Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Orville Reddenbacher White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn--a hit?

I was very excited to be invited to be part of the Orville Reddenbacher White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn campaign run by Influenster. I wanted take a different approach in testing this product. In order to get a wide variety of opinions on what individuals thought of Orville Reddenbacher's White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn, we did a blind taste test at school and compared this popcorn with G.H Gretor's Chicago Mix. Each participant (which consisted of the students in my class as well as my colleagues) were given an opportunity to taste both styles of popcorn without seeing which was which. We turned the popcorn test into a mathematics tallying and graphing lesson, followed by a quick language activity which involved giving the popcorn a rating between 1-5 stars. This rating also came with some feedback about the product.

Here are the results:

In comparison between the two types of popcorn 61.5% preferred the C.H Gregot's Mix; 38.5% preferred the Orville Reddenbacher brand. Out of the ENTIRE group of taste testers over 50% couldn't really tell the difference between the two brands.

The consensus when completing a 5 star rating of just the Orville Reddenbacher
Popcorn was an average of 4-4.5 stars. Much of the feedback was for a more white cheddar flavour and less salt. The other comment was to create more of a 50/50 ratio of both flavours of popcorn.

If you're interested in trying out this new flavour of popcorn. Please look at your local grocers and give it a try yourself. I'm sure my students would be thrilled to hear what you have to say.

**I received the white cheddar & caramel popcorn
complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

It's been a long time since I've disagreed with a newspaper article that has been written by fellow teachers who really should watch their "foot in mouth" syndrome. I am embarrassed by his blanket statement about the millennial generation and want those who read it not to categorize ALL educators into the same category as this self absorbed individual. I'd love to hear what you think of what he's written. Please click on the poster below to read:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pokemon Go epidemic!

So, we've all seen people walking around more within the past week with a cellphone in their hand and stopping mid walk... Perhaps you haven't seen it but you ARE one of these individuals. This new craze to make sedentary individuals visit the outdoor world has really got people moving. With more people moving around outdoors it is so important for drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrians...of course that also means that Pokemon players should be more aware of their surroundings and where they are when catching these Pokemon critters. This includes vehicles, trees and inanimate or animate objects.

Through all this hoopla, I found an amazing and humourous PSA message created by a popular radio station in Toledo, Ohio. Check it out! Would love to hear what you think of this PSA or the Pokemon Go game.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The "Entitlement" Generation

"If your parents had to use a wooden spoon on you, then they clearly didn’t know how to parent you.”
Yep. I got that email last night after I posted my blog.  I honestly had to laugh. Here was a stranger criticizing my parents. I tend to think they did a pretty good job. They raised three, well-rounded children. One is a successful HR exec, one is a journalist and the other is a doctor. Clearly they did something right. ;-) And let’s be real for a minute, it wasn’t all about a wooden spoon. It was about manners and respect.
I went home and was talking to my husband about it. He said, “This is why we have a generation of entitled kids.”
I repeated that earlier today and someone asked in shock: “How could you say something like that?!”
Because I have seen it first-hand.
At my last job, there was a young woman who was interning with our station. She showed up to work one day wearing extremely short shorts and a halter top. To work. Our news director at the time said, “You have two options…you can run home and get changed and come back…or you can just go home.” Her response came quickly and loudly: “WHO THE F@#K ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? YOU CAN’T TELL ME TO GO HOME!!”
Ahh…and there it is. The entitlement coming out. The “I have never been told no because I want to be your friend…let me give you a trophy because you signed up to play soccer even though you never come to practice, only games…I’m not going to give you a grade on this test because I don’t want you to think you’re a failure, even though you don’t study…you’re going to sit in time-out and then we will discuss why you called your mom the B-word…I can post anything I want on social media because I have freedom of speech…I won’t be held accountable at school because my parents will come and yell at the teacher for me.”
I will say it until I am blue in the face: I am thankful I was raised the way I was raised in the era I was raised in.  We used the terms ma’am and sir…we said please and thank you…we wouldn’t dare look at our parents cross-eyed…if we didn’t study, we failed…if we didn’t go to practice, we didn’t play in the game…if we didn’t win, we didn’t get a trophy…if we talked back to our parents, we got the back of my mom’s hand to our mouths…if we used a bad word, we got soap in our mouths…if we acted up in school, our parents were called to the principal’s office and we served detention…if we didn’t like our dinner, then we didn’t eat…if we were late for curfew, we were grounded…if we lied, we had our toys taken away…if we misbehaved in the neighborhood, our neighbors would discipline us…if we didn’t get hired for a job, then we weren’t who they wanted.
We weren’t handled with kid gloves. Our parents let us fall so we learned how to get back up.  We were told the word “NO” and told it often. It wasn’t about our parents being “our friends.” It was tough love. Why? Because they knew how tough the world is.
I’m over the “entitlement era.”
I’m nowhere near a perfect parent. I learn something new everyday. But I do know…I want to raise my kids the way I was. Because I don’t want to send spoiled, entitled brats into the world.
There is only one thing I knew: whatever my parents did…worked.
And guess who my best friends are now? Yep. My mom and dad. The ones who were “so mean” growing up.

About the Author:

Monday, April 18, 2016

We are parents-- NOT friends!!

July 4, 1993. (You’re now doing the math to figure out how old I am, aren’t you? lol)
I was 16 years old and was out with my friends for the fireworks.  It was the only night that I was allowed to stay out past my 10pm curfew. “Be home by midnight. Not a second later.”
It’s 1993. There are no cell phones. There are car phones…you know, the ones in the bag that were plugged into the cigarette lighter…but I certainly didn’t have one in my car. All we had were quarters. And those quarters were used to call home and “check in.”
There were no phones where I was. I went to a bonfire in the middle of the woods to celebrate the 4th. Ok, so I wasn’t exactly where I told my parents I would be.  My friend who I was with promised my parents that she would have me home. Needless to say, she skipped out around 11pm to “get home on time.”
“Hey guys, what time is it?”
“Uh let me check…it’s 12:05.”
I am going to die. My parents are physically and literally going to kill me.
My friend Travis grabbed me and we jumped in his Jeep to drive to my house.  It’s 4th of July so the traffic is INSANE. Everyone is out on the roads.
We are flying into my neighborhood and there she was. My mother. In her robe. On the front porch. Waiting.
“Travis. Keep driving.”
“No it will be fine. Hi Mrs. Goodman. Let me expla—-.”  My mom abruptly cuts him off. “Go home Travis.”
My mom then proceeded to pull me out of the Jeep by my hair. The seatbelt was still buckled. My mother literally ripped me out of the car.  She had a good grasp on my scalp…I could feel her nails digging into my head while grabbing a rather large section of hair.  As we passed the driveway, I noticed that my Dad’s car was gone. Oh crap. He’s out looking for me.
My mom threw me into the house…grabbed my shoulders and put me into a kitchen chair. You see my mother was the disciplinarian in our hosue…at least when it came to my sister and I. My dad always had a soft spot for “his girls.” So when my mom said, “Your father is out looking for you. I’m going to let him deal with you because I can’t even look at you.”
Again. No cell phones. No way of letting my Dad know that I am home. That I am safe.
Then he was home. His face was pale. You could see the worry turn to relief.
“Dad I’m so…”
“I need you to shut your mouth. There are rules in this house. Look up. See that? Your mother and I put that roof over your head. You will follow those rules as long as you are living under that roof right there.  WE know what is best for you. There is a reason there is a curfew. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT. You mark my words. You are a teenager and know very little about life at this point. Got it?”
“Mandy, as a parent, the best thing I hear at the end of the day is that front door opening. Knowing that my kids are safe. Knowing you are where you are supposed to be. You disappointed me tonight.”
There it was. The worst thing you can hear. “You disappointed me.”
Every July 4th, my Dad calls me and says, “Wanna talk about what happened when you were 16?”
I thought of this story after I saw the video of the Baltimore mom disciplining her son on live TV for rioting.
There’s no fear today, you know?
I was afraid of my parents…afraid of doing something that would disappoint them…or make them angry.
My parents didn’t beat us, but I got hit with a wooden spoon. I had soap in the mouth. I got backhanded. I was grounded for MONTHS at a time. I’m not ashamed to admit that at all. And guess what? When I was put in a situation where I could go in the wrong direction, I immediately thought of my parents. “I can’t do this. My parents will kill me.” I’m still afraid of letting my parents down. I respect my mom and dad more than anyone in the world. THEY are my inspiration.
Kudos to that mom in Baltimore. Imagine seeing your child on live television throwing rocks at police?? She wants better for her son. She knows HE KNOWS better.
As my Dad always told me growing up, “I am not your friend. I am your parent. Remember that.”
We need to run our households. Not our children.

About the Author:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish for the day!

Wishing all who celebrate a very Happy St. Patrick's day. Here is my little Squishy's rendition of an Irish jig. Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The word on Olay Total Effects

I just started to religiously test out Olay's Total effects 7 in one a couple weeks ago. I really wanted to give it a fair and honest try as my complexion has always been something that I valued very much. Sadly, this last month has taken it's toll on me emotionally. People have commented on how tired-looking and out of character I was looking. They said that they could "see it on [my] face" that I was not myself. As the stresses of work and my emotional situations in life continued to escalate (due to a break up after 7 years and having 6 people in my life pass away within the past 30 days) I haven't been taking care of myself the way I normally would. One day a couple weeks back I woke up and decided that I needed to turn things around for myself. I decided that I would try to do something for myself. I notice that when you're down in the dumps you tend to nit pick flaws...mine were on my face. I needed to turn things around for myself. I decided to finally try out my Total effects 7 in 1 trial package. I figured that it wouldn't hurt and definitely wasn't expecting to see ANY changes...perhaps just softer skin. I had a friend invite me to a 30th birthday party. We were having high tea. I hadn't seen most of these ladies since the funeral of my friend last month. A lot of them had commented that I looked really tired the day of the funeral. Some suggesting that I should even take time off work. I was expecting to hear the same thing at this party as I was feeling just as 'defeated' and 'tired' as I did the day of the funeral. One of my most observant friends said that she noticed that I looked less 'pale' and more like myself at this party. Another lady chimed in and said that she couldn't pin point what was different about me but she said I looked less tired. I couldn't think of what had changed EXCEPT that I had tried out this new Olay product. Could it be? As I took a picture of my terrible skin a couple weeks back I decided to take another one of myself today...and wow, what a difference. The dark spots under my eyes have faded...my skin is less bumpy and the colouring is more vibrant on my face. Coming from a non believer of 'miracle' products I am now more inclined to continue the use of this product as even in a short timespan I am seeing some differences. I am amazed to see some changes in my skin and would absolutely recommend this product to anyone who may be a pessimist about skin products.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

79¢ Sonic Slushies!

What can be better than staying cool or satisfying a sweet craving by visiting Sonic today! So what are you waiting for, go get your drink on!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Medieval Times is a great time in Toronto Ontario!

My Lords and My Ladies,

Please join me in a night of jousting, horsemanship, falconry plus a 4-course utensil-free meal served in a castle-like space. Intrigued?? Allow me to walk you through a visit I promise you that will be memorable and eventful.

As you walk into the castle you are greeted by two castle servants who direct you to the appropriate lines to pick up or purchase tickets. Each guest is then escorted to the entrance of the main lobby where you are given a crown that identifies which knight you will cheering for during your visit at the castle. As you continue your journey into the main lobby, you are greeted by the king or princess of the castle (sometimes both) where you are given an opportunity to take a commemorative photo with them. This $20 keepsake is a great way to capture your memorable visit. Once you have taken your photo you enter the very large and spacious lobby where you can mingle with other guests; have a drink at the bar; purchase gifts. souveniers; view the horses or falcons up close or visit the torture chambers (for an additional fee).

When the show is about to begin a royal trumpet is sounded and you are greeted by the Lord Chancellor who directs the guests into the performance arena.  Once seated you are greeted by your wench or knave (aka server) for the evening. They welcome you into the arena and rev you up for an evening of good food, great entertainment and cheer. The atmosphere is full of excitement and anticipation in hopes that the knight you are cheering for wins the many competitions and games set out throughout the evening to entertain the guests. Aside from the knights jousting and performing, the evening includes the entertainment of majestic horses and a breathtaking performance by falcon that soars right above the heads of the audience.

To keep with the medieval theme, food is served and eaten using only your hands. Your bill of fare begins with the most delicious tomato bisque followed by a dragon scale (garlic bread); dragon wing (half a roasted chicken) served with an herb baked potato and corn on the cob. A vegetarian menu is also available--please call in advance to book your meal). The evening ends with a castle pastry (often a warm apple turnover and in Toronto they serve buttertarts) with your choice of tea or coffee.

At the end of the show there is an opportunity to greet the knights and other actors of the realm out in the lobby for photos and autographs.

I had the opportunity to visit the castle with my family from Ohio and a friend visiting from Australia. My family had visited the castle in Chicago and their experience in Toronto was just as memorable except the castle set up was a little different and the actors were more accessible in Toronto location. There seemed to be more of a lineup in the other castle.

My friend from Australia was a first time visitor. She had never experienced a visit at the castle before and was so pleased and in awe of how fun the evening was. She loved how into character everyone was from the second we walked into the castle until the very end of the evening. I would have to agree with her. This visit is going to be one that we will never forget.

If you are interested in visiting a castle near you, please visit the Medieval Times website.

Attention Teachers: A visit to the castle not only is fun but you can link your trip to many of the Ontario curriculum guide expectations. Check out the following link: Educators click here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Pan Am and Para Pan Am games are here!!

Toronto Ontario, Hamilton, Milton, Oakville and other surrounding cities!!! Are you ready for the Pan Am and Para Pan Am games?! We are privileged to be hosting the games from July 10-26 (Pan Am) and August 7-15 (Para Pan Am). The atmosphere has been full of excitement and happiness. If you are looking for fun events to attend, there are many sport events to attend. Tickets start at $25 and are still available for purchase. If you are wondering what the Pan Am and Para Pan Am games are going to entail, check out the video below.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The BEST Brazilian Cheese bread [Pao de Queijo] recipe

I have to say that I'm thoroughly addicted to this bread ever since I tried it in Knoxville Tennesse in 2010. I can pop these little things into my mouth and not realize that I've had one too many. These little bits of goodness can be found served at Brazilian steakhouses...mmmm, how can you resist!!
Here's an amazing recipe that is a must try...especially if you're gluten free!!

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour (fluff the flour before measuring), about 6.25 ounces/180 grams
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed shredded cheese, like Parmesan or Asiago (see note), about 2 ounces/57 grams (I use both for a stronger flavour)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin (this makes about 16-24 little breads so if you don't have a muffin tin large enough, you can just make separate batches after the first ones come out).
  2. In a blender, combine the egg, oil, milk, flour and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender once or twice. Add the cheese and process for just a short bit, 5-10 seconds or a few short pulses, until the cheese is in small bits all throughout the batter.
  3. Give the batter a good stir to get any solids off the bottom and pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin filling the cups nearly to the top.
  4. Bake the pao de queijo until very lightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Don't let them get too brown on the bottom or they will be too crusty and not as chewy.
  5. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for just a minute or two. They are best eaten warm! Don't worry if the cute little puffs fall a bit in the middle - that's completely normal.

Bon Appetite!!