Find Journeys of The Zoo on Google+ Journeys of The Zoo: February 2013

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Canadians: Show @Iams and The World How Much you Love your Pet! {#Contest}

Iams Logo No secret about it, The Zoo loves animals.

Reina, Phoenix and Aries the Cat have been a part of our family since the beginning and they aren't the only furry ones.

Every year, while in Mexico, we always gain a few more and if everything goes according to plan, we find loving homes for them.

Even though they're only with me for a short time and I know going in that The Zoo will not be their "forever home", they still have a huge impact on my life and in my heart.

I Love Them All Unconditionally.

Iams shares this loving feeling with all they do for our furry friends. One example is their Highly successful and Worldwide, Home 4 The Holidays Adoption campaign. They understand that not only are pets our companions, they are members of the family.

To celebrate the unconditional love between pets and their owners, Iams is launching its Love Tail Contest and calling on all Canadians to submit their everlasting love story with a photo that captures the strong, loving bond between Parents and their Pets.

Aries The Cat at Journeys of The Zoo Winning submissions will have their love stories turned into "Love Tails"; short memorable videos that will run on the Iams social channels and will win one year's supply of Iams food!

The grand prize winner and their furry four-legged friend will star in the next national Iams advertising campaign!

Be a Star with Iams!

How can you enter?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WW: Dancing to the Mexican Beat (Video).

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another Week. Another Weekly Drivel Post.

Drivel Graphic
Another week.

Another weekly drivel post.

This one has pictures and a video.

I'm hoping that they'll distract you into not noticing that the post lacks substance.

1. Did you know that we are currently residing in Central Standard Time Zone (CST). That means we're one hour behind everyone in Ontario (a.k.a. EST). Mexicans don't recognize Daylight savings time so soon we'll be two hours behind.

2. The kids prefer taking a bath (to a shower) and we don't have one in Mexico. In past years, I've brought them into the shower with me while they screamed and kicked. Fun. That worked okay while they were under 20 pounds, however, at almost 30, we needed to come up with Plan "B"...

Monday, February 25, 2013

If "You Are What You Eat", What Does That Make The Zoo?

Roasted Pigs Head
Besides the culture and weather, my favourite part about living in Mexico is the Food.

Everything from pigs feet to ceviche (raw ground beef) and chalupas. In a nutshell,

I Love the Food!

Here are some things that you probably didn't know about The Zoo and Mexican food...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Your Dog Deserves @Iams Shakeables Treats #giveaway, CAN, 3/8

Iams Logo Reina and Phoenix are Iams dogs. They also carry the torch of being rescue dogs that had a tough life before becoming members of Journeys of The Zoo.

They were lucky to have food and water let alone treats. That's why I like to spoil them.

With wholesome ingredients, delicious flavours and real meat, Iams Shakeables Soft & Chewy treats is the perfect way to be conscious of their health and,

Portrait of Reina Portrait of Phoenix

Show your dog that you love them!

Seeing as Phoenix has colitis, we have to be really careful what we feed him. When I have treats, Reina usually gets most of them. As luck would have it, he can eat real lamb. I can't wait for him to try this recently launched product when we get home.

Here are some things that you should remember when feeding your dog.

Stay Away From Table Scraps. As much as your furry friend loves to hang around the table while you're eating, ready to pounce on anything that may fall to floor, resist the urge to feed table scrapes. Not only is human food potentially toxic to animals, scraps also tend to be high in fat and calories and low in the vitamins and nutrients your pet needs. Treats, like New Iams Shakeables, offer wholesome ingredients full of delicious flavours your pet will love.

Tricks For Treats. Treats can be used for training to get your pet's attention and keep him or her focused. While training, you should use soft, chewy treats that are easy to digest and won't take away from training time.

Timing is Everything. While training your pet, make sure you are rewarding him or her with a treat immediately after performing the correct action. This ensures the reward is associated with the behaviour.

Consistency is Key. Dog training is intense, so choose a day you have a good amount of free time to begin. Pretend you have left the house and stay away for several minutes. Once your dog thinks you're gone and "violates the restricted area," walk in and give a firm "no" or "get down." Direct your dog to his or her bed, and praise him or her for going to it. Repeat this as many times as necessary. Eventually, most dogs will get the hint. Again, consistency is key. This training may have to be repeated periodically over several weeks or even months.

Take Treats With You. Most pets don't stop exhibiting good behaviour after they leave the front door. Whether you're going on a trip, taking a walk, or playing in the park with your pet, treats make great pet travel rewards.

Give Treats In Between Meals. Remember, treats are not a substitute for a meal and should not make up more than 10 to 20 per cent of a dog's daily diet. To avoid filling up your pet before a meal, try giving treats in between your pet's scheduled meal times. If you're training with treats, cut back on meal portions after a session to avoid overeating.

Visit New Iams Shakeables, for more information on adult and puppy training tips.

Win all three flavours of Iams Shakeables Treats!

Iams Shakeables Treats Giveaway Prize

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Prepare for your Childs Illness BEFORE they get Sick {Safety}

Max is Ill If you're a parent than you've had to deal with a sick child. At least once.

For us, that time was last week. Max was vomiting, lethargic and had a temperature of 38.9 degrees*. He'd come down with a serious case of the 12-hour flu.

Translated into English that means food poisoning.

Ed and I knew exactly what to do... go to the hospital. However, there were several things that we hadn't considered and weren't prepared for.

Would you know what to do?

Here's what we wish we'd known beforehand.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Very Wordy Wordless Wednesday Post and Update [WW]

Some people don't like it when others include words in their Wordless Wednesday posts. Given the name of the meme, I get it.

In turn, if you're one of those people then you should move on (for this week) because I have some explaining to do.

Phone Call to Canada

1. Phone Calls.

Here is the picture that I meant to include in yesterday's post.

See what I mean about not being kid friendly!?

For the sake of integrity (and sanity), I should let you know that the picture may have been set-up...

Deparasite Medication

2. Parasites.

We all parasites and have for some time. I finally got "sick and tired of being sick and tired" so I decided to do something about it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Phone Communication with Three Year Olds is Futile!

Max and Artemis on the Phone to Canada It's a big deal for The Zoo to coordinate calling Canada while in Mexico.

Assuming that the internet café is open, we need to make sure that the person we're calling is home. We also need to make sure that two three-year olds stay fairly quiet in a room jam packed with distractions.


Needless to say, no one has heard from us.

However, after much pressure from Nanna and the Abuelos, we bit the bullet.

To make things slightly more interesting, while travelling, we use “Voice over IP”. The technology that we use (USB key with earphones) requires that each kid install one ear piece in their ear. Of course, one piece is longer than the other and the microphone is the size of a knat! And all is lost if one of them turns their head (of course this would never happen in a crowded internet café).

Have you ever seen the episode of Mr. Bean where he's trying to get reception for his tv and pretty near needs to stand on his head to get it? Pretend you're watching an episode of that.

After 30 minutes of prep we were set and ready to go, here's how all our hard work panned out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How you Can Help Raise Money for The Mexican Dogs.

animal humane society logo
Since 2005, we have been members of an animal humane society called "Tzi'te Animal Proteccion" in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

This past year, I've blogged about our issues with animal overpopulation and our plan to conquer it.

The last missing piece of the puzzle...


While vet consulting fees, sterilization and general care does cost less in Mexico (relative to North America), it is still exceptionally high in comparison to the cost of living.

Until we joined the group, all the funding had come out of individual members pockets. If you found a dog and rehabilitated it, it was yours. At one time, we had five dogs in various stages of care.

Saving one dog or five wasn't a financial burden for us. The problem was saving one dog

The current system was not sustainable.

We came up with a plan that was a win-win-win.

Friday, February 15, 2013

@OutsetMedia is More Than Just Games $75 #giveaway! US/CAN, 03/01

outset media games When I was a child, I didn't eat candy.

For Halloween, I'd trade my stash with my brother in exchange for chores. Easter was better, I'd receive gifts.

Puzzles were my favourite, however, I have many fond family memories of sitting around a board game and spending time together.

When I received the opportunity to share Outset Media Games with you (for a second time, I knew that I wanted to get the kids involved and,

Start a new Easter family tradition of our own.

Who better to do that with than a great Canadian company like Outset Media Games. Since 1996, they have been producing high quality entertainment that promotes learning, fun and family time. They are 100% Canadian owned and one of their many awards is the Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada (NETS) "Supplier of the Year" of which they are a five-time recipient.

outset media create your own puzzles
It was hard to choose what to get as there was so much variety, even for kids as young as three!

We received several different sized "Create your own Puzzles", pencil crayons, and Farm Dominos.

Artemis took to the puzzles like a fish to water. She loves them as much as I did as a child. Max enjoyed deconstructing them. The pencil crayons are triangular which made it easier for small hands to grip and kept them from rolling away. We even tried creating a puzzle with markers and it turned out great. Next up, crayons.

A really cute touch was the "this puzzle created by" label on the back of the puzzle. And an added bonus, the puzzles are for sale at the National Art Gallery Gift Shop in Ottawa!

outset media farm dominos The Farm Dominos were a hit. The kids loved looking at the nicely illustrated cards and calling out all the animals and their sounds. The box says that the game is intended for ages 3+, however, Sidney came over and joined in the fun and she's just over two years old.

I look forward to playing this game with the kids for years to come.

Want something for grown ups? You have to check out their "What" game and "Canadian Trivia Family Edition" to name a few. Journeys of The Zoo is not responsible for the hilarity that will ensue.

Connect with Outset Media via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Now what you've all been waiting for, Outset Media Games is giving away a $75 gift certificate for their products and/or Cobble Hill or Jack Pine Puzzles.

Enter to Win Below!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our First Date a.k.a. The Day the Whirlwind Touched Down!

Sarah Loves Ed

Happy Valentine's Day!

In celebration of the day of love, I thought that I would share the story about Ed and my first date.

Before I embarrass myself, I thought that I'd share some Valentine's Day Facts that you might not be aware of.

Did you know that...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry When It Comes to The Jalopy {WW}

old jalopy

Better to Be Safe Than...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

With Neighbours Like Mine... I'm Thankful for #LoveCDNBeef!

Brookstone Talking Thermometer Journeys of The Zoo met up with Canadian Beef at ShesConnected and they suggested that we drop our business card in the draw for a fandangled Talking Thermometer valued at $120!

Considering that I Am Nice, I wanted to help them out so I obliged and...

We Won!

Only problem, I'm not much of a cook. However, Ed loves to BBQ in the rain and snow LOVES gadgets! He loves them almost as much as our Neighbour.

Let me tell you a little story about our neighbour, *"Mike"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Get Cash for Your Kids Clothes at FlipSize [Giveaway], CAN, 02/22

Flipsize Logo With two kids the same age, different sexes and almost the same size, we weren't able to "hand-down" many clothes. This was unfortunate as we had a lot of them. I even managed to find some that still had the tags on even after they'd been outgrown.

If this sounds familiar and you're interested in making some extra cash like The Zoo, I suggest you see what FlipSize has to offer.

The Concept: Buy. Sell. Swap.

Buying products is guaranteed as every item is individually inspected. Purchase from within Canada or the USA and shipping is free on all orders over $50. For that amount, you can get a lot of stuff. I found a pair of 3T Old Navy Pink Overalls for only $3.99 and a bunch of dresses for $2.99. A girl can never have enough dresses!

Flipsize Giveaway Logo

Selling is easy. Have send you a bag, fill it with your gently used clothes (see their website for what is and is not accepted) and send it back to them. They'll even cover the shipping.

Earn points that can be traded for credit at,, Babies R US, Paypal Cash or swap them to buy clothes on

I'm sure our plethora of gently used but no longer needed clothes is pretty typical in many families. For our family, Flipsize makes sense.

Enter below to Win $100 GC to FlipSize!

Custom Artwork is @MilestonePrints Specialty $100 {Giveaway}, US/CAN, 2/21

Milestone Prints Logo Every day is a gift.

However, some days are more memorable than others.

For me, that day would be December 11, 2009... the kids birthday.

Milestone Prints, a Canadian company was established in August 2012 and has created countless custom artwork memories for Grandparents, Parents, Spouses, and many others. To date, their unique masterpieces have been shipped throughout Canada and the USA. The inspiration behind the business came from Leah's parents wedding cross stitch piece that hung in the family dining room. Milestone Prints is a modern twist on an old family tradition.

Leah is a hands-on owner and is involved in many aspects of the business; designer, photographer, accountant, web builder, product development. On top of that, she's a mother to three boys under five. Her organization and creativity (outside of playdoh sandwiches and castle creations) is evident in the work she produces.

For me, picking the event to commemorate... a no-brainer.

Choosing a product, Birth Milestone Print with UV Laminate... simple.

Knowing what to put on it... not so much.

Thankfully, the online ordering process was intuitive and provided me with a template to work with. Even though it was designed for one baby, I was able to make the necessary changes so that it worked for three. I also had multiple font styles and colour schemes to choose from.

Milestone Prints Packaging and Backing Within 72 hours of placing my order, I received a proof in my inbox. Considering Leah had never done a design for multiples before (let alone triplets), she did a fabulous job fitting all the text.

After it was approved, it arrived at my door 10 business days later. Which is ahead of schedule as their website states "allow 12 days for delivery"!

The packaging was very robust and reusable (bubblewrap) and/or recyclable (kraft paper). The backing was covered and came with a hook and cute custom sticker. I could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the details.

But what was inside was the real treasure.

Birth Milestone Print This is the one and only piece that I have that mentions all three of the kids. The one thing that they will forever share... their birth. It's difficult to explain how special this print is to me.

Milestone Prints exceeded my expectations from a customer service and product perspective. Thank you doesn't seem like enough.

Their website states the prints are for; Wedding, Baby and Family, however, I'm confident that they could create a memory for any event. Don't forget that shipping* is FREE with every order!

Milestone Prints works hard to make your special event more than just a memory but something to be cherished. Connect with them for special offers and new product previews via Website | Facebook | Twitter.

The great news, they want to share this special gift with you. One lucky person will win a Milestone Prints Piece of their choice, up to $100 value!

Enter to Win Below!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Frosty the Snowman Spotted on Vacation {WW}

Frosty the Snowman in Mexico

Location: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weekly Drivel: Parasites, Pigs Feet and #Giveaways.

Weekly Drivel at The Zoo There is so much that I have to tell you about The Zoo's adventures.

Partly due to #6 but also because I wanted to offer you something unique.

So, I'm bringing back the "Weekly Drivel" and adding a Mexican touch.

For this week anyways...

  1. Every Tuesday, Journeys of The Zoo opens up our Facebook Wall to Family and Canadian Friendly Giveaways. Tons of chances to win, all in one place! Head on over and check out this weeks prizes. Feel free to like us and the post while you're at it.

  2. We opened the bazar this weekend and made another $520MXN. Should be enough to pay for the parasite medication that Artemis needs. Probably from eating #4.

  3. In case you didn't know, the Superbowl may or may not have been held. Seeing as I don't have a TV in any country where I reside, I can't actually confirm or deny this fact.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Humbled by Those that Have Less but Give More.

begging hands Here in Mexico, it's not hard to have more than your neighbour, or anyone else for that matter.

There is a great divide of wealth amongst the classes.

We are considered upper class (except by the upper class) because we are "American".

Our neighbour Teresa the one that lets me climb onto her roof is amongst the upper lower class. She owns a home (gifted to her by her mother), has a part-time job in a Laundromat (her boss actually pays her) and her oldest of two sons works and helps her out. She is a very good and honest person, loves the kids dearly and is an invaluable wealth of knowledge (especially because we're foreigners and can easily get "taken"). We are fortunate to have her in our lives.

When she invited us over for Ulises 23rd birthday, we were honoured. It would be our first time dining at her place (we have her family over every year and her 8-year old son Alexander comes over almost daily to play with the kids and learn English). We know that she doesn't have much but you wouldn't know from her actions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gone With The Family Feature & Linky {Canadian}

Journeys of The Zoo's "I Am Canadian" Feature for February is Gone With The Family. Quite a fitting feature considering we are currently spending our winter in Chiapas, Mexico.

Please show your support by leaving a comment regarding your travel experiences or by visiting her blog and discovering the next place that you and your family will visit.

My name is Lisa and I'm a Canadian mom of two girls. I'm on a mission to show them the world - one trip at a time! Our daughters are now 16 and 9 years old and we have been traveling with them since the older one was just a few weeks old. Road trips, cruises, transatlantic flights - you name it and we've done it - sometimes with more success than others but it's always an adventure.

Gone With The Family Mykonos
Just about 2 years ago, I decided to start blogging about our trips and Gone With The Family was born.

My goal is to inspire parents to explore with their children even if it's just their own little corner of the world for the time being.

In Mykonos with my daughters.

On our website you will find stories and photos from our trips, hotel reviews, travel tips, and book reviews. I also have a Facebook page with an active community that loves to talk about anything travel related and we would love to have you join us.