As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of customized and personalized print items. There’s just something about having an item with either your name on it or a print you chose that makes it more special when you get to use it.

Cafe Press has a brand new line of products available for your custom and personalized print item needs. We reviewed their fun women's custom print tanks in June. Personalized items also make great gifts for family and friends or to use at special events and occasions.  We were happy when they asked us to review a couple of their new items available online at www.cafepress.ca

Have fun at your next get together with a personalized Pint Glass by CafePress! Buy a drinking glass (or set) online and create a cool vibe for sporting events, holiday celebrations, or whatever occasion you can think of that may require a little conversation piece! The glass itself holds a pint (470ml) and the print itself is clear and well printed. 100% CafePress satisfaction guarantee!

I find it hard to find many items geared toward bloggers like me so I chose a  blog-themed print. It has the word “blog” all over in different fonts while right in the middle in bold print is my blog name “A Motherhood Experience” - The perfect personal touch! I will be enjoying many a cold beverage in my new personalized Pint Glass for the remainder of the summer.

Another great item that CafePress recently added to their wonderful collection is their personalized and custom Laptop Skins. As a blogger, having a laptop skin brings a little personality to my netbook!

Personalize your laptop with a CafePress laptop skin. Find custom skin covers for PC (Toshiba, Acer, Dell, HP & Asus), Apple Macbooks and Netbooks (Acer, Asus, HP Mini) choose from various designs to suit your personality. Laptop skins come in sizes from 7” to 17” and there is a size chart available to check out to make sure you have the right size before you order!

As usual it was hard to decide on what print I wanted for the laptop skin. I decided to choose an appropriate blog-related theme. I chose a logo that has a knife/fork, bed and a computer, underneath it says “Eat, Sleep, Blog” which is pretty much what I do (aside from taking care of the kids) Perfect! Not only are laptop skins great to add that personal touch but also great for protecting the outside of your laptop from dings and scratches.
The laptop skin is very nice, I would recommend one of these  for a blogger in your life or even for your next blogging conference or summit, something to add a little personality to your personal computer from CafePress.ca.

Posted on behalf of CafePress.ca. Product received as a thank you. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.


I'm usually optimistic when it comes to people complaining (or whining) about whatever they need to complain (or whine) about. It's all part of being kind, listening even when you don't expect it. When I say people, I'm talking about adults here not kids. Most of the time these people will respond positively and agree with my optimism or we have people who have me kind of taken aback by their attitude or unexpected comment, these are people who are random. Random people who happen to talk to me as if they know me while I'm out with my kids. Let me explain.

We went out for a family walk and I waiting outside of Tim Hortons for hubby who went in to grab a coffee for us and some Tim Bits for the kids. We are huge Tim Hortons fans, it's been a tradition to stop for coffee and bits every time we are out. Almost every time we are out lately K runs into someone she knows. This time K spotted one of her friends from school out with her family like K with her Mom, Dad and little sibling in a stroller.

The two girls introduced the moms and the younger siblings, the other mom began talking to me. I don't mind being social but for some weird reason every time I am out I am like a magnet. I'll be waiting outside or in line somewhere and someone will approach me and start talking.

Anyway, she started complaining about summer holidays, how July was long and she was counting the days down to September when the kids go back to school. Optimistic me inputs my two cents and say "Well, only one more month left!" and she replies with a huffy "Well, at least you don't have a 3rd on the way!" - she did not sound very happy about baby #3. I honestly didn't know what to say, she had me taken aback because I didn't even notice she was pregnant honestly.

She continues after that saying "Know what I'm excited about?" I ask what, thinking she was still talking about her pregnancy and she goes "The SMURFS movie!" throwing her arms up in the air in excitement. I simply smiled and nodded, thanking the good lord hubby was coming out of the shop and we had to go.

I didn't know this woman, her situation or anything and I'm not here to go around judging people but I was a little shocked when she said that. Most of the time when I have spoken to a pregnant women, even one with older children they glowed! I suppose her perspective of motherhood is a little different than mine, we all live different lives.

It made me think though, back to when Dh and I thought we were going to be having baby #3 in January. As much as my two kids give me a hard time or how often I find myself frustrated, I think I would be more excited for baby #3 than a bunch of computerized blue gnomes. 

Perhaps she is excited for something new to keep her older children entertained ;-)


Our oldest family pet (a Doberman Pinscher named Zeus) is six years old, that's 45 years old in people years (thanks Google!). In his six years he has been over all healthy and well protected. He has never really gotten seriously sick other than a skin problem when he was a puppy but that was cured with medication over time and he's fine now. He has never gotten into a fight with another dog or anything like that. Being a city dog he is inside often, he sleeps in a dog bed - you know, not a farm type dog so he has never been sprayed by a skunk - until a few nights ago.

Skunks are terrible to have around. Sure they are cute to look at (in pictures like Mr. Pepe Le Peux up there) but they dig in the garbage and musk up the air. We had them all over at the place we lived at before because people were not putting away their garbage properly and picking up after themselves. They also make dogs like ours go ballistic, run across the yard at 2am freaking out only to be hissed at and sprayed - in the face.

Not only did our Doberman get it but also our Chihuahua who follows whatever the big guy does, got it too. What a time for that to happen and you'd think they are trained enough to come back when called. Not when there is a wild animal in the back yard, apparently all rules are to be broken and just go for the target!

I needed a shower just being around the smelly dogs. I'm happy that the kids were sleeping in bed at the time because it would have been just a dramatic zoo had they been around to witness it. DH gave them both a bath immediately. No way would they be even allowed to sleep in the house otherwise, and I'm not cruel like that, my dogs have padded beds for crying out loud. Spoiled pets! The skunk smell left quickly, ah you have to love oatmeal dog wash! Took the smell right off and made their fur super soft and shiny after! 

I love my pets but between running out the gate, sneaking under the gates to take themselves for walks, being sick and now the skunk - it's exhausting. Almost like having two extra kids sometimes!

You'd think a fenced in yard would protect them from danger like getting out into the street where they could be stolen or hit by a car and safe from fighting with cats, other dogs and being sprayed by skunks. Our fence has holes under it. I was thinking it was the dogs digging it but then again they never come in with dirty feet unless its been raining and the cat, well she climbs and has her own ways of getting around. She can defend herself and she's spayed so I'm not worried about her. The dogs are another story, they are good dogs and very loved pets by all of us so if something ever happened, we would be losing a family member too soon.

I think Mr. Skunk has been the culprit for digging those holes among other wild city animals that live in the shrubs surrounding our house...it's almost like cottage country with the wildlife around here.

Lesson learned. If you see Hazel (our cat) puffed up like a ball at the door wanting in and its passed midnight, do NOT let the dogs out.


When I first heard about Soy products years and years ago, the first thought that came to my mind was "yucky". Honestly, back then I was niave and to me milk should come where milk normally comes from, a cow. Little did I know the benefits Soy products like Soy milk have for people with lactose intolerance or food allergies.

There are benefits to switching to Soy products even if you aren't lactose intolerent like its an excellent substitute if you are vegitarian since it is all natural and taken from plants (soybean). Soy Milk contains tons of nutrients our bodies need like sources of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and Provitamin A. Also a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium and phosphor. Soy milk reduces blood cholesterol levels, can help prevent diabetes and contains anti-oxidants that are excellent for anti-aging.

So Nice offers Fortified Soy Beverage products including the Classics - Original, Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Unsweetened and Natural, also single serve, specialty flavours, health enhanced, and their newest So Nice for Coffee!
These Fortified Soy beverages use only organic, non-GMO soybeans grown in Canada and the US. So Nice contain more than 95% organic ingredients and bear the Canada Organic logo since July of 2009. So Nice is manufactured by a company called Earth's Own Food Company Inc. and is based in Burnaby, BC. They have facilities in both Western and Eastern Canada. This in return means their products travel less meaning they stay fresh longer. Traveling less also helps with less harm to the environment.
So Nice Soy Beverages Product Attributes
  • All products are low in fat
  • So Nice soy products are fortified with 15 essential nutrients
  • Gluten Free
  • Lactose Free
  • Very high in calcium
  • Good source of protein
  • We use only non-GMO, whole organic soybeans
For more information and recipes check out So Nice website!

Posted on behalf of So Nice


Every store you go into these days offers shopping tote bags. Some are made of canvas material, some are made of plastic, some are made of nylon while others are made of a combination including an insulated interior to keep your cold foods cold. They come in almost every shape, size and colour with just about every ones logo on them. You can get them as promotional freebies often companies will use totes to advertise their logo however at the local grocery store they can be purchased at the cash for 0.99 cents to $2.00 each.

All this in our effort to encourage people to become more Eco friendly and stop filing our landfills with waste like plastic shopping bags. Considering the grocery stores charge 0.05 to 0.10 cents a plastic shopping bag, I really don't mind paying the 0.99 cents for a reusable one that's also more sturdy.

We have collected our share of shopping totes and honestly we rarely leave home on an errand without them. We have large ones, small ones, insulated ones and I probably couldn't have enough.

This week I had a rare occasion where I actually forgot my shopping totes! The worst part is I actually had a list of things I needed to buy which required use of my insulated tote. There's no way ice cream or any frozen foods would have lasted the trip home in the heat wave we have been experiencing.

I actually felt a bit guilty when I had to ask the cashier for two plastic shopping bags for the little bit of groceries I actually managed to pick up. I can almost swear she gave me eyes when I asked, polluter!

No, not really we do actually reuse the bags around the house and shopping, they are good to put things like dish soap or shampoo bottles you don't want exploding all over the rest of your stuff. Technically I am using my purchase either way.

Are you Eco friendly and use shopping totes or do you continue to buy plastic bags at the cash?


This week my son faced and beat one of his summer fears - water. If you remember a couple of posts back I wrote about our experience at the local community pool how little guy LOVED to go swimming until he fell face-first twice in the water and basically scared himself out of wanting to go back in other than the ankle-deep part of the wading pool.

Even though he was scared you could see in his eyes that he so desperately wanted to go into "the big side" and play with the other kids. He would take my hand and creep close to the edge but not get close enough to actually go in. I felt so bad but I didn't want to push him so we stuck to the baby pool and he had fun playing ball there.

The pool is right across the street, within sight so when there aren't a lot of kids hogging the water my kids always beg me to take a couple of hours out of our busy day and just have fun. It's not so fun when you have a three year old who isn't so sure about how fun this pool really is.

The last time we went was different, he seemed determined to beat this pool fear. He kept wanting to go in the big side and  there were only six kids in the pool. I figured look, the water is not THAT deep. I know he is scared but he can over come it. I tried coaxing him by going with him, he made it to the first step down and then panic. He didn't want to go in. We made it to the second step, panic. He didn't want to go in. Then he began yelling at me because he wanted to go in but was scared. So I just picked him up, walked into the pool and plopped him down beside me. He yelled one "NO!" and then realized his feet were touching the bottom and I had his hand so he wouldn't fall (or be afraid to fall).

After about 10 minutes of walking around and observing the other kids playing while tightly holding onto my hand, he did it. He let my hand go, grabbed onto a happy face ball and played to his little hearts content until it was time to go. Instead of being scared and crying this time he was laughing and shouting "look mom! I swimming!". He was so proud and I was watching him so closely I didn't get the chance to snap any good pictures this time.

My kids have never held themselves back from anything they've tried to do and I am so happy that D has overcome his water fear enough to enjoy the pool once again.


We've always been a water family in the summer. We have never owned a pool but our communities have always included a park and pool for the kids. Our daughter has always loved swimming and has never shown any kind of fear, she could stay in a pool for an entire day if you let her.

Our son however is a different story altogether. He has always hesitated when it came to getting into any kind of water other than a bath tub. He doesn't like getting his head wet even then. We have a little pool in the back yard and he may go in it from time to time but he won't sit and he won't stay very long. I don't believe in pushing my kids to do something they aren't ready for or are afraid of. They will do it when they feel they can. But I also want my kids to both enjoy the summer so we have been trying to slowly show our little guy that the pool across the street is actually a lot of fun!

We spent a good chunk of our summer holidays so far at the pool. There are two sides to the pool: Shallow (ankle deep) and Deeper (waste deep on our daughter, thigh deep on an adult). Although the water in the deeper side really is not that deep, I know my son. His balance is terrible, even worse in wavy water so he sports his Puddle Jumpers while swimming even though he refuses to go in without me or his daddy too. Better to be safe than sorry right.

Every time we visited the pool this week D wanted to go into the deeper side where K was swimming around. So, off went my flip flops and into the (cold) water we went. We walked laps back and forth across the pool avoiding the bigger kids and balls flying around. D decided to be daring and let go of my hand at one point resulting in him being pushed by the waves and landing face first into the water. He was not a happy camper, very upsetting for him.

Thursday was the worst he decided to venture and sit on the side of the pool with daddy. Not realizing there was a little step before you actually get into the pool he fell. Again, resulting in him landing face first into the water. Luckily he was wearing his floaties (which I may add we keep getting compliments on) and daddy was right there to grab him but still, he was not a happy camper, I don't blame him. This time he got out of the water and did not want to go back in. Not even in the shallow side.

We took a pool break on Friday as I had a few things to do in the morning and the pool closed early in the afternoon when it started to rain but we took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent some time at the pool this Saturday afternoon.

K was her usually "dolphin" self (as she likes to say "Mommy look! I'm part dolphin!"), swimming around making new friends and catching up with ones she saw during the week. D however took some coaxing to get into the ankle-deep wading pool. It wasn't until he realized there was a huge bouncy ball (the one that I constantly get smacked in the head with when I'm watching my kids) in the wading pool. Of course he did not want to go in alone after what happened the last couple of times in the big pool so, off went my flip flops and into the (not so cold) water we went. He was so scared he would hold either the side rail that splits the two pools or hold onto my hand. It took him about 15 minutes before he finally realized there were no steps in this pool and he was able to walk easier than he can in the other pool.

We took a walk around the pool area after a few minutes of walking in the wading pool, I offered to go with him into the bigger pool but he refused so that was OK. We just stuck to the little pool where he felt safer which was fine by me.

He made a few little friends playing "catch" with the big ball, shared boats with another little boy who came shortly after we got there. I'm happy it only took a couple of visits to get him back into the wading pool. I would really like to put him into swimming lessons when he's a little bit older, maybe kick that water fear once and for all. It has worked in the past on other kids so who knows for now we will take it one step at a time and try not to make fun water, scary water.



Our kids are big fans of two things when it comes to entertainment, television shows and iPhone/iPod apps. When you put their two favourite things together, you're guaranteed a hit.

We are huge fans of Chuck and Friends here in our house, our little guy loves anything to do with planes, trains, cars and trucks.  We were first introduced to Chuck and Friends through the toys "Chuck My Talking Truck" and various other play sets that always caught our little guy's eye. It wasn't far after that Tree house TV began airing Chuck and Friends episodes, our little guy was just over the moon.

Recently we were asked by Ruckus Media if we would like to try out their newest kids app Chuck and Friends: Friends for the long haul for iPhone/iPad. Two of our little guys favourite things in one place, Chuck and Friends on iPhone!

A little about the app:

“Bumpers up!” Join Chuck and his friends as you tap the screen to learn letters and words, play games and watch videos. This interactive reading adventure is ideal for young truck-lovers, fans of HUB TV and Hasbro toys. Read along as Chuck and his pals embark on a journey where they learn about honesty, teamwork and friendship. Bold graphics and bright colors make “Chuck and Friends: Friends for the Long Haul” an enjoyable and engaging way to learn to read. Get ready for some four-alarm fun!

Chuck and his friends are playing their favorite game (chasing bad guys) when they encounter Flip, a new vehicle in the scrap yard. Chuck is not so sure about Flip and challenges him to a stunt contest. In the process, the two realize they can work together and become fast friends.

• An original story of more than 70 “pages”
• Narrative-driven matching, touch and reveal and spelling activities progress the adventure and teach letter recognition, picture/word association and basic problem solving
• Read along, play along and record your voice: Users can read the story, have it read to them, or even record their own voice for a personalized reading experience.
• Words illuminate as Chuck tells the story, enhancing basic reading comprehension
• Randomized activities provide multiple learning adventures

Little guy absolutely loves the app, he plays it on iPhone with Daddy. I always like a good interactive apps for my kids. They are alot better than nonesense games made strickly for entertainment. I enjoy watching my kids engage in activity with the app and smile the whole way through. If you've got a fan of Chuck and Friends plus an iPad or iPhone, you'll want to download this goody for your next road trip or rainy afternoon at home.

You can download Chuck and Friends: Friends for the long haul at the app store or through iTunes. There are full and lite versions available!

*This is not a sponsored post. We received a free download of Chuck and Friends:Friends for the Long Haul for review purposes but were not obligated to write this post by any means. Information about the mentioned app was found via the iTunes website. All opinions are honest and those of A Motherhood Experience.


Thousands upon thousands swarmed the downtown core of Ottawa on Friday to catch a glimpse of the royals making a visit to our nations Capital here in Ottawa. We were not among the thousands who flocked, with two young kids it would have been asking for punishment. Large, loud and half drunk crowds all to see the royals on a big screen. I can understand how exciting that can be but it's not so much for us. Too busy for a family like ours. Our local swimming pool decided not to open on Canada Day so we filled up the pool in the back and had a good,relaxing and quiet time at home.

The kids spent the day outside playing together, catching bugs, dancing on the lawn and just having a fun time. They didn't care that we didn't drag them downtown to the festivities, maybe when they are older but for now simple is good enough for us.

For supper I decided since it was a quiet day I wouldn't go all-out and make a big meal like I had planned previously but we kept it Canadian. I made the Sangria I had mentioned in my "Make it a Kraft Canada Day post", whistle dogs and a side of veggies with Kraft Philadelphia Dill dip. Very enjoyable, Canada day meal for the family. For desert the kids had some s'mores! Yummy!

In the evening a couple of our friends came over to say hi, it's an annual thing. DH and I have been together almost eight years and every single Canada Day since we had our daughter this specific couple comes to visit. Even though we don't see them very often it's nice to know they still remember us on Canada's Birthday :) We had some coffee and chit chatted while the kids played, it was a nice quiet evening in good company.

The kids had a blast once it got dark with sparklers! It was actually D's first year holding his own sparkler, he thought it was just great, laughing all the way!

Saturday was fun-day, we spent some of our afternoon at the pool which was finally open! I was happy to see the big smiles when I told the kids we were going for a little swim! D is not very stable on his feet in the water and wanted to go into the deeper side where the bigger kids all swim. So I took him walking back and forth across the pool. He got to try out his new Stearns Puddle Jumpers!

I was so impressed, when it was time to leave the pool there was a little girl who we know. Shes older than K and she was whining at her mom for having to leave the pool upon closing time. K looked at me and I looked at her and we both smiled. Neither of my kids were putting up a fuss to leave, it's a new thing they've started doing this year. They seem to finally realize when its time to go from the park or a visit or wherever we are, that's it!

We had a overall nice Canada Day weekend, it was a great start to what I plan to be a great summer full of day trips, pic-nicks, visits and so on!

We hope you all had a nice Canada Day weekend too and to our American friends, we hope you had a nice 4th of July weekend :) Cheers to a great nation all around!

*Post and content copyright 2011 Amotherhoodexperience.com*


The community centre across the street has finally finished being renovated and after an entire summer without our pool last year, today it was finally open for the summer this year! We spent the first weekend of our summer swimming and having fun in the sun! Ever since the kids were babies we have taken day trips with pic-nicks included, spending time together at the local pools just having a good time.  Along with every good time, there has to be a moment of seriousness and when it comes to swimming that moment is when we discuss water safety.

As fun as swimming in the summer is there are some very important pointers you should always remember regarding water safety, you never know what could happen. Children drown in silence, remember that. They don't yell or flail their arms, they sink. Yes, it is scary and yes it could happen to anyone. It has happened summer upon summer, I have read just about every sad case in the news and on many blogs from mothers who have experienced it. I just don't want to hear it happen to anyone especially someone close to me or my own kids god forbid, so read up:

  • NEVER leave a child alone in or around any water. That's a given, accidents happen even in shallow water and little ones wander. This includes back yard pools and even bath tubs. Call me a helicopter mom but I'd rather everyone be safe than sorry.
  • Those supervising children should not be intoxicated at all, this includes alcohol. Wait until the kids are in bed or maybe away for the afternoon to have a drink by the pool, always remember to drink responsibly.
  • If you own a pool, it would be a good idea for your family to take swimming lessons and CPR/First Aid lessons just in case, especially with small children in the house. You can never be too prepared for an emergency.
  • If you own a pool, make sure it has proper fencing that is at least 5 feet high with a locking, self-closing and self-latching gate. This is a by law here in Ontario so it's pretty much a no-brainer for most. So many accidents have happened from gates not being shut properly and a little one wandering in. If you don't know about the rules of the city you live in, check out your local city website or call your local by law office and find out.
  • Make sure to always have emergency gear close by the pool like a buoy or a life jacket.
  • Younger, inexperienced swimmers should always wear a floatation device of some kind. Life jacket or floaties in home pools and at public pools. This cannot be stressed enough, even if you are right beside your child, it just takes them a second to go under water too deep.
We have never really experienced anything seriously scary except for the kids choking on water (which in my opinion is scary enough) and honestly we don't want to. That's why we have always made sure our kids are wearing safety gear while we swim but I always felt our gear wasn't safe enough. At least not for our youngest.

We had been looking for a more reliable floatation device like a life jacket or something other than those cheaper, rubber blow up floaties. I have never trusted those things in a pool deeper than 4 feet. I couldn't imagine something tragic happening to one of our kids because we didn't have them properly secured and safe while swimming.

Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe are great if you're looking for a more reliable alternative to floaties for your younger kids. What are puddle jumpers? Whether they are splashing around in the local pool or heading off to the beach, Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe swim aids are comfortable and stylish for little swimmers, those rubber floats are a thing of the past. Their innovative design allows free range of motion and great stability while helping to boost confidence. They are made for children 30 to 50 lbs and allow freedom of movement for a comfortable fit. Made with woven polyester for softer fabric - less chafing with floatation bands around both upper arms and across the chest. Easy to take off when wet with one simple buckle at the back. Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe are available in eight different colourful characters including monkey and Toucan which we received. You can find these at your local Canadian Tire or Walmart in the swimming section for about $24.99.
We had the opportunity to try out our Stearns Puddle Jumpers for the first time today while the kids went swimming. Personally I think they are just great, in fact we saw a little girl at the pool with a similar style floatie on in pink! Very stylish, D chose to wear his blue monkey Puddle Jumper today. He was very excited. I like the fact that they surround his arms and chest, the strap is adjustable. It doesn't slip or slide off the child when in the water moving around. It's also easy to take off once wet, no air to have to deflate or anything plus they are foldable once dry for easy storage.

They made D feel confident too, we had to take a break between swimming as it got a little breezy out and D got cold. Once he warmed up he wanted to put his Puddle Jumper back on and go back into the pool with me and his sister. He was happy to have something of his very own to wear at the pool and I am happy he has something safe to wear at the pool.

Stearns Puddle Jumpers are definitely worth it for our child's safety this summer and our peace of mind while we get out and enjoy the water!

*Posted on behalf of Sterns. We received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are honest and those of the author.*


Our first feature is a very important one, as the warmer weather is here more young drivers are on the road. One of the biggest milestones in every teen's journey is learning how to drive and as parents it is our job to make sure they get proper education to drive safely. There are too many tragic accidents that occur from careless driving that can be prevented by educating our teens and ourselves about driving safety, this is where Young Drivers of Canada comes in!

For over 40 years, Young Drivers of Canada has been teaching Canadians how to drive and survive. YD offers the most comprehensive driver training courses in the country, including exclusive YD-branded in-car emergency maneuvers training. The website is full of important and useful information for any adult and teen who is interested in taking the first steps toward learning how to drive or even brushing up on driving skills.

Young Drivers offers a state-of-the-art, well designed, and effective driver training program that provides graduates with the needed skills to drive collision-free. There is also a Co-Driver program for parents of new drivers enrolled in the program. Parents can discover how graduated licenses work, learn tips on how to avoid passing on poor driving habits, learn the CollisionFree approach, and understand what their new driver is learning at YD.

Young Drivers also offers a free Learner's Practce Test online. This is fantastic prep for anyone who is going for their Learner's Permit or wants to refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road. Find it online here.

Having a young driver on the road is hard enough on worried parents, get the peace of mind you need knowing that your young driver is properly educated before getting behind the wheel for the first time. Check out this great blog post about knowing the signs you and your child are ready to taking that next big step before you visit Young Drivers of Canada.

Posted on behalf of Young Drivers of Canada. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.