Artsy Play Wednesday ~ Easter Round-Up

Starting this week Artsy Play Wednesday will be featuring many of YOUR crafts in a monthly themed round-up. So by linking up you may get the chance to be featured and shared across all of our social media. The more crafts you link up the higher your chances of being chosen.
With Easter coming up this weekend, our first collection made from your posts will be a round-up of Easter crafts for kids.
Have fun making these on Easter weekend!
  easter-craft-roundups

[Giveaway] Top Chef Canada Keeping it Clean with SpongeTowels

Have you caught any of this seasons episodes of Top Chef Canada yet? SpongeTowels is the official paper towel of Top Chef Canada. Hopefully you have seen the Chefs in action and have maybe noticed that they are using SpongeTowels. SpongeTowels are not only for the professionals as they have been my official paper towel for a long time. Having two kids that love to help out in the kitchen the SpongeTowels help with clean up. Like the chefs, you can count on SpongeTowels, with their unique and super absorbent Sponge Pockets, to tackle your messy moments because nothing absorbs like SpongeTowels! Perfect for everyday accidents and spills too!

Did you know that you could enter to win a Top Chef Canada inspired meal prepared for you by a professional chef in your home? The dinner includes clean up by the Sponge Towel team! What a treat this would be.

sponge-towel-basket

I am so happy to be able to bring this giveaway to you, my readers! One of you will win this gift basket filled with Top Chef Canada branded items and SpongeTowels products. The $250 basket will have you whipping up fabulous creations in your kitchen. With SpongeTowels at the ready there is no need to worry about the clean up. Good luck to all!

You will have all the tools required to put your culinary creativity to the test with the ultimate home kitchen gift basket from SpongeTowels. Contents include a variety of kitchen utensils to help you cook up a storm, and a year supply of SpongeTowels paper towels – with their unique and super absorbent Sponge Pockets, these paper towels can tackle any mess so be as daring as you want!

Gift Basket $250 value contains:
a variety of kitchen utensils to help you cook up a storm
a year supply of SpongeTowels paper towels
Open to Canada only (no Quebec)

Cheesy Meal Ideas with Kraft Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia

touch-of-philadelphia

Have you spotted these yet at your grocers? Kraft has combined the convenience and softness of their shredded cheese with the creaminess of their Philadelphia cream cheese to create Kraft Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia. The new Kraft Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia will add a creamy melt to all of your favorite and it comes in three amazing flavours: Creamy Mozza, Creamy Herb & Garlic, and Creamy Mexicana. I could not decide which to try first so I picked up all three!!

The melt is all you will remember. [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning the Car Trunk #CollectiveBias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Today is the first day that I truly believe that spring is finally here. I sent the kiddos off to school without snowpants and winter coats. Hubby and I took a drive out to the cottage to take a look around and make sure everything is safe and sound. Hubby and I even stopped at a chip wagon for a quick-lunch. All sure signs that spring is here!

ctc-store-front

While we were cruising about town today we stopped at Canadian Tire to get some ideas on how to spring clean the trunk of my car. Another sure sign of springs arrival is that a lot of items have collected in the trunk. It is time to remove the snowbrush, hockey pucks, emergency shovels and make way for soccer gear, beach items and cottage weekend essentials. I definitely need to clean out the winter junk so that there is room for all the items we use for spring activities.

Here is an “before photo” of my trunk. It is embarrassingly messy. [Read more...]

Ladies Lunch over New Wendy’s Salad

Wendys-salad

Today I sent a last-minute invite to my friend Maggie for lunch. It is something I have been meaning to do for far too long. I suggested salads at Wendy’s and my gracious invitee agreed.

Maggie chose the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad and I opted for the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad. Maggie had regular Ranch instead of the BBQ Ranch dressing and enjoyed her salad.

BBQ-ranch-chicken-salad

BBQ Ranch Chicken

o Savory backyard BBQ in a bowl
o premium ingredients that you see around your grill. Fire roasted corn, freshly diced tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and a honey BBQ sauce.
o The salad is served with a BBQ Ranch dressing, made with real buttermilk, parmesan cheese, ancho chili peppers, honey and brown sugar.

My friendly cashier told me how much she loved the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad so I was pretty confident I made a great choice. I opted to replace my out of stock Asian dressing with the recommended Pomegranate Vinaigrette and it was a great substitution. I loved the roasted edamame and spicy cashews. Maggie and I both ordered Root Beer to drink. I love Root Beer and was a mused to discover that Maggie loved it too.

asian-cashew-chicken-salad

Asian Cashew Chicken

o Spicy
o Not your typical canned fruit and ginger dressing
o fresh and yummy ingredients such as fire roasted edamame (my favorite), fresh red peppers and cucumbers, a lettuce blend of 11 different kinds of greens and a light Asian Chili Vinaigrette dressing
o Delicious and nutritious - and only 370 calories!

We did not talk about Yoga pants and men’s wear like in the video above but we did have some much-needed girl talk. You can find more videos and learn more about the new salads on the Wendy`s YouTube channel. Most of the talk surrounded our kids, as it always seems to. Love talking parenting with my girl friends. It is great to know you are on the same parenting page with someone who is a close family friend. We promised to get together again soon. Why hadn’t we done this sooner? I have to share a silly thing about our lunch. I called Maggie, invited her to lunch, picked the restaurant and offered to pay. When the cashier rang in our order I could not find my debit card. Oh how embarrassing is that? Maggie quickly pulled out some cash to cover our lunch. I found my debit card just in time for Maggie to get her change. Maggie, I will pay you back… really… this was NOT planned. I am blushing.

wendys-ladies-lunch

Wendy’s was the first restaurant to add salad bars to the quick service restaurant scene over 30 years ago. The salads are all prepared fresh in store and it was obvious when we ate our salads. You can tell that the cucumbers, red peppers and tomatoes are sliced in the Wendy`s kitchen and the all white chicken breast was freshly grilled when we ordered our salads. I have also just learned that every Wendy`s kitchen has a salad spinner. Every day they hand chop heads of romaine and iceburg lettuce and mix it with a triple washed leafy green spring mix.

The Wendy`s salads are 50% lower in fat grams, 29% lower in sodium and 61% lower in saturated fat. The salads are also available in small and large sizes. Small is perfect as a side salad and the large is perfect for a meal. The popular culinary trends of today are reflected in the new flavours of these new salads.

Call up a friend and invite them to lunch. Reconnect and chat over some of the great flavours of the new salads but please…. please… remember where your debit card is.

Disclosure: Although this post was graciously sponsored by Wendy`s all opinions and language are my own and in no way do they reflect Wendy`s.

Artsy Play Wednesday 04/09 Kool Aid Dyed Easter Eggs

Artsy Play Wednesday with sun and less butterflies

Hosted by:

Capri + 3 Multi-Testing Mommy Shannon’s View From Here

Country Fit Family

Welcome to this new weekly feature on Shannon’s View from Here! This is going to be co-hosted by myself and three great new blogger friends of mine. Every Wednesday we will highlight all of your lovely crafts that you have been doing with your children. Each Wednesday one of us four bloggers will highlight one of our own artsy play craft that you can enjoy with your kiddos. We invite you to link up what you have been up to. I look forward to seeing what you are all up to! [Read more...]

National We Day 2014 – Ottawa Ontario

craig-Kielburger

My daughter interviewing Craig Kielburger at National We Day 2013.

I am so proud to announce that I will be attending National We Day in Ottawa on April 9th 2014. Thank you to Telus for inviting me to celebrate along with 16,000 local youth. Through this partnership with Free The Children, TELUS is helping to inspire young leaders and build a community of young people dedicated to positive social change. Thanks to Telus I will be live tweeting @ShannonsView and sharing via Instagram ShannonsView on my brand new GS4 Mini. Make sure to follow along. You are sure to be inspired. [Read more...]

Free Things to Do in Charlotte North Carolina

Charlotte is a city that is filled with culture, attractions and of course sweet tea and barbeque. Because of the temperate climate and southern charm, Charlotte is a favorite destination and a refuge for many looking to escape cold weather. Just because Charlotte is a major metropolitan area, does not mean that you need to spend a small fortune on your trip there. Charlotte has activities for any budget. Next time you are in town, check out one of these free things to do:

city-walking-tour-charlotte

Take a Walking Tour of beautiful Charlotte

Pick up a free map at INFO Charlotte (333 South Tryon Street) and head for a walking tour of the Fourth Ward. The Fourth Ward was one of Charlotte’s four political districts in the 1800’s. Although the other districts are long gone and replaced by the skyline you see today, the Fourth Ward remains and boasts some of the most beautiful Victorian homes in the city, all with individual histories.

north-carolina-parks

Enjoy The Beauty of Nature in Charlotte North Carolina

Charlotte is home to some of the most beautiful parks and greenways in the country. A must-see is the University of North Carolina Charlotte Botanical Gardens where there are over 10 acres of beautifully manicured gardens with many species of flowers from local to tropical. It will instantly give you refuge from your day of sightseeing and adventure. Other parks to visit in and around the Charlotte metro are Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, Irwin Creek, Ribbon Walk, Freedom Park, and Crowders Mountain State Park.

Learn About Gold Mining

A short drive from downtown Charlotte in Midland, NC is the Reed Gold Mine, which was the site of the first discovery of gold in North America. The tour and museum are free and will provide you with all sorts of great information about the gold rush and gold mining here in North Carolina. For a small fee ($3 per pan) you can even try your luck at panning for gold.

charlotte-arts-festival

Photo courtesy of CRVA/Visit Charlotte

Fairs, Festivals and Events

Do not forget to check out Charlotte’s Got Alot or Charlotte on the Cheap to see if there are any fairs and festivals going on during your visit. The southerners are known for their hospitality, so many of these activities are family friendly, fun and free. During the summer, free concerts abound as well as many other events around the city.

Mint-Museum-charlotte

Photo courtesy of CRVA/Visit Charlotte

Learn Something New

The public libraries in Charlotte and the surrounding areas are world-class. Many have story time and other free activities and would be perfect if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day. Imaginon is a library with interactive activities just for kids. They have children’s theater and other activities. You could also check out one of Charlotte’s many museums. Although many have a nominal admission fee, some offer free admission like the Mint Museum (free on Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m.) and the Latta Plantation. If you are a Bank of America card holder, the Museums on Us program will get you free admission to select Charlotte attractions the first full weekend of every month.

You don’t need to spend big to have a great time in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a fun, accessible city for all ages. Do you have any other free things to do in Charlotte that was missed? Share in the comments below!

[DVD Review] Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match

Pound-puppies-perfect-match-dvd

Running Time: About 1 hour, 50 minutes (five episodes; each one is about 30 minutes long).

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family.

Rating: TV Y (PG) – Good for all members of the family to watch and enjoy!

What is Pound Puppies: A Perfect Match all about:

This version of the Pound Puppies series is about a band of puppies helping other animals find happy homes for their furry friends. Within these five episodes on this DVD, the gang had to find a home for an “un-matchable puppy,” help a kitten when cats are supposed to be their sworn enemies, a shy puppy come out of his shell while on a camping trip with scouts, a proud furless dog regain his confidence, and help figure out why a newspaper delivery paper girl was not delivering her papers on time. [Read more...]

[Review] Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain-America

Shine up your shield for a new Captain America adventure! Steve dons his suit again to help save the world from a new threat from the pages of world history.

Release Date: Friday April 4, 2014.

Cast: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford.

Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.

Running Time: 2 hours; 16 minutes.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller.

Rating: PG-13 – Parents, there’s a lot going on, and some of it is not pretty!

captain-america-movie-poster

What is Captain America: The Winter Soldier all about?

Continuing from the original Captain America film, Steve Rogers is having a hard time adjusting to life in the present-day world when he is called back to duty. With the help of the Black Widow and Falcon, he must find why a S.H.E.I.L.D. agent was targeted and defend the world against a Soviet agent called the Winter Soldier. [Read more...]