Written in sand and snow



My granddaughter was on vacation in Hawaii while I was facing another Ontario winter. She wrote my name in the sand on a beach in Kauai and sent it to me via WhatsApp.


I responded with a snow angel. It was fun to share our contrasting experiences.


Watching a Movie…


IMG_0267 (1)from afar, together!

Readers have shared that they enjoy renting or downloading the same movie, and watching it at the same time with family members abroad. A few have watched while on Skype and others text each other throughout the movie and discuss it after the credits roll, on the phone or over Skype. It’s fun to share times like this with one another! Try it and find out if it’s a good fit for you and your family.


Good Things Come in Small Packages


Sending a care package to a loved one for Christmas is a great alternative to presents and the perfect opportunity to get personal and creative. The box doesn’t have to be huge or expensive, so long as it contains personality, fun and lots of love! Some suggestions for filling your box:Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.27.26 PM

-Send candy! Always a winner for any recipient

-Print out recent photos of you and family and write on the back of them

-Write a letter or ‘list of contents’ of the box

-Wordsmith? Try writing a poem

-Artist? Add doodles and sketches

-Include novelty gifts from where you live such as a souvenir tea towel or pencil

Send some creative fun:

-Send chocolate covered raisons in a tub and add a label saying ‘moose poo.’

-Tear up lots of pieces of paper, place them in a small tube and add a label saying ‘Snow from my home town… so you can have a white Christmas’

-Send a flower pressing using a species only found in the place you live (or something representing where you’re from – a maple leaf for example)

-Record a Christmas message for your loved one and send it via DVD. Add a fun title like ‘

-Decorate the inside of the box with messages, colours or jokes which they can read

-Create a puzzle or word search games for them on paper and make the clues and answers related to facts about your family or experiences we shared together. For example, ‘In what city did we last meet up?’ ‘How many times have we seen our favourite artist in concert?’ ‘What’s the one part of Christmas dinner I don’t eat’ etc

Let your imagination run wild and enjoy. After all it should be as much fun for you creating it as it should be for them to receive it!



Blog Your Journey – Guest Blogger Hazel Anderson


When my partner Tom and I recently relocated to Toronto from the UK to start a new two year adventure together, we left behind a heck of alot of friends, family and supportive people interested in keeping up to date with our Canadian experiences. In this modern digital age of Facebook and Skype, it’s so beautifully easy to be able to connect with individuals on the other side of the world, in another time zone, in an instant. But connecting with ALL those people?!

My solution was simple: I write a public, on-going weekly travel blog. This way our friends and family can tune in with each new post if they wish, or even read through the entire collection in one go as another option. For me, writing the blog is a reflective and uplifting weekly outlet which I love to share. And while it serves well to keep us connected with home right now, no doubt that in the future it’ll also be a wonderful way for Tom and I to look back on what I am sure will be an incredible journey together.


Planning a trip? Create a WordPress and share your own stories, photographs and experiences with family who’d love to feel part of it with you. Extract from my first blog post, The Beginning of the Journey: ‘This blog will (to the best of my ability) be kept updated with our search to find jobs, a home, bicycles, friends, Yorkshire Teabags and a life together in Toronto. We’re excited to share our experience with our friends and family via this blog so happy reading and enjoy. We know we will!’



Weather Apps


Got a photo over the week-end (via What’s App) of my favourite 4 year old, and she was all bundled up in a snow suit! This was a surprise to me as she lives in a city that is typically warmer than my own city. In an effort to know what’s going on in her life, I’ve loaded a weather app on my phone, so that I can comment on unusual weather in the future. It will help me feel more connected to her, too! Do you know what the weather’s like for the people you love?Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 1.19.13 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-17 at 1.18.48 PM (1)


Halloween Jokes to share


Why was the ghost wearing a band aid?                                                                           Because he had a boo-boo.

What sound does a witchs’ car make?                                                                             Brooom Brooom!

Person #1: Knock Kcupcakesnock

Person #2: Witch

Person #1: Witch who?

Person #2: Witch way to the Haunted house?


I challenge you…
















…to blow a bubble with bubble gum! That was a challenge issued by a 4 year old to her Uncle. He took up the challenge! He even gave her a small lesson in choosing the right bubble gum to blow a big bubble.

Then, she challenged Nana to slide down a slide, and her grandfather to swing on a swing…

Have you challenged any of the children you know to join you in some silly fun? You can send short videos back and forth easily with WhatsApp. We have formed a family group that’s pretty lively! Hope you challenge someone to some goofy fun soon…and rise to the challenge when you hear one. Enjoy….





My daughter filmed my granddaughter on her phone – popping out of a box and she sent it to me via WhatsApp. It was awesome!

I’ve shared it with over a dozen people who have all giggled when I showed it to them. I wanted to tell you about it and encourage you to share short films to your relatives and when you get a film like this – share the joy! It’s needed in this busy world.


Who’s your Daddy?

He's hoping you'll touch base today

He’s hoping you’ll touch base today


Sure, it’s commercial…but it’s also a great reminder to tell someone special how you appreciate them in your life. It can be a father figure, or your actual “daddy”. Melt the distance and tell someone you love them today? It’s Father’s Day! There’s never a bad day to say thank you for being there, but we tend to forget. Pick up the phone, or send a JibJab card, or let him know when you can next get together.