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

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Zoo's 5,000km Roadtrip to Southern Mexico {Travel}

At this moment, The Zoo is on Day Four (and the final day) of our "Annual Roadtrip to Chiapas Mexico". I have no problem documenting our journey before it happens because although some things are dynamic, some things never change. Besides, after 13 trips (!!!), we could do this in our sleep (and might have a few times).

Welcome to the Journeys of The Zoo...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Creative Ways to Get your Kids to Eat with Funbites.

Funbites Logo

Every toddler goes through stages of not wanting to eat.

Whether they are feeling under the weather, a little cranky, or asserting their independence.

Regardless, no parent wants to battle with their children over food.

That's why Funbites is such a great tool to get kids engaged in food preparation in a fun and exciting way.

The bonus, they actually want to eat it!

Every Sunday, my friend Rene and her daughter come over for pancakes. The kids look forward to it all week. Since the Funbites arrived on Friday, I thought that we could have a little fun with our breakfast.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Enjoy the Nutty Flavour of Almond Fresh #giveaway, CAN, 12/27

Almond Fresh Logo When I was at ShesConnected 2012, I learned a lot of things. One of them being, I love Almond Fresh beverages!

While there I was fortunate enough to sample a bunch of their flavours and left with a few packs of their "Almond on the Go" Original product.

Almond Fresh is one of the products offered by Earth's Own Food Company Inc, a Canadian company based in British Columbia.

A healthly althernative to cow's milk, it has a real nutty taste and all the benefits of nutrient dense real California almonds! Almond Fresh is a source of nine essential vitamins and minerals, including Calcium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. It's Dairy, Wheat and Gluten Free.

Almond Fresh Collage Being a creature of habit, I chose the Original flavour. I like that there's only 60 calories per serving but it tastes like there's so much more! Or try; vanilla, unsweetened, coconut or, just in time for the holidays "Noel Nog"! At only 100 calories a cup, it won't break your weight watching goals.

The true test for this household, what happens when it's added to coffee? I'm happy to announce that Almond Fresh doesn't curdle and the added bonus, it tastes like I'm drinking one of those specialty javas at a fraction of the price!

I liked that it had a fridge life of six weeks, although it wasn't necessary because I can drink a 1.89L container in less than one week. Yum!

As for the samples, they never made it home. It wasn't my fault as they come in convenient serving size tetrapaks and taste as good at room temperature as cold.

Try some for yourself and connect with Almond Fresh via their Website and Facebook.

Win $20 in Almond Fresh Vouchers Below!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So Good Soy Beverages, A Healthy Alternative $50 #giveaway, CAN, 12/26

So Good Logo In my early twenties, I was a fake vegetarian. While I loved a glass of cold milk and knew of the important nutrients it contained, I wasn't convinced that I needed all the "extras", specifically, calories and fat.

My beverage of choice back then... So Good.

So Good is a Canadian company whose beverages are a delicious and healthy alternative to dairy milk. Fortified with 15 essential nutrients, a 250 mL serving of So Good contains as much calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 as a cup of dairy milk.

To this day, I'm still a fan for all the same reasons and some. The calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugars are all lower (compared to the 2% milk that we purchase). Thankfully I don't have to worry about any of these numbers (yet) but I really enjoy the taste and find that it quenches my thirst. With only 8g of sugar per serving, I don't feel like my sugars are spiking (I'm hypoglycemic) yet it tastes like a light-weight milkshake treat.

So Good Packaging Original is my favourite flavour, but there are choices such as; Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Original and No Sugar added. In addition, many flavours have low-fat and Omega DHA options. There really is something for everyone's taste buds and/or requirements.

"Nothing else tastes So Good!"

So Good Fortified Soy Beverages display the Health CheckTM logo as they meet the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's established nutrient criteria. Being a label reader, I searched some of the ingredients that I didn't recognize and learned that Tricalcium Phosphate occurs naturally in cow's milk.

So Good Cake Recipe So Good is not only useful as a beverage but also as a recipe substitute.

Uncle Eric had us over for a going away dinner/the kids birthday so I baked a cake. I decided to replace the milk with So Good and it came out as moist as ever.

Even Uncle Eric, the consummate sceptic couldn't tell the difference!

Want to try some for yourself?

Today's your lucky day because you have TWO chances to win So Good products.

Win $50 in So Good Vouchers Below!

or enter the So Good Life Shots Shuffle and be one of five people to win So Good Products. Enter monthly.

Connect with So Good via their Website and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Litter & Nipissing Checklist-36 Months.

Three years ago today, I gave birth to a litter. Also referred to as "the kids", "newest Zoo members" or "Alexander, Maximilian and Artemis".

I don't think that I've ever posted about their birth story. I'll save that for another time. I'll just say that if anyone ever tells you that "you'll know when you're in labour", don't believe them. Not for a minute.

Artemis is very happy that it's her birthday today. Then again, it's been her birthday for several weeks now.

Today she just happens to be right (1 in 365 chance).

Picture of Money Cake

By the time you're reading this, we've winterized our house, loaded up Bucephalus and are on our way to Toronto.

We will spend the next four days at Nanna's place. Thursday night is reserved for our annual Christmas/Birthday Party with Uncle Fred and the Abeulos. Early Saturday morning, we will leave on our 5,000km drive to Southern Mexico.

Fun times!

For the past two years, I've been documenting the kids progress in comparison to the Nipissing Development Milestone Checklist. Check out 12 Months, 15 Months, 18 Months, 24 Months, and 30 months.

I hope that all this information will be relevant to my upcoming memoirs and/or enable me to prove to the kids that I actually paid attention. If not, the Grandparents love to read it. It's boring. You've been warned.

Here's how they're doing in general and in comparison to the Nipissing District Developmental Checklist for 36 months.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Secret Santa, Thanks for NOT giving me Toilet Paper.

Dear Secret Santa
Have you ever participated in a "Secret Santa Exchange"?

If not, a bunch of people put their name into a hat, you pull out someones name and you buy them a gift.

My Canadian Blogger Friends coordinated an exchange this year and I took part. I'm always up for a surprise.

The Deal. Less than $10, mailed by December 3 and any special notes (I didn't put any).

It's so much fun seeing what everyone else got and people going crazy trying to figure out who their Secret Santa is.

There were a few times that I thought, "Wow, they got that and I got this...".

It reminded me of Christmas 1992 and 1993 when I was "The It".

Friday, December 7, 2012

Patch Buddies Knapsack & Friend {#Giveaway}, US/CAN, 12/16

Patch Buddies Group Giveaway Logo This giveaway is unlike any others because it is the first one where...

Journeys of The Zoo is co-hosting!

Your hosts, S.O.S. Mom and Real Momma are Moms to young kids and on the lookout for creative and unique products. Bubele's Patch Buddies met their requirements so they wanted to share them with you!

I hadn't heard of Bubele's Patch Buddies before, however, they are a well rooted family business that's been around since 2007. Their mission is to give people toys that bring joy and closeness to families. From their family to yours, Bubele's Patch Buddies has your back.

Their Patch Buddies product is an innovative, colourful and custom backpack with a built in home for a plush toy. The best part, you can pick and choose from 14 different buddies and 5 different backpacks.

If The Zoo wins, we'll get the red/brown backpack with the Panda buddy because that is Alexander's "zoo animal". The kids are really into animals right now so they would be happy with any of the choices.

Patch Buddies are ideal for; travel as there is just enough room for a few toys, snacks and of course their buddy, sleepovers and as gifts.

Can't pick just one? Don't! At only $14.99, you can afford to gift one for every occasion.

Patch Buddies Choices

A big thanks also to the co-hosts: Mudpies & TiarasJourneys of The ZooMom Does ReviewsMama to 4 Blessings and a terrific group of bloggers that are all making this giveaway event a great success.

Connect with Bubele's Patch Buddies via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

WIN Your Own Patch Buddies!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Taste for the Senses with The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles Cookbook

You don't have to be a cook to appreciate all the time and effort that Rinku Bhattacharya has put into her latest cookbook "The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles".

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is so much more to the book such as personal stories and tons of colourful pictures to whet your appetite.

Since I'm not the best cook, I solicited the assistance of my good friend Rene and we made a meal of it.

Well, she cooked, I ate.

On the menu, Chicken with Black Pepper and Fenugreek.

Rene picked this one for several reasons; all of us like chicken, it was "kid-friendly" and most of the ingredients are things that she regularly has on hand except for fenugreek.

Chicken Black Pepper Fenugreek Recipe Ingredients

Unfortunately, when it came time to purchase all the ingredients, we were at a loss for fenugreek leaves.

Fortunately, we had the seeds and it gave me a chance to help out by using Rene's oft-forgotten mortar and pestle set. It made her happy.

Since we both live in the suburbs, we don't have the variety of the big city. Next time I'm in the city, I'll be sure to stop by "Little India" and pick up a bunch of ingredients.

Did I mention that the dogs ate the whole cloves (literally)? We tried to get some from the neighbours but they were out (what ever happened to asking for sugar!?). In turn, we had to be creative and used ground ones instead. See how versatile Rene and the recipe are!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Baby Organic Joy: Shop Canada's Online Organic Baby Store.

Tiz the Season.

People are busy stringing garland, decorating their Christmas Trees and stressing out trying to find the perfect present for that special someone.

Can you relate?

Baby Organic Joy Logo

Journeys of The Zoo is excited to introduce you to a Canadian online organic baby stores called "Baby Organic Joy".

Baby Organic Joy doesn't just claim to be organic. They are a proud member of Canada's Organic Trade Association and Green Business Association. The goal of their company is to provide certified organic baby products or those baby products made with organic ingredients available in the market today, at reasonable prices.

Talk about affordable! They have a wide array of gift ideas for under $10 such as; stroller toys, rattles and crinkle books. Baby toys from MiYim, Begin Again Dinosaur Puzzle and the Safari Animal blocks are a few of our favourites.

Hello Zoo!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kids Gift Pack Giveaway $135, 4 Prizes, US/CAN, 12/25

Kids Gift Pack Prizes
Want to get the rest of your kids shopping done for FREE? Enter to win this great Kids Gift Pack totalling over $135 (actually $140 but we don't want to appear to exaggerate) hosted by Journeys of The Zoo and shared by some of her good friends.

Four prizes + one winner = BIG WIN!

1. Complete Child Development Program ($87).

Complete Child Development Program Logo While I am not personally familiar with this system, my good friend Laura has begun the program with her six-year old daughter and posted some positive things on her blog.

What I do know is that they're a Canadian company and their website claims that their program builds strong self-esteem and confidence. Considering the fact that they have a 30-day, No risk, Money back guarantee, you can't go wrong.

Connect with Complete Child Development Program via their Website.


2. Standard and Deluxe Kit from Little Jots ($21).

Little Jots Deluxe Standard Kit

This product from Little Jots should look familiar because I just posted a review on it yesterday.

A couple of things that I didn't mention (I had to leave something to surprize) was that the Standard Pack is crazy affordable at only $5.95.

Not only that but it functions as a "refill" for the Deluxe Kit. It also comes in it's own sealed cardboard box and is even shrink wrapped. Did I mention that all the kits come with free shipping!?

Connect with Little JOTS via their Website:, Facebook:, and Twitter:


3. Funbites, Choice of cubes or hearts ($12)

Funbites Heart Food Cutter Do you have a picky eater? If so, you should give this product a try. At the very least, you'll have cute shaped canteloupes...

You can use it on almost any food, such as; fruit, grilled cheese, and pancakes. It even made it on The Zoo's Holiday Guide.

Be sure to watch out for The Zoo's review of this versatile and fun for the whole family product.

Connect with Funbites on their Website:, Facebook: and Twitter:


Copy-Kids Fruits Vegetables DVD

4. Copy-Kids DVD ($20)

If you're still having problems with getting your kid to eat certain foods then we still have you covered with Copy-Kids Eat your Fruits and Vegetables DVD. The Zoo has had such success with this product and I can't say enough great things about it!

Connect with Copy-Kids via Website/YouTube:, Facebook: and Twitter:

Now's Your Chance to WIN!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Write Your Child a Hug this Holiday with Little Jots.

Little Jots Logo

Holidays are a time for giving and letting those you care about know how much they mean to you. This year, give thanks and show your love every day with Little Jots!

Little Jots is a Canadian online company whose slogan: "Write your child a hug™ and create memories to last a lifetime" is very fitting given their product.

While the idea of personal or lunchbox notes is nothing new, their goal is to send positive messages to kids. Being a Mom herself, Maria put a lot of time and effort into researching, developing, reviewing and refining the hugs. She even solicited feedback from child development specialists. Nothing little about that!

A few of my favourites messages are; You are a bright star in my day and Your hugs fill my heart. With 20 different messages to to choose from, there's sure to be a perfect hug for every person in your life. If not, you can create your own messages.

The Deluxe pack is on sale right now for only $11.95 and includes;

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sadieloohoo Is a Humourous Gal: Feature & Linky {Canadian}

I Am Canadian Sadieloohoo Logos

I'm Miss December. I'm Miss December at Journeys of The Zoo!

Those were the first words written by Connie from SadieLooHoo when she agreed to be Journeys of The Zoo "I Am Canadian" Feature for December. She really needs to get out more.

Connie made my smile hurt with her funny and smart post and I'm sure she'll have you laughing too. I hope that you will show her your support by reading and commenting.

Here's what she had to share...

Ok, I may be being a little dramatic! I have to say, this is my very first "Guest Post" ever. I read through other guest posts wondering what I should be "sharing" with everyone. I read the November guest post from My Life After Kids and I thought......oh my gosh, Miss November is incredible!! She is like the fall foliage here in Ontario. She is that rare magenta leaf that clings to the tree for all to see and marvel at.

Then I think to myself......I'm Miss December......who is she? Is she the wisp of cold air making the house drafty? Or, is she like the fun and joy of a present under the tree? So, I wondered and pondered all this. Alas, I must stop pondering, wondering and in essence......delaying! Sarah told me I had to be quick in putting this post together......I had three days to get this written and now I only have two. Save to draft while I ponder some more.