Monday, March 14, 2016

Win a Chance to Visit @TorontoCastle to Live the #KnightLife

UPDATE: Thanks to all entrants! The contest is now closed, and the lucky winner has been notified.

The last time The Husband and I went to see Medieval Times, we were a newly dating couple. I won't go into specifics, but it was a really long time ago. After all, the show has enjoyed a successful run in Toronto since 1993. We had been meaning to take the kids but never seemed to get around to booking our tickets. That's why we were thrilled to be asked to come see the show again though this time it was with a toddler instead of tequila. We went to the 4:30 performance on Sunday, March 13, 2016. As this weekend was the official start to March Break it was a full house, even for the early seating.

Queen of the Tournament
Medieval Times really is a show for all ages, and watching our kids watch the show was absolutely part of the fun. Perhaps the best part is how hard the crew works to make sure the littlest guests are included in the action at every opportunity. M was awarded the "Queen of the Tournament" banner from the Red Knight, our champion in the Tournament.

The show is entertaining, the cast and crew work really hard to make sure everyone is comfortable and entertained, and the service is quick and efficient. The animals are clearly well trained and well treated, and the falcon display is truly something you don't see every day. But it's obviously secondary to the main event, watching the knights battle it out in the arena before the King and his loyal subjects.

The pacing of the meal service is expertly done to keep you munching and drinking while watching the show. Yes, you do eat with your hands, but they bring plenty of cleaning cloths so you're able to clean up at will. Just go with it. The kids certainly loved having a meal where I wasn't working on encouraging proper utensil technique.

Medieval Times Toronto Review
Mmmm. Corn!
A high chair was provided upon request, which meant even our littlest knight-in-training could see all the action. Towards the end of the show, Little Cat Z was restless, but I think that was more a function of a shorter-than-usual nap than a lack of interest in the show. Though, at not-quite-three, he's about the youngest age that I'd consider taking to the show. After all, it's fun to be able to see it for yourself and that's hard to do when you're wrangling a little person.

I have partnered with Medieval Times Toronto to send one lucky family back to the dark ages! The winner will receive four tickets (two adults, two children) to a Toronto performance between now and the end of April 2016. 

To enter, visit the "About the Show" page to pick your favourite knight, then comment here, on Facebook or on Twitter with your answer. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter to earn an extra entry. No more than two entries per person. The winner will be selected by random draw on the evening of Sunday, March 20th. 

Disclosure: My family received King's Royalty Package for the dinner & show to write this review. No other compensation was received, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What Does "Having it All" Really Mean, Anyway?

Parenting Work at Home Mom Blogger
Simultaneous phone and laptop use? Check!
But my nails are not that nice.
I was having a conversation with another mom on the way home from school pick-up today. I mentioned something that we're doing next week, and that the tickets were offered to me because I'm hosting a giveaway on my hobby blog. Yes, this one. Yes, you should stay tuned for more details in the next week or so.

Anyway, I joked that I haven't been able to keep up with my "hobby" writing because I'm too busy with my paid writing. That's definitely something no entrepreneur is allowed to complain about. Especially not in their first few years in business!

But really, between getting the kids up and out the door to school and preschool, running home to do some work, picking up the kids, ferrying them to activities, getting them fed and into bed and then doing some more work, the notion of having a "hobby" has become somewhat laughable.

I know I'm incredibly fortunate, and that there is a sizeable chunk of the world that would love to have such a privileged problem as a lack of time to indulge in leisurely pursuits. I know it, I really do. And yet, here I am, updating the blog that chronicled my pregnancies and my early, fumbling days of parenting, for the first time in more than half a year.

I'm positive that it wouldn't have been any better if I had gone back to work full-time. All of the "stuff" that I can accomplish with multitasking, like throwing in a load of laundry while cooking lunch, or folding that laundry while helping M practice for her spelling test, would still be waiting for me when I got home from a traditional workplace.

Somehow, though, I think I'd feel less guilty about all the ways I'm not a Pinterest mom if I wasn't self-employed. I'd have a better excuse for ordering take-out when The Husband is out at a work function. I'd be less apologetic about the state of shambles my house is in, perpetually. Perhaps the best idea is to look back at my idealistic younger self and let her know that there's no point trying to be something you're not. Maybe "having it all" doesn't mean what I thought it did. Maybe it's about adjusting the definition to fit the new circumstances.

What do YOU think?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ahoy! There is Still Time to Get Swept Away by @PirateLifeTO

Everybody knows that Toronto is a huge city population-wise, but a lot of us forget just how big it is geographically too. For example, I forget all about the Toronto Islands all the time. That's unfortunate, because, for the sake of a few minutes and a cheap ferry ride, you can find yourself in another world.

There's tons of stuff to do on the Islands, and during our summer staycation we were lucky enough to be able to try a few of them. One of our favourites was the Pirate Life Adventure. Geared to kids of all ages, Pirate Life lets the whole family get in on the adventure. 

It starts with everybody getting into costume. We knew M would be all over that, but we weren't quite sure how Little Cat Z would take it. He's a better sport than we give him credit for, and by the end of his session he was asking for extra touches to his make-up to round out his gnarly pirate look.

Once on board, the young mateys swear the Pirate Oath before hitting the open sea. Errr, lake... With swashbuckling adventures and a chance to fire the cannons, a great time was had by all.

Even the littlest pirate got in on the action:

Pirate Life is still operating on the weekends for as long as the weather cooperates. They're currently running a contest for free tickets to one of the few remaining shows this year. If you're looking for a local adventure, it's a sure way to have a good time!

Disclaimer: We received tickets for the purposes of writing this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.