Month: September 2016

Long Way North Movie Review

Shout! Kids Factory

A beautiful tale of strength, hope and courage can be found in Long Way North, when a young girl sets out to discover what happened to her Grandfather and the Davai.

Long Way North

About Long Way North

Directed by celebrated animator and filmmaker Rémi Chayé and produced by Sacrebleu Productions (Oscar®-Nominated Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage), Maybe Movies (Oscar®-Nominated Ernest & Celestine) and Norlum Studios (Oscar®-Nominated Song of the Sea), France 3 Cinéma and 2 Minutes, LONG WAY NORTH won the coveted Audience Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the winner of Grand Prize and the Governor of Tokyo Award at Tokyo Animation Festival 2016. This captivating animated adventure, bolstered by emotionally resonant storytelling and visually exquisite hand-drawn animation, has continued to attract universal acclaim as it enchants movie audiences around the world.

A spirited and inspiring tale of hope and courage, LONG WAY NORTH is the feature directorial debut of animator Rémi Chayé (first AD and head of storyboard for Oscar®-Nominated The Secret of Kells, The Painting) and tells the story of a young heroine persevering through a physical and emotional journey to find her Grandfather and his lost ship, the Davai.

LONG WAY NORTH is set in the late 19th century in Saint Petersburg. Sacha, a young girl from the Russian aristocracy, dreams of the Great North and is devastated over the fate of her Grandfather, Oloukine, a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from his latest expedition to conquer the North Pole.

Sacha has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her grandfather and has the same calling to be an explorer. But Sacha’s parents, who have already made arrangements for her marriage, strongly disapprove of the idea. Defying her destiny, Sacha flees her home and launches a quest toward the Great North in search of Oloukine and his ship.

LONG WAY NORTH features an English voice cast of Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson, Antony Hickling, Tom Perkins, Geoffrey Greenhill, Claire Harrison-Bullett, Bibi Jacob, Martin Lewis, Tom Morton, Leslie Clack, Kester Lovelace and Damian Corcoran.

Long Way North

Our Thoughts

Long Way North is a beautiful, moving tale that draws you in to Sacha’s life and hopes. She is a strong, independent young woman in a time that did not always encourage this. She loved her Adventurer Grandfather and has so much faith in him. When he doesn’t return home from his adventure to the North Pole, she is not only devastated but her family becomes the butt of jokes of the unsinkable Davai.

Sacha knows in her heart that her Grandfather’s ship did not sink. She does her own research and discovers a secret that could unlock the mystery. But no one would listen to her, not even her own family. She was forced to make a difficult decision – to follow her heart or follow her parents wishes. She chooses to follow her heart.

This is when the story really evolves and we see this strong side of Sacha. She is so much more than anyone gave her credit for. We watch her grow and mature into a young woman who her Grandfather would have been so proud of. As we follow her brave and dangerous adventure, you are left on the edge of your seat – nervous and excited for her.

Long Way North is a beautiful and unique movie, with an interesting plot and beautifully played accompanying music. The graphics are not your typical, animated graphics but suit the story perfectly. A fantastic family movie for every member of the house!

Find out more about the movie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The movie will be released on September 30th, 2016 and you can find a full listing of theatres here.

Disclosure: I received an advance screening of this movie in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Journey Out of Fat, Dumb and Ugly Book Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

Are you tired of living your life according to the labels that have been slapped onto you? Do you feel you are always pressured to conform to other people’s ideas of who they believe you are? Do you feel destined to live a life of mediocrity and unhappiness, despite the fact that you know you are meant for something bigger?

Journey Out of Fath, Dumb and Ugly

About Journey Out of Fat, Dumb and Ugly

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will easily identify with journey. Journey is a lost and tortured soul on a personal quest to escape the physical, mental and emotional servitude of the unfair labels, invisible barriers, and dire consequences of a lifetime of decisions made out of fear and feelings of inferiority. Journey’s Path to freedom is a dramatic, tear-jerking, yet funny roller-coaster ride that beautifully demonstrates how to:

  • Change the directions of your thoughts and life.
  • Use the power of your pain to discover and serve your life purpose.

  • Eliminate toxic relationships and self-sabotaging behavioral patterns.

You have the power to remove whatever labels have been placed on you. If you know there’s more to you than meets the eye, and you’re determined to break free of a lifetime of painful stereotypes and a mediocre, dissatisfied existence, then this book is your key to opening the door to the exceptional life that you always imagined.

You can purchase a copy of the book on the Authors website.

Journey Out of Fat, Dumb and Ugly

About the Author

Cherie Esteves was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city she so affectionately calls her first love. There she was deeply rooted and heavily influenced by the rich, diverse crosspollination of the European American culture that makes New Orleans one of the most unique and intriguing cities in the world. Cherie moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1989, where she raised her two beautiful children and has continued to live for over twenty years. Her production company’s name, Creole Peach Productions, was born out of her alliance to both cities.  You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Honouring and Celebrating Our Co-Workers’ Fight Against Breast Cancer

Honouring and Celebrating Our Coworkers' Battle With Breast Cancer

My co-workers are my best friends, my confidantes and the ones that I go to when I am struggling or hurting. They know my fears, my weaknesses and my greatest triumphs. We are together in our small space, nicknamed “the hub”, in our clinic together eight hours a day, five days a week. It is hard not to feel and act like family with these women after nine years—despite the age gaps between us. You love them to the moon and back and would do absolutely anything for them.

Honouring and Celebrating Our CoWorkers' Journey

I was almost into my second year working in our Family Medicine clinic when I found out that two of the women that I worked with had fought and survived breast cancer. It came as a shock to me—they are wonderful, courageous, bright and caring women who never complain throughout the week and I could not imagine what they had gone through. They are the strongest and happiest women I have ever known. We all feel honoured to know and work with such brave women who have shared such a personal part of their life story with us. Cancer is not only a physical pain but it is also an emotional pain. It hurts not only the person diagnosed with cancer but those who love them.

We may not be able to go through their cancer journey with them but we can be by their side during and after, to lend support not only to that person but also to the fight against breast cancer. It was this idea that led our Fundraising Committee at work to launch a month-long activity fundraiser with all of the funds that were raised going directly to breast cancer research. What better way to support the women we work with and show them how much we love and admire them?

Honouring and Celebrating Our CoWorkers' Battle Against Breast Cancer

The activities were posted on a Bristol board calendar in our hub area and all of the employees participated in some area, from our support staff to residents to physicians and nurses. We even had patients want to contribute to the cause!

Some of the fundraising activities we hosted during the month were:

  • A bake sale
  • Pink dress down day for a loonie every Friday
  • Chilli day ($5 for a delicious bowl of chilli from one of our famous chefs at work!)
  • Raffles for some pretty awesome donated prizes (purses, jewellery, etc.)

The ideas are truly endless when it comes to fundraising. Not only did we support an amazing cause, we came together as a work family to support our work community and the individuals who personally fought and survived breast cancer. It was important for them to know that they are not alone, and that we love and support them.

Honouring and Celebrating Our Coworkers' Battle With Breast Cancer

Another fantastic way to donate to breast cancer research is by giving them your time and participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. This year, the run will be held on October 2nd, 2016 in over sixty-three communities across Canada—talk about bringing people and communities together! To find the complete list of communities participating head over to the CIBC Run for the Cure page to find your nearest run. You will be joining others who have survived breast cancer, have a loved one that has survived or been lost to cancer, and those who want to support the women who are fighting against breast cancer. The upbeat mood and excitement is amazing and totally infectious on race day. We were at Blue Mountain and witnessed the run their last year and it was incredible the way the community came together, showed their love and support in such a positive manner.

This year, doing your fundraising is as simple as creating your own personalized digital fundraising campaign. It’s very simple: just chose your picture (can be you, or the person you’re fundraising in honour of), name your campaign, and tell your story in your own words. Tell friends and family why you are participating in the Run for the Cure. Then simply share the page with all your friends and family and social networks. It’s such an easy and seamless way to fundraise, especially if you have friends and family who don’t live nearby.

October 2nd, 2016 is coming up fast so make sure you head over to CIBC Run for the Cure to register to run or to donate. Also make sure to follow the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on the event and follow the event live on October 2nd, 2016!

This post has been brought to you by the CIBC Run for the Cure but the images and opinions are my own.  

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Family Movie Night Bingo #StreamTeam


It’s no lie that we love our family movie nights. We create a camp out in front of the living room television with blankets and pillows, make some popcorn and turn on Netflix for some family fun films or series.

Sometimes this can get boring for our kids so we have to switch it up and add some flair to our movie nights. Netflix came up with the best solution for family movie nights by including movie bingo – sounds fun right? If you aren’t sure about the movie bingo concept, you have your bingo card and as the words (like dancing, swimming, etc..) happen in the movie, you cross/stamp/sticker that box off. You choose before if you want a line, the full card, a square, two lines to be the winner.

Here is how we set up our Family Movie Night Bingo:

First print out these awesome bingo printables courtesy of Netflix. You can add some designs or stickers to them or even have your child decorate their card the night before to make it more personal. Let them get creative – it gets them excited and looking forward to movie night with their family.

Family Movie Night Bingo

It’s important to choose your family movie before movie night arrives. Save yourself the headache of the arguments and tears and have a system in place of who gets to choose the next movie and the type of movies that are allowed. There are some great films on Netflix right now such as: Maleficent, Tangled, Zootopia and The Princess and The Frog.

Family Movie Night Bingo

Now that your family movie night is here, prepare your family’s favourite movie snacks whether it be popcorn or licorice and lay out your drinks on a side table if yow allow snacks in the family room or in the kitchen if you  have a no snack rule out of the kitchen. Have your bingo cards ready along with markers for stampers or stickers to take the place of stamps.

Bingo Family Movie Night

All that is left is for you to get your movie started and see who wins the bingo game! Maybe even make the winner the one who chooses the next family movie night?! That ups the competition level up a notch. And once the kids go to bed – save some cards for you and your spouse! We had so much fun battling it out to be the Netflix Movie Night Champ!

How do you add variety to your family movie nights?

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

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Bun 2 Babe Review and Giveaway

Bun 2 Babe Book Review

The joys of being pregnant – endless choices, suggestions and worries! Bun 2 Babe: Routines and Strategies for Nurturing Your Baby through Age Two: A Personal and Informative Guide From a Mother of Four gives you all the information you will ever need!

Bun 2 Babe

About Bun 2 Babe: Routines and Strategies for Nurturing Your Baby Through Age Two: A Personal and Informative Guide From a Mother of Four

You’re expecting! Congratulations…and welcome to a seemingly endless string of choices: Doctor or midwife? Home or hospital birth? All natural or epidural? Cloth or disposable diapers? Breast-feeding or formula?

Now take a deep breath. Modern motherhood is full of possibilities and Bun 2 Babe is here to help you navigate your options. While there are numerous parenting books available, not many present firsthand accounts of multiple methods in a uncompetitive way. After having four children herself, author Charlotte Ryan, B.Sc. Hon., B.Ed., MA, knows from experience that what is right for one mother or child is not necessarily best for another.

Personal, practical, and at times downright hilarious, Bun 2 Babe guides you from pregnancy through raising a toddler with helpful advice and strategies pertinent to each stage. Discover what’s available, from birth choices to child-care options, so you can make an informed decision that fits your baby and your situation. Your baby is lucky to have you—you’re going to be a great mom!

My Thoughts

Finally a pregnancy and parenting book that you will LOVE! Charlotte writes in an amazingly personal manner with humour and love for her children and being a Mother. You can easily connect with both her and her parenting style. She is honest and real, she doesn’t give you the story or product advice that you want but that you need.

What I had to love the most was that Bun 2 Babe is not only great for first time parents but great for second, third and fourth time parents. Each pregnancy, delivery and first two years is different for every child. For my first son, I had a vacuum assisted delivery and it was quick and painless. My second son had to be induced and labour was long and painful. While my first son had difficulties with breastfeeding, my second son didn’t. Charlotte exposes you to every option out there from prenatal/antenatal care, to labour and delivery and raising your baby. When you have had four children, you have done and see it all! Her wisdom and experience truly shines out in this book. My favourite part was her own advice on how to remove those pesky boogers from your baby’s nose. I hated those nasal aspirators – they never worked. The only thing that truly works? Giving slight pressure on your baby’s nose by sucking on the end to pull it out. Yup – you have truly done it all when it comes to your kids! Talk about true love.

Another favourite part of mine was the section on breastfeeding. While she does encourage you do breastfeed (she also gives you sections on bottle feeding so don’t be afraid!), the best part was her explanation of the emotional connection. Too often we hear all about the health benefits but breastfeeding is truly beautiful. You feel so utterly connected (and not that I didn’t with my first son so please don’t take it the wrong way!) and time just freezes in that moment. I was reading this section while I was waiting for blood work and I actually started to cry in the lab’s waiting room.

Bun 2 Babe is honest, real, full of love, humour and advice. Charlotte has a wealth of wisdom but speaks to you as another Mother who gets it. We just want to enjoy pregnancy and parenthood. We want the best for our baby but we also want to keep some sanity (say no to back zippers and buttons for infants!). This book is truly special and deserves to be on every baby shower must buy list.

You can purchase a copy of Bun 2 Babe on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Charlotte Ryan  is a busy mom of four fantastic kids and is a special education teacher. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto, and she continues to learn every day. Charlotte enjoys yoga, vegetarian cooking, skiing, horseback riding, painting, and exploring the outdoors. She lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her handsome husband, cute children and big dog. You can connect with her on her site Bun 2 Babe.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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