Category: Family

Family Dining at Paramount Fine Foods

We are an extremely busy family with two kids in competitive soccer, both working full time and owning my small business. It can be very hard to find the time to sit down and spend quality time with each other. But this is very important to us and also what makes those moments so special.

We recently visited Paramount Fine Foods in Mississauga – a treasure of a find tucked away on Crestlawn Drive. If you are not familiar with the restaurant, Paramount Fine Foods is the fastest growing Middle Eastern food chain in Canada with over 60 restaurants across the country. You can find all of their locations here.

This elegant restaurant (with exquisite attention to detail) offers something for everyone. You can enjoy incredible, mouth watering recipes in a warm and inviting environment. And the kids – they can enjoy the Kids playground once they are done eating or while you are waiting on your food order.

For our visit, we ordered Manakeesh and the mixed combo platter. This was my kids and my first time trying Middle Eastern cuisine, while my husband has had it several times. We were not disappointed at all. We loved the Manakeesh, we ordered it with just cheese and it hit the spot.

We could not get over how much food was on the mixed combo platter., everything looked and tasted divine. We loved how the platter offered enough of each of our favourites – chicken, beef, rice and fries! They also have a fantastic kids menu, which had chicken fingers for the picky eater in our family. He managed to eat a little bit of everything.

I loved that we could all dive right in and share the same dishes, it made the experience feel like we were at home. Our youngest even said Mom – this tastes like home cooking but better! Which at first, I gave him the stink eye thinking he was making fun of my cooking but he was trying to say the food tasted real and healthy. Which, as any parent of a picky eater knows, is a win- win.

Our kids get full fast (I wish I had this problem!) so it was incredibly helpful that Paramount Fine Foods had a closed in Kids Playground that he could use while he waited for Mom and Dad to finish up. He felt comfortable coming and going from the table to the playground, and never felt that he was disrupting others.

For all my parents looking for an amazing evening out at a restaurant that not only has great food but is also welcoming to children, Paramount Fine Foods is a great option for you on your next family night out!

Make sure to check out their website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with events and new menu items.

Disclosure: We were hosted at Paramount Fine Foods to experience their location. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Building Memories, Confidence and Life Long Friendships with Girl Guides of Canada

Building Memories, Confidence and Life Long Friendships with Girl Guides of Canada

“Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada enables girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a difference in the world.” Girl Guides of Canada

The early years of childhood right up until the teen years can be difficult to navigate, both for children and parents. As a child, we want freedom to grow and learn, but we don’t always have the opportunity to experience the life lessons we need to grow and mature. As parents, we want to empower our children to be confident, to be leaders, to be brave and to always do the right thing. No tough job, right?

I remember my childhood vividly. I was always on the shy side. I liked to read my books (I am still a bookworm), I liked healthy competition and I enjoyed being with my friends once I was able to get over my shyness. I entered the world of Girl Guides as a Brownie at the age of seven and this began a journey for me that would last up until I moved away from home to attend university.

Building Memories, Confidence and Life Long Friendships with Girl Guides of Canada

I fell in love with the spirit of the Guiding community – you were a part of a group of girls that wanted you to succeed, wanted you to be active, have fun, laugh and be silly. I loved learning a variety of skills that I would never have had the opportunity to learn elsewhere, everything from sewing badges to changing light bulbs to starting a campfire to finances. I was such a competitive spirit and loved to earn as many badges as I possibly could. Girl Guides helped me to realize my potential and gave me the confidence I needed as a shy child to succeed.

Building Memories, Confidence and Life Long Friendships with Girl Guides of Canada

The friendships that I have gained over the years from Girl Guides have meant the world to me. In 1999, as a Pathfinder, I was able to participate in Canadian Mosaic ’99 in Alberta. This event drew Girl Guide members from around the world in a celebration of our history, our future and empowering young girls to thrive. It was an incredible week of canoeing, hiking, archery, talent shows and more – we even attended the Calgary Stampede. Even the freezing weather and rain could not hold us down. It was here that I made friends with some special ladies who I would continue to remain friends with even though continents separate us! When I had my first child, one of my friends who I had met from Australia sent a special Aussie package for our little one. When she had her first child, we sent her a special Canadian package for her precious little one. The friendships that I gained during my Guiding years have survived separation over different continents, growing our families and more. These friendships have meant the world to me.

Girl Guides of Canada provide young girls with a safe place to be who they want and are meant to be. They offer a wide range of opportunities for young girls to participate in the outdoors, arts, science, community service and personal growth. These experiences lay the framework for young girls to succeed and push to achieve their goals. It helps to motivate young girls to follow their passion and to never give up. I now have the opportunity to give back to other young girls by encouraging them to follow their own dreams. I have shared the badges that I have collected over the years and had sewn onto my Guiding poncho with new members of Guiding and have encouraged them to participate in local, national and international Guiding opportunities that open up a new world for them.

Building Memories, Confidence and Life Long Friendships with Girl Guides of Canada

Participating in your local Girl Guides of Canada group is simple – each branch starts up in September and wraps up in late spring. Girls participate in weekly meetings and how much they want to participate and lead is up to them. The meetings are friendly, welcoming and encourage participation from all members, no matter what skill level. Girls of any age can join, even girls as young as five years of age!

Were you a member of the Girl Guides of Canada? What was your best memory from your Guiding years?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Girl Guides of Canada, Ontario Council. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Break Down Gender Stereotypes with Inspirational Content #StreamTeam


My parents raised me to know that I could do anything and be anything that I wanted to be. They encouraged me to play sports, get dirty and have fun. I was the kid who always came home from daycare and later school with cuts and bruises (and I still have some of the scars on my legs to prove it) and the one who wanted to be first to try everything. I had no fears and I felt safe to be myself, even through some of my crazier phases! My parents never stopped supporting me to be the best me.

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Inspirational Content

It wasn’t until I was older that I started to realize that some people have different expectations for girls and young women. I loved the sciences and wanted to be a surgeon when I was in high school, which my parents fully encouraged me to follow. They reminded me that I could do anything that I wanted and that I should never let common gender stereotypes guide my decisions. While that wasn’t the field I found myself in, my parents supported me and encouraged me throughout my years at McMaster and when I became a parent myself.

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Inspirational Content

When I had my boys, I wanted them to know the exact same security and confidence my parents gave me as a child and young adult. I wanted them to feel free to cry, to show emotion, run, play and dress however they wanted without fear. It was important to me that they see that Dads cook, clean and do laundry and Moms can cut the grass, go to work and can play just as hard on the soccer field as Dad can. That is what I grew up with and it is so important for children to see that there are no rules for boys and rules for girls. We are all strong individuals who need to be pushed to be the best version of us.

An important part of supporting our children is to monitor what they see on TV. While sometimes the content can be okay, other times the content can actually push the typical gender stereotypes we are trying to push away from. It has even been show that girls as young as six can be effected by the gender stereotypes they see on television and it can have lasting affects.

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Inspirational Content

We want both boys and girls to see girls in strong leadership roles – this is not a role reserved solely for boys and girls should be encouraged to be a strong leader. More often than not, films and series aren’t showing enough of this. But if you look hard enough you can definitely find some pretty great content that will help your child understand they can be and do anything they want. If you are looking for great content for your children, check out these top three picks currently featured on Netflix:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • One Day at a Time
  • Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Inspirational Content

Spending quality time with your children teaching them that they can be and do whatever they put their mind to is one of the most important things you can for your child, whether you have a daughter or a son. They need to understand that there are no restrictions on what they can achieve if they put their mind to it. You can do it every day by sharing roles as parents, supporting your child in their decisions and ensuring they are watching content with you that inspires and encourages them to be their best.

How do you help break down gender stereotypes for your children?

Disclosure: I am a Netflix #StreamTeam member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Family Day Excitement at Kidapalooza Markham

Family Day weekend is quickly approaching and I am sure many of you are like me – eagerly planning out the weekend adventures. Keeping the kids entertained throughout the long weekend can sometimes be a task in itself.

Family Day Fun at Kidapalooza

Instead of trying to think of activities, movies or even crafts at home, why not get ready to pack up the kids and head on over to the Markham Fair Grounds for Kidapalooza. Kidapalooza is all about having fun together as a family, while keeping your child’s minds and bodies active. Think: dance parties, crafts, yoga and more!

The indoor Family Festival is being held from February 13th to the 15th and features over 35,000 square feet of activity stations, play zones, inflatables, performance stage and thirty plus vendors. The abundance of activities will have your family creating, exploring, playing and bonding. Your family can participate in soccer, ride through a bike trail, visit a petting zoo, take photos with princesses, magic shows and stage shows. Kidapalooza is setting up to be the largest Family Day event! So if you are in the Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, Niagara areas get ready for some awesome family fun.

Important Details:

Saturday, February 13 from 10am to 7pm
Sunday, February 14 from 10am to 7pm
Monday February 15 from 9am6pm

Adult 18+ Tickets – $8
Child 2+ All Access Pass – $25
Children 1 and under are FREE

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Door tickets are CASH only with ATM’s available on-site. Parking is free (awesome bonus here).

My Canadian residents can now enter to win a family pack of tickets (two adults and two children) to attend Kidapalooza to discover first hand all the fun that awaits you. Please keep in mind that transportation is not provided, so it is important to ensure that you can attend the event before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additional Way to Win with Kidapalooza!

Making a mess is what kids do best, show us your pics to win the contest! Upload a photo of your child’s best/worst mess to instagram, Facebook or twitter and make sure to hashtag #bestmesscontest #kidapaloozafamfest for your chance to win!

Also visit us online at for an additional way to enter!

Family Fun at Kidapalooza

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A New Year, Time to Focus on Me and New Goals#StreamTeam


The new year has begun and with it I am sure many of you had made New Years resolutions, or as I like to call them ‘new goals’. I find that whenever I label them as ‘resolutions’ I give up that much quicker on my goals! So this year, I am writing these goals down and sharing them with all of you. I hope you can keep me on track and in turn I can motivate you to keep up with your own goals.

Since writing a goal down helps you keep on track, here are my goals for the New Year:

Focus on a healthy lifestyle which includes loosing weight, dealing with stress in a better manner and be active every day for thirty minutes. This is an extremely important goal for me as they recently found my liver to be enlarged and I am currently in the process of having this worked up. Talk about a health scare to wake me up! I know that I need to get healthy for not only myself but my kids too. Stress always plays a huge role in this and has at times led to a worsening of my depression. CBT has helped a lot but I can always do better.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeam

Family times matters. This year I want to focus that much more time on my family, maybe more movie nights (yay for Netflix!), more travel, more experiences and even more story times at night. I want my children to know just how important they are to me and feel my love every moment.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeam

Become more environmentally friendly. I want my children to grow up and live in a world that has not been ruined by pollution. I want us to start using environmentally friendly options, grow more of our own vegetables and volunteer more of our time to clean up outdoor space.

A New Year and A New Focus #StreamTeamNow that I have shared my goals with you, I want to hear about you! What are your goals this year? What would you like to accomplish?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam member and receive perks associated with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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