Sunday, July 27, 2014

Holding Onto Summer and Keeping It In a Jar

A Moment Captured In Time: Summer Flowers 
It's hard to believe that the first month of summer is already behind us, and it's just a little over one month until school is back in session for the kids.  As a Canadian, summer is such a precious, fleeting moment--like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, or a Robin about to leave the nest for the very first time.  

If you follow the SnyMed blog on Instagram, you'll see that I enjoy chronicling the summer with snapshots of seasonal flowers, and images of local wildlife.  In the cooler fall and winter months, I enjoy looking back on these colourful images, in contrast to a barren landscape.

This summer marks many transitions for my family and I, and I'm trying to hold onto summer before it slips away, and vanishes into orange and brown fall leaves.  If this analogy sounds a little melancholy, it reflects my desire for summer to last a little longer--or at least, go a little slower.  If you have kids or grandkids who are quickly growing up, you might echo this sentiment.  Sometimes I wish I could hold onto summer and keep it in a jar: the way that some children catch fireflies, and carry the jar like a lantern; a guiding light.

So, I've vowed to not let summer pass me by and enjoy every single moment of it.  From the simple delight of watching the kids run through the sprinkler as they trill with delight; to the gourmet pleasure of feasting on a succulent barbecue; to the primitive pleasure of sitting by a crystalline lake as the day unfolds before me.  I don't want to miss a moment of it.
My Son Enjoying a Simple Summer Pleasure
Trying a Dempter's Deluxe Sausage Bun
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Follow the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter: #DIYSandwich

What has been the highlight of summer 2014 for you so far? What are you looking forward to as the rest of the summer unfolds?

Disclosure: I am part of the Dempster's #DIYSandwich Blogger Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Virtues of Cereal & Milk & CONTEST! (~OVER~)

Do You Think We Eat Enough Cereal In My Household?
My family is a big consumer of cereals, and the top of our refrigerator proudly displays a grocery aisle full of cereal boxes at any given time.  My explanation for this is simple: my kids get hungry and want a quick meal!  Not only is cereal super-fast to prepare, but a bowl of cereal and milk can be a good source of nutrition.  I'm very careful to read the ingredient list of any box of cereal that I bring into our household.  Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, and Special K are all staples in my kitchen.

As an adult, I often enjoy a bowl of cereal when I'm in a rush and want something filling.  Before the "cereal diet" was ever created, I could regularly been seen munching on cereal for meals other than breakfast.  I guess that my kids picked up this same habit, and will eat it whenever hunger hits.

Curious about the nutrition behind a bowl of cereal and milk?  Check out the cute infographic, below.  Or, check out the Kellogg's cereal and milk website, HERE.
Cereal & Milk Infographic

WINNER: Doreen L.

WIN a Kellogg's prize pack from and Kellogg's Canada!  Prize will include 4 Kellogg's cereals, a Kellogg's t-shirt, and Kellogg's cereal bowl.  Please note, prize may not be exactly as shown below with possible cereal, t-shirt and/or bowl substitutions.  Contest open to Canada, and ends on Thursday July 31st, 2014.
Kellogg's Canada Prize Pack!

How to Enter
Leave a COMMENT below stating your favourite Kellogg's cereal OR if you enjoy cereal and milk--and when.  Then use the entry form below to enter the contest.  GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Enuresis: Our One-Year Journey That Lead to Dry Nights Every Night

This post is part of the and GoodNites* TRU-FIT* #BedwettingTips sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

Yes, You CAN With Perseverance!
As the mom of 5 kids, ages 4 to 9 years old, there was a time in my life when I had all 5 children in night time diapers! I remember our routine very clearly: bathing the kids, putting each into his or her correct size of diapers and pyjamas, a goodnight story, and then bedtime. To keep the diapers organized, I even had a special tiered wire rack which (in theory) separated the diapers according to size.

Nonetheless, there were sizing mix-ups, and my eldest child would be accidentally outfitted in a newborn diaper on occasion. Yes, a 5 year old wearing an infant diaper the size of a tiny bikini sure was a sight to behold—and what a wet mess in the morning! That’s what happens when you buy diapers that are all the same brand, and they’re not labelled clearly with the size. Yes, it was chaos: sweet, sweet chaos! 

The week our oldest child started to have dry nights, my husband and I remarked on how “empty” the diaper pail seemed each morning. The difference between 5 soaking wet diapers to 4 wet ones each night, is mega, like the time that we discovered that Darth Vader really is Luke’s father. It also was a huge savings on diapers for us, as we were spending “millions” outfitting 5 kids in diapers each month.
A Dry Night Is a Peaceful Night
When my middle child was 5 years old, he could be dry at night for months at a time, and then suddenly, transition back to wetting. The wetting could last for weeks at a time, and then he would revert back to being dry for months again. It was a very perplexing and frustrating situation for both of us, as there was no clear reason for his wetting episodes. 

We tried limiting my son’s fluids before bedtime, and waking him up numerous times during the night to use the bathroom, but neither strategy worked. We even implemented a reward system: 5 dry nights equating with a desirable toy of his choice. Still no success. In sum, the “dry night-wet night rollercoaster” lasted for one entire year!

As there was no obvious solution to the issue of night time wetting, my best trick was to put sleep pants on my son until the episode passed. Sometimes he wet the sleep pants, sometimes not – but it saved us both the anxiety—and the daily laundry that the wetting created.

At 6 years old, my son is now dry each night--but it was a long, long road. It seems that he had to grow out of the stage--and our mutual perseverance eventually paid off. I think it was important that my son had our unconditional support and understanding, which made the transition easier on him.
GoodNites TRU-FIT
Nighttime Protection for Kids 4 to 12 Years Old
Do you have a child who regularly wets the bed at nighttime? If so, you might want to check out GoodNites TRU-FIT: bedtime protection against bedwetting, for kids ages 4 to 12 years old. GoodNites TRU-FIT are a machine washable underwear that look, feel, and fit like regular underwear—and work together with absorbent inserts (that are disposable and recyclable).

Each package of GoodNites TRU-FIT come with two pairs of age- and gender-appropriate underwear. For example, the small/medium size for boys (which we own) comes with one pair of navy pants, and a second pair of sky blue/navy striped pants. At first glance, it’s difficult to know that these are not conventional undies. For older kids this is of great importance, as it’s all about being discreet and not standing out in a negative way. Your big kids can pack these with confidence for sleepovers or overnight camp.

GoodNites TRU-FIT are very easy to use. Simply tuck the absorbent insert into the “secret compartment” at the front and rear of the underwear, and then pull up the pants so that your child is “aiming” into the insert (moms of boys will get what I mean). From the outside, they definitely look like typical underwear.

Did you know that one-in-six children between the ages of 4-12 suffer from enuresis, also known as bedwetting?

YMC Blogger, Dr. Kim Foster shares tips on how to get through your child’s bedwetting phase.  Then, YMC Blogger Kat Inokai shares her personal experience with her daughter's bedwetting and how they are winning the bedwetting war together.

GoodNites* TRU-FIT* can help you and your child get through bedwetting. GoodNites* TRU-FIT* are washable, cotton-blend real underwear that are durable and reusable for outstanding nighttime protection. They are accompanied by a disposable, absorbent insert designed to protect sheets and PJs all night.

Visit the GoodNites* TRU-FIT* website to find out about more information on bedwetting solutions and expert advice:!

Monday, July 07, 2014

VOTE for as Favourite Toronto Mom Blogger! (Jenna Em) Has Been Nominated as
Favourite Toronto Mom Blogger!
I've been nominated by some of my loyal readers as Favourite Toronto Mom Blogger on Toronto Mom Now!  Thank you!  It's a very big honour and I'm humbled.  To my best knowledge, the prize for the contest is recognition--which is always nice to receive in my books.  Voting has just begun for Favourite Toronto Mom Blogger, and I'd wholeheartedly appreciate your vote!  (You may vote for up to 3 favourite Toronto Mom Bloggers, in case you have other favourites too.)

A little bit about me: I'm the mom to 5 great kids ages 4- to 9-years old, devoted wife, the owner of this blog, a The Huffington Post online newspaper writer, and freelance writer.  I first started this blog 2.5 years ago to do what I like the most: write, take photographs, spend time with my family, enjoy entertainment and events in Toronto and surrounding areas, travel, and run fun contests and giveaways for my loyal readers.

Winning the title of Favourite Toronto Mom Blogger would mean a lot to me, as I have worked very hard on this blog--oftentimes without pay.  It has always been my goal that my readers could visit and smile, have fun, and forget the busy pace of the outside world for a little while.  I also work hard to create a family-friendly place with no swear words, inappropriate images, political incorrectness--and I'm not tied into an ad network that displays advertisements I have no say over.  So far I believe that I have succeeded in my goals.
Please Vote for SnyMed
Please Vote for today in order to show your support for me--Jenna Em.  Every vote is greatly appreciated!  I also welcome you to join me on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

Thank you!
Jenna Em

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Customer Appreciation! This Company Surprises Long-Time Customer With Thrill of a Lifetime! (VIDEO)

Customer Retention & Appreciation Should Live On!   
I love it when companies do good to sponsor an important cause, start an initiative for the betterment of the community, or create a scholarship or foundation that will live on for decades to come.  It's just the right thing to do, and in my opinion, gestures like these positively influence a company's image.  I also hold in high esteem companies that value their long-time, loyal customers. 

Why is it that companies spend most of their dollars on pursuing new customers, instead of focusing on keeping existing ones?  Customer retention, in my eyes, is the proverbial marriage after the honeymoon.  It's the feeding and walking of the dog, after the puppy has grown up.  And yet it's so infrequently practised. 

As Customer Service bloopers go, I can think of an interaction I had with a certain company a few years back--in which my decade-long customer loyalty had held no weight whatsoever.  Specifically, I asked for a nominal interest charge (under $5) to be adjusted for the first time in 10 years on my credit card--which was denied.  When my request was declined, I promptly cancelled my credit card.

That company did not try to win back my business, but they did hotly pursue me as a new customer--with better perks and a better interest rate than I had been offered previously.  They even offered me a higher credit limit.  Why was I treated better as a new customer, than as a loyal, dependable, true blue, long-term one?  I guess the honeymoon was over.

If one of my "steady" companies were to reward me for my loyalty, I'd love to have a hot air balloon ride--and enjoy grapes, cheese, and sparkling water--as I surveyed the world below me!  Although this may never happen, I'm always free to dream!  

Did you know that TELUS is striving to put customers first--including thanking them for their loyalty and listening to their feedback?  In this spirit, TELUS is going door-to-door to the homes of their "top" 100 customers to thank them personally with a care package.  In addition, they're hosting a free barbecue lunch for their "top" 1000 customers--and their families--at a local TELUS store.

Other ways that TELUS has done good, include donating $5 to the Guelph Children's Foundation for every use of the #actsofcaring hashtag on certain social media platforms--raising $5000 for the cause!  And TELUS has been performing "Grand Gestures" to some of their long-time customers, including Ramona--who has been with TELUS for 20 years.  I don't want to ruin the surprise, but TELUS made one of Ramona's dreams come true!  

Check out VIDEO below to see the Grand Gesture that TELUS performed for Ramona!

If you could choose one dream to come true, what would it be (ie: a hot air balloon ride, having a shopping spree, meeting a celebrity, etc)?  Are you the long-time customer of any company, and what do they do to show that they appreciate your patronage?

Disclosure: I am part of the TELUS Grand Gestures Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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