Category - Entertainment

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Curse You Connie Britton!
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Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats
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Have You Seen This Video?
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Fatherly Funnies: The Ten Corniest Dad Jokes Ever
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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer
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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids
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Family Films and Fun: 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival AND digiPlaySpace
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The Soundtrack of My Life Today
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Best of The Celeb Charity Songs
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Wonderland Then and Now

Curse You Connie Britton!

There’s enough drama in the world. I don’t need to watch fictional shows about death and grief and horrific, “I didn’t see THAT coming!” scenarios. This is part of the reason we got rid of cable when the kids were little. But now that we have Netflix, I’m back to binge watching all the things. I forced myself to quit ‘The Walking Dead.’ It stressed me out and grossed me out. I can’t go into my garage at night now to put a tin in the recycling bin without bracing myself for a zombie attack. Zombies get trapped in garages and you don’t even know they’re there until it’s too late.  No more Walking Dead for me, especially after what happened to poor Glenn. Savage. Apparently they REEAAALY didn’t want to renew his contract.  However I may have caved and watched the rest of the season, peeking through a blanket, because I needed to know if Maggie’s unborn baby was going to be okay. I was emotionally invested. That’s the problem. Empaths don’t do well with highly emotional or violent television. And we DESPISE conflict. Real or fictional  We absorb and digest the drama until it reeks havoc on our[…]

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Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats

It’s not that I can’t bake. It’s just with all the precise measuring and following of directions I’d rather not. I’m more of a culinary free spirit.  But, when my daughter decided to throw a ‘Haunted Halloween Hip Hop Dance Party,” I knew we’d need wicked good (possibly baked) treats. I let my little party animal choose a few treats from Pinterest. Then I adapted them to make them as easy and baking-free as possible. I’m a witch like that. Here’s what I whipped up in my cauldron (aka double boiler which I haven’t used in a bat’s age):    Chocolate Bar Mummies: Unwrap mini chocolate bars (I used Coffee Crisps) and eat at least four.  Melt white chocolate or white candy melts (also called moulding wafers) in a double boiler. Do not look at the ingredients in candy melts. The horror…  Drag the melted candy over each chocolate with a fork (the tines make nice mummy wrapping lines) or drizzle.  Add two chocolate chip eyes.  Rice Crispy Monsters: Buy a box of rice crispy squares from Costco.  Eat as many free samples as you can before you check out.  Unwrap a dozen or so rice crispy squares and set aside. You[…]

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Have You Seen This Video?

  “What video?!” you ask. I said there would be a charming video here today, but there’s nothing but this empty video player.  Yes I announced with great confidence yesterday that I would be posting all sorts of video content going forward. So much video. I even went on Facebook just now and blabbed about the first of said videos and teased you with a link.  The link took you here. Sorry, just words. No video. But before you scold me for unfulfilled video promises (the video I started today wasn’t going to be very good anyway, so it’s actually a blessing) I want to explain why making videos is paralyzingly difficult for me. And maybe for you too? It’s not like I don’t have anything to talk about. Ask my friends and family—I rarely shut up. But when it comes to turning thoughts into actual watchable video content, there are some very real obstacles like: I can’t find the camera cord that connects my camera to my computer. I saw it somewhere but all the cords look alike!  I could use my iPhone to shoot the video but I need to charge it. I swear my phone is eternally at[…]

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Fatherly Funnies: The Ten Corniest Dad Jokes Ever

Father’s Day is nearly here and you’ve yet to find a gift?! Don’t worry—you can always give the gift of humour. And maybe a six pack of craft beer. I can’t help you with the beer (since I already drank it last weekend after gardening all day). But I can help with the humour bit. There’s a reason ‘dada’ rhymes with ‘haha.’ It’s because fathers are funny! At least, they think they are. My dad believes he’s hysterical—I don’t have the heart to tell him his jokes are painful. Thankfully he usually butchers the punchline by mixing it up with the ending of a completely different joke or by losing the plot altogether. And THAT my friends, is hilarious.  Speaking of hilarious, here are some classic “dad jokes” for you to share this FATHER’S Day.  Warning: The term ‘hilarious’ has been used loosely. Consider these groaners a little dad payback for subjecting you to his awful jokes over the years. And don’t forget about those hideous black socks and sandals. Revenge is sweet… TEN COMPLETELY CORNY DAD JOKES: 1. What did the daddy buffalo say to his boy when he dropped him off at school? Bison.   2. How do you make[…]

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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Social media, cell phones, texting — we have instant access to each other 24 hours a day. We tend to log in and tune out. Canadians spend more time online than any other country. This can mean that every member of a family is online on their own device, even in the same room. I just emailed this shocking fact to my husband sitting across from me on the couch. Many parents have expressed concern about technology’s intrusion into their family time. I feel it. Do you? I grew up pre-internet, so I learned how to maintain a conversation and can easily make human contact without being digitally connected. But can I say the same about my children?  Even if we limit our kids’ screen time, their learning and social skills are still impacted by OUR screen time. Have you ever shushed your child so you could finish composing an email? Have you looked away during your child’s soccer game to post an Instagram photo? Have you texted from the dinner table in the middle of your son telling you about his French test? Not proud of it, but I’ve done all of these[…]

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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids

  My eldest child has been making short films since he was old enough to use an iPad. One of his earliest was an iMovie project called, “A Video For A Special Sister.” He showed it class by class at his school in an effort to teach his peers what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The technique was amateur, but his message was mature beyond his years. Is it possible to be a doting stage mother if my child is behind the camera? Anyway, like some sort of cosmic cinematic kismet, a fitting showcase is coming to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival this year! My son and I are going to view the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase—short films created for young people by young people.   This year’s theme challenges young filmmakers (grades 4-6) to create an onscreen representation of a disability. It will be interesting for my mini Spielberg to watch how his peers approach filmmaking, editing, and story telling. I wish he had known about this earlier and could’ve entered. He’d have won for sure! That was my dramatic stage mother voice again, wasn’t it? Speaking of disabilities (seamless segue, I know)[…]

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Family Films and Fun: 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival AND digiPlaySpace

I think I may have given birth to the next George Lucas. My son has been making videos since he was little. #toddlersandtripods From early on he’s scripted mini movies, created stop motion animation and made documentary style shorts about topics he cares about like animals and basketball and Star Wars. His films have become more complex and creative. For now it’s a hobby, but perhaps it will turn into a life passion? C’mon kid—mama wants to rub elbows with Tina Fey and her squad. When we were invited to preview this year’s digiPlaySpace my son actually passed on a basketball game so he could come along. He has big hoop dreams, so this was clearly something that piqued his interest. If you live in the GTA and have children in the 3-13 age range, The 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival and digiPlaySpace are a must-see-must-do! I had no idea all of this family-centered entertainment was right in my back yard. If you’ve never been, here’s the scoop: The TIFF Kids Film Festival will be presenting 139 films from 35 countries. All the screenings and events take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, April 8 to 24, 2016.[…]

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The Soundtrack of My Life Today

  Taking my friend Laureen’s lead, I started thinking about the role music plays in my attitude and in my life in general. I work better with music playing. I live better too. Breakfast with the kids is always accompanied by a soundtrack selected by my twelve year old. It’s usually something like the John Williams channel on Jango (internet radio). Avery always shows her appreciation when a song from Star Wars comes on. “Ohhhhhh, Star Warrrrrrs….” she’ll whisper with just the right amount of dramatic reverence. Our iPad conked out today, so no Jango. Breakfast without musical accompaniment is just, toast. So I dug out an old radio from the basement and plugged it in. We listened to an actual radio station with DJs and news breaks and everything. The kids were slightly bewildered by it all. During my work day I try to fuel my creativity with music. Depending on my task, the music shifts from hip hop to classical to folk music to talk radio. Laureen posed the question, “What song gets you up and running?” I thought I’d add to the conversation by asking, “What songs make up the soundtrack of your life right now?” Specifically[…]

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Best of The Celeb Charity Songs

After hearing the latest celeb benefit song—Band Aid 30—I played the original 1984 version for my son. He wanted to know everything about it… who the singers were, who wrote it, why they wore those headphones, and was I sure that guy (Boy George) was actually a man? And so on… This lead to me showing him other versions including “We Are The World” and the Canadian “Tears Are Not Enough”. If you have a few minutes, take the musical memory walk for yourself and take your kids along! Band Aid—Do They Know It’s Christmas (1984): Written by Bob Geldof & Midge Ure to raise money for relief of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. This will forever be my favourite. Stupidly, it took me several decades to clue in that it’s “There’s a world outside my window, a world of dread and fear” NOT… “a world a stratosphere…” Band Aid II—Do They Know It’s Christmas (1989): Remake featuring Bananarama, Big Fun, Glen Goldsmith, Kylie Minogue, The Pasadenas, Chris Rea, Cliff Richard, Lisa Stansfield, Technotronic, etc. Not as well known but a pretty decent effort. Band Aid 30—Do They Know It’s Christmas (2014): Bob Geldof’s modern day version of ‘Do they[…]

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Wonderland Then and Now

   When I moved to Ontario from B.C. in 1987, I left my best friend behind. In body that is, but not in spirit. We’re still best friends ALL these MANY (I can’t even do the math) years later. Every summer Tiff would fly out East and we’d always hit Wonderland.   Let’s discuss my 80s outfit, shall we? What it lacked in shirt length, it made up for in oddly high waisted cut-offs. And the puff of hair atop my head? Seems I may be partly responsible for global warming as a result of my excessive use of Aquanet. Even though photographic evidence screams dork, I’m convinced I was hot at the time. We strutted around the theme park like we were all that and a bag a banana clips. We’d arrive when the park opened and were the last to leave. One year it absolutely poured. They shut down most of the rides, but we didn’t let it stop us from having fun. We ran around singing and splashing in the puddles like idiots. To avoid catching cold, we drove home in our bras and underwear—more comfortable for us, not as comfortable for the truckers passing us by[…]

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