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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Case of Writers Block Perhaps? {Humor}

Writers Block at The Zoo It happens in the best of Families.

To the best of Bloggers.

And it's been a monkey on my back for seven.long.days.

I think I have a severe case of...

Writer's Block!

Note: Proceed with caution as it may be contagious

Well, I thought so until I looked up the definition (Hello Wikipedia) and realized that you actually have to be a writer to have it.

You'd think I would have been relieved. I mean, writer's block can be serious. Unfortunately, I was disappointed as I still didn't have any answers as to why my creative juices weren't flowing.

Next up on my internet search, the definition for "Aphasia". I'm pleased to report, I don't have it. Still no confirmed diagnosis.

Maybe a definition isn't really important. Perhaps I'll just figure out how to beat "whatever IT is" and call it a day.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And So Another 5,000km Roadtrip Begins… {Travel}

Adios Mexico All good things must come to an end.

After 13 weeks, 1 day, the time has come for us to leave Mexico and return to Canada.

By the time you're reading this, we've begun Day 1 of our 5,000km roadtrip from "nowhere to Ontario".

If everything goes according to plan (does it ever?), we’ll be staying in Ozuluama, Veracruz.

Hoping this trip isn't like our last!

Hopefully, by Monday, March 25, I'll be posting about all the non-adventures that we had.

To Recap Our Time in Mexico:

We arrived a day late,

Route from Mexico to Canada

With no money in our pockets,

And, no water,

Buchephalus broke down (and was fixed).

And there was that other “mishap” that had me in tears.

And thats the good news (smile).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quality Control Issues at the Toilet Paper Factory {WW}

Wordless Wednesday Toilet Paper Quality Control Issues

And/or Help from a Boy named Max...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hitchhiking to Canada with a Potty? {Drivel}

Potty Training

If you've come here looking for Toilet Training tips or Hitchhiking routes from Mexico to Canada then you've come to the wrong blog.

Okay, maybe not on the second point.

If you've come to hear about puddles in the corner, Teddy's gender, and broken down vans,

You've Hit the Jackpot!

Toilet Training. Remember all those "signs" that Artemis was sending me in November 2011. Well, one year, 4.5 months later (but who's counting, I AM, I AM!) and it seems like she's decided that "diapers are for babies".

Well, there's more to the story than just that (isn't there always!?).

It all started February 24. She decided to wear underwear and that was that. Two weeks later, after NO accidents, she decided that peeing in the closets, under tables and generally wherever she wanted was way more fun. And don't get me started on #2.

Then, a few days ago, she decided that underwear was once again the rave and we're back to using the toilet. I can't believe that I'm going to write this but I wish that she was still in diapers because it would cut down on "accidents" and washroom breaks for the ride home.

Next up, Thing #2 (a.k.a. Max).

Note that Artemis is still wearing a diaper at night but only because she shares a bed with Max and the Water Shortage Issues.

Bazar. We opened up the Bazar again on Sunday and had our best day so far! We made $1,515MXN or $150 as we finally managed to sell one of our three rooftop boxes. Every year, we drive down with one and then leave it here.

This week, I had two neighbours knock on my door asking if I was going to open my Bazar. Another woman wanted to know if I purchased items and/or sold on consignment.

Culturally, Mexicans don't like to sell things. The only time they do is when they really need the money. Then, they definitely don't want their neighbours to find out. Next year, I will definitely take in consignments.

Hasta Luego. After 12 weeks here, we're getting packed up and ready to leave for Canada on March 21. We still have some loose ends to tie up like trying to get the $100CDN back that the bank "stole" charged us and getting Buchephalus fixed...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Good News, Bad News & Winner of 2012 Canadian Blog {Award} #humor

2012 Canadian Blog Award Humor WinnerBack in October 2012, Journeys of The Zoo politely asked* that if you liked our blog and thought it was in the least bit funny, you would vote for us.

In case you're unaware, through some twist of fate, we'd been nominated in the first round of the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards~Humour Category.

Well, lo and behold, all our funniness and wit got us voted right into the second round.

And that's when it got really interesting.

I say that because I asked you to cast your vote a second time. And you did. So much so that...

Journeys of The Zoo Won The Award
for Best Canadian Humour Blog!

Sometimes, we feel like it's all a dream. That we didn't invite you to our birthday party with promises of Rainbows and Unicorns*.

And that's where the Bad News comes in...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

For Mom: Nordik Spa & Arbonne Beauty {Giveaway}, CAN, 3/31

In case you're not aware, Mother's Day is coming up.

Happens every year.

Considering everyone but "Dolly The Sheep" has a Mother, you really need to enter this great giveaway.

Trust me, your Mother deserves it!


Welcome to the Just for Mom Giveaway

hosted by the Ottawa Mommy Club

and co-hosted by Canadian Blog House, Journeys of the Zoo and Shannon's View from Here!

Enter to win a luxurious day at the Nordik Spa-Nature

in Old Chelsea, Québec


a Gift Basket with Arbonne Products!

Enjoy a unique experience in the heart of nature at Nordik Spa-Nature, now the largest spa in North America! Take the time to unwind and reenergize in one of our many nordic baths, 7 unique saunas, infinity pool, restaurant and lounge with terrace. Experience our new Källa treatment, the second salt-water floating pool in the world!



$114 VALUE




Källa is a treatment which brings the body to a state of complete relaxation, thanks to its high Epsom salt concentration, reproducing the benefits of the Dead sea in a large 1200 ft2 pool.

Unique benefits: - Purifies body - Improve blood circulation - Accelerate wound healing - Stimulates creativity - Reduces stress - Releases physical and intellectual tensions - Reduces inflammation

You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter!


detail logo

Enter to win an awesome stocking

filled with Arbonne Products!


Arbonne Products Prize Independent Arbonne Consultant, Meagan Sheridan, loves to educate and connect moms with healthier and safer products for the whole family!

All of Arbonne's products are botanically-based, vegan, guaranteed to work, ethically manufactured, and in eco-friendly packaging.

No harsh chemicals, no fillers; just long-lasting, safe, beneficial products.

Experience the Arbonne difference with Meagan. Contents of Prize:

  • 1 Awaken Body Lotion - with lemon for vitality and coriander for happiness.
  • 1 Awakend Sea Salt Scrub - sloughs away dead surface cells revealing brighter, healthier-looking skin. Great for hands, feet, discouloured skin, and shaving.
  • 1 Unwind Sea Salt Scrub - The calming and soothing effects of a warm luxurious bath enhanced with the Unwind Bath Salts. These mineral-rich salts allow you to relax, let go and release pent-up tension. Recommended for all skin types.
  • 1 Unwind Body Lotion - with chamomile for calmness and ylang-ylang for relaxation
  • ...and a few surprises!

You can follow Meagan on Facebook!

WIN a Spa Treatment for Mom!

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Episode of Candid Camera or A Great Deal?

candid camera smile This morning, we went for our daily trip to our local Fruit and Vegetable stand.

On our list, bananas and cilantro.

Unfortunately, "Our Girl" (as the kids call her), didn't have any cilantro.

No problem, we were going downtown and we'd pick some up along the way.

Along the sidewalk, there are often elderly ladies selling their sparse wares; three onions, two carrots and one jalapeño. They're usually good for some cilantro as well and sure enough, we got lucky.

Well, I'll let you be the judge of that.

I looked through her four choices (three more than usual) and found the greenest and freshest bunch. It also happened to be the smallest but we don't use that much.

Besides, she was charging 1/3 less than everyone else.

She put out her hand, and that's when it happened…

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spoil your Pets with Biovea Products $200 {#Giveaway}, US/CAN, 4/10

Biovea Dog and Cat Products Giveaway Aries The Cat is the Matriarch of The Zoo.

What Aries wants, Aries gets.

Considering she's 17 years old (84 in human years!), she deserves all the spoiling she gets.

That's why I jumped at the chance to share with you the Biovea Pet Giveaway event.

Care for all Your Pets!

Aries The Cat Biovea is an online powerhouse full of health products, vitamins and minerals to help you in your health and wellness goals.  There are thousands of products for you to choose from.  You'll never need another resource again, when you see the vast amount of products they have for you and your family.

But.. lets forget about you and I for a moment and extend our loving arms to our other family members.

Our pets of course.

Do you ever stop and think for a moment about your pets health?  Are you doing everything you can to take care of their needs?

Pictures of the Two Prize Packs.

Our pets need strong bones and teeth, shiny fur coats just as we have skincare needs as well as vitamins and minerals.  Biovea also carries grooming needs, flea and tick control and much more.

Pet lineup categories include :

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Flea & Tick
  • Grooming
  • First Aid
  • Joint Health
  • Toys
  • Treats

The generous folks at Biovea want you to know about their great lineup and have generously provided two fabulous pet prize packs for two winners!

Biovea takes care of you, your family and now your pets!

Enter to Win Below!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Travel for Less with Wantizen Vacation Rental Services {#Giveaway}

Wantizen Company Logo


Whatever you want to call it, it's a part of the Mexican culture and The Zoo deals with it every time we open up our Bazar. However, maybe you're not comfortable with offering someone less than what they're asking.

What if someone else did it for you?

Sounds too good to be true? It isn't.

Let Wantizen Help You!

Wantizen is a Canadian based company that functions as the go-between you and Property Owners to find You the perfect Vacation Rental Property at the best price while helping them sell unfilled bookings.


The process is simple, from the comforts of your own home, visit Wantizen's Website and enter your search criteria such as number of rooms, amenities, proximity to city center. Then click the "Book Now" button to secure your spot or take a chance with the "Offer Me a Deal" button. If you choose the latter option, sit back and wait for Property Owners to offer you a better price.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Wantizen Property Madrid Spain

Three-room apartment (80m2), practical and nice furnishings, living/dining room with TV and air-conditioning. 1 room with 1 double bed, bath with bidet, 1 room with pull-out bed, kitchen with oven, dishwasher, microwave, freezer, heating, washing machine.

Located in the district of Cuidad Jardin, covered parking space, Shop 10m, Public Transport 30m, Childrens play area 50m.

Check out the cute apartment I found in Madrid, Spain where they're asking $131USD a night. I'm not sure what kind of markdown price is "customary", however, even if we saved 10%, that would be admission to a museum for FREE.

With over 30 countries such as; Austria, Poland, and France and over 30,000 properties to choose from (with new ones added every day), there's something for everyone!

Wantizen Property in Greece If "Living la Vida Loca" isn't your thing, how about this beautiful property with a view in Greece for $170USD a night! It's definitely on my bucket list.

Did I mention that there's no extra cost to you?

Where else can you get that kind of offer?

Not from "those other vacation rental sites" as they don't offer this service.

The giveaway bonus...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WW: I Spy with My Little Eye, The Number...

Artemis and her B Sandwich

The Number "8"

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Drivel Begins with a "D". Unlike The Word Monkey #humor

I'll get right to the point.

If you don't want to read about Earthquakes, Spanglish, More Mexican Parties, Monkeys and the chance to win TONS of giveaways then no point in reading this weeks post.

Don't worry if you miss out, Monkey's are a dime dozen.

Mexican Earthquake Graphic 1. On February 14, Ed felt an earthquake. The kids and I were out so we didn't feel a thing. It's not the first time we've had one. In fact, we usually have one or two each year. The last time, we were in the kitchen and the whole house started to sway. For the first few seconds, we didn't know what it was and then we ran for the door. The houses in Mexico aren't built like they're supposed to be.

Note that I am aware this is a picture of a volcano or a picture of someone having a "bad hair" day. Have you ever tried to draw a picture of an earthquake?

2. We speak Spanish to the kids about 50% of the time whether we're in Mexico or Canada. After two and a half months of complete immersion in the Spanish language, the kids have started to speak "Spanglish". At least one word in each sentence is Spanish and they often give each other "commands" in Spanish. I'm often at a loss for what they're saying as they're now mispronouncing words in a foreign language!

3. This week, we went to another rocking party in celebration of a friends daughters baptism. As usual, Ed and I ate too much and paid for it later. On the flipside, the kids had the best time playing and dancing with their friends. Here's a video of Artemis dancing with one of her new friends.

And just to make sure that you know what Mexican parties are really like, we took this video after five hours (of a nine hour party). A bunch of the 150+ people had already left. Good times!

Note that you can not hear yourself think and the kids are slightly more hyper by this point as they have been eating candy for the past five hours.

And now for our feature piece of drivel...

The Monkey and The Giveaways.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Simplify Life with Glow Baby’s First Journals {#Giveaway} CAN, 3/18

glow baby first foods journal
Baby brain makes you forget things.

Baby brain makes you forget things (smile).

New parents are often pushed to their limits, with lack of rest, stress and an overwhelming sense of insecurity.

Glow Baby understands this and can help alleviate some of this pressure, especially in the early days. By keeping adequate track of your baby's activities with their journals, you can know when to seek help and when you and your baby are on the right track.

Piece of Mind is Only a Journal Entry Away.

Glow Baby is a Canadian company whose focus is providing unique and user-friendly scheduling tools for today's busy parents. Glow Baby products are all about helping parents save time and reduce the stress of the day to day. Glow Baby Journals, Calendars and Lists help parents keep track of daily activities such as; feeding, sleeping, diapering, bathing, first foods by type, meal planning, family activities, general to do lists for daily tasks, groceries etc. All Glow Baby products are designed with both function and fashion in mind.

After the birth of my first daughter, my in-laws were visiting and helping with the supplemental feeding of formula. It would have been really handy for everyone involved to have an organized system like the "Baby’s First Journal" for recording feedings and diaper changes.

babys first journal The journal is printed in Canada and contains over three months of pages. It can easily fit in a diaper bag or purse and is coil-bound so it lies flat when opened. A real convenience when writing with only one hand! I like that there is space to record both breast and bottle feeding as we've had to do a bit of both this time around as well.

Nursing mothers that are concerned about their food intake affecting baby's stomach could also easily use the "notes" section on each page to track what they themselves eat, in order to identify any issues. I especially loved the checkbox for "vitamins" which I can never keep track of.

Things got really interesting last time when we introduced solid foods so I was excited to also get a chance to review the Baby’s First Foods journal.

babys first foods

The journal is laid out by food group (Grain, Veggie, Fruit, Protein, Dairy and Snack) and includes a sample page for suggested use. A parent or caregiver can track the foods tried, the texture, child's reaction and any sensitivities. Again, there is space on each page for notes.

Another useful tool in our home are the meal planning and favourite recipes sections. They help with variety in my meals and ensure that I'm not forgetting any important foods. I'd find it useful to have a list of items we play to try so I'll be adding that checklist to my journal.

Overall, I found both journals very helpful and easy to use. They would be a useful addition to any parents collection of baby-care tools, especially those that have low birth-weight (slow-growing) kids like The Zoo or ones with other caregivers. Knowledge transfer made easy with journals from Glow Baby!

Enter to WIN Two Glow Baby Journals!

All-Natural Care for your Clothes @Woolzies {#Giveaway} WW, 03/18

Woolzies Logo Since the kids came along, our electrical bills have increased by 40%!?

That's a lot for a single-income family.

The culprit, Laundry!

Non-existent potty training, arts and crafts and cloth towels all contribute to the load.

That's why I was excited to try out Woolzies All-Natural Softener Dryer Balls and kill three birds with one stone.

Save Money.
Use All-Natural Products.
Minimize Carbon Footprint.

Woolzies are pure handmade New Zealand wool dryer balls that soften your laundry naturally without any of the chemicals of conventional fabric softeners. Unlike the plastic dryer balls, they are PVC free and won't fall apart or melt on you. Woolzies save time and energy by cutting down on drying time by an average of 25% per load. They also help reduce static and wrinkles.

Seeing as a box costs $34.95USD, contains six balls and is guaranteed to last 1,000 laundry loads, that is a significant cost savings over traditional fabric softeners. The "static reduction" quality of the balls is even rechargeable by running through the wash cycle!

Woolzies Dryer Balls Each of the balls were a bit irregular in shape and size. This made me smile as it reminded me that this was a handmade product and nature doesn’t always follow the rules.

If you're allergic to wool, Woolzies never comes into direct contact with your skin, and the balls do not shed.

If you have allergies or skin sensitivities, you can thank Woolzies for offering you a chemical free option.

It was interesting to learn how the weight of the Woolzies balls naturally "fluffs up" your laundry, aiding in separating the items (from themselves and one another) and in turn, reducing dryer time. I definitely noticed the difference in time, that the clothes were soft and there was not a hint of static cling!

Less dryer time = Minimized footprint.

I think that the kids will enjoy helping with the laundry even more now that we have Woolzies as part of the equation. They had fun "throwing" the balls into the dryer before we started the load. Any way to entice more help around the house is a win for me!

Woolzies Gift Wrapping An added bonus is that you can have the dryer balls wrapped for the small sum of $5!

Be sure to connect with Woolzies via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Now for the best part! Woolzies is giving away a six pack of balls to one lucky Journeys of The Zoo follower!

Enter to Win Woolzies Below!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts Feature & Linky {Canadian}

I Am Canadian Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts Journeys of The Zoo’s "I Am Canadian" Feature for March is Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts.

What a pleasure to find such unique and renewable products available locally.

Please take a moment to read about Heather’s original company and inspiring initiatives and show her your support by leaving a comment and stopping by her blog all about...

Spinning. As in Wool (not Bikes).

If someone says their hobby is spinning, most people think they are talking about training on bikes in a gym. But Heather of Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts doesn't spin on bikes, she spins wool into yarn on a spinning wheel. Her kids thinks she's a little too crazy about sheep, but she enjoys playing with wool so much that she started a company!

Learn to Spin Kit Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts (OVFA) is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Created in 2010 during a particularly difficult time in her day job, Heather found that building her passion in her spare time gave her more energy for everything else in her life. She started the Canadian Fiber Box project, which brings together different fiber producers and artists four times a year to subscribers across Canada. Canada has many fiber producers - from sheep to llamas and alpacas to bison and muskox. We also have many talented fiber artists who prepare and dye fiber for spinning. The Canadian Fiber Box lets folks "get to know Canadian fiber."