Author Archives: susieparker204

About susieparker204

Wife | mama | baker | consultant | speaker. Fairly addicted to social media. ENFP. Change maker. Linchpin. People first. Things second. Always.

Winnipeg Outdoor Pool and Splash Pad Schedule 2013

It’s almost here! The last day of school. We’ve waiting so long for summer and now we can finally enjoy it with our little ones.

Winnipeg can be sweltering in the summer and we’re always looking for a way to cool off. Two years ago, our family discovered the wonderful fun of the splash pad. It’s great for kids of all ages and parents too. It’s especially comforting if you have really little ones and a wading pool is too much water for you.

spray-pad1For an update list of schedules for Summer 2013, please visit:
http://www.winnipeg.ca/cms/recreation/pdfs/swim%20schedules/Outdoor_2013.pdf

Happy splashing!

Earth Day Round-Up: Simple Going Green Tips

We are BIG on eco-friendly solutions in this house. We compost, recycle everything we can, and try to buy sustainable products whenever possible. We try to live like every day is Earth Day because really, isn’t it? If we don’t help our Earth, who will?

It’s so important to teach our kids too how to recycle, reuse, and reduce waste. Every time my wee ones drink something out of a container or see a flyer, they know it goes in the Green Box. They save the veggie peels for our composter.

On this Earth Day, let’s talk about some things that may not jump out at you as “green”. Perhaps they’re things you never thought about. I’m going to share my favourite green tips.

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Recycle your mattress? You bet you can.

Sleep Country Canada is proud to be the only major mattress retailer in Canada to commit to a comprehensive recycling program. I don’t know about you, but our mattress is almost 10 years old. When you’re ready to buy a new one, you should know that if your mattress is in good shape, Sleep Country will remove your old mattress upon delivery of your new Sleep Country Canada one and donate your used one to a local charity. Many charities have long waiting lists of people and families waiting for a useable mattress. Your donation will make a difference!

Sleep Country Canada will help a local charity reuse your mattress or break it down to be recycled.

Sleep Country Canada will help a local charity reuse your mattress or break it down to be recycled.

Here’s the other great thing–even if it’s not in great shape, SCC will take it, break it down completely, and recycle it! I had no idea taking apart a mattress could be done but I’m very glad to know this in time for our next mattress purchase. Recycling or reusing mattresses can mean diverting thousands of mattresses from landfills every year. Nominal green fees or eco levies may apply in your province or territory. And of course you may inquire at your local Sleep Country Canada location for more information.

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#Walk4Water so they don’t have to

Last month, the Aveda Institute of Winnipeg was a major supporter of the Sex and the City event in support of the local chapter of the Arthritis Society. This month, the Aveda Institute continues to be an awesome supporter of a charity cause near and dear to my own heart.

I love Aveda because their products are amazing and eco-friendly. They have a standing commitment to using botanicals and sustainable products for everything they make. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Which brings us to how they are celebrating Earth Day across the globe today.

clean water changes lives

Clean Water Changes Lives

I’ve often spoke of my belief that water is not a commodity–it is a right. Plain and simple. Clean water changes lives. Throughout the month of April, Aveda’s 2013 Earth Month campaign will unite its network professionals and guests globally to raise $5 million to protect clean water in conjunction with WaterCan.com. The Collega Aveda network in Canada seeks to raise $590,000. Their key fundraising projects include the 7th annual Walk for Water held across the nation on April 22, 2013. Anyone interested in taking part in the Winnipeg walk should meet at the Aveda Institute, 80 Rorie Street in the Exchange District, at 8:45 a.m. to begin the walk at 9:00 a.m.

Walk for Water

Aveda #Walk4Water

If you can’t make the walk, you are invited to participate in the Aveda global 24-hour cut-a-thon. Aveda stylists in salons worldwide – from Tokyo, to Sydney, Moscow, London, New York and Toronto – will volunteer their time to offer haircuts in return for a donation to Earth Month. The aim is to set a Guinness World Record for most money raised for a charity by haircuts in a 24-hour period.

100% of the proceeds from haircuts performed on this day will benefit our Earth Month partner, WaterCan. I am so very happy to help these events and causes in any way I can.

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Go Green, Grab Healthy with Greenplease, Inc.

home_picJust in time for baby shower season, I have to share one of my favourite e-commerce sites for all things green and eco-friendly for your wee ones and family. Greenplease Inc. is the brainchild of local Winnipeg Greenista Melanie Derwin. After losing her beloved father to cancer, she was moved to make some major changes in her life and pay attention to what types of toxins are in our homes and lives that we may not ever realize or think about.

home

Her mantra of “Go Green, Grab Healthy” is one she shares as she consults with people on their journey of going green for health’s sake. In addition to the eco-friendly items available in her e-commerce store, she visits clients in their homes and provides advice for greener options on any budget.

Check out her litterless lunch containers here. For any mamas-to-be, you will love her baby items.

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Happy Earth Day, everyone. Let us all take one green step at a time to make this world a better place for us and our children. ❤

Giving up Starbucks: Not as easy as it looks

I had my last Caramel Macchiatto on Ash Wednesday. I decided to give up my beloved Starbucks hand-crafted beverages up for Lent. Oooooh, I knew it was going to be hard. I wasn’t even sure I could do it. But I was going to try. I was going to make a choice every day to sacrifice this indulgent want and replace it with longing and without. And I was going to make myself OK with that.

Easier said than done.

starbucks coffee

It was a crushing blow to lose my Mayor status on Foursquare of my Starbucks hangout. It was hard to order an herbal tea while watching the barista whip up a delicious coffee-based beverage for another patron. But I soldiered on. I told myself I had made a commitment and I was not going to waver. I was going to be steadfast and torture myself with a little bit of longing and yearning. It’s good sometimes to give up something you love so much just to see if its absence makes any noticeable difference in your life, ya know?

And now, with Easter on the horizon my Starbucks cravings are soon to be satisfied again. I’m choosing to spend these next couple of weeks thinking about what going without really means, what is a need versus a want, and how to be mindful of what I spend and put in my cup.

Have you ever tried to give something up? Was it hard? Easy? Did you succeed or fail?

Traveling Mama

It can be so hard to be a mama who has to travel for business. I mean, yes, there’s the room service, maid service, and the quiet.

But missing my hubby and kids is tough on my psyche. I always feel I’m missing out on something at home. But then if I didn’t travel for business I’d have no business. It’s a catch-22.

What I do love about traveling for business is pitching new business and getting it. I love showing my children how a mama can do it all–be at home when she wants to, works when she wants to, and make a life for her family with the support and love of her husband and family.

mama suitcase

On International Women’s Day I think it’s so important we celebrate our choices, our strengths, and how we can support each other to become whatever we want to be.

So I’ll finish my business trip, pack my bags, and rush back home to the four beautiful people who drive me to succeed and dream bigger everyday.

Join Us for a Twitter Chat with Arthritis Society (MB Chapter) & Win!

Sex and the City Invite SM

Date:  Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time:  8 p.m. CST

Topic: Learn how the Arthritis Society (@ArthritisMB) helps Manitobans living with arthritis and how fundraisers like the SATC Gala Event support those in our community

HASHTAG: #ArthritisSATC

fashionnews-sex-and-the-city_0

Register your Twitter handle in the comments below, participate in our chat, and you will be registered to WIN some great prizes from London Drugs, Winnipeg’s Aveda Institute, and Bistro 7 1/4, PLUS there will also be a draw for one (1) pair of tickets to the SATC Gala event on March 14.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the prizes!

vichyinvatiSee you there and don’t forget you can also buy your SATC Gala Event tickets here: http://www.arthritis.ca/satc

Booooooo to Boo at the Zoo

It was announced yesterday that the Assiniboine Park Conservancy has cancelled one of its most popular and signature events–Boo At The Zoo. This event was a fun way to bring some Halloween fun to the Zoo during the non-peak visiting season.

boo

According to the official statement rising production costs as well as a drop in attendance are both factors in the decision to discontinue Boo At The Zoo. Facebook and Twitter were alive with many shocked reactions and pleas to reconsider this move. Many families (ours included) bought a family membership to the Assiniboine Zoo for this reason and more. To say there were many disappointed families at this news is an understatement.

Our family visited Hudson the new polar bear at the Assiniboine Zoo this past weekend. It’s obvious there is much renovation and improvement going on. Clearly the Zoo is focused on building a better experience, but with this latest news we have to ask, “At what expense?”

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Do you have fond memories of Boo At The Zoo? Are you disappointed Boo At The Zoo is done? What do think the Conservancy should have done instead? Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

 

Childcare got you stressed? Check out Kids and Company Open House February 6.

Kids & Company Winnipeg Open House

Kidco_2011_logo_pantone-newVictoria Sopik, CEO and co-founder of Kids & Company wants to meet you and your family. Open since 2012 in Winnipeg, Kids & Co. have 44 childcare centres across Canada and are filling a much-needed void in the childcare sector–flexible, reliable, and structured childcare solutions and programming.

You and your family are invited to an Open House this Wednesday evening, February 6. (Please see event poster below). Kids & Company’s Winnipeg location offers a brand-new childcare facility that features an on-site chef (they provide all meals and can accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions), flexible hours (full/part time and emergency care available), and proprietary education programs such as Alpha-Mania, Mini-Masters and Munchkinetics as well as Music,  French, and Sign Language for infants.

Kids & Co. Open House

Kids & Co. Open House

“I can’t be the only person who needs reliable childcare?!”

Victoria Sopik and her business partner Jennifer Nashmi had a vision to create a child care model that previously was non-existent in Canada.

Sopik, herself a mother of eight, always planned to be a working parent. Her inherent understanding of the need for flexibility in her own children’s care and her own work life made becoming an entrepreneur in the business of child care a somewhat natural evolution.

With Nashmi, Sopik set out to create child care that spoke to the realities of working mothers and that previously didn’t exist in Canada. Kids & Company offers full and part-time childcare, emergency back-up child care for days that the child’s school is closed or if the child’s regular caregiver is ill. By guaranteeing spaces to employees of their corporate clients, which include some of Canada’s largest private businesses and public organizations, Kids & Company has eliminated the stress and aggravation that takes its toll on working parents as they try to secure child care and handle the unexpected.  There are no wait lists or lotteries. If a company is a client, the employees of that company have access to worry-free, high quality childcare. Period.

Now with 44 locations across Canada, Kids & Company even gives working parents the ability to bring their children on business trips so they can spend time together in the evening, knowing that safe child care is available to them in that city during the day.

Rapidly becoming the new corporate benefit for retention and recruitment, worry-free, corporate-sponsored childcare means working parents can be their best at work and know their children’s needs are being cared for thanks to an employer who “gets it”.

In a landmark ruling this week, the federal government has made major strides. But we still have a long way to go.

See you at the Open House!

–Susie