Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I'm Leaving this Space.....

Dear Friends, 

After 7 years of blogging on Blogger, I am finally jumping over to a Wordpress site. My new site will simply be GKB and located at 

Thank you for visiting, commenting and winning on my little blog. The new GKB site will include guest posts, family adventures, favourite recipes, campaign opportunities and much more. 

I have loved my time here in this space, I hope will join me on May 1st, 2016  at my new home on the interwebs. 


Connecting with Netflix

Each of my children has their own TV viewing style. Beckett is more of an action adventure type, Andie enjoys watching comedies and KT has recently discovered documentaries. 

At seven years of age, Beckett is a very active kid. When he is having some screen time we often watch DinoTrux snuggled up on the coach. This is good opportunity to decompress, and get ready for our bedtime routine. Each DinoTrux episode, brings a conflict of some sort. We often talk about how the characters work together to solve the problem or work together to complete a job. That is usually an entry point for me to ask, so what happened at school toady? He often tells me about his friends, conflicts, and arguments over soccer games. 

Andie, at 10 years of age, likes to laugh out aloud. She loves comedies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Peabody and Sherman or anything with Garfield. Andie is my early bird, we share light hearted comedies after the dogs have been walked and before the rest of the family have stirred from their beds. Andie tells me that she likes to start the morning with a laugh, it helps her stay positive all day long. 

My tween, Katie, enjoys watching documentaries. She has many questions about what she watches and I need to be there to answer those questions. One of the most interesting documentaries we have watched is Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We don't use that 'f' work in our home, so this was a very interesting watch. After watching the documentary, we spoke about different forms of nutrition and the importance of moderation. We have not had an opportunity to watch the second installment of this documentary, hopefully this summer we will have time. 

As a very active family, having a moment to watch a show together is a rare event. Watching these shows together gives me brief moments of quiet time with my three children and an opportunity to listen to their day, answer their questions and just be together. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Starbucks Canada is Giving You Time

My time is precious and often I will skip the coffee line to get to work a few minutes early. A few extra moments to prep for the day, review the week ahead and get my game face on for whatever comes through my office door, outweighs my need for a good cup of coffee.

Starbucks Canada has launched a new service to give you back some of your time. You can order your latte, breakfast sandwich or snack and pay without ever standing in a lineup. I have used the mobile pay several times, once from inside the store. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my name was called by the barista. And yes, they remembered to put the honey in my latte. 

Of course, this eliminated the ability for me to pick up a treat at the counter,  but I digress. 

After my early morning, order and pay ahead experience, I was able to get to school just as the sun was rising over our school yard. 

I am giving away a $25.00 Starbucks Canada gift card. You can enter below & experience the time-saving service I did at my Hunt Club location in Ottawa. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can I Buy You Lunch?

School lunches are the bain of my existence. Each evening, I contemplate making the lunches but don't. Each morning I rush around the kitchen searching for plastic lids, fruit to slice, veggies to dice and cheese to cube.  

I have 4 school lunches to make each school day. There are 194 school days in each school year, meaning I have 776 school lunches to make each school year and 6208 school lunches to create during the entire span of elementary education.  I add motivational notes, dinosaur shaped sandwiches and homemade hockey puck rice crispy squares.  We have the option of hot school lunches once or twice a week or milk each day, but inevitably we all experience lunch bag let down. 

Subway has become a weekly solution to lunch bag letdown dilemma. Once a week, before school, my mini me's and I trek up to our local Subway shop and make our weekly sandwich selection. DD12 often chooses chicken breast, caesar dressing, and lettuce on a toasted whole wheat bun, DD10 enjoys a toasted white bun with cheese and cucumbers while DS6 likes a plain toasted bun with yellow cheese. I on the other hand like a little spice in my life, pick a veggie sub with hot peppers, sriracha sauce on a toasted flatbread. 

But what do you like? If you could choose whatever you wanted what would be your "sandwish" from Subway Canada?

According to a recent national survey commissioned by SUBWAY® Restaurants, Canadians are craving more diverse foods and flavours when thinking about food away from home.

Starting April 5th, Canadian’s can fulfill their desire for diverse flavours with a Butter Chicken Sandwich at SUBWAY® Restaurants – free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives – and available at participating sandwich shops from coast-to-coast for a limited time.

To help celebrate the launch, SUBWAY® partnered up with popular YouTuber, Gunnarolla, to host a street-style video featuring real Canadians talking about butter chicken. The video can be viewed on SUBWAY Canada’s Facebook page here

I am giving away 2 -  $15 gift cards to two lucky readers to enjoy lunch on me! You can try the new Butter Chicken and enlighten your taste buds, or choose from thousands of other tasty & healthy sandwich options. 

Good luck & happy lunching! 

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Win an Incredible Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Prize Pack

I have shared my New York City experience with Netflix Canada with you and now I want to give you a piece of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt action.

A few shots from our Unbreakable New York City Adventure 

 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt weaves several stories of resilience in the Big Apple. The cast includes he typical struggling actor, the real housewife of Manhatten and the out of place hippie landlord with a heart of gold.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 Reception

This show, however, is anything but typical. Each of the story lines is gently unwrapped by the creative writers. The episodes flow from character to character but ultimately the positivity and glue that holds the storylines together are Kimmy and New York City itself.

There is heartache but there is still hope for love and each character carries around a backstory that keeps the viewers interested and amused. Having viewed the first two episodes of Season 2, I can tell you that lost love and new budding new love are major themes in the second season.

If you like laughter that starts in your belly, makes tears roll down your cheeks and wish you had done your Kegel exercises then this is the show for you. You can join me on April 15, on Netflix as I binge watch the rest of the second season.

I also want to share with you some of the fantastic UKS swag I received in New York City. The  "Kimmy for Two" giveaway  is work over $200.00 and includes:

§  (1) Purple Jansport Backpack
§  (2) T-shirts (different design)
§  (1) Netflix Blanket
§  (2) Wine Glasses
§  (2) Dylan’s Candy Bar Soda Can
§  (2) pairs of Netflix socks
§  (2) Netflix 6-month gift cards

Everything to keep you and your loved one happy while watching your favorite UKS episode on Netflix. This contest is open to residents of Canada, who have reached the age of majority in their province excluding Quebec.

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Our New York City Adventure

"Me, in New York City? Why, yes Netflix Canada I'd love to come. 
Wait, I need a plus one for a "Girls Weekend" in the Big City? 

And with that, we were off on our Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt adventure with Netflix. 

My driver, educating me on NYC's tunnel system. 

Lisa and I are a pair to be reckoned with, by god. Letting the two of run wild in the big city, who thought that would be a good idea? Netflix Canada did and we had a fantastic time.

Our first, tired yet perfect, selfie after we found a lounge to lounge around in on our first evening in NYC. 
This was the view of our first hotel room, I am positive the office building across the street was the BuzzFeed offices. I am 100% sure I say the star of Whine About It, Matt Bellassai wobbling in front of the building.

The Netflix travelling sock

Netflix made accommodation arrangements at The W Hotel in Union Square. It was filled with intricate designs and decorative touches that made the entire hotel feel welcoming.

The travelling Netflix sock making herself at home in the hallway of the W. 

The Netflix travelling sock enjoying the leather couches at the entrance way to the elevators

Our first order of business was to visit the Red Door Spa that was located directly across from the hotel. With a 25% discount for all services from the concierge, Lisa and I decided to go for manicures and blowouts before the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt preview, cast meet and greet and after party. We then moved next door to Sephora for some makeovers and New York City specific makeup advice.

Yes, we do clean up nicely. Who knew? 

We travelled to a lovely outdoor/indoor restaurant with the rest of the Canadian & American Netflix cohort. The group of us made an international splash at the restaurant near the High Line. The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. Lisa and I took a stroll on the High Line, it was one of the highlights of our trip. 

We dined on sliders (Which will completely make sense when you see the first episode! ) 

Traditional New York style pizza.  

After some fun beverages & socializing with our Netflix family we made our way to Refinery 29 for the screening of the first two episodes of Season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Q & A with Tituss Burgess  and Carol Kane. 

If you know me, you know I am fun....funny and I have impeccable timing. This event was no different, take a look at my video. Fans of Kimmy Schmidt will understand, as well as fans of our Prime Minister will completely understand. 

So what you may not hear is that Tituss dedicated his "Pinot, Noir and Caviar"  to our hot *&^ Prime Minister and the entire crowd agreed! 

I was so close I could have reached out and touched them! Don't worry I did later.....

I would be lying if I didn't tell you the bright lights, hustle, and bustle of the city overwhelmed me. I loved my small town hometown (even if I didn't then) and my current conservative hometown Ottawa. The Netflix team, fellow Canadian bloggers, and new American blogger friends made this event a memorable one for my sister and I. There was never a moment I felt, I should not be here. This event brought the Netflix team of bloggers and I closer together. 

Rushing bright lights on a Friday night in New York City. 

The Netflix representatives made me more than just a fan, they made me feel like part of the bigger Kimmy Schmidt scene in New York City. 

But first time for a selfie. 

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt party was complete with photo booth, DJ, and beverages galore. But something was missing......
Those crazy sisters, hair is definitely down for this event. 

 We needed to have the "yellow sweater gang"  dance with us.  It is true, I rarely dance but I think this was the missing piece to the event. I used my "educator voice" to encourage them, I didn't have to ask twice and suddenly it was a party. 

Our yellow sweater team! 
When arrived back at the hotel there was a purple backpack filled will goodies, like treats from Dylan's Candy bar.  This may have been the only argument Lisa and I had, who was taking the candy home. 

There was something else that made our trip memorable. When we checked in at the W Hotel, we met Stella. There was an instant connection with her. Stella gave us the best insider New York City info we could have asked for. She was genuinely interested in making our stay perfect. The fab Netflix team also gave us a bottle of Tituss's Pinot in our bag of Kimmy Schmidt swag. Lisa and I thought it would be a perfect thank you gift for our Stella. There were several other staff, such as Tiffany & Joel who helped make our stay memorable and like we were welcome to come back anytime. 

New York City is a huge adventure. After spending four days there,  I still feel as if I have only scratched the surface of what this mega city has to offer. Due to the amazing time, we had with the Netflix team, the staff at the W Hotel and the beautiful people of New York City we will be back. This time, it will be a girls weekend with my Mom, daughters, niece and my partner in crime Lisa. 

In 5 days Netflix will launch Season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I have watched the first two episodes and cannot wait to see the what the rest of the season brings us. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Active for Life: April Spotlight!

This month on the Active for Life site we are debunking parent misconceptions about physical literacy.  Active for Life’s own Coach Jim, has heard it all over his many years of coaching kids soccer. In this article he demystifies physical literacy and touches on some very common myths that many parents buy into, like, “My child is not athletic” and “It’s too late for my child”. In Coach Jim’s words, “that is bunk”.  You can read more here

Are you looking for easy and convenient ways to get active with your kids? Our fantastic Role Models make time to move with their kids. Here's how

Role Model Spotlight 
Last month, Holly LaRochelle was the focus of our Role Model Spotlight. You can check our her spotlight here: 

This month we are featuring Ellen Pennock, an elite triathlete in our Role Model monthly spotlight. 

This month in preparation for the spring tennis season and to get us back in the swing of things, we are going to be playing balloon tennis this weekend. 

Rather than jumping on the tennis court, we practise several weeks before the courts open with balloons. It give our much rested tennis muscles an opportunity to be stretched and warmed up. We have played balloon tennis with all three of this kids since the youngest was three. To add to the difficulty level & to keep the tweens happy, we had two or three more balloons to keep the game interesting. 

You can read more about this fun & affordable activity here on the Active for Life website. 

Each month the Active for Life team creates a fact & fun filled newsletter for you to enjoy. You can sign up here and never miss an issues.