peanuts as a child’s snack.  The lunch monitor had not noticed.
I began to wonder what would happen if an allergic child were to come in contact with peanuts in the classroom?  What would happen if no one noticed the anaphylaxis and the epi-pen could not be administered quickly enough?  I had a sick, sinking realization that a child could die in a matter of minutes just because of a parent’s negligence!
What must it be like for parents of kids with life-threatening allergies? To know that every day their child is at the mercy of uncaring others, for their very survival.  It is no sacrifice for me to pack my child’s lunch peanut-free so that another child may be safe and healthy at school.  So I ask you, what has to happen before all parents do the same?  Must a child die first?  Let’s work together to keep all our kids safe and educated, not just our own.   And to put an end to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Threat once and for all!    
This article is written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the Wednesday October 23rd, 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo Kids blog.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WIN a Men's Diesel Watch CONTEST! (~OVER~)


With the holidays right around the corner, I start to wonder what to buy for my husband, father and brother.  Maybe you're in a similar situation?  So why not enter to WIN an awesome Men's Diesel watch, in the First Class Watches contest!

This magnificent Diesel Chrongraph DZ4203 watch pairs transitional design with superb functionality, and boldly masculine looks.  The Chronograph can be trusted for durability and accuracy.  Let's face it, any man would be pleased to own this ruggedly handsome watch! 

Features:

  • Oversized case
  • High-Quality stainless steel case & band
  • Date function
  • Water-resistant
  • Stopwatch function
  • 24-hour movement
  • Comes with 2-year guarantee!
CONTEST (~OVER~)

To enter the Diesel Chronograph DZ4203 contest, fill out the entry form by clicking on the image at the very bottom of this e-mail!  The contest is open to Canada, USA and UK!  Runs from Oct 24 til Oct 31 2012.

Another fodada moment :)

Here's another group of pics of Daddy relaxing with the kids in his fodadawear.  Last time I showed Daddy wearing his powder blue dada hoodie (top right).  Here he is happy and comfortable in his charcoal grey baba hoodie.  They're definitely cozy casual pieces for Dad's wardrobe and they're kid-durable!

Don't forget that fodada International Women's Self-Defense Day is on November 3rd, 2012.  There is a FREE self defense workshop on that date.  Unfortunately there are no workshops yet in Canada, but hopefully next year!     

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Check Out Our Halloween Costumes (with Video)! Power UP!

Guess What We're Going as for Hallowe'en This Year? Power Rangers, of course!
What a big surprise it was when a GIANT box arrived to our home and it was from our generous friends the Power Rangers! Its size is hard to tell from the photo, but it was massive, stuffed with Halloween costumes for our family! There was Red Ranger for Dad, Pink Ranger for Mom and Blue, Red and 2 Gold Rangers, for the kids! Also included in the box were glow-in-the-dark bracelets for Hallowe'en night to help keep us visible. I love being a Power Rangers emPOWER Mom!



Overflowing Box of Power Rangers Hallowe'en Goodies!

Keep Visible on Hallowe'en Night with Glow Bracelettes!
I had spoken recently about Power Rangers costumes on this blog, but you haven't seen anything until you've seen them on!  Take a look at Mom, Dad and most of the kids modelling awesome Power Rangers costumes!  Yes, many of the costumes have "muscles" stitched in for that strong superhero look!  All of these costumes can be purchased at Spirit Stores in both Canada and the US!

And for the action-loving kids out there sitting on your lap, let's not forget our action packed Power Rangers video, below!  Check out the costumes in action...watch out for bad guys!  Power UP!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are Your Kids BORED? How to Fight the Boredom Blues!

This past weekend after taking a great trip to the Ontario Science Centre, watching a movie, having the kids play outdoors for hours with their friends, and going to swimming lessons, the kids were still BORED!  (Yes, that’s BORED with a capital B there.)  How could this be possible, especially with all the non-stop activity and mental and physical stimulus?

I couldn’t help but take a trip down memory lane to my own childhood.  As a child, I would play outside all day long, only coming indoors for meals.  All the neighbourhood kids would congregate together to bicycle ride, visit the playground, roller skate and have a very exciting day together.  It always seemed to be suppertime already, and there never seemed to be enough hours in the day to fit in all the activities like jump rope, lemon twist, hopscotch, hand games and more.

Inside my family home, I was directed to play in my own bedroom until dinner was ready.  There was no playroom, or other “common area” rooms of overflowing toys in the house.  You would never find a stray toy in my parent’s bedroom.  I was most often able to entertain myself, and when I could not, my mother would make a suggestion that I would happily accept such as reading a book, playing with my stuffed animals and toys, or listening to a record.

When it was a rainy day, I was allowed to invite a friend over or go visiting to a local friend’s home.  If no one was available, it would be my big brother and I having scavenger hunts, playing board games and launching toy cars down a homemade ramp.  Television was a special privilege for us, and we had to earn the opportunity.  My brother and I could read comic books for hours!

How the times have changed!  Every room in our home is bursting with toys and books, usually strewn haphazardly and underfoot.  Television is no longer the main draw to the kids, but the iPad, iPhone, laptop and the various videogame systems are the new replacement.  My kids think that somehow it is my husband’s and my responsibility to entertain them!  In my own generation, my parents never played the role of entertainment clowns, so how have today’s parents somehow fallen into this role?

How did this happen to our kids, and why does this seem to be the case of so many children nowadays?  But more importantly, how to shake up this generation of BORED kids?  Here are some of my suggestions, below.

Get PhysicalMost kids seem to be at their best when they are staying physically fit.  Whether you enrol your child in a weekly sport like swimming, soccer or gymnastics, or simply bicycle as a family through a nature trail.  I find that unless the activity is structured, my kids will not go out of their way to get physical, so do schedule physical activity into each and every day.  Exercise is great for the whole family too!

Get SocialDoes your child have peers that they play with regularly during the school week or on the weekend?  If not, have your child exchange phone numbers with a classmate and set up a regular play date.  Having neighbourhood friends definitely makes socializing easier, but there are some great FREE play groups in which you can register your child through your local municipality.  There are groups for kids of all ages, from babies to teens!

Work the Brain!Let’s face it, homework is designed to reinforce skills learned at school but it does not always exercise your child’s brain.  Make sure that your child has access to books that he or she enjoys, and set a time aside for reading.  If your child is very young, this time can be spent flipping through picture books, or the older child can read to herself.  A trip to the library or browsing through the plenitude of FREE e-books is time well-spent.  Jigsaw puzzles are also a great way to work your child’s brain—and works great on a rainy day!

Make a ProjectThere is nothing more industrious than a child working on his or her own project!  Yes, this does require some adult supervision to help your child select an appropriate project and source materials, but it definitely does fight the Boredom Blues!  Does your daughter like fashion?  Have her design and create her own doll clothes using common materials.  Does your son like science?  Have him build his own cyclone, after laying his plans down in writing!  The same can be said for making a playhouse out of a cardboard box by your little architect, a bird feeder out of a 2L pop bottle by your aspiring ornithologist, or an abacus out of some strings and jewellery beads by your clever mathematician.   
        
Do your children entertain themselves?  What activities keep them engaged to fight the “Boredom Blues”?

This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the Wednesday October 17th, 2012 edition of the Kuklamoo blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fodada International Women's Self Defense Day - Nov 3rd!

Dad Hanging out with the Kids, Wearing Fodada Dada Hoodie
 (Ontario Science Centre Media Day)
Fodada is a fashion brand dedicated to cool dads everywhere!  The brand celebrates fatherhood and especially great dads.  Check out my hubby wearing the Fodada Dada Hoodie in pale blue, at the Ontario Science Centre Media Day on October 13th, above.  My young daughter remarked that hubby looked like a "teenager" in his new Fodada wear, and giggled like she found a new crush.  Hubby found his new clothing cozy and effortess to wear.

Not only is Fodada dedicated to dads, but they are also very dedicated to women.  It is in this spirit that on November 3rd, Fodada will be launching Fodada International Women's Self Defense Day.  On that date, they will be offering FREE self-defense classes to women in the US and at various worldwide locations (Canada may also be added this year).  

This two-hour self-defense workshop is structured to empower women and heighten awareness of dealing with threatening situations.  All spouses, daughters (over 13 years of age) and moms are welcome!

Click here to register for and attend a FREE self-defense workshop.  Studios or those interested in participating in upcoming events should click here.

Have you ever taken a self-defense class?  Have you ever been in a situation where you were worried for your safety?

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Make Hallowe'en Goodies with Rice Krispies! (CONTEST ~OVER~)!


I love being part of the Kellogg's Network!  Not only has my family used these trustworthy products for decades, but there are many recipes that can be whipped up for special holidays like Hallowe'en using these same products!  Take a look at this great Kellogg's Rice Krispies Hallow'een kit that I just received, above: Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, candies, chocolates, Hallowe'en cookie cutters and decorative icings!  Perfect for making spooky snacks for your Hallowe'en party!      

Start with an easy Rice Krispies Square recipe from the Kellogg's website, which can also be found on the back of your Rice Krispies cereal box.  (Really, it's hard to mess up this recipe, with only 3 ingredients!)  Melt 1/4 cup of butter (or margarine) together with one 250g package of marshmallows.  Optional: add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.

Drop in 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal and coat thoroughly.  That's it!  Now grab some Halloween cookie cutters in the shapes of pumpkins, bats, etc.  (You can event hand-shape some creepy shapes, like I did with the skulls, below!)  Next, add decorative icing, candies and chocolates to add more BOO to each bite!  See the creations that I made with the kids, below!
Halloween Pumpkins & Skulls
Little Ghost at a Ghoulish Cemetery
Slithering Snackable Snakes!
Miniature Bats
(a little hard to tell, as my kids squished the cookie cutter ;)






Okay Kids, NOW you can lick the pot clean!
Don't forget to pick up your Rice Krispies and marshmallows from the grocery store so you can make your own Halloween creations!

What kind of tasty snacks do you enjoy making for Hallowe'en? What Hallowe'en creation would you make from Rice Krispies?

~OVER~ CONTEST

WINNER: Flowerchild

WIN a Kellogg's Rice Krispies Hallowe'en prize pack, as shown above!  (Contest open to all of Canada.  Ends Fri Oct 19th @ 8:00pm EST.) 

ENTER (Daily): Tell me one Rice Krispies Halloween creation I displayed in my blog photos, above.  In the same comment, say how you follow SnyMed (on Twitter/Facebook/etc) and leave the name you use to follow.  You may do this once or daily, your choice.  Important: leave a way to contact you if you're a winner! 

Daily Bonus Entries:

Feel free to earn daily bonus daily entries if you wish!  Share one or both messages on Twitter & Facebook, with a link back in the comments below.  Important: leave a way to contact you if you're a winner! 

1.Twitter - WIN a Rice Krispies Halloween prize pack from the @SnyMed blog! Enter here Canada: http://tinyurl.com/9okuldx
2.Facebook - WIN a Rice Krispies Halloween prize pack from the SnyMed blog! Enter here Canada: http://www.snymed.blogspot.ca/2012/10/how-to-make-halloween-goodies-with-rice.html



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Power Rangers Super Samurai Halloween Costumes! CONTEST ~OVER~

I love being a Power Rangers emPOWER Mom, not only for the values that they instill like teamwork, confidence, physical activity and friendship, but because I also get to enjoy their awesome costumes!  Did you know that new Power Rangers Super Samurai costumes are available for both girls and boys this Halloween?  Your child will love morphing into his or her favourite superhero to fight the forces of evil!

Keep your child safe this Hallowe'en with a Power Rangers reflective safety bracelet from Spirit Stores located in both Canada and the US!  Power Rangers costumes and bracelets can be found at every Spirit location.  Bracelets are free with any size donation to Spirit Hallowe'en's "Spirit of Children" programme, which supports children's hospitals. 

Be sure ot watch this special Power Rangers Super Samurai video with helpful tips and advice to guarantee that this year's Hallowe'en is super fun and super safe for kids and parents alike!

The Power Rangers website also has some cool kids Hallowe'en activities, such as a Power Rangers pumpkin stencil, Power Rangers Halloween computer wallpaper, printable Power Rangers Hallowe'en party invitations and lots of other Power Rangers printable and downloadable Halloween activies
~OVER~ CONTEST!

WINNER: Andrea Amy

WIN a licensed Power Rangers Super Samurai toddler costume in RED, size 3T-4T (costume might be slighty different than shown)!  How cool would it be for your little one to be Trick-or-Treating in this awesome Power Rangers Super Samurai Hallowe'en costume!  

To Enter:
You may enter the contest DAILY if you wish!  Enter 1 or all 4 ways, it's up to you!  Make sure you leave a way to contact you should you win, as many accounts do not have e-mail hooked up to comments.

1a).Leave a comment, stating which Power Rangers Hallowe'en activity you like best, see here for choices!
1b).In the same comment, say how you follow SnyMed (ie: Twitter, Facebook, etc) and name you use to follow.
2a)Leave a comment stating the name of one of the Power Rangers costumes shown, see here for all costumesBe sure to leave a way to contact you should you win!
You can earn up to 2 bonus entries DAILY by posting/tweeting the contest on Facebook/Twitter, please see below.
2)Twitter Bonus Entry: WIN a Power Rangers Super Samurai toddler costume via the @SnyMed blog! http://tinyurl.com/8pq83mp CAN/US
3)Facebook Bonus Entry: WIN a Power Rangers Super Samurai toddler costume via the SnyMed blog!  Enter here: http://snymed.blogspot.ca/2012/10/power-rangers-super-samurai-halloween.html CAN/US
Rules:  Contest open to both Canada & USA!  Contest ends Thurs Oct 18th at 9:00am EST.  Winners should be contacted the same day or shortly thereafter, so be sure to leave a way to contact you!  Costume will be shipped directly to winner from Power Rangers.  Good Luck everyone! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When a Loved One Dies

We never expected that my Father-in-Law would be diagnosed with cancer, just months after retiring. A fun, robust, athletic man, he was the light of our childrens’ lives. When he told my husband and I of his diagnosis, it was his wish that we would not tell the kids, lest they be sad and worry for him. But after rounds and rounds of chemotherapy, the children had to be told why Grandpa was not visiting as regularly as before.

Two-and-a-half years passed, and both chemotherapy and radiation therapy failed to work for my Father-in-Law.  A social worker called about moving him into a Palliative Care unit.  Countless doctors and operations were able to slow the cancer, but not the outcome.  We took the kids to visit their Grandpa, and what we saw surprised us all: he had become a skeleton of a man.

The family held onto hope that Grandpa would somehow take a turn for the better.  But we received a phone call from the Palliative Care unit to hurry over, as my Father-in-Law was about to die.  He passed away within minutes of the call.  When we shook off the personal grief for a moment, the horror set in that the children no longer had their special Grandpa.  He was gone and now we would have to tell them the sad, sad news.

Tell the Truth When a loved one dies, tell your child the truth—or as close to the truth as possible.  For example, Grandpa died of cancer.  If your child is very young, try to explain it in simple terms.  This step helps your child learn his or her medical history, which may one day be forgotten, or lost when keepers of this information also pass away.

Share Your Feelings – Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with your child when a family member passes away.  It is important that your child share his or her feelings too.  Don’t try to hide tears in front of your child, instead use the opportunity to discuss your sadness for a loved one’s passing.    

Make an “I Love You” List Reassure your child that you love him, and make a list of family members and close friends that love them too.  When a loved one dies, your child’s world may seem smaller and less hospitable.  The “I Love You” list will be a reminder that your child is not alone.  Be sure to tell your child that you will always be there for him and that you will not be going away.

Keep the Memory Alive – Have your child remember a departed loved one by drawing a picture, writing a letter, or doing something special in memoriam.  If your child is very young, give her a laminated photo to keep of the special person (this makes it more durable).  Encourage your child to share memories of the loved one, and offer memories of your own.  If you can offer fond memories of a special time that your child spent with the loved one, it is sure to bring some warmth.  

Believe in Heaven? – “Mommy, where do you go when you die?”  If your culture embraces a concept like Heaven, this is sure to ease some of your child’s worries.  However, if you do not subscribe to such a belief system, do help your child find a peaceful answer to this question.

Visit the Final Resting Spot – Not all cultures allow children to attend the funeral, so do allow your child to visit a loved one’s final resting spot if the desire is there.  Depending on your culture, your child can be an active participant by putting a flower or stone on the final resting spot (ie; headstone), or by speaking a word or two.

This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears on the Wednesday October 10th, 2012 edition of the Kuklamoo blog

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Happy Hallowe'en from CheeCha Puffs Twitter CONTEST! (~OVER~)

If you read my review of CheeCha Puffs, you would know it is a tasty low cal snack (entire 20g snack bag is only 90 calories!)  It is also nut-free, which is a big consideration when giving out Hallowe'en candy this October 31st.  Yes, certain varieties are even gluten-free!  It's one of those few snacks that is also cholesterol-free, Trans Fat-free and MSG-free!

So just in time for Hallowe'en, SnyMed Living High on the Hog and CheeCha Puffs are offering a Hallowe'en Contest taking place on Twitter.  You can WIN 1 of 4 mixed flavour single serve CASES of CheeCha Puffs, each containing 32 bags off those delicious CheeCha Puffs.  (Prize may not be the same as shown.) 

If you don't have a FREE Twitter account, just sign up on Twitter and make sure your tweets are not protected.  It's very easy to set up. 

Contest is open to Canada only (yes, you too wonderful Quebec)!  Ends Monday October 15th at 8:00pm EST.
~OVER~ CONTEST: 

Winners: torlonias, cathy c, fesspoire, nicolthe pickle.  CONGRATULATIONS y'all! 

1.Tweet a message to any of the following Canadian grocers on Twitter, see list below.
2.The message should politely ask the grocer if they carry CheeCha Puffs of a certain flavour, from the list below.
3.Comment below EVERYTIME you have tweeted, preferably with a  link to your tweet.  (If you don't know how to do this, please include your Twitter @name and the time you tweeted and to whom.)
4.Every tweet is worth one entry into the contest.  You may tweet each retailer daily to earn one contest entry, but do NOT tweet the same retailer twice in one day.
5.CheeCha Puffs must be included in your tweet: @CheeChaPuff.
6.You must follow @SnyMed on Twitter in order to be eligible to win.  Thanks!
Examples (please alter your tweets):

Hey @ShopprsDrugMart, do you carry the @CheeChaPuff Salt & Vinegar flavour?
@QualityFoods I was wondering if your store carries @CheeChaPuff Luscious Lime snacks?
@michaelangelos Could you tell me if your store stocks @CheeChaPuff Triple Cheese puffs?  
Stores to Tweet:
Sobeys @sobeys
President Choice @PresChoice
Shopper's Drugmart @ShopprsDrugMart
Longos @LongosMarkets
Farm Boy @FarmBoy
Quality Foods @QualityFoods
Michaelangelo's @michaelangelos
Whole Foods @WholeFoods
Flavours to Tweet:
Low Cal Varieties:
Crispy Dill Pickle
Hickory & Bacon
Mesquite BBQ
Salt & Vinegar
Sweet Cinnamon
Tomato Ketchup
Triple Cheese

Low Cal & Gluten-Free Varieties:
Fiesta Salsa
Luscious Lime
Original
Sea Salt & Spiced Pepper
Sea Salt & Vinegar
GOOD LUCKY EVERYONE!
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