Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop

Mar
19
2013

Ten Ways To Celebrate Spring

Whether There's Snow On The Ground Or Not

Start Your Seeds
With snow on the ground you’re probably not thinking of your garden just yet but now is the perfect time to start seeds. Typically you want to start your seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the expected last frost date in your area. The dates vary from province to province and city to city so use this chart to find the last expected frost date for where you live.

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Mar
11
2013

Kapla Gets This Mom's Seal Of Approval

Run, Don’t Walk To Buy This Toy

I’m always on the lookout for unique toys that inspire imagination and yesterday I found it in Kapla.

I saw Kapla blocks on display at our local Mastermind store and was immediately intrigued by the structures you can build with it. I bought a pack of 200 on the spot and my boys spent the next five hours building with it. So it just made sense that I went back and bought them another pack so they could build even more, right?

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Mar
06
2013

Why I Think There Should Be Scores In Sports

Teaching Our Kids Fundamental Life Skills

They aren’t going to keep track of winning and losing in soccer anymore.

I wasn’t going to tackle this topic because, well, what could I say that hadn’t already been said on both sides of the issue. But then life goes and dips into the irony bin of manure and throws it smack dab in my face.

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Feb
20
2013

Include Your Kids in Your Daily Exercise

Working Out Doesn't Always Mean Running On A Treadmill

Just a little over two years ago my life changed when I took up the sport of speed skating. It also made me realize how out of shape I was. The once a week classes literally left me breathless. Three laps around the track and my legs were burning, five and I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t even finish a 13 ½ lap race—by lap 9 or 10 I’d have to slowly make my way to the centre of the ice and watch the others finish.

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Feb
20
2013

Yesterday I brushed my teeth with a toothbrush that had been soaked in lemon juice. This morning at 5:00 a.m. I was woken up by a very loud alarm clock that had been hidden under my bed.

It seems my two little rambunctious boys have discovered the world of pranks and practical jokes. But they are also about to discover their mother doesn’t like jumping out of bed while it’s still dark and stumbling around half asleep trying to find an alarm clock hidden in her room.

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Feb
17
2013

Snow Plow Parenting

The New Parenting Label Du Jour

First it was Helicopter Parenting. Then to negate the hovering, Free-Range Parenting became the new term du jour. Let us not forget the Tiger Mom.

Yesterday as I was driving home from a speed skating meet a news story came on about Snow Plow Parenting. A snow plow parent pushes life’s obstacles out of a child’s way in an effort to ensure he or she succeeds.

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Feb
08
2013

Like many moms out there I struggle with what to feed my family. Ultimately I want food that's healthy, is simple to make, and that both my kids will eat. Finding recipes that fit these needs isn't always easy, especially the 'both my kids will eat' criteria. Typically one will like a new dish and the other won't. It can be a bit disheartening to spend time on a new recipe only to have it declared a don't.

I've tried many of the recipes on YMC and these are the Top Ten (some with a few modifications) that have been a huge hit at our house.

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Feb
07
2013

The Art Of Asking For A Favour

It Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

While many people dread asking for favours it doesn't need to be difficult. Here's how you can make asking for favours a favourable experience.
 

Fill Your Favour Basket

Asking for favours is a bit like having a bank account. You can’t take anything out if you’ve never put anything in. Before you start asking for favours make sure that you have made a habit of helping out people in the past. Be open to helping others in any way you can.
 

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Feb
02
2013

Ways Thieves Can Steal Your Credit Card Info

And The Credit Card Doesn't Even Have To Leave Your Purse

I just got off the phone with my credit card company. Apparently, earlier this week someone tried to use my credit card to purchase over $500 worth of beer. Thankfully my credit card company flagged it and didn't let the purchase go through. They immediately put a block on my card and called me, but I had missed the call. It wasn't until I tried to pay for our Friday night pizza and the transaction wouldn't go through that I realized something was amiss.

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Jan
28
2013

Last year, for the first time, our family celebrated Chinese New Year. A certain Miss Party Mummy inspired me to give it a go and I'm so glad I did. The kids had a blast. They loved learning about a new culture and eating food they don't typically eat. Best of all it didn't take a lot of effort on my part. 

Here's how you can throw a simple Chinese New Year's celebration for your family.

THE FACTS:

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Jan
25
2013

Make A Date With Your Partner

A Simple Way To Reconnect

With Valentine's Day approaching people are starting to think about romantic gestures for their loved ones. While I love to make gifts for my kids like these t-shirts that make them feel special all year round, my husband and I aren't really into the romantic hype.

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Do you know what that picture is?

No?

Well, I'll tell you what it is.

It's about an inch of body cream at the bottom of the container that I can't use because the pump doesn't reach down to the very bottom. All those swirly markings in the cream are because I'm trying to scrape up the cream with the bottom of the pump. Do I even have to explain to you how annoying this is?

Because I will.

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Jan
10
2013

Take a minute to watch this video by Jimmel Kimmel Live that shows Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets sent to them.

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Jan
06
2013

Humans, for the most part, are a very egocentric group. Granted, it’s a Darwinian thing. Being self-centred has kept us alive for millions of years. When one has to outrun a sabre-tooth tiger you learn quite quickly to take care of yourself.

For the record, you don’t have to run faster than a sabre-tooth tiger, you only have to run faster than your slowest hunting partner.

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Jan
02
2013

This Is The Year I Remember

The Simple Pleasures That Make Life Good

This is the year I remember

To hand surf out my car window on a breezy summer day.
To wear warm clothes taken directly from the dryer.
It is not where I drink the coffee it is who I drink the coffee with.
Sometimes doing nothing is doing something.

This is the year I remember

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Dec
21
2012

Multicolor Engine

Welcome To My New Addiction

It's no secret I love StumbleUpon but every once in awhile I come across a gem that I bookmark, this was one of them. It's MulticolorEngine. What is it exactly? In their words,"We extracted the colors from 10 million Creative Commons images on Flickr. Search this collection by color. Addictive and very likely the best color search engine in the world*!"

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Dec
19
2012

Writing About My Children

Telling Stories That Are No Longer My Own

Lately I’ve been struggling with writing about my boys. When I first started blogging they were young, a toddler and baby. The stories I told may have been about them but they also were mine. When they didn’t sleep through the night, it was also about my own sleep deprivation. When they fought, it included my frustration.

Now they are older, boys with opinions and experiences all their own and those stories no longer belong to me–they belong to them.

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Dec
14
2012

Personalized iPod Case

A Perfect Fit For A Stocking

You're probably close to being done your Christmas shopping, right? 

Ya, me either.

But I've got some of the major stuff including an iPod for Son No. 2, and yes, I struggled with that one because I really don't believe kids need as much tech as they have access to, but I digress.

Last year when I dropped my phone I learned you want to purchase a cover for any techy hand-held devices, especially when tiny hands and expensive gifts are involved. 

Ta da!

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Like many of you with kids, my boys have been getting Santa photos since they were babies. I love the pictures but they would be put on display at Christmas and when the holidays were over they'd would be packed up in a box or album never to be seen again. This year I decided to use them as part of our Christmas decor.

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