Find Journeys of The Zoo on Google+ Journeys of The Zoo: October 2012

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Many Faces of Maximilian and Artemis.

Twelve Pictures produces...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Find the Best Shower Gifts with Bloomin' Creative Baby {Review}

It seems that everywhere I turn, someone I know is having a baby and I'm in need of a shower gift. Perhaps it's something in the water.

Fortunately for The Zoo, we found Laurel and her Bloomin Creative Baby shop just in the nick of time. Funny thing is, her need for baby shower gifts was also the reason why she started her shop.

Laurel's shop has a variety of different fabrics and products to choose from such as; teethers, snuggle blankets, bibs (for all occasions), feeding covers, soother savers, and breast pads. Something for everyone. She kindly sent me a teether, snuggle blanket and bib to try out.

Bloomin Creative Baby Teether It hasn't been that long since the kids were babies and but I'd never seen a teether ring like this.

The ring contains six, 1" natural wood balls enclosed in fabric and each tied off with a knot. The ends are double stitched for safety but the knots were so tight that I couldn't get them undone.

Monday, October 29, 2012

ShesConnected 2012: Exceeded Expectations!

ShesConnected 2012 exceeded all of my expectations.

Not too hard to believe because...

I didn't have any.

It's not that I didn't have any idea about what was going to happen. In fact, I knew what I was going to be doing and where I would be from 10pm Thursday evening until Midnight on Saturday.

Thankfully, schedules were flexible enough to allow for tilting at windmills.

While I didn't have expectations, I definitely had goals.

-- Listen and learn from the Leaders in their industries.
-- Meet with Brands and share Journeys of The Zoo with them.
-- Make and develop lifelong friendships.

I was not disappointed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Generations of Kids have said @GottaGettaGUND!

When I was a child, I had over 50 GUND stuffed animals. I wouldn't say that I was a collector but my parents would give them to me for Easter, Halloween and other holidays in lieu of candy. No, I don't like candy.

Did you know that GUND was founded in 1898? I had no idea. Here are a few more interesting facts:

GUND is the leading soft toy manufacturer in the U.S.A, and also the oldest. GUND was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898. GUND was one of the first companies to design and produce teddy bears in the early 1900's. Today, the company manufactures an extensive collection of unique characters and licensed plush under the GUND, and babyGUND brands.

GUND Stuffed Animals Rabbit was my favourite of the bunch because he had four moveable limbs. I had a wide variety of animals with various functions including a Kangaroo with a removeable "kid" and a grasshopper rattle. All of them were really well-made and robust. While I did take care of them, they still look almost as new today as they did back then.

It's a Zoo!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Win Your Christmas Presents! $100 Walmart GC, US/CAN, 11/08

Do you love giveaways and sweepstakes? If so this is the giveaway for you!!

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Walmart Gift Card!

About our Sponsor:

Giveaways & Sweepstakes keeps you up to date on all the wonderful giveaways and sweepstakes all over the web! So if you love this wonderful giveaway make sure to check them out!

Hosted by: Baby Costcutters

This giveaway couldn't have come at a better time for The Zoo. The kids are at the age where they are influenced by the media. Even though we don't have tv, they have seen some "items of interest" in flyers and advertisements (on their VHS tapes, yes, VHS tapes). Even we are not immune to the power of the media.

Don't miss out on buying Aunt Mildred that pink flamingo she's been yearning for.

Enter to Win $100 Below!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Never too Late to Say "Thank You" with Grace Announcements.

My parents have always taught me to be polite. That included saying "please and thank you", behaving when out in public and sending out thank you notes. There was probably a whole lot more...

Sending out thank you notes was just as important as the others and started before I could even write. At that time, my parents would either sign my name or trace my hand and let me draw a picture.

Once I learned to write, I would send out my own cards, usually handmade. Nanna kept a bunch and it's fun to try and decipher them.

As I grew, my days were filled with teenage pursuits which lead me to procrastinate. Sometimes I would delay writing a note for several months.

Nanna would remind me that it was "Never too late to say Thank you".


To this day, I send out thank you notes. Maybe not as many as I should but I know what it feels like to receive one so I try my best.

When I found Lindsay's Company, Grace Announcements on Pinterest, I knew that her personalized cards were perfect for The Zoo.

Men's Stylish Diesel Watch, $250, US/CAN/UK, 10/31

Are you like me and you find it difficult to buy things for Men?

With Christmas only nine weeks away, it would be great if I could check Ed off my "To Buy" list by winning this amazing giveaway hosted by First Class Watches.

It's not that Ed's picky it's that he puts so much thought into my present. I feel like I'm cheating if I just give him a gift certificate.

Besides, he hasn't worn a watch since his was sidelined due to an unfortunate accident.

Ten years is long enough to wait.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Three Potato-keteers and Other Stories.

I haven't done a "Useless Drivel" post in a while and I'm well overdue. Not because my readers have been begging for it (the opposite perhaps) but because I have so many unimportant things to tell you.

1. Facebook Giveaway Wall
It's Tuesday. Looking for Canadian friendly giveaways to enter? Looking to promote your Canadian friendly giveaways? You've come to the right place. Head on over to my Facebook Wall and enter and post away. Everyone is welcome and there's no limit. Good Luck!

2. My Latest Obsession:
An old hag I know (her words, not mine) introduced me to the website I think it might be the next big thing. I mean, everyone needs to be sung Happy Birthday in Welsh by a guy in a wooly hat and thong. Who cares if he can't sing...

3. Have you Voted for Journeys of The Zoo?
Voting for this round of the Canadian Blog Awards will run until October 31. Have you stopped by and seen all the great blogs that have been nominated? Have you completed your one-time-vote (for this round) in the "Best Humour Blog" category (think Journeys of The Zoo)?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mother of All Baby Giveaways #BDparty, $220, US/CAN, 11/01

If you are a Woman, a Man, have a child, know someone that has a child, were once a child, then this giveaway is for YOU!

Journeys of The Zoo couldn't be happier to offer you this group giveaway from Learn to be a Mom (P.S. Happy Birthday!). Especially because it will have TWO WINNERS and is just in time for Christmas!

The first prize pack is worth $120 and includes the following products:

  1. Glow Bug Diapers (ARV $12.50)
  2. Stuck on you ($50.00 store credit)
  3. Sonshine Creations Travelling pillow (ARV $20.00)
  4. Nic and Elli (2 diapers ARV $20.00)
  5. Baby Ankies (ARV $13.95)
  6. Roseries from RjaysFreebies. Choice of pink, white or blue.

The second prize pack is worth $100 and includes the following products:

  1. Bundles and Buzz (ARV $60.00 plus $20.00 store credit),
  2. Roseries from RjaysFreebies. Choice of pink, white or blue and
  3. Copy-Kids DVD (ARV $20.00) and we all know how much I LOVE them!

Please stop by Learn to be a Mom's website and see what she had to say about each of the products and don't forget to...

Enter to WIN $220 worth of Stuff!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mutiny is a Six Letter Word. Anarchy is Seven.

ShesConnected 2012 Blogger Conference By the time you're reading this, I'll be sitting by the pool at the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel reading my first book in three years and eating Miss Vickies Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Chips. Because, for once, I don't have to share.

Okay, I won't be swimming but the rest is true. Ed even asked me if I was bringing my bathing suit!?

I will however, be driving to Toronto with my friend Rae from "There's a Contest for That" to attend the much anticipated ShesConnected 2012 Blogging Conference. We will be staying at the Intercontinental thanks to our sponsor Nanna who got us three nights with her Air Miles points. A BIG thanks to ShesConnected for gifting us the tickets.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

It's always been customary in my family to eat dinner together at the dining room table except on Sunday nights when we watched 60 Minutes and Murder She Wrote in front of the TV. That Jessica Fletcher sure was smart.

Everyone shared news of their day and talked about issues that affected the whole family. Ed's family was the same way except it usually included a bunch of other people at the table as well.

In turn, it should come as no surprize that The Zoo has continued on with this Family Tradition.

Max and Artemis love it and have already started a few traditions of their own.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reflections on Every Day Double Standards.

Uncle Kevin is a full-time farmer and part-time teacher. He is a codependent enabler who resides in a hamlet on a mountain top. He is as serious as a heart attack and stealthy as the night. Woefully inadequate to be a parent, so he's not. His many hobbies include wood and metal working, scotch sampling and pipe smoking, and puttin' on the ritz. He may or may not be related to The Zoo.

These are his words

It's something we've all done, we've all certainly been part of and we've all witnessed it happening to others. It's one of those things that has been going on since time began, and given human nature and the "me" attitude of the world today will likely continue on indefinitely. What am I talking about?

Down on the Farm

Double Standards!

Herein referred to as "DS".

DS's are those annoying things that happen to us all in one way or another. There are popular double standards and there are less popular, almost obscure ones. The classic, of course is the age old "glass ceiling" pertaining to men and women and salary in the work place. That particular one has been talked to death, so let's move on.

Monday, October 15, 2012

WIN a $100 Target Gift Card, US/CAN, 10/21

Recently, we asked you what kind of giveaways you wanted to see more of at Journeys of The Zoo. Your responses varied, however, I got a feeling that gift certificates would be well received. If that's the case then,

We Listened!

Actually, Tailor Made Momma heard your request and let us participate in this great group giveaway. And just in the St. Nick of time!

I'm sure that you'll agree that with Christmas quickly approaching (only 72 days away but who's counting) you could use an extra $100! While we don't have a Target in Boonyville yet, there's one just across the border (only a 20-minute drive) and I've got my eye on some fuzzy boots.

Don't miss out on your chance to buy yourself or someone you love that extra special gift this holiday season.

Enter to WIN a $100 Target GC!

Big Impressions with Tiny Prints {$50}, US/CAN, 10/29

Halloween is in two weeks, Christmas is in 8 weeks after that. If you're thinking "Great, thanks for reminding me, I'm not ready in the least" then you should check out, Tiny Prints and,

Make a Big Impression!

A friend of mine, Brooke from Creating Comfort invited me and some of my peers to participate in this great giveaway from Tiny Prints. She likes to be original and is so prepared that she's already ordered her Christmas cards from them!

I visited Tiny Prints website to see for myself and was impressed with their wide array of items. They have something for every occasion; Christmas Photo Cards, baby showers, announcements. They even offer personalized stationery. And we all know how much I love stationery!

Their phone cases are on my wish-list (couldn't you see this with a big Orange "Z") and their Photo Books have a wizard that makes it really simple to create. I'm sure that Nanna and Poppa would love one of those.

Tiny Prints Phone Case and Photo Book

Don't wait until the last minute to send Aunt Mildred her Christmas Dinner invitation. If you do, she might not be prepared and you'll end up as this year's "It" (I must tell you that story sometime).

Connect with Tiny Prints on their website (, Facebook ( or Twitter (@tinyprints).

Enter to WIN your Holiday Cards Today!

Friday, October 12, 2012

October is Brain Cancer {Awareness} Month.

Did you know that October is Brain Tumour Awareness Month in Canada?

Journeys of The Zoo didn't.

That is until a friend of mine told me about it. Unfortunately, she knows because three years ago, she was diagnosed with one.

Shannon has bravely chosen to share about her experiences and help to highlight this condition.

Here are her words.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Have you Been Nominated for a Liebster Award?

Earlier this week, we were nominated for a 2012 Canadian Blog Award in the Humour Category (go HERE to vote).

And today, I found out that Real Momma nominated us for a Liebster Award!

If you feel like you're watching GroundHog Day you're not (well, you might be but it's not playing here). You see, back in July, we received our first nomination.

What Goes Around Comes Around!

I'm going to cheat here a bit because I'm lazy I know that you just want to know who I'm going to nominate. But rules are rules and we all know how much I (don't) like to follow them.

ONE: 11 Random Facts About Me
You get eight. I can't conform that much.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another Blogger Opp, $200 Prize, WW, 11/05

Have it Your Way Logo Recently, one of the mandatory questions on a Journeys of The Zoo giveaway was (something along the lines of) "What type of prizes would you like to see more of"?

Your answers varied greatly.

Everything from; jewellery, baby items, kitchen supplies, clothes to cash. Well,

Journeys of The Zoo listened!

As of November 5, we will be participating in a giveaway where the prize is $200 towards anything. Yes, you read that correctly, pretty near anything; groceries, tablet, cash, gift certificates, even new teeth for Aunt Mildred.

That makes for a lot of anything and cash up for grabs just in time for Christmas!

If you're a Blogger and interested in participating in this FREE "Have it Your Way Event", simply write a promotion post (like this one) and you'll receive a Facebook link. Check out the sign-up form for costs associated with not posting and details regarding the purchase of additional links ($2 for standard and $3 for daily votes).

The giveaway will be open Worldwide and run from November 5, until December 5, 2012.

Nobody needs an excuse to give away $200, however, this giveaway is in celebration of the launch of Pink Ninja Media which our good friend "There's a Contest for That" is a part of. Thanks for letting us be a part of this great adventure.

Interested? Sign-up HERE

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

We've been Nominated for a 2012 Canadian Blog Award {Humour}!

Modified Canadian Blog Award Logo Since May 2010, Journeys of The Zoo has been sharing our adventures in Life, Loss and Everything in between. Along the way, we've thrown in some Reviews and Giveaways and generally evolved into a writing style that is a true reflection of who we are. I'd like to describe it as snark,

"Finding Humour in the Ordinary".

*Note that we modified the Canadian Blog Awards button to be "Journeys of The Zoo" specific*

And, life was proceeding as it should until one day, you went and nominated us for the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards in the Humour category.

What would I do without Friends like you.

The fact that I might have given you the nomination link and mentioned that I'd invite you to my birthday party if you nominated me, does not negate your true love of all things Zoo.

Life as I knew it changed forever.

Okay, nothing really changed at all but it could have. I mean, imagine if your singular act faciliated my ability to talk to a human being or brought me out of my shell enough to share the story of that little Brownie episode.

Where would The Zoo be today?

Actually, one thing did change. The Canadian Blog Awards heard your roar and has included Journeys of The Zoo in the first round of voting in the Humour category!

We are so honoured, BUT you know how the saying goes,

Fool me once, shame on you,
Fool me twice, shame on me.

What if your act of voting, causes me to stop chewing on my cud and actually win an iPad so that I can then count Unicorns and have no time to blog (rhetorical question, we all know the answer to that one)?

2012 Canadian Blog Awards Journeys of The Zoo Humour Category
(**CLICK RIGHT HERE**, go to the "Best Humour Blog" section, select the button beside "Journeys of The Zoo" and hit "Vote", you can only vote once in each category)

No, I can't do it, I couldn't possibly take the risk. I won't ask you to do it.

Instead, I'm going to leave it up to you. If you want to vote for me and a bunch of my peers (some I know, others I'm excited to learn about), then go to the Canadian Blog Awards~Round 1. You can find Journeys of The Zoo in the "Humour" category.

Remember to Vote!

Note that if you vote for me, I will totally invite you to my birthday party and I was even thinking about having some unicorns, rooms made of chocolate, lollipops and a money cake, mmm, love those.

Besos, The Zoo

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Glimpse into the Life of Being Adopted.

A while back, I mentioned that I was adopted. I thought that I'd pretty much covered everything in 231 words, and I did... for me.

But then I realized, perhaps other people, adopted or not might have questions. So, I'm back (and still adopted) to try and answer some of your questions (which, I don't actually know what they are because you never told me).

Let me start out by saying (again) that my story is a happy one.

A success story.

I knew that I was adopted from the moment that I could know. It was never a secret. In fact, the opposite. There are probably more people who know that I'm adopted then don't.

For those not adopted, there is no question that your physical and character traits are a mixture of; your parents (for me that would be my adopted parents, herein referred to as "parents"), biological parents and some that are just you. For me, I don't know about the last two. What's me and what's them?

I wonder.

Obviously I'm not biologically related to my Mother and Brother but we share physical characteristics such as; fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. We look like family and many people don't believe that we aren't biologically related. And, with respect to my character, I am my Mother's daughter.

I had always thought that I was 90% Nurture and 10% Nature.

But then I had kids and now I'm not so sure. I see so much of Ed and I in them. Note that I know my kids are their "own people" and not just replicas of Ed and I. Maybe I'm more like my biological parents then I realized, maybe not. Regardless, I'm fine with it either way.

They are a part of my story.

Growing up, I remember frequently reading a book series called "The Adopted Family" which incidentally has found it's way into the kids bookshelf (Thanks for being a pack rat Nanna). I had two sets of parents that loved me. The other poor kids only had one set (smile).

I was special and knew it!

No one else in my class was adopted but that didn't matter. I never got teased. If I did, I don't remember. That was the 70's and while it wasn't the 50's, kids were still cruel and less open. Maybe I got off easy?

I remember a classmate, Jenny finding out at 12 (?) that she was adopted. It didn't go over well with her or the others. She was teased and ended up leaving the school shortly thereafter. I remember hearing stories about her years on and wondering if the secret of her adoption was the cause of any of her ill-fated choices.

I am so grateful that adoption was never a secret in my house.

Every year, usually about half-way through the day of my birth, I think about my Biological Parents.

I have no doubt that they are thinking about me. Perhaps they wonder what I look like (as I do them). Wonder if they made the right decision. Regret their decision. I hope not.

I am happy.

Over the years, I've thought a lot about finding my biological parents. My parents are 110% supportive. I know that Nanna would really like to meet them. I've started the process to find them several times but left it at that.

It's been about seven years since the last time. I figure that it will happen when the time is right. Note that I am well aware that you can't win a lottery without buying tickets and that if I want to find my biological parents I will have to do something. Some day.

To this day, Nanna tells me how lucky she is to have me and that she couldn't have made a cuter baby herself. How right she is!

If I had to sum up my feelings on being adopted, I'd say...

No Big Deal.

Feel free to comment with any questions you have. I have no problem talking about being adopted.

Note that Uncle Andrew and I are not biologically related.

Besos, The Zoo

Sunday, October 7, 2012

FREE Blogger Opp, $100 Target GC, US/CAN, 10/12

Journeys of The Zoo would like to tell all our Blogger friends about this great FREE Blogger Opp being coordinated by Tailor Made Momma.

For those of you reading this that are NOT Bloggers, have no fear, you too will be able to participate when I post the giveaway for a $100 Target Gift Card on October 15, 2012. Open to USA and Canada.

This is a Free event with the only requirement being that you post about this event (like I have here) and include the cute little dog button above (isn't he adorable).

In exchange for publicizing about this opportunity, you will receive TWO free links (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest only). A third link can also be purchased for $2.

If you chose to NOT post about the event link, that's okay too, it just won't be free. Instead, links will cost $3 each or 2 links for $5.

Follow pages are also available for $10 (indicate your interest on the sign-up form). Selections will be made via

All collected funds will be used to offset the cost of the gift card and/or advertising fees. Please be sure to join our Facebook Group.

Sign ups will close on Friday October 12th at 8pm EST.

Click HERE to sign up.

Mark your calendars!

Besos, The Zoo

Copy-Kids DVD and Whole Foods GC {$45}, US/CAN, 10/21

Copy-Kids Logo Journeys of The Zoo has teamed up with Copy-Kids to offer you the giveaway that you've all been waiting for!

Like I mentioned in my review yesterday, The Zoo is a BIG fan of Copy-Kids. I never thought that simply watching a video would have my kids so convinced to eat their fruits and vegetables but it's true.

Tried and tested "Zoo True"!

The great thing about this giveaway is that not only will you have the opportunity to have your kids eat foods that they might not already but you'll receive a gift certificate to purchase some foods for them to try.

Whole Foods Photo The $25 gift certificate is from Whole Foods which has stores in Canada and the USA. Check here for a location near you.

If you're kids are on the verge of getting scurvy, don't wait and play the odds, order your Copy-Kids today for only $19.95.

Connect with Copy-Kids via:

Enter to Win Today!


Prize: Copy-Kids DVD valued at $19.95 and a $25 Gift Certificate to Whole Foods**.
Eligibility: USA and CANADA.
Duration: The contest will run from Sunday, October 7 until Sunday, October 21, inclusive.
Shipping: Included in the prize.
Entry Method: Rafflecopter Form.
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received compensation in exchange for hosting this giveaway. All opinions are 100% our own.

** Note that you can request a different grocery store card if you don't live near a Whole Foods and Copy-Kids will try and fulfil your request.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was posted to Blog Giveaways, Contest Canada and Sweepstakes

Besos, The Zoo

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kids Eat and Shop for Fruits & Vegetables with Copy-Kids!

Copy-Kids Logo

Journeys of The Zoo has been raving for several months now about how Copy-Kids has encouraged Max and Artemis to eat their vegetables.

In case you don't remember, before Copy-Kids, the kids ate avocados and carrots. Since watching the video, we've added cucumbers, red peppers, peas and tomatoes to our daily diet.

This year I added tomatoes to the garden with high hopes that they'd get eaten. Thanks to Copy-Kids, the kids loved going out to pick them and they even ate them whole, just like apples!

Maximilian and Artemis picking Tomatoes from our Garden

Think it won't happen in your house, I ran an experiment and lent my tape to the offical skeptic my BFF Rene and here is her experience:

Maximilian and Artemis eating Vegetables

"We started with Cucumber and Red Pepper, usually a hard sell. After a couple of minutes intensely watching the screen, I asked her if she wanted to try some vegetables. Still focussed on Copy Kids, she nodded. She took a few bites which is a real win for me!

The next day, the same thing except this time, at dinner, without the assistance from Copy-Kids, she chose to eat one of the oft-left-uneaten peppers on her plate. I couldn't believe it!

The speed of the video was slow enough that my two year old could easily follow along. We will definitely watch the video again. Now if only they could make a version that works for my husband..."

But that's not where the magic ends. Copy-Kids has gone one step further by incorporating kids into the entire shopping experience with a Fruits and Vegetables shopping list. Just for Them!

Copy-Kids Fruits and Vegetables Shopping List for Kids

When I heard that Copy-Kids had created a shopping list for kids, I thought, great idea, too bad my kids are too young. I had assumed that it would be textual based and my kids can't read yet.

Was I ever pleased when I printed out the list and my (almost) three year olds got the concept right away. For once, they weren't bored with our weekly shop and I was pleased to make the normally challenging experience into a learning opportunity. They loved pointing out all the items they saw on the list and were only confused by one picture (they called the tomato an apple, but they knew the apple was an apple). I highly suggest that you visit Copy-Kids website and get copies for your kids.

Maximilian and Artemis shopping for Fruits and Vegetables
Download your Shopping Lists Here for FREE!

Wait a minute, that's not it! Watch for the Copy-Kids Giveaway being posted tomorrow and Enter to Win a copy of the DVD for yourself as well as a $25 Whole Food Gift Certificate. The best prize will be watching Copy-Kids and having your kids,

Eat their Fruits and Vegetables!

Connect with Copy-Kids via:

Enter the Giveaway Here!

Note that Journeys of The Zoo received compensation in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are 100% our own.

Besos, The Zoo

Friday, October 5, 2012

You've Got a Little Something in Your Teeth...

I like to read our local paper and get caught up on all things small town; fairs, rabies clinics, car break-ins you know, the usual. I also enjoy my weekly interaction with Mary, The Accidental Farmwife and Sudoku (love it!).

I'm not one for reading the Obituaries.

My Nanna used to look at them. She said it was because she wanted to check to make sure that she wasn't in them. Note that My Nanna is not the same person as The Kids Nanna.

Instead, I prefer to read the Social Notes such as announcements for birthdays, engagements, weddings, and anniversaries.

Social Notes

Congratulations Everyone!

I've been wondering about something and wanted to pass it by you.

Let's say that you're getting married.

Let's say that you want to share your news with 43.5 people the whole town.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't you want to pick the best picture that you could find?

Assuming that's the case, we've got some questionable genetics around here and I'm not referring to anyone's feet.

Even if you don't have a professional photographer, is there any excuse for not looking at the camera, dishevelled clothing or having your mouth partially open while you're eating?

I'm pretty sure that one guy was having peas and carrots for dinner!?

Nothing says "Congratulations on your Wedding" like posting a picture of the Groom with his eyes closed.

Besos, The Zoo

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Are you Setting Yourself up to be Robbed!?

Today is Tuesday.

Tuesday means two things; paper recycling and playgroup.

Lucky for me, Uncle Eric noticed that we'd forgotten to put ours out and of course he offered to help. Without him, we'd be able to open up a recyling plant of our own.

While rushing out the door to playgroup, I threw the camera in my purse.

First time ever.

Just in case.

I'm glad I did because I saw this at the side of the road...

If you see paper recycling on the side of the road then, you're
One of the "good guys".

If you see this, then you're

One of the "other guys".

Since I'm the one writing this post and I obviously saw the second picture in the first picture (does that make sense?) then allow me to blame it on Ed explain.

Before meeting Ed, I would have thought "oops, I forgot that today was recycling day" and proceeded on with forgetting something else. However, since meeting Ed, I've become much more aware of the optics of situations.

Opportunity. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this home now has a brand new 47" LED Flat Screen tv. Seeing as opportunity is half the battle, the bad guys have already won. Without this knowledge, they would never have known what was inside that house.

Twice as Likely. Did you know that once you've been robbed, you have an even higher chance of getting robbed again a few months later. The bad guys are thinking that they got away with your items once so why not a second time. I mean, you're going to claim the loss with your insurance company and get an even bigger and better tv. This time, they know where everything is in your house and all the items will be new. Double Win!

Avoid. Save yourself the hassle of being robbed (twice?) by dismantling the box and ensuring that any pictures are not visible. Even better, do what you do with your credit cards and recycle the box on two separate days.

Don't mention it. While your neighbours might be honest, they might make an innocent remark in front of a questionable bystander putting your home and family at risk. Be careful who you talk to.

I'm not trying to scare you because everyone has tv's, computers and gadgets and they don't get broken into even once let alone twice. However, opportunity and a visual notification are definitely key in setting yourself up to be robbed.

Better to be Safe than Sorry.

Besos, The Zoo

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Have you Won Anything Recently? Do Share.

Today's post is a compilation of great companies and products, congratulations and thanks. This post is jam packed (pun intended) with items that we've recently acquired. Maybe you'll find some items to put under this years Christmas tree.

1. Smuckers Gift Basket
Smuckers All Natural Ingredients Jam
Every summer, we load up The Zoo and spend the day on the St. Lawrence River enjoying the breeze, playing in the shallow waters and watching the boats go by. Every year, I manage to forget half the items necessary for us to eat. No more!

The Zoo won a really sturdy and family-sized picnic basket with all the fixings for two adults; wine opener, forks, knives, spoons, plates and even real wine glasses. The Adult Zoo will now be eating in style.

The prize package also included three x 390g jars of jam; fieldberry, summer fruit and wild berry. I like that the jam is made with all natural ingredients so I don't need to worry about feeding it to the kids (if there's any left). Even though we already had a Smuckers open (it's our brand), Ed insisted that for the sake of integrity that we open one up so that he could give you his opinion. I'll let you know what he thinks when he's done (he's on his third sandwich).

2. Facebook Giveaway Wall.
Don't forget that our Tuesday Facebook Giveaway Wall is Open and Everyone is Welcome. Please hop on over and post your Canadian and Family Friendly giveaways or Enter to Win!

Wooden Pyrography Bookmark

3. BK Inspired.
If you're looking for something truly unique look no further then the artistry of BK Inspired.

Not only is Maya a friend and big supporter of The Zoo but she is also Canadian. You might remember her work from her participation in the Great Canadian Blog Bash in honour of Canada's birthday.

If you live in or around Toronto, check out BK Inspired wares at the Durham Craft and Gift Show (Ontario, Canada) the weekend of October 19-21 and add some style to your life. She has much more than bookmarks but regardless, your books will thank you!

P.S. I am the proud owner of the bookmark pictured.

4. And the Winners of our last bunch of giveaways are:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Primeridge Pure Cheese and Curds are Like No Other.

Journeys of The Zoo Facebook Wall Giveaway Logo
It's Tuesday so you know what that means. Journeys of The Zoo has opened up their Facebook Wall and everyone's invited! Please post any of your giveaways that are Canadian and Family Friendly and don't forget to...

Enter to Win!

Note that I've also been posting a current link to my Facebook post in my list of "Current Giveaways" in the left hand sidebar <--- over there.

Besides all the excitement about the giveaway wall post, I'm glad to see that my story about arthroscopic knee surgeries didn't turn you off. You'll be glad that you stuck around when you hear the story about Aunt Liz and her cheese.

Aunt Liz knows how to make cheese. Like really knows how and has shared this knowledge with others. Kind of like how Ed tells people "How to Make a Record".

For the purposes of this post, let's just say that it's a really lengthy process with at least 12 intricate steps and that on more than one occasion Aunt Liz has stated "if I have to tell one more person how I make cheese I'll...".

Of course I asked.

Primeridge Pure Cheese

When The Zoo was at The Farm for our annual Summer Hoe-Down, Aunt Liz and her Employer "Primeridge Pure" graciously gave us 3,481 pounds some fresh, homemade and vegetarian Primeridge Pure cheese curds and cream cheese.

Speaking of cheese curds, Ed could eat them seven days a week and he knows a good one when he tastes it. And these ones SQUEAK! In order to provide you with an accurate review, Ed consumed several containers of the product and determined that Primeridge Pure - Pure Curds should be awarded...

Big Cheese!

But, it didn't end there. We took the Chili Pepper Cream Cheese up to September Camp (the second leg of our summer vacation, post coming soon) and it was gone so fast I didn't get one picture of anyone eating it.

If all you've ever had is store bought brands, then you need to try these cheeses. You can get them at their flagship store in Markdale as well as at the East Lynn, Bloor Borden, Sick Kids, Ryerson and Owen Sound Farmer's markets.

Connect with Primeridge Pure via;

Press/Awards: The business just received a Premier's Award for Agri-Innovation, and will be coming to Rowe Farms in the very near future. The YouTube video (link above) was created by OMAFRA about the operation. The Globe and Mail wrote a great piece in June 2012.

Note that Journeys of The Zoo was provided with products that enabled us to write this post. However, there was no expectation of a review. In fact, the owner didn't even know that we had a blog.

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Monday, October 1, 2012

MommiesFirst Subscription Boxes: Feature & Linky {Canadian}

It's time for Journeys of The Zoo's October installment of the "I Am Canadian" Feature and Linky.

Remember to add your name to the Linky at the bottom of this post.

We searched high and low and know that you will be excited to read about this month's Feature Recipient...


Without further ado, let me introduce you to Lorena Pacheco Scott of MommiesFirst and allow her to tell you about her latest "baby".

I am a mom of two young boys Sebastian and Alistair (ages 3 and 9 months). As a proud mama, I have been known to "go on and on" about my boys, but today I wanted to share with you the story of my "third baby" – MommiesFirst.

MommiesFirst is a new online, Canadian business helping moms sort through all the products on the market that are vying for her attention and her wallet. How do we do this? We've created a MommiesFirst Council, comprised of moms, dads, and baby experts, to find, test, and review products. Based on their feedback, we send our members (both pregnant and new moms) monthly care packages with 4-5 different products designed to help them navigate through the journey of motherhood. Every box we send out is customized to the mom’s month of pregnancy or the age of her baby, so she only receives the most relevant products at just the right time. It is our hope that by sending beautiful packages to moms that are also super helpful, we are genuinely helping make moms' lives a little bit easier and a lot less stressful.

I am often asked what inspired MommiesFirst and the answer is quite simply – my children. Three years ago when I became a mom for the very first time I was SCARED, OVERWHELMED, and CONFUSED. And, to be perfectly honest, I was angry that no one had told me about some of those challenges. I never forgot those feelings of despair and loneliness throughout my pregnancy and during the first year of son’s life. All of those struggles and emotions came flooding back this past December when my second son was born. But this time, I had a bit more confidence, so I resolved to do something about it – to create something that would help make a difference for all the other new moms out there. And that’s how MommiesFirst was born.

It also seems appropriate that with my two sons on my lap (literally), we launched the MommiesFirst website on Mother's Day 2012. There were a lot of sleepless nights between May and September when we shipped our first boxes to moms. It has been an adventure managing a household with two young boys and a new business, but I’m a mom on a mission. Through MommiesFirst, I'm committed to helping moms (and their babies). There are days when I know my boys miss hanging out with their mom or I wish I could just run to the park to be with them, but I'm hopeful that in following this entrepreneurial path and in building an enduring company servicing moms (and their babies), I am inspiring my boys too. I want to teach them that having a dream and wanting to make a difference – and then pursuing these two goals relentlessly– is both important and possible.

If you or someone you love is interested in signing up to receive a MommiesFirst care package, please visit A subscription costs $25 per month, with free shipping. All of our boxes are delivered with love and care!

A big thanks to Lorena for sharing her new and exciting business venture with us. If you're like me, you can think of at least 10 people that could use this service so stop by her website for a visit, connect on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube.

Please contact me if you would like to be featured on Journeys of The Zoo!

Note that Journeys of The Zoo did not receive any compensation in exchange for publishing this information.

And Now for The "I Am Canadian" Linky...

If you are Canadian or have a Canadian Product, Cause, Blog, or other Canadian related item, then you are officially invited to add yourself to this Linky.

Note that this Linky is not intended as a Giveaway Linky. Please go here to post or enter giveaways.

Besos, The Zoo