May
26
2013

Five Free Ways To Celebrate Father’s Day

The Real Gift Is The Memories You’ll Create

Five Free Ways To Celebrate Father’s Day

You don’t have to spend money to create a memorable Father’s Day. Here are five free ways your kids can let dad know how much he means without spending a cent.

Make a Dad Date
Have the kids and dad sit down with a calendar on Father's Day morning to choose a special day each month where they can spend a few hours of one-on-one together.  With the dates set and marked, the countdown is on for fun!

Give Him Some Homework
Have your kids create a list of questions for dad–all the stuff they’ve always wanted to know. What was his favourite sport as a kid? Did he get good grades in school? Who was his best friend? What games did he play? The possibilities are endless.

Dad will get to take a trip down memory lane and your kids will learn about the man who raises them.

Music To His Ears
Whether he’s a hipster who likes hip hop or thinks country is cool, this gift will be music to his ears. Create a playlist of his favourite tunes that he can listen to while lounging in bed eating breakfast or flipping burgers on the barbecue.

Make A List
Have your kids make a list of all the reasons they love their dad. The best thing about this list is that there are no wrong answers, even when the reasons are because he buys them candy and doesn’t make them brush their teeth.

Create A Collage
Print out pictures of dad and have your kids create a collage. Then each of your kids can tell dad why they chose that particular picture and what it means to them. For an extra special touch, frame it and hang it in a room where your family spends lots of time for an every day reminder of memories filled with love.

Need some more ideas for easy—and inexpensive—Father's Day gifts? Check out these great homemade gifts that even the little ones can make.

 

May
25
2013

Two Wheels to Freedom

Build A Bike For A Child In Ghana

Two Wheels to Freedom

It never fails. The first warm weekend of spring and my children chomp at the bit to have their bikes brought out from the garage. What also never fails is that I can never get the bikes down off their hooks and we all have to wait for my husband to get home to lift them down to the ground.

We are a family of bikers. Spring, summer, and fall we go on family rides—our boys choose the routes. There are no boundaries as we bike along sidewalks, streets, and trails. An hour passes by in the blink of an eye. Biking is the first step towards independence–it gives your children a sense of freedom. They can go further than they've ever gone on foot but still be home in time for dinner.

I remember that feeling as a child. The wind in my hair and sun on my face, biking around the neighbourhood with my friends, our parents instructing us to come in when the streetlights came on.

Freedom.

My youngest, he’s the fearless one. As soon as his training wheels were off he insisted on a ramp so he could practice jumps. His motto is the faster, the better.



Freedom.

My older son is more cautious and likes to lead the way.



Freedom.

They can bike to the convenience store for Slushies or to the park to play. Their newfound sense of independence at being able to go off on their own ripples through other areas of their life.

Freedom.

I watch them laugh and smile all the while thinking how lucky they are that the bikes they have are simply used for fun.

Across the world that same bike can change a life.

I was asked to write about this program because I’m quite passionate about being active as a family and biking is a part of that. Biking is one of those few outings you can do no matter what age or stage your child is at.

The research I did for this program changed me, I can’t un-see the difference a bike can make to a child in rural Ghana, Africa.

One bicycle can cut travel time to school by up to four hours a day. That’s how much time these young children spend walking to and from school. When they arrive on foot, they are often exhausted, sometimes too tired to learn.

Four hours a day, every school day, works out to up to 25 extra days in school—25 extra days where they are learning.

This is especially important for young women because education means empowerment which, in turn, leads to healthier, richer lives for both them and their children.

A bike that we use for a fun outing here can completely change a child's life in rural Ghana—and you can help. By building one virtually.

To build a bike, simply visit www.facebook.com/BicycleFactory, click on "Start Building Now" and register as an individual or a team. Choose your favourite virtual product (I’m a Dairy Milk girl myself), and turn it into a bike part by dragging it through a portal and “releasing” it into Africa. Every 100 bike parts create an actual bicycle that will go to a student in the cocoa growing regions of Ghana.

And if you want to be even more inspired, spend some time on The Cadbury Bicycle Factory Facebook page where you can see pictures of some of the children who have received bikes.

Like the beautiful, smiling Hannah who has saved 50 days of time traveling to and from school and is using that extra time to study to become a nurse.



Or Bliss who wants to be a policeman when he grows up.



These are the lives you change when you build a bike.

Now it’s time to stop reading, and start building so a boy or girl on the other side of the world can save travel time going to and from school every day.

Then when you're done go for a bike ride with your kids and enjoy the wind in your hair and sun on your face.

Freedom.

The Cadbury Bicycle Factory program helps children in rural Ghana by providing them with bikes. 
 
YMC members helped The Cadbury Bicycle Factory build 5,000 bikes in a mere 70 Days. That is an incredible accomplishment!
 
 
Visit The Cadbury Bicycle Factory's Facebook page for updates, details, and to see the children’s lives you’re helping to change.

 

May
20
2013

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Kit

Does The At Home Gel Manicure Stand Up To The Salon?

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Kit

I am a bit of a product junkie as proven by my addiction to brushes, white t-shirts, and the number of “As Seen On TV” products strewn about my home. This addiction also applies to my nails. There isn’t a nail polish I can resist. So when I saw the Sally Hansen Gel Starter Kits, let’s just say I did a happy dance in the middle of Walmart and bought it.

The Salon Gel Polish Kit cost $70 and has enough product (including the LED lamp to cure your nails) in it for up to ten salon gel manicures at home. Each manicure can last up to two weeks.

The starter kits come in one of three colours: Wine Not (deep burgundy), Red My Lips (bright red), and Shell We Dance (light pink)–I bought the latter.

I’ve now done three gel manicures (and have bought two other colours) since my original purchase and can say I truly love this kit. The application process is simple.

Step 1: Base coat
Step 2: Colour
Step 3: Top coat.

After applying each coat you cure your nails using the LED lamp which automatically shuts off after 30 seconds. Once all the steps are done wipe your nails with a nail cleanser pad and voila! Salon quality nails at home.

A few useful tips:

Make sure your nails are clean before you start (use the nail cleanser pads)
If you get the base coat, colour, or top coat on your skin, gently wipe away before you cure under the LED lamp.


Does it stand up to the two weeks as stated on the box? These are my nails after 11 days.


You can see that it's growing out a bit but the shine is still there and they haven't chipped.

All in all, if you want pretty polished nails for the summer I'd say it's a definite buy.

p.s. This isn't sponsored. I paid for the kit with my own money. Also, my nail polish collection is worse than my brush collection. My husband is a very, very patient man.

 

Psst! Want to see what's hot for nails this season? Click over here.