Archive for April, 2009

Girl Power…

We’re gearing up for the National Women’s Show this weekend!  We have some great giveaways and an awesome basket of goodies from Crayola to be won.  Come down to Lansdowne Park this Friday, Saturday or Sunday to join in on the fun.  Admission is $12, or buy your tickets online and save $2!  Hope to see you there, and stop by our booth and say hi!

Quite a Scare…

Ever had that feeling of panic, dread & confusion over the loss of something important?  I recently experienced it with the loss of something very important in my life, my son. 

On a very recent trip to Disney World with our extended family (all ten of us), my 6 yr old son became separated from our group, distracted by the sights and sounds of  ‘the happiest place on earth’.  It was 15 minutes before we even realized he was missing (we thought he had gone on a ride with his cousin).  I can’t even begin to describe the feelings I experienced when I realized my son was gone.  Just thinking about trying to describe it brings back emotions that I never want to feel again.  You think you know how you’re going to react if this ever happens to you – stay calm, make a plan, focus your efforts…’s all a sham.  It turned into a desperate, head spinning search for anything that resembled a little boy with a green t-shirt and camoflauge baseball cap.  My husband tried to reason with me, but watching his lips moving was not looking for my son, so his words fell on deaf ears.  My mind was racing – Did he go back to another ride?  Is he wandering around looking for us?  Is he scared?  Is he safe?  Has someone else found him?  Is he safe?  Is he safe?…

After what seemed like an hour ( ten minutes) later, I came across two security guards and began frantically informing them of my situation.  To my amazement, those very two security guards had already helped my son and returned him to his dad.  As it turns out, my son had approached THEM and told them he was lost (“because they looked like policemen”).  He didn’t panic, he wasn’t upset – he just did what he had been told to do time and time again.  They carefully lead me by the arm back to where my family was waiting and pointed to my smiling boy “Is that him, ma’am?’.  Needless to say, I was speechless (which is quite rare for me), too choked up with tears to speak.  After the hugging ended (my son ever so politely asked me to ‘please let go, mom’) I  let my son know how proud I was of him and how he handled the situation.  He just shrugged his shoulders and said “Mom, I did what you told me”……Glad to know that some things are sinking in…

Fridays are for Teachers

We’ve decided that on Fridays our blog will be about the teachers.  Why?  Well because they’ve had a long week with our children and we want them to come back on Monday :)  So without further ado a little teacher humour to bring you into the weekend.

The The Impotence of Proofreading

Be True to Your School

Did you know that studies show that parental involvement in a child’s education is one of the most important factors in raising student self-esteem and academic achievement? Most experts agree that parental involvement should go beyond attendance at teacher conferences and open houses.  How can you help your school?  The list is endless but here are a few ways: join Parent Council, help with fundraising, volunteer in your child’s classroom, chaperone a field trip, help maintain a school website, donate books, art materials, musical instruments and games, organize a special event.  Still not sure – ask your school’s Principal.  There aren’t many schools out there who will turn you away :)  Have another way to help out?  Add it in the comments.

Smooth(ie) Operators

Smoothies are a hot commodity in our house.  Fast, nutritious and delicious they are a great way to give your kids the energy they need to learn.  Here are a few of our household favorites.  Feel free to really power them up by adding things like flax seed oil or soy milk.  No fancy moves here – just throw it all in a blender and puree until smooth.  Since I’m always on the lookout for new smoothie recipes, share in the comments if you’ve got one.  

Pina Colada – 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Mango Berry Smoothie – 1/2 cup frozen or fresh diced mango, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 cup plain, vanilla or fruit-flavoured yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 honey (or to taste)

Banana Blueberry Orange Smoothie – 2 cups milk, 2 frozen very ripe bananas, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate 

Coconut, Strawberry and Banana Smoothie – 3/4 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup sweetened cream, 16 ounces frozen strawberries and 1 frozen banana

Orange You Glad It’s Monday – 8 ice cubes, 1 1/3 cups milk, 1/2 cup frozen o.j. concentrate, 2 tbsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 frozen bananas

There’s a Reason it’s called BEST Tools for Schools

We’re going to do a little name dropping here.  Hilroy, Papermate, Sharpie, Fiskars, Crayola, 3M, Staedtler, Buffalo and Elmer’s.  These are all companies with long histories and excellent products.  We only want the best for your children. Why? Because we have children too.

Did you know…

Vitamin D may be the most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition.  It can prevent depression, breast cancer, and osteoporosis to name a few.  The rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass, so your body can’t generate it when you’re sitting in your car or in a big box store shopping for school supplies – so get out there and enjoy the sun this summer!

Boo-Hoo Breakfast

I came across this idea while I was surfing working yesterday and I think it’s such a fantastic idea I have to share.  On the first day of school have your school council and principal host a Boo-Hoo Breakfast for all the kindergarten moms.  Set up in your school library with coffee, juice and muffins and lots and lots of tissue :)  This is a great way to build a sense of community among your parents and recruit for volunteers, not to mention make some new friends.  Let me know if you try it and I’ll let you know how things go at our school.

The first day of school…

brings about a flood of good memories for most of us.  New teacher, classes, supplies and clothes.  It was and is a fresh start for so many of us.  One of the most upsetting things we’ve learned in starting this business is that a great many children don’t attend school on the first day because they don’t have their needed supplies for class.   Best Tools for Schools has a Donate A Kit option that appears at the checkout process for every kit purchased.  Parents have the option of purchasing a Junior Kit or a Senior Kit.  These kits are then delivered to your school with all the others and the principal can identify who needs them and can discreetly distribute them.  We stock these kits with all the same great products our other kits have but subsidize the cost of them so that it is affordable to donate.  We believe every child deserves to start the year with the proper tools to succeed.

The art of the Bake Sale

This past weekend we had the opportunity to help organize a Easter Bake Sale for our children’s school. We’d like to share with you what we’ve learned so that you can maybe do the same for your school.  If you have anything to add please leave it in the comments section and we’ll add it!  We’re working on our schools Family Fun Day next so we’ll share what we’ve learned after it’s all over.  Hope everyone had a Happy Easter and a wonderful long weekend.   

  1. Find a willing business partner (we found Zellers), grocery stores and other retail establishments are great to call on.
  2. Pick a busy shopping weekend – Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
  3. Give parents and teachers lots of notice and remind them often.
  4. For those who don’t like to bake there loads of other options.  Volunteer to help package and price, donate cello wrap, trays and ribbon, buy bulk candy that can be packaged in cello bags and tied with pretty ribbon, donate supplies to an avid baker – flour, sugar, butter, etc.
  5. Reach out in your community for help.  Talk to your Ladies Auxilary Club, Red Hat Society or other service organizations.
  6. Ask for all goods to be delivered unwrapped, uncut and the day before.
  7. Have a crew ready the night before to help package and price.  Spending some time making things look pretty will help you sell out faster and get a better dollar for your goods.
  8. Hot sellers – whole pies, whole coffee cakes and loaves, sucre la creme, cookies, chocolate covered marshmallows on sticks, candy on sticks, decorated cookies
  9. Not so hot – anything that needs to be refrigerated, items with messy icing

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