December 2015

Holiday Baking and Food Galore - Watch and Enjoy

by Samantha on December 23, 2015

Netflix provides a hearty helping of food-flavoured programming for culinary lovers

*DISCLAIMER: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I will be providing monthly thoughts and suggestions about movies currently showing on Netflix. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely my own.*

I love the holiday season.

Silver Bells, Jingle Bells and, hopefully, a White Christmas.

And the baking. Oh, the baking.

Visions of sugarplums danced in her head,” goes the popular Christmas story.

Treats are part of the season, too. Between December 1st and January 1st, let’s say that many of us throw caution to the healthy-eating wind and get our culinary groove on in the name of the festive season. After all, what are the holidays if not an opportunity to eat, drink and be merry - with abandon?

Anyway, back to the baking.

This time of year is a bellweather for cooks an bakers who want to either up their game, maintain their game or, well, just show off.

Some of us are not so talented. Ahem. Let’s just say that I won’t be “pinning” any images of my beautifully-baked goodies and treat this or any other holiday season. Everyone has their strengths, right? Mine is more closely aligned with eating, rather than baking the holiday goods.

And watching other people bake, cook and prepare said goods is another hobby of mine, preferably in the company of my daughter who still has the ability to become a better baker and cook than I.

To this end, we’ll watch others tackle their love of food, whether it’s baking, haute cuisine or a completely vegan way of indulging. Disclaimer: We may be eating while watching these shows as well.

You think baking is a challenge? How about upping your game and checking out how the folks in the big leagues roll? Kings of Pastry follows a group of 16 world-class French pastry chefs in their quest for France’s most prestigious pastry award, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. To say that this documentary is a nail-biter is an understatement. Be prepared to watch grown men cry.

Kings of Pastry

Kings of Pastry

Ever wonder what makes a really great chef tick? Wonder no more and tune in to Chef’s Table, now streaming on Netflix. This exclusive documentary series profiles six of the world’s most amazing chefs and gives all of us pause as we watch the creativity that makes these guys superstars.

Chef’s Table


And…if you’re reconsidering everything you’re doing when it comes to eating and food in general, watch this award-winning documentary. Vegucated challenges three hardcore meat and cheese-loving folks to banish their animal-product-laden-meals and go vegan. A challenge for them, to say the least. Could you do it?




What are your favourite baking, cooking and food-related programs on Netflix? Tell me all about them in the comments section below.


Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!


Caddle - The App That You Get Paid to Use

by Samantha on December 18, 2015

Earn at the rate of about $20 per hour


This app saves you money, pays you and gives to charity as well.


**Disclaimer - As the spokesperson for Caddle, I will be posting about the app on this blog from time to time** 

Imagine saving money, making money and donating to charity too?

It’s now possible to do all three with the new app, Caddle, now available in the iTunes App Store and coming soon to Android.

With Caddle, you can earn at the rate of about $20 per hour - a great way of making the most of those spare few seconds that come up every day.

Want to learn more about it? Watch this segment on Rogers Daytime Toronto, or visit the website, here.

VIDEO: Caddle - The App That Saves You Money

Want to learn about more ways to save money on groceries? Watch my video below for some simple yet effective tips.
VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping - Top 10 Tips For Parents



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Don't worry about losing your kids when you go out by following these simple tips


If you’re afraid that you’ll lose your kid while out in a public place, here’s what to do.

Lost girl in mall

If you’re a parent, you’ve worried.

  • Worried about whether your child is eating properly.
  • Worried about whether your child is sick.
  • Worried about the horrible prospect of losing your child in a public place.

This last fear is perhaps the most palpable, as it speaks to our core as parents. As a mother, I can say that it’s almost primal - that innate urge to protect our children from harm - which is impossible to do if said child has wandered off in the midst of your local mega-mall.

“The urge to protect our children from harm is primal and innate.”

We’ve all experienced that sickening feeling, however fleeting, where you’ve momentarily lost sight of your child and in an instant your world feels like it’s falling down around you. It may have only lasted for a mere few seconds until you see your little one steps away, but for any of us who have experienced this, you know that it’s not a feeling that you’ll ever want to live through again.

To combat the possibility of losing your child, there are things that can be done. In this day and age, there are indeed options, however controversial. Sure, you can tether yourself to your child via leash, but be prepared to face the scorn and judgement of others - parents and non-parents alike.

You can engage a high-tech solution for your kid, however, there’s always the expense to consider, as well as the very real possibility that a four-year-old child can and will lose the electronic tracking device or smartphone that you’ve affixed to them (and don’t think that sewing it into a coat, attaching it to a place where they can’t get at it, like a knapsack compartment or otherwise will work: kids are notorious for leaving/losing their clothes, bags, and everything else they’re not supposed to. Wristband and watch-type GPS systems have also been known to have been yanked off by irritated children).

For these reasons and many more, parents need simple, easy-to-follow and effective strategies in the event that our precious children do go missing during the course of a day or evening out.

Following are six simple tips for parents just in case the little one wanders off while in your care:

1) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Before you even venture out of the safety of your home, take a picture of your child. The purpose is to have a clear photo of exactly what they’re wearing, what they look like, etc. as recently as possible. In the unfortunate event that they do get lost, you’ll be able to very quickly transmit their appearance to those who can help.

2) Do You Know Who I Am? - A piece of paper in your child’s pocket with your full name, phone numbers, address, their full name, age and important particulars may be all that’s needed if your child gets lost. Before you leave the house, tell your little one that it’s a special piece of paper and is only to be shown to the nice police officer or grown-up who works at the store if you get separated.

3) Name, Rank and Serial Number, Please - If they’re old enough, teach them to memorize your phone number (cell and/or home), address and their parents’ names. If they do become separated from you, they can quickly tell a responsible adult how to get in contact with you so that both worried mom/dad and child can be reunited in a timely manner.

4) A Meet-up Location - If they are old enough, determine a specific place to meet up with your child as soon as you arrive at your location. This place should be somewhere easy to find, easily recognizeable and not too far from where you’re originally going. Tell your son or daughter the following:  “If we get separated, this is where I’ll be, waiting for you.” Even if they can’t find their way back, they can tell the responsible adult who finds them where you’ll be, e.g “The main entrance with the fountain,” or “Right outside of McDonalds.” Along with their particulars outlined in tips #2 and 3, you’ll be reunited with your child in no time.

5) Better Safe Than Sorry -  Teach them about “safe people” - Police men or women, store clerks (behind the register), etc. Teach them to never go with a stranger who is not one of these people and never get into a car or vehicle unless it’s a nice policeman (in uniform, in a police car) who is trying to help. We always tell our kids not to talk to strangers but the reality is, sometimes they may have to. Make sure that they speak to the right strangers, when they do.

6) Colour My World - Bright colours are a way of making your kids stand out from the crowd. When you’re going out with the little ones to a location that is densely crowded, plan ahead by dressing them in distinguishing clothing. This could include bright colours, noticeable patterns or designs, or a unique hat or jacket. In the event of them becoming separated from you, they’ll be much easier to spot by both you and those who are helping you find them.

So you see, venturing outside of the security of your home with your child in tow doesn’t have to be an anxiety-ridden exercise. With the right preparation, a few simple tactics and assurance that you’ve put the right contingencies in place in case your little one does venture out of your sight, you’re good to go!

What do you do as precautions to keep your kids safe when you’re out with them in a public place? How do you prepare them and yourself in the event that they get lost? Tell me about it in the comments section below.


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