On Friday we spent the day touring Universal Studios in California. We had so much fun experiencing movie magic for the day. Studio tours complete with earthquake simulations and one heck of a 360-degree King Kong bashing! Plus, it's always fun to get your picture taken with movie and television stars...
Heck, The Simpsons have been around for most of our lives. DaddyO needed to get his picture taken with Homer.
The kids would not get their pictures taken with anything in a costume, so I made sure not to let Shrek and Fiona get away without a picture.
And Beebo was absolutely ecstatic when Beetlejuice walked by (she likes her bugs as much as he does)... she HAD to get her picture taken with him. He also hocked a loogied in her hat-- doesn't get much better than that!
My kids LOVE to draw. Actually, that would be a HUGE understatement. My kids LOVE to draw so much that I keep telling them their first job will be tree planting. (They have a paper debt to work off.) Some days, drawing takes up more than half their day. Colouring books are no use to us; my little artists only ever want to draw their own pictures.
So what to do when we go on vacation?
Time spent on a plane or in a car or even a rainy day means that we'll still need to be equipped with paper and markers and we can't take up a lot of packing room with supplies. Bonus points if the kids can actually carry that stuff in their backpacks themselves. So we head to the Dollarama for notebooks and decorate them up to be special and unique. This often gets the kids excited about the upcoming trip and we'll always have a nice reminder after the trip is done of the things they have seen and drawn into the book.
Step 1: Purchase any notebook.
Step 2: Using stickers or pieces of construction paper, make a new cover for your book. Glue on. This time I found black and white felt pictures at Dollarama that the kids coloured and glued on.
Step 3: Doodle, doodle, doodle!
We do this for EVERY vacation that we go on and it really is a nice way to have a lasting keepsake! Have fun and personalize away!!
PS- Recovering a notebook is not just for kids! Try it the next time you need a notebook with a little pizazz!
The first brunch I'd like to introduce you all to is at the Bears Den in Bearspaw, every Sunday from 10am - 2pm. At $19.99 per adult and $1-per year of your child, this casual 'dim sum style' service is one of the best brunches in town-- NO doubt!
The brunch is hosted in the BSide Bistro. (The Bears Den is the fine dining portion of the establishment.) The walls of this windowless den are decorated with huge wooden art, depicting bears and other animals in nature scenes. I cannot even describe to you how beautiful the restaurant is; only that it is simply something you must see for yourself.
Once shown to your seat and your drink/coffee order has been taken, you can begin your eating adventure. Off to the side of the bistro, tables of fruit, cheeses, meats, salads, desserts (OH MY the dessert!) and many other traditional breakfast choices are laid out. You will also find yummy hot foods such as Alberta Beef stews, Shepherd's Pies, Pastas with Marinara sauce etc. Everything you will want to eat will not fit on one plate... you'll be visiting the buffet a few times guaranteed.
I will warn you in advance that I did say they serve it up 'Dim Sum' style, meaning that FRESH, unexpected options may arise! Apparently, the Chef just whips up whatever he fancies that day and you will be offered these goodies in addition to your buffet. Just as you think you've finished, around comes another tasty morsel to persuade your button to pop!
"The dim sum brunch is a popular meal in Chinese restaurants worldwide. It consists of a wide variety of stuffed bao (buns), dumplings,, and other savory or sweet food items which have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers select small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly prepared dishes. Dim sum is usually eaten as a mid-morning, midday, or mid-afternoon teatime." Wikipedia, Dim Sum Brunch
This brunch has it all! A lovely atmosphere that is very much kid-friendly. (On one of our visits, we had 4 very young children and were happily accomodated and equipped with highchairs/boosters... eventhough we may have had a few tearful moments at our table.) Food options that were normal and par for the brunch course, as well as options that were special and elusive. Excellent service was enjoyed too! We quite liked our brunch experience at the BSide Bistro . (Reservations are highly recommended.)
Where: BSide Bistro ( a part of the Bears Den restaurant), 254028 Bearspaw Road NW Calgary, Alberta, T3L 2P7
When: Sundays, 10am to 2pm
How Much: Adults $19.99 Children $1/per year of age
It shouldn't take a 'Holiday' (and I use the term lightly) for us to tell those around us that we LOVE them and appreciate them in our lives; however, since the day exists, make sure you DO tell everyone just how much you care. It does not take chocolate, flowers, or fancy gifts-- only three little words! I.Love.You!
And since Disney always says it best, here is a LOVE Montage courtesy of Disney Canada:
In a few short weeks, my family and I will venture off to California for a visit with the Mouse. I have spent hours online Googling my face off. I've read so much of the Disney site that i'm now seeing mouse ears everywhere! I've even read the 2012 Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and I am still overwhelmed and unsure.
Sometimes, doing too much research can be bad thing...
My head swirls with all of the things we *might* want to do. Then things like NO FIREWORKS on the night I wanted to stay late throw a wrench into the plans. With kids 4 and 5 years old, we can't be silly and stay up late every night! Days after would be horrible for all of us and I kinda like it when my kids aren't grouchy-- call me selfish.
I'd like to hear what others have to say about their experiences at Disneyland. What are the must-see, must-do rides? What things should we take to the park with us to enjoy our day more??
So far, the only thing i've actually mustered up and bought in preparation are little autograph books for the kiddos. (Hardcovered, plain paper notebooks from the DollarStore.) That's it! I also know that we will be bringing a packed lunch with us every day and trying to avoid huge food costs.
Aside from that, I am a researched out Disneyland newbie!Help!
"Often invisible, mental illness is one of the most pervasive health issues in the country with far-reaching consequences for every Canadian. One in five people will experience a form of mental illness at some point and most will be reluctant to talk to a co-worker, friend or family member about their struggle, let alone seek treatment. While you may never experience mental illness first-hand, it is likely that you know someone who will."
Our family likes to 'Do Brunch'. Actually, DaddyO is the one who loves his brunch, while I am entirely okay with the 'meal off' cooking. It's a happy compromise. Since we are not native to Calgary, there are many breakfast/brunch opportunities waiting to be explored. Menu options, the price, the atmosphere, the service and kid-friendliness are all key.
I hope to share all the fabulous (and not so fabulous) brunches we encounter in Calgary and Area right here on Peek Thru Our Window. I have even set up a new page, so that you can find the ones we've tried easily. If you have a brunch place suggestion, feel free to contact me at Sami@Platinum.ca .
Just before Christmas, my children discovered that the dreaded old Wii they had always longed to play, was suddenly do-able. Mario Kart steering was much easier and the kids no longer walked in to things in Super Mario Bros. (Beebo is almost 6 years old and Xman just turned 4 years old.) While I am not opposed to my children playing video games, I need to find a happy-medium before the Wii turns into an all out addiction! I believe there is worth in hand-eye coordination skills and the ability to problem solve (even if it is shooting or jumping on Bowser), plus I really like the teamwork aspect in some games. As parents, we've never had this type of thing to decide upon... so I ask you, my readers for your two-cents!