Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tie-Dyeing and Tasting the Tropics with Picassos in the Park & Tropicana Tropics!

Picassos in the Park & Tropicana Tropics Juice Stand
Sunday, July 21st, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Centennial Park in City of Langford

Join momstown Victoria for this exciting Picassos in the Park sponsored by Tropicana! We will enjoy Tropicana's Tropics juice and create a fun tie dye craft!
Please bring a pre-washed & dried item that you wish to tie-dye. Natural fibres work best.


This event is open to both momstown members & the public! Our guests will have the opportunity to participate in Picasso in the Park and enjoy free  Tropicana juice! Prizes will be given away to the best "Island dressed!"

Voluntary donations will be collected for Red Cross.
Members can click here to RSVP!

Centennial Park in Langford has both a refurbished playground and new Splash zone in an enclosed area - perfect for tots! There is public parking in front of Spencer School on Goldstream.

Tropicana tropics wants to take on an exotic journey this summer with a refreshing taste of paradise! Wake up your senses and brighten your outlook with 100% juice blends and 100% juice and puree blends inspired by the islands!

Tropics is made with 100% juice and puree blend and contains no added sugar.

To learn more about tropics please visit

momstown Little Scientists: Whiz Bang Show with Glenn Kachmar

momstown Victoria moms, kids, toddlers and babies enjoyed a special Whiz Bang Show with Glenn Kachmar at Saanich Neighbourhood Place!

For his first demonstration, Glenn made "Elephant's Toothpaste," a chemical reaction that causes lots and lots of green foam to ooze out of a bottle - but you wouldn't want to brush your teeth with it! The foam bubbles are harmless and filled with oxygen, however, the kids also observed steam - the reaction produces heat and the foam and glass cylinder are hot. 

"There is a safe version of this experiment, but we won't be doing that today!"  
But you can try this safe, kid-friendly version which kids can put their hands into, found on Glenn's website!

Elephant's Toothpaste (kid-friendly)

Materials: a cup, yeast, warm water, a flask or bottle, 3% hydrogen peroxide, food colour and dish soap 

1. Put 125 mL of warm water in a cup and add yeast. Set aside for ten minutes or until it has risen.

2. Pour about 100 mL of hydrogen peroxide into the flask or bottle. Add some food colour and dish soap. Swirl it around to mix it.

3. Add the yeast mix to the coloured, soapy hydrogen peroxide and watch the oxygen come out of the peroxide and form bubbles.

The science: The yeast acts as a catalyst and helps the oxygen to come out of the peroxide. The soap helps make bubbles and so you have oxygen-filled soap bubbles for the foam.

Next, Glenn performed a "magic" trick. He took out three cups, poured water into one of the cups and shuffled them around. Then he asked us to guess which one held the water. We thought we knew the answer but - he turned the cup over, and it was empty! Then he showed us that the other two cups were empty as well. Where did the water go? The answer is not "magic," of course, but see the pictures below to guess the science! ;)

We often think eggs are fragile, when in fact the shape of an egg (dome on the bottom and on the top) makes it very strong. When pressure is applied to both ends, the pressure is distributed evenly over the whole shell, which makes it hard to break. Glenn showed us the incredible strength of the humble egg, by placing a board on top of 8 eggs and giving each kid a turn to stand on it. The eggs did not break!

We weren't sure what to expect next as Glenn placed 4 eggs on top of cylinders, on top of a tray, on top of 4 glasses of water. Then he proceeded to take a broom, stand on the fronds and.......WHAP! The handle hit the tray and cylinders, and all 4 eggs landed in the cups! Amazing!

Watch closely!

Glenn did even more great science demos with us, including showing that our kids could stand on balloons without popping them, firing smoke rings at us, getting me to breathe real fire and creating a dramatic soda fountain!

Thank you so much, Glenn Kachmar, for all of the amazing Little Scientist programs you gave us, and for helping to raise donations for Saanich Neighbourhood Place. Good luck in all your adventures - you are truly something incredible!!! 

Glenn is a wonderful teacher and our momstown kids and toddlers loved him. He is currently writing a book about science with kids and on leave from teaching, and he is available to do science shows and workshops at schools, preschools, daycares, home learners, birthday parties and much more! Here is a look back at everything we've done together.

Thanks for all the fun! We'll miss you, Glenn!

Little Scientists will continue at Saanich Neighbourhood Place on July 25th and August 22nd, 3:30-4:30 p.m.! We will be doing more experiments from the TRY THIS page on Glenn's website, Please bring a $2 donaton for Saanich Neighbourhood Place! An annual momstown membership is only $45/year, which includes a BONUS 1-year subscription to Today's Parent Magazine! Email to learn more or sign up today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

momstown Victoria Enjoyed the Barilla Pasta PLUS at "On Top of Spaghetti" Junior Chef

This month we had an extra special Junior Chef sponsored by Barilla PLUS® Pasta! momstown Victoria moms and kids made a pasta necklace craft together, cooked Barilla PLUS® spaghetti and meatballs in the kitchen, and then took our spaghetti outside for a fun picnic event!

After painting pasta for our necklace beads and leaving them to dry, our momstown Victoria moms and kids headed to the kitchen and baked pre-made Italian style meatballs, heated up two jars of all-natural tomato sauce, and cooked the Barilla PLUS® spaghetti. It was the easiest meal in the world to make...but would the kids like it? We soon found out...the kids, moms AND dads LOVED it!

Our Victoria moms were impressed by how easy, tasty and nutritious this meal was. Each 85g serving of Barilla PLUS® spaghetti pasta has 14g of high quality protein, 6g grams of fibre and 0.3g of Omega-3 with ingredients like lentil and chickpea flour, flaxseed, egg whites and oat fibre. Barilla PLUS® is also available in four different varieties including penne, rotini, spaghetti and spaghettini. All of the moms who attended the event received a box of Barilla PLUS® spaghetti to take home! 

This multigrain pasta is perfect for my family of five, with three kids of different tastes and appetites, a mom who is vegetarian, and a dad who dislikes whole wheat pasta. When everyone started asking for seconds, I was hooked! My final verdict? Barilla PLUS® is a
  • simple and easy meal solution for our busy life
  • reliable source of protein, fibre, omega-3 and iron 
  • delicious and a definite crowd pleaser!
Very little is needed to enhance this authentic Italian pasta, and you can find so many easy pasta recipes using fresh ingredients on the Barilla Canada website, such as Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

momstown has a Junior Chef event every month which is included in your yearly membership of just $45/year. Click here to become a momstown Victoria member!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

momstown Scholastic Tales for Tots at Chapters Victoria: "Night Light" Lights Up Curiosity

momstown Victoria shared a simple but fascinating book called "Night Light" by Nicholas Blechman. Our Victoria toddlers and preschool children were so excited to play this guessing game, they could barely hang onto their seats! Part counting book, part guessing game, and a book about vehicles, this book combines some very popular preschool interests and concepts!

Our momstown curriculum theme this month is all about shapes, so we helped our toddlers and preschool kids make pictures using foam cut-out shapes, scissors and glue. 

Congratulations to the lucky winners of this great book! Thank you to Scholastic Canada for sponsoring this excellent early literacy program, and thank you Chapters Victoria for providing this great, kid-friendly space to connect and support local moms and kids! 

Join momstown Victoria at our next Tales for Tots at Chapters Victoria on Wednesday, July 17th, from 10-11 a.m. for a free storytime, craft and book prize draw sponsored by Scholastic Canada. Interested in joining momstown Victoria? Please do! One of the moms remarked today that she only wished she had known about us sooner, and we hear it all the time. Our membership is only $45/year and comes with a BONUS 1-year subscription to Today's Parent Magazine when you sign up in 2013. Email us at for more info!

Parent & Child Sportball Class with momstown Victoria

momstown Victoria parents and toddlers and kids ran, threw, kicked and chased at our free Parent & Child class with Sportball Victoria. Sportball Coach Annika did an excellent job of keeping our kids, ranging 1 to 3 years of age, active, engaged and learning basic sport skills while having fun!

The program uses imaginative play to engage the parents and kids and introduce basic sports skills, such as kicking, overhead throws, running and stopping, chasing a ball and so on. The class provides a social setting, simple routines, and leadership from a coach to move us all through the exercises quickly; all of these contribute to learning the basic building blocks of playing sports.

Chasing and popping "popcorn" balls into a bucket.

Pumping our power pads and kicking our rockets.

Making a hula hoop necklace for Coach Annika.

Tiptoeing through crocodiles.

Splashing in puddles.

Hopping over a snake.

Thank you to Coach Annika and Sportball Victoria for this fun and awesome experience! For more information on Sportball programs for ages 16 months to 5 years and beyond, check out

Hockey, soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, volleyball, golf and football

Parents and caregivers can have a direct hand in a preschooler’s development through a range of Multi-Sport programs. Sportball Junior, Parent & Child and Me & My Dad programs teach children important introductory physical skills and help them develop confidence in their abilities. The programs also help adults understand proven teaching techniques that can be applied outside of Sportball classes. Classes focus on refining, rehearsing and repeating skills and playing games in a fun, creative, non-competitive environment. Classes are conducted once a week in 45-minute sessions – just the right length of time for active little minds and bodies.

Friday, June 7, 2013

momstown Spring 2013 Conference at Fern Resort: Home Away from Home

Two weeks ago, I attended the momstown Spring 2013 Conference at Fern Resort in Orillia, Ontario. Like many of my colleagues, I feel that this conference was much different than the previous two. But I also recognize that I was different coming into it. I started momstown Victoria in June 2012, so I have one year of experience behind me, and I am no longer a "newbie." I had attended two previous momstown conferences, and returning to the comforts of Fern Resort and the sorority of the momstown team felt like I was returning to my "home away from home." Not to mention that I was no longer distracted by leaving an unweaned baby behind, 4000 km away. So I was looking forward to being able to focus on both my personal and business development, and I was ready to "lean in" to everything the conference had to offer. 

From left to right: Kim Edmiston from Georgina; Karrie Copelli from Barrie, Patricia Roy-Papineau from Ottawa, Sarah Ryan from Missisauga, myself from Victoria and Tracy Newman from Brampton. 

A rock star cake for a rock star team, made by a member from momstown Georgina & East Gwillimbury.

The conference kicked off with a presentation by Ann-Marie Burton on the history of momstown. Not only did this put my first year of owning a business into perspective, but it also set the tone for the entire weekend. On Saturday, we took focus in the morning with an archery lesson, and in the afternoon we met with Jennifer Bodenham, owner of Gleaming and Dreaming and life and career coach.

Taking focus with an archery lesson. From left to right: Janine Foot from Edmonton, Kelly Hodgson from Oakville, Kristin Heimbecker from Edmonton, and Erin McNamara from Niagara (who hit the bullseye!)

Jennifer Bodenham, owner of Gleaming and Dreaming.
Jennifer used Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map to help us identify our "core desired feelings" and confront some of the fears and past failures that may be preventing us from feeling what we want to feel. Being conscious of my core desired feelings has given me more clarity in my decision-making, both past and present. By the end of the conference, I was able to express to everyone in the room how I was truly feeling. Being able to trust both myself and everyone around me is an incredible gift, and I am forever grateful.

Sharing best practices and program development in the conference room.

Birthday planning on the patio. From left to right: Sam Kassam-McFie from Milton, Tracy Newman from Brampton, Janine Foot from Edmonton, and Sarah Henshaw from Burlington.

Highlights of the conference included team exercises in program development and sharing best practices among the chapters, and we also enjoyed the archery range, swimming pool, hot tub, cabins, hammocks, dining room, conference room, and gorgeous views at wonderful Fern ResortThank you to Fern Resort for all the delicious meals, food trays and coffee, and for making us feel like we were "home away from home."

Gorgeous view of the lake. 

Swimming pool - just before I did a cannonball! ;)

Trying out the hammocks.

Thank you to to Mattel Game On for sponsoring our momstown games night! Apples to Apples made me laugh so much my sides hurt!

Apples to Apples, Mad Gab and Blokus were all a hit. 
Thank you to our wonderful snack sponsors for keeping our energy levels up at the conference! My favourites were the new Chipotle BBQ flavoured Smartfood Popped Hummus Chips, Cheddar & Chives Twistos Crackers, and Quaker's new Quinoa Bars. These were all downright addictive! Also thank you to Walmart Canada for sponsoring all of our conference supplies, pens, notebooks, etc. 

Love those Popped Hummus Chips and Quinoa Bars.

We also each took home bright orange momstown goody bags, which included a detangling hairbrush and elastics from Goody Canada, personalized labels from Mabel's Labels, a box of Alpha-Bits (my kids love it) from Post Cereal, and full-sized bottles of adult and kid gummy vitamins (another family favourite) from Adult Essentials. Thank you to all of our national sponsors for continuing to support what we do, which is to support thousands of moms, kids and babies at the family and community level. Bravo!

Same bags but different swag will be at our momstown 6th Birthday Bash on August 10th! Left to right: Tanya Kitchen Johnson from Red Deer, Leanne Ballard from Guelph.

Thank you to Ann-Marie, Ally, Heather and Sarah for all of your work to plan and organize the conference, and to all of my momstown colleagues for continuing to encourage, support and inspire me. It has been a privilege to be part of such an extraordinary organization.

momstown Team 2013

Sharing our core desired feelings was a conference highlight.

More great blog posts about the momstown Spring 2013 conference:

Mommy & Me Photo Shoot with Lily and Lane at Glendale Gardens

momstown Victoria and Lily and Lane Photography and Design invited momstown members to a special afternoon of "tea time" themed photo mini-sessions in time for Mother's Day! Nicola made an adorable setting in a corner of the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific gardens. Here are just a few of the beautiful photos that our moms will treasure for years.

Thank you to Nicola Windjack of Lily and Lane Design & Photography for doing a beautiful job of capturing these memories for our Victoria moms, babies and kids in time for Mother's Day!