April 16 is “Talk With Our Kids About Money Day” in Canada. The Time To Talk To Your Kids About Money Is NOW!

The third Wednesday in April has been designated “Talk With Our Kids About Money Day”~ Canadian teachers will be educating kids on the importance of money and assisting parents in discussions about fiscal responsibility. The emphasis is on educating children about saving and the role money plays in their future. The program initiated by the CFEE (Canadian Foundation For Economic Education) will also provide ideas, suggestions and resources to parents in an effort to assist with the sometimes uncomfortable ‘money talks.’

There are two programs available the “School Program” and the “Home Program”. Each uniquely different. The “School Program” allows educators to incorporate monetary lessons into all areas of their teaching, allowing kids to see how their everyday lives can be impacted by financial transactions. The “Home Program” is geared towards parents, giving them the resources and tips to allow them to address fiscal responsibility in a positive way. All programs are available in French and in English to allow everyone the ability to participate.  To learn more about support and how to get involved visit the website for Talk To Our Kids About Money.

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Did you know that 66% of parents who have tried to teach their kids about money said they need help? Another startling statistic: 50% of High School Graduates are already in debt. Clearly education and understanding are needed.

Here are five easy tips that can be integrated into a child’s everyday life, by both parents and educators.

1. Emphasize that “Money can’t buy you happiness.”

2. Make discussion relevant to their everyday lives. Think about their circumstances and what is important to them.

3) Make them think about “why they are making the monetary decisions they are making.”

4) Kids need to know how to deal with the impact of our new economy. They need to know how to delay gratification and stretch a dollar — to survive and thrive as adults.

5) Explain money shortfalls in concrete terms. Kids don’t grasp the abstract very well — so explain what less money in the household is going to mean to them on a daily basis. Does less money mean that we aren’t going to be able to go on vacation? Perhaps. Be honest and own up to your own financial mistakes.

Educators and parents can register at Talk With Our Kids About Money for more information.

REMEMBER: These children are our future. Don’t they deserve every opportunity for financial success?

The day is being sponsored by the Bank of Montreal. Be sure to follow them on twitter http://twitter.com/BMO and follow the #TWOKAM hashtag

 

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Valentines Day, a Birthday Party & Family Day Weekend

I love long weekends and so does the family (really who doesn’t) and this weekend is a busy one! Friday is Valentines Day – the day my husband proposed to me. So we like to celebrate with a bit of “us” time. I’ve made reservations at a little local eatery here in town that is having a special Price Fix dinner including wine pairing (yeah!). I asked them to keep the menu a surprise – I like to have an open mind and choose what I like depending on mood. I am excited to get a little dolled up I have picked out my outfit for the night – nothing to restrictive as I want to be comfortable. Likely a flowy top, leather leggings and some tall boots. He likes my hair crazy and curly so I think I will surprise him with that (normal mom days require me to straighten so I look less disheveled) ;)

For the kids – we plan to surprise them with a special Valentines treat after dinner and have a movie picked out ON Demand that they can watch with the sitter. They will be bagged from school anyway so I expect them to enjoy a quiet sibling evening together.

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Saturday is a big day! My step-son is turning 7! He is the only boy (other than dad) in this house so we like to make sure each milestone is achieved with ultimate grrrr! So, we’ll bake his cupcakes in the morning – haha! He loves to bake! I have already hit the bulk barn for fun cupcake papers, sprinkles, chocolate and gummy hockey players (ya we are a hockey house also!) I can’t wait to enjoy our special baking time. My hubby and friend will take the kids tobogganing in the afternoon before dinner so I can get party decorations ready for his return. He wanted a sleep over with his BF so I have some snacks planned and a boy fort ready for their living room takeover. He wanted a new video game and LEGO and we were able to budget for both – so I think he will be a happy camper. His sisters picked out some summer clothes and few little trinkets they thought he would like. I like getting them involved so everyone feels they have been a part of it. I think it helps with little ones frustrations when they don’t quite understand why the attention isn’t on them for one day.

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By Sunday I think we will be in need of some lazy time – but since my hubby has to work Family Day we are planning a local skating trip to a pond near by that has great skating (its like a mini canal) so we can pull the little girls in sleighs and the older kids can skate with us. I will pack hot chocolate in thermoses (cause thats why my mom did when we were kids) and some snacks for them and have a sort of winter out door picnic. I love the simple things we do as a family. Local, active, fun and budget friendly. When you are 6 you have to think this way.

Hope you all have a great Valentines Day & Family Day Weekend (and if anybody is celebrating a Birthday – best wishes too!)

Shannon

 

 

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The #CommitToFit Twitter Party with Subway Canada

Shes Connected and Subway Canada for a fast and fun twitter party to talk about what is fueling your 2014 resolutions tomorrow night.

Today is Blue Monday, it’s about that time of year when many of us are struggling with our New Years resolutions. If you committed yourself to getting healthier this year, it can be hard to stay on track, you want to make smart choices, you want get moving and eat better. Part of eating better can be making the right choice of sandwich or sub.  I know I committed to getting healthier this year, and when I need to grab and go, a sub with under 6 grams of fat, filled with healthy veggies is a great start.

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Did you know that Subway Canada has 8 subs with under 6 grams of fat? Top it off with some great healthy veggies and you have a great meal that will help you stay on target.

We love our Turkey Breast or the oven roasted chicken both of which can be had for $3 right now for a 6 inch.  

Now tomorrow night the Twitter Party is going to be lots of fun and we have some very special guests from Subway Canada joining us, with 20 Subway Canada gift cards to win we should all have a great time and many will be enjoying some great subs as well.

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The details:

Join us on #TWUBS for the twitter party! It’s a great platform for participating in Twitter Parties.

Date: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Time: 8:30pm -9:00pm EST
Hosts@ShesConnected @SUBWAYCanada
Guests: @SUBWAYCarl @helenecharleb
Questions@ShesConnected
Hashtag: #CommittoFit
Prizing: $25 Subway Canada Gift Cards – 20 of them!
Rules & RegsClick here

*Canada Only to win the prizing but all can participate 

 

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Winter Blahs = Beef BBQ

My family loves the summer. We rarely eat indoors during the weekends and put our backyard to use as much as possible. The one thing everyone always agrees on for supper is to BBQ. But during the winter its not as appealing to stand in your winter gear trying to warm the BBQ to the right temperature for searing your fave steak. Its just not fun. The temperatures have been a little more bearable than earlier in the season so a couple weekends ago we decided to go to our local butcher and pick out some tasty Canadian Beef steaks and hamburger to sear on the cue. The kids were so excited. Nothing better than homemade burgers done just right on an open flame. To balance it out I prepared my famous caesar salad dressing and roasted some beer baked potatoes. Paired with a nice smooth bottle of red wine for hubby and I and we had a steakhouse supper fit for a king. photo 3 (2)

For the Steaks (T-Bone for Him Rib Eye for Her) :
Course ground sea salt and fresh black pepper
Pat steaks dry and season before placing on grill
3-4 mins a side and do NOT open lid :)

Burgers:
Fresh ground chuck
Bran buds
Egg
Worcestershire Sauce
BBQ sauce
Salt and Pepper
Grill until juices run clear – 8-10 mins on high heat

Caesar Salad Dressing:
Garlic
Parmesan
Lemon Juice
Anchovy Paste
Salt /Pepper
Mix in wooden bowl with wooden spoon to blend ingredients – add romaine lettuce

Beer Baked Potatoes:
Pre cook potatoes in microwave
Remove and place in square tin foil sheet
Add butter
Salt/Pepper
Drizzle with beer (whatever kind available)
Close up tinfoil and place on top rack of BBQ while cooking steak and burgers

It’s an easy meal to prepare and enjoyed by the whole family. If the weather is chilly it’s still a nice treat to BBQ a great family meal :)

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Canada Beef Culinary Series: The Best Kind of Vacation

Vacations are wonderful, especially the kind of vacations where you just relax and unwind on a beach somewhere. Those are my favorite kinds of vacations. Besides sitting on a beach, my favorite thing about vacation is not having to worry about a lot of the things that consume my time at home, like cooking. As much as I do enjoy it, it is really nice to have a week off from it now and then. Of course, I still want to eat really good food. Delicious food is an important aspect of my vacation too. Well, if your take on vacations is anything like mine, then I may have found your dream vacation.

canada beefGourmet Inclusive vacations take your normal all-inclusive vacations and adds in some very exciting dining experiences. Air Canada Vacations and Karisma Hotels & Resorts in conjunction with Canada Beef and Jackson Family Wines, have all partnered to offer an exclusive Canadian Beef Culinary Series at several select Karisma hotels in 2014. The Canadian Beef Culinary Series offers guests very special culinary events during their stay, including a different chef each month! Included in your stay will be gourmet cuisine from star chefs, trained in Michelin and Zagat rated restaurants around the world, gourmet beverages, and gourmet services like beach beds and 24 hour room service.

The hotels included in this series are

The wonderful Canadian chefs that will be helping with this Canada Beef Culinary Series are listed with their dates below.

Dates of the Series are:

Jan. 13-17, 2014 – Chef Louis Charest / Ottawa
Feb. 10-14, 2014 – Chef Alain Bosse / Halifax
Mar. 10-14, 2014 – Chef Antonio Park / Montreal
Apr. 14-18, 2014 – Chef Rob Thomas / Winnipeg
May 12-16, 2014 – Chef Andrew Stevens / Halifax
Jun. 9-13, 2014 – Chef Paul Rogalsky / Calgary
Jul. 14-18, 2014 – Chef Michael Allemeier / Calgary
Aug. 11-15, 2014 – Chef Judson Simpson / Ottawa
Sept. 8-12, 2014 – Chef Corbin Tomaszeski / Toronto
Oct. 13-17, 2014 – Chef Mark Filatow / Vancouver
Nov. 10-14, 2014 – Chef Riley Bennett / Toronto
Dec. 8-12, 2014 – Chef Roger Sleiman / Kelowna Profiles

Guests will also be able to take advantage of access to exclusive Culinary Events during their stay. Beautiful beaches AND wonderful food. What more could you ask for in a vacation? To find out more about this Canadian Beef Culinary Series, visit the AirCanada website.

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Introducing American Express Serve

Reloadable credit cards are becoming increasingly popular with over 6 billion transactions per year. Some people confuse gift cards with reloadable credit cards but there are a couple of major differences. Reloadable credit cards are designed for long term use for a variety of reasons. Some consumers use them because of past credit problems as they do not require you to have good credit to get one. Others enjoy using them for budgeting purposes or for teenagers or college age children. This allows you to give your kids a credit card without the worry of them over-spending. The cards carry a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express logo making them accepted wherever those cards are accepted.  If you lose a gift card, chances are you are out the money on the card whereas many of the reloadable credit cards protect against fraud as with a regular credit card.

When looking at the different options available foIMAG0527r reloadable credit cards, the American Express Serve card caught my eye.  The card requires no minimum balance unlike others meaning you could add $20 to the card and send your teenager to the movies with it without worrying about additional spending beyond the movie theater. While it offers the flexibility of a reloadable card, it still comes with the American Express customer service that I love. One of the main reasons that I chose the card however is because of the fees. With fees of only $1 a month, they are much lower than many of the other options. While some people shy away from the idea of monthly fees for using a reloadable card, most people are paying fees for any kind of credit card. Many cards have yearly annual fees but even those that do not, have you paying high interest rates on any purchases not paid off each month making $1 a month sound like a deal.

Another difference between Serve and many of the other reloadable cards on the market is that you can personalize it. You can purchase the Serve card either online or at a variety of locations. I purchased mine at Walgreens on the display with other reloadable cards and gift cards. Once you get a card you can register online to obtain one with your name on it just like a traditional credit card. Once you do this you can have access to all of the Serve features which we will discuss in our next post.

 

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Christmas Holiday Appetizers and a Holiday #ChickenChat

Christmas is right around the corner and with the season comes plenty of holiday entertaining. So for me I have been on the hunt for some great recipes and well one of my favorite sites to check is chicken.ca

I have been adding the ingredients to my shopping list for this week. Here are two that I will definitely be adding:

Chilli Cranberry Fusion Meatballs look yummy! We love cranberries and my  teen loves meatballs so perfect for her and the young gang around my house.

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Chicken & Brie Crostini  looks perfect for us grown ups. 

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If you are looking for more ideas on how to incorporate chicken into your appetizers.  Make sure and join us on Friday for a Chicken Farmers of Canada Twitter Party.  Mark your calendar.

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All the Chicken Farmer of Canada Brand Ambassadors will be joining is as well so it will be a great conversation.

Follow for questions and prizing @ChickenFarmers and @ChickenDotCa and make sure to follow the conversation with the #ChickenChat hashtag!

 

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For the shoe lover in your life! The perfect stocking stuffer is PediFresh.
It soothes dry irritated skin and protects against foot odour. The spray is easy for on the go people and fits perfect in a carry on.

Pedifresh® Spray and Gel provide long-lasting foot odour protection, dryness and freshness.  Suitable for diabetic patients and for those suffering from circulatory ailments.
Here are just some of the great benefits of PediFresh:

  • …is formulated to provide long-lasting foot odour protection and dryness in a pleasant refreshing scent
  • …uses unique Aseptix® oxygen molecule technology to instantly kill odour causing bacteria
  • …contains a special blend of Aloe vera, Allantoin and Provitamin B5 for enhanced skin hydration and conditioning

Click here to get your $3.00 off coupon!

Visit their website to learn more.

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Cinnaleve | Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar

Have you heard of the benefits of Cinnamon? Have you heard of Cinnaleve? CINNALEVE® contains special cinnamon extracts and vitamins and minerals shown to promote healthy blood sugar levels. This has been proven to help those with Type 2 Diabetes or that are pre-diabetic and are monitoring their blood sugar levels closely. Right now you can get your $3.00 off coupon by clicking here.

To learn more about the product and its benefits, visit http://cinnaleve.com/ 

To join in on the conversation head over to their Facebook page

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Black Friday Shopping Tips from @TargetCanada #BlackFridayCA #MyKindOfHoliday

We went to the shopping experts at Target Canada to ask them how we could prepare for Black Friday shopping. They provided us with this great list. So fellow Canadians, if you are planning to participate in the #BlackFridayCA festivities, please check out these tips.

Be sure to also join our #BlackFridayCA #MyKindofHoldiday Twitter Party Monday November 25th, 2013 at 8:45pm. Click here for details.

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