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THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families September 2011


Get Ready to go

Back to School! Consignment Tips & Listings Keeping Family Memories Alive Wilderness Canoeing in Metro Vancouver

Slow Parenting

September 2011



September 2011



THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families September 2011

September 2011

Get Ready to go

Back to School!

Top Story

Get Ready for Back to School! Cool finds, getting emotionally ready, school fundraising and more!

Consignment Tips & Listings Keeping Family Memories Alive Wilderness Canoeing in Metro Vancouver

Slow Parenting

On Our Cover Cover model Maya is ready for her first day of school!

Photographed by Gina Spanos AG Photography |

From the Editor 8 8 10 11 35 37

Editor’s Note Your Thoughts Contests WCF Presents Where to Find Us Community Calendar

31 32 33 34 35

WCM Profile Heather Cameron of Missing Goat Farm WCM Feature Slow Parenting WCM Reads WCM Events

More ways to connect!


Features 10 17 18 19 20 21 27 29 30


Grandparents Keeping the Memories Alive BTS Getting Emotionally Ready for School BTS School Lunches—Zero Tolerance, Waste-Free Guilt BTS Tips for Healthy Lunches Kids Will Eat! BTS Fundraising for the Future The Benefits of Scouting The Six Golden Rules of Extreme Couponing Consignment Trash to Treasure—Getting Your Stuff Consignment-Ready Consignment Resource Listings

Columns 14 21 24 26 38

WestCoast Finds It’s all about Back to School! Family Fun Wilderness Canoeing in Metro Vancouver Travel Weekend Getaways Parenting Growing Up Online—A Better Approach to Cyberbullying Last Look Great reads for the whole family!

In Our Next Issue Sign Up for Our Email Blast And get Exclusive Access to Online Contests Latest Finds & Deals Special Offers Event Listings …and much more!

October PINK for the Cure! Everything Baby Fall & Halloween Fun WestCoast Mom How to be a Bad Mommy

September 2011


Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves. ~ Ernest Dimnet, French clergyman (1866-1954)


t was a good summer. Despite the briefness of the heat, we managed to carve out some time to both decompress and prepare for our first “official” school year. It was a summer of weekend trips, quiet days at home—and a few weeks of hardcore soccer camp. For a child whose idea of kicking the ball used to involve tapping it with her toe and then jumping and giggling for five minutes straight, it was fairly astounding to have her come home after the first few days and demonstrate her scissor kick—complete with a Beckham-worthy air of concentration. That concentration will hopefully translate into the school setting, but there are definitely bumpy roads ahead. The idea of having to wear her shoes for the whole day has been deemed “silly” and the lack of sofas or beds for “a little rest” has also occasioned a wee bit of grumbling—to the point where I was told—not asked, mind you, but told—to provide a portable mattress, complete with pillow and bedding, to take to school. The fact that she hasn’t taken a nap in close to two years was irrelevant. Like many of us, she likes to keep her options open. Regardless, it will be an interesting adjustment, covering everything from the aforementioned bedding to how to pack lunches that are both healthy and kid-edible (check out page 19 for a few tips). Wastefree lunches are nothing new, but how far do we take our eco-awareness? Some schools—and kids—are encouraging parents to invest in plastic-free containers and cases, but is it just creating a lack of options—and a lot of guilt? Turn to page 18 for some thoughts on this.

Photographed by eclipseph

editor’s note

Speaking of options, one of the “best” (read worst) parts of BTS is all the money that flows freely out of our wallets and into the various clothing/shoe/accessory/ stationery retail outlets that lure us with tales of sales galore. To give you some better financial options, we’re taking a look at the trend of extreme couponing on a local scale, as well as how to turn all that trash in your storage closet into consignment treasure (and save some dollars, as well!). Our consignment listings are also in this issue, so keep ‘em on hand for all those bargain-hunting days ahead. And back to school means that the dreaded school fundraiser is on the horizon. But, this year, maybe there’s a better way for parents to support their schools (see page 20). And just because summer is over doesn’t mean there are no more trips on your family’s horizons. In fact, fall is a great time to get away for a weekend of reconnecting—and fun, of course. You don’t have to go far or spend your savings to enjoy a little retreat and a lot of happiness. A simple canoe trip (page 20) can do wonders with surly tweens. I’m off to look at portable mattresses—kidding! Happy September and see you all next month!

1215-C56 St, PO Box 18057 Delta, BC, V4L 2M4 Tel: 604.249.2866 Fax: 604.247.1331 ­Publisher Andrea Vance Managing Editor Anya Levykh Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Accounts Receivable & Bookkeeping Jennifer Brulé Administration / Editorial Assistant Jennifer Bruyns Advertising Inquiries 604.249.2866 For distribution inquiries, please contact: Jennifer Bruyns Contributors: Debbie Bowman, Jennifer Bruyns, Megan Clendenan, Angela Davidson, Sandra Delayne, Amy Fardell, Kristy Hill, Cori Howard, Carolyn Jabs, Gina Spanos Photography, Danielle Taylor. WestCoast Families (WCF) is an independent, regional parenting publication. As the Lower Mainland’s prime resource for happy, healthy & active families, WCF provides informative and relevant content. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families.

your thoughts I wanted to say THANK YOU for featuring a family with two moms in one of your articles from the May 2011 publication! [WestCoast Mom Profile] This is a growing type of family configuration in society—same-sex parented families, that is, (check the stats) and it’s GREAT to see that your magazine is progressive enough to reflect that reality. I wonder if their photo will make the front cover next time! Thanks again, and keep up the good work! Jessica Campbell

PUBLICATIONS MAIL 40027247 Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000

I very much liked the article about the chefs feeding their kids [Cooking for Kids, June], but would love to see more dad-centric content in your publication. As a full-time, single dad of two kids, I regularly flip through your pages for the events, ideas and informative articles. Just would be nice to see more on the “other” parenting side. Jesse F.

Got anything to say, rant about or praise? We want to hear it all!

Email with your comments, questions and suggestions, and be entered to win monthly prizes! 8

For queries about editorial submissions, please view the contributor guidelines on our website. To submit a community calendar event or share your feedback, please email

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!

September 2011



Enter to win any of these great prizes online at!

WIN this Back-to-School Package from Hilroy! When fall hits, it’s not just students who need to stay organized, but parents, too! Hilroy offers a complete line of products for every age, from preschool to university and beyond. Prize for mom includes: Motherword Calendar; Cambridge business notebook; seven-pocket expanding file; AAG Circle the Date; AAG Lined with Reference; and a Day Runner. Prize for student includes: Recycled fashion notebook, binder, pencil case; recycled stitchbooks; Tattoo backpack; Five Star binder; Neon nature PnP, Colour Splash folders; Five Star Xpanz zipper binder; Five Star binder filer; and limited edition Note Tote. Total value $150. Deadline to Enter: September 15, 2011

WIN a Complete SportProtection Outfit from Dynowear!

This completely integrated sports undergarment can be used for all kinds of sports and activities, such as ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, skateboarding, etc. The integrated and sleek padding protects not just children’s elbows and knees, but also their hips and tailbone. Can easily be worn under regular clothing, and allows full freedom of movement. The cut-resistant gloves offer full-hand and wrist cut protection, with tempered foam padding to cushion falls, without limiting dexterity. Available in sizes 3, 4, 5. Prize includes one protective, one pair protective pants, and one pair cut-resistant gloves. Total value $110. Deadline to Enter: September 29, 2011


WIN One of THREE Back to School Bonus Packs from Stuck on You! Stuck on You has the perfect pack to help start the school year right, all at an amazing value. The Back To School Bonus Pack includes 25 fabulous Name Labels from the new Designer Collection, a BPA free stainless steel drink bottle and a “cool” kids lunch bag—all personalized with your child’s name. Total value of each pack is $70. Deadline to Enter: September 15, 2011

WIN a Gift Basket from Holistic Fundraising! Holistic Fundraising offers a convenient, paperless and sustainable way to raise funds for your child’s school, with locally-produced and eco-friendly cosmetics, skincare, household, kitchen and gift products for the whole family! Prize includes Pacific Roaster organic coffee; Tega organic tea; Denman Island chocolate; Green One Ventures canvas tote bag; Outside In body oil, castile soap and lip balm; Clean and Fresh natural car and shoe deodorizers; and Anita’s Organic pancake mix, eight grain cereal, chocolate cookie mix and organic popcorn. Total value $200. Deadline to Enter: September 29, 2011

wcf presents

Kids for Wish Kids Make-a-Wish BC & Yukon is calling on kids and schools to get involved with their Kids for Wish Kids program. Schools team up with Make-a-Wish to make wishes come true for kids who need a better day. The program is designed to be organized and managed by kids, for kids. Parents and teachers are encouraged to help, but the control and execution remain in the children’s hands. Project ideas are limited only by their imaginations. For more info on how to get your child’s school involved, email or call 1.866.277.WISH.

The Terry Fox Run Multiple locations September 18

Sea to Sky Family Fair West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish September 17, 10am-4pm This exciting baby and family fair has everything families need under one roof! Come and check out the 40+ exhibitors, and stay for the two concerts with Bobs and Lolo, the Par-T-Perfect Fun Zone, mini-rail rides, and much more! Tickets available at the door. Individual admission $10 (kids under two are free); Family admission $30 (up to five people).

Join Canadians across the country as we work together to outrun (or walk or wheel or ride) cancer. No minimum pledge required. Collect donations online or make a donation of your choice on run day. No pre-registration required and there is no entry fee. Dogs on leash welcome! See website for more details on the event, how to join or start a team, and how to set up a fundraising page!

How to Succeed in Love, Business and Life: Have More Sex Finding Government Grants for Your Business 300-422 Richards St, Vancouver September 20, 7-9pm “Government grants aren’t available for small businesses.” Time to break that misconception and learn about what is available for your small, but growing business. This session with Stephanie Sang, owner of Granted Consulting, will answer the following questions: What types of grant programs are available for B.C. businesses? For businesses that are simply looking for loans, who can you go to? What do you need to prepare before you apply for grants? What is the typical process for grant proposal submission?

The Boathouse Restaurant, Kitsilano September 16, 9:15-11:15am Come out for the next Momcafé breakfast and find out how to empower your life! Kim Anami of Bodacious Life Coaching will take you through an honest and frank discussion about the importance of a healthy sex life and how it can empower women to achieve our goals in all aspects of their lives. Onsite childcare available (free childcare for Momcafé members). Registration required.

Child Care Resource & Referral Serving Parents & Child Care Providers Your community’s best source of child care information & resources

Child Care BC Helpline Toll Free: 1-888-338-6622

Funded by the Province of British Columbia September 2011


wcf feature

Grandparents Keeping the Memories Alive By Angela Davidson


ome of my earliest memories revolve around my late grandmother. She was my first daycare provider, and the teller of secret stories—mostly romantic in nature—that would have been frowned upon if anyone else had ever known about them. Although couched in the language of princes and princesses, I always had the impression that they were about Granny herself. It wasn’t that much of a reach. In addition to being—by all accounts—a blonde bombshell as a young woman, she was also a gifted writer who broke hearts right and left both before and after she met, married and eventually divorced (a revolutionary occurrence at the time) my grandfather. She was also a resourceful woman. I always loved hearing the story of how when the boss at her first job tried to pressure her into having “relations” with him or face losing her job, Granny convinced the other women at the office to stand up with her and protest. Miraculously, it worked and the man in question was transferred out of the department to a more low-end position. Granny was the first person who taught me to stand up for myself, no matter what, and it’s one of my fondest memories of her. In today’s distracted—and often distanced—world, families find themselves on opposite ends of provinces, countries and continents, and children often have less chances to connect with grandparents. Which is unfortunate, as close relationships with grandparents are shown to be enormously beneficial to a child’s development. Grandparents usually have more time to spend with a child, and the unconditional love that can develop between these two is often second only to the parent-child bond. “My children relish each visit with Nana and Grandpa,” says Sherrie Hall, a mother of two school-aged children. “Unfortunately, they live in a different province, so we don’t seem them as much as we’d like.” Modern online platforms like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime have somewhat reduced the barriers of distance. A new company called also offers an online platform so that grandparents or absent parents can read together with kids, and see, hear and chat with each other at the same time. Regardless of whether your family’s elders are near or far, encouraging your children to cultivate a relationship with them has enormous benefits, according to recent studies. Not only does it provide a unique world view for your kids, but grandparents are often the family historians—passing on stories, family traditions and knowledge of your family’s ethnic and cultural heritage. All of the information that shapes who we are as adults. “Every time my kids visit my parents, they come back with a whole series of stories beginning with, ‘Did you know…?’” laughs Hall. “They take them so much to heart, and then try to live up to those stories themselves.” But what happens when elderly relatives pass on or become limited by disease? Who tells the stories and passes on the family wisdom? Some families turn to personal historians, a growing industry of writers and filmmakers who specialize in creating autobiographical or memoir-style books and films about specific individuals. Cory Bretz, owner of Heirloom Films (, recommends starting such a process as early as possible. “About half of the life story films I have made have been about people who are still living,” says Bretz. “Interviewing family elders before they pass on or suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia is so crucial. That one-to-one interview preserves the sound of their voice, their laugh, the twinkle in their eye, and the real, first-hand feeling of ‘knowing’ someone.” The benefits for children are even more complex, declares Bretz. “When a family receives a personal history film, it becomes a treasure, a library that stores irreplaceable information about the family. The children are likely to be working on their family trees in school and the film will be a source of data.


They will also be inspired to live a good life when reviewing that of their ancestors. Children certainly benefit from stories that highlight strengths in the face of adversity, and workable values in the face of the complexity of life.” But the benefits of sharing a life story go both ways, continues Bretz. “The telling of one’s own life story and family history is a cathartic experience. It helps resolve past issues and puts into perspective the trials and tribulations of life. For many, the simple act of speaking without being judged or given advice is a healing of sorts.” In the meanwhile, you can encourage your kids and their grandparents to get to know each other as much as possible. Obviously, if your parents are no longer part of your life—whether by choice or not—then this doesn’t apply. But your kids could still benefit from interaction with an older generation, and many elder care homes have Adopt-a-Grandparent programs in place that encourage school-age children to make connections with community elders. Here are some tips when trying to establish the “grand” connection: Lighten up. Grandparents usually don’t feel the need to “parent” anymore, which is fine. Your kids need the occasional break from rules and regulations. Just make sure that grandparents are aware of your parenting style and what are the deal-breakers for you. Otherwise, those visits will just turn into bones of contention instead of living reunions. Lower Your Expectations. The purpose of your children visiting their grandparents is for them to establish an emotional connection, perhaps get a different world view, and experience a different form of familial love. Don’t expect Grandma to act as a disciplinarian or suddenly teach your children table manners if they don’t already have them. That may happen by osmosis, but it’s not the reason they’re there. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. Regardless of whether the grandparents work or not, appreciate that they have their own lives, and may not want to become full-time weekend sitters to your kids. Ask them what would be a good time for a visit, and how long they would like your kids to stay. Then drop them off and pick them up on time. Bridge the Tech Gap. Sometimes, elderly people are wary of new technologies, but if your parents or in-laws live too far away for regular visits, online may be the only viable option. Offer to install the technology on their computer and/or help them learn how to use it. And since compromise is about meeting half-way, how about encouraging your children to write actual letters to their grandparents that can be sent through the mail? The thrill of getting a letter in the mail (for both sides) sure beats the excitement of checking your inbox. Plus, your kids polish their writing skills. Win-win. Keep Talking. Some things may rub you the wrong way—and vice-versa—so keep the lines of communication open. Address frustrations promptly, and keep a cool head. It benefits your children to see multiple family dynamics, and your ability to overcome frustrations without becoming acrimonious or over-bearing.

September 2011


westcoast finds

Peekaboo Beans Goes Retro for Fall! Send your little ones back to school with a bit of vintage flair and fun. Girls’ Glamour dress, $51; Flower to Flower leggings, $28; Bits of Pearl tee, $49; Pleasantly Pretty Skirt, $48. Boys’ Echoing Jacket, $71; Team Work Pant, $40. Available at Jack & Lola, Little Earth and Style Kid.

Glow Baby’s Organizational Family Calendar

This amazing 12-month school year calendar also contains 52 specially-designed, removable, weekly planner pages, so your family can se the entire month at a glance and still have a detailed weekly plan all within view. When the week goes by, simply tear off to reveal next week’s planner. Organize up to six individual schedules, plus enjoy the separate columns for weekly chores, to-do lists and notes. $26 at Saf and Benjamin, Baby’s World and Baby on Board.

Philips Wake-Up Light

TOMS for Tots and Youth Give Back in Style

These easy-on styles (no laces, just fuzzy grips) for kids are sure to be a hit! Plus, for every pair of shoes sold, Toms donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need. Check out the Chocolate Cords for boys and Paisley Classic for girls. $29 at Dandelion Kids, Panda Shoes and Scallywags.

After a summer spent snoozing, that early morning alarm clock may cause more than a few grumbles. The WakeUp Light helps kids adjust to fall schedules and simulating sunrise by gradually filling a room with light over the course of thirty minutes. Wake to natural sounds or your favourite FM station, or use the USB (on the Wake-Up Light Plus) to connect your playlist of choice. With multiple brightness settings, this also makes a perfect night light. SRP $119.99 ($179.99 for Wake-Up Light Plus). Available at Personal Edge and


westcoast finds

O’Bon Tree-Friendly School Supplies

Notebooks and pencils are a huge drain on tree supplies, but not with these nontoxic and eco-friendly finds. O’Bon’s pencils are all made from recycled newspaper rolled tightly around graphite. Plus, they write cleaner, sharpen better, break less and last longer than the average pencil. The notebooks (available in small and medium sizes) are made from recycled cardboard covers and sugar cane pulp paper, and we love the bright, high-definition designs. Pencils $5.99 for set of 10. Notebooks $5 small, $6 medium. Available at No Pirates Allowed, Papermoon, Scraps and online at

Steeltainer Containers for Eco-Friendly Lunches

Online Find!

These leak-proof, stainless steel food containers are BPA, lead and phthalate-free. Perfect for yogurts, dips, snack, sandwiches and more, they are also highly durable. Come in two sizes: 560mL, $14.95; 320mL, $11.95. Available at Pebble Baby and online at

Put Their Name on Everything with Things get lost, mixed-up and confused. Keep it simple with personalized products ranging from water bottles and wallets to lunch bags, pencils cases and backpacks, all personalized with your child’s name. All names are stitched or printed onto the product, so there is no washing or wearing off to worry about. Prices vary.

Online Find!

Read Together— Even When You’re 1,500 km Away offers families that are separated by distance to still share quality time together while reading children’s books. Their high-quality video chat product, BookChat, allows parents, grandparents, kids and other family members to see, hear, read and interact together online. With over 150 books and more added every day, you can choose a different story each night. $9.99 per month membership required (only needed for one family member).

Keep the Mattress Dry with Oops! Sheet

Online Find!

Accidents happen, let’s face it. Sometimes kids just don’t wake up when they need to go to the bathroom. This protective fitted-sheet made by a Canadian company has a cozy cotton top, is waterproof, breathable and machine-washable, and, best of all, keeps your mattress completely dry—even when accidents happen. Twin, double and queen sizes. $80-$100.

September 2011



back to school

Getting Emotionally Ready for School By Amy Fardell


Yay! It’s fall, the summer’s over, and the kids are heading back to school with shiny new pencils and happy smiles. Or are they? If you’re one of the “lucky” 80 percent of the population, then your kids are approaching the school year with trepidation, terror, and perhaps even downright refusal to leave you at the door. In some families, BTS stand for “Back to the Sobbing.” There is much you can do, both before and after the school year starts, to help your children emotionally prepare and have a great year of learning. Talk freely, and often. Kids have a lot of unexpressed fears about things that may seem ridiculous to you, but are huge issues for them. “I was floored when my youngest daughter told me she didn’t want to go to school because the toilets flushed really loud,” says Jennifer Chu, a mother of three school-aged children. “We had gone for a kindergarten meet-and-greet, and she used the washroom during our visit. It’s louder than at home, and it scared her.” Dealing with issues like these before the school year begins is ideal, but not always possible. But you can certainly try to forestall such issues by discussing different scenarios that might happen at school and how they differ from home or daycare or preschool. Children who are used to taking off their shoes at a family daycare and having naps may have some adjusting to do to the new full-day schedule, so give it time, and make sure to bring up the subject with your kids as much as possible. Most kids don’t like those kinds of surprises, so changes to routines or schedules (no more nine a.m. snack, for instance) should be discussed ahead of time. Try to keep the tone positive and upbeat, but don’t pooh-pooh your child’s reservations. Address their concerns seriously and give some thought as to how to ease their fears and make them feel good about the coming changes. Get ready for social studies. Regardless of whether your kids went to a daycare or preschool, or just stayed home, school is a whole new ballgame, especially in terms of social interaction. Not only are there more children to deal with in their class, and in the school as a whole, but now there are “big” kids form grade one and up who will impart a wide variety of information and ideas to your impressionable five-year-old. Helen Gurdon, a mother of two, remembers the day her son came home from kindergarten and refused to go back. “A girl in first grade told him during recess that the water fountains had

poison bugs, and he could die if he drank from them,” she recalls. “It turns out she had been told about germs, but was as confused as my son. It took me a week to convince him that he wouldn’t die, and he still won’t drink anything unless it comes from home or a bottle.” School is often a case of the blind leading the blind, so keep an open ear for the new ideas your offspring will be bringing home and try to correct any misinformation as soon as it pops up. Mean kids. Bullying is a very real issue and schools today are much more serious about how they handle it, but incidents can still occasionally slip through the cracks if kids don’t inform a teacher or parent. Instead of scaring your child with advance warnings about bullies, gear the conversation to focus on how they would like to be treated, and how they should treat others. Encourage them to verbalize their feelings about negative behaviours, and let them know that you and their teacher have a sympathetic ear at all times. If your child is the victim of bullying, make sure the school is aware of the fact, and work with the teachers to help your child feel empowered again. Promote the product. As any good marketer will tell you, it’s all about selling the benefits. Focus on the positive aspects of school—new friends, activities and toys, for instance. Talk about the amazing things they will learn, but keep it in simple terms. Instead of confusing them by talking about abstracts like math and geography, refer to specifics, like learning about butterflies, trees and plants, learning how to read a favourite story book, or learning to count their rock collection. Chill out. Kids often take their cues from parents on how to react to new situations and experiences. If they see Mom being positive and relaxed about the experience, it will help them achieve the same attitude. Have a happy back-to-school!

September 2011


back to school

School Lunches Zero Tolerance, Waste-Free Guilt By Cori Howard


t’s a rainy weekday morning and I am bustling around the kitchen in the half-dark, my eyes half-open, rummaging through the fridge for things to make for my children’s lunches. As I grab things and throw them onto the counter, I silently curse myself for not being more organized the night before. My nine-year-old son likes to have soup every day and will otherwise eat pretty much anything. My six-year-old, on the other hand, won’t eat soup or sandwiches, so, every day, I have to make two completely different lunches, all while making two different breakfasts. Making meals for my husband and I? Well, that’s just too much work. Usually, we just have tea and coffee. This morning, amidst the uncoordinated, ungraceful banging and clattering, my daughter comes quietly into the kitchen. I don’t notice her until she says, “Mom, no plastic in my lunch bag today, okay?” I turn around, shocked and watch her rub her eyes open. “It’s waste-free lunch week.” I contemplate the lunch spread out before me: plastic containers filled with healthy choices—salami, cheese, carrots and bean salad. “We can recycle these plastic containers, Jaz,” I tell her. “We are as waste-free as you get.” But apparently, that is not good enough. She comes over to peer at the day’s selection. “No cheese sticks, Mom. They are wrapped in plastic. No seaweed either. The package is bad.” I am horrified: not only because of the guilt that I feel giving my child so much packaged food and having her point it out to me, but also because that leaves me, and her, with far fewer food choices. In a panic, I tell her that she can just bring home the wrapper and we’ll make an art project out of it. This is a desperate bid to keep some healthy food options in her lunch box. And it’s a big, fat lie. She and I both know we won’t make an art project out of the cheese and seaweed and granola wrappers. But today, she goes along with it. Later, when I throw out the plastic wrappers that she so dutifully brings home, I am overcome with guilt and anger. Two years ago, I wrote a big feature story for a magazine about being a green parent. This was around the time they discovered plastic bottles contained the toxic chemical, BPA, and I went on a research mission to find good alternatives not only to plastic bottles, but to the sea of plastic that was taking over our homes and our lives. I went through the piles of plastic toys in my backyard and, together with my children, made piles of broken plastic for the dump, plastic toys we could recycle by giving them to other children and plastic toys that we wanted to keep.


One of my biggest pet peeves was our profligate and outrageous use of the plastic bag in lunches. Again, I did my research and found a cool recyclable, washable sandwich wrapper. I still have them. I still use them. But you can’t wrap two cookies in it—it’s too big. And so, without realizing it, I reverted to my old ways, haphazardly overusing the Ziploc and losing my green cred. I have unwittingly become a mom who sends her kids to school with plastic wrappers. And worse, I have become the mom who resents the school with such a strict “zero-tolerance,” waste-free policy that even a relatively “green” mom like me fails.

back to school

And yet, I know I am more “green” than most moms at my daughter’s school. I had the bento box before anyone else did—the plastic (I know–it’s plastic, but it’s recyclable and reusable) box with separate compartments for different lunch items. I was commended by all the teachers and by many other parents and I felt confident I was setting a good example for my daughter about sustainable choices. But what my daughter’s waste-free lunch week taught me is that I still have a long way to go before I come close to being a green mom. I asked other moms, later that week, how they were coping and if their kids had made them feel guilty, but no one seemed to have struggled with it like I did. Some moms said they spent the week baking to avoid having to send granola bars. Other moms said they ignored it completely and their children didn’t hound them into changing their bad habits. So what’s wrong with me? Why is it so hard to create a truly waste-free lunch? (Clue: is it because it’s just so much work and effort to make any lunch at all every day, especially for more than one child?) But culturally, we are at a new frontier and there are more and more products out there every day that cater to the growing demand for a waste-free lunch. Lesson: try harder. Pay attention. Think ahead. Bake some muffins. Stock your freezer. Make a grocery list. Be organized. Because your children are watching. Cori Howard is the founder of The Momoir Project, an online writing centre for moms around the world. She offers memoir writing classes and workshops to moms who want to write stories like these ones. For more information, check out:

Healthy Lunches, Happy Children! Here are some tips on how to pack healthy lunches your kids will actually eat from President’s Choice® and no name® brands, available at Real Canadian Superstore, Extra Foods and No Frills locations across B.C. 1. Watch out for food allergies. Most schools have strict policies on appropriate school-safe foods, particularly peanut-free foods. To make a safe choice, stick to peanut-free products, and look for the peanut-free label on packaged snacks. 2. Greek yogurt is a super treat that is not only rich, creamy and tasty, it’s ultra-nutritious, as one serving offers 50 percent of your daily calcium and 18 grams of protein. Pack your kid’s lunch with plain or fruitflavoured yogurt in reusable containers for a healthy and eco-friendly snack. 3. Protein is a must and can be provided through lean sandwich meats, cheeses and legumes. Seasoned chicken breast pieces and some cut up cheddar can give your little one the protein they need to stay focused all day. Or try a lentil or bean salad—just make sure to soak and cook properly to avoid the digestive after-effects! 4. When choosing a beverage, check labels for sugar content and calories. Look for ones that contain at least one to two servings of fruit, 100 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement and no added sugar. 5. Make fruit and veggies more appealing by filling a divided container with apple slices, grapes and carrot sticks with yogurt or ranch dip. Go organic where possible and save yourself the extra work by choosing baby sized fruit or vegetables.

September 2011


back to school

Fundraising For The Future How New Methods of Fundraising Are Raising Money and Awareness At The Same Time By Debbie Bowman


ould you buy some chocolate bars to help me raise money for my school?” asked the little girl from across the street. Well, I didn’t actually need any chocolate bars—in fact, I was trying to limit that sort of stuff in our house. But how could I say no? For one thing it was for a good cause, and here was a little girl going door-to-door to raise money for her education. “Of course,” I told her with a smile and a sigh. And as she gazed at me with her big brown eyes, I dug through my purse for the eight dollars needed to buy two wee bars of chocolate. We’ve all been there. Maybe it wasn’t chocolate bars. It may have been wrapping paper or frozen cookie dough. Either way, school fundraising has been a part of our lives for many years—kids and parents peddling things we may or may not need, but feel compelled to buy so we can support their cause. And that cause gets bigger every year, especially since it doesn’t look like the provincial budget will be any fatter any time soon. But has the traditional model of fundraising been successful? Well, it depends. Most parents say it’s worth it—though they certainly wish it wasn’t necessary. They’ll sell poinsettias, magazine subscriptions, or chocolate bars if it will enrich their children’s education. But the traditional forms of fundraising take time—lots of time. And sometimes the return on investment is less than stellar. Recently, though, there have been some enterprising parents who have experienced the current model of fundraising and have thought to themselves: “There must be a better way!” Specifically, two local companies, Wealthy School Revolution and Holistic Fundraising, have been developed to improve school fundraising on a number of levels. Sarah and Darryl Davis of Wealthy School Revolution remember working with the status quo style of fundraising. “It’s very old-fashioned—with paper forms, cheques, and lots of volunteer time,” they stated in a phone interview. Sarah and Darryl also remember that as the economy began to decline, it became more difficult to raise money selling things like flowers and calendars—people didn’t have that expendable cash anymore. That got them wondering—could funds be raised selling things people needed every day, like groceries? So they started their company, Wealthy School Revolution, selling basic grocery items and cleaning supplies. And they designed the company in such a way to make fundraising a cinch for both the PAC and for the parents who utilize the service. Darryl states, “We do all the background work like administration and delivery, which makes it nearly effortless for PACs to raise funds.” And the funds rack up quickly, as Wealthy School Revolution gives 20% of each grocery order value to the school chosen by the parent. One reason Sarah and Darryl believe it’s successful is because most parents would rather put that 20% profit into their children’s school instead of onto the grocery store’s profit margin. And it’s not a one-off exercise like most fundraising activities. Instead, once the system is initiated with the school, the funds continue to come in every month.


But to Sarah and Darryl, the money is only part of it. Wealthy School Revolution is a way to make it easier for parents to feed their family healthy foods, since they only sell natural products and healthy, organic, non-GMO foods. “The ‘wealthy’ in our name doesn’t just denote monetary wealth, it denotes the richness that comes from a healthy lifestyle.” In fact, for Sarah and Darryl, health is first and foremost. “It’s really a paradigm shift that we’re looking for—not only a shift in fundraising technique, but also a shift towards healthier living.” Holistic Fundraising is also about creating a shift, but founder Consuelo Clarke would like to see parents shift into buying more local and sustainable products. During her experience with the traditional model of school fundraising Consuelo also noted many deficiencies, but her main concern was the wastefulness of the items being sold. Most of the items used for fundraising were not things she considered sustainable. Consuelo felt she sent her children a conflicted message when she bought items she didn’t believe in to support her children’s school. So Consuelo started Holistic Fundraising as a way to make it easier for parents to raise funds, but in a way that’s easier on the environment—and easier on one’s conscience. All items sold through Holistic Fundraising are manufactured in the Lower Mainland and made from sustainable materials. She sells a wide variety of items, from natural make-up and silk tote bags to organic coffee and tea. And using the Holistic Fundraising site to make purchases is uncomplicated. One just needs to choose their items, choose a beneficiary for the 30% kickback, and arrange for pick-up or delivery. Both Wealthy School Revolution and Holistic Fundraising practice a paperless system since both raise funds exclusively through online transactions. Not only is this easier on the environment, but it also makes life much easier for those raising the funds. All the PACs have to do is get the word out. And word is getting out. In fact, the future seems bright for both of these businesses. “It’s going like wild fire,” says Darryl from Wealthy School Revolution. “It’s not difficult to sell PACs and parents on the idea because it’s such a win-win situation.” Consuelo with Holistic Fundraising agrees, though she thinks she’s the biggest winner. “It’s not about the money for me,” she states. “It’s about promoting a holistic lifestyle to my children and guiding those around me to be mindful consumers.”

To get your child’s school signed up for these fantastic programs, please visit the following websites: Holistic Fundraising | Wealthy School Revolution |

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Adventure, Fun, Friendships Scouts is the Start of Something Great By Danielle Taylor


ith our children becoming more and more attached to their myriad devices, it’s the perfect time to think about getting “plugged in” to a different type of activity. Think outdoor adventure, fun and friendship. These are some of the words that describe Scouting. And they are just some of the things that Scouts Canada has brought to more than 17 million youth across the country for more than 100 years. But it doesn’t stop there. Scouts builds leaders. At its core, Scouts is about helping boys, girls and young adults find their way forward, matching skills with their interests and ensuring that youth receive hands-on experience and support from dedicated leaders on the way to achieving their goals. Through a variety of intellectual, physical and artistic activities, Scouting teaches youth about cooperation, teamwork and conflict resolution, and helps them develop the necessary social skills and self-confidence they need to succeed. It is about providing youth with the opportunities to discover new things and experiences they would not have elsewhere. Whether going on a first camping or hiking trip, or planning and participating in a community service project or perfecting survival skills, Scouts Canada offers programs for all ages, interests and capabilities. The outdoors is a key part of Scouting and youth participate in challenging physical activities to help them develop healthy, active lifestyles. Through these activities, they also learn to respect the environment and develop good conservation practices. Scouting offers a world where youth can discover the best in themselves and the best in others. Along the way, youth develop into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals that play an important part in their community and are better prepared for success in the world. Through trips and special events, Scouts meet other youth from their communities, across Canada and around the world, allowing them to learn about other cultures, develop meaningful and lasting friendships and share in unforgettable experiences. It is an exciting time to be part of Scouting in Canada. A highly diverse organization, it has more than 100,000 members nationwide. This makes Scouts Canada the country’s leading youth organization, delivering programming to youth ages five to 26.

This year Scouts Canada will be showcasing a new line of uniforms for all levels of Scouting. The uniform reflects not only who Scouts has been, but also who Scouts Canada is today. The revitalized uniform respects the great heritage of Scouting and signals its bright future. It is a key component of the Action Plan for Canadian Scouting, and reflects Scouts Canada’s commitment to innovation and to meeting the changing needs of members. The new uniforms were designed by Joe Fresh and are available in time for back-to-school. For more information on the new uniform visit Fall registration is underway. For more information or to find a group in your area visit:

September 2011


family fun

Family-Friendly Wilderness Canoeing in Metro Vancouver By Megan Clendenan


glance over the side of the canoe and peer down through clear, green water to the silty bottom. The shoreline cottonwoods are interspersed with lonely Douglas fir trees and the Coast Mountains lurk above. As my husband and I paddle deeper into marshy Widgeon Creek, the songbirds join us. Like children on a playground, they chase one another, trilling madly. Our one-year-old son sits between my legs at the bow of the canoe watching with great intent. He grabs my legs and pulls himself up for a better look. With my hands securely holding his life jacket, he bends down and trails a pudgy hand through the water. Tucked into a corner of the Pinecone Burke Provincial Park and just a short drive from the busy Vancouver suburbs of Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, Widgeon Creek offers a serene one-day, novice-friendly wilderness experience in the largest freshwater marsh in southwestern British Columbia. The canoe route leads to an optional 3km hike to Widgeon Falls, a spectacular sight and a great ‘summit’ before heading back to the canoe. Our adventure begins at the boat landing at Grant Narrows, the confluence of the south end of Pitt Lake and the Pitt River. With life jackets on and boat packed, we spend a few minutes reviewing basic canoe strokes. I had canoed this route before and knew it was flat water with relatively minimal current. The most challenging paddling happens immediately because Pitt Lake is a tidal lake, influenced by the nearby Fraser River as it flows into the Pacific. It’s best to check tide times in advance because you may find a very favourable—or not so favourable—tide to cross Grant Narrows. Where to canoe with your children depends on your comfort level. Dave Wooldridge of Ridge Wilderness Adventures suggests acquiring basic paddle skills such as the J-stroke, sweep stroke, pry stroke and draw stroke, as well


as learning to assess water conditions to ensure they match your skill level. For families with no experience in a canoe, he recommends taking a lesson, a guided day trip or joining one of the many canoe clubs in the region. “In a day or less, you’ll be ready to go out on your own and have a great time,” he promises. Mesmerized by the passing scenery, our son sits contentedly and we cross Grant Narrows and reach Widgeon Creek in ten minutes. Here, the flat water etches a perfect silhouette of the shoreline trees. Clouds cloak the sun but the hazy light accentuates the colour spectrum surrounding us: from bright sage shrubs to dark brooding evergreens. We paddle lazily around winding corners, stopping to take photos and allow our son to sit in the middle of the canoe. Even with our gear, we could have easily fit two children in the boat. The upper reaches of Widgeon Creek, designated a National Wildlife Area, shelters habitat for bears, beavers and myriad bird species. Great blue herons are known to frequent the area but we do not catch sight of the elusive bird. We land at a small sandy beach fringing the campground and see several tents burrowed within the trees. While we picnic on the beach we watch our son discover a pair of smooth rocks perfect for knocking together. After lunch we set out down the wide path marked “Widgeon Falls, 3 km.” As we walk past mossy oak and thick cedar trees, the rhythm of our pace lulls our son to sleep in the hiking carrier.

family fun A well-signed fork in the trail offers the choice of continuing up the logging road or following a winding trail that snakes alongside Widgeon Creek. We choose the trail, which turns out to be poorly maintained, though passable even carrying our son. I lead the way, carefully climbing up rocky steps and over tottering bridges. We stop to catch our breath and glimpse a miniature waterfall sprinkling into shockingly green Widgeon Creek. The trail ends at Widgeon Falls, which drum steadily over a series of stepped granite boulders. Everyone can safely watch the water swirl and churn. Our son awakens and so we walk hand in hand with him, stopping to look inside puddles of water that nestle into the smooth contours of the rock. While the waterfall tumbles beside us, we enjoy the newly arrived sunlight. We opt to take the logging road home rather than negotiate the trail once again. Our son’s exuberance continues, but we don’t want to scrape the bottom of his patience. The journey back down the logging road and paddling downstream was much faster; however, the push back across Grant Narrows did require twenty minutes of paddle power. As we pulled the car loaded with our canoe out of the parking lot, our son was asleep again. Although Widgeon Creek is close to bustling civilization, it remains a wilderness area. Be prepared and knowledgeable before setting out, especially with children, and you will be rewarded with a wilderness experience far removed from the neighbouring suburbs.

Other family-friendly canoe destinations in Metro Vancouver: Buntzen Lake, Deer Lake, Whonnock Lake, Rolley Lake

Where to rent a boat:

(rentals should include paddles, lifejackets and other safety equipment) Sam-Bo Rentals (located at Grant Narrows) | 604.314.1431

Where to take a guided trip or lesson: (also check out their link to local area canoe clubs)

When to visit Widgeon Creek: Spring and fall: Less crowds, higher water level. Summer: Best to visit during the week as weekends are busy. Lots of beaches to stop at. Avoid end of August to middle of September due to extremely low water levels.

Widgeon Creek Access and Information: • For driving directions from your location search “Grant Narrows” on Google Maps or Yahoo Maps. • Day-use parking is currently free but park management is shifting so changes may occur. • Outhouses are located in the parking lot and in the campground. • Allow one to two hours to paddle to the campground and up to one-and-a-half hours to hike the trail to Widgeon Falls. • Motorized boats are not permitted in Widgeon Creek, but are allowed in Grant Narrows. • The campground is free but can fill up with big groups. Don’t expect quiet. No campfires are allowed.

Onya Bags

the plastic bag alternative! From pouch to bag experience

Onya Bags are made from soft, silky, strong parachute materials. They are small, light and conveniently pack into their own pouches, clipping onto your handbags, belts, key rings... with handy carabiners.

September 2011



Weekend Getaways By Anya Levykh


ummer may be over, but that’s no reason not to take a mini-break on occasion. In fact, fall is a great time to take advantage of lower rates and less-crowded getaways close to home. Not only do you not have to take a plane or cross a border, but packing for a weekend means just two changes of clothes, a toothbrush, and an iPad of kiddie movies for the road. Here are three close-to-home ideas for fall-season weekend fun. Victoria Summer may be the high season, but Victoria’s year-round temperate climate makes early fall a great time to visit as well. Favourites like the Royal BC Museum and the Pacific Undersea Gardens are staples, but don’t forget to check out the Victoria Bug Zoo (and be prepared for your kids to want to handle some creepy-crawlies) and the weekend concerts and night illuminations happening at Butchart Gardens until September 15. The goat run at Beacon Hill Park’s Petting Zoo is also a fun event, and admission is by donation. For a “taste” of the Victoria less travelled, take a walking tour through Chinatown with local chef Heidi Fink, or sign up for a family-friendly cooking class with The London Chef on Fort Street. Owner Dan Hayes will teach kids how to make classic Italian dishes like pizza and pasta, and you get a sweet send-off as well. For foodie families, consider a walking tour with a company like Travel With Taste, which will take you on a walking feast full of chocolate, tea, wine for mom and dad, sweet treats, charcuterie and more. If you’re looking for a central hotel, Hotel Grand Pacific is right in the centre of the action, steps away from main attractions, and has comfy suites for families, as well as a large indoor pool and several restaurants. As a bonus, they also have a daily nine a.m. duck feeding with “Joe the Duck Man” in front of the hotel for kids and interested adults. Kids can feed the ducks themselves, and hear the story of how these wild ducks “migrated” into the hotel pond. Don’t forget to check out the dim sum lunch served on weekends in The Pacific Restaurant.

Feeding the baby

ducks at Hotel Gr and Pacific in Vic


Farm Tours are also available for Chilliwack, so be sure to check out the local food and drink stops, including Anita’s Certified Organic Grain and Flour Mill for organic flours and mixes, Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey for sweet treats, and Hofstede’s Country Barn for handmade deli and café items, as well as fresh-baked bread and organic produce. For accommodation, try Parkwood Lodge for comfortable rooms (with kitchenettes) on the cheap. For more upscale accommodation, check out Coast Hotel in downtown Chilliwack, which is also pet-friendly!

Harrison and Agassiz Harrison and Agassiz are only 90 minutes from Vancouver and have plenty more to offer than the hot springs pool at Harrison Hot Springs Resort (although it is warm enough to take advantage of even in rainy or cool weather). The resort itself offers some great hiking trails through the surrounding forest (just bring bug spray) that are easy enough for all ages to enjoy, as well as scenic boat tours on Harrison Lake. The family-friendly restaurant offers buffet-style breakfasts and themed dinners. If golfing is your thing, there are three golf courses, including one on the resort, within a few minutes drive. Just outside of Harrison, Agassiz offers up several must-see experiences, including the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival September 16 to 17. This event is considered one of B.C.’s best country fairs, with a parade, stage entertainment, midway, kids’ activities, antique tractor pull and farmers’ market. Visit the Kilby Historical Site as part of the self-guided Circle Farm Tour and eat and drink your way through the area. A must-stop is at Farm House Natural Cheeses, where you can see cow and goat’s milk cheeses made by hand, and enjoy a guided tour that includes a cheese tasting! The area is also perfect for cyclists, as the roads are mainly level, with few hills and little traffic—ideal for all skill levels. Chilliwack More than just the home of some of B.C.’s best corn, nearby Chilliwack is an ideal getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. Minter Gardens (famous for the tulip displays in spring) is open year-round and is a riot of colours in the fall. Hell’s Gate Airtram offers a bird’s eye view of the scenic Fraser River, and the Chilliwack Corn Maze will test your collective wit with its 14-acre corn maze. Plus, you can enjoy their fall hay rides and a heritage pumpkin patch. Circle


Victoria Resources

Beacon Hill Park Petting Zoo | BC Ferries | Butchart Gardens | Chef Heidi Fink | Hotel Grand Pacific | The London Chef | Pacific Undersea Gardens | Royal BC Museum | Travel With Taste | Victoria Bug Zoo |

Harrison/Agassiz Resources

Agassiz Fall Fair | Circle Farm Tour | The Falls Golf and Country Club | Farm House Natural Cheeses | Harrison Hot Springs Resort | Sandpiper Golf Resort |

Chilliwack Resources

Anita’s Certified Organic Grain | Chilliwack Corn Maze | Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey | Coast Hotel | Hell’s Gate Airtram | Hofstede’s Country Barn | Minter Gardens | Parkwood Lodge |

September 2011



Growing Up Online A Better Approach to Cyberbullying By Carolyn Jabs


rom the statistics, it seems to be an epidemic. According to a study conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Trend Micro, up to 34 percent of parents of school-age children are aware of at least one instance of their child being bullied or harassed through their cell phone or computer. Considering how many children successfully keep such incidences from their parents, the actual numbers on cyberbullying start to look more ominous. Provincial governments and the feds already have provisions in place for charging offenders in this area under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, but many parents are petitioning for more specific laws about online harassement and bullying. All this attention makes parents feel as though they ought to DO something—until they try to talk to their kids. Then they discover that the cyberbully label oversimplifies what’s actually happening online. Dannah Boyd, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has spent a lot of time talking to teens about their online experiences and she concludes that “technology is not radically changing what’s happening; it’s simply making what’s happening far more visible. If we want to combat bullying, we need to start by understanding the underlying dynamics.” This is actually good news for parents because it means you can apply everything you know about human nature to what’s happening to children online. At the same time, parents need to acknowledge that this is uncharted territory. Kids don’t have all the answers about online aggression but neither do adults. What young people need are parents who will talk them through difficult and even painful situations as they occur and help them make nuanced decisions that foster and preserve positive relationships both online and off. Here are some suggestions: Figure out what’s actually going on. Cyberbullying has become a catchall term that isn’t very useful. To zero in on problematic behaviours, use the quiz at which lists nineteen activities ranging from mean comments on Facebook to hijacking accounts. The quiz can help jumpstart conversation with your child. Has he or she heard about people who do these things? Have any of them happened to him or her? Has she participated in them? Keep this conversation curious and non-judgmental. The goal is to convince your child that you will be an ally when and if he encounters something he can’t handle online. Respond instead of reacting. Adolescents are trying to figure out how to manage relationships independently. When things go wrong, as they often do, there’s a temptation to lash out—for both child and parent. Instead, teach your child, by example, to take a deep breath, step back and think about what’s happened and whether the relationships can be repaired. Who are the people involved? Do they understand what they’ve done? Has your child had a friendship with the person in the past? Does he or she want one in the future? The one exception is if your child–or another child—is physically threatened. Then, as the responsible adult, you need to alert school authorities and, perhaps, the police. Insist on respect. You taught your child not to hit or pull hair when she was a toddler. Now, do the online equivalent. Some of the old rules are as relevant online as they are in real life: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Recognize gender differences. Researchers have long noted that boys and girls often have different “styles” when it comes to aggression. Often boys take physical aggression seriously but shrug off online attacks as “keeping it real.” Girls who are typically more adept at verbal bullying may be more vulnerable to online aggression. Some research confirms girls are more often targets


of online harassment in part perhaps because a girl’s reputation can still be ruined by sexual slurs, while a boy’s reputation may actually be enhanced. For both boys and girls, parents should send a strong message that X-rated communication is not acceptable. That means no sexting, no slut lists, no explicit sexual content of any kind. Talk about vulnerability. Bullying is more prominent in adolescence because young people are still unsure about who they are. Sometimes insecurity makes young people more sensitive to criticism from peers; sometimes, it makes them deflect attention from themselves by being critical of others. In both cases, parents can help by reminding their children that people aren’t perfect. How we handle vulnerability—in ourselves and in others—is a real measure of the kind of people we are. Teach resilience. Resilience is the ability to transcend adverse circumstances. Parents who swoop in to resolve an online problem may actually miss an opportunity to nurture this important quality in their children. When bad things happen online or off, Edith Grotberg of the International Resilience Project encourages parents to talk to children about three things: I Have (what resources can the child count on), I Am (what personal qualities transcend the problem), I Can (what actions can be taken to alleviate the problem). Children who learn to think through problems along these three dimensions develop a set of skills that will have lifelong benefits. While experts continue to debate the statistics about bullying, parents need to stay focused on the actual experiences of the children they know. Turning a blind eye to online aggression is a disservice to young people, but so is hysterical hyperbole. What young people need now is what they’ve always needed—adults they can trust to stand by them as they learn to build constructive, rewarding relationships both online and off. Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing about families and the Internet for over fifteen years. She is the mother of three computer-savvy kids. Other Growing Up Online columns appear on her website

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The Six Golden Rules of Extreme Couponing By Kristy Hill


he American reality show, Extreme Couponing, documenting men, women, moms, dads and families using coupons to get groceries for pennies or less, has left many Canadian viewers wondering, “Can I do that too?” The answer is—in a word—yes. Shoppers across Canada are doing just that, and you can, too. Follow these six golden rules for extreme couponing, use the tips and tricks and resources, and you’ll be on your way to extreme coupon bliss, feeling like you have robbed the store. “Start the car! Start the car!” 1. Only use a coupon when the item is on sale. The key strategy to extreme couponing is to pair coupons with an item on sale. Keep a close watch on clearances and sales in the flyers and match it with a coupon you have. For example: A box of granola bars is on sale for $1.75, and you have a coupon for $1.50 off, thus costing you only $0.25!

Tips and Tricks • Always get a rain cheque. If an item is on sale, but is out of stock, don’t be shy and always ask for a rain cheque. • Spend the time. It takes time to build up a coupon collection. When you first start, spend a few weeks just collecting coupons, going through flyers and crosschecking with the coupons you are accumulating. • Be organized. Organize all your coupons in a binder and group them according to type of product. That way, when you are flipping through flyers or shopping, you can quickly check your binder to see if you have a coupon for an item on sale. • Pre-order for more than 10. If you have more than 10 coupons for a product, call the store and pre-order the product to ensure you get the amount you want and won’t clear off the shelf. • Check weekend flyers. The weekend flyers in your newspaper regularly publish huge sales along with many coupons. • Read the fine print. Some coupons state they cannot be used with other coupons or sales

Don’t receive flyers at your door? No problem. Most stores have online flyers you can view at your leisure or subscribe to receive in your inbox each week. Many have mobile versions as well. 2. Price-match with in-store coupons. In-store coupons are great, but most likely won’t get you close to paying less than a dollar or free. You can use an in-store coupon to get an item for free by price matching. For example, you have an in-store coupon for yogurt for $1.75 off, making it $2.00. Another store has the same yogurt, same size, on sale for $2.00. Present the flyer that states the sale and they will bring the price down to $2.00. Pair it with the in-store coupon and it’ll only cost $0.25! Canadian stores that honour price-matching: • Extra Foods • London Drugs • Price Mart • Real Canadian Superstore • Save-On-Foods • Walmart  >>>continued

September 2011


wcf feature 3. Get multiples of each coupon. By combining a coupon with a sale on a product, you can often get the item for less than $0.50 or free, but that’s just the one item. In order to create a stockpile of product, whether conservative or substantial, you will need to collect multiples of each coupon. How to get multiple coupons: • Ask friends and neighbours to collect flyers for you. • Become friends with someone who delivers the newspaper (there’s often leftovers of flyers that don’t get into the newspaper). • Call manufacturers and ask for coupons to be sent to you. • Are you more adventurous? Go dumpster diving and rifle through recycling bins in your neighbourhood.

Get Couponing! Easy way to search for coupons online *provided by Step 1: Step 2: Search “site:” or “” Step 3: Click on the left-hand side, “more search tools,” and then refine the “time” portion to find any recent updates.

4. Stack coupons anytime you can. Sometimes you might have more than one coupon for the exact same product, but each coupon is from a different source and has different UPC codes. These coupons can be “stacked.” For example, Breathe Rights are on sale for $18, you have three coupons for $3.00 off and each one is different. Use all three coupons and you’ll walk away with only paying $9! Coupon stacking is also great for travel-sized items, rendering them free almost every time. Currently, London Drugs is the only Canadian store that allows coupon stacking.

This allows you to only view the recently updated pages without clicking page after page.

5. Bring coupon policies with you. Every store has its own coupon, price-matching, coupon stacking and raincheck policies. To avoid hassles or delays because of uninformed cashiers or even managers, print out coupon policies and bring them with you on every shopping trip. Your collection of coupon policies will become your bible!

Websites for Coupon Searching

6. Use overage to pay for meat, produce and other. It is quite rare to see coupons for meat and produce. So how can you buy all your groceries for pennies or less if you don’t have coupons for everything? You do this with overage. Overage is when you’ve found an item on sale and your coupon amount is greater than the cost of the product. For example, bread is on sale for $1.00, you have a coupon for $1.50 off; your overage is $0.50. If you have 10 coupons and purchase 10 loaves of bread, you will have $5.00 in overage. You can then use your overage to pay for meat and produce—rendering your entire purchase free! Currently, Walmart is the only store in Canada that allows overage.


Couponing Resources

Coupons in the Mail


Trash to Treasure Getting Your Stuff Consignment-Ready By Amy Fardell


sing consignment stores can be a great way to turn used clothing, shoes, accessories and toys into cash for future purchases, but a haphazard approach will leave you with a large headache and a mountain of unmovable junk. Here are a few tips for turning your trash into consignment treasure. Keep yourself organized. Keep children’s clothing separate from shoes, accessories, etc., and group according to size and season. A few stackable plastic bins with lids can be invaluable in helping you maintain order. Label each box, and add outgrown items regularly. Get out that ironing board. Clothes that are clean and pressed, shoes that are washed and odour-free, have a bigger chance of being accepted for consignment. Rips, tears, stains and missing buttons are no-no’s when it comes to consignment, so if it’s not possible to invisibly mend items, put them into a “do not resuscitate” bin. Keep it real. Yes, that first burp cloth that Grandma made by hand for little Sarah was beautiful, and she chewed the hell out of it. Your emotional attachment aside, no one will value a chewed-up, spat-upon, stained and strained item, so either give it a second life as a dish rag or let it rest in peace. Toys for Tommy. Children frequently grow tired of their toys and want “new” ones. But just because it didn’t come in a box, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count as new for someone else. Take your son’s discarded action figures, puzzles and anything else in good shape, and trade it in for “new” toys for him, or cash for you. Then go and buy yourself a latte to celebrate your financial savvy! Check before chucking. Before you throw away those things that have been a little too loved for consignment, check with local charities about what they consider acceptable donations. Not only are you minimizing on landfill waste, but you’re helping out those in need. Some charitable organizations, like the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, can come to your door to pick up used clothing, books, toys and small household items. Visit local consignment shops—before bringing in items. Every shop has different policies on what they accept and when. Some stores accept clothing items up to a season earlier, so fall clothing is accepted sometime during the summer prior. Ask them about their policies, percentages, and what kinds of items they accept. You might just be thinking about clothes, but many stores accept books, small household appliances, even furniture. Don’t forget to ask specific questions about the following:

• Does the store accept walk-ins or do you need to make an appointment? • Which season are they currently accepting? When can you bring in items for future seasons? • What are their expectations in terms of the condition of used items? Gently worn or well-loved? • Do they charge any fees on top of their percentage from the sale? • What is your percentage from each sale? • Does the store pay your percentage to you in cash, or is held as an instore credit? Some stores give you the option; others don’t. Often, the credit is worth more in dollars than the cash, but you have to decide how useable that credit will be at any particular store. • Most stores will only pay you upon the sale of your items (although some do buy your items outright and upfront). Find out how long they will keep the item before deeming it not saleable, and what happens then? Do you get the item back or do they keep it? Be prepared for rejection. Stores will rarely accept everything you bring in, so be prepared to take some things back home with you. It’s nothing personal. Consignment stores receive a lot of inventory, so have to be choosy about what they accept. Car seats, strollers and cribs, oh my! Remember that these types of items usually come with expiry dates and changing safety regulations. Your 20-year-old daughter’s original car seat is definitely not saleable, and should be disposed of (Transport Canada gives most car seats a 10-year shelf life) and definitely not donated. Cribs should not have drop-down sides, and strollers should be checked by a safety expert to make sure fastenings, wheels and support systems are in good working order. Same goes for baby carriers, slings and backpacks. Safety first!

September 2011


consignment listings See ad in this issue

ABBOTSFORD Little Critters Outfitters Upscale children’s resale store. 33550 South Fraser Way 604.854.6006 |

CLOVERDALE Little Critters Outfitters Upscale children’s resale store. 5631-176A St 604.575.2500 |

DELTA Buttercups High-quality “previously loved” children’s goods. 4877 Delta St 604.946.3997 |

Kuddel Muddel Kids Children’s clothing and toys. 4342 Gallant Ave 604.929.2524 The Secret Closet Children’s consignment 1844 Marine Dr 604.926.1630

RICHMOND Clothes Encounter Baby & child new & consignment designer store, plus baby furniture. 1-3891 Chatham St 604.271.0310 Enchante Consignment Boutique 110-12051 2nd Ave 604.272.0560

Clothes for Cuties Tsawwassen-based online store for maternity to children’s size 9. 604.671.4491 |

Kidsupply Clothing Company New and gently used name brand clothing for the whole family. 140-12420 No. 1 Rd 604.271.6415



Toy Traders A huge selection of new and used toys to buy & trade! 150-19888 Langley Bypass 604.532.9516 |

MAPLE RIDGE/PITT MEADOWS Little Savages New and consignment clothing from maternity to teens. 12163 Harris Rd 604.459.1022 | Trendy Tots Clothing for maternity to teens. 22344 Dewdney Trunk Rd 604.467.0330 |

NORTH SHORE Boomers & Echoes Kids & Maternity Maternity to size 8 as well as furniture, car seats, etc. 1985 Lonsdale Ave 604.984.6163 | Encore Fashion Boutique Women’s vintage clothing. 2445 Marine Dr 604.922.2020


Clothesline Consignment Reasonably-priced, current and designer clothes for fashion-conscious women and teens. 5685-176 St 604.576.1010 The Classic Closet Women’s consignment clothing 3-9880-120 St 778.395.8290

VANCOUVER Beansprouts Newborn, baby, toddler and big kids clothing, shoes and gifts. 4305 Main St 604.871.9782 | Cheapskates One Buy and sell quality used sporting equipment. 3644 West 16 Ave 604.222.1125

Classy Kids Consignment High-end maternity & children’s wear as well as strollers, cribs, car seats, high chairs, and more. 3712 West 10 Ave 604.222.4035

Wee Ones Reruns A kid-friendly store with for newborn to kids’ size 10. 612 Kingsway St 604.708.0956 |

Dragon & Phoenix Designer Consignment Women’s designer and mainstream consignment clothing, accessories and collectibles store. 3510 West 41 Ave 604.261.1317 |

Kiddazles Children’s gently used clothing 1253 Johnston Rd 604.531.7931

Kiddo Kids Clothing, shoes, toys, games and books for newborn to kids’ size 8, plus hip maternity fashions, books and accessories. 3950 Main St. 604.708.1101 | MacGillycuddy’s for Little People Specializing in children’s high end clothing and shoes. 4881 MacKenzie St 604.263.5313 Rubenesque Consignment clothing for full-figured women. 564 West Broadway 604.879.3906 Sports Junkies Great deals for new and used sporting goods. 102 West Broadway 604.879.6000 | Temple of the Modern Girl Boutique Vintage, unique women’s clothing. 2695 Main St 778.737.8953 Treasure Express Children’s Consignment A store that repurposes your children’s well loved items. 5585 Dunbar St 604.569.1900 Turnabout—Style & Class Women’s clothing. 3109 Granville St 604.734.5313 | Turnabout—Modern Upbeat Women’s clothing. 3112 West Broadway St 604.731.7762 |


Turnabout—Tasteful Touch Women’s clothing 1446 Johnston Rd 604.536.2827 |

FURNITURE CONSIGNMENT Attic Treasures Vintage mid-century furniture and objects. 944 Commercial Dr, Vancouver 604.254.0220 Consignment Canada Quality, affordable, used, second-hand & almost new furniture, antiques, collectibles and art. 171 Pemberton Ave, North Vancouver 604.980.1110 | Fullhouse 1545 West 4 Ave, Vancouver Largest mid-century & Danish modern, vintage, industrial and contemporary furniture & collectibles 604.733.7789 | The Carriage House Furniture, lamps, area rugs, and ‘one of a kind’ fine quality furnishings. 505 Railway St., Vancouver 604.215.0187 | The Hidden City Collect N’ Consign 4333 Fraser St, Vancouver 604.872.2489 The Main Sellution Selection ranging from antique to midcentury modern to contemporary. 3206 Main St, Vancouver 604.876.4517 Upscale Garage Sale Antique Store An upscale garage sale store specializing in used fine furniture. 3432 Dunbar St, Vancouver 604.733.0787

Heather Cameron of Missing Goat Farm

Photographed by Gina Spanos | AG Photography |

September 2011


wcm profile

Local Mom

Heather Cameron

of Missing Goat Farm

What’s the lowdown on you? I am married and have one daughter who is currently three-and-half. I work as a magazine stylist, an organic jam maker and I run an organic farm—so I suppose I should also be called a farmer?! I loved working in the magazine industry and producing stories, but I find myself shifting away from that towards the organic farming and products that we produce. I’m very passionate about organic gardening/farming. I always have been, even when I lived in an apartment in Vancouver and had one plant. I knew I wanted to have land, grow my own food and have chickens. Now I do, and I was absolutely right...I love it. I’m very passionate about having my daughter learn about where her food comes from and having respect for what we are lucky to have. I love, love, love having her in the kitchen with me. She loves to cook and has a shocking knowledge of the garden and what we grow.

What would you describe as some of the biggest rewards of your work/ family? The biggest reward of my work is that I do get to spend a lot of time with my girl. I’ve never needed daycare or a nanny—not to imply that it wouldn’t have been handy here and there—but we always made it work. My mother is my hero and lives next door—which is a huge reward. She comes to my rescue on a daily basis and I would never have gotten this far without her. She is the kind of mom who would cancel a holiday if she thought you really needed help. My husband is also always there for me. He is the solid rock to my feather-floating world. If I need it, he makes it happen.

How did your business come about?

Do you manage to take time-out for yourself? If so, what does that entail?

I worked full-time in the magazine industry and two years ago, it really got hit hard by the economy. My full-time job became really part-time, so I took this chance to finally focus on our farm. I had always made jam and done canning. A friend opened a cafe in Fort Langley and asked me to supply her with jam, so I did. Another friend in Vancouver owned an awesome bakery named Butter, and she asked to carry the jam, too. It just kept growing on its own. I meekly approached Edible BC on Granville Island and they liked the jam, then the Gourmet Warehouse found me at a very cute country barn sale and asked to carry the line. A month or so ago, Whole Foods sent me a note saying they were interested. So it’s simply taken on a life of its own and has grown into a new career.

I’m not going to lie and say I take warm baths to relax after a long day or read novels on Sundays. At this point in my life, I really don’t take time out for myself. With the farm, the staff, the jam and the family, I just don’t see it happening. I’ve just come in from picking up shoes and some toys from the lawn, putting the chickens to bed, doing the last load of laundry, washing up the last of the dinner dishes (for a crew of six) and now, I’m on the computer trying to catch up with the whole networking end of business. I know the time will come and then, I will be painting and taking photos. Any time I have now, I take photos. I always dreamed of being a photographer.

What are some of your biggest challenges in work? In life?

Any must-haves? My camera, chapstick and gum boots.

My biggest challenge in work is learning to let go of control over every single thing. I’ve always been self-employed, and have always been in full control of everything. I’m learning to delegate and I have to say, it’s pretty darn fabulous.

Tell us one or two of the most important life lessons you have learned through being a mom/business owner.

My biggest challenge in life is trying not to let the work stress me out to the point of being a bad mother. I think this must be the fear of every mom who works hard.

That working from home is not a good idea. I was naive and thought it would be easy and I’d get so much done. Reality is she cries when I pick the computer over a yet another re-enactment of Sleeping Beauty. I’ve also learnt that getting my daughter involved and giving her responsibilities is really important, and also makes her feel proud. I give her funny little jobs and have her help customers who come to the farm. If I cut her off and say I have to do it all, she is left out, and in the end, they just want to be a part of what you are doing. And what is really important, is that if she wants to do it her way, not yours, just let it go! Short lavender will sell just as well as long lavender. Anything else you’d like us to know about you? My farm is called Missing Goat and we are a certified organic blueberry farm. We produce a line of jams called Missing Goat and they are also certified organic, sold all about Vancouver.


wcm feature

Slow Parenting By Sandra Delayne


f you felt like summer barely started before it was over, you’re not alone. More and more parents complain these days about feeling as if time is going by much too fast and that there’s never enough of it to get everything done. This feeling is especially true when it comes to our kids. Between soccer practice, band practice, math club, study groups, school plays, swim meets and piano lessons, our kids’ schedules could make some CEOs’ necks do an Exorcist-style spin. And the education/activity overdrive starts earlier and earlier, with four- and five-year-olds balancing advanced math tutorials with competitive sports and fine arts programs. The backlash has already set in, and slow parenting is a term that has swept more than one continent. But what actually is slow parenting? According to Carl Honoré, author of The Power of Slow: Finding Balance and Fulfillment Beyond the Cult of Speed, slow parenting means understanding that “childrearing should not be a cross between a competitive sport and productdevelopment. It is not a project; it’s a journey.” What does this mean? That there might be something off about kids who can speak three languages fluently by age six, but can’t be trusted to walk home alone until they go off to college. Our generation grew up considerably more street-smart than our own children. I remember long summer days when my mother would shoo me and my friends out of the house after breakfast, and I was told to be back in time for dinner. However, I couldn’t do compound fractions until I was nine. Did it impact my success later in life? Probably not. On the flip side, we all want to give our children the advantages we didn’t have. And slow parenting doesn’t mean relinquishing all activities in favour of poking dirt with a stick. “Slow parenting is about bringing balance into the home,” says Honoré. Children need to strive and struggle and stretch themselves, but that does not mean childhood should be a race.” How does that translate for your family? Consider the following factors: • Do your children often complain of being tired? Are they cranky in the morning and in the evening before bed? Children between ages six and eight should be getting around nine to 11 hours of sleep nightly. • Do you, as a family, have time on a daily basis to rest, reflect and catch up with each other on the day’s happenings? How often are you able to sit down together for a family meal? • Are the parents receiving enough sleep and downtime? • Do you children have time for unstructured play and rest on a daily basis? • Is homework suffering due to a high activity load? Depending on your answers, you may want to explore dialling down some activities, or adjusting schedules to create more time on a daily basis to rest and recharge. Here are some things to consider when adjusting schedules: • Which activities is your child truly interested in? Kids usually have one or two things that they’re really excited about. Figure out which those are, and see how they feel about letting go of one or two others. • How much sleep does your child need? Every kid is different, and individual energy levels mean that one child’s busyness is another child’s boredom. Find the right amount for your child and schedule accordingly. • How much one-on-one time do you and your child currently have? If you’re not happy with the number, chances are your child isn’t either (especially true for younger children). Regardless of your decisions and schedules, try to take a few moments each day to stop and reflect, spend some time chatting with your kids, and doing absolutely nothing at all. What could be slower than that?

September 2011


wcm reads Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting: An Anthology

Not so Fast: Slow Down Solutions for Frenzied Families

Slow and Steady Parenting: Active Child-Raising for the Long Haul, From Birth to Age 3

Slow Dancing at Death’s Door: Helping Your Aging Parents Through the Last Stages of Life

by Ann Kroeker Kroeker explores the jarring and damaging effects of our over-schedule lives and offers practical and simple alternatives that help parents replenish their sense of self and restore rushed relationships. SRP $15.99

Eds. Sarah Conover and Tracy Springberry A diverse group of writers from a multitude of spiritual backgrounds reflect on how children have transformed their emotional and spiritual lives. From battling with their souls to saying “yes” to living, this book will inspire you to reflect on how your children have changed your life, attitudes and beliefs. SRP $15.75


by Amy C. Baker Based on the personal experiences of author Baker as she dealt with being a mother, corporate executive and volunteer while dealing with two parents’ declining health and eventual passing. Baker offers insights into how to emotionally cope with the ups and downs while learning to multi-task on a whole new level. SRP $14.99

by Catherine Sanderson Filled with helpful advice for everyday situations, Sanderson helps parents avoid short-term solutions that lead to long-term problems by emphasizing that “slow and steady wins the race.” SRP $17.95


Creative Movement & Crafts Boys & Girls 2 1/2 to 10 years old

The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

Ballet Classes Boys & Girls 3 to 10 years old


Gabrielas Movement Studio MP.ind1 1

604-318-1261 •

1/20/08 1:16:05 PM

A magical comedic fun-filled show, with one of 30 costumed characters. Performing: Singing, Dancing, Magic, Animaloons, Joking Puppets & Face Painting. For: Parties, Holiday Celebrations & Promotional Events.

736★0876 / 729★4987

Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898


E-mail us at to reach over 50,00 families in the Lower Mainland each issue!

Where to pick up your copy of

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town!

Vancouver – East Brainbridge Bilingual Education Champlain Heights Community Centre Collingwood House Family Passages Fertility Yoga Kiwassa Neighbourhood House Pomme d’Api Preschool Sir Charles Kinsford-Smith Elementary Vancouver – West Alta Vista Naturopathic Clinic Arbutus Mall Arts Club Theatre Arts Umbrella False Creek Community Centre Granville Island Kids Market Jewish Community Centre Music Together Phoenix Song Vancouver – Downtown Admiral Seymour Elementary Denman Community Centre London Drugs St. Paul’s Hospital Telus (Corporate Offices) Vancouver Public Library West End Aquatic Centre North Shore Canlan Ice Sports Gleneagles Community Centre Memorial Public Library North Shore Neighbourhood House Super-Valu Richmond Blundell Elementary Conseil Scolaire Francophone Pacific Family Life Counselling Shoppers Drug Mart Steveston Community Centre Burnaby/New Westminster Bob Pritchie Public Library Bread Garden Burnaby General Hospital Edmond Elementary Hilton Hotel New Westminster Home Learners Program Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam/Port Moody Chimo Pool & Social Recreation Centre Denise Richardson-Roy Stibbs Elementary Gymboree Poirier Community Centre Terry Fox Public Library Surrey/Delta/White Rock Kids Corner Ladner Pioneer Library Newton Arena Pinewood Elementary Planet Ice Strawberry Hill Elementary Sylvan Learning Centre YMCA Tong Louie Langley/Abbotsford/Aldergrove Aldergrove Mall Fraser Valley Regional Library Love Those Loot Bags McDonald’s Zellers Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge Fitness Unlimited Maple Ridge Childcare Resource Vancouver International School

Zimsculpt VanDusen Botanical Garden Ongoing to September 25 Zimsculpt returns to VanDusen for its third and final year, bringing stunning stone sculpture from Zimbabwe. More than 300 pieces by several Zimbabwean sculptors are artistically displayed throughout the Garden. Two artists from Zimbabwe, Passmore Mupindiko and Patrick Sephani, will be in attendance throughout the exhibition and carving on site daily. All pieces are for sale with partial proceeds going to support the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association. This will be your last chance to see and purchase these stunning sculptures. Affair with Art! Place des Arts, Coquitlam September 8, 7-9pm Ignite your creative fire and discover something new at Place des Arts’ second annual adults-only open house. Sip a complimentary glass of wine while you view the exhibitions and enjoy talks by exhibiting artists. Participate in hands-on visual art demos and get a discount on class registrations during the event (adult classes only). Boots Across the Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge September 9, 7-10pm The North Vancouver Fire Fighters Charitable Society will be working in partnership with the Capilano Suspension Bridge organization to raise funds for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. This charity event will feature wine tastings paired with delicious food, a fresh oyster bar, exciting wine sabering and a silent auction. Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Noons Creek hatchery and along Burrard Inlet September 10, 9-11am Last year, over 180 lbs was collected—2,000 pieces of garbage. A reminder to please carry out what you carry in! 778.861.1972

EAT! Fraser Valley Food + Cooking Festival Tradex Trade & Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford September 16-18 Celebrity chefs, local restaurants, wineries, food & beverage manufacturers, cookbook authors, retailers, artisans, and others from the culinary world will come together for unique food experiences, opportunities to learn behind-the-scenes culinary magic from professional chefs, entertainment through cooking demonstrations, diverse food, beverage and cooking-related exhibits. Spend on Trend Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St, Vancouver September 16-18, various times Spend on Trend is back to unveil new fall collections before they hit the stores. Shop independent designers like Elroy, Dru’s Design, Bronsino, Toodlebunny, Bueno Style, Filou, and more. Better still, the first 25 people in line each day receive a stylish swag bag! Tickets are $5 at the door or prepurchased online. Bloom Market Fort Langley Community Hall September 18, 11am-5pm Bloom is an independent artist and designer market. Held quarterly at the Fort Langley Community Hall, Bloom will bring together an eclectic mix of artists, craftspeople and designers to showcase their one-of-a-kind art, fashion, accessories, jewelry, home decor, vintage, and more. Admission is $2. Earthquake Preparedness: Be Prepared, Not Scared Vancouver Public Library September 19, 7-8:30pm It’s not too late to be prepared for an earthquake. We all witnessed the recent earthquakes and have seen firsthand the devastation that was caused. This session covers what is required to develop your family emergency plan, how to conduct a “Home Hazard Hunt,” and what to do when an earthquake strikes. Admission is free. Seating is limited. 604.331.4044

The 7th Annual Food & Wine Festival Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course, Surrey September 22, 6-10pm A night of local and international wines with gourmet food from local restaurants and artisan food merchants that will tantalize your taste buds. The night will also include entertainment, silent auction and a raffle. If you would like to be a vendor, sponsor, or a silent auction donor for this event, please contact Liz Harris. 604.574.2964 ext. 228 Once Upon A Cure The Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard St September 24, 6pm Just like Alice plunged into Wonderland, all families diagnosed with MPSII (Hunter’s Syndrome) are plunged into a world previously unknown to them that they must learn to navigate. Just like Alice, this world is beautiful and nightmarish at the same time. The beauty and joy of life is never more clear than when the life of one’s child is threatened. Come out for a truly unique, wonderful, and maybe even unpredictable gala, and journey into Wonderland for just one evening. Share in celebrating the joy of life and raising critically needed funds for research, with emcees Kid Carson and Amy Beeman from 94.5 The Beat FM. Cocktails at 6pm, followed by dinner. Vancouver International Flamenco Festival Multiple locations September 26-October 2 The festival presents flamenco artists performing in a range of styles – from traditional to contemporary, and soloists to ensemble works. See website for details. Health Starts Here Buffet Whole Foods, Kitsilano September 27, 5-7pm Try a great selection of the new Health Starts Here deli and bakery items and donate to The Whole Planet Foundation! Buffet costs $5.

Want WestCoast Families at YOUR event? Call 604.249.2866 or email to receive free delivery of our magazines to your family event! September 2011


ReadersChoice awards 3rd Annual

is pleased to announce the official launch of our

Enter for your chance to WIN our ULTIMATE FAMILY PASS, which is even bigger and better this year! The ULTIMATE FAMILY PASS Grand Prize (Worth Over $1,700!) includes:


One-year family memberships to ALL of the following attractions: • Britannia Mine Museum • Capilano Suspension Bridge • Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden • Greater Vancouver Zoo • Grouse Mountain • H.R. McMillan Planetarium • Maplewood Farm • Museum of Vancouver • Vancouver Aquarium • Vancouver Art Gallery • VanDusen Botanical Garden

PLUS: 4 Season PlayPasses to Playland 2012 (April through September) 12 Single Family Passes to Richmond Aquatic Facilities, including Watermania

OR you can win one of these great prizes: • Family Subscription to FOUR of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-12 Kids’ Koncerts, plus four vouchers for any regular concert in the 2011-12 season • FOUR tickets to one of Carousel Theatre for Young People’s 2012 performances of Literary Classics. • TWO One-Day Family Passes to Vancouver Maritime Museum, as well as a copy of Waterfront by Dr. James P. Delgado

Go online to for full details on all prizes and to cast your vote! Voting is open from July 15, 2011 until September 23, 2011. Contest results and prize winners will be announced in the November/December 2011 issue. All prizes will be awarded by November 15, 2011, and will be good for up to one year from date of issue.


community calendar Extreme Dinosaurs Science World Ongoing until September 28, noon & 2pm Jump on board this global adventure of science discovery where you’ll encounter the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous Period. Join renowned palaeontologists as they discover new fossils and uncover evidence that dinosaur descendants are still among us. Realistic and scientifically-accurate computer generated animation brings dinosaurs back to a big way! Playland Ongoing to September 25 Get access to over 30 rides and attractions, including a brand new attraction! Save up to $5 by purchasing a PlayPass online or at 7-Eleven & Safeway locations. Check out the Climbing Wall, Pacific Adventure Golf, Glass Maze or the Haunted Mansion. Try a treat from any of the different food venues. Summer Night Market 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday until September 18 Featuring more than 200 vendors including unique merchandise from around the world and delicious food and drink, as well as entertainment, street performers, exhibitions, eating contest, dog show, baby crawling contest, Play Zone for kids and multicultural performances. Admission is free. Confederation Park Miniature Railway Confederation Park, Burnaby 11am-5pm until Thanksgiving weekend Ride the miniature train any weekend or holiday for only $2. Dress appropriately as it is rain or shine! 604.291.0922 Chilliwack 24th Annual Bluegrass Festival Chilliwack Heritage Park September 2-4 Seven amazing bands, open mic, beginner jams, workshops, corn shucking contests, free corn roast every night, covered venue, and more. 604.392.8888 The Backyardigans: Quest for the Extra Ordinary Aliens Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey September 10, 1pm, 4pm & 7pm The Centre for Performing Arts, Vancouver September 11, 1pm & 4pm The adventure continues in this out-ofthis-world theatrical production that will lead families on a heroic quest through the whimsical escapades of The Backyardigans. Place des Arts Family Open House Place des Arts September 10, 2-4pm Discover the world of art at Place des Arts’ annual Family Open House. Enjoy fun arts activities, take a tour of the centre, participate in hands-on teacher demos, win fabulous door prizes and get a discount on class registration during the event.

Fleetwood Community Festival Fleetwood Community Centre September 10, 11am-3pm Join us for this annual event for the entire family. Entertainment, children’s activities, concession foods, balloons and much more! 1 Session $10 Kid’s Stuff Swap Meet South Surrey Recreation Centre September 10, 11am-3pm This swap meet is geared towards preschool and children’s items. If you have toys, clothes, or books you no longer use then this is your chance to sell these items! Tables are $16. 604.592.6970 Southlands Country Fair Southlands Riding Club, Vancouver September 11, 10am-5pm Enjoy a day in the country, without leaving the city. There are activities for all ages, all day long. Shopping, learning, petting animals, riding ponies, playing games, and watching horses and riders will be entertained from the moment you enter the gates. Rain or shine! 604.351.5522 The 2011 Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause Multiple locations September 11, 9am registration Join the BC SPCA’s signature event bringing together animal lovers from all over the province. By participating on September 11th at one of our many locations you’ll be helping us continue to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. This year’s goal is to raise 1 million dollars for animals in need across the province. All youth (18 and under) register to walk for free! 604.681.7271 | Agassiz Fall Fair & Corn Festival Agassiz September 16-17 Check out the parade, stage entertainment, corn husking, 4-H exhibits, educational displays, tractor pull, kids corner, crafts and much more! Please check the website for times. Largest Kids Swapmeet in the Lower Mainland Cloverdale Fair Grounds September 17, 9am-1pm If you are looking for a bargain for newborn to teen items this is the place! 9am Early Bird shopping: Admission $5. 10am to 1pm: $2. Arrive 8:45am (prepay for the 9am shopping adventure). 150 vendors selling their children’s gently used items for bargain prices, plus new businesses such as Norwex, USC Savings, local photography and Discovery Toys. 604.513.8880

Sea to Sky Family Fair West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish September 17 The Sea to Sky Family Fair (presented by Par-TPerfect) is a high energy baby and kids show with everything for young families under one roof. There will be information, shopping, a photo contest, a Kids Zone and two concerts by Bobs & Lolo. Tickets are $10 (kids under two are free) and include all the activities and one free mini-rail ride. For more info check the website.

Harvest Festival Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House September 24, 11am-4pm The block outside the House will be closed off for the street party portion of this event which includes live bands, community booths, games, a silent auction, raffle, and more. Indoors find a variety of workshops, and cultural activities as well as an Interactive Sonic Playground for children. Admission is free while some activities may have minimal costs. Workshops are by donation, and no one will be turned away.

HSBC VanDusen Family Program: Yes, Please, Trees! VanDusen Botanical Garden September 17, 10:30am-noon or 1:30-3pm For families with children ages five to 10 years. Pollinators make it possible for us to eat well. Investigate the wonderful world of trees as we meet some of VanDusen’s coolest trees and learn easy ways to identify them. We’ll also make leaf fossils to take home, and play ‘treemendous’ games. Member Family $10, Nonmember Family $20 (includes admission to the Garden). One-time bursaries are available for families with limited resources. Children must be accompanied by an adult for the entire time of the program. Pre-registration required. 604.718.5898

Apple Day Historic Stewart Farm September 24, noon-4pm Celebrate everything apple! Tour the farm’s orchard and learn about heritage varieties of apples, taste samples, and watch cider press demonstrations. Bring your gardening questions to Master Gardeners and chat with knowledgeable members of the BC Fruit Testers Association. Enjoy displays, find out about bees, pollination, grafting, and purchase fruit trees and honey. By donation. All ages. 604.592.6956

Terry Fox Run Multiple locations September 18 Celebrate the legacy and dream to find a cure for cancer. Join in a non-competitive run as an individual, family or group to help raise funds for cancer in memory of Terry Fox. Please check website for locations and times. Youth Open House & BBQ False Creek Community Centre September 23, 6-9pm Come out for some free burgers and hotdogs! FCCC will be having their welcome back weenie roast & youth open house. Learn about youth programs, play games, meet the youth workers and hang out with your friends in the gym or the games room. This night is completely on them! 604.257.8195 | Grand Opening City Centre Library 10350 University Drive September 24, 11am-3pm Join Mayor Dianne Watts along with a host of entertainers as they officially open the City Centre Library. This the first building to be completed in the Community Plaza at City Centre will which eventually also house Surrey City Hall. Festivities include: Music, dancing, Celebrity Author Mike McCardell, a ventriloquist, Surrey Children’s Choir, and more! Grand Opening Kensington Prairie Community Centre 16824-32 Ave September 24, 11am-2pm Enjoy this free family event with entertainment, refreshments, prizes, activities. 604.541.3270 |

Kidstuff Swapmeet Willingdon Community Centre, Burnaby September 24, 9am-1pm 40 tables of used children’s items, clothes, and toys. Come and pick up a bargain! 604.297.4526 The Word on the Street Library Square and CBC Plaza September 25, 11am-5pm This is a full day of indoor and outdoor author events, exhibits, performances, a marketplace and all-round books and reading fun and frolic. Vancouver’s annual celebration of reading brings visitors face-to-face with our vibrant writing and publishing community and is jam-packed with author readings, spoken word, poetry, hands-on demos, musical entertainment, children’s activities and much more. Admission is free. The Dance Centre presents Discover Dance! Scotiabank Dance Centre September 29, noon The Louis Riel Métis Dancers will perform a selection of jigs, reels and polkas. The blending of European and First Nations dance has created the unique Métis dances which are among the most joyful and celebratory—and the most intricate and difficult—of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Followed by a questionand-answer session for artists and audience. Tickets $10/$8 students, seniors and children. 604.606.6400 |

Want WestCoast Families at YOUR event? Call 604.249.2866 or email to receive free delivery of our magazines to your family event!

September 2011


last look

First Day of School Classics! Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

by Herman Parish Amelia Bedelia knows she’ll love everything about school: new friends, her own desk; music, books, gym, art, recess, lunch, and so much more! But will the first day go smoothly? SRP $10.99

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

by Joseph Slate This rhyming book tells the story of Miss Bindergarten, as she prepares for her new kindergarten students—all 26 of them—as well as the children who are getting ready for their first day of kindergarten with Miss Bindergarten! SRP $9.99

Kindergarten Rocks!

by Katie Davis Dexter knows everything there is to know about kindergarten, thanks to big sister Jessie. But Dexter’s stuffed dog Rufus is completely terrified. Luckily, Rufus—and Dexter—will soon find out that kindergarten really rocks! SRP $8.99

Books for Older Kids Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan In the first book of this astounding series based on Greek myths, Percy Jackson, an average teenager, discovers he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. Trouble ensues, thanks to an old prophesy and even older enemies. SRP $8.99

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang

by Amy Ignatow Best friends Lydia and Julie have one goal: they want to crack the code of popularity. But despite writing down their observations on the popular girls in fifth grade, and conducting experiments, nothing seems to work. In fact, all their work seems to be having the opposite effect! SRP $9.95

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

by J.K. Rowling In this entertaining companion book, Rowling describes the animal world of Harry Potter, including Hippogriffs, Flobberworms, and—yes—dragons. SRP $7.99

Save and Spend Less! Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey

by Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler Authors Demer and Wheeler share their expertise along with hundreds of tried-and-true coupon tips in a fun, user-friendly format that will help you save more than a few bucks on your grocery bill. SRP $19.62


The Wealthy Barber Returns

by Dave Chilton In this sometimes-rambling, often humorous and highly informative book, Chilton address the concerns of Canadians in the current world market, and talks about how we can take control of our saving, spending, borrowing and investment decisions. SRP $19.95

Swiss Mushroom Melt

Tangy Thai Chicken

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Western Canada. Product availability varies by restaurant. ©2011 McDonald’s.

Chicken BLT Baguette

September 2011


LASAGNA FOR ONE. SODIUM FOR FOUR. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure or heart disease. So always read the label, and aim for 15% Daily Value or less. To learn more visit

WestCoast Families Sept 2011  

WestCoast Families Sept 2011

WestCoast Families Sept 2011  

WestCoast Families Sept 2011