.@TeddyOutReady: May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Teddy in Paris Day 5: Disneyland

Disneyland castle

When we planed our trip, we didn’t include a visit to Paris Disneyland, however after mulling it over we decided to dedicate one day to it because Teddy wanted it more then anything else and we were going to have something to compare with, when we get to one of the US Disney resorts later on. I decided to go to Disneyland Park only and skip Walt Disney Studios Park because the activities there are mostly for children older then Teddy. Even though it was the beginning of April and a weekday, Disneyland Park was crowded as Canada's Wonderland on firework night.

Duffy and Teddy Pooh and Teddy

Teddy was a Pirate - thanks to loose top that was big enough to put over winter jacket. It was chilly and sunny day. When we got in we met Duffy and Teddy play with him. Suddenly our attention was caught by Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration train with Mickey Mouse clubhouse gang. Teddy was happy to see all his TV friends live. Then we spent some time to meet Winnie the Pooh - to hug him and take few pictures.
Disneyland Paris Old West Disneyland Riverboat Teddy pirate

As pirates we could not miss a walk by Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing and took a ride around Old West sights of Frontierland. In Fantasyland we took a teaspoon of spin and a twist of twirl in one of the Mad Hatter’s giant Tea Cups.
Then we enjoyed a great view of  Disneyland Park as we swoop and soar with Dumbo Flying Elephant. Teddy wanted to meet Mickey, but the line was so long that it could take 2-3 hours and could be closed even before our turn, because it has a strict closing time.

Disneyland Elephant Teddy
We had a bite at a close cafe and hurried to watch Disney Magic Parade. Teddy was so tired by then so after parade we went on shopping spree and bought a lot of clothes and toys for him. Teddy wanted to buy everything, but we managed to convince him that we can not carry all Buzz Lightyear ammunition because it is too massive and we can buy it in Toronto. Even though Disneyland Park was open for another 2 hours, we were very tired and headed to RER station to get home.

We learned that if you want to go to Disneyland - you need to reserve at least one week to cover everything. Next day was dedicated to Les Invalides, Musée de l'Armée, Musée Rodin and Musée d'Orsay.
Disneyland Paris
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Charlie Brown Show at Canada's Wonderland - Wordlesss Wednesday

Charlie Brown Teddy at Canada's Wonderland

Last week-end we were at Canada's Wonderland, the weather was not the warmest but I think this fact did not stop us from going there. We had a good time watching Charlie Brown Show and taking our favorite rides.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seventh Generation - Sparkling Results From Plants - Giveaway

Seventh Generation Dishwashing

I recently wrote about the campaign Toxin-Free Generation started by Shane Koyczan and Seventh Generation aiming to fight for a toxin-free world for future generation.

Later I was also offered to try out  new dish-washing Seventh Generation products: Automatic Dishwasher Gel and Natural Dish Liquid - Hand Care Formula Lavender-Vanilla.

First thing I used was Natural Dish Liquid and  absolutely loved it, it cleans dishes perfectly and this lavender scent which is from essential oils & botanical extracts, not irritating but more like inviting and soothing, reminds  me a garden with flowers around. I also like that it is non-toxic, gentle and soft on hands.  

Automatic Dishwasher Gel is a chlorine free, phosphate free and non-toxic cleaner we tried for our dishes. It contains plant-derived enzymes, what make dishes sparkling clean. Plus no scents around when dishwasher is working which is great, we do not need to leave our kitchen to wait when cleaning is over.

Hope you are inspired to try these new dishwashing products as well as other Seventh Generation varieties of plant-based cleaning products, adult  and baby personal care.

I am also happy to share that one lucky Teddy Out-Ready reader is going to win a set of new  dish-washing products including Automatic Dishwasher Gel and Natural Dish Liquid - Hand Care.

For your chance please fill the Rafflecopter form below and Good Luck! The giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and ends June 10, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teddy in Paris Day 4: Musée de l'Orangerie, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe

Teddy at the Place de la Concorde

Our day four we started from Musée de l'Orangerie. It is famous for being the permanent home for eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet. They are so beautiful under direct diffused light in two oval rooms all along the walls. We also enjoyed seeing masterpieces of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other famous artists.

Teddy at Musee de lOrangerie

The Place de la Concorde that is located next to Musée de l'Orangerie is one of the major public squares in Paris and was our next stop. The giant Egyptian Luxor Obelisk in the center of the The Place de la Concorde is the place where you must to take a picture. However Teddy was more impressed with Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation and particularly liked smaller figures of the tritons and nereids.
Before visiting Musee de lOrangerie Place de la Concorde

Champs-Élysées starts from The Place de la Concorde and ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built to honor the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees it look spectacular any time of day. We decided to walk it from the beginning to the end and see why it is so famous. Sidewalks were quite crowded with tourists.

Street Dance Champs-Elysee

Here and there we saw street performers that mainly dancing in Hip-Hop style. Teddy likes dancing and watched it with joy and even tried few moves. It was a lot of boutiques around and we decided to return there on our last day in Paris for shopping. When we reached Arc de Triomphe, it was a line-up to get inside and then get to the top by stairs. It was a challenge for us to climb 50 meters with a stroller and Teddy in hand. Luckily we were told that there is an elevator for people with small children to get to the top.

Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe

View from the top of Arc de Triomphe was outstanding for adults, but barriers there were higher then Teddy could see so he asked for 2 Euro coin to see view from monocular telescope. It was a nice day and we felt that we travel in time of French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Good thing was that we avoided the fate of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Even better thing waited us next day as we all were looking forward to visit Paris Disneyland.

Arc de Triomphe Top
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Victoria Day Week-End - Wordless Wednesday

This Victoria Day week-end was quite busy, we started with visiting Edwards Gardens in Toronto, next day spent at Canada's Wonderland ended with fireworks and last fun day playing at the playground.

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Edwards Gardens
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Canada's Wonderland fireworks
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning for Your Car: Tips & Advice from Insurance Hunter

This post brought to you by Insurance Hunter. All opinions are 100% mine.

Driving a car

Once Home Spring Cleaning is done and the weather improves to summer-like, it is time to give some attention to our smaller “home”, spend time cleaning our car, give it shiny and new look after cold days, wipe out all the signs of winter, road salt, dirt and make it ready for our summer outings and camping trips.
Since I do not consider myself being an auto guru and I am always looking for advice from professionals starting from tech, insurance to latest auto news. That’s why I refer to Insurance Hunter website and glad to come across the post about vehicle spring cleaning.  They have a good list of spring tips for car spring cleaning to start from, so check it out. My most challenging task on the list is Spring Maintenance; I always tend to postpone it, but this year it was first thing to do for my car to make sure it is back in shape and safe for our summer trips.   
Then I continued with easiest ones, beginning with cleaning out trunk and taking back home a snow brush, gloves. Next I moved to cleaning the interior of my car. Can you only imagine what I found there:  once lost toys, make up, hair accessories, broken CDs, piles of shopping receipts, marketing materials, dry leaves (after fall trip to the park). And all that stuff was sitting in my car waiting to be taken out. I vacuumed the carpets, washed inside the car, including windows. And last thing I did was a good hand wash outside the car.
Driving a clean car feels fantastic and sends positive messages around you, so now it is great time to check what else Insurance Hunter has for us and take a look at their auto insurance quotes(which you can get in  3 minutes).
What is your car spring cleaning routine? Have you done it already?
Visit Sponsor's Site
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Eye Wear

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Summer time can be difficult for many people who wear glasses. Many of us are driving our cars to work with one hand extended to block out the brightness of the sun. However, after a long tough winter, no one is going to argue with a little bit of sun. Therefore sunglasses in Canada are a must. If you need glasses there are two ways to survive the summer months. One way is to try wearing contacts, and slipping your sunglasses on top of your face worry free, the other is to obtain prescription sunglasses.

Prescription sunglasses are a great option for those who have sensitive eyes and are uncomfortable wearing contacts all the time. Some of us have tried slipping on sunglasses on top of our regular glass and ended up with comic effects, this is why investing in a good pair of prescription sunglasses is a good investment. However, as with everything, there are some drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is that you have to always carry your regular pair of glasses with you and make the sunglasses to glasses transition as you enter buildings. The sunglasses in buildings look should be saved for
celebrities at airports, so don’t try it at home.

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Wearing contacts in the summer is a great alternative. With contacts you can enjoy all sorts of summer sports that may be difficult to partake when you wear glasses. One such example is swimming, or enjoying the beach. Glasses and pools, lakes and oceans do not mix well. It worse yet if you take off your glasses to go into the pool, only to get nauseated from blurry vision and have to return to your towel, searching blindly for your abandoned glasses. With contacts you can jump in our out of the pool, without a care or a worry about your eyewear or eye sight. Best yet you don’t have to carry any additional glasses with you as you switch between the buildings artificial light and the sunlight outside.

Today, there are many options for glasses wearers in the summer. You can choose to get prescription sunglasses for the ease, style and comfort they provide; you can choose to wear contacts with regular sunglasses on top; or you can get transition lenses in your frames which will switch between sunglasses and glasses as you enter buildings. Whatever you decide to do, just enjoy your summer.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teddy in Paris Day 3 The Château de Versailles

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We chose Sunday to visit  The Château de Versailles because fountains are activated during weekends only and weather on Sunday was better. We took a RER train in the morning, even though it was a two storey train it was packed to the limit. When we reached the place, we were impressed by the beauty of Palace and surprised by about 1km line-up to get there.

This time museum passes and a little child didn’t work, since every one had to get through security check. It took us about 1 hour to get through security check point and a stroller wasn’t allowed in the Palace.
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The Palace is so big and was so crowded that sometimes it was impossible to move forward.

The Hall of Mirrors was the most impressive. The principal feature of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcades windows that overlook the gardens. The King’s Grand Apartments and the Museum of the History of France caught our attention for a while as well. It was a thrill to walk through beautiful halls with statues of kings and paintings on the walls and ceilings.
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After visiting the Palace we headed to a Musical Garden to watch Fountains Show. The classic music was heard everywhere, but with fountains it was a bit of challenge. Every fountain works only at specific time range. Some of them work in the morning, some afternoon and some only 10 minutes before closing.

If to take into account that distance between fountains about 500 meters on average and they hidden among the trees then you need to do a lot of planning, walking and a map checking to be able to see them all working.

For Teddy it was a fun just to listen classical music and dance. We didn’t have too much energy left after fountains, but force ourselves to walk a long distance to Estate of Marie-Antoinette and the Petit Trianon with the Queen's garden. A lot of people rented a bicycle there, but we had a stroller instead, so Teddy was able to sit and relax anytime.

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It was a very exiting journey and even 30 min line-up to washrooms and many walking miles didn’t reflect on our spirit. We were looking forward to the next day to visit Arch of Triumph and Champs-Élysées.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Toxin-Free Generation with Shane Koyczan and Seventh Generation #ToxinFreeGen

This spring Seventh Generation and Shane Koyczan, the award-winning Canadian poet teamed up to start the movement towards a toxin-free generation and welcome everyone to join them.

They are launching the campaign with a Koyczan poetic creation, “A Poem for a Toxin-Free Generation”, check it out:

This inspiring message to all of us to be responsible for the future of our planet, where simple actions can lead us to a Toxin-Free world.

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Seventh Generation and Shane Koyczan presented Seven Simple Tips to Live Life More Toxin Free, most of them quite easy to follow but the impact is significant:

1. Once a week, open all the windows in your house for five minutes. No matter the season, open all the windows in your house for at least five minutes once a week to release the vapors and bring in the fresh air.

 2. Avoid recycling receipts.
They may look like paper and feel like paper, but they shouldn't be recycled like paper. They could contain BPA (Bisphenol A) that will contaminate the other recyclables in the mix. Either throw receipts into the trash or go paperless to avoid them all together.

3. Use glass containers for lunches and food storage. 

4. Choose a good, old-fashioned mug for your morning coffee.
Grinding trees into pulp, compressing them into paper and then chucking them into landfills after just one use seems, to put it mildly, inhumane. Consider switching to a reusable cup or mug.

5. Your nose knows; trust it.
If something gives off a scent that makes you cringe, it’s probably a good sign to step away. More likely than not, you’re smelling a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and the less of those you inhale, the better.

6. Get a plant and improve your indoor air quality.
Plants like what you exhale, you like what they exhale. Symbiosis. It’s a win-win.

7. Beware: “unscented” is not the same as “fragrance-free.” 

Check www.seventhgeneration.ca/toxinfree to find out how to join Koyczan and Seventh Generation in the Campaign for a Toxin-Free Generation.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

New Mini Mioche Store Opens its Doors in the Distillery District

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At the beginning of May I was invited to mini mioche Media Day, marking the opening of their new flagship location in the Distillery District. This is their second store in Toronto, making me spend my business days at their first location (on 795 Queen St. W. ) and visiting the Distillery one to shop and enjoy our sunny and lovely days with kids.
The new brick-and-mortar store perfectly merged into Distillery District lifestyle: spacious, stylish and with stroller parking – the best place to shop for families with kids.

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Mini Mioche is Toronto-based manufacture of organic and eco-friendly clothes for babies. When I saw the shelves of clothes I couldn’t stop myself from touching them to feel how soft they are. Adding the simple but eye-catching design, lovely colours and reasonable prices make you love them at first glance.

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The store also presents new mini mioche adult line em + west, women’s capsule collection of basic t-shirts and sweatshirts with beautiful colours – a great addition to mini mioche baby line.

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To create a final stylish mom and baby image , mini mioche store also features the products from other brands including footwear from Adidas, Salt Water, Vans, Tip Toey, skin care from Matter Company, lunch bags (for travelling mommies), toys, books, music CDs and still following their initial eco-friendly direction.

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It is amazing that mini mioche also re-launched their e-commerce web-site, where mini mioche products are now available for US and Canadian customers offering free shipping with a min purchase and even more exciting internationally too (the flat rate applies, please check mini mioche for more info).

So many times I was asked where to buy Canadian-made products, reasonably-priced and good quality, now I can refer directly to mini mioche. I hope everyone is going to like (or already love) mini mioche products as much as we do.

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