@TeddyOutReady: September 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Planning for Your Children's Future #RESPwithRBC

When children are young, the conversation about college, university and other post graduate education seems irrelevant. We think about things that keep us busy right now: diapers, cooking, cleaning, tantrums, bruises and other necessary parts of new parents’ life. We do not even know who our kids are going to be and what professions they are going to choose in the future.

Teddy RESP

Our decision to open an RESP came from the financial analysis. The cost of education in seventeen years will be much more expensive then today and may reach the amount we cannot afford to pay when we need it most. I don’t want to see my kid who has the passion, talents, awards and a big wish to go further and learn more about what he really likes, stopped only because his parents do not have finances to pay for his education.

In seventeen years when your kid decides to continue his education, a college or university need to be paid no matter if it is financial difficulties, parent’s problems, job loss or whatever can happen that time. From other point kids should know that paying education is not only parents’ responsibility and definitely take part in this process. Kids need to know that education is valuable and needed for future success. That way they can participate in the process of making their future education a reality. We should have conversation with our kids that we want best for them and their education is important.

My brother did not have any RESP set up for him. It was very painful to see how after high school, he had to postpone his education because parents could not afford that. I think it was more like a question of budget planning. These days we should think about RESPs and use all the benefits this program brings to Canadian families.

Check it out why RBC RESPs are so important:
  • Saving for a child's education is easier if you start early and contribute regularly ($25 a week can add up to $50,911** in 18 years) 
  • You can receive free money from the government, which is great. The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually. That could mean up to an additional $500 a year in your RESP, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200! 
  • Search for advice. With some knowledge, it's easy to start to talk about RESP and learn what benefits it has. No need to be overwhelmed. You have the flexibility to use the RESP for university, college, apprenticeship, non-credit courses etc., and if your child doesn't use the funds, you can use your contributions and earnings to fund your RRSP
  • There are many ways to save for a child's education - with gifts from family and friends or a weekly contribution that fits your budget, maybe $25/week with an RESP-Matic® 
  • Eliminate student debt. By utilizing an RESP you can help your kids graduate debt-free! 
  • All those and more great tips on saving for your child’s education can be found here: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/resp/ and rbc.com/education 
Grow an RESP with RBC

Right now RBC is running a contest Grow an RESP with RBC®! to win money towards your RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) and help your child achieve their dreams. Four prises of $500 are available to be won till October 4,2014.

Join us at the #RESPwithRBC twitter party happening on October 1, be ready to get answers to your questions related to RESP with @RBC_Canada. Plus you can win one of 6 $100 gift cards. Enhance your knowledge and happy savings to your kid’s dream future!

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Visiting Marineland Park

Aquarium

Last week we had a trip to Niagara Falls and while there are lots of attractions at this popular tourist location, we could not skip visiting Marineland. I am glad we decided to visit Marineland in September. This is the time to avoid the crowds and line-ups to rides and shows. The day of our visit according to weather forecast promised to be rainy and with thunderstorms, but miracle happens and we got absolutely fantastic day – warm and sunny.
Marineland Show

Our marine adventures started with the show at the King Waldorf Stadium, where dolphins presented their best tricks with high jumps, dancing moves and funny shakes. Then sea lions played with rings showing their strong catches and a good team work. Finally, impressive Walrus appearance finalized the show. I like that the show is not very long, enough keep our little kid attention from the beginning to the end.

Underwater Teddy Underwater

Next on our list was Friendship Cove with impressive underwater viewing of Beluga Whales and Killer Whale. Beluga Whales look absolutely fabulous, they are huge with white color skin and have an innocent facial impression. And it turned out that white belugas are really friendly and nice when we joined feeding and touching session. Teddy was so excited to be close to a cute beluga at Arctic Cove; she was totally adorable and very talented. She can sing and could show that when Teddy tried some gestures with his fingers being like a music conductor. Our new friend also showed how she could spin, give a high-five and jump high, very impressive. She has very good teeth and soft skin.

Beluga Touching Beluga High Five Beluga

We also had a chance to meet bears relaxing on sunny day and bison. It was fun to feed fish in a pond and little deer at the Deer Castle.

Bears Deer Fish Feeding

No way to skip various rides at Marineland, from very high one like Sky Screamer – the world’s highest triple tower ride 450 ft. giving you a spectacular view of the Niagara Falls to family friendly ones. I like how some rides designed follow the marine theme like Boat Carousel or Ocean Odyssey. Not all rides suitable for younger kids like Teddy but he had a good time taking the ones for his height. Kids can experience all the thrills of Sky Screamer at Orca Screamer, the kid’s version of the highest triple tower ride. Or have fun at Lady Bug Coaster- a roller coaster for little kids. Most of rides for young children conveniently located in one place, we gave it a name Kids Park because we met lots of families there.

Rides

The park will be open till October 12, 2014 so if you like to visit Marineland this year, there is still some time left. Do not miss an opportunity to learn about marine mammals, enjoy the shows and take breathtaking rides. If you have little kids it is better to take a stroller or a wagon since you need to walk a lot. Enjoy your time at Niagara Falls until cold weather takes over.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Toronto Screening Giveaway #VeryBadDay

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

This time of the year with upcoming family re-union during holidays, we are looking forward to spend some time together and watch family comedies. We are very excited about new Disney release coming out this October "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day", based on favorite children’s book written by written by Judith Viorst. The author confirms that the book was inspired by her own three sons’ childhood misadventures—Anthony, Nicholas and, most notably, her youngest, Alexander.

Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one.

Alexander

"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" opens in theaters October 10, 2014 and invites to join one-day adventures of Alexander and his family. Starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, I am sure the movie is going to be funny and sweet.

Good news, we have a family pass to give away to one lucky Teddy Out Ready reader. The pass is to Toronto advanced screening only, taking place on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto. The giveaway ends September 28, 2014.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Treehouse Big Day Out Festival in Toronto

theWiggles Meet and Greet

Last week we had an amazing opportunity to attend Treehouse Big Day Out presented by Sunwing.ca in Toronto. The day of the show promised to be cold and raining but the weather significantly improved when we reached Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. We came to watch afternoon performances because Teddy’s has art classes in the morning.

Jon Scieszka

While we have a small collection of The Wiggles DVDs, met Splash’N Boots at the CNE and love watching Max & Ruby on TV, meeting stars in person is always inspiring and unforgettable experience. We were very excited to meet The Wiggles in person: Anthony Field, Emma Watkins, Simon Pryce and Lachlan Gillespie. Beautiful voices, catching songs, bright personalities and great  dancers - good example for young children. Teddy even mentioned that he wants to be like Red Wiggle when he grows up. Then Teddy joined the autograph signing of the children book “Wecome to Trucktown”. It was nice to meet the author of this interesting book - Jon Scieszka.

Treehouse VIP Wags the Dog

I like we spent some time at Treehouse Big Day Out Lounge to have some food and drinks, very relaxing and convenient place, especially for families with kids. It was a big surprise when Dorothy the Dinosaur and Wags the Dog showed up and Teddy had a fantastic time with them.

Max and Ruby

We joined the performances on the Main Stage, started with Splash’N Boots. We love their songs which are always cheerful and funny. Then we followed the adventures our favorites Max & Ruby. Finally The Wiggles rocked the stage with songs, music and dancing. The show was very interactive and it was nice to see adults dancing with kids. Teddy went to dance with other children close to the stage.

The Wiggles Big Day Out The Wiggles Ted The Wiggles Teddy

Besides the performances there were lots of family friendly activities including meeting favourite Treehouse characters: Franklin the Turtle, Mike the Knight and Peppa Pig, LEGOLAND building station, Toronto Zoo animals and many others.

The Wiggles

Overall, it was an amazing afternoon spent with favorite performers and great activities for kids and families. We had a very good time at first Treehouse Big Day Out and looking forward to meet our favorites next year in Toronto again! And do not forget to tune in for the TV special of Treehouse Big Day Out on October 4th at 5pm ET!

The Wiggles Toronto
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Free Fun Things To Do In Toronto

You can never be bored in Toronto, there's always something happening in our busy city: events, concerts, festivals and performances.  Here is a list of some of the best free things to do in Toronto. Check it out:

Toronto Distillery District

Toronto Distillery District
Website: http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/ 
Location: The Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street
Description: Whether you’re a local or a visitor that wants to get away from the tourist traps, the Toronto Distillery District is a great way to spend a few hours. Franchise stores are banned from this section so all of the stores are locally owned and are one of a kind. Come meander through the stores and shops while also visiting the number one film location in Canada, over 1700 films have used this spot for their movies.

St. Lawrence Market
Website: http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/
Location: 157 King St. East
Description: Voted as one of the world’s best food markets, St. Lawrence Market is a must-see destination for foodies visiting Toronto, Canada – as well as for history buffs. It’s at 93 Front Street East, in Old Town. Housed in the two buildings are weekly farmer’s markets, an antique market, restaurants, the St. Lawrence Market Gallery along with many other attractions.

Yonge-Dundas Square 

Yonge-Dundas Square

Website: http://www.ydsquare.ca/
Location: 1 Dundas St E
Description: Located right next to Ryerson University, Yonge-Dundas Square is a public open space and an event venue. It seems like every day there is something free going on here. From “Lunchtime Live” to “Indie Fridays” to “City Cinema” and more, there is never a dull moment. Escape on your lunch break or bring a date on a Friday night. 

Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
Website: http://www.coc.ca/performancesandtickets/freeconcertseries.aspx
Location: 145 Queen. St
Description: Located in the Four Seasons Centre the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre offers a free concert series every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Starting in late September and going till early June, you can indulge yourself in live performances by an incredible variety of artists from a wide array of genres. Rediscover your love of music with the Free Concert Series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

High Park

High Park

Website: http://www.highparktoronto.com/
Location: 1873 Bloor Street West
Description: High Park is Toronto’s largest public park featuring sports facilities, a lakefront, a dog park, playgrounds, a zoo and a variety of other things to enjoy. Whether you want to take a hike around the lake and feed the birds, take your dog to socialize at the dog park, play some soccer/baseball/tennis, or enjoy the free zoo. High Park will not leave you disappointed. Escape from the grind of city life and reconnect with nature for a little bit.


Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum Website: http://www.rom.on.ca
Location: 100 Queen’s Park
Description: The Royal Ontario Museum is a world class natural history museum. This free event is only open to post-secondary students every Tuesday. Bring your current student card with picture ID and you can have access to one of the world’s best museums. For those still interested but not in a post-secondary school the ROM does have a discount Friday from 4:30 - 8:30 PM. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

The material provided by Monte Carlo Inns.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FoodSaver® 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System Review & Giveaway CAN

The innovative 4800 Series 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System combines heat seal and handheld vacuum sealing capabilities in one unit, offering maximum convenience and versatility. It keeps food fresh up to 5x longer and saves up to $2700 per year based on buying in bulk, on sale and preventing waste.

FoodSaver

This Vacuum Sealing System includes several really cool features:
  •  Accessory Mode Button to achieve best vacuum for canisters and accessories. 
  • Marinate Mode Button A ten minute predetermined sequence of vacuum pulse to rest ratio allowing foods to get optimum flavor infusion in the least amount of time. 
  • Vacuum Process Display Displays vacuum levels as the bag or canister is evacuated.
  • Seal Indicator Light Constant Red light indicates sealing process is engaged. 
  • Adjustable Food Settings Button For optimal vacuuming and sealing of moist or juicy foods. 
  • Seal Button This button has four uses: 
  1. CrushFree™ Instant Seal feature- Press to immediately stop the vacuum process and begin sealing the bag. This prevents crushing delicate items such as bread, cookies and pastries. 
  2. Press to create a seal when making bags from a FoodSaver® Roll. 
  3. Press to create a seal on mylar type bags (such as a potato chip bag) to keep food sealed air-tight. 
  4. Press during PulseVac™ mode to seal bag. 
  • Roll Cutter Bar Simplifies making custom-sized bags. 
  • Retractable Handheld Sealer Can be used with all FoodSaver® Brand Accessories including FreshSaver® Zipper Bags. 
FoodSaver Beef FoodSaver Beef

We use this Vacuum Sealing System to create bags from FoodSaver® Roll and heat seal variety of foods thanks to exclusive technology that automatically senses the bag and food type and creates a perfect air-tight seal. The biggest challenge is to estimate how big bag you need to make an item that you want to seal fit in. It takes some practice to make bags and minimize roll waste. For beginners I suggest to make them 1-2 inches bigger then you think, it will be enough and then make adjustments based on your experience. It works perfectly with fish, poultry and all types of meet. I am also using this system with FoodSaver® Zipper Bags, the handheld vacuum and Accessory mode button. It works the best with cookies, deli meats, cheese, leftovers and other refrigerated foods that you access daily.

FoodSaver Chicken FoodSaver Fish

This system is must have for all people who trying to save money buying in bulk as well as for hunters and fishermen. It also will be beneficial for every household to prevent waste and get more from every dollar we spend on food.

FoodSaver Cookies

And now is giveaway time! One lucky Teddy Out Ready reader is going to win FoodSaver® 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System, a $229.99 value! To enter to win, just fill the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and ends October 1, 2014. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Fall Adventures at Centreville Amusement Park #Centreville4Fun

Centreville Toronto

Centreville Amusement Park is one of the most popular kid's attractions located on Toronto Centre Island. It is always exciting to visit the park; there are so many activities and events for children and families. Last week we had a chance to visit Centreville Amusement Park. Thanks to the nice and sunny weather we were very excited to join Amusing Race. This free event, held only during week-ends in September is a combination of trivia questions you need to answer when exploring the park and the Far Enough Farm. All answers and stamps go into your special Amusing Race Passport.

Amusing Race

The park is perfect for little kids and Teddy was so happy to take his favorite rides - fly in Bumble Bees, spin on Aunt Hilde's Twirling Teacups, take Beasley Bear ride and enjoy Antique Carousel. With over 30 rides and attractions there are lots of activities to keep little ones busy. I like that there are many rides kids can take by themselves like Fire Engines or Touring Ford Cars, so much fun to be in driver's seat. Teddy was very excited to take us on adventures in one of Antique Cars, which combine the real driver experience (when pushing the gas pedal) and antique auto design.

Bumble Bees Firefighter Car Ford Car Frog

We could not miss marine adventures on boats - while Rockin’ Ferry takes you on board to experience stormy weather and strong waves, Kiddie Boat gives a chance for children to join sea adventures and become the captain of the boat with a nautical bell and a lighthouse.

New Ride Toronto Island Monster Coaster

Toronto Island Monster Coaster is a new ride at Centreville Amusement Park and very popular. A line-up is much longer than to other rides so mind that, but I think it is worth the wait.

Teacup ride Beasley Bear Carousel Boat Ride

The Far Enough Farm is a nice place to learn about different animals: pigs, sheep, cows, emu, goats and exotic birds. Kids love visiting the farm, perfect opportunity to see the animals in real life and watch their behavior.

Pony Ride Far Enough Farm

Warm days bring lots of energy and Teddy did not want to stop taking rides. He loves to slide down the Saugreen Lumber Mill Log Flume Ride, fun for the whole family plus get some splashes around. And final touch to our adventures was a relaxing tour on Centreville Train around the park.

Lumber Mill Log Flume Ride Centreville Train Front Centreville Train

Fantastic day spent on Toronto Island we remember during cold winter days with strong wish to come back again next spring. Centreville Amusement Park is open all week-ends in September, still time to have a little getaway and join Amusing Race, so much fun!

Toronto Island
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