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Saturday, September 28, 2013

We Interrupt your Regularly Scheduled Program for This Important Announcement

Under Construction Logo

UPDATE! You can now find us over at


This is probably the only time that you'll hear me say this.

Don't Visit The Zoo on Sunday, September 29.

No, we've not been hacked and/or taken hostage by The Kids.

Yes, I'm serious.

The reasoning?

Journeys of The Zoo Website is Under Construction.

If you're technical, it's probably sufficient to say that we're moving from Blogger to WordPress.

If you're not, then you probably think that you're on the wrong blog because this one talks Chinese. Rest assured, all is right with The Zoo.

To make a long story short, it's kind of like Aunt Sally is making her famous Pavlova but she ran out of one of the ingredients so instead of serving it for dinner tonight, she's going to go out tomorrow and get the ingredient so that you can have your Pavlova.

On Monday, September 30.

I'm sure you're thinking what I'm thinking, What will I do with my day!?

If you're really stuck, do what we're doing, go to Mountain Apple Orchard for a three year olds birthday party. Isn't that what everyone does when their website is Under Construction?

No matter what you do, please don't leave a comment. Unless you don't want me to see it, in that case, leave all the comments you want.

I will not get any new comments.

For Today Only.

Bottom line, our website will be Under Construction for ONE DAY (if everything goes according to plans).

On Monday, September 30, I will write a post titled "New Look, New Feel, Same Old Journeys of The Zoo" (or something like that, I've been known to change my mind).

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.


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Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Friday, September 27, 2013

These are a Few of my Favourite Things...

A few weeks ago, I visited Create With Joy’s Friendship Friday Hop and ended up posting about How the Gift of a Quarter Changed my Life.

These things happen. One of's.

But then, I stopped by this week and it happened again.

My brief comment about "The Sound of Music" ended up being a blog post titled...

Favourite Things Graphic

These are a Few of my Favourite Things.

Cats and Dogs Don't Have to Fight Like Cats and Dogs with Tips from @Iams

When we first got Reina, we didn't know how to introduce her to Aries.

Ed and I came up with what seemed like a great idea at the time.

In reality, not so much.

Thankfully, the only thing that got hurt was Aries finger nail and Reina's pride. It could have been much worse and it sure would have been nice to have some help along the way.

The great news is that cats and dogs don't have to fight like cats and dogs with these,

Iams Official Logo

Useful Tips from Iams.

Iams wants to educate owners of both cats and dogs on how to maintain relationships between their four-legged friends. Here are some things you can do to help your dogs and cats get along.

Read on to ensure that you don't make sure that you don't make the same mistakes we did!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Link Up to The Zoo's Weekly [BLOGLOVIN HOP] up to October 3

Thursday BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo

Another week has come and gone.

Where does the time go?

Wait a minute, don't answer that. I know exactly where it went.

First of all, Ed has been gone all week. That means, I'm in charge of the entire Zoo by myself. Good news is that he comes home tomorrow and The Kids are still happy. Who wouldn't be after dining on cookies for breakfast. Twice.

Part of the week was spent posting new giveaways; one for an incredible knife from CUTCO Cutlery, Authentic tasting rice from Tilda Canada and a Wellness Mat to support your health and compliment your home d├ęcor. You can find them all HERE and in our side bar over <--- THERE.

And, we posted our happy conclusion of Aries and her Royal Canin #CatsAgingGracefully Challenge.

And now it's time for...

BlogLovin Hop
at Journeys of The Zoo!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wellness Mat for your Home Decor [#Giveaway] US/CAN, 10/10

A BIG Congratulations to soon-to-be brides, Larisha from We're Parents and Alex from Mommys Craft Obsession. These lovely ladies are in such wedded bliss that they want you to join in their Wedding Celebrations. So much so that they've allowed me to offer you the chance to...

Wellness Mat Giveaway SheSaidYes

Enter to Win a Wellness Mat!

Wellness Mats knows that consumers are aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In 2000, they set out to manufacture products that truly make a difference.

The philosophy is simple, if they can address the health and safety concerns of millions in the workforce, then they can extend it to the home setting too. These mats are the mat of choice for Homeland Security and TSA and widely advocated and used in the hospitality, industrial, medical, and health & spa industries.

They believe in doing things the right way and that means from innovation to technological advancements their company is built on integrity and honesty. And because they are the manufacturer, they know every mat shipped is handled with the same care, concern, & commitment. Wellness Mats will also never compromise their products, values, or integrity by looking for shortcuts.

The added bonus is that every mat is 100% "Made in America" and not overseas.

Here's what Larisha wants you to know about this great product.

When I started thinking about my wedding registry, I wanted to make sure that I remembered things that were not common, but that I would really need in our brand new home. For us, one of those things were bath mats.  I didn't want just any old bath mat though, I wanted the best.  And I knew to get the best, I needed to go straight to Wellness Mats for their superior quality and amazing craftmanship. Their Vanity Collection is designed to look amazing in your bathroom, but will look great no matter where you put it.

Visit We're Parents!? to check out the review and then enter to win a 3x2 Vanity Collection mat of your choice below. Wellness Mats is a must have on the for the wedding registry!

Connect with Wellness Mats via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Share this Giveaway with your Friends.

Enter to WIN a Wellness Mat Below!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekly #Giveaway Linky at Journeys of The Zoo, WW, 10/01

Journeys of The Zoo Giveaway Logo

Do you eat?

That's what I thought.

In that case, you'll be interested in reading all about our experiences with CUTCO Cutlery Kitchen Products and having an opportunity to Win a CUTCO Cutlery Product for yourself.

It that's not enough, enter to Win a Prize Pack from Tilda Canada!

Not to mention the Wholly Guacamole FPCs I'm giving away to a lucky Canadian and a chance to Win $100 CASH from wholly Guacamole if you're American.

But that's not all because, today is Tuesday and Tuesday's are all about WINNING and PROMOTING at...

Journeys of The Zoo
Weekly Giveaway Linky!

Remember. You can also enter all your giveaways on our Open Facebook Giveaway Wall for DOUBLE THE EXPOSURE!

Good Luck!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Tilda Legendary Rice is an Aromatic Explosion! [#Giveaway], CAN, 10/14

We eat a lot of basmati rice. Probably five times a week and the other two days it's pizza and pasta. Yes, that much.

It's my go to side dish because the kids love it and it's easy to prepare in my rice cooker.

The only thing that would be easier would be to put it in the microwave for two minutes but that's not possible. Or is it?

Tilda Canada Rice Choices

Introducing Tilda Legendary Rice!

If I could share with you the aromatic and authentic smells that this rice exudes, I would because it's a taste for your senses. And, I'd be a gazillionaire.

The Pilau Steamed Rice is delicately infused with Indian spices and made me feel like I was in an Indian restaurant. You could taste each of the ingredients on the label with the added benefit of no artificial flavours, preservatives and it's Gluten free! I was impressed that you could clearly see the cumin seeds (pictured). The Mushroom rice was just as impressive in taste but the nutrition facts are what really caught my attention.

Tilda Canada Rice Collage

If you're concerned about fat, calories and sodium, there was no comparison between the leading brands "seasoned rice side dish" and Tilda. The calories were more than three times greater as was the sodium and the fat was twice as much in the leading brand. Tilda was the healthier choice by far.

The Pure Basmati Rice was the one variety that didn't impress. While the aroma was lovely, both Ed and I would have liked it to have tasted saltier. Then again, it has 1/5 of the sodium content of the other varieties. A definite plus if you need to watch your sodium levels.

Tilda Canada Found at Food Basics

We live in a small town (population 4,000) so I was really excited to find that my local grocery store, Food Basics, carried all four varieties.

Considering there are only two servings per package (250g), I found that $2.99 (per package) to be expensive for regular meals for a family of four.

However, when we entertain, it would be well worth the price to buy a few packages, throw them in the microwave only minutes before dinner and voila, instant fancy rice that isn't burned! There is definitely a price to getting to spend less time in the kitchen and more with friends. If it was just Ed and I, we would definitely eat this product at least one a week.

I'm not very daring in the kitchen, however, rice doesn't only have to be for dinner. Tilda has tons of lunch and even breakfast recipes. I know!?

If you're a lover of rice or appreciate something a little different, Tilda Legendary Rice is definitely a product that you should try.

Connect with Tilda Canada Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Enter Below to be 1 of 4 Winners!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Royal Canin #CatsAgingGracefully Challenge: The Happy Conclusion

For the past four weeks, The Zoo has been participating in the Royal Canin #CatsAgingGracefully Challenge.

We have already shared updates with you on Aries increased appetite and digestion and improved appearance and energy levels. And today, we will share our conclusions regarding her overall health and well-being.

To say that we have seen some changes during this time would be an understatement.

A lot has changed in the past month. A lot.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You Don't have to be a Chef to Need CUTCO Cutlery #Giveaway, CAN, 10/10

CUTCO Cutlery Logo

You know when you don't know what you're missing until you know what you're missing. And by the time you figure it out, you wonder how you ever lived without that thing that you weren't missing but now are.


It's simple. I'm talking about...

Kitchen Knives and Accessories from CUTCO Cutlery!

I wouldn't call myself a Chef or even a person that can cook so I thought that I didn't need any fandangled stuff for the kitchen.

I was wrong.

First of all, CUTCO Cutlery is more than just knives, they have woodblocks, table settings, scissors, pizza cutters and can openers to name a few. The variety of products is incredible and their knives are versatile.

Take this 2¾" paring knife for example.

CUTCO Cutlery Paring Knife Collage

As you can see from the pictures, I do a lot more than just pare with it. I cut, core, and slice with a side of paring. I like having one knife in my arsenal that I can use for all my fresh food needs.

I didn't realize how dull my existing 4" knife was until I started using my new CUTCO knife. It made me feel like I was cutting butter even when it was a carrot.

CUTCO Forever Guarantee Logo

The great news is that it will function like this forever with CUTCO's Forever Guarantee.

CUTCO® knives have been made for more than 60 years at their factory in Olean, N.Y., and endure several rounds of testing. Each knife is inspected before it's shipped to you.

I understand that purchasing CUTCO products is a significant investment. I mean, they don't exactly cost $5. So, why not make 100% sure with an in-home demonstration. You have the benefit of using the products before making a purchasing decision. You have nothing to lose!

CUTCO Can Opener

We are also the happy owners of CUTCO's snazzy new can opener.

No more pains in the fingers, spilling the contents everywhere or having a tool that generally doesn't work. I'm getting too old for all.

What really impressed me was that Artemis was even able to twist the knob and she's three!

My search for quality kitchen products is OVER!

In case you haven't heard, "Cooking with Cutco" is a brand new division in the CUTCO Family. CUTCO has traditionally been sold by students and this past year we have launched a new program, Cooking with CUTCO, to expand our reach to everyone else who isn't a student. At a Cooking Experience, we create delicious meals using our CUTCO Cutlery and Cookware! These meals are easy, delicious and nutritious. Whether you are demonstrating our products during a one on one consultation, a couple's dinner party or a girls night out – the choice is yours! This is a ground floor opportunity for people across Canada. With CUTCO, you are in business for yourself but not by yourself! Check out our website for more information on this amazing new Cooking with Cutco opportunity.

Connect with CUTCO Cutlery Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to WIN a
CUTCO product for Yourself!

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Link Up to The Zoo's Weekly [BLOGLOVIN HOP] up to September 26

Thursday BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo

I love Thursdays!

They give me a chance to remember everything that I've been doing in the week. Such as...

And now it's time for...

BlogLovin Hop
at Journeys of The Zoo!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When Bad Haircuts Happen to Good Dogs

I know how Wordless Wednesday posts are supposed to be "wordless" but sometimes wordless turns into a post about a tasty not your average pulled pork sandwich recipe and how not to toilet training.

Besides, I am my Mothers' daughter after all.

Back to my wordless post.

I'm sure when you look at the picture of Uncle Andrew's dog "Bailey" you'll think to yourself, "Isn't she a cute little poodle!"

And you'd be right except that She is a HE and most importantly...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weekly #Giveaway Linky at Journeys of The Zoo, WW, 9/24

Journeys of The Zoo Giveaway Logo

Do you like salsa and guacamole?

If so and are located in Canada, enter to win (3) Wholly Guacamole FPCs!

If you're located in the USA, enter to win $100 from Wholly Guacamole too.

But that's not all because, today is Tuesday and Tuesday's are all about WINNING and PROMOTING at...

Journeys of The Zoo
Weekly Giveaway Linky!

Remember. You can also enter all your giveaways on our Open Facebook Giveaway Wall for DOUBLE THE EXPOSURE!

Good Luck!


Friday, September 13, 2013

How the Gift of a Quarter Changed my Life [Charity]

Someone Gifting a Quarter

A friend of mine, Create with Joy does a weekly meme. This week's theme is "Share Something Good".

Seeing as she is always supportive of my weekly BlogLovin Hop, I thought that I'd participate.

Except, I couldn't.

Well, I could but what would I have to write about?

• About how I spent two hours brushing Aries?
• About the clothes that I have packed to take to House of Lazarus?
• About that cup of coffee that I made Uncle Eric this week?

While they're good deeds, they aren't exactly world shaping events.

Then I thought, I should have a shower.

Not because I'm smelly but because, truth be told, I do some of my best thinking in the shower. But then I realized that I'd already showered this week.

And then, a thought came to me.

I almost didn't remember what it was because I was so excited that,

a) I had a thought outside the shower,
b) that I remembered it and,

c) speaking of remembering...

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Royal Canin #CatsAgingGracefully Challenge Improves Cats Health

Portrait of Aries the Cat

Aries the Cat is now in week two of the Royal Canin Cats Aging Gracefully Challenge. Given all the positive changes so far, it's no wonder that Royal Canin is the leading cat food for mature cats.

Last week, I wrote about her improved appetite and digestion so this week, I thought that I would focus on her appearance and energy levels.

Link Up to The Zoo's Weekly [BLOGLOVIN HOP] up to September 19

Thursday BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo

This week was slower than last week. Slightly.

  • Max answered some skill testing questions regarding What I Do For a Living!?
  • Marcella who is finally home after two years in Korea and two years in Spain came to visit for the weekend.
  • We posted a giveaway for a bunch of Wholly Guacamole FPCs.
  • We became an affiliate for Zulily. If you haven't checked them out, you should. They have absolutely adorable items for the whole family and your home (!) for up to 90%. New items arrive daily. Create an account and start saving on your first order. Invite friends and earn credits yourself!
  • And shared how the Aviva Community Fund wants to give your community a slice of $1,000,000!

And now it's time for...

BlogLovin Hop
at Journeys of The Zoo!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Is...

Max testing out his new binoculars

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Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

All-Inclusive Weekly #Giveaway Linky up to September 17

Journeys of The Zoo Giveaway Logo

Have you seen all the great giveaways listed in our side bar over there <---.

At a glimpse, you might think that we've turned into a cooking blog with our recent posts on your Not So Average Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe and How to Not Cook Eggs and upcoming giveaways from CUTCO Cutlery, Tre Stelle and Tilda Rice.

But rest assured, Tuesday's are all about WINNING and PROMOTING and today is...

Journeys of The Zoo
Weekly Giveaway Linky!

CONTESTERS. Bloggers will be adding their giveaways to the linky throughout the week so be sure to come back often and check for new opportunities to WIN!

Don't forget to enter all the other giveaways posted to our jam packed Facebook Giveaway Wall. Note that a link is also provided in the left hand column over there <-------

BLOGGERS. This linky receives daily promotion via The Zoo's social media links.

Be sure to also add all your giveaways to our Facebook Giveaway Wall. NO LIMITS! Please post end dates.

Good Luck!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Aviva Community Fund - Win $1M for your Community [Charity]

This post brought to you by Aviva Community Fund. All opinions are 100% mine.

Aviva Community Fund Logo
Every week we shop at our local thrift shop, every month we donate clothes and every year we give toys to kids in need. Charity is a big part of life at The Zoo and small gestures can make a big difference. 
What if you all you had to do was submit an idea. One idea and you could win a lot.
Say a share of $1,000,000?

You can with the Aviva Community Fund!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

WIN Coupons from Wholly Guacamole FPCs [#Giveaway], CAN, 9/30

Wholly Guacamole Salsa Product

Recently, I posted about a great giveaway that Wholly Guacamole was hosting (and still is). In turn, as a thank you, they kindly sent me a bunch of coupons.

Seeing as I'm nice (remember?). I've decided to share some of them with you because we all know that...

Canadians Love Coupon Giveaways!

If you're like me and wouldn't know what to do with your avocado or salsa products if you won, have No Fear!

Wholly Guacamole has tons of great recipes and Mommy Outside made this mouth watering egg-tart-frittata-thing-a-ma-bob with Wholly Guacamole Salsa (or according to her, an omelette muffin).

Wholly Guacamole Salsa and Eggs

Enter to WIN
Wholly Guacamole Products (3) Below!

Share this Giveaway with Your Friends.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Do Your Kids Know What You Do For a Living?

If you asked your kid, right now "What do I do for a living", what would they say?

Go on, ask them. I'll wait.

Wait a minute.

Wake them up again and ask them to tell you what you REALLY do?

And I'm not talking about the 3,781 job titles of a parent such as; chauffeur, servant, clothes washer, chef, tutor. The list goes on.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Link Up to The Zoo's Weekly [BLOGLOVIN HOP] up to September 5

Thursday BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo

In case you didn't notice, we've been getting around.

  • It began with our trip to the bowels of Algonquin Park for our annual family vacation at The Taylor Statten Camps. Five days without internet was refreshing. Or, maybe it was the air.
  • Upon our return, we posted our first (of three) updates on the #CatsAgingGracefully Campaign with Royal Canin. Aries poo has never looked better. I knew you'd be interested.
  • Artemis' collection was down to only 34 tutus so I decided to become an affiliate with Zulily (affiliate link). Nothing the matter with saving up to 90% off on kids, womens and houseware items.
  • Posted a bunch of giveaways, a giveaway linky and opened my Facebook Wall to giveaways. Stop by and post or ENTER TO WIN!
  • and rounded it out with our adventures at African Lion Safari. Don't you have that jingle in your head now.

And now it's time for...

BlogLovin Hop
at Journeys of The Zoo!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Personalized Baby Blankets are The Perfect Touch @Sun7Designs [Canadian]

I Am Canadian Feature for September Sun 7 Designs

Journeys of The Zoo's "I Am Canadian"
Guest Post Feature for September is...

Valery from Sun 7 Designs!

As much as I thought that there couldn't be anything easier than retirement I was wrong; it's been a difficult, stressful, confusing time that's often left me feeling groundless. It's also been a wonderful time of freedom and exploration.

I'm Red, A Fruit, Abundant and In Season. What Am I?

Cherry Tomatoes!

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Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Royal Canin #CatsAgingGracefully Challenge Starts with Success!

Aries The Cat is my first grown-up pet. Or should I say, I'm her first servant.

The past 17 years have been wonderful and she looks better than most 84-year old ladies! However, there's no denying that she's aged.

When I heard about the Royal Canin Aging Gracefully Challenge, I knew that she deserved to live out the rest of her life in luxury with Royal Canin!

Royal Canin Logo

Since beginning the transition around two weeks ago, Aries has had so many successes! Most importantly, her appetite has increased significantly and her digestion has improved.

Just a fancy saying for her poo looks better.

All-Inclusive Weekly #Giveaway Linky up to September 10

Journeys of The Zoo Giveaway Logo

Sorry that I missed all of you last week but I was in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness roasting marshmallows over an open fire.

We didn't have toilets let alone internet.


But, I'm back with tons of giveaways to share with you in this weeks...

Journeys of The Zoo
Weekly Giveaway Linky!

CONTESTERS. Bloggers will be adding their giveaways to the linky throughout the week so be sure to come back often and check for new opportunities to WIN!

Don't forget to enter all the other giveaways posted to our jam packed Facebook Giveaway Wall. Note that a link is also provided in the left hand column over there <-------

BLOGGERS. This linky receives daily promotion via The Zoo's social media links. Be sure to also add all your giveaways to our Facebook Giveaway Wall. NO LIMITS! Please post end dates.

Good Luck!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Drake General Store $250 #BackToSchoolForever [#Giveaway], CAN, 9/8

Drake General Store Logo
All Photo Sources: Drake General Store

Growing up in Toronto was great; underground transportation, the CNE and take-out joints on every corner.

However, one of my personal passions is searching for that perfect vintage or antique-like find. The only problem is that I never knew where to look.

Until now.

Introducing the Drake General Store!

This store is one stop shopping even for the pickiest of clients. The variety of products in their store is incredible. From women's and men's clothing to shoes, purses, toys, kids, and even housewares.

To name a few.

Since opening our doors in 2008, we've played with the notion of taking the traditional hotel gift shop and re-imagining it in a contemporary and varied urban context. By capturing inspiration from the classic general store, the museum shop and the flea market stand, we've worked really hard to create unique destinations for classic and modern goods and goodies. Each of our stores are filled with a sense of whimsy and nostalgia, which caters to the sensible and the not so sensible; travelers and neighbours alike.

Drake General Store Collage
Three locations to serve you.

I'm pretty sure that my favourite item is this IIIBeCa Church St. Envelope Bag in Sunkissed. And it's only $64.

Enough of me drooling over all the unique items. Check out this most discerning of gift givers...

A BIG thanks to Rants N' Rascals for allowing me to offer you this great giveaway and to Canadian Blog House for sharing in the fun.

Drake General Store Giveaway

Enter to WIN
$250 in Product from Drake General Store below!

Connect with Drake General Store Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Are you One of The Lucky Giveaway Winners?

Journeys of The Zoo Winner Logo

Remember my post about how it's never too late to say Thank You?

Well, it's also never too late to share happy news with people. And I have a lot of happiness to share.

In case you forgot, this was the second year that we've participated in The Great Canadian Blog Bash.

This year was a great success with over 2,660 views and 154 engaged entrants. I was honoured to have the opportunity to work with seven dynamic, unique and engaging Canadians. It turns out that Maya was a repeat Sponsor. Quite the compliment.

Since there was a "location component to several of the prizes, we actually had two winners this year.

And the lucky winners are...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Set It and Forget It Should Not Apply to Mousetraps

Several years ago, we had a problem with mice.

Well, not exactly a problem.

We just didn't want to live with them anymore.

Photo source: LuisRock62

Ed pulled out our trusty trap and searched the fridge for the tastiest of baits. He even consulted me on the options because we all know that I am well versed in "desirable mouse morsels". We both agreed that a dollop of Cambazola would do the trick.

He went down to the basement and set the mousetrap.

That was three years ago.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet Wild Animals at Canada's African Lion Safari!

African Lion Safari Entrance Sign

It's been many years since I set eyes on a Lions tonsils or the "presents" that the monkeys left on our car hood, however, I remember our visit and their catchy jingle like it was only yesterday.

Even after all those years, it was a favourite attraction of mine and now The Kids love it too. I'm referring to...

Canada's Original Safari Adventure: African Lion Safari!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Link Up to The Zoo's Weekly [BLOGLOVIN HOP] up to August 28

Thursday BlogLovin Hop at Journeys of The Zoo

This week has been busy. And I thought that things were supposed to slow down over the summer. Ha!

Here's a taste of what went on:

And if that wasn't enough, today is the...

BlogLovin Hop
at Journeys of The Zoo!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Win BIG in the Big T Coastal $250 Cash [#Giveaway] WW, 9/15

Photo taken from Big T Coastal website

WIN $250 CASH!

I know. Pretty hard to concentrate on anything else besides those mouth watering crabs.

In case you haven't heard of them, Big T Coastal, based out of South Carolina knows it's crabs and they're the Real Deal!

Our family's sought after recipe packs 100% real crabmeat into every creamy bite. We combine sharp cheddar and cream cheeses, spices and other signature seasonings with the freshest crabmeat to bring you a dip perfect for just about every occasion – from porches to picnics, tailgating to cocktail parties. A coastal Carolina entertaining favorite, Big T Coastal Provisions Crab Dip tastes best when shared with friends and family.

If crabs aren't your thing, Big T Coastal still has you covered. Check out this Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe that I found on their blog. While I might be short on brown sugar for my Not Your Average Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe, we have plenty of green tomatoes.

Big T Coastal is a strong supporter of Social Media and loves what it's all about. As a thank you to all the Bloggers who make a difference, they are giving away $250 CASH to support voiceBoks' awesome event coming soon!

Connect with Big T Coastal Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photo Source pinkladybug

Enter to Win $250 Cash Below!

Not Your Average Pulled Pork Recipe [#Humor]

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

with Fried Onions and Cherry Tomatoes from the Garden

This was originally going to be a Wordless Wednesday post but, I changed my mind. Happens in the best of families. Or so I tell people.

I mean, I couldn't just say "Pulled Pork Sandwich" and leave it at that. Especially when there was so much more to tell. Like...

I didn't want you to think that you too could have an awesome looking (and tasting, if you ask me) sandwich just using your regular recipe. Oh no!

This one is special because I made a few substitutions.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enjoy Summer at Canada's Wonderland Amusement Park [#Giveaway], CAN, 9/3

Growing up, the first signs of summer were shorts and the purchase of Canada's Wonderland seasons passes. We could hardly wait for school to end and days of riding rollercoasters to begin. Our parents looked forward to us staying safe and out of trouble. Well, safe.

This year, we continued the tradition by introducing The Kids to the magic of...

Canada's Wonderland Logo

Canada's Premier Amusement Park:
Canada's Wonderland!

Canada's Wonderland is a 330-acre theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, a suburb directly north of Toronto. It was opened in 1981 and is the first major theme park in Canada and remains the country's largest. The park hosts more than three million guests annually and employs over 4,000 seasonal employees and 160 year-round employees.

The last time Ed, Andrew and I were at the park was 2007. We didn't have to worry about parking, bad weather, line-ups, sweets for lunch or keeping two three-year olds amused for a day.

Seeing as we had The Kids this time, we opted for priority parking. For an extra $5, we parked within spitting distance of the front gates. Well worth the money when you have three adults, two kids and everything but the kitchen sink.

Fortunately, the weather was perfect and while the park was packed, as it is every day during the summer, attractions were run so efficiently that it didn't impact us at all.

Canada's Wonderland Performances Victoria Falls, Charlie Brown and Samurai Live Performances

Seeing as the wild card was the kids, we decided to focus on events for them and headed straight for Kidzville. On our way, we happened upon a scheduled performance of divers off of Victoria Falls. It was incredible to see and one of many performances that we watched throughout the day.

Fortunately, The Kids met the height requirements for most of the kid rides. There were so many that we didn't ride any of the twice and didn't even get to ride all of them. Their favourites were the Taxi Jam coaster, train and cars.

Canada's Wonderland Kids Rides

Some of the kids rides we enjoyed.

Even though there was signage, the one thing I found confusing was that some rides required one adult per child and some only allowed one adult for every two children. So if a family of four wanted to go on the ride together, they couldn't. Not a major inconvenience as I'm sure it was safety related and it gave each of us a chance to experience some adult rides. By the time we looked at our watches, it was 2:30pm and time for a culinary feast at...

The Marketplace International Buffet.

By 2:30pm, there weren't a lot of people eating, however, the food was still hot, freshly made and plentiful. The variety was really impressive from drinks to soups, salads and mains. Something for all ages and taste buds. Favourites included; roast beef, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, Andrews favourite, pasta (anything) and the brownies. Oh the brownies. They even let Max take an ice cream to go which was a special treat.

Canada's Wonderland Market Place Restaurant

Beware of the Brownies!

While it wasn't a scorcher outside, it was nice having a spacious, air conditioned place to eat and watch some performances. The restaurant and washrooms were clean and there was a lot of staff members around to help out when we asked for a booster seat and/or high chair (which they had). I don't normally eat at buffets because I feel like I have to eat more then I want to and still don't feel that I got my money's worth, however, I'd worked up an appetite and at $20 for an adult we definitely ate our weight... in brownies.

And then there was the Water Park. While The Kids have been around a lot of water, they've never had lessons and I didn't bring their lifejackets. Not an issue because there were plenty of life jackets available (in designated spots) and Life Guards everywhere. With all the hundreds of people around (maybe thousands), I normally would have been nervous, very nervous. However, it was obvious from the moment we enter the park that they took their roles and responsibility very seriously. I was so impressed with their protocols that I felt 100% safe with The Kids around the water. Not that we let down our guard but still. This was something that I've never felt before.

Canada's Wonderland Water Park

Fortunately, all the water activities were free because Artemis must have gone down the water slides at least 20 times. The bonus was that a life guard was at the bottom of each slide to catch her. We spent over an hour in the park and the only reason why we left was because Artemis had turned purple.

While most of the events and rides were included in the price of the park admission, some were extra such as bungee swinging, pictures, fair-like games (with prizes), and specialty products such as pictures, paintings and make your own [insert almost anything, including lip gloss flavour!].

Speaking of costs, I like to get the most for my money and expect a lot for it. Taking a family of four out for a day of fun at an amusement park can be very expensive. However, my calculations show that it cost us just over $5 an hour. Given all the costs with running the park such as; staff, lifeguards, property taxes, running and purchasing rides and the liability, I think that it was well worth the price.

Artemis dancing in the Street

Additional Notes. If you're coming on the Highway 400, take Canada's Wonderland Drive not Major MacKenzie. Or, you can ditch your car altogether and take the Go Bus for $9 return from Toronto. We brought our own stroller, however, they were available for rent. Travelling with your pet? No problem, Pet Kennel services are available. Note that we went on Tuesday, July 30.

In conclusion, our visit exceeded all my expectations for 10 hours of fun with two three-year olds! We will definitely be adding Canada's Wonderland to our Annual Family Vacation to do list. And this year, you can too by entering below to...

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Canada's Wonderland!

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