An open letter to Kathleen Wynne, Part 2.

Our family also ‘dodged the bullet’ – we were discharged in April, effective at the end of June. Great Post, had to share!

crcrsmommy's Blog

Oh, KathleAllYouNeedIsen. What. Have you. Done ?!

After hearing the recent changes announced by the Liberal government, regarding the Ontario Autism Program, I felt inclined to write to you again. Forgive me for having not written sooner, but you dropped a bomb on us Kathleen. I needed some time to crawl through the rubble.

I am the mother of a child with Autism, and I firstwrote to you back in June 2014.

Kathleen, you humiliated me. You humiliated all of us that believed you, when you promised additional support and shorter waitlists for our children with special needs.

My husband and I tuned into our local news station, along with other eager parents in the Autism community, on March 29th. The $333 million in funding sounded promising ! I mean really, how could an announcement for additional fundstowards supporting our children with Autism, be bad…

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Win A 3 Night Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel & Park Tickets!

Check out this amazing contest from!

We love everything Disney and we have a magical time every time we visit Disneyland! Our last visit was just in February but it already feels like forever ago and we can’t wait to go back!!!  Now we want YOU to experience the magic and thanks to Park Savers we are giving away an amazing prize pack…

Source: Win A 3 Night Stay At A Disney Resort Hotel & Park Tickets!

Welcome To The Show!

I can’t imagine my life without music! Without Squeeze and without Walk Off The Earth! So proud of this new venture! Please follow, share! 🙂

Music Mommas

This is it, the big day here at Music Mommas – launch day.  I admit that there isn’t a lot to see here, yet. We still have to decorate and move in all of the furniture, but with a little patience, we will get there.

What can you expect to find here?  You can expect to find three moms (hence the name) who love music, who find solace in music, who believe that music is life.

Our goal is to share the stories of people who bring music to life. Full-time musicians, teachers, technicians, and people who run venues will join us to talk about music. If we’re lucky, we might even convince a few musicians to play some music for us.

The postings will be slow at first; most of the Music Mommas have full-time jobs and will post when they can. We are also working on securing more…

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We’re pretty excited here about the release of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games!  I took my daughter and her Brony friend to see the 2nd installment in theatres, and they loved every minute. My daughter thinks this is the BEST of the three movies and really ties together the series. In this story, fans get to learn more about the magic of the Equestria Girls and how they ‘pony up’ (transform with pony ears and tails when they tap into their magic).

friendshipgames 2

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games is available NOW on DVD, Blu-ray combo pack and on iTunes for immediate digital download!

Check it out, it’s awesome!

My followers have the chance to WIN the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack!  To enter, please follow the Shout! Factory Facebook and Twitter pages and complete the entry form below:


Good Luck!!  Tweet every day for bonus entries!

❤ Jennpup ❤

It was right in front of my eyes and I missed it! #FamilyEyeHealth

Did you see it?

Did you see it? When my daughter was 2, I shared some pictures of her spinning around with family – she looked so joyous!  Our aunt replied, noticing our DD’s eyes were not aligned and suggested I see an eye doctor.  I could see it in the pictures, but thought it was from the spinning.  I booked her for an eye exam the following week just to be safe and the Optometrist confirmed it, my daughter had a ‘lazy eye’ (amblyopia) due to a slight misalignment.

Lazy eye (amblyopia) is decreased vision that results from abnormal visual development in infancy and early childhood. Although lazy eye usually affects only one eye, it can affect both eyes. Lazy eye is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. – The Mayo Clinic

In most pictures, and most of the time, her eyes appeared to be fine. It was so slight, I couldn’t see it myself.  I thought it would be more obvious if there was a problem. I thought my child had to be able to read letters on a chart to get a thorough eye exam. I didn’t know that optometrists can screen and assess eyes for infants.

At the time, our treatment options were fairly limited. The optometrist advised that we had caught the eye turn too late to correct itI was shocked! She was only 2, surely, there was time to fix it!  But I learned that I should have brought her in at 6 months.

This was almost 10 years ago, there have been some advances since that time. We followed a routine of patching and doing exercises to help my daughter strengthen her weak eye. Ultimately, we were able to get her vision back and each eye is now 20/20.  Surgery was offered for cosmetic purposes only, but with her eye turn being so slight, I was unwilling to opt for the surgery.

She currently uses one eye or the other, never both at the same time. The optometrists at UW Optometry check up on her every year and seem impressed with her ability to switch eyes.  She does not have ‘3D’ vision, but her brain compensates for this and although some skills may take her longer (hitting a baseball or riding her bike) she will lead a normal life and be able to drive if she chooses.

When my son was 6 months, I took him to our local Ontario Early Years Centre for a vision screening. No eye turn, healthy eyes. Please check with your local Early Years Centre or equivalent to see if they offer this program:

The University of Waterloo, School of Optometry offers vision screening for children 6 months to 6 years of age. The vision screening examination will include an assessment on your child’s visual acuity, eye coordination and depth perception. Question’s you many have regarding you or your child’s vision can be answered. – Our Place Early Years Centre

In Ontario, OHIP covers annual eye exams for children and young adults under the age of 20 (and seniors over 65).  We take both of our children annually for their free exam.

People 65 years and older and those younger than 20, are covered by OHIP for a routine eye examination provided by either an optometrist or physician once every 12 months plus any follow-up assessments that may be required.Ontario Ministry of Health

October is Children’s Vision Month. Please join @YMCBuzz and Doctors of Optometry Canada to learn more about keeping your children’s eyes healthy at the #FamilyEyeHealth Twitter Party on October 18th at 9pm ET.  There will be lots of good information as well as awesome prizes!

During the party, five lucky winners will win the following:

  • A HP Pavilion 360 laptop and a $200 gift voucher to be used for goods/services from a local doctor of optometry.

I hope to see you there! 🙂



❤ Jennpup ❤

This post was not sponsored, but it is an issue I care very much about! ❤

Dinner in Minutes with #CardinalReady

My kids are vegetarian and picky. My hubby is pure carnivore and I am somewhere in the middle. So, it’s no surprise that I’m a bit of a short order cook!  I like meals that are fast and if there are individual portions, even better!

I was super happy to get to be a #CardinalReady tester for my blog!  The hardest part was picking which meal kit to try!  I am a sucker for Butter Chicken, but I decided to follow my man’s heart and cook the Pork Back Ribs in Barbecue Sauce!

My husband is on a special diet that requires a lot of protein each day. For my main side dish, I made a quinoa pilaf, as it is rich in protein. I always have some ‘omelette mix’ from Robert’s Boxed Meats in Kitchener in the freezer – a pre-diced red pepper, green pepper and onion blend.  I sauteed about 2 cups of onion/pepper mix, ’til the onions were cooked how I like them, then added a full package of Sobey’s Quinoa and toasted it a bit, then poured in the whole carton of Sobey’s Compliments brand Chicken Broth. Once this was nearly boiling, I covered the pot and turned the heat way down. Ignored it until everything else was ready to go.  Fluffed at the end and it was perfect.

I love that the ribs are sealed in two portions –  and that I can cook one or both.  The ribs can be baked or heated in the microwave oven.  I decided to try the microwave oven method, but then broiled them a bit in my toaster oven to help the sauce caramelize.

I opened one serving and put it on an oven safe dish. Covered it with a paper towel as per the directions and heated in the microwave oven for 8 minutes on med-high.  After it was done, I transferred the dish into my toaster oven and set it to broil for 5 minutes. It turned out beautifully!

Have you seen the no-shuck corn cooking method online? I tried it this summer and it WORKS! I put the whole ear of corn right into the microwave oven. Cooked it on high for 2 minutes, flipped it over and cooked another two minutes. Cut off the ‘bottom’ and slid the perfectly cooked corn out of the sleeve – not one silk string was left behind. Pure magic!

All that was left to do was to transfer the ribs and corn onto a serving plate, adding 2 ice cream scoops full of Quinoa Pilaf – and dinner was ready to go in less than 30 minutes!

Thank you Cardinal Ready and ListenToLena for the opportunity! The ribs were so good my husband was asking for more ribs (and in less than 10 minutes they were hot and ready)!

Hurry and claim your coupon here so you too can try #CardinalReady – enjoy!

❤ Jennpup ❤


New from the Director of Disney’s Enchanted and TarzanThe Seventh Dwarf!  This fun tale brings together Snow White, The Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. The littlest dwarf “Bobo” makes a big mistake and has to save the kingdom along with the help of the other dwarves.


My daughter was happy to see Peyton List from Disney’s Jessie and I was happy to see Norm MacDonald (SNL) listed among the voice cast.  Besides a great cast of characters, the movie offers excitement and adventure – dragon battles, an evil witch – so much fun!

Shout! Factory is releasing The Seventh Dwarf on August 18th!  The film will be available digitally on iTunes or for purchase at major retailers.

THE SEVENTH DWARF Two-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack contains the feature presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a Digital Copy of the film, as well as the following special features:

  • Character Profiles
  • Sing-Alongs
  • Downloadable Royal Birthday Invitation

THE SEVENTH DWARF DVD contains the following bonus features:

  • Character Profiles
  • Sing-Alongs
  • Downloadable Royal Birthday Invitation

Movie Runtime is 88 minutes. MPAA Rating: PG. For more information on The Seventh Dwarf, please visit

<<Enter to WIN the DVD here, CANADA, NO QC, ENDS 09/07!>>

Please be sure to follow Shout! Factory on  Facebook and Twitter!  And if you haven’t already done so, please give my Facebook page a like (it’s much appreciated)!

❤ Jennpup ❤

Afternoon Tea at the Royal York – Review

We recently enjoyed a wonderful stay at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. One of the highlights for me was Afternoon Tea at the Library Bar with my 11 year old daughter, Delphine.

What shall we order?

I prepped Delphine ahead of time, showing her the traditional menu (she is a very picky eater, but I encouraged her to try the traditional tea).  We talked about manners and the tradition of High Tea.  Originally, I had made a reservation for four, later I called to change it, since I decided against bringing my son. He is only 5 and not quite ready for fine china.

When we arrived to check in for our reservation, we were still listed as a party of four. One of the things I LOVED about our experience at The Royal York is the high quality customer service focus of all of the staff. They welcomed the opportunity to be gracious about the error and remarked at how much more comfortable we would be in our table for four as a twosome.

We received the traditional menu, but to my surprise our attendant told my daughter there were kid-friendly options available such as ‘bubblegum tea’, ‘hot chocolate’ and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or grilled cheese sandwiches. Delphine wanted to try the traditional tea first, knowing she could order something else if necessary.

Delphine picked the apple tea and I ordered the jasmine. The apple tea was delicious and definitely child friendly.  We enjoyed waiting for the tea to steep and pouring it into the beautiful china.

For Mother’s Day, Delphine asked me what I wanted. I told her I wanted a handmade card and that I would enter it into the Rogers Daytime Channel 20 Instagram Mother’s Day contest.  Her card won and we received a one night’s stay for a family of four at the Royal York, passes to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and Afternoon Tea! Talk about a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!

The Fairmont Royal York had noted us as contest winners for our Afternoon Tea reservation. Our attendant surprised us with sparkling wine for me and ginger ale for Delphine and congratulated us on our win. I toasted Delphine and thanked her for the beautiful Mother’s Day gift she won for us!

I had visited the Royal York Afternoon Tea many years ago with my mother and grandmother and I was really looking forward to the scones and clotted cream!  It wasn’t long before this beautiful spread arrived!  Everything was exquisite, of course!

For fun, I tried the scones two different ways!  Cream on top (Cornish style), and cream on the bottom (Devonshire method).  The verdict? Delicious either way!

Ultimately, Delphine was not won over by the traditional fare, so it was the Royal York’s children’s menu to the rescue. She ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and it even arrived with the most adorable bottle of ketchup you’ve ever seen!

Check out more photos on the Adventures With Jennpup Facebook page (and please give us a ‘like’ while you’re at it).

If you will be visiting in the summer, be sure and check out the rooftop tour:

During Summer months, tea time includes a chance to explore the hotel’s famous rooftop herb garden 14 stories above ground. Starting Saturday June 20 until Labour Day weekend, rooftop tours will depart from the foyer outside Library Bar at 2pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. – The Fairmont Royal York

The Royal York currently offers the “F-Scape to Toronto Package” which includes:

  • One Night Accommodation in a newly renovated Fairmont Luxury Room
  • Afternoon Tea For Two at Library Bar
  • In-Room “Rooftop” Amenity – Honey Jars for Two
  • Rooftop Tour for Two

Unfortunately, our weekend in Toronto was quite rainy, so we did not take the rooftop tour. But, we enjoyed the proximity of the Royal York to the “Skywalk” and were able to stay dry while walking to Ripley’s Aquarium.

If you get the chance, take a Mother/Daughter trip to Toronto! Catch a show (we enjoyed Kinky Boots) and don’t miss the Afternoon Tea!

Thank you Rogers Daytime and the Fairmont Royal York!  We hope to return again.

❤ Jennpup ❤

Mermaid of the Lake: Fin Fun Mermaid Tail Review

Fin Fun Mermaid Tail

This is a Guest Blog by my 11 year old, Delphine. Delphine is a very strong swimmer and has always dreamed of being a mermaid. For Christmas last year, she asked Santa for a Fin-Fun Mermaid Tail (sleeve) and we bought her the ‘monofin’. She has been patiently waiting for Summer and a trip to the Aunties’ Cottage to give it a go!

Fin Fun Mermaid Tail Review by Delphine

I have a Fin Fun Mermaid Tail and recently I have been using it in the lake at my Great Aunties’ cottage and I’ve been having so much fun!

What I love about the Fin Fun tail is obviously it makes me into a real life mermaid! But, it’s also comfortable and relatively easy to get in and out of. This tail is great for us awesome swimmers, just make sure you or your child are strong enough at swimming to handle it. It definitely makes swimming in summer (or any other season) so much more fun!

I mean, if I could be a real mermaid I totally would and this tail basically does that! (But once you take it off you can still be a normal person!) This tail in my opinion would make the greatest birthday or Christmas present for your child if they love to swim as much as I do!

❤ Delphine ❤
Delphine will be attending a “Mermaid Camp” with Waterloo Synchro soon! We are looking forward to seeing her learn some more mermaid tricks and they have promised some underwater photos! Fantastic!

Peace in,

❤ Jennpup ❤

Warning: Mermaid Tails are not for every child! Please ensure your child is a very strong swimmer, has a good ‘dolphin kick’ and does not attempt flips or more advanced moves without an adult directly supervising. Safety first!

Celebrating 60 Years of Santa’s Village – Review and Giveaway 07/20

Santa's Village

Santa’s Village is 60 this year and we recently attended to visit our old favourites and to check out what’s new. Read below for a $5.00 discount per person at Santa’s Village–exclusively for readers, and for my Santa’s Village contest!

I love Santa’s Village. I love spending a day at this family friendly amusement park nestled among tall pine trees. I love watching my kids with their elf ear hats on, gleefully hopping from ride to ride with virtually no delay.  It is the perfect place for the under 10 set and grandparents can keep up with the youngsters as the distances between attractions are small (and many of the grandparents will remember visiting as children and bringing their own kids there). Ah, memory lane!

First stop – Mrs. Claus Bake Shop – help yourself to a FREE coffee. Ah, now you’re ready to go!

Santa’s Village is located smack dab on the 45th Parallel – halfway from the Equator to the North Pole – this photo opp is a must!

Greetings from the 45th Parallel!


Village Stage


For 2015, Santa’s Village brings back old favourites and new entertainers as well. Kitchener-Waterloo residents will be happy to see beloved entertainer Erick Traplin performing. The full entertainment schedule is available here. For our recent visit, “Johnny Toronto” was performing. Much laughter was to be heard from this fun performance!  Last year, we were lucky to see Dan the Music Man in July and Erick Traplin in August.

These shows are so much fun!  Plan your visit to be sure and see your favourites!

Feeding the Reindeer

Of course Santa keeps his reindeer at the village – they get to enjoy a nice Summer vacation!   Feeding the reindeer and also visiting the animals at the Petting Zoo bring a lot of smiles to everyone’s faces.

One thing I really enjoyed are all of the little touches that are just waiting to be noticed.  While waiting to meet Santa so the kids could make their early Christmas list requests (of course my daughter asked for a DOG) and receive their elf hats, clocks told the time from around the world as a miniature train circled the ceiling. Santa’s To Do List, a lovely lamp post with ‘snow’ swirling inside and books that you’d expect to find in Santa’s library provided entertainment and smiles.


Did Santa get your wish list item? A helmet for me – perfect!

Our first stop (after coffee) was to ride Rudolph’s Rollercoaster. I rode with my 5 year old son. My 11 year old daughter was too scared to try it, but as the day went on she became braver and we eventually rode it together 5 times!  With little to no line-ups on a Thursday, we were off and on rides as much as we wanted!

After visiting Santa, the kids made a bee-line for the Airplane, Jumping Star and Merry Go Round. Both kids enjoyed all three rides, going from one to the next as much as they liked! Benches and shady pine trees make it a lovely spot for parents to wait and watch, but of course, you can join in as well!  The rides are long and full of fun. There’s a big Christmas ornament ferris wheel nearby (and a perfect little ice cream stand for those afraid of heights). My son and I enjoyed the ferris wheel and I enjoyed taking pictures of Santa’s Summer Sleigh and the Splash Pad.

Pizza Pizza Time!

We enjoyed all of our favourites from last year! When we were ready for lunch, Pizza Pizza was ready for us with the ooey-gooiest cheese pizza ever – the kids were in cheese heaven!  We purchased a full sized pizza family combo with 2 pops and 2 juice boxes. The pizza was ready very quickly and it was delicious!

We took a ride on the train through the park (a great way to see all the park has to offer and plan your visit).

Santa’s Village is on a beautiful waterway and you’ll definitely want to take a ride on Santa’s Summer Sleigh. Enjoy kitschy music and see the beauty of Muskoka! Young and old enjoy this boat ride.

My daughter loves the ‘games of chance’ where every player is guaranteed a pretty decent prize.  This year my son picked an inflatable “Boots” monkey from Dora the Explorer. My daughter won a ‘donut bear’ and later won an inflatable elephant.


New this year to Santa’s Village is a Zip Line that takes you over the lake where Swan paddle boats paddle along. We watched a little girl get harnessed up, climb a tall ladder up a pine tree and then whiz over the lake to the other side. It looked like so much fun!  The Zip Line had a cost of $10.

Elves Island was quite transformed this year! Santa’s Village has two bouncy castles, one for kids 5+ and one for kids 4 and younger. Last year, the younger kids bouncy castle was on Elves Island, but now there is a mini aerial park set up  called “Elf Sky Challenge” where kids can test out their skills before heading to Sportsland for a bigger challenge.  Parents and children were seen climbing around together. We witnessed lots of encouragement and help from staff and it looked like a lot of fun, too! 🙂

New for 2015 – Elf Sky Challenge – a new children’s aerial adventure park on Elves Island!

Santa’s Village has a campground in case you need a place to stay. Whispering Pines Campground, includes twenty roofed rustic cabins, full serviced sites, pool, rec hall, and nightly programmed family activities. After an extensive renovation in 2010, Whispering Pines has been voted Muskoka’s best campground four years in a row!


There are many locations picture perfect for an annual family photo!  We decided to go ‘silly’ for the 2015 version!

Funny faces!

And we all took lots of #Elfies of course!

I highly recommend a visit to Santa’s Village this Summer!  It has something for everyone!  My kids both enjoyed decorating gingerbread cookies and this year we gave the splash pad and beach a try.

Splish Splash!






My daughter loved the splash pad the best and my son was all about the beach!  Everything about Santa’s Village just warms my heart. There is more to do and see there than ever before!  Be sure and pick up their 60th Anniversary Commemorative Book and if you’re headed up soon, drop in for SantaFest: “To commemorate the park’s anniversary, Santa’s Village—in partnership with the local community— will host the inaugural SantaFest, a street fair held in downtown Bracebridge on Saturday July 25 (10am to 5pm). There will be children’s entertainers such as Ronno and Johnny Toronto, gingerbread decorating, face painting, and a host of other activities ideal for the young and young-at-heart. The highlight of the day will be a special 60th anniversary parade, beginning at noon. Fuel up on the eggnog beforehand, because it promises to be a full day of fun.”

Muskoka perfection!

The best part of the day for me was when my daughter decided to face her fear and ride Rudolph’s Roller Coaster Sleigh Ride. She rocked it and left feeling completely proud of herself! It was the perfect end to a perfect day!

So proud of herself! 5 times!!

Santa’s Village will be announcing various promotions and deals throughout the season to commemorate the park’s magical 60th anniversary. To keep abreast of them, people should opt-in to the Nice List on the Santa’s Village via my exclusive link below or like their Facebook page.

>>Adventures With Jennpup readers can access an exclusive $5 discount on tickets here!<<

Enter to win a Family Pass for 4 – one day’s admission this 2015 Season – click on the link below!


Adventures With Jennpup Santa’s Village Giveaway 07/20


Be sure and check out my Facebook page and give a LIKE – there’s a huge photo album with all of our pictures from Santa’s Village!

*Our family received a family pass to check out what’s new at Santa’s Village for 2015. All opinions belong to @Jennpup!